Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Mediocre Spotnicks double post!

I love the Spotnicks. They've got a unique sound and great shtick, not to mention Rocket Man was probably the song that got stuck in my head most last year and I ended up christening my blog with it.

I have here two Spotnicks albums that I haven't seen elsewhere, perhaps because I bought both of them in Europe (though the Spotnicks were from Sweden so that doesn't mean much). They both aren't very good for reasons I will detail, but first I should address the obvious question of "if they suck then why?"

First and foremost: I think that all records deserve the right to existence. I've come across so much great music from taking risks in the dollar bin, music that will never be written about in history books and are excluded from musical canon. A lot of it will be buried in time, plenty of it by the time the baby boomers croak. The internet provides a no-risk sampling environment for this music to be heard and continue to exist. And there's often a reason for bad music to exist, that Surfin' With Bo Diddley Album being a great example. There are better surf albums out there, but my curiosity was piqued and since it's the most visited page on this blog I'd wager I'm not the only one.

Secondly: This CD contains some of the only examples I can think of where all the foci of this blog come together: Sci-Fi, Rock & Roll and New Orleans. Specifically I'm talking about Take Me To The Mardi Gras and a vocals-present cover of Jambalaya. I'm kind of glad I got this album just to hear those alone, but there's some other odd ones like a cover of "My Baby Left me" and "The Great Snowman's" crazy banjo meltdown. They don't often make great songs, but really my judgement is clouded on all of these tracks; the production is just way too clean and cheesy throughout all these songs. The high-pitched undistorted guitar falls into Walgreens soundtrack territory. This claims to be a greatest hits collection but only out of their post-60's career, so despite what the cover might lead you to believe they've dropped the whole sci-fi thing and probably look more like this other album.

Oh my god how the mighty have fallen. "Yeah guys, the Spaceman thing didn't work but I'll tell you what's in right now is blue shirts, jeans and not getting haircuts. THAT'S our new uniform. However, I think synchronized guitar playing is still in. Except for you, fourth guitar player, you play guitar over there"

Just like 20 Nice Ditties or whatever the Swedish translates to, these are mostly covers and not particularly inspired, though they do have their moments. It's still got that clean sound, but not as unbearably so. And it does have their cover of Ghostriders in the Sky which rightfully made it onto my actual Greatest Hits album not featured in this post (I have it ripped but it just seems redundant considering that there are CD collections and albums available pretty easily. I could be convinced otherwise).

There you have it. You've got hard drive space you're a spotnicks nut, go forth and check these out, then watch that rocket man video again.

You can get "20 Heta L├ątar" here


And Electrifying Spotnicks here


Thursday, October 23, 2008

(slightly late) Voodoo Fest Picks

Maybe Voodoo Fest has steadily gotten better and it has just been my tastes that declined. Or maybe it's just that I would have been out of town for past years anyway so I didn't give it a good look. Well, either way it's GREAT this year. Lots of big name picks but it's the alternative to alternative bands that are really making this year's lineup stand out.

My picks:

FRIDAY (this isn't just a highlight list, this is a gameplan. No overlaps):

Extra Action Marching Band

I didn't know about these guys until reading up about the lineup, but apparently they're ex-members of the great noisy racket band Crash Worship and play a marching band cover of Dick Dale's "The Wedge". No, I don't have an MP3 of that to share, their myspace will have to do. Unfortunately they seem to be slated as an opening ceremony or something so we'll see if this will be possible

The Dirtbombs

These Detroit garage greats have been getting a lot of press since the release of We Have You Surrounded. I seem to remember hearing mixed reports of them live and I guess I'll only really be satisfied if I hear stuff from their incredible album of funk/soul covers "Ultraglide In Black"

The Dynamites feat Charles Walker & Big Sam's Funky Nation

Another ashamed "I'd never heard them before now" entry... even for Big Sam. But from what I've heard from the internet they seem well worth my time.

Andre Williams

What a cool entry. "The Black Godfather", Detroit grease legend Andre Williams is coming here after a great new album supported by members of Morning 40 Federation, Quintron and others (that oddly enough is really hard to find in stores around here, I been looking). Apparently here's he's backed by the Diplomats of Solid Sound, who I have an album of that I don't really care for but would probably still give a chance if they were performing alone. This guy has also recorded with the Sadies and members of the Gories (yes, including Mick Collins of the above Dirtbombs). Worth the price of admission alone to me.

Download a song from Bloodshot's slow-ass servers

Reverend Horton Heat

While I might take a peak at Man Man in between sets, this is pretty much the face of Psychobilly right here. Admittedly, I've always liked his enthusiasm more than his music, but I'm pretty sure he'll put on a good show.

Soul Sister/Devotchka

I guess it really comes down to how tired I am. Legendary local and inspirational funk DJ  if I'm still up for dancing or the only Gypsy-esque indie band I like (aside from Gogol Bordello but that's different)


Save my money. Or make it I guess, I gotta work. Seriously, not much standing out to me.


Quintron & Miss Pussycat

Part of me says "You're planning on seeing them on Halloween, don't bother and go see Dirty Dozen". We'll see what happens but Quintron following up a great new release on Goner Records. I love him, he's found his own sound with the subtlest hints of his great respect for New Orleans R&B that are still recognizable to those that want to hear it. And you can dance oh-so-well to it. I was going to make a post just about that new album being released but oh well have a link to one of his songs

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings

Yes! I'll finally get a chance to see a live show of Daptone Records' flagship artist. I don't really know what to say, but this is one of the biggest must-sees on my list.

Butthole Surfers

What's wrong with me? I have the chance to follow up Sharon Jones with our local best answer to her (Irma Thomas) or maybe finally go see a Trombone Shorty show, something I've always meant to do. But no, I'm going to go see this sacred cow indie band that got back together to make a few bucks just like every other band from that era. Why? Because their live shows were once practically factually the most off-the-wall performances period... then they started sucking, then they quit, now they're old. Also because they have really sweet album titles. And I guess because they're one of those "so you can say you saw it" bands. Stupid Stupid me. Well, at least once it's over/I get disappointed enough I can high-tail it to one of New Orleans' finest.

Soul Sister

What else am I supposed to do? Go see REM?

BUMMER: After searching the lineup over and over for him, it turns out Eli Paperboy Reed had to cancel. See you round buddy

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Joe Houston - Surf Rockin'

Unfortunately, due to a recent camera theft I can't give you a picture of the cover to this album, but you can get a good idea here. When I get a new one I'll try to update this page.

Despite the Mummies' claim to the name, Joe Houston would make a good candidate for the King of Budget Rock in a different way. As I saw mentioned elsewhere, he found his way onto more budget rock & roll compilation LPs back in the day than anybody else, and sure enough that's where I first heard him. I later found Doin' the Twist with Joe Houston which I found to be a pretty nice and relaxing Rock & Roll album. You can find it here

I don't remember where I came across Surf Rockin' but the idea of Joe Houston's midtempo bluesy jazzy saxophone in the context of surf was pretty tempting, so I went for it. Not surprisingly, this bares no real similarity to surf rock aside from its instrumental makeup. Really, it's just another Joe Houston album with no attempt to switch up styles, just another clamor for attention by sticking the name of a big craze on his album (much like Doin' the Twist, though more excusabel that time). I'm not resentful or anything, I've always thought those albums were pretty funny and I bought it figuring this might be the case.

I do kind of like Joe's brand of Rock & Roll. It's not something I would dance to, but it has its own attitude and I've enjoyed myself sitting back, relaxing and drinking a root beer to his music. It sounds a little earlier than it is, blending jazz, Rock & Roll and Blues well enough that you could call his music either one of the three and probably not get fussed at. I wouldn't call it surf though.

This rip isn't pristine but it's clean enough that the light crackles are easily ignored.

Go Get it HERE

tracklist (featuring goofy surf lingo to convince you it's legit): 

Side A:

  1. Wipe Out
  2. Gremmie
  3. Night Lamp
  4. Dig
  5. Ho Dads

Side B:

  1. Haleiwa
  2. Surf Rockin'
  3. Maile
  4. Hooked
  5. Pupukea

Monday, October 20, 2008

RYP where did you go? Plus an update on me.

Trying to visit TWLIGHTZONE!/Ride Your Pony today and found a "blog removed" error. Hopefully this is just a glitch

UPDATE: They're back. Since apparently google is sending searches for RYP over here, here's their new address http://twilightzone-rideyourpony.blogspot.com/

As for my own inactivity: I've been real busy life-wise lately but also listening to a lot of stuff. I'm not sure what I'll put up here next or when I'll do it, but this blog is certainly still on my mind.

I guess for the sake of putting something up on here even if it's unrelated, you can check out my flickr page for neat pictures of animals and the swamp. Sadly my car got broken into and camera stolen, so that's all for a while


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Weirdo Blues


Now I'm hesitant to jump the gun with this, but I'd reckon that Don Cavalli's Cryland is one of my favorite albums of the year. It hit me when I was so sick of the music I was hearing as the music director of WESU and was so goofy and refreshing with his Frenchness and overuse of wah pedal that I listened to "New Hollywood Babylon" about three times a day for a week or two. It costs 1 cent on Amazon so I'd advise you buy it without even listening to the below link.

Don Cavalli - New Hollywood Babylon

Well, my new station has given me something similarly nice. Or nicely similar. I guess they really didn't give it to me as much as I combed through the CD library and read an interesting description and played it on a show. Either way, the excellently named Super Chikan does the same "haha whatever" blues that Don Cavalli does, though perhaps with a little more proficiency. Then again, proficiency isn't what I appreciated in Don Cavalli. I won't pick favorites out of the two, but Super Chikan makes me hope that I'm just a totaly neophyte to a whole world of similar goofballs.

The below song is not his best work but is really convenient for Don Cavalli comparisons. 

Super Chikan - Willie Brown Jr.

Then I guess there's Bob Log but that's different.

warning: plenty of boobs

Clint West and the Fabulous Boogie Kings

Every time I post I repeat to myself "this will not be a surf blog, this will not be a surf blog". Here I thought I had a solution but, well, I'd skip most of the vocal tracks on here.

The Boogie Kings are one of the more prominent swamp pop bands and this is one of their earliest appearances. I've got a lot of headway to make before I could explain swamp pop to you; my current understanding is just a simple "rock & roll made in cajun country" but at least that's a very attractive definition to me. And this is very much a Louisiana album. If you check the back cover, "LA" is included in about every paragraph and only one of the reviews of the group aren't from Louisiana (it's from Texas). My only previous exposure to them was a tape I picked up on a whim that was pretty weak and underwhelming, but this is a totally different beast.

As I've previously stated, the vocal tracks (aside from the last few) on here are pretty worthless to me. I've never been one for ballads and all of them are slow, including the opener "I'm Sorry Pillow" which is really obnoxious. Thankfully, you can pick out the good tracks by name alone and they're all pretty good.

I'd like to clear the air here: I have a huge surf bias having had a surf and instrumental radio show, so it's going to show up here because I've bought a ton of it. But I love vocals. Just yesterday I was screaming my head off to the Fabulous Wailers. I love many types of rock & roll. I love music that isn't rock & roll. HUR HUR Even RAP.

So yeah, the instrumental tracks here are the highlights. They're not surf, no reverb or normal surf staples, just instrumental rock & roll that might even that almost sit just as well next to James Brown as they do the Ventures (I believe this album is from 1963, so think about that for a while). This isn't raw Sonics or '66 garage stuff really and you can kind of pick up on some classical or jazz training on their instruments but they're clearly loving it and getting into it. Makes me wonder what they're thinking for the vocal tracks.

This is a pretty nasty copy and there won't be a single song where there isn't some (or plenty) of noise, but I don't think it ever ruins it. As always, feel free to point towards a better rip or provide your own, but I'd be surprised if there are many copies of this floating around, much less on the internet.

Side A:

  1. I'm Sorry Pillow
  2. Choo Choo Locomotion
  3. Twelfth of Never
  4. Trey Me
  5. A Tear Fell
  6. Boogie Chillun

Side B:

  1. Honky Tonk pt. 3
  2. It's No Use To Try
  3. Okey Dokey Stomp
  4. Our Love
  5. Night Train
  6. Twist and Shout