Tuesday, December 31, 2019

THE GHANA CONNECTION


Guy Warren. I knew that name from somewhere. That's what I thought when I first shuffled through the used LPs that my younger brother gave me for Christmas. He knows the evolution of my taste and can pretty much guess where it's headed since the last time we saw each other. We still compare notes. So only one selection was familiar to me, a Cal Tjader, mid-sixties vintage. The Guy Warren LP stuck out to me though. Not only was the name familiar, but the album cover was striking. In particular, the juxtaposition of the cheesy "Living Stereo" banner up top, seen on the top of all manners of vinyl cheese of that era, and the photo of a shirtless man, mouth wide open, beating on an African drum with a big ol' savage fire raging behind him. It looked like any number of savage looking LP covers of that time (1959). Les Baxter comes to mind, but there were others, many others.


My brother shot an email to me yesterday asking if I'd listened to any of the albums yet, and I was kind of embarrassed to have to cop to having only listened to the Tjader LP. (I was on a Cal Tjader kick.) So last night I picked up the others and was trying to decide what to listen to next. Let's listen to this Guy Warren, what the hell. I flip the cover over to check the liner notes to see if the guy had any cred. There it was, "Blood Brothers". Ho-ly shit. That's where I'd heard the name before! He was the guy that did "Blood Brothers" with Ginger Baker on Baker's Strativarious LP. The one on this LP was every bit as wild as the one on the Baker LP, but with African drums. I've posted the Baker version many times, but I'd never even looked into the Guy Warren name, so I didn't know his version existed. This answered one question. Which is, how did someone named Guy Warren end up on Baker's LP for the one song, when the rest of the album was done with a bunch of Fela's mob (including drummer Tony Allen if I remember correctly)? Now I kinda see what happened.

So this is all one big fat ass bonus night. I realize the Warren/Baker connection. I dig on the Warren LP. I get to research Warren. And there appears to be a lot written about him. This is just sort of a "Hey, check this!" and now you're on your own.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
Guy Warren - Blood Brothers mp3 at Beware of the Blog
Ginger Baker with Guy Warren - Blood Brothers mp3
at Likembe
Guy Warren - Love, The Mystery of mp3
at Beware of the Blog
Art Blakey - Love, The Mystery of
(streaming) at YouTube Cover of Warren's original
The full LP:
The Guy Warren Sounds - Themes For African Drums
at Beware of the Blog All eight songs in individual mp3s

Visit:
Guy Warren - Themes for African Drums at Night of the Living Vinyl Excellent review and profile.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

THIS EFFIN' LIST IS GETTING TOO LONG

I wasn't expecting to add a name to the list tonight. I was looking for a familiar sound, not necessarily a familiar song, just an after the holiday exhale sort of vibe. Okay, laid back. I'd done my share of running around the past few weeks, though still less than most people. I'm just not a running around sort of person. Not into holiday parties and I hate, hate, hate shopping for anything other than records, books or food. I wanted some chill time.

Whoops! After hearing a couple sedate Miles Davis cuts, the third got me all hyped up. It was the intro to "Agitation" that did me in. Roughly a minute and forty seconds of drummer Tony Williams just absolutely going off. Off. Detour! Jazz dabbler that I am, I didn't know Tony Williams. Now I do. That he started played with Davis when he was only seventeen should tell you something about his skill level. I went looking for more and ran into the Tony Williams page at Drummer World. Just a shitload of stuff over there, so, yeah, this is me making a quick exit.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
Miles Davis - Nuit Sur Les Champs-Elysees (Take 2) mp3 at Aurgasm
Miles Davis - Final (Take 1) mp3
at Aurgasm
With Tony Williams:
Miles Davis - Agitation mp3
at Drummer World
Miles Davis - Joshua mp3
at Drummer World

Video:
The Miles Davis Quintet - Agitation (Live, 1967)
at YouTube
Visit:
Tony Williams
at Drummer World Much, much more music, videos and a bio.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

THE FLASH FREE BRIGADE ARRIVES

Have you read any of those 33 1/3 books? They're short books, roughly 150-200 pages, each on a particular LP. Some of them are good, some are relatively lame. The best ones give you a little backstory on the bands prior to the recording of the LP and enough recording details to satisfy anyone left hungry after reading the liner notes on the actual product. [For those of you who only download music and have no interest in liner notes, kindly GTFO.]

I'm in the middle of one of the longer editions, this one on Television's Marquee Moon LP. So far it's pretty good and I'm kind of anxious to see how it develops. I'm halfway through it and Richard Hell has just left the band, replaced by Fred Smith, who was nicked from Blondie. In comes the Tom Verlaine vs Richard Hell squabbling through the press. It hit me how gossipy music journalism was. Maybe it's still like that. I don't know. I don't keep up. That might be part of the reason.



So, I went looking for a clip of Television playing when Hell was still in the band, and it surprised me how easy it was. Seriously, just a few years ago even if there was a search engine good enough to verify that clips even existed, there wasn't nearly as much stuff online. And most of the stuff that is online now is uploaded by fans and collectors, and it's making a mint for Google, YouTube, and Blogger. And Wordpress, and Tumblr, and Instagram, you get the idea. Those fat cats are laughing all the way to the bank.  That's another reason I'm starting to sour on this whole online world. Shit, a crappy fanzine would probably have more readers than a blog like this one anyway. Hmmmm.

Where was I? Oh yeah, the Television clip. The link is are down there along with an early Richard Hell and the Voidoids clip. The Television video is of a rehearsal in Terry Ork's loft in 1974. The Hell video is live at CBGBs in 1977 and is slightly better quality, but that doesn't mean much. I wanted to check the early Television more for the band dynamics that I'd just been reading about (score one for books) but it's just a rehearsal clip. No drama or stage posturing so who's to know? The mp3s down there are the first Television 45, "Little Johnny Jewel" and an alternate version of Richard Hell and the Voidoids' "Blank Generation". That was good to hear if for only to hear what Robert Quine's alternate solo would be like. Very cool if you haven't heard it.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
Television - Little Johnny Jewel mp3 at Plain or Pan
Richard Hell and the Voidoids - Blank Generation (alt) mp3
at Plain or Pan
Video:
Television - Rehearsal 1974
at YouTube
Richard Hell and the Voidoids - Live at CBGBs 1977
at YouTube Includes footage of the Dead Boys.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

FOREGOING THE SPIT SHINE

A quick one. Looking for some rockabilly I hadn't heard, I landed on Al Ferrier. His stuff was raw enough, pretty much what I was hoping to find. Dubious studio quality, slightly exaggerated vocals, simple guitar solo, in other words second, possibly third, tier rockabilly that doesn't quite get it right and in doing so, gets it right. Someone who likely lacked the pizzazz of a Elvis Presley, or Carl Perkins, but sixty years later makes for worthwhile rockabilly shake. I was still sitting on the fence until I ran into the photo above which just screams rock 'n' roll, Check him out. Messed up hair, rolled up sleeves and a Telecaster getting ten sorts of twanged. That'll do.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
Al Ferrier - Honey Baby mp3
at Rocky 52
Al Ferrier - Let's Go Boppin' mp3
at Rocky 52

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

SANTA? SAY IT ISN'T SO!

When the kids wake up, tell them that you secretly taped Santa last night. "Kids, you know those party monsters that live down the street? They put out eggnog for Santa. Spiked eggnog. So Santa wasn't 100% last night. If you don't get everything you were hoping for, he likely forgot some things. It's all there on the tape. Listen to him. If he didn't get an Uber when he left here, he could be in the tank for all we know." That's the ticket. Blame it on the party monsters down the street. This is Joseph Spence, a Bahamian, and this is how he sings.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
Joseph Spence - Santa Claus is Coming to Town mp3
at Now That's What I call BS
More Joseph Spence
(streaming) at YouTube
Visit:
Joseph Spence
at Wikipedia

Monday, December 23, 2019

ORIGINAL RAY'S LUX TAPE LINKS

Per the late Lux Interior, "Jezus Fuck, It's Christmas!!!", or rather two days before Christmas, but you get the idea. Time to crank the Slackfest up to 11. So here's a Christmas mix made on cassette tape by Lux Interior from the Cramps. He made it for Kristian Hoffman, a former member of the Mumps who was later involved with No Wavers Lydia Lunch and James White and the Blacks, among others. The mix is 26 songs split into two separate zips, one for each side of the cassette. 

I'd forgotten about it until a friend posted a link to a streaming version of it that was posted at Far Out Magazine, a British site that makes no mention of where they got it. That sort of stuff irritates the hell out of me so I had to post a link to the original post at Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban where it was posted two fucking years ago.


I could not have scripted this next turn any better. Looking for an appropriate image I ran into a link, again at Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban. Another Lux Interior curated Christmas mix posted just five hours ago. Shit, that makes it official: Up yours Far Out Magazine! That's what you get for not crediting the Ichiban,

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
Jeezus Fuck, It's Christmas!!! - A Lux Interior Christmas Tape at Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban 37 cuts in two zips.
The newly posted mix:
Christmas Beauty and Soul - A Lux Interior Christmas Tape
at Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban 26 mp3s in one zip.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

ON THE SIXTH DAY OF SLACKFEST

Oh, just holy shit. I'd heard this song a handful of times last December but I obviously wasn't really listening. Or maybe it's just my mood tonight. Regardless, Nathaniel Mayer and his Fabulous Twilights' "Mr. Santa Claus (Bring Me My Baby)" hits the spot. Big time. And it's not all his doing, though his voice is a large part of it. It's his larynx. He leaves it on the floor. He seems to get more raw as the song goes on, to the point that you find yourself thinking about how Merry Clayton's voice cracks on backing vocals of the Stones "Gimme Shelter". Once you're into the song that far you start noticing the other elements, the guitar tone, the beating the drums get, and the decidedly "one and done" sound of the studio. It really does sound like it was recorded in a garage.

The other three down there are from the same post at Black Squirrel Amusements and are every bit as good, though for different reasons. There's plenty more over at the post, but I'm four for four. I'm taking my winnings and going to dinner.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
Nathaniel Mayer and his Fabulous Twilights - Mr. Santa Claus (Bring Me My Baby) mp3 at Black Squirrel Amusements 1962
Detroit Junior - Christmas Day mp3
at Black Squirrel Amusements 1960
James Brown - Signs of Christmas mp3
at Black Squirrel Amusements 1966
Mr. President - It's Christmas Time mp3
at Black Squirrel Amusements 2011

Saturday, December 21, 2019

PARTY HARD

Wow, would you look at the time! Holy shit, it's already the Saturday night before Christmas! Here's three more mixes, these from Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban who, if you know that WFMU crowd, definitely have discerning taste. Each of the mixes are single mp3s, roughly an hour long. That'll get you to the point in the party that people will be smashed enough that you can roll them a second time from the beginning and they'll be too busy lurking under the mistletoe to notice. The bonus? Burn 'em on a flash drive or CD and viola! Last minute Christmas gifts!

You've got the big names, Otis Redding and Carla Thomas, Ike and Tina Turner, Elvis, the Ventures, the Beach Boys, the Supremes, Buck Owens, and the who the fugzits? The Barbary Coasters, the Hepsters, Jose Gonzalez and the Husky Team. All sorts of head scratchers to break things up. Yee haw.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
Merry Twistmas from Ichiban!!! - Three mixes at Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban
If you don't need the playlists, here's links to the mixes:
Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban Christmas Mix 3
at Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban 23 songs
Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban Christmas Mix 2
at Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban 27 songs
Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban Christmas Mix 1
at Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban 31 songs

Thursday, December 19, 2019

THE LIST NEVER SLEEPS

Chalmers, second from left, at a Etta James session, Fame Studio
Ten years ago, I would have heard "The Sidewinder" and not had the slightest clue about its origins. I probably wouldn't have even recognized the song. It might not even register how unusual it was for a song recorded at Fame Studios to be released on Chess Records and have liner notes by Jerry Wexler. But here it is and it's a nice reminder that if you taste test stuff you're not familiar with you can still learn about music, or anything really, no matter how much you've consumed over the years. I never set out to recognize a cover version recorded by some sax player named Charlie Chalmers. I never even sought out the original by Lee Morgan. I never made a point of learning about Fame Studio, that they were known mostly for the soul music recorded there, and that a large part of that music was released on Atlantic Records. And, shit, I've known Chess Records for ages (thank you Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters), but never imagined that Jerry Wexler, a journalist turned producer mainly affiliated with Atlantic Records, would write liner notes for an LP on Chess Records. Tomorrow I'm sure I'll learn that he did it all the time. But enough about me. Charlie Chalmers played sax.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
Charles Chalmers - The Sidewinder mp3 at Groove Addict
Charles Chalmers - Velvet Soul mp3
at Groove Addict
Visit:
The Horn Arranging Secrets of Muscle Shoals, Aretha Hits
at AL.com Lengthy interview with Chalmers

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

IT'S GO POWER AT SLACKFEST TIME

You knew it was coming. A handful of James Brown Christmas songs are a no brainer, You can't really listen to these all year long, funky as some may be. Once a year, whether you need them or not, they're going to be put up here. He did more Christmas songs, a lot more, but you'll have to track them down somewhere else. Ask Santa, whatever.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
James Brown - Funky Christmas mp3 at SB Dave
James Brown - Go Power At Christmas Time mp3
at The Sound of Indie
James Brown - Santa Claus Go Straight to the Ghetto mp3
at New Times
James Brown - Let's Unite the World at Christmas mp3
at Probe Is Turning-On the People
James Brown - Let's Make Christmas Mean Something This Year mp3
at Big Hair and Plastic Grass

Monday, December 16, 2019

TWO MOONDOG FANS CAN'T BE WRONG

Just a few days ago I was talking to a friend about how, when I started this blog, I was hoping that a community of music freak square pegs would evolve. That hasn't really happened. To explain what I meant, I mentioned the correspondences that did happen with a guy from Norway. He'd been looking at my blog and his son, who was around eleven at the time, was so taken with Moondog after seeing him posted here that he wrote a paper for his English class on him. We've stayed in touch in the ensuing years and it's been cool. But that sort of stuff doesn't happen enough.

So, right after I had that conversation, a friend of mine sent me a link to an article about Moondog, from the latest issue of the New Yorker. Those two together were all the impetus I needed to post Moondog again.

If you're not familiar with Moondog, a brief description would be of a musician, poet and composer. One who sold his wares on the street in New York City, was blind, homeless, and wore capes, sandals and a viking helmet.


Here, from a Kickstarter page for a documentary, all sorts of factoids wrapped up in one nifty blurb:

"Charlie Parker and Benny Goodman hung out with him. Philip Glass lived with him, Janis Joplin covered his music, Allen Ginsberg stuck it on his fridge, Diane Arbus took his picture and Andy Warhol’s mother designed one of his album covers. Merv Griffin interviewed him, Lenny Bruce shared the bill, ..."



And that's just the teaser. There's more than one good profile online. There's a link to the New Yorker article and, even better, a longer profile at Priceonomics, a marketing site of all places. There's a short interview and an hour long radio special from 1971. Assorted other goodies are down there too. I'm feasting over here.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
Moondog - Dog Trop mp3
at Tumblr
Moondog - Stomping Ground mp3
at Le Biglemoi
Moondog - Surf Session
(streaming) at YouTube
Janis Joplin - All Is Loneliness
(streaming) at YouTube Moondog cover
Full LP:
Moondog - Moondog
(streaming) at YouTube Entire LP, 1969
Interview:
Moondog Interview mp3 at Moondog's Corner Chicago 1972 (?)
The radio show:
Moondog: the Man on the Street - Radio special
(streaming) at Internet Archive 1971, 62 minutes.
Visit:
How Moondog Captured the Sounds of New York
at New Yorker
The Genius of Moondog, New York’s Homeless Composer
at Priceonomics Excellent profile with song samples.
Moondog's Corner
- Extensive fan site
The Viking of 6th Ave
- Kickstarter page
Moondog
at Wikipedia

Sunday, December 15, 2019

ANGULAR HEADSTOCK ROCK

Scavenging through the old bookmarks, I came across one that I don't even remember visiting a first time. (Sounding like a broken record, happens all the time.) Usually I'll at least have a clue, but Milk Music? I didn't remember ever hearing of them. Click.

Oh yeah, this was a familiar racket. Although I'd didn't remember hearing "Beyond Life", released sometime around 2011, it sounded like a cross between mid-80s SST bands and what a lot of San Diego bands sounded like back in that micro-era when San Diego was being muttered about as "the next Seattle" in the mid-90s. Crunch and sufficiently loud with just the right amount of stoner rock. That'll git it.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
Milk Music – Beyond Living mp3 at Someones In the Wolf
Milk Music - Violence Now mp3
at Gimme Tinnitus
Milk Music - I've Got a Crazy Feeling (live) mp3
at Internet Archive  From the WFMU studio
Milk Music - Beluga (live) mp3
at Internet Archive Ditto

Friday, December 13, 2019

MEET THE CHARMAINES. I JUST DID.

It sure takes all kinds. In every type of music fiend, there is a tipping point. One where it becomes less about the music than the object it's delivered on. I'd be a liar if I didn't say I was proud to own a number of really cool rare records. Mine were acquired over a long period period of time, surreptitiously. I don't think I ever went looking for a particular rare record. Shit, I'm old enough that some of the records I bought new have become rare records. Record collecting for the sake of volume or value is just so wrong. That's not about music. It might as well be dollars that you're collecting because, like monetary wealth, you take that path and you'll never be satisfied. You will always want more. Where the hell did that come from? Man, just thinking about Northern soul has got me ragging about collectors. Whoa, let's get out on the dance floor, or at least imagine it.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
The Charmaines - On the Wagon mp3 at Soul Donuts
The Charmaines - I Idolize You mp3
at Soul Donuts
The Charmaines - Two more
at Soul Donuts

Thursday, December 12, 2019

THE HOLIDAY SLACKFEST CONTINUES

Let's just get this out of the way. Ninety percent of Christmas is just total crap. You might argue with that figure, but you know that it's drifted far off course. It's just an excuse to spend a lot of money on unneeded crap, and eat more food than your body is designed to handle. And then go out for those day after Christmas sales. Are we fucking nuts? 

We all have our varying beliefs, and I can totally see why many devout Christians take offense at their day of reflection and worship being appropriated for financial gain. How'd you like it? Let's say you, Joe Blow, it's your birthday. We are going to mark the day, nay, the season, by buying so much worthless crap, and eating so much total junk, that we'll forget who you even are. 

I like that the Sonic's "Don't Believe In Christmas" bashes multiple holiday cliches, but leaves religion out of it. A little respect there. It's like, "You believe in your beliefs, and I'll believe that my band kicks total ass on the Wailers."

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
The Sonics - Don't Believe In Christmas mp3 at Clayton Counts

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

THIS LOOKS LIKE A GOOD SPOT

Here's a good one to follow up yesterdays post. A Spanish beat group, Los Mustang, doing a cover of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band in Spanish, with ample fuzz. Not half bad if you can get through the surface noise. My question is, what do you suppose was going through their heads when they chose this particular location for a photo shoot?

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
Los Mustang - Sargento Pepper's mp3 at Super Sonido
Los Mustang - No Vendras mp3
at Super Sonido

Sunday, December 8, 2019

RUNNER UP ROCK

After hearing a few more Sun-era recordings by Hayden Thompson, I wondered why it was that he wasn't better known. I wondered about that for about a second. The answer(s) are obvious. One is that he only recorded for Sun for a short while. Something like a year or two. The other is that by the time he was hitting his stride, Billy Lee Riley was as well, and Jerry Lee Lewis. That's some pecking order in terms of promotion priorities. Thompson most likely got the shit ass end of the stick. Maybe that's part of the reason he moved from Memphis to Chicago in 1958. Who the hell knows, I'm too lazy to go look it up.

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

SEND YOUR KID TO SCHOOL WITH THIS

It's better than an apple on the teacher's desk, this song. It's just made for kids to learn. The lyrics are simple and to the point and they're also on the screen as the song plays. The bonus for parents is that it's Keb' Mo' and Taj Mahal.

Friday, December 6, 2019

HORACE ANDY GETS THE SPECIAL CHAIR TONIGHT

Okay, so this is the 3000th post here. Rather than muttering about any imagined significance, a milestone that really isn't, blah, blah, blah, I figured I'd just crack my knuckles and post an all-time favorite of a random genre. It wasn't hard to come up with a handful. More than a handful to be exact. Maybe it'll turn into a series of posts, but before that gets decided let's just start with one. Horace Andy's Skylarking LP, his first, from the golden age of reggae, top shelf stuff, beginning to end. Released on Studio One with a backing of a band so archetypal that their riddims still being used today. Skylarking is one of my favorite LPs of all time and as good as the music is, there are other reasons that made me re-access it after my first few listens decades ago. It was a couple of roommates and their varied and open minded listening habits that drew me back into it. We were living in a house that would become a hang out for people in the punk rock crowd. (Descriptions of the house and it's inhabitants can be found here.) Despite the huge influence of growing up living among two fellow music freak brothers (more about the listening habits of the boys' room here), it wasn't until these two roommates started dissecting the houses aggregate record collection that I fully appreciated the anything goes mode of listening. All good stuff was on the table, regardless of genre or vintage. Almost a figurative nod to Chuck Berry's "Little Queenie", "If it's a rocker, that'll get it, and if it's good, she'll admit it" with rocker taking on the meaning of any music innately cool, moving, or otherwise worthy of attention. This was one LP that really does stand as a personal milestone, because it was the constant spinning of it almost forty years ago (yikes!) that really changed how I approached listening from then on. Put it in your back pocket. One would hope it's good for another forty years.



~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
Horace Andy - Skylarking mp3
at ATumblr (?)
Horace Andy - Where Do the Children Play
(streaming) at YouTube
Horace Andy - Mamie Blue
(streaming) at YouTube
The full LP:
Horace Andy - Skylarking
(download) at Global Grooves Click on the green download button, fill in the captcha, and you're gold baby.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

SPEAR SAVES THE DAY

Burning Spear dragged me right out of a funk tonight. Not that his music is all that uplifting. What was uplifting was hearing this extended version of an early Studio One recording of "Rocking Time", reminded of how much I loved Burning Spear, how much I love music in general. That's all it took. Kicked the funk right on it's ass. The Zara Moussa cut was the very next song I listened to and made for a perfect chaser.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
Burning Spear - Rocking Time mp3 at Pixie Radio 1974
Zara Moussa - Soyeya mp3
at Awesome Tapes From Africa

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

ALBUM COVER OF THE YEAR

Here goes your evening. Still In Rock posted their top 100 songs of 2019. How many had I heard? Zilch. How many bands did I recognize? Not surprisingly, few. But it sure is fun browsing. And the quality is there. This one by Amyl and The Sniffers got me going. And the Iggy cut was good, if only to see where he's at these days. I gotta say, hearing Violent Femmes again after not hearing them for years, coupled with the cover they did, "God Bless America"; it was just weird. I couldn't stop thinking that they've licensed "Blisters In the Sun" so many times over the years, it's almost like this particular cover, done in a novel way, is just begging to be put in the soundtrack of a movie or the background of a commercial. Shit, what about the simulcasts for the fireworks shows on July 4th? Money in the bank for those stinking acousticrats.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
Amyl and The Sniffers - Got You mp3 at Still In Rock
Iggy Pop - Loves Missing mp3
at Still In Rock
Violent Femmes - God Bless America mp3
at Still In Rock
The whole list:
Still In Rock's Best Songs of 2019
100 cuts

Monday, December 2, 2019

PROTO-OLD FART

Here's a good one that I ran into, as usual while looking for something entirely different. It's a well recorded early live set from Tom Waits from a broadcast of Austin City Limits. If you're only familiar with Waits's later post-Rain Dogs stuff, these might seem a little less adventurous. Musically, that may be true, but the early stuff is what brought him to the table. His trademark gravely voice is there, but the music is more old school. There's mid-song storytelling coupled with smoky lounge jazz of the crinkly naugahyde booth variety. Considering that it was recorded in 1978 when Waits was twenty-nine and this type of music entirely  out of fashion, it's amazing to think of someone that age not grasping for that brass ring of youth acceptance.

There's another set down there from a BBC show in 1979, nine songs. I haven't got to that one yet, but that's my next stop. If you don't like early Tom Waits, well, I guess you're just shit outta luck tonight. Me, I'm diggin' in.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
Tom Waits - Austin City Limits, Christmas 1978 at Big O Seven individual mp3s
NOTE: "To reduce spamming, the BigO website is going through Cloudflare. What it does is scan your browser to ensure the visitor is not a spam. Do not be alarmed as this usually takes only a few seconds." Letting you know so you don't freak out.

Tom Waits - Never Talk to Strangers (BBC 1979)
at Aquarium Drunkard Nine songs in a zip. Once at Mediafire, click only on the green download button.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

IT'S CHURCH MUSIC SOMEWHERE

We're rounding the home stretch to 3000 posts here and I was getting a bit nostalgic. I thought I'd head back to old favorites and the first band that came to mind was the Monks. They've been posted here several times but some of the older links were no longer working, so an update was in order regardless. The bonus is that I found the 2006 documentary on them The Transatlantic Feedback. Pillaging the old posts I was reminded that the first bit of writing that I ever got paid for was about the Monks, on Woodstock.com of all places. If you want to read it, there's a link below, but their story is much better told at the Monks official site. I think you might get an idea of the direction they lean by some of the song titles. It's 1967, do you think Donovan is going to be singing a song called "I Hate You"? "Shut Up"? This is punk rock.Yeah baby.



~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
The Monks - Monk Chant mp3 at Pretty Goes with Pretty
The Monks - Monk Time mp3
at Pretty Goes with Pretty
The Monks - I Hate You mp3
at Internet Archive
The Monks - Shut Up mp3
at Kalifontecchio
The Monks - Love Come Tumblin' Down mp3
at The Rising Storm
The Monks - Complication mp3
at Pretty Goes with Pretty
The Monks - Boys Are Boys and Girls Are Choice mp3
at Tumblr
Video:
The Monks - Boys Are Boys and Girls Are Choice (German TV)
at YouTube
The Monks - Cuckoo (German TV)
at YouTube
The Monks - Oh, How To Do Now (German TV)
at YouTube
The Monks - I Can't Get Over You (German TV)
at YouTube
The Transatlantic Feedback - Documentary
at YouTube Over two hours
Visit:
The Monks Official site
The Monks Were Manufactured Before 'N Sync Were Even Born
at Vice
I Know Just What You Kids Need
Earlier post here about the Monks

Friday, November 29, 2019

BACK WHEN MULTI-TASKING WAS MULTI-TASKING

Man, I just love Rahsaan Roland Kirk. For starters, the guy could play multiple reed instruments at the same time. I don't know how many of you have tried blowing a clarinet or a sax, but getting even a note out of one takes quite a bit of wind. It's just crazy to play more than one and I've seen photos of him playing four at once. How does that work? You might have the wind, and a big enough mouth but you only have two hands. He was also known to play the flute with his nose. Say whaaaaa? This would be about the time that you run off to YouTube to see how he does it. Go ahead, I'll wait.

Another thing I dig about him is that more often than not, the beginning of what he's playing gives no indication of where the song, or his performance, is going. Particularly his live stuff. They'll start out one way, instruments added, some subtracted, and different sections morphing into another, and end completely different. They're engaging. He's really beyond jazz. Dude's a trip.

This first one below takes the WTF factor to another level. While Kirk's jamming all manner of reeds into his mouth, here comes Sonny Boy Williamson. Sonny Boy fucking Williamson. He's a blues harp player, Chicago blues. What the fuck he's doing sharing a stage with (pre-Rahsaan) Roland Kirk in 1963 in Copenhagen is anybody's guess.

Check out all of the Rashaan Roland Kirk posts over at Melting Pot. They love the guy over there. There's tons of stuff on YouTube as well. Never boring.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen
Rahsaan Roland Kirk - The Seeker mp3 at Melting Pot 1970. 17 minutes, the mid-song full wig out is worth the wait.
Visit:

Thursday, November 28, 2019

ROCK-A-RANDOM

I've got no idea how I came across these, but they were bookmarked for a reason. The first one is by Greet Hornet. I'd never heard of them. The song was good enough, some solid garage crunch, to go look for a photo. In doing so, I found out that they're from the Netherlands and they have recorded more than one song. But one song is all I've heard and I dig that one. They could suck on everything else. The other song below is by the Returnables, another band I'd never heard of. They sound like they've listened to their fair share of the Jam. What the hell.

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Listen:
Green Hornet - Ain't Good Enough mp3
at Punk Rock Karl
The Returnables - Love Letters mp3
at Punk Rock Karl

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

BAND SHOT

It just occurred to me that it isn't unusual for me to remember when I first saw or heard a record or CD, even if it had been years earlier. I'm sure that only applies to records that end up being memorable later, but it's still surprising after I surveyed a few random selections. To wit, one of my earliest musical memories: I remember where I was when I first saw the Beatles' "Rubber Soul" and Jimi Hendrix's "Are You Experienced?". It was at my cousin's house. She was older than me and the first person I knew that actually owned records.

This shit came up because I ran into a song by Death From Above 1979. I remembered where I was when I first saw their CD. It was at a listening station in the back corner of a Tower Records store that has since closed. Tower Records has been out of business for some time, and after looking up Death From Above 1979's discography, I see that the CD in question was released back in 2004. But the band has been on my need to hear more list for the ensuing fifteen years, and now I'm finally getting around to it. One thing I'd remembered about them is that these crazy motherfuckers don't have horns in their band. They don't have a keyboard player either. No rhythm guitarist, and they're  not a power trio, because they don't have a guitarist at all. It's just bass and drums, and not that trippy electrowhatever either. Nor some Sly and Robbie trip. This shit is thick.

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Listen:

Thursday, November 21, 2019

THE ICE BREAKER, SIZE MEDIUM

Back when I was 26 I traveled around Europe solo for about five or six weeks. It was awesome trip, complete sensory overload. The history, art, architecture, food music and the people I met are indelibly etched in my memory. If you aren't settled down and have an opportunity to go solo, do it. Because nothing will make you open up to strangers more than being alone in a foreign city. So much happened and is so easily remembered, I hesitate to even touch on the subject because I could easily get carried away. So here's a snapshot.

Mid-trip, after stops in London, Oostende, and Amsterdam, I headed to Biefeld, Germany to hook up with a woman I met in the states. We hitched to Berlin, and the first night there went to a club I'd read about in The Face. The next night we went to an all night bar, where the bartender was Blixa Bargeld, who I found out later, after I returned to the states, was the singer from Einstürzende Neubauten, a band I'd never heard of. He was a nice guy, a nice enough impression that I later recognized him when I saw his mug on the cover of a magazine in San Francisco. Anyway, Berlin was all dreary and shit and I wanted to get to a warmer climate, so I made the executive decision to get to Florence, Italy. (Easy to do when you ride alone.)



I rode the train for twenty four hours to get to Florence. Between the train station and the pensione where I'd planned to stay (thank you Let's Go Europe!) I got lost. I ended up walking miles further than I needed to, had a slice of shitty "real" pizza and made the mistake of sampling Italian beer (insider's tip: stick to chianti), When I finally got to the pensione, I'd been on the train for a whole day and then walked for a couple hours with a heavy stuffed backpack. I was beat to shit. I went to my room and got cleaned up and then went to a common room and started chatting with a couple people from Australia. I found out that one of them worked in a record store back at home. We started talking music and she asked me what I'd been listening to. I lifted up the front of my sweatshirt and showed her my PiL T-shirt. She then lifted up her sweatshirt and she was wearing a Pil T-shirt. I nearly proposed to her on the spot. She was a sweetheart to boot. Harriet. I still have a crush on her to this day.

What did I say about getting carried away with the subject? I could have just related the PiL T-shirt part and left it at that, but noooo, I had to blab incessantly. That's why you should travel for a few weeks in Europe on your own. Here's some PiL.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
Public Image Limited - Public Image mp3 at Warped Reality
Public Image Limited - Rise mp3
at Punk Rock Karl
Public Image Limited - Go Back mp3
at Tumblr
Public Image Limited - This Is Not A Love Song mp3
at In Bed With Dactylo

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

THE "DUDES CAMPING TRIP" LOOK

Quite a few years ago I reviewed a friend's band for my fanzine, I mentioned that they were something like a new wave K-Tel record. For those not as old as I am, K-Tel records were like 70s versions of that Now That's What I Call Music! franchise. You know, those records that compile the hits of the year and plop them on one disc. I made that comparison because they had songs that sounded like new wave, some that were closer to punk rock, a song or two that sounded like Tom Waits early stuff, you know, just all over the place. Not like Top 40, but still kind of a mixed bag. I think I remember them taking offense at my description. Well, shit, that may have been the last time I ever reviewed a friend's band in print. To this day I try not to write about friends' bands unless I am absolutely positive that I'd be into them even if I didn't know who they were. Unfortunately, I usually err on the side of caution, so as a result musician friends really aren't given a completely fair shake. I'll have to remedy that at some point.


The reason I bring that up is because the Bees are another band that are alike a K-Tel record. I don't remember how I first heard of them, but once I heard "Chicken Payback" I was hooked. Talk about catchy! The other night I was listening to a mix and a few seconds after that song began playing, a song I've heard many times over the years, I found myself on my feet dancing around the kitchen. This was unusual for a couple reasons. One is that I had no recollection of actually rising to my feet from a sitting position. It was as if the song yanked me up. But there I was shaking my ancient ass. The other reason it was unusual is that I don't dance often, at least not in the kitchen. What do they say? "Dance like nobody's watching"? Well, I was, and there was nobody watching. Just seconds ago I came across this video. Technical quality be damned, this could be my favorite music video of all time.


That said, that "Chicken Payback" is an undeniable butt shaker, those damn Bees do come off as a K-Tel record. It would be frustrating as hell if you're trying to figure out what the true sound of the Bees is. The thing is that they do other other types of music just as good as the sixties swamp rock inflected dance song that dragged me into their sphere in the first place. To wit, the vintage reggae groove of "No Trophy", their cover of the Os Mutantes' "A Minha Menina", and the seventies soul sound on "Listening Man". Now that's what I call identity crisis!

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
The Bees - Chicken Payback mp3 at Audio Drums
The Bees - No Trophy
(streaming) at YouTube
The Bees - A Minha Menina
(streaming) at YouTube

Monday, November 18, 2019

IT'S LOUNGE MUSIC SOMEWHERE.

There I was, just listening to the jazz station. It can be hit or miss sometimes. There are good shows, featuring sub-genres like Latin jazz or free jazz. There's also some less thematic shows could easily veer into the dreaded new age-y shit, softy light jazz ("cool" or otherwise). Tonight I was walking out the door to head out to the alley and they started playing a tinkly, almost lounge-y version of the theme to Star Wars. It was complete total crap. (Though it did remind me of the old SNL clip of Bill Murray as a lounge singer doing a vocal cover of it.) I had to get me away from there. I turned off the radio. Melvins to the rescue.

Switching the fuck away from lounge-y jazz corn, you couldn't ask for a better route than straight to the Melvins. The first thing I checked out was kind of lame. Them doing "Let It All Bee" as part of some sort of CD Rom magazine (remember those?). It's linked at the bottom. The video directly below though is great. From 2018, with Steve McDonald (Redd Kross) on bass. Or second bass. That's part of what makes it sound so thick. One guitar, two bassists and a drummer. This is some heavy shit.


Check the song "Hooch". Try to figure out what he's singing, then go to one of the lyric sites to see how they heard it. Yee haw.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
The Melvins - Hooch mp3 at Tumblr
The Melvins - The Kicking Machine mp3 at Wired
Video
The Melvins - Let It All Be
at YouTube Launch CD Rom magazine

Visit:
The Melvins - Hooch lyrics at Genius
The Melvins - Hooch lyrics
at AZ Lyrics