Number Fifty Two

The Playlist

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 Interesting because this version is not on the cd reissue, where it has been replaced by a vastly inferior rendition.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.
Link in Comments.
Enjoy!

Number Fifty One

The Ancestral origin of my blog

Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies is not shown, but you get the idea

Throughout the ’70′s and into the ’80′s (and apparently into the ’90′s in cd form) Warner/Reprise had what they called their “loss leader” program. The inner sleeves offered the opportunity to buy  two record samplers for two dollars apiece. The idea, of course was that you’d go out and buy the full albums at full price.

I had and still maintain a restless ear that needs a constant supply of new music. It’s rare I play any one thing to death.  As a kid I never had enough money to buy all the music I craved, nor any older siblings to “borrow” from.  As soon as my parents left the house I’d turn on their Magnavox and go to the right of the dial looking for the freeform FM radio stations lurking around 106. This was a full decade before KROQ. The DJ’s would spin a lot of discs without saying anything so I rarely knew what I was hearing, except  it was dangerous, and my parents would hate it, saying it was “Acid Rock” played by people on dangerous drugs (Turns out they were right about that).  As soon as I saw the garage door open off it went before the oppressors caught on what I was up to. Except for when I forgot to turn the radio back to their regular station. They were not amused when greeted by Frank Zappa and the Mothers lovely “Mudshark” from “Live at Fillmore East 1971″

I might have been at a friends house smoking catnip and looking at his big brother’s Black Sabbath album when I noticed the offer on the sleeve. Otherwise I have no idea what album I might have cut out the order form to send off with $3 for Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies, a 3 record set filled with the likes of The Grateful Dead, Fleetwood Mac, The Beach Boys, Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, The Faces, Randy Newman, Ry Cooder, Captain Beefheart, Jimi Hendrix, The Kinks, Little Feat, T-Rex, Alice Cooper, The Fugs, Black Sabbath, along with lesser known acts as like Pearls Before Swine, H.P.Lovecraft, Half Nelson, and Beaver and Krause.
Waiting six weeks for that sucker to arrive was an eternity. It came as a  Box set with Elmer Fudd on the front.  There were extensive liners with biographies and photos.

I just saw one for $90

Eventually I bought six or seven of them. The influence of these records on my development was huge.

Sadly I got rid of them during the great Punk purge of 1979, when suddenly everything sounded so tame, and irrelevant.
Pictured above is one I never owned, as it seemed “too old” in 1972 when I started buying them. I found this one in a thrift store and bought as a tribute to fond memories of all the others.

All through college and continuing today I’ve made compilations similar in concept to these records, although I didn’t put this together until fairly recently. That said, I have to admit my blog is an extension and a descendant of them.
The tradition lives at  Now That’s What I Call Bullshit.

Last week a friend sent me a DVD loaded with something like 600 MP3′s, so I made a playlist of a surveying less than 10% of the music. One song off each album made for 48 tracks and 2.8 hours of music. From the highlights I made a compilation cd for the car.
Entitled, Now That’s What I Call Bullshit 51, it is here for you to download if you like. The link can be found in the comments. Enjoy! And feel free to buy anything you can’t live without.

Of course after I wrote this last night I thought to Google “Warner/Reprise Loss Leaders” and found a buttload of articles about the series including this one:

http://www.dustbury.com/music/wbloss.html

Go there for the full story.

The Playlist

Crimson Jazz Trio

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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 EarthboundRobert 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.

Ian Wallace 1946-2007

21st Century Schizoid Man
Pictures Of A City
Cat Food
Ladies Of The Road
Starless
Lament
Red

Gillian Welch “Pass You By”

 
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 welch
wiki
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.

Pass You By is on this here album from 1996

Pass You By is on this here album from 1996

Pass You By

A Ass Pocket Of Whiskey

 

a ass pocket of whiskey

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

He Rocks

He Rocks

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.

The Criminal Inside Me

Monk Mystery

 
Not entirely solo

Not entirely solo

Okay you geeks, what tune is this?
I bought this Solo Monk cd in the early ’90′s. It’s supposed to contain 13 solo piano tunes. While there is no mention of a bonus track, it nevertheless has one, even though it’s not at the end. The extra track isn’t solo, but a trio. I just ripped it off the disc and it comes up as “Solo Monk” with the album art and all. Track 14 is solo and comes up as Unknown Artist. The Mystery tune is #13 and listed as “Introspection[+]“. Is that right??
I guess whoever mastered it at Columbia f*&%ed up.
According to Amazon the latest edition has more songs on it than mine, but none are the version of “Introspection”(?) posted here.

Captain Beefheart, (Don Van Vliet,) describes the most memorable performance he ever witnessed.

“I saw Monk once at a theatre in San Fernando Valley. They gave him a grand piano, a really beautiful Steinway, with a cut glass bowl of roses. He came in late wearing a trench coat. He dumped the bowl in the piano, knocked down the lid, and hit one note. The sound: everything going into the piano, the strings, the water splashing, the roses. And then he left.”

Monk Mystery

Cow Cow Boogie

 
 

Peace, Baby

Peace, Baby

I’ve always loved this song. My parents played a lot of records. My Dad used to buy weird cut-outs, mostly by names he knew already, such as Chet Atkins, Doc Severinson, people of the previous era trying to make records in the swingin sixties. A lot of potential for uncool there. One record they played a lot was a Capitol Records something or other anniversary compilation of big hits. Cow Cow Boogie was the opener, being the fledgling label’s first gold record. When I was in High School I snickered every time Ella sang the lyric with “loco weed” in it (Still do, actually). Check out the ultra cool jive rap with Don Raye on The House Of Blue Lights. She actually calls him “Homey”.

Ella Mae Morse (September 12, 1924 – October 16, 1999), was an American popular singer. One of the most talented and overlooked vocalists of the 1940s, Morse blended jazz, country, pop, and R&B; at times she came remarkably close to what would be known as rock and roll.

She was all that

She was all that

Morse was born in Mansfield, Texas. She was hired by Jimmy Dorsey when she was 14 years old. Dorsey believed she was 19, and when he was informed by the school board that he was now responsible for her care, he fired her. In 1942, at the age of 17, she joined Freddie Slack’s band, with whom in the same year she recorded Cow Cow Boogie, Capitol Records’ first gold single. “Mr. Five by Five” was also recorded by Morse with Slack and they had a hit recording with the song in 1942 (Capitol 115). She also originated the wartime hit “Milkman, Keep Those Bottles Quiet,” which was later popularized by Nancy Walker in the film, Broadway Rhythm.

Ella_Mae_Morse_In_A_Jazz_Recording_Session

Cow Cow Boogie
The House Of Blue Lights