Saturday, November 25, 2006

I have no idea who The Left Banke are or where I got this song from, but it came on my random iTunes about an hour ago and I've listened to it several times since. Oh well, I guess a big backstory or write-up isn't always necessary. Listen:

And to completely change the pace, here is a song with an amazing ending that you may know already: D.E.A.D. R.A.M.O.N.E.S by Modern Life is War.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

One might find it suspicious -- or at least curious -- that after two Barry Black LPs and a handful of Crooked Fingers releases, Eric Bachmann has finally released a record under his own name.

But then, unlike much of his earlier post-Archers of Loaf work, To The Races is defiantly stark, and hardly collaborative -- a marked difference from the guest-laden love-ins that have defined the past seven years of his career. It sounds as though Bachmann was searching for Nebraska here, and for better or worse, he seems to have found his way; not to say, necessarily, that he's been freed from his increasingly familiar holding pattern and all of its idiosyncracies, but it's clear that he's spent more time focusing on the little things, which as you'll hear, make all the difference this time around.

Eric Bachmann - "Lonesome Warrior"

And why not: Crooked Fingers - "A Little Bleeding" (from Ductape Radio, March 2000)


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Scott Walker was part of the superstar 60s crooning band The Walker Brothers - an American band who experienced almost all of their success in Britain with huge singles like The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore and Make it Easy on Yourself. As wildly popular as they were with lead singer Scott considered a sex symbol far and wide, he felt uncomfortable with the direction and reputation he had garnered and decided to abandon the lifestyle.

After separating from The Walker Brothers for a while, he discovered a french singer called Jacques Brel and became fascinated with his eccentric lyrics about prostitution, death, sex, and war, with the backdrop of bombastic orchestral arrangements. He released a series of solo albums called Scott, Scott 2, Scott 3, etc. with original material and the occasional Jacques Brel cover thrown in for good measure.

I've posted here one such cover called Jackie, where the main character gets so overtaken with his dellusions that he fantastizes about owning countries where he's king, having his own bordello, locking himself inside an opium den surrounded by "Chinamen", all while giving himself different monikers in each verse. Intense stuff.

The second song is another cover - a huge, orchestral version of Toni Fisher's The Big Hurt, which was also covered by Nick Cave (which was how I found out about Scott Walker in the first place).

The more his solo career progressed, the more eccentric and reclusive he became. He stopped talking to the media altogether and spaces between albums grew longer and longer. This year he released the sparse and soundscapey The Drift which has been hailed as a masterpiece. Personally, I think it's balls. Anyway, find the two songs posted below.


The Big Hurt:

I guess I should step this shit up two notches...

A week later and I'm still going to post an Olympia song, and another song by a guy that probably borrows a lot more from that scene than you would think.

A real hot dance number from Dub Narcotic Sound System, "Fuck Me Up" came out as a 12" expecting to get played at dance clubs worldwide. Yeah, likely not, but when we think of punk rock and punk influenced music it certainly isn't released as a 12". I suppose you could make the argument that it's too long to fit on a 7", but they knew what they were aiming for. A punk rock floor burner if there ever was one.

Next up, King Dutch Motese AKA Greg Ebberhard AKA the singer of Slow Hand Motem is quite a dude. He writes some really funky ("fonke" as he says) jams about all sorts of wacky things. This time, it's Ebbz solo with a sampled beat talking about how great it is to have the house to yourself, which is more pragmatic than his lyrics on the Motem record. If you come to Hamilton, you should really meet this guy. Hopefully this track illustrates his life for you.

Fuck Me Up - Dub Narcotic Sound System

Home Alone - King Dutch Motese

-Mike Long

Monday, November 06, 2006

Today's first song is by a Toronto band from the mid 90s called Suckerpunch. At the time their album Carols From The Canyon was released they received a fair amount of local attention, which turned out to be shortlived as they broke up less than a year later. Members went on to form Dodge Fiasco and other smaller projects that never seemed to get off the ground, and what turned out to be their only only album seems all but ignored now.

I was always a big fan of this band. I remember being upset that they only ever played 19+ shows in Toronto when I was too young to go. By the time I was of age they were long gone. I also remember listening to Ten Thousand Reasons (posted below) at least 10 times in a row at a crappy party on new years eve sometime in the late 90s. An ex girlfriend never gave back my only CD copy after we broke up and I had to scour the city for another one (luckily their manager dumped a whole bunch of vinyl copies at Rotate This last year which now sell for $9.99). I also remember meeting the singer Chris Dignan years later when he was a bouncer at Rancho Relaxo - I asked if he was once in a band called Suckerpunch, and he just kind of nodded and didn't really seem too eager to open up a conversation about it. I told him that Carols From the Canyon was one of my favourite albums and he thanked me but still seemed a little passive about the whole thing - I then told him that I thought it was one of the sexiest records ever written, which I guess is a pretty big compliment, and suddenly he got all jazzed and shook my hand and thanked me a lot. To that end, Carols From the Canyon is a great album - full of sleazy rockabilly songs inspired by 70s punk rock that comes off as a party record that more people should've heard.

Anyhow, here is Ten Thousand Reasons off of Carols From the Canyon.

The second song is also an all time favourite - That Certain Female by Charlie Feathers. I came across his music by way of The Cramps who opened up a lot of doors for me when it came to discovering rockabilly music. They had covered another song of his called Can't Hardly Stand It on Bad Music For Bad People and it made me curious to hear the original. After getting into more of his music though, the song I'm posting here attracted me way more with it's raucous opening, wild variations in the feel of his vocals throughout the song, and the way he bashes out the solo while yelling at his guitar. I would say this song is near perfect. Here it is: