Thursday, January 31, 2013

CANAL KNOWLEDGE

Lefties Soul Connection have my attention: The first song of theirs I heard was funky enough that I actually looked around a little. But not so much that I have more than a thumbnail idea of what and who they are. They're from Amsterdam. They cover the Sonic's cover of Richard Berry's "Have Love Will Travel". They seem to eschew flash. They're not afraid to punch things up. They jam. I'll keep watch, late as I am.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
Lefties Soul Connection - Funky Chick mp3 at Review Stalker
Lefties Soul Connection - Organ Donor mp3 at Augasm
Lefties Soul Connection - Paul Newman mp3 at Augasm
Lefties Soul Connection - Twelve Inch Rims mp3 at Review Stalker
Note: If the Augasm mp3 links don't work, try going here.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

START OF SOMETHING BIGGER

You might think that any old fart that listens to punk rock from thirty odd years ago is stuck in the past, or trying to bring about a feeling of deja cool. But when I revisited the stuff below, the first thing that I flashed on was what the feeling was like, not the feeling of the music, or the feeling of what it felt like to be in with the out crowd. When I heard these, it reminded me of the the excitement of the open ended possibilities that these records represented. These tiny upstart record companies that seemed to pop up over night were not lapping up the condensation as it dripped off of the major labels tall cool one. They stepped in the puddle and went another day without water.

With the possible exception of the odd private pressing, or token 45 by a local bar band, these were the first independently released records that most of my friends had ever heard. They most definitely were for me. Just as in that old punk rock cliche "they can't play and they're in a band, and I can play three chords...", these records proved "I can put out a record". And many did. The links below lead to a good size chunk of ground zero for the L.A. punk scene and the surge of independent West Coast labels. These records and others released about that same time did no less than change the game.

These links lead to separate posts at Killed By Death, each with two to four songs, with the original sleeves . All of these records were released within a span of about two years on L.A. based labels, and all of the bands were from L.A., with the exception of the Dils and the Avengers, who from San Francisco.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY KILLED BY DEATH ~ 
Listen:
The Dils - I Hate the Rich Two songs
The Weirdos – Destroy All Music E.P Three songs
The Avengers – We Are The One E.P. Three songs
The Bags – Survive
Two songs
The Dils – 198 Seconds Of…  Two songs
X – Adult Books Two songs
Black Randy and The Metro Squad – Trouble at the Cup E.P.
Three songs
Randoms – ABCD/Let’s Get Rid Of New York
Two songs
The Weirdos – We Got The Neutron Bomb
Two songs
What Records Comp. E.P.
Three songs, Contollers, Eyes and Skulls
The Deadbeats – Kill The Hippies E.P. Four songs
The Germs – Lexicon Devil E.P. Three songs
Black Randy and the Metrosquad – I Slept In An Arcade Two songs

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

MISSING SHE-WOLF

Okay, now I've gotta get all of this raw tambourine business out of my system. That tambourine in Carol Fran's song yesterday reminded me of Jessie Mae Hemphill. Hemphill plays the tambourine with her foot. It is awesome.



I first picked up a record of hers just because of the picture sleeve. It told me a story. I didn't know what that story was, but it it sure looked interesting. Hemphill is pictured in a tube top and cowboy hat, holding her guitar. In black and white. Cool as it was, I was not prepared for what I was about to hear. It was raw blues. Weathered, as if she were sixty years old. And it had that tambourine. Everything I've ever seen or heard of hers since then, roughly twenty five years ago, has been every bit as interesting as that first 45 sleeve. She is missed.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
Jessie Mae Hemphill - Standing In My Doorway Crying mp3 at Ghetto Session
Jessie Mae Hemphill - Honey Bee mp3 at Subverse
Jessie Mae Hemphill - You Can Talk About Me mp3 at Whisky Fun
Jessie Mae Hemphill - Crawdad Hole mp3 at Tiny Cat Pants
Video
Jessie Mae Hemphill - You Can Talk About Me at YouTube
Visit:
Jessie Mae Hemphill at Wikipedia

Monday, January 28, 2013

FIRST TIME HOLLER

Where in the hell have I been?  Until about an hour ago, Carol Fran was completely unknown to me, and that probably would have remained the case if Derek's Daily 45 hadn't posted one of her songs. His description was gushing, so I bit. Holy shit, I don't know what it is about this song. It's a mother loving keeper. It's got much. The vibe, the simplicity, the pace, the horns, the "Workin' In a Coal Mine" type rhythm, the prominent tambourine bashing, Fran's piano playing and her voice. Damn, is her voice hearty. This is one of those songs that makes errant trolling worthwhile.

I was only able to find one more mp3, a later one. But check that second one, "Roll With the Punches", another how come nobody told me about this? The want list gets longer.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
Carol Fran - I'm Gonna Try mp3 at The Soul Girl
Carol Fran - Roll With the Punches (streaming) at YouTube
Carol Fran and Clarence Hollim - Door Poppin' mp3 at Shen (Japanese)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

WHO'S GONNA SAY NO?

If you don't get past the plethora of well known James Brown tracks, you'd be tempted to think that everything he did seemed so effortless, that he was incapable of making a flawed record. That's partially true. Even his spontaneous jams with the equally spontaneous titles were damn good. But there's one thing that he dabbled in that wasn't JB tight. His instrumental records of the mid-late sixties feature him on keyboards, the Hammond B3 and piano. Not that they're bad records, actually what I've heard are really good. But the ordinary JB prowess is not quite there on the keys. His playing, while good, is not Jimmy Smith, Jimmy McGriff, or any other B3 playing Jimmy, good. That said, if you like oddball keyboard instrumentals, you could do much worse.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen: 
James Brown - James Brown's Boo-Ga Loo mp3 at Beware of the Blog
James Brown - Jimmy Mack mp3 at Groove Addict
James Brown - Mercy, Mercy, Mercy mp3 at Groove Addict
James Brown - You Know It mp3 at Funky 16 Corners Go there to get it.

Friday, January 25, 2013

ENOUGH WITH THE K PUNS

Yeah, I'm fully aware hot shot, the Kinks seem pretty elementary, particularly the early stuff. But when was the last time you actually listened to them? The hits are so ingrained in your musical lexicon that you probably don't think you need to, right? You're wrong. Holy shit, are you wrong. Just give these a whirl again, preferably loud. The louder the better. Shit, even "I Gotta Move" is enough to make you dance like an idiot, and it's got acoustic guitar all over it.

You fully vested Kink freaks might get get a kick out of the non-rocker down there, the demo for "I Go to Sleep". (Supposedly a demo, it sounds a lot like the Kinda Kinks version.) It was written for German singer Marion Maerz, and later covered by Peggy Lee, Cher, the Pretenders and just about every other female part time practitioner of smokey ballads. Fucking awesome song, simple. And beautiful. Where's my damn hankie?

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
The Kinks - Till the End of the Day mp3 at This Recording
The Kinks - All Day and All of the Night mp3 at Drummer World
The Kinks - You Really Got Me mp3 at Le Blog de la Grande Chose
The Kinks - I Gotta Move mp3 at 8106
Zzzzzzzzz: 
The Kinks - I Go to Sleep (demo) mp3 at Art Decade
Marion Maerz - I Go to Sleep mp3 at MediaFire 
Peggy Lee - I Go to Sleep (streaming) at YouTube
Video:
Marion Maerz - I Go to Sleep at YouTube  
Visit:
Marion Maerz at Ready Steady Girls

Thursday, January 24, 2013

MARDI GRAS PREP

Oh yeeaaaahh, this mix by Funky 16 Corners' Larry Grogan hits the spot. It's two and a half weeks until Fat Tuesday and if you do Mardi Gras type celebrating, this sucker will fill an hour far better than any cheesy store bought compilation. A killer selector, Larry's mixes invariably contain lesser known songs and artists along side recognized names in an almost formulaic ratio. This particular one is no exception. To wit, here's the roll call: Roger and the Gypsies, Professor Longhair, Bobby Marchan, Diamond Joe, Eddie Bo, Lee Dorsey, Dixie Cups, Earl King, the Meters, David Batiste and the Gladiators, Bobby Williams, Curly Moore, Ernie K Doe, Larry Darnell, the Explosions, Rubaiyats, Warren Lee, Willie Tee, Danny White, Lee Dorsey, Oliver Morgan, Eddie Bo. The bonus? That would be the opportunity to sluff off for a night.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
Funky 16 Corners presents Mardi Gras Boogaloo 22 song mix at, like duh, Funky 16 Corners. Go there to get it, download link is posted after the song listing

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

DEAR ROCKERS, DON'T BE CHICKEN

I put on John Coltrane's A Love Supreme LP last night when I was fixing dinner. Less then a minute into it, I had to stop what I was doing and give the music my full attention. There's a reason why that album is held in such high regard. It's freakishly good, and even on my stereo, which is sufficient but nowhere near excellent, it sounded as though the players were right there in my living room. At least part of it was the separation, which had Coltrane coming out of one speaker, but the production quality overall is unimpeachable. While it continued to play, I hurriedly finished making dinner. A couple minutes later, when I was chowing down on a carnitas burrito and listening to the second cut "Resolution" I stopped again to think, with that combination of the burrito and the song, it had been a very long time since my head absorbed that much sensory goodness at once.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~ 
Listen: 
Visit:

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

JAMAICAN ICING

Years ago, I was lucky enough to see Burning Spear live with Bobby Ellis, the great reggae trumpet player, in his band. It was the first time it slapped me in the face, the crucial role of horns in reggae, because, holy shit, did the presence of Ellis ever elevate the sound of that band on that particular night. The local reggae radio show aired an hour of the show a few days later and I taped it. I listened to that tape over and over and what I came away with is that, at that point in Burning Spears' career, Ellis' playing was essential to his sound, as much as the rhythm section. I've had a soft spot for horns in reggae ever since.
 
Here's one each from four of the best: Ellis, Tommy McCook and Roland Alfonso, both saxophonists, and Don Drummond, trombonist; all reggae icons. These cuts are all top notch, as in really, really good. Listening to them back to back with change your mood.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~ 
Listen:
Tommy McCook - Tenor On Call mp3 at J-Bird 196?
Don Drummond - Don Cosmic mp3 at Rasta Geeks 1961
Roland Alphonso and the Studio One Orchestra - Cleopatra Rock mp3 at Club Clortez 196?

Monday, January 21, 2013

WHY MESS WITH IT?

Did you know James "Sugarboy" Crawford passed away in September? You do know Crawford, right? He's the "Jock-A-Mo" guy, the guy who wrote it, the song known to many as "Iko, Iko" by the Dixie Cups and about a thousand others. The Dixie Cups basically stole it. His version, the first, is the real New Orleans thing. It's one of those few dozen or so songs that make up the A-list of New Orleans R & B oldies.

I'm not going to go on and on, because the links below do a much more thorough job than I would. First, head over to the Home of the Groove. Their post is a lengthy bio, with a lot of Crawford's music. (Left click the song song titles highlighted in orange. A few are YouTube links, and a couple are dead, but most are mp3s). For a shorter, more concise profile, check the obituary at Offbeat. They also have a good dissection of the song "Iko Iko" itself. If you're staying put, the three songs below are from Crawfords "Jock-A-Mo" era band, the Cane Cutters, and only one features him on vocals. The other vocal cut features the Snooks Eaglin, the guitarist in his band, on vocals. The third song "Night Rider" is a whopper, a real bad ass slice of instrumental New Orleads R & B.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~ 
Listen: 
Snooks Eaglin and the Cane Cutters - You Call Everybody Sweetheart mp3 at Home of the Groove
The Cane Cutters - Night Rider mp3 at Home of the Groove 
Visit:
Sugarboy From Sugar Town - James "Sugarboy" Crawford, bio and many songs at Home of the Groove
James "Sugarboy" Crawford - Obituary at Offbeat
Iko Iko: In Search of Jockomo at Offbeat

Sunday, January 20, 2013

THIS WILL WORK

Ever had one of those days? I didn't, not today, but if I did, this sucker would do the trick. No idea why I had a craving, maybe just to make sure it sounded as good as it did the last time I had one of those days. And really, this sort of thing, the way it reaches my receptors, is one of the reasons why I don't think I'll ever be in that world, the one where nobody ever has one of those days. It's like brushing your teeth, only for your skull.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~ 
Listen:
Further listening:
Previous Stooges posts

Saturday, January 19, 2013

DON'T BLINK

Here's an oddball, and I'm not going to go on and on about it. In short, it's the Yardbirds doing the Yelvet Underground's "Waiting For the Man", live in 1968, just months after the first Velvet's LP was released. It's an audience tape, and it's from 1968, so as you would guess, the quality of the recording sucks dry shit. But it is an oddball, of a great band covering another great band that you wouldn't ordinarily associate them with. Considering that the LP didn't sell much when it came out makes it all the more compelling, that the Yardbirds were cognizant of the VU. This is one odd combination and probably won't pop up again, and that far outweighs shitty sound quality. There's another cover below, of the Yardbirds doing Dylan's "Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I’ll Go Mine)" from a BBC session. The sound is a lot better on that one

Note: Though it's obvious, in the interest of CYA I should point out that the image above is a fake album cover. The last thing I need is the Warhol estate nitpicking around here.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen: 
The Yardbirds - I'm Waiting For the Man mp3 at Aquarium Drunkard Go there to get it, and soon. The kill their links after they've been up a while.
The Yardbirds – Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I’ll Go Mine) mp3 at Cover Me
Just so you don't feel gipped:
Velvet Underground - I'm Waiting For the Man mp3 at Barrrel of Nails
Velvet Underground - Guess I'm Falling In Love mp3 at Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban
The Yardbirds - Happenings Ten Years Time Ago mp3 at Rocking Classics
The Yardbirds - White Summer (live) mp3 at Speed of Dark 

Friday, January 18, 2013

SURF'S UP, PARDON THE CORN


Earlier today I was talking to a guy I know, and was ending the conversation saying that I'd talk to him on Monday. "I probably won't be back by then, I'm going to the Ranch." Knowing he's more than a bit waterlogged, I asked if it was a surf trip, and he answered that there was a sizable swell coming, and it's supposed to be one for the ages.  "I'm bringing my nine-six elephant gun. This is a big one. Waimea's at thirty foot today, and the swell is headed here. The Maverick's contest is on, Sunday at 8:00. It's going to be online." Holy shit! This probably doesn't mean a damn thing to most of you, but I was ten types of worked up. Mavericks is California's premier big wave spot, and the Mavericks Invitational is not held unless the surf is sizable, as in massive, and clean enough to warrant a gathering of the worlds best big wave surfers. The last time it was held was two years ago, and given the ever improving technology, this years coverage should be something to see.  The contest is being sponsored by Go Pro, a company that manufactures small waterproof video cameras that sports nuts of all types have taken to strapping to themselves and doing their own narcissistic home movies. Normally an advance in "look at me" technology isn't something that winds my watch, but in this case it will afford landlubbers an opportunity to see what it looks like when you're on a big...make that huge wave.  Some of the surfers will be wearing the cameras, and that, a close up big wave encounter shown in real time, isn't something you're likely to see again for a while.



To post a few surf songs seemed like a no brainer. Though for waves this hairy, surf music is a little trite. So, there's one down there from Bach, as in Johann Sebastian. You might think it an odd choice, but it's been used in more than a few big wave sequences in surf movies of yore. There's also a link to the Mavericks Invitational site, where you'll be able to watch (Sunday, January 20, 8:00 AM, Pacific Standard Time), and a link to the trailer to the recent feature film Chasing Mavericks.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
For the heavy shit:
J.S.Bach - Toccata and Fugue in D Minor mp3 at Bach Net
Four foot and under:
The Rumblers - Boss mp3 at Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban
Aki Aleong & the Nobels - Panic mp3 at Probe Is Turning-On the People
The Hollywood Tornadoes - The Gremmie, Pt 1 mp3 at Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban
Dick Dale and the Deltones- Surf Beat mp3 at Beware of the Blog
The Astronauts - Hot Dogger mp3 at Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban
Danny and the Seniors - Banzai Pipeline mp3 at Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban
Johnny Barakat and the Vestells - The Wedge at Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban
Charles Wright and the Malibus - Runky mp3 at Office Naps
The Torquays - Escondido mp3
at Office Naps
Calvin Cool - El Tecolote mp3
at Office Naps
Richie Allen - Caveman mp3
at Office Naps
Visit:
Mavericks Invitational official site,
Live streaming coverage, Sunday, January 20, 8:00 AM, Pacific Standard Time
NOTE: The Mavericks Invitational can also be seen here. The official site is not responding as of 7:04 AM, Jan. 20, so if that's still happening, this is your best bet.
Chasing Mavericks trailer at YouTube

Thursday, January 17, 2013

GIVE THE BEADS TO BOBBY

If you dig the sound of New Orleans, you're probably well aware of the spectacle of Mardi Gras. That's when music lovers and boneheads alike descend on the French Quarter and try to cram as much music alcohol, and all around idiocy (that, courtesy of visiting party monsters) into a day or two of letting it all hang out, the crescendo of which occurs on Fat Tuesday. After a recent post of Huey "Piano" Smith's "Don't You Know Yockomo" at Diddy Wah, it occurred to me that Fat Tuesday will be here before you know it, so I checked. It's early this year, February 12 to be exact. Yikes! Time to start scavenging. Though a handful of songs do not a party mix make, these will get you started. There'll be more from other New Orleans artists in the next few weeks, provided I don't flake.

If these songs don't seem very wild to your sophisticated ears, you're missing the point. You need to walk in the streets of New Orleans and hear music like this streaming out of the windows of shops, bars and homes. If you weren't in a rush to get anywhere, you'd stop and rock the groove.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
Huey "Piano" Smith - Don't You Know Yockomo mp3 at Diddy Wah
Huey "Piano" Smith - Would You Believe It mp3 at Modern Kicks
Huey "Piano" Smith - Don't You Just Know It mp3 at Dalston Oxfam Shop
Huey "Piano" Smith - Popeye mp3 at Probe Is Turning-On the People
Shirley and Lee - The Flirt mp3 at Diddy Wah
Shirley and Lee - Feel So Good mp3 at Rocky 52
Benny Spellman - Fortune Teller mp3 at Dalston Oxfam Shop

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

ENJOY YOURSELF

Boy oh boy, back in the day, Prince Buster was one busy sombitch. He started out working security for Coxsone Dodd's sound system, and then left and began his own system. He started dabbling in producing, finally making records of his own. Lots of them. Many of them were released in the UK on the Blue Beat label, making him quite the hot shit over there. He's at least part of the reason why ska, rocksteady and reggae have always been big there.


This is Ska 1964

Groove Addict has among their stash some of Prince Buster's less heard stuff. Each post has one song as a sample, along with links to downloads of the full LPs. The LP downloads take a few clicks, and quite honestly, I'm not patient enough to have to click and wait, and then try to guess which download link is the correct one. Pop-ups and misleading links abound, but if you're of the LP-at-all-costs sort, you'll figure out where to click after the first one. There's also a handful of songs that have been posted before. We'll be in the other room moving the furniture out of the way.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen: 
Prince Buster - Soul of Africa mp3 at Groove Addict
Prince Buster - Respect mp3 at Groove Addict 
Prince Buster - My Girl mp3 at Groove Addict 
Found elsewhere:
Prince Buster - Enjoy Yourself mp3 at Audio Drums
Prince Buster - Al Capone mp3
at Street Kiss
Prince Buster - Judge Dread mp3
at Cubik Musik
Prince Buster - Danny Dane and Lorraine mp3 at Jaliskoska
Prince Buster - Fowl Theif mp3
at Jaliskoska
Prince Buster - The Fugitive mp3
at Jaliskoska
Prince Buster All Stars - Desafinado mp3
at Jaliskoska
Prince Buster All Stars - Prince of Peace mp3
at Jaliskoska
Prince Buster - Blackhead Chinaman mp3 at
at Jaliskoska

Bonus:
The Maytals - Ska War mp3 at Groove Addict
Full LP's:
Prince Buster - Ska-Lip-Soul at Groove Addict Once there, start your journey by clicking "link"
Prince Buster - I Feel the Spirit at Groove Addict Ditto 
Prince Buster and others - Fly Flying Ska at Groove Addict With the Skatalites, Don Drummond, the Maytals, Roland Alphonso and more.
Visit:
Prince Buster at Wikipedia

Monday, January 14, 2013

ONE NON-HIT WONDER

This is the one thousandth post,...I think. I could be wrong. Anyway, it occurred to me that there's probably a lot of good stuff buried in old posts worth revisiting. What the hell. I checked the first song that I ever posted five years ago and was surprised as all get out that the link was still live. So here's the Ardell's "Stronger Than Dirt", which I described back then as sounding like the Sonics locking horns with the Surfaris in a battle of the bands, "essential". Sounds about right. It's one of those raw really banging songs. There's not much band info online, just a brief mention in a Wikipedia multi-band Ardells entry. It is apparent that it was based on an old Ajax cleanser commercial, and there are other versions online, but this one is the best.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
The Ardells - Stronger Than Dirt mp3 at Probe is Turning-On the People
Watch:
Ajax commercial at YouTube

Saturday, January 12, 2013

AIN'T NO ACID I KNOW

After listening to Mink DeVille's "Hey Joe" again last night I was jonesing for some full on Latin stuff, Ray Barretto's "Deeper Shade of Soul" to be exact. You know it didn't stop there; it led to all sort of detours. I went looking for his cover of "The Summer Knows," and when I couldn't find it I ended up listening to Andy Williams cover of it, and stopped dead in my tracks, thinking "Has it really come to this? Andy fucking Williams?!?" Not to slight the V-necked crooner with the weird microphone grip, but I had to walk away. That's parent music.

If you know Latin music, you likely know that the name of the album above is a bit of a misnomer. If you don't know the LP, you're probably thinking is something slightly psychedelic, right? It isn't. What it is though is some shit hot Latin grooves, every bit as cool as the album cover. So here's a couple from that, his cover of "Summertime", and another "Strange Music" that's less Latin, but wicked nonetheless. Just to make sure you don't go wandering off in Andy Williams territory, there's a link to an excellent selection of boogaloo cuts at Passion of the Weiss, with Barretto, Tito Puente, Joe Bataan, Willie Bobo, Mongo Santamaria, Johnny Colon, Joe Cuba, Charlie Palmieri, the Lebron Brothers and the Fania All-Stars.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
Ray Barretto - Acid mp3 at Ozgood
Ray Barretto - Deeper Shade of Soul mp3 at Art Decade
Ray Barretto - Summertime mp3 at Little Mike's 
Ray Barretto - Strange Music mp3 at Drummer World
Further listening:
A Bluffer's Guide to Boogaloo at Passion of the Weiss Twelve cuts including Barretto, Tito Puente, Joe Bataan, Willie Bobo, Mongo Santamaria, Johnny Colon, Joe Cuba, Charlie Palmieri, the Lebron Brothers and the Fania All-Stars

Friday, January 11, 2013

FIFTY SONGS I DIDN'T POST

Tonight we're setting the Wayback Machine to June 2007. Big Rock Candy Mountain was a fairly new blog, and they had just introduced a second blog, Bar Stool Mountain, dedicated to drinking songs They started it with a countdown of the top 100 drinking songs of all time. It was a good list, loaded with favorites. Scanning it, there was Dave Dudley, George Jones, Wynonie Harris, Merle Haggard,,,,, everything as it should be. Then, the horror of horrors, "Margaritaville" at #71. Chills ran right down through my liver. Upon voicing (rather typing) my displeasure at such a grievous inclusion, the host was kind enough to fulfill my request for Hank Thompson's "Six Pack to Go" and I was invited to counter their Buffet choice with one of my own (Gang Green's "Alcohol"). That sort of good sportsmanship goes a long way over here, and I've had a soft spot for all things Mountain ever since.

Last year I linked to Big Rock Candy Mountain's year-end top fifty. They just finished posting this years list and, dutifully, I'm again using it as an excuse to slack off for the night. There's lots of goodies to dig through. Don't let the Buffet incident scare you. I've been following them for five years and they've proven time and time again that they do in fact have taste, and either a penchant for getting on promo lists or deep pockets, because they feature a helluva lot more new stuff than I do. So without any further blabbing, here's links to their top fifty records of 2012, with a few single songs that I happened to dig.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen: 
Reverend Frost - Every Goddam Thing to Hell mp3 at Big Rock Candy Mountain
Chicken Diamond - Country Song mp3 at Big Rock Candy Mountain 
Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs - Goddamn Holy Roll mp3 at Big Rock Candy Mountain
More sounds:
Big Rock Candy Mountain's list, selections 1-10
Big Rock Candy Mountain's list, selections 11-20
Big Rock Candy Mountain's list, selections 21-30
Big Rock Candy Mountain's list, selections 31-40
Big Rock Candy Mountain's list, selections 41-50

Thursday, January 10, 2013

WHEN THROWBACK TOOK GUTS

You want to know what I like about the late Willy DeVille? He was his own kind of serially out of touch cool. Didn't give a shit. When everyone else was pogoing, he was Spanish strolling. Not to say he didn't go through a handful of cringe worthy personas (Do an image search and feast your eyes on the mohawk period. Gads.) But it was just that unbeholden-ness that earned him more rope.



Take a listen to "Venus of Avenue D" or "Just to Walk That Little Girl Home" (mp3s below). This is the Mink DeVille era that I really dig. The wild thing is that it was in the same era, the same circuit, and the same bars as the Ramones. Live, holy shit, it was even better. Here's a few covers too. They were posted as Mink Deville, so I'm guessing they're from when the band was still intact (and around the time of the above photo). After listening to them I was reminded what a good song stylist he was, in an old school sense.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
Mink DeVille - Venus of Avenue D mp3 at X818
Mink DeVille - Just to Walk That Little Girl Home mp3 at Kenny Margolis
Mink DeVille - Hey Joe mp3 at irlandkyle.hautetfort (?)
Mink DeVille - Bacon Fat mp3 at Blues Diary Andre Williams cover!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

OLD TIMEY HOUR

I just needed to clean out the ol' ear canals. I could have walked to the Bat Cave and grabbed a Q-Tip, but it was far easier to revisit Flipper's second 45 "Sex Bomb" from the comfort of my dilapidated office chair. I remember hearing it for the first time. My buddy Bill, who had been living in Berkeley, brought it home with him, and couldn't stop chuckling as he put it on. This is the same guy that blasted John Lennon and Yoko Ono's Life With The Lions, a totally abrasive affair, while watching The Loves of Hercules on TV, while his sister was attempting to neck with a sailor on the family couch. He appreciated unusual juxtapositions. Depending on what side of the gettin' chummy fence you were on, he was a total buzz kill, or a laugh riot.

Admittedly, this might be a case of you had to be there, but "Sex Bomb" was one piece of work, iconic in terms of a recorded fuck it all statement. There is no pretense of anything that makes sense. A simple bass line, grinding chords, lyrics that consist of about seven words, a slide whistle and a car crash just for good measure. (Bill was particularly fond of the "Woo!" right after the car crash.) It is liberating in it's total abandonment of anything proper. And it still sounds good.
Here's the original 45 version, and the flip, "Brainwash" which could be alternatively titled "Brain Fart" because that's what it basically is. There's also a link to Lennon and Ono's Life With the Lions, the entire album, streaming at YouTube. I encourage you to listen to the first couple minutes.  Try to figure out why Bill's sister didn't just fucking clobber him. Her and the sailor didn't flinch. She was a strong woman. She out mind-fucked her arrogant kid brother.

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Listen:
Flipper - Sex Bomb (original 45 version) mp3 at Little Mike's
Flipper - Brainwash (the flip) mp3 (via Box.com) at Bleeding Out 
John Lennon and Yoko Ono - Life With the Lions LP (streaming) at YouTube Entire album. In case you're wondering, I made it through the first seven minutes. That was reminder enough. But bookmark it.
Visit: 
Sex Bomb - A blog that collects versions of the handmade "Sex Bomb" 45 sleeves. Someone had to do it.

Monday, January 7, 2013

AW SHUCKS

It may not mean anything to folks outside of California, but Huell Howser passed away early this morning. Howser was a Tennessee native who move to Los Angeles in 1981, and was the host of a syndicated show called "California's Gold", a sort of travelogue of seemingly mundane locations. But plop Howser in the middle of any boring location, and he'd find something to passively wig out about.


An early clip, Howswer reports on the Clash in NY, 1980. Interview starts at 2:30.

He loved to repeat what he'd just been told to make sure the folks at home got the full impact. A typical exchange might go something like this: an interview subject might say "The sky is blue." to which Howser would say, "Now hold on, wait a minute, you're telling me the sky is actually blue?!? How about that!" It was his low key demeanor and total lack of pretense that made him a favorite around here. Seriously, the guy was like a curious uncle you'd want to tag along with.




Here's a few Cali-centric songs. There's tons of video of Howser floating around, but you should start with his channel at YouTube.

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Listen:
Marlena Shaw - California Soul mp3 at Copy This
Jolie Holland - Goodby California mp3 (via Box.com) at Carnival Saloon
Further listening:
Five more songs about California at Carnival Saloon Tom Waits, the Arlenes, Billy Bragg and Wilco, Virgil Shaw, and Guy Clark, along with the aforementioned Marlene Shaw and Jolie Holland.
Video:
Visit:

Sunday, January 6, 2013

THE VELVET FOG AND THE SOUL GIRL

Holy hell. Mel Tormé, aka the Velvet Fog, not someone I thought I'd ever cop to liking. Until a few years ago, he represented old fogey music, the stuff your parents might listen to. Never really listened to him, except for the odd telethon or Johnny Carson appearance. That's not to say I'm a fiend, because only one of his songs has made the rotation, because it's old school cool. The song is "I'm Comin' Home", originally released as an instrumental by the David Bailey Quintet in 1961. A year later, Tormé added lyrics, and because of that his version is essentially what all other vocal versions are based on. And a swingin' take it is. Not just his singing either, the organ solo slays.

One of the other versions is by the UK trio the Peddlers, who I better brush up on, because I never heard of them until yesterday (the cover of "Little Red Rooster"). That's how things sometimes work around here, some forgotten band starts popping up again and again out of nowhere. 

The other version, by Dee Dee Sharpe, was posted by The Soul Girl, who must have every Northern Soul related record ever, because her blog always pops up in searches. You ought to check out her blog, it's basically a diary of, well, a soul girl. But her writing is awesome. She's self effacing, funny, loves soul, and really knows soul, icing on the cake. If that sounds like someone around here has a crush, you're right. What's not to like? I was going to cut and paste a few good quotes, but there's so many, really. Note: The home page takes a while to load, but go to the can or something and come back. It's worth it.


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Listen:
Mel Tormé - I'm Comin' Home mp3 at Loudat 
The Peddlers - I'm Comin' Home mp3 at De Discos de Monstruos
Dee Dee Sharpe - I'm Comin' Home mp3 at The Soul Girl
Visit: 
The Soul Girl

Saturday, January 5, 2013

COCK A DOODLE WHATEVER

It's not always the playing, the singer, or the songwriting. Sometimes it's just the sound of a song. How it feels. T-Model Ford and Gravelroad's cover of "Little Red Rooster" sounds like they're playing ten feet away. It's really greater than its parts. The singing and playing are not virtuoso by any means, and the song, while typically well written by Willie Dixon, is basic, but that's what's great about the package. All of the elements are basic, not overdone. Everything in it's place. 

Here's a link to that version, along with several others at Doklands. .The Pussy Galore version being the most fucked up. It's just shit, laughable, and I like Pussy Galore. But not enough to coddle. It's primordial hipster jive. 

A note about the links, they're all from individual posts. You can click on the site links after the song titles to go to the individual posts, or go here, and scroll down about two thirds of the page to see the consecutive posts. I just left some out, there's actually seven in all.

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Listen:
T-Model Ford and Gravelroad - Little Red Rooster mp3 at Doklands
Willie Dixon - Little Red Rooster mp3 at Doklands 
Pussy Galore - Little Red Rooster mp3 at Doklands 
Jesus and Mary Chain - Lttle Red Rooster mp3 at Doklands
James Blood Ulmer - Little Red Rooster mp3 at Doklands
The Peddlers - Little Red Rooster mp3 at Doklands

A FEW FROM THE FUNKY FAMILY

There could be a genre unto itself, "Anything that James Brown so much as sniffed". Everything that came under the umbrella of James Brown's Funky People (an excellent compilation series by the way) has the indelible stamp of the GFOS. And there is a lot of it. After posting the Marva Whitney thing a couple days ago, I've been on a JB associated bender. So here's another one from her, Brown's iconic "Funky Drummer" (from the highly recommended, bordering on essential In the Jungle Groove compilation) and a few others. It's surprisingly hard to find mp3s of much of his extended funky family floating around, so after an hour of digging, I'll have to leave you with these, all bona fide jams as they are. You would do yourself well to pick up some some of those James Brown's Funky People compilations, the J.B.'s Pass the Peas compilation, or In the Jungle Groove, just for starters. He was the template.

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Listen:
Marva Whitney -Unwind Yourself mp3 at Snuhthing Anything 
James Brown - Funky Drummer mp3 at Isoamerica
The JB's - Givin' Up Food For Funk mp3 at Smiles Davis 
James Brown & the J.B.'s - Doing It To Death mp3 at Frederator
Lyn Collins - Think (About It) mp3 at Aerial Noise

Thursday, January 3, 2013

GRIEVE AND GROOVE

Just a quick one because, just I'd suspected he would, Larry Grogan at Funky 16 Corners gave Fontella Bass the send off she deserved. This song he posted was "Don't Mess Up a Good Thing", recorded with Bobby McClure in 1965. I'd always liked the song, but had only heard a version by Greg Allman back in the seventies, and Carla and Rufus Thomas' version. The Bass/McClure version is superior, a real gas, and Larry's write-up is icing on the cake.

I also ran into a post at Bedazzled, about Bass and Marva Whitney, who also passed away just weeks ago.  There's four songs, two by each, and a great written thing over there. Check out Whitney's "It's My Thing (You Can't Tell Me Who to Sock It To)" (once there, right click to save). I could write a whole post about how awesome it is. In fact, I probably will.

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Listen:
Fontella Bass and Bobby McClure - Don't Mess Up a Good Thing mp3 at Funky 16 Corners Go there to get it.
Fontella Bass - My Good Loving mp3 at Bedazzled 
Marva Whitney - It's My Thing (You Can't Tell Me Who to Sock It To) mp3 at Bedazzled
Carla and Rufus Thomas - Don't Mess Up a Good Thing mp3 at The Soul Girl

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

LOOKIN' SHARP GUYS

That's Curtis Knight and the Squires above, with a spit shined Jimi Hendrix (then Jimmy James) on the left. The pre-fame Hendrix only played with him for a short time, but if he hadn't, chances are that most people would never have heard of Knight. It's not that Knight necessarily exploited their association (though it could be argued that he did), it was a producer named Ed Chalpin that did the major exploiting.  Chalpin had signed Hendrix as a backing musician for Knight, and even though Knight's records didn't sell well initially, after Hendrix died Chalpin cashed in. He raided the tapes and released just about everything they recorded, much of it for the first time, credited to Curtis Knight with Jimi Hendrix. But we're not here to talk about blood sucking opportunists.

The song that really got me going is "Fancy Meeting You Here", which doesn't even have Hendrix on it. It was recorded by Knight a few years after they parted ways, but I dig it for a totally unrelated reason. You might not hear it, but the first band I thought of when I listen to it was the Velvet Underground. Then, when the vocals kick in, it sounds like Knight's almost trying to imitate Hendrix's phrasing. So, if you really give it some wiggle room, you could almost imagine it as a Hendrix/Velvets collaboration.  Yes, of course that's a stretch. That's what we do here.

The earlier cut, "Oddball", is a Knight/Hendrix thing, and what I dig is that Hendrix isn't playing the lead, he's playing a secondary role, and whatever it is he's playing is so distorted it almost sounds like a fuzzed out bass, but the Hendrix licks are there, there's no mistaking that. The "Voodoo Woman" thing is really just to give you an idea of what Knight's voice sounds like when he's not aping Hendrix. It's actually pretty swanky.

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Listen:
Curtis Kinight - Fancy Meeting You Here mp3 (via DivShare) at Studio del Sonido Esnob 
Curtis Knight with Jimi Hendrix - Oddbball mp3 at Probe is Turning-On the People 
Curtis Knight - Voodoo Woman mp3 at Exotica Project 
Curtis Knight - Lost Memory mp3 at Studio del Sonido Esnob 
Visit: 
Curtis Knight at Wikipedia