Wednesday, April 30, 2014

CHECK THIS AWESOME STUDIO

The video below made my day for more than a few reasons, and none are because the music is particularly brilliant. But the idea is. It's one of those things that makes you stop for a minute (or eight minutes in the case of this one) and ponder what it would be like on that day when everyone here on this ball of confusion realized that we're all in this together. Sound hippie enough for you? It's from Playing For Change, and was recorded in outdoor locations all over the world, featuring Native Americans, Africans, Brazilians, Australians, Jamaicans, Portuguese, Spaniards, Mexicans, and some English dude.

Playing For Change began as a project to document street musicians from all over the world. It morphed into a series of videos of musicians in different locations, all playing the same song simultaneously. The videos are heartwarming, as are the what if scenarios that they prompt. Try being a tree hugging peace-nik do-gooder for eight minutes. There's no fuzz, reverb, power chords or cussing, but it won't kill you.



~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen (the originals):
Keith Richards - Words of Wonder (streaming) at YouTube
Bob Marley and the Wailers - Get Up, Stand Up mp3 at Jordan Hatch
Visit:
Playing For Change
Previous international music posts

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

RECONSIDER BABY

It's a safe bet that every one of you has a long list of records that you like more than you do the band who recorded them. You happen to like the songs, a lot, when no one else seems to care. These particular songs for whatever reason are personal favorites, sometimes referred to as guilty pleasures. Fuck that. Guity? Because you like a song? Double fuck that.

There are a handful of Steppenwolf songs that I like, a lot more than the band's output as a whole. At the top of the list is their version of "Sookie Sookie", a damn fine song in its original form by Don Covay and the Goodtimers.. But Steppenwolf's version has that certain something. The guitar sounds like Steve Cropper using the guitar set up without changing anything, about as close to a Stax feel (Booker T and the MGs in particular) as you'll find coming from a rock band. Go cry blasphemy. If you're the type of DJ that likes to mix it up, this one always worked for me. "Magic Carpet Ride" and "The Pusher" are right up there too, for different reasons. That is, if you can manage to shake off the familiarity.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
Don Covay - Sookie Sookie (streaming) at So Many Records, So Little Time
Steppenwolf - Soolkie Sookie mp3 at Shades of Tracy
Steppenwolf - The Pusher mp3 at Song of the Day
Steppenwolf - Magic Carpet Ride mp3 at Internet Archive 
More Sookie:
Tina Britt - Sookie Sookie mp3 at 45 Blog
Grant Green - Sookie Sookie mp3 at DJ No DJ
Video:
Steppenwolf - Sookie Sookie at YouTube From an episode of Playboy After Dark. This one is rich. The "dance like a freak" button is pushed at 1:53, and let me tell you, there's nothing quite as funny as watching Hefner's square mob dance like deadheads on Dragnet.

Monday, April 28, 2014

70% POST CONSUMER RIDDIM

I picked up a handful of cheap LPs over the weekend, including a record that isn't typically the sort of thing I go for, Boogie Down U.S.A., a mid-seventies LP by People's Choice. It was produced by Gamble and Huff, of note because they pretty much were the Philly sound. How's this: the Soul Survivors' "Expressway to Your Heart", Archie Bell & the Drells' "I Can't Stop Dancing", the O'Jay's "Back Stabbers" and " Love Train", Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes' "Wake Up Everybody", all produced by the pair. But, that's not why I picked up the LP. I wanted it because it had "Do It Any Way You Wanna", the song Dillinger (pictured above) revamped as riddim for "Cocaine (In My Brain)", one of his best known songs, a mid-seventies reggae DJ classic. Here's the weird twist, contemporary disco band Escort did a disco cover of Dillinger's "Cocaine". That's not quite full circle, but the time machine's in the shop.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
Dillinger - Cocaine (In My Brain) mp3 at Isodisco LP version
Dillinger - Cocaine (In My Brain) mp3 at Giant Panther
People's Choice - Do It Any Way You Wanna (streaming) at YouTube
Escort - Cocaine Blues mp3 at American Athlete

Sunday, April 27, 2014

GREAT MOMENTS IN DISTORTION

I don't even really listen to the Beatles, but I'm glad Beatlemania existed because it inspired young kids, in the U.S. and all over the world, to pick up instruments and give it a shot. They were all thinking the same thing. If these mop tops could make it big, avoid working for the man, and receive the adulation of young people, particularly girls, why not us? Never mind the fact that the Beatles had been plugging away for years in Liverpool and Hamburg, in other words paying their dues. All this global army of wannabees knew is that the Beatles, a band they'd never heard of just a few years earlier, were young, they were presumably rich, and they got laid. That beats the gas station any day of the week. As quick as you could say "Can I park the station wagon in the driveway?", the garage band era was born.

It's not that every band tried to sound like the Beatles. Ohhh no. If you've listened to any amount of garage rock, garage punk, or whatever you want to call it, you know that. All the other flavors of the day were mixed in too. When American garage bands started breaking out, with a little more fuzz here, Farfisa there, and, what the hell, let's throw in some sneering vocals, bands began setting the bar a little lower. And it's this brand of garage band that started getting a little weirder. ("Hey guys, should we just settle for being the next Music Machine?")

The site 1960's Garage Bands is a gold mine when it comes to this sort of stuff. It's chocked full of bands, from the bland la-la-la-ers, to the truly wacked. Few will be familiar. I was checking out the Royal Aircoach,...oh, wait. that's another thing: some of the featured bands write their own bios. I say one the other day where the author felt compelled to include the fact that one of a band member's parents owned a dry cleaning business. It's all good. Anyway, the Royal Aircoach, Just listen to the A side of their first 45, "Wondering Why", and then listen to the second song, "Whrapped Up In Your Mind", from a second recording session that was never unreleased. Phew! Sometime after the first 45, someone heard Blue Cheer. Or the Stooges. Or the MC5. Regardless, it's a distortion soaked tour de force, albeit with vocals I could do without (they didn't get the sneer memo).

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
The Royal Aircoach - Wondering Why mp3 at 1960s Garage Bands
The Royal Aircoach - Wrapped Up In Your Mind mp3 at 1960s Garage Bands
The Royal Aircoach - Three more songs at 1960s Garage Bands
Visit:
1960's Garage Bands - Interviews List of bands interviewed or profiled.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

HANDS DOWN, MITTOO

Here is an a nice contrast. Hugh Montenegro doing "Hang 'em High", taking every ounce of ominous out of it, sanitizing it in a "Up, Up, and Away In My Beautiful Ballon" sorta way. Jackie Mittoo's version, though still ominous lite, is just a complete groove, leaning more towards Booker T and the MGs, than his bread and butter, reggae. Mittoo released his in 1969; I think that would mean that awesome backing is the Soul Vendors.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
Hugh Montenegro - Hang 'em High mp3 at Basement Rug
Jackie Mittoo - Hang 'em High mp3 at Passion of the Weiss

Friday, April 25, 2014

GET OUT OF THE WAY

Total detour tonight, instigated by the pipes belonging to one Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton. Man, oh man, could she belt. Funky 16 Corners posted her "Wade in the Water". So the crawl was on, postponing "Hound Dog", so as to not taint anything else that might be heard. Here's some random selections I ran across, including one with some incredible piano (which may or may not be Otis Spann) and a video of "Ball and Chain" from 1970, with a young restrained Buddy Guy on guitar. After all of the roaming, it was time for  "Hound Dog". Aw jeez. I don't care that I've heard it a zillion times. That song is near godhead. 

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
Big Mama Thornton - Hound Dog mp3 at The Beiderbecke Affair 
Big Mama Thornton - Wade in the Water mp3 at Funky 16 Corners Go there to get it
Big Mama Thornton - The Big Change mp3 at Moistworks
Big Mama Thornton - Heavy Load mp3 at Song of the Day
Big Mama Thornton - I Feel the Way I Feel mp3 at ATumblr (?) Check the piano.
Big Mama Thornton - Little Red Rooster mp3 at Keep the Coffee Coming
Video:
Big Mama Thornton - Ball and Chain (live, TV studio) at YouTube 1970, Buddy Guy on guitar
Visit:
Big Mama Thornton at Wikipedia

Thursday, April 24, 2014

PUD DA DIN? IT'S ESPERANTO BABY.

Check that ridiculous LP cover above. Would that make you part with a quarter? I did. I bought it years ago in a thrift store. So long ago that my the only exposure to Latin music up to that point had been Santana, Azteca, Malo, and Latin rock bands like that. The record was cheap, and I just thought the cover was goofy as shit. But, as goofy as it was, the music was every bit as infectious. 



That spontaneous twenty five cent gamble led to all sorts of shit that I hadn't heard. Celia Cruz, Tito Puente, Ray Barretto, Jack Costanzo, Willie Bobo, Pancho Sanchez, Fania Records, Tico Records, Johnny Pacheco, Mongo Santamaria,...years of linking one name to the next. Twenty five cents. We've all had records like that. Cheap gambles that pay dividends. That's why I never bothered to be one of those always hustling record collectors. What's the hurry?  I've got my whole life. I'll ingest it slowly.  It's not the destination, it's the journey, and I happen to like draggin' ass.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
Joe Cuba Sextet - Bang, Bang mp3 at LP Cover Lover
Joe Cuba Sextet - Push, Push, Push mp3 at Alejandro Borrero
Joe Cuba Sextet - Pud-Da-Din mp3 at Super Sonido
Joe Cuba Sextet - Ooh Ah! mp3 at Super Sonido

HEY, LOOK OVER THERE!

I'm not even going to screw around with this one. No blabbing needed. Five early JB cuts, from the 1960 Think! LP. Nothing really needs to be said. Unless you have an extensive collection of the GFOS's stuff, you probably don't have these. Whilst you're there, do some digging. Boogaloo Time has some good stuff Maynard.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Go there:
James Brown and the Famous Flames - Five songs at Boogaloo Time

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

THANK YOU ISAK AND KARL

Twenty some odd years ago, my friend Max stopped by to have a beer and talk music, bringing with him a crappy quality video, definitely one of those recorded and duped to exhaustion. But I'd never seen it so, what the hell, right? The tape was of the Monks. Fuh huck. Instant fan. They were nuts. They looked nuts, they sounded nuts, and they acted nuts. In an unsettling to squares sort of way.

Musically, there's three things you will notice right off the bat. The electric banjo, the near absence of cymbals and snare, and that beat. That relentless, steady beat, all toms and bass drum.. That thud is menacing right where it is, it doesn't need a wall of Marshalls behind it. Their lyrics? These guys were pissed, I'll leave it at that. The band's whole story is pretty remarkable, but I'm not going to go into that. There's a few profiles linked below, if you're so inclined (and you should be). Much more thorough versions than I'm capable of.

I'm posting these because something happened that got me thinking. Remember the kid Isak, from a few weeks back, that did his class project on Moondog? His pop Espen wrote that, the other day, he was reading a bit about the Monks' Gary Burger (who passed away in March) online when Isak and his friend Karl were walking by. Karl was taken aback by a photo of the Monks, so while Isak, who is eleven years old by the way, explained to him who the Monks were, ol' man Espen dug the CD out, and played it for them. Forty minutes later they were walking around singing "Cuckoo". (Espen tells this story way better in the comments on this post).



It made me happy that, although Gary Burger had died (the third Monk to pass), here was a couple preteen kids keeping the beat alive. Not even of hipster age, and they could end up cuckooing down the hall at recess. It got me thinking that this world would benefit if all parents and children made more time for weird. Quality weirdness, often and early. How could that not open doors? But, that's the yapping of someone with no parenting experience whatsoever. Regardless, here's to parents, to kids, to roads less traveled and all that folksy jive. To Gary Burger. To the Monks. To the beat.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
The Monks - Monk Chant mp3 at Pretty Goes With Pretty
Video:
The Monks - Complication
(German TV) at YouTube (HIGHLY recommended)
The Monks - Boys Are Boys and Girls Are Choice
(German TV) at YouTube
The Monks - Cuckoo
(German TV) at YouTube
The Monks - Oh, How To Do Now (German TV) at YouTube
The Monks - I Can't Get Over You
(German TV) at YouTube
You're A Monk, I'm a Monk, We're all Monks,
profile at YouTube
Visit:
The Monks Official site
The Monks
at Wikipedia

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

YOU WITH THE MOHAWK, SIT DOWN.

Let me set the scene for you. It's 1978. The west coast punk rock scene is in full swing, with major hubs in San Francisco and Los Angeles. The music is louder, the looks of the bands more esoteric, and the collective posture is one of "fuck 'em, we'll do it ourselves" type DIY. With few exceptions, the music, though often sloppier and simpler, was not all that much of a departure from the New York Dolls, the Stooges, the MC5 and the like. Contemporary higher profile punk bands like the Sex Pistols and the Ramones may have provided reference points, but both of them still had one foot in traditional rock 'n' roll. 

The look of the bands and a large part of the audience, while not always as outlandish as the media often described it, was intentionally sending a message that "we're not like you". Ragtag ensembles of thrift store clothes, crazy hair colors (rare back then), badges, leather, slogans plastered on anything and everything, spiked hair, boots and a lot of black. This is not a description by some clueless knucklehead decades after the fact. I'd seen scores of punk bands at that point, read the magazines, scooped up independent punk 45s, and, with like minded friends, put out a fanzine and put on shows. I was as familiar with West coast punk rock as just about any other participant. But nothing prepared me for the Middle Class.


I don't remember where I saw then first, but I do remember them taking the stage as an opening act, looking totally normal, like they just got off work. They were young, and not derelict or dangerous looking at all. The only thing that was punk rock about their look was that there wasn't any of the rock star wannabe posing, nothing flashy. In fact the only thing that looked different about them is that they didn't seem to go out of their way to look different. Then they plugged in and started to play. Ho-ly shit. It was as if they had all of the angst of the entire scene bottled up, and let loose like a can of shaken soda pop. One short aggressive song after another, some played faster than anything I'd ever heard. Total teen fury. Their first self released 45 was no different. It's regarded as one of the very first, if not the first, hardcore records. Pre-mosh moron hardcore, and that was a small window.

I ended up meeting the band and, with friends, put on a show in which they were sandwiched between the Alleycats and, if memory serves, the Crawdaddys. After the show, I hung out with them, Black Randy, and Alice Bag, in the hotel they were spending the night at. I'm only mentioning that because I spent enough time around them to surmise that this was a band of nice, unassuming guys, with nary a hint of posturing. They were different. Different from "normals", different from rock bands, and different from other punk bands. They were unknowing trailblazers. Middle Class were, in their own way, more punk rock than punk rock.



All of this came flooding into my head in the last twenty four hours, after learning that Mike Atta, the guitarist of the band, lost his battle with cancer on Sunday. Folks, he was one of the good guys.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
Middle Class - Out of Vogue and three other mp3s at 7 Inch Punk
Go there to get it. The first four song 45. Not an EP because there's nothing extended about it.
Visit:
Suddenly In Vogue - Excellent band profile at OC Weekly 2002
Local punk pioneer Mike Atta dies of cancer at OC Register
Middle Class - Music available at Frontier Records

Monday, April 21, 2014

FIENDS ARE LEGION

That label did it again. Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban posted a Specialty Records 45 in their "Vocal Group 45 of the Week" series, "Aw Aw Baby" by the Holidays. It just wet my appetite. You know what came next. In my tortoise paced effort to hear everything that Specialty Records ever released, I took it as a cue to do a random search for something else to go with it, and I'm glad I did. I ran into Tony Harris's "Chicken, Baby, Chicken", which was released on Ebb but recorded at Cosimo Studio, where a shitload of Specialty sides were recorded. It does sound like textbook Specialty, which is to say rockin' stompin' good in the way that early rock 'n' roll was when it wasn't rockabilly. The other side of the coin, if you will. And it's got Earl Palmer on drums and Lee Allen on sax, so, yeah, if you know those two names, you're not reading this, you're already clicking.

I had to look for some sort of bio on Harris (pictured above), and the fact that Harris's entire solo discography consists of five 45s meant there wasn't much out there. But, let's hear it for the fiends, I found a lengthy two part bio by Opal Nations, a name as unfamiliar to me as Tony Harris. Nations, as it turns out, did a short stint with Alexis Korner in the mid-sixties, and judging by his web site, in the elite of fiends. A long, long bio of Harris, when there's practically nothing else online; that's a ticket to the top tier. Really, the bio was written in 1996, so you can guess what his researching was like. Hat's off to Opal Nations, and all the other fiends. They're the ones that have really kept things greased all along, before the internet and since. 

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~  
Listen:
The Holidays - Aw-Aw Baby mp3 at Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban
Tony Harris - Chicken, Baby, Chicken mp3 at Go Retro
Visit: 
The Story of Tony Harris, Part One at Opal Nations pdf
The Story of Tony Harris, Part Two at Opal Nations pdf
Opal Nations Home Page Don't let looks fool you.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

THAT'S IT?

Just a quick head's up here. If you're in the U.S. or can otherwise get the broadcasts of PBS, on Monday night, April 21, there's a documentary about Fame Studio, Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, and the house band that played at both, the Swampers. Ho-hum you say? The list of artists that recorded at the studios, most backed by the Swampers, include Arthur Alexander, Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Joe Tex, Clarence Carter, Etta James, the Stones, Duane Allman, the Black Keys, Candi Staton, and Tom Jones among many others. Here's just a few.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
Etta James - Tell Mama mp3 at Blog Rage
Arthur Conley - Sweet Soul Music mp3 at Athens Friday Night
Arthur Alexander - You Better Move On mp3 at Boogie Woogie Flu
Joe Tex - Hold What You've Got mp3 at Radio George
Video:
Muscle Shoals - Trailer at YouTube
Visit:
A Musical Journey Through Muscle Shoals at PBS
Fame Studio at Wikipedia
Muscle Shoals Sound Studio at Wikipedia
The Swampers at Wikipedia

Saturday, April 19, 2014

MOONDOG, ALWAYS THE GATEWAY

I don't have any kids, but a lot of my cronies do, but even as someone who doesn't, I still in awe of those years before "cool" becomes part of the decision making process. Kids, by and large, like something or don't. Until that age when peer pressure rears it's ugly head, the decision making process is simplified. Once what other people like becomes part of the equation, it takes years to shake it, if you ever do. So, since almost all of my friends with kids are into music, it's not uncommon for me to ask them what their kids listen to. So it was that I asked Espen, from the Better Men Than You, what his kids listen to. The reason is that his eldest, Isak, is the kid I mentioned several weeks ago as having done a school report on Moondog. Of course I'm going to be curious.

Turns out that they like stuff that involves robots, Godzilla, and "any song with 'Batman' in the title". Say no more. This is it. I may never get the chance to do this again...(exhale). It brings me great pleasure to say...,Isak, this is Link Wray:

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
Link Wray - Batman mp3 at Record Brother
Link Wray - Rumble mp3 at California Girls (?)
Other Batmans, both sufficiently tweaked::
Los Monjes - Batman mp3 at Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban
De Maskers - Batman mp3 (via DivShare) at The Devil's Music 
Note: Once you get to DivShare, click on the small green "Download" button (Not the larger green one that says "Download now"), and scratch your head for fifteen seconds while the timer counts down. When the button reappears, you're good to go.
Watch:
Link Wray - Rumble (live) at YouTube  1978
Link Wray - Rawhide (American Bandstand) at YouTube Late 50s, spitshined

Friday, April 18, 2014

TO EXCELLENCE

Well, it's happened. Glen Campbell, who has been battling Alzheimer's for the last few years has been moved into a care facility. One can only hope that he's reminded by his family and friends how much his music means to so many people. You might classify it as parents music, particularly if you grew up in the age when you were a counter culture upstart rocking out, and Campbell's music was inescapable, pouring out of both Top 40 and easy listening radio stations. But, check it out as objectively as possible and what you hear is near perfection in terms of content, often aided by the songwriting of Jimmy Webb, and sound, with Campbell's insanely clean guitar, and frequent backing by his buddies from the Wrecking Crew, of which Campbell himself was a member.

Just his session dossier would be enough for any musician. As a member of the Wrecking Crew, he played on sessions for Ricky Nelson, Nat King Cole, the Monkees, Nancy Sinatra, Merle Haggard, Jan and Dean, Elvis, Frank Sinatra, and various Phil Spector sessions, not to mention the Beach Boys. He was actually a stand in for Brian Wilson when Wilson began sitting out the tours. As a way of thanking Campbell, Wilson wrote and produced his "Guess I'm Dumb" which sounds an awful lot like a Pet Sounds era outtake. (Link below). Campbell also hosted a variety show, the Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, which had among it's regulars John Hartford (writer of his hit "Gentle On My Mind"), Anne Murray, Mel Tillis and Jerry Reed, who all would become household names from the exposure.

Even after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's, Campbell put out two more albums and had a farewell tour. He may never record or play publicly again, but no matter how long he is interned or what lies ahead for him, without an ounce of clichéd corniness intended (and I don't give a shit if that's how it comes off), his music will live.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
Glen Campbell - Wichita Lineman mp3 at Tsuru and the Bride Written by Jimmy Webb 
Glen Campbell - Galveston mp3 at Cold Splinters Written by Jimmy Webb
Glen Campbell - Gentle On My Mind mp3
at Rocky 52 Written by John Hartford
Glen Campbell - Guess I'm Dumb mp3 at Margauxville Written and produced by Brian Wilson 
Visit:
Glen Campbell Moved Into a Care Facility at Billboard.com 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

WHAT MEMO?

Dig that photo. If you know them and their music, you know. That the photo has baddass written all over it. Eddie Cochran and Gene Vincent in 1960, shortly before Cochran's death, (He was killed in a car crash. Vincent, who was also in the car, was spared.) I like the fact that it's got this ying-yang thing going on, with Vincent, clad completely in leather, rogue-like features and half a gallon of greasy kids stuff, juxtaposed with Cochran, all handsome and shit, looking like he's going to meet someone's mother. I ran into it yesterday and had to post it, hence the Gene Vincent cuts below (Cochran was posted yesterday). Hey, it's been a couple years since there's been any Gene Vincent posted here, so, you know, what the hell. (A much larger version of the photo can be seen here.) Note to first timers: Vincent reissues are insanely cheap, especially given the caliber of music they contain. I'd start with the first two, Blue Jean Bop, and the self titled Gene Vincent and His Blue Caps, his second album, available together on a two-fer, for a paltry fifteen American dollars. Just consider the price of that fancy beer you're drinking, then make your decision. It's a litmus test, fool.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps - Blue Jean Bop mp3 at RStrathdee
Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps - Crazy Legs mp3 at RStrathdee
Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps - Rollin' Danny mp3 at Beware of the Blog
Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps - Bop Street mp3 at Rocky 52
Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps - Woman Love mp3 at Rocky 52
Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps - Baby Blue mp3 at Mp3 Rockabilly
Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps - B-I-Bickey-Bi Bo-Bo-Go mp3 at Mp3 Rockabilly

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

THE NATURAL

Last night I turned on the TV, and it happened to be on a channel showing the 1959 film Go, Johnny, Go, and it was at the exact moment that some MC was introducing Eddie Cochran. I was dumbstruck. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that I would happen onto an Eddie Cochran clip on TV, completely at random. It's really not a sort of planets aligned type miracle, I know, but hear me out. A lot of you monkeys may have grown up with the internet, and YouTube. I did not. I was listening to Eddie Cochran for decades before I saw moving any images of him, and then it was on a gazillionth generation copy of some old clip that had never been released on VHS. All I could think about when I watching the clip was how my teenage self would have absolutely flipped over seeing it. The song was "Teenage Heaven", and is a great song, though not his absolute best (though even the worst Cochran is worth hearing). There is a little bit of weirdness, when he Cochran dances with his guitar during the sax solo (see it at 1:00, full song linked below). It was only about three minutes, but it was another ten minutes of Cochran related memories.


Most of you probably know these songs well. They're really for those less familiar with Cochran. If you don't know him at all, a thumbnail is in order. He was a first generation rocker, expert picker, pals with Gene Vincent, dated a songwriter, died in a car crash and was practically deified by three young brothers in Ocean Beach, California. If you are familiar with Cochran, you still may not have seen him act. Check the first three minutes of the clip from the film Untamed Youth. He's no Brando, but it is novel seeing him play a twitching JD.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
Eddie Cochran - Summertime Blues mp3 at Snuhthing Anything
Eddie Cochran - Somethin' Else mp3 at Joe Sotroiano's Blog
Eddie Cochran - C'mon Everybody mp3 at Rocky 52
Eddie Cochran - Nervous Breakdown mp3 at  Mp3 Rockabilly
Eddie Cochran - Jeanie, Jeanie, Jeanie mp3 at Mp3 Rockabilly
Eddie Cochran - Sittin' In the Balcony mp3 at Joe Sotroiano's Blog
Podcast:
Eddie Cochran's Birthday Bash mp3 at Truckers, Shuckers, Freaks and Geeks Over an hour long!
Eddie Cochran's Birthday Bash (streaming) at Truckers, Shuckers, Freaks and Geeks Same as above, streaming
Video:
Eddie Cochran - Teenage Heaven at YouTube  From Go, Johnny, Go!
Eddie Cochran - Twenty Flight Rock at YouTube From The Girl Can't Help It. In color!
Eddie Cochran - In Untamed Youth at YouTube The first three and a half minutes.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

THAT BUTCHER IS A DOG

So, I run into Roy Brown's "Butcher Pete" and...you know, sometimes it only takes a slight breeze to throw me way the fuck off course. "Butcher Pete" was recorded in 1949, right around the time that rhythm and blues was planting seeds for nascent rock 'n' roll (Brown recorded the original version of "Good Rockin' Tonight" just a year earlier). This one's got it all, a two sided song with enough double entendres for a half dozen more sides. Butcher Pete hacks, wacks and smacks and cuts meat all over town, yes, even in jail. That's some crazy shit no matter when it was recorded. At the end of part one, Brown sings "Turn this record over, you ain't heard nothin' yet." Fan-fucking-tastic, just what an easily distracted person needs six and a half decades later. I couldn't flip the record, but I did blow things off to go look for part two.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
Roy Brown - Butcher Pete (Part 1) mp3 at ATumblr
Roy Brown - Butcher Pete (Part 2) mp3 at Brain Release Valve
Roy Brown - Good Rockin' Tonight mp3 at Rocky 52
Roy Brown - Up Jumped the Devil mp3 at Ole Miss Media

Monday, April 14, 2014

RATCHET MEANS KNIFE

Most of you who are into reggae, specifically the early stuff, know the Slickers' "Johnny Too Bad". It's a song about rude boys, on half of the reggae compilations that ever existed (really, I checked). It was on the soundtrack for The Harder They Come, which makes it about as entry level as it gets. Not to slight it, it's a badass song about bad badasses. Every time I hear it I picture Jamaican street toughs with period cool Kingston style and six rounds of swagger walking down the street like they owned it. It occurred to me that although I know that song like the back of my hand, as many of you might, I don't even know off the top of my head if I have any of their other stuff, which amounts to a roughly thirty 45s and one LP. So I did what we do, I went digging. I did find one other song by them, "Nana", which is great and awesome and all of that, but the real surprise was running into a cover of "Johnny Too Bad" by Taj Majal, It's great, far better than most covers I've heard. (Believe me, there are some awful ones out there. Don't get me started about UB40's cover, or anything about UB40 for that matter. I hate that band. Hate's a harsh word, let's just say I think they blow.)

It made me think, after all these years, about the Off's version, one that I haven't though about in at least ten years. The Off's (not to be confused with Off!), were an early (meaning late seventies) San Francisco punk band. Their version is that from that era of real (not posed) low budget, low circulation, raw, muddled, independent punk 45s. I love that sound. They were doing the best they could with the resources available, unlike stuff of recent years intentionally dumbing down the production. Listen to the instrumental break (starting at 1:23). You'd think you'd be in for a dub thing, or a real solo, but what you get is the Shaggs and Velvets churning out a reggae rhythm with (if you're still with me, and I know only the Mystery Suggester might be) Harley Davidson from Deadbolt gritting his teeth, playing lead over a music he hates. Yo, this shit's getting thick.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
The Slickers - Johnny Too Bad mp3 at DJNoDJ
The Slickers - Nana mp3 at Bad Luck City
Taj Majal - Johnny Too Bad mp3 at A.Tumblr (?)
The Offs - Johnny Too Bad (streaming) at YouTube

Sunday, April 13, 2014

GIVE ME INTENSE PERCY

It's happened again, and I see no end to these occurrences. Another unexpected rabbit hole, this time involving the dapper looking dude above, Percy Mayfield. He had a few hits in '50-'52, and somewhere around that time he got in an accident. He messed up his face and stopped performing regularly, but still went into the studio and wrote songs. A bunch were recorded by other artists, notably Ray Charles ("Hit the Road Jack", among others). He recorded for Specialty, Chess and Imperial. Yeah.

What got my attention tonight was that yellow, black and white label we all love, Specialty Records. Scrolling down the page at Dad's 45s, it stuck out like a beacon, or maybe a Bat-Signal. "Click now Batman." I'm glad I did. Now I'm headed down that rabbit hole, which is fine by me. One after another, the more the merrier. Like I said, there is no end to these occurrences. That's the cool thing.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
Percy Mayfield - Loose Lips mp3 (via DiveShare)
at Dad's 45s Once you get to DivShare, click on the green "Download" button (not the larger one that says "Download Now"), and scratch your head for fifteen seconds while the timer counts down. When the button reappears, you're good to go. 
Visit:

"I'LL LIFT THAT" SAID MICK

"Brother" Sullivan and Lola Pugh had some mighty pipes. I mean, they bellow. Listen to the song below and consider that it's two voices and one guitar. I didn't even realize it until I listened to it a few times. Now it's locked in my head and I'll never be able to hear the pilfered version in the same way again. Check out the video too. Poor quality but goosebump good.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
The Consolers - It May Be the Last Time mp3 at Jukebox Mafia
Watch:
The Consolers - Three songs at YouTube

Saturday, April 12, 2014

I'M WEARING LEATHER, I DON'T CARE

There's gotta be something in that Texas water, because the state produced more than it's share of wild sounds in the mid sixties. Maybe it's because it's a big state, and a long way from New York or L.A. where the hip shit was really going down, and there were a lot of kids itching to get out. Or it could be that there was nothing better to do than rope cattle and crank out crazy garage 45s. Whatever it is, there were a lot of garage bands, the majority of which never made it past a regional 45 or two. But those one non-hit wonders have had their share if hindsight appreciation, appearing on compilations and in the hands of the most fiendish of collectors. A few days ago, I posted a couple by Larry and the Blue Notes, from Fort Worth. Today it's the Gentleman, from Dallas, who also picked a generic, decidedly unhip, band name. But check out "It's a Cry'n Shame". I think you'll agree it has some hair on it. And head over to 1960s Garage Bands to check out the band bio, written by the drummer, with three more songs, two of them unreleased acetates. You might also want to take a look at the Teen Scene A Go Go site, for the documentary of the same name, about the venue with the same name, that packed them in in Fort Worth.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
The Gentleman - It's a Cry'n Shame mp3 at 1960s Garage Bands
The Gentleman - It's a Cry'n Shame (via DivShare) mp3 at Diggin' It (in case the link above goes dead)
The Gentlemen - Three more songs and excellent bio at 1960s Garage Bands
Watch:
Teen Scene A Go Go - Trailer at YouTube
Visit:
Teen Scene A Go Go - Site for the documentary

Friday, April 11, 2014

THE WAY WE WEIRD

You never know what you'll find on some long dormant blog. When some people pack it in, they just delete their whole thing. Others will think that they'll get back to business at some point, and leave the thing online, often apologizing for a lengthy absence when they return, if they return. And some folks just walk away, leave their thing online an let someone else sort out what to do with it. Lately I've been revisiting old haunts to see if any of them have returned, if their old stuff still has working links, and if it's a particularly good, albeit stalled, blog, I read some of their posts that I never got around to checking out. Wasted a lot of blabbing right there just to say that I ran into a old Dr. John post on Moistworks, a blog that hasn't been updated for seven years. The backing on this alternates between sounding like an early Tom Waits song and Sun Ra. I guess. That's about all I can muster. Regardless, it's from 1969 and that's right about the time he started letting the weirdness creep out. Let it run it's entire eight minute length. Take it all in. It's kinda like Issac Hayes on weed.

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

Thursday, April 10, 2014

TAKE YOUR SHOES OFF

How have I not posted Robert Parker's "Barefootin'"? The song has been a favorite for so long, it's hard to believe that possible. That right there is a bonehead omission. Why do I like the song? It's about taking your shoes off and dancing. What's not to like? Being shoeless is about as relaxed as you can be with clothes on. When I was a kid, we all went barefoot, and there was just as much dog shit, broken glass, and germs on the ground. What's changed? Flip flop mania has demonized the practice. We've been sold a bill of goods, wussified. Convinced that it's somehow uncivilized. I ask you, what could possibly be more civil than the couple in the photo above? I rest my case.

I haven't even gotten to Parker. We'll get back to him, sooner rather than later. In the meantime, check the Marvelettes' completely awesome cover. I've now heard two killer versions.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
Robert Parker - Barefootin' mp3 at LZ Center
The Marvelettes - Barefootin' mp3 at Boogaloo Time

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

ICE COLD KEGS

It's almost here. You don't want to creep into summer without a decent stash of surf music do you? You probably have some of the better known classics, but hows about the obscure never cracked anything let alone the charts 45s that you wouldn't recognize in a thrift store if your life depended on it? You need to check out the collection at Big O. Fifty cool surf instrumentals by nutty named bands, most of whom will be unrecognizable to even you fiends. I recognized less than ten. The oddball variety and the well played surface noise is a nice mix. Makes you wonder what kind of party these may have been played at back in the day. Were they making out, of tangling with crashers? Did they come from the collection of a total square, or someone insanely badass? You could ponder this imaginary party all night long, or, what the fuck, recreate it. Do one of those historical reenactments, but do it of some forgettable party with a bunch of scratchy surf records. Go over there to check them out, or if you're too lazy, you can just cherry pick a few from the unrelated way more recognizable surf instrumentals above the big show.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
Dick Dale and His Deltones- Surf Beat mp3 at Beware of the Blog
The Astronauts - Hot Dogger mp3 at Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban
Dave Myers and the Surftones - Aquavelva mp3 at Beware of the Blog
The Belairs - Mr. Moto mp3 at Snuhthing Anything
Al Casey - Baja mp3 at Probe Is Turning-On the People
The big show:
Surfer's Mood - 50 surf instrumentals at Big O Compiled by Philip Cohen, 50 individual mp3s

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

COVERT OPS

Just another generic looking band, eh? Fresh looking, clean cut kids. Yeah, keep on telling yourself that. Don't click that song because it's likely to be la, la, la overload. God forbid they should have some dirt under their nails.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
Larry and the Blue Notes - In and Out mp3 at Beware of the Blog
Larry and the Blue Notes - Night of the Phantom (streaming) at Flower Bomb Songs
Larry and the Blue Notes - Night of the Phantom mp3 (via DivShare) at Furl Tracks Alternate Version. Once you get to DivShare, click on the green "Download" button, and scratch your head for fifteen seconds while the timer counts down. When the button reappears, you're good to go.
Visit:
Larry and the Blue Notes - Profile at Beyond the Beat Generation

Monday, April 7, 2014

HI DAD

Once you get past Stax and Sun, and start looking into other Memphis labels, the next one that's likely to pop up is Hi Records, home to Al Green, O.V. Wright, Syl Johnson, and Ann Peebles. Willie Mitchell ran the show during the salad days, functioning as producer, arranger, songwriter, and musician. He also put out his own solo stuff, and he was no slouch. Check "Bum Daddy". That's Memphis right there, like some weird cross between Booker T and the MGs and "Soul Finger", with a dash of Packy Axton between benders.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
Willie Mitchell - Bum Daddy mp3 at Crate Diggers Gold
Willie Mitchell - The Champion mp3 at Soul Donuts
Willie Mitchell - Monkey Jump mp3 at The "B" Side
Willie Mitchell - Woodchopper's Ball mp3 at The "B" Side
Willie Mitchell - Up Hard mp3 at Royal Punkness
Willie Mitchell - Soul Serenade mp3 at LC Center
Visit:
Willie Mitchell at Wikipedia