Because it’s hot as hell and one “Jamaican Holiday” isn’t enough.
Because it’s hot as hell and one “Jamaican Holiday” isn’t enough.
The ’70′s were an exciting time in Jamaica, the island having attained full independence in 1962, there was a lot of optimism and hope mixed with some harsh reality. About two dozen musicians played on 90% of the records. There were about three rhythm sections and a handful of independent studios full of aspiring singers. Bob Marley among them. Not to mention some truly unique individuals, such as Lee “Scratch” Perry running the boards and making waves still felt today. Origins of DJ culture start here with artists like U-Roy, a local sound system DJ who began “toasting” over dub plates.
Side Two of is The Dub Sandwich.
Jamaican Holiday is the ultimate single cd collection. It has everything from sweet soul music to the deepest, darkest dub.
Give into the heat, move slowly, crack open a cold beverage (warm Red Stripe is terrible), and enjoy your Jamaican Holiday, wherever you are.
The doctor (Dr Alimantado) also recommends a nice big spliff to seal the deal.
This is soul music of the highest order.
Since all of these songs were originally released as vinyl records, and not a few of them ripped from vinyl by yours truly, this too begins with the “Needle Drop”.
Note: After going to the printer’s two errors were found:
On Side 3 L. Perry should be credited as producer of “To Be A Lover”.
On side 4 Sugar Minott’s name is misspelled.
If I was in control of a radio station, let’s call it WBBJ(W-Buzz-Baby-Jesus), my playlist would be based on Duke Ellington’s concept of “There are two kinds of music. Good music, and the other kind”.
They all begin with the “needle drop”. This sound inspires delicious anticipation. I salivate when I hear it. Apparently the ancient Greeks used a bit of cacophony to start a performance, as it defined the silence immediately after. This particular needle drop is “The Night Tripper” by Dr. John. A record I found on the street in Soho.
2- “Campesina” by Spiteri, from 1973. Led by Venezuelan brothers, Charlie and George, Spiteri was released in England as an answer to Santana.
It never charted anywhere, and they didn’t make any more albums. And so this one gem makes its mark in history as a collectors’ ‘must have’ and an album that could have been…. but never was. Still, never too late to enjoy it! I don’t always know where I found something, but in this case it’s here.
3- “What’s Right” by David Werner from his eponymous 1979 album. It’s brilliant, and actually made the charts. Song writer, recording artist, and record producer, he is also known for his two RCA glam rock releases “Whizz Kid” and “Imagination Quota”. All are worth checking out.
4- “Dirty Boys” is my favorite from David Bowie’s latest, “The Next Day”. (2013)
5- “Don’t Swallow The Cap” by The National. I read a great review of this album in the NYTimes. Reminds me of ’80′s Bowie. The jury’s still out, but I like this song. (2013)
6- “Now” – Dion and The Wanderers. From his late ’60′s album “Wonder Where I’m Bound”, which no one bought, this song is powerfully good. With it’s kind of California folk-rock arrangement, it doesn’t sound a thing like “Runaround Sue” or any of his other hits. One thing for sure, the man can sing. (1968)
7- “Ride Your Pony” – Lee Dorsey. I chose this over “Working In A Coal Mine”. (1966)
8- “The World Is A Ghetto” – War. I like to include a couple actual hits in the mix. The context elevates the more obscure tunes. That they hold their own is evidence that the biggest reason they didn’t chart has more to do with luck than quality. (1973)
9- “Walking The Whippet” – Andy Mackay from his 1974 album, “In Search Of Eddie Riff”. With a nod to “Telstar”, this instrumental features Phil Manzanera, and is pretty much Roxy Music without a singer.
10- “Jungle Lullabye” – CW Stoneking from his 2008 album “Jungle Blues”. This Australian singer songwriter guitar banjo player manages to evoke 1920′s music without sounding like a museum. This song is a favorite around my house. Great arrangement by the Primitive Horn Orchestra.
11- “Blue Monk” Original founding members of NRBQ, Terry Adams and Steve Ferguson from “Louisville Sluggers” (2006). Thoroughly affectionate and charming cover of Monk’s tune.
12- “The “In” Crowd” by Dobie Gray is just cool. (1964)
13- “Stop Me, Citate Me” By The Fraternity Of Man, best known for “Don’t Bogart Me” from “Easy Rider” Its original members included three musicians from Lowell George’s band The Factory – Richie Hayward later of Little Feat, Warren Klein, and Martin Kibbee. This countrified psychedelic artifact tells a familiar tale with humor without being a novelty. (1968)
14- “Melody” Formed in 1990, Custard is an indie rock band from Brisbane, Australia. Working similar territory as XTC, they wrote short snappy pop songs with elements of rock n roll and the occasional pedal steel. “Melody” will stick in your head.
15- “Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me)” by Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel for the album “The Best Years of Our Lives”. Somehow I missed this when it came out in 1975. Infectious as hell, it reminds me of Eno at his glam-poppy best.
16- “Sad Is The Way That I Feel” Mark Eric (1969). Really obscure slab of Beach Boy homage. On a side note, Eric was also a teen actor, appearing on The Partridge Family, among other TV shows of the 60s.
17- “Shelby GT 356″ The Chesterfield Kings. From their foray into surf music “Surfin’ Rampage” (1997). This Rochester NY institution has been exploring various forms of rock music since the 1980′s. They get all the details right, down to their outfits.
18- “Muswell Hillbilly” Southern Culture On The Skids take on The Kinks classic. I’ve been a Kinks fan since “You Really Got Me”, and I can be pretty hard to please, but I think they get all the important things right on this. The rest of the album “Countrypolitan Favorites” (2007) is just as good.
19- “Be My Guest” Neil Finn From “The Kitchen Sink”, a collection of rareties and demos. (2004)
20- “Car Song (Non-Album Track)” Fresh Maggots (1971). Impossibly obscure bit of early ’70′s British folk. This catchy tune is more fun than anything else on the album.
21- “Freddie’s Dead” Curtis Mayfield, 1972. Another actual hit. The single was released before the Super Fly album, and in fact before the film itself was in theaters. It peaked at #4 on the U.S. Pop Chart and #2 on the R&B chart.
22- “Played The Game Too Long” The Original Texas Playboys Under The Direction Of Leon McAuliffe(1979). I found this vinyl rip over at Willard’s.
Here’s a link to Youtube uploaded by DJ Soulmarcosa. You can at least see the artifact.
I didn’t “get” Frank Zappa for a long time. My friend Slow Uncle, did, and tried to interest me. I eventually bought We’re Only In It For The Money, largely for the hilarious send up of Sgt Pepper’s album cover, but I didn’t think the songs were very good. I mentioned a couple posts back being exposed to “The Mudshark” from Live at Fillmore East, June 1971, and my parents disapproval, but I wasn’t really ready for it. I liked the toilet humor and everything, but I hated jazz and the music was over my head.
When I moved into my dorm room at San Diego State in the fall of 1976, we were encouraged to paint our rooms or if we felt like it, murals outside our rooms. Sounds crazy, but this was the ’70′s. Even though I wasn’t a fan of his music I always admired his irreverence, that’s why I painted his likeness from We’re Only In It For The Money next to the door outside my room. I don’t have a picture of it, but to the right is what I copied, including Frank’s wondering, “Is This Phase One Of Lumpy Gravy?”
I was no longer living in the dorm in the Spring of 1978 when he played the amphitheatre on campus where I witnessed a phenomenal performance. After the last song the audience stood and began clapping and yelling for what seemed to be 30 minutes or more.
Eventually Frank came onstage and said, “You people are crazy. We can hear you all the way in the dressing room”, at which the band came back out and proceeded to play another hour and a half. Interesting detail: There was a guy in Frank’s band I never heard of that played guitar and did a dead-on Dylan impersonation. His name was Adrian Belew. A month or three later I went to see David Bowie at the San Diego Sports Arena and there he was again! I thought he was great until he started singing on King Crimson records.
A couple months ago, Q, drummer in Foglizard, where I am a member of the rhythm section, said he planned to spend the summer listening to Frank, and did I own anything he could borrow? I had Fillmore East June 1971, and Ahead Of Their Time. I did some research and managed to acquire 17 FZ releases for personal review.
I tend to prefer the work of the original Mothers of Invention. Maybe because they were a band he joined and took over. After he fired them in 1969, he hired ever more amazing musicians, but with a diminishing amount of soul.
In around 1991, I bought a cd copy of Cruisin With Ruben And The Jets, an album I remembered as being a fun parody/tribute to old R&B and Doo Wop. There was something terribly wrong with it, which turned out to be that Frank had rerecorded the original drum and bass parts for reasons only understood by him. I got rid of it right away. Turns out He also ruined We’re Only In It For The Money in a similar fashion. Fan’s outcry against this was so strong he eventually restored We’re Only In It For The Money, but not before referring to them as “fetishists”. He never got around to Ruben before his death, so I found an original vinyl rip of the lp. It’s a mystery why he thought those bass and drum tracks needed replacement. It’s kind of like Paul McCartney replacing John Lennon with Mark Knopfler.
If you buy the Zappa Family Trust’s Lumpy Money, you’ll be treated to the horrible remix of WOIIFTM as a “Bone us” disc.
I encourage you to read the whole Zappa/Mothers story on Wikipedia:
If you don’t have the time or inclination here is an interesting tidbit:
During his childhood Zappa was often sick, suffering from asthma, earaches and sinus problems. A doctor treated the latter by inserting a pellet of radium into each of Zappa’s nostrils; little was known at the time about the potential dangers of being subjected to even small amounts of therapeutic radiation. Nasal imagery and references appear both in his music and lyrics, as well as in the collage album covers created by his long-time visual collaborator, Cal Schenkel.
Anyway I’ve compiled a fun disc worth of music by the original Mothers. There are some songs from Mothermania, a long out of print “best of” compiled by Frank in 1968, containing substantially different mixes from the original albums. Also are some cuts from Cruisin With Ruben And The Jets, which is kind of the spiritual center of my comp which I call Motherama. All these tracks come from rips of the original vinyl releases. The rest are from Freak Out, Absolutely Free, Uncle Meat, Burnt Weeny Sandwich, and Weasels Ripped My Flesh.
I also included a passage from Playground Psychotics (1992) which has Jeff Simmons quitting the group a few days before shooting 200 Motels. He was replaced by Ringo Starr’s chauffer at the last minute. This is followed by two tunes from Lucille Has Messed My Mind Up, an out of print 1970 album by Jeff Simmons produced by Frank under the pseudonym of Lamar Bruister. “Lucille” and “Wonderful Wino” are about the only songs in Frank’s catalog that credit a co-writer. Frank plays guitar and Ian Underwood is featured. Both tunes turn up later in Frank’s discography in less interesting versions.
For your immediate listening pleasure I’ve included a rare “live” version of “Plastic People”. I read that before real music was written for it they played it over “Louie, Louie”. This must be that.
I think this stuff has aged really well. Frank’s social commentary was/is right on the money.
I am now a fan.
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A friend sent me a link to someone’s idea of the greatest rock guitar solos on record because “Baby’s On Fire”, one of my first posts, and a guitar solo I’d nominate for some kind of “best” list, was on it. I can’t remember what the other eleven tracks were, except I wasn’t familiar with most of them, or my response was, “What?!”. A brief email correspondence took place where I nominated a handful of solos that would be on my list, and got as far as promising it would be the theme for the next “Bullshit”. I started to jot down some ideas, a little disappointed that “Baby’s On Fire was already on Number Fifty when I realized I had no interest in compiling or listening to all that fretful wankery.
Also I’d collected the solo-less “Yummy, Yummy, Yummy” from Lux N Ivy’s Favorites and already earmarked it for Now That’s What I Call Bullshit 52.
All the Bullshits tend to follow the same pattern of eclecticism, so I lost the guitar solo theme. That said, a few of them made it onto the playlist. They are grouped together in a mini set consisting of “Old Pervert”, possibly my favorite Kimberly Rew solo from The Soft Boys Underwater Moonlight. Interesting because this version is not on the cd reissue, where it has been replaced by a vastly inferior rendition. This version is dubbed from a cassette copy I made in 1986 of the original vinyl release. Next up is “Lounge Lizard” from Ian Hunter’s first solo album featuring Mick Ronson on guitar. It’s really hard to narrow Mick down to a single solo, but I think this one stands out for all the right reasons. After that comes “Tit-Nan-Darag”, from Live, Love, Larf by French, Frith, Kaiser, and Thompson. Three out of four of those guys are well known for their guitar prowess. The other guy for the incredible drumming in Captain Beefheart’s Magic Band. I hear the album isn’t great, but this track smokes, and when Richard Thompson plays, I listen. It wasn’t destined for my list, but his solo on Fairport’s “Tale In Hard Time” is no laughing matter, either. It’s not a solo, but Blixa Bargeld’s guitar on “The Moon Is In The Gutter” is some of my favorite atmospheric noodling. Davy O’List plays some crazy shit on “The ‘In’ Crowd”, Mick Ronson shimmers tastefully on “Up To Me”, and the guitars on Acetone’s “No Need Swim” are as gorgeous as you-fill-in-the-blank.
Keef’s playing on “Honky Tonk Women” and Ron’s solo on “Twisting the Night Away” would have both made the cut, but I’ve heard them too many times, so here they are together on “Not Fade Away” from The Stones Stripped Deluxe, where no one in the band sounds like they plan on fading away any time soon. And then there’s Lou Reed on “You’re Driving Me Insane”, a song recorded by The Roughnecks shortly before forming The Velvet Underground, where he plays the practically same solo (if you can call it that) as “Run, Run, Run” from the “banana” album.
The Mekons always have good guitars, and are here because this song narrowly missed the cut on my post a few months back. One of the Mekons, Lu Edmonds, is currently playing guitar on tour with Public Image Ltd.
The Liquor Giants “I Don’t Mind” is a dead ringer for Big Star. Too bad it wasn’t covered by them on In Space.
Something by Chris Spedding would have found it’s way onto the guitar list, check out Roy Harper’s “The Game” on an earlier post, so I end the set with the Sharks hysterical “Kung Fu”, from Jab It In Yore Eye(1977). One of those albums that wouldn’t make it onto anyone’s all-time list, but for some reason I played to death way back when, largely due to Spedding’s incredible tone and economy coupled with Snip’s charismatic vocals.
There isn’t any guitar at all on Gene Krupa’s “Scandanavian Baby”, but it rocks nicely and comes from a history of Jazz record my parents bought at a supermarket when I was a toddler.
It’s really about the songs anyway.
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Happy New Year! I had this idea to put together a year-end-of-decade something, but really the decade we just finished was the worst of the six I’ve been alive in so far. Okay, the ’80′s fucking sucked, too. And it’s not just music we’re talking about. I was going to say something about the good times from 1967-1977, and then I remembered that whole Vietnam war thing. Then I thought I’d go on about how great all the new technology is. In fact this blog would have been a fanzine I never would’ve bothered to cut and paste together, get printed, and assemble. All the music I don’t buy anymore. I used to spend over $1500 per year on recorded music. A fair amount of what I post came magically from the web. I love my cell phone, and digital camera. And then I’ll be out in public somewhere hearing what is ostensibly music, and there it is: autotune. So as usual everything’s a decidedly mixed bag.
I also thought about a Vic Chestnutt memorial, but I’ve hardly heard any of his music. A friend sent me a version of his “Kick My Ass” by Garbage, which is great. Frankly, the minute I heard about Vic Chestnutt and his tragedy, I was so saddened that I couldn’t bear to seek out his music. Life is hard enough without a wheelchair. That he was out fighting the good fight was all I needed to know. I listened to part of one of his albums once, and hearing him struggle to breathe and sing was enough for me. I felt like I was suffocating. I hope he’s found peace.
Instead I’ve decided to post a recent discovery, thanks again to sakalli (see blogroll). The Crimson Jazz Trio was lead by Ian Wallace, King Crimson drummer for one of their least loved periods. He played on the decent, and kind of low-key Islands,as well as the truly horrible Earthbound. Robert Fripp has done much to rehabilitate the reputation of this particular incarnation by releasing other live documents much superior to the aforementioned travesty.
The Crimson Jazz Trio will favorably remind many of The Bad Plus, as they are a jazz piano trio playing an interesting repertoire. In this case it is the music of King Crimson. They cover a fair amount of the Belew territory, although you would not know it from this post.
I’ve spent a lot of time with this music over the years, so hearing it in a jazz context is really fun. Maybe I’d enjoy more jazz if I knew the old tunes those bop guys were deconstructing in the 50′s and 60′s.
In researching this post I also found out that Ian Wallace passed onto the great gig in the sky on February 22nd, 2007, a few months after some of these recordings. Even though he was a top session drummer for over 40 years, he is still best remembered for the year and a half he spent in King Crimson.
I really don’t know a thing about her. This song swings like a motherf*&%er. It comes from a Geffen Records promo cd compilation I bought as a cut-out, and is pretty much the only song worth listening to. It’s also the only music I’ve ever heard of hers and I like it very much. I’d be willing to cross the street to hear more.
Gillian Howard Welch (born October 2, 1967 in New York City) is a singer-songwriter whose musical style combines elements of bluegrass, neotraditional country, Americana, old-time string band music, and folk into a rustic style that she dubs “American Primitive”. Her recordings feature the harmonies and unconventional guitar work of her musical partner, David Rawlings. Welch pronounces her first name with a hard G /ɡ/ rather than /dʒ/.
Welch was born in Manhattan and was adopted when she was three days old. She moved to Los Angeles at the age of four. On her eighth birthday she wished for and got a guitar and lessons, and learned soon to play the guitar. Studying at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Welch discovered bluegrass music through the “mountain soul” stylings of The Stanley Brothers. After a short stint playing bass in a local camp band called Söfa, Welch moved to Boston and studied at the Berklee College of Music.
A Ass Pocket of Whiskey is a collaborative album by the American Delta bluesman R. L. Burnside and the American punk blues band Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, released on Matador Records on 18 June 1996. The style might be described as lo-fi storytelling garage punk-blues rock with explicit lyrics.
Whatever it is rocks like a mutha. R. L. kills it. Jon Spencer’s got it. Let the music do the talking. Play Loud
R. L. Burnside (November 23, 1926 – September 1, 2005), born Robert Lee Burnside, was a North Mississippi hill country blues singer, songwriter, and guitarist who lived much of his life in and around Holly Springs, Mississippi. He played music for much of his life, but did not receive much attention until the early 1990s. In the latter half of the 1990s, Burnside repeatedly recorded with Jon Spencer, garnering crossover appeal and introducing his music to a new fanbase within the underground punk blues music scene.