Thursday, December 13, 2012

Angry Johnny And The Killbillies - Bang Bang Baby Bang Bang Merry Christmas - #110

Angry Johnny And The Killbillies - Bang Bang Baby Bang Bang Merry Christmas

If you're looking for a Christmas CD, why not buy the one from Angry Johnny And The Killbillies? This is for all you folks that have sympathy for the weird and strange. Songs like "Christmas Shopping" are among the best in this genre. Mind you, you wouldn't dare playing this stuff when the day comes, with your whole family gathered around your fake rubber tree. I can assure you, that would be the death of the festivities.

But then, since you're reading this, you're a person of great taste and probably don't have a care in the world about what your next of kin is thinking about you. Be my guest, go ahead. You might even throw in "Six Bullets For Christmas" as an encore. Fourteen songs taking the mickey out of of this traditional holiday. Fourteen bitter, cynical and at times funny songs, the like we've heard from Angry Johnny And The Killbillies for about the last fifteen years (and at least twenty CDs).

This is somewhere between singer/songwriter, Rock, Country and whatever you can think of. Catchy tunes and not a boring moment (in fact, all of their releases are highly recommended). Angry Johnny's vocals are a bit like Bob Dylan on Speed, but don't worry, Robert Zimmermann is not among my Top 5000 artists, so even if you don't have a single grain of sympathy for old Bob, this might be to your liking. To buy their CDs, go to, as these days, their albums are hardly sold in regular shops. Last check there, quite a number of CDs are still available, although not everything they've released so far.

And if you're searching the website, there are two compilation CDs (including artwork) that can be downloaded for free. Even though I've bought all their releases over the years, I made the download anyway. This is one of the best bands with almost no profile over the horizon. Let me know what you think of their music.



Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Suzi Quatro - Aggro-phobia - #109

Suzi Quatro - Aggro-phobia

Suzi Quatro? Yes indeed, Suzi Quatro. I'm really having, not an aggro-phobia, but a Suzi-phobia. That is to say, until a couple of years ago. They say, with age comes wisdom. Took a little longer for me to get here. No, really, if you'd have a younger sister who was a fan of some musician back then in the day, you'd be forgiven not to listen to closely. I mean, it took me ages to appreciate Status Quo and these days, I can even deal with the likes of Smokie. But this is now and now says, Suzi Quatro was great.

O.K., she always looked hot in her petite frame and her leather suits. I admit this freely. And can I say, she's looking bloody good all these years later. Not the same, she's certainly aged along with the rest of us, but still ... she must be sixty (or thereabouts). Aggro-phobia is an album I've been trying to buy on vinyl since someone mentioned this as his favourite Suzi Quatro album some years ago (hello Mellow!). But the thing is, original vinyl on the market is mostly in a deplorable state. So, a CD had to do and was bought today during lunch break.

Suzi Quatro's albums are an uneven bunch of releases (mostly to do with her vocals, on some it's excellent and on others she's overdoing her little girl act by a country mile). This here is the "normal" Suzi and the better for it. This is not so much Glam but Rock and, although there are no hits of hers on this album (or maybe because of it), this is indeed a worthwhile bit of music history. There are no gimmicks here, just straight Rock music. I can't say wether this was the prevailing sound in the mid-70's, as I wasn't into this scene, but I believe, it sets itself somehow apart from most of the other releases around that time. Even the covers such as "Heartbreak Hotel" or "Wake Up Little Susie" are well worth listening to.

The new CD (on Cherry Red - GLAM CD 131) packs eight bonus tracks on top of the original ten songs. I don't know wether they have been released somewhere else, but I can say, they've not been pulled from the trash can. And, Mellow, thanks for bringing this to my attention.



Saturday, December 1, 2012

Pogues - In Paris - #108

Pogues - In Paris

I'm a hardcore fan of Dr. Feelgood, Wilko Johnson, Doctor's Order, Alice Cooper, Angry Johnny And The Killbillies and a bunch of others ... and of the Pogues. I've seen them live with Shane drunk and I've seen them live with Shane drunk and ... I've seen them with Joe Strummer. The real deal however, was always the line-up with their erstwhile singer. Not that this is against Joe Strummer, I'm a fan of the Clash and I think Mr. Strummer made some exceptional solo records, but the Pogues were always their truest when it came to Mr. MacGowan taking vocal duties. When they had their reunion a while back, I was a bit worried about this being another tired and washed-out band taking the stage because money has to be earned somehow. And if it's to make the clown on stage, why not (in their thinking)?

I haven't seen the current Pogues yet, but I would like very much to do so. On the strength of this live album alone (recorded during two nights in September 2012 in Paris - gone are the days when one had to wait years for a live recordings being made public), the sooner the better. I'm not getting heated up about live albums. Usually. But this is a rare exception, as the thing grips me from start to finish. These are my Pogues and I don't want to hear a bad word about it. Just fantastic, I really wish I'd been there during those two nights.

The most beautiful Christmas song ever made is also present, this being, of course, "Fairytale Of New York". But, my dear Pogues, this is a song forever in my mind with you, Shane MacGowan and Kirsty MacColl. Beautifully played here, exceptionally well sung, but Kirsty is missing and noone can ever take her place.

You can buy this as a double CD, a triple LP or a CD/DVD box (all three versions have recently arrived here, but I haven't seen the video footage yet, so no opinion about this), or as a single DVD. It's Christmas time coming up, so let it be known that you wouldn't be angry about one of these releases finding stuffed in your socks.