Monday, March 31, 2008

Put in my pocket my sevens & my elevens

For those of you who have ever been hung-over and spied that box of records through a bleary eye saying "I can't possibly dig through this junk right now", know that perseverance does indeed pay off. One such incident saw me elbow deep in disco duck-shit singles before producing what would prove to be one of my favorite sides of all time - Cile' Turner's 'Crap Shootin' Sinner.

Courtesy of the Rivermont Records website:

"Lucile ('Cile) Turner, a young singer from southern Virginia, became fascinated with African-American music while attending the New England Conservatory of Music in the mid-1910s There she attracted attention by singing African-American folk songs and spirituals she had learned as a child from workers on her parents' farm. By the 1920s, she was touring the Eastern United States giving programs of "Songs from the South," later hosting a popular weekly fifteen-minute radio program on NBC's coast-to-coast network. What began as a hobby for Turner evolved into a full-time profession for the next forty years as she traveled through the South collecting African-American songs and stories to present on radio, records, live performances, and later on her own syndicated television show. In December 1959, her rockabilly-flavored 45 "Crap Shootin' Sinner" and "The Golden Rule" made the Cash Box Top 100, and several others received special mention in Billboard Magazine."

"Be it wrong, be it right", this tune is total mid-tempo R & B goodness, so roll the dice on it junior.

Crap Shootin'Sinner - Cile' Turner

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Pepperbox - Nothin' to Sneeze at

No vinyl today as I've Just finished work on this little relic - Manhattan Pepperbox revolver in .31 caliber circa 1850. Based off of the Ethan Allen patent, this pistol has definitely seen some use over the 150 plus years its been bangin' around the country (at that age, who hasn't?), including some prodigious cap n' ball firing at what I can only assume to be a cheating grifter.

Ahhh, if only objects could talk...

Thursday, March 27, 2008

She's a Gumbo Cooker, Alligator Hooker...

One of the things I love about the Blues Project is that you can spin their Long-Plays a million times and come up w/ something new at each turn. The bands third and final album, 1968's 'Planned Obsolescence', being no exception, the track that gets me upon further review has to be their version of 'Mojo Hannah'.

Originally cut in 62' on Mowtown by Henry Lumpkin (Written by the fabulous Andre Williams), 'Mo Jo Hanna'(As is its original title) has been co-opted by many a headliner including Marvin Gaye, Esther Phillips, Larry Williams, and Aaron Neville to name a few. Probably the most lauded version in record circles though would be the Tammi Lynn version, as 'Mojo' lends itself well to the trappings of Soul.

Now, I have to admit that any song which traffics in Black Magic invariably "had me at hello".

While, not a huge fan of Lynns take, I can totally get behind the increasingly frantic pace that the 'Project' sets for their soul stab at 'Mojo'. Even down several of the integral members which made 'Projections' the fave that it is, 'Planned Obsolescence' manages to be a fitting swan-song for a tri-state area band that proved the states were just as progressive as the European shores when it came to improvisational music.

"She built up a strong reputation in the southern land. On Saturday night about twelve o'clock she Hoodoo's the Voodoo man"

Mojo Hannah - Blues Project

Soviet Ingenuity...

Truly the Swiss army knife of our generation...

"Evil Grows in Cracks and Holes"

It often pays to give more than a casual listen to what other people are spinning these days. Case in point, my drummer Tommy managed to turn me on to this tune by the Poppy Family (as well as British psych darling 'Jason Crest') while taking a breather during band practice. I was immediately struck by the tunes malevolence, a seemingly innocent nihilism carefully hidden behind an AM radio vibe. Recorded in Canada by Susan & Terry Jacks (the latter of 'Seasons in the Sun' fame) for inclusion on 1971's 'Poppy Seeds' album , 'Where Evil Grows' demonstrates the lighter approach favored by our northern cousins, namely, "Walk softly and carry a big Sitar".

Dig this live (Dubbed) clip from the Kenny Rogers variety show 'Rollin on the River'(Sorry. No Embed)

Where Evil Grows - Poppy Family

Monday, March 24, 2008

The sky cries Boffalongo...

Do you remember the song 'Dancing in the Moonlight'? I thought so. It's kinda difficult to get the sound of Wurlitzer 200 keys outa your head once you've been inundated w/ this AM radio staple. Hard to believe that slice of angel food cake was penned by the same beings who supplied the enclosed cuts, the mysteriousBoffalongo (Note: The Billboard 100 single of 'Dancing in the Moonlight' popularized in 73'is a cover by 'King Harvest').

Eclectic to say the least, New York's Boffalongo managed to shoe-horn just about every musical style popular at the time into their repertoire - fuzzed-out riffs, country-bumpkinism and even some lite psych, the influence of which can be culled from their self-titled album's rather ridiculous liner notes.

"Some of the wraiths, too, wrap themselves in clothes and come disguised to listen. Will-o-the-Wisps, they drape themselves weightlessly across amplifiers, walk across the keyboards in anachronistic silence, curl up to wait in the drums. And as the music is weaved, warp and woof, of the stuff of the continuum, these wraiths twirls the knobs, adjust the echo, cup the microphones, muffle the snare and music is created, distillate of a thousand years and a thousand lives - Boffalongo"

Good thing they don't take themselves too seriously, right? These guys must have hung out w/ Danny Hutton and 'Three Dog Night'

Boffalongo managed to put away two albums between 68' and 71', including the above mentioned and the followup 'Beyond Your Head' before splintering into such respectable acts as Orleans, The Blues Magoos and The Beach Boys. Good thing for us they tattooed this mighty disk before commencing w/ the fluff. Don't take my word for it though. Consider, if you will, the sage wisdom of ...Boffalongo.

"So nightly gather Boffalongo and myrriad mystic souls, sliding down the four coordinates to coollide sprawling, brawling, laughing in the loft of 7th Avenue. Between the covers of this album a studio has captured some of their witch-brew music. On your turntable let the needle dislodge a spirit or a hundred spirits. Boffalongo will haunt you. Sit for a spell, live for a time where the four coordinates meet. Boffalongo."


The Sea's Gettin' Rough - Boffalongo

Please Stay - Boffalongo

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Not what Tennessee Williams had in mind.

What can one say about the Glas Menagerie? No, seriously, what can I say about them? Beside being from JJB's neck o' the land (Philthydelphia), and the fact that the band can't spell worth a shit, there is absolutely no info on these two awesome cuts. I can't even tell you what year this disc hails from. Comped on 'Off the Wall # 2'& 'Crude PA # 2', I can totally get behind the outa tune bass & failed attempt at harmonizing (I am a big proponent of the "Warts & all" philosophy myself). Commin' at ya from a crate full of crap @ a VFW parking lot, a band so good that one side could not contain their genius.

Mod Threads - The Glas Menagerie

Natasha - The Glas Menagerie

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Got this one awhile back in a batch of styrene. I had haggled the group for another platter (Werewolf - Morgus & the Derringers) but was pleasantly surprised when some of the incidentals I inherited came up aces. Case in point, The Sheep. I'm sure everyone in attendance is familiar with the inimitable Bunker Hill, I know my copy of 'Girl Can't Dance' is practically transparent with abuse. It's interesting to hear someone tackle Mr. Hill's 'Hide & Seek', bringing their own intensity to an opus that's pretty shifty to begin w/. Not much is know about the mysterious Sheep, save that this 1966 outfit features members of the Strangeloves, famous for being the first Australian band to chart in the U.S (Cough* Bullshit *Cough). While not a saccharine sweet as 'I Want Candy', I implore you to give sheep a chance, and pull the wool will ya. (Sorry, can't help it)

Hide & Seek - The Sheep

Monday, March 17, 2008


I'm a gonna take a break from my ongoing theme of 'Soul' misery this evening to lay one down on The Devil. That said, I, like 'Mr. Dick', have been known to dabble in the 'Rawk' these kids are listening' to these days. I first heard this one as a suburban New Jersey ankle biter while being weened on The Hound, and believe you me when I say that this one is killer diller. To the trained ear, this 1959' cut has piano monkey Mickey Hawks (of 'Screamin' Mimi Jeanie' fame) all over it (Ewwww). I managed to scam this one in a long-since demolished warehouse in Highland Park along w/ a whole stack of singles owned by the illustrious 'Bill Fay'.

Note: Who is Bill Fay you ask? Why, he's the chap who tattooed his name on all his records, Einstein (see label).

And though I find the practice deplorable, ole' bill had some good taste (Keep an eye out for some more singles of the Bill Fay persuasion coming soon). Anyway, this Natty Boh is for you Devil!

Cottonpickin' - Night Raiders

Sunday, March 16, 2008

"Hey Kowalsi, you out there?"

In the words of 'Super Soul':

"And there goes the Challenger, being chased by the blue blue meanies on wheels. The vicious traffic squad cars are after our lone driver, the last American hero, the electric sitar, the demigod, the super driver of the golden west. Two nasty Nazi cars are close behind the beautiful lone driver. The police numbers are gettin ' closer, closer, closer to our soul hero in his soul mobile, yeah baby. They're about to strike, they're gonna get him, smash him, rape the last beautiful free soul on this planet. But, it is written, if the evil spirit arms the tiger with claws, Brahman provideth wings for the dove. Thus spake, the super guru."

Some might argue that existentialism has no place in a road movie, but any "Chase" celluloid worth it's salt, whether it be 'Two Lane Blacktop' or 'Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry', is really more about the concept of limitless possibilities and the freedom of the decade, then it is about torque ratio and power sliding. Take the sublime and criminally under appreciated 'Vanishing Point' for example. You got methamphetamine abuse, a desert journey of self discovery, a seemingly telepathic link with a blind, black soul DJ, a naked chick on a Honda 'sickle'. Hell, Barry Newman even manages to get high and bang the Grim Reaper before threading his 70' Challenger through the eye of the needle.

As one might imagine, a tale of such gravity requires a proper soundtrack, and though the burden is more than shouldered by the inclusion of such bands and pickers as 'Mountain' and the fabulous 'Big Momma Thornton', the highlight for me is the instro work of the ambiguously credited 'J.B. Pickers' Aka. hayseed legend Jimmy Bowen.

"{Jimmy}Bowen began as a teenage recording star in 1957 with "I'm Stickin' With You," originally the flip side of the hit record "Party Doll" by Buddy Knox, but ultimately a Top 20 recording on its own. Bowen was a less successful singer than Knox, his partner in the Rhythm Orchids, and ultimately he abandoned a singing career, but stayed in the music industry.In the early 1960s, in Los Angeles, California, he bucked the 1960s rock phenomenon when Frank Sinatra hired him as a record producer for Reprise Records, and Bowen showed a strong knack for production, getting chart hits for Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr., all regarded as too old-fashioned for the Sixties market."

Released on the 'Bell / Amos' label in 1971, here is a little taste of the 'Vanishing Point' soundtrack.

Freedom of Expression - J.B. Pickers

Heller Vs. D.C.

And so it is the provisions of the Second Amendment go before the Supreme Court. I shudder to think.

"Those who beat their swords into plowshares shall plow for those who don't"


Overtime, LPs & a Dead Man's Hand...

Had to work Saturday. Six cups of coffee later and too tired to sleep, I took a spin out to native New Brunphis (AKA. New Brunswick). Pickins were slim to none, but I managed to dig up the following detritus:


Rhinoceros - Self Titled (Electra)
Spirit - The Family That Plays Together (Epic)
Generation X - Self Titled (Chrysalis)
Archies - Self Titled (Calender)


Paragons - Down at the Beach (Donna)
Mitchell Torok - What's Behind the Strange Door

While nothing earthshaking in the vinyl department, the most interesting thing I picked up on my weekend travels would have to be the genuine disembodied human hand I procured on French St.

Now before you go crying foul about my proclivity for grave robbing, know that these digits were procured through legal channels. It was one of those impulse buys you hear about, like at a supermarket checkout line or something. There I was squaring up with my dealer, when I saw it sitting in the window and just had to have it. It appears to be from a Victorian era medical skeleton. Apparently it came from the estate of a photographer. He even used it at one time as aphotographic study (see below).

Never a dull moment.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Better Days Are Coming

Ya know, some songs just affect people in weird ways. I remember hearing "Pretty Ballerina" by the Left Banke for the first time on a rainswept morning and thinkin'to myself "This shit has some blue lit to it". In much the same regard, I never really gave Wesley Paige that much thought until recently. It was a grey winter afternoon ,the kind you can only get in Jerzey, when I gave this cut another go. I was immediately struck by its sincerity. Short of the fact that it is a follow-up to 1966's 'You Turn Me Around / Oh My Goodness', any tales this old dog has to tell are since lost to history. I know the B-side gets a considerable bump from soul brothas ('I Got to Find Out FOr Myself'), but I'm gonna throw my hat in the ring for the ballad. It's a deceptively simple rag, kinda Motown w/ it's orchestral arrangement, kinda current for its day what with the twelve string and all. Musicianship aside, its strength remains its ability to engender hope, even in a self-professed cynic like myself.

"Better days are coming...if I can hang on."

Here's to you Mr. Paige. Thanks for the leg up.

Better Days Are Coming - Wesley Paige and the Masters Three

Josie & Those Pussycats

I'm feelin' this. Grabbed it many moons ago at a garage sales in Metuchen NJ along w/ some other choice cuts on 'Rojac' and 'N-Joy'. I figure the 'Josie'label had never steered me wrong before, what w/ the Mighty Hannibal in heavy rotation, so I gave it a whirl. I can't really give you much info suffice to say that this 1966 cut appears on the 'Shocker!' comp among others(filthy mind) and it certainly doesn't stand still. Being a Part 2, the flip is more of the same densely packed dance floor polisher as it's predecessor, but as far as "One TrickPonys"'s a pretty good trick.

Those Foxes and Pussycats pt 1 - Eddie Curtis

That MAC is lookin' pretty good right about now...

Been out cold w/ a nasty little virus as of late (Downloader camping out in Windows Update among other things). Finally got this old machine limpin' along so...on w/ thee show.