Saturday, June 30, 2012


Man, oh man. After hearing Savages' "Husbands," it was as if I went back to the late eighties. It was weird. I was afraid to go to the kitchen for fear of finding a sink littered with beers cans, full ashtrays and dirty dishes. Ah, the good ol' days. You'd never know it now, but this place used to be Grand Central Station. There were people over here just about every night, just hanging out. No one had kids, mortgages, or tee ball games. Just about all of my rockin' friends have moved away from this part of town, but ohhh no, not me. Like John Milner said in American Grafitti, "I'm staying right here, havin' fun, as usual." Where was I? Oh yeah, Savages reminded me a lot of Daydream Nation era Sonic Youth, and Night Soil Man, hence the flashback. Being as there aren't a whole lotta Savages cuts out there (they're newish), or Night Soul Man (woefully ignored online), I figured I'd fill in the blanks with some cuts off of Daydream Nation. I'm glad I did, because I ran into a cut from the expanded edition of the album, a cover of the Beatles' "Within You Without You," that's fairly noisy.

About Savages, it's four gals from the UK who look like they're on their way to rewarding careers in the business of making a racket. Really, I'd keep an eye on them. Night Soil Man are long gone, and I think their sole LP is out of print. But boy, talk about making a racket. Check the cuts of theirs (streaming only, so be it).

Savages - Husbands mp3 at Le Blow (Look for the small "Download" button on the second streaming gizmo.)
Sonic Youth - Teen Age Riot mp3 at Vague Space
Sonic Youth - Kissability .mp3 at If It's Good
Sonic Youth - Eric's Trip mp3 at Pretty Goes With Pretty
Sonic Youth - Within You Without You mp3 at Cats Are Grey
Night Soil Man - We Cannot Be Controlled (streaming) at YouTube
Night Soil Man - Hyeena (streaming) at YouTube
Night Soil Man - Ant Farm (streaming) at YouTube
Night Soil Man - Sick Animal (streaming) at YouTube
Night Soil Man article at the L.A. Times, 1990

Friday, June 29, 2012


Boy, oh boy, does the music of Gal Costa have just about all of the ingredients that I dig. Old, weird and foreign; alternately laid back and freaked out, and unlike just about anything else I listen too. The songs below have been posted here before, but having lost most of my music a few months back (my computer took a dump), I was a pig in mud when I ran across the original post again today at Super Sonido, an excellent Latin music blog. So here's a few, but make sure to go to the original post to get the whole story of troplicália and Gal Costa, and a bunch of other cuts.

Gal Costa - Vou Recomecar mp3 at Super Sonido
Gal Costa - Relance mp3 at Super Sonido
Gal Costa - Acauã mp3 at Super Sonido Wait for the freakout.
Gal Costa - Pontos de Luz mp3 at Super Sonido
Gal Costa & Gilberto Gil - Sebastiania mp3 at Super Sonido Freakout endings seem to be a trend.
Gal Costa -10 more cuts, 15 in all and great copy at Super Sonido
Troplicália at Wikipedia
The Best Troplicália Albums at Sounds and Colors
Gal Costa Official site

Thursday, June 28, 2012


A week or so late, but still, I feel obligated. I was actually still in school when Alice Cooper's "School's Out" came out. Imagine wanting nothing more than to be cut loose from the grind, with only a couple weeks separating you from three months of total goofing off, and hearing it for the first time. During the summer, it as a constant reminder of where you weren't. It was like living in some sort of corny teen flick. And, surely one of the best rock lyrics ever in the fourth line of the second verse, "We've got no class, we've got no principles, we've got no innocence, we can't even think of a word that rhymes!"

"Under My Wheels," ca. 1971

Alice Cooper wasn't the first singer to become a parody of himself, and he's surely not the last. But, boy, back in the day, did he know how to get kids riled up. That lasted all of three or four LPs. Then a series of less challenging albums and tours featuring his well worn schtick of eye make up and stage props. I can't remember exactly how he gained entry to my Who's Who of Rock Schmucks but he's been there for some time, well before he said of Sarah Palin "I think she's totally a breath of fresh air," in 2008. But, if it's a rocker, I'll admit it. And "School's Out" was, as were several others on those first few. Still, he's out.

Alice Cooper - School's Out mp3 at William Burkey
Alice Cooper - Under My Wheels mp3 at USSMullinex
Alice Cooper - I'm Eighteen mp3 at Sibling Shot on the Bleachers

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


I bet there's more than a few of you who think that Ricky Nelson had some sort of cushy life. As far as hardships, financial and otherwise, he probably did. I mean, c'mon, he was teen idol personified, on television and on record. With his looks, there's no doubt that he had more than his share off stage friskiness. Though, consider the fact that in his late teens, all he wanted to do was sing rock 'n' roll. Unlike the non-show biz kids who could bang it out in the garage, and flirt with all of the JD stuff, he had to start his musical career on TV, under the watchful eye of an old school bandleader, the aw-shucks sweater wearing Ozzie Nelson. Sure, his dad wasn't Murray Wilson, but he did forbid suggestive lyrics, and would drop in on recording sessions. Can't you imagine hearing an eighteen year old Ricky mumble "Aw fuck, here he comes again. Bug off would you?"

Of course, fame does have it's perks. He was able to have his pick of songs by songwriters itching for the exposure, including Gene Pitney, who wrote "Hello, Mary Lou," and seventeen year old Sharon Sheely, the girlfriend of Eddie Cochran, who wrote "Poor Little Fool." He had his pick of musicians too, notably guitarist James Burton who was eighteen when he began playing with him. He also employed the Jordanaires (Elvis's backup singers), Johnny and Dorsey Burnette, and Joe Maphis (who is refusing to leave this blog). He did do some good music, but it's rather unfortunate that he wasn't let off the leash earlier. Had he not had the fame, the teen idol looks, the comfortable life, or the presence of a parental figure, who knows what he would have been like? He could have been a wild man. We'll never know. Yessir, it is one of life's biggest mysteries.

"Anyone who knocks rock 'n' roll, either doesn't understand it, or is prejudiced against it, or is just plain square," said Ricky Nelson, son of square, in 1958.

I have to start with his version of Gershwin's "Summertime." Topical, it is, but I really like the sound of it. The Yardbirds must have been over drinking Nelson Kool-Aid.

Ricky Nelson - Summertime mp3 at Crud Crud
Ricky Nelson – Lonesome Town mp3 at The Audio Muffin
Ricky Nelson - Be-Bop-Baby mp3 at Rocky-52
Ricky Nelson - Waitin' In School at Diddy Wah
Ricky Nelson - Hello Mary Lou mp3 at SMU
Ricky Nelson - Stop Sneakin' 'Round mp3 at Probe is Turning-On the People

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Try as I might to resist going off about a particular blog, as opposed to a particular artist or genre, sometimes I just have to let out a "Hey look at this!" for someone who seems to evade the radar of search engines and blogrolls. Musik Kurier is one such blog. I don't remember how I ended up there a few years ago, but it's the kind of site that can easily eat up a few hours. It's consistently turned me on to a lot of music that I wouldn't have found anywhere else. There's all sorts of non-rock 'n' roll stuff: soul, boogaloo, funk, international, philly soul, reggae pop, and disco. A word of warning to disco-phobics: It's a mine field over there. He does have Sophia Loren doing bossa nova, so you lilly-livered sapsuckers should just watch your step.

The best part of stumbling onto Music Kurier was the serendipitous landing on the post with "Sunshine Baby," by Clout. It's tagged as reggae, but it is not at all straight reggae. This song has got some sort of late-Abba/reggae pop vibe that has somehow gotten into my head. Everything tells me to hate it, yet it's forced many repeated plays. There's been many like that. The site is a damn treasure hunt.

NOTE: As of July 2, 2012, the Kurier site is gone. The links below won't lead anywhere, so I'm disabling them. I will post a link to Musik Kurier whenever, or wherever, it reappears. You can keep tabs on them via their Facebook page, Twitter, or their Mixcloud page.

Clout - Sunshine Baby mp3 at Muzik-Kurier This is a hit, here anyway.
Sophia Loren - De Jour En Jour mp3 at Muzik-Kurier Novel bossa nova
Jean Knight - Mr. Big Stuff mp3 at Musik Kurier Funk-kay, but you knew that.
Bob & Earl - Harlem Shuffle mp3 at Musik Kurier Arrangement is most awesome.
Jaqee - Kokoo Girl mp3 at Musik Kurier Like Two Tone-lite
The Beginning Of The End - Funky Nassau Part 1 mp3 at Musik Kurier
Isaac Hayes - Walk On By mp3 at Musik Kurier Epic
The Temptations - Papa Was a Rollin' Stone mp3 at Musik Kurier Norman Whitfield poduced.
Undisputed Truth - Law of the Land mp3 at Musik Kurier Ditto.
Musik Kurier - The black hole of a rock 'n' roll-less world
The Sleepy Lagoon - Their other site, streaming exotica
More stuff from Musik Kurier on this post

Monday, June 25, 2012


Above: The real "Gidget," Kathy Kohner, at Malibu.

Here's a whole mess of stuff by current surf bands, most of whom you've never heard of, I guarantee it. That's kinda the beauty of it. How many surf bands back in the day ever played out beyond their circuit of rented halls and backyard parties? Some of the stuff on these compilations is really good, some of it is hack meat, and could only be described as surf music because there's a guitar involved. Surf Guitar 101 posted these on Internet Archive, and I've no clue how the particular songs were selected. It almost seems like surf music tee ball, where everybody plays and there's no keeping score. No matter what the percentage of keepers is for you, the "all comers" air of these is what makes in interesting. The juxtaposition of crap and greatness is the dynamic that makes the world go around.

Listen (random samples):
The High Five Revival - Anxiety Attack mp3 at the Internet Archive
Stormtiger and Burtrocket - Stormtiger Stomp mp3 at the Internet Archive
The Space Rangers - Pororoca mp3 at Internet Archive
Paisley - The Wave Beyond mp3 at the Internet Archive
Roar Shark - Dirk Diggler's on the Prowl mp3 at the Internet Archive
The Surfside IV - Oh, Pretty Woman mp3 at the Internet Archive
The Aloha Sluts - Streets of San Juan mp3 at the Internet Archive
The compilations:
NOTE: Each one of these can be downloaded as full compilation downloads or as individual songs. You can also stream them to preview 2011 MP3 Compilation at Internet Archive 2010 MP3 Compilation at Internet Archive 2009 MP3 Compilation at Internet Archive

Sunday, June 24, 2012


Here's one guy who never really got due credit. It could be because, although he's got a damn fine voice, there is nothing really extraordinary about it. Maybe it's because his biggest hits were eight years apart. Maybe it's because he did the old "follow up a hit with a copy cat record" routine, more than once. Whatever the reasons, when it gets right down to it, he did put out some good records.

Obviously, Freeman can't take full credit for the quality of these cuts. The songs are good, and the backing bands are tight. Listen to the instrumentation. Even on the one you've heard a million times, "Do You Wanna Dance," there's a lot of cool stuff going on. Isolate the different instruments while you listen and you see what I mean. Though some of these are from well played copies, you can still hear it. It's all there. They just don't make 'em like that anymore.

All of these merit a good listen. The second and fourth songs are cash-ins of the first and third songs. A side note: Sly Stone wrote and produced "C'mon and Swim" when he was twenty years old.

Bobby Freeman - Do You Wanna Dance mp3 at DK Presents
Bobby Freeman - She Said She Wants to Dance mp3 at Beware of the Blog
Bobby Freeman - Cmon And Swim mp3 at Beware of the Blog
Bobby Freeman - S-W-I-M mp3 at Junk Shop Juke Box
Bobby Freeman - Mardi Gras Rock mp3 at Rocky-52
Bobby Freeman - Big Fat Woman mp3 at Rocky-52

Saturday, June 23, 2012


It's not often that a dorky photo inspires a post, but when said photo is of Gene Vincent and Wanda Jackson, I will invent a reason to post two artists that I cut my rockabilly teeth on. If your collection of sounds includes anything prior to 1960, it is incomplete without a bunch from these two. I'm talking anything pre-1960. This shit is Bach.

Wanda Jackson with Joe Maphis. Do I need to elaborate?

Here's just a few. I wanted to include the two versions of "Funnel of Love," because the original sounds so much like a song the Cramps would cover and...hey, look at that! The second version is with Poison Ivy on guitar and Lux Interior singing backing vocals (and it sounds like he's up to his old microphone-in-the-mouth tricks again). That's my kind of supergroup.

First ever documented guitar face. Watch the rhythm guitarist. Manic.

Mr. Gene Vincent should need no introduction. In fact, if you know his music, you know that the songs below are entry level stuff. Still, does it, can it, ever get old? Not tonight it doesn't.

Wanda Jackson - Fujiyama Mama mp3 at Mustard Relics Ditto.
Wanda Jackson - Four more songs at Mustard Relics
Gene Vincent & the Blue Caps - Cat Man mp3 at LYWL
Gene Vincent & the Blue Caps - Cruisin' mp3 at The Hound Blog
Gene Vincent & the Blue Caps - Woman Love mp3 at The Hound Blog
Gene Vincent & the Blue Caps - Rollin' Danny mp3 at Beware of the Blog
Gene Vincent - Over the Rainbow at YouTube
Wanda Jackson - Sparklin' Brown Eyes at YouTube
All posts with Wanda Jackson
All posts with Gene Vincent

Friday, June 22, 2012


What would our record collections look like guitar players? Just about every type of the music we hold dear to our hearts is based on the role of the guitar player. Lest we forget, a great many early rock 'n' roll guitarists honed their chops listening to music that wasn't rock 'n' roll. I was reminded of that a few days ago, when a friend of mine left a comment (on the Bud Shank post) about how Mark Neil, the guitarist of his old band, the Unknowns, had no clue about the existence of surf music when, early on in the band's existence, people would comment on how his guitar style sounded like surf guitar. Neil was, in fact, a disciple of the Joe Maphis and Chet Atkins brand of picking. Add to that the use of a Mostrite guitar (which Maphis played, as well as the Ventures) and a little reverb and, viola, the lines were blurred.

Here's just a few pre-surf pickers. Believe me, this could have been an all nighter. Of all of the songs below, Maphis's "The Rockin' Gypsy" is probably the closest to primordial surf music. Chet Atkins...well, it's Chet Atkins. If the name doesn't mean anything to you, sink your teeth into "Under the Double Eagle." That's some clean shit. Alas, I wasn't able to find a Merle Travis song that showed him at full speed, but you'll get a feel for how tasty his licks can be on "Louisiana Boogie." I included the Collins Kids because Larry Collins was tutored by Maphis. Consider the fact that Collins was something like 13 when "Hoy, Hoy" was recorded, sit back, and let the amazement begin. (His age still blows me away, and I've been familiar with that song for a long, long time.) Duane Eddy and Link Wray are down there too, because no list of guitarists who influenced surf guitarists would be complete without them. Seriously, this is just the tip of the tip of the iceberg. Go to YouTube armed with these names and you'll kill a couple hours before you know it.

Joe Maphis - The Rockin' Gypsy mp3 at Beware of the Blog
Joe Maphis - Twin Banjo Special mp3 at DK Presents
Chet Atkins & Hank Snow - Under the Double Eagle mp3 at Photos Plus
Chet Atkins - Freight Train mp3 at Rocky-52
Merle Travis - Louisiana Boogie mp3 at Bousculade
The Collins Kids - Hoy Hoy mp3 at Beware of the Blog
Duane Eddy - Rebel Rouser mp3 at Brown High 62
Link Wray - Rumble mp3 at Cows Are Just Food
Earlier semi-related post:
Give the Producer Some
- Post about Mark Neill

Thursday, June 21, 2012


The extended title for this post could have easily been "Extreme Guilty Pleasures, Summer Lovers Related Songs and One For You Aging Indie Creeps." In other words, let's just get these wretchedly non-rock songs out of the way, and satiate you people who like Superchunk all at the same time.

First off is Superchunk, who have never really done much for me. Don't ask me why. If you put super in the name of your band, you better damn well bring it. I don't particularly think that they do, but some of my friends used to go off about them...anyway, they have a new one out, "This Summer," which peaks at the beginning of the guitar solo (at 1:43) and after a couple tweaks of the whammy bar, returns quickly to earth. But you might dig it.

Full transparency: I've got a soft spot for the worst movie. Summer Lovers came out about '82, and before you start tee-heeing, the location of the film is 90% of the draw. Pre-rave Greece, Santorini to be exact, during the summer, on the coast. Yeah, baby. I didn't even mind the blandness of the soundtrack. It's the movie that made me want to travel, As does the title song, by Michael Sembello. Damn it, if I don't have a soft spot for that too.

In context friends: what twenty-something male in the eighties could not be moved by that? Location, location, location.

If you know anything about Sembello, you know that he did "Maniac" (from the film Flashdance) as well. Same trademark bland vocals too. I won't subject you to that one, but I did find a recent cover by Peaches, with Mollinex (of whom I know squat). Continuing along, since we were on a Summer Lovers tangent, there's Le Tigre's cover of "I'm So Excited," the original of which, by the Pointer Sisters, appeared on the soundtrack. (I think I remember the kids having some kind of goofy fun in that part of the picture.) Consider this a garage sale. Tough stuff will return mañana.

Superchunk - This Summer mp3 at I Am Fuel, You Are Friends
Moullinex feat. Peaches - Maniac mp3 at Stoney Roads
Le Tigre - I'm So Excited .mp3 at Flavour2X
Michael Sembello - Summer Lovers mp3 at Lamaladie Tropicale
Really, one exists:
Summer Lovers fan site

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


You know what bugs me? Okay, you know what one of the things that bugs me is? Any band that's come down the pike in the last five or ten years that uses the word beach or surf in the name of their band, or the name of a song. You know what also bugs me? Any mention of dreamy lo-fi surf pop, psych surf, or any other type crap that elicits a Jesus-criminey, haven't these young yahoos done any listening at all? This all sounds like the ranting of a surf music purist, you're wrong. I dig surf music in the classic sense. I also like offshoots of surf music, and I even like wacko modernized surf music. Just keep that indie hipster shit the hell outta my way.

If'n I were a surf music purist, I'll tell you where I'd start. You'd have to go back to the very late fifties, when Bud Brown (the man who gave us The Endless Summer a few years later) did a couple surf films called Barefoot Adventure, and Slippery When Wet (among others). As there was no so-called surf music, and Dick Dale was still a year or two away from putting out his seminal "Let's Go Trippin'," Brown needed some music to play with his movies. Let's back up. In the late fifties and early sixties, Brown toured the West coast of the U.S. playing his movies in rented halls, school auditoriums, and occasionally in a bona fide movie theater. His was an real DIY routine. With no sound on the actual movie reels, he'd tour with his trusty reel to reel, playing music, and actually narrating the films live, in his deadpan cornball style (think Bob Newhart).

Slippery When Wet (1958)

The music he played for those two films was recorded by one Bud Shank, and let me tell you: if you want to go back to the source, Shank's soundtracks are a good place to start. Not at all the guitar driven type surf music, Shank was a West coast jazz artist, playing alto sax and occasionally flute. The laid back stuff he recorded for Brown's films put you in an era before surf culture went mainstream.

Before the beach party movies, before the surfer stomps, before the Beach Boys, before the marketing of surfing, before all the crowds showed up. This was when surfers were very much a sub-sub-subculture. Surfers hung out without any hoopla (well, very little). To surf was to be an all around water man, and somewhat of an outsider. Boogie boards and surf leashes where decades away. If you lost your board, you swam to get it. SPF50 was three letters and two numbers. If you decide to stay at the beach for dinner, you didn't go to Taco Bell. You went back in the water and got your dinner, and then cooked it over an open fire. But you, dear reader, have your i-Phone.

Stop the presses: The blog Dumb Angel did a nifty post about Laurindo Alemeids, who the cite as the first surf guitarist. Among others who he recorded with, in the fifties, was Bud Shank. It's a good post, so bone up poseurs.

For you finicky "no jazz" types:
The Astronauts - Baja mp3 at The California Girls
The Pyramids - Penetration mp3 at Bowling League Records
Johnny Fortune - Soul Surfer mp3 at Rocky-52
Full LP
Bud Shank - Slippery When Wet (via Mediafire) at Black Sea Surfer If the Mediafire link doesn't work here, go here and scroll down to the fifth album. If you want to sample it first, watch the clip above.
Slippery When Wet - Another clip at YouTube
Bud Shank & Clare Fischer -Misty (Frankly Jazz TV show, early 60's) at YouTube
Bud Brown interviews Greg Noll about his shaping (early balsa board) at YouTube

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Derrick Morgan

The glorification or condemnation of criminal activity is a common theme in music, you know that. For a lot of people, the first music that probably comes to mind is gangster rap (kind of obvious). Mexico has had narcocorrido, a genre of traditional music largely about drug traffickers, dating back to the thirties. I'm sure if I wasn't kinda lazy I could do some actual research here and figure out just how far back this whole bad guys sell routine goes back. But I'm lazy tonight (and, really, about every night) so I'll cut to the chase.

A random check of ol' Version's Galore just sent me on a wild rude boy goose chase. For the uninitiated, rude boys were what you might call hooligans, back in 1960's Jamaica. "Dem a loot, dem a shoot" as Desmond Dekker sang ("007 (Shanty Town)," link below). Typically poor, typically male, typically stylish and typically badass, these disenfranchised youth made quite a stir in their day. Lurking in the streets of Trenchtown, packing weapons and attitude, plainly speaking, they didn't take any shit. There have been many bastardizations of the term rude boy, particularly in the UK, but these were proto-OGs you did not want to fuck with. I won't go into the Specials or the whole Two Tone thing here, because any mention of the terms rude, rudie, or rude boy, in that stuff seems a little disingenuous (I know, they're just playing covers). Regardless, here's a few from the original crop. Some are favorites. The Slickers cut in particular, is one I've always liked. "Johnny Too Bad" paints a picture in the first two lines that sucks you right in. It is high on my list of the most innately badass reggae songs ever.

The Slickers - Johnny Too Bad mp3 at Art Decade
Derrick Morgan - Tougher Than Tough .mp3 at Cubik Musik
Peter Tosh & The Soulmates - Rudie's Medley mp3 at Wizznutzz
The Pioneers - Rudies Are The Greatest mp3 at Wizznutzz
Justin Hinds & The Dominoes - No Good Rudie mp3 at Pixie Radio
Desmond Dekker - 007 (Shanty Town) mp3 at Le Blog de la Grande Chose
Dennis Alcapone - DJ Roll Call mp3 at Versions Galore (rhythm from "007")
Highly Recommended:
Twenty two variations on Dekker's 007 (Shanty Town) at Versions Galore
Rude Boy trailer at YouTube Excellent overview. Highly recommended.
“Rudie’s In Court Now”: The Rudeboy and the Role of Popular Vernaculars in the Politicization of Jamaican Music by James Mathien, Department of Anthropology, University of Chicago

Monday, June 18, 2012


You've all heard the MC5's "Ramblin' Rose," right? I'm just making sure we're all in the right room. Some of you may have heard Ted Taylor's version of the same song too, right? You'd be forgiven if you assumed that that was the original. Until recently, I'd assumed just that. Got that cleared up today. Have you heard Beaugard and the Tuff's garage version? Shit howdy, it is exquisite. Really, check it out. How about Jerry Lee Lewis's 1962 version, which I now know is the original, thanks to Funky 16 Corners. They have a nice post about the song, which started all of this cover chasing nonsense. This is a rare case of four excellent versions, in four distinctly different styles.

Funky 16 Corners host Larry Grogan is a generous man, who knows good music. Read a few of his posts and you'll get a feel for what the guy is like. Really, he's one of the good guys. He's having a pledge drive, with a mighty payback. He's offering up eight free mixes of "classic soul, funk, reggae, rock steady, old school Hammond 45s and all connective points in between" (donating is not mandatory). Some of the mixes were donated by other DJs/bloggers, so there's a variety of themes. I'm digging DJ Prestige's Hotter Fire reggae mix, and the last one, Larry's Greasy Spoon: Hammond Organ From the Old School." Just check it out, fool.

Jerry Lee Lewis - Ramblin' Rose mp3 at Probe Is Turning On the People
Ted Taylor - Ramblin' Rose mp3 at Funky 16 Corners
Beauregard and the Tuffs - Ramblin' Rose mp3 at Iron Leg
MC5 - Ramblin' Rose (live) mp3 at In All Caps
Funky 16 Corners - Eight mixes Pay up tightwads.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


The Japandroids covering the Gun Club? Neneh Cherry covering the Stooges? Found on the NPR site? What the hell is going on here? Is this Bizarro World? This reminds me of the time I saw a photograph of a cheap stereo in a Sears catalog with the New York Dolls' Too Much Too Soon LP leaned up against it. (It was about 1980, several years after the album came out, so I figured that some hipster had infiltrated.) Yeah, I know, NPR is really okay, but still, Stooges and Gun Club? Who would have guessed way back when? I kind of like the idea of some old fogeys giving these things a listen after watching Masterpiece Theater. (Oh shit, I just realized I missed the Early Bird special.)

The Japandroids new LP has a cover of the Gun Club's "For the Love of Ivy," which is pretty faithful to the original. Nothing earth shattering by any means, but nice of them to tip their hats. The Neneh Cherry cover of the Stooges "Dirt" though, is something I'll probably shell out for at some point. It's on her latest LP, The Cherry Thing, with jazz combo The Thing. They do a bunch of other covers too, among them Suicide's "Dream Baby Dream." Those two from The Cherry Thing deserve a listen, so I'm not waiting until online downloads present themselves.

Note: After consulting Wikipedia (I know), I realize that this is just a loose Seinfeld type interpretation of Bizarro World, but I left that line in so I could hep you to the Bizarro Code: "Us do opposite of all Earthly things! Us hate beauty! Us love ugliness! Is big crime to make anything perfect on Bizarro World!" (I want to party with these guys.) I kind of scanned the rest of the Wiki page, and I gotta tell you, the more I read about Bizarro World, the closer I am to packing my bags. If you're not hooked by the second paragraph, you don't have enough weird in you.

Japandroids - For the Love of Ivy (streaming) at NPR Scroll down the page to hear single songs
Neneh Cherry and the Thing - Dirt (streaming) at NPR Scroll down the page to hear single songs
The originals:
The Gun Club - For the Love of Ivy (streaming) at YouTube
The Stooges - Dirt (streaming) at YouTube
Further listening:
The Gun Club - Fire of Love at Kill Your Pet Puppy LP in two side length mp3s.
Bizarro World at Wikipedia

Saturday, June 16, 2012


Hey! It's almost summer! I've been out of school for a zillion years but there's still something about this time of year that has me lame ducking my way through finals that I don't have, and anticipating a solid three months of accelerated goofing off. Back when schedules didn't really exist, it meant just sitting around on the beach, getting in the water, going for a soda pop or rolled tacos, and then repeating the process the rest of the day. Nights were spent hanging out with friends and maybe the odd kegger. Back then, that would be my routine just about every day for the duration of the summer. It's still the ideal around here and, to be honest, has stunted my growth in a number of ways. But, it's hard to argue with the pleasure of walking home barefoot, with salt and sand caked all over you.

So, here's some surf stuff. The one that I really wanted to point you towards isn't really surf music in the classic sense. It's "Boss," by the Rumblers, a song that sounds like the missing link between the Northwest sound of bands like the (Fabulous) Wailers, and surf music. I don't know what it is, whether it's the driving beat, the sax, or possibly a key change; but there's something about it that just sounds so sinister. (If you only listen to one song below, that should be it.) The others down there are a nice mix of different takes on the surf sound, with some familiar names and some oddballs; some with organ, some with almost fuzz, and some absolutely soggy with reverb.

The Rumblers - Boss mp3 at Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban
Aki Aleong & the Nobels - Panic mp3 at Probe Is Turning-On the People
The Hollywood Tornadoes - The Gremmie, Pt 1 mp3 at Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban
Dick Dale & the Deltones- Surf Beat mp3 at Beware of the Blog
The Astronauts - Hot Dogger mp3 at Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban
Danny and the Seniors - Banzai Pipeline mp3 at Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban
Johnny Barakat and the Vestells - The Wedge at Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban
The Lively Ones - Surf Rider mp3 at The California Girls
The Astronauts - Quiet Village mp3 at Goof Spot
The Chantays - Pipeline mp3 at

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Sometimes it's just needed. The last time I went off about "Psycho," I said that listening to it was like hitting the reset button, and you know what? It did it again tonight. There's something about the opening crash of the drums, Gerry Roslie's screaming "Whoa, baby!" like he'll never have to use his voice again. Everyone is just bashing the shit out of their instruments. Listen to it and see if you don't feel exhausted by the fade out. Listen to it a second time if you dare. The Sonics are one of my favorite types of bands. They had a handful of songs ("Psycho," "Strychnine," and "The Witch" among them) that are so intense, you can't believe that these rather normal looking guys are capable of that level of wildness.


The Sonics - Psycho mp3 at Bag of Songs
The Sonics - Strychnine mp3 at Gimmetinnitus
The Sonics - The Witch mp3 at Tinyvices
The Sonics - Money mp3 at Girl Juke Box
The Sonics - Maintaining My Cool mp3 at Beware of the Blog

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Back when I was about twelve, my record collection consisted of one 45, Dave Clark Five's "At the Scene." Having played it over and over, I was ready for the next big purchase, a record album. I had stashed away my lawn mowing funds, so it was just a matter of deciding what record to buy. I didn't want to make an arbitrary choice, so I decided to consult someone who was as close to an expert as was available to a snot nosed twelve year old. One of my friends had an older brother, and one of his friends was a reviewer for a local semi-underground magazine called The Door. One day I was over at their house messin' around. The older brother's friend was there, so I summoned the courage to ask him, knowing that there was a possibility that I'd be seen as naive as I was. "Cameron, what record should I get?." His compact answer was something along the lines of "Get Creedence's Cosmo's Factory" and, though I don't remember him being curt, I don't remember him going into any amount of detail about why I should get that particular album, not that it would have mattered. Regardless, I had my shopping list. Within a few days I'd make the trek to Welch's Music, the closest record store. It was actually a music store, in the old school sense. The kind of music store that sold musical instruments, sheet music and records. It had a couple soundproof rooms for lessons, and 45s behind the counter in pegboard mounted racks. They had the record, for good reason. Cosmo's Factory was Creedence's latest album, they'd had hit after hit with the previous four, and "Up Around the Bend," was riding the charts. So, I bought the record and began a Creedence obsession that would last for most of my teens, still ahead of me.

In the ensuing couple of years, I devoured anything and everything Creedence. There was a TV special, with a lot of live footage. I taped the audio from that, with a hand held microphone and my families new portable cassette recorder. (The special also had the concert opener, Booker T and the MGs, performing "Time Is Tight," my first exposure to another future favorite.) By the time I reached 8th grade and was given the opportunity to give an oral report to my history class on any subject, Creedence it was. I'd studied all I could find on the band, including reviews and a paperback bio, Inside Creedence. When the day came, I rolled out my butcher paper Creedence timeline, with hand drawn illustrations, and spoke as authoritatively as I ever have on any subject.

Ahh, the good ol' days. Before I started finding the flaws in my favorite bands. That was not to last. Two albums later, after the departure of John Fogerty's brother Tom, Creedence became a three piece. Though the rhythm guitar played by Tom Fogerty could be duplicated in the studio, the big change on their seventh and final LP, Mardi Gras, was that drummer Doug Clifford and bassist Stu Cook were given bigger roles. A guess would be that they seized the opportunity of Fogerty's exit to present an ultimatum. It has been said that it was John Fogerty who gave them the ultimatum. Whatever the real story is, when your lead guitarist and vocalist, chief songwriter, and undeniable face of the band starts letting go of the reins, what you have on your hands is recipe for disaster. Was it just easier to do that, rather then disband? Was it John Fogetrty's way of saying "See here? This is what happens."? Who the hell knows, but it was my first taste, as a fan, of finding a favorite band fallible. And it was my first favorite band. A flawless band has not materialized since. Just give me a band, and I'll find a wart. Maybe that's why I like music so much. Everyone screws up, no matter how good they sing, write, or play, rock the flannel with leather pants, or choose covers. You're going to suck at some point.

(That guy Cameron that recommended Cosmo's Factory was the young Cameron Crowe, pre-Rolling Stone, pre-Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and pre-Jerry Mcguire, when he was just the friend of Mark Gallagher's brother Jim. He was about the same age as he's portrayed in his autobiographical film Almost Famous.)

Creedence Clearwater Revival - Penthouse Pauper mp3
at The Adios Lounge
Creedence Clearwater Revival - Ramble Tamble mp3 at The Adios Lounge
Creedence Clearwater Revival - My Baby Left Me mp3 at The Adios Lounge
The Great(est) American Rock 'n'Roll Band: Creedence Clearwater Revival
at The Adios Lounge More deepish cuts and an excellent profile.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Here's a bunch of Big Youth, but it's really just an excuse to point you towards For the Sake of the Song, and a mixed bag of roots reggae they just posted. Their ten song post starts with Big Youth (who happens to be a favorite here, hence the weak tie-in). There's also some lesser known names that might be foreign to some of you, but trust me, check out that post. They had another post back in April that is pretty much the same formula (tier two names, tier one roots), and having dug their other selections in the past, I can vouch for just about any reggae they post. (Links to both at the very bottom.) They like a lot of the same stuff I do, so it's instant Pavlovian click-a-thon over here.

Some of the Big Youth below has been posted before, but there's five that haven't. One from the above mentioned post, and four early 45s from Music and Stuff, a blog I'd not seen until tonight. You know what that means: I'm cuttin' out to go sniff around over there.

Big Youth - Some Like It Dread mp3 at For the Sake of the Song Boss vibe on this one.
Big Youth - Hit the Road Jack mp3 at PashPash
Big Youth - Cool Breeze mp3 at Le Blog de la Grande Chose
Big Youth - Johnny Reggae mp3 at Reggae Total
Big Youth - Screaming Target mp3 at Le Blog de la Grande Chose
Big Youth - Solomon Grundy mp3 at DJNo DJ
Big Youth - Ace 90 Skank mp3 (via DivShare) at Music and Stuff You know by now: at DivShare, click on the green "Download" button, wait fifteen seconds until the button reappears. Click it again. (Repeat for the next four songs.)
Big Youth - Foreman vs Frazier Round 1 mp3 (via DivShare) at Music and Stuff
Big Youth - Foreman vs Frazier Round 2 mp3 (via DivShare) at Music and Stuff
Big Youth - Same Some Thing mp3 (via DivShare) at Music and Stuff
Big Youth - All Nations Bow mp3 (via DivShare) at Music and Stuff
The grab bags:
Some Like It Dread - Ten assorted reggae cuts at For the Sake of the Song
Jah Fire Burning - Ten more assorted reggae cuts at For the Sake of the Song

Monday, June 11, 2012


"Bomba atomica! Emergencia grande!" That's what an old co-worker of mine would say, anytime something was urgent. It's what went through my head tonight when, out of curiosity, I clicked on a remix of the Ronettes' "Be My Baby." It was one of the most ill advised pieces of knob tweaking that my ears have ever been subjected to. Now, I don't want to bag on the remixer, or the hosting blog. In fact, the blog that posted it is a good one that I've linked to in the past, and I'm sure I will again. But not tonight. Because this was one of those "forgive them for they know not what the fuck they do" moments (to paraphrase a line I learned in church). I consider myself as open minded as the next guy, but I'm thinking this remixing stuff is going a little too far when people start fucking with the Wall of Sound. And that's not the purist part of me. That's the "don't fuck with it if you can't do more then put a bangin' bass beat to it" side of me. I went looking for a chaser. I'll gush about the Ronettes at length at a later date, but let me just say that "Be My Baby" is a masterpiece. It does what is nearly impossible. It makes it seem as if all in the world is as close to right as it's going to get, at least from just listening to a song. At the very least, it makes your day better. Today, it did much more than that for me. It made me forget that godawful remix. (I'm not posting a link to the remix, because it wouldn't serve any purpose. And I like the blog that it's on, so I don't want to be a jerk, which I kinda am already.)

Here's a couple songs, and videos (and don't fuck with these, unless you're the Beach Boys). Check the '83 footage from Letterman (link below), Ronnie Spector singing "Be My Baby." This later version makes it apparent how much of the feel of the song was her lead vocal. One part that really, really, gets me, is at 1:46, but don't start there. Get into the song and wait for it. Donna Summer can't do on an album side, what that five seconds does. Then, in the video from 2007, at 2:13, there she goes again! She's killin' me!

The Ronettes - Be My Baby mp3 at Aziz is Bored
The Ronettes - Baby, I Love You .mp3 at The Merry Swankster
The Ronettes - I Can Hear Music .mp3 at M.Brown
The Beach Boys - I Can Hear Music .mp3 at Cold Splinters
The Ronettes - Here I Sit (1976) mp3 at Probe Is Turning -On the People
The Ronettes - Silhouettes mp3 at The Doo Wop Jukebox
Ronnie Spector,- Be My Baby (Letterman, 1983) at YouTube
Ronnie Spector - Be My Baby (Live, 2007) at YouTube
Be My Baby at Wikipedia