Friday, April 11, 2008

Papa´s got a brand new grab bag

It´s Friday yet again, pop kids... That´s right, time sure does fly. Here´s another grab bag for you. Which songs made an impression on me this week? Got a varied diet for you this time, old and new, black and white, you name it, I´ve got it... We´re gonna get funky with the one and only brother James and with the mighty Funkadelic, and explore some new stuff with The Box Social and Frontier Ruckus. Then there´s the return of my beloved Dead Moon as Pierced Arrows, and two versions of a junkie lament. Get down and enjoy.

Let´s start tonight with James Brown and his Funky Drummer. Some people say it´s the single most sampled recording ever. Recorded in ´69, released in ´70 on two sides of a single (no 12" singles back then yet), but it still sounds like it was recorded yesterday. Man, this is very very funky. It´s not just the drummer though, check out that organ too. And them horns... "You don't have to do no soloing, brother, just keep what you got... don't turn it loose, 'cause it's a mother." Amen, brother James.
James Brown - Funky Drummer MP3

Let´s stay in funk territory for a while, with the echoing weirdness of a classic Funkadelic track. That George Clinton sure was way ahead of his time. We´re talking P-funk here, with that P standing either for pure, for Clinton´s hometown of Plainfield, New Jersey or for Parliament/Funkadelic. The experts are still divided here, you see. Incredible guitar solo near the end. The whole album, also called Free Your Mind And Your Ass Will Follow (Westbound ´70), is an amazing aural trip you definitely need to take. "The kingdom of heaven is within". Amen to that too.
Funkadelic - Free Your Mind And Your Ass Will Follow MP3

Fred and Toody Cole must be the coolest couple in rock ´n´roll. The uncompromising sound and intense live shows of Dead Moon have always been dear to my heart. Check out the utterly essential Sub Pop compilation Echoes Of The Past to see what I´m on about. Last year´s news that the band had ceased to exist was a blow. Apparently they fell out with drummer Andrew Loomis after years and years of continuous touring and lots of great records. But fortunately they couldn´t stay quiet for long. With Kelly Halliburton as their new drummer they call themselves Pierced Arrows now, and guess what? They sound exactly like Dead Moon. There´s a new album out on their own Tombstone label called Straight To The Heart, and a European tour in the works (check their site for details). Don´t forget to add Barcelona to the dates please...
Pierced Arrows - Caroline MP3
Dead Moon - It´s O.K. MP3

The Box Social is a new guitar band from Madison, Wisconsin. Dirty guitar rock with poppy hooks rules on their varied debut album Get Going, out now on the Bright Ideas label. These college rockers have obviously listened to the Replacements and the Goo Goo Dolls a lot, but Big T reminds me of Built To Spill, which is a recommendation in my book. I ain´t no Nostradamus, but The Box Social could go far.
The Box Social - Big T MP3

Here´s another new band I expect we´ll hear a lot more from in the future. Frontier Ruckus hail from Lansing, Michigan and play what I´d call folk americana. Listen to The Blood, a lenghty song from their debut ep I Am The Water You Are Pumping, to see what I mean. Nice banjo, original arrangement, beautiful melancholia. A full length album on Quite Scientific records is in the pipeline. Can´t wait, guys.
Frontier Ruckus - The Blood MP3

Let´s take it to tonights finish with two versions of the junkie lament Carmelita. The original is from the late Warren Zevon of course. Find it on Preludes (New West records). Nice, but you really have to hear G.G. Allin´s surprising acoustic cover. To refresh your memory: Allin was an infamous scumrocker who promised he´d kill himself on stage someday, but overdosed before he could deliver. G.G. obviously doesn´t know all the lyrics, but still manages to sound more convincing than Zevon, probably because he could really relate to the subject matter. "And I´m all strung out on heroin on the outskirts of town..."
Warren Zevon - Carmelita MP3
G.G. Allin - Carmelita MP3

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