August 13, 2008


Lustwandel (Sky 1981)

Roedelius is one of the pivotal forces behind krautrock icons Cluster and collaborated with Brian Eno for a series of classic albums, but his solo work is a much more delicate piece of china compared to the robotic psych of his earlier works. Sometimes it reminds me a bit of Vangelis and I have images of me running in slow motion towards a hoagie and a bag of hot chips to the soundtrack of Chariots of Fire. However, a better comparison would be a more stoned Wendy Carlos during the more melancholy moments of the Clockwork Orange soundtrack. In reality, it is kind of its own bag of chips since his work transcends both Carlos and Vangelis’ entire catalogue of work.

I love this album because it is so tender and fragile. It is a masterpiece of small gestures and restraint. You could lump it into the new age scene if you didn’t listen closely enough. His piano playing is so evocative and bittersweet and always takes me back to blue moments in life, not in a depressing way, but a meditative one. That’s a quality I cannot apply to many albums in my life. It is so close to elevator music, but it devastates me each time. When you are lulled back into a regressive state, some oddball element like the pagan “Wicker man” vibe of “Wilkommen” pops up to shake you out of your reveries to examine this album more closely. I am still trying to figure this one out. It is so inoffensive, but possessed a power to whisk me off to other places in my mind.

Michael Hurley


Ten years have passed since the bootlegs posted yesterday. Hurley still shines. I have a few more of these that I will post this week.

Jesse Colin Young

Live at Sausalito Record Plant 7/25/1975

I first encountered this lovely slice of stoned country-folk on a warm June evening where a friend roasted some fish and we imbibed to our heart’s content. It was a lively night where we all bid farewell to a close friend and we listened to mellow sounds and shot the shit. Discussion shifted to the Youngbloods and the genius of the first few Jesse Colin Young records. He replied that he had to play this bootleg of his mid 70s work that included a ten minute opus about the joys of living on a ridgetop. It was creatively entitled “Ridgetop.”

“Ridgetop” deserved in own genre or a place in the pantheon of rock epics as it begins with a sultry slice of saxophone while another tickles the keys like there is some serious foreplay happening before everyone gets down to some boogie rock business. It reminds me of Tony Joe White making sweet love Michael McDonald. It is so smooth, yet fried as he shares his desire to escape humanity and live near a squirrel sanctuary and embrace the simple life. It is so overblown for such a humble sentiment. The rest of the bootleg is just as good. If your old lady or man loves some twang, pop this one on and make pretend it is Barry White.

Robert Charlebois

Avec Louise Forestier

This man ran for president of Canada on the platform that he would do nothing. He may be the only French-Canadian psychedelic folk singer on the planet, except he isn’t French, but just sings in French.

Paradoxes abound, but it doesn’t detract from the music which dwells on cabaret-psych with Charlebois crooning holding it all together. That sounds trite, but this fucker can really croon and engage the chanteuses baking him up on his vocal adventures. There is a song on here called “Dolores” where he even attempts some French bluegrass freakout that deserves points for the mere attempt at this strange new genre. Overall, his voice and semi-sleaze carries it all onto the finish line. A spotty, but extremely entertaining album.

Joe Frank-Cave Dreamer

June 8, 2008

Joe Frank

Cave Dreamer

One of America’s unsung storytellers, Joe Frank is a criminally underrated soul. My first experience with Joe Frank was during bouts of insomnia that plagued my youth. For some misbegotten reason, I could fall asleep at the drop of a hat except Sunday–the day before I had to return to an all boys Catholic high school. I dealt with this by watching late-night PBS and Jack Horkenheimer, but the best solution was found on WXPN when they played the latest Joe Frank story.

I’ve always had a love of AM and late-night radio since it approximates public access cable at its rare best. I loved everything from the apocalyptic preachers of Ohio to the boorish banter of sports talk radio to the intelligent oasis of WWDB’s political conversations.

None of these prepared me for Joe Frank. My seventeen year old mind was blown by his monologues of subterranean dwellers, suicidal noir anti-heroes and absurd situations. His deep, bellowing voice called out to me and edited my own view of a story. Joe Frank described another world that I bought into wholeheartedly.

This isn’t my favorite show if his, but it is still damn great. It is a throwback to the radio epics of the 40s and 50s, but with a sick twist. Please send me any other recordings at

Actually, all requests should be made to

Michael Hurley


I told you all about him this evening, but here is a bootleg of his show the next night. I also meant to include an embarrassing story about myself that is directly liked to Mr. Hurley’s wiles and charms. I knew that I needed to remain clean as a whistle before a physical to confirm my employment. I don’t smoke the magical fruit much at all, but I occasionally partake in a few nibbles. I remained loyal and faithful for months and had arranged an appointment at the doctor’s office where my mother worked as a secretary.

However, friends alerted me to the fact that Michael Hurley was playing in town. I insisted on resisting the urge beforehand and declined all requests for illicit activity. Hurley was absolutely amazing that star-crossed evening as he belted out “Tea Song” among other all-tinme favorites. It was one of the few times where an artists literally could have asked me to serve as an indentured servant and I sould have wholeheartedly followed along with the farce.

The ugly part came when I was a few malts to the wind and a friend somehow talked me into peeing into a tupperware container and smoking while my personal items lay on my sink. A good time was had by all. The next morning was a different story as I realized that I must hide a tupperware container of cold urine in my pants, pour it into a vial and hope no one notices its lukewarm qualities. Thankfully, it all went swimmingly and I am still gainfully employed until the very day.

Mia Doi Todd

The Ewe and the I

Many men and women have picked up their collective guitars and strummed into the ether. However, few possess the elegance, charm and way with words that Mia Doi Todd possessed on her debut. Yes, she slowly devolved into something less than where she began, but The Ewe and the Eye gripped me and hasn’t let go since. Eleven years have passed since this cd passed through my grubby hands and I still put in on during those autumn hours where life seems unsteady and I long for a tender listen to put me back on track. It is a soothing album that touches upon the inertia we all feel on those depressing days where nothing quite seems to fit in the proverbial round hole.

If this album had been released today, she would be hailed as a part of the ridiculous “New Weird America”, but she remains a mere echo that deserves your response. It’s a heartbreaker. It makes you love life just a tad more. If you aren’t as sentimental as I, then it is a purty listen at the bare minimum. Lend a hand and enjoy.

Michael Hurley

June 8, 2008

Michael Hurley


I discovered the genius of this man in the most unlikely of places–a Spin Magazine Guide to Alternative Music. I was bored as hell in Western Pa one humid afternoon and rallied my friends to visit the newfangled borders that had just opened near Greensburg. I didn’t plan on purchasing the Holy Modal Rounders’ Have Moicy described in the book, but once I saw the cover packed with insolent wolves, thrown beer bottles and a lonely leopard sipping a beer in a disheveled corner, I knew I had to heed the recommendations of the godawful rag.

Have Moicy isn’t a Michael Hurley album, but he painted the artwork of rowdy animals and sang many opf my favorite tracks on what quickly became one of my favorite records of all time. I’ll post this one later, but this is a bootleg of Michael Hurley during the Have Moicy! days.

How do I describe one of America’s unsung creative gems? Although he recorded for Smithsonian Folkways before the eve of psychedelia and the hippie way of life, Hurley was down with the cause before it even had a name. Songs about werewolves, marijuana, fellatio and disappearing hamburgers populate his fantastic world of characters and far-flung locales. In addition, he possesses one of the most individual voices in the past 30 years. There is something about Snock that makes you appreciate the bittersweet occurrences and oddball excursions we all become a part of during our fleeting time on this planet.