There’s not much that needs to be said about this Swan Silvertones cut. A far cry from the hall of fame gospel group’s early (and heavenly) A Capella arrangements, “If You Believe Your God Is Dead” delivers the word via three minutes and twelve seconds of raw, electrifying funk. Lord knows I wouldn’t have been crawling under pews and drawing pictures in the bulletin during Sunday service if the Silvertones had been in the choir loft. Open these doors and wash yourselves in the Gospel of the Groove. words / j steele

Swan Silvertones :: If You Believe Your God Is Dead (Try Mine)


Hawaii’s Bobby Brown redefines private press psych-folk, with his floating echo, homegrown instrumentation (pictured above) and atmospheric blend of tropical surf vibes, Indian raga music and new age spaciousness. Brown cut three records, including the “live” album from which this track is culled. As the story goes, the album was performed to an audience of one: Brown’s dog, inside his van. Eccentricities aside, “Hawaii” is an undeniably beautiful peace of music. At once earthy, aquatic and cosmic, it transcends space, time and most definitely genre. It’s weightless and it’s infinite, so go ahead and get lost in it. words / c depasquale

Bobby Brown :: Hawaii

maurice and macMaurice McAlister and Green “Mac” McLauren were part of the Chicago-based doo-wop group The Radiants, recording on Chess Records in the 1960s. In the latter half of the decade, they parted ways with that group and headed down to Muscle Shoals, Alabama where they recorded a number of songs at the legendary Fame Studios, including the incendiary 1968 cut “Why Don’t You Try Me,” recently found infusing the soul into our recent Late August Light mixtape. (It also appears on the excellent 2011 compilation, The Fame Studios Story: 1961-1973).

It’s an absolutely killer side, with soaring horns, gliding strings, a funky organ line, and Maurice and Mac singing straight from the gut. Dig the bridge that comes in at about a minute thirty-eight; light timpani, the horns and organ muted, and then it all picks back up in triumphant fashion — we then fade out on the pair belting it out in all their glorious soul. words / c depasquale

Maurice & Mac :: Why Don’t You Try Me


AD / NYC. Aquarium Drunkard – CMJ 2015 – No Jacket Required. October 16th at Rough Trade in Brooklyn. Tickets available, here. More details next month. . .

Protomartyr ~ Drinks ~ Omni ~ Car Seat Headrest ~ Yoko & The Oh Nos ~ Modern Vices ~ Lemon Twigs ~ Mothers

California Coast, Monterey County

Our weekly two hour show on SIRIUS/XMU, channel 35, can now be heard twice, every Friday – Noon EST with an encore broadcast at Midnight EST.

SIRIUS 404: Jean Michel Bernard – Générique Stephane ++ Cotton Jones – Cotton & Velvet ++ Yo La Tengo – Autumn Sweater ++ Jennifer Castle – Powers ++ Steve Gunn – Wildwood ++ Ryley Walker – On The Banks of The Old Kishwaukee ++ Joan Shelley – Over And Even ++ Meg Baird – Counterfeiters ++ Kurt Vile – He’s Alright ++ Norma Tanega – You’re Dead ++ Jessica Pratt – Back, Baby ++ John Hulburt – The Freak On The Black Harley ++ Bonnie “Prince” Billy – You Remind Me Of Something (The Glory Goes) ++ Kurt Vile – That’s Life (Almost Hate To Say) ++ Yo La Tengo – Deeper Into Movies ++ Class McCombs – Big Wheel ++ Kevin Morby – Harlem River ++ Chris Cohen – Optimist High ++ Ryley Walker – Primrose Green ++ Loose Fur – Answers To Your Questions ++ Amen Dunes – Spirits Are Parted ++ Ultimate Painting – Tecumseh Valley (Townes Van Zandt) ++ Ultimate Painting – Three Steps To Heaven (Eddie Cochran) ++ The Everly Brothers :: I Wonder If I Care As Much (Roots version) ++ Sandy Denny – Late November ++ Bill Fay – Omega Day ++ Ian Matthews – Seven Bridges Road ++ Silver Jews – I’m Getting Back Into Getting Back Into You ++ Cotton Jones – Blood Red Sentimental Blues

*Listen for free, online, with the SIRIUS three day trial — just submit an email address and they will send you a password.

maxresdefaultBefore joining Fleetwood Mac and taking John McVie’s name in marriage in 1970 —  and just after her stint in the underground British blues band, Chicken Shack (1967-68) —  Christine Perfect cut a solo album in 1969 that featured her smoky, soulful and sensual vocals in what is possibly her greatest overall performance in this style. Christine, of course, wrote and sang on some massive Fleetwood Mac soft rock hits within a few years time, but there is no denying the innate soul that is featured so prominently on this record. The original English issue is hard to find and very expensive (there was no original US release); however, thanks to the massive popularity of Fleetwood Mac, Sire records reissued the album in 1976 and it’s relatively easy to find in that form, or as a part of a CD titled The Complete Blue Horizon Sessions.

Stellar from start to finish, Christine’s performances on piano and vocals are flawless, as is the backing band. But the real treat is tucked away at the end of side two; a funky, funky take on Tony Joe White’s “I Want You”. Tony Joe was fresh on the scene in the late ’60s with a sound that combined blues, funk, psychedelia and a whole lotta southern drawl — a stew that steamed out of control, boiling over with attitude and groove. And while White’s version is a flat out smoker, the lyric is far more predictable coming from a man. Christine’s version takes it to another level with her seductive vocal on top of a smouldering groove. Top Topham and Richard Hayward are both credited with guitar work, though we’re not sure which of the two plays the OUTRAGEOUS speaker shredding guitar solo. Then it’s all over in 2:35. The only option is to play it again. And again. words / d see

Christine Perfect :: I Want You

R-4940405-1383108262-7806.jpegSoulful soprano voices exist everywhere in Deep Soul music but few reach the stirringly emotional heights of this track from the LA group, The Invincibles. A few singles exist to their name (none being remotely affordable) but even fewer LPs. Well, to be precise, none.

Dave Richardson, Clifton Knight and Lester Johnson recorded their first few singles under Warner Bros. and their R&B subsidiary, Loma. “Heart Full of Love” is backed by and riddled with a noodling guitar of the sunny yet begging “I’ll Come Crawling” and then their relationship troubles continue with 1966’s deep anthem, “Can’t Win” about a guy whose done whatever it takes but just can’t seem to get there. Though these gems are extremely hard to acquire in their original forms, “Heart Full of Love” can be procured through the wonderfully out of print compilation, Soul Over The City, which spotlight’s a for favorites from the historic soul radio station KSOL of San Francisco. words / p dufrene

The Invincibles :: Heart Full Of Love

Was there ever any doubt they’d be back? That’s the only question to consider when listening to Roadside Graves’ Acne/Ears — their first long-player in four years.

Eddy.inddAs aspirations go, every band would love for music-making to be a full-time endeavor. But as realities set in, most bands live parallel lives: There’s the music, life as a band, the thing that for listeners might as well exist independently of anything real. And then there’s everything else. Jobs and relationships and the trying… the trying to settle into the lives that the rest of us do. Eventually, something is compromised and one of those lives wins out. Most usually, it’s the latter. For the Graves, moving past 15 years as a band — not middle-aged by any means, but no longer young — there are jobs and families and all the rest. They’re teachers. They’re married. They’re dispersed across states and countries. If that’s face value — and taking things a that — then the answer to that question could be… sure, there was some doubt. That would be the incorrect answer.

That’s important for two reasons. More generally, this is a band with consistently great work that just isn’t going away, the kind of band whose output will surely be discovered and rediscovered for years. More specifically, Acne/Ears is evidence of the fight that’s kept them going. Not the fight for success or to “make it” as a full-time band. But the fight against the self — against doubt, growing through and beyond experiences, the occasions where those parallels synapse with conflict.


Lagniappe (la·gniappe) noun ˈlan-ˌyap,’ – 1. An extra or unexpected gift or benefit. 2. Something given or obtained as a gratuity or bonus.

Zelig-like co-founder of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, Spooner Oldham cut his professional teeth in Alabama at FAME Studios. After sitting in with the likes of Aretha Franklin, Percy Sledge and Wilson Pickett, Oldham then headed west to Los Angeles to further his reputation as a session man backing Dylan, Neil Young, J.J. Cale, Townes Van Zandt, Ry Cooder, Gram Parsons and beyond. As artists go, the man defines the word bonafides.

This week, Light In The Attic Records is reissuing Oldham’s lone solo album, 1972’s Pot Luck. A sleeper upon its original release, the reissue marks not only the return of the lp to vinyl, but its first ever appearance on CD/digital. While in Los Angeles in July, Oldham cut the following AD session at Red Rockets Glare studios paying tribute to some of his favorite sides. Oldham, in his own words, below…

“Out of Left Field” – I was thinking of Percy sledge, who did such a wonderful rendition of the song. I always liked the Shirelles version of “Dedicated”, and I wanted to do a male version, as the words are not gender specific. “Come On Over” — by Ben Atkins & The Nomads — is an uptempo song, I thought would be fun to play along with Hutch Hutchinson and Phil Jones. It was.

Spooner Oldham :: Out of Left Field (Percy Sledge)
Spooner Oldham :: Dedicated To The One I Love (The Shirelles)
Spooner Oldham :: Come On Over (Ben Atkins & The Nomads)