Yes, Tav Falco has a new 7" single out on Blang! recorded during his European tour last year with Sterling Roswell in the producer's chair. I was lucky enough to be invited into Sterling Roswell's production lab to hear Sterling's dub-plate vinyl copy of the album for a fully immersive first few listens.
The single's A-side, Drone Ranger, opens with a sample of two jet planes colliding mid-air as the swampy guitars come in and Jim Sclavunos' drums rumble into life as Tav sings about the Drone Ranger being on the prowl looking for the jet-set, bar-hopping homeless women he chases after. Tav's lyrics have a really dark, twisted glamour to them and all the noises layered underneath his vocals oscillate in and out of the track like another fighter jet crashing in our speakers.
This song is aiming for a more honed version of that raw, ready and rare Tav Falco album Now that was allegedly a cassette-only release, but I happen to own the Australian vinyl version. It was the album which gave us all the classic Rebel Girl and the warped wonder that is Hairdresser Underground.
On the B-side is Tram? It's one of those songs whose composition and history is almost as mired in mystery as Aw Aw Baby/Sweet home Chicago. It's also known as Tramp dependent on whose version you prefer. Otis Redding and Carla Thomas preferred Tramp and there are lots of horns of this song possibly written by Lowell Fulsom.
It has a real revolving beat laid down by Martin Langshaw and it's backed by Sterling Roswell's studio A-team band who have some real heavy bass action going on. Tav is sounding all lonesome as he riffs about the tramp over the ostrich guitars and he's updated and refreshed the lyrics of Tram? somewhat.
They are still good and sleazy like the feel of the song so that it wouldn't have sounded out of place on the soundtrack of Black Snake Moan. That features the music of Junior Kimbrough (Kimball) who recorded one of the early versions of Tram? Listening to all four versions I've mentioned back to back makes this new Tav version sound the hottest and the more polished version just needs to be stuck on your deck and enjoyed.
Available from Blang! online