Sunday, January 9, 2011

Tragedy in Arizona

Like most of the nation I am still half in shock over the tragic events that occurred in Arizona yesterday. I was all set to write about my own mid-winter ennui and the power of music blah blah blah but when tragedies like this occur it makes me realize how trivial almost all of my complaints really are. To the best of my knowledge Rep. Giffords, who according to reports was the intended target of the shooter, is expected to survive although there were 6 fatalities - including a Federal judge and a 9 year old girl who, ironically, was born on 9/11/01. My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of this tragedy and their families.

I have already read a few online conjectures that say the shooter was connected to various splinter political groups or had such and such an agenda. While I am sure there might be some truth to some of these theories, I think it is best for all concerned to reserve judgment until the facts are in. Guilt by innuendo or conjecture is never a good thing, even when that verdict is against people or political parties we don't like.

What really upsets me however is that whatever the shooter's motivation might have been, it's frightening that someone can feel so much anger and hatred that this kind of act is the only way he can express it. Not that I am feeling sorry for the shooter in any way, shape or form but but it really boggles my mind to think that we as human beings are capable of that level of desperation. I wish I had some optimistic philosophical bon mot to neatly sum things up and make it all not seem so bad but I don't. Sometimes we humans are capable of incredible acts of cruelty.

George Harrison - What Is Life

I had most of this playlist put together before yesterday but today I find myself needing some reassurance that there is still some sanity and love left in this world and to feel some connection to a power greater than myself. I can think of no better song to take me where I need to be today.
Herb Eimerman - Right Now
Once again I find myself not remembering where I first heard Herb Eimerman's music and not for the first time I suspect it was from one of the power pop blogs on my linkage section. Nonetheless, this is a beautiful song, as are so many on his albums, all of which are available on Amazon.
Little Willie John - Mr Glenn

Here's a little period piece from one of my favorite singers. I totally dig those little spacey sound affects.
The Bobby Fuller Four - Only When I Dream
Speaking of favorite singers, I can think of only a few who were as capable at rocking out one minute and singing so pretty the next as Bobby Fuller. Although his recorded legacy is already more than enough to guarantee him a spot in the R&R Hall of Fame (if the judges had any taste at all) it blows my mind to think of where he might have gone with his music had his life not been so tragically cut short.
Nick Lowe - Saint Beneath The Paint
I've only seen Nick Lowe in concert twice - once with Rockpile and again a few years ago when he did an acoustic solo set. Unfortunately for me I missed this show at the Ritz in NYC sometime in 1985. My bad for sure.
Thee Mighty Caesars - Wiley Coyote
Except for possibly John Lee Hooker, I don't think anyone has made as many records as Billy Childish either as a solo or with various groups. While not everything he records is essential listening, when he's "on" as he is on this one, it's easy to see why he is held in such high regard by so many people.
The Living Daylights - Let's Live For Today
Back in the early days of FM radio I remember Murray The K playing this record on his show before I had heard the US hit version by The Grass Roots. While both are great, I think I like the LD's record better. I'm not sure where this rip originated from but "LLFT" did appear on the very first Rubble compilation.
Vince Castro - Bong Bong
There's nothing like a little upbeat white boy doo wop to put a bit of bounce back into your step. In retrospect it seems like we were all so innocent back then - even though the reality is that we weren't. A bit more naive perhaps but that's about it.
The Red Squares - You Can Be My Baby

This record is fairly well known among garage fans and collectors as it's been on a number of compilations over the years, most recently Rhino's Nuggets Vol. 2 box. In listening to this back as I write I notice that there seems to be something appended to this particular rip at the end - sorry for the poor quality control.
Fred Neil & Vince Martin - Wild Child In A World Of Trouble
Although he did not achieve much commercial success as a recording artist, Fred Neil was a mainstay in the NYC Folk community of the early 60s. He is mostly known for the songs he wrote for others including "The Dolphins" which was recorded by Tim Buckley and "Everybody's Talking" by Harry Nilsson which was featured in the film "Midnight Cowboy".
Big Syl Barnes - Come On Back
An internet search turned up absolutely nothing on Mr. Barnes other than the fact that this record was on Corvair Records, is pretty expensive and may have been recorded in 1960. It definitely has that late 50's/early 60's R&B shuffle groove I love so much.
The Summer Suns - Girl In A Mexican Restaurant
I have to thank my old friend Matthew K. for turning me on to this pop gem way back when. Speaking of my friend Matthew, I want to send out my best wishes to him and his family on the birth of his lovely baby daughter yesterday. In the midst of all this tragedy it's great to witness this flowering of hope and love. I know that you and the missus will be great parents.
The Paris Sisters - I Love How You Love Me
Featuring an early pre-wall-of-sound Phil Spector production and Priscilla Paris' plaintive vocal there is something very haunting and powerful about this record in all its simplicity. Apparently the record buying public at the time liked it as well as it went all the way up to Number 5 on the Billboard charts in September of 1961.
The Stoics - Enough Of What I Need
Ever since it's appearance on the "Acid Vision" comp back in 1983, "Enough...", coupled with "Hate" on the flip has been one of the most sought after garage 45s of all time. If one were even available I'm guessing it would be selling for at least 4 figures. This rip comes from a privately pressed CD-R.
Ray Charles - I Don't Need No Doctor
Written by the team of Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson, this was a minor hit for Ray Charles back in late 1966. Despite barely making the Top 100 at the time, it has become one of his best-known and most loved records from that era.
Hipbone Slim & The Knee Tremblers - Blind Eye
This is yet another band that I can't quite remember where I first found out about - some other blog I am more than willing to bet - but, upon hearing, became an instant fan. If you like The Cramps, A-Bones or The Meteors I can't help but think that you'd like hearing more by these guys.
The Emperors - Blue Day
The Emperors are mostly known for their 5-star garage classic "I Want My Woman" and while "Blue Day" is nowhere near as crazed as that, it's a fine slice of moody garage in its own right.

Did you see a pretty maiden from the planet of love?