Not a ton of people remember Opal (actually, to remember a band, you need to have heard of them in the first place, right?). It’s a shame, although admittedly, this is an acquired taste: think Syd Barrett’s Floyd (circa Piper at the Gates of Dawn) and the Doors, heavy organ action and a certain lysergic vibe (but black-and-white blotter paper, not a technicolor trip), and insert a female vocalist with a subdued style that borders on lugubrious…sounds terrible, right? Well, that is what most folks would probably think. Kendra Smith (vocals) and David Roback (guitar), formerly of Dream Syndicate and Rain Parade, respectively, comprised a sort of Paisley Underground all-star team. Think Velvet Underground cut with a British garage band’s blues affectations (in other words, Piper at the Gates of Dawn). Listen to 1987’s 20-year time warp “Magick Power” below. (If you like what you hear, beg, borrow or steal their lost semi-masterpiece, Happy Nightmare Baby and then, once you’re hooked, call out a favor or find a friend to track down the almost impossible to procure Early Recordings.)
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Babelgum.com presents a special Stereophonics concert at Hammersmith’s Riverside Studios in London for a cozy audience of 200. The favorites are here including “Local Boy in the Photograph”, “The Bartender and the Thief”, “Pick a Part That’s New”, and “Have a Nice Day”.
Live in London [Video]
Babelgum.com continues to post great concert features with this latest one from Franz Ferdinand. The Scottish band serves up a one-hour set interspersed with interview vignettes and scenes of Berlin.
Live in Berlin [Video]
10 years ago this week: Tom Waits returns with his first record since 1992 with the critically acclaimed album Mule Variations that quite impressively goes on to sell more than 500,000 copies and nabs Waits a Grammy.