Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The People Speak But Nobody Listens

Besides the presidential election and the failing economy, here in New York City the big news has been the issue of term limits for elected officials. In 1993 and again in 1996 the people of NYC voted to limit elected officials to two terms in office. But this year because of the economic problems that are facing the city (so he says) Michael Bloomberg decided to try and get the City Council to rescind that law. And in fact he succeeded. So what the people voted for twice was made null and void by the few who would most benefit from having that law removed. Whatever happened to "by the people and for the people"? Is this the way our democracy is supposed to work? And worse, what kind of precedent does this set? Ironically I would've liked to see Mayor Bloomberg run for a third term in office. And if the term limits issue came to a voters referendum a third time I would probably have voted to rescind it. Now I'm not so sure I'd vote for him. The way the Mayor and the Council have gone behind the peoples' backs to further their own self interests is a disgrace.

Last time I promised that my next post would be a bit more of a rockin' affair and so it is. I hope you folks out there in Cyberland enjoy it and go out and buy something by any or all of the featured artists. As always, readers comments are encouraged.

Bobby Marchan - Get Down With It
Along with Esquerita, Bobby Marchan was one of the few performers who could almost match Little Richard for sheer flamboyance. Here he turns in a nice performance of a song also recorded by The Georgia Peach back in the mid-60s although I'm not sure who did it first.
Doris Duke - I'd Do It All Over You
I don't know a whole lot about Doris Duke other than the fact that Ace Records has just released a retrospective of her best material (highly recommended by the way) and that's where I first heard this tasty slice of upbeat Southern Soul.
Dwight Yoakam - I Want You To Want Me
One mark of a great singer is to be able to take a song made popular by someone else and make it his own. And a mark of a classic song is that it can be done in a number of different styles and arrangements and still resonate true. Dwight Yoakam meeting up with Cheap Trick's first top-10 hit is both.
John Fogerty - Walking In A Hurricane
Anyone who's seen John Fogerty in concert recently knows that he hasn't lost one iota of energy or fire over the years. This song is from "Blue Moon Swamp" which to my ears is one the best albums he's ever done, easily in a class with the best Creedence records.
King Curtis - Take Me Out to the Ballgame
It's World Series time and even though my beloved Yankees aren't in it this year, it's always great to hear this perennial baseball favorite played again before we start counting the days until Spring Training. 
The Lovin' Spoonful - You Didn't Have to be So Nice
I know that over the years this song has been played to death on thousands of oldies stations all around the world but I can't think of any song that better captures that moment when casual friendship turns to something deeper. 
The Maltees Four - All Of The Time
From El Lay, these guys were one of the many Byrds influenced bands who had their one small shot at fame and were promptly forgotten. There's nothing remotely original or special going on here but nonetheless it's a really nice record.
Nick Lowe - Cracking Up
Nick Lowe is one of those artists who's been recording and performing for close to 4 decades but still remains underappreciated or unknown by the great majority of music fans who should probably know better. He's never been flashy or trendy, but he's always been about clever, insightful songs that don't take themselves too seriously. If Cole Porter had been born in the Rock & Roll era he might have been Nick Lowe.    
The Outcasts - Set Me Free
According to the garage comp database there were at least 12 garage bands around the world recording under the name The Outcasts. These particular Outcasts were from Philadelphia and this was (probably) their only single. 
Paul Collins Beat - Don't Wait Up
I never got to see a show by Paul Collins Beat but judging from this recording from the Unversal Theater in Spain from 1986 they were quite an exciting live act. I don't think this has ever been released officially but I'm pretty sure their studio albums are still in print and well worth seeking out.
Stiv Bators - Not That Way Anymore (Alternate Version)
While I always liked The Dead Boys, to me they were always at least as much about attitude as they were about music. And considering the state of the music industry in the late 70's it was exactly what Rock & Roll needed to wake itself up. But Stiv Bators' solo material was more about radio-friendly catchy songs with hooky choruses. This song, along with his cover of the Choir's "It's Cold Outside" was always one of my favorites.
Tiny Topsy - Aw Shucks Baby
This bluesy little shouter was recorded for Federal Records back in 1957. Not too surprisingly 'Tiny' was actually any thing but and from the sound of it, she was very influenced by Big Maybelle.  
Travis Wammack - Night Train
"Night Train" has been recorded by many artists over the years but this version has always been my favorite. Pure guitar mania from start to finish.
Tyrone Schmidling - You're Gone, I'm Left
With a name like Schmidling it's got to be good. And in fact it is. VERY. Two minutes of totally out of control chaos. Available from Norton Records on a 45 with a really neat picture sleeve and his wild version  of Carl Perkin's "Honey Don't" on the flip. 
Hitch Hikers - Buggy's 
It still amazes me to learn just how all-encompassing Rock and Roll's influence was back in the 60s (and probably even earlier). Today with the internet everything is right at your fingertips just about anywhere on the globe but back then it was a totally different story. Hitch Hikers were from Lebanon and I'm guessing this was recorded around 1967. 
Boy Berger - Wulle Wulle
Here we have another foreign language version of "Wooly Bully", this time from Germany. I totally love that over-the-top sax break in the middle. 

1 comment:

Bruce said...

I'm glad someone else appreciates Travis Wammack. For skilled guitar & vocals ranging from country thru hard edged blues, you might appreciate Lonnie Mack. Another under-appreciated artist was Link Wray.