Monday, October 27, 2014

Life From The Back Seat

Speeding down the Pacific Coast Highway my reflection hidden in the trees.

1. Back On The Chain Gang- The Pretenders- I had this record as a kid and I've never gotten tired of it, especially this song- the ooh aah's are a tribute to Sam Cooke's "Chain Gang".  I like the image in the video of the band members falling through the sky.

2. Dusty In Here- The Go-Betweens- "Like a ghost, a ghost of something old. It's cold and dusty in here".

3. Glorious Chorus- Go-Kart Mozart- Only thing available on youtube was this live version which isn't a patch on the actual recording in this mix, don't judge till you hear the record. The recorded version is really beautiful, this whole record, Tearing Up the Album Charts, has really grown on me. With all due respect to Lawrence he should lose the long hair and the golf visors. 

4. Fantastic Voyage- David Bowie- "Learning to live with somebody's depression". I think Lodger is massively underrated, massively.  I don't get why people don't dig it more. I was reading somewhere that Gene Simmons from KISS got some heat for saying something about how depressed people should kill themselves, the guy's God's perfect asshole but that still made me laugh, not sure if he was joking, but either way its a nutty thing to say. And for the record I have suffered from Major Depressive Disorder for years and also have a suicide in my immediate family so don't get your panties in a bunch-depressed people should be to appreciate dark humor more than most. 

5. Possession- Elvis Costello and the Attractions- "I'll get out before the violence, or the tears or the silence". 

6. Perfect for Shattering- Lady Bug Transistor- I pulled this cd out after watching the movie Youth In Revolt ( a great movie based on a great book) because even though its not used in the film the music that is used (fruit bats, and beulah) reminded me of this band. This is a great song, shame no one's uploaded it to youtube, here's the album it's on.

I love how in Youth in Revolt everything takes a weird turn when the older brother shows up near the end of the film and starts dosing everyone. And Mary Kay Place should get special mention in her hilarious turn as Sheeni's mom. She always makes such an impression even in small parts like this and the one in Being John Malkovich.

Fruit Bats song
I've been known to rock a mean pair of white jeans, but it never makes me feel dangerous, bad and French like Francois Dillinger.  Maybe I need white slacks to get that effect, heh. 

There are a lot funnier moments than in this comp. below, can't believe they left out Sheeni reciting Trent's sound poetry.

7. I Fall Down- U2- I like the feel of this one, the bass and drum groove and the sparse piano are really nice.

8. Canon (Part 2)- Bill Frisell/Robbie Robertson- Robbie Robertson reads from Mingus's autobiographical book Beneath the Underdog, from the highly recommended Mingus tribute album by Hal Wilner Weird Nightmare. This portion is mainly about how Mingus met American chess champion, Bobby Fischer, during a stay at the Bellevue Psychiatric Unit, it then segues into Mingus reading a poem to his psychiatrist. No one has uploaded the track so instead here's part of a documentary on Bobby Fischer, an interesting and bizarre story of genius who went off the rails.

9. I Feel Mysterious Today- Wire- I had a friend who used to do a funny recitation of the chorus of this one, kind of camping it up for comedic effect.

10. You Sound Like You're Sick- The Ramones- Dee Dee wrote this one and many other good-uns.  I love the background vocals, the cymbals sound weird though like they were overdubbed later. Pleasant Dreams is the Ramones POP masterpiece.

11. Strange Powers- Magnetic Fields- This tune didn't hit home till I heard it at the end of an episode of Bored to Death- I guess a lot of this guy's stuff is a little too ironic and self conscious for my taste, maybe I just need to hear him in more TV shows, heh. Anyway a good tune is a good tune. How's that for insight. 

12. Without You- David Bowie- Stevie Ray Vaughn's guitar playing is the secret hero of Bowie's Let's Dance lp.  I'm not a big fan of Vaughn's own stuff, but he really shines as a sideman on this album. I also love that glossy Nile Rodgers production, the last good Bowie record. 

13. Ambition- Iggy Pop- Glenn Matlock wrote this one, good song. He also plays on the Soldier record.

14. Donna & The Dopefiends- Go-Kart Mozart- There's definitely a strong Dick Hyman The Age of Electronicus influence in that moog/keyboard sound.  God, Dick Hyman what a name, careful googling that one kids. 

15. Silicone on Sapphire- The Clash- The much maligned dub of "Washington Bullets" from the last side of Sandinista!- I don't get the hate, it's exactly this kind of weirdness that gives the record a lot of its charm. 

I like the "I am a Texas Instrument" bit. I still have my old Texas Instruments solar powered pocket calculator from jr. high, works great too, made to last. 

16. Waiting For The End Of The World- Elvis Costello & The Attractions- This one has the kind of lyrics that just sound great when sung- "with his two tone bible, and his funny cigarettes, his suntan lotion and his ca-ca-castanets". Of course we all secretly wish the world would end, but it just inches along getting worse and worse as time goes by.

17. Is This What You Wanted?- Leonard Cohen- "You were Marlon Brando and I was Steve McQueen, you were KY Jelly and I was Vaseline". Cohen really excels at honing in on difficult to describe and uncomfortable relationship dynamics.

18. Time- Richard Hell & The Voidoids- "You see the most of what is really true when you're stepping into your hearse. "

19. Stay Free- The Clash- "bit heavy on the fucking guts and soul" Ray Gange says something like that after the clip of Mick singing this in Rude Boy.  After years of watching Rude Boy I've decided that I really like Ray Gange's performance in the film. He doesn't look like a cartoon punk which is good and his performance is very natural, shockingly natural, so much so that everybody assumed he was playing himself, which he wasn't. Of course the fact that the character he played was also named Ray didn't help.

So many scenes from the movie remain vivid in my mind, like the one where he goes back to his flat changes into a Who t-shirt cracks a beer and opens his dole check while listening to the first Clash lp on his shitty record player.  Or the opening where he descends the graffiti littered stairs of some high-rise to an instrumental version of "Revolution Rock" or is it "Rudie Can't Fail". Gonna have to pull it out and watch it again. 

20. Albion- Babyshambles- Not a bad performance below, but its annoying that the guitar is out of tune. What would Willie Blake think?

21. Ebb Tide- Jack Nitzsche- Beautiful!

22. Big Ups/The End- Kenny Powers- Kenny has a "sneaking suspicion" that he will always be great! The clip below is not the track in the mix, just a KP freestyle where he takes the bold and controversial stance of not ruling out the possibility of a chokehold. 

23. That Way- The Go-Betweens- I'd venture to say that only here can you find Kenny Powers segueing into the Go-Betweens.  That way or nothing at all!  Tell me it doesn't work!

I'll leave you with a little random titillation- I watched this early 70's Dr. Who episode The Daemons last night so I've got Katy Manning on my mind. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Train Kept A Rollin' X 3

Missouri Pacific Screaming Eagle logo
My three favorite versions of "Train Kept A Rollin'" in order of preference; Johnny Burnette Trio, Tiny Bradshaw and The Yardbirds (only because of Jeff Beck's guitar). Actually I can't decide between Burnette and Bradshaw's versions, they're both so amazing.

Shirtless Johnny Burnette trio with Gene Vincent


Wednesday, October 22, 2014


Not doing a Halloween mix this year but for those who missed it check last years below, I probably couldn't top it, it was a real corker, if you don't mind me saying so.   DOWNLOAD

Link above is the original post with notes.

Oh and here's my 2011 Halloween mix in case you're craving more, its a little less traditional.

The films The Devil Rides Out and The Dunwich Horror are two of The Sound The Past Makes Halloween favorites.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Life's An Eskimo Pie, Let's Take A Bite!

Joe Piscopo did the best Sinatra impersonation and a pretty good Bruce Springstein too! My favorite line in the first skit below is when Frank says "The Beatle kid, what's his name, the one that looks like a broad". And in the second bit I love the way he sings "change has come....THUMB!".  

Monday, October 13, 2014

Columbus Digs the Jive/The Future Is A Flake

Cover Star-John Drew Barrymore-1932-2004

John Drew Barrymore, son of John, father of Drew and nephew of Lionel and Esther, had a hell of a lot going for him, including a great head of hair-check his quiff in the picture above. Unfortunately his temperament, family demons/addiction and harsh initial criticisms led to him blowing some good opportunities, missing out on others and consequently not really blooming into the actor he might have been. Many of the films he did appear in aren't readily available for viewing today, but one of my favorites, High School Confidential, luckily is on DVD. 

In the clip from the film below Barrymore's character, J.I. Coleridge, takes over class while the teacher is out and delivers a Lord Buckley inspired rap to the hip (and square) kiddies about Columbus (the hippest!) and Queen Isabella (the swingin'est chick in the whole mutha kingdom)!! You know the whole "new world" bit!  Man, wish I'd had classmates like him, school could have been so much more fun! 
It's a shame that Barrymore wasn't able to do more acting before his demise as he had an undeniable presence, looked great and showed potential both in this and other films I've seen him in like Never Love A Stranger, The Fritz Lang noir While The City Sleeps and Rome Against Rome (not a good film by any measure, but fun, an Italian zombie flick set in the Roman Empire in which Barrymore really grabs your attention), as well as one of his last appearances in an episode of the TV show Kung Fu called "A Dream Within A Dream".  Reportedly Carradine had to fight the producers of the show to get approval to have Barrymore appear due to his reputation by that point.

Another memorable scene from High School Confidential is cult actress Phillipa Fallon performing her beatnik poem "High School Drag". "Tomorrow.... drag!" "The future is a flake!" It's a classic. And dig old Uncle Fester (Jackie Coogan) rocking on the piano behind her! Jesus, what a movie! Coogan plays a heavy in it too.

Hell, the whole movie is classic, it opens with Jerry Lee Lewis performing the title song on the back bed of a truck, has a completely ludicrous pot "addiction" leads to heroin addiction plot, features tons of interesting actors/cult figures like Russ Tamblyn (a real life Beat, Semina contributor, future West Side Story star, not to mention brother of a Standell), Mamie Van Doren (va va boom!), Charles Chaplin Jr. and Michael Landon. Best of all is how the film recklessly conflates Juvenile Delinquents and Beatniks in a gleefully ridiculous and frankly irresistible fashion. This film and Blackboard Jungle are definitely J.D. 101.

Oh Columbus, how were you and Bella to know how things would turn out?! You were just trying to make it East by swinging West. Y'all probably never turned your eyes inside and dug the vacuum- then again, what is truth?  Happy Columbus Day!!!

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Child With No Complaint- Scott Walker & Jacques Brel

I believe that children aren't the future.