Tuesday, October 31, 2006

I can take you away

let me show you the rest of the way

Come on you swingers

the big head said

I don't care if you don't want me,

I'm yours

It's spooky,

it's spooky

Monday, October 30, 2006

Long doorbells

If you really love me,

you'd let me eat your brains


in the graveyard

Sunday, October 29, 2006


Friday, October 27, 2006

"It's a Lou Reed song"

(it's not really a Lou Reed song.)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

More reruns

I've had a couple requests to post some older things.

First, I renewed the yousendit links on Mondo North Carolina.

And here's a a Dr. Janet post from last summer:

This record is the only single I know of by Dr. Janet, an indie supergroup from the time before the members were famous. Or somewhat less obscure anyway. Screaming Trees guitarist Grant Lee Connor sings and plays guitar. Connor wrote the excellent a-side “Ten Years Gone” Ira Kaplan from Yo La Tengo plays bass & guitar and I’m pretty sure that’s him singing “Starry Eyes”, the Records cover on the b-side. Lyle Hysen, the drummer for Das Damen, played ‘drums and wires’. Matt Sweeny, who played bass and guitar on the songs that Kaplan didn’t play on, had been in Skunk who did a couple of great records on Twin\Tone in the late 80’s and later played in Chavez.

I don’t know any of the history around this record or the band. The songs were recorded at Water Music in Hoboken in 1990. The record was the first release on Ringers Lactate Records. The way the songs cut off at the end makes me think that the band wasn’t recording the songs deliberately, it’s more likely that they were fooling around in the studio while the tapes were rolling. I wonder what else Dr. Janet recorded that day?

Where are they now? Gary Lee Conner recorded a few more albums with Screaming Trees and became famous. I don’t know what he’s been doing since the Trees broke up in 2000. Ira Kaplan is still playing guitar and singing for Yo La Tengo. After Chavez, Matt Sweeny played in Billy Corgan’s Zwan and Guided by Voices. Currently, Matt is touring and recording with Bonnie Prince Billie. Lyle Hysen worked at Matador Records and then he moved to Bankrobber Music. Hysen’s name was in the news a few days ago which reminded me of this 45 and led to this post.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Time everlasting

time to play b-sides

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Percussion Exotique

Exotica records were popular in 1959 and Tops Records specialized in cashing in on popular records. The label had Robert Drasnin, a UCLA music student, on staff and told him to write a album of songs copying Martin Denny's style as closely as possible. He did and the album is terrific. Denny must have liked the imitation, he hired Drasnin to co-write songs on Denny’s LATIN VILLAGE album.

Salli Terry does the great wordless vocals, John Williams (yeah, the Star Wars guy) plays piano on some of the songs . The other players are all session pros. This song is esp. good. I enjoy this record as much as the Denny and Lyman records it was supposed to be cashing in on.

Tops released the record twice, once as VOODOO and again in 1964 as PERCUSSION EXOTIQUE. I’ve never seen the VOODOO album but I do see PERCUSSION EXOTIQUE fairly often. Dionysus Records released VOODOO on CD in 1996. I think it’s still available.

Before enrolling at UCLA, Drasnin had played saxophone & clarinet in Les Brown’s Band of Renown, Tommy Dorsey’s band and the Red Norvo Quintet.

This was Robert Drasnin’s only album under his name. He spent the next forty years doing music for TV shows. Mission Impossible, Lost In Space, The Twilight Zone are only a few of the places where you’ll hear his work. Drasnin was also the music director for CBS entertainment. If that wasn’t enough, he has also been teaching film music compsition at UCLA and recording with Skip Heller, among other things.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Truckstop Gondolero

Last week, I mentioned that Michael Rother and Klaus Dinger of Neu! had played a TV show with Florian Schneider while they were still members of Kraftwerk. Here it is:

That's Rother on guitar, Dinger playing drums and Schneider playing the flute.

Thank you Master

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Neu! music

In 1971, Kraftwerk asked guitarist Michael Rother and drummer Klaus Dinger play some live shows and a TV appearance. The duo’s debut is great. Every song is terrific. Metronomic rhythms, simple repetitive guitar lines and found sounds built up into hypnotic songs, it’s what the J.B.’s would sound like if they were androids. Post-punk started here. Neu!’s old bandmates in Kraftwerk got some inspiration from it too. Nobody else sounded like this in 1971. “Hallogallo” was a hit, John Peel liked the song and played it quite a bit. If you only want one Neu! album, get this one.

Hoping to keep the momentum going, Neu! recorded a 45. This record wasn’t a hit but somebody in Stereolab must’ve heard it.

The next record NEU! 2 has everything working against it. The duo was starting to have musical differences and the label did not give them enough time or money to record a complete album. So they didn’t. Side two of the LP is the two songs from the single repeated at various speeds and directions. One version is a cassette being played on a faulty tape deck. Despite the manipulation and studio tricks, the album works and holds up better than most records released in 1973. This album does have my very favorite Neu! song as the album opener.

Then Neu! collapsed. Klaus Dinger started a rock trio called La Dusseldorf with his brother Thomas and Hans Lampe, Neu!’s engineer. Michael Rother recorded an album with Cluster, another German duo. The trio called themselves Harmonia and the LP is worth hunting down.

In 1975, Neu! put their differences aside long enough to record one more album. Side 1 is Rother’s, three elegant instrumentals that would’ve fit on the first LP. I also hear hints of what David Bowie and Brian Eno would be doing a few years later. Side 2 is Dinger’s and it’s unlike anything Neu! had done before. It’s Rock. No roll, just Rock. It’s been called punk but I don’t hear that myself. The band I hear is the Feelies. It’s much louder and tougher the Feelies ever were but I hear them in these songs.

And then Neu! broke up again. Dinger went back to La Dusseldorf, Rother produced the next Cluster record and then joined that duo for another album as Harmonia. Collect ‘em all!

All hail the other king!

Happy birthday Chuck Berry!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Back in jail

Sunday, October 15, 2006


gonna be here

Friday, October 13, 2006

Blinking on and off,

it's the queen of eyes

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Mondo North Carolina

Kinda by request, I’m posting two complete albums. They’re both compilations of North Carolina bands released by Dolphin Records out of Durham NC.

The first album, MONDO MONTAGE, came out in 1983. This one features bands that had been around the NC music scene for a few years, some as far back as the early seventies. There’s some cliché new wavy sounds and too many of the songs are kinda blah. The Police were very popular that year. The high point (for me anyway) is the demo version of Let’s Active’s “Room With A View” but there are a couple other pretty good songs. Yes, you’ve got to get the whole thing to get the Let’s Active song. Stop complaining, the Rick Rock songs are good too. So are a few of the others.

Side One
Side Two

MORE MONDO came out in ’85 and features younger NC bands with just one act carried over from the previous LP. Well, Don Dixon was in Arrogance but he's solo here. I think these are the first appearances of The Connells, Fetchin’ Bones and Southern Culture On The Skids. The Rick Rock has a good song on this one too. In my opinion, it’s a much more interesting record but I’m sure there are people that like the first one more.

Side One
Side Two

Another very good NC compilation from the same era is WELCOME TO COMBOLAND which you can read about here. Also, there is a COMBOLAND podcast here.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

A few things

The Royal Court of China is playing it's twentieth anniversary show at the Exit/In in Nashville this Friday. Tommy Womack is the opening act. I'm planning on being there if at all possible.

A few months ago, I posted a song by a Huntsville band called the Thomas Function. The band has a 3-song 7" single out on DNH Records. Get one!

Also, The Oxford American Southern music issue is out. You should get one of those too. The CD has 24 songs and the magazine is full of stories about the songs and performers on the CD. Joe Liggins & The Honeydrippers, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, The Swan Silvertones, We The People, Muhammad Ali, Sun Ra, Richard Hell & The Voidoids and Sam Cooke are among the performers included.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Way down inside

You need coolin', baby, I'm not foolin',
I'm gonna send you back to schoolin',
Way down inside honey, you need it,
I'm gonna give you my love,
I'm gonna give you my love.

Wanna Whole Lotta Love

You've been learnin', baby, I bean learnin',
All them good times, baby, baby, I've been yearnin',
Way, way down inside honey, you need it,
I'm gonna give you my love, I'm gonna give you my love

Wanna Whole Lotta Love

You've been coolin', baby, I've been droolin',
All the good times I've been misusin',
Way, way down inside, I'm gonna give you my love,
I'm gonna give you every inch of my love,
Gonna give you my love.

Wanna Whole Lotta Love

Way down inside, woman, you need love.

Shake for me, girl. I wanna be your backdoor man.
Keep it coolin', baby.

-Bonham/Jones/Page/Plant (and Dixon)

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Walk around,

walk around Heaven all day

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Boltcutters & beer

I’ve heard that Vomit Launch got together as an excuse to drink beer and chose a suitable name for that sort of hobby. The band was never great but they came really close a few times. The band released 4 LPs, some singles and a few cassettes between 1985 and 1992. There are some very pretty moments on all of the records, the best being a cover of “Block Of Wood” that tops the original by the Bats.

The band released a live-in-the-studio 7” called BOLTCUTTERS & BEER on their own Mad Rover label in 1991. It was the first Vomit Launch record I ever bought, I liked it enough to hunt down the earlier (and better) albums. It’s never been re-issued or released on CD. There are three originals (including the band's theme song) and an interesting choice for a cover song. The band sounds like they had had a few beers that night. A couple of CDs are still available.

The band's bass player Larry Crane has been busy with other projects, you can read a lot more about him here.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The world is waiting

Jim C. has sent another post. Enjoy!:

In the mid '60s my future step-grandmother vacationed in Fort Lauderdale and brought back an autographed LP by the lounge act in the hotel where she stayed, and many years later I found it buried in the closet of the bedroom I occupied after my mom remarried. Ronnie Prophet played guitar and sang, usually hits of the day ("King Of The Road" on this album was probably typical), in a solo act that encompassed the mainstream pop of Dean Martin, the pop-folk of Trini Lopez and the crossover country of Roger Miller, Don Gibson and others (his show even included impressions of famous singers). He was one of many who worked in this idiom that blurred the distinctions between lounge-y genres, and he's reportedly still at it, working in Branson now. But what made him special was his staggering guitar work, which brings us to the track at hand. Here he is playing a version of "The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise", throwing Les Paul-style go-for-broke improv over Travis-picked accompaniment as jaunty as Merle himself. If anyone out there is familiar with those two guitar icons, you probably know how difficult doing either one of those things would be, let alone doing both simultaneously! Anyway, his tasty whammy bar at the top sounds like he's playing for Ellie Mae beside the cement pond, but the best part of the track is when he switches pickups on his guitar at the end of the first chorus and suddenly you hear a police radio crackling from his amp.

Thanks Jim!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

"They sound like silt seeping on the ocean floor"

Because Marc O. mentioned them - and because I don't have anything else ready to post - here's some songs by Tangerine Dream. I do like the earlier stuff, 1977 is my cutoff, but the later soundtrack stuff is boring. And this is a band that was boring to begin with.

"Circulation Of Events" is from 1973, most of the early stuff is good. More than one song features Edgar Froese playing a coffee machine. Not this one though. Sorry.

Next up is "Rubycon Part 2" "Part 1" is pretty much the same thing. This is my favorite Tangerine Dream album. It's not a desert island disc though. I'd rather hear Can, Neu!, Faust, Kraftwerk or Ash Ra Tempel than anything by Tangerine Dream.

And finally, this one. Mostly because I like the electric piano that starts up at 6 minutes or so. And it has a good title.

Sunday, October 01, 2006


with the old canoe.
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