Monday, December 30, 2019

Seven And Seven Is ...

Th' Elevators! Carve dere name wit' pride! An' what better way of celebratin' th' noo year dan countin' down dese swell songs wit' dat broad in yer lap, a drink in yer mitt, an' a tear in yer eye? Why - dere ain't none, you sap!

These are the original mono mixes of both sides of all their singles for United Artists, originally issued in a shitty-looking made-in-China "limited edition" from Charly (*shudder*). Here adorned in sumptuous art what I painted meself on velvet cut from me own loon pants.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Supreme Monster General Bong Pot's Psychedelic Psunday

While inspecting North Korea's border fortifications, Bong Pot sets off security gate alarms in Seoul airport, such is the awesomeness of his medal array. His hat has been used as a helicopter landing pad by Dear Leader Kim Jong Un, for which he was awarded the Mighty Splendor Of Hat Girth And Strength Medal, and an expenses paid stay in military hospital.

But few of his grateful goose-stepping underlings know he is a keen collector of "neo-psych" albums. He contacted FMF© recently to rectify this lack of appreciation.

Salt Lake City's finest, 2017
"False Memory Foam© the choose blog of North Korea Massed Military Force," he said via Google Translate. "It heart wish and direct order more neo-psych albums that feature. For good example, please look to recording of Pansy Band and also The Green Seagulls. Both offer respectfulness to psych tradition. We very enjoy!"

Swingin' That London, 2018
I'm sure his choices will please the Four Or Five Guys, and welcome more contributions from totalitarian states!

These are never going to replace Electric Music For The Mind And Body in my - or probably your - heart, but they're entertaining and stylistically adroit enough for a few listens.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Thomas Jefferson - Airplane

As an interim post, to ease us slowly back into the giddy swing of facetiousness that has been the hallmark of the FalseMemoryFoam© experience, here's the great Thomas Jefferson Kaye (born Kontos) from the obscure '72 non-Wiki'd White Cloud album, through his two solo albums for ABC from the next year, and his last album Not Alone, recorded two years before his death in 1994.

Of all his considerable career achievements, singing an emotional Becker-Fagen original is the most surprising. American Lovers, from First Grade, is that rare thing, a Steely Dan song without a trace of irony - which is maybe why they didn't record it themselves (although they performed it live in 2011). It was covered in 1980 by Blaise Tosti [me neither - Ed.], and is, as they say, a belting good tune.

A pharmaceuticals enthusiast from the moment he touched down in California, he eventually died from overdosing on the painkillers he took to ease the pain of overdosing on all the other drugs he took. Hey ho. But he left a brilliant body of work, both as musician and producer.

Tommy Kontos, top right, wit' Th' Ideals, Noo Joizy, '59

Friday, December 13, 2019

Away From My Desk - Memo

Real life - or a version of it - has kicked in - with steel toe-caps - and I will return to Th' House O'Foam© around Christmas/New Year.

A Foam-Filled Festivus to th' Four or Five Guys!

Quick memo: Your good wishes are more appreciated than you know - thank you very much. I'm fine, but occupied with my Dad for a while.

Monday, December 9, 2019

The Comfy Brothers Album Du Jour

Photo: courtesy Archie Valparaiso
Knitwear enthusiasts The Comfy Brothers [pictured at home, left - Ed.] have a secret passion. Can you guess what it is, readers? No, not that. Everyone knows about that. Give up? It's French chansonniers [Fr. shirt-makers - Ed.] - from France! Let Monty Comfy [seated - Ed.] take up the story:

"Well! It all started on a holiday in la belle France. Neddy [standing - Ed.] and I were scouring the Auvergne for antiquities when we heard the most divine music emanating from a window. Naturally we had to investigate! So-"

That's enough of their shit, I think. Here's a swell collection of Francis Cabrel's swellest tuneage. He's been Foamfeatured© antecedently to rapturous applause from you sophisticates drinking chilled Chablonnais from longstemmed glasses, and this is more of the same excellence in song artistry. I fucking hate this guy. He lived my life. He had the brooding handsomeness, the talent, the savoir fesse that were rightfully mine. The sultry French tomates teetering in and out of his apartment on the fashionable Rive Gaucho. Ahh, fuck him and his fucking Frenchness.

Anyways, this is a swell three disc set called L'Essentiel, which is like French for essential. Which is what it is. The shrillness of sound in the first track is unique to that, so don't worry.

Francis Fucking Cabrel. Bastard.


Old Rope

"Say! I gots a swell idea! Let's string th' guys up for the album cover! A real necktie party!" Well, someone must have said it. And someone else must have said yes. Crazy guys, crazy times, crazy marketing stragedy. Crazy Horse Roads. What can they all have been thinking? Rhetorical question. This was San Jose, '68.

This deeply disturbing (or hilarious, depending on how stoned you are) cover hides an entertaining pop-rock album by Stained Glass that shoulda-orta but didn't. I wonder why? Allmusic sniffily notes that the "material is ordinary", but what can they mean by that? Rhetorical question. This is the extry tracks version - yay!

Our other rope trick today is the kneetremblingly exquisite Tones by The Gordian Knot. The swell idea behind this cover shoot was, uh, "let's tie dese pussies up and drag'em behind my ride-on lawnmower." Or something. Visually, it kinda works - it's a simple, memorable image. But meaningless (we hope).

Again from '68, this is a kind of grail album for sunshine pop enthusiasts. Japanese fans have been known to wind their bowels out on a stick rather than face life without an original vinyl copy. It really is that good. The Gordian Knot make Harpers Bizarre sound like Slayer. They make Vashti Bunyan sound like Etta James. They make - oh, you get the point. Hey - this is worth copy-pasting:

"The group caught their biggest break after they appeared at a party thrown by Nancy Sinatra, who apparently liked them so much that she asked them to accompany her on a USO trip to Vietnam." 

Their biggest break? Let's hope their bone spurs kicked in.

Three A.M.

Insomnia! I gots it! Who needs it? Why do I wake up worrying about shit I barely give a thought to the rest of the day? Also - I dialog. I play through scenes of stress - both past and future - giving myself the best lines. When I realise I'm "looping", I fumble with my iPod Touch (one great thing about living in the future) and dial up an old radio show on an internet. Jack Benny, Duffy's Tavern, Dragnet - three great things about living in the past. I used to listen to sleepy ambient music, but like any drug it lost its potency.

If I'm still awake I get up, take a piss, pet the house dog - always restorative - have an Old Person's Beverage and check my email and FMF©. Nothing of note accomplished, I shuffle back to bed, the world much as it was.

Everything is nuts when you think about it.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Sunday Extra

I can't get out right now because the Feds are parked across the driveway, so here's a trio of swell live albums from everyone's favorite cosmic cowboy. Dig!

Cody's Sunday Something

"Hi guys! Cody here, taking time out from my Stretchercize© routine to relax poolside with the Reverend Al Green! Gramps used to play his records all the time. I don't know if you know what a record is, but it's this big bit of like plastic? You got it for free inside a picture of the artist. And you had to play it on a big old record player, which was like furniture? Imagine taking that on the subway! Or to the park? LOL!"

"Today of course science has given us ear buds and music's like made of air or something! So when I feel nostalgic I listen to Al Green's Definitely [uh-huh - Ed.] Greatest Hits. Anyway, this is Cody, sayin' ... keep relaxin'!"

Can't disagree with Cody's choice this week. Green was so great a singer he didn't need a song. Class out th' ass.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Sat'dy Slapdown - Return Of Th' Cagefight!

Our Knitwear & Hosiery Correspondent B.B. reminded me in a comment that we haven't had a Saturday Cagefight on a Saturday for ... uh ... I forget. So here's one.

We're pitting ethereal Romany songstress Vashti Bunyan against dwarfish minions from Hades Thę Blüė Ōystër Cúlts in what promises to be a savage bloodbath of balladry!

Vashti Bunyan's debut album Just Another Diamond Day - which I had on white label vinyl back when stuff like that meant something to me - is a jewel-like, gossamer thing, too delicate to cast a shadow. Vashti now lives in Lothlorien, making dreamcatchers from elf ectoplasm.

Cover: FMF© Artistic Dept.
In spite of their restricted growth and Juilliard Conservatory Of Music education [citation needed - Ed.] these nice Catholic boys from Palm Springs [you're just making this shit up, aren't you? - Ed.] made quite the onstage impression with their electric guitars and powerful amplification! Stairway To The Stars AKA Captured Live demonstrates their commitment to the Illuminati agenda.

So - who will emerge the victor from this titanic struggle? Only four or five guys can decide! Some fun, huh?

Friday, December 6, 2019

Smoke And Mirrors

A hit album for Dolly Parton in 2014, and the title track tells you why. That husky voice breaks in over an irresistible beat, and when the fiddle saws up a hoedown you're grinning like a fool. The woman is a star; an epic songwriter and charismatic performer with a recording history second to none. But there's a possibility Blue Smoke may have slipped under your radar, as it did mine for a couple of years. The cheezy Walmart rack-fill cover art [below right - Ed.] said just more Dolly product, file and forget. A mistake. It's as full of spirit and honesty and joy in making music as anything she recorded. Anything anyone recorded.

The Walmart edition had extra tracks - if you gots 'em, I'd be grateful. In the UK, it was bundled with a worthwhile Greatest Hits disc, included here.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Ambientertain Yourself

Antecedently, ambient music has been buzzkill at Th' House O'Foam©, getting pageviews in the minus numbers, which shouldn't theoretically be possible. But that's what you're getting today, except it ain't really ambient. That's the closest I can get as a label. It's thoughtful, calm, harmonious, wordless music. Sometimes a little ethereal, spooky. British dude David Firth is, apparently, as much filmmaker as musician, and there's that soundtrack feel to many of these fifteen tracks he recorded as Locust Toybox.

I wouldn't call Drownscapes pure ambient because there's too much going on for it to be relegated to aural wallpaper. There's enough development and dynamics to repay quiet attention - each "song" has its own mood and - *ulp* - narrative. Some of it is indescribably lovely - if I had any acid this would make brilliant rabbit-hole accompaniment.

Caution: air guitar inappropriate.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Bill Evans - Wild Man Of Jazz

Notorious for performing in a skin-tight pink satin jump-suit, Bill Evans led the house band at Th' Boho Au-Go-Go here in Vegas during the early sixties. His outrageous act was eventually responsible for getting the club closed - many years later it became Th' House O' Foam, an executive massage and wellness facility which in turn became the headquarters of False Memory Foam© so familiar from the iconic image used as our masthead. There's a swell photo of him in the lobby, writhing on his signature neon-lit plexiglass piano. How quickly we forget!

Today, Bill is only remembered for his jazz albums ("I made them for the money," he says. "I'm not proud of that but I had a crack habit like you wouldn't believe.") and among the best of them are today's Jazzbo Jamboree.

You Must Believe In Spring is a late offering from '77, when Evans worked the picturesque Dutch cruise boat lines. "Try the fuckin' herring, ya bums. I'm here til' Tuesday, an' If I ever see another fuckin' windmill I swear I'll puke."

Undercurrent, recorded as a duo with Jim Hall in '62, was produced by Alan Douglas, who also art directed the cover. There is no better album cover in the history of anything.  No better album, really.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Getting Felt Up Today

This makes for a swell Yuletide package to gift yourself! Simply pretend it's from someone else - perhaps the hot Latina at the nailtician, or Mamie Van Doren contacting you from the afterlife. Or if you're a dame, some dreamy guy, maybe Jerry Van Dyke or that barechested guy at the carwash with the do-rag and biker belt. Maybe not him. Point is, here's an opportunity to boost your self-esteem, which if it's like mine, is eminently boostable at this point in time, having been deflated by cruel circumstance and the whims of Dame Fate.

It's ninety - count 'em - tracks of the Doors on stage, real-time and prime. These are the performances that were milked for various releases over the years before being issued as the complete cow in a limited edition box upholstered in vealskin. A small phial of backstage body fluids, authenticated by Ray Manzarek, was included in the initial run.

This has been tagged from track one to track ninety, as one improbable disc, so if you're into the tangible permanence of the physical doodad, you're on your own.

Monday, December 2, 2019


A quick one while I'm away today at my parole board hearing. Damn ankle bracelet slipped off onto a passing train, and they say it's my fault? Excuse me? Anyway, first up is this surprisingly high quality recording of Spirit at Ash Grove in '67. I believe this is both sets. Even if yez gots awready, dis cover will be a improvemink to what yez gots in dat line. Ain't it swell?

Next is the original nine-track vinyl release of Spirit Live from '78, always one of my favorite finger-waggle "live" albums. Randy California sweetened the tapes with overdubs, creating a high-gloss studio album from an assemblage of raw live recordings from different venues, much like Zappa. The difference between this and the sonic mess of the "newly remastered" version recently released is astonishing. This is just so much better. Night and day.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Late Rick

First there was his rock n' roll period, then brief flings with Bakersfield country and pop-psych, then a decent run of more or less successful country rock albums from '70 to '74, peaking with the hit Garden Party, then a brief hiatus.

Could have been his personal life, or diminishing returns, but Intakes in '77 tried a different image in the hopes of a comeback, but it never happened. The album stiffed, and the follow-up, already recorded, was shelved. This version has the outtakes, plus also.

The Memphis Sessions have (has?) over the years limped out in various forms, but this is, I hope, the "compleat" version. A return to his rockabilly roots (the album was going to be called Rockabilly Renaissance), it was recorded by a shit-hot band in a funky little Memphis studio, and it's as great as you'd expect. Hard to say if it would have been the shot in the arm his career needed in '78, but I doubt it.

But the music stayed real. He always had a quietly genius band behind him, and his taste in songs never failed. The Al Kooper-produced Return To Vienna was never, as far as I know, officially released, but its slightly harder rock band edge is nicely judged. Its non-release, after the aborted Rockabilly Renaissance, must have come as a crushing blow. A split with his label, Epic, was inevitable.

He was struggling with the musical changes of the time, as were all veteran performers, but he never quite got the image right. The skinny ties, gold bomber jackets, and coiffed hair were hopelessly dated and un-hip. But he found a home at Capitol for what was to be the last album issued in his lifetime.

See what I mean? In 1981, this was never going to fly. His Ricky fanbase remained loyal, but heartland rock fans, the Bruce Springsteen and Bob Seeger audience he needed to win over, were never going to be seen dead grabbing this from the racks. Dude needed a beard and a plaid shirt. And a smile wouldn't have hurt.

Their loss, Rick's loss, our loss. There's not a track on any of these albums that's not, in the man's quiet way, beautiful. We can ignore the crossover market forces so important at the time, we can forget about the wardrobe wreckage. The thing is, you only have to cue up the first track of any of these albums to get hooked. They play themselves. So many artists and albums I click out of a few songs in, but these ... I want to hear them all the way through. Often ignored or sidelined, they're as good as anything he cut. Late Rick is great Rick.