Friday, January 29, 2010

My Johnson

Never Lose Your Grandson

My small grandson got lost at the shopping mall.

He approached a uniformed security guard and said,

"I've lost my grandpa"

The guard asked "What's he like"

The little tyke hesitated for a moment and then said,

"Chivas Regal Scotch and women with big boobs."

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Yabby You - A Cornerstone Of Roots Reggae

Vivian "Yabby You" Jackson.
Jah Jah Way

Vivian Jackson better known as Yabby You (or sometimes Yabby U), certainly one of the most fascinating reggae vocalists and producers of the roots reggae period, died on Tuesday 12th January 2010 at 11pm after suffering an aneurysm.


At the beginning of the roots music era in the 1970s, Vivian Jackson aka Yabby You was making his first tentative moves towards a musical career. One of seven children, Yabby had been born in Kingston in 1946. At the age of twelve Yabby left home and found work making Dutch pots in a furnace located near the gully bank in the ghetto district of Waterhouse. When he was seventeen he was taken seriously ill, suffering from the effects of malnutrition. When he came out of hospital he also had arthritis, and was thus physically unable to do the kind of work he had done before. He hustled a kind of living on the street, through his skill at picking racehorse winners.

Although a Rastafarian, Jackson did not believe in the divinity of Emperor Haile Selassie and his Christian beliefs were at odds with other Rastas he knew. He was given the nickname "Jesus Dread" as a result of his argumentative nature. Because his Christian beliefs were markedly different from that of his Rastafarian comtemporaries, it often prompted debate on religio-philosophical matters, and it was after one of these discussions that Jackson first headed towards a recording studio. To get the money to hire the studio, he returned to his previous work at the furnace, in spite of warnings from the doctors at the hospital. However he was taken sick again and had to go back to hospital where they operated his stomach. He had earned just enough money to buy a 2-inch tape and hire Dynamic studio for half an hour. Luckily musicians such as Leroy "Horsemouth" Wallace, Earl "Chinna" Smith and "Familyman" Barrett were willing to play free.

During the early seventies, Yabby You spent a lot of time at the Ethiopian World Federation church run by Brother Joe on Balmagie Avenue, Waterhouse. Listening to the singing coming through the windows of the building one day, Yabby joined in. Brother Joe heard his voice and indicated that he should come in. Inside, Yabby sung his song 'Carnal Mind', a version of an old hymn. It was well-received, so much so that Brother Joe decided to record it. When the time came to record, the group, which then included Albert Griffiths of the Gladiators and Roydel Johnson (co-founder of The Congos) left him behind and the record was released in early 1972 as 'Go To Zion' by Brother Joe and the Rightful Brothers. Stung by this experience, Yabby You resolved to voice the riddim he had laid the year before with Chinna, Family Man and Horsemouth. During six months of work during 1971 he had saved enough - around fifty Jamaican dollars - to voice the tune around the end of that year. Yabby You's song 'Conquering Lion' was released as by Vivian Jackson and the Ralph Brothers - Alric Forbes and Bobby Powell (aka Bobby Melody) - appearing on two different labels, Now and Prophet, in the autumn of 1972.

Over the next eighteen months Yabby released other tunes - 'Love Thy Neighbour', 'Love Of Jah', 'Warn The Nation' - usually under the name Vivian Jackson (and the Prophets). By this time Dada Smith had begun singing in the group, contributing lead vocal to 'Warn The Nation' ( also released under the title 'Jah Love'). The group recorded at Lee Perry's Black Ark studio in 1974, cutting the ominously moody masterpiece 'Jah Vengeance' and 'Run Come Rally' there. Early in 1975, Yabby released the 'Conquering Lion' set, a true cornerstone of Jamaican roots music. The album gained a release in variant form under the title 'Ram-A-Dam' on Dennis Harris' DIP label in the UK in early 1976. His dub classic 'King Tubby's Prophesy Of Dub' was also released then in a limited edition of 500 copies. These releases - in which Yabby shares with the listener his vision of Creation and his way of life within it - fully established him as a roots artist of the first order. He began to expand his activities, producing the young singer Wayne Wade on titles like 'Man Of The Living' and the recut of 'Conquering Lion' called 'Lord Of Lords'.

The strength of Yabby You's riddims also drew the attention of deejays. Big Youth had already scored with a version of the 'Conquering Lion' riddim and Yabby You began recording less-celebrated mikemen like Prince Pampadoo, Jah Pops, Jah Stone, King Miguel and Ranking Magnum, as well as some of the hottest deejays of the time including Dillinger, U-Brown, Jah Stitch, Ranking Trevor, Tappa Zukie and the excellent Trinity. Although they all had singles released on the Prophets imprint, Trinity was the only one who had an album issued, 'Shanty Town Determination', with the young deejay riding a selection of Yabby You's best riddims of the period.

The instrumentals Yabby You made at this time with Tommy McCook show both in top form. The legendary Skatalites co-founder is featured on the 'Blazing Horns' set with trumpeter Bobby Ellis. Included on this compilation are instrumentals like 'Death Trap' and 'Revenge', both recorded at Black Ark, along with previously-unreleased and storming sax cuts of 'King Pharaoh's Plague' and 'Chant Down Babylon Kingdom'.

As with Wayne Wade, Yabby You began giving songs to other aspiring vocalists. In this way he started the solo careers of Michael Prophet, Tony Tuff, Patrick Andy and Junior Brown, and issued albums by Michael Prophet, Wayne Wade and Patrick Andy from 1977 on. He also continued his fruitful association with dubmaster King Tubby, releasing sets like 'Beware Dub' and 'Yabby You & Michael Prophet Meet Scientist at Dub Station'. Yabby You's own album 'Deliver Me From My Enemies' was issued in the UK by Grove Music. Always conscious of the work that he was engaged in, he concentrated on celebrating the message manifested on his earlier releases, up to the defining roots statement of the 'Conquering Lion' album.

In the 1980s he retreated from the music business as his health deteriorated, though he made something of a comeback in the 1990s with some new productions and the reappearance of many of his classic singles and albums, repressed from the original stampers to cater for the large European collectors market.

For nearly forty years, Yabby You has shared his vision of the Everlasting Gospel with us, simultaneously crafting some of the most dynamic yet intensely spiritual music of our time.

For You Yabby - R.I.P.

1    Jah Jah Way
2    Stop Your Quarreling
3    Free Africa
4    Jah Vengence
5   Lady Lady
6   I Feel Lonely
7   Ballistic Dread Locks
8   Chalice Specialist
9   Dread Locks Man

Get it HERE    

Greasy, Smoky and Oh So Very Tasty

Barbecue Bob and The Spareribs
The Sacred and The Propane
Ripped @ a greasy 256
Bring plenty of napkins when you sit down with this one.
Biography by Steve Leggett

Barbecue Bob & the Spareribs are a hard-driving "swamp rock" blues band, veterans of the New York City and New Jersey bar scene. The classic Spareribs lineup consists of songwriter Robert Pomeroy (vocals, guitar, harmonica), Ira Spinrad (guitar), Dominick Zarillo (bass), and Scott Byrne (drums). The band has released three albums on CD on the DaDa label: After School Special, Pass the Biscuits!, and The Sacred & the Propane. AMG

  1 Burnin' Hell 
  2 Love Has Turned to Hate 
  3 Hey Little Girl 
  4 Fat of the Land 
  5 Don't Start Crying Now 
  6 Kate 
  7 Evil Twist 
  8 The Preacher 
  9 It's Too Late Brother 
  10 We Gotta Rock 
  11 The Chosen One 
  12 Remember 
  13 Time to Go 
  14 French St. Mambo
Get it HERE

Sweet But Won't Rot Your Teeth

Big Sugar

Big Sugar


Ripped @ a sweet 256

Big Sugar officially formed in 1991 in Toronto, Ontario, consisting of vocalist and guitarist Gordie Johnson, bassist Terry Wilkins, and drummer Al Cross, though the three musicians had already played together for several years as an informal jam band with members of the Bourbon Tabernacle Choir, and as a supporting band for Molly Johnson's jazz performances. After Molly Johnson returned to rock music with Infidels, she helped her former bandmates to secure a record deal; their eponymous debut album was released in 1991 on Hypnotic Records.

After Wilkins left the band in 1993, Big Sugar recorded the album Five Hundred Pounds with the help of guest musicians; including harmonica and tenor saxophonist Kelly Hoppe, also known as Mr. Chill. Hoppe brought a blues and old-school r'n'b influence into the band's sound. Hoppe would become an official member of the band in September 1994. He would later add keyboards and melodica to his sideman responsibilities. In July 1994, bassist Garry Lowe joined the band. Lowe had moved to Canada in the mid-1970s from Kingston, Jamaica. Soon after arriving in Toronto, he became an in-demand bass player for touring reggae recording artists. He often accompanied them at Toronto's famed Bamboo club on Queen St.W., among other venues. Lowe was a founding member of "Culture Shock", a popular Toronto reggae band. Johnson, an avid reggae maven (and one-time bass player), had been a fan of Lowe's and was pleasantly surprised when he agreed to join Big Sugar as a full-time member. Also in 1994, Al Cross left the band and was replaced by Stich Wynston, formerly of The Shuffle Demons.

Big Sugar had slowly built a reputation as an outstanding live band, and Five Hundred Pounds consolidated it; the album sold 10,000 copies in Canada without any real publicity or radio airplay. During this time, Gordie Johnson also recorded an album as Don't Talk Dance, with Tyler Stewart of Barenaked Ladies and Chris Brown of the Bourbon Tabernacle Choir.

In 1995, the band released two EPs; Dear M.F., which featured a cover version of Traffic's "Dear Mr. Fantasy"; and Ride Like Hell. Following the release of these EPs, Stich Wynston left the band and was replaced by Walter "Crash" Morgan. During the band's tour that year, however, Morgan suffered an aneurysm, collapsed, and died on stage during a show in Iowa. Longtime band associate Raffa Dean was enlisted to finish the tour, and former Odds member Paul Brennan subsequently joined as the band's new drummer, appearing on their most commercially successful album, 1996's Hemi-Vision. Brennan left in 1997, and was replaced by Gavin Brown.

Hemi-Vision's single "Opem Up Baby" was a notable first for the band, who recorded a French version of that song, "Ouvres-Toi Bébé", for radio stations in Quebec. The song gained widespread airplay in the province, and for their next album, 1998's Heated, the band recorded a French version of each single they released; the French songs were collected on the 1999 EP Chauffe à bloc. Also that year, Johnson and Hoppe performed several acoustic shows as a duo under the names "Little Sugar" or "Two Fools on Stools".

Gavin Brown left the band in 1999 and Cross returned as drummer. The band also added a new rhythm guitarist, Mojah.

In 2000, the band released a dub album, Extra Long Life, under the name Alkaline.

In 2001, Big Sugar released Brothers and Sisters, Are You Ready? Taking their interest in writing and performing French material to its logical conclusion, a complete track-for-track French version, Brothers and Sisters, Êtes Vous Ready?, was released the same year. Both albums concluded with a blistering blues-rock rendition of "O Canada". Towards the end of this tour, Al Cross again left the band to pursue percussion studies in New York state. He was initially replaced by Marks Lockhart (formerly of Big Rude Jake), and finally by Eric "Speedstick" Paul.

The two-CD compilation Hit & Run, featuring a greatest hits disc and a live concert performance disc, was released in 2003.

The band broke up in 2004, after, according to the band's website, Johnson became frustrated with Canadian radio programmers who claimed his single "All Hell for a Basement" was "too Canadian" (as the song makes reference to the province of Alberta). Johnson, a staunch nationalist, was disgusted and angry and left Canada to pursue music in a more "open, welcoming" environment. Big Sugar's last concert was December 31, 2003, at the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton. The newly re-named "Grady" Johnson can now be found in the Austin, Texas-based band Grady. Kelly Hoppe performs with Mr. Chill & The Witnesses, a roots music group. Mojah and Garry Lowe went on to form Truth and Rights Revue, a reggae band, and have released one album to date. Eric Paul played with Truth and Rights, but has recently joined Ian Thornley (formerly of Big Wreck) in the newly-revised lineup of Thornley.

Gordie Johnson is also a producer and session musician. To date, he has produced albums and tracks for Three Days Grace, Thousand Foot Krutch, Billy Talent, Thornley, Joel Plaskett Emergency, Gov't Mule, Taj Mahal, Wide Mouth Mason, Big Rude Jake, BTK, The Trews, Chris Duarte, John Ford and Ashley MacIsaac, as well as playing with Molly Johnson, Jonny Lang and Double Trouble, the Bourbon Tabernacle Choir, Big Rude Jake and many others.


1 Sleep in Late
2 Come Back Baby 
3 Motherless Children 
4 So Many Roads (For Clive) 
5 Bemsha Swing 
6 Stardust
7 Groundhog Day
8 Just About Sunrise 
9 Goodbye Train
10 Nowhere to Go 
11 'Round Midnight
12 Devil Got My Woman 


Get it HERE

Damn Flies!

  What to do...when you're really bored. 

1. Kill a few Flies

2. Put them in the sun to dry for one hour.

3. Once they are dry, pick a pencil and paper... Let your imagination flow.

Here are a few examples...  

Please wash your hands when you're finished entertaining yourself.

Keepin' It Real Here Boss

B.B. Chung King & The Buddaheads
Make no mistake, BB Chung King & The Buddaheads are the original Los Angeles Version!

BB is always busy working on new Buddaheads material, but also finds time to write, record and produce for other artists. He has written songs for blues legends such as Lonnie Brooks, Coco Montoya, Shemekia Copeland and he helped Ruth Brown receive a Grammy nomination for her performance of his song, "Too Little, Too Late :. he also wrote and produced tracks with Grammy winning partner Dennis Walker, for the critically acclaimed Bettye Lavette album, A Woman Like Me".

You can hear the Buddaheads paying tribute to Lowell George. Together with Eddie Money, they perform the title track to the tribute album titled "Rock and Roll Doctor" (a song that appears as a bonus track on The Buddaheads "LIVE JAPAN" CD)

"PLAY HARD", the third full-length album, was released in Japan by Kiagan Records.

The fourth studio offering was, "GO FOR BROKE", a breathtaking collection of Rockin' Blues and power packed ballads. More great Buddaheads music can be found on their last studio release, "REAL".

The Buddaheads music can also be found in the following films: My Cousin Vinny, Heaven and Earth, Robocop II, Contact, Bring Down the Stars, Great Expectations, and Chuck Norris' Forest Warrior.

"I am thankful that I have the studio to work from when I am not on the road. It is the perfect place for me and the band to flesh out new ideas and it also makes a perfect living room environment for a blues-full jam when friends are in town", smiles BB.

  1 Real
  2 911 
  3 Better Day 
  4 Bye Bye Bye 
  5 Crawlin'moon 
  6 '57 Chevy 
  7 Cold Hard Cash
  8 Tied Up 
  9 Dance Maria 
  10 Train Train 
  11 Fallin' and Crawlin' 
  12 Alana
Get it HERE

Can You Keep A PokerFace?

Tragedy and Comedy
Ripped @ a blazin' 320

Former group from the old'n daze. Give it a spin and let me know what you think. We really did have a "Cult Next Door".

1   Life Change
2   Came Back
3   Sad Sad Day
4   PokerFace
5   Where Were You?
6   Heartaches
7   Just A Light Away
8   Till Tim Goes On
9   Red Morning Calling
10 Rough Life
11 The Cult Next Door

Get it HERE 

Not 20, Not 30, But 50 Greatest Hits

Buddy Holly

50 Greatest Hits


Biography by Bruce Eder

Buddy Holly is perhaps the most anomalous legend of '50s rock & roll -- he had his share of hits, and he achieved major rock & roll stardom, but his importance transcends any sales figures or even the particulars of any one song (or group of songs) that he wrote or recorded. Holly was unique, his legendary status and his impact on popular music all the more extraordinary for having been achieved in barely 18 months. Among his rivals, Bill Haley was there first and established rock & roll music; Elvis Presley objectified the sexuality implicit in the music, selling hundreds of millions of records in the process, and defined one aspect of the youth and charisma needed for stardom; and Chuck Berry defined the music's roots in blues along with some of the finer points of its sexuality, and its youthful orientation (and, in the process, intermixed all of these elements). Holly's influence was just as far-reaching as these others, if far more subtle and more distinctly musical in nature. In a career lasting from the spring of 1957 until the winter of 1958-1959 -- less time than Elvis had at the top before the army took him (and less time, in fact, than Elvis spent in the army) -- Holly became the single most influential creative force in early rock & roll.

Born in Lubbock, TX, on September 7, 1936, Charles Hardin "Buddy" Holley (he later dropped the "e") was the youngest of four children. A natural musician from a musical family, he was proficient on guitar, banjo, and mandolin by age 15 and was working as part of a duo with his boyhood friend Bob Montgomery, with whom he had also started writing songs. By the mid-'50s, Buddy & Bob, as they billed themselves, were playing what they called "western and bop"; Holly, in particular, was listening to a lot of blues and R&B and finding it compatible with country music. He was among those young Southern men who heard and saw Elvis perform in the days when the latter was signed to Sam Phillips' Sun Records -- indeed, Buddy & Bob played as an opening act for Elvis when he played the area around Lubbock in early 1955, and Holly saw the future direction of his life and career.

By mid-1955, Buddy & Bob, who already worked with an upright bass (played by Larry Welborn), had added drummer Jerry Allison to their lineup. They'd also cut some sides that would have qualified as rock & roll, though no label was interested at that particular time. Eventually Montgomery, who leaned toward more of a traditional country sound, left the performing partnership, though they continued to compose songs together. Holly kept pushing his music toward a straight-ahead rock & roll sound, working with Allison, Welborn, and assorted other local musicians, including guitarist Sonny Curtis and bassist Don Guess. It was with the latter two that Holly cut his first official recording session in January of 1956 in Nashville for Decca Records. They found out, however, that there was a lot more to playing and cutting rock & roll than met the eye; the results of this and a follow-up session in July were alternately either a little too tame and a little too far to the country side of the mix or were too raw. Some good music and a pair of near classics, "Midnight Shift" and "Rock Around With Ollie Vee," did come out of those Decca sessions, but nothing issued at the time went anywhere. At the time, it looked as though Holly had missed his shot at stardom.

Fate intervened in the guise of Norman Petty, a musician-turned-producer based in Clovis, NM, who had an ear for the new music and what made it sound good, especially over the radio, to the kids. Petty had a studio where he charged by the song instead of by the hour, and Holly and company had already begun working there in the late spring of 1956. After Decca's rejection, Holly and his band, which now included Niki Sullivan on rhythm guitar, threw themselves into what Petty regarded as the most promising songs they had, until they worked out a tight, tough version of one of the failed originals that Holly had cut in Nashville, entitled "That'll Be the Day." The title and lyrical phrase, lifted from a line that John Wayne was always quoting in the John Ford movie The Searchers, had staying power, and the group built on it. They got the song nailed and recorded, and with Petty's help, got it picked up by Murray Deutsch, a publishing associate of Petty's who, in turn, got it to Bob Thiele, an executive at Coral Records, who liked it. Ironically, Coral was a subsidiary of Decca, the same company to which Holly had previously been signed.

Thiele saw the record as potential hit, but there were some major hurdles to overcome before it could actually get released. For starters, according to author Philip Norman in his book Rave On, Thiele would get only the most begrudging support from his record company. Decca had lucked out in 1954 when, at Milt Gabler's urging, they'd signed Bill Haley & His Comets and subsequently saw his "Rock Around the Clock" top the charts, but very few of those in charge at Decca had a real feel or appreciation for rock & roll or any sense of where it might be heading, or whether the label could (or should) follow it there. For another, although he had been dropped by Decca Records the previous year, the contract that Holly had signed prohibited him from re-recording anything that he had cut for Decca, regardless of whether it had been released or not, for five years; though Coral Records was a subsidiary of Decca, there was every chance that Decca's Nashville office could hold up the release and might even haul Holly into court. Amid all of these possibilities, good and bad, Welborn, who had played on "That'll Be the Day," was replaced on bass by Joe B. Mauldin.

"That'll Be the Day" was issued in May of 1957 mostly as an indulgence to Thiele, to "humor" him, according to Norman. The record was put out on the Brunswick label, which was oriented more toward jazz and R&B, and credited to the Crickets, a group name picked as a dodge to prevent any of the powers-that-were at Decca -- and especially Decca's Nashville office -- from having too easy a time figuring out that the singer was the same artist that they'd dropped the year before. Petty also became the group's manager as well as their producer, signing the Crickets -- identified as Allison, Sullivan, and Mauldin -- to a contract. Holly wasn't listed as a member in the original document, in order to hide his involvement with "That'll Be the Day," but this omission would later become the source of serious legal and financial problems for him.

When the smoke cleared, the song shot to the top spot on the national charts that summer. Of course, Decca knew Holly's identity by then; with Thiele's persuasion and the reality of a serious hit in their midst, the company agreed to release Holly from the five-year restriction on his old contract, leaving him free to sign any recording contract he wanted. In the midst of sorting out the particulars of Holly's legal situation, Thiele discovered that he had someone on his hands who was potentially a good deal more than a one-hit wonder -- there were potentially more and different kinds of potential hits to come from him. When all was said and done, Holly found himself with two recording contracts, one with Brunswick as a member of the Crickets and the other with Coral Records as Buddy Holly, which was part of Thiele's strategy to get the most out of Holly's talent. By releasing two separate bodies of work, he could keep the group intact while giving room for its obvious leader and "star" to break out on his own.

There was actually little difference in the two sets of recordings for most of his career, in terms of how they were done or who played on them, except possibly that the harder, straight-ahead rock & roll songs, and the ones with backing vocals, tended to be credited to the Crickets. The confusion surrounding the Buddy Holly/Crickets dual identity was nothing, however, compared to the morass that constituted the songwriting credits on their work.

It's now clear that Petty, acting as their manager and producer, parceled out writing credits at random, gifting Niki Sullivan and Joe B. Mauldin (and himself) the co-authorship of "I'm Gonna Love You Too," while initially leaving Holly's name off of "Peggy Sue." Petty usually added his name to the credit line as well, a common practice in the 1950s for managers and producers who wanted a bigger piece of the action. In fairness, it should be said that Petty did make suggestions, some of them key, in shaping certain of Holly's songs, but he almost certainly didn't contribute to the extent that the shared credits would lead one to believe. Some of the public's confusion over songwriting was heightened by complications ensuing from another of the contracts that Holly had signed in 1956. Petty had his own publishing company, Nor Va Jak Music, and had a contract with Holly to publish all of his new songs; but the prior year, Holly had signed an exclusive contract with another company -- eventually a settlement and release from the old contract might be sorted out, but in order to reduce his profile as a songwriter until that happened, and to convince the other publisher that they weren't losing too much in any settlement, he copyrighted many of his new songs under the pseudonym "Charles Hardin."

The dual recording contracts made it possible for Holly to record an extraordinary number of sides in the course of his 18 months of fame. Meanwhile, the group -- billed as Buddy Holly & the Crickets -- became one of the top attractions of rock & roll's classic years, putting on shows that were as exciting and well played as any in the business. Holly was the frontman, singing lead and playing lead guitar -- itself an unusual combination -- as well as writing or co-writing many of their songs. But the Crickets were also a totally enveloping performing unit, generating a big and exciting sound (which, apart from some live recordings from their 1958 British tour, is lost to history). Allison was a very inventive drummer and contributed to the songwriting bit more often than his colleagues, and Joe B. Mauldin and Niki Sullivan provided a solid rhythm section.

The fact that the group relied on originals for their singles made them unique and put them years ahead of their time. In 1957-1958, songwriting wasn't considered a skill essential to a career in rock & roll; the music business was still patterned along the lines that it had followed since the '20s, with songwriting a specialized profession organized on the publishing side of the industry, separate from performing and recording. Once in a while, a performer might write a song or, much more rarely, as in the case of a Duke Ellington, count composition among his key talents, but generally this was an activity left to the experts. Any rock & roller with the inclination to write songs would also have to get past the image of Elvis, who stood to become a millionaire at age 22 and never wrote songs (the few "Presley" songwriting credits were the result of business arrangements rather than any creative activity on his part).

Buddy Holly & the Crickets changed that in a serious way by hitting number one with a song that they'd written and then reaching the Top Ten with originals like "Oh, Boy" and "Peggy Sue," and regularly charging up the charts on behalf of their own songwriting. This attribute wasn't appreciated by the public at the time, and wouldn't be noticed widely until the 1970s, but thousands of aspiring musicians, including John Lennon and Paul McCartney, took note of the fact, and some of them decided to try and emulate Holly.

Less obvious at the time, Holly and company also broke up the established record industry method of recording, which was to bring the artist into the label's own studio, working on a timetable dictated by corporate policy and union rules. If an artist were extremely successful -- à la Sinatra or Elvis, or later on, the Beatles -- they got a blank check in the studio and any union rules were smoothed over, but that was a rare privilege, available only to the most elite of musicians. Buddy Holly & the Crickets, by contrast, did their work, beginning with "That'll Be the Day," in Clovis, NM, at Petty's studio. They took their time, they experimented until they got the sound they wanted, and no union told them when to stop or start their work, and they delivered great records; what's more, they were records that didn't sound like anyone else's, anywhere.

The results were particularly telling on the history of rock music. The group worked out a sound that gave shape to the next wave of rock & roll and, especially, to early British rock & roll and the subsequent British Invasion beat, with the lead and rhythm guitars closely interlocked to create a fuller, harder sound. On songs such as "Not Fade Away,""Everyday," "Listen to Me," "Oh Boy!," "Peggy Sue," "Maybe Baby,""Rave On," "Heartbeat," and "It's So Easy," Holly advanced rock & roll's range and sophistication without abandoning its fundamental joy and excitement. Holly and the band weren't afraid to experiment even on their singles, so that "Peggy Sue" made use of the kind of changes in volume and timbre on the guitar that were usually reserved for instrumental records; similarly, "Words of Love" was one of the earliest successful examples of double-tracked vocals in rock & roll, which the Beatles, in particular, would embrace in the ensuing decade.

Buddy Holly & the Crickets were very popular in America, but in England they were even bigger, their impact serious rivaling that of Elvis and, in some ways, even exceeding it. This was due, in part, to the fact that they actually toured England -- they spent a month there in 1958, playing a series of shows that were still being written about 30 years later -- which was something that Elvis never did. But it also had to do with their sound and Holly's stage persona. The group's heavy use of rhythm guitar slotted right in with the sound of skiffle music, a mix of blues, folk, country, and jazz elements that constituted most of British youth's introduction to playing music and their way into rock & roll. Additionally, although he cut an exciting figure on-stage, Holly looked a lot less likely a rock & roll star than Elvis -- tall, lanky, and bespectacled, he looked like an ordinary guy who simply played and sang well, and part of his appeal as a rock & roll star was rooted in how unlikely he looked in that role. He provided inspiration -- and a way into the music -- for tens of thousands of British teenagers who also couldn't imagine themselves rivals to Elvis or Gene Vincent in the dark and dangerous department.

At least one star British guitarist of the late '50s, Hank Marvin of the Shadows, owed his look (and the fact that he wore his glasses proudly on stage) to Holly, and his look can be seen being propagated into the 1970s by Elvis Costello. Additionally, although he played several different kinds of guitar, Holly was specifically responsible for popularizing -- some would say elevating to mystical, even magical status -- the Fender Stratocaster, especially in England. For a lot of would-be rock & rollers on the Sceptered Isle, Holly's 1958 tour was the first chance they'd had to see or hear the instrument in action, and it quickly became the guitar of choice for anyone aspiring to stardom as an axeman in England. (Indeed, Marvin, inspired by Holly, later had what is reputed to be the first Stratocaster ever brought into England.)

The Crickets were reduced to a trio with the departure of Sullivan in late 1957, following the group's appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, but that was almost the least of the changes that would ensue over the following year. The group consolidated its success with the release of two LPs, The Chirping Crickets and Buddy Holly, and did two very successful international tours as well as more performing in the United States. Holly had already developed aspirations and interests that diverged somewhat from those of Allison and Mauldin. The thought apparently had never occurred to either of them of giving up Texas as their home, and they continued to base their lives there, while Holly was increasingly drawn to New York, not just as a place to do business, but also to live. His romance with and marriage to Maria Elena Santiago, a receptionist in Murray Deutsch's office, only made the decision to move to New York easier.

By this time, Holly's music had grown in sophistication and complexity to the point where he had relinquished the lead guitar duties in the studio to session player Tommy Alsup, and he had done a number of recordings in New York utilizing session musicians such as King Curtis. It was during this period that his and the group's sales had slackened somewhat. The singles such as "Heartbeat" didn't sell nearly as well as the 45s of 1957 had rolled out of stores. He might even have advanced farther than a big chunk of the group's audience was prepared to accept in late 1958. "Well...All Right," for example, was years ahead of its time as a song and a recording.

Holly's split with the group -- and Petty -- in the fall of 1958 left him free to pursue some of those newer sounds, but it also left him short of cash resources. In the course of ending the association, it became clear to Holly and everyone else that Petty had manipulated the numbers and likely taken an enormous slice of the group's income for himself, though there was to prove almost no way of establishing this because he never seemed to finish his "accounting" of the moneys due to anyone, and his books were ultimately found to be in such disarray that when he came up with various low five-figure settlements to those involved, they were glad to get what they got.

With a new wife -- who was pregnant -- and no settlement coming in from Petty, Holly decided to earn some quick money by signing to play the Winter Dance Party package tour of the Midwest. It was on that tour that Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. "Big Bopper" Richardson were killed in a plane crash, on February 3, 1959.

The crash was considered a piece of grim but not terribly significant news at the time. Most news organizations, run by men who'd come of age in the 1930s or 1940s, didn't take rock & roll very seriously, except to the degree that it could be exploited to sell newspapers or build viewing audiences. Holly's clean-cut image and scandal-free life, coupled with the news of his recent marriage, did give the story more poignancy than it otherwise might have had and probably got him treated more respectfully than would have been the case with other music stars of the period.

For teenagers of the period, it was the first public tragedy of its kind. No white rock & roller of any significance had ever died before, forget three of them, and the news was devastating. Radio station disc jockeys were also shaken -- for a lot of people involved in rock & roll music on any level, Holly's death may well have been the first time that they woke up the next day wishing and hoping that the previous day's news had all been a dream.

The suddenness and the whole accidental nature of the event, coupled with the ages of Holly and Valens -- 22 and 17, respectively -- made it even harder to take. Hank Williams had died at 29, but with his drinking and drug use he had always seemed on the fast track to the grave to almost anyone who knew him and even to a lot of fans; Johnny Ace had died in 1954 backstage at a show, but that was also by his own hand, in a game of Russian roulette. The emotional resonances of this event was totally different in every way possible from those tragedies.

A few careers were actually launched in the wake of the tragedy. Bobby Vee leaped to stardom when he and his band took over Holly's spot on the tour. In America, however, something of a pall fell over rock & roll music -- its sound was muted by Holly's death and Elvis' military service, and this darkness didn't fully lift for years. In England, the reaction was much more concentrated and pronounced -- Holly's final single, "It Doesn't Matter Anymore," rose to number one on the British charts in the wake of his death, and it seemed as though the new generation of English rock & rollers and their audiences wouldn't let Holly's music or spirit die. Two years after the event, producer Joe Meek and singer Mike Berry combined to make "Tribute to Buddy Holly," a memorial single that sounded like the man himself reborn and still brings smiles and chills to listeners who know it; it is said that Meek never entirely got over Holly's death, and he did kill himself on the anniversary. On the less extreme front, players from Lennon, McCartney, and Keith Richards on down all found themselves influenced by Holly's music, songs, and playing. Groups like the Searchers -- taking their name from the same Wayne movie whence the phrase "that'll be the day" had been lifted -- sounded a lot like the Crickets and had a handful of his songs in their repertory when they cut their earliest sides, and it wasn't just the hits that they knew, but album cuts as well. Other bands, like a Manchester-spawned outfit fronted by Allan Clarke, Graham Nash, and Tony Hicks began a four-decade career by taking the name the Hollies.

Holly's record label continued to release posthumous albums of his work for years after his death, beginning with The Buddy Holly Story in early 1959, and they even repackaged the 1956 Decca sides several times over under various titles (the mid-'70s British LP The Nashville Sessions is the best of the vinyl editions). The company also engaged Petty to take various Holly demos and early country-flavored sides done by Buddy & Bob and dub new instruments and backing voices, principally using a band called the Fireballs. Those releases, including the albums Reminiscing and Showcase, did moderately well in America, but in England they actually charted. New recordings of his music, including the Rolling Stones' bone-shaking rendition of "Not Fade Away" -- taking it back to its Bo Diddley-inspired roots -- and the Beatles gorgeous rendition of "Words of Love" helped keep Holly's name alive before a new generation of listeners. In America, it was more of an uphill struggle to spread the word -- rock & roll, like most American popular culture, was always regarded as more easily disposable, and as a new generation of teenagers and new musical phenomena came along, the public did gradually forget. By the end of the 1960s, except among older fans (now in their twenties) and hardcore oldies listeners, Holly was a largely forgotten figure in his own country.

The tide began to turn at the very tail-end of the 1960s, with the beginning of the oldies boom. Holly's music figured in it, of course, and as people listened they also heard about the man behind it -- even Rolling Stone magazine, then the arbiter of taste for the counterculture, went out of its way to remind people of who Holly was. His image constituted a haunting figure, frozen forever in poses from 1957 and 1958, bespectacled, wearing a jacket and smiling; he looked like (and was) a figure from another age. The nature of his death, in an air crash, also set him apart from some of the then-recent deaths of contemporary rock stars such as Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison -- they'd all pushed life right to the edge, till it broke, where Holly stood there seemingly eternally innocent, both personally and in terms of the times in which he'd lived.

Then, in 1971, a little-known singer/songwriter named Don McLean, who counted himself a Holly fan, rose to international stardom behind a song called "American Pie," whose narrative structure was hooked around "the day the music died." After disposing of the erroneous notion that he was referring to President Kennedy, McLean made it clear that he meant February 3, 1959, and Holly. Coverage of "American Pie"'s popularity and lyrics as it soared to the top of the charts inevitably led to mentions of Holly, who was suddenly getting more exposure in the national press than he'd ever enjoyed in his lifetime.

His music had never disappeared -- even the Grateful Dead performed "Not Fade Away" in concert -- and now there was a song that seemed to give millions of people a series of personal and musical reference points into which to place the man. Until "American Pie," most Americans equated November 22, 1963, the day of President Kennedy's murder, with the loss of national innocence and an opening of an era of shared grief. McLean pushed the reference point back to February 3, 1959, on a purely personal basis, and an astonishingly large number of listeners accepted it.

In 1975, McCartney's MPL Communications bought Holly's publishing catalog from a near-bankrupt Petty. To some, the sale was Petty's final act of theft -- having robbed Holly and his widow blind in settling the account of what was owed him as a performer, he was profiting one last time from his perfidy. The truth is that it was a godsend to Maria Elena Holly and the Holly family in Lubbock; amid the events of the years and decades that followed, MPL was able to sell and exploit those songs in ways that Petty in Clovis, NM, never could have, and earn hundreds of thousands of dollars for them that Petty never would have. And with McCartney -- a Holly fan from the age of 15, and probably the most successful fan Holly ever had -- as publisher, they were paid every cent they had coming.

Amid the growing interest in Holly's music, the record industry was very slow to respond, at least in America. At the end of the 1960s, there were exactly two Holly LPs available domestically, The Great Buddy Holly, consisting of the 1956 Decca sides, which hardly represented his best or most important work, and the even more dispensable Giant album, consisting of overdubbed demos and outtakes. British audiences got access to more and better parts of his catalog first, and a collection, 20 Golden Greats, actually topped the charts over there in 1978, in conjunction with the release of the movie The Buddy Holly Story, starring Gary Busey in the title role. It was a romanticized and very simplified account of the man's life and career, and slighted the contributions of the other members of the Crickets -- and never even mentioned Petty -- but it got some of the essentials right and made Busey into a star and Holly into a household name.

In 1979, Holly became the first rock & roll star to be the subject of a career-spanning box set, ambitiously (and inaccurately) called The Complete Buddy Holly. Initially released in England and Germany, it later appeared in America, but it only seemed to whet hardcore fans' appetites for more -- two or three Holly bootlegs were circulating in the early '80s, including one that offered a handful of songs from the group's 1958 British tour. In a rare bold move, mostly courtesy of producer Steve Hoffman, MCA Records in 1983 issued For the First Time Anywhere, a selection of raw, undubbed masters of original Holly recordings that had previously only been available with extra instruments added on -- it was followed by From the Original Master Tapes, the first attempt to put together a Holly compilation with upgraded sound quality. Those titles and The Great Buddy Holly were the earliest of Holly's official CD releases, though they were soon followed by Buddy Holly and The Chirping Crickets. In 1986, the BBC aired The Real Buddy Holly Story, a documentary produced by McCartney as a counteractive to the Busey movie, which covered all of the areas ignored by the inaccuracies of the movie and responded to them. There have followed stage musicals and plays, upgraded and audiophile reissues of his work, and tribute albums, all continuing to flow out at a steady pace more than 50 years after Holly's death. AMG

Get it HERE

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Small Taste of Good Things To Come

Silhouette Brown
Two  (Promo Release Tracks)

Release Date - February 8th
2000black Records

Silhouette Brown is back with their sophomore album, two, a perfect follow-up to their self-titled debut. Silhouette Brown guides us towards a new dimension for modern soul music with a distinctively London-esque flair, by combining jazz and nu soul. The masterminds behind Silhouette's production are Dego (2000black/4hero/dkd), Kaidi Tatham (Agent K/Bugz In The Attic) and the co-writer/producer Bembe Segue. two also welcomes Philadelphia vocalist, Lady Alma.

Lady Alma has appeared on countless club classics over the years, from Sylk 130's "When the Funk Hits the Fan" to Soul Dahmma's "Happy" and 4hero's "Hold it Down." In Silhouette Brown, we hear a full length recording of Alma's warm, distinctive voice and all her versatility.

The music on two brings Silhouette Brown into a relaxed, head-nodding soul groove, leaning towards hip hop. One obvious example is "Get With It," a song about unity and progression, featuring a guest performance by Brand Nubian's Sadat X. A myriad of subjects are explored on two, including suicide ("Leave A Note") faith ("Hear Them Often Say") and polar opposites ("Bitter Pills & Butterflies"). Also check out the guest appearance of the M.D Akwasi on the instant boogie anthem, "Strawberries in Vinegar."


Get sample tracks here Leave A Note  and here Constant Questions

Monday, January 25, 2010

Thug Life

Whatchutalkin'bout Willis?

SALT LAKE CITY – Actor Gary Coleman was released from a Utah jail Monday after being arrested over the weekend on a warrant for failing to appear in court, police said.

Santaquin Police Chief Dennis Howard said officers went to the "Diff'rent Strokes" star's home after a domestic disturbance call Sunday afternoon. Howard said they arrested Coleman, 41, on the warrant and booked him into the Utah County Jail.

Santaquin City Attorney Brett Rich said the warrant is related to a domestic violence charge filed against Coleman in the city justice court on Aug. 26, 2009.

Jail records show Coleman posted $1,725 bail and was released Monday afternoon. He is expected to appear at a hearing in Santaquin Justice Court on Feb. 8, Rich said.

Santaquin is about 65 miles south of Salt Lake City.

Coleman's agent, Robert Malcolm, told The Associated Press he had no details about the arrest. A telephone message left for Terry Plant, a Utah-based attorney who has represented Coleman in the past, was not immediately returned Monday.

In December 2008 Coleman pleaded no contest to a disorderly conduct charge stemming from an incident at a Payson bowling alley and was ordered to pay a $100 fine.

A personal injury lawsuit against Coleman and his wife, Shannon Price, 24, related to the same incident has been settled.

Colt Rushton sued Coleman over a September 2008 incident in which Coleman allegedly hit Rushton with his truck in a Payson bowling alley parking lot after an altercation over photos.

Coleman moved to Santaquin in 2005, around the time he starred in "Church Ball," a comedy based on basketball leagues formed by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He and Price met on the movie set.

"Diff'rent Strokes" aired from 1978 to 1986. Coleman played a character named Arnold Jackson and was best known for the line, "Whatchu talkin' 'bout, Willis?"

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Get Your Wiggle On With The Woggles

The Woggles
The Zontar Sessions
Ripped @ at stormin' 320+
***Don't let the sedate scene on the cover fake you out. This is another  amped-up set by The Woggle's. If you don't know them already, get ready for some brash and rowdy R&R and a great time.
Biography by Mike DaRonco

Drawing their inspiration from the raw nostalgia of '60s rock, the Woggles added their own hybrid of surf, R&B, rockabilly, and blues upon their 1987 formation. Based out of Athens, GA, the band eventually released a handful of EP on Zontar, Estrus, and Lance Rock Records between 1990 through 1993, Estrus Records packaged the bands first full-length, Teen Dance Party, in 1993. Following the Zontar Sessions album a year later on Estrus, Telstar Records put out the Woggles third full-length, Get Tough!, in 1997, amongst another batch of 7"s in between. The mini-album Wailin' with the Woggles came out on One Louder Records the following year.


1 I Got Your Number 
2 I'm Gonna Make You Mine 
3 Carnivore 
4 Flash Flood Holton 
5 Hi Hi Pretty Girl 
6 No Reason to Complain 
7 Kudzu Creep 
8 Graveyard Woman 
9 Frosty 
10 I'm the One 
11 King of Kicks 
12 Come On 
13 You Belong to Me 
14 See the Cheetah (At the Hangout)

Get it HERE

Better Then Menudo To Cure A Hangover

The Rolling Stones
Goats Head Soup
Ripped @ a bobbing 320


Goats Head Soup is an album by The Rolling Stones released in 1973. It was recorded as the follow-up to 1972's critically acclaimed Exile on Main St. Goats Head Soup was a more polished production than the raw and ragged Exile. It reflected the resurgence of soul-pop and the rise of funk, while maintaining the Stones' distinctive rock sound. It spawned the hit single "Angie", possibly its best-known track, and topped the charts in both the US and the UK.

Recording began as early as 1970. Two tracks, "Silver Train" and "Hide Your Love", resulted from these early sessions and re-appeared in November 1972 when the band relocated to Kingston, Jamaica's Dynamic Sound Studios. Guitarist Keith Richards said in 2002, "Jamaica was one of the few places that would let us all in! By that time about the only country that I was allowed to exist in was Switzerland, which was damn boring for me, at least for the first year, because I didn't like to ski... Nine countries kicked me out, thank you very much, so it was a matter of how to keep this thing together..."[1]

Of the recording process, Marshall Chess, the president of Rolling Stones Records at the time, said in 2002, "We used to book studios for a month, 24 hours a day, so that the band could keep the same set-up and develop their songs in their free-form way, starting with a few lyrics and rhythms, jamming and rehearsing while we fixed the sound. It amazed me, as an old-time record guy, that the Stones might not have played together for six or eight months, but within an hour of jamming, the synergy that is their strength would come into play and they would lock it together as one..."[1]

Jagger said of their approach to recording at the time, "Songwriting and playing is a mood. Like the last album we did (Exile on Main St.) was basically recorded in short concentrated periods. Two weeks here, two weeks there - then another two weeks. And, similarly, all the writing was concentrated so that you get the feel of one particular period of time. Three months later it's all very different and we won't be writing the same kind of material as Goats Head Soup."[2]

On the sessions and influence of the island, Richards said, "The album itself didn't take that long, but we recorded an awful lot of tracks. There were not only Jamaicans involved, but also percussion players who came from places like Guyana, a traveling pool of guys who worked in the studios. It was interesting to be playing in this totally different atmosphere. Mikey Chung, the engineer at Dynamic, for example, was a Chinese man — you realise how much Jamaica is a multi-ethnic environment."[1]

The first track recorded at Dynamic was "Winter", which lead guitarist Mick Taylor said started with "just Mick (Jagger) strumming on a guitar in the studio, and everything falling together from there."[2]

The album's lead single, "Angie", was an unpopular choice as lead single with Atlantic Records which, according to Chess, "wanted another 'Brown Sugar' rather than a ballad."[1] Contrary to popular belief, the song was not about David Bowie's first wife Angela; Richards' daughter Dandelion Angela had just been born, and the name was Richards' main contribution to the lyrics.[3]

Despite its laid-back sound, many of Goats Head Soup's songs have a darker quality to them, such as the opener "Dancing With Mr. D" (D as in Death). An alternate version can be heard on bootlegs that features a ripping Mick Taylor guitar solo that was not featured on the album version.

Also featured is the Top 20 US hit "Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)", which criticizes the New York police for the accidental shooting of a 10-year-old.

This was the last Rolling Stones album produced by Jimmy Miller, who'd worked with the band since 1968's Beggars Banquet sessions. Miller developed a debilitating drug habit from his years spent with the band.

Aside from the official band members, other musicians appearing on Goats Head Soup include keyboard players Billy Preston, Nicky Hopkins and Ian Stewart.

At the time of release, Jagger said, "I really feel close to this album, and I really put all I had into it... I guess it comes across that I'm more into songs. It wasn't as vague as the last album which kind of went on so long that I didn't like some of the things. There's more thought to this one. It was recorded all over the place over about two or three months. The tracks are much more varied than the last one. I didn't want it to be just a bunch of rock songs."

Preceded by "Angie" as the lead single, which sailed to #1 in the United States and became a worldwide hit, Goats Head Soup was released in late August 1973 and also shot to #1 worldwide. The Rolling Stones' autumn 1973 European Tour followed soon after, in which three slots in the set list were given to the new material. (The popular bootleg recording Brussels Affair would result from this tour.)

Critical reaction to the album was varied at the time. Bud Scoppa called the album "one of the year's richest musical experiences"[2] in Rolling Stone, while Lester Bangs derided the effort in Creem, saying, "There is a sadness about the Stones now, because they amount to such an enormous 'So what?' The sadness comes when you measure not just one album, but the whole sense they're putting across now against what they once meant..."[2]

Goats Head Soup is now generally considered to have marked the end of the Stones' "golden age", with Stephen Thomas Erlewine saying, "Sliding out of perhaps the greatest winning streak in rock history, the Stones slipped into decadence and rock star excess with Goats Head Soup... This is where the Stones' image began to eclipse their accomplishments, as Mick ascended to jet-setting celebrity and Keith slowly sunk deeper into addiction, and it's possible hearing them moving in both directions on Goats Head Soup, at times in the same song."[4] Goats Head Soup has endured as a popular seller and has gone triple platinum in the United States.

The album cover was designed by Ray Lawrence and photographed by David Bailey, a friend of Jagger's who had worked with The Rolling Stones since 1964. The portrait of Jagger on the front cover was approximately life size in the original 12 inch LP format.

The sessions for Goats Head Soup were abundant with outtakes. Two of these - "Tops" and "Waiting on a Friend" - would surface on Tattoo You in 1981, and feature Mick Taylor on guitar; "Through the Lonely Nights" became the B-side to the "It's Only Rock 'n Roll (But I Like It)" single and was released on CD for the first time on the 2005 compilation Rarities 1971–2003.

In 1994 Goats Head Soup was remastered and reissued by Virgin Records, and again in 2009 by Universal Music. The first pressing of the UMG remaster featured a censored version of "Star Star" that was featured on the original US vinyl release, but not on the 1994 Virgin CD; later pressings feature the uncensored version. Wiki

Track listing

"Dancing with Mr. D"
"100 Years Ago"
"Coming Down Again"
"Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)"
"Silver Train"
"Hide Your Love"
"Can You Hear the Music"
"Star Star"

Get it HERE

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Excellent Wave

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Before or After The Dinosaurs Were Extinct?

Dinosaur Jr.
@ 320

Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
More than most bands, Dinosaur Jr. left behind some unfinished business -- not just in one regard but two. First, there was the notoriously acrimonious dismissal of original bassist Lou Barlow after the group's third album, Bug, just before the band made the leap to the majors, but when the time came for guitarist/singer/songwriter J Mascis to retire the band's name, he slyly turned the words of his idol Neil Young upside down, choosing to fade away rather than burn out. After 1997's Hand It Over, Mascis ran out the clock, bringing his contract with Sire/Reprise to a close, doing some solo acoustic tours before forming the Fog and cutting a couple records with them without making any real impact outside of his devoted fans. And since he didn't break beyond his cult, Dinosaur Jr. seemed to belong solely to the history books -- the band that bridged the gap between the Replacements and Nirvana, the band that was seminal but not widely popular, a band that for whatever reason wasn't passed down to younger brothers and sisters the way their Boston compatriots the Pixies were. Perhaps it was because, unlike the Pixies, they summed up their times too well, since there was no other alt-rock musician that was as quintessentially slacker as J Mascis. With his laconic drawl and anthems of ambivalence, he was a figurehead for a generation who chose to stay on the sidelines, so sliding away from the spotlight was a logical path for Mascis: he never seemed to really want the fame, so it seemed that he'd be happier on the fringe, which is where he wound up.

All of this made the reunion of the classic J-Lou-Murph lineup in 2005 all the more surprising: there may have been unfinished business, but such a mess seemed inherent to their mystique. But the group got together to tour in support of reissues of their first three albums, and defying all logic, the reunion worked -- working so well that the band decided to record a full-length album, Beyond, releasing it in May 2007. The very existence of this new album is a surprise, but the real shock is that Beyond is a flat-out great record, a startling return to form for J Mascis as a guitarist and songwriter and Dinosaur Jr. as a band. Although this is from the lineup responsible for You're Living All Over Me and Bug, two records so drenched in noise they still sound like aural assaults decades after their original release, Beyond sonically resembles latter-day Dinosaur albums; it's not as harsh and it's stylistically varied, ranging from full-throttle rockers to skipping country-rock and elegiac ballads. In a way, this sounds like the album that could have been released instead of Green Mind if Lou had stuck around, or if Dinosaur made the kind of grand major-label debut many expected them to deliver in the days before Nevermind. Musically, this suits that description -- Beyond is not a breakthrough or reinvention, it's a consolidation of their strengths, which means it sounds very much like the band did at its peak -- but in terms of attitude, Mascis could never have made an album as assured as this in 1992, simply because he never was this confident. Naturally, this deliberate disengagement was a large part of Dinosaur Jr.'s appeal: it not only made them sound distinct from their predecessors, but Mascis' ambivalence about anything and everything made his guitar virtuosity and great songs seemed almost accidental, their very casualness proof of his genius.

Beyond is very different in that for the first time, Mascis is assertive about his talent. He sounds engaged -- in music, in life (as he winkingly acknowledges on the chorus of the opening "Almost Ready," "C'mon life/I'm almost ready") -- and it gives the album a powerful sense of purpose that the classic Dinosaur albums were lacking by their very design. But Beyond isn't great simply because it's cohesive; it's great because it's as bold, vital, and monstrous as their best early work. As soon as the album crashes open with "Almost Ready," it's clear that Dinosaur Jr. has tapped into the essence of their music, and their thundering roar sounds as vivid and thrilling as it was the first time around. After that visceral shock fades, it soon becomes apparent that Mascis' writing is as forceful and surprisingly melodic as his guitar playing, and it soon becomes apparent that he's no longer burying his heart or humor beneath his band's walls of sounds; they're proudly out on display. This fact is brought into sharp relief by Lou Barlow's songs, two tunes that are typically turned inward, yet they're enlivened by being delivered by this remarkable band, which gives Lou's songs a backbone they never quite had in Sebadoh. Plus, the very presence of Barlow's songs helps emphasize that Beyond is a full-fledged reunion, the sound of a group making amends and reconnecting with their strengths. Lou left the band because J didn't let his songs on Dinosaur's records, but now that they're back together, it's a fully collaborative effort, and the band is stronger for it, as this unexpectedly glorious reunion proves. Beyond isn't merely a worthy album from a reunited band, it's simply a great record by any standard.

  1 Almost Ready 
  2 Crumble 
  3 Pick Me Up 
  4 Back to Your Heart 
  5 This Is All I Came to Do 
  6 Been There All the Time 
  7 It's Me 
  8 We're Not Alone 
  9 I Got Lost 
  10 Lightning Bulb 
  11 What If I Knew
Get it HERE

At The Fabulous King King

The Red Devils
King King
@ 192

The Red Devils were a Los Angeles-based band who played blues-rock music. They were active during the late 1980s and early 1990s.

The band members included drummer Bill Bateman (also of The Blasters), guitarist Dave Lee Bartel, bassist Johnny Ray Bartel (also of The Knitters), guitarist Paul "The Kid" Size and harmonica player Lester Butler.

The band's musical visionaries are often criticized for blasphemously blending musical styles. This was the case with Lester Butler. The Red Devils had mixed styles of American music, blues and alternative rock. Butler would also perform blues, backing luminaries Billy Boy Arnold, King Ernest and Finis Tasby.

The Red Devils, received the attention of producer Rick Rubin (the producer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Mick Jagger and Tom Petty) while playing their favorite haunt, the King King. With Rubin, they released their only full-length album, King King, which was named after that haunt. Their sound attracted the likes of Mick Jagger, who took them into the studio(sans Butler), but the tracks were never used until one of them surfaced on a Jagger hits collection (that was released in 2008).

Like many bands, the Red Devils battled with drug use and Butler left the band due to this problem. He appeared on the Blackwater Roll record in 1994, however, his earlier promise had was lost because of his addiction. Butler died from his addictions at age 38.

Review by Char Ham

Ranges from straight-ahead, stick-to-the-formula, stock blues to foreshadowings of Butler's next agglomeration, "13," mixing blues and alternative rock. Named after and recorded at their favorite haunt, the live recording includes Butler telling his bandmates the next song on the playlist and what key to play in.

  1 Automatic 
  2 Goin' to the Church 
  3 She's Dangerous 
  4 I Wish You Would 
  5 Cross My Heart 
  6 Tail Dragger 
  7 Devil Woman 
  8 No Fightin' 
  9 Mr. Highway Man 
  10 I'm Ready 
  11 Quarter to Twelve 
  12 Better Cut That Out

Get it HERE

Saturday, January 09, 2010

It's Island Time

Trojan Calypso Box Set


Ripped @ 200+ w/ 3% Recovery

Enjoy with a nice glass of your favorite rum and a spliff. You'll be ready.

This might not all be classic calypso, by any means, with several tracks coming from the Supersonics (essentially the Skatalites in a slightly different incarnation, later in the '60s) and the focus decidedly more on Jamaica than calypso's real home of Trinidad. But there's some great stuff from Lord Kitchener and a little Lord Invader to spice things up, including one of his English pieces, "Teddy Boy Calypso," which advocates harsh treatment for juvenile delinquents. "Not Me" is a take on the classic calypso "Man Smart, Woman Smarter," but without the rough power of the original. Like most calypso, there are plenty of topical subjects, now long out of date, like "Undemocratic Rhodesia," illustrating the fact that calypso was very much a form of news and commentary on politics and social events. And while the Maytals and Derrick Harriott were never calypso figures, there's enough here to make it worthwhile. Even the non-calypso music has value, and an association of some kind, to the genre. If it's the real classic songs you're searching for, you won't really find many of them here. But if you have those and you're looking to expand your calypso collection, you could do a lot worse than explore this.


1 The Weed (aka Man Pyabba) Count Lasher

2 Love in the Cemetary Lord Kitchener

3 Big Bamboo Lord Creator

4 Jamaica Is the Place to Go Binger, Charlie & His Quartet

5 Get Me to the Church on Time McCook

6 The Valet Nora Dean7 Woman a Love in the Night Time Lord Spoon

8 Do-Re-Mi Mighty Vikings

9 Skillamy Yen, Aston

10 Nice Time Phyllis Dillon

11 In the Park Lyn Taitt

12 Our Time fe Celebrate Derrick Harriott

13 Great '68 Moore, Marva & The Gaysters

14 Bam Bam Maytals

15 Bam Bam Count Lasher & Williams

16 Jamaica Woman Lord Kitchener

17 Savito Undergrounds

18 Neighbour, Neighbour Lord Kitchener

19 Must Get a Man Nora Dean

20 Mufridite Williams

21 Country Gal Binger, Charlie

22 Paint Up, Clean Up Time Lord Creator

23 The World on a Wheel David, Lord Spoon

24 Happy Times Derrick Harriott25 Hard Time Count Alert, Lyn Taitt

26 Reggae Merengue McCook, Tommy

27 Dumb Boy & the Parrot Lord Cristo

28 Village Ram Mighty Sparrow

29 Teacher Teacher Mighty Dougla

30 The Sausage Baldhead Growler

31 Muhammad Ali Mister Calypson

32 Undemocratic Rhodesia Sampson The Lark

33 Kitch, You So Sweet Lord Kitchener

34 A Dash of the Sunshine Lord Tanamo

35 Calypso War Mighty Terror

36 Me One Alone Lord Invader

37 The Water Gobbler Lord Ivanhoe

38 Not Me (aka Man Woman, Woman Smarter) Bowers, Ben

39 Brownskin Girl Mighty Terror

40 You Don't Need Glasses to See Lord Invader

41 Belinda Lord Ivanhoe

42 Heading North Mighty Terror

43 I'm Going Back to Africa Lord Invader

44 Africa, Here I Come Lord Ivanhoe

45 Little Jeannie Mighty Terror

46 Naughty Little Flea Bowers, Ben

47 Mahalia, I Want Back My Dollar Lord Invader

48 Lift the Iron Curtain Lord Ivanhoe

49 T.V. Calypso Mighty Terror

50 Teddy Boy Calypso (Bring Back the Cat-o-Nine) Lord Invader


3 CD's


So Long Art

Art Clokey


Friday, January 08, 2010

All Hail The King!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Scan it, dude

Tastey Waves From Hawaii

Some hot barrels to warm your chilly hearts.

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