Chairmen Of The Board - Everything's Tuesday
General Johnson and The Chairmen of The Board have a long history, and the next time I have time I'll lay out a bit more of their legend. Let's say it's one that has the General interacting with everyone from the legendary Allen Toussaint and the ol' Minit Records gang in New Orleans on to Detroit's Holland-Dozier-Holland. Later he works with Honey Cone, and even Joey Ramone, and somehow becomes the classic elder statesman the Carolina Beach Music Scene.
On this past Friday night I entered the West Hollywood nightlife scene briefly to check out a show at the Mint on West Pico. I was stunned to find a club that actually has a sign proclaiming they charge $75 for someone to videotape inside, but share none of that revenue with the artists being taped... hmmm.
LA is all business folks... and there's the proof.
And lawyers be damned it looks like an important music documentary I got involved with that's years in the making is heading into theaters finally, and indeed I'll keep y'all posted when i know more.
Anyhow, after that, I was privileged to see a fine upstanding rock concert of sorts, and I'll tell ya more about it...
I had just seen these guys a week before at a sold out show in San Francisco, and now I can testify that the Chuck Prophet and Mission Express touring band is in as fine a shape as can be expected considering he's had some lineup changes since his last album. The band's set only get's tighter as the feel gets looser...
Kevin T. White on bass holds down the bottom end along with drummer Todd Roper ( ex-Cake). New hotshot kid guitarist James DePrato is anything but depraved, and politely plays a supportive role, filling out the sound but never stepping on his master's toes. Chuck's wife Stef shines whenever she's given opportunity, currently it's during an old Gene Pitney cover that was written by Jerry "Swamp Dogg" Williams back in the Musicor days.
I'll feature a video of this cut soon, I promise y'all... it's truly a long forgotten but amazingly ripping tune... especially when this band builds up the tension.
Despite the fact that Chuck's van was seizing up & very ill in the parking lot, they ignored the pain, pumped up the volume, prevailed and pulled off a fine set. I truly wanted to drive up to Santa Barbara the next day to catch them on a double bill with the retiring country chanteuse Kelly Willis, but there was literally no room at the inn...
I checked dozens of potential motel rooms and nothing was available anywhere near Santa Barbara or even the coastal enclaves of Montecito, or Isla Vista.
It twas a shame, but damn if I'm gonna drive all that way to stay in a motel Carpinteria, Ventura or gawd forbid Santa Maria...yuck...
Anyhow, lucky attendees of Chuck Prophet's past few shows have been able to scoop up a certain collectors item that's in very short supply. It's a ltd edition CD with a phat booklet of which only a few hundred copies are circulating. They are all nicely hand assembled, bound and letter pressed by Bruce Licher of Independent Project Press, and the story of the music is as good as the songs themselves.
Seems that last January, Chuck, his wife Stef, his old guitar player Max Butler, and another handful of fine local musicians got trapped in a local recording studio...literally.
No one knew the access code for the door, and no who did was answering the phone all weekend. With only a lone Waylon Jennings LP on a battery operated turntable to entertain them, they soon got a lil' stir crazy.
On the third listen through, someone suggested they simply re-record it themselves, and with nothing but studio time to kill they went ahead. The results are pretty amazing whether you like country music or not, and I'm gonna throw up one sample cut for those who'd like to know more.
The album is called "Dreaming Waylon's Dreams" and is a song by song extrapolation/tribute to Waylon Jennings 1975 masterpiece "Dreaming My Dreams"
Here's the lead off track:
Chuck Prophet - Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way?
( psst since this disc is basically sold out already and yer unlikely to score a physical copy - here's a special link available to download mp3 versions of all the tracks... here)
That would be enough sonic serendipity for ya folks but not on my two fer tuesday...
Here's another rarity...
I wanted to share a mix I whipped up just prior to Xmas...but never got around to sharing with anyone just yet.
Debbie Harry put out a new record late last year called Necessary Evil, and although she was playing in LA while I was there one night, I missed the gig but did get my hands on the 12" vinyl of her latest single while at an ice skating rink ( don't ask).
Anyhow, here's a special mix I made that involves mashing in some Moroder-cized bytes off the "Call Me" single from 1981. I guess you could say that this mini mix is three decades in the making...
It's a late Christmas present to all Debbie's fans, and even my cover art for yer iTunes "cover flow" comes in a vaguely X-messy color scheme.
Debbie Harry - Call Me Two Times Blue 2
that should about do it for me tonight.
I should be back later in the week, with new scoops & songs for you to learn & sing.