Afternoon Snack: The Who, “Jagauar” and “Rael”

I have been listening to the complete reissue of The Who Sell Out, which has the original tracks and bits of commercials supporting Peter Townshend’s penchant to make an album a cohesive unit.

Townshend, as most of you likely know, imagined the album as a daily radio program on the BBC, so he sprinkled in radio spots, largely performed by the band making the music sparkly, the ads goofy and funny, and the entire work just so different and musically prescient that the whole affair just kills me. In fact, The Who Sell Out is my favorite album by the band.

With the reissue all the original cuts are indeed there, along with the released spots, but there are almost 30 cuts on this, with several takes on several songs in several styles making the whole smorgasbord kind of fascinating in so many ways.

But, at the core is the music which my mate Steve Gibson called alternative, even though the album was released 10 years before the Sex Pistols saw daylight.

If you listen to the song below, Jaguar, I think you will see what Steve means.

If you drop down to Rael, you will find an instrumental riff that worked its way into Underture from Tommy.



Internet K-Hole Inspired Photo Essay

screenshot-2016-10-19-10-50-46Everybody who knows the Internet K-Hole says they love the Internet K-Hole. I’ve previously said it here and here.

Someone at Cuepoint has taken 32 pictures from the hole and matched them to lyrics from songs. Some are great lyrics, some match the photo, some seem a little random, but it’s all good.



Yugoslavian Rock Through the Ages.

Here’s the Yugoslavian band Električni Orgazam in 1981.

Pretty good, no? Kind of a darker take on the Talking Heads 77/Modern Lovers.

I learned about these guys, and a record company called Moonlee, that is dedicated to releasing new rock music from the former Yugoslav republics, from a Cuepoint survey of the scene.

The story ends with the story of Bernays Propaganda, a Croation band that is working these days sometimes with Mike Watt. Their tune Provekje is more indie than punk, but the story says their early stuff is angular, like Fugazi.

Another contemporary band, Serbian I think, is Replikator. This tune struggles to escape the murky bottom like that 90s mainstay Come.

Song of the Week – Atomic Bomb, William Onyeabor


A few years ago a popular documentary was released called Searching for Sugarman. It told the story of an American musician named Sixto Rodriguez who was very popular in South Africa. The Detroit based Rodriguez — whose signature song was called “Sugar Man” — released a couple of albums in the early 70s that received little recognition before he retired from music. In South Africa he was rumored dead but some fans decided to try to find him to determine if the rumor was true. The rest is history.

Another artist, William Onyeabor, has a story with similarities to Rodriguez. The Nigerian born Onyeabor released a series of serious funk records between the mid 70s to mid 80s. His eight albums languished in obscurity after Onyeabor left the music industry and became a devoted born again Christian. A parallel with Rodriguez is that his fans were left with little idea where he was or how to reach him.

In 2013, Talking Head David Byrne secured the rights to reissue some of Onyeabor’s music on his Luaka Bop label on a compilation called Who is William Onyeabor?. That’s where I discovered today’s SotW, “Atomic Bomb.”

The song instantly finds a groove that ambles along for its full 8 minutes. At various points along the way it is punctuated with tastful guitar licks and the early synthesizer noodlings that Onyeabor was famous for – and would later be an important ingredient that Bernie Worrell brought to Stop Making Sense era Talking Heads music. I pay no attention to the mildly suggestive lyrics, but I do like the sound of the background singers’ call and response as well as their “atomic bomb” chant in the chorus.

A loose collective of alt rock artists formed in 2014 to perform Onyeabor’s music under the name Atomic Bomb. According to Wikipedia the group consists of:

“… music director Ahmed Gallab and his band Sinkane (composed of Jason Trammell on drums, Ish Montgomery on bass and Jonny Lam on guitar), Alexis Taylor (of Hot Chip), Pat Mahoney (of LCD Soundsystem), Money Mark (of the Beastie Boys) Lekan Babalola and Jas Walton (of Antibalas).

The group has also featured special guests including David Byrne (of Talking Heads) Damon Albarn (of Blur), the Lijadu Sisters, Pharoah Sanders, Jamie Lidell, Joshua Redman, Kele Okereke (of Bloc Party), Luke Jenner (of The Rapture), Ghostpoet, Dev Hynes (aka Blood Orange / Lightspeed Champion), Wally DeBacker (Gotye), Young Fathers, Mahotella Queens, Andrew Ashong, Zap Mama, Charles Lloyd, Cheikh Lô, Peaking Lights, David Murray, Para One, Mike Floss, Moses Sumney, Sarah Jones, and Green Gartside.

Enjoy… until next week.

Thinking about Jesse Dayton, and universal streaming, and what we think on our first listen

As I’ve noted here a few times, I’m on Bob Lefsetz’s mailing list. Lefsetz is an older (as old as me) recorded music professional. I don’t know his bio, but I like his posts because they’re passionate and informed about a wide range of issues, and he loves the classic rock music (far more than me, but he really loves it).

I didn’t read his original post, but tonight he posted a letter from a musician named Jesse Dayton, who responded to a Lefsetz post by describing who he is:

Hey Bob. Dig your blog. Here’s the skinny. Old Texas family. Recorded w/ Waylon, Cash, Willie & slew others playing guitar after 10,000 hrs of moving the needle on Jerry Reed vinyl. Did hillbilly music for 3 Rob Zombie films which did good enough for me to buy a house in Austin which is now worth quite a few shekels. Just filled in for Billy Zoom while he was getting cancer treatment on 40 show tour w/ Doe, Exene & DJ in X which reintroduced me to a national audience. Wrote/directed a Cormanesque B-movie creature feature w/ Malcolm McDowell that sold & I made $ on & is now a cult thing. Just released new record The Revealer w/ a batch of songs that I didn’t just write, but opened a vein & let them bleed out of my insane childhood & all the desperate characters I was subjected too along the way. It’s all there…civil rights issues, conned hillbillies not voting their interest, being unworthy of real love…you name it. Right now I’m in the middle of nowhere living by my wits w/ 3 piece band on a never ending tour in a motor home. Thx for the shout out amigo. Onward JD

Now, I’m not a big Rob Zombie fan, but Corman, Malcolm McDowell, and Jerry Reed stroke my strings. I’m into open veins pouring, too, if it isn’t suicide.

The great thing about the modern world, a really great thing and I don’t think we’ve absorbed how this has changed us, is that after I read this email note I could immediately listen to Dayton’s record (on YouTubeRed, in this case). And I could judge.

And I judge, meh. Here’s a song I like more than others.


Very Jerry Lee Lewis, and that’s not bad. But as it goes on this guy seems to more marketing to me about his deep roots than actually rocking. The rock feels too organized for someone truly crazed by that wacked out background he describes. In fact the whole idea of the Holy Ghost Rock ‘n’ Roller seems, by the end of the song a pretty fail marketing ploy.

Dayton touches all the bases of apostasy, but starting with the album image and ticking through the tunes, the hi jinx of rural religion is used to denote authenticity. And the music of rock ‘n’ roll is used to denote authenticity.

And the music? Fun, if you’re will to suspend your belief in legitimacy.

I recommend listening to all of Dayton’s tunes. This isn’t bad music and is mostly not bad thinking, but from the album image to the calculated lyrics, this seems more intellectualized than rocked.

Bottom line, I can’t keep listening to it. If I want to hear this music I listen to Joe Ely, to Hank Williams III, to Steve Earle.  If I don’t want so much testosterone I listen to Lucinda Williams and, on the sweet side, Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins.

But I am going search out that Malcolm McDowell movie.

As I go to bed, some truly bleak HW III:


The Cyrkle, Red Rubber Ball

What I didn’t know before today was that Brian Epstein, the Beatles manager, discovered these guys. He changed their name, and John Lennon suggested alternative spelling.

Plus their biggest hit was co-written by Paul Simon. He still gets royalties.

They played as an opener on many of the Beatles last stadium shows.

After the well ran dry they wrote jingles, and produced Foghat albums. Kind of crazy, like a red rubber ball with spin.

Van Morrison and Bob Dylan, One Irish Rover

Van and Bob sitting on a hill with the Parthenon in the background, singing a Van Morrison song (that isn’t One Irish Rover) with acoustic guitar (Van) and harmonica (Bob).

Followed by One Irish Rover, both playing guitars, singing harmonies. Simple, but excellent nonetheless. With Van playing guitar quite nicely and hypnotically, kind of perfect. You probably don’t want less, and you certainly don’t want more.

There’s more after that, excellent Van, but the songs on the hillside are what got me here. Icons, maybe showing off, but simply.