Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Modern Sound Of Harry Beckett

Harry Beckett, R.I.P., 1935-2010

The Snark playlist for TUESDAY, JULY 27, 2010.
(Artist/SONG/Album, etc.)

Harry Beckett -- SOMETHING SPECIAL -- The Modern Sound of Harry Beckett (2008, On-U Sound)

Casiokids -- GOMURMAMMA -- Topp Stemming På Lokal Bar (2010, Polyvinyl)
James Polk & The Brothers -- POWER STRUGGLE -- Texas Funk: Black Gold from the Lone Star State, 1968-75 (2005, Stones Throw) [orig. 1969]
Shriekback -- MY SPINE IS THE BASSLINE -- Bustin' Out 1982: New Wave to New Beat, Volume 2 (2010, Year Zero) [orig. 1982]
Monty Norman -- DR. NO'S FANTASY -- Dr. No (1962, United Artists)
Swindle P. Hurst -- RICHARD -- Swindle P. Hurst (2010, ind.)

Lynn Taitt & The Jets -- NAPOLEON SOLO -- Rock Steady Greatest Hits (1968, Merritone)
U-J3RK5 -- NAUM GABO -- Vancouver Complication (1979, Sudden Death Records)
Hey Marseilles -- RIO -- To Travels & Trucks (2010, Onto Entertainment)
Exchange Bureau -- SPOOKIE DOOKIE -- Via Air Mail (2006, Exchange Bureau Music)
Count Lasher & Charlie Binger's Six -- CALABASH -- Boogu Yagga Gal: Jamaican Mento (2002, Heritage Music)
Tortoise -- THE FALL OF THE SEVEN DIAMONDS PLUS ONE -- Beacons of Ancestorship (2009, Thrill Jockey)

Tony Bennett -- ANYTHING GOES -- Toast to Broadway: Mr. Porter (2000, Allegro) [orig. 1958?]
The Black Seeds -- TUK TUK -- On The Sun (2004, Capitol)
The Unsettlers -- THE COPS ARE HERE -- The Unsettlers (2008, ind.)
The Hitch-Hikers feat. The Mighty Pope -- MR. FORTUNE -- Jamaica To Toronto: Soul, Funk, & Reggae 1967-74 (2006, Light In The Attic)
Samantha Robichaud -- MUSICAL PREACHER -- Atlantic Standards: Kitchen Party (2010, Rhino Canada)
Gaetano Fabri -- SMART GYPSY (DJ Delay rerub) -- DJ Delay Presents: Brass, Wires, & Bass (2010, Beaming Productions)
George Manury -- DEAR ARLENE -- George M. (2010, Vstuff)
Twilight Circus -- OATS -- Horsie (1999, M Records)
Michael Jackson -- WE'VE GOT A GOOD THING GOING -- Ben (1972, Motown)
Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet --  BENNETT CERF -- Time Machine: The History of Canadian 60s Garage, Punk, & Surf 1985-95 (1996, Stomp)

The Stooges -- DIRT (Take 4) -- Funhouse Deluxe (2005, Rhino/Elektra) [orig. 1970, Elektra]

Thanks for listening!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

"My Intention Is War"

(from Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, 2000)

He means a spontaneous lyrical battle, a "vocal duel." Lord Invader vs. Mighty Dictator. His intention is war.  This historical skirmish took place in NYC circa 1958.

Lord Invader (Rupert Westmore Grant) and Mighty Dictator (Kenny St. Bernard) are flyting together on the song MY INTENTION IS WAR. The musicians are ammunition in their vocals. Duke Of Iron (Cecil Anderson) accompanies on piano, Lawrence on guitar, and Mr. Ford on bass.

Here's the lyrics for this picong.

Lord Invader:
Yes, my mother dead and my father disown me / What am I to do? / My mother died and my father disown me / What am I to do? / I am livin' in this world, I ain't got nobody / Not a brother, sister, nor cousin, family / War and rebellion when I meet calypsonian / My intention is war.

Dictator, you insolent boobie, delirious mule / Audacious slum monger, you're out of rule / Your abnormal expressions worth no while in hearing / Descend at once, Dictator, and stop your sneering / You gabilous squabbler, illiterate ape / Now you are in a terrible scrape / Dictator, you resemble Manuel Gogo / A fowl thief from Tobago / My intention is war.

Mighty Dictator:
Now Lord Invader, why you pick on me? / Remember that I was near your family / Take it from me in calypso / Remember me once in San Fernando / Now believe I can give you the score / Remember, you were sleeping on the floor / I used to mash your head / Going to sleep on my bed / My intention is war.

Now calypso singing is such a technical thing / It was not made for one and every to sing / How by the heavens can this songster win? / Except by necromancy, that is a sin / My head is like a book that is well compact / My tongue is like a gun that never yet snap / And I'm sorry, Dictator, / If he molest with Invader / My intention is war.

Now Lord Invader, fighting makes no sense / Why not say something of eloquence? / Talk about the boys playing the music / And with that, please do not do any trick / Remember that I am a Lord / And on the bass, we have Mr. Ford / The Duke Of Iron of calypso / The master playing the piano.

Now Dictator, what a boobie / You're a calypsonian [ain't?] / To sing this verse I give you satisfaction / Hear the gentleman there, he's sitting up there / Sitting there, without any fear / Rhyme a verse extemporaneously / As to prove your singing ability / And if you give me satisfaction / You're known as the champion / My intention is war.

To sing on the gentleman, I'll take the choice / He's my friend, his name is Lawrence / He's a very great guitar player / And you can take this tip from the Dictator / On him I have to make no attack / He's sitting there all dressed in black / And I'll tell you why, he's a chap / He's wearing a red tie / My intention is war.

I think we goin' out.

Now Mighty Dictator, put your hands in mine / That verse that you sung is well, superfine / You know that I know you in Trinidad / And you are king in singing calypso ballad.

Now Invader, you too are really great / And my statement no one can adjudicate / Put your hand in mine / Let our friendship remain sublime.

War, war, war, war, war -- la da day, la da doy / La da day, la da day, la da doy.

The excellent booklet that accompanies this CD from Smithsonian Folkways Recordings is full of information, providing details of recording, biographies of musicians, cultural and historical context, lyrics, discography, and even a bibliography.

The notes were written by Dr. John Cowley, Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London. Cowley seems to think that the Mighty Dictator won this battle, because "essentially Invader withdraws." [p.19, Calypso In New York]

Huh?  I thought Invader won. Better vocab-flex, insults, and he boasts through simile. Plus, he gets the last word.

Calypso is complicated.  And fascinating.

The Snark playlist for TUESDAY, JULY 20, 2010.
(Artist/SONG/Album, etc.)

The Black Seeds -- THE BUBBLE -- Solid Ground (2009, Easy Star)
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds -- IDIOT PRAYER -- The Boatman's Call (1997, Reprise)

Citywide Vacuum -- WAKABOWA -- From The Tank: 17 Unreleased Tracks From The Windsor Music Collective (2010, Sharktank Productions)
The Mongols -- SLEEPWALK -- It Came From Canada, Volume 3 (1987, Og Music)
Los Amigos Invisibles -- Ultra-Funk -- The New Sound Of The Venezuelan Gozadera (1998, Luakabop)
Efan -- PICTURE -- Electro-Lava (2007, ind.)
Northern Portrait -- CRIMINAL ART LOVERS. -- Criminal Art Lovers (2009, Matinee Recordings)

Pleasure Seekers -- NEVER THOUGHT YOU'D LEAVE ME -- Friday Night At The Hideout: Boss Detroit Garage 1964-67 (2001, Norton Records)
Dubmatix feat. Anthony B -- WHO A DI BOSS DUB -- Atomic Subsonic (2006, 7 Arts Entertainment)
Lonesome Lefty -- DIGA DIGA DOO -- From myspace
Seán Cullen -- PUNKS -- I Am A Human Man (2008, The Orb Inc.)

Lord Invader, feat. Mighty Dictator -- MY INTENTION IS WAR -- Calypso In New York (2000, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings) [orig. 1958]
The Glitch Mob -- DRIVE IT LIKE YOU STOLE IT -- Drink The Sea (2010, Glass Air)
Dry & Heavy -- RADICAL STAR -- One Punch (1999, Green Tea)
The Latinaires -- CREATION -- Broasted Or Fried: Latin Breakbeats, Basslines, & Boogaloo (2000, Harmless) [orig. 1968, Fania]
Wanda Jackson -- KANSAS CITY -- Queen Of Rockabilly (2001, Ace) [orig. 1961, Capitol]
Sugar Minott -- TAKE IT SLOW -- Binghi Riddim (2008, MRecords)
Konono N°1 -- GUIYOME -- Assume Crash Position (2010, Crammed Discs)

Fat Freddys Drop -- WILD WIND -- Dr. Boondigga & The Big BW (2009, The Drop)

Thanks for listening!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Double Dipping In The Tank

(photo/design by Stephen Hargreaves)
I've been trying to slowly savour this record in all its stupendous diversity, but this week I couldn't resist playing two songs from the Windsor compilation From The Tank, brought to you and me by producer Mark Plancke and his mighty fine Sharktank Productions.
You can find plenty more details about this CD and all the bands contained therein at: http://www.sharktankpro.com/fromthetank/

The Snark playlist for TUESDAY, JULY 13, 2010.
(Artist/SONG/Album, etc.)

Fat Freddys Drop -- THE CAMEL -- Live At Roundhouse London (2010, The Drop)

Roxy Music -- MOTHER OF PEARL -- Stranded (1973, Atco)
Air -- NIGHT HUNTER -- Love 2 (2009, Virgin)
Four Letter Word -- THE PUT ON -- From The Tank: 17 Unreleased Tracks From The Windsor Music Collective (2010, Sharktank Productions)
Trashcan Sinatras -- EASY ON THE EYE -- In The Music (2010, Lo-Five)

The Cryptics -- YOU'RE EVIL -- Time Machine: The History of Canadian 60s Garage, Punk, & Surf, 1985-95 (1996, Stomp)
Jah Woosh -- WOODPECKER SOUND -- Dub Xperience: The Dread Operators, An On-U Sound Compilation (1996, Cleopatra Records)
Jonathan Richman -- THIS KIND OF MUSIC -- Jonathan Sings! (1983, Sire)
Casiokids -- GOMURMAMMA (?) (song title correction: EN VILLE HEST)  -- Topp Stemning På Lokal Bar (2010, Polyvinyl)
Mr. Chill & The Witnesses -- TIRED ALL THE TIME -- Cold Testament (2005, ind.)

Carla Thomas -- B-A-B-Y -- Atlantic Gold: 100 Soul Classics (2009, Atlantic/Rhino) [orig. 1966]
The Spys -- I WANNA BE LIKE YOU -- Original Punk Rock From Canada 1979-80 (2001, Incognito Records)
King Midas Sound -- COOL OUT -- Waiting For You (2009, Hyperdub)
The Black Keys -- TEN CENT PISTOL -- Brothers (2010, Nonesuch)
Patife Band -- TEU BEM -- The Sexual Life Of The Savages: Underground Post-Punk in Sao Paulo, Brasil (2005, Soul Jazz)

Hjaltalin -- SUITCASE MAN -- Made In Iceland III (2010, ind)
Johnny West -- BLUE CHEESE NECKLACE -- The Chicken Angel Woman With A Triangle (2008, Tosteestostas Music)

Luxury Christ -- PEANUT BUTTER -- From The Tank: 17 Unreleased Tracks From The Windsor Music Collective (2010, Sharktank Productions)

Thanks for listening!

Oh yeah, I'm not sure if that Casiokids song listed above is actually the one I played. It's not the one I meant to play. (Ugh, for the love, duh, etc.) I'll sort it out and play the mystery song next week [in 2 weeks], I guess. Double CDs from Denmark are a little tricky it seems... ahem.

Argh! Snark addendum: I keep saying that Casiokids are from Denmark and they're NOT! They come from the land of fjords. They come from Norway. Bergen, Norway.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

December Echoes In July

(ink drawing by Merry Ellen Scully Mosna, 2008)

The Snark playlist for TUESDAY, JULY 6, 2010.
(Artist/SONG/Album, etc.)

Fat Freddys Drop -- SHIVERMAN -- Dr. Boondigga & The Big BW (2009, The Drop)

Jonathan Richman -- THAT SUMMER FEELING -- Jonathan Sings! (1983, Sire)
The Offs -- EVERYONE'S A BIGOT -- Everyone's A Bigot/Zero Degrees, 7" single (1978?, 415 Records)
Rockpile -- WHEN I WRITE THE BOOK -- Quiet Please... The New Best of Nick Lowe (2009, Yep Rock)
Prince Hammer -- WELL HOT -- Vengeance (198?, Melinda)

Crumpled Holiday -- DOWNTOWN -- Crumpled Holiday (2009, Spacequake)
Ron Leary -- MILES -- Dependent Arising (2010, Bootbrush Music)
Alex B -- HOT CHOP -- Moments (2010, Elm & Oak)
Trevor Malcolm Jazz Trio -- DOPE ROBOT -- From The Tank (2010, Shark Tank Productions)
Sonny Hennig -- 1000 TIPS ZUM UBERLEBEN -- Cloud Cuckooland (2010, B-Music)
Big Daddy A & The Merves -- LOST IN A DESERT GROCERY STORE -- We Stole Your Wallet (1997, 1984 Records)

Wordburglar -- SPIT FRESH (TOO MUCH COFFEE REMIX) -- Burgie's Basement: B-Sides, Rarities, Remixes (2010, Hand'Solo Records)
Louis Prima -- 5 MONTHS, 2 WEEKS, 2 DAYS -- Collector's Series (1991, Capitol) [orig. 1956, Capitol]
FM Belfast -- TROPICAL -- How To Make Friends (2010, Kimi Records)
The Urinals -- SCHOLASTIC APTITUDE -- Negative Capability... Check It Out! (2004, Warning Label/Happy Squid) [orig. 1978-80]
Betty Wright -- MR. LUCKY -- Eccentric Soul: The Outskirts of Deep City (2007, Numero Group) [orig. 1967, Deep City]

Burial -- GUTTED -- Burial
Peret -- CHAVI -- Achilifunk: Gipsy Soul 1969-79 (2007, Love Monk) [orig. 1972, Ariola]

Jake & The Leprechauns -- A UNIFIED THEORY OF EVERYTHING -- At Midnight, The Birdsong (2010, Landlocked)

Thanks for listening!

Here's some cool vinyl from the end of the 70s for you:
The Offs began in San Francisco as a ska-punk-funk band. They were recording by 1977 and eventually moved to NYC.

Yes, I am secretly wishing for winter.  So what!

In the meantime... this will help, all the way from New Zealand:

The Return Of Freddy!
(Artwork by Otis Frizzel)

This week's show started off with the song SHIVERMAN... 10 minutes and 36 seconds of pure Pacific Soul. When the horns come back in just after the 7 minute mark, OH! I hope you've got it turned up REAL LOUD, because it's good for you. It makes the heat of July make sense.

Next week... hmm... what will it be? Should it be the 15-minute "Shiverman" live from this brand new release from the folks at The Drop? I'll stew about it.

So here's the lowdown:

Fat Freddys did a big tour in 2008, which ended with two shows in December at the Roundhouse in London. As is the way with Freddys, the material that they subsequently recorded in 2009 as the album Dr. Boondigga and The Big BW was developed and "road-tested" on this tour. That's how they do it.

That's how I like it.

(Photo by Kerry Brown, Eric Wang, or Jenny Hulsmeier)

Nobody grows a song like Fat Freddys Drop. Listen and behold! It's backwards, yes, like our summer and their winter, but Live at Roundhouse London (2010) shows us Dr. Boondigga and The Big BW (2009) when Boondigga and all the little BWs were in their infancies.  

Yes, Dr. Boondigga and The Big BW is my favourite album of 2009. It shares that top spot with Solid Ground by The Black Seeds. Both are New Zealand bands!

The Black Seeds will manage to play live and in concert as close as Brooklyn later this month. That's progress, actually. Last year, they only toured briefly in the southern United States before crossing over to Europe. 

Freddy? Where are you?

NZ! Come to Detroit, for the love of Pete!

Live At Roundhouse London CD design 
 by Harry A'Court from Inject