Friday, June 18, 2021

"Paul, Brian, Ray & Todd" : THE WEEKEND MIX 2021



Paul McCartney, born on June 18th.
Brian Wilson, born on June 20th
Ray Davies, born on June 21st.
Todd Rundgren, born on June 22nd.



I believe this is the 7th time I have paid tribute to this fab four during their birthday week.

Our boys are alive and kicking and I truly believe I am alive and kicking thanks to these geniuses.

It's self-explanatory, so dig in. 

Happy Birthday Gents! You done good.



Darlin'- The Beach Boys
Young Boy- Paul McCartney
Session Man- The Kinks
Courage- Todd Rundgren
Warm & Beautiful- Wings
In My Room- The Beach Boys
Over My Head- Ray Davies
Wendy- The Beach Boys
Get Back In Line- The Kinks
I'm Carrying- Wings
Bread- Todd Rundgren
Winter Bird/When Winter Comes- Paul McCartney
Scattered- The Kinks
Eastern Intrigue- Todd Rundgren
Initiation- Todd Rundgren
Just Once In My Life- The Beach Boys


Wednesday, June 16, 2021




The first four 10cc records have remained in fairly steady rotation since I first heard "I'm Not In Love" from a transistor radio on the summer sands of Coney Island beach. I would have been happy with an entire album of harmony drenched pop, but when I finally picked up "The Original Soundtrack" at the Sam Goody in Kings Plaza, I got more than I bargained for. 

What the hell was going on here? This record had everything from a prog opera to funk, to Beatle-esque pop and back again. (As a side note, the single edit of "I'm Not In Love" is a butchered mess and it still made me want to buy the album.)

I've done 10cc appreciation pages before. That's not why I am here.



I picked up a copy of "You Didn't Like It Because You Didn't Think of It," which is a UK compilation of the best of the two Hotlegs album. Hotlegs is basically 10cc without Graham Gouldman, though he does lend a bass part, here and there.

Like 10cc, forever remembered in the U.S. for their two hits, the aformentioned "I'm Not In Love" and "The Things We Do For Love," neither of which truly represents the band's output, Hotlegs might be remembered for their novelty hit "Neanderthal Man," one of the least appealing tracks in the Hotlegs catalogue.



You can hear the seeds of some 10cc tracks on these earlier Hotlegs songs. There's a hook in "You Didn't Like it" that was used again in "Fresh Air For My Momma," and the groove of "Run Baby Run" feels more than a little like "Art For Art's Sake."

I wasn't so much surprised by how much I enjoyed this Hotlegs compilation as I was overjoyed. I had forgotten just how wonderful these early tracks were. Kevin Godley and Lol Creme have always let their eccentricity overshadow their absolutely gorgeous vocal abilities, like on "Fly Away," which is a stunner.

And that's my Hotlegs pitch.


Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Tipitina's Record Club


Since the "comeback" of the long playing vinyl record, affectionately referred to by the youngsters as "vinyls," a number of record clubs have popped up. Each has its benefits, but the downside to most of them is the selection. For every record that may interest you, there are two that won't. 

That won't happen with Tipitina's Record Club, which is strictly about New Orleans music. Of course, if you don't give a flying crawfish about New Orleans, then this club is not for you. But, if you do, you should check out what they are doing over here.

The third record of the first Volume of records being released arrived this morning. It is the funky debut from Galactic, "Coolin' Off." This record has never been issued on vinyl before, so there's that. The packaging and pressing is stellar. So there's that! And there is an entire side of unreleased material, which hasn't ever turned up on previously released CDs. So there's that!

The Tip's Record Club is every other month, unlike other clubs which are monthly. This gives you time to listen and leaves you wanting more.

The first two releases of the club were a rare live performance from Professor Longhair and a classic live performance from the club itself, by the legendary Radiators. The next two summer releases will be a rare live set from James Booker and the long out of print, funk classic from Ernie K. Doe, featuring "Here Come The Girls." 

I find all of this very exciting. Maybe some of you will, too.

Monday, June 14, 2021

Fat Pop


I am having trouble connecting with Paul Weller's new one, "Fat Pop Volume One." I've given it my full attention for five complete spins and while I really like "Shades of Blue" and "Glad Times," as well as the overall sound of the album, the only thing that seems to be sticking is the hook of the title track, which is simply "Fat pop/fat pop/fat pop."

Some might suggest that my love for his last "On Sunset" was so deep that anything following it would pale by comparison. I guess that is possible. I loved the one-two punch of "22 Dreams" and "Wake Up The Nation," only to be disappointed in "Sonic Kicks." But I went back to "Sonic Kicks" because I loved "On Sunset" so much and now I dig it.

I'm not ready to call it a day with "Fat Pop," not yet. But I am curious what other long time Jam/Weller fans think, especially if you loved "On Sunset." Are you hearing "On Sunset" leftovers on "Fat Pop" like I am?

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Songs Of The Week, 2021: 6/5-6/11


Pretty Pink Rose- Adrian Belew w/David Bowie
Life After Death- Ian Hunter
Ballroom Dancing- Paul McCartney
Michael & Heather At The Baggage Claim- Fountains Of Wayne
You Never Wanted Me- Sandy Denny
Sweet Black Angel- Corey Harris
Nineteen Fifity-Six- The Young Rascals



I'm more than halfway through Richard Thompson's memoir and he mentions Sandy Denny auditioning for Fairport Convention by singing her then boyfriend Jackson Frank's song "You Never Wanted Me." Fairport Convention never put a version on an album, but there are versions out there from the BBC. Imagine being in a band and hearing this voice do this song. Sandy then told the band, "Now let me hear what you can do."

"Nineteen Fifty-Six" can be found on the Rascals' "Collections" album and on the b-side of "Lonely Too Long." It's not a typical Rascals groove, but I think that's what I love about it.

Adrian Belew had a pretty good run on Atlantic Records. That trio of records contains some of his most accessible pop. "Pretty Pink Rose" is an obvious choice, but I felt like hearing it. 

I also felt like hearing Ian Hunter's "Life After Death," which was for a few weeks in the summer of 1979, the unofficial theme song for our gang on East 19th Street in Sheepshead Bay Brooklyn. I have no idea why that song caught on like it did, but it is damn catchy. (So maybe that's why.)

I thought of Corey Harris' "Sweet Black Angel" in the wake of the "Exile On Main Street" discussions. Different song but just as wonderful.

The Macca and FOW are here just because I felt like hearing them and sharing them. Good tunes both, with the Fountains track being a particular favorite.


Friday, June 11, 2021

Weekend Mix/Magic Dust Redux

One of my very first Weekend Mixes for Burning Wood was "Big Star Stuff" in 2015.

On June 8, 2017 I posted an upgrade, the text of which I've lazily, and hurriedly, copied and pasted below. Since then I acquired "Ork Records Complete Singles", which includes Alex Chilton's "All The Time". A better fit musically, and gives Alex a little more real estate.                                              

I keep listening to this mix as if it's a real album.                                                                           

In case you missed it the first two times, I recommend nabbing this one.

Lightly edited from 2017:
Since then, the "Complete Third" has been released, full of outtakes and demos, many of which are not that interesting, with the exception of "Lovely Day". It's the original version of "Stroke It Noel".
Noel being one of the string players hired for the session. Alex recognized him as a family friend and re-wrote the song in his honor.

Anyway it fit without having to make room and the mix is much improved.

To recap: this attempts to collect as much leftover Big Star DNA as possible.
With the exception of a couple tracks, none of it is actually Big Star, but every song has the participation of Alex, and or, Chris, Jody, and Andy, and was recorded at Ardent.

It starts off with the 45 version of "O My Soul", ripped from a single autographed by and purchased from Andy Hummel, and ends with "I Am The Cosmos", from "Columbia" 1993, and "Dony", from "In Space" (2005). The "stereo" mix of "Got Kinda Lost" was created by me from a bootleg purchased in the '90's at NYCD.

Some of it is by Prix, a short-lived project headed by John Tiven (carpet-bagging from New Jersey) and Tommy Hoehn.
Recorded at Ardent just after "Third", it credits Alex on piano, background vocals, and song writing, with Chris Bell on production, additional guitar, and background vocals as if they were members.
The singer, Tommy Hoehn appears on "Third". His voice splits the difference between Alex and Chris, hence Big Star DNA.



Thursday, June 10, 2021


I think it's only fair to point out that none of you did anything. 

Personally, I thought the discussions over the entire Ishtar series were fantastic. I was having a blast and it seemed like all of you were too, even if we disagreed.

At no point did I think I was being disrespectful. I get fired up, sure. But when all is said and done, I think we are here because we all share a passion for this shit. I don't need to be reminded that "we like what we like" and "music is in the ear of the beholder." I am well aware of that. But that has never been what this blog was about. 

One very wise and kind man offered his support with this:

"I was digging your telling us why we were right and wrong about those albums. There is music I like because you like it. That's why I was listening to "Liars".

That is all I hope for with Burning Wood and I hope for the same in return. When a reader suggests a record that I once had no use for, I try again because I respect that reader. I read trash about Todd Rundgren and Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie and Queen. So what? Let's talk about it. If you'd rather not, there are other blogs that do nothing but post download links. Maybe that is a better fit.

Something happened privately that did not sit well with me at all. I'm not over it yet, but I will be soon.

Thanks for your patience and your continued support. I just need to regroup and focus on the thousands of hits and positive comments, as opposed to the one negative. My reaction was knee jerk and I regret that.

Everyone preferred Randall Patrick McMurphy before the lobotomy.

Back soon.

Please stand by.