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.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this, i love the Chris Kenner and wanted a digital copy while i hunted down a vinyl copy. You have made my day.