Album review

Captain Beefheart And His Magic Bands - Railroadism: Live In The USA 72-81

Dispelling once and for all the myth that Van Vliet was appreciated less in his native land than elsewhere, this excellent trawl through nearly a decade of US truck-stops is as much an opportunity to compare Magic Bands as it is to marvel at the Don. Plenty of high points (the Delta growl of "Old Black Snake" from '72; a swampy "Grow Fins" from NYC's Bottom Line in '77; a strangely tender "Harry Irene" a year later), but on this evidence, the newly semi-reformed '81 line-up—six cuts from Reseda Country Club, California—takes some serious shifting.

Rating: 4 / 10


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Editor's Letter

The 35th Uncut Playlist Of 2014


Weird serendipities aplenty this week: versions of "O, Death" on two albums I downloaded one after another, by Mike & Cara Gangloff and Bessie Jones; dovetailing into Sea Island overlap between Jones and Loscil. It makes for a nice blurring between time and genre with, say, the Gangloffs...