Years ago I was at some show in San Francisco and somebody handed me a one page double-sided flyer about what seemed like an art collective, Bazooka Productions, with art by LouLou Picasso and Kiki Picasso. It looked cool and in the ensuing years I picked up artwork by them when I came across it, including an LP, La Perversita, bought just for the cover. That was (gulp) about forty years ago. So, two days ago, I was looking around Super Super Sounds, a neat blog that focuses on looking through Bandcamp for good shit (there's a lot of not good shit on Bandcamp to sift through). There was a blurb about a French punk compilation on Bandcamp, and the cover looked like something by Kiki and LouLou Picasso, and as it turns out it was. So I go to the Bandcamp page and start to sift through the offerings of the label, Born Bad Records (which has a decidedly Cramps ring to it via the Born Bad compilations of songs the Cramps taught us). This was not the first place you'd expect to find a band like Star Feminine Band.
Star Feminine Band is an all girl band from Benin (Africa). Literally girls, ranging in ages from 10-17 (or thereabouts). They met at a music workshop for girls. Per The Guardian, André Balaguemon, the instructor and host of the workshop, said "Some of his proteges hadn’t ever seen keyboards or a drum kit when they signed up. Undeterred, he spent the first two weeks teaching them to clap to the beat." When you hear them you'll agree that they have come a long way. Read the thing at The Guardian, it tells the whole story. This is a movie waiting to happen.
Saturday, June 19, 2021
Wednesday, June 16, 2021
New Order covering Keith Hudson? Who knew? Leave it to Plain or Pan to land this oddball. It sounds exactly like you would expect New Order playing reggae would sound like. Obviously not the real thing, but as an oddball New Order song it certainly passes.
Keith Hudson - Turn the Heater On mp3 at Plain or Pan
New Order - Turn the Heater on mp3 at Plain or Pan
Tuesday, June 15, 2021
At this point I'm just tossing you treats so you remember to piss outside. It is what it is. Fifty two minutes of Mudhoney live at Primavera Sound in 2012. The photo is from about twelve years earlier but it's a cool photo. And I'm lazy.
Mudhoney - Full Set, Live at Primavera Sound at Free Music Archive 2012, on WFMU
NOTE: Once there, to download click on the arrow on the end of the orange streaming bar.
Monday, June 14, 2021
Sunday, June 13, 2021
Oh, now everybody's got a Delta 5 song stuck in their head. Never thought I'd see the day. Apple has some post-punk person selecting the music for their commercials. Every once in a while something like this will happen, someone with unusual taste with get their favorite band in an ad, commercial, soundtrack or something else. I remember years ago when the Sears catalog still existed, it had the second New York Dolls LP as a prop on one of the stereos for sale. WTF? And about ten years ago there was a commercial with a Monks song as the soundtrack, a totally obscure choice for a national ad campaign (I seem to remember it was for a car).
So, how did Delta 5, a little known post-punk band from forty years ago, end up on an Apple commercial? I'm glad you asked that question. After some arduous research (seriously, typing three words into Google really takes it out of you), I found that Variety had already done the legwork.
Saturday, June 12, 2021
One thing you have to realize about anybody that was young when the Monkees were on the top of the charts is that most wouldn't have known the difference between them and the Beatles. It didn't matter, they had long hair, they appeared to be a band, and they were on a wacky TV show every week. They were in magazines and had trading cards that came with banana flavored yellow gum. If you were in my neighborhood there was a kid that would pay five cents for a piece of the unusual gum, and the pack of trading cards only cost five cents, so yeah, if you snagged him when he still had his allowance, you had your first introduction to the world of flim flam.
Alas, the wool can only cover the eyes for so long. The Monkees knew they were frauds, but wanted the gravy train to stay on track. There were attempts to actually play instruments, but as the fans grew older and less naive, they had to step it up. So they made a movie. A weird movie. A movie that sprang from a stoned weekend with the producer of their TV series, Bob Rafelson, and a young screenwriter, Jack Nicholson. That Jack Nicholson. The movie, Head, bombed, as many interesting but out of the ordinary movies do. That doesn't mean that it isn't worth watching. No, it's good, really good if you're of the sort that digs pop culture gone haywire. It's fucking nuts. It's like one of those hair brained ideas that you have when you're stoned, but think better of when you're not. Thankfully they didn't second guess their stoned selves. As if to make a point, the cast includes the A and Z of opposites, Annette Funicello and Frank Zappa. In the same flick. Man, they had to have been stoned to dream up that juxtaposition.
The Monkees - Porpoise Song mp3 at Tumblr From Head
The Monkees - She mp3 at Tumblr
The Monkees - Goin' Down mp3 at Tumblr Dolenz raps
The Monkees - Sweet Young Thing mp3 at Tumblr
The Monkees Tried To Cut Their Strings With 'Head' at NPR
Friday, June 11, 2021
I mentioned a couple days ago that I'm reading Art and Laurie Pepper's The Straight Life. Without going too much into it, a word to Art Pepper fans thinking of reading it: Pepper at times could be a really fucked up human being, and an idiot. We are all human, but just so you know he doesn't gloss over the parts that don't make him look good. The idiot part is that he seemed to make the same mistakes over and over again, with dire results.
I just reached the part of the book where he's out of prison and auditioning for Buddy Rich's band and he's nervous. He'd heard that Rich is a hard guy to work for. I don't know how it turned out (that's still to be read), but I smell a conflict. Anyway, it reminded me of the Buddy Rich tirades I posted several years ago. This is what I said back then:
Buddy Rich Audio Page at Track Drummer Four tapes, audio (streaming and downloads) and transcribed text.,
Thursday, June 10, 2021
This'll clear out the ol' ear canals. The Cripples, Never heard of 'sm. Synth punk from the late nineties, says here. That's all I know so far. Some of it is hard, some gimmicky, but all are "ah, what the hell" enough. At least those I've listened to. There's twenty seven in all.
The Cripples - Crutch mp3 at Xtrmntr
The Cripples - Hell mp3 at Xtrmntr
The Cripples - The Day the World Turned Dayglo mp3 at Xtrmntr Cover
X Ray Spex - The Day the World Turned Dayglo mp3 at Tumblr Original
The Cripples - 24 more songs at Xtrmntr
The Cripples on Rock! Rock! Rock! at YouTube
Wednesday, June 9, 2021
I'm halfway through reading Art Pepper's autobiography The Straight Life (co-written with his wife Laurie). If you know anything about Pepper, you know he's a West Coast jazz guy, saxophone. If you know anything else about Pepper you know that he was a junkie, for years. He did time in a number of facilities, the most notorious San Quentin. I'm only halfway through the book (up to the mid-sixties) and I can tell you just from that that he makes Keith Richards look like a dabbler. Nothing is glossed over in the book. Not the crimes he committed, not the extent he went through to get a fix, not the lovers he treated like shit, or the dark thoughts running around in his head. It is heavy.
So I started browsing, A couple links in, I'm already distracted. There's a shitload about Pepper online. These are tonights detours.
Art Pepper - Caravan mp3 at Rubber City Review
Art Pepper - 'Round Midnight mp3 at Space Age Pop
Art Pepper - Straight Life mp3 at Rubber City Review From Meets the Rhythm Section
Art Pepper - Birks Works mp3 at Rubber City Review Ditto
Art Pepper - More songs and excellent profile at Rubber City Review
Art Pepper Quartet - Jazz Casual at YouTube Three songs, 29 minutes.1964
Art Pepper - Jazz Survivor at YouTube Documentary, 46 minutes, 1982
Their Unique Love Affair at Perfect Sound Forever Profile of Art and Laurie Pepper, 2014
Laurie Pepper, Wife of Late Saxophonist Art Pepper at Fresh Air, PBS Interview podcast, 27 minutes, 2001
Tuesday, June 8, 2021
I ran into a documentary on Led Zeppelin, and I thought I'd throw a couple tunes on too. As I've mentioned before, finding things to download is getting harder and harder. Somewhat safe mp3 search engines are a thing of the past. Blogs are going belly up right and left. It's getting to the point that I've checked my old posts for songs. So to go with the documentary you get couple random songs, an oddball cover and a funny video. Total bric-a-brac.
Led Zeppelin - Gallows Pole mp3 at Tumblr
Led Zeppelin - Immigrant Song mp3 at Mercury Paradise
Dondero High School - Immigrant Song mp3 at Internet Archive From Pop Concert 2004
Led Zep Rarities Part 1, Tracks 1-14 at Internet Archive As a single 56 minute mp3, includes a couple Eddie Cochran covers.
Led Zeppelin: Dazed and Confused at YouTube 56 minute documentary
Kids React to Led Zeppelin at YouTube This is hilarious.
Monday, June 7, 2021
If you were a teenager, or any-ager, in the seventies, live footage of bands was hard to come by. There was no YouTube, no commercially available videos, no MTV. Obiously you could go see a band live, but that only applied to bigger cities that were on the stops of major tours. If you lived in Bumfuck, Oklahoma, you were out of luck. There were always the odd appearances on variety shows, but they generally tended to be the least threatening. Variety shows were for adults. You might get the Fifth Dimension or the Supremes. Whoop-de-doo.
In the mid-seventies, programmers noticed the void. Burt Sugarman came up with the idea for The Midnight Special, a show that aired on Friday, from midnight to 1:30 AM. It was a mixed bag, usually with two stages. After one act played a couple songs they'd introduce the act on the other stage. For instance, softies Seals and Crofts ("Summer Breeze") introducing T Rex. Back then, as teenagers not old enough to go to bars, the air time was just about perfect. Whereas bars stayed open until 2 AM, keg parties generally petered out earlier. It wasn't unusual to come home from a party with a couple buddies in tow and flip on The Midnight Special.
Here's a short documentary (nine minutes) on the series and a link to the Wikipedia page that lists the performers. Some were piss breaks (Bread, John Denver, etc) but some were great bands that you might not ever get to see. To wit, the New York Dolls appeared on the show in what may have been their only televised appearance in the U.S. (I certainly can't think of another).
One thing that I'd forgotten is that the bands appeared live, so the versions of the songs you heard could be slightly different than the record. That's where Mark Bolan comes in. I watched a clip of the best of The Midnight Special's 1973 season. Skipping around, a slalom course through soft rock (jim Croce, Loggins and Messina, Helen Reddy), there's Billy Preston, Steely Dan, War, the Edgar Winter Group (wherein he beats the crap out of his new toy, a synthesizer). So, Mark Bolan, after being introduced by Seals and Crofts, does an eight minute version of "Bang A Gong". It's so pathetic (and I like T. Rex), that it's comical. First thing you'll notice is the relentless tambourine bashing by the female back up singers, mostly out of time. It's like they're in their own little world and have nothing to do with the song that's being played. Get used to it because you won't be able to ignore the tambourines for several minutes. You'll also notice Bolan's get-up. Not entirely different from what he would normally wear, which is to say, something ridiculous. The song goes on for a while and then it's cliché time. Oh. man, this is something you have to see. I forget the exact order but there's the smoke machine, the lame solo, the humping the guitar routine and then it morphs in to a funky, white boy version of James Brown Lite. This is Bolan at his most full of himself. It's hilarious and it's awful.
T. Rex - Bang A Gong mp3 at Tumblr Control group.
Mark Bolan/TRex - Bang A Gong (live) at YouTube Eight minutes, The Midnight Special, 1973
The Midnight Special 1973 at YouTube One hour of performances from 1973, includes songlist.
The Making of The Midnight Special at YouTube Nine minute documentary
The Midnight Special at Wikipedia (scroll down for list of performers)
Saturday, June 5, 2021
This one reminded me of lurking in thrift stores back in the day, well before people started scooping up any and all 45s to sell on eBay. Back then you could score Volt 45s or Stax 45s (both the light blue label and yellow finger snapping label) at probably one in three thrift stores. Downtown San Diego had the biggest concentration of thrift stores, about five or six, so if you can imagine that nearly every time you made the rounds, you'd have the opportunity to score something from Stax/Volt. I cherry picked. There were so many big names on the label(s) that if was an artist I didn't recognize, it would go through the deliberation process. (All this for a record that might cost twenty five cents.) First you look at the band name, in this case the Triumphs. Okay, from there you figure it's ether a vocal group or an instrumental band. Then you look at the title "Burnt Biscuits". That sounds more like an instrumental title than a vocal thing. Turn it over and see the flip, "Raw Dough". At this point you're convinced that it is an instrumental record. What you won't know for years is that it is a pre-MGs Booker T. Jones record and the only one by the Triumphs. Regardless of the picked over offerings these days, I need to get my ass downtown.
The Triumphs - Burnt Biscuits mp3 at The A Side
The Triumphs - Raw Dough mp3 at The B Side
Thursday, June 3, 2021
I'm not going to bullshit you. Sometimes I don't really feel like going through the hassle of posting anything. I guess that's obvious when I take a couple days off, On most days like that I'll give it the ol' college try. I find something I like and then, if it's someone I'm not familiar with, I dig for info. In today's case I found little. The song is great but, I found nothing autobiographical about Roy Tann, other than his real name, Willis Threats Jr.. That too turned up with squat. So, it takes me a paragraph to say, fuck it, here's a Roy Tann song that started my fruitless search. I did run into a couple other things to pad the post. One is an unrelated song by Ray Agee, only because it's of similar vintage and it's got a similar feel, and it also is hot shit.
The other thing I ran across, the one takeaway from my Tann search was a radio show by the Hound, a WFMU affiliated true fiend. The artist bios on his site are usually about fifty times more thorough than anything you're going to find on Wikipedia or anywhere else. The guy knows his shit. So his radio show is well selected (I hate it "curated"). He starts with surf, rock 'n' roll, rhythm and blues, and some hillbilly before he even gets to Roy Tann. But it's like when you first get a car you really dig and you just drive around waiting for the next awesome tune to pop up. Enjoy the cruise.
Roy Tan [sic] - Isabella mp3 at Soul Garage
Ray Agee - Your Precious Love mp3 at Soul Garage
The Hound - As heard on WFMU at The Hound Go there for the playlist. 3 hours, aired 1991
The Hound Blog
Wednesday, June 2, 2021
It's a one and done night, Nathaniel Mayer's version of "Summertime". This one really swings. I don't want to distract from it because it really merits consecutive plays. Listen to one instrument intently and move on to another. Familiar songs like this, well produced but not lavishly, beg to be picked apart. And, like I said, it really swings.
Nathaniel Mayer - Summertime mp3 at Albums Only
Tuesday, June 1, 2021
As is probably apparent, I'm a jazz dabbler. That is to say, I'm liking it but there's a good reason for that. My purchases have been limited to the big names that, you know, you hear about for ages. You can't miss with any genre if you take mental notes over the years. One of the big names I haven't gotten around to actually buying is Dexter Gordon. So, pardon me while I add him to the list.
Dexter Gordon - Love For Sale mp3 at Pixie Radio
Dexter Gordon - As Time Goes By mp3 at Tafunus
Monday, May 31, 2021
It was just a video that a friend of mine posted on social media, a video of Sinéad O’Connor of all people. Now I'm totally ambivalent when it comes to O'Conner. She's always been that skinny lady with a shaved head that had one semi-hit years ago. That's all I knew. But the friend that had posted it, she's got excellent taste, has been around cool shit since the late seventies. I ended up sleeping on her kitchen floor for two months back when I moved to New York a few years later. We've been friends ever since. I knew there was a reason she'd tagged me on the post. Then I saw that it was a cover of L7's "Shit List" and she was mentioning that I'd put it on a mix for her years ago. Wait. Stop. Sinéad O’Connor covering L7? I clicked immediately, not knowing what to expect.
The surprise? O’Connor's version was awesome. Just about as hard as L7's original, but with a much bigger band. L7 is a four piece, two guitars, bass and drums. O'Connor's fronting a band with a full string section, horn section, four background singers and a conductor. If you think that would mellow the song, you're wrong. I mean, the thing starts out with a guy on violin doing this feedbacking thing that sounds exactly like a guitar. Then the horns come in and it's a symphonic blast from there on. About a third of the way through it I'm thinking that it sounds like a James Bond theme. Then, correcting myself, thinking it sounds as if someone hired L7 to do a James Bond theme. When it was over I headed back to my friends post to thank her and noticed that her introductory sentence that I hadn't seen made the same comparison, that it sounded like L7 doing a Bond theme. What did I say about her having excellent taste?
After watching O'Connor's version, you guessed it, I just had to get an L7 fix. And, boy, did I get a fix. I forgot how good they were live, just good ol' fashioned grungy rock 'n' roll. Nothing overtly cerebral. Here's the feature song, both L7's original and O'Connor's version, along with some L7 videos from over the years. One word of warning. The clip from Natural Born Killers that uses the song as it's soundtrack is really violent. Woody Harrelson and Juliet Lewis as total ass kicking psychopaths. The story for the movie was written by Quentin Tarantino and it was directed by Oliver Stone. That's a recipe for violence if there ever was one. I still think it would make a good Bond theme.
L7 - Shit List mp3 at Tumblr 1992
L7 - Shit List (streaming) at YouTube
Sinéad O’Connor - Shit List (live) at YouTube Melbourne International Arts Festival, Sydney, 2010
L7 - Shit List (live) at YouTube Rockapalast, Essen, Germany 1996
L7 - Shit List (live) at YouTube Hellfest, Clisson, France 2015
Natural Born Killers - Clip with "Shit List" at YouTube 1994
L7 - (live, Rockpalast) at YouTube Essen, Germany 1996
L7 - (live, Hellfest) at YouTube Clisson, France 2015
Friday, May 28, 2021
Today is a special day. Not because it's Friday. Not because it's a three day weekend. No, today is a special day because, after having posted Ebo Taylor's stuff several times in the eleven years that have passed since I first heard him, I finally pried open my moth-ridden wallet and and paid hotspot cash for his Love and Death LP. It's good, good enough that I'll risk pissing off some of you loyal lurkers by reposting a few of his things.
Taylor had a long career in Ghana. He was 75 years old when he recorded Love and Death, his first internationally available release. Live dates followed and another new LP at the age of 82. There are a lot of things I hate about globalization, but when it comes to music I'm A-OK with someone rescued from obscurity.
Ebo Taylor - Ayesama mp3 at Bama Love Soul
Ebo Taylor - Victory mp3 at Mixtape Riot
Ebo Taylor - Mizin mp3 at Mixtape Riot
Thursday, May 27, 2021
I gotta ask, do you know who the World Famous Supreme Team is? No? Then they're liars because they must not be world famous. But there was a time when they were better known. I first heard of them when Malcolm McLaren copped their shit on his "Buffalo Gals" and later on his Duck Rock LP (including sampling people calling in to their radio show, "All that scratch' is makin me itch." "Two much of that Snow White"). They were DJs with a radio show on WHBI-FM in Newark NJ, an early source for rap, well before it was referred to as hip hop.
So McLaren heard them early, borrowed their stuff, along with music from the Caribbean and Africa, and threw together Duck Rock in 1983. That LP still sounds fresh today but it was primarily Trevor Horn that put things together while McLaren rubbed his palms together. Long story short, that's where I know the World Famous Supreme Team from, along with turntablist DST, an early scratcher. The latter would end up on Herbie Hancock's "Rockit" another early WTFer.
Here's some clips of the World Famous Supreme Team's radio show, a combined hour in the Time Tunnel, straight back to 1982. Found on posts at Beware of the Blog from 2008.
World Famous Supreme Team Anniversary Show mp3 at Beware of the Blog 46 minutes
World Famous Supreme Team - Show Excerpt mp3 at Beware of the Blog 14 minutes
World's Famous Supreme Team - Hey DJ at YouTube 1984
Malcolm McLaren - Buffalo Gals at YouTube 1983
Tuesday, May 25, 2021
Kogar the Swinging Ape is up to his ol' game again. I blinked and all of a sudden there are six new Tassel Twirlers, so named because there what you'd hear in jiggle clubs of yore. I can't get enough of these. Despite the fact that I don't go to strip clubs. Who wants to go see someone bump and grind to "Cherry Pie"? They probably play something else these days. Something with Auto-Tune. Blech.
Kogar is about the old school Pall Mall scented, Hamms swilling, wing tip attired flat tops. These are the soundtrack to your grandpa's night out, back when he wasn't your grandpa. Hell, you may have been conceived after one of his nights out.
Kogar seems to have an endless supply of these because he's put together several compilations over the years, all with non-hit wonders. Here's a few from 2012 and link to all of the
Tassel Twirler Tuesdays, starting with the new ones and going back to 2012.
Sunday, May 23, 2021
That's my friend Paul in the photo above. When the photo was taken he had been surfing for over forty years and playing drums for close to fifty years. I've known him for at least thirty years and he's been like a big brother. At one time he was my brothers roommate and the only non-family member to have a key to my Mom's house. A real bro, and not in the casual frat boy use. A good man. He died this past Tuesday from brain cancer. He was in his late sixties. That photo above was taken in the last year. Late sixties, with brain cancer, with only months to live and he had that casual "I know what I'm doing" longboard stance. That's old school style.
Paul was the one who turned me onto Elvin Jones. I mentioned it in a post a few years back and because I've been listening to Jones for the past several days it seemed like a good thing to post. Here's the original post.:
John Coltrane - The Drum Thing mp3 at Drummer World Elvin Jones on drums
Joe Lovano and Dave Holland - Cymbalism mp3 at Drummer World Elvin Jones on drums
Elvin Jones - The Ultimate Elvin Jones (full LP, streaming) at YouTube