Tuesday, October 17, 2017


I picked up a record this weekend, a Spanish compilation on the Pancho label called "Tremblin'." I hadn't heard a note from it but I knew it was a keeper from the title and the cover. And it was on a label called Pancho! The description of its contents was written on the back cover:

"Seductive and intense female vocals. Some are gritty, some torchy, some hurting. All are passionate. The result: a suggestive, atmospheric long player to be enjoyed with intimate company that will make you tremble."

Holy Smokes!

As it turns out, about half of these tunes are "Fever" with different lyrics. But there are a few gems here, like the track on top, "Johnny, With The Gentle Hands" by Wini Brown. Can't beat that title! I don't know Wini Brown, but further research turned up a record made with Duke Ellington Orchestra alumnus Cootie Williams.

Another killer is the one right above, "Strange Man" by Hannah Dean. Further research found out that she was a stage actress, and made a few movies in the 70's. She recorded a few more singles for Columbia, and this one, "You You You," a b-side, killed me more than "Strange Man."  I am currently Hannah Dean's biggest fan.

Below is the title track, "Tremblin" from Byrdie Green, a jazz and R&B singer who made some records for Prestige with Johnny "Hammond" Smith. This single is pretty damn great.

Finally, the reason I ended up with this great collection, Miss Berna-Dean.  One of my favorite records, is a song I first heard on an EMI 2 CD set collecting the great sides and productions of New Orleans Dave Bartholomew, "I Walk In My Sleep." I finally snagged a nice 45 last weekend, and was hoping to find more by Berna-Dean. She has a track on "Tremblin'," but it's nothing to...uh...tremble over.  But, here is what started it all.

Hope ya dig'em.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Trout Mask Replica? And Please, Be Honest

Once every five or seven years, I give Captain Beefheart's "Trout Mask Replica" a spin. I never make it all the way through. I was reminded of this thanks to a new Blade Runner movie that was just released. Once every five or seven years, I try to watch "Blade Runner." I never make it all the way through. In the case of "Blade Runner," I'll admit that I am not a big fan of science fiction, so though I find the first 30 minutes of Blade Runner unbearable, I blame myself. But in the case of "Trout Mask Replica," I think I qualify to say, it is unbearable.

I am a fan of Captain Beefheart. "Safe As Milk" and "Clear Spot" are personal faves, with "Lick My Decals, Baby" and "The Spotlight Kid" both having some fine moments. But even members of Beefheart's Magic Band told the Captain to go fuck himself during the recording of "Trout Mask Replica." (I read that in Mojo magazine last year.)

So to all of the people who rave about "Trout Mask Replica," just stop it. But if you really and truly  think I am missing something, tell me what it is. It's about that time to give it another go and this time, with your help, maybe I'll know what I am listening for.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Songs Of The Week, 2017: 9/30-10/13

The Man Comes Around- Johnny Cash
Bell Bottom Blues- Derek & The Dominoes
Rats In The Cellar- Aerosmith
You Don't Know How It Feels- Tom Petty
I Want You Back Again- Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
Lithium- Shelby Lynne & Alison Moorer
A New Career In A New Town- David Bowie
Sleep- Todd Rundgren w/ Joe Walsh
It's Like I Never Learned A Thing- Larry Tagg
Roll Call- NRBQ
I Looked Away- Mike Nesmith
The Hunter Gets Captured By The Game- The Marvelettes
Cry Baby Cry- The Beatles
You Got To Be Clean- The Ethiopians


Friday, October 13, 2017

Weekend Mix/Sandy And Richard

Blah, Blah, Blah. I recently acquired "Come All Ye, The First Ten Years", a new 7 disc box by Fairport Convention.
I've been a fan since the early '70's, so I downloaded largely out of duty, figuring I already have everything, but this compilation is heavy on bonus material, and much of it rivals the official releases.

The band is still active, with Simon Nicol at the head, but I'm mainly interested in the classic late '60's early '70's lineup that included Sandy Denny, Richard Thompson, Dave Swarbrick, Simon Nicol, Ashley Hutchings, and Dave Mattacks, as found on "Leige And Leif" (1969).

This Weekend Mix largely avoids the "hits" in favor of what makes this box set essential.

Meet On the Ledge

Meet On the Ledge, too

For the whole Fairport Convention story: wiki



Thursday, October 12, 2017

100 IF

Thelonious Sphere Monk would have been 100 on Tuesday. He was my gateway into Jazz. I liked Jazz, the way I enjoyed "classical" music, in that I admired it for academic reasons. Not because I thought it was fun.

My first father in law, James, was born, raised, and retired in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, Monk's birthplace. Although he didn't play an instrument, he was a lifelong music fan of extraordinary enthusiasm. James loved Jazz and Bluegrass in no particular order. The first time we met I walked into a room full of records. He knew I was a musician. He couldn't wait to spin some, so when he asked what I wanted to hear, I said, "How about some Thelonious Monk?"
He lit up. "Good answer," I thought.

In reality all I knew was "Monk Suite" by the Kronos Quartet.
He pulled out "Underground" (1968), , and played the opener, "Thelonious", an old tune first recorded in 1947, and the right song at the right time. I was instantly hooked. And it's only 3 minutes long.


Eric Dolphy's "Out To Lunch"was next. I proceeded to ransack the collection, making a 90 minute mix tape. Volume 1 of "I Don't Know My Jazz From a Hole In The Ground". I was "in" with James.
That's why I felt bad, when a few years later, I returned his daughter like a defective appliance.

Monk was first to wear the beret and dark glasses, and is the second most-recorded jazz composer after Duke Ellington, which is particularly remarkable as Ellington composed more than a thousand pieces, whereas Monk wrote about 70.

Here is Monk at his prime performing "Hackensack":

I made this cover of "Well, You Needn't", playing electric guitars. Everything else is a sample.
Guests include Monk, Duke, Miles, Coltrane, Mingus, Joey Baron, Ralph Towner, and others.

Well, You Needn't


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Darkness, Darkness

I've gone on about The Darkness and their 2012 release "Hot Cakes" a number of times on these pages. It is a record that continues to get some seriously heavy rotation. "Hot Cakes," more than the band's two previous records, managed to not only get in my wheelhouse, but live comfortably like an ideal roommate. If their debut, "Permission To Land," laid out the storyboards, and their follow-up "One Way Ticket To Hell" was the rough cut, "Hot Cakes" was the masterful final cut, at least to my ears. This could be why what followed, 2015's "Last Of Our Kind" left me cold. I was s et up for disappointment. If "Hot Cakes" set out to keep the hard rocking and glam sounds of Queen, Sparks, and AC/DC alive, "Last Of Our Kind," if you could somehow accept this, sounded more like a parody than the parody that was already the band itself.

Now we have "Pinewood Smile," released just a couple of weeks ago. While it may be more of the same....a good thing...it is more of what grabbed me on "Hot Cakes," with as many hooks and crunching riffs as one could handle, and the addition of new drummer, Rufus Tiger Taylor, son of Queen drummer, Roger Taylor. It is no wonder then that the patented, operatic harmonies of Queen are more prevalent than ever.

Here are two to get you started. This is what has been missing for far too many years now. Rock music that is FUN, DAMNIT!!

Monday, October 9, 2017

77 If

Back in 1980, the death of a rock and roll hero wasn't as trendy as it has been these last few years. It's still hard to believe John Lennon was shot dead, and every once in a while, I will feel a cold chill shoot through my body when I hear John's voice. What a horrible night and stretch of horrible days that was.

I loved "Instant Karma" then and I love it now. What a record! It really is its own little world.

HBD, Johnny.