Light In The Attic Sampler & You Don’t Love Me Yet

by John Holbo on November 3, 2008

Amazon is giving away a a free ‘sampler’ album from Light In the Attic records. It’s drop dead fantastic, I say. It’s got “Katie Cruel”, by Karen Dalton [wikipedia]. Such an amazing song, and an amazing voice – like Billie Holiday decided to sing a perfect contribution to the soundtrack for “Deadwood”. Dalton’s In My Own Time was released in 1970, then only made it to CD a couple years ago. Then there is “An Elegy”, some kind of champagne trip soul hop remix of a Free Design track. Then another Free Design track, “Make The Madness Stop”. (Either you like Free Design or you don’t. It’s totally ridiculous stuff.) Then there’s a crazy great Betty Davis track, “He Was A Real Freak”. A fun ringer, “Sugar Man”, from someone named Rodriguez. The brief bio from the label is interesting. His 1970 album is “one of the lost classics of the ’60s, a psychedelic masterpiece drenched in colour and inspired by life, love, poverty, rebellion, and, of course, “jumpers, coke, sweet mary jane”. The album is Cold Fact, and what’s more intriguing is that its maker – a shadowy figure known as Rodriguez – was, for many years, lost too. A decade ago, he was rediscovered working on a Detroit building site, unaware that his defining album had become not only a cult classic, but for the people of South Africa, a beacon of revolution.” Also on the sampler are a couple of solid reggae/r&b tracks – especially “Chips – Chicken – Banana Split”, by Jo Jo and the Fugitives. The tracks by The Black Angels and the Saturday Knights are solid, too. Like I said: great album, and free.

I see that the Black Angels just played a Halloween gig with Roky Erikson. That reminds me of another free mp3 to pass along. A great cover of Erikson’s “You Don’t Love Me Yet”. I know about that one because I really enjoyed Jonathan Lethem’s novel – same title
– which didn’t get much attention. It’s kinda like Philip K. Dick wrote an episode of “Friends”. But in a good way. No, that’s not what it’s like, except for the names. What can I say? It’s a slight work, evoking aimlessly attractive youth. There are comic couplings and decouplings, and very nicely written it is.

I know what day it is. But every post can’t be about the election.



Henry 11.03.08 at 2:38 pm

“Sugarman” also made it on to one of David Holmes’ compilation albums, afair.


bob mcmanus 11.03.08 at 2:49 pm

I remember him as Jesus Sixto Rodriguez, which I think is waycool, but if he wants to go by Rodriguez now, whatever.

Cold Fact is good.


bizzah 11.03.08 at 4:30 pm

You know that “He Was a Big Freak” is supposed to be about Miles Davis’s sexual tastes? (He and Betty Davis were married for a time.)


eric 11.03.08 at 4:31 pm

I’m a big Lethem fan, but was somewhat disappointed by “You Don’t Love Me Yet” Still, any novel with a title paying homage to not one but two great pop songs merits at least some points.


Doug k 11.03.08 at 6:27 pm

‘Cold Fact’ was an enormous hit in S. Africa during the 70s – remember it well, still have a cassette tape of it somewhere. I’m not sure it’s accurate to say it was ‘a beacon of revolution’; as I recall it the young Nationalists (party of apartheid) were just as keen on it as the effete liberals that I hung out with. How extraordinary there is now a Rodriguez renaissance..


bartkid 11.03.08 at 7:24 pm

>It’s kinda like Philip K. Dick wrote an episode of “Friends”. But in a good way.

I thought every Friends episode was an homage to PKD, but with the question “What is it to be human?” being replaced with “Wanna hang out at the coffee shop?”

Or, my memory could be playing tricks on me.


Neil 11.03.08 at 10:45 pm

John H is always looking for new ways to torture people not in the mainland US (and without a US credit card).


john holbo 11.04.08 at 3:19 am

Well, Neil, at least you can get “You Don’t Love Me Yet” for free. You can also hear all the songs by visiting the Light In The Attic site and using their little player thingy. (I realize this is faint consolation …)


Norsecats 11.04.08 at 5:06 am

Cordelia’s Dad, a traditional-American band from Massachusetts, did a haunting version of “Katy Cruel” on their album, Spine, which came out about 12 years ago.


Jeff 11.04.08 at 6:32 pm

Free Design? Holy Shit. They were a mini-fad when I was in college (late 60s-early 70s, Northern NY, so a lot of people from the Buffalo area); I even have a copy of “Kites are Fun”.

I wouldn’t have said they were still around…


Randolph 11.05.08 at 9:12 pm

Jeff, oh, they aren’t. But Chris Dedrick, who wrote most of lyrics and composed most of their music, went on to a distinguished career composing music for Canadian films. Musicians love the stuff, and a number of famous musicians of the following generation–names aren’t coming to mind, but some grunge bands are included–cite it as an influence. Why is it that great songwriters names are hardly known, these days? Jimmy Webb’s another one–the man has written some of the most popular songs, ever, and been recorded by a long list of stars and his name is only a little better known than Dedrick’s. Unless they front a band, a songwriter might as well be chopped liver anymore, and I wonder why that is.

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