Sunday, April 23, 2006
glisten - Lucky 13 Pt. 2: Dead Girlfriend
#3: The Dominoes with Clyde McPhatter - The Bells
Too intense and finely crafted to be a simple novelty track and too nutty to be taken entirely seriously, 'The Bells' is a lost lover song unlike any you've ever heard. The bells in question are church bells ringin' the deceased to sleep, but even Hamlet handled the death of his love with some greater self-control than THIS.
There's so much to love here: the corny preacher, the organ dirge, the titular tubular bells, the solemn doowop mourners; but most of all there's the lead, the amazing Clyde McPhatter in his prime, having what sounds like a complete and utter breakdown on tape. It's an unmatched display of histrionics that culminates with an anguished scream SO absurd that it just might tip you off to 'The Bells' dirty secret: McPhatter is actually LAUGHING, not crying. This certainly ups the creepy quotient, but it's an inspired and ballsy performance in any case; how many songs can _you_ think of where the lead male is meant to be weeping his way to the end?
The Dominoes were an influential and popular rnb combo that made the majority of their hits in the 1950's. The band was comprised of a notoriously mutable selection of personnel that centered around bandleader Billy Ward. Ward was known as something of a difficult taskmaster, levying fines and restrictions on anybody who stepped out of line. Fed up with the iron fist treatment, McPhatter would eventually leave the band (fired or quit, depending on who you ask) to form the Drifters. The Dominoes were able to keep the ball rolling by bringing in an impressive new lead in former Golden Gloves champion Jackie Wilson, arguably one of the best rebounds in the history of music.
tell me more about it...
Nothing at eMusic or iTunes, but you can buy the twenty-five track "The Very Best of Billy Ward and The Dominoes", featuring 'The Bells' and many other classic cuts with both McPhatter and Wilson front and center, from Oldies.com for fourteen bucks, postage paid or at Amazon for seventeen, plus postage.
Read this brief bio of Rock + Roll Hall o' Famer Clyde McPhatter and peruse his considerable discography.
If you'd like to learn more about the fascinating and complex story of the Dominoes, you can read this brief band bio... but why not just go all in and read Marv Goldberg's meticulous history and discography of the Dominoes?
Might as well check out Marv's take on McPhatter while you're at it.
The Dominoes really _did_ have a lot of turnover; I hear they even cut a few sides with this guy...
For those of you who can't get enough of those sweet sweet tintinnabulations: here's E.A. Poe's 'Bells', tuning church bells, The Bell Witch, Schulmerich Bells (since 1935), telling time by bells, Bell's Theorem and (of course) Saved By the Bell.
#4: The Checkers - Ghost of My Baby
Just when you think you've ditched the chick... Seems we just planted the girl and she's already coming back in a long, white chariot looking for more.
If you're hearing continuity in the sound as well as the theme, it's not just you. The Checkers sound pretty similar to The Dominoes for a good reason; this splinter band was originally formed by a few of the latter band's ex-members: Charlie White and Bill Brown (who does the bass and shares lead on this track).
Perry Heyward, then lead tenor of The Checkers (later, of The Sparrows) and lead vocalist on 'Ghost', called the track "one of my favorite songs. If you've never really paid attention to it, it's about a guy who has such a high opinion of himself as a lover, that he dreams his recently-deceased girlfriend comes back 'all the way from heaven, just to be with me once more'. I used to fall on my knees to sing it."
tell me more about it...
Again, I'm not seeing any downloadable music, but you can buy Ace Records excellent Checkers compilation, Checkmate: The Complete King Recordings from Amazon or else purchase the band's somewhat less expensive best-of, "White Cliffs of Dover", from Oldies; both feature 'Ghost of My Baby'.
Read this brief overview of the Checkers or this predictably extensive bio of the band from Marv Goldberg.
Paranormal pictures from The American Museum of Photography
Baby, don't you know this sort of relationship rarely ever works out?
i ain't 'fraid of no, etc. etc.
Q: Is it true that Twisted G is the world's first openly gay gangsta rapper?
Twisted G: I'm not sure if I'm the mutha fucking first, nor do I give a fuck! But I'm definitely one of the very few. There are a lot of mainstream rappers that are in the closet fags. I am just one of the few that has the balls to be real about my shit!
Surprisingly, the music's not bad! Reminds me of a mix of Ice Cube and Tech N9ne, only gay. Real gay.
Try 'Run From the Faggots'.
Exceptionally sweet use of my girls Patience and Prudence in this gorgeously produced ad for the British National Lottery.
Tip of the Tofu Hat to the silly fellows over at PCL LINKDUMP who invited th' Hut by to participate in a census that dared to ask the burning question: what's your favorite album smell like?
Mighty Optical Illusions, daily.
These Pythagorus Switch (aka Rube Goldberg) machine videos already made the rounds last week, but did you ever get the straight dope on where those fascinating films came from?
An open request to anyone who's feeling helpful: I'd love to get an mp3 of the original music in that clip, especially the extended song with the male vocalist (the one with the 'Shi-Cho-Nee!' chorus).
Send it along and I'll send back something special!
Eminem has been accused of minstrelsy before, but probably never in such a positive sense.
More wondering minstrels, for the curious.
Andy Warhol has a blog
If you ever wanted to hear Tom Baker sing 'House of the Rising Son'; man o man, do I have a link for you.
Otherwise, I can only offer you a festive collection of a variety of furry lobsters.