Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Donald Trump: “When Mexico Sends Its People, They’re Not Sending Their Best."

Oh fuck you, Donald. For starters, they sent us this guy.

From a just released Latin tribute to CCR...

...please enjoy the late Juan Gabriel and a really splendid cover of "Have You Ever Seen the Rain."

To be honest, I had never heard of Gabriel until last weekend, when I saw an obit for him on CNN, but he was apparently about as iconic as a human can be in his native country, and throughout Latin America. In any case, this is pretty much the standout track from the album, which is as spotty as most similar compilations tend to be. Although there's a wonderful version of...hmm, I think I'll save that one for tomorrow.

Gene Wilder 1933 - 2016

We must accept Wilder's passing with quiet dignity and grace.

I've said it before and I'll say it again -- this death shit is really starting to piss me off.

Monday, August 29, 2016

And Speaking of Gorgeous....

From her just released sophomore Sugar Hill Records album, please enjoy incomparable singer/songwriter Liz Longley and her new CD's title track -- "Weightless."

Spine-tinglingly wonderful, I think you'll agree.

Readers with long memories will recall that I first wrote about Liz back in 2014; as you can see from the photo...

...she's not only a great artist, but she has excellent taste in music not her own.

In any case, you can read more about her over HERE and you can (and should) order a CD of Weightless over at Amazon HERE. Apparently it's also available on vinyl, if you're one of those kind of people, but let's not get into that right this minute.

[h/t Phil Cheese]

Friday, August 26, 2016

Weekend Listomania: Special Time for My Boot Heels to be Wanderin' Edition

Well, it's Friday and you know what THAT means. Yes, my Oriental arm candy FAH LO SUEE and I are off to the University of Texas at Austin, where we plan to wave sex toys at the police. Not to join in the student protest against UT's concealed carry policy, but because we just enjoy waving sex toys at the police.

That being case, things will doubtless be a little slow around here for a couple of days, so in our absence, here's a fun little project for us all to wile away the idle hours:


No arbitrary rules here whatsoever, you're welcome very much.

And my totally top of my head Top Five is/are:

5. Dewey Cox -- Let Me Hold you (Little Man)

The greatest protest song of all time. Or at least till they remake The Wizard of Oz.

4. Mouse and the Traps -- A Public Execution

And speaking of Texas, these guys were apparently real big in the Lonestar State; supposedly this was a national hit, though, I never heard it in New York. In fact, I was unaware of this pitch-perfect emulation of Dylan's Blonde on Blonde period until Lenny Kaye included it on his groundbreaking Nuggets compilation.

3. The Weasels -- Cassandra

You can read more about the genesis of this, uh, classic over HERE. In any case, let's just say that I wrote the deeply mediocre guitar riff central to the song.

2. The Silkie -- You've Got to Hide Your Love Away

The John Lennon classic from the Help album, obviously. This live version isn't as good as the hit studio version George Harrison produced for these earnest folkies, but I don't think I've ever seen live, non lip-synched, footage of these guys before.

And the number uno, it's not even close so don't give me any grief, evocation of the work of the Bard of Hibbing Minesota clearly is --

1. The Rolling Stones -- Who's Been Sleeping Here?

One of the many great songs from Between the Buttons, which on certain days I am convinced is the Stones' all-time best album. Splendidly Dylan-esque, obviously.

Alrighty then -- what would YOUR choices be?

Thursday, August 25, 2016

An Early Clue to the New Direction

Sonny Bono, on German TV (where he belonged) in 1965 with his protest not-so-classic "Laugh at Me."

Bob Dylan on Sonny: "Cat's a drag. He gets thrown out of a restaurant and writes a song about it."

As usual, a coveted PowerPop No-Prize© will be awarded to the first reader who guesses the clip's relevance to the theme of tomorrow's Weekend Listomania.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

An Earlier Than Usual Clue to the New Direction

From their 1987 album Where-Ever Land, please enjoy The Spongetones...

... -- AKA the band that most deserves to be a household world but, criminally, isn't -- and their wondrous ode to "Woodstock II."

As our title suggests, this is, up to a point, a hint at the theme of Friday's Weekend Listomania, but no coveted PowerPop No-Prize will be awarded until after tomorrow's official clue goes up.

So don't bug me about this. Thank you.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Show Biz Maxim: If You Can't Sing or Dance, Honey -- Show Us Your Tits!

Noted, otherwise, without comment.

Hey Capt. Al -- what say we make this the playlist for my next appearance on your show?

Monday, August 22, 2016

Your Monday Moment of Words Fail Me

The lead-off track from Ian Hunter's forthcoming (Sept. 16) new album with the Rant Band.

This is a David Bowie tribute, obviously, and it's also, as a friend observed, just like hearing a new Mott song in 1973.

I should add that the guy...

...is freaking 77 years young. Absolutely phenomenal.

[h/t John Holcomb]

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Québec City Confidential: A Photo Essay

So as you may have heard, a certain Shady Dame and I spent a few days recently with our friends in the Great White North, specifically in Québec City. We had a splendid -- or perhaps splendide -- time, but I must confess I found the place a little odd.

Herewith, a visual record of our trip, with commentary.

For example, this moose store was the very first thing we saw after leaving our hotel.

I think we can safely conclude that if you were to buy anything at said store, you would -- officially -- be a tourist.

A few blocks later, we came across the statue of the Headless Capitaine. Apparently, this is some kind of mythological icon; perhaps there's a Canadian equivalent of Washington Irving I'm unaware of.

Have I mentioned that the Canadians really seem to love their moose?

I took this one outside the Museum of the Pussycat Cafe. We didn't go in, for fear of offending our delicate American sensibilities.

Have I mentioned that the Canadians really seem to love their moose?

If you're planning on vacationing in QC, I am happy to tell you that the food is very good. We particularly enjoyed the authentic cuisine at this establishment.

We didn't get a chance to stop at the sister restaurant, which specializes in fake cuisine. Maybe next time.

Did you know that Dr. Seuss was a hero in Canada? I sure didn't.

QC is absolutely redolent with history; everywhere you look, you learn something. For instance....

...I had no idea that McDonald's spokesclown founded the first public school in the province.

Meanwhile, it seems the Quebecoise are extremely formal. As you can see, even the trees have name tags.

And finally, it seems QC is a good town for Superman.

The last place in the Americas that still has phone booths...

...and has a Daily Planet building.

Have I mentioned that the Canadians really love their moose?

Okay, now take off, eh?

Friday, August 19, 2016

Je Ne Regrette Rien...Well, Maybe Un Peu...

Off to the airport in preparation for our return to the USA, where as Chuck Berry has pointed out, the hamburgers sizzle on the open grills night and day.

My sure to be award-winning visual diary of our stay in Quebec City will appear tomorrow by way of penance for my shitty postings this week.

In the meantime, have a great weekend, everybody!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Pardonnez Moi...Pardonnez Moi!

Well, gang, I only brought my iPad Mini with me to Canadia, and as it turns out I can't do a lot of stuff on it I would have been able to do had I brought my laptop.

Hence, the whole Canadian experience I had planned to blog about this week is, je regrette, beyond my technological prowess.

Regular and deeply humbled posting resumes on the morrow upon our return to the US of A.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Closed for Monkey Business

Things here in Quebec City have turned out to be a little wackier than expected.

Regular, albeit still Canadian, posting resumes on the morrow.

Merci bien.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

It's Canadian Content Week: Première Partie !

As you may have heard, a certain Shady Dame and I are off for a three day vacation with our neighbors in the Great White North.

So in celebration of this milestone in cross-cultural pollination, from 1977, please enjoy Toronto's pride and joy The Diodes and their fabulous punk deconstruction of The Cyrkle's "Red Rubber Ball."

More canucklehead rock on the morrow.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Closed for Monkey Business

Getting ready for a much-needed vacation, along with a certain Shady Dame, in the Great White North.

Regular, albeit Canadian, posting resumes on the morrow.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Your Friday Moment of Words Fail Me

1000 people play and sing David Bowie's "Rebel Rebel."

You know, it's not exactly a secret that I'm not a Bowie fan (although I love that particular song unreservedly). But let's just say you would have to have a heart of stone not to find the above incredibly moving on numerous levels.

Seriously, if you ever loved rock 'n' roll -- or heaven forfend, were enough of an old hippie to believe that just maybe music could be a force for good -- a tear is going to come to your eye at some point while watching that.

Have a great weekend, everybody.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

And Speaking of Gorgeous....

From a Badfinger tribute album originally released in 1996, please enjoy the incomparable pop rock genius of Bill Lloyd and an utterly magnificent cover of the Apple band's classic "Lonely You."

Incidentally, the track is now available on a just released collection of Lloyd's various covers over the years, and I highly recommend it, even if you have some of them already (the new mix of his take on the Raspberries "Going Nowhere Tonight" is alone worth the price of the album). You can order it over at Kool Kat Music HERE.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Words Fail Me

I couldn't get to sleep last night, and I'm not doing an early rock reference here. I was scared out of my wits after hearing Trump's latest speech.

You know, I was actually gonna put up the Beatles' "Happiness is a Warm Gun" today, but I can't even make that stupid joke. In fact, I'm almost embarrassed by the graphic above, which doesn't remotely do justice to the sheer capital E Evil that occurred yesterday.

Donald Fucking Trump advocated for Hillary's assassination. Period, full stop, end of story.

The Republican party has to find a legal way to get that sociopath off their ticket and they need to do it right now.

Is it too early for me to start drinking while I wait?

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

The Blues Came Down From Nutley N.J.: The Next Generation

[I first posted this in 2010; I'm re-upping it now because a) the original DivShare links have gone bye-bye and b) because it's going to piss the living shit out of one of the most annoying ignoramus philistine snob assholes I ever encountered. Enjoy! -- S.S.]

Now it can be told: We -- by which I mean my old pal from my college rock band Tony Forte and moi -- taught legendary bluesman Slim Harpo ("Scratch My Back," "Hip Shake," "I'm a King Bee," etc) everything he knew.

From late 1968, here's our unplugged publishing demo version of Tony's "Big Black Car." I'm on bass; Tony's on everything else.

And from sometime in early 1969, here's the aforementioned legendary bluesman with the version he glommed from ours. This is from a recently transferred acetate (the only known surviving copy); please pardon the scratches and other anomalies but (incredibly enough) this is a genuine piece of history which has never been heard before, even by hardcore blues collectors. Slim's on vocals and harp (obviously); the backup guys are the then pit band for the Broadway production of Hair.

And finally, from 1974, here's "Big Black Car" again in the version The Hounds, my aforementioned college rock band, used to open our sets with for years. For those keeping score, I'm the electric guitar on the left channel; Tony's on the right.

The folk process at work, ladies and gentleman.

Monday, August 08, 2016

Deep Thought Monday

I don't know about you guys, but I've been losing sleep about this for quite a while.

[h/t KLG]

Friday, August 05, 2016

"Balls!" Said the Queen. "If I Had 'Em I'd Be King!"

She does, and she is.

I had never seen that clip until the other day, and if I ever needed a reminder of why I've loved that woman since before she was famous, that'll suffice.

And she's wearing the album cover shirt and tie, too.

Have a great weekend, everybody.

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Closed for Monkey Business

Running a little behind schedule.

Regular well-dressed and peppy posting resume on the morrow.

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Your Wednesday Moment of Who Knew?

That the great Ralph Steadman had done cover art for The Who? I certainly didn't until yesterday.

And I'd completely forgotten about the acoustic version of "Happy Jack" above. It's from the 2CD Japanese remastered version of the album, which I highly recommend, BTW. The stereo mixes, in particular, are so much better than anything released in the States it's not even funny.

[h/t Tommy Stewart]

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

And Flo, She Don't Know (Part II): Special Meryl Streep is God Edition

[I originally posted this back in early 2014; I'm re-posting it now for reasons that will be obvious downstairs when you watch the trailer for the forthcoming movie with Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant. -- S.S.]

From a privately issued recording from 1938, please enjoy amusingly bonkers NYC socialite Florence Foster Jenkins and her inimitable version of the "Queen of the Night" aria from Mozart's The Magic Flute.

Florence Foster Jenkins was a novelty in the history of music, an operatic coloratura who had all of the requisite charms and trappings worthy of a diva, minus the voice. Married to a wealthy industrialist and well entrenched in upper-crust New York society by 1912, "Madame" Jenkins obtained a divorce that year. The resulting settlement was handsome enough to set Jenkins up in style and to pursue her extensive charitable interests. She had already been studying voice for some time, and her charity fundraisers included such gala events as "The Ball of the Silver Skylarks," involving special costumes made at her request, and usually culminating in a sample of her singing. Jenkins' voice was high, scrawny, and seemed to have a mind of its own, warbling its way through difficult coloratura arias with the grace and control of an upright piano pushed down a spiral staircase. Well-heeled society types would attend Jenkins' recitals and patiently endure her auditory assault, along with enjoying a well-concealed chuckle or two at her expense. Jenkins' annual gala would remain a popular fixture in New York society for decades.

In 1938, Jenkins made her only recordings at the Melotone studio in New York, which were pressed up and sold privately. On this occasion, and most others by this time, Jenkins employed the services of accompanist Cosme McMoon, a flamboyant and eccentric character well known in New York's underground gay community. McMoon proved an excellent foil for Jenkins, waiting for her entrances at key points in arias and writing special material to best show off her vocal "assets." At age 76, Jenkins finally achieved her lifelong dream of performing at Carnegie Hall's Recital Hall on October 25, 1944, but this may have backfired, as rumor has it that afterward she discovered what her audiences really thought about her music making. Jenkins collapsed and died a month later in Schirmer's Music Store, her last words allegedly being "It must've been the creamed chicken."

I should add that RCA Victor actually issued this stuff on a couple of LPs in the late 60s, apparently on the theory that Florence could become a sort of cult hepster camp figure like Mrs. Miller.

I also love the fact that her accompanist/Svengali was named Cosme McMoon. I'll betcha he was a lot of fun at parties, if you know what I mean.

Oh -- and here's that trailer I mentioned up top.

The movie premieres August 12. I'll be there for opening day, I'll tell you that for free.

Monday, August 01, 2016

Your Monday Moment of Why Didn't I Get the Memo?

Live, from the Prudential Center in my home state in 2012, please enjoy The Rolling Stones and some neighborhood guy...

...roaring through the Stones' classic "Tumbling Dice."

I always suspected that if Springsteen ever showed up onstage with the Stones that this is the song they'd collaborate on.

That said, the performance here is kind of a mess, to be sure. Mick's not in particularly good voice, "Tumbling Dice" is not really in Springsteen's vocal comfort zone, and let's just say that the guitar solo is not one of the best the Boss has ever done.

I basically don't care, though, because the song is largely unruinable, because everybody here involved is clearly having a ball, and because by the end of the performance the groove all concerned are generating is overwhelming -- particularly Charlie fucking Watts on drums, who just absolutely lays 'em in the aisles.