Paradise of Bachelors to reissue Terry Allen’s classics, Juarez and Lubbock (On Everything)!

I prefer to view Terry Allen’s 1975 debut, Juarez, as more a literary musical tour of the underbelly of border town existence as seen through the intersection of two couples, than, as it is often referred to, a concept album, which in Pop/Rock terms typically denotes varying levels of artistic pretense. In fact Juarez seems so refreshingly free of pretense, as to sucker you into it’s world, much like a particularly well storied drunk at a cheap bar might, and you don’t know if you’re gonna get rolled, arrested, or escape with a new found wisdom by the end of it. Funny thing is, the stories are so compelling that even aware of this you’re in it for the ride, consequences be damned.

It would be four years before Allen issued his 2LP follow, Lubbock (On Everything), and though neither record sold well, those that heard them (among those being Lucinda Williams, Little Feat, Sturgill Simpson, Don Everly, Doug Sahm, Guy Clark, Bobby Bare, Jason Isbell, and David Byrne, with whom he would collaborate on the soundtrack for True Stories ) became disciples, spreading the gospel of Allen’s unique vision. Thank the good folks at Paradise of Bachelors for putting these back in print, where they can only influence songwriting for the better. Also, these reissues look so nice, that even though I’m fortunate enough to own originals, I’ll be picking them up.

From Paradise of Bachelors website promo:

“As described in one of the periodic narrative “dialogue” interludes spoken by Allen, Juarez recounts a deceptively “simple story”: a bleak journey, told in nonlinear terms, from Southern California through Colorado and into the Texas-Mexico borderlands. Like many cross-country road trips, it’s as harrowing as it is humorous, often within the margins of a single song or even an isolated line. The action revolves around two couples and their fateful—or arbitrary—murderous meeting in Cortez, Colorado. Sailor, on leave from the Navy, meets Spanish Alice, a prostitute, in a Tijuana bar; they get married and honeymoon in a mountain trailer park in Cortez. Meanwhile, on a crime spree detour, pachuco antihero Jabo and the witchy “rock-writer” Chic Blundie drive North from L.A. to Cortez on their way South to Jabo’s hometown of Ciudad Juarez (until recently the homicide capital of the world). Only one couple emerges from the bloody trailer, escaping across the New Mexican desert to Juarez, where they part, assuming (or absorbing?) new identities.”

Terry Allen: Juarez (PoB-26)

 

 

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Song of The Day: Lee Hazlewood – The Night Before

Definitely not to be confused with a Christmas Eve song. One of my favorites from the master. “I see those empty whiskey bottles, and records scattered on the florrr-orrr-orrr”

 

$25 today only at Light In The Attic: Lee Hazlewood 11 (!) 7″ box set, You Turned My Head Around: Lee Hazlewood Industries 1967-1970

Save $19 on Light In The Attic’s collection of LHI Records singles, featuring Lee Hazlewood produced rarities from The Kitchen Cinq, Honey Ltd, Hamilton Streetcar, Ann Margret, 2 Lee 45s, and more. A helluva deal for the Hazlewood fan.

http://lightintheattic.net/releases/768-you-turned-my-head-around-lee-hazlewood-industries-1967-1970

It’s Gene Clark’s birthday

Absolutely one of the greatest American songwriters ever.

 

 

Happy birthday to the Queen of Country Mod style, Jeannie C Riley

The higher the hair, the closer to god.

Happy birthday to the Cajun Valentino, Jo-El Sonnier

These two songs may be the only to fit the term Baroque Cajun Psychedelia, both from Sonnier’s 1969 LP, Cajun Valentino, the third in a trio of albums recorded for the coveted Goldband Records. I couldn’t tell you what the rest of his Goldband discography sounds like, as the records are rare, and oddly, unavailable for streaming on youtube, spotify and all the other likely candidates. In fact, I’m pretty sure these are the only two clips of that era currently streaming online. I used to play these out on my more chill bar crowd DJ nights, and had a few people begin regularly requesting them, which I was only too happy to oblige. Anyway, if anyone’s interested in a copy, there is one currently on discogs for $15 (no, not mine), and it rarely pops up, so plan accordingly.
http://www.discogs.com/sell/release/6727507?ev=rb

It would be six years after the release of this LP before Sonnier released two more singles, and then another four to five before a full length, and seven before the next. Why the lengthy pauses between releases, I have no idea, but after 1987’s Come On Joe, recorded for RCA, Sonnier’s output became much more regular, drifting between the Cajun and Country genres.

It’s The Killer’s birthday

This 1964 Star Club performance is one of my favorite live recordings. Jerry Lee IS on fire, with a band equally aflame, as he puts his trademark stamp and stomp, on a slew of American classics.

Here’s a couple of live clips from the same year as the Star Club date.


The Killer gets totally outta control on this raucous Whole Lotta Shakin’.

and another version, coz Keith Richards is absolutely killin’ it, AND ya got Mick Fleetwood on the beat.

Jerry and Keith sharing vocal duties on Little Queenie

The Killer, his cousin, Mickey Gilley, and Carl Perkins

And more Carl, getting raunchy

And one of my favorite Country killers

Requiem For A Harlequin: David Allan Coe’s 1973 Psychedelic, Proto-Rap, concept album, about the asphalt jungle and civil rights movement

What’s that you say? David Allan Coe preached racial harmony and recorded a Psychedelic Proto-Hip-Hop album? Oh, yes he did, and if it were a wallet pulled from a bag, you could damn well bet that it’s the one that says, “bad motherfucker”.

Requiem For A Harlequin, Coe’s 1973 sophomore release, is a bizarre melange of musical influences, tied together by his socio-political narrative describing the plight of the downtrodden and the impending cultural shift which is “not a war of black and white, but a war of young and old”. His proclamation that he is a “racial radical”, whose “skin is white, eyes are blue, but there’s black blood in my soul”, may come as a surprise, as it did to me, to those familiar with his later “underground” albums, whose racist lyrical content might earn him the sobriquet, “Hillbilly Skrewdriver”. Wishing only to acknowledge, and not disseminate, such recordings any further, I will say that here he sounds earnest when wishing people to “make brotherly love your emphatic slogan”.

For all it’s messages of hope, Requiem paints a bleak picture of the realities of life “as a statistic of the asphalt jungle, where the cesspools of humanity drain”, populated with pimps and pushers, thieves and addicts, and inequality of every stripe, in a world governed by “the dark tales your fathers and grandfathers indoctrinated you with”. In fact, Coe wants to start humanity anew: “Do not conform to society’s rules. Don’t be a puppet no more. Live for tomorrow and forget yesterday”. Lyrically it’s an amalgam of Hippie ideology, and street knowledge akin to a white version of Iceberg Slim, or Lightnin’ Rod, whose legendary albums are considered the antecedents of Hip-Hop , and share much in common with Requiem.

Okay, so you say, “yeah, that sounds interesting lyrically, but what about the music, man?!”. Ah, yes, the music (*smile takes over face). Holy shit, Requiem travels through a bevy of popular contemporary genres (and again, contributes to another yet to be coined), including Blues, Folk, Rock, Gospel, Soul, Funk, even a trippy echoed out flute/organ number (and oddly, no Country, really), and throws in wailing, feedback laden, Psychedelic guitar, for that perfect Exploitation sound. Did you ever think that a David Allan Coe record would be a beat digger’s manna? Probably not, but just listen to him exclaim, “The beating drums, the guitar craze and the new sounds called Soul. Hey! Yeah! Well, alright!”, as that blown out guitar, funky break and groovin’ organ take you straight to Funk nirvana.

What more can I say? This album is just one surprise after another, and at 27 minutes, much too short. Unfortunately, there has never been a reissue, and in my decade plus of searching (and, no, I can’t afford an Ebay copy, on the rare occasion that one surfaces) it remains the only DAC record which I have not stumbled upon. His first record, Penitentiary Blues, released on the same label, SSS, three years prior, is significantly more common. Even if I find someone ditching their David Allan Coellection, the odds of this being in there, are slim at best. Well, until my day comes, I will content myself with the benefits of the digital age, and stream away. I recommend you do the same.

The aforementioned debut also has some monsters, and has been referred to as “Voodoo Blues”, most appropriately for his Screamin’ Jay rip off, Monkey David Wine.