Saturday, February 26, 2011

Wild Weekend Vol. 53

Make way for the 53rd edition of Wild Weekend, bringing you raï from Algeria, swamp blues from Louisiana, Americana from London, and drama from Detroit rock city. Revolt and have a wild one.

Been awhile since we played some raï here, the rebel music of Algeria. Cheb Khaled is one of the finest exponents of the genre, and in case you're not familiar with his stuff, the '88 album Kutché would make an excellent starting point. To prove my point, here's the hypnotic title track. Goes without saying this beauty is dedicated to all the brave North Africans and Arabs who have been fighting for their rights recently. Some people are lovers instead of fighters though. Take Lazy Lester. He was built for speed, that man from the Louisiana swamps. Played a mean blues harmonica, too.

Cheb Khaled - Kutché MP3
Lazy Lester - I'm A Lover, Not A Fighter MP3

Introducing you to King Jim now, a new face on the London Americana scene. Intense folky stuff that shows the man is well schooled in the classics, from a certain Robert Zimmerman all the way to Simon Joyner and friends. Some freaky injections would be welcome, but I bet you King Jim is here to stay. Check out his bandcamp page if you don't believe me. Which is followed by some Detroit drama from ex-MC5 axeman Wayne Kramer. After the demise of said punk godfathers, brother Wayne spent quite a bit of time on skid row and in jail, but made a well-deserved comeback on Bad Religion's Epitaph label in '95. Junkie Romance autobiographical? You gotta be kidding me.

King Jim - Here's To The Rest Of The World MP3
Wayne Kramer - Junkie Romance MP3

In the previous edition of Wild Weekend we featured Nolan Strong & The Diablos, while mentioning a recently released tribute to these doo wop legends. Here's a rocking taster from Daddy Rockin' Strong, courtesy of former Gories and Demolition Doll Rods foreman Dan Kroha. Do you remember what you did last night? And we'll go out in fighting style with reggae poet Linton Kwesi Johnson, in a raw Dennis Bovell production. Fite Them Back hails from '78 and was directed at the National Front, a fascist party making headlines in Inglan at the time. Sadly, Johnson's anthem remains just as relevant today. He knows just what to do though: "Gonna smash their brains in, cause they ain't got nothing in 'em..."

Danny Kroha & The Del Toros - Do You Remember What You Did MP3
Linton Kwesi Johnson - Fite Dem Back MP3

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Duane's Ready

It's 1983, and kiwis Hamish and David Kilgour disband the Clean, one of the many cool underground bands that all of a sudden put the tiny town of Dunedin on the musical map. Soon after, they form the Great Unwashed, and surprisingly, one of their standout songs pays homage to the king of twang: Duane Eddy.

The Great Unwashed - Duane Eddy MP3

Swiftly followed by the object of the Kilgour brothers' admiration himself, with a typical razorsharp instrumental.

Duane Eddy - Ramrod MP3

Monday, February 21, 2011

From Eddie With Love

Gotta put on your go-go boots for this one. The still mighty Drive-By Truckers expertly cover nearly forgotten white soul singer and guitarist Eddie Hinton's Everybody Needs Love on their brand new album, and I bet you're just dying to know what the original sounds like. "There are moon beams we can dream on, when our working day is done; there are stars we can wish upon, at the setting of the sun; there are sunsets we can cry over, put our troubles on the run..."

Eddie Hinton - Everybody Needs Love MP3
Drive-By Truckers - Everybody Needs Love MP3

The Truckers have been healthily obsessed with Hinton right from the start. On their '98 debut Gangstabilly, final song Sandwiches For The Road was based on his life. "Nothing can hurt you but yourself..."

Drive-By Truckers - Sandwiches For The Road MP3

Eddie wasn't just anybody. He played in the legendary Muscle Shoals studio band from '67 to '71, on hits from Elvis to Otis and from Aretha to the Box Tops. Wrote Breakfast In Bed, too. Ended up on skid row later on, but fought his way back and released plenty more soulful music before his untimely death by heart attack in 1995. Here's a brief showcase.

Eddie Hinton - Get Off In It MP3
Eddie Hinton - I Can't Be Me MP3
Eddie Hinton - I Love Someone MP3
Eddie Hinton - Build Your Own Fire MP3

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Wild Weekend Vol. 52

It's just another Wild Weekend, and - some wishful thinking here - spring is on the way. As usual, edition #52 showcases six soulful songs I happen to dig a lot. Johnny 'Guitar' Watson is in the house, Nolan Strong's present, too, and there's even room for Black Moth Super Rainbow. Wild as wild can be.

Gonna start this one way free: with Albert Ayler and a sharp composition from his 1964 masterpiece Spiritual Unity. About the recording sessions for that album, released on the cocky ESP label, Ayler said "we weren't playing, we were listening to each other". Now that's cool, that's jazz. Also free, with this month´s edition of Uncut magazine: a sweaty collection of New Orleans rhythm & blues. Featuring obvious choices as Dr. John and Professor Longhair of course, but also presenting lesser known names like one L'il Millet, a man on the prowl for rich women exclusively. Let the good times roll, folks. Go, Creoles, go.

Albert Ayler Trio - Spirits MP3
L'il Millet & His Creoles - Rich Woman MP3

You've heard about Daddy Rockin' Strong, a recent tribute album to doo wop legends Nolan Strong & The Diablos? Way to go. With contributions from the Dirtbombs and Wreckless Eric amongst others, it's a strong set indeed, but nothing beats the Detroit tenor himself. If you're not familiar with his spooky pièce de résistance from '54 that is The Wind you really haven't lived. "I know she has gone... but my love lingers on..." On one of my frequent music blog prowls I happened upon a nouveau psychedelica formation from Pittsburg called Black Moth Super Rainbow. Their moniker caught my eye I guess. Since then, I just can't get the slightly Butthole Surfers-like Iron Lemonade out of my head. All together now: "Iron lemonade, wash my friends away, neon lemonade, eat my face away..." Pour yourselves a cup.

Nolan Strong & The Diablos - The Wind MP3
Black Moth Super Rainbow - Iron Lemonade MP3

Everybody knows Johnny 'Guitar' Watson from his worldwide seventies funk smash A Real Mother For Ya, but the gangster of love was already delivering the goods way back in the fifties. The infectuous She Moves Me is only one out of many highlights on a much recommended early years collection appropriately named Hot Like TNT. "Feels like I've been kicked by a mule every time she calls my name..." And we'll call it a day with the short lived Sundays, whose 1990 debut Reading, Writing And Arithmetic remains a dreampop classic. You'll soon find that its sad stand-out track, the shuffling Here's Where The Story Ends, is another one of those unsuspected earworms. Harriet Wheeler, where are you now? Hope your having a wild one.

Johnny 'Guitar' Watson - She Moves Me MP3
The Sundays - Here's Where The Story Ends MP3

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Toward The Sun

"He had a steady job and a pretty face and everything seemed to fit,
One day he could just feel the waste - he put it all down and split..."

Real Live, Bob Dylan's 1984 European tour collection, is an album more or less as unimaginative as its title. It contains one true gem though: an inspired Tangled Up In Blue with rewritten lyrics Dylan obviously was very happy with, although he would fall back on the original ones soon after. It's hard to say if the new words make the song any better, or even easier to understand, but it sure is fun to spot the differences. And then again, Tangled never was a logical, linear story to begin with. Whatever the case, the Wembley audience knows what's happening here. They even know what it is: pure Dylan magic.

"Some are ministers of illusion, some are masters of the trade,
All under strong delusion, all of their beds unmade,
Me I'm heading toward the sun, trying to stay out of the joint,
We always did love the very same one, we just saw her from a different point of view..."

Bob Dylan - Tangled Up In Blue (live ´84) MP3

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Shoot Some Pigs

Let's go moon some cars, my friends. Steal some beer, set something on fire, or shoot some pigs... Why not, indeed? Seems ages ago somehow, but Beck's ultra-lofi pre-Loser stuff still sounds way cool today. For proof, check out two prime examples, one whimsical and one more serious, respectively from The Banjo Story ('88) and Golden Feelings ('93). "Someone's cryin', someone's changin´, someone's stayin' just the same..." I'm fairly sure that mr. Hansen's got at least one more masterpiece in him, but he sure takes his time.

Beck - Let's Go Moon Some Cars MP3
Beck - Gettin' Home MP3

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Wild Weekend Vol. 51

Just another Wild Weekend, and the beat goes on. Here's edition #51, bringing you rock from the motor city, lofi psychedelica from Brooklyn and roots reggae from the island. And we dig up the unjustly forgotten Jerry Riopelle. Get wild or get even.

Saint Julian Cope's been busy again, this time compiling an inspiring 38 song list - with fitting over the top commentary of course - of Electrifying Edisonian Rock ’n’ Roll from sixties and seventies Detroit. Which doesn't omit certified greats like the Stooges and the MC5, but also features lesser known revelations as The Up, Terry Knight & The Pack, and the Rationals. I guess you'll all agree the latter's Guitar Army is a stone cold classic. And pssst... you can dl the complete package over at IPunkSound. Meanwhile, we're moving to warmer climes with the angelic voices of reggae vocal duo the Congos, in a cool Lee Perry sculpted soundscape. Their Heart Of The Congos just may be my all-time fave roots album, but the sharp selection below hails from Arkology, one out of many great Perry collections.

The Rationals - Guitar Army MP3
The Congos - Don't Blame On I MP3

Acid folker Chris Hickey has just reissued his first two solo albums from the late eighties. Get busy here if you dig Dark Cold Day, which sets to music part of a poem by W.H. Auden called In Memory of W.B. Yeats. "The mercury sank in the mouth of the dying day, the day of his death was a dark cold day..." Chew on that, pop kids. On a brighter note, the together again Feelies will be releasing a new album soon and judging by taster Should Be Gone, not much has changed. Which is a good thing for once. I'm not a big fan of reunions in general, but I gladly make an exception for New Joysey's finest beatmakers. Btw: the guitar work near the end instantly reminded me of an early Television song, but I can't put my finger on it yet. Anyone?

Chris Hickey - Dark Cold Day MP3
The Feelies - Should Be Gone MP3

Remember Jerry Riopelle? Probably not. Dude was always busy as a producer and songwriter for others, which may have overshadowed his career as a solo artist. Riopelle was one of those typical critic's darlings, who heaped tons of praise on rootsy rock albums like Saving Grace (´74) and Dangerous Stranger (´79). If you dig the faintly Feat-like Blues On My Table, try picking these up for next to nothing on eBay or in the bargain bin of your local record store. And we've reached yet another Wild Weekend finish line with one more album of last year I managed to miss when it came out. Hey, nobody's perfect. Would have been a shame to do without the psychedelic lofi of Brooklyn-based Woods and their cd At Echo Lake though. To illustrate my point, here's the Powderfinger-inspired opener Blood Dries Darker. Have a wild one, see ya next week.

Jerry Riopelle - Blues On My Table MP3
Woods - Blood Dries Darker MP3

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Colour Me Yellow

How about some more colour in your lives? You know you need some. So come in, Aaron... "Oh yellow moon can you tell me, if the girl's with another man?" Sets the tone for yet another diverse hand picked six pack for your listening pleasure, coloured yellow this time. Featuring sweet New Orleans soul by the Neville Brothers, sharp lofi jugband sounds by The Scene Is Now, and a horny delta blues by Bertha Lee with 'papa' Charley Patton on guitar. Plus epic prog rock by Peter Hammill's Van Der Graaf, an intense folk song by the late great Jackson C. Frank and last but not least some hypnotic Afrobeat by Fela and crew. Dig it? Buy some of the albums these songs come from why don´t you.

The Neville Brothers - Yellow Moon MP3
The Scene Is Now - Yellow Sarong MP3
Bertha Lee - Yellow Bee MP3
Van Der Graaf - Cat´s Eye/Yellow Fever (Running) MP3
Jackson C. Frank - Yellow Walls MP3
Fela Kuti - Yellow Fever MP3

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Cool Hunter

"I´m a cool hunter making you my way, like a brand name you´ll replay..." Just found out that William Gibson´s got a new novel out. Ordered it right away, as I´ve been digging his revolutionary cyberpunk stuff ever since picking up ´that big sign down the road where it all started´: Neuromancer. Wonder if Kim and Thurston have read Zero History yet...

Sonic Youth - Pattern Recognition MP3
Sonic Youth - The Sprawl MP3

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Wild Weekend Vol. 50

Welcome to Wild Weekend #50, the Golden Jubilee edition, yessir. Me oh my, how the time does fly and all that. Yassassin! This week we´ve got a fine oldie from Gillian Welch for you, a cool countryrock re-release, a postpunk krautrocker, and that´s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg of course.

We´ll start off this milestone edition with the Thin White Duke, if only because Yassassin means ´long live´ in Turkish. A groovy immigrant song from Lodger, Bowie´s last really great album and part three of his Berlin trilogy, it always makes me happy somehow. "Don't want to leave, or drift away..." Gillian Welch hasn´t released any new music since 2003, apparently because of a writer´s block. Shame, as the rootsy singer´s talents are many. Just try on the touching Elvis Presley Blues for size, from the fine Time (The Revelator) album with David Rawlings as always on guitar, and join me in hoping that her inspiration will return soon.

David Bowie - Yassassin MP3
Gillian Welch - Elvis Presley Blues MP3

I managed to miss last years re-release of Grandma´s Roadhouse by Riley somehow, but all that has been corrected now, and I´m glad. Because we´re talking about a cool, very obscure countryrock album from 1970 here, which originally came out on vinyl in a vanity pressing of only 500 copies. And yes, that´s the mighty Gary Stewart, no stranger to these pages, guesting on vocals on the faintly Band-like Drinkin´ Them Squeezins. Wonder if he ever performed a song which didn´t mention drinking... You may know Jah Wobble as the bassist for his mate Johnny Lydon´s Public Image Ltd., and Holger Czukay and Jaki Liebezeit as prominent members of pioneering krautrockers Can. But did you know they briefly played together, too? The result? Excellent, dubby postpunk with a groove.

Riley - Drinkin´ Them Squeezins MP3
Holger Czukay, Jah Wobble, Jaki Liebezeit - How Much Are They? MP3

Ever tried you hand at flamenco clapping? I did, and it´s far from easy believe me. Great fun though. Here´s an excellent opportunity to practice your skills: a classic performance by famous gypsy singer Antonia Gilabert Vargas (1925-1975), better known as La Perla De Cádiz. And last but certainly not least, we move to the windy city once again. If you would ask me for my fave electric blues song ever, I´d probably come up with Reap What You Sow by lefthander Otis Rush. Soulful perfection from Chicago´s West Side. Just check it out and have a wild one.

La Perla De Cádiz - Ganas Me Dan De Volverme MP3
Otis Rush - Reap What You Sow MP3

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Good Doctor

"Like the doctor who was born for a purpose, rudie can´t fail..." Strummer, Jones and Simonon definitely had taste, brew for breakfast notwithstanding.

Dr. Alimantado - Born For A Purpose/Reason For Living MP3
The Clash - Rudie Can´t Fail MP3

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Nobody´s Business

Two variations - out of many - on the same old classic, one blues and one country. Mississippi John Hurt´s version from 1928 is more menacing by far: "Some of these mornings gonna wake up crazy, gonna grab my gun and kill my baby..." Blind country picker and Skillet Licker Riley Puckett´s 1940 take mentions morphine and cocaine driving the singer crazy, but has its funny moments, too: "She runs a weenie stand, way out in no-man´s land, oh boy that´s where my money goes..."

Mississippi John Hurt - Nobody´s Dirty Business MP3
Riley Puckett - Nobody´s Business MP3