(June 9, 2018): Headstones – Devil’s On Fire

From the 2017 ablum, Little Army. Headstones were one of the most commercially successful Canadian bands of the 1990s. From Kingston, the band split in 2003, but reformed in 2011. Little Army was the last long player released.

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(June 8, 2018): Benjamin Herman featuring Daniel von Piekartz – Curaçao

From the 2014 album, Trouble.  Herman’s cover to Cal Tjader’s 1966 standard.  Covering a range of keys, von Piekartz is excellent. A live performance captured on July 13th at the North Sea Jazz Festival. Curaçao is the best island in the Netherland Antillies.

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(April 5, 2018): The Smiths – What Difference Does It Make?

From the a-side 1984 single, What Difference Does It Make? / Back To The Old House.  This is the U.S. cover which pictures Morrissey as Terrance Stamp from the 1965 movie, “The Collector”. Discogs recounts the controversy over the cover: “First UK releases show a picture of actor Terence Stamp from the 1965 film “The Collector“, holding a chloroform pad. The 12″ doesn’t show the band’s name on the front. Since Mr Stamp did not approve of his photograph being used, the artwork was replaced by a picture of Morrissey reenacting the scene with a glass of milk. Ultimately, Mr Stamp conceded the use of his picture to The Smiths and later pressings swap back to the original design. For the 12″, these later pressings can be discerned from the original release by the fact that the band name was included on the front sleeve.”

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(March 29, 2018): Farm – Zan Ho Zay

From the 1968 album, The Innermost Limits Of Pure Fun. This LP is the soundtrack to George Greenough’s film about surfing isolated spots in California and New South Wales. As discogs recounts, “Farm composed and performed the music, released in 1968 a limited edition of 1000 copies of this film score on a private label with picture sleeve only on the front”. A different Australian version was subsequently released and Sundazed put out a reissue of the original in 2015. It’s tough to find out much about Farm except band members: Dennis Dragon (who played with The Byrds at one point), Denny Aaberg, Doug Dragon, Ernie Knapp, Phill Pritchard.

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(March 24, 2018): Jimmy Cliff – Black Queen

From the 1973 album, Unlimited. An album as fresh today as the early 1970s and just as incisive in speaking truth to power. For some reason, the album was was released as The King of Reggae in Sweden and The Netherlands.

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(March 17, 2018): Rex Allen – (The Wreck Of The) The Sloop “John B”

From the a-side of the 1951 single, (The Wreck Of The) The John B / The Roving Kind.  One of the many covers of the Bahamian traditional folk song, “The John B. Salis”. The earliest recording, according to Wikipedia, was by the Cleveland Simmons Group as “Histe Up the John B. Sail” in 1935 (even though it was transcribed in 1916). Everyone, of course, knows the Beach Boys cover.  Interestingly, this cover by Rex Allen is not listed on Wikipedia. Rex Allen was the voice behind dozens of Walt Disney films in the 1950s and 1960s.

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(March 11, 2018): Ramones – Bonzo Goes To Bitburg

From the 1985 UK single, Bonzo Goes To Bitburg / Daytime Dilemma (Dangers Of Love).  Trump’s upcoming ‘engagement’ with North Korea puts me in mind of this ditty (even though negotiations will take place in Singapore and not North Korea).  Not wanting to be too ‘political’, Sire released the tune as a promo in the in the US with the title “My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down” in 1986.

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