Sunday, January 30, 2011

Spoken Word Interlude: John Peel

John Peel and his favorite singleBeyond the tirades of profane baseball men and the clever movie dialogue, there is at least one more great class of spoken word often loaded onto Junior Jr., and that is those endlessly entertaining excerpts from the BBC One radio shows of the late great John Peel.

I used to run around saying that Brian Eno was my hero, but that was until I tried reading . . . the Vertical Color of Sound, and realized that saying so was unseemly when my intellect was so vastly inferior to Eno's.

Easier, then, I figured, to marvel at the life put together by Peel, who, while sharp enough, was no unassailable genius to us plebes, and became a beacon for the rest of us only through his enthusiasm for, and love of, music.

It's amazing how balkanized music can become, and how freely even the most passionate of music lovers will help the process along. The folkies wouldn't listen to psych, and the hippies wouldn't listen to folk. The punks hated the hippies, too, and would grow into their disdain for heavy metal. These days, music is either "urban" or not, and the twain don't often fuckin' meet.

John Peel says fuck youAnd we all know that guy who listens *only* to skacore, or to drone metal, or to reggae . . . .

Peel transcended all that bullshit. He was a champion of T Rex, and of Napalm Death, of Roy Harper and of Billy Bragg, of Robert Wyatt and Cat Power and Orbital and New Order and PJ Harvey and UB40 and The Fall, like mixing your peas with your mashed potatoes, Peel didn't mind 'cause it all went to the same place.

Peel loved music the way it should be loved, without prejudice, and though it's a struggle, ever since I became aware of the man, I have endeavored to follow his lead in that regard.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

John Peel spins some crucial waxThe other, funnier, thing about Peel after the shining example he set is that he was frequently a klutz on air, banging the desk, knocking over the mike, popping the wrong cart in at the wrong time, forgetting the name of that band's album. But it all emanated from his guileless enthusiasm, and was so therefore wonderful . . . and wonderfully hilarious.

Here are a few of my favorite Peel moments caught on air. They serve me well in traffic and at the grocery store, but I do not have an exceptional collection. You could probably spend your life finding more.

John Peel Bangs The Desk.mp3

John Peel Gets To Meet Genesis

John Peel Iced Towels.mp3

John Peel BLUUUARGH.mp3

Various bitrates don't matter for the okenspay ordway I don't think

File under: Spoken Word, Hero Worship

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Children of the . . .

Black Sabbath heaven and Hell CD cover Iron Maiden the Number of the Beast CD cover
 10.  Korn - Korn
  9.  Moon - The Alan Parsons Project
  8.  Hydra's Teeth - ... And You Will Know Us
             By the Trail of Dead

  7.  Underworld - Entombed
  6.  Sun - Billy Thorpe
  5.  Revolution - T. Rex
  4.  Future - Steve Miller Band
  3.  Damned - Iron Maiden
  2.  Sea - Black Sabbath
  1.  Grave - Black Sabbath
T Rex Tanx Album cover Alan Parsons Project Eye in the Sky CD cover

As usual, Black Sabbath, FTW.

The list as an iMix at Itunes, you can quickly preview and/or buy all songs, except for el numero uno, "Children of the Grave," which strangely, mystifyingly, almost inconceivably, sees no original studio version of itself at the iStore. What in the fuck is up with that?

So here that one is: 192 kbps mp3

Black Sabbath - Master of Reality - 04 Children Of The Grave.mp3

All hail Lord Sabbath

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Jon Anderson - "Naon" from the Album Olias of Sunhillow

Jon Anderson Olias of Sunhillow album coverPreviously unpublished excerpts from Olias' Wiseguy Brother: Another View of the Doom and Salvation of Sunhillow:

So he built a space ark, and saved the tribes of Sunhillow from certain doom: BIG FAT HAIRY DEAL.

Olias was a freakin' klutz, so discombobulated, it was a wonder he found the tree-pod egress each morning. "Pay attention to what you're doing, for Arya's sake" I'd tell him. "You're drinking your soul into the ocean so goddamned much, you're walking around like a fucking zombie. And you're bug-eyed from the Garden's fountain lights. One day we're gonna dredge you from a Tallowplanic swamp after you stumble in 'cause you weren't looking where you're going. You think the fish of the plain are your play pals, wait 'til they start munching on your bloated corpse."

But he'd just mumble, "Brother, the Moorglade occupies me constantly."

Moorglade, Schmorglade. I told Olias what he really needed to be doing instead of building some stupid music-powered star-galleon was bringing some extra income into the treehouse so our begotten father could stop breaking his back and enjoy a little comfort creation for a change.

"If you're set on this ridiculous Moorglade thing, if you're so sure of the coming apocalypse, you ought to at least charge fucking admission," I said. "Jack up the price for those fat cat Nordranious, and Pops could retire on the take from them alone."

But Olias just shook his head in that pious, holier-than-thou way he had. "The silver chord of life is precious, brother, and there is room enough for all."

Olias got the "room enough for all" bullshit from that pansy-ass buddy of his, Qoquaq. They say Q. sang his transic song of welcome over Tallowcross and united the four tribes, and you can say that if you want, but for me, Qoquaq was day-cruise entertainment, if you know what I'm saying.

OK, I had a little egg on my face when Sunhillow, you know, actually exploded. "Into millions of silent teardrops," the bards wrote.

Whatever. It was probably a Nagrunium conspiracy all along. That's what Moon Ra the discord said, anyway, and I believed 'im.

* * * * * * * * * *

OliasBut seriously, folks. . . .

Olias of Sunhillow is not as visceral or as muscular as a Yes album, and that is for the very good reason that Jon Anderson, for all his multitracked multi-tasking on Olias, simply can't play his instruments as well as Steve Howe or Rick Wakeman can. For all its ambition--and it may be the most ambitious single album ever made--Olias is still scaled to Anderson's instrumental talents and rather simple musically.

Yet it's not something you notice, because of all the textures. I once read a review, can't find it now, unfortunately, that called Olias "samey," and boy, did I think that was wrong-headed. "Naon" is a great counter-example to that accusation of sameness. It is one of the most organic and therefore distinctive prog songs you'll ever hear.

I love a good synthesizer as much as the next prog fan, but they are as a matter of course synthetic. "Naon" foregoes that route, while sacrifing none of Olias' core progressiveness. Back when I was a kid and getting stoned every Friday night, I would listen to "Naon" through headphones afterward, and without fail I would be transported into the dark, cramped passenger hold of a great spacefaring wooden ship. I could almost smell the sour sweat and the incense and hear the creaking of the timbers beneath the sitar and the harp.

And that's a testament not just to the drugs, but to the meticulous worldbuilding of Jon Anderson, music and text and art all combined into (heh-heh) an intoxicating melange, very likely prog-rock's most fully realized world.

The Gardens of Geda, I do believe

File under:Progressive Rock, Apocalypse Rock

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Last Historia de la Historia de la Musica Rock

Unless I can track down a copy of Soundhog's Mashup album, that is.

Anyway, this list and the artwork next door was something I put together about five years ago as part of a mix CD I'd made for a friend.

You can see that I took the idea of putting together 100 records worth of rock history seriously--to a certain extent. Dig the Yes-antecedents disc, or the Metallica-influence one. Check out the No New York platter. Scholarly if I do say so myself.

Other shit, however, is just for laughs. Mudhoney, Mudvayne, ha! That cracks me up every time. And of course, the cover/theme.

Ah, but enough blowing of my own horn. Check it out, you should find it as thought-provoking--and as funny--as those other guys' lists.

1. The Rolling Stones
2.  Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash
3.  The Big Bopper, Vangelis
4.  Johnny Kidd & The Pirates
5.  Bee Gees, Gorguts
6.  Helmet, Can
7.  Buddy Holly, Napalm Death
8.  Dave Clark Five, The Hollies
9.  The Kinks (2 discos)
10.  Tornadoes, PJ Proby
11.  ? and the Mysterians
12.  The Monkees, White Zombie
13.  The Byrds, The Doors
14.  La Reina De La "Quiet Storm"
15.  Love, Jefferson Airplane
16.  Neil Young (2 discos)
17.  Jimi Hendrix
18.  GG Allin
19.  Cream, Family, Happy Flowers
20.  Blind Faith, Renaissance
21.  Led Zeppelin (2 discos)
22.  America, Boss Hogg
23.  Jefferson Airplane, SNFU
24. The Velvet Underground
25.  Steve Miller Band 1968 - 73
51.  Jeff Beck (2 discos)
52.  Television, Refrigerator, Table
53.  Mission of Burma
54.  Brian Eno (2 discos)
55.  Black Flag, White Flag
56.  Tympani & Sousaphone
57.  Teenage Jesus & The Jerks, Mars, DNA
58.  Killing Joke, Spandau Ballet
59.  The Damned
60.  90 Day Men
61.  Falco, Gary Numan, The Nice
62.  Joe Jackson, Captain Sensible
63.  The Cars, System of a Down
64.  Ultravox, Bloodhag, U2
65.  Dead Boys, Rocket From the Crypt, Christine Aguilera
66.  X, Husker Du, The Replacements
67.  Iron Maiden
68.  Holocaust, Budgie
69.  Diamond Head, King Diamond
70.  Sonic Youth (2 discos)
71.  The Fall, The Rapture
72.  The Police, MDC
73.  Michael Jackson, Gang Green
74.  The Beatles, Herman's Hermits
75.  Metallica
26.  The Grateful Dead
27.  Buffalo Springfield
28.  The Faces, Crucifucks
29.  Humble Pie, Mott The Hoople
30.  Procol Harum, Life of Agony
31.  The Syn, Bodast, Tomorrow
32.  Yes (2 discos)
33.  King Crimson
34.  Emerson Lake & Palmer
35.  Stormtroopers of Death
36.  Nick Drake, The Dwarves
37.  Black Sabbath
38.  Joni Mitchell, Nico
39.  Fairport Convention
40.  Rumah Sakit
41.  Hot Tuna, Mr. Airplane Man
43.  Rage Against the Machine, Load
44.  The Clash (2 discos)
45. The Sex Pistols, Hanson
46.  Peter & The Test Tube Babies
47.  Ramones, Kepone
48.  Voivod, Voidoids
49.  Lonnie Donnegan, The Slits
50.  The Beach Boys (3 discos)
76.  Big Black, Shellac (2 discos)
77.  Slayer, Possessed, Genesis
78.  The Who
79.  Men at Work
80.  Scratch Acid, The Jesus Lizard
81.  INXS, Slipknot, Enya
82.  Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Drums and Tuba
83.  Naked City, Painkiller
84.  Jane's Addiction, 7 Mary 3
85.  Nirvana (2 discos)
86.  Mudhoney, Mudvayne
87.  Korn, Drowning Pool (3 discos)
88.  Neutrino, Tortoise, The Hosemobile
89.  Nuclear Assault, Shocking Blue
90.  Minor Threat, Uniform Choice, The Seizures, Codeine
91.  Stone Temple Pilots, Lunachicks
92.  Cro Mags, Chronic Disorder
93.  Morphine, Cake, The Ex
94.  The Soft Machine, Oxes
95.  The Mercury Program, The Cure
96.  Rush, Mahogany Rush
97.  Wall of Voodoo, Chavez
98.  Soundgarden, Linkin Park
99.  Kiss, Beck, Wire, Juno, Ween
007.  Pussy Galore

Monday, January 17, 2011

Fairport Convention - "Tam Lin" from the Album Liege and Lief

Fairport Convention Liege & Lief album cover
"There are other worlds. This one is done with me."
--Merlin (Nicol Williamson) in John Boorman's Excalibur

The world gets older, and the magic goes away. That has always been the nature of things.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I forbid you maidens all
that wear gold in your hair
To travel to Carterhaugh
for young Tam Lin is there

None that go by Carterhaugh
but they leave him a pledge
Either their mantles of green
or else their maidenheads

Janet tied her kirtle green
a bit above her knee
And she's gone to Carterhaugh
as fast as go can she

She'd not pulled a double rose,
a rose but only two
When up then came young Tam Lin
says "Lady pull no more"

"And why come you to Carterhaugh
without command from me?"
"I'll come and go" young Janet said
"And ask no leave of thee"

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Sandy Denny was 21 years old when she joined Fairport Convention. Her voice of this time if you've never heard it is one to give you shivers, warm and full and rounded, and of unfailing and absolute perfect pitch.

The tale is that first the band auditioned her; then, though they had an album out on Polydor already, she auditioned the band. . . .

Sandy DennyI've never heard that debut Fairport album with original singer Judy Dyble, but I will nevertheless say that, no matter how good Dyble may have been, a voice like Denny's couldn't help but expand the possibilities open to Fairport.

As would her conversance with English (and Scottish) traditional music. Before Sandy Denny joined, Fairport were a bunch of Brits who wanted to be The Byrds; after she joined, Fairport were the band that others, Steeleye Span and the rest, wanted to be.

It is impossible these days to introduce the term "British folk-rock" into the conversation without mentioning Fairport; they were its first and foremost practitioners, and without slighting the talent that is Richard Thompson's, they were that primarily because of Sandy Denny.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Janet tied her kirtle green
a bit above her knee
And she's gone to her father
as fast as go can she

Well up then spoke her father clear
and he spoke meek and mild
"Oh and alas Janet" he said
"I think you go with child"
"Well if that be so" Janet said
"Myself shall bear the blame
There's not a knight in all your hall
shall get the baby's name

For if my love were an earthly knight
as he is an elfin grey
I'd not change my own true love
for any knight you have"

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Thomas the Rhymer by Kate GreenwayThe first written reference to the Scottish ballad commonly known as "Tam Lin" dates from 1549, but there is every reason to suppose that the ballad is in fact much older. "Thomas the Rhymer," a ballad with which "Tam Lin" is often associated, and which shares some thematic similarities with "Tam Lin," originated at least 100 years earlier, and it's also possible that "Tam Lin" is the older of the two.

However old the ballad might be, whoever its original composers and contributors and singers might have been, there's no doubt that that they were practicing Christians. William when he came to do his Conquering came to a thoroughly Christianized land; the last pagan king in Britain had been slain some 350 years before his invasion.

But we all know Christian is isn't always as Christian does. Much of the pagan myth and ritual of the British Isles was not discarded, but was rather subsumed into folklore.

Into folklore like the ballad "Tam Lin," that is. What's interesting to me here is not just that "Tam Lin" is a fairy story with direct links to Celtic belief, but also that the story serves as an allegory as to how that Celtic belief, that Celtic magic if you will, came to be diminished with the spread of Christianity. Unlike many of the folk ballads, "Tam Lin" is understood to have something of a happy ending, but of course it's a happy ending for Tam Lin, and not so much of one for the fairies and their queen.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
So Janet tied her kirtle green
a bit above her knee
And she's gone to Carterhaugh
as fast as go can she.

"Oh tell to me Tam Lin" she said
"Why came you here to dwell?"
"The Queen of Fairies caught me
when from my horse I fell

And at the end of seven years
she pays a tithe to hell
I so fair and full of flesh
and fear'ed be myself

But tonight is Halloween
and the fairy folk ride,
Those that would their true love win
at mile's cross they must hide

First let pass the horses black
and then let pass the brown
Quickly run to the white steed
and pull the rider down,

For I'll ride on the white steed,
the nearest to the town
For I was an earthly knight,
they give me that renown

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Fairport Convention released three albums with Sandy Denny in 1969. What We Did on Our Holidays was followed by Unhalfbricking was followed by the singular masterpiece of British folk-rock that is Liege & Lief.

It was like good morning, good afternoon, and goodnight: for after they--she--had revolutionized electric folk, when they were done with these records, Denny made the first of the several poor career decisions that she would make during her lifetime: she quit Fairport.

Sandy DennyIn hindsight, we can say that neither party would ever be so important or influential again. This may not have been apparent in the immediate aftermath of the split, however: Denny won Melody Maker's poll as Best Female Vocalist in both 1970 (as a member of her one- or two-off band Fotheringay) and 1971 (when she was promoting her first solo album, The North Star Grassman and the Ravens).

It became readily apparent, however, as time passed, as Denny's heavy drinking took a toll on her personally, and as her heavy smoking took its tithe on her voice. By 1975, when she had rejoined Fairport for a brief reunion, it was apparent that the bell-like clarity of her voice was likely gone, not to return.

Then, after a final, ill-conceived "contemporary rock" album, one day in 1978 she tumbled down some stairs, perhaps drunkenly, and four days later her voice in whatever form it might have taken was silent.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Oh they will turn me in your arms
to a newt or a snake
But hold me tight and fear not,
I am your baby's father

And they will turn me in your arms
into a lion bold
But hold me tight and fear not
and you will love your child,

And they will turn me in your arms
into a naked knight
But cloak me in your mantle
and keep me out of sight"

In the middle of the night
she heard the bridle ring
She heeded what he did say
and young Tam Lin did win

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Tam Lin by Kay NielsenAlthough it's not mentioned in the Fairport rendition, most versions of "Tam Lin" explain that Janet was the heir to Carterhaugh Woods. When the fairies--or Tam Lin as their emissary--forbid her to enter the woods that in fact belong to her, they're not necessarily fighting words, but only because mortals had traditionally not dared to defy the powerful fey in the matter. As someone who knows a lot more than me on the subject has written: "The battle over Tam Lin is also a battle over the magic in the woods, and whose claim was greater."

The fairies' defeat in the matter of Tam Lin, then, seems to mirror the eclipse of Celtic paganism and its sequestering under Christian envangelism. "Tam Lin," so often noted in this day and age for its strong feminine hero, is pretty plainly to me an allegory for the rise of Christianity, and of course its contrapositive, the death of magic.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Then up spoke the Fairy Queen,
an angry Queen was she
"Woe betide her ill-farred face,
an ill death may she die
Had I known Tam Lin" she said
"This night I did see
I'd have looked him in the eyes
and turned him to a tree"

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Sandy Denny's voice at her height, on "Tam Lin," young and powerful, five, six, seven years before things would dissipate messily, is like furniture of fine burnished wood. You can almost smell the lemon oil, watch the rag infused with its essence as it slides frictionless across that polished table top.

Her voice is like Armagnac, caramel, honey, syrup, and the rich rich burn as it envelopes you. It's like violins, layers upon layers of warmth, so deep and so sad you're not sure just how far down it all goes, the vibrato there stately weeping for all the magic yet to be lost.

File Under: British Folk Rock, Scottish Balladry, Songs with versions by Robert Burns

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Historia de la Musica Rock: The Hundred (and One) Albums in the Pussy Galore Universe

Pussy Galore Historia de la Musica Rock CD coverLike I promised the time before.

These albums don't exist of course, but are simply referenced on the back of the booklet that came with Pussy Galore's tribute to/deconstruction of the Historia series from 1990.

In its own way, this list is as funny as the one they provided with the originals. Hard to surpass the humor in reality, if you know what I'm saying, but this list--the entire CD package--is so faithful to the budget bin aesthetic of the Spanish archetypes that you've just got to giggle.

Somebody spent a lot of time with this, it's clear, so I know the mistakes are intentional. My favorite is "Mango Jerry," though "Otis Spawn" is also good. Also love how John Travolta and Ike & Tina both get appearances on two albums, in the same way Roger Daltrey did in the original Spanish series. And they included Aphrodite's Child! No word for that but awesome. Just plain awesome.

Now we can say, had you doubted, that Jordi Sierra i Fabra and Pussy Galore both agree: The Rolling Stones and Aphrodite's Chid are essential.

And was it inevitable that Pussy Galore--named after a Bond girl, of course--would include in their list a band that named itself after the Bond villain Hugo Largo? I really have no choice, given the evidence; I have to suppose it was.

Beyond the humor drawn from the intentional mistakes and the James Bond injokes, the humor is where it was in the originals: in the juxtapositions. I hadn't realized until I compiled the list last week that the Spanish records hadn't actually combined artists on a single platter; but I've long known that Pussy Galore's parody finds most of its humor in the way it slaps radically different artists onto the same (yes, yes, hypothetical) disc. "Nuclear Assault, Shocking Blue" might just be my favorite fusion, though fictional record # 42 is pretty great, too: "Iron Butterfly, The Crests, The Crewcuts, The Undead."

Neil Haggerty and his Flying V from the booklet to Historia de la Musica Rock
Beyond that which is funny, much of this list is amazingly obscure. After the doo-wop and the paleo-rhythm and blues, much of it is comprised of arcane New York bands from the dawn of punk, crust punk bands, and Youth Crew bands, and scum punk bands and no-wave bands, many of whom I've never heard of in any other context.

Such deep, deep obscurity begs the question as to whether some of these bands might be so unknown that they, technically, as we say in the blogger biz, didn't even fucking exist. Pussy Galore wouldn't lie to us, would they?

Would they?!?!?!?!?

Well, it seems not. I did a little internet verification on some of the ones I hadn't heard of this morning, and almost everyone mentioned appears to have, you know, been real. "Red Buckets" and "L.C.U.," I couldn't find anything on them, but 20 or so of the others that I looked at have some kind of quickly-found mention on the beercan-riddled shoulders of the information superhighway.

If you wanna get an idea of some of the stuff I found while looking, check out this review of a rare early NY-scene compilation that namechecks five of the bands PG go to in their list.

Other than that, dive in:

1.  The Rolling Stones
2.  Red Buckets, Chubby Checker
3.  Bob Marley, Squirm, Crippled Youth
4.  The Fleetwoods, Savage Clrcle, The Chiffons, The Ad Libs
5.  Even Worse
6.  Billy Preston, Solomon Burke, Rites of the Accused
7.  The Headlickers, Sam & Dave, The Association
8.  The Waldos
9.  The Platters, Ultravlolence
10. lke & Tina Turner, Warzone, Esther Philllps, Blues Image, Jimmy McGriff & Junior Parker, Ludichrist
11.  The Bloods, Duane Eddy, The Fireballs, Jack Scott,
12.  The Beach Boys, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Rude Buddha, Disco Tex & The Sex-O-Lettes
13.  Curia Thomas, The Shlrelles, Lonnle Mack, Brook Benton, Seizure,
14.  Mango Jerry, Johnny & The Hurricanes, Danny and The JunIors, Agnostlc Front, BiII Deal & The Rhondels
15.  Token Entry
16.  Nuclear Assault, Shocking Blue, The El Dorados
17.  Cro-Mags, L. C. U.
18.  Bloodsister
19.  The Platters, Killer Instinct, King Curtis, Lee Dorsey
20.  The Diamonds, The Five Americans, Sam the Sham & The Pharaohs, Porno Dracula, The Manhattans
21.  The Misguided
22.  Rufus Thomas, Martha Reeves, The Nashville Teens, Ism
23.  Sick of It All
24.  Harlots of 42nd Street
25.  Gary Lewis & The Playboys, The Eternals, Ritual Tension
51.  The Impressions, Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry, NY Niggers, Otis Spawn
52.  Jan & Dean, Shades of Blue, Jay & The Techniques, Patti Labelle & The Blue Belles, The Solitalres
53.  Aphrodite's Child
54.  Brook Benton, White Zombie
55.  The Shlrelles, The Olympics, The Mercers, Jerry Butler
56.  Roger Manning
57.  76% Uncertain, The Dovells, Jlmmie Rodger, T Roe
58.  Circus Mort
59.  Harry Crews, The Lunachicks, STP, Maria Excommunicata
60.  Mike Rlmbaud
61.  Jimmy Mcgriff & Junior Parker, Shirley & Lee
62.  Mike Blooomfield, Otis Spann
63.  The Skyliners, Gene Chandler Joe South
64.  Kraut
65.  Robert & Johnny, The Spaniels
66.  Peach of Immortality
67.  The Kingston Trio
68.  Icon
69.  Letch Patrol, The Flamingos
70.  Billy Bland, The Jive Five, Johnny Crawford
71.  Erasers, Cllfton Chronic, Isaac Douglas
72.  Jimmy Reed, Rat At Rat R
73.  The String-a-Longs, Sonny Till & The Orioles, Bobby Helms
74.  Jackie Wilson, J. Frank Wilson, Damage
75.  Amen Corner, Egoslavia

26.  Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry, Verbal Abuse
27.  Stisism
28.  The Drifters, Chronic Disorder, The Bobettes
29.  John Travolta, Fontella Bass, Marv Johnson, The Box Tops, Lloyd Price
30.  Drunk Driving
31.  Murphy's Law
32.  The Orioles, The Dust Devils, The Moonglows, Fabian
33.  M.O.A., D.Y.S., F.O.D.
34.  S.O.D.
35.  M.O.D., Freddie & The Dreamers
36.  The Speedies
37.  Hugo Largo
38.  Virus, Black Snakes
39.  False Prophets
40.  The Jimmy Castor Bunch, The Casuals, Chris Banner
41.  Blodwyn Pig, Joe Simon, Otis Spawn
42.  Iron Butterfly, The Crests, The Crewcuts, The Undead
43.  Butch Lust & Tne Hypocrites
44.  The Capris, Heart Attack, George Freeman
45.  A. P. P. L. E.
46.  Uniform Choice
47.  John Travolta
48.  Ike & Tina Turner, Jimmy Reed, Serendipity Singers, Johnny Rivers
49.  Johnny and The Hurricanes, The Klngsmen, The Excellents
50.  Betty Everett, The Earls
76.  The Olympics, Nausea, The Mystics
77.  B. J. Thomas, The Tokens, Mel Carter, Token Entry, Bobby Freeman
78.  Sanford Clark, The Clovers, Ludichrist
79.  The Fiestas, The Fireballs, The Coachmen
80.  Numb Sex
81.  P. M.S., Wilbert Harrison, The Leaves
82.  Telly Beans, Peter Best
83.  The Cribcrashers, Doctor Clayton
84.  Youth of Today, Reagan Youth, Wasted Youth
85.  Irma Thomas, The Cowsills, The Crow, The Dells
86.  Johnny Ray, The Rotters
87.  The Passlons, Jlmmie Rodgers, Crumbsuckers, The Shangri-Las
88.  The Mellow Kings The Qin-tones, Swingin' Blue Jeans
89.  The Skulls, The Turtles, Frankie Valli
90.  The Paragons, Joe Thomas
91.  The Capitols, Frankle Ford, The Mob
92.  Brook Benton, Gogi Grant, The Happenlngs, King Harvest
93.  The Charlots, Ronnle Dove, Jerry Wallace, Sister Rosetta Tharpe
94.  Bloodsuckers From Outer Space
95.  Robert and Johnny, The Shaved Pigs, The Chimes
96.  Artless
97.  The Capris, The Earls, Don Gardner & Dee Dee Ford
98.  Seizure, Jimmy Reed, Crippled Youth
99.  The Solitaires, Billy Bland, Dee Clark
100.  Sonny Till & The Orioles, The Spaniels, The Undead
007.  Pussy Galore

"A new page in the history of Rock has been written. ¡Bravo!"

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Stealers Wheel - "Stuck in the Middle" from the Reservoir Dogs OMPST &

April March - "Laisse Tomber Les Filles" from the Death Proof OMPST

Reservoir Dogs OMPST cover Death Proof OMPST cover
Interesting it is, I think, that in the wake of Gerry Rafferty's death January 4th, I've spent more time thinking about a guy getting his ear sliced off in a famously ultraviolent indie film than I have thinking about the deceased artist in question.

Maybe it's just mine own reaction, and if so, let's just forget the whole thing, and I'll see you on Tuesday or so. But it doesn't seem fair to me, on consideration, doesn't seem fitting.

Gerry Rafferty was no Captain Beefheart, no revolutionary, no great influence to anyone, really. The relevant stage of his career as an inoffensive soft-rocker lasted a decade, or actually a little less, and he seems to have spent the last 15 years of his life drinking himself to death.

Despite all this, however, Rafferty did manage to write 3 or 4 or 5 pretty great songs, and upon his passing, it seems a little sad to me that we spend more of our time thinking about some fictional rookie cop getting his fucking fictional ear sliced off by some fictional psychopath than about the real, true-to-life music that Rafferty actually made.

Stealers Wheel CD coverNot sure what the upshot of this is, though. I'm not suggesting that Rafferty and his partner Egan shouldn't have sold the song (its title expanded to include "With You" on as many releases as not, BTW) to Quentin, and I'm not suggesting that Tarantino shouldn't have bought it. I'm just lamenting how it all turned out.

It's the tyranny of the cinema, I guess.

I've been bitching and moaning for years about Scorsese, and what I feel to be his horribly inappropriate choices for soundtrack music. Like the mafia capos he depicts in his movies give a shit about The Rolling Stones, or that the simple accident that Marty happens to enjoy the music of John Lee Hooker makes that music at all appropriate for his films about Italian-Americans.

Not that I'm saying "Stuck in the Middle" is necessarily inappropriate for Reservoir Dogs. Tarantino's clever, he's like The Butthole Surfers: in his detached, ironic, postmodern, postpunk way, he manages to evade the question of appropriateness in the first place. It doesn't matter whether the song fits the film or not, see, 'cause it's all intended to be ironic, anyway.

Michael Madsen as Mr. BlondeSo, y'know, in this oh-so-artistic way that he has, Tarantino is not as annoying as his ultraviolent grandfather Scorsese, but, to be sure, the end result is the same. I wind up thinking of guys in pinstripe suits hanging on meathooks inside of refrigerated trucks when I hear "Layla," and I think of Mr. Blonde when I hear a certain Scottish folk rock band performing their biggest hit.

It ain't right, I tell ya, but there's no getting around it. As big as rock and roll is, it ain't so big that it isn't dwarfed by Hollywood.

Anyway, there's no denying Tarantino's omnivorous taste in music. Stealers Wheel is just the beginning of a long list of wizened (and yes, many times ironical) inclusions QT has made onto his soundtracks. Check Dick Dale, T Rex, Neu!, Dusty Springfield, Kool and The Gang, and the's.

And April March. I've long wanted to share her outrageously fun Serge Gainsbourg cover, and I doubt I'll ever have a better chance.

File Both Under: Quentin Tarantino's Greatest Hits

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

La Historia de la Historia de la Musica Rock

OK, so the deal with this, that Pussy Galore had so much fun with, and I still do, is that between 1981 and 1983, two Spaniards by the name of Juan Manuel Prado and Jordi Sierra i Fabra began writing and publishing a Spanish language rock and roll magazine with a biographical/discographical slant.

In addition to other rock and roll books, including biographies of The Who, Pink Floyd and Rick Wakeman (!), Sierra i Fabra had some ten years earlier also written a reference work called La Historia de la Musica Pop, so we can assume a name for the new project came fairly easily for them.

Each magazine was made up of 20 ad-free glossy pages, and featured text by Sierra i Fabra, full-color photos, and an illustrated discography by someopne named Alex Mosley. The magazines were published weekly by Orbis, a British printing house who kept an office in Barcelona. Once the series was complete in its 100 issues, it was reissued in 6 hardbound volumes of about 200 pages each, and nothing of its like on rock 'n' roll had ever been seen in the Spanish language before.

Of course, Lillian Roxon's English language Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock had outlived its original editor and gone into its second or third edition by this time, so Prado's large encyclopedia might have remained of limited interest to an Anglo like myself . . .

Had it not been for the records. See, each of the magazines had been issued in conjunction with an LP, usually a Greatest Hits compilation* manufactured by Polydor Italy, and while the books and the magazines de la Historia Rock never really made it stateside, the albums most assuredly did.

Anyone who spent any time at all in the cutout bins and in the import sections of record stores in the 80's is sure to have come across these records, and, really, they're not all that uncommon even now.

'Course, none of this really shares the joke, none of it really gets at the ironical reason Pussy Galore named their album what they did. In my telling thus far it all seems admirable. . . .

And it is. But dig the 100-entry series discography, and see if you don't crack a smile.

La Historia de la Musica Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich La Historia de la Musica Elton John
1. The Rolling Stones
2. Jimi Hendrix
3. Jerry Lee Lewis
4. David Bowie
5. John Mayall
6. The Beatles
7. Genesis
8. The Dave Clark Five
9. The Small Faces
10. Eric Clapton
11. Joe Cocker
12. Rod Stewart
13. T Rex
14. The Animals
15. Procol Harum
16. Manfred Mann
17. Taste
18. The Allman Brothers Band
19. Bill Haley and The Comets
20. Chuck Berry
21. Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger & The Trinity
22. The Pretty Things
23. Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
24. Fats Domino
25. The Nice

La Historia de la Musica The Nice
26. Elvis Presley
27. Lou Reed
28. Chicago
29. James Brown
30. Santana
31. Bob Dylan
32. Blood, Sweat & Tears
33. Janis Joplin
34. Leonard Cohen
35. Brian Poole & the Tremeloes / The Tornados
36. John McLaughlin
37. The Who
38. The Velvet Underground
39. Lulu / Tommy Steele
40. Cat Stevens
41. The Righteous Brothers
42. The Hollies
43. Roger Daltrey
44. Elton John
45. Them
46. The Moody Blues
47. The Kinks
48. Roy Orbison
49. Savoy Brown
50. Ten Years After
51. Ted Nugent & the Amboy Dukes
52. Status Quo
53. Slade
54. Chick Corea
55. Rainbow
56. Fairport Convention
57. Cream
58. Bachman-Turner Overdrive
59. Graham Parker
60. The Walker Brothers
61. Kansas
62. Boston
63. Jeff Beck
64. Little Richard
65. Melanie
66. Jethro Tull
67. Donovan
68. Mahavishnu Orchestra
69. The Three Degrees
70. Labelle
71. The O'Jays
72. Poco
73. Dave Mason
74. The Byrds
75. Billy Paul

La Historia de la Musica Gilbert O'Sulliven
76. Argent
77. Pacific Gas & Electric
78. REO Speedwagon
79. Aerosmith
80. Johnny Winter
81. Janis Ian
82. Journey
83. The Jacksons
84. Bob James
85. Fleetwood Mac
86. Al Stewart
87. Chicory Tip
88. Gilbert O'Sullivan
89. Johnny Nash
90. The Clash
91. Robin Trower
92. The Everly Brothers
93. The Beach Boys
94. Los Teen Tops
95. Bruce Springsteen
96. Dan Fogelberg
97. Rick Derringer
98. Aphrodite's Child
99. 10cc
100. Miguel RĂ­os
La Historia de la Musica Johnny Nash La Historia de la Musica Aphrodite's Child

And I don't even think that Poco is part of the joke. We might have been guessing that the country rock thing wasn't going to age well by 1983 or so, but keep in mind Poco was once actually called a supergroup.

No, it's more the inclusions of Johnny Nash and Gilbert O'Sullivan that get me. Yeah, they got Dylan and The Beatles and The Kinks and The Stones, but looks like they left out Neil Young so they could find room for The Righteous Brothers. They skipped Yes to make sure Aphrodite's Child could fit.

And for some reason they gave Roger Daltrey a record after having already given one to The Who? What was it, the McVicar soundtrack?

Anyway, it's the juxtaposition, and who's put in at the expense of who else that's funny. Pussy Galore played that up big time on the back of their album, and I had some fun with it on one of my homemade CDs a few years back, as well. I'll publish both those 100-item lists soon.

*But not always. The David Bowie album is a reissue of Another Face; the Amboy Dukes record is a repackaged Survival of the Fittest - Live. I think the REO Speedwagon LP is actually Hi Infidelity. (Return)

Thanks to these two pages:
Goldmine Magazine
Rate Your Music

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Reelin' in the Years

Having spent the last day and a half or so celebrating the arrival of a year for which I suspect they'll write no songs, I thought it might be a good time to compile a list of years that were in fact found worthy of such an honor, ironical or no (and I'm looking at you Dayglo Abortions).

The Stooges Funhouse CD cover The Clash Super Black Market Clash CD cover
 "1959" - Patti Smith
"1963" - Jonathan Richman
"1967" - Dayglo Abortions
"1969" - The Stooges
"1970" - The Stooges
"1974" - Ryan Adams
"1976" - Redd Kross
"1977" - The Clash
"1979" - Smashing Pumpkins
"1983" - The Soft Machine
"1984" - David Bowie
"Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five" - Paul McCartney & Wings
"1989" - Less Than Jake
"1992" - Blur
"1999" - Prince
David Bowie Diamond Dogs CD cover Blur 13 CD cover

Honorable mention (although not inclusion) should go to Donald Fagen's "I.G.Y." (which was 1957).

As well, I kind of wish The Afghan Whigs had included a song called "1965" in their album of the same name. It would also have been nice if Van Halen's "1984" from that decidedly non-dystopic album of theirs had been a better song. Fortunately, the Thin White Duke's got us covered.

Good news I suppose is it's only 101 more years 'til 2112.

The list as an iMix at Itunes, you can quickly preview and/or buy all songs