Steve Bent "Going To Spain" (MP3)
Mark E. Smith has always had an ear for the perfect covers for the Fall to do, and since this breezy ditty got remade of 1993's Infotainment Scan LP, I've always wanted to hear the original. Lo and behold Irwin spun it last week and directed my attention to a Yuk/K-Tel compilation from 1978 title The World's Worst Record, compiled by UK DJ/comic Kenny Everett. This song was penned by Steve Bent, who performed it on a British TV show called New Faces in 1974, a sort of primitive precursor to American Idol where contestants did their own compositions. I love the whole naive tourist vibe, where the protaganist sings "Cousin Norman had a real fine time last year", being kept company by "tapes of Elton John" and says "I hope I can quickly learn the language", before the totally weird reverbed falsetto leap into the chorus. Makes a good segue to Three Dog Night's "I've Never Been To Spain", which coincidentally, I played on my last show before I, uh, went to Spain for the first time. I didn't quickly learn the language, but had a real fine time!
Reverend Charlie Jackson "Live" (MP3)
Kevin Nutt, host of WFMU's Sinners Crossroads started the Case Quarter label a few years back and has been sanctifying souls young and old with some powerful releases, the first of which was a collection of 1970's gospel singles by the Reverend Charlie Jackson. This disc packed so much raw power that everyone from Mojo to Rolling Stone was zapped by the holy thunderbolts delivered by the snakecharm guitar, ragged amp and booming voice of Jackson; garage rock gurus Crypt Records even put it out on vinyl, and singer Grey DeLisle recently did a cover song. Live documentation of Jackson (said to be at his peak in the 80's when the only place you could hear him was at festivals or gospel programs) is spotty at best, but thanks to Kevin we have an unreleased track for your Gawdfearing pleasure.
Black Lodge Singers "Spongebob Squarepants" (MP3)
More Kids Pow Wow Songs (Canyon Label) unfortunately falls way short of the Singers' jawdropping Kids Pow Wow Songs some years back, but this is a nice addition to your MP3 collection. If you can't get enough 'bob, check out Jonny Blaze's take on the tune as well (Real Audio), culled from the DJ Technics collection of Baltimore Club Tracks we blogged about here earlier this year.
Health Hen "Drive She Said" (MP3)
If you ever wondered what Laverne DeFazio singing in a hybrid of Essential Logic and Mars might sound like, Health Hen might give you an idea. Oddly, this band gets left off your 80's Downtown/No New York-style compilations, which is too bad; not a whole lot of information except that their EP was on the Twist-O-Flex label, somewhat related to the East Village Rant imprint, another fine of some scratchy new wave sounds.
Mark Savage "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy" (MP3)
First heard this on Otis Fodder's 365 Days MP3 Project, now immortalized further on the new Schoolhouse Funk Volume 2 CD on DJ Shadow's Cali-Tex label. It's heartbreaking that this cuts short after 1 minute 36 seconds, this might be the greatest thing ever.
Blaster Al Ackerman "The Pepper Young Translations" from I Am Drunk (MP3)
Ehse Records is offering up complete MP3s of assorted releases on its site (we've sung the praises of the great Little Howlin' Wolf in the past, his most recent LP is there); one in particular features the spoken recordings of Baltimore's Blaster Al Ackerman, a spoken-word artist who has been referenced by Throbbing Gristle. Says Ehse: "This listener's prediction: the muffled voice of Blaster Al Ackerman reading his "Pepper Young" translations with a presumed bar of soap in his mouth followed by tree frog belches will replace the sound of a passing steam locomotive as the poetic sounds of indescribable mystery and high lonesomeness. This audio icon of the 21st Century can be found on Ehse Records' LP release of Blaster Al Ackerman's "I Am Drunk". And indeed at times he does sound drunk, but not just on booze, also on language and human absurdity. Featuring live as well as "studio" recordings, "I Am Drunk" also has two Blaster classics that raise the humdrum world of the workplace to the giddy heights of Philip K. Dick in Munchkinland - "The John Eaton Recommendations" and "The Crab". Another prediction: copies of this album with its linguistic hijinks and squat and thrusts will be played far more times and enjoyed much more than any mothball enshrined Caedmon LP of T.S. Eliot or Robert Frost intoning.
Hubble Bubble "I'm Not Like Everybody Else" (MP3)
In our never ending search for weird punk rock, listener Phil H. in LA has put into our hands at long last a full album's worth of music from Belgium's Hubble Bubble, which featured none other than Plastic Bertand of "Ca Plane Pour Moi" fame on drums. Damn, it's good, the perfect concoction of fried DIY weirdness and structured songs. It's not quite punk, it's not quite new wave or mininal synth, but all of those elements bubble up in the mix. Some have compared them to Germany's Pack (who existed as well around this time, 1978), but that band was a bit monochromatic compared to HB. Some of this could be the Screamers mixed with Raxola, or even the Damned at times, and there's an awesome dirt-shovel on the hippies with a cover of "If You're Going To San Francisco". Here's their take on the Kinks' "I'm Not Like Everybody Else."
Baby Washington "Think About the Good Times" (MP3)
From a killer Stateside collection spanning 1963-69 that showcases Dusty Springfield's all-time fave vocalist. Baby (calling herself this after a stint as "Jeanette" though her real name was Justine) started out in 1956 with the Harlem group the Hearts but came into her own after signing to the Sue label in 1962. Her style varied from punchy soul to more tranquil jazz evocative of Dinah Washington, and her uniquely rich and earthy vocals seem a natural to inspire the likes of Dusty (who covered "Breakfast In Bed" and several other of Baby's tunes.) This track comes from her 1968 Veep LP With You In Mind, which comes its entirety on this CD I've Got a Feeling, which also includes her two Sue LPs.
Cindy & Bert "Der Hund Von Baskerville" (MP3)
I am not saying Germans are Nazis, and I am not saying Sharon Osbourne is a Nazi for her terrible treatment and public abuse of Iron Maiden on her own concert stage, but here's a German take on Black Sabbath's "Paranoid", sort of.
Below is a digest of MP3s featured in Beware of the Blog
over the past month (reposted here by Liz Berg):
- Ahhnold's Total Body Workout album available for download on this post thanks to Gov. Freedman
- MP3s of scripted, pre-recorded fake radio interviews and cheesy promos from Phil Collins, David Bowie, Weezer, etc, posted for your consumption by Brian Turner
- Foul-mouthed hussy Pearl Williams delivers politely crude adult humor with a Yiddish twist; grab the MP3s of her zingers here, courtesy of Monica
- Venom's profoundly eloquent between-song banter during an '86 performance in Trenton, NJ... thank Mike Lupica for this fine demonstration of thought-provoking rhetoric
- Evel Knievel-themed MP3s, offered here by Debbie for your dangerous side, including a moving poem composed and recited by the daredevil himself
- William Berger lets it all hang out. Of his MP3 player. Scores of FMU-friendly tunes available here.
- Beatles songs as performed by humans imitating dogs. Don't ask why, ask why not. Thank Station Manager Ken for getting your jollies from this one.
- Scat master Shooby Taylor may soon be immortalized for the masses on CD, but until then, get a taste of the magic from this MP3 site