Tuesday, December 9, 2014

SPAZ reviews vinyl LP releases from R. STEVIE MOORE and GREEN!




Double Vinyl LP pressing including digital download

The granddaddy of DIY recording, R. Stevie Moore is a unique artist that exists in a musical world of his own. He’s been releasing lo-fi home recordings for 40+ years and he is adored by a devoted global fan base yet he is still largely unknown to an audience that could really benefit from his vast repertoire of music (and R. Stevie can benefit if a new generation of fans bought his music!). I’ve been a fan for roughly 30 years and I don’t even own a smidgen of what he has recorded.  I’ve always told myself that if I won the lottery, I’d buy one of ever R. Stevie release.  So far, no lottery for me but I still intend to live up to the promise if it ever happens.
Looking over his catalog, it seems as if RSM releases everything he records, whether it is an avant-garde instrumental, a metal freak out, a twisted cover version or a pure pop nugget – no genre is left untouched. Some might say he releases ‘too much’, but I beg to differ. The charm of R. Stevie is the fact that there is such a variety to choose from that you’ll find something to fit every one of your mood swings.  Creatively, he never fails to amaze. His audience is made up of people who love the unexpected and our man Stevie sure gives it to them! There are those that love his more experimental side and those who love his pure pop side (like me) but acclaimed indie artist Ariel Pink seems to love a bit of all of it.  He chose his favorite RSM songs back in 2006, although nothing came of his list until 5 years later when they were compiled on a limited edition cassette. Now, nearly four years later, those songs are released here on vinyl and it is a perfect introduction to those who have not picked up the other RSM compilations over the years. Each comp released so far are unique and amazingly varied and Ariel Pink’s Picks Volume One is no different.  This is a compilation that is filled with humor, melody, exceptional musicianship and some of the strangest and most beautiful melodies you’ll hear gathered together on any RSM release. Is it commercial? Hell no.  Occupying a musical universe that exists somewhere between The Residents and Todd Rundgren, Ariel Pink’s Picks Volume One will warm the cockles of your heart and scare the bejeezus out of your grandparents.  It is creative, inspiring and other-worldly.  Many albums released in this day and age are shit, but Ariel Pink’s Picks Volume One is THE shit!




Vinyl LP pressing

Imagine this if you will: a band featuring Ray Davies, Prince and Marc Bolan rehearsing with a couple of wide eyed Pop Punks in a garage somewhere in Chicago. If someone recorded that jam session, it wouldn’t sound too different from this 1986 debut album by Chicago popsters Green.  Led by singer/songwriter/guitarist Jeff Lescher, the band is completely and utterly unique.  Catchy as sin in most parts, this self-titled platter may sound a bit thin in the production department, yet it is rich in originality and charm. Lescher seems to channel the ‘everyman’ Pop smarts of Davies, the soulful falsetto of Prince and the glamorous Rock vibe of pre-fame Bolan into his songs.  His musical vision exceeded the recording budget so what we are left with is not an album that ‘could have been massive’ but an album that should be embraced by anyone interested in great songwriting with a unique slant on the typical Pop formula.  Loved by Power Pop and Indie Rock fans alike, Green really should have been huge but as long as their music continues to be reissued, there’s always the chance that they’ll finally reach a larger audience.  It’s pointless to single out any particular track because I’ve already described what you can expect. You’ve never heard an album like this, but you really should! One can only hope that their next few albums get reissued because Green just kept getting better (well, apart from the Pop Tarts album, but that is a different story).

1 comment:

RSTVMO said...

Bless you StevieSpazSchnee