How many of you can name two Tony Joe White songs? Yeah, I know, after "Polk Salad Annie" it's "Uh, gimme a second, I swear I've heard other songs by him, wait, it's coming to me..." What the hell is wrong with us? "Polk Salad Annie" is entirely baddass. In that category, attitude, it's like "Rumble" and "Who Do You Love" getting stoned with J.J. Cale. So, here we go. A couple random cuts. Dig the guitar tone on his long ass version of John Lee Hooker's "Boom Boom". Not sure of the vintage, could be later, but it has a cool vibe. And as much as the guitar on these is a critical element, the economic horns on "They Caught The Devil And Put Him In Jail In Eudora Arkansas" put it over the top. You can just see the people in the studio during the first playback, looking at each other, going "We got it."
Tuesday, August 31, 2021
Monday, August 30, 2021
Here's some random funk from some B-listers, second tier stuff but good. There was so much back in the sixties and seventies that you won't find on compilations. Scratch that. You might find them on compilations, but they'd be on one of those pricey "rare funk" crate digger specials that have ten pages of liner notes about some dude that put out one 45. Anyway, these are solid and you probably haven't heard 'em.
Maceo & All The King's Men - Got To Get' Cha mp3 at Internet Archive
Moody Scott - I Don't Dig No Phoney - Parts 1 & 2 mp3 at Internet Archive Dude really wants to be James Brown.
Ripple - A Funky Song mp3 at Internet Archive
Sunday, August 29, 2021
I just posted everything below a little over a month ago but I just heard that Lee Perry has died so rather than blather on, here's a link to the obituary in the Guardian. Know this: there's one less unpredictable musical genius in the world.
!'m not sure how I missed this one but it's been sitting online for a few years. A documentary, The Upsetter: The Life and Music of Lee Scratch Perry. If you know Lee Perry, it ought to be a treat. I haven't watched more than a few minutes but it looks like it'll be good enough to keep you from chores. Let me correct that: keep me from chores (pretty low threshold there). As long as I'm posting it, there are a few other things down there. Perry shown at work in his Black Ark studio sometime before he intentionally burned it to the ground. Perry's crazy like that. Check out the Guinness commercials he did and see if you can make sense out of them.
Lee Perry - Roast Fish and Cornbread mp3 at Passion of the Weiss
Lee Perry - Jungle Lion mp3 at Stop Smiling Instrumental cover of Al Green's "Love and Happiness"
Lee Perry vs King Tubby - Africa mp3 at Nintendo Planet Video
The Upsetter: The Life and Music of Lee Scratch Perry at YouTube 90 minutes
Lee Scratch Perry - Play On Mr. Music at YouTube Perry at work in his studio
Lee Scratch Perry and Subatomic Sound System (live) at YouTube Blackboard Jungle Dub, Brooklyn 2013
Lee Scratch Perry Guinness Ads at YouTube
Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, visionary master of reggae, dies aged 85 at The Guardian
Friday, August 27, 2021
A few nights ago there was shit that needed to be done in my apartment. My next door neighbors were out for the night. They're cool people so I try not to blast anything too loud. But, they were gone so I had to blast something. I pulled out a compilation I snagged about twenty years ago, Africafunk. It was used and I didn't even look to see who was on it. If I had I would have seen Fela, Tony Allen and Antibalas, but it was so cheap that I didn't even bother to look. The CD turned out to be a bargain; great, great, shit, beginning to end. By far, my favorite song was by a band I'd never heard if, The Rwenzori's (hyphen placement theirs). It's the first song on the CD, "Handsome Boy (Parts 1 & 2)" and by the middle of it, I knew shit was not going to get done. Had myself undulating like someone trying to scare a sea of muddy Deadheads. Half calisthenics, all spazz. It felt great.
The song is such an oddball the extensive liner notes skip past them saying that there's no biographical information available. Granted, this was over twenty years ago. So I checked Discogs and found just three entries (they do have used 45s for sale). I'd just as soon not look further though, plenty of time for that. For now I'll retire to the living room and let the ants take control of my pants.
Thursday, August 26, 2021
Years ago I was a total Rory Gallagher fan. When I was in my mid-late teens it was all about guitar players. The licks. The blues rock boogie guitar slinger shit. Rory Gallagher was second tier when it comes to overall recognition but he was a guitarist's guitarist. In other words other guitar players knew his work and paid attention. The reason I was watching the video was essentially to try to see what got me off so much when I was younger. I'm not a fanboy of blues rock guitarists like I was in my teens. But that's neither here nor there because what grabbed my attention with this video was the bass player. When you see the guy, his stance and rocking out style is more like a bass player in hardcore band. The comical part of it is his expression. It's hard to see but it's pretty damn extreme guitar face, rather bass face. I hate guitar face, really hate it. But, as I'm wont to do when I have strong negative feelings, I try to find a counterpoint. Some way I can look at it to prove myself wrong. Objectivity is hard enough with music. When it comes to guitar face, or bass face, I thought that there would be no way I'd relate. Then it hit me. Gerry McAvoy, Gallagher's bassist, gets a pass on this one. Know why? Because when I was younger, and a Rory Gallagher freak, I was also a bassist (a shitty one). McAvoy's moves, his expressions and stance, his whole rocking out oeuvre is exactly how I would have been at the time had I had something called talent and an opportunity to play with a hot shit like Rory Gallagher. McAvoy was living my sixteen year old self's dream. Pass granted.
McAvoy's enthusiasm for playing with a hot shit like Rory Gallagher reminded me of the infamous "Oktoberfest drummer", a drummer playing at an Oktoberfest some years back. In his clip he's just fucking banging the shit out of his totally minimal hit, a big bass drum with a cymbal on top, probably de rigueur for Oktoberfest drummers. Seriously if this guy does this regularly, October after October, year after year, he's going to have the same problems as retired football players and boxers. All to perform for drunks. Where was I, oh yeah, Rory Gallagher...
Oktoberfest drummer at YouTube
Tuesday, August 24, 2021
Oh man. If the name Charlie Watts means anything to you, you already know. He passed away today. The only Rolling Stone ever that I can think of, save maybe Mick Taylor, that didn't become a caricature of himself. Fuck, fuck, fuck. The anchor is dead. The one guy that made it seem like the Stones still held some sort of musicianship higher than glory or fame. The wheels are off now. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards are not the Stones, throw in Ron Wood and you aren't much closer. In my book, if the band is a five piece, a minimum of three would have to be OGs for the band to be considered the same band. It will be interesting to see what shakes out after this loss. Come to think of it, if Jagger and Richards try to continue as the Stones, sad to say that I can't think of any way that wouldn't end comically. And Watts, or his spirit or whatever, is going to take a break from whatever jazz band he'll be in and watch from the curtains, watch everything unfold, and chuckle.
Here's just a couple things. You really need to go to Drummer World's Charlie Watts page for a ton of videos, photos, mp3s and a short bio.
Charlie Watts Orchestra - Stomping at the Savoy mp3 at Drummer World
Charlie Watts - Alternate Versions and Outtakes mp3 at Drummer World Over an hour
Charlie Watts page at Drummer World
Monday, August 23, 2021
Don Everly, of the Everly Brothers, died yesterday. His brother Phil passed away in 2014. Like a lot of people, my introduction to the Everly Brothers came from oldies radio stations and soundtracks of movies and TV shows that took place in the fifties. I bought my first Everly Brothers after hearing the Dils, a punk band, cover "Cathy's Clown". The Dils had distinctive voices that sounded good when they harmonized, which wasn't often. So, I ran out and bought an Everlys compilation to hear the source, the two voices that sounded as one. When I got around to really listening, it was like going from a beat up VW bug to an Eldorado without going through all the increments of cars in between. The LP is in a category all it's own. I don't think I've ever heard two male voices that sound so good together. Really, you need to cough up and buy a compilation. It will provide the reference point you need when hearing other attempts.
The Everly Brothers - Cathy's Clown mp3 at Rocky 52
The Everly Brothers - Keep A Lovin Me mp3 at Rocky 52 Very early, 1955
The Everly Brothers - Be Bop A Lula mp3 at Rocky 52
The Everly Brothers - Eight more songs and profile at Time Goes By
Sunday, August 22, 2021
I was out in the alley again, reading a few pages and having a smoke. After a day at the beach when all I heard was bad classic rock and an ultra loud unrelenting thump, DUUIISH-DUUIISSH-DUUIISH!!!, of bad, repetitive EDM. It kept going for hours and you could hear it a mile away. It was invading my space, man. I had pretty much given up any thought of hearing a random song from anybody this weekend that would sound any good. So there I was, in the alley, sun low in the sky, chilling with a book, a gentle breeze blowing. It carried the string intro to Etta James's "At Last", a song I've heard a thousand times as I'm sure you have. But it was just what I needed. From a stranger a half block away. It changed my mood. I don't think I'll ever hear it again without thinking of the sonic salve it provided.
Etta James - At Last mp3 at Carried Away
Etta James - Tell Mama mp3 at Blog Rage
Etta James - I'd Rather Go Blind mp3 at Free Beer For Yorky
Etta James - I'm Gonna Take What He's Got mp3 at Groove Addict
Etta James - Seven Day Fool mp3 at Soul Garage
Friday, August 20, 2021
Guitar instrumentals have been around as long as guitars. That you know. When did surf music become a thing? One could argue that the Ventures and Duane Eddy, along with others, laid the groundwork in 1960 and 1958 respectively. That's not really that much of a stretch, but my money is on the year 1961, when guitar instrumentals started charting in higher numbers. That in itself isn't enough to pinpoint the inception but something else happened that year. Dick Dale and the Deltones released "Let's Go Trippin'". It's notable that the record did not have reverb on it (that was right around the corner). Why would that be considered surf? The guitar player surfed.
Here's a few instrumentals that were hits in 1961. And two that didn't make it out of Southern California.
The Ramrods - Ghost Riders in the Sky mp3 at Internet Archive
Jorgen Ingmann and His Guitar - Apache mp3 at Internet Archive
John Barry Seven - The Magnificent Seven mp3 at Internet Archive
Thursday, August 19, 2021
Who the hell is the Space Lady? Is she an outsider; in terms of oddballs, the real thing? I didn't know who she was an hour ago and after hearing her and reading a bio I'm kind of thinking that she wasn't all that aware of how unusual she seemed to "normal" people. But she was aware enough to know that people watching buskers like buskers who do songs that the recognize, and if they like buskers they're more likely to toss some loose change in the hat. She's done more than a few covers. "Ballroom Blitz", "I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night", "Across the Universe", "Born To Be Wild", "Fly Like An Eagle", you know, heavy on the shit sounds of the seventies. Sell out.
What's she sound like? Picture, if you will, a woman with the low energy delivery of Cat Power, armed with a Casio keyboard more drone than something like Wesley Willis's recycled rhythms. She wears novel head gear, though nowhere near Sun Ra's fanciful lids. But at the end of the day she's that square peg that there just aren't enough of. What the hell: viva the Space Lady. Let it fly sister.
The Space Lady - Ghost Riders In the Sky mp3 at Art Decade
The Space Lady - Ballroom Blitz (streaming) at Bandcamp
The Space Lady - Radar Love (streaming) at Bandcamp
The Space Lady In Her Own Words at Red Bull Academy
Tuesday, August 17, 2021
If someone would have told me when I was in my teens or twenties that there was something cool about George Jones I would have laughed. Here I am all these years later telling you that George Jones was cool. In his own way. Flat top and embroidered Nudie type suit? That would probably make other country and western singers cringe. Not Jones. He didn't give a shit. He recorded "The Race Is On". He knew that he was cool.
George Jones - The Race Is On mp3 at David Fullmer
George Jones - White Lightning mp3 at Rocky 52
George Jones - Love Bug mp3 at Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban
Monday, August 16, 2021
Despite the fact that the lyrics to "Summertime" have little to do with summer in Southern California, I like to post the song during the summer to keep within seasonal guidelines. There's nothing really relatable to my personal experience. No cotton here, no rich daddies or good looking mamas, let alone jumping catfish. But, the one relatable line is "the living is easy" and in relation to that I mean moderate temperatures, windows open all day, barefoot, jackets in the closet until the end of October, that sort of shit. For Rick Nelson's version of the song though, I really don't need any reason aligned with the lyrics. It's stand alone good.
His version was released a few years into his career and I've yet to find the full credits for the band on it. Record sleeves didn't always list those sort of credits back then. There are a couple reasons why I've been looking for that info. One is that, having been released only a year after "Hello Marry Lou", it sounds as if he skipped at least a good five years ahead style-wise. "Hello Mary Lou" while not really rockabilly, still has an early rock 'n' roll thing going with James Burton's chicken pickin'. "Summertime" though sounds like something the Yardbirds would have done. Listen to it. The Yardbirds wouldn't exist until a year later. I don't know what it is that makes me think Yardbirds but some of it is whoever is playing harp. That and the bass riff. So, yeah, trying to find out who played what was an almost fruitless task. Then I came across a post at Cool Cat Wild, a blog I'd never run into. In the post, from 2011, the host mentions that Deep Purple's Roger Glover borrowed the bass riff for their "Black Night" in 1967, the Liverpool Five did as well for their "She's Mine" in 1966 and the Blues Magoos did too, in the same year, with "(We Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet". The crazy thing is that the bass player on Nelson's "Summertime" was Joe Osborn (something Cool Cats Wild uncovered), who had played with Bob Luman and Dale Hawkins, two artists even further removed from the Yardbirds, let alone Deep Purple, the Liverpool Five and the Blues Magoos. This was supposed to be about Rick Nelson but I got sidetracked by a bass riff. There's a couple more Nelson cuts, you know, since we're all here. Luman and Hawkins will have to wait. I gotta fix dinner.
Ricky Nelson - Hello Mary Lou mp3 at Internet Archive
Ricky Nelson - Summertime mp3 at Internet Archive
Deep Purple - Black Night (streaming) at YouTube
Liverpool Five - She's Mine (streaming) at YouTube
Blues Magoos - (We Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet (streaming) at YouTube
Ricky Nelson - Be Bop Baby mp3 at Internet Archive
Ricky Nelson - Lonesome Town mp3 at Internet Archive
Friday, August 13, 2021
The other night I had Neil Young playing, On the Beach, an album I finally got an original pressing of. (On the early pressings the inside of the album cover is printed with a pattern of the beach umbrella that's in the front cover photo. I'm a packaging geek.) I've heard the record a zillion times, but it was one of those nights when you're going about your business, kind of half listening, and you hear something you hadn't noticed before. On this night it was "Revolution Blues" that made me back up. The song has an almost apocalyptic feel to it, something like Mad Max in flannel. Dark. It's kinda sorta about Charles Manson, who Young had met prior to the Helter Skelter nonsense. It's definitely sung as if coming from a fuck-off-and-die no good outsider.
The thing that struck me when I heard "Revolution Blues" this time was that it sounded like the guitar interplay of Marquee Moon-era Television (actually Young and David Crosby) with the rhythm section of the Talking Heads around the time of their second LP (actually Rick Danko and Levon Helm). A lot of it is the production, bare bones. Regardless, now I can't un-hear it. Sure, that all sounds douchey but if you're familiar with both of those bands, listen to it. You tell me.
Neil Young - Revolution Blues mp3 at Internet Archive
Thursday, August 12, 2021
I've been slacking off, flat out slacking off. Who the hell cares? It was my intention to end that trend tonight but I ran into two of my best friends at the beach. After a swim and a walk we ended up back here and hung out for a while. Slack off extended. There's no better reason than hanging out with friends.
I'd been saving this one for just such a day. Standing In the Shadows of Motown, a documentary about the house band at Motown know as the Funk Brothers. There's also a long ass article about Motown by Harvey Kubernik. Haven't read it but he's a good writer, plus he got me into an ELO concert once, way back in the day.
Harvey Kubernik on Landmark Motown Records Label ; 60th Anniversary Events at Music Connection
Monday, August 9, 2021
I ran into a cover of James Brown's "I Got You (I feel Good)" by a Filipina movie star from the late sixties and if I don't post it, I'll forget it existed. Not exactly a gushing endorsement, I know. But it's oddball enough that I might get a hankering for it later. What the hell. There's another cover down there too, of Desmond Dekker's "Israelites". This night is just full of thrills.
Vilma Valera - I Got You (I Feel Good) mp3 at Office Naps
Vilma Valera - Israelites (streaming) at YouTube
Sunday, August 8, 2021
Yee haw! A Coltrane bootleg, a live gig, John Coltrane Sextet - The Missing Seattle Parts 1965. I've no clue. Missing parts? I guess I'll have to read the copy on the post before I start devouring. I'm only one cut in and it's worthy ("Afro Blue End" which is eighteen minutes long). The sound quality is good, much better than what you'd expect from an live recording from 1965. The playing is good too and he's got a top shelf combo (McCoy Tyner, Pharoah Saunders, and Elvin Jones). There is some crazy shit going on. I guess I'll take off on outta here and go read the copy. Note: When you click on the link it'll run you through a captcha thing. Small obstacle, just mentioning it so you're not alarmed.
John Coltrane Sextet - The Missing Seattle Parts 1965 at Big O Eight tracks, eighty minutes. Links are near the end, in light blue.
Saturday, August 7, 2021
Okay, so there's a couple women that moved in across the alley from me about a year ago. I became alley friends with them shortly after they moved in. Alleys do that. A few weeks after I'd met them one was wearing a Germs T-shirt that was based on artwork that Shawn Kerri, a long lost friend of mine, had done (she also did that Circle Jerks skanking kid artwork back in the day). I commented on her shirt and came to find out that she had a pretty respectable knowledge of old school punk. This was surprising because, other than the T-shirt, she exhibited none of the cliche punk look. No leather, no black, no boots, no crazy hair, no excessive tattoos or piercings.It was unusual because younger people into punk rock seem to be the ones that looked like they just stepped out of Hot Topic (she's in her late twenties or early thirties, young compared to me). It was encouraging to meet someone who didn't feel the need to wear a uniform. That part of punk rock seemed to vanish as soon as hardcore hit.
Today I'm out in the alley and she was taking out the trash. I asked her what T-shirt she was wearing today, in case it was another punk shirt. I do that from time to time. She turned around and I saw "The Stooges". When she moved her arms away, it said "Funhouse". I was floored. It's not just my favorite Stooges album, it's one of my all time favorites of any genre. And here's someone that young that's into it. After a short excited conversation I came away thinking, you know, shit ain't so bad.
From The Stooges
The Stooges - 1969 mp3 at Olcos
The Stooges - I Wanna Be Your Dog mp3 at Tumblr
The Stooges - No Fun mp3 at Olcos
The Stooges - Real Cool Time mp3 at Tumblr
The Stooges - Not Right mp3 at Tumblr
The Stooges - Little Doll mp3 at Tumblr
From Fun House
The Stooges - Down On the Street mp3 at Olcos
The Stooges - Dirt mp3 at Quit Mumbling
The Stooges - 1970 at Tumblr
From Raw Power
Iggy and the Stooges - Search and Destroy mp3 at Olcon
Iggy and the Stooges - Gimme Danger mp3 at Olcos (?)
Iggy and the Stooges - Raw Power mp3 at Olcos
Iggy and the Stooges - Death Trip mp3 at Tumblr
Thursday, August 5, 2021
I was checking out the NME site just to see what's going on over on that side of the pond. Wouldn't you just know it, what I landed on was an article about an American record label. It was about Specialty Records, the label that most people recognize as the early home of Little Richard. But, man, they had so much more. Sam Cooke (before his breakout) and Lloyd Price you may know about. But, holy shit, they had Don and Dewey, Guitar Slim, Percy Mayfield, Art Neville and tons of others. The reason for the article is a new compilation, Rip It Up: The Best of Specialty Records. Alas, the compilation has only eighteen songs. What the fuck. That's like being on a desert island and receiving an airdrop of food consisting of one M&M. Here's some assorted stuff from Specialty Records that I was able to round up. There's a link to the article at NME and a Specialty discography that you fiends should peruse.
Don & Dewey - Farmer John mp3 at Rock Town Hall
Larry Williams - Slow Down mp3 at Mercury Paradise
Larry Williams - Short Fat Annie mp3 at The New LoFi
Art Neville - Arabian Love Call mp3 at Office Naps
The Holidays - Aw-Aw Baby mp3 at Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban
Little Richard - Slippin' and Slidin' mp3 at Stolen Records
Little Richard - The Girl Can't Help It mp3 at Happy Parts
The Story of Specialty Records, the Most Influential Label of All Time: “Songs never die” at NME
Specialty Records discography at Global Dog Productions From 1948 to 1985
Tuesday, August 3, 2021
Here's a good one, the film The Kids Are Alright, a film about the Who. It's mostly live footage with some television appearances with some studio clips. I haven't seen it in decades so I don't remember how much is vintage footage. Or was then, when the film came out. I suppose all of the footage could be considered vintage now, particularly because it's the Keith Moon years. Anyway, I've always wanted to see it again. You should too. Turn it up.
Because I don't remember what's in the movie, I'm not sure if the High Numbers (a temporary name change) footage from Railway Hotel in 1964 is in it, so there's a link to it, It's excellent early live footage filmed in a small club.
Sunday, August 1, 2021
I would guess that many of you aren't old enough to remember when MTV first came on the air. It was forty years ago today. I didn't have cable when it first came on the air, but I did shortly after. It was a game changer, but not really in a good way. While it did enable viewing of bands you'd only heard on the radio, it also enabled viewing of bands you never wanted to see in the first place. Not quite like YouTube which was still years away. If you wanted to see a particular band, you might have to sit through a shitload of bands you weren't remotely interested in. Obviously playlists were in order so you didn't really get to see anything too radical either. It was mostly arena rock and new wave. Blech.
After it was around a few years they tried to get a little more relevant, introducing shows like Yo! MTV Raps, which was early rap, 120 Minutes, a show with alternative and "edgy" music, and Headbangers Ball, which was hair metal and such. It was getting interesting. Then, fuck, The Real World. Their first big non-music series was about people thrown in a house together and filmed. It was like Big Brother (is that still a thing?). Though some reality shows appeared after TV writers went on strike in 1988, The Real World was one of the first reality shows to blow up. Debuting in 1992, it was immensely popular and other networks took notice. Big Brother appeared, and Survivor and a bunch of others. Those others included, The Apprentice, appearing in 2004 and featuring Donald motherfucking Trump. He was an old punch line to a bad joke at that point, but that didn't seem to matter. A lot of people watched that show and stoked his already inflated ego. He had come this close to being out of the public eye, and then reality TV made him more visible. You know what the old punch line is to that bad joke. We're still paying for it.
Here's two videos. The first link below is the first four hours of MTV that aired. Try to imagine a time when it would have been considered groundbreaking. If you're old enough to remember the early years and the demise in real time, check the video linked at the bottom. In an episode of Portlania, Spike, a reoccurring hipster character (played by Fred Armisten) enlists real MTV hosts Kurt Loder, Tabitha Soren and Matt Pinfield to help take back MTV from the tweens.
MTV First Four Hours Remastered - 12am Saturday August 1st, 1981 at Internet Archive
Take Back MTV sketch from Portlandia at Dailymotion
Sketch is in three parts: from 2:46-5:37, then 8:45-12:44 and from 19:18 to the end. Note: For whatever reason, the images are reversed so what text is shown is backwards.