Kendra Steiner Editions

August 30, 2014

JAYWALKERS: ducal poems, three (KSE #290), new poetry chapbook from BILL SHUTE

BILL  SHUTE

JAYWALKERS: Ducal Poems, Three

KSE #290 (poetry chapbook)

$6 ppd. in USA / $7 ppd. elsewhere

payment via paypal to   DJANGO5722(at)YAHOO(dot)COM

please include a note with your order telling us what are ordering and providing mailing address…thanks!

jaywalkers

The “Ducal Poems” series is an open-ended poetry chapbook series of works inspired by the compositions of Duke Ellington. JAYWALKERS  is my third chapbook in the DUCAL POEMS series, although I have not chosen to publish the first two yet (however, CIRCLE OF FOURTHS, the first of the Ducal volumes, appears on the soon-to-be-released spoken-word poetry album WORRIED MEN AND WOODEN SOLDIERS). They should come out within the next year.

One of the dirty little secrets of the adult world, one that most of us have to learn by experience since we tend to be a bit naive as we are developing, is that those who proclaim themselves to be an “alternative” to the mainstream or the status quo are just as flawed, just as corrupt, just as dishonest, just as vain, and just as power-hungry as those on the “inside.” They set up just as many hierarchies, they play just as many (if not more) games, and they are just as elitist, although in a different way. The irony is that they view themselves as “progressive” or “radical” and superior to the mainstream, which makes them often EVEN MORE pretentious and insufferable than their mainstream counterparts. They don’t realize (or maybe they do and hate themselves because of it) that they are in the same game, played on the same gameboard, as those in the mainstream whom they feel superior to. If you refuse to validate their game or if you refuse to fall into their hierarchy in the place they have assigned to you, they will crush you and your work as fast as they’d step on a roach. One sees this in politics, in the arts (the poetry “alternative” establishment is a perfect example), in many other areas of society. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss, etc. Those who want to be in power are a mirror image of those who ARE in power. How can someone be a “kingmaker” of the underground when the underground is supposed to be opposed to the concept of kings and hierarchies….

Those who seek a “third way” are forever marginalized as JAYWALKERS.

That’s what this new six-part poem is about….and also what it embodies.

This is a poetry chapbook that walks down the street looking into the windows of cafes and bistros that it can’t afford to enter…or that it is not well-enough dressed to enter.

I began this in July but wrote most of it while on the road in Kansas, western Missouri, and Oklahoma in early August. I remember standing with Mary Anne on the sidewalk of the main drag in Lawrence, Kansas,  and looking across Massachusetts St., from one side to the other, as Saturday night cruising-traffic drove by—suddenly, the image patterns for this chapbook crystallized in my brain, and finishing the work was just a matter of connecting the dots. Lawrence is a great town, by the way…..we also found William Burroughs’ old house while there, it’s a beautiful area with an interesting history (Langston Hughes lived there), and there’s a great used bookstore (The Dusty Bookshelf)…among many other things. However, this piece is NOT set in Kansas the way some of my recent pieces have been set in specific geographical areas. As in a Harold Pinter play, it’s immediate and full of real-world specifics, but given a surface universality.

It’s the same post-Blackburn, post-Berrigan open-field poetry, full of particulars to chew on like VERY chunky peanut butter, you’ve come to expect, but each piece chooses its own form, its own voice, its own speaker/persona, its own tone. It’s a piece that cries the same primal howl that the Jandeks or the Harry Partches or the Andy Milligans or the DA Levy’s of the world have cried through both their works and their example. If you are out there  masked and anonymous but feeling the same thing, it’s for you.

Hand-assembled, hand-numbered, imprecisely-cut DIY edition of 39 copies. Get yours now.

$6 US / $7 elsewhere

OTHER  available poetry chapbooks ($6 each, ppd. in the US, $7 elsewhere…):

KSE #287 (poetry and photography chapbook), BILL SHUTE, “The Fellowship of the Frog”

KSE #282 (poetry and photography chapbook), BILL SHUTE, “Hot Combination”

KSE #276 (art-and-poetry chapbook), DAVID PAYNE & BILL SHUTE, “Blues With A Bridge”

KSE #280 (poetry and photography chapbook), BILL SHUTE, “Guide Dogs and Bartenders on the Gulf Coast”

KSE #273  (poetry chapbook), BILL SHUTE, “Someplace on Anywhere Road” (Sound Library Series, Volume 75)

We also have an excellent catalog of NEW experimental music from cutting-edge artists from four continents, but KSE began as a poetry press, so I’ll stick to promoting poetry in this post.

As always, thank you for supporting independent, non-aligned arts collectives such as Kendra Steiner Editions…..such organizations are the tortoises that will eventually win the race.

August 22, 2014

Lightnin’ Hopkins, “Free Form Patterns” (3-cd box, Charly, EU)

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 4:05 pm

LIGHTNIN

LIGHTNIN’ HOPKINS

“Free Form Patterns”  (Charly, EU)

extended 3-cd reissue of the sessions for his 1968 International Artists LP

The late Houston bluesman Sam Lightnin’ Hopkins was a man who, at least in his post-1959 “comeback” period, had a pragmatic and somewhat jaded attitude toward recording. Perhaps reacting to being burned earlier in his career, he would in this period record a certain agreed-upon number of songs for your label, cash up front, and would do one-take of each. Lightnin’ was a professional so he could deliver the goods and did not need to rehearse, and also, as his art was based on improvisation within already existing forms (forms which he would bend and stretch and mold to his immediate needs differently in each performance), each performance would be somewhat unique, even if it was a song he’d recorded many times before. This approach seems to make sense for a man whose art was so IMMEDIATE. I have always favored those blues poets who work the details of daily life into their art. Whether the details are real or contrived makes little difference—-if they SOUND like they are woven into the performance from that morning’s or last night’s experiences, then to me this contributes to the truth-telling function that many of us appreciate about the blues as a means of expression. Artists such as Hopkins or John Lee Hooker or Robert Pete Williams (and many others) are great examples of this.

For most artists, an extended 3-cd set devoted to a classic album would feature early workouts and then multiple takes of each tune, maybe also including mixes prepared for singles, etc. Not so with Lightnin’ Hopkins—-one take of each song, then on to the next. It’s almost as if Hopkins is sculpting his blues in time—-each “song” is a three-to-four minute slice of blues-time.  What we have here is, literally, the complete session from beginning to end, a true fly-on-the-wall perspective, with album producer Lelan Rogers, who knows the tape is running non-stop, getting Lightnin’ (and sometimes ATTEMPTING to get Lightnin’) into conversations about his past and his attitudes. The original FREE FORM PATTERNS album, released on International Artists records in 1968, contained the “songs” plucked from within this sea of Lightnin’. Now we are presented with THE WHOLE THING, evidently meticulously re-configured from various tape fragments, as the complete session in exact order did not survive in one lump form.

FREE FORM PATTERNS has never been at the top many fans’ lists, but it’s always been one of my favorite Hopkins albums, and I have dozens of his albums, including the complete Prestige Bluesville box and the complete Jewel/Paula 2-cd set. There is a leisurely feel to the session, and the opening track, “Mister Charlie,” is for me one of his best performances. In fact, I echo it in my poem “Led Along.” I also think it is a great album to play for someone who is unfamiliar with Hopkins. Backed by his frequent collaborator and cousin Billy Bizor on harmonica and by 13th Floor Elevators members Duke Davis on bass and Danny Thomas on drums (and pianist Elmore Nixon on part of the sessions). Bassists and drummers never had an easy time working with Hopkins or John Lee Hooker because of their unpredictable chord changes and bar structure, so drummers had to play in a loose but supple way to provide a PULSE instead of a regular beat, and bassists had to IMPLY changes but cast the net wide enough to accommodate whatever Hopkins decided to do. It was an imperfect art, but those who could listen to Hopkins and feel along with him got to where the whole thing worked, and in fact there’s a kind of tension in the looseness which is refreshing. Mr. Davis and Mr. Thomas certainly got into the groove of what Hopkins was doing, and the result works as well as the Prestige/Bluesville sessions where he’s sometimes backed by jazz musicians, although there’s something about the mix of psychedelic musicians with a blues base jamming with actual blues musicians that I’ve always found unique and appealing. You get that here.

Basically, the first CD here is the original FREE FORM PATTERNS album (sounding better than ever, by the way…the original release and the earlier reissues were a bit muffled sounding) and a track from the sessions that appeared on the old EPITAPH FOR A LEGEND compilation.

The exciting news here is the 2nd and 3rd cd’s, which are the complete session recordings, from set-up through the conversations with Lelan Rogers. I can’t imagine any Hopkins fan, or any fan of REAL blues in general, not getting excited about this fly-on-the-wall perspective. Hear Lightnin’ counting the songs he’s recording, making sure he’s not giving any more than he’s getting paid for. Hear Lightnin’  the raconteur telling various tales of his exploits or details of what he did that morning or referring to some old business in the neighborhood that’s long gone. Hear him negotiating w/ the producer and the other musicians. Hear him reminisce about shared experiences with his cousin Billy Bizor. Hear him take a drink in between tunes. Hear him discuss working with the young Jimi Hendrix. Hear him essentially holding court with his followers. Lightnin’ knew that  everyone here looked up to  him, and this was a self-conscious performance, even if he did not know that every word was being recorded for posterity. The second half of CD 3 consists of conversations between Lightnin’ and producer Lelan Rogers, and what a treat it is to hear Hopkins loosened up and talking about his first recordings, about various small towns in East Texas, about his marriage, and much more. It’s quite different from the interview he did with Samuel Charters for Prestige/Bluesville, and it’s a treasure, a true piece of Texas history.

I’ve listened to the 2nd and 3rd discs twice each so far, but I look forward to putting them on “repeat” in the future while I’m working and getting to know them well. This is, basically, a front-row seat at a complete Lightnin’ Hopkins session (two, actually). Nowadays, everyone’s got portable devices to record EVERYTHING, but in 1968, that was not the case. Those of us who love Lightnin’ Hopkins’ work and treasure every new discovery will be ecstatic about the 3-cd extended reissue of the Free Form Patterns sessions. It’s a revelation. I don’t know what prompted Charly to take on this project, but I’m sure glad they did. For me, this is THE vintage blues release of the year. Pure Texas blues as it’s being created, on the spot. Pure 100 proof Lightnin’ Hopkins. All I can say is “aaaaaahhhhhhhh……..”

Get your copy now….a Lightnin’ Hopkins session live in your living room! Who would NOT get excited about that….sip some Bourbon or some cheap rye along with Lightnin’ and you are there…

It should be added that the liner notes and historical research provided with this package are stunning….so many rumors about the sessions and the album are actually NOT TRUE and interviews with those present have provided a number of new insights. In an attractive hard-cover digi-box, it’s an incredible document….and I predict that it will come to be regarded as a blues classic and something unique in blues recording history.

lightnin

………..

Disc 1
1. Mr. Charlie
2. Give Me Time To Think
3. Fox Chase
4. Mr. Ditta’s Grocery Store
5. Open Up Your Door
6. Baby Child
7. Cooking’s Done
8. Got Her Letter This Morning (AKA: She’s Almost Dead)
9. Rain Falling
10. Mini Skirt
11. Black Ghost Blues

Disc 2
1. Chat 1 – I’d Like To Get In Tune With The Boys
2. Song 1 – Give Me Time To Think
3. Chat 2 – Harmonica Players
4. Song 2 – Miniskirt
5. Chat 3 – Lelan: Is Billy A Hippy?
6. Song 3 – Got Her Letter This Morning
7. Chat 4 – Drinking Chat 1: No No, I Don’t Fool With Nothin’ But What I Fool With
8. Song 4 – Mixed Up [Previously Unreleased]
9. Chat 5 – Band Direction / Billy
10. Song 5 – (Mr. Dillon’s) Grocery Store Blues
11. Chat 6 – You Know Mr. Dillon?
12. Fox Chase False Starts / Band Direction
13. Song 6 – Fox Chase
14. Chat 7 – Drinking Chat 2 – I’m The Best Person In The World When I’m Drinking
15. Song 7 – Lord Have Mercy [Previously Unreleased]
16. Chat 8 – Drinking Chat 3 – Don’t Think It Ain’t Got Something In It

Disc 3
1. Song 8 – Rain Falling
2. Chat 9 – Argument Over Songs
3. Song 9 – Cooking’s Done
4. Chat 10 – Sweet Lil’ Woman, But You Ain’t Got No Hair + Chat
5. Song 11 – Mr Charlie
6. Song 12 – Straw Hat [Previously Unreleased]
7. Chat 11 – They Got 100 Songs
8. Song 13 – Green Onions [Previously Unreleased]
9. Chat 12 – Vietnam Song Snippet / Oh Oh Lyric
10. Song/chat – Poppa Was A Preacher Rehearsal/chat
11. Chat 13 – That Had The Feeling, Finishing Session
12. Conversation 1 – Trouble In Crockett Tx
13. Conversation 2 – Whiskey On Prescription
14. Conversation 3 – Musician’s Hours: Tommy Hall / Stacy Sutherland
15. Conversation 4 – Where`d You Pick Up The Name Lightnin’
16. Conversation 5 – You Not Gonna Mess With Elmore (Nixon) Anymore?
17. Conversation 6 – Centreville Tx
18. Conversation 7 – Politics

Release date 21 April 2014 

 

Sam “Lightnin” Hopkins, guitar, vcl

Billy Bizor, harmonica

Duke Davis, bass

Danny Thomas, drums

(on disc 3, Elmore Nixon on piano)

recorded 3-4 January 1968 and 9 February 1968 in Houston, Texas

Free Form Patterns [3CD boxed set]

August 1, 2014

Back From the Kansas/Oklahoma trip…

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 8:09 am

update, August 17: We’re back and filling orders again….

had a wonderful time in Oklahoma, Kansas, and western Missouri

KansasCitySigns

 

July 22, 2014

new from ALFRED 23 HARTH, “China Collection” (KSE #275, cdr album)

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 5:18 pm

ALFRED  23  HARTH

“China Collection”

KSE #275 (CDR album)       Mr. Harth’s 6th release for KSE!!!

$8 US postpaid / $11 elsewhere postpaid

including liner note insert from A23H describing the project and each track in detail

payment via paypal to   DJANGO5722(at)YAHOO(dot)COM

please leave a note w/ your paypal order indicating which items you want and also yr mailing address

GUIDE_20140611_0001

With a 45+ year career at the forefront of the international music avant-garde, ALFRED 23 HARTH refuses to settle down or to find a predictable avant-shtick and then milk that for a comfortable living (as a number of his contemporaries are doing, paid back with a stylish airbrushed photo on the cover of THE WIRE). Harth continues to be an uncontrollable force in the 21st Century avant-garde, collaborating with people who were not even born in the 80’s when he was in Cassiber or recorded for ECM for the second time.

The ambitious and audacious CHINA COLLECTION is proof that A23H has no peers in the international underground. This 70+ minute assemblage is truly epic in scope and dense in texture, while still having room to breathe—-in the tradition of Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow or Melville’s Mardi or Moby Dick, it’s got EVERYTHING in it, and something else comes into focus with each listening. It’s also full of references and allusions and mirrorings that keep the mind swimming.

Having lived and worked in Asia for nearly 15  years now, Harth and his work have grown Asian roots–initially in his Korean home base, then extending into Japan, first within Otomo Yoshihide’s ensembles (2004-2008) and then with Carl Stone (and, incidentally,  the Harth-Stone duo GIFT FIG will be performing doing a September 2014 tour in South Africa!). Since 2011, Mr. Harth has extended his Asian radius toward emerging young scenes in China, and the new CHINA COLLECTION album is a summary of those rich musical experiences.

From recontextualized slice-and-dice opera to riveting improvisational sequences to  electronics to string passages to disembodied voices to turntabling to lyrical reed passages to every imaginable permutation of a seemingly limitless collection of sound sources, the CHINA COLLECTION is a massive release, and every copy comes with a liner-note insert where Mr. Harth discusses the overall project and each track in detail. It’s not just a comprehensive “sampler” of Harth’s China-related activity the last few years; it’s also a sound-sculpture created FROM those pieces of activity,including sound sources from: Cheng Xu, Jun-Y Ciao, MaiMai, Yi Tao, A23H (Shanghai Quintet), Alok, Dickson Dee, Sherman Ho, Sin:Ned (Hong Kong), Duo Goebbels/Harth LP Frankfurt/Peking + Otomo Yoshihide’s / Ground Zero’s Revolutionary Pekinese Opera Ver.1.28 (Peking Opera Remix III), and Albrecht Kunze.  Although this is Harth’s 6th release for KSE, it is totally different from each of the others, and as someone who has been listening to experimental music since my teenage years, I can say that I’ve NEVER heard anything remotely like this. You could isolate any two minute chunk of this album and spend a day getting into its construction and its juxtapositions and the world it creates. Score another goal for number 23!

It’s a limited hand-assembled, hand-numbered DIY edition of 153 CDR’s, and nearly 1/3 of them are gone already, so get yours now while you still can.

A23H ChinaCollection

We still have a limited number of Alfred 23 Harth’s previous KSE release,  also available for $8 US and $11 elsewhere:

KSE #257 (CDR),  ALFRED 23 HARTH, “Micro-Saxo-Phone, Edition  IV.”

A23H China Collection cover pic

 

Also available from KSE:

full-sized CDR’s ($8.00 each, ppd. in US—outside US $11 )

ALL ARE AVAILABLE FOR IMMEDIATE DELIVERY

KSE #281 (CDR), FOSSILS, “Wooly Bully” (a co-release with Middle James Co., only 20 copies available from KSE)

KSE #279 (CDR), ERNESTO-DIAZ INFANTE, “wistful entrance, wistful exit”

KSE #277 (CDR), URKAS, “Stamen and Pistil”

URKAS is the duo of Parashi (Mike Griffin) and Xanthocephalus (Russ Alderson)

KSE #274 (CDR), MASSIMO MAGEE/TIM GREEN/MAX FOWLER-ROY, “Relentless Communion”

KSE #268    (CDR ), CATHAL RODGERS (ex-Wereju), “Instrumental Conditioning”

KSE #271 (CDR), FOSSILS/BILL SHUTE, “Diesel Fallout Dixie Stampede”

KSE #264 (CDR), EGG, EGGS, “Off Yellow Soft Pillow” 

KSE #288 (CDR, spoken-word poetry), BILL SHUTE, “Worried Men and Wooden Soldiers: Bill Shute reads selected 2013-2014 poems,”  produced by Marcus Rubio

and a limited reissue of an old classic KSE 3″ mini-cdr, now on a full-sized cdr reissue

KSE #283 (CDR), SMOKEY EMERY (aka Daniel Hipolito), “Incident At Town Lake” 

 

July 20, 2014

new poetry-and-photography chapbook, BILL SHUTE, “The Fellowship of The Frog” (KSE #287)

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 10:01 am

“The world is in my head / My body is in the world.” — Paul Auster

FELLOWSHIP

BILL   SHUTE

THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE FROG

KSE #287 (poetry-and-photography chapbook)

$6 US postpaid / $7 elsewhere postpaid

payment via paypal to   DJANGO5722(at)YAHOO(dot)COM

please leave a note w/ your paypal order indicating which items you want and also yr mailing address

THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE FROG combines photographs taken in Rayne, Louisiana, The Frog Capital of the World, with a new suite of complementary poems. I must also admit that this work is to some extent influenced by the Edgar Wallace crime novel of the same name along with the 1959 German film adaptation of the novel, although that influence is probably well below the surface. I was reading The Collected Poems of Paul Auster while I wrote this, and the purity and concentrated elegance of Mr. Auster’s writing in any genre can’t help but be a positive influence on any artist.

The narrator in FROG is a recently released parolee, attempting to get his life back together in an un-named SW Louisiana town after serving 11 months in a privately-run,  for-profit correctional facility in northern Louisiana. He’s looking to re-invent himself and get back on the merry-go-round. We’re provided with eight poetic snapshots of the progress of his fitting in, the poems nestled among twelve photographs of The Fellowship of The Frog. There’s also a refrain concluding each of the even-numbered poems, one which will ring a bell with followers of Jesus Franco’s mid-1970’s output.

It’s a strange and caustic world in which we live today, and like frogs in the proverbial pot of water gradually getting hotter,  most people are too busy trying to make a living (or to find a job!) and to not fall behind on credit card payments and rent to stop for a moment and call out the craziness. Someone such as the narrator of FROG, who has been out of circulation for a while and then attempts to step back in line, perhaps notices the change in temperature (so to speak) more than others. Those who enjoyed GUIDE DOGS AND BARTENDERS OF THE GULF COAST and HOT COMBINATION should enjoy this one too. And those who have never read anything of mine should find it a convenient entry point on the highway where you won’t get run over.

This will be the last of the poetry-and-photography/poetry-and-art chapbooks for a while. Over the next year, I’m taking on some exciting collaborative projects—-both poetry collaborations and poetry-and-music collaborations. Each one of those will require a few months (at least!) hard work. During that period, I will release some excellent (IMHO) pieces composed in late 2013 that have not yet been published, including a few volumes in an ongoing series called DUCAL POEMS.

And I will have a  spoken-word album of newly recorded readings of 2013-2014 poems, produced by Marcus Rubio in Austin in July 2014, coming out in a month or so, which I am VERY excited about…..and I hope you will be too.

THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE FROG is a limited, hand-numbered, hand-assembled, imperfectly-cut DIY edition of 48 copies. Get yours soon….or go without!

As always, thanks for your support…

OTHER  available poetry chapbooks ($6 each, ppd. in the US, $7 elsewhere…):

KSE #282 (poetry and photography chapbook), BILL SHUTE, “Hot Combination”

KSE #276 (art-and-poetry chapbook), DAVID PAYNE & BILL SHUTE, “Blues With A Bridge”

KSE #280 (poetry and photography chapbook), BILL SHUTE, “Guide Dogs and Bartenders on the Gulf Coast”

KSE #273  (poetry chapbook), BILL SHUTE, “Someplace on Anywhere Road” (Sound Library Series, Volume 75)

KSE #250 (poetry chapbook), DOUG DRAIME, “Dusk With Carol” (cover art by Wyatt Doyle)

KSE #249 (poetry chapbook) A. J. KAUFMANN, “Hosannah Honeypots” (Sound Library Series, Volume 72)

KSE #236 (poetry chapbook)  JIM  D.  DEUCHARS, “Thelonious Fakebook”  (Sound Library Series, Volume 71)

 payment via paypal to       DJANGO5722(at)yahoo(dot)com

please include a note w/ your order listing the items you are ordering and confirming your mailing address….

 Fellowship of the Frog 011

July 19, 2014

Wyatt Doyle’s STOP REQUESTED….pick up a copy

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 9:42 am

In January 2014, I reviewed Wyatt Doyle’s fantastic book of short fiction set on the buses of Los Angeles, STOP REQUESTED. You can access that review here: http://kendrasteinereditions.wordpress.com/2014/01/04/stop-requested-by-wyatt-doyle-new-texture-books-2010/    I wanted to share this recent ad for STOP REQUESTED, which quotes my comments, and also to emphasize that you REALLY need to get a copy of this book. This kind of writing is EXACTLY what KSE is here to champion. We don’t publish fiction, but if we did, this is what we would publish—-and also, this writing is richly poetic. While I suppose many would compare the book to the best of Bukowski or to something like John Dos Passos’s MANHATTAN TRANSFER, or even to a forgotten name such as James T. Farrell, Doyle’s lean, sculpted prose and his use of the precise and perfectly-spun detail reminds me of poets such as Charles Reznikoff—-his early poems of 1920’s New York pack the same punch as STOP REQUESTED—-a poet of the gutter who never resorts to sentimentalism and never lapses into social-realist lecturing. Dealing with life as it is lived, the parts of life we often turn away from as we are experiencing them, and dealing with them with the proper detachment yet with the deep engagement of the artist’s eye (Mr. Doyle is also an excellent photographer, no surprise there), is one of the most difficult things for an artist in any discipline to pull off. Wyatt Doyle has pulled that off marvelously in STOP REQUESTED.

You can order a copy here:  http://www.amazon.com/Stop-Requested-Wyatt-Doyle/dp/0982723903/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1405957231&sr=1-1&keywords=stop+requested      You’ll be glad you did…

wyatt

July 18, 2014

The New Untouchables presents MODSTOCK: 21st Century Club Classics, compiled by Rob Bailey (Detour Records, UK, cd/lp)

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 7:52 pm

The New Untouchables presents MODSTOCK: 21ST CENTURY CLUB CLASSICS

compiled by Rob Bailey for Detour Records UK                   released 24 April 2014

 

track listing for CD version (LP version has 5  fewer tracks, missing the tracks marked ***):

1. It’s Gonna Rain – Gentleman June Gardner

2.Too Far To Turn Around – The Sty-Letts

3. I Ain’t Gonna Take You Back – Brenda Holloway And The Carrolls

4. I Don’t Know Why – The Gass

5. Shotgun – Johnny Deen And The Deacons

6. Take A Look At Me – The Mergers    ***

7. Love’s A Workin’- Dean Carter

8. I Fell In Love (For The Very First Time) – The Undertakers

9. Line And Track – The Aquamen

10. All The Rage – Secret Affair     ***

11. Emily’s Gone – The Apemen    ***

12. Madison Agent 005 – Les Cappuccino     ***

13. The Love I Need – Frank Butler

14. Please Grow Up – Harlem Kiddies

15. Step Down – The Ranglers

16. Voo Doo Man – Quartet Tres Bien

17. Hey Hey Gypsy Woman – Teddy Mack And The Mackinteers

18. Nicky’s At The P.C.- The J.J.Band

19. Baby Shake Your Whoop Whoop – The St James Group

20. You Know You Turn Me On – The Monzas

21. The Right Place At The Right Time – The Stone Foundation      ***

(note: the tracks marked  ***  are NOT 1960’s recordings, they are recordings by still-working bands (in the case of Secret Affair, well-known as a fine band from the late 70’s/early 80’s Mod revival, a band that’s been around for decades) who are playing this year’s Modstock….these non-60’s tracks are NOT on the LP version of this release, but are bonus tracks on the CD version…if you are a purist who does not want later material in your mix, buy the LP version)

modstock_master_CD-500x500

……………

Compiled to coincide with 2014’s international MODSTOCK celebration in the UK (compiler Rob Bailey describes the album as containing “sixteen future mod club hits”), MODSTOCK: 21ST CENTURY CLUB CLASSICS is in some ways an extension of the aesthetic found in Bailey’s five-volume LE BEAT BESPOKE series, though with a more R&B/soul-jazz flavor, which perfectly fits the Mod orientation of this set and the event it is celebrating/reflecting. Think of it as existing somewhere between a MOD JAZZ comp on Ace-Kent and a LE BEAT BESPOKE comp (with a twist of the “UK Floor Fillers” series and of Acid Jazz’s “Rare Mod” series)—-that’s pretty high of a rating in my book!

As someone in South Texas who has never been east of Maine, I don’t know a thing about the British sub-culture that this album or this movement grows out of. As I do with British compilations of US “Northern Soul,” I take the advice of Berry Gordy, “It’s what’s in the grooves that counts.” And by those standards, this album works beautifully. Played loud, it turns my South Texas living room into a fantasy version of some sweaty Mod club with a pumping MAXIMUM R&B vibe. Too many Americans equate Mod ONLY with feedback-drenched Freakbeat bands such as the Who or The Creation (amazing as they are!)….they forget the Georgie Fames or the Tamla 45’s or the soul-jazz singles that were an essential core of the scene. Also, let’s not forget that any 1965 Mod worthy of the name was seeking out obscure 45’s and spinning them for friends (or having his band cover them), so Rob Bailey is just keeping that proud tradition alive!

As with his fine LE BEAT BESPOKE comps,  Mr. Bailey casts his net rather wide, pulling in tracks that are super-obscure local 45’s along with both UK and North American soul/soul-jazz/beat/R&B from a variety of sources, including Liverpool’s UNDERTAKERS (with the recently departed Jackie Lomax), but instead of using one of the band’s UK 45’s, the album uses one of the raw garage-y punk R&B sides Lomax and crew cut during their ill-fated period working for Bob Gallo in NYC. When he uses material from an artist we know, like for instance the QUARTETTE TRES BIEN, who recorded a number of fine soul-jazz piano based albums in the Ramsey Lewis/Ray Bryant vein, he chooses a rare post-Decca 45 on the “Royal Tone” label, a single I’d never heard of. We also get the Harlem Kiddies, from Sweden (although most of them are American), the Monzas, from Tennessee, The St. James Group, from France, The Aquamen, from Arizona, and little-known British combos such as The Ranglers and Johnny Deen and The Deacons (who recorded in Germany). Also included are jazz musicians Frank Butler and June Gardner and 1963 proto-soul sides from the Sty-Letts and from Brenda Holloway (on the west coast, BEFORE her Motown involvement).

Bailey’s ace DJ touch blends it all together with nice changes in tempo and mood, but never letting up the groove and the flow. The later (non-60’s) tracks are peppered throughout the album (as you can see above from the track listing), which was a wise thing to do instead of bunching them together at the end, and although most listeners will be able to spot them fairly quickly, if only because of recording quality and the equipment used by the musicians, I did not find them too intrusive, and the recent bands certainly all have the right spirit. If this is a sticking point for you and you want only the vintage material, buy the LP version instead of the CD version.

A boatload of fresh mod-flavored beat/soul/jazz/garage-rock/R&B that shows how much overlap there was and how lame categories are in the first place. It’s either got that magical “it” or it doesn’t. Grab this one now….an instant Maximum R&B Party awaits, so why wait?

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You can read more about the album here at the New Untouchables website: http://www.newuntouchables.com/nutstores/index.php?route=product/product&path=26&product_id=73

Let’s hope Mr. Bailey will get to work on LE BEAT BESPOKE Volume 6 soon…

July 14, 2014

P-Vine Records serves up two volumes of soul/R&B obscurities from the vaults of Wand Records

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 1:45 am

Nobody does exhaustive, barrel-scraping, obscurity-focused  excavations of material from US labels better than the Japanese P-Vine label. I can’t tell you how much joy their volumes devoted to Vee-Jay, Jewel-Paula, Modern/RPM/Flair/Kent, etc. have brought to me. When I am on long road-trips, or just driving to or from Houston (3+ hours each way), these kind of albums are perfect listening…..one single after another, and we need to remember that in those days, labels were ought to issue SINGLES that would have appeal and would sell, at least regionally or to some core audience. Each obscure 45 has a fascinating story behind it, although of course I DON’T KNOW what it is!

P-Vine turned its sights on Scepter’s WAND subsidiary for these two volumes. A New York label, Scepter-Wand also licensed in a lot of material from regional producers and smaller labels, and these volumes present a nice mix of NY masters and material from the South. Of course, Scepter-Wand’s soul, R&B and pop-soul recordings have been issued on a number of single artist volumes (Maxine Brown, Chuck Jackson, Tommy Hunt, etc.), but there’s also been many various artists compilations issued under the “Northern Soul” banner, both on ACE UK and also on the late, lamented GOLDMINE SOUL SUPPLY label (in particular, Goldmine had a 2-cd set called BIG CITY SOUL VOL. 4: , 60 Northern Soul Classics from the Vaults of Scepter, Wand, Musicor, Dynamo & Subsidiaries,  which contained SIXTY lesser-known tracks from Scepter-Wand!!!!), and it’s stunning how rich a catalog the Scepter-Wand family of labels had to offer. Hey, I wish Clint Eastwood had put together a film about Scepter’s amazing FLORENCE GREENBERG instead of about the Four Seasons. What a pioneer she was—-what a fascinating person—-what spirit and spunk and vision she had! With songwriter-producer-renaissance man LUTHER DIXON working alongside her, Scepter-Wand was truly an indie powerhouse with a rich and deep catalog.

greenberg200

 FLORENCE  GREENBERG

Luther Dixon

LUTHER   DIXON

SOULFUL BROADWAY 1650, VOLUME 1: WAND DEEP SOUL, P-Vine (Japan) PCD 2121

conn3

Volume 1, the “deep soul” volume, will probably be more of interest to most than Volume 2 as it’s devoted to material from Southern-based indie producers such as Chips Moman, Tommy Cogbill, Larry Rogers, and Buddy Killen, meaning they are Memphis or Nashville-based (vocalists and groups came to those two cities from all over the South, even from Texas). With the gruff pleading vocals and the uncluttered, spacious but simple production one associates with the best Southern soul 45’s, this material is all worthwhile. The single by Benny Conn was produced by Charles Greene, which suggests a West Coast origin, and indeed, according to some soul websites I consulted, Conn was an L.A.-based artist for much of his career. One British website suggests that the Conn single’s  rhythm track was recorded at Muscle Shoals with the vocals recorded in L.A., but no evidence is provided of that. Maybe the L.A. musicians were that good? Like any worthwhile barrel-scraping archival reissue, there are a few tracks by unknown artists, and those close out the album. Some of the names on here are well-known (Clarence “Blowfly” Reid….Sam Cooke’s brother L.C. Cooke), but these tracks were new to me.

wand 1

1. Let’s Face Facts / The Masqueraders
2. I Don’t Want Nobody To Lead Me On / The Masqueraders
3. Do You Love Me Baby / The Masqueraders
4. Sweet Lovin’ Woman / The Masqueraders
5. Let’s Do It Over / L.C.Cooke
6. Half A Man / L.C.Cooke
7. What Can I Call My Own / Marvin Preyer
8. It’s Coming To Me /Marvin Preyer
9. Satisfy My Hunger / Benny Conn
10. I Just Wanna Come In Outta The Rain / Benny Conn
11. somebody Will / Clarence Reid
12. i Refuse To Give Up / Clarence Reid
13. Part Of Your Love / Clarence Reid
14. Your Love Is All The Help I Need / Clarence Reid
15. I’m Your Yes Man / Clarence Reid 
16. I Don’t Want Nobody But You / Unknown Singer
17. Dancing Through The 60’s / Unknown Singer

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SOULFUL BROADWAY 1650, VOLUME 2: WAND R&B GROUPS, P-Vine (Japan) PCD 2122

wandrbgroups2

 

Volume 2 features vocal groups. The Esquires were Chicago-based and produced by Bill “Bunky” Sheppard, who also co-wrote all their material. It seems as though every label had an R&B vocal group indebted to Curtis Mayfield’s IMPRESSIONS, and the Esquires fill that bill well for Wand, with the brassy Chi-town arrangments and the falsetto Mayfield-esque lead voice in the trio vocal harmonies. The Esquires issued an album on Sheppard’s BUNKY label, which was distributed by Scepter-Wand, and which includes two of  their six songs on this comp. You can still find that album at reasonable prices (ie, under $10).

esquires

  1. THE ESQUIRES : GET AWAY
  2. THE ESQUIRES : PICKIN & CHIPPIN
  3. THE ESQUIRES : SHE’S MY LITTLE PLAYTHING
  4. THE ESQUIRES : GET ON UP
  5. THE ESQUIRES : I WANT TO GO
  6. THE ESQUIRES : MONEY
  7. UNKNOWN GROUP : SWEET DARLING
  8. UNKNOWN GROUP : LOVIN’
  9. RICHIES ROOM 222 GANG : I’D RATHER STAY A CHILD
  10. RICHIES ROOM 222 GANG : GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS
  11. THE TABS : TWO STUPID FEET
  12. THE TABS : THE WALLOPP
  13. THE DIPLOMATS : THERE’S STILL TOMORROW
  14. THE DIPLOMATS : LOVE AIN’T WHAT IT USED TO BE
  15. THE DIPLOMATS : I’VE GOT A FEELING
  16. UNKNOWN GROUP : I NEED LOVE

The ‘Richie’s Room 222 Gang” single is a cash-in on the early 1970’s urban high-school TV show (it ran from 1969-1974 and starred Lloyd Haines, Michael Constantine, Denise Nicholas, and Karen Valentine…..I remember having a crush on both Nicholas and Valentine ). There was a character called Richie on the show, played by Howard Rice, though I have no idea if he appears on this single or if Wand was just trading on the name. Someone online compared the Room 222 single with the Jackson Five, but to me it’s not as cloying as the J5 and has balls to it. The Tabs remind me vaguely of Eddie and Ernie, and of course there’s also an Unknown Group here to remind us that this is a deep archival dig. Except for the Esquires’s “Get Away” and “Get On Up” (the two title tracks from their LP mentioned above), most of this material should be fresh to most ears, and once again, it reminds us of how deep the Wand catalog is. If these fine tracks are cast-aside odds’n’sods, that gives you some idea of Wand’s quality (and Wand’s superb ear)….and also, what a Golden Age the mid-to-late 60s was, with THOUSANDS of little-known first-rate soul singles coming from all over the USA.

room 222

As an odd footnote to my comments on these albums, I should say that I do not have an original P-Vine CD of either Wand volume (I do of all the other P-Vine comps I mentioned). A certain midwestern Soul record store with a large mailorder presence, which I’ve done business with for decades, offered their own xeroxed-cover CDR reissues of these, advertised as CDR’s! I bet they would not try that today!  :-)

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big city wand

July 13, 2014

a problem w/ the Roscoe Shelton album “Deep In My Soul”

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 9:32 am

In 2005, the Australian “Aim” label issued 3 collections of small-label 60’s/70’s soul singles, one volume each devoted to Earl Gaines, Geater Davis, and Roscoe Shelton. All are first-rate and well-worth owning. However, there is a slight problem with the Roscoe Shelton album, “Deep In My Soul”.  Of course, the cheesy budget-label graphics are a problem, as is the vague liner note essay that says nothing about the enclosed recordings, just providing a potted bio of Mr. Shelton.

shelton

No, the problem is that anyone listening to the album, even half-listening while in the other room, will notice that tracks 15 and 16 are clearly NOT by Roscoe Shelton. Shelton’s soaring, flexible, gospel-drenched soulful R&B voice is instantly recognizable, whether on his early recordings for Excello, his later recordings for Appaloosa, or anything in between. I could listen to Roscoe Shelton sing the phone book. He is the voice of Tennessee Soul and R&B. However, tracks 15 and 16 are clearly by someone else, a white artist, kind of in the Johnny Tillotson vein, or maybe Lou Christie without the falsetto. Did anyone actually listen to this album while assembling it? How much of a Roscoe Shelton fan can you be and issue an album with two straight tracks right in the middle of it NOT BY Mr. Shelton? And what about the “critics.” This album was not widely reviewed, looking like a budget release and having no recording info, but the All Music entry and a newspaper review from Florida (the two original reviews of the album I found online) do not notice this. DID THEY EVEN LISTEN TO THE ENTIRE ALBUM BEFORE WRITING ABOUT IT? Evidently not.

harry charles

It took me about 90 seconds on the internet to discover what the two tracks are. A single by one HARRY CHARLES on the Rowax label, Rowax 802. How did this get mixed up with Roscoe Shelton mastertapes from a label in the US south put out on an Australian label? Well, the Rowax 45 states “A Rich Production.” Could that be John R. Richbourg, the man behind Sound Stage 7 Records and who produced most if not all of the material on the Shelton CD? Who knows. Rowax has a NY address, but that’s for the distributor. I also found a Rowax 801 and 803 online—–803 seems like a novelty single (The Bloopers) and 801 was being sold as a vaguely Northern Soul single. As someone who runs a label myself, albeit a small micro-label, I cannot believe that you would not at least LISTEN TO the album you are releasing, and stated earlier, NO ONE could fail to notice that the two tracks are not by Mr. Shelton.

In any event, DEEP IN MY SOUL is a wonderful collection of mid-60s Tennessee Soul from Roscoe Shelton, coming from his Sims and mostly his Sound Stage 7 period. I used to own a Charly label LP, STRAIN ON YOUR HEART,  with Sound Stage 7 material, pictured below. That album had excellent liners and clearly was issued by people who cared about Roscoe Shelton’s music.

roscoe_shelton-strain_on_your_heart

 

Back in the day, SOUND STAGE 7 issued an album of Shelton material, MUSIC IN HIS SOUL, SOUL IN HIS MUSIC, some of which is on the Aim CD, some of which isn’t. That album is pictured below.

sheltonrsoulsmrzm-smworShame on you, AIM Records. Anyone issuing vintage material should care about the material enough to tell us where it’s from and provide SOME discographical info, even general info, and certainly should LISTEN to the albums they release…

 

July 12, 2014

Marcus Rubio, “Music For Microphones” (CD, Copy For Your Records)

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 11:03 am

MARCUS RUBIO

“MUSIC FOR MICROPHONES”

CD,     Copy For Your Records #CFYR019,    edition of 150 copies         released 2014

available from http://cfyre.co/rds/pgs/cfyr019.html

marcus mic

A natural extension of  “extended techniques” on musical instruments is the investigation of what kinds of sound can be extracted from the machinery of sound amplification and reproduction, learning what possibilities exist with a particular piece of equipment, and learning to control (or not control, as the case may be) that sound for use in one’s own creations (or allow the equipment to determine what is created, as the case may be). Of course, there are hundreds if not thousands of examples of this kind of sound creation, and I’ve attended a dozen or more new-music performances built around this concept. One can trace it back to creations such as John Cage’s 1960 “Cartridge Music” (see manuscript detail below), and a few years ago, I remember a lot of interest in the no-input mixer as a sound source. Some artists featured at the No Idea Festival used it, and percussionist-composer Nick Hennies (then based in Austin and someone I saw in performance a few times each year in the 2008-2012 period) issued a memorable album of no-input mixer sound creations, entitled PATHS (on the Thor’s Rubber Hammer label, pictured below) in 2009.

Always a man re-investigating under-utilized sound sources and musical traditions and then re-inventing them and breathing new life into them (such as his recent works/performances for deconstructed primitive banjo, evoking comparisons with Abner Jay!!!), composer and multi-instrumentalist MARCUS RUBIO (originally from here in San Antonio, then working out of Los Angeles for a few years, now living and working in Austin) takes on microphones-as-sound-creating-instruments-in-themselves  in this recent album MUSIC FOR MICROPHONES, and as with a number of Rubio’s experimental projects, he takes a certain area and explores it in a deep and thorough manner, almost as if  he is wringing out as much as he can in one approach, then another approach, etc. It’s almost like a series of scientific experiments on a series of related questions. And forgetting the pieces’ methodologies or whatever, it’s a stimulating mind-fry of a listen and certainly tests one’s stereo system with its extreme frequencies! Derek Rogers used contact mic’s as a sound source in some poetry-and-electronics performances and recordings we did a few years back, so the unique textures and timbres of the contact mic are not unfamiliar to me, but that was just one tool in Rogers’s arsenal in those performances. Rubio takes the ball and runs all the way with it here, and the seven pieces—-all of which are rich and complex compositions, whatever the sound source—-provide an incredibly wide variety of sounds.

The last few months, I’ve been listening to a lot of the recent Creel Pone reissues of vintage and classic obscure electronic music, and on MUSIC FOR MICROPHONES, Rubio’s intelligent and complex sound design and the range of pure sound he gets from his sources is amazing and truly worthy of comparison with those CP albums. You need a sound system with a good bass to truly hear and feel this music. This is the kind of original and exploratory creation that reminds me of what has always excited me most about chasing after small-label music and experimental contemporary composition. This is a limited pressing and many are already gone, so score a copy NOW from Copy For Your Records. The ordering link is near the top of this post.

It’s great to have Marcus Rubio back in Texas (actually, he’s on tour OUTSIDE Texas for most of July….if you live in the Northeast or Upper Midwest, check his tour schedule), and if he keeps releasing challenging and exciting music like this, he will bring a lot of attention to Texas’s under-rated and under-appreciated New Music scene….or so I hope!  :-)

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Marcus Rubio

music for microphones: track listing

duet for processed contact mic
duet for contact mic and practice amp movement 1
duet for contact mic and practice amp movement 2
requiem for microphone and beer bottle
sonata for contact mic feedback and electronics movement 1
sonata for contact mic feedback and electronics movement 2
concerto for bowed microphone and electronics

All pieces composed, performed, and recorded by Marcus Rubio

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composer Marcus Rubio’s notes on MUSIC FOR MICROPHONES:

A good amount of my work in recent years has been focused on the idea of fully exploring/exploiting the physical properties of various sound sources. Usually this is manifested through either hyper-specific notation for non musical objects or non-scored processes that utilize electronics/additional instrumentation to further exploit/highlight the acoustic anomalies of a particular sound producing object or instrument. music for microphones is very much a continuation of this work utilizing the latter group of methods. The ideas for these pieces were born out of a desire to explore the implicit concept embedded in Steve Reich’s “Pendulum Music” of the potential for microphones to be used as an instrument in and of themselves. These works employ the “playing” of a wide group of mostly inexpensive contact and condenser microphones through techniques such as alternating points of physical contact between the performer and the instrument, differently EQ-ed feedbacks, and instrument specific “extended technique” (i.e. bowing, hitting, placing of different surfaces, etc…). Each work is united by the common goal of utilizing the sonic anomalies of each microphone as a musical source itself. Additionally, various electronics (Supercollider, Ableton, amplifier settings…) were used to further highlight/manipulate these sounds. – MR

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manuscript excerpt from John Cage’s “Cartridge Music” (1960), taken from John Cage Unbound website: http://exhibitions.nypl.org/johncage/node/203

Cartridge Music f226p1

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Cover from Nick Hennies’s 2009 release PATHS (Music For No-Input Mixer)

nick, paths

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