Feb 26, 2014

RhoDeo 1408 Aetix


It's more westcoast coming up, Paisley Underground is an early genre of alternative rock, based primarily in Los Angeles, California, which was at its most popular in the mid-1980s. Paisley Underground bands incorporated psychedelia, rich vocal harmonies and guitar interplay in a folk rock style that owed a particular debt to The Byrds, but more generally referenced the whole range of 1960s West Coast pop and garage rock. The term "Paisley Underground" originated in late 1982, with a comment made by Michael Quercio of the band The Three O'Clock, during an interview with the LA Weekly alternative newspaper.

Paisley Underground bands frequently shared bills, socialized and collaborated. Members of Rain Parade, The Bangles, The Dream Syndicate and The Three O'Clock joined together to form Rainy Day, releasing an eponymous album of cover versions of songs by The Velvet Underground, Buffalo Springfield, Bob Dylan, The Beach Boys, Big Star, Jimi Hendrix, and The Who. As "Danny and Dusty," Steve Wynn of The Dream Syndicate and Dan Stuart of Green on Red made the album The Lost Weekend (A&M, 1985) backed by members of each band along with most of The Long Ryders. Clay Allison was an offshoot band composed of David Roback and Will Glenn (Rain Parade), Kendra Smith (The Dream Syndicate), Sylvia Juncosa (Leaving Trains) and Keith Mitchell (Monitor).

Todays band was associated with the Paisley Underground music movement; of the bands in that movement, according to the Los Angeles Times, it "rocked with the highest degree of unbridled passion and conviction". Though never commercially successful it met with considerable acclaim, especially for the songwriting and guitarplaying.  . . ....N'Joy

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The band began in 1979 as The Serfers, a four-piece made up of Dan Stuart (vocals/guitar), Jack Waterson (bass), Van Christian (drums, later of Naked Prey) and Sean Nagore (organ), quickly replaced by Chris Cacavas.[2] In the summer of 1980, the Serfers relocated to Los Angeles, where they changed their name to Green on Red (after the title of one of their songs) to avoid confusion with the local surf punk scene. Christian returned to Tucson and was replaced by Lydia Lunch sideman Alex MacNicol. The band issued an overtly psychedelic, self-released red vinyl EP, sometimes called Two Bibles, though its first widely available record was an EP issued in 1982 by Dream Syndicate leader Steve Wynn on his own Down There label. Green on Red followed the Dream Syndicate onto Slash Records, which released the album Gravity Talks in the fall of 1983. San Francisco-based guitarist Chuck Prophet joined for the 1985 Gas Food Lodging (Enigma), after which MacNicol was replaced on drums by Keith Mitchell (later of Mazzy Star).[1] In 2006 'Gas' was performed live in its entirety as part of the All Tomorrow's Parties-curated Don't Look Back series. Also in 1985, Stuart collaborated with Steve Wynn as "Danny and Dusty" on the album The Lost Weekend (A&M).

A major-label deal with Phonogram/Mercury followed, with the EP No Free Lunch and the album The Killer Inside Me, produced by Jim Dickinson at Ardent Studios in Memphis. The band split up afterwards; Cacavas began recording albums under his own name. When Stuart returned to recording, with the 1989 Here Come the Snakes, it was essentially as a duo with Prophet honingtheir darkish, down-and-out loser blues , using hired backing including Christopher Holland on keyboards and Ethan Johns. Three more albums were released This Time Around (89), Scapegoats (91) and The Little Things in Life (91) before the pair called it quits, after the 1992 Too Much Fun.

Prophet and Stuart found an audience for their music in Europe, but ultimately traded in the madness of what had become their collaboration for quieter lives. Stuart relocated to Spain and Prophet continued the career he launched in 1990, performing as a solo artist and with his band the Mission Express (featuring his wife, Stephanie Finch, on keyboards and vocals). As it turns out, Prophet was a sleeper, with a number of releases into the 2000s bearing little resemblance to the ramshackle outfit that was Green on Red. However, Prophet did join a briefly reunited Green on Red -- with a lineup also including Stuart, Cacavas, and Waterson -- for a series of shows in 2005-2006. Drummer Alex MacNicol died in 2004. A second "Danny and Dusty" album came into production, followed by a double album and DVD on Blue Rose Records. In 2012, Dan Stuart reemerged in Oaxaca de Juarez, Mexico, and released a new solo record, "The Deliverence of Marlowe Billings".

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Restless Records admirably wanted to pad out their reissue of Green on Red's superb 1985 album Gas Food Lodging, so they tacked on the other Green on Red title in their catalog, the group's 1982 debut EP. A nice idea to be sure, but the trouble is that the two records represent Green on Red at two very different points of their development -- Green on Red brought together seven slices of moody psychedelic-influenced pop with a dark and buzzy undercurrent, while Gas Food Lodging was the strongest work of the group's proto-roots rock period, as they took stock of the state of the union as seen through the windshield of their van

Much like their pals the Dream Syndicate, Green on Red used up nearly all their psychedelic influences early on, and 1985's Gas Food Lodging found Dan Stuart and company veering into country-inflected roots rock that dovetailed nicely with the populist themes Stuart had begun to explore in his lyrics. Opening with "That's What Dreams," a tough but moving first-person tale of a working man struggling to hold on to his dignity, Gas Food Lodging takes a long look at the sometimes-fractured state of the American psyche during the Reagan years, as seen through the eyes of a low-budget rock band out on the road. Of course, Dan Stuart's America is populated by drunks, losers, drifters, and psychopaths, but there's a genuine measure of compassion in his portrayal of this collection of lost souls, and this lineup of the band -- with Chuck Prophet IV on guitar and Chris Cacavas on organ -- created evocative music that added depth and detail to Stuart's grubby vision. Gas Food Lodging set a template for the music Green on Red would make in the future, but they rarely hit their targets as squarely as they did here; there's an emotional weight and a ring of truth to this material that missing from much of the band's later work, and while closing with "We Shall Overcome" might seem like an especially obvious gesture, through sheer bloodshot sincerity this band makes it work -- and makes it genuinely moving. Gas Food Lodging is too loose and deliberately ramshackle to support the title of masterpiece, but calling it Green on Red's best album will do nicely.

Dry, desert climates seem to be conducive to pychedelia for some reason (perhaps thanks to the prevalence of naturally occurring psychedelic substances?), and when Green on Red first arrived in California after leaving behind its hometown of Tuscon, AZ, the group was at its trippiest, and those most familiar with GoR's later roots rock-oriented releases, such as Gas Food Lodging and No Free Lunch, might be a bit thrown by the buzzy atmosphere of the group's first record. Musically dominated by Chris Cacavas' keyboard (which suggests a meeting between Ray Manzarek and Daryl Hooper of the Seeds) and Dan Stuart's "oh wow" vocals, these performances leave no wonder as to how the band ingratiated itself with L.A.'s paisley underground scene; this is pop-leaning psychedelic rock with just enough menace in Stuart's vocals and lyrics to cut the trippiness factor by a notch or two. While the best songs on this EP -- "Death and Angels," "Black Night," and "Illustrated Crawling" -- suggest the strength and melodic force of Green on Red's best work, this EP mostly finds the band working through its early influences, and it would get a lot more interesting over the next few years. Unfortunately, the Green on Red EP appears to have been salvaged from damaged tapes, with noticeable noise and occasional audio drop-outs; given its rarity, it's still a nice bonus, but the fidelity makes it sound all the more deficient compared to Gas Food Lodging.

Green On Red - Gas Food Lodging/Green On Red  (flac 372mb)

01 That's What Dreams 4:22
02 Black River 2:43
03 Hair Of The Dog 2:31
04 This I Know 2:30
05 Fading Away 4:35
06 Easy Way Out 3:05
07 Sixteen Ways 3:43
08 The Drifter 2:32
09 Sea Of Cortez 3:51
10 We Shall Overcome 2:27
11 Gas Food Lodging 3:27
12 Sixteen Ways II 2:45
+ Green On Red 82 mini
13 Death And Angels 2:13
14 Hair And Skin 3:26
15 Black Night 2:34
16 Illustrated Crawling 3:39
17 Aspirin 3:25
18 Lost World 3:55
19 Apartment 6 2:58
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The critical hosannas lavished upon the album Gas Food Lodging earned Green on Red a major-label deal, though, with appropriate irony, this very American band found themselves contracted to the British branch of Polygram. The label's American imprint, Mercury, picked up their option several months after the group's big-label debut, No Free Lunch, was released in the U.K. An EP running a bit under 24 minutes (a later reissue padded it out to full length with a 13-minute blues workout on "Smokestack Lightning"), No Free Lunch covers territory not dissimilar to that on Gas Food Lodging; nomadic musicians on the road ("Keep on Moving" and the title cut), out-of-work sad sacks ("Honest Man"), families confronted with death and loss ("Jimmy Boy"), and the struggle to believe in something despite it all ("Time Ain't Nothing"). The band even throws in a pretty good cover of "Funny How Time Slips Away," and their performances are noticeably tighter and sharper than on their previous albums (the time on the road after Gas Food Lodging seems to have paid off), while the engineering by Steven Street and Simon Humphries is crisper and better detailed than the sometimes muddy tone of Gas Food Lodging. But while the band sounds game, the songs are good, and Dan Stuart is in unusually strong voice (with the exception of "The Ballad of Guy Fawkes," where he lapses into a curious fake Brit accent, perhaps in tribute to his new corporate sponsors), at only seven songs No Free Lunch seems oddly incomplete, sounding less like a self-contained short work than an album that somehow didn't get finished. There's nothing wrong with what's here, but it's hard not to wish the band had made more of it at the time.

After the creative breakthrough of Gas Food Lodging and the surprising discovery that they responded well to a touch of production polish on No Free Lunch, Green on Red seemed poised to move on to new heights, both artistically and commercially, with their first full-length for a major label, The Killer Inside Me. Jim Dickinson, noted R&B pianist and studio helpmate to such expressive eccentrics as Alex Chilton and Paul Westerberg, was tapped to produce, but while the pairing looked great on paper, the results sounded just a bit muddy and cluttered, lacking the tense clarity of No Free Lunch and the more organic sloppiness of Gas Food Lodging. While the musicians are a bit better focused here than on their earlier recordings, the overly boomy audio does little to flatter this band's newfound precision. As a singer, Dan Stuart long had a tendency toward sloppy histrionics when he wasn't held in check, and here Dickinson seemed content to let Stuart's performances go wherever they will, and with a chorus of far more gifted soul singers offering backup, his craggy tone and faux-wino bellowing have rarely sounded more obvious or less effective. Most importantly of all, The Killer Inside Me lacks material on a par with the two released that preceded it, and while Dan Stuart is too gifted a tunesmith to not come up with a few songs worth hearing (most notably "Mighty Gun," "We Ain't Free," and the title cut), many of these songs sounds like retreads of ideas Green on Red tackled more effectively in the past, and the album's darker tone often feels forced, without the faint hope of redemption that made Gas Food Lodging so powerful. While The Killer Inside Me isn't Green on Red's weakest album, it didn't live up to nearly anyone's expectations, and suggested this band's moment of glory might have been starting to fade away.

Green On Red - No Free Lunch + the Killer Inside Me  (flac 500mb)

01 Time Ain't Nothing 3:15
02 Honest Man 2:08
03 Ballad Of Guy Fawkes 3:53
04 No Free Lunch 3:12
05 (Gee Ain't It Funny How) Time Slips Away 3:12
06 Keep On Moving 4:09
07 Jimmy Boy 4:10
08 No Drinkin' 2:40
09 Broken 3:50
10 Don't Shine Your Light On Me 4:04
11 While The Widow Weeps 2:31
the Killer Inside Me
12 Clarkesville 4:10
13 Mighty Gun 4:17
14 Jamie 3:34
15 Whispering Wind 1:53
16 Ghost Hand 2:47
17 Sorry Naomi 4:25
18 No Man's Land 4:48
19 Track You Down (His Master's Voice) 3:21
20 Born To Fight 3:40
21 We Ain't Free 3:21
22 Killer Inside Of Me 5:42

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Produced by Jim Dickinson and Joe Hardy, Dan Stuart and Chuck Prophet finally cracked the Memphis sound by steeping themselves in the environment and surrounding themselves with the musicians who made their name there. From the get-go, Prophet's guitar is the cornerstone to the Let It Bleed mood that fires this record from "Keith Can't Read" throughout, though it ends up with the very Neil Young-like "D.T. Blues."

Green On Red - Here Comes the Snakes ( flac 206mb)

01 Keith Can't Read 3:22
02 Rock 'n' Roll Disease 3:08
03 Morning Blue 3:58
04 Zombie For Love 3:53
05 Broken Radio 3:52
06 Change 5:01
07 Tenderloin 5:02
08 Way Back Home 2:29
09 We Had It All 2:52
10 D.T. Blues 3:33

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Anonymous said...

would you be so kind to re-up these please? thank you

Олег Опарин said...

re-upload posts in flac, please.

Anonymous said...

Rho, thanks for the re-ups. Great stuff (as usual); your taste is impeccable (as usual). Really, you're the best!

Олег Опарин said...

Many, many times - thank you!
You - the right person!
Много, много раз спасибо!
Вы - правильный человек!

robgronotte said...

Disappontingly, the version of the song "Killer Inside Me" here is only 4:05, not 5:42, as in the original album issue. If anyone has the long version, and/or the song "Smokestack Lightning", which was included in the standalone version of the No Free Lunch album, I would love to get both.

Also could use Gravity Talks in FLAC if it's available. Thanks for everything!