Friday, October 30, 2009

The Dartells - Hot Pastrami

This is a silly record. It has its slower moments such as Surf Dreams and St. James Infirmary, but the high points are undoubtedly goofy songs like "I Scream" (they are screaming for ice cream) and Hot Pastrami, not to mention other songs inspired by the culinary arts. 

Who are they? The Dartells weren't exactly a sensation, though Hot Pastrami hit #11 on the pop charts back in the day... interesting when you consider the fact that it was essentially a cover of "Mashed Potatoes" (hey look! they even mention it straight off in the song!). They've been somewhat canonized into the surf craze, but it's not exactly written all over the record. There's a song called surf dreams, yeah, and there are some bare instrumentals on here, and Hot Pastrami was covered by, I believe, The Chantays, but that's about it.

I'll be honest though, while it has its fun parts, this Dartells album is a victim of pretty poor recording. It seems like there's a lot going on, but the sound is so subdued that it doesn't really get to the action that I think the band is really pumping out. This is a somewhat recognizable album that some of you may be familiar with, so you're welcome to disagree.

You can get it here

WTUL Record Fair in New Orleans November 14th

I have a lot of big things up my sleeve right now which is why this blog is slow (about to resume!) but here's one of them. I'm trying to organize New Orleans' first regular record fairs in a long, long time. I know a good number of vendors (and am still looking for more) and I think this could really take off.  Please spread the word and if you've got facebook, mosey over here

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Panics - Discotheque Dance Party

Go ahead and judge a record by its cover, we all know that it works. You've got the band in all cases performing in red suits, a woman seemingly in her underwear, across from a man leaping and yelling, and you've got a list of song titles seemingly matched with dance moves (with the RRHHWW favorite, the frug, listed among them). Would I surprise you if I told you this was raucous frat rock? 

Funky16Corners can shed a little light on the make-up and history of this band (those are indeed the same names), as can the back of the album. These are the only liner notes I can think of that plug the name of the band's manager. 

This is a pretty fun album. I'm not surprised that they're not essential garack rock listening material, but I'd just as happily listen to this as The Woggles. Some of these are originals, and there's even a few decent instrumentals on it, "Hand Clappin'" making an appearance on my show this past weekend. It says "recorded live" but there's definitely been some editing here, as the crowd noise will often cut in abruptly. There's also been some editing thanks to a few little hitches on my vinyl, but it still comes out pretty listenable.

Get it here

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Alvin Cash & The Registers - Twine Time

Y'all are going to think I'm insane, but this is a desert island disc for me. The subject matter is stupid, the recording is muddy as hell, the cover art sure ain't much, but I'm going to have more fun on my island than yours. This is the sort of gleeful boogaloo nonsense that bypasses your frontal lobe completely and is strictly built for dance.

Normally, I don't know anything about what I post and google's not a help. This time, there's all sorts of information on Alvin Cash, and I'm not the first one to rip this record, but I haven't seen it on blogspot (his singles, on the other hand, are all over). In fact, for once the information on the back of the album is surprisingly informative: Born in St. Louis, starts a dancing troupe with his brothers, catches the ear of Andre "Bacon Fat" Williams and gets picked up on Mar-V-Lus. Twine Time shoots to the top (and sure enough, it's not hard to find covers of it), he keeps at it for a while and never gets quite the same success and, correct me if I'm wrong, never releases another LP. He also appeared in a couple of movies. 

Seriously, everything on this has an addictive sort of bounce to it, and I actually kind of like the semi-nonsensical lyrics. One song is about not being able to see a hawk. One claims that a girl "shot him through the grease" and the album is packed with "awwwww but you're _____in ____, baby!"

I've heard this LP is a collectors item. I don't know, I got it off the amazon used marketplace for $20 lookin' pretty mint except for the holes in the cover, nothing claiming it's a reissue. The original Twine Time/Bump 45 (TWO SIDES OF FIRE) had a real badass Mushroom Cloud on the label, which might have been why I listened to Alvin in the first place

Listen and love it y'all