Now That’s What I Call Bullshit 60

 
(Dion-“Now”)

All Killer No Filler!!


If I was in control of a radio station, let’s call it WBBJ(WBuzz-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.

Special Thanks to TWILIGHTZONE! and Willard’s Wormholes

Art Included.

Now………….60

Christmas Bullshit

 
 
 
 
 
 

The true spirit of Christmas?

The true spirit of Christmas?

I used to hate Christmas for all the usual reasons. Not believing in God, or that Jesus was anything but a radical rabbi for starters, crass commercialization, gathering with family, people I have nothing in common with except ancestors. The list goes on and it’s boring as hell.
A couple years ago I fell in love and acquired a daughter, which makes it impossible to hate Christmas without being an asshole. As long as she has a good Christmas, I have one, too.
She’s ten this year and has figured out that there is no Santa Claus.
Maintaining belief in the face of all the evidence took it’s toll. Last year we left out a plate of cookies and she realized the note Santa left was in Mommy’s handwriting.
One way I’ve learned to embrace the season is to make mix cd’s of Christmas music and send them out to family and friends as Christmas Cards.

Here are a few of my favorite songs.

First is Joseph Spence. This version of “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” is my favorite Christmas music.

Joseph Spence

Joseph Spence

Joseph Spence (born August, 1910 in Andros, Bahamas – died March 18, 1984 in Nassau, Bahamas) was a Bahamian guitarist and singer. He is well known for his vocalizations and humming while performing on guitar. Several modern folk, blues and jazz musicians, including Taj Mahal, Ry Cooder, Woody Mann, Olu Dara, and John Renbourn were influenced by and have recorded variations of his arrangements of gospel and Bahamian songs.
He has been called the folk guitarist’s Thelonious Monk.

Detroit Junior, center

Detroit Junior, center

Next up is Detroit Junior’s terrific “Christmas In Jail”.

Emery “Detroit Junior” Williams, Jr. (October 26, 1931 – August 9, 2005) was a blues pianist, vocalist, and songwriter. He is know for songs such as “So Unhappy”, “Call My Job”, “If I Hadn’t Been High”, “Ella” and “Money Tree”. His songs have been covered by Koko Taylor, Albert King and countless other blues artist.
Detroit recorded his first single, “Money Tree” with the Bea & Baby label in 1960. His first full album, “Chicago Urban Blues”, was released in the early 1970s on the Blues on Blues label. He also has recordings on Alligator, Blue Suit, The Sirens Records, and Delmark.
Detroit Junior began his career in Detroit, Michigan, backing touring musicians such as Eddie Boyd, John Lee Hooker, and Amos Milburn. Eddie Boyd brought him to Chicago in 1956, where he spent the next 12 years. In the early 1970s, Detroit toured and recorded with Howlin’ Wolf. After the death of Howlin’ Wolf in 1976, Detroit returned to Chicago where he lived and performed until his death in 2005.

Roy Wood (right) and friend

Roy Wood (right) and friend

Roy Wood’s Wizzard is next with their 1973 hit “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day”. Besides Wizzard, Roy founded The Move, and Electric Light Orchestra. More about Roy another time.

Sufjan Stevens

Sufjan Stevens

Sufjan Stevens “That Was The Worst Christmas Ever!” is the only thing I’ve ever heard by him. Singer songwriter’s tend to scare me. I’m terrified of boredom. However, as this song is sublime, I’d be willing to explore more of his music.

Next up is “Christmas Time In The Motor City”, by Detroit Funsters Was (Not Was). (See earlier post)

“Merry Christmas” by NRBQ is a lovely tribute to Brian Wilson.

NRBQ is an American rock band founded in 1967. They are known for their live performances, containing a high degree of spontaneity and levity, and blending rock, pop and jazz styles of the 1950s and ’60s. Their best known line-up is the 1974–1994 quartet of pianist Terry Adams, bassist Joey Spampinato, guitarist Al Anderson, and drummer Tom Ardolino.

NRBQ

NRBQ

Merry Christmas Everybody!

Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town
Christmas In Jail
I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day
That Was The Worst Christmas Ever!
Christmas Time In The Motor City
Merry Christmas