Saturday, August 31, 2013

CRO-MAGNON BEAT MAN

Here's two early cuts from Reverend Beat Man, from the mid-nineties when he was performing as Lightning Beat Man. These aren't really a revelation, they're really just an excuse to go off about him, as has been done here before. In short, he's a nut, sounds like he sprinkles gravel on his pancakes, been involved in a number of raunchy Swiss bands, performed solo as a one man band, and he runs a record label. He's like a cartoon character that's come to life. Though, if you see interviews with him, the guy is sincere about the music that's influenced him. If his music sucked, you'd be tempted to call him an outsider, if the litmus test for outsider-ness is to be compelled to do things just to do them, because he makes music that's not going to make anybody rich. Think of it as Clarence "Frog Man" Henry getting drunk, and stealing the Black Keys equipment after staying up all night listening to Hasil Adkins. Or maybe not.



Here's the two by him as Lightning Beat Man, and two as Reverend Beat Man; "Come Back Lord" because that's the one that made me take notice way back when, and "It's a Beat Man's World", because it'll give you an indication of what kind of nutty shit he's made of. If you dig these, check the old posts linked below, because there's a whole lot of his stuff, solo and with other bands. His videos are a riot as well (again, see the old posts). At the very least, you should listen to that first one, "Apartment Wrestling Rock 'n' Roll Girl", notable because it's one of very few songs to feature a jaw harp solo, and it is gloriously lame. My type exactly.

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Listen:
Lightning Beat Man - Apartment Wrestling Rock 'n' Roll Girl mp3 at VooDoo Rhythm
Lightning Beat Man - I Wanna Be Your Pussycat mp3 at VooDoo Rhythm
Reverend Beat Man - Come Back Lord mp3 at Go Retro
Reverend Beat Man - It's a Beat Man's World mp3 at Big Rock Candy Mountain 
Older Beat Man posts:
Swiss Cream

The Pride of Zurn
Nice Tips

Friday, August 30, 2013

AT LEAST IT'S YOUR SHOES

This is a little early, but you'll get it as soon as summer really turns to fall, especially if you're lucky enough to live near the coast. This is the Drifters at their best "I've Got Sand In My Shoes". Overshadowed by "Up On the Roof" and "Under the Boardwalk" it reached only #33 on the charts, but for my money it is a near perfect end of summer song. They may have been hanging under the boardwalk in the thick of it, but they were going to milk this summer thing one last time. I'd love to give you recording details, but I couldn't find any, other than the lead vocal was by Johnny Moore, and that he had just rejoined the Drifters after Rudy Lewis, the intended lead, died the night before the session for "Under The Boardwalk". Moore had been sacked around 1958 by the owner of the Drifters name, George Treadwell, who had purchased the name from Clyde McPhatter. It was a mess, Treadwell hired and fired sixty or so singers under his command. It's sick to think about the Drifters as a brand, but that's essentially what they were. Enough of the blabbing, check the castanets, then dig on three other works of art.

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Listen:
The Drifters - I've Got Sand In My Shoes mp3 at Keep Shaggin
The Drifters - No Sweet Lovin' mp3 at Keep Shaggin Killer early one
The Drifters - Under The Boardwalk mp3 at Bailey Beach Boy Flat out beautiful, listen again
The Drifters - Up On the Roof mp3 at Snuhthing Anything

Thursday, August 29, 2013

FOREVER ON THAT KICK

Every one of us has a musical figure that they champion, and most of us, when given the opportunity, will force the issue beyond reason. Coxsone Dodd's one of the guys I won't shut up about. Here's the reason, his catalog is as stinker free as they come, and he put out an awful lot of records. Tonight I'm ankle deep in a long mix, roughly sixty songs posted at Undeerground Uncovered. This isn't the Studio One Rarities mix I linked to before, this is another one. And you rockers, if you're finally going to loosen up a little, this is a great mix to start with. I promise, you won't turn into a hippie. If you need some single songs to wet your whistle, scroll down to earlier posts here. There's bound to be some still active.

The Man with The Man: U Roy and Dodd


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Listen:
Producer Series: Coxone Dodd's Studio One mix (via Zippiy Share) at Underground Uncovered
Note: Do the "Captcha" thing in the top right, then click on "Download Now" right below it. Avoid all the other download buttons. You will probably get one pop-up, just close it.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

IT'S UNANIMOUS

There's so many cool things about this particular mix, aptly named We're Gonna Rock. Posted by Hearsay, it's stuff from 1940 to 1966, heavy on the proto-rock 'n' roll boogie. Without going off about every song at length, there are a few things to note. The inclusion of Pete Johnson's "Death Ray Boogie" got my attention. He was Big Joe Turner's piano player, on a mess of his prime stuff. This solo cut is from 1941, and though it sounds a little muddy, the reissued vinyl I have is just as bad. But, it's cool. That song brings up the next thing I dig. The title, "Death Ray Boogie". They don't title 'em like that any more. This mix is littered with them. "Crazy Legs", "Bullfrog Hop", "Spann's Stomp", Ka-Ding-Dong", "Central Avenue Breakdown". Gimmee some of that. Every song on the mix has something interesting going on.

Here's just a couple from the mix. There's twenty four in all, available individually or as a mix. Check "Rock This Joint" by Bill Haley and the Comets. A few of the licks would reappear in "Rock Around the Clock" a few years later. But the latter didn't have a boss pedal steel solo.Well done Hearsay, if I may call you that.

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Listen:
Cecil Gant - We're Gonna Rock mp3 at Hearsay
Bill Haley and the Comets - Rock This Joint mp3 at Hearsay
Pete Johnson - Death Ray Boogie mp3 at Hearsay
The Mix:
We're Gonna Rock at Hearsay 24 house wreckers!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

YOU CALLED IT LAST TIME

I'd seen that band photo of the Shotgun Express a hundred times before I realized Rod Stewart was in the shot. Bet you can guess why. She looks pretty badass, huh? The Shotgun Express was a band best known for having among it's members, at one time or another, Rod Stewart, Mick Fleetwood, and Peter Green. There's a good profile at So Many Records, So Little Time. The song below is pretty swinging. At least you'll have something to go with the photo.

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Listen:
The Shotgun Express mp3 - I Could Feel the Whole Turn Around mp3 at So Many Records, So Little Time

JOLENE AT THE CORRECT SPEED

Because slowing down a Dolly Parton song is just a dumbass thing to do. Don't be cute. It's a damn good song. Go buy a white belt, or a trucker hat, or skinny jeans, or grow a beard, or pick up some brightly colored fake Wayfarers, or whatever this weeks ironic thing is. What the hell, order a PBR tall. Just leave Jolene alone.

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Listen:
Dolly Parton - Jolene mp3 at Exxplosivo

Monday, August 26, 2013

EVEN THEIR POCKET CHANGE

This could be day two of the Soul Related Record Labels That Start With "S" Fest. Lucky for you I'm short on blab tonight. Just dig this second tier Stax stuff along with a couple better known ones. Hell, even the LP filler is better than....Hey! You! The fuck off my lawn!

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Listen:
Otis Redding and Carla Thomas - Tramp mp3 at The Ear Hole
Rufus Thomas - Walking The Dog mp3 at The Ear Hole
Rufus Thomas - Funky Hot Grits mp3
at The Ear Hole
The Sweet Inspirations - Slipped And Tripped mp3
at The Ear Hole
Joe Tex - Papa Was, Too mp3 at Groove Addict
Carla Thomas - Stop Thief mp3 at Groove Addict
Albert King - Killing Floor mp3 at Groove Addict with Booker T and the MGs
The Mar-Keys - Jive Man mp3 at Groove Addict

Sunday, August 25, 2013

HOW DO YOU DO

If you're at all into rhythm and blues and soul, here's a treat. A handful from Sue Records, a New York label whose gravy years ran from the late fifties through the early sixties. They had a pretty impressive roster, one that included Jimmy McGriff, Charlie & Inez Foxx, Huey "Piano" Smith, Don Covay, Elmore James, Larry Williams, Lee Dorsey, Billy Preston, Barbara Lynn, Ike and Tina Turner, Bob and Earl, and Gary U.S. Bonds. Their actual discography is a little confusing though, and I'm far too lazy to figure it out. While they had their own roster, some of their output was licensed from other labels. To further confuse things, they had a licensing deal with Island Records, wherein Island would release their stuff on a UK version of the Sue imprint. Compounding that mess, Island put out some stuff on their version of Sue that had nothing to do with the US version. Yeah, see what I mean. All of that collector minutia just gets in the way anyway. 

The thing I dig about these is that they sort of bridge the gap between R&B and soul, or at least part of it. They're varied, and all top notch. Groove Addict posted the songs below and links to all four discs of the set The Sue Story. If you plan on going that latter route, note the following: You will have to go through AdFlip, which is a minefield. Do not click any thing, except the button on the top right of the screen. Wait for the "please wait" countdown to end and then click on "Skip Ad". You're through hurdle one. The rest of the route gets even tougher. I threw in the towel, just too many deceiving links and pop-ups. Shine that, I'll just add the whole set to the never ending list. Anyway, check these fine jams.

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Listen:
Eloise Carter - My Man Rockhead mp3 at Groove Addict Disc 1
Barbara George - Send For Me (If You Need Some Lovin') mp3 at Groove Addict Disc 2
The Soul Sisters - Loop de Loop mp3
at Groove Addict Disc 3
Pancho Villa & The Bandits - Ain't That Bad mp3
at Groove Addict
Sandra Phillips - You Succeeded mp3
at Groove Addict
Ike & Tina Turner - Stagger Lee & Billy mp3
at Groove Addict Disc 4
Visit:
Sue Records
at Wikipedia

Saturday, August 24, 2013

CRUSH ASSOCIATION #47

A zillion years ago, while traveling around Europe and taking full advanage of the Eurail pass, I went from Berlin all the way to Florence in a single jaunt. When I arrived at the pensione where I would be staying, I was wearing a shirt with the P.i.L. logo on it. There was a woman seated at a table in the common area. Before we even introduced ourselves she said "Hey!", and lifted up her sweatshirt. She was wearing the same T-shirt. Her name was Harriet, and she was from Brisbane, Australia. She had curly red hair, tied back but still dangling. She was wearing a navy blue sweatshirt over the T-shirt and well fitting, but not hoochie tight, jeans. I remember these details because our passings over the next few days would be an awesome respite, on a trip where I'd met few music fiends. The kicker? She worked in a record store. Yep, you know it. Instant music crush.

She asked if I liked any Australian bands. After making a point to share my distaste for Men At Work (it was the eighties), I told her that I really, really liked the Saints. "I used be roommates with Chris Bailey".(Bailey was the Saints' lead singer) And so on. The more I talked to her, the more it was getting all Love Potion Number Nine up in there. Interactions that followed over the next few days only intensified the crush. She was a great conversationalist. Days later, poof. Ever since then, whenever I hear the Saints, I don't think about how lucky she was to have lived with Chris Bailey. I always think of how lucky Chris Bailey was to have lived with Harriet.

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Listen:
The Saints - I'm Stranded (1976) mp3 at Inside Pulse

Friday, August 23, 2013

OLD NEW SOUND OF NEW ORLEANS

Do an old post crawl at a random music blog and sometimes you'll find some neat stuff. Updates, schmupdates. Old posts need lovin' too. And a old post at The Ear Hole proves just that. It's three live Meters cuts from 1975. Great quality sound too. So, Meters night it is. You'll want to get yourself in the mood with that first one, "Funky Miracle". Textbook Meters groove it is.

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Listen:
The Meters - Funky Miracle mp3 at Drummer World
The Meters - Yeah, You're Right mp3 at Paul Conner
The Meters - Cissy Strut mp3 at Ansgeht Immano
The Meters - Look-Ka Py Py mp3 at The L Word Online
The Meters - Pass the Peas mp3 at Noise Collective
The Meters and Lee Dorsey - Occapella mp3 at DJNoDJ
The live cuts:
The Meters – Right Place, Wrong Time  at The Ear Hole
The Meters – People Say at The Ear Hole
The Meters – Stand By Me, Cupid, Don't Play That Song, He Don't Love You at The Ear Hole

Thursday, August 22, 2013

SURPASSING TAGALONG

Hortense Ellis was the kid sister of rocksteady great Alton Ellis. She recorded for Coxsone Dodd, Duke Reid, Lee Perry, Joe Gibbs, and Bunny "Striker Lee" Lee. Quite a resume, eh? She did some duets with her brother early in her career, and later used two other names, Mahalia Sanders (her married name), and Queen Tiney. Of the songs below, the one that surprised me was that last one, toasting/singing over the riddim (rhythm) of her brother's rocksteady hit, "I'm Still In Love With You," a riddim also used for Althea and Donna's "Uptown Top Ranking" and approximately six million other songs.

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Listen:
Hortense Ellis - Can I Change My Mind mp3 at Eye Swings
Hortense Ellis, Max Romeo and the Thing - Helena mp3 at Fire Corner
Hortense Ellis and the Heptones - Woman of the Ghetto mp3 at Le Beau Bizarre
Mahalia Saunders - Suspicious Minds (streaming) at YouTube
Mahalia Saunders - Piece of My Heart (streaming) at YouTube
Queen Tiney and the Aggrovators - Natty Dread Time (streaming) at YouTube
Visit:
Hortense Ellis at Wikipedia
Fire Corner - Tons of reggae mixes Do some digging.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

DON'T SNUB GAYLORD

Jeez, talk about an oversight. The Lyrics, makers of two badass sides appearing on two highly regarded garage compilation series (the second volumes of Pebbles and Back From the Grave), and who's HQ was right in my own backyard (if my backyard extended north about twenty miles); how is it they haven't even been mentioned here once? This stops now.

"So What!!" is Pissed Off Gold. The standout on this one is the singer, Christopher Gaylord. This kid goes off. He's not impressed with a particular rich chick and he's gonna tell the world about it. And everyone in seventh period knew it was coming. Gaylord wrote it sang it and played harp. And he means it. This is essential. And the second one, the flip, is Roman in its own right. Thank you Junk Shop Juke Box for posting these.



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Listen:
The Lyrics - So What!! mp3, and streaming at Junk Shop Juke Box
The Lyrics - They Can't Hurt Me mp3, and streaming at Junk Shop Juke Box 
Visit:
Interview with at Ray Clearwater (aka Christopher Gaylord) at Flower Bomb Songs Lyrics' singer, keyboardist, and put down king.
Interview with Dan Garcia at Flower Bomb Songs Lyrics' bassist

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

YOU SCRATCH JUST LIKE A MONKEY

I was just driving around today, minding my own business and all of a sudden "Bwaaaah!!!, bwap bwap bwaaaah.." came blaring out of my speakers. Holy shit, friends, it was total goosebump city, the intro to Bob and Earl's "Harlem Shuffle". That few seconds just slays me, every time. And the rest of the song is every bit as badass. The arrangement by a young Barry White is a huge part of this humdinger, the way the horns come in and out, the sparse, almost reggae like guitar. and what sounds like tympani accents. This is a package. I defy you not to move.

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Listen:
Bob and Earl - Harlem Shuffle mp3 at Oscarowski (?)
Bob and Earl - Harlem Shuffle mp3 at 4shared (?) Alternate link, just in case
Bob and Earl - Harlem Shuffle (streaming) at YouTube Better quality.
Bob and Earl - Don't Ever Leave Me mp3 at Russ Strathdee

Monday, August 19, 2013

FERNWOOD'S FIRST

One of Billy Lee Riley's first memorable records was "Red Hot". If you're at all into rockabilly, you probably know it. Most people assume it was recorded at Sun Studios because it was released on Sun Records and featured his backing band, the Little Green Men, who also served as the house band at Sun; that Jerry Lee Lewis played piano on it just adds to the confusion. But it was in fact recorded at Fernwood Studio in Memphis, in 1957. Seems like a trivial detail, but it's one of my ten thousand music bugaboos.

Riley did record quite a few sides at Sun, and it's the label most associated with him for good reason. His other big one, "Flying Saucers Rock 'n' Roll" was recorded there and that one-two punch would be his calling card. Both top notch rockers and both released on Sun. Neither was a real hit. Just as Riley was gaining traction, Jerry Lee Lewis's career was as well. Being the owner of a small independent label, Sam Phillips had limited resources. He wanted to put his money behind one or the other, and Jerry Lee Lewis got the nod. When Riley found out that Phillips canceled some 30,000 advance orders of "Red Hot", and told the distributors to push "Great Balls of Fire" instead, he was rightfully pissed. He went out, got faced, and then went back to Sun and smashed some shit up. Or so the story goes.

The first one below is the Fernwood recorded "Red Hot", and the next four are from Sun. There's a couple interesting later songs too, particularly "Little Green Men" from 1992. It's worth hearing because it features original Little Green Men Roland Janes on guitar and Jimmy Van Eaton on drums, plus Travis ("Scratchy") Wammack on guitar and Ace Cannon on sax. So, that's it, I'm off to dig into Fernwood stuff. This shit never ends.

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Listen:
Billy Lee Riley - Red Hot mp3 at Boogie Woogie Flu 1957
Billy Lee Riley - Flying Saucers Rock n' Roll mp3
at Boogie Woogie Flu 1957
Billy Lee Riley - Baby Please Don't Go at Archive.org 1957
Billy Lee Riley - Pearly Lee mp3 at Archive.org 1957
Billy Lee Riley - Rock With Me Baby mp3 at Archive.org 1956
Billy Lee Riley - St. James Infirmary (live) mp3 at Archive.org 1966
Billy Lee Riley - Little Green Men mp3 at Delta Boogie 1992
Visit:
Billy Lee Riley's bio, in his own words at Delta Boogie
(NOTE: Scroll halfway down the page)
Billy Lee Riley at Wikipedia
Billy Lee Riley - Discography at Wang Dang Dula
Fernwood Studio at The Rockabilly Hall of Fame

Sunday, August 18, 2013

I BIT, YOU MIGHT AS WELL

I ran into a pre-baggy ass sweater Bill Cosby cut today, a version of Dyke and the Blazers' "Funky Broadway." It's not a straight cover, Cosby changes the lyrics to suit his fancy, which is laughs. It merited a chuckle over here. I couldn't find the original by Dyke and the Blazers, so here's the most awesome cover by Wilson Pickett, and three other songs by Dyke's mob. A couple others by Cosby are down there too, and they ain't half bad.

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Listen:
Bill Cosby - Funky North Philly mp3 (via DiveShare) at De Discos y Monstuos
Wilson Pickett - Funky Broadway mp3 at LZ Center
Dyke and the Blazers - Shotgun Slim mp3 at Alejandro Borrero.com
Dyke and the Blazers - We Got More Soul mp3 at  Funk Explosion
Dyke and the Blazers - Stuff mp3 at All Up In Your Earhole
Bill Cosby and Quincy Jones - Hikky-Burr mp3 at Archive.org 
Bill Cosby - Bunions mp3 at Aquarium Drunkard Direct linking disabled, go there to get it 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

LSD AND OTHER HAIRY THINGS

Okay, so maybe the Monkees aren't your bag, but will you take a look at that cover? Zap your mind with the Fugs! The Mothers of Invention are not only greasy and freaky, they're insane! WTF? How the hell does Jefferson Airplane make it work with five guys and one girl? I gotta know! Boy, this shit is rich. Like a bridge for those making the transformation from teenybopper to freak. Guess what? I ran across the whole magazine online, two issues in fact. You can even download it on your Kindle for some beach reading (links below). To get your music fix, here's some non-hit Monkees stuff, most from the soundtrack to their movie Head, which is about as close as they ever got to LSD or hairy things. There's a link to the entire film below too. If you haven't seen it, it'll probably change your opinion of them (cameo appearances by Jack Nicholson, Carol Doda, Annette Funicello, Frank Zappa, and Sonny Liston). So admit your hang-ups, zap your mind, get greasy, freaky and insane. Talk about LSD and other hairy things.  See what love is like. Make it work!

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Listen:
The Monkees - Porpoise Song mp3 at Joe Sepi
The Monkees - Ditty Diego – War Chant mp3 at DK Presents
The Monkees - Circle Sky mp3 at Moon Soup
The Monkees - Long Title: Do I Have To Do This All Over Again mp3 at Monstrous Media
The Monkees - Tear the Top Right Off My Head mp3 at Recidivism
The Monkees - Star Collector mp3 at Archive.org
The Monkees - Radio spot mp3 at Portland Community College (?)
Watch:
Head - Entire film at YouTube
Read:
Freak Out, U.S.A. #1- Online version at Archive.org
Freak Out, U.S.A. #1 - Download version at Archive.org Pdf, Kindle, and other formats
Freak Out, U.S.A. #2- Online version at Archive.org
Freak Out, U.S.A. #2 - Download version at Archive.org Pdf, Kindle, and other formats

Friday, August 16, 2013

WHEN BOSS WENT BADASS

This song, "Funky Nassau" was a hit, on AM radio. You may have missed it waiting for "Brown Sugar" to come on. Not to slight the Stones, or any other chart lurker, but it serves as a reminder how much music there was that got missed because it wasn't hyped, cool, or your (or my) "type of music". If you missed it, but dig the shit out of it now, congratulations. Hell, yeah. Somewhere along the way, you exited your safety zone.

"Funky Nassau" was recorded by The Beginning of the End, a band from Nassau, Bahamas, so they should know. There's a handful of others down there. "Vehicle", another one hit wonder, was by Ides of March. The Dramatics, and Charles Wright and the 103rd Street Rhythm Band both made a couple chart appearances. You might have heard these a thousand times already, but give 'em a good listen.  This is AM radio, early seventies. Those days is gone.

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Listen:
The Beginning of the End - Funky Nassau mp3 at LZ Center
Ides of March - Vehicle mp3 at LZ Center
The Dramatics - What You See Is What You Get mp3 at LZ Center 
Charles Wright and The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band - Express Yourself mp3 at LZ Center

Thursday, August 15, 2013

SPANKY, JACKIE, ERMA AND LAVERN

Spanky Wilson can get pretty damn funky. That's was all I was thinking when I heard her song "You" at at Derek's Daily 45. I can, and did, dig it. That was the impetus for a quick search, that led to a dormant blog with lots of good music, The Ear Hole (do some digging). They had a couple good covers. One of Wilson doing "Sunshine of Your Love, the other a duet of "Light My Fire" by Erma Franklin and Jackie Wilson. Of course, no mention of Jackie "Lonely Teardrops" Wilson can be made without a reposting of his pottymouth gold favorite, "Better Think Twice (Version X)", a duet with the equally free speaking LaVern Baker. That one never gets old.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
Spanky Wilson – Sunshine Of Your Love mp3 at The Ear Hole 
Erma Franklin and Jackie Wilson – Light My Fire mp3 at The Ear Hole
Jackie Wilson and LaVern Baker - Better Think Twice (Version X) mp3 at Beware of the Blog
Spanky Wilson - You mp3 (via DivShare) at Derek's Daily 45 Once you get to DivShare, click on the green Download" button, and scratch your head for fifteen seconds. When the button reappears, you're good to go.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

SUN REJECTS AND OTHER DELIGHTS

Time for a heads up. You might have noticed, one of the sites that's been linked to often here is Rocky-52.net. If you've followed a link from here, gone there and thought it dated because of the design, or passed because most of it's in French, let me fill you in on something. You need to dig deeper. If you like rockabilly, early rock 'n' roll, or country and western, it's probably the most comprehensive site you're going to find in terms of artists represented. It's the labor of love, by just one French guy, Gérard "Rocky" Lambert. He is to be applauded. Outside of short artist bios, cut and pasted from different sources, there is little written content. But, holy shit, does he have the goods.

I thought it time for a sort of "How to" guide, to make it easier to navigate his site. Believe me, it'll save you time. The lay of the land: Go there and take a look at it. The web layout that he uses used I believe is called "frames". Haven't seen them much of anywhere in years. This tells you that our man of the hour is a "fuck it, it works" kinda guy. Cool. Now, check his contact page. There's some shots of him looking like a regular guy. That is if you were a regular guy from Arkansas plopped down in the middle of France. (Not a fan of the presence of Confederate flags in some photos, but maybe over there it doesn't carry with it the same connotations). Regardless, I could see having a beer or six with him.



The goods: Click on "Discography". It'll open alphabetic selections. Now here's where you should deviate from what you'd probably instinctively do. Yes, there are many, many names there that you will know. But think differently. Once you make an alphabetic selection, to the right of the artists name, is the type of music. If you like rockabilly, look for that, but look for a name you don't recognize. Then check the thumbnail. Old photo, great (the odds are better). Check the icons next to the name, if there's a speaker gif, there's music. Just go to the artists page for the songs. (Some are just snippets, but most are full songs.).

Repeat that process and you'll soon realize that it's exactly what Rocky-52 is all about. Turning you on to artists you've never heard. Merci Rocky Lambert. You rule.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Three Rocky taught me:
Junior Thompson - Who's Knocking? mp3 at Rocky-52.net
Art Adams - Rock Crazy Baby mp3 at Rocky-52.net
Acorn Sisters - Real Gone mp3 at Rocky-52.net

Monday, August 12, 2013

SUMMER MUSIC, LOOK IT UP

Dang me, I love it when someone makes it easy to listen to a mix, particularly when they're mixes that flow well, of decent quality, and the song selection is informed. Hat's off to Nitro Retro for a couple recently posted mixes of ska and rocksteady. They're relatively short (nine songs and ten songs) but worth it considering the quality, and they're mp3s so there's none of that "click on this, now click on that, scroll down and click on that" nonsense. Really fast downloads.

There's a new King Crab reggae mix too, over at Sofrito. Haven't heard it yet, but the first one was dyn-o-mite, no reason to believe this one won't be. Again, mp3 mixes, easy as pie. This post could be more informative, about the artists and such, but it's music, good music. Go listen to it and get out of my hair.

~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~
Listen:
Bombshell Ska Mix mp3 at Nitro Retro
Ike Bennett & the Crystalites, the Wailers,the Abyssinians, the Blenders, John Holt, the Maytals, Jackie Mittoo, Heptones, the Maytals,  Boris Gardiner
Summer Ska and Rocksteady Mix, Pt 2 mp3 at Nitro Retro
The Jamaicans, Augustus Pablo, Lloydie & The Lowbites, Gladdy, The Ethiopians, Jennifer Lara, Derrick Harriott, the Heptones, the Mighty Diamonds, the Paragons
Return of the Krab, Deep Roots Selection at Sofrito An hour long mix, no tracklisting posted.
King Krab Reggae Selection mp3 at Sofrito 56 minutes, includes some unreleased and/or untitled.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

EVERYTHING WE DO IS HARD

Haji, the actress who starred along side Tura Satana and Lori Williams in Russ Meyer's Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! passed away yesterday. She was born in Quebec in 1946, and became an exotic dancer at the age of fourteen. She later moved to California, where she was spotted by Meyer in a topless bar. Though Satana was the real star of that particular film, Haji (real name Barbarella Catton) was in five different Meyer films, more than any other actress, in addition to acting as a "talent" scout for him. She was in ten other films as well, most with Meyer-like titillating titles, like Ilsa, Harem Keeper of the Oil Sheiks, and Wham! Bam! Thank You, Spaceman! 



It's my guess that a few of you have seen some of her work. If you haven't, Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! is essential viewing. A cult classic, yes, but it was one of the few films at the time (1965) that had women in domineering roles, albeit violently domineering. Tough chick karate chops, that sort of routine. It's a hoot and a half, as are a lot of Meyer's films, and not because of his obsession with cantilevered starlets. He was no slouch when it came to dialogue, good enough that you don't really know where intended corn begins. Blah, blah, blah,..so, I know, you want music. Here's the Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! theme song, by the Bostweeds, and another one by them. Yes, they have more than one song.

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Listen:
The Bostweeds - Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! mp3 at Miloman (?)
The Bostweeds - Little Bad News (streaming) at YouTube 
Video:
Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! - Nine minute clip at Youtube
Visit:
Haji - Obituary at LA Weekly
Haji - Filmography at Internet Movie Database
Haji at Wikipedia

Saturday, August 10, 2013

A P-P-PLEDGE PIN?!

I know what you were thinking. "I could really use some Mexican covers of Rufus Thomas right now." So here you go, covers of "Funky Chicken" and "Push and Pull", by Comparsa Universitaria de La Laguna. Despite the name, they weren't affiliated with any particular school, they just happened to be college students, I think their name loosely translates to "Those College Guys In That Band From Lagoon.". Kind of interesting that for whatever reason, they found it necessary to proclaim their affiliation with institutes of higher learning in general. Perhaps it got them tail.

These are from the boss site Musica del Alma. If you like Latin music, blah, blah, blah,...just bookmark it already. Budget some time while you're at it. You'll need it. Oh, almost forgot, there's a Meters cover, "Chicken Strut" by los college dudes down there too.

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Listen:
Comparsa Universitaria de La Laguna -El Ritmo de Gallina mp3 at Musica del Alma Funky Chicken
Comparsa Universitaria de La Laguna -Empuja y Estira mp3 at Musica del Alma Push and Pull
Comparsa Universitaria de La Laguna -El Pavoneo de la Gallina mp3 at Musica del Alma Chicken Strut
Comparsa Universitaria de La Laguna -Zoologico Negro mp3 at Musica del Alma

Friday, August 9, 2013

ESSENTIAL ODDBALL #17

In the interest of keeping this oddball slab of weirdness floating around the internets, it had to be posted. (Yes, again.) It's Nora Dean's "Angie La-La", otherwise known as the weirdest song Duke Reid ever had anything to do with. Reid was the owner of Treasure Isle, a label that put out tons of classic ska, rocksteady and early reggae sides, and he was Coxsone Dodd's biggest competitor. Dodd was the owner of the Studio One, the preeminent Jamaican label in the sixties and seventies. While Dodd looked the other way when the weed came out. Reid, an ex-cop, did not. Which makes this record even more of a curiosity. Listen to it and tell me there wasn't something being passed around under Reid's nose.

The reason why it's being posted again is because it doesn't pop up that often, and the link I posted roughly a year ago is kaput. So get while the gettin's good. (If the mp3 link here is disabled, go to Art Decade to get it.)

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Listen:
Nora Dean - Angie La-La mp3
at Art Decade
Nora Dean - Barbwire mp3 at Beware of the Blog
Other earlier Duke Reid, er, joints:
The Duke Reid Group - The Rude Boy mp3 at Cubik Musik
The Jamaicans - Ba Ba Boom mp3 at Popop 
For reference:
Coxsone Dodd stuff

Thursday, August 8, 2013

WILSEY RIDES ALONE

If someone would have told me years ago that I'd be still be listening to James Wilsey in this day and age, I'd think they were nuts. Wilsey was the bass player for the Avengers, one of the preeminent California punk bands back in the late seventies. Roughly ten years later, he was in Silvertone, a San Francisco band that featured Chris Isaak. Later, when Isaak became a solo performer, Wilsey was still there, and a big part of Isaak's sound. If you've heard the twang in any of Isaak's early stuff, songs like the lady killer "Wicked Games", you've heard Wilsey.



There's something to be said for restrained guitar playing, particularly when you have chops, and Wilsey is a great example. Check the video above, an instrumental cover of the Carpenters' "Superstar". Once the goosebumps subside, there's a part in it towards the latter half where he lays into it, playing like a drunk Duane Eddy. Wilsey though, is no mere copy cat. He's got a little of Eddy in his playing, in addition to surf, the Bakersfield sound, and rockabilly, a touch of Billy Strange and the pacing of Link Wray thrown in for good measure. You'd think he'd be a big deal, but I've been on the lookout for Wilsey link meat for ages, and it's almost as if he doesn't exist online. So dig the one below while you can. If'n you dig it, grab his solo LP El Dorado. Good stuff Maynard.

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Listen:
James Wilsey - A Man Comes Around mp3 at NHAC (?)
James Wilsey - Several songs streaming at Reverbnation
Video:
Silvertone - Gone Ridin' at YouTube Wilsey on lead
Visit:
James Wilsey at Facebook
James Wilsey at Wikipedia

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

ICHIBAN RULES AGAIN

It's Bruce Brown month over at Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban, and I gotta say, it surprised the shit outta me. Why? Well, while it is apropos, given that it's mid summer and high time for summer related music, Bruce Brown was a film maker, a surf film maker to be exact. He's not a musician, so it will be interesting to see how this shapes up. 


Brown had already made a handful of surf films before he made it big with The Endless Summer in 1964. His previous films were all 8mm, without sound. Brown would narrate the films while they rolled, sometimes with music accompanying his corny reparte. They were total DIY endeavors, done on shoestring budgets and shown in rented halls and school auditoriums, but they remain classic documents of late fifties and early sixties surf culture. That was before all of the beach party movies and commercialization of the once outsider sport turned things into a full on craze. (His first five films can be found in a boxed set with The Endless Summer at online retailers for as low as thirty two bucks. Yeah, Netflix too.) Brown himself unknowingly contributed to mass surf hysteria, when The Endless Summer, was picked up for nationwide release, leading to wide acclaim and the first bi-coastal onslaught of kooks in the line up. (Professionalization of the sport, and the deluge of "surf wear" companies in the eighties can be blamed for the second onslaught, of which we're still in the thick of.)



Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban kicked off the month with the soundtrack to The Endless Summer, by the Sandals. I could go on and on about that LP, which I first purchased as a young teen at a garage sale (about four blocks from where I sit right now). It was one of my first surf LPs, and I was already familiar with it, having recorded the audio of the movie while lying in front of the TV with our family's shared cassette recorder. I was a fiend. The music itself is probably more laid back than what you would think of as surf music. It was released on World Pacific, a jazz label (also home to Bud Shank, a jazz saxophonist who did the soundtracks for a couple of Brown's earlier films). It's slower paced, and has some acoustic guitar and melodica. In other words, "Miserlou" it's not. The Sandals were relative outsiders in the surf music scene, and only recorded a few records, the best of which is this LP.  But, all that said, having listened to the genre for a long time, lived at the beach for a better part of my life, and yes, surfed and bodysurfed, I gotta say, it's got a certain authentic after-beach vibe to it that most surf music lacks. When you tire of frantic, these will come in handy. 

Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban has all of the soundtracks twelve songs as single mp3s, so you can pick and choose. Here's a couple, go there for the rest. Believe me, there will be at least one barbeque this summer that these were made for.

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Listen:
The Sandals - The Endless Summer mp3 at Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban
The Sandals -  6 Pack mp3 at Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban
The Sandals - Decoy mp3 at Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban
The Sandals - Nine more songs at Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban
The Endless Summer radio spot mp3 at Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban
Video:
Endless Summer clips at YouTube
The Sandals and Bruce Brown at Vimeo Dialogue at the end. Semi current.
Visit:
Bruce Brown Films
Bruce Brown at Wikipedia
The Endless Summer at Wikipedia
The Sandals at Wikipedia
The Endless Summer collection at Surf Classics The original iconic poster design was by John Van Hammersveld who later did the cover of Exile on Main St.

Monday, August 5, 2013

HIS MANAGER WAS A DICK

What were you doing when you were eighteen? Yeah, don't feel bad, we all fucked around at that age. But not Joe Clay. He'd already been playing music professionally for six years, starting out in a hillbilly band at age twelve. Like a lot of his contemporaries, he got the bug, recording his first rockabilly record "Duck Tail" in 1956 at age eighteen. Later that year he would be in New York, courtesy of RCA, backed by a studio band that featured Mickey Baker on guitar (Baker was a veteran of sessions with Ray Charles, Ivory Joe Hunter, Ruth Brown, Big Joe Turner, and Louis Jordan amongst many others, not to mention being the Mickey of Mickey and Sylvia.) Pretty heady stuff for an eighteen year old. But as was often the case back then, a controlling, greedy manager proved to be his downfall. Not only would he not release Clay from his twenty year contract, and at one point wouldn't let him play outside of New Orleans, he proved so difficult to work with that RCA backed off. To continue playing music professionally, Clay reverted to his real name Claiborne Joseph "C.J." Cheramie, just to play in local clubs. Around 1962-63, he recorded a few swamp pop singles under the pseudonym Russ Wayne. They went nowhere. So he took a job as a bus driver, and played the odd gig at night for a decade and a half. In 1986, one of those fiendish rockabilly nuts in the UK tracked him down, and yes, the story has a happy ending: a hero's welcome overseas, compilations and a comeback album in 2004. His ex-manager tops today's shit list.

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Listen:
Joe Clay - Duck Tail mp3 (via DivShare*) at The Devil's Music Thank you Dick
Joe Clay - Get On the Right Track mp3 at Rocky 52 Mickey Baker on guitar!
Joe Clay - Goodbye Goodbye mp3 at Rocky 52
Joe Clay - Sixteen Chicks mp3 at The Devil's Music Go there to get it
Joe Clay - Did You Mean Jellybean (streaming) at YouTube Another one with Mickey Baker
Russ Wayne - Don't Know What To Do (streaming) at YouTube
*Note: To download the songs at The Devil's Music, once you get to DivShare, click on the green "Download" button, and scratch your head for fifteen seconds. When the button reappears, you're good to go.
Visit:
Joe Clay - Bio at Rockabilly Hall of Fame

Sunday, August 4, 2013

UCOK MIGHT HAVE A SCREW LOOSE

I don't really know how to describe AKA, not that it matters. They appear on compilations and psych sites described as prog-psych-funk, or something along those lines. Although I'm not sure that's entirely accurate, it's a little more compact than an Indonesian band who listened to period hard rock and funk and tried their damnedest to come up with their own sound. The Jakarta Post, (hosts of the only bio in English to be found online), cites Steppenwolf, Grand Funk Railroad, James Brown, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Cream and Three Dog Night as their influences. (Three Dog Night? Oh yeah, it's Indonesia.). There are a few things that I can discern without reading anything. Their foreign, they're a little out there, and they do seem to have put some effort into their..whatever it is they were trying to do. I do like the lead singer, one Ucok Harahap. He seems like the token nut of the band. All four songs below are mix worthy if you're the type that likes to spice things up with Indonesian oddballs. The first two are the funkiest, the other two are the hard rock portion of the show.



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Listen:
AKA - Crazy Joe mp3 at 8106
AKA - Do What You Like mp3 at 8106
AKA - Skip Away mp3 at 8106
Visit:
Overdue recognition for AKA at Jakarta Post