Category Archives: Vinyl

Strange Covers and praise for Scott Walker…

I like the horrible harmonies on this one:

Go ahead, Sammy, sing whatever lyrics you want:

If you’re a rock and roll traditionalist, move on. This version of “Light My Fire” by The Free Design is more mesmerizing than the original (especially the solos near the end). This is one of my favorite albums of all time.

Oh dear:

I rented “30 Century Man”, a movie about Scott Walker, an utterly unique figure in the best sense. Not only is he an amazing songwriter, not only has he gone from pop star to icon unscathed and with his integrity and sanity in tact, but he creates music that really defies description. His CD “Tilt” is one of only two albums that literally stayed with me for months after hearing it. What was it? It wasn’t pop, or jazz. It wasn’t techno or Sprechgesang or Sprechstimme (although it contained all those elements). All I can say is that I am a huge fan. So much so that when I was compiling Olivia’s first CD of music that I wanted to share with her, one of the songs was a Scott Walker tune, “Farmer In The City”.

I have no idea what the song is about. Thankfully Walker does not revisit his own work, so our own interpretations will have to suffice. I think it’s about a man from another land being sold as a slave.

Listen to this in a dark room. If you get the whole CD, you won’t make it to the end in a dark room, I promise you.

Do i hear
21
21
21

i’ll give you
21
21
21

Do i hear
21
21
21

i’ll give you
21
21
21

This night you
are mistaken

i’m a farmer
in the city

Dark farm
houses
against the
sky

Every night
i must wonder why

Harness on the
left nail keeps
wrinkling wrinkling

Then higher above
me – e e so o
e e e so o o

Can’t go buy
a man from
Rio

Can’t go buy
a man from
Vigo

Can’t go buy
a man from
Ostia

Hey Ninetto

Remember that
dream

we talked about
it
so many times

Do i hear
21
21
21

i’ll give you
21
21
21

Do i hear
21
21
21

i’ll give you
21
21
21

And if i’m not
mistaken
We can search
from farm to
farm

Dark farm houses
against our eyes

Every night i
must realize

Harness on the
left nail

keeps withering withering

Then higher above
me e e so o
e e e so o o

Can’t go by
a man in
this shirt

Can’t go by
a man in
that shirt

Can’t go by
a man with brain
grass

go by his long
long eye
gas

And i used
to be a
citizen

i never felt
the pressure

i knew nothing
of the horses

Nothing of the
thresher

Paulo
take me with
you

it was the
journey of
a life

Do i hear
21
21
21

i’ll give you
21
21
21

Do i hear
21
21
21

i’ll give you
21
21
21

Here’s a preview of the movie. Yes. That’s meat being punched by a percussionist as a musical device. The last CD of his, “The Drift“, if anything, is MORE terrifying.

 

 

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And besides….

There’s a fascinating article on Wikipedia about the b-sides of popular singles. Here is an excerpt:

B-side songs may be released on the same record as a single to provide extra “value for money”. There are several types of material commonly released in this way, including a different version (e.g., instrumental, a cappella, live, acoustic, remixed version or in another language/text), or, in a concept record, a song that does not fit into the story line.

Additionally, it was common in the 1960s and 1970s for longer songs by soul, funk or R&B acts to be broken into two parts for single release. Examples of this include the Isley Brothers “Shout” (Parts 1 and 2), and a number of records by James Brown, including (“Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” (Parts 1 & 2) and “Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud (Parts 1 & 2). “Part 1” would be the chart hit, while “Part 2” would be a continuation of the same recording. A notable example of a non-R&B hit with parts 1 & 2 was the single release of Don McLean‘s “American Pie“. With the advent of the 12” single in the late 1970s, the Part 1/Part 2 method of recording was largely abandoned.

Since both sides of a single received equal royalties, some composers deliberately arranged for their songs to be used as the B-sides of singles by popular artists. This became known as the “flipside racket”.

On a few occasions, the B-side became the more popular song. This was usually because a DJ preferred the B-side to its A-side and played it instead. Examples include “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor (originally the B-side of “Substitute”), “I’ll Be Around” by The Spinners (originally the B-side of “How Could I Let You Get Away“), “Maggie May” by Rod Stewart (originally the B-side of “Reason To Believe“), “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” by Beyoncé (originally the B-side of “If I Were a Boy“), and Reddish -Diva Version- by D’espairsRay (B-side of their single “Gemini“). More rarely, both sides of the single would become hits, such as Queen‘s “We Are the Champions” and “We Will Rock You“.


And back to me:

Among others, two of the biggest singles of the late 60’s-early 70’s had two very strange b-sides, and this was by design, to prevent DJs from flipping them over and playing them. The $$$ behind the a-sides was too significant to leave to chance.

Here’s the b-side to “Seasons in the Sun” by Terry Jacks, late of the Poppy Family. It’s called “Put The Bone In”, and it’s a big hit here in the office:

“Seasons in the Sun” comes from this:

Another huge hit from that era was “Yummy Yummy Yummy” by The Ohio Express. Here’s the b-side, believe it or not, the instrumental backing of 1910 Fruitgum Co’s. “(Poor Old) Mr. Jensen” recorded backwards, a common practice of producers Kasenetz & Katz (who produced both ‘groups’) to discourage double-sided hits. As I said!

Damn this enormous head of mine.

Every time I see a hat I like online or in person, I think “Boy, I’d sure like to be a guy who looks good in a hat…if only my head weren’t so big.” Then I slither back to my reality. The reality of a non-hat-wearing guy.

I don’t like the Indiana Jones hat. I cannot keep track of my ballcaps. My wife bought me one of those conventional felt caps that some of the hep cats wear backwards. But it just doesn’t cover my great big melon. I look like a guy with a black toilet seat on his head.

This is Antonio Martinez.

Antonio in a pakol. Looking good!

See, I’d buy one online (or you know, you could. Just look up “Pakol” on the Amazon Page. I give and give.) but I’m afraid my head would stretch it beyond recognition. Here’s my personal hero, Andy Partridge of XTC wearing one.

Andy's head: Normal size.

Look at that! An Englishman can look good in such a thing. I wish I were as good looking as my pal Andy.

I have one request. Will someone send me a pakol? God, my head is so big. No luck at the thrift store. Never ever is a good fit to be found at WalMart or Target or whatever. Surely they must make hats that look good on a big-headed man like myself. DAMN THIS HUGE HEAD!!!

I feel a sense of dread this morning. Something really bad is gonna happen. I hope I’m wrong.

Yeah, I dunno….let me be more specific…

I still haven’t decided if I think this is good or bad. But it certainly “is”.  And since Pandora (the ‘real’ one, not the one that somehow equates The Bee Gees with Rupert Holmes)  has opened the box nice and wide, there’s no going back. What do you think? If you explore this fellow’s YouTube channel, you’ll find all sorts of ‘goodies’. Do you think having the ability to take these songs ‘apart’ as it were and hear every single imperfection and nuance and pops and crackles and shit good for the music fan or not? Does it lessen the mystique? You can pretty much mix your own “Taxman” now. Will you?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PxVrOuMxy0&list=TLsg82IL_36q0

Sound Your Funky (Pedophile) Horn, ostensibly at the playground…

“Take It To The Limit” by The Eagles is one of those tunes that puts me right back where I was when I first heard it all those years ago. I really like it.

When you hear “Rock and Roll pt 2” at a sporting event, does your mind immediately take you to the image of Gary Glitter doing this?

Or this? (from Wikipedia)

In November 1997 Glitter was arrested after pornographic images of children were discovered on the hard drive of a Toshiba laptop that he had taken to the Bristol Cribbs Causeway branch of PC World for repair. As a result, he was castigated in both US and UK media over the allegations. Additionally, his appearance in the Spice Girls‘ film Spiceworld The Movie was cut. Nevertheless, a truncated edit of the scene, featuring a version of Glitter’s “I’m the Leader of the Gang (I Am)”, was still included in the film. In the months before his conviction, he thanked audiences for their support at his last show before his trial.

In 1999, Glitter returned to the public eye when he was sentenced to four months imprisonment and listed as a sex offender in the UK following conviction for downloading thousands of items of child pornography.[7]

He was also charged with having sex with an underage girl, Alison Brown, around twenty years earlier, when she was 14 years old. Glitter was acquitted of this charge after it emerged that Brown had sold her story to the News of the World and stood to earn more money from the newspaper on Glitter’s conviction.

Following a rejection by the British public and facing scrutiny from the press following his arrest and conviction, Gary Glitter fled on his yacht to Spain. Upon being discovered there, he set sail again, ultimately travelling to Gibraltar, Cuba, Mexico, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Colombia, Portugal, Brazil, Venezuela, and Thailand, before settling in Cambodia.

Much less publicized, but equally creepy and even more sad is what happened to me this morning.

See, I have a soft spot in my heart for the Bee Gees, specifically their mid-70’s stuff. Like this, one of my favorite songs of all-time (and videos):

I would totally give Barry Gibb some man loving.

So I’m looking for this song on Pandora, and start a Bee Gees station. It tries to shoehorn some England Dan and John Ford Coley in there, some Commodores, and then a little KC and the Sunshine Band. I like KC, and got to thinking about why, exactly, the two fathers of the band split in the 80’s. It seems to me that they could have kept the hits going for years and years, and Richard Finch was not only a fantastic producer, but one of the best bass players in the funk/pop world. Listen to those records closely, and you’ll hear what I mean.

See, Finch, in the chorus, starts the bass line with the tonic, quickly followed by the major 7th, but the song clearly implies a pentatonic blues scale. Why does he do this? Because the horns on beat 2 assert the tonic so powerfully that he lets them do so without the bass making the groove redundant. The space left by the bass (very loud in the mix) makes the groove all the more potent. Very fucking bold, I say.

So none of the Wikipedia articles mention the reason for the break between Finch and Caset (Harry Casey, or KC–get it?)  The band’s wiki says dryly: “In 1981, the partnership between Finch and Casey came to an acrimonious end.”

Casey’s doesn’t mention the split at all. So I went to Finch’s.

Along with Harry Wayne Casey, he co-wrote 6 #1 Billboard Hot 100 hits, but in a 1983 legal agreement, he lost his royalties to the songs he wrote with Casey and receives no money from them.

Then this:

On March 23, 2010, Finch was arrested in Newark, Ohio (Licking County), accused of having sexual contact with a 17 year old male. Police stated that during an interview he admitted to having sexual contact with that teen, and other teens aged 13 to 17. According to Ohio Law, ‘inappropriate sexual contact’ can include any form of touching, to include hugging if the person finds the gesture offensive.

On March 26, Finch’s website was updated stating Michael Connick and Thomas Connick had been retained as Finch’s defense attorneys.

At the bond hearing on April 6, Finch entered a plea of “Not Guilty” on all charges. On August 31st, a trial date was set for October 5th, 2010. Finch has since negotiated a plea deal.

Here’s a link to Finch’s website. I’m all creeped out by the Christian music. it sounds like a song a pastor would sing while fingering some kid’s bummy.

How to feel better? No other way. Here’s a song Casey and Finch produced and played on for the great and underrated Jimmy Bo Horne. Or two. TRY not to move.

Finally, a song lifted from the above. Still, not bad.

Pretty girls.


I am young again, even though I’m very old.

They have these little trivia quizzes at work occasionally, to break the monotony, I guess. One time I suggested to the people in my cubicle area that a good trivia question might be “Who sang ‘I Write The Songs’ before Barry Manilow?” Their response floored me.

“Who’s Barry Manilow?”

So the question would have been wasted on them, since Bruce Johnston had little or nothing to do with either Star Wars or True Blood or whichever vampire we’re supposed to be paying attention to now.

The answer of course is “David Cassidy“.

On November 3, 2010, Cassidy was arrested for driving under the influence after a Florida Highway Patrol trooper spotted his white 2008 Mercedes weaving on Florida’s Turnpike in St. Lucie County. Breath tests about 8:30 p.m. measured Cassidy’s blood alcohol content at 0.139 and 0.141 — greater than the state’s 0.08 legal limit. Troopers also found a half-empty bottle of bourbon in his vehicle.

For fuck’s sake. Let the man drink. Hasn’t he been through enough??

 

The Worst Record Ever Made

This is what I do with my Saturdays.

This record was made by a fellow named Frank Lyndon, who was a replacement for Dion in “Dion and the Belmonts“. If you don’t remember Dion and the Belmonts, I feel sorry for you. If you don’t remember Happy Days or Welcome Back Kotter, I feel sorry for ME.

Anyhow the video on YouTube is labeled “Fonzarelli Slide” but it’s not, although there WAS a record called “Fonzarelli Slide”. This is actually called “Fonzie Meets Kotter’s Sweathogs (At The School Dance)”. The worst record ever made.

The “Laugh In” experience…

“You know, I like a little nip before dinner. So I got a Japanese house-boy.”  -JoAnn Worley, Laugh In ’69

The show “Laugh-in” was a vague memory from my early, early youth. EARLY! I wasn’t even born yet! However, the way it was reverently cited as the official show of the counter-culture was an accepted truth. As it turns out, that was not so. In its heyday, it was every bit as popular and influential as American Idol.  . Here’s a couple interesting tidbits about that program, including a wonderful blog post on the WFMU site. Then there’s some music recorded by the cast, and also some music by some contemporary musicians (and Freddie Cannon, a faded star by that time. Was he trying to be “hip”? He recorded for Buffalo’s own Amherst Records for a brief time.)  Then there’s the album “The Hexorcist”, featuring the cast that presided over the death throes of that once towering TV powerhouse.

An excellent article on the ties between Laugh-In and Richard Nixon can be found here. WFMU is wonderful. Their blog is one of my favorites.

And here’s a great snapshot of the musical zeitgeist that followed the show’s break-out. Scroll down to “Session 211”. Again, link to this fellow’s site—I get lots of great music here.

Here’s ‘The Hexorcist” if you want to buy it. My mother did.

Bon Jovi – The Worst Band Ever

Bathetic lyrics that make no real statement, cliched music and daft arrangements. A pretty good guitar player surrounded by a pretty average rhythm section, a beautiful lead singer without anything close to the depth of Springsteen (though he tries), the homey worldliness of John Mellencamp (though he tries) or the gravitas or charisma of, say, Bono. Does it matter if we “make it or not”, or will we “make it, I swear”? As I said before, “It’s My Life” isn’t any more convincing after 100 channel-flipping incidental listenings, much less one intentional one. They are nothing more than a less photogenic Duran Duran, and they have neither the soul or wit to transcend even the most modest of girly fantasies. They are a sad joke, a patently offensive symptom of the vacuousness of the music industry post-Frampton.

They never took a musical chance. Dumbing down your repertoire even further by going country doesn’t count as a chance. Quite the opposite. It’s a Machiavellian ploy to extend the career of a talentless, hapless, hopeless approximation of a zeitgeist, and the fact that they were nominated before, say, Todd Rundgren, is all the proof you could ever need that the only reason the RRHOF exists is to pay tribute (in more ways than one) to itself, the people making the money, and the twisted logic behind the Cleveland myth. Even allowing for some of the glaring omissions and revisionist tributes (Mitch Rider would have blown Bon Jovi off the stage, and locked them out of the studio) it still stinks of some sort of back-scratching back-room hand job.

None of Bon Jovi’s music stands up to repeated listening. It’s mall music, plain and simple. Don’t bother scratching the surface. This entire discography is nothing more than watered-down rock and roll Jonestown bevvy brew, meant to anesthetize the soul, kill the will, and rake in the dollars of the foolish. “Your love is like bad medicine…bad medicine is what I need…” Come on. The Seeds wrote better lyrics. The Fugs were funnier, and Chicago circa 1974 could have easily shit out these rinky-dink tunes and sickening ballads in their sleep, and relegated them to b-sides.

Yes? Wings? The Moody Blues? King Crimson? Honestly, aside from the haircut magazines your kids look at at the local salon, has Jon Bon Jovi really influenced anybody or anything in a meaningful way?

It’s de regueur to heap disdain on the RRHOF these days, since it’s obvious that everyone there must believe that Abba invented rock and roll. However, this last thing—this last list of nominees, probably a means by which to have actual living, moving people on stage during the jam sessions so that the DVDs sell better, to me sounds the death knell of this well-intentioned, poorly realized folly in musical meritocracy. A pox on it.

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