Saturday, May 26, 2007

In Your Face: The Woman Who Wore Out Miles Davis

Miles Davis: "Betty was too young and too wild for the things I expected from a woman...Betty was a free spirit - talented as a motherfucker...she was raunchy and all that kind of shit, all sex...I just got tired of it."
Betty Davis: "The music is physical, and it's about sex. In the sixties everyone was into dope and staying high. Now it's sex. Man and woman. My lyrics go right to it. I don't beat around the bush. It's hip to eat pussy these days. Really hip."
Phew! Really. A lesson in How Reissues Can Reap Long Overdue Respect, Betty Davis is finally getting credit as a trailblazer, not only as a woman (or a black woman, or an overtly sexual black woman) but as a musician who called her own shots and had a significant influence on other musicians.
Married for a short time to Miles Davis, she helped revamp his career, both musically and stylistically. Among her collaborators, friends and lovers were Jimi Hendrix, Sly Stone, Mark Bolan and the Chambers Brothers. She wrote her own songs, assembled her own bands and, for part of her career, produced her own records.
Her music was sexy, but it wasn't sultry. It was hard and raw. She wasn't your typical soul songstress or as dance-ably funky as her contemporaries. What set her apart is that she didn't care. She was in your face.
She Was A Big Freak at The Stranger
Liberated Funk, an excellent lengthy bio in Wax Poetics (newsstand only, no online content)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Forget All You Know About Dave "Baby" Cortez

It's probably not much anyway. Most who know of him, know only of his one big hit, The Happy Organ. Forget that song. This is a whole other Cortez, wilder, with a crazy beat. Hopped up on goofballs no doubt.

Dave "Baby" Cortez - Hurricane at Funky16Corners

Q: Are We Not Okay to Like Yet?

Continuing the WTF trend (of the Kraftwerk cover below), an albums worth of rare early ('74-'77) and unreleased Devo tracks.

A: Not If You're Party to This

Monday, May 21, 2007

World Music, Trastos style

A Japanese band doing a cover of a song by a German band.
Close enough.
Buffalo Daughter - Autobahn at Bury Me Not

Led Steppenmountain

Four free live downloads at the Black Keys myspace page. (The links may be temperamental, so two of the cuts were also posted here.)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

I knew Kip Tyler and, Mr. Interior, you're no Kip Tyler

On first listen, Kip Tyler's "She's My Witch" sounds an awful lot like a song the Cramps would have covered. Maybe they have. Regardless, their shtick is the same. And Tyler's shtick seems to be copping Link Wray's. You know, kinda sinister sounding.
Check the flip and, lo and behold, it's a song called Rumble Rock, a rather tame rumble-themed song that pales in comparison to Wray's Rumble, which of course is the yardstick by which all rumble matter is measured.

Kip Tyler photo from Wang Dang Dula

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Cravermania Hits, Smoking Jackets Fly Off Store Shelves.

Rex Garvin and the Mighty Cravers' "Sock It to 'em J.B. Pt. 1," is one of those high energy stomps you wish would last longer. But it is only Part 1. So, do you listen to Part 2 and risk loosing the pace? Maybe, if you had the record. But you don't have it and neither do I. End if dilemma.

You'll probably never have another shot to hear Part 1 (which would be a shame because it's a A-1 keeper), unless you head over to Funky16Corners and get it before the link goes cold.
And yes, it is the song the Specials covered on their second album. (Jeez, did they write anything back then?)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Well, I'll be damned.

What would it be like if there was a party with PiL, Ennio Morricone, the Slits. King Tubby and that guy from the Fall, all...sitting around drinking beer (or in Morricone's case, probably wine), watching the Beastie Boys audition?

Long live William Hung.

Honestly, didn't think they had it in them. But I like.

"Yeeehhh, the Monkey Speaks His Mind..."

Sometimes when you hear a song, you may not run out and hunt for it but you really hope that you might hear it again. If you're a regular listener of the Swami (Saturdays 10 PM - 1 AM, on 94.9 FM in San Diego, or streaming here) you might have heard The Monkey, by Dave Bartholomew, a semi-spoken song about three monkeys hanging around in a tree and talking, basically saying "no way did those fucked up humans come from us".

If you don't know who Dave Bartholomew is, he's worked with something like half of New Orleans at one time or another. Starting in 1949, he had a hand in records by James "Sugarboy" Crawford, Chris Kenner, Huey "Piano" Smith, Smiley Lewis, Frankie Ford, Shirley and Lee, Roy Brown, Fats, Lloyd Price, you get the idea. He was a busy guy, and a central figure in early New Orleans R & B. The Songwriters Hall of Fame lists 428 titles under his name. Dude was a machine.

Probe Is Turning On the People posted The Monkey a while back, and now, through some sort of hocus-pocus html, the particular post ("session") can now be linked, without scrolling. Probe's cool.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Hey Gomez, check it out!

I think most people would agree that that the French language sounds sexy. And I'm sure there's a simple explanation, but I don't want to know it. I don't want to over-think it. I have too much invested in it, as something of hot-ness. Hell, I even like seeing French text in print, and I don't speak or read French. Anyways, here's some vintage French pop by Clothhilde. That's it. Now run along, go out-Serge your friends. ("What? you don't know Clothhilde?")

Clothhilde - Saperlipopette at BlowUpDoll
5,22.07: More Clothhilde posted:
Clothhilde -La Ballade Du Bosso at BlowUpDoll
NOTE: You have to click through a couple screens for the downloads.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Will you take $135? It's got a "Z" in the name.

It never ceases to amaze me what collectors are willing to spend on something that is rather insignificant. In the comment section of a post at Killed By Death, someone mentioned that Taang Records (in San Diego) is displaying the Cardiac Kidz 45 with a price tag of $150. In relative terms, it makes whatever is being paid for the Injections and Xterminators 45's seem like a bargain (last time I checked they were at about a C-note each).

Considering that the Cardiac Kidz were about a tenth tier punk band in their heyday (when there were only about nine punk bands in San Diego) and that their music is wholly unremarkable (and they have a "Z" in their name) , one can only surmise that punk collectors heavily prioritize scarcity. Whatever. Good for them...

I knew one of the guys in the band, Steve Lightfoot, and, though I wasn't too nuts about his band, he was a nice enough guy. So when I saw his record posted, I was prompted to do a web search of his name. Boy, did that open up a can of worms! The most prominent search results were about a Steve Lightfoot who theorizes that John Lennon's murder was the result of conspiracy by Nixon and Reagan, and it was Stephen King who actually pulled the trigger.
Now, I'm not saying, by any means, that this is the same Steve Lightfoot, but on the site promoting his theory, he cites a visit to the San Diego's main public library as the place he discovered "codes" in newspaper and news magazine headlines that lead to the his conspiracy theory. (This was in 1980. The record was released in 1979). Here's where it gets really interesting. Lightfoot lived a couple blocks from me in the mid-80's and right around that time there was a van that would be parked on the street in the neighborhood, covered in various signs and photocopies touting the same conspiracy theory!

It very well could be a coincidence and there could have been two different Lightfoots in the same area at the same time. It should be noted that nowhere in the "Conspiracy" Lightfoot's extensive ramblings and bio does it mention living in San Diego for an extended period or being in a band called the Cardiac Kidz (though it does mention that he was a B+ student in high school because his parents preferred that to straight A's).

So, save yourself $150 and check out what one of San Diego's early crappy punk bands sounded like and, as a bonus, read about the "biggest story since Christ" [sic]

The Steve Lightfoot Exhibit @ the Kook Museum
(really, I don't make this stuff up)

Who the fuck is DJ Thursday?

Almost every mp3 blog has some sort of disclaimer stating that the mp3s are posted for promotional and/or educational reasons and, while that may sound like a bunch of malarkey (and in some cases is), at Soul Sides it really rings true. A few months ago, the host, Oliver Wang, posted a couple of mp3s of the Kashmere Stage Band, a tight, very funky, high school band from Texas and I went right out and bought it. So, I guess mp3 blogs work.

The Soul Sides site is really one of the best mp3 blogs around, in any genre. Wang has an encyclopedic knowledge of the music he features. He's just just released his second compilation of obscure and overlooked soul/funk related cuts, Soul Sides Volume 2, this one all cover versions. He'll be at the Kava Lounge in San Diego for a release party on May 19th at 10:00. (The Kava site looks a little hippie-ish, but if you click on nightlife, you'll get an idea if it's your bag or not). It's a chance to support a guy who really is passionate about sharing music. (If you do go, make sure to ask the bartender about DJ Thursday.)
If you're not in San Diego, you can find O's other pit stops here.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

If you're so famous, how come I've never heard of you?

Ooh, this is a perfect song to listen to while driving. You start lulled into zombie-driver mode, listening to an uptempo lounge-ish version of Winchester Cathedral. Then, BAM! A little more than two minutes into it, all hell breaks loose.
Psychedelic? Maybe not. but it is a pretty noisy racket.

If you're into this kind of oddball shit, the BellyBongo Archive has a huge amount of lounge, psych, personal pressings and one-man bands.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Howdy, from the Keith Richards retirement party!

Four words that don't belong together: Brian Wilson doing rap. Yes, it is every bit as bad as it sounds. It's fucking unlistenable. Do not subject yourself to it, lest you wrench. To quote the host, Dust on the Needle, it is a "thorough desecration of his own titanic talent". This is not Brian Wilson "warts n' all". It's all warts.

There are two types of people who never dismissed Brian Wilson, those who "get it" and those who just wonder what all the fuss is about. This will tip the scale. It'is almost Mike Love bad.

Above: MC Wilson with fellow shark jumper Steve Jones.

Sunday, May 6, 2007


I've been waiting (and hoping) to find a multi-song vein of Jessie Mae Hemphill. Just look at the picture. Smoke in one hand, gun in the other. I'd like to think she's waiting to pick off Sheryl Crow should she cross the property line.

I bought her first Highwater single about 20 years ago in Memphis. I think it had just come out. It was the cover that sucked me in. Cowboy hat, tube top and bitchen guitar (a Silvertone?), in glorious black & white. Primitive? Hell yeah. It had raw written all over it.

5 cuts and background info here.

Thank you Diddy Wah.

"Super garage girls are these chicks!"

As a test post, might as well post something to check out, like this link to the boss Office Naps.

Just read what reader Rockin'n'Rollin' had to say: "More girls!Super garage girls are these chicks.Yours are Excellent quality, best ever that I've listened of Bittersweet and luv'd ones."

Check: The Bittersweets' "Hurtin' Kind"
Probe is Turning on the People is a stealthly awesome site. Beyond its primitive design and bare-bones text is a surpringly varied and informed selection of good ol' fashioned oddball shit. And some of it is really great. Case in point: "Stonger Than Dirt" by the Ardells, an instrumental smash-up that sounds like the Sonics beating the bejesus out of the Surfaris in a battle of the bands contest.

ESSENTIAL: Session 134 (cut 6): the Ardells' "Stronger Than Dirt".