Friday Full-Length: Eddie Hazel, Games, Dames and Guitar Thangs

Eddie Hazel, Games, Dames and Guitar Thangs (1977)

If you don’t know who Eddie Hazel is, before you click play above to hear Games, Dames and Guitar Thangs in its entirety — complete with covers of “California Dreamin'” by The Mamas and the Papas and The Beatles’ “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” — get yourself over to YouTube and check out “Maggot Brain” from the 1971 Funkadelic album of the same name. Here, I’ll even link it. Go get a feel for some of that brilliance and then come back and check out Hazel‘s solo album. Not surprisingly, George Clinton has a pretty strong presence on this record, but Hazel‘s lead work is astounding, and the groove fuses rock and funk in a way that few dared.

Maybe you’ll dig it, maybe not. It’s worth a shot, either way. This was the only solo record Hazel ever put out, though there were a couple releases that surfaced after his death in 1992. “Maggot Brain” is probably his most famous work with Funkadelic, though he wrote a good deal of their early stuff along with Clinton and a host of others and was a major contributor to 1974’s Standing on the Verge of Getting it On, which is something of a landmark in itself.

On Monday, I’ll have my Top 20 of the Year list posted. This past Monday, I wrote out a list with 40-someodd albums and I’ve spent the week whittling it down and living with it, feeling it out and all that and I think I’ve got picks I can live with in an order I can live with, so it’s time to get it done.

That might just take me all day working from front to back, but provided I’ve got time, I’ll also be reviewing the Queens of the Stone Age show from which I just returned a little while ago in Boston. I guess so far The Obelisk Questionnaire has been pretty successful. It didn’t break the internet or anything, but it seems to have gotten a good response. I could probably post another five in a row — actually, come to think of it, I definitely could — but though I’ve got a bunch in the can at this point, I’d rather slow the rate and not give it all away at once and then a month from now wonder what the hell happened. But one or two of those will go up for sure, so if you’ve been into that so far, keep an eye out.

I’ll also review the new Groan EP and take a look at some Dali’s Llama vinyl and a new tape from The Swill that’s a good bit of fun. I thought maybe of doing a huge review mega-purge, just taking all the 2013 releases I’m backed up on and giving them like 100-200 words apiece and posting it in a series so I can start 2014 fresh. Fairly certain that if I attempt such a thing my mind will cave in before it’s over, but it might be fun to try. It might also be fun to take a nap. We’ll see which impulse wins out.

Before I check out for the weekend, another round of thanks to everybody who has sent a list in for the 2013 Readers Poll. We’re up over 215 contributions with more than two weeks to go in the month, so I’m stoked. If you haven’t submitted a list, please, by all means. The results come out Jan. 1.

Have a great and safe weekend. See you back here Monday for that Top 20 and more. Please hit up the forum and radio stream.

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