Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Rickey and the Rockets - Wrong End / Every Minute of the Day

I love when I buy a 45 for a side that explicitly is not the side they want you to hear. So mad am I in my lust for instrumentals that I didn't get around to listening to the A-Side until I ripped it just now.

My mediocre detective work points to this likely being a Louisiana group, perhaps even Lafayette. I base this theory on other people on the Jador label, the dealer I bought it from being from Lafayette, and the possibility that this is just a confused release from Randy and the Rockets. I have a Randy 45 here and I don't see any similar names, but I can't find squat on Ricky.

Anyway, Wrong End, LABELLED Harmonica Instrumental, which I personally think is an underrated and surprisingly common form of instrumental, is a fun stompin' tune. Listen for the hidden piano back there, makes it even more fun!

The other side is a swamp pop ballad with cheesy effects on it that make me question when this was made. After all, Swamp Pop hasn't really changed much over the years, and I think a lot of swamp pop musicians would be happy to say that.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Satellites - Bodacious / El San Juan (1967)

Bodacious screams Joe Meek and all the spacey connotations that come with that, but oddly enough if you take a look at that cover you'll see that it's produced by Bobby Vinton of all people. Apparently one of the members was friends with Bobby. In any case, a killer instrumental, one of the best I've posted on here

El San Juan is a sleepy latin-tinged surf dreamer, great in it's own right but way less Joe Meek.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mody-Vation - Brother Monkey / Friends

So one of my favorite 45s I've picked up recently was Mody-Vation's "Ghetto Kung-Fu" on Phil LA of Soul, a sort of dreamy, idiotic rip-off of Kung-Fu Fighting. I wanted more, and I found that there was ONE more Mody-Vation recording out there. Way out there in Germany on the Hansa label. Well, with a cover this stupid, I had to spring.

I don't know if I can say whether they quite match Ghetto Kung-Fu musically but they're fun enough. Friends might actually be my favorite of the two, reminding me of that Ween EP that came out in 2007 or so.

Brother Monkey.

and Friends

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Continentals - Pussy Cat

This has gotta be the best thing I've pulled in a long time. Greasy instrumentals from Lafayette, Louisiana, covered in loud fake cat meows. As evidenced by the Crazy Cajun music (and this site here), this was a Huey Meaux joint, and from a little more internet digging it seems they're entirely separate from the Fabulous Continentals found on the Las Vegas Grind compilations, despite fitting right in.

Pussy Cat Part 1:

And Part 2:

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Casino Royales - East Coast

Plain ol' 90s surf, fast and fun. I can't find a single thing about this band other than what the liner notes say, which are included so I won't say all that much more. It's off a split 7" with The Dimitri Gurevitch Quintette, which I deemed to be less of interest.

Escape to Bikini Island (strikes me as a terrible place to escape to)


Rendezvous in Red Bank

(pssst I got a scanner and a new sound card, this blog's posts may be rarer than they once were, but higher quality!)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Let my people podcast

If I haven't made this at all clear on this blog, I'm a radio DJ and I'm very proud of my shows. I put a considerable amount of effort and thought into them and I think the result is unlike anything else found on the dial. I don't want to call it an art because “what IS art?”, but it's certainly a craft and one that many people have convinced me that I'm pretty good at.

Now let me jump ahead so that I can tie it back together: as I understand them (and there's plenty of ways to get lost), the rules of music podcasting are that you cannot give the listener any sort of reference that would allow them to pinpoint where a song within your digital file would lie, so that a listener couldn't use your source to pirate the songs you played. Furthermore, you are expected to pay royalties, likely through soundexchange. Terrestrial broadcasts (FM radio) are typically covered by sort of blanket licensing, where they pay a yearly fee that should cover the royalties that they play, albeit not accurately but that's another story. These licenses do not apply to the digital realm, and in order to be legal, music radio shows must essentially pay up twice for the same broadcast, not that anybody actually does that. If you follow the playlist guidelines and don't announce your songs, your podcast may exist for up to two weeks before it must be erased, barring extra licensing.

Copyright law has always been a cobbled mess of compromises to keep everybody in their respective industries happy, and in doing so keeping very few happy. Since the easy sharing of digital media hit the internet, these laws have been damaged, ignored and rearranged, leaving a picture in my head reminding me of the genetic mess in The Fly muttering “killllll meeeee”. I don't have a suggestion for how to fix copyright (I think it's a deluded notion altogether), but I get it and can see from different viewpoints.

Copyright is the motivation for these limiting podcasting rules, but I'm more concerned with the result. By essentially outlawing digital sharing of broadcast media, you'd might as well say “this is one American cultural force (perhaps even art) that may not be archived nor, collaterally, documented.”

Radio's impact on musical history has been oft-spoken, rarely experienced. By nature, it's nearly always local and temporary. So while we hear about Alan Freed's stake in Rock & Roll history, almost nobody has heard what that show sounds like since it was first broadcast. Let alone, you would never hear about the local DJs that had a more intimate cultural impact on their local communities, both in Rock & Roll and the many other 20th century musical movements that history can't find the narrative for. The narrative, once again, was local, temporary, and perfunctory (though no less important), and so impact was left mostly to personal memory.

Radio deserves a more powerful legacy, as it is not only starting point of musical culture, counterculture, subculture, and unculture, but its own unique soundwaves and voicework are significant cultural forces. I can say with confidence that my own show has had significant local cultural impact, as listeners have told me time and again. But my own surf rock show was heavily motivated by a former stationmate, Rockabilly Willy on WESU. I'd wager that both of our shows were heavily influenced by the likes of Wolfman Jack. The funny thing is, my knowledge of Wolfman Jack is pieced together from small bites and text; I've never been able to get my hands on a broadcast or an archive, just as you will never hear Rockabilly Willy. Hell, I'll never hear him again either, and soon I won't be able to tell you much about it. Nevertheless, his shows changed my life.

In the information age storage is cheaper than ever and radio recordings are way less cumbersome than they were when fans hit the reel to reel trying to capture something they felt was important. I hope that we come to a sane law that allows us to capture history before it's deemed worthwhile, as that's usually the only history that's really interesting.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Alvin Cash - Cash is Back on Track \ Something on Your Mind

I think I've documented my love for Alvin Cash pretty well, but oh my.

I think we've all heard terrible tracks with rock & roll stars from another era coming back and trying to rap like all the kids have been doing. But rarely do you get a CALL-OUT track. Let me list the horrors:

  • It's one huge, terrible bass solo
  • a very dissonant bass solo
  • He claims that he's been rapping "before rappin' was here"
  • He doesn't really rap any more than he ever did(n't) but now puts extra emphasis on his couplet rhymes
  • He specifically calls out certain rappers like Run DMC and Kool Moe Dee
  • He blatantly claims that he's doing it for money
  • He whips out "motherfucker" at the end, which just felt un-called for
  • Not a single "ooooh-whee", "Have mercy!" or anything!

I'm sure you can add your own. Here have a listen and think to yourself "Nooooo Alvin, don't do this!"

Alvin Cash - Cash is Back on Track

The flipside isn't miserable, it's just one of the million covers of Big Jay McNeely's "There is Something on your mind" with Shirley King jumping on to chew him out.

Judging by the other Triple T Alvin Cash single "I'm betting" which I haven't heard, this is around 1988. There's not an ounce of the danceable Alvin we know and love. Interestingly, when I look at the Something On Your Mind at just the right light, there's a tiny scratch on the wax that says "To Sweet Johnny Cash" in cursive. I couldn't get it in the picture

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Uniques - Lady's Man / Bolivar J

The Uniques are a pretty fun Louisiana rock & roll/garagey group, though the more research I do the less they seem like a Louisiana band. Usually the Shreveport Paula label = Louisiana, but it seems the Uniques were formed in Arkansas, according to this website I somehow had never seen before. Interesting, considering that this was produced by Dale Hawkins, often considered a Louisiana artist despite spending the greater part of his life in Arkansas. Whatever I'll take it, I like these guys, I like their more popular single with the cover of All These Things, I like their LP Uniquely Yours though mine has a big chunk taken out of the first track. Maybe otherwise I'd upload it for y'all, until then I'll keep an eye out.

Anyway, these are both pretty upbeat, not quite KILLER but fun. Lady's Man here might be a cover? I haven't been able to find the details, I'm probably missing something obvious

I like Bolivar J a little more with its big stompin' and prominent organ. This one was definitely written by the band

blog note: sorry it's an eternity between posts, the Youtube crowd is just really on top of their game, everything's been gotten to already!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

My radio show has a podcast

OK I swear I have real stuff to update this blog with, but I finally went ahead and podcasted my surf & instrumental radio show. It's here.


This post left intentionally bare to anticipate a real update this afternoon

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Americans: Live rockabilly on WTUL!

I try to keep my surf show separate from my blog unless I've got something really special for ya. And here we are! The Americans were passing through town, heard my show, and in about an hour they were tearin' it up on set. It was a short set but oh so sweet.

I'll confess to not being familiar with these guys, but from my own little private show (well, I guess shared with my listener audience (and you)) I'm a big fan. This isn't psychobilly cheese (not that I can't enjoy psychobilly cheese) it's barebones 50's style like you rarely hear people doing these days.

A few notes on the session itself:
-I like the levels, but the vocals are a little clipped. Maybe you like that even better!
-I neglected to take out my camera. That picture up there is ripped from Wikipedia
-And of course, somebody I was chatting with was telling me that surf musicians were the absolute nicest. Well, these aren't surf musicians, but goddamn do I love serving up the niche genres: super nice guys, no egos. I would almost say that the best old rockabilly is helped by big egos, but there's nothing lacking here.
-They have an impeccable sense of direction. They found their way to the studio with minimal help and despite our hallway being curtained off

Here's the three songs they played.

Real Gone Daddy

One Hand Loose

Tool Pusher

This flac file is the full continuous set. Higher quality but the terrible downside of having to listen to my excruciating blabber

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Doc Jazroc - Fish & Chips \ Moody Girl

Here's a weird one. Fish & Chips is a pretty simple rock & roll instrumental with upbeat females chanting "chips", one squealing "feeeeEEESH" and a guy doing the heavy vocal work by combining those two words. A sweet guitar solo at some point but overall it's a testament to how they'll put ANYTHING on a record.

Moody Girl, however, is a ballad about a moody girl. Does that sound like something you want to hear? Because I'm not going to change your mind either way

That's it. It's not that I'm feeling lazy, but that's about all I can find on this thing

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Jesse Ferguson and the Outer Limits - St. Louis Blues / Water on a Drowning Man

After a long silence I come back with a scratched-to-hell 45 that I know absolutely zero about? Yes, yes I do

St. Louis blues

(You Threw) Water on a Drowning Man

That is all!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Triple Shirley

You totally know Shirley. The records themselves give away part of it: This is Shirley and Goodman of Shirley & Lee. Famously for "Let the Good Times Roll". WHATEVER DUDE, I really don't care about that one, it's all about


That New Orleans Cosimo stomp and blaring brass mix with the slightly off, thickly accented vocals into a frenzied, swirling, BEST DAMN DUET LOVE SONG EVER. They don't come out and say it, but both Shirley and Lee's goofball voices sing the ultimate love song message: That it's not about who you are or how you're loving, it's who you love and that you love 'em in a way that works for you. UNH! I'm not asking for agreement! I am demanding submission to the truth! In fact, I'm still slightly heartbroken that these songs aren't with Lee. Wasn't that TRUE LOVE in that song? IS LOVE EVEN REAL?

Oh yeah and in the disco era she also did Shame, Shame, Shame with Shirley and Company, featuring a crudely drawn Shirley with Richard Nixon on the cover. I love New Orleans.

So here we have three Shirley singles from in-between those periods. These WHIZ records cuts are late 60s or so, and slightly funkier than her Shirley and Lee Days and all produced by Hooven-Winn and sometimes Rogers. The difference is definitely noticeable, none of these have that J&M shuffle, but they're all good songs.

The earliest of these is Shirley and Alfred's "Kid Games and Nursery Rhymes", Alfred actually being Brenton Wood of Double Shot Records' Boogaloosa Louisiana song. While I like Brenton, I cannot accept him as a a replacement for her obvious true love, Lee.

and on the flipside Too Much, Too Soon

After that, you've got my favorite of the bunch, "They Put the Last Clean Shirt On Leroy Jones Today". I love that they add the Today to the end of an already excessively long title. This song appears to be Shirley posthumously defending the honor of a murder-accused Leroy Jones on the grounds that he was a good lover. My qualms with her love life aside, this really showcases Shirley's goofy style. Who is Leroy Jones? Well it's not Lee, he's a Leonard and wasn't dead by the time they made this record, nor is the New Orleans trumpeter. I don't know.

"You Care For Me" isn't nearly as absurd but a great song in it's own right

I guess "Sugar Sugar" here is the A-Side because there are TWO STARS on the label. It's a funkier version of the ol' oldies classic by the Archies. Naturally, most songs are improved by Shirley's Woman-sounding-like-a-man-imitating-a-woman voice.

And we'll finish weak with "Gonna Waltz Right Out of Your Life (1-2-3)" which is a cute song that lacks a memorable hook.

This doesn't represent the entirety of Shirley's work outside Shirley & Lee and Shirley & Company, it's not even everything on Whiz. It's what I got.

And since I can't think of where else to say it, Shirley's dead. As of 2005. I don't feel qualified to give her an obituary, especially 6 years late, but it's pretty nice that "She'll be missed" doesn't sound right. We got REKKORDZ!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

M. E. Rushing and his Dynatone Piano - Let Me See Me

I believe there's great virtue to enjoying the terrible things in life, and I would count M.E. Rushing's Let Me See Me among them. Despite the dinky Randy Newman sung underwater sound, it's just musical enough and dinky enough to be kind of fun, and definitely funny. Which is more than I could say about Hammond, Louisiana on the whole. Though for some reason I think Ernie Johnson of Ronn Records' "Mouth to Mouth Resuscitation" is from there. Maybe I'm wrong.

Whatever, here you go. Just the A-Side, the B-Side is just pure boring religious country that I really get into.

Monday, February 28, 2011

The Routers - Superbird / Sack of Woe

Yes, it's those Routers. Or at least it is meant to be in direct lineage of those Routers. The ones that gave us Clap Clap Clapclapclap Clapclapclapclap Let's Go 10 years prior to this 1973 release. I believe both of these are from their Superbird LP, which was sort of like that one Lively Ones album where they come out of nowhere making funk music that sounds nothing like their old stuff. I don't really know that, I've never listened to it.

I also have no idea whether this featured Tommy Tedesco, Hal Blaine or any Wrecking Crew members. I do know that it's produced by Joe Saraceno and Superbird is written by Larry Duncan, like the old Routers, which is why I don't think this is a separate group. But it is a complete break to a very funk sound.

Superbird is the better of the two. Does this surprise you? They named their album after it!

Sack of Woe is a Cannonball Adderly cover, right? Well here it is, slow and funky

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Champs & The Fabulous Cyclones

RE-UPPED! And since writing this article I HAVE heard a cover of the Champs' Lowdown: by the Surfin' Gorillas (great album too!)

Probably not going to re-up those other songs, but the album link has been updated

This post is going to be easy. While I'm not going to kid myself, most people checking out this blog have some interest in the forgotten art of Rock & Roll and have some sort of savvy, often more than I do, but I explain the albums all the same. The Champs, however.... I think anybody can sing along to Tequila. 

This here's a split LP, though you can hardly tell by the cover. And honestly, the cover is sort of correct in doing so; The Cyclones side is far less fun, but we'll get to that later. Aside from Too Much Tequila, which got a proper 45 single treatment and was on their album Tequila these songs don't really appear anywhere else except for a rarities collection called Wing Ding (in the case of the last three songs) and a Greatest Hits collection which features Streamliner. However, these are excellent tracks, all with the signature Champs sound and with a healthy dose of humor. Club House was the immediate standout to me, and it apparently had some affect on Quintron as well since he did a loose cover on his album "These Hands of Mine". Quintron, why are you so great?

I haven't heard a direct cover of Lowdown myself, but it's got a great slow and dirty vibe to it that reminds me of this Eddie Angel song that I'd might as well throw on here

As for the Fabulous Cyclones, whose name got an even smaller typeface than their song titles on the cover, they're up against some hard competition but the LP is still worth flipping over. It's simple rock & roll instrumentals, reminding me of Joe Houston. If you wanna dance, The Cyclones will provide and you'll have a great time, but if you want something to whistle while walking down the street I'd stick with the A side. The real disappointment here is that the song Moon Journey has no sci-fi tone to it, because with the Quintron mention I would have another rare post fulfilling the Louisiana, Rock & Roll, Sci-fi trifecta in this blog's mission statement. 

this album isn't the cleanest one I've got but the songs are about 97% listenable, the only pops that I found were as one song faded out. Otherwise there's sort of a fuzz going on, but the music prevails. I don't have a back cover included since it says nothign about the album, just other albums on the label. The tracklist looks like:

Side A (The Champs):

  1. Too Much Tequila
  2. Streamliner
  3. Wing Ding
  4. Club House
  5. Lowdown

Side B (The Fabulous Cyclones):

  1. Boogie Guitar
  2. Rocking & Picking
  3. Moon Journey
  4. Blue & Mean
  5. Gone & Out

Re-Upped! go get it here

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Double Alvin Cash 45s

My love of Alvin Cash is already documented and while these may have slight deviations from what's seen there, each 45 has all of the requirements for an Alvin classic

*High on danceability
*Moronic lyrical content
*Showcasing a stupid dance
*Alvin sounds like a happy dude!
*"Awwww but you're lookin' good baby!"
*"Awwwwwww have mercy!"

and of course, the Twine still gets nods.

The earlier 45 (1965): the Penguin (Tuxedo Bird)/Un-Wind the Twine is especially close to the content of the twine time LP. Sometimes I think he just goes to the zoo and comes back with all sorts of inspiration

Alvin Cash - The Penguin (Tuxedo Bird)

Unwind the Twine is of course his umpteenth reference to his favorite dance. What rules about this track is that it seems to have a neat little marimba in the background!

Alvin Cash - Unwind the Twine

1967's Doin' the Ali Shuffle / Feel So Good is two years later but does show a little bit of a change. Ali Shuffle (MUCH different from his 1976 Dakar records release) is the more familiar of the two. Still a goofy (but killer) dance, with some of his goofiest lyrics like "I want you to float like a butterfly, baby, and I want you to sting like a bee" duhhhhh

The B-Side instrumental "Feel So Good" honestly doesn't feel so good with me. I like a lot of his earlier instrumentals but this is a little too smooth saxxy. Though I think it demonstrates a pretty good bridge to his later career (he is, after all, now with the Registers when he used to be with the Crawlers, a comment on his age)

It's worth noting that both of these were different producers than his Twine Time days (which means no more Andre Williams). Penguin and Un-Wind the Twine have Hayes, Burrage and J. Jones despite being released around the same time as songs like BARRACUDA. Ali Shuffle and Feel So Good are both produced by Eddie Silvers. I don't know much about either of these guys and I'm so close to hitting "publish post" that I think I might take care of that later.

By the way, here's a pretty good resource of Alvin

I have been lazy

Actually, October 2010 sounds much more recent than I thought my last post was. Well I've been feeling motivated lately and I feel like posting again. And maybe even fixing all those broken links since my home fileserver went down. Maybe even re-ripping a few of the requested reups