Wednesday 30 September 2020

At War With the Mystics: The Flaming Lips - 2006

USA Pressing, 2006.
Earl Collection 00012

The Flaming Lips are one of the great band of freaks and I love them for it. However when this album came out in 2006 the feeling was that they were kind of careering into the realm of overfamiliarity after the ubiquity of the brilliant albums The Soft Bulletin (1999) and Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (2002). At the time I thought that At War With the Mystics was merely a pretty solid album that my Rasta friend and I certainly enjoyed when in the mood. However recent listens have convinced me that it’s really a great album and it’s more overtly cultural/political moments are fit for our extreme times, perhaps more so than during the Bush era (not the band, hahaha etc…). Trump even gets a mention  - “Oh no no your’e turning into a poor man’s Donald Trump, I know these circumstances make you wanna jump…”. But it’s the beautiful, proggy Floyd-like psychedelia on this album that really holds up today, songs like Vein of Stars, My Cosmic Autumn Rebellion and Pompeii Am Gotterdammerung absolutely pulse through the body when played loud through a late 70’s Kenwood amp. 

This pressing, a double, with one blue and one red, was bought in the year of its release from Dada Records for $48, which was quite expensive at the time. But as usual, some 14 years later I’m not thinking that I wish I had that money, but instead thank fuck I have this awesome record!

Tuesday 29 September 2020

Song For My Lady: McCoy Tyner - 1973


USA Pressing, 1973

Earl Collection 00011

I bought this album only recently for $20 from Moogy’s Mobile Record Store. Moogy is Kim Williams, who co-wrote The Scientist’s song Swampland with Kim Salmon, among other claims to fame. McCoy Tyner is my favourite jazz pianist and as everyone should know prior to his solo career he played in John Coltrane’s great mid sixties band. Basically Tyner’s solo career was one amazing album after another and Song For My Lady is a perfect example of his vibrant, fluid style of playing. His compositions are superb too.

The amazing thing about this album is that when I got it home I realised that it was still sealed in shrink-wrap! Whomever owned it had never played it and therefore I assume that I’m only the second owner in 47 years! I opened it to reveal both a pristine pressing and some 47 year old dust, probably skin flakes from the guys who processed it! It was a cut-out so perhaps the original owner was enticed by its cheapness, but never got around to playing it. Of course I did, and it is superb.

Saturday 12 September 2020

White Love: One Dove - 1993 12" Single


English Pressing, 1993. 

Earl Collection 00010

One Dove’s White Love is one of those blissfully exultant songs that evokes that weird feeling of nostalgia for nothing in particular, even from the first time you hear it. I first heard this song in a North Perth share house in 1993. One of my house-mates had bought the CD single that featured four versions of the song. He played it to death as he lounged on his bed at the back of the house. He was a louche character and in a short period of time I started to refer to him as ‘The Lizard Man’, mainly due to his cold-blooded attitude toward women, whom he regarded primarily as a means to an end. His face was hawk-like, his skin slack and ruddy from beer, yet he managed to bed a number of women whilst variations of this song barely covered up the noise of their exertions.

Fast forward to 2004 and I stumbled across this copy at Dada Records for a measly $5. It features the ‘radio mix’, the ‘meet the professionals mix’ and a ‘guitar paradise mix’, all executed by that autodidact genius of sound, Andrew Weatherall. Unfortunately it doesn’t feature the ‘lonesome demo’ version from the Lizard Man’s CD version. None-the-less this is a brilliant 12” single and a perfect example of some of what was going on in music in Britain in the early 1990’s.