As we detailed in this blog post, Jeff Cowell’s corner of Michigan is a fascinating wonderland of locals, yokels, and all-around friendly folk from America’s Heartland. Issued privately four decades ago, Lucky Strikes and Liquid Gold is unknown to most, even in the neighborly community of Iron Mountain. Considered front page news to us at the Numero Group, we can’t be upset with these precious picas inside The Iron Mountain Daily News. Doubling down on our chances of engaging the reader, Cowell took out a few classified ads, reiterating the points of the article in retail parlance.
If it is in any way unclear where you can purchase this album at this point, you can buy it on our website by clicking this link. If you’ve got to wait until payday to pull the trigger on this remarkable long player, feel free to keep this business card in your e-wallet as a reminder.
Yesterday, our own Jon Kirby joined Way Out VP Bill Branch and Sound Of Applause host Dee Perry for a roundtable discussion on the history of Way Out Records, and the role the label played in the maturation of Cleveland’s music scene. The WCPN staffers picked their favorite tracks from Eccentric Soul: The Way Out Label, and Bill Branch discusses the heartache associated with hearing so many beautiful productions that failed to find an audience at the time of their initial release.
While traipsing through the prolific career of songwriter Lamont Dozier last Friday on The Morning Shift, host Tony Sarabia played a more curious cut from the Motown luminary’s catalog—1981’s “Cool Me Out.” Dozier declared (and Wikipedia decreed) that this song is a “beach music hit,” a term that perked the ears of Sarabia. Not wanting the music of his native Carolinas to go misunderstood, our own resident Shag-ologist Jon Kirby left a message at WBEZ, which aired yesterday inside The Morning Shift.
P.S. The song at that segment’s close is “Hey I Know You” by the Monzas, a certain contender should Numero ever mint a Beach Music compilation. Should said catalog entry ever materialize, this Lowlands-eque snapshot will certainly be in the running for cover images.
We stop by Hymie’s Vintage Records in Minneapolis each and every time we visit the Twin Cities, and were thrilled to learn that owner and proprietor Dave Hoenack had been solicited by the City Pages to write about our recently unleashed Lewis Connection LP. Basically, Dave gets it. He’s seen a few precious copies of this privately pressed oddity rise resurface over the years, and understands better than most the real reason why this 1979 release is significant (hint: it’s not because Prince Rogers Nelson plays on it).
If you can’t make it to Hymie’s, where The Lewis Connection is prominently displayed on the wall above their Local section, sled or snowshoe on over to our web store for sound clips and/or to purchase.
“First Step Beyond’s decontextualised Neanderthal heaviness confuses itself and everyone who comes into contact with it, like a caveman in a Disney film who gets transported to 60s suburbia, takes a dump in Mom’s Tupperware and wears her diaphragm as a hat.”
With lines like that, he could easily land a job as Numero Group’s in-house publicist. Unfortunately, he’s already employed as Britain’s leading expert on Derek Bailey (not to mention being officially the 41st Best Stand Up Ever).
It should go without saying that we at the Numero Group are unapologetic Alfonso Lovo fans. Still, it’s nice to find folks with who your tastes jibe. The Wire—published in the UK but read/respected globally—thought enough of our latest LP to spill ink on Lovo’s lysergic opus. Drawing spiritual comparisons to fellow cosmonauts Shuggie Otis and Sixto Rodriguez, writer Richard Henderson hits the nail on the head with his succinct review of Lovo’s eight-song neutron bomb. Regarding Roman Cerpas’ adventurous mixing, Henderson says what we’re all thinking: “The engineer controlling that recirculating tape echo in Lovo’s studio obviously was having a great time.”
Good to the last tab, Alfonso Lovo’s La Gigantona is available at our online store and throughout the mainland. Our UK fans have no doubt found that Honest John’s (among others) is holding, and will be until all adventurous listeners are satisfied. We think you’ll agree: the harsh tokes are actually the best tokes.
“Oh yeah. Yeah. This is what I want to hear right now.”
Alfonso Lovo’s BBC Radio debut on Saturday, October 13th was a memorable one, and Gilles Peterson had no shortage of kind words regarding our latest LP. After playing the bulk of Lovo’s “Sinfonia del Espacio en Do Menor,” an enthused Peterson returned to mic to deliver this heartfelt testimonial.
“I think it’s the 50th release from Numero Group [actually 46th -ed.], which is the leading global reissue label. Based out of Chicago, they just spend all their time searching for music—unreleased music—and they keep coming up with gems. Alfonso Lovo, originally from Nicaragua, made this record in 1976. There’s 8 tracks on this record—this is so good! I got it last week, this album. And you know sometimes you get these reissues and they’re alright, they’re good, they’ve got good moments; this whole album is ridiculous, from beginning to end. It’s got everything… I wish I could play you the whole thing.”
Alfonso Lovo, never one to ignore a Google alert, wrote Gilles thanking him for his support. The legendary radio host was so touched that during his November 3rd show, he then read Lovo’s email on-air, referring to him at one point as “the man from Nicaragua who made one of the best Latin psychedelic records of all time.”
We don’t take this critique lightly, and are very grateful to Gilles for continuing to dig our releases, and in particular, for his generous praise of La Gigantona. We feel Alfonso’s unreleased masterpiece deserves every bit of it.
La Gigantona vinyl has arrived, as is available on our online store. Gilles: Can we send you one?
For more musical cues and remarkable tunes, tune into Gilles Peterson’s weekly broadcast/podcast, Saturdays on the BBC.