Monday, December 25, 2017

When You See The End In Sight The Beginning May Arrive


Cosmic Christmas Tracklisting
1. Cosmic Christmas- The Rolling Stones
2. Armenia City in the Sky (Mono)- The Who
3. The Land of Doesn't Have to Be- Donovan
4. L.S.D.- The Yardbirds
5. Christmas Time (Is Here Again)- The Beatles
6. I'm the Urban Spaceman- Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band
7. Up The Wooden Hills to Bedfordshire-The Small Faces
8. 2000 Light Years From Home (Instrumental)-The Rolling Stones
9. Up From the Skies- The Jimi Hendrix Experience
10. Flaming (Mono)- The Pink Floyd
11. Lazy Old Sun- The Kinks
12. Ski-Ing- George Harrison
13. Defecting Gray- The Pretty Things
14. Anyone for Tennis- Cream
15. Flying (alternate version)- The Beatles
16. We Love You - The Rolling Stones
17. Bedazzled- Peter Cook and Dudley Moore
18. Riu Chiu- The Monkees
19. I Can See For Miles (early mono mix)- The Who
20. Apples and Oranges- The Pink Floyd
21. 14 Hour Technicolour Dream- The Syn
22. I Feel Much Better- The Small Faces
23. De Lane Lea Lee- The Yardbirds
24. Blue Jay Way- The Beatles
25 Untitled- The Rolling Stones
26. Daily Nightly (Mono)- The Monkees
27. Itchycoo Park- The Small Faces
28. Catch the Wind- Peter Fonda
29. Greensleeves- Jeff Beck
30. Cosmic Christmas (mono)- The Rolling Stones

Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Soft Set- Best Of All Possible Worlds b/w Funny Angel

Photo by Ralph Eugene Meatyard

I've suffered for my art, now it's your turn!
The last of our imaginary singles, click either song title to download

A-Side- The Best of All Possible Worlds
B-Side- Funny Angel

William Crain-vocals & guitar
Matthew Baab- guitar
Hayden Childs- piano/organ
Marshal Crenshaw- bass
Charlie Ewing- drums, vocals & trumpet

all songs copyright Wm Crain 2017

Monday, November 20, 2017

The Soft Set-My Movie b/w The Hand As Dealt

Photo by Ralph Eugene Meatyard

Here's the second of our three imaginary singles-click either song title to download.
"Everything's benevolent with the coming of night".

A-Side-My Movie
B-Side-The Hand As Dealt

William Crain-vocals, guitar & harmonica
Matthew Baab- guitar
Hayden Childs- piano/organ
Marshal Crenshaw- bass
Charlie Ewing- drums, vocals & trumpet

*Matthew Cochran-alto sax on The Hand As Dealt

all songs copyright Wm Crain 2017

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Soft Set-Give Up The Ghost b/w Between The Lines

Photo by Ralph Eugene Meatyard

Here are the first two of the last six songs The Soft Set recorded in 2005 with the final five man line-up. I've decided to post these songs two at a time because I like the way they work as the A & B sides of three imaginary singles. The sweet sound of giving up, now go break up your band!  Click anywhere on the song titles to download both.

William Crain-vocals & guitar
Matthew Baab- guitar
Hayden Childs- piano/organ
Marshal Crenshaw- bass
Charlie Ewing- drums, vocals & trumpet

all songs copyright Wm Crain 2017

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Where Will It End?

 In these times this song seems more appropriate than ever.

On a lighter note I really enjoyed the Blade Runner sequel, it was so much better than I expected it to be, will probably see it again soon.

Current Listening: NRBQ-Grooves in Orbit, The Clientele-Music For The Age of Miracles, Flamin' Groovies-Fantastic Plastic, Banarama-Deep Sea Skiving (deluxe edition), Looking Forward The Works of Big Star, David Bowie & Friends-1980 Floor Show, Marc Bolan-Zip Gun, Making Time-A Shel Talmy Production, The Seeds-Singles A's & B's,  Joe Gibbs compilations, cd-86 and Link Wray- eponymous vinyl reissue. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The Soft Set Play "The Hit"- Live At The Mercury 2002

Wm, Dave, Brad & Charlie

I came across this live recording of my old band The Soft Set recently in a pile of my stuff.  I think this was in 2002 or early 2003 at a club called The Mercury down on 6th St., despite the small crowd (par for the course) and some slight problems (broken string makes my guitar briefly go out of tune on track 10-a good song which I had totally forgotten about) I think we sound pretty damn good. Four songs that weren't on our two CD's appear here, and everything has more energy and drive than the recordings, we certainly weren't twee as one might have been lead to believe by our name (my fault) and some of our reviews. We even reluctantly "play the hit" as a wag in the audience requests at the end.

Some additional thoughts after listening- there was a dry and sometimes perverse humor to the lyrics that was easy to miss as most people don't listen to lyrics, especially in a live setting- for instance opening a show with a song whose lyrics include lines like "I do my best to block out the world, I do my best and I don't get the girl" and "I'm just waiting to get back in bed, I'm just waiting to go back to sleep, I don't want anything from you" is, to me at least, funny and not exactly courting favor from the audience. I can almost hear an old school cigar chomping manager somewhere saying "What the hell are you doing kid ??? The audience, THEY WANT TO LIKE YOU!!!"

There's also intentional humor in "Warm Afternoon" especially on lines like "I was in love, and you were just pissed off" which still makes me laugh. Most of the good stage patter between songs is from our bass player Brad, such as the bit about his underwear which he displayed (hearts on it as I remember it, which may date this as Feb. 2003 rather than 2002), and comments like "give yourself a round of applause" "this one is for the fans" and this being "kind of an intimate show"- intentional understatement.

1. Mind Is Down (Dreams Unfurl) 
2. St. Francis
3. The Way She Smiles
4. Stephanie
5. Standing Around
6. Back of My Mind
7. Maplewood Avenue
8. Brief Glimmer of Hope
9. I Wanted To Say
10.Warm Afternoon & The Things That Came Before
11. Record On

Making the nature scene

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

America's Great National Pastime

Roberto Matta's Disasters of Mysticism

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Time Is A Very Peculiar Item

Rumble Fish-1983

This post is veering way off topic but one thing leads to another and sometimes you just end up somewhere else. Favorite lyric below "I'm a cold Italian pizza I could use a lemon squeezer". Nicky Hopkins gets MVP for this track. Anytime I try to get someone to play piano on something I always want them to play like Nicky Hopkins!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

In This Great Future You Can Forget Your Past

                                                                           DOWNLOAD MIX
1. Plastic Jesus- Paul Newman
2. Mr. Soul- Neil Young
3. Don't Be Cruel- Billy Swan
4. Dreamsong- Amber Coffman & Nate Heller
5. Outta Reach- S.H.E
6. Candyskin- Fire Engines
7. Lust (Raga Chandrakauns)- Shankar Family & Friends
8. Excitable Boy- Warren Zevon
9. Le Chat Du Cafe Des Artistes- Charlotte Gainsbourg
10. Strawberry Letter 23- Shuggie Otis
11. Give Me Love- Rosie & The Originals
12. I'm So Tired- Alex Chilton & Lesa Aldridge
13. Black Winds- Little John & The Monks
14. The World's A Girl- Anita Lane
15. Heaven, Hell, or Houston- ZZ Top
16. Dr. Dupree- Wilko Johnson & The Solid Senders
17. Opium Tea- Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
18. Alchemy- Richard Lloyd
19. You And Your Sister- Chris Bell & Alex Chilton
20. Dr. Baker- Beta Band
21. Jesus Almost Got Me- Anita Lane
22. Here's To You (acoustic)- Hamilton Camp
23. Both Sides Now- Dengue Fever


Saturday, August 12, 2017

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Far Away Places

Image result for gregory corso's children

When not living in present time squalor he would let his mind drift back to those lazy younger days when he lived in the upstairs room of a limestone Spanish style building. His room led to a 3rd floor patio roof where he would often spend morning to evening smoking hash and watching the sky turn colors. The wisps of clouds so like brushstrokes- at times it seemed like the whole history of painting would ramble through the sky during those long reveries on the rooftop. He liked to leave the door open so he could hear music float gently in from the wireless in his room. The distance traveled would change the tunes in subtle, interesting ways.


1. Far Away Places- Bing Crosby
2. Cow-Cow Boogie- Ella Mae Morse & The Freddy Slack Orchestra
3. Central Avenue Breakdown- Lionel Hampton & His Orchestra
4. Mulatica- Johnny Rodriguez y Su Orchestra
5. Straighten Up And Fly Right- Nat King Cole
6. Ol' Buttermilk Sky- Hoagy Carmichael
7. I Got A Man Crazy For Me- Billie Holiday
8. Waiting For The Train To Come In- Peggy Lee
9. On The Atchison, Topeka & The Santa Fe- Johnny Mercer & The Pied Pipers
10. Riders In The Sky- Vaughn Monroe & His Orchestra
11. Pistol Packin' Mama- Bing Crosby
12. Buttons & Bows- Dinah Shore
13. The Harry Lime Theme- Anton Karas
14. You Can't Tell The Difference After Dark- Alberta Hunter
15. Who Wouldn't Love You?- Kay Kyser
16. My Ideal-Leonard Feather's All Stars
17. That's My Desire- Frankie Laine
18. Tabu- Lecuona Cuban Boys
19. It Had To Be You- Betty Hutton
20. Little Drops of Water- Henry Brown & Edith Johnson
21. It Might As Well Be Spring- Dick Haymes
22. Night And Day- Fred Astaire
23. Mood Indigo- Duke Ellington
24. Stardust- Hoagy Carmichael
25. Moonlight Serenade-Glenn Miller
26. It's Only A Paper Moon- Nat King Cole
27. Goodnight Irene-The Weavers & Gordon Jenkins

Monday, July 24, 2017

The Girl Who Was Death- 45's & Extended Plays

Cover -Still from the Prisoner episode, The Girl Who Was Death

This mix is a collection of various e.p.'s and singles that I compiled for myself so I could hear them all in one place. Artists included are Bebe Buell, Lesa Aldridge (of Big Star's 3rd Album fame), Celia & The Mutations, Sandie Shaw & The Smiths, Ronnie Spector, Plush and Vincent Gallo-the last two I have granted honorary girl status.

Lesa Aldridge

Bebe Buell

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Someday, Someway/It's Only Make Believe/Fire

Still from The Loveless 1981

Robert Gordon vs. Conway Twitty, Marshall Crenshaw, Robin Williams and Bruce Springsteen

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Milk Of Amnesia & Women Say The Darndest Things-SCTV

Catherine O'Hara and Andrea Martin were my two favorite SCTV cast members.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Flower, Punk!-Exploring The Contours Of An Imaginary Genre

their acid cut with too much speed, their sound more foreboding than blissful, they met under television skies on the other side of no direction. they sat in bottles pretending they were in cans knowing their girls weren't right & wouldn't touch them no how. they got busted with charlie brown & the beave for copping dirt weed from uncle fester outside 1313 mockingbird lane while the standells played. finked on by eddie h. & shipped out by uncle sam, napalm nam split their minds open. killed with a living death that forever saw that mocking hysterical joker face in the flowers & sky. they would they were a weed. 

back home eating fatback bacon & spiked cornflakes no one knew their name, no guru would have them, their face did not fit. they drove right past nirvana sipping milkshakes with charlie manson's angels. the mini-skirt blues drove 'em crazy & their seed gone bad. they broke their brains & lost their souls, which like their threads were on installment from sears roebuck. so they goofed on jello in all night cafes until the mind gangsters & the brain police vibed them straight out the room. but if you squint in the wrong direction at sundown you can still see their shadows on the corner eating flowers, haunted hallways & mother's pills. 

1. Hangin' Out- The Blox
2. Satisfy You- The Seeds
3. Stephanie Knows Who- Love
4. Not Right- The Stooges
5. How Does It Feel to Feel- The Creation
6. Blue Is Beautiful- The Make-Up
7. Earthquake- 13th Floor Elevators
8. Seventh World- Sleepers
9. 7 And 7 Is- The Soul Benders
10. Split Myself In Two- Meat Puppets
11. Mini Skirt Blues-Flower Children
12. Cloud 149-Pere Ubu
13. Rejected- Sterling Damon
14. They Saved Hitler's Cock- Angry Samoans
15. Spazz- The Elastik Band
16. The Madman (Running Through The Fields)- Eric Burdon & The Animals
17. My Movie- J.F.A.
18. Feathered Fish- Sons of Adam
19. Repulsive Situation-Gaylon Lord
20. The Wind Blows Your Hair- The Seeds
21. Final Solution- Pere Ubu
22. Please Go Home- The Rolling Stones
23. It's Raining Today- Angry Samoans
24. Let Me Out- The Lost Generation
25. Flower Punk- Mothers of Invention
26. 7 And 7 Is- Five By Five

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Back To Back Number Ones-1964

Possibly the two best pop songs ever, both never fail to give me chills! You gotta respect how composed and dignified the Supremes, and really all the Motown acts, were what with all that screaming and foolishness going on behind them-kind of adds to the fun though and hey Toni Basil (who I love) probably had something to do with it. 

Hal Blaine lays down the big beat so solid you could break your back on it.  

Monday, May 1, 2017

Tossing Insults At The Sky With The Flamin' Groovies

I had a great dream the other day in which I was under a bridge with Kerouac and Bukowski drinking beer and listening to the Flamin' Groovies. Jack was in huarache sandals and a weird surfer's bathing suit with lots of stitching and a lace up front and dancing drunkenly to "Laurie Did It" while Bukowski sat in a lawn chair radiating glumness and sucking down beer but at times showing some grudging amusement at the spectacle of Jack's dancing. We all took turns tossing insults at the sky. The demiurge was neither amused nor concerned. He had already planned our separate demises aeons ago

Current Listening: Flamin' Groovies-entire discography, Alice Cooper-Love it to Death, The Monkees-Missing Links, The Berlin Brats, Chris Bell-I Am The Cosmos, Shaun Cassidy's Greatest Hits & Highs In The Mid-Sixties-Texas & L.A. volumes. 

Getting ready to read Mike Nesmith's Infinite Tuesday and the new Ed Sanders book on Sharon Tate- update on the latter its a real stinker, Sanders doesn't seem to have any skills with prose.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

There Ain't No Sanity Clause/Make 'Em Laugh

Three of my favorite things- The Marx Brothers, The Damned & Donald O'Connor- people used to be so talented. What happened?

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

I Want My Little Winghead! -1976 Edition

I just got back from 1976 and came across some minor points of interest that I thought I'd share with you. In a very stoned NME interview with Patti Smith in Amsterdam she tells Charles Shaar Murray the following- There's no shame in not being cool sometimes, y'know....I'm often really uncool. Back in the States they call me "winghead" because my hair always...didj' ever notice how my hair sticks out?

I immediately flashed on Television's "little johnny jewel" and it's "all that guy ever said is I want my little winghead" lyric, which I always found both puzzling and funny.  Charles Shaar Murray also mentions a drunk Frenchman named Claude hanging around who obviously knows Patti and ends up vomiting all over the place before the show. I wonder if this might be Claude Bessy (aka Kickboy Face)?   Oh she also calls Bowie's Station to Station and The Stones Black & Blue the Sgt. Pepper and Pet Sounds of the 70's.  Station to Station is pretty much established as a great record, but Black & Blue still comes in for a lot of heat, personally I dig it, but it took a while.  Anyway I like to hear interesting people babble even and sometimes especially when stoned. And one thing about Patti she knew her influences backwards and forwards and was good at making connections between the dots, using them to create something new, mixing and matching, creating hybrids in her alchemical lab in the Chelsea Hotel.  Shit, she was doing vision boards when you were still in short pants and nobody had come up with a dumb name for it.

Other enjoyable lagan discovered back in '76 was a guest appearance by the always awesome Mary Woronov on the infamous Charlie's Angels women's prison episode called "Angels in Chains" where, you guessed it, Ms. Woronov plays a rather sinister, most likely lesbian, prison matron. One of the great things about the often poorly written television of the 1970's is this interesting guest appearances, for instance in addition to Mary Woronov I also sat through a silly and amusing Welcome Back Kotter episode called "The Museum" with John Astin (aka Gomez) as a museum curator named Mr. Gore-"its pronounced gore-ay". Some great old Marx Brothers routines were referenced with Kotter as Groucho and Epstein as Harpo.  

Of course any 70's TV binge is incomplete without the Six Million Dollar Man-particularly funny is a Season 3 episode called "The White Lightning War" where Steve Austin goes down south to Georgia to break up a moonshine operation, with plenty of hokey banjo background music accompanying the usual bionic "boing boing" effects. Steve's disguise is a stick on beard and a cowboy hat, and the locals are strictly corn. So with all this 1970's nonsense in mind here's an old mix centered mostly in that decade that I'm still real happy with called We Can Rebuild Him- click below and enjoy

Steve Austin deep undercover
Well I'm off to 1966 to watch the new Criterion edition of Blow-Up and Moonrise Kingdom- there's a somewhat disturbing connection between Blow-Up's star David Hemmings and Benjamin Britten whose music is featured in Moonrise Kingdom. Its weird how these connections form sometimes when you're not even looking for them, originally it was just a 1966 thing. 
Mary Woronov on Charlie's Angels

                                 Patti reads The Soft Machine whilst working on her winghead

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Soothe The Forever Boys & Girls

Room in Brooklyn-Edward Hopper 1932
Double Feature this weekend: Eureka & There Will Be Blood

Automat-Edward Hopper 1927

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

You've Read My File or If I Ain't Dead Already

The Days of I Want To Hold Your Man

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Silence To Say Goodbye- The Soft Set's Third Record

Once upon a time I had a band called The Soft Set from about 1999 to 2005 or 2006 or so.  Our first c.d. was self released and the second one Only Lovers Left Alive was released by the label Becalmed. We had a third album recorded but it was never released, its been so long I don't even remember why we didn't at least put it out ourselves, probably a result of my indecisiveness. But we didn't and it languished unheard and unloved- pretty much the story of this band's life.

Well enough time has past and having pulled it out and re-listened I've found a song sequence for it that I like and broke it down into two sides as if it were an LP.  Forgive this indulgence but I'll probably never live to see anything of mine pressed on vinyl so it's nice to pretend. I like how Florida ends side one and the second side opens up with our guitarist Dave's upbeat song History Lesson. I play the little guitar line on that one, but Dave does the solo-good song that. Some of these endings would have been faded when mastered, but oh well. I sort of like this best of the albums we made, as I was getting a little closer to the sound in my head with more varied instrumentation and even some slight psych touches. Like all of our recordings it was done at home. I was always too poor to afford a real studio.  I've often wondered how other bands afforded that- my suspicion is that there are a lot more rick kids in the game than I realized.

In any case here tis in the closest we ever got to a final mix and still in unmastered fidelity. After these recordings the line up of the band changed and we recorded and played out for another year or two - there's another unreleased E.P. after this one that also has some good stuff on it. After that we "softly went away forever".


Side One
1. Silence To Say Goodbye
2. Books on Saints
3. Words Don't Exist
4. Ballad Of A Plain Girl
5. Florida

Side Two
6. History Lesson
7. Used To Be Close
8. Only Lovers Left Alive
9. She's The Reason
10. Face to Face

William Crain- Vocals, Guitar & Harmonica  
Dave Morgan- Guitar & Vocals
Brad Banks- Bass, Piano/Keyboards & Xylophone
Charlie Ewing- Drums, Trumpet & Vocals

-Matthew Baab guitar on Ballad of a Plain Girl, Florida & Only Lovers
-additional vocals on Books on Saints by Misi
-strings on Face to Face by (gotta check into this I can't remember)

* All Songs Written By William Crain © except History Lesson by David Morgan ©

All Hail Unrest

Back to Unrest- they put on one of the best shows I've ever seen, a young Stereolab opened up- nice bill!  I think it was the tour for Perfect Teeth, which means 1993.  Robinson would just lay back with a big beatific grin and play some the greatest rhythm guitar this side of the Velvets 1969, it was a joy to listen to and behold. He was my idea of a guitarist, that mad propulsive strum. All hail Unrest, unsung greats of the long ago 1990's.

Monday, March 6, 2017

God Gave Rock n' Roll To Ya

I met Unrest's Mark E. Robinson once, he was a real nice guy, we played the Tommy pinball machine at Emo's (awful austin music venue) together.  For some reason I thought he would be into mid-60's Who, I guess cause Unrest was such a perfect pop band by that time as were the Who in the mid-60's.  He was bemused but kind about my misunderstanding, turns out he was mainly into 4AD & Factory Records and other early 80's British music. We both sucked at pinball, he actually more than I, though I loved that Tommy themed machine and did have a couple of great games on it back in the day.

Anyway he was a nice contrast to Ira Kaplan from Yo La Tengo who I also met around the same time (early to mid 90's) and who was a sour fellow embarrassed about his past as a music writer, when in reality its the coolest thing he ever did. Unrest's cover of Argent's "God Gave RocknRoll to You" (from the Bavarian Mods single) follows, the song was also covered, albeit badly, by Kiss. Someone put the Unrest version of the song to the opening of the Breakfast Club (framed weirdly), having recently re-watched that film I gotta say I now like the principal the best. I even like his "wardrobe"!  Fuck those whiny kids, I'd like to take a swing at Bender. Guess I'm getting old. 

Favorite old 45's listened to today:

1. Bavarian Mods- Unrest
2. My Movie- J.F.A.
3. The Winter Hawk E.P.- Elf Power
4. Borungku Si Derita- Sun City Girls
5. Poor Boys Born in a Rubble- The Standells (sundazed ep)

Tonight's double feature is Mod Fuck Explosion & Heathers, a suitable pairing both with Unrest connections.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Friday, February 17, 2017

Young Men Will Have Visions and Old Men Will Have Dreams-Athens GA Inside Out-1987

Art by Howard Finster

Click Put Me In The Funny Book to Download Alternate Athens GA Inside Out Soundtrack

Athens Ga Inside/Out is, of course, a wonderful documentary made in 1986 about the Athens, GA music scene.  It really captures a time and place- Athens in the mid 1980's. The recent CD/DVD package released by Omnivore records is highly recommended and contains bonus tracks not available elsewhere as well as the film itself- it can be bought here.

What I have for you here is a companion mix to the film, meant to supplement not replace the re-release, this mix features the music on the original issue of the soundtrack as well as some tracks missing from both the soundtrack and its re-release but featured in the film (like the opening "Fun To Be Happy" by Love Tractor, both B-52 tracks and Limbo District's rare "A La Maison") all put in the chronological order in which they appeared in the film.

1. Fun To Be Happy- Love Tractor
2. Swan Swan H- REM
3. Work That Skirt-B-52's
4. 52 Girls- B-52's
5. Oh Shit (His and Hearse) Bar-B-Que Killers
6. Window Sill- Time Toy
7. Hi- Time Toy
8. A La Maison- Limbo District
9. Jet Tone Boogie- The Flat Duo Jets
10. Baby Blue (Crazy Hazy Kisses)- Flat Duo Jets
11. Golden- Dream So Real
12. Nightfall- The Kilkenny Cats
13. Pretty- Love Tractor
14. Got To Give It Up- Love Tractor
15. Na, Na, Na, Na- The Squalls
16. Elephant Radio- The Squalls
17. Stop It- Pylon
18. Dream- REM
19. Italian Movie Theme- Pylon

There's a lot of great music here, everybody has their personal favorites- mine are The Flat Duo Jets (from whom the White Stripes borrowed a big chunk of their image & sound) Pylon, Love Tractor, R.E.M., and Time Toy.  There are many great moments in the film the funniest is when Walter from Walter's BBQ says "I had another group come by I think their name is the Asshole Surfers, they come by and eat my BBQ, they try to pattern themselves on REM." There's also plenty of great footage of folk artist and man of visions Howard Finster as well.  Buy the film/soundtrack from Omnivore! And enjoy this alternate version. Below is the Flat Duo Jets amazing sequence (some Southern Gothic rockabilly adrenalin), then Pylon's "Stop It" and REM's version of "Dream".

I visited Athens in the late 90's and it still seemed a wonderful place that hadn't been too corrupted by the popularity of the music scene(s). Got to see Stipe's two houses-one for his art and one for him- while there and ate at the Grit. Georgia is a beautiful state, one of the best parts of the South, visit if and when you can.

As a bonus here's the Asshole Surfers covering REM-

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Strange Days Indeed

John stepping out in his spacesuit
This might eventually grow into a mix covering the period 1979-1980, but for now just a foundation.
Starting with one of the 20th century's greatest pleasures- listening to Blondie and looking at Debbie Harry.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Friday, February 3, 2017

I Was Once A Toff- The Kinks 1977-83

Ray Davies camping it up in the late 70's, he really came WAY out of his shell- might have been the cocaine.  The Kinks were the first band I saw live in the early 80's, they were doing this same kind of bit, it was a lot of fun, my parents went with me and they enjoyed it as well.  Can't remember if he had dropped the white sneakers by then, I hope so, white sneakers are always a bad look-makes you look like you work in a hospital.

I heard "Come Dancing" in a drugstore the other night and even in my feverish state (bad case of the flu or something) I had to pause and listen, what a great song, probably the Kink's last great song. The tour I saw was right before this album (State of Confusion) came out, 83 I believe. I think Julien Temple directed this video, you can see the same visual style he would use a year or two later in Absolute Beginners.  I have a soft spot for his early work, especially The Great Rock n' Roll Swindle.

Go here for the interview portion with Ray Davies by a clueless Mike Douglas. Its funny how Mike obviously did little to no research. Very cool to see Tony Bennett sitting next to Ray. Talk shows used to have such a casual relaxed pace, and an unusual and refreshingly unscripted air. People actually sitting around just talking.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

You Win Again- Jerry Lee Lewis Granada TV 1964

Here we have a prime example of early rock n' roll's ecstatic mysticism. Things really heat up by the third song, High School Confidential, when the British kids start to crowd the Killer banging on his piano top and grabbing his hands- he almost looks nervous for a second, but just for a second as he then proceeds to rise to greater heights spurred on by the fervent belief and ecstatic spirit of the crowd.

Saturday, January 21, 2017


Billy Zoom all time favorite good guy, no bullshit rock star crap. From wikipedia- On stage, he is known for his wide-legged stance, big grin and tendency to make eye contact with audience members. He adopted this presence in reaction to many guitarists whose body histrionics and facial expressions gave the impression that they were playing very difficult parts on their instruments. Zoom wanted to make everything look easy.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Music For Every Occasion

Cover Stars-Mimi & Richard Farina
boots of spanish leather from joan baez on Vimeo.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Ask Doctor Zhivago-SCTV 1981

The sketch above from 35 years ago seems relevant given recent events, couldn't find a good upload of the equally funny sketch Benny Hill Street Blues-but included one below anyway, its part of the same episode on the brilliant SCTV Volume 2 DVD set-

I suppose you have to be of a certain age to understand some of this humor or at least the references, but part of the brilliance of SCTV was that they had their own characters as part of the fictional network that you had to familiarize yourself with like Bobby Bittman, so the more you watched the funnier the material became. They hardly ever went for a one note gag, and when they did like Benny Hill Street Blues it was a damn good one.

Friday, January 6, 2017

A Soundtrack Regained, Sort Of....Warhol's 1963 Road Trip

Deborah Davis's book The Trip recounts Andy Warhol's September 1963 road trip from New York to Los Angeles for his second Ferus Gallery show (Elvis and Liz) and for a promised "Hollywood party" courtesy of Dennis Hopper. Warhol made the journey in a black Ford Falcon station wagon driven in turns by Wynn Chamberlain and Taylor Mead, also along for the trip was Gerard Malanga, who occupied the roomy back of the wagon with Andy. Andy's star was ascending and he was just starting to move from painting to movie making, as well as making a transformation from his less studied "Raggedy Andy" persona to the soon to be iconic stripped shirt, leather jacket, boots and jeans Mid-60's monosyllabic Sphinx Andy. The book is a quick breezy read, and contains many digressions for context, or less charitably for padding as the actual details of the trip itself are probably more of a magazine piece than an actual book. I wish Davis would have attempted more of a novelistic approach to recreating the road trip itself as she did apparently have first hand source material from Malanga.  

Andy Warhol, Billy Al Bengston, and Dennis Hopper at Duchamp show 1963
Nevertheless I did enjoy the book (and many of the digressions) but what really set my imagination alight was a brief passage about how the four listened to top 40 radio during the entire journey. Below is a mix of many of the songs occupying the charts in September of 1963 that the four surely heard on their trip across the USA of 1963. This mix of charting records from September 1963 contradicts the traditional narrative that the early 60's pre-British Invasion was a dry period for music-what with Spector, Bacharach, Motown, Surf Music, R&B, Ray Charles, Brill Building Girl Groups and even the more commercial end of folk music there was an incredible variety of great music on the radio, it wasn't raw 50's rock n' roll, but it was great POP music. 

With the assassination of JFK only two months away and the arrival of the Beatles in four months America would be changed irrevocably, racing full amphetamine charged speed ahead into the turbulent and brilliant mid 1960's explosion of, well just about everything-admittedly another over-simplified narrative but hey nobody said those weren't fun to indulge in, and I gotta get mine. 


1. Mickey's Monkey-The Miracles
2. Walk Right In- The Rooftop Singers
3. Sugar Shack-Jimmy Gilmer & The Fireballs
4. Up On The Roof- The Drifters
5. Telstar-The Tornados
6. Sally, Go Round The Roses- The Jaynetts
7. Then He Kissed Me- The Crystals
8. Deep Purple- April & Nino 
9. Blue Velvet- Bobby Vinton
10. Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah- Bob B. Soxx & The Bluejeans
11. Surf City- Jan & Dean
12. Two Lovers- Mary Wells
13. Ruby Baby- Dion
14. My Boyfriend's Back- The Angels
15. You Are My Sunshine- Ray Charles
16. Rhythm of the Rain- The Cascades
17. Chains- The Cookies
18. Surfer Girl- The Beach Boys
19. The Kind of Boy You Can't Forget- The Raindrops
20. Heatwave- Martha & The Vandellas
21. If I Had A Hammer- Trini Lopez
22. The Lonely Surfer- Jack Nietzsche
23. Don't Think Twice, It's Alright- Peter, Paul & Mary
24. Don't Make Me Over- Dionne Warwick
25. Greenback Dollar-The Kingston Trio
26. Busted- Ray Charles
27. The End of The World- Skeeter Davis
28. Wipe Out- The Sufaris
Eight Elvises Silkscreen-1963
Andy becoming cool-1963