Thursday, March 31, 2011

OPENING DAY DISTRACTIONS


Ted Williams in the minor league Padres (baseball card detail)

Here's just a few quick ones, because I'm a little preoccupied sucking in opening day. I don't want to get into a long dissertation about my feelings about baseball here. Let's just say that my family's way into it, due in no small part to my late brother Tim's enthusiasm for the game, particularly the 1996 season of the San Diego Padres.

Alas, there isn't much I could find in the way of vital sounds, but here's a few oddballs. The first one is a very early recording of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," included here because of it's vintage (1908), and it's curiosity factor as a cylinder recording; and also to lend contrast to the Ozzy Osborne attempt, from 2003. (Not a parody, but you might wish it was.) Next up is Dr. John doing it, just how you'd expect him to. Then there's "Charlie Hustle," by Pamela Neal, a two bit Donna Summer (listen to here coo "Pete Rose"). Next is Steve Wynn, doing "Ted Fucking Williams" live, a song he did in a side project, imaginatively named "The Baseball Project." I'm not too nuts about the song, just like the title. Then, the real Ted fucking Williams telling you how to hit. (Any of you Dads out there better get that sucker.) If you don't think it poetry, you haven't seen him hit. The last one is a spoken word thing, by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. He was the guy who published Allen Ginsberg's "Howl," and owned City Lights, the SF bookstore.

Nolan Ryan "Don't mess with Texas" autograph.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Edward Meeker - Take Me Out to the Ball Game (1908) mp3 at Archive.org
Ozzy Osborne - Take Me Out to the Ball Game mp3 at 2 Dorks
Dr. John - Take Me Out to the Ball Game mp3 at New Orleans Baseball
Pamela Neal - Charlie Hustle mp3 at Beware of the Blog
Steve Wynn - Ted Fucking Williams (live) mp3 at Archive.org
Spoken Word:
Ted Williams - How to Become a Better Hitter: Part 1 and Part2 mp3s at Beware of the Blog
Lawrence Ferlinghetti -Baseball Canto mp3 at Now Hear This Music

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

HOW WAS WORK TODAY?


A week or so ago, I went back and forth with a guy I know in the comments section of a recent post. He turned me on to a site about the Wrecking Crew, the elite crew of LA studio aces used in a whole lot of 60's hits, and a huge part of Spector's Wall of Sound. If it sounds like a boring subject, consider drummer Hal Blaine's quote, from the trailer of a recent documentary: "We came into the studio, with Levis and T-shirts, smoking cigarettes, and the older guys said 'They're going to wreck the music business'." They were upstarts, young studio hot shots, right at the time the music industry moved west. Just a partial list of Wrecking Crew members included Glen Campbell, Barney Kessel, Tommy Tedesco, Al Casey, Billy Strange, James Burton, Jerry Cole, Carol Kaye, Leon Russell, Mac Rebennack (Dr. John), Hal Blaine, Earl Palmer, and Jim Gordon.

Clockwise, from top left: Tommy Tedesco, Carol Kaye, Glen Campbell and Hal Blaine

They were on tons of records that you know well, very well. Everything from Sonny & Cher, all of Phil Spector's stuff, the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds, Herb Albert (they were the TJ Brass), the Monkees, Frank Sinatra, Elvis, Sam Cooke, Davie Allan (!), the Mamas and Papas, the Association, and a bunch of faceless instrumental bands (among them, the Marketts, and the T-Bones), and that's just a few. Their discography is mindblowingly immense (for a sample, see bassist Carol Kaye's discography here). If you're at all into unsung musicians, the story of the Wrecking Crew is quite a different tack than the "born in a log cabin, died penniless" thing. Though rarely listed on album credits, they did more than alright. Carol Kaye said that one year she did so much session work, she pulled in more than the President of the United States. But you never heard of her, right? Now you have.



There's a few links below that go into detail about their entire history, and the one thing that's remarkable is that, to many of them, the hit making was just a job. Denny Tedesco, son of Wrecking Crew guitarist Tommy Tedesco, said that his dad would get a call from a producer and be off to the studio, without any fanfare. He had no idea the number of hits that his dad played on. And a clip at YouTube relates how guitarist Billy Strange got the call for the Beach Boys' "Sloop John B" session, but had to pick up his kid. So, he picked up his kid, stopped by a music store to buy a twelve string that was needed, and showed up, kid in tow. After the session, Brian Wilson paid him $500 and paid for the guitar. A neat divergence is the "Behind the Sounds" channel at YouTube, where someone has posted annotated videos, describing the recording process of several of the cuts from the Beach Boy's Pet Sounds LP, with the Wrecking Crew. All sorts of oddball factoid text rolls while you listen to outtakes, including who played what, and who muffed what take. Pet Sounds was recorded at Western Recorders with Brian Wilson arranging and producing, while the rest of the Beach Boys were dilly-dallying on tour in Europe.

While most of the songs below are probably bordering on the overly familiar, you ought to listen to a few back to back, and dig how the faceless hit machine worked. Sure, Phil Spector, Jack Nitzsche, Brian Wilson and Lee Hazelwood (and other legendary producers and arrangers of the time) all heard sounds in their heads. But, would the string of hits have happened without the top notch talents of the Wrecking Crew? They were the consummate studio musicians. Frank Sinatra's "Strangers In the Night" was rehearsed 15 times before Sinatra showed up at the studio. Once Sinatra stepped up, there were only three takes recorded. And the first take was the one that became the hit. Yeah, just another day at the office.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
The Ronettes - Be My Baby mp3 at Love My Oldies
The Crystals - And Then He Kissed Me mp3 at The Cadillac of Winter
Sonny & Cher - The Beat Goes On mp3 at The Brother Love
The Beach Boys - Wouldn't It Be Nice mp3 at St Kilians1966
The Monkees - I'm A Believer mp3 at Songs You Need To Know
Nancy Sinatra - These Boots Are Made For Walking mp3 at Beware of the Blog
Sam Cooke - Another Saturday Night mp3 at Sound Salvation Army
Elvis Presley - I Can't Help Falling In Love With You mp3 at North and Nadine
Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass- Casino Royale mp3 at Time Travel Is Possible
The Fifth Dimension - Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In mp3 at KLG.CPS.com
The Mamas and Papas - California Dreamin' mp3 at Ock Stomping Meteorock
Frank Sinatra - Strangers In The Night mp3 at Blue Moon Bar
More info:
The Wrecking Crew - Documentary site
Excellent, lengthy feature at American Heritage
The Wrecking Crew at Wikipedia
The Forgotten 60's - Various Wrecking Crew anecdotes
Behind the Sounds channel at YouTube
Carol Kaye's discography as bassist
Other posts about studios & producers:
The Sound Of Studio One
Produced By Jack Nitzsche
Give The Producer Some
Don't Know Jim Dickinson?

Special thanks to Tim LaMadrid, for the nudge.

Monday, March 28, 2011

ANOTHER DAMN GRAB BAG


Here's some unrelated stuff that I could probably tie together if I tried, but it's easier to just call it what it is: unrelated stuff that I don't feel tying together. In other words, more stuff from the junk drawer.

The first one is a video I came across. Usually these sort of after market home edited video specials blow, but this one is good. The audio is the Groupies' "Primitive" (the one the Cramps covered), and the visual is an old clip of burlesque stripper Blaze Starr. The fit together really well. Is it safe for work? You should just turn it all the way up, lean back in your chair, go full screen on your bad self, and find out.



I couldn't find an mp3 of the Cramps cover, but in the hunt for it, ran into a bounty of Southern Culture On The Skids live stuff, including a cover of "Primitive." There's 40 shows of theirs at the link below, which begs the question: are Southern Culture on the Skids shows some sort of Deadhead rehab? I spot checked a few and some are entirely listenable. I'll let you figure out which ones are up to your particular snuff.

Next up is a totally unrelated (I can't emphasize that enough) song I just had to post. It's unfortunate that the mp3 shows the name of the band and the song, because it would be better if you didn't know anything about the origin. It takes all sorts, and in the case of this little ditty, I have to admire their over-the-top-ness. It's grind core, death metal, or something-or-other core. I'll call it "Beavis and Butthead meet the Tazmanian Devil core" because that's what it sounds like. Just listen to it, and see if it doesn't bring a "stoners let loose in Guitar Center" smile to your face. What makes it more amusing is that it's labeled as a demo, which means they were presumably recording it to get it down before going into the studio, or an even funnier possibility, to try and get signed.

Os Mutantes

Then, down there at the bottom are a couple Os Mutantes songs that were posted on Aquarium Drunkard. Just throwing them down there as a palate cleanser. Aquarium Drunkard is another one of the fine blogs that I always seem to end up at, and worth bookmarking.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
The Groupies - Primitive mp3 at Barrel Full of Nails
Southern Culture on the Skids - Primitive (live, 2009) mp3 at Archive.org
Southern Culture on the Skids - Entire set, 19 mp3s at Archive.org
Southern Culture on the Skids - 40 more live sets at Archive.org

The Pussy Grinders - Pohititeli Tush (demo) mp3 at Evdeon.com

Os Mutantes - Nao Va Se Perder Por Ai mp3 at Aquarium Drunkard
Os Mutantes - Rita Lee mp3 at Aquarium Drunkard

Saturday, March 26, 2011

KICK OUT THE JAMS


I watched a bunch of MC5 stuff tonight, and it felt good. Because ten years ago, I would have never imagined ever having the opportunity to see any footage of them at all. I wasn't about to take this one for granted. After watching a few videos, it's easy to see why their live shows have been written about so much.

The two guitar attack of Wayne Kramer and Fred "Sonic" Smith, was like having two Ron Ashtons, two Townshends, or two Leslie Wests, in the same group; and this was in the era of single guitar players in hard rock bands. (Along with the Stooges, the Who and Mountain, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and Deep Purple come to mind...there's lots more.) You either leaned more towards rock (like the Stones) and had two guitars, or you were more hard rock, with one guitarist. Few bands, with two guitars, straddled the line. A little later, the Flamin' Groovies sorta did (closer to the Stones end), and the Dolls. But the MC5 were all the way in the hard rock category, with two guitar players. Two very active guitar players. Watching it live is captivating.



~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Music:
MC5 - Kick Out the Jams mp3 at One Sweet Song
MC5 - I Just Don't Know mp3 at Beware of the Blog
MC5 - Rocket Reducer No. 62 mp3 at Merry Swankster
MC5 - Looking At You mp3 at The Rising Storm
MC5 - Ramblin' Rose mp3 at Probe is Turning-On the People
MC5 - The American Ruse mp3 at Favorite 10
MC5 - One of the Guys (early cut) mp3 at Beware of the Blog
MC5 and the Stooges: 40 Years Later (audio documentary) mp3 at WDET
Video:
MC5 - Ramblin' Rose (live 1970, at Wayne State University's Tartar Field, Detroit)
MC5 - Lookin' At You (live, same show as above)
MC5 - Kick Out the Jams (TV appearance) at YouTube
Read:
The Rise and Fall of the MC5 at Perfect Sound Forever
MC5 Gateway - Extensive fan site
Excellent review of a MC5/Johnny Winter/Led Zeppelin show in 1969, (The author attended when he was 14!)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

THE SOUND OF STUDIO ONE


I'm nuts about labels that have their own sound. Labels like Sun, Chess, Stax and Motown, just to name a few. They don't necessarily define a genre, but they do define themselves as labels with distinct, consistent sounds of their own, particularly when they have their own studios. That's why I dig Coxsone Dodd, and practically everything he touched, so much. Dodd was the owner of Studio One, the most prolific reggae studio in the sixties and seventies. He had his own studio, his own house band, and his own, often copied, rhythms. He was so good at producing reggae hits, that he had over ten different record labels so Jamaican radio stations wouldn't shy away from the records fearing charges of favoritism. He gave a lot of reggae artists their first breaks, and while many would record elsewhere, most owe their musical identities to Dodd.

His chief competitor in the early years of rock steady and reggae was Duke Reid, who ran Treasure Isle records. But Dodd got consistently better results from the artists that the studios shared. Many attribute that to the differences in demeanor. Duke Reid was an ex-cop, who often wore a side arm in the studio, and was known to shoot into the studio ceiling when something pissed him off; and, being an ex-cop, he prohibited the smoking of weed by the musicians. Dodd, on the other hand, was more open minded, and chose to look the other way when the weed came out, which led to an entirely different creative process. Most reggae rhythms at the time were written in the studio, the results of in-studio jams; in the case of Studio One, loose jams.



Coxsone Dodd's adult life was all about music. It all started with a trip to the U.S. to work in the fields. He came back with R&B records, and began playing them at sound systems,. He then opened a recording studio, and a record store, and created multiple record labels. He discovered dozens of artists, and created rhythms still recycled today. He was there, from the beginning of ska, through rock steady and on into reggae, a key proponent of all. Even after he started to slow down in his later years, he moved to the U.S. and opened another record store. He is one of the most significant figures in history of reggae. In these parts, Coxsone Dodd is the man.

Here's a whole bunch of stuff from Dodd's Coxsone and Studio One labels. There's over 1400 cuts below, spanning decades, and that's just a small sampling. His discography is so vast that he didn't even have a complete list.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Songs:
Soul Vendors - Swing Easy mp3 at Sous les Paves, la Plage
The Heptones - Pretty Loo mp3 at Mr. Brown I
Alton Ellis - I'm Still In Love mp3 at Undomondo
John Holt - A Love I Can Feel mp3 at Slang Editorial
Cornell Campbell - Ten to One mp3 at Daniel Johnson Writes
Bob Marley & the Wailers - Simmer Down mp3 at BobMarley.es
Mixes:
Salute to Studio One - City Cat Radio, 51 song mix mp3, or streaming podcast, at City Cat Radio/All Day Play FM
Studio One - Solid Gold Reggae Classics, 28 song mix (via Mediafire) at Vampyreverbi's
Studio One - 24 Studio One compilations, compiled by Soul Jazz at Skatagena Rude Klub. Download link locations posted (via MegaUpload). Each is 15-20 songs, about 400 cuts in all.
Coxsone mixes - 7 Mixes from Dodd's Coxsone label (via RapidShare), and a nice bio at The Pharoah's Den. NOTE: To download, click on "here" links, and then click "Continue to Rapidshare". Each mix is 20+ songs, about 150 in all.
Studio One Singles: Massive collection (roughly 850) at Studio One Singles: 7", 10" and 12" singles in 49 downloads, total 4.6 GB (via MediaFire) at Studio One Singles NOTE: Click on "SHOT!!!" at bottom of post for download access.
Watch:
Studio One And Coxsone Dodd: The Cradle Of Reggae at YouTube
Read:
Downbeat Special - Extensive discography, with label & LP images
Lengthy bio, from the Village Voice 2001, reposted at Nice Up
Obituary at the Jamaican Gleaner

Monday, March 21, 2011

HUNGRY?


Mexican food. Do those two words make you start licking your chops? Then you know how I felt. I was on Diddy Wah earlier tonight when I ran into a song called "Enchiladas!" by the Chiefs. It's about as Mexican as my thumb, but just the title alone got me all worked up. So, I had to find me some more inauthentic Mexican themed songs and/or bands. One note: the short guitar lead in "The Lonely Bull" is really tasty. Anyone have a clue who it is?

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
The Chiefs -Enchiladas! mp3 at Diddy Wah
Man or Astroman? - Taco Wagon mp3 at Gentle Tyrants
The Baja Marimba Band - Ghost Riders in the Sky mp3 at Beware of the Blog
Herp Albert & the Tijuana Brass - The Lonely Bull mp3 at Potato House

Sunday, March 20, 2011

NO HATRED WILL BE TOLERATED


It's been quite a couple months, eh? Severe weather, revolutions, earthquake, tsunami, nuclear disaster, and now what looks like may become another war. Know what? It's high time for the Staple Singers. It took me a while (years) to warm up to the Staples. When I finally did, there was no ignoring their unique role in the lineage of soul. They somehow managed to get gospel influenced music on AM radio. That's a feat in itself. But the gospel thing is only a part of it. Their funky relaxed grooves make you move, or at least do some swaying of some sort. (Come to think of it, reggae seems to have the same effect.) And that Pop Staples guitar! It's total understated swamp guitar, a sort of stealth "Polk Salad Annie." On top of all that, you have the vocals. They're understated as well. almost Isaac Hayes like in their laid back-ness. And they are beautiful, not sexpot beautiful, more like tree beautiful. Mavis Staples' in particular. But the backing vocals are just as important, and key to the Staples sound.

The first two down there you should know. Those were the big hits. "Masters of War" is a Dylan cover. "Samson & Delilah" was covered by the Blasters. The title track from their 1959 LP, "Uncloudy Day," has some really cool guitar by Pops. Then there's a Buffalo Springfield cover down there, and after that, a Talking Heads cover (which sounds very 80's, but is cool nonetheless). (They also covered the Talking Heads "Life During Wartime," but I couldn't find an mp3. You can hear it streaming here.) The last song, "Wade In the Water," is an audio only thing at YouTube, which I wouldn't ordinarily post, but it's an early Staples cut, and it smokes. Way more gospel than their later stuff.


~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Music:
The Staple Singers - Respect Yourself mp3 at Inventati
The Staple Singers - I'll Take You There mp3 at Pro Creations Salon
The Staple Singers - Masters of War mp3 at Aquarium Drunkard
The Staple Singers - Samson & Delilah mp3 at Beware of the Blog
The Staple Singers - Uncloudy Day mp3 at Liberated Syndication
The Staple Singers - God Bless the Children mp3 at Art Decade
The Staple Singers - For What It's Worth mp3 at Funky 16 Corners
The Staple Singers - Slippery People mp3 (via Box.net) at The Beat
The Staple Singers - Wade In the Water (audio only) at YouTube
Video:
The Staple Singers - Respect Yourself (Wattstax) at Daily Motion
The Staple Singers - I'll Take You There (Soul Train, 1972) at YouTube
The Staple Singers - I'll Take You There (Grammy Awards 1973) at YouTube
The Staple Singers - If You're Ready (Soul Train, 1973) at YouTube
The Staple Singers - When Will We Be Paid (live, 1971) at YouTube
The Staple Singers - Reach Out, Touch a Hand, Make a Friend (live 1981) at YouTube
A Short History of the Staple Singers at YouTube

Saturday, March 19, 2011

FORGET THE HITS


Stop. I know what you're thinking. Forget all about the Edgar Winter hits (all two of them). Hear me out on this one, because if you don't listen now, you might not ever hear it again. Edgar Winter released some top shelf funky-ass R&B in the band that preceded the hits, Edgar Winter's White Trash. I mean it. I know his career has been spotty, with some embarrassingly bad stuff that no one should be subjected to. (If you've ever heard the rap version of "Frankenstein," you know what I'm talking about.) But, if you haven't heard anything from either of the first two White Trash LPs, you're missing what he was best at.

The seven piece White Trash, all relative unknowns with the exception of Winter, did their own version of funky R & B, with distorted wah-wah, incredibly deep bass, and some perfectly placed horns. By no means purist, but funky as all get out. The band included one Jerry LaCroix, a fantastically gifted soul shouter from Winter's hometown Beaumont, Texas. It was undoubtedly the presence of LaCroix's Sam to Winter's Dave that prompted Winter to stretch his own pipes a little.

"Give it Everything You Got" has it all. The swapping of vocals, the aforementioned wah-wah, and the bass (so deep, it may be a fuzz bass), the horns, the screams, everything. I wish I could hear it again for the first time. Seriously, I think I would be awe struck.

The other two are from the second White Trash LP, the two record live album, Roadwork. "Cool Fool," is just as tight as the first one, with Winter singing lead, and "I Can't Turn You Loose," the Otis cover, has LaCroix singing lead. Give 'em a shot, they may change your perception of Edgar Winter, and make you forget "Frankenstein."

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Edgar Winter's White Trash - Give It Everything You Got mp3 at Giant Panther
Edgar Winter's White Trash - Cool Fool mp3 (via DivShare) at Your Sister's Record Rack
Edgar Winter's White Trash - I Can't Turn You Loose mp3 (via DivShare) at Your Sister's Record Rack

Friday, March 18, 2011

THE STRYCHNINE'S ON ME GUYS


There are a handful of people that first sucked me into the can of worms that is music bloggery. The two biggees were a couple of folks who unknowingly tugged at my tired ass rock and roll heart stings, and convinced me that true believers still tangled. Every few days I could visit their space, and it was like my brother bringing home a thrift store score. That was roughly four or five years ago, and they're still my first two clicks when I start prowling.

These guys just kill it, consistently. This here is a bookmark alert. (If you don't bookmark them, there will always be links here in the "Get Lost" list.) Here they are: DJ Diddy Wah's Diddy Wah (an Australian ex-pat in the UK), and the Reverend Tom Frost's Spread the Good Word (from South of Hell, France).

Reverend Frost used to post a little more regularly, but he's now doing complete mixes, every few weeks. If you're leery of committing to a whole mix download, you shouldn't be. Trust me on this, there's nary a stinker in the bunch. He's also a musician, and there's a link below to a post with an mp3 of his two man project, the Bloody Tomahawks (as seen above), doing a cover of the Cramps' "Garbageman." If you dig that, there's a link or two to other places with samples (Facebook, etc.). It's good stuff.

Diddy Wah hits it just about every post. Usually just a song or two, but always worthy. A sampling is down below, but you really should just go there. The dude's been on a roll lately. His mixes are also dyn-o-mite.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
The Mar-Keys - The Dribble mp3 at Diddy Wah
Irma Thomas - Break-A-Way mp3 at Diddy Wah
Jody Reynolds - Endless Sleep mp3 at Diddy Wah
Ernie Fields - Teen Flip mp3 at Diddy Wah
Diddy Wah's mixes
Diddy Wah's home page (bookmark this!)

Spread the Good Word - A Bloody Evil Party Mix, Part 3: Go there for Rev. Frost's latest mix, 26 tunes with the Tielman Brothers, Vince Taylor, Howlin' Wolf, Gene Vincent, Sandy Nelson, Jody Reynolds, and a few other familiar names; mixed a whole bunch of bands I've never heard of.
Reverend Tom Frost's music site
Spread the Good Word's home page (bookmark this!)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

MOPS, MONKS, MONKEES, MOTT, GORIES


Yes Mops fans, we heard you loud and clear. You wanted more Mops. It's Mops mania. Crazy about the Mops. Hooked on Mops. Sweatin' to the Mops. Now, that's what I call Mops! Did a little more digging for stuff about them, and started thinking about other bands that had self-referential song titles. The first that came to mind were the Monkees' "(Hey, Hey) We're the Monkees," and then the Monks' "Monk Time," and Mott the Hoople's "The Ballad of Mott the Hoople." Do you see a pattern? All of those names start with "Mo". Of course, that doesn't mean shit, because the next one I thought of was the Gories' "Hey, Hey, We're the Gories." Pledge break!:

So I found a video, a clip from a Japanese movie, that has the Mops playing from the back of of a flat bed truck, ala Jerry Lee. One of the thing that sets this off in a weird way from the git-go is that the truck is parked at about a fifteen degree incline. It's a neat song, kind of reminded me of Captain Beefheart, for no particular reason.



So here's the Mops song that started a frenzy, some other Mops links, and four from the self-referential song title tangent. All unrelated killer, no unrelated filler.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
The Mops - I'm A Mops mp3 at Beware of the Blog
The Mops - Lengthy bio, by Julian Cope, at JapRockSampler
The Mops - Goiken Muyou (Iijanaika) at Crawdaddy.com
Japanese Psychedelic Music at Psych.org

The Monkees - (Hey, Hey) We're the Monkees mp3 at Lexington Rescue 1
The Monks - Monk Time mp3 at Pretty Goes With Pretty
Mott the Hoople - The Ballad of Mott the Hoople mp3 at Plain or Pan
The Gories - Hey Hey We're the Gories mp3 at Black Out Musique

Monday, March 14, 2011

HELP WORLD CITIZENS


It shakes me to my bones to think of what the earthquake and tsunami victims must be going through. This sort of thing should be humbling to anyone and everyone. I really have nothing to add, so I'll just post a bunch of Japanese music. This is just a sprinkling, but hopefully enough that a few of you will look into the agencies helping the victims (a list of agencies at the Huffington Post can be found here.)

I left out a few bands that I was thinking about posting, because I couldn't find any mp3s (Buffalo Daughter, Seagull Screaming Kiss Her Kiss Her, Jackie & the Cedrics, etc) and I left out Guitar Wolf, because I posted a whole thing about him (here) a while back (and the links are still good!). Hands down, my favorites below are the older ones (the single song artists interspersed below). If I was you, I'd start with fuzz: the Dynamites, the Mops, and Bunny. They're just some wild shit. Really, if I'd have found them first, I'd have stopped right there. Then there's the surf bands: Terry & the Blue Jeans, and Jimmy Takeuchi and the Exciters. After that, you can just dabble around. There's something for everyone.


~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
The Dynamites - Tunnei Tengoku mp3 at Beware of the Blog
Cornelius - Star Fruits Surf Rider mp3 at Super Humanoids
Cornelius - Count Five or Six mp3 at FredFlare.com
Cornelius - Ape Shall Never Kill Ape mp3 at Zeleny Digital Freaks
Cornelius - Sleep Warm mp3 at Super Humanoids
Terry & the Blue Jeans - Squad Car mp3 at Beware of the Blog
Takeshi Terauchi - In a Persian Market mp3 at Beware of the Blog
Takeshi Terauchi - Theme from Symphony 5 at Beware of the Blog
Takeshi Terauchi - The Flight of the Bumblebee mp3 at Beware of the Blog
The Mops - I'm A Mops mp3 at Beware of the Blog
Pizzicato Five - It's A Beautiful Day mp3 at 199x.org
Pizzicato Five - Twiggy Twiggy mp3 at Mr. Suave
Pizzicato Five - Mon Amour Tokyo mp3 at Vertical Technology Blog
Jimmy Takeuchi & the Exciters - Diamond Head mp3 at Beware of the Blog
Cibo Matto - Birthday Cake mp3 at The Sound of Indie
Cibo Matto - Black Hole Sun mp3 at SuzukiMaruti.it
Cibo Matto - Know Your Chicken mp3 at WNUR.org
Cibo Matto - Beef Jerky mp3 at The Sound of Indie
Bunny - Hey Chance mp3 at Beware of the Blog
Shonen Knife - Daydream Believer mp3 at War Child 13
Shonen Knife - Super Group mp3 at Magnet Magazine
Shonen Knife - Top of the World mp3 at Joe Clip Art
Melt Banana - We Will Rock You mp3 at Beware of the Blog
Melt Banana - I Hate It! mp3 at Mustard Relics
Melt Banana - Uncontrollable Urge (live, audience tape) mp3 at Mustard Relics
Melt Banana - Creep in a White Cake mp3 at Mustard Relics
Oddballs:
Keita_Asari - Overture (from Japanese) Jesus Christ Superstar) mp3 at Beware of the Blog
Cast of "Hair" (Japanese production) - Hair mp3 at Beware of the Blog
Earlier posts:
Just Red Zone - Guitar Wolf post (5 mp3s and videos)
Pass the Terauchi - Takeshi Terauchi post (mp3s and link to LP rip)
How to Help Japan:
How to Help Japan: Earthquake Relief Options at the Huffington Post

Saturday, March 12, 2011

WHICH WAY YOU GOING BILLY?


If you've ever seen Repo Man, you might remember the scene when Emilio Estevez's character Otto is in a bar, and the Circle Jerks are on stage doing a acoustic faux-lounge version of "When the Shit Hits the Fan." As an aside, he mutters "I can believe I used to like this band." That's exactly what I thought, not long after ZZ Top's fourth LP. You'd never guess it now, but back before the buffoonery, ZZ Top were actually a tight blues rock band with no bells, no whistles, and no ridiculous outfits.

They came along at a perfect time for a young male teenager. I remember humming "Just Got Paid Today" after cashing my first three digit paycheck; and swilling my first beers to "Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers." Just about every band in the blues rock obsessed beach area party scene that I grew up in, knew that if the energy was lagging after one too many Allman Brothers songs, you played some ZZ Top. Everything was just fine. Then came Fandango, their fourth album. "Tush" got airplay. They were starting to blow up, and in the era of huge tour extravaganzas, they did it big. "That Little Ol' Band From Texas" (which is what they referred to themselves as) went on a stadium tour, complete with a stage in the shape of the state of Texas, and live animals, including a longhorn steer, a bison, two vultures and two rattlesnakes (the animal budget alone was $140K). To add more distress, this was when they started dressing alike (albeit, they were suits by Nudie). But the single most disturbing part of this whole "we'll do whatever it takes" fiasco, was those goddamned choreographed moves.

You can't coast on one gatefold sleeve forever.

I pretty much stopped listening to anything new by ZZ Top after that. I tested the water a little here and there, but in 1979, they all but told their old fan base to fuck off and die. In came the matching long ass beards and the spinning guitars, and the weird non-guitar shit started creeping into their music. And then, they did the unthinkable. Riding high, from catering to the lowest common denominator (MTV), they got the brilliant idea to enhance their earlier albums, to make them sound more 80's. It was the textbook definition of FUBAR. The original unfucked-with versions were not released on CD until 2006, at which time I started to consider giving them a pass. But, until they are up there, unchoreographed, without synthesizers, effects, animals, ridiculous outfits, or any sort of gimmicks, I'll still be saying "I can't believe I used to like these guys"

Here's a few from Billy Gibbon's earlier band, the Moving Sidewalks, and some cuts from the early ZZ Top albums, when they really were "That Little Ol' Band From Texas." And there's some covers too; by Motorhead, and Queens of the Stone Age (the latter on a rarities mix).

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Moving Sidewalks - Pluto - Sept. 31st mp3 at Merry Swankster
Moving Sidewalks - Every Night A New Surprise mp3 at Soylent Cream (Note: Fade-out cut short)
Moving Sidewalks - Flashback mp3 (via Box.net) at DailyBowBow
ZZ Top - Brown Sugar mp3 at SnapDrive.net
ZZ Top - Just Got Paid mp3 at TheSixman.com
ZZ Top - Francine (FUBAR version) mp3 at FileDen
ZZ Top - La Grange mp3 at MilwaukeeBay.com
ZZ Top - Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers mp3 at SoberMusicians.com (No, really.)
ZZ Top - Heard It On the X mp3 at DIYMedia.net
ZZ Top - Tush mp3 at Tracy Designs
Covers:
Motorhead - Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers mp3 at Heavy-Music.ru
Boula Matari Missie Tintin- Tush mp3 at BoulaMatari.org
The Queens of the Stone Age - Rarities Collection Vol 3 (zip, via MediaFire ) at Metal Bastard Goes Soft (Includes cover of ZZ Top's "Precious and Grace." Go there for complete song list.)
Oddball:
Lord Riffenstein - Tush ("No guitars with vocal") mp3 at LordRiffenstein What is this? Karaoke for guitar?

Friday, March 11, 2011

UP (YOURS) WITH PEOPLE!


Photo: Square America

Too old and tired to go out and get nutty on a Friday night? We have an app for that. I ran across a medley of Velvet Underground songs that pops up from time to time. The first time I heard it, it prompted a mix of WTF mild amusement, and purist annoyance. So, of course, I had to subject you to it. If you want to get it out of your head right away, follow it up with the "Guess I'm Falling In Love" instrumental version as a chaser, loud. It's the only known remedy.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
The symptom:
Mike Flowers Pop - Velvet Underground Medley mp3 at 8106 ("No para puristas"? No shit.)
The remedy:

The Velvet Underground - Guess I'm Falling In Love (instrumental) mp3 at Boogie Woogie Flu
Earlier VU post:
The Velvet Underground Grab Bag (Note: From a year ago, so some mp3 links may be dead)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

IF I HAD A HAT, I'D TIP IT


You might have seen my gush fest the other day, the one about the supa-fine Versions Galore. For the past several days, while continuing to dig through the massive amount of stuff there, another thing hit me, which might explain why I think the host, Leopold, has such a good thing going. The breadth of material he posts would be worthy if they were covers or not. I mean, anyone who posts the Dirtbombs and Judy Mowatt is someone who passes the Trastos litmus test. And, by posting another funky Hendrix cover (this time pour moi), he definitely knows how to incite a link. This time, I'll lay off his bandwidth and just encourage, no implore you to bookmark the sucker.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Saravah Soul - Fire mp3 at Versions Galore
Versions Galore - Bookmark this one to return to his latest.
Here's another cover of Fire, by the Goddard High School Stage Band, that's funky in a marching band sorta way:
Goddard High School Stage Band - Fire mp3 at Beware of the Blog

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

REGGAE VOCAL GROUP #104


I think I've blabbed enough in the last several days to spare you another episode of eye rolling. So here's a bunch from the Heptones. As much as you'd like me to take my intrusive ass out of here, a few notes about some of the selections below are still warranted. First off about "Book of Rules": as far as reggae goes, it's essential. So good, that I'll go as far as saying that no mp3, no ear buds, and no computer speakers can truly do the song justice. As great as the two versions below are, it's one of those songs that begs for bass. Booming bass. The two versions below are slightly different. The first sounds like the original mix. The second is a semi-pasteurized version, with strings and other unneeded embellishments (subtle as they are). My guess is that it's the work of UK's Trojan Records, who had a habit of fucking with JA versions (just a guess).

"Ain't That Bad" (in the middle of that pack down there) is an very early cut, nice and raw (the Heptones formed in '62 or '63). The last two are later (70's) and were produced by Lee "Scratch" Perry. Listen to them, they're thick. Head Heptone Leroy Sibbles really dug Perry, enough that the Heptones rerecorded some of their earlier stuff at Perry's Black Ark studio, after they had already been hits on Studio One. Ordinarily kinda odd, but made even more unusual because Sibbles was such a fixture at Studio One, as bass player, arranger, talent scout, and as a singer. Enough so, he once challenged reggae historian Lloyd Bradley to name a Studio One song that he wasn't connected to in some capacity. Bradley named song after song, and was unable to do so. I'll stop right here. Now dig yourself a groove or two.


~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
The Heptones - Book of Rules (w/strings) mp3 at Town Full of Losers
The Heptones - Only Sixteen mp3 at Rasta Geeks
The Heptones - Fatty Fatty mp3 at Nintendo Planet Video
The Heptones - Our Day Will Come mp3 at DanielJohnsonWrites
The Heptones - Ain't That Bad mp3 at OCF.Berkley.edu
The Heptones - Pretty Loo mp3 at MBrownI
The Heptones - Hypocrite mp3 at Ear It Now
The Heptones - Crying Over You mp3 at Passion of the Weiss
The Heptones - Mr. President mp3 at Passion of the Weiss

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

IT'S PARTY TIME


Earlier this evening when I was driving south, I had one of those moments; the sort that isn't really deja vu, but makes you think of as different time. It was about an hour before the sun went down, and being that it was a sunny day and the sun was low, the shadows were long. I flashed back to all of the drives to L.A. (going north) in the early evening, to make it up there in time for one show or another. That trip down memory lane traveled past the Whiskey, the Masque, Tommy's, Turner's Liquor, Power Burger, that shop on Sunset that had a hologram in the window, Pinks, and other landmarks, ultimately landing me at a house on Detroit Street.

The unassuming supermarket in the photo above was the unofficial libation supplier of the nearby Detroit Street house. (Photo: Hilda Daniel)

That particular house was where my brother lived for a short time, and it had among it's tenants and visitors, a pretty significant portion of L.A.'s punk rock shake. By that I mean, not the major players, but tuned in, even after the much heralded first wave. I only made it to the house a few times, but every visit was memorable. (It was a party house par excellence, at least when I was there.) The one particular moment that entered my drive time dulled brain was standing in the entryway of the house, near one of my brother's room mates who had just returned from a party somewhere, slouched on the couch and more than a little tipsy. She was semi-singing and semi-shouting the lyrics to 45 Graves "Concerned Citizen," "You are not my friend!" It was, in my mind, an archetypal L.A. early 80s moment, and I've thought about it every time I've heard 45 Grave since. So, this is for K (who out of courtesy, will not be more positively identified) and the other Detroit Streeters.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
45 Grave - Concerned Citizen mp3 at Mustard Relics
45 Grave - Evil mp3 at Mustard Relics
45 Grave - 45 Grave mp3 at Mustard Relics
45 Grave - Black Cross mp3 at AliceBag.com
Bonus pain in the ass to download link:
Darker Scratcher - Full LP in zip format at Fantasmi Macchina (Right after where it says "Get it here" click on link that says "LAFMS") The first 45 Grave recording "Riboflavin Flavored, Non-Carbonated, Poly-Unsaturated Blood" was on this fine LAFMS compilation. The whole LP, which also features the Boyd Rice and Daniel Miller's "Cleanliness and Order" is entirely worthwhile and very different from the punk stuff of the time. LAFMS was the Los Angeles Free Music Society, which leaned towards the experimental.
Los Angeles Free Music Society home page