Friday, June 11, 2021

It's Willie Nile Week (Approximately): Part III -- With No Direction Home

And speaking as we have been of late of the great singer/songwriter Willie Nile...

...atttentive readers may or may not be aware that my old band The Floor Models is about to unleash a tribute to The Byrds....

...and that Willie sings lead on one of the tracks thereupon.

And now, because I love you all more than food, here it is for your listening pleasure, and absolutely free.

The rest of the record you'll have to buy -- it'll be available in July -- but in the meantime, enjoy.

And have a great weekend, everybody!!!

Thursday, June 10, 2021

It's Willie Nile Week (Approximately): Part II -- Stuck Inside of Mobile With the [Insert City Name Here] Blues Again

From his 1991 album masterpiece Places I Have Never Been, please enjoy Willie and company [see below] with a song that was a live staple for as long as I can remember -- "Cafe Memphis."

Two things as an addendum.

(A) That's the incomparable Richard Thompson on lead guitar on that track.

(B) The Floor Models covered that song, memorably, and often, at various gigs. Hopefully I can find a recording one of these days. Let's just say we nailed it.

Wednesday, June 09, 2021

It's Willie Nile Week (Approximately): Part I -- You Can Do the Boogie Woogie, and the Hippy Hippy Shake!

From Willie's forthcoming -- August 13th -- new album The Day the Earth Stood Still, please enjoy the debut video (with the great Steve Earle), "Blood on Your Hands."

"Blood on your hands/Blood on your hands/There's cracks in the walls of your best laid plans."

Gee -- I wonder what's being referenced there?

I should add that Earle's assertion -- “Willie Nile is the embodiment of Rock-and-Roll walking down McDougal Street" -- couldn't be more dead on.

Tomorrow and Friday -- more proof of Earle's thesis.

Tuesday, June 08, 2021

Lisa Loeb: Best Good Sport on Earth

I've said this on several previous occasions, but the people who work at the little ad agency down South who do the Geico ads have the greatest jobs in the world.

Words fail me.

Monday, June 07, 2021

Advertisements for Himself

Attentive readers are aware that Glen Robert Allen -- my great good friend and the drummer of my band The Floor Models (who I generally refer to as My Musical Director for the Last 50 Years) -- passed away two Februarys ago, literally days before the start of the pandemic that ruined 2020 for the rest of you guys.

Just wanted to mention that Glen's beloved wife/life partner Eddy Coston has put up a YouTube Channel dedicated to Glen and all his works.

Here's the first couple of things she's posted.

Including some blues stuff he did with our friend Doc French

I should add that I am particularly fond of this one.

Enjoy, and check in over there on a semi-regular basis. There's lots more great stuff to come.

Saturday, June 05, 2021

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

[From a recent edition of McSweeneys -- this is so brilliant it makes me want to give up the whole idea of writing stuff myself. Enjoy! -- S.S.]

Coming in 2040: No Future, the First Punk Rock Nursing Home

by Lisa Borders

Your Gen X loved ones have survived so much: the Cold War, latchkey childhoods, mosh pits, COVIDs-19-through-27. They were born into a world without the internet, but now skillfully use their Facebook Hippocampal Implants™ to share old Bauhaus videos, plot the revolution in their local Antifa groups, or photos of Joey Ramone with his cat.

Do the seniors in your life sneer at the idea of decorum? Spit at the mention of Rupert Murdoch, and go into an anti-Reagan rant like it’s 1984 and they’re canvassing for Mondale? Do they insist that none of the good music in the ’80s was played on the radio, except for college radio? Have you found old photos of Grandma when she was 20 wearing Doc Martens, ripped fishnet stockings, and a miniskirt? If you answered “yes” to any of the above, then No Future might be just the place for your elders to rock out their sunset years.

Staffed almost entirely by the love children of Henry Rollins, we’re opening our doors in 2040 at this first-of-its-kind facility. From the moment you walk in, you’ll see the difference. Gone are the floral wallpaper borders, the fake oak wainscoting, the lingering scent of Febreze and death you’ll notice in other elder care facilities. We’ve designed No Future to resemble a warehouse squat, the kind in which your loved one likely attended many a gig. Our thin Berber carpeting was custom-ripped, cigarette-burned, and beer-soaked for maximum authenticity. And we’ve worked with Glade to develop a scent we call “Illegal Hüsker Dü After Party” — an intoxicating aroma of skunky marijuana, Rolling Rock, and urine. It might smell terrible to you, but the light you’ll see go on in Pop Pop’s eyes will tell you you’ve brought him to the right place.

At No Future, we welcome residents of all ethnicities, faiths, and sexual orientations. We do, however, discriminate based on musical taste — our residents wouldn’t have it any other way. Our application process includes a lengthy musical quiz with questions like, “Which album marks the point when the Clash sold out: London Calling or Combat Rock?" and “Green Day: revivalists or second-rate poseurs? Discuss.” We’ll also ask your elder to list all the gigs they attended from 1980-1995. Trust us: they may not remember their grandkids’ names, but they’ll remember those shows. You might be surprised to learn how many nights Mom spent at CBGBs, and end up wondering if Richard Hell is your real father. But what’s a little paternity confusion compared to seeing that twinkle return to her rheumy blue eyes?

No Future has been designed with two wings: Pretty Vacant, the early punk unit where our staff sport mohawks and leather jackets (white for our medical staff); and Just Like Heaven, the post-punk area where everyone is dressed up like The Cure. If Goth demand increases, we may well open a Sisters of Mercy wing at a later date.

Instead of a sterile dining hall, we offer a snack bar that resembles a New York City bodega circa 1986. Dad once told you he existed on cigarettes and coffee when he was young; now it’s time to put him to the test! We do have a cook on staff 24/7 to whip up some cheap ramen noodles or boxed macaroni and cheese for your elder after they pound back too many Budweisers listening to our Circle Jerks cover band. Residents who slam dance to our Sid Vicious impersonator will be fitted with hip and knee pads, but if the stage diving gets out of hand, our medical team is on-site 24/7 as well. “This is the kind of magazine you keep on your bookshelves with your favorite books.” — Cece Bell, author of El Deafo

As you tour other facilities, think not about the credit to the straight world your parents became after they were saddled with jobs, mortgages, and, frankly, you. Think about who they were when they were young, that hint of a Billy Idol sneer they sometimes can’t suppress, that story you’ve heard over and over about the band they were in for a hot ’80s minute that opened for R.E.M. once and “could have been huge.” Think about the kind of place where your elders can live out their punk rock dreams, that road to nowhere not taken.

No Future. Because if it horrifies you, your Gen X parents are certain to love it.

(Breaking ground in 2045: Nevermind, our new Grunge wing.)

I should add that this was anticipated by the great NYC punk band Iron Prostate, whose debut album featured a song called "Rock 'n' Roll Nursing Home," with the immortal lyric "Baby take a ride on my Craftmatic Bed." Which can be heard below...

...beginning at the 3:12 mark.

Friday, June 04, 2021

Turn It Up to Eleven: An Occasional Series

From very recently, and their just released Live at the Cavern Club collection, please enjoy the transplendent Mona Lisa Twins and their cover of a Kinks klassic you might be familiar with.

I'm getting tired of saying this, but those two kids are so talented it's ridiculous. In any case, you can and should buy the whole album over at Amazon.

Next week -- "new" music (by which we mean you've never heard before) by old people you have probably heard of, and until then HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND, EVERYBODY!!!

Thursday, June 03, 2021

Great Lost Albums of the Sixties (An Occasional Series): A Mere Bagatelle, Baby!

Okay -- the short version.

These guys...

...were from Boston, and the above was their sole album, released in 1968. Paul Williams from Crawdaddy, who wrote a blurb on the back of the LP, was an early booster, which is how I originally heard about them. I also saw them live in NYC -- I couldn't remember who they opened for, but a little research turned up the fact it was Procol Harum(!) and Moby Grape(!!) at a memorable Anderson Theater show that year. In any case, they blew me away, despite the tough competition, due to a canny combination of great musicianship, genuine charisma, and snazzy dressing.

The album itself -- which I didn't listen to until sometime in the aughts -- was an admixture of R&B covers of songs that are now standards but were at the time pretty much new, and the band's own flavorful originals. There were a lot of string arrangements and the songs were all sort of segued together, so it was a concept record; essentially it was an attempt, largely successful, to do a soul version of Sgt. Pepper.

In any case, because I love you all more than food, I'm enclosing a couple of representative tracks for your perusal.

Oh, incidentally -- the skinny white guy in the weird white and purple suit front center on the album cover is none other than Willie (Loco) Alexander, who later played in the next to last version of the Velvet Underground, and after that became a brief New Wave celebrity with his Boom Boom Band.

And if you ask me nicely, I'll burn you a CD of the album.

You're welcome very much.

Wednesday, June 02, 2021

You've Heard of Power Pop? Well, Here's Some Parrot Pop!

"Don't Fear the Tweeter."

Words fail me.

BTW, if you go to YouTube OVER HERE, this same duo does a version of "Stairway to Heaven" for the ages.

Tuesday, June 01, 2021

I Did It My Way (მე ისე მოვიქეცი)

From a decade or so ago on Georgian late night TV, please enjoy the Singing Pediatricians and their heartfelt rendition of "My Way."

I swear to god, that is the greatest thing in the history of things.

[h/t Ollie Sakhno]