Tuesday, December 22, 2009

LOVE - Alone Again Or / A House Is Not A Motel - Elektra-45629 - 1967

I flew back to Rochester a few weeks ago for a super quick visit (just long enough to justify the cost of the flights..) and it was pretty awful. I kept thinking 'how could this shithole manage to get worse?' but it certainly did. Tyler chauffeured me to an old haunt to see some of the people that used to alternately entertain and irritate me, but they all died I guess. Oh well.

Later we ended up somewhere else, drinking whiskey (and Tyler a Coke most likely. [or was it Milk..? Who can remember?]) out of a bottle shaped like a horse head. Some girl nearby was making some comment about hating love, she looked angsty and punk enough to mean the human emotion, but it turns out she meant Arthur Lee's Love. What a retard.

I ended up at Tyler's, drunk, trying to make Leah jealous because now there's only one degree of separation between me and Vincent Gallo's dick.

LOVE - Alone Again Or

LOVE - A House Is Not A Motel

Monday, December 14, 2009

THE TOYS - May My Heart Be Cast Into Stone / On Backstreet - DynoVoice-218 - 1966

"May My Heart Be Cast Into Stone" was included in the incredible "One Kiss Can Lead To Another" girl groups box set and to me was one of the initial stand out tracks. I believe this is their last single for DynoVoice, and seems like the toughest to find. It took me a while to find a remotely clean copy.

Turns out the B side is pretty great too.

THE TOYS - May My Heart Be Cast Into Stone:

THE TOYS - On Backstreet:

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

LITTLE WILLIE JOHN - Fever / Letter From My Darling - King-4935 - 1956

This may be a bit premature since I've barely listened to the B-side of this single, but I can't contain my enthusiasm for this record. I must've listened to 'Fever' 12 times in a row when I first put this on my tables. Dead serious. 'Letter From My Darling' may be amazing as well, but I have to wait until I get over this song before I can even try listening to it objectively.

The other day I decided to break up my normal daily, after-work routine of wandering around aimlessly like a lost, mute child by planting myself on the floor of a record store to dig through their 'garbage bin' 45's. (Since I have no money, and bargain bin wears are all I can afford.) Typically digging through these boxes is a tiring and unrewarding experience, however, I think someone made a mistake (or is retarded) and mis-tagged a bunch of really good stuff and stuck it in the crap box. I think I ended up with 25-30 45's & spent less than 10 bucks. All good stuff; this record included.

Two of my all-time favorites (Elvis & The Cramps) do amazing versions of 'Fever,' so I figured it would be near impossible for someone else to come close to either of their takes on the song. Now, you'll have to excuse me for my ignorance, but somehow I missed out on Little Willie John's original. I guess it could have something to do with the fact that I was born 26 years after it was released. (Maybe. I dunno.)

But Goddamn! was I missing out. Where Elvis and The Cramps make 'Fever' work so well with a very minimalistic approach, Little Willie John's rendition is a blast of kinetic energy and it's bursting at the seams with soul. While this is still technically the same song that Elvis and The Cramps have done so perfectly, they move in such different ways that there's really no comparing them. Willie John's 'Fever' took me by surprise though, I have to admit. This song kills me. It makes me so fucking pumped I just wanna spin-kick Mike Neault down the stairs and do a little tap dance at the top.


(note: this is an old entry, re-posted to include the song.)

Little Willie John - Fever

Thursday, July 9, 2009

:::: A Couple Points of Interest ::::

1. I've been DJ'ing in Brooklyn more and more and it's been really great. I'm spinning all 45's (except for the occasional LP when I step outside for a minute [a 6 hour shift requires a few breaks..]) Here's what's coming up..

:: Friday, July 10, 10pm-4am - THE BOULEVARD TAVERN (579 Meeker in Greenpoint)

:: Wednesday, July 22, 10pm-4am - K&M (225 North 8th St. in Williamsburg)

:: Saturday, August 1, 10pm-4am - THE BOULEVARD TAVERN (My Birthday Party!!!)

Plus more to come. Be there.

2. How could Sky Saxon's death go so largely unnoticed? He got the short end of the death stick in almost the exact same way that Darby Crash did. Both were entirely overshadowed by a mega-celebrity's death (John Lennon and MJ) and it's a real shame. They were both crucially important in their own ways to the music surrounding and succeeding them, yet they were forgotten within minutes of their deaths. Sky's music has been far more important to me than MJ's, so I guess this is my attempt to pay tribute to him. I'll be sure to play all of my Seeds 45's when I DJ tomorrow night.. RIP Sky.

3. Sirius Radio's "Underground Garage" show is nearly unlistenable. I try to get into it, but the truth is that I just don't care about A LOT of what they play. Maybe it's that I expect something different to come from a station named "Underground Garage." I dunno. I usually just stick to the 50's station. Consistently much better.

4. If you haven't, check out the blogs on my little side list. Some great stuff. My two current favorites are Derek's Daily 45 Blog and People Mover.

All for now.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

THE CRAZY WORLD OF ARTHUR BROWN - I Put A Spell On You / Nightmare - Track-2582 - 1968

What a freakshow.

Arthur Brown - I Put A Spell On You

Arthur Brown - Nightmare

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

THE SONICS - The Witch / Keep A-Knockin' - Etiquette-11 -

I'm certainly not going to waste much time writing about this band. You should already know the basics, I mean, this is an essential building block of most of the good / important stuff that followed.

Anyway, I really love the mix of this particular single. It's not the cleanest mix I've ever heard, but it's fitting, and charming.

This is one of my favorite bits of my collection.

The Sonics - The Witch

The Sonics - Keep A-Knockin'

Thursday, May 7, 2009

THE RAINY DAZE - That Acapulco Gold / In My Mind Lives A Forest - Uni-55002 - 1967

I sort of hate the A-side of this single, so I'm not going to mention much about it or post it. It's a flaky, stupid song and I think radio stations did the general public a favor by banning it once they realized it was secretly about weed, though they should've banned it because it's bad, not for it's veiled subject matter.

The real gem here is 'In My Mind Lives A Forest,' a wonderful pop-psych song all around. As usual, the stellar production quality plays a big part in making this song as good as it is. The song starts with a perfectly fuzzed-out guitar, but gradually fades into the mix as the song morphs into something much cleaner, more pop oriented, and doesn't fully reappear until the closing seconds. The songwriting is great (the same people responsible for Strawberry Alarm Clock's 'Incense and Peppermints,') and I'm a sucker for a real cheap sounding organ tone, most audible during the choruses.

There's a pressing of this single with 'That Acapulco Gold' on both sides. BEWARE.

The Rainy Daze - In My Mind Lives A Forest

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

FRANKIE FORD - Sea Cruise / Roberta - Ace-554 - 1959

'Sea Cruise' was a big hit for Frankie Ford. Interestingly, the track was written by Huey 'Piano' Smith and originally sung by Bobby Marchan, the cross-dressing soul singer best known for singing 'Don't You Just Know It,' although Marchan's vocal was later replaced by Frankie Ford's using Smith's original instrumental track. This was the only time Frankie's name made it onto the charts.

'Roberta,' in my opinion, is the better of the two tracks though. This one was also written and played by Smith, though I'm not sure if Marchan's vocals were recorded and stripped from this track as well. I'm convinced that I've heard this song on some film's soundtrack (possibly a John Waters film?) but after some searching I still can't place it. Does anyone know for sure where else this song might have ended up? It's been bugging me since I bought this record.

Here ya go...

Frankie Ford - Sea Cruise

Frankie Ford - Roberta

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

WANDA JACKSON - Right Or Wrong / Funnel Of Love - Capital 4553 - 1961

Wanda is a living legend. I saw her live a few years ago and even though she's old as dirt, I thought she sounded as good as ever. I was completely wasted. I'm not sure how closely those two details are related..

Anyway, try to not like 'Funnel of Love.' I believe it may be impossible, unless you have shit for taste.

Wanda Jackson - Right or Wrong

Wanda Jackson - Funnel of Love

Monday, April 27, 2009

MARIANNE FAITHFUL - This Little Bird / Morning Sun - London - 1965

Marianne's marriage to Mick Jagger seems to overshadow the fact that she released a few wonderful records in the mid 60's. It's a bit of a shame.

Here's a great single; a personal favorite. Two sad, beautiful songs by a woman very much the same. Marianne was kind of a mess for a while there, huh?

Separately, but related, Marianne is responsible for one of the few Beatles covers that sounds better than the original. The song is "I'm A Loser" and was released on her 1965 self titled LP.

(This is a re-post with files added.)

Marianne Faithful - This Little Bird

Marianne Faithful - Morning Sun

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

THE CHIFFONS - Nobody Knows What's Goin' On (In My Mind But Me) / The Real Thing - Laurie-3301 - 1965

This is certainly one of my favorite 45's that I own. Both sides are right on.

'Nobody Knows' was written, and possibly produced, by Brute Force, the genius behind 'What A Lonely Way To Start The Summertime' by The Bitter Sweets. Again, he created a very catchy, girl group friendly song with darker overtones and amazing, vaguely psychedelic, wall-of-sound-esque production. The combination of girl groups with heavy reverb seems to be largely fail-proof.

'The Real Thing' is another great song, this one is a lot more soul based than the top side. Just about perfect songwriting here. Be warned: this one will stay with you for a bit.

There's a later press of this record that includes 'Did You Ever Go Steady' instead of 'The Real Thing.' This, the first pressing, is the one to find (especially since 'Did You Ever Go Steady' was also included as the B-side to their later single 'Sweet Talkin' Guy.')

Incredibly, I found this one in a 33 cent bin...

The Chiffons - Nobody Knows What's Goin' On (In My Mind But Me)

The Chiffons - The Real Thing

Saturday, April 11, 2009

COUNT FIVE - Peace Of Mind / The Morning After - Double Shot 106 - 1966

This is Count Five's chart-flopping followup to Psychotic Reaction. Honestly, it's not nearly as good, but it's an interesting single, in a way.

Peace of Mind isn't the best song ever, but it's got some really good psych freakout-ish instrumental breaks which are clearly the highlight of this record. The only bits of this song that I don't like much are the verses. Vocally, this track is pretty lackluster.

The Morning After, as a whole, is a pretty misguided, pointless song. The only thing of remote interest on this track is so burired in the mix that you really have to be listening for it to catch it. During the instrumental breaks there are some funny little psych noise effects that I like. Too bad they're barely audible..

Both of these tracks were included on the Psychotic Reaction LP.

Count Five - Peace Of Mind

Count Five - The Morning After

Friday, April 10, 2009

New Format Disclaimer:
I've decided to start including mp3's with all of my posts now. These will be direct recordings from the vinyl, and I won't do any post-production on them. That means that if there's some background noise on my record, that's what you get. Don't complain. Also, I may only post one side if I don't feel the flip side is worth the time/space/bandwidth.

At the moment I have my divshare account set with downloads enabled, but that may very well change. I really hate the idea of serial downloading, so if that seems to be happening I'll change it to streaming only. I'm not here to bulk up anyone's silly mp3 collection.

That being said, I think this format will do much better justice to the music, as I'm sure my opinion, and general lack of writing skills, typically leaves a lot to be desired.


Thursday, April 2, 2009

KOKO TAYLOR - Fire / Insane Asylum - Checker-1191 - 1968

Both sides of this single were written by Willie Dixon, he is featured on both tracks (more prominently on Insane Asylum,) and they are both unbelievably good.

At the time that I bought this this single Insane Asylum was the only Koko song I was familiar with, so I knew she was a very powerful soul singer, but it didn't prepare me for the flip side. Fire is a real mover, and Koko is belting it out like you wouldn't believe. This is heavy, commanding soul music.

This 45 wasn't the easiest thing to find but was well worth it in the end. Enjoy.

Koko Taylor - Fire

Koko Taylor - Insane Asylum