Wednesday, August 31, 2005

In The City

This is a record that I've had for a while but I never listen to it all that much. I don't know why because it's a pretty good 45.

The band tried to bribe Peter Buck but into producing the record but things didn't go as planned:

"Those guys just showed up on my porch one day. They brought a six-pack of Budweiser. I wasn't there, so they drank it and left the empties and a note: "We're Woofing Cookies. We'd like you to produce our record." I was like, OK. We went in the studio and did it in about four hours. They were nice kids. Really young, like 19. I was pretty young, and they seemed a lot younger than me." - Peter Buck

So it turned out OK, Woofing Cookies got Buck to produce the A-side and they got to drink the beer too. The band produced the flip themselves.

The single came out in '85 on Midnight Records, there was an LP too but I never got around to getting that.

Len Vlahos, the Woofing Cookies guitar player, is now a muckety-muck at so think about Len next time you buy a book from an independent dealer.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Let 'em blow

Katrina blew through last night. We had a bunch of small limbs blow down and a lot of rain but that's about it. The Ol' Road Hog is OK, he drove up from New Orleans on Sunday, they made the 6 hour trip in just over twenty hours. I hope everybody else did OK, it appears that the guys over at Orbis Quintis made it through OK.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Everybody's Worried

About that atom bomb.

The Oxford American music issue is out. Go find a copy.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Electronic music and its creation

Robert Moog died last week. I tried to think of something to post and couldn't really think of anything appropriate until I rememebered this 1968 record by Beaver & Krause. It's called the NONE SUCH GUIDE TO ELECTRONIC MUSIC and it's a demonstration of the sounds that could be made on the early Moog synthesizers.

It's interesting to listen to but it's not something your likely to throw on at a party. I copied all of the names of the sounds and the times so you can follow along. The samples can bring songs to mind right away. The "White Sound" sample at the beginning of the filtering section reminds me of Joy Division or early Human League. And some of the sound descriptions are just waiting for Stereolab to write a song to go with them.

There's also two versions of the song by Beaver & Krause. The notes say they're different anyway, both of them sound pretty much the same to me.

Paul Beaver died in 1975. Bernie Krause stays busy doing Bio-Acoustic recordings.

I. Peace Three - 3:08
II. Signal Generators
A. Sine Waveform
1. Slow-Motion audible example - :05
2. Composition - :50
3. Harmonic Synthesis - :33
4. Non-harmonic Synthesis - :37
B. Sawtooth Waveform
1. Slow-motion (negative- and positive-going) - :12
2. Composition - :34
C. Rectangular Waveforms
1. Slow-Motion audible example (1/8-1/2) - :28
2. Composition (Using 1/8, 1/7, 1/3, 1/2) - :35
D. Triangular Waveform
1. Slow-motion audible example - :05
2. Composition - :20
E. White Sound Composition :13
III. Control Generators
A. Transient Generator, amplitude, frequency, and timbre modulating in slow-motion - :08
B. Sequential Voltage Sources, Composition - 1:55
IV. Frequency Modulation
A. Keyboard Control
1. 12-tone - :32
2. Quarter-tone (one real octave=2 keyboard octaves) - :40
3. Ditone (four real octaves played in keyboard range of one octave) - :31
4. Portamento - :23
B. Ribbon Control
C. Periodic
1. Vibrato 'S' (speed increases as pitch rises) - :28
2. Sine - higher frequency - :27
3. Sawtooth - swept - :38
4. Rectangular 1/2 Swept 'L2' - :32
5. Triangular - swept - :31
D. Periodics Combined
1. 3 Square waves at different frequencies - :28
2. 3 Triangular waves at different frequencies - :37
3. 4 Different waveforms '2l', '2n', '2v', '2s' at different frequencies - :46
E. White Sound - :12
F. Transient
1. Up an octave, back to pitch - :17
2. Up a 3rd, back to pitch - :07
3. Down an octave, back to pitch - :09
4. Down a 3rd, back to pitch - :13
V. Amplitude Modulation
A. Keyboard - :13
B. Ribbon Controller - :10
C. Periodic
1. Tremolo - :25
2. Sine - higher frequencies (S sweeping S) - :47
3. Sawtooth (negative- and positive-going swept) - :1:20
4. Rectangular 'L2' swept - :28
5. Triangular - swept - :50
D. Periodics Combined
1. 4 Square - :44
2. 3 Triangular - :23
3. 4 Different 'S', 'N', 'L2', 'V' - :23
E. White Sound - :38
F. Transient
1. Slow - :08
2. With rising pitch - :15
3. Staccato - :14
VI. Ring Modulation
1. Sine waves
A. Series of sub-audible constants - :2:00
B. Tune in parallel - :40
C. Tuned in opposite direction - :30
2. Sawtooth - :33
3. Rectangular 'L2' - :39
VII. Filtering
A. White Sound--with fixed filters selected 3rd octave - :25
B. White Sound--Tuned Filters
1. Broad - :43
2. Sharp - :25
C. Low-frequency sawtooth-tuning through harmonics - 1:05
D. Composition-tuning through 2nd, 3rd, 7th, and 16th harmonics - :50
E. Swept with ribbon controller - :40
F. Periodic
1. Sine-timbre vibrato effect - :25
2. Sine-variable rate and depth - :36
3. Sawtooth (descending and ascending) - :50
4. Rectangular 'L2' - :25
G. Transient (sawtooth with transient controlled filter)
1. Descending - :12
2. Ascending - :10
3. Ascending, peaking, descending - :09
4. Descending, peaking, ascending - :08
VIII. Tape Delay
1. Single repeat - :13
2. Multiple repeat - 2:55
IX. Peace Three (Recap) - 3:08

Friday, August 26, 2005

Happy Birthday!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

The Nights Are So Long

The Dead Boys recorded and released this reunion single in 1987. Almost all of the reviews were bad, of course I think it’s pretty good. “The Nights Are So Long” is very good. I may have put it on every tape I made in 1988 and 1989. Most of the Dead Boys biographies I’ve seen don’t mention the reunion. It's not that bad.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Uneasy Listening

Here's three more 'easy listening' songs. I wonder if any of these records got played more than once back in 1968?

Monday, August 22, 2005

Let It Be & Other Hits

Albums by The Living Guitars are always worth getting. There’s always a few songs worth hearing. I like the 1970 record LET IT BE & OTHER HITS just because the idea of a Muzak* version of “American Woman” is so weird and strange that you know the band were laughing themselves sick when they recorded it. The originals are good too, there are bits in this song that remind me of The Cure.

The Living Guitars were led by Al Caiola, who played on thousands of records.

*Muzak is the wrong word. These guys were not playing Muzak or easy listening. These songs do rock. Well, kinda. I like 'em anyway. Admit it. If I didn't tell you these songs were recorded by the Living Guitars, how many of you would have guessed correctly?

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Swing low, chariot

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Headless hodads driving Chevy Nomads

The southern culture that the original Southern Culture On The Skids sang about was very different from the southern culture that the later lineup celebrated. The trio is from a trailer park and plays songs about stock car racing. The original quartet lived in a shack in the middle of a swamp and played songs about love in other dimensions. They did not sing about food or wrestlers.

The band did one EP and an LP on their own Lloyd Street Records. Neither one is really great but there are some really good songs. Unfortunately, none of the old songs get played by the current trio. I did talk them into playing this song one night a long time ago. It’s still one of my favorite Southern Culture On The Skids songs.

Rick Miller is the only constant between the two lineups. The original singer and rhythm section started a band called Stan Lewis & The Rocking Revelers that still plays occasional shows.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


It's August, they're everywhere. It's loud out there.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Movin' On

Jazz fans don't like Jimmy Smith pop covers much. I think they sound just fine. As long as Jimmy's not singing.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Them Bones

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Good friends at most

Listening to this song today, I noticed how much it sounded like Guided By Voices. It seems a little bit slower than they would play it and it doesn't explode (or end) where a GbV song would but the sound is there. By the way, The Herbal Mixture was the Groundhogs recording under an assumed name in 1966. Robert Pollard could've heard this in high school.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Cafe Des Moines

This song takes me straight back to the fall of 1989. It was on the radio all the time when I was living in Tuscaloosa. I loved it back then but it has not aged well. The flip sounds better now than it did 15 years ago, which is strange because I didn’t like it very much back then.

The band was from either Starkville or Jackson, Mississippi. I never knew for sure which one it really was.

I think the band had pretty much dissolved by the time the record came out. I didn’t know very much about the band back then. A few years later, I found out where the drummer went. Glen Graham left Mississippi joined a band called Blind Melon that you may have heard on the radio a few times in 1995.

Also, Cafe Des Moines had a guitarist that doesn't appear on this record that went on to play in a few bands too. After the band broke up, he moved to North Carolina and played guitar in a band called Metal Flake Mother. When that band broke up, he taught his girlfriend how to play music and they started the Squirrel Nut Zippers. And Jimbo Mathus has done even better stuff since then. He’s moved back to Mississippi, started a band and a label, built a studio and got a job playing guitar for Buddy Guy.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Song of The Cove Creek Dam

“"He never did have worldly goods, because if they'd of had it, and seen someone else needed it, that's where it would have gone. He'd give a person the shirt on his back if they needed it worse that he did," said his daughter-in-law Anna Burnett, of Sharp's Chapel. Ruble Cleatus Burnett was 37 years old in 1935 when he wrote the "Song of the Cove Creek Dam." He had just purchased 50 acres of land, after having apparently rented it for some years, when the TVA land appraisers looked it over. He supported his wife and three children, his older brother, and mother in a three room house by the sale of chickens, eggs and a tobacco crop. His income in 1933 was $180, and his expenses on the farm just $30.75. He fed the family with two milk cows, two hogs, 50 chickens and 17 ducks, by TVA's count. The TVA interviewer also noted: "House is a small boxed one, and is equipped with very little furniture," indicating no car, radio, piano, phonograph, sewing machine, floor covering, or dining or living room furniture in the home. The interviewer considered Burnett "suspicious," and noted, "He said the T.V.A. was a bad thing for the people of this section," and, optimistically, "his conversation leeds altogether along the line that he believes the government will jip him But began to gather a different idea before I left him [sic]."

“"I believe what hurt him most was moving the graves," says Aundra Ditmore of Maryville, Burnett's daughter. He was hurt by the removal of his infant daughter, who died from meningitis, and his father's remains to a new cemetery, and he grieved for the families whom he felt would not be able to recover their loved ones in poorly marked or unmarked graves.

“As it turned out, Burnett did not have to move his family's home. TVA leased a right of way from him, but did not force him to a new location. For a couple of years he owned a guitar, and, rarely, sang for friends and neighbors. His son, Milus, remembers hearing him sing the Cove Creek Dam song only three or four times, but learned a number of the verses himself.

Norris Dam continued to affect his life. His daughter, Bonnie Sanford, remembered, "Someone asked Dad, 'what good are the C.C. boys?' He said, 'For son-in-laws.'" Both daughters married C.C.C. members from the nearby camp. He finally got electricity, around 1950, 14 years after the promise of it. He fished in Norris Lake occasionally, but more often scouted the banks for fishing tackle abandoned in the brush, which could be reused or resold.” --

Since Dr. Kirkland was unable to locate Cleatus Burnett, the song was by a Knoxville high school student named Eugene Wallace.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

The Devil Is Mad

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Always In A Jam

This is a record that I've had for so long that I'm not sure where it came from. I think I picked it up at a flea market in Bristol, Tennessee about 15 years ago. Before the internet came along, I had no clue who Paul Gayten or Oscar Wills were. I checked the books I had and at the library and never found anything about either one. But thanks to the internet, here's what you can learn in five minutes at Wikipedia & Google.

Paul Gayten was a popular & influential band leader in New Orleans. He worked with Annie Laurie, Lee Allen, Hank Mobley, and T.V. Slim, who recorded "Flatfoot Sam" under his real name: Oscar Wills.

This 45 was released on Argo records in 1957. T.V. Slim had already recorded a version of this same song for Cliff Records. Somebody at Argo liked the song but not the recording and sent T.V. Slim back to the studio with Paul Gayten's band to record it again.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

There's a river

I had been planning on posting something about the Squalls for a few weeks. Then I found out that somebody beat me to it and has a bunch of songs posted already. But they didn’t post what I think is the bands best song. I’ll go farther than that, this is one of the best songs to come out of Athens, GA ever. Top 10.

The Squalls were around for years, from 1981 to 1989. They did an EP and a single on their own Mbrella label and two albums for Jefferson Holt’s Dog Gone Records. Then they broke up.

Singer Bob Hay is now leading a folk band called The Jolly Beggars that specializes in the songs of Robert Burns. And maybe some Squalls songs.
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