Thursday, April 28, 2011

Colour Me Silver

"We take our own chances and pay our own dues, the silver tongued devil and I..." Or: one more shiny shiny hand picked six pack for you to explore. This time around, Kris Kristofferson confronts his devils, krautrockers La Düsseldorf float over their fair city, while Lee Clayton simply saddles up and rides. Reggae crooner Ken Boothe talks sweet (and it's not what he´s smoking), the Calexico boys spy decay of blossoms and roots well hacked, while Gene Clark takes a whiff on me. Spot a cool tune? Go ahead and buy the album.

Kris Kristofferson - The Silver Tongued Devil And I MP3
La Düsseldorf - Silver Cloud MP3
Lee Clayton - Silver Stallion MP3
Ken Boothe - Silver Words MP3
Calexico - Two Silver Trees MP3
Gene Clark - From A Silver Phial MP3

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Merle And Strings

"It's hard to believe anyone could still believe that good string arrangements and good country music don't mix. But if you should chance upon someone still arguing this nonsense, all you need to offer in rebuttal is a single word: Carolyn." So say authors David Cantwell and Bill Friskics-Warren in their enthusiastic book Heartaches By The Number, which tries to chronicle country music's 500 greatest singles. And they're right of course, as the sometimes sad, sometimes soaring strings really add to the atmosphere of Merle's 1971 hit single. Take it away, Strangers.

Merle Haggard & The Strangers - Carolyn MP3

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Wild Weekend Vol. 57

It's here, it's now. Wild Weekend, edition 57. Featuring tropical afro funk, ancient blues, and obscure nineties indierock. Plus uncle Bob. How do you like it now? Have a wild one.

Alright ladies and gentlemen, let's kick off with a piping hot piece of afro funk courtesy of the wonderfully named Atomic Bomb Zigoto from (I think) Ghana. Their recipe is simple: find the groove as soon as possible, then stay in it. Effortlessly. Call? Answer! Cream on the cake: that screeching Ornette sax near the end. Find it on an extremely hot West African funk compilation called Booniay!! Let's go way back now, with an inspired piano blues from the delta by Louise Johnson - who wasn't related to Robert, Tommy, Lonnie or Blind Willie as far as I know. Recorded in 1930, and featuring a veritable all-star cast: you can hear Son House, Charley Patton & Willie Brown egging her on in the background. "Lord, I'm gon' get drunk and I'm gon' walk these streets all night, 'cause the man I'm lovin', I swear he sure don't treat me right..." You go girl.

Atomic Bomb Zigoto - Menyeckse MP3
Louise Johnson - All Night Long Blues MP3

More or less forgotten indie rock bands from the nineties, I could fill a whole blog with them if I felt so inclined. Rest assured, I don't, but it's fun to dig up the odd dusty gem every once in a while. This week we're grooving to Chi for instance, a poppy track by a long gone eastcoast combo called Caterpillar. And ok, here's one more now that I'm in the mood. How about a decidedly weirdly titled piece of sonic mayhem by San Diego scenesters Truman's Water? Their Of Thick Tum album ('92) has stood the test of time remarkably well. I vaguely recall a glorious mess of a live show, and wonder what happened to them.

Caterpillar - Chi MP3
Truman's Water - Wing Spread Wide I Thot "Ignition" MP3

Ever thought you'd hear what's more or less a companion song to Dylan's Mozambique? Thanks to Balthazar B And The Beatitudes you can now. Balthazar, a Brit residing in gay Paree, will release his debut ep Like Shrapnel this week; go here tout suite if you dig their charming tribute to the beautiful island of Madagascar. And we'll go out country style - of sorts - with the master himself, and his heartfelt tribute to old pal Johnny Cash. "Ever so often everybody's baby gets the urge to roam, everybody's baby but mine's coming home..."

Balthazar B And The Beatitudes - Madagascar MP3
Bob Dylan - Train Of Love MP3

Friday, April 22, 2011

On The Porch

"He don't move, he don't flinch, Clyde he don't move an inch..." If I had to pick one character from a song to trade places with, it would probably be J.J. Cale's Clyde. "Just sits on the porch without no shoes, picking his bass and singing the blues..." That's the life.

J.J. Cale - Clyde MP3

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Colour Me Pink

"Hot pink volcano in the heart of the tornado, is shaking the lemonade tree..." That´s right, here´s one more hand picked, hot pink six pack to turn you on. In this installment of Colour Me, the Kirkwood brothers see mirages left, right, and center, Grant Hart mourns a junkie friend, while Blonde Redhead space out under a blue blue sky. Plus: sweet Gene Vincent´s got it all, except the lady he wants of course, Lou Barlow´s Sebadoh pays a heavy tribute to Nick Drake, and Blitzen Trapper goes glam in pink padded slippers. Dig it? Buy some featured albums purleeze.

Meat Puppets - Hot Pink MP3
Hüsker Dü - Pink Turns To Blue MP3
Blonde Redhead - Pink Love MP3
Gene Vincent - Pink Thunderbird MP3
Sebadoh - Pink Moon MP3
Blitzen Trapper - Pink Padded Slippers MP3

Monday, April 18, 2011

In The Pocket

Last night's lunar beauty suddenly made me think of the Swell Maps. Nearly 35 years after their do-it-yourself debut, we still get on like a house on fire.

Swell Maps - Full Moon In My Pocket MP3

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Wild Weekend Vol. 56

Another Wild Weekend has started on the good foot, as I just bought me a ticket to see Patti Smith play an acoustic gig in an Amsterdam church in June. I'm cool, so on to the music posthaste. Edition #56 brings you brand new sounds by the Futurebirds and Yuck, and oldies to treasure courtesy of Son House and Vera Hall. Have a wild one.

Let's warm up with a track from one of the finest roots reggae albums known to man: In The Light ('77) by Horace Andy. What a voice. Even the nightingales and the skylarks are green with envy. If you don't own it already, be sure to buy the reissue on the Blood & Fire label, as that one throws in the equally sharp dub version as cooked up by King Jammy. Pioneering field recorder John Lomax, who recorded her for the Library Of Congress, once said that Vera Hall (1902-1964) had the loveliest voice he ever put on tape. Got your attention now? Then check out this short and very sweet rendition of I Been Drinkin'. "Going down to 5th Street and 29 Main, looking for that woman that sells cocaine..."

Horace Andy - Problems MP3
Vera Hall - I Been Drinkin' MP3

"Summer sun says get out more, I need you..." Or is that "Someone says..."? Prefer the former, so it's probably the latter. Doesn't matter really, as somewhere between Pavement and Nirvana, London four piece Yuck rules supreme. Recently released on what I thought was a blues label only: Fat Possum records. Check it out, pop kids, while we play some heavy heavy blues next. "I got a letter this mornin', I say how do you reckon it read? You know it said hurry, hurry, how come the gal you love is dead..." That's the legendary Son House, taking no prisoners just after his early sixties rediscovery. "So I grabbed up my suitcase and took off down the road, when I got there she was layin' on a coolin' board..." Still chilling after all these years.

Yuck - Get Away MP3
Son House - Death Letter MP3

More fresh sounds? Ok, make way for the Futurebirds from Athens, Georgia, who've just released a new ep on the Autumntone label. Laidback Crazy Horse vibes never go out of style I guess, and that's cool with me. Their understated Dirty D is a typical example of a song that grows on you. And to top off another Wild Weekend, here's a country duo from hell: Jello Biafra and Mojo Nixon. They don't care if it rains or freezes, as their plastic Jesus is firmly glued upon the dashboard of their car. Here they come now. Toot toot!

Futurebirds - Dirty D MP3
Jello Biafra & Mojo Nixon - Plastic Jesus MP3

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Colour Me Brown

Why fake it indeed. One more coloured, hand picked six pack to go. This time around, Frank Zappa & his Mothers perform a mini opera of sorts, Buffalo Tom pledge their love to a girl wearing stupid clothes, while Bob Dylan watches The Gunfighter, starring Gregory Peck. Further on, Trane teams up with the Duke, Bo Weavil Jackson shows how to play a mean blues, and the much recommended Dieselhed are simply all over the place in their brown station wagon. If anything catches your fancy, please support the artists by buying their albums. Deal?

The Mothers Of Invention - Brown Shoes Don´t Make It MP3
Buffalo Tom - Sally Brown MP3
Bob Dylan - Brownsville Girl MP3
Duke Ellington & John Coltrane - My Little Brown Book MP3
Bo Weavil Jackson - Devil And My Brown Blues MP3
Dieselhed - Brown Dragon MP3

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Arena Gigante

"The rain disregards any agenda under the stars..." So Howe Gelb of Giant Sand-fame went all the way to Córdoba in sunny Spain to record an album with a local bunch of gypsy flamenco pickers. The resulting Alegrías just may be one of the most surprising, uplifting albums you'll hear this year.

Howe Gelb & A Band Of Gypsies - 4 Door Mavericks MP3

And as Fire Records happens to be in the process of re-releasing the complete Giant Sand back catalogue, here's a couple of their golden desert-rock oldies.

Giant Sand - Pathfinder MP3
Giant Sand - Mountain Of Love MP3

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Wild Weekend Vol. 55

Finally found the time to do another edition of Wild Weekend, so brace yourselves. Two grand ole country tracks and a new one this week, plus an instrumental reggae beauty, and we'll go out with a lenghty and pioneering krautrock blowout to soothe your ears.

First up: someone new. Meet Josh T. Pearson, bearded guy from Texas and self-proclaimed 'last of the country gentlemen'. Spent long years in European exile, writing intense songs as a kind of personal therapy. Heavy stuff, no doubt about it. Do give him a chance if you're into the likes of Townes Van Zandt, Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave, and Will Oldham. Remember a band called Peglegasus? I didn't either, until I found their '92 debut cd Bacon, Lettuce & Tornado in a box up in the attic. And hey, they're not at all bad if you like your indie pop all jingly jangly.

Josh T. Pearson - Woman When I´ve Raised Hell MP3
Peglegasus - Moth Man MP3

Pedal steel wizard Ralph Mooney died recently, and that's a damn shame. He played on plenty classic country songs by Wynn Stewart and Buck Owens, and later prominently backed Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings. For a fitting in memoriam, teleport yourself to the always inspiring Adios Lounge. And enjoy the immortal Under Your Spell Again by Owens here, which features 'Mister Moon' in all his glory. If seventies outlaw country from Texas is more up your alley, do head over to Singing In The Wire for an excellent mixtape featuring top notch songs by Kris Kristofferson, Jerry Jeff Walker, Townes Van Zandt and others. Terry Allen's cool ode to a Lubbock Woman didn't make the cut alas, as the compiler picked the equally fine Amarillo Highway, so I'll simply put it up here.

Buck Owens - Under Your Spell Again MP3
Terry Allen - Lubbock Woman MP3

Let's switch musical styles once more now and enjoy a pretty amazing reggae instrumental by the Crystalites. From 1970, produced by the mighty Derrick Harriott, and with a title to die for. "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust... caramba!" And we've come to the end of yet another Wild Weekend extravaganza with one of the first krautrock groups known to mensch: the obscure Xhol Caravan. From '69, Raise Up High is nearly 18 minutes long and as out there as can be. Haben Sie eine Wilde, or something like that. See ya next week.

The Crystalites - Undertakers Burial MP3
Xhol Caravan - Raise Up High MP3

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Colour Me Black

"Black night is falling - oh how I hate to be alone..." A pitch black, hand picked six pack for your listening pleasure. In this edition of Colour Me, Arthur Alexander's sweet vocals are accompanied by a particularly fine mouth harp, Erroll Dunkley looks all over Trenchtown for his black Cinderella, while Mick Collins and his Dirtbombs run away with a classic Phil Lynott composition. The pairing of Leroy Carter and Mississippi Sheik Walter Vinson works a bluesy treat, unless you happen to suffer from arachnophobia. Little John & the Monks, the only whiteys in this collection, offer up a strong sixties garage ballad, and the Travellers skank their way straight out of Babylon. Dig these tunes? Consider buying a few featured albums.

Arthur Alexander - Black Night MP3
Erroll Dunkley - Black Cinderella MP3
Dirtbombs - Ode To A Black Man MP3
Leroy Carter & Walter Vinson - Black Widow Spider MP3
Little John & The Monks - Black Winds MP3
Travellers - Black Black Mind MP3

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Mess Of Blues

Take five for a bit of heavy heavy Zep magic, incorporating some main Page & Plant inspirations: John Lee Hooker, Bukka White, Arthur 'Big Boy' Crudup, and that white boy from Tupelo. Digging that double whammy called the BBC Sessions a lot at the moment, you see. "Whoops there goes a teardrop, rolling down my face..."

Led Zeppelin - Whole Lotta Love (Medley) MP3
John Lee Hooker - Boogie Chillun MP3
Bukka White - Fixin' To Die Blues MP3
Arthur 'Big Boy' Crudup - That's All Right MP3
Elvis Presley - A Mess Of Blues MP3

Saturday, April 2, 2011

No Club

Homo homini lupus and all that. Forget the pack, shed your sheep's clothing and be a lone wolf. Presenting a solitary ten pack. Howl awhile.

Howlin' Wolf - I'm The Wolf MP3
Le Loup - We Are Gods! We Are Wolves! MP3
Los Lobos - Will The Wolf Survive? MP3
Dennis Brown - Wolves And Leopards MP3
'Funny Papa' Smith - Hungry Wolf MP3
Dawn McCarthy & Bonnie Billy - The Signifying Wolf MP3
The Grateful Dead - Dire Wolf MP3
Woodpigeon - Chorus Of Wolves MP3
Joni Mitchell - The Wolf That Lives In Lindsey MP3
Lloyd & Devon - Wolf Out Deh MP3