san francisco - The I-94 Bar
"3 Cheers to Nothing" arrived in my box unannounced and unasked for. I put it on as I was driving (as I do) and nearly rear-ended a bus.
I can see the children looking behind them with little circles for eyes and big open mouths, horror written all over... and then there was the rest of the drive, complete with sirens (bloody things, they take ages to get rid of), driving on the wrong side of the footpath, and a few dents on the roof (bloody cyclists).
You should be familiar with her record company: they declare they stock "Music to Ruin any Party" (they don't, the only parties they'd ruin would be political ones), Voodoo Rhythm (the folk who bring you Bob Log III, Dead Brothers, Delaney Davidson, Pierre Omer, The Pussywarmers and (in Europe) Rocket Science) and a host of others... so Voodoo Rhythm have form, as they say of old lags, and fine, fine taste.
Thirty-one years after they last graced a stage in Spain, US powerpop supremos the Flamin Groovies are out on the road again. Mid-period vocalist-guitarist Chris Wilson is back in the fold, teaming with originals Cyril Jordan (guitar-vocals) and George Alexander (bass.) One of the catalysts behind the regrouping is the Dig It Up! travelling festival in Australia, curated by fans and friends the Hoodoo Gurus.
This is one of those “lost album” stories. It’s about a record - no, three vinyl LPs of recordings - by an obscure San Franciscan band that existed in the 1960s and ‘70s - and its body of work that was built, buried and all but forgotten for 40 years.
This is a time capsule of a band you probably never heard of. Uther Pendragon were as underground as they come. They arose out of the San Francisco Bay Area in 1966, played with the likes of Country Joe & The Fish and won local prominence. They recorded extensively for the next 10 years but didn’t release a thing. That's nada. Zilch.
They took on half a dozen different names and morphed from folkish rock into psychedelia and hard rock. They lived communally and played in an occult rock opera. The polar opposite of “Jesus Christ Superstar”, which threw a career lifeline to a gaggle of Aussie rock stars in the ‘70s.
Curse of the Easily Amused – The Mutants (Liberation Hall)
The Art Punk genre is a mixed bag. Throw in a New Wave descriptor and the name can refer to anything, really. So if you’re confused approaching this retrospective collection by a late ‘70s San Francisco band, be not alone.
At last count there were enough bands using the name The Mutants to fill a large tour bus. As well as Art Lyzak's ‘70s Hamtramck, Detroit, outfit with Bootsey X, there was a Pink Fairies-inspired Merseyside, UK, combo and a 2000s supergroup featuring Rat Scabies.There’s even an instrumental Finnish band, so there’s been a whole lotta mutating goin’ on.
These West Coast Mutants sprang from the same diverse scene that had already spawned Flipper, the Nuns and the Avengers but took a more artful approach inspired by the trash films of John Waters and the vibe of Andy Warhol’sFactory crew. Which doesn’t mean they sound anything like the Velvets.
Gonna Rock Tonight: A Tribute To Roy Loney
The Chapel, San Francisco, USA
Friday, February 21, 2020
Roy Loney’s passing on December 13, 2019 was a very sad day for the music and arts community. He last appeared on stage May 29th, 2019 at the the second warm up show for the Flamin’ Groovies' "Teenage Head" European tour. Always the trooper, Roy continued to perform live despite his declining health. Sadly Roy was forced to pull out of the tour after collapsing at San Francisco Airport.
"Gonna Rock Tonight: A Tribute To Roy Loney" brought together many of the musicians he’d worked with, musical friends and fans for a night to remember Roy.