Sunday, December 30, 2007

Years Dry On Their Own

Well, here it is, the last day of 2007. I am at my office job, so the highlight of my nite other than composing this year-end letter for you will be at 3AM when I will listen online to Rodney Bingenheimer live from LA (on KROQ, a testosterone-heavy rock station any other time of day). Google Rodney. He's been around since the mid-sixties, friend to the stars, entree-prenoor supremo (his "English Disco" back in the early 70's was a home-away-from-home to touring brit acts like Zeppelin and Bowie). There's an interesting, sometimes sad documentary about him called "The Mayor Of Sunset Strip". He's a national treasure.

So what happened this year? who cares, it's all in the past! What's happening NOW? THAT'S the question. And what WILL be happening in the future? That, my dear friends is up to YOU. MAKE SOMETHING HAPPEN!!! Or just cool out.

Ever drink bourbon at a holiday party? I did, last night. You should try it. Forget stupid beer. Wine is equally stupid. Sorry, cork sniffers. Go crawl up the remainder of your ass. What bouquet! Bourbon can be enjoyed on the rocks, mixed with soda (yecchh) or even cola if you are self-conscious. And especially by the SHOT. Forget gin, vodka, any other clear liquor, those are not made for shot drinking. And tequila just tastes plain horrible. Well. what about Schnapps, I hear you ask? Whaddaya, crazy? Gee whiz, Potsie, what if your mom finds out? She won't, if you remember to add water to the bottle. And to hell with Jager, that's for people who drive hummers and have miniscule cocks. Bourbon does it for REAL. And I'm a-gonna do it again on New Years Eve.

So what should we do this year? Well, whatever you do, don't forget to vote this year and DON'T BE STUPID ABOUT IT. Things are too repressive, we need change. At least for the juke box. If you wanna waste votes, do it on American Idol or something. Also, let's vow not to make anymore useless people into big celebrities. We've gone too far & now it seems normal to have bags of rocks as role models. In fact, let's vow not to have ANY MORE big celebrities. We can do it, if we all join forces & make a pact. If we can tear ourselves away from Carrie Ann & Bruno: Dance Wars, that is.

And please, no more dogs-in-a-handbag. If you must cart that little rat around like an accessory, put it in a picnic basket, Dorothy.

I'd like to leave on a positive note. I believe people are basically good at heart. I believe people will help those in need when the chips are down. For all my complaining, there's no where I'd rather be than in the good ol' U. S. of A.

But maybe everyone else could relocate.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

45 RPM spin-o-rama!

So this was Christmas, and what did you get?

Yes, the dulcet tones of Yoko Ono & John Lennon are still ringing in my ears as another Xmas has come and gone. And, sadly for you, dear reader, I may not be blogging as often as I have been because one of my many boss gifts was a USB turntable. Do you know what this means?? It means that I will be transferring hundreds of lps and thousands of singles from vinyl to digital media, that's CDs for those of you who need clarification! I expect this to take me two or three days. Ha ha, not really, more like most of 2008. At least. And so help me Jean Dixon I predict that the new year will see me involved in many more arguments because I will become obsessed with this transfer project, likening it the Mona Lisa teeth whitening restoration. Because people - that is my wife and probably anyone else I know - will become fed up with me because I can't attend weddings or bar mitzvahs or take out the garbage because I'm still painstakingly remixing side two of The Charlie Parker Quintet's One Night In Birdland set. C'mon, it was done with a wire recorder on location in 1953! You do want to hear how good a bass player Curley Russell was, don't you?

So this wasn't the only thing Xmas brought my way. I saw happy smiles dance across the faces of famiy members as the season brought forth tidings of comfort and joy (note: do not try drinking southern comfort and joy dishwashing lotion, unless you have to) and every walkable wonderland became winterized. So Xmas brought me a lot of crap to clean up afterward. But it was worth it. Because very soon all my Federal and King sides by The Midnighters will be on one badass CD, as well as my import punk 45s from 1977 and the off the wall 60s garage stuff and my 12 inch dance singles from the 80s and not too much from the 90s because by then it was already on CD.

But as we all know, Christmas is a time for giving, not receiving. And I'm glad that I was given a USB turntable because now my James Brown Xmas lp will be on CD, and remixed for maximum holiday Godfatherness, and it will sit proudly in the jukebox playlist rotation for next Xmas, along with an absolutely unhinged rocking version of Merry Xmas Baby by Dead Ike & Tina Turner and Brenda Lee's Cajun Bayou nugget Papa Noel. And even Count Scary. Yes, Count Scary. Now that he's out of a job, he's cool again.

And truthfully, the turntable is not the only thing I got. I also received a lot of nice things to wear while I'm burning the first Elvis album MINUS THE FAKE ECHO, IF YOU PLEASE. And some new headphones, so I can accurately balance and re-equalize The Stooges Raw Power, to my own personal preference.

And I've made some new year's resolutions, too. First off, I'm going to be more sensitive to people's feelings. Do they want to hear the superior mono version of Sgt Pepper, or would they rather I put on the UK version of the first Strokes lp? The new kindhearted me will let them decide.

And furthermore, I'll make a conscious effort to eat healthy and exercise. Right after I burn my Fortune Records 45s.

And I'll probably drink alot more. Why not.

I gotta go buy some blank CDs, jewel boxes. labels and ink. See you later.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

No One Would Understand

I wasn't going to write about this, but ...

(every post should begin that way. In fact, it does, it's...implied)

Leaving work yesterday I passed a cubicle that had a humorous (to someone I suppose) sign on the overhead bin, one that I've passed every day for years. But for some reason this time it made me think.

It said "Female Chauvanist Pig".

Here's the thing: I find that as offensive as a sign that says "Down With White People" in a black person's cube.

Yes, we have established the fact that "woman is the ni@@er of the world", according to John Lennon, and unfortunately society is essentially a boy's club. But if a man had a "male chauvanist pig" sign in his cube, every woman would think...well, they would think exactly what they should think about that. What everyone should think about that.

And here's the camelback-breakin' straw that really made me put mitts to keys about this.

Driving home today I was behind a big white pickup truck (ha ha, you know what I mean when I say ha ha don't you, whoever you are) that had a sign on the back window:


And "fags" was in very frilly lettering.

This makes my point (and I do have one, somewhere) ever so clear: people are the stupidest creatures on the planet.

Now, granted, I hate a lot of shit. And I'm probably the king of knee-jerk reactions. But I also have a certain respect for peoples' personal beliefs and well being. I feel people have a right to pick their favorite god, or suck whatever floats their boat, or vote for whomever they choose even though they are probably wrong and their decision will screw up billions of people for years to come, among other things which are truly no one's business. But when I see ignorant shit like this bumper sticker (actually, it wasn't a bumper sticker; it was like custom made vinyl letters that covered almost half the back window), well, it makes me want to "thumb my nose" (yeah, that's nice & safe) at everyone who says I'm too blunt or that I have "some nerve". There are bigger threats than my idiotic rantings. And there are bigger threats than the stupid woman in that cube or the asshole in that truck. But we gotta start somewhere.

I'm not suggesting cultural cleansing - that would be very badass though, wouldn't it? - but people need to get it together. Seriously. I caught some of the Ford Theater Xmas thing on TV & it made me ill seeing Washington's choicest assholes sitting there in their finery. OK, I'm going off on a tangent, and I probably sound like an Air America radio program. It's Xmas after all, so let's just breathe deeply & relax & do a shot & deck some halls & go a-wassailing.

Then, after a few more shots, let's go kick the shit out of cube-girl & homophobe truck-boy!

The Return Of Italics And Bold Print!!!

OMG!! I couldn't wait to tell you about this!! Heidi Klum at some soiree with a dress cut so low in the back that her refrigerator repairman muscle shows!! You can see it here:
She does NOT look hot, she looks stupid with that plastic band in her brastrap neighborhood. Doesn't she have honest friends?

Okay, okay .... go to the Perfect Sound Forever website
and send the audio article guy some hate mail. In his current article he talks about $2500 turntable tonearm needles. I wrote him about this, since he's listening to Fleetwood Mac & The Pixies (I know, I know, THAT'S why I wrote him!)& he replied to me in a very nasty manner & I was hurt. Give it to him!

I can still look forward to Xmas, because QVC says you can still get stuff by Xmas eve with special posting costs. But after 12/21 midnight, sorry pal. That's when the holidays will be over for me!

So Britney's 16-year-old sister's pregnant! Is anyone surprised? That mother should lock herself in the bathroom & reach for the razor blades!

And as my favorite American writer Michael Musto,musto,78669,15.html
well he says Wynnonna (is that enough n's?) did some show wearing two different velvet tents & a tiara. Now that's putting perfume on a pig, Jethro!

Best daytime smartass: Regis! Check him out! (I have no url reference for this, he's on ABC, just turn on the TV)

So it looks like Leno & Conan are coming back to TV: who cares? Dumbass & Dumbassier!

And of course, what would this blog be without an update on my favorite basket case: Amy Winehouse was hauled into jail for questioning regarding her husband Pete Doherty - I mean Blake Cecil-Fielder - and his involvement in obstructing justice. And now JAY-Z has said he wants to work with her. Now that's obstructing justice! Also, Wino's father is freaking out because she was seen hanging out with Pete Doherty backstage at some show the other night. At this rate, by the first of the year absolutely NO ONE will care what happens to her. But in all honesty she told us she was no good.

I know you're out there, I can hear you tsk-ing.

Monday, December 17, 2007

I Wish It Could Be Xmas Nevery Day

In the past two weeks I must've seen two dozen Lifetime made-for-TV xmas movies. Why do I watch them? Don't ask. Everything else is in reruns because of the writers' strike. But I gotta tell ya, I have never seen such bad acting or such pitiful scripts since (fill in the name of any box office smash of the last five years).

So sit back and relax while I freestyle bitch about Xmas for awhile...

- The local radio station plays Xmas music 24 hours a day, and has been doing so since I believe November 1. They play the same dozen songs over & over. Wait, I already complained about this. See, the writers' strike has EVERYTHING in reruns! But in a perfect world, we'd be hearing Roy Wood's "I Wish It Could Be Xmas Everyday" and Slade's "Merry Xmas Everybody". Those limeys really knew how to deck the halls back in the early 70s, boy!

- Target's seasonal promos feature Jim Noir's "My Patch" from his "Tower Of Love" lp, which was never a Xmas song, but good ol' Target, they just changed the words and made it one! Now if only someone would do that with Howlin' Wolf's "I Asked For Water (she brought me gasoline)"...

- LED lights - 21st century technology & they can't make white ones?

- Cashmere: this year's IOU sweatshirt! Or maybe this year's Old Navy Fleece!

- Does the verizon network geek guy get less pay because he no longer has lines?

- Those pseudo-retro claymation-style holiday commercials on Food Network will thankfully be gone in a week. However, the hosts will retain their Clydesdale feet!

- Speaking of commercials, I get a perverse pleasure from the McCormick spice one, where the doorbell rings & the guy says "hey, my folks are here!" And in the kitchen the wife mutters under her breath, "F#@k!"

Well, that's all I can think of for now. Soon, I'll be posting my best-of & worst-of lists for 2007. That'll be lopsided for sure!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Later, Mr. Guitar Slinger

Ike Turner has played his last earthbound lick. People tend to overlook his contributions to popular music, basically because of Lawrence Fishburne's portrayal of him in that Tina Turner movie. For most people, if it weren't for that movie, no one would even know who he is ... was. Except for the occasional joke made in reference to his role as husband of the year. See what I mean?

Ike Turner led the band on what most people consider the first ever rock & roll record, "Rocket 88" recorded at Sun studios in Memphis, before Presley. The record was credited to Jackie Brenston, who did the vocals. This record also boasts having the quite possibly first ever recorded "fuzz" guitar, due to a broken speaker on Ike's amp. (My garage band Zip used to do it back in 1970, but we did it more James Cotton-style)

So years go by & Ike finds Tina, and starts hiring the numerous girls he named The Ikettes who WILDLY gyrate behind/along with Tina. They put all these purposeless dancers who occupy the stage with all these talentless pop singers to SHAME. And Tina simply CANNOT be contained and of course as we all know she eventually blows up big time. I saw The Ike & Tina Turner Revue, as they were then billed, in 1970 and 1971, and they were WAY hotter than any hippie rock band out on the road. Ike's band was unbelievably rock solid, and the sight of Tina & The Ikettes running/shaking/shimmying across the stage laid pussy boy Mick Jagger to shame (who simply CAN NOT DANCE unless you call his rooster pecking shit dancing). Unless they were experienced live, they pretty much were ignored by the general populus.

Ike was a Svengali, much like Phil Spector, who coincidentally produced a MASSIVE thing called "River Deep/Mountain High" for Tina, which sold zero records, and put Spector into retirement until he was saved by The Beatles. (By the way Ike was banned from the "River Deep" sessions. Guess only one nutjob at a time was legally allowed in Gold Star studios. I should check to see if Spector & Brian Wilson were ever there at the same time)

So yeah, he unfortunately beat his wife, which should not be excused, but John Lennon's spousal abuse of his 1st wife seems to get excused, I guess because he changed the face of music forever and ever. I'm just saying that Ike isn't the only one. He was a great musician, but all he is remembered for is beating Tina.

So anyway, you should check out some Ike & Tina Turner music. They did the original "Nutbush City Limits". But not the original "Proud Mary", but they might as well have. What are you waiting for? Get over to You Tube!

Monday, December 10, 2007

I Have Nuthin' To Say

I'm not inspired. Gimme a minute, maybe I'll get there. There are a number of things I could rant about, but they'll end up hurting someone, somewhere, of that I'm certain.

OK, while I'm waiting for inspiration to hit, let me tell you how the name of this blog came to be.

Back in the 1950s there was a little AM radio station called WJLB, at 1400 on the dial. It was one of 2 black stations in Detroit, the other being WCHB at 1440, and it was the better of the two. The crown jewel at JLB, aside from the inspirational broadcaster Martha Jean The Queen was "Frantic" Ernie Durham, who was your quintessential 50's R&B dj, full of rhymin' jive & a hipper-than-hip attitude. He'd say things like, well, like "Great Googa Mooga Shooga Wooga!", and "what's your pleasure, treasure?" and "ooh-la-wee, it's Ernie D with another stack o' wax just for thee". And then he'd play some badass smokin' hot jam like "Think" by the 5 Royals or "Sexy Ways" by The Midnighters (google those tunes & find a ram file to check out). He used to whoop & holler along with the records, and he was just the coolest thing in town, with his red processed pompadour (Ernie D was not Irish, you dig). And rest assured he was NEVER lame, whatever thoughts you may be formulating.

So he obviously made a huge impression on me. About 10 years ago, maybe a bit more, I can't remember, he scored a Saturday night show on WDET back when that was the best - the ONLY - radio station in town, but at that point, at about 70 years of age, his game was slipping. Plenty of miscued records, a good amount of dead air, sad things like that. But it was great to hear his voice again, and his rhymes were still fairly on point. But truth be told, it was pretty pathetic & I kinda cringed listening to him, feeling bad for him.

Then one Saturday, he wasn't on the air. The next day's paper told the tale: Frantic Ernie merged with the universe.

I feel bad for people who weren't around back in the 50s or 60s, who missed the experience of the rapid and truly quantum leaps that were made in radio, like they missed something very cool and at the same time very important. And radio in the 60s took a lot more giant steps than in the 50s. It was a real important part of life, it was what you'd talk about at school. It was community, it was a SCENE that was happening all around, and you could watch it grow, no one was programming it for you from some corporate headquarters somewhere. There were REGIONAL hits, songs that were popular in your city but not necessarily anywhere else, which is unheard of today. Like it was YOURS, like YOU created the buzz. You'd hear some soul gem, followed by some English beat group, then some scuzzy little garage band (only then we didn't know they were "garage bands"), and they all fit comfortably side-by-side. Then when the first FM "underground" station started (because everything was AM until about 1967, FM was for things public access or farm reports, so it was virtually an untapped thing for pop music) you actually had a place to hear stuff you'd read about, like Hendrix, the Velvet Underground, the MC5 or the Stooges - it seemed DANGEROUS, like "don't let your parents find out you're listening to this subversive shit" and they were inventing rock radio on the fly at the time, so it was anything goes. ANYTHING. And little by little you found out people all over the city were listening to the same station, and there was a visible shift away from The Monkees and going-steady type shit to something with depth and a bit more reality. And it truly was exciting.

At this time, around 1967-68, Detroit was so alive, there were two, three, at times even more, places to see and hear live music. EVERY WEEKEND. The venues were old movie theaters in the ghetto, and there would usually be three bands, and we're talking the likes of the bleedin' WHO in their earth-shattering prime and Led Zepplin and people like that, and the average admissiion was THREE DOLLARS, and you could stand 10 feet from the stage, & yell stuff to the bands on stage, & at one venue the acts had to leave the stage by stairs at the front, not around back, so they'd be walkin' off through the crowd, slappin' five and getting patted on the back as they passed by. COMMUNITY. And no one thought anything of it. Now you pay close to a hundred bucks to sit half a block away.

Guess I got inspired.

Sunday, December 2, 2007


'Tis the season. Don't get me started!

Too late!

I received an e-mail - two, actually - from my cousin in Florida, with a video attachment about the whole "Christmas vs. Holidays" bullshit. "Different pictures, same words" - a remix, if you will.

Now I know I'm going to make some people mad - a certain relative I can think of right off the bat - but I'm all about pretending to keep it real. So who cares?

Here's why who cares - take a poll of, let's say, Americans. How many of them actually think about Jesus at Christmastime? I'm not judging, just stating a fact. Think and let think, I always say. But like I replied to my cousin, if you forced people to be totally honest, I think your results would reflect the mindset that Christmas means gifts (buying & receiving), food, parties, getting laid/high/drunk, taking time off work/school, going into debt. Chances are, ain't no Jesus talk at holiday parties. I'm not condoning this (don't get me caught up in any Lennon is bigger than Christ thing), it's just a sad fact of today.

And I gotta be honest with you, it all smacks of the religious right, this new-found so-called partiotism that confidentially scares the shit outta me. Because it's all a sham, it's insincere and it's power-based.

I know the reason for the season, thank you. But you get most excited about how you're gonna go to frikkin' Wal-Mart at 4AM to buy some shitty toy for that brat of yours, don't you? And you've saved part of your household money for months to get those golf clubs for the husband who was drunk the other night & when you wouldn't screw him he slapped you & called you a bitch. Is that love or just hoping he stays cool over the holidays? And the only religious tie-in you'll have is when the hoopla is all over & it all feels so empty & you'll say to yourself, "God Damn it". Because another thing that burns you up is the $400 you spent on food and booze for the in-laws who don't appreciate it but expect it & they hole up in a corner & don't talk to anyone else until it's time to go. Just like frikkin' teenagers. And that's another story, too.

And you're gonna feel spiritual?

Pass the Christian Brothers.

Happy holidays, everybody.