You know, kids -- there are some days I think this is the greatest Dylan cover ever. Today is one of those days.
You know, kids -- there are some days I think this is the greatest Dylan cover ever. Today is one of those days.
SHOW AND TELL Chronicling Rock and Roll’s Neglected Stories
Miriam Linna, who recently published a five-pound book on the history of Fortune Records, keeps her apartment teeming with jukeboxes, magazines, and records made more for love than money.
By Nick Paumgarten
Miriam Linna met Billy Miller in 1977, while browsing at a record fair. She was looking for “You Must Be a Witch,” by the Lollipop Shoppe, a sixties garage band, and he had a copy back in his apartment. Their marriage—a celebrated meeting of the minds, ears, and shelves—lasted until Miller’s death, of cancer, in 2016. In addition to some musical collaborations (Linna, before meeting Miller, had been the founding drummer of the punk band the Cramps), they became perhaps the country’s preëminent archivists of old rockabilly and doo-wop records, among other treasures. They started the underground magazine Kicks and the Norton Records label, and Linna established a Kicks Books imprint, which published works by Sun Ra and Harlan Ellison.
At the time of Miller’s death, he had been working for more than ten years on a meticulous history of a relatively obscure Detroit label called Fortune Records. Its catalogue, catholic of genre, was a kind of Gnostic gospel of rock and roll, embodying an alternative and mostly neglected story line of rock’s disparate roots. At first, Linna was too grief-stricken to take up the project, but after a few years she and Miller’s co-author, a musician and writer named Michael Hurtt, got down to the harder-than-they’d-thought job of finishing it, with the encouragement of their editor, Marc Miller.
You can read the rest of it at the link OVER HERE.
For what it's worth, The Cramps were one of those bands who always struck me as more interesting in the concept rather than in the execution; that said, Norton Records was a very cool label, depending on your tolerance for loud prmitive historical noises.
I loved both records back in the day, but I had forgotten how much I dug that particular track until I stumbled on it on over at YouTube the other day.
In any case, what a pleasure to rediscover it.
I should that add, in honor of a forthcoming dental procedure, I was originally planning to put up a song about my chompers, but with the exception of Steely Dan's "My Gold Tooth" I couldn't find one.
Plus I'm senile.
Regular posting resumes on Monday, as some of it will be pretty spectacular.
Have a great weekend, everybody!!!
And as I mentioned, you can -- and should -- order the album over at Amazon HERE.
The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts' Tech Kits for Performing Artists program is a resource to enable performing artists to document their works and publish them online. This kit contains a number of items that are commonly used to document and post performance work online.
COVID-19 has presented extreme challenges for performing artists. Live performances have all but disappeared, drastically reducing income opportunities for many artists. Simultaneously, virtual performances, auditions, classes and collaborations have all moved online, making the need for in-home technological resources all the more crucial for performing artists at any stage in their careers and creative process.
To help provide resources for performing artists during this unprecedented time, the Library is offering tech kits, including various hardware and software, to enable performing artists to document their works and publish them online.
What's included in the kits?
12.9” iPad Pro with cellular data Logitech Slim Folio Pro case with integrated keyboard Logitech B100 Corded Mouse AKG Lyra USB microphone Behringer HC 2000B Wireless Headphones with Bluetooth Xcellon usb c - 4-port usb 3.1 hub GVM LED Ring Light with Phone Tripod Stand Kit Connection cables and chargers M-Audio Keystation Mini 32 MK3 MIDI keyboard (available with select kits)
Who can borrow a kit?
Anyone over the age of 18 with a New York Public Library card. Don't have a card? Sign up for one here.
How can I borrow a kit?
Simply search the catalog for "Tech Kit," and request the item as you would any other circulating materials from the Library. Select your preferred grab-and-go location for pick-up.
How will I know when my kit is ready? Where will I pick it up?
You will receive an email when your tech kit is ready for pick-up. You will be able to then pick it up within 24 hours at the grab-and-go location you indicated when placing your hold.
How long can I borrow a kit for?
Kits are available for between one and three months.
Have additional questions?
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
[h/t Rebecca Littman]
...please enjoy the incredibly great Evie Sands and "The Truth is in Disquise" over at Soundcloud HERE.
Attentive readers will recall I wrote about Evie's last solo album back in 2012.
But if you don't know her work, Evie did the original version of this classic (more familiar from the hit cover by The Hollies). Among several other great ones.
For example this.
And of course this one (from 1969)...
...which just blows me away.
In any event, it's totally mind-boggling that an artist as, shall we say, veteran as Evie has just made the best single I've heard this year.
Meanwhile, you can -- and should -- order the CD over at Amazon HERE. They also have a vinyl version, if you're so inclined.
Have I mentioned that she's originally from Brooklyn?
Another band from that era who I always planned on seeing but never did.
I did, however, get to hear their terrific keyboard guy, Tommy Mandel, jamming solo at a restaurant years later.
Have a great weekend everybody!
I was a gigantic fan of those guys, and their first two studio albums for Capitol, produced by the great Jack Nitzsche, are as good as it gets.
That said, I have a shall we say hilarious yet terrifying story about a persoal encounter I had with Willy DeVille that I've never written about.
Get me drunk some time and I'll tell it to you.
Have I mentioned that words fail me?
I should add that back in the day, the original Little Roger and Goosebumps 45 of this came to the attention of Zep's management, who threatened to sue it out of existence. However, in 2000, it came to the attention of Robert Plant, who hadn't known about it; he thought it was hilarious and gave his blessing to a CD reissue.
[h/t Oleg Sakhno]
So I thought it might be amusing, or at least interesting, to revisit the songs from that album that I liked at the time. And to see if I still did.
Exhibit A: The Laughing Dogs and "It Feels Alright Tonight".
Well, that one's really good in a sort of 60s Zombies power pop way.
Anybody know whatever happened to those guys?
I had forgotten how great Jones was/is and how amazing that album is till reader Cleveland Jeff mentioned it in a comment last Friday.
To which I can only say -- I thank you, sir.
Yes, my Asian aroma therapist and plumbing supply salesperson Fah Lo Suee and I will heading down south to Mar-a-Lago, where we will spend the weekend lurking in the bushes of the Former Guy's golf course, emerging from time to time to deposit raw sewage into every hole. In the immortal words of Edith Prickley -- could be a hot one!
But in the meantime, here's an interesting project to help you wile away the idle hours till our return.
BEST LIVE ROCK (OR ROCK-RELATED GENRE) ALBUM EVER!!!
No arbitrary rules whatsoever, you're welcome very much, but I will say that if you nominate anything by The Allman Brothers or The Grateful Dead I will come to your house and slap you silly with a rancid mackerel.
And my totally top of my head Top Seven is:
7. The MC5 -- Kick Out the Jams
It is one of the great regrets of my adult life that I never saw these guys perform. I did, however, meet lead guitarist Wayne Kramer once, and he was very cool.
6. The Rolling Stones -- Got Live If You Want It
The brilliant 1965 EP, not the fairly crappy 1966 LP of the same name.
5. Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes -- Jukes Live at the Bottom Line
A 1976 promo album recorded on a night when they were the greatest rock-and-roll band in the world. Hey, it happens.
4. The Yardbirds -- Live at the Anderson Theater
The Anderson Theater sat about 2000, and as I have mentioned on previous occasions, approximately 50,000 people now claim to have attended this show. For what it's worth, I actually was there, as was a certain Shady Dame of my acquaintance, although we didn't know each other at the time.
3. The Who -- Live at Leeds
It doesn't get any better, obviously.
2. Richard Thompson -- Small Town Romance
Apparently Thompson doesn't like this one -- parts of which were recorded at the old Folk City, with yours truly in a ringside seat -- but I think it's fabulous. Hey -- it's Richard Thompson!!!
And the number one, it's not even close, aural document of a great rock performance in front of an audience, obviously is...
1. The Floor Models -- Floor by Four: Live at JPs in 1982
C'mon -- you didn't see that coming?
Alrighty, then -- what would YOUR choices be?
And have a great weekend, everybody!!!
Yeah, yeah, I know -- there are lots of songs that reference telephones generally, but not so many that reference specific phone numbers.
If I've forgotten one, let us know -- that's why we have a comments section at this here blog.
"Eddie the Dog."
An outtake from Let It Be, obviously, and thoroughly charming.
That said -- hey McCartney! Try writing a song about this guy!!!
Okay, I think everybody here knows the answer, i.e. the lyrics to all three are written from the perspective of a guy who wants a girl who's going with somebody else.
I should add that I'd never seen either the Springfield or Cars live videos before, both of which are a lot of fun.
I should also add (and I've said it before in these precincts) that some day a smart country band or artist is going to do a remake of "My Best Friend's Girl" and have a huge hit with it. I mean, Keith Urban could absolutely kill on that.
Stanley was one of those blue collar heartland rockers who was bigger in his home town (in this case Cleveland, where he had been the afternoon deejay for a classic rock station since 1990) than elsewhere, although he was briefly a familiar presence on MTV back in the day.
I should add that the above song/video is one of my favorite things ever; the dancing in the hospital room scene still cracks me up.
Bottom line: Just like Dr. Seuss, there are lots of things I wrote back in the day that if I could change, I would. I won't specify which stuff in the above makes me cringe, but you get the idea.
Have a great weekend, everybody!!!
[h/t Ken Richardson]
Have I mentioned that one of the great regrets of my life is that I never got to see those guys back in their heyday?
That said, the above is simply fabulous.
I gotta say -- with the exception of the obvious Beatles/Byrds/Stones, there was no band whose albums my younger self listened to as obsessively, and tried to learn the guitar licks to, as the Spoonful.
I would have killed to attend the concert above, is what I'm getting at.
PS: Rob sang a track on the forthcoming -- by early summer -- Floor Models Byrds tribute album that will blow your freaking minds. I'll keep you posted about that, obviously.
Seriously, apart from the fact that the above is a pretty cool song, Hippo Campus has to be the funniest band name I've encountered this year.
THE CURE'S "FRIDAY I"M IN LOVE" FOR NIHILISTS
by Caroline Beach
I don’t care if Monday’s blue. God is dead. Or if Tuesday is utterly desaturated to the point where all choice is arbitrary, Wednesday too. Thursday, I will not make an effort to conjure you in my thoughts. I find you stupid and weak. It’s Friday, I’m in love.
Monday you will succumb to the eventualities of the second law of thermodynamics. Tuesday and Wednesday directly enact harm on my heart in a futile attempt to evoke agency, causing us both to suffer needlessly. Thursday, the processes won’t even begin. It falls into Dionysian horror. It’s Friday, I’m in love.
Saturday will be a period of cruel expectation. Sunday inevitably occurs too late to satisfy the bewildered and neglected child that lives within you, clawing incessantly at the remnants of your fractured psyche. It is not vorhanden. But Friday, never hesitate.
I don’t care if Monday’s the complete absence of visible light, as all perception is a delusion. Tuesday and Wednesday, I will have heart attacks, even after you have most certainly fatally wounded it. Thursday fails to set in motion what would be necessary for even an attempt at wish fulfillment. It’s Friday, I’m in love.
Monday, you can hold your head, perhaps because its ponderous size sits ill on your rapidly degenerating body that is trying in its own pathetic way to evolve to hold something so impractical and heavy. Tuesday and Wednesday, you are an invalid. On Thursday, you might watch the walls instead. I find them completely fascinating. It’s Friday, I’m in love.
As on last Saturday, this will be an empty day devoid of realizing your basically unknowable desires. And then, yes, on Sunday it will all be far out of your mortal reach. Nicht zuhanden. But Friday, never hesitate.
You are wearing clothes up until your eyes. I find this excellent. I have always hated mouths. It is a wonderful surprise in that it manages to briefly free you from the constructs that the Gesellschaft forces upon us thus entering a state beyond signifiers. I see your shoes and your spirits rise, a Sisyphean endeavor if ever there was one. You throw out your frown, knowing you will die ignorant as the day you were born. Though you have no mouth, you smile (an empty grimace signifying nothing) at a sound. It is sleek as the shriek, which is the true nature of reality. It spins round and round, which I find somewhat unnecessary. You take a big bite, which gets me back on your side. It is an admirable undertaking for someone in your position of near-total abnegation. If anything is beautiful then it is seeing you eat, mouthless, in the middle of the night. You can not get enough, enough of this screaming void of pure existence, which is stuff. It’s Friday, I’m in love.
I don’t care if Monday’s black. It is, as Hölderlin described it: “unfolding around its needle.” Tuesday is grey, the color and feeling of childhood. Wednesday as well. (“The weathercock crows silently in the wind” — more Hölderlin.) Thursday, I don’t give you a second Gedanke and cast you headlong into the abyss. It’s Friday, I’m in love.
Monday, you are entropy itself. Tuesday, Wednesday, I welcome you to destroy what is left of that dull pumping organ caged inside this flesh prison. Thursday, the thing that normally doesn’t happen will not even bother trying to happen, surrendering as it must to hard and final determinism. Das Nichts kommt. Das ewige Nichts. It’s Friday, I’m in love.
An idiosyncratic blog dedicated to the precursors, the practioners, and the descendants of power pop. All suggestions for postings and sidebar links welcome, contact any of us.