New Releases: Panic came ready to rock ‘97 show

By MIK DAVIS,

On his first true solo record, hotshot guitarist Marcus King joins forces with producer Dan Auerbach.who further electrified his Jam band-style Blues. Infused by co-writing sessions from Auerbach heavy-hitters like Paul Overstreet and Pat McLaughlin and backed up like studio mavens Bobby Wood on keys and drummer Gene Chrisman, "El Dorado" is King growing into his own performer.

MARCUS KING

El Dorado

[LP/CD] (Easy Eye/Fantasy)

WIDESPREAD PANIC

Montreal 9.8.1997

[LP] (Widespread)

It was a Monday night in Montreal. Crossing the border for a small show has everyone's mind on the crowd. Will they be into this new set on this new tour?

Panic arrived ready and the audience as well-traveled fans and gave them a show like it was Madison Square Garden.

The late Michael Houser played with the band on this historic night that saw them race through 24 songs including Van Morrison's "And It Stoned Me" and The Meters' "Just Kissed My Baby."

PINEGROVE

MARIGOLD

[LP/CD/CS] (Rough Trade)

2016's "Cardinal" arrived at that important moment where the Bedroom/Indie R&B wave had finally crested. Pinegrove stood far from the pack with its smart, concise Uncle Tupelo-ish folky indie rock. "Skylight" went farther to establish a sound for the band. The band barely survived MeToo controversy that led Pinegrove to delay the release of "Skylight" until the matter was fully resolved. "Marigold" fits neatly into their growing repertoire as the band go back to the rootsy Folk/Americana charge of classic Band. Always pushing that Americana/Alt.Country barrier, even the shortest songs feel substantive allowing two or three tracks to fit neatly together. Do not be surprised if "Endless" becomes a choice cover for fledgling Americana artists as Pinegrove carves out their own niche like The Jayhawks and bands before them.

G. LOVE & SPECIAL SAUCE

Juice

[LP] (Philadelphonic)

G.Love has always kept one foot in the past of Blues music. He electrified and funk-da-fied jams have borrowed from Guitar Slim and Willie Dixon, while creating his own blend of Philly Soul and Southern Fried Funk. "Juice" represents both a return to his roots (think 1994's self-titled debut) and celebration of the joy and release of playing music (think 2014's "Sugar') with guests like Robert Randolph, Roosevelt Collier, Marcus King and producer Keb Mo.

REISSUE OF THE WEEK:

MC5

Kick Out The Jams

[LP] (Widespread)

The hallowed story of the mighty MC5 begins in Lincoln Park, MI in 1964. Like their compatriots from all over America, the Motor City Five emerged out of a unique time for music. Surrounded by R&B and Soul from Detroit, yet inspired by The Beatles and the British Invasion, they played every sock hop, youth party or dance possible. Through these nascent performances, the MC5 grew into a high-energy Rock N'Roll unit. As they absorbed more music (including Free Jazz,) their writing became more animalistic, raw and visceral. When the sunny optimism of the early Sixties turned more dark and desperate, the Five was leading the charge.

The first band Elektra signed on their run of Detroit bands (the Five brought them The Stooges,) they made their home at the Grande Ballroom. The Grande welcomed bands from everywhere to their alcohol-free San Francisco-light show inspired venue.

The Five blew them all away. Once they expressed their politics with John Sinclair, they were on the cover of Rolling Stone as new kings of the counterculture.

Earning national attention with their single "Kick Out The Jams," a live album seemed like the best entrance for this new entity.

Recorded live Oct. 30-31, 1968, "Kick Out The Jams" remains polemic ("Motor City Is Burning" while the Devil's Night fires still burned) and wild (their interplanetary cover of Sun Ra's "Starship.")

Its main cuts carry that spirit of rebellion (the searing title cut whose use of vulgar language nearly extinguished the whole revolution) and punk rock ("Rocket Reducer No. 62 (Rama Lama Fa Fa Fa.) "Kick Out The Jams" marks the moment that everything changed in Rock N'Roll. It became dangerous again. Feared even.

When the protests happened outside the Democratic Convention in Chicago in 1968, The Five played while pelted with rocks (as the other bands hid on their buses.) 

The MC5 unleashed Blues, Soul, Rock and even Jazz to fire the first infusion of Punk Rock into the world - yet they still wait outside of the Rock N'Roll Hall of Fame.