Regular non-simian posting resumes on the morrow.
Friday, September 24, 2021
Jeebus H. Christ on a piece of burnt challah toast, but that's fabulous, and I'm embarrassed to admit I'd never heard it until yesterday. Clearly, this woman will be a topic of further research at this here blog.
Have a great weekend, everybody!!!
Thursday, September 23, 2021
Tuesday, September 21, 2021
Monday, September 20, 2021
Let me add a couple of things at this juncture.
Number one: This is just fucking awesome, period.
Number two: I love that there's a photo of the song's composer (Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne) on the wall behind Burtnick.
And number three: Schlesinger was one of the early COVID deaths last year; I blame that completely on President Schmucko, and have no doubt that it alone will make him (Trump) rot in hell for all eternity.
Okay, now that I've got that off my chest, let me just add that you can (and should) purchase the Weeklings new album over at Amazon HERE.
I should also add that if you haven't seen the movie, get the Blu-Ray version (also at Amazon); it has about ten minutes of additional footage that was edited out of the theatrical and DVD versions, and which sheds some interesting light on the Hanks character.
Friday, September 17, 2021
But in the meantime, here's a fun little project for all of us:
Best or Worst Post-Elvis Pop/Rock/Soul Record Referencing Fermented Spirits in the Title or Lyrics!
No arbirtrary rules whatsoever, obviously, although it would be a good idea if your nominees were posted by you in the condition the songs suggest.
And my totally Top of My Head Top Ten would be:
10. Procol Harum -- Drunk Again
From their next to last album with more or less the original line-up. And written about their tragically flawed but brilliant drummer B.J. Wilson.
9. Jeff Beck Group with Rod Stewart -- I've Been Drinking
Words fail me over how brilliant that is. For Beck's guitar solo alone.
8. The Hounds -- I've Been Drinking
My mid-70s band covering the Beck/Stewart version; I'm doing the Beck solo, and not badly, I think.
7. George Thorogood and the Destroyers -- I Drink Alone
I mostly never cared for Thorogood, but this particular song and video is without question the funniest ode to alcoholic solipsism of all time.
6. The Paul Butterfield Blues Band -- Drunk Again
Pretty droll, and Butterfield -- besides being one of the best blues guys of the 60s -- knew from whereof he spoke. In the mid 70s/early 80s, when I was living in Greenwich Village, I used to see him at the end of the bar every Saturday afternoon at the old Bitter End, and he was shall we say well lubricated on every one of those occasions.
5. Procol Harum -- Whiskey Train
One of their absolute best songs, and once again written about their tragic alcoholic drummer B.J. Wilson.
4. The Rolling Stones -- Loving Cup
A random choice from too many others by those guys to even contemplate.
3. John Lee Hooker -- One Bourbon One Scotch One Beer
Pretty much self-explanatory.
2. The Champs -- Tequila
One of the great early rock 'n' roll instrumentals. I should add that for years I was under the impression that both Seals AND Crofts played on this record, but apparently that is, as they say, misleading. They were members of the Champs well after "Tequila" had been a hit. That said -- this clip is actually totally live, which is pretty remarkable for its day..
And the numero uno, most fabulous song/record about that stuff that gets you high is unquestionably....
1. Dr. Richard Seaman -- Sweet Seder Wine
Alrighty then -- what would YOUR choices be?
Have a great weekend, everybody!!!
Wednesday, September 15, 2021
I should add that the abovementioned EP is a masterpiece that also features T-Bone's beyond brilliant Lou Reed-esque cover of "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend."
Tuesday, September 14, 2021
And, thanks to my genius photoshop expert girlfriend, here's the 1982 me getting down with the 2019 old guy version.
No accompanying music, alas, but the idea and the execution is still pretty cool.
Monday, September 13, 2021
Ain't that the damndest thing?
Yes. Yes it is.
Friday, September 10, 2021
And coincidentally, also four decades old -- here are the fabulous Floor Models (featuring a bassist whose name rhymes with Sleeve Nimels) covering ABBA's classic "S.O.S."
Have a great weekend, everybody!
Thursday, September 09, 2021
I've never much cared for Adele, but that's a great song.
In any case, the kid is right -- her dad is not the best singer in the family.
Words fucking fail me.
Wednesday, September 08, 2021
Tuesday, September 07, 2021
And then, from 1977, please compare and contrast it with ex-Television bass player and punk rock pioneer Richard Hell and his signature anthem "Blank Generation."
Nah, they're not the same song. And you'd be a fool or a Communist to suggest otherwise.
Seriously, it's really true -- there's nothing new under the lucky old sun.
[h/t Joe Lee Henderson]
Monday, September 06, 2021
But here's the bit that flipped me out.
The boxed set...has some gorgeous extras, like an early version of [Mike] Love’s “Big Sur” that is very different from the one that later appeared on Holland. There are also oddities like “My Solution,” a monster-movie novelty recorded by Brian [Wilson] on Halloween 1970, and a 40-second quotation from The Beatles’ “You Never Give Me Your Money,” performed on electric piano — but by whom? The producers think it was [Bruce] Johnston, who said he has no idea.
And because I love you all more than food, here it is.
BTW, just about every song from the set seems to be available on YouTutube. Enjoy.
Friday, September 03, 2021
[I originally posted a version of this in 2010, back when the world and this blog were young. To prove I'm not the lazy bastard you think I am, however, I've rewritten a lot of it and added three new entries. Enjoy! -- S.S.]
Well, it's Friday and you know what that means. Yes, my Asian manual catharsis assistant (who shall not be named) and I are off to Texas to get her an abortion at the same time I'm carrying a now-legal gun to blow away anybody who gives us some now illegal shit about it. HAH! The ironies abound, no?
But in the meantime, assuming we survive, here's a fun little project for us all:
Best or Worst Post-Elvis Novelty or (Obvious Goof) Record!!!
No arbitrary rules of any kind this time, you're welcome very much.
And my totally top of my head Top Ten is:
10. Bob McFadden and Dor -- I'm a Mummy
That's Rod McKuen -- yes him -- playing the part of the beatnik at the end, by the way. Even as a kid, I knew this record was lame.
9. Mickey Katz -- Duvid Crockett
This totally cracks me up. I should add that Katz's niece Jennifer Grey, of Dirty Dancing fame, did a killer version of this on the Conan O'Brien show, which you can find on YouTube.
8. The Benzedrine Monks of Santo Domonica -- Theme from The Monkees
Have I mentioned that I'm seeing Micky Dolenz and Mike Nesmith live for my birthday in October? God, I hope they do this one.
7. Mel Brooks -- The Hitler Rap
It's Mel Brooks. It's a rap. It's about Hitler. Jeebus, what more do you want?
6. The Beatles -- You Know My Name (Look Up the Number)
"Good evening and welcome to Slaggers." A throwaway joke by the Fabs, but all involved cover themselves in glory -- in particular, Paul McCartney as the unctuous crooner and special guest Rolling Stone Brian Jones on lounge saxophone.
5. The Police/Henry Mancini's Orchestra -- Peter Gunn/Every Breath You Take
One of those mashup records the kids seem to like so much, and committed for The Sopranos soundtrack album for no logical reason I can determine other than both songs are in the key of E. Or maybe there's some kind of irony I'm missing. In any case, it's obviously supposed to make you go "How clever!" but unfortunately it's just annoying.
4. Godfrey Daniel -- I Am Woman
A bunch of New York wiseacres doing to Helen Reddy what always needed to be done to Helen Reddy.
3. Buchanan and Goodman -- Flying Saucer the 2nd
One of the first break-in records, and still one of the funniest.
2. Albert Brooks -- Party in Outer Space
The first and still the only FAKE break-in record, and drop-dead hilarious.
And the number one most uproarious loud noise ever made is clearly...
1. Flipper -- Sex Bomb
The band that died for your fins, obviously.
One of the great punk/New Wave/alt-rock records that truly says -- "I don't know what."
Okay, and what would YOUR choices be?
Have a great weekend, everybody!
Thursday, September 02, 2021
Attentive readers may recall that I wrote a somewhat condescending review of an album by those gals for CREEM magazine back in the day and I've been, shall we say, agnostic about a recent fan effort to get them into the Rock Hall of Fame.
However,, that video, which apparently has gone viral of late, has totally changed my mind. World class great, and induct them now.
Wednesday, September 01, 2021
The eponymous album that's from is, if memory serves, also quite good. I'm gonna revisit it ASAP.
Tuesday, August 31, 2021
That said, I remain insanely enamored with this failed Cream single.
Originally written and released for a tacky American-International biker flick in 1968 (and, by the way, one of the very first 45rpm records released in genuine stereo).
And which you can behear, in breathless wonder, at the link below.
IMHO, the greatest cross between The Beatles and Procol Harum ever.
Monday, August 30, 2021
In all seriousness, this stupid motherfucker is dead to me.
I mean, he won't get vaccinated, but apparently he never read the warning labels on the heroin packets.
[h/t Edward Greaney]
Friday, August 27, 2021
Well, it's Friday, and you know what that means. Yes, my Oriental amanuensis Hop-Sing and I are off to...well, actually I can't tell you where we're off to because I'm in the midst of firing the disloyal little toad (hint: That Mitzi Gaynor album is missing again) and I don't want to involve lawyers.
But in any case, posting by moi will be completely not happening until Monday.
Thus, in my absence, here's a little project for us all:
Coolest or Worst Post-Elvis Song or Record Referencing The Emotion of Sadness or the Word Sadness Itself (Title or Lyric!!!)
No arbitrary rules this time -- just take your meds and promise you won't slash your wrists when all this is over.
And my totally top of my head Top Eight is:
8. The Five Emprees -- Little Miss Sad
A big hit in the Chicago area, summer of '65. My across the hall college neighbor that fall turned me on to it just this year. Thanks, Eric!
7. The Blues Project -- I Can't Keep From Cryin' Sometimes
Rocks pretty hard for a really sad song, no?
6. The Who -- So Sad About Us
The Modfathers at their most sublimely Byrdsian. It is one of the great regrets of my adult life that I never got a chance to play this one live.
5. Smashing Pumpkins -- Sad Peter Pan
Remember when anybody who wasn't actually in that band took them remotely seriously? No, me neither.
It's the plan of most To discover that magnificent ghost When did I get perverted And my innocent eyes diverted from the view so grand Imbued with distractions I'm greedy like Senior Babbitt I'm just chasing that electric rabbit I'm a reluctant rebel I just want to be Aaron Neville
4. Bob Dylan -- I Was Young When I Left Home
It's like a distillation of all the melancholy in the world. And people said he couldn't sing...
3. The Beau Brummels -- Sad Little Girl
There is a school of thought, to which I occasionally subscribe, that BB's frontman Sal Valentino is one of the greatest rock voices ever.
2. Bruce Springsteen -- The River
As Thelma Ritter says in All About Eve -- what a story; everything but the bloodhounds snappin' at her rear end.
And the number one it's-all-so-sad song, don't give me a hard time about this or I'll harm you, quite obviously is ---
1. Hank Williams -- I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry
Still the most profoundly blue piece of music ever recorded.
Awrighty, then -- what would your choices be?
And have a great weekend, everybody!!!
Thursday, August 26, 2021
Wednesday, August 25, 2021
I'm surprised how devastated I am to hear about the news of his passing. I mean, I understand that Keith Richards will, thankfully, outlive the cockroaches, but Charlie's work has given me so much joy over the years that I lack the words to express my gratitude.
Tuesday, August 24, 2021
He and the guys performed their superb new album -- The Day The Earth Stood Still -- in pretty much its entirety, and they finished with the loudest and best version of "A Hard Day's Night" I've ever heard that wasn't at a theater showing the movie. One of the greatest rock-and-roll nights of my life. Love you, Willie.
BTW, here's the aforementioned title song from that new album.
Oh, and buy the NEW ALBUM OVER AT AMAZON HERE.
Oh hell, buy all his albums over there, because they're all fucking great.
I should add that The Day the Earth Stood Still is one of my all-time favorite movies, and rock-and-roll didn't really exist when it came out in 1951. If it had, however, Willie's song would have been perfect for the soundtrack.
Monday, August 23, 2021
Seriously, the first rock and roll record I bought with my own lunch money was their breakthrough hit "Bye Bye Love," a song whose sentiments probably would still make sense to contemporary teens.
I was ten years old when that came out, and everybody I knew -- mostly girls, but most everybody else as well -- thought Don and Phil were the coolest and sexiest guys on the planet.
That said, THIS is my all time favo)8nEngland9rite of their records. From 1965, specifically from their epochal Two Yanks In England LP -- written and backed up by The Hollies -- please enjoy "Don't Run and Hide."
Hey, what can I say? There were giants in the Earth in those days.
Friday, August 20, 2021
This is another of those period classics that I had on a 45rpm single -- in mono back when -- and finally flipped out over when I heard the genuine stereo version in the late 60s/early 70s. I should add that it is the absolute apotheosis of production on a surf record. An utter masterpiece.
Have a great weekend everybody!!!
Thursday, August 19, 2021
For this remake, Wilson and producer Rivers replaced the original's rueful melancholy with something approaching desperation, with an appropriately kickass blues/soul backing track to match.
I've been trying to find out who played the slide guitar on this thing for years. Given that it was recorded in L.A., my guess is that one of the players is either Ry Cooder or Canned Heat's Alan Wilson (no relation to the singer), who were to my knowledge the only hotshit slide guys doing session work in those days. It's also conceivable that it was Jackson Browne collaborator Jesse Ed Davis (of "Doctor My Eyes" fame), who I believe may have been working in town around then, and I'm also told that the late Jerry Cole (who played rhythm on the original "Mr. Tambourine Man") played slide on sessions from time to time.
If anybody knows definitively, I'd buy them a drink.
Wednesday, August 18, 2021
Unless I'm very much mistaken, this was essentially a Spoonful contractual obligation single, and the only member of the original band on it is drummer/singer Joe Butler, who does stellar work. I should also add that the track is produced by Chip Douglas, who did The Monkees Headquarters album, for which he deserves respect by all who walk upright.
I should also also add that -- if memory serves -- this was one of the earliest 45 rpm discs to be issued in stereo, although I'm not completely sure about that.
I should also also also add that sometime in the 70s, the song's composer did a live version...
...whose outro sounds amazingly like the end of the original version of a certain song from the first Velvet Underground album.
Tuesday, August 17, 2021
An astounding cover of Screamin' Jay Hawkins classic "I Put a Spell on You.'
That one is one of the most mind-blowing records of its era, and it holds up gloriously. I should add that I actually learned how to play that classical organ intro when it came out. Because I had nothing else to do that year.
Tomorrow -- this one you won't believe. Let's just say it's the greatest cover of a song by folk-rocker John Stewart ever.
Monday, August 16, 2021
In any case, I thought I had lost any remnant of the project until the other day, when my beautiful and brilliant girlfriend informed me that the discs were all actually archived in her iTunes library. Hence this week's stuff. I suspect I will be spending the next few weeks doing the Greatest Hits from the rest of the CDs thereof. Enjoy! -- S.S.]
From 1967, please enjoy The McCoys (featuring Rick Derringer) and their psychedelic masterpiece on the the passing of time "Beat the Clock." In stereo, as it was meant to be.
I had the 45 mono verion of this (on Bang)...
...for ages, and essentially wore it out. When it showed up on the McCoys best-of CD above in (for want of a better phrase) widescreen decades later, it was, frankly, a life-changer.
Tomorrow: One of the greatest records ever made by one of the greatest British blues-rockers who ever tied his shoe laces by himself.
Saturday, August 14, 2021
Friday, August 13, 2021
Songs I Thought I'd Posted About Here Back in the Day But Apparently Never Did (An Occasional Series)
Myrick seems to be a more than usually interesting guy; for starters, he's obviously a talented graphic artist (he did the album cover for the above). Which has a sort of Jean Cocteau vibe, doncha think?
I should add that there's a very good chance I'll be covering (as in recording my own version of) said song sometime before the year is out. I'm not kidding about this. Hey -- a boy needs a hobby.
Have a great weekend, everybody!!!
Thursday, August 12, 2021
Wednesday, August 11, 2021
It's actually a very nice little album -- very much in the 70s soft-rock style of her sister Carly -- and the songs were fun to play on stage. It's never been on CD, but if you're nice to me I'll burn you a copy I had transferred from vinyl. Here's my favorite track.
In any case, Lucy is a lovely person, despite the fact that she is also -- as they used to say -- Ms. Gotbucks. She had family money, obviously (Simon as in Simon and Schuster) but she was also married to a Park Avenue shrink who obviously was never going to go hungry. And they had the most amazing apartment opposite Central Park. It was the first one I ever saw that occupied its own floor; I mean, when you got out of the elevator at their stop there was no doorbell to ring or a door to knock on -- you were IN their home.
I will finish by sharing a Lucy anecdote I've never told publicly, but I think she won't mind because, well, as I said she's the female equivalent of a mensch.
The short version: a few months after our "tour" she invited me out to lunch in her neighborhood. I was delighted, and not solely because I was jonesing for a really good meal at some ritzy boite that was out of my price range, but also because I was looking forward to seeing her again. Anyway, we had a terrific time and as I was leaving with her, she asked if I was taking a cab. I replied that no, the subway stop a block away would get me home just fine. The following conversation ensued.
Lucy: "You're taking the subway?"
Lucy: "Do you have a subway token?"
Me: "Of course."
Lucy: "Could you show it to me? I've never actually seen one."
Thats a true story, BTW.
Tuesday, August 10, 2021
Terrific, I think, and it's definitely going into my forthcoming book.
Monday, August 09, 2021
I was playing highly inadequate lead guitar in said ensemble...
...but the other more talented folks on-stage included a couple of my old high school garage band chums and Jerry Marrotta, a very nice guy and thorough-going pro who went on to be the drummer for Orleans. I won't bring up that album cover in which he and the rest of Orleans are posed shirtless, but I'm sure you remember it.
Okay, yes I will bring it up.
Good lord, that's hideous.
In any case, for this particular four day engagement, we were the opening act for Aztec Two-Step, a folkie duo whose second album had just come out (on RCA Records, as was Lucy's then current debut LP).
I knew Aztec Douchebag, as I used to refer to them, from my college days at C.W. Post; they were big, as they say, on Long Island, and they used to play the campus coffee house all the time. I thoroughly loathed them for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that they came off with a major and thoroughly undeserved star attitude, but mostly it was the music that rankled. In particular this little ditty, which was the lead track from their major label debut album in '71. (Said album, by the way, was titled Aztec Two-Step. It's a line from a Ferlinghetti poem, which also ticked me off.)
Seriously, the mere thought of that song made me want to smack them on sight on numerous occasions, although cooler heads prevailed. In any case, as far as I was concerned these guys made Zager and Evans sound like Marx and Engels.
Anyway, on the first night of the billing, those two hippie putzes came off with the same major "WE'RE CELEBRITIES" attitude I recalled from college. But then, after the show, a wonderful thing happened.
I was standing in the wings, smoking a cigarette, and (unbeknownst to them) I overheard their manager talking to them in words to this effect: "Hey -- Rex, Neal; that guitarist with Lucy Simon is a rock critic. Be as nice to him as possible and maybe he'll plug your album in his magazine."
And for the next three days, they kissed my ass with passionate intensity. Although to me, of course, it felt like transparent smarmy insincerity. Which it was.
Also, of course, they never realized that I was smirking inside every time they waxed obsequious.
And needless to say, I would be lying if I said I didn't enjoy it. A lot.
And no, I didn't go on to say something nice about the album, although I did write about the experience (sans reference to Aztec Douchebag) at the Magazine Formerly Known as Stereo Review. Don't worry, though -- I have no intention of inflicting THAT one on you.
Friday, August 06, 2021
Well, it's Friday and you know what that means. Yes, my Oriental manual catharsis specialist Fah Lo Suee and I are off to...well, actually, truth is we're not going anywhere due to a bizarre picture-hanging accident that I'd really rather not get into, except to say "If you drink, don't drill."
In any case, things are still probably going to be quiet around here for the duration of the weekend, so until Monday rolls around, here's a fun little project to help us wile away the idle hours:
Favorite or Least Favorite Pop-Rock Single or Album Cut of the Skinny Tie Band Era
No arbitrary rules, although we're obviously talking about the immediate post-First Generation Punk period, roughly from the late 70s to 1983 or '84.
And my totally top of my head Top Eight is/are:
8. The Brains -- Money Changes Everything
The original indie single, not the remake on the Brains' album. I'm not a huge fan of Cyndi Lauper's more familiar version, but she knew a great song when she heard one.
7. Tommy Tutone -- Angel Say No
The greatest song those guys recorded that doesn't have a phone number in its title.
6. Bram Tchaikovsky -- Girl of My Dreams
That 12-string riff! Those harmonies!!!
5. Spandau Ballet -- True
The worst 60s frat party band song ever.
4. The Thompson Twins -- Hold Me Now
The second worst 60s frat party band song ever.
3. Nick Lowe -- She Don't Love Nobody
BUDDY HOLLY LIVES!!
2. Gary U.S Bonds -- Out of Work
You know, that Bruce Springsteen guy is a heck of a songwriter.
And the absolute fucking worst song to pollute the airwaves in the early 80s unquestionably was....
1. Quarterflash -- Harden My Heart.
What an utter piece of shit. I should add that lead singer Rindy Ross is also without question the worst saxophone player in the history of music.
Okay, what would YOUR choices be?
Have a great weekend, everybody!!!
Thursday, August 05, 2021
Reviews I'd Forgotten I'd Written About Albums I'd Forgotten Existed (An Occasional Series): Part IV -- Titles With Three "P"s in Them Edition
Anybody out there have a copy of this record? Anybody think I got it right?
Wednesday, August 04, 2021
Reviews I'd Forgotten I Had Written of Albums I Had Forgotten Existed (An Occasional Series): Part III -- Loud Fast Lady
...please enjoy Velocity Girl and their should have been a hit single "Sorry Again."
From the era when everything on SUBPOP was by definition hip and groovy. Still, I think that song holds up. If I was feeling a little more energetic, I'd try to find out what happened to those kids.
Tuesday, August 03, 2021
HINDU LOVE GODS
Warren Zevon(vocals, guitar); Peter Buck (guitar);Mike Mills (bass); Bruce Berry (drums).
Walkin' Blues; Travelin' Riverside Blues; Raspberry Beret; Crosscut Saw; Junko Partner; and five others.
GIANT/REPRISE © 24406-4, ® 24406-2 (37 min).
Performance: Deliberately goofy
This is a sort of busman's-holiday project featuring the (seemingly) unlikely pairing of elder cult-LA folk rocker Warren Zevon with three members of the college-radio rock institution R.E.M. Given the musical pedigrees of all involved, however, what's particularly odd about the album is the repertory, mostly the sort of blues standards that late-Sixties garage bands used to warm up with. In that informal context, the results are entertaining enough. Nobody is ever going to mistake Zevon or the R.E.M.-sters for real blues players, but as a replica of what you or I or any baby boomer or whoever jammed in his parents' basement might have sounded like if they'd been professionally recorded, then Hindu Love Gods has a certain rough-hewn charm. The standout track -- a metallic first-take assault on Prince's "Raspberry Beret" - - is also something of a ringer, but that only adds to the fun. -- S.S
Another record I'd lost in the mists of memory. That said, when that originally came out, I thought it was somewhere between mediocre and lame. And that Warren and R.E.M. were kinda jerking off.
When I listened to it again the other day, however, I thought -- wow, that's really quite cool.
Monday, August 02, 2021
I'll betcha you had no idea this recorded artifact was even a thing.
Marty Balin, Grace Slick (vocals); Jorma Kaukonnen (vocals, guitar); Paul Kantner (vocals, guitar); other musicians
EPIC OE 45271 (55 min)
Performance: Not so hot
According to usually reliable sources, the recently reunited Jefferson Airplane gave the most interesting live concerts of any of the veteran rock acts that hit the road in 1989. Speaking as somebody who frequently saw God during late Sixties Airplane shows, that wouldn't surprise me particularly. But on the other hand, however heartening it may be to have them back, their new album is pretty lame.
Superficially, at least, these oldsters still sound like the Airplane of yore, with their signature three-lead-vocals-in-search-of-a-harmony more or less unscathed by time.
But the rest of what made the band unique and exciting -- the interplay of a thundering rhythm section, stinging psychedelic guitar riffage, and ominous twelve-string -- has been smothered here beneath a host of faceless guest musicians and a production job tailored to somebody's idea of what's acceptable for radio play at the moment.
Meanwhile, the songs and performances are in equal measure generic and mediocre: With few exceptions -- as in the self-consciously soaring occasional Jorma Kaukonnen Ice Age lead guitar lines -- they inhabit an aesthetic space somewhere between obvious throwaways and clumsy agit-prop. A major disappointment. -- S.S.
Sunday, August 01, 2021
Friday, July 30, 2021
The original version has never been a particular favorite; about the best I can say about it is that when it came on the radio I wouldn't necessarily change the station. Westerberg's cover, on the other hand, has always killed me in its vintage Replacements sort of way.
I should add that I had more or less forgotten about the cover till somebody at Facebook posted it this week in honor of Edwards 75th birthday.
I also should add that the depressing title of today's post is a line from Georg Büchner's even more depressing early 19th century play Wozzeck.
Have a great weekend, everybody!!!
Thursday, July 29, 2021
Sheryl (Twin Peaks) Lee as Astrid. What more do I need to say?
I should add that when the producers were trying to figure out who should do the soundtack, they went to Ringo and said "What do you suggest?" Ringo replied "Get a bunch of young kids who've never played a Beatles song in their lives."
The soundtrack band thus became:
Dave Pirner (Soul Asylum): vocals (Paul McCartney) Greg Dulli (The Afghan Whigs): vocals (John Lennon) Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth): guitar Don Fleming (Gumball): guitar Mike Mills (R.E.M.): bass guitar Dave Grohl (Nirvana): drums Henry Rollins (Black Flag): vocals (Stuart Sutcliffe)
I don't have the CD anymore, but I think I'm gonna have to order a copy.
Wednesday, July 28, 2021
Tuesday, July 27, 2021
That said, is anybody here alive who actually was alive when Live Aid happened?
The reason I ask is -- and given that this was pre-internet so I have no idea how I heard it -- there was a rumour going around that weekend that The Beatles were going to do a reunion set with Julian Lennon filling in for John.
Specifically, that Billy Ocean said he had seen them rehearsing.
Anybody remember that? Or have any info on how that story got around?
Monday, July 26, 2021
Apart from the obvious rightwing boilerplate lyric tripe -- although I must admit I wasn't prepared for this bit...
Am I the only one/who quits singin' along/every time they play/a Springsteen song
...I find the track terrifying on several levels.
To begin with, all those lines about how 'this isn't the freedom we were fighting for,' coming from a sunshine patriot who has never worn as much as a Boy Scout uniform, would be hilarious if the record itself wasn't likely to get somebody killed.
And here's a clue, Lewis -- the only thing YOU'VE ever fought for is a better time slot on the tour your shit nu metal band Staind did with Limp Bizkit back in the 90s.
I should add that the song is available through Toby Keith's record label, a subsidiary of the same Universal Music Group that just acquired Bob Dylan's publishing for around a gazillion dollars. Which means they have more money than they need or is good for the health of the Body Politic.
Also -- given, as I said, that the song itself is likely to get somebody killed, I want a massive class action suit against both UMG and Lewis himself toot sweet.
Friday, July 23, 2021
I should add that I had a version of Sky, and am pretty sure I reviewed it (enthusiastically) somewhere, but for the life of me I can't find it if I did. I should also add that whatever CD I had of the album, it clearly didn't include the Moodies cover, or I would have remembered. Or it might be on an old laptop of mine that died a few years ago. In any event, a great take on the song.
I should also add that it's not exactly a state secret that I pretty much loathe the Justin Hayward incarnation of the Moodies, with the conspicuous exception of "Story." As I'm fond of saying, pretty nuch all of their post Denny Laine work is so earnest that all their albums should be called The Moody Blues Cure Cancer.
Have a great weekend, everybody!!!
[h/t Sal Nunziato]
Thursday, July 22, 2021
In any case, this 2009 Prince live performance absolutely blew my tiny mind and I suspect you'll have the same reaction.
I know it's a cliche, but damn if that guy wasn't quite possibly the all-around greatest musical talent in the lifetime of anybody who reads this here blog.
In any case -- thanks, Sal. Now I gotta go check out some of your other choices.
Wednesday, July 21, 2021
In any case, I have a brilliant young friend named Tommy Perkins. He's one of the ridiculously talented people I've met at my watering hole in Forest Hills over the years -- he was actually a bartender at said place, the Keuka Kafe -- and he was and is a total joy to hang out with. I used to go there for lunch, and it was pretty much just him and me, and we woud shoot the shit and he would turn me on to all sorts of great music I was heretofore unaware of. And generally have a great time.
Here's an example.
I mean -- wow.
I should also add that sometime in the summer of 2019 I mentioned to to him that my band The Floor Models was about to embark on a tribute album to The Byrds, but that we lacked a title for it; he raised an eyebrow and said "Uh, In-Flyte Entertainment."
Have I mentioned wow?
In any case, Tommy's doing some undergraduate work, at a college I won't mention, for an English degree, and he recently wrote this paper about The Bus Boys, a band that seems more relevant than ever, and he passed it along to me. My response was -- dude, this is brilliant, and frankly, given the fact that I spent most of my adult life as a professional (heh) rock critic all I can say is I wish I had written it.
The Bus Boys’ Minimum Wage Rock 'n' Roll as Great Black Music
In the article It Didn’t Jes Grew: The Social and Aesthetic Significance of African American Music, Kalamu ya Salaam argues that music is the mother tongue of African Americans and goes on to outline criteria for what he terms Great Black Music. According to Salaam, GBM is characterized by its oppositional stance to cultural norms and celebration of African American identity in a white-dominated world. The 1980 album "Minimum Wage Rock and Roll", by The Bus Boys, is a satiric and upbeat example of this rebellious and humanizing attitude. Lyrically, the album covers topics of wage-slavery, gentrification, cultural appropriation, and racism with wit and subversive humor. Musically, these ideas are presented over a contemporary style of rock music that pays homage to its black founders while pushing limits at the time by incorporating elements of the burgeoning New Wave movement. Given that rock and roll had become the mainstay of white musicians by the time of Minimum Wage Rock & Roll being released, The Bus Boys are iconoclastic for their efforts to emphasize the medium as one of black origins and as a vehicle for expressing the challenges faced by African Americans in the United States.
In their song “Did You See Me?” The Bus Boys directly postulate about their listeners’ lack of familiarity with rock music’s black origins: “I bet you never heard music like this by spades”. In a single line, the band decries the complete cultural appropriation of rock music by white artists and audiences over the two and a half decades since Chuck Berry, often cited as the “Father of Rock and Roll”, released Maybellene in 1955. Though such an assumption may seem harsh, Salaam explains that this kind of frank honesty is an imperative quality of GBM. “For us, there remains a raw element in our cultural expression precisely to remind us who we are, and to affirm that we do not ever want to forget or give up the fight against our condition of forced submission to alien conquerors” (Salaam 355). Through their honesty, The Bus Boys both entertain and inform their audience while remaining true to their own cultural identity and refusing to be assimilated.
“Coming out of Reconstruction, we African Americans literally found ourselves emancipated but unliberated…only this time as wage slaves” (Salaam 367). As Salaam, describes, the economic realities faced by African Americans from emancipation onward create a stark portrait of disadvantage and inequality. With a lack of upward mobility and bills to pay, an element of indentured servitude pervades the lives of many “free” African Americans through the present day. The Bus Boy’s title track, “Minimum Wage” sums this up perfectly with what Salaam describes as “acceptance of the contradictory nature of life” (Salaam 357).I make the minimum wage I said that I work, I work For the minimum wage I wash the dishes, I mop the floors I'm glad I'm alive, who could ask for more …
I'm not unhappy, why be sad Think of all the good times that we've had We work so hard Yes, we work all day We work so hard But we need to stay
The Bus Boys subversive and satiric approach to rock music is perhaps best exemplified in their songs which deal most directly with race relations in America. “There Goes The Neighborhood” is a reference to the common utterance of white communities who feared the possibility of black neighbors. However, removed from the context of the early days of white flight and blockbusting, The Bus Boys instead refer to whites moving back into urban areas that are now predominately populated by African Americans and the resulting gentrification and displacement of these black residents.
There goes the neighborhood The Whites are moving in They'll bring their next of kin, oh boy There goes the neighborhood, boy, boy, boy I ain't moving out for no Carol and Bob The inner city is too close to my job And oh, oh, oh, it doesn't look too good to me
Just as they did in “Minimum Wage”, the lyrics to “Neighborhood” make the best of the speaker’s reality by finding a silver lining in the inner city being close to one’s workplace, despite the poor conditions of both when compared to the opportunities of affluent, middle-class suburbs. This somewhat jocular indignation about white society attempting to reclaim African American neighborhoods is a refusal on the part of The Bus Boys to be recolonized after finally gaining a pittance of independence. Salaam recognizes this type of rallying cry as a key component of GBM. “The social and aesthetic significance of GBM is very precisely its warrior stance in the face of the status quo and its healing force for the victims of colonialization. Ultimately, the best of our music helps us resist colonization and reconstruct ourselves whole and healthy” (Salaam 375). The idea of being “whole” in terms of one’s identity as an American and human being with full civil rights is the subject of “KKK”. In the lyrics, The Bus Boys describe the inequity by which African Americans have been allowed to serve their country in warfare for centuries and yet are still denied other fundamental opportunities. If true equality is possible, the song speculates humorously, perhaps African Americans will break down all exclusive barriers in their way, including those surrounding membership in the Ku Klux Klan.If I can fight in Vietnam If I am good to Uncle Sam If I am good to join the war Fellas, please don’t close the door I am bigger than a nigger Wanna be an all-American man Wanna join the Klu Klux Klan And play in a rock & roll band
This plea to be regarded equally is as much one on behalf of African American society to an unjust United States as it is one on the part of an African American band in a white-dominated industry built on the innovation of black musicians. The Bus Boys arrival on the popular music scene marked them as a significant minority voice in a rather homogenous genre. The Bus Boys’ outspoken humor and combining of traditional musical elements with current trends was indeed timely. The Allmusic review of their album explains their significance as early purveyors of a more modern sound in rock music:
“One of the first African-American groups to emerge to national prominence in the new wave scene, the BusBoys were willing to embrace the contradictions and confront the stereotypes that faced black musicians playing what had come to be known as "white" music…the music was certainly prescient, blending straight-ahead rock & roll and old- school R&B with George Clinton-esque absurdity and harmonies and new wave synthesizer squeals”. (Deming)
Much like their forebears from the early days of rock and roll, The Bus Boys contributions are somewhat overlooked today. Much like their forebears as well, the controversial ideas presented within The Bus Boys’ music may have garnered attention but ultimately made only a temporary impact to be overlooked for more whitewashed alternatives.
Salaam postulates that the inherent nature of change is a key component of Great Black Music. Although The Bus Boys’ Minimum Wage Rock & Roll has faded into obscurity over the past forty years, it remains a strong example of GBM for its pushing the limitations of rock and roll and serving as an honest, humorous and humanizing African American voice of rebellion.
BTW -- I had no idea that the Bus Boys were not only still active but had made a totally awesome and obviously relevant album just last year
Here's the single that proves it.
Tuesday, July 20, 2021
Regular posting resumes tomorrow. And BTW, the piece I'm puttng up will blow your tiny mind.
Also, after Blue, Joni Mitchell became a pretentious putz parody of an artiste. Which has nothing to do with tomorrow's post, but I feel the need to mention it.
Monday, July 19, 2021
I had the great good fortune to be playing bass and piano on said song; in retrospect, I think it's the hardest-rocking thing I've ever been involved with. Kind of a cross between Little Richard and The Yardbirds, which is kinda cool.
I should add that DD frontman and old friend Rafael Fuentes actuallly owns both the guitar on the cover and that amazing hand-cranked portable record player from the 40s. Both of which are also kinda cool.
I should also add that you can get the aforementioned EP over at Amazon HERE.
Friday, July 16, 2021
Well, it's Friday and you know what that means. Yes, my Oriental manservant Hop-Sing and I are off to Hollywood, where we've wangled cameo roles as torturees in a forthcoming episode of the Neflix revival of 24. Apparently, we're going to have to cross some sort of picket line, but as far as I'm concerned those rich writers are just greedheads. I mean, really -- does Aaron Sorkin really need a better royalty deal for the Criterion Blu-ray Edition of A Few Good Men? Feh.
So posting by moi will be necessarily sporadic for a while.
But in my absence, here's a fun project for us all to contemplate:Best Guitar Break -- or Breaks -- on a Rock Record in Which Said Breaks are Under Two Minutes Long
You know -- the most succinct, the most melodic, the most inventive, the most menacing, the most technically accomplished -- however you define a great guitar break.
Yeah, yeah, I can already hear the harrumphing -- because of the time constraint, this list is necessarily going to be skewed towards (mostly) out and out pop records. Which means that a lot of stuff by a lot of my faves (Richard Thompson, for example, who I think is pound for pound the greatest rock guitarist ever) and a lot of yours (Duane Allman or Stevie Ray Vaughan, perhaps?) can't qualify.
That being the case, may I simply say to both you and me --- tough titties.
Okay -- here's my reasonably well considered Top Ten.
10. James Burton (Ricky Nelson) -- Hello Mary Lou
Rockabilly guitar doesn't get any better. (Also: Moah cowbell!)
9. Pete Townshend (The Who) -- The Kids Are Alright
[This one's my favorite, partly because it's gorgeous in its minimalism, but mostly because it was edited out of both the American versions -- single and album -- back in the day. Why? Somebody at the American record company thought the feedback was a mistake. Hahahahahahahaha...]
8, Either Keith Richards or Brian Jones (The Rolling Stones) -- The Last Time
[Honorable mention: Keith on the faster than the speed of light solo on "She Said Yeah."]
7. Dave Edmunds (With Brinsley Schwarz) -- Let It Rock
I can't tell you how many hours I spent learning all those licks.
6. Paul Kossoff (Free) -- All Right Now
If there's a more beautifully structured single-note blues rock solo ever committed to a recording medium, I haven't heard it.
5. Neil Young -- Cinnamon Girl
4. Roger McGuinn (The Byrds) -- I'll Feel a Whole Lot Better
[honorable mention: "Eight Miles High," which may clock in over two minutes]
3. John Lennon (The Beatles) -- You Can't Do That
Yeah. He was just a rhythm player.
2. Elliot Randall (Steely Dan) -- Reelin' in the Years
I can't think of better guitar work on a commercial pop hit.
And the most awesome short form guitar on a rock record obviously is...
1. Tom Verlaine (Television) -- See No Evil
Verlaine. Sheesh. Also Richard Lloyd, but he isn't playing the solo.
Alrighty then -- what would YOUR choices be?
And have a great weekend, everybody!!!
Thursday, July 15, 2021
On a less happy note, the great bluegrass fiddler Byron Berline (a frequent Byrds collaborator) passed away last Saturday. And on this day in 1973, the Byrds great guitarist Clarence White was run over and killed by a drunk driver as he was loading his amp into the back of his car in the parking lot of The Troubador.
In their honor, I thought I'd repost something I originally put up last year. To wit: through the miracle of studio magic, a recording of me playing bass and singing with those guys on their classic "Tulsa County."
For those keeping score at home, I found an incomplete Byrds version of the song on YouTube, and thought it would be cool to dub my parts on to it. It was originally gonna be included on the just released Floor Models Byrds tribute album -- now available on various digital platforms, with Amazon coming any minute now -- but ultimately we thought the legal hurdles would be insurmountable. And also that it might piss Roger off.
In any event, enjoy. And may the surviving Byrds fly forever.
Wednesday, July 14, 2021
Tuesday, July 13, 2021
As every attentive reader here already knows.
And this is the music -- i.e., him on Rickenbacker 12-string -- that did it.
Seriously -- there is no more beautiful sound occuring in nature than that.
Words fail me. And how lucky am I that I actually got to interview him back in the day a couple of times. And see his band in small venues.
Seriously, I'm beginning to think these kids can do anything.
And now that I'm on the subject, what I wouldn't give for a video of them covering "The Kids Are Alright."
Monday, July 12, 2021
I can't tell you how much I dislike Aerosmith as a rule. Basically, the best you can say about them is that they're a pretentious version of The Yardbirds crossed with a slicker, irony-free version of The New York Dolls with a flag of their collective dick up front.
That said, the above record is a masterpiece. Great music mated to an extremely well-written lyic about a serious subject.
I should add that Liv Tyler just turned 44. Yipes. I should also add that I was hoping to post the incredible version of said song the band did on SNL, but I couldn't find it.
Friday, July 09, 2021
Lennox basically does nothing for me. I kinda vaguely liked her remake of "I Only Want to Be With You" as The Tourists in 1979, but other than that, her stardom stuff with Eurythmics and her subsequent solo hits put me to sleep.
The above, however, is an absolute masterpiece. It's like what would have happened had Mozart written and produced a great 60s soul/r&b record.
Have a great weekend, everybody!!!
Thursday, July 08, 2021
Oh, sorry. That's Benedict Cumberbatch.
But he's still the coolest person on Earth.
Wednesday, July 07, 2021
In any event, that clip -- which I hadn't seen before last week -- is pretty much the best all-star performance ever. Enjoy.
Tuesday, July 06, 2021
Author Dennis Pilon goes on to say:
For those of us who can’t get enough of the Bryds, a very special record is due out soon from an exquisite jangle-friendly band, The Floor Models. You can get a taste of their fab back catalogue from the 2012 retrospective HERE.
But here I want you to enjoy their indie-fied version of “Lady Friend,” a teaser from their soon-to-be-released album, In Flyte Entertainment: A Tribute to the Byrds.
I thank you, Dennis.
And BTW, you can read more stuff by Dennis over at that Poprock Record website HERE.