Monday, July 31, 2017

OH SHIT. ADD IT TO THE BOOK LIST.

I just read a post that quotes Peter Guralnick's profile of Sleepy LaBeef (from his book Lost Highway: Journeys and Arrivals of American Musicians). It was a great all around post. A little praise for Guralnick, the quotes from him, and a recent video of LaBeef playing in some bar. The takeaway? Three things:

1. After recently finishing his biography of Sam Phillips, which was great, I knew another book by Guralnick would be in order. The post just pushed me towards Lost Highway.

2. Musicians shouldn't be dicks. Because he wrote a book about the Fleshtones, the host of the blog, Joe Bonomo is, almost certainly unknowingly, promoting a band with an asshole for a guitarist. Follow me here. Years ago, I ran into said asshole guitarist in a club. The guy was the full asshole. I hate assholes. Hate 'em. It put me off the Fleshtones for a long time. Not for a year. Forever, as in still ongoing. And here I am, decades later, fucking prejudging a writer because he wrote about a band with an asshole guitarist. And you know what? His band ain't shit. Fuck the Fleshtones.   

3. It's been a while since I've listened to Sleepy LaBeef so I think I'll go do that. Forget about the asshole guitarist for a while. Really, every once in a while you really should go back and check on those second tier OG rockabilly guys. Remind yourself that Elvis was a new waver compared to the guys who couldn't be spit-shined.

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Listen:

Sunday, July 30, 2017

MIGHTY DIAMONDS STARING YOU DOWN

Oh yeah, the Mighty Diamonds to end the weekend. I had to hear "Right Time" because I remember ending weekends years and years ago with the Right Time LP. It's good for winding down. I still have it I think, buried in the unsorted stacks somewhere. Screw it, YouTube's easier right now.

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Listen:
The Mighty Diamonds - Right Time (streaming) at YouTube
The Mighty Diamonds - Right Time (The full LP) (streaming) at YouTube
The Mighty Diamonds - I Need a Roof mp3 at Tumblr (?)
The Mighty Diamonds - You Should Be Thankful mp3 at Midnight Dread

Saturday, July 29, 2017

I WANT TO PARTY WITH THIS GUY

Louis "Sabu" Martinez was a bongo and tympani player, but that's only part of the appeal of Safari With Sabu. It's not your typical hopped up Latin jazz. As you would suspect by the title and the cover above, it's more exotic sounding, like an alcohol emboldened Daktari meets jazz, with weird background vocals, and horns and all sorts of oddball percussion weaving in an out. It's almost like dub in that respect. without the mixing, and echo,...okay, maybe not that much like dub. It sounds like voodoo and shrunken heads. Martin Denny with the gloves off, with horns scaring away the pesky birds.

The 1957 LP is available as a two-fer with another LP Sorcery!, from 1958, another percussion and horn-filled nut cake. (Actually this stuff is pretty crazy given the vintage.) I'd listened to that package for a while, and without knowing anything else (the only name I recognized on the liner notes was Ray Barretto), I looked for something else by him, and came across a song, "Hotel Alyssa-Soussie, Tunisia", recorded in 1973. Ho-ly shit. Same guy, totally different sound. The first fourteen seconds sounds like it could be more of the old Sabu. Faint tympani? Check. Gong? Check. Two seconds later the roller coaster starts the drop and continues full throttle for six minutes. Totally different bag, exhausting this one, but just as want list worthy as Safari. And it's supposedly out of print as well. We'll just see about that...

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Listen:
Louis "Sabu" Martinez - Dawn mp3 at Basement Rug
Louis "Sabu" Martinez - Hotel Alyssa-Soussie, Tunisia mp3 at 30 Milkshakes

Friday, July 28, 2017

SONICS' KILLER FILLER

If you're like me, you can't get enough of the Sonics. You know 'em, the baddass early stuff. "Psycho", "The Witch", "Cinderella", "Boss Hoss", "Strychnine", "He's Waitin'", "Shot Down". Aaargh! Fuck, just thinking about them raises the hair. It's some-of-you-may-never-get-it type essential stuff. Whenever some would-be chin-rubbing egghead starts spouting off about "proto-punk", if the Sonics aren't near the top of the list, just walk away. There are those who may never get it. What would be the point of trying to convert them? The early Sonics records came with stale beer, cigarette ashes and sweat pressed into their grooves. If that's not your thing, why are we standing here talking?

Here's three covers by them. Sonics people will know these. If you profess to love the Sonics but don't know these, you should stop the cherry picking. Take your sorry ass on down to the record store and buy yourself a twelve inch LP.

To fully appreciate what the Sonics can do with a cover, check Richard Berry's original version of "Have Love, Will Travel", and then listen to the Sonics' version. Now go back to what you were doing.

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Listen:

Thursday, July 27, 2017

MADE IN SAN DIEGO

If you have never heard Beehive and the Barracudas, consider yourself fortunate. You can listen to these three and be objective. And don't ruin it by heading over to YouTube just yet. First, listen to the songs down there. Make up your mind and decide if they are worthy of attention or not, without all that other useless information. It's music. All that other stuff isn't supposed to matter.

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Listen:
Beehive and the Barracudas - Sex Beat mp3 at Dollar Record Gun Club cover
Beehive and the Barracudas - Erotic Games mp3 at Swami Records
Beehive and the Barracudas - Fuck It Out mp3 at Dollar Record

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

NICE JUGS. THERE, I SAID IT.

This stuff is a breath of fresh air. A couple of songs from Ghana, vintage unknown. They're new to me, and they both had nice funky grooves. The photo above is totally unrelated, found when I did a search for "vintage Ghana". (A link to the source page with more boss photos is below.)

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Listen:

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

DIGITAL VOODOO

In case you hadn't picked up on it, I hate Donald Trump. He disgusts me. Everything about him. If you don't live in the U.S., maybe you aren't subjected to it, but let me tell you. We wake up every morning to the latest whining tweet or tweet storm from the fucking cry baby in chief. You can't even call them tweets, they're digital baby tantrums. Every goddamn morning, sometimes continuing throughout the day. And you don't even have to be anywhere near his stupid teenage Twitter page. The news media eats this shit up. Fuck twitter, fuck tweets, Fuck ketchup on steak at state dinners. Fuck Trump. See that "X" up there? That's a hex on his ugly ass soul. I'm over here casting spells and shit, that's how much I hate him.

So, running into "Little Hitler" by Nick Lowe over at Crying All the Way to the Chip Shop started the sourpuss off tonight. The title and subject manner bely it's lush Beach Boys vibe.

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Listen:

Monday, July 24, 2017

SOME CRAZY SHIT

I remember the first time I heard Eric Dolphy. I'd seen his 'Out To Lunch' LP a million times and always thought it was a cool cover. But there were so many awesome jazz LP covers from the fifties and sixties, a album cover alone couldn't possibly be enough to go on.

One day there was a used copy in the front rack of the local record store, so I asked my buddy Bruce, who was working at the time, to play it. He chuckled and said he couldn't promise he would leave it on. I think I remember his description of it as "frenzied".



After about five minutes, he had had enough of the wigging out. I had to buy it and take it home to listen to the whole thing. He was right, the fucking thing was totally frenzied.

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Listen:

Sunday, July 23, 2017

OH YEAH, THIS BABY HITS THE SPOT.

I forgot how good this one was. Holly Golightly's cover of Bill Withers's "Use Me". The band sounds like T Rex doing Creedence, or vice versa. Really cool riffs, and really cool guitar tones. I don't know the details, who plays what,where it was recorded, all that jazz. Would that add to my enjoyment of the song? Theoretically it shouldn't. I'm sure curiosity will get the best of me at some point. Not tonight.

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Listen:
Holly Golightly - Use Me mp3 at Cover Me If the link doesn't get you to it, go here.

Friday, July 21, 2017

GRILLMASTER, SELECTOR

Slip these on your next BBQ mix and see who notices. Toast those who do, for they are the old farts. Their breast pockets are bulging with pens and scraps of paper and 3 x 5 cards, they stopped caring about being cool years ago, and they know the first three Ramones LPs like the back of their hand.

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Listen:

Thursday, July 20, 2017

AND GRENADA TOO.

Here's a good old fashioned farfisa and fuzz oddball instrumental, from Grenada, by Los Relámpagos. The sleeve looked interesting so I gave it a shot and then proceeded to play it about eighty times, I live for oddball shit like this.

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Listen:
Los Relámpagos - Bwana mp3 at Super Sonido

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

REVENGE OF THE NERDS

Man, this song is a slow burn. A live version of the Talking Heads' "Born Under Punches", seems harmless enough. Not quite. Let it rip and see what the first two minutes has to offer. If you're digging it, listen the rest of it. You still have six minutes to go,

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Listen:
Talking Heads - Born Under Punches mp3 at Eye Witness Photo

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

THE BUMMER TREATMENT

There were more than a few reasons why it took me years to take Tom Jones seriously. We all know of his resurgence as a ladies man so-uncool-he's-cool sort of thing. In recent decades he's been hip to trying new things, and that's always good for older singers. The turning point for me came when watching a concert on TV, back in the pre-YouTube eighties. Women were throwing their panties on stage. He caught one, was wiping is sweat with it and when if got closer to his nose, in between lines of a song, he said "Hmmm, these smell familiar". Me and the drinking buddy I was watching with were on the floor laughing. Still, there was "Delilah". The younger, tuxedo-ed ladies man crooner. The Ed Sullivan piss break. "Delilah."  Blecch,

Though my attitude towards Jones and his output has softened in ensuing years, due to increased exposure and the unrelenting cheerleading of one Lady Spinsta, it has always been "Delilah" tainted. That Jones era. Fucking tuxedos and shit. Hate 'em. "Delilah" may very well be a great song, but I cannot be objective. Not with that bow tie in my face.

Horace Andy covered it and it's got a whole different vibe. Really, believably forlorn, his voice actually sounding like he just killed his woman, with back up vocals that every bit the bummer. The horns sound like they escaped from the Tijuana Brass. He takes the song into the shit mood it deserves.

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Listen:
Horace Andy - Delilah mp3 at Internet Archive
Video:
Tom Jones - Delilah at YouTube

Monday, July 17, 2017

BRIAN WILSON'S EPIC FART

Unrelated photo of Wilson, because it's cool.
Last night when I was hunting for clips from The Endless Summer, I ran into a song of the same name by some hip hop dude named G-Eazy. What the hell, I wasn't doing anything, so I gave it a listen. It didn't really grab me, but it was relatively imaginative with the unlikely sampling of the Beach Boy's "Good Vibrations", and not just a snippet. The song was pretty much built around it. You knew it was going to happen, all the cross genre sampling that's gone on for what, like thirty years? At least since Afrika Bambaataa started dropping Kraftwerk. But, as much as it is only so-so as a hip hop song, I came away with two things. One was a line in it :"I chopped up the Beach Boys and made it 'to a jam, cuz everything I'm not made me everything I am", That last part is killer. "Everything I'm not made me everything I am." Hell yeah, I can dig that.

The other thing I thought about is how far hip-hop has come, in general. Though I'm sure it's been done more than once before G-Eazy's lightweight jam, the only other rap song I've heard that sampled the Beach Boys was Brian Wilson's unreleased 1991 turd "Smart Girls". It's a Beach Boys fail, a Brian Wilson fail, and a rap fail all in one. Quite possibly the stupidest fucking thing I've ever heard. Though, to be fair, it's likely Eugene Landy's fault. He was Wilson's doctor at the time, completely domineering. He took over Wilson's life, feeding him pills and bad ideas. He is a permanent resident of the shit list.

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Listen:
G-Eazy - Endless Summer (streaming) at YouTube
Brian Wilson - Smart Girls (streaming) at YouTube

Sunday, July 16, 2017

TO HELL WITH FOUR SEASONS

For about the last week the air temperature has been about 75 degrees, the water 72, and the night time temperature about 69. You don't even feel the weather, it's that excellent. I wished it was like that year round, which is what lead to this, the soundtrack to the surf movie, The Endless Summer. I was such a fiend as a kid that I taped the movie with a cassette recorder off of the TV. So I was already intimately familiar with the soundtrack when I bought my first copy at a garage sale for practically nothing.



The music was done by a surf band called the Sandals, who really weren't that hard core. Kind of relaxed, none of the Dick Dale staccato picking. As an all around surf music LP, it might seem tame, but it still works. There's just enough thrown in there to keep it interesting, the melodica, slow tempos, etc. It's like the stoner rock of surf music, except back then it would have been three beer rock or something.

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Listen:
The Sandals - The Endless Summer mp3
at Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban
The Sandals -  6 Pack mp3
at Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban
The Sandals - Decoy mp3
at Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban
The Sandals - Nine more songs
at Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban
The Endless Summer radio spot mp3
at Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban
Video:
Endless Summer clips
at YouTube

Saturday, July 15, 2017

HOWDY NEIGHBOR

My friend Doug stopped over tonight, That's him above in the red shirt, with his band the Xterminators. The guy with his back to the camera is Juan, and the guy on the right is Terry, who passed away recently (the bottle won). Shooting the shit with Doug ate up an hour or so, so, fuck it, here's his old band. Actually, not here, but at Killed By Death. You know the drill.

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Listen:
The Xterninators - Microwave Radiation mp3
at Killed By Death Go there to get it.
The Xterminators - Occasional Lay mp3
at Killed By Death Ditto.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

PRIDE OF ALGOMA

Two drummers, a Danelectro bass, cargo shorts, a beard, not a single good photo online, a ridiculous band name, Hue Blanc's Joyless Ones was one fucked up stew of who the hell cares. They did make a most awesome racket, almost completely under the radar. You'd probably think I was lying if I said that I heard the Germs, Dream Syndicate, Pussy Galore, Flipper, the Gun Club, Pissed Jeans, the Saints, and the Nomads, because that looks too self consciously curated, but I swear they're all in there.

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Listen:
Hue Blanc's Joyless Ones  - Notoriety mp3 (via Box) at One Base On an Overthrow
NOTE: Once at Box, click on the top right "download" button to save.
Hue Blanc's Joyless Ones  - Two more songs (via Box) at One Base On an Overthrow Go there to get them
Hue Blanc's Joyless Ones - Arriere Garde LP at Free Music Archive 12 songs NOTE: Click on the downward pointing arrows to download the songs.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

YO STICKS, SIT YOUR ASS DOWN.

That's the Sentinals up there, a surf band from San Luis Obispo in central California (during the Fender shortage of '63).  Evidently there was enough of a surf music scene there back in the day to warrant two online articles. Who knew?

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Listen:
The Sentinals - Latin’ia mp3 at Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban
The Sentinals - Tor-Chula mp3
at Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban
The Sentinals - Exotic mp3
at Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban
The Sentinals - The Bee mp3
at Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban
Visit:
The Sentinals - Profile
at California Gold Coast Dreamin'
Surf music: SLO County's radical history
at The Tribune

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

OUT OF NOWHERE COMES THIS

I don't even know what I was looking for at YouTube. Something totally unrelated, that I do remember. I saw in the sidebar some band doing a Fela cover. Whatever, I clicked, knowing full well that there was a chance it would suck. It did not. It ruled.



Newen Afrobeat's cover of "Opposite People" is a trip. It starts out with a nice enough rhythm, and builds slowly. Wait, let's back up here. The drummer is bad ass. You'll see him at the very beginning but wait 'til he kicks in at about 1:26, followed by the horns. (Don't skip ahead. The build up is essential.) Throughout the live-in-studio video, he'll be shown every time there's some cool drum space to fill. And that's just the beginning of what makes this video, and this band so cool. They're from Chile. The lead singer on this particular track is a guest, Fela's oldest son, Seun Kuti. That's about all I know so far. Even their Bandcamp page is short on details. But I'm getting the feeling that I should have known about these guys way earlier. They've been around for eight years. Was someone going to tell me? Sheesh, I had to hear about it out on the YouTube.

Just remember, the drummer is badass.

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Listen:
Newen Afrobeat - Debut LP (streaming) at YouTube
Newen Afrobeat - Newen Plays Fela (streaming) at YouTube
Video:
Newen Afrobeat at Teatro San Joaquín
at YouTube Full live set
Newen Afrobeat page at YouTube
Visit:
Newen Afrobeat - Bandcamp page

Fela posts - Mp3s and whatnot

Sunday, July 9, 2017

PIG OUT

If you liked that reggae mix over at Funky 16 Corners yesterday, loosen that belt because you're about to become a glutton. Aquarium Drunkard just posted a twenty three song mix of reggae, all from 45s. Some of you will know what that means. Lots of obscuros. Until the last couple of decades, songs that appeared on Jamaican 45s didn't always make it to an LP, let alone a CD years later. The majority of early reggae sides only existed on 45s, and if they weren't something of a hit, they did not sit around too long. So there will be some that even some of you most fiendish of fiends won't know. Yee haw.

The mix, Bomboclat! Island Soak 7 - Jamaican Vintage is good, really good. And guess what? There are six more that were posted in the past that they have re-upped. There's little info other than artists and song titles but, shit, you're already online. Go to study hall, yo.

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Listen:
Bomboclat! Island Soak 7 - Jamaican Vintage at Aquarium Drunkard 23 individual mp3s in a zip.
Bomboclat! Island Soak: Volumes 1-6 – Jamaican Vintage at Aquarium Drunkard See you in a week.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

ALL-TIME JAM

It's time to post, for the umpteenth time, Althea and Donna's "Uptown Top Ranking", because it's one of those righteous jams seemingly made for summer. Totally infectious reggae, it was a hit in Jamaica and England around 1977, and it began as a lark. The duo would go to reggae clubs all the time, where they often got chided for the way they dressed. Halter tops and pants aren't (or weren't at the time) connsidered roots or rasta. Phooey, they thought, and one night while driving home they heard Trinity's "Three Piece Suit " on the radio and just started singing over it, what would become "Uptown Top Ranking".



There were a bunch of other songs using the same riddim. It originated on Alton Ellis's "I'm Still In Love With You". That was followed by "Calico Suit" by Mighty Two, Trinity's "Three Piece Suit", and then "Uptown Top Ranking". There were undoubtedly others around the same time. Big Youth, for whatever reason, released an answer song with some women called the Crissers, "Spanking Ranking". It was so lame that Althea and Donna let it die. It really was lame.

I'd been thinking about posting the song, and then a new reggae mix over at Funky 16 Corners nudged me with the inclusion of the song. There's sixteen songs in all, and each one I'm sure has a story behind it. Pretty sure.

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Listen:
Althea and Donna - Uptown Top Ranking mp3 at Eyeswings
Alton Ellis - I'm Still In Love With You mp3
at Stop Okay Go
Mighty Two - Calico Suit
(streaming) at YouTube
Triinity - Three Piece Suit (streaming) at YouTube
Big Youth and the Crissers - Spanking Ranking
(streaming) at YouTube
The Mix:
Summer of Soul Pt2 – DJ Prestige – Nice Up: Reggae Sevens
at Funky 16 Corners

Friday, July 7, 2017

BEST MACHINE IN TOWN

Oh, this sucker's rich. I suggest you listen to the song before viewing a video.Take it for what it is, without a notion of what they, Supermaz, look like. You're lucky in that regard. The first minute of exposure I had ended abruptly with the appearance of a key-tar. I slogged forward giving Supermax a longer rope, only because I like the name of the band. Then I happened on "Love Machine", Ohhh yeah. Equal measures of Kraftwerk and Bill Withers, with a little Isaac Hayes.

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Listen:
Supermax - Love Machine (streaming) at YouTube
Supermax - Love Machine (long version) (streaming) at YouTube 14 minutes
Video:
Supermax - Love Machine at YouTube

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

COOL ALBUM COVER TOO

Lee Morgan's "Sidewinder" is one of those songs that seems like you've heard it a million times, even though you may not have ever heard it. It swings. It's Blue Note bachleor pad jazz circa 1963. The home album ain't half bad either. Dig the cover version by Charlie Chalmers. It sounds like the Mar-keys doing jazz. Yeah baby.

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Listen:
Lee Morgan - Sidewinder mp3 at Groove Addict
Charlie Chalmers - Sidewinder mp3
at Groove Addict
The LP:
Lee Morgan - Sidewinder
(streaming) at YouTube

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

HER FAULT

Holy hell. I ran into a cover of "Just Dropped in (to See What Condition My Condition Was In)" by Bettye Lavette again. I was wondering, if it was the template for Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings' version, was there a version that Lavette's was based on, other than the hit version that Kenny Rogers and the First Edition had in 1968? So, off I went, not suspecting what a rabbit hole that one song could turn into.

I didn't end up finding one that sounded like it was the source of the arrangement for Lavette's version, but, man, did I find a lot of other versions. It was "Just Dropped In" all over the place. Here's a bunch, but by no means all of them. First Lavette's version and Jones's version, because it's their fault.

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Listen:
Bettye Lavette - Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In) mp3 at Soul Garage 1968
Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings - Just Dropped In mp3
at Passion of the Weiss 2004
Teddy Hill and The Southern Soul - I Just Dropped In
(streaming) at YouTube The first released version, 1967
Jerry Lee Lewis -  Just Dropped In
(streaming) at YouTube Post-Sun, 1968
Mickey Newbury - Just Dropped In 
(streaming) at YouTube Newbury wrote it. Dig the sitar. 1968
Kenny Rogers and the First Edition - Just Dropped In
(streaming) at YouTube The hit, 1968
Styvar Manor - Just Dropped In
(streaming) at YouTube Who are Styvar Manor? Who cares, it's got fuzz. 1970
Die Haut and Nick Cave - I Just Dropped In
(streaming) at YouTube 1988

Sunday, July 2, 2017

THE BEAT BEHIND AFROBEAT

Check it, Tony Allen, just chillin' in his flip flops and bunhuggers with the ol' lady, with that guy that's always lurking around in the background. Dude never goes home. Allen was the drummer that played behind Fela Kuti for years. To celebrate that chill shot above, here's three cuts. At the bottom is a link to a thing he did for Red Bull Academy about his early years, from first picking up the sticks to discovering Art Blakey's music, developing his own sound, and quitting his day job to go full time with Fela. The power of bunhuggers.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
Tony Allen - Elewon Po (Too Many Prisoners) mp3 at Le Chic (?) Radio Edit
Tony Allen - Secret Agent mp3
at Honorama
Tony Allen - Jealousy mp3
at Dub Lab
Visit:
When Tony Allen Met Fela Kuti
at Red Bull Academy

Saturday, July 1, 2017

GIVE THE DUDE HIS DUE

The Testors are one of those bands that you should be familiar with, but I can almost be guarantee that most of you aren't. Beginning in 1975 and lasting through 1981, they played the same New York clubs that spawned Patti Smith, the Ramones, the Talking Heads, you know, the NYC A-list. Well, the Testors weren't on the A-list for whatever reason, hence the obscurity.

If you doubt the importance of the Testors, consider the lead singer/guitarist Sonny Vincent's post-Testors alliances. He followed the Testors with a series of other bands that included Bob Stinson (Replacements), Cheetah Chrome (Dead Boys), Greg Norton (Hüsker Dü), Moe Tucker and Sterling Morrison (Velvet Underground), Captain Sensible (Damned), Scott Asheton (Stooges) Wayne Kramer (MC5), members of Rocket From the Crypt, and in his latest outfit, Sonny Vincent and Spite, Steve Mackay (Stooges), Rat Scabies (the Damned), and Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols). That's some CV. Took up a whole damn paragraph.

I'm sticking with the Testors stuff for now, but if you dig this stuff, just go to YouTube and search Sonny Vincent. There's tons of stuff representing most of the bands he was in, though most are audio only. I highly recommend the stuff with Spite. Dude still has it.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
The Testors - Vol. 1, 1976-1977 at Killed By Death Six songs, go there to get them.
The Testors - Together, Time is Mine at Killed By Death Ditto.
Video:
The Testors - Rare 1977 footage at YouTube