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Jeffrey Morgan’s Media Blackout



Sonic's Rendezvous Band – Live, Masonic Auditorium, Detroit, January 14, 1978 (Alive/Rock A Rama) :: It's been 27 years and counting since rock 'n' roll was officially pronounced brain dead due to terminal unimportance at the stroke of midnight on December 31, 1979. One wretched look at Live Aid will tell you everything you need to know about why the music of the '80s, '90s and '00s has been nothing but one big self-service suckfest. Want a second opinion? OK, take two doses of Woodstock '99 and call me in the morning to beg for forgiveness, because the '50s, '60s, and '70s were the golden, silver, and dyed platinum ages of rock 'n' roll, respectively.

And speaking of respect, if any doubting douche bag ever asks you for living proof why Detroit owned '70s rock 'n' roll, then play 'em this new live album by Sonic's Rendezvous Band at maximum volume, because it's the absolute closest you'll ever get to being battered senseless by the buffeting sound that made the Motor City famous.

Which isn't surprising given that Detroit's greatest supergroup was helmed by Fred "Sonic" Smith of MC5 fame, Scott "Rock Action" Asheton of Stooges fame, Scott "No Relation" Morgan of Rationals fame, and Gary "No Nick" Rasmussen of Up fame. A squelch of feedback ignites the thunderfuck version of "Electrophonic Tonic" that cracks open this album and after that things only get louder as SRB performs a 40-minute clinic on how to play paint-peeling rock 'n' roll.

Live Masonic is produced by rock photographer Robert Matheu, who also produced the six-disc SRB box set that Easy Action put out in the UK. Pressed in a limited edition of 1,000 copies on 180-gram virgin vinyl, this thick 12-incher features a specially remastered new quantum sonic upgrade that smokes the version that appears on the box set. The compact disc version will come out in September but don't be a doubting douche bag: go to your local record store or any proper online outlet and order your copy today before it sells out.

Jeffrey Morgan is a freelance writer. Send comments to

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