by Cat Johnson
I’ve always thought that a good gospel choir could make any song sound amazing. “Mary Had a Little Lamb?” No problem. “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad?” Brilliant! So throw a song such as Bob Dylan’s “I Shall Be Released” into the mix and we’re talking a potentially transformative situation here.
In 1969, a group of session singers called Brothers and Sisters took on the Dylan catalog for Ode Records, the record label of renowned producer Lou Adler. With roots in the Baptist churches of Los Angeles, Brothers and Sisters tapped into the soul, human questioning, and acceptance that’s woven throughout Dylan’s material. Now, Light in the Attic has reissued the classic, rafter-raising album on CD and vinyl. Here’s the track list:
1. The Times They Are A Changin’
2. I Shall Be Released
3. Lay Lady Lay
4. Hey Mr. Tambourine Man
5. All Along The Watchtower
6. The Mighty Quinn
7. Chimes Of Freedom
8. I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight
9. My Back Pages
10. Just Like A Woman
While it’s a bit odd to hear “Lay Lady Lay” and “All Along the Watchtower” reworked in the gospel style, other tunes, including “I Shall Be Released,” sound as though they were made to be sung in church.
Here’s an excerpt of what Light in the Attic has to say about the project:
The genesis of the project was Lou Adler, the music business visionary who staged the legendary Monterey International Pop Festival. He imagined a project that combined the songs of Dylan with L.A.‘s most sought after session singers, most of which began their singing in the Baptist churches of South Los Angeles. “Listening to Dylan’s songs, I felt there was a gospel-like feel to them, both spiritually and lyrically,” Adler says in the liner notes. “So those two ideas, to work with these singers and to explore that side of Dylan – came together.”
Recording sessions at Sound Recorders Studios in Hollywood were a four-day party, with food, drink and far more musicians than were ordered, many of the singers bringing along cousins, mothers, partners and more. Carole King came to hear, as did Peggy Lipton and Papa John Phillips. It was a rock ‘n’ roll version of a gospel church. “Lou just put on a big, crazy party,” remembers Edna Wright. “He had all these people together, all this raw talent. And we were there for nothing but the love of singing.”
If you’re a fan of Dylan, gospel, Light in the Attic, soul music, or killer reissues, you’re going to want to give this one a spin. Here’s a teaser:
Meet the Band: Her Majesty, the queen of the big boss beat, Miss Bon Von Wheelie // He’s saucy, he’s sexy and slightly sassy, Dale on Bass // Ladies and gentlemen for your dancing and listening pleasure the Big Kahuna // and Kurt.
In 1988 K Records and Sub Pop got together with the band Girl Trouble and released Sub Pop’s first full length LP. This January is the 25th anniversary reissue of that album: Girl Trouble’s Hit It or Quit It.
The reissue will include two tracks that were not on the previously released album, “White Lightning” and Johnny Kidd’s “Shakin’ All Over,” which is amazing news to me because both of these songs are so good.
Girl Trouble is four-piece band out of Tacoma, Washington. The group was immediately one of my favorites, not just because they sound amazing and because I could listen to any of their albums on repeat and not be bummed, but because they have a girl drummer. Not only is she bad ass because she plays the drums, she’s bad ass because she loves wrestling, likes Chyna (pre-surgery, Degeneration-X era), and calls Mick Foley’s Socko a “stroke of genius.” Plus she has seen Jimi Hendrix perform in concert!
This album is full of fuzzy 1960s garage rock with crazy lyrics and wild vocals. I recommend it to anyone who likes to party or likes rock’n’roll, the Cramps, Hasil Adkins, or likes good music.
by Cat Johnson
Long out of print, Lucinda Williams’ self-titled album with bonus tracks is finally back in print, and even more extra material to boot. Disc one is the original album featuring standout tracks “I Just Wanted to See You So Bad,””Big Red Sun Blues,” “Passionate Kisses,” “Am I Too Blue” and lots more. Disc two is a live recording from the Netherlands in 1989 plus six bonus tracks of more live rarities.
The album is also available on vinyl, though not the second disc. But, you get a download code…so there’s that.
You know that out-of-print Queens of the Stone Age debut lp that you really wanted but either couldn’t find or couldn’t afford? Well, good news: it’s been remastered, reissued and expanded by three tracks. Here’s the official word on the release from Rekords Rekords, the label formed by Josh Homme:
Queens of the Stone Age – self-titled debut album
“Upon the dissolution of the criminally overlooked Kyuss, guitarist Josh Homme pulled up stakes from the California Desert for the Pacific Northwest to work on a new project concurrent with spending time on the road as second guitarist in Screaming Trees. Seeking a new sound, Homme discarded the sludgy low-end expanses of his former band for much tighter song structure (for the most part) and honest-to-goodness capital ‘H’ hooks and what was originally christened Gamma Ray was quickly changed to Queens Of The Stone Age shortly after birth.
Homme returned to his old stomping grounds and reunited with latter day Kyuss drummer Alfredo Hernandez to record as a fake trio (bass player “Carlo Von Sexron” is a nom-de-boom for Homme) and QOTSA came into full bloom. If this re-issue doesn’t document “hour zero,” it’s only a few minutes past. “Regular John” introduces Homme as a smooth and assured vocalist with great melodic instinct. Tracks like “Avon” and “Walkin On Sidewalks” lock into heavy riffs that are in entrancing in their repetition and subtle shifts. And it’s hard to believe that insistently catchy “How To Handle A Rope” didn’t make a greater impact on mainstream radio upon its initial release. Amidst the mid-fi riffage and willful experimentalism of an artist forging a new sound for himself are some killer guitar melodies that could have easily come from 1971, 1991 or 2011. And that’s part of the timelessness of this unassuming debut album. QOTSA can only truly be classified as a “rock band;” Any attempt to narrow that down further would be to neglect the scope of Homme’s broad body of work and the band’s wide-reaching appeal.
This Rekords Rekords re-issue, in conjunction with Domino, has been fully remastered from the original tapes and has been expanded by three tracks. “The Bronze” & “These Aren’t the Droids Your Looking For” (from the split EP from ‘98) and “Spiders and Vinegaroons” which was part of the posthumous Kyuss/QOTSA split EP.”
With the remaster of Iggy Pop’s Kill City due to be released on October 19th, I felt that we at Streetlight Records should give this album the credit it deserves. In my opinion Kill City is an under-appreciated piece of rock ‘n’ roll history. It segued Iggy from the Stooges’ Raw Power to his Bowie-produced solo LPs The Idiot and Lust For Life.
When the Stooges called it quits in ‘74, Iggy was battling drug addiction and depression. He checked into a mental institution to rehabilitate himself. Upon his release, a clear headed, sober Iggy hooked up with James Williamson—who played guitar on Raw Power and was rumored to have played a big part in the inner conflict that led to the demise of the Stooges—and the two began to work on demo tracks for the album that would become Kill City.
Though not the sonic in-your-face attack that was Raw Power, Kill City is a stand up rock ‘n’ roll record. Armed with a couple of Stooges left over tracks (“Johanna” and “I Got Nothing”) and a hand full of Stones-influenced tunes, this album delivers. It will please any rock ‘n’ roll fan looking for a good time.
The Bomp Records reissue of this sleeper is packed with informative liner notes and the LP is pressed on green vinyl like it was originally pressed. Come in and check it out. It will be in our listening post and we’ll be carrying both the CD and LP version.