Sunday, May 23, 2010

Back From the Ipod Pt. 5

After a cooler than usual month of May, Spring is finally in full bloom here in the Big Apple. It's time to put away the sweaters and the hoodies and break out the short-sleeve shirts. And there's nothing I like to do more in weather like this than walk around the city with my Ipod cranked up to 11. If I say so myself I think this is one of my better playlists that is just about guaranteed to add a little bit of bounce to your step and chase away the blues.

Jo Armstead - I Feel An Urge Coming On
I don't remember where I first came upon this song - probably on one of the alt-binaries newsgroups a few years ago. A quick check around the net tells me that this was released on the Giant label out of Chicago sometime around 1966 or thereabouts. I'm guessing this must have been a favorite with the Northern Soul crowd.
The Chanters - You Can't Fool Me
These are not the same Chanters who had a minor hit with "No No No" on the Deluxe label back in 1961. These Chanters came from the UK and this song can be found on the "Mod Meeting Vol. 4" compilation, copies of which can be found on Ebay.
Mando Diao - Moonshine Fever
A few months ago I posted a song by these Swedish pop-rockers and here is another one. Apparently these guys have a rather extensive discography and it's a shame that they seem to remain relatively unknown outside of their home country.
Lazy Lester - Sugar Coated Love
It sounds as if Lester has it really good and knows it. I could sure go for some sugar.
The Tempests - Lemon Lime
I'm not sure if these are the same Tempests who recorded the garage classic "Look Away" but this is just as loud and insane in its own right.
Eddie Cash - Doing All Right
Unlike some other forms of Rock & Roll (such as garage) I'm not the worlds biggest Rockabilly fan. I only like the top say 20 percent and the rest just leaves me flat. "Doing All Right" easily falls into that top fifth. He's got an interesting story for anyone who feels like reading a bit more about him.
Groovie Goolies - We Go So Good Together
These Goolies are not to be confused with the Sacramento punk band Groovie Ghoulies. I'm guessing that these are the same Groovie Goolies from the Saturday morning cartoon show of the same name that ran in the early 70's. Which means that at the time I wouldn't have given this a second (or even a first) listen but now I can't get enough.
Herman's Hermits - It's Alright Now
Speaking of music I thought I was much too cool to listen to at the time, I've already written about how Herman's Hermits were a guilty pleasure of mine, one which I kept in the closet during my hippie years. Now, with the benefit of 20-20 hindsight, it really amazes me just how many truly wonderful records these guys made.
Ray Charles - I Won't Leave
A few weeks ago one of the blogs I frequent (sorry I can't remember which one - but I'll keep trying) posted a collection of Ray's lesser known 45s and album tracks from his tenure with ABC-Paramount. Needless to say there were a bunch of incredible songs I'd not heard before that I couldn't believe were still so unknown. And I'm not just talking about second rate filler material. They were all of shoulda/coulda been a hit calibre. I'm not sure if this particular song was ever a single but this stereo mix comes from the long-out-of-print LP "A Portrait of Ray". A plea to the powers that be who own the rights to this material: Please PLEASE reissue these songs legitimately. I can guarantee you at least one sale right here. This is Ray f*&^ing Charles we're talking about! His legacy (not to mention his fans) deserve no less.
The Stones - All Down The Line (withdrawn single)
This week The Rolling Stones released their much-heralded remastered version of "Exile on Main Street". For me the jury's still out. So far I've only heard it on my computer speakers but I definitely hear things I have never heard before and the whole album sounds so much clearer than ever. On the other hand, the original muddy mix was always part of "Exile's" charm. So even though I got the CD the first day it was out, I'm not sure how often I'll actually listen to it. However, the second disc of outtakes definitely gets the thumbs down from me. I'm not going to go into a whole long spiel here but suffice it to say that there was so much other better material that they could have included. Like this withdrawn single mix of "All Down the Line". It's not all that different than the version that was released (maybe on some of the background vocals) but it sure sounds punchy as hell.
The Magic Lanterns - I Stumbled
These are the same Magic Lanterns that later had a hit in the U.S. with "Shame Shame". Legend has it that included in their lineup were future members of 10CC and Ozzie Osborne of Black Sabbath. Be that as it may, this 1966 single is a memorable piece of freakbeat-pop that stands out well enough on its own.
Jesse Allen - Love My Baby
This song is typical of hundreds, if not thousands, of black R&B sides that were cut in the mid-50's. The song itself is nothing special, the band is good though not outstanding and Jesse's vocals are in that basic blues shouting style that was so popular back then. But somehow, they all come together here in such a way that makes this record simply irresistible.
The Checkerlads - Shake Yourself Down
These lads hailed from Saskatchewan, Canada and this tune has appeared on a number of various garage comps over the years. At one time original RCA pressings of the 45 were available for a reasonable price. I love the little organ break in the middle.
The Brogues - Don't Shoot Me Down
"Don't Shoot..." is also fairly well known in Garage circles and has appeared on a number of comps, most recently "Allergic to Flowers". Over the years I must have heard at least 5 bands cover this song. It's almost impossible to do a bad version.
The Del-Vikings - Cool Shake
After having two Top 10 records earlier in the year, this cool rocker made it to number 12 in July of 1957.
The Scholars - I Need Your Lovin'
On the YankeeBoy scale of wonderfullness, it doesn't get a whole lot better than this. Two-minutes and twenty-two seconds of total garage-stompin' craziness and a wild sax solo to boot. I bet you can't listen to this just once.
Roky Erickson - Bo Diddley's A Headhunter
Saving the best for last, here is Roky Erickson paying homage to one of his own Rock & Roll heroes. There are a few recordings of this song floating around but this 8-minute plus live version, recorded with The Aliens back in 1977 is definitely the best. Sadly, the CD that this particular version comes from, "Mad Dog" is out of print and being sold for big bucks. So enjoy it here.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Less Talk More Music Pt. 5

There hasn't been a whole lot going on in Yankee Boy Land since my last post. I had one job interview in April but since then there's not been much action employment-wise. Ideally my best career choice at this point is to be a business analyst - that is a liaison between the business and IT areas of a company. The problem is that every ex-programmer who is out of work is also looking to do the same thing. So I need to try and figure out what else I may be qualified to do that would pay me a decent salary. At this point I am still living off of the pension I cashed in last year so money is not the immediate problem (at least not yet) but the total lack of structure in my life is definitely getting to me. But for now all I can do is my best to accept life on life's terms and go on living. Music has always been a source of strength for me and it's also the reason why you're here. So let's get to it.

Brendan Benson - Tiny Spark
I'm not sure where I first heard of Brendan Benson - probably from either the Power Pop Criminals or Power Pop Overdose blogs. (see sidebar) Although these days he is probably best known for being part of The Raconteurs I really like the dreamy pop of his solo albums, all of which are available on Amazon.
Don Willis - Boppin High School Baby
Along with "Warrior Sam", "Boppin..." is Don Willis's best known record, recorded for the Satellite label in early 1958. With a frantic vocal and searing guitar solo, it's no wonder this is considered a classic.
Golden Earring - The Words I Need
Most Americans, if they have heard of Golden Earring at all, know them for their early 70's FM radio staple "Radar Love". While that's a fine record in its own right, their career actually started a decade earlier and extended long after. "The Words I Need" was the B-side of their second single from January, 1966.
Inez & Charlie Foxx - Baby Drop A Dime
Until I discovered this song online I had never heard it before. From the sound of it I'm guessing it was recorded a year or two after their big hit "Mockingbird".
The Buzzcocks - Ever Fallen In Love
One of my favorite songs by one of my all-time favorite bands. What more can I say?
The Louvin Brothers - When I Stop Dreaming
If bands like The Beatles and The Hollies learned harmony from listening to The Everly Brothers, the Everly's in turn learned their craft growing up listening to The Louvin Brothers.
The Shanes - I Don't Want Your Love
According to the Garage Database Sweden's Shanes cut a slew of records back in the day but this is probably their most frantic - at least of the ones I've heard.
Tommy Roe - Sheila
Back in the Summer of 1962 when I was a wee lad of 11, "Sheila" was the number one record in the country. It was a favorite of mine then and remains so to this day. Check out the rhythm guitar playing in the left speaker.
GBV - Teenage FBI
At their best, Guided by Voices have a way of drawing the listener into their own peculiar world where reality is whatever they say it is. Coupled with their knack for conjuring up some of the catchiest Revolver-era pop sounds around, they can be pretty hard to resist.
Joe Tex - I Gotcha
While Joe Tex made a name for himself with his preachy styled ballads like "Hold What You Got", as"I Gotcha" shows, he could get down and funky with the best of them.
The Bondsmen - I've Tried And Tried
As far as I know, this record has only been comped on the "Let 'Em Have It" CD that came out about 10 years ago. Sadly, "LEHI"'s sound quality is bad enough to rival even the worst of the Moxie comps. This rip comes from a private CD-R and sounds a whole lot better.
Jesse Malin - Prisoners Of Paradise
Jesse almost had his 15 minutes of fame with D-Generation, a 70s glam inspired band that everyone thought would be the next big thing but somehow never was. Since then he's released a few albums under his own name.
Dossie Terry - I Got A Watch Dog
There's not a whole lot of info out there on Mr. Terry but from what I can tell, he spent a fair amount of his recording career in The Big Apple. Checking my own mp3 database he's got at least a half dozen other songs on various comps. According to the sellers on Gemm Music "...Watch Dog" came out on King.
William Penn & His Pals - Gotta Get Away
This originally came out on the Scorpio label which was also the early home of Creedence Clearwater Revival when they were still known as The Golliwogs.
Dion & The Belmonts - Where Or When
Despite the fact that this this song has been played to death by oldies radio, it's such a classic that I never get tired of it. Those harmonies, Dion's innocent and plaintive vocal and that little sax riff that pops up from time to time makes this a perfect record. For me anyway.
The Outlets - Best Friends
Despite the fact that this was recorded around 1980, Boston's Outlets are still together and actually feature this song on their Myspace page.
The Searchers - Umbrella Man
Recorded in 1968, long after their chart topping days were over, this is a nice slice of late-60s psych-pop. As far as I know the only place to find it now is on their 40th Anniversary Collection unless you score an original Liberty 45.