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Showing posts from September, 2017

Dave Grohl as Late!

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Way back when Dave Grohl was the new drummer for an obscure indie-label band called Nirvana, he recorded a low-budget, low-profile solo album under the pseudonym of Late! (yes, the exclamation point was part of the spelling). Over the course of two sessions that took place several months apart, the then-unknown drummer recorded the album -- or, perhaps we should say, the cassette -- titled Pocketwatch. This cassette-only album was distributed by a now-defunct indie label called Simple Machines, as part of their Tool Cassette Series. The recordings in this series were only made available on cassette, not on CD or vinyl, and were reproduced on a just-in-time, as-needed basis when copies were ordered. The cassette was issued in 1992, after Nirvana hit the big time, and it wasn't long before word began to get around that Late! was actually Nirvana's drummer. A few years later, after Grohl had become the singer/guitarist/leader of the Foo Fighters, there was eventually such an incr…

Truly "Heart And Lungs" EP (1991)

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It's hard to believe that the movie Singles was released 25 years ago today, on September 18, 1992. Cameron Crowe's romantic comedy was set against the backdrop of the legendary Seattle grunge rock scene when it was at its peak, and now serves as a time capsule item for that vital time and place in rock and roll history. Its soundtrack album was a who's-who of Seattle grunge artists, featuring songs from many of the genre's giants (Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice In Chains) alongside tracks from Mother Love Bone (featuring members-to-be of Pearl Jam), Mudhoney, and Screaming Trees. It also featured songs by pre-grunge Seattle icons like Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart (as the Lovemongers) and Jimi Hendrix (who, by the way, died on this date in 1970). To top it all off, it contained two solo tracks from Paul Westerberg (shortly after the breakup of the Replacements), and one of the best Smashing Pumpkins songs ever, "Drown", which was not included on any Pumpkins …

Black Sheep with Lou Gramm

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Before he attained major stardom as the lead singer of Foreigner, Lou Gramm -- who was then known as Lou Grammatico -- fronted a Rochester, NY band called Black Sheep. This quintet (not to be confused with a '90's hip-hop outfit with the same name) recorded two albums for Capitol Records, both released in 1975. The band was plagued by bad luck at that time, just when they seemed to be on the brink of success. After former Spooky Tooth guitarist Mick Jones heard Black Sheep's self-titled album, he invited Gramm to join his new band Trigger, which soon became Foreigner. Gramm did eventually collaborate again with two of his ex-bandmates. Black Sheep bassist Bruce Turgon and guitarist Don Mancuso both participated in Gramm's late-'80's solo albums. Turgon also played in Gramm's short-lived band Shadow King in 1991, and then joined Foreigner in 1992; Mancuso took part in Gramm's later solo touring.

Before the release of their first album, Black Sheep rele…

Jean Michel Jarre "Musique Pour Supermarché" (1983)

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There are rare records, and then there are rare records, some of which have only ever had one legitimate physical copy made. One of those rare-as-it-gets recordings was a 1983 album called Musique Pour Supermarché, aka Music for Supermarkets, recorded by Jean Michel Jarre. The French electronic music composer (the son of famed film soundtrack composer Maurice Jarre, who was a pioneer in using electronic music in films) recorded the instrumental album near Paris during the Spring of '83, and then had only one LP copy pressed. On July 6th of that year, the sole copy was sold at an auction, where the master plates were publicly destroyed. It sold for 69,000 francs -- roughly equivalent to 9,000 U.S. dollars at the time. Jarre said that the point was to create "a single copy for a single buyer, like a painting with a single owner.” The inner sleeve artwork showed 11 photographs illustrating the story of the making of the record, while the 12th space was left blank for the buyer t…