Monday, October 04, 2004

Mr. Rocksteady himself

If it's Monday, then this must be the

glisten: Soul Hut 4
Ken Boothe -"Down By the River"

O sez: This Neil Young song (which I used to incorrectly attribute to Buddy Miles, perhaps because I liked his version so much) is such an incredible piece of both music-making and lyric writing. While not a blues song in any formal tradition, how else can you describe a ballad about a buy who shoots his lover and then writes a song about it? We don't know why, we don't know what the aftermath is, but there is such power in the confessional that it makes Usher seem like a wuss. This Ken Boothe version comes off an album full of covers, including a really good cover of Syl Johnson's "Is It Because I'm Black?" and a really poor version of Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On." I like the reggae-fied take; the rhythms work surprisingly well in the transition and most importantly, the power of the song remains intact.

J sez: This is just spectacular. I was not familiar with Boothe's work and this track came blazing down the rails with the quickness. Very impressive.

O, just out of curiosity: if killing a lover and writing a song about it qualifies as blues, is Em working in the blues tradition with Bonnie and Clyde '97?

Buy "Natural Feeling" from Amazon.

I was SO taken with this track that I ran out and found some more Ken Boothe the very next day. A few listens later, I had to agree with O-Dub: the Syl Johnson cover is hella classic.

Ken Boothe - "Is It Because I'm Black?"

J sez: This stands its own against Sam Cooke and Nat Cole and Stevie Wonder.

Absolute emotional powerhouse. Ken doesn't even sound angry; he just wants a straight answer.

Buy "Crying Over You", the two-disc Boothe Anthology, from Amazon.

A fifty track import of this quality for only twenty bucks is a steal.
Read this bio on Ken.
Listen to TWO HOURS of Boothe's music and interviews in realaudio, courtesy

The cover of "Set Me Free" is awe-inspiring. The interview follows the first three songs or so and is interspersed throughout. Loads to listen to.

Meeting the Neighbors

Otis Fodder is probably the most prolific man on the musicblog scene and one of the grandpappys of the genre, reaching back to the analog days of mixtape distribution.

Exploring 365 Days was one of the high point of '03; his online record label, Comfort Stand, is poised to release over fifty albums this year.

Otis was kind enough to spare us a few words and a peek into the musical maelstrom that is his mind.

What was the last track you heard that really changed your life?
It's far too hard to pinpoint the life changing songs. Music, to me, has varying levels of depth and emotion and the life changing tracks tend to not instantaneously hit me; they take some time to dig in... but I _have_ been playing these albums on repeat the last week: The Kleptones' A Night At The Hip Hopera, Home by Benjamin Biolay & Chiara Mastroiani and Brian Wilson's Smile.
What song would you like played at your funeral?
I made a mix CD a few years ago just for this occasion; it's somewhat morbid but why the hell not? Some of the songs included were Daniel Johnston's "I'd Like To Say Goodbye", Louis Armstrong's "We Have All The Time In The World", Telly Savalas' "Rubber Bands And Bits Of String", Claudine Longet's "It's Hard To Say Goodbye" and Gavin Bryars' "Jesus Blood Never Failed Me Yet".
Five desert island discs?
Is ten okay? Five is so hard...

1. The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds (Capitol 1966)
2. Brute Force - Confections of Love (Columbia 1967)
3. Serge Gainsbourg - Histoire de Melody Nelson (Phillips 1971)
4. Daniel Johnston - Songs of Pain (Stress 1981)
5. R Stevie Moore - Phonography (Vital 1976)
6. Jean Jacques Perrey and Gershon Kingsley - The In Sound From Way Out (Vanguard 1966)
7. Elsa Popping and her Dixieland Band (Andre Popp) - Delirium In Hi-Fi (Columbia 1957)
8. The Shangri-Las - Myrmidons of Melodrama (RPM/Cherry Red 2002)
9. Yma Sumac - Miracles (London 1972)
10. The Zombies - Odessey and Oracle (Columbia 1968)
That old chestnut dinner party is at your house and you can invite three musicians living or dead. Who's coming?
Serge Gainsbourg, Bruce Haack and Telly Savalas.
Recommend three other musicblog sites.

Oddio Overplay: Katya does an amazing job of focusing on listing legal free music downloads and streams. I've been a fan of her work for some time.

Bellybongo: My number one man in Sweden. If you are looking for totally obscure vinyl, then check this site out.

Basic Hip Digital Oddio: Hard to find album downloads and streams. A weekly stop and a favorite.
Can you list a few bands that you enjoy listening to that might surprise your readers?
I don't know about surprise; I listen to a wide variety of music.
Looking at my iTunes now, some of the artists in rotation are Bob Dorough, the Butthole Surfers, Crass, Cut Chemist, Electric Light Orchestra, Funkadelic, The Germs, Grandmixer DST, Jane Birkin, Kid Koala, Mutantes, UTFO, Ween and William Shatner.
Do you hope to someday make a living with something music or internet related?
I have and still do from time to time. In-between I work day jobs. A job is a job. They are temporary crap to do in-between so I can still eat.
Make a ten song Halloween mixtape.

1. The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band - "Monster Mash"
2. The Cool Ghoul - "You Can't Ghoul Me"
3. Ted Cassidy - "The Lurch"
4. Mad Monster Party (Soundtrack) - "The Mummy"
5. Tarantula Ghoul - "Graveyard Rock"
6. Screaming Lord Sutch - "Jack The Ripper"
7. Winchells Donut House - "Hear The Monsters"
8. Louis Armstrong - "Spooks"
9. The Hamburger Brothers - "Omar The Vampire"
10. Jimmy Cross - "I Want My Baby Back"
Who's your favorite producer?
Quincy Jones
Name one song that you would NEVER post.
Anything by Celine Dion. As long as I never post anything by her, my site will go on forever...-
What was the greatest motivation for you to create your site?
It's fun. It sure beats watching a bunch of boring television or lame-ass reality TV shows.
Do you have a message for youngsters who'd like to start their own musicblog?
Yes I do: Everyone, start a musicblog now. Everybody. It's fun.
Drop on by betterPropaganda and pick out a track to hype.

Deerhoof - "Milking"

I've been a fan of Deerhoof for a couple of years now and they are finally getting some great press and recognition now that they're on the Kill Rock Stars! label. I caught them live in Seattle at the end of last year and they put on a highly active performance, jumping about and sounding amazing. I'd highly recommend the whole Milk Man album.


It's been said before by those with more knowledge and power than me; but I gotta tell you:

Katamari Damacy is the hardest to find, weirdest and coolest movie link game I've played in years.

On top of that, the music is WONDERFUL! I'll probably share a few cuts in the near future.

If you see a copy, snag it. You won't be disappointed.