Song of the Week – Them Changes, Buddy Miles

Ignored           Obscured            Restored

Drummer Buddy Miles is mostly recognized because of his affiliation with Jimi Hendrix’s Band of Gypsys.  Hendrix, Miles and Billy Cox released one album together, recorded live at the Fillmore East on January 1, 1970, and it holds up almost 50 years later.

But Miles’ career had much more to it than the Hendrix connection.  He was a founding member of The Electric Flag, along with guitarist Mike Bloomfield and vocalist Nick Gravenites, that released two albums in 1968.

In 1970, Miles released a couple of solo discs.  The first came out a few months before Hendrix died and was titled after his signature song, “Them Changes” (which was also on the Band of Gypsys album).

“Them Changes” is a terrific, funk rock rave-up, fueled by the Memphis Horns (Stax Records’ Steve Cropper produced the album).  Miles delivers a strong vocal too.

(For a goof, check out the Bobby McFerrin a capella version recorded on his Simple Pleasures album — the one that also had the insipid “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”.)

Them Changes is a very good album that included a few interesting covers of prominent artists like The Allman Brothers (“Dreams”), Neil Young (“Down by the River”) and Otis Redding (“Your Feeling is Mine”).

Enjoy… until next week.

Song of the Week – Action Woman, The Litter

Ignored           Obscured            Restored

Back in 1967, at the height of the original garage rock era that was immortalized on the Nuggets and Pebbles compilations, a Minneapolis band called The Litter released a 7-incher called “Action Woman” on the local Scotty label.  In fact, the song made it onto both of the named comps.  It wasn’t on the Nuggets original 1972, 2 album set but was added to the 1998, 4 CD reissue.  However, it was the lead-off track on Volume 1 of the 28-disc set of the Pebbles series.

This song has everything a classic garage/psych tune needs – fuzzy lead guitar (played by Bill Strandlof) and a snotty vocal (by Denny Waite) sung with an overabundance of attitude.

Waite snarls:

Hey, Miss High and Mighty
I’ve had all I can take
Walkin’ right on by me
That’s your last mistake

I’ve gotta find myself some action
To satisfy my soul
A little mad distraction
Before I lose control


Yeah, I’m gonna find me an action woman
To love me all the time,
A satisfaction woman
Before I lose my mind.

Other than this evergreen rocker, The Litter found little success beyond recognition as a regional working band.  But they caught lightning in a bottle and cemented their place in rock history.

Enjoy… until next week.

Song of the Week – Future Me Hates Me, The Beths

Ignored           Obscured            Restored

This week marks the 11th anniversary of the Song of the Week.  Thank you all for reading and commenting.

Each December my kids and their cousins assemble a playlist of their favorite music of the year.  I really liked one selection on the 2018 list, “Future Me Hates Me” from The Beths album of the same name, and was surprised I missed it during the year.

The Auckland, New Zealand indie rock band is fronted by singer/songwriter/guitarist Elizabeth Stokes.  Her songs are full of smart lyrics, catchy hooks and memorable choruses.

The song is about getting into a relationship that the singer knows is doomed but goes ahead with it anyway.

It’s getting dangerous
I could get hurt I know
I’ve counted up the cons
They far outweigh the pros

Future heartbreak
Future headaches
Wide-eyed nights late-lying awake
With future cold shakes
From stupid mistakes
Future me hates me for
Hates me for

Future Me Hates Me is an excellent debut album (though The Beths had released an EP in 2016) and deserves the recognition it received last year – not only from the “cuzzies” but also from the music press.  Check it out.

Enjoy… until next week.

Song of the Week – Crying, Waiting, Hoping, Buddy Holly; Come On, Let’s Go, Ritchie Valens; Chantilly Lace, The Big Bopper

Ignored           Obscured            Restored

Tomorrow marks the 60th anniversary of the plane crash that took the lives of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson, near Clear Lake, Iowa – “the day the music died” as it later became known, thanks to Don McLean’s “American Pie.”

Rather than rehash the details of the accident (I’m sure you’ll be hearing them all weekend) let’s simply celebrate the music made by those artists!

I have dozens of favorite Holly songs but you’ve heard them all a million times before.  So I’ll treat you to something that, perhaps, you haven’t discovered yet – the demo version of “Crying, Waiting, Hoping.

In December 1958, exactly two months before the crash, Holly got his hands on a new Ampex tape recorder.  He used it to record a series of demos in his New York City apartment between December 3rd and December 17th, and again between January 1st and January 19th, before heading off to begin the fateful Winter Dance Party tour.  This version of “CWH” is from the “Apartment Tapes,” captured on December 17th.  It even has Holly’s famous hiccup!

Mexican American singer/songwriter Ritchie Valens had several hits including Donna (#2) and the ever-present “La Bamba” (#22).  But “Come On, Let’s Go” is the one that really rocks.

The Big Bopper is known for only one song – “Chantilly Lace.”  (At least that’s the only one I’ve ever heard!)

On a personal note, “Chantilly Lace” was a bath time favorite when my kids were small children.

Enjoy… until next week.