Friday, September 10, 2004

You'd drink too if Mom named you "Sticks".
glisten: Drunkard #6

11. Sticks McGhee - "Drinkin' Wine, SpoDeeODee"

Jowey - The line SpoDeeODee reminds me of Wayne Brady and his singing impressions on "Whose Line is It Anyway?". I know I've heard heard this song somewhere before. I noticed all sorts of people have performed it. Jerry Lee Lewis, Hank Williams III, etc..but I've actually seen Jerry Lee perform (my dad's pretty tight with him) and he was absolutely amazing to see in action.

I'd kinda like to hear Killer's cover. Anybody got it?

Mark - Now we're talking. This is the song I want to hear when I burst open the door of the club. It's got an air of comaraderie to it, which is exactly what you need when you're out with the fellas. The guitar playing is real nice too. Great fun. And what a name. Sticks McGhee.

Illovich - "Awwww... gimme somma tha sla" I've been looking for the true face of G. Love and Special Sauce's "Cold Beverage," and I believe this is the pre-birth visage of that pop-oddity. This is a purer, less distilled rock and roll, a sweet moonshine compared to G. Love's wine cooler, Drink wine-spo-de-o-de-drink wine!

Brooks - This is a fun song. And it sounds like he's having a good time singing it. I love it when he giggles at the end of the first chorus.

The joy that flows through this song is downright Dionysian.

"ELDERberry! Cherry, cherry!" Tennessee Reprazent!

Sticks was Brownie McGhee's brother and often his accompanist.

Buy Sticks McGhee "1947-1951" from Amazon.
The truth revealed!
"One ditty that he wrote during the war had a lyric about, 'drinking wine mother~~er, drinking wine.' "

A great anecdote. I'm not too sure about the "stick vs. sticks" name game; this is the only time I've heard anything of the sort.

The boys at WordOrigins.Orgdiscuss the point further.
Visit ClosetWino.com.


12. Roosevelt Sykes - "Devil's Island Gin Blues"

Jowey - To me this sounds like more than just a simple blues track. Sykes was definitely well-versed in ragtime as well, it sounds "Joplinesque". I can play a mean Maple Leaf Rag.

Mark - I can see this working. The guy speeding way past the beat is clearly a drunken thing to do. This makes me think of drinking really really cheap whiskey and feeling bad about it.

Illovich - I love hiss. When I was younger I thought there was something about the hiss that preserved an ineffable aspect of recorded music. This is one of the things about old timey recordings of american folk musics that I enjoy.

Brooks - I don't think blues piano gets enough credit. And here's a great example of one of the greatest blues pianists of his time.

Buy "When the Sun Goes Down III: 'That's Chicago's South Side'" from Amazon.
The "When the Sun Goes Down" RCA/Bluebird blues collections are superdeduper high quality compilations; this one, highlighting some down'n'dirty Chi-town history, is hardly an exception.
Read this brief bio of the Honeydripper.
DL (and pay for) more Sykes from Itsaboutmusic.com.
Anybody used this service before?
Visit the Malt Advocate's home, the Whiskey Pages.

Meeting the Neighbors

Soul Sides is the musicblog of Oliver Wang, a Cali based music journalist, author and DJ who consistently pumps out amazing music on his site, most of it never issued on CD. Classic RnB, jazz, funk and ol'school b-boys, ya'll are crazy if you're not constantly checking S.S. for new jewels. Recent gems include Jam Master Jay remix of the Public Enemy cut "Louder than a Bomb", "Soul Heart Transplant" off the excellent Ebony Rhythm Band album and the dizzy wailing sax of John Klemmer on "Free Soul".

He's also the photogenic face of musicbloggin' in the new Stone article on the Revolution.

How do one man get so funky?


What was the greatest motivation for you to create your site?

I've been a music critic since 1994 and a DJ since '93. Soul Sides follows on these interests, just expanding them into a new area. I've been a college radio DJ since 1991 and creating an audioblog was an extension of wanting to share great music with a larger audience. Besides, I get feedback via the blog in ways that I rarely got feedback doing radio - it's always nice to know what listeners are really feeling.

Is there a major flaw in the way that musicblog sites function that you'd like to see corrected?

Nothing major - most of my critiques have been nit-picky. Most revolve around basic design: if you're supplying the reader with song files, make them easy to find and don't over-clutter the page with other materials. I like those audioblogs which are strictly focused on music - some people mix a standard blog with some soundfiles mixed in but it makes finding music content that much harder to find. That's the main reason I keep my pop culture blog, Pop Life, distinct from Soul Sides .

Do you really think that posting music effectively promotes sales of the album?

I think it helps promote but it's not going to singlehandedly push an album to platinum status on its own. I think audioblogs are more like seeds: you plant the potential for a song or artist or album in people's heads and see what might grow from there.

Are you a proud member of the iPod Nation?

No doubt - I get a lot of my ideas for Soul Sides by just browsing through my iPod playlists.

How difficult is it to maintain the site?

Not too much: thankfully, I know enough basic HTML and design to start with Blogger's collection of templates and make small changes from there. Other than that, I probably spend a few hours every week getting things ready: I always try to do several posts at once since I can't always update the site everyday.

Give me a good story about how one of the tracks that made it up on your blog got there.

Back in June, a friend of mine gave me two CDs filled with about 150 great semi-obscure soul and funk songs - really killer material. I dubbed these the "Black Label Collection" and started to create posts drawing solely from the collection. One of my recent posts was for this song by this girl soul group: The Fuzz, called "I Love You For All Seasons." I really liked the song's production: dramatic, lush and soulful - and literally, in less than a week after hearing the song for the first time, I found the 7" single of it at a random record store: on the back was an instrumental to the song. I ended up posting up both the original version and the instrumental.

Pick one musician and one question. Who is it and what do you ask?

Ella Fitzgerald: I would want to know what HER favorite song is..after all, she created so many other people's favorites: what did she find most compelling for herself?

Could you see yourself still running your site in five years? Would you ever consider selling the blog?

Selling? No. I never got into this to make money off it though I wouldn't be against seeking sponsorship from folks like Dustygroove.com or TurntableLab.com since I link to their sites already. And sure, I could see myself running the site in five years: I've done college radio for over 10 years - Soul Sides isn't even a year old yet.

What's the best live show you've ever seen?

The Roots at Bimbo's: 1994. Their live show now seems almost conventional b/c they've done it so often but back then, it was blowing all kinds of minds away.

Do you have a message for youngsters who'd like to start their own musicblog?

It's the same advice I give budding DJs at my radio station: develop a personality. It's not just enough to put up good songs: anyone can do that. What makes sites different is how they convey the creator's attitudes and interests, i.e. their personalities. Don't force it, just keep true to what you're into and it will emerge over time.