Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Playlist 4-23-14 Smashed Hits

I wouldn't say that this has a been a shit year but this month sure sucks monkey balls.  Last week we had 7 and half inches of water coming into the basement and seeing a few watersports in the process, and the week later trying to move the piece of shit nightstand, everything came crashing and breaking on the floor.  Welcome to my cursed life.  However, Easter Sunday has stayed dry, if it rains the old wives tale was that it would rain for the next 7 Sundays.  Last year it rained on Easter and it rained 10 straight weekends.

The archives are kicking the new entries all over the place in views.  Hairball and My City Is Gone has twice many views as the Brother Leon Playlist.  Guess nobody likes Leon Russell after all but they love Hairball.

Jack White on Record Store Day composed the fastest song and release it on the same day in 3 hours 55 minutes.  Playing it live, then getting it mixed and mastered and put on vinyl and back to his store in that time. Is it any good?  He does have a spotty track record.  In the meantime Jack also issued a new Neil Young LP on Third Man, recorded on old recorded equipment that dates back to the 1940s.  No word if Warner/Reprise will raise a big stink about this.  But Warner Brothers welcomes back Prince to their roster as he returns to pretty much redo and reissue his back catalog and maybe put out a new record or two.

Paul Weller is not impressed with RSD and the antics of the major labels printing up a handful of wanted releases and watching vinyl scalpers pick them up and sell them for bigger bucks on EBAY. It may have been a British thing since both Ragged and Co Op had Weller's single there for 7 dollars.

Ginger Baker, good drummer but never one of my favorites has built up a rep as a old crank and he pretty much gives two shits less to the reviewers in his one word comments or Grandpa blowups if asked about a Cream reunion.  He's got a jazz band featuring Pee Wee Ellis (James Brown) playing but don't ask the man any questions.  You'll live longer. 

Passings of note: Kevin Sharp, country singer of the mid 90s that had a hit with the cover of Nobody Knows passed away from stomach problems and probably related to the cancer that he had back then too. He was 43.  Cancer also claimed Rubin Hurricane Carter, prize fighter who got wrongly accused and sent to jail on a murder charge which became the basis of Bob Dylan's 1976 song Hurricane.

In this day and age, streaming seems to be the way to go although being an old record, cd and tape hoarder I beg to differ.  But I have this side project called The Townedgers and with the help of my friend out in Cally Diggy Kat he managed to put together a site that can let you hear some of our best known stuff.  In the infant stages, this is where you're bound to hear we sound like.  An hobby since it hasn't made me any money but that was never the intention.  But if you're bored of the same old, hear a different take on the same three chords the world has been recycling since the 50s.

Vinyl Lovin:
The JudyBats-Native Son 1991
The JudyBats-Down In The Shacks Where The Satellites Grow 1992

In search for the next big Smiths, Sire has some pretty good imitators of that time, The Ocean Blue was one of them, and Knoxville Tennessee's JudyBats was the other.  Heard complaints about Pain Makes You Beautiful and Full Empty, the later 2 JudyBats albums that I have yet to hear but Ira Robbins from Trouser Press gives those two records a better review and All Music went for the first two and there you go.  Wounded Bird actually reissued Native Son and I went out and got that one to see what the fuss is all about. Native Son is your typical A and B side album, the best songs are on Side A and the filler is on Side B.  Daylight and Incognito are the highlights of Native Son although to me the best song was the cover of She Lives In A Time Of Her Own to which Sire forced them to record (it also appears on Where The Pyramid Meets The Eye, the Roky Erickson tribute album of that time).  Overall, Native Son is a mess, would have made a nice EP, but for a full 45 minute album, it will bore you, especially on side 2.

Down In The Shacks is a much better album and a product of the 1990s alternative times as well.  The Title track got some airplay and at times the record could rival the best of the Ocean Blue, but somebody was listening to grunge as by As Everything, which sounds like a bit like Stone Temple Pilots or Sonic Youth.  Margot Known As Missy has an interesting wordplay and could fit on a Pixies record too.  But most of the time The JudyBats are content to hang with the same groove like The Ocean Blue, or to a lesser extent, The Smiths.  They would solder on and make two more Sire albums to which I'll get around reviewing once I find copies of them.
Native Son C+
Down In The Shacks Where The Satellites Grow B+

Brubeck & Desmond-1975 The Duets (Horizon)

They were meant for each other, Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmond, the ones that gave you Take Five and had a very long career but in 2 years Desmond would be dead from smoking too much.  It's Dave and Paul working together one more time as they revisit some of their better known songs (koto song,  You Go To My Head) in a reflective setting.  Not a most have but if you have always been a fan of both Dave and Paul, this is a worthy listen.
Grade B+

The Black Lips-Underneath The Rainbow (Vice 2014)

A lotta people get them mixed up with The Black Keys and with good reason, The Black Lips' type of garage rock is somewhat like the Keys but with more of an outrageous care free attitude that they have been doing for almost 10 years.  Who else would dare to waste Atlantic's dollars on a live album made in the sleezy side of Mexico?  Underneath The Rainbow, is a bit more polished and they have help with Patrick Carney (The Black Keys Drummer) as co producer on half the tracks.  At times they remind me more of Primal Scream (the rock side rather than dance side) and Do The Vibrate, they channel their inner Cramps. Side one is the better of the two with the tongue in cheek Funny and Drive By Buddy being the standouts. They show their love of the 60s by dumping their vinyl into a Tie Dye artwork.  Sounds nice on vinyl.
Grade B+

Joey Dee And His Starliters-All The World Is Twistin With Joey Dee And His Starliters  (Roulette 1962)

Yes I know.  It's music to twist by and is outdated as they come even down to the cheesy cover art.  But in reality Joey Dee's Starliters was a very tight upbeat band that makes you want to get down and groove, judging from their Peppermint Twist, which is not included on this album but it has a couple songs that do reference the twist, as evidenced by the title track.  The instrumentals borrow a few (actually steals a few songs), the You Can't Sit Down riff on Cyclone, My Baby pops up on Starlite Special and even Let's Go Trippin can be heard on Wing-Ding. We don't think much about a 4 minute song nowadays but in 1962 Goin To Chicago is that era's Echoes, and it's an okay blues.  But what Joey Dee does best is uptempo stuff and doing respectable covers of Irresistible You and Leave My Baby Alone (although Speak Up Mambo is silly). It also helps to have a powerhouse drummer and Dino Danelli (The Rascals) plays on this album, at least I think it's him on drum judging by the the hi hat accents and double time beats.  A fun album from a bygone time.

Grade B+  

Pharrell Williams-Girl (Columbia 2014)

I know, I know but I found it used for 2 bucks at Goodwill and thought I give it a spin and believe it or not, this is actually pretty good for what they call R and B of 2010's.  Williams owes more to Prince but as the dance hit Marilyn Monroe indicates he knows some things about hooks too.  I think Bruno Mars is more accessible but if you can keep my attention for more than 7 songs into this type of music that you must be doing a very good job.  The Alicia Keys duet is tolerable (at least she's not screaming all over the place like she was on that Beatles 50 special last month) and while I thought Williams was going in the chorus my love is like Kung Fu, it actually is My Love is Woo Woo.  Lyrically silly in spots but you never notice it while grooving to the beats.  Probably worth its $2.38.
Grade B+



Shot In The Head-Savoy Brown
Hurricane-Bob Dylan
Take The Money And Run-The Hoax
Zaar-Peter Gabriel
Today I Took Your Picture Down-Benmont Tench
Niggizz Can't Sing Rock And Roll-Mother's Finest
I'm Seventeen-Tommy Conwell
Gotta Get Away-Offspring
Midnight Run-The Townedgers
In A Hand Or A Face-The Who

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