Friday, March 28, 2008

More About Record Store Day

What's easy? Downloading music files from the internet to your pc. Either by stealing them or paying for them legitimately, at an online shop.

So what? Not everything has to be easy. Although that what is not I'm not too keen to undertake.

I do my share of downloading music. I don't wanna say how many albums I get a week. Let's just say that I don't know the titles of a lot of songs, or what some songs sound like from the titles, or what songs may be on what albums, or who is in what group. Mind, I know some of that stuff; I used to know it all, or at least all the stuff in my personal collection. But then I used to have a lot less than I do now. OK, if you insist I'll ballpark it and say I get 15 - 20 new albums a week. I know I know, it's crazy and cool.

A few weeks back a friend and I did something I don't do a lot of anymore, but I used to do all the time. We went to an actual record shop. The main reason it's become a very infrequent outing for me is there is no decent music stockist near me (read: one that does not also sell baby clothes and toothpaste). The second reason is that it's so easy to download. but the main reason for this particular trip was that one of my favorite shops was closing one of its two locations (the further in proximity but still a favorite nonetheless). Such is the nature of the biz nowadays.

A field trip to the record shop is a real experience. So many things are going on aaround you there. Music, whether bad or good, is always playing, that in itself could be an experience - "ugh, get that off!!" "what is that? where can I find it in the racks?" "who picked that?" "puh-leese!" See, it's like this blog! Plus, it's an exercise in what I like to call feng-shit. Typical record shop decor means posters, bumper stickers, album covers, all kindsa music related crap adorn every square inch of the walls. The ratio of stuff you don't care about to stuff you'd like to steal is about 5-1. Furniture usually means plywood bins made by the owner and his staff or some guy who did it for a stack of free CDs or a lifetime discount. You'll see people from all walks of life there - skater punks, hip-hop poseurs, pseudo-intellectuals in ill-fitting Woody Allen jackets, pierced punks from suburbia, and cool folk like me. I like to play "stump the clerk", even if I don't really want what I'm asking about. Here's a tip to winning this game: ask for "Lane Changer" by Michael Fennelly. No one ever has it, and they can't order it. Until recently another winner was "Boulders" by Roy Wood. It's been re-released, which is a very good thing, just not for stump the clerk. I'm usually amused by the selections people are picking out or carrying around. Even when I see someone with an armful of stuff that I myself would get, I have contempt for them. It's like self-loathing but without the guilt. And then there are people who ask for something really loud so everyone will hear how cool they perceive themselves to be. "Pardon me, where can I find THE THIRTEENTH FLOOR ELEVATORS JAPANESE BOX SETS?" (hint: there are none, so feel free to call them on that one)

Anyway, another fellow shopper was talking to someone about transferring vinyl to digital, and I butted in because as you may know I am undertaking that same task. I asked what equipment he had, etc. I don't remember his response because he started talking geekspeak & my mind started to wander. Then the subject of The Ramones came up, and albums that haven't been released on CD, and other semi-related stuff. Another guy said, "isn't this great? If we were shopping at Amazon-dot-com we wouldn't be having this conversation and exchanging ideas". And he is so right.

All of this downloading I'm doing, and most of the world is doing it, too, is killing the record shops. This is really a sad thing, because there is absolutely nothing that can compare to a Saturday trip to the record shop. I can still remember when I was a wee lad, my sister used to take me to the local spot. Once, and I remember this vividly, We were at a place called Bundy's in Hamtramck, and my treat was to get one single. Well, this black teenager* came in with a list, which I had never seen before (a kid with a record shopping list that is, not a black teen). The lady behind the counter was rifling through the box of singles on top of the counter, pulling out certain ones as she went down his list. All of a sudden I saw her pull out a single on the famous yellow Tamla label. It was Barrett Strong's "Money", which was brand-spankin' new. I exclaimed to my sister, "Money!!" That's the one I was going to ask for. She put it back in the box, the kid didn't notice, and she said "we don't have this one". He paid for his booty (I wish I knew what else he got) & left. Then, she turned to me & pulled "Money" back out of the box. It was mine!!

(*the reason I mention he was a black teen was because I thought it was cool that he got "punk'd" by a fat little 6 year old white pollock kid. it was the start of my career as a music fascist.)

I remember my first trip to the mall by myself. I bought "Tell Me" by The Rolling Stones & "The Girl From Ipanema" by Getz/Gilberto. I remember riding my bike to Ross Music, buying "My Generation" by The Who. When I came out, my bike was stolen. And I wasn't concerned; I just wanted to get home to my phonograph. The bike was returned the next day, by the kid and his mother. Talkin' 'Bout My G-G-G-Generation!

I'll spare you the details involved, but I actually vividly remember when I bought Sgt Pepper; Rubber Soul; God Save The Queen and the first Clash single, both on import; the first Ramones lp; my first purchase all by myself, "Fingertips" by Little Stevie Wonder. I could go on forever.

And that's why you need to participate in Record Store Day on April 19. No amount of downloading ease or web shopping could ever replace that kind of excitement, anticipation and incidental magic. It's truly a communal thing, something wonderful, even for someone like me who hates people. Just like it's better to see a band in person than on TV or YouTube. The proprietors of record shops really need everyone's support nowadays. Because they are dying out there. And I'm doing my part to kill them, but I don't want them to die. I will never turn down a trip to the record shop. And by the way, this trip I took a few weeks back resulted in $75 worth of stuff, and that was even after a 60% discount on everything, and none of it is stuff I've ever seen on the web. (my biggest haul was a trip to Chicago, where FIVE MINUTES in Tower records cost me $200. Even I was amazed, like I was working against time)

So no smartass cynicism, no sarcasm, no bullshit. Plan on doing what you know you have to do. will tell you who in your area is participating.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Cash (sacred) Cow Enlightenment

Hey, here's another must-have item!

Coming to you direct from in-the-know pundit of God, John Edward, a book - and it looks real thin - on prayer. Complete with a two-tone rosary!

The best part is Edward's initials embossed on the cover. Lest you forget who's going to make a buck or two mill on this thing.

No one needs any kind of info on prayer. Whether it be how to do it, or why to do it. You do it exactly how and when and why and where (and with whom - now we're complete) you want. No rules! Only I wouldn't do it while copulating, except maybe if you're thinking about the consequences, if you have no business being involved at the moment, that's one rule, probably.

See, I don't even know for sure, because it's rule-proof!

Prayer may be limited for some individuals, so you'd be well informed not to waste it, like don't say "I hope to God that asshole who just cut me off gets riddled with facial sores", because if God hears that & says "OK", maybe he won't hear you when you're saying "Please make my parachute open", because you had one answered prayer this month & you blew it on a bad driver's complexion.

Also, maybe don't make your prayer too generalized where it's just not doable. Like one prayer I have that never, ever, gets answered is when I say, "F$%k 'em all!!". That never happens! Because, like, babies are born every second, so is the cut off when you finish the statement, or just as you begin the prayer, or when you have the thought to pray for the f$%king, or when? And maybe you should say "only the ones 15 years old and up", or "just adult white bitches", or what? Food for thought, my friend.

So if this guy wants to pull your coat to prayer, why does he charge for it? I would think if you don't give a shit about praying or God or rosaries, then you'd say, "hey, I'm gonna make some money offa something I know about, which just happens to be religious-oriented ephemera!" and take the capitalist route. But if you really really care, deeply, down in your soul, then you just wanna spread the word, that's all, like I do here, for you. If some of you out there say, "well, a guy's gotta eat & pay rent", then maybe he should get a job and just tell people about prayer if and when they need that kind of data. Gratis.

Everyone wants to make a buck. Whether it's prayerbooks, garbage bowls or black market jeans (I'll deal with you later, P-Dog. No one I polled ever heard of an "Ipod pocket" just below the knee. Do you know how long the earbud cord has to be?). But I guess there's no way of knowing if there's a market for your bullshit unless you put it out there. Which is what John Edward did. And P-Dog. So it's up to you to shun the shills.

Or so help me God, you're gonna get it.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

If you can, and you really should make an attempt, participate in Record Store Day. Go to this website for more details

It's your duty!

More to come...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

No One Dead This Time; well...

Today I downloaded the new album by The Fall. I love The Fall. Not the season, the innovative post-everything group.

I've seen them once. It was a memorable show for a couple of reasons: One was that Fall mainman Mark E. Smith had fallen (ha) during this particular tour & was on crutches. So he did most of the show sitting at a table. And he used two microphones, one in each hand. Don't ask why, he just did. Just like he always messes with the controls on his guitarists' amps. It's just kooky, that's all. Oh, and he also sang the last song offstage, behind a curtain. It was a cover of The 4 Seasons' "Walk Like A Man"- I think, because like Dylan it's sometimes hard to tell with Mark E. Smith what a familiar song has morphed into. Anyway, the other reason the show was memorable (but I didn't know it at the time) is that it was the last show I saw with my friend Ed who died less than a year later. I was always dragging him to shows that were not exactly mainstream, but always interesting. Like this one, or The Datsuns, who were actually overshadowed by support The Black Keys and even more so by opening act Electric Eel Shock from Osaka, which could tell you a lot. They were extremely wild, that was the consensus.

Anyway, Ed was someone very special. He'd hook up the speakers to his stereo by putting BOTH positive or red or whatever it was from both speakers on one channel, and both black or negative or whatever to the other side. Crazy! He'd also say "nit! nit!" after taking a shot, like Jack Nicholson in Easy Rider. He also knew more card games than just about anyone I knew except my brother-in-law.

He was a big Sloan fan. He thought Love's "Forever Changes" was a "Spanish" album. And I know secrets about him that I'll take to my grave.

I dragged him to a midnight showing of The Clash movie "Rude Boy" at the old Punch & Judy Theater right after he finished an 8 hour shift at work. He was less than impressed, but then so was I. I could've had him listening to WFMU, I just know it. That was another thing - he always had his computer messed up, kinda like his wife does nowadays. Is it an homage?

There are only two men who aren't family that I've kissed - Ed was one of them, and the other one is dead, too. Maybe I have the kiss of death for men.

Actually, three. The third was an obnoxious gay guy who worked with my ex-wife. Everything he said was a reference to gay sex. He called me Alfred, because I reminded him of Alfred Hitchcock. So this was our first meeting, at a Christmas party, and he asked if I was homophobic. That's when I kissed him. He was an asshole so I don't count him unless it's to my advantage. Maybe he's also dead, who knows.

So while for a change I'm not reporting on newly dead people, The Fall made me think of a very special dead guy.

And by the way, the new Fall album is called "Imperial Wax Solvent", and it's great.

Dropping Like Flies!!


JASON RAE : his wife is Corinne Bailey Rae, y'know the "Put Yer Records On" singer? Yeah, well, he died from a drug overdose. Asshole.

ISRAEL LOPEZ aka CACHAO : they say he helped invent the Mambo. How did he "help", did he say, "no no amigo, try bumping to the left, not forward!" Anyway, in today's scheme of things this poor cat won't be remembered, but what he did was a really big deal, everyone knows the mambo, maybe not how to do it, but they know of it.

NEIL ASPINALL : he was essentially The Beatles babysitter for a long while. He hung with them all the time and ended up head of Apple Corps. The Fabs had two main support cats (see photo), one was Mal Evans, the tall bespectacled lunkhead type who was murdered a few years back, and Neil was the suaver longhaired groovier guy. He had cancer, so no amount of grooviness can escape that savage killer.

Turn me on, dead man!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Four Dead Bodies Found

Last week Ola Brunkert, 62, was found dead in the garden of his home in Mallorca, with multiple cuts to the neck. He hit his head on a glass door, then he wrapped his neck in a towel but collapsed from blood loss before help arrived. He was the drummer for wildly popular Swedish pop quartet ABBA. Think of him the next time you hear "Dancin' Queen", "Chiquitita" or "Fernando". Or the next time you get cut by glass.

More blood: Anthony Minghella, 54, died from a hemorrhage March 18 after surgery on a neck growth. He won an Oscar for directing "The English Patient", and also directed "The Talented Mr Ripley" (the film not the actual person, because who knows if Robert Ripley was talented or not), "Truly, Madly, Deeply" and "Cold Mountain". In addition he directed "Madama Butterfly" for the English National Opera and wrote for TV. Plus if, during a heated moment you jumped up from your chair and shouted "you're just a goddamn pianist!" at him, that would not be a lie. Because he was indeed that, too.

If you're 90 years old and wrote a novel called "2001 - A Space Odyssey", your name is Arthur C. Clarke and you're dead. You've had post-polio syndrome for the last 20 years, the last seven of those years spent suffering as a member of the British Knighthood. When your father died you were 13, and you had to help your mother run the farm, oh you typical cliche. Put down that hoe, Dave, because HAL has opened the pod bay doors.

To The Man Called Joe Gibbs: check I-self, farward come ya dread at the controls! Mikey Dread, 54, toaster, dj, mc, Clash co-conspirator passed on March 15. As a radio broadcaster on the Jamaican Bradcasting Corporation in the 70s he hosted a show called "Dread At The Controls", a tag that stuck with him the rest of his life. He claims to be the one to break "Uptown Top Ranking" (see March 4 post re: Joe Gibbs). He became known worldwide after a promotional trip to the UK, and a subsequent hookup with The Clash. That resulted in him co-producing their 3 records set "Sandinista!", their single "Bankrobber" and a Clash world tour. In late 2007 he began treatment for a brain tumor. Such is life inna rub-a-dub stylee.

Heaven just got a whole lot more interesting.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Tastes Like Chicken

I've taken some time recently to consider things people either believe and/or tell me in hopes that I too will believe. Now it's time to set people straight. Here are a number of misconceptions that need to be addressed:

IT TAKES MORE ENERGY TO FROWN THAN TO SMILE. Whaddayou, nuts? Go out, anywhere, anytime, and just go about your day. That's right, pass people left and right, coming and going. Make an effort to smile at them. See how hard that is? Now for the next person you pass, just continue walking with your usual sneer on your face. Easy as pie. Nobody smiles. If it was easy, we'd be grinning like idiots all over the world and everybody else'd wonder what the hell we were up to.

A STITCH IN TIME SAVES NINE. Wrong. It doesn't even save "fore", because if you have to get stitches, you're gonna miss your tee time. There go nine holes.

IF YOU DON'T STOP THAT YOU'LL GO BLIND. Adult men have vision. 'Nuff said.

YOU SHOULD NOT ASK ABOUT SALARY AT A JOB INTERVIEW. Are you getting up early and putting on socks just for kicks? Is this job going to help cure something or change the world? Your future boss isn't stupid. Are you? Ask how much they're gonna pay you. Then laugh & walk out.

DON'T SPIT IN MY FACE AND TELL ME IT'S RAINING. No, go ahead. Try. I would, if I were you.

WOW, WHAT A GREAT SONG / MOVIE / ETC. Seriously. Do you really think your emphatic blathering is going to convince me? You never take my advice, and I'm gonna take yours? And I invest a lot of time & effort to come informed on this shit. You truly like the 80's & Adam Sandler movies. Get away from me.

ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS. Wave your arms wildly in someone's ear. Unless you lose your balance & accidentally slug them, this is an urban myth.

IF GUNS ARE OUTLAWED ONLY OUTLAWS WILL HAVE GUNS. Are all pot smokers dope fiends? I said ALL. Well then, how about drinkers? Geez, c'mon!

CHEATERS NEVER WIN. What world do you live in?

NEVER SHIT WHERE YOU EAT. What if you're bedridden? What if you eat shit? What if you live in toiletville? Never say never.

I CALL SHOTGUN. I got shotgun. (this one doesn't really fit. I just thought it was funny, at the time)

HE WHO DIES WITH THE MOST TOYS WINS. No, what happens is your family is left with a lotta crap they have to do something with. He who dies with the most toys is held in contempt by his survivors.

I guess that's enough for now. Be sure you keep it real. As if anyone'd know.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

More Like Mitch Walker

Didn't I tell you I hate rock'n'roll? But what other people ... musicians included ... consider rock'n'roll, from what I experienced this past weekend, is probably closer to what I meant.

I'm referring to the Metro Times Blowout, which was not as exciting as last year's even though the potential was there. I went Saturday, and (apologies to all who I was there with) I wish I woulda stayed home.

First, it was cold and messy because of the snow earlier in the day. But big deal, it's March, I knew it wasn't gonna be balmy.

I enjoyed being out, because I could chain-smoke cigars. And I could drink to excess. And there was live music. BUT - when you combine the first two, and the third factor is second-rate ... well, you can just imagine all the biting nasty commentary running through my head (it never ends).

First I saw a band with a name so stupid that I don't care if I meet the guy and have to say, "oh yeah, you're in...whatever" that a friend and I renamed "Mountain Pie". Every song sounded like a blend of "Mississippi Queen" and "I Don't Need No Doctor". The frontman tried extra hard to look and act just like the front man in The Black Keys, rocking his long greasey hair & mountain-man beard (hey bro: I just bought a trimmer from Target a couple weeks ago for less than $20). I mean, they were good, but ... just so derivitive in their sound and execution, It makes me wanna revive my old mantra of "typical Detroit stuff" (are they all really that lost without Jack White? C'mon!). But that's OK, given that they could've been like the next band, which was just so damned anonymous, except for their sideman ... Eddie Baranek from The Sights (see previous post - my how the mighty have fallen). Not a hair out of place - all five of 'em. More drinks, more cigars. Things were getting starchy. Then, it was time for who I actually came for - Powertrane with the mighty Scott Morgan. If he wore his beret any further down his head it'd be a berka. He must really have really really bad ugly baldness issues. The band were only so-so compared to last year's scortching set which won me over and had me declaring them the best band in town. Then, Mitch Ryder comes on for vocals. He was like a blend of Ozzy & Brian Wilson: semi-comatose. I didn't see him walk on stage, I bet someone carried him out there & propped him up with a stick. Replete with de riguer old guy "I'm still cool" getup: shades, porkpie hat, smile-shaped tambourine. However, the voice is not bad after all these years. But he shoulda just sat on a chair for all the presence he had. He sang his hit singles, and the song he did with Was Not Was ("Bow Wow Wow Wow" - stupid), and finished up with the last single his band Detroit released back in '72: "Gimme Shelter". The big difference was the one from '72 rocked, this one not so much, and it had a lengthy psych-drone swirling masturbation intro. It literally had me screaming "enough!!".

But I was glad to come; I was sad to leave. While I was there I had me a real good time.

Next, stopped at another bar & caught about 2 minutes of a Blanche-like combo that seemed like the best thing we saw. And that was it. Closing time. We wasted a lot of time waiting for my standard disappointing local musical experience. However, I capped off the night by playing the jukebox. It was the only current music I heard all night - Vampire Weekend.

And along that line of thought, here's an interesting point: all the music I heard between bands was pretty good, stuff I would play at home. However, the newest thing they played was "Not Great Men" by Gang Of Four. That's 1979.

Maybe I could still dj. I have MC5 albums.

Friday, March 7, 2008

I Hate Rock & Roll

This weekend I'm going to be a part of a real community thing, an event called the Metro Times Blowout, f.k.a. The Hamtramck Blowout (guess they needed some visible backing). Here's a fact: the Metro Times is a real piece of shit. I don't care if it's free. I don't care if it's the only rag that spotlights area happenings. First off, like most things in this dead-ass city it's second rate and piss-poor. It has the hardest website to find anything on, & it's supposed to be this purveyor of all Detroit area activities. Anyway, the MTB is 30000 bands in 2500 venues, more or less. But the good thing about this event is that most of the acts are nobodies, or purt' near. You get some names you've heard of, but the only ones that your Aunt Fanny's heard of are usually has-beens or else they're church festival regulars The Polish Muslims. But the thing is it's a sense of community, and a big ol' party. There may be performances you remember for the rest of your life, but for the most part, it's a noisy crazy night out.

F'rinstance, I'm going specifically to see Powertrane, which is Scott Morgan's band, he of The Rationals and Sonic's Rendezvous Band, both of which were the best bands in town in their respective day. Hopefully they'll repeat last year's stellar performance (I was very impressed to say the least). Scott Morgan's older than me (wow!) but there's no nostalgia in his band. They really rock out. And this year he adds special guest Mitch Ryder. Now I've heard some of his stuff long after he was someone of importance (first time around with the Detroit Wheels and his hippie-based "comeback" with Detroit in 1971), & to be blunt he sucked. Maybe he's trying for real again. I'm kinda expecting disappointment, because that's the way it is. He used to have one of the best white soul voices in rock, and coupled with Scott Morgan (who also had that same distinction) it could be a real "moment".

Last year The Sights, who at one point were the Next Big Thing complete with raves from the UK press (a high watermark), were so drunk they couldn't finish any songs and in some cases couldn't even start some! I thought Hasil Adkins came back to life & got a band (look him up). I left after about 20 minutes of this. Pretty safe to say The Sights are now in BOTH the has-been and never-quite-was categories. A probable contributing factor: frontman Eddie Baranek's advanced stage of male pattern baldness! Maybe he should hire Scott Morgan as a consultant, because he is also losing his hair (he's 60, whaddaya expect) & he sports the requisite beret -"hey, I'm still cool"-It may be too little too late for ol' Ed. He never had a hit record that Aretha copied (yes, it was the Rationals' version of "Respect" that made the Queen Of Soul sing for her supper)

I understand this years act to catch is The Universal Temple Of Divine Power, a screaming guitar combo that worships at the alter of the High Energy god of old.

Scott Morgan, Mitch Ryder, High Energy - where are they playing, Tartar Field or The Kite In?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Who Wound Me Up?

See that thing at the top? My sister pulled my coat to it. She knows how insane I get about this stuff. It's classified on a real honest-to-goodness web site as a GARBAGE BOWL. Just like Rachel "hock-a-loogie" Ray uses on her annoying cooking show. (to be honest, it's nowheres near as annoying as her talk show, because while she undoubtedly has a place at a stove, she has absolutely no place on a talk show set. Her and Tyra Banks oughta team up like Regis & Kelly, and then a crazed audience member or Gary Busey should open fire on them both.)

(But I digress, as is my way.)


See, the more I see her on TV, I notice her sweet little exterior cracking & the real Rosie-Oprah-Martha bitch starts to trickle out. No wonder she married that nutjob. She probably spits on EVERYBODY nowadays. And now this Diva wants you to pay $18 for a goddamn bowl you use for, essentially, shit! It's more expensive than her EVOO! Heavens to Betsy I hate her!

You think I'M crazy, you want a REAL laugh? go here:

Someone ELSE who's been told by a bunch of yes-men that she knows what she's doing. No wonder this country's falling apart.

Remember when I said I was going to Hawaii? I just talked to someone who just got back from there, and pancakes in a restaurant were $15. And a gallon of milk in a supermarket went for $9. Can't wait to check out gas prices.

People must be made of money, otherwise there'd be an uprising, like the Boston Tea Party. I don't know if they're made of money, but they're sure stupid as hell.

Let's see, what else can I get nuts about?

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Another One! The Man Called Joe Gibbs

Just found out that legendary Jamaican producer Joe Gibbs had a heart attack on Feb 21.

He was responsible for a LOT of great music, including this gem from Althea & Donna, Uptown Top Ranking

By the way, I don't know if you ever caught any of these "record player" type videos on You Tube. I couldn't believe my luck in finding them. There are a LOT of reggae videos doing this, showing the original Jamaican singles being played on a turntable. I love seeing what the labels look like. You gotta pay top TOP dollar for authentic Jamaican singles on Ebay.

I've loved watching records spin on a turntable since I was a kid. It's like moving art. So you can say I've actually "played" records. These You Tube videos are so Ace. The camera does a close-up on the single, the turntable starts spinning & it just keeps spinning while the song rolls on and the record plays through. So I'm STILL playing records - or actually someone is playing records for me.

But back to Joe Gibbs. He started selling records in his TV repair shop in Jamaica. The music scene was getting thick, what with Ska & Rocksteady music coming out left & right. So he decided to get into it, and started Amalgamated Records with Bunny "Striker" Lee. "Hold Them" by Roy Shirley was his first success in 1968. In 1970 he put out his first "reggae" record, "Love Of The Common People" by Nicky Thomas, & it was a smash. He was also known for giving famed engineer Niney The Observer his start in the studio.

But just about my favorite thing from him was Culture's lp "Two Sevens Clash". Gibbs worked with just about everyone who's anyone in Jamaica's musical factions: Rocksteady, Roots Reggae, Rockers, Lovers Rock, Dub. Yes, there are specific differences.

His big downfall came in the 80s when he cut "Someone Loves You Honey" for J. C. Lodge. The song was written by Charley Pride, who sued because Gibbs didn't pay royalties (that was common in Jamaica; a LOT of those records never saw light outside the island, hence their rarity). The record was so popular it went to number 1 in Europe; that's how ol' Charley found out. Gibbs couldn't pay the settlement, and went out of business. But in the mid-90s he started reissuing some of his stuff.

So forward to Heaven for Joe Gibbs. Jah Bless.

Monday, March 3, 2008

They come (go) in 3s

First, I heard Buddy Miles; then Mike Smith, finally Jeff Healey.

What am I talking about? Why death, of course!

Buddy Miles (that's him with Hendrix in the photo above, at Monterey in 1967. Nice hair!) was a big meaty drummer , mostly known for his role in Jimi Hendrix' trio called Band Of Gypsys with Jimbo's army buddy Billy Cox on bass. At the time, BOG weren't very well-liked. I think people were upset with the dissolution of The (J. H.) Experience, but that band wasn't so hot - it was populated by a jazz-influenced drummer who didn't "bring it" for ol' Jimi (IMHO), and a guitarist-turned-bassist-out-of-necessity who was average at best. But they happened to be drafted into the combo that burned the world's ass with Hendrix' initial onslaught of cosmic music, and for that they were loved and should be forever grateful. Buddy first came to general acknowledgement as a founding member of The Electric Flag, a blues/soul septet that also featured Mike Bloomfield, late of The Butterfield Blues Band and (even cooler and more significant) the Dylan Highway 61 sessions. Buddy had his own band, The (B. M.) Express. I saw them at the Eastown Ballroom, and they got booed off the stage - he thought he was Otis Redding. And anyway everyone was there to see Spirit, who were incandescent but this isn't about them. Anyway, Buddy's shit was hit and (more often) miss. So now he can follow Hendrix around like in the old days.

Mike Smith was the toothy (almost bucky) front man/organist in The Dave Clark Five, who were the big rivals for The Beatles (at least in the US - the UK took 'em for what they were, a singles act). He had been very ill for the past few years, and I remember reading about benefits and such. In all fairness, The DC5 did have some ace tunes - "Glad All Over" and even more so "Bits And Pieces" stomped like a brontosaurus. But that was about it, for outstanding-ness. They had a long line of hits, but those two were heavy standouts.

Jeff Healey I know the least about. He was a blind guitarist, who played nice & bluesey with his guitar on his lap as he sat on a chair (I'd go the comfy route, too, & I got eyes!), but I had no interest in him. I read that of late, he was very involved in trad jazz. Immediately my opinion of him moved up a rung or two, since I say who needs any more rock guitar "shredders", in fact the less the better. And he was also proficient on clarinet & trumpet. Guess when you can't read or watch TV you might as well do something else.

So maybe Jeff Healey comes out on top of this recent corpse triumvirate. At least he sounds the most interesting. And he's from Canada, so you got a yank, a limey & a canuck.

Sound the international death knell!!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Shopping Spree

Big weekend, it was!

First, gots me anutha leather jacket. Not sure if I like it better than/less than/as much as leather jacket #1 (which is actually leather jacket #2, but for the sake of blogging on GGMSW we'll call it #1 because it was the 1st one you knew about) but what I am sure of is I paid $20 more than lj #1 (or #2 - wait, let's not start that mess again). BUT on the plus side I also got some great cashmere sox (yeah, just in time for spring - it's still winter clearance a-go-go). I wish you'd quit judging me. Anyway, you can check me out in Hamtown this coming weekend at the Blowout and for certain I'll be sporting lj#2. (and I'll still be wearing the WFMU t-shirt, because I have to get my money's worth)

So that was good thing #1 (grouping together the jacket & the sox). Next up, here's the first official announcement that I'm switching cable/phone/web service. Yes, to my credit I'll be saving money on a monthly basis (more sox!), but we'll see how the service is. Cuz I found out someone (can't reveal who) had their stuff with this new company, hated it, and switched back to brand C. Now me, I don't ask for much, just good ol' American quality (don't start). So that's potentially good thing #2, And good thing #2 actually was the raison 'detre of good thing #3 (does that term fit here?).

Good thing #3: I bought a flat screen tv for my kitchen! So now I can watch food being prepared in hi def flat-style, and it'll look like the actual food sitting on my countertop, and I'll get confused & stick a fork in the tv screen!. Maybe. Maybe not, because I never see them preparing Special K or spinach dip on TV. Again, if you say who cares I'm gonna crack you one.

But wait, there were a lot of other things that happened over the weekend that qualify as good things, but I'm through numbering them. Things like: I pulled out a bunch of vinyl & spun it on my new turntable. The place looked like the old days, stacks of records all over the joint. I spun some of my import Trojan reggae discs (nothing matches "Screaming Target" by Big Youth), stuff by Gang Of Four (To Hell With Poverty"), Charlie Parker radio transmissions (from Birdland!!), even Tom Jones Live at London's Talk Of The Town from 1965 (show-stopper: "My Yiddishe Momma"). Almost dipped into my stash of imported punk singles from the magic year 1977, but figured the wife would run screaming. But you never know, maybe she's been waiting to hear "Ain't Bin Ta No Music School" by The Nosebleeds or "Bend & Flush" by The Pork Dukes.

Also, the decision was made to move forward with plans for a trip to Hawaii. I'm not saying when because I don't want you looting my house when I'm gone (someone wants that Pork Dukes single - going for $40 on ebay).

And Also - bought a new digital camera, specifically because I'm going to Hawaii. Man a LOT of stuff was bought this weekend!!

Now I wish I had a job! That would be a good thing, too!