Last year we started our year-end review of best albums that we heard in the past year. This week we head positions 14 to 1. For the number one this year I chose Californian band Cool Ghouls. After several delightful garage rock records, last year they took a huge leap and made a fantastic genre spanning record that shows good taste, measure and expert knowledge of rock’n’roll history. One song will remind you of Beach Boys, other on Todd Rundgren, another one of Byrds, Love, Leonard Cohen… approach seems deliberate and result is stunning album. In a post-post-post modern post-capitalist world an this album looks like a conveyor belt in which best moments of the past roll by one by one, perfectly strung together until the final product comes out. They do their recycling shamelessly and proudly. It’s paradoxically original. It’s an art form. And we love it here.
Our list for 2021 looks like this…
30 The Most - Of What We Have
29 Mike Edison and Guadalupe Plata - The Devil Can't Do You No Harm
28 Chris Church - Game Dirt
27 Kid Khan Unlimited - Opiate Them Asses
26 Daniel Romano - Kissing The Foe
25 Grave Flowers Bongo Band - Strength Of Spring
24 Motorpsycho - Kingdom of Oblivion
23 Yola - Stand For Myself
22 The Exbats - Now Where Were We
21 Shaye Zadravec - Now and Then
20 David Gahan and The Soulsavers - Imposter
19 Danny Kroha - Detroit Blues
18 Murlocs - Bittersweet Demons
17 Salebarbes - Gin à l'eau salée
16 Red Devil Ryders - Pour Me Another One
15 Big Hogg - Pageant of Beasts
14 Endless Boogie - Admonitions
13 Bevis Frond - Little Eden
12 Lelee - Cuka, bije, pumpa
11 Astute Palate
10 Divine Horsemen - Hot Rise of an Ice Cream Phoenix
09 Kid Congo - Swing From The Sean DeLear
08 Rosali - No Meduim
07 Petrified Max - Year Gone By
06 Dinosaur JR - Sweep Into Space
05 Richard Rose - Radiation Breeze
04 A Little More Time With Reigning Sound
03 Bat Fangs - Queen of My World
02 The Reflectors - Faster Action
01 Cool Ghouls - At George's Zoo
And playlist for today is:
Endless Boogie – Bad Call;
The Bevis Frond – Cherry Gardens;
Lelee – Pozeluvam;
Astute Palate – Loose Wings;
Divine Horsemen – Mind Fever;
Kid Congo and The Pink Monkey Birds – (Are You) Ready, Freddy;
Rosali – Mouth;
Petrified Max – Blue Skies Always;
Dinosaur JR – And Me;
Richard Rose – Evil Twin;
Reigning Sound – You Ain’t Me;
Bat Fangs – Never Coming Down;
The Reflectors – Carry On;
Cool Gouhls (Closing Meddley).
Today we check out the new Reigning Sound album, Lou Barlow’s new record, couple of new Todd Rundgren tunes. Jim Lauderdale’s new single is cool and so is collaboration between Moby, Mark Lanegan and Kris Kristofferson who officially retired from singing this year and this is likely his last performance. Our last block are fresh new soundscapes from Ty Segall and Jon S. Williams.
Greg Cartwright – I Don’t Care;
Kingsley and Perdomo – Heaven’s Growing;
Reigning Sound – Letâ€™s Do It Again;
Oblivians – Oblivion;
Gyasi – Burn It Down;
Dinosaur JR – Garden;
Lou Barlow – Privatize;
Todd Rundgren and The Sparks – Your Fandango;
Todd Rundgren, Rick Wakeman, Tony Levin – Welcome To The Machine;
Todd Rundgren – Lysistrada;
Guardian Singles – Tea Lights Exploding;
Imelda May – Just One Kiss (feat. Ronnie Wood);
Jim Lauderdale – Hope Springs Eternal;
Moby, Kris Kristofferson and Mark Lanegan – The Lonely Night;
Ty Segall and Freedom Band – Sleeper;
City of Cool – Mountain;
Jon S Williams – First time;
Fernando Perdomo – For Alfred.
Today we listen to some well tempered music from all over the world. We showcase new stuff from Michael Beach in Australia, BellTowers from Florida, Hoorsees from Paris, France, Dolph Chaney from Chicago, Koala Voice from Slovenia. We also have the new single from the legendary Reigning Sound and Julianna Hatfield as well. Chris Brokaw, formerly of Come, is also back with a new release.
Lilac Angel – RockÂ´n Roll Lady;
Michael Beach – De Facto Blues;
The BellTowers – Is This Her Day;
Coctails – 20,000 Arms;
Guided By Voices – Endless Seafood;
Hoorsees – Overdry;
Chris Brokaw – I Can’t Sleep;
Dirt Music – Panther Hunting;
Chris Church – Trying;
Julianna Hatfield – I See You;
Julianna Hatfield – Mouthful Of Blood;
Dolph Chaney – I Wanted You;
Dolph Chaney – The Handling;
Petrified Max – Sipping the Moon;
2nd Grade – Over and Over;
Reigning Sound – Since When;
Reigning Sound – A Little More Time;
Koala Voice – Vukovi;
The Lemon Twigs – The One.
Today’s show is dedicated to Larry Ramos, the singer who was a part of The Association, starting with their third album Insight Out. He passed away last week. We remember him with two tunes, but we also celebrate some new music as well. We introduce The Record Company, a band from Los Angeles. On the other band, in Brooklyn NYC we have a new really fun band called Screamin’ Rebel Angels. Greg Oblivian’s Reigning Sound have a new single. Los Puchos is a new name from Phoenix AZ. They put their music out exclusively on cassette tapes. Tame Impala have a new live LP. We also check out two recent LPs by Brimstone Howl. They were a great band from Omaha who broke up some 7 years ago, but before they split, they recorded two albums. One back home in Omaha and the other one in Detroit with Jim Diamond. Those albums were shelved and waited until recently only to show up in limited edition vinyl. John Ziegler, vocalist from that band also has a new band called The Lupines.
J Henry Burnett – Sliding By;
The Record Company – Baby I’m Broken;
Screamin’ Rebel Angels – Saved;
Elkie Brooks – Saved;
Oblivians – Pinball King;
Reigning Sound – Falling Rain;
Denney And The Jets – Darlin’;
Mississippi John Hurt – Here I Am, Oh Send Me (Blues Alphabet);
Brimstone Howl – Crosswind;
Brimstone Howl – Nothing New Under The Sun;
The Lupines – Maria (Where’s Yr Man);
Lawson And Four More – Halfway Down The Stairs;
Trashed Romeos- Halfway Down The Stairs;
Todd Rundgren – I Saw the Light;
Los Puchos – Sophie;
The Association – Are You Ready;
The Association – Like Always;
Natural Child – Train Coming Round The Bend (Live in CLE)
Tame Impala – Desire Be, Desire Go.
San Francisco is maybe the hottest rock’n’roll town at the moment. But, in the world of The Little Lighthouse, the rock’n’roll capital is still in Memphis, TN. On our year end list, six albums are from Memphis and only two are from San Francisco. But only one of those records reflects the spirit of rock’n’roll in its most traditional, old fashioned way and it’s from Memphis and it’s all about Memphis. It’s the Trashed Romeos record Where Dreamers Never Go.
Trashed Romeos is put together by Greg Roberson who has been a fixture in the Memphis underground through his involvement with Reigning Sound and Tiger High. Rick Steff from Lucero and Memphis musical guru Adam Hill also joined in to help. As the tagline says, this record is a love letter to Memphis and in particular, the bands that gathered around the legendary Jim Dickinson. The concept was clear, Trashed Romeos took their favorite obscure Memphis rock’n’roll and garage singles and covered each of them. Jim Dickinson appears as a songwriter in several songs and on two clear highlights on the record. His own obscure song The Grass is Never Greener, which is almost impossible to find in the original and he also closes the record with a touching title song, posthumously becoming one of the Trahsed Romeos.
Horn section is added to several songs, which contributes to the sheer ferocity of the resulted sonic delivery. Trashed Romeos gave us a gift of past and they extended the life of these obscure underground singles now delivered in a fresh, crisp new package. This is a must-have for all rock’n’roll devotees and scholars.
Oblivians are a band from Memphis, the godfathers of the garage underground scene in that city that just broke up when they were getting to be known worldwide in the late nineties. They called it quits after a great collaboration with Quintron in 1997. The band went separate ways, Greg Cartwright established himself as one of the most important songwriters with the new band Reigning Sound, Jack Yarber became the king of the minimalist garage and Eric Friedl was busy running the famous Goner Records label and playing gutter punk with True Sons of Thunder. This year they decided to ditch their real surnames again and return to The Oblivians.
It’s like all those years of separate careers did not even happen. The new record is a classic Oblivians chaotic mix of dirt and melody. Timeless quality comes form the fact that they recorded the whole thing on scotch tape, at least that’s how it sounds like. Inputs to the record are brotherly divided up by all three of them and among the excellent originals that already threaten to become classics, there are some hilarious cover choices: Paul Butterfield Band, Andy Griffith and probably the catchiest song on the record Call The Police which brings back Quintron and Miss Pussycat and it was written by Stephanie McDee – a popular local hip hop entertainer from New Orleans who mixes rap and zydeco traditions.
A few technical notes on the vinyl release. Cover on the font is a great photograph, but it’s a low resolution digital photo blown up to the 12×12″ record cover. Inside photography is beautiful. There is no clear information on the record or on the cover where it was mastered or pressed. I can’t say much about the vinyl cut, after all, the whole record sounds like it was recorded on a scotch tape. But that sort of visual and aural lo-fi chaos is what represents The Oblivians authentically. Anything more polished would be a disaster.
The first block in today’s show is dedicated to the three (fake) brothers – Eric, Greg and Jack Oblivian. We know Jack has a new album Rat City, but the other two brothers are shaking the rock’n’roll scene with new records as well. Greg’s Reigning Sound has a new digital record called Abdication For Your Love and Eric has a really exceptional new record with his band True Sons of Thunder. Their older colleague from Memphis, legendary Steve Cropper has a tribute record, dedicated to Lowman Pete Pauling of The “5” Royales fame. New Jersey singer songwriter Neal Casal is back also with the new record. Canadian lady Kathleen Edwards is a new name for us, but we really like what she’s doing.
The Mamas and Papas – Dedicated To The One I Love;
Tony Joe White – Scratch My Back;
True Sons of Thunder – Tony Joe White;
AAAA New Memphis Legs – Wild About You;
Oblivians – How Long;
Jack Oblivian – Girl with the Bruises;
Reigning Sound – Lyin’ Girl;
The 5 Royales – Dedicated To The One I Love;
Steve Cropper – Dedicated To The One I Love;
Kathleen Edwards – Sidecar;
Ana Egge – Motorcycle;
Rod Stewart – Every Picture Tells A Story;
Neal Casal – I Will Weep No More;
Neal Casal – Let It All Begin;
The Masticators – With A Litte Luck;
The Action Is – My Hero;
Dave Davies – This Man He Weeps Tonight.
Greg Cartwright established himself as one of the most respected rock’n’roll characters in the recent years. His records are consistently great and he took several bands under his wing to help out, produce and write a few songs. At the same time, he continues to put out great music with his own band Reigning Sound. Although I prefer the riotous stomp of their previous album Too Much Guitar, the new album Love and Curses definitely has its charms and as always, takes Greg into new places, a guy who keeps self-developing with every new record.
This show goes to all the gig-goers in Cleveland. I made it inspired by a busy week in which I saw live shows by The Meat Puppets, Ian McLagan, Dinosaur JR and Jack Oblivian. I had to miss Reigning Sound, but from what I hear, it was a great gig. We also have some new stuff. We represent two bands from a new generation of Zagreb rockers. My Buddy Moose, who we know from their self-titled album a few years ago and The Revolts. My Buddy Moose has a new album coming up next year and we hear exclusive tracks from it while they are searching for a publisher. Mike Watt has a new project called Il Sogno Del Marinaio with Italian musicians Stefano Pilia and Andrea Belfi. We also introduce The Revelators for the first time at the Little Lighthouse, although they’ve been around for some time.
J Mascis – A Little Ethnic Song;
The Zombies – Whenever You’re Ready;
Dinosaur Jr. – Whenever You’re Ready;
Reigning Sound – Trash Talk;
Meat Puppets – Look At The Rain;
Jack-O & The Tennessee Tearjerkers – Sweet Thang;
Jack Oblivian – Cigarillo;
Ian McLagan – So Lucky;
Ian Mclagan – Itchycoo Park;
Small Faces – Itchycoo Park;
Telefon – Putovanja;
Nocna Smjena – Vrtlog;
Revolts – Probudi se;
My Buddy Moose – Tonight;
Il Sogno Del Marinaio – Thema one;
Bob Dylan – Positively 4th Street;
Steve Wynn – Positively 4th Street;
The Revelators – Love One Day.