Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Cake - A Slice Of Cake (1968)

UPDATE: I received notice from Eleanor Barooshian (aka Chelsea Lee) that The remaining 2 members of The Cake will be performing in NY City at the B.B. KING LOUNGE on 11/27/06 as part of a tribute concert for Jimi Hendrix.

Here's another group that should be better known than they are. The Cake put out two remarkable records that stretched the concept of the "girl group" sound into the realms of baroque pop and psychedelia. Their 1st effort, Cake, was already posted at the Palestinian Light Orchestra blog. I presented here their second and I believe better outing. I say better because I find it a more consistent release. The 1st album has some excellent songs but as some reviewers have noted it sounds like it was recorded by three different groups. On A Slice Of Cake, the Cake composed almost all the songs themselves (with the exception of the opening track, a nice r&b medley & a trippy Dr. John number) and the music is more consistently original in its arrangements and delivery.

The three members of the Cake (Jeanette Jacobs, Barbara Morillo and Eleanor Barooshian--the order they appear in the photo above) formed in NYC in 1966. After the band's break-up, Eleanor Barooshian (now Chelsea Lee) and Jeanette Jacobs sang back-up for Dr. John in his Nightripper period and Ginger Baker's Airforce. Ms. Jacobs also appeared on Hendrix's Electric Ladyland album. Barbara Morillo continued to perform in a number of rock and jazz groups and released a CD as Barbara Morillo & Shrine in 2004. Eleanor Barooshian aka Chelsea Lee also has some music projects in the works (see her blog) and started a Cake Web site--it doesn't contain much info on the group but she does seem open to emailed questions. Sadly, Jeanette Jacobs passed away in 1982.

Here's a tracklist:

  1. Have You Heard the News About Miss Molly? 2:44
  2. P.T. 280 2:15
  3. Sadie 2:26
  4. Tides of Time 2:09
  5. Walkin' the Dog/Something's Got a Hold on Me/Big Boy Pete 4:08
  6. Extroverted Introvert 2:26
  7. Under the Tree of Love and Laughter 1:15
  8. Annabelle Clark 3:10
  9. Who Will Wear the Crown 2:00
  10. Island of Plenty 2:45

Both the Cake albums are now available on CD from Rev-Ola and so are no lonver available on this blog.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

David Stoughton - Transformer (1968)

I don’t know where he came from and I don’t know where he’s gone, but David Stoughton made one weird and arty psychedelic record for Elektra records back in 1968: Transformer (available here).

This is definitely Stoughton’s show. In addition to performing, he wrote the songs and produced the sucker. Some pieces are songs, sort of in late-period Tim Buckley style (but missing Buckley’s vocal skills & songwriting ability) while others are weirder experiments in sound collage (The Anecdote of Horatio and Julie) or extended semi-classical psychedelic (or is it semi-psychedelic classical) concertos (I Don't Know If It's You). Personally, I prefer these more experimental pieces—his other songs, lyrically at least, generally seem a little silly and/or pretentious (a bad combination).

As always, this record is unavailable on CD and is unlikely to appear in that form any time soon. Polygram owns the rights to the recordings and have no interest in releasing it on CD in spite of requests by fans. They also, from what I have read, appear to be asking an exorbitant amount for other labels to issue it and because we’re talking about a major label it’s unlikely anyone will put a copy without securing the rights. Unfortunately major labels are only interested in a recording if it will make lots of money but remain paranoid about keeping the rights to any recording they have, so if you want to get this album you’ll have to search ebay, etc. for a used copy (which can run anywhere from $10 to $60). Again, props to the WMUC record library.

Tracklist and performers below

1 The Sun Comes up Each Day - 3:59
2 The Summer Had No Breeze - 5:10
3 The Anecdote of Horatio and Julie - 8:00
4 Saving for a Rainy Day - 4:51
5 Evening Song - 4:25
6 I Don't Know If It's You - 10:00

Peter Chapman - horns (1968)
Devi Klate - vocals (1968)
Joe Livols - drums (1968)
Mal Mackenzie - bass (1968)
John Nicholls - vocals (1968)
David Stoughton - vocals, guitar (1968)
Steve Tanzer - flute, piccolo (1968)

I’ll try to get another post in next week, but after that I’m off for the rest of September but you’ll find tons of great music in the sites linked over on the right side of the page (that’s your right, not mine).

Friday, August 18, 2006

Disco Muppet Double Feature

This post if a first for me in a number of ways. It's my first request (from my lovely wife). It's the first time I've posted 2 albums at once. It's the first (and second) time I've posted records that weren't my rip (thanks to the anonymous newsgroup poster). It's the 1st post performed by celebrities. The 1st post performed by puppets (or muppets to be more exact). I could go on. All that said, these are 2 albums that should never have been allowed to go out-of-print even if disco is dead (and I'm pretty sure it isn't, it was just sleeping).

First let me say that these records do not represent some celebrity attempt to cash in on the latest popular culture trend. The muppets were made to disco. Offstage (and sometimes on) they embraced a hedonistic, devil-may-care attitude that said dance the night away and worry about tomorrow when it comes (just be careful you don't drop your cookie). And as Eugene Chadbourne said in his Sesame Street Disco review on All Music Guide, "Nobody looks better in disco duds than Bert and Grover..."

Sesame Street Fever, the first Muppet disco album, was released in 1978 by the Children's Television Workship. The LA weekly says it had "the best album cover ever" and they may be right. Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees guest stars but to me Cookie Monster is the real star (on both of these albums). The 2nd record Sesame Street Disco came in 1979 and may be even better than the 1st (although the cover isn't as good)--it certainly features the best song here, Me Lost Me Cookie At The Disco. It's more poignant than any song of lost love when Cookie Monster sings "Me lost me cookie at the disco...Me lost me cookie to the boogie music."

Here's the tracklists for the 2 records:

Sesame Street Fever (1978)
1. Sesame Street Fever
2. Doin' The Pigeon
3. Rubber Duckie
4. Trash
5. C Is For Cookie/Has Anybody Seen My Dog?

Sesame Street Disco (1979)
1. What Makes Music?
2. Me Lost Me Cookie At The Disco
3. The Happiest Street In the World
4. Sing
5. Disco Frog
6. Doin' the Trash/Bein' Green

If you're interested in seeing the rest of the Sesame Street discography go here. This discography doesn't mention any CD releases for these 2 records but I read one site that claims there was a Sesame Street Disco CD--I haven't been able to find one for sale though (perhaps it was a bootleg). If this was the case, though, I can pull down that release since I've posted the 2 lps seperately (& not on Sendspace this time). Here's Sesame Street Fever and Sesame Street Disco. I almost forgot, if you want to see Kermit's video for Disco Frog it's available on Youtube here.

Next week a return to more usual fare with David Stoughton's Transformer album. After that, a few weeks vacation to be followed by some more great music.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Serfs - The Early Bird Cafe (1969)

Originally from Kansas, the Serfs were a fine soul-rock band who occassionally branched out into jazz (check their cover of Miles Davis' All Blue here) and blues. They issued this single album on Capitol in 1969 and there was one single from it. A few of the members also performed on Hendrix's Electric Ladyland lp. There's already a pretty good bio (with photos) on the Web here so I won't bother repeating it all. In addition to the Miles Davis cover they also do fine interpretations of Dylan (Like a Rolling Stone) & the Spencer Davis Group (I'm a Man). The rest of the numbers are all originals. They're a tight band, perhaps with a little too much horn work for some tastes. Not as funky as the Africa record I posted earlier but still doing a fine job of melding 60s-rock, soul & jazz influences into a cohesive & entertaining release. As always, this album isn't available on CD but you should be able to pick up a copy used for $15 to $25 range. Enjoy it reposted here.

Monday, August 07, 2006

You can comment now!

I was just informed that it's been impossible for anyone to leave comments on the blog--so no wonder my requests have gone unanswered. The problem has been corrected & I look forward to your comments & requests.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

St. George & Tana - Is Now! (1967)

I was intending on posting the soundtrack to the 1969 exploitation flick, Angel, Angel Down We Go. A great soundtrack that I had just ripped. But on investigating further I found it was alread up at the 7 Black Notes blog (a great blog with many cool soundtracks for your entertainment). My philosophy is that there's no point duplicating efforts so I dug up this obscure folk-pop gem instead.

I can't tell you much about St. George or Tana or their sole lp release. They did but out a great record that reminds me of Jim & Jean (hopefully that reference isn't too obscure to be of help) or Smokey & His Sister (and even more obscure duo, who's album I may post sometime). Just listen & enjoy some pleasant vocal harmonies, slightly psychedelic moods, and some jangly guitars all right here at an updated link.

Comments, as always are welcome. I don't want to sound desperate here but I haven't gotten one yet. I was happy to see though that my Harry Matusow rip got a repost at the WFMU blog.

P.S., Got a better cover image. The cover (still) isn't included in the file I posted.