terça-feira, 16 de setembro de 2008

The Freak Scene & The Devils Anvil (1967 US Psychedelia Rock Middle East)


PSICODELIA E ROCK DO ORIENTE MÉDIO!! DUAS BANDAS INTERLIGADAS DISPONIBLIZADO EM UM SÓ CD!! A CAPA MOSTRA O DESERTO E PIRÂMIDES DO EGITO, MAS NÃO SE ENGANE, A MAIOR PARTE DOS CARAS ERAM ÁRABES AMERICANOS DE NOVA YORK, MESMO QUE O SOM SEJA UM AUTÊNTICO ROCK DO ORIENTE MÉDIO IGUAL FAZIAM SEUS CONTERRÂNEOS TURCOS, COMO POR EXEMPLO, ERKIN KORAY E MOGOLLAR!! UM CONHECIDO DO ROCK FEZ PARTE DA BANDA, "FELIX PAPPALARDI", DA POPULAR BANDA MOUNTAIN!! ALBUM DE COLECIONADOR E EXTREMAMENTE RARO!! TENTEM TRADUZIR E LER A HISTÓRIA DOS CARAS QUE SEGUE ABAIXO E VEJAM QUE INTERESSANTE ESTE ALBUM!!

In light of recent events, we figured that this reissue of "Hard Rock From the Middle East" would make a great choice for record of the week...no, we don't mean 'cause of the current war, we mean because of the popularity of the "Turkish Delights" and "Hava Narghile" compilations 'round these parts. We've been super-into those collections of fuzzed-out '60s Middle Eastern psych-rock this year, as are quite a few of you, judging by their still-booming sales. So, when we recently discovered this 1998 cd that contains the reissued The Devil's Anvil album, it quickly became a favorite at AQ.

The cover art shows the band hangin' in the desert in front of the pyramids of Egypt -- but don't be fooled, they were actually mostly Arab-Americans, based in New York City. Still, their rock n' roll was as authentically "Middle Eastern" as their Turkish contemporaries. They could have held their own with the likes of Erkin Koray and Mogollar.

Ok, now we'd better explain about this particular cd (pay attention, it gets kinda confusing): Sony's Collectables has reissued two long-out-of-print 1967 albums by two totally different bands on *one* disc. The bands are tenuously connected through the friendship of The Freak Scene's Rusty Evans and Felix Pappalardi of The Devil's Anvil, as the two had played together four years previous. Okay, so maybe it's a bit of a stretch putting these two albums together on one disc. Whatever. The real treasure here is The Devil's Anvil album.

The Devil's Anvil got together in the happenin' mid sixties Greenwich Village scene, playing their Middle Eastern influenced music at folk cafes and rock clubs. Eventually they hooked up with classical musician-turned-rocker Felix Pappalardi (producer of Cream's "Disraeli Gears", later to play alongside Leslie West in Mountain). He began playing bass with the band and eventually scored the group a record deal. The resulting album was truly one-of-a-kind and would certainly made greater impact had it not been released on the very eve of the Arab-Israeli war in 1967. Thus, no New York radio stations would play it and unfortunately the album has remained an expensive collector's find until now.

The rock contained herein is absolutely kick ass, with bluesy and impassioned Arabic vocals, electric (or at least amplified) oud, bouzouki, tamboura, durbeki as well as the usual rock suspects of (fuzz!) guitar, bass and drums. The majority of the tracks here are either rock arrangements of traditional Middle Eastern and Greek numbers or original compositions, but a couple are actually straight traditional numbers with no western instruments at all. Plus there's an excellent Middle Eastern-esque rock arangement of "Misirlou" that's perhaps the best version ever recorded, IMHO. And the record ends with a Devil's Anvil original that kinda reminds us of one of the Beatles' more Eastern-influenced tunes. This is about as good as it gets. Even if the Freak Scene album doesn't interest you at all, this cd is still worth buying for The Devil's Anvil alone. Very, very highly recommended! Nay, ESSENTIAL.

(As for The Freak Scene -- you might guess from that band's name and album title, The Freak Scene were a bit of a psychedelic-era novelty, a studio project put together by producer/songwriter Evans for CBS Records. The record exploits all of the trippy tropes of the times, from Eastern-raga modes to LSD-inspired lyrics. It's no classic, but does include at least one truly great psych-pop track, the Nuggets-worthy "A Million Grains of Sand". The Freak Scene also indulges in dated but amusing free-form sound-collage experiments like "...When In The Course of Human Events (Draft Beer, Not Students)" which tries to make a statement about the whole sixties counterculture vibe. It's a mix of Pete Seeger, Laugh-In, an LSD party -- Vietnam-era pop culture hippie kitsch -- consider it a free bonus that comes with The Devil's Anvil album.)

The Freak Scene:
01. A Million Grains Of Sand - The Freak Scene
02. '...When In The Course Of Human Events'- The Freak Scene
03. Rose Of Smiling Faces - The Freak Scene
04. Behind The Mind - The Freak Scene
05. The Subway Ride Thru Inner Space - The Freak Scene
06. Butterfly Dream - The Freak Scene
07. My Rainbow Life - The Freak Scene
08. The Center Of My Soul - The Freak Scene
09. Watered Down Soul - The Freak Scene
10. Red Roses Will Weep - The Freak Scene
11. Mind Bender - The Freak Scene
12. Grok! - The Freak Scene

The Devils Anvil:
13. Wala Dai - The Devil's Anvil
14. Nahna U Diab - The Devil's Anvil
15. Karkadon - The Devil's Anvil
16. Selim Alai - The Devil's Anvil
17. Isme - The Devil's Anvil
18. Besaha - The Devil's Anvil
19. Shisheler - The Devil's Anvil
20. Kley - The Devil's Anvil
21. Hala Hala - The Devil's Anvil
22. Treea Pethya - The Devil's Anvil
23. Misirlou - The Devil's Anvil
24. Teyeul Leili - The Devil's Anvil

http://rapidshare.com/files/145771006/Freak_Venenos.rar
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