Tuesday, June 30, 2009

johnny ace and the mystery .22 bullet

chicago, 1954. photograph by fritz goro for "
life" magazine.

Classic Doo Wop from Memphis born, John Marshall Alexander, Jr. who allegedly committed suicide on Christmas day, 1954 in Houston, Texas during a break between sets backstage at the City Auditorium.

From Wiki:

Big Mama Thornton, another witness to the shooting, said in a written statement (included in the book The Late Great Johnny Ace) that Ace had been playing with the gun, but not playing Russian roulette. According to Thornton, Ace pointed the gun at his girlfriend and another woman who were sitting nearby, but did not fire. He then pointed the gun toward himself. The gun went off, shooting him in the side of the head."

from "Pledging My Love b/w Anymore" 45 (Duke Records) 1954 (US)

Monday, June 29, 2009

super bad: the payback

103rd street, harlem, NYC, 1947. photograph by ralph morse for "life".

And not a white sock in sight.

Honestly; all these flippant comparisons with James Brown are beginning to sound rather tedious.

Fred Thomas: bass; John Jabo Starks: drums;
Hearlon Cheese Martin: guitar; Jimmy Nolen: guitar;
Johnny Grigs: percussion; John morgan: percussion;
Fred Wesley: trombone; James Brown: vocals.

Written by John Starks.

JAMES BROWN: THE PAYBACK from "The Payback" 2 x LP (Polydor) 1973 (US)

little richie marsh

Richard Marsh:
Born 1937 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Died in Austin Texas, June 25, 2009.

Overshadowed by recent events over the course of these last few days, I only caught this sad news yesterday, courtesy of The Warden.

Lifted from The Seeds '66 debut album, also released on GNP Crescendo - out of Melrose Avenue, LA - the flip side comes directly from their second LP "A Web of Sound". If your brain has begun to liquify after repeated hothouse offerings of "Billie Jean" these past 48 hours, maybe it's time to push on and germinate a little perspective. Covered by a host of the disaffected from Alex Chilton - on the flip side to his 1978 45 "Bangkok", on Fun Records - to the Ramones.

Jan Savage: Guitar;
Sky Saxon: lead vocals, bass, harmonica;
Daryl Hooper: piano, organ;
Rick Andridge: drums.

Produced by Marcus Tybalt.
Written by Sky Saxon.

THE SEEDS: CAN'T SEEM TO MAKE YOU MINE from "Can't Seem To Make You Mine b/w I Tell Myself" 45 (GNP Crescendo) 1967 (US)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

ayatollah khatami: talking asshøle

sphinc•ter |ˌsfɪŋktə|
• a ring of muscle surrounding and serving to guard or close an opening or tube, such as the anus or the openings of the stomach.

sphinc•ter•al adjective
sphinc•ter•ic |-ˌtɛrɪk| adjective

ORIGIN late 16th cent.: via Latin from Greek sphinktēr, from sphingein ‘bind tight’.

And flaccid with it.

While Iran's favourite mullah shoots imbecilic spittle in his beard, and gets his knickers in a royal twist, the west should not forget for one minute that those recent events on the streets of Tehran mark a monumental development in the overruling of blind intolerance and contemptible rhetoric.

"Leading demonstrators must be executed, cleric demands."
- The Times, June 27, 2007.

Really. As the world hold its breath and ponders the remote possibility of such fanatical upstarts getting stoned - literally - by their own downtrodden peoples, surely the weight of secular opinion the globe over must dictate otherwise

Whip it up, motherf@cker, by all means. It is what we have come to expect. The ritual incontinence
of extremism and fatwa upon fatwa like spoiled sandwiches piled up at a wake.

In one corner are those who dare protest. In the other sit those who merely tolerate evil, and those who willfully abet in the systemic silencing of all voice of dissent. Public or not.

The killer clown has spoken. It is virtually enough to prompt one to pick up the sword.

Of course, this is precisely what the fundamentalists hanker after: a climate of terror which stifles any hint of dialogue; within their immediate circle and beyond.

Recorded September 19th, 1968 - March 7th, 1969 at IBC Studios, London.

from "Tommy" 2 x LP (Track) 1969 (UK)

whose badge ?

but the thing which makes it for me is Harrison's Abbey Road guitar bridge cutting across the zebra crossing. A couple of seconds of timeless, excruciating joy.

Did I say unadulterated ?

Written by Eric Clapton with a little help from George Harrison.
Recorder some time in October, 1968.

CREAM: BADGE from "Goodbye Cream" LP (Polydor) 1969 (UK)

Friday, June 26, 2009

whose bad ?

the lengths
some people will go to to pull out of an upcoming gig or two would put even
Mark E. Smith to shame.

Too bad.

polo neck

syd barrett, 1965.

From the Floyd's first outing wholly recorded without contribution from Syd. "Music from the Film More" is a well crafted document exploring their original soundtrack to the picture directed by Barbet Schroeder. Many of the songs featured bear scant resemblance to their cinematic counterparts, and in tonality builds on the themes first explored on "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun" from their second long player.

This low key offering, written by Waters with vocals by Barrett's replacement David Gilmour, sounds in part like a eulogy for Barrett and briefly features some outstanding guitar in the song's closing moments.

The schools here are officially out as of today. The skies are clear and heat has been turned back up a notch. Be thankful, then, I did not inflict Gilmour's "Fat Old Sun" upon you, siblings.

PINK FLOYD: CRYING SONG from "Music From The Film More" LP (Columbia EMI) 1968 (UK)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

santa ana revisited

Surfer Rosa, muthaf@kers.

A righteous muscular workout of the Chantays' 1963 classic, written by Brian Carmen and Bob Spickard of Santa Ana, California. Given some concise pace by legendary Doll, John Anthony Genzale, Jr. With additional guitar, of course, from Heartbreaker, Walter Lure.

The album also features contributions from Steve Jones and Paul Cook.

JOHNNY THUNDERS: PIPELINE from "So Alone" LP (Sire) 1978 (US)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

communiqué #24: a word of caution regarding money grabbing $hits

normal service disabled, mister ib.

The good news, clearly, is that DivShare has reset my monthly download limit.

Allegedly, there was an issue with their database on 16th June; coincidentally the same day they collected $12 on my account. Rather inconveniently, all linked files up on their server were locked over a two day period. While Support has since resolved the issue, apparently it was considered a low enough priority that no apology was forthcoming.

Sorry seems to be the hardest word. Even when one is paying top dollar for it.

To compound matters, it appears that a further $9.99 was debited from my account just today. Go figure. A monthly subscription is just that; one does not expect to forfeit twice in any one given month. Furthermore, while checking their premiums up on their members' page as a consequence, it appears the monthly amount levied for those services leased is currently $5.95. Assholes. That makes for quite a princely overpayment by my calculations, depite the fact they have lowered their rates in recent months to undercut the competition.

I advised them by e-mail to investigate as a matter of urgency, of course. If the situation is not promptly resolved I see no option but to close my account immediately. In addition to taking steps to recover misappropriated funds on a service which does not deliver as advertised.

F@ck them. If any blogger dropping in here is thinking of setting up an account with them, I would encourage you to reconsider.

Oh, and did I mention their traffic statistics do not update into the bargain ? Kind of problematic when one is trying to keep tabs on the popularity of content.

"You Publish, They Control".

illustration by ib.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

#3 of a 10-point program

"I'm talking about unity, brothers and sisters,
because we have to get it together."

- john sinclair, 1968.
"3. Free exchange of energy and materials 
- we demand the end of money!" 
- #3 of a 10-point mission statement,
John Sinclair,

Minister of Information: White Panther Party, November 1st, 1968.

MC5: KICK OUT THE JAMS from "Kick Out The Jams" LP (Elektra) 1969 (US) [r]

Monday, June 22, 2009

saturday, maybe

"Factory chimney coughs yellow smoke.
Trucks and trains go rumbling.
Throw down the key from your window high.
Your man's out drinking.
Neighbours thinking evil.
Lead me by the the light of your electric fire.
Your green slips falls about your feet,
and across the sheet
your nut brown curls go tumbling.

We don't have long 'til he comes home from the bar.
I'll be gone a week of sundays.
Meet me by the bronze horse or the clock tower.
Try to come Friday; Saturday maybe.
Don't cry now, you'll freak the baby."

- Robin Williamson.

Oddly enough, in light of some ongoing banter between Löst Jimmy and myself regarding antisocial neighbours and parochial alcohol fueled feuds, fellow Ghost, Gus e-mailed me an especially fitting sample from the Incredible String Band's post narcotic period. I don't have "Earthspan" in my collection, I don't believe; although it may be lurking in a remote cobwebbed corner on my external drive.

Dating from 1973, the cover to "No Ruinous Feud" is appalling enough to discourage any casual listener from exploring its content in any detail. Building on the adopted principle -
which took root on 1972's "Earthspan", their eleventh outing - of curtailing the open-ended excesses of old, the end result is a concoction of everything from faux reggae to radio friendly pop. Overly contrived, if well intended.

The exception, as Gus suggests, may indeed lie in this dead letter. A narrow bridge of sorts between the dark fairytale of Syd's "Golden Hair" and the more brutal and prosaic reality of broken cobblestones leading to those ashpits which survived deep into the 1970s.

In Glasgow, Manchester and elsewhere.

Beige candles and tallowed walls.

INCREDIBLE STRING BAND: SATURDAY MAYBE from "No Ruinous Feud" LP (Island) 1973 (UK)

all right now #2

WIP 6082.

Recorded at the same time as the "Fire And Water" sessions at Trident and Island Studios, London, this abbreviated 45 release lacks the polish of the full album production, but packs more percussive bite. Paul Kossoff was reportedly aggravated that his lengthy guitar solo was edited so savagely (huh ?), but on balance I still prefer this single cut. F@cking prima donna.

Love it or loathe it, just remember even the Runaways fell over themselves to cover it. For fully fledged obsessives, their version recorded for the infamous BBC broadcast is also included as a bonus on Island's 2001 CD reissue.

Written by Andy Fraser and Paul Rodgers.

Paul Rodgers: vocals; Andy Fraser: bass;
Paul Kossoff: guitar;
Simon Kirke: drums.

FREE: ALL RIGHT NOW from "All Right Now b/w Mouthful of Grass" 45 (Island) 1970 (UK)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

come in, captain howdy

ouija board |ˌwiːdʒə|
noun trademark
a board printed with letters, numbers, and other signs, to which a planchette or movable indicator points, supposedly in answer to questions from people at a seance.

ORIGIN late 19th cent.: Ouija from French oui ‘yes’ + German ja ‘yes.’

Produced by Peter Jenner ;
engineered by John Leckie, Mark Vigars.

Additional musicians:
David Bedford; Steve Broughton; Bill Bruford; Dave Cochran; Dave Gilmour; John Paul Jones;
Chris Spedding; Ray Warley; The Grimethorpe Colliery Band.


bum deal; the emperor's new clothes

do drop inn, shelby, mississippi. photograph by bill steber.

Sunday broke this morning on a bum note.

Firstly, at 5:45 AM, there beat a tattoo of insistent knocking on my front door. I assume it was acquaintances of those unneighbourly neighbours directly above. I say assume, merely because I did not vacate the sanctuary of my sheets to investigate. But given that a racket of shrieking and cacophonous sound erupted on the ceiling not five minutes later, it is a fairy safe wager.

Those f@ckers are incapable of reading a nameplate or door number. And frequently too inebriated to navigate a direct route home.

I resisted the urge to uplift a claw hamme
r to complain. The racket subsided less than half an hour later but sleep eluded me.

On impulse I checked my email. I am waiting from a response from DivShare Support. They collected payment three days ago on my account but the monthly download renewal had failed to go through, the bastards. It still read at 80% of the limit - as it had on Friday just prior to the scheduled renewal - and they seem bent on either feigning ignorance or persisting with their lie.

It's the emperor's new clothes all over again.

Needless to say, the in-tray was quite empty. Moreover, it appears I have as of this mornng reached 100% of this month's limit. Bollocks, obviously, but unless they reconsider that means no sounds here, dear siblings, until the 20th of July.

A full f@cking month of radio silence.

Well. As you may recall, I have a trick or two up my sleeve to ease the deprivations of such Stalinist tactics. Short of greasing more palms or bowing to inflated party membership dues.

The bad news, whichever way you choose to skin this white rabbit, is that those previous entries remain hopelessly locked. I just don't have the time to reupload the content to another server. And - in the meantime, sadly - any new content will not be recognised by Hype Machine. You have been warned.

Let's hope DivShare get their act together. I have no intention of paying them a penny more.


Well. As of this morning - a full three days after my download tracking was scheduled to renew - my account appears to have been reset correctly. Still no word of an apology though, or explanation; and since Hype Machine now seems to register MediaFire content - when did that happen? - I am left wondering whether to simply bail now and jump ship on a permanent basis. Oh, happy Monday!


MAGNOLIA ELECTRIC COMPANY: TROUBLE IN MIND from "Sojourner Box Set" 4 x CD (Secretly Canadian) 2007 (US)

This cut wings its way by email from Douglas over on the excellent
Hell in a Kiss. From the "Sun Sessions" EP from 2007's "Sojourner" heavyweight - literally, packaged as it is in wood - four disc box set. "Trouble In Mind" is a traditional arrangement engagingly resuscitated by Magnolia Electric's Jason Molina.

The entire EP was fittingly recorded in one day at Sun Studios, Memphis in March, 2006.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


stickleback |ˌstɪk(ə)lbak|

a small fish with sharp spines along its back, able to live in both salt and fresh water and found in both Eurasia and North America.
three-spined stickleback
• Family Gasterosteidae: several genera and species, including the common and widespread
three-spined stickleback ( Gasterosteus aculeatus).

ORIGIN late Middle English : from Old English
sticel [thorn, sting] + bæc [back.]

I have one of those kitsch aquarium screensavers which I dip into now and again. More elegant than most I have seen, it nonetheless irritates as much as it soothes. It has never quite made it past demo mode. Every now and again, it triggers unexpectedly with the sound of an antisocial inebriate taking a piss in the corner. Or an infirm relative with incontinence issues.

I have on occasion suffered mild whiplash as a result. Dribbling burning ash all down my shirt front as I fall over myself, aghast.

Before the Ghosts there was the Fishes. Sticklebacks and northern pike.

Both freshwater and thriving in stagnant ponds.

Screensaver aquariums, of course, require little maintenance. By definition they are purely ornamental; self-cleaning and uncommonly robust. In fact. Unless the monitor itself freezes or falls prey to sudden hard drive failure one needn't concern oneself unduly that one's tropical varieties might cook or succumb to the overnight chill of hypothermia.

Pissing in the corner, then, seems like a small price to pay.

Early this morning, some time around 3:00 AM, I awoke to an ominous crash. Sleep addled and slack jawed, I sidled along the walls in the dark trying to source the calamity. Throwing on light switches and finding nothing out of turn. A second bang forced me back out of the fold-down sofa. This time I was sufficiently roused to peek out the window, and there it was: an abandoned car mushrooming flame and several silhouetted figures tumbling out of a firetruck as they hurried to douse it.

The vision was not apocalyptic enough to keep me glued. Aha, I said to myself. Just another f@cking insurance job. A forty pence call from a public telephone.

I threw back the covers and crawled back to dream of fish.

Screw the common pool.

CREEPER LAGOON: THE GIRL WHO FELL TO EARTH from "Vs. The Dead C" EP (Ratfish) 1997 (US)

clock by bullard art.

Friday, June 19, 2009

vorsprung durch technik

Written and produced by Florian Schneider and Ralf Hütter.
Percussion by Wolfgang Flür; violin, guitars by Klaus Roeder.

Engineered by Konrad Plank.
Recorded at Conny's Studio & Mobile Equipment.

On a grimmer note, police are today examining CCTV footage after a ten-year-old boy resisted an attempted abduction last night in the south side of Glasgow, when a man attempted to coerce him into a car as he walked home through the Gorbals. The incident took place no more than several hundred yards from two primary schools within the area. Although understandably traumatized, the boy was otherwise unscathed.

For details, see here.

Excuse me while I look out Ry Cooder's "Vigilante Man".


Subsequent reports now reveal the above incident to have been mere "horseplay". Horseshit, more like. There is a lesson in there clearly. Good thing too "Vigilante Man" ultimately eluded me. The whole thing leaves a bad taste in the mouth like a tale from the deeper south. Probably he was simply late for his dinner.

Now I feel compelled to uproot Billie Holiday's take on
Abel Meeropol's "Strange Fruit".

KRAFTWERK: AUTOBAHN from "Autobahn" LP (Philips) 1974 (Germany)

mellow out, herr stockhausen

mellow |ˌmɛləʊ|
1 (esp. of sound, taste, and color) pleasantly smooth or soft; free from harshness : she was hypnotized by the mellow tone of his voice | slow cooking gives the dish a sweet, mellow flavor.
• archaic (of fruit) ripe, soft, sweet, and juicy : a dish of mellow apples.
• (of wine) well-matured and smooth : delicious, mellow, ripe, fruity wines.
2 (of a person's character) softened or matured by age or experience : a more mellow personality. See note at MATURE .
• relaxed and good-humored : Jean was feeling mellow.
• informal relaxed and cheerful through being slightly drunk : everybody got very mellow and slept well.
3 (of earth) rich and loamy.

ORIGIN late Middle English (in the sense [(of fruit) ripe, soft, sweet, and juicy] ): perhaps from attributive use of Old English melu, melw- (see MEAL 2 ). The verb dates from the late 16th cent.

Originally released on the 1998 Spoon CD reissue of Holger Czukay and Rolf Dammers' 1969 LP "Canaxis 5" - under the moniker Technical Space Composer's Crew - recorded at Inner Space, Cologne in 1968, "Mellow Out" actually predates those twin "Canaxis" experimmental samplings by some eight years; Czukay's first ever public performance of an original composition broadcast on WDR Köln in 1960 for the more traditional jazz audience.

This short piece was immediately cut in acetate and pressed on a limited four copy vinyl run for band members only.

A student of Karlheinz Stockhausen, as both "Canaxis" proper and his work with Can upholds, the mood here - as the title suggests - is a good deal more relaxed.

HOLGER CZUKAY: MELLOW OUT from "Canaxis" CD (Spoon) 1998 (Germany)


Thursday, June 18, 2009

the man who knew too much

...or nothing much at all.



1 a solution of lime and water or of whiting, size, and water, used for painting walls white.

• (also white•wash•ing) a deliberate concealment of someone's mistakes or faults in order to clear their name.
2 a victory in a game in which the loser scores no points.

verb [ trans. ]
1 [usu. as adj. ] (
whitewashed) paint (a wall, building, or room) with whitewash.
• try to clear (someone or their name) by deliberately concealing their mistakes or faults :
his wife must have wanted to whitewash his reputation.
• deliberately conceal (someone's mistakes or faults) :
this is not to whitewash the actual political practice of the government.
2 defeat (an opponent), keeping them from scoring.


Ah, so. The painting is done. Well. Almost. F@ck that "soft chalk" misnomer on the label; looks suspiciously Caucasian to me - run of the mill white, no Chinese - and in the end required just as many throws on the roller.

More coats than a kraut in Stalingrad.

My muscles ache and to compound matters I do not appear to have lost even an inch around the waist. Rather optimistically, I had hoped to to go down a dress size at the very least. And the ceiling mocks me still with its wan complexion. Like Lon Chaney or Peter Lorre; Factor 30 sun screen fading into grotesque streaks. Cracked and peeling at the edges.

Still. Now that Iggy has stooped to peddling insurance on the backs of buses, my wearying ineptitude with a paint brush scarcely makes an impression. "Search and Destroy" ? Only so far as you're covered.

Myself, I sold insurance for a time, I must confess. An agent of doom in lean times. It was not a good gig.
It took me the better part of a day just to put this 'workstation' back together. An explosion of cable terminating in an internet connection. I almost didn't make it. Round-shouldered and scowling miserably, the temptation to crumble and flop onto the sofa in a menopausal fatigue was all but unbearable. Lacking alcohol, I persisted with the attempt to keep up appearances. And, having unearthed enough governmental hate mail to instigate a suicide in the process of clearing shit from corners, what remained of my afternoon was taken up with the wholly unenviable task of prioritizing and shredding.

All I needed was a rubber mask. Richard Milhous Nixon. Or Gordon Brown.

In the final analysis, as Joe might tell you:

"You get four guys fighting over who's gonna be Mr. Black. Since nobody knows anybody else, nobody wants to back down. So forget it, I pick. Be thankful you're not Mr. Yellow."

"Yeah, but Mr. Brown? That's too close to Mr. Shit."

You've seen the movie. Now we just have to rewrite the last few frames.

Written by Jack Bruce and Pete Brown.
Recorded July 1967 - April 1968 at Atlantic Studios, New York City.
Produced by Felix Pappalardi.

CREAM: WHITE ROOM from "Wheels Of Fire" LP (Polydor) 1968 (UK)

Friday, June 12, 2009


+ counting, eh ?

That's a lot of f@cking hits.

Well. I don't know about Susan Boyle. Or the c@nting Priory. Personally, I'd rather suspend my disbelief for Dundee's Billy MacKenzie. Just as patently ridiculous, but a tad dashed more handsome. And charismatic.

Pompous ? F@ck, yes; but unabashedly so. A bit like tartan f@cking shortbread, siblings. Hysterical ? Definitively. Like opera for soap junkies waiting impatiently for Brookside Close to stage a seige.

Apparently, an entire Scottish football team went down with Swine Flu while visiting Dundee recently on an away fixture. Interesting.

"Sulk", the long player which supported this 45, was the Associates 'Woolworths' album; ideally, it should have left point of sale wrapped in a free pair of leg warmers, or Ratners' vouchers at the very least. A major departure from the independently pitched "The Affectionate Punch" and "Fourth Drawer Down", this was Billy and Alan embarking on a clear strategy to court airtime and crash the charts. With Martha Ladly - of Martha and the Muffins - on backing vocals, the Associates immediately secured a string of Top 40 hits.

And promptly went off the rails entirely: an episode of tantrums and tiaras which allegedly cost WEA £250,000, and ultimately culminated in Billy MacKenzie's suicide in 1997, aged 39, on his father's allotment back in Auchterhouse.

Dundee Repertory Theatre this week staged a production based on Billy's saga, "Balgay Hill", named after the cemetery on the east coast where he was laid to rest. It opened on June 9th, and has already generated much positive coverage.

Alan Rankine: instruments;
Billy Mackenzie: vocals;
Michael Dempsey: bass; John Murphy: drums.

ASSOCIATES: PARTY FEARS TWO from "Party Fears Two b/w It's Better This Way" 45 (Associates / Beggars Banquet) 1982 (UK)


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

let it blurt

the inimitable lester bangs.

blurt |bləːt|
verb [ trans. ]
say (something) suddenly and without careful consideration :
she wouldn't blurt out words she did not mean |
[with direct speech ]
“It wasn't my idea,” Gordon blurted.

ORIGIN late 16th cent.: probably imitative.

While his well documented dalliance with Austin's Delinquents on 1981's "Jook Savages on the Brazos" may have sown the seeds, indirectly, of the alternative country scene which would later germinate suburban backwaters as the decade progressed, this one time Creem irregular's all consuming passion for rock & roll - and those tricks turned on Lexington Avenue - had previously prompted Lester Bangs to step out behind the mic in New York City.

in Greenwich Village relatively late in his career as a freelancer on the run with his typewriter, the big apple gathered him to its candy scented cleavage without a murmur. A perpetual adolescent, in print and in real time, the emerging scene there in 1976 put all his convictions into play.
Given his partisan allegiance to all things Velvet Underground, it is perhaps hardly surprising that John Cale himself was somehow enlisted to sit in on production duties. Neither was it too much of a leap of faith that fellow VU aficionado and erudite Voidoid, Robert Quine might also be induced to lend a hand.

The end result was actually pretty damn good. I just don't think the 'kids' were prepared to countenance a punk grandee so ludicrously sporting that moustache; no matter how sound his credentials or well intended hi
s motive.

And they already had a pin-up in Richard Hell.

Having witnessed the tragic demise of Peter Laughner - perhaps the closest thing to a genuine counterpart and ally - in the same year "Let It Blurt" was recorded, one senses that Bangs was shocked into a revaluation of his own mortality and aspirations; there is a tired desperation at work here which suggests as much. A notoriously exuberant advocate of Do It Yourself ethics, and damn the consequences, it must have increasingly galled Bangs to be called upon to publicly eulogise the machinations of sundry delusional individuals as they navigated the promotional stream from CBGBs to wallow in more lucrative shallows.

There is more, I think, to the lurid green overprint on its sleeve than the trend conscious ethos of graphic design; it's just a shame it looks so shit - like an algaed stepping stone between hero Lou's "Transformer" and "The Blue Mask".

Jealousy ? Perhaps. Envy ? Certainly. Too many of his peers could not wait to see him fail, and that's a pity also. If not more than a tad predictable.

David Hofstra: bass;
Jay Dee Daugherty: drums;
Jody Harris, Robert Quine: guitars;
Lester Bangs: vocals.

Recorded At Big Apple Studios, NYC, 1977. Mixed by John Cale.

Bangs would also step back into the studio in NYC ahead of his stint with the Delinquents - this time the legendary Electric Lady Studios, on 1st April 1979 - to record an entire album's worth of material on the back of the Spy Records 45 issue of "Let It Blurt"; eventually released as "Birdland with Lester Bangs" through Add On Records in 1986. By which time, of course, "Jook Savages on the Brazos" was already in circulation and Lester had checked out.

LESTER BANGS: LET IT BLURT from "Let It Blurt b/w Live" 45 (Spy Records) 1979 (US)


Monday, June 8, 2009

landgrabs and downswings

thompson grocery store, mississippi. photograph by bill steber.

"A woman sits on a pool table listening to California blues man Robert Walker perform in his hometown of Bobo, MS, at Thompson Grocery. Until it burned in December of 1996, Thompson grocery was something of an anomaly in modern-day Mississippi. White-owned in a mostly black small town, the business served as a general store, pool hall, juke joint and gathering place for both blacks and whites in the community, not unlike similar establishments in the antebellum south before segregation forced blacks and whites to socialize in separate clubs."

- bill steber, 2000.

bassoon, large woodwind instrument.
bajón = falling-off, slump, downswing.

The cinema is all but gone. They have been picking at it with metal claws for over a week now, and all that remains is the facade looming over Pollokshaws Road; a bed of red brick spilling out behind.

All traffic has been diverted along Gorbals Street and Norfolk Street. We are awash with buses trundling angrily through red lights, weaving left and right where they have no business.

An Irish neighbour in his seventies tells me that Al Jolson's "The Jazz Singer" premiered there back in 1927. I have no reason to doubt him.

I purchased a bar of some really beautiful Turkish soap from a shop just around the corner on Saturday evening. The Turks who own it are embroiled in a war with the Pakistanis who own a licensed outlet straight across the road; the Indian dude who runs the neswagents two doors along has been all but squeezed dry of passing trade. Long ago, he says, his father elbowed aside a step up from the same big financial backers who now operate as his rivals. He drew the line at selling alcohol for a variety of reasons. Profit margins not withstanding. My Indian peer suspects his father may have been an idiot. I cross the road habitually - paper sack in hand - to buy my cigarettes from his store.

That Turkish soap is gorgeous. All weekend I have been amazed by its clean lathered smell.

I am glad I have had the chance to finally indulge in it, though the vendor tells me there is no market for it at all.

TULLIO DE PISCOPO: STOP BAJÓN (PRIMAVERA) from 12" (blanco y negro/ZYX) 1984 (Spain)



Sunday, June 7, 2009

toasting the black

This is a song that ought to be heard.

Even with the windows flung wide on a clear late afternoon sky, and a hangover pining for a cloud to skate away on.

Hank Williams slumped in a corner under a folded deck of cards and Charles Bukowski alone on the barstool with his cardboard suitcase and a glass of warm, flat Corona. Uncle Sam's "The Wild Bunch" playing on a black and white portable tv behind the pretzels on the bar.

An emaciated cat with eyes like pesos waiting for the penny to drop; the jukebox to skip, and the whores to roll on in.

"Wait for the [upcoming] album is shortened by the digital release of the singles “Our Love is Smoking” and “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” and corresponding music videos: the first filmed by Gerald Foster and directed by Vanessa Ly and the second animated by Michael David Friend and directed by Shoja Azari."

Is that a glockenspiel in there just before the lugubrious long horns lurch in ?

God bless their pretty clatter and peal. As bright as tiny slivers of ice.

ELECTRIC BLACK: REIGN THE NIGHT from "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry b/w Reign The Night" 45 (Mad Apple Music) 2009 (US)

Friday, June 5, 2009

*@*k!!! BUY 6

Good evening, muthaf@ckers. I'm back.

Read the label.

THE DAMNED: SMASH IT UP from "Smash It Up b/w Burglar" 45 (Chiswick) 1979 (UK)
THE DAMNED: HELP! from "New Rose b/w Help!" 45 (Stiff) 1976 (UK)