23 December 2009

The Idiot Box

LCD, LED, plasma & pixels, scan rate, HD and 16:9... chances are this jargon actually makes sense to you. Inside most peoples' homes lurks a glossy black attention-sucking monster, whose powers for good are usually subsumed by its propensity for evil. That stuff makes for some good musical fodder, so let's chow down and chew.
I've raved before about the Australian punk scene of the late '70s into the '80s, so I won't climb up on that soapbox again... BUT if you want ONE comp that sums up the scene nicely, Do the Pop! is the one to get. I love that it includes not only the era's big songs, but also obscure gems that fans of the scene will really enjoy. The very best find for me was learning of singer Dave Faulkner's pre-Hoodoo Gurus band the Victims... and their contribution is killer, maybe the best track on the entire comp. If you hear a snippet of a dj at the end, you can tell I originally got this from the mighty Swami!
Television Addict by the Victims, from Do the Pop!: The Australian Garage Rock Sound 1976-1987 (Do the Pop, 2002)
How do you pick a cover over an original by Iggy Pop? Not lightly, but if the cover band is Radio Birdman you're in good shape (I like Siouxsie's take on "The Passenger" too, I should add). Birdman is another example of Aussie first-wave punk, and probably the most influential of all. Here they take Mr. Osterberg's tender composition and speed up the sludge to a snarl.
T.V. Eye by Radio Birdman, from Under the Ashes (Trafalgar/WEA, 1988)
Repo Man was a weird-ass movie from the early '80s, and it spawned a kick-ass soundtrack. This is second-wave punk here, of the LA variety. While that scene wasn't quite up to the standard of the first wave, it still churned out some classics. Almost everything on Repo Man falls into the classic file. On "TV Party", a young Rollins rages about the box, shouting out era-specific TV hits like Hill Street Blues and Dynasty. And it's just my theory, but I think the Rollins burp that begins the song is a tribute to the croaked "Look!" that begins Iggy's (and Birdman's) "T.V. Eye".
TV Party by Black Flag, from Repo Man Original Soundtrack (MCA, 1984)
The bonus track manages to stick to this post's theme while at the same time departing from it entirely... gotta love when that happens. Marquee Moon is an album I got my hands on much too late, but I've been making up for it with constant airplay since. "Venus" has nothing at all to do with TV, but it IS by Television... BONUS!
Venus by Television, from Marquee Moon (Elektra, 1977)

22 October 2009

Gomekxx JK Mix Part 2

Now then, drinks in hand, we head on to part two... as the sun-filled wind of afternoon gives way to a calm purple dusk, we toast the happy couple. Some sublime beats to celebrate.
Outta Sight : James Taylor Quartet - the Very Best of Acid Jazz (Disc 2)
River Stone : Lee "Scratch" Perry f.Robert Palmer - From the Heart of the Congo
You Make Me High : Terry Ellis - Southern Girl
Revival [Rebirth Edit] : Martine Girault - The Rebirth of Cool, Vol. 1 (US Edition)
The End : Llorca - ClubQuart00
Soulpower (Jazzanova Rework) : Marschmellows - ClubQuart00
New Craze (Populez Mix) : Javabubbaboogaloo - Javabubbaboogaloo
Gabriel : Roy Davis Jr. w/Peven Everett - JDJ Desert Island Mix (Gilles Peterson)
The Sweetest Thing : Lauryn Hill - Love Jones Soundtrack
Cuchy Frito Man : Cal Tjader - Thievery Corporation Present Sounds from the Verve Hi-Fi
M.L. in the Sunshine : Count Basic - Jazz Confusion
Stax Jam : Paul Williamson's Hammond Combo - Red Hot Go
The Reason : Sylk - Liquid Nitrogen
Reach Out : Midfield General - Chilled Ibiza
Total Time: 63.41
Download HERE
Listen Online Here:

10 October 2009

Gomekxx JK Mix Part 1

What I miss about España is just about everything... the people, the food, and the cradle of three giant mountains that we lived within...
This Gomekxx was a parting shot to al Andaluz, a mix I did to be played at the wedding of our great friends John & Karen. Not a dancefloor mix, but a cool jazzy one to start the proceedings on a typically sun-drenched day overlooking the Med. A great couple, a great time.... and less than a week later we were gone. ¡Joder!
Swing Sambaby : Trio Mocoto - Gilles Peterson in Brazil (Sao Paulo & Rio)
Brother Sister : the Brand New Heavies - Brother Sister
At the River : Groove Armada - Chilled Ibiza
Panacea : Greyboy - Freestylin'
Ether Shake : Atrapa Polvo - Gomek's Revenge
Freshman 10 : the Greyboy Allstars - Live
Fantastico : Jazzelicious - Brazil Remixed 2
Love Junkee Starring Cameo : DJ Cam - Soulshine
Noon is the Crack of Dawn : That Phat - That Phat
Russian Qualude : Karl Denson - D Stands For Diesel
Dream On Dreamer (the Angel Remix) : the Brand New Heavies - Excursions, Remixes & Rare Grooves
(When You) Call Me : Style Council - Home & Abroad
How Glad I Am : the Greyboy Allstars - What Happened to Television?
Never Give It Up : Papa Lips - High Time Now
Nautilus (Mawtilus) : Nuyorican Soul - Nuyourican Soul
Total Time: 67.45
Download HERE

17 September 2009

¡Gomekxx Bodymix!

To celebrate the arrival of our stuff from España... and most relevant to this forum, my hard drive with all my music on it... I'm debuting a whole new format. So far we've had the regular Soundbombing post and the Gomek Podcast. Now, it's time for...
....the GOMEKXX! What is a "Gomekxx" you say? It's a simple mix of songs on a certain subject (Gomek + Mix = Gomekxx. The double x is cuz it's double cheesy).
It's like a Gomek Podcast without my dulcet tones added to the mix. An improvement you say? Shut your mouth. A way of giving a fancy name to something that just means you're too lazy to put a full podcast together? Well, you got me there...
The initial installment of this earth-shaking innovation is the Gomekxx Bodymix. I threw together a slate of songs that all had a part of the body in their title... this resulted in a truly random selection, a genre-busting journey one might say. To make things more interesting I also adhered to the strict rule that the tracks would go in order from top to bottom.
This resulted in several weird phenomena, listed Larry King Style: ...longest streak of one country is Australia, with tracks 2 through 5 representing; ...the swinging jazz of "In Your Arms" falling between the rockin´"Big Mouth" and punishing "Chest Hair"; ...the absolutely unmixable transition from "Flatfoot Hustling" to "Head to Toe", making me have to put some Gomek theme music in there...
So I'll have new goodies very soon, but until then feast on the GOMEKXX BODYMIX!
Cut Your Hair : Pavement - Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
Bong in My Eye : Regurgitator - Bong in My Eye
Big Mouth : Big Heavy Stuff - Shock Records 13th Anniversary Collection
In Your Arms : Papa Lips - High Time Now
Chest Hair : Spiderbait - Ivy & the Big Apples
Funky Belly : Mighty Imperials - Thunder Chicken
Every Knee Shall Bow : U-Roy & King Tubby
Legs : Darondo - Let My People Go
Flat Foot Hustling : Dillinger - Ultimate Collection
Head to Toe : the Breeders - Head to Toe
Box/Touch My Body : Cooly's Hot-Jazztronik Presents Jazztronica!
Total Time: 68.41
Download HERE
Listen Online here:

12 August 2009

African Side Trip to Benin

Well, it's official... we won't get all our stuff shipped over from Spain for a loooong time. That means I'll be without my main resource of music files. But the search for great music never stops, and I've managed to get my hands on some quite tasty morsels lately.
My Journey to Africa series has sent me on an extreme African music kick that I have yet to shake. Oh well, it hurts so good! As I previously mentioned, the trickle of musical gems out of Africa is turning into a flood. Even small countries like Benin are being revealed to the outside world as musical hotbeds, simmering fusion stews that need to be sampled (in all senses of the term).
The first two tracks both hail from the incredible new comp Legends of Benin, released by Analog Africa. Samy Ben Redjeb is the driving force behind the comp, and is my candidate for the guy that has the best possible job on Earth... traveling throughout Africa and going through the vaults of the many small record labels there to discover what treasures lurk there. I HIGHLY recommend that you both pick up this comp and visit his blog for incredible African goodness.
The first selection is a slab of vintage African reggae from the '60s. Long before the world had heard of the likes of Alpha Blondy, Lucky Dube or Tiken Jah Fakoly, the Jamaican sound was reaching the shores of West Africa. This track is a burner that stands up to the best music coming out of the Caribbean at the time. It's also a bit of a curiosity, as the sounds of funk and Cuban music were much more likely to be run through the African filter than reggae riddims. And while it retains a healthy dose of African influence, that added flavor is not simply a distinctive keyboard sound, but a much more organic co-mingling that to my ear works even better.
Nou Akuenon Hwlin Me Sin Koussio by Antoine Dougbe, from Legends of Benin (Analog Africa, 2009)
And speaking of the funk, here's a nice take on the Godfather of Soul's sound, with the unique twist of having an accordian supply the main riff.
Feeling You Got by El Rego et Ses Commandos, from Legends of Benin (Analog Africa, 2009)
And finally some super, ultra-rare stuff from Benin... this is a long hypnotic track with a bubbling keyboard sound released only in-country, and to my knowledge it's never seen the light of day since... but thanks to the blogosphere those days are over. I can't even recall which blog I pulled this one from, but odds are it's either of the two utterly excellent African music blogs, Likembe or Worldservice. Both are chock-full to bursting with rare tracks that demand to be heard, and are backed up by solid scholarship far beyond my humble offerings.
Adin Gbanzon by Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou, album & label unknown
Special thanks to Edwin Rosell for helping me out with some file conversion issues for this post.

12 June 2009

African Journey - Part 4: South and South-Eastern Africa

All journeys must come to an end, so Soundbombing wraps up its big African tour down south. Everyone knows how the music of South Africa got big in the '80s, trading off its boost in popularity Stateside from Paul Simon and its constant presence in the news. In 1988, I found an amazing CD compilation in a small underground record shop in Melbourne, Australia, that collected the rootsy side of South African music... and I've still never heard music from that country to top it. The comp smokes from start to finish, so here are two of my favorites. I'm sure a Zulu speaker would be reduced to tears of hilarity hearing my phonics-based singalongs of these tunes.
15-Imali Impamde Yesono by Umazambane, from Soweto Street Music (Prism, 1988) 16-Angisenaba by Amentkentshane, from Soweto Street Music (Prism, 1988)
I had to include Juluka here, because a fateful showing of their "Fever" video on an episode of Night Flight way back when was one of the first sparks to my interest in African music. So 'nuff respect for putting me on the right road! They did go pretty poppy there at one point in the late '80s/early '90s, but Biza is a world away from that stuff. Listen to how thick and rubbery the bassline is here. As usual, the vocals are split between Sipho and Johnny, a white and black South African, both singing in Zulu. Ubuhle Bemvolo is an early all-Zulu-language release.
17-Biza by Juluka, from Ubuhle Bemvolo (Rhythm Safari, 1982)
Entering Zimbabwe, we get a loping, lagging-rhythm example of chimurenga music. It "electrifies" the sound of the mbira, or thumb piano, and Mapfumo is its most famous practitioner. But note that the "electrifying" is by way of transcribing the mbira lines to a guitar or a marimba, as opposed to the Congotronics method of vastly amplifying and distorting the mbira's sound... plus Mapfumo did it 15 years earlier.
18-Muchadura by Thomas Mapfumo & Blacks Unlimited, from Corruption (Mango, 1989)
And our final stop is on the island of Madagascar. Madagascar is the home of the Malagasy people, who arrived on the island not from nearby Africa but rather from the area around modern Indonesia. The local sound is based on 8/12 time.... frantic and insistant in the best possible way.
19-Indosiko Anao by Jaojoby, from Malagasy (Discorama, 2004)
I hope you've been along for the entire African Journey, and will do my best to get back up online and Soundbombing as soon as possible after our Spain-to-USA move. Until then, enjoy the 19 hand-picked tracks of the Journey with a cold beverage in hand and smile!

African Journey - Part 3: Central Africa

We now move south into the very center of the continent... and here we discover my favorite of all African music, the angelic sounds of soukous, the music of Congo/Zaire. This region dominates the continent's musical world, and rightfully so... its a languid but utterly spellbinding sound which is at the heart of the debate of whether Latin music originated in Africa or the New World. The typical soukous song is marked by two parts; the beginning, slower section-known as the rhumba; and the seben, the high-energy, longer tail-end of the song that typically kicks into gear with a drum riff. Trop C'est Trop is a great example in brief, with the rhumba giving way very quickly to the sweet seben section. Tabu Ley is a Congolese legend that can regularly sell out 200,000 seat stadiums in Paris... and I saw him with Katrina & 10 or 12 others in Blind Melon's in Pacific Beach, CA. That remains one of the most unlikely, and mind-blowing, concerts of my life... 10-Trop C'est Trop by Tabu Ley Seigneur Rochereau et l'Orchestra Afrisa, from Trop C'est Trop (France Gefraco, 1990) Next up is Tabu Ley's predecessor on the soukous scene, Franco. This is classic in every sense of the word, and really shows you where the rhumba debate originates. Vicky has some sweet and super-clean guitar work starting 1.50 in, Franco's trademark... 11-Vicky by Franco, from La Bell Epoque 1966-67 (Sonodisc, 1996) Diblo Dibala was a member of Tabu Ley's band, but after years of being the featured lead guitarist he wanted to strike out on his own. Loketo was the band he formed, and they went on to make some great albums under his leadership. Extra Ball is classic, but has some cheesy keyboard sections... Soukous Trouble is a bit more rootsy so I'll give it the ever so slight nod. Kimia Eve is but one of the many classic tracks from these two albums. 12-Kimia Eve by Loketo, from Soukous Trouble (Shanachie, 1990) Charlotte Mbango is next with an all-time Casa Gomek classic. This one has been on repeat play since the late '80s, an absolute scorcher where everything falls in place together... the web of guitars, the shuffling drums, the horn blasts, the Lingala lyrics... it just all works. One of my top ten songs EVER. 13-Dikom Lam La Mota by Charlotte Mbango, from African Typic Collection (Stern's/Earthworks, 1988) And finally Sam Mangwana, a Congolese of Angolan ancestry. Mangwana was another member of Tabu Ley's band to make good on his own, and this song is yet another example of how guitar SHOULD be played... not as a shrieking air-raid siren but as a weaver of dense sonic webs, nestling you ever deeper in their seductive grasp. 14-Yenga Yenga by Sam Mangwana, from Eyebana, Volume 2 (Ngoyarto, 2003) Next Destination: South and South-East Africa...

31 May 2009

African Journey - Part 2: West Africa

Arriving in West Africa, we hear the sound of French, English, Wolof, Fula, Mandinka, Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa, and so many more languages. Such a mix creates a heady brew of music. We first start in the Casamance region of Senegal, directly south of The Gambia. We spent this Christmas in the Gambia, and the talk there was of how the Casamance would prefer to join their country rather than remain part of Senegal, cut off from Dakar and the north... The first track is from Touré Kunda, a group that had many French as well as African releases, and saw some exposure in America in the early '80s on Celluloid. When my mom took a trip to Paris, I had her pick me up a cassette and was hooked from there on in. I picked Casa Di Mansa because it gives a good example of their sound. They have a lot of great stuff in this vein, as well as an album of drum and voice only (well, very close to it...) stuff. 5-Casa Di Mansa by Touré Kunda, from Amadou-Tilo (Celluloid, 1984)
Next we round the corner and head down to an underexposed spot on the African musical scene... the tiny countries of Togo and Benin. The African Scream Contest comp is one of the first things to surface from this area, and if is any indication of what can be found there, I hope there is a lot more to come. Although it starts out in a James Brown style, Vinon So Minsou heads straight into an Afrobeat groove... except Afrobeat was yet to be born when this was recorded! Obviously some of the sounds of the scene bled into Nigeria...
6-Vinon So Minsou by Ouinsou Corneille & Black Santiago from African Scream Contest: Raw & Psychedelic Afro Sounds (Analog, 2008) The structure of Ghanaian Ambolley´s song Simigwado is built on the "dance" songs of the ´60s, in a warped funky way. Repeated listens will have you shouting out "Kwayadoof, Kwayadoof... Hebdeff. Hebdeff" in no time... and how many songs can you say THAT about?! 7-Simigwado by Gyedu Blay Ambolley & the Steneboofs from Ghana Soundz (Soundway, 2004) Holy shit, check out the killer breakbeat that kick-starts this track! Then in come the horns and guitar line... this is just so smooth it's sick. A 2007 reissue of an original 1966 release. Julius was part of the proto-Afrobeat scene in Nigeria, as was his countryman Fela. Long hard to find, the music of this earlier period is finally starting to surface. 8-Bojubari by Orlando Julius & His Modern Aces, from Super Afro Soul (Vampi Soul, 2007) Continuing on in Nigeria would be impossible without acknowledging Fela. The king and all-time champion of Afrobeat, Fela specializes in long (and I mean LONG) songs teeming with groove. He Miss Road is a typically smoking percussive funk work out, and the vocals don't even start until the 5.22 of the 10.45 minute track.
9-He Miss Road by Fela, from He Miss Road (Sterns Africa Classics, 1975) Next Destination: Central Africa...

29 May 2009

African Journey - Part 1: East & North Africa

Get that passport dusted off, because we're about to begin an epic journey through Africa, highlighting great music along the way. Today we touch down in East Africa: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for two tracks from the Ethiopiques series. Having spent a lot of time in Ethiopian restaurants during my former DC living stint from 1990 to '94, I'd heard a lot of Ethiopian music there. Hell, Aster Aweke went to NOVA, the community college just up the street from my first apartment. But back then I didn't like what I was hearing... too high-pitched. Well, it turns out that there was a HUGE chunk of great music in Ethiopia, but you had to dig a bit deeper in the past to get to it. First we start with Mahmoud Ahmed, who had a whole volume of the series dedicated to him. Also getting this honor was Mulatu Astatke, who's garnered the lion's share of press. But my ear prefers the rougher, rawer magic of Ahmed. 1- Era Mela Mela by Mahmoud Ahmed, from Ethiopiques Vol. 7 (Buda Musique, 1999) The next track is a hybrid, a mutated James Brown funk groove fused with Ethiopian homegrown sounds. The Godfather reached all around the globe, and his gift to Africa was no smaller than that to America... so much good stuff has come of it, enough to dedicate a future Soundbombing to. But for now, just a taste: 2- Tèmèlès by Alèmayèhu Eshètè. from Ethiopiques Vol. 3 (Buda Musique, 1998) Leaving the great land of Ethiopia behind, we take a trip to the dry wastes of the North, to Libya and the desert-soaked guitar sound of Tinariwen. Just like Ethiopian music, North African was a kind of "last frontier" for me, something that didn't interest me much... but then came Tiniwaren. This is music of nomads, swirling guitars that evoke the hot, choked landscape out of which they are born. So far the scene is pretty much them and Etran Finatawa, another Tuareg band, but this music is seriously trance inducing and timeless. Tinariwen is one of the bands most frequently heard around Casa Gomek these days. 3- Tamatant Tilay by Tinariwen, from Aman Iman: Water is Life (World Village, 2007) 4- Oualahila Ar Teninam by Tinariwen, from Amassakoul (World Village, 2004) Next Destination: West Africa...

09 May 2009

'Cause Obits are better heard than read....

After a furious flurry of posts, life and work conspired to slow me down... but no fear, I'm planning an epic, multi-part "Journey Through Africa" Soundbombing that will blow your mind.
But first I wanted to share my favorite new find of the last few months... OBITS! They feature Rick Froberg, who used to be in Hot Snakes with the almighty Swami, greatest DJ on Earth. Obits' sound draws heavily on all the classics of the garage scene... Stooges, MC5, the Saints, and especially Radio Birdman. In other words, there was no way I wasn't going to love this band.
This one's from their first release, and is the standout even among a group of very strong tracks...
Light Sweet Crude by Obits, from I Blame You (Sub Pop, 2009)
For this next one, you're going to have to forgive the SLSQ (severely limited sound quality)... but it's a historical document, since it came from the first ever Obits show, performed at Cake Shop in New York City, the band's adopted home. 
Talking to the Dog/Pine On by Obits, unreleased, from 1st show at Cake Shop, NYC, 1/12/08
Hope these primal cave grooves whet your appetite for more, and Gomek will return soon!

28 March 2009

Gomek Makasound Podcast

This all-reggae podcast is the result of a great recent purchase... 12 CDs from the outstanding French label MAKASOUND. This label specializes in rare, and rarely heard, roots reggae–and they come up with some truly amazing finds. I sat on the CDs for more than a month while the songs sunk in so I could really present the best. The results are here.

All the albums are good, with the Slickers' and Hugh Mundell's offerings off-the-charts amazing.

Remember, just click on the links below to get to the download screen. You can either listen online or download for later listening. Grab them and... ENJOY!
Give Us a Break by the Slickers, from Break Through
Break Outs by Carl Harvey, from Ecstasy of Mankind
Judgment by Knowledge, from Straight Outta Trenchtown
Money Barrier (7" Horns Version) by Leroy Brown, from Color Barrier
Old Time Religion by Mikey Ras Starr, from Fire & Rain
Rastafari Tradition by Hugh Mundell, from The Blessed Youth
Safe Sail by Trinity, from Rub-a-Dub Soldiers
Sata (version 1) by the Mighty Threes, from Africa Shall Stretch Forth Her Hand
Tribal War by Black Roots, from Black Roots in Session
Your Mind by Delroy Williams, from I Stand Black
Grab it HERE.

17 March 2009


Time to get schmooooovve, with some super slinky sexy soul. First off is James Brown-lookalike Lee Fields, a funkateer from the ´70s that got a new lease on life with the increased interest in vintage funk & soul that occurred in the ´90s. He found a home at Sharon Jones' excellent home label Daptone before moving on to Soul Fire to cut this sticky sweet soul track to start the new millennium off right!
Honey Dove by Lee Fields & the Expressions, from Problems (Soul Fire, 2002)
Once known only in the Bay Area and amongst dedicated crate-diggers, Darondo is finally getting his props. He recorded a smattering of material around 1970, but then left the music scene for pursuits as varied as being an electrician, pimp, and bumming around Fiji. But thanks to the reissue-mania phenomenon that's benefitting so many music lovers like myself, his small but sweet output was finally gathered by Ubiquity Records offshoot Luv 'N Haight three years ago. It's mostly uptempo funk, but it also includes this oh-so-sweet tune that's all but impossible to resist. So don't. 
Didn't I by Darondo, from Let My People Go (Luv 'n Haight, 2006)
BTW, this is an anniversary of sorts: Soundbombing's 25th post! Hope you've enjoyed the ride so far and I plan on keeping this going for a long time to come. 
Lastly, a shout out to MemorySuppliers.com, home of super cheap computer memory that's going to have my iMac screaming along at high speeds soon, so I'll be able to pump out the audioblogs and podcasts even more frequently. Seriously, they have some great deals, so check them out.

08 March 2009

Mash Upside Yo' Head

Mash-ups burst onto the scene a few years back, and captured my interest with the inventive merging of two or more completely different songs to create something brand new. For those of you who haven´t heard them yet, it´s nothing more than taking a vocal track (or two) from one song and pairing it with the music from another song. 
Some songs work better than others... some are simply combined because they are so different, and may match for a part of the song but sound sour or off-key in others. Similarly, the ones that use a rap vocal are almost too easy... as long as the vocal rhythm meshes with the rhythm of the track you've got a nice finished product without having to worry about the clash of dissonant notes. 
Here I present the two most perfect mash-ups I've ever heard. I came across both pretty early in my experience, but they have yet to be beat. In both cases, the songs use a vocal by an R&B chanteuse. Also in both cases, everything meshes PERFECTLY... the tune, the rhythm, the natural peaks and valleys of the track. It's like they were always meant to go together. So even if you don't like the singer, or if you don't like the musician, you should still check these out, as the result of the meld produces a sublime hybrid...
Bootystition by Beyoncé vs. Stevie Wonder
Girl Wants Rock 'n' Roll by Christina Aguilera vs. Velvet Underground
These next two are examples of strange hybrids that just work, like getting your chocolate in my peanut butter. Beyoncé seems to be particularly suited to mashing up, as I could've chosen at least 3 others by her... but Beyoncé and Fugazi?! The Outkast vs. Devo track answers the question of how a blending of self-described descendants of brain-eating apes (Devo) and Atl-liens from outer space (Outkast) would sound. One last note... there's no label info on these because mash-ups are very seldom released through traditional means. Instead, they're created by DJs and posted on the internet... so go surf for some great finds of your own!
Independent Room by Destiny´s Child vs. Fugazi
Whip Ya by Outkast vs. Devo

07 March 2009

One More Cover

I wanted to include this one in my Gomek Covers Podcasts (see post immediately below), but for whatever reason, the MP3 was strangely resistant to Garageband, so I´m posting it here instead... Paul Kelly is a legend in Australia, a singer-songwriter that mostly mines the folky and even country side of music to tell his stories. He´s even got a few songs where he sings from a female perspective... so maybe it´s not so strange that he´d choose to cover Prince. No, wait... it´s still strange. 
Little Red Corvette by Paul Kelly
And just 'cause it´d be a shame to post only one song, here´s another... say Yee-Haw!
Dukes of Hazzard Theme by Weezer

01 March 2009

Gomek Covers Podcast Part 1 & 2

To quote Everlast, "just like the Prodigal Son I´ve returned!", with TWO brand new Gomek Podcasts... the first since October. No excuse except I´ve had too much fun audioblogging, but it was nice to get back in the recording booth and crank these out. My inspiration was Malia, who said she missed hearing my voice on the stereo.
I´ve also hopefully simplified the process of getting them... now you just have to click on the links below to get to the download screen. You can either listen online or download by choosing the "download original" option on the right. Grab them and... ENJOY!
Here´s the complete tracklistings for both shows...
Police & Thieves - the Clash (original by Junior Murvin)
Lee Remick - the Meanies (o. the Go-Betweens)
More Than a Feeling - Sleater-Kinney (o. Boston)
My Girl - Spiderbait (o. Hoodoo Gurus)
Venus-the Riptides (o. Shocking Blue)
Uptown Girl - Weezer (o. Billy Joel)
War Pigs - Cake (o. Black Sabbath)
Pretty Flamingo - Paul Weller (o. Manfred Mann)
What Goes On - Bryan Ferry (o. Velvet Underground)
Download Part 1 HERE
River Deep, Mountain High - the Saints (o. Ike & Tina Turner)
Search & Destroy - You Am I (o. Iggy & the Stooges)
There Is a Light That Never Goes Out - Neil Finn (o. the Smiths)
Crazy - the Kooks (o. Gnarls Barkley)
Stairway to Heaven - Rock Lobster (o. Led Zeppelin)
Safety Dance - Dandiwind (o. Men Without Hats)
Let´s Get It On - Lloyd Charmers (o. Marvin Gaye)
Satisfaccion - Modern Art Studio (o. Rolling Stones)
Download Part 2 HERE.  

18 February 2009

Aussie Garage Part 2

Aussie Garage Part 2 moves on into the 1980s...
A storm in a teacup, that´s this song. From second one the shredding guitar riff carries you into the drums and absolutely sick bass that gets the stage 30 seconds in and returns for several more hostile takeovers. Sydney´s Celibate Rifles may have humorously named themselves after the Sex Pistols, but their music was no joke. Their ´80s output for Hot records is vital start to finish. Further listening - check out "This Week" and "Darlinghurst Confidential". Bill Bonney Regrets by Celibate Rifles, from The Turgid Miasma of Existence (Hot, 1986) The Hoodoo Gurus were a mighty band in the ´80s, and are a bit part of the soundtrack of my life. The twin stars of that band were singer Dave Faulkner and guitarist Brad Shepard. While still a pup, Brad caught the punk bug and headed into the studio with his second band, the Fun Things, to rip out a rough, fast self-titled EP that crackles with energy. "Lipstick" is the most celebrated song from that session, but for me it´s "Savage", by a nose. (Label info, anyone?) Savage by the Fun Things, from Fun Things (??, 1980) Gotta love an Australian band singing about, but ignorant regarding, US geography... as the Turnbuckles do when they wail about "seaside Albuquerque". They were part of the second wave, intent on recapturing the garage sounds of the past... You´d never guess that this album was released in ´86, so they succeeded. The EP´s only got 6 tracks but they all hit the sweet spot. Groove to the Eye by the Psychotic Turnbuckles, from Destroy Dull City (Rattlesnake, 1986)
organ... Organ... ORGAN! Damn, club me with that organ riff... please! From Perth, one of the most remote cities on earth, came the Stems.  Best description I´ve seen of them is "psychedelic Sixties power-pop punk" - say THAT ten times fast. Pointed shoes, stovepipe pants, mop tops, and Orbison sunglasses abounded. Tears Me in Two by the Stems [45 release] (Citadel, 1984)

Aussie Garage Part 1

Although there are rock groups that I love (like Weezer and Foo Fighters), I´m generally more a fan of the groove than the riff. But a huge exception is garage rock, that primordial, monstrous and primitive guitar sound steeped in ´60s-era studio effects.
When punk´s first wave was exploding across the globe in 1977, the Lucky Country would not prove immune. But the tyranny of distance would work in Australia´s favor in this case, as their particular strain of punk rock was more immersed in the garage rock scene of the preceding decade than the rest of the world. So many classics came out in such a short time, it was like the burning of a comet... short, fast, and intense, and doomed to burn out quickly. Part 1 is composed of the giants of the scene, led by the greatest of all bands of the era (and one of the greatest bands of all time), Brisbane´s the Saints. It was almost impossible to pick a song off their first album, as all are great, from the title track that started it all, to "Story of Love", an amazing Stones-y tune, to the cover "Kissin´Cousins", which the Saints make all their own. I can´t recommend these guys enough. Demolition Girl by the Saints, from (I´m) Stranded (Captain Oi!, 1977) When I finally got to see the Saints live (Melbourne Uni, 1988), they were a band in name only. Lead singer Chris Bailey had gotten fat and abusive, hurling epithets at the audience at every opportunity. Perhaps that kind of behavior explains why Ed Kuepper, ex-Saints guitarist and co-song writer, decided to strike out on his own. He set out to "take back" many of the Saints songs he´d written, and thus called his group the Aints. Their finest moment came on S.L.S.Q., perhaps the best live album ever, but those songs are too long for posting here (for example, an almost 11 minute version of "The Wanderer" and a 7+ minute version of Ike Turner´s "River Deep Mountain High"). Ed´s gone on to make many more records, but none with the snarl of his early work. Like an Oil Spill by the Aints, from Ascension (Hot, 2003) And then there´s Birdman, fronted by American Deniz Tek. An inspiration to countless bands, they rose from the sludge of the MC5 and vintage Stooges to bridge the gap to the punk era. Under the Ashes collects it all, from groove-y workouts like "Man with Golden Helmet", to the surf-punk of "Aloha Steve & Dano". This one made a fine manifesto for the emerging de-generation... New Race by Radio Birdman, from Under the Ashes (WEA, 1988)

12 February 2009

Weird but Good

This is of a kind with my Pure Insanity post, but a notch down. There´s no menace of insanity here, just the goofy joy brought out by the deeply weird. 99 out of 100 experimental bands like these are just beyond crap, and indeed these bands themselves can suck ass at times, but the successes outweigh the failures, and the failures are at least daring. Both songs below are from CDs released last year, which is a great sign. It´s about time the stale-and-getting-staler musical scene of the past few years got a shake up. These bands may not be precursors to the sounds of the future, but at least they are reaching for something new. Deerhoof hail from San Francisco, have a Japanese woman, Satomi Matsuzaki, as a vocalist/bassist, and a drummer with a tiny, tiny kit that he bashes the living shit out of... plus, there are great guitar riffs. Offend Maggie is a very quirkly but extremely good record that has lodged deep, deep inside my brain and won´t let go. "Snoopy Waves" starts like a lost Television song before morphing into several other forms... what could you call this type of music? Dunno, but I´ll listen to a lot more of it. Snoopy Waves by Deerhoof, from Offend Maggie (Kill Rock Stars, 2008) Of Montreal´s been around since 1997, but I haven´t really checked them out until recently. The Skeletal Lamping album (their last album has to be considered for best album title ever-"Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?") could be the soundtrack to ADD... every song changes and reconfigures so many times that it´s more like a CD filled with a ton of mini-tunes. There´s wild experimentation at all times, built on a foundation of pop melodies, Ziggy Stardust echoes and Prince-style sex-sex-sex. Definitely not for everybody... I´m sure this must be banned in Wal-Mart and the Bible Belt. Oh, and they´re from Athens, Georgia, not Montreal. For Our Elegant Caste by Of Montreal, from Skeletal Lamping (Polyvinyl, 2008)

Should-Be Classics

I´m taking a trip into that alternate universe where the best music gets recognized and the crap sinks to the bottom... where Ken Boothe is as famous as Sam Cooke... where a group´s worst song doesn´t become their most popular (the Cars´ "Drive, the Police´s "Every Breath You Take", etc.)... and where the three songs below are known and loved as the true classics they are. But in our world, sadly, they´re obscure, or at least unfairly overlooked. Time to rectify that. The Journeys By DJ series is a fantastic one, with at least one other classic release, 1996´s Coldcut JDJ. Desert Island Mix is a two-disc set that gives one disc each to Norman Jay and Gilles Peterson. I´m a huge Gilles Peterson fan as he´s got one of the two best radio shows in the world at the moment, currently airing on BBC Radio (the other is the Swami Soundsystem in San Diego). Peterson´s a genius at picking great music, and here he´s got a sweet Roy Davis Jr. track. This one´s a complete contrast to the frenetic funk of my last post, being a simmering slow burner in every way. The voice is flinty but smooth, the production is subdued and insistant, and those horns... perfect. Gabriel by Roy Davis Jr. with Peven Everett, from Gilles Peterson Desert Island Mix (Journeys by DJ, 1997) In one of the weirder twists of musical fate, Seke Molenga & Kalo Kawongolo, two musicians from Zaire, somehow found their way to mad genius Lee "Scratch" Perry´s legendary Black Ark studios (before he burned it down himself) in 1977. Scratch got behind the boards to work his twisted magic on a simmering stew of mostly reggae ingredients, but with a healthy helping of African flavor as well. This whole album is fantastic, and it sat on my want list for over ten years before I finally got my hands on it (having been issued in small numbers only on the SonAfrica, Jolie Zaire, and RuNNetherlands labels in Africa and Europe). The one featured here is a song now called "River Stone", but only because it is mislabeled... it´s true title was to be "Love Can Run Faster". Not only that, it´s a tack on... various financial problems prevented the completion of the album so this was added to fill out the set. If you want to hear the African stuff... and you should hear it, you´ll have to check out the rest of the album. The vocalist here is Robert Palmer-yes, THAT Robert Palmer. He´d cut several tracks at Black Ark with Scratch in ´76, in the heady days that saw the likes of the Stones and the Clash heading to JA to check out the exploding scene. His voice and Perry´s production make for a hugely satisfying combination. River Stone by , from From the Heart of the Congo (Jolie Zaire, 1977) This last track is not exactly obscure, but it certainly isn´t sufficiently recognized. I heard it for the first time in one of the tents at the Coachella festival in Indio, pumping out of huge speakers. It´s hard for me to say exactly why I love this song so much... it doesn´t really go anywhere. But I think that´s part of the appeal, as the result is a kind of delicious, suspended tension. The instrumentation is minimal, built primarily around a funky guitar strum and a single, 5-note sequence. Sunshine shows her man the hand and we all get to benefit. I´ve Heard It All Before by Sunshine Anderson, from Your Woman (Atlantic, 2001)

Too Funky

Of course, there´s really no such thing as too funky... and thank God for that. But here we have some specimens that fairly drip sweat. Songs that make you say Damn! would´ve been another possible title for this one. Like the saying goes, if these don´t make you move, you must be dead. The first one comes from an early 70s release that turns up the funk from the word go and just gets better from there. Everything about this song just fits, from the killer drums to the funky bass, guitar and horns, and straight out wailing vocals. Although this one is straight-up funk, the Stovall Sisters were primarily a gospel act... so turn it up and testify! Hang on In There by the Stovall Sisters, from The Stovall Sisters (Reprise, 1971) The General Crook track not only has the standard funk instrumentation, but also adds awesome disco strings on top of everything. There are also some nice female vocals that don´t make an appearance until we´re two minutes into the track. And the subject deals with a president with a daughter who takes funk to the world... visionary indeed! Included in a 2005 comp, the original dates from the early Seventies. Do It For Me by General Crook, from Absolute Funk (Body & Soul, 2005) And just to show that true, sweaty funk is still made today, here´s one from Lefties Soul Connection, a band that brings the noise all the way from Germany. The organ is the star attraction of this instrumental track, but the web of funk-tastic sound created by all the instruments working together gives this track its super powerful punch. There´s a part 1 to Sling Shot, on the earlier Lefties´album Hutspot, but all the two share is an organ lead... otherwise they´re completely separate and different tracks. Sling Shot Part 2 by Lefties Soul Connection, from Skimming the Skum (Groove Attack, 2007)