Saturday, May 29, 2010

Wild Weekend Vol. 21

Wild Weekend, edition 21. The iPod shuffle picked a varied bunch of high society tunes once again, and all you gotta do is check ´em out. Surprises await... And easy does it.

We´ll start off with the sound of angry LA. "So you marry your daddy, with a different name..." That´s John Doe and Exene singing, from a still amazing debut record called Los Angeles. Came out thirty years ago already... Time sure flies, kids. Some thundering roots reggae follows, featuring the one and only Johnny Clarke. The Dreader Dread ´76-´78 compilation on the mighty Blood & Fire label is a must. Listen up you wrongdoers, better beware of the conquering lion of the tribe of Judah.

X - Sex And Dying In High Society MP3
Johnny Clarke - Fire And Brimstone A Go Burn The Wicked MP3

Let´s hear it for former Grin and future E Street Band guitarist Nils Lofgren now, saluting a Glimmer Twin always on the treshold of a rock & roll death. His no doubt heartfelt message to the Stones axeman sounds a wee bit selfish though: "Keith don´t go, don´t take my fun..." Drive meanwhile were a shortlived British power trio in the honoured noisepop tradition of the Mega City Four and Buffalo Tom, to name but a few. Go Out - Be Happy was their fine third single, which you can also find on their sole album Out Freakage (´92).

Nils Lofgren - Keith Don´t Go (Ode To The Glimmer Twin) MP3
Drive - Go Out - Be Happy MP3

In the mood for something a tad heavier still? Good. Mr. Doyle sits high on his hog, bringing the grungy sound of Seattle to the masses. It may sound strange to some younger readers out there, but when Tad first toured Europe, none other than Nirvana were the support act... And we´ll go out with a song my daughter can´t get enough of by one Tonino Carotone. I vaguely recall the guy had something to do with the Mano Negra clan. Sung in both Italian and Spanish, and namechecking the fair cities of Barcelona, Pamplona and Milano on the way, this is one infectuous ditty for sure.

Tad - High On The Hog MP3
Tonino Carotone - Pecatore MP3

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Brighten My Northern Sky

In his short life, Nick Drake only recorded three longplayers and change. And although hardly anyone got it at the time, all of them contained pure musical magic. Don´t know about you, but I´m always hard pressed to name my fave Drake album. Sometimes it´s the bleak Pink Moon, sometimes the almost baroque Five Leaves Left, and at the moment I´d definitely go for the lushest one in the canon: Bryter Layter.

"Would you love me through the winter,
Would you love me ´til I´m dead,
Oh, if you would and you could, come blow your horn on high...."

Nick Drake - Northern Sky MP3

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Fresh Vegetables

Just got word there´s a new book on Syd Barrett coming out soon. A Telegraph review of Rob Chapman´s Syd Barrett: A Very Irregular Head definitely sounds promising, so if you´re one of them snobs like me who thinks a Floyd without the madcap is no Floyd at all you better start saving up. In the meantime, check out some fine rarities of Pink Floyd featuring mr. Barrett below. "And all the lot is what I got, it's what I wear, it's what you see, it must be me, it's what I am..."

Pink Floyd - Vegetable Man MP3
Pink Floyd - Lucy Leave MP3
Pink Floyd - Candy And A Currant Bun MP3
Pink Floyd - Scream Thy Last Scream MP3

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Wild Weekend Vol. 20

A little something for everybody once again, my droogs, as we´re putting edition #20 of Wild Weekend to bed. The iPod threw the I Ching and six wise choices were made indeed. After all: "He who possesses the source of enthusiasm will achieve great things. Doubt not. You will gather friends around you as a hair clasp gathers the hair."

Let´s get the ball rolling with a fine Dylan circa Blonde On Blonde imitation by Mouse & the Traps. Find this nugget on Nuggets, Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era 1965-1968, that landmark garage rock collection so lovingly and expertly compiled by Lenny Kaye of the Patti Smith Group fame. I´m serious: if you don´t own Nuggets you simply haven´t lived. Next up is something completely different: some jazzy neo-blues by the Workdogs. Tell me how it was back in the days one more time please, guys...

Mouse & The Traps - A Public Execution MP3
Workdogs - Back In The Days MP3

Time for some pukka jazz now, with the masterful Lee Konitz and a track from his impressive ´61 album Motion. Take an alto, a bass and a drum kit, add the Cole Porter standard You´d Be So Nice To Come Home To and you´ve got over ten minutes of bliss. Meanwhile down in Nashville, ole Hank is having woman trouble again. "You give away your kisses but you never give your heart, to anyone who´s fool enough to fall..."

Lee Konitz - You´d Be So Nice To Come Home To MP3
Hank Williams - Window Shopping MP3

And from the Kim Fowley produced Original Modern Lovers sessions, here´s the man they call Jonathan, no stranger to these pages. "Your face says sex when you smile dear, it's written in huge suburban letters... and the letters say ´tenderness´... and to me it all says ´sex´... and dance with me..." Genius. Didn´t even know I had any U.S. Saucer tracks on my iPod, so talk about surprises. Hold On Dear Brother sounds a bit like Bonnie Prince Billy fronting Crazy Horse. And that´s not a bad thing at all, droogs. See ya next week, and don´t forget to have a wild one.

Modern Lovers - Dance With Me MP3
U.S. Saucer - Hold On Dear Brother MP3

Thursday, May 20, 2010

From D. To The Duke

Here´s a little collection of odes from one musician to another, with just the name of the artist making up the title of the song. Which means Song To Woody, I Know Where Syd Barrett Lives and the like are out for now. I´ve omitted Debbie Harry by Family Fodder as I posted that one a few weeks ago already, and there´s no Alex Chilton by the Mats either as almost everybody and their dog had a sad reason to feature that beauty recently. Know any others? Leave a comment purleeze...

Uncle Tupelo - D. Boon MP3
The Posies - Grant Hart MP3
Memphis Minnie - Ma Rainey MP3
R.E.M. - Lightnin´ Hopkins MP3
Gutterball - Lester Young MP3
Teenage Fanclub - Gene Clark MP3
Half Japanese - Patti Smith MP3
Mountain Goats - Duke Ellington MP3

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Some Photographs

"I thought I could hear the voice of Tim Hardin singing Black Sheep Boy as I returned with our laundry. Robert had gotten paid for a moving job with an old record player and had put on our favorite album. It was a surprise for me. We hadn´t had a record player since Hall Street."

From Just Kids, Patti Smiths´s moving memoir of her friendship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. Buy it if you haven´t done so already.

Tim Hardin - Black Sheep Boy MP3
Patti Smith - I Was Working Real Hard MP3

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Wild Weekend Vol. 19

It´s a Wild Weekend yet again and I guess you all know what that means by now... Here´s another diverse bunch of goldies, with special thanks to the magic of the iPod shuffle. Hey ho.

We´re off to a rather furious start with bassless Detroit garage trio the Gories and their highly inflammable John Lee Hooker cover Let Your Daddy Ride. Production: that late Memphis man Alex Chilton of course. Lower down your chariot, baby, and buy their glorious I Know You Be Houserockin´ cd forthwith. Meanwhile in Jamaica, the golden-voiced Meditations face an obvious truth: Life Is Not Easy. But when Lee ´Scratch´ Perry gets behind his Black Ark mixing board he manages to skank their troubles away ever so smoothly.

The Gories - Let Your Daddy Ride MP3
The Meditations - Life Is Not Easy MP3

If you like the Harry Smith Anthology as much as I do, you´re bound to dig a little deeper in that musical vernacular. In that case, you should try Prayers From Hell: White Gospel & Sinner Blues 1927-1940, an excellent compilation of near-ancient folk, blues and country. The weary but optimistic Worried Man Blues by Rodgers & Nicholson is only one gem out of many. And here´s another duo: the peculiar combination of Neil Hagerty (vocals and guitar) and Jennifer Herrema (vocals and looks). Which means we´re talking Royal Trux, we´re talking experimental Stones junkie sleaze and blossoming blood flowers in the morning. From their much recommended, untitled third album (´92).

Rodgers & Nicholson - Worried Man Blues MP3
Royal Trux - Blood Flowers MP3

One HipHop cd I can never get enough of is the spooky Liquid Swords by Genius/GZA, he of the Wu-Tang conglomerate. The sparse Shadowboxin´ is a prime example of its perfect flow. Oh man! And for the last song in this week´s sixpack, we move to smoggy L.A. and a new band I´m much enamored of at the moment. Wounded Lion is the name of the game, all dressed up like a Pavement from hell. Their fuzzy debut is out now on the small and always classy In The Red label, which provides an excellent mail order service as well. So what are you waiting for?

Genius/GZA - Shadowboxin´ MP3
Wounded Lion - Creatures In The Cave MP3

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

On The Ceiling

"Blue lights across the street, blinkin' off and on... I'm so lonely now you're gone..." Which version moves you more, Fred Neil´s original or Karen Dalton´s cover? Initially I ruled it a draw, but in the end the latter´s characteristic voice won out. After seeing sweet mother K.D. perform in the Village for the first time, Neil proclaimed that "she did Blues On The Ceiling (which is my song) with so much feeling that if she told me she had written it herself, I would have believed her." And isn´t that the highest praise a singer can possibly get?

Fred Neil - Blues On The Ceiling MP3
Karen Dalton - Blues On The Ceiling MP3

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Wild Weekend Vol. 18

It´s a Wild Weekend once more, with a little something for everyone. The ghost in the iPod lined up some prime HipHop, rock, northern soul, country, Japrock and postpunk for you all this week. Enjoy.

Let´s get things going with a track that never fails to improve my mood. A Tribe Called Quest goes on "Award Tour, with Muhammad my man, goin´ each and every place with the mic´ in their hand..." Just go with the flow. And the cheer continues with that magical San Pedro threesome the Minutemen, and a fine song from their ´commercial´ Project Mersh. D. Boon, Mike Watt and George Hurley had the budget to hire some actual trumpet players here, which works a treat.

A Tribe Called Quest - Award Tour MP3
Minutemen - The Cheerleaders MP3

Around the time they released Hangtime, Soul Asylum was definitely one of the best live bands in the world. I caught them quite often in the late eighties and Pirner and co blew me away every time. The riff-heavy Ode brings back some excellent memories. Ready for some country now? Good. Next up is the one and only George Jones, who found himself a woman as smooth as Tennessee whiskey, as sweet as strawberry wine, and as warm as a glass of brandy. Quite a find, mr. Possum. "And you brought me back from being too far gone..."

Soul Asylum - Ode MP3
George Jones - Tennessee Whiskey MP3

It´s been quite a while since we featured one of these feedback-drenched jewels by that obscure Japanese band with the faux-French name. But here we go again. Close the curtains, sit back and take it all in: Takashi Mizutani is the man. And for the last song of this week´s edition we turn to one of those rare soul grooves they´re so fond of up north. "Here I am on bended knees, I lay my heart down at your feet..." Towel and talcum powder at the ready? Go.

Les Rallizes Dénudés - Flames Of Ice MP3
Frank Wilson - Do I Love You (Indeed I Do) MP3

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Unicorn And Tiple

´You never heard such sounds in your life´ was a fitting slogan used by the tiny and daring ESP label to promote its wares. Taking things even further, the company´s motto proclaimed that ´the artists alone decide what you will hear on their ESP-Disk´. With this decidedly non-commercial approach the New York sixties label released many wonderful and always rather weird albums by the Godz, Albert Ayler, The Fugs, Pharoah Sanders and Pearls Before Swine. Though it didn´t put out that many records since the sixties came to a close, ESP still exists and the complete back catalogue remains in print.

Which brings us to ESP recording artist Ed Askew, who was considered weird even by label standards. A graduate of Yale, Askew played psychedelic folk songs on a tiple, a Colombian ten-string instrument a bit like a lute and said to be very difficult to master. I just bought his first album, the obscure Ask The Unicorn from 1968, and it´s great. Rough and lofi too; the vocals especially would have benefitted from better recording equipment, but what can you do? A second offering, Little Eyes, was all ready to go in 1970 but not released as ESP ran into financial problems at the time. It finally saw the light a couple of years ago on another label. I´ve yet to hear that one, but Ask The Unicorn will keep me plenty busy in the meantime.

Ed Askew - Fancy That MP3
Ed Askew - Red Woman - Letter To England MP3

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

I´m In Your Band

Never, and I mean never, put a ´bass player wanted´ ad in your local paper. You just might get a call from mr. Turkington. "You never heard of the fuckin´ Crinkles, man?" Buddy?

Gregg Turkington - I´m In Your Band MP3

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Wild Weekend Vol. 17

All geared up for the sweet seventeen edition of Wild Weekend? Good. The ghost in the iPod has made its choices, and diversity´s the word once again. Some reggae, some jazz, a weird cover and a lovely tribute. Plus a very recent track from a band called Great Divide and an oldie from the Captain himself. "What's the meaning of this? Poor Harry, I guess..."

Been awhile since we enjoyed any Don Van Vliet magic around here, so I´m glad the lovely Harry Irene - a duo that lived in the green and ran a canteen - came up today. Whistling galore. Meanwhile on the island of Jamaica, a young Peter Tosh describes just what will happen on judgement day to people puttin´ other people down. The rocks will be melting, the sea will be boiling and there´s nowhere to run to really. All that and more in a pointy Lee Perry production.

Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band - Harry Irene MP3
Peter Tosh & The Wailers - Downpresser MP3

Time for Wreckless Eric now, the self-proclaimed Donovan Of Trash, saluting British producer Joe Meek in style. Meek´s Tin Pan Alley was a homestudio in a simple London flat. As Eric sings: "On the second floor of number 304, above a handbag store..." A beautiful tribute to a legendary eccentric. And talking ´bout eccentrics, next up is Eugene Chadbourne, who was fond of playing freepunk versions of classic rock songs on an electric rake. I saw him live once with his band Shockabilly and I´m still a bit flabbergasted. Something tells me you´ve never heard a Creedence song butchered quite like this.

Wreckless Eric - Joe Meek MP3
Shockabilly - Born On The Bayou MP3

Here´s something new I just got in. Great Divide is obviously inspired by Songs In The Key Of Life-era Stevie Wonder, with maybe a touch of Little Feat thrown in. A bit too slick for me after a couple of plays, but these guys just might go far. You decide. And we´ve come to the end of another Wild Weekend with the soothing sounds of pianist supreme Sonny Clark. Cool struttin, baby... Philly Joe Jones shuffles behind the drums and Jackie McLean shines on the alto sax. The sound of jazz perfection, dig?

Great Divide - Fleetwood MP3
Sonny Clark - Cool Struttin´ MP3