So I played a gig in Bucarest this weekend, in a big ass place that used to be Ceauşescu's palace (pictured up here). Romanian people are really nice, their food is really heavy, DAN DEACON was headlining and entertained the shit out of everybody, and thanks to the runners who picked me up at the airport and were playing a CD in the car, I got to discover a sample of the local electronic scene. The compilation they were spinning was put together by Romanian bloggers called FRESH GOOD MINIMAL. The highlight of their comp was a dude called BOGDAN. Enjoy.



So last night I got home at 11 after a radio interview, microwaved a TV dinner, and went straight to bed. I turned on the TV with the unrealistic hope that something interesting might be on. And I got lucky: a movie had just begun, a movie everybody else but me had already seen, JOHN CARPENTER's CHRISTINE.
What a great flick. it slipped right up in my Top 5 Carpenter movies, alongside The Thing, In the Mouth of Madness, and, er, two others.
Beautiful car, excellent performance by Keith Gordon (whatever became of him?), brilliant direction, and of course, the music... THE MUSIC.



Since neither Sundazed nor Columbia came up with the idea of releasing this set officially, I had to go and do it myself.


A little history:
Dion DiMucci is one of the few enduring stars of the doo-wop era. A hitmaker with THE BELMONTS in the late 50s, he remained a hitmaker as a solo act in the early 60s. He then became the first rock'n roll singer to sign with Columbia Records, and the hits kept coming.
And then, out of the blue, he changed direction and started cutting some gritty blues covers. Columbia didn't follow him down that road, and they only released a handfull of sides, when they had more than enough material for a whole album.
He changed direction again and decided to play folk-pop. He wrote some songs, chose some good covers, his friend BOB DYLAN gave him a couple of tunes, and he put together a band, which he named THE WANDERERS.
They went into the studio with genius producer TOM WILSON. Wilson had worked with Coltrane, Sun Ra, Dylan... and would later produce The Velvet Underground, The Mothers of Invention, Soft Machine... In my book, if he's not the best record producer ever, he's second only to PHIL SPECTOR (incidentally, Dion worked with both).
There were exactly two sessions, on September 20th and October 4th of 1965.
The twelve songs they recorded all showcase superior, unique genius. Dion is at the top of his game both on vocals and on guitar, his songwriting is diamond perfect, his band is loose just the way I like it, that Tom Wilson sound is unmistakable, this is better than perfection, this is heaven.
Yet, for some mysterious reason I cannot and will never understand, Columbia shelved the whole thing. They released a couple of 7" and left everything else in the vaults.
Dion at this time was addicted to heroin, too weak to fight back. Instead, he bought himself out of his contract, cut a remarkable reunion album with The Belmonts for ABC Records, and then went back to his old label, Laurie Records. For Laurie, he went full-fledged folk, and his first folk single, ABRAHAM, MARTIN AND JOHN went top five. Dion was back. So Columbia decided to release an LP with some of the songs they'd been sitting on.
Released in 1968, WONDER WHERE I'M BOUND contains five songs from these sessions, four from his previous blues period, and one doowop from 1963. Although it's a great collection of songs, it's also an incoherent mess. Plus, in 1968, folk-pop was smelling funny, and the album flopped.
Here's what they should have released:

1- I Can't Help But Wonder Where I'm Bound
2- Now
3- Knowing I Won't Go Back There
4- Tomorrow Won't Bring The Rain
5- You Move Me Babe
6- Farewell
7- All I Want To Do Is Live My Life
8- My Love
9- Two Ton Feather
10- Time In My Heart For You
11- Baby I'm In The Mood For You
12- Wake Up Baby

I'm convinced that, had this set been released as an album in 1965, it would be considered a classic.

If you are as obsessed as I am, you might wanna know who plays on these tracks. You can see them on this picture.
CARLO MASTRANGELO plays the drums. He was already in The Belmonts.
PETE FALCIGLIA plays the bass. Also an Italian-American from the Bronx, he cut a couple of sides as a lead singer with The Belmonts for Sabina Records, after they'd split with Dion.
JOHNNY FALBO is a session man, a great guitar player.
Not on the picture, AL KOOPER needs no introduction, he's an extraordinaire session man and a great singer-songwriter in his own right. He plays the piano and the organ on these tracks, as anyone with ears could tell.

So there you have it, an album that never was, a missing link in the history of American music. I hope you enjoy it as much as I constantly have for many months.



So after seventeen years, six albums - including two classics, three really good ones, and let's pretend the last one didn't happen - and about twenty brilliant singles, SUPERGRASS have decided to split.
I am sad, as they were important to me in my teens, and therefore will remain important to me forever. I am glad, though, that they decided to play their farewell gig in Paris, France, where they've always had a loyal, loving fanbase. I'll be there for sure. WILL YOU?

Here's a selection of rarities. Well, they were once rarities, now they're all on youtube:

A song I played a thousand times in 1995, long before I found out it was actually A KENNY ROGERS COVER.

My favorite deep cut, the CLOSING TRACK FROM IN IT FOR THE MONEY, and its OUTTAKE, their (failed) attempt at beatboxing wihout laughing.

Their FEATURING ON DR JOHN's ANUTHA ZONE, an attempt at going back to that Gris-Gris sound, with Wurlitzer work pointing the way to MARY, the best single on their third album.



If you say LUCIO BATTISTI, most people will answer, "Ah, ANCORRA TU".
Sorry, but as much as many would like to see Italian singers as pleasant in a cheesy, almost ironic way, most of Lucio's songs actually display genius melodies and arrangements, sometimes psychedelic, and more often than not, genuinely enjoyable without nudging and winking. Case in point: NON E FRANCESCA. A great song to begin with, with a magical coda that elevates it to masterpiece status.



Before Kraftwerk, before Manuel Göttsching, before Giorgio, before just about everybody really, there was PIERO PICCIONI.
I usually don't trust Library LPs collectors. Traditionally they are sort of weird and they have an annoying tendency to overrate their records based on how rare they are more than on how they sound.
But ADD (N) TO (X)'s BARRY SEVEN is an exception. His two long-out-of-print European library compilations (one focused on France, the other on Italy) are amazing from start to end.
I don't know what this music was used for (if at all), but I know it was recorded in 1970, and it sounds about 20+ years ahead of its time.



What if somebody told you there was a camera rolling in the studio while one of your favorite album was being cut? Would you completely freak out?
Well, now you know how I feel.
Lo and behold, here's 40 minutes, yes FORTY FUCKING MINUTES of LIKE FLIES ON SHERBERT sessions:

Alex Chilton -Like Flies on Sherbert Session from Greg Spradlin on Vimeo.