Friday, September 25, 2009

Talk Dirty To Me, Pt. 1

I joke that I'm too old to fuck, and the truth is that I have more memories than expectations, but "hope springs eternal" (A. Pope) and, furthermore, grows well in the medium of memories (me). In other words, I think about sex a lot, and tend to like music that celebrates it. Like early Prince records, for example, even though his music doesn't really rock hard enough.

These 3 covers of Prince songs do rock a bit harder - that's why Marshall Crenshaw's version of "Take Me With U" is here; there's nothing dirty about it. Pansy Division's "Jack U Off", though, is punk and filthy as hell and, thanks to some clever re-writing, queer as hell, too. Finally, Hindu Love Gods (Warren Zevon backed by three-quarters of REM) completely thrash the fuck out of "Raspberry Beret" -- a track that stuck out like a sore something-or-other on the album it came from. It's nice to hear all these tunes together in like-minded company. Kind of a mild start for a deliberately rude mix but, don't worry, it gets juicier.

Podwalker's Dogcast, Pt. 1

Welcome to the original title for this blog. A couple of years ago, I thought it might be fun to buy a digital voice recorder and add some bonus value to the hour-and-a-half I spend most days on assorted dog walks by making a walking diary. Afterward, I could edit in some appropriate dog-related music and post the show on one of those podcast-aggregating sites. Seemed like a good idea at the time, but I never got started -- mostly because of those people you see on the street talking into Bluetooth devices; they all look like crazy people to me, and I'd rather not look like that to myself.

My dog, by the way, is a beautiful, little red mutt who looks nothing like the dog depicted here. This drawing was chosen to go with the songs. If I catch you doing any of the terrible things in these songs, you will live to regret that you lived to regret that... etc.

Dog Abuse

Song List:

01. Rufus Thomas - Stop Kicking My Dog Around
02. George Coleman - Innocent Little Doggie
03. Count Markus Cross - Please Don't Spit Beer On My Dog

Friday, September 18, 2009

Happy Hippie Radio, Pt. 3

A couple of themes, here.

Conga drums -- I really miss 'em. It used to be that every other band would use a conga-player to fill in the rhythm section. Three of the four selections in this batch have that. Drummers need to get the hell out of drum circles and join real bands.

All 4 of these groups could have been represented by a number of other songs; they were all got played a lot on FM radio in the early '70s (probably because they all played frequently at Bill Graham venues during that period). The Fleetwood Mac number, here, was a particularly difficult choice -- it probably should have been "Oh Well", but "Coming Your Way" has been drilled into my brain slightly less, and, well... the congas.

It was the beat! The beat!

Song list:

08. Santana - Black Magic Woman / Gypsy Queen
09. Fleetwood Mac - Coming Your Way
10. Ten Years After - I'd Love To Change The World
11. Quicksilver Messenger Service - Fresh Air

Thursday, September 17, 2009

"Jim says, 'Some destinies should not be delivered"

I don't know why this one bothers me so much; I haven't been paying much attention to his work these many years. The fact is, though, Jim Carroll seemed about due for a wider appreciation, re-appraisal... television commercials and movie cameos, like William Burroughs got. Even just listening to his music, again, it's striking, how in excess of the rewards he received his talent was.

One thing that really bothers me is how all the obits call him a punk-rocker or some such thing. From his early work with the St. Mark's Poetry Project on, his style is that of a post-, or neo-Beat poet. Jim never seemed to me to have that loser charisma that was so engaging in the Punks. He was a real poet, and he took words very seriously -- also unlike the Punks. Saying that he had more than a passing relationship with Punk is like calling Leonard Cohen a folk-singer.

Jim's musical roots were deep in the soil of the '60s -- The Rolling Stones and The Velvet Underground, for example, and a lot of metal-lite, like Steppenwolf and Blue Oyster Cult. I certainly hope to show a little bit of that with this post. The first song is "Day And Night", from Catholic Boy, co-written by Allen Lanier, keyboard player for BOC; it actually sounds a lot like something from a late-'70s Stones album. Second up is "In Thee", a really pretty Blue Oyster Cult song entirely written by Lanier, apparently about his break-up with Patti Smith, in which he quotes a line by Carroll from the first song. Then we have Jim's cover of Lou Reed's "Sweet Jane", from a bootleg recorded in Boston, Dec. 1st 1980. As usual, Carroll converts the lyrical reference to "Jim" into a "Lou", and also note the sly innuendo about Lou and chicken-fucking. Finally, we have Lou's updating of an old song, "Oh, Jim", originally included on 1973's Berlin, and (we should all be grateful for this) more recently performed as part of Berlin Live at St. Ann's Warehouse, from which this is an edited version. Whether it's about our Jim or not (and I think it is), it seems a none-too-early valediction for our hero.

4 songs for Jim

P.S. If I could think of a Patti Smith song about Jim, I would have put it in here with Jim's "Crow", to complete the circle.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Highway 61 Revisited, Revisited

It's a sure sign of the greatness of a record if you can put together a collection of cover-versions of just the songs on that record. And, no, I'm not talking about tribute albums; this is my cherry-picked set of personal favorite covers of all the songs on Highway 61, plus 3 bonus versions of songs that were bumped from the original for various reasons. Some of these are live, some are rare, and one (the Winkies track) had to edited to remove an irrelevant introduction. Front and back artwork included.

Love ya, Bobby!

Song List:

01. Like A Rolling Stone - Jimi Hendrix Experience
02. Tombstone Blues - Richie Havens
03. It Takes A Lot To Laugh - The Winkies
04. From a Buick 6 - Mike Wilhelm
05. Ballad of A Thin Man - Willard Grant Conspiracy
06. Queen Jane, Approximately - Mojave 3
07. Highway 61 Revisited - Johnny Winter
08. Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues - Bryan Ferry
09. Desolation Row - Robyn Hitchcock
10. Positively 4th St - X
11. Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window - The Hold Steady
12. Sitting On A Barbed Wire Fence - Thurston Moore

She cut me down like Jesus blasted the fig tree / Last night, when I tried to dance with Amy Rigby.

Well, not really. The truth is, I'm far too much in awe of Amy to ask her to dance. The last time she played here, I talked with her husband instead.

But, anyway, girls... what is it with you about Joey Ramone?

3 or 4 girls with a thing about Joey

Song List:

01. Sleater-Kinney - I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone
02. Amy Rigby - Dancing With Joey Ramone
03. Helen Love - Debbie Loves Joey

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Wine, Wine Wine, Pt. 2

Here you go... it aint all about the good stuff, you know. Matter of fact, I was wondering how cheezy this post needed to be... we coulda gone with the Arlo Guthrie version of one tune, and the Frank Zappa version of another. No one, however, can replace the late, great Townes Van Zandt!

P.S. There's no particular order, yet, to these wine entries -- if you're thinking about saving 'em up and burning 'em.

Cheap Wine

Song List:

01. Hoyt Axton - Lightnin' Bar Blues
02. Townes Van Zandt - Talking Thunderbird Blues
03. Hoodoo Rhythm Devils - W P L J

Happy Hippie Radio, Pt. 2

Continuing, with goofy stuff -- two songs with automobile sound effects (sadly, at the beginnings of both, so no clever segue), one without.


Song list:

05. Spirit - Animal Zoo
06. The Kinks - Apeman
07. John Simon - The Song of the Elves

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Happy Hippie Radio, Pt. 1

When I first began listening to FM radio in late 1970-early '71 (previously, I had been a fan of KHJ in Los Angeles and KFRC in San Francisco), it was a result, oddly enough, of the simulcasts done by television station KQED from the Fillmore (and Winterland). I particularly remember the big show done the night Janis Joplin died; it seemed like the biggest thing in the universe, with a guy holding a microphone running around to interview anyone willing to reveal his or her private grief. It was like 9/11, if you can imagine it, to this teenager. After that, what was there to do but tap the pulse of modern album-oriented music by tuning-in to stations like KSAN and KSFX.

And it seemed that those radio station played many of the same songs over and over, just as their AM cousins did -- not in 3-hour rotations, but still...

What this portion is about, is some of the songs that I remember hearing many, many times during my first year of listening to what we once called "Underground Radio".

On The Lam

Song List:

01. Allman Brothers Band - Midnight Rider
02. The Band - The Shape I'm In
03. Moby Grape - Murder In My Heart For The Judge
04. Humble Pie - 30 Days In The Hole