Wednesday, October 31, 2012

LARRY'S COOL


Some of you, might know Dave "Baby" Cortez by his one big hit, "The Happy Organ". That's all I knew five years ago when I started this quixotic mess.  It was before I heard "Hurricane" which had been posted by Funky 16 Corners, a blog run by a humble super knowledgeable soul selector named Larry Grogan. The song was revelation enough for me to post a link and Funky 16 Corners has been a regular haunt of mine ever since. I was reminded of this when he re-upped the song recently.  All the memories of wet feet and fumbled text came flooding back.  

So, what of Dave Cortez?  He was the first guy to score a hit with the organ as lead instrument, and he could get down, much more than "The Happy Organ" would have you believe. Take a listen to some of the songs below, particularly "Hurricane" (love that bass!) and "Happy Soul," which at first listen sounds a lot like a funky rip off of Archie Bell and the Drells "Tighten Up", but let it roll.  The breaks, bass, the freaky guitar and Cortez's organ will have you doing the dishes.

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Listen:
Dave Cortez mp3 - Hurricane at Funky 16 Corners
Dave Cortez - Happy Soul mp3 at Probe is Turning-On the People
Dave Cortez - Rinky Dink mp3 at Archive.org
Dave Cortez - Summertime mp3 at Archive.org
Visit:
Dave "Baby" Cortez at Wikipedia 
Funky 16 Corners

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

CUMBIA 101


How many cumbia records do you have? Okay smart ass, how many good cumbia records..., wait, let's just cut to the chase. How many cumbia collections do you have, compiled by people who know vintage cumbia? Whatever. I'm not here to get into a cumbia pissing match. Just wanted to point you towards two good mixes that you ought to check out. Listening to these suckers actually motivated me to do the dishes. Yes, really.  

The first one I sampled was at Musica del Alma, and is comprised of cumbia records scored by Slim Jenkins when he was in Colombia earlier this year. Seeing as how I know nothing about cumbias, and I don't plan on traveling to Colombia any time soon, it was a no brainer.  The other one is ¡Guepa Caramba!, a seventeen song mix at Nerdtorious, and is equally badass.

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Listen:
Cumbia Costeña by DJ Slim Jenkins at Musica Del Alma 15 song mix 
¡Guepa Caramba! by Alex LaRotta at Nerdtorious 17 song mix

Sunday, October 28, 2012

LET'S KNOCK THIS ONE OUT

You know what's cool? Creedence covering Little Richard's "Good Golly Miss Molly".  Ir's a perfect song for them to cover, for a bunch of reasons. John Fogerty wrote the hits, you know that. At the pace they churned out LPs, they had to pad them with something, and they did that with covers. Most of the covers were interpreted well; the framework is there, but there are deviations that put an indelible Creedence stamp on them. That's all you can really ask of a cover. Being that most weren't recorded with designs on the charts, they could be more about Creedence the band, and less hit machine or songwriting. It's not just this one, almost all of their covers were hot shit. This one is early, from their second LP, Bayou Country. Consider that "Good Golly Miss Molly" is on the same LP as the hit "Proud Mary". That's a pretty gnarly contrast. 



The Adios Lounge just posted the above video of a 1970 live set. (Good Golly Miss Molly is at 34:15). You should just watch if from the Adios Lounge, because he's annotated the set with comments from Fogerty about each song. It's a good post.

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Listen:
Creedence Clearwater Revival - Good Golly Miss Molly mp3 at http://n1.vmuzike (?)
Little Richard - Good Golly Miss Molly mp3 at Music KA81 (?)
Video:
Creedence Clearwater Revival - Live, Royal Albert Hall, 1970 at YouTube 12 song live set
Visit:
Creedence Clearwater Revival timeline at Riders on the Storm

DUDE, STICK TO SOUP CANS

An hour of the Velvets filmed by Warhol sounds enticing doesn't it? That's what I thought.  Most of you total Velvet Underground fiends have probably already seen this one, and if you're not one of them, it might be boring as hell.  If you walk away from this learning anything, you'll know that Andy Warhol is one hack cameraman. It's as if he just discovered the zoom lens on his camera. In his defense, it was intended as a backdrop film for their live shows, so that might explain the two bit camera work. Regardless, it's worth a glance for historical purposes, or an hour viewing if you've got a high threshold. If you're looking for some listenable Velvet's stuff, check the older Velvets posts here (scroll down).



Visit:
The Velvet Underground and Nico: A Symphony In Sound - Full story behind the film at a Nico fan site

Saturday, October 27, 2012

THIS, WITHOUT SHAVING

Have you recovered from your first round of Halloween hijinks?  When I was leaving the grocery store today there was a twenty something kid in the parking lot puking his brains out by the back of a car, while his friends were waiting for him to finish the job. One of his friends consoled him, "Get it all out, we still have another night to go." Ahh, I remember those days. When I looked at shiny puddle of what looked like anti-freeze (you're  gonna have to fill me in, is Mountain Dew a mixer?), it dawned on me that I'd run into a couple other Halloween cuts a couple days ago that I probably would have heard back when puking was just a minor inconvenience. The rather sedate "Halloween" by Sonic Youth, and the Dream Syndicate's song of the same name.  You'll want to check out the Dream Syndicate take, particularly if you've ever wondered what it would sound like if Neil Young and Robert Quine played the same guitar.  The lead guitarist, Karl Precoda, was only with the Dream Syndicate for their first EP and album, and, with all due respect to Paul Cutler, those are their vital releases. That stuff doesn't pop up very often, so that's the reason I'm including the non-Halloween "When You Smile", from the first EP. If you're a glutton for Halloween mixes, there's also a link down there to six more. They're untested, so just check out the song lists to see if they're up your alley.

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Listen: 
Sonic Youth - Halloween mp3 at Electric Adolescence
The Dream Syndicate - Halloween mp3 (via Box.net) at Fuzzy Logic At Box.net, the "Download" button is at the top right. The song has a long fade in, so don't think that it's a bad file.
The Dream Syndicate - When You Smile mp3 at Aquarium Drunkard Direct linking disabled, go there to get it. 
The Mixes: 
An Electric Adolescence Guide to Halloween at Electric Adolescence Six more Halloween mixes.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

TEENAGE WEREWOLF

I was going to stop all this nonsense of posting Halloween mixes, figuring that if I've reached the saturation point, I probably wasn't alone. That was before I ran into this one, which isn't technically a Halloween mix. That said, it'll do nicely to feel gaps you didn't know existed. It's at Aquarium Drunkard and it's a one-off radio show that was hosted by Lux Interior in 1984. Yeah.  You can imagine what kind of stuff is on it.  If you're familiar with the series of Lux and Ivy's Favorites (linked below), it's like the best of all of those, with the Interior as the legitimate selector. To round things out, there's a few from the Cramps. Tip: "Let's Get Fucked Up" works for many holidays.

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The mix:
Lux Interior and The Purple Knif show at Aquarium Drunkard 25 songs with commentary. You'll want this.
A few multi-purpose holiday songs:
The Cramps - Let's Get Fucked Up mp3 at 8106 
The Cramps - Goo Goo Muck mp3 at Soundbites 
The Cramps - Confessions of a Psycho-Cat mp3 at Review Stalker
The Cramps - I Was a Teenage Werewolf mp3 at The Mad Makerel
The Cramps - Surfin' Dead mp3
at Indie Shuffle
The Cramps - Human Fly mp3
at Review Stalker
More:
Cramps Forever - The most recent of several Cramps posts here
More of Lux and Ivy's Favorites - Links to 16 mixes
Erick Purkhiser (Lux Interior) photo at Novocaine Lipstic Uncropped mid-sixties photo booth photo

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

YEAR ROUND FUN

Holy hell, when it comes to mixes, the damn Halloween well never dries.  After eighteen of them, you'd think that there'd be some amount of satiation over here. Nope. Because Halloween mixes, in contrast to mixes for other holidays, usually have keepers good for the whole year. Really, if the tunes on a Halloween mix are primarily older songs, let's say late fifties to mid-sixties, it's usually a better mix that a non-topical mix covering the same era. At least part of the reason is because the artists already have to be a little weird, creepy or off the wall. Either that, or they're willing to taint what could be a serious music career with some goofy-ass novelty songs, and artistic desperation is always rife with something slightly off.  Regardless, a lot of the songs are instrumentals anyway, albeit with a scream or ghoulish laugh here and there.

So here's four mixes all from Grey Haus, and they look to be good enough to keep the creep ball rolling.  I sampled Volume 7, based on the inclusion of Screaming Lord Sutch's "All Black and Hairy", and it ruled.  So I'm going to be tied up for a bit.  You should be too.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
The mixes:
Trick or Treat, Volume 8 at Grey Haus 34 song mix (via MediaFire)
Trick or Treat, Volume 7 at Grey Haus 25 song mix (via MediaFire)
Trick or Treat, Volume 5 & 6 at Grey Haus 55 songs total (via MediaFire)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

MUSIC FOR SWINGING CREEPS

Talk about back from the dead!  After posting the seventeen Bloody Halloween Mixes from Spread the Good Word last night, this morning I found a comment on the post from the host, the apparently undead Reverend Tom Frost, alerting me to a hidden link to an eighteenth mix. This one is his best yet, and the kicker is that it's got two of his songs on it. If you're familiar with his music, you know he's no slouch (if you're not, there's links to his music below).  Here's a video he did for one of his songs, "The Naked Witch," which will also be on his next long player. It's badass. Look it up.



Some of you might recognize the opening footage in the video, that of shimmying kids, lifted from the film Village of the Giants. In the film, the soundtrack is actually Jack Nitsche's "The Last Race", (which was also used by Quentin Tarantino in Deathproof), so it gave me an excuse to throw that song down there. And what kind of sorry ass would I be if I didn't seize the seasonal opportunity to post the Sonic's "The Witch" for the umpteenth time?

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The mix:
Bloody Halloween Mix 18 at Spread the Good Word 27 songs 
What not:
Frankie Stein and His Ghouls - Monster Motion mp3 at Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban
The Sonics - The Witch mp3 at Ryan Bosetti
Jack Nitzsche - The Last Race mp3 at MarkMizzles.WhyPrime
Reverend Tom Frost's stuff:
Reverend Tom Frost - A Bloody Life (streaming) at YouTube
Reverend Tom Frost - Dust to Dust (streaming) at YouTube
Reverend Tom Frost - More samples of his music at Rev. Tom Frost
Visit:
Reverend Tom Frost - Official site

Monday, October 22, 2012

THE BLOODY HALLOWEEN MIXES

Just weeks ago, we were lamenting the demise of Reverend Tom Frost's Spread the Good Word. But all is not lost, at least in the way of his Bloody Halloween Mixes. True to his word, as he said in his last post, he is leaving some mixes up for the time being. But don't sleep.  His Halloween mixes are about as good as they come, particularly if you like your tunes vintage. (Dude likes his Bernard Herrmann.) But they won't be online forever. He's not updating things over there so these may well be gone next Halloween. If you're planning a party, or just want to get your ghoul on, this is the place to start. Just don't take the whole bowl. Leave some for the other kids.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY SPREAD THE GOOD WORD ~ 

Listen (song lists at each link):
Bloody Halloween mix 17
Bloody Halloween mix 16
Bloody Halloween mix 15
Bloody Halloween mix 14
Bloody Halloween mix 13
Bloody Halloween mix 12
Bloody Halloween mix 11
Bloody Halloween mix 10
Bloody Halloween mix 9
Bloody Halloween mix 8
Bloody Halloween mix 7
Bloody Halloween mix 6
Bloody Halloween mix 5
Bloody Halloween mix 4
Bloody Halloween mix 3
Bloody Halloween mix 2
Bloody Halloween mix 1

Sunday, October 21, 2012

STOP WITH THE SHITTY COSTUMES

It's that time again.  Halloween's right around the corner, and there are a number of ways to prep for it. If you're going to a Halloween party, you're probably trying to figure out what your costume is going to be.  Gals, you may be tempted to wear something slightly sluttier than you ordinarily would. You know what I'm talking about, the sexy nurse, sexy maid, that sorta shit. Trust me, it's been done. Don't be a tool. And you guys, as easy as it is, a flannel shirt and a cowboy hat does not constitute a costume. Why don't you just drink like a fish, and walk around like you've got a load in your pants.  If anyone asks, "Bukowski". This comes from a guy who hasn't dressed up for years, but even for a me, there's a few reasons to like Halloween.  It's the time of year that there's skull and crossbones chotchkies everywhere. Cool. Another thing is that, on the day after Halloween, bags of candy get marked down. Even if you don't want cavities on the cheap, Halloween presents an excellent opportunity to just dig on all of the thematic music that seems to pop up. And there's no better song to kick that off with than the Munsters theme. Personally, I dig the Billy Strange version, because the horns in it sound like a drunk mariachi band, but Los Straightjackets do a respectable version too.  Oh, and the video below is the never aired Munsters pilot, with a different Lily and Eddie, for those of you who don't have anything better to do than sit in front of a computer and watch a never aired pilot of The Munsters.



~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
Billy Strange - The Munsters Theme mp3 at Beware of the Blog
Los Straightjackets - The Munsters Theme mp3 at WYMX

Saturday, October 20, 2012

PUT THE BAT DOWN

Cruised by Diddy Wah's last night, and thanks to him, I now know who plays the filthy sax solos on Big Joe Turner's "Honey Hush": Lee Allen and Alvin "Red" Tyler. That, of course, led to way too much obsessing about a two and a half minute song.  First off, I loves me my Lee Allen.  You might remember him from his days with the Blasters, but he's had his finger in it since the fifties, (including sessions with Little Richard), After repeated listenings to try to discern which part of the sax solo was his (I'm thinking the first half), I realized that, in the song, Turner is kind of a dick. If you're familiar with the lyrics, you'll no doubt remember him telling his woman to quit crying (or "shut off the waterworks" as he poetically puts it), and not to keep jabbering because he's holding a baseball bat. If you were his real life woman you'd be pissed, right?  Here's the punch line: Turner wrote it, but gave songwriting credit to his wife. She must have had a bigger bat.

Here's a whole mess of Turner's stuff, and because I can't leave well enough alone, a Lee Allen cut, a couple from Turner's piano player Pete Johnson (a boogie woogie pioneer), and a cover of "Honey Hush" by Johnny Burnette and the Rock 'n' Roll Trio. Don't be a dick.
 
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Listen:
Big Joe Turner - Honey Hush mp3 at Diddy Wah With glorious pops
Big Joe Turner - Honey Hush mp3 at Rockndog Antiseptic digital version
Big Joe Turner - Shake, Rattle and Roll mp3 at Kiss Atlanta
Big Joe Turner - Well Alright mp3 at Probe is Turning-On the People
Big Joe Turner - Corrina Corrina mp3 at Boogie Woogie Flu
Big Joe Turner - Boogie Woogie Country Girl mp3 at Boogie Woogie Flu
Big Joe Turner - Sun Rising Blues mp3 at Jazzpla.net
Big Joe Turner - Chains of Love mp3 at Probe is Turning-On the People
Big Joe Turner and Pete Johnson - Roll 'em Pete mp3 at Beware of the Blog
Pete Johnson - Death Ray Boogie mp3 at AMRF
Lee Allen - Walkin' With Mr. Lee mp3 at Beware of the Blog
Johnny Burnette and the Rock n' Roll Trio - Honey Hush mp3 at RockinDog.com
Visit:
Big Joe Turner at Wikipedia
Pete Johnson at Wikipedia

Friday, October 19, 2012

SO CAL GETS FUNKY

It's not often that a soul outfit, make that a really good soul outfit, comes out of the local waters here in San Diego. So, it's a no brainer to bring this mob to your attention.  This here is the Styletones, an eight piece that can hold their own against, well, at least any takers here in town.  They've got the ingredients: badass horns, nice drum breaks, killer keys and restrained guitar, with and with out the wah wah.  No clue how widely they're known outside of San Diego, but they're the shit among the locals.



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Listen: 
The Styletones - Jewel In the Heart of a Lotus mp3 at 24.124.1.244
Video: 
The Styletones - Are You Ready (live, Bar Pink, San Diego) at YouTube 
Visit: 
The Styletones official site More music, streaming

Thursday, October 18, 2012

IT'S ALL GOOD

Fu-huck yeah, been a while.  Hillbilly boogie stuff.  I've no clue how many, or how few, of you guys get off on a lot of different types of music.  It might seem that I do, but, really, it's not about that. Around here, it's not necessarily about musical genres. It's really about how it hits me, the feel and funk, and as close as I can discern, in this house that usually means raw, honest, authentic, and rough around the edges. That's my genre. Sometimes it's loud, sometimes danceable, and sometimes just aw-shucks-where's-my-kerchief? When I'm in the mood for the latter, you can find me at Rocky's.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
Jack Guthrie - Oakie Boogie mp3 at Rocky 52 
Bill Browning - Washing Machine Boogie mp3 at Rocky 52
Visit: 
Rocky 52 It's not the most stylin' or easy to navigate site, but Rocky has several shitloads of country and western related stuff. You'll want to get that place wired. 
Hillbilly Researcher Lots of good stuff here too. On the DivDhare streaming widgets, clich on "share" to reveal download button. Worth the hassle.

ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER RIDDIM

Just a quick one, because I ran into a post at Oliver Wang's trusty Soul Sides that's right up my alley.  It features three cuts from the Sister Nancy LP above.  One is "Bam Bam" which I happened to post a day later, in a thing about the Stalag riddim,  One of the other songs posted is "Roof Over My Head", which O says is based on the same riddim as the Heptones "Gonna Fight". They sound different to me, but it could be that I'm distracted by the horns in the Heptones' song.  Regardless, the "Gonna Fight" riddim is another one that seems to have legs, and if you've been paying attention, you'll know that the Heptones featured Leroy Sibbles, who was gushed about here a week ago. Check the "Gonna Fight" entry at Reggae ID. It's no stalag, but has a respectable history nonetheless. Enough of this for now.  The riddim rabbit hole is a deep one, and I need to eat dinner.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen: 
Sister Nancy - Roof Over My Head mp3 at Soul Sides 
Sister Nancy - Two more cuts at Soul Sides 
The Heptones - Gonna Fight (streaming) at YouTube 
Bonus unrelated Heptones cut: 
The Heptones - Love Won't Come Easy mp3 (via DivShare) at Derek's Daily 45 Crucial Studio One 
Visit: 
Other Heptones posts

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

WAIT, MONA LISA WASN'T A MAN

Dug out an unlabeled mix to listen to today and had me a "Phew!" moment after hearing Little Milton's "Grits Ain't Groceries". He recorded the song at least twice, once for Checker and once for Stax.  Based on the backing band, my guess is that this is the Stax version, Everything about it reeks of the label, and as good as Milton sounds, and how tight the horns arrangement is, the real star on this sucker is the bass.  And you know what that means: killer bass plus Stax almost always equals Donald "Duck" Dunn.  Whoever it is, it drives the song. 

Another little factoid about Little Milton, that's impressive if you geek out about record labels: Amongst the many labels that Milton recorded for are Stax, Chess and Sun. Yeah, you've probably guessed, that's a holy trinity around here.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
Little Milton - Grits Ain't Groceries mp3 at Beware of the Blog
Little Milton - Packed Up and Took My Mind mp3 at Attorney Street
Visit:
Little Milton at Wikipedia

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

MEET THE RIDDIM MAKER

See that guy up there?  That's Winston Riley.  In 1973, he created what's known in reggae as the Stalag riddim, often referenced as the most used riddim in reggae.  Riley was a producer and owner of the Techniques record label, and former member of the Techniques.  After the Stalag riddim made it's first appearance, in the unassuming "Stalag 17" by Ansel Collins, produced by Riley, the floodgates were open, and the riddim had a life of it's own.   Today, the Riddim Database lists roughly 1500 songs that use it, and even if you discount versions and dub sides, that's a hell of a lot of mileage for one riddim.  You'd be hard pressed to find any sound sampled or copied that much, let alone a complete song.

Not too nuts about this one, but there is good footage, including some shots of Studio One 45s getting pressed. Geek out.

Hat's off to Club Cortez for prompting this. He did a post about the Stalag thing a few days ago. I'm tired of typing "riddim". But that's what it is. Textbook.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
Ansel Collins - Stalag 17 mp3 at Fly On The Wall 1973
Sister Nancy -  Bam Bam mp3 at Pancakes and Beer 1982
Yami Bolo - When A Man Is In Love mp3 at Club Cortez 1985
Big Youth - Jim Screechy (streaming) at YouTube 197?
The Stalag riddim - Unadorned version (streaming) at YouTube
Winston Riley in the Techiques:
The Techniques - You Don't Care mp3 at  Full Songs 1968
The Techniques - Oh Babe mp3 at Dinosaur Gardens 1966
Visit:
Winston Riley at Wikipedia 
Stalag Riddims in Honor of the Late Winston Riley at Uncommon Caribbean 
Stalag Riddim entry at Riddim Database

Monday, October 15, 2012

OKAY, I'LL BITE

There are some songs by Jeff the Brotherhood that kinda bug me, but I was drawn to "Shredder" by the title alone.  And then, to run into a video of a song called "Six Pack," the deal was sealed. I mean, at least the two songs have complementary titles. Sort of.

"Shredder" is good.  Posh Boy-era Red Cross good. If you get that reference, you'll dig it. The "Six Pack" video is a piece of work, even though the song is feh. It starts out like stock footage of frolicking hipsters in nature. It's quite the scene. Actually looks fun. So, I better take back the hipster comment, because I may one day want to party with them. It's good old fashioned lighthearted fun, and the song does kind of grow on you.  Just as it starts getting to seem like the opening of some stoner TV drama (Dawson's Creek Gone Wild), night time comes and there's heavy petting with weird lights.  That part's cool.




~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
Jeff the Brotherhood - Shredder mp3 at Rollo and Grady

Sunday, October 14, 2012

PICKERS DELIGHT

Do you have any guitarist friends that are so full on into it that you have to figure any band they like most have some intrinsic guitar value? That's what made me go on an overdue Sadies binge. Particularly, the video below, linked to by a guitarist I know. There's some serious pickin' going on, tell you what.  It's gloomy, and the solo builds to a Link Wray type blowout. The song, and the whole vibe of the video, is total David Lynch.  It's well edited, and the sound is incredibly good, studio good. The thing that's really nuts is that they're playing live, in someone's house.



Sample some of the stuff below. The range of guitar sounds is nuts. There's Bakersfield type picking, surf sounding stuff, some Galveston-era Glen Campbell, and all sorts of other stuff referenced, sometimes several in the same song.  And check the video below, it's also nuts. 



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Listen: 
The Sadies - Taller Than Pines mp3 at Beat Surrender 
The Sadies - The Horsehoe Mossback mp3 at Beat Surrender 
The Sadies - Dying Is Easy mp3 at Bloodshot Records
The Sadies - One Million Songs mp3 at Bloodshot Records
The Sadies - Never Again mp3 at MFR  
The Sadies - The Story's Often Told mp3 at Slow Acoustic 
The Sadies - Three more songs at Beat Surrender 
Andre Williams and the Sadies - My Sister Stole My Woman mp3 at Bloodshot Records 
John Doe and the Sadies - Stop the World and Let Me Off mp3 at Detour Mag 
Neil Young and the Sadies - This Wheels on Fire mp3 (via Box.net) 
Neko Case and the Sadies - If You Knew mp3 at Neko Case 
Visit: 
The Sadies official site

Saturday, October 13, 2012

TURN OFF EVERYTHING ELSE

Today was cool.  I happened to hear Curtis Mayfield's "Move On Up" while driving around, and, yeah I've heard it a million times, but it was one to those periodic not as distracted as usual moments, when you can pick a song apart.  Let me tell you right now, "Move On Up" has a lot going on in it. The drums, the horns, the bongos, the strings, the bass.  It made my day. The icing was running into "Junkie Chase", an instrumental from the Superfly film score. Holy shit, this song is just as populated as the other. I gotta cut it off right here, I see where it's headed. This isn't the end of this. I'll return to Mayfield again, believe me.  Four songs and a paragraph of my space filling drivel does not do this subject justice. Just dig these to better your day.


Vintage Soul Train. Hard to argue with that song title.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
Curtis Mayfield - Move On Up mp3 at Indie Shuffle
Curtis Mayfield - Junkie Chase mp3 at The Cargo Culte
The Impressions - People Get Ready mp3 at Friday Mix Tape
The Impressions - This Is My Country mp3 at Rock Town Hall

Friday, October 12, 2012

GREASY GODHEAD

This damn song is where it all comes together.  Recorded at Fame (Muscle Shoals) in 1969, it's Lowell Fulsom dripping shit all over the Beatles' "Why Don't We Do It in the Road?".  I'll let you make what you will of it.  I plan on playing it several more times, very loud. It is basic, as in basically hot ass good. Crunchy, gooey, ragged, and better than the Beatles'.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen: 
Lowell Fulsom - Why Don't We Do It In the Road mp3 (via Box.net) at the Slow Drag At Box.net, the download button is in the top right of your screen. 
Lowell Fulson - Tramp mp3 at DJ No DJ Chess Records. Yes.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

FUNK BROTHER (VERSION)

Leroy Sibbles is the man.  Okay, got that out of the way.  He was one third of the Heptones, the amazingly smooth vocal trio, that much most of you may know.  But his contribution to of reggae in general is so much more.  When keyboardist and studio arranger Jackie Mittoo left Studio One, it was Sibbles who took over as arranger.  Important role in any studio, right?  But how important is the rhythm section?  In reggae, it's absolutely crucial.  Rhythms are what reggae is all about.  And, as you know, the rhythms (or riddims for people who aren't self conscious about using the term) get used and reused. Some rhythms never die.  In the sixties and seventies, Studio One was a damn riddim factory. There were lots of them, the good ones used several times for different artists and different songs.  (Okay, assuming you guys know a thing or two about reggae, and that this stuff is all pretty elementary, indulge me.)  Reggae is ,..wait.  Here's a question.  When you put on a good reggae record, after you adjust the volume, what's next?  That's right.  The bass. Hells yeah, am I right?  Okay, Leroy Sibbles was the bassist and arranger for the Soul Vendors, the Studio One house band, later renamed Sound Dimension, makers of the crucial golden era Studio One rhythms. You can see where this is going.  Just believe me, you've turned his bass up a time or two.

This all started when I ran into his most awesome solo cover of Express Yourself at DJ No DJ.  It's a top notch funky reggae jam, trust me.  After you listen to some of these, you can check out some of the Heptones stuff posted a while back. (I checked, about half of the links are good.)

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
Leroy Sibbles - Express Yourself mp3 at DJ No DJ
Soul Vendors -Swing Easy mp3 at DJ No DJ
Soul Vendors - Musical Happiness mp3 at DJ No DJ
Sound Dimension - Rockfort Rock mp3 at Leave You Wanting Less
Leroy Sibbles - Love Me Girl mp3 at Music Megabox.net
More music:
Earlier Heptones posts Many links still good
Visit: 
Leroy Sibbles - Interview at Reggae Vibes

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

DENNIS BROWN...DENNIS BROWN?


I ran into that photo above, of a young Dennis Brown, and thought it cool.  Then, I gulped, He's been sorely overlooked here, and I am going to remedy that shit right now.  If for no other reason that the amount of spins his "Money In My Pocket/Sitting and Watching" 12" got at Front Street.

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Listen:
Dennis Brown - No Man Is An Island mp3 at DJ No DJ
Dennis Brown - Silhouettes mp3 at Art Decade

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

GO BACKWARDS MORE OFTEN

I've no spring chicken, that much you may have ascertained.  I've heard a lot of music, done a lot of poking around and given test spins to shit that I wished had never come in contact with my turntable.  No matter how many roads you go down to obscurities in any number of genres, there's always something that's been right under your nose that you never knew about.  The reason why I'm cleaning egg off of my face?  I had no clue Leadbelly did "Black Betty". I could try to wiggle out of this one by saying that I'd heard the cover by Ram Jam to exhaustion back when it was on the charts (1977) and had no desire to dig around for a backstory, but that wouldn't excuse me for not being more familiar with Lead Belly's output. 

The first recorded version of the song was by a convict named Iron Head, recorded while he was incarcerated, by John and Alan Lomax in 1933.  In an interview a year later, Iron Head (real name James Baker) said that his use of the term black betty was in reference to a bullwhip.  Okay, I don't care what you say, any song, and I mean any song, that includes in it's earliest recordings, one by a guy named Iron Head, and another by a guy name Lead Belly, deserves a closer examination. Check the write up at Wikipedia if you have the time.  Just bring your ipad to the john if you have to.

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Listen:
Lead Belly - Black Betty mp3 at Tom Jones International 
Ram Jam- Black Betty mp3 at Safety Fun and Learning 
Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - Black Betty mp3 at Frequenze Indipendenti 
Melvins - Black Betty mp3 at Frequenze Indipendenti 
Nick Cave - Black Betty mp3 at  L.A.D.R.I. 
Visit: 
Black Betty at Wikipedia

Monday, October 8, 2012

WET AS EVER

I don't want to rub it in.  I live in Southern California. Technically, it's fall, but if you know the weather in this region, you know that it can be pretty mild.  I'm all for orange and brown fall colors and all that jazz, but you can't argue with an air temperature of 74 degrees, and an ocean water temperature of 69 degrees. Walking home from an evening dip tonight it occurred to me that exactly 40 years ago, the finals of the 1972 World Surfing Championships were held right on the same beach.  That insignificant piece of trivia, and the date, is memorable to me because it was during that World Contest that my younger brother and I began surfing.  We were both experienced bodysurfers, as was my twin brother, but it was when we took the leap.  I still remember us taking turns watching over our newly purchased used piece of shit surfboards, while the other moved closer for a better look at the action.  Anyway, I got the warm fuzzies thinking about that tonight and how, so many years later, I was back at the same spot, still smitten with salt water.

So, I apologize for this bit of self indulgence.  I went looking for some low key instrumental type stuff, not surf ragers, more like the stuff you'd listen to after getting home from the beach and catching your breath, before heading out to a rager.  Kind of like the stuff I posted about this time of year, roughly three years ago.  Remembering that the always awesome Office Naps was big on different themes of exotica and instrumentals, I went digging and found a few that really hit the spot.  Of particular interest is "Tobago" by Eden Ahbez, because he was the writer of Nat King Cole's hit "Nature Boy" and has a pretty interesting background, if you're into pre-hippy, pre-surf craze, not really beat, type characters.  (Read the blurb with the second song at this post on Office Naps).

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Listen:
The Sound Breakers - Marooned mp3 at Office Naps
The Shelltones - Blue Castaway mp3 at Office Naps
The Wailers - Driftwood mp3
at Office Naps Dig this Ted, from the "Dirty Robber" dudes!
Eden Ahbez - Tobago mp3
at Office Naps
Bruce Norman Quintet - Keeper of the Sea mp3
at Office Naps
Visit:
David Nuuhiwa - Surfer Magazine Profile of Nuuhiwa, the last paragraph of which never ceases to invoke giggling.  Nuuhiwa claimed to have designed a twin fin split tail design called the Fish.  Locals knew it was Steve Lis, a local, who first designed the shape, and named it.  Lesson: Don't front in Ocean Beach.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

REST IN PEACE ROCKER

Nick Curran passed away yesterday from mouth cancer, which he'd been fighting since 2009.  That just sucks.  Obviously it does for him and his family, but for music as well. The guy was a true believer, a throwback to when artists cared more about their music than they did to the packaging or marketing, or widespread recognition.  And he played rock 'n' roll, as in the real thing.  Three chord progressions, tasty guitar, honking sax and that voice, that fucking voice.  It was a rock 'n' roll voice, in the tradition of Little Richard, Bunker Hill, Gerry Roslie (Sonics) and Don and Dewey.  A flat out shouter. 



A year or so ago, he had a thing posted on his MySpace page describing the "Official Nick Curran Cocktail Recipe." Amongst others, the ingredients included Little Richard, Glenn Danzig, Gerry Roslie, Johnny Watson, Cliff Gallup, Angus Young, 50's B.B. King, and Johnny Ramone.  You can tell from that, Curran was no head-in-the-sand retro guy. But he did possess whatever it was to keep the music pure, whether it was getting the Little Richards vocal inflections down pat (see "Lucille" video below) or reinterpreting a song so completely, you'd swear the original artist was the one doing the cover (see the "No Fun" video at the bottom).



Curran wasn't one dimensional.  A lot of unlisted ingredients were thrown into that cocktail of his.  He could do bluesy, he could do old school R & B, and he could do Wall of Sound.  (Listen to "Reform School Girl" below, it's Shadow Morton melodrama meets Phil Spector.) But the rockers were his bread and butter, and you'd be hard pressed to find someone else that carried that torch higher.

The mp3s below are all that I could find (a testament to an under appreciation of his output), but as news of his death spreads, I expect I'll be adding more.  There's a ton of videos at YouTube.  As his medical bills were probably up there (there were benefits), I would strongly recommend buying his stuff, starting with Reform School Girl, his last LP from 2010.

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Listen:
Nick Curran and the Lowlifes - Kill My Baby mp3 at KEXP
Nick Curran and the Lowlifes - Reform School Girl mp3 at Austin Town Hall 
Video:
Nick Curran & the Lowlifes - No Fun/Shot Down
(live, 2009) at YouTube Stooges inna Fats Domino stylee.
Ronnie Dawson (Curran on Guitar) - Sucker For a Cheap Guitar
(live, 1997) video at YouTube
Visit:
Nick Curran - Bio at Eclectro Groove
Nick Curran - Bio at Blind Pig Records
Nick Curran at Wikipedia
Nick Curran at MySpace

Saturday, October 6, 2012

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

This is for you Velvet Underground fiends that may not have caught it yet.  It's a 1967 live gig from a New York venue called The Gymnasium.  It was posted here about three years ago, but those links petered out and I just ran into it again.  It's notable for a few reasons.  One is that it's among the material that Robert Quine taped, but was not included in the sanctioned bootleg "Quine Tapes". (Quine would later play guitar for Richard Hell and the Voidoids, and Lou Reed.)  It's also significant because it includes the first ever live performance of "Sister Ray", and another song "I'm Not A Young Man Anymore" that has never been released anywhere else.  Just for good measure, there's a single song below, an instrumental version of "Guess I'm Falling In Love", which is also included on the live thing with vocals. It's significant because I think it's hot shit. (It's been posted a few times before, but bears repeat posts, it's that hot of shit.)

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Listen:
Velvet Underground - Guess I'm Falling In Love (instrumental) mp3 at Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban 
The live thing:
The Velvet Underground - Live at The Gymnasium at Captain's Dead Five songs, downloadable as individual mp3s.

Friday, October 5, 2012

HEADS UP TERRY

This one is a no brainer.  Tame, uninformed or otherwise pedestrian reggae mixes are a dime a dozen, but it's not often you come across reggae mixes with vintage dubplates and four, count 'em four, blank labels, including one by Augustus Pablo and one by Tommy McCook.  This is good stuff folks, at times scratchy, exotic, and other worldly, it puts you smack dab at some dusty sound system four or five decades ago.  All seventeen songs are from 45s, and if you know Jamaican pressings, you know we're not talking audiophile (a guy I know said he once owned a JA pressing that had a fly pressed into the grooves.)  If you ask me that adds to it.  Listen for yourself, it's at the link below, both streaming and as a quick download.

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Listen: 
King Crab Reggae Selection by Frankie Francis at Sofrito 17 songs, all killer, no filler.  Go there for the song list.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

DUDE'S A SMORGASBORD

Good God, if there was one guy who never met a style of blues based music he didn't like, it's Johnny Winter, at least on his first ten or so LPs.  They flow pretty well, chronologically, that first ten or so.  But some of the changes from LP to LP have been drastic, and some single LPs in that first ten are like K-Tel records, the styles of songs are so varied.  But back in the day, he managed to keep my interest for a long stretch.
One thing you probably know is that Johnny Winter is a hot shit guitarist.  He is.  After playing in bands around Beaumont Texas in the sixties,and releasing records on no chance record labels, he met Mike Bloomfield in Chicago.  Bloomfield, impressed, later invites Winter onstage at Fillmore East where he is playing a Super Session era show with Al Kooper.  Winter plays B.B. King's "It's My Own Fault", and the audience goes ape. Columbia Records people in audience take note.  He's signed to the major within days.
His first LP on Columbia, Johnny Winter was straightforward blues, some acoustic, some electric with horns.  So there's a couple styles right there.  But it works.  Right about the time this LP is released, Imperial Records licenses an earlier LP The Progressive Blues Experiment (originally released by Sonobeat in 1968). The Progressive Blues Experiment is a similar mix of acoustic and electric, but the electric is more like a cheap John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, not that it's a bad thing.  It's raw sounding, the studio budget nowhere near the Columbia job. And it adds another style.

The Columbia follow-up, Second Winter must have been a shock for early Winter freaks. It's dominated by wah-wah and electric slide, more rock 'n' roll than blues. And, it's another style.  Three LPs in, he's already off on a bunch of tangents, and that's just the first couple years. There's not enough time or available effort at this end (not tonight) to go into detail about the ensuing LPs (really, I just couldn't find samples), but here's some from the first three.

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Listen:
Johhny Winter - Meantown Blues mp3 at Sunrise Musics from Progressive Blues Experiment
Johnny Winter - Dallas mp3 at David Fulmer from Johnny Winter 
Johnny Winter – When You Got a Good Friend at Cover Me from Johnny Winter
Johnny Winter - Hustled Down In Texas mp3 at Review Stalker from Second Winter
Viisit:
Johnny Winter at Wikipedia