Sunday, May 16, 2021

Songs Of The Week, 2021: 5/8- 5/14

 


 

Hoochie Koochie Lady- Elf
I Know What Boys Like- The Waitresses
Do You Have A Soul- The Easybeats
Mr. Clean- Mr. Clean
I Ain't Gonna Stand For It- Stevie Wonder
Break In The Road- Betty Harris
Rose Len- Lennie Hibbert

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Hoochie Koochie Lady- Elf
One look at the cover of the first Elf record and the kind of rock and roll found within would be the last thing you'd think you'd hear. (That is one terrible sentence.) Just listen to it.

I Know What Boys Like- The Waitresses
The first time I heard this single, it felt like the top of my head blew off. There was nothing like it. I don't think I've heard it since, but then recently found the single. I'll be honest, I'm not sure it held up. You be the judge.

Do You Have A Soul- The Easybeats
My monthly attempt to get a reaction from anyone about the absolutely amazing Easybeats.

Mr. Clean- Mr. Clean
Early Zappa doing business as Mr. Clean. Love this track.

I Ain't Gonna Stand For It- Stevie Wonder
This was a totally random earworm. Another I haven't heard in ages and this one does hold up. Pure joy.

Break In The Road- Betty Harris
Someone posted this on Instagram with the comment, "Sickest drums ever!" Well, it is Zigaboo Modeliste, as The Meters are backing up Miss Harris. And the drums are pretty sick. But "ever?" 

Rose Len- Lennie Hibbert
A beautiful piece of music from one of my favorite reggae records, "Creation."
"Turn off your mind, relax and float down stream."

Friday, May 14, 2021

This Week's Hits

 


 

I really had a blast listening to all of your new music suggestions. I wasn't as excited by everything as much you were while suggesting it. But I dug most of it, and of the first seven records I listened to, I only gave up on one about four songs in. 

A couple of real highlights for me include this wonderful track by The Debtors.

 

 

And this terrific opener from The Airport 77s.


 

 

But the real winners for me were Morgan Wade's absolutely powerful "Reckless." Holy moly! This record is everything I want that I so rarely get these days. Real songs, amazing choruses, and smart playing. It's a cut above the usual country rock record as the songs rarely seem to blend into each other, thanks to a strong pop sensibility in the melodies. One favorite is the opener, "Wilder Days" up top and "Mend," right here below.



 

 

The other killer comes from New Orleans. 

I was going to get around to Cha Wa's new one, "My People" at some point, so thanks for the nudge.  Seeing Mardi Gras Indians perform live is a far more intense experience than listening to them on record. You need to be Bo Dollis, The Wild Tchoupitoulas or The Wild Magnolias to pull it off on record, and Cha Wa does just that. I can never explain in words, however hard I try, the feeling of being in New Orleans, not just during festival time, but anytime at all. "My People" plays that feeling. After just two drives, I knew this would go down as a go-to New Orleans record. It's serious shit!

Kickstart your weekend with these two tracks from "My People" below.

Thanks everyone for offering up your favorites. I'm digging them and I look forward to checking out another round this week,



Thursday, May 13, 2021

The Tan Canary

 

 

I was digging through 45s and noticed a Johnny Adams single on Atlantic Records. "The Tan Canary," as Adams has come to be known, is a New Orleans treasure and one of my favorite vocalists. I was unaware that he had ever recorded for Atlantic. The single I found was a cover of "I Wish It Would Rain" and it was everything I hoped it would be.

Some online digging showed that Adams time at Atlantic was short-lived, just four singles in three years. One of the other three is a cover of Jagger and Richards "Salt of The Earth," one of my very favorites from the Stones, and a song that I thought was ruined forever thanks to Axl Rose's guest crapping on a live version from 1989. But this Johnny Adams version has finally gotten that awful taste out of my mouth.

As for "I Wish It Would Rain," it happens to be one of my Top 5 Temptations songs. But I do love the melodrama of Johnny Adams version.

If you're unfamiliar with Johnny Adams and you dig these tracks, I highly recommend his 60's sides on the Ric and Ron labels, as well as some of his later albums where he pays tribute to both Doc Pomus and Percy Mayfield. Two personal faves are below "I Wish It Would Rain."


 






Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Van Morrison's "Latest Record Project" Deluxe Edition Bonus Tracks

 


 

1. Why Do They Have To Put The Price Sticker Right On The Apples?

2. No, Don't Take Lexington Avenue During Rush Hour

3. Not Specifically Mentioning Any Jews, But...

4. I Can't Stop Loving You

5. You're An Idiot, Eric Roberts Is A Good Actor

6. Vaccination, Schmaccination, Swanee Shore

7. My Head Is Growing Out My Hat, My Hat, My Hat, Hat, Hat, Hat, You, You You You, Idiot

8. Greadhainn Bu Gheal Ceir Liberal 

9. Are You Gonna Eat The Rest Of That?

10. Moon River

11. That Putz Just Cut In Front Of Me At Target

12. Black Death Is For Pussies

13. Betcha "Common One" Is Sounding Pretty Damn Good Now You Pansy-Ass COVID Denying, Clapton Haters

 

(with help from my pal Harry G.)

Nu Two

 


 

I decided to address yesterday's suggestions in a new post, rather than in the comments box. I like where this is headed and hope this will keep the discussion going.

I enjoy King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard in small doses, though I've never found one record that didn't wear on me by the end. Is this new one particularly special?

On paper, The Legal Matters should be in my Top Ten. But I found it lacking. Some lovely harmonies and a hook or two, but when all was said and done, I had forgotten what I just listened to. 

I did really enjoy the Charles Lloyd record, "Tone Poem." That is a strong contender.

As for Van Morrison and his latest album project, it wouldn't be the first time I wasn't excited by a new Van release. But this time around, I have zero interest. I don't care if every song was a musical equivalent of "Into the Mystic" and "Listen To The Lion." The lyrics pulled for the various horrible reviews is enough to simply not bother. We've given up on artists for a lot less. Bruce's wonderful "Western Stars" comes to mind, as does most of McCartney's solo work. Even Dylan's "Rough & Rowdy Ways" received some trashy remarks. It has been over a year since I deleted my Facebook account, but I cannot take a song called "Why Are You On Facebook" seriously unless it was on an Allan Sherman record.

Airport 77 is a great band name. That alone makes me want to give it a spin.

I too, am looking forward to St. Vincent, and of course, the Paul Weller. 

As for Crowded House, yes it's preordered. Yes, I love Neil Finn. Yes, I've loved Crowded House since their debut in 1986. But the vibe of their records changed once they lost Paul Hester. Neil Finn's writing changed and both "Intriguer" and "Time On Earth," while having a few moments here and there, ultimately did nothing for me. So, this new one is more of an obligation, rather than something I am looking forward to.

Long time readers must know by now, I am not a Teenage Fanclub fan, yet I always give their records a chance because so many of you adore the band. I'll do the same with "Endless Arcade," but I expect little. Maybe that's a good thing.

First up though, "Duly Noted" from TUNS and I'll tell you why below.

I might come across as a bit of a dick by saying this, but it wouldn't be the first time. The reason I asked  to "pick one please...just one" was because I wanted to get excited about listening, something I haven't been with most of 2021's releases, so far. 

HPUNCH says, "If the year ended today, it would be Duly Noted by TUNS" and that seems more encouraging. That's what I wanted. LISTEN TO THIS!

"Having to give something another listen" is exactly what I don't want to happen. When both the Cheap Trick and Southern Culture records were through, I knew! I went right back and started all over.

It's not a good sign when a record from 2019 is on the best of 2021 list. (By the way, I do love that Luther Russell record.)

There are many suggestions here, a few I know I won't bother with just because I know the artists and know I am not a fan.

But I will dig in to the few that sound intriguing.

Please keep them coming...one at a time.

And make that ONE count.

Thanks for playing.

Monday, May 10, 2021

Nu?


 

 

We are into the second week of May and two things have come to mind.

1. It's only 48 degrees here in NYC this morning.

2. I am having a hard time filling up my 2021 iTunes playlist with records that I really love.

There are a few, like the Cheap Trick and the Southern Culture On The Skids that will no doubt end up in my Top 10. But as I scroll through what I have listened to, I see good records like Steve Earle's tribute to his son Justin, "J.T.," Judith Hill's "Baby I'm Hollywood," and the new Rhiannon Giddens "They're Calling Me Home" that I've listened to and enjoyed, but have yet to go back for more.

Then, there are a few, like the new one from The Coral and "Catspaw" from Matthew Sweet that were fine once, but left no impressions at all.

There is a lot of 2021 left, but what's due? Is there anything big on the horizon?

I am also well aware of how much new music is out there that I no longer seek out, mostly due to the consistent disappointment when doing so.

So I thought I'd hand it over to you, dear readers.

Pick one...please...just one record that as of May 10th, 2021 is your leading contender for Best of 2021.

And...

Pick one...please...just one record that you are anticipating wth bated breath.

I look forward to your suggestions.

 

 


Sunday, May 9, 2021

Songs Of The Week, 2021: 5/1- 5/7



I Don't Need No Doctor- Nick Ashford
Battered & Bruised- Chuck Prophet
Electric Trains- Squeeze
Debaser- The Pixies
On Love- Skip Bifferty
Used To Be My Used To Be- Bram Tchaikovsky
Farewell- Rod Stewart

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I Don't Need No Doctor- Nick Ashford
Written by Ashford & Simpson, recorded by Ray Charles, made into a rock and roll standard by Humble Pie, this is the original, released as a promo only single for Verve Records the same year as the Ray Charles version.

Battered & Bruised- Chuck Prophet
From the "Feast Of Hearts" record, which I don't believe I have heard in its entirety. If I did, I recall little of it. But I love this track, so a revisit is in order.

Electric Trains- Squeeze
I've written about "Play" being Squeeze's lost masterpiece. I think "Ridiculous" is also pretty great and just as lost. This was the first single, I believe.

Debaser- The Pixies
If you're not a fan of The Pixies...or is it just Pixies?...this track is probably not going to get you on the bus, but it is a Top 5 for me.

On Love- Skip Bifferty
Members of Skip Bifferty went on to play with Peter Frampton, Mark-Almond, World Party, Ian Dury & The Blockheads and Ginger Baker's Air Force. This single is their first from 1967, and it's a psychedelic blast.

Used To Be My Used To Be- Bram Tchaikovsky
My second favorite Bram track.

Farewell- Rod Stewart
From the underrated "Smiler" album, and a fine way to close things out.