This Month – Keepers Record Club

THIS MONTH

February Vinyl of the Month

Featured Indie Release:

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Artist: Ty Segall

Album: Freedom's Goblin

Notable Reissue:

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Artist: Betty Davis

Album: Nasty Gal

Outlier:

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Artist: Hollie Cook

Album: Vessel Of Love
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THIS MONTH

Ty Segall
Freedom's Goblin

"Freedom’s Goblin is the new Ty Segall album: 19 tracks strong, filling four sides of vinyl nonstop, with an unrestricted sense of coming together to make an album. ...it wants you to get your head straight – but first, the process will make your head spin! On any given side, we’re tracking five or six full-blown personalities, unconcerned with convention or continuity.

The songs came in the flow of the year: days of vomit and days of ecstasy and escape too, and days between. The rulebook’s been tossed, but Freedom’s Goblin is thick with deep songwriting resources, be it stomper, weeper, ballad, screamer, banger or funker-upper, all diverted into new Tydentities in the name of love and loathing. Whether chilling at home or on tour with the Freedom Band, tracks were cut at five studios in LA, Chicago and Memphis, engineered by Steve Albini, F. Bermudez, Lawrence “Boo” Mitchell and of course, Ty himself. The goal was getting free: embracing any approach necessary to communicate new heights and depths, seeking new places for the fuzz to land among octaving harmonies, dancefloor grooves, synths, saxes and horns, jams, post-Nicky-Hopkins r’n’b electric piano vibes, children-of-the-corn psycho-rebellions, old country waltzes and down-by-the-river shuffles. Basically, the free-est bunch of pop songs Ty’s ever put on tape – free to love or to be alone; to be pretty or pretty ugly; free to turn the other cheek or to turn up the volume. And of course, free to make just about any kind of song that’ll free people when they hear it – because we’re ALL Goblins and we ALL want our Freedom!"

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Tracklist

  • Fanny Dog
  • Rain
  • Every 1's a Winner
  • Despoiler of Cadaver
  • When Mommy Kills You
  • My Lady's on Fire
  • Alta
  • Meaning
  • Cry Cry Cry
  • Shoot You Up
  • You Say All the Nice Things
  • The Last Waltz
  • She
  • Prison
  • Talkin 3
  • The Main Pretender
  • I'm Free
  • 5 Ft. Tall
  • And, Goodnight

Betty Davis
Nasty Gal

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By late 1974, Betty Mabry Davis had two albums and countless shows under her
belt. Her raunchy songs and outrageous live act had made her a critically acclaimed
and controversial figure, but the big time remained elusive. Her ambitions had quickly
outgrown her small but influential cult following. “I’ve had enough plaudits from within the business,” she told one music critic. “Now I want to reach out and get through to the people.” If she was in luck, she’d get picked up by one of the big labels, whose backing could make her the star she always knew she was. There was interest. A new deal seemed imminent. 1975 promised to be the year of Betty.

Excerpts from John Ballon's essay on Betty Davis, Spring 2009.

"Being the ex-wife of Miles Davis and friends with some of the biggest names in music helped Betty land important gigs at high-profile clubs: the Roxy Theatre in Los Angeles, Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London, and the Bottom Line in New York. As she rolled from city to city, she could feel the momentum building. Word of mouth spread. A show at Loyola University near Baltimore almost sparked a riot after 7,000 fans converged on the school’s 5,000-seat auditorium. Betty calmed the crowd by promising to add another show. “I used to pack ‘em in,” she remembers fondly. “Richard Pryor and Muhammad Ali came to see me. My parents too. My mom thought I was good. I thought I was a good performer. I delivered my songs well.” Others agreed. Soon she was opening for big acts from Graham Central Station and Teddy Pendergrass to Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland and the Mahavishnu Orchestra. She was even scheduled to open for rock superstars, Kiss, but as Neal remembers, they canceled over worries Betty might overshadow them.

Once at Island, Betty noticed a difference immediately. “The company was bigger
and it was more structured...more organized,” she told Oliver Wang. “It was good.” Expectations and enthusiasm were running high on both sides. Vivien Goldman, who handled Betty’s PR at Island, remembers “...there was much excitement about the audacious, charming Miss Davis.”20 Island had big plans for her. Studio time was quickly booked to begin recording a new album. By May of 1975, Betty and her band were hard at work on Nasty Gal.

While the album’s production, writing and singing were almost exclusively credited to Betty, its success as an expression of her musical vision was due in no small part to the tightness she forged with her band on the road. As one reviewer noted at the time, “the mutual admiration that exists between singer and band is made entirely clear by what’s in the grooves.” Fred Mills told Black Music in 1976, “We’re into her style and we get freedom in the studio and on the stage.” Betty channeled that freedom. “I could go into a long spiritual rap about how I prepare to write and stuff,” Betty told one critic. “But really it just comes out. I put my insides into stuff I sing.” She told another critic: “The music itself, the recording and performing, is just something I can do. I don’t think about it, really.” It was all about feeling. Graham Central Station frontman and ex-Sly & The Family Stone bassist Larry Graham remembers how freely Betty would orchestrate things in the studio: “She didn’t play, but her mind, her body, her spirit would become an instrument that she used to get across to us what she was feeling, how she was flowing, and we’d catch that and roll with that and then we’d tell from her reaction if we were on the right track or not. If something hit her and she was feeling it, you would immediately see it. So our job was to try to move her. We were feeding off each other in that sense.”

Song for song, Nasty Gal is one of the most extreme funk-rock albums of the era. It takes equal parts inspiration from Hendrix and Sly. Heavy funk rhythms roll behind dominant lead guitar and Betty’s devastating vocals. She gives it up, alternating between sexy breathiness, moans, and full-throated screams. Here is a woman capable of projecting sex in a single scream, reveling out loud in the power of her beauty and sexuality."

Nasty Gal

SIDE A

  • Nasty Gal
  • Talkin Trash
  • Dedicated To The Press
  • You And I
  • Feelins

SIDE B

  • F.U.N.K.
  • Gettin’ Kicked Off, Havin’ Fun
  • Shut Off The Light
  • This Is It!
  • The Lone Ranger
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Hollie Cook
Vessel Of Love

Hollie Cook combines her unique vocal talent with charming charisma to craft her own dynamic strand of lovers rock with enduring tropical vibes, weaving a path from her West London roots to an arena of diverse collaborations, critically acclaimed records, and iconic live appearances around the world. Cook’s ability to continually surprise, delight, and progress solidifies her position as one of the most exciting voices in reggae, and this is crystal clear on her third full-length and Merge debut, Vessel of Love.

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Side 1

  • Angel Fire
  • Stay Alive
  • Survive
  • Ghostly Fading
  • Freefalling

Side 2

  • Lunar Addiction
  • Turn it Around
  • Vessel of Love
  • Together
  • Far From Me

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