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MP3 Black Angel - O' San Francisco

Rock n roll in the style of The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

17 MP3 Songs in this album (76:20) !
Related styles: ROCK: Rock & Roll, ROCK: Classic Rock

People who are interested in Bob Dylan The Rolling Stones Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers should consider this download.

Paper Thin Walls is an online Music Magazine from New York City that annually asks major music writers to select a Song Of The Year. The article below was written by Billboard Magazine senior music editor, Chuck Eddy, in regard to Black Angel and their song,
“One Beer”. Prior to his work at Billboard, Chuck Eddy was the music editor of The Village Voice in New York for seven years and worked for Rolling Stone magazine.

Song of The Year 2007

BLACK ANGEL - “One Beer”
from O'' California (Outsiders)

As far as I can tell, Black Angel―not to be confused with less-good Jesus And Mary Chain-style Austin drone-pop band the Black Angels―have for a few years been four people who primarily play their shows (apparently lots of them) at clubs (frequently mid-sized) in Southern California; their newest members, according to their MySpace page (at the time of this review), are “Audrey Turner (currently and previously with the Ike Turner Review and now Mrs. Ike Turner) as a vocalist and Ronnie Turner (only son of both Tina and Ike Turner) on bass.” That makes them a sextet―though that number still appears to be somewhat in flux.

Black Angel are also the only musical artists I’m aware of who put out two really good albums full of new material in 2007―at least if you count December 2006, which technically is when they apparently released the 16-song O’ California, as 2007. In June they followed that record up with the 17-song O’ Santa Barbara (called O’ Santa Babylon on its back cover), which has a really similar-looking CD artwork (basically, a map of a piece of the coastline with some indigenous fruit attached) but completely different songs. And now their MySpace page is reporting that their next album O’ Los Angeles, is recorded, mixed and mastered. “We just have to finish the artwork and then manufacture the album later this year.” So I guess that one will come out in 2008.

Black Angel also pull off quite possibly the most dead-on and single-minded approximation of ’70s country-leaning (think “Dead Flowers”/”Wild Horses”/”Fool To Cry”/”When The Whip Comes Down”/”Far Away Eyes”) Rolling Stones I’ve ever heard. Their MySpace lists “Rolling Stones, Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Hank Williams, Henry Miller and John Lennon” as influences and says they sound like “Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Dr. Hook And The Medicine Show, Black Crowes, Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers, Leon Russell, Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen and Elvis Presley (we wish),” and all that might well be true. But everything on that list after the Stones is gravy, and I’m honestly wondering if Dr. Hook and Dylan are on there just because they both have famous songs with “Rolling Stone” in the title―why’d they leave out Muddy Waters, I wonder? (Best Tom Petty song of 2007, for whatever it’s worth: “She’s So California” by Gary Allan. Best Black Angel-sounding country-Stones-style song not recorded by Black Angel of 2007: The 6:45 “Young Lions In Paradise,” off Blue Cheer’s otherwise much heavier and more metal What Doesn’t Kill You... album. I’m not joking.)

Black Angel’s greatest song―the one for the history books―is O’ California’s “One Beer,” and not only because it ingeniously managed to forecast the 2007 Grammy Awards by toasting with one beer each both “Mary J. Blige, the queen of hip-hop soul” and “the Dixie Chicks, the queens of Texas soul.” (The nominations had been made in early December of 2006, but I assume the song was recorded before then.)

”’One Beer,’” writes my friend and PTW contributor Frank Kogan, “sounds like country by people who first love Stones Stones Stones ahead of country, and that’s fine with me; funny Exile murk (that’s a compliment, by the way, even if the murk is one of the reasons Exile is not in my Top 10 Stones albs [also self-effacement, also shortage of songs]). Not as good as the Stones, unsurprisingly, but worth a second listen.”

I listened to the song way more than twice, myself. And it’s only “not as good as the Stones” if you ignore everything the Stones have done in the last quarter-century-plus (including their last album A Bigger Bang, which was surprisingly good actually, but never as good as “One Beer.”) And there is way more than one beer in the song: Amidst J.C. Martin’s somewhat sloshedly (not to mention, it should go without saying by now, Jaggerishly) slurred lyric, I count 18 such beverages total, though I can’t guarantee I didn’t miss any. That’s three six packs or three-quarters of a case (though hopefully on tap, since the band is clearly not at home on their living room couches but rather out in public [you can tell by the opening saloon-piano part], so if they’re drinking canned or bottled beers they’re totally getting ripped off, and did I ever explain my theory of how Stella on tap, which is one of the best beers in the world, is an entirely different beer than Stella in bottles, which is one of the worst? Not to mention my theory that one good way to lose weight is just to order beers you don’t like very much in bars, since that way you won’t drink as many? OK, never mind.) Anyway, let’s see here: Along with the beers for the Dixie Chicks and Mary J. Blige, Black Angel hoist “one beer” each (well, actually sometimes one beer twice each, since most the song’s lyric is recited twice within the song’s perimeters) for “the pain,” “the road,” “the Lord,” the devil,” “Canada,” “the rose of San Antone,” and “every [incomprehensible word] Pentecostal Jack-Mormon fooool I’ve ever known.” For starters.

They look a black woman (who they call “a black woman”) right in the eye and she tells them to embrace the mystery; they drive their Oldsmobile (or maybe their Uncle Bill?) down to Mexico and meet a fortune teller there; the singer calls himself “a country boy down at 7-11” then chases a dragon to the store and asks directions to Desolation Row―all in 3:17. Beyond all the beers, I’m not going to pretend to grasp what most of it means, to be honest, and I don’t really care. As Montgomery Gentry would say, I feel a cold one comin’ on.

Black Angel lead vocalist/guitarist J.C. Martin on “One Beer”

“One Beer” was released in December 2006, the same month that Mary J Blige and the Dixie Chicks were both nominated for several Grammy Awards. Was that a coincidence? Or are you fortune tellers, like the one in the song?
When I saw Mary J. Blige with U2 singing the song “One”―was that at the Grammys? I can’t remember―I picked up my old 1972 Martin guitar and immediately wrote the song in about one half hour. I never write this quickly. I am usually like Bob Dylan and Tom Petty―playing a song for weeks until my wife screams, “Enough with that song.” This one just popped out. I had been really pissed off at how the Dixie Chicks were “blacklisted” by radio after their very true comments about George Bush. I also grew up Pentecostal―with a huge rebellious streak―in a very right wing, Republican, military household

In what ways do the concepts behind O’ California, O’ Santa Barbara and O’ Los Angeles differ from each other?
I was broke for quite awhile but I kept writing songs nonetheless. When I finally had money to record more songs, I had three albums of material ready to go. I had already recorded O’ Santa Barbara with just our drummer, Tina Stefens, and me. Tina works for the Goleta Post Office. The only time that we played this entire album live was for a 10 a.m. show at the Creekside Inn in Santa Barbara for the night shift at the Goleta Post Office. A few months later a disgruntled, female post office employee walked into the Goleta Post Office and killed six postal employees, all of whom had attended our morning show a few months earlier.

Anyway, when I got enough money, Tina and I worked out the entire O’ California album, recorded it… I had still more songs recorded and the songs became the still unreleased O’ Los Angeles album. I had read a book―or was it a story?―years ago called “O’ Jerusalem.” I loved this title. The idea here is that many people who live in California didn’t start out here. For instance, I was born in Illinois, then lived in Alaska, Oregon, Okinawa and New Mexico before coming to California when I was 15 years old. The O’ California album is basically about my experiences of living in California. The O’ Santa Barbara album was all written and recorded in Santa Barbara with people who live in Santa Barbara. The O’ Los Angeles album is made up of songs that were worked out when Black Angel was located in Los Angeles from about 1999 to 2001.

I counted 18 beers in “One Beer.” First off, is my math correct? And second off, are they all Heinekens?
Chuck, I have no idea how many ”One Beers” we placed in the song… Thanks for adding them up, though. No, I didn’t have a particular beer in mind, but I do have a preference for Heineken ever since I lived in the U.S. Virgin Islands for a year, and I drink a lot of it.

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