Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Sweet Sugar Pie

I'm chomping on a piece lusciously moist & decidedly decadent red velvet cake, slathered with a thick cream cheese frosting. I declined this piece at first but after the cake's journey via Fed Ex & pedigreed lineage was explained to me, I had to see what all the hub bub was about. Apparently the chunk I am working on is worth about $25, and that's more money than I have in my wallet currently...

Go figger...

Speaking of shweet...

I'm on my way out the door to catch Sugar Pie DeSanto at Yoshi's on Fillmore in san Francisco. I'll be the guy with the front row table on the right hand side of the stage hootin & hollerin'...

For those unfamiliar with Sugar Pie, she's Etta James cousin and a recording artist since 1955 when she got her start on Federal Records courtesy Mr. Johnny Otis.

Back in the day she recorded tracks with her cousin Etta and Willie Dixon that were hits on the Chess & Checker labels, and she's still going strong today with her latest CD "Refined Sugar" also on iTunes).



Sample some tracks, and download em if ya like via this widget here



I caught her last year at the San Francisco Blues Festival where she stole the set she shared with Jimmy McCracklin'. I was impressed with this aged diminutive ladie's feisty persona, and her sense of fun and frivolity.

Not bad for an old gal that's stage show with backflips was permanently curbed via lost hip movement when she was knocked over by a careless scooter operator in 2004, ( not too mention burned out of her North Oakland apartment two years later and had been left homeless...)

She's a fighter, a survivor, and a truly fun performer to be around...

Born to an African American momma with a Filipino father, she was a bi-racial celebrity long before Tiger Woods, Lenny Karvitz, Alicia Keys, Nicole Richie or Barack Obama made such circumstances fashionable.

Here's some music from her long & winding career which included early stints on R&B labels like Jody, Rhythm, Aladdin, and Music City...

Her first taste of solo success occurred in 1959 when the Veltone label released I Want To Know.

This track established her as a name in the biz, and soon she was signed to Chess in Chicago alongside younger cousin Etta. Sugar Pie wowed them on stage, being regularly compared to dynamite, but she also knew how to control herself. Despite her sexy charms, and a two year stint on the road with James Brown, who recounted in his autobiography, that she was the only female in his revue with whom he never slept.


Sugar Pie could have been a bigger star, but for whatever reason, The Chess Bros. played the protective mogul role and held her potential at bay for seven years, keeping her busy as a writer and background vocalist, only releasing one rare 1961 album by the lady.


She cut 30 sides for Chess records, most of which were shelved and never hit the streets. Occasional Sugar Pie tracks did surface, but mostly her career was a footnote in at a label with plenty bigger fish to fry like Etta James, Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters etc. While sugar Pie got a $10,000 advance from the stingy Chicago honchos that ran the label when she signed on, they stiffed her on royalties for decades, even though she wrote many songs for other artists including Fontella Bass, Etta James, Little Milton and Minnie Ripperton.

Here's a Checker single

Sugar Pie DeSanto - Soulful Dress

And a sample piece of an old track she did with Etta James for Chess

Etta James & Sugar Pie DeSanto - Do I Make Myself Clear

Sugar Pie went along on the 1964 Folk-Blues Fest tour of Europe, but as the only female artist, and basically an opening act... She also let the other musicians on that run she wasn't part of the backstage buffet, telling the SF Bay Guardian in 2004

"I refused all them old goats,"



Here she is from that run backed by Willie Dixon and band on her answer song to Hi Heel Sneakers known as Slip In Mules.

Sugar Pie DeSanto w/ Willie Dixon - Slip In Mules
from: American Folk Blues Festival '64

In 1966, she got together with cousin Etta for her biggest hit splash, this being a remix edit by DJ Theo Parrish of "Down In The Basement"

Etta & Sugar Pie - Down In The Basement

Here's one she recorded after leaving Chess for Brunswick in 1967

Sugar Pie DeSanto - The Whoopee

By the early seventies she'd settled back into the San Francisco Bay Area for good, and over the next 35 some years has made some sporadic funky & bluesy tracks for her manager's Jasman Records... Here's one such cut from 1972 that was resurrected and licensed by the always fine & dandy crate digging Ubiquity label not long ago for their Bay Area Funk, Vol. 2 collection...

Sugar Pie DeSanto - Straighten It Out With Yo Man





See ya laters y'all...


psst...

check out more Sugar Pie DeSanto via iTunes

Sugar Pie DeSanto

Monday, March 24, 2008

Descargas Cachao

Descargas

it loosely translates from Spanglish into Discharges

and that describes the explosive jam sessions combining Afro-Cuban and western dance styles that have mixed into a fiery blend that has influenced salsa and latin jazz musicians for decades...

One of the great acknowledged fathers of this style was bassist extraordinaire Cachao, who has died this past weekend in Miami of kidney failure at age 89...




Here he is at a performance at the White House this past October...




Israel "Cachao" Lopez, was a child raised in a large musical community in Havana, whose early aptitude on the bass earned him a seat in the Havana Philarmonic at only age 13...and he kept that prime seat with the symphony for nearly 30 years before leaving for America.

Together with his brother Orestes "Macho" Lopez, he helped bring "Mambo" music to the cultural fore, did so first from the late 1930's into the 50's with his classic Cuban combos, and then in the 1960's via his Orchestra that played the New York Ballrooms...

His career took him through many phases including a stint in Las Vegas in the 1970's where he nearly lost everything in the casinos between gigs, onto Miami in the 1980's where he slowly rebuilt his career in his elder years after he was finally recognized for his contributions to Latin music. Fellow Cuban emigre' and actor Andy Garcia produced a documentary about the musician Como Su Ritmo No Hay Dos ("With A Rhythm Like No Other") in 1993 that helped revitalize his faltering career. Garcia, who also played in Cachao's band and recorded with him, wrote a fitting obit for the musician and I will reprint it verbatim below:

EL MAESTRO CACHAO! “COMO SU RITMO NO HAY DOS’
(Like his Rhythm there is No other)

On this morning March 22, 2008, the legendary musician, composer, arranger and cultural icon Israel Lopez better known to all of his admirers as CACHAO! passed away.

He leaves with us a legacy of extraordinary trendsetting music, and an unequaled example of humanity, that was a gift to all of us, who had the good fortune and honor to experience.

He had a religious dedication to his art form that began at the age of twelve debuting with the Havana Philharmonic playing acoustic Contra Bass while standing on a wooden box. He created the Mambo in 1939 along with his closest collaborator, his brother Orestes.

That composition entitled "Danzon Mambo" laid the foundation for the Mambo craze that swept the world. Later in the 1950's he brought together the greatest musicians from the Havana music scene and again revolutionized Cuban music with his now legendary Descargas, "Jam Sessions".

Cachao is "La Mata", "The Tree", from this tree rooted in the deepest traditions of Cuban music everything in modern Cuban music, music known to many as Salsa stems.

His passing marks the end of an era. An era that brought to us some of the most genial talents in Cuban music history, music that has influenced music for nearly a century. Talents such as, Ernesto Lecouna, Beny More, Ignacio Piñero, to name a few. And the magnificent Bebo Valdes, one of Cachao's compatriots and collaborator. Who is still spreading the traditions of our music around the world with great influence and popularity.

I had the great privilege of collaborating with Cachao as his producer and band member since 1990.

Together we recorded four records. Master Sessions Vol. I and II, which earned Cachao his first Grammy, and "Cuba Linda' which again brought him Grammy and Latin Grammy Nominations. Also directing a Documentary on his life entitled "Cachao, Como Su Ritmo No Hay Dos" set around the now legendary concert in 1990. And the film "Cachao, Ahora Si" which chronicles his creative process during our last Grammy and Latin Grammy award winning CD/DVD. And most recently another tribute documentary entitled “Cachao, Uno Mas” documenting an honor bestowed upon him from San Francisco State University and concert that followed.

After a lifetime of listening to Cachao's music and eighteen years of Concerts and records together. I consider our collaboration and friendship one of most important accomplishments of my life. Cachao is our musical father. He is revered by all who have come in contact with him and his music and is referred to simply as EL MAESTRO! He has been honored around the world and has his rightful place in the Smithsonian Institute.

What is one to do know? How does one move forward in the face of such a monumental loss? In the only way that Cachao would want us to. To honor him with the maximum effort to carry out what was most important to him. Which is continue and never abandon the traditions of our music and culture. This is what Cachao was all about and the example that set for us will continue to inspire generations to come.

Maestro, your music has accompanied me all my life and will continue to do so until we meet again. You have been my teacher, and you took me in like a son. So I will continue to rejoice with your music and carry our traditions wherever I go, in your honor.

Andy Garcia
Actor /Director/Producer
And proud member of the Cachao Orchestra
Los Angeles, Ca
3/22/08


I'm not gonna bullsh*t ya that I'm an expert on his irressitible Cuban rhythms, but here's links to some mp3 tracks to familiarize yourself, as well as some more thorough obits that appeared in the NY & LA Times and McClatchy Newspapers (below)...




Cachao y Su Combo - Descarga Cuba
1957 era recordings available currently on the 2007 Musart digital release "Descargas Y Montuno" also known previously as "Cachao Y Su Descarga - Cuban Jam Sessions in Miniature"



Cachao - Descarga Cachao
available on "Cachao Master Sessions Vol 1"

In other sad music news:

The husband of Corinne Bailey Rae, 31 year old musician Jason Rae was found dead of a heroin overdose in Leeds UK on Saturday. He appears in this video for his band the Haggis Horns...



Saturday, March 22, 2008

2008 Easter Parade of Sorts

I now know way too much about forensic sciences...

While other folks may be fascinated by the subject through exposure to brain numbing gobbledy gook like C.S.I Miami, I assure y'all that there's nothing in real life like that going on, at all.

If you want to really know what DNA analysis, alleles, loci & low copy factors and the like are all about, try doing a full 8 hour day in a seminar room full of "experts", while battling a screaming hangover.

But despite the conjecture around whether science can really reconstruct what happened at a crime scene, some people just live on faith...

Like faith that their favorite sports team will survive the playoffs, or that the innocence project will get around to freeing them from prison someday...

Anyhow...

Jesus, Is It Easter Weekend Already?

Lordy, Lordy... y'all can raise the dead with some of these tunes...

John S Hall & King Missile - Jesus Was Way Cool

If Ohio is yer Holy Land... you certainly remember & would gladly resurrect these fools...

Bone, Thugs & Harmony - Resurrection ( Paper, Paper )

also Don't You Forget about Jim Kerr and Simple Minds...

Simple Minds - East at Easter ( live in Liverpool 2003 )

from an old Edison Blue Ambersol cylinder

Peerless Orchestra - Easter Fantasia

From 1935, an Irving Berlin tune recorded at the Pathe Studios in Paris...

the Patrick et Son Orchestre featuring featuring Mr. Django Reinhardt - Easter Parade



and my fave in this set:

US Coast Guard Band - Easter Monday On The White House Lawn

Apparently the White House is having quite the Easter party this year, with tweens a twitter about live entertainment from the pre-pubescent pop-rock band the Jonas Brothers, and even the country's fave rodent Mickey Mouse. But folks n line to attend need remember, just like most Live Nation concert events, outside food, coolers, and lawn chairs will not be allowed on the White House grounds...

Anyhow with the 5th Anniversary of The Iraq war to celebrate, and Jesus getting all reanimated on ya, it should be a fun family time for all...

The web address is http://www.whitehouse.gov/easter

So as long as we're jamming to the Sousa composistion above, why not throw in Prez George W. Bush's Official Presidential Easter Message, also available in mp3...





The Resurrection of Jesus Christ reminds people around the world of the presence of a faithful God who offers a love more powerful than death. Easter commemorates our Savior's triumph over sin, and we take joy in spending this special time with family and friends and reflecting on the many blessings that fill our lives. During this season of renewal, let us come together and give thanks to the Almighty who made us in His image and redeemed us in His love.

On this glorious day, we remember our brave men and women in uniform who are separated from their families by great distances. We pray for their safety and strength, and we honor those who gave their lives to advance peace and secure liberty across the globe.

Happy Easter. May God bless you, and may God bless our great Nation.

GEORGE W. BUSH



While George W Bush of course loves to banter about Easter and his mumbling meaningful mantras about Christ, the gospel, sin, death's sting and whatnot elsewere the folks ain't so sure.

On beaches in Padre Island in Texas, Dayona in FL and Cancun Mx, spring break revelers will no doubt be drowning in sin and beer. In Great Britain an interest in receiving chocolate eggs seems to have surpassed the religious aspects, with fully 10% of survey respondents finding no religious meaning in Easter at all, and in Norway, it's growing increasingly associated with reading crime novels.

Seriously...





p.s bonus hidden track:

didja know?

Apparently the B-52's have their first new release out in about a decade...

here's a track...

B-52s - hot corner

Hey

It's been a long day turned night

I gotta go

Thursday, March 20, 2008

3 Music Junkie Reviews

My name is Lil Mike & I'm a music junkie...


Lil Mike at The Keyz


I acquire, listen to, and take in a lot of music, and over the years I have no idea how much I've spent on this habit.


I've spent whole days on my knees in record stores, digging in crates, scouring budget bins for cut outs...

The internet of course has only made this habit worse, if not insane, at least unstoppable.

Here's some samples of three embarrasing "un-hip" releases I've purchased for no good reason in the last few weeks...





Erykah Badu - New Amerykah Part One (4th World War )

After listening to Will.I.AM's latest hedonistic aural bubble bath and Mary J Blige's diva trip fantastic "Growing Pains", the heavy subject matter & strange sonic soundscapes of Erykah Badu's new release seemed downright depressing if not only half thought out. There's a foreboding air from the earth toned psychedelic cover art by Emek to the title New Amerykah Part One (4th World War). The rambling disc hit streets on February 26th and apparently is part of trilogy, with part two in the can & currently slated for July 2008 release. Watch out...

I gave Erykah's 1st new disc of the year a spin as I headed up I-5 towards Northern California on a gloomy March Sunday out of Los Angles and the experience left me concerned for this current, and perhaps soon to be former first lady o' soul. The disc just seemed muddled, half finished, confused, and with very little potential for dance floors, or pop or soul radio appreciation. While commercial airplay is not perhaps her main objective, I can't help but imagine this 37 year old homeschooling mother of two might want to maximize her money making opportunities in this era of fading prospects for recorded goods. The effort seems bogged down, muddy and reeks of contract fulfillment. Jeez Erykah, is there not one hook left in ya?

This lead off track Amerykahn Promise is a standout, with a freaky Funkadelic flava, but the rest of the album doesn't follow through and I don't see it garnering any Grammy nominations...

Erykah Badu - Amerykahn Promise



Will.I.AM - Songs About Girls

On this disc that's filled with candy coated beats, it's the lyrical topics spouted by the the founder of the Black Eyed Peas that alternately enthrall & often annoy...

His beats, and pop sensibilities are so right on that most of what he touches these days sounds like a hit, acts like a hit and generally is a hit. Sadly, it's his dumbed down lyrics that get my goat, and then again are also what probably make the tracks hits with da millions of kids.

While there was tons of truth spitting promise in 2003's political edged soulful stunner "Where Is the Love?", a song which delivered a message in an uplifting way, with the f*cked up focus on Fergie and her "ass'ets", the group was dubbed by many former fans as "Black Eyed Cheese".

While Will.I.Am is laughing all the way to the bank ever since "My Humps" became the Black Eyed Peas biggest hit, the old core of supporters are left out. That stupid song dedicated to bling bling & body part objectifying has basically determined the fate of all his subsequent work so far.

Now I'm not saying Will.I.Am should become a dour Sting or Napalm Death type figure, his insistence on always getting retarded in here really sorta sucks. I wish this extremely talented artist would take his potential to places beyond the gutter, to heights like Stevie, Marley or Marvin did in their time. Instead we get dancefloor dreck... I suppose he's keepin' it goofy ghetto or something.

Several tracks on thsi album I have to just skip over due to their explicit lameness, but at least this next track is actually listenable. It's the only one on on the album that ain't about sexxing up a honey, and manages to delves into subjects like global warming, economic & political issues etc.

Will.I.Am - S.O.S ( Mother Nature )



Dolly Parton - Backwoods Barbie

I saw this lady in concert a couple years back, and I just gotta say Go Dolly Go! This American icon hand delivers the goods, and she didn't need Starbucks to prompt & hold her hand. Parton and producer Kent Wells have put together a solid pop effort here, her forst on her own label. There's few artists whose fanbase is as diverse as Dolly's, and this album spans the bubbling breadth of what makes her so popular. Whether your fondness of her is due to an appreciation of her kitschy public persona, or as a true independent craftswoman of remarkable pop & country songs. She carried that morbid ol' hack Porter Wagoner for years in the 60's & early 70's, then she moved on & built an empire since, including her own Amusement Park! Find out what millions already know... She's young at heart, and still rolling strong, and ready for the adulation of a new generation. Dolly gets down to business, and it's yers for the taking, the first single 'Better Get to Livin' says it all.

Unfortunately her tour has been postponed to Aprl due to a back injury caused by lugging around two huge breasts... seriously. Dolly reportedly said "You try wagging these puppies around for awhile"...

Anyhow, you can see why "She Drives Me Crazy"

Sample a cut from the new album and read on below...





here's a song from Dolly's new album Backwoods Barbie...


Dolly Parton - She Drives Me Crazy ( Fine Young Cannibals cover )

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

R.I.P Mikey Dread

I first heard of Mikey Dread courtesy his influence on and productions with the legendary U.K band The Clash. In fact in those days, there wasn't an "internet" for me to look him up on... just cryptic mentions on Clash ephemera and a picture hanging in my junior high locker of a stern looking Clash band member wearing a t-shirt that said "Dread At The Controls".

I just knew this mysterious and colorful figure must be cool!

His 12" dub records were somewhat obscure for a suburban kid in upstate NY like myself to obtain. But now via the web, much of his back catalog is available via iTunes, eMusic, Rhapsody, Amazon or whatever yer preferred legit download site is...

Here are many samples and links to download as well:


Turns out the dub toasting reggae DJ & longtime performer died last weekend at age 54 of a brain tumor in a Connecticut hospital with his wife and family by his side.


R.I.P Mikey Dread ( aka Michael Campbell )



Mikey got his first taste of notoriety as a broadcaster via the Jamaican Broadcasting Company in 1976. By 1977-78 he'd won Radio Personality Of The Year, and had the number one rated show on the island. It was this show where the words "Dread At The Controls" first hit the lexicon, and became a mantra for chilled out dub beats after midnight...

After his show took off, he began feuding with conservative station management and he gave up the radio show, but eventually worked with artists like Sugar Minott & Edi Fitzroy. He was soon brought to England at request of The Clash, where he produced their hit "Bankrobber" single. The track found it's way to ears stateside finally as part of the 1980 Black Market Clash release. Mikey also contributed to several songs on the Clash's triple LP Sandinista! for which he was bitter that he was never properly compensated. Mikey vocals can be heard on Sandinista cuts "Living in Fame," "One More Time" and "If Music Could Talk".

The Clash with Mikey Dread - Living In Fame

Long before being snubbed by the band's management & label, Michael himself can be heard surmising mortality on Sandinista! with the rap:

"When you living inna fame
You got to live up to your name
Or else you suffer and you die inna shame
It's all in the game, eh!

This is the game of life
We no wa' no strife
Game of life
We no wa' no strife, no no

Don't, no no no no


followed by Strummer's assertion of

"F*ckin' hell Mickey"



Here's Mikey in his own inimitable style proudly telling the tale of his work with The Clash

Mikey Dread - The Clash & Mikey Dread Story

Mikey also toured as a pre-show DJ & onstage toaster with The Clash in Europe, England and the US. Eventually after the Clash disbanded, he found a similar role with UB40 in the early 80's. He released many tunes through various labels, experimeting with hip hop crossover material, and even recorded with guitarist Izzy Stradlin formerly of Guns & Roses.

After many ups & downs, and eventually becoming disenchanted with the financial improprieties of the music biz, Mikey moved to Miami to attend college and pursued courses in electronics & business while hosting a local radio show. Eventually as his old music contracts dissolved, he regained control of his older recordings and began reissuing albums, and started a comeback. In reent years he was touring clubs & festivals throughout the US & UK, and even into unchartered territories like Poland...

During his career, he was a renowned broadcaster, brought dub music to the cultural fore in not only Jamaica but internationally, courageously fused it with punk, spread a global message of racial unity, and played a seminal role as a forefather of the now popular & very commercial dancehall & even reggaeton styles.

Mikey, who never was a particularly wealthy artist had taken great effort in getting his back catalog officially available in the digital realm recently and I'm sure his family would appreciate your support in this obviously trying time.

Mikey and his wife Monika at a show on Martha's Vineyard








The Cheaters, Cheapskates & Ne'er Do'ells can likely search the torrents, rapidshares & limewires or whatever you kids are up too for yer illicit audio whatnot...

But as an introduction, here's some tracks Mikey himself had officially sanctioned for free promotional distribution through his indie label Dread at the Controls and website MikeyDread.com

One of Mikey's first reissues was 2004's African Anthem Deluxe, which updated the old hit LP with six unreleased bonus tracks of dubs, sound effects and hardcore drum and bass. The album features exclusive King Tubby Dub mixes mixed at 'King Tubby’s Waterhouse Studio'.

Mikey Dread "Saturday Night Style"

(mp3)
from "African Anthem Deluxe: The Mikey Dread Show Dubwise"

African Anthem Deluxe: The Mikey Dread Show DubwiseMikey Dread
(Dread at the Controls)

Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at eMusic
Buy at Amazon
More On This Album



This collection is as good as any place to start, collecting several top tracks of his career beginning in 1979...


The Prime of Mikey DreadMikey Dread
"Industrial Spy" (mp3)
from "The Prime of Mikey Dread"
(Dread at the Controls)

Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at eMusic
Stream from Rhapsody
Buy at Amazon
More On This Album



Here's some tracks from the compilation album Mikey Dread Best Sellers...
Best Sellers

Mikey Dread - Break Down The Walls

Mikey Dread - Roots And Culture (mp3)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

St Paddy's Daze 2008

As I write a noisy St. Patrick's day parade is swinging down the block outside. I can hear the bagpipes, drums & drunks, and see numerous green clad folks strolling, and in some cases stumbling by.

In honor of this occasion, here's a video of my band from some twenty years ago at a large St. Patrick's Day show we played here in town...



Here's a fuzzy wuzzy ol' school celtic punky rave up written by moi & pals in a musty old Turko-Persian carpet factory on the outskirts of town in 1987.

Bedlam Rovers - Rise Above

and here's a St. Patty's Day track featuring Joe Strummer when he was in the Pogues, a combo of greats we were able to open up for on our third show ever at the Fillmore in Dec 1987...

Pogues w/ Joe Strummer - I Fought The Law


Anyhow,


I've got social engagements galore lined up today, amongst them eating some $17 chuck of Italian cheese I bought last night, or maybe I should take up an invite to a Bar B-Q, where down the street my pal Greg Dale has a gig tonight with his band Sorrow Town Choir at Thee Parkside

Greg's heathen blend of raw rootsy mid tempo tunes takes it’s cues from the garage rock greats & stadium seasoned sinners alike. If you don’t mind hearing a lil’ whiskey burned Skynyrd riff & a Nick Cave influence or two blended into your indie dirges, this could be a fine show to sit & sip in the shadows & enjoy tonight if yer in SF.


Also appearing at this sordid soiree at Thee Parkside is Mark Curry’s group based outta the Sacto area called Hell’s House Band. Curry, a tall grizzled tatooed biker/model lookin’ dude, spent a few years on Virgin being pimped alongside labelmates like Janet Jackson & Lenny Kravitz, yet was found less on radio playlists, and more likely hanging out in bars at dawn with his drinkin' pals in punk bands like NOFX.

Also on the bill Kemosabe & an acoustic set from Scott Quay of October Allied

I’ve thrown in a few mp3z below for you to familiarize yourself the situation…



Sorrow Town Choir - My Momma Don’t Keep No Pictures Of Me
Download more at
iTunes Music Store


Mark Curry's Hell House Band -
Cut 'Em Up (Feat. El Hefe)

Dozen Lies Mark Curry’s Hell’s House Band (Feat. El Hefe)
“Come On Out” (mp3)
from “Dozen Lies”
(Hard Soul Records)

Download more at iTunes Music Store
Download more at eMusic

Download more at Amazon


Anyhow...

that's just a head's up if yer trolling the web looking for trouble...

I'm kinda busy and gotta go...


So I won't have time to review all the new releases I've been listening to this week...

So stay tuned for later next week when I'll delve into the merits or morass of recently released titles like Dolly Parton's Backwoods Barbie, The Black Crowe's Warpaint, Janet Jackson's Discipline, Michael Jackson's Thriller 25th Anniversary Edition, and Erykah Badu's New America Part One ( 4th World War )...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Sad Saga of Client 9

Last week I gave y'all Some Not So Golden Random Rarities For My Peeps, which featured rare mp3 tracks from an assortment of groups including Mike Ness, Primus, The Lewd... and even a track by my old band Mom, a side project sorta thang featuring members of both Bomb & The Bedlam Rovers.

This week is shaping up to be even more juicy though, as Elliott Spitzer and his prostitution sting troubles rock the whole Hudson River corridor, from his tony upper east side digs, to Albany where his minions await word on whether he's resigning.

Marvin Hamlisch - Hooker's Hooker (From the soundtrack to The Sting)


The gleeful tone that the reporters use in detailing the story in both the Bloomberg News & Murdoch owned Wall Street Journal is barely restrained. Reportedly cheers rang out on Wall St's trading floor when the "Love Gov" story broke. Never have seemingly so many relished the foibles of one man...

It was Ho No! across Manhattan as NY's Capt Crusader got caught with his pants down...

How fitting that one one of the only Democrats with balls, is actually done in by those very same balls.

Eurythmics - SexCrime ( 1984)

For every person on a perp walk he previously conducted, a lil dancing jig of joy must have occurred.


Makes ya wonder how did this stupid Princeton/Harvard Law Client 9 guy spend the better part of a decade as NY state's top government lawyer, and now top official?

Huh?

Wiretapped?

Uh, hadn't he heard of this technique previously?

Payments to an interstate prostitution ring uncovered through standard "Suspicious Activity Reports" and bank transaction reporting?

Doh!

Didn't he bust & break up call girl rings, and lock up folks on prostitution charges
?

Didn't he pride himself on his anti racketeering skills & somewhat familiarize himself with various shady money-laundering techniques?

The answer is ... uh, yes, and yes, he was indeed extreme in his vindictive righteousness... which is why few tears are being shed for him today.

Spitzer of all people, should have known, not only better, but that he had enemies who would have a field day with this kind of news. While he becomes the first high ranking Democrat since Bill Clinton to even manage to have a sex scandal, it's his wife, and his daughters that must sit alongside on the shame & scandal train...

Clint Eastwood & General Sai - Shame & Scandal

Flipper - Sex Bomb

It's also not simply a sex scandal...

Spitzer's real problems here are less about hypocrisy & morality, but more about criminal acts & minutiae including transfers of cash for illegal purposes, and even just the act of knowingly transporting a hooker across state lines, making this all a very sticky federal matter.

It all basically boils down to, does he have big enough balls to not step away, and leave his fate in limbo?



Eddie Bo - Let's Limbo







Read The affadavit detailing all the activities or just those of Client 9 here...

More Client 9 Tunes of the Hour:

Client - Telephone Sex

Steve Wynn - The Preacher & The Prostitute ( live 1993 )

The Clientele - (I Can't Seem To) Make You Mine

Rita Chao & The Quests- Hanky Panky

Monday, March 03, 2008

Some Not So Golden Random Rarities For My Peeps

So this past weekend I found to time to do some digital audio work, and finally just got around to encoding some long lost recordings I made years ago. The funny thing was they were originally done in the digital realm on DAT, and converted to cassette so I could listen to them. Now I have no access to the DATs and to reconvert them I had to work off some real lo-fi cassettes.




I not only came across tapes of old music I had made years ago, but I also ran into tapes I had of other artists. So taoday... I'll share a few random oddities from artists you definitely have heard of... and some I'm pretty sure you haven't...

I also encoded 'em directly to mp3, hiss and all so you'll just have to deal...

Most of these cassette tapes are nearing 20 years old... and weren't perhaps cared for exceedingly well, so you'll have to excuse any lack of high caliber sonics...as if they were ever prepared under laboratory conditions anyhow.

Most were made using basic technology available, at best 4 tracks, or maybe two mics simply dangling from the ceiling over the band in an attempt to create what passes for stereo...



I'd assume this one is from about 1989, but possibly as early as 1988...

Les Claypool at one time had a Primus precursor band called the Primates, and around that time, he even used to roadie for The Looters. The Looters opened up a collective recording/rehearsal/performance space called Komotion International, and it was through these connections & proceedings, that this song and a dozen others were recorded live one sud soaked night by Primus during one of our many experimental keg parties on 16th Street in San Francisco's Mission District.

The guy's put out a live version of this track recorded at The Berkeley Square across the bay around the same time on their own label, but here's proof that they were West Bay party worthy as well. We released it ourselves a year or so later on a cassette compilation I assembled that came with a "sound" magazine & I believe on the 10th anniversary CD edition as well...

Primus - Groundhog's Day

On that same cassette compilation was a track by one of my bands, this group was called Mom. It was comprised of some members of my old band The Bedlam Rovers, as well as a couple guys from Bomb, another local act of no small renown at the time.

Bomb's Michael Dean and I would share the microphone, but never the women or his needles. We had a good time making noise together for a spell, but his "other" band got signed to Warner Brothers in a bizarre accident, and our collaborations basically came to an end. He went on tour, developed a massive ego & life sapping heroin addiction at the same time. Those sort of limit what's possible...

In the end, he made a miraculous recovery, has written books, made inspiring doc films, and basically I think he's doing pretty good, if being happy, healthy, married & even a bit paunchy are signs of success.

These things happen I suppose. Check out the further adventures of Mr. Dean who posts all sorts of personally generated sonic goodies at his website(s) each week...

He's a relentless self promoter, and in fact while researching what things I could mention or remember about the gentleman, I came across this funny wikipedia warning about his bio















However, despite this problem wikipedia has with him, and whenever occasion warrants , we do stay in touch these days, mostly from afar, or at least as much as plausible for guys that live hundreds of miles apart.

This song was from our first gig ever during a party for the 1989 Summer Anarchist Gathering, we were opening up for Mr. Helios Creed, and it was a pretty packed, chaotic & sweaty affair from what I recall...

The intro I should add, was from a monologue delivered at the same venue by Keith Hennessy, a very creative and cutting edge performer here in San Francisco, but with a worldwide reputation. I have done some performances with Keith back in the day, and it was always a far out and audience engaging experience. Keith's got his own cult thang going on, and I will just link here and suggest you seek out one of his performances that mix the political, the profane and the psycho into a combo that makes the ol' sex, drugs & rock n roll seem as stale as it really is...

anyhow...live 1989 debut sound clip of my old band Mom

Mom - Your Only Friend

Before I ever had my own crappy bands...

I grew up loving me some Social Distortion, that Mommy's Little Monster album has never really worn off, and it would definitely make a list of my personal fave top records of all time. I recall in November 1987 a friend of mine was booking bands at a local gay disco and we could apparently obtain the services of a recently reformulated Social Distortion for about $500. I forget why that never happenend.. I think the club got wise to our punky schemes... and went back to doing disco.

I went back to playing Mommy's Little Monster I suppose...

Anyhow, Social D eventually put out Prison Bound and here they are playing a party at Lake Perris near Riverside in the summer 1988. It's got the late Dennis Dannell on Guitar, Christopher Reece ex of the Lewd on drums, and it looks like a real young and long haired John Mauer on bass...


Well within two years, Mike Ness had hooked up with Jim Guerinot & Sony and the booking price had gone up considerably...

(even though the tempo & material got more pedestrian... go figger!! :)

By the 1990's a friend , ( who shall remain nameless) who used to shoot drugs party with the Social D gang back in the early 80's, was now simply friends with bassist John Maurer's gal from work. This fact enabled us to do some hanging out within the band's so-called "inner sanctum".

It was mostly dull backstage small talk, but I was privy to some sorta silly rockstar sh*t and full on Spinal Tap-esque moments...



There was the Sony Music reps who caught the band in LA and explained they could not use their giant stage backdrop painted of a bound & gagged woman. It was an image used on their record from an old 50's pulp novel, and they planned to hang it behind themselves on the tour. The fact that the band had spent $10,000 of their Sony advance on it didn't matter Sony. One night it was up, the next day they went to LA to play the Palladium and it was noticeably missing...even though the same "offensive" image was still included in ten's of thousands of Sony CD cases.

Social D drew an angry sort of rebel waltzing bunch to their shows, and in order to keep the stage diving heathens who pissed Mike off to no end away, they had a special chain link fence built. They could travel with it and it was built around each and every stage, as well as the sound man's platform in the middle of the floor. It definitely set a certain mood... like a youth prison detention camp, which is after all, the band's main theme & demographic. Mike also liked to pepper spray or mace any stray macho mutants that got through the gauntlet up onto the stage, and it was a special errand indeed to be sent out to obtain the proper cans of mace & pepper spray with the road crew. A now defunct but well stocked gun store around the corner from the venue in S.F had the goods back in 1992.

Guess it beats scoring dope for a band, which was another ritual I would occasionally participate in for other touring "rockstars".

Mike, who was already "clean & sober", remained pretty grim most of the times I hung around him, no beers, no drugs or monkey biz. In the smaller rural towns he seem to let his guard down more, but in cities it was tighter security, tight lipped backstage and he played it more elusive.

He didn't talk to much, but liked to be noticed none the less, and spent a lot of time preening & getting his look just right. Part of this was getting into thoroughly grooming his thinning hair. Despite the fact he constantly had less & less hair to comb, it seemed the more time he would spend combing it.

There was a night at a sold out show in San Francisco at the Warfield where it seemed extremely fetishistic. The many minions & roadies had by now, tinkered with every conceivable bit of gear, and the crowd was chanting and stomping for the band, who was now basically way overdue for their set time. The security was looking nervous as the packed house roared & raged for Social D.

Yet, underneath the stage, Mike would calmly stare at himself in the tiny dressing room mirror, and then purse his lips, sigh, and then comb his hair one last time, and then another. This went on and on for at least half an hour... and no nervous band member said anything or dared upset this strange meditation ritual, despite the aged theater literally shaking with the crowd's every stomp...



Here's Mr. Mike Ness of Social Distortion doing a mellow little acoustic B.B King cover in the spring of 1990 in front of just a handful of folks.

Mike Ness - Sweet Little Angel

Up top I mentioned old Social D drummer Christoper Reece (1985 - 1993), turns out he now owns a joint called The Pike in Long Beach that apparently has some Lobster Tacos the NY Times recently raved about...

But

Prior to becoming a bar owner, and drummer for Mr. Ness in Social D, Reece was in the Lewd, a classic early American hardcore punk band.




Their only LP, "American Wino," came out on ICI Records in 1982, partially recorded at a studio in Hollywood, and some live at the old Target Video space in San Francisco.

Here's a track I converted off some old vinyl that you'd be hard pressed to find a pressing of yourself...

The Lewd - Mobile Home