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MODERN HARMONIC

Sun Ra

Ra To The Rescue

    One of the rarer albums in the Sun Ra canon, RTTR originally entered our orbit in 1983, mystifying listeners and confounding Ra fanatics with the minimal info on the Saturn pressing.

    Recorded at several locations over several years (including legendary avant-garde arts enclave, the Squat Theater in NYC), the tracks here include everything from Ra's sci- fi synthesizer insanity, Marshall Allen's skronking sax, an excellent Arkestra vocal track 'They Plan To Leave,' and so much more.

    TRACK LISTING

    Mystery, Mr. Ra
    When Spaceships Appear (Ra To The Rescue Ch. 1) 
    Back Alley Blues (Fragile Emotion Blues)
    Drummerlistics
    Children Of The Sun 
    Cosmo-Party Blues
    Space Shuttle (Ra To The Rescue Ch. 2)
    Fate In A Pleasant Mood
    They Plan To Leave
    When Lights Are Dark (Back Alley Blues Alternate)

    Sun Ra

    Astro Black

      One of a handful of albums Sun Ra released on the legendary Impulse! label in the early ‘70s, Astro Black provides a comprehensive picture of where the Arkestra was around the time, drawing to the end of their ultra-free period and beginning to investigate more traditional jazz forms, and even the fringes of funk.

      TRACK LISTING

      Astro Black
      Discipline “99”
      Hidden Spheres
      The Cosmo-Fire

      Something Weird

      Spook Show

        Something Weird has exhumed a crypt full of classic Spook Show promos and radio spots monstrously mashed together with fiendish rare surf and garage rock instrumentals. Includes a delightfully deranged DVD featuring Monsters Crash the Pajama Party and more bone-chilling freakouts of fright! LP includes a zine style liner note insert!

        From the 1930s until the 1970s a popular form of entertainment, quaintly called, The Ghost (or Spook) Show, enthralled America. Traveling magicians and illusionists went on the road and added horror elements to their regular (often predictable) stage acts. This appealed to youngsters eager for cheap thrills and chills. The advertising campaigns promised to “scare the yell” out of those “brave” enough to attend, and performances took place mostly at midnight in movie theatres that were decorated with outrageous lobby displays publicizing the shocking and scary things about to be seen - ghosts, ghouls, monsters, gorillas, mad doctors, and some things “so terrifying” that they couldn’t even be mentioned. During the course of the night, classic horror movies were shown, and there were contests with corny gimmicks and silly prizes.

        How does Something Weird fit in? Well, during 2001 SWV compiled what was to become one of their most popular and beloved DVDs, Monsters Crash the Pajama Party Spook Show Spectacular. It featured over three hours of rare Ghost Show shorts and trailers, radio spot audio, galleries of memorabilia, and commentaries with legendary living Ghostmasters. The folks at SWV were huge Spook Show fans and collected anything related to the subject including original 35mm film trailers as well as radio spots on promotional 45s and magnetic tape. So this was a dream project for them, and something near and dear to their bloody hearts.

        Since its release, audio bits from the MCTPPSSS have popped up on radio stations and music compilations. People love them. So it just seemed logical that Something Weird do a Spook Show album. And like our old pal, Jim “The Mad Doctor” Ridenour, we’ve always believed that horror and rock ‘n roll go hand in hand, so what better way than to combine some rarely heard, fiendish surf and garage rock instrumentals with the trailer & radio spot audio and incidental music from the DVD? Now all groovy ghouls and goblins can time travel and have a Spook Show A Go-Go Party! (Just add your own ghosts and gorilla suits...)

        TRACK LISTING

        Something Weird Sound Effect • On With The Show • Young American Mystic Cult Of Horrors • Cemetary Stomp - The Essex • Dr. Evil And His Terrors Of The Unknown • The Morgus Creep – Daringers • Friday The 13th Jinx Show • The Mad Daddy Shock Theatre & The Great London Ghost Show - Incidental Music • Halloween Convention Of Spooks • Count Dracula - The Rockin’ Continentals • Asylum Of The Insane - Radio Spot • Dr. Satan And His Shrieks In The Night • Hey Weirdos • Haunted House - Oscar & The Majestics •A Real Dead Body Giveaway • Monsters Crash The Pajama Party – Opening • Monsters Crash The Pajama Party - Radio Spot • The Giggler - Pat And The Wildcats • The Crawling Thing Plus The Creature Of Evil - Radio Spot • Friday The 13th Midnight Show - Incidental Music • Kara-Kum Of Hollywood - Mortuary Of 18 Living Nightmares • Trial Of The Dead - Radio Spot • The Guillotine - The Executioners • The Teenage Psycho Meets Bloody Mary - Radio Spot • Monsters A Go-Go - Radio Spot • Night Beat - The Night Beats • Dr. Silkini’s Giant Triple Scream Show - Garganta Alive In Person! • Fantastic Horror Frolic - Incidental Music • Dr. Macabre’s Frightmare Of Movie Monsters • Marathon Of Fright • Transylvania - The Mysterions • A Man Buried Alive

        Alexander "skip" Spence

        I Want A Rock & Roll Band / I Got A Lot To Say / Mary Jane

          Skip leaves his hotel. Its a cold day in Nashville, climbing to only 43 F in the afternoon. It may be Sunday, but on this day a 22-year-old musician is working at Columbia Recording Studios. Over the past few days, hes recorded a slew of new songs and today will be no different. On December 7, 1968, Skip Spence will record no less than 8 different songs. He has only 3 more days left to finish the album. It's been fast and furious and its also been tough, recording every instrument on every track, layer after layer, song after song, overdub after overdub.

          In a sense, Skip is now a one-man rock & roll band. A few months ago, he was in a band, but now hes on a different path. On one of today's tracks, he opens with a low growl, "I want a rock & roll band." He then sighs, perhaps wishing he didn't have to do it all himself. After repeating the phrase, he adds, "One that spits fire and chews blood!" Skip was in that sort of band just a few months earlier the talented but jinxed Moby Grape. It's like he was writing a note to himself, thinking about his old band, thinking about himself as a band, and perhaps thinking about other bands as well. Maybe he was also writing a reply to the Byrds, who once sang, "So you want to be a rock & roll star." Like the Byrds, Skip was grounded in folk music. Twenty months ago, Moby Grape opened for the Byrds at the Fillmore and Winterland in San Francisco. They’d rehearsed tirelessly for days-on-end beforehand. But Skip doesn't want to go back to his past. "I don't want the Fillmore," he roars, "I want a rock & roll plan."

          While his future may be unclear, Skip is on a mission to record everything he has in his body & soul. For a part of that Sunday so long ago, that included, "I Want a Rock & Roll Band” a song that features so many of Skips hallmarks, wit, spontaneity, wordplay, a mixture of intricate & percussive guitar, verve, & a beautiful falsetto. It's a rollicking snapshot of where Skip Spence was at, smack dab in the middle of his Oar sessions one cold Sunday in Nashville, Tennessee.

          Sun Ra And His Arkestra

          El Is A Sound Of Joy / Black Sky And Blue Moon

            Shining sounds from the dawn of the Sun Ra Arkestra. "El is A Sound of Joy" was recorded in 1956 and appeared the following year on the very first Saturn LP, Super-Sonic Jazz. Incredible is the fact that saxophonist Charles Davis, here providing the soulful baritone anchor line (counterpoint to Ra's formidable left hand), remains in the front-line of today's Sun Ra Arkestra directed by Marshall Allen. Shuffle swing breakdown jets leisurely, casually, masterfully, painting lush, post-modern impressions of ancient future worlds, of space, of time … of Chicago's elevated trains … Reaching for the sky, for Joy …. The “Joy” coda dovetails magically into the intro theme of "Black Sky And Blue Moon," before downshifting into another dimension of romantic outrospection. We follow The Nu Sounds, aka Cosmic Rays, on a faraway journey to the land of late-50s Chicago singing groups, the Arkestra supporting with quiet grace, pulsing in Nubians of Plutonia mode. An uncanny blend of antique blackness and bright satellites, ethereal voices perfectly in tune; thanks to Ra's disciplined coaching (plus Modern Harmonic's expert re-mastering), their sweet dynamics and exact harmonics are crystal clear. Flute solo from Marshall Allen. Hearts swelling like the full moon, ripening in the darkness to the point of bursting.


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