Tuesday, April 30, 2013

TRUCK BERRY

Attention hipsters of all ages. Give up. The regular guy above, one Dave Dudley, has commandeered all the PBR in the house, smokes when or where he wants, and has a customized windbreaker. (Or did. He passed away in 2003.). He just has that look, like he just said "I don't give a shit".



He had his first hit, "Six Days on the Road" at age 35. Yeah. 35. You've heard it a zillion times, but it's like the "Johnny B. Goode" of trucker music; good to revisit every so often to relish the pureness of it. If you haven't heard it, watch the video above. For those of you who are already Six Days saturated, there's one down there, recorded in 1980, at age 57; the truth about a life on the road, "Rolaids, Doans Pills, and Preperation H". To add to its weirdness, it's on Sun. And it has wah-wah on it.

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Listen:
Dave Dudley - Two Six Packs Away mp3 at Rocky52
Dave Dudley - I Got Lost mp3 at Beware of the Blog 
Dave Dudley - Rolaids, Doans Pills, and Preparation H mp3 via DivShare at Frances Favorites 45s
Visit:
Dave Dudley
at Wikipedia

Monday, April 29, 2013

YOU DON'T LOOK LIKE ASS KICKERS

If you're of the opinion that doo-wop is incapable of truly kicking ass, I direct your attention to the Valiants' version of "Good Golly Miss Molly", the song made famous by Little Richard. Guess what? The Valiants' version was released in 1957, and Little Richard's was released on January 13, 1958. Both were produced by Bumps Blackwell, the co-writer of the song, and Little Richard's was actually recorded first. While there's no debating his is the definitive version, I think you'll agree, the Valiants' version truly kicks ass.

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Listen:
The Valiants - Good Golly Miss Molly mp3 at De Discos y Monstruos
Little Richard - Good Golly Miss Molly mp3 at Archive.org
The Valiants - This is the Night (streaming) at YouTube (The A-side of the song above)

Sunday, April 28, 2013

GRAB BAG SPOTLIGHT

There's no theme here. My tastes are varied. So, apparently, is my mood tonight. I've been sidetracked over at The Explosive Generation. When I run into a high concentration of different types of music that I happen to like, I know enough to dig around a little bit. If you are a record store, I would be the pest. Which is all to say, there's some good music over there, particularly if you like to dabble outside of your safety zone.

Here's just a few. "Rumble", as you know, is the big bang of badassery. It is the air you breath. Don't ask any more about that. Ronnie Cook and the Gaylad's OG version of "Goo Goo Muck", so we can all have a moment for Lux. Ditto, sorta, Warren Smith's "Dear John", it's rockabilly anyway. Then there's King Tubby, because...fuck, do I have to give you reasons? Because it's Tubby. damn it. Sir Lord Baltimore is down there for you aging 70's hard rock second tier band freaks. The Digits,...go fish.

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Listen:
Link Wray - The Rumble mp3 at The Explosive Generation
Ronnie Cook and the Gaylads - The Goo Goo Muck mp3 at The Explosive Generation
Warren Smith - Dear John mp3 at The Explosive Generation
King Tubby - Money Dub mp3 at The Explosive Generation
Sir Lord Baltimore - Hell Hound mp3 at The Explosive Generation
Didjits - Turn It Up mp3 at The Explosive Generation

Saturday, April 27, 2013

BEST THING YOU'LL READ TODAY

I give up. Deke Dickerson's latest post has got to be one of the best posts about a single song that I've ever run across. It's as much a history of the song as it is a collection of episodes centered around it, the people who made it, the guy who signed the singer, the songwriter who wrote it, the people who played on it, and a drum shop. And it all goes back to Dickerson's tenth grade English class. You should read it.

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Read:
More Than You Ever Wanted to Know About the Gene Vincent Song "B-I-Bickey-Bi-Bo-Bo-Go" at Musings of a Muleskinner
Listen:
Gene Vincent - B-I-Bickey-Bi-Bo-Bo-Go mp3 at Mp3 Rockabilly

Friday, April 26, 2013

HIS RACE IS OVER

This one hurts folks. George Jones died today, and he was one of us. Even if you don't dig country and western, I bet every one of you has gone through a period when you partied too much. Jones too, big time. He messed up, at his peak, on a regular basis. Just like you, just like me. He missed so many shows during his streak of fuck-ups, that some people referred to him as "No Show Jones". And there's the famous incident, when Shirley Ann Corley, his wife at the time, hid the keys to the cars to prevent Jones from driving to the nearest liquor store eight miles away. Undaunted, he made the journey anyway, in a rider-mower. So, yeah, the guy liked to party, but you know what? That shit really doesn't matter because he made some mighty fine music, iconic perfect country slabs, and that's what really matters. There aren't many left even remotely like him. Reacting to the news today, some guy named Merle Haggard said "The world has lost the greatest country singer of all time. Amen." Yeah, amen.



~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
George Jones - The Race Is On mp3 at David Fullmer
George Jones - White Lightning mp3 at Rocky 52
George Jones - She Thinks I Still Care mp3 at M Top Gunner 
George Jones - Love Bug mp3 at Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban
George Jones - You're Still On My Mind mp3 at For the Sake of the Song 
George Jones - Just One More mp3 at For the Sake of the Song
George Jones and Tammy Wynette - We're Not the Jet Set mp3 at Beware of the Blog 
George Jones and Merle Haggard - Sick, Sober and Sorry mp3 at Archive.org
Visit:
George Jones - Official site
George Jones at Wikipedia
George Jones - Obituary at L.A. Times

Thursday, April 25, 2013

LEST WE NEED REMINDING

How bad were the eighties? Just listen to these two versions of "Ball of Confusion". The original by the Tempations is quintessential Norman Whitfield. (Whitfield produced much of the psychedelic soul era Motown stuff, that much you should know.) When the Temptations made the leap from matching suits to flashy paisley, Whitfield was the guy who crafted their sound. Listen to all of the stuff going on. Man, oh man, it's thick. "How about some fuzz over that bass?" "Let's get a little crazy with the percussion", and so forth. Now listen to the version that Tina Turner did with BEF in the eighties. Even with a certain amount of wiggle room for just going with the synth wave that permeated the decade, and with all due respect to Turner's prior output, it pretty much blows. Jeez, did the eighties suck.

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Listen:
The Tempations - Ball of Confusion mp3 at LZ Center
Tina Turner - Ball of Confusion mp3 at AM Then FM
Another good one produced by Whitfield:
The Temptations - Papa Was a Rolling Stone mp3 at Radio George.
Visit:
Norman Whitfield at Wikipedia

BLOP UP, AISLE NINE

You know how I feel about Diddy Wah's taste. Suffice it to say, I would not want to show up at a record swap after he's already been there. He just posted a mix of recent acquisitions, heavy on stuff he hasn't posted before. (The forty nine minute mix is a quick download too, less than two minutes.) I shouldn't have to spell it out for you, just go there and click on the "Blop-Up" next to the arrow to download the sucker, and by all means, move the furniture.

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Listen:
Blop-Up - 20 song mix at Diddy Wah

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

WAY DOWN ON EIGHTH

What does she sound like? Listen to her cover of "Sock It to Me Baby". Seriously, I think she wants to rip Mitch Ryder's balls off. That should be considered praise. Off color as it might be, that's what I'd say if you were sitting here. So, I'll stick with what I know.

Lotti Golden's 1969 album Motor-Cycle, from all appearances, was something of a big deal. Something counter culture East Village something or other. I would suggest reading the thing at Wikipedia. And check out the other two songs, They're both like several songs strung together. I believe that's called a suite. You classical nuts would probably know.

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Listen:
Lotti Golden - Sock It to Me Baby mp3 at De Discos y Monstruos
Lotti Golden - Motor-Cycle Michael mp3 at Beware of the Blog
Lotti Golden - A Lot Like Lusifer mp3
at Beware of the Blog
Visit:
Lotti Golden at Wikipedia

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

BEST DRESSED MIX IN TOWN

Sometimes I get lazy. When that happens on the same day I run into a good mix, it means I'm going to be having something for dinner that doesn't start out as a frozen block of food. So tonight, I'm just going to tip you to someone who apparently has good taste, because they put together a damn fine selection of twenty two choice cuts of reggae from the golden era, from 1963 to 1976. This is good stuff and and even if you have a semi-deep reggae collection yourself, there's probably a few you haven't heard.

The particular mix that got me sidetracked is all reggae, but I dug around a little further and ran into other stuff of different genres that are equally choice.  Here's a couple reggae cuts from that mix and a couple from the reggae mix. Extra bonus points for them making these available as single cuts (right click the song titles), and the mix as a download or streaming. A reminder: I don't know how many of you actually dig through the sites that I link to, but you really ought to, particularly when I point out that someone has a lot of good stuff. Hear Say has good stuff. 

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Listen:
Kari Brian and the Afrokats - Money Generator mp3 at Hear Say
Ken Boothe - Ain't No Sunshine mp3 at Hear Say
Roland Alphonso and the Blues Blasters - Proof Rum mp3 at Hear Say
Soul Vendors - Swing Easy mp3 at Hear Say
Mixe:
For the Right Time - 22 Reggae cuts at Hear Say Individually or as a mix.
Visit:
Hear Say
Earlier reggae posts

Monday, April 22, 2013

WHEN ROCK BANDS DID POP

If you didn't listen to AM radio in the seventies, you probably don't know these guys. It's Crabby Appleton. Even if you did listen to AM radio in the seventies, you probably know only one of their songs. "Go Back" was their big hit. Make that only hit. Man, these guys came and went so fast it was years before I heard another song by them (thanks again 99 cent bin). If you haven't heard it, listen to "Go Back". Hell, even if you have heard it, how long has it been? Listen to it. Is there any question why it was a hit? The Tommy James plucking that begins it, and, man oh man, when the fuzz comes in, and just listen to the drums as the song builds. Good God, do they give that guy some legroom. As awesome as this sounds (digitally, much as it did on the radio), this is one instance where to hear it on vinyl brings it to whole another level. Watch the bins for that album cover above. It's worth it. This is a good song. It would never find a home on the radio now.


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Listen:
Crabby Appleton - Go Back mp3 at Newer
Crabby Appleton - Peace By Peace mp3 at 30 Milkshakes
Video:
Crabby Appleton on American Bandstand, 1970 at YouTube
Visit:
Crabby Appleton at Wikipedia

SOMETIMES TRUST A HIPPIE

Holy tree hugger Batman, it's Earth Day. I'd been waiting for an excuse to post some Eden Ahbez at some point, and dang me if Earth Day isn't a near perfect tie-in. Ahbez was the guy who wrote "Nature Boy", a hit for Nat King Cole, and he was nothing if not a nature boy incarnate. In his early career, the late forties through the fifties, the dude was a flat out freak. He had long hair, a beard, wore robes and sandals, lived on raw fruits and vegetables, and meditated; all in the late forties. He was a nomad who hopped rails and slept under the stars. He also made cool quasi-exotica type music. Seriously, if there hasn't been a film made, someone's missing the boat, which is probably as it should be. He probably would have shrugged it off anyway, and gone back to his cross-legged plant eating and drum playing.


There's some good reading down there, really, it get's more and more interesting. Check out the profile by one of his close friends. And definitely dig on the three variations of "Nature Boy" at Office Naps. The first one is a swingin' version, with the title changed to "Nature Girl". The second is a 60's version, with half spoken vocals (kind of like "Spill the Wine", leaping gnomes and all that nonsense). The last version over there by Etta Jones is just absolutely the shit. There's a link to that below as well.

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Listen:
Eden Abhez - Marketplace mp3 at The Explosive Generation
Eden Ahbez - Topago mp3 at Office Naps
Eden Ahbez - Surf Rider (streaming) at YouTube
Etta Jones - Nature Boy mp3 at Office Naps
Three obscure variations of Nature Boy at Office Naps
Visit:
to nature boy, life needn't be capitalized by Pearl Rowe, Ahbez's sister in law - L.A. Times 1977
Eden's Island - A Eden Ahbez blog 
Eden Abhez at Wikipedia
Earth Day 2013

Saturday, April 20, 2013

MIKE LOVE HAS COMPANY

Several years ago, a friend of mine told me about how he was at some sort of small gathering where everybody was stoned, and someone put on Kiss Alive and everybody was just lost it, laughing their stoned asses off at Paul Stanley's insipid introduction to "Cold Gin". They must have listened to it several times, because my friend, who is not a Kiss fan, knew the whole spiel. So when I found a copy of the record in a 99 cent bin, I had to get it to hear it for myself. I did not think I could dislike Kiss more than I already did. I was wrong.

I've always hated Kiss, everything about them, the make up, the platforms, the music, the marketing, pretty much their whole thing. But the thing I hate the most, is their pandering. Paul Stanley's pandering in particular, the stupid shit he says to get crowds riled up. It's almost like something you have to hear because you can't believe that someone could be so asinine. Which brings me to the selection below, forty five minutes of idiocy, springing from the bright red lips of the newest member of the Mike Love Army. Think of it as an audio mud run.

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45 Minutes of Paul Stanley Stage Banter - Curated by Chris Ames NOTE: To download, click on the small arrow button next to the "share" button, below the streaming gizmo.

Friday, April 19, 2013

IT'S RECORD STORE DAY SOMEWHERE

You may have heard Jon Lord's early band, the Artwoods. I had not. As strange as it now seems, I'd never heard of them before his recent passing. Now I'm hooked. There's a lot of stuff going on, a mix of rave-up guitar, Hammond grooves, fuzz, and a dash of garage. I feel like an idiot for not knowing them earlier. Here's links to two posts, each with a couple of their cuts. You should definitely check out the post at Aquarium Drunkard, an edition of Clifton's Corner packed with good shit by others too.

Because tomorrow's Record Store Day (or today is depending oon where you are), there's some record store videos below too. Totally unrelated to the Artwoods. I'm just too lazy to do two posts.

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Listen:
The Artwoods - Sweet Mary and Keep Lookin' mp3s at Aquarium Drunkard Halfway down the post.
The Artwoods - Walk On the Wild Side and Things Get Better at Rising Storm
Watch:
Shit People Say At Records Stores at YouTube
Last Shop Standing trailer at YouTube
The Last Days of Bleeker Bob's at YouTube
Visit:
Record store facade photos
at Twittering Machines
Record Store Day official site 

EVERY RECORD HAS A STORY

Want to know where I went to school? Welch's Music, Soundsville, Good Karma, Arcade, Scratching the Surface, Monty Rockers, Blue Meanie, and Off the Record. These were the local independent record stores that I went to, from the time I bought my first record at age 10, through my young adult years. My two brothers and I were total fiends. Lawnmowing money, paper route money, tips from busing tables, just about all of our expendable income was spent on records. Periodically it would get to the point that my parents forbid us to buy more records. We'd often ignore that, and bring them home through the back door, or if it was a 45, just cover it up with a jacket or something. 

One summer day I'd ridden my bike to Welch's Music, to buy "American Pie" by Don McLean. Welch's was an old fashioned music store. They sold instruments and sheet music, gave music lessons, and sold records. When I returned home, knowing my Dad was at work, and that my Mom was not likely to notice (or pretend not to notice, she was much more lenient), I walked right in the front door, bagged record in hand, right into the living room, where my Dad was. He had come home for lunch, which he didn't often do. I was busted, red handed, and he went off. He had a temper, particularly when one of us kids disobeyed. He began yelling at me, and yelling at me. He continued yelling at me, cornering me in the kitchen. I had no defense, I broke a rule that had been spelled out clearly. I had defied his authority. The minute or so he was going off seemed like it would go on forever. So I did something I'd never done before or since. I intentionally broke the record and dropped it in the kitchen trash can. Then he said "Go to your room." I was fucked. 

I knew what that meant. While he returned to his lunch, I sat in my room trying to prepare for what would ensue. After what seemed like an eternity, he called out from the other end of the house, and told me to get in his truck. It was about to get heavy. He got in the drivers seat and we took off. I had no clue where we were going. He pulled up in front of Welch's Music and told me to get out of the car. All sorts of things were going through my head. The only thing I could think of was that he might go off on the clerk who had sold me the record, that's how confused I was. We walked into the store, and up to the counter. He asked me what record it was that I'd bought. I was probably stammering when I said "American Pie". He asked the clerk for the same record, paid for it, and then handed it to me. Then he dropped me off at home, and returned to work. It was the only time I ever went record shopping with my Dad, and it was the first time I remember realizing that, underneath all of his heavy disciplinary anger, he had a soft side. 

My Dad passed away several years ago. In his last decade or so we did get a chance to share music with each other. His soft side had completely taken over. And I still have that 45. Though the song lost it's luster after hearing it approximately fourteen million times, I still still treasure the record itself. It has a story, as does just about every other record I own. The majority of them were bought at independent record stores, which is what this post was supposed to be about. Tomorrow is Record Store Day. Go shopping. My Dad won't care.

Visit:
Record Store Day

Thursday, April 18, 2013

NOW EXHALE

It's the end of the week. Ease into it with the only musician who ever got famous from playing the melodica. I felt like a reggae break and couldn't decide on a vocalist. I just needed vibe. Augustus Pablo seemed fit. You've heard him before. If not, wiki him fool. We're not waiting around.  

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Listen:
Augustus Pablo - King Tubbys Meets the Rockers Uptown mp3 at Nintendo Planet Video
Augustus Pablo - Slave Masters' Execution mp3 at Pfftp
Augustus Pablo - Cassava Piece mp3 at Pampelmoose
Augustus Pablo - 1-2-3 Version mp3 at B3ta Cr3ation
Augustus Pablo - East of the River Nile mp3 at Zachi Team Tree Tops

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

POWER TRIO

Here's a couple of Cream oddballs. Take a look at this video, supposedly the earliest known footage, from 1966. Watch the first minute or so, and let yourself be lulled into "this just blows" ambivalence, try to figure out what the fuss was in the early years, then skip to about 3:45 to see the fuss. I know what you're thinking. Not that unusual. Okay, how about Cream doing a Falstaff beer jingle, and actually still sounding like Cream? Sing it! "Faaalllllstaff!..."



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Listen:
Cream - Falstaff commercial mp3 at Rock Town Hall
Cream - Sunshine of Your Love mp3 at Jalane40
Cream - Outside Woman Blues mp3 at Centurytel

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

SUN SECOND STRINGERS

Sun Studio. Yeah baby. You  know what happened there. Try to forget all of the familiar stuff you've heard before, the Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, and Carl Perkins stuff, all of it. There was a ton of stuff recorded there that you haven't heard, from people you've never heard of. A lot of it wasn't released on Sun Records, so you won't find it on Sun Records compilations. That's the reason I need to give a rare endorsement. I'm not a completist by any means, but I've got four Sun Records compilations, several single artist LPs and a handfull of 45s, and I'm here to tell you that by far, the best bang for your buck comes from a four CD set called "Rockin' Memphis", that can be found at online retailers for as low as seventeen bucks. All Sun related music is represented, blues, hillbilly, rockabilly, boogie; it's a gold mine. There's 118 cuts in all, that's less than fifteen cents per song. Like most Sun comps, there's a decent share of the hits, but there's predominantly second stringers, some unfamiliar. Many of the cuts were released on other labels. I don't think I have to spell it out. An also-ran recorded at Sun is still hot shit.

These are just random songs that I found that weren't by the big guns. There might be one or two from that box set, I haven't checked. But the point is this: just about everything recorded at Sun during it's glory days in the fifties was good. The cuts below are just a random selection.Yeah I know, this might be a rather obvious tip, but I don't have a clue who I'm talking to.

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Listen:
Andy Anderson - Tough, Tough, Tough mp3 at Rocky 52
Warren Smith - So Long I'm Gone mp3 at Beware of the Blog
Mack Self - Mad at You mp3 at Rocky 52 
Ike Turner - Get It Over Baby mp3 at Kollege Daily
Billy Emerson - When It Rains It Pours mp3 at Paul Altobelli
Visit:
Sun Studio at Wikipedia

Monday, April 15, 2013

YOUR NEW FAVORITE VERSION

I've heard Los Bravos' "Black Is Black" a zillion times. Good song, right? But it's not the reason for this post, not their version anyway. You need to hear Dale Kahr and Christy Boughn's version. The thing is wild, from beginning to end, like some sort of semi-soul version of Sonny and Cher, with Dave Allan on guitar, all hopped up on coffee, after staying up all night listening to Blue Cheer. I implore you, and I don't do much imploring.

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Listen
Dale Kahr and Christy Boughn - Black is Black mp3 at De Discos y Montsruos
Los Bravos - Black is Black mp3 at Pensées en Images
Los Bravos - Stop That Girl mp3 at Music Pop Hits

LIQUOR ENHANCER

I'm sure you've seen your share of videos online that feature this obscure record or that, posted without actual moving images of the band. Usually there's footage of a record spinning, a slide show of the band, or occasionally some sort of stock footage. Usually you just tune out visually and listen to the music. It's not often that the unrelated footage actually enhances the music. That's why I'm posting this, because the footage is insanely cool. What you have is Mickey Baker's "Whistle Stop" accompanied by some strange footage of people dancing in an empty room. What makes it so strange is that the dancing, which looks like it might be in slow motion, actually looks like drunk people dancing. Though it's doubtful that they're drunk, the overall effect of them leaving and reentering the camera's frame, dancing with and without partners, and the odd angle of shot almost make you feel dizzy. 



Mickey Baker was one half of Mickey and Sylvia, and he certainly had the chops. He solo stuff is next to impossible to find as downloads, so you'll have to make do with a Mickey and Sylvia cut I posted a few weeks ago.

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Listen: 
Mickey and Sylvia - No Good Lover mp3 at RocknDog
Video:
Mickey Baker - Footage of unknown orgin, 1966 at YouTube
 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

NOT SMOKE. KISS JUNE.

No shame in my Sunday morning walk, not these days. I don't know when exactly it is that the Sunday morning walk of shame loses it's shame, but at some point in your life that "Why did I get with them?. Oh jeez..." walking to the car thought process may turn into a "I still got it." Maybe that doesn't happen to everybody. When I'm up really early on a Sunday morning, which happens more frequently these days, if I happen to be driving, I'm listening to the gospel show on the radio. And, living in a town that has rather spirited Saturday nights, I see a number of walk of shamers walking towards their cars, jackets or heels in hand. Those without shame may have their squeeze in tow (they're the reason you have to wait in line for your Bloody Mary).  So that gospel show is kind of like a soundtrack to the walk of shame survey.
 
I'm up early this morning, and I was going to listen to that gospel show, but then I saw that my friend Robert had posted a video of Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson doing Kristofferson's "Sunday Morning Coming Down" a bona fide walk of shame classic. So I thought I'd post that. When I was looking for it, I ran into a Johnny Cash live set, from 1990. This is some good stuff, twenty seven songs, between song banter and band introductions ("Steve Hogan, the bass demon"). And, as many of you would agree, Johnny Cash wasn't ever uncool, his music always stayed true, so there's no glitzy schmaltz, just good ol' American picking and singing. June Carter and sisters are in there too, so my gospel fix got taken care of, albeit country gospel. Take a look at the set list. This is the way to cure a hangover.

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Listen:
Johnny Cash - Sunday Morning Coming Down (via Box.com) mp3 at Tone Agents
The live set: 
Johnny Cash - Live at Rocky Gap, 1990 at Captain's Dead Twenty seven songs, individually or one single download.
Video: 
Johnny Cash and Kris Krisofferson - Sunday Morning Coming Down at YouTube
Misc:
Johnny Cash early portrait Full size high resolution scan
Johnny Cash's undated to-do list

Friday, April 12, 2013

GRAB BAG CRAP SHOOT

It's the weakest of threads here folks. Four semi-obscure bands, four songs that you probably haven't heard, and all four exceedingly tight. These would fall loosely under the category "future use for mid-mix surprises". Here's the quick rundown (but you should visit the hosting blogs for the full skinny). The first one by Australia's Ray Hoff and the Offbeats is a damn fine mid-sixties rhythm and blues instrumental, with some Jimmy Smith type organ and early Stones type harp. The second one by Mashmakhan, a Canadian band, is psych-vocal light, but it still swings. The third, from one of the Walker Brothers, Gary to be exact, was originally only released in Japan where they apparently had an unquenchable thirst for anything Walker sibling related. It has much fuzz. 

That brings us to our last oddity. I don't know how many of you were initially drawn to Lou Reed back in the early seventies via the back-to-back live albums, Rock 'n' Roll Animal and Lou Reed Live. If you were, you were probably too late for the first go-around of the Velvet Underground, and didn't think there was anything strange going on.  I didn't really know Reed's early work until I started back tracking, and that's the only thing good about those particular LPs. They got people to the Velvet Underground via backtracking Reed's work to hear the originals of the Velvet's songs that were so thoroughly desecrated on the solo live versions. These LPs featured two guitarists, Steve Hunter and Dick Wagner, that could not have been further from the Velvet Underground sound and feel. These guys played long drawn out solos, and you knew they just thought they were the show. In hindsight, they sound like shit, particularly if you were expecting, you know, the crust. But I wasn't, back then I was into long over indulgent solos. I know better now, and I'd avoided both Wagner and Hunter for years because of it. But guess what? I ran into an early Wagner 45 that's really good. Go figure.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~  
Listen:
Ray Hoff & The OffBeats - My Good Friend Mary Jane mp3 at Nitro-Retro! 
Mashmakhan - Afraid of Losing You mp3 at Nitro-Retro! 
Gary Walker and the Rain - Francis mp3 at The Rising Storm 
Dick Wagner and the Frosts - Sunshine mp3 (via DivShare) at Estudio del Sonido Esnob

Thursday, April 11, 2013

WE'RE ANOTHER AMERICAN BAND

You know what I'd like to see happen again? Someone put out a single that becomes a hit, without a visual image to go with it. Without seeing a fancy sleeve, promo photos, nothing. Can you imagine? You wouldn't know that the band had, as lead singer, a balding drummer, or that they were an all white band on an almost exclusively black label. You would have no idea that they had practically zero flash. Nowadays, it is mandatory that you look the part. Thank you MTV for changing that, and digital media, thank you, for twisting the knife, killing any chances of that scenario playing out ever again.

Rare Earth were pretty much the epitome of early seventies AM radio, weren't they? I mean, when you look at them, they were kind of nondescript. Faceless to the kids listening to the radio. They did their share of snoozers (I've heard a few), but that doesn't matter. Because they had a few really good songs, so good that they've been heard a zillion times, to the point, one would think, of exhaustion. But, when was the last time you really listened to them, to all the stuff going on? Forget you've ever heard them and listen to them again. That's some bad ass top forty there.

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Listen:
Rare Earth - I Know I'm Losing You mp3 at LZ Center
Rare Earth - I Just Want to Celebrate mp3 at LZ Center
Rare Earth - Get Ready mp3 at LZ Center

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

ALSO NOT OF THIS WORLD

My only exposure to Sun Ra prior to seeing him in person was from a cover by NRBQ of his song "Rocket Number Nine", on their first LP. It was weirder than anything on the album, and I made a mental note to check out this Sun Ra character. Several years later in New York, I happened by the annual Halloween parade that wound through Greenwich Village. After seeing outlandish costume after outlandish costume, the parade was ending, and down the street came a marching band, all dressed in purple, followed by Sun Ra, in a horse drawn carriage, wearing a purple velvet cape and one of his skull caps. It was time to dig in.

By the time I got back to the West coast, my brother, also a fan of freak flag flyers, already had a compilation of Sun Ra's early 45s and an LP. I'm here to tell you, those suckers have been gone over repeatedly for years, as has his film, Space Is the Place, and I am not one bit closer to figuring this guy out. And you can gleam just so much out of a biographical profile. At the end of the day, you just want to sit across the table from him, look him straight in the eye, and let out a "Dude. What is up?" Hot shit jazz players are a dime a dozen. Prolific and confounding hot shit jazz players are not. Especially if they have some sort of other worldly agenda that they spend half a lifetime steeped in.

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Video:
Space Is the Place, (the entire film) at YouTube
Sun Ra, Brother From Another Planet (BBC docunentary) at YouTube
Space Is the Place (another clip) at YouTube 
Listen:
Sun Ra - Angels and Demons at Play mp3 at Destination Out
Sun Ra - the Sun Man Speaks mp3 at Now You're at Songblague 
Sun Ra - Door to the Cosmos mp3 at I'm Waking Up to... 
Sun Ra and the Myth Science Arkestra - Eve mp3 at Now You're at Songblague
Sun Ra and his Astro-Solar Infinity Arkestra -To Natures God mp3 at Avant Avant
Sun Ra and his Astro-Solar Infinity Arkestra - Lemuria mp3 at Avant Avant
Sun Ra - Omnisonicism mp3 at Lost Tones 15 plus minutes that gets progressively further out there 
Sun Ra - Intensity mp3 at Lost Tones
Spoken word:
Sun Ra - This Is the Idea of a Greater Age mp3 at Beware of the Blog 
Sun Ra - Musical Astronauts mp3 at Beware of the Blog
Sun Ra - Live, 1976 at WXPN at  UBU Web 26 cuts, spoken word with musical accompaniment 
Full LP:
Sun Ra - Lanqudity at Deepgoa Full LP streaming
Visit:
Sun Ra at Wikipedia

Monday, April 8, 2013

GOOD GIRLS DON'T

Back when I was in junior high, word filtered in through my group if friends that there was a new student that would be arriving, after being expelled from another junior high. You'd have to know my gang to know appreciate how his arrival was received. Let's just say we rolled out the red carpet. His name was J.J., and he was a smart kid, somewhat irreverent, and he liked to push the envelope. I shared an English class with him, and when we were given an assignment to do oral book reports with another student, he and I paired off. We did our report on Abbie Hoffman's Steal This Book. I still remember the quizzical look on the face of the teacher as J.J. read a passage from the book, about siphoning gas.



Not long after J.J. arrived, he saw a girl in class named Jill, and he asked us about her. "Forget about her, her dad's a minister, she's a real goody-goody. She narcs on everybody." J.J. was undeterred, responding with a confident "I can change her." That now laughable episode ran through my head today, when I read the obituary at the NY Times of Annette Funicello.

In movies and in real life Annette was the epitome of the unchangeable good girl. In the beach party movies, she was always off to the side, waiting for Frankie Avalon to get bored with the other bikini clad somewhat slutty girls. Despite her good looks and hourglass figure, she was always the girl who wouldn't put out, or even show her navel.  But you know what? In real life, just as in the movies, she stuck to her guns (no Russ Meyer pun intended) and for that, even though she was a marginal talent, she has my complete respect. Plus, who else has had both the Beach Boys and Fishbone as backing bands?

Sunday, April 7, 2013

HELL YEAH, MAYBELLE

Hanging out with Sister Lady Spinsta yesterday, she commented on how she thought Thelma Jones' "The House That Jack Built" (from the Funky 16 Corners Bold Soul Sisters mix) beat Aretha Franklin's version. You have to know SLS to know what a statement that was. She has long been ape shit over Aretha, so giving another version of a song she covered the edge is not to be taken lightly. I thought I'd surprise her, so I went clicking like a crazy man, looking for more Thelma Jones stuff. With the exception of a reissued disco LP, I found exactly squat. But, on one of the posts with the disco LP, there was blurb about how she was mentored by Big Maybelle. Before I knew it I was ass deep in a Big Maybelle rabbit hole. Rather than blabbing on about her, I direct your attention to the first cut below, If there is a song that better epitomizes what I like about early fifties rhythm and blues, I haven't heard it. Her voice is something else, I mean, she belts. Have you ever heard a woman growl "Mmmmm"? It's not just that, the backing is top notch too. The guitar fills, the horns, hell even the tambourine, not to mention that hollow studio sounding production,...they don't make 'em like this anymore.

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Listen: 
Big Maybelle - Ocean of Tears mp3 at Probe is Turning-On the People
Big Maybelle - One Monkey Don't Stop No Show mp3 at Beware of the Blog 
Big Maybelle - Going Home mp3 at 78s
Big Maybelle - New Kind of Mambo mp3 at I Pick My Nose
Big Maybelle - Hair Dressin' Women mp3 at The Beiderbecke Affair
Big Maybelle - Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On (streaming) at YouTube
Big Maybelle - It's a Man's Man;'s World mp3 at Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban
Big Maybelle - 96 Tears mp3 at Beware of the Blog
Visit:
Big Maybelle at Wikipedia

Saturday, April 6, 2013

ROLL OVER RUTLES

Last night I saw a thing on TV about the Masked Marauders, a band I'd forgotten all about. They were a fake band that appeared in a fake record review of a yet to be released album, in Rolling Stone in 1969. The Masked Marauders was supposedly a one-off project, featuring Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison. After the fake review received a huge amount of attention from wishful gullible heads, fake recordings were made to try to take the flimflam one step further. You have to remember, there was no internet, so fact checking wasn't really an option. Rock fans were stoned out of their gourds so you could have laid out practically anything and they'd believe it. Take a look at the video linked below for the story that aired.  It's pretty funny that people fell for it, and even funnier when Brian Williams refers to himself as a "victim". Oh brother, everybody's a victim these days.

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Listen:
The Masked Marauders - I Can't Get No Nookie mp3 at Mr. D''s
The Masked Marauders - More or Less Hudson's Bay Again (streaming) at YouTube
Watch:
Were You A Believer in the Masked Marauders? - Rock Center, 4/5/2013
Visit:
Masked Marauders - Review from Rolling Stone, October 18, 1969 
Masked Marauders at Wikipedia

Thursday, April 4, 2013

ROGER AND THEM

Roger Ebert passed away today. You know who he is, right? He's the Chicago Sun Times film critic who, with Gene Siskel, invented the "two thumbs up" thing on their syndicated show "At The Movies". He also dabbled in screenwriting, notably for Russ Meyer's Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens, and Up!. (Meyer is on the left in the photo above, Ebert on the right) In 1977, Meyer again enlisted his help, to write the screenplay for a movie that was to feature the Sex Pistols, with a working title of Anarchy In the UK. During work on the film, Ebert suggested another title, Who Killed Bambi, and that was to be the title before Russ Meyer walked off the project due to ongoing disputes with Malcolm McLaren, the Pistol's manager. The film was later pieced together by Julien Temple and released with the title The Great Rock 'n' Roll  Swindle, with remnants of Ebert's screenplay still intact. It also included a song, sung by Tenpole Tudor, who was at the time being considered to replace Johnny Rotten as the new singer for the Pistols. The song was called "Who Killed Bambi".



This is as good a time as any to post Eberts' account of working with Meyer and the Sex Pistols camp. So here's a link to that post on his blog, and another to the original screenplay that he wrote for the film.

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Read:
McLaren & Meyer & Rotten & Vicious & me at Roger Ebert's Journal 
"Who Killed Bambi?" - A screenplay at Roger Ebert's Journal 
If you must have music, try these:
Sex Pistols - Who Killed Bambi mp3 at 195.122.253.112 (?) (From the film The Great Rock n' Roll Swindle) 
Sex Pistols [sic]- Friggin' in the Riggin' mp3 at Joi Ito (From the film The Great Rock n' Roll Swindle) 
Sex Pistols - Pretty Vacant mp3 at Review Stalker 
Le Anarchie Pour Le UK (in French) mp3 at Stillerman.com (From the film The Great Rock n' Roll Swindle) 
Video: 
The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle trailer at YouTube 
Beyond the Valley of the Dolls trailer at YouTube
Visit: 
Roger Ebert at Wikipedia
The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle at Wikipedia 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

EVERLY BUCK STONES

Back when I was a teenager, there was a older guy that I used to hang out at the beach with. He was in a band that had an album out that  involved some pedal steel guy named Sneaky Pete (he either produced it or played on it, I forget which). It was a pretty big deal, because I didn't know anyone with a record out, let alone an LP. When I finally saw his band play, it turned out that they were a country rock band, a Christian country rock band. Sneaky Pete was apparently someone he knew from church. As you can imagine, the cool factor was somewhat diminished. Nevertheless, this guy will always be someone I look to as a good influence, for three reasons: he had a VW van that he loaned me on a couple occasions, had a Weber Performer that he'd loan me, and through his Sneaky Pete connection, he turned me on to the Flying Burrito Brothers.



It's hard to imagine, but there was a time when country rock actually leaned more toward country, when pedal steel was essential, and Buck Owens and Dave Dudley covers were as much a part of the set list as a Chuck Berry cover. Just like just other types of music, country rock got watered down gradually until the hits started coming, and, you've seen it many times, the benefactors weren't the pioneers. Oh, by the way, I hate the Eagles. Comparing them with the Flying Burrito Brothers is like comparing the Knack with the Sex Pistols. The Flying Burrito Brothers were something else altogether. They played their share of pop venues, but unlike later country rock bands, they also played country and western clubs, notably the Palomino, a club in the San Fernando Valley, east of Los Angeles. They actually wanted a country crowd. Go figure.


A while back there was a 1969 set of theirs, from the Palomino, floating around the net. Unfortunately, I can't find it (take note snoozers). So, when I ran into two other live sets of theirs, I figured I'd better point you towards them. If you're one of the full-on types who already have them, there's a link down their to the working sketches of the outfits seen on their first LP, The Gilded Palace of Sin, by the legendary country and western tailor Nudie . (Found by Ray, the guy who always finds cool shit on YouTube. He's apparently branched out.)

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
The Flying Burrito Brothers - Wild Horses mp3 at Beat Surrender 
The live sets:
The Flying Burrito Brothers - Seattle Pop Festival 1969
at The Big O Fifteen individual cuts