|It's been about 6 weeks since the last Dangerous R&R Show Podcast....if you missed it I'm sorry but my life got in the way! That and the feeling that it's all a waste of precious time, yada yada yada....well look for a new DRR Pod in the near future....you've been warned!
Mushroom is a band that I love....part jam, part psychodelic, part jazz, whatever you want to label them is ok...."Hydrogen Jukebox" is perhaps my favorite of theirs.....hope you enjoy it.
TRACKLIST IS THUS:
1- Elliott Smith [0:00 - 13:43]
2- When the shit gets tough to face the tough get shit faced [ 13:43 - 21:00]
3- McDonald & Giles [21:00 - 36:00]
4- That was when I started liking it [ 36:00 - 39:13]
5- Still waiting [ 39:13 - 46:24]
6- Persona non grata [ 46:24 - 47: 52]
7- Elliott Smith reprise [47:52 to the end]
The concept behind Mushroom, a band that dabbles in space rock, Delta blues, Krautrock, and jam band-ism, is one of freedom -- never make the same album twice and try to do something different every time you get on-stage. Mushroom are known for known for an ever-changing lineup of players and a great deal of improvisation in their live shows and recordings, and their revolving door of personnel and willingness to experiment have led to guest appearances by many of their influences, including Gong's Daevid Allen, Soft Machine's Kevin Ayers, and Cream lyricist Peter Brown, and their catalog is vast with varying bootleg recordings and live albums.
Inspired by early-'70s Miles Davis albums like Big Fun and mid-'70s King Crimson, drummer Pat Thomas pooled together some Bay Area musicians in November 1996. He had been recording and releasing some material as a singer/songwriter in Germany and planned to record a bunch of instrumental jams to use as sound clips between his songs. After playing one of the segments (a 20-minute piece that eventually became "The Reeperbahn") for a friend who owned the Belmondo label, Thomas was asked if the imprint could release it as a single. Rather than use his own moniker, Thomas (masquerading as Patrick O'Hearn) quickly invented the name Mushroom, based on the fact that one of the bandmembers used to sell psychedelic mushrooms, and then insisted that the song be released as a 12" rather than sacrifice its length. About six months later, The Reeperbahn LP came out, and Thomas decided to do some shows to promote the record and put his songwriting career on hold. Originally, the band that was formed for these gigs tried to duplicate the originally recorded material, but not long after they switched to improvising in order to adhere to the group's core element of spontaneity.
In 1997 they released Alive and in Full Bloom, a studio album taken from the same session as their first 12". After a few years of performing loose shows, in 1999 Thomas and company recorded a Neu!-influenced, rhythmic Krautrock album called Hydrogen Jukebox and the busier and more frenetic Analog Hi-Fi Surprise in the same session. The year 2000 rolled around, and they put out rough mixes titled Compared to What as a prequel to the new musical groove they were headed toward with 2001's Foxy Music, a funky, riff-heavy, Head Hunters-influenced record. That year, they recorded the disc Oh, But They're Weird & They're Wonderful (inspired by a line from "Benny and the Jets") from live originals and experimental bits remixed by producer Dipstick. For a change of pace, they teamed up with Gary Floyd to record a remake of Les McCann & Eddie Harris' "Compared to What," and because of a strong musical chemistry, they decided to make a full album with him, 2003's Mad Dogs and San Franciscans.
In 2004 the band recorded Glazed Popems, a conceptual two-disc set. Disc one, titled London, embodies European psych and acid folk, and disc two, Oakland, is filled with '70s funk and soul. In 2007, they teamed up with trumpet legend Eddie Gale to make their most overtly jazz-based album to date, titled Joint Happening, and also released Yesterday I Saw You Kissi
|Eduardo Bort's self-titled album from 1975 contains four long tracks of spacey, melodic progressive rock with several longer acoustic/folky passages as well. The first track "Thoughts" reminds me a bit of the 70's Italian bands (especially the better parts on the Uno album). "Pictures of Sadness" has some great mellotron and excellent spacey guitar playing. Bort' s guitar playing reminds me both of Jimi Hendrix and Steve Hillage. By far the weakest point are the vocals. The flat, heavily accented singing is rather poor, but it doesn't spoil the album for me. The last, 12-minute track "Yann" starts with incredible mellotron/guitar/mini-moog interplay. This section could have been culled from Steve Hillage's masterpiece Fish rising. Superb. After about four minutes, part two of the track starts in a more acoustic setting, unfortunately with the worst of the vocal contributions. About two minutes later an instrumental section follows with nice guitar strumming and soloing by Bort. At about nine minutes, the mellotron re-enters with a romantic symphonic theme (and variations) until the track ends. Not a flawless album, but despite the weak vocals an enjoyable piece of work with occasionally some outstanding passages. (Sjef Oellers, as reviewed in Gnosis)