Jimmy Carl Black: Stick Man For Ever!

I just received my copy of Jimmy Carl Black’s “Stick Man For Ever!” in the mailbox from Cafepress. Except for lacking the appropriate ID3 tags to the mp3 tracks when I uploaded the CD onto my computer, and the non-existent liner notes (a playlist would have been helpful, too), which I chalked up to the obvious hurry to get this limited edition CD out and available so as to aid Black with imminent medical bills.

Thanks, Barry, for sending me the playlist:

* Blonde Haired Woman
* Stick Man
* Low Ridin Man
* Lady Queen Bee
* Ocean and Love
* Thank You, Come Again
* Teenage Credit
* 59 Chevy
* Freedom Jazz Dance
* Black Limousine
* Indian of the Group
* Chief Old Fox

Some have suggested that there are “no FZ influences” on this CD, but I suggest they need to listen a little closer, and also recall both the beginnings of the Mothers of Invention as a basic blues band, and the style and tone of music being performed in and around those beginnings. Almost all the tracks on Stick Man are full of killer blues riffs which remind me of early Mothers recordings found on various Zappa CD’s (think of the presence of saxophone, bass, guitar and drums) such as “Memories of El Monte” on Cucamonga, “Original Mothers At The Broadside (Pomona)” on Mystery Disc, and various individual tracks on Joe’s Corsage and Xmasage. I am also struck by the familiar Zappa themes such as the relationship between males and cars, boys and girls, teen culture, and L.A. cultural references which are also found on Stick Man.

Indeed, sometimes the influences are not as obviously “in your face” as on other CD’s by Zappa alumni, but they are there. And if you’re also a Grandmothers fan like me, this CD is a must have from one of the most endearing members of the early Mothers. That it’s helping him pay his medical bills in his fight against cancer, makes it all the more worthwhile. Pick up your copy here today.

Low Rock from A.K.A.C.O.D. & Bourbon Princess

Now for something completely different. A recent order from CD Baby finally arrived in my mailbox before my move into my new downtown apartment (yes, folks, I’m moving on up) at the end of July. First among these CDs was Happiness by A.K.A.C.O.D. (Also Known As Colley, Ortiz, and Dersch):

Former Morphine saxophonist Dana Colley collaborates with Bourbon Princess’ front woman / bassist Monique Ortiz and Larry Dersch of Binary System creating a darkly psychedelic sound which is sensual, cinematic and otherworldly.


1 Happiness
2 Spanish Fly
3 Bad Weather
4 Cheer You On
5 Fifteen Minutes
6 Minor Key
7 Sun Burns Out
8 Three Chairs
10 Caught Staring
11 Hypnotized
12 Yellowest Leaves

The second CD is Black Feather Wings by Bourbon Princess. Music well-suited for film noir — drony, subtly melodic, with hints of jazz and blues. Potent lyrics. Creepy, smoky, lush. Monique Ortiz’s dark velvety voice is unique.


1 Stretcher
2 Another Day
3 I’ll Take A Cab
4 The Spider Sings
5 Early Train
6 Sunset
7 The Dream
8 Black Feather Wings
9 Jerkoff
10 Sleep Deep
11 One Of These Days
12 Late Train

The last CD is also a Bourbon Princess release, Dark of Days. It draws from late 70’s and early 80’s post-punk and new wave, with a sophisticated and heady, soulful bite, and has drawn comparisons to Roxy Music, Patti Smith, Jim Morrison and Nina Simone.


1 Still Asleep
2 The Waiting Noon
3 Blue Kitchen
4 The Hat
5 Dark Of Days
6 Cliché
7 Supergirl’s Complaint
8 In Between Songs
9 Master Manipulator
10 Minor Key
11 So Much Time

Like a lot of “low rock”, you either love it, or hate it. I suggest you click on the CD Baby links and give some of these tracks a listen. Frankly, I was blown away.

The Real Thing

Long before there were air guitarists, there was the real thing: Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf, Buddy Guy, Johnny “Guitar” Watson, Guitar Slim, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, Peter Green, Eric Clapton, Frank Zappa, Jimi Hendrix, and of course, Brian May.

1991 Hollywood Records remix of “Tie Your Mother Down” with a video mix made by Dave R. Fuller. Released on the A Day At The Races US CD. Remixed by Matt Wallace.