Driving today, this came on KRFC, Radio Fort Collins. Thank you. I thought this was odd, because I was in a grocery store a few days ago and Canned Heat’s Going Up the Country came on. But Going up the Country is classic rock, a hit song in rock’s best days. So, synchronicity? Not really. But when I was making dinner (creamy fish chowder) I put on Canned Heat’s greatest hits, and there are some good tunes there. Amphetamine Annie isn’t one of those, exactly but maybe we’ll touch base on some of them in the coming days. I like this song for the way the band shouts, Speed kills! An earlier version of this post said Bob Hite doesn’t sing on Amphetamine Annie, when in fact he does. I got that wrong because I always thought Hite sang Going Up the Country, but that was in fact Larry Taylor.
This one is from 1991. Van Morrison is no remnant, he’s been a giant star for a long time. But he’s also a working musician, a scrappy one who has not bent his vision to match the future, as such. He records new stuff, he tours, he has looked like a heart attack waiting to happen for 40 years, but luckily for us he’s survived and visited us with his Celtic rhythm and blues-y jazzbo stylings regularly. I’m not going to vouch for all of it. There’s too much to listen to, for one thing, but the album this is from, Hymns to the Silence, his 21st long player, seems to me brilliant all the way through, a mixture of personal animus and griping and soulful stylings and professions of faith, with a tight band and not a little bit of nostalgia for things before they’d been debased. I don’t agree with that last point entirely, but I like the music it pushed Van Morrison to on this record.
So, yesterday, I was driving and listening to KRFC and the DJ started saying it was time for his $1.99 album of day, which turns out to be an elpee he found recently in a yard sale or flea market. Today’s $1.99 album of the day was the first Pandoras’ elpee, which seemed to fit in well with recent posts. I’d not heard of the Pandoras before. They were/are an LA band in the 80s. Their elpee, Stop Pretending, is a very good garage rock album. The band’s story is a mess of contention, comings and goings, and lots of live playing. What I like is just how good all this music sounds, respecting the past (liberally), but also getting the emotional part right, too.
It took a while, but I found a fine Colorado radio station out of Fort Collins called KRFC. The frequency is 88.9. But of course in this modern age, and I’m in Boulder, the radio signal is kind of weak (though they’re running a fund raiser to go to 50K watts) so I get a lot of static, unless I load the website. Anyway, KRFC is fantastic, one of those radio stations that gives the programming to the DJs and stays out of the way. I keep hearing live shows at noon of local talent. Some good, some not, always worth listening to. I think that’s the bar. Are you worth listening to?
Vampire Weekend has a new album out. Drew Magary wrote a funny review of it. I haven’t listened to the album yet. Don’t know why I would (though I like Oxford Comma, the song), but this is my favorite quote (I liked that one Shins record a lot, only to recoil afterward): “Motherfucker, this just sounds like the other two songs. Like The Shins did a one-off album after scoring a djembe at a yard sale.”
Live and learn. I found the source for my Wicked Lady post. Dangerous Minds. There was also a band called Wicked Lady in the Netherlands in the late 70s. This clip is from 1981. If you listen to the songs linked in the Dangerous Minds story you’ll find some good sounds with some pretty weak songs. This might be the best of them, if you don’t count Girls cover of Cherry Bomb. Plus that’s a nice guitar solo. Not that punk.
I don’t really know how I found this. I think it was a story about girl rock bands from the 60s, though when I found a short biography of the band it was quickly clear that these were blokes in this band. These were Englishy blokes who got together in 1968 and quickly had a following of bikers who discouraged club owners from booking the band. After too much drinking and too many drugs they broke up, then reformed with a new bass player and recorded their songs, which were then pressed in a very limited run for band members and their families. They seem to have had a bad attitude, they reportedly played the same song over and over again at one gig until the owner threw them off the stage, and once again broke up, this time for good. All this biography is from a page at AllMusic.com. At some point a compilation of Wicked Lady’s song was released by Kissing Spell Records, which is when the band went from anonymous bangers to psychedelic revival candidates. One of their newly found fans created this excellent home made video on YouTube in 2012. You can find their tunes on Google Music and Spotify. In the end, it looks like Wicked Lady is kind of immortal. Seems that the music is now licensed to YouTube by a Spanish record company called Guerssen.
A classic soul track. Great in every way. And then, through the miracle of YouTube, Fred Astaire and Rita Hayworth. Enjoy.
I love this.
When I worked in midtown in the early 80s I’d visit the various discount record stores and buy cut out records for a buck or two based on a track or a name that I recognized from something I’d read or heard about on the radio. That’s how I found the Dixie Cups Chapel of Love and Iko Iko. Two of the great cuts of the 60s. Today I found on Google Music an album called the Dixie Cups versus the Shangri Las. Now, apart from the fact that this is a bogus contest, because of it I found a bunch of Dixie Cups songs I don’t think I’d ever heard before. Are the Dixie Cups greater than the Shangri Las? Here’re two songs to go with their big hits that make me say, maybe!