Sunday, October 31, 2010

A MESS OF BLUES


Here's a whole bunch of good blues. A lot of it may be familiar. There's some lesser known stuff here too. Check out the recommended sites at the bottom. You'll want to bookmark them, there's way more than one visits worth.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Son House - Levee Camp Moan mp3 at Dr. Mooney's 115th Dream
Robert Johnson - Ramblin' On My Mind mp3 at Hell Hound On My Trail
Robert Johnson - Crossroads mp3 at Big American Night
Irene Scruggs - Voice of the Blues mp3 at Honey, Where You Been So Long?
Jazz Gillum - Reefer Head Woman mp3 at Clumsy and Shy
Lightnin' Hopkins - She's Almost Dead mp3 at Clumsy and Shy
T-Bone Walker - Stormy Monday Blues mp3 at Star Maker Machine
Howlin' Wolf - Smokestack Lightning mp3 at Clumsy & Shy
Sonny Boy Williamson - Good Morning Little School Girl mp3 at Star Maker Machine
Little Walter - My Babe mp3 at Snuhthing Anything
Koko Taylor - Wang Dang Doodle mp3 at Dr. Mooney's 115th Dream
Muddy Waters - I Feel Like Going Home mp3 at Big American Night

Recommended, find blues here:
Honey, Where You Been So Long? (pre-war blues)
Hell Hound On My Trail (all vintage)
Clumsy & Shy (periodic blues posts)
Dr. Mooney's 115th Dream (periodic blues posts)

BUG OUT DAD!


If you know the history of the Beach Boys, you may know that the Murry Wilson, (father of brothers Brian, Dennis and Carl) was an abusive, over controlling father. Frustrated over his own lack of success in music, he took it out on his sons. He may have had veiled good intentions, but when he got pissed, he really let go, doing all sorts of incredibly cruel shit. Things like taking out his false eye and making Brian look at the empty eye socket. Once he got so pissed off at Brian, that he hit him upside the head (with a piece of lumber, if memory serves), so hard that he became deaf in one ear. So it was a strained relationship, to say the least. As with many abusive parents, the dynamic changes as the child ages. Some children handle it well, and take it stride. When the Beach Boys were riding high, they became less submissive, and actually started to stand up for themselves. And, thanks to the trend of releasing every outtake and fart ever recorded in a studio, you can hear the Wilson family dynamic as the boys started to realize that they may in fact have the upper hand. So, with no further ado, here are two mp3s of the night a drunk Murry Wilson tried to commandeer the recording session for "Help Me Rhonda." The first version is 40 minutes long, admittedly a little much, even for a Beach Boys freak. The other is a twelve minute edit with the highlights.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Murry Wilson butts in (40 min version) mp3 at Beware of the Blog
Murry Wilson butts in (12 min version) mp3 at Beware of the Blog

Friday, October 29, 2010

WHITE STRIPES DO BEEFHEART


Many moons ago (okay, several), Sub Pop had a singles club. You send them a lump sum, they sent you music by mail. The pressings were small (a few thousand, I think), so, as you can guess, some of them, particularly the early ones, are hot items among people who clamor for that sort of thing. So, when I run across them, I'll let you know.

This one is from 2000; the White Stripes doing three Captain Beefheart covers. In case you clamored too late.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
The White Stripes - Party of Special Things to Do mp3 and two others at Dr. Mooneys 115th Dream
Sub Pop Singles Club Version 1 discography at Pette Discographies

Thursday, October 28, 2010

LET'S JUST CALL IT MUSIC


It is just one of the many remarkable things that have changed in music in the past ten years. International music has gone, uh, international. Before the availability of just about any music, at any time, was commonplace, even the largest record stores devoted only a sliver of shelf space to music from other countries. Now that there are consumers actively looking for obscure titles, collectors are out hunting, and labels with long stagnant titles are issuing compilations at a dizzying pace. All this is great, especially if you're the sort of person that has found themselves bored with familiar music, and the regurgitation of long established styles.
Frank Gossner, of Voodoo Funk, takes the record hunt to new levels in Africa.
Early on, before the internet made international music readily available, many of the recordings issued in the U.S. were rather academic in their approach. Labels like Folkways, and early on Elektra, took anthropological tacks, and though the music may have been inviting, the lack of flair limited their appeal to, for lack of a better description, music eggheads. One pre-mp3 label that tried to change that was David Byrne's Luaka Bop. Byrne's obsession with Brazillian music lead to licensing deals, and after being coupled with some snappy packaging, before you knew it, hipsters of yore were listening. After the label gained popularity, Byrne found himself annoyed enough with the marginalizing of international music by the labeling of it as "World Music" that he wrote an excellent essay entitled "I Hate World Music." It pretty much makes the case that we (Westerners) are jerks to put so much emphasis on Western music, that we lump everything else into one umbrella category.

Today you can find international music smattered all over music blogs, with artists initially known very little outside of their geographical homes now given second lives, with some becoming full-on internet driven icons. The music below is just some of the music on one post alone at Mixtape Riot. Nigeria, Peru, and Columbia are represented. And on his next post (which is what reminded me how awesome it is to have international music at our fingertips) he covers some Middle Eastern music.

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Ebo Taylor - Victory mp3 at Mixtape Riot
Ebo Taylor - Mizin mp3 at Mixtape Riot
Mad Man Jaga - Hankuri mp3 at Mixtape Riot
Bongos Ikwue & The Groovies -Otachikpopo at Mixtape Riot
Mongo Santamaria - O Mi Shango mp3 at Mixtape Riot
Son Palenque - Paleque Palenque at Mixtape Riot
Los Silvertones -Carmen at Mixtape Riot
Further digging (and this is just a few):
Mixtape Riot
Voodoo Funk (many mixes there!)
Awesome Tapes From Africa
Underground Uncovered
Likembe
Global Groovers
Soul Sides
Read:
I Hate World Music by David Byrne, NY Times 10.3.99

ATTN: PARTY PLANNING COMMITTEE

If you were going to throw a decent Halloween bash, how hard would it be to round up a bunch of Halloween music without having to resort to "The Monster Mash" or, worse yet, "Thriller"? How about over 300 songs, in 16 mixes? Rev Frost has posted a bunch at his super fine blog Spread the Good Word. And he has great taste. Where else are you going to find Akira Ifukube's "Frankenstein At Lake Biwa"?

And what Halloween would be complete without surfing monsters, eh? I just ran across the Deadly One's "It's Monster Surfing Time" with "Igor Goes Surfing" and, yes, "It's Monster Surfing Time" (and ten others). I've no idea what the vintage is of this double edged cash-in, but it's got the Vee Jay label, so I'm guessing 60's (though the artwork is so perfectly corny that it may be faked). Dig in at Rock n' Roll Ichiban.

16 Bloody Halloween Mixes at Spread the Good Word
(Scroll to bottom for mixes 1-15)
The Deadly Ones - It's Monster Surfing Time at Rock n' Roll Ichiban

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

THE COOL RULER IS GONE


Now it's getting personal. Gregory Isaacs, the Cool Ruler has passed away. He died yesterday of lung cancer. I had been listening to him for a few years by the time I first saw him live, but I was unprepared for how he would absolutely own the audience that night. The whole room swayed, ladies swooned, and the entire club had a unified vibe, including the bartenders and staff. He reminded me of Al Green, with his laid back style and impeccable appearance. Like Green, he sang love songs, but he also sang of social injustices and songs for the downtrodden. I remember thinking that night that there was no more fitting moniker than the one I had heard so many times before it had real meaning. I got chills. I was witnessing "the Cool Ruler."


Gregory Isaacs - Tune In (1978). It doesn't get any smoother than this.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Gregory Isaacs - Night Nurse mp3 at Muzzle of Bees
Gregory Isaacs - Night Nurse Dub mp3 at Earmilk
Gregory Isaacs - Cool Down the Dub mp3 at Earmilk
Gregory Isaacs - My Number One mp3 at Muzzle of Bees
Gregory Isaacs - Reform Institution mp3 at Undomondo
Gregory Isaacs - Loving Pauper mp3 at Undomondo
Gregory Isaacs - Can't Get Over Losing You at 27 Leggies
Gregory Isaacs - Raving Tonight mp3 at 27 Leggies
Gregory Isaacs - Gi Me mp3 at 27 Leggies
Gregory Isaacs - Slow Down mp3 at 27 Leggies
Gregory Isaacs' obituary at the New York Times

Monday, October 25, 2010

FUNKY HOLLYWOOD


This is some good stuff. Exceedingly tight West coast funky soul, with everything thrown in. A little Tower of Power, Fela, Santana, Isaac Hayes, B.T.Express, Philly soul..., there's a lot to dissect here, if you're the dissecting sort. The guitar, the horns and the percussion all command repeated listens.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Orgone - Sophisticated Honky mp3 at Rollo and Grady
Orgone - It's Time Tonight mp3 at RcrdLbl
Orgone - Do Your Thing mp3 at Seattle Subsonic
Orgone - Lookout mp3 at KEXP
Orgone - Who Knows Who mp3 at Ear It Now
Orgone Official Site
Orgone at MySpace

Sunday, October 24, 2010

HOWDY FROM THE JUNK DRAWER


Every once in a while I get backed up with different oddities that don't necessarily merit their own post (but of course, the Impossibles' "Mr. Slow" sure did). They might be of interest to some of you, and they may never pop up again, so there you go, reason enough to put them up anyway. The first is "Strip-Tease" by Nico, with former man about town, Serge Gainsbourg. That one may be known by some of you more well heeled Nico or Gainsbourg fiends, but it was new to me. The other is by Turbogeist, your standard newish owe-a-debt-to-punk type band. It's of interest for two reasons. One is that the singer/guitarist is Mick Jagger's son, and the second reason is, while it isn't earth shattering by any means, it's better than anything the Stones have done in recent years.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Nico and Serge Gainsbourg - Strip-Tease mp3 at 8106
Serge Gainsbourg works his magic (video) at YouTube (I had to throw that in)
Turbogeist - Alien Girl mp3 at Coast Is Clear
Coast Is Clear's massive post of misc bands (If you want more new music, there's a few hundred.)

LEONARD COHEN LIVE


Leonard Cohen aged gracefully, from early Dylan comparisons to elder statesman of songwriting, without giving much thought about record sales, airplay or any brand of hipness. I mean, he practically makes Dylan look like a sellout. He's an artist's artist, and he'd probably still be doing what he does, even if it meant playing coffeehouses for decades on end. And with those calm emoting hand gestures he does up near the microphone, it's really no wonder all literate women love him. He can do more standing in one place then Jagger or Iggy Pop can do hurling their osteoporosis bound bodies all over the place.

Here's a few live cuts from a 1993 Zurich show. The quality is really clear, and the arrangements about as good as it gets. This stuff is timeless. Check out the entire show, and four other live cuts at Captain's Dead (the same site that posted a slew of live Tom Waits stuff a while back).

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Leonard Cohen - I'm Your Man (live) mp3 at Captain's Dead
Leonard Cohen - Anthem (live) mp3 at Captain's Dead
Leonard Cohen - Joan of Arc (live) mp3 at Captain's Dead
Leonard Cohen - I Tried to Leave You (live) mp3 at Captain's Dead
Leonard Cohen - Closing Time (live) mp3 at Captain's Dead
Leonard Cohen - Twenty four live cuts at Captain's Dead
The Leonard Cohen Files - Exhaustive site, with contributions (unpublished poems and artwork) from Cohen
I'm Your Live Man -Catalog of known live and radio recordings (no audio files)
The Leonard Cohen web ring - Multiple fan sites

Saturday, October 23, 2010

THE UPSETTER


It's anybody's guess how sane Lee Perry really is. Some say he's a sonic genius, some characterize him as a semi-crackpot, and the universally praised recordings he's produced as a long string of fortunate accidents. But his track record, primarily the records he produced in the seventies, speaks for itself. Bob Marley, the Heptones, Junior Murvin, Max Romeo, Augustus Pablo, Gregory Issacs, the Melodians, and I Roy are just some of the artists he worked with in that decade alone. And that was in addition to recording his own solo records.

The Black Ark, his studio, was primitive, with only basic recording equipment. It was his manic style of throwing everything at the wall that made him unique. When it came to mixing seventies era reggae, his template was his own, and as off the wall as some of his techniques were (inserting sound effects, mixing live on the fly), it made his sound hard to duplicate. When other reggae producers were playing it safe, and making cookie cutter records using tried and true methods, he seemed to do whatever he could to break that mold.

A look inside a recording session with the Upsetters and the Heptones, at Perry's former studio, the Black Ark.


By the time the eighties rolled around, the Black Ark was no more. It burned to the ground, with the erratic Perry claiming responsibility. He went to England worked with On-U Sound's Adrian Sherwood, and later the Mad Professor. The quality of his work waned, but he remained in demand. In 1998, he popped up doing vocals on a Beastie Boys album (two cuts on "Hello Nasty") and, after meeting Andrew W.K. in 2006 (oh, to be a fly on that wall!), asked him to co-produce an album that also featured Moby, Ari Up and, as strange as it seems, Don Fleming (from Gumball). Since then, he's been all over the place, and after his music drifted further away from reggae, he was reined in, collaborating again with Adrian Sherwood in 2008 for a return to more straight up reggae, the album "The Mighty Upsetter."

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Music:
Lee Perry - Roast Fish and Cornbread mp3 at A Barrel of Nails
Lee Perry - Black Panda mp3 at Quarterlife Party
The Upsetters - Exit the Dragon mp3 at Slutty Fringe
Lee Perry and the Upsetters - Locks in the Dublight mp3 at For the Sake of the Song
Lee Perry - Fisher Man Dub mp3 at For the Sake of the Song
Lee Perry - Psalm mp3 at Superfan2010
Video:
Lee Perry, interview at Black Ark at YouTube
Lee Perry - I Am the Upsetter (in the studio) at YouTube
Lee Perry ranting in 1982 at YouTube
Lee Perry, Guiness commercial (?!?) at YouTube
Read:

Friday, October 22, 2010

ARI UP DEAD


Just minutes ago, I opened an email from my friend Mikel, who I've known since our fanzine days back in the early punk scene. Reading the email, my heart sunk. It was just a forwarded press release, saying that Ari Up, lead singer of the Slits, had passed away at the age of 48:

"Ari Up (born Ariane Forester), the German-born lead vocalist for seminal British punk band The Slits has died at the age of 48 after a long battle with illness. Her immediate family has asked for privacy at this time and no public service is planned. She is survived by three sons, her mother Nora, and stepfather Johnny Lydon (also known as Johnny Rotten)."


Video of "Lazy Slam", just released today

Regulars here (all four of you) will know that know that she held a special place in the Trastos heart (uh, punk crush #17). I wrote about her a little over a year ago, when the revamped Slits had just released a new album, their first in years (that post can be found here). A certain amount of innocent exuberance has been lost, but photos of that smile will be be around to remind us of the joy inherent in following one's own path. And something tells me that she's not one to rest in peace, more like run amok in peace.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
The Slits - Ask Ma mp3 at Limewire
The Slits - Live set from the Primavera Sound Festival (2010) at the Free Music Archive (Once there, click on arrow to the right to download)
The Slits - The World of Grown-Ups (live 2008) mp3 at Pitchfork
The Slits - I Heard It Through the Grapevine mp3 at One Sweet Song
Ari Up's bio, in her own words at Pitchfork
The Slits at MySpace

Thursday, October 21, 2010

KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID


No band has ever had a better timed first album than the Ramones did. Right when rock n' roll needed it the most, the Ramones came along and stripped that flashy rock star shit right away. Put them up against what any band was doing in 1976, and contrast and compare.

Here's four from the first three LP's, when they still had the original line-up (and the chemistry). If you never had the opportunity to see them live, check out the video. Imagine if you had a choice back then of seeing some precious egotistical self-absorbed filthy rich rock star virtuoso from a football field away, or what you see in the video; what would you gravitate towards?

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
The Ramones - Judy is a Punk mp3 at EnanoRamone
The Ramones - Do You Wanna Dance mp3 at Killed By Death
The Ramones - California Sun mp3 at MBrownI
The Ramones - Rockaway Beach mp3 at Starmaker Machine
The Ramones, full live show (London 1977) video at Sailor Jerry's
Excellent quality, three parts.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I WAS A TEENAGE WINTER FIEND


Johnny Winter already had a few records out when he signed with Columbia in 1969. None of the early releases got much attention. But Rolling Stone had been more than kind, and that got Columbia's attention. They quickly signed him, and their push behind his first album on their label was immense. Soon, heads were listening, and there was a real buzz about the "new" American blues man.

With Columbia's push came big budgets, and excellently art directed LP covers. The first was a solemn portrait with a black background, self-titled with white stenciled letters. The follow-up, "Second Winter," was photographed by Richard Avedon, in his psychedelic style (as he had for the Beatles). The third, was with his newly constructed four piece, featuring former members of the McCoys ("Hang On Sloopy"), Rick Derringer among them. That cover was shot by Norman Seeff, the soft-focus hot shot photographer at the time. The cover of the fourth, "Johnny Winter And Live," consisted of live shots by Seeff, with a band portrait on the inside, also shot by Seeff.

I remember all of seemingly inconsequential trivia because my brothers and I bought his first four albums, and once the music was consumed, the liner notes were devoured; all due to the long wait for the fifth LP. (Unbeknown to us, the wait was due in part to Winter's attempt to kick heroin.) Each of the first four LPs was distinctly different, ranging from acoustic blues to straight-up seventies guitar rock. Because I know them inside and out, those first four Columbia records remain my favorite.

1970

Listen to the "When You Got a Good Friend," from the first Columbia LP. It's just Winter playing acoustic bottleneck slide, with one guitar overdub. Recording wise, it doesn't take rocket science to get that down. Yet the song is full, and the playing so traditional, the only clue to its vintage is the clarity of the production. On "Highway 61 Revisited," from "Second Winter" he's transformed, becoming the rock n' roll slide guitarist. He's really all over the place, almost to the point of showing off. The last one, a cover of "Jumpin' Jack Flash," is from the live album, and it is seventies teenage guitar freak Godhead.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Music:
Johnny Winter - When You Got Good Friend (1969) mp3 at Cover Me
Johnny Winter - Highway 61 Revisited (1969) mp3 (via MediaFire) at Metal Bastard
Johnny Winter And - Jumpin' Jack Flash (live, 1971) mp3 at Southbay Ampworks
Video:
Johnny Winter - Be Careful With a Fool (1970, Danish TV) at YouTube

Johnny Winter - Mean Town Blues (1970) at YouTube
Johnny Winter - Jumpin' Jack Flash (1974) at YouTube

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

THE ORIGINATOR


U Roy's been at it for a long time. Since 1969, he has been a constant in reggae. With most of his contemporaries long retired, he continues to record and perform on a regular basis. He, of course, is the epitome of a reggae DJ/toaster. So much so that, despite not being the first, he's often referred to as "The Originator" (a title that he shrugs off).

He was born Ewart Beckford in 1942 (U Roy came from a young relative's mispronunciation of his name). He started out just introducing the records at Jamaican sound systems (King Tubby's among them). After a couple years of performing, John Holt brought him to the attention of Duke Reid, former cop turned producer and label owner (Treasure Isle). U Roy quickly hit his stride, and in 69-70, he was the man. At one point, he had four of the top five records on the charts in Jamaica. After that, he just kept going, and going.

Here is a very awesome, very early clip. Surprisingly good guality too:

Below are a few songs, representing different periods in his career. The first "Dynamic Fashion Way," besides having an awesome title, is among his very first. The second is from the big breakthrough "Version Galore" LP, right about when he had all the hits. The next two are both from the landmark "Dread In a Babylon" LP, from '75. The final two are newish, and have a lot electronic gizmos going on. He's strayed a little, and on "Lovers Rock" I can deal. But, with "Luv n' Live," despite enjoying the comfort of hearing his voice, I gotta pass. There's just too much tweaking and not enough of U Roy.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Early:
U Roy - Dynamic Fashion Way mp3 at Motel de Moka
U Roy - Your Ace From Outer Space mp3 at Clumsy and Shy
Mid 70's:
U Roy - Runaway Girl mp3 at Tous les jours la grande chose
U Roy - Chalice in the Palace mp3 (via DivShare) at Flea Market Funk
Current:
U Roy (with Love Trio) - Lovers Rock mp3 at Augasm
U Roy (with Dub Gabriel) - Luv n' Liv (remix) mp3 at Music2Ten
Read:

U Roy bio at Answers.com
U Roy at MySpace
U-Roy Wakes The Town (profile) at the Gleaner (Jamaica)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

ROLL OVER STOOGES


Awesome Color sound like someone handed them the first two Stooges albums and locked them in the basement. Really. But that's fine, because the Stooges reunion a few years back didn't really capture the old magic (feel good story though, it was). Awesome Color get closer to it, and it might be their youth. Without a doubt, they have their roots, and what Chuck Berry was to the Stones, the Stooges and the MC5 are to Awesome Color. (They're from Michigan, so it does make does sense.)

A cursory look at their video for "Eyes of Light" shows a little ingenuity. 28 seconds into it, when your pretty much mesmerized by the sheer racket, the guitarist is shown playing with a small amp in his picking hand. I like that. Why walk all the way over to your amp to get some feedback, when you can do it right where you are? Nice surprise these guys are. Though they've been around a few years, it's not often you find a newish band that does this sort of thing, this good. And doubly nice after clicking on the name, expecting some twee sounding pop band that you will immediately dismiss, only to realize that it is one of the greatest stoner band names ever. Turn it up.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Awesome Color - Grown mp3 at Just For a Day
Awesome Color - Eyes of Light mp3 at Indie Rock Cafe
Awesome Color - Transparent mp3 at Largehearted Boy
Awesome Color - I.O.U. (live) mp3 at FensePost
Awesome Color - Step Up mp3 at Raven Sings the Blues
Awesome Color - Taste It mp3 at Raven Sings the Blues
Awesome Color - Eyes of Light video at YouTube

DUSTY IN TRASTOS


Dusty Springfield was all over the place. She must have been, she had "Dusty in London," "Dusty in New York," and "Dusty in Memphis" records. No matter where she recorded, she was always had top notch producers and arrangers. Take "Anyone Who Had a Heart." It's got that guitar, that only plays about four notes, and it's fucking awesome. It sets the tone of the whole song. Then there's swamp-ish guitar and horns on "Son of a Preacher Man," part of the reason the "Dusty in Memphis" LP is so highly regarded. And on "I Only Want to Be With You," the production is big. Like Spector, without all the bells and whistles. (Would I love to hear a great reggae version of that one.)

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Dusty Springfield - Anyone Who Had a Heart mp3 at Popdose
Dusty Springfield - I Only Want to Be With You mp3 at Cuky
Dusty Springfield - Son of a Preacher Man mp3 at Harmony Talk
Dusty Springfield - I Jut Don't Know What to Do With Myself mp3 at Art of Piano
Dusty Springfield - Great Shakes (commercial) mp3 at Baked Ziti
Dusty Springfield bio at LastFM

Friday, October 15, 2010

I'M A MONSTER


A few years ago, while visiting San Francisco, I found myself with a day to do nothing but eat, shit, and shop for records, so that's what I did. After scouting overpriced but excellent hole in the wall stores in North Beach, I trekked out to the end of Haight, for my second visit in two days to the huge ass record store that I cannot name. (They put a friend's record store out of business, so I should add that I kinda had it in for this store, like all predatory Goliaths.) It was huge, and its size offered a relatively broad selection. After checking the bins of disparate semi-obscure artists to get an idea of their selection, I eventually made it to the garage section, which is where I ran into the guy who smelled like cigarettes.

While browsing, he went from "the annoying recommender" to dyed in the wool rock n' roll heart, that smelled like cigarettes. One look at this guy told you everything you needed to know. He was older than me (which is to say, not young), with long sideburns, weathered face, and beat to shit leather jacket The "I've been around so long, all the hipsters my age went straight long ago" look. This guy was one real rocker, stealth, no showboatin'. While browsing next to each other, talk turned to the Nuggets boxed sets, then Kicks magazine and somehow segued to him telling stories about his buddy Cyril Jordan and the Flamin' Groovies. Up to this point, my most prominent impression of the Groovies was "Shake Some Action," a great record, but a little too polished for my tastes.

Years earlier, I, like many teenagers, bought "Teenage Head" as a cut-out, on the merit of the cool band shot on the cover, only to dump it later. But dang me if the guy that smelled like cigarettes didn't convince to give it another listen. What amazes me now is that this total stranger was so true to his old school cool, that his opinion carried merit; just based on the sense that he was that rare bird, the real thing. Now, every time I hear the Flamin' Groovies, I think about that guy, and the shit shooting session that lasted well over an hour. So these are for the guy who smelled like cigarettes, who was convinced that the Flamin' Groovies, in their prime, were the American Stones. I should have bought him a beer.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
The Flamin' Groovies - Teenage Head mp3 at Beware of the Blog
The Flamin Groovies - Shake Some Action (non-LP version) at Beware of the Blog
The Flamin' Groovies - Slow Death mp3 at Sibling Shot
The Flamin' Groovies - Have You Seen My Baby mp3 at Boogie Woogie Flu

Thursday, October 14, 2010

REGGAE VOCAL GROUP #136


The Pioneers early stuff has never let me down. These are from 68-73, when they were in their prime. The vocals are just unpolished enough, and the backing is your basic formulaic studio groove; thick but clear enough to single out individual instruments (and once you do, you're locked in). "Papa Was a Rolling Stone" is a pretty funky deviation (the wah-wah and horns do wonders). These guys could really, really handle covers.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
The Pioneers - Long Shot Kick de Bucket mp3 at SoundBites
The Pioneers - Papa Was a Rolling Stone mp3 at Funky 16 Corners
The Pioneers - Mother and Child Reunion mp3 at Snuhthing Anything
The Pioneers Official Site

ZYDECO 101


Several years ago, on the day Clifton Chenier died, a musician/DJ I knew (who worked in a record store) told me he didn't know who Clifton Chenier was. I think everybody should know who Clifton Chenier is. Here's a short introduction:

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Clifton Chenier - Zydeco Sont Pas Sale .mp3 at Lets Polka
Clifton Chenier - Caledonia mp3 at Rocky-52.net
Clifton Chenier - Baby Please Don't Go (the porch video) at YouTube
Clifton Chenier - Les Biscuits video at Daily Motion
Clifton Chenier at Wikipedia

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

MEET LUIE LUIE


Private label recordings are always a little unusual. Sometimes the artists are sponsored by a hotel (or other tourist attraction), but most record and self release records themselves. And it's not for the same reasons that indie artists do (artistic control, not getting ripped of by record labels, etc.). They usually do it because they're determined to get their music heard, by any means necessary. Seldom does this process have an entirely happy ending. For lounge entertainer Luie Luie, though, it appears that it has. His cult-like fame has been percolating for years, prompting Companion Records to not only collect all of his works, but track down the man himself, receiving his blessing to reissue all of his decades old recordings.

Luie Luie is a one man band act, and he's been plying his trade in lounges and restaurants for thirty-plus years. But that doesn't really say it all. His music is so out there that it is hard to describe. "Herb Alpert on acid" might be as close as you get, but that doesn't even get it. Let's just say if you like Sun Ra, Captain Beefheart and Wesley Willis, you would probably like Luie Luie. In addition to his music, he does these spoken word introductions to his songs, with everything from his view on the world, to instructions on how to do his versatile "Touchy" dance (of which, he relates several variations). Everything about him is so heartfelt, that it's hard not to like him. He just seems like a really genuine sort of...oddball. There, I said it. A genuine oddball, but an oddball nevertheless. That is not a bad thing.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Luie Luie - What a Wonderful World mp3 at Waxidermy
Luie Luie - Touchy mp3 at Doklands (Link removed)
Luie Luie bio, photos and sample clips at Companion Records
(NOTE: For instructions on how to do the Touchy, listen to sample of "Touch Me With All Your Heart")

Monday, October 11, 2010

THE FUCK YOU DID


You should know the song, "I Put a Spell On You." It's been covered a zillion times. The original by Screamin' Jay Hawkins is undeniably the best, at least it is over here. The man was nuts, especially when you consider he competed for airplay with far less out-there contemporaries. As great as the original is, some of the covers are cool too, especially if context carries weight. The first version I ever heard was by Creedence. It was on their first album, released right smack dab in the middle of the hippie era. There's one part of their version I've always liked. It's the single note sustained feedback, between 2:18 and 2:29 in the song. That's right, eleven seconds. And it doesn't scream like, say, Hendrix. It's more like it's on its last breath. When the solo resumes, the song stumbles to its feet.

Today I came across another version, by Os Rocks, a sixties garage band from Africa. How's that for context? (Aquarium Drunkard has another African garage cut too, by the awesomely named A-Cads).

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Screamin' Jay Hawkins - I Put a Spell On You mp3 at Music Is Art
Creedence Clearwater Revival - I Put a Spell On You mp3 at A Barrel of Nails
Os Rocks - I Put a Spell On You mp3 at Aquarium Drunkard

Sunday, October 10, 2010

SOLOMON BURKE DEAD


Solomon Burke, one of the great soul singers to come out of the 60's stable of Atlantic Records, passed away this morning en route to Amsterdam. He was on his way to appear at the Paradiso (fittingly, a live venue in a converted church), making good on his promise to the Telegraph (UK), "I’ll sing as long as I have breath." He leaves behind an astonishing body of work (both as writer and singer), a ministry, 21 children, 90 grandchildren and 19 great grandchildren. His message was always positive, including the last posted on his website:

"This is a difficult time in the world, and I would like to ask each of you to find ways to be a part of positive solutions. There is something that each of us can do, and it's just a matter of searching your own soul to find the way that you can give to others. Some of us can give of our time and talent, and some of us can donate money or items. The trick is to give without looking to receive - to give of yourself to your family, your friends, your community, and the world community with love."

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Early Solomon Burke:
Solomon Burke - Keep Looking mp3 at Funky 16 Corners
Soul Clan - Soul Meeting mp3 at Funky 16 Corners
Solomon Burke - Uptight Good Woman mp3 at Funky 16 Corners
Solomon Burke - Five more related mp3s and excellent personal tribute at Funky 16 Corners
Late Solomon Burke:
Solomon Burke - None of Us Are Free video (with the Five Blind Boys of Alabama) at You Tube
Solomon Burke - Fast Train mp3 at Muzzle of Bees
Solomon Burke - Diamond In You Mind mp3 at Muzzle of Bees
Solomon Burke Official Website
Solomon Burke bio at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Saturday, October 9, 2010

I DON'T BELIEVE IN BEATLES


What can be said? Much respect from this corner. He had his hits and misses, but, before punk rock, he was the first musician to inspire me to question things. I always think back to something my brother told me, that Harry Nilsson had told him (during the course of a photo shoot). Nilsson told my brother that Lennon once advised him that if he had an idea, he should act on it, immediately and without questioning it. That would explain the misses, and the hits as well.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
John Lennon - God mp3 at Boogie Woogie Flu
John Lennon - Instant Karma video at YouTube
Dial scan of NYC radio, the night Lennon died at Beware of the Blog

Friday, October 8, 2010

PASS THE TERAUCHI


Takeshi Terauchi is a name that's probably only known to four types of people; guitarists, Ventures fiends, instrumental fanatics, and the people of his native Japan. Starting his career in a country and western band (Jimmy Tokita and The Mountain Playboys), he got the instrumental bug after the Ventures toured Japan in 1962, and left to start his own band, the Blue Jeans. In short order, he became Japan's first guitar hero. To the casual listener, his playing style is similar to the Ventures, but if you listen closely, there are a few quirks that set him apart. While his playing is exceptionally clean, he often squeezes in about four times the notes that are needed (think Dick Dale sans reverb), and he loves, loves, loves his whammy bar. His band has a cool farfisa thing going on as well. The hook? He's big on yelping things at the beginning of songs, and throwing in the occasional "yo!," which makes him just wacky enough to make it to the coveted Friday night slot here at Trastos HQ.

Someone at Beware of the Blog has it bad for Takeshi, because there's been a shitload of his stuff posted in the past few years, every one a hoot. Here's where:

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Takeshi Teraushi - Kanjinncyou mp3 at Beware of the Blog
Takeshi Teraushi - Genruko Hanami Odori mp3 at Beware of the Blog
Takeshi Teraushi - Sabre Dance mp3 at Beware of the Blog
Takeshi Terauchi - Caravan mp3 at Beware of the Blog

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

RARE R.L.BURNSIDE VIDEO


Instructions: Get a beer. Turn off everything that could possibly be distracting. Put your feet up. or better yet, get on your feet. Turn the volume up. Click the bottom right corner to see full screen. Click play. Slide into one of the most awesome clips I've ever seen online.

Everything about this early '70's clip is great. A young R.L.Burnside playing at a party, a jukebox in the corner behind him. Everyone, everyone dressed in casual, stylish bar attire. Some sweaty, some drunk, some restrainfully sexed up. (Anyone from San Diego in the 80's who wanted something remotely like this went to the Texas Teahouse on Thursdays.)

Read about the clip at Aquarium Drunkard

Monday, October 4, 2010

I'LL NEVER CATCH UP


Neil Young is a real piece of work. He's had exceptional moments, and some questionable moments, but his output, taken as a whole, is pretty remarkable. He's recorded 32 "solo" albums (with and without Crazy Horse) since 1969. That doesn't include about a dozen albums with other bands, greatest hits collections, or any of his many live albums. He's a machine. Sure, a few of them have been less thought out than others, but most are interesting and even the less than stellar releases have been quixotic at worst. And that's part of his appeal. He takes chances, and moves on. If some of it sticks to the wall, that's good. They get put in set lists for a few years.

When I first heard that the music on his new album "Le Noise" (le annoying pun on producer Daniel Lanois' surname) would be primarily guitar and effects, my first thought was, "Oh boy, here we go. It's 'Trans' all over again." But, you know what? I'll give him "Trans," and all his other goofy ideas any day, especially if that allows him the space to work on another better album, which is always likely to be different than the last.

The first song of his that I remember hearing was "Cinnamon Girl," in 1970. I wasn't even buying records yet. But it was inescapable, on AM radio if you can believe it. The first record that I actually bought of his was "Harvest" in '72 (my first was listen interrupted by a stomach ache, so I still find it hard to listen to). All along the way, he's been right there. "Long May You Run" was given a new context when it was in the soundtrack of a surf movie, at the Strand Theater. "Tonight's the Night" was part of my personal soundtrack at the Front Street house. "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere" was the record that wouldn't leave the turntable for much of the 80's. That's another thing. With his catalog, unless you're a total completest, you find yourself skipping around chronologically. He's been there, good, uneven, and sometimes perfect, all along. And you know a winner, when you later associate it with something. I just got "Zuma." Way late, I know. Shut up, I was saving it.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
From Le Noise:
Neil Young - Love and War mp3 at For the Sake of the Song
Neil Young - Angry World mp3 at Surviving the Golden Age
Neil Young - The Hitchhiker video at YouTube
Other Stuff:
Neil Young - Cinnamon Girl mp3 at The Rising Storm
Stills-Young Band - Long May You Run mp3 at Beat Surrender
Neil Young - A Day in the Life (Live) mp3 at Cover Me
Neil Young - Chicago Hurricane (1976 live bootleg) 20 mp3s at Captain's Dead
Neil Young Discography at Wikipedia