Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Pining For The Fjords

Norsk electropop er bra fer deg! Five guys from Norway, a pineapple maraca, one dancing monkey, and the perfect guitar sound. Extremely charming electro-boys, two of whom could sing very high. Nice drumming and live dubbing, too. Beauty bass. By the end of the night all the Casiokids were switching places, playing every instrument, like James Brown used to do. 

All twenty of us were dancing! For ille du ikke rakk det. Much fun.

The Snark playlist for TUESDAY, AUGUST 31, 2010.
(Artist/SONG/Album, etc.)

Lillian Allen -- ONE POEM TOWN -- Conditions Critical (1998, Verse To Vinyl)
Billy Stewart -- SUMMERTIME -- 7" single (1966, Chess)
The Residents (feat. Snakefinger) -- GOOSEBUMP 1: DISASTER -- Diskomo 2000 E.P. (2000, Cryptic Corp.) [orig. 1980, Ralph Records]

Ricca Razor Sharp -- BOHEMIAN RAP CITY -- Neferiu Records: Tendown (2010, Neferiu)
Chuck Berry -- YOU CAN'T CATCH ME -- Not Fade Away: 15 Classics That Fired Up The Rolling Stones (2008, Uncut) [orig. 1955]
Mark Stewart + Maffia -- LIBERTY CITY -- Bustin' Out 1982: New Wave To New Beat, Volume 2 (2010, Year Zero) [orig. 1982, On-U Sound]
The Books -- THE STORY OF HIP-HOP -- The Way Out (2010, Temporary Residence)
Casiokids -- VERDENS STØRSTE LAND (Velferd remix) -- Topp Stemning På Lokal Bar (2010, Polyvinyl)
Booker T. & The M.G.s -- COMIN' HOME BABY -- Green Onions (1962, Stax)

Minutemen -- PARTY WITH ME PUNKER -- The Politics of Time (1984, New Alliance)
Shapes & Sizes -- TELL YOUR MUM -- Candles To Your Eyes (2010, Asthmatic Kitty)
Nick Lowe -- 36 Inches -- Jesus Of Cool (1978, Yep Rock)
Fat Freddys Drop (feat. Alice Russell) -- THE CAMEL -- Dr. Boondigga & The Big BW (2009, The Drop)

Big Daddy A & The Merves -- FLYING SQUIRREL -- We Stole Your Wallet (1997, 1984 Records)
Edric Connnor & The Caribbeans -- HOSANNA -- Songs From Jamaica (2008, Saland) [orig. 1952]
Five Alarm Funk -- TITAN -- Anything Is Possible (2010, ind.)
Shonen Knife -- (LOVE IS LIKE A) HEATWAVE -- Birds & B-Sides (1996, Virgin)
Vishtèn -- SHÉDIAC BRIDGE -- Atlantic Standards: Kitchen Party (2010, Rhino Canada)
Max Romeo -- I CHASE THE DEVIL -- Babylon Central: A Film By Eric Hilton (2010, ESL Music) [orig. 1976, Island]

Dubmatix -- CHAMPION SOUND -- Atomic Subsonic (2006, 7 Arts)
Thievery Corporation -- AMERIMACKA (TC remix) -- Babylon Central: A Film By Eric Hilton (2010, ESL Music)  [Oops! I pressed the wrong button and accidentally played the next song from the Thievery Corporation soundtrack. OK, OK. Maybe next week for Dubmatix...]

Thanks for listening!

Casiokids on 45: "Finn Bikkjen!" on the A-side
and "Gomurmamma" on the AA-side.
(In case you couldn't tell...)
From Moshi Moshi Records, 2009.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

"Orange As The Pigeon's Eye..."

The Snark playlist for TUESDAY, AUGUST 24, 2010.
(Artist/SONG/Album, etc.)

Shriekback -- HERE COMES MY HANDCLAP -- Tench E.P. (1981, Y Records)
Wyzacker -- HEEL TO THE SPADE (produced by Mantrakid) -- Neferiu Records: Tendown (2010, Neferiu)

Casiokids -- FOT I HOSE (LFF extension) -- Topp Stemning På Lokal Bar (2010, Polyvinyl)
Shannon Rose & The Thorns -- WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? -- Sing Me A Song (2010, ind.)
Jack Teagarden -- I JUST COULDN'T TAKE IT BABY -- A Teagarden Party (http://scratchyattic.blogspot.com/) [orig. 193?, date unknown)
Trashcan Sinatras -- ORANGES & APPLES -- In The Music (2010, Lo-Five)
The Hygrades -- ROUGH RIDER -- The World Ends: Afro Rock & Psychedelia in 1970s Nigeria (2010, Sound Way)
Matthew & The Birds -- TRAIN SONG -- Remnants Of What We Reminisced (2010, ind.)

The Temptations -- I WANT A LOVE I CAN SEE -- My Girl: The Very Best Of The Temptations (2002, Motown) [orig. 1963]
Yale Strom & Zmiros -- MAREL O DEL -- Carpati: 50 Miles, 50 Years (1996, Global Village)
Johnny West -- I'M A WITNESS, NOT YOUR WAITRESS -- My Hellhound Crooked Heart (2010, ind.)
The Birthday Party -- HAPPY BIRTHDAY -- Hee-Haw (1980, Missing Link)
Justin Hines & The Dominoes -- CARRY, GO, BRING, COME -- The Story of Jamaican Music: Tougher Than Tough (1993, Mango)

Eu -- GAROTAS SUECAS -- The New Brazilian Music, Volume 1 (2010, BM&A)
Gregory Isaacs -- BAD DA -- The Trojan Story, Volume 2 (1982, Trojan) [orig. 1975, The Thing]
The Provincial Archive -- A SMOULDERING EPILOGUE -- Maybe We Could Be Holy (2010, ind.)
The Spys -- LUDWELL WOODWORK -- Original Punkrock From Canada 1979-80 (2001, Incognito Records)

Jaron Freeman-Fox -- CLARITY -- Manic Almanac: Slow Möbius (2010, ind.)

Thanks for listening!

Snark addendum:
So after a little lazy digging, I can't even remember where it started, it turns out that "Oranges and Apples" by the Trashcan Sinatras is about Syd Barrett. There's about a million reasons why. But I now know more about Barrett than I ever meant to...
When I played it last Tuesday, I could've caught one or maybe two Syd references in "O&A", if somebody would've reminded me about Syd's "Bike" song. Anyway, with nothing to go on, I didn't think anything of it, y'know? So it goes...
Still sounds like it's about somebody in love.

From Catalogue d'objets introuvables, by Jacques Carelman, 
Éditions André Balland, Paris, 1969.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

"Now I Get My Fortunes Told For Free"

The Snark playlist for TUESDAY, AUGUST 17, 2010.
(Artist/SONG/Album, etc.)

Johnny West -- WATER IN A WINE GLASS -- My Hellhound Crooked Heart (2010, Tosteestostas Music)
I-Roy -- YAMAHA RIDE -- Santic & Friends: An Even Harder Shade of Black (1995, Pressure Sounds) [orig. 1974, Santic]

Benny Spellman -- FORTUNE TELLER -- New Orleans Funk 2: The Original Sound of Funk, Volume 2 (2008, Soul Jazz Records) [orig. 1962, Minit Records]
El-P -- DRIVING DOWN THE BLOCK (El-P Remix) REDUX -- Weareallgoingtoburninhellmega mixxx3 (2010, Gold Dust)
Kako & His Orchestra -- KAKO'S BOOGALOO -- Broasted Or Fried? Latin Breakbeats, Basslines, & Boogaloo (2000, Harmless) [orig. 1968, Musicor]
Dandy -- RAINING IN MY HEART -- Tighten Up, Volume 3 (1970, Trojan)
Sunfields -- CITY -- Palace In The Sun (2010, Field Recordings)

It Kills -- NIGHT MAYOR -- It Kills (2010, It Kills)
Erika Machado -- SECADOR, MACA E LENTE -- The New Brazilian Music, Volume 1 (2010, BM&A)
Alkaline -- SKULL DUBBERY -- ExtraLongLife (2000, Universal)
The Wave Pictures -- I SHALL BE A DITCHDIGGER -- Susan Rode The Cyclone (2010, Acuarela)
Jay Jay Imus & Freddy Ford -- THE BOOGALA -- Lux & Ivy's Favorites, Volume 11 [orig. 1963?]
Miss Quincy -- DIRTY BOAT -- Your Mama Don't Like Me (2010, ind)

U-J3RK5 -- U-J3RK5 WORK FOR POLICE -- Vancouver Complication (1979, Sudden Death)
Fat Freddys Drop -- BIG BW -- Dr. Boondigga & The Big BW (2009, The Drop)
The Franco Proietti Morph-Tet -- MOANIN' -- Live! A Weekend At Centre St. Ambroise (2010, Bongo Beat)
The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion -- DITCH -- Orange (1994, Matador)

Tony Allen & Moritz Von Oswald -- ISE NLA (WAREIKA HILL SOUNDS REGGAE LAND DUB) -- Tony Allen Remixes (2007, Honest Jon's)
The Zeros -- DON'T PUSH ME AROUND -- DIY: We're Desperate: The L.A. Scene, 1976-79 (1993, Rhino) [orig. 1977, Bomp Records]
Hey Marseilles -- CITIES -- To Travels & Trunks (2010, Onto)
Citywide Vacuum -- SWEET KRAUT -- Pact (2007, Eleven37)

Friendlyness & The Human Rights -- I WANT HER -- One Thing (2010, ind)

Thanks for listening!

I didn't know "Fortune Teller" was written by Allen Toussaint. But it was. Under the pseudonym Naomi Neville. Go ahead, check your copy of More Hot Rocks and Fazed Cookies. It's there. Among other places.

The only way I could figure the date on "The Boogala" was through the vocal introduction at the start of the song itself:

Now you remember "The Hully-Gully"
And you just dug "Louie, Louie"
We got a thing called "The Boogala"
Get your head all gooey
Make ya wanna tap-dance, right?
And work it on out.
Alright, let 'em have it.

Well, "Louie, Louie" came out in 1963.  So, I'll risk it and assume "The Boogala" came out soon after The Kingsmen's hit. At least until more reliable information comes to my attention, etc.

I'm not sure about the tap-dancing line either. Hmm...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

"I'm Gonna Set Your Flag On Fire"

The Snark playlist for TUESDAY, AUGUST 10, 2010.
(Artist/SONG/Album, etc.)

U. Roy -- DYNAMIC FASHION WAY -- The Hudson Affair: Keith Hudson & Friends (2004, Trojan) [orig. 1969, Shen Daw Music]
Bettye LaVette -- THE WORD -- Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook (2010, Anti Music)

The Budos Band -- BLACK VENOM -- The Budos Band III (2010, Daptone)
The Schomberg Fair -- HEAVEN'S RAIN -- Gospel (2009, Hi-Hat Recordings)
Funky Porcini -- BELISHA BEACON -- On (2010, Ninja Tunes)
Dresden Sky -- FEELING LOW -- Dresden Sky (2005, Dresden Sky Music)
ESG -- DANCE -- ESG: A South Bronx Story (2000, Universal Sound)
Shriekback -- LINED UP -- The Y Records Years (2000, Sbme Castle US) [orig. 1983]

Mercenárias -- INIMIGO -- The Sexual Life Of The Savages: Underground Post-Punk in Sāo Paulo, Brasil (2005, Soul Jazz Records) [orig. early 1980s]
Gillian Boucher -- REEL HOT -- Atlantic Standards: Kitchen Party (2010, Rhino Canada)
Teenage Head -- LUCY POTATO -- Teenage Head (1979, Sonic Unyon Records)
Tom Waits -- DOWN, DOWN, DOWN -- Swordfishtrombones (1983, Island)
Stingin' Hornets -- HORNET HIVE HOP -- It Came From Canada, Volume 3 (1987, Og Music)
The Books -- A COLD FREEZIN' NIGHT -- The Way Out (2010, Temporary Residence)
The Dixie Cups -- IKO IKO -- Another Boy Like Mine (1965, Red Bird)

Le Quartette Swing Émile Carrara -- LE CHARMEUR DE SERPENTS -- Café de Paris 1930-41: 24 Accordion Classics From The Boulevards of Paris (1999, Music Club Records)
The Locusts Have No King -- NIGHTMARE AWAY -- From The Tank: 17 Unreleased Tracks From The Windsor Music Collective (2010, Sharktank)
The Rising Sun -- DO WHAT YOU'RE DOING -- Eccentric Soul: The Outskirts of Deep City (2007, Numero)
Jaron Freeman-Fox -- CIRKUSZ OLVADADO (FORGOTTEN CIRCUS) -- Manic Almanac: Slow Mobius (2010, ind.)
Aztec Camera -- BACK ON BOARD/DOWN THE DIP -- High Land, Hard Rain (1983, Sire)
David Holmes -- I HEARD WONDERS -- The Holy Pictures (2008, Go! Beat)

Grasscut -- OLD MACHINES -- 1 Inch / ½ Mile (2010, Ninja Tunes)

Thanks for listening!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

"You Sing It, Jerry. You Show Big Mama How It Goes."

If you've never looked up Big Mama Thornton on the internet, you've probably missed this video of her with Buddy Guy, from an unnamed 1964 television show. The song really swings, the set is charming, and everybody looks and sounds great.

The title of this week's post comes from a line in Leiber & Stoller's autobiography Hound Dog, a terrific read.

In 1952, Leiber and Stoller, who were only 18 years old at the time, were invited by their friend Johnny Otis (musician and entrepreneur, among other things) to his garage where Big Mama Thornton was rehearsing with a band. Otis had been commissioned by Don Robey, owner of Peacock Records, to find a hit for Big Mama, and so he called Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. The teenagers had written some RnB hits already, including "Kansas City."

When they heard Big Mama sing, they were blown away by the power of her voice. Johnny Otis asked  if they had a song that would suit her. They had to admit they didn't, but said they would "in a few minutes." According to the book, they ran back to Stoller's parents's house and, true to their word, whipped up a song in no time flat. They returned to the garage with "Hound Dog."

As Stoller played it for them on the piano, Big Mama snatched the page of lyrics out of Leiber's hand and "began to croon." It was Leiber who dared to tell her that she wasn't singing it properly. The vocal was supposed to have growl and she was treating it like a ballad. Big Mama's attempts to intimidate the teenage songwriter went nowhere; Leiber stood his ground, much to his own surprise and the amusement of the band.

Johnny Otis, who was actually behind the drum kit, suggested Leiber sing it for Big Mama. She was ready to enjoy his complete failure at the blues, but it turned out he's got a good voice, and after only a few lines she suddenly understood the "rough-and-tough of the song and, just as important, the implicit sexual humour." They cut the record the next day, "a masterpiece."

Well, folks, I got the list of musicians wrong on the radio. There's nobody playing piano on the version I played. There's a discrepancy between the Wikipedia entry for this song and Leiber and Stoller's autobiography. Surprise, surprise.

The book credits Big Mama Thornton with the vocals, Pete Lewis on guitar, Johnny Otis on drums, and does not mention who played the bass. The Wiki article for the 1953 Peacock Records release of "Hound Dog" includes the name of a bass player (Albert Winston), but also a pianist and another drummer, though the anonymous Wiki-author does know that it was Otis playing on "Hound Dog." I don't know; maybe those other musicians played on the b-side.

Curse you, Wiki! So much for accuracy!

Wiki hasn't read the book, but should. They know that Johnny Otis's name appears as one of the writers on the record, but they don't know that he simply lied about it (among other things) to Peacock Records boss Robey. A lawyer was brought in, and the boys' mothers too -- their moms had to sign a new contract for their sons who were underage! So one of Leiber and Stoller's early successes was also a lesson in music business shenanigans.

(All quotes are from Hound Dog: The Leiber and Stoller Autobiography. By Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, with David Ritz. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2009. Pages 57-66.)

The Snark playlist for TUESDAY, AUGUST 3, 2010.
(Artist/SONG/Album, etc.)

Big Mama Thornton -- HOUND DOG -- The Original Hound Dog: From the Peacock Archives (1986, Ace Records UK) [orig. 1953, Peacock]
Deadbeat -- NIGHT STEPPING -- Roots & Wire (2008, Wagon Repair)

Nick Lowe -- SHAKE THAT RAT -- Jesus Of Cool reissue (2008, Yep Rock) [orig. 1978, Radar Records]
Balkan Beat Box -- LOOK THEM ACT -- Blue Eyed Black Boy (2010, Nat Geo Music)
Jake & The Leprechauns -- BUSY BEE -- At Midnight, The Birdsong (2010, Landlocked)
Butterflies & Zebras -- ELEVEN EIGHT -- Butterflies & Zebras (2010)
T. Rex -- PLANET QUEEN (acoustic version) -- Electric Warrior reissue (2003, Rhino/WEA) [orig. 1971, Reprise]

U-Roy -- THE HUDSON AFFAIR -- Keith Hudson and Friends: Studio Kinda Cloudy (1994, Trojan) [orig. 1988, Trojan. Recorded in the 70s.]
I-Roy -- SOUND EDUCATION -- Don't Check Me With No Lightweight Stuff, 1972-75 (1997, Blood & Fire) [orig. 1973, Trojan?]
EL-P -- DMSC -- Weareallgoingtoburninhellmegamixxx3 (2010, Definitive Jux)
Yale Strom & Hot Pstromi -- BERDITSHEVER KHOSED -- Absolutely Complete Introduction to Klesmer (2006, )
Leif Vollebekk -- YOU COULDN'T LIE TO ME IN PARIS -- Inland (2009, Nevado Records)
Broken Social Scene -- MEET ME IN THE BASEMENT -- Forgiveness Rock Record (2010, Arts & Crafts)

The Books -- I DIDN'T KNOW THAT -- The Way Out (2010, Temporary Residence)
Chadio -- JB's BEATJACK -- Stolen Moments (2010, Neferiu)
Chrissy Crowley -- THE CHISHOLM INFLUENCE -- Atlantic Standards: Kitchen Party (2010, Rhino Canada)
The Budos Band -- BUDOS DIRGE -- The Budos Band III (2010, Daptone)

Harry Beckett -- RISE & SHINE -- The Modern Sound of Harry Beckett (2008, On-U Sound)
Ruth Brown -- 5-10-15 HOURS -- Atlantic Rhythm & Blues, Volume 1, 1947-52 (1990, Atlantic/WEA) [orig. 1952]
Casiokids -- FOT I HOSE -- Topp Stemning På Lokal Bar (2010, Polyvinyl)

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

Thanks for listening!

Casiokids are still from Bergen, Norway. Not from Copenhagen, Denmark, which is what I keep saying into the microphone. Sorry, Casiokids. They're coming to downtown Detroit on Thursday, August 26, 2010. At the Magic Stick. Tickets are only $8.