yep roc - The I-94 Bar
The Third Mind - The Third Mind (Yep Roc)
The way Dave Alvin tells the story, the musical modus operandi was derived from a Miles Davis biography that described the jazz giant’s approach to studio improvisation. In short: pick a key, hit a groove and play without rehearsing. The title and band name (I think) have been swiped from a William Burroughs book.
“The Third Mind” (the album) is six long songs, comprising one original and five covers originally made by US underground luminaries of the ’60s - Alice Coltrane, Michael Bloomfield, Fred Neil and Roky Erickson. The Third Mind (the band) is guitarist Alvin (The Blasters) and bassist Victor Krummenacher (Camper Van Beethoven, Cracker, Monks of Doom), guitarist David Immergluck (Counting Crows, Monks of Doom, John Hiatt), and drummer Michael Jerome (Richard Thompson, Better Than Ezra.)
Face of the Screaming Werewolf – The Fleshtones (Yep Roc)
The Fleshtones always were always out of step with the rest of the pack . Rarely acknowledged in the same breath as the rest of the Class of CBGB partly because they didn’t pander to tastemakers and partly because they arrived from out of town and were slightly late, they were as guilty as any of their peers for washing up on the barren shores of over-indulgence at the expense of mainstream success. So it is that they’ve remained in their own universe for decades now. But they still deliver.
The Fleshtones really do exist on their own terms. They live for the road. They make great records with a touch of eccentricity. They’ve always soaked up classic influences (British invasion, blueswailin’ R&B, garage rock, soul and more) like a sponge to spit them back out like they invented them. There are other bands doing the same thing but few so it so well, or deliver a show.
Legendary Mexican-American singer-songwriter Alejandro Escovedo will tour Australia for the first time in March 2018 on the back of his acclaimed new immigration-themed album The Crossing.
Escovedo is a seminal figure in Texan music and one of the most acclaimed American songwriters of his generation. He’s a recipient of the Americana Music Association's Lifetime Achievement Award and will be honored with the Townes Van Zandt Songwriter Award at next year’s Austin Music Awards.
Alejandro has released 11 solo albums and contributed to numerous others, as both band member and guest. His songs have been recorded by the likes of Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle, Ryan Adams, Cowboy Junkies, and Calexico, and he’s shared stages with everyone from Bruce Springsteen to John Prine to Mott The Hoople’s Ian Hunter.
Alejandro’s latest album, "The Crossing", released in September 2018 on Yep Roc and one of the most acclaimed of his career, looks at matters of immigration and the broken Promised Land that is America through the focused and unflinching poetry Alejandro is known for.
It includes cameos from underground rock royalty in the personages of MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer, Stooges guitarist James Williamson and Peter Perrett and John Perry of The Only Ones, Texan country great Joe Ely and acclaimed novelist and Richmond Fontaine/Delines songwriter Willy Vlautin.
REM’s Peter Buck and the Velvet Underground’s John Cale have both served as Alejandro’s sidemen in addition to being his producers, a role also filled by legendary Bowie and T.Rex producer Tony Visconti, who produced a run of three albums for Alejandro spanning 2008-12.
Americana Rock and Roll is the new black. No, make that orange. Or whatever colour’s in vogue this week. Make no mistake though: If the trend stays still for five minutes, Jeremy & The Harlequins will be huge.
Jeremy & The Harlequins are from Brooklyn, which is the epicentre of what’s left of New York City’s rock and roll scene. Before that, Jeremy and brother-drummer Stephan came from Toledo, Ohio, where they assembled The Harlequins from remnants of other NYC bands. Their first album was mixed by Matt Verta Ray (Heavy Trash) so you know what sound they were shooting for.
Meet Keith Streng, Ken Fox, Peter Zaremba and Bill Milhizer. Jacopo Benessi photo.
Here’s another plea for justice and a call for long overdue respect. Add another name to the list of bands whose “failure” (such a harsh word when applied without context) to break into the mainstream is not just unfathomable but criminal. Ladies and gentlemen, I speak of The Fleshtones, stars of stage and screen and bearers of a vibrant new record, “The Band Drinks For Free”, on Yep Roc.
The Official Biography lists it as Album Number 21 (including live releases) and says the band is in its 40th year, but let’s dispense with the figures and deal only in facts. The first one is: If you’re not listening to The Fleshtones, you’re a loser. The second is: It’s never too late to shed your loser status.
The Fleshtones emerged from a basement in New York City’s Queens borough and onto a stage at CBGB in 1976. Largely written out of histories of the Lower East Side scene despite being fixtures at places like CBs, Max’s Kansas City, The Pyramid, Danceteria and Club 57, they went through a trailer-load of trials and tribulations (labels going broke, line-ups in flux, drugs and drink) to “almost make it” in spectacular style.