Sunday, March 05, 2006

Danny Kirwan et al

As usual I’ve been haunting the used bins and have managed to purchase a couple of interesting items.

First up, Danny Kirwan’s "Ram Jam City" (Mooncrest Records) is a likable and easy going singer-songwriter/pub-rock recording…or at least it sounds like that to me. From what I understand, this collection consists of demos for his first post-Fleetwood Mac solo album "Second Chapter" and includes alternate versions (complete with false starts). Some high points are the country-esque "Falling In Love With You" (nice fiddle on that one), the slide guitar work on the mellow “Silver Streams”, and the title track which wouldn’t sound out of place on a Fairport Convention album.

His later years are a sad story of mental illness and homelessness so there is poignancy in listening to a talent cut short.

John Cale’s "Black Acetate" (EMI) is every bit as good as reviews suggest. Modern, cool, and trend-free (although much is made of the hip-hop influence). Buy it even if you aren’t impressed by the Velvet’s legacy.

What else? A double set compiled by Marty Thau entitled "Songs of the Naked City" (Red Star Records). I didn’t hesitate to lay down the cash for this one as it documents one of my favourite times and place (New York late 1970’s, a close second to West Germany 1969-72). C’mon, can you resist a compilation that features The New York Dolls, Richard Hell & the Voidoids, Suicide, Fleshtones, Real Kids, The Ramones and Von Lmo? Not everything is a winner of course, I never did like Blondie and Brian Setzer’s first group Bloodless Pharaoh goes nowhere fast in six minutes, but that is offset easily by the two solo Martin Rev tracks from his "Clouds of Glory" set.

On the printed page side, I scored a copy of John Crawford’s "Baboon Dooley Rock Critic! – Baboon Gets Ahead in Life" (Popular Reality Press) for a mere $0.50. I remember his strips from the pages of Forced Exposure and dozens of other ‘zines. Is Baboon Dooley like me? No, no way. Heh.
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