Archive | June, 2011

Halftime

30 Jun

And just like that, the first half of the year is gone. I know you don’t want to hear this, but you do realize that also means half of Margauxville.  Gone. Poof.

May as well keep with the endings theme. Here’s Cake’s “Friend Is a Four Letter Word.”  I’m going to dedicate this one to very, um, special someone. Wait hold on.  Okay, I did.  Silently.

To me, coming from you, friend is a four letter word. “End” is the only part of the word that I heard.

Tomorrow, July.  Eclipse! The Future!

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The Truth About Reincarnation

29 Jun

Do you believe in reincarnation?  I have personal proof that it exists.  Once when I was about twelve or so my mom and I did the whole Boston/American Revolution tour and we got lost driving around Concord or Lexington or somewhere in between.  I have a terrible sense of direction and I had never been there before but I gave her exact directions on how to get to our destination.  And I don’t mean the male “turn right, turn left” thing, I mean the female “go to the big tree with the carving in the trunk and turn right” thing.

When we got there she turned to me and asked how I knew where to go.  I didn’t even realize till that moment that there was no way I should have. In addition, Boston makes my skin crawl every time I visit.  And I swear I’m not just talking Red Sox.  I’m talking a visceral reaction that makes me feel claustrophobic and that makes it hard to breathe.  So I’m pretty sure the only plausible explanation is reincarnation, no?

I’m also pretty sure my latest musical obsession, The Allah Las, were all reincarnated.  It’s astonishing that they’re a current band.  I know there are a lot of folks doing the whole “garage band” thing but almost none of them interest me.  The Allah Las, on the other hand,  just reek of authenticity.  Here’s their single “Catamaran.” It’s like somehow the spirit of what embodied the best of the Nuggets-era bands somehow managed to reincarnate into 4 L.A. kids and somehow they managed to find each other.

I’m pretty smitten.  You better be too.  Or else my past lives and I will be really disappointed.

P.S.  Update on my Bunker Hill post:  I just got an email that Norton Records, the wonderful label which released Bunker Hill as well as A TON of amazing music is celebrating their 25th Anniversary in November with 4 crazy shows at The Bell House in Brooklyn.  It’s never too early to plan.

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Savoir Faire

28 Jun

I’ve always found it curious why some songs become ‘go-to’ songs.  There really isn’t a tangible reason, at least not in my case.  I guess they were originally there at the right time or something.  For me, one of these songs “Savoir Faire” by Family Fodder.  Aptly, I find it goes well with any situation or mood.

Family Fodder is an odd sort of band.  First of all, the center of it is an accordionist, Alig Fodder.  Secondly, they’ve managed to stay around, on and off,  for over 30 years even though they’ve not had much success.  Their last record, released in 2010, utilized the vocals of the daughter of the original singer.  That’s keeping the family in Family Fodder.

Though “Savoir Faire” is one of their earliest recordings, they’re very much still around.  I’d love to see them live.  And their website says they would love to perform (“preferably not paid in peanuts this time. Pistachios. Walnuts.”) It would be nice if our loves can meet someday.

Till then, I’m sure that the simple act of downloading this song will boost your own savoir faire.  I’m not sure how, but I am absolutely sure of it.

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God v. The Devil

27 Jun

Bunker Hill – a.k.a. Dave Walker – might have one of the most intense voices ever recorded.  He doesn’t sing as much as holler and the primitiveness of it is ridiculously powerful.  Walker was originally a gospel singer and was a member of The Mighty Clouds of Joy, a very successful gospel group.  But then something funny happened.

Link Wray heard him, flipped out and he and his brother arranged for a recording session immediately.  But Dave Walker was a good Christian boy and didn’t think the other Mighty Clouds members would appreciate him singing the Devil’s music.  Luckily the Wrays weren’t going to let that get in the way.  They just gave him a pseudonym so that the gospel folk wouldn’t know about it.  The first name suggested was ‘Four H Stamp,’ which I love, but they ended up with Bunker Hill.  As someone who had a weird historical crush on the Revolutionary War hero, Dr. Joseph Warren (for real), I approve.

One of the first songs to be recorded was “Hide and Go Seek.”  It had to be separated into Parts 1 and 2 when it came out because it was too long to fit on a 7″ single.  It was a crazy song to put out as a single in the first place, but even crazier, it charted!  In 1962!  And not just on the R&B Charts, but on the Hot 100. It rose to #33 and stayed on the charts about 3 months. AND this was especially crazier because a lot of radio stations had banned it because of its suggestiveness.

A few other great singles came out and then in 1963, “The Girl Can’t Dance” was released.  Boy-oh-boy is that possessed hollering present on this track!  It’s amazing that this many years later these songs sound cutting edge.

Bunker Hill ended up returning to being Dave Walker and to the gospel circuit. In this case, I was really rooting for the Devil.

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Lord Sausage

26 Jun

I know next to nothing about Lord Sausage except that his  name is fabulous and the song “Funky River” is even better than that.  Mind you, that’s all the info that’s necessary.

One word of warning:  you will get completely funkified upon listening.  Please don’t download before bedtime or while operating heavy machinery.

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Phew.

25 Jun

What a difference a day makes.  Such a completely simple thought, but one that everything boils down to, no?  “What A Diff’rence A Day Makes,” the song, was actually originally a Spanish language song and the original lyrics are completely different (diff’rent?) than they are in English.  So even with the song itself, look at the difference a day makes! It was written by Maria Grever in 1934 and was called “Cuando Vuelva A Tu Lado” and I guess for the sentiment I want to convey, I should really be posting the English song.  But I just love the Spanish version too much not to go with it.

Maria Grever was the first successful female Mexican composer. It’s said that she composed her first music at age 4. I scoffed at that tidbit when I first learned it, but I had my first blog at age 4, so maybe that’s true. Well, that’s not true.  But had there been internet, I totally would have, so I still believe the Maria Grever story.

But I digress.

Back to what a difference – or diff’rence – a day makes. For those of you who have been sending those positive vibes and good thoughts, thank you. The vibes in question have apparently reached their intended destination and things are looking up. Still not out of the woods, but the forest has gone from redwoods to white birches so it’s way easier to navigate. For those who are reading and don’t know what on earth I’m talking about, don’t worry. It won’t affect your enjoyment of the amazing song that’s just waiting for your ears.  Let’s just leave it as good thoughts were direly needed and good thoughts have been wholly received.

Apparently I have friends with super powerful good thoughts ability.  And, you know, that’s even a more basic truth that ‘what a difference a day makes.’

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Where Are You Registered?

24 Jun

Okay, NY, this one is for you.  Here’s the original 1978 version of  ground-breaking hit “Glad To Be Gay” by the Tom Robinson Band.

More tomorrow.  I may even tell you why I missed yesterday.  Or not.  Time will tell.

In the meantime, sing if you’re glad to be gay.

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