Sonic Boom from E.A.R., Spacemen 3 and Spectrum, this week on The Pharmacy
01:36 pm


The Pharmacy

Gregg Foreman’s radio program The Pharmacy is a music / talk show playing heavy soul, raw funk, 60′s psych, girl groups, Krautrock. French yé-yé, Hammond organ rituals, post-punk transmissions and “ghost on the highway” testimonials and interviews with the most interesting artists and music makers of our times…

This week’s guest is Sonic Boom aka Peter Kember of Spacemen 3, Spectrum and Experimental Audio Research (E.A.R.) along Simone Butler of Primal Scream helping with musical selections and musicology in general… (She has a new radio show called Naked Lunch @SohoRadioLondon)

Topics include:

  • How the band began and the importance of Suicide, The Velvet Underground and The Stooges ...
  • Why the name Spacemen 3?
  • The role drugs played their part in the “Sound of Confusion.”
  • How Spacemen 3 consciously tried to alienate their early audiences.
  • How the music scene was more tribal and “argumentative” in Spacemen 3’s time.
  • Sonic’s opinion on people trying to tell him how to do things.

Mr. Pharmacy is a musician and DJ who has played for the likes of Pink Mountaintops, The Delta 72, The Black Ryder, The Meek and more. Since 2012 Gregg Foreman has been the musical director of Cat Power’s band. He started dj’ing 60s Soul and Mod 45’s in 1995 and has spun around the world. Gregg currently lives in Los Angeles, CA and divides his time between playing live music, producing records and dj’ing various clubs and parties from LA to Australia.

Set List

Penetration - The Stooges
Gimme Shelter - Merry Clayton
Losing Touch with My Mind - Spacemen 3
Sonic Boom conversation Pt 1
Bang Bang Bang Bang - John Lee Hooker
Afro - The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
Try To Understand - The Seeds
We’re Pretty Quick - The Chob
The Hawg - Eddie Kirk
You Gotta Move - Sister Rosetta Tharpe
New Face In Hell - The Fall
INTRO 2/RX - Grits and Cornbread/ Soul Runners
Sonic Boom conversation Pt 2
Take Me To The Other Side - Spacemen 3
Goo Goo Muck - The Cramps
No More Hot Dogs - Hasil Adkins
Fears of Gun - The Birthday Party
Sonic Boom conversation Pt 3
I Love You - Spacemen 3
I Can’t Stand it - The Velvet Underground
Pharmacy Intros - BJM/CAN/Question Mark ? & the Mysterians .
INTRO 3/RX - Do You Feel It/Question Mark ? & the Mysterians
Sonic Boom conversation Pt 4
How You Satisfy Me - Spectrum
I Can’t Let Go - Evie Sands
INTRO 4/RX - Home Grown/Booker T and The MG’s
Rocket USA (Autobahn Father Rising Rx US Mix w SUN RA) Suicide/Rx/ etc ...

You can download the entire show here.

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
The Grateful Dead on Hugh Hefner’s ‘Playboy After Dark,’ 1969
06:44 am


Grateful Dead
Hugh Hefner

The Grateful Dead perform a delicate “Mountains of the Moon” and a rip-snortin’ “St. Stephen” from their 1969 Aoxomoxoa album on Hugh Hefner’s Playboy After Dark TV show. Aoxomoxoa is considered a highlight among the group’s studio output by fans, but “Mountains of the Moon” and “St. Stephen” were thought to be too hard to play live by Jerry Garcia—there were only thirteen live performances of “Mountains” and after 1971 “St. Stephen” was only pulled out on rare special occasions.

Despite this, Garcia remarked that “Mountains of the Moon” was “one of my favorite ones. I thought it came off like a little gem.” It does, like something you’d hear at a Renaissance fair. And if I had to pick just one song by the Dead of this vintage to see them do live, it would be “St. Stephen” (no, “Dark Star,” no, “St. Stephen”...). Even with the hatchet-like unsubtle edits this is still fantastic.

Eagle-eyed culture vultures will spot the gorgeous English Playmate Dolly Read who would soon be cast as “Kelly MacNamara,” the lead role in Russ Meyer’s Beyond the Valley of the Dolls to Jerry’s left during the interview. You’ll want to skip directly to 3:30 to avoid the boring introduction and a brief flash of NSFWishness.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Kid smashes bass during school talent show; stuns audience
01:54 pm


Talent Shows

Here’s tween middle school rockers “Casino” performing at their school’s talent show. They’re actually pretty good for such young guys. But it’s the end of the video that shows these kids mean business. Namely the bass player who’s pulling some major Jeff Beck in Blow Up moves towards the end.

This kid is going places. If he was a little older, he’d be getting laid like crazy after this gonzo stunt, that’s for sure.

Jump to the 3:16 mark and let it ride!

Via Arbroath

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
Dear Boy: Advice column for ‘Sassy’ teenagers from Dinosaur Jr’s J Mascis
07:06 am


J Mascis

The Gen-Xers among you will surely remember Sassy, that transcendent turn-of-the-‘90s magazine for teenaged girls. It was noteworthy for being uncommonly smart, accessible well outside its target audience, and in its music coverage, every bit as friendly to under-the-radar bands as Spin was at the time. Their regular “Cute Band Alert” feature once highlighted the ferociously uncute Poison Idea, and they infamously declared Nation of Ulysses’ singer Ian Svenonius the winner in their 1990 search for the “Sassiest Boy in America.” Males of any age were “boys” to Sassy, and there was certainly no exception for their “Dear Boy” column, in which established and emerging alternarock luminaries would impart to curious young women the life lessons only years in the van could teach.

The column featured such “boys” as Iggy Pop, Mike D, Beck, and the gentleman who concerns us today, Dinosaur Jr’s J Mascis.

Via Girls of a Certain Age:

What’s with boys and commitment?

This is the first answer J gave us: Boys — yes it’s true — are reluctant to commit. But what would happen if the guy let the girl know he was psyched for this heavy commitment? She would get bored and blow him off. If he had “let’s settle down” all over his face, he’d never get lucky. Face it girls, it’s guys who want the commitment, but they know you’d break their hearts if they gave you half a chance.

This is the revised answer J gave us two weeks later: Face it, guys are psycho. You can’t pin them down. They’ll change their minds from minute to minute. You may think that boys tend to avoid commitment like the plague, which is true, unless of course you girls aren’t into it. You gotta keep him guessing.

I hear celebrities hate when people spaz out over them. Is this true? What should you do when you see or meet them?
—A Speechless Fan

Try to talk to them about ordinary things as if they’re normal. Don’t ask them any questions about their profession.

Shopping for a guy — that’s worse than taking the pop quiz your calculus teacher throws you on Monday morning! Do you have any ideas on gifts for members of the male species?

Blank tapes are always good, because you’ll buy the wrong bands if you try store-bought tapes or CDs. Clothes are negative. Flashlights are always fun. Candles, fireworks — anything with a pyro angle. Stuffed animals are usually OK if they’re not too sappy.

I am 16 years old and I have a 19 year old boyfriend who’s in jail. I don’t know how to deal with him being there. Do you have any suggestions?
—Imprisoned by Love

It depends on what he’s in for, and if you feel like sticking by him. Just don’t get too obsessed and freaked out about it. If he stays cool, keep an open mind and don’t let prison ruin your life too.

Do boys like it when girls ask them out?

In general, if you’re not a total spaz about it, guys are completely psyched if you ask them out. We’re a lazy breed, so the more you ladies do, the happier we are. The vaguer you are, the easier it is to get out of it if he completely blows you off. Just stand near him and smile a lot. Try to talk to him if you can, but don’t overdo it. Casual is key.

I am a 16 year old girl and I’ve had sex before. I’m not sure if I like it or ever want to have it again. I’m very interested in guys, but when sex is brought up, I feel sick and turned off. The problem is, my friends all say how great sex is and how much they love it. Am I totally weird?
—Scared and Confused

I don’t think girls start digging it for a while, but you’ll probably turn around. Just don’t worry about it; you’re definitely not weird. Don’t do anything you don’t wanna do. Don’t feel weird if your friends talk about it. You don’t have to compete.

Do boys like big butts?
—Kim France

I am baffled by this question. Butts are so awesome that obviously the bigger, the better. Any guy who’s not a weirdo will take as much butt as he can get. I don’t know if you’re worried that yours is too big or too small, but it can’t be too big. Whatever it is, just get into it.

I asked this guy to the Snow Ball about a month ago. We were just supposed to go as friends, and it was going to be really cool. Anyways, he calls me up about three weeks before and asks me if it’s all right to take his girlfriend with us. I have my dress and shoes already. What should I tell him?

I would be enraged. I think you gotta throw a total fit and make sure he and anyone who knows him hears about what a complete jerk he is. Try to go with someone else, if you can stomach it, just to torture him and make sure he has a miserable time. Guys will try any scam. It’s up to you not to let him get away with it. He’s testing the boundaries of sanity and good taste. Make him pay. You can’t blame the guy for trying but I think you gotta make him pay.

I like this boy. I hope he likes me, ’cause he teases me a lot. How do you know when a boy likes you? Also, how do you get a boy to like you?

You can tell if a boy likes you if he looks terrified whenever you’re around. He points his head at the ground, shakes and stutters, if he can get the nerve up to talk to you at all. You’ll see him around a lot and wonder how he got there. You’ll see him stare at you and dart his head away when you catch him. Either that or he’ll do all he can to completely avoid you. Try to talk to him calmly whenever possible, and smile and flutter your eyes. Basically, guys like girls who like them. It’s pretty simple. So make him think you dig him and he’s yours.


In the years since he dropped all that wisdom on the youth, Mascis has dissolved and reconvened Dionsaur Jr, performed with the Fog and Witch, and most recently, released The Golden Age of Glitter with Sweet Apple, his band with his Witch bandmate Dave Sweetapple, and Tim Parnin and John Petkovic of Cobra Verde, with whom Mascis has served as touring guitarist. The album’s been getting favorable attention from some unlikely places, and the video for the lead-off single, “Wish You Could Stay (A Little Longer)” featuring guest vocals by Screaming Trees’ Mark Lanegan, was released last month. Another video, for “Boys in Her Fan Club,” shot at the Rose Bowl, made its debut shortly after.


Cute Librarian Alert—many thanks to Beth Piwkowski for this sassy find!

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
Black Sabbath’s ‘Sweet Leaf’: The smooth jazz version
06:58 am


Ozzy Osbourne
Black Sabbath
Tony Iommi

Is there a place in Black Sabbath for the likes of David Sanborn? I know what you’re thinking: Fuuuuuuck that. But seriously, give this video a try and just see if Sabbath wasn’t crying out for the smooth jazz treatment all along. You might be surprised…

I’ve watched this video three times now and it makes me crack up every time. I still can’t quite figure out what it is that makes it work so well; the original footage possesses some quality that makes it fit, whether it’s Tony Iommi’s supremely sweet and confident manner of wielding the axe or Ozzy’s sweaty gyrations with the mic. Probably both!

Ozzy’s habit of suddenly springing up into the air kills me every goddamn time. You gotta give it to him, he is really into it, smooth jazz or not.

(Here’s the original footage, for those who are curious.)

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
You Gotta Say Yes to Another Excess: A rare glimpse of Yello live in concert, 1983
01:05 pm



Yello has not often performed live during the group’s five decade existence, but one of their shows (their only show?) was taped for posterity on New Year’s Eve of 1983 at The Roxy, a huge roller disco on 18th Street in Manhattan. Their You Gotta Say Yes to Another Excess album had come out that year and solidified their reputation as dancefloor innovators. Founding member Carlos Perón was gone and now the trio was a duo consisting of audio engineer Boris Blank and Swiss millionaire industrialist, poker player, golfer and dada performance artist, Dieter Meier who provided the sleazy, deep throated vocals. Their sound at the time was heavily reliant on the Fairlight synthesizer and apparently it was not easy to reproduce what they did in the studio live, hence the extreme lack of live Yello shows.

The Roxy was the scene of Zulu Nation meetings, MC battles, “Double Dutch” contests and and break dancing competitions. Afrika Bambaataa, Jazzy Jay and Grandmaster Flash DJ’d there. That Yello would stage a rare event at the club says much about the esteem the Swiss weirdos were held in by hip hop’s pioneering artists.

A live EP culled from their Roxy performance was released the following year, while the footage came out later on a short VHS home video. At the very beginning they are introduced by New York’s then “It Girl” buxom fashion designer Dianne Brill.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Groovy time capsule of ‘Swinging Britain,’ 1967
12:29 pm


Carnaby Street
Mary Quant

Another week brings further glories from the vaults of British Pathé. “Swinging Britain,” a finished eight-and-a-half-minute report on the goings-on down at Carnaby Street and elsewhere on the isle, presents the establishment’s benign take on fashion-obsessed youth of the day. The video shows us London (and Manchester and Newcastle, too), features several (apparently) noted figures from the worlds of fashion, art, and music, and generally presents a wow-gee-whiz attitude as to the fervent artistic activities of the Swinging Generation.

Mary Quant can be glimpsed briefly, and you’ll also see a “Happening” staged by one Keith Albarn (you guessed it, father of Damon), DJs Simon Dee and David Symonds, and a groovy young artist named Paul Whitehead who paints his compact automobile swirly colors (three years later, he’d be responsible for the cover art of the album Trespass by Genesis). Dee, of course, is practically synecdoche for Carnaby Street of the era, being the purported inspiration for the shagadelic Austin Powers.
Intro Magazine
The group serving as the emblem of the new generation are the folks behind the new psychedelia-tinged Intro Magazine, in which “youth talks to youth in its own lingo”; it boasted the talents of well-known fashion illustrator Antonio Lopez. In a loose “narrative,” the news piece basically cuts back and forth between footage of young people at play (whether in a park in the daytime or a “speakeasy” at night) and the industrious young editors of Intro. One of the best things in the video is a brief discussion of “paper dresses.” We see a young woman in a park wearing one with a striking b/w photo of an eye over her midsection. She peels that off and begins to sunbathe in the bikini she had been wearing underneath. When a young fellow tosses her paper dress into the garbage, she shrugs and whips out a different paper dress, only this one has the youthful visage of Bob Dylan on it! Totally priceless.

Speaking of garbage, the voiceover explicitly praises the new generation for being so good about picking up litter, which may remind some viewers of “The Gold Violin,” from the 2nd season of Mad Men, which featured a pointed scene of the middle-class, suburban Drapers heedlessly leaving the remnants of their picnic all over the park in which they had been spending the previous afternoon. Maybe series creator Matt Weiner had a point, there. The whole tone of the documentary is one of indulgent compassion, as one might have for some harmless alien race from another planet.
Swinging Britain
There is a band identified as the Intro Group (somehow affiliated with the magazine) as well as one called the “117 Group,” and we hear a bit of their music, I think. Those names mean anything to anyone?

via { feuilleton }

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
Like a Hurricane: Roxy Music take ‘The High Road’
01:52 pm


Roxy Music

Confusingly, Roxy Music have used “The High Road” as the title of two different live releases with the exact same cover art.

In 1982, the group was on a major world tour in support of their Avalon album. The show taped for the four song EP titled The High Road was a performance at The Apollo, Glasgow August 30, 1982, whereas the one on the home video release also titled The High Road was shot in the Côte d’Azur in Fréjus, France, three days earlier on August 27th.  I always wondered why the version of Neil Young’s “Like a Hurricane” was different on the VHS. Now I know.

To make matters even more confusing, just the soundtrack from the video was released as Heart Still Beating on CD in 1990. The High Road DVD, which you could think of as Heart Still Beating with newly added picture if you didn’t know any better, I suppose, was re-released in 2004.

Set list:
1. The Main Thing
2. Out Of The Blue
3. Both Ends Burning
4. A Song For Europe
5. Can’t Let Go
6. While My Heart Is Still Beating
7. Avalon
8. My Only Love
9. Dance Away
10. Love Is The Drug
11. Like A Hurricane
12. Editions Of You
13. Do The Stand
14. Jealous Guy

Bryan Ferry on vocals; Phil Manzanera on guitar; Andy Mackay - saxophone and oboe; Neil Hubbard - guitar; Andy Newmark on drums; Alan Spenner - bass; Jimmy Maelen - percussion; Guy Fletcher on keyboards and Fonzi Thornton, Michelle Cobbs and Tawatha Agee on backing vocals.

The Avalon tour would be the last time Roxy would perform together for eighteen years.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
The Prettiest Star: Meet obscure glam rocker Brett Smiley
11:27 am


Brett Smiley

File this under “If You Like Jobriath”:

One day I found myself looking for obscure glam rock compilations on Amazon and the “customers who bought this” recommendation led me to an album called Breathlessly Brett, an LP originally recorded in the mid-1970s—but not released until 2003—by a then-teenaged performer named Brett Smiley. It seldom left my CD player for the next month.

I’d never heard of Brett Smiley before that, but when I did a search on him, an interesting story emerged. A child star who who went to junior high school with Michael Jackson (the shared a woodworking class), Smiley once played the title role in the musical Oliver!. He was just a sixteen-year-old when he was discovered by Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham, then keen to take his career down a Phil Spector-type producer/Svengali path. and feeling competitive with Jobriath’s manager, Jerry Brandt.

Smiley was given a $200,000 advance and recorded an album produced by Oldham with Steve Marriott from the Small Faces and Humble Pie on guitar. An amazingly raucous single “Va Va Va Voom” was released and heavily hyped with Smiley’s blonde pretty-boy face appearing in ads all over London, and in an extremely over the top performance and interview on the popular Russell Harty Plus TV program. Disc magazine proclaimed Brett to be “The Most Beautiful Boy In The World.”

“It wasn’t a slipper he slipped to Cinderella…” Brett Smiley as “The Prince” in the 3-D erotic musical version of Cinderella.

The insanely catchy single “Va Va Va Voom”
Hard to see how a tune that catchy failed to storm the charts, but the single bombed and the album was shelved. Although Smiley auditioned to replace David Cassidy in The Partridge Family and made a film appearances (like 1977’s erotic Cinderella and American Gigolo), he must’ve fallen into some sort of “velvet goldmine” and wasn’t really heard from again until 2003 when RPM Records acquired the master tapes. The sad truth was that Brett Smiley wallowed in serious skid-row drug addiction for years. His legend proved mysterious and intriguing for glam rock fans and Johnny Thunders’ biographer Nina Antonina wrote a book, The Prettiest Star: Whatever Happened to Brett Smiley? about how Smiley’s super brief pop supernova moment—just the idea of him—so strongly influenced her teenage years.

Now recovered from the drug excesses of his past, Smiley continues to record and perform, mostly around New York City.

This Russell Harty clip features a young Brett Smiley performing his Ziggy-influenced “Space Ace” (the “Va Va Va Voom” B-side) and it’s pretty incredible if you like this sort of thing (Turn the sound up really loud as the audio here sounds pretty weak here.)

From the Dangerous Minds archives

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Elvis’ Greatest Shit: 50,000,000 Elvis fans CAN be wrong
08:50 am


Elvis Presley

Although the intention of Elvis’ Greatest Shit to wallow in bad taste is pretty obvious from its use of the infamous coffin shot of a dead King of Rock and Roll (allegedly shot by Elvis’ cousin BIlly Mann and sold to the National Enquirer for $18,000) on the album cover, let alone the blunt title, can it honestly be said that the external trappings are any worse here than the music within?

Probably not.

Compiled by a mysterious bootlegger named “Richard” on “Dog Vomit Records”—purveyors of “Let’s Drop Some ‘Ludes And Vomit With Jimi Hendrix”—the collection was exactly what you’d think it is, the worst of the worst of Elvis Presley’s musical output, most of it sourced from his Hollywood films, with a few numbers recorded in the waning years before he’d eaten his last deep-fried peanut-butter-and-banana sandwich.

With song selections like “He’s Your Uncle, Not Your Dad” (about an IRS audit), “Dominic” (about an impotent bull”), “Queenie Wahine’s Papaya” (don’t wanna know) and “Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce” (what?), Elvis himself probably would have agreed that this was the worst dross he’d ever recorded. Hell, no wonder he became such a waste case. Imagine how humiliating these songs were for him to sing, and this was still a good few years away from Elvis’ awful BJ Thomas cover version-era of the 1970s!

“Old MacDonald Had a Farm” from Double Trouble

“Yoga Is As Yoga Does,” a duet with Elsa Lanchester(!) from 1967’s Easy Come, Easy Go

“He’s Your Uncle, Not Your Dad” from Speedway
More of Elvis’ Greatest Shit after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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