Tuesday, October 14, 2008

3CLFS - Pt. 1

When talking to people about the kind of music I like I often describe it as 3CLFS - 3-chord loud fast and stupid. And I don't mean that in any kind of flippant or derogatory way. But when you think about a lot of the best Rock & Roll over the last (gasp!) 50 years, much of it is just pure dumb fun. Or else it's some guy/girl/group wailing away totally over the top, not being afraid to make total asses of themselves. And while most of the time it doesn't work, which is why there are so many mediocre records out there, when it does, the result is 2 minutes of pure crazy perfection. This is the first of what I hope will be an ongoing series of records that, for me, walk the right side of that fine line between crap and genius.

Art Adams, no doubt influenced by Elvis Presley, recorded this classic bopper on the Cherry label in 1959. Back in the day he only put a couple of singles but there was a whole lot of unreleased stuff that finally saw the light of day on a Collector Records CD a few years ago. He is still performing today...While many people have recorded "Louie Louie" over the years, I've yet to hear a version as crude and wild as this one by The Swamp Rats..."Don't Make No Noise" by Chris Kenner was just one of many unbelievably great records recorded in New Orleans back in the early 60s. Listen to that drumming - incredible!

I'd venture a guess that back in nineteen-sixty-whenever, nobody whatsoever gave a damn but somehow over the last 20 years The Deacon's "Baldy Stomp" has become a frat-rock classic. Shake and stomp baby!...Among garage band fans Dean Carter is best known for his wacked-out version of "Jailhouse Rock" but when Big Beat released an anthology of all his recordings a few years ago it was chock full of wonderfully demented (mostly unreleased) songs. "Fever" is one of my favorites. I love the classic versions by Peggy Lee and Little Willie John but DC puts a whole new spin on it...."I Want My Woman" by The Emperors is another garage band favorite and has been covered by a slew of bands over the years. I can still hear John Faye's screaming vocals when the Tryfles used to blast away at this one back at The Dive in NYC in the mid 80s.

"10 Long Fingers" by Groovey Joe Poovey is a homage to Jerry Lee Lewis. Despite the fact that this is a total imitation of The Killer, it's a fine rocker in it's own right...Even before the internet, back in the 60s, Rock and Roll was being played by beat crazy teens in the most remote corners of the globe. From Finland, Andy & The Islanders turn in a fine version of "Farmer John"..."That's Rock and Roll" shows a rockin' side of Johnny Rivers that his later hits only hinted at. Had he not become famous this would still be regarded as a rockabilly classic...Les Sexareenos have been performing since 2000 or so and in a time when so much new music is getting either more corporate or just too damn precious and artsy, this gang of lunatics out of Montreal are keeping the true 'what the f*&K' spirit of Rock and Roll alive.

To me, Little Richard was one of the first real wildmen of Rock and Roll, in an age when it was difficult, maybe even dangerous to be so. Imagine the reaction of Mr. and Mrs. White America back in the Eisenhower years when they first heard this screaming black queen go totally bonkers. And then realized that their impressionable little kiddies were diggin' the crap out of it. Ooh my Soul!!!...Back in the 60s, just like in the US, all across South and Central America garage bands were sprouting up playing their versions of the hits of the day and quite often, adding their own magic to the mix. Peru's Los Shains do a terrific job on this Sam the Sham and the Pharohs favorite.

Over the years a whole slew of bands have covered Larry Williams' "Bad Boy" but the A-Bones version is by far my favorite. What really seals the deal for me is Miriam Linna's manic caterwauling at the end of the song...One of the things I love about Mark Sultan (aka King Khan) is how he mixes in a doo-wop influence with his basic low-fi garage sound. You don't hear that very often. I saw him play at the South Street Seaport over the summer and his new band has more of a funk thing going on but I prefer the earlier material...I love Roky Erickson's version of the old R&B staple "Crazy Crazy Mama". His band really kicks in and his vocals are as intense as ever. It would've been nice to see him do this live when I saw him last year.

"Why" by the Durty Wurds is another garage classic that's been covered by a zillion bands over the years but I've never heard anyone come close to the original...I'd never heard Willy Baby's "Hot Buns" until I got the "All Night Soul Stomp" compilation. Latin soul silliness at its finest. Ole!...When I was 11 years old I used to play "It's A Gas" constantly. There's a point about 1:45 into the song where he does 3 short burps in a row. Not realizing that this was achieved by means of a tape splice, I spent countless hours practicing, trying to do that. I still have yet to master it.

Art Adams - Rock Crazy Baby
Bob Hocko and the Swamp Rats - Louie Louie
Chris Kenner - Don't Make No Noise
The Deacons - The Baldie Stomp
Dean Carter - Fever
The Emperors - I Want My Woman
Groovey Joe Poovey - Ten Long Fingers
Andy & The Islanders - Farmer John
Johnny Rivers - That's Rock And Roll
Les Sexareenos - Wild Wild Wild
Little Richard - Ooh! My Soul
Los Shains - Bule Bule
The A-Bones - Bad Boy
Mark Sultan - Two Left Feet
Roky Erickson - Crazy Crazy Mama
The Durty Wurds - Why
Willy Baby - Hot Buns
Alfred E. Newman - It's A Gas


Anonymous said...

I only just found this blog(via twilight zone), and you have MADE MY YEAR! I've been looking for that Alfred E Neuman track for aaaaages!(I'm in Australia, these things are a little harder to come by down here) :) You sir, have exquisite taste! I'll be checking in regularly


YankeeBoy said...

It's nice to know that there is someone else in the world who shares my sophisticated and refined taste in music. If you are ever in New York City, get in touch so we can meet up and burp along to this fine song together.

LARA. said...

ah yes, sophistimication is what I'm all about.... (who said the French have to have the monopoly on it huh!?).... and burping...but I'm Australian, that has to be expected.
You may live to regret that offer YankeeBoy, I am actually trying to plan a trip over that way to meet some mates sometime next year....

BTW, just cos you mentioned Hoodoo Gurus, they did become monstrously mainstream(and truly awful)down here. They always pick stellar support acts at least... I like to pretend they broke up or died after Blow Your Cool!


mariano said...

I've just listened to all the songs of your first 3 posts.
The songs are fantantist!!!
Could you please reupload this one?

Greetings from Buenos Aires, Argentina!


YankeeBoy said...

Mariano, it'll take a few days to dig up the old file but I will upload asap. Glad you're enjoying the music.

mariano said...

I'm downloading this file.
Thank you very much!
I enjoy listening to this songs.
Keep the good work!

Mariano, from Buenos Aires, Argentina.

YankeeBoy said...

Thanks Mariano, glad you like the music.