Thursday, October 31, 2013

Sex In The 1980's-The Vaselines

Stephen Pastel and Frances McKee
It's been a long time since I've watched any of Nardwuar the Human Serviette's interviews- there's no particular reason why I stopped watching, other than I might have seen all the ones I was interested in and at some point I stopped getting emails from his list. A gradual falling away I guess, like so many things. But I've always enjoyed his unique style of interviewing, a strange and enticing combination of abrasive and goofy, and the subsequent range of reactions he draws out of his subjects/victims. Recently I was reminded of this when I stumbled across Nardwuar's interview with the reformed Vaselines, Eugene Kelly and Frances McKee. It's an encounter that I found interesting and funny enough to share here with you dear readers. I was especially amused at how Frances is still eager to throw in cheeky references to sex (bit of a potty mouth) which seem to, judging from the look on his face, make Eugene a little uncomfortable.

For those not aware these two Vaselines were boyfriend/girlfriend in the 1980's so when Nardwuar asks Frances how sex was in the 80's and she replies, "sex was pretty bad"- ouch for Eugene!!! Though she is quick to follow up with the usual scapegoats; youth- okay granted there's a learning curve, uptightness- alright yes it's important to relax (Eugene should have explained that), and then she drops the big all purpose baddie- Catholicism, come come Frances, being Catholic only makes sex hotter, as both myself and any Catholic school girl can testify. Jeez, surprised she didn't throw Thatcher and the dole in the mix at that point. Well in any case all's well that ends well and Frances is still quite the looker- cute accent and all! Maybe it's all that yoga. She's got me craving a jelly donut! (some of this will make more sense after you watch the interview)

After the Nardwuar interview is a clip of the band live in Japan. I hardly ever see live shows, and usually have little interest in reunions, but I think I would venture out of the house to see the Vaselines- it's a strangely sweet rush to hear the roar of the crowd in response to "Son of A Gun" as if we've entered some alternate universe where good music became hugely popular, though its probably just nirvana.

Eugene Kelly and Frances McKee

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

You'll Never See Those Faces Again

Two of my absolute favorite American creations together- Coca Cola and Lou Reed

Thursday, October 24, 2013


                                                                   DOWNLOAD THEE MIX

I'm rather pleased with how this mix turned out, even more so because I had a such hard time at first making myself arrange the proposed tracks into a final mix-it's always a bit of a jigsaw but it feels great when the pieces finally fall into place. And I'm delivering it to you dear readers a week before All Hallows' Eve, giving you a fair amount of time to download and utilize as you will. As one judge said to another be just, and if you can't be just, be arbitrary.

I've used the Hammer Film Production opening background from Brides of Dracula as the cover pic for this mix for two reasons- obviously it looks great, lovely font, also my Halloween viewing this year consists mainly of classic Hammer Horror films from the late 1950's through the 1960's. If you dig atmospheric horror films that tend towards classic gothic iconography and suspense as opposed to slasher and gore films then Hammer is a great resource.

In this same vein but a bit more arty are the early films of Mario Bava, which compose the second main staple of my Halloween diet this year. As a bonus Bava's film tend to feature beautiful 1960's European females. So it's a definite win win, and the color palette on both Hammer and Bava's films, especially Bava, is a pleasure to look at, they look amazing! A few notes and additional movie recommendations in the annotated track listing below.

1. Sleepy Hollow- The Last Word- A little scratchy from old vinyl, but a great track. Seems to be referencing Van Morrison's phrasing on "Gloria" in the opening lines and the singer as a whole is going for Van in his vocals.

2. Jack the Ripper- Screamin Lord Sutch- Two videos- I dig the slower version in the first videos live performance. Holy shit those poor girls in the audience look terrified. The second video is a scopitone for the single which is the version I've included in this mix. A Joe Meek production obviously influenced by the Hollywood Argyle's song "Alley Oop".

3. My Dear Watson- Thee Headcoats- "Better stay in doors, keep off the moors... there's a hellhound on the loose, that's what I deduce!"  Rather.

4. It's Monster Surfing Time- The Deadly Ones- Surf music, sci-fi and monsters are a great combo.

5. Werewolves of London- The Flamin' Groovies- "He's the hairy handed gent who ran amok in Kent." Warren Zevon of course penned this classic (with Wachtel and Marinell) and the original version is good too, it's the second video below. But I love what the Groovies do with this, which is mainly add those revolving slightly Byrdsian guitar figures, the original being piano driven. But really you can't go wrong with a song that starts with a line like "I saw a werewolf with a chinese menu in his hand, walking through the streets of Soho in the rain". Genius. 

6. I Was A Teenage Werewolf- The Cramps- It's hard to get away from the Cramps and the Misfits when putting together these mixes. I tried to concentrate mainly on 1950's and 60's music in this mix but both of these bands were informed and influenced largely by the horror and sci-fi monster films of the 1950's and 60's so it all works out. The video is a live outtake from Urgh a Music War. A Mid-West monster with braces on his fangs! "I have puberty rites, and I have puberty wrongs"- that line always makes me laugh. Demon possession or transforming into a monster as a metaphor for growing pains/entering puberty remains startlingly appropriate. Keep this in mind the next time you watch the Exorcist.

7.  Alligator Wine- Screaming Jay Hawkins- Mr. Hawkins reveals one of his once secret recipes. 

8. Halloween II- The Misfits- Last Halloween mix I made back in 2011 I included Halloween by the Misfits, so here's Halloween II.

9. Karen- Half Japanese-  A creepy little tune most likely inspired by the film When A Stranger Calls from 1979 which is one of many films based on the urban legend of the babysitter and the man upstairs.

10. Part IV- Bobby Beausoleil- Part of the soundtrack for Kenneth Anger's film Lucifer Rising, composed by Bobby Beausoleil while serving time for murder. 

11. Terror Couple Kill Colonel- Bauhaus- One of my favorite Bauhaus tracks, their best stuff had a filmic quality that was very appealing. I love the telegraph mimicking guitar at the end of the track.  Second video below is their appearance in the early 80's vampire film The Hunger starring David Bowie and Catherine Deneuve. A stylish film with a great cast, stylish in that 1983 manner, sure it's a bit silly but that goes with the territory. Interesting note- Ann Magnuson later of Bongwater has it off with Bowie at the beginning of the film, several years later she would record a humorous song with Bongwater called "David Bowie Wants Ideas".

12. I Am- Roky Erickson- Roky's mind seems like a scary place.

13. Night of the Vampire-The Moontrekkers- Another choice Joe Meek production!

14. Rockin' in the Graveyard- Jackie Morningstar- Rockabilly and monster horror seems like a no-brainer combination. Betcha dollars to donuts many of the rockabilly cats were regular readers of EC Comics. 

15. Till The Following Night- Screamin' Lord Sutch- Lots of windy sound effects on these tracks.

16. Feast of the Mau Mau- Screamin' Jay Hawkins- The video below contains a different earlier version of this tune, I prefer the one in my mix.  Screamin' Jay giving you some of that inside soul here. "How they talk man?"

17. Voodoo Voodoo- LaVern Baker- LaVern having troubles with the juju.

18. The Werewolf- Alan Vega, Alex Chilton and Ben Vaughn- This 1996 collaboration is still relatively new to me, but this track was a cinch for the mix. Unfortunately no ones uploaded it to youtube, so here's what the cover of the record looks like.

19. I Walked with a Zombie- Roky Erickson- The 1943 film by Jacque Tourneur and Val Lewton is a solid atmospheric film well worth your attention, as are most of Lewton's productions. 

20. Mad Monster Party- Maury Laws & Ethel Ennis- This is the theme song to the awesome late 60's animated (animagic/stop motion) collaboration between Rankin/Bass, Jack Davis and Harvey Kurtzman. The equally stellar soundtrack was composed by Maury Laws.

21. The Whip- The Frantics- For those sadistically or masochistically inclined or just plain kinky, there's a Mario Bava film from 1963 called The Whip and the Body.  It stars Christopher Lee, which makes it feel like some kind of unholy collaboration between Hammer Horror (in whose films Lee often starred) and Bava. Lee's character has a sadistic relationship with his sister in law, he dies and his ghost comes back to continue the whipping. I guess some kinds of love never die! Crazy stuff. 

22. Teenagers from Mars- The Misfits- Probably inspired in part from Teenagers From Outer Space.

23. Plan 9 Channel 7- The Damned- The Damned video and the trailer from the songs inspiration follow. 

24. The Devil's Rumble- Davie Allan & the Arrows- It's from a biker film, but sounds menacing and appropriate here. And the title works. 

25. Surfin' Dead- The Cramps- This was recorded for Dan O'Bannon's mid 1980's re-imagining of the Night of the Living Dead series- The Return of the Living Dead. A very funny film with a punk, or what passed for it by the mid-80's, soundtrack and some goofy clownish "punk" characters starring. Dan has done a lot of entertaining work from his stories for Heavy Metal magazine, to writing Dark Star, two segments of the Heavy Metal movie and Alien to his writing and direction of this modern classic.

26. Toby Dammit- Nino Rota- From Fellini's contribution to the compilation film of Poe inspired shorts Spirits of the Dead. An excerpt and the trailer for the film follow. Some find this film boring, Fellini's contribution is the best, but I enjoy all three stories to varying degrees. I recommend it for those who have patience and enjoy European films (Bardot, Delon, and Terence Stamp, and the Fonda kids!) from the 1960's and or for Poe fans. 

The Devil as a little girl in Toby Dammit

27. Race with the Devil- Gene Vincent- Gene with Cliff Gallup a winning combination, even against the devil.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

On My Training Table Since I Was A Kid

This sketch has been on mind as I was given some of those little powdered donuts (not chocolate but almost as bad for you) the other day and found myself overindulging this morning. They're a treat I remember fondly from when I was kid but one that I wouldn't buy for myself as an adult-still I find them hard to resist when they drop in my lap. After all they've got the sugar I need to get me going in the morning! The entire commercial runs about a minute, not sure why this person only uploaded 30 seconds. But it's all that's available and probably won't be up for long so we'll settle for it, the beginning is just more of the set up of Belushi competing in and winning the decathlon. A short hilarious bit, the cigarette being my favorite touch. I really need to stop fucking around and start smoking in order to reach my peak physical conditioning. Life is short my friends and sometimes it's very long. The fun part of smoking is deciding what brand you're gonna smoke, which reminds me of the second bit below.

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Ali McGraw Ward

Ali McGraw, relaxing with flowers, doing her thing, being natural.

I've got a Halloween mix in the works and I hope to have it posted by next week but in the meantime, here's some of Rutland Weekend where the fab Rutles first debuted. I love Neil Innes as Ron Nasty, my favorite Rutle- he was the "edgy" "arty" one. Ali McGraw had her moments as well (for instance the pic above), though she's a little underfed for my taste, anyway the reference in the title should be explained by a viewing of the first video below. The Ali McGraw Ward would make a fine band name, young-uns take note.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Sun Comes Shining Through

What's up with this mix you ask? Well maybe it's cause rock n' roll was always just a euphemism for sex, or maybe it's because fall in Texas feels more like spring, or because the ladies book club down the street from me is reading 50 Shades of Grey, or maybe it's none of your damn business, nosey-in any case I hope it's not too priapic for you.  

1. The Mixer (Men & Women Together)- The Modern Lovers- "How does it feel with sex all around?" An early Modern Lovers song from a live show detailing the uncomfortableness at college dances/mixers. 
Jonathan Richman & Jerry Harrison at a Mixer
2. New Rose- The Damned- The distortion on that guitar sounds awful and great at the same time, and the song just moves. Irresistible. I love how both the Damned and the Stranglers didn't fit in or rate with the "punk elite". Who would want to rate with the Bromley Contingent anyway, bunch of light weight Rocky Horror rejects. What of the Damned you say? Well see the Damned were more Hammer Horror, big difference my friend.

3. I Can't Control Myself- The Troggs- "If you knew me like I know you girl, your knees would bend and your hair would curl". RIP Reg, you were one of the greats!

4. What's Inside A Girl- The Cramps- Something telling me there's a whole other world! I love the surf/spy soundtrack guitar. "You got a pointed bra, a 10 inch waste, long black stockings all over the place". Girls ARE wonderful, aren't they. Sugar and spice is just a bluff.

5. Candy (Sugar Shoppe)- The Brady Bunch- Greg Brady's got such a sweet tooth! The parenthetical Old English spelling of shoppe is a goofy touch. Unfortunately no one's uploaded this song on youtube, so instead I give you one of the more suggestive scenes from the show in which Peter has his model volcano erupt for Marcia and her friends.

There's another great episode where Marcia gets in trouble for leaving her records on the player and I swear you can make out the sleeve next to the player and it looks like it's Exile on Main Street, pretty hip huh, there's some other weird stuff in that particular episode that I might cover some other time.

6. Listening to Marmalade- Go-Kart Mozart- Lawrence, formerly of Felt, makes a sharp left turn whilst listening to Marmalade.

7. Drive Me Wild- Vanity 6- It's funny to think of Prince writing all these songs, although not altogether surprising. I had a Vanity 6 poster on my wall when I was in junior high. I was a big fan of Prince, Vanity 6 and The Time, especially The Time. I really wanted a pair of Stacey Adams two tone shoes so I could be like Morris Day.

8. Jam Up & Jelly Tight- Tommy Roe- Not sure what Tommy's on about but it certainly sounds suggestive, one look at his grin below and you know this man is up to no good, he kinda looks like this guy I used to play in a band with in high school. I like the idea of the naughty but nice girl that he extolls in the tune.

9. I Got A Rocket In My Pocket- Jimmy Lloyd- Whew! The fuse is lit! What a tune! Below is Iggy Stooge's updated for the 70's version, which I would have included in this mix but I ran out of room.

10. Loose (Take 2)- The Stooges- Fucking Iggy, always singing about his cock. What a guy! This take has the original lyrics which he later revised for better or worse eliminating lines about flying on a red high weenie and riding on a big hot dog. Thankfully the hook "I'll stick it deep inside" remained.

11. Slum Goddess- The Fugs- I imagine the slum goddess's have all been priced out of the LES these days.

12. Wreck A Buddy- Soul Sisters- I first heard this tune as a young kid when I saw the Clash film Rude Boy, its playing in the club in the scene where Ray Gange gets a BJ in the ladies room-see the second clip below, a pretty gritty B.J. at that, might be the real thing.

13. Shake, Rattle and Roll- Big Joe Turner- One of the great lyrics of rock and roll and the one from which the tittle of this mix originates. "Wearing those dresses the sun comes shining through, I can't believe my eyes all that mess belongs to you".  It's hard to argue with this sentiment.

14. Venus in Bovver Boots- The Nipple Erectors- This here's Shane McGowan's punk band which later became just the Nips. You can look up Bovver boots. I could only find a inferior live version on youtube, the one in the mix slays this one.

15. Louis Quatorze- Bow Wow Wow- Annabella's the girl for me! And the obvious focus of Bow Wow Wow, but the rest of the band were amazing and unique, no one else sounds quite like them. I love how McLaren always lost control of his charges, they always ended up being more than he bargained for.

16. Little Girl- John & Jackie- What to say about this one? Pretty racy for 1958 and it anticipates Bow Wow Wow's "Sexy Eiffel Tower" by 20 odd years.

17. Mini-Skirt Blues- The Flower Children- Going to a go-go, working on my mojo etc. etc.

18. Stray Cat Blues- The Rolling Stones- "Bet your mama don't know you scream like that!" This mix is a little different from the released version it's from an alternate Beggar's Banquet bootleg. 

19. Gloria- The Doors- The talents of two Irishmen combine, Van Morrison and Jim Morrison, the latter covering the former. This, I believe, is from a soundcheck. The record, Alive, She Cried, came out when I was in high school. I was a sophomore and not yet driving so a senior named Sean used to give me a lift to school. Sean was a great guy, one of those people that everybody, even in the divisive and cliquish high school years, seemed to like and for good reason-he was hip, funny and nice, a real rare combination. He was one of those slightly older cats you find yourself looking up to when your young.  I wish I had had an older brother like him. I looked and felt like a dork but he was always cool to me, which means a lot at that age. Come to think of it I think he was of Irish descent as well.

Anyway Sean had really interesting and eclectic musical taste. One morning he might pick me up with "Dance This Mess Around' blaring another morning it might be "In The Court of the Crimson King" or the Supremes "Love Child". I remember him doing a sort of pantomime to the beginning of "Love Child" in the parking lot at school. Might sound corny but trust me it was great, he could pull something like that off, and suddenly life would become cinematic-like De Niro dancing to "Mickey's Monkey" in Mean Streets. Charismatic.

Another great memory I have of Sean was how he spliced this tape of The Smiths "Miserable Lie" so that the bit at the end where Morrissey goes into falsetto just kept repeating for several minutes. The fact that he would take the time to do something like that just for his own amusement says more about him than anything else I can write. To me that was the epitome of cool, still is. But I've digressed- getting back to "Gloria" I brought a tape of this record one morning to listen to on the way to school and I recall vividly his amusement especially at Morrison's rap and affected accent on "What's your name? How old are you?  Where'd cha go to school?  Yeah, uh huh, yeah". It was fun watching him react to it for the first time. The fact that he got such a kick out of it made me proud.

Jim Morrison and Van Morrison on stage together at the Whiskey A Go Go 1966

20. Baby Let's Play House- Elvis- Elvis at his horniest and meanest "I'd rather see you dead little girl than to be with another man". Arthur Gunter wrote and recorded the original version. Elvis didn't always improve on the songs he covered, but in this case the difference is striking. This is a radical reinterpretation that illustrates the art of interpretation. Elvis made this one his own, from the lyrical changes to the restructuring of parts and the hyped up delivery, especially that intro. The original is cool but sounds lackadaisical in comparison. Elvis REALLY WANTS to play some house!

21. Let's Pretend We're Married- Prince- Prince was such an oddball, I love it!  I think I was 13 when I got this record, this was pretty titillating stuff for a 13 year old. All these old synth sounds seem hip again nowadays too...well some of them at least. The breakdown at the end is awesome- "I'm not saying this just to be nasty, I sincerely want to fuck the taste out of your mouth!" Ladies love sincerity Prince. "Ooowee shasha kookoo yeah!"  

As usual no Prince is allowed on youtube, so here's one of the amusing inner sleeves for the record, 1999. Let's see there's a crescent moon out, something is smoking like crazy in his bedroom, he's got the pimped out neon from Spencer's in the mall all lit up, and he's butt naked in bed getting ready to paint with gloves on. Typical day in the life.

22. Get Hot Or Go Home- John Kerby- Nuff said.

23. Fujiyama Mama- Wanda Jackson- The queen of rockabilly. This is what I call a convincing performance.

24. I Want You- The Troggs- So hot that they get two songs in this mix. A lesser songwriter might have felt compelled to break up that lustful caveman thump with another part, but Reg knew better, just let the guitar ride over the same chords. Brutal and perfect. 

25. Kinky Reggae- Bob Marley & The Wailers- This is the crucial Jamaican mix from the redux Catch A Fire.  "She had brown sugar all over her booga-wooga!" Yum. This reminds me of another Sean story (see #19 above)- I brought a Wailers tape on a band trip, probably Burnin' as that was my fave, anyway I guess he wasn't too familiar with reggae, but he listened for a bit grooving to the guitar skank and then remarked "damn this is music to fuck to!" As a 15 year old virgin this connection had not occurred to me, but was most surely and duly noted. One of those bits of wisdom casually dropped on you by your slightly older classmates that you stash in your hip pocket for later. 


26. Lonely Boy- Sex Pistols- Really it's half of the Sex Pistols- Steve "Ham" Jones and Paul Cook from the Great Rock n' Roll Swindle soundtrack. One of the great rock n' roll films, thanks in large part to Julian Temple.  

Until Next Time