Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Rev. Charlie Jackson
Lord You're So Good: Live Recordings: Vol.2
50 Miles of Elbow Room [2012]

Gospel music is a bit of a secret obsession of mine, I guess until now perhaps, but I just can't seem to find anyone who really digs into it the way I try to. I constantly scoop up private label gospel 45s and small run major label subsidiary releases in an effort to find that one song that really hits home. I'm not a religious man by any means, but something about the intense belief systems behind the performers of a good soulful gospel group really hits the nail on the head for me. In all my travels I've come across some wonderful stuff, most of which I bury away in my personal collection and break out late at night to ensure a private listen, but I am yet to come across one of the original Rev. Charlie Jackson 45s. Sometime in the 70's the southern evangelist guitarist cut a few records on his imprints "Booker" and "Jackson". I'm almost tempted to drop a few hundred bucks the next time one turns up in auction, but for me the fun really lies in the random, Zen discovery of the records. In other words, I wait for them to come to me. In the meantime, however, there are these fantastic collections on Brooklyn's 50 Miles of Elbow Room label. This one happens to be the second volume in a potential series of three. Some of the tracks found on Vol. 2 are sourced from actual cassettes or 8-tracks that 50 Miles's owner traveled to hunt down and rescue from obscurity. It's the sort of thing every next-level music fan dreams to be a part of: music archiving. This second volume of tracks featuring the Reverend who spread his music from Louisiana to Mississippi for decades before passing away in 2006, contains more of his minimalist reverb blues sound accompanied by moving vocals, subtle choirs/crowd interaction and guest singers (some unknown to this day). The record itself is pressed on high quality RTI vinyl, packaged with a heavy duty Tip-on paste back jacket, brilliant full color insert, and audio that is restored/remastered for an optimal listening experience. Here's another chance to find out how truly gifted the Reverend was.   

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Spider Bags
"Papa Was A Shithead" b/w "I Wish That I Never Had Fed You"

Papa's got a brand new shithead spider bag. Well at least that's how my semi-dyslexic brain initially processed the cover of this upcoming two-song burner by Chapel Hill, NC's Spider Bags. That's not a bad thing either…just confusing. The title track/A side, whatever you want to call it, "Papa Was a Shithead" soars in and out of your life in a whopping one minute and twelve seconds. It is, however memorable, catchy, relevant, fast and sludgy; It's all the things the kids want right now and the group just happens to be lead by D.C. Snipers's guitarist/vocalist, Dan McGee. They've been to your town already too, most likely at least. What else? They've offered up a B-side on this particular release just in case you'd rather slow it down and hear "I Wish That I Had Never Fed You", which is obviously the grim tale of a pet sea monkey from Alabama who grew up to be an ungrateful, hurtful bastard. Probably not, but if you're stoned enough, staring at the bottom of a bottle of Jack Daniels, and liked it when Paul Westerberg wrote songs that almost made you cry you'll understand this record completely.  

Saturday, September 1, 2012

I Hate My Body EP

After hearing their debut release, I Hate My Body, Goosebumps's sludge-soaked grind punk will leave you feeling troubled and filthy. With imagery and lyrical content spanning drug abuse, death, transexual prison inmates, and morbidly grotesque mutant orgies, Goosebumps, as individuals and as a group should immediately raise a red flag for most listeners: These dudes are kind of crazy and possibly mildly dangerous. This eight track EP could incite the ghost of G.G. Allin to wreak ungodly havoc on the fantasy landscape of Hieronymus Bosch's The Garden of Earthly Delights while rewiring any listener's brain to believe that immorality and malefactions are the norm. If you like your rock dirty and violent, gets your gloves on this one, but I wouldn't recommend sharing a drinking glass with Goosebumps.