So each week I reach into my ludicrous 500+ blog RSS feed, download about 20 albums, and spotlight a few songs for your listening pleasure. Most of these recordings are painfully obscure in spite of actually kicking ass and being way better than a lot of the crap that comes out nowadays. Not that I don't like new music, but, you know.
Twiggy's countrypolitan mantra
This time around, we're taking a look at painfully overlooked releases from 1976.
After playing for years in the Bay Area psych circuit, Leland Yoshitsu got lost in the shuffle but was rediscovered by Ariel Pink and covered by his L.A. buds, Puro Instinct. Their new rendition is decent, but honestly doesn't hold a candle to the original. While Leland put out just one studio full-length in his heyday, he held on to his signature black cape and recorded his sophomore album 35 years later, and it's even more bizarre and outsidery than his before. Be sure to listen to audio samples of it at CD Baby while you thumb through the 35 pages of paperwork and letters he wrote to President Obama, Arnold Schwartzenegger, the US Postal Service, and others to try and get $5,000,000 from the federal government over some alleged mail fraud. Via Ghostcapital.
International supermodel Twiggy – best known for causing controversy in the '60s with an unhealthily thin, proto-heroin chic body image that would later launch a thousand eating disorders – made not just one album, but three. In “Everything Comes In Time,” we hear the America's Next Top Model judge bitching about being teased and not getting male attention in her awkward years while repeating a cheesy countrypolitan mantra. Via Progbeat-Vvche.
Ford and Lopatin turned me on to Alain Renaud when they put “Opening Opus 19” as the opening track to one of their mixes back when they were promoting Channel Pressure. Crate diggers might recognize the Renaud name from his flashy guitar work with Parisian jazz rockers Triangle or alongside Richard Pinhas (who, despite pushing 60, collaborated with Merzbow and Wolf Eyes last year) on the first couple Heldon records. Here, Renaud goes balls deep into jazz fusion territory with some intricate guitar études and stellar synth work that will make you give a second look at bands that tack on the word “project” at the end of their band name. Fast, furious, and French. Via Mutant Sounds.
Canadian composer Mort Garson got his start working as a composer for Capitol, Atlantic, and Columbia in the mid-'60s and sort of became one of the “it” guys in the easy listening business after writing one of biggest lounge hits to date, “Our Day Will Come,” which has been covered by Cher, The Supremes, Isaac Hayes, The Carpenters, and more recently Amy Winehouse (RIP y'all). He started a relationship with Bob Moog, who started sending Garson his latest instruments to incorporate into his music, and it worked. Garson became enamored with the exciting new possibilities of electronics and as a result was phased out of the radio hit-making industry and got most of his work with TV series and sci-fi movies (namely Beware! The Blob). This track, “Rhapsody in Green,” channels the kindred spirit of Jürgen Müller and was taken from Garson's Plantasia, which features a bunch of songs you can play for your houseplants to grow better. Also, according to James Pants, the album came for free when you bought a Simmons mattress at Sears. Via Psychedelic Heroin.