Sunday, February 22, 2004

Wow. There's been a big spike in interest since the MP3's showed up.
Hope these new ones meet your approval.


So there's a few reasons why I decided to take the leap into musicblogging. First and foremost, I saw a big gap online in the traditional forms of blues, bluegrass, jazz, gospel, world (for lack of a better word) and rnb; the genres that I'll be devoting the majority of the music posting here. I hope that dispersing some of that stuff through my very modest spigot (quit peekin') might eventually unleash a tidal wave of interest in 'dese roots (See if you make a copy and he copies your copy and she makes a copy of the copied copy, that's like... three copies, or something!). Not that I won't dip into other genres; I've a notoriously short attention span, but that IS the intended focus.

Secondly, this is a bit of a family affair. Music is my father's life and although he's unlikely to ever get to this page (bit of a luddite, that one), part of musicblogging is a misguided attempt to show some love and further his agenda. What agenda? That you punk kids learn to love Clifton Chenier like you love Jay Z. Actually, Pops prolly don't know from Jigga, but you get my point. Please explain it to me.

Lastly, I've been a VICIOUS dl'er lately. That "Daily Music Fix" over here---->
is serious. I really DO dl whatever these folks post. I really DO listen to it all; god bless you iPod.
Now I'd like to give something back to all these friendly postin' folkses to crack open their gourds as they have busted me gulliver, forever and ever amen.

Plus I've got all this fricken' obscure music and nobody who wants to listen to it with me. Be my friend.

Okay, that's enough lamer exposition, here's some stuff to listen to:


Today's first selektion is special for Sean over at said the gramophone and not just 'cause he's promised to plug my blog over there.

See, Sean posted Jimmy Soul's "If You Wanna Be Happy" about two weeks ago and it got me thinking about the little-known progenitor of that funky novelty track:

Sir Lancelot - "Ugly Woman"

Here's some info on Sir Lancelot from Brad Beshaw's Hollywood DeathWatch Obit:

"Born Lancelot Victor Edward Pinard in Cumuto, Northern Trinidad, the boy who would become the vanguard exponent of Calypso music (years before Harry Belafonte) was already giving classical vocal recitals at age 6... "

The music I'm posting here would have hit the market in the early to mid-40's. Lancelot's honeyed, nasal tenor couldn't be more dated; but his lyrics would fit snugly into any Sean Paul single. Lancelot's singing has a distinct theatrical edge to it, hardly surprising given his extensive film career:

"His first credited role arrived courtesy of RKO producer Val Lewton, for whom Lancelot would make three pictures beginning with 1943's 'I Walked With a Zombie'. In a role more Greek Chorus than character part, Sir Lancelot provides running commentary for cast and audience alike, courtesy of the Calypso number Fort Holland (later covered by folk singer Odetta)...Following his involvement in Lewton's 'Ghost Ship' (1943) and 'Curse of the Cat People' (1944). Lancelot's acting mettle was tested under the direction of Howard Hawks, in Lauren Bacall's auspicious debut (opposite Humphry Bogart), 'To Have and Have Not'. The perfect counterpoint to this sober drama was provided by 'Zombies on Broadway' (1945), an RKO vehicle for its Abbot and Costello knock-offs, 'Carney and Brown' featuring a parody of the Fort Holland song, and a "zombie expert" played by, who else, Bela Lugosi."

Lancelot lived to the ripe old age of 98.

Here's two more gems by this multitalented, underappreciated troubadour:

Sir Lancelot - "Sweet Like a Honey Bee"

Sir Lancelot - "Take Me, Take Me (To San Pedro)"

Purchase the CD: Trinidad Is Changing
Excellent, exhaustive resource page for Lancelot Pinard


Willie Dixon - "29 Ways"

Willie Dixon has a stake as one of the all-time great American songwriters. The man was responsible for some of the best known and best loved standards of the past century; "Hoochie Coochie Man", "Little Red Rooster", "I Just Want to Make Love to You" are just a few.

"29 Ways" is a great list song; one has to wonder if Jigga was familiar with this when he rattled off "22 Twos" on Reasonable Doubt.

Dixon's insistent crooning, the jingle jangle piano, the doo wop backup singers, the jaunty drums, the growling sax solo: Everything works.

On this track, Dixon and his band sound as if they were packed (piano and all) into an old Model-T and sent off down a gravel road to cheerfully plot a break in. Some serious happy ass blues goin' on here.

Purchase the two cd Chess Records Box set from Amazon: I've had this over a decade and I still enjoy it. If you've not much experience with the blues, you could do worse than starting here.
Eccentric bio of Dixon
More Poetry by Willie : I particularly like the lyrics to Dead Presidents.
This site has an alternate version of "29 Ways" and "Spoonful" available on MP3 down at the bottom. I like my version of this track better, but it's still a fun listen and much bluesier.


The Coup - "Underdogs"

The Coup - "Nowalaters"

So much for sticking to topic, eh? Oh well; if you're gonna post hip hop, you couldn't do much better than the Coup.

This is material you should all have heard by now but I have the sneaking suspicion a very few of you are still not in the know, so ears up! The Coup's political rhymin' pushed them out of the spotlight and their lack of trust in the industry machine has sent them pinballing from label to label; their albums regularly lapse into "out of print" status but they also have a host of rabid underground fans who argue that they might be the most important hip hop artists in America right now.

Why should you care? Where to begin? The terrifying screams that open "Underdogs", the Coup's bleak shout out to the impoverished? The elastic bass and poplock percussion on "Nowalaters" song-length hook? The brilliant, fluid and politically aware songwriting: "It was me up in the vaginary/And I'm gonna love my kids whether real or imaginary/Quit school, working with her parents at the mall next to Fashion Berry/Operation Cash and Carry"?

I heart the Coup. New album soon? Please?

Purchase the CD's (Party Music and Steal This Double Album) direct from the band: Hip Hop Classics.
Interview with Coup frontman Boots Riley
The story on the infamous "Blowing up the World Trade Center" cover art


So am I to believe that NOBODY wants a free mix cd of music? Check two posts down and leave me a note, would ya? You're leavin' me standin' 'round with my dick in my hand here.

And my evening? You know that Chris Rock routine where he talks about the one guy at the club who's just a little too old... not too old period, just too old to be in the club. Remember that? Well I spent the evening out at bars FILLED with that guy.

At least YOU love me, computer. Right?