Tuesday, February 27, 2007

I don't know where she's going to

I don't know what she's gonna do

Monday, February 26, 2007

Popes update

A while back I posted something about the Popes EP. Because of that, I just found out that 3 of The original Popes are now playing in a band called The Public Good. They've got a show this Thursday (March 1) at the Grog & Tankard in Washington, DC. I wish I could be there. I wonder if they'll play any old Popes songs?

Happy birthday!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Wish she was mine, she looks so good

Are teenage dreams so hard to beat?
Everytime she walks down the street
Another girl in the neighbourhood
Wish she was mine, she looks so good

I wanna hold her wanna hold her tight
Get teenage kicks right through the night

I'm gonna call her on the telephone
Have her over cos i'm all alone
I need exitement oh i need it bad
And its the best, i've ever had

I wanna hold her wanna hold her tight
Get teenage kicks right through the night

I wanna hold her wanna hold her tight
Get teenage kicks right through the night
- John O'Neill

(OK, one more kick)

O Yes

Friday, February 23, 2007



Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Not on the outside

Good news! Here's another post from no-often-enough contributor Jim C.:

I found an old album a few weeks back while at the thrift store. It's by the Moments, the old streetcorner harmony group, and it's called NOT ON THE OUTSIDE, BUT ON THE INSIDE, STRONG!, which may qualify as the best r&b album title since THE YOUNG MOD'S FORGOTTEN STORY by the Impressions. It's a terrific album on several levels. For one thing, it represents two different lineups of the Moments: an earlier, somewhat rougher-edged group fronted by one Johnny Morgan, and the more famous soft-soul trio that usually featured falsetto lead Billy Brown. The reasons for the personnel change are unclear but somehow the album hangs together quite well in spite of the behind-the-scenes turmoil. It also stands as a sort of missing link in the history of black streetcorner harmony, with some cuts looking backward by emulating earlier songwriting and production styles ("You Make Me Feel Good" could be a Temptations song, while "Understanding" sounds positively archaic, like Nolan Strong & The Diablos circa 1956), some rooted securely in their own late '60s milieu ("Somebody Loves You, Baby" and the big hit "Love On A Two-Way Street" clearly had Thom Bell's work with the Delfonics as inspiration, or maybe I have that backwards...), and one with a rather innovative production touch ("I Won't Do Anything" has a flattop acoustic rhythm guitar, something almost unheard of on black radio until years later).

It was issued on the Stang label, a subsidiary of Sylvia and Joe Robinson's mini-empire All-Platinum. Sylvia was the saucy kitten on 1956's "Love Is Strange", by Mickey & Sylvia; she went on to coo "Pillow Talk" on her own in '73 before serving as midwife to hip hop when she put out the Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight" in '79. Anything with her name on the credits is worth springing for.

As for the Moments, they went on to more soft-soul smashes through the mid '70s (my favorite is 1975's "Look At Me, I'm In Love") before switching to the Polydor label and having to shed their name (Sylvia owned it, and since they weren't the original lineup it was payback time anyway) and becoming Ray, Goodman & Brown, a name they could keep. They had an immediate smash, the great "Special Lady", in 1980, with a shimmering production around a tremolo guitar that sounded for all the world like it belonged on Not On The Outside.... They had more r&b hits, but "Special Lady" stands as streetcorner harmony's last kiss on the pop charts. They're still out there today, keeping faith with the sound they made their mark with back in the late '60s.
Anybody got a copy of the Moment's LIVE AT THE NEW YORK STATE WOMEN'S PRISON album? Any good? Does the record live up to it's title?

Monday, February 19, 2007

It's a shame your ride didn't go far

The upcoming movie has caused a lot of interest in Edie Sedgwick. Last time there was resurgence in interest in Sedgwick, it was much harder to find out any information about her. Jean Stein’s great biography was just about the only thing available. Which is probably why this song about Sedgwick is not entirely accurate. Brix Smith wrote the song while she was in college, probably even before the Stein biography was published in 1982.

Released in 1986, “Edie” was the second single from Fall guitarist Brix Smith’s Adult Net project. Just about everybody involved was in the Fall. Karl Burns was 'Mask' Aiechmann, Silki Guth was Craig Scanlon and Simon Rogers used the name Ottersley Kipling. Mark E. Smith provided percussion as Count Gunther Hoalingen. John Leckie produced the session under the name Swami Anand Nagara, a name he also used when he produced the Dukes Of Stratosphear sessions for XTC.

The two songs on the flip are both originals, one pretty good one not so good written by Brix & Simon Rogers, I mean Ottersly Kipling.

There’s a lot of Sedgwick stuff available on the interweb. Some pretty good sites, a few bad ones. Youtube has a lot of videos available, most of them using the same still photos and Warhol film clips as the others. You only need to watch one of them, they all look the same. Some of them use Velvet Underground for soundtrack music. For some strange reason, one of the videos uses a Raconteurs song. None of them use “Edie”, probably because it’s not that easy to find. None of the clips I watched use a Bob Dylan song for the soundtrack. Cowards.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

You ain't

got nothin'

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Live Neats

A while back, I posted a thing about The Neats, my favorite early eighties band. I mentioned that I had heard rumors about tapes of early live shows by the band and wondered if any were still available. They are. Let me know if you want a non-mp3 copy. Trades can be arranged.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Virtually so


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Walking through the flowers

Miana and me

Monday, February 12, 2007

Back to Des Moines

Another request for a rerun:

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, Mississippi.

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 in 1995. Bassist Trey Batson became Baron von Rumblebuss

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 (reunited!). And Jimbo Mathus has more stuff since then. He’s moved back to Mississippi, built a studio and got a job playing guitar for Buddy Guy.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Call Him up

and tell Him

Saturday, February 10, 2007

We need

Friday, February 09, 2007

You cause me to wonder

Don Bryant was one of the lesser lights at Hi records. Only on Hi Records could a singer that could make records this good be considered a lesser light. Bryant is better known for writing producing records for Ann Peebles, who was also his wife. He co-wrote the great “I Can’t Stand The Rain” for her. Al Green sang some of Bryant’s songs, so did Otis Clay and O.V. Wright.

But Don Bryant didn’t write either of these songs. The great Sir Mack Rice wrote both sides of this 45. A Mack Rice writing credit is always a sign that a record is gonna be good.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Earth people!

Hear me and hear me well!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Beneath the blade

Monday, February 05, 2007

Still serious

By request, here's a repost of something from last year:

OK, this is a good record. I want to say that up front because now I’m going to say that it isn’t all that great. Most of the reviews I’ve seen compare ARE YOU SERIOUS? to Big Star's RADIO CITY. Some go as far as saying it's the second best power pop LP of the seventies. Nope. Sure, Van Duren is from Memphis but that alone doesn’t make this record better than any of the other power pop records that came out in the seventies. There some moments that really do sound like Big Star but that’s understandable. Van Duren had been playing in bands with Chris Bell and Jody Stephens and auditioned for Big Star in the last days of that band.

But like I said, this is a good record. Several of the songs are shoulda-been-a-hit great. The record did get some airplay in 1977 but I guess it wasn’t enough. The record was made while Duren was living in NYC. The record came out on Jon Tiven’s Big Sound label, maybe they couldn’t get the record into stores. The album was released in Europe under the name STARING AT THE CEILING. Oh yeah, the cover has the same problem that a lot of mid seventies LP covers had. It’s ugly.

After ARE YOU SERIOUS?, Van Duren recorded another LP (that wasn’t released until 2003) called IDIOT OPTIMISM. Then he moved back to Memphis and spent years playing in a popular Memphis band called Good Question. That band broke up in 1999 and Duren formed a band with another Memphis legend named Tommy Hoehn. He has also recorded a third solo LP that was released in 2005.

Lucky Seven Records has announced that they will be re-issuing ARE YOU SERIOUS? this spring.

NOTE: The reissue isn't out yet. It's still listed as coming in 2006 on the Lucky Seven website.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

The rain

don't fall on me

Friday, February 02, 2007

The Premiers (Re-Re-)Post

It's been two years since the blog started. Here's a repost of the very first thing I put up. I still don't know anything more about this great record. Somebody has got to know something more!

A couple days before Christmas, I went to Sunburst Records to pick up some Dusty Springfield CDs for my wife. Jay had a 3 huge stacks of 45's that he was giving away. Somebody brought them in to sell and Jay didn't offer them enough money so they left all of the records at the store cause they didn't feel like carrying the box back home. This was one of the first records I looked at and I knew it was gonna be a good stack of records. It was a nice clean 45 with a bright pink label. It just looked good.

I don't know anything about this record other than the information that's on the label. Big Top records was based in New York City but The Premiers don't sound like a New York band. I think the A-side was "Oogsy-Moo" which is a cover of a Jessie Hill song. Naturally enough, this sounds like a New Orleans R&B band. But the other side of the record is a rockabilly instrumental called "Locomotive".
This song was written by somebody named Dale Kahrr. I can't find any information about him either. What's going on? Does anybody know anything about this record?

I checked the Rockin' Country Style website and it looks like the Premiers record came out sometime between April of '62 and March of '63. Nothing about The Premiers or Dale Kahrr though.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Precious words

The Wallace Brothers were a sextet of brothers and cousins out of Atlanta GA. A young sextet. They were 14 to 16 years old when this record came out on Sims records in 1964. The group started out as a gospel act. They were able to get "Precious Words" on mainstream radio by dropping the religious references.

For me, the sax makes “You’re Mine” the better song of the two. I think the Wallace Brothers recorded both songs in Muscle Shoals but it’s obvious that they played all their own instruments instead of using studio musicians. Good for them.

The record was the groups second single and spent six weeks on the charts but never made the top 100. Mrs. Wallace was a heck of a businesswoman. She managed to get the band signed to six different contracts. All at the same time.
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