Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Rastro's 8 Quickest Ways to Clear A Juke Joint

The Stooges Fun House CD cover John Coltrane Interstellar Space CD cover
 8.The Beatles - "The Inner Light"
Nirvana - "Endless Nameless"
The Stooges - "LA Blues"
Butthole Surfers - "Graveyard 1"
Neu! - "Super 78"
John Coltrane - "Jupiter Variations"
Happy Flowers - "Left Behind"
Napoleon XIV - "!Aaah-aH ,yawA EM EkaT OT GnimoC"
Happy Flowers My Skin Covers My Body Album cover Napoleon XIV the Second Coming Album Cover

The list as an iMix at Itunes, you can quickly preview and/or buy some of the songs, if you're really sure that you want to. Given a selection as abrasive as this, I guess it's unsurprising that iTunes has elected not to feature some of em, so I'm here to step in 'n' save the day:

Napoleon XIV - The Second Coming - 01 !Aaah-aH ,yawA EM EkaT OT GnimoC.mp3
Nirvana - Nevermind - Endless Nameless.mp3
Happy Flowers - My Skin Covers My Body - 2 - Left Behind.mp3

Tasting notes:

The Beatles - "The Inner Light" -- Cerveza used to claim that he knew a bar that had the old Beatles Rarities CD ensconced within its mechanical innards, and that he had not been shy about playing the horridly raga-babbulous thing to the horror of other patrons. I never actually witnessed this, but have always remembered the story.

Nirvana - "Endless Nameless" -- This was the hidden track off Nevermind of course, and the one where Cobain was already clearly trying to undermine the Cheap Trick sound he was elsewhere on the disc creating. As such, I suppose you could look at it as a free bonus preview of In Utero. Anyway, a lot of bars had a lot of jukeboxes with that Nevermind CD, so the many opportunities across this great land to inflict a lot of screeching feedback upon a lot people who had no earthly clue merits its inclusion here, even if it is relatively mild on the noise scale compared with the rest of the stuff here.

The Stooges - "LA Blues" -- Iggy ratchets things up a little bit on this one. I've read some reviews of Fun House by punks who actually complain about the "new thing saxes," but this song is like a lot of the very best stuff I've ever heard: I hated it the first time I heard it, but soon fell in love with its polarizing qualities, and knew instinctively which side of the fence I needed to be on. Still, there's little doubt it would horrify a happy hour crowd, or even one that's kinda sorta heard of the Iggster.

The Butthole Surfers - "Graveyard 1" -- I love this.
I love it very much.
I love driving around with my windows down, with this wonderful demented song playing very very loudly, hoping there are some uptight people around to take offense, maybe I could even see them run for cover. This is the one where it's slowed down of course, where it sounds like a 45 played at 33. "YOOOOUUUUU WRIIIIITTTTTHHHE IIIINNNNN TTTHHHHE GRAYYYYYVVVVEYYAAAAARRRRDDDDDD."
Back when we were in college and therefore a LOT more likely to ingest odd substances and toss back highly flammable liquids than we are now, Cerveza and I contemplated the filming of a movie we would have called "Cranium." Gosh, it would have been great*. The audio portion would have consisted of Butthole Surfers music exclusively, and the video portion would have consisted of us and our friends captured on grainy film taking a drive and smoking and drinking and tripping and probably pouring beer on ourselves and each other. All the while mouthing repeatedly the single poignant phrase, "I'm losing my cranium." Very. Slowly. Exactly the way Gibby is heard singing on "Graveyard 1."

Neu! - "Super 78" -- This is like the opposite of the Surfers above. Neu! basically ran out of money after they'd recorded the first half of their second album, and when they asked their label for more dough, it refused. So to take up the space on side two, Neu! played and recorded their first single at different turntable speeds. The 78 version is somehow more annoying than the 16, funny how that works. Wikipedia says that this was an early example of remixing, but they are being generous. Very very generous.

John Coltrane - "Jupiter Variations"-- Really, I could have pointed to anything on Interstellar Space, as it all sounds roughly the same. But this is the one I heard today as I drove home and that inspired tonight's post. Funny, I thought about halfway through, how I've actually gotten to the point where I can listen to this skwonkulous noise and actually digest it. My manager, who plays sax and is something of a jazzhead, is convinced that Coltrane was back on the drugs when he recorded this stuff, even though there is no historical evidence at all to support such a belief. Other than the warped music itself, I mean.

Happy Flowers - "Left Behind"-- I've never heard a DJ so totally lose it on air as when some poor unsuspecting schmuck doing a Christmas theme show for the University of Miami's station made the mistake of selecting for airplay the Flowers' "All I Got Was Clothes for Christmas." About halfway through he very quickly faded the thing out, and literally screamed into the open mike "WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?!?!?!?"
I'm also seeing where they've used "Mom I Gave The Cat Some Acid" during prisoner interrogations in Iraq. Lightweights, of course, as "Mom" is probably Happy Flowers' easiest-listening song. "Left Behind" is considerably more jarring.

Napoleon XIV - "!Aaah-aH ,yawA EM EkaT OT GnimoC" -- The winner and still champeen, as well as the clear inspiration for this post's title: as Dave Marsh most famously said, it "cleared out a diner of forty patrons in three minutes flat." Plenty of us stoners were playing Led Zeppelin records backwards back in the day, but this is as far as I know the only record that ever played backwards forwards. I can't imagine anyone at all maintaining that it's listenable.

* Not really. (Return)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Music-Related Posts Elsewhere: R S Crabb Music Review & Top Ten Site

Atlanta Rhythm Section the Boys From Doraville album coverKansas Audio-Visions album cover

Over at his site, RS Crabb was talking about how vocalist Ronnie Hammond from the Atlanta Rhythm Section had a fatal heart attack on Monday. That got me thinking again about being a stupid fucking teenager:
Whoa, ARS, been a long time since I've heard that name . . . . I'd always find their singles in the bags of 45's my old man brought home. I had "Imaginary Lover" and "So Into You" and "Champagne Jam" and "Spooky," probably some others too.

In 1980, when they were promoting The Boys from Doraville, they backed up Kansas on the Audio-Visions tour, and I was 15 years old and it was my fourth concert, and because it was the thing to do, I got myself freaking wasted, probably quaaludes and pot and Budweiser.

At some point during the headliners I looked up in a grossly intoxicated kind of way and Dave Hope had suddenly gained 100 pounds and had gotten butt ass ugly. I was sure I was hallucinating, but then I realized that what was happening was that Paul Goddard from ARS was sitting in on the song.

Then the song ended and Steve Walsh thanked Goddard, and I felt pretty smart for somebody who was stoned stupid.

Probably never forget it, and while I'm not proud of it, I don't necessarily regret it, either.
Click anywhere on the blockquote to be taken to Mr. Crabb's post.

Thinking now that it was probably Robbie Steinhardt who thanked Mr. Goddard. While Walsh was almost always the one who screamed "Welcome to Kansas!" at the start of the show, Steinhardt usually handled the audience interaction after that. Also seeing that the show I attended--which almost as a matter of course had been held at the infamous, and the lamented, Hollywood Sportatorium--took place on December 6, 1980. So I would have been 15 years 93 days of age. Old enough to get fucked up, anyway, at least at the Sport.

Kerry Livgren Seeds of Change album coverObserving as well as I look around that Goddard had played on Kerry Livgren's solo album from that same wonderful year, Seeds of Change. And if that's so, I think I've figured out which song it was that Mr. Goddard had guested on.

It was probably the single from Livgren's album, which was called "The Mask of the Great Deceiver." I never did pull the trigger and buy Seeds of Change (just like I never bought Schemer-Dreamer, the first Steve Walsh solo album), but I did find a copy of the single in one of my dad's grocery bags. Wish I still had it: while not a picture sleeve, the label gave a special vocals credit to Ronnie James Dio, who sang on the thing. It made no mention of Goddard, however, or of Barriemore Barlow, who played the drums.

Anyway, I don't have a setlist from the concert, but I do see that the band played "Deceiver" at points along the Audio-Visions tour, like in Houston and in New York. My thinking here is that if Goddard played bass on the album track (he did), and played at all with the band live, wouldn't it make the most sense that the live tune he played would be the one he already knew?

And not that Dave Hope couldn't have learned the song, but if Goddard was playing the thing, he wouldn't have had to.

So: there you have it. A little bit of the 30-year old memory that had not been eradicated by the drugs. A little bit of present-day internet detective work. And what do you get?

Well, you get proof conclusive of Paul Goddard playing his Fender Precision on "The Mask of the Great Deceiver," before a stoned-out Hollywood audience, December 6, 1980.

The only thing left unknown (besides where that fucking "Mask of the Great Deceiver" 45 has gone off to in the years since) is whether or not I puked out all the Budweiser and all the pills after the show was done.

But the answer is, probably.

Atlanta Rhythm Section logo

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Mojo Nixon - "Don Henley Must Die" from the CD Otis

Mojo Nixon Otis CD cover

He's a tortured artist
Used to be in The Eagles
Now he whines like a wounded beagle

Poet of despair
Puffed up with hot air
He's serious, pretentious and I just don't care

Don Henley must die
Don't let him get back together
With Glenn Frey, Don Henley must die

Cut on the TV
And what did I see
This bloated hairy thing winnin' a grammy

Best rock vocalist
Compared to what
Bunch of pseudo-serious Kraft angst-a-matic
Satanic plot

Don Henley must die
Put a sharp stick in his eye,
Don Henley must die

So. I was reading Suicide Watch the other day and was struck well by the following short screed.
i hate the shit out of Steely Dan and The Eagles and most of the 70s cocaine yuppie yacht rock . . .
And I was like, colorfully put, but maybe you wanna give yourself some wiggle room over there? Don't get me wrong: I consider it a blessing that it's been years and years since I've had to hear anything off Hotel California, but there ARE on close inspection a few Eagles tunes loaded into my iTunes. Truly twisted songs like "The Greeks Don't Want No Freaks" and "The Disco Strangler" come to mind, and I do indeed dig most of The Long Run, anyway.

And while Steely Dan ain't first choice or anything, if I'm in a dentist's office, let's say, I truly believe you could do worse than "Josie."

What I think I'm trying to say is that you can be surprised by an artist, you can. It'll happen, bank on it; but if you shut the door, then you're stuck.

Mojo NixonSo anyway, to at least try and get things moving, it was Suicide Watch that put me in mind of both Don Henley and of the sense of space you just might wanna give yourself when making bold artistic pronouncements.

And then what should my iPod play for me as I'm driving home Tuesday?

You guessed it, the song we have here, "Don Henley Must Die."

I'll be honest. It's not a great song. Mojo's always good for a laugh, but the tune is just a little bit standard-issue, I don't think I'm out of line at all if I say that. But like "Gimme Shelter," like "Carry That Weight," like the Pistols doing their version of "No Fun," "Don Henley Must Die" has had its musical heft increased by circumstance.

The story goes that sometime in 1992, Mojo was doing a show at an Austin bar called The Hole in the Wall, when a drunken Henley appeared out of nowhere and climbed onstage. Mojo--as fit to be sheep-dipped as everyone else in the building, probably moreso--wasn't sure whether Henley wanted to fight or "debate," but what it turned out that Henley wanted was to sing backup vocals to "Don Henley Must Die."

Mojo was good with that, and Don proceeded to go through with it.

Don HenleyI'm not sure, exactly, what else in musical history, real or imagined, might work as an apt comparison to this truly crazy-ass happening. At first I was thinking that it might have been close to something like if Biggie Smalls had guested on one of Tupac's records. But, you know, if Mojo and Henley had been rappers, Mojo would have shot and killed Henley long before it got to the point where both men were in the same freaking building. . . .

What I guess it might be most like is if George W Bush had done a cameo in one of Michael Moore's films. Except that, like the hypothetical Tupac-Biggie get-together, that shit just never happened. No-one is disputing that Don Henley sang background on a song that mean-spiritedly jokes about his own death--and fucking asked to do so.

I've spent some time here suggesting that it is to an artist's own good if they can show a sense of humor about themselves, but even so, I'm frankly amazed at the determination not to take himself seriously shown by Henley in this whole thing. How can you NOT admire the guy, cocaine yuppie yacht rock or no?

It's probably Mojo himself who said it best about Henley: "The guy's got balls as big as church bells."

, up for six weeks

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Time The Way I Roll

When I got home and took a look at my ITunes library, I saw a bunch more, such that I thought I'd just go ahead and go fullbore on the thing, skipping of course the five I'd mentioned in the previous post. . . . .
 10.Blue Cheer - "Summertime Blues"
The Pixies - "Distance Equals Rate Times Time"
Emerson Lake & Palmer - "A Time And A Place"
INXS - "Good + Bad Times"
Led Zeppelin - "In My Time Of Dying"
The Dismemberment Plan - "Time Bomb"
Atheist - "Piece of Time"
Neil Young - "Time Fades Away "
Sonic Youth - "I Love Her All The Time"
The Yardbirds - "Happenings Ten Years Time Ago"

The list as an iMix at Itunes, you can quickly preview and/or buy all songs, except for "Time Fades Away," not being sold by Apple Corp, probably due to some cussed perversity of Young's. So that one's here

Time: The Mixtape, In Another Stop On Its Journey Across The Web

From Negative Pleasure via my new favorite Tumblr blog, Only the Young Die Young:

the time mixtape:

- gimme some good times - lou reed
- hoochie koo time - big stick
- waste of time - turncoats
- action time vision - alternative tv
- now’s the time - shadow of fear
- pizza time - ducktails
- time for a witness - the feelies
- killing time - black market baby
- out of time - the soft moon
- give me some time - the nerves
- funny how time slips away - willie nelson
- stopped myself in time - pigbros. featuring the membranes
- time for change - omega tribe
- dark times - the passage
- time expired - slant 6
- maybe it’s the wrong time - ze malibu kids
- lifetime problems - the dicks
- making time - lords of the new church
- one more time - them
- flash in time - gray matter
- i can’t make it on time - the ramones
- no time to be 21 - the adverts
- some other time - x
- time passage - scientist
- right time - the crowd
- zero time - chrome
- time - david bowie
- yet still time - the new creation
- first time - dmz
- various times - the fall
- good times - sam cooke
- dub in time - the upsetters
- first time - the boys
- last time - soft powers
- modern time - the gents
- time - the speedies
- the best time - dillinger
Except they missed a couple, or more than a couple. I can see skipping "Time" by Pink Floyd, but how about "Sign O' The Times" by Prince, and "Time Has Come Today" by The Chambers Brothers? Or (the simply phenomenal) "Time of the Season," by The Zombies, or "Got the Time," by Anthrax? I get the feeling that "Time Passages" by Al Stewart might not be up their alley, but I'm pretty sure it'd be on my tape, I like a wide dynamic range, don't you know.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Music-Related Comments Elsewhere: Jon Anderson's 'Stash

Jon + Anderson + 'Stash
This is what I love about my Last FM software: I could be fiddling with my baseball cards with the iTunes open, and "Solid Space" from Olias of Sunhillow could randomly come on and all of a sudden I'll have this window opened for me with this seriously badass photo that I'd never before in my life even imagined the existence of, our favorite cosmic-minded domineering prog-rock man as a young dude experimenting with the mustachioed look, as a way to win friends and influence spacy-headed prog-people.

It's the kind of thing that would inspire me to write something like

The 'stash is a good look for Mr. Anderson, shoulda stayed with it, makes him look like he coulda been in Bad Company or something . . . . .

And I bet you all agree.