Sat. April 30
(Le Grand Mix, Tourcoing)

Sun. May 1
(The Pit's, Kortrijk)

Thu. May 5
Awesome Tapes From Africa dj set
(Treehou5e Open Air, Ghent)

Fri. May 6
Invisible Hands / Neil Michael Hagerty & The Howling Hex / DSR Lines
(Vooruit, Ghent)

Sat. May 7
(De Ruimte, Ghent)

Tue. May 10
(De Pit's, Kortrijk)

Thu. May 12
(DOK, Ghent)

Fri. May 13
(Het Bos, Antwerp)

Sun. May 15
THRONEFEST (Taake, Inquisition, Mgla, Batushka, Inferno, Dysangellium, Wiegedood & The Commitee)
(Kubox, Kuurne)

Thu. May 26
(Den Trap, Kortrijk)

Fri. May 27
(Trix, Antwerp)

Wed. June 1
(Botanique, Brussels)

Wed. June 8
(Vooruit, Ghent)

Wed. June 22
(Het Bos, Antwerp)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

I recently blasted THE NOMADS’ ‘Where The Wolf Bane Blooms’ mini-album from 1983 out of my car speakers and was surprised to find out that the record hasn’t aged a bit in almost 30 (?!?!!) years! A friend of mine complained about "that horrible & clean 80s production" but I don’t think that the sound suffers from its production at all. The record still kicks ass and is on a par with other essential mini-albums from that period like THE CRAMPS’ ‘Gravest Hits’ (recorded at Ardent Studio, Memphis in 1977 and produced by Alex Chilton) and THE SCIENTISTS’ ‘Blood Red River 1982-1984’.

Jazzman Records has released another volume in their explorations into regional US funk obscurities called CALIFORNIA FUNK: RARE FUNK 45S FROM THE GOLDEN STATE. This new collection delivers 21 of the rarest, hardest and most coveted funk sounds from California, recorded 1968-77. Now Again Records has the exclusive license for these essential funk collections in the States and I must say I prefer these releases to the European ones as the artwork is much more appealing. Also available as a double vinyl album; both formats have extensive liner notes. Great stuff!

With all those beautifully packaged old time music compilations on Dust-to-Digital, Tompkins Square and Old Hat Records, one would forget that Document Records was one of the forebears of reissuing old time American folk music. Although their poor packaged albums aren’t really inviting, the music is mostly excellent. NASHVILLE 1928 for example features terrific performances by obscure bands like Paul Warmack & His Gully Jumpers and some Blind Joe Mangrum-Fred Shriver. Funny to read that the few tracks by the 6 featured bands are the complete recorded works! Check Document Records’ website for more info here.

San Francisco’s FRESH & ONLYS recently opened for TY SEGALL in Antwerp and I was really impressed by their great songs and sound. The band managed to mix a dark Flying Nun pop-sound with some raw Gun Club-style guitar sounds. Really excellent! Afterwards, I bought their latest record on In The Red and it has been on constant rotation over here in the last few weeks. In the meantime, the FRESH & ONLYS released a follow-up mini-album ‘Secret Walls’ on Sacred Bones that I have yet to hear. Don’t miss them when they play your neighborhood!

Two new & essential African reissues: L’ORCHESTRE KANAGI DE MOPTI’s eponymous album on Kindred Spirits Records from Holland and the RAIL BAND’s ‘Buffet Hotel de la Gare’ on Superfly Records from Paris. A great introduction to L’ORCHESTRE KANAGI DE MOPTI’s famous band leader SORRY BAMBA has been released by Thrill Jockey Records both on cd and 2lp. The RAIL BAND lp reissue on Superfly Records is even superior to the recent Bärenreiter album reissued by Mississippi Records, but unfortunately very expensive! The album reissued by Superfly Records was originally released in 1973 (RCAM 013373), the one Mississippi Records reissued dates from 1970 (BM 30 L 2606). For an exhaustive discography of Malian vinyl recordings, check Graeme Counsel’s giant’s labour here.

‘Rebellión Tropical’ is a wonderful compilation that teams up Colombia’s original bad boys of tropical music FRUKO and JOE ARROYO. FRUKO Y SUS TESOS became the premier powerhouse salsa band at Discos Fuentes in the 70s and 80s and served as a career starter for a series of talented vocalists and musicians, including JOE ARROYO. I am lucky to have witnessed both bands in top condition: FRUKO at the Antilliaanse Feesten in 2004 and JOE ARROYO at the Open Tropen Festival God knows when. CD 1 highlights FRUKO’s recordings, CD 2 those of JOE ARROYO: over 150 minutes of pure vintage jungle heat to get any rebellion started! An essential collection and dirt-cheap too!

Like most young parents who lived in the 70s, mine too owned a NEIL DIAMOND record (1973’s Jonathan Livingston Seagull - duh). Although I did want to like it at the time, I simply couldn’t. After all, the other records (Demis Roussos, Nana Mouskouri, The Cats, BZN, Engelbert Humptydumpty) proved that my parents had rather poor taste in music. A recent favorable cd review however got me interested in NEIL DIAMOND’s formative years so I bought that particular cd called THE BANG YEARS 1966-1968. I am really impressed. At the end of the 60s, Neil Diamond was just another struggling young artist which makes his music pure & interesting. I’ll probably stick to this only cd as far as NEIL DIAMOND goes, but this shouldn’t spoil the greatness of this great song-writing collection. Oh wait, I think I need this one too!

I’ll leave you with an 8Tracks compilation I made yesterday to spice up my Mexico/Guatemala trip. These might be dangerous & upsetting times but the fact that I will be able to listen to my mix in some remote jungle lodge (do they have internet access in Tikal?) makes me pretty happy to live in the 21st century! For those interested, here's a blog where I hope to post info about our family trip once in a while (in Dutch only).

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