Saturday, April 30, 2011

GARAGE SOUL, IF YOU MUST


I'd seen their name a lot and never stopped long enough to give them a listen, or read their bio. As a matter of fact, I practically went out of my way to ignore them. Credit Aquarium Drunkard for pulling my head out of my ass. They were gushing about the Joe Lewis and the Honey Bears live show, in a way that informed music fiends rarely do. I bit, and as I read further, I learned that Joe Lewis worked at a pawn shop, decided he wanted to give music a try, took a guitar off the wall and started playing. Just like that. To better the story, he didn't spend years toiling over technique, he just got out there and did it, basically learning how to play onstage. That "Fuck it, I'm doing this" attitude is the sort of thing that I lap up.



I've seen their music called garage soul, and I guess that's about as close as you could come to describing them. Like a rag tag version of the Dap Kings, with an encyclopedia of soul that's missing a few pages. The music is stylistically all over the place, but remains in the soul/blues idiom, albeit loosely. There's definitely some Stax, and Motown going on, but there's also some Canned Heat, Black Keys, and 70s guitar boogie. Some really familiar sounds on some of these, intentional or not. "Booty City" has parts that sound like Edwin Starr's "Twenty Five Miles," and "Gunpowder" has bits of the Bar-Kays' "Soul Finger" (links below for comparison). Call it what you want, I stopped trying.



~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Black Joe Lewis & the Honey Bears - You Been Lyin' mp3 at Popdose
Black Joe Lewis & the Honey Bears - Booty City at Aquarium Drunkard
Black Joe Lewis & the Honey Bears - Get Yo Shit mp3 (via Mediafire) at Tone Agents
Black Joe Lewis & the Honey Bears - Gunpowder mp3 at Speed of Dark
Black Joe Lewis & the Honey Bears - Bitch, I Love You mp3 at Stranger Dance
Black Joe Lewis & the Honey Bears - Boogie mp3 at Blackout Musique
Black Joe Lewis & the Honey Bears - Big Booty Woman mp3 at Blackout Musique
Black Joe Lewis & the Honey Bears - Sugarfoot mp3 at WOXY
Related:
Edwin Starr - Twenty Five Miles mp3 at Mr. Suave
The Bar-Kays - Soul Finger mp3 at Boogie Woogie Flu

Friday, April 29, 2011

WIGGLE ROOM NEEDED


Look at that picture sleeve above, and I'll bet you'll be tempted to take a pass on this one. I wouldn't blame you. I only knew of Clout because someone gave me one of their first 45s as a semi-gag a long time ago, and I wasn't entirely impressed. But "Sunshine Baby" is catchy as hell. It's kind of a reggae-ish, way over processed Grace Jones/Abba hybrid. With horns and strings, lotsa echo,..really, the works. Taken out of context, a solid addition to your Summer Jams mix.

Clout was from South Africa and started out as an all girl outfit (hence the clever design element in the "O" of their logo), adding a few dudes later. They had a hit in Europe in 1977 with "Substitute," a Righteous Brothers cover, and that really sounds like they're trying to do the Abba thing.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Clout - Sunshine Baby mp3 at Muzik Kurier
Clout - Substitute video at YouTube
More on Clout here

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

THE DAY GLO HAS DIMMED


A couple of days ago, I posted a few things from Poly Styrene's new album Generation Indigo. I knew she had cancer, but the recent write up in the Guardian UK had an optimistic tone to it. So, I was shocked and saddened this morning when I found out that she had passed away. I debated about whether I should write about her again so soon, for fear of coming off like some sort of Poly Styrene glee club. But, you know what? Fuck it, I'm a card carrying member of that glee club, and have been for the last thirty plus years. Whenever I see bright contrasting colors, I think of Poly Styrene. Whenever I see anyone pull off their own style, regardless of "conventional" beauty, I think of Poly Styrene. And whenever I see someone buying in to the acquiring of unnecessary shit (which happens these days with more and more frequency), I think of the lyrics written by Poly Styrene. The 19 year old with braces was way ahead of her time. So, unashamed glee all the way.



For any of you younger folks that weren't around in the late seventies, hear me now: Poly Styrene was one of the most original, thought provoking individuals to come out of the punk movement, then and now. And I do mean individual. When seemingly everybody under the punk banner was doing nearly the same thing, and dressing the same way, Poly Styrene bucked the system, shopped at thrift stores and sang about rampant unquestioned consumerism. I wrote about her and X-Ray Spex back in November, and though I'm loath to repeat myself, I'll repeat myself anyways. (Repeating starts below the video.)



It might be hard to explain the significance of X-Ray Spex to someone who wasn't around at the time. If you've grown up knowing the term consumerism, you're more aware than most young adults were back then. In 1978, few people had any view whatsoever about consumerism, one way of another. So, try to imagine the context: While other bands were singing anarchy and white riots, X-Ray Spex wrote songs that made anti-consumerism relevant and fun. This was before any real anti-consumerism movement, before Adbusters, before "Live Simply" bumper stickers. The lyrics were thought provoking without preaching, and the music was loud. Here was a band without ripped clothing or intentionally shoddy appearance, with a singer in braces and a saxophone player, singing about subjects that were universal and doable. It wasn't mean spirited, it wasn't angry, it was simply a message; and by virtue of that, your guard down and receptors up, it was relatable and palatable. To top it off, with the combination of Poly Styrene's unique voice, and the inclusion of saxophone, they sounded like no one else.

Here are some mp3s that I linked to back then, along with some surprisingly current sounding stuff from her 1986 "Gods & Goddesses" EP and tracks from Generation Indigo.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
{MORE MP3S AND VIDEO ADDED 4/28/11}
Music:
X-Ray Spex - Oh Bondage, Up Yours! mp3 at Women In Punk
X-Ray Spex - I Am A Cliché mp3 at Lumberjack Theif
X-Ray Spex - The Day the World Turned Day Glo mp3 at Undomodo
X-Ray Spex - Identity mp3 at Last Days of Man On Earth
X-Ray Spex - Germ Free Adolescence mp3 at The Mad Makerel
X-Ray Spex - Let's Submerge mp3 at Last Days of Man On Earth
Poly Styrene - Black Christmas mp3 at RcrdLbl
Poly Styrene - Black Christmas mp3 (email required) at Poly-Styrene.com
Poly Styrene - Thrash City mp3 at Here Comes the Flood
Poly Styrene - White Gold mp3
at The Cargo Culte
Poly Styrene - Virtual Boyfriend (Creep Remix) mp3
at μ sique
Poly Styrene - Generation Indigo Minimix mp3 at The Culture of Me
EP download:
Poly Styrene - Gods & Goddesses (1986) - 4 song EP download at Fade 2 Grey
Video:

X-Ray Spex - Oh Bondage, Up Yours! video at YouTube
X-Ray Spex - Identity video at YouTube
X-Ray Spex - Identity (live) video at YouTube
X-Ray Spex - Germ Free Adolescence video at YouTube
X-Ray Spex - The Day the World Turned Day-Glo video at YouTube
X-Ray Spex - Warrior in Woolworths video at YouTube
X-Ray Spex - Art-I-Ficial video at YouTube
X-Ray Spex - I Live Off You video at YouTube
X-Ray Spex - Oh Bondage, Up Yours! (live, 2008 reunion) video at YouTube
Poly Styrene - Generation Indigo track by track interview
Poly Styrene & X-Ray Spex (from The Punk Years) video at YouTube
Read:
More Than Just a Punk Rocker - NME's write up
My Secret Life: Poly Styrene at the Independent.UK
Poly Styrene - Extensive profile and interview at Sugarbuzz Magazine
Poly Styrene at Wikipedia X-Ray Spex at Wikipedia
Poly Styrene - Art-I-Ficial lyrics at Lyricsmania
More X-Ray Spex lyrics (right hand column) at Lyricsmania

Monday, April 25, 2011

WHAT THE NEW BREED SAY


As far as I'm concerned, when it comes to rock n' roll, it all starts in the garage. It's where the enduring spirit of sloppy snotty young bashers is cured and fermented, where it thrives. Where you not only have total creative control, but there are no witnesses. Total freedom. Why would you ever want to leave?

The question really is just that. Do you even want to leave the garage? You know, try to go the major label rock star bullshit route. It isn't necessarily a question of whether or not you want to be a small fish or big fish in a big pond. Do you even want to consider any pond a destination? What is your motive? What a lot have bands discover is that there is nothing that makes that route worthy of getting all spit shined. It's far funner to spill beer and play sloppy. I fully concur.

There's a documentary online, New Garage Explosion. It's an hour plus, about the newer garage rock bands. I've only watched about a third of it, but from what I've seen, it's pretty good. There's a part where they ask a succession of band members what their favorite bands are, and most of the bands below were mentioned a few times. Just skip around, their sounds vary wildly.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Thee Oh Sees - Warm Slime mp3 at The Bay Bridged
Thee Oh Sees - Crushed Grass mp3 at Night Drive
Thee Oh Sees - The Drag mp3 at Cover Me
The Black Lips - Hippys mp3 at Rollo & Grady
The Black Lips - Stoned mp3 at Rollo & Grady
The Black Lips - Best Napkin I Ever Had mp3 at The Bay Bridged
Ty Segall - Hey Big Mouth mp3 at Fuck Yeah! Go Team!
Ty Segall - Girlfriend mp3 at Chromewaves
Ty Segall - Caesar mp3 at Everybody Taste
Ty Segall - The Slider mp3 at Paper Crane Collective
The Mantles - Raspberry Thighs at Part Time Music
The Mantles - Don't Lie mp3 at See The Leaves
The Mantles - What We Do Matters mp3 at See The Leaves
The Girls - Heartbreaker mp3 at Everybody Taste
The Clean - Getting Older mp3 at Draw.Us.Lines
The Clean - Tally Ho mp3 (via Box.net) at Sonic Masala
Video:
New Garage Explosion - at VBS: One hour and 14 minute documentary with more torch bearers
(Thanks to
Rockinismo for the tip.)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

OH BONDAGE, OH WELL


Poly Styrene never completed her shark jump. It's like she fell in and climbed out to live another day. I'm just glad she's on dry land. Let her get her bearings, she'll figure out what side she landed on. Despite the polish on her new stuff, it is good to hear that voice. I'm not going to call her on anything. I'm too busy avoiding the whole shark issue altogether.


X-Ray Spex - Oh Bondage! Up Yours! 1977

Don't get me wrong, I do like this new stuff, but in a different way than I do X-Ray Spex. "Thrash City" has a sort of glam beat, like T Rex without the T Rex sound, if that makes any sense. All of them are thickly produced. I was hoping for sparse.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
New stuff:
Poly Styrene - Thrash City mp3 at Here Comes the Flood
Poly Styrene - White Gold mp3 at The Cargo Culte
Poly Styrene - Virtual Boyfriend (Creep remix) mp3 at μ sique
Poly Styrene - Generation Indigo Minimix mp3 at The Culture Of Me
Tons of X-Ray Spex at a previous post:
Poly Styrene's Black Christmas - NOTE: A whole bunch of X-Ray Spex
Read:
Recent profile at the UK Guardian

THEY USED TO PLAY SKYNRYD


The neighbors that that live behind me were partying last night, and I heard Jimmy Smith coming through the fence. I just turned my music off, because if there was ever anything cooler than playing a Jimmy Smith record, it's hearing Jimmy Smith seeping through the cracks of a raggedy ass fence.



~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Jimmy Smith - Burning Spear mp3 at One Sweet Song
Jimmy Smith - Squeeze Me mp3 at Omroep.nl
Jimmy Smith - I'm Gonna Live You A Little Bit More Babe mp3 at Die Monster
Jimmy Smith - Main Title From The Carpetbaggers mp3 at Basement Rug
Jimmy Smith - J.O.S. mp3 at Garage Hangover
Jimmy Smith - St. James Infirmary mp3 at Honey Where You Been So Long
Jimmy Smith - Sunny Side of the Street mp3 at SFU
Jimmy Smith - Lonesome Road mp3 at Mike Roy
Jimmy Smith - Scrapple From the Apple mp3 at Drummer World

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

ENTER THE WAH WAH


Do you know Dennis Coffey? You bet your ass you do. He was a later member of the Funk Brothers, and his guitar was all over the '69-'72 Motown stuff, including the Temptations' "Ball of Confusion," "Psychedelic Shack," and "Cloud Nine," and Edwin Starr's "War." He was a big part of Motown producer Norman Whitfield's wall of psychedelic funk, staying put in Detroit, when half of Motown's roster up and moved west (some working with members of the Wrecking Crew). Coffey also played on Freda Payne's "Band of Gold," and the Isley Brothers' "It's Your Thing," among many others, and he still managed to squeeze out solo stuff. His 1971 instrumental hit, "Scorpio," made it to #6 on the charts, and he was the first white performer on Soul Train when he appeared to play the song.

If you want to get in the mood for a listen, check this clip of Soul Train first. I couldn't find a clip of him performing back then, but this one's real good. With "Scorpio" playing, the Soul Train crowd is seriously getting down. What strikes me is the variety of moves, all tight enough to seem choreographed. You could watch the clip several times and not see all of the different dance moves. And everybody is into it, even during the conga break. You cannot watch this sitting down.



Coffey has a new album out on Strut. He's still at it. Guesting are Kings Go Forth, Mayer Hawthorne, Fanny Franklin (from Orgone), Lisa Kekaula (the Bellrays), and a duet with Mick Collins (the Dirtbombs) and Rachel Nagy (the Detroit Cobras). Who ever did the picking, did a damn good job.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
From the new one:
Dennis Coffey with Mayer Hawthorne - All Your Goodies Are Gone mp3 at Potholes in My Blog
Dennis Coffey with Fanny Franklin - Don't Knock My Love Pt 1 mp3 at American Athlete
Old stuff:
Dennis Coffey - Scorpio mp3 at EricMGrant.EJFlavors
Dennis Coffey - Wings of Fire mp3 at Art Decade
Dennis Coffey - Theme From Black Belt Jones mp3 at Blog.ddiction
Dennis Coffey - Free Spirit mp3 at Keyboard Masher
Dennis Coffey -Taurus, Ride Sally Ride and Never Can Say Goodbye mp3s at The Vinyl District Note: Click on small arrows under "Download"
Session work:
The Temptations - Psychedelic Shack mp3 at La Viie en Robe
Edwin Starr - War mp3 at Cows Are Just Food
The Temptations - Ball of Confusion mp3 at FishHeads
Isley Brothers - It's Your Thing mp3 at Parasoul
Podcast:
Dennis Coffey - Premium Blend podcast, two part retrospective of his career at BandCamp
Oddball bonus: Purists be forewarned, this is a mash up:
Dennis Coffey, King Curtis, Ken Freedman, Led Zeppelin, and Tina Turner - Whole Lotta Whole Lotta Love mp3 at Beware of the Blog
Visit:
Dennis Coffey Official site
Dennis Coffey at Wikipedia

Monday, April 18, 2011

DOUBLE BILL FOR THE AGES


I know, just did the Richard Berry thing, that had the Sonics and the Wailers. But I had to post this. It's a first hand account of a Sonics/Wailers double bill that happened back in the day, written by Frank Gutch Jr. He attended as a teenager, and writes about the show with amazing recall. I'm downright proud to say that Frank was the first person to make me listen to them, over thirty years ago. In my world, the man deserves a medal. (He also turned me on to the Flamin' Groovies and Big Star, among others.) Frank was partners in a record store, called "Scratching the Surface." The San Diego punk scene was just beginning, and his encouragement was essential in getting things off the ground, as was his store, which served as an ersatz hub.

I had lost track of Frank, for easily two decades, when a friend at a record store told me he saw a copy of my old fanzine on Ebay. When I looked at the item description, I knew the seller had to have been someone I knew, the description was so thorough. Out of curiosity, I emailed the seller, only to find out it was Frank. (He had a column in that issue, called "Boss Hoss," after the Sonics' song.) We've been in touch ever since.

One quick note: Because the Wailers share a name with the reggae Wailers, it's nearly impossible to find mp3s of the Fabulous Wailers.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Read: The Sonics vs the Wailers - Battle of the Bands! by Frank Gutch Jr., at Indie Musicology
Rock and Reprise - Frank's older stuff
Listen:
The Sonics - Boss Hoss mp3 at Pretty Goes With Pretty
The Sonics - Psycho mp3 at The Adios Lounge
The Sonics - The Witch mp3 at Blah Blah Blah Science
The Sonics - Walking the Dog mp3 (via MediaFire) at Metal Bastard Goes Soft
The Wailers - Out of Our Tree mp3 at Beware of the Blog
The Wailers - Louie Louie mp3 via MediaFire
The Wailers - Mashi mp3 at Beware of the Blog
The Wailers - Gunnin' For Peter mp3 at API.Ning
Let's Go Chopping:
Norton Records 45 RPM Juke Box Series -11 Sonics and Wailers singles on vinyl (scroll halfway down page)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

WE MEET AGAIN


This actually started out as a quick post just to shove Foghat's version of "I Just Want to Make Love to You" in front of you, because I love the sound of it. It was produced by Dave Edmunds in the early 70s. It's nothing close to the original, just a nice slice of 70's guitar thud. So, after straying off the path, I ended up going on a two day Willie Dixon binge. It was overdue. I've seen his name in album cover notes since...well, a long fucking time. One of my earliest fetishized LPs (Johnny Winter) had a Dixon song on it. Later, I finally heard his music, and revisited versions by his contemporaries. (If you want a mind fuck, check out this list at Wikipedia.) He was a singer, guitarist, bassist, songwriter, producer, arranger, and talent scout; one of the architects of the Chicago blues sound, as well as the sound of Chess Records. He is the man.



Here's a variety of Dixon written stuff. Starting with a few rock bands. Love Sculpture is an early Dave Edmunds band. And check the video at the bottom. Strap yourself in. it's the pay off. Dixon's in it, with some heavy friends. It is awesome. Turn it up and go full screen on the mother.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
The UK rock bands:
Love Sculpture - Wang Dang Doodle mp3 at From Russia With Art
Foghat - I Just Want to Make Love to You mp3 at The Giant Panther
Cream - Spoonful mp3 at South Bay Amp Works
Led Zeppelin - You Shook Me mp3 at Great Gonzo
The old school:
Howlin' Wolf - Wang Dang Doodle mp3 at Burning Hand
Koko Taylor - Wang Dang Doodle mp3 at Clumsy & Shy
Etta James - I Just Want to Make Love to You mp3 at 8106
Muddy Waters - You Shook Me mp3 at Harmony Talk
The Man:
Willie Dixon - Spoonfull mp3 at Le Mellotron
Willie Dixon - You Shook Me mp3 at Great Gonzo
Willie Dixon - Twenty Nine Ways to My Baby's Door mp3 at Merry Swankster
Willie Dixon - I'd Give My Life For You mp3 at Beware of the Blog
Willie Dixon & Koko Taylor - Insane Asylum mp3 at Clumsy & Shy
Watch:
Willie Dixon - Bassology video at YouTube
Several videos at Willie-Dixon.com
Visit:
Willie Dixon at the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame
List of Dixon songs, and who has covered them (incomplete list) at Wikipedia
Willie Dixon's Blues Heaven Foundation

WATCH THIS:

RICHARD BERRY HAS A POSSE


Diddy Wah just posted Richard "Louie Louie" Berry's original version of "Have Love Will Travel," which, of course, I took as my cue (or excuse) to post the Sonics' version. And, as if I don't have enough shit rattling around in my head, I began thinking about the Kingsmen's hit version of "Louie Louie." Most of you will know that another Northwest band, the Wailers recorded it before them; and that Paul Revere and the Raiders recorded their version of "Louie Louie" in the same studio as the Kingsmen, in Oregon, right about the same time. (I've always thought it poetic justice that the Kingsmen, despite being the non-gimmick underdogs, ended up with the hit.) What do you think the chances are that the Sonics heard Berry's "Have Love Will Travel," (released a couple years after "Louie Louie") and decided that they had better snag it before the Wailers, Raiders or Kingsmen did?
Moment of silence interlude: I just found out that Wailers' Kent Morrill died yesterday. According to LouieLouie.net, Morrill's wife Toni said that he was singing "Louie Louie" in his sleep the night before he died. Pay your respects: The Wailers' "Out of Our Tree" and "Louie Louie" are posted below.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Richard Berry - Have Love Will Travel mp3 at Diddy Wah
The Sonics - Have Love Will Travel mp3 at Beware of the Blog
The Black Keys - Have Love Will Travel mp3 at The Adios Lounge (For you youngsters in need of a point of reference.)
RIP Kent Morrill:
The Wailers - Out of Our Tree mp3 at Beware of the Blog
The Wailers - Louie Louie mp3 (via Mediafire)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

RECORD STORE DAY IS TOMORROW


Do you remember where you bought your first record, 45 or LP? Do you remember who turned you on to what, and where? Yesterday I mentioned a record store called Soundsville, as an important store to me. It was, in fact, where I busted my shop lurking cherry. But it was only the first of many. It made me think about all of the other record stores I've spent countless hours in. Because favorite record stores are easier recalled for what they offered, rather than what they lacked.

Along with Soundsville, the other record store I frequented in my formative years was Good Karma. (After I got to know one counter guy from Good Karma, he told me that he always watched my brothers and I, because we browsed so much in relation to what we bought, he convinced that we were shoplifting. Where a gangly 13 year old would hide a 12" x 12" record is still beyond me.) Both record stores were doomed once Tower Records move into San Diego. LPs at Tower were less than $3.00, and they were about four bucks at the two independent outlets. The extra mile or so of a bike ride was worth it back then, especially if your source of income was a paper route, and time was not a factor. Tower had a much larger selection, and the prices were lower, but they lacked the personal touch of the smaller stores. It would be about five or ten years before that personal touch returned, when punk, new wave, imports and reissues breathed new life into independent stores. The chains just weren't flexible enough to adapt quickly, and to be curt, the employees not quite passionate enough. (There were exceptions of course. I'm still pals with a few ex-Tower employees, one of which I used to DJ with. Though, something tells me that I'll still get flack, even with that disclaimer.)

Rather than go through the list and bore you with names of more stores that you probably couldn't care less about, I would be remiss if I didn't take talk of records stores as an opportunity to give a rare retail endorsement. Thirsty Moon Records is one of the best, if not the best, record stores in San Diego. Per square foot, it definitely tops the list. It's tiny, and off the beaten track, but it has quality, variety and, this is important, cool knowledgeable counter guys. It has all the ingredients. The selection is obscure enough that you won't find any top sellers. Punk rock, funk, jazz, metal, psych, garage, soul, and reggae, you will find. And, even if there inventory is not overwhelming in its volume, it's varied enough that, if you're not a one genre person, you'll find something that you've never heard, and more importantly, that you will dig. And if you don't, leave a want list. After a conversation with one of the guys, I asked him to give me a call if he ever came across an rare Italian pressing of the Injections, a punk band one of my former roommates was in. There were less than a thousand pressed, so I my expectations weren't that great. But, less than two weeks later, they called to tell me that they had a used copy they were holding for me. I was properly dipped in shit.

Record Store Day is this Saturday, and even if your local record store isn't participating. it's reason enough to go talk shop with like minded freaks. Learn something, or proclaim the virtue of your latest "you gotta hear these guys." And, by all means, feel free to endorse your favorite record store in the comments.

Here's a few from The Witch, from the shelves of Thirsty Moon (the LP is in the photo above). Because you can never have enough Zambian afro-psych music.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
The Witch - Black Tears mp3 at Arkitip
The Witch - Motherless Child mp3 at Arkitip
The Witch - Strange Dream mp3 at Arkitip
The Witch - Look Out mp3 at Arkitip
The Witch - Havoc mp3 at Arkitip
A few good record stores:
Thirsty Moon Records, San Diego, CA
Folk Arts Records, San Diego, CA
Groove Merchant, San Francisco, CA
Village Music, Mill Valley, CA
Read:
Record Store Day official site
Review of Thirsty Moon at Blog San Diego
Review of Thirsty Moon at Arkitip
Previous posts that mention record stores:
Behold the Economic Solo (Monty Rockers)
Two From the Twit (Monty Rockers)
I'm A Monster (Amoeba)
(Lazy Title) Straight Outta Tel Aviv (Tower Records)
How To Stay In Business (Monty Rockers)
We're Going to Take A Short Break While We Mop Up Gary's Vocal Chords (Scratching the Surface)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

BIG IN THE BOYS' ROOM


Soundsville was bitchen. It was the first record store that I remember going to, that sold only records (back when "bitchen" was used liberally). You could go to all sorts of stores and find a small selection of records, but Soundsville had pegboard rack after pegboard rack, spilling with 12 inch stimuli. I don't even remember seeing 45's there. These guys were heads. You could go in there and browse, and the long hair behind the counter would say something like "Watcha lookin' for?... What do you like?" Uh, I like Jimi Hendrix. "Oh then, you'll like Randy California, sounds just like him." I'm paraphrasing, of course, but that's the type of store it was. They figured out what sometimes separates the successful record store and the great record store.: a counter guy who can recommend something off the wall, that you've never heard of. They don't point you towards a more popular title. They point you to a more obscure title, one that you'd likely overlook.

Record Store Day is this Saturday. Depending on the quality of your local independent record store (if you're lucky enough to have one), it could present a good opportunity to commune with fellow geeks.

Here's the only Randy California cut I could find, along with a few from Montrose, one from Golden Earring (dig the horns!), and a couple remarkably good cuts from Todd Rundgren's A Wizard, A True Star LP (a really great LP you should check out). These were all held in high regard in the boys room.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Randy California - Downer mp3 at The Pingle Pad
Montrose - I Don't Want It mp3 at Kevins Media
Montrose - Rock The Nation mp3 at Kevin's Media
Montrose - Good Rockin' Tonight mp3 at Kevin's Media
Golden Earring - Radar Love mp3 at NGamer.speedrunwiki.com
Todd Rundgren - When the Shit Hits the Fan/Sunset Blvd mp3 at The Rising Storm
Todd Rundgren - International Feel mp3 at Die Monster
Celebrate:
Record Store Day

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

SHIVER ME TIMBERS


A few weeks ago, I posted a link to a song on the blog My Dad's Records. Today I returned there to dig through it a little and enjoyed a serendipitous moment that was a little too close to home to ignore. The blog is by a guy who is digitizing his dad's record collection, and taking the opportunity to have conversations with his dad about the music, album by album. His dad had/has pretty good taste, so it's kind of neat seeing the insights he passes on as an elder, as much as it is reading his son's interpretations.

Note: From here down, the rest of this post is about my Dad, so skip to the links at the bottom if you couldn't give a shit.

Where was I? Oh yeah, it got me thinking about my own Dad, who passed away a few years ago. He had lost pretty much his entire savings trying to start a business just after his retirement, and ended up with little more than Social Security to live on. He took on part time work to stow a little money away, and began brushing up on his sailing, something he had done as a teenager and young man, but not much since. He soon became competent enough to rent medium size boats and go sailing in the local bays. He looked for crewing opportunities, and landed a couple open water cruises with strangers looking for able bodied, albeit retirement aged, crew.

Then, with a little help from friends, he bought Aeolus, his own boat, living on it in a local marina, to cut expenses and to prepare it for a solo voyage. It took a year or so, but he finally got it in ship shape. The maiden solo voyage was to be up and down the coast of Baja California. He shoved off, remaining in contact with family and friends via mail and email, when he stopped at various marinas. Some of the stories he related in his correspondences were hilarious (though, perhaps, only if you knew him). In one letter, he told of being on deck in the middle of the night, buck naked and bathing, in the middle of the ocean. Out of nowhere, a helicopter appeared, shining a spotlight on him. Figuring that they might think he was in distress, he gave them the all clear, flipping the bird at the blinding light. In another letter, he related having caught a fish big enough that he couldn't possible eat it all, so he gave it to the people in the local fishing village. Later that night, he was below deck when he heard some clunking around and some animal sounds and when he ducked out of the cabin, he saw a villager delivering a live goat, tied at the hoofs, reciprocating his gift of fish. The person delivering the goat was so appreciative, and my Dad's Spanish so limited, that declining the gift took a great deal of effort. (Now, I really want to read the old letters again.)

After a while, my Dad had some health concerns, and came back to the U.S., leaving his boat in a Mexican marina for his return. His health worsened, and after briefly returning to Mexico to salvage his belongings and sell Aeolus, he returned to the states to live out the rest of his life.

So what do the songs below have to do with anything? Recently, I had a conversation with my sister, about my Dad's sailing and his unrealized long term plans. I mentioned that I thought that his wish was to die at sea, that it was his preferred "perfect way to go." She confirmed that it was absolutely his intention, reminding me that he had laid out provisions that would repay his friends that had helped him buy Aeolus. Back to the beginning, tonight, while perusing Dad's Records, I ran into a song, "Shiver Me Timbers" by Tom Waits, that has reminded me of my Dad ever since his passing, even without the recent confirmations of his intent by my sister. The song really should have been played at his wake. It seems so dead-on true to his spirit.

One of my Dad's favorite songs was Kris Kristofferson's "Sunday Morning Coming Down." He loved the line about picking out "my cleanest dirty shirt." It's one of the few songs that we ever got around to talking about. And that is why I like the blog Dad's Records. I hope that the guy realizes what a neat thing he's doing. I think it's neat, in a high praise sorta way.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Tom Waits - Shiver Me Timbers mp3 at Dad's Records
Kris Kristofferson - Sunday Morning Coming Down mp3 at HankUS1.com
Previous posts about Tom Waits:
Tom Waits and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Early Tom Waits: Live

Monday, April 11, 2011

I JUST CAN GET ENOUGH


Here's a handful from the "are they still doing this?" basket. Nouvelle Vague: swell concept. But, how long can they keep it up? Is it already old? Are they just Sha Na Na for hipsters? Who cares? Ever heard them do the Cramps' "Human Fly"? Or the Dead Kennedys' "Too Drunk To Fuck"? Sick of questions? Do you have the attention span left to hear them do the Clash's "Guns of Brixton"? Seriously, some of their covers stink, but these are good. One per mix, tops.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Nouvelle Vague - Human Fly mp3 at Cover Freak
Nouvelle Vague - Too Drunk To Fuck mp3 at Le Blog de la Grande Chose
Nouvelle Vague - Guns of Brixton mp3 at Motel de Moka

Sunday, April 10, 2011

MORE FROM THE JUNK DRAWER


Here's a few that I've been meaning to post, thought I'd throw them together for the sake of house cleaning. First, a couple Chuck Berry deepish cuts. I just did a Chuck Berry thing a while back, but I thought I'd hep you to the blog I found these at, The Rising Storm. It's a nice write up over there, and the site, a worthy bookmark. If all you own is a Chuck Berry compilation (you had better own at least one), then consider these a start on the other 99% of his catalog. (Links below.)

Next up is a video of the San Diego School of Rock, doing Drive Like Jehu's "Caress." (If that seems like an obscure choice, they also do a Pinback song, so chances are one of the instructors lives at the Casbah.)



I'm not sure what I think of the School of Rock franchise. I saw a set by the San Diego School of Rock a couple years ago, at a street fair. It just seems like it takes the garage out of the band, so to speak. I don't want to seem like Chicken Little over here, but it's like crib notes for an entrance exam. If you take all of the struggle out of it, like aluminum bats and surf leashes, the playing field isn't leveled, it's lowered. (And, yes, I know that blogs are, in effect, doing the same thing. But where else would I rag about a feel good story like the School of Rock?)

Another thing I've been meaning to post is the video of the singer the Trashmen (not the whole group, mind you), lip syncing "Surfin' Bird" on American Bandstand. It's the funniest thing I saw all week. (There's no embed code, so go here to see it.) Dig too, the other Trashmen cut below. It boss.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Chuck Berry - It's My Own Business mp3 at the Rising Storm
Chuck Berry - Duece mp3 at The Rising Storm
Drive Like Jehu - New Math mp3 at Review Stalker
Drive Like Jehu - Future Home of Stucco Monstrosity mp3 at Pretty Goes With Pretty
Drive Like Jehu - Caress (audio only) streaming at YouTube
Drve Like Jehu - Caress (live, poor quality, 1992) at YouTube
The Trashmen - Surfin' Bird mp3 at Zminin.com
The Trashmen - Surfin' Bird video at YouTube
The Trashmen - On The Move mp3 at Beware of the Blog

Saturday, April 9, 2011

NEW BEASTIE BOYS


Blink...holy shit, twenty five years, already? When the first Beastie Boys LP came out in November 1986, I was living in New York. It was one of the few cassettes that I bought when I lived there, and I played that sucker incessantly on my Walkman. With the exception of a few mix tapes, it is the music I most associate with my short stay there. Now, the Beastie Boys have announced a new album coming out in a few weeks. Good news because it means Adam Yauch is over the cancer thing, that postponed a tour and recording about a year ago. Only one cut has been leaked (see link below) and there is a preview clip from a 30 minute video "Fight For Your Right - Revisted." If it doesn't look like them in the screen grab, it's because it's not. There's all sorts of other familiar faces in the preview, but not them. I've got no clue if it's a respect thing or what, but they managed to cast an A-list of actors, including Will Ferrell, Susan Sarandon, Jack Black, Seth Rogen, John C. Reilly, Elijah Wood, Ted Danson and Rainn Wilson and that's just in the clip below. In the full version, Steve Buscemi, Amy Poehler, Jason Schwartzmann, Alicia Silverstone, Laura Dern, Kirsten Dunst, Chloe Sevigny, Maya Rudolph, Rashida Jones, Will Arnett and Orlando Bloom also make appearances. The Beastie Boys do make a cameo in the full version, as cops. It looks funny as shit.



~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
The Beastie Boys - Make Some Noise mp3 at Culture Bully
(Note: If link doesn't work, go to Culture Bully, because it worked over there.)

Beastie Boys - Make Some Noise (Passion Pit Remix) mp3 at Vacay Wave
Video:
Fight For Your Right - Revisited Complete 30 minute version
(added 4/22/11)
Read:

Blurb about Beastie Boys' "Fight For Your Right - Revisited" at Huffington Post

Friday, April 8, 2011

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?


With a name like Psychedelic Aliens, I'll definitely bite. Vintage African funky weirdness. If that doesn't wet your whistle, take a pass. Otherwise thank Aquarium Drunkard (host to all sorts of esoteric goodies), Rollo & Grady, Undomondo, and Frank from Voodoo Funk, who put the whole package together.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Psychedelic Aliens - Blofonyobi Wo Atale mp3 at Aquarium Drunkard
Psychedelic Aliens - Okponmo Ni Tsitsi Emo Le mp3 at Aquarium Drunkard
Psychedelic Aliens - Hijacking mp3 at Rollo & Grady
Psychedelic Aliens - Extraordinary Woman mp3 at Undomondo
Read:
Psychedelic Aliens profile at Spinner.com

Thursday, April 7, 2011

L.L.COOL S


Compared to Serge Gainsbourg fans, the French, or even your average hipster, I know very little about Serge Gainsbourg, and I like it that way. He's always been just an often referenced acclaimed musician. A once controversial, disheveled guy, who didn't give a shit, was big in France, and knew how to charm the ladies. (Which of course, makes him a perfect candidate for a post.) And one thing that can be said about the French, when they do unremarkable looking and off color, they do it right. Dude had style. When it comes to male swagger, the French got Gainsbourg, and we get Charlie Sheen burning bowling shirts. America has yet to find a way to mix Bernard Herrmann and Johnny Thunders.



Here's a few, the first four from soundtracks, which were the impetus for my buckling. A couple of them kinda remind me of Ennio Morricone, but that might just be the soundtrack thing.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
Serge Gainsbourg - Requiem Por Un Con (from Le Pacha soundtrack) mp3 at Now Again Records
Serge Gainsbourg - New Delire (from Manon 70 soundtrack) mp3 at Now Again Records
Serge Gainsbourg - Danger (from Cannabis soundtrack) mp3 at Now Again Records
Serge Gainsbourg - Theme From La Horse mp3 at Now Again Records
Serge Gainsbourg - Javanaise mp3 at Zdanz
Serge Gainsbourg & Jane Birken - Je Taime...Moi Non Plus mp3 at Avenge the Virgins
Serge Gainsborg & Nico - Strip Tease mp3 at 8106
Serge Gainsbourg & Françoise Hardy - L'amour en Privé mp3 at Art Decade
Serge Gainsbourg - Marilou Reggae mp3 at Clumsy & Shy
Video:
Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot - Bonnie & Clyde at YouTube
Serge Gainsbourg - Initials B.B. (and documentary footage) at YouTube
Serge Gainsbourg meets Whitney Houston (not his best moment) at YouTube
Visit:
The Secret Life of Serge Gainsbourg at Vanity Fair
Serge Gainsbourg - A Requiem at Now Again Records
Serge Gainsbourg - The Obscurity of Fame at WFMU.org
SergeGainsbourg.com