Thursday, July 1, 2010

Ear Candle Radio's Top 20: June 2010

Another month, another top 20. Another rare bootlegged outtake from the Stones' psychedelic period tops the chart; this time it's a mad Moroccan-Indian jam that shows they kept going long after the final edit that appears on Their Satanic Majesties Request. One of the interesting things about these session tapes is how noticeably in charge Keith Richards actually was during this project. No matter how trippy and exotic the results end up, each song is built on some snarly, droney, syncopated Keith riff, every bit as much as the songs on Exile On Main Street. Exhaustive, revelatory, and tedious by turns, The Satanic Sessions is an intriguing fly-on-the-wall document and a correction of revisionist rock history.

One of the Ramones' most exhilarating cover versions; drones, echoes, and affirmations from Yoko Ono; an eerie, mysterious Fall track from the 80s; David Bowie's best song from the 90s (just in time for the 4th of July!); an underrated, mellotron-flavored Kinks classic for cat lovers; Neo's favorite cover of "Hallelujah" (of course, he's a little biased since these are his boys!); the Minutemen's incomparable opening shot from their masterpiece Double Nickels On The Dime; a beautifully catchy and scathing a capella cover of a 19th century protest against the garment industry courtesy of Chumbawamba; expansive, spiritual, psychedelic jazz from Alice Coltrane and Pharaoh Sanders; an obscure, evocative grumble from Vivian Stanshall's rare solo album...

(Pausing to catch breath)

...mathematical bliss from the great composer Steve Reich; a bouncy pop song from Trader Horne (short-lived group featuring ex-members of Fairport Convention and Them); a lecture on economics and basic human needs from Fela Kuti; compulsive punk-soul from Detroit's mighty Dirtbombs; a multilingual flamenco-tango-chanson thing from SF's Rupa & The April Fishes (title means "I Am A Clown"); an exquisite folky number from Portland's Golden Bears (two ex-members of late great SF band the Quails...welcome back, Juliana and Seth!); a great song-poem bemoaning the state of human absurdity, which has only gotten more absurd since this recording was done some 40-odd years ago; Julie London's slow, seductive take on a 60s bubblegum hit; and finally, a good sarcastic pre-Lawrence vs. Texas protest song about the audacity of a state declaring themselves to be a place for lovers at the same time their legislature is taking way too much interest in what goes on in their citizens' bedrooms. (Presumably Virginia is a little bit safer for lovers these days...maybe.)

AAAAAAAAAAAAAND, that's the charts for this month! Keep on rockin' in the sort-of-free world!

1. The Rolling Stones - Gomper Part One (Takes 2 - 6) - The Satanic Sessions Vol 2
2. The Ramones - Do You Wanna Dance? - Rocket To Russia
3. Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band - Calling - Between My Head And The Sky
4. The Fall - Gross Chapel -- British Grenadiers - Bend Sinister
5. David Bowie - I'm Afraid Of Americans - Earthling
6. The Kinks - Phenomenal Cat - The Village Green Preservation Society
7. Conspiracy of Beards - Hallelujah - Demo CD
8. Minutemen - Anxious Mo-Fo - Double Nickels on the Dime
9. Chumbawamba - Poverty Knock - English Rebel Songs 1381-1984
10. Alice Coltrane - Isis And Osiris [Live] - Journey in Satchidananda
11. Vivian Stanshall - Strange Tongues - Men Opening Umbrellas Ahead
12. Steve Reich - Music For Mallet Instruments, Voices And Organ - Music for Mallet Instruments
13. Trader Horne - Better Than Today - Morning Way
14. Fela Kuti - Original Suffer Head - Original Suffer Head/I.T.T.
15. The Dirtbombs - The Thing - Ultraglide In Black
16. Rupa & The April Fishes - Soy Payaso - Este Mundo
17. The Golden Bears - You and All the Other Humans Like You - Wall to Wall
18. Norm Burns & Singers - Human Breakdown Of Absurdity - The American Song-poem Anthology: Do You Know The Difference Between Big Wood And Brush
19. Julie London - Yummy, Yummy, Yummy - Yummy, Yummy, Yummy
20. Black Angel's Death Song - Virginia Is For Lovers - Due Ragazze

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