Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Paul Burlison, Johnny Burnette, Gene Vincent, Johnny Black

I was honored today to receive a comment on one of my earlier posts, from David Burlison, a name I instantly recognized; half of it anyways, the last name Burlison. He is the son of rockabilly great, Paul Burlison, the former guitarist for Johnny Burnette and the Rock n' Roll Trio. While this is not a big deal to most of you, it made my day for a couple of reasons; not the least of which is that I feel like it's some sort of "six degrees of separation" type thing that links this blog to the son of Paul Burlison, which links to someone who played on some of the greatest rockabilly cuts of all time, which also links to not only Johnny Burnette, but Gene Vincent, who was one of his acquaintances. That's three degrees, if you're counting. With the fourth degree, you get Cliff Gallup, another amazing rockabilly guitarist who played with Vincent, and Eddie Cochran, who was good friends with Vincent.

Eddie Cochran and Sharon Sheely

By the fifth degree, you get Sharon Sheely, Cochran's girlfriend, who wrote Ricky Nelson's "Poor Little Fool," Ritchie Valens' "Hurry Up," and co-wrote Cochran's "Something Else" (with Cochran's brother Bob). So, Ricky Nelson and Richie Valens are at six degrees of separation, if you're still counting. Now, all of this doesn't really mean shit to anybody but me, especially when I remind myself that David Burlison is one degree closer to all of those people up there. It did give me something to write about, trivial as it is.

The other reason I was excited to receive the comment from Burlison, was because it added to the discussion about the origin of fuzz guitar (fuzzgate) and it's use on some of Johnny Burnette and the Rock n' Roll Trio's best sides. His comment can be seen on this post, admittedly of interest only to Burnette, Burlison, rockabilly and guitar fiends. But, I know you're out there.


Johnny Burnette & the Rock n' Roll Trio - Train Kept A Rollin' at LexJansen.com
Johnny Burnette & the Rock n' Roll Trio - Honey Hush mp3 at RocknDog.com
Gene Vincent & the Blue Caps - Cat Man mp3 at MoteldeMoka
Eddie Cochran - Nervous Breakdown mp3 at Uusikaupunki.fi
Ricky Nelson - Hello Mary Lou mp3 at smu.edu
Ritchie Valens - Little Girl mp3 at Fileden
Here Come Da Fuzz - post about Burlison's fuzz (posted 8/2/2008)

Monday, November 29, 2010


So this here is a palate cleanser. If you're a Black Sabbath fiend, you'll dig it because it's a live show, from 1970. Rough mix though it is, you guys will want it to pick apart. But, there's a better use for the post at Captain's Dead. Because the eight songs are posted individually, they can stream independent of each other. You can still save them by right-clicking the titles, but, if you're like me, the other option is even better. Because they stream independently you can play them all at the same time. Think about that. Eight Sabbath songs playing simultaneously. That's a palate cleanser.

Black Sabbath - 8 songs, (live 1970) streaming or mp3s at Captains Dead
(NOTE: Captain's Dead has disabled direct linking to mp3s, so go there to get them. Sorry for the extra click. Fugger.)

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Messing around online today, I ended up on Buddyhead. They had a post with five videos of Keith Richards interviews; two about his new autobiography, Life, two with with Hunter Thompson, and one more dated '73. I only watched one of them so far, the first of the two Hunter Thompson interviews. Good stuff with that combo, as you'd imagine. When they start talking about an afterlife, Thompson asks him what he thought J. Edgar Hoover would come back as. After touching on worms, flies, and weasels, when the subject is nearly dead, Richards blurts out "a fawt." (It was interesting to see the rickety wheels turning on that one.) After seeing it, I thought I'd post it, with a Stones song or two. In looking for one, I ran into a post on Plain or Pan, that had isolated vocal and guitar takes for Gimme Shelter. They're a must to check out, to hear clearly just what parts were Richards', and to hear the wails of Merry Clayton. And I do mean wails. That sent me looking for her amazingly good cover version of the same song. It's a lot different than the original, but that's not a bad thing; it still has that voice. Listen to her version, then listen to the alternate take of the Stones version, without her vocals. It sounds scrawny without her; a lot less powerful.

NOTE: Due to a notice from Blogger, all links have been removed on this post. I do not yet know which was the offending link, but I know enough to play it safe until I have more details. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Girl Talk may not be your cup of tea. If you're too vested in the idea that traditional pop or rock music is a band with a singer, you're not alone. Regardless, you have to at least acknowledge how weird it is, that a guy working with a lap top and little else, is like a rock star. Just in terms of how music is made and what is possible. With only a load of music and a handful of software gizmos, Girl Talk (AKA Gregg Michael Gillis) makes mash ups so seamlessly, that if you don't recognize the sample, it is all but impossible to figure out what's what, and who's coming or going. I will tip my hat to him, and give him an "A" for effort and execution. That said (you knew it was coming), I'm a little more impressed with the old school supa-mashes of the Avalanches.
They did the same sort of thing roughly ten years ago, and where most (if not all) of Girl Talk's work is done digitally, the Avalanches did it the "old"-fashioned way, ripping vinyl, pops and all. And because their first album, "Since I Left You," had some 3,500 samples (much more than Girl Talk), it sounds thicker, more layered and less sterile. To put it into context, consider the Avalanches the sampling equivalent of Spector's Wall of Sound.

Girl Talk just released a new mix, which can be downloaded for free at Illegal Art. (in one mix or individual mixes). And at AllDaySamples.com, a fan site, you can see the samples annotated while the music streams. This of course almost elicited a "some people should really get a life" comment, until I reminded myself that here I was writing about it. (Guitars will return shortly...)

Girl Talk - Down For the Count mp3 at The World Forgot
Girl Talk - Make Me Wanna mp3 at The World Forgot
Girl Talk - All Day, full album download and individual mp3s at Illegal Art
Girl Talk - All Day samples annotated at AllDaySamples.com
The Avalanches - Since I Left You mp3 at Broken Silence
The Avalanches - With My Baby mp3 at Dipped In Dollars

Friday, November 26, 2010


It might be hard to explain the significance of X-Ray Spex to someone who wasn't around at the time. If you've grown up knowing the term consumerism, you're more aware than most young adults were back then. In 1978, few people had any view whatsoever about consumerism, one way of another. So, try to imagine the context: While other bands were singing anarchy and white riots, X-Ray Spex wrote songs that made anti-consumerism relevant and fun. This was before any real anti-consumerism movement, before Adbusters, before "Live Simply" bumper stickers. The lyrics were thought provoking without preaching, and the music was loud. Here was a band without ripped clothing or intentionally shoddy appearance, with a singer in braces and a saxophone player, singing about subjects that were universal and doable. It wasn't mean spirited, it wasn't angry, it was simply a message; and by virtue of that, your guard down and receptors up, it was relatable and palatable. To top it off, with the combination of Poly Styrene's unique voice, and the inclusion of saxophone, they sounded like no one else.

It's somehow apropos that the first holiday song I've run into, on "Black Friday" of all days, is Poly Styrene's new one "Black Christmas" a pop-ish reggae number, that features her daughter Celeste. It basically calls bullshit on all the phony Hallmark good cheer. While not quite what you'd call straight-up reggae (her pre-Spex 45 as Mari Elliot, "Billy, Billy," is a little closer to that), it is catchy, and dare I say, comforting to hear that voice again (though she has recorded since X-Ray Spex, it's been a while since I've heard any of it). There was a one-off X-Ray Spex reunion in 2008, that was released on a CD/DVD combo, but I haven't seen but a few clips ("Oh Bondage, Up Yours!" can be seen here). I think her last appearance was on Goldblade's "City of Christmas Ghosts" (video link below). Here's enough stuff (below) to reward you for participating in Buy Nothing Day. You did, didn't you?

X-Ray Spex - Oh Bondage, Up Yours! mp3 at Women In Punk
X-Ray Spex - I Am A Cliché mp3 at Lumberjack Theif
X-Ray Spex - The Day the World Turned Day Glo mp3 at Undomodo
X-Ray Spex - Identity mp3 at Last Days of Man On Earth
X-Ray Spex - I Am A Poseur mp3 at Mustard Relics
X-Ray Spex - Let's Submerge mp3 at Last Days of Man On Earth
X-Ray Spex - Identity (Peel Session) mp3 at Mustard Relics
X-Ray Spex - Genetic Engineering (Peel Session) mp3 at Mustard Relics
X-Ray Spex - Age (Peel Sessions) mp3 at Mustard Relics
X-Ray Spex - Art-I-Ficial (Peel Sessions) mp3 at Mustard Relics
X-Ray Spex - I Am A Poseur (Peel Sessions) mp3 at Mustard Relics
X-Ray Spex - Identity (Peel Sessions) mp3 at Mustard Relics
X-Ray Spex - Germ Free Adolescence (Peel Sessions) mp3 at Mustard Relics
X-Ray Spex - Warrior In Woolworths (Peel Sessions) mp3 at Mustard Relics
Poly Styrene - Black Christmas mp3 at RcrdLbl
Poly Styrene - Black Christmas mp3 (email required) at Poly-Styrene.com
Poly Styrene & X-Ray Spex (from The Punk Years) video at YouTube

X-Ray Spex - Oh Bondage, Up Yours! video at YouTube
X-Ray Spex - Identity video at YouTube
X-Ray Spex - Identity (live) video at YouTube
X-Ray Spex - Germ Free Adolescence video at YouTube
X-Ray Spex - The Day the World Turned Day-Glo video at YouTube
X-Ray Spex - Warrior in Woolworths video at YouTube
X-Ray Spex - Art-I-Ficial video at YouTube
X-Ray Spex - I Live Off You video at YouTube
X-Ray Spex - Oh Bondage, Up Yours! (live, 2008 reunion) video at YouTube
Goldblade (w/Poly Styrene) - City of Christmas Ghosts video at YouTube
Poly Styrene -Black Christmas video at YouTube
My Secret Life: Poly Styrene at the Independent.UK
Poly Styrene - Extensive profile and interview at Sugarbuzz Magazine
Poly Styrene at Wikipedia X-Ray Spex at Wikipedia
Poly Styrene - Art-I-Ficial lyrics at Lyricsmania
More X-Ray Spex lyrics (right hand column) at Lyricsmania

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Just a quick one for now, because I didn't want to forget this one. A cover of "Feelin' Alright" by Lulu, that's pretty damn funky. It was one of the oddball surprises buried in a funk box set ("What It Is") a while back. It only pops up every once in a while and I thought you might dig it. There's a few more things down there too. "Dirty Old Man" is Lulu with Duane Allman, clearly chasing "Dusty In Memphis". Then, a cover of the Isley's "Shout," and the one that everybody knows, "To Sir, With Love," inseparable from any mention of the name Lulu.

Lulu - Feelin' Alright mp3 at Star Maker Machine (originally from Cover Lay Down)
Lulu (w/Duane Allman)- Dirty Old Man mp3 at Dr. Mooney's 115th Dream
Lulu- Shout mp3 at Stephanie.FM
Lulu - To Sir With Love mp3 at Stephanie.FM
Lulu - Shout (from Ready Steady Go) video at YouTube
Lulu - The Man Who Sold the World video at YouTube

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I know. It is sadly apparent that this younger crop of must-hear bands are, by and large, wussies. I'd been saving this one, because I like to have a band like this on deck, before putting one up. I worried that it would be a while before I find another band that was noisy. That all said, it's about fucking time I post something about Japandroids. A rock band, without pretty accoutrements. This, friends, is what we need more of. Loud guitars and emphatic, if not loud, vocals. Yessiree, just in the nick of time.

I don't read want to read their bio, not right now, because it doesn't matter to me. Let me put it this way. They serve the same purpose as a cup of coffee. Would you feel inclined to read a bio of a cup of coffee? Their life story may be interest to you, but you may consider them peers. Someone who might sleep on your floor some night in the middle of a van tour. No way that's happening here. I'm realistic. I'll just turn it up and start vacuuming my apartment.

Photo: Mike Sullivan

This I know: they're two loud dudes from Vancouver, have a record called "Post-Nothing," (that's good) and write lyrics like “Here’s your money back, here’s your punk rock back!” (that's also good). And the first two songs below are songs that they left off their first album. I like them a lot, ergo, I've got some backtracking to do.

Photo: Mike Sullivan

Japandroids - Art Czars mp3 at ListenBeforeYouBuy
Japandroids - Younger Us mp3 at ListenBeforeYouBuy
Japandroids - Sex and Dying in High Society mp3 (via Box.net)
at JP's Blog
Japandroids - Heavenward Grand Prix mp3 at Atlas and the Anchor
Japandroids - Young Hearts Spark Fire mp3 at Tsururadio
Japandroids - I Quit Girls mp3 at The New York Rockmarket
Japandroids - Rockers East Vancouver mp3 at Ca Va Cool
Japandroids - Art Czars (live) on YouTube
Japandroids - A whole bunch more videos at YouTube
Japandroids official site

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Should you have a long drive ahead of you this week, here's enough to keep you from dozing off. You might agree that a lot of podcasts found online can seem like vanity mixes, and not quite what real radio is like. But I ran into a few radio shows that, though I've only listened to a portion (there's hours of them to get through), sound interesting enough to help you drive a few more miles before pulling over for another cup of coffee.

First up is a bunch of Joe Strummer's "London Calling" radio shows, that originally aired on BBC's World Service radio, from 1998 to 2002. Eighteen in all, there's hours and hours of good stuff. And there's also Don Letts Culture Clash, a Joe Strummer tribute show, from 2007.

Next up is a radio show, in two parts. It's John Lydon visiting Steve Jones on his Jonesy's Jukebox show, originally aired on Indie 103.1 FM, in 2006. This one is a hoot. It's really neat to hear the two of them, older and presumably wiser, talk about music some thirty years after they first met.

If you can't get to downloading these right away, rest easy. They've apparently been online for some time, so just come back and get 'em later. And a little PSA here: don't drive drowsy, and by all means, don't drive drunk or stoned, you know it's idiotic.

John Lydon with Steve Jones on Jonesy's Jukebox, Part 1
John Lydon with Steve Jones on Jonesy's Jukebox, Part 2
Originally aired on Indie 103.1 FM, March, 2006. at John Lydon's site.

Joe Strummer's London Calling 2000 Show 1 (of 6 from 2000)

Joe Strummer's London Calling 2001 Show 1 (of 4 from 2001)
Joe Strummer's London Calling 2002 Show 1 (of 4 from 2002)
All 18 shows, originally aired on BBC's World Service, 1998 - 2002, at Radio Clash

Don Letts' Culture Clash, Joe Strummer tribute show
at Radio Clash

Monday, November 22, 2010


A while back, I ran across someone writing about the soundtrack to Nicolas Roeg's Performance, saying that, upon revisiting it, he was reminded what a great soundtrack it was. My vinyl copy long gone (again, into the DJ ether), it prompted me to repurchase it, and I gotta say, he was right. Some of you are probably aware of the Mick Jagger cut on it, "Memo From Turner," but the quality of the whole thing is more a testament to Jack Nitzsche's conception, production and the talent he amassed.
Nevermind the vocals (Jagger, Merry Clayton, Buffy Sainte-Marie, the Last Poets, and a young Randy Newman), the backing band included Ry Cooder, Lowell George, Gene Clark and Russ Titleman, among others. The instrumentation included everything from soup to nuts: sitar, dulcimer, Cooder bottleneck, and some Moog (that's an early synthesizer, for you young lawn dwellers). I could only find "Memo From Turner," from that soundtrack, so to round things out, here's "The Last Race," a Nitzsche original that old farts might remember from 1965 film, The Village of the Giants, and you youngsters will recognize as a song from Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof. Nitzsche didn't do just soundtracks, he was everywhere, as writer, producer and conduit of talent. To really appreciate Nitzsche, you ought to check out the excellent profile at The Hound Blog. Though the mp3 links have expired, read it. You will be blown away at how many things have Nitzschtink on them. These two are just a molecule on the tip of the iceberg.

Mick Jagger - Memo From Turner mp3 at Giant Panther
Jack Nitzsche - The Last Race mp3 at MarkMizzles.WhyPrime
Jack Nitzsche - Excellent profile at The Hound
Jack Nitzsche - Exhaustive discography at Spectropop

Sunday, November 21, 2010


I don't know what's more awesome. The song, the movie clip, or the write-up. Dr. Mooney's 115th Dream, another always excellent, always varied blog, posted the Yardbirds' "unruly overhaul" (Dr. Mooney's words, and dead on) of "Train Kept a Rollin'," retitled "Stroll On." This was from the six month period when both Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck were in the band. If it sounds like a helluva combination, it is. It makes "For Your Love" sound like Freddie and the Dreamers. (Again, I exaggerate, but it is a lot meatier.) Film freaks will remember this line up from the scene in Michaelo Antonioni's Blow Up. A link to the clip is below and at Dr. Mooneys. You really should check out his write-up, it's a good read.

The Yardbirds - Stroll On mp3 at Dr. Mooney's 115th Dream
The Yardbirds in Blow Up clip at YouTube
Dr. Mooney's 115th Dream's Yardbirds post


After being cited as a post punk influence by everyone and their mother, five years ago Gang of Four seized the opportunity. They reunited and released an album of newly recorded versions of their own old material. Depending on your level of cynicism, it could be seen as the ultimate narcissistic tribute album, a quick cash in, or an excuse to reunite and tour again. However you choose to see it, you might want to reserve judgment until January, when they release "Content," an album of all new material. They've released three new songs as free downloads. Well, not entirely new; one is a fan remix of one of the new tracks ("I Party All the Time"), one is a rehearsal version of a song that is being left off the new album ("Sleeper"), and the third is another rerecorded song ("Glass"). That's kind of milking it, but what do you expect for nothing? So, giving them the benefit of the doubt, I went to their website, and (there's always a catch), you have to give your email address to download them. Personally, I'd just as soon wait to hear them, rather then give out my email address to who knows who. So, I decided to do some digging and I found them, on Here Comes the Flood.

Gang of Four - I Party All the Time (remix) mp3 at Here Come the Flood
Gang of Four - Sleeper (rehearsal) mp3 at Here Come the Flood
Gang of Four - Glass (rerecorded) mp3 at Here Come the Flood
Gang of Four's Andy Gill and Jon King on the downloads at the Guardian UK (and email repository)
Gang of Four's official site

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Just look at the photo. It's two brothers, and they're just the type of complete dorks that my brother and I would've loved to party with. Bonus old school geek points right out of the gate. Their names are Caleb and Ashton Bird, known as Tweak Bird. They make a loud racket, which is encouraging. Co-produced by a Melvin, also good. Though if I had my druthers, I'd raunch up the vocals. While I could sit here and complain about the dearth of loud guitar/raunchy vocal combos these days, I would be reminded that I did buy the Sweet's "Desolation Blvd" back in the day, and half of that record is practically falsetto. Okay, I exaggerate, but still. Dare I encourage anyone to smoke, could someone at least feed them some gravel?

Tweak Bird - Whorses mp3 at Volcom
Tweak Bird - Lights in Lines mp3 at Brooklyn Vegan
Tweak Bird - Ah Sun/Ahh Ahh mp3 at Brooklyn Vegan
Tweak Bird - The Future mp3 at Rollo & Grady
Tweak Bird - Flyin' High mp3 at Rollo & Grady
Tweak Bird - Lights in Lines video at YouTube
Tweak Bird Officlal Site


Tom Waits and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, on a 78 RPM record. Sounds enticing, eh? Only 504 copies pressed, and they just went on sale at the Preservation Hall Jazz Band store, so if you're so inclined, you better not wait (here's where.). Oh yeah, they're fifty bucks each, which is a little rich for my blood, but for you high rollers, it's tax deductible. It's two songs, “Tootie Ma Is A Big Fine Thing” and “Corrine Died On The Battlefield.” The original versions of these songs, by Danny Barker, were recorded in 1947, and according to the site, are "two of the earliest known recorded examples of Mardi Gras Indian chants." Here's one of the songs:

Tom Waits & the Preservation Hall Jazz Band - Tootie Ma Is A Big Fine Thing mp3 at Here Comes the Flood
The Preservation Hall Jazz Band online store
The Preservation Hall Jazz Band site


The release of a new Ebo Taylor long player is causing near riots over here at Bacon Street (that is, if one person moving around like an ape without equilibrium constitutes a riot). Regardless of the vintage, it's timeless African high life/afrobeat stuff, so much so, you could be forgiven for thinking "Love and Death" is a reissue; only the fidelity really gives it away. It reminded me of another favorite around here, the Budos Band. The similarities are in the grooves, but these two are separated by an ocean (Taylor's from Ghana, the Budos Band is from Brooklyn) and about thirty years of recording experience. Taylors earlier stuff (the fourth and fifth mp3s below, taken from compilations) are roughly 30 years old. The Budos Band has only been around about a half dozen. But, the other worldly feel is remarkably similar. This is stuff to drink *OB Speedballs with.

Ebo Taylor - Nga Nga mp3 at American Athlete
Ebo Taylor - Victory mp3 at Mixtape Riot
Ebo Taylor - Mizin mp3 at Mixtape Riot
Ebo Taylor - Twer Nayame mp3 at Passion of the Weiss
Ebo Taylor - Atwer Aroba mp3 at American Athlete
The Budos Band - Rite of the Ancients mp3 at Undomondo
The Budos Band - Black Venom mp3 at Undomondo
The Budos Band - Unbroken Unshaven mp3 at Aurgasm
The Budos Band - Chicago Falcon mp3 at Noise Narcs
The Budos Band - Budos Rising mp3 at Quarterlife Party
*OB Speedballs: n., pl., a regional cocktail originating in Ocean Beach, California, in the late 1980s. Devised as a two fisted morning alternative to Bloody Marys, it is made with a cup of hot coffee, and a cold beer, drank alternately, until the right mixture of energy and "fuck it all" is achieved.

Friday, November 19, 2010


One of the really righteous things about trolling music blogs is finding one that so closely mirrors you're own taste that you can practically close your eyes and just let the right clicking rip. But, because the blogs are often the territory of young hipsters trying to beat other bloggers to next big thing, it's frustratingly rare. This is especially true if you're no spring chicken. All you want to do is dig some kick-ass tunage, regardless of era; the further off the beaten track, the better. Thankfully, there are a few blogs that deliver, time and time again. Diddy Wah is one of them, and it's probably the most visited blog in my bookmarks. Here is a guy who knows his shit. He knows what you mean when you say "sounds like Duane Eddy with Martin Denny." He knows that "Boss" by the Rumblers is one baddass song. And he knows that it was originally done as "The Caterpillar Crawl" by the Strangers, and borrowed by the Cramps for "Garbageman." So, here's the Rumblers and, to fill things out, a few other Northwest essentials. And two versions of "Diddy Wah Diddy" (the original by Bo Diddley, and a cover by Captain Beefheart), because the name of his blog was my first clue he was on to something. Now go visit Diddy Wah.

The Rumblers - Boss mp3 at Diddy Wah
The Wailers - Out of Our Tree mp3 at Beware of the Blog
The Wailers - Mashi mp3 at Beware of the Blog
The Sonics - Strychnine mp3 at Virginia.edu (huh?)
The Sonics - Psycho mp3 at Iron Leg
Bo Diddley - Diddy Wah Diddy mp3 at Box.net
Captain Beefheart - Diddy Wah Diddy at Lake Tahoe Real Estate (WTF?!?)
The Rumblers at Pacific Northwest Bands
The Wailers at Pacific Northwest Bands
The Sonics at Pacificf Northwest Bands
Diddy Wah

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


There are Wilco fiends that will probably drool over this. I had to bring it to your attention, because that's pretty much what I'm trying to do over here. The reason I do this is really just to point you in the direction of cool stuff to listen to, as long as it's not shit (but then it wouldn't be...nevermind). All the blathering is just that. So, in an effort to cut down on the blah blah blah, here's the Wilco covers, all live. It's a real spread: Mott the Hoople, the Carter Family, the Stooges, the Who, Big Star, Gram Parsons, Replacements, Dylan, Ramones...you get the idea. There's a bunch, 33 in all. Here's a few and a link to the rest. NOTE: They've already been up for a few weeks so get 'em quick. All credit to Cover Me.

Wilco - I Wish I Was Your Mother mp3 at Cover Me
Wilco - No Depression (live) mp3 at Cover Me
Wilco - TV Eye (live) mp3 at Cover Me
Wilco - Won't Get Fooled Again (live) mp3 at Cover Me
Wilco - Thank You Friends (live) mp3 at Cover Me
Wilco - 100 Years From Now (live) mp3 at Cover Me
Wilco - Color Me Impressed (live) mp3 at Cover Me
Wilco - I Shall Be Released (live) mp3 at Cover Me
Wilco - I Wanna Be Sedated (live) mp3 at Cover Me
These and 24 more covers at Cover Me

Monday, November 15, 2010


Jamaica in the sixties and seventies was a vocal group machine. They were everywhere. While some made it big, for each one of them, there are dozens who you might find buried deep in some reissue compilation. It is kind of sad that groups like the Paragons, the Ethiopians, the Jamaicans, the Techniques, and others, may never be given the appreciation they deserve, but really, why would you bother when you could keep busy just keeping track of the better known ones? Yes, it might be said that some of the bigger names just happened to be in the right place at the right time. But there are others who may have been aided by circumstance, but took that ball and just fucking ran. The Maytals were like that.

Toots and the Maytals, in "The Harder They Come"

I could retell the history of Toots and the Maytals (as they've been know since 1968), but life is too short for cut n' paste posts (check Wikipedia for a profile). I'd rather lather praise; and I'll say it: Frederick "Toots" Hibbert has some of the best pipes in reggae. Distinctively Maytal, gravel-ly, gospel-ish, like some kind of reggae mix of Otis Redding and Ray Charles. He, rather they, can make "Louie Louie" sound good. They can make John Denver sound good. And they can make you hear Radiohead's downer "Let Down" with a smile. "They," that's another thing I like about him/them. Even though there would be no Maytals without him, and he has done the solo thing, Hibbert, rather Toots, no wait, the head Maytal, knows that a Maytal-less Toots is no way to live your life.

Toots and the Maytals - Pressure Drop mp3 at I Predict a Riot
Toots and the Maytals - Funky Kingston mp3 at Ill Dub
Toots and the Maytals - Time Tough mp3 at 8106
Toots and the Maytals - Six and Seven Books of Moses mp3 at If It's Good, It's Good
Toots and the Maytals - Monkey Man mp3 at I Predict A Riot
Toots and the Maytals - 54-46 (Was My Number) mp3 at Pop Goes the Radio (Note: Click on "Download" button in top right corner)
Toots and the Maytals - Louie Louie mp3 (via MediaFire) at Metal Bastard
Toots and the Maytals - Country Roads mp3 at Listen Before You Buy
Easy Star All-Stars w/Toots and the Maytals - Let Down mp3 at Antinomian
Radiohead - Let Down mp3 at Vague Space
Toots and the Maytals official site
Toots Hibbert - Short interview at LA Record
Easy Star All Stars at Easy Star Records

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Ask anyone you know if they know Doris Troy's music. (Go ahead, I'll wait.) They'll probably say that they never heard of her. Ask them if they've heard "Just One Look," her one big hit in 1963 (you do know that one, don't you?). If they're still scratching their heads, ask them if they've heard "My Sweet Lord," "You're So Vain," "Let It Bleed" or "Dark Side of the Moon," all of which she sang back up on. If, at that point, they're still blank, send them on their way.

Troy's solo career peaked with "Just One Look" (which she co-wrote), but it didn't die. George Harrison signed her to Apple Records, and took her into the studio, along with a few friends. Friends like Eric Clapton, Billy Preston, Stephen Stills, Leon Russell, Ringo Starr, Jackie Lomax, Klaus Voorman, Harrison and Delaney & Bonnie. Not bad, eh? That had to have been one hot commodity, right? Guess again. It may not have flopped, but it was no million seller either.

On "You Give Me Joy Joy," from the self titled LP (just reissued by Apple), she's backed by the A-Team: Harrison, Stephen Stills, Ringo Starr, Klaus Voorman, and Leon Russell. So, after hearing it, my question is this: which of the two guitarists (Harrison and Stills) is playing what? The rhythm guitar sounds like Ron Wood in the mid-Faces years. The lead sounds like B.B.King. Neither really sounds like Harrison or Stills. I gotta go with Stills, with the slightly distorted guitar. I mean, he had already played with Neil Young at this point. On the other hand...

Doris Troy- You Give Me Joy Joy mp3 at Dr. Mooneys 115tth Dream
(NOTE: Once at Box.net, look for the "Download" button in the top right)
Doris Troy - Just One Look mp3 at Everybody Taste
Doris Troy's bio at the Official Doris Troy Homepage
Apple Records site
Apple Records discography at Wikipedia


I didn't always have an opinion about Conway Twitty. My first impressions were incidental glances at the TV when my Dad would watch Hee Haw. He didn't really stand out, being as he was, just another country singer who was on the show to increase their audience (some while at their peak of their career, and some struggling to stay relevant). Quite honestly, I couldn't have been bothered; I was too wrapped up in gobbling up rock n' roll records. But, because of his unusual name, he stayed within the scope of my peripheral recognition. It wasn't until years later, when my friend and record store owner Dan McLain, played me some of his early stuff that I really took notice. Dan (who I've mentioned before, here and here), was one of a handful of music advisers who I took seriously.

As he pointed out, in Twitty's early hit "Lonely Blue Boy," there are a couple moments when he pours everything he can, into a two letter word. In the line "Lonely Blue Boy is my name," repeated a few times during the song, when he gets to "is" he's really trying the emphasis thing, almost as if he's holding in a belch. But that's just a part of it. The whole package is really pretty remarkable. By the time you've heard the Cramps-like guitar intro, and the first two lines "My name should be trouble, my name should be woe," you're reeled in. Twitty's voice is Elvis-like, and the backing vocals, as doo wopping as they are, sound almost sinister laid over the backing tracks. Being that Dan took it upon himself to sell Twitty's early coolness to me, I thought I ought to pay it forward.

Conway Twitty - Lonely Blue Boy mp3 at Punch Drunk Love
Conway Twitty - It's Only Make Believe mp3 at Mary Hoyer Doll Fashion Show (?!?)
Conway Twitty at Wikipedia
Conway Twitty Official site

Saturday, November 13, 2010


You know the saying, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade," right? You can bet Steve Moore knows it. Moore is the drummer for the ridiculously corny cover band Rick K. and the Allnighters. Now, you ask, why would I waste time even mentioning a cover band? There's actually a couple reasons, and one might be the same reason you may have already seen their video on YouTube. It's fucking hilarious. Behind what by all appearances is just a corny-as-shit cover band, Moore goes about his job as if his life depended on it; flailing, twirling, pounding and hamming it up, with limbs everywhere. The juxtaposition of his take-no-prisoners style and the band in matching outfits (gold lame jackets), at what appears to be a fair of some sort, is just too much.

The second reason for this post is because, my interest piqued, I wanted to see just how he ended up in this cover band. But, let's back up. The video is posted on YouTube with several different titles, but by far the one that has the most hits (over 7 million) is the one titled "This drummer is at the wrong gig" which is so dry and to the point that it makes the whole thing even funnier. (The video had been up for two years, but after being retitled "This drummer is at the wrong gig" it got over a million hits in four days.) As it turns out, the title is partially true. Moore cut his teeth in metal and punk bands before becoming an Allnighter. But, as with the lion's share of musicians, he couldn't make a living at it. He supplemented his gig money by washing dishes and working in factories, and for one six month stretch he slept on the floor of a recording studio in exchange for laying down drum tracks.

In 1997, he was hired by Rick K., and, while not his ideal band, he had 150-200 paid gigs a year. Fast forward to June of this year. The video above, already on YouTube, was reposted, and aided by the funny title, became a viral smash. You can guess what happened next. Moore now has endorsement deals, has been featured in drummer magazines, and is getting emails from metal drummers that he's idolized for years. The irony? Moore's in a video with a metal band called Dofka on YouTube. It was posted four years before the renamed Allnighters video. Frankly, I'm surprised he hasn't got an endorsement deal with a lemonade company. Come to think of it, someone in marketing should sign the guy who retitled it.

Steve Moore - Over the Barrel preview at YouTube
Rick K. and the Allnighters - Wipeout video at YouTube
Steve Moore interview at The Philadelphia Weekly
Steve Moore profile at Drummer World
The Mad Drummer, Steve Moore's website
Steve Moore's MySpace Page (with samples of his Dofka work)
Rick K. and the Allnighters Official page
Oktoberfest drummer at the wrong gig (skip to 1:25) at YouTube
Dofka (w/Steve Moore) - Suicidal (live) video at YouTube
Steve Moore interview from Stephanie's Rock Show on YouTube

Friday, November 12, 2010


Come hell or highwater, Dexter Romweber has always stuck to his guns. While completely capable of playing the game, he's always seemed to know his role. He is a rare bird, a true believer. A believer in classic rock n' roll. It was apparent in the 80's documentary "Athens, GA Inside Out" and in old clips from MTV. He's seen as a young kid, then in the Flat Duo Jets, who idolized Little Richard, Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran, Elvis, and James Brown; he stood out as as one of the few who ignored what would have been easy. While half the population of Athens was getting all new wavey n' shit, he paid tribute to his heroes, rock n' roll artists whose peaks came and went before he was even born.

It begs the question, what is a career? Doing what gets you paid the most, or doing what you love and just getting by? For some, the dilemma is wearing a necktie or wearing a guitar. For Romweber, it's getting new wavey n' shit, or playing timeless well written songs, be they ballads or flat-out rockers. Even if it means playing at a neighborhood block party. While the ultra big time may have eluded him, he's won the respect of some pretty big names. The Cramps. Jack White and Iggy Pop have all name-dropped (and more). On his 2009 album, "Ruins of Berlin" (of which, only 1,000 were pressed), he's joined in duets by Cat Power, Neko Case, and Exene Cervenka (LL Dexter R, indeed!). In a perfect world, Dexter Romweber would be huge.

Dexter Romweber Duo - Lookout mp3 at The Line of the Best Fit
Dexter Romweber Duo - Picture of You mp3 at There's Always Someone Cooler Than You
Dexter Romweber Duo (w/Jack White) - Last Kind Words mp3 at Cover Me
Dexter Romweber Duo (w/Cat Power) Love Letters mp3 at Bloodshot Records
Dexter Romweber Duo - Still Around (live at a block party) video at YouTube
Dexter Romweber Duo - Guybo mp3 and 18 more live tracks at Southern Shelter
Jack White, Cat Power, Exene Cervenka and Neko Case testify at YouTube
Flat Duo Jets - Rockin' Bones mp3 and two videos at The Walrus
Dexter Romweber interview and sidewalk performances, 3 videos at The Village Voice
A shitload more of Dexter Romweber videos at YouTube

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Of the whole mid-70's New York music scene there's probably no more intriguing pairing than that of Richard Hell and Johnny Thunders in the original Heartbreakers. Though no official recordings of the band with both of them exist (that I'm aware of anyway) there is a bootleg of a demo that they did in 1975. While the Thunders penned songs (with him singing) sound like a low-fi version of the later Hell-less Heartbreakers, there's a few cuts that Hell sings that are worth hearing, particularly if you are a Richard Hell fiend. As with most rock n' roll, it's all about the geetar. On Hell's major label debut, Blank Generation, the guitar duties are handled by Robert Quine, an excellent guitarist, but in a completely different universe than Thunders. Quine was a serious musician and attended the Berklee College of Music. Thunders was schooled on smack and rock n' roll. A textbook case of apples & oranges. To hear Hell singing "Blank Generation" and "Love Comes in Spurts". with Thunders playing is as close to a "what could have been" revelation as there is, at least in the realm of the embryonic NY punk scene.

Program Notes:
For those not skilled with zips and full LP mp3's, I started the NY gluttony below with a few mp3s from the later Heartbreakers (without Richard Hell) and a few of Richard Hell and the Voidoids (including the later versions of "Blank Generation" and "Love Comes in Spurts" with Quine). Then comes the more challenging special interest stuff. The Heartbreakers demo is a full LP rip, and may take a little more know-how to download than a single mp3, but if I can figure it out, you can. (Dig around, it's pretty intuitive.) Same goes for the rest of them. Next up is an albums worth of the later live Heartbreakers (without Hell) from 76-77. Following that, a five song 1973 Neon Boys EP, that has Hell and a pre-Television Tom Verlaine. The Television "Poor Circulation" LP is live stuff, demos and rehearsal tapes from 73-75, again with Hell and Verlaine, this time with Richard Lloyd. If, by now, you're able to figure out how these things are to download, there's a shitload of Hell and Television downloads of rare live stuff at Know Your Conjurer's Richard Hell & Television Mega-Post.

The Heartbreakers - Born To Lose mp3 at Town Full of Losers
The Hearbreakers - Chinese Rocks mp3 at Event Magic
The Heartbreakers - I Wanna Be Loved mp3 at Tsiou
The Heartbreakers - It's Not Enough mp3 at Naturalismo
The Heartbreakers - Do You Love Me (demo) mp3 at Voiciferouslam
Richard Hell & the Voidoids - Liars Beware mp3 at Linmod
Richard Hell & the Voidoids - Blank Generation mp3 at BlahBlahBlahScience
Richard Hell & the Voidoids - Love Comes in Spurts mp3 at Quarlo
LP Rips:
The Heartbreakers (with Richard Hell) 1975 SBS Studio demos, 10 song rip at (Son of) Exile On Moan St. (Click on the blue "Download Now" button)
The Heartbreakers (without Hell) Lost Live Tapes (76-77) LP at Teenage Dogs In Trouble
Neon Boys (Richard Hell & Tom Verlaine) - 5 Song EP (1973) zip at Know Your Conjurer
Television (with Hell & Verlaine) - Poor Circulation bootleg rip at T.U.B.E.
Richard Hell & Television Mega-Post at Know Your Conjurer