Thursday, April 30, 2009

Ponderosa Stomp Night 2

Thanks to a horrible night's sleep and a parental errand, I didn't get to catch the conferences in the morning.

Highlights... mostly the really quick acts.

I was pretty meh about Deke Dickerson but Joe Clay flew on stage for a mere three songs but all of them full throttle. He was swinging around the stage and singing rockabilly in the rockabilliest way out of all the stars that graced the parish stage. Apparently he disappeared for years and somebody found him driving school buses on the westbank. Well, back into obscurity he went; immediately after finishing (I just happened to be going the way he was so I watched him do it) he went off stage, through the door between stages, down the stairs and through the exit, not stopping for anybody congratulating him on a good show. You wouldn't have expected it from his grade-A performance, but that's just the way some people are.

Robert Parker was actually better than he is recorded... but I really only say this because his backing band, lil Buck & and the Top Cats (though I think they were going by something else. Buckingtons?) were loud and lively. I've always thought Robert Parker's stuff was sort of mute, so he had no trouble sounding more or less exactly as he once did. I'll give this to him though: he clearly enjoyed doing it and, even in his toned down way, played entertainer pretty well.

About this lil' Buck band. Nobody really mentioned it, but tucked away on the back at the organ was Stanley Buckwheat Zydeco Dural. He actually started out doing organ in funk bands, so it wasn't THAT much of a surprise, but it was cool to see. Anyway, he and Lil' Buck's band backed up a ton of artists in a New Orleans\Eddie Bo tribute. The standouts to me were Little Freddie King doing some pretty impressive stunts on that guitar. Much more lively than he looks. He only did one song but I'll see him tomorrow at Jazz Fest. David Batiste only did one song as well but it was the best out of this sizeable bunch. He had to kick Buckwheat off the organ but goddamn was it excused! Three times the funk, and great to watch too, spinning around as he played.

Little Willie Littlefield played again. And I saw him again. It's surprising that they give this guy so much time, but I can't condemn them, I dearly love the guy. This is the best video I could find to show you what he's like. Though you should imagine more sweat.

Wanda Jackson sort of sounded like a chipmunk now, but you'd be amazed at how fire that that chipmunk had left in her. She still growled when she wanted to and was clearly so happy to be there and, 50 years later, get the recognition she knows she deserves.

Wiley and the Checkmates were excellent from what I could tell but the truth was I'm kind of beat. I don't know whether I'm actually sick right now or just tired, but I needed to go home and recooperate since I'll be back out at Jazz Fest tomorrow burning off another layer of skin. Nope, no Lattimore Brown, no Flamin' Groovies, no ? and the Mysterians. It was a tough call but I had to do it. If any of y'all saw them or any of the other acts, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Everybody I talked to about last night didn't get to see Lady Bo, so I'd like to know whether she pulled that act out of the nosedive.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Very Quick Ponderosa Stomp Impressions

Despite this being in my hometown I've done a really poor job covering the Ponderosa Stomp. I guess I've been doing serious blogging for Jazz Fest and want to sit back, learn and enjoy this sacred event even more tailored to my tastes. But I'll check in on night one (though going to bed would be a better idea)

Little Willie Littlefield was on when I came in and really got things started just right. It was a simple setup, just him and a keyboard and a mic that the kept missing when he's turn to the audience and sputter something. And I mean sputter, the old man was covering himself in his own spittle as he played and dousing himself with water in-between sets despite the main stage being a freezer the entire night. High point: "Do y'all want some boogie-woogie?" he says smiling with a set of teeth seemingly offset to the right about five teeth. He proceeds to slam on the keys with what appeared to be his right hand, left hand, and stomping foot all in a different time, and I don't think he meant it. He's slamming down on the wrong chords all over the place and oddly enough it all fit. This old dude was pure rock & roll and I cracked up the entire time while he would play some boogie woogie, then Mary Had A Little Lamb, then turn to you and go "YEAH!" and bust into something else before London Bridge (followed by another YEAH). He came on later that night and though I went out for pizza after seeing about three songs, I hear he started playing the piano by banging it with a shoe in his hand.

I was really excited for Classie Ballou after seeing him talk during the conferences. This man was busting out world-class rock & roll instrumentals like "Classie's Whip" way down in Cajun country, yet thought his interview was talking about "Syrup" music before he got it and busted out a little Wipeout. It's not that Classie couldn't play, the way it was amplified and mixed, the guitar was thin and the drums were super-huge, sounding like a bad 80's comeback album. Speaking of which, check out Classie's myspace for a good laugh. Regardless of his performance, his past work and his general character stands: this guy is an overlooked legend of Louisiana music.

Little Joe Washington knocked just about everybody out. You see, a the problem with a lot of the more ho-hum artists is that they've lost their sense of adventure. Little Joe Washington just lost all semblance of giving a shit and has turned out better for it. You have this man of mysterious age and limited teeth busting out all-over-the-place guitar solos that fall out but eventually back into time (much to the relief of his seemingly worried sidemen). Meanwhile he squeaks out typically blues lyrics while plucking and often just straight up rubbing the guitar against his teeth. Or hat. Or leg. At least half of that show was played with the guitar being "played" in some unconventional manner, but he really truly could still play guitar. After Dr. Ike came out for everybody to give him a round of applause he hopped off the front of the stage and extended his hat for tips.

Dale Hawkins, reunited with his guitarist James Burton after ~50 years, just straight out tore it up. Dale was in good spirits and damn James Burton just spits out these fiery rockabilly solos as if he were talking. Of course, he traded them off with Deke Dickerson, who despite playing with a few other acts seem to have a little more color brought out in his playing given who he was playing for.

The first few songs I saw of the Remains were pretty boring, but I hear that's what everybody thought, and then it got better. Well, instead I saw The Bo-Keys who played some very tight funk... until Dennis Coffey came out. Listen, that guy is worth a $50 ticket alone. I can't think of a good way to put it at this out, but Coffey had all the technical ability of Yngwie Maalmsteen, except it's actually listenable and he could even play nicely within the songs the Bo-Keys were playing.

The Legendary Stardust Cowboy was another oddball act, though predictably so. Imagine you typical middle-class 50-year old, kicking in the air, yelling "ARE YOU KNOCKING ON MY DOORKNOB? YOU CAN KEEP KNOCKING UNTIL YOUR KNUCKLES ARE SORE. DOODLEY-DOO! WE'RE IN THE DESERT BOYS!"

Ray Sharpe (with the A-Bones backing him up) was cute. He sort of looked like a fish and really enjoyed the little phrases he would say. I did too. He would start out songs saying "this was supposed to be my big hit... but it missed!" But he doesn't sound bitter, it sounds more like "whoopsie!". He would make us shout out "but Goodie!" after he said one of his songs were an oldie. He would end all of his songs either really drawn out or abrupt ways and "the A-Bone band by way of Brooklyn" (as he called them) were visibly really confused. But he could really bust out some great licks and more so than any other group, including the Bo-Keys, he turned the House of Blues into a sock hop.

And then Lady Bo... I was a little skeptical after the interview session. She had a very "I'm a professional, playing music since three, doing dance in Giuliard" blah blah sort of person, rather than the Rock & Roll attitude a lot of people showed. So when she takes stage, we were treated to 5 minutes of her getting the sound "just right", then screwing around to a Bo Diddley beat, a little bit of Bo Diddley medley except her guitar is running through some oscillating pedal so it sounds like a slow siren, then she wants the audience to clap the half-notes to the Bo Diddley beat. Yeah, people clapping everywhere. Second song was a slow, slow number and... I was out of there.

I'm omitting some things that I didn't catch much of or didn't have much to say about, but really it was still a pretty great night.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Dave Bartholomew - I'm Walkin' \ Going to the River

So despite spending all day out at Jazz Fest blogging for them, I still feel the need to do a little something on my own blog? Why would I do this when I could be seeing Budos Band, Sharon Jones, Andre Williams, Brownout, or Grupo Fantasma right now? For one, I'm sick of trying to make the decision about which of those to go to. For two, I've got some really hot stuff burning a hole in this blog's pocket. Or something. And oddly enough, they're all localish.

If you notice the song titles and then the writing credits, these are Fats Domino songs we're talking about, but done up in a much different way. For those of you who aren't familiar with him, Dave Bartholomew is sung as the unsung hero of New Orleans R&B. The guy produced or played on half of all those big numbers you know, and yet (and I only use this as an example) my college history of rock & roll teacher said he never released his own material. Of course I was a little shit and corrected him, and I've actually linked him to my blog once so Prof. Charry, here's your proof, though "The Monkey" would be better, more popular proof. I think Dave's gotten a little more come-uppance in years past, but his stake in this city's history will likely never be properly recognized.

These are instrumentals and way further into jazz territory than the R&B originals. But when you listen to I'm Walkin' here, did you ever think Fats Domino could sound so baaaad?
I'm Walkin'

Going to the River is a little more slow and groovy with some funky keyboards thrown in. It's deservedly the B-Side but a good track nonetheless
Going to the River

Friday, April 24, 2009

WWOZ bloggin'

here's a very slim version of how jazz fest has been going for me

and here are some of the extras. For the most part I've been spending only a few minutes as each thing
I'll organize them some other time, there's still plenty to do tonight

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Jazz Fest is coming, sure, so is Chicha Libre and Dengue Fever

I'm going to be blogging my Jazz fest experience on the fly for WWOZ and linking to that once it's underway. For other days I'm probably going to post my gameplan, but to be honest there's not an awful lot catching my eye on Friday, so chances are I'm going to float around and see what I see.

But after all that hooplah, there's a great show at One Eyed Jacks. Chicha Libre is playing with Dengue Fever. For those unfamiliar, neither are particularly RRHHWW standard fare, but each have little touches that would appeal. OK, those touches are surf rock, but in a very obscured manner.

Chicha Libre in particular is exciting. I would have a few preview MP3s and all sorts of details, but to be honest, they've already done things better than I could have. Follow this link, listen to the entire album and read as much as you'd like. It's a little less impressive when you realize that some of these are straightforward covers from the Roots of Chicha compilation (still in print).

OK now, take that formula and apply it to Cambodia and you've got a horrible but semi-functional description of Dengue Fever. I remember getting this in at WESU while I was a music director and seeing the description. These usually read as total bullshit and the rule of thumb is the more unrelated the recommendations, the better the album. Dengue Fever read something like Yma Sumac, Link Wray and Os Mutantes. I knew it was going to be good. Well, it wasn't as good as their older albums but regardless, I'd bet they're absolutely worth seeing live. So I will.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Mediocre Surf Double Post: The New Hawks and Pat Salvador

Although it's certainly nice to post really good music on this blog (and I've got some comin' down the tubes), the main thing I like about this blog is having these things up here for others to fill in the missing information on (huge thanks to the guy who dropped some Johnny Zorro knowledge recently, that's one of my favorite things on here (and my first post)). I believe that all music deserves to have that information preserved and to have some sort of internet acknowledgement of its existence. Especially if it's surf. So neither of these are particularly wonderful, but... I don't know. They're definitely kind of interesting in their own ways.

The New Hawks actually have some information about themselves here and there, but frankly I wasn't that interested. What made me appreciate this 45 was not the obvious surf covers on the B-Side but the hilariously cheesy voiceovers on

The James Bond Theme

I mean, these really aren't poorly executed, but don't have the oomph for me to want to put them on all that often. In fact, I think their cover of Walk Don't Run (with Pipeline in there too) is less boring than most renditions I've heard. But then again, I hate that song.

Walk Don't Run\Pipeline

Now Pat Salvador and the Dufrene Brothers is a little different. Really, it's a stretch to call it surf since we're talking covers of the pre-surf instro band Johnny and the Hurricanes and Santo and Johnny's classic not-really-surf song Sleepwalk. Now I have no idea when this was, but judging by the Houma Records and the name Dufrene, I'd wager these guys are coming from the Louisiana area, which explains the delivery pretty well. It's more jazzy than rockin'... and pretty cheesy
Red River Rock


Friday, April 17, 2009

Tomorrow is (among other things) International Record Store Day

The whole thing seems sort of goofy, but I guess tha truth is I love record stores and never mind an excuse to visit. So I checked out their site to see who has participating and called 'em up. I get the impression that everybody just signed on to be a part of it (sounds like it didn't hurt or anything) but to give a quick rundown

Odyssey Records: I haven't been to Odyssey since I first went to check it out (impressions are on a link to the right). The guy said something about some Sony record execs dropping in, giving away some free promos.

The Mushroom: Special items in stock, specifically mentioning a Pavement live album and Sonic Youth splits. Apparently is just happens to coincide with their annual sale where you get $4.20 off anything above $15 or something like that. I asked myself "why this annual sale on April Twenny-OHHHHHhhhhhh I get it"

Skully's: Nothing special aside from sale of limited releases. He regretably told me that they wouldn't have Slayer in stock.

Jim Russel: Honestly, this was kind of a surprise. I have a real soft spot for Jim Russel Records but staying abreast on the up-and-coming isn't really their strong point. They didn't sound especially sure of what's going on but told me that there would be some special releases in store. She doesn't know what they are yet.

I'm pretty sure these are the releases they're talking about though I don't know if they each get all of them or select releases. Only one way to find out, y'all. I'm especially wondering if anybody's going to be carrying that Dengue Fever \ Chicha Libre split because I'll (hopefully) be seeing both of them in a week together.

Seriously, as goofy as this "holiday" is, I like the idea of trying to hype up local music retail.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Johnny J & The Hitmen - (Who Dat) Hound Dog \ Lookin

This morning I awoke to the sight of Johnny J. (or at least I assumed it was Johnny J) standing in the doorway before me, about to kill me being a hitman and all. Granted, I hadn't even opened my eyes, I was merely jostled awake by the A\C window unit by me turning on (loud as a bomb, dumb thing). Later in the wake-up process I would invent some story about "legendary rock critic" Wanda Jackson meeting her end by jumpin off a balcony into a kiddie pool full of green dye during spring break. I took these as a sign that I should go ahead and make my Johnny J. post as soon as I reach the coherent stage of the wake-up process.

I'm not terribly familiar with Johnny J. but I've sampled a few songs while digging through vinyl at WTUL. Thankfully, he's still active and playing with this group, so I can one day go catch him and find out what the real deal is because, honestly, I've never really been too stirred up by his music. Unlike local guitar master CC Adcock, I haven't picked up a terribly distinctive style or exceptional energy from his recorded music.

However, he's probably the most consistent and faithful rockabilly revivalist in New Orleans, and that's a fact that I'll always appreciate. The bulk of what I've heard was off his album Nuclear Hayride, which I seem to remember as being pretty straightforward (though well done) rockabilly except in the 80's. Then again, it's rare that I love ANYTHING recorded in the 80's as the recording quality tends to render the music listless. See the Raybeats. Yeah I know, you all love the Raybeats, I'm terribly sorry.

Anyway, this little 7" on Roman Records (I believe his work is now on Blue Viper) doesn't really help his case by presenting us with covers, but Hound Dog has certainly got a little certain local flavor. The surprise is kind of given away by the parentheses. Anybody coming down for Jazz Fest (or the Ponderosa Stomp, god bless you) should familiarize yourself with this chant, there's a chance you might find yourself amongst people hooting the same thing.
Hound Dog
No idea what's up with the streaming right now, working on that

Lookin' doesn't employ such gimmicks but it's a pretty strong and catchy rockabilly tune. Doesn't really knock me off my feet in any manner, but doesn't offend either.

Johnny's got a little information about himself on his website, though the bio page reads more like a resume.

And just in case, you haven't heard, Obama named his dog after Bo Diddley

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Louisiana Events Wall Calendar Found!

Since the recent Gambit Weekly issue detailing all the upcoming festivals in Louisiana, I figured it would be much easier to just get a calendar to map it all out, not to mention the keep track of the mountain of music coming in for Jazz Fest etc. I had once seen a wall calendar that already had all the festivals, but nobody I talked to knew where to find them.

Until I asked the guys at Louisiana Music Factory, who had run out but gave me the answer. Google Huli and there you go. Unfortunately it doesn't increase the amount of hours in a day to 36, but some organization might be the next best thing. Thought it was worth passing along

edit: oh hey, looks like my server's down... welp, I'm in Florida and can't fix it

Friday, April 10, 2009

We're not done with the Lifeguards just yet

Oh no, there's no more unraveling of the mystery of the Lifeguards album I posted before , but it is fun to find that not only is "C'mon and Swim" not entirely their own but their name isn't either.

As far as I can tell, these Lifeguards have no relation to the Wynecote records boys. In fact, they're probably more high profile; The A side is written by Frank Pingatore who penned songs for Bill Haley, and the B side is by a drummer of the same band, Ralph Jones. They don't particularly sound alike either.

Everybody Outta The Pool is a fun, mostly instrumental, novelty song. Fun enough that apparently it showed up on one of those great comps of music given a seal of approval by Lux Interior. Which is a much cleaner version than mine so here's an MP3 I found from that.

The Lifeguards - Everybody Outta The Pool

Teenage Tango isn't exactly a riot but is a pretty simple and nice little thing. I'd be surprised if you liked it enough to download and cherish it but know knows
The Lifeguards - Teenage Tango

And one more thing: the little thingy I had on the Lifeguards before ended with a Come on and Swim cover by the Flakes. I love that version and just discovered that another version was on my hard drive all along by the Japanese surf\garage combo Mach Kung Fu. Siiiiiick

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Storm Surge of Reverb Playlist and...

Played a show last night:

Messer Chups - Agent Tremolo
Hypnomen - Intruder
Rubens & The Barichellos - Tamburello
Five Outsiders - El Hobo
Gasolines - El Moroco

Atlantics - War of the Worlds
DC5 - Chaquita
Swiv-o-matics - Charm City Surfer
Ghastly Ones - Diabolo's Theme
Lively Ones\Surf Mariachis - Baja
Atomic Mosquitos - Dark Side of the Chimps

Jim Messina & His Jesters - Yang Bu
Barbwires - Go Go Gasoline
Satelliters - Oasis
Switch Trout - Shake Some Rod Action
Richie Allen - The Lonely Surfer
The A-Bones - Lugnut
Menster Phip and his Phipsters - Wiped Out
Monomen - Rat Fink
Rat Holic - Yu-Hi
Bitch Boys - Shockwave

Satan's Pilgrims - Dilation
Satan's Pilgrims - Ginza Lights
Crossifres - Out of Control
Pozor Vlak - Pistol pete
Treblemakers - Organ Failure
Surf Teens - Moment of Truth
The Weisstronauts - Fisticuffs

The Ramblin' Ambassadors - Lonesome Rambler
The Ventures - Slaughter on 10th Avenue
Fifty Foot Combo - Sugar No Cream

Dick Dale - Gypsy Fire

and admittedly I'm a little interested in testing the might of my little home-cooked webserver (note to self: close internet stuff before you go to work), so I guess you can listen to this one. Spot the huge whoopsie I made

Monday, April 6, 2009

Little Richard - Tutti Fruitti \ Baby Face (on Trip Records)

This isn't the first time Trip Records has made an appearance on here and hopefully we'll see more of it. I have a few other 45s from them and haven't been familiar enough with the songs to be able to tell whether they were simple reissues or whether they were something Trip had cooked up. In this case either my turntable is slow or these are different recordings than the ones that you normally here. It's a little more booming and Little Richard's voice slightly reminds me of another album I love. I'm really curious about trip and how often they liked to cash in on the big names. I want to know what sort of people ran this outfit.

Maybe after you listen to this version of Tutti Frutti you'll think "I don't know, this is pretty much the same". Fine, maybe I'm imagining things, but who can really complain about listening to Tutti Frutti again? There's plenty of sci-fi that loves to tell us "it's love and imperfection that make us human and that's good" but is anybody aware of a movie that praises rock & roll as what makes us such a beautiful thing? Because Tutti Frutti is exactly the sort of thing that makes me so proud that I'm not a FRACKIN' CYCLON. Getting back to the song at hand though, the end gets a little messed up but the surface wear doesn't seem to suggest that anything like that would happen. Maybe it's the recording?

Tutti Fruitti

Baby Face here is also pretty similar to normal recordings (I don't think I have a Specialty or other label 45 for either song) but it sounds like it might be in a slightly different key (I'm not a musician) and the occaisional scream isn't really the same. Perhaps the mix for different instruments are a little different? Both are fine and practically interchangeable with the originals to me.

Baby Face

By the way, things are a little different on the technical end of things on this blog. If this isn't working please let me know. If it's working well I'd like to know too.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

STORM SURGE TONIGHT + a few other things

That's right, another show of unapologetic instrumental rock & roll at 2AM CST, WTULNEWORLEANS.COM (as in Thursday morning)

but in the meantime, two things:

1) I actually just listened to a 45 I'm going to slip on here. Blog's not dead.

2) but my file hosting is. For some reason Wesleyan doesn't want to host their alumn's website crap forever. Unless somebody knows a good, free solution for hosting and easy streaming of single songs, there might be a little downtime for 45s while I figure out my own little server.

Dick Dale - Mr Eliminator
Krontjong Devils - Skateboard USA
The Ventures - The Fourth Dimension
The El Caminos - Big Surf
Paul Revere and the Raiders - Orbit (The Spy)

Earl Palmer's Party Rockers - Johnny's House Party Part 1
Red Garrison & His Zodiacs - Taboo
Dave "Baby" Cortez - Hot Cakes! 1st SXerving
Kip Tyler and His Flips - On the Flipside
Alan Pierce - The Growl
The Lifeguards - Everybody Outta The Pool

The Razorblades - Grease Your Hair and Get Tattoed
Barbacoa - Taco Bell's Cannon
The Sir Finks - Can't Be Still
The Bahareebas - Dunewalk
The Mobsmen - Chunkje

The John Schroeder Orchestra - Nightrider
Alvin Cash & the Crawlers - Twine Time
Laika and the Cosmonauts - Disconnected
The Weisstronauts - Get it Together
The Castanets - Funky Wunky Piano
The Hypnomen - Lucumba

The Bad Beers - Russian Rocket
The Ramblin' Ambassadors - Cupcakes di Milo
Mad 3 - Ali Baba
Switch Trout - Pedal Pressure(Bomb the Radio)
Famous Monsters - International Monster Pressentation
The Mag Seven - Sleepwalk
Wau Y Los Arrrrgs!!! - Copa, Raya Paliza

Urban Surf Kings - And the Horse You Rode In On
Cozy Cole - Bad
Bill Justis - College Man