Tav Falco Panther BurnsLore And Testament Vol. 2
Rel: April 21, 2013
The Tav Falco Panther Burns reissue/ remaster-series, Part II.! This one contains the Sugar Ditch Revisited EP (1985) and The Shake Rag EP (1986). Plus a previously unreleased 11-song/45 minute live show from the Messepalast Vienna from 1989. Pristine recording by the ORF!
2 CDs in 12” replica sleeves, the live show is added to the Shake Rag EP. 32 page booklet featuring extensive liner notes by Tav Falco himself. Packaged in a special deluxe wraparound wallet sleeve.
Limited edition 2 x180 gramm heavyweight vinyl. Foldout-cover featuring the original 12”-sleeves. Full colour printed innersleeves featuring extensive liner notes.
Jim Jam GemsVol. 2/This Ain't Hot Compared To Hell
10”-LP (vinyl only)
stag-o-o334Rel: March 15, 2013
Out now on limited edition 10"!!!
Brothers and Sisters, Swing out with Halleluja! We’ve all come together here to hear about good souls in full faith! To hear about sinners confessing their misled ways! To hear about the tellings of the good book, and to hear about beating the devil! So let’s lift your hearts and open your ears, feel the spirit driving into you like the rod of correction, sing, praise, and give the Lord a handclap!
Ten tracks that praise the Lord by Rod Willis, LaVerne Baker, Otta Bash, The Golden Gate Quartet, Dorsey Burnette and others.
Compiled by Stuttgart's own Duke JensOmatic. Buy now or cry later!
Jim Jam GemsVol. 1 – Bad Boy Serenade
10”-LP (vinyl only)
Rel: March 15, 2013
The start of a new series! Both are available as limited edition 10“-es only!
Teenage hoodlums in leather jackets standing on street corners, chewin' gum and eyeing conspiciously every invader on their turf. Tough gals in jeans and tight sweaters struttin' by, answering every wolf call with a dangerous glimmer of the eye and a swing of the hips. Revvin' up the engine of a hopped-up Ford, kissing in back alleys, flashin' a flicknife in the dark – that's the sound of a Bad Boy Serenade.
Ten 50s R&B-smashes by the likes of Larry Williams, Connee Boswell, Tony Casanova, Bobby Lester, Danny Taylor and others...
Compiled by Stuttgart's own Duke JensOmatic. Buy now or cry later!
The Electric Prunes / The Shadows Of KnightAll The King's Horses / I Never Knew
7" (vinyl only)
Rel.: March 15, 2013
Sneak preview from the upcoming Fuzztones tribute album IN FUZZ WE TRUST! The Electric Prunes track features guest appearances by The Pretty Things, Sean Bonniwell (Music Machine) and Arthur Lee (Love). The Shadows Of Knight track features original Fuzztones member Elan Portnoy on guitar.
Limited edition 7” with picture sleeve”!
Beat From BadsvilleTrash Classics From Lux And Ivy’s Vinyl Mountain, Vol. 2
2 x 10" (vinyl only)
Rel.: Feb. 1, 2013
Music is a voyage of strange opportunity. Out there, if you look hard enough, you’ll find crazed visionaries, half deaf creatives, lunatics let loose with whistles, juvenile delinquents with a notepad and pen and people who, quite frankly, have no time for the theory of pop. Thank God! This collection brings together two dozen songs by such people, tunes that don’t fall into any easy categories and give short shrift to the context of “classic” or traditional songwriting. This is the stuff of legend, the beat from Badsville.
In this collection we bring together chickens and party animals of all kinds. There’s Homer Denison Jr’s cautionary tale of teenage car racing that refers directly to James Dean’s movie antics. There’s Mel Smith And The Night Riders’ crazed guitar and cowbell battle on ‘Pretty Plaid Skirt’ sitting neatly alongside the wonderfully named Dicky Doo And The Don’ts rebel-friendly ‘Wild Party’. And, our selection of chickens continues with the seminal ‘Pickin’ On The Wrong Chicken’, a veritable JD gem by The Five Stars and The Jerry Lee-powered ’99 Chicks’ by Ron Haydock And The Boppers, a rollicking rocker that’s preceded by the demented and quite disturbing melody of ‘Baby Brother’ by Bill Carter.
This set also focuses on half a dozen of the tougher ladies. Wanda Jackson, Betty McQuaid and Priscilla Bowman all possess a scary rasp in their vocal, especially McQuaid who sounds like she prepared for the session by gargling some home-distilled hooch. Indeed, they all tell it like it is and stick to their man – perfect! Meanwhile, a further three angry babes get even: The seemingly serene Linda Leigh, whose delivery on ‘My Guy’ has a modern punkiness, offloads some lip curling advice to her other half in squealing brevity, while Bella Lee’s ‘Two Timin’ Man’ lays down the law in front of some pure barrelhouse boogie. Finally, one of the earliest cuts here, 1952’s ‘Drive, Daddy, Drive’ by Little Sylvia has all the swagger of a jive daddy-bating tease.
All of these tunes have been raved over by The Cramps’ legendary Lux and Ivy through various radio shows and interviews over the years. Capturing the excitement that comes from discovering a spine tingling or simply ‘out there’ record, Lux and Ivy have inspired many a generation to dig deep in the crates and uncover all kinds of strange music. While offbeat vocals and bizarre lyrics are par for the course, there’s always plenty of room for deranged instrumentals where possible with sound effects. The Rialtos’ ‘Like Thunder’ delivers the bad weather forecast with a rumbling flurry, The Lifeguards’ utilise the warning whistle and bell to get everyone out of that pool and ‘Red Headed Flea’ by The Caps is full of blood-curdling screams. Johnny And The Hurricanes offer rhythmic electronic organ facing off against sax and twangy guitar with a groaning bass in the background and Terry Snyder’s cut from the cash-in LP set ‘Persuasive Percussion’ features his stylistic bongo playing on an incessant, claustrophobic, mind-bending gem. Even without the sound effects, the instrumental proves to be the backbone of rock ‘n’ roll as Ronnie Ray’s Playboys’ tempered guitar neck-bender ‘The Vulture’, a brooding cross between Link Wray and Duane Eddy, ably proves.
Lux and Ivy’s recommendations have often featured the darker side of doo wop and, this double vinyl collection brings together six cuts from the often overlooked genre. From its heyday in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s, we kick off with The Kuf-Linx’s ‘Service With A Smile’ a soulful nugget complete with a glorious hook, closely followed by the tongue-twisting phrasing of the Quotations’ ‘Imagination’ which is just haunting, even on some of the cornier lines. In doo-wop it seems that there’s always room for a bit of horror exploitation too as The Symbols’ ghoulish ‘Do The Zombie’ and The Revels under-stated ‘Midnight Stroll’ adequately display. But, we’re back to the studio trickery and sound effects for the thunder-heavy ‘Stormy Weather’ by The Five Sharps, a priceless cacophony no less, the direct opposite of the sweet toothed ‘Ice Cream Baby’ The Pearls. A homage to the iced cone, it’s a light piece of frippery with some of the most wince-inducing lines ever, including the comparison of the singer’s girl’s eyes to pistachios. They don’t write them like that any more.
This collection is an exotic trip into the off-kilter world of recordings, many of them independent, which sprang up all over the US during the ‘50s. It’s filled with sounds that will stop you in your tracks and the best news is, there’s so much more out there. Keep digging.
Adolphe Sex Et Ses MachinesMachine EP
7"-EP (vinyl only)
Rel.: Jan. 10, 2013
Adolphe Sex Et Ses Machines is a 7-piece from Charleroi in Belgium. Singer/guitarist Matthew Hardison and drummer Nico Leonard are also heart and soul of The Moon Invaders and The Caroloregians, two of the best active Rock Steady/Boss Reggae bands. If not the best.
But there is no trace of Jamaica in the sound of Adolphe Sex, this is pure Rhythm & Blues raunch with four covers on offer - two wild Tittyshakers by the legendary Northwest rockers The Wailers as well as Torture Rock by The Rockin Belmarx! Also featured are sleazy rockers by Sam McLain (Baby Come Home) and a awesome take on the Burnt Toast & Black Coffee classic – known from the likes of Shorty Long and Mike Pedicin.
Tav Falco Panther BurnsLive In London
2 x 10" (vinyl only)
Rel.: Nov. 1, 2012
Tav Falco is an American legend. And it is time to acknowledge that. The All Music Guide states the following: „The master of a raw and shambolic fusion of rockabilly, blues, and fractured noise, Tav Falco was, along with The Cramps, one of the earliest purveyors of what would come to be known as psychobilly, and he anticipated the fractured but hard-hitting blues wailing of the Gories and the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion by close to a decade.“
After releasing a handful of classic albums with his band Panther Burns on various labels – most notably Paris-based New Rose Records – Tav's recording career slowly fizzled out and the maestro stranded in Vienna of all places. About three years ago, the new founded Stag-O-Lee label (part of Glitterhouse Records) contacted Tav Falco about properly re-releasing his prized back-catalogue. The man was notorious of being hard to deal with, but Stag-O-Lee encountered a well behaved and educated Southern gentleman and a deal was quickly struck.
2010 saw the release of a new album with fresh original tunes titled „Conjurations: Seance For Deranged Lovers“ which met with great critical acclaim. In 2011 the reissue campaign slowly started with his amazing debut Behind The Magnolia Curtain (plus the Blow Your Tops EP as added bonus) receiving the deluxe treatment it deserved. The Sunday Times had the following to say: "Must have reissue! Today’s rockabilly revivalists such as Imelda May and Kitty, Daisy & Lewis, revere their sources. In the late 1970’s, however, degenerate New Yorkers and track-marked Australians pointed their quiffs at the future and bled post-punk noise over the music’s bones. This collection of Tav Falco’s early recordings finds the fabled Memphis polymath howling off-key over perfectly out-of-sync broken blues from the Panther Burns band, which features Big Star’s Alex Chilton on uncharacteristically sloppy guitar and Jim Sclavunos on drums, later poached by an indebted Nick Cave.“ (Sunday Times)
The second installment of the reissue series is in the works and will follow in early 2013 featuring an unreleased concert from that era as added bonus.
In the meantime Tav Falco Panther Burns started to tour again, playing selected dates around Europe – and recently even toured the fatherland - the United States. In September 2011 Tav Falco Panther Burns travelled to London to perform at the respected 100 Club – a holy grail of live music. The Beh nd The Magnolia Curtain reissue was promoted by playing the album in it's entirety (first set) as well as newer tunes in the 2nd set.
The document of said gig is now being released via Stag-O-Lee as a limited edition double-10“ (vinyl only).
Beat From BadsvilleTrash Classics From Lux And Ivy’s Vinyl Mountain, Vol. 1
2 x 10" (vinyl only)
Rel.: June 11, 2012
Brought up on the radio shows of the legendary rock ‘n’ roll DJs, the moondogging Alan Freed, Mad Daddy and, later, the ghostly Ghoulardi, it was hardly surprising that The Cramps’ Lux Interior and Poison Ivy began trawling the thrift stores for juvenile delinquent tunes, lip curling bad boy rock ‘n’ roll, strange exotica, bizarre novelty 45s, dysfunctional doo wop, psychedelic weirdness and instrumentals made by madmen. In America in the 1950s and 1960s there seemed to be small town versions of such vinyl madness everywhere that, by the 1970s were remaindered and to the majority of people unwanted. To the fledgling Cramps this was nothing short of heaven.
The duo filled their house with novelty memorabilia, schlock horror furniture and a record collection to die for. Lux eventually gravitated to his own Purple Knif Radio show and the Cramps delivered their versions of some of the stuff they’d found, from Ronnie Cook And The Gaylads’ ‘Goo Goo Muck’, to The Novas’ ‘The Crusher’, Lightnin’ Slim’s ‘It’s Mighty Crazy’ and a whole host of others originally hand tooled by The Phantom, Carl Perkins, The Groupies, Hasil Adkins and many more.
The duo name-checked many a 45 along the way and seeking them out and sampling their eccentricities is nothing short of mind blowing. Indeed, in many cases, you have to wonder at what the artists involved were thinking before they went into the studio. Cackling laughs, offbeat plotlines and maniacal lyrics, detuned guitars, coded gibberish and b-movie horror all wrapped up in under three minutes, these are songs from a golden era of DIY music when the rule book of contemporary MOR music was lost down the back of the sofa.
This 24-track collection (compiled by Mojo’s Dave Henderson) positively effervesces with eccentricity. Side one offers half a dozen slabs of lip curling rock ‘n’ roll, from the madcap beginnings of ‘Bongo Beatin’ Beatnik’ through to the teenage rampage of Gene Maltais’ unhinged ‘Gang War’. Side two gives fashion tips, conveys strange love talk, songs where words are meaningless and novelty driving stories, while side three brings guitars from Hades, honking saxophones and rhythmic dance routines for the hard of standing. Finally, we have sounds to make you shriek on side four, with scorpions, witches and nightmares all on offer plus probably one of the oddest 45s ever in ‘The Cave’.
Every track pirouettes dangerously and at times hap hazardly around the expected. These are songs for strange times by what can definitely be considered strange people. Gems and nuggets that sparkle even more bright in today’s manufactured music maelstrom.
The ExcellosThe Excellos
Rel.: Nov. 05, 2011
This is possibly the hottest piece of vinyl around! Eight tracks taken from their debut CD on a shiny piece of 10“-vinyl. Based in London, The Excellos are one of the hottest (if not the hottest) Rhythm & Blues acts around. Think of sped up Slim Harpo tracks chased by straight John Lee Hooker boogie! Hot`n´Nasty! Limited to 500 copies only. ... and sold out already.
The ObsidiansBlack Veil/Shakin' It Up
Rel.: Oct. 28, 2011
Get a taste of this! It's obscure late 50’s, early 60’s frat-style garage rock & roll with a big apprehension for rhythm & blues and soul. Featuring the final LOS RAW MEAT band line-up, the big voice of ELLA - of NIGHTSHOUTERS & ROOSTERS fame - plus the real Linus LaLonde means that this gang knows how to shake things up. So, clap your hands and squeal with glee! Baby, it's about to get wild. 500 copies only!
The FuzztonesMonster A Go Go
Rel.: Oct. 25, 2011
The Fuzztones have certainly achieved legendary status as cult faves during their 30 year career. Their fiery brand of Garage-Psych Punk pre-dated the entire “Garage Revival” of the 1980’s and has influenced hundreds of groups, from The Hives to The Horrors. Born in the summer of 1980 in the bowels of NYC’s Lower East Side, The Fuzztones were soon regulars at legendary NYC hotspots such as CBGB, and the Mudd Club.
By utilizing the fuzzbox (an antiquated effects pedal used by many 60’s groups to achieve overly distorted “psychedelic” guitar sounds), the band created a raunchy sound they referred to as “Grunge”… (on their 1984 debut single, “Bad News Travels Fast”, lead guitarist Elan Portnoy is credited as playing “lead grunge”, at least a decade before the Seattle Grunge Invasion), and the band was nicknamed “The Gurus Of Garage Grunge”.
By 1991 the band was riding high (20 years later they still are). A decade into their career they released a bunch of great records on various labels, but also had a deal with Indie-giant Beggar’s Banquet. Monster A-Go-Go – the record in question - was released on Skyclad subsidiary Screamin’ Skull in 1991. Around this time of the year, I might add, because it is a very special kind of release - a collection of 60s-type Monster and Halloween songs.
Subtitled 14 Spook-Adelic Halloween Classics! the band tackled a few of their spooky favourites like The Witch (The Sonics), Jack The Ripper (Screamin‘ Lord Sutch), D.O.A. (Bloodrock), She’s my Witch (Kip Tyler) or Roky Erickson’s masterpiece Night Of The Vampire for your ghoulish pleasure. So get your share of evil garage vibes NOW!
Monster A-Go-Go was deleted for more than a decade and is now reissued on the mighty Stag-O-Lee label in a nice and dandy digipak.
Tav Falco & Panther BurnsBehind The Magnolia Curtain/Blow Your Top
Rel.: Oct. 14, 2011
„Today’s rockabilly revivalists, such as Imelda May and Kitty, Daisy & Lewis, revere their sources. In the late 1970’s, however, degenerate New Yorkers and track-marked Australians pointed their quiffs at the future and bled post-punk noise over the music’s bones. This collection of Tav Falco’s early recordings finds the fabled Memphis polymath howling off-key over perfectly broken blues from the Panther Burns band, which features Big Star’s Alex Chilton on uncharacteristically sloppy guitar and Jim Sclavunos on drums, later poached by an indebted Nick Cave.“ ("Must-have reissue". Sunday Times)
30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition of groundbreaking debut album with the Blow Your Top follow-up EP as aded bonus. This is hot, pretty baby, and the first installment of an ongoing Tav falco reissue series!
Double-CD in wallet sleeve contains two individual discs in vinyl replica covers plus a 24 page booklet containing memorabilia and three essays on the mighty Panther Burns.
Double vinyl comes on 2 x 180 Gramm vinyl, packaged in a gatefold-cover and printed inner sleeves with all the info, photos and essays of the CD booklet. Severely limited!
Stomp On It!A Stag-O-Lee Shakedown/Various Artists
Rel.: March 15, 2011
A budget priced compilation featuring tracks from the Stag-stable. Comes in a digipak and features album-cuts, 7"-b-sides and exclusive tracks - 9 out of 17 are rare or exclusive. Only available via the Glitterhouse mailorder and selected shops throughout Europe.
Miraculous MuleMiraculous Mule
Rel.: March 18, 2011
Miraculous Mule has been whipping audiences into a frenzy since forming in the latter part of 2010. The band features former Dream City Film Club front-man and solo artist Michael J Sheehy, who describes Miraculous Mule as "...a group of Anglo-Irish honkys who dig African-American Gospel, prison/work songs and Hillbilly music.”
They are a four piece with three lead singers; Sheehy, Alex Louise Petty (who has previously sung with Bronzerat artist Gemma Ray), and Patrick McCarthy (Sheehy's brother and longtime collaborator), who also plays the bass and, along with drummer Ian Burns, provides a driving rhythm section. Sheehy says. "We may be lapsed Catholics, agnostics and non-believers who have all stumbled into Hell's ditch, but we sincerely believe in the redemptive power of this music and how it makes us and our audiences feel. Our only mission is to move you!"
Their self-titled debut mini-album is a rich mix of reinterpretations, such as 'Prettiest Train' and 'No More My Lord', which they have adapted from Alan Lomax's field recordings; traditional Gospel songs, 'I Know I've Been Changed' and 'Run On' ; a vicious reworking of Chuck Berry's 'Downbound Train' , and a spine-tingling funky version of traditional folk song 'Wayfaring Stranger'.
Sonically the songs range from stripped down acapella to lengthy Hendrix-esque psychedelic wig outs. "We didn't think too hard about which songs to play or how to play them. This band runs on instinct, if it feels right we'll do it." Sheehy says. "We're not purists on a fruitless search for authenticity; merely copying the songs would be pointless. It's important to us to impress our own style upon them." The band's journey through these songs has led them to write original material which will be available on their second mini album due out later this year.
Their 6-song/26-minute debut is available only on beautiful and very limited 10 inch vinyl! It is preceded by a download only double-a-side single of Wayfaring Stranger/Run On.
The FuzztonesPreaching To The Perverted
LP / CD
Rel.: Feb 11, 2011
It's probably not the wisest decision, commercially, for a band that's been relevant for over 30 years, to stray from the tried-and-true form that has helped them maintain their fanbase.
Yet that is just what The Fuzztones have done with their newest release, Preaching To The Perverted, The Fuzztones are globally recognized as the progenitors of the Garage Rock movement, and could easily continue retreading the same ground for many years to come, but they continually choose to push the envelope. Their last album, Horny As Hell, for instance, introduced a prominent horn section, black female background vocals and a hammond organ, adding a deep Soul element to their patented Garage-Grunge. While Preaching To The Perverted continues to explore the realm of Garage Psych - and adventurously engulfs every sub genre within (Psychedelic Soul, Garage Blues, Folk Rock, Psychedelic Lounge, et al), it dares to go beyond musical proficiency and experimentation.
This album contains a message - a wake-up call to the "perverted." One look at the cryptic cover art and it's immediately obvious that it's not sex that the 'Tones are referring to. Lyrically, the songs (all original compositions) address many political and social issues with music that drives the message home with the urgency required. Yet while Preaching To The Perverted is, by far, The Fuzztones most mature offering, it still maintains reverence to the Garage sound the band helped to re-introduce in the 80's. Possibly the most important album the genre has ever produced.
Cut In The Hill GangMean Black Cat
LP / CD
Rel.: Oct. 25, 2010
Second full length by Cincinnati, Ohio based outfit fronted by ex-Soledad Brothers leader Johnny Walker (vocals, harmonica, guitar, bass). Just prior to these sessions the core trio of Walker, Lance Kaufman (vocals, drums) and Reuben Glaser (guitar, vocals) added a fourth member to the line-up: John Wesley (keyboards, vocals), in real life the gravel-voiced/keyboard-playing main attraction in The Black Diamond Heavies. Wesley was present on all recording sessions and will tour with the band in November.
When Cut In The Hill Gang released their Hats Off Boogie 7” (on Stag-O-Lee, of course) in spring 2010 it was a tribute to all their favorite bluesmen – from John Lee Hooker to Dr. Ross. A new longplayer needed to be recorded and the original idea was to re-record Hats Off Boogie, write a couple of new originals and cover at least 50 % of blues tunes – shredded Cut In The Hill gang-style of course. And instead of the sprawling 18 song Hung Up/Cut Down debut album the Stag-O-Lee head honcho demanded a concise 40-minute kick in the teeth, kinda like early Stooges backing a Benzedrine-damaged Howlin’ Wolf.
In the end Mean Black Cat (a track that was recorded, but is not on the album) is 20 seconds over time. And an all covers record. And still the kick in the teeth Stag-O-Lee asked for.
1) Dont Ever Leave Your Daddy At Home (Frank Frost)
2) Help Me (Traditional/Lula Collins)
3) Please Give Somethin’ (Bill Allen)
4) I Wanna Holler (Gary US Bonds)
5) Let’s Get Funky/Black To Comm (Hound Dog Taylor/MC5)
6) Serves Me Right To Suffer (Hooker)
7) Come On Home (Louis "Blues Boy" Jones)
8) The Right To Love You (James T Shaw Aka The Mighty Hannibal)
9) Fuck The People/Revolution (Kills/Spacemen 3)
10) Promise Me (Jeffrey Lee Pierce)
Tokyo Sex DestructionThe Neighbourhood
Rel.: Oct. 25, 2010
Tokyo Sex Destruction is a four-piece from Barcelona with a sound that is universal. On the map since 2003 they banged out three records in the first three years of their existence. Those discs were regularly compared to The Hives and (International) Noise Conspiracy.
And now The Neighbourhood – a new album after a four year break in recording! In the meantime they played 150 gigs per year from San Francisco to Moscow, broke in a new bassplayer (who looks like the prez of the Pyreneean Taliban-chapter) and finetuned their sound. Which by now is a potent brew of rock-channeled soul, with characteristic handclaps, hammond organs, a horn section and catchy choruses sprinkled with "Hey Hey Heys" and "Yeah Yeah Yeahs"!
With The Neighbourhood, Tokyo Sex Destruction reinvent themselves showing maturity and diversity. They have moved beyond their direct MC5/ Sonics dichotomy, although all four of them still use the surname Sinclair, in honor of the MC5-manager and White Panther Party leader John Sinclair.
For the Stag-O-Lee version of The Neighbourhood Tokyo Sex Destruction recorded three additional studio songs in June 2010.
Diplomats Of Solid SoundHip Drop/I'm Blue (The Gong-Gong Song)
Rel.: Oct. 25, 2010
Based in Iowa City this 7-piece band started as an instrumental ensemble that released two album. For album #3 they added three female singers to the line-up (The Diplomettes) which was released on italian label Record Kicks. The same line-up (almost, one singer left, leaving two) recorded What Comes Around Goes Around), their full-length masterpiece that is being released simultaneously with the Stag-O-Lee 45.
But both these tracks won't be featured on the new album, as they are exclusives to this 45. Two cover version, Hip Drop is a funky little thing written by New orleans legend Eddie Bo and performed by The Explosions. On the flipside there is the great rhythm & blues dancer I'm Blue (The Gong-Gong Song) that was a hit for The Ikettes and of course written by Ike Turner.
Tav Falco & Panther BurnsConjurations: Séance For Deranged Lovers
Rel.: June 6, 2010
Author Robert Gordon included a sizeable segment about Tav Falco and the beginnings of his group Panther Burns in his acclaimed book on Memphis music, It Came From Memphis. Falco has formed a legendary reputation nationally and internationally over the past three decades since the formation of Tav Falco’s Panther Burns, releasing dozens of recordings, produced by the comrades, Jim Dickinson, and Perry Michael Allen of Hi Records
Tav Falco first felt the twinges of musical inspiration growing up in rural Arkansas, where he was drawn to the rustic blues and jazz forms that abounded in the Mississippi Delta area. While working as a brakeman on the Missouri Pacific railroad, Falco would hop rides into Memphis -- where “music was just in the air,” He remembers hearing 1st generation country blues artists like Sleepy John Estes, Bukka White, Furry Lewis, Fred McDowell and Houston Stackhouse.
Falco later moved to Memphis, where he crafted avant-garde video documentaries of local musicians for the experimental TeleVista group. Around that time, he joined Jim Dickinson’s offbeat band Mud Boy & The Neutrons as a performance artist. “We would do these alternative theatrical art actions within the context of rock’n’roll shows," he recalls. “We were being hoisted up in harnesses and slung out over the audience and re-enacting scenes from William Burroughs involving shipwrecks, finger amputations and onstage explosions.”
Mud Boy eventually disbanded, but their free-for-all at Memphis’ Orpheum Theater would be Falco’s dramatic entry into the world of music making. Falco arrived with his battered Silvertone guitar (purchased from a neighbor for five dollars) on which he’d learned an odd, drone style from then obscure honky-tonk bluesman R.L. Burnside, and, between sets, he took the stage. “I was in evening clothes -- frock coat and tails, white tie and gloves -- and I had a chainsaw and an electric Skilsaw set up on two tables,” he remembers. He emerged alone, plugged in his guitar and launched into a gratingly distorted read of the old Leadbelly tune “Bourgeois Blues.” At the song’s frenzied climax, “I put the guitar down between the two tables, took the Skilsaw and ripped through it with that saw. People started screaming because it sounded like this industrial metal clanging-smashing- ripping sound, like a derailed freight train … and it was driving them crazy. Then I took out the chainsaw and finished the guitar off. The sound was horrendous and people were going completely hysterical in the audience. Then I passed out onstage and they had to drag me off. That was my first performance.”
Alex Chilton witnessed the mayhem, tracked Falco down and told him that a spiritual feeling had overtaken him during Falco’s performance. He encouraged Falco to start his own band, of which he would become a founding member and eventually produce. Taking the band’s name from a bit of local legend, the brutal slaying by fire of a panther that had terrorized a Mississippi plantation around the turn of the century, Falco found in Panther Burns an ideal conduit for “stirring up the dark waters of the unconscious and getting away from this sort of bourgeois realism that we all know.”
Playing in the Memphis cotton lofts -- wood-lined structures Falco likens to a guitar sounding box -- Panther Burns developed their own tone science and gut-bucket approach to fusing seemingly disparate musical forms. The unbridled Panther Burns shows, which often featured guests like rockabilly legend Charlie Feathers, became monumental, renegade events. Ever-committed to preserving indigenous music and furthering new and daring expression, in 1985 Falco and the Panther Burns founded Counter Fest, an annual festival showcasing the best and the worst of the Memphis arts underground. The band had quickly become a favorite in New York City, as well, where No Wave was emerging at the time. “All these bands were into this very ultra-cool bag and Panther Burns came in from Memphis with this really hot, incendiary music and we were accepted right away,” Falco remembers. “People really liked us because we represented that little pocket of antithesis.” Rough Trade Records enthused over the band, too, and released debut album Behind The Magnolia Curtain in 1981.
Twelve LP/EP releases and countless globe-trotting tours later, Falco moved to Europe, where he found his most embracing audiences, settling for a time in Vienna, and now in Paris. Though he sees some parallels between the river cities of Memphis and Vienna and Paris. The dramatic flair of his music has transmuted into film, landing Falco in moviemaking. In addition to his own expressionistic films, Falco appeared with Winona Ryder in the dubious 1989 Jerry Lee Lewis bio-flick Great Balls Of Fire and in 1993 portrayed the leader of a biker gang in the award-winning rock’n’roll road movie Highway 61, riding his own vintage Norton motorcycle.
Falco’s interest in Latin sounds has evolved into a devotion to tango-music, dance and lore -- which enjoys a certain popularity in Europe. Falco has become a tango dancer himself, regularly gliding in baroque ballrooms of Vienna’s many palaces and in the milongas of Paris and Buenos Aires. Falco describes tango’s intense allure: “Only with blues from the American South, a form with which tango shares certain thematic and tonal parallels, have I seen people moved with such dark power.”
Tango’s profound influence is evident in Falco’s albums, as woven through the Shadow Dancer record’s songs of unrequited love, betrayal, and lost causes. “It’s impossible to have any understanding of the future -- or to be in touch with the immediate present -- without having firsthand knowledge of the early musical forms and myths,” Falco says. “With Panther Burns, we call up the early myths and reach people on an orphic level.” As The New York Times has declared of unorthodox preservationist Falco, “(He is) a singer, guitarist and researcher of musical arcane who hasn’t let his increasingly technical expertise and idiomatic mastery compromise the clarity of his vision.”
Falco continues to perform with Panther Burns, appearing as a headliner at events like the Orange Evolution Festival in Newcastle, England,; also appearing in the It Came From Memphis series at The Barbican Centre in London in 2005. Falco’s films were also showcased in a “concert & flicks” event at Couvent des Ursulines in 2005. He recently appeared in By the Ways, a documentary film about color photographer William Eggleston, screened in 2005 at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts, and a retrospective of his films was shown on April 21, 2006 at the prestigious La Cinémathèque Française. On October 20, 2006, Tav Falco & Panther Burns appeared on the Arthur Magazine, ArthurNIGHTS festival at the historic Palace Theatre in Los Angeles, and a delivered a command performance in 2007 at the Fondation Cartier in Paris, plus in 2008 headlining the Strade Blu Festival in Tredozio, Italy, and in 2009 the Alternatilla Festival in Mallorca, Spain, and the Barreiro Rocks Festival in Lisbon.
The album, CONJURATIONS: Séance for Deranged Lovers – just recorded in a secret studio in Saint Germain-des-Prés in Paris – is the definitive masterpiece of the Panther Burns. Refining the themes explored by the group over their career, the new record composed of all original songs, consummates Falco’s vision with a particularly poetic, yet turbulent thrust. His exceptional voice, described by one journalist, as sounding like Marlene Dietrich under torture, evokes the phenomenal fires of the Panther Burns and is supported by the rock solid line-up cast of players devoted to the band over the past decade: Giovana Pirrorno – drums: Grégoire Cat – guitar; Laurent Lanouzière, bass. Guests on the album include Bertrand Burgalat on harpsichord, and Olivier Manoury playing bandoneon.
The Fabulous PenetratorsWith Love
Rel.: May 6, 2010 (June 6/UK)
A fearsome mix of sweat, glitter and ear rupturing rock'n'roll, East London based international five-piece The Fabulous Penetrators formed in late 2006 from the ashes of their 50's vaudevillian act, Paloma and The Penetrators. April 2010 sees the release of their long-awaited debut album 'With Love', finally bringing a touch of their live energy onto plastic.
A contrary concoction of post-modern attitude and honest rock’n’roll is at the core of their live performance - Leigh Bowery meets Captain Beefheart at first glance. Yet direct in the influences from the speakers - The Sonics, Sam & Dave, The Cramps, Little Richard, ZZ Top with the stage stylings of early Roxy Music. They are far away from any commercial establishment out there right now, shunning indie dullards for the fearsome blues and sleazy swagger of the 50s and 60s.
While frontman Liam Casey may spend more time searching for weird and wonderful stage costumes than on intelligible lyrics, his rhythmic, scowling delivery is the perfect match for the psycho blues riffs laid down. Add to this a penchant for extreme eye make-up, gorilla suits and mariachi outfits, he is the definitive front man who wants to be seen.
Vocal duties are shared with Parisian bassist Clement C-Coulom and guitarist Steve Lowe, with former guitarist John Robinson fronting two songs on the album. Clement’s vocal on 'Catching Up On Me' or 'Charlie' reveals his love of all things Little Richard, with whoops that would make the Georgia Peach proud. Guitarists Crispin Weir and Lowe's greaser haircuts maybe similar, but Crispin’s lightning-fast, vibrato-enriched style is more legendary blues man Lonnie Mack to Steve’s Fred Sonic Smith (MC5). This leaves Portuguese João Felizardo who beats skins like the ultimate heavy metal drummer, Dave Lombardo (Slayer) as well as providing backing vocals, unlike Dave Lombardo.
The Penetrators work hard to ensure every show an event in itself. They run their own night, Saturday Night Beaver at venues such as The Bethnal Green Workingmen’s Club, Notting Hill Arts Club and The Macbeth. Since 2006 it has packed these venues with people eager to escape London’s less inspiring live scene. It was in fact a trip to Saturday Night Beaver that resulted in their being snapped up by their eventual recording home Stag-O-Lee Records, part of Glitterhouse. Other live highlights include New Years Eve 2008 where they played 4 shows in 4 corners of London. Their 2009 tour of Spain ended playing at a brothel. Seeing The Fabulous Penetrators billed at the home of prostitutes apparently amused the promoter.
Festivals welcome them with open arms: Glastonbury, Electric Picnic, Standon Calling and Shambala are already under their belts. At Glastonbury 2007, their 4am show was the “lustiest set of the festival” according to The Guardian’s report. And to show this was no fluke, in 2008 the Guardian, again, included an interview with the band in their G2 review - the only unsigned band to feature. Their four performances at Standon Calling, are now very much a part of Britain’s best boutique festival.
Their sound was described by Rough Trade as “pure psych-garage, 1960's shing-a-ling explosion with the raw sex of The Sonics, growling gruffness of Howlin' Wolf and dress-spinning twists of what is simply the best party soundtrack since 1968.” Highlights from their self-produced album include debut single, 'The Hump', a primitive blues pounder, follow up 'Send In The Clones' with its Ian Dury like take on a true garage riff, and the driving beat of 'Catching Up On Me'.
Cut In The Hill GangHats Off Boogie / Road Runner
Rel.: March 8, 2010
Hot on the heels of their Cut Down longplay debut the Kentucky based three piece led by ex-Soledad Brothers frontman Johnny Walker delivers two heavy punches. Kinda like The Stooges backing Howlin' Wolf. The a-side pays homage to their favorite bluesmen, while they give us a storming cover of Bo Diddley's Road Runner ("The girls love it. Trust me!" Johnny Walker) on the flip. Both tracks are non LP and freshly laid down on tape.
The Fabulous PenetratorsSend In The Clones / Down On Your Luck
Rel.: Oct. 30, 2009
The Fabulous Penetrators are set to release their second Stag-O-Lee single. Released on limited seven inch vinyl it features live favourite 'Send In The Clones' and is a taste of what to expect from their debut album 'With Love' which is set for release early 2009. The b-side 'Down On Your Luck' is an exclusive!
Formed in East London in 2006, the 5 members of The Fabulous Penetrators, from 5 different countries have emerged as one of the most exciting bands on the London rock’n’roll scene. Combining ultra-tight, delightfully unhinged live performances and a tough power-punk garage sound, The Penetrators come across as a glittered mix of Captain Beefheart, The New York Dolls, and late Vegas-era, scary Elvis.
“This is a pure psych-garage, 1960's shing-a-ling explosion with the raw sex of The Sonics, growling gruffness of Howlin' Wolf and dress-spinning twists of what is simply the best party soundtrack since 1968.” (Base Ad Magazine)
Bobby Franklin’s InsanityBring It On Down To Me (Pt 1+2)
Rel.: Oct. 30, 2009
A Stag-O-Lee Reissue! Bobby Franklin was born in Birmingham Alabama, and grew up on Parkside in Detroit Michigan, during the Motown, Motor City Blues, and Detroit Jazz era when music and cars ruled supreme. After a stint in the Navy Franklin started a band called Bobby Franklin's Insanity with a group of guys he grew up with: John Hopkins, Hubert Crawford, Mike Anthony and Michael Gray.
In the spring of 1969 Bobby Franklin's Insanity went to Chicago and met Curtis Mayfield and Eddie Thomas (his manager and partner), signed a contract with Mayfield’s Curtom Records, and Curtis Mayfield produced the debut single, 'Bring It On Down To Me'. Arguably the hardest funk single to appear in the Curtom, 'Bring It On Down To Me' is all guitar rips and handclaps plus Franklin's rough, bluesy vocals.
After its 1969 release on Curtom’s sub-label Thomas, the record was under promoted, under exploited, and had a very small amount of promotion. It subsequently sunk like a stone. However, the ultra-rare original 7” has since been re-appraised by cratediggers and funkateers worldwide.
The Death LettersThe Death Letters
Rel.: Oct. 30, 2009
The Death Letters are a Dutch two-piece band from the city of Dordrecht consisting of Victor (17 years old, playing drums) and Duende (18, guitar/vocals). The band offers an overwhelming mixture of Rock with mainly Punk and Blues influences but their music also consists of elements from Hard Rock, Pop and Country. Influences come from acts as diverse as The Black Keys, The Datsuns, John Lee Hooker, Son House, Hank Williams and John Frusciante to name just a few.
They started practising in 2006 and three years later released their self-titled debut.
Tav Falco & Panther Burns
Administrator Blues / Real Cool Trash
Rel.: May 4, 2009
"The master of a raw and shambolic fusion of rockabilly, blues, and fractured noise, Tav Falco was, along with the Cramps, one of the earliest purveyors of what would come to be known as psychobilly (though his version of the sound lacked the campy horror movie ambience others brought to it), and he anticipated the fractured but hard-hitting blueswailing of the Gories and the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion by close to a decade.”, says the All Music Guide about Tav Falco & Panther Burns, a true Memphis legend.
Well, he signed to Stag-O-Lee and we`re going to re-release his first five albums deluxe-style as well as a brand new studio album called Conjurations (May 2010). The Ambassador Blues is taken from said album, the rumbustios 5+ minute b-side Real Cool Time is exclusive to this 7”.
Big John BatesBangtown
Rel.: May 4, 2009
3-piece from Vancouver with a wyld live show featuring two burlesque dancers. Active since 2001 Bangtown is their 5th album.
From the very first notes of "Fill Your Tank," this band lets you know that you are in for a high-octane musical experience. OK, but what does that really mean, you ask. Well, you've got Bates, who plays guitar parts that border punkabilly and blues. Then there is the driving rhythm section of sCare-oline on the doghouse bass and JT Brander on drums. Add backing vocals by Jenn Chycoski and Little Miss Risk in a cabaret style. Now blend all those parts in some very uptempo tunes and what you have is a general overview of Bangtown.
Vinyl on Stag-O-Lee (CD out at Rookie Records) with bonus tracks and fold-out cover.
The Death LettersSchizophrenic / Is It Love That I Felt?
Rel.: May 4, 2009
Very young Dutch two-piece with their debut 45. Just manic guitar and thundering drums, Schizophrenic is a Smells Like Teen Spirit-like anthem for 2010. The B-side is not on the CD-version of the album.
Cut In The Hill GangCut Down
Rel.: Feb. 26, 2009
The US trio breathes new life into the old Garagerock corpse. Johnny Walker (ex-Soledad Brothers) and his cohorts present the CD version of their vinyl debut. 5 songs from the Hung Up LP are substituted by 6 new ones, plus the 7"-b-side Sugar Never Tasted So Good.
Roll Your MoneymakerEarly Black Rock’n’Roll 1948-1958/Various Artists
Rel.: Jan. 10, 2009
Long before Elvis, many black Blues Gospel and Jazz artists had laid the cornerstone for the musical revolution that would shatter the western world - Rock'n'Roll. Much less known than their white imitators, nonetheless they produced the grittier originals - they combined the archaic drive of the Blues with Country melodies and the feverish beat of black Gospel, and pepped up African rhythms with electric amplification in order to please their audience's hunger for new thrills.
Besides well-known names like Chuck Berry, Howlin' Wolf or Bo Diddley, the compilation "Roll Your Moneymaker" also honours many unjustly overseen Rock'n Roll pioneers: from gospel singer Rosetta Tharpe to Johnny Guitar Watson, from Ike Turner's early rockabilly blueprints to the doo-wop-rock of Ruth Brown, alongside dazzling musicians as Magic Slim, Andre Williams, Big Maybelle, Rufus Thomas, Lazy Lester, Etta James and Jesse Stone.
01. Ike Turner's Kings Of Rhythm - You've Got To Lose
02. Howlin' Wolf - You Gonna Wreck My Life
03. Etta James - W.O.M.A.N.
04. Sharkey Jake - Roll Your Moneymaker
05. Lazy Lester - Sugar Coated Love
06. Rufus Thomas - Tiger Man
07. John J. Moses - Night Out
08. Andre Williams - I'm Going Down To Tijuana
09. Ruth Brown - Please Don't Freeze
10. Bill Davis Trio - Bring The Money In
11. Big Maybelle - Don't Leave Poor Me
12. Johnny "Guitar" Watson - Space Guitar
13. Ike Turner - She Made My Blood Run Cold
14. Slim Harpo - I Got Love If You Want It
15. Otis Rush - Keep On Loving Me Baby
16. Sister Rosetta Tharpe - Jericho
17. Billy The Kid Emerson - If Lovin' Is Believing
18. Bo Diddley - Heart-O-Matic Love
19. Ann Cole & The Suburbans - Got My Mojo Working
20. Magic Sam - 21 Days In Jail
21. Chuck Berry - Deep Feeling
22. Jesse Stone - Crawfish
23. Joe Tex - Pneumonia
24. Junior Parker - Love Me Baby
Cut In The Hill Gang
Rel.: Oct. 23, 2008
Covington, Kentucky. Hung Up is the debut longplayer by Cut In The Hill Gang! The new band of Soledad Brothers leader Johnny Walker delivers a mighty slab of 180 gramm vinyl. Imagine The Stooges and Mudhoney jammin’ with Howlin’ Wolf.
The Detroit CobrasYa Ya Ya (Looking For My Baby) / As Long As I Have You
Rel.: Oct. 23, 2008
Detroit, Michigan. Killer double-A-side 45. Two of the best tracks this amazing band has ever recorded!
The Fabulous PenetratorsThe Hump / Oh My Soul
Rel.: Oct. 23, 2010
London, England. This is a pure psych-garage, 1960's shing-a-ling explosion with the raw sex of The Sonics, growling gruffness of Howlin' Wolf and dress-spinning twists of what is simply the best party soundtrack since 1968.
Cut In The Hill GangJohnny Walker's Quixotic Dream / Sugar Never Tasted So Good
Rel.: Oct. 23, 2008
Johnny Walker is no longer a Soledad Brother by name, but he's still one sick mother by trade. Check him out in his new band... Cut In The Hill Gang. Debut 45 – b-side is a White Stripes cover.
Saint Silas IntercessionAll About The Money / The Fear
Rel.: Oct. 23, 2008
London, England. The McCarthy brothers and their mates offer a dual-fronted tour de force of urban kick-arse garage blues.