Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Für Immer

If you go to New Orleans

you ought to go see the Mardi Gras.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Want to be a narrator

The Hindu Love Gods started out as a side band consisting of the instrument playing contingent from R.E.M. with Bryan Cook (from Time Toy) singing. If I remember correctly, the idea was to play parties and the clubs that R.E.M. had grown too big to play. In 1984, Warren Zevon achieved godhood when he moved to Athens GA to do some recording. The band went into the studio with John Keane in 1984 and recorded some songs. That’s where this 45 comes from. IRS Records finally got around to releasing it in 1986. The songs are a good cover of an Easybeats song and an unreleased R.E.M. song about a guy with a Jacques Cousteau fixation. Dig the watery guitars! Warren Zevon is playing guitar, I guess. Otherwise, I don’t hear him it all.

In 1987, R.E.M. backed up Zevon on his pretty good SENTIMENTAL HYGIENE album. The Hindu Love Gods had been playing some of the songs since way back in 1984. The band (minus Cook) recorded some songs, mostly blues standards with a couple of notable exceptions, live in the studio during the SENTIMENTAL sessions. That batch of songs was released in 1990. If I remember correctly, R.E.M. did not know the songs were going to be released and wasn’t happy when the record came out. Some people think it’s great, I don’t. The band doesn’t sound like they’re having much fun and that’s not good thing for a bunch that started out as a party band.

The original Hindu Love Gods 45 was included with some copies of the vinyl version of HINDU LOVE GODS, I guess to remind people about what they missed the first time around.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Hey, Reverend!

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Hey, punk rocker!

Do you wanna punk rock with me?

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Indians comin’

Since the mid-18th century, there has been a tradition of Mardi Gras Indians in New Orleans. Large groups of working class blacks will dress up in ornate ‘Indian’ outfits unlike anything that Native Americans would ever have worn. These tribes go out and dance in the streets to chants and their own drumming. You can read more about the ritual if you want.

Two of the tribes released records.

The Wild Magnolias (led by Big Chief Bo Dollis) were the first tribe to do any recording. The tribe recorded a great 45 called “Handa Wanda” In 1974, Phillipe Rault from France’s Barclay Records recorded an album came out on Polydor that same year. The songs were from the pool of street chants that you would hear during Mardi Gras. On the record though, there is a great backup band led by Willie Tee and featuring Snooks Eaglin.

Two years later, The Wild Tchoupitoulas (led by Chief George Landry) recorded an LP for Island records. The songs are also based on the same bunch of street chants. The Meters are the backup band for the Tchoupitoulis. Actually, the Meters may not have existed without the Wild Tchoupitoulis. Landry is the Neville Brothers uncle, he convinced his nephews to start a rhythm section to back up his tribe.

So who wins the battle of the bands? I say it’s a tie. The Magnolias win on individual songs but the Wild Tchoupitoulas have a better LP, the songs flow together, it’s hard to pick out one track as being better than the others.

Both tribes are still active on the streets of New Orleans. The Wild Magnolias recorded one more LP in the Seventies and several more since then. Polydor released a CD of the first Wild Magnolias LP with outtakes and B-sides a few years ago, I wish I had a copy. Go to the Wild Magnolias website and download the great 45 version of “Handa Wanda” from 1969. The Wild Tchoupitoulas never recorded another album.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Here I am

and there they go.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Yeah, I know it's noisy

But I had to get this record when I found this record at when I found it at a flea market a few years ago. The guy charged me a quarter for this record and Louis Jordan's "That Chick's Too Young Too Fry". I didn’t even have a 78 player at the time but the it was too good a deal to pass up!

The Delta Rhythm Boys were students at Langston University and were the first group to sing gospel style arrangements of secular material and secular versions of gospel favorites. This style made the group very popular in the late thirties and early forties. The group backed up Mildred Bailey, Ella Fitzgerald, Ruth Brown and other singers, they were also in movies with Bing Crosby and Rita Hayworth. Even better, The Delta Rhythm Boys appeared on the Amos & Andy radio show. In 1955, the group traveled to Paris to play a New Year’s Eve show at the Moulin Rouge and ended up staying for a year, eventually they moved to Europe permanently. They continued to perform up to the death of Lee Gaines in 1987. Ex-member Hugh Bryant sang at Gaines funeral, he finished his song and fell dead on the spot.

I posted something about Jimmy Ricks a while back. Ricks said that he decided to become a singer after hearing the Delta Rhythm Boys.

Hey! Mr Lincoln.

When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That's my religion. - Abraham Lincoln

Sunday, February 19, 2006

I've got

two wings.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Violin, sing the blues for me

My wife got me some CDs for Valentine's day and I've been listening to one called VIOLIN, SING THE BLUES FOR ME all day. It's some of the best old music I've heard in a long time. Old Hat Records takes their time putting out discs (only five since 1997) but they do them right. The sound is great and the notes are well written and fun to read. Highly recommended!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

?ris, uoy t'now niaga ti od od, lotipaC

Travis Wammack started playing guitar when he was eight and first record came out when he was twelve. He was discovered playing on a street corner by Eddie Bond and started opening up shows for Warren Smith & Carl Perkins. Soon he was playing drums for Charlie Feathers.

In 1964, Chet Atkins chose not to release one of the greatest records EVER - "Scratchy" - because it scared him. I don't know if he listened to the B-side but I'm sure it would have scared him too. Wammack's producer, Roland Janes, let him be creative in the studio including using a playing through a drive-in movie speaker and a homemade fuzzbox made out of a tape recorder.

Wammack & Janes recorded a few more great songs but there were no hits. He became a session musician in Muscle Shoals Alabama, recording with Clarence Carter, Aretha Franklin, Bobbie Gentry, Lou Rawls, and the Osmond Brothers. Later on, Wammack spent 10 years leading Little Richard's backup band.

Yes, this is another repeat. Travis Wammack is playing at the KaffeeKlatsch in Huntsville on Saturday. If you’re in North Alabama, you should be there.

Monday, February 13, 2006

You'll agree that you'd like to be

It’s been a while since I posted any Huntsville garage so here’s a record by the Rocks. I think these two songs are better. “Love City” is great, I think it’s the best song on the three singles I’ve heard by the band. The B-side is good too. Both songs were written by Randy Lee Duck. The Rocks third single was a song called "Because We're Young" and it's been comped several times. None of the Rocks other records have been available anywhere else.

I don’t know much about the Rocks. They were active in ’65 and ’66 and recorded 2 singles for local DJ Sonny Limbaugh’s Gold Master label. "Because We're Young" was on Woody Richardson's Woodrich label. The people around here that do remember The Rocks don't remember who the members were. Maybe they changed the name of the band and kept playing. Does anyone know anything more?

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Ever walking beside me

never will deny me.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

My baby got drunk,

called me on the phone.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Designed to be played till you die

The second Pianosaurus album never came out but this strange 45 did. Swanic Youth was a pretty good joke on 3 bands. And some fans that didn’t ever catch on. I don’t know if any Bon Jovi fans ever heard the record, I’m sure they would not have been amused. The single around the same time as the LP and released by Mykel Board on his Only Record Label In The World label.

Sonic Yoot” is Stephen Dansiger, Bianca “Flystrip” Miller from Pianosaurus and Peter Holsapple is singing (I think). “Swanic Youth” is Dansiger all by himself. I think it's the better of the two songs.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

A funny thing happened...

I didn’t think I’d like this record when I first heard about it. There was no way that a band playing toy instruments could be worth listening to. There were a lot of jokes when we got the promo copy in at Cat’s Records. After about a half day of fun, somebody got around to putting the record on. We were wrong. The record was really good then and still sounds good today. After you’ve listened to it a for few minutes, you forget that the sounds are being made on toys.

I never knew a whole lot about Pianosaurus, I don’t remember ever seeing any magazine articles about the band while they were still together. I think they had been playing for a couple years when GROOVY NEIGHBORHOOD came out in 1987. Peter Holsapple of the dB’s produced the LP and I think he did a fine job.

Pianosaurus mostly played folk clubs and some rock places, there are a couple of self-released live cassettes from 1985 that I’ve never heard. The band members listed on the LP are Alex Garvin, Bianca ‘Flystrip’ Miller and Stephen Dansiger. I still don’t know what ‘Flystrip’ means but I did find an article about a country musician that played in a later lineup of the band. That guy did appear with the band when they played a song in the movie New York Stories.

The band was working on a second LP called BACK TO SCHOOL when Alex Garvin left town. He had decided that he didn’t want to play in a band anymore so he took his songs and went home. Bianca ‘Flystrip’ Miller and Stephen Dansiger have done some solo stuff, I’ve seen Dansiger’s CD but haven’t heard it.

GROOVY NEIGHBORHOOD is still available from Rounder Records. Every home should have one. And there are several other all-toy bands around including one that you may have actually heard of.

Stay tuned…

Monday, February 06, 2006

Would He really rather be Keith Richard

given half a chance?

Sunday, February 05, 2006

I have a feeling

that a mansion will be mine.

Ray Myers did not have any arms and played slide guitar with his toes. He also smoked cigarettes and drove a car with his feet.

Friday, February 03, 2006

When the needle starts flipping

That's where I'm gonna dig.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Another mystery record

Last weekend, I was flipping through my unfiled singles looking for the Premiers 45 that I posted the other day. Flipping by this one, I realized that I don’t know anything about it. Not only did I not remember where this record came from or when I got it. I didn’t even know what it sounded like so I played it. And it’s pretty good. Good enough that I would’ve remembered hearing it before. The best part is when he loses it about a minute and a half in and the band all stop to watch. Mamou namechecks Otis Redding on the fadeout which makes me think the record came out in ’68. The flip isn’t as good but Benny Hill would approve.

I tried to find out more Jimmy Mamou online. There is a bunch of stuff out there but none of it mentions this record. First there is a blues guitarist from San Francisco that owns a blues club in Zihuatanejo, Mexico. This could be his record, he was playing as far back as the early sixties. Also, he spelled his name Jimi Mamou sometimes.

Then there is this evangelist guy named Jimmy Mamou. Apparently he was in a band and jammed with Jimi Hendrix before he got religion. So which one did “Funky Love”? It seems unlikely that they are the same Jimmy Mamou. Would a guy that does prison revivals with the Billy Graham organization open a bar in Mexico?

And finally, I really don’t pay much attention to runout grooves but I was busy when the record ended didn't pick the needle up right away. This one sounded good. Maybe I’ll send it to the Tall Dwarfs.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

You don't love me

Yes I know.
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