Aug 26, 2015

RhoDeo 1534 Aetix


Today an American musical group headed by drummer and composer Anton Fier, first formed in 1981. Aside from Fier, the Palominos membership has been wildly elastic, with only bassist Bill Laswell and guitarist Nicky Skopelitis appearing on every album. While their records usually featured a core set of musicians and a certain emotional continuity throughout the bulk of an album, various guest appearances resulted in stylistic changes from track to track. . Plenty to  .....N'Joy

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The Golden Palominos were not a group per se, but rather the revolving-door project of drummer, programmer, and bandleader Anton Fier. Born June 20, 1956, in Cleveland, Ohio, Fier first made his mark as the drummer on the Feelies' seminal 1980 debut Crazy Rhythms. After leaving the group, he joined the punk-jazz unit the Lounge Lizards before returning home to Cleveland, where he was recruited by the legendary new wave band Pere Ubu for the album Song of the Bailing Man. After exiting Ubu, Fier again relocated to downtown New York City, where he founded the first Golden Palominos lineup in 1981. In its primary live incarnation, the band was an avant-funk supergroup comprised of Fier and another drummer, David Moss, saxophonist John Zorn, guitarist Arto Lindsay, and a pair of bassists, Bill Laswell and Jamaaladeen Tacuma; on their self-titled 1983 debut, the Palominos were augmented by Fred Frith, Nicky Skopelitis, and Mark Miller.

Over the next few years, Fier moved away from the first record's experimental noise into far more traditional pop territory; simultaneously, he largely jettisoned the first album's lineup in favor of an ever-changing collection of punk legends, post-punk superstars, up-and-comers, and N.Y.C.-scene vets. After enlisting ex-Raybeat Jody Harris to help him co-write much of the music, Fier recruited vocalists ranging from R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe and Cream's Jack Bruce to PIL's John Lydon and newcomer Syd Straw. Rounded out by musicians like former dB Chris Stamey, guitar greats Richard Thompson and Henry Kaiser, and P-Funk alumni Bernie Worrell and Mike Hampton, the revamped Golden Palominos reached an early peak with 1985's Visons of Excess, a diverse yet cogent collection highlighted by a cover of Moby Grape's "Omaha" and the original "Boy (Go)."

With 1986's Blast of Silence, the group flirted with elements of country and folk; while Stipe and Lydon were noticeably absent, many of the other players featured on Visions of Excess remained, along with new additions including guitarist T-Bone Burnett, Numbers Band singer Robert Kidney, artist/producer Don Dixon, singer/songwriter Peter Blegvad, Matthew Sweet, and Flying Burrito Brothers alum Sneaky Pete Kleinow. On 1989's moody A Dead Horse, Fier again shifted gears, settling on a constant lineup of Laswell, Skopelitis, Kidney, and ex-Information Society vocalist Amanda Kramer along with a handful of guests, including former Rolling Stone Mick Taylor.

1991's Drunk With Passion returned to the all-star format; Stipe and Thompson again rejoined the fold, welcoming newcomers like Sugar's Bob Mould. This Is How It Feels, a sophisticated concept album inspired by the Graham Greene novel The End of the Road followed in 1993; along with core members like Laswell, Skopelitis, Worrell, and Kramer, the record spotlighted vocalists Lori Carson and Lydia Kavanaugh, as well as bass great Bootsy Collins. 1994's Pure featured many of the same principal players, while 1996's Dead Inside, essentially from a trio comprised of Fier, ex-Psychedelic Furs guitarist Knox Chandler, and vocalist/lyricist Nicole Blackman, explored electronic and ambient soundscapes. Dead Inside would be the final album by the Golden Palominos with various compilations being the only additions to the discography.

Both Syd Straw and Lori Carson have gone on to moderately successful and critically acclaimed solo careers, with Carson a frequent contributor to television shows and movies. A compilation of some of Carson's contributed songs, called Stolen Beauty, was released by Rykodisc in 2003, and her last solo record, The Finest Thing, was released in 2004. She intends to have a new record, entitled Another Year, out in March 2012, and has a book scheduled to be published in 2013.

Anton Fier re-appeared on the music scene in 2009, producing Drivin' 'n' Cryin's album The Great American Bubble Factory,[3] which was the band's first album in 12 years.  In 2010, the Golden Palominos played two shows in New York City: a May 7 show at Le Poisson Rouge, and a May 11 show at The Living Room. Both shows were an unqualified success and speculation began as to if more dates or a re-formation of the band was in the future. At around the same time, Fier began drumming again in New York City as a sideman to his friend Tony Scherr, and Kevn Kinney, the lead singer of Drivin' 'n' Cryin', re-connected with Fier at these shows.

Fier and Kinney rekindled their friendship and began rehearsing together again, which then progressed into starting a Kickstarter campaign  to fund a new Kevin Kinney album. The album, A Good Country Mile, was released on February 21, 2012, and is billed as 'Kevn Kinney and The Golden Palominos' (composed of Fier on drums, Scherr on guitars, and Andy Hess, formerly of Gov't Mule, on bass as well as Aaron Lee Tasjan on guitars and backing vocals). Initial reviews of the album have been positive with Jambands saying the „...resulting music is raw and lovely and real as hell.“ While this represents the first music from the Palominos in nearly 15 years, any further projects exclusively under the Golden Palominos moniker have not yet materialized.

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The first effort from Anton Fier's revolving-door band is the record which most reflects the group's downtown New York origins. Recalling the avant-funk of Material, The Golden Palominos spotlights a core roster of Fier, guitarists Arto Lindsay and Fred Frith, bassist Bill Laswell, and multi-instrumentalist John Zorn; the music is wildly experimental, incorporating turntables and other hip-hop staples (a rather adventurous notion back in 1983) as well as other oddball ideas (clarinets played underwater and the like) which miss the mark as often as they hit, but make for fascinating listening nevertheless.

The Golden Palominos - The Golden Palominos  (flac 246mb)

01 Clean Plate 6:32
02 Hot Seat 5:13
03 Under The Cap 5:32
04 Monday Night 6:29
05 Cookout 4:38
06 I.D. 6:45
07 Two Sided Fist 7:42

 The Golden Palominos - The Golden Palominos  (ogg  95mb)

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The first in a long series of about-faces and left turns, Visions of Excess forgoes the noise-funk of the Golden Palominos' debut in favor of more pop-oriented material and staggering lineup of underground luminaries. Built around a nucleus of Anton Fier, bassist Bill Laswell, guitarist Jody Harris, and keyboardist Bernie Worrell, the album recruits vocalists from Jack Bruce to John Lydon to, most impressively, Michael Stipe, who turns in striking performances on the opening "Boy (Go)" (featuring guitarist Richard Thompson), the Jefferson Airplane-like "Clustering Train," and a cover of Moby Grape's "Omaha." The real find of the record is singer Syd Straw, who makes her debut on the lovely "(Kind of) True" and "Buenos Aires" and more than holds her own with the big guns.

The Golden Palominos - Visions of Excess  (flac 230mb)

01 Boy (Go) 5:31
02 Clustering Train 6:10
03 Omaha 3:13
04 The Animal Speaks 4:10
05 Silver Bullet 5:10
06 (Kind Of) True 4:47
07 Buenos Aires 3:48
08 Only One Party 4:31

The Golden Palominos - Visions of Excess (ogg  80mb )

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By and large, A Dead Horse tosses out the supersession approach of previous Golden Palominos efforts to concentrate on a steady core roster of Anton Fier, Bill Laswell, and Nicky Skopelitis; vocal chores are evenly divided among the Numbers Band's Robert Kidney and Amanda Kramer, formerly of Information Society. A subdued, moody effort, A Dead Horse lacks the energy and spark of the group's earlier work; only Kramer's lovely "Darklands" makes much of a lasting impression.

The Golden Palominos - A Dead Horse  (flac 259mb)

01 Wild River 4:43
02 Shattered Image 5:25
03 Angel Of Death 4:44
04 Lucky 4:56
05 Darklands 6:48
06 A Letter Back 7:04
07 Over 7:38

The Golden Palominos - A Dead Horse  (ogg 99mb)

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Rho

Thanks for the constant supply of interesting, off-the-beaten-track music.

Is it possible to re-up the self-titled Golden Palominos album?

Many thanks.