Monday, August 25, 2008

Fabulous Diamonds Top Ten For Dusted.

Fabulous Diamonds
Original post

Jarrod Zlatic and Nisa Venerosa make up the Australian duo Fabulous Diamonds. Venerosa drums and sings, her voice a bleached out, post-punk siren wail. Zlatic plays guitar and sports unreal amounts of back hair, if the cover to their debut EP is to be believed. Siltbreeze's Tom Lax found it to his liking and released it on wax stateside, after Nervous Jerk handled the domestic CD release down under. True to Fabulous Diamonds' sound, Zlatic stuck to second-hand vinyl for this week's Listed.

Top Nine Used Records Found on Fabulous Diamonds / Psychedelic Horseshit Tour

1. & 2. – Velvet Underground – Sweet Sister Ray and 1966
The whole tour I was hoping to find these two Velvet Underground bootlegs and I happened upon both of them on the wall at Long in the Tooth in Philadelphia. Both are amazing examples of the band’s Cale-influenced trance rock tendencies. While Sweet Sister Ray has two amazing versions of “Sister Ray,” I’m mainly into the 40-minute title track that’s split over both sides of the first LP – lots of repetitive guitar twang and viola drone. The 1966 LP has early side-long jams “Melody Laughter” and “The Nothing Song,” each a throbbing, rhythmic wall of sound.

3. Kebekelektrik – Kebekelektrik
Initially, I noticed this because it boasted “A Tom Moulton Mix” and had an enigmatic cover of a woman seemingly turning into pure yellow electricity. The actual music is amazing, spaced-out electronic disco. The a-side begins with a 14-minute version of Ravel’s Bolero and ends with a cover of Space’s “Magic Fly.” Though the crowning track is the album’s final song, “War Dance,” which is co-written with disco-notable Gino Soccio – congas and Roman circus synths intermixing with weird treated horn sounds and a pulsing disco rhythm section. Found in Philadelphia at the amazing Beautiful World record store

4. Centipede – Septober Energy
This is listed mainly for the huge jam that takes up most of Side D. The album, to my ears, sounds like the assorted British jazz-rock scene attempting to meld Coltrane’s Ascension with Hair Septober Energy is the brainchild of Keith and Julie Tippets, who gathered about 40 musicians (Robert Wyatt, Jan Steel, Zoot Money, Ian MacDonald, Dudu Pukwana, Gary Windo, Robert Fripp, Karl Jenkins etc.) to make a giant free-jazz rock-chant orchestra that sounds like an unhinged hippy-drippy Utopian rock-opera.

5. Craig Leon – Nommos
I was hipped onto this record by Michael K, who released the CD of our album in Australia. Going from the tribal-statute front cover and the song titles, I guess that Craig Leon was attempting to make ritualistic electronic music – and he succeeded pretty well. Relentless drum machine beats plum away over layered synthesizer drones – songs oscillate between calming and the frenzy-esque. Strangely, this was released on Takoma, though maybe that’s an illustration of Fahey’s breadth more than anything. Apparently the master tapes to this record no longer exist so it may, sadly, never see a reissue.

6. Judy Henske / Jerry Yester – Rosebud
While I was already a fan of Judy Henske from her High Flying Bird album, the Fred Neil-esque blues-folk isn’t present on this album. Instead, her and husband Jerry Yester, he of The Loving Spoonful, concoct a slightly left-of-centre West Coast record. Denigrated by some, I think this record is an enjoyable afternoon affair.

7. Lou Reed – “Nowhere At All” 7”
As far as I can tell, this is the last hurrah of boogie-rock Reed, weirdly recorded, I assume, during the Coney Island Baby sessions by Gregg Diamond, which means after Lou Reed had already (wrongly) dismissed Sally Can’t Dance and made Metal Machine Music. I just imagine Lou Reed wearing metallic shades, riding down the road in a huge jeep, slumped behind its giant, oversize steering wheel while looking out the window at babes and dudes… Just tough, funky rock. Sort of.

8. Little Howlin’ Wolf – Cool Truth
Not technically second-hand, but old enough to be. I bought this off the man when we played on the same gig in this tiny, very dusty, cluttered house in Washington, D.C. The music is cluttered, strange bluesy music that obviously will draw Trout Mask Replica comparisons, but I think it inhabits its own strange world removed from that.

9. Frolk Haven – At The Apex of High
Strange, home-made jazzy-spacey-prog record that may be more well known for the fact that Stuart (a.k.a. Stewart) Copeland from the Police was drumming on this years before he bunked down with Sting & Co. Not an original copy, but a convincing looking mid-’90s reissue found for $5 in Amoeba. Jazzy guitar noodles, proto-punk prog rock outs, droning electronic drones etc. Like most private pressings. it is compelling for the homely, no-budget vibes, especially given the high-minded outer-space pretensions.

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