Thursday, December 23, 2010

Wonder Show

It´s a dirty job, but somebody´s gotta do it... So without further ado, here´s the one and only For The Sake Of The Song end of year list. Accept no substitutes, baby. Ten albums that were in heavy rotation during 2010, and that´s what counts in the end. Check! Buy the whole wonder show why don´t you.

1. Gil Scott-Heron - I´m New Here
Unexpected comeback of the year, by one of HipHop´s true forefathers.

Gil Scott-Heron - I´ll Take Care Of You MP3

2. Bonnie Prince Billy & The Cairo Gang - The Wonder Show Of The World
Will Oldham met guitarist Emmett Kelly, which lifted the fog on many a dreary day.

3. Charlie Parr - When The Devil Goes Blind
Intense and authentic pre-war blues, anno 2010. No, I´m not kidding.

Charlie Parr- 1890 MP3

4. Neil Young - Le Noise
Teaming up with producer Daniel Lanois was an excellent idea, sonically speaking.

5. First Aid Kit - The Big Black And The Blue
A lovely Swedish girl duo provided no-frills acoustic bliss. Jag älskar dig.

First Aid Kit - Sailor Song MP3

6. Phosphorescent - Here´s To Taking It Easy
Matthew Houck´s take on Americana compared to slipping into a warm bath.

7. Wounded Lion - Wounded Lion
Growling barb wire pop from smoggy LA. Debut of the year I´m sure.

Wounded Lion - Pony People MP3

8. Tunng - ...And Then We Saw Land
Not as adventurous as previous outings, but still the finest freakfolkers around.

9. Isobell Campbell & Mark Lanegan - Hawk
That marriage between a Belle and a Screaming Tree surely was made in heaven.

Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan - You Won´t Let Me Down Again MP3

10. Bill Callahan - Rough Travel For A Rare Thing
The former Smog foreman impressed once more, this time in an intimate live setting.

Bubbling under: Sun Kil Moon, Grinderman, Joanna Newsom, Drive-By Truckers, Pearly Gate Music, Off!, the Black Keys, Alasdair Roberts, Roky Erickson with Okkervil River, and the Graham Nash tribute Be Yourself.

Some old stuff released this year that I really enjoyed: Johnny Cash´s epitaph American VI: Ain´t No Grave, Dylan´s Witmark Demos and Live At Brandeis University, Complete Mythology by Syl Johnson, Satan´s A Waitin´ by Sonny Burns, and the Legacy Edition of Raw Power by Iggy & the Stooges. Music books of the year: Bob Dylan In America by Sean Wilentz, and We Never Learn - The Gunk Punk Undergut 1988-2001 by Eric Davidson.

Wishing you a bopping new year, dear readers. I´m off on a short break, see ya sometime early 2011.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Four-letter Word

Not even X-mas yet and I´m thoroughly sick of the white stuff already. As Jesse Winchester sings: "I was tuning in the six o'clock newscast, and the weather man mentioned snow, as soon as I heard that four-letter word, I was making my plans to go..." Snow, be gone. A cold cold six pack.

Jesse Winchester - Snow (demo version) MP3
Little Feat - Six Feet Of Snow MP3
Galaxie 500 - Snowstorm MP3
Simon Joyner - Out Into The Snow MP3
Bill Monroe - Footprints In The Snow MP3
Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers - Abominable Snowman In The Market MP3

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Wild Weekend Vol. 45

Welcome to take 45 of Wild Weekend, the last edition of 2010. In store this week amongst others: true American Music courtesy of the Blasters, sweet rockabilly with Johnny & Dorsey Burnette, hot flamenco, and a track from an album Bonnie Prince Billy is extremely fond of: Kevin Coyne & Dagmar Krause´s Babble. Next week will see the glorious For The Sake Of The Song albums of the year extravaganza, so be prepared. In the meantime, just have a wild one.

And we´re rolling with Dave Alvin and his Blasters, bringing you an enthusiastic ode to America´s musical heritage. "We got the Louisiana boogie and the Delta blues, we got country swing and rockabilly, too... we got jazz, country, western, and Chicago blues: it´s the greatest music that you ever knew." Amen to that. Hint: buy their Testament - The Complete Slash Recordings. You won´t regret it. Next up is a prime example of one of the styles mentioned in Alvin´s song: rockabilly. After the demise of their famous Rock and Roll Trio, Johnny and Dorsey Burnette recorded this hiccupping beauty as The Burnette Brothers in the year of ´58. "Night breezes chill me, your warm love it thrills me..." Indeed it does.

The Blasters - American Music MP3
Burnette Brothers - Warm Love MP3

Black Merda from Detroit - where else? - is said to be the first all-black rock band ever, and the soulful monster that was their eponymous 1970 debut should have sold at least a million copies. But hey, maybe that´s just me. Suffice to say it didn´t happen. There´s no justice in this world I guess. Set the record straight and buy the cd reissue, brothers and sisters. We continue with another prime example of flamenco puro, a genre that proves surprisingly popular here. Make way for the deep voiced Juana La Del Pipa, the oldest singer in the Mujerez conglomerate. Simply amazing. ¡Toma la! Stop press: just bought me two tickets for the April Mujerez gig in Amsterdam. Can´t wait.

Black Merda - Prophet MP3
Juana La Del Pipa - Pero Más Flamenca No MP3

My man Bonnie Prince Billy is playing around with a band called the Babblers at the moment, covering the underrated Kevin Coyne & Dagmar Krause collaboration Babble in its entirety. Why, you ask? Listen to the fine Sun Shines Down On Me and you just might get it. It´s time for a Kevin Coyne revival, folks! And now for some sad news just in: Don Van Vliet, the incomparable Captain Beefheart, has died. He was a true original and an inspiration to many. Miss him.

Kevin Coyne & Dagmar Krause - Sun Shines Down On Me MP3
Captain Beefheart - I Love You, You Big Dummy MP3

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Colour Me Green

Tell me now: have you ever bean green? Presenting an exclusive hand picked six pack for your listening pleasure, featuring sixties psychedelica by the Soft Machine, triumphant white soul by Dexys, and a fine folkblues by Furry Lewis. Furthermore, the Tune Rockers deliver a sharp novelty instrumental, the Hüskers flip their wigs and Tim Hardin wants to know who you love. Like what you hear? Buy the albums these tunes come from. Satisfaction guaranteed.

Soft Machine - Have You Ever Bean Green? MP3
Dexy´s Midnight Runners - Tell Me When My Light Turns Green MP3
Furry Lewis - I Will Turn Your Money Green MP3
Tune Rockers - Green Mosquito MP3
Hüsker Dü - Green Eyes MP3
Tim Hardin - Green Rocky Road MP3

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Devil In Disguise

Don´t you mess with Christine, folks. Gram knows, he´s been there and back. "It´s alright to call her but I´ll bet you, the moon is full and you´re just wasting time..." A bona fide vintage country rock classic, coming at you in true cosmic American stereo, with vocals left, right, and centre.

Should Ingram Cecil Connor III be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame as soon as possible? Of course. He may not have invented country rock single handedly, but he sure played a very important part in its conception.

The Flying Burrito Brothers - Christine´s Tune MP3

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Wild Weekend Vol. 44

Welcome to Wild Weekend #44, the all-women edition. Why, I dunno. Just is. Just enjoy. On this week´s menu: soul, lofi, more soul, country, folk, and flamenco. Have a wild one.

First we´ll visit The Scene Of The Crime, soul veteran Bettye LaVette´s red hot ´07 collaboration with the Drive-By Truckers. Exhibit A: the Lavette/Patterson Hood composition Before The Money Came, a fingerlickin´ good autobiographical barroom stomper. "I was singing R&B back in ’62, before you were born and your mama too..." And to ring in the festive season in style, let´s pass the mic to the lovely Cynthia Dall, once prominently on stage in a vintage wedding dress with Smog. Quite a sight, I remember well. You can hear Smog mastermind Bill Callahan, her then-boyfriend, on guitar here btw.

Bettye LaVette - Before The Money Came (The Battle Of Bettye LaVette) MP3
Cynthia Dall - Christmas (California) MP3

More soul: everybody knows Piece Of My Heart as one of Janis Joplin´s signature tunes with Big Brother & The Holding Company, but Aretha´s older sister Erma sang it first. Written by Jerry Ragovoy and Bert Berns, it wasn´t that big a hit when first released back in ´67. Strange, as that pumpin´ piano alone is worth the price of admission. But Erma found justice a decade or three later, when her Piece Of My Heart finally topped the charts on the back of a jeans commercial. Next we´re moving firmly into country territory with the incomparable Tammy Wynette, who´s on a journey to the wilder side of life here. Seeing her live in concert once, mainly singing from a barstool, and with a dress change between almost every other song, is something I still remember fondly. "If you like ´em painted up, powdered up, then you ought to be glad, because your good girl´s gonna go bad..."

Erma Franklin - Piece Of My Heart MP3
Tammy Wynette - Your Good Girl´s Gonna Go Bad MP3

"Hurting like a woman and crying like a baby..." Or: another original of a song interpreted so well by Bonnie Prince Billy and Tortoise on their The Brave And The Bold covers collection. Don´t think Melanie Safka is all Lay Down and Candles In The Rain and stuff, she could carry intense teenage pregnancy psychodramas like Some Say (I Got Devil) to perfection as well. Heavy stuff. And it´s bye bye and adios for now with some hotblooded flamenco puro from one of the Mujerez. Presenting Dolores Agujeta, a hell of a singer from a famous Jerez De La Frontera flamenco dynasty. ¡Agua!

Melanie - Some Say (I Got Devil) MP3
Dolores Agujeta - Llévame Contigo MP3

Friday, December 10, 2010

Gimme Fever

On a cold night like this, try warming up with some steaming Afro soul and funk. Works every time. Check out the Ghanese Bokoor Band for instance, who recorded their bluesy trance jewel Onukpa Shawarpo in ´74. Or get hip to Ishmael Jingo from Kenya, who got the James Brown fever that same year.

Bokoor Band - Onukpa Shawarpo MP3
Jingo - Fever MP3

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Dis Ya Time

A tasty r&b and reggae top 10 songs list by none other than Keith Richards in Rolling Stone magazine made me dig up some old wax from that wonderful Jamaican vocal group The Itals. Thanks for the reminder, Keef. Their Early Recordings 1971-1979 singles compilation is an essential roots monster, filled to the brim with heavenly harmony singing over sharp riddims. For some reason, their full-lenght album debut was only released very late in their career. Recorded at the end of the roots era, Brutal Out Deh from ´81 nevertheless remains right on par with the best late-seventies work of the Mighty Diamonds, Culture or the Abyssinians. Here´s two gems from each. "So it was written, so it must be done..."

The Itals - In A Dis Ya Time MP3
The Itals - Time Will Tell MP3
The Itals - Brutal MP3
The Itals - Rastafari Chariot MP3

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

PJ Dread

"People throwing dinars at the bellydancers..." That first taste of the upcoming PJ Harvey album Let England Shake sure is pretty. And what´s more, it contains a surprise for reggae lovers everywhere. Because starting around the one minute mark, craftily mixed in, you can hear a hard-hitting roots track playing in the background. "Let it burn, let it burn burn burn..." That´s the classic Blood And Fire of course, recorded in the early seventies by Jamaican producer Winston Holness, better known as Niney The Observer. Cool choice, Polly.

PJ Harvey - Written On The Forehead MP3
Niney The Observer - Blood And Fire MP3

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Wild Weekend Vol. 43

It´s cold cold cold all of a sudden, with snow and ice and windchill factors all in the mix, so we´ll try make this 43rd edition of Wild Weekend as heartwarming as we possibly can. So put another log on the fire, pour a stiff drink and enjoy this six pack of fine fine tunes, while virtually travelling from Japan to Jamaica, from the deep south to the far north, and back again. Have a hot one.

We´ll start off in the land of the rising sun with a hot psych track from Love Live Life +1, a shortlived soulful super session group based around organist Hiro Yanagida and guitar wizard Kimio Mizutani. Did these guys listen to Sly´s Family Stone a lot? You bet. From Love Will Make A Better You (´71), one of the best trips in the Japrock canon. Next we take a plane to Jamaica, where Freddie McKay meets us at Kingston airport. He recorded this beauty for Leonard Chin´s mighty Santic label in the early seventies. And is that Augustus Pablo perhaps, leading it all in on melodica? Sure is.

Love Live Life +1 - Facts About It All MP3
Freddie McKay - I´m A Free Man MP3

Two weeks ago we featured a Swamp Dogg produced soul scorcher by ZZ Hill here, and now it´s Doris Duke´s turn. I just can´t get enough of I´m A Loser, an exemplary collection of her recording sessions with Jerry Williams Jr, better known as the Dogg. Take an earful of If She´s Your Wife (Who Am I) and you´ll definitely understand why. Onward to the freaky part of Montreal now, where we encounter Poney P, Mingo L´Indien and Bobo Boutin, better known as Les Georges Leningrad. Their Track Georges Five is, to say the least, quite a confrontational piece of dissonant post postpunk. Love it or hate it, but do try it out I beg you. You´ve probably never heard anything like it.

Doris Duke - If She´s Your Wife (Who Am I) MP3
Les Georges Leningrad - Track Georges Five MP3

"Arithmetic arithmetock, turn the hands back on the clock..." That can only be Tom Waits of course, with the jazzy title track from Alice (´02). Hot news: early next year will see the release of a book called Hard Ground, documenting the plight of the homeless in poems by Waits and photo´s by Michael O´Brien. Better start saving up. And we´ll call it a day with an intense piece of blues recorded back in ´59 in Angola State Prison, Louisiana. Robert ´Guitar´ Welch, who was behind bars there together with legendary bluesman Robert Pete Williams, fears they´ll send him straight to the hot seat. "Wonder why they´ll execute a man at the one o´clock hour at night? The current is much stronger, people turn off all the lights..."

Tom Waits - Alice MP3
Guitar Welch - Electric Chair Blues MP3

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Country Laureates

"That´s when they hung my name, in the fool´s hall of fame..." Country trivia fact of the week: only five performers were inducted into three Halls of Fame: the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Here´s a classic song by each.

Jimmie Rodgers - Blue Yodel No. 8 (Mule Skinner Blues) MP3
Hank Williams - My Son Calls Another Man Daddy MP3
Bob Wills - Time Changes Everything MP3
Bill Monroe - I´m Going Back To Old Kentucky MP3
Johnny Cash - Fools Hall Of Fame MP3

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Live Dead

According to the late great Curtis Mayfield, Freddie the junkie is as dead as a doornail. "A terrible blow, but that´s how it goes..." But the just as funky Spirit Of Atlanta swears the dude´s alive and well, although he sure went through hell. And what´s more: Freddie´s clean now, too. "He´s got him a job, he´s the king of the mob..." Answer records: you just got to love ´em.

Curtis Mayfield - Freddie´s Dead MP3
Spirit Of Atlanta - Freddie Is Alive And Well MP3

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Wild Weekend Vol. 42

It´s just another Wild Weekend as we jazz it up revolutionary style with mr. Shepp, take L Dopa with mr. Albini and preview El Classico with mr. Smith. Plus we´ve got a Cohen protégé, an sixties acid folkie and a new bluesy talent to watch. Enjoy and please do have a wild one.

And we´re off in jazz mode with Archie Shepp and a soulful monster from his ´72 masterpiece Attica Blues. Grooves like hell, lamenting in the meantime the miserable fate of activist George Jackson, the famous Black Panther and Soledad Brother who was shot by guards at Saint Quentin prison in an alleged escape attempt. Shepp had his doubts about this, and probably with good reason. Next up: renowned producer Steve Albini´s both revolutionary and uncompromising eighties power trio Big Black. Short but sweet sample track L Dopa hails from a certain razor sharp album with a sleeve and a title to die for. Alright?

Archie Shepp - Blues For Brother George Jackson MP3
Big Black - L Dopa MP3

El Classico will be played in Barcelona this Monday, which is an incredibly big thing in Spain, and especially in my dearest Catalunya. Barça vs. Real Madrid is a game drenched in history, which guarantees an electrical atmosphere in the Camp Nou. Better believe me, as I witnessed a couple of amazing encounters between the blaugrana and the blancos there myself. Forza Barça! Find Mark E. Smith´s ode to the match of matches on what´s possibly the Fall´s finest: Hex Enduction Hour. For something completely different, we turn to Charlie Parr. I read an enthusiastic piece about his last album in my newspaper of all places, checked out one of his bluesy Americana songs on the Hype Machine and immediately ordered When The Devil Goes Blind straight from the lion´s mouth. Yes, he´s that good.

The Fall - The Classical MP3
Charlie Parr - I Dreamed I Saw Jesse James Last Night MP3

A while back, reader Holly alerted me in a comment to an interesting album on the legendary underground label ESP by some weirdo who called himself MIJ. And indeed, Yodeling Astrologer (from ´69) does sound quite unique, as the acid drenched Grok (Martian Love Call) illustrates. Freakfolk avant la lettre. And we´ve come to the end of another Wild Weekend with a sunny sounding popsong by Neema, a Canadian singer from Egyptian and Lebanese descent who lives quite close to Leonard Cohen. "It´s a foggy night in the streets of Montreal..." The ageing master must have been rather smitten by his near-neighbour, as he co-produced her album Watching You Think, and drew its cover too. Quite a recommendation methinks.

MIJ - Grok (Martian Love Call) MP3
Neema - Escape MP3

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Bluer Than Blue

"That old feelin´
Sure goes stealin´
Down to my shoes..."

Reads a bit like a haiku, but it´s only our friend Mac Rebennack, saluting the Duke New Orleans style.

Dr. John - Mood Indigo MP3

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Punch Line

In a hurry? Then waste no time opening up this fast and furious six pack of American pre-hardcore punk blasts, all guaranteed to clock in under the one minute mark. "Progressed to the point of no distinction, dementia of a higher order... what we do is secret, secret..." All you need is a punch line really.

Germs - What We Do Is Secret MP3
Circle Jerks - Red Tape MP3
Black Flag - Spray Paint The Walls MP3
Bad Brains - Joshua´s Song MP3
Descendents - Weinerschnitzel MP3
Minutemen - The Punch Line MP3

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Wild Weekend Vol. 41

It´s Wild Weekend number 41, filled to the brim with wild gospel, heavy roots reggae, hot soul, pre-postrock, psychedelic pop, and one of them perfect rock songs to drive your car to. Beep beep. Yeah.

We´ll get going with the rootsy reggae sounds of the unjustly obscure Sylford Walker and his signature tune Jah Golden Pen. "Just got to touch ya finger on Jah golden pen, to write ya name up there..." Heavy heavy bass in a fine Mighty Two production, which means Joe Gibbs and his trusted sidekick Errol Thompson are in total control as usual. The original vinyl single is one of the holy grails for reggae collectors btw. Meanwhile back in the States, my estimated blogging colleague Scott from Pretty Goes With Pretty has just published a book in the 33 1/3 series on Slint´s influential masterpiece Spiderland. I´ll buy me a copy for sure. You can read an interesting interview with the author here, while listening to a cool post-Spiderland instrumental from the Louisville legends below.

Sylford Walker - Jah Golden Pen MP3
Slint - Glenn MP3

A stark cover version of Ain´t No Grave was apparently the last song ever recorded in this life by Johnny Cash, but ´gospel ranger´ Brother Claude Ely´s 1953 manic gospelbilly original remains the real deal alright. "Meet me Jesus, meet me, well meet me in the middle of the air, if these wings should fail me, meet me with another pair..." Now that´s the spirit, bro. More hot stuff to follow thanks to John Fogerty and the lads. Tombstone Shadow comes to you from The Concert, recorded live in Oakland 1970. My fave music for highway driving will always be Creedence, dunno why. It just is. Earned me some speeding tickets, too. Not nearly as many as the missus though.

Brother Claude Ely - There Ain´t No Grave Gonna Hold My Body Down MP3
Creedence Clearwater Revival - Tombstone Shadow (live ´70) MP3

Moving into more tranquil waters now with the Electric Prunes, whose claim to fame will always be their legendary garage smash I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night). Don´t underestimate their second outing Underground (´67) though, a warm batch of psychedelic pop songs in its own right. Just check out the Goffin & King penned I Happen To Love You for proof. And we´ll finish this week´s edition of Wild Weekend with a hot soul scorcher by ZZ Hill that you can blame on the Dogg. Because that´s the eccentric Jerry Williams Jr., better known as Swamp Dogg, in the producer´s chair. Which of course means satisfaction´s guaranteed. See ya next weekend, just might be another wild one.

Electric Prunes - I Happen To Love You MP3
ZZ Hill - Touch ´Em With Love MP3

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sure Does

"Feels so good just to wake up in the morning by myself,
Cup of coffee in the kitchen, fire up a little danger to my health,
They say that love is all you need, but freedom´s something else..."

There´s a new Leonard Cohen album in the pipeline, and the 76-year-old legend from Montreal is slowly fitting some virgin songs into his current stage show. You can sample a trio below, including a majestic ode to loneliness called Feels So Good, in truly exceptional sound quality. A heartfelt thanks goes out to the taper who recorded these songs at the famous open air opera stage of Römersteinbruch in Austria last September.

Leonard Cohen - Feels So Good (live) MP3
Leonard Cohen - The Darkness (live) MP3
Leonard Cohen - Born In Chains (live) MP3

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

In The Ghetto

The Kingston ghetto that is. Tough place, but also a breeding ground for remarkable vocal talent. Presenting a rather rootsy six pack.

"The youthmen down in the ghetto,
Them have to carry this heavy load..."

Sugar Minott - Ghetto-ology MP3
The Royals - Ghetto Man MP3
Dennis Brown - Ghetto Girl MP3
Jacob Miller - Ghetto On Fire MP3
Prince Alla - Youthmen In The Ghetto MP3
Big Joe - In The Ghetto MP3

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Wild Weekend Vol. 40

Welcome to Wild Weekend, a.k.a. Week-end Sauvage, edition 40. Got some great songs sung in French (x2) and German for you this week, plus a bit of beat poetry, an Iron & Wine beauty, and a girl group gem the Beatles couldn´t get enough of. Just have another wild one, mes amis de musique.

Let´s warm things up a bit with the help of more or less forgotten beat poet Kenneth Patchen. This month´s edition of Mojo magazine comes with a free cd covering Dylan´s Scene in early sixties bohemian New York, which means lots of folkie tracks of course. Patchen´s jazzed-up State Of The Nation is the contribution I like most of all though. The poet oozes cool, as he ought to, while the Chamber Jazz Sextet backing him sure sounds hot. Dig it. Meanwhile over at One Horse Town, which is kind of a follow-up to the late great Setting The Woods On Fire blog, you can find a handy zipfile with the originals of all 24 songs the Beatles ever covered. Wonderful stuff of course; check it out here a.s.a.p. Here´s a taster: Devil In His Heart by Detroit girl group the Donays. Wow indeed.

Kenneth Patchen - State Of The Nation MP3
The Donays - Devil In His Heart MP3

Ready for some foreign language stuff now? Très bien. Here´s a touching ode to the flatlands he called home by that legendary francophone Fleming Jacques Brel, arguably the greatest singer Belgium ever produced. "Avec le fil des jours pour unique voyage, et des chemins de pluie pour unique bonsoir..." Recorded live at the famous Olympia Theatre in Paris back in ´64. A fine version in Flemish/Dutch exists as well btw: watch this space. Continuing our multilingual trip, make way now for San Franciscan art punks Tuxedo Moon. They cover a famous song by the Stones. In German for some reason, which works. "Ich hasse meine Nachbarn, ich hasse Arbeit auch..." Right on.

Jacques Brel - Le Plat Pays MP3
Tuxedo Moon - 19th Nervous Breakdown MP3

There´s a new Iron & Wine album in the pipeline, and I´m rather curious what mister Sam Beam will come up with this time around. While we wait with bated breath, here´s a beautiful track from the bearded one´s first outing, the impressive The Creek Drank The Cradle from 2002. And we bid you adieu with a swinging underground vibe courtesy of French turntablist DJ Cam. "Les herbes, les fleurs, les fruits..." And hey, let´s not forget l´amour. Bye bye, et jusqu'à la prochaine week-end sauvage.

Iron & Wine - Lion´s Mane MP3
DJ Cam - Dieu Reconnaitra Les Siens MP3

Thursday, November 11, 2010

At Your Command

"Maybe, if I kissed your lips, I´ll be at your command..." In the indispensable collection The Heart Of Rock And Soul, which chronicles his 1001 greatest singles ever made, rock scribe Dave Marsh needs only one line to sum up this lovely girl group smash from 1958. It´s spot on of course: ´Virginity personified as an unwelcome condition´.

The Chantels - Maybe MP3

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

No Last Name

Mix the songwriting genius of Tom T. Hall with the melancholy mariachi-style desert trumpets of Calexico and you know you´ve got yourself a winner. "If you meet a girl named Juanita, with some ribbons in her hair, would you tell her that she's wanted on the phone..."

Calexico - Tulsa Telephone Book MP3

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Wild Weekend Vol. 39

"For Christ´s sake don´t jump for me - jump for yourself". Or: welcome to Wild Weekend, edition #39. Just another selection of pukka tunes, be they triphop or blues, noiserock or rocksteady, punk or Ethiopiques. Jump in and have a wild one.

Starting off with a little ancient blues to get you in the right mood. Ted Gioia, in his much recommended book Delta Blues, writes the following about Geeshie Wiley´s Skinny Leg Blues: "listen to how she shapes the opening guitar phrases - even the very first note with its lazy, arcing sureness - and you know that you are in safe hands..." Amen to that. And while we´re on the subject of blues, do yourself a favor and check out a new blues-blog called Hell Hound On My Trail. The guy don´t talk much, but he sure spins the goodies... Meanwhile, we´re moving into triphop territory, with the wild boys from Unkle. Josh Davis aka DJ Shadow works his magic behind the mixing desk, while the spooky vocals come courtesy of Alice Temple. Cool Blade Runner ending, too. "You are alone?"

Geeshie Wiley - Skinny Leg Blues MP3
Unkle - Bloodstain MP3

Two weeks ago we had Ry Cooder covering a Maurice & Mac original, and now it´s Ken Boothe´s turn to give the soul duo a run for their money. And surprise surprise, his smooth rocksteady turnover fits You Left The Water Running like the proverbial glove. Find it on Safe Travel, a killer collection of early Phil Pratt productions. Time for some decidedly heavier stuff now. Let´s hear it for New York noiserockers supreme Unsane, with a typical track from their relentless ´91 debut. Came in a sleeve to die for by the way... Big city blues for the hard of hearing.

Ken Boothe - You Left The Water Running MP3
Unsane - Vandal-X MP3

Regular For The Sake Of The Song readers will probably know by now that I count Jeffrey Lee Pierce (´58-´96) among the true greats. So it pleased me enormously that Off!, a hobbyhorse of Circle Jerk Keith Morris, has just released an energetic eulogy to the late Gun Club foreman. Extra bonus points: the amazing Raymond Pettibon draws their cover art. And we go out in grand Ethiopean style with the exciting grooves of Ayaléw Mèsfin, backed by the mighty Black Lion Band. I mean it: one day I´ll go on a pilgrimage to faraway Addis Abeba. Better start saving up pronto.

Off! - Jeffrey Lee Pierce MP3
Ayaléw Mèsfin - Feqer Aydèlèm Wèy MP3

Thursday, November 4, 2010

And I Thought Of You

His tasty treatment of Neil Young´s recent La Noise made me revisit another job well done by the acclaimed Daniel Lanois: Dylan´s ´89 comeback Oh Mercy. And I´m glad I did. Different sound, same class. "Listen to the engine, listen to the bell, as the last fire truck from hell goes rolling by..." Wise words, heed them well.

Bob Dylan - Shooting Star MP3

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Clove And Cinnamon

"A dança do vento, o ventre da noite, e o sol da manhã..." It took me a while, but I finally managed to track down all the originals of The Brave And The Bold, that wonderfully weird ´06 cover collaboration between Tortoise and Bonnie Prince Billy. And of these, I probably like Milton Nascimento´s Cravo E Canela the best. A steaming beauty, surprisingly featuring Miles Davis sidemen Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock. From tropicália to postrock: not such a big step after all? Brace yourself for two spicy treats, one from Brazil and the other from Chicago by way of Kentucky. "The dance of the wind, the belly of the night, and the morning sun..."

Milton Nascimento - Cravo E Canela MP3
Tortoise & Bonnie Prince Billy - Cravo E Canela

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Wild Weekend Vol. 38

Ready for the 38th installment of Wild Weekend? Thought so. And it´s a wild bunch again this week, featuring Japrock and Dylan, reggae inna loversrock style and the blues, old Ohio punk and new Salford trash. Just take your pick and don´t forget to have a wild one.

For a furious blast-off, we turn to a seventies Japrock powertrio called Gedo. Their nihilistic hi-energy rocker Kusatta Inochi, better known in the West as Rotten Life, will surely bring out the inner biker in you. Let it roar. And as I´m digging Dylan´s new Bootleg Series installment so much, we continue with a beauty from said collection. The whimsical All Over You is one of those Witmark Demos to treasure. "Well, you cut me like a jigsaw puzzle, you made me to a walkin´ wreck, when you pushed my heart through my backbone, and you knocked off my head from my neck..."

Gedo - Kusatta Inochi (Rotten Life) MP3
Bob Dylan - All Over You MP3

Pink Anderson was one of the two relatively obscure bluesmen who gave Pink Floyd their name (the other being Floyd Council). I can never get enough of his delightful He´s In The Jailhouse Now. "But when I went to pay that man, I found that lady's hand in my pocket, where my money was... that settled it..." Graveyard bound, that lady. Next we meet the Black Knights, who hail from Salford near Manchester, home of legendary poet John Cooper Clarke, the Dylan of punk. And their ´voodoo trash blues´ goes down a treat, too. Check out them spooky vocals and fuzz guitars, muchachos. Out now.

Pink Anderson - He´s In The Jailhouse Now MP3
The Black Knights - Saturday Night Succubi MP3

One of my fave early punkbands from the States are the Pagans from Ohio. No matter how rough and ramshackle their sound, there´s always a catchy chorus to pull you right in. Let yourself be seduced by the incendiary power of I Juvenile and buy their complementary compilations on the Crypt label (Shit Street and The Pink Album) forthwith. And we´ll conclude this edition of Wild Weekend with a loving tribute to Jamaican nightingale Gregory Isaacs, who sadly passed away last week. The Cool Ruler is no more, and that sucks. Now who's gonna make me feel the way he used to do?

The Pagans - I Juvenile MP3
Gregory Isaacs - Love Is Overdue MP3

Thursday, October 28, 2010

You Can See It Shine

Iggy´s doin´ fine. He´s got his tight pants on, and he´s spoiling for a fight. But what´s up with his jacket? Those Naughty Lumps (´78) tell all. "Iggy Pop´s jacket, could it be the key? Will Iggy Pop´s jacket make a cult out of me?"

Iggy & The Stooges - Tight Pants MP3
Those Naughty Lumps - Iggy Pop´s Jacket MP3

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Custard-Coloured Superdream

Psychedelic invocations of Mata Hari at the station anyone? A few exceptions notwithstanding, Nick Cave´s post Birthday Party stuff never really did it for me. And then, out of the blue, a track appears on his brand new album with Grinderman that really bowls me over. The stately Palaces Of Montezuma, complete with lazy Gimme Shelter shuffle and over the top imagery, is prime Saint Nick. "The spinal cord of JFK wrapped in Marilyn Monroe´s negligee I give to you..."

Grinderman - Palaces Of Montezuma MP3

"Yeah I recognize that girl, she stumbled in some time last loneliness..." As a bonus, here´s a dark old Birthday Party favorite of mine. "Yeah I recognize that girl, I took her from rags right through to stitches... oh baby, tonight we sleep in separate ditches..."

The Birthday Party - Deep In The Woods MP3

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Wild Weekend Vol. 37

It´s gonna be a Wild Weekend, issue 37. Where East meets West and the well known goes hand in hand with the obscure. What have we got in store for you this week? Some Britfolk, soul, and afro-reggae, a shot of dino-rock, an Indian ghazal, and a promising new Americana trio to boot. Have a wild one, y´all.

We´ll kick off with some shimmering soul featuring brother Ry and friends, who give the Maurice & Mac classic Why Don´t You Try Me a whole new coat of paint. From the mighty fine Borderline album (´80). Give it a try why don´t you. Time to go pentangling now. I was enjoying some beers with a friend of mine recently when he put an old Pentangle album on, and it amazed us all over again how fresh these British folkrockers still sound today. Bert Jansch and John Renbourn: a wiz guitar team if ever there was one. "Look around for someone lying in the sunshine, marking time, hear the sighs, close your eyes..." And in case you were wondering: that´s the underrated Jaqui McShee on vocals.

Ry Cooder - Why Don´t You Try Me MP3
Pentangle - Light Flight (Take Three Girls Theme) MP3

May we continue with a new band now? Thanks. Presenting Woodsy Pride, an Americana threesome all the way from Redhook, Brooklyn. Wasn´t that the birthplace of Joey, the famous mafioso Dylan wrote such a great but controversial song about? Cool. Anyway, they call their stuff ´southern gothic´ and I sure can live with that. Nice lap steel, too, which is always a good thing. Next we move all the way to India for a relaxed ghazal by a contemporary singer called Hariharan. If I´m not mistaken, the delicate Hasti Apni Habab Ki Si Hai was written by Mir Taqi Mir, the most famous Urdu poet of the eighteenth century. Yes, it´s that old. No idea what he´s on about though. Anyone?

Woodsy Pride - As Always A Good Thing MP3
Hariharan - Hasti Apni Habab Ki Si Hai MP3

On to Jamaica now, with one of the weirdest ventures in the Lee Perry catalogue: his collaboration with Seke Molenga & Kalo Kawongolo. These two singers from Zaire were brought to Kingston in the year when the two sevens clashed, by some malafide promotor who abandoned them almost right away. The duo didn´t speak the language and had no money, but did manage to locate Perry´s famous Black Ark studio somehow. Scratch then worked his magic and produced what was probably the first Afro-Jamaican crossover. Irie or what? And we´ll be off with a pastoral classic by Led Zep. This time Sir Percy´s in pursuit of a Californian beauty who´s never been born. "Meet you up there where the path runs straight and high..." Deal.

Seke Molenga & Kalo Kawongolo - African Roots MP3
Led Zeppelin - Going To California MP3

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Drinkin´ Thing

"While she pours herself on some stranger, I pour myself a drink somewhere..." Presenting two delightful country songs about ´this drinkin´ thing´. Gary Stewart (1944-2003) was known as the King Of Honky Tonk during his seventies heydays, and with good reason. Check out that trademark vibrato, my thirsty compadres, and call that bartender pronto. "My heart is breaking, like the tiny bubbles, she´s actin´ single, I´m drinkin´ doubles..." Cheers!

Gary Stewart - Drinkin´ Thing MP3
Gary Stewart - She's Actin´ Single (I´m Drinkin´ Doubles) MP3

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Kommen Nicht

"Meine Seele brennt,
Ich versteck mich, sitz in meinem Loch,
Und warte auf die Träume, die mich retten..."

The Teutonic blues, or: from a whisper to a scream with the Collapsing New Buildings. Ein Prachtexemplar from the mid-eighties.

Einstürzende Neubauten - Seele Brennt MP3

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Wild Weekend Vol. 36

It´s gonna be a Wild Weekend, take 36. Eclectic mixes a specialty. From gospel to afro, from Togo to Mexico. Plus: a brand new Dylan live track from the days of old. Take it away, guys.

We´ll start off with the legendary Sam Cooke leading the Soul Stirrers, if only because the gospel according to Sam is always a joy to behold. Yes Sir! Next up: a charming cover of the Pete Townshend-penned I´m Free. Comes from an obscure ep from 1980 by Britgirls the Petticoats, their sole output as far as I know. Warning: more ramshackle than the Raincoats even. Which is cool of course.

The Soul Stirrers - The Last Mile Of The Way MP3
The Petticoats - I´m Free MP3

Ay Te Dejo En San Antonio was performed by such greats as the Texas Tornadoes and Los Lobos, but even they never managed to surpass the original by Mexican accordeon wizard Don Santiago Jiménez Sr. Guaranteed to make you smile. "Hay momentos que pareces el demonio, cuando mueves la cintura para bailar..." Run for the hills Santi, that dance-crazy she-devil will only bring you harm... Which is followed by a sensual duet between Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan, from their recent collaboration called Hawk. A marriage made in heaven, I´d say. Check it out.

Don Santiago Jiménez Sr. - Ay Te Dejo En San Antonio MP3
Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan - Come Undone MP3

Like some steaming afrobeat, Togo style? Ok, here goes. Napo De Mi Amor Et Ses Black Devils surely invented one of the finest bandnames ever, and their wild sounds are right on par. Bonus points for that funky organ, messieurs. Find it on the much recommended collection African Scream Contest, filled to the brim with raw psychedelic afro sounds from Benin and Togo. And last but not least, here´s some stop press material for ya. If you were smart enough to pre-order The Witmark Demos, the new volume in Dylan´s ongoing Bootleg Series project, you got a free disc containing a never even bootlegged before registration of a ´63 gig at Brandeis University. Received my copy yesterday, which made me a happy camper indeed. As a taster, here´s a particularly bleak take on ye olde Ballad Of Hollis Brown.

Napo De Mi Amor Et Ses Black Devils - Leki Santchi MP3
Bob Dylan - Ballad Of Hollis Brown (live Brandeis University ´63) MP3

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Jonkanoo Ten Pack

Thought it was about time for a new dub ten pack, so here goes. All strictly roots, all killer no filler. Mixing board wizardry guaranteed. Don´t forget to turn up that bass, my brethren.

Jack Ruby & The Black Disciples - Slavery Days Dub MP3
Skin, Flesh & Bones - Boxer Dub MP3
Lee Perry - Fisher Man Dub MP3
Glen Brown & King Tubby - Termination Dub MP3
Augustus Pablo - Up Warrika Hill MP3
Impact All Stars - Jaro MP3
Tappa Zukie - Dub MPLA MP3
Revolutionaries - Jonkanoo Dub MP3
Ossie All Stars - Dub Down Babylon MP3
Techniques - Ghetto MP3

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Wild Weekend Vol. 35

It´s Wild Weekend #35, which means another delicious cocktail of cool tunes from all around the globe. Northern Ireland, Jamaica, Persia by way of the Motor City, Jerez de la Frontera... Just have another wild one. I know I will.

After the demise of Northern Ireland´s finest punkpoppers the Undertones, most of their personnel ended up in a fine band called That Petrol Emotion. One Steve Mack, an American who worked in a London pizza parlour at the time, was drafted as a singer. The triumphant Big Decision was arguably their finest hour. All together now: "You rather sail the ocean, than make a big decision..." Meanwhile on the Island, Pete Weston sees misery all around and urges his rasta brethren to move out of Babylon pronto. Revolution´s not the answer, leave that to those guys in faraway China... Find it on Every Mouth Must Be Fed, another fascinating compilation from the Pressure Sounds label.

That Petrol Emotion - Big Decision MP3
Pete Weston and the Flames - Revolution Is For The Chinaman MP3

Obscure protopunk anyone? Good. Don´t know much about the Up to be honest, just that they recorded this prime piece of Detroit rifferama way back in ´72. And in case you were wondering: Hassan I Sabbah was a Persian missionary who founded the mythical Hashshashin movement sometime in the 11th century. Next up: former Dream Syndicate leader Steve Wynn. Nice to see he´s still at it. Nearly thirty years after he came on the scene with that beauty called The Days Of Wine And Roses, the remarkably Screaming Trees-like Resolution proves he hasn´t lost his touch just yet. From a soon to be released album called Northern Agression.

The Up - Hassan I Sabbah MP3
Steve Wynn & The Miracle 3 - Resolution MP3

And now it´s time for some flamenco puro. Santiago Donday is a veteran vocalist from Cadiz who debuted very late in life when master guitarist Paco Cepero finally managed to drag him into a recording studio. Expect a truckload of duende here, amigos. And we´ve come to the end of another Wild Weekend with the finest Prince song I know: the playful Ballad Of Dorothy Parker. "I took another bubble bath, with my pants on..." Dishwater blonde waitresses sure brought out the best in the ´skinny motherfucka with the high voice´. Sounds like a real man to me...

Santiago Donday con Paco Cepero - Malagueña De El Mellizo MP3
Prince - The Ballad Of Dorothy Parker MP3

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Fast Cars And Chrome Parts

Despite all its bombast, the majestic Born To Run will always be Springsteen´s finest hour for me. If you agree, you´ll probably like Linda Let Me Be The One, a song that didn´t make the final cut for the album.

"Midnight's base is St. Mary's, midnight boys hide from the rain,
Stay with the stolen sisters, ´til the streets are dry again...
Talking fast cars and chrome parts, different worlds and strange girls,
Empty homes, busted hearts, and kneeling with Linda in the dark..."

Bruce Springsteen - Linda Let Me Be The One MP3

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Now That I´m Home

"Although I´ve howled across fields and my eyes turned grey,
Are yours still the same? Are you still the same?"

One original, one cover. The rather manic Gun Club version stems from their masterful second album Miami (´82). Howl, Jeffrey, howl, you maniac you. Mark Lanegan´s equally intense, brooding acoustic take on the song can be found on his recommended I´ll Take Care Of You (´99).

"Carry home, I have returned,
Through so many highways, and so many tears..."

The Gun Club - Carry Home MP3
Mark Lanegan - Carry Home MP3

Friday, October 1, 2010

Since The Backstreets Of Toronto

Whoa, that new Neil Young album sure is something else. Just ole Shakey and his guitar, with a remarkably delicate Daniel Lanois in the producer´s chair. My current fave of Le Noise? A poignant ballad called Love And War. "I sang for justice and I hit a bad chord, but I still try to sing about love and war..."

Neil Young - Love And War MP3

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Four Sonnys

Why is it that so many legendary jazz musicians are called Sonny?

Sonny Clark - Something Special MP3
Sonny Criss - When Sunny Gets Blue MP3
Sonny Rollins - Tune Up MP3
Sonny Stitt - Easy Does It MP3

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Wild Weekend Vol. 34

Yes... and here we go again. Wild Weekend #34 is here, and the hits just keep on coming. Soul, new wave, garage, reggae: you name it, we´ve got it. Just have another wild one.

Reading Eric Davidson´s inspiring Gunk Punk book found me digging up all kinds of garagey sounds from the wild nineties again. Enter Seattle´s Fall-Outs, whose short, sharp and snotty Here I Come used to be a favorite of mine back in the days. Moving into soul territory now, with an early seventies, Swamp Dogg-produced gem by the obscure Freddie North. If you ever chance upon the slogan 'Freddie loves Mary' somewhere, I bet you five dollars it was him back when he was still young and in love. "Now I write my letters with a fancy pen, but my mind goes back to the chalk every now and then..."

The Fall-Outs - Here I Come MP3
Freddie North - Sidewalks, Fences And Walls MP3

I came rather late to the Black Swans, whose presence on a just-released split single with Bonnie 'Prince' Billy urged me to check out their earlier stuff. And guess what? It didn´t disappoint at all. Au contraire. Try the moody Shake, with a cool Scarlet Rivera-like gypsy violin, to see what I mean. Cover time now, featuring the new wave pride of Swindon. On their second album White Music, XTC surprisingly climbed Dylan´s rickety watchtower, where a forgotten mouthharp lay waiting for them.

The Black Swans - Shake MP3
XTC - All Along The Watchtower MP3

I take it you´re all familiar with that tired old folk warhorse about that whorehouse down in New Orleans, but did you ever catch Frijid Pink´s motor city version? From 1970, with Bonzo-inspired drums and wicked guitarwork. Find it on their eponymous debut, a more or less forgotten classic. And it´s bye bye for now with a track from Sound System Scratch, an excellent new Pressure Sounds release dedicated once more to the great mr. Perry. And here I was thinking the vaults must be empty by now... Locks In The Dublight is a dub version of his classic Dreadlocks In Moonlight: short but very very sweet.

Frijid Pink - House Of The Rising Sun MP3
Lee Perry & The Upsetters - Locks In The Dublight MP3

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Before I Even Knew You

"I would never, never do anything to you,
To make you blue...
But yesterday I got this letter,
From a boy I loved,
Before I ever knew you,
Before I even knew you..."

Presenting one of the greatest mini-operas in popular music: Train From Kansas City by the Shangri-Las. Sung by Marge and Mary Anne Ganser and Mary Weiss. Written by Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich. Produced by the amazing Shadow Morton. Drama supreme in 3 minutes and 22 seconds. She tells her current boyfriend not to worry, as "nothing in this world could tear us apart" but somehow I´m not entirely sure. It´s nearly ten after two... Will she or won´t she? Here comes the train...

And for a very different-sounding cover version, we turn to Superchunk, those indie darlings from Chapel Hill. Is it me, or does this train approach even faster?

Shangri-Las - Train From Kansas City MP3
Superchunk - Train From Kansas City MP3

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Wild Weekend Vol. 33

Was away, am back. Broadcast from our new residence in the oh so chilly Lowlands, edition 33 of Wild Weekend has finally dropped. The song will remain the same however, so once more, the iPod shuffle did its best to deliver its weekly goodies. Proto-HipHop? Check. Sweet soul music? Check. Punk rock? Check. More? Check again. Have a wild one.

We´ll start off with a golden oldie. "Ya know my heart keeps tellin´ me, you´re not a kid at thirty-three, you play around, you lose your wife, you play too long, you lose your life..." Wise words, pop kids. Signed: Danny O´Keefe, nearly forgotten seventies singer/songwriter. Nat Couty´s wild Woodpecker Rock sure is one totally weird and infectuous rockabilly ditty. Lux and Ivy from the Cramps loved this one, and I guess Woody would have, too. Find it on volume 4 of the indispensable Born Bad series.

Danny O´Keefe - Good Time Charlie´s Got The Blues MP3
Nat Couty & The Braves - Woodpecker Rock MP3

HipHop forerunners anyone? Try New York´s Last Poets, who released their famous eponymous debut way back in 1970. A true percussion attack. Critical guys? You bet. "Niggers are players, niggers play football, baseball and basketball, while the white man is cuttin´ off their balls..." Right on. V-3 was one of the brainchildren of the late Ohio underground legend Jim Shepard, who for some reason managed to score a major label contract with American Recordings in ´96. The resulting Photograph Burns still sounded rather lofi though, as the fine Caucasian White shows, and that sure is a compliment.

The Last Poets - Niggers Are Scared Of Revolution MP3
V-3 - Caucasian White MP3

From the soundtrack to Sweet Soul Music, one out of many excellent music books by Peter Guralnick you really should own, come the Enchanters and the sweet sweet voice of Garnet Mimms. He paid for the party, oh yes he did... in teardrops and heartaches. Lord! And we´re off with a very thirsty Pat Todd and his Lazy Cowgirls. "They ask me why I´m drinking, well I´m trying to forget..." True punkrock, American stylee. Cheers and enjoy, see ya all next week!

The Enchanters - I Paid For The Party MP3
The Lazy Cowgirls - Goddamn Bottle MP3

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Wild Weekend Vol. 32

Lo and behold, the iPod shuffle has chosen once more. In this again rather diverse edition of Wild Weekend we pay visits to Alabama, Düsseldorf and Whiskey Boot Hill, and see how three charming English ladies get their groceries. And that´s not all, folks.

"Do a runner! Do a runner!" Or: my fave all-girl combo the Slits goes shopping the proletarian way, with a great postpunk reggae riddim on the side. "Babylon won´t lose much, and we´ll have dinner tonight". Meanwhile back in ´68, former Byrd Gene Clark teams up with banjoist supreme Doug Dillard. A good move that, as their fantastic expedition into the realm of countryrock, with distinctive bluegrass overtones, still sounds remarkably fresh today. Cue The Radio Song, which you´ll never ever hear on the radio.

The Slits - Shoplifting MP3
Dillard & Clark - The Radio Song MP3

"No pass out sign on the door set me thinking, are waitresses paying the price of their winking?" That´s Neil of course, with an acoustic take on his Whiskey Boot Hill, recorded live at the Riverboat in Toronto back in ´69. Simply gorgeous. Which can also be said of Cannonball Adderley, who calls on the one and only John Coltrane to deliver a definitive take on the old standard Stars Fell On Alabama. From Cannonball & Coltrane (´59), an album all jazz lovers should own.

Neil Young - Whiskey Boot Hill (live ´69) MP3
Cannonball Adderley - Stars Fell On Alabama MP3

The voice of Killdozer head honcho Michael Gerard is really something to behold. Rough isn´t the word for it. Here he tells an interesting trucker´s tale. An Albini production, but you probably guessed that already. And we´ve reached the end of this Wild Weekend with a hypnotic krautrock ode to the apparently fair city of Düsseldorf by Thomas ´Neu!´ Dinger und freunde. Sometimes a whisper is all you need. Vorsicht!

Killdozer - The Buzzard MP3
La Düsseldorf - Düsseldorf MP3

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Free Beer

Thirsty weather indeed folks. So why not crack a beer or two... Bottle or can, don´t matter none. Try a Moritz, the great beer of Barcelona. For The Sake Of The Song will provide a fitting six pack soundtrack. "We went down, lit up the shack, grabbed me a beer out of the sack..." And don´t forget to try and sing along to the Splodge track after a couple of pints.

Lambchop - The Man Who Loved Beer MP3
Big Bill Lister - There´s A Tear In My Beer MP3
Andy Reynolds - Beer Bottle Mama MP3
Beck - Beercan MP3
Rocky Bill Ford & His Sunset Wranglers - Beer Drinking Blues MP3
Splodgenessabounds - Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps Please MP3

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Guilt Trip

"Three years she´s been in a coma,
In a hospital in Paul´s Valley, Oklahoma..."

A spooky ballad on the theme of guilt by Johnny Dowd, former mover turned rock & roller at the ripe age of fifty. Johnny´s the real deal alright. Dostoyevsky with a guitar. Crime and punishment. Dark, dark stuff.

"No woman´s flesh but hers will I touch,
No woman´s flesh but hers...
I go to visit her three times a week,
And when I leave I kiss her on the cheek..."

Johnny Dowd - No Woman´s Flesh But Hers MP3

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Wild Weekend Vol. 31

Right at its tail end, here´s another edition of Wild Weekend, which means the iPod shuffle once again came up with a flaming six pack of goodies. This week it´s all about getting your fortune told, running the voodoo down while blood runs down King Street, meeting the Venus de Milo, and chasing a vampire. All for a price of course. All for a price.

We´ll get this show on the road with a track from one of my all-time fave albums: the amazing Marquee Moon. An organic musical entity if ever there was one, Television defined artrock for years to come. And no one ever came close. "Didja feel low? Not at all... Huh?" I´ve never been too fond of jazz fusion to be honest, as it often tends to disappear up its own backside, mindboggling virtuosity notwithstanding. But I have to make an exception for that revolutionary 1970 Miles masterpiece called Bitches Brew. Jazzy on the outside, funky on the inside, now that´s how you run the voodoo down.

Television - Venus MP3
Miles Davis - Miles Runs The Voodoo Down MP3

Recently saw Werner Herzog´s brilliant movie Nosferatu on the telly again, and it struck me just how perfect the soundtrack by krautrockers Popol Vuh accompanied the on-screen action. Or is the fact that their music works just as good on its own, as the minimalist Höre, Der Du Wagst shows, an even bigger feat? Anyway, it´s time for a Vuh revival, folks. New Orleans soul singer Benny Spellman is best known for his cool hit single Lipstick Traces, but the uptempo Fortune Teller should have been an even bigger smash. No wonder the Stones covered it early in their career. Listen up and get your fortune told for free.

Popol Vuh - Höre, Der Du Wagst MP3
Benny Spellman - Fortune Teller MP3

Vivian Jackson a.k.a. Yabby You, who sadly passed away last January, was a Christian dread who recorded an amazing oeuvre both as a singer and as a producer. Never really famous during his heyday, his talent was finally recognized in the nineties thanks to the tireless work of reggae reissue label Blood & Fire. This heavy heavy track comes from the much-recommended Deliver Me From My Enemies (´77). And for the last song in this weekend´s installment, we turn to one of the best postpunk singles ever: We Are All Prostitutes by Bristol´s finest avant-funk noisemakers The Pop Group. "Everyone has their price..." Right? You bet.

Yabby You - Blood A Go Run Down King Street MP3
The Pop Group - We Are All Prostitutes MP3

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sugar Pie

You just can´t fail when a soul singer is called Sugar Pie DeSanto, right? Right. Sugar Pie, whose given name was the equally amazing Umpeylia Marsema Balinton, was given her sweet stage moniker by bandleader Johnny ´Handjive´ Otis. She enjoyed her biggest smash in 1960 with I Want To Know on Chess by way of the small Velltone label, but I personally prefer the grittier I Don´t Wanna Fuss from ´64. "Now I know that you´ve been playing with some other girl in town, but I´m willing to forgive and forget if you just settle down..."

Sugar Pie DeSanto - I Want To Know MP3
Sugar Pie DeSanto - I Don´t Wanna Fuss MP3

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Patsy Won´t You Give Me A Sign

"Patsy Cline is the only one who could understand just how I´m feeling tonight..." Or: how the Guthries invoke the ghost of a legendary country queen. They need Patsy´s help ´to make her mine´, you see... Which is swiftly followed by a wonderful ditty from the lady in question.

The Guthries - Patsy Cline MP3
Patsy Cline - She´s Got You MP3

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Wild Weekend Vol. 30

Edition number 30 of Wild Weekend is upon us, so let´s consult the iPod shuffle like the ancient Greeks once did with the oracle of Delphi. What do the musical gods have in store for us this time around? Some ska, some flamenco, some pure pop, some folk, some grunge, and some Lou, who´s a genre in his own right. Not bad, gods. Not bad. I´ll give you that.

Let´s get going with a creepy and beautiful folksong from the pen of Jackson C. Frank, he of Blues Run The Game fame. I know it´s only August, but one can´t get in the Halloween mood soon enough, right? Frank´s life story is quite a tragic one btw: you can read all about it here. Keep them hankies ready. "The fathers are lined up by the coffins by the Statue of Bigotry... you better hold on, something's happening here..." That´s uncle Lou of course, with a slightly hiphop-influenced track from his still impressive New York. An album like a Paul Auster novel, and incidentally his last masterpiece as well, under the oh-so-true motto ´you can´t beat two guitars, bass and drums´.

Jackson C. Frank - Halloween Is Black As Night MP3
Lou Reed - Hold On MP3

"Earlier than expected, a little premature madonna, earlier than expected..." Pop bliss from the Posies, from what I consider to be their best album, Frosting On The Beater (´93). Buy forthwith if you´ve missed this one for some reason; you´ll find the ´tempest of tomorrow´ much easier to face. Been awhile since we heard some flamenco around here, and that´s a shame. Luckily, my amigo and hardcore aficionado Koen from Holanda just sent me a new batch of hot Spanish gypsy sounds. So without further ado, here´s the wonderfully named Tio Gregorio El Borrico, also known as El Borrico De Jerez. And in case you need a translation: he urges you not to speak ill of anyone.

The Posies - Earlier Than Expected MP3
Tio Gregorio El Borrico - No Hables Mal De Nadie MP3

Remember Mule? Grungy Zeppelin meets Black Flag rifferama, with just enough of that weirdness to keep things interesting. Could that be the one and only Steve Albini firmly entrenched behind the mixing desk? If that sounds heavy, check out Hayride and bang head. And Wild Weekend #30 comes to an end already with a hilarious and slightly risqué ska excursion from the early years of that Jamaican wizard supreme known as Lee Perry. The lady wants roast duck, and Scratch just spent his last buck... What to do now?

Mule - Hayride MP3
Lee ´Scratch´ Perry - Roast Duck MP3