The Ethics of This Stuff
Besides doing this blog, I also run a couple small record labels. Over the years, sales have gone from pretty damn good to not very damn good, almost pretty damn bad. Meanwhile, the music I put out has gotten more and more popular. Many people listen to it, but they don't pay for it. One of the Nothing People found a torrent site that tracked the number of times a file had been downloaded. He looked up their (then) most recent album Soft Crash and found that it had been downloaded 40,000 times. How many of those people listened to it is unknown, perhaps half of the downloaders are hoarders. But let's say half of the people who downloaded it listened to it, that an audience of 20,000 got the album for free. Now consider how many copies of Soft Crash my label sold. I pressed 1000 copies on vinyl. The band was compensated with 200 copies. About 50 copies were sent out as promos to radio stations, magazines, and blogs. Of the 750 remaining copy, I have sold 650. I will assume that the Nothing People held on to 50 copies and sold the rest. So that is a grand total of 800 copies of Soft Crash sold vs at least 20,000 downloaded off one torrent site and listened to. The 800 copies that the Nothing People and I sold were paid for. The 20,000 "copies" off of that torrent site were not. I've know about this for a few years and it still bugs the shit out of me. However, I have still done this blog.
Seasons of Change
The New Experience Seasons of Change 45 (G/H, 196?)
Ha! What a charming piece of awkward pop! Goofy rhymes, an odd percussion combo which doesn't quite sync, and a vaguely Christian message. This one is a complete mystery. The song writer is a guy named Alfred Nobriga, Jr. Google searches show that there was a guy by that name who testified in a murder trial in Hawaii, was caught up in the biggest drug seizure ever made on the "Big Island" in Hawaii, and wrote a song that appeared in the not-so-vaguely Christian movie Soul Surfer. Now if this is the same guy, he has had quite a busy and varied life. If Alfred Nobriga, Jr. happens to be a somewhat common name in Hawaii, than I hope that this Alfred never needs to undergo a background check and has to explain that he is not responsible for crimes done by those who share his name.
Anyway, here is a nice song to usher in the Summer.
Joe Christ & the Healing Faith Wonderful Life 7" (Reliable, 1987)
Joe Christ was Joe Linhart of Dallas, Texas, but everyone knew him as Joe Christ. His first band was a punk band named Los Reactors. They put out a few 7"s in the early '80s which are now out of my price range. From there he continued to play in bands until about 1987, though in the 2000s he did get Los Reactors together for a reunion and ran with that for awhile. He also was a film maker such as Amy Strangled a Small Child, Acid is Groovy Kill the Pigs, and Speed Freaks with Guns. One writer describes Christ's films "John Waters times 11."
None of the above is stuff I knew before researching this record. I am not an underground film buff and and do not have an encyclopedic memory for the names of band members. However I did know the name "Joe Christ" as did anyone who flipped through bins of 7" records in the 1990s. And I knew the cover of this record. "Wonderful Life" was in every dollar bin around - you still can find a copy pretty damn easy. I think the date it was released has something to do with it. The late 1980s have gotten a bad rap as far as underground/independent music goes. Certainly there was a lot of crap being released then, but no more so than in the 1990s or today. What there was was a lot of formerly good punk band or former members of good punk bands making shitty records. From hair metal Discharge to Sister Double Happiness, there was a lot of dreck drowning out the good stuff, like this little gem right here.
A Love Story
Roger Flax Clyde & Phyllis LP (Golden, 197?)
Before Crud Crud, I did a record review site called Soriano's Occasional Review. On it, I reviewed records like I do here, though with no MP3s. Maybe a few of you saw that site, most of you probably did not. It was pre-blogosphere, linked to no one, found out only by friends and those who did an internet search for a certain record. Every once in a while on Crud Crud I recycle a review I did there; however, computers being what they are and me not being the most studious backer-upper, a lot of the reviews are lost to memory. My review of the classic children's record Clyde & Phyllis is one of those lost to technology. That loss is fine because there is more to the story than the original review. But but but to get to that story we must start with the record.
Clyde & Phyllis is more than a children's record, it is a bubblegum pop opera. The music is pure bubblegum, sweet but not saccharine, funny, engaging, and creative. The story is great and it goes like this. Clyde is a guitar playing elephant. Having learned his craft in the zoo, he plays for animal and humankind, billed as the "World's First Guitar Playing Elephant." His popularity grows such that he is able to open his own night club, Clyde's Den. One night he spies Phyllis in the crowd. She is not mere groupie bait but heartthrob material. Clyde desperately wants her. However, He has two problems: First, Phyllis kind of likes someone else. He tries to conquer this obstacle by showing up at her house to serenade her. Phyllis informs him that it ain't gonna work. Clyde is "too big" for her, and "too much to handle." Phyllis, you see, is an ant. Clyde walks off dejected, actually, defeated. In his wanders, he discovers that NASA is looking for an astronaut to explore the moon for 20 years. He applies and becomes the world's first elephantnaut. He figures that since he can't have Phyllis he "might as well explore the moon." Once there, though, he gets depressed so he mopes around singing to himself. His wandering is interrupted by a pissed off Moon. The Moon doesn't like the fact that someone is on him and threatens Clyde. Clyde explains that he is only on the Moon because he can't have his true love on Earth. The Moon considers Clyde's situation and tells him that he will think about it. True to his word, the Moon comes up with an idea. Why don't Clyde and Phyllis get married and move to the Moon. Out in space, gravity will keep him from crushing her. (The Moon doesn't figure out how they will consummate this relationship, elephant penis and ant vagina being two radically different sizes - or so I am told.) Clyde thinks the idea is great. He hops into his space shop, goes down to Earth and proposes to Phyllis. She says, "Yes," and they take off to space. End of story...at least the story of Clyde & Phyllis.
I think I wrote a bit more about how great a record it was and that I found it for a buck up in Diamond Springs at the Ye Olde Record Shoppe and bought it because, hell, would you pass up a record with a guitar playing, glammed out elephant on it? Certainly not. After that review, I got a bunch of emails. One of them was from Roger Flax's son, who told me that he remembered his dad making the record and it got a lot of spins at the Flax Manor. There were a few notes thanking me for bringing back good, childhood memories. The record collectors wrote to ask about pressing info. And then there were the people who wanted a copy of it.
My policy then was my policy now: I don't make copies of things I post. It is not that I want to deprive people of the music. Nah, it is that I have a life and do not have the time to make tapes or CDRs of every record that stirs a fond memory. The problem with Clyde & Phyllis is that I seemed to be the only person in the world (according to Google and Yahoo) who had a copy of the record. The requests came often and they came hard. Please. Please. Please. I will send you money, all the money you want (within reason), I was told. A woman from San Francisco named Susan wrote that she would bake me a pie. A pie? Well, I have been known to be a prisoner of pie. Hmmm.... No. No. Sorry lady, save your pie for another guy. Then Professor Cantaloupe wrote. He hosted a radio show that focused on kid's music. Well, I wasn't going to turn down a fellow dejay, especially one named Professor Cantaloupe. So I made a CDR of it and contacted the people who wanted a copy of the recording and requested a couple bucks, some music, or a bottle of single malt Scotch. Only a few people replied but one was Susan from San Francisco, the lady who offered me a pie.
Susan wrote that she was in San Francisco and she desperately wanted the recording. Perhaps she might have a friend drive her to Sacramento to pick it up? "Clyde & Phyllis is very important to me," she wrote. "I checked it out of the school library and only returned it when I was forced to. Unfortunately, the next person to have the record after me broke it!" She added that she had been searching for the record for years and I was a saint or some kind of deity for offering her a recording of the record. At least, I think that is how that went. Anyway, she hemmed and hawwed about what she wanted to do and then wrote that she's send Scotch. Fine by me, lady. I get the Scotch and you will get the CDR.
The Scotch came on the best of all possible days. I had just spent all day in an emergency room dealing with my mom's complications from chemotherapy. I was beat. I stopped by work to check my mail and there was a very nice bottle of single malt waiting for me. CDR was popped in the mail and an email was sent to Susan thanking her for the life saving elixir (by the way, I am still open to gifts of appreciation: Scott Soriano, 1809 S Street #101-276, Sacramento CA 95811 USA). She got the CDR and tossed me emails. Those who have written me know that I can be one chatty fucker and sometimes even funny. I charmed her with my humor, she charmed me with hers. She told me what kind of music she liked. I sent her House of Love and Patty Waters. She asked if she could buy me a drink the next time I was in Frisco. I said sure and left it at that. She finally called me on my delay tactics. I made up a work related task that would take me there and told her I would be wearing a beret and a kilt. She almost canceled our "date." I assured her that I actually looked like the comic book guy on the Simpsons. She almost canceled our "date." We met, had drinks, had dinner, laughed, talked, and, then, like the decent upstanding man that I am, I drove home. A couple weeks later, she came up to Sacramento. We've been together since. That was almost three years ago and everything is great, actually, better all the time. We both travel and do absolutely nothing while together, and it is seamlessly great. I am now the stepfather of a fine little dog. She supports my record buying mania. It's the best thing I've ever had. I'd like to think that "We'll float in space together..."
After we got together, top on my "must find" list was another copy of Clyde & Phyllis. It took a few months of intense searching but I found one in Chicago. It had been listed the day I checked and bamm it was mine. On Susan's next birthday, I gave it to her. She was overwhelmed with emotion and so was I. Now I know two people with the record. About a year latter I found her a copy of Chicken Fat, but all that inspired was a little dance. That's cool, I like to dance, too.
So that is the postscript to the Clyde & Phyllis review, a record geek's love story.
[originally posted 8/20/06]
PS: Today, April 24, 2012, Susan & I were married.
We'll Float In Space Together
Let's Dance the Ska
Lord Gayle & the Seasiders Let's Dance the Ska LP (Kalypso, 1964)
When this was presented to me by a kindly record store clerk it had a big wad of gun stuck to the front cover.
"Do you want it?"
What the gum?
"No, the record."
Of course, I do.
The record was put in my stack and rung up. Or maybe it was tossed in for free because of the gum. Whatever the case, I knew I wanted the record, gum or no gum. If it was really early ska or rocksteady, I knew I had a winner. If it was some just-okay tourist band, that's fine, the cover was cool. I got back to my studio, plopped the record on the turntable and proceeded to remove the gum. It took an hour to get the gum off using little more than a sharp razor blade and a very steady hand. Meanwhile the sounds coming out of the speakers were great, a blend of ska and rocksteady with that really warm sound indicative of records of that time and place.
While there are many good songs on Let's Dance the Ska, the song "Dorothy" is the one that really stuck with me. Starting a love song with "Darling, you are...." is so charming. And then the compliment, "You are so divine" is fantastic. The whole song is a paen to the romance of wooing. And because I am pretty much wooed by this song, this is what you get.
Musical Bronkhorsts s/t 7" (Musical Bronkhorsts, 1966?)
A current favorite at Crud Crud HQ is this here 7" ep by the Musical Bronkhorsts. Other than the name of the group and the song titles, this record would be a total mystery if not for a bookmark sized card that came with it. On the card is a photograph of the Rev. and Mrs. T.J. Bronkhorst and Leon. There are three people in the photo - two men and one woman. One man holds a trumpet, the other a trombone. Mrs. Bronkhorst has an accordion strapped to her body. In front of the Mrs. is a guitar and an amp. Below the photo is a blub that reads "Leon was born on April 4th, 1947. He died on December 2nd, 1965. He was buried in Pecos, Texas on the 4th of December, 1965." Who Leon is I have no idea. But the Bronkhorsts have two address stamps on the back of the card. One is a street address in Long Beach, California. The other is a PO Box in Zambia. Ah, so the Rev. and the Mrs. were singing missionaries. A search, shows that as of 2004 they were still in Africa and active. This from a ministry's web site:
The Reinsmen Sentimental Trails LP (Sierra, 1980)
I picked this one up recently in a thrift store in Stockton and when I did I had no idea that it contained the song below. I had no idea the song below existed. Looking at the sleeve, my only thought was "Hmmmmm a country record. It is signed by one of the band members. Maybe it will pay for gas." Then I walked to the counter with a few other records and plopped down my four dollars and change and head to another store. When I got home, I sorted the records into sell and keep piles. I cleaned and started making sound clips of the ones to sell. That is when this hit the turntable. I don't know why but first song I dropped the needle on was "Blue Prairie." At first, nothing hit me, but after thirty seconds or so the meat of the song kicks in and here sneaks a mournful violin. Then the vocals swell. I am mesmerized. This is haunted country, something I've never heard before and something I can't wait to find more of. Certainly, when listening to this Blue Velvet, the song and the film, come to mind. Here is the absurd thing, I like the song "Blue Prairie" so much that I haven't listened to any other song on the record in fear that it won't measure up. There could be five more songs as good, as haunted as "Blue Prairie" but I don't want to take that gamble, not now, not while I am entranced by this song.
At the time the liner notes had been written, the Reinsmen had been around for two decades. During the 1960s and 70s, they played rodeos, county fairs, western art shows, campfire gathering, and the like. They shared the stage with Eddie Dean, Merle Travis, and other country acts. What the notes don't mention is that they are in the Western Music Hall of Fame and considered a classic group. In his 80s, lead singer and fiddle player, Doc Denning is still musically active...in the Reinsmen and other places.
Walkin' And Talkin'
The Vagabonds Walkin' And Talkin' 45 (Cable Car, 19??)
There is one thing I know about this record and that is that it is from San Francisco. I found it in San Francisco. The label is named Cable Car Records. Verdict in: San Francisco. Everything else is a guess. I am pretty sure that the group is African American. I would also guess that this was recorded in the late 1960s or early 1970s and was sold by the group at their gigs, probably in some lounge or several lounges, to tourists. The A-side is the kind of jazzy vocals thing that would go over at some nightclub, something Herb Caen might have mentioned in his column, after a night drinking. The flip, though, is where the action is at.
"Walkin' And Talkin'" is a slow, creepy R&B number...and creepy for a number of reasons. First is the woozy beginning, a hypnotic stagger. Then the vocals come in. They are less singing and more of an intoxicated, faux-playful threat. The phrasing is weird and spaced far apart, as is if the singer needs to focus on his subject before going off. Toward the end of the song, it gets a normal R&B groove, but even that is strange. Why now? I am pretty sure that "Walkin' And Talkin'" was a made-up-in-the-studio throwaway, some slap together thing made to fill the B-side. However, like a lot of unintended B-sides (Rosie & the Originals' "Give Me Love" being the most noteworthy), it is the flip that makes the record.
My Savior Will Be Waiting
Robert Hodge My Savior Will Be Waiting 45 (Hodgeville, 19??)
I was just going through a "to sell" pile and I came across this great little gospel single. Why was it in the sell pile? The first time I listened to it I must have been on drugs...a ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. I crack me up. No really, just looking at the label, you know this has potential. The artist not only named the label after himself (now, who would do a thing like that), but he turned his name into a place! My god (no pun intended), that is genius. Sorianoville Records. Huh? Has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?
When I dropped needle, I knew I that this had to go from the "to sell" pile to the "to keep" stack. A nice raw, warm recording of a guy, his voice, and his - ahem - organ (badda bump, thank you, thank you very much, you've been a great audience). Hodge's voice is good and his organ style is unique. He accents and wanders, the settings go from a piano-like clank to an electric organ weeze. Really cool stuff. Who the guy is, where this was recorded, I have no idea. I do know that he made another 45 for Savoy.
Jim Burgett Pauline 45 (Oro, 1963)
I really don't know anything about Jim Burgett other than he was from the San Francisco Bay Area, made a handful of rockabilly singles in the early 60s, and produced a few Frisco hippie bands some years later. I also know that he made this proto-garage punk, rockabilly stomper! Listen to that dnh-dnh-dnh-dnh-dnh-dnh-dnh-dnh between the lyric lines in the verse and how it turns up in every artist from the Kinks to the Seeds. I am sure that Burgett didn't invent it. Hell, it's a simple blues convention used by Willie Dixon (and punked out by Link Wray). But it works and here it is.
Whistling in the Wind
Ned Barthlow Quartet Whistling in the Wind 45 (Pal Recording Studio, 19??)
The Ned Bartlow Quartet takes what could be a pretty mundane song and unintentionally makes it very eerie with one simple sound effect. Right as the song starts, a hollow hiss begins. It is supposed to be the wind, but they either used a bad recording or tried to approximate the wind with chintzy electronics. Whatever the case, the sound is unsettling enough to affect the rest of the song. It makes the organ a bit more Carnival of Horrors and the vocals become disembodied. The wind effect is not only a perfect example of how one thing can change the whole nature of a song, but of how different sounds interact with each other. I doubt whomever produced this record thought of that when recording "Whistling in the Wind." I am sure they thought that they were just introducing a neat sound effect and that was that. I also expect that the producer/engineer were just recording a song. Ned Bartlow and his boys were there for a few hours and played the thing a couple times. They took the best take and Jimmy said "Hey wouldn't it be neat to have the sound of the wind in the background," and that was that. This wasn't Brian Wilson on mix number two hundred seven, desperately seeking the perfect sound. If it was the wind would have sounded like the wind and I probably wouldn't be writing about Ned Barthlow's creation. Randomness and chance are wonderful things.
Songs By Ruben Tagalog
Ruben Tagalog Songs By Ruben Tagalog 10" (Villar, 195?)
Here is another record from the Philippines, one that is much earlier and way different musically than "Anak" by Freddie Aguilar. This one is by Ruben Tagalog, a movie star and singer. He started his career as an entertainer in 1934 at the age of twelve when he and his two sisters set down in Manila as the Wanderers Trio. Occupation of the Philippines by the Japanese during World War II broke up the group, but Ruben kept singing, building a fine career making records and movies.
One of Ruben's groups is called the Mabuhay Singers, which might be a name familiar to those of you who scour thrift stores. Mabuhay Singers records surface from time to time and they are always cheap. Most record fiends have bought at least one, only to be disappointed. I've been burned on enough of them (and other Filipino records) that I swore off anything that originated from those islands (something I am reconsidering since scoring the Aguilar and then this).
Aside from the language, there is nothing remotely Filipino about this Ruben Tagalog record. It sounds like a very nice lounge record with a very nice baritone and a hint of exotica. It has a sound that is dated enough to be romantic. Close your eyes and imagine people dancing to this and then realize that they'd be dead by now. It is really music from a different world.
Freddie Aguilar Anak LP (Sunshine, 1978)
A couple posts ago reflecting on not knowing who Lepa Brena - a Serbian singer who has sold more than 40 million albums - was and that the world is really much bigger than we think it is. Well, here's one more example of that. Freddie Aguilar is not only the pop musician of the Philippines but his importance crosses from culture to politics and into the history books.
Musically, Aguilar's importance centers on two things. First is he wrote and performed a song called "Anak" (which is the title cut of this record and which you can hear/watch). "Anak" sold millions of copies when it was released. It not only lodged itself in the Philippine charts at number one, it topped the charts in Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, and other countries in Southeast Asia. There are over 100 versions of it recorded, in 23 languages. Number two: Prior to "Anak"'s success, Aguilar was one of many artists associated with Pinoy Rock, the Filipino version of rock & roll, which started in the 1960s but really took off in the Seventies. Pinoy Rock was to serve as part of the cultural roots of opposition to the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos.
Politically, Aguilar is important because he is one of the artists who headed up opposition to Marcos. His recording of the protest song "Bayan Ko" (with additional lyrics criticizing Marcos) became the anthem of the "People Power" movement, which lead to the peaceful revolution which toppled Marcos. Aguilar was harassed by Marco's henchmen but stood as a cultural icon against the dictatorship, while giving public support to opposition leaders.
Now I didn't know any of that before I found this record, even though I have a goddamn book on Pinoy Rock (Punks, Poets, and Poseurs), a book that I've read a couple times. And though the book focuses mostly on the Pinoy scene from the mid-Eighties to the Nineties, Aguilar is mentioned. Duh.
As I've written before, all of this is a nice history lesson, but that is all it is if the music doesn't deliver. Aguilar does. While "Anak" is a nice song, it is the rest of the album which I dig the most. Aguilar's best stuff is quiet, moody, and mildly psychedelic. It has the feel of Danny Kirwan-era Fleewood Mac mixed with a bit of Leonard Cohen (music not vocals). When Aguilar "rocks," it is a laid back sound, something that is a bit like a bluesy Sir Douglas Quintet. It's really nice stuff.
El Ritmo Inconfundible de Columbia
De Nuevo Los Hispanos De Columbia El Ritmo Inconfundible de Columbia LP (Discos Fuentes, 19??)
I love the Discos Fuentes label - it is one of the labels that is on my buy-blind list. If the record is cheap, the cover remotely promising, and it is a Fuentes, the disk goes into a pile and the pile to the front counter and then off to my place. Not all of these Fuentes blind buys are winners. In fact, a good many of them suck. But when they do hit, I am very happy. This album by De Nuevo Los Hispanos De Columbia is one Fuentes that has made me a happy man. The band skips through cumbias, merengues, plenas, paseos, and a whole lot of paseaitos. There is even a jala jala here and a calypso. Translated for you folks who don't know your Latin rhythms: Los Hispanos play a really nice mix of continental Latin and Caribbean styles. They also have an engaging singer in a fellow named Rodolfo. I have no idea when this was recorded but given the sound and the group's look, I'd say late 60s/early 70s.
Voli Me, Voli
Lepa Brena Voli Me, Voli LP (RTB, 1986)
Listen, I might know a lot about music, but damn if I can tell one Yugoslavian pop mega-star from another. Ignorant though I may be, when someone hands me an album with a cover shot of a pretty woman dressed in white, cuddling a dove and says "Fifty cents and it's yours," I shell out cash just to find out what it is and why the dame is snuggling a bird. Of course, the payoff is always the music (though you gotta admit that this cover pose is very fetching) and the needle drop on this really raised an uni-brow. Over the speakers comes swirling Balkan dance music with a nice pop feel, a cool sounding drum machine, and a little Arabesque and I'm thinking of finding myself a dove or at least a pigeon and a can of white spray paint. So who is this mystery fowl fancier? Type type type and click, I find she is Lepa Brena and since the early 1980s she's sold over 40 million albums. Oh. 40 million? That is quite a lot. Perhaps I should have known of her. Or perhaps not. There are thousands of artists like Ms Brena, huge in their own country and zilch here in America. Forget the internet as some kind of portal to the world. That is one of the biggest lines of horseshit going today. Unless you've got Serbs in your family, who maintain some kind of cultural attachment to the motherland or you have a fetish for chicks with chicks, Lepa Brena isn't going to be in your ear any quicker today than it was pre-internet. Pre-internet you'd be reading this screed in some magazine. Magazines? Remember them? Made of paper, words inside, came out every month or two - really neat things, these magazines. And you don't have to worry about someone kicking the plug out of the wall and all the words disappearing. So, assuming that this is your intro to Lepa Brena, had you not found this here at Crud Crud the blog, you would have read about it in Crud Crud the zine, all one thousand of you. Sooooooo....Lepa not only sold a ton of records, she made a bunch, many with this band Slatki Greh, a couple of them the best selling Yugoslavian pop albums of all time. Voli Me, Voli is the only one I've heard. Half of it is a snooze, a quarter of it is pretty good, and a quarter of it is really good, like the songs below. I have no doubt that right now some Balkan is laughing their ass off, thinking "What a fucking loser to rave about this junk." All I gotta say is LISTEN MISTER, I DON'T MAKE FUN OF YOU WHEN YOU ARE SPOUTING OFF ABOUT WHAT A GENIUS MOVE CHER'S HALF BREED WAS SO SHUT YOUR DAMN TRAP. Believe me, in this case I know that ignorance is bliss. Enjoy.
Hey there! Sorry about lack of updates. It is not for lack of great records, but of time! Hopefully, I'll get some stuff up this weekend. Meanwhile, take a listen to the radio"
The Rebel Kind Radio show playlist 12/6/11
Wounded Lion Roman Values [In the Red]
Arnold I Don't Wanna Go Back To School [First American]
Dirk Debonaire I'm Weak [Obvious Moose]
The Kaleidoscope You Don't Love Me [Epic]
Crabby Appleton Go Back [Elektra]
Ron Eliran High in the Desert [Polydor]
Xuxa Danca Da Xuxa [Somlivre]
Bee Gees Jim Braff [Atco]
Harangue Wisteria [Wilder Pryor]
Lewis Furey Poetic Young Man [Aquarius]
Kim Fowley I Hate You [Capitol]
Home & Garden Big Winter [After Hours]
Malcolm Mooney & the Tenth Planet Soul Desert [Milva Son]
A.R. & Machines Station 4 [Polydor]
Mariane Faithful Broken English [Island]
KDVS Record Swap 10/30
Bewitched, Bothered And Bewildered
Ansell Wyatt & the Cook Recording Orchestra Bewitched, Bothered And Bewildered 45 (Cook, 1962)
A very nice song here! Early Calypso from Trinidad on one of the best labels of the time. I've written about Cook before, it was sort of a Caribbean obsessed Folkways (and now owned by the Smithsonian), which released some fantastic records in the 1960s. One of those records is this one by Ansell Wyatt, one of the kings of Calypso guitar. Wyatt had a long career, however much of it was playing tourist hotels, bars, and such - which was pretty much the fate of most Calypso musicians. I'd give you the flipside of this single but it is trashed.
Rusty Geis Harlem Nocturne b/w Danny Boy 45 (Down Home)
If you are a long time follower of this blog, the name Rusty Geis might ring a bell. Back in August 2006, I wrote a short review of this single in a rundown of 45s I'd picked up. At the time I was a bit critical about Geis's playing style - I thought that while he blew his horn hard, he didn't go far enough or he went two far, that he was stuck in a stylistic middle ground. Five years later I think that I was full of shit. His style is fine. It give the songs a bite. I also wrote that "Danny Boy" was the unexpected star in this single and I still think so. Great version. Funny thing is that I almost passed on this because there was a version of "Danny Boy" on it. Because it was a buck, I figured any version of "Harlem Nocturne" is worth picking up for one greenback. Good call.
There Ain't No Age For Rock And Roll
The Veterans There Ain't No Age For Rock And Roll 45 (Best Seller, 1979)
Crap alert! Crap alert! The Veterans protest for rock & roll acceptance of seniors is not only one of the shittiest songs I've heard but it pretty much makes the case against the aged having anything to do with the music. Seriously, if I was in Forever Young I'd track these two Belgians down and gum them to death. Read somewhere that this not only made the charts in Europe but hit #6 in Australia. Good on ya, my Aussie friends. Rumor has it that Gus Roan and Marc Malyster the oldsters behind this thing had an early single commenting on the jogging craze, but I've yet to track it down.
The Revels Downtown b/w Dollar Sign 45 (Kapp, 196?)
Not to be confused with the West Coast hot rod/surf band of the same name, these Revels were a Black R&B group who made some fantastic singles in the early 60. This is one of the best. Pet Clark might have made the Bridge & Tunnel Crowd's theme for downtown, but the Revels speak for everyone else. A great song with a slight noir feeling to it. The flip "Dollar Sign" is just as good as the A side and one of my favorite songs about money. Enjoy.
Ronnie Self Ain't I'm A Dog [Columbia]
Lynette West If She Doesn't Want You [Josie]
Renfro & Jackson Elephant Game [GSP]
Phil Gordon Good Mornin Judge [Riviera]
Group Therapy Bad News [Canterbury]
Hoyt Axton w/ the Chamber Brothers Greenback Dollar [Horizon]
The Paradons I Want Love [Milestone]
Bobby Straker Leave Marriage Alone [Hunt]
Orchestre African Fiesta Linga Mbala Moko [Vita]
Ralph Sharon The Night Prowler [Duchess]
The Stratfords Never Leave Me [O'Dell]
The Spiders How Could I Fall In Love [Philips]
Tin Tin Toast & Marmalade for Tea [Atco]
John Roberts I'll Forget You [Duke]
Victory Five of Sacramento John [Gospel Corner]
Eddie Curtis The Louisville Lip [Raftis]
Lee Austin Real Woman [People]
I literally grabbed a stack of records and head out the door. Many of these songs I heard for the first time playing it on this show. Flying blind and it turned out well, one of my favorites! Listen http://kdvs.org/show-info/1901
Also available for parties, anniversaries, bris's, and corporate mixers
Playlist for show 9.13.11 (aka Listen to me butcher language other than English)
some trippy rock stuff at the end of Mick Mucus's show
talk about Mick's flea bath & uric acid
Villagers of Krustiltsi Planino Pirin [Nonesuch Explorer]
Moondog Themes & Variations/Rim Shot [Honest Jon's]
Hej Nackskott Liten och kissnodig [Lystring]
Limonada Pies Descolzos [Lion]
Les Baxter Jungle River Boat [Capitol]
Lol Coxhill Two Sleepy People [Habada]
William Matta Waynik Ya Leila [Voice of Beirut]
Joe Farrell Quartet Collage for Polly [CTI]
Koscak Yamada Rokkyuh [Toshiba]
Deftene Belete Mengesh Bagana [Lyrichord]
John Fahey The Waltz that Carried Us Away... [Takoma]
Joe Chambers Jihad [Muse]
C Section 8 Gated Horns [Turned Word]
Kip Setchko Breath (the endless poem) [Lazy River]
Somewhere Along the Line
Carey Foster Somewhere Along the Line LP (1987)
I am sure everyone reading this knows the story of the evolution of Rhythm & Blues from Black gospel music and the secularization of church music by Ray Charles and others. Prior to this break, along with jazz, gospel was the innovating force in American music. However as R&B developed and became Soul (and then Funk), gospel lost its place as the leader. For a while it stuck to its sound and musically became pretty stagnant. While people like Andre Crouch brought gospel much commercial success and a wider audience, musically there's been no one on par with James Brown, Sly Stone, George Clinton, Prince, Quincy Jones, etc. But what there has been are moments, reactions to whatever sound was reverberating in Soul. In the Seventies, gospel funk takes hold. Vernard Johnson pioneered gospel sax, with sounds that, at times, echoed Albert Ayler. Later, gospel rap took hold. Between gospel funk and gospel rap, there was another reaction happening. That was gospel's response to modern soul, i.e. the music of Prince, Cameo, Rick James, Lakeside, Gap Band, Zapp, etc. For the random music fan, this is not a genre I recommend jumping into. Like modern soul, the gospel reaction has a much higher miss ratio to the hits. Though there are great songs in the genre, I have yet to find an album as back-to-back great as Zapp II or Price 1999. Nothing close to Cameo's Knights of the Sound Table or Rick James Street Songs. Could be lurking out there but I haven't come upon it. I have found the mod gospel equivalent of Gap Band 8 and the Mary Jane Girls LP (unfortunately in quality not content!). But I have found a handful of really great songs. Take the title cut from Carey Foster's (only?) album Somewhere Along the Line. Backed by keyboard and drum machine, hanging on a single riff, Foster's "Somewhere..." sounds like it came from the studio of Sly Stone (think Little Sister). And check out the backing vocal aping Sly's guitar before engaging in some killer singing. Foster goes between sing talking and gospel wailing with perfection. Listen to this a couple times in a row and you'll be bouncing up and down, trying to sing along with the background singers. Great song. Unfortunately, nothing else like it on the album.
Playlist for 08.30.11
Skeleton Crew The Border [Rift]
If - Then - Else Hey Big Oil [Contagion]
Pink Floyd Main Theme [Harvest]
Wolfgang Reichmann & Streetmark Eileen [Sky]
Manfred Mann Chapter Three Travelling Lady [Polydor]
Graham Matters You're Driving Me Insane [Inter Planetary Pictures]
Billy Syndrome Brooklyn [Slutfish]
The Red Crayola March No. 14 [Bomb]
Le Ton Mite The Year of the Cherry Blossom [Galerie Pache]
Chiemi Eri Kuroda-Bushi [King]
Jose de Molina La Rueda de Historia [JS]
Harvey Mandel Uno Ino [Janus]
The Animals When I Was Young [MGM]
Love My Flash On You [Elektra]