Sunday, April 30, 2006

Urgh !

A guy has just launched a blog that will be posting the tracks from the late great & now hopelessly out of print Urgh! A Music War flick...

The long unavailable film is a concert classic that's a time capsule of the early eighties new wave music scene. Instigated at the behest of Miles & Ian Copeland, it of course showcases three live songs from their brother Stewart's band, The Police, but goes far beyond that.

Shot over a two week period in the spring of 1980, the filmmakers criss-crossed continents capturing some damn amazing & archival sets for the film. The travelogue takes you through London's Lyceum , to the Whiskey A Go Go & Santa Monica Civic in LA. The cameras are present at concerts in NYC and even an outdoor festival in France for segments with numerous groups ranging from Echo & The Bunnymen to Steel Pulse to The Dead Kennedys.
You catch glimpses of Gary Numan, Devo, Oingo Boingo, Joan Jett, Wazmo Nariz, Gang of Four, Echo & The Bunnymen and even a rare live concert apearance of studio gnomes XTC.

Here's a clip of Echo & The Bunnymen from the film.

There's truly no finer film that can give up so much live energy & talent in 2 Hours of jam packed serious time travelling. What the docs about Monerey Pop or Woodstock were to the hippies, this film ends up being for pogo dancing new wavers, boot boys & future surf punks. The cinematic style is much like the music, sweaty, upclose and raw. Now since this document is relegated to the horrible status of legal limbo, you will likely never see this come out on an official release again.

Urgh! features a total of 34 bands in approx two hours on stages in London, Los Angles, Frejus, San Diego, Portsmouth and New York City.

I've seen E Bay auctions of old VHS Cassettes & copies of the soundtrack going for $100, and a recent website offering a DVD dubbed version for $70. The poster alone sells for $50.

But if you really want a DVD-R copy of this must see film, you can click the VHS URGH cover image link buttons below & for just $20 via PayPal I'll personally send one to ya.

Thanx for visiting my site and reading my rants, and for that I'll gladly dub ya a fresh copy and pack it off either via US Priority Mail (or Global Priority Mail if you are in Europe). Depending on your locale, the disc will be packed in either a plastic slimline case for international mail or here in North America in an Amaray case...

p.s I'd of course be interested in hearing about any rare music related DVD video trades as well...

here's just some samples of the amazing side one & two of the soundtrack LP...

The Police - Driven To Tears

Wall Of Voodoo - Back In Flesh

Toyah Wilcox - Dance

Orchestral Manoeuvers In The Dark - Enola Gay

XTC - Respectable Street

now ya just flip it for side two

The Members - Offshore Banking

Go Go's - We Got The Beat

Klaus Nomi - Total Eclipse

Athletico Spizz '80 - Where's Captain Kirk

Alley Cats - Nothing Means Nothing Anymore

Jools Holland - Foolish I Know

Steel Pulse - Klu Klux Klan

and here's a couple more songs to tease ya

Joan Jett & the Blackhearts - Bad Reputation

Gang of Four - He'd Send In The Army

Cramps - Tear It Up

In order to get the rest of the tracks be sure to visit The LostTurnTable in the coming daze and welcome the site to the web...


Friday, April 28, 2006

What Becomes A Quasi Legend Friend Of The Devil Most

Tonight...let's riff on about the "legendary"... or at least stuff that get called that now and then...

Like the "legendary" guitarist, pirate & glamorous multi-millionaire junkie Keith Richards, who apprently fell out of a palm tree at some resort in Fiji. Just when the Stones were starting to seem dull, acquiescing politely to Chiness authorities over set list guidelines last month, just leave it to Keith eh?

Keith supposedly suffered a mild concussion, at the Wakaya Resort, after falling from a palm tree he was climbing with fellow aging drinking buddy Ron Wood. He's now been flown to New Zealand for further care... here's a few pictures of the exclusive private resort Keith was chilling at and of course some appropro tuneage...

Room rates for the low end roooms at Wakaya start at $2,000 a night and go up to over $8000 from you gotta stay at least 5 days, but they do throw in a bottle of bubbly, sunscreen and for all you geeks ...note: each "bure" comes equppied with I-Pod connector ports!!!

this one is a special dedication to the world's most notorious playful tree climbing grampa child
Rolling Stones - Monkey Man

here's Keith from a Hank Williams tribute album
Keith Richards - You Win Again

and here he is singing his notorious theme song Happy live with Sheryl Crow & fellow resort enthusiast Ron Wood right alongside him...
Sheryl Crow, Keith Richards & Rolling Stones - Happy

Speaking of drinking buddies, and trying to catch up with that kind of quasi legendary party animal behaviour... I be feeling it today. Not probably as bad as ol' Keith... but then again, I can't quite afford to party like a real rockstar...

So Thursday night, actually Friday morn I suppose, with last call rapidly approaching, and having just injested enough booze and unmentionables to stun a circus animal, I wisely headed to the liquor store before two. After all, what would Keith do? No shame in reupping the supply of hearty malt beverages I say...

My travelling companion, who shall remain nameless to protect the guilty, is a die hard punk rock renegade, like many of my pals, he's travelled the states many times, and yes even parts of the world, bandmates & guitar in tow extolling the virtues of 3 chords, piss and vinegar.

Hence that is why we are leaving a Stiff Records tribute gig, that also included a female Mentors cover band, with a buncha other disreputable aging punk rockers. We were all doing our part for the uh, cause and our livers at SF's Eagle Tavern. (Stiff , for those of you not paying attention, was a near legendary indie label, I profiled in my last post.)

Word came in that an old Stiff legend, Wreckless Eric himself was just a few blocks away at 12 Galaxies opening for The Cynical Girls - which is apparently Amy Rigby & Marti Jones, (whoever the fuck they be...)

Anyhow some local ne'er do 'ells tried to convince Eric to swing by The Eagle later for a special last minute guest appearance, but he declined. Apparently he had to be up by 4 a.m to catch a flight back to the U.K, and wasn't in the mood to extend the legend to the enjoyment of the patrons of San Francisco's finest seedy legendary gay leather bar...go figger.

So someone mentions though that as Eric was packing up, 12 Galaxies got a last minute request to let Ryan Adams & Phil Lesh of the "legendary" Grateful Dead jam until the wee hours... and soon a line reeking of patchouli & reefer was snaking up the block...

So being drunken idiots and curiosity seekers, we had to go and check it out...

an insider's look at "Hippie Heaven"

and knowing that the bar had no doubt stopped serving, we were well stocked with brews in every pocket.

Even though as we got to the club, we noticed the door was a measly $5, we surmised that still was indeed a ripoff since I doubt that either of the two rockstars onstage really needed our dough. We just walked quickly in, bypassing whatever elaborate hippie protocol was in place, breezing right past a buncha stoned twirly dancers and a cabal of bearded dudes and headed towards the stage which could be barely seen through the clouds of sweet skunk laden smoke.

Onstage in a crisp blue shirt was Ryan Adams, fairly drunk and likely high on some other substances, babbling, and botching Dead lyrics left and right. Occasionally he'd noodle on his guitar, while Phil Lesh just stood there beaming like a proud parent. Phil at least seemed to know the bass licks, but he seemingly had no idea on the lost lyrics either...

Within minutes we immediately rose to the top rank of the little frat-hippie kingdom near the sound booth by simply having a lighter... this comes in handy when 4 joints start getting passed at you while Ryan Adams is trying to figure out his head from his ass...

Phil seemed like a nice enough guy, just playing some really bad & basically boring material. Maybe he was rehearsing stuff for Coachella, which I think he's playing this weekend with Madonna. Or not...

I sorta couldn't figure out exactly why he wanted to be playing so badly in some dive with his roadies at 3 am. The guys gotta be 60 something. Maybe it's those new organs he's had installed or something, a rant that he made at some point tried to get a shout out for organ transplants...which aging 70's rock stars as a demographic tend to need more often than other folks. Apparently it's a cause that Phil's down for, so to speak, and hey with the Chinese prison population supplying more organs every year, good times are ahead for us all on.

Ryan definitely looks like he's down for a party...

plus he's like so way into the Dead dude ! How neat ! My buddy said he has a chair with a picture of Jerry Garcia that he talks too & takes to all his shows dude...and rumors are that he parties a lot like like ol' Jerry, let's just say those ain't all cortisone shots he needs for his purty voice...

I tried to party on with these folks in spirit, and to the annoyment of my friend, I insisted on staying for another few noodles , assuming at some point they would play a whole song, or perhaps someting meaningful would transpire. I told my buddy, look this is the type of event that many alt rock stalker weirdos & hippies would give their last bong hit to be at, maybe we should stay just so we better understand what the fuck is going on in their addled brains...

But I felt like pulling these guys aside and maybe mentioning

" Hey, look it's 2:45 a.m, either get it together or go home, neither of you know the lyrics to China Cat Sunflower, but some fat balding tie dyed dude in front of me does and I think you guys have played half of Not Fade Away twice...please stop...these Dead Heads don't tip, and the staff wants to go home..."

here click this link & see them play Not Fade Away again...

But we really, they simply beat us down, killed our buzz & we just couldn't take it...

I told a bored bartender that I was sorry he still had to be there, and after what some seemed like an interminable amount of patchouli scented aimless jam rock...

My punker pal & I just looked at each other and decided we'd had enough. In fact I think punk rock & Stiff records etc were all created just to end the horrible nincompoopery that is the mindless music of the Grateful Dead.

I really wanna dig 'em, or at least respect all that they've accomplished, but everytime I get close to the vortex, something spins me the other way...

even if the music was vaguely tolerable, I can only think of the lost waystrels left in the Dead's wake, like their own children who were left to rot while daddy toured and shot dope, or the fans that sill clog sidewalks on Haight street bumming change , stinking and just being generally miserable.

Now that I know Ryan Adams is in cahoots with this ramshackle Jam Band nightmare scene, it makes me worry even more about the kid.

Phil on why Ryan rocks his zone(Via

I love playing with Ryan because he’s fearless; because he doesn’t have to do anything the same way twice; because every idea he throws out in a jam is a little gem that cries out “polish me”; because he has about nine hundred voices that he can use like a Bene Gesserit; because of his huge heart and enormous talent.

I like it that we deconstruct the songs so that verses are transposed, or the bridge comes in early, or the jam leads back to a verse instead of a chorus. I like it that we have to be on our tippy-tippy toes to make the acute left turns and abrupt changes that Ryan likes to spring on us. I like to spring those kind of changes too- what do you think I’m doing when I talk into my mike and you can’t hear me? I love playing with Ryan because he takes me back to when the Grateful Dead were young, fearless, crazy and didn’t give a shit about what other people thought we should do.

If what you desire is the perfect rendition, there are many excellent bands that perform Grateful Dead songs- but I have never been about perfection and never will be. I do promise that I will always do my best to follow my weird. I hope you will join me, but I do understand if your path takes you elsewhere. I will also say with no hesitation that Jerry would have loved Ryan and his fearless interpretations of his songs. It’s funny, but I feel Jerry close to me whenever I am around Ryan.

— Phil Lesh (January 2006)

Well whatever dude, you must be on acid or something, cuz I saw yer "fearless" friend and his "abrupt changes" & that shit was weak...

It's amazing to me how people can be so enthused about something so mediocre...already one dead head called me and said it was the "the best night of his life !"...


here's the two playing a more together deal last July in Colorado @ Red Rocks

Phil Lesh w/ Ryan Adams - Friend Of The Devil

Phil Lesh w/ Ryan Adams - Easy Plateau

Phil Lesh w/ Ryan Adams - Magnolia Mountain

plus a show from June 05 in which he pays alil' tribute to the previously mentioned Rolling Stones...

Ryan Adams - Brown Sugar

Quasi was in town this week, and I really should've gone to that instead of a Ryan Adams Dead Head wankfest. I was in a band that Janet Weiss played in for awhile and she was always just a super swell lady. According to my nameless friend, she was also way friendlier in a triangulated love way to some of the band members than I actually remembered. She eventually split town and went north with this Sam Coomes fella, and here's their resultant band Quasi...

Janet of course is now in that quasi-legendary band Sleater-Kinney

But here are Quasi from records they put out on Up Records awhile back, circa the late nineteen nineties.

Quasi - Ghost Dreaming

Quasi -
All The Same

from "early recordings" a track called Mammom

Quasi - Mammom

and one from their Happiness EP -

and apparently after tonight's DuNord show, that's all of their tourdates this yar.
Here's a couple more tracks in honor of their arrival, which I'm missing due to "scheduling conflicts", fiscal issues, hangover, and a 7 am work day tommorrow.

how about a newer track from their Touch & Go release Hot Sh*t...

Quasi - Drunken Tears

and one from "Sword of God"
Quasi It's Raining

and here's from their latest effort "When The Going Gets Dark" a song called "The Rhino"

Quasi - The Rhino.

I recently ran into this guy Jay, who used to be in a great band with Klaus Flouride of the DK's called The Muskrats that I had a lot of fun checking out back in the day as they say. I worked at the label they were on, and our bands played together a lot etc. I recall one night even jamming onstage with them to a Bob Seger cover of Old Time Rock & Roll once in my underwear...

Well anyhow ,I asked Jay what he was up to lately , and he said he was occasionally playing gigs with the Legendary Stardust Cowboy.

This is crazed country music that's not for the faint hearted....

The Legendary Stardust Cowboy - My Underwear Froze To The Clothespin

Born in Lubbock Tx in 1947, young Norman Carl Odam headed out of there to beome a star, trying his luck in LA & NY before finding fame after appearing on Laugh-In , he had an amazing hit with this 1968 psychobilly track that came out on Mercury Records...

The Legendary Stardust Cowboy -

Here's a track from a Norwegian electropop punk band called DataRock. It was one of the hot 100 most popular tunes on Austrailia's Triple J radio last year... go figger...

They are currently on tour all over Europa, so check em out if yer over there...

Data Rock - Sex Me Up


EUROPEAN TOUR 2006 (Support: Ungdomskulen)

29.04, SWITZERLAND, Bern, Dampfzentrale

30.04, SWITZERLAND, Schaffhausen, Tab Tap

01.05, SWITZERLAND, Zurich, Talacker

02.05, GERMANY, Wuerzburg, Cairo

03.05, GERMANY, Berlin, Lovelite

04.05, FRANCE, Paris, Noveau Casino

05.05, FRANCE, Paris, secret show! shhhhhhh! Ask your neighbour for more info. or ask us..

06.05, TBA (check Myspace for updates!)

07.05, SCOTLAND, Glasgow, Optimo

08.05, UK, Wolverhampton, Little Civic

09.05, UK, Southampton, Lennons, Ejector Seat

10.05, TBA (check Myspace for updates!)

11.05, UK, London, The Luminaire

17.06, SWEDEN, Hultsfred, Hultsfred Festival

05.08, NORWAY, Bodø, Klubbfestuka

13.08, FRANCE, Aulnoye Aymeries, Festival les Nuits Secretes

18.08, FRANCE, Cannes, Festival Pantiero

19.08, NORWAY, Steinkjer, Steinkjerfestivalen

Thursday, April 27, 2006

If It Ain't Stiff , It Ain't Worth A F*%k

Looks like a class action suit has been filed against Sony, claiming that bands are being deprived of proper digital downloading revenue , generated by services such as I-Tunes. Out of every .99 cent download, bands like Cheap Trick & The Allman Brothers say they are entitled to about 30 cents, but instead are getting less than a nickel. This is because older contracts such as those signed in the 70s & 80s don't stipulate the payment, and newer deals do.

In other news...

Cultural maven, Mr. Mike Dingle reminds me that tonight is the closing of the Great Mongol State art exhibit in SF.

In addition to the paintings ,sculptures and works on display, SomArts will feature 5 traditional Mongolian musicians - throat singers, horse fiddle players and more - in a brief program w/ refreshments etc starting at 7pm when the gallery closes officially.

can't make it tonight? -

My buddy Mike Millet who started the Broken Rekids label, is organizing a tribute to the Stiff records label tonight afterwards at The Eagle Tavern as well... and they ain't that far apart...

I gotta miss the Mongolian throat singing unfortunately due to work... but they'll be scratchy throat singing for sure at the Stiff Records & Mentors tribute thing...

I Love My Label - plays Thursday April 27 at the Eagle with The
WoMentors - (They are a female Mentors tribute band).
That sound you hear is El Duce spinning in his grave.

The other 2 bands opening are AMALGAMATION and

here's some tunes that should remind ya why Stiff Records mattered...

Started in 1976, the indie label soon rose out of it's lowly pub rock surroundings heralding a new era for English rock. Stiff Records first came to be in the back of the Hope & Anchor pub where soundman Dave Robinson had a makeshift studio. Via a cash infusion from Lee Brilleaux from Dr. Feelgood, a gang of British drunks, including Dave Robinson & ex-boxer & pub rock band manager Jake Riviera brought along client Nick Lowe.

The first release was Buy 1 , a Lowe single "Heart of The City b/w So It Goes" , which followed in the stle of his old band Brinsley Schwarz. But the next few releases from groups like Roogalator and The Pink Fairies didn't really get the label off the ground. It took a punk rock band's first blast to do that...

Nick Lowe - So It Goes ( Nick Lowe mp3 links go to 3rd party download site)

Nick Lowe - Heart Of the City

Obviously, one of the prime bands of the early Stiff years, and of punk rock in general is The Damned.

a versions of Damned tracks, (but not the Stiff records versions)

The Damned - New Rose

The Damned - Neat Neat Neat ( BBC )

The Damned - Help (live)

The label continued on for a decade, with it's early years being the most revered. Lowe and Rivera left in 1977, taking Elvis Costello along with them, and so went the initial impetus...but the label hung in there.

Dave Robinson kept Stiff going, and many more records followed... the label became known for it's silly publicity campaigns, using slogans like the title of my post. Another they used was "Stiff... The Most Flexible Label. A diverse array of artists like The Pogues, Tracey Ullman, Wayne Kramer, The Go Go's and many others would get their single attempts together under the label's auspices. Lene Lovich was a Stiff records find out of Detroit, an avant garde new wave performer who had some success in the dance market. Her first record for Stiff ( Buy 32 ) was a cover of the old Tommy James & The Shondells song "I Think We're Alone Now", later a big hit for teeny bopper Tiffany. The origin of Buy 042, Lucky Number was the song went from a B-side to I Thnk We're Alone, and a sped up remix was made, and the song became an international hit on it's own.

Lene Lovich - Lucky Number (Buy 042)

Lene Lovich - Bird Song (Buy 053)

Lene Lovich - New Toy ( Buy 097)

By 1984, with sales tapering off, the Stiff brand name was sold to Chris Blackwell's Island label, and the back catalog has since been folded into the mammoth beast of Universal Music, most of it unlikely to see the light of day ever again. ( An "official" website has appeared though, offering to license the tracks...So It Goes...)

In the end, Stiff released around 80 singles, as well as many LPs , including the earliest albums by artists like Elvis Costello, Phranc, Madness, Ian Dury, The Plasmatics and numerous others...

Releasing singles on the label via one offs & licensing deals were groups like Devo, Boxtops, Adverts, Gary Glitter, Girlschool & more

Here's Declan MacManus, from Buy 15

Elvis Costello - Angels' Wanna Wear My Red Shoes

Motorhead doing White Line Fever was even scheduled to be one of the first single releases, but it never came out for some reason.

Look, even Scottish actor/comedian Billy Connolly was on the Stiff roster at one point, and he once hit the UK's top twenty with this novelty single.

The last release I remember owning was a Pogues/Dubliners 12" ( buy 258 ) of the two groups doing a version of The Irish Rover...

and like all good things , it eventually came to an end... some sort of disastrous US major label distribution deals no doubt played a part in the indie's demise.

here's BOY001 ( a play on Stiff's Buy code)

Devo - I Cant' No Satisfaction

This is from the artsy Damned LP, Music for Pleasure, produced by Pink Floyd's bon vivant car racing drummer Nick Mason, that supposedly got them "kicked off" of Stiff Records...

The Damned - You Know

In 1977 The label put together a great road show in the classic Dick Clark package tour mode that featured a good chunk of their roster...

Imagine Nick Lowe, Ian Dury, Wreckless Eric and Elvis Costello all playing a tour together...and finishng up the show with a sloppy group effort of ex & drugs & rock & roll... indeed...

Much love to the website Post Punk Junk who actually posted the entire tracklist of the out of print Live Stiffs LP in mp3 form... get it while it's's a couple tracks... go and get the rest yer badself...

Elvis Costello & The Attractions - I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself

Ian Dury & Everyone - Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll

other Stiff stuff...

Madness did one single on Jerry Dammer's of The Specials Two Tone records, and then Dave Robinson signed them to Stiff for their debut LP. They stayed affiliated with the label for most of their career and the band carried them through financially when everything else was collapsing. Madness left Stiff in 1985 for Geffen, times had changed and the label's days were relatively numbered, basically riding out their bleak late 80's period until the Pogues contract ended.

from their 1979 debut

Madness - My Girl

Madness - Tommorrow's Just Another Day


misc Stiff related shite:

Buy 65 was a solo album from Lee Brilleaux...

the track here is the remaining members of his old band Dr. Feelgood performing on a 2003 Euro tour, a song that was first heard on Dr. Feelgood's 1975 Mono album...original cover pictured below

Dr. Feelgood - Down By The Jetty

and lastly a mini mash up section of Stiff stuff

this one of 50 Cent & Belle Stars ...

50 Cent vs Belle Stars - Iko Iko Inferno

Madness vs Missy Elliott - One Step Beyind


PS - this just came in from Guerilla News Network (
Ian Inaba's new film about voter disenfranchisement, AMERICAN BLACKOUT, screens later tonight and in the next few days at the SF Internmational Film Fest - times and info listed below
San Francisco Film Festival @ the Kabuki Theater for ticket info 925-866-9559 (9am-4pm) or
Thursday 4/27 at 9pm
Friday 4/28 at 1pm (high school student screening)
Monday 5/1 at 4:15 pm (Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney speaking)

see ya later...

maybe, even hopefully at The Eagle

Monday, April 24, 2006

Meandering Tapeless Tuesday Mixtape

Being a Monday, Monday Midnite-esque leaning into Tuesday situation... I have little specific inspiration to offer thee here... I could comment on the news of the day, but other than the usual middle eastern terrorist bombings, and big business pronouncements & shakeups... what commentary do I really have to add to any of that same old, same old...


So how about a Random Revelations meandering not quite midweek mix, that goes nowhere in particular... but may, like a digital audio stroll... provide some sort of solace or surprise for yer spring time listening pleasure...

long before I understood who the Animals were, I was a fan of this 70's disco hit that I had on some K-tel or Ronco compilation record:

Santa Esmerelda - Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood

Few hip-hop acts of the past decade really rocked the mic & captured goodwill as much as the fun lyrical lessons and gentle joustings of the good natured L.A based J5, here joined by guest Nelly Furtado...

Jurassic 5 - Thinline

This Steve Spacek track from his Space Shift release was produced by the late J. Dilla and was selected as number 2 track of 2005 on BBC One DJ Gilles Peterson's Worldwide Worldwide Music Awards.

Steve Spacek - Dollar

if that didn't move ya, when in doubt check yer Can... and while most cuts by this kraut rock group tend to be on the way long side, here's one fungal piece that ya 'can' get in and out of before yer next rent check is due...

Can - Mushroom

here's a new Scottish group that hopes to reap some of the international hype that British Sea Power, Franz Ferdinand and Fiery Furnaces have been attaining...

My Latest Novel -
The Reputation of Ross Francis

Rising to the top of the underground metal heap over the past few years has been Mastodon, whom I once accidentally caught at an old Italian social club hall near a bus garage in SF's Mission District. The Atlanta based 4 some have been "hella" busy as they say in "Cali", touring like madmen. Since putting out a Moby Dick themed concept album in 2004, they have a DVD out, a song on The Cave soundtrack, and finished up an offering for a Metallica tribute album, which is now streaming on their MySpace page, plus they are hitting the road again in June.

Mastodon Slickleg

Call Of The Mastodon

when in doubt, real heavy rockers & Mastodon's 2006 summer tourmates know, that just like Rocky & The Terminator, when in doubt, you can always release a sequel

Children of Bodom - Redlight In My Eyes pt1

Children of Bodom - Red Light In My Eyes pt2

It appears Lamb of God also has a spot on this big 2006 summer tour with Mastodon

Lamb of God - Laid To Rest

Lamb of God Now You've Got Something To Die For

and that something to die for is tickets... because Slayer is the headliner on this Unholy Alliance tour bill, and I bet there's a mean hairy pit already forming right now in front of yer local TicketMaster outlets...

Slayer - Bloodline

Slayer - Disciple

Slayer - Spirit In Black

Slayer - Expendable Youth


Slayer/ Lamb of God/ Mastodon/ Children of Bodom of The Bill

6/6 - San Diego, CA @ The Sports Arena
6/7 -Las Vegas, NV @ The Orleans Hotel and Casino
6/9 - Denver, CO @ The Fillmore
6/12 - St. Louis, MO @ Pop's Blue Moon
6/13 - Chicago, IL @ Aragon Ballroom
6/15 - Camden, NJ @ Tweeter Center at the Waterfront
6/16 - East Rutherford, NJ @ Continental Airlines Arena
6/17 - Lowell, MA @ Paul E. Tsongas Arena
6/19 - Cincinnati, OH @ US Bank Arena
6/22 - Corpus Christi, TX @ American Bank Center
6/23 - San Antonio, TX @ Freeman Coliseum
6/24 - Dallas, TX @ Nokia Live
6/25 - Houston, TX @ Reliant Arena
6/27 - Atlanta, GA @ HiFi Buys Center ( Tix onsale 4/8)
6/29 - Albany, NY @ Washington Ave Armory
6/30 - Cleveland, OH @ Tower City Amphitheater
7/2 - Quebec, CANADA @ Centre de Foire
7/3 - Montreal, CANADA @ The Bell Centre
7/4 - Toronto, CANADA @ Molson Amph
7/6 - Detroit, MI @ Cobo Arena
7/7 - Milwaukee, WI @ Eagles Auditorium
7/8 - St. Paul, MN @ Roy Wilkins Auditorium
7/9 - Winnipeg, CANADA MTS Center
7/11 - Edmonton, CANADA Shaw Conf. Center
7/13 - Vancouver, CANADA GM PLACE
7/14 - Seattle, WA @ Qwest Field Event Center
7/15 - Salem, OR @ Salem Armory
7/16 - Spokane, WA @ The Star Theatre
7/19 - San Jose, CA @ HP pavillion @ San jose
7/21 - Mesa, AZ @ Mesa Amphitheatre
7/22 - Long Beach, CA @ Long Beach Arena

I sorta gave up on Slayer myself awhile ago, not that I ever was much of a fan. I ended up actually giving my LP copy of Reign in Blood to a retarded girl that lived across the street. These days, I love me some Mash Ups, here's one from Robochrist, a self proclaimed "one-man techno metal circus freak"

Robochrist Remix - Queen vs Prodigy - Don't Stop Me Now

now for something completely different, from this Chicago twosome's debut avant faux redneck blues album “Black Hearts and Broken Wills,”...

Cash Money - Damn Damn Damn

From her new album "Fox Confessor Brings The Flood", check out this case described by mizz Neko Case, a situation whose opening salvo is poetically set for the jury via the lines...

Ancient strings set feet a'light to speed to her such mild grace
No monument of tacky gold
They smoothed her hair with cinnamon waves
And they placed an ingot in her breast to burn cool and collected
Fate holds her firm in its cradle and rolls her for a tender
Pause to savor
Everything's so easy for Pauline

Neko Case - Margaret vs Pauline


hee's a rarely heard, relatively recent 21st century era & practically instrumental cut from one of rock's greatest of all time band's...mmmm mmm good1

CheapTrick - Low Life In High Heels

and in the interest of historical curiosity... I found a unique version of a classic Ray Charles number that whether you know it or not, no one's world should be without...especially in Stereo!

Ray Charles - What I Say (stereo mix)

that's a round about enuf of a jostled journey for this evening I believe...see ya next time... same 'bout channel... same 'bout time...

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Seeger & You Shall Find...

Just read in the Wall Street Journal weekend section about New Jersey's fave son Bruce Springsteen, who for some reason for as long as I can remember (yet no one can ever recall exactly why), people always call the Boss. Seems he's caught a screening of A Mighty Wind and has a case of folk fever again. Springsteen, whom Jon Landau once wrote about "I've seen the future... and it's name is Bruce Springsteen"...

well, it seems Landau's once futuristic rock hero is releasing an album of Pete Seeger influenced tunes, and going on an arena tour with a folky Americana backing ensemble replete with fiddle. Now the one thing I know about this, is I'm pretty sure Pete Seeger was never much fond of guys who liked to be called the Boss...

Pete Seeger, though is certainly overripe for proper tribute, and if it has to be the Boss to do so, then so be it. (Pocatello's Jeremy Petersen's blog has some of the Bruce tracks posted as a preview, and Brit blogger Jon sends me a link to a Guardian interview with ol Bossy.) Pete's likely proud of all this hub bub, and amazingly enough, he's still alive and living up along his beloved Hudson river in upstate New York. In fact he's turning 87 on May 3rd, and is scheduled to perform at the Clearwater festival this summer, an event in Poughkeepsie NY that benefits his fave river related environmental causes.

Seeger, son of a Juilliard musicologist was a frustrated and unemployable Harvard grad when he became a musician as a side line to his idealistic pursuit to fight injustice & poverty. No doubt one of America's greatest songsmiths, he was a very vital part of the activist folk music scene in the 40's, 50's & 60's. Seeger, then a Communist Party member, formed The Almanac Singers with Woody Guthrie back in the 1940's and later the Weavers, dabbling in a heady mix of Marxism & music during a contentious "Red Scare" period in American history.At the behest of J Edgar Hoover, The Weavers soon became the first musicians in American history to be investigated by the FBI for sedition.

Pete Seeger has somehow survived the cold war hysteria that threatened his career, and has since become a mostly forgotten figure to the mainstream media, but remains a beloved elder movement folk hero from a unique era in American history. Lately, he's been known as much for his ecological concerns, and for entertaining children as he did the rabble rousers & activists back in the day.

Here's one of his more benign kid friendly tunes...

Pete Seeger - Fly Through My Window

As harmless as he sounds there, he certainly aroused the ire of right wing zealots & anti-union forces throughout his career.

He was eventually summoned before the House UnAmerican Activities Commitee in the 1950's, where he took not the 5th, but cited the 1st Amendment as reason not to testify. He refused to give names or apologize for his beliefs, and instead offered to sing the songs he was on trial for to the stern faced panel and was cited for contempt of Congress. On July 26, 1956, the House of Representatives voted 373 to 9 to cite Pete Seeger and seven others (including playwright Arthur Miller) for contempt of Congress. After a "trial" he was sentenced to time in jail, but his ordeal ended when the case was dismissed in the early 1960's on a technicality.

Basically blacklisted from his then thriving career, he wound up going virtually underground. The Weavers went from one of the most popular groups on the airwaves, to having their TV show cancelled, and Seeger would not be invited to perform on network TV for 17 more years . He was soon found playing liberal campus coffeehouses, and small rallies, stirring up crowds during the civil rights movement, and later against the Vietnam War.

Despite the government persecution, and the old timey quality of Seeger's music, his songs grew in fame, with one of the biggest hits being the 1956 anti-war tune "Where Have All The Flowers Gone"...

Here's an English version sung by the German born cinema & stage star Marlene Dietrich. Dietrich performed it in 1962 in French ("Qui peut dire vont les fleurs?") , as well as her native German ( "Sag mir, wo die Blumen sind?").

Marlene Dietrich - Where Have All The Flowers Gone

here's her native tongue version :

Marlene Dietrich - sag mir, wo die blumen sind?

Other versions of this classic are of course numerous including those from Dolly Parton, The Kingston Trio, Johnny Rivers, Peter Paul & Mary and the NYC peace punk band A.P.P.L.E...

and just to prove that here's another more contemporary take by Ashland Oregon electro garage rocker Technator

Technator - Where Have All The Flowers Gone

Some of Pete's songs became big hits for other artists such as The Byrd's featuring Roger McGuinn & David Crosby.

Pete talks about this in this 2003 interview

Pete Seeger on the Byrd's Turn Turn Turn

and here's the Byrd's song itself

The Byrds - Turn, Turn, Turn

Roger McGuinn of the Byrd's was no doubt a big Seeger fan, and bought a Vega "Pete Seeger Model" banjo at the first chance he had. It was actually his Seeger influenced banjo picking style that created the Byrd's trademark 12 string guitar sound. Here McGuinn recalls seeing Seeger as kid, in a quote from McGuinn's FolkDen website.

I remember going to see Pete Seeger in concert at Orchestra Hall in Chicago many times in my teen years. His 12-string guitar was always tuned down so that the bass notes were big and round, filling the hall as would a string quartet. His voice was clear, full of emotion and youthful exuberance. That was the first time I heard The Water Is Wide. Now I'm on concert tour in England. I decided to recorded this song live at the Jazz Cafe in London.

Roger McGuinn- The Water Is Wide

In 1995, on occasion of his 75th birthday the NY Times interviewed him and Seeger offered up some interesting comments.

NY Times Q: How have your politics changed?

A:" I like to say I'm more conservative than Goldwater. He just wanted to turn the clock back to when there was no income tax. I want to turn the clock back to when people lived in small villages and took care of each other. My father, Charles Seeger, got me into the Communist movement. He backed out around '38. I drifted out in the 50's. I apologize [in his recent book] for following the party line so slavishly, for not seeing that Stalin was a supremely cruel misleader.

I still call myself a communist, because communism is no more what Russia made of it than Christianity is what the churches make of it. But if by some freak of history communism had caught up with this country, I would have been one of the first people thrown in 'ail. As my father used to say: "The truth is a rabbit in a bramble patch. All you can do is circle around and say it's somewhere in there."

I've been trying to write a song for years on the general theme of "don't give up." Now I just quote the bumper sticker: "There's no hope, but I may be wrong." I've been saying it so much that people think it's mine, but it's not.

here's just a small assemblage of Pete's many recordings...

here's a depression era ballad

The Weavers - Brother Can You Spare A Dime

here's pickin' Pete with that suite blue eyed Judy Collins singin' a unifyin' tune about labor issues...

Pete Seeger + Judy Collins - Union Maid

In the late 40's he helped sound the alarm about the problems with cold war Atomic weapons buildup

Pete Seeger - Talking Atom

Pete wasn't afraid to comment on the issues of the day, and the draft was not immune...

Pete Seeger - The Draft Dodger Rag

His Vietnam era song Waist Deep in Big Muddy which he wasn't allowed to perform on Laugh - In, tells a parable of the foils of war in a foreign land, and has no parallels at all to today's 10 billion dollar a month quagmire in Iraq... really. The main difference being the lack of mud, but a revised version Waist Deep In Big Sandy , could be appropo for sure

Pete Seeger - Waist Deep in Big Muddy

on this old spiritual in an early 60's recording by the young Joan Baez, who provides some overtones against the gristled folk vet's

Pete Seeger & Joan Baez - That Lonesome Valley

"You've got to walk that lonesome valley
You've got to walk it by yourself
Ain't nobody else gonna walk it for you
You gotta walk it by yourself...

This is a version of an old civil war era song dedicated to the famed abolitionist...

Pete Seeger - John Brown's Body

an olde English folk song that Pete does a fine rendition is that tale of Barbara Allen

Pete Seeger - Barbara Allen

Little Boxes by Malvina Reynolds lays out a not so subtle subversive commentary on post war suburban sprawl & the inherent process of molding middle class mores'. Here's Petes version.

Pete Seeger - Little Boxes

Here Pete does another Malvina Reynolds song composed from a viewpoint of a striking Miner's wife

Pete Seeger - Mrs. Clara Sullivan's Letter

and while we're at it, here's some of Woody Guthrie's tunes as well...

Woody Guthrie - This Land Is Your Land

Woody Guthrie - Talkin Dust Bowl Blues

Woody Guthrie - Roll On Columbia

Woody Guthrie - The Biggest That Man Has Ever Done

Springsteen of course is hardly onto a groundbreaking concept, with much of his following likely unaware of Wilco and Billy Bragg teaming up more than half a dozen years ago to pay tribute to Woody Guthrie via the Mermaid Avenue collections.

Billy Bragg - All You Fascists, Are Bound To Lose (live)

Billy Bragg - Black Wind Blowing ( live)

Wilco - Airline to Heaven ( live)

Other artists have covered some of these Guthrie classics before as well like native American rockers Blackfire, in this cut produced by Jim Lauderdale...

Blackfire - Mean Things Happening in this World

Folk songs from guys like Seeger & Guthrie were a vital part of the youth culture throughout the 1960s. Young troubadour Robert Zimmerman left Minnesota to ply his singin' trade in the coffe houses of Greenwich Village and soon visited his idol, Woody Guthrie on his death bed. Dylan of course, knew and respected Seeger as well. Here's a photo of the two onstage at a 1963 civil rights rally in Greenwood Mississippi. Later, Seeger was one of the "purists" that were very pissed off at Newport when Bob Dylan showed up with his heretic "electric" band.

Bob Dylan - Last Thoughts On Woody Guthrie

Jack Johnson - Last Thoughts On Woody Guthrie

Dylan went on to become one of the most influential lyricists of the decade, here's a commercially unreleased early 60's banjo'd up cut from tv starlet Patty Duke doing Bob Dylan's "Blowing In The Wind" recorded for United Artists as well as a moody version from Immediate Records' Britsh chanteuse Marianne Faithful.

Patty Duke - Blowin In The Wind

Marianne Faithful - Blowin In The Wind

One of Pete's best known songs is If I Had A Hammer... which even Leonard Nimoy of Star Trek even covered ...

Leonard Nimoy - If I Had A Hammer

here's Pete's more traditional take:

Pete Seeger - If I Had A Hammer

If I had a hammer,
I'd hammer in the morning
I'd hammer in the evening,
All over this land.

I'd hammer out danger,
I'd hammer out a warning,
I'd hammer out love between my brothers and my sisters,
All over this land.

If I had a bell,
I'd ring it in the morning,
I'd ring it in the evening,
All over this land.

I'd ring out danger,
I'd ring out a warning
I'd ring out love between my brothers and my sisters,
All over this land.

If I had a song,
I'd sing it in the morning,
I'd sing it in the evening,
All over this land.

I'd sing out danger,
I'd sing out a warning
I'd sing out love between my brothers and my sisters,
All over this land.

Well I got a hammer,
And I got a bell,
And I got a song to sing, all over this land.

It's the hammer of Justice,
It's the bell of Freedom,
It's the song about Love between my brothers and my sisters,
All over this land.

It's the hammer of Justice,
It's the bell of Freedom,
It's the song about Love between my brothers and my sisters,
All over this land.

Words by Lee Hays
Music by Pete Seeger (1949)

Pete Seeger & Arlo Guthrie collaborated on an album called More Together Again, here Arlo's daughter Sarah Lee Guthrie contributes lead vocals.

Sarah Lee Guthrie -

Sailing Down this Golden River

These days, Seeger's son Mike is a well respected folk musicologist as well, here's a track from a 1991 releasecalled Old Time Music on Rounder with banjo and quills (pan pipes). You can look for his new collection coming out this week via Smithsonian Folkways called Old-Time Country Songs and Tunes Played on the Autoharp

Mike Seeger - Tennessee Dog

Pete's grandson Tao Rodriguez Seeger, at one time resistent to following in the family footsteps has become a decent banjo picker himself. He has played many shows with his famous grandad, and now tours regularly with his "subversive acoustic traditionalist" group The Mammals.

Tao Rodriguez Seeger & The Mammals - Crickets In The Kitchen

The Mammals - The Bush Boys

--------------------- anyhow --------------------

Here's a version Pete's notoriously prescient Waist Deep In Big Muddy from 1967 as recorded by Texas based musician Richard Shindell in 2003 for his Vuelta album.

Richard Shindel - Waist Deep In Big Muddy

It was back in nineteen forty-two,
I was a member of a good platoon.
We were on maneuvers in-a Loozianna,
One night by the light of the moon.
The captain told us to ford a river,
That's how it all begun.
We were -- knee deep in the Big Muddy,
But the big fool said to push on.

The Sergeant said, "Sir, are you sure,
This is the best way back to the base?"
"Sergeant, go on! I forded this river
'Bout a mile above this place.
It'll be a little soggy but just keep slogging.
We'll soon be on dry ground."
We were -- waist deep in the Big Muddy
And the big fool said to push on.

The Sergeant said, "Sir, with all this equipment
No man will be able to swim."
"Sergeant, don't be a Nervous Nellie,"
The Captain said to him.
"All we need is a little determination;
Men, follow me, I'll lead on."
We were -- neck deep in the Big Muddy
And the big fool said to push on.

All at once, the moon clouded over,
We heard a gurgling cry.
A few seconds later, the captain's helmet
Was all that floated by.
The Sergeant said, "Turn around men!
I'm in charge from now on."
And we just made it out of the Big Muddy
With the captain dead and gone.

We stripped and dived and found his body
Stuck in the old quicksand.
I guess he didn't know that the water was deeper
Than the place he'd once before been.
Another stream had joined the Big Muddy
'Bout a half mile from where we'd gone.
We were lucky to escape from the Big Muddy
When the big fool said to push on.

Well, I'm not going to point any moral;
I'll leave that for yourself
Maybe you're still walking, you're still talking
You'd like to keep your health.
But every time I read the papers
That old feeling comes on;
We're -- waist deep in the Big Muddy
And the big fool says to push on.

Waist deep in the Big Muddy
And the big fool says to push on.
Waist deep in the Big Muddy
And the big fool says to push on.
Waist deep! Neck deep! Soon even a
Tall man'll be over his head, we're
Waist deep in the Big Muddy!
And the big fool says to push on!

Words and music by Pete Seeger (1967)

I found this next Python-esque track at, an excellent resource for those interested in starting their own micro broadcasting pirate radio stations . In SF this month it's the tenth anniversary of our beloved Pirate Cat radio, and they be having a party at Annie's Social Club on Friday the 28th.

So in honor, here's some audio tributes to the grass roots movement away from the Clear Channel, Infinity, Entercom and other media congloms deperately trying to profit & control the music & thoughtwaves of our nation ...

Eric Idle - FCC song

Here's a little number I wrote the other day while out duck hunting with a judge (quack!)

Fuck you very much the FCC
Fuck you very much for fining me
Five thousand bucks a fuck so I'm really out of luck
That's more than Heidi Fliess was charging me

So fuck you very much the FCC
For proving that free speech just isn't free
Clear Channel's a dear channel
So Howard Stern must go
Attorney General Ashcroft doesn't like strong words and so
He's charging twice as much as all the drugs for Rush Limbaugh
So fuck you all so very much

So fuck you very much dear Mr. Bush
For heroically sitting on your tush
For Halliburton, Enron, all the companies who fail
Let's send them a clear signal and stick Martha straight in jail
She's an uppity rich bitch and at least she isn't male
So fuck you all so very much

So fuck you dickhead Mr. Cheney too
Fuck you and fuck everything you do
Your pacemaker must be a fake
You haven't got a heart
As far as I'm concerned your just a pasty-faced old fart
And as for Condolezza she's an intellectual tart
So fuck you all so very much

So fuck you very much the EPA
For giving all Alaska's oil away
It really is a bummer
When I can't fill my Hummer
The ozone's a no-go zone now that Arnold's here to say
"Ze nuclear winter games are going to take place in L.A."
So fuck you all so very much

So what the planet fails
Let's save the great white males
And fuck you all so very much (quack!)

And well, here's one more rousing punker number for y'all. It one goes out to our oily lady of righteous rightwing indignation, St. Condoleeza

Against Me! - From Her Lips to God's Ears

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Great Scott - McClellan resigns

And as you likely know by now, Scott McLellan, the embattled & rattled White House mouthpiece, who replaced his bald Bush PR warrior predecessor Ari Fleischer, has finally thrown in the towel. Unlike Fleischer, who was able to ride a post 911 surge in patriotism and a media that basically shut down in the wake of the "Mission Accomplished" Iraq invasion, McClellan had no such free ride. He spent two years and nine months under the glare og an increasingly hostile media. Unable to keep up with the growing scandals and embarassing popularity slide of the administration, McClellan no doubt needs a little time off. Increasingly the butt of jokes by late night TV comics, even celeb mag Vanity Fair magazine recently chided the White House communications director , for "mangled sentences, flat-footed evasions, and genial befuddlement." In his resignation statementstanding alongside his beloved G.W, he said "change can be helpful". He added in a Smithers to Burns like aside to the Prez

"that I have given it my all, sir."

In the aftermath of numerous botched administration moves, McClellan could barely hold back the barrage of media inquiries, dancing through inquiries and hopelessly getting stuck on his talking points. Earlier last week for example, he used the term 'wild speculation' eight times in one brief verbal sparring session with Helen Thomas over Iran. He was simultaneously praising Rumsfeld as doing "a very fine job" while dancing away from inquiries over a recent front page Washington Post article pinpointing White House lies on Iraqi WMD's that he deemed "reckless". Phew... and that's just a tiny few of his week's statements.

His previous accomplishments are no doubt too many to mention here. I'll just list a few of my favorites.

  • Clarified that the Abu Ghraib photos did not represent US policy, and we of course believe in "The Geneva Convention"
  • Continually denied & defended the US policy of torturing of political prisoners.
  • Sang the praises of Bush's handling of Hurricane Katrina
  • Compared decorated war vet Rep Harry Murtha to Michael Moore
  • lauded Harriet Miers for her dubious credibility as a potential Supreme Court justice
  • Blamed Dick Cheney's shooting accident on the 78 year old victim
  • Joked about the same shooting, while he also withholding Whittington's heart attack info from reporters.
One could sense that he was as in the dark & baffled by Cheney's shooting accident as anyone else, but put in the awkward position of restraining himself & somehow defending the VP's handling of the incident. At one point he actually had the balls to contradict Cheney's own story, and blame the elder Harry Whittington whom Cheney shot for the incident.

"...the protocol was not followed by Mr. Whittington, when it came to notifying the others that he was there."

No doubt some deep pocketed right wing corporate interests have offered the pudgy faced loyal boy a job already. Rumor has it the Bush Admin is looking for a possible photogenic Fox commentator & blowhard like Tony Snow to take McClellan's place at the podium...

Bye Bye Scott...

Oh, Scott... we hardly knew ye.

Here's some audio scarfed offa the net from sites like Talk Radio News & Mistakes Were Made with McClellan doublespeaking, and basically excelling in the role of the administrations liar du jour

more classic Scott
"Sometimes people lose faith in their leaders."

"no greater human rights leader than the United States"

"Scott dodging the press in 2005"

that we might forget what the President has sworn to protect and defend.

they just won’t listen.

The President’s new commission is not about shortcomings, it’s about…

Sept 2003, Scott McClellan says that the Bush Admin never claimed that Saddam Hussein was involved in the September 11, 2001, attacks.

Scott McClellan’s February 10 2004 press briefing

McClellan describes how Bush wiretaps balance the protection of civil liberties with the security of the American people.(1/17/06)

McClellan helps keep Cheney's foot condition secret ( Jan 9 2006)

Damfa Remix of McClellan Feb 11th 2004

McClellan describes a "A War of Ideas" - March 17 2006

The distinction between an armed thug and a democratic opposition

McClellan squirms away from confirming when the Administration became aware of a Pentagon report regarding Iraqi mobile trailers.

McClellan hasn't seen any reports

Iran is Not Iraq ( McClellan April 4 2006)

in this audio he states that anyone caught leaking info will "no longer be part of this administration"...

Irregular Times Administration Cheney/McClellan Audio clip from April 7 Podcast

Since McClellan never answered the public demand & released an album, I'm also playng a musical tribute to his passing from the public eye with some tunes by other Scotts or even tunes with a Scotty theme... like this one.

Sadly I could not find Bobby Goldsboro's "Watching Scotty Grow"... which really breaks my heart... these will just have to do...

The Connells- Scotty's Lament

Scott Amendola Band - This Is Sad

Scott Amendola Band
- Last Chance

Scott Walker - Tilt

Scott Andrew - The Big Lie That Solves Everything

Scott Joplin - The Entertainer

Scott Brown - Turn Up The Music

Jill Scott - Slowly Surely (Theo Parrish Mix)

4 Hero w/ Jill Scott - Another Day

Jill Scott - Livin' Golden ( remix)

Scott Weiland -
The Man I Didn't Know

Scotty Campbell - Rose Colured Glasses

anyhow... i shoulda posted this lasterday... but i got busy doing a buncha other shite... and now i'm out the door...

gotta go catch that Me 1st & Gimme Gimmes show I mentioned on Monday...

see ya

a just few more for ya for the road

Shakira - La Tortura

Ned's Atomic Dustbin - Kill Your Television

Gil Scott Heron - Whitey's On The Moon

Scott McClellan vs Wynne Osborne High and Lonesome remix

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

June Pointer, Bore Surfing , Barraging Etc

R.I.P June Pointer... the troubled 52 year old singer died after battling breast, liver, colon and bone cancer in a Santa Monica hospital earlier this week.

June was a founding member of the Pointer Sisters, a group of four sisters who arose out of the West Oakland Church of God where their father was a preacher. Under management & production of David Rubinson & later Richard Perry, the sisters became a hugely sucessful act throughout the 70s & 80s, creating a decades long career. Amongst the tracks June sang lead on for the group included "Jump (For My Love)", "He's So Shy", "Happiness", "Fall In Love Again" and "Baby Come And Get It".

The Pointer Sisters had no real solid direction or success yet in the early 70's when they came to the attention of Bay Area producer David Rubinson. Rubinson had produced the Chambers Bros, and Moby Grape, but was branching out into indie work after leaving a steady gig at Bill Graham's "Fillmore" record label. The Pointer Sisters would perform onstage with the flamboyant Sylvester of The Cockettes, and they'd done some work as background singers on recordings by Elvin Bishop, Boz Scaggs, Cold Blood and other Bay Area groups.

Their breakthrough was a cover of an Allen Toussaint song "Yes We Can Can ". Already an uplifting Lee Dorsey track from 1970, the song was a hit with the girls voices added over funky backing tracks laid down with the help of Rubinson's contacts like Tower of Power guitarist Willie Fulton. They sang live around a single mic, with Anita handling lead, and upon release in March of 73, the record soon hit Number 11 on Billboard's pop chart and Number 12 on the R&B chart.

The Pointer Sisters- Yes We Can Can

here's another couple from their breakthrough 1973 hit album produced by Rubinson...first up a cover of Willie Dixon's "Wang Dang Doodle" with the girls backed by the Hoodoo Rhythm Devils.

The Pointer Sisters - Wang Dang Doodle

The Pointer Sisters - Old Songs

During this era Bonnie once said the group was "the biggest thing to come out of Oakland since the Black Panthers." and in 1974 they became the first pop group to perform at SF's Opera House, and capitalized on their feat releasing "Live From The Opera House". This track from those early daze explores the idea of moving from the city to the country.

The Pointer Sisters - Jada

Along the way they broke new ground, continued touring, creating diverse & unique music with a variety of influences ranging from jazz, blues, broadway, funk & even country and even became the first black artists to perform at Nashville's Grand Ol' Opry. This feat came about as from a song called "Fairytale', sounding straight outta Bradley's Barn replete with loping slide guitars & fiddles. Ironically it eventually won them their first Grammy for Best Country & Western Performance by a Group. Elvis Presley also later recorded Fairytale. June would later tell the story of astounded country fans in the Nashville audience who had no idea the sisters were actually black. Ironically, when they went back to their hotel to celebrate at a party in their honor after the Opry appearance they were shown the service entrance by staff who assumed they were there as service workers.

The Pointer Sisters - Fairy Tale

Here's their 1975 #1 R&B hit from their Steppin LP, see if you can pick out the classic funky keys of Herbie Hancock & wicked guitar stylings of Wah Wah Watson...

The Pointer Sisters -
"How Long (Betcha Got A Chick On The Side)"

By 1976 though, June was showing signs of having trouble managing the fast pace of life on the road, with substance abuse rumors surfacing. Bonnie left the group, their deal with Blue Thumb records ended and they chose to sign to a new label...Planet.

In 1978, they also switched production duties to Richard Perry who had success with Diana Ross, Babs Streisand and Ringo Starr, he allowed the group to modernize their sound from a nostalgia based act into a more contemporary look & sound. Of course, sadly the word "contemporary" at the time means a backing band comprised of members of L.A session hacks like Toto and Waddy Wachtel. From the album Energy, came these two cuts, first up a version of a classic Sly Stone cut, and a rendition of another Allen Toussaint song. Jamiroquai has reportedly said that "Happiness", with lead vocal by June was an early influence on his later "Space Cowboy" sound.

The Pointer Sisters - Everybody Is A Star

The Pointer Sisters- Happiness

In 1983, June released a solo album entitled Baby Sister, and also contributed an energetic lead vocal on a track that helped propel the group to the tops of the charts. On their new album Break Out, which did exactly that, Perry seemed to have discovered the bubbling electro pop funk sound of Prince, and built tracks on sequencers & beats that were perfect fodder to layer the gals infectious vocals over. Following in the wake of Michael Jackson's crossover success, the Pointer Sisters went triple platinum & were helped along immensely by getting some fairly rare MTV exposure for a black group at the time. Here's June's vocal featured prominently in this hit...

The Pointer Sisters - Jump For My Love

This cut was their last big hit, in 1985 from the soundtrack to Beverly Hills Cop...

The Pointer Sisters- Neutron Dance

June appeared in Playboy in 1985, and hit the Billboard charts singing "Respect Yourself" with actor Bruce Willis on his "Return of Bruno" album. She signed a solo deal with Walter Yetnikoff's Columbia in 1989, shortly before the label was sold to Sony. The group stopped reaching new heights in popularity, but contributed to film soundtracks, and continued to tour & play sporadically. Eventually June's niece Issa ( daughter of sister Ruth & Dennis Edwards of The Temptations) came to replace her in the touring lineup as June's substance abuse spiraled out of control.

Here's an hour long archive of real video clip including Anita, June & Ruth performing their biggest hits at a Kennedy Center gala in 2001, around the time she was officially replaced in the group by Ruth's daughter.

Over the years the group was nominated for 10 Grammy awards, winning three. They had many record labels starting with their first failed single on Atlantic on through to long periods with Blue Thumb, Planet, RCA, later Motown and even SBK.

June, the youngest of the girls, eventually had legal problems due to her use of alcohol & drugs, including a somewhat successful rehab stint at Promises in 2000. She told People magazine in 2000 that she began using subtances to cope "every day since I was 13…. [I] started with pot, went to cocaine, booze, Valium and Xanax” and finally was hooked on crack by the late '90s.

With the Pointer Sisters officially touring without her, she re-teamed up with her sister Bonnie, and actually were sued by Ruth & Anita for trademark infractions & confusing the concert market.

She soon made the National Enquirer in 2004 after spending two days in jail, allegedly on a crack binge and gouging at her then boyfriend's eyes. She also pled guilty to cocaine possesion and paraphernalia after being busted outside Bonnie's apartment in Hollywood in 2004. Stints in rehab became derigeur. She is rumored to have suffered a heart attack & stroke in February and her cancerous condition was diagnosed then.

Rest In Peace June...

So here I am , bored... and after reading of baby June's sad demise....I'm anything but So Excited !

but what to my wandering eye should appear, & man just in the nick o time, before sleep became a threat, while net surfing, I found out about Bore Surfing..

and despite the name, Bore Surfing really has little to do with sitting at work, waiting for time to crawl & staring at the interwebs...It actually involves reenacting a legendary Celtic Myth... that of Potent Sabrina

Potent Sabrina, the Celtic goddess of the Severn, would stir up the river with her fury and anger, then ride the wild turbulant waters against the natural river flow.

British newspaper "The Independent" today told of a British surfer who set a world record last Thursday by riding a single wave for an hour and 17 minutes. The amazing feat, which traversed an almost 8 mile run, occured within the Severn estuary where a unique wave known as a "bore" occurs only during equinoxes each year. Steve King, the record setting surfer is a member of the Bore Riders surf club, a group of locals who keep track of the rare event & have since challenged the longest wave each year since 1955.

Being that the world's attention is focused on the spot, no doubt money making entities would like to tap the unique properties as well. In fact many see it as the best untapped renewable energy source in the United Kingdom, and the Dept of Trade hopes to build a barrier wall to tap the flow of the water. No doubt shifting political tides will play into the fate of the Severn Estuary's future.

Dirty Three - Great Waves

B.T Express - Energy Level

Blackalicious - World Of Vibrations

Bitch Boys - Surf Rider

"The Independent" also continued the British process of mourning the passing of empire, or at least noting the many brands that were known to be British. Much like Prince Charles, who made snarky asides, bemoaned & sighed after passing control of Hong Kong back over to Chinese control, so did Britons who no doubt read the article over morning tea. From familiar kitchen staples like HP Sauce & Walkers crisps to the once great automotive names like Aston Martin, Rolls Royce, Bentley & Jaguar, offshore investors increasingly own the brands of the once far flung British empire. Recently the country's best known Fish & Chips chain "Harry Ramsden's" passed into control of Australian & Swedish investors, while even The Body Shop was just passed of to French cosmetics maker L'Oréal. Not even football is sacrosanct, with a Russian oil billionaire owning Chelsea FC,and Manchester United was picked up by an American owner, not so long after the team sold off Britain's most popular player David Beckham to Madrid.

It's all part of the glories of globalization, and Britain with it's" free market economy" is prone to finding itself free of the very brands that people associate with the country. Heck, this story is nothing new, as I remember being shocked as a kid to find that even old London Bridge itself had been dismantled and sold to an Arizona lakeside land developer in the 1960s.

The Christian Science Monitor, easily one of the best, yet unappetizingly named newspapers around, recently did a story on the growing trend of downloadable audio tours published as Podcasts. They mentioned Audissey Guides - ( a company that targets Gen X travelers with hipper soundtracks & colorful local characters like noted authors & cafe owners. They also posted some short samples. Check 'em out...

Download Some Boston Tour Samples:
"Big Lou" DeMarco on Boston's North End (mp3, 1.5MB 1:35)
Michael Patrick McDonald on Paul Revere's midnight ride (mp3 , 3.2MB 3:25)

The Christian Science Monitor is unlike a traditional profit driven newspaper , and their 90 year track record of awards and great in depth storytelling prove this. They actually survicve on donations, and here's where you can subscribe or even make a tax deductible contribution to their unique mission. According to their own website, they have a unique journalistic mission that is "devoid of the corporate allegiances and pressures that critics say too often skew today's media."

Mark Eitzel - Christian Science Reading Room

more Mark Eizel info & tracks at my previous post


that's enough blather to keep y'all occupied...toodles