Friday, October 31, 2014

Weekend Listomania's Greatest Hits: Special Classical Has No Vocal! Edition

[This was one of the first Weekend Listomanias I ever put together (it originally appeared in in June of 2007, back when both your humble scribe and the world were whelps; I mean, I hadn't even met a certain Shady Dame at that point.) Anyway, if you were around during the last couple of days, you'll understand why I'm recycling it; I've made a couple of new selections and re-written it a bit, just so you guys don't think I'm the laziest gal in town. Enjoy! If possible!!!]


[Arbitrary rule: Joe Satriani, who I otherwise have no problem with, is prog, so don't nominate him. And if you nominate that Focus "Hocus Pocus" crap I'll come to your house and beat the shit out of you for your fucking lack of taste.]

Okay, my totally top of my head Top Ten is/are:

10. Rumble -- Link Wray

If you're of the opinion, as I often am, that the quality of a rock single depends mostly on its resemblance to a gang fight, then obviously this is Ground Zero.

9. Steve's Song --The Weasels (featuring some guy whose name rhymes with Sleeve Nimels)

Written and recorded around 1970 by moi, apparently when I was listening to a lot of Stephen Stills records. Hey, I was young.

8. Beck's Bolero -- Jeff Beck

The tragedy of Jeff Beck - and I mean tragedy -- is that there's not a musician in any genre on earth who can creatively challenge him. Can you imagine the burden? Seriously, If I was him I would have committed suicide years ago.

7. Apricot Brandy -- Rhinosceros

I actually saw these guys -- who were a sort of Los Angeles studio cats supergroup -- live at the Fillmore East. Very impressive musicianship, and they still totally sucked.

6. The Carlsberg Special -- Wizzard

Roy Wood is God. End of story.

5. Perfidia -- The Ventures


4. Sabre Dance -- Love Sculpture with Dave Edmunds

The guys who spun plates on The Ed Sullivan Show should have lived to hear this. Actually, maybe they did.

3. Theme from Star Wars -- Big Daddy

John Williams' most lucrative piece of work as it was always meant to be heard.

2. Like Long Hair -- Paul Revere and the Raiders

What was that argument we were having the other week about these guys?

And the most absolutely phenomenal rock non-prog instrumental ever, it's not even a contest, is ---

1. Cobwebs and Strange -- The Who

I rest my case.

Alrighty then -- what would YOUR choices be?

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Tooth of Crime

Ian McLagan -- keyboard genius of The Small Faces/Faces and much much else -- takes a bite out of a CD featuring a bassist whose name rhymes with Sleeve Nimels.

Words, as they fucking say, fail me.

[h/t Phil Cheese]

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Closed for Drug Abuse Monkey Business

All that instrumental jam shit of the last couple of days has really knocked the stuffing out of me.

Regular non-psychedelic posting resumes tomorrow, including -- unless I'm high -- a Weekend Listomania's Greatest Hits installment on Friday.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

And Speaking of Headache-Inducing Self-Indulgent Jams By Great Bands Who Should Have Known Better... we were YESTERDAY...

...from the Avalon Ballroom in 1966, please enjoy the otherwise fucking amazingly great Moby Grape and their improvised on the spot masterpiece overly-long inducer of psychedelic ennui "Dark Magic."

17 minutes long, I might add. Anybody seriously think the light show really enhanced the experience?

In any case, Television's instro-rock show last weekend sounded far too much like this. Minus the vocals, obviously.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Hey, If I Want to See an Instro Band, I'll Buy Tickets for the Raybeats or the Budapest String Quartet

So this weekend, a certain Shady Dame and I were privileged to attend a show -- at New York University's exemplary new auditorium at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts -- by the legendary Teletubbies. In front of the newly back in action Joshua Light Show.

I must say, the band looked good for their age.

[Left to right: Fred Smith, Tom Verlaine, Billy Ficca and Jimmy Rip]

Okay, actually, we went to see the legendary Television at said venue with the JLS, and since I really hadn't ever seen the band at their peak, I was pretty stoked. Which lasted for about five minutes after the show started; beyond that, not so much.

The reason: Television did not perform a single song from any of their three original studio albums. In fact they did no "songs" per se whatsoever -- the show was completely instrumental-jams-only (I think I recognized one number from Verlaine's early 90s instrumental set Warm and Cool, but I'm not sure).

What was it like? Well, some of the playing was brilliant (no surprise there), and I respect them for trying something a little different. And if the idea was to recreate the experience of hearing a second-tier San Francisco ballroom psychedelic band at one of the Fillmores in 1967 (sans the pungent aroma of marijuana, of course) then the show was a complete success. Unfortunately, I've got old Moby Grape live bootlegs from that period whose free-form, made up on the spot, instrumentals sound pretty much the same as Television did last Saturday night. And the Grape's jams are just as enervating without drugs.

I for one, however found the whole experience somewhere between intensely headache inducing and a really unethical bait and switch.

Very, very disappointing.

UPDATE: A certain Shady Dame reminds me that Television opened the show with a little bit of noodling on the riff of "1880 or So" (from the third studio album); I regret the error. Also, in the interests of total accuracy, I should add that they DID encore with "Little Johnny Jewel," albeit without vocals, but technically that song was a single rather than an album track.

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Greatest Thing Ever

From 1975. Bon Scott and AC/DC.

I am not kidding about this. Seriously. This is the greatest thing in the history of recorded human things.

[h/t Samael]

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Your Thursday Moment of Holy Fucking Shit

Forty years after we couldn't get arrested -- let alone get a record deal -- the fabulous Floor Models (featuring a bass player whose name rhymes with Sleeve Nimels)... played on the radio. Last Sunday, in fact.

Courtesy of living saint/deejay Jim Monaghan. Formerly of the late lamented WNEW-FM, and now the morning guy on The Rock of New Jersey...

...which streams in real time HERE, BTW.

Jim played our live cover of The Records/Searchers classic "Hearts in Her Eyes," in between The Jags' "Back of My Hand" and "Another Nail For My Heart" by Squeeze.

Words fail me. But if you're of a mind, go over to the website of ZERO HOUR RECORDS, Australia's leading music-delivery system, and order a copy of the album. Now!

Oh, and here's the track in question.

You're welcome.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Sisyphus in Hackensack, New Jersey

Had a lot of fun on my birthday...

...and I'm paying for it this morning.

Regular posting resumes tomorrow, cross my barely functional heart.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Taking the day off as a result, bitches!!!

Then I'm taking myself out to dinner tonight -- at the piss elegant Italian restaurant up the street -- and crashing after pitchers and pitchers of adult beverages.

Shit, I'm gonna be really old today -- you think I'm PLEASED about this?

Anyway, regular non-insane posting resumes tomorrow.

If I fucking feel like it.

Monday, October 20, 2014

A Staggering Work of Heartbreaking Genius

[This comment, by reader Penny Podium, appeared, mysteriously, over the weekend on my Friday Paul Revere and the Raiders thread; I reprint it here, verbatim, in case you missed it. And for obvious reasons, if you know what I mean. -- S.S.]

I agree, Steve. Paul Revere and the band are the absolute best. Paul Simon said that every generation throws a hero up the pop charts. Why not throw up on the 1960s?

Back in 1978 I was tooling around in Malibu with Sean Tyla, who at the time was seeing a sorority sister of mine, Royelle, a sharpie I called Roy, for Roy Rogers, because she was always hot on the Trigger, when Sean introduced me to Deke Leonard, then on one of his Iceberg tours. Deke, whose real name is Roger, and whose friends called him Lil, but everyone knew him as Nanu Nanu, because of his fondness for Pam Dawber, showed me a test pressing copy of the Paul Revere’s Country Wine album, signed by Paul and Mark and the rest of the band, which I offered to buy from Deke for 6 ounces of high-quality Hawaiian dooba-dooba. While we were negotiating we wandered over to the Sandcastle, a bar run by Randy California’s uncle, Randy Wolfe, where we proceeded to drink ourselves under the table, and where Deke confessed to me his undying love (Oh, Deke, you rascal!), and that his former band, Man, consisted of hash eating interstellar travelers from the Ford Galaxy.

I left Deke under the table, which was a fabulous laminated teak number with mother-of-pearl inserts that matched the earrings worn by an old roommate of mine, Debbie, who you Steve may know from a number of big budget action based soft porn musicals from the 70s (you may recall Debbie Does Gershwin), and who acted under the name Dubbie, which she pronounced Debbie, but others thought was spoken as Dubby. Debbie and I had a routine where we would go to any one of a number of Malibu bars, including my favorite among them, The Hangout, where I would often find Darryl Hickman, Dwayne’s brother, and where I would refer to Debbie as Dubbie, and she would then purse her lips, cross her arms beneath her breasts, put one leg up over her head in an Durvasanana yoga pose, and then angrily correct my pronunciation of her name ….. while I walked around whichever bar we were in and picked the pockets of male patrons while Debbie, who possessed the best legs this side of the Colorado, held the attention of everyone in the bar, as well as her pose, for however long it took to pick up a few hundred bucks of partying cash.

Oh ….. such sweet times! We were soooooooo hungry for those good times!

Brian Wilson, you’re my real God! And God Only Knows Why!

-- Penny Podium

Attending the Coppertone Regatta in Santa Barbara, named after the early Eastern Orthodox martyr, Barbara, who lived in third century Nicomedia. Known lovingly as the patron saint of sailing, she was one sexy martyr, and my type of gal.

Just Like Me by Paul Revere and the Raiders

Just Like Me by Paramour

Just Like Me by Jamie Foxx

A Girl Like Me by Rihanna

God Gave Rock and Roll To Me by Kiss

Old Man River Me by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein

Old Man by Neil Young and Oscar Hammerstein

Where Is My Man by Eartha Kitt

Any Man Can Be A Fool by Rare Eartha Kitt

10/18/2014 3:13 PM

I should add that the charmingly yclept Ms. Podium's name-checking of C-list rock star shlubs Sean Tyla...

...and Deke Leonard...

...just may be the cream of the jest.

Friday, October 17, 2014

"The Second Best Thing in the World"

And speaking, as we were last week, of Paul Revere and the Raiders, here's today's essay question:

1. Listen to these two Raiders tracks -- the first (the venerable "Money") recorded live, and the second their (self-penned) finest hour in the studio (in an amazing stereo remix).

Some people do not agree with the proposition that the Raiders, at their peak, were one of the absolute best American rock bands of the 1960s. Are those people large idiots, or what?


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Closed for Monkey Business

Don't ask.

Regular posting -- including two absolutely sizzling mp3s -- resumes tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Men at Work

Up until very late last night at the cramped attic studio of my high school garage band chums The Weasels.

I have actually finished my very first sort-of solo track after nearly a half century of recording defiantly low-fi stuff with those guys.

I'll share it with you when its mixed, but in the mean time I'm taking today off.

Regular posting resumes on Wednesday.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Your Monday Moment of Words Fail Me

The Boss covers Dobie Gray's classic "Drift Away," live, in 2013.

It's not really in his vocal comfort zone in spots, but mostly this is spine-tinglingly great nonetheless. If you don't get choked up when the full band comes in at the end, seek immediate medical attention.


Friday, October 10, 2014

Holy Crap -- It's Another Totally Brand New Weekend Listomania: Special Would You Let Your Record Collection Marry a Rolling Stone? Edition

Okay, after last weeks Worst of the Beatles Listomania I'm sure you didn't see this coming, but in the interests of fairness here we go:

All-Time Worst Rolling Stones Track of All Time!!!

For purposes of our discussion, I'm restricting the nominees to the period between England's Newest Hitmakers (1964) and Tattoo You (1981). This is strictly arbitrary, I'll grant you, and I know some people have argued, plausibly, for some of the Stones' less celebrated 80s albums. But since I am not one of them, I'm gonna have to put my foot down about this.

Okay, that established -- here's my totally Top of My Head number one worst.

It's a tie!!! Between...

1. Dancing With Mr. D


1. Ain't Too Proud to Beg

"Dancing With Mr. D" actually has a great riff and a great groove, but as the late great Lester Bangs famously said of it, the lyrics are about exactly what you fervently hoped they weren't about. "Ain't Too Proud to Beg," however, is one of the Stones very few unconvincing soul or r&b covers -- stiff, by the numbers, and groove-less, especially compared to The Temptations' classic original.

Alrighty, then -- what would YOUR choices be?

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Your Thursday Moment of Words Fail Me

A new BBC Music ad. I will confess to having actually wept by the end.

Sure, I know it's a stunt -- essentially an updated three minute version of "We Are the World." But the song remains a work of genius, and some of the cameos -- Brian May and his guitars, Chrissie Hynde, living saint Dave Grohl(!) -- are to die for. I also loved Stevie Wonder's brief harmonica bit.

Have I mentioned Brian Wilson is God?

[h/t KLG]

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Lou Whitney R.I.P.

Lou Whitney, bassist and producer extraordinaire (The Morrells and The Skeletons, among others) has died at the age of 71.

His hometown (Springfield, Missouri) paper has the story HERE. All I'm gonna say is that he should have been a household word.

I should add that I'm done with writing obituaries here. This death shit has finally crossed a line for me.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Closed For Monkey Business

Real world mishegass has me overwhelmed, but have no fear: Regular posting -- including some very cool Paul Revere and the Raiders stuff -- will resume tomorrow.

Also: Friday will bring another All-New-Swear-to-God-Never-Before-Seen Weekend Listomania.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Paul Revere 1938 -- 2014

You can read long-time manager (occasional co-songwriter) Roger Hart's tribute to Paul over HERE.

At their peak, Paul Revere and the Raiders were as good as it gets. Between 1965 and 1968 they made a string of some of the toughest hard-rock records of their or any other day (the one below immediately comes to mind)... well as a couple of genuinely classic albums.

And they actually played all their own instruments, unlike a lot people I could mention.

Said it before and I'll say it again -- this death shit is really beginning to piss me off. In any case, it's official; The world is now a far more boring place than it was just a week ago.

UPDATE: I'd forgotten about this album until yesterday...

...but if you want to hear what a lethal live band the Raiders were, get thee over to Amazon immediately and order a copy. Two CDs of absolutely primo Northwest rock and r&b, recorded in the studio in front of a crowd of fans who really enter into the spirit of things, and rendered in amazingly high quality stereo. And this was some months BEFORE they began the string of hits that made them into a national sensation, BTW.

Friday, October 03, 2014

Beatles Week: Part V -- Holy Crap, a Brand New Weekend Listomania!!!!

So the other day I was pondering perhaps the greatest bootleg of all time...

...which I actually owned on vinyl; in fact, it was one of my most treasured possessions for many years. (You can find download links to it on the intertube without too much trouble, BTW, and I heartily recommend it).

In any event, the concept of said Elvis bootleg was to anthologize the absolute worst crap songs the King ever committed to magnetic tape (and there was a lot to choose from, obviously).

Here's the track listing, to give you an idea.

1. Old Mac Donald Had a Farm
2. Ito Eats
3. There's No Room to Rhumba In a Sports Car
4. Confidence
5. Yoga Is As Yoga Does
6. Song of the Shrimp
7. U.S. Male
8. Ford Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce
9. Signs of the Zodiac
10. The Bullfighter Was a Lady
11. Wolf Call
12. Can't Help Falling In Love
13. He's Your Uncle Not Your Dad
14. Scratch My Back Then I'll Scratch Yours
15. The Walls Have Ears
16. Poison Ivy League
17. Beach Boy Blues
18. Dominic the Impotent Bull
19. Queenie Wahine's Papaya
20. Do the Clambake
21. Datin'
22. Are You Lonesome Tonight?
23. Outro

Anyway, while contemplating it this week, my thoughts turned, inevitably, to The Beatles, to wit: Would something comparable chosen from their body of work be feasible? However heretical that might strike you or I?

So let's find out, shall we? In classic Listomania fashion.


Arbitrary rule: Tracks from Beatles solo albums will be allowed, but mostly discouraged.

And my totally Top of My Head number one awful Beatles track is --

A tie!!!! Between

1. Only a Northern Song


1. What Goes On

"What Goes On" is actually not really all that bad -- it's a nothing song, clearly, but the band really cooks on it. Still, it gets up my nose, so I'm including it anyway.

"Northern Song," however, is just an unholy mess, sonically; plus, it's so drab and turgid that it makes "Within You and Without You" seem like a party record.

Alrighty, then -- what would YOUR choices be?

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Beatles Week: Part IV -- Your Thursday Moment of Words Fail Me

You know, for years, I've tried to figure out how the Fabs played the cool acoustic guitars on this.

And now, thanks to the intertubes, I know.

I am depressed beyond words at my lack of six-string intuition, but better late than never, I suppose.

[h/t Captain Al]

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Beatles Week: Part III -- Shiny Happy People

The Fab Four invent Death Metal at Shea Stadium in 1965.

I particularly like the gun shots in the crowd at the beginning and end.

UPDATE: Perhaps the lads were inspired by this terrifying encounter.

[h/t Todd Everett]