via Greg Baise/Stephen O'Malley
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For quite some time I've been immensely enjoying Truckers Shuckers Freeks & Geeks, produced and hosted by a hardcore record maniac named Mark Lee Allen (not to be confused with Beware Of The Blog contributor Mark Allen). Over on his myspace page, Mark Lee Allen describes himself as a "record collector, idiot, DJ, and all-around geek" and he's certainly got discs to prove it. His massive collection of original issue rockabilly, hillbilly, rhythm and blues, and doo-wop 45s and 78s, seems pretty close to endless.
Originally from Portsmouth, England and now living in Oregon, Mark's been in the US only about 5 years. Unfortunately for the rest of us record hunters here in America, it seems he's wasting no time in his efforts to acquire every cool disc ever waxed. Listening to his show is always a blast. On mic, his between song ramblings absolutely brim with enthusiasm, humor and arcane record collecting details that invariably ring true.
The shows themselves usually (but not always) have themes, frequently centering on a specific record label or topical theme.
His "record label" shows usually involve diving incredibly deeply (really, where does he find these discs?) into the hillbilly-flavored obscurities released by a given label. Examples include, but aren't strictly limited to, Columbia, Starday, Mercury, Coral, Goldband, and King.
His topically-themed shows are all over the place and have included subjects like truck driving, guitar blues, Johnny Cash soundalikes, and Elvis Presley tribute records. And any show with "Trailer Park" in the title is sure to be a winner as that's where Mark spins some of his most deranged discs covering subjects like hippies, beatniks, gambling, oddball trucker songs, murder, suicide, alcoholism, all-purpose oddities, assorted parodies and demented novelties. I'm told that tomorrow he'll be uploading a show called Garage Sale At The Trailer Park. I'm there.
Don't know where to start? You could always check out his January 8, 2009 show, which kicks off with Pee Wee King's soaring version of Dragnet, recorded in 1955. That's right, Dragnet - with steel guitars, fiddles and cowboy hats! And for some additional fun, hang in there until at least 47 minutes in (or cheat and move the positioning bar) and listen in as Mark gleefully mangles his repeated attempts to pronounce Nuevo Laredo when back-announcing an Elton Britt recording by that name.
Give the Drummer Some's
10 Favorite Downloads from the MP3 Blogosphere
(see Comments, below, for helpful info about downloading)
This past January, the majestic tenor saxophonist David S. Ware released Shakti, his first studio recording in six years. Two weeks earlier, urgent news had come down that he was in dire need of a new kidney. Yesterday, following a successful search for a donor, David underwent transplant surgery and today he begins a three-month convalescence.
If you choose to download any of the discs offered below — or if you've helped yourself to offerings in previous columns — then the Miner is requesting that you make a thoughtful donation to help a musician in need. Please go here for the details. Thanks.
Massive Tracks from '49
Orquestra Afro-Brasileira ~ "Obaluayê!"
From the album: Índia (mp3)
Amazing Comps of Tunes from Derek's Daily 45
Various ~ "Soul Deep, Volume 1"
(Blog: Twilight Zone
[And don't you dare neglect to grab volumes 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8!]
Manu Dibango ~ "Countdown at Kusini" (OST)
[7 more vital organs (and other groovy noisemakers) after the jump]
Maybe it's because I grew up around the heyday of feminism but the song Wive And Lovers always seemed somehow wrong to me. I remember the confusion I felt hearing Jack Jones calling a wife (someone's mom) a "little girl". Why would you do that? They had those...things...that Lisa Bigalow didn't have. Those things the woman at the pet store had that you could see because she had that macrame top and didn't mind you staring at them. Stare at Lisa Bigalow and you'd get punched. And her mom didn't even have that book with the word "Ladies" crossed out.
If you're here, you probably know Wives and Lovers. If not, the five-second synopsis goes like this
Seriously. No wonder Betty Friedan got pissed. "You want me to put on makeup before you get up, cook you a full breakfast, raise the spawn, have dinner for you when you get home, clean the dishes, put out at the drop of a hat AND manage the delicate balance of speed and valium that keeps me from killing you? Wake up and smell the coffee, Mister!"
It's my favorite time of year. Strangely shaped buds are pushing to the surface, pollen is covering every car like natural gold leaf and small town flea markets are filling up green fields with shiny, shiny objects, patiently waiting to be scooped up and given a new home. Ahhhh, choo, spring! Seeds are seductive in their flat decorative packs, but root balls are so much more animated in their bondage. The ropes tied so tightly confirm that nature is untrainable and wild, hoping a good knot will subdue it's unleashable growth. Not as ripped as Wolverine, but more powerful.
Along with the smell of growing things, Spring allows us once again to search through other people's belongings with gusto. I pretend to be on the lookout for binoculars, but actually enjoy the microscopic human analysis that a good estate sale can offer. I dig in drawers to see how the elderly former owner categorized scarves that haven't been worn since the Tet offensive, but require devotional storage just in case. Kitchens yield tools that are inexplicable in today's canned or store bought lifestyle, and basements harbor vast piles of mystery. Drill bits the size of rolling pins stand next to rusted pesticide cans that suggest foul play.
The dogs! The dogs of country flea markets and spring estate sales are especially charming. They too are bored with winter's forced anti-social behavior and are ever so happy to smell each new visitor. Even though the sign says "No Dogs" the little scrappy ones slip by and dart through legs desperate for dropped doughnuts or hot dog bits from the previous nights demolition derby crowd. By the time Fourth of July slinks in, we'll all be tired out and bored with the rummage sale routine. All the good stuff will be taken, nothing to do but wait until the fall smells.
Haven't seen them on a Maxwells marquee yet, but Personal and the Pizzas assure everyone that they are indeed New Jersey's finest rock and roll band. As a radio station in the central orbit of many Jersey bands (some of whom utilize weaponry), we issue our standard "who are we to argue?" response.
Akron/Family live on The Frow Show 5/11/09 - part 1 (mp3) | part 2 (mp3) | part 3 (mp3)
WFMU's Playlist & Streaming Archive | Engineers: Chris Koltay & Jeff Simmons
mp3s shared under Creative Commons | Check out Akron/Family on the Free Music Archive
My friend Jimmy is the superintendent of a small apartment building where a DJ used to live. (Not a WFMU DJ, but a club DJ). Then the DJ moved out, but he kept paying rent on one room that he used for storage. After a while he quit paying rent on the storage room. The landlord waited for a bit, then told Jimmy to break the lock and throw out whatever was in there. Jimmy finally got the door opened and found hundreds and hundreds of record albums, all stacked up in milk crates. So he set to work hauling the crates full of records down to the street, all by himself--up and down the stairs, crate after crate. It took a long time, but he finally got all the records stacked up out at the curb in a long row a little higher than Jimmy is tall. He went back upstairs to secure the door to the DJ's former storage room, and he swears he couldn't have been up there more than 15 minutes or so. But when he got back down —all the milk crates were gone! The records, however, were still there, tossed all over the street in a huge mess. Somebody had snagged the crates, but not the contents. So Jimmy had to push all the hundreds and hundreds of records up out of the street and off the sidewalk, so they'd be out of the way until the sanitation truck came to take them away with the garbage.
Thanks for reading my blog post this week, and may God bless.
On May 19th, Brooklyn's excellent non-profit performance space, ISSUE Project Room, will be celebrating their 6th year of kicking ass and taking names in the experimental music, film, literature, and art scenes (and also on the Free Music Archive).
The 6th birthday party/benefit for ISSUE Project Room takes place at Galapagos in Dumbo Brooklyn (16 Main St), and WFMU's own Fabio will be representing on the ones and twos. Other notable highlights on the bill include:
- The Pinch of the Baboon (JG Thirlwell, Ed Pastorini, Oren Bloedow and Ben Perowsky)
- Elysian Fields
- members of Excepter
- “Straight and Narrow” (1970), Film screening by Tony Conrad with soundtrack by John Cale and Terry Riley
- Robot Movie by Jim Sharpe with Soundtrack by Lary Seven
On top of this, IPR will reward a prize to the person who shows up in the best Holy Mountain-inspired costume, so you know there's potential for this party to be way better than Halloween. Purchase tickets here, and you'll get $10 off if you use the promotional code fidelio - have fun!
In a related story, I once slept with someone to get Mac OSX and I need to update to Leopard now. Universe, are you listening?
Maybe you can click on the pic below for the video, but if that doesn't work you can watch it here.
My "Awesome Internet Images" folder has been filling up lately thanks to these sites.
Designer Logan Walters loves him some Wu Tang, but hates him some Wu Tang album cover art. And so he dipped into the history of Blue Note and is working on remaking all the Wu Tang albums in that legendary style. (Via Animal New York)
The University of Nebraska library offers up an online archive of government produced comic books. This includes everyone from Charlie Brown to Captain America to Wonder Woman and Superman pitching various public service announcements. But it's the lesser known projects that really grabbed my interest: WISHES & RAINBOWS, a trippy kids story from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston; THE STORY OF BANKS, in which a group of hippie teens learn how to use a bank; the EC style drug scare comics HOOKED and TEEN-AGE BOOBY TRAP; and the truly lame superheroes SPROCKET MAN (he rides a ten-speed and carries a giant gear shift) and RAY CYCLE: RECYCLING SUPERHERO (he's from Connecticut). (via Slog)
If you like to make fun of your childhood self for loving
computers, Star Wars, and all things nerdy, you can put your own
photos up for all to see on Dork Yearbook.
More embarrassing than an airing of your kiddie laundry is the world of Awkward Family Photos. Take a break from Mother's Day and see what some truly uncomfortable family situations are like via the site that kicks the Olan Mills love up a notch.
The best one of all is NSFW, and therefore, after the jump....
Motor/Mouth is an ongoing series about WFMU staffers and their vehicles. This installment is about my current car.
Main form of transportation: 1983 Mercedes 300D
Mileage: Approx. 224,000
Where did you get it? On eBay. It was in a town near Cherry Hill, NJ. It took three buses to get there from Hoboken.
What made you pick it? I first read about the Mercedes 240 Diesel in either the Village Voice or the New York Press (I don't remember which). The article described the 240D as being a bullet-roof city car. I also borrowed a friend's 300D and liked it. I picked my particular car because it was in great shape, had never been in an accident and was $3,000.
How long have you owned it? 6 years.
How much longer will you keep it? It's all about the corrosion. Rust never sleeps.
Favorite thing about it: The sunroof.
Least favorite thing about it: Since the accident, water gets in the passenger footwell. The A/C doesn't work (though I think the new auxiliary fan, yet to be installed, should fix that) and the driver's seat should be rebuilt. The foam is shot..
Rate your satisfaction level from 1 (least) – 10: 8.
What is your dream form of transportation? Friggin' flying car. An auto-gyro. Failing that, I want: diesel engine; 4-wheel drive; convertible top; automatic transmission (I like a car that shifts itself).
Anything else you’d like to mention: About six months after I bought this car I was in accident while on the way to WFMU to do "Aerial View". An 18 year-old girl, with her father in the passenger seat, turned left in front of me by the Target store in Jersey City. She miscalculated how far away I was and I hit her rear bumper with my right fender. I eventually got her insurance company to pay for everything but it was a RPITA (real pain in the ass). More pictures after the jump.
No, the headline above is not a typo. It's deliberately intended to be rendered as W-M-F-U. You WFMU listeners may notice something different in the way the on-air DJ gives the required legal ID every hour on the hour from this moment on. What at first listen may appear to be an outbreak of mass DJ dyslexia will reveal itself to be something a smidge more prosaic (and potentially either more maddening or more enjoyable, depending on whether you're on the business side or the pleasure side of the WFMU listening experience).
In 1994, a radio station located in New York's Hudson Valley was
donated to WFMU, which we employed to repeat our broadcast signal to a
wider terrestrial audience. Its assigned call letters were WXHD, broadcasting at
90.1 FM. Being that this particular (and particularly unattractive) call sign was to be heard only once an hour, as part of our mantra-like legal station identification — let's all recite it: "WFMU East Orange, WXHD Mount Hope, wfmu.org" — there was little reason to do anything about changing it. After all, for all purposes, no matter where or how you heard our freeform radio
magic, our identity (our "brand," if you will) is that of WFMU.
Except to those people who would invariably get it wrong.
Regular Beware of the Blog reader and curator of all things campy country and western, Red Neckerson, is turfing much of the archive of mp3s on his excellent website Red Neckerson's Radio Round-up due to space issues. That means you have til the end of this month to download some of the best in steel guitar instros, hard to find Waylon Jennings and an assortment of truck driving tunes and inbred fiddlers. New stuff will continue to appear regularly, but if there's anything from the vaults you haven't put onto yer hardrive, now is the time. Check the site here.
How the hell do Ronnie and Donnie Galyon do it? Permanently fused at the collarbone and ending at the groin. Fifty-eight years of coming back around to having to look each other dead in the eye again for another twenty-four hours once they're done checking out girls and heckling the ref. The Schappell sisters have it easy, as far as I'm concerned; sisters whisper secrets in each others' ears and don't stop when they reach "the age" where they're not supposed to do that anymore. Given the choice I believe most sisters wouldn't mind sharing a brain. Each one would be right there for the next secret that cannot be disclosed to anyone else, the next problem that needs immediate unlicensed psychoanalysis and treatment.
Brothers joined at the head? They'd bleed to death from pelting each other with cans of half drunk beer. They'd drive each other batshit and you and I know it. A six-inch sub's distance is enough of a proximity, and even then. My twin and I quit whispering secrets ear-to-ear by age nine.
The Proprietress of WFMU's Radio Thrift Shop made her debut at the Grand Ole Opry this week! She will also be paying tribute to the Queen of Country music, Mrs. Kitty Wells, today at the Country Music Hall Of Fame.
Get the tissues out and hear her Opry performance here (mp3)
Laura says this is her version of Wanda Jackson's "Tears At The Grand Ole Opry" (mp3)