Sunday, May 25, 2008

Meandering Memorial Mix

I have lotsa pals making music these days, and they often toss me a demo or two

Here's a few folks I know who are cuttng tracks that i'll toss at ya for yer perusal...

First up are some guys who wish to preserve some of their anonymity while they test out a new sound of sorts...

Known as feisty noisemakers in days of yore, marriages, more money and a fancy Mac enabled with Garage Band have mellowed them somewhat and sees them spinning out some preening poppier material...

Elk Eyes - Mona Lisa

Elk EyesSo Long

An elk's eyes are apparently designed to detect movement, even the slightest shifting of grass as a predator approaches... but will you approach?

The band name was handed to them by the fairly well known female artist who did their demo cover art, and so if ya like it, let em know what & why at their new and virgin like unfettered & unfriended myspace page...

It's Memoral Day weekend, and if there was ever a better time to post this next all american war referencing track...Uh, I don't know about it, but it was probably back in 2003 when it was first recorded.

I've had this song sitting around for a few years on a demo disc, but i guess it's your turn ...

especially now that it's available officially why not?

Anyhow, things like dual LP & CD releases take awhile when yer an anarchist luddite punk band, and working on a tiny budget with little overall organizational or financial forces backing you.

However, it was worth the wait, and now finally Shotwell's new Patriot CD/LP is out as I write.

Here's track 11, from the orginal demo I've had for awhile, but am now sharing in hopes y'all won't sleep on the rest of this scrappy album.

Shotwell - Halliburton Yawn

I caught the band at a show in SF the other day and they were playing at the finest level I've seen them at in ten years. The bottom end is well represented and of course with the dual vocal/guitar attack featuring Tony Rojas joining the mighty Jimmy Broustis, things get riled up quick. I like the way the two get yelping away over the top, and it was a great sweaty set.

If you'd like to order the new Shotwell Lp or CD, well I suggest you get on it, as they are limited pressings and only $9 postpaid from Thrillhouse Records...

I believe some copies are available through other sources, but I suggest you go direct. ( p.s there are only 600 some copies of the vinyl so get yours now!)

Here's a track that's included on the new LP/CD but first appeared in aversion heard on The Letters From The Landfill compilation from Left Of The Dial records...

Here it is as heard on that collection originally out circa 2004...

Shotwell - Dust Of The Dawn

So... if yer still interested,

we'll finish this meandering memorial mix with just a couple more Shotwell tracks here...

These last two tracks are from Shotwell's last fairly hard to find release,

The Devil Has It's Day

And for all you cover art aficionados, here's some never before seen, at least online anywhere that i know of, original
color mock ups of a cover for the CD reissue in 2006...
this time entitled "for The Devil Has It's day"

Shotwell - The Devil Has It's Day

Shotwell - Mudpile

Shotwell - Pick Axe


if that ain't enough for ya, here's a preview of Shotwell's debut full length Celery Beef & Iron which emerged about 10 years ago on the Broken Rekids lable, the only record they hae available online for downloads...

that should do ya'll for now I suppose


See Ya Later Folks

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Saturday Slackfest

Like the aforementioned Jesse Dayton from my last post, the Slackers are American indie music makers I can't get enough of.

I first got hipped to them about 10 years ago, mainly due to their association with Rancid. In fact if it wasn't for the Slackers ska horn infusion and Vic's great Hammond B-3 work on Rancid's Out Come The Wolves, that rough & tumble band likely would have never crossed over as huge via those early radio hits like Ruby Soho and Time Bomb.

Well years have passed and those Brooklyn based Slackers never managed to break like the boys outta Berkeley. They still tour relentlessly, know how to leave a crowd sweaty, and make a helluva fine racket.

I'm tossing in some bonus mp3 tracks for those who wade through the post, the pics and tour dates, so stay alert folks.

These first couple tracks here are from CDs I picked up at recent shows ( see the pics below)

horny horns led by Hillyard

The Slackers live in SF 2008

Marcus the bass master

The first track is a Bob Dylan cover, but one that's given the Slacker shakedown, tossing away the original's lopey 70's country twang for a more upbeat traetment that goes here there and everywhere. I imagine that ol' Mr. Zimmerman never imagined this particular Ruggiero scenario...

The Slackers - Wanted Man
taken from From The Boss Harmony Sessions...

This next track is from a recently released Vic Ruggiero solo album, and he when he took a second from busily paying respects to his female fans, and handed it to me at Bender's Bar in da Mission, there was no cover or title on the disc. Fortunately through the internet connected magic of the Gracenote CDDB system I discovered that this baby is entitled "Something In My Blindspot". According to i-Tunes, it just came out this spring and is a fine example of an eclectic indie record with splashes of ska, folk and rock sprinkled throughout.

Here's the title track from this Moanin'' records release, another song that briefly quotes Dylan as well at the start...

Vic Ruggiero - Always Something My Blindspot

The Slackers are busy touring in support of their new album Self Medication which just came out as well recently. Here's a preview of that disc if yer interested.

The Slackers are out and about as usual, but by the looks of these dates, unless you are in NYC, Japan or Glastonbury you might need awhile longer before they hit your neighborhood.

But be sure to make time when you get a chance to catch these guys, I doubt you'll regret it...

Jun 7 2008 8:00P

Irving Plaza New York, New York

Jun 17 2008 8:00P

Daikanyama UNIT Tokyo, Tokyo

Jun 18 2008 8:00P

Droom Sendai, Miyagi

Jun 19 2008 8:00P

Mescalin Drive Hammamatsu, Hokkaido

Jun 20 2008 8:00P

Sunsui Osaka, Osaka

Jun 21 2008 8:00P

Club Upset 1-4-23 Ikeshita,Chikusa-ku, Niigata

Jun 22 2008 8:00P

Shelter Tokyo, Tokyo

Jun 26 2008 8:00P

Glastonbury Festival- Worthy Farm Pilton, Shepton Mallet, Somerset

Jun 27 2008 8:00P

The Park Leicester

Jun 28 2008 8:00P

Corporation Sheffield

Jun 29 2008 8:00P

Soundhaus Glasgow, Scotland

Jun 30 2008 8:00P

Liquid Room Edinburgh

Jul 1 2008 8:00P

Carling Academy Newcastle

Jul 2 2008 8:00P

Robin 2 Bilston

Jul 3 2008 8:00P

Bierkeller Bristol

Jul 4 2008 8:00P

ULU London, London and South East

Jul 5 2008 8:00P

The Junction Cambridge

hey you made it all the way down here!

congrats... here's a bonus cut, The Slackers from the 2006 release Peculiar, in which they are unafraid to express their disapproval of the current lame duck presidential administration and it's myopic vision.

The Slackers - International War Criminal

and here's one from the Peculiar release,their last for Hell Cat/Epitaph, it's perfect for your weekend whatnot, another classic associated with Mr. Bob Dylan ...

The Slackers - I Shall Be Released


I'm off to go see Mark Mothersbaugh at an art thang in Berkeley...


Road Worn and Weekend Whatnot

I was in Los Angeles earlier this week,( actual photographic proof seen here in this pic on the Hermosa pier). You can spend a lot of time driving around on the freeway trying not to be horribly annoyed by their heinously "hip" corporate radio. The few minutes I interrupted my own musical choices to listen to the pandering pablum on the airwaves felt like hours. I was quickly inundated with with lousy Linkin Park soundalike atrocities until I was forced to keep the FM on permanent hiatus.

Fortunately I was stock piling music for the long drive up the I-5 and had some self selected tunes to ease the monotony...

So in honor of the fact I made it home (even after the car's ignition failure outside of some sad lil lonely burg named Lost Hills...)

Here's some songs I either listened to or purchased out on there on lonely road to and from nowhere...

The list will get longer as I have time, but here's a few to get this party started...

I heard this track pop up in the CD rotator as the signs for $5 diesel whizzed by out the side windows, I imagined how expensive it must be just to keep a band on the road this summer. I've had this album since it came out circa 1982, and this is from a newly remastered edition of Diary of A Madman that I scored in a Modesto strip mall on a trip a few years ago. I love how the the first three tracks in a row still just sail into the stratosphere like few albums ever...

There's only 8 songs in total, but when ya throw down three totally timeless and still fresh sounding hard rock classics in the first 15 minutes, it's plenty of punch to offer the punters. The mighty "Flying High Again" starts things off with a massive head banging, fist pumping fury, followed by the monumental stomper "Over The Mountain", and then there's this next lil' anthem. For some reason this melancholy meandering mellow metal classic with it's screaming Randy Rhodes solo and seven minutes of balladeering is never far from my heart...

It may sound cheesy, but Ozzy's usually right, and it's decades later and you still can't kill rock n roll, and it is really my official religion and my law... now get out of the fast lane if yer still reading the map...

Ozzy Osbourne - You Can't Kill Rock And Roll

I was startled to come across this next oldie but goodie still in the shrinkwrap at a flea market somewhere between Bellflower and Paramount, and while I prefer Joe Jackson's 1980 original, this version from the Persistence Of Time album in 1990 by Anthrax ain't half bad either...

Especially if yer pickin' up speed on the 10 on an overpass above a huge line of losers trying to get into a taping of American Idol ...

Anthrax - Got the Time

Here's one from the excellent casually corrupted country music makin' fool known as Mr Jesse Dayton. He totally won me over after I caught him opening for The Supersuckers several years back, and I can't ever seem to get enough of his shtick.

This tune is in fact a Supersuckers cover, and this bastard son of George Jones sponges it up and squeezes it out perfectly. This was off his self released South Austin Sessions collection on his Stag label, but he's got lots of other great stuff out you should dig into if yer curious.

Jesse Dayton - Road Worn & Weary

I see he's out and about playing shows with Mike Ness everywhere but here, and all over Texas as usual, and he's even got his Mexican vacation gig in Puerta Vallarta all booked up as well.

Looks like he'll be playing in California at the Ink & Iron Festival on the Queen Mary in Long Beach in early June. That's fine & dandy if yer a tatoo sporting So Cal creep, but I haven't pounded shots with him here in San Francisco since Thee Parkside changed ownership awhile back and he was likely banned for life...

Anyhow, if ya see him ... tell him I'm holdin' my own out here, but I miss him and this shit has to be reconciled... or else...

see ya laters kids...

Saturday, May 17, 2008

I Love Rock n Roll... and lots of other stuff too

I have had a busy few weeks since I was last regularly posting anything here...

I've been privy to birth, and death, in all it's forms including human, economic and animal...

and done a whole lotta living as well...

Saw some great music recently including two shows from one of my fave bands, The Slackers, and been sweating it up as summer comes into view...

I could go on for hours, as many of you well know, so I'll spare ya the details and just get on with da music...

Seems like that's what you kids want anyhow...

So hopefully you'll appreciate what ya get, cuz what ya get what ya get...

One of the ways I occupy my idle hours is checking out new music, and of course, these days much of it is obtained online.

While trolling nefarious sources can be appealing, one of the best ( and legal) ways I've found to go about this is via my eMusic subscription...

I'm gonna belabor a point, and tell ya what I feel is still a good way to support your fave musicians...

Instead of scouring the web for torrents or whatever Badongo Rapidshare scheme or whatnots is popular... consider the positive impact you can have by simply buying some of that slippery stuff now and zen...

For the past few years I've been a subscriber to eMusic's very affordable and convienent mp3 download service. It's probably one of the most underrated deals online, or in music in general these days.

While the much hyped I-Tunes service offers plenty DRM coated AAC codec tracks for a buck each, and Amazon has recently jumped into the game with similarly priced DRM free MP3s, eMusic has been doing it longer than both, and at a much better price per track.

My subscription gets me all over the musical map for about 25 cents a song, all for a nominal ten bucks a month that really goes a long way.

The best part is just knowing that somehow a few nickels are getting tossed at writers, composers and legitimate rights holders, and struggling labels can accurately gauge the popularity of their bands.

For the price of one full album download at Amazon or iTunes, I find myself getting somewhere around 40-50 tracks a month at least, and often there are plenty more free samples thrown in by record labels interested in expanding their reach with samplers and such. For example the Tratore label out of Brazil is offering a 15 track Samba sampler currently of modern Brazilian artists, giving me a chance to sample a diverse array of music i would likely not otherwise find on my own.

Here's a list of just some of the newer offerings on on eMusic's website that came in recently, most just within the past month or so...

So intermingled, herein for the truly curious are stray mp3 tracks that I also scored through the site... dozens of which you can score too if ya hit em up for the free trial... and possibly hundreds more if ya end up sticking around for the $10 bucks a month like I have for the past couple years.

Now I ain't a salesman, but here's some of that music... which should do most of the explaining ...

Here's a cut off that free Brazilian Samba sampler from the Tratore label I mentioned above...

Alexandre Grooves featuring Seu Jorge - Amanha eu nao vou trabalhar

Here's another Brazilian artist I discovered through a previous free Tratore sampler...

A really ripping musical experimentalist with psychedleic leanings named Fernando Catatau whose band goes by the musical moniker Cidadão Instigado

Cidadão Instigado - O Verdadeiro Conceito de um Preconceito

O Ciclo da Dê.cadênciaCidadão Instigado
"O Verdadeiro Conceito de um Preconceito" (mp3)
from "O Ciclo da Dê.cadência"

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

As you can imagine I never have a shortage of potential new fave mp3 tracks to burn onto mix CDs, and I am just clicks away from a vast variety of tunes that includes everything from Nina Simone to Testament to Judas Priest to Louis Prima.

The Best Of Hank Williams
From the classic country holy Hank trinity of Hank Locklin, Hank Williams & Hank Thompson to the raw rock of Joan Jett or The Rolling Stones, you will find something to dig into.

There's plenty modern indie rock galore from the likes of My Morning Jacket, MSTRKRFT, Frightened Rabbit, or Spank Rock.

The Rolling Stones, Now!

The Rolling Stones - Honky Tonk Women

aside from yer faves and future fave tunes,
There are also random spoken word albums from Henry Rollins, or interviews with people like John Lennon and or Albert Einstein & Winston Churchill speeches if I so choose....I even have access to quite a few audio books.

Songs To Sing (The Best Of Nina Simone)

Best of Judas Priest

Each month more unique new music is offered. I imagine not everyone will enjoy eMusic, but if your an adventurous sort, with a keen interest in upcoming bands & long lost classics, you can't really go wrong.

50 free mp3 songs

Currently they have an offer for new subscribers to reap 50 FREE MP3 Downloads which isn't band at all...

That's about $50 worth over at one of your other fave download emporiums...

psst another track for y'all... a rare one at that, but that eMusic offered up for free , so I'll pass the savings onto thee...

Paul Pena - Jet Airliner

(by the way, this tune is the original demo version of sorts from the blind Bay Area guitarist that Steve Miller recut and took all the way into perpetual classic rock radio airplay...For more info on the late amazing Paul Pena , ya gotta see the Academy Award winning doc Ghengis Blues... )

Apples In Stereo - various back catalog gems are online at emusic for the taking including their eclectic collection Electronic Projects for Musicians

While iTunes is charging a buck a song for those all too clever Cake tracks, at eMusic subscribers can peruse the back catalog of this band for as little as 25 cents a track, not too mention occasional freebies...

Cake's discography at eMusic"

here's their classically minimalist funky folk take on Dolly Parton's hit Jolene from their recently reissued debut disc Motorcade of Genorosity...


Motorcade of GenerosityCake
"Jolene" (mp3)
from "Motorcade of Generosity"
(Upbeat Records)

Buy at iTunes Music Store
More On This Album

Although if you cruise around eMusic looking for Cake you also might find Lee Hazlewood's final album Cake or Death...
Cake Or Death

It's definitely worth downloading as well...

Barry Adamson - new masterworks from this former member of Magazine & Nick Cave's band, eMusic subscribers could download it weeks before the physical CD copies hit streets !

Albert Einstein - Archival Spoken Word recordings of the noted physicist

The Brazilian chanteuse Bebel Gilberto has a bunch of music available including her popular
Remixed EP.

The Pixies 4AD material has been available for a long time, and Frank Black also has an extended live disc that's twice as long as the 9 track legit CD version.

Pixies founder Black Francis also has his latest EP Svn Fngrs online at eMusic, at less than half what iTunes is charging.

Here's one from last year's Blue Finger album
Black Francis - She Took All The Money

More treats I see are up on eMusic for y'all:

Joan Jett and The Blackhearts have just uploaded her latest Blackheart Records album Sinner, as well as her classics Bad Reputation & I Love Rock n Roll.

Joan Jett - Crimson & Clover

Chesterfield Kings - 2 new releases, and a compilation featuring them put together by Garage Rock guru Little Steven.

John Coltrane - the classic collection known as Settin' The Pace

Miles Davis - Bags Grooove ( remastered All Star 1954 LP with Monk, Milt Jackson on vibes, Sonny Rollins (on tenor sax). and Horace Silver etc )

Devin the Dude - Smoke Sessions Vol. 1

Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis - Very Saxy ( another classic jazz LP from Fantasy catalog)

Jay - Z & Big Mike - International Gangster ( 2008 collab)

Ian Gillan- recent recordings of the former Deep Purple singer at House of Blues in Anaheim

L.A Guns ( early demos)

alt-country punkers Lucero recently put up a good portion of their back catalog

Makaha Sons of Ni'ihau - featuring the early recordings of the late great Israel Kamakawiwo'ole


Pink Skull - Zeppelin 3 ( Electro Dance with guests on Crambodia including SpankRock, Ghostface Killah
Spank Rock and Amanda Blank

Sam Cooke - amazing ABKCO & SAR label back catalog

Sun Kil Moon - morose pop purveyors new release April

Sunscreem - techno scene survivors

or just well known classic indie labels like Earache, Dischord , Yep Roc , and Stax

All I know is, I get enlightened every week and try new stuff, and best of all, I ain't feeling the least tinge of guilty about it beacause thousands of artists and their labels are onboard and willing participants in this online schema.

The service likely ain't for everybody, as most of this stuff ain't top 40 fodder, so keep yer lil sister and her Rihanna fans at bay. I enjoy digging in the digital crates and assume if yer still here, that you do too...

One thing is thjough, as the DRM free fever spreads, more & more well established artists are available these days, ranging from platinum acts like Los Lonely Boys & Johnny Cash, plus classic rock radio staples like The Rolling Stones, Creedence Clearwater Revival , The Kinks, Pete Townsend & The Police.

I mean if yer a new wave fan, looking for some hard to find Gary Numan tracks, last time I checked Emusic had no less than 12 of his albums...

I was surprised to find many new wave acts that are often out of print on CD, such as those that were on Stiff Records, like Dr. Feelgood, Wreckless Eric or even that crazy dame with the kooky voice known as Lene Lovich.
Lucky Number (The Best Of)
Lene Lovich - Lucky NumberOne
(E-Music MP3, 192kbps)

Buy at eMusic

At I-Tunes or Amazon that stuff costs ya at least .99 cents... but via Emusic... hey, about a 1/4th of that... which is maybe what it's really worth eh?

You'll likely discover a little of whatever ya like, ranging from folk to blues, electronica, jazz , classical & even "crunk"...

Yes Yes Y'all...Hip Hop is represented there of course, ranging from Lil Jon on down to the old Delicious Vinyl back catalog, as well as the latest fom cutting edge crews like The Quanuum Records, Dipset, Stones Throw & Hieroglyphics camps.

Bay Area hyphy fans should be aware that this includes underground faves like
Herm, Keak Da Sneak, B legit, RBL, Too $hort, Outlawz, Messy Marv,

Mistah F.A.B, E40, Mac Dre, Yukmouth, Mac Mall, Mr. Kee, and numerous other brothers


New stuff is added to the database every week... so you can stay fresh...

For the adventurous, there's also lots of Latin and World Music too...
I've delved into some classic boogaloo Latin music featuring albums by Ray Barretto, Charlie Palmieri, Machito & Joe Bataan as well as dub & reggae cuts from Desmond Dekker, Bob Marley, Ernest Ranglin, and plenty others so all you feisty fans of Toots & The Maytals,

nor siree... y'all won't be left out either.

Toots & The Maytals - Pressure Drop

(a live DRM free MP3 encoded at's standard 192kbps,)

There's a certain guilt free convienance of finding all sorts of classic tunes at my fingertips, with more selections uploaded & offered each week...both new & old.

It's kinda like having an Amoeba that's open 24 hours a day...with free samples too...

p.s I suggest whether you subscribe or not ya better save this link for daily's always got something new...

Here's the Emusic free download of the day

Anyhow... I ain't gonna go on about this forever, but I just wanted to say that I find the subscription service to be a fine reliable & welcome time killer, always entertaining, with fairly high quality bit rate files to boot. I'm always finding out about new stuff through all the links to related albums & artists...either from fellow customers, Emusic's reviewers or just random searchable coincidences such as label, artist and genre links.

Plus it's way less guilt inducing & creepy than trolling around like a skeezer looking for random illicit downloads. At least you know some sort of tacit approval & royalties are involved with yer tunes...

Anyhow, I figure if you find my site... you are probably looking for music, and ya might wanna give their legit service a go as well...

For less than the cost of one new CD or I-Tunes album each month, basic members have access to dozens of tunes that ya can keep , burn, and move around from player to player without any proprietary DRM restrictions...

Lil Mike sez check it out...

Download 25 FREE songs at!

My Technorati Profile

Friday, May 16, 2008

May 16

Today is May 16th

My ol' pals in Lagwagon have written a song and put it on their album Let's Talk About Feelings that has this date covered...

That sort of gets me off the literary hook I suppose

Lagwagon - May 16th

Not sure what Joey's distraught about...but somehwre under Dave's thunderclaps, and perhaps those dual guitars is a story with a meaning that will become apparent in any of the sonic gaps...

I haven't been updating the lil blog here much lately in case ye noticed...

I've had a lot of stuff going on, and not a lot of inspiration.

One of the things taking wind out of my sails recently was the painful way I've had to say goodbye to two of my closest friends recently.

Two guys I've known for nearly twenty years...

are finito, dead, gone.

Both died in my arms over the past two weeks... my cats.

About a week ago or so Cho Cho, the 18 year old gay siamese cat took ill suddenly and was gone within a couple days.

He stopped eating and drinking, went limp and the vets couldn't explain any of it.

Then just as Cho Cho was sent off for cremation, the other cat started showing the same symptoms...

So lasterday after keeping him alive with subcutaneous fluid injections, and eye dropper feedings of liquid diet, Cho Cho's roommate, 19 year old Little Ricky, just couldn't takle the 98 degree heat...

After days of agonizing, I had to take him down to the vet for some euthanasia... and $300 later I had a dead cat in my arms...

Goodbye Ricky... He fought off kicking ghetto kids in the SF projects, racoons in the hills of Sonoma, and dogs in Oakland... and even used to help me put up flyers...

i'm not sure if it was some poisoned canned food or what, but these guys weren't in that bad of health... and then blammo!

I watched the grim reaper take the life out of these good little boys...

Entrance - Grim Reaper Blues

Prayer of DeathEntrance
"Grim Reaper Blues" (mp3)
from "Prayer of Death"
(Tee Pee Records)

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


we'll keep this Friday 5 mournful mix moving along ...

I've already bought a ticket for Motorhead this summer, and word is they're just along for the ride on a bill with Dio fronting Black Sabbath, and Judas priest with Halford back at the helm...

I'll be wearing black I suppose...

Motorhead - Killed By Death ( live from the 1985 Motorhead 10th Birthday Party at the Hammersmith Odeon )

Judas Priest - Beyond The Realms of Death ( live in Denver 1980 )

and we'll wrap up today with a track from a 1991 demo made on a 4 track cassette machine in a moldy basement on Harrison St in San Francisco. The song later appeared in a more sonically enhanced version produced by Bill Laswell on this band's major label debut...

I also helped write the last verse of the lyrics after the bridge... check it out

Bomb - All My References Are Dead ( from the Sex Kiss Cage Demo, the Bill Laswell produced major label released version available on the Hate Fed Love album on iTunes )

More Bomb info at

You could also download plenty of their indie back catalog at eMusic

The major label release hate Fed Love, is now up at Amazon, preview it here