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.