Just when I begin to think that every important album or rare out-of-print single is available somewhere in the digital mist in a glossy remastered edition or included in a fancy box set, along comes the Fresh Maggots' 1971 debut, an album that - until this week's CD reissue - consistently brought more than $400 on eBay in its original LP format. Known and coveted by connoisseurs of the psychedelic British folk sound that reaches from The Incredible String Band, Pentangle, and Bill Fay to Robyn Hitchcock, Beta Band, Devendra Banhart, and other new cosmic travelers, this five-star masterpiece of hypnotic vocals, electric fuzz guitar, trippy tin whistle, and shimmering six- and 12-string guitars is a must-seek-out aural experience. It's too bad the neighborhood planetarium isn't still running the eternal Pink Floyd laser show, as this would make the perfect seating music. Released by England's Sunbeam Records, and available on audiophile vinyl LP reissue on Germany's Soundroom imprint, these sessions capture the young duo of Mick Burgoyne and Leigh Dolphin, both 19 at the time of this recording, together in a golden, magic moment. Bonus tracks, interview introductions, and enlightening new liner notes round out the CD nicely.
Another reason to find a record store that carries import-only titles is this week's release of Extended Seventies: The Dawning of the 12-Inch Era from Optimum Sounds, a three-CD set that packs the wallop of a peach crate full of well-worn vinyl. Each disc has its own distinct flavor, collecting the super-rare extended versions heard only in the clubs, and held close to the chests of a nation of DJs. Discs one and two serve up the eight-minute spin of Anita Ward's "Ring My Bell," the 16-minute jam of Donna Summer's "Love to Love You Baby," and Diana Ross' seven-minute "Love Hangover," along with the full 14 minutes of the Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight." The fun really begins on disc three with the new-wave pep of Blondie, Ian Dury, P.I.L., Grace Jones, Lene Lovich, and The Flying Lizards.
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno hosts Donavon Frankenreiter on Friday and the return of Everclear on Monday; The Late Show with David Letterman fights back with The Wreckers on Friday and Gnarls Barkley on Tuesday; Late Night with Conan O'Brien boasts Sonic Youth this evening overnight, Guster on Thursday overnight, and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah on Monday overnight; The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson presents Hank Williams Jr. on Thursday overnight, Rob Zombie on Friday overnight, and Nick Lachey on Monday overnight; Jimmy Kimmel Live says "yah, mon" to Ziggy Marley on Monday overnight and Against Me! on Tuesday overnight; and The Henry Rollins Show's musical guest this weekend is Ani DiFranco.
New Releases Coming Tuesday, August 15:
... and like the winds, young grasshopper, are subject to change.
Christina Aguilera - Back to Basics (RCA)
Carmine Appice Project - Ultimate Guitar Zeus (Escapi) the iconic drummer pounds the skins behind a world-class ensemble of shredders highlighted by Brian May, Ted Nugent, Slash, Pat Travers, Yngwie Malmsteen, Steve Morse, and Mick Marrs
Artic Monkeys - "Leave Before the Lights Come On" (Domino) import-only CD and seven-inch single, featuring B-side covers of Barbara Lewis' "Baby I'm Yours" and The Little Flames' "Put Your Dukes Up, John"
Patricia Barber - Mythologies (Blue Note) based on Greek mythology and The Metamorphoses of Ovid
Bargain Music - American Born (Cornerstone RAS) solo acoustic identity of Josh Fischel, slipping in covers of Tears for Fears' "Head Over Heels" and Peter Tosh's "Till Your Well Runs Dry" alongside his terrific originals
Rory Block - The Lady & Mr. Johnson (Rykodisc) channeling blues icon Robert Johnson
Blowoff - Blowoff (Full Frequency) new from Husker Du founder Bob Mould and producer/remixologist Richard Morel, creating a driving, melodious wall-of-guitar masterpiece from an unlikely pairing
The Channel - Tales From the Two Hill Heart/Sibylline Machine (C-Side Records) two-CD set of psychedelic pop with a laid back, country flavor
Andy Fairweather Low - Sweet Soulful Music (Proper) touring next month as a part of Roger Waters' band; this is his first new music in more than two decades
Mark Farina - Sessions (Ministry of Sound) showing off his mixing skills in this new two-CD set
Joe Grushecky - A Good Life (Schoolhouse) with guest Bruce Springsteen on three tracks
The Heads - Under the Stress of a Headlong Dive (Alternative Tentacles) brutal art-core for space-rock tweakers
Skip Heller Trio - Mean Things Happening In This Land (Rope-A-Dope/Skyeway) fitting perfectly on the shelf between the shadowy Los Lobos side project the Latin Playboys and the cascading tones of Tom Verlaine's Warm & Cool album, this soulful, soaring new jazz trips the light fantastic in sizzling new instrumentals and three of the most unexpected cover interpretations imaginable: the Dead Milkmen's "Punk Rock Girl," X's "Motel Room in My Bed," and XTC's classic "Dear God"
Lisa Hilton - Midnight in Manhattan (Oar Fin) featuring her take on the timeless classics "Hit the Road Jack," "Moon River," and "Over the Rainbow"
The Illusionist - original motion picture soundtrack (Rykodisc) score by Philip Glass
Mahavatar - From the Sun, the Rain, the Wind, the Soil (Escapi) international metal collective featuring members from Jamaica, Israel, and Poland
Meg & Dia - Something Real (Doghouse) soon to wrap up this summer's Vans Warped Tour, this Utah quartet led by two petite sisters rocks big riffs and proud, majestic songwriting
Moccasin - Last Leaf (Invisible Cities) super heavy wall of delicious fuzz in the grinding, shoe-gazing sway of My Bloody Valentine and The Verve
Modwheelmood - Enemies & Immigrants (Buddyhead) cool EP from Alessandro Cortini of Nine Inch Nails and former Abandoned Pools guitarist Pelle Hillstrom
Leigh Nash - Blue on Blue (One Son/Nettwerk) all new from the former Sixpence None the Richer vocalist, featuring the single "My Idea of Heaven"
Panic Channel - ONe (Capitol) new from Jane's Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro and drummer Stephen Perkins
Snakes on a Plane - original motion picture soundtrack (Decaydance/New Line) the summer's biggest buzz features a terrific soundtrack sprinkled with dialogue from the film, led by the infectious beat of Cobra Starship's "Snakes on a Plane (Bring It)," a Tommie Sunshine "Brooklyn Fire" remix of Fall Out Boys' "Of All the Gin Joints in All the World," a theme song by Trevor Rabin, and Coheed & Cambria's acoustic take on "Wake Up"
Kinnie Starr - Anything (Maple Music/Fontana) recently busy as the vocalist for Zumanity, Cirque du Soleil's cabaret production, with guest Tegan Quinn of Tegan & Sara
Sublime - Sublime: Deluxe Edition (Geffen) expanded two-CD reissue packed with goodies, including an acoustic spin on "Zimbabwe," the censored, original "Doin' Time" sessions, and covers of the Gershwin standard "Summertime" and Bob Marley's "Trenchtown Rock"
Wires on Fire - Wires on Fire (Buddyhead) featured recently in the soundtrack for The Hills Have Eyes
Wise In Time - The Ballad of Den the Men (Crammed Disc) new from Ian Simmonds
various artists - Drum Nation: Volume 3 (Magna Carta) enhanced CD with Joe Nunez of Soulfly, Chris Pennie of Dillinger Escape Plan, Justin Foley of Killswitch Engage, and more master drummers