Thursday, June 02, 2005
Joe Pullum - "Black Gal, What Makes Your Head So Hard?"
Clifton Chenier - "Blues De Ma Negresse"
Joe Pullum is a good example of an artist that the world left behind; in the early thirties; Joe released some thirty songs in a two year period, including the cut I've posted today, but beyond the apocryphal, surprisingly little is known about his life and only one photo of the man survives. Pullam was born in Houston, Texas; where he recorded "Black Gal" in 1934; Pullum (likely in his late twenties) does the vocals and the equally acclaimed and shadowy Rob Cooper is on piano.
"Black Gal, What Makes Your Head So Hard" sure does SOUND like a standard, but it is apparently a Pullum original; famed blues musician Victoria Spivey claims to have been present in 1925 when Pullum put pen to paper on the track. It was a certified hit when it was released, spurring covers by dozens of artists, including Leroy Carr, Josh White and Lightnin' Hopkins. Over the years, Pullum himself would rerecord different versions of the track three times; but nothing beats this offbeat Zydeco cover of "Black Gal" (in French!) by accordian master Clifton Chenier.
Chenier really deserves a separate post (and will likely get one at a later time), but for the moment, suffice it to say that Clifton was a singular and important character in the legitimization and popularization of Zydeco music internationally. Plus he plays a mean squeezebox.
Buy "When the Sun Goes Down: That's Chicago's South Side", the third disc in the tremendous anthology series, from Amazon OR buy "The Complete Joe Pullum, Volume 1" direct from Document Records.
Buy Clifton Chenier's excellent "Zydeco Sont Pas Salé" direct from Arhoolie Records for only TEN BUCKS! Peep the value!
If you're not completely sold yet, the Arhoolie page offers clips of all the tracks on the album in Real format.
Read this brief bio of Chenier and this fan page.
Explore this Cajun Zydeco fansite.
Transformer, what makes your head so hard?
Speaking of Houston artists, I couldn't have been more happy seeing Devin the Dude's first NYC appearance last night at Rothko. The man is a fantastically magnetic stage performer who traffics more in the tradition of toasting than rapping. Yeah, his flow is amazing and his interstitial beatboxing is flawless; but you get the sense that he's happiest just telling a story.
Devin is the cat who gets off the couch once everybody is good and baked and does routines to crack y'all the fuck up. His material is unfailingly positive minded, if a tetch filthy; I'd suggest that the next album be titled "Weed, Pussy and Problems," as that's really all that Devin talks about. He's also ridiculously intelligent and a bit of a music geek; in between 'Boo Booin,' 'Sticky Green,' and 'Mo Fa Me,' he freaked out the crowd by going into a straight cover of James Taylor's 'Handyman'!
In a genre filled with cats trying to be hard, Devin's got the balls to just be another guy and let his talent speak for itself. He's one of my faves and I continue to hope that he breaks through to a bigger audience. Lord knows he has the respect of the hip hop community: Dr. Dre, UGK and David Banner are all fans and collaborators; Nas and Kelis showed up at the gig. Considering the number of white college age kids at the show (a likely sign of crossover success at ANY show), maybe that dream of blowing up will come true? Stay tuned...
Ladies and Gentlemen. There are a lot of perpetrators. But only one originator.
I have never in my life felt the need to use the phrase "No homo," but if I did, now would be that time.
More of the same, if you dig it.
Also, somewhat related: "Were You Raised by Wolves? Or Perhaps Weight Lifters?"
Alan Moore is distancing himself from the new V for Vendetta movie; I reread the book this week and can't imagine how you'd make a coherent contemporary movie script out of this.
Even if you don't have the action figures, you can fight lightsaber battles with the toys online.
File under things I didn't know I needed to see that I now cannot live without: Chun Li and Ryu salsa dancing.
Could someone please explain the idea behind putting an electric fence on a boat?
Luckily, "It is Non-Lethal, so no one can die from it!"
A short movie about creating a simple juggling robot.
R. Kelly's five part 'Trapped in the Closet' story/song is among the most amazing things I've heard this year; the audio(!) for chapters one and two and video(!!!) for chapter one are available at his official site.
If you've somehow missed it prior, RUN there NOW. Yes, it's insane; it's also compulsively listenable.
Can I make you a snack, perhaps a hardboiled ostrich egg covered in sausage?
The Gamers Manifesto is already all over the web; it's "DUH!" material that most game companies clearly aren't paying attention to (stick around for the trailer after the ad). They'll keep giving us crap if we keep paying for it; be a good consumer and just buy good games, okay?
BONUS ADD ON "JUST SHOWED UP IN MY MAILBOX AND CAN'T BELIEVE IT" WTFOMGLOLBBQ glisten
Bonecrusher - "The New Gilligan's Island Theme Song"
um. Holy shit.