Friday, February 15, 2019

"Spill The Wine": THE WEEKEND MIX

I was never a big fan of "Spill The Wine" by Eric Burdon and War, but yet I love The Isley Brothers version and wanted to feature it as a Song Of The Day. But then one thing led to another and we are here.

This is one of those old fashioned mixes that seemed to unfold in real time. I had "Spill The Wine" as the last track but loved how the Corey Harris & Henry Butler track sounded closing things out. The rest...Mary Flower's cool medley opener, the greatest tuba/washboard/guitar Motown cover you'll ever hear, a rough mix of LZ's "Gallows Pole" that I think kicks the final mix's ass, Zevon's "Carmelita," which has always been a favorite but one night, after singing it in a New Orleans dive bar with 6 friends and 30 strangers is now in my personal hall of fame...well, as I love to say, sounds good altogether.

I hope you think so.

Baby Please Don't Go/Green Onions- Mary Flower
Signed, Sealed, Delivered- Tin Men
9th Ward Landlord- Johnny Sansone
Gallows Pole (Rough Mix)- Led Zeppelin
Ghost Town- The Specials
Carmelita- Warren Zevon
Indian Love Call- Terry Adams
Spill The Wine- The Isley Brothers
I Want You- Cyril Neville
Bernadette (Instrumental)- The Funk Brothers
It's All Over Now- The Rolling Stones
If You Let A Man Kick You Once- Corey Harris & Henry Butler

Dah-Doo-Dee-A ZIP

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Bad Kitty Music #7: Todd Rundgren

Sometimes when a person makes a record that becomes a hit, he or she makes money (for example Something/Anything). Always, the record company makes money. But when it comes to make a follow up, the artist can usually call the shots, and negotiate from a position of power, and make all sorts of demands. “I want a die cut jacket!” “Yes sir, Mr. Rundgren, sir.” “I want a die cut sleeve, too!” “Yes, sir, Mr. Rundgren, sir.” “I want the whole first side to run together as one big sound smear, HAHAHA!” You get the idea. But that sort of freedom can often yield truly ambitious records. Neil Young’s Time Fades Away comes to mind. If you are ready to get a faceful of one of the 70s oddest sonic architects at the height of his powers, I recommend a trip to the North Haven Record/CD Show - February 2019 on Sunday, the 10th. Todd was and is a top shelf goofball, and this record may make your brain hurt.

John G.

Bad Kitty Music #6: The Rockets
Bad Kitty Music #5: Rush

Bad Kitty Music #4: Dr. John

Bad Kitty Music #3: Terry Reid

Bad Kitty Music #2: Roy Buchanan

Bad Kitty Music #1:  Bobby "Blue"Bland

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Favorite Songs #5: Mississippi

You would think choosing one song written by Bob Dylan as your very favorite would be a difficult task. But it wasn't, not for me. There are days when I think "Mississippi" is the single greatest song ever written. Every line in every verse, both ambiguous and dead on personal. These are words from a genius that remove any doubt about his genius. Add a melody that is both upbeat and melancholy and you have a true masterpiece in both storytelling and record making. Maybe on the surface, "Mississippi" feels less important than "Hard Rain" or "Blowin' In The Wind," but I don't think anyone can say with any honesty, that they cannot relate to each and every line, either once or still. You may have to change a name, vehicle or town, but that's the beauty of the song, "Mississippi" is anywhere and nowhere. It's everywhere for everyone.

Every step of the way we walk the line
Your days are numbered, so are mine
Time is pilin’ up, we struggle and we scrape,
We’re all boxed in, nowhere to escape

City’s just a jungle; more games to play
Trapped in the heart of it, tryin' to get away
I was raised in the country, I been workin’ in the town
I been in trouble ever since I set my suitcase down

Got nothin' for you, I had nothin' before
Don’t even have anything for myself anymore
Sky full of fire, pain pourin’ down
Nothing you can sell me, I’ll see you around

All my powers of expression and thoughts so sublime
Could never do you justice in reason or rhyme
Only one thing I did wrong
Stayed in Mississippi a day too long

Well, the devil’s in the alley, mule’s in the stall
Say anything you wanna, I have heard it all
I was thinkin’ 'bout the things that Rosie said
I was dreaming I was sleepin' in Rosie’s bed

Walkin' through the leaves, falling from the trees
Feelin' like a stranger nobody sees
So many things that we never will undo
I know you’re sorry, I’m sorry too

Some people will offer you their hand and some won’t
Last night I knew you, tonight I don’t
I need somethin’ strong to distract my mind
I’m gonna look at you ’til my eyes go blind

Well I got here followin' the southern star
I crossed that river just to be where you are
Only one thing I did wrong
Stayed in Mississippi a day too long

Well my ship’s been split to splinters and it’s sinkin' fast
I’m drownin’ in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it’s light and it’s free
I’ve got nothin’ but affection for all those who’ve sailed with me

Everybody movin’ if they ain’t already there
Everybody got to move somewhere
Stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow
Things should start to get interestin' right about now

My clothes are wet, tight on my skin
Not as tight as the corner that I painted myself in
I know that fortune is waitin’ to be kind
So give me your hand and say you’ll be mine

Well, the emptiness is endless, cold as the clay
You can always come back, but you can’t come back all the way
Only one thing I did wrong
Stayed in Mississippi a day too long

Monday, February 11, 2019

Get Ready For "Already Ready Already"

Galactic has been doing their thing for 25 years now. And if you're not sure what their "thing" is, I will tell you. It is a potent and unique brand of New Orleans music, which at the heart, is funky of course, but manages to incorporate traditional jazz, brass band marches, electronica, silky soul, rock and roll, heavy metal and rhythm and blues, occasionally on the same album, and all of it anchored by one the greatest groovemasters in the history of music, drummer extraordinaire Stanton Moore.

Their new album "Already Ready Already" dropped on Friday and though it only clocks in at around 25 minutes, it is one of the most satisfying records of their career. Bookended by two nasty instrumentals, the songs seamlessly flow from one to the other, creating not only a thrilling ride of beats and melody, but also, somewhat impossibly, offering a history of New Orleans music.

I don't think sampling "Already Ready Already" with these three cuts will do the record justice, any more than saying Side Two of "Abbey Road is great because of "Sun King" and "Polythene Pam." I suggest taking the 25 minute ride in one shot. But if you're unsure, start here.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Songs Of The Week, 2019: 2/2-2/8

Goodnight Sweet Josephine- The Yardbirds
She Shook Me Cold - David Bowie
Don't Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder)- Charlie Hunter & Leon Parker
The Electrician- The Walker Brothers
Can't Get Out Of Bed- The Charlatans
Jealous Sailor- The Rails
I'm Mandy Fly Me- 10cc


Goodnight Sweet Josephine- The Yardbirds
Did you know there are two versions of this glammy Yardbirds single? Phased and unphased. This is the superior "phased" version with a tasty Jimmy Page solo.

She Shook Me Cold- David Bowie
I was thinking about a future fun post--Creating concert setlists for our favorite, oft-seen artists, featuring only songs that to our knowledge have never been performed live. I started with Bowie and this killer track was the first to come to mind. (Here's where you prove me wrong.)

Don't Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder)- Charlie Hunter & Leon Parker
This and the next two songs, are from CDs I found in a small box in a closet last week. It appeared to be play copy CDs taken home from my shop on the last day of business, as there were other remnants of NYCD in the box as well. This is a gorgeous cover of the "Pet Sounds" classic by my friend Charlie Hunter and the amazing drummer, Leon Parker.

The Electrician- The Walker Brothers
(See above) One of the most bizarre choices for a single A-side, and still as stunning as ever, from a personal fave, the 1978 Walker Brothers release "Nite Flights."

Can't Get Out Of Bed- The Charlatans
(See above) This is certainly of the NYCD-era. Don't recall ever caring for the Charlatans, but this Steve Hillage produced track and the CD it came from is pretty good.

Jealous Sailor- The Rails
Just read The Rails are tracking their third record, so it made me want to get out the debut, which you must know by now, is a fave.

I'm Mandy Fly Me- 10cc
This one popped up on Facebook somewhere. Can't recall where, but it made me pull out the "How Dare You album, which has some truly amazing songs, but horrible, muddy production. Still, "Mandy" is a classic.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Has Anybody Here Heard Of Aardvark?

Formed in Canterbury, some time in the 1960's, Aardvark's original four piece line-up included Paul Kossoff and Simon Kirke, who bailed to join Free before the band could record their only record as a three piece, forgoing a guitar player altogether. It was released on Deram in 1970, and you can buy an original MONO copy for only $775.

Or, might I suggest a fantastic collection called "English Weather," compiled by Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs, two thirds of the band Saint Etienne. This CD or two-LP set features the Aardvark track posted above, which is admittedly the best track on their Deram debut, and also includes some truly amazing and rare tracks that represents the transition from psychedelia to prog as the '60s moved into the '70s. Some artists will be familiar to you--Caravan, John Cale, Bill Fay, Camel and Matching Mole. But others like The Parlour Band, might not be. The Parlour Band also recorded only one record for Deram and this splendid track "Early Morning Eyes, sounds like a cross between The Zombies and early Yes.

Like my new obsession, the "Come Join My Orchestra" boxed set, which I wrote about here, "English Weather" is a great listen, with one surprise after another. Of course, it will help if you have a particular taste for this very specific style of English music.