Archive for Roky Erickson

Hey, It’s Halloween (Almost)!

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 20, 2012 by 30daysout

Sorry, we’ve been a little into our day jobs lately – that, and listening endlessly to Neil Young. So we just noticed Halloween’s a few weeks away, and that is always a great opportunity for some cool rock tunes.

So here you go – don’t be scared!

MP3: “Astro Zombies” by the Misfits

MP3: “Dance of Doom” by Frankie Stein & His Ghouls

MP3: “Red Temple Prayer (Two Headed Dog)” by Roky Erickson & the Aliens

MP3: “Werewolf, Baby!” by Rob Zombie

MP3: “Keepin’ Halloween Alive” by Alice Cooper

MP3: “It’s Monster Surfing Time” by the Deadly Ones

MP3: “Surfin’ Dead” by the Cramps

MP3: “Monster Mash” by the Misfits

MP3: “Monster’s Mash Party” by Bobby “Boris” Pickett

MP3: “Fear” by the Ventures

MP3: “Twilight Zone” opening by Rod Serling

MP3: Velvet Vampire radio plug/”Dinner With Drac” by John Zacherle

MP3: “A Night With the Jersey Devil” by Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band

MP3: “Forever Autumn” by Jeff Wayne w/Justin Hayward and narration by Richard Burton

Son of Son of Halloween

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , , , on October 12, 2011 by 30daysout

Face it, Halloween isn’t very scary.  It’s usually pretty funny – this year there will be people dressed up like characters from Harry Potter, or as Charlie Sheen, or maybe even Arnold Schwarzenegger or Rick Perry or Ron Paul.  Surely some women will dress to emulate Lady Gaga, or maybe even Amy Winehouse or Kate Middleton.  Then there will be that one guy who will dress up as Anthony Weiner with a crucial part of his costume enhanced (or removed).  Ha, ha.  As I said, real funny.

Here is the best Halloween blog I’ve ever seen: Magic Carpet Burn

MP3: “The Munsters” by Billy Strange

MP3: “Tubular Bells” (excerpt) by Mike Oldfield

MP3: “Werewolf Women of the SS” by Rob Zombie

MP3: “Graveyard” by the Blenders

MP3: “Nightmare” by the Abstracts

MP3: “Let Me Hear You Scream” (live) by Ozzy Osbourne

MP3: “Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde” by the Who

MP3: “Creature With The Atom Brain” by Roky Erickson & the Aliens

MP3: “Werewolves Of London” by Warren Zevon

MP3: “Dig Up Her Bones” by the Misfits

2010 In Review: Our Favorite Albums & Other Stuff

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 12, 2010 by 30daysout

This was a pretty good year for recorded music, in the form of albums and in digital form. Rock artists came back with a vengeance, producing strong music and worthy albums.  Any number of indie bands offered up career-defining work, which makes the future look pretty healthy indeed.

The big news on the digital front was, uh, the Beatles on iTunes, and in just their first week on the download service they sold about 2 million songs.  Paul McCartney, now the keeper of the Beatles’ flame, appeared on “Saturday Night Live” over the weekend and performed five songs including “A Day In The Life/Give Peace A Chance” in tribute to his fallen bandmate John Lennon.

McCartney’s peers and inheritors in classic rock also rebounded a bit in 2010, putting out strong new material or making a splash with box-set showcases of earlier work.  Bruce Springsteen, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix went the box-set route, while people like Joe Cocker, Ray Davies, John Mellencamp, Robert Plant, Heart and a few others released new albums that showed they all have a little gas left in the tank.  So let’s flip through some of our favorite albums of the year’s new material:

Street Songs of Love – Austin’s Alejandro Escovedo produced yet another album of straightforward guitar rock and this one may be his best yet.  With veteran producer Tony Visconti at the dials and with guests like Bruce Springsteen and Ian Hunter, Escovedo shows he isn’t afraid to stand toe-to-toe with America’s greatest rockers.

American VI: Ain’t No Grave – Seven years after his death, Johnny Cash shows more life than most rock artists who are still able to step up to the mic.  Recorded in the final months of his life, the album dispenses with the rock covers from previous Rick Rubin-helmed albums and deals with such classic material as Kris Kristofferson’s “For The Good Times” and the traditional spiritual that serves as the bone-chilling title track.  This, my friends, is the heart of rock and roll.

Brothers – The indie duo Black Keys, featuring guitarist/singer Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney, went to the famous Muscle Shoals recording studio and tapped into some dark, muddy soul for songs like “Howlin’ For You” and “Everlasting Light.”  The album, as well as single “Tighten Up,” have been nominated for Grammy Awards but why the hell isn’t it in the running for Album of the Year????

American Patchwork – Anders Osborne is a transplanted Swede, gone to seed in New Orleans as a bluesman with a fierce talent on guitar.  The opening salvo of “On The Road To Charlie Parker” and “Echoes Of My Sins”  and gems like “Standing With Angels” show that he is also an excellent songwriter.

Emotion & Commotion – Jeff Beck is a 1960s-era guitar god who doesn’t get nearly the love that peers Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page receive.  But on this album he does what he does best – he turns in some rockin’ instrumentals and welcomes guest singers Imelda May, Olivia Safe and Joss Stone to either put a new spin on an old song (“I Put A Spell On You” with Stone, “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”) or freak out Hendrix-style (“Hammerhead”).

True Love Cast Out All Evil – The godfather of psychedelia, Roky Erickson, is backed by indie-rockers Okkervil River on this definitive late-career effort.  It’s a spooky exploration of Erickson’s shattered psyche, done to the tune of old hymnals, country music, folk rock and punk fury.  A great piece of work from a truly original American artist.

Now we’re doing a dozen more favorite new releases:

1. Band of Joy – Robert Plant

2. Midnight Souvenirs – Peter Wolf

3. Tears, Lies and Alibis – Shelby Lynne

4. To The Sea – Jack Johnson

5. American Slang – The Gaslight Anthem

6. Raising The Bar – Magic Slim & the Teardrops

7. Flags – Brooke Fraser

8. Infinite Arms – Band of Horses

9. Le Noise – Neil Young

10. Danger Days: The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys – My Chemical Romance

11. The Suburbs – Arcade Fire

12. Wake Up! – John Legend & the Roots

Our favorite albums from Texas (beside Alejandro Escovedo):

1. A. Enlightenment  B. Endarkenment (Hint: There Is No C) – Ray Wylie Hubbard

2. Plays Blues, Ballads and Favorites – Jimmie Vaughan

3. Country Music – Willie Nelson

4. Myth Of The Heart – Sahara Smith

5. ¡Esta Bueno! – Texas Tornados

Some great songs from this year:

1. “Fuck You”by Cee Lo Green

2. “Echoes Of My Sins” by Anders Osborne

3. “Better Days” by Ray Davies & Bruce Springsteen

4. “Tighten Up” by the Black Keys

5. “Dance Yrself Clean” by LCD Soundsystem

6. “Tender Heart” by Alejandro Escovedo

7. “The Weary Kind” by Ryan Bingham

8. “Drunken Poet’s Dream” by Ray Wylie Hubbard

9. “My Heart Explodes” by the Dollyrots

10. “The New Fuck You” by Street Sweeper Social Club

And sorry, we liked these albums too:

Slash by Slash (with Lemmy, Ozzy, Fergie and Kid … Rock)

Guitar Heaven: The Greatest Guitar Classics Of All Time by Santana (with Chris Cornell, Daughtry, Rob Thomas, etc.)

No Better Than This by John Mellencamp

Scream by Ozzy Osbourne

Vintage Vinos by Keith Richards

Keep checking back during the week, as this list magically grows with daily updates:

Annual Bitching About The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Thanks for FINALLY allowing the Stooges in there, and thanks for considering Neil Diamond this year.  Now:  Stevie Ray Vaughan, Doug Sahm, KISS, Little Feat, The Meters, The Neville Brothers … and for God’s sake, THE FACES!

Box sets marketed to beneficiaries of the Obama tax cut plan:

Exile On Main Street – The Rolling Stones cut a new versions of old songs to add to their 1972 classic, which makes a compact two-CD package.

The Promise – Bruce Springsteen went back and “enhanced” some tracks on a 21-song collection of outtakes from Darkness On The Edge Of Town.  The big three-CD, three-DVD box set includes a remastered version of Darkness and a DVD of a rousing 1978 live set from Houston.

Band On The Run – Paul McCartney’s third reissue of this album, augmented with three CDs and a DVD of live cuts, B-sides and outtakes.

The Complete Mono Recordings – Eight discs of Bob Dylan’s 1960s classics, as they would have sounded on AM radio.

West Coast Seattle Boy – How much Jimi Hendrix material can conceivably remain in the vault after this set’s four discs?

John Lennon Signature Box – All of Lennon’s albums, remastered, a 10th disc of his singles and an 11th CD of his “home tapes.”

Also: Live At Leeds (40th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition) by the Who (4 CDs), and Damn The Torpedoes (Deluxe Edition) by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers (2 CDs).  This category alone has 41 discs – put ’em all under your Christmas tree!

Finally, R.I.P. in 2010:

Alex Chilton, Solomon Burke, Houston DJ Mark Stevens, Michael Been, Phillip Walker, Dennis Hopper, Jose Lima, Ronnie James Dio, Bobby Charles, Teddy Pendergrass.

Review: Three Day Weekend CD Reviews!

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , on May 27, 2010 by 30daysout

I can’t remember a Memorial Day when there have been so many good albums out – or at least, albums that I like.  OK then: albums that are fairly universally acclaimed.  How’s that?  Anyway, let’s go through a handful of new ones then at the end of this post I’ll recap the best albums released so far this year.

Anders Osborne is a transplant from Sweden who settled in New Orleans in 1985 and since then has released albums of increasing quality.  American Patchwork, his first record for venerated blues label Alligator Records, is a sensational collection of tuneful blues/rock with heaping helpings of Osborne’s sizzling guitar work.  Osborne has a soulful voice and it’s showcased to perfection on “Echoes Of My Sins” and “Acapulco.”  You get some rockin’ guitar on “On The Road To Charlie Parker” and so on – this album is a powerful statement of purpose that can be a great starting point for Anders Osborne.  His backing band is sharp – Galactic’s Stanton Moore is the drummer and producer – and Osborne’s songs are an apt metaphor for his reborn adopted home city.  I love this album, and upon first listen I think you will too.

MP3: “Echoes Of My Sins” by Anders Osborne

YouTube: Anders Osborne doing a live in-store at New Orleans’ Louisiana Music Factory

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Review: “True Love Cast Out All Evil,” Roky Erickson w/Okkervil River

Posted in Review with tags , , on April 21, 2010 by 30daysout

Roky Erickson is truly the godfather of psychedelic music – way back in 1966 he went way out with his band the 13th Floor Elevators and their garage-rock classic “You’re Gonna Miss Me.”  After a few albums (including the 1967 classic Easter Everywhere) the band disintegrated as Erickson wound up in Rusk State Hospital, Texas’ repository for the mentally ill.  Whether he was institutionalized because of real mental illness, or because he copped an insanity plea to escape a prison sentence for drug possession isn’t important – the fact is, Erickson emerged from the asylum with permanent damage and an awful lot of demons.

Some of the songs he wrote while in the state hospital show up on the new album True Love Cast Out All Evil, Erickson’s first studio recording in about 15 years.  He’s backed by Austin indie rockers Okkervil River, whose frontman Will Scheff produced this fascinating album.  It’s immediately obvious that Sheff wants to take listeners on a trip inside Roky’s head – the opening “Devotional Number One” may have been a song sung by Erickson and other patients, and it ends by unraveling into a swirl of voices and electronic fuzz, like static on the radio station of sanity.

You won’t find much of the screaming psychedelic rock Erickson’s known for.  Instead, he builds his songs on foundations that include country  (“Birds’d Crash”), jangly folk rock (“Bring Back The Past”) and gospel (“Be and Bring Me Home” and the title tune).  The punk fury of “John Lawman” comes partly from the pointed repetition of a few lines and raging instrumental backing by Okkervil River.  But Roky makes a declaration of renewal and redemption with the naked emotion of the title tune and the next song “Forever.”   His singing is soulful and emotional, perfectly matching both the material and Okkervil’s inspired playing.

Ending on a hopeful note with “God Is Everywhere,” Erickson slams this volume shut like an old hymnal and reclaims his rightful place among the great rockers of all time.  Like Johnny Cash’s brilliant Ain’t No Grave from earlier this year, True Love Cast Out All Evil is a great piece of work from a truly original American artist.

MP3: “Goodbye Sweet Dreams”

Roky Erickson official website

Song of the Day: “You’re Gonna Miss Me”

Posted in News with tags , , on April 20, 2010 by 30daysout

Psychedelic survivor Roky Erickson has teamed up with Austin-based indie rockers Okkervil River to produce a new album, True Love Cast Out All Evil, out today.  Here’s a video of Roky and Okkervil River performing at SXSW, doing the 13th Floor Elevators’ classic “You’re Gonna Miss Me.”

You can stream Roky’s new album at Spinner.

Anti Records official website

Roky Erickson official website

Easter Egg: New Music Sneak Preview

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 3, 2010 by 30daysout

Let’s open up a big ol’ Easter egg of new music, a lot of which was previewed at SXSW in Austin a few weekends ago.  We don’t want to get shut down by the blog police, so you can only stream these tunes … I encourage you to click through to the artists’ individual websites, because there are plenty more surprises and goodies awaiting you there.  So, let’s rock!

Courtney Love is bringing back her band Hole, although she’s the only original member left.  The new album Nobody’s Daughter is due in stores April 26.

“Samantha” by Hole

Former Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash drops his eponymous debut album April 6 with a slew of guest singers including Ozzy Osbourne, Chris Cornell, Lemmy Kilmister, Kid Rock and many more.  He’s also joined by ex-GNR mates Izzy Stradlin and Duff McKagan … here’s a surprising remake of one of their finest moments:

“Paradise City” by Slash featuring Cypress Hill and Fergie (yes)

Stone Temple Pilots are back, with Scott Weiland (apparently clean and sober) on vocals.  Their new album (I couldn’t find a title) is slated to come out May 25.

“Between The Lines” by Stone Temple Pilots

Sixties psychedelia survivor Roky Erickson has teamed with indie rock wonderboys Okkervil River for the new album True Love Cast Out All Evil, due in stores April 20.

“True Love Cast Out All Evil” by Roky Erickson and Okkervil River

Also out next week is Jakob Dylan‘s newest, Women and Country, produced by T-Bone Burnett and featuring the backing vocals of Kelly Hogan and Neko Case.

“Everybody’s Hurting” by Jakob Dylan

Guitar god Jeff Beck will release his newest album Emotion and Commotion on April 13.  He turns in some rockin’ instrumentals and welcomes guest singers Imelda May, Olivia Safe and Joss Stone.

“I Got A Spell On You” by Jeff Beck featuring Joss Stone

SXSW Followup: Roky Erickson

Posted in SXSW with tags , on March 26, 2010 by 30daysout

We didn’t get to see him this time around, but I heard Roky Erickson (along with Okkervil River) was great at SXSW 2010.  Here’s a video of them performing “Goodbye Sweet Dream” from the new album True Love Cast Out All Evil which comes out April 20.

New Roky Erickson song available

Posted in News with tags , on February 22, 2010 by 30daysout

Roky Erickson, foreground, with Okkervill River

You can hear a new song off Roky Erickson’s upcoming album True Love Cast Out All Evil today over at Pitchfork.  The song is called “Goodbye Sweet Dreams” and, like the rest of the record, it is backed by Okkervil River and produced by the band’s Will Sheff.  True Love Cast Out All Evil is Roky’s  first album of new material in 14 years.  The album includes found sound and archival recordings from the time Erickson spent confined at the Rusk State Hospital for the criminally insane and mentally ill in the early 70s.  Anti- Records will release the LP in the United States on April 20, and the UK release will come on June 7 on the Chemikal Underground label.

To hear or download the new song, go to Pitchfork.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Roky Erickson official website

Your Sister’s (Record) Rack: Lightnin’ Hopkins

Posted in Lost Classics! with tags , , , , , , on January 27, 2010 by 30daysout

Still flippin’ through the stack of records my sister’s boyfriend gave me … they all came from the radio station where he works.  Guess they’re not playing these albums if I have ’em!

Today I have a true rarity: Freeform Patterns, a 1968 album by bluesman Lightnin’ Hopkins.  Hopkins, the Texas bluesman, spent most of his life living in Houston and often played nightclubs there as he came up in the late 1940s and the 1950s.  At the peak of the early 1960s folk revival, national audiences began to discover and dig Lightnin’s music, highlighted by his all-time classic “Mojo Hand” which he cut in 1960.

By 1968 Lightnin’ was playing festivals, folk clubs and college campuses around the country then would return home to play beer joints in Houston’s Third Ward.  The Houston-based International Artists label signed Lightnin’ to a contract and producer Lelan Rogers (yeah, Kenny’s brother) hooked him up with a backing band that included drummer Danny Thomas and bassist Duke Davis from the 13th Floor Elevators.  (The psychedelic 13th Floor Elevators were in a state of flux at that time, due to lead singer Roky Erickson’s drug problems.   In 1969, Erickson was committed to the Rusk State Hospital rather than face jail time for a felony marijuana charge, and the group officially broke up.)

The resulting album was Freeform Patterns, cut on one February day in 1968.  It opens with a long spoken word intro to the song “Mr. Charlie,” with Hopkins telling the story of a poor little kid who stuttered so bad nobody wanted anything to do with him.  The story had no punch line, other than the fact that the kid could apparently enunciate clearly only when singing the blues, or something.  Better, and more characteristic, is “Mr. Ditta’s Grocery Store,” about an apparently real store Lightnin’ frequented at the “corner of Bastrop and Hadley,” which is about a block west of Dowling Street, where Hopkins lived.

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