Friday, January 29, 2016

Paul Kantner 1941-2016

Have I mentioned that this death shit is really starting to piss me off?

That said, Starship were so incredibly godawful -- and I mean GODAWFUL, as in the most unconscionable sell-out in the history of rock-and-roll -- that people, ncluding me, tend to forget just how incredibly fucking awesome Jefferson Airplane were.

If you never saw them live, you'll have to trust me, but on a good night they were the greatest band in the world.

This one was recorded on a very good night.

I should also add that even near the end, they had their moments. If only for their attitude. I mean -- fuck you, we do what we want? It doesn't get any better than that, my friends.

Have I mentioned that this death shit is really starting to piss me off?

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Gomorrah on the Hudson Week: Part Two -- Willy was the REAL Bernardo!

From 1976 and the fabulous -- and soon to turn 40 -- Live at CBGBs album -- please enjoy the incomparable original incarnation of Mink DeVille and their wonderful Lou-Reed-Meets-the-Stones live version of "Let Me Dream if I Want To."

With the possible exception of Television, these guys were always my favorite of the original CBs bands; their first two albums on Capitol, brilliantly produced by the great Jack Nitzche, are stone classics that belong in every record collection.

Incidentally, I interviewed Willy early in his solo career (when he switched to Atlantic); get me drunk some time and I'll tell you what happened. Suffice it to say that it involved his wife, who was pretty notorious in her own right, and that it was perhaps the most appalling and terrible experience of my career.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Closed for Monkey Business

Did a little too much celebrating after yesterday's fun appearance on Capt. Al's radio show (hope you enjoyed it, if you were listening).

Regular CBGBs-themed posting resumes on the morrow.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

We Interrupt Gomorrah on the Hudson Week For This Special Programming Note!

In what can only be described as the triumph of hope over experience, yours truly is going to be a guest on friend of PowerPop/faithful commenter Capt. Al's intertube radio show later today.

On fabulous Area 24 Radio.

The show is called Lost at Sea, and it airs between 5-7pm East Coast time.

You can -- and should -- listen to it by clicking on the link HERE. You'll figure the rest out.

Rumor has it that as guest deejay I will be playing nothing but songs by recently deceased rock stars, but I may just be jiving you about that.

In any case, we'll be giving out an e-mail address during the show if you are moved to make a request or a death threat.

Hope to hear from you then!!!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Gomorrah on the Hudson Week: Part One -- Where's Leo Gorcey and Huntz Hall Now That We Really Need Them?

So as we mentioned last Friday, the Live at CBGBs album turns 40 later this year; I haven't been able to find the exact release date, but it was recorded in June of '76, so I'm assuming the original indie version -- before Atlantic picked it up for wider distribution -- followed soon after.

In any case, I bring this up -- and frankly I had forgotten about the impending anniversary -- because I recently got a very nice e-mail from one Michael Insetta, the bass player for a band called Stuart's Hammer, who have a track on the album. Mike a) thanked me for saying nice things about SH in my review of the album at The Magazine Formerly Known as Stereo Review and b) alerted me to a proposed forum at WFUV-FM in celebration of the LP's original release (hopefully to feature Tina Weymouth, Chris Frantz, John Rockwell of the New York Times and other worthies, possibly including some guy whose name rhymes with Sleeve Nimels).

I thanked Mike profusely, although I allowed I had forgotten what I wrote about SH in my eons ago review (I did recall liking the song, if not exactly what it sounded like).

Courtesy of Mike, however, here's what I actually said at the time:

Stuart's Hammer adds the regrettably brief "Everybody's Depraved," at once a hilarious satire on the unlamented Glitter movement of a few years ago, and a flat-out exhilirating piece of rock-and-roll.

Meanwhile, I suddenly realized I didn't own a copy of the CD reissue, so I went to Amazon and scored one as fast as I could.

And here, without further ado, is the SH song; darned if it doesn't strike my now elderly ears as a delightful toe-tapper. In other words, as pretty much exactly what I said about it in the review.

Incidentally, the rap on Live at CBGBs back in the day -- not by me, but by most other critics -- was that it suffered from a dearth of tracks by the Big Names of the Bowery rock scene, i.e. The Ramones, Talking Heads, Television or Blondie. Personally, I found the whole thing vastly entertaining in 1976, and upon rehearing it again over the weekend I still do.

Another cool track from the album tomorrow. In the meantime, for more on Stuart's Hammer, check out their official website over HERE.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Snowpocalypse Now!

The snow is coming -- run for your lives!!!

Me, I'm holing up with a case of elitist chardonnay, lotsa food stuffs and the box set of the complete Jeremy Brett Sherlock Holmes series at the casa of a certain Shady Dame of my acquaintance. In other words, taking it easy till it all blows over.

Regular posting resumes on Monday; in fact, next week will be a theme week of sorts -- hint: it involves the 40th anniversary of a particular album. A coveted No-Prize will be awarded to the first reader who guesses which one.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Your Thursday Moment of Words Fail Me: Special Speaking of Gorgeous Edition

From their forthcoming (in a couple of months) debut album The Great Northern, please behear in breathless wonder the greatest Scandanavian import since Ingrid Bergman, the charmingly monikered Swedish Polarbears and the lead-off single "Winter."

I gotta say, I know it's only January, but this is my candidate for song of the year, and I'm standing by that assessment no matter what. Seriously, that is the most sublimely Byrdsian thing I've heard in eons, and I can't listen to it without getting all misty. What a gorgeous fucking record.

I think I'm in love with these guys; you can find out more about them over at their website HERE.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Closed for Crime Fighting

The Incomparable Eddie© -- now with super powers! -- and I are taking the day off to clear the lowlifes off the streets of Metropolis.

Regular non-heroic posting -- featuring a new song by a young band that has literally reduced me to tears -- resumes on the morrow.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Death May Be Your Santa Claus

Dale "Buffin" Griffin (Mott the Hoople drummer) 1948-2016

Glenn Frey (Eagles guitarist/vocalist) 1948-2016

It's been a long week, and it's only Tuesday.

Monday, January 18, 2016

What -- It's Too Early... re-post my anti-David Bowie's Pin Ups rant from way back in 2009?

Well, actually, I think it is. So I'll just link to it instead. Gutless weasel that I am.

I should add that, upon re-reading the thing, although I still detest the Pin Ups album simply as music, I have moderated my view of Bowie's conceptual reason for making it, and of Bowie's stature as an artist generally.

That said, I stand by every nasty word I said about Bryan Ferry in the post, and not just because he doesn't get any sympathy from me for not being dead.

Incidentally, if you go to the link above, you'll find a) another link to a ZIP file of the original versions of all the songs Bowie covered on Pin Ups. Plus an audio clip of The Mersey's wonderful hit version of "Sorrow."

Friday, January 15, 2016

Your Friday Moment of Shameless Plugola

I now give the floor to my pal Marc Platt -- musician, book writer (How the Beatles Did It), political blogger and all around mensch:


Brian Kroll is an east coast recording artist who has shifted the focus from his dreams of rock-and-roll stardom towards doing something with his art to make things better. His videos are a call to action, along the lines of long-form PSA's (public service announcements).

Kroll is based in Oceanside, New York and has used the recording moniker 'My Son The Bum' since 2007, but has shifted his focus towards making videos that have been used by several media outlets like MGM Casinos, Shopping Malls and Time Warner in Upstate New York.

Sounds pretty good to me, so here's a great example of Brian's work. From 2014, it's his cautionary tale of the digital age "Death By Texting."

The song's auteur explains: "I realized that every person texting and driving might think the other driver will see them, 'In car 'A' they didn't see, I was the guy driving in car 'B'."

Indeed. I really like that one, BTW, but I like this one even more. Especially after last night's Republican debate.

You can -- and definitely should -- listen to more of Brian's music over HERE.

You're welcome.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Just Kids

From 1968, please attempt to enjoy -- well, actually, I don't recall what name we were using at the time, but since four of the miscreants responsible for this early crime against nature have been doing business for lo these many years since as -- The Weasels...

...and their non-smash hit "It's a Good Night." Featuring some guy whose name rhymes with Sleeve Nimels on wholly inadequate guitar.

I hadn't heard, or even thought about the above track in decades, and in fact it was presumed lost until it's rediscovery last weekend; obviously, it's very dated and it lacks the certain saleability that was, one assumes, its attempted raison d'etre. Nevertheless, it has a certain innocence about it that I find becoming at this stage of the game.

I should add that, like all of our early demos, it was recorded (for free) at Associated Studios in New York City, a place whose history I have written about at some length in the past. Suffice it to say that for about 40 years it was the most important independent recording outfit in the city. It was located at Broadway and 48th, up the street from the legendary Brill Building, down from what's now the Ed Sullivan Theater (home of the Stephen Colbert show) and next door to what was then called the Metropole...

...which was then the only topless joint in Manhattan.

I should also add that the song itself is performed by Linda Katz (auto-tuned vocals--I'm kidding!), Glenn Leeds (keyboards), Jai Guru Dave Hawxwell (guitar and harmony vocals), Allan Weissman (bass), the splendidly monikered Zoltan Makocy (drums), and me (the less said the better). Songwriting credits goes to Leeds-Katz.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Your Wednesday Moment of Words Fail Me: Special Just Rattle Your Jewelry! Edition

An eclectic group of contemporary artistes, via the BBC, recreate the 12 hour session that produced The Beatles' Please Please Me album. In real time.

A great idea, and by and large well executed.

You're welcome.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Closed for Monkey Business

Regular -- by which I mean happy and peppy and bursting with love -- postings resume on the morrow.

Monday, January 11, 2016

David Bowie 1947-2016

I am deeply shocked to hear of Bowie's passing. As anybody who has read this blog for any length of time knows, I was not even remotely a fan. But the guy had been a major presence in rock for so long that I genuinely thought he was going to live forever.

Compare and Contrast (An Occasional Series): Special Nudge Nudge Wink Wink Edition

And speaking as we were on Friday of a certain obscure 1976 track by Roger McGuinn being weirdly predictive of this classic by The Clash...

...I was reminded that "Should I Stay or Should I Go" always struck me as a deliberate flip on the conceit of Bob Dylan's "If You Gotta Go, Go Now."

That particular version, BTW, is slightly different (no harmony vocals) than the single released in the Benelux countries at the time (1965).

In any case, the song been covered a lot (Manfred Mann had a UK hit with it) but my favorite is by Brits The Liverpool Five (who, of course, were actually Londoners).

And my second favorite is Fairport Convention's take (from Unhalbricking), because the song sounds a little less threatening when sung by a girl. In French.

I should also add, vis a vis that Clash video, that I saw them in a football stadium once (opening for The Who) and the cognitive dissonance involved in gawking at this theoretically "people's band" from a vantage point in the nosebleed seats was almost more than I could handle.

Friday, January 08, 2016

Your Friday Moment of Words Fail Me: Special The Only True Sin in Rock is to Be Ahead of Your Time Edition

From 1976 and his quite wonderful Cardiff Rose LP (produced by Mick Ronson) please enjoy Roger McGuinn and friends as they basically invent...The Clash.

I should add, just to increase the Oh Wow! factor here, that the song was co-written by Kris Kristofferson and Bobby Neuwirth. I'm pretty sure I wrote about this at some point seven or eight years ago, when both the world and this blog were young, but I had completely forgotten about it until the other day, when the incomparable Willard's Wormholes posted the entire album at his website. A tip of the PowerPop hat obviously.

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Your Thursday Moment of Words Fail Me: Special Back to Mono! Edition

From 2015 -- and what was clearly THE album of the year, if not of all time -- please enjoy The Sonics and their quite astounding assault on the often-covered (but never like this) "I Don't Need No Doctor."

I should note, at this juncture, that the fact that a bunch of geezers, who cut their first record in 1964, are still making music this uncompromising and ferocious is nothing short of miraculous.

Wow. Just wow.

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Your Tuesday Moment of Words REALLY Fail Me

From his short-lived 1956-57 NBC-TV show, please enjoy the incomparable Nat King Cole...

...and the 11-year-old(!) Billy Preston dueting on "Blueberry Hill."

Wow. Just wow.

I should add a little historical note at this point, to wit -- the reason the show was short-lived is because the NBC affiliate stations in the former Confederate states had, er, problems with the show's star, for obvious reasons. Remind me again why Lincoln didn't just let those cracker assholes secede?

Monday, January 04, 2016

Your Monday Moment of Words Fail Me: Special Soft Core Domestic Porn Edition

The official video to Jody Miller's 1965 "Queen of the House." The answer record to the droll "King of the Road" and who thought it was a good idea to do THAT?

Miller was easy on the eyes, obviously...

...and she was actually a pretty good singer (she recorded the original version of "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me"). But this video is...shall we say, problematic.

Let's just hope original songwriter Roger Miller (no relation) got numerous fat royalty checks for it.

[h/t FDS]

Friday, January 01, 2016

It's New Years Day! (Special What Fresh Hell is This? Edition)

That's right, kids, it's now 2016. Which, given the example of 2015, is clearly going to be the suckiest year since I was in college.

Seriously -- I am convinced that what we're gonna see in this country for the rest of the decade at least is gonna be a display of bigotry, paranoia and violence that's gonna make the late '60s look like a PTA bake sale.

Or, to paraphrase a friend of a friend -- I feel really sorry for aspiring dystopian sci-fi writers whose best ideas keep being stolen by today's Republican Party.

Which leads me, for reasons that will soon become clear, to my chum Marc Platt.

Marc fronted a mid-80s Los Angeles punkish power pop band called The Real Impossibles, and a compilation of their stuff came out on Zero Hour Records a few months after the Zero Hour release of Floor Your Love. Which made us labelmates, of course. I had never heard of the band until the CD, but it knocked me out, and we struck up an intertube friendship, with me mostly telling him "I'm not worthy! I'm not worthy"!

Here's a representative track...

...that absolutely kills me. I think comparisons to The Plimsouls are not implausible, and for my money the whole CD is great; you can order it at our mutual label's website HERE

I should add that Marc is also the author of the fab (obviously) E-book HOW THE BEATLES DID IT, which you can and should order at the link.

He also blogs about politics and stuff and he's continued to perform, write and record.

And now, for obvious reasons, here's a new song he sang in the aftermath of the murder by cop of Tamir Rice.

It's called "This Ain't Who We Are."

And let me just say, to bring everything around, full circle, to 2016 -- I'm afraid Marc is an optimist. That IS who we are.

So Happy New Year, everybody!!!