Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

Another year done been and gone. I know many people who will be glad to see the last of 2009, hoping for better things in 2010. For me personally, it wasn't all bad by any means. I finally finished school - it took me 40 years but I actually got my BBA. I even managed to get a B+ in Calculus. Hopefully the job market will improve enough so that my diploma will actually help me get a decent job within the next few months. No matter how down I got over this past year, I tried (even if I didn't always succeed) to keep in mind the fact that despite whatever hardships and pressures I was facing, there were millions of people throughout the world who would happily trade places with me. Sometimes a little perspective helps. Tonight I will be celebrating the New Year (and decade as a matter of fact) with The A-Bones and The Detroit Cobras. Happy New Year one and all.

B.B. King - Woke Up This Morning
More often than not, I find B.B.'s music a little too clean for my tastes. But here he adds a little New Orleans styled Rhumba beat to spice up the proceedings.
Ian Dury and the Blockheads - Wake Up And Make Love With Me
What guy I know hasn't felt like this at one point or other? In anyone else's hands this would sound totally sleazy but Ian makes his point in his usual gentlemanly style.
Chad & Jeremy - The Truth Often Hurts The Heart
The first time I ever heard this song was when C&J made a guest appearance on The Patty Duke Show and as far as I know, it never got much radio airplay anywhere. It's a shame because it's one of their best records. Maybe the truth hurt too much.
Drafi - I Wanna Take You Home
Although Drafi was much more popular in his native Germany, he had a minor hit here with "Marble Breaks and Iron Bends" in the Spring of 1966. I like this one just as much.
Bram Tchaikovsky - Lullaby On Broadway
I seem to remember this song being issued as an import 12-inch single (remember those?) sometime around 1979 or 80 and it even got a fair amount of airplay on some "alternative" radio stations. Unlike a lot of music that got lumped in under the "New Wave" banner, this has aged quite nicely and still sounds fresh.
Bob Relf - Blowin' My Mind To Pieces
I first heard this song on a Goldmine Soul Supply compilation about 10 years ago and since then it has been reissued a number of times on a few different collections and even on a 45. Which is lucky for us as an original will set you back at least $100.
Puffy - I Don't Wanna
For a number of years Puffy were the darlings of the J-Pop crowd. For the most part I found most of their music a little too cutesy for my tastes but somewhere along the line, their producers decided to have them rock out more. Not a bad idea at all.
The Gaggas - Bright Light Big City
Besides the fact that these guys came from Sweden, I have absolutely no information on them. I don't even remember from where I got this mp3, as according to the Soybomb garage database, this song is not on any compilation. There is a video of them on Youtube however. If anyone out there knows anything more, please leave a comment.
Solomon Burke - Maggie's Farm
Another Dylan cover. This is as unlikely a pairing as I could ever have imagined but somehow it works. But then again, I don't think there's anything Solomon Burke couldn't sing.
Primal Sream - Ivy Ivy Ivy
Over the course of their career, Primal Scream have gone though a number of personnel and style changes. I personally like them best when they play straight ahead tuneful Rock & Roll as they do here. "Ivy Ivy Ivy" is from their self-titled album available on Amazon for pretty cheap.
Screamin' Jay Hawkins - You Ain't Foolin' Me
Screamin' Jay has one of the most distinctive voices in R&R. I saw him one time at an oldies show in Central Park and they had to stop the show for about a half hour as the police would not allow him to do his schtick where he would come onstage in a coffin. I don't remember how it was all finally resolved but he was great.
The Youngbloods - Sunlight
This is such a pretty song. Over the years it's always been a favorite, bringing out various emotions depending on my relationship status and state of mind at the time.
The Bush - Feeling Sad and Lonely
Hailing from California in the mid-60s, these guys made it big enough to open for The Stones back in the day. This moody R&B number is from their CD that was issued last year by Ugly Things magazine. You can buy a copy here.
The Undertones - Teenage Kicks
This Undertones classic will need no introduction to many readers of this blog. When I was attempting to learn to play guitar, this song was always a lot of fun to play - the 80s equivalent of "Gloria".
Huey "Piano" Smith & The Clowns - She Got Low Down
This must have been some crazy party until it got totally out of control. HPS & Co. never fail to provide the perfect good-time vibe, be it for a party or just walking around listening to the Ipod.
Alfred Brendel - Mozart's Piano Sonata No. 11 in A major ('Alla Turca')

This is some of that "longhair music" Huey Smith & his Clowns were singing about. When I was a kid I remember reading an Archie comic, the gist of it being that Archie's father walks into a record store and asks for some "short hair" music. For me growing up, Classical music was one of the things that got caught up in the 'Us VS Them' generation wars. Listening to this now, it seems to me that Mozart was his era's combination of Paul McCartney and Alex Chilton. His music is easy to listen to, incredibly hummable and, the more one listens the more hidden nuances make themselves heard. Alfred Brendel is one of the world's premier pianists and has recorded many albums of Mozart's music but this particular piece comes from this one.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Home for the Holidaze

Is it just me or, this year, does it seem that the holiday season has sprung up out of nowhere? Maybe it was due to this years' November baseball - I was watching the World Series and then when I went out to the store, the whole shopping area was filled with Christmas decorations. Or perhaps it's because for the second year in a row, this holiday season finds me (and countless others) still unemployed. Whatever the reason, it just doesn't seem very Christmasy this year. Oh well, c'est la vie. Enjoy the music and leave comments. I really love hearing from people.

Bryan Ferry - The Times They Are A-Changin'
The more things change the more they stay the same. Bob Dylan wrote this song over 45 years ago and it still sounds apropos to our current time. Bryan Ferry's version has always been a favorite,so here it is.
Carl Perkins - Her Love Rubbed Off
Carl might not have been as wild as some of his Sun Records contemporaries but, as this song proves, he could be just as intense in his own somewhat softer, quieter way.
Casey Jones & the Governors - Don't Ha Ha
I've always loved this song by Huey "Piano" Smith and the Clowns and here, CJ & Co turn in a snappy sped-up version. Back when I used to see The Swingin' Neckbreakers, they always used to do this song and now I know from where they most likely got their arrangement.
Crabby Appleton - Go Back
Stories - I'm Coming Home
And now for the hit portion of our program. Back in May of 1970, Crabby Appleton hit the charts for the first and last time when "Go Back" made it up to number 36 on the Billboard Top 100. Two years later, Stories had their first of a handful of chart entries as "I'm Coming Home" climbed up to number 42. This song was written by Michael Brown who, a few years earlier, wrote "Walk Away Renee" and "Pretty Ballerina" for the Left Banke.
Fred Neil - The Dolphins
Fred Neil was very active in the early 60's folk scene and the list of songs he wrote for himself and others is quite impressive to say the least. "The Dolphins" has always been a personal favorite of mine.
Gino Washington - Out Of This World
I seem to remember playing this a few times in my DJ days and, if memory serves me correctly, it never failed to fill up the dance floor. Listening to it now on my computer, it still sounds damn fine.
John Fred & Playboy Band - Can I Get a Word In
Although JF & Co. are mostly remembered for their rather annoying hit record "Judy In Disguise (With Glasses)", they had a handful of other singles, of which this is but one, that were so much better.
Little WIllie John - Talk To Me, Talk To Me
For my money, Little Willie John had one of the best voices in R&B and was second to none in the way he could put over a song. Sadly, he died while in prison in 1968 at the young age of 40.
The Lyres - You Won't Be Sad Anymore
Despite the fact that the vocals are somewhat muffled and it's hard to make out the words, this has alway been one of my favorite Lyres songs. At this point they are not as active as they once were which is a shame because when they were running on all cylinders, their shows were second to none.
Mando Diao - Cinderella
I don't remember exactly when and where I first heard of these guys although now that I have, I am definitely a fan. Hailing from Sweden it's not likely that they'll be playing NYC anytime soon but if and when they do, I will definitely be there to cheer them on. Check out their MySpace page.
Paul Revere & The Raiders - Good Thing
According to my friend and Top Shelf Radio DJ Dave the Rave, he is working with some folks at Collector's Choice Records on a multi-disc Paul Revere & The Raiders singles box. Although many of the single versions have appeared as bonus tracks on some Sundazed PR&TR album reissues, this will be the first time that they are all together in one place. I for one, can't wait.
Doris Troy - Special Care
This song is from the album she recorded for Apple Records which is now out of print and is selling for big bucks on places like Amazon and Gemm Music.
Willie Egans - It's a Shame
"It's a Shame" is pretty standard, straightforward mid-50s R&B. While it may sound like hundreds of other records made back in the day, and despite the rather crude recording, it's definitely got an extra spark of something that makes it sound fresh and exciting 55-plus years later.
The Cobras - I Wanna Be Your Love
While many of you will already know this song from the "Teenage Shutdown" series this version comes from a privately pressed CD-R, made directly from the 45s. And anyway, this is one of those songs you can never hear too many times.
Thelonious Monk - Boo Boo's Birthday
I always feel a little intimidated writing about Jazz. I feel like one of those people who say "I know nothing about art but I know what I like". But the fact is that I do like this song a lot. It's got an upbeat happy sounding melody and I like how the soloists go out on their own but never seem to stray too far from the tune.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Falling Into Fall

I guess it's a testament to my true procrastinating nature that here it is one month away from the start of winter and I'm first falling into fall now. The truth of the matter is that I've been kind of busy with school and dealing with a bit of depression these past weeks. Going back to school was an interesting adventure at first but now I am getting rather tired of it. After working for so many years, taking all these classes that seem so unrelated to the "real" world (whatever THAT is) with kids that are almost young enough to call me grandpa, is starting to get to me. But the good news is that in 6 weeks I'm all done and will be an official college graduate. Hopefully that will make finding a job a bit easier. Also, on the good (if somewhat old by this time) news side of the page is the Yankees winning the World Series. It was a great series and the Phillies were worthy adversaries. It doesn't always work out that way but this year the World Series really did match up the two best U.S. teams in baseball. So enough talk, time to strike up the band.

The Fowls - The Yanks Are Champs

Back in the mid-80s I spotted this record on a back shelf in Stan's Souvenirs Shop, which sits right across the street from the old Yankee Stadium. As soon as I saw the yellow Rotten Rat Records label, I figured it was worth a listen. So I handed over my $4 and hoped for the best. And what a fabulous record it is! Even Billy Miller, co-editor of Kicks Magazine and one of the most vehement Yankee-haters I know has admitted that this is one of the best sports related Rock & Roll records ever.

Bob Dylan - It's All Over Now, Baby Blue (7-25-65)

I'm not sure from what album this particular recording originates although I'm guessing it was from one of the numerous bootlegs made from live tapes recorded during that period. Nonetheless, this is a splendid rendition of one of his best songs.

The Flatmates - If Not For You

I've always had a fascination for Dylan covers. His songs are so multi-faceted and open for interpretation. The best known version of "If Not For You" is probably George Harrison's but I've always liked the Flatmates' take on it just as much.

The Hoods - I'm A Dog

The Hoods hailed from Sweden and this 2-minute plus blast of snotty garageified R&B is one of a handful of great records they recorded in 1964-65. A quick Google search didn't reveal much so if anyone out there has any info on these guys, a comment or two would be greatly appreciated.

Jimmy Patton - Yah I'm Movin'

A few months ago I posted Jimmy' "Okie's in the Pokie" and this track is just as good. He had at least one more 45 "Let Me Slide" which I'll also post sometime. All three are available on a number of different Rockabilly comps that have come out over the years.

Jimmy Reed - Shame, Shame, Shame

Jimmy Reed has always been one of my favorite blues singers. This song is one of his best and has been covered a number of times over the years. Back in January I posted a wild version of this song by Aerosmith from their "Honkin' on Bobo" album.

The Lackloves - In Due Time

These guys embody everything I love about Power Pop - hook-filled songs with intelligent lyrics, lots of chiming guitars and confident yet not overly cocky vocals. They have at least 3 albums out, all of which are available on Amazon.

Lady Dottie & the Diamonds - Why I Sing the Blues

If Etta James ever got together with The Detroit Cobras, they'd probably sound a lot like Lady Dottie and The Diamonds. I can't remember the last time I heard such soulful blues rock so hard. Check out their album. I don't go to nearly as many live shows as I used to but if LD & Co. ever come to town, I'll be front and center.

Beck - I'll Be Your Mirror

I really love this new project of Beck's. He's going back with various friends and re-recording songs by some of his favorite artists. This is his first effort and here he turns in a beautiful version of "I'll Be Your Mirror" from the Velvet Underground's debut album. Best of all, he's posting them online for no charge.

Mike Furber & The Bowery Boys - You Stole My Love

Brisbane, Australia's Mike Furber & Co are fairly well known in 60's garage circles, most notably for their version of "That's When Happiness Begins" but I think I like this one even better.

The Beatles - Baby You're A Rich Man (alt.)

Considering that The Beatles broke up almost 40 years ago, all of the hoopla surrounding their latest box set reissues is truly amazing - and richly deserved. I've been a fan since day one and when I listen to these remasterings I hear things with a clarity I never experienced before. Because they were such perfectionists, for almost every song they recorded there are a number of alternate versions and outakes. I'm sure it's way too much to ask but I'd love to see a similarly mastered box dedicated to some of those. This version of "Baby You're a Rich Man" is not very different from the original single version but I think I detect a few slight changes here and there.

Frantic Johnny Rogers - Sassy

From the fabulous "T-Bird Party" compilation comes this delightful R&B stomper. Anyone with an extra $149. to spend can find a nice NM copy of this on Gemm Music. Or if anyone is looking for a nice graduation present to get me....

The Sting Rays Of Newburgh - Fool

These guys hailed from my home state of New York and as far as I know, this record was their only claim to fame. My apologies for the screw up on the file name. This is how it should read.

The Chaps - Remember To Forget Her

From the sound of this moody folk punker I'm guessing it was recorded in 1965 or 66. This particular recording was taken from the Psychedelic States: Arkansas compilation and if anyone has an original for sale or trade, please get in touch via the comments section.

Vivian Girls - Such A Joke

While this is not at all retro sounding, I can still hear a 60s garage influence in their music. Of course it's all filtered through a punk/post-punk sensibility that many garage purists might not like but personally, I really like both of their albums. Fans of Jesus and Mary Chain or Black Rebel Motorcycle Club take note.

Roger Miller - Dang Me

To many, Roger Miller is primarily remembered as a Country novelty act and this song will do little to change anyone's mind. Truth be told, he was a lot more than that and he was elected to the Nashville Songwriters hall of Fame in 1973. I've always liked his songs for their easy-going warmth and their sense of joie de vivre.

Z.Z. Hill - Baby I'm Sorry

Although Z.Z. never achieved Otis Redding's or Wilson Pickett's level of commercial success, it wasn't for lack of either trying or talent as this stomping soul toe-tapper clearly shows.

Strike one....strike two....strike three.....You're OUT!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

What Is The What

Every so often I read a book that really throws me for a loop and gets me to see my life in a whole new perspective. "What Is The What" by Dave Eggers, which I finished a few days ago, is definitely one of them. It's the story of Valentino Achak Deng, a Sudanese refugee whose village was invaded when he was 7 years old. It's told in the first person and he tells how he had to trek hundreds of miles on foot to relative safely - not once but a few times over the next decade. He talks about his life traveling in the jungle, in the refugee camps, his struggle to be allowed to come to the US and about his life in Atlanta where he finally settled. What really moved me was how he always maintained his basic humanity - his compassion, morals and even (most of the time) his sense of humor while experiencing horrors I can barely imagine. It gave me pause to reflect, despite my own career woes of the past year, how relatively easy my life has been and how lucky I am. As a friend once reflected about her own life, all my problems are problems of privilege. I was also struck by the similarities of human nature between people who are so culturally different from myself. I saw many of my own character strengths and flaws in the people he lived and traveled with 10,000-plus miles away from me. Despite all of the bad things that happen, in the end I found this book quite uplifting.

Big Boy Pete - London American Boy
Supposedly Big Boy Pete (aka Pete Miller) was a hipster in the 60s London Mod scene but I've also heard it said that he is nothing more than the figment of someone's creative imagination. No matter. He's got 3 CDs chock full of those freaky beat sounds I love so much. And if it's all a scam, so much the better - I take my hat off to whoever it was that pulled the wool over so many eyes.
Big John Greer - Come Back Maybelline
You don't need me to tell you which record's popularity this one attempted to cash in on. Personally, I always thought originality was overrated and this is one fine slab of noise in it's own right.
Dar Wiliams - It's Alright
I've been a fan of Ms. Williams for a few years now. Stylistically I guess she's in the same camp as Lucinda Williams although her sound is generally a bit slicker.
Hank Williams - I'd Still Want You
I'm sure that HW needs no introduction to anyone following my blog. This is taken from the "Hillbilly Hero" box that came out on Proper a few years ago, copies of which are still available on Amazon.
The Litter - A Legal Matter
It's hard to imagine anyone improving on this classic by The Who but Minnesota's Litter give them a run for their money. I'd say it's a toss up.
Mort Shuman - I'm A Man
Mort Shuman had a long and varied musical career before his untimely death at age 54 in 1991. Back in the late 5o's and early 60's he wrote a slew of hit records wit Doc Pomus and somewhere along the line, recorded this rockin' shoulda-been hit.
The Move - I Can Hear The Grass Grow (Session Mono Mix)
The first I'd ever heard of The Move was back when I was a kid and I read in 16 Magazine about how they would blow up cars in their stage show. Needless to say I was quite intrigued. I didn't get to actually hear them until a few years later and I was not disappointed when I did. "....Grass Grow" has always been one of my favorites and I really love this mono mix.
Roy Loney - Hundred Miles an Hour
I recently read something about Raven Records in Australia releasing a CD of Roy's best solo material, also called "Hundred Miles an Hour". As far as I know none of his early material has been released digitally up to now so this will be a welcome addition to his many fan's music collections.
Ry Cooder - Do Re Mi
I've always really loved RC's version of Woody Guthrie's classic "Do Re Mi". This was one of the high points of Ry's debut album and, conveniently, it is also on his recently released 2-disc career anthology "The UFO Has Landed".
Black Tie Revue - Red Everywhere
BTR are, in my opinion anyway, one of the better newer garage-punk-pop bands around. This song is taken from their only (as far as I know) album "Code Fun" which I would definitely recommend to one and all. You can hear more at their myspace page.
Mickey Murray - East Of Nowhere
Mickey Murray is best known for his fantastic version of Otis Redding's "Shout Bamalama" and while "East of Nowhere" is a bit more subdued, it gives him a chance to show just how fabulous a singer he was.
Voodoo Lust - Story Of My Life
Unfortunately for the rest of the world, Voodoo Lust never really made any waves outside of their native Australia, as they released a couple of 45s and a mini-LP all of which are wonderful in a garagey melodic punk style. The good news is that someone took some videos of them performing back in 1987 and has been so kind as to post them on YouTube.
The Gentlemen - It's A Cry'n Shame
This song probably needs no introduction to any fan of 60s garage music. Ever since it appeared on Pebbles Vol. 5 it has been much sought after, with collectors happily paying in the high hundreds for a copy. This is one time when the collector's hype is actually backed up by the music as "...Shame" is a 5-star stompin' classic. This particular recording comes from a privately pressed CD-R made from a pretty clean 45. So crank it up and let it rip!
Lambert, Hendricks & Ross - Twisted
Now we're getting into the jazz portion of this playlist. I first heard "Twisted" on a Joni Mitchell album back in the 70s and while she did a pretty good job of it, Annie Ross' beatnik jive vocal will always be the definitive version.
Dexter Gordon - The Blues Walk (Loose Walk)
I always feel at a loss when trying to write about jazz. I really like listening and I know a little about it but I am very conscious of the fact that there are so many people out there (probably some reading this blog) who know so much more than me. I just know that I really like this song so I will let a review I saw on Amazon do the talking: "This is a nice example of late-career Dexter, as this was recorded in 1981. Dexter is on top of his game and spurred to action by a great supporting cast: Art Blakey on drums, Percy Heath on bass and Cedar Walton on guitar, with guest appearances by George Benson on guitar and Woody Shaw on trumpet." Couldn't have said it better myself.

Monday, August 31, 2009

The Yanks are Comin'

It's good being a Yankees fan these days. Everyone is doing what they're supposed to do and they're running like a well oiled, perfectly calibrated machine. True, they've probably got the biggest payroll in all of professional baseball but high-priced free agents have not always been a blessing for them in the past. Randy Johnson (among others) comes to mind. On any really good team, whether it be a team of athletes, construction workers or scientists, there has to be the right chemistry. Everyone knows their role and is comfortable within that role. For me, the 1998 Yankees epitomized that chemistry. But this year I'm feeling it again. They're playing together as a unit and they're not only winning but having fun at the same time. I love the whole pie-in-the face thing when they get a walk-off win. I love how guys like AJ Burnett and Nick Swisher keep things loose. This is the first season in a few years where even when they lose a game, I never feel like they are out of it. Of course I have no idea what will happen over the next two months but I really think this could be our year. LET'S GO YANKEES!!

Artful Dodger - Wayside
I must have read about these guys in some magazine like Rolling Stone or something because, back in the mid-70s I certainly didn't hear them on the radio - at least not in New York City. Too poppy for the qualudes and beer crowd and not convoluted enough for the prog heads, their brand of power pop just didn't fit in back then. But they have certainly aged much better than many of their peers and 30-plus years later still sound fresh.
The Merseybeats - Shame
The Merseybeats are mostly remembered for their beat ballad "Really Mystified" but here they turn in a nice rockin' version of Jimmy Reed's "Shame Shame Shame".
Big Bob - Your Line Was Busy
This song has appeared on a number of 50s R&R comps over the years. My first memory of it was when my friend Mitro sang it with The Vince Brnicewic Air Force, a NYC garage supergroup of sorts that I actually had the privilege of singing a few songs with onstage a couple of times. My 15 minutes of fame for sure.
The Blue Hearts - Linda Linda
Back in the late 80's and early 90's these guys were superstars in Japan, selling out huge stadiums and selling loads of records and CDs. They never broke over here despite their best efforts, but I was lucky enough to see them a few times when they played clubs like Woody's and The China Club in NYC.
The Possums - She Loves Me
These are the Scotsdale, Arizona Possums (not to be confused with the Possums from Columbus Ohio) and this particular track can be found, loud and proud, on volume 2 of "Teenage Shutdown".
Captain Beefheart - Her Eyes Are a Blue Million Miles
For many people the Captain is an acquired taste. "Her Eyes...." is one of his few (maybe only) bonafide love songs although I can't imagine too many couples picking this to be played on their wedding day.
Chris Kenner - I Have News For You
This is so New Orleans I can just taste the gumbo. All my life I had always planned to visit N.O. but kept on putting it off. Tragically, after Katrina, so much of that rich history was lost forever.
Tommy James - One Track Mind
I saw Tommy a few months ago at B.B. Kings and he was just wonderful. His voice sounds great, he's lost none of his energy and it was obvious to all that he still loves playing. This is from his long out-of-print "In Touch" album and has a bit of a glam feel to it.
Dwight Yoakam - Fast As You
Although there's no doubt that Dwight Yoakam is a country singer he can still rock and roll when he wants to. I can picture Tom Petty doing this song.
Ian Dury - I'm Partial To Your Abracadabra
I've always had a soft spot in my heart for Ian Dury. He had a sensibility that was completely, uniquely his own and his songs always made me smile.
The Lovin' Spoonful - Alley Oop
The Lovin' Spoonful were another group whose music could always lighten my heart. "Alley Oop" was an outtake from their "Do You Believe in Magic" album and was included as a bonus track when it was reissued in 2002.
Major Lance - Investigate
"Investigate" is very popular in UK Northern Soul circles which means that scoring an original 45 is an expensive proposition. I won't even tell you what I paid for my copy. Making matters worse is the fact that on almost every ML Best-Of I've seen over the years, when this song is included at all, they use the inferior stereo version. Luckily, there's one collection that has the way better mono mix and it's available on Amazon.
Senseless Things - Standing In The Rain
Senseless Things were one of many incredible bands I first read about in the super fabulous "Noise For Heroes" fanzine back in the early 90's. If you like The Buzzcocks and Stiff Little Fingers, you will love these guys. Especially recommended is their "Postcard C.V." album which can be purchased through Gemm Music.
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - You Really Got Me
For some reason I never fully appreciated Tom Petty until I started hearing him on my Ipod. Better late than never, he has become one of my favorite artists. Like Bruce Springsteen, he is very conscious of his musical roots and always throws in some great covers in concert. Like this one.
The Thanes - That's The Story Of Your Life
In July of 2000 I went to the Las Vegas Grind garage festival for a 3-day weekend and saw a ton of great bands. By Sunday night I'd had my fill and was ready to pack it in when The Thanes hit the stage. I'm so glad I decided that sleep could wait another hour as they turned out to be one of the high points of an already incredible weekend. This is from their "Evolver" CD which I would totally and unequivocally recommend to any and all lovers of 60s influenced garage sounds.

Monday, August 17, 2009

(Son of) I'm Baaaaaack!

It seems like I start off every posting lately apologizing for being away for so long. What can I say? I've been busy with school and my basic nature is to be a procrastinator. So be it. My summer has been relatively uneventful but that's OK. School is taking up more time than I thought it would. Not just going to class but doing the homework and studying. The good news is that I got A's in both my courses last semester and if I do well on my Business Management final (which I take on Thursday) it looks as if I'll ace this one as well. For any of you folks out there who have been in the working world awhile and are thinking about going back to school but don't know if you can do it - I say not to worry. I was pretty scared when I first went back in May after not being in a classroom for over 30 years but the fact of the matter is that whatever pressure there may be going to class, doing assignments and taking tests; it's nothing compared to the daily life of having a job where there are demands being made on you all the time. It's not that school is easy. In order to maintain my grades I have had to put in a good deal of work. But the stress level just isn't the same.

Another thing that's been keeping me busy these days is watching the Yankees. Despite losing today to the Seattle Mariners they are 7 1/2 games ahead of Boston for the lead in the A.L. East. It's great to see them running on all cylinders in a way that they've not done in a few years. But enough blabbing from me, let's get to the music.

Edwin Starr - You're My Mellow

This was Edwin's last single for the Ric Tic label and if it sounds a lot like his Motown hits, that's because all of the same session musicians are playing on it. I'm not sure if "...Mellow" was ever issued by Motown after they bought Ric Tic although given its rarity, I don't think so.

The Ugly Ducklings - She Ain't No Use To Me

From Toronto, Canada, these guys recorded a handful of mid-60s garage classics, all of which can be found on their album "Somewhere Outside". Years ago I was happy to pay $50 for a beat up original but since then it has been reissued and, last I saw, still available on Amazon.

The A-Bones - Outcast

This track is hot off the press from the A-Bones' new album "Not...Now" which I think might be their best ever. The song selection, production and overall sound - everything clicks together just right. They were always a whole lot of fun live and this album really captures that feeling. You can get it at Emusic or directly from Norton Records mail order. And for any of you bloggers from Japan, the ABones will be doing a couple of shows in Tokyo the last weekend in August. As part of that show, my buddy Jeff Cuyubamba will be displaying some of his photos at the Shimokitazawa and Eristika galleries that he took at the height of the 80s NYC garage scene. I wish I were going along but unfortunately, it's just not in my budget.

B.B. King - Summer In The City

"Summer..." was a huge hit for the Lovin' Spoonful back in 1966 and while their version inspires visions of stoned out hippies hanging out at Tompkins Square Park, B.B. takes it on the A train for a ride way uptown.

Billy Boy Arnold - Rockinitis

"Now I wanna go to heaven but I've been told that Rockinitis has got my soul." These words were sung about 50 years ago not much has changed since then. They remind me of just about everyone I know.

Del Shannon - She Was Mine

"...Mine" was the flip side of Del's version of "Under My Thumb" and while it's not quite up there with "Stranger in Town" or "Keep Searchin'", it's still a nice record. I'm sure it sounds better on the 45 (this version is taken from a CD) without all of the separation, in real mono the way God intended.

Jim Jones & the Chaunteys - If You Know How To Start

From Fort Worth, Texas Jim Jones and friends cut a handful of cool 45s back in the mid 60s. I don't really know any more than that but I do like this song. So here it is.

The Lurkers - Ain't Got A Clue

Back in the late 70s thee guys were one of the more popular punk bands in the UK. In fact, "...Clue" even made it to number 45 on the singles chart. According to Wikipedia, they actually recorded 8 albums, most of which I've never even seen, let alone heard. But their first two, "Fulham Fallout" and "God's Lonely Men" are really excellent.

Millie Jackson - Ask Me What You Want

This song really takes me back to the spring of 1972 when it was quite popular on many jukeboxes around town. She went on to have a very successful career as some kind of musical sex goddess - a cross between between Tina Turner and Barry White but for me her first few 45s are where it began and ended.

Nick Lowe - Love Gets Strange

"Love..." is taken from the sadly out-of-print "Pinker and Prouder than Previous" album. A few months ago he released a 2-disc Best Of but hopefully someday all of his 70s and 80s work will be readily available again.

October Cherries - One Fine Day

Here's a group I know very little about. They were from Malaysia and were around in the late 60s/early 70s. According to my Malaysian pal Aidil, even in their home country their records are next to impossible to find. "Dreamseller", the album from which this song comes was reissued in Holland about 10 years ago and that too is super rare. This came from an MP3 that some very kind person posted a few years ago.

It's OK - The Pointed Sticks

Best known for their pop-punk classic "Out of Luck" Vancouver's Pointed Sticks recorded a number of fine singles and an album back in the late 70s. They are still together and have a new album available from their website.

T.R. & The Yardsmen - I Tried

Although technically there's nothing special going on here, I've always liked this single a whole lot. It's been on a number of comps, most notably "Friday at the Hideout" on Norton (see link above to purchase). I don't know if these guys recorded anything else or even what the B-side of "I Tried" is because while they are on a number of garage comps, this is the only song that's ever included. So I guess that must tell us something.

The Tangents - Send Me Something

This is a record I know absolutely nothing about except that I just love that sound from the early 60s when doo wop was starting to evolve into soul music.

20/20 - Out Of My Head

No, this isn't "Touch Me" by the Doors, despite that riff in the beginning. Despite being part of that whole power pop 'skinny tie' contingent, 20/20 were usually a little too new-wave for my tastes. Maybe I've grown a bit more musically open-minded but today these guys sound pretty damn good.

Howard Tate - Ain't Nobody Home

If you're a fan of classic 60s soul and you don't have Howard's "Get it While You Can" album, you need to rectify that situation toot sweet. Recorded for the Verve label and produced by Jerry Ragovoy, his sound leans more towards gritty southern soul than the slicker grooves coming out of Motown. This is one of a handful of stone classic singles he recorded.

She's like a door without a key

Friday, June 12, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me

It's been awhile since my last post and I apologize for that. Partly, I must admit, it is due to my own laziness but I've also been busier than ever these past few weeks. I have gone back to school to get my degree in Accounting. As it turns out, I only needed 18 credits to graduate. At first it was a bit of a shock to me as I hadn't been in a classroom since 1986 but I am adjusting well and enjoying my courses. This first summer semester I am taking a required English writing course for which I have to do a 5-7 page term paper and I am getting into it much more than I thought I ever would. I am also taking a Community Service class which in this case is a class in which we learn how to construct web sites and then design and put together a site for a non-profit organization. I am really getting into this whole web design thing and am actually thinking about pursuing it further and maybe making a career - or at least a lucrative sideline - out of it. 

But today I turn 58 years old so I am treating myself. No work today - just fun stuff. And while doing this blog does involve a good deal of effort, it is also a lot of fun to do. When I was 8 years old I remember asking my father how old he was and he told me that he was 38. I remember my reaction - man, you are OLD! It's funny. Some days I feel like I am still 16 and other days, when my back or my knees hurt, I definitely feel my age. Rock & Roll has always my connection to whatever kind of higher power is out there and it also keeps me feeling young and fresh. I know that when I am 98 years old and hear those first few chords of "Brown Sugar" or that little organ riff that starts off "We Ain't Got Nothing Yet" I will still feel that same burst of adrenaline I felt back when I first heard them. So Happy Birthday to me and bless us all. 

The Upsetters - Jay Walking
Little Richard's back up band (or so I've been told) steps out for a little session of their own. I love that New Orleans style back beat.  "Ahhh...sing it baby!"
Adam Schmidt - World So Bright
If you're a fan of Matthew Sweet, I think you will also like Adam Schmidt. Pleasantly orchestrated power pop (with an emphasis on the pop), I must admit I am a sucker for this style of music, especially when listening on my Ipod.  
The Animals - Around and Around
Although I still prefer the Stones' version, Eric B. & Co. do a fine version of Chuck Berry's classic. And I do love that little piano break in the middle.
Choo Choo Train - Big Blue Buzz
Paul Chastain and Ric Menck, under various guises, are responsible for some of the best pop music I have heard over the last 15 years. At this point I will buy anything that either of them are involved with and I have yet to be disappointed. 
The Everyly Brothers - Rip It Up
Although the Everlys' take on this R&R standard is nowhere near as wild as Little Richard's original, they more than make up for it with those delicious harmonies. And it loses none of its dancability quotient. 
The Fallouts - I've Been Waiting
I first heard this song on the fabulous "Havoc in Holland" LP compilation which is now out of print and has, sadly, never been reissued on CD. "Havoc..." has been posted in its entirety at some point on a few different blogs although I'm not sure if any of the links are still up. You might be able to find copies at some specialty mailorder places like Bomp or Get Hip.  
The Lyres - In Motion
At this point in time The Lyres probably need little or no introduction to visitors to this blog. This was recorded at one of their shows back in 1980, when we were all a lot younger. The last time I saw them was about 3 years ago and I must say that they haven't changed much nor have they lost any of their old fire. 
Patti Austin - Take Away the Pain Stain
"...Pain Stain" is very big in Northern Soul circles which makes scoring an original copy an expensive proposition. A check of Gemm music finds a bootleg single selling for $31.57. So here it is in pristine sound quality at 320 bps. 
The Lonely Boys - Let Go Of My Heart
While there is nothing earthshakinly original going on here, these guys play an exciting brand of R&B infused bar band R&B in the tradition of Dr. Feelgood and  Evan Johns & The H-Bombs. Whenever I hear this song I picture myself driving around in my friend's old Pontiac with the 8-track blasting away.  
Larry Terry - Hepcat
Until I stumbled across this song on some Rockabilly comp that I found online, I had never heard of Larry Terry. My loss. This record embodies everything I have ever loved about Rock & Roll. Some unknown average guy going into a studio and for 2 minutes, rockin' out for all he's worth. In this case he does a better job of it than most and someone plays a pretty mean guitar solo about halfway through. I may have to break the bank to do it but this is definitely one I need to track down.   
The Stones - Fanny Mae
What can I say about The Stones? I love love love these guys. I saw them for the first time back in 1966 and I've seen them about 5 times since, most recently about 3 years ago at Madison Square Garden. I think this particular track is taken from a bootleg of BBC material from 1964 or thereabouts. 
Terry Timm - Got Nobody To Love
Listening to this song, I can picture her in some slinky dress, grinding her hips and shaking her butt on the stage of some sleazy, smoky dive on the 'wrong' side of the tracks. Music to strip for your husband/boyfriend/wife etcetera to.  
Alastair Moock - My Famous Leaving Song
I don't remember where I first heard Alistair Moock but I became a fan almost immediately. He reminds me of vintage Steve Forbert in both the timbre of his voice and the temperament of his music. 
Little John & The Monks - Black Winds
Fans of moody 60s garage are in for a treat here in this sad tale of lost love, deceit and murder. Oh Black Winds, take away my life.  
Charles Mingus - Peggy's Blue Skylight
Like Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus is known as much as a composer as he was as a musician. While his music is not as easily accessible as The Duke's, a little extra effort on the part of the listener will pay off very well in the end.   

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Back From the Ipod Pt. 4

The last few days have been what spring in NYC is all about. Sunny, in the 60s, not too muggy - perfect weather for walking around or finding a favorite spot and settling in for some people watching. For me, all of these activities are much more fun with a cool soundtrack to go along with them. So once again, here are some selections from my Ipod in whatever random order Itunes decides to put them.

Roky Erickson - Bermuda
This is not the original single version which, as I remember was a good deal slower but it's a nice rendition nonetheless. LIke Brian WIlson, Roky has been to hell and back and the fact that he is still making music at this point in his life is a miracle for which I am truly grateful.
The Deflowers - I'm the One
Back in the 90s I was reviewing records for a number of small fanzines and while I don't remember who sent me this 45, I really liked this record and wrote it up whenever I could. Hopefully that might have sold an extra few copies for them although, judging by the fact that I haven't heard anything else by them since, I'm guessing probably not.
The Flatmates - I Could Be In Heaven
Back around that same time my friend TweeKid was really into the whole C86 thing and while much of that music was a little too fey for a tough-assed garagenik like myself, some of it definitely caught my attention. Subway Records' Flatmates were one of the better bands of that era. Amazon has a nice retrospective of their best stuff which is well worth picking up.
Joe Tex - I Wanna Be Free
Although Joe Tex was mainly known for his preaching style ballads, he started out as a Little Richard imitator and even later on in his career he could rock out when he wanted to. This was one of those occasions and even though this wasn't a chart hit for Joe, it's still a fine record.
The Royal Knights - I Wanna Know
Long-time readers of this blog are well aware of my fondness for mid-60s garage band sounds. This is a perfect example of what I love about it. It's not an especially memorable song, the musicianship is adequate at best and the singer can barely hit the correct notes. It's a bunch of snotty teenage kids from no place special going into the studio, giving it their all and somehow coming up with something magical despite all odds. To me, that is the real essence of what Rock and Roll is about. "...Know" has been on a few different comps including one volume of Teenage Shutdown but this particular rip is taken from Volume 3 of Norton Records' "Fort Worth Teen Scene" series which I highly recommend to anyone into garage bands.
Sonny Burgess - Itchy
This was originally recorded for Sun Records although I'm not sure if it was actually released at the time.
Roy Loney - Neat Petite
One-time member of The Flamin' Groovies, Roy went solo and released a handful of albums in the 70s and 80s. This song was always a favorite. I understand that original Groovies Roy L. and Cyril Jordan recently united with the A-Bones backing them down at Ponderosa Stomp in New Orleans. Must've been totally amazing.
The Neanderthals - Rock The Universe
I've seen these guys a few times (although not in a few years) and they were never less than total drunken fun even when I hadn't had a drop. These guys never forget that when people come to their shows, they just want to forget their cares and cut loose. 3CLFS at it's best. Yee-haw!!
Bobby Marchan - Sad Sack
For the early part of his career Bobby sang with Huey Piano Smith & his Clowns. But despite cracking the Billboard Top 40 in June of 1960 with the ballad "There's Something On Your Mind", his solo career never really took off. This track was among a handful he recorded for Dial Records back in the 60s.
Fickle Pickle - Saturday
With such a stupid band name nobody could be blamed for dismissing these guys as a bad novelty act without even giving them a listen. In fact, when their album was reissued a few years ago, John from Rockit Scientist had to do some convincing to even get me to listen to it. Behind that ridiculous moniker however is a really pretty Left Banke influenced psych/pop album. Listen for yourself.
The One Way Street - See the Light
From the great state of Louisiana comes this slightly psych sounding garage rocker. From the overall vibe and sound of things, I'm guessing that a little bit of herb might have gone into the writing and recording of this little gem.
The Chevelles - She Don't Come Around
Since the late 70s Australia has spawned a number of really top notch power pop bands and The Chevelles are among the best. They actually played a show with the Stems at Maxwells in Hoboken, New Jersey last year and it was a night nobody who was there will forget.
The Soft Boys - Underwater Moonlight
The Soft Boys have always had their share of cult fans and "Underwater Moonlight" is the title song from what is probably their most popular album. For a history and discography of the band, check Wikipedia.
Jerry and the Playmates - Want-a-Love You
From Tulsa, Oklahoma Jerry and Co. probably recorded this organ fueled pounder sometime in 1966. Man, I love this stuff!
John Lee Hooker - Boom Boom
Like many people of the 60s generation, I first heard "Boom Boom" when it was recorded by Eric Burdon & The Animals". Back in 1964 I don't think white teenage radio was ready for Mr. Hooker.
Nick Lowe - What's Shakin' On The Hill
I saw Nick Lowe in concert a few months ago, just him and an acoustic guitar. While I was used to hearing him with a full band backing him up, listening to NL on his own made me realize just how clever and insightful so many of his songs are. While he's just put out a 2-disc best-of, his original albums from the late 70s and 80s remain out of print for the most part which is a damn shame.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Confederacy of Dunces

Every so often I come across something that is too good to keep to myself, something that needs to be shared so that in it's own small way it can perhaps make the world a more agreeable place for those who care to check it out. In this case that something is a book I just finished reading: "A Confederacy of Dunces" by John Kennedy Toole. While Mr. Toole's style is definitely his own, he does share a healthy sense of the absurd and a somewhat skeptical worldview with some of my favorite authors like Carl Hiassen, Tom Robbins and Kurt Vonnegut. And, like these authors, he conveys that sense without resorting to silliness or being too obvious or preachy about it. Sadly, Mr. Toole committed suicide in 1969 at the age of 32 so this is his only book. In addition to the tragedy of anyone feeling so despondent that suicide seems to be the only answer, it is also sad to think of what the world lost as he would have no doubt become one of the premier authors of our time. But that tragedy doesn't take away from the fact that "A Confederacy of Dunces" is one of the funniest books I have ever read and one I am happy to recommend to all of my fellow bloggers. And now onto the music.

Apples in Stereo - The Rainbow
Here in NYC today it is sunny, about 65 degrees, flowers are beginning to bloom and the Yankees have won 2 in a row. So spring is definitely here in all its glory and this particular song is the perfect musical accompaniment. 
Big Al Downing - Down on the Farm
Although "...Farm" is rather well known in collector circles, it didn't do all that much back in 1958 when it was first recorded. While he definitely took a huge musical cue from Little Richard, this is a fine rocker in its own right. 
Foxboro Hot Tubs - The Pedestrian
By now it is fairly common knowledge that Foxboro Hot Tubs are really Green Day in their garage alter egos. I always think twice about posting anything by a popular major label band but I am doing so here in hopes that listening to this will encourage some of you garage heads out there to check out their album which came out last year. To me this more than holds its own when played next to anything by favorite modern-day garage bands like The Lyres, The Woggles  or The Swinging Neckbreakers.
Nolan Porter - Ooh Baby
Until I discovered it on a Kent Records compilation I had never heard this particular record before. But it certainly sounds like it had hit potential and would've sounded fabulous blasting out of car radios in 1965 or 66 when, I'm guessing it was recorded. 
The Kinks - Rosey Won't You Please Come Home
"Rosey..." is taken from one of my all time favorite Kinks albums, "Face to Face".  Up to that point their albums were basically just collections of songs but "Face..." has a distinct stylistic unity and really shows Ray Davies' maturity as a songwriter and storyteller.
The Huntingtons - You Better Mend Your Ways
With their Beatlesque harmony vocals, these guys definitely don't typify what has come to be known as the Northwest sound of the 60s. But, hailing form Tacoma, Washington they were definitely part of the NW musical scene at the time. For anyone interested, this is taken from the Trip in Tyme Vol. 4 comp. 
Lil' Bob & The Lollipops - Agent Double O Soul
If I had a time machine, I'd definitely be taking a trip to the early-mid 60s in Lafayette Louisiana to check out Lil' Bob and Co. wherever they were playing. Listening to them on record I can only imagine how exciting and fun they must have been live. 
Miles Davis - Milestones
Like John Coltrane (who also played on this session) and Duke Ellington, Miles Davis' influence goes far beyond the world of Jazz. Ten years or so after this was recorded (1958) Miles would revolutionize the Jazz, Rock and R&B world with "Bitches Brew", his unique fusion of all three genres into something completely new. But for me, this is the Miles I like best. The album this is taken from, "Milestones" and his next one"Kind of Blue" are regarded as stone classics by just about anyone with an interest in Jazz or American music of the 20th century.
Mose Allison - Your Molecular Structure
While Mose does not have the same stature as Miles in the Jazz world, he is still one of my favorite artists. Like JK Toole as described above, his lyrics and wry understated vocals convey an appreciation of the absurdities of this world. Someone once said that he sings "with a twinkle in his eye" and that's about as apt a description of his style as I've ever heard. And he's also a wonderful piano player as well as you can hear on this track.  
The Sands of Time - Come Back Little Girl
I'm pretty sure I've posted at least one other song off of the "Crude P.A." from which this song comes. Funny how at the time it came out, I didn't appreciate that particular compilation as much as I do now. Listening to this song, as much as I like it, I can't help but wonder how much better it would've been if they would actually have sung into the microphone.
Shirley Matthews - Big Town Boy
I remember hearing this song on the radio when I was a kid back in the early 60s, probably on WINS. Upon checking my Joel Witburn Billboard Charts book I was surprised to learn that it never even cracked the top 100. Too bad as it's a damn fine record. 
The Spaniels -Play It Cool
In Doo Wop circles The Spaniels are regarded as almost God-like and their records such as "Goodnight Sweetheart Goodnight" and "Baby It's You" among others, are rightly seen as vocal group classics. But like many Doo Woppers, they also had a more raucous R&B side to them as well, and "Play It Cool" is a perfect example of that.
Augustana - I Still Ain't Over You
I first heard Augustana last summer on a road trip when a friend played me a CD-R he put together of newer pop/rock bands he thought I'd like. On the basis of the 2 or 3 songs I heard that day I went out and bought both of their albums and I don't regret it. Featuring a commercially crafted Power Pop sound their songs resonate with a warm humanity that I find so easy to relate to. According to Wikipedia, this is their most recent single from late 2008.
The Magic Plants - I'm A Nothing
Over the years this song has appeared on a number of garage comps and has come to be regarded as a garage classic. My guess is that original copies of this record, if one can be found at all, are going for close to 4 figures at this point. 
Major Lance - Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um
From 1963 to 1970 Major Lance was no stranger to the charts with 12 records that made it to the Billboard Top 100. This was his biggest hit, rocketing all the way up to number 5 in the early months of 1964.
Gary Lewis &The Playboys - She's Just My Style
Speaking of chart successes Gary L & Co. had their fair share as well, even making it to number one with their very first single "This Diamond Ring". "...Style" was always my favorite of all their records getting as high as number 3 in early 1966. Consumer note: Collector's Choice is coming out with a 2-disc package of all their 45s, complete with B-sides. In many cases the flipsides were just as good as the hit so if you are at all a fan of these guys, this might be well worth checking out here.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

It's Baseball Season!!!

Baseball Season 2009 is finally underway and from my moniker I guess it's not too hard to tell where my loyalties lie. After an incredible spring the Bombers didn't look too terrific the other day against Baltimore but I remain optimistic nonetheless. After all, in 1998 when they had their best year ever they went 0-4 to start the season. CC Sabathia was less than stellar and there was some sloppy playing all around but I think they have the makings of a great team that could go all the way. Their pitching staff, both the starters and in the bullpen, is strong and they have a nice mix of proven veterans and hot prospects. Like many Yankee fans I have grown somewhat tired of ARod and his drama and it will be interesting to see what they can do with Cody Ransom playing third base. I think it is going to be a fun year.

The Beach Boys - Forever
"Fovever", written by Dennis Wilson, is  from "Sunflower" which has always been one of my favorite Beach Boys albums. Whatever I can say about this lovely ballad doesn't begin to do it justice, so just stop reading and listen to it. 
The Bluestars - Social End Product
I first heard "...Product" when it was covered by The Chesterfield Kings on (if I'm not mistaken) their "Don't Open 'Till Doomsday" LP.  This is the original from the mid-60s. Over the past 10 years there have been a number of comps issued covering the mid-60s Australian and New Zealand garage scene and (not too) surprisingly there was a world of incredible music from down under just waiting to be discovered. For more info you might want to check here or here
Dwight Yoakam - Same Fool
DY is one of a new breed of Country singers with a pronounced Rock and Roll sensibility to his music, even going so far as to cover songs by Cheap Trick and The Clash. He has close to 20 albums out (maybe even more - I've lost count) and for fans like me every one is worth owning. Newbies may want to start with his Greatest Hits package.  
Eddie Boyd - Come Home
Bea and Baby was a Chicago blues/R&B label in the late 60s and early 70s. Until this 2-disc retrospective was issued a few years ago I had never heard of them but that was truly my loss. Featuring some well-known artists along with a handful of unknowns, if you like this song and want to hear more, this is well worth your time and money.
The Five Keys - Ling Ting Tong
Making its Billboard chart debut on Christmas day 1954, with a background chorus of "I smokum boo" this might have been one of the first Rock and Roll records geared for the teenage market with a pot reference.  If it was I'm sure it went unnoticed by the white radio programers at the time as it actually made it up to number 28.   
Gin Blossoms - Idiot Summer
I've always thought that these guys were one of the better and more consistent power pop bands around. They remind me of  an American version of Teenage Fanclub. This is from their first album "Dusted".
Herman's Hermits - Don't Try To Hurt Me
Although Mr. Noone & Co were chart toppers back in the 60s, "real" music lovers like myself always kind of pooh-poohed them as little more than teenybopper pablum. Which doesn't mean that I didn't own a copy of "Herman's Hermits On Tour" from which this song comes. I just  didn't admit it to anyone. Luckily for everyone concerned they are finally getting the respect they deserve.
Jack Green - So Much
Although at this point in time he is regarded as little more than a footnote in the annals of pop music, Jack Green does have a nice way with a tune. The album from which this is taken, "Humanesque",  is currently out of print and someone is asking over $190 for the only copy being sold on Amazon.  It's a great album but....
Jackie DeShannon - When You Walk In The Room
Just about everyone reading this probably knows the Searchers' hit version of "....Room" but here is the original as done by its original writer. Note the Phil Spector influence.  
The Oxfords - Time And Place
From Louisville, Kentucky I sure hope these mid-60s rockers enjoyed their 15 minutes of fame. To me, this is the essence of what Rock and Roll is about. Yeah, the big hits are great and I love 'em but it's the little bits that fell between the cracks, many of which are almost totally forgotten by the original band members but are revered by a few fanatical collectors today, that get me even more excited. 
The Stones - All Down The Line
Speaking of hit makers, this supposedly comes from a proposed live album that was supposed to come out after their 1972 tour. The sound quality is a little rough for an official album but the energy of their performance comes through loud and clear.  
Sonny Rhodes - You Better Stop
As with garage bands, the world of 60s Soul is filled with snappy little records that for one reason or another, never made it much past the launching pad. A case in point is this punchy upbeat dancer recorded for the Galaxy label.
The Tell-Tale Hearts - Bye Bye Baby
Mike Stax is probably best known as being the driving force behind the "Ugly Things" fanzine but in the mid-80s he was the bass player, along with Ray Brandes, Bill Calhoun, David Clouden and Pete Miesner in this 60s retro-styled garage band.  Over the last 20+ years many bands of this type have not aged all that well but these guys managed to put it all together in such a way that still sounds fresh today. 
The Beatles - Think for Yourself (Dr Ebbets mono)
The stereo mix for "Rubber Soul" is one of the worst abominations ever in popular music, with the vocals all the way on one side and the instruments on the other. Ugh! Luckily for us there is Dr. Ebbets who not only remixed the stereo version of this album and made it listenable but also served up a punchy mono version as well. I just read that in September of this year EMI is releasing all of their albums newly remixed in both stereo and mono. If they are smart they'll hire the good Doctor to do that remixing.   
Grandpaboy - I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry
Grandpaboy is really ex-Replacement Paul Westerberg and here he turns in a stirring version of Hank William's classic. Next to the original of course, the best rendition of "...Lonesome.." I ever heard was when Patti Smith sang it at a free concert in Hoboken in 1996. Nonetheless, Paul really gets to the heart of it in his own starkly strung-out fashion.
The Kindred Spirit - Under My Thumb
To the best of my knowledge this version of The Stone's "Under My Thumb" has not been reissued on any commercially available compilation although it has circulated on a few privately pressed CD-Rs over the years. On first listen it doesn't sound like anything special but the geeky nerdiness of the singer and the 
unprofessionalism of the production in general soon exudes its own charm.