Friday, March 27, 2015

THE CHROME DOME FIVE

Here's something of a wake up call for you surf music enthusiasts. Many of you may know the Pyramids from their song "Penetration", a top shelf surf instrumental released in 1963 and on just about every surf music compilation ever released. It is worthy, it's a great song, but it's just about the only thing anyone knows of them. There's a reason for that. Like many of the surf bands that you know only one or two songs of, and presume their other stuff is good, it doesn't always work like that. Sometimes, when you take a second glance you catch something upsetting, if not horrifying.

I feel it is my duty to prevent others from experiencing the trauma that I endured tonight. The Pyramids were from Long Beach. Okay, Southern California, everything's looking as it should. They've got shaved heads. The nuts! They had a black dude in the band, a rarity in surf music. They did "Penetration". If you add all that up, they sound like a can't miss band. So when you see a clip on YouTube, you're know going to watch it. Well sit down, I've something to tell you. If you put the Pyramids in front of a camera, they become complete goons. I know this is hard to bear, but life's like that. Complete and utter goons. You think you can just go back to the source, and hear the flip of the 45, and it will be some sort of reverb safe harbor. But you'll see, you'll see the title, "Here Comes Marsha". It's ain't looking good. It isn't good. Though the Pyramids did release other worthy instrumentals, this should serve as a cautionary post. You wander around willy-nilly, you will get stung.

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Listen:
The Pyramids - Penetration mp3 at Bowling League Records
The Pyramids - Here Comes Marsha mp3 at Song Snack
The Horror:
The Pyramids - Penetration (on American Bandstand) at YouTube

Thursday, March 26, 2015

JAY-JAYS, LOONS, UGLY THINGS AND WHATNOT

Attention Jay-Jays fiends (both of you): the complete recorded works of this fine Dutch beat band that I thought was out of print two years ago, is still floating around. I ran into it at Ugly Things' web store. There's only two copies, so don't sleep. Check the cuts below. "Shake It Some More" should be all the impetus you need, and the guitar freakout that is "Cruncher" will put you over the edge. Not only that, the bass player's name is Joop Oonk, the greatest name this side of your of comic books.

Ugly Things is, of course, the completely fiendish magazine and label, run by Mike Stax, who also wrote the liner notes for the Jay-Jays thing. He started the magazine in the early eighties as a photocopied and stapled fanzine. It has since grown to a couple hundred pages, so detail oriented that it makes Mojo look like child's play. Stax, who moved to the U.S. to join the Crawdaddys decades ago, has been in the Loons for the past several years. If you're in San Diego, you can check them this Saturday at the Casbah for the release party of their latest LP (with the Schitzophonics opening!). You can check some Loons tunes [eye-rolling word usage] on their Facebook page. And you ought to poke around the Ugly Things site. Among other night eaters over there is Searchin' For Shake, the Garage/Psych Compilation Database, which is just what the name implies. Bookmark that sucker.

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Listen::
The Jay-Jays - Shake It Some More mp3 at Beware of the Blog
The Jay-Jays - Cruncher mp3
at Rock Town Hall
The Loons - Four songs (streaming) on their Facebook page Wicked stuff here.
Visit:
Jay-Jay's for sale at Ugly Things Web Store
Ugly Things Home Page 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

LIKE THE BEATLES NEVER HAPPENED

Well waddya know, another band reunited. Sort of. There's only one original member, but that's of little concern, because the fact that there is even a "reunion" is kind of remarkable in itself.  The Sloths weren't exactly a household name, even back in the day. But they put out one 45 that ended up on one of the Back From the Grave garage compilations. The 45 became hot property, going for as much as six grand. This for a 45 that Garage Hangover describe as "recorded by actual Neanderthals in their cave studio..." Yeah. That sounds good, not six grand good, but good enough to go one step further. Thankfully, Ugly Things did the dirty work for us, reissuing the 45, replete with a reproduction of the lowest of low budget sleeve. I picked up the reissue when it came out, autographed by three of the original members to boot, but sadly, it now looks as though it's sold out.

Worry not, ye who must have physical product. It what may be the most surprising development of the whole Sloths story, the reunited version have finished an LP and it might actually be good. If the two pre-release songs posted are any indication, it sounds pretty damn tight. Listen to the new version of "Makin' Love" below. Holy time travel Batman, it's nineteen fucking sixty five!

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Listen:
Video:
Visit:

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

AGREED. SUPER GOOD

Oh yeeaaaahh, Vicki Anderson. Another member of James Brown's funky family, she shared the stage with the GFOS from 1965 to '68, was replaced by Marva Whitney for about a year, and then rejoined in 1969 for three more years. Yeah. She was Brown's go-to female singer, in the prime of his career. If you were to guess that she had some top shelf stuff of her own, you'd be right. 

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Listen:
Give her husband some:
Bobby Byrd, Soul Brother #2

Monday, March 23, 2015

THE CAPTAIN AND TENILLE

A buddy of mine linked to a Boss Hog video today and it occurred to me that it's been ages since I've listened to them. All I have of theirs is on cassettes, and maybe a 45 or two buried in a poorly sorted mess in the hall closet. Regardless, a hassle. So I went digging and I'll be damned if I'm not going to take advantage of a web search I was going to do anyways.

I'm not sure I ever gave Boss Hog a fair shake. They had some hurdles. First off, the couple thing, Jon Spencer and Cristina Martinez in the same band. That would be enough of an obstacle, but the fact that Martinez has model-like looks made it tougher. It pretty much boils down to reverse discrimination. The only way they manage to make it past those bugaboos is because I do recognize Spencer's stature as some sort of noisy elder. He's been at it a long time, in some bands that are better than others. But it's often abrasive, and that trumps all of that other stuff.

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Listen:
Boss Hog - Hustler mp3 at Ten Bulls
Boss Hog - Jaguar mp3
at ATumblr (?)
Boss Hog - I'm Not Like Everybody Else mp3
at One Woman Show Kinks cover
Video:
Boss Hog - I Dig You
at YouTube

Sunday, March 22, 2015

HELLO SINGAPORE. GOODBYE CHORES.

In my ongoing quest to dig through every digital dollar bin there is to find weird shit, I somehow ended up spending more time than any rational person would poking around looking at stuff from Singapore. Why Singapore? A random click at Radio Infusion. After a couple oddball instrumentals, I went looking for an image and landed on a gallery of Asian record covers. Consider that LP cover above. You know you want to hear what the hell that sounds like. That's just one of hundreds of album covers in the gallery. Your evening would be shot too.



Here's the instrumentals that instigated tonights distraction. There were a lot of instrumental Ventures wannabes back then. Technically, they were proficient, but the instrumentation and the production makes them sound a little off. That's what I dig about them. If you don't compare them to Western instrumental bands, you'll find ample weirdness. There's more at Radio Diffusion. The images are two unrelated bands from Singapore, because that's how these wild goose chases start.

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Listen:
The Stylers - Dragon Theme mp3 at Radio Diffusion
The Stylers - Stupid Cupid at Radio Diffusion
The Tones - Golden Dragon Greeting the New Year mp3 at Radio Diffusion
More Singaporean music at Radio Diffusion
Visit:
60s and 70s Asian Pop Record Covers
Singapore 60s Pop Music Hall of Fame

Saturday, March 21, 2015

YOU ALWAYS REMEMBER YOUR FIRST

If you are at all into reggae and haven't seen The Harder They Come, you have missed an entire semester and you will be put back. Go get the soundtrack. Watch the film. It'll not only school you on the varied strains of early seventies reggae, but with the film you'll get an idea of what 1970s Kingston was like. And those of you who are familiar with both, you can stand around looking like a big shot, or you can try a nifty exercise. Listen to the songs below and reflect on when you first heard them, or saw the film, and how it's shaped your views on reggae ever since.



Production on a sequel, The Harder They Come Pt 2 is scheduled to start later this year, with Jimmy Cliff reviving his role, despite the fact that he was shot up and presumed dead in the original. You can read about it here. In the meantime check these. If you're still not convinced, poke around for other clips from the original. They're all over the place.

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Listen:
Jimmy Cliff - The Harder They Come mp3 at Cause Equals Time
Toots and the Maytals - Sweet and Dandy mp3
at Atumblr (?)
Scotty - Draw your Brakes mp3
at Le Blog de la Grand Chose
The Melodians - Rivers of Babylon mp3
at Brendan McGetrick (?)
The Slickers - Johnny Too Bad mp3
at DJ No DJ
Desmond Dekker - 007 (Shanty Town) mp3
at Midwestern Housewives
Visit:
Jimmy Cliff to reprise role in 'Harder They Come Pt 2'
at The Gleaner
The Harder They Come
at Wikipedia

Friday, March 20, 2015

NARCS BEWARE

I am well past the age of requiring adult supervision, but when I hear this song I have a hard time resisting the urge to crawl out my bedroom window and go shoplifting.

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Listen:
Flamin' Groovies - Teenage Head mp3 at Beware of the Blog
More Flamin' Groovies here.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

NEW WAVE DOES NOT EXIST

Maybe you were too jacked up on spikey haircuts and messed up clothing to give the Saints half a chance when they were first picked up by Sire Records in the U.S. back in the day. I gotta admit, there was so much coming out when that first wave of punk and, er, "new wave" that I didn't slow down long enough to weigh pros and cons. Bands had to look right and sound right, and, above all, be as far away from the new wave tag as possible. Being that they were promoted along side Richard Hell and the Voidoids, the Talking Heads, and the Dead Boys as something like "the new sound of the new wave" or some other nonsense, the Saints didn't stand much of a chance. Longish hair plus new wave? See ya!

This was the prevailing attitude. The late great Claude "Kickboy Face" Bessy, from The Decline of Western Civilization, shot in 1980.

I'd eventually come back to the Saints after they were already on their third album. Punk had gone the way of hardcore and that early hardcore shit, at least in Southern California, had become an even more confining sub-sect, with an even more stringent unspoken code of cool. (I was fortunate, I lived here, the best possible post punk segue.) Anyways, I'm still listening to the Saints here and there, but I haven't heard the entire first LP in at least decades, if I even have at all. Blah, blah, lotta catching up to do, blah, these sound good to me. Better than good. "Erotic Neurotic" is four minutes that does not let up, an ear wax removal kit.

Killed By Death, the host of the two cuts below, is a great site to dig around. Punk, hardcore, oi, and related sounds, primarily from the late seventies through the eighties, and some beyond. There's a lot of good classic stuff over there, sprinkled among the well represented, misguided, every scene has one idiot band, variety.

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Listen:

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

SOMETIMES IT WORKS

I wasn't originally looking for Billy Ball. Hell, I never heard of him before last night, but, man oh man, does he deserve a mention. When I visited the link for the original of "Tighten Up" that I linked to last night, there were seven covers of it, a few of them top notch, with the one by Ball and his band, the Upsetters, kicking the most ass.  So, off I was.

I didn't get far. As it turns out Billy Ball and the Upsetters didn't record a whole lot. And there's not much that could be found as far as a bio. But what I did run into were a couple he self released, the physical 45 of which has gone for as much as £4000 ($5900 US). That's according to Now Again Records, who also host the only fruitful mention I could find online. 

Ball and the Upsetters' "Tighten Up Tighter" does just that, it's Archie Bell's mob all hopped up on something. The two others are the self released cuts. Yeah baby, dig it. What DIY used to be.

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Listen:
Visit:
The Sissy Variations or The Queen of Funky Dances at Home of the Groove In case you're wondering about the origins of the dances known as the sophisticated sissy, sissy strut, sissy walk, and probably more sissy variations, this is as thorough as you'll find.

Monday, March 16, 2015

CLOSURE

It's always nice when you can finally get something that bugged you behind you. You can finally stop thinking about it. Some of you, noting the sleeve above, already know where I'm going. "I'm Archie Bell and the Drells". Not ten words into the song, a big fat grammatical error. It's bugged me for decades. Really. So, today, when I finally heard Drell sing "We're Archie Bell and the Drells", I could officially close the book.


There's another Drells thing down there too, the original of "There's Gonna Be a Showdown", the song the Dolls covered. What the hell, the Dolls' cover is down there too, just to remind you what they could do with a song.

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Listen:
Archie Bell and the Drells - There's Gonna Be a Showdown mp3 at Sale el Soul
New York Dolls - There's Gonna Be a Showdown mp3 at A.Tumblr (?)

GO AHEAD. LAUGH. I DID.

I was doing an image search for a different band when I landed on the photo of the tough guys above. You can read what it says. Snake and the Armpits. Totally inane. I had to. Expecting to hear some sort of late seventies punksploitation, cocked and ready to crack wise, I went looking. Mr. Big Time Charlie on the prowl. Yeah, well, with one click of a mouse, I found out what kind of an asshole I was. Snake and the Armpits were a doo-wop group, a damn good doo-wop group if the one song I've heard is any indication. Here we go. Dipped in shit again.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

HOT JAMAICAN WHAT NOT

Here's a few that I just ran across at Roots and Culture, all originating from a 2007 Soul Jazz compilation, Jamaica Funk. Though how they classify as funk, I'm not sure. But two out of the three are solid jams. The first, "Rhodesia" by the Rebels has some really cool trumpet in the second half, and a very heavy groove. Winston Wright and the Upsetters' "Jam #1" is some seriously fucked up keyboard showcase. I'm not saying anything else. You have to hear it for yourself. The third one is a sweet vocal number from the Chosen Few, whom I've always found to be sweet and vocal.

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Listen:
The Rebels - Rhodesia mp3 at Roots and Culture
Winston Wright and the Upsetters - Jam #1
at Roots and Culture
The Chosen Few - I Love the Way You Love mp3 at Roots and Culture
NOTE: They're slow downloads. Go there to hear them streaming.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

SALES PITCH

Some of you might already know this because the word has apparently been out for a while, but I just found out. (No one tells me anything.) The Sonics have a new studio LP coming out on March 31. (Certainly one of you knuckleheads could have said something.) If you have an ounce of trepidation, thinking they've mellowed with age, you'd be forgiven. It has been four and a half decades since their last studio LP. But worry not ye fiends of larynx shredding vocals, crunchy guitars and filthy sax. They still have it. With three of the original members, guitarist Larry Parypa, sax player Rob Lind, and Gerry Roslie on organ. you have the meat of the band. Particularly essential is Roslie, he and his indestructible pipes. Worn maybe, but not off the road. The one new song that's online has me licking my chops. I'm about to do something I've never done. I'm pre-ordering an LP. Dig this one:



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The standards by which all are judged. Vintage Sonics bread and butter skull busting:
The Sonics - Psycho mp3 at Bag of Songs
The Sonics - Strychnine mp3
at Gimme Tinnitus
The Sonics - The Witch mp3
at Ryan Bossetti (?)
The Sonics - Shot Down mp3
at Net Profit (?)
The Sonics - Have Love Will Travel mp3
at Wigh I Were There
The Sonics - Money mp3
at Girl Jukebox
The Sonics - Don't Be Afraid of the Dark mp3
at Ink Mathematics
Order the LP:
The Sonics online store

Friday, March 13, 2015

WHITE KOOKS ON REVERB

A surf band from Colorado. Yeah, sure, you think. You're partly right. The Astronauts played some pretty mean instrumentals, but when they open their mouths, poof. All of my interest dissipates. With vocals, they just sound bland. Compare. Start with the first three, all instrumentals and shit hot surf music. Then the video. It pales. Still, there are so many contemporary surf bands that could learn a thing or two from the Astronauts, particularly some vintage restraint. Instrumental bands didn't overdo it back then. Nowadays, there are authentic sounding surf bands, you just have to navigate through the Blueshammer versions to find them, and that ain't no fun at all.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~  
Listen:
The Astronauts - The Hearse mp3 at Beware of the Blog
The Astronauts - Baja mp3
at California Girls (?)
The Astronauts - Hot Doggin' mp3
at Beware of the Blog
Video:
The Astronauts - Speedy Gonzalez
at YouTube

Thursday, March 12, 2015

THE UNSUNG

Dyke and the Blazers' music is probably elementary stuff for some of you. Sorry, take a pass tonight. This is for the people who've never heard of them. Hey you, you people who've never heard of Dyke and the Blazers: get with it. Start cramming now. Had he not died at the age of twenty seven, Dyke Christian might have given a number of soul singers a run for their money. James Brown, Wilson Pickett, and all points in between. Cram, baby, cram.



~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~  
Listen:
Dyke and the Blazers - You Are My Sunshine mp3 at The Frump
Dyke and the Blazers - Shotgun Slim mp3 at Alejandro Borrero (?)
Dyke and the Blazers - We Got Soul mp3 at Inventanti
Dyke and the Blazers - We Got More Soul mp3
at Funk Explosion
Dyke and the Blazers - The Wobble mp3
at Probe Is Turning-On the People
Visit:
Dyke and the Blazers: the Pioneers of Funk Music at Mental Itch Nice profile with streaming tunes. Their original version of "Funky Broadway" and "Let a Woman Be a Woman, Let a Man Be a Man", sampled by The Heavy in "How Do You Like Me Now".
Dyke and the Blazers at Wikipedia

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

ME GUSTA

Musica del Alma is back, and I am stoked to no end. Until a week of so ago, there had been no movement over there. A lesser blog would have been left for dead. But it had become a favorite of mine, so I kept checking back. It's not like there wasn't enough there to dig through for the last year and a half. It's chocked full of odd obscure Latin music, of all types; traditional, soul, funk, and rock, and just plain weird. The newest post is a mix, but there's some more action at the accompanying site, Discos Alma. Three mixes (so far) and a link to records for sale on ebay, all at set prices (that seem relatively fair) and most with long sound clips (wink wink nudge nudge).

Here's a few from Musica del Alma. They've all been posted before, but it'll give you an idea of what goes on over there.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~  
Listen:
Porfi Jimenez y su Orquesta - Coro mp3 at Musica del Alma
Tony Hernandez and the Latin Liners - Jo Tex mp3 at Musica del Alma
Phirpo y sus Caribes - Comencemos mp3 at Musica del Alma  Fela cover
Gerald Wilson - Viva Tirado mp3 at Musica del Alma Original version of El Chicano hit
Los Hermanos Cortez - La Locuro de los Hippies (The Madness of Hippies) mp3 at Musica de Alma
Visit:
Discos Alma main page
Musica del Alma - The blog
Discos Alma - The Mixes
Discos Alma - Records for sale

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

THIS IS WHY

I'd never heard Dee Dee Warwick's cover of "Suspicious  Minds" before tonight, but it is an instant favorite. An instant all time favorite, it's that good. Memphis, Detroit, New Orleans and Kingston all rolled into one. You might not hear it. It helps to listen to what each isolated instrument is doing, because you can hear isolated instruments. There's a whole lotta stuff going on, without getting too thick. It's just a great production. Close your eyes and imagine yourself in the control booth as it's being recorded. Believe me, you'll be sorry when it ends. This song is epic.

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Listen:
Dee Dee Warwick - Suspicious Minds mp3 at Boogaloo Time

Monday, March 9, 2015

KEEP PLAYING.

There's a cover of "Walk On By" over at Soul Sides, by some band called Spontaneous Combustion. It's not bad, but it just wasn't getting it done. After just about a minute of it, I had to hear Isaac Hayes's extend-o-version. He did a lot of songs like that, long drawn out dramatic slow jams; the slowest of slow. Here's two.

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Listen:
Isaac Hayes - Walk On By mp3 at Louder Softer 12:03
Isaac Hayes - Something mp3 at The Ear Hole 11:47

Sunday, March 8, 2015

DODD'S MOB

If you have any vintage reggae in your collection, chances are you have some Sound Dimension. You might not have any records credited to them, but believe me, you've heard them. They were the house band at Studio One, one of the most active labels from the early sixties through the late seventies, and arguably the most important label and studio in the history of the genre. Initially led by organist Jackie Mittoo, Sound Dimension had a rotating line up comprised of reggae's heavy hitters, notably Leroy Sibbles (bass), Leroy "Horsemouth" Wallace (drums), Ernest Ranglin (guitar), Cedric Brooks and Roland Alphonso (saxophone), Vin Gordon (trombone), and Bobby Ellis (trumpet).

Prior to 1967, with a slightly different line-up, they were known as the Soul Vendors. As the story goes, Jackie Mittoo toured England with the band, and when they returned guitarist Rick Frater brought home an echo effect branded Sound Dimension. Viola! A new name for the band was adopted. (A rare Coxsone Dodd screw up. What name could possibly be better than the Soul Vendors?) They're all over everything. If you know anything at all about reggae, you know that riddims (rhythms), particularly the good ones, are used again and again, oft times for decades. Such is the case with Sound Dimensions'. Their tracks were practically a template for the genre.

Here's a mish mash, with a few of the lesser know tracks, along with a few some of you will know well. You fiends should check out "El Cumbanchero" by Puerto Rican composer Rafael Hernandez. It's the song that "Rockfort Rock" is based on.

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Listen:
Soul Vendors - Swing Easy mp3 at DJ No DJ
Soul Vendors - Musical Happiness mp3
at DJ No DJ

Sound Dimension - Rockfort Rock mp3 at Leave You Wanting Less
Sound Dimension - Drum Song mp3
at Leave You Wanting Less

Sound Dimension - Congo Rock mp3 at Roots and Culture
Sound Dimension - Swell Head Part 2 mp3 at Roots and Culture Vocal: Burning Spear
Sound Dimension - Moan and Groan mp3 at Roots and Culture
Sound Dimension = Great Mu Ga Ru Ga mp3 at Roots and Culture
Rafael Hernandez - El Cumbanchero (streaming) at YouTube

Saturday, March 7, 2015

EXPRESS YOURSELF ALL IN YOUR FACE

No messing around tonight. One song and I'm out. But you get three versions. The one that started it was Leroy Sibbles's cover of Charles Wright and the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band's "Express Yourself". It's surprisingly funky coming from the house bassist for Studio One and one third of the Heptones. Funky enough to make me want to hear the original again. And you can guess what came after that.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
Leroy Sibbles - Express Yourself mp3 at DJ No DJ
Charles Wright and the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band - Express Yourself mp3 at Funk Explosion
NWA - Express Yourself mp3 at Music Is Art

Friday, March 6, 2015

ENTER THE OBSCURO

The seventies were the dark ages for rockabilly. Beyond tiny pockets of aging fiends, very few record buyers were interested in anything beyond the big hitters. You might be able to find a greatest hits package of a few old rockers like Elvis, Little Richard or Gene Vincent, but the compilations of obscure rockabilly stuff didn't exist, at least not in the U.S.  It wasn't until the late seventies that compilations started popping up, most of them from an influx of imports titles from Europe and the UK, where rockabilly never really died. One of the earliest that was relatively easy to find was a compilation of rockabilly sides from the King and Federal labels. That's where I first heard Mac Curtis, the guy with the snazzy flat top above. He's in his late teens in that photo, already showing a bit of attitude. I didn't know that back then. I didn't know what he looked like, or anything about him. The album didn't have shit for liner notes, nothing much more than song titles and artists names.

The songs below were all on the same early compilation. It has since been superseded by other King rockabilly and hillbilly compilations that are much more thorough, with more liner notes, and twice as many songs, and they cost less. This would be where I mutter something like "you kids don't know how good you've got it..." And yes, as a matter of fact, I do want you to get the fuck off my lawn.

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Listen:

Thursday, March 5, 2015

THE JAMAICAN SOUL MAN

I give. Alton Ellis's cover of the Delphonics' "La La Means I Love You" just threw me all off course, not that I had one. But it totally hit the spot. Blew the sourpuss right out of my skull. It made me forget where I was going. So it's Alton Ellis night.

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Listen:
Oddball:

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

LOOSE. HAS MET MONSTER.

Bo Diddley's name isn't mentioned as often these days, not nearly as much as it was when he was alive. Not because it isn't mentioned by a lot of people, because it is. The decline in Bo Diddley references can be attributed to one thing. He's dead. He's no longer singing it, as he did thousands of times when he was alive. Sometimes it seems like half his songs have his name in the title or the lyrics. But that's part of the Bo package, He wrote himself into songs, made some of his own guitars, had his own personal beat, and he recorded and self produced some of his own records, in his own studio. He earned the right to say his own name, as many times as he wanted to. Whenever you hear the name Bo Diddley, don't think of some tireless self promoter, think of the man that practically invented DIY.

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Listen:
Visit:

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

HE'S RIGHT ABOUT THIS ONE

Even without all of his own music, Bob Dylan deserves respect as an incidental rock 'n' roll egghead. By incidental I mean the sort of person who picks up facts along the way, but isn't the type to research and gather information to write a book. It just comes from years of listening to good music. I really noticed that quality of his after hearing a few things from his radio show. He's got good taste in music, and varied, and he has opinions. And, in some cases, he has first hand knowledge of what he speaks.

There's a thing recently posted at the Adios Lounge, basically dissecting a speech Dylan gave recently when accepting the MusiCares Person of the Year award. In the speech he thanks, mentions, or disses Merle Haggard, the Staple Singers, Hendrix, Buck Owens, Tom T. Hall, Leiber & Stoller, Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun, and a whole bunch of others. Check out the post, the commentary and the transcribed speech, and there's videos to boot. It's good stuff.

So what does all that have to do with Billy Lee Riley? This is what Dylan said of Riley's "Red Hot", "It could blast you out of your skull and make you feel happy about it. Change your life." Here, here! My opinion of Dylan has just moved up a few notches. He adds, "He did it with style and grace. You won’t find him in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He’s not there. Metallica is. ABBA is. Mamas and the Papas, I know they’re in there. Jefferson Airplane, Alice Cooper, Steely Dan — I’ve got nothing against metal, soft rock, hard rock, psychedelic pop. I got nothing against any of that stuff. But, after all, it is called the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Billy Lee Riley is not there. Yet. And it’s taking too long." Amen folksinging egghead!

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Monday, March 2, 2015

TO EGGHEADS

The title of yesterdays post, "Get Pete Frame On It", was something I didn't entirely expect many people to get. Usually in a case like that, I don't feel the need to explain it, I just consider it a nod to the fiends that do get it. But Pete Frame was such an important support player, it occurred to me that he's someone you should know. Frame was a music writer, and founding editor of Zig Zag, a British music magazine that debuted in 1969, but what he is best known for is his series of music oriented family trees. That's where the reference in yesterdays post title comes from. An imagined Cedric Brooks family tree would include Carlos Malcom, Sun Ra, Tony Allen, Fela, and a shitload of others.

Frame's family trees were an insanely cool resource for anyone who wanted to see where a line up of a particular band, or multiple related bands, came from. The format contained concise descriptions and held a remarkable amount of information for what was typically a two page spread. First appearing in the early seventies, they still hold up. even with all of the online sources of information today. They were later published in several editions in book form, The Complete Rock Family Trees, all now out of print but readily available used online. In 1990, the BBC did a series based on his family trees called "Rock's Family Trees" narrated by John Peel. 

Here's a sample family tree of Frames's, of New York bands in the CBGBs era, along with the accompanying BBC show of the same period. Watch that, it's good. Lots of old footage. There's another link down there to one of the early London punk scene, and links to just a couple copy cats, of which there are many. The two Frame influenced family trees below are just the first I happened to look at, one for the Cramps and Gun Club, and one for Dischord and Ian Mackaye related bands.

Sanple trees:
The Influence of the "New Wave Nine" at Nihilism on the Prowl Clash, Sex Pistols, Generation X, Damned, Alternative TV, Subway Sect, etc. I think Frame was afraid of the word "punk".
Video:
Part 2, Part 4, Part 5 Couldn't find part 3.
Fan made family trees:

Sunday, March 1, 2015

GET PETE FRAME ON IT

Aw jeez, here we go again. I ran into a post at Roots and Culture that had a couple from Calypsoul 70, a compilation that came out a few years ago. Both are mighty jams, one by the curiously named Biosis Now, and the other by Cedric Brooks. The Brooks song is the one that got me going. Man, that guy did everything, from funky jazz soul to very heavy roots stuff, reggae, and ska. He lived for a short time in San Diego, at the same time Carlos Malcom did, and the two worked together in 1998. Which sent me off to revisit Carlos Malcom. I had to stop there, or kiss off the rest of the night. Brooks also worked with Sun Ra and Tony Allen, and the latter played with Fela. You can see where all that would lead.

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Saturday, February 28, 2015

GASSES ME TOO

I love whacked out music, and I don't care where it comes from. Eric Dolphy's Out To Lunch LP is one whacked out record. I mean it. One you've passed the first minute and a half, and Dolphy starts starts his all over the place routine, you know it's going to get ten kinds of crazy. Apparently it's regarded as a free jazz classic, but I'm no judge. I really don't know shit about jazz. It just makes me twitch and not much music can do that. You non-jazz people, poo-poo it if you must. If you think of it as punk rock jazz, you won't have to put on a dinner jacket. Come to think of it, there are parts that remind me of James Chance. Regardless, it's what I'm listening to, and tonight I'm lazy.

Here's the opening cut, "Hat and Beard" with the initial wig out coming at about 1:27. "Straight Up and Down" is down there because Dolphy said of it "This one reminds me of a drunk walking, straight up and down I call it. It gasses me that everyone was so free." Anyone who intentionally makes a record to sound like a drunk automatically gains entrance here.

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Friday, February 27, 2015

LIVE LONG AND CREATE

The first time I laid eyes on Mr. Spock's vulcan ass was when I was in still in grade school. It was at my Grandmother's house on her brand new color TV. It was the first time I'd ever seen Star Trek, and it was the first time I'd seen anything on color TV. Leonard Nimoy, who played Spock, has been within the sphere of my pop culture cognizance ever since. But when I heard that he died today, it wasn't his role as Spock that came to mind, but his extracurricular activities, poetry, photography and music. Yes, we can all get a good chuckle out of some of his musical escapades, but let's not forget, the man did not rest on his pointy earred laurels. He made stuff. I don't care if it was quality or not. In life there are those who feel the need to create, and those who don't. Given his non-Star Trek output, I think it's safe to say that with or without the success of the series, he would have churned stuff out. That deserves respect. Chuckle if you must.

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Thursday, February 26, 2015

THE UNFORTUNATE BAND PHOTO

Here we go, a couple that wouldn't sound like you're cup of tea if fully described, so I won't. Some of you may have heard Babe Ruth's "The Mexican". A nifty prog rock thing, I guess. The cool thing is that in the middle of it, it has solos borrowed from Ennio Morricone's "For A Few Dollars More", interspersed with a guitar freakout. It's not going to fill a dance floor, but it is an adventure in audio.

Out of nowhere, a recent cover of it by Wu-Tang's GZA, with Tom Morello in some sort of capacity. That's the surprising one. I didn't expect to like it at all, but the female singer in it pushed me over the edge, and now I like it. I'm a wishy washy son of a bitch. I don't care.

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Listen:
Babe Ruth - The Mexican mp3 at Basement Rug 
GZA with Tom Morello - The Mexican mp3 at Cover Me Note: Click on the downward pointing arrow on the top right corner of the streaming window, right under where it says "Soundcloud" in small type.