Los Punkrockers "Holiday In the Sun" / "Pretty Vacant" (MP3s)
If you recall the glory days of K-Tel hit compilations, there were always wanna-be K-Tel's out there (I want to say Ronco for one off the top of my head) that would also cram like 50 modern-day hits into the grooves of some cheaply-cut vinyl platter as thin as a potato chip. But since half of these fly-by-nights couldn't license the actual songs, you'd get some generic in-house band doing versions of them! I remember I had one with some definite Long Island accents buried within the Bay City Rollers' "Saturday Night." And of course such was the value of the commercials' catch-phrase "hits by the original artists". Well, someone in Spain seemed to think it was a good idea to have an entirely different band do the Sex Pistols' Never Mind the Bollocks album in its entirety and slap some cheezy model in faux-punk garb on the cover. But I honestly have to say that this version of the record (titled Los Exitos De Sex Pistols) might be even better than anything the Pistols or McLaren could have produced! Thanks to Strange Reaction for posting.
Barbara Bush "Reflections" (Dirty Duck remix) (MP3)
Dirty Duck has been absent from the FMU Blue page as of late, and has been reported to have been hanging out at Teanie with Moby. This MP3 makes it obvious as to why; he has been soaking in production skills from the Mobe, and has become somewhat of a remix auteur. So, bravo, and the DFA may contact him via this radio station for that Janet Jackson project if they need him.
Kookie Cook "Workin' Man" (MP3)
A while back Station Manager Ken waxed poetic about the insane Dean Carter disc out last year; a compilation of 1960's psychobilly I picked up for the station on the recommend of Major Stars/Twisted Village impresario Wayne Rogers (a man who knows a thing or two about overloaded distortion used tactfully himself). Carter's sound was what might have happened if Elvis hooked up with Chrome stepping off a time-travel machine, totally zonked and unlike anything else in the genre (with possible comparisons to the Michael Yonkers 60's stuff). Thanks to Alec Palao, the roots of Dean have been dug into a bit more on another Big Beat UK reissue called the Midnite Sound of the Milky Way, which compiles more crude and overdriven sounds from the same midwest studio Carter did his dirty work in. In fact, Carter is credited with writing lots of this material under his real name Arlie Neaville with partner Arlie Miller (the two also co-owned the studio). The acts that came through dabbled in both rocking roots and Brit Invasion sounds, but the limited technology the Arlies were able to offer (refrigerator cardboard boxes nailed to walls for soundproof, souped-up two track recording machines) made for some primitive, crusty sounds. The Cobras were kids around 12 years old almost eclipsed in view by their guitars, and Kookie Cook was almost as wild as Carter in many ways cutting solo sides as well as with his band the Satalites (sic).
"King Diamond and Anton Lavey, They Were Tight Bros From Way Back" (excerpt, MP3)
The band Tight Bros from Way Back apparently got their name from this legendary tape floating around of two buddies on the phone together, one of which goes on for 10 minutes about his need to beat up a guy who owes him $20, but then gets deeply into his favorite topic, R.O.C.K. After animatedly explaining the degrees of evil of various metal acts (it's decided that Deicide are pure evil, but King Diamond and Anton Lavey were, as we mentioned "tight bros"), he then amazingly sums up the greatest guitar moments ever, and clearly they are ranked meticulously as you will hear by the MP3 excerpt above. Tom Scharpling provided me a dub of the tape, which I edited out the obscenity from to play part of on the air, and lo and behold and email drops in my inbox from a guy named Sean, the one who recorded his pal's rants, happily having heard it blare out of an office co-worker's WFMU stream. Sean assured us that this thing will get released someday, but for now, put your guitar down, shake your head, bow, and walk off the stage in the presence of this greatness.
The Dirtbombs "Sun Is Shining (live on WFMU)" (MP3)
The sockodelic sounds of Mick Collins and company have landed on Terre T's Cherry Blossom Clinic twice, once in 2003 and again in 2004. Detroit's finest purveyors of pure garage-punk soul have just released a long-awaited compilation of singles called If You Don't Have a Look (In the Red Records), and they cover ESG for crying out loud. In more exciting news, there's going to be a three-way love fest CD co-released by Birdman, In the Red, and WFMU in the near future to benefit musicians displaced by Hurricane Katrina; it's a disc comprised of all the bands on those labels' rosters who have done airtime in the mighty Moose Room here, including the Cuts, Brother JT, the Hospitals, and many more. Stay tuned for more details soon.
Roberto De Simone "Secondo Coro Delle Lavandaie" (MP3)
La Gatta Cenerentola was a radical reinterpretation of the Cinderella tale, done in Neopolitan dialect in 1976 by De Simone, who, since the 1960's, organized groups like Italy's NCCP to reinterpret and reinvent enduring folk tales from his country's (and Europe's) culture and history. What De Simone uncovered in his deep anthropological studies was a Neopolitan equivalent to the Wicker Man of sorts; a pagan culture unaffected by the vast reaches of Catholicism that would consume Italy later; a matriarch-based shepherd/farming community with complex ritual-based relationships with pure and unqiue musical communication, brought to life in this stage performance excerpted here. By far "Secondo Coro Delle Lavandaie" made for one of the wildest moments of the mini-opera, almost taking on the skeleton of some downtown NYC No-Wave, or comparable to the Slits or Kleenex in some ways This track was also featured on a premium a few years ago courtesy Fabio's Strength Through Failure
and recently a kind listener donated a copy of the entire album to the station's library.
Velvet Underground "I Can't Stand It" (from Rarities 66-93) (MP3)
Once when Lou Reed was on MTV in the 80's doing one of his patent freakout guitar solos (on a live version of "The Original Rapper" or something at Farm Aid), he got a snotty comment afterwards behind his back from vee-jay Dweezil Zappa, who demanded that someone must atone for the "worst guitar solo ever performed on MTV." No surprise, considering that Poppa Frank did some stinkbomb-lobbying himself when the Velvets hit the west coast in the late '60s on Mothers of Invention bills, but needless to say the glory of those kinds of solos is well encapsulated in this featured MP3, And Dweez will surely be aping that approach himself someday at the Viper Room, mark our words. Anyway, it's from the best Velvets boot by far I think called The Psychopath's Rolling Stones; besides featuring a haunting version of "Chelsea Girl" recorded with Lou on electric guitar and Nico on vox in her Chelsea hotel room, and a version of the "Star Spangled Banner"(!), it features some insanely great Lou guitar rampages at the height of the band's live power. "Run Run Run" goes beserk for ten minutes in a pure orgiastic feedback frenzy, and this live version of the great album outtake "I Can't Stand It" (which was eventually released in studio form on the legit odds-n-sods collection VU in the 80's) has one of the best Reed-invoking-Ornette on electric guitar moments in any of the band's live archives.
Johnny Boy "You Are the Generation That Bought More Shoes and You Get What You Deserve" (MP3)
Johnny Boy is actually the UK duo of Davo (guitars, loops, vocal) and Lolly (ditto) and this single succeeds everywhere that the Raveonettes, unfortunately, do not. From the reverb soaked Shangri-Las/Spector drum intro it's a pure bubblegum wedding of Northern Soul, Jesus and Mary Chain scumsurfing and pure pop bliss. Their full length is due later this year, and bands like them and the Long Blondes might be reason enough to start picking up the NME again. You gotta love that song title though; and check the very cool video on the site as well.
Radio Pyongyang "Start 'Em Young" (MP3)
The latest batch of Sublime Frequencies' globetrotting audio documentations features not one but two releases from the Axis of Evil (as our President would have you believe). Radio Pyongyang: Commie Funk and Agit Pop From the Hermit Kingdom rawly captures, as they say, "a healthy dose of hagiography for Dear Leader Kim Jong-il", and also bills itself as the "Now Sound of North Korea". As with many SF releases, you're not getting a Nonesuch/Smithsonian Folkways-like exploration into the roots of music and culture framed in a National Geographic-like manner, but rather a snapshot in a dreamlike way of everyday sounds you would hear as someone passing through, the veil of mystery and wonder preserved. This particular volume is basically culled from a cassette recording Christiaan Virant made of intercepted broadcasts, samples of CDs he found along the way, demonstration field sounds, news reports between 1995 and 1998. This particular track brings up some images of kids dressed in revolutionary garb, singing under a 6-story tall Kim Jong-il, the accompanying music state-sanctioned and sterile.
Oxbow "Girl" (live on WFMU) (MP3)
Recording the Bay Area group Oxbow "unplugged" so to speak isn't as easy as one would think; under normal circumstances (i.e. electric), the band teeters in the mix with a delicate blend of tension, eerie ambient drones, explosions of math-rock mayhem, and stumbling-down-the-stairs blues, all dragged along by the rather unconventional vocal approach of frontman Eugene Robinson. Eugene, a bona-fide competitive bodybuilder, takes harrowing subject matter and creates high theater (in live situations especially) quite often physically dragging the audience into one psychodrama or another; you'd expect something like this from say, Darby Crash, but could Darby pull off an effective Nina Simone cover or duet with Marianne Faithfull? When Eugene and Oxbow guitarist Niko Wenner played an acoustic set on Brian's show back in November 2004, the dynamic of host-behind-the-glass-watching-performer took on a very new kind of vibe; engineer Gil Shuster needed to accomodate Eugene's most whispered moents and chaotic, slobbering outbursts into account in the mix, he could be in your ear quiet one second and pinning the meters running around the room the next. But it worked, and the particular mix in this session is one of the more fascinating excercises in live music recording here in recent memory. Hear for example, the Beatles' la-la ode "Girl" turned into what sounds like a person caged in confined quarters about to knock a hole in the wall, while Niko balanced the song's delicacy with downright disturbing tension you could cut with a knife.
Below is a digest of MP3s featured in Beware of the Blog over the past month (reposted here by Liz Berg):
- Voted most unlikely to record music together in the last WFMU DJ yearbook, glitchmaster Jason Forrest (aka Donna Summer, of Advanced D&D) and Laura Cantrell (host of Radio Thrift Shop), our high priestess of down-home comfort grooves, created an impossibly pretty song together. Read this post by Brian Turner to grab an MP3 for the song "Nightclothes and Headphones."
- Station Manager Ken hits you with an MP3 for R Shand's tune "U Wanna Be a Grip?", despite the myriad of descriptions listed in the post, you will definitely find yourself ill-prepared for this piece of work.
- Few can party as harmonically hard as Tuvan throat singers. Scott holds your hand while guiding you through many a golden trachea; pick up a sprinkling of MP3s along the way that'll leave you thirsting for a lozenge.
- Ken generously offers you 21 ways of saying "They're Coming to Take Me Away, ha ha!" so you will be well-prepared for the day the men in white coats come a-knocking on your door.
- Not actually posted on the blog previously, but now posted by special request of Listener Beth, here is the etheral choral version of the Midnight Cowboy Theme, as performed by the Girl's Glee Club of New Palestine High School, Indiana.