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"Sister Ray" by The Velvet Underground
Coincidently, this song came up in the shuffle on The Velvet Underground's drummer, Mo Tucker's birthday! There are only a handful of songs that I can tolerate for 17 minutes. This is one of them. Around the time that my passion for music was really starting to broaden and expand, Polydor Records released several of the Velvet Undergrounds classic albums along with VU a "new" collection of outtakes. Lou Reed's "Walk on the Wild Side" had been one of the songs that hit me early in my musical journey, and although I knew he had been in a band called Velvet Underground, I had no way (from my small-medium sized town in the middle of Tennessee) to hear that music. The saying is that not many people bought the Velvet Underground albums, but that everyone who did formed a band or something like that. I did not form a band, but nothing was the same for me after I heard The Velvet Underground. They were and to me still are a burst of fresh, dank, dark air. Their subject matter often shocked my suburban sensibilities, and they could be tender one minute and brutal the next.
"Used to Call Me Baby" (Split Lip Rayfield Cover) by The Blind Owl Band
The Blind Owl Band Saranac Lake, New York. The released the 3 song EP Professionality (COVERS) which in addition to this Split Lip Rayfield song, also contains covers of songs my Man Man and The Devil Makes Three. The EP does a great job of showing off the diverse influences which help to make The Blind Owl Band who they are. This is our final song from the EP... it is delightfully raucous and catchy and fun. For fun, I included the original Split Lip Rayfield version followed by The Blind Owl Band doing an original song (I could not find a video of them doing this one.
"Meredith Moonshine Land Trust" by Discount Ravioli
So, "Sister Ray" was over 17 minutes long... this one clocks in at around 0:45 seconds. Yet another from the Dord Music Group and their subsidiary(???) Discotime Records. I am not entirely sure what is going on here, but you know what? This and all of the music coming out the Dord compound is helping to restore my hopefulness of the kids of today (in the most weird and twisted way possible). No video, so I added a Bandcamp widget of this track. Do listen.
"Sink or Swim" by The Train Set
Another track from Never California. This album came to me through e-mail, and I am so glad it did. It is a very tasty slice of 80s era Brit-Pop. There were so many great bands that came to my attention in that formative phase of my life, and even though I missed out on The Train Set the first time around, hearing it now is like discovering a long buried treasure.
"The Morning in Her" by Raging Fire
Besides The Velvet Underground and Brit-Pop, one of my major musical passions during the 80s was the vibrantly chaotic local music scene bubbling up in Nashville. The whole thing seemed on the verge of bubbling over in the best way, but for a variety of reasons it never did. Nevertheless, some really awesome bands and music came out of that era. Raging Fire were one of the best of that time. I was happy to see recently that they are rereleasing much of their back catalogue and playing a reunion show at the Exit/In on October 3. Melora Zaner has one of the most original and amazing voices in rock and roll.