Monday, December 31, 2012

ATTN: PARTY PLANNING COMMITTEE

Yikes! I know this is last minute, but hopefully you've already made your run for libations and noise makers. (Whatever happened to going out on the front lawn with pots and pans anyways?) Here's a couple mixes, different in scope but both party worthy.

The first is from Funky 16 Corners, and it's a Best of sort of thing, consisting of Larry Grogan's favorites out of all of his 2012 posts. The man has taste, and he was on a bit of a roll this past year, so put that Guy Lombardo away. It's high time for ass shaking. Speaking of ass shaking, Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban has another instrumental strip tease type mix, this one called Exotique Shakers. That one might be good after midnight when all the squares start packing it in. You do know that that's when the party really begins, right?

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Listen:
Funky 16 Corners - 2012 Year In Review Twenty song mix, funk, soul and all points between.
Exotique Shakers at Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban Thirty one gyrating jaw dropping bump 'n' grinders.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

CASANOVA WHO?

Leiber and Stoller could not possibly have imagined a version of their "Hound Dog" as Ruby Andrews did it. It sounds as if she accepted a challenge to take a well known rock 'n' roll song and give it an Isaac Hayes type treatment. But you know Hayes wasn't involved, because the thing is only about three and a half minutes long. If Hayes had been at the board it would have been one of his ten minute things, layered with all sorts of strings and shit (not that, in his case, it's a bad thing). Here, it's her vocals, horns and restrained wah-wah that drive it. And her voice is something to behold, sort of like Big Mama Thornton doing Betty Davis, if that makes any sense. Nothing like her "Casanova" from just a few years earlier. It kind of reminds me of the Supremes' treatment of "Come Together". I dig these early seventies things, where soul singers stepped it up a bit instead of relying on their well known earlier style. You know those Northern Soul types probably hated this stuff.

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Listen:
Ruby Andrews - Hound Dog mp3 at De Discos y Monstruos
Ruby Andrews - Casanova mp3 at The Love Unlimited 
The Supremes - Come Together mp3 (via Box.com) at We Are the Beat
Isaac Hayes - Walk On By mp3 at Louder Soft 
Visit: 
Ruby Andrews at Wikipedia

Thursday, December 27, 2012

HER NAME IS FONTELLA BASS

Twenty years ago I had a girlfriend named Lulu, who moved in with me within weeks of our first "date" (a day trip to Tijuana). She was from Laredo, Texas, and came from a very traditional Mexican family. What musical tastes we shared were limited to XPRS type oldies, in other words the sort of oldies that lowriders might listen to (XPRS was a station that transmitted from Mexico and had a far reaching signal due to looser regulations south of the border). One night, early in our relationship, when "Rescue Me" was playing she asked me who it was, and I told her that it was Fontella Bass. 



In the beginning, I thought Lulu was the one. She was incredibly gifted artist, she loved kids, was always up for anything, and not only tolerated the rag tag group of friends that I hung out with, but actually embraced them as her own. I was smitten. But, roughly a year and a half later after she moved in, she broke up with me. I was a mess. Then she decided to move to L.A., and as any pining ex in denial would, I offered to drive her and her belongings up there, still hoping that somehow she might change her mind. On the way up, "Rescue Me" came on the radio, and she turned it up, saying "Ooh! Fontella Bass!" I remember thinking at the time that if nothing else came from our relationship, at least she now knew who Fontella Bass was.


Discotheque scene from Les Stances a Sophie

All of that came flooding back today when I heard that Fontella Bass had died. The news report that I heard said something like "You may not know her name, but you know her song..."  and the first thing I thought of is "Lulu knows her name!" So here's that one and an incredible cut that she did just a few years later with the free jazz outfit Art Ensemble of Chicago. It's from the soundtrack of the French film Les Stances a Sophie, and if all you know is "Rescue Me", it's worth hearing her voice in a different context.

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Listen:
Art Ensemble of Chicago w/Fontella Bass - Theme de Yoyo mp3 at Monkey.org (?)
Fontella Bass - Rescue Me mp3 at Counter Clockwise

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

THIS SWINGS, BABY

Okay, Jimmy Smith doing the theme from the Munsters. Hell yeah. If that isn't something that gets you all worked up, take a pass. I take that back.  Check out the host, De Discos y Monstruos, regardless. I ran into it after clicking around the blogroll on the Hound Blog, and if you know the Hound, you know that anything he links to must have something going on, and De Discos y Monstruos sure as shit does. The bulk of the stuff that I browsed through was definitely of interest to anyone that doesn't have the wherewithal to do their own dollar bin digs. A lot of late fifties through the mid sixties obscure instrumentals and vocal numbers. Very little in the way of regular rock 'n' roll, which makes the most recent post of Thin Lizzy seem all the more curious. But don't let that shake you. That site is deep with goodies.

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Listen:
Jimmy Smith - Theme From the Munsters mp3 at De Discos y Monstruos
Bookmark it!
De Discos y Monstruos

Monday, December 24, 2012

TAIWAN ON

With the possible exception of the guy on the far right, all of the band members on the record sleeve above are posed in some weird position, have some sort of creepy deadpan look on their face, or both. The record sleeve alone would be enough. The fact that this Taiwanese instrumental band calls itself Blue Star Chorus just gives it a bit more weirdo panache. This is my kinda Christmas record. The music's pretty good too. One of many goodies hidden in the gazillion posts at Radiodiffusion International. How about a sitar instrumental version of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town". The one below, by Jayram Achary, is about as unauthentic as you can get for a sitar record from India. It sounds like someone without the proper resources was told to make an Esquivel-like Christmas record, "And make sure you use that sitar! You're from India, for chrissakes!"

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Listen:
Blue Star Chorus - Silent Night at Radiodiffusion International Go there to get it. There's one more song and some good reading.
Jayran Achary - Santa Clause Is Coming to Town mp3 at Radiodiffusion International Dittos comments above. 
More international Christmas posts at Radiodiffusion Internationals 
Thank you J.R. Williams for the tip.

WHADDYA MEAN, NO MISTLETOE?

I saw a thing on Satan on the History channel yesterday and, let me tell you, he sounds like one chump dude. He did all sorts of bad shit, and for the life of me, I don't know why someone would be into him. He's a bit of a clown, really. But, I ran into two songs that fit nicely together in that they both name drop the burn out in a Christmas song. Blasphemy to some I've no doubt, but really, if you were religious, would a song make you switch sides? 

The first one is James Chance's "Christmast With Satan" and it's fairly typical jerky no wave jazz that takes a full minute or two to get going, but it's about ten minutes long so you have a good eight minutes of Chance ripping Christmas licks here and there. The other song by Spinal Tap, "Christmas With the Devil" (addressing him by his street name) is their trademark mildly humorous fake metal crap. Can you imagine Chance, going to Satan's Christmas party expecting to see it filled with aging NY hipsters in his crowd, and ending up at a party hanging with Spinal Tap. "Shit, this really is hell..."

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Listen:
James Chance - Christmas With Satan mp3 at For the Sake of the Song
Spinal Tap - Christmas With the Devil mp3 at Side One Track One

Saturday, December 22, 2012

YOU CAN WRAP TOMORROW

Holy shit. I forgot how incredible Sir Shambling's Deep Soul Heaven is. If you haven't been there, and you're into soul music of the slow and heartfelt variety, budget some time, a lot of it. There's so much obscure soul represented, with background info and in many cases mp3s, that you might as well bookmark it.  Think I'm kidding? Take a look at his artist index here. See what I mean? Holy shit, right?

One of his recent posts is about Caribbean soul music, and it features a few artists you might know from their reggae output. But this is soul music, and hearing Joe Higgs, the Wailers, the Maytals, Alton Ellis and others singing soul back-to-back will remind you that there were a lot of quality pipes in reggae.

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Listen:
Jimmy Cliff - Hard Road to Travel mp3 at Sir Shambling's
The Maytals - It's No Use mp3 at Sir Shambling's
Smokey 007 - Please Don't Make Me Cry mp3 at Sir Shambling's
17 more songs at Sir Shambling's Deep Soul Heaven
Note: The download speed is slow, but all of them are worth it. Chill.

Friday, December 21, 2012

DARLENE LOVE ALERT: TONIGHT!

Tonight's the night that Darlene Love will be on Letterman, for the 26th consecutive year, singing "Christmas, (Baby Please Come Home)." Think about that, for twenty six years she's appeared on Letterman's last show before Christmas, through network changes, time slot changes, and everything else. There's a number of reasons why it's special. First and foremost is that is the closest you or I will ever be to seeing a Phil Spector produced classic, done up live in all it's glory. They pull out all the stops; strings, brass section, choir, bells, the whole nine yards. And, to these semi-trained ears, it sounds like they're using Spector's original charts as well. As you can imagine, after all those years, it's pretty well rehearsed. (I went to the trouble of playing videos of a couple different years performances simultaneously, and they synched up almost perfectly. They have it down.) In short, the whole thing is three and a half minutes of cynicism busting pop perfection.

Love had a string of Spector produced hits in the sixties, some with the Blossoms, and some without lead vocal credit (the Crystals "He's A Rebel" and "He's Sure the Boy I Love." and Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah"). She's also sang backing vocals for Sam Cooke, the Beach Boys, Dionne Warwick, Elvis, Sonny & Cher, Tom Jones, among many others. She is royalty.


Love, with the Blossoms, 1965

Though I obviously haven't seen tonight's performance, I can tell you exactly what will go down. Letterman will introduce her, and then they'll cut to the stage. Every year it's a different set, but Love usually is off camera for the intro. (During the intro, they may cut to the sleigh bell guy, who figures big in the overall sound.) She'll come on, with a different look than previous years, and undoubtedly a different hairstyle. Because every years appearance is Darlene Love's night to shine, it's like her own pop music prom, and every year she looks happy, healthy, and young for her age (74). She'll go through the first few verses and choruses, and the song will continually build. When the song hits the sax solo, that sax player will appear, usually in cornball fashion (one year he flew in, one year he was pulled in on a sleigh by elf-ish vixens, and another year through a cloud of smoke). As corny as the sax player's arrival usually is, it worth noting that you're pulled in so much at that point, that it doesn't derail the performance (and that's something to say). Towards the end of the song, fake snow will begin falling. They'll pan the audience. And every bit of Grinch that you have in you will be momentarily eliminated. After Letterman greets her, there will be a reprise of the chorus, just to make sure you're satiated.

For the life of me, I can't explain why Love's annual appearance on Letterman gets to me; and I've spent quite a bit of time trying to figure it out. The only thing I've been able to discern is that it's because Love's performance on Letterman transcends rock n' roll, pop music, Phil Spector, Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame, Christmas, gift giving, religious preferences, Letterman and Darlene Love herself. It is one of those very rare moments when a song is so intrinsically perfect, in words, music, performance and instrumentation, that for three and a half minutes nothing else matters. (Note: This is updated from earlier post. I'm that lazy.)

Added 12/22/2012:

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Listen:
Darlene Love - Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home) mp3 at AM Then FM Simulated stereo
Video:
Darlene Love - Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) 2011, Letterman at YouTube
Darlene Love - Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) 2010, Letterman at YouTube
Darlene Love - Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) 2009, Letterman at YouTube
Darlene Love - Saved (1965) at YouTube
Darlene Love - Christmas Time For The Jews (claymation) video at Hulu.com (from Saturday Night Live)
Visit:
Darlene Love Official site
Darlene Love at Wikipedia

Thursday, December 20, 2012

YOU CAN DO THIS

You ought to know most of these by now. The first two are for the people who can't get enough of Darlene Love's "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home" and/or those fiend enough of Phil Spector's Wall of Sound to cringe at the thought of it's dismantling. The first version is in glorious mono, the way Spector intended it to be heard, and the second is what many consider blasphemy, mixed to simulate stereo. Sounds wrong if you ask me. After that are a couple standards, Chuck Berry's "Run Rudolph Run", which has yet to be improved on by Keith Richards, Dave Edmunds, Lemmy, or anybody else, and Clarence Carter's "Back Door Santa" (sampled in Christmas in Hollis" by Run DMC, blah, blah, blah). Then there's a newie but goody by JD McPherson, a promising young throwback. Rounding things out are the Ronettes, two because Ronnie Spector was so hot, and the Sonics, because I'm a goddamn Sonics booster.

Reminder: Darlene Love will be performing "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" on Letterman on Friday night. 

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Listen:
Darlene Love - Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home) mp3 at AM Then FM Simulated Stereo 
Chuck Berry - Run Rudolph Run mp3 at AM, Then FM
Clarence Carter - Backdoor Santa mp3 at AM, Then FM
JD McPherson - Twinkle (Little Christmas Lights) mp3 at KEXP 
The Ronettes - Sleigh Ride mp3 at Side One Track One 
The Ronettes - I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus mp3 at Obscure Sound 
The Sonics - I Don't Believe in Christmas mp3 at Obscure Sound

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

WTF (SLIGHT RETURN)

Just a heads up here. The studio version of the WTF's "Cut Me Some Slack" has been released, and is available at you-know-where. I'm still trying to wrap my head around this one; the fact that one of the Germs ended up playing with one of the Beatles. Hearing Paul McCartney introduce "Mr. Pat Smear.." to what had may have been one of the biggest worldwide audiences ever.  I really don't care that the song, while good, is nothing earth shattering. I'm just a little flabbergasted. The first McCartney solo LP was the second album I ever bought, when I was about twelve years old. I saw the Germs second gig ever in 1977 (and Pat Smear had the complete ass cut out of his jeans). And, well, all of you have Nirvana moments. Mine was a pre-release second generation tape of Nevermind, played for me by Lady Latimore before Nirvanamania went global.  Alas, this is kind of an "aw shit" moment, because there's likely not much in the way of collaborations that will surprise me now.

Here's the clip of the WTFers doing the same song on SNL. Gotta love Smear, breaking out the Target wardrobe to play with an ex-Beatle.






I'm not going to look for an mp3 of the song, because it was done for charity. If you feel so inclined, go for it. I mean, c'mon, what'll you save? A couple bucks?

Monday, December 17, 2012

THE REVEREND DELIVERS

Reverend Tom Frost, musician, blog man and nice guy, from South of Hell, France, used to run Spread the Good Word. He bid adieu to the blog while back, but pops his head up every so often, re-upping a mix here or there. I'm getting spoiled, I've come to expect these incidents, but that's not to say that I take them for granted. Everything this guy has his toe in merits attention, whether it's his mixes or his own music

For me, the ultimate litmus test for music, really good music is whether or not my late twin brother Tim would like it. Our tastes in music were very similar, and we functioned as final filters for each other. I'll give you an example: the Challengers. They were a surf band not unlike the Chantays, Surfaris, Bel-Airs, Lively Ones, or any other faceless surf band. Or so I used to think. Nothing ever indicated anything to the contrary, not that I was exposed to anyway, until Tim deemed them dodes, a derogatory term I still don't know the meaning of. All I knew, and still know, is that the Challengers are out. But Tim would have dug these mixes, and probably have knocked back a few with the Reverend if he ever had the chance. That's a long winded way of saying that I consider the Reverend part of an extended family. And his mixes are always top shelf.

The Mixes:
Spread The Good Word Bloody Holiday Mix 9
Spread The Good Word Bloody Holiday Mix 8
Spread The Good Word Bloody Holiday Mix 7
Spread The Good Word Bloody Holiday Mix 6
Spread The Good Word Bloody Holiday Mix 5
Spread The Good Word Bloody Holiday Mix 4
Spread The Good Word Bloody Holiday Mix 3
Spread The Good Word Bloody Holiday Mix 2
Spread The Good Word Bloody Holiday Mix 1
Visit:
Reverend Tom Frost

Saturday, December 15, 2012

GO POWER, IT'S THAT TIME

This would be the "James Brown Christmas post that you knew was coming, at least I did, because James Brown put out many a Christmas jam and I'll be damned if I'm not going to take advantage of an easy night" post.  I'll tell ya, that JB Christmas LP along with the Phil Spector joint. All you need.

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Listen:
James Brown - Funky Christmas mp3 at SB Dave
James Brown - Go Power At Christmas Time mp3 at The Sound of Indie
James Brown - Santa Claus Go Straight to the Ghetto mp3 at The Mob Third Coast
James Brown - Soulful Christmas mp3 at Big Rock Candy Mountain
James Brown - Christmas In Heaven mp3 at Pup 'n' Taco
James Brown - Let's Unite the World at Christmas mp3 at Panic Stream
James Brown - Please Come Home For Christmas mp3 at Panic Stream

Friday, December 14, 2012

STAY CLASSY SAN DIEGO

Here's a quick one from the Night Marchers. It's from a long player due out next month, and it's a fine jam. Some of you will recognize the rasp of John Reis, the prolific sapsucker from Rocket From the Crypt, Hot Snakes, Drive Like Jehu and four dozen other bands. He's also the boss man at Swami Records, and the host of the badass Swami's Sound System radio show.

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Listen:
The Night Marchers - All Hits at Swami's SoundCloud Note: Click on the small arrow next to the "share" button to download.
The Night Marchers - I Wanna Deadbeat You mp3 at I Am Fuel, You Are Friends
The Night Marchers - Who's Lady R U mp3 at Gimme Tinnitus
The Night Marchers - Jump In the Fire mp3 at The Burning Ear
Visit:
Swami's Sound System at Slacker
The Night Marchers at Wikipedia
Swami Records

Thursday, December 13, 2012

PULL IT TOGETHER FAT MAN

It's that time again, and I'll be damned if those holiday yahoos aren't at it early again this year. Seriously, I try to delay posting links to holiday stuff too early. Really, you know as well as I, most holiday music, as music, blows. Good music must be useful at all times. I can't get behind a song that's relevant for only a month out of the year. A lot of you might argue that point, but really, you know it's all about how it performs as background music at get-togethers. Nevertheless, I will dutifully suck it up. You party planners have a lot of stuff on your plate, what with napkins, paper plates, keg cups, trash bags and all that red and white shit. The last thing you need to be worrying about is tracking down music. And this time of year, it's floating around in abundance. Hell, if Reverend Tom Frost re-upped one of his Bloody Christmas mixes, you know everybody's getting in on the action. (Thanks Reverend, it wouldn't be Christmas without you!) There are other sites like that, ersatz Christmas traditions. Good old dependable Big Rock Candy Mountain unleashes holiday stuff in a frenzy, multiple songs almost daily. You ought to tap that stuff.

This will get things started:


There's another mix down there, from Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban, Beat Xmas. Boy, what a mob on that one: Jack Keroac, Charlie Parker, Lord Buckley, Jim Backus, William Burroughs, Miles Davis, Hank Crawford. Like, put up your red and white shit, if that's your bag, man.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
Jimmy Reed - Christmas Present Blues mp3 at Big Rock Candy Mountain 
Cordell Jackson - Be Bopper's Christmas mp3 at Big Rock Candy Mountain
Bessie Smith - At the Christmas Ball mp3 at Big Rock Candy Mountain
The mixes: 
A Bloody Christmas Mix, Part 9 at Spread the Good Word 22 songs, hand picked by Rev. Tom Frost 
Beat Christmas at Beware of the Blog 25 selections, music and spoken weird.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

LET ME GET THIS STRAIGHT

Never thought I'd see the day. The guitarist from the Germs, and the rhythm section of Nirvana, with one of the Beatles. Well, blow me down.  It was streaming online, the 12.12.12 Sandy benefit. (The clip I found went dead a half hour after it was posted on YouTube, but you should be able to find it somewhere else). You know what this makes think about? What would Darby Crash, Kurt Cobain, George Harrison and John Lennon be doing? If this whole thing doesn't intrigue you, this is primarily for those in my age group, who saw the Germs way back in the day. Particularly my homies who were at that early Germs show at the Whiskey.

Monday, December 10, 2012

35 YEAR OLD SHAKE

A lot of you probably have the first Clash album, and some of you might have both versions, the original 1977 UK version, and the US version, released in 1979 with a different track listing. I was fiend enough to own both, but the UK version I had has been lost for years. It was good to here "Protex Blue" again today, so I thought I'd make an easy "fix the US version" kit for fellow tightwads. As happens with most of my bright ideas, the results are rather half assed. I could only find two of the other four songs needed, "Cheat" and "Janie Jones". In lieu of the other two ("Deny" and "48 Hours") there's the demo of "1977" that makes the officially released version sound over produced, and a link to a 1978 show (both of which have been posted before).

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen: 
The Clash - Protex Blue mp3 at Boogie Woogie Flu
The Clash - Cheat mp3 at Town Full of Losers
The Clash - Janie Jones mp3 at The Weekly Meat
The Clash - 1977 (demo) mp3 at Dalston Oxfam Shop 
Live set: 
The Clash - Live at the Palladium (1979)  at Captain's Dead Complete set as a zip and individual songs as mp3s. Good quality soundboard recordings, for those who care. 
Visit:
The Clash (LP entry) at Wikipedia

Friday, December 7, 2012

YOU KNOW WHERE I'LL BE

Man, oh man, everything fell into place on this one. First, Diddy Wah lured me out of podcast indifference with his Specialty Records mix a few weeks ago. Then tonight, just randomly checking Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban's blog roll, I clicked on Truckers Shuckers Freaks and Geeks, a blog I'd never visited and had ignored because of the name. As it turns out, it's one badass place. I saw the label for "Rollin' Dynamite" by Scotty McKay on one post, and took the bait. McKay is ex-Blue Cap Max Lipscomb, who did a cover of "Train Kept a Rollin" that rivals, if not surpasses, Johnny Burnette's version in overall awesomeness. Really, if you check out one song this week, make it that one (a link is below). Back to business: while I thought I was just downloading "Rollin' Dynamite", it ended up being a whole 72 minute podcast and, believe it or not, that's a good thing. There's back announcing and some other dialogue, but, holy shit, you cannot argue with the song selection; all obscure raw rockabilly, as in you've probably never heard any of it before. It's the compilation you couldn't afford and a lesson in obscurabilly.

Here's a few with tonight's inciter, McKay, and links to both the Truckers and such blog, and the individual podcast (download link on that is on the bottom left, where it says "download episode"). The first two McKay songs are the rockers (consider both essential), and the second two has him with one toe in New Orleans

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
Scotty McKay - Train Kept a Rollin mp3 at Beware of the Blog
Scotty McKay - Bad Times mp3 at Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban
Scotty McKay - Sea Cruise mp3 at Event Magic Nothing to see there.
Scotty McKay - Lil' Liza Jane mp3 at Event Magic Nothing to see there.
The podcast:
Rollin' Dynamite Rockabilly Spinout! mp3 at Truckers Shuckers Freaks and Geeks Scotty McKay at 24:05
The home page:
Truckers Shuckers Freaks and Geeks

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

FOR COOL MINDED MARTIANS

Dave Brubeck died today.  "Take Five", from his Time Out LP was an unexpected hit when it was released in 1959, which was unusual for any jazz song, and even more unusual for a song in 5/4 time signature. If you don't know what that is, feel no shame. It was so unusual that the liner notes on the LP went to great lengths to describe what the hell weird time signatures were. The opening paragraph is ever so hep: "Should some cool-minded Martian come to earth and check on the state of our music, he might play through 10,000 jazz records before he found one that wasn't in common 4/4 time."  The LP was supposed to be an experiment in unusual time signatures and was only released on the condition that he release a more conventional LP first. No one expected it to be a hit, but cool is cool, and to a non-jazz person, Time Out was about as cool as it got. Hey, it was cool enough that it was the first jazz LP I ever bought.



~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen;
Dave Brubeck Quartet - Take Five mp3 at Side One Track One 
Dave Brubeck Quartet - Blue Rondo à la Turk mp3 at Village Dance Radio 
Visit: 
Dave Brubeck at Wikipedia 
Dave Brubeck - Time Out liner notes by Steve Race at On Liner Notes Note: Two pesky pop-ups, but worth the read. 
Meter (music) entry at Wikipedia
Time Out - LP entry at Wikipedia

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

WHEN JOE BABY CALLS

One day, a gazillion years ago, I got a phone call from my brother telling me that drummer Sandy Nelson was in town, along with my brothers friend who I only knew as "Joe Baby" (the nickname was some sort of running joke, the exact origin of which remains unknown to me, but I think I remember it was because someone, at some point, had addressed Joe as "Joe, baby,.."). Joe had been under the employ of the Ventures (I think he was their road manager) so he was connected with musicians well versed in instrumentals. Nelson was known to my brother and I as the guy who had hits with "Let There Be Drums" (1959) and "Teen Beat" (1961), and pretty much made his living for years with drum heavy instrumentals. On this particular night, Nelson felt like a little jam session, so Joe quickly arranged one, and my brother was one of the musicians to get the call. Knowing I'd dig it, he picked me up, and off we were, to a cramped basement in a nearby house. Among the musicians were my brother, Joe, Nelson, and Skid Roper, a guitarist and record collector that had been in a surf band with my brother. All of them knew instrumentals of the same vintage, so song selections were not a problem. At some point, someone suggested "Caravan" which could easily be stretched out to a beat heavy drummer showcase. When Nelson recorded his version, it ran about two minutes long. The Evasions, my brother and Skid's band, recorded a version that was roughly twice as long, with even more emphasis on the drums. On this particular night, Nelson, who had been lighting up and snuffing cigarettes between songs, simply ran out of gas mid-song, damning his smoking habit.  After a brief break, they continued the jam, but I never forgot that incident. As someone who loved that particular song, and was honored to even be in the same room as Nelson, it gave me pause. (I too was a smoker.)  Every time I've heard Nelson's music since that night, I think about that two or three minute lull.  When Diddy Wah recently posted his version of "Caravan." I was right back in that room watching Nelson putting a his soft pack of Benson & Hedges Menthol 100's back in his breast pocket. (The shit you remember...)

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
Sandy Nelson - Caravan mp3 at Diddy Wah 
Sandy Nelson - And Then There Were Drums mp3 at Clayton Counts 
Sandy Nelson - Gimme Some Skin mp3 at Probe Is Turning-On the People
Sandy Nelson - Karate Boogaloo mp3 at Probe Is Turning-On the People 
Bonus Nelson cover: 
Incredible Bongo Band - Let There Be Drums mp3 at Funky 16 Corners 
Visit: 
Sandy Nelson at Wikipedia

Monday, December 3, 2012

THIS IS A FAKE RECORD COVER

Can't say I've heard a lot of Egyptian pop. Super Leefa, though, he got my attention. He's no spring chicken, and he isn't really blessed with movie star looks. That's part of the reason why I didn't put his mug up there. Not because he's ugly (he isn't), but because the goofy photo on the album cover would probably make you dismiss the music without a listen. But this Super Leefa guy has something going on, and I'm not sure what. But you really ought to give the three tunes at Bodega Pop a spin. Just ignore the LP cover over there.

Super Leefa - Three songs and full LP at Bodega Pop Once there, to download, click the DivShare logos for the songe, "get it all here" for full LP..

Sunday, December 2, 2012

AHH, AHH GAMMERA! RUN!

Maybe you're not old enough to remember when oddball Japanese monster movies were on TV on a semi-regular basis. You might have grown up with CGI animation or some other funkless effect, so you might not see any charm whatsoever in cheap special effects, ridiculous monsters, poorly overdubbed dialogue or total city destruction. Fuck yeah, it was a different time. Your biggest decision of the day was whether to go outside and throw rocks, or finish watching someone from Godzilla's mob destroy Tokyo.




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Listen:
The Moons - Gammera mp3 at Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban
Bonus unrelated theme:
Los Monjes - Batman mp3 at Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban
Visit:
Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban

Friday, November 30, 2012

THANK YOU MR. CAMPBELL

Glen Campbell is playing tonight, the last show of what may be his final tour. He has Alzheimers. You can imagine what challenges he faced on this tour.  Forgetting lyrics, starting songs that he'd just finished playing; things like that.  Those are little things compared to what lays in store.


Guess I'm Dumb, Shindig 1965, produced by Brian Wilson

He's done it all. He was a solo artist, a temporary Beach Boy, a member of the Wrecking Crew, he had his own TV variety show. Hell, he did "Witchita Lineman". That one song would be enough for anyone's legacy. Even just the guitar solo in that song...just the guitar tone on that solo.  Fucking all-time. From here on in, it's going to be very hard to hear Glen Campbell without being more appreciative.

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Listen:
Glen Campbell - Wichita Lineman mp3 at Ca Va Cool
Glen Campbell - Galveston mp3 at Cold Splinters
Glen Campbell - Gentle On My Mind mp3 at Pretty Goes With Pretty
Glen Campbell - Guess I'm Dumb mp3 at Obscure Sound Produced by Brian Wilson
Glen Campbell - God Only Knows mp3 at Cover Me Beach Boys cover
Glen Campbell - These Days mp3 at Cover Me Jackson Browne cover
Glen Campbell - Rhinstone Cowboy mp3 at Review Stalker 
Oddball:
Radiohead - Rhinestone Cowboy (streaming) at Panic Manual
Visit:
Glen Campbell official site
Glen Campbell at Wikipedia

Thursday, November 29, 2012

JOE BUSSARD HATES ROCK 'N' ROLL

The guy above is Joe Bussard. He is a fiend. There are a number of things that, on paper, should annoy me about him. He thinks jazz ended in 1933. He hates, hates, hates rock 'n' roll. His attitude borders on pissy. But, you know what? It's the way he hates rock 'n' roll. He's all low key fuck-you-in-your-face about it.  This is but one exchange in a long interview at Dust and Grooves: 

Q: Is there a music genre that you avoid?
A: Rock-n- roll. Period. Any of it. Hate it. Worse thing that happened to music. Hurt all types of music. They took blues and ruined it. It’s the cancer of music….ate into everything. Killed Country music, that’s for sure.

Every one of us (assuming that you're here because you like music) has a bit of Joe Bussard in us. And I'm sure that there are others that are more fiendish than him. I don't know any, which is why the interview is such a good read.  There's also a streaming 43 minute mix of cuts he selected, and good photos of him in his record room. This guy is cool, and he didn't have to spend hours in the mirror trying to look like a rock star to be cool. He just is. He is a rock star, and he probably hates it.

Joe Bussard, 78 collector - Interview, photos and streaming mix at Dust and Grooves.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

MATLOCK TIME

I used to live in a granny flat behind a married couple, the parents of some kids that had been a few years behind me in school. I was in my late twenties. The couple were into many cool things. Swimming, Dixieland jazz, scuba diving, and abalone chili rellonos. There was one thing I could never figure out. They used to watch either Matlock, or Murder She Wrote, or both; I forget which, but it was a regular thing. My Mom was into them too. Regardless, it was common thought back then that those shows were made for that age demographic. I wasn't expected to get it.



When I saw the video above, I wanted to be bowled over by it. Johnny Winter and Leslie West were two of my favorite guitarists back in the day. The thought of seeing them playing together hadn't even crossed my mind, that's how mind blowingly good the paring had the potential to be. Alas, it ain't that good. But, here's were Matlock comes in. I'm sure that the way I hear this song is way different than it would be to someone much younger than me. I gave Winter and West the benefit of the doubt, and listened for good parts, if only for their track records. I even had a moment were it took me back. Matlock. There are brief moments interspersed throughout where their guitar interplay works, fleeting as they may be. But that's how it was for me. Young rascals are not expected to get it.

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Listen: 
Jimi Hendrix - If Six Was Nine mp3 at Electric Adolescence 
Mountain - Mississippi Queen mp3 at Liberty Avenue Don't bother, it's all ads 
Johnny Winter - Hustled Down In Texas mp3 at Review Stalker 
Jimi Hendrix - Three more cuts at Indie Rock Cafe Two of the five songs had broken links 
Oddball: 
Jimi Hendrix - Studio jams (2 with John McLaughlin, 6 with Johnny Winter) LP download at Rock On Vinyl (with the details and song lists).

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

THE JAM WAS AWESOME

Boy, oh boy, this here was about as close to a supergroup as you could get in the early nineties, especially if your music of choice was guitar driven and NY-centric.  Thurston Moore and Steve Shelly from Sonic Youth, a post-Voidoids Richard Hell and Gumball's Don Fleming, all together as Dim Stars.  They released three EPs (which were later compiled as an LP), and that was it.  Never played live, just pfffft! But what a racket it was. Fueled quite a few pre-bar hopping meet ups here at HQ.

Here's one song, a cover of TRex's "Rip Off" which will give you some sort of idea what these guys sounded like, which is noisy and sloppy. The real draw here though is the five song self titled EP. The first four songs are pretty straight forward, which is to say hot shit jams.  But the bonus is the untitled cut (included in the download as "You Gotta Lose" parts 2, 3 and 4). It's dissonant free style fucking around, from people who know a thing or two about dissonant free style fucking around. To further sweeten the pot, it was ripped from a scratchy copy of the record, which is, of course, the perfect way to hear it. A point of interest for you full on NY nineties type people is that it might include Robert Quine, another ex-Voidoid, because he was on some of the Dim Star sessions as well (this particular session included "You Gotta Lose" which was originally a Richard Hell and the Voidoids song). For the total listening experience, I'd recommend cheap beer and smokes, and the din of about a dozen of your barfly friends.

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Listen: 
EP is here:
Dim Stars - Dim Stars EP (zip) at Pukekos  Four songs and an extended three part guitar whack off, One click quick (on "Dim Stars" at the end of the text,)
Visit:
Dim Stars at Wikipedia

Sunday, November 25, 2012

NECROPHELIA'S NOT DEAD

Posthumous releases can be kind of creepy, eh? It's one thing if the artist has a complete record already in the can, or maybe one that just needs some spit shining, but most of the time it seems like there's someone involved who's just cashing in. At any rate, they seldom contain material that the artist wanted released in the existing form, so what's the point of checking them out?

In the case of this one, a Johnny Thunders boot, Sticks and Stones, it gives a little insight as to what might have come had he not died before "The Lost Album", as it's subtitled, was released. The bootleg includes some post Dolls live stuff, recorded with David Johansen and Syl Sylvain, but it's the first eight cuts that caught my attention. They're studio demos for songs that he was working on when he died, and it's pretty clear that the rock 'n' roll party, if not ending, was at least being reaccessed.  A song called "Help the Homeless" that's actually about helping the homeless?  Another song called "Children Are People" starts with the line "There's no such thing as a bad kid.". And "Disappointed", recorded just a year before his death, begins with "I'm so lucky to be alive, I have so many friends who lost their lives." Yikes. The recording is pretty good, and the songs, though not fleshed out, sound like standard fare acoustic Thunders with a touch of Sticky Fingers/Exile era acoustic Stones, mixed with the first Mink DeVille LP (Willy DeVille was his next door neighbor when he died), with just a touch of early Tom Waits gravel. You know exactly what that sounds like.

It's a bit of a pain in the ass to download. The songs are in FLAC format, which have to be converted to mp3s to be played on some players, but if I can figure it out, you should be able to do it. (Converters are available online Here's one.) If you don't have the patience, there's a few Heartbreakers songs and a link to a site with all sorts of Thunders, Heartbreakers and New York Dolls live shows. 

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Listen:
The Heartbreakers - Born To Lose mp3 at Town Full of Losers
The Hearbreakers - Chinese Rocks mp3 at Event Magic
The Heartbreakers - All By Myself mp3 at The Vague 
LP Download:
Johnny Thunders - Sticks and Stones (via ADrive) at Teenage Dogs In Trouble NOTE: It's a rar file that contains FLAC files that will have to be converted to mp3s. Here's a converter that can be downloaded.
Live shows:
Proud to Be a Pirate Several Thunders, Heartbreakers, and NY Dolls live shows. NOTE: Download links in the comments of each post.

Friday, November 23, 2012

FOR SISTER LADY SPINSTA

I had me a Sugar Pie Desanto craving earlier, and it ultimately led to an hour or so ass deep in some righteously groovy stuff.  Just a couple clicks into a Sugar Pie crawl...bam! Two welcome diversions, one of Northern soul type stuff at Aquarium Drunkard, and the other featuring sisters telling it like it is, at Beware of the Blog. I won't go any further than that, because the descriptions at the posts really tell the whole story. I'd budget an hour or so. If you're short on time, there's a few ticklers below.

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Listen: 
Sugar Pie Desanto and Etta Jame - In The Basement (Part 1) mp3 at Dr. Mooneys
Sugar Pie Desanto and Etta Jame - In The Basement (Part 2) mp3 at Dr. Mooneys
Sugar Pie Desanto - I Want To Know mp3 at Beware of the Blog
Oddball:
Feelin' Bitchy Monologue Medly mp3 by Stenski  at Beware of the Blog
The posts with the most:
Clifton’s Corner - Volume One/Northern Soul & R&B at Aquarium Drunkard 10 cuts with Sugar Pie, Betty Harris, Johnny Nash and others. 
Feelin' Bitchy compilation at Beware of the blog 14 cuts with Sugar Pie, Irma Thomas, Denise LaSalle, Vera Hamilton and more. Phew!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

OLDIE BUT GOODIE

I always thought that the Subway Sect were kind of bland, but that's kind of what I like about them. They weren't really punk rock, in terms of making an imposing racket. They were some sort of egghead punk rock. They wore sweaters, that kind of band. This song would have sounded great if the middle era Talking Heads covered it.

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Listen:
Subway Sect - Ambition mp3 at Art Decade

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Monday, November 19, 2012

BUTTERFLY EFFECT

If you've ever wondered why the hell there's reggae all over this place, along side rock 'n' roll and other seemingly disparate types of music, there's a reason probably only obvious to old punk rockers. For a lot of us geezers, even here in the states, it can be traced back to DJ Don Letts. He worked at the Roxy, a London night club, back in the seventies, spinning records between punk bands.  There was very little punk rock on vinyl at the time, so he turned to the music he knew, and that was reggae. Like punk rock, a lot of it was rebel music, and that loose connection essentially all it took for early UK punk bands to embrace the music. Many became well versed in reggae, even if it wasn't necessarily absorbed into their music. But the influence was there, most notably with the Clash, who covered reggae songs like "Police and Thieves", wrote their own versions ("Guns of Brixton", "White Man in Hammersmith Palais") and recorded with Lee Perry producing.  But the Clash weren't alone. Generation X's "Wild Dub", the B side on their "Wild Youth" single, was a somewhat feeble attempt to bridge the dub gap (before it became commonplace). The Slits, who wholly embraced reggae, brought a whole new low tech/high imagination hybrid to the table. 

Some of the UK bands would mention this person or that, and that's when it the sound really spread in punk circles. For instance, when Johnny Rotten name dropped reggae toaster Dr Alimantado in an interview, UK record sales for Alimantado spiked. But it wasn't limited to the UK for long.  As UK punk zines slowly reached the U.S., a whole other crowd was turned on. Hell, my very first reggae 45, "New Star" by Tapper Zukie, was bought via a recommendation by some long forgotten punk taste maker (Poly Styrene?).  In the second issue of my short lived zine, contributors submitted Top Ten lists. Mine included Tapper Zukie and U Roy records, both of which were bought at the same independent record store that had the hot punk shit.  To put this into period context, it all happened before Bob Marley became a household name around hippie flop houses and college dorms. He was pretty much just another reggae artist. That said, his song, "Punky Reggae Party", celebrated the unlikely alliance, name dropping punky reggae party attendees, starting with his own band name, followed by the Damned, the Jam, the Clash, the Maytals and Dr. Feelgood. (Well intended as it was, Marley, in an slight case of randomized bullshitting, picked a few there that don't quite belong, eh?) The lines that follow the name dropping verse were music to punk ears, "No boring old farts, no boring old farts, no boring old farts, will be there!" Punky reggae party. OK.
  


It's really pretty remarkable when you think of how many people were tuned onto reggae via this very real butterfly effect. Letts himself cites the film The Harder They Come, punk rock, and Bob Marley, in that order, for the rise of reggae. And the whole punk rock part of the equation came about because Don Letts didn't have any punk records. 

Notes:: Letts later began film making, and was a member of Big Audio Dynamite. In  2005, he produced Punk: Attitude, what may be the definitive documentary of punk rock. Really, he gets it right. It's good, and it's authentic (highly recomended). About the music below, it's a smattering of related stuff, all worthwhile hot ass shit. Read the little blurbs for the reasons. I could have hunted for more, but I gotta sew this thing up.

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Listen: 
Bob Marley and the Wailers - Punky Reggae Party mp3 at You Sound Like a Robot 
Bob Marley and the Wailers - Stir It Up mp3 Original JA version 
Bob Marley and the Wailers - Soul Rebel mp3 at Review Stalker Produced by Lee Perry 
Jimmy Cliff - Guns of Brixton mp3 at Groove on Fire Clash cover 
U Roy - 006 mp3 at Groove on Fire Produced by Lee Perry 
Dr. Alimantado - Poison Flour mp3 at Le Blog de la Grande Chose 
Live set: 
The Clash - Live at the Palladium (1979) at Captain's Dead Complete set as a zip and individual songs as mp3s. Good quality soundboard recordings, for those who care. 
Video: 
Don Letts interview at Red Bull Academy "The cultural revolution of two spliffs and one beer, told by the man who unified punk and reggae" (Text version below) 
Visit: 
Don Letts - Interview at Red Bull Academy 
Don Letts at Wikipedia 
Don Letts - Radio show at the BBC