Saturday, August 28, 2010

Wild Weekend Vol. 32

Lo and behold, the iPod shuffle has chosen once more. In this again rather diverse edition of Wild Weekend we pay visits to Alabama, Düsseldorf and Whiskey Boot Hill, and see how three charming English ladies get their groceries. And that´s not all, folks.

"Do a runner! Do a runner!" Or: my fave all-girl combo the Slits goes shopping the proletarian way, with a great postpunk reggae riddim on the side. "Babylon won´t lose much, and we´ll have dinner tonight". Meanwhile back in ´68, former Byrd Gene Clark teams up with banjoist supreme Doug Dillard. A good move that, as their fantastic expedition into the realm of countryrock, with distinctive bluegrass overtones, still sounds remarkably fresh today. Cue The Radio Song, which you´ll never ever hear on the radio.

The Slits - Shoplifting MP3
Dillard & Clark - The Radio Song MP3

"No pass out sign on the door set me thinking, are waitresses paying the price of their winking?" That´s Neil of course, with an acoustic take on his Whiskey Boot Hill, recorded live at the Riverboat in Toronto back in ´69. Simply gorgeous. Which can also be said of Cannonball Adderley, who calls on the one and only John Coltrane to deliver a definitive take on the old standard Stars Fell On Alabama. From Cannonball & Coltrane (´59), an album all jazz lovers should own.

Neil Young - Whiskey Boot Hill (live ´69) MP3
Cannonball Adderley - Stars Fell On Alabama MP3

The voice of Killdozer head honcho Michael Gerard is really something to behold. Rough isn´t the word for it. Here he tells an interesting trucker´s tale. An Albini production, but you probably guessed that already. And we´ve reached the end of this Wild Weekend with a hypnotic krautrock ode to the apparently fair city of Düsseldorf by Thomas ´Neu!´ Dinger und freunde. Sometimes a whisper is all you need. Vorsicht!

Killdozer - The Buzzard MP3
La Düsseldorf - Düsseldorf MP3

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Free Beer

Thirsty weather indeed folks. So why not crack a beer or two... Bottle or can, don´t matter none. Try a Moritz, the great beer of Barcelona. For The Sake Of The Song will provide a fitting six pack soundtrack. "We went down, lit up the shack, grabbed me a beer out of the sack..." And don´t forget to try and sing along to the Splodge track after a couple of pints.

Lambchop - The Man Who Loved Beer MP3
Big Bill Lister - There´s A Tear In My Beer MP3
Andy Reynolds - Beer Bottle Mama MP3
Beck - Beercan MP3
Rocky Bill Ford & His Sunset Wranglers - Beer Drinking Blues MP3
Splodgenessabounds - Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps Please MP3

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Guilt Trip

"Three years she´s been in a coma,
In a hospital in Paul´s Valley, Oklahoma..."

A spooky ballad on the theme of guilt by Johnny Dowd, former mover turned rock & roller at the ripe age of fifty. Johnny´s the real deal alright. Dostoyevsky with a guitar. Crime and punishment. Dark, dark stuff.

"No woman´s flesh but hers will I touch,
No woman´s flesh but hers...
I go to visit her three times a week,
And when I leave I kiss her on the cheek..."

Johnny Dowd - No Woman´s Flesh But Hers MP3

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Wild Weekend Vol. 31

Right at its tail end, here´s another edition of Wild Weekend, which means the iPod shuffle once again came up with a flaming six pack of goodies. This week it´s all about getting your fortune told, running the voodoo down while blood runs down King Street, meeting the Venus de Milo, and chasing a vampire. All for a price of course. All for a price.

We´ll get this show on the road with a track from one of my all-time fave albums: the amazing Marquee Moon. An organic musical entity if ever there was one, Television defined artrock for years to come. And no one ever came close. "Didja feel low? Not at all... Huh?" I´ve never been too fond of jazz fusion to be honest, as it often tends to disappear up its own backside, mindboggling virtuosity notwithstanding. But I have to make an exception for that revolutionary 1970 Miles masterpiece called Bitches Brew. Jazzy on the outside, funky on the inside, now that´s how you run the voodoo down.

Television - Venus MP3
Miles Davis - Miles Runs The Voodoo Down MP3

Recently saw Werner Herzog´s brilliant movie Nosferatu on the telly again, and it struck me just how perfect the soundtrack by krautrockers Popol Vuh accompanied the on-screen action. Or is the fact that their music works just as good on its own, as the minimalist Höre, Der Du Wagst shows, an even bigger feat? Anyway, it´s time for a Vuh revival, folks. New Orleans soul singer Benny Spellman is best known for his cool hit single Lipstick Traces, but the uptempo Fortune Teller should have been an even bigger smash. No wonder the Stones covered it early in their career. Listen up and get your fortune told for free.

Popol Vuh - Höre, Der Du Wagst MP3
Benny Spellman - Fortune Teller MP3

Vivian Jackson a.k.a. Yabby You, who sadly passed away last January, was a Christian dread who recorded an amazing oeuvre both as a singer and as a producer. Never really famous during his heyday, his talent was finally recognized in the nineties thanks to the tireless work of reggae reissue label Blood & Fire. This heavy heavy track comes from the much-recommended Deliver Me From My Enemies (´77). And for the last song in this weekend´s installment, we turn to one of the best postpunk singles ever: We Are All Prostitutes by Bristol´s finest avant-funk noisemakers The Pop Group. "Everyone has their price..." Right? You bet.

Yabby You - Blood A Go Run Down King Street MP3
The Pop Group - We Are All Prostitutes MP3

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sugar Pie

You just can´t fail when a soul singer is called Sugar Pie DeSanto, right? Right. Sugar Pie, whose given name was the equally amazing Umpeylia Marsema Balinton, was given her sweet stage moniker by bandleader Johnny ´Handjive´ Otis. She enjoyed her biggest smash in 1960 with I Want To Know on Chess by way of the small Velltone label, but I personally prefer the grittier I Don´t Wanna Fuss from ´64. "Now I know that you´ve been playing with some other girl in town, but I´m willing to forgive and forget if you just settle down..."

Sugar Pie DeSanto - I Want To Know MP3
Sugar Pie DeSanto - I Don´t Wanna Fuss MP3

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Patsy Won´t You Give Me A Sign

"Patsy Cline is the only one who could understand just how I´m feeling tonight..." Or: how the Guthries invoke the ghost of a legendary country queen. They need Patsy´s help ´to make her mine´, you see... Which is swiftly followed by a wonderful ditty from the lady in question.

The Guthries - Patsy Cline MP3
Patsy Cline - She´s Got You MP3

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Wild Weekend Vol. 30

Edition number 30 of Wild Weekend is upon us, so let´s consult the iPod shuffle like the ancient Greeks once did with the oracle of Delphi. What do the musical gods have in store for us this time around? Some ska, some flamenco, some pure pop, some folk, some grunge, and some Lou, who´s a genre in his own right. Not bad, gods. Not bad. I´ll give you that.

Let´s get going with a creepy and beautiful folksong from the pen of Jackson C. Frank, he of Blues Run The Game fame. I know it´s only August, but one can´t get in the Halloween mood soon enough, right? Frank´s life story is quite a tragic one btw: you can read all about it here. Keep them hankies ready. "The fathers are lined up by the coffins by the Statue of Bigotry... you better hold on, something's happening here..." That´s uncle Lou of course, with a slightly hiphop-influenced track from his still impressive New York. An album like a Paul Auster novel, and incidentally his last masterpiece as well, under the oh-so-true motto ´you can´t beat two guitars, bass and drums´.

Jackson C. Frank - Halloween Is Black As Night MP3
Lou Reed - Hold On MP3

"Earlier than expected, a little premature madonna, earlier than expected..." Pop bliss from the Posies, from what I consider to be their best album, Frosting On The Beater (´93). Buy forthwith if you´ve missed this one for some reason; you´ll find the ´tempest of tomorrow´ much easier to face. Been awhile since we heard some flamenco around here, and that´s a shame. Luckily, my amigo and hardcore aficionado Koen from Holanda just sent me a new batch of hot Spanish gypsy sounds. So without further ado, here´s the wonderfully named Tio Gregorio El Borrico, also known as El Borrico De Jerez. And in case you need a translation: he urges you not to speak ill of anyone.

The Posies - Earlier Than Expected MP3
Tio Gregorio El Borrico - No Hables Mal De Nadie MP3

Remember Mule? Grungy Zeppelin meets Black Flag rifferama, with just enough of that weirdness to keep things interesting. Could that be the one and only Steve Albini firmly entrenched behind the mixing desk? If that sounds heavy, check out Hayride and bang head. And Wild Weekend #30 comes to an end already with a hilarious and slightly risqué ska excursion from the early years of that Jamaican wizard supreme known as Lee Perry. The lady wants roast duck, and Scratch just spent his last buck... What to do now?

Mule - Hayride MP3
Lee ´Scratch´ Perry - Roast Duck MP3

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Sonny´s Burning

"When the grim reaper knocks on your door,
he don´t inquire if you´re rich or poor,
and it makes no difference if your loved or despised,
six feet of earth makes us all the same size..."

If you like your country music honky tonk style, the work of obscure singer Sonny Burns just might be right up your alley. A fine collection of his mid-fifties songs called Satan´s A Waitin´ has just been released on the Righteous label, and it´s filled to the brim with dark, sad and sorrowful tales that´ll make you cry in your beer in no time. Or, in case of the upbeat title track, laugh out loud at the way he puts his woman down. "Satan´s a waitin´ just to give his job to you..." And while Burns may not have the sublime vocal abilities of his former labelmate George Jones (with whom he duets on 2 tracks here), a fine barroom piano and razor sharp fiddling more than make up for that. So what are you waitin´ for?

"You may cheat your neighbour, and fool your wife,
but the foolin´ is over when you run out of life,
when in that black hearse you take your last ride,
six feet of earth makes us all the same size..."

Sonny Burns - Six Feet Of Earth MP3
Sonny Burns - Satan´s A Waiting´ MP3
Sonny Burns - I Ain´t Long For This World MP3

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Gunk Punk

As promised, here´s some more on We Never Learn, New Bomb Turks singer Eric Davidson´s recent book on the punky garage bands that ruled the indie roost from ´88 to ´01. A very loose underground scene, with bands sharing stages and labels who were musically as far apart from each other as the Dwarves from Man Or Astroman or Dead Moon from Rocket From The Crypt. And also a scene which incidentally paved the way for the unlikely success of the White Stripes.

Buy it if you missed this drunk, loud, and funny piece of musical history, which Davidson calls gunk punk for want of anything better. Buy it if you lived through it, too, like I did, as it´s a fine trip down memory lane. While reading, it slowly dawned on me that I saw roughly 75 % of the bands mentioned live in concert back in the days. I was even present at the semi-legendary Mummies/Supercharger gig at the Vera Club that gets a write-up in these pages. Got the tour flexi to prove it.

Al the scenemakers that mattered are there, be they bands (Devil Dogs, Gories, Oblivians, Blues Explosion and many many more) or label bosses (Crypt honcho Tim Warren, Sympathy´s Long Gone John). Writing and researching, Davidson used the same enthusiastic approach that made him such a fine frontman with the Turks, and that´s probably the main reason it all goes down a treat. As a special bonus, you even get a code you can use to download an exclusive twenty track sampler that illustrates exactly what was so good about this gunk punk thingy. Here are four dynamite blasts to get you in the mood.

Rip Offs - She Said Yeah MP3
Supercharger - Buzz Off MP3
Oblivians - Memphis Creep MP3
Thee Headcoats - Girl From ´62 MP3