Thursday, June 18, 2015

Rick Griffin - "Surfer Movies" (1971)

In 1971, legendary psychedelic concert poster artist Rick Griffin (American 1944-1991) produced Tales from the Tube, an underground comix insert to Surfer Magazine.  It included work by Robert Crumb, S. Clay Wilson, and Robert Williams, among others.  Here is one of Griffen's strips, "Surfer Movies."

Monday, June 8, 2015

The Jaipur Kawa Brass Band: Dance of the Cobra

The Jaipur Kawa Brass Band is a collection of Rajasthani gypsies in Northern India, led by renowned bandleader Hameed Khan Kawa.  The group hails from the Thar Desert, "The Original Land of Gypsies," and merges their traditional sounds with classical Indian music and  popular Bollywood movie soundtracks, all with the rousing brass marching band traditions that flooded the country with British colonialism in the 1700s.   It's an unexpectedly badass mix, sounding like some exotic James Bond chase theme, as you can see for yourself...

keep in mind that the band is often accompanied by a female Sapera dancer from the snake charming Kabelian tribe, where snakes are worshiped as guardians of spiritual truth, as well as by a sword swallowing/fire eating fakir (magician). 

Jaipur Kawa Brass Band released their album, Dance of the Cobra, in 2013 through the UK label World Music Network/Riverboat Records.  a little research showed that Dance of the Cobra is full of classic Bollywood soundtrack hits, performed mostly as instrumentals, but completely reformed when blasting through the horns and percussion of the Thar Desert in a marching band procession.  it's unlike anything i've heard.

here are some key tracks, and if you like what you hear, go to World Music Network's site, pick up a copy of the album HERE , and put some money in their pockets.



Friday, June 5, 2015

Pretty Lightning - "A Magic Lane of Light and Rain" (Cardinal Fuzz 2015)

Pretty Lightning
A Magic Lane of Light and Rain
Cardinal Fuzz Records 2015

Pretty Lightning draw their life force from the swampy drone of North Mississippi Hill Country Blues masters Junior Kimbrough and R.L. Burnside, and filters it through a ghostly, hallucinogenic fog.  It is a limitless source of inspiration, always ripe for exploration, and the German guitar/organ/drums duo dig in and root down with the best of em.  

Pretty Lightning's sophmore album, A Magic Lane of Light and Rain, naturally builds upon the sounds of their 2012 debut, There Are Witches In The Woods, and in the process stumbles upon the common ground between Kimbrough and Krautrock.  These grooves could spiral out into infinity, but the fact that Pretty Lightning can hammer them into actual songs, with memorable hooks and melodies, is rare.  The recordings themselves are clear but raw... focused, but fuzzy in the peripheral... which should translate well to their live show.

It will be interesting to see where Pretty Lightning goes from here, as their sound deepens and congeals even more.

Stand out tracks:  The Rainbow Machine, Bow Low, Woodlands