Sunday, July 31, 2005

Somewhere off Hwy 61 - The Torso Tales - A Chuck Prophecy

One of my favorite loopy local SF characters, not to mention fine and friendly songsmith of no small renown, has been Chuck Prophet. I've known him on and off for years, from bullshitting in under the influence in the dark backrooms of bars & under the flourescence at the local copy shops, to riding rollercoasters both real and imagined... Uh, I guess you could say, what a long strange trip it's been...

As usual he has been busy playing gigs & tearing up the roads of our vast interstate highway system all year, and unless his Dodge van cut ya off at a filling station on the Pennsylvania might not have even noticed.

Chuck has been in the music biz for two decades now, including a notorious stint in the late great Green on Red, but in some respects, he kinda keeps a relatively low profile on the rock n roll radar. Your average Warped tour ready pop punk band with some forgettable name & even more forgettable songs can sell more t-shirts in a weekend than Chuck will do in a year, but Chuck ain't really in it for the merch. He's got more pop craftsmanship & hectic holy history in the tunes he carefully carves out than an army of skateboard punks & tour busses huddled in some parking lot.

He's a real rambling storytellin' troubadour from the mystical old school that never was and a perpetual stoner teenager making adult rock for the young at heart.

Why am I letting ya in on all this? Well , funny you should ask.

I'm not sure... but if ya have time to take yer itchy trigger finger off yer mouse & just scroll & sink in & suck up the story, it'll probably be worth yer while.

I'm digging deep into the archives of the land of the lost on the highway to heck here: but if yer patient , then all yer non- existent questions will be answered... so don't fret...

I'll start ya with an MP3 of Chuck singing "Pin A Rose On Me" from his most recent album Age of Miracles. Another fine download is a 10 meg windows media file of a half hour career overview and interview from a Dutch Radio broadcast that highlights Chuck discussing his music and features lots of music from the "No Other Love " album.
While yer getting yer download on, below is some writing that I spewed out after a little run I had rolling coast to coast in the van with the mighty Prophet on tour a couple years back... there's almost an album's worth of more Chuck Prophet tunes including some mighty rare gems culled from miscellaneous sources that ya could burn into a nice mix cd if'n yer so inclined, and most of 'em are even actually officially "authorized" in one way or another. The rest... well don't tell nobody and we'll all sleep just fine.

dateline: Early May, 2003 (somewhere off Hwy 61)

With a penchant for lurid off color 70s thrift store suits & striped shirts, and scruffy dirty blonde hair that juts aimlessly off the top of his head, he looks like a giant kindergarten escapee. Lanky isn't exactly the word to describe him, and apparently his fellow band members have dubbed him instead, "The Torso". His mid section does indeed, upon closer inspection, seem to sprout off his normal sized red Levi clad legs like some strange tree grafting experiment gone awry. Perhaps this genetic mutation occurred as a lad back in Orange County, where the chemically groomed citrus groves were making way for suburban sprawl. Raised in this former agricultural area turned white trash wasteland, he was a mischievous child of the smog, with a keen ear and a wandering eye for his sister's acoustic guitar.

"She got all pissed off when I could just pick it up and play it better than her."

After honing his chops copying Neil Young & the Byrds, and stylizing his approach after catching a few punk gigs like Black Flag and D.O.A, soon there was a teenage rebel with a guitar lurking in the halls at the local high school with an aptly fitting band name "Bad Attitude".

Kicked out of his parent's & eventually his girlfriend's pad for misbehavior, one night he showed up in L.A to beg a guest list spot for a show featuring an Arizona based touring band he'd previously shared a bill with. He ended up that night on stage and in the band. Hitching a ride with this unkempt crew of carnies, the youngest recruit actually started an almost decade long ride. In the process of discovering himself he instilled some semblance of songwriting anchorage to one of America's greatest unknown & under the influence quartets.

According to those that were there at the time, of all the pre-eminently unknown and now mostly forgotten 80s garage band hopefuls, Green On Red held as much promise as any in the lot. So begat the journey, that now has taken his flexible fingers and their sonic by products across the seas several times.

Chuck Prophet became the influential roots rawk band's 5th member just as the group hit their stride in 1984, with American underground rock in it's finest hour, and college radio in it's salad days. One of the definitive American indie rock road discs of the mid 80s era is Green on Red's "Gas Food & Lodging" from 1985. Prophet, with his instinctive knack for noodling brought the group a desirable dose of virtuosity missing from G.O.R's previous releases. Chuck's debut appearance with the band, garnered favorable mentions everywhere from Rolling Stone & USA Today on down to the corner bar.

The band began having bigger expectations than the college charts, they were on the road with R.E.M and they soon signed a major label contract. The teenage rapscallion known as "The Kid" was now got caught up in a rock n roll lifestyle, and spent his 21st birthday recording in an English castle , too high to realize it was 21st birthday., He recalls of those daze: " I learned how to drink laying down and how to sleep sitting up"

Green On Red

hear an mp3 of some of Green on Red's Zombie For Love - from 1988's "Here Come The Snakes" recorded in Memphis with Jim Dickinson, known for his work ranging from Big Star to the Rolling Stones and Aretha Franklin, at Ardent Studios. This classic album was recently reissued in an expanded 2 CD edition with great liner notes & bonus tracks of demos and outtakes recorded at home and Sun Studios, during the many evolutions of what has since become a quasi legendary rock masterpiece.
Green On RedHere Come The Snakes: Expanded Edition
Green On Red
Here Come The Snakes: Expanded Edition Import
(1989) Italian Version w William Eggleston cover & Full Length Bonus CD

CD on sale
CD on sale
Green on Red who began dissolving in a late 80's haze and finally called it quits for good in the early 90's are perhaps due for another lookee loo. Chuck has recently announced plans for a one off reunion show with the lineup from their heyday including not only Dan Stewart,but Chris Cacavas & Jack Waterson t.b.a in September in Tucson AZ at The Hotel Congress.

Green on Red on tour in Sweden circa 1984, Chuck 2nd from right

They burned through money, piles of drugs, record deals, band members & relationships. He stole other men's guitars & other men's girls, he escaped the cops, the lawyers, he escaped the near death experiences, the far death experiences... but he also eluded something that has since become more important to him. He also escaped success...

It's not that he's afraid of success, it's just that Chuck has set out to do it on his own terms, D.I.Y. He didn't "Go Hollywood" or set out to become a businessman, or a solo artist, but it all sorta happened along the way. Like everything else... There were happy accidents and there were just plain accidents...

Despite the slagging from the playa haters and sour grapes from the suckas on the sidelines, any one who really knows musician & songwriter Chuck Prophet can tell you he's no primadonna. The years spent honing his craft & spinning his wheels, while other guys & gals got their breaks, took their bows and had their names in the bright lights. It may have kept the man in hungry town, but he's also more appreciative than the one hit wonder crowd of when the dice roll in his favor.

Prophet was practically astounded when one of the tunes he co-wrote landed on the top of the country charts a couple years back and became a huge radio hit for a certain pre-fab Nashville honey child. Even though there's a gold record hanging on the wall at home with his name on it, he's never sung the song on an official release. You'd think he might capitalize on that bit of novelty & notoriety, but he hasn't even added the now well known tune to his live set. Despite the certain note of recognition the tune might bring when playing it for an audience of strangers in some small town, he'd rather not play it live at all, and prefers to earn applause the hard way.

He doesn't mind playing as a studio sideman, and has quietly given some fine performances to other's records. Top selling acts like Cake and Jewel have used Prophet as a sideman to fill out their sound. He's worked with some of the best in the business, including his own musical heroes, guys like Dan Penn, Al Kooper, Jim Dickinson, and Warren Zevon. However Prophet ain't a legend... yet... (mind you).

Chuck, with Green On Red having already used up their 15 minutes, and his multi-national music conglomerate ties seemingly evaporating quicker than you can say "Milli Vanilli", the 24 year old started doing the open mic circuit in San Francisco. "I thought I was outta the music business... I figured I had my shot. I still had some songs in me, I just needed a place to play 'em for my friends"

He lived in a wherehouse, & found refuge in a corner bar, with a backroom, a small stage, and an out of tune piano. Each night the seedy dive revealed a twisted talent search of semi-secret serendipity. Plus it didn't hurt that plenty of liquor & various unmentionables flowed to keep all the greats and near greats and the merely grating properly out of focus.

Within the now defunct Albion Bar, the pressure was off, and the creative spigot was on, as collaborations happened easily and plenty part-time party time players passed through. Poi Dog Pondering would play atop the pool table, Anti-Folk heroes like Ed's Redeeming Qualities, Lach & Ani DiFranco sold their homemade tapes, while performance artists, tap-dancing grandmas and arty ensemble jazz freaks played weekly in the corner. "Man, it later turned into a sports bar! but we made that place happen out of boredom! ...Housecoat Project, Penelope Houston, Steve Yerkey, Mark Eitzel, Barbara Manning, Bedlam Rovers, it was amazing looking back, a whole cast of misfits were going through there every weekend!"

Chuck started jamming with his best friend's girl, miss Stefanie Finch, and they made a simple demo together circa 1990. It became their first release "Brother Aldo" recorded for about $800, garnering them comparisons to Gram Parsons & Emmylou Harris. Soon their songwriting partnership spawned a love triangle, that was forever resolved when eventually Stef became his lover, then wife. One of the songs they mastered was Tune Of An Eveving, an mp3 download from a 1997 gig in Frankfurt. Here's another mp3 of Chuck & his wife Stef in duet doing the old traditional original gangsta folk song "Roving Gambler"

Steffie, who is want to roll her eyes at Prophet's more outrageous comments, will be the first to tell you he ain't a saint, and she has seen a few of Chuck's dark days gone by that would shock anyone's mother. But underneath it all, despite his factory sealed faults, she knows he's a generally good natured soul.

Together they put together more tunes for release for the "Balinese Dancer" CD but she left Chuck more or less to his own devices for 1995's Steve Berlin produced "Feast of Hearts".

Chuck's early solo discs, now hard to find, found audiences in Europe, but not much momentum stateside...

"Brother Aldo"1990 "Balinese Dancer"1993 "Feast Of Hearts"1995
"Brother Aldo "Balinese Dancer" "Feast Of Hearts"

Despite the best of intentions, the aforementioned records 1st released under the new Chuck Prophet brandname were poorly distributed fare, particularly in the U.S. There were some good tunes hidden within, but they weren't instant winners, and despite backers like Walter Yetnikoff, they generally got lost in the giant industry shuffle.

By the later 90s, edging closer to 40 than 14, his days of being called "the Kid" were behind him, and a lot of talented, but equally unsuccessful guys he'd run with over the years were simply being hung out to dry. They'd half retired, moved to the country or 'burbs, scored real jobs in sales & software services, had houses & kids, and been led to believe when you are not invited to the party, it's best to give up asking for an invitation...

Prophet kept churning out tunes, paying bands out of his pocket to keep the music flowing, and he still managed to get a record out every year or so. Not big fancy records, with instant industry clout, but low key affairs. Produced on the fly in a few days, with copious favors and friends used in lieu of big budgets. Many of these discs now are sadly out of print, especially here in the states, generally out of reach of the new fans that snatch up his current material at shows, clamoring for more.

Chuck admits he didn't take all the aspects of his own career seriously and put the pieces in place until "Homemade Blood" came out on Cooking Vinyl in 1997.

"Just Gimme Some Credit!" Chuck pleads determinedly from the first track on the album, and like the dirty Stones sounding guitar lick that kicks the album into gear, it's apparent he won't be taking no for an answer. It was a record whose guitar saturated songs emerged like a Phoenix after a personal slide, and whose music was a method out of the madness.

Download The Song Credit.mp3 from the "Homemade Blood" CD released on Cooking Vinyl

The previous album "Feast of Hearts" that he'd done with Steve Berlin of Los Lobos as producer, was somewhat of a let down, perhaps over produced, and generally restricted in flavor. Lyrically Prophet mined the heart of the urban core for the stories , and perhaps those stories got lost in the slick big city shine offered by Berlin.

In the end, the album had garnered a mere modicum of recognition, but "Homemade Blood" was way cheaper to make & truer to Prophet's more expressive nature. It was an album made after the boy turned man, cleaned up his act and retooled his touring machine. He used a tried and true live band on tried & true live material & the whole thing was recorded quickly. The boards were manned in S.F with Giant Sand producer Eric Westfall and later mixed in Boston by the reknowned tag team of Kolderie & Slade at Fort Apache. The album quickly garnered recognition in Europe and spent a few months on top of Rolling Stone Germany's critics poll.

With it's passionate and loose live sound, "Homemade Blood" is one hell of a record, and put Prophet's foot on the path to at least a fuzzy future. It signify's a moment when he truly left his previous personal demons behind. Prophet had, like the Apostle, put his past behind himself and risen out of nowhere to find an audience despite bad times, bad business deals, bad luck and bad blood.

Download an .mp3 to hear a live version of "22 Fillmore" recorded at The Starry Plough in Berkeley, a song whose studio version is even crisper on the Homemade Blood album ( on sale brand new for just $10 at the link).

When "Hurting Business" emerged in 1999 in Europe, it showed Prophet's continual growth as a songwriter, and his attempts to broaden his musical perspective. The album explored a variety of aural landscapes including 60's style farfisa, drum loops & other bits of hip hop style studio chicanery. It was his first disc in a few years to get licensed out right by a stateside label. The small blues centric label HighTone based in Oakland decided to take a shot at distributing it. The record was Chuck's most ambitious leap outside the box yet, and featured copious sampling & even some turntable work. Critics made comparisons to Beck's Odelay, and the album showed Chuck wasn't just an old fogey American Roots stalwart, and his guitar playing & songwriting were well matched to a wide array of richly layered and darkly painted sonic atmospheres.

Mark "Ill Media" Reitman was one of the contributors to the sonic collage work, and even did a quasi official remix of the title track, check out "Chuck Prophet - The Hurting Remix" unavailable except some very limited Europe & US tour only Promo EPs.

Perhaps unsure how to market it, Hightone mostly let the disc promote itself, and despite lack of a significant retail & radio push, "Hurting Business" still moved a few thousand units, and Prophet found himself with a smattering of new fans. Unfortunately when all was said & done, he felt support from HighTone was lacking. To this day he still is embittered that they reinforce his negative beliefs by charging him a higher wholesale price for his own CDs than if he imports them from elsewhere...

"It's gotten ridiculous, I tried to work some stuff out with them...offered to reimburse them back an extra dollar per unit at a time through my tour CD sales..." he says .

"But while I'm out tackling the road, trying not to starve the band & pushing the record they are sitting on, instead of my CD's they just send me bills & invoices... I found a foreign distributor elsewhere that will offer me a better deal on my own records...and they are even nicer on the phone...when I call I get a " Hey Chuck!... How Are You?" instead of, "Please Hold while we put you through to accounts receivable...I just said Fuck 'Em... I'll find somebody new..."

Despite his vast and potentially depressing knowledge of the penny pinching realities of the music industry, Chuck tries to keep the business from seeping into his music. He writes songs, and hopefully somewhere down the line... that song will make sense and mean something to the people that eventually hear them.

One man who heard the songs coming live & raw in a little Irish bar with a two foot high stage, and actually believed in them, was Peter Jesperson. Like Chuck, he's also got a past , as the dude who previously discovered & signed influential bands like The Replacements, Soul Asylum and even road managed R.E.M in their early days.

Now working A&R for New West records, Jesperson's done the previously unthinkable & backed Chuck for a long-term 7 album contract. So far, the hunch he had, has things going pretty well. The marriage is still new, but so far "No Other Love", Chuck's latest release was still building and garnering airplay after nearly a year in the racks.

Since the success of "No Other Love" and the single "Summertime Thing", Chuck was able to get onto PBS' "Austin City Limits" television show, and in late 2004, New West released Chuck's latest album " Age of Miracles ".

mp3 of the title track Age of Miracles

Hey like'll love video ! See a

promo quicktime video from the title track

Chuck keeps working, and cannot stand to simply stagnate through the vicious album cycles, of record, wait, tour, and wait some more though...So instead of past pursuits like parking cars or smoking crack, he does a lot of co-writing, sometimes with local San Francisco poets, more lately in Nashville, where he sits down with seasoned pros, and fresh faced unknowns batting around ideas that may or may nor make it onto records. Amongst his collaborators have included Kim Richey, John Wesley Harding and Kim Carnes.

Download West Memphis Moona song inspired by the trial of the West Memphis Three, whose trial was featured in the film "Paradise Lost". Chuck recently helped organize a benefit for their defense fund, that with the help of folks like Jello Biafra, Jonathan Richman & Tommy Larkins, Mark Kozelek and others raised almost $6000.

The Lexington Herald-Leader wrote of it: "West Memphis Moon that tells you all you need to know about how effortlessly the San Francisco songsmith blends story and style. The lyrics outline a murder mystery, the tale of a self-described "walking razor blade" detailed in misty shades of black and white. But the accompanying sounds couldn't be more colorful: hand claps, vintage keyboard orchestration and washes of wah-wah guitar. Suddenly the song's sense of fleeting menace is big enough to fill a movie screen."

Talented almost to a fault, he's still got a sense of childlike wonder in him. Filled with a kind of hopeful spirit, Prophet admits he's not the smartest guy in the world, and he's glad. He still gets joy from simple things, like a cup of coffee, or a piece of pie at a roadside diner, or a chance remembering of the lyrics to an old Foreigner or Betty Wright song he hasn't heard in years.

He still has an unquenchable thirst for hearing music, whether it's Jay Z or Jimmy Witherspoon, Kelley Stoltz or Kelly Willis, Prophet still buys new records everyweek, and he keeps hundreds of tunes at his fingertips on his laptop. While weaving down the highway, he dangerously balances cigarette, coffee cup holding and laptop manipulating, with his eyes casually darting back and forth to the road, to find exactly what he wants to hear within his hard drive. Equipped with a tiny earphone jack FM transmitter he broadcasts the tunes on his playlists into the car stereo, and keeps the lonely road party rocking...

On this particular day of tour, having made nary a dime yet, with at least a 1000 miles before the first gig, he walks into a local music store, and seeing no used guitars worth snatching up, buys a portable turntable on impulse. As they pack up his purchase, he gets the attentive staff to look at a problem he's had with a fret on his guitar. It's the same $150 Telecaster that he bought when he started with Green on Red in 1984. It does require a bit of tender loving care now & then though.

"I had some guy work on this guitar... you know he does all the big stars back in California... but it still doesn't sound right..." The old-timers gather, mumble, nod in agreement, and one pulls out a perfectly fitted file from a back room and within seconds, get it to sound right. Chuck is doubly pleased, he's got a new portable toy, and he got those good ol boys to work on his a bonus.

There's no doubt the guy is entitled to a simple moment of satisfaction, amidst all the dustdevils & mental static of the unrelenting asphalt ribbon still stretched before him.

"They wouldn't have done that if I didn't buy something..."

So what if the price of this small victory ended up being a plastic record player that cost as much as he originally paid for the guitar 19 years back.

As he pulls off I-10, There is no gig waiting in Tucson for Chuck, only a drumset at the home of Tommy Larkins. An ol' pal of Prophet's and one of Tucson's infamous desert rock rats, Larkins' is a fixture out west when not on the road. Formerly of Naked Prey, Giant Sand and even Green on Red for a spell, he is now most famous and enriched as Jonathon Richman's minimalist drumming sidekick (as seen by millions on the silver screen in "Something About Mary" and at over 500 tour shows ...)

Tommy has a two story cinderblock studio/ workspace at the end of a dusty desert lane, that Chuck navigates the van towards by the light of a full moon. Upon arrival a thin half coyote / half mutt stalks nearby in the shadows, scared and curious at the same time, quickly scampering behind a tall saguaro cacti when spotted. Inside after packing the gear, despite Larkin's wishes to jam, talk story and share a few moments of musical camaraderie, Chuck is pressed for time. As much as he'd like to kick back and reflect on the commonalities & friends shared by these long acquainted musical road dogs, Chuck has too little time to spin yarns. He doesn't own a humble concrete castle at the end of any lane, and he won't be swigging any of that half empty bottle of Tequila sitting by the fax machine, and he still has to stop by his manager's.

It would of course make sense that Chuck, being somewhat of show business outsider, would have management that hardly fits the un-Holy Trinity of Hollywood/ New York / Nashville music industry mold. Having dealt with showbiz for awhile, and the shysters and fast talkers, Prophet has slowly been building his operation for comfort, not speed. Chuck's current manager isn't spotted entertaining clients with show girls at the Deja Vu strip clubs, he instead hits the cafeteria down the hall. A quiet unassuming Christian family man, Dan works in Tucson as a math teacher with under privileged and troubled youth, his desk has no pile of cocaine, but that of test papers to be corrected on it. He keeps in touch with Chuck via cellphone & email, his wife occasionally making a handwritten notation in the margins of the tour itinerary.

After picking up some additional European work documents, Chuck is escorted by an orange vested security guard back down the school's hall and out the door of the Project M.O.R.E campus and he's soon hurtling back down the highway across the continental divide.

Hundreds of thankless miles pass beneath the well worn wheels of the Dodge Caravan, while Chuck listens to hours and hours of recent rehearsal tapes. He fills the time with frequent verbal notations made into a portable cassette deck. Dozens of personal audio notes are made regarding timing, breaks, solos and mistakes that haunt his appreciation of the current set list. He is doing his homework and can leave nary a second of a set to error, and will waste not another minute getting to Austin in time to meet his band. His cell phone is out of range, his mind somewhere else, the road straight, hot and never ending. Somehow he'll work out all his thoughts, while somewhere else his onstage sidekicks have all copped the easy duty of boarding convenient Southwest Air flights with carry on luggage ...

Emerging from "the communications black hole of the road", as he terms it, he stops by the New West label offices in the heat of a Wednesday afternoon to pick up a few more CDs for the tour. He finds the label air conditioned & friendly, but unprepared to offer up any more assitance, except the last stray box of CD's in back and a few promo posters. Chuck notices that artist Tim Easton got promo matchbooks printed up with his name on 'em, John Hiatt has glossy folded point of purchase displays being sent out, while Prophet gets relegated a tube of dusty promo posters from the backroom. He shrugs and plugs in his laptop to check his email, and finds over 30 messages have been sent his way over the last few days of road dogging. Meanwhile a green around the ears record company hand leans over his desk to quietly tell an aside to another employee, "man, when he talks, his voice... it sounds just like "No Other Love"...

Download Storm Across The Sea from the No Other Love CD

With still a bit more time before the flights are due, Chuck peruses the Waterloo music store selections in Austin at 6th & Lamar...grabbing a copy of the Roots first album, he reorganizes the equipment a little better to make room for the coming musicians, throws away a pair of road weary socks and fetches yet another cup of coffee at the Whole Foods Store across the street.

Coffee and Cigarettes are practically his only vices these days, cable tv & copious soda pop consumption coming in a distant third & forth. In line at the store, he runs into local singer songwriter Troy Campbell, formerly of Loose Diamonds, another songwriter that has come back from the edge of self destruction. After catching up with Chuck, Troy offers to help a now severely caffeinated Prophet find his missing keys, which after some frantic research are now apparently being held at the customer service desk.

After a lil' jaywalking & tales of Austin sidemen with names like Cornfed & Bacon Bit, Troy sweetly offers up a prize, the new David Cross dbl CD. A Two disc blast of blisteringly funny & caustic observations on the state of America today. Cross, a wicked whining southern boy who doesn't much like flag waving, S.U.V drivers and pontificating pedophile preachers, is a jaded but welcome break to listen to after countless hours of rehearsal tapes.

After picking up the band at the airport, The first gig of the tour is up Highway 61, at a unique spot in St.Francisville Louisiana, called the Magnolia Cafe. Profiled in the latest No Depression mag, the band were welcomed with warm southern hospitality by the proprietors.

The town is sleepy rural outpost, where a chalkboard & small index card sized sign next to the cash register is about all that promotes the gig, telling patrons "Chuck Prophet is the Magnolia Cafe Staff's favorite entertainer, don't miss this show".

Indeed a career calculating entertainer might have a conniption fit finding such slack advertising techniques at work. However here, in a bayou backwater town, after a long haul across the endless deserts of California, Arizona & New Mexico, and the relentless toil of Texas, Chuck is relieved to find a quiet comfortable oasis just north of Baton Rouge. He drove over 2222 miles to open his tour here tonight, and everything is perfect, from the small PA to the tall glasses of unsweetened ice tea, and properly configured portions of southern food.

A comfortingly concocted blend of Cajun & American favorites, the menu reflects the preferences of a small town where nearly everyone in town is a regular. Pizzas and Po Boys are of course available. The night of the show, everyone in the band orders "the special" and are blessed with a hefty portion of blackened Drumfish served atop angelhair pasta, topped with a rich creamy red sauce containing crawdads, hunks of fresh crabmeat and a sumptuous blend of spicy sumpin' else. After soundcheck everyone is bloated and retires to the quaint B&B cottages behind the cafe to rest up for the main event.

...that night after the sun goes down, a small but hearty crowd fueled by Abita Amber and other local libations, revel as the band goes into action testing out two sets , new material upfront, then the dusting off of old faves. It all ends with a bang to a sloppy juke joint rendition of the KC & The Sunshine band classic "Boogie Shoes". The band are truly grateful to the proprietors Kevin & Robin for making this special secret sauce spot way out in the country.

Prophet & crew heartily endorse The Magnolia Cafe if yer in the region. They don't book a lot of shows, just some really down home good ones and other recent guests there have played recently include Alejandro Escovedo, Dave Alvin, Billy Joe Shaver, The Sadies & more...

Check out Automatic Blues from the Age of Miracles CD.
Chuck Prophet

After hauling butt down the highway from the bayou country, the band hit Tampa for "The Tropical Heatwave " ( ). This huge outdoor & indoor club & street festival gets bigger each year and is hosted by community run radio station WMNF... First the band did a few tunes acoustically in the studio on air, the rhythm section sneaking off to fetch a few Cuban sandwiches in the lobby. Then at nightfall they made it to Ybor City, the old cigar rollin' district, where their outdoor stage awaited. Chuck's "No Other Love" disc was the #1 record on that station locally last year and a big crowd rocked out well past midnight as the band played an hour + set. Also on the bill in Tampa were Australia's Waif's , fresh from opening for Dylan, as well as various local hip hop acts, and southern rock faves like Paul Thorn, and Austin's hickbilly blue grass geeks The Gourds who had dubious closing set duties.

Here's a real video of The Mission Express in Europe performing I Bow Down & Pray To Every Woman I See, a hit tune off the No Other Love album. Here's a link to get the Mp3 available for free from

The Mission Express retired to catch a night's rest with "no surprises" at the local Holiday Inn, vetoed an all day run over to see drummer Winston's old boss, Bob Dylan down in Palm Beach and headed to Rob's mom's pad in Atlanta.

As the multi-hour drive commenced, Chuck was confronted with the fact that almost a week later, he still hasn't bought any records for his portable turntable, but he just shrugs and ads..."I'd wanted one for awhile and they were sold out on Haight St in S.F".

He won't be back on Haight St for awhile, with tour stops everywhere from Greenville, South Carolina to the UK & points beyond awaiting, and even a date in Vegas with Heart who've started covering his song "No Other Love". It all sounds good, but if only there were a few more down home spots like the Magnolia Cafe on the itinerary.

stay tuned... More info, tunes and whatnot about Chuck & The Mighty Mission Express will be headed your way soon...

Here are his remaining US summer tour dates confirmed as of July 29th

Thu 08/11/05 Somerville, MA Johnny D's

Fri 08/12/05 Ellsworth, ME Grand Auditorium

Sat 08/13/05 Great Barrington, MA Club Helsinki

Sun 08/14/05 Northampton, MA Iron Horse Music Hall

Mon 08/15/05 Fall River, MA Narrows Center For The Arts

Wed 08/17/05 New York, NY Seaport Music Festival

Thu 08/18/05 Philadelphia, PA World Cafe Live

Fri 08/19/05 Baltimore, MD Funk Box

Sat 08/20/05 Charlottesville, VA Gravity Lounge

Sun 08/21/05 Raleigh, NC The Pour House Music Hall

Mon 08/22/05 Louisville, KY Phoenix Hill Tavern

Wed 08/24/05 Chicago, IL Schubas

Thu 08/25/05 Oshkosh, WI Waterfest

Fri 08/26/05 Saint Paul, MN Turf Club

Sun 09/04/05 Tucson, AZ Club Congress

Thu 09/08/05 Newport, KY Southgate House

Fri 09/09/05 Lexington, KY The Dame

Sat 09/10/05 Bowling Green, OH Black Swamp Art Festival

Sun 09/11/05 Lafayette, IN Lafayette Brewing Company

Fri 09/16/05 Austin, TX Continental Club

check Pollstar for more additional dates T.B.A

( this piece first appeared in 2003 at where lots more info, hub bub, links, reviews & articles can be found...)

Check out a pretty thorough Green on Red discography, with cross links and info on Chuck info & other Americana & Tucson area artists. Another site of note on Green on Red and other Americana style groups is

Chuck's longtime bassist Rob Douglas recently put together a CD tribute to songwriter Joe South that features Chuck doing "Don't It Make You Want To Go Home", as well as Kelly Stoltz doing "I Never Promised You A Rose Garden", the great Otis Clay "Walk A Mile In My Shoes", Chris Von Sneidern "Hush" , Kelly Hogan , and several others . Check it out if ya like great American music performed with modern flair yet a solid respect for the past.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Black by Popular Demand - Transplants, Donnas, Louis XIV etc

BLACK by Popular Demand -
Warner Music's Atlantic Group has assembled
The Black Sampler II

which features
' "God Killed the Queen' from Louis XIV
"I Don't Wanna Know" from The Donnas,
Gangsters & Thugs" from The Transplants and over a dozen more tracks of new artist releases.
Preview a streaming version of the sampler and register at to DOWNLOAD every single song! This free offer only available until just July 31

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

We Look Forward To Breaking Many ( laws ) Records Together In The Future

I Am A Whore This Week , What Can I Say !

soundtrack : GWAR : Immortal Corrupter

The nations largest broadcasting groups and record companies are mostly mum as fines, subpoenas and FCC threats linger due to the ongoing "Payola" investigation spearheaded by that NY State Attorney General with political aspirations Elliott Spitzer. In documents released this week in conjunction with the settlement, one program director of a major station e-mailed Sony Music a resonse to an offer of a dubious nature, saying, "I'm a whore this week, what can I say?"

soundtrack : Bachman Turner Overdrive - You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet

The Payola story is an old one, with today's watered down style having existed for decades, only slightly changed since the original 1960 hearings on the subject in the music industry. The system was switched from direct cash payments to DJs into a more muted bribery of paid trips, bonuses, and gifts built in along with various promotional tie ins and legally proscribed "Pay For Play" in return for airplay on radio stations.

It was lawmaker's attention in the early 1960's that nearly destroyed Dick Clark's wholesome image when he was forced by ABC-TV to either give up his American Bandstand program or to sell his shares in music-related firms, including record labels & publishing houses. Clark, ever a camera hog, chose the latter, and signed an affidavit denying any involvement in payola. Not as savvy was Alan Freed, who was fired, arrested and disgraced after testifying to accepting payments and refusing "on principal" to renounce the practices.

Stations & Labels Under Investigation

Radio stations that were documented participating in the current payola schemes include WQHT-FM in New York (Hot 97); WWPR-FM in New York (Power 105); KHTS-FM in San Diego (Channel 933); WRHT-FM in Greenville, North Carolina; WKKF ( 102.3 Kiss FM) & WFLY-FM ( Fly 92.3) in Albany, New York , WWHT-FM in Syracuse, New York (Hot 107.9); and WSSP-FM in Milwaukee (The Beat), among others.

Broadcasting behemoths ; Clear Channel, Cox Radio, Infinity, Emmis and Entercom have each been subpoenaed as part of an investigation into allegations of payola in the radio industry. "We are cooperating fully with Mr. Spitzer's office," a Clear Channel spokesperson said in a statement that did not belie the companies encouragement of the long held practices now being investigated.

The Sony BMG documents made public by Spitzer's office Monday expose a wide range of payoffs to stations, often in what seem to be trivial amounts for individuals, but of very questionable legality, and potentially millions of dollars across the country and over time.

Sony BMG's Relationship With Radio Is Redefined

E-mails from Sony BMG and its subsidiary labels made it clear that executives were aware of the ongoing practices. "Two weeks ago, it cost us over $4,000 to get Franz (Ferdinand) on WKSE," reads one e-mail released by Spitzer's office, talking about wooing a former program director in Buffalo named Dave Universal. "This is what the four trips to Miami and hotel cost." Another from a Vice President details a preferred method of invoicing "as it looks "cleaner" that way."

The payments often came in creative forms, such as providing the stations with "contest prizes" that seemed to find their way to station employees. These included finding a flat screen TV "won" by Diana Laird, program director for KHTS, a Clear Channel station in San Diego, in November 2002. Blake Larson, PD for Archway Broadcasting top 40 WRHT Greenville, N.C., was given airfare for two, a laptop PC and Playstation 2 equipment and games, in exchange for airplay.

corporate shlock soundtrack : The Used & My Chemical Romance - Under Pressure

pictured: Now Fired Dave Universal - One of Sony's Fave Frequent Flyers

In one case, an executive suggested getting DJ shoe sizes, sending one Adidas sneaker up front, and sending the second shoe of the pair upon completion of the record receiving 10 spins. Another email shows a promo staffer seeking approval to buy a $150 walkman for a radio station employee from Sony's internal "family center" and then invoicing the expense. Via e-mail a Zomba label employee tempts a programmer, “You have room for a money record this week?” 311 ‘Love Song’ Big $$$.”

Showing that both sides enjoy the tit for tat, one email features a Clear Channel employee's blatant email solicitation of the label "looking for a laptop" in exchange for playing their artist Bow Wow in Albany NY.

Sony to pay $10m payola fine, Epic Axes Execs Over Payola,

The investigation and subsequent settlement has implications that redefin the way the media conglomerate can do business with radio stations. In the "Exhibit B" section of the settlement, titled "Business Reforms,"
guidelines for Sony BMG promotion execs include oversight of a Compliance Officer, to oversee all transactions and file quarterly reports to Sony BMG's General Counsel.

As part of a settlement with the NY State attorney general's office, Sony BMG has agreed to pay $10 million to be distributed by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors to nonprofit groups in the state of New York aimed at arts and education. Spitzer claims the money will in some way benefit independent musicians indirectly frozen out by the alleged payola schemes.

Epic, a subsidiary of Sony has acted shocked and fired some top promotion executives, but it's not as if these labels didn't invent and perpetuate this system. Memos from both Sony's Columbia and Epic Records senior vice presidents of promotions circa 2002-2003 — whose names are redacted in the reports but are well known in the industry — spell out who to pay and what to pay them in order to get the company's records on the air. From Epic, a "rate card" memo states "Please be advised that in this week's Jennifer Lopez Top 40 Spin Increase of 236 we bought 63 spins at a cost of $3,600." The document from Nov. 12, 2002, shows radio stations in the Top 23 markets will receive $1000, Markets 23-100 get $800, lower markets $500. "If a record receives less than 75 spins at any given radio station, we will not pay the full rate," the memo to DJs states. "We look forward to breaking many records together in the future."

Investigators uncovered and detailed instances of clear cut abuse documented in strings of incriminating emails. Dave Universal, now fired program director for Buffalo, New York's WKSE-FM received several flights (to New York, Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, with guests) in exchange for adding Jennifer Lopez's "I'm Real" (in July 2001), Good Charlotte's "Hold On" (in November 2003) and Franz Ferdinand's "Take Me Out" (in August 2004) to his station's play list. An internal memo contained in the documents states that theEpic label had a total of $1,250 “budgeted for WKSE's Good Charlotte" playlist add. Other artists that benefited from the corruption included Celine Dion, Duran Duran, Jessica Simpson and Audioslave , a band featuring ex-members of politically active act Rage Against The Machine.

some obligatory music to reward ya for checkin' out this post:

Bow Wow w/ Ciara - Like You

Gorillaz - Feel Good Inc

Andrew Bird - Nervous Tic Motion Of The Head To The Left

other dishonorable mentions and vicarious show biz related shite:

Clear Channel releases press release vowing "Swift And Appropriate Disciplinary Action"
but instaed will remain a big ass uncooperative conglomerate bent on stifling creativity and cluttering our public airwaves. Executives instaed ate on the company dime , did not return messages and appeared unconcerned about anything but the weekend and an upcoming conference call to discuss innovative ways to squeeze profits out of their thousands of lifeless stations .

The Killers will headline an American version of the Download Festival, a concert to be held in the Clear Channel controlled Shoreline Amphitheater venue outside San Francisco on October 8. Also slated to play the festival are other bands that only payola could save like Modest Mouse, The Arcade Fire, Doves, H.I.M. Mindless Self Indulgence, and many others.

Paid Product Placement Surges in Magazines, Newspapers, Other Media

The rapid rise of product placement in newspapers and magazines may alarm some print industry watchdogs. Some newspapers are publishing so-called "shadow" placements, in which brand logos appear as watermarks on heavily type-ridden pages, such as weather and stock listings.

Forbes Magazines Blog Awards?

The mag that gave you those annoying lists of the richest people, now hooks you up with the rich media infused Forbes blog awards and their choice of asianmack, which features monthly free legal mp3 mixes with cover art...

TV offers 'instant' reruns - on DVD
According to Variety, sales of rehashed TV programs - from Lucille Ball sitcoms to 'The Office' - hit nearly $3 billion in 2004, proving you can resell old shit that's already on TV for free. USA Today reports one of the only problems is the saturation as early adopters and collectors of the now 8 year old medium run out of room to expand their collections.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Tempting Tuesday Grlllly Grooves Mini Mix Tape

I can anticipate some of my upcoming posts will bore the hell out of all the kooky kids not used to reading anything longer than text messages, Mp3 meta tags and cereal boxes.

Within the next few daze & weeks I plan to unleash two big mean and massive posts including mucho details about triple A hitmaker Chuck Prophet & a fairly thorough Small Faces retrospective piece.

So before I subvert the dominant retard paradigm with some elongated and guitar centric male dominated historical overviews I will try to keep it brief and grrrrly.

Here's some downloadable music for the kids... and any slightly older former kids still trolling this blog...

I could pretend this is some sort of virtual mix tape I suppose... and i'll explain to you newbies that tape was a spooled magnetic recording format we used back in the day. Now that we've gotten the scientific exlanation part out of the way, we can get on with the stuff about and by chicks...

Bow Wow Wow - c30 c60 c90 Go !

Easily the best live show I caught in 2004 was a reformed Bow Wow Wow doing a reunion tour of sorts with Adrian Young of No Doubt on drums. Annabella was still looking great after all this time, and kicking out bouncy jams that still sound hyper and fresh but have oddly stood the test of time.

This is the original home taper / bootlegger anthem and in the age of MP3 file trading, is just as relevant. Did ya ever wounder why it's ok for a used record store to sell music that provides no income for artists, yet you and I aren't allowed to trade it for free?


X - Ray Spex - Identity

X Ray Spex - what can I say except Germ Free Adolescents rule ! Anyone up for Warrior in Woolworths? This is just a fine seque I suppose with another great girl fronted group from those heady daze of late 70s punk in the UK... hail Poly Styrene !

The Kills - Black Rooster
a duo with a girl from Florida on vocals and Mr. Jamie Hince, a former member of obscure UK act Scarfo, who released some material stateside via Broken Rekids.

Peaches - Instamatic Set It Off - Orbison Mix

Roy and Peaches , what can I say...

Lady Sovereign - Cha Ching

A grimy grrrly track from a new 5 ft 1" East London sensation, imagine a lady version of Dizzy Rascal or something weak like that...

MIA - Urquat ( DJ Drinks Mix)

Here's some more of that mobile phone-centric hipster electro stomping & bleating for you big dummies into the daft and dirty UK dance scene in this remix of a track from MIA. ( link courtesy Nova Scotia's pride "Concrete & Clay" )

L' Trimm - Cars That Go Boom -

mucho thanxz to Comboplates for posting this cheese hop classic from the late 80s. Beep yer horn for lil' Tigra & Bunny straight outta Miami y'all... These girls gotta be ripe for a reality show reunion know what I'm saying?

Lesbians on Ecstacy - Summer Luv - Super Dykes outta Montreal mangling yer clam bumping faves for dancefloor grinding...

Goapele - Find A Way ( Kanye Mix )

The Bay Area's Diva Du Jour hookin' up with the Jesus Jiving hitmaker who can apparently do no wrong...

Salt n Pepa vs Tone Loc - Funky Cold Push It

Hey it ain't the biggest girllly power cut evah... but what they hey... it's a lot more fun than some Joni Mitchell or Laura Branigan mash up...

Now For A word from our sponsor, who have decided to bring you a special message from Frank's daughter here ...

Nancy Sinatra - Things Go Better With Coke

from a 1960's radio ad campaign...

Dorothy Masuka & Her Hot Music - My Parents

a vintage bit of 50's era South African swing from one of Miriam Makeba's dearest friends.

pic of Ella Fitzgerald with Dizzy Gillespie peeping over & checking her out

Ella Fitzgerald - Someone To Watch Over Me

Doing the George & Ira Gershwin thing, Ella , the legendary lady of song, makes another one her own , and lightens the sonic load and ends our mix with her cool jazzy vocal stylings

Friday, July 22, 2005

Maybe You War Pigs Can Owe Me The Girl U Want @ The Moment of Impact with Phillip Glass & Lil Jon on Hwy 5 @ The End of The World

If we don't post ... The terrorists win !

My fave download I posted herein tonight is prolly the sick version from a CD I own of the late Robert Palmer doing his simply irresistible take on Devo's "Girl U Want"... but the Phillip Glass hip hop sh*t is growing on me...

but you know ... Since I don't know what you people really want...or why you are here...

I just thought, it being Friday eve and all... since I'm on my way out the door to catch the new Minutemen flick "We Jam Econo" at Yerba Buena Center , and after that I've got county fairs, hotel room reservations for The Magic Castle & car rental arrangements & airline tickets etc all on my mind...

so let's keep it moving y'all... we bouncin' madly gladly all over da musical map tonight from here and there to americana to classic metal and into some hardcore terrain and mash up mayhem and all that and then back to wherever ya gotta go...

Well with that said I'm gonna get random on yo ass & just throw out some stuff i mostly trolled offa the net and that's all... so deal with it...happy weekend...

Minutemen - "Corona" - live 1985 @ Stone in SF

Minutemen - "Little man With A Gun In His Hand" - same show as above

Mike Watt - "Drove Up From Pedro" - live @ 1999 Sunset Junction Streetfair in Silverlake

Ronnie James Dio - "This Bud's For You" ( from 1983 circa Shot In The Dark )

ELF featuring Ronnie James Dio ( live 1972 ) - "War Pigs"

additional info on these tracks , cool old pix etc can be gleaned here: at the Ronnie James Dio fan site & the BLACK SABBATH fan site

DJ BC presents "Phillip Glass vs Lil Jon" Not sure what art schooled lunatic would deem this hip hop meets downtown demigod necessary but there's a whole album of this wacked high art concept floating around right now

DJ KE4 - "Planet Smoke"
a brand new traditional dancefloor funky Mash Up of Afrika Bambaataa " Planet Rock "vs Deep Purple "Smoke On The Water" vs YES "Owner Of A Lonely Heart "

- Go Home Productions realigns your fave cokeheads Marvin & Liam

more random tracks:

John Doe w/ Neko Case - "Hwy 5"

Architecture In Helsinki - "Maybe You Can Owe Me"

Fear Factory - "Moment of Impact"

Robert Palmer - "Girl U Want"

God Forbid - "End of The World"

Rhino Bucket - "Blood Sweat and Beers"

Vendetta Red - "The Body And The Blood"

Malcolm Middleton - A Happy Medium

Mother and The Addicts - "F*ck Me Mummy ( I Feel Ugly)"

Judas Priest - "Worth Fighting For + Diamonds & Rust" 2005 Unplugged on KISW

Yngwie Malmsteen - "Unleash The F*cking Fury" a 2:00 min tape excerpt in which our foul mouthed Swedish hair metal peddling protagonist threatens to use his mighty powers after getting water dumped on him by a female passenger enroute to Tokyo.

Yngwie , Yngwie -

Say it twice and it becomes an
Urgent cry for help

A Metal Haiku by Jimmy Fahrenheit , read more here

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Ramblin' Jack

Last of The Cowboy Poets...An American Troubadour

Jack's a veritable living legend and been a friend and an influence on so many artists that it might be a pointless list to try and create...

I'll throw in some names just to see if yer paying attention

Bob Dylan, Guy Clark, Jackson Browne, Zachary Richard, Kris Kristofferson, Long John Baldry, Tom Russell ...

His 1998 duets album features cuts done with pals like Bob Weir, Emmylou Harris & Nanci Griffith, Peter Rowan, Tom Waits, John Prine, Jerry Jeff Walker and others.

This cowboy started out life in NYC as Elliott Charles Adnopoz , and ran off to join a rodeo that was passing through Madison Square Garden. Ramblin' Jack was nicknamed so by Odetta's mother more for his long drawn out stories than his frequent flyer miles. By the 1950's he was a cowboy song troubador and became a sort of roving apprentice to his fave musician Woodie Guthrie. They travelled around a bit before Guthrie died in the early 60's.

Jack befriended the legendary folksinger Pete Seeger... and spent time in Bob Dylan's infamous mid 70's Rolling Thunder Review. He also has been known to sit in with Jerry Garcia & The Grateful Dead, as well as appearing on the folk circuit with guys like Arlo Guthrie, Utah Phillips and Spider John Koerner.

Here's something the 70+ year old songster put on a 1995 Grammy Winning CD called "South Coast" made in Cannon Falls Minnesota after a two decade hiatus from recording...

Rambling Jack Elliott - Cocaine Blues .mp3 download

plus check out some real audio streams from the soundtrack to "The Ballad of Rambling Jack" a bio pic made in 2000. The film features Jack receiving the National Medal of Honor at The White House in 1998.

Hard Travelin'stream

If I Were a Carpenter: stream

here's a 2:30 video trailer from the film featuring Johnny Cash , Arlo Guthrie, Kris Kristofferson & President Clinton etc

here's a bonus video of Rambling Jack doing "I'll be a dog when I'm gone", and some other folky jams excerpted from a guitar instruction tape he made awhile back with Arlo Guthrie.

bonus : a song about Rambling Jack by a fan who met him named Tom Flannery

Tom Flannery - Ramblin Jack


Jack's Official Site :

a thorough discography with pics:

link to the film's site:

an interview with Tom Waits on recording with Ramblin' Jack

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Life Life During Wartime - Armageddon IT!

Fun Def Leppard Terrorism Related Trivia : The Master Tape to "Rocket" was actually bombed out of the sky in the infamous 1988 Lockerbie terrorist attack and found embedded 6 months later in the side of a building a half mile from the crash site!!

Damage caused by the crash
Def Leppard's tapes aboard a Pan Am flight crashed
onto the Scottish town of Lockerbie.
Was it an Omen of things to come?

Oh golly, i wish i had something more or less super fresh and funky to say & offer ya today... butt there's a boatload of downloadable radio free randomness for y'all and a bit of baffling blather for old times sake. Let me start yer perusal with some notalgia for y'all...

Whatever ya tend to think of David Byrne and his current ouevre and attitude, there's no doubt he was in an important and accomplished art school refugee band at one time called The Talking Heads. This song here captures the insanity of living under a state of eternal funk & fear with Ronald Reagenat the helm back in the day.

Sadly, not much has changed on the wicked world war fronts, only that we hear less about dirty business in central america and our tensions and attentions now focus elsewhere abroad.

Written while Byrne was a loft dweller in the pre-Giuliani-fied NYC, this classic tune brings the sheer terror of life in a junkie encrusted neighborhood to life, while simultaneously commenting on the absurdity of living in our ultra militarized culture and seeing the happy helping hands we as Americans offer our friends and paramilitary factions around the civilized world.

Talking Heads - Life During Wartime.mp3

Heard of a van that is loaded with weapons,
packed up and ready to go
Heard of some gravesites, out by the highway,
a place where nobody knows
The sound of gunfire, off in the distance,
I'm getting used to it now
Lived in a brownstore, lived in the ghetto,
I've lived all over this town

This ain't no party, this ain't no disco,
this ain't no fooling around
No time for dancing, or lovey dovey,
I ain't got time for that now

Transmit the message, to the receiver,
hope for an answer some day
I got three passports, a couple of visas,
you don't even know my real name
High on a hillside, the trucks are loading,
everything's ready to roll
I sleep in the daytime, I work in the nightime,
I might not ever get home

This ain't no party, this ain't no disco,
this ain't no fooling around
This ain't no mudd club, or C. B. G. B.,
I ain't got time for that now
Apparently there might not be much time to head to the aforementioned CBGB's these days either... so get that done if ya haven't paid yer pilgrimage yet...

As for me?

Lazy Sunday Afternoon ?

Not if yer me I guess -

I hoped to just slip over to catch the relaxing sounds of South African vocal group Ladysmith Black Mambazo at Stern Grove later today... although then again I probably won't...

Looks like I'm doomed to arguing via cellphone, working on some sign printing , travelling via bus & returning a computer monitor display at a horrible chain store customer service counter miles away from the fun in the sun...

Then I'll definitely be bartending later tonight and possibly playing some old videos I scored at a garage sale yesterday .. the best is classic Def Leppard , before they went wireless & the members started leaving, losing limbs & dying.

Man, I forget how they were a real "rock n roll" band, with hooks that could kill and flag undies... With the help of uber-producer "Mutt" Lange they set the hair band standard, went wireless & even performed in "the round", a technique previously seen only via Rosemary Clooney @ Chautaqua, Neil Diamond, and on Rat Pack reunion tours.

Leppard had no fear and were proud adopters of the mid career mullet, basically invented the one arm drummer concept & made increasingly questionable music & videos for over two decades... this year they have a covers collection & even put forth "ROCK OF AGES - THE DEFINITIVE COLLECTION" a career overview that entered the Billboard album charts at number 10 selling 66,000 copies in it's first week and remains in the Top 100 some 8 weeks later. In Canada, where the mullet is known as the "hockey jockey" and life stopped for much of the population when Triumph broke up, Def Leppard's current greatest hits package hit #3! What's amazing is that the band's previous "greatest hits" set with the most of the same songs "Vault: Greatest Hits 1980 1995", has already sold 4 million copies, likely to the same people that bought this one!

Okkervil River and just about all the critically praised but boring ass bands I posted mp3'z of below should perhaps review the Leppard tapes and grab some tips to beef up their live acts for sure...

I'll just toss in some stray mp3 links down here to hopefully please the petulant peanut gallery and masses of music seeking thieves of sorts hitting this spot lately via, but I can't insure yer happiness... I just wanna tickle yer curiosity...

Def Leppard - The Lepp Mix ( tribute mash made by a fan )

Def Leppard - Pour Some Sugar On Me ( still playing in a strip club near you right now! )

Def Leppard - Little Wing ( acoustic Hendrix cover )

Def Leppard - Foolin ( windows media)

Def Leppard - Now ( live on CNN's Moneyline 2002)

Jason Falkner- cover of Def Leppard's Photograph ( ex-Jellyfish)

Kevin Dubrow - cover of DL's Rock Rock (til you drop) (ex-Quiet Riot)

Cheap Trick - Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace (courtesy: Homercat)

John Vanderslice - Exodus Damage

Luna - Friendly Advice (live)

Tortoise - The Lithium Stiffs

Waycross - Julip ( live acoustic)

Dinosaur Jr -Hot Burrito#2 ( courtesy : Chromewaves )

Alphaville - Forever Young

Curve - Caught In The Alleyway ( Live )

As fer me, it was supposed to be my first day off in awhile... so you dig the sumertime thang cuz I can't ... Tommorrow's my birthday and I'm like, outta here...

take it sleazy...

Friday, July 15, 2005

Troubling Troubles For Bush & The Rove' n Boys

Why Not Catch a lil' Lynott...

Thin Lizzy - Trouble Boys

while we take a moment to ponder the frustrating & increasingly idiotic moves of our White House warriors..

Unless you live in cave you must have heard a thing or two about Karl Rove, Bob Novak, Jailed NY Times reporter Judith Miller and Valerie Plame's blown CIA cover etc...

As usual Jon Stewart's Daily Show is likely the best place to go on TV for the only valid & coherent takes on the madness that swirls in the cesspools of The Beltway...

More Best Leak Ever -- A story so complicated, maybe we should all just focus on Tom Cruise.

The ultimate irony of how some war mongering creep like Karl Rove, who literally crawled outta the sludge of the Nixon White House would betray his own country in order to get attention.

Watch this White House news briefing where reporters seek the truth and Scott "Fat face" McClellan the President's spokesman refuses to budge. (Windows Media file)

Speak out against these deceptions. Click here to take action.

anyhow here's a message from some od fart who wants ya to take a chance to at least annoy congress...

From Vice Admiral Jack Shanahan (USN, ret)

I saw combat in three wars and know that national security depends on people who are trusted with confidential information never using it for their personal agendas.

White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove recently acknowledged that he revealed the identity of a CIA operative [1], proving that he can’t be trusted with classified information. For the sake of national security and to protect America’s defenders in the line of fire, President Bush needs to revoke his security clearance and get him out of the White House before he leaks another secret.

Congressmembers are calling on the President to strip Rove of his security clearance and fire him. To send a message to your legislators asking them to join in asking for this prudent step, just click “Reply” and “Send” in your email. If this message was forwarded to you or you’d like to edit the message click here:

Then please forward this email to anyone else you think might be concerned about our national security.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

I'm Gonna Sit Right Down & Write Myself A Letter

It's too damn hot tonight to make any sense of whatever, much less write a damn letter... or tawdry treatise on the meaning of life , the universe or anything at all.

If there was any justice i'd be at happy hour... instead i have to finish up a back cover ad for a magazine and i can't find the address to submit it too ! i be the damn fool !

so we'll just share some tunes to right click and save and chalk it all up to poor planning & disorganization again...

Louis Prima -I'm Gonna Sit Right Down & Write Myself A Letter

Louis Prima - Beep Beep Beep

Mississippi Fred McDowell - Shake Em On Down

Johnny "Guitar" Watson - Hot Little Mama