Sunday, May 30, 2021

Mazzy Star: She Hangs Brightly 1990 + Seasons Of Your Day 2013


Dark Psychedelic Rock dreams from California.
Mazzy Star is an American alternative rock band formed in Santa Monica, California from remnants of the group Opal, in 1988. Founding member David Roback's friend Hope Sandoval became the group's

vocalist when Kendra Smith left Opal. Mazzy Star has deep roots within the Californian Paisley Underground movement of the early 1980s. David Roback, along with his brother Steven, was one of the main architects of leading Los Angeles psychedelic revival band the Rain Parade. Leaving that band after their first LP, he founded Clay Allison in 1983 with then-girlfriend, ex-Dream Syndicate bassist Kendra Smith.

Soon after the publication of their sole release, the 1983 double A-sided single "Fell From the Sun"/"All Souls", Clay Allison renamed themselves Opal and released the LP Happy Nightmare Baby

on SST on December 14, 1987. With Roback as its musical catalyst, Opal were a direct precursor to Mazzy Star musically—often featuring the same psychedelic guitar drones and similar hints of blues and folk that would later appear on Mazzy Star recordings. Meanwhile, Sandoval—who was in high school at the time—formed the folk music duo Going Home in the early 1980s with fellow student Sylvia Gomez, and played gigs with Sonic Youth and Minutemen.

Both were devoted followers of the Rain Parade, and after a 1983 concert by the band in the Los

Angeles area, Gomez entered the backstage area of the venue and gave Roback a copy of Going Home's demo tape, featuring Sandoval on vocals and Gomez on guitar. Upon hearing the tape, Roback offered to produce a still-unreleased album by the pair. When Smith left Opal under cloudy circumstances in the middle of a tour supporting the Jesus & Mary Chain, Sandoval was tapped as her replacement.





She Hangs Brightly was the first album by the dream pop band Mazzy Star,  after the demise of Opal. It

was released in May 1990 on Rough Trade and, although it was not an immediate commercial success, the album established the duo as a recurrent fixture on alternative rock radio, with lead single "Blue Flower" – a cover of the Slapp Happy track (Slapp Happy was a German/English avant-pop group, formed in Germany in 1972.) – peaking at No. 29 on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart. The album would go on to sell over 70,000 copies in the UK.

The leadoff track "Halah" was also released as a single. It announces the band's trademark effect with haunting guitar work and lyrics, and Hope Sandoval's disengaged vocals. Roback's Robbie Krieger-inspired psychedelic blues slide guitar style can be heard on the song, "Free". "Ghost Highway" is another psychedelic rock track, with a fast rhythm. This song dates from the band's days as Opal and was initially slated to be the title track of Opal's second album. While not a commercial success, this album did establish Mazzy Star as a unique band with a unique sound.

In a review for Rolling Stone, Gina Arnold praised She Hangs Brightly as being "coldly beautiful". AllMusic's Jason Ankeny described Hope Sandoval's vocals as "more sultry" than those of Opal's Kendra Smith and praised "Halah" and "Blue Flower" but criticized the album's lack of focus, calling

the remaining tunes "unmemorable". (Mazzy Star's debut, She Hangs Brightly, picks up where Opal's Happy Nightmare Baby left off; merely exchanging Kendra Smith's languorous vocals for the more sultry presence of Hope Sandoval, David Roback continues chasing the neo-psychedelic holy grail he's pursued since his days with the Rain Parade, albeit with mixed success here. After opening with a pair of standouts, the dreamy "Halah" and the garage-inspired "Blue Flower," the album quickly loses focus, and even the group's solid grasp of atmosphere and texture can't overcome the songs' distinctly unmemorable melodies.)

Kurt Cobain of Nirvana listed She Hangs Brightly in his top fifty albums of all time. In 2018, Pitchfork ranked the album at number 29 on its list of the 30 best dream pop albums.

The album cover is a shot of the interior of Hotel Tassel in Brussels.



01. Halah         3:16
02. Blue Flower  (Peter BlegvadAnthony Moore)  3:35
03. Ride It On         3:01
04. She Hangs Brightly         6:24
05. I'm Sailin'  (Minnie McCoy)    3:13
06. Give You My Lovin'  (Sylvia Gomez)    3:50
07. Be My Angel         3:17
08. Taste of Blood         5:36
09. Ghost Highway    (Roback)    3:28
10. Free     3:11
11. Before I Sleep     2:10

Total length:    40:28


Hope Sandoval
David Roback
Sylvia Gomez
Keith Mitchell
Suki Ewers
William Cooper
Paul Olguin


Waitin' for a sign from you
Waitin' for a signal to change
Have you forgotten what your love can do?
Is this the end?

Walkin' through the city
Your boots are high-hilled and are shinin' bright
The sun was sparklin' on the shaft of your knife
Flower in the morning rain
Dying in my hand

Was it all in vain?
Superstar in your own private movie
I wanted just a minor part
But I'm no fool
I know you're cool
I never really wanted your heart

You're the keeper of the key
Nothing seems to bring you down
It's not that cool when I'm around

Flower in the morning rain
Dying in my hand

Was it all in vain?
Superstar in your own bright movie
I wanted just a minor part
But I'm no fool
I know you're cool
I never really wanted your heart

MP3 @ 320 Size:  MB
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(Mazzy Star is one of those rare bands whose very name has come to define a certain aesthetic. Many of us who make a living writing and talking about music are all probably guilty at some point of describing a new record as having a very “Mazzy Star” kind of vibe — i.e. anything pretty and dreamy

and druggy and gorgeously slow. If anything, it’s a compliment to the band that they have managed, over the course of 23 years, to carve out their own private and very woozy niche. Mazzy Star makes music that brings to mind hints of the folky Paisley Underground, soporific blues riffs, reverbed guitar lines that go one for days, and a voice — courtesy of Hope Sandoval — with the same sonic quality as opium smoke, rising and weaving through songs that always sound best when played in the middle of the night (or, for those of us of a certain age, perhaps during a college makeout session).

It’s been 17 years since the duo last released an album (1996’s Among My Swan), but this month they will break their long silence with the release of Seasons of Your Day, an album that pretty much sounds exactly like Mazzy Star (in the most beautiful way possible). I contacted Sandoval and bandmate David

Roback via the world’s most complicated Skype scenario: Hope in Ireland, David in Norway, and myself in Brooklyn. Not surprisingly, given their reclusive nature and the famously reserved quality of their music, the two musicians might just be the unchattiest people I’ve ever tried to talk to. I don’t mind, though. Mazzy Star’s music has seen me (and a lot of people) through some dark and confusing (and also wonderful) times … and even if they aren’t all that psyched about explaining themselves, I’m just happy that they are back.) STEREOGUM

Seasons of Your Day is the fourth studio album by American alternative rock band Mazzy Star. It was released on September 23, 2013 by the band's own independent record label, Rhymes of An Hour. Their first record since the release of their third album Among My Swan in 1996, and the subsequent

dissolution of their contract with Capitol Records the following year, they continued recording in 1997 while without a record deal and worked sporadically until the completion of the album in September 2012. The album was recorded in several locations including California, London and Norway, and features contributions from most of the band's original members, including their late violinist Will Glenn, who died from cancer in 2001. The album also features Hope Sandoval's Warm Inventions partner Colm Ó Cíosóig, while the late Bert Jansch performs guitar on the song "Spoon".

Upon its release, Seasons of Your Day received generally favorable reviews from music critics, who complimented its overall production and quality of songwriting. "Common Burn"/"Lay Myself Down"

was released as the lead single from the album on October 31, 2011 digitally, while a limited edition 7" vinyl followed on January 24, 2012. "California" was issued as the first proper single from the album on August 20, 2013. A double A-sided 7" vinyl of "Seasons of Your Day"/"Sparrow" was released through Rough Trade Records on November 4, 2013. The album was followed by a non-album single, "I'm Less Here" on Record Store Day 2014.

The album charted at a career-high position of number 24 on the UK Albums Chart, while also peaking at number five on Billboard's Independent Albums Chart. The band promoted the album with a fourteen date tour of North America in November 2013.



01. In the Kingdom    5:15
02. California    5:23
03. I've Gotta Stop    4:05
04. Does Someone Have Your Baby Now?    4:09
05. Common Burn    5:10
06. Seasons of Your Day    3:41
07. Lay Myself Down    4:32
08. Sparrow    4:05
09. Spoon    6:10
10. Flying Low    7:36

Total length:    50:05


David Roback – guitar, keyboard, producer, engineer, mixing
Hope Sandoval – vocals, guitar, glockenspiel, harmonica, tambourine, producer, engineer, mixing
William Cooper – keyboard on "Lay Myself Down"
Suki Ewers – keyboard
Keith Mitchell – drums
Paul Mitchell – viola on "Seasons of Your Day"
Colm Ó Cíosóig – guitar, bass, keyboard, drums
Bert Jansch – guitar on "Spoon"
Stephen McCarthy – pedal steel guitar on "Lay Myself Down"
Paul Olguin – bass on "Lay Myself Down"

MP3 @ 320 Size:  MB
Flac  Size:  MB


On This Blog you can also find: The Dream Syndicate, Opal, The Rain Parade.

Friday, May 28, 2021

The Sound: Shock Of Daylight 1984 + Heads And Hearts 1985


The Sound's inability to break through to the type of '80s post-punk prominence reserved for the likes

of Joy Division and Echo & the Bunnymen, the two bands the Sound fell in between sound-wise, isn't all that easy to explain away. When a deserving band fails at to become something of a household name, the easy targets -- the industry, the press, the drug problems, the coke-head producer who mangled what was supposed to be the "Big Record" -- are normally fingered.

But none of those targets truly apply here in the strictest sense. While most of the Sound's records weren't released in the U.S., no American record executive can take any blame; they can simply point to the fact that the Sound were merely respectable unit shifters -- a prototypical cult act -- in their homeland of England, so they wouldn't have fared well across the pond.

The press was generally supportive, especially early on; collectively they gave the band more positive reviews than most others, which makes perfect sense because none of the Sound's five studio LPs suffered from uneven characteristics. Each one made progress from the previous and each one ranged from good to spectacular.

Their songs had hooks and emotional impact without bombast, with lyrics that often confronted the

problems of young adulthood without simply moping and falling into escapist chutes. The members themselves weren't cute teen idol types (though they were far from being tough on the eye), and they didn't have big personalities or say big things during interviews, but that's obviously no fault of their own.

They were able to cultivate large followings in Germany and Holland, but aside from those countries and a couple other European territories, indifference and history has made them all but invisible.
By Andy Kellman


Label: Renascent ?– REN CD 1
Format: CD, Compilation, Remastered
Country: UK
Released: 1996
Genre: Rock
New Wave, Post-Punk, Dark Wave



01. Golden Soldiers     3:18
02. Longest Days     5:09
03. Counting The Days     3:36
04. Winter     4:19
05. A New Way Of Life     4:39
06. Dreams Then Plans     4:06



07. Whirlpool     4:02
08. Total Recall     4:31
09. Under You     4:20
10. Burning Part Of Me     3:27
11. Love Is Not A Ghost 4:16
12. Wildest Dreams     5:13
13. One Thousand Reasons 3:04
14. Restless Time     3:38
15. Mining For Heart     2:47
16. World As It Is     2:11
17. Temperature Drop     4:22


18.     Blood And Poison   3:23
19.     Steel Your Air   3:37



Bass – Graham Bailey
Drums, Percussion – Michael Dudley
Keyboards – Colvin Mayers
Producer – Pat Collier (tracks: 1 to 6), Wally Brill (tracks: 7 to 17)
Saxophone – Ian Nelson
Trumpet – Sarah Smith (2), Tim Smith
Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards – Adrian Borland

Digitally remastered compilation reissue of the albums "Shock Of Daylight" (1984, tracks 1 to 6) and "Heads And Hearts" (1985, tracks 7 to 17) with two bonus tracks (18 and 19) which were previously released as B-sides on the "One Thousand Reasons" 12".

These two albums had not been previously issued together as a single compiled release.

"Shock Of Daylight" produced at Townhouse 3, January 1984.
"Heads And Hearts" produced at Townhouse 3, November 1984.
"Blood And Poison"/"Steel Your Air" produced at Silo, July 1984.

MP3 @ 320 Size: 170 MB
Flac  Size: 473 MB



There is
good in all of us
There is beauty in all things
But when the sense of this is lost
We begin our poisoning
Words are weapons, words are swords
We use to cut each other down
Are we only happy when we're lord
And we can watch the lowly kiss our ground?

And he won't talk to me so the silence is set
And she won't sing for me, only one sad lament
Poison is seeping through into the essence we kept
Revenge pours on revenge
And as the blood drains away
It's the poison that stays corrupting the veins

And we take something from the sky
And we grind it into dirt
And then we wonder where it's gone
Then we wonder what we've done
What went wrong?

The Sound albums on Urban Aspirines HERE

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

The Detroit Cobras: Life, Love And Leaving 2001 + Seven Easy Pieces (EP) 2003

One of the earliest groups to emerge from the Detroit garage rock scene, the Detroit Cobras developed a

reputation as the Midwest's finest (and most distinctive) cover band -- while the bandmembers devoted themselves to performing other people's material rather than recycling established hits, the Detroit Cobras dug deep into the well of vintage R&B and primitive rock & roll sides, building an individual identity out of lost classics from the past which they modified to fit their swaggering aural personality.

The Detroit Cobras were formed in 1995 by Steve Shaw, who developed a taste for classic R&B from

spending time with Alex Chilton, whom he met through his friends in Detroit primitives the Gories. The first edition of the Detroit Cobras featured former exotic dancer Rachel Nagy on vocals, Shaw and Maribel Restrepo/Mary Ramirez (ex-Vertical Pillows) on guitars, Jeff Meier (from Rocket 455) on bass, and Vic Hill on drums, and they released their first 7" in 1996.

Mink Rat or Rabbit
In what would prove to be the first in a long line of personal changes, Hill was replaced by Chris

Fachini by the time the Cobras released their third single (which also hit the stores in 1996), and their debut LP, Mink Rat or Rabbit, featured a third timekeeper, Damian Lang (who'd worked with Snake Out and Elvis Hitler). During the three years that passed before the Detroit Cobras appeared on the Jack White-produced compilation Sympathetic Sounds of Detroit, founder Shaw left the band, with Dante Aliano stepping in on guitar and Rob Smith taking over on bass.

Life, Love and Leaving
Rachel Nagy's tough but soulful vocals and Maribel Restrepo's lean, muscular guitar lines would be the

group's only constants from this point on, though they would be enough to earn the group a potent following on the American garage scene and a major buzz in the United Kingdom, where they scored a deal with the fabled indie label Rough Trade, which released 2001's Life, Love and Leaving in Great Britain (it appeared on Sympathy for the Record Industry in the United States). (That LP also featured new guy Eddie Hawrsh on bass.)

Seven Easy Pieces

The two albums consisted entirely of cover versions of popular songs from the 1960s. Their retro-garage rock formula proved popular in the UK and prompted the London-based Rough Trade Records to sign the band. They released an EP, Seven Easy Pieces, in 2003 and their third full-length album, Baby, in 2004.


While veteran tunesmiths Ellie Greenwich and Jackie DeShannon expressed interest in writing material with the group, the fourth Cobras album, 2004's Baby, once again featured them rocking out on a stack of R&B dusties, though Greg Cartwright, who helped produce the album, did co-write an original with Nagy and Restrepo, "Hot Dog (Watch Me Eat)." The album also documented another Cobras lineup, with Nagy and Restrepo joined by Steve Nawara on guitar, Joe Mazzola on bass, and Kenny Tudrick on drums.

Tied & True

After a brief hiatus and a move to Bloodshot Records, the Phil Spector-influenced Tied & True was released in 2007 with yet another rotation of musicians -- reintroducing Greg Cartwright and adding seasoned bassist Carol Schumacher, a fellow member of the Reigning Sound, to the ever-changing roster.

The band is known for multiple lineup changes, as noted in the side bar. They generally have a touring

lineup different from their recording lineup. Greg Cartwright of Reigning Sound (aka Greg Oblivian of The Oblivians) has been a constant creative force along with Nagy and Ramirez, who have been around since the group's genesis. In the summer of 2008, The Detroit Cobras went on tour in support of X on their 13x31 tour. For the summer of 2009, The Detroit Cobras headlined a tour w/ the Dex Romweber Duo in support.
Mark Deming

Discography: Albums and EPs

Mink, Rat or Rabbit
- LP, CD, MP3 (1998, Sympathy for the Record Industry; reissued 2004 and 2016)
Life, Love and Leaving - LP, CD (2001, Sympathy for the Record Industry, Rough Trade; reissued 2004, Sinnamon Records, Rough Trade)
Life, Love and Leaving - remastered CD, MP3 (2016, Third Man)
Seven Easy Pieces (EP) - CD (2003, Rough Trade)
Baby - LP, CD, MP3 (2004, Rough Trade, Sinnamon Records; reissued 2005, Rough Trade)
Baby - Enhanced CD (2005, Bloodshot, BS 125 - includes Seven Easy Pieces and video of Cha Cha Twist)
Tied & True - LP, CD (2007, Rough Trade, Bloodshot, Fiveman Army; reissued 2011 Bloodshot)





01. Hey Sailor  (Original by Mickey Lee Lane)
02. He Did It  (Original by the Ronettes)
03. Find Me a Home  (Original by Solomon Burke)
04. Oh My Lover  (Original by the Chiffons)
05. Cry On  (Original by Irma Thomas)
06. Stupidity  (Original by Solomon Burke)
07. Bye Bye Baby  (Original by Mary Wells)
08. Boss Lady  (Original by Davis Jones & The Fenders)
09. Laughing at You  (Original by The Gardenias)
10. Can't Miss Nothing  (Original by Ike and Tina Turner)
11. Right Around the Corner  (Original by The 5 Royales)
12. Won't You Dance With Me  (Original by Billy Lee and The Rivieras)
13. Let's Forget About the Past  (Original by Clyde McPhatter)
14. Shout Bama Lama  (Original by Otis Redding)



Rachel Nagy – vocals
Maribel (Mary) Ramirez – guitar
Dante Aliano (Dante Adrian White) – guitar
Eddie Harsch – bass/organ/piano
Damian Lang – drums


James Wailin – harmonica
Jeff Grand – slide guitar

MP3 @ 320 Size: 226 MB
Flac  Size: 74 MB





Ya Ya Ya (Looking for My Baby)  (original written by Doc Starkes, Melvin Smith of the Nite Riders)
02. My Baby Loves the Secret Agent  (original written by Fred Sledge Smith of The Olympics)
03. Heartbeat  (original written by Edward C. Cobb for singer Gloria Jones)
04. You Don't Knock  (original written by Roebuck "Pops" Staples of The Staple Singers)
05. Silver & Gold (When I Get Like This)  (original written Carl Lebow and Otto Jeffries by for The "5" Royales)
06. 99 and a Half Just Won't Do  (original written by Ronald G. King for Dorothy Love Coates)
07. Insane Asylum  (original written by Willie Dixon for Koko Taylor)



Rachel Nagy - Vocals
Mary Ramirez - Guitar / Vocals
Greg Cartwright - Guitar / Vocals on Insane Asylum
Eddie Harsch - Bass / Keys / Vocals
Kenny Tudrick - Drums / Vocals on Insane Asylum
Joey Mazzola - Guitar solo on Ya Ya Ya (Looking for My Baby)
Steve Nawara - additional Guitar on Silver & Gold (When I Get Like This)

MP3 @ 320 Size: 49 MB
Flac  Size: 134 MB

The Detroit Cobras: Mink, Rat or Rabbit HERE