Music Business Monthly - Front Page
TEN YOU MAY HAVE MISSED IN 2004
by Gary Pig Gold
If we could all just manage to put Bob Dylan�s Chronicles, Volume
One down long enough to load up our audio device of preference with an
extra couple�a hundred tunes, here are just a few items I�d suggest you
choose from amongst the many, many fine sounds passed my way this past
year or so. Reading glasses off then; iPod immediately into ear for�..
THE BEACH BOYS The Last Smile of the Pied Piper
not surprisingly at all, some other SMiLE seemed to garner the lion�s
share of attention this past year, in many ways I find my own ears drawn
more often back to THIS particular Teenage Mash-Mix to God ...or at
least the corner of Mount Vernon and Fairway. �Take a acidic journey as
Brian Wilson trys to tune his magical radio back to everyone�s
favourite station, Pied Piper FM,� say the creatively-spelt liners
herein. �So many radio waves in Brian�s head -- can he tune that Piper
back with so much trouble & static in the air? Time to tune in!�
Or, as the Big Smiler Himself would implore, just Listen, listen,
EDGAR BREAU Canadian Primitive
the continuing acclaim his vintage-Seventies Simply Saucer recordings
invoke (that band made no less than �the best Canadian LP ever,� in the
opinion of Forced Exposure magazine for one), enquiring ears have oft
wondered whatever mothership Edgar Breau has been up to lo this past
quarter century since. Now, from the Great Wide land of flaming pink
salmon, rainbow trout, and bodies afloat beneath the loons and yellow
moonlight comes the answer. Like that other northern primitive Neil
Young, Edgar�s voice may swoop and scratchily soar as he paints his
detailed tone poems, but it should be closely noted that the
Breau-composed �Lorraine� encapsulates in a mere four-minutes-forty what
it took Neil over an hour to pontificate clear across GREENDALE.
Elsewhere, �I Miss You My Nico� not so much eulogizes as celebrates
you-know-who as countless others, from Lou Reed on up, have tried but
fallen far, far short of. Yes, Bruce Cockburn�s darkest side; Leonard
Cohen without the ladies; Lightfoot held prisoner in his olde rockin�
chair: if you can recognize such a world, then you will be more than
comfortable in this musical hiding place right alongside the one, and
still only Edgar Breau.
BRUTE FORCE Tour de Brute Force
recently reading all about how Jan and Dean met Batman at the gala
Gotham release party for Routledge�s �Lost In The Grooves� book (Get
Your Copy Today!), I was followed on stage � well, onto the floor near
the Housing Works store�s rear windows, I should clarify � by the one
and only, authentically legendary, all-singing all-playing Stephen
Friedland. Now, you should all know this anti-icon much better by his
nom-de-disque Brute Force or, to any Apple Record completist out there,
the King of Fuh (the shoulda-been-hit side of one of Beatle George�s �
and MY � fab fave 45�s EVER). Well for those unfortunate out there who
may have completely missed out on this all, the Man the Myth Himself has
conveniently compiled this copious, 30-track 74-minute compendium of
mock-operatic odes to livestock, lunar modules, hair/hare and soldiers
both toy and otherwise, which includes not only his entire unreleased
(Tokens-produced!) 1969 EXTEMPORANEOUS long-player, but two � Count �em!
� versions of �The King of Fuh.� In a word, or two then? Required
Listening. And yes� May, um, the Brute be with you.
KEVIN HOUSE Gutter Pastoral
speaking of Canadian primitives, imagine, if you dare, a sideshow
banner painter of dogs and humans (by day) who acts much more
unsettlingly like Jandek after hours �had he spent a semester or three
at the Royal Conservatory of Music under the tutelage of Garth Hudson,
that is. From the more than good people over at Bongo Beat Records, who
have brought you SO much essential listening (e.g.: the latest Johnny
Dowd!) again this past year, here�s a disc book-ended by two tracks
which sound as if Angelo Badalamenti had only a four-track and a
forty-dollar Casio keyboard with which to score the latest David Lynch
vision. Then, add to our midnight movie some of the most hauntingly
beautiful melodies Donovan hasn�t written in the past thirty-some-odd
years, a sublimely muted Chet Baker getting lost upon some WHITE ALBUM
Side Four out-takes, and Tom Waits hijacking the SWEETHEART OF THE RODEO
sessions while, in the distance, a lone Theremin saws over the cuckoo�s
nest for Jack Nitzsche. But enough of my name droppin�! Just slap on
the nearest Radio Shack headphones and, as Kevin himself suggests,
�Listen late at night, or in a small boat, when eating cake, when you
are naked and alone �or maybe DON�T listen.� Why, how Canadian!
THE MASTER PLAN Colossus Of Destiny
the very fine folk at Bomp!/Total Energy, who are also responsible
these past twelve months for not only Boyskout (whose �Back To Bed�
video is REQUIRED VIEWING, btw) but for a nice new release of Stiv
Bators� DISCONNECTED to boot, have gone and grabbed one Waxing Poetic,
two actual Fleshtones, and even Dictator Andy in order to put out their
aural equivalent of a jukebox raid in some gosh-fersakin� very-lower
East Side after-hours den-o-debauchery. So what�s up with that?
Howzabout the Cramps in a Silly Putty spat with Twisted Sister (�Dead
Horse�), the Beach Boys� �Don�t Back Down� dragged kicking and
screeching into the 22nd Century (�Find Something Beautiful�), a
torturedly twanged interlude which injects the lysergic straight [sic!]
into Laika�s Cosmonauts (�Picketts Charge�), and as if this weren�t more
than enough already, more-than-stately stabs at �Annie Had A Baby� and
even �Just Because,� the latter of which pretty well neuters even J.
Lennon�s version. In other words, just four big galoots busy kickin� it
Old School �and doing lots more than merely smoking in the boysroom,
believe you me.
THE MODD COUPLE Acoustically Yours
Bridging that ultra-critical socio-musical gap between the Fifties and
the Sixties � twixt, roughly, Buddy Holly and the Beatles -- come
Brooklyn�s own Richie Dupree and Terry Berry who, d.b.a. The Modd
Couple, take only their two voices, a single guitar, and various
percussive implements on a sonic stroll down the haunted corridors of
the Brill Building. The result is a thoroughly enchanting half hour
which brings to ear only the best of Mark Johnson, Phil Angotti, and
other such brave new troubadours never afraid to sacrifice the angst and
volume in the hallowed name of pure, simple melodic mischief. File
under A DATE WITH THE EVERLY BROTHERS �not to mention your fave rave
Merseybeatin� B-sides of yore.
PROZAK FOR LOVERS, volumes I and II
have you ever wondered how Antonio Carlos Jobim, to say nothing of
Sergio Mendes and Brasil 66, might treat the likes of �London Calling,�
�Misty Mountain Hop,� �Proud Mary� (Ike and Tina�s version, of course)
or even �I Wanna Be Sedated� �were they still busy crafting the
soundtrack to your most romantic evenings beneath the console hi-fi,
that is? Well, Chicago�s utterly inimitable Bruce Lash has, and the
result are these two luscious collections of martini-fueled bongo fury
guaranteed to tuna-melt the hardened ears of even that most cynical M
& M fan amongst you. Please be forewarned, however, that such
ultra-lounge bastings, far from being of mere yuk value, actually help
spotlight the sheer musical depth behind numbers such as �Lithium,� for
example, whilst elsewhere seamlessly enabling Brian Jones� classic
�Under My Thumb� vibe line to rest most easily indeed within the
(definitive!) reading of �Aqualung� herein. You know, I do believe that
somewhere, somehow, Esquivel is shaking, NOT stirring, in his grave.
DEXTER ROMWEBER Blues That Defy My Soul
full decade before there were White Stripes or Black Keys of any shape,
creed or color, there were Dexter and Crow, who as the legendary Flat
Duo Jets hauled their Silvertone six-string and lone snare drum off some
gosh-forsaken North Carolinian porch and proceeded to put the roll
squarely back into the rock ��way back in those dank daze when Dread
Zeppelin were doing a better job than R.E.M. at saving American music,
need I remind anyone. So then, as Mike Mills inquired re Dex recently,
�What�s that lunatic up to these days?� Well, he�s still screeching
(what�s left of his voice is now happily quite more Screamin� Jay than
Ronnie Hawkins) and he�s still more than able to lash such spayed cats
as Brian Setzer off the guitar throne and back to the wash-off tattoo
parlor where he always belonged. So, if you�re still wondering what�s
up with said lunatic, you can either check this red hot and blue Yep Roc
disc out immediately yourself or else, as Dexter himself would advise
in his bestest Rockin� Dead Man howl, �shut the fuck up and leave me
SMASH PALACE Over The Top
nice, hard, gritty and ultimately joyous examples of just why r-a-w-k
is, believe it or not, still alive and well in the u-s-a. Obviously
totally secure in the knowledge that they require nothing more than
assured abandon alongside a few good tunes to, yes, put this project
over the top, Stephen Butler & Co. luckily leave their pretensions
at the studio door, turn themselves up to eleven, and quite simply,
quite pimply, have at it. �It,� of course, being that one great big
stereophonic shindig wherein we hear Tom Petty going head-to-head with
Augie Meyers, Jack Fate mischievously flipping up the overdrive dial on
Chris Isaak�s amp, and George Harrison dancing the Dirty Bangla with his
ol� pal Pete Ham just as if it were the Summer of 71 all over again.
Or, as my fellow powerfully poppin� scribe John Borack would say, �It�s
not retro, it�s timeless.� Rawk on.
DWIGHT TWILLEY BAND You�re My Lover / Just Like You Did It Before
two-sided, gorgeously-packaged, all-black-vinyl double tribute-in-wax
to two of the truest-ever believers in the rock AND the roll. For we
have now lost not only Dwight Twilley�s original partner-in-pop Phil
Seymour, but one of the man�s and the band�s (not to mention the entire
genre�s) greatest fans, Gilles Raffier of the exemplary Pop The Balloon
record label. Of course Dwight Twilley carries sincerely onward to this
day, producing and playing precisely the kind of music Gilles lived and
loved for, but has recently dipped back into his audio archives to make
available these two ear-boggling 1973 demos with which to relaunch Pop
The Balloon in Gilles�, and in Phil�s honor. So if you haven�t already,
get that turntable back out of its box and spin this one loudly and
often in the name of too-true believers everywhere, alright?
��and don�t Any of you dare miss Any of the following 2004-vintage gems as well:
THE EVAPORATORS Ripple Rock
KIM FOWLEY Adventures In Dreamland
BARRY HOLDSHIP Ruff Trax
JAMIE HOOVER Jamie Hoo-ever
JELLY BEAN BANDITS Bandit Planet
(The Late Great) DANIEL JOHNSTON Discovered Covered
KELLY�S HEELS Dig In!
BILL LLOYD Back To Even
SIT N SPIN Doin Time With Sit n Spin
TAN SLEEVE Bad From Both Sides
TOP 100 October, November, December 2004
by Joe Viglione
The Blogspot has the "live" links
Friday, December 31, 2004
Joe Vig's Top 100 For October, November, December 2004
It's The End Of The year, but we'd be posting the Top 35 for Oct, Nov., Dec. anyway
These are random things that come across my desk that I find exciting!
1)IT WAS 40 YEARS AGO TODAY
tough to do a great Beatles Tribute and these Bullseye people in Canada
pulled it off hitting the proverebial "Bullseye". You need to get the
3rd disc - the commercial one is just a double.
2)Bob Dylan & The Beatles: Volume One Of The Best Of The Blacklisted Journal
by Al Aronowitz
Gary "Pig" Gold covered this in a previous issue of Music Business Montly.
3)Ugly Things Magazine
This is totally amazing - as Cinemafantastique was the Gold Standard of Science Fiction
fanzines, Ugly Things Issue #22 is out and it is beautiful. A real collectors item.
Mike Stax and the crew have done a phenomenal job - dedicated to Greg Shaw, write
to UglyThings@znet.com Priced at 6.95 and well worth it, send them 2.00 for postage
Ugly Things Magazine/3707 Fifth Ave. #145, San Diego, CA 92103
4)Kaleidoscope: THE SIDEKICK SESSIONS
21 tracks retrieved from Acetates thought to have been lost. Essential.
5)Animal Serenade Lou Reed
OK, it's not "Rock & Roll Animal", nor is it "Berlin" but it is light years beyond "Perfect Night"
and Lou is finally having some fun again extending his songs a la Phish.
Executive Producer Bill Bentley is to be commended for working with Lou on this final disc
before Reed's new affiliation with Sanctuary. Cool fold out on the cardboard sleeve.
6)The One & Only Nat King Cole
Quite simply an amazing DVD - read my review.
7) "Famous: The Buzzy Linhart Story"
Another great DVD, this was directed by the great Shelly Toscano. What a phenomenal job!
Hear the music from the guy who starred in "Cos", Bill Cosby's earlier show, was in
The Groove Tube, played Carnegie Hall, and is quietly building a publishing empire at
8)Just One Look- The Best Of Doris Troy
This rare disc on Ichiban is even more sought after than the 12" vinyl album that came
decades before it. Doris would send me Christmas cards and we'd chat on the phone -
what a lovely human being. One of the most tragic passings of 2004. This record deserves
to be in release again - it's a real treasure. Read my review of her Rainbow Concert!
Doris was thrilled that the Rainbow Concert got attention on AMG, it was one of her favorite
of her recordings:
9)Carole King: The Early Years
Classic Original Recordings released on the Hallmark label; it could have some liner notes and
offer more than just 28 or so minutes of Carole, but hearing her perform "Breaking Up Is Hard
To Do" is a treasure. Early tapes make me happy.
10)The Matrix Trilogy on Cinemax
Joel Silver narrating the three films spinning one after the other is a Sci-Fi fan's dream
come true. Sure there are some soft spots in all three motion pictures, but for the most
part, the series is a winner which has gotten people chatting about Metaphysics all over
the web. Fun to watch over and over again.
11) Stephen Davis "Jim Morrison"
13)Eponymous - Arms Of Kismet
14) ELO Live At Wembley / Discovery / Out Of The Blue DVD EagleVision
15)Lollipop Lounge: Memoirs Of A Rock & Roll Refugee
Genya Ravan's autobiography comes with BOTH of her 20th Century Fox albums if you
are a famous rock critic! A unique promo between Uni's Hip0 Select and Billboard Books
thought up by yours truly! http://www.hip-oselect.com/catalogue_ravan.asp
16)NICO! ALL TOMORROW'S PARTIES on Cleopatra Records
17)FEVER Book by Tim Riley
18) Jonathan Richman NOT SO MUCH TO BE LOVED
19) Mickey Finn's T-REX Angel Air
R.I.P. Mickey Finn http://www.nme.com/news/103912.htm
20)Napoleon Murphy Brock "Balls" Hear the clips
This is a CD by Napoleon Brock, a friend of Billy James, author of "We're An American Band"
21)BRIAN HYLAND re-release on Hip-O Select My review is here:
Hip-0 Review: http://www.hiposelect.com/catalogue_hyland.asp
22)KIWI MADE MUSIC Volume One 1968 - 1972
Tree Music - Music from when "The Beatles and The Stones ruled supreme - A raw slice
of real Kiwi Music recorded by Tree 1968-1972.
Check out Beatzone website.
23) Wet Willie High Humidity
Greatest Hits Live - they still sound great!
24) Bleecker Street: Greenwich Village In The 60s
Suzzy and Maggie Roche perform Buzzy Linhart's "The Love's Still Growin"
25) Rachel Sage Ballads & Burlesques
27)Frank Sinatra Show with Ella Fitzgerald
This thing is fantastic! Like Nat King Cole's show, a classic blast from the past.
28)La Pest v.2.0
It doesn't have Peter Dayton, Stephen Kalinowsky (a.k.a. Ian Blast) has taken his place,
but it is an artifact!
29)Canned Heat Friends In The Can Fuel 2000
30)Megadeath The System Has Failed
31)Supersuckers From The Audio Video Dept. Music Video Distributors
Check out the review on http://www.mattoconnoronline.com
32)Pet Shop Boys Somewhere DVD
33)Faraz Anwar Abstract Point Of View What a fantastic artist!
34)Phish Tales From The Phish (Bootleg)
Where PHISH takes on The Velvet Underground's LOADED
35)Vanilla Fudge Then And Now
36) Charlie Farren with Balloon - Reunion DVD Produced by Bob Boyd
37)"Pick Me" The Ticks
If you liked The Shaggs, you'll flip out over The Ticks
38)Jess Klein "Strawberry Lover" Ryko Disc
39) The Eyes Of Alice Cooper Eagle Rock Entertainment
40)Blackmore's Night Live: Past Times With Good Company
Greg Put The Bomp!
by Gary Pig Gold
Accolades and awards are being tossed around far too
indiscriminately these days, wouldn�t you agree? Especially within the,
uh, Wonderful World of Entertainment. I mean, I heard that Chuck
Berry�s piano player-slash-genius behind the scenes, Johnnie Johnson,
was once attempting to PATENT (that�s right, Patent �via the United
States Department of Commerce) the words "Father of Rock �n� Roll." As a
Registered Trademark. All for his very own, private, exclusive,
ever-lasting (legally-protected) use.
Uh-huh. Well, as much as
I�d have to admit Johnnie belongs right up there amongst Ike Turner,
Bill Haley, Sam Phillips and even Sid King & the Five Strings,
bestowing such a title IS a bit silly � not to mention a half-century or
two tardy � at this fairly late stage in the game. Even if he DID,
indirectly or otherwise, help rid the world of Patti Page, Mitch Miller,
and possibly even Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy.
Show, as in any Bizness, isn�t it often those who toil longest and
hardest in silent obscurity, criminally under-compensated not to mention
FAR behind the spotlights (�yes, even farther back than Mr. Johnson)
who REALLY deserve such loft-headed crowns of Fatherly honor? Hmmm�
we have recently lost one of those most criminally undersung of heroes.
Greg Shaw, founder of Bomp! Records �among so many, MANY other things.
Just from my own personal experience, I can solidly claim that
the very first Bomp record ever to reach these ears (which, I�m kinda
proud to now relate, was the very first Bomp record ever released: the
Flamin� Groovies� 1974 seven-incher "You Tore Me Down") actually caused
the sonic earth to move beneath me in ways matched only by, I kid you
not, you-know-who on The Ed Sullivan Show, my first discovery of Elvis�
Sun sessions, and my pal John�s bringing the first Ramones record home
to our innocent little Canadian turntables via the Bowery, very very
late one long-lost Friday ago.
Yessir, that little Groovies
record, and the joyous singles (and albums) (and magazines) Bomp
faithfully sent my way throughout the Ford and Carter administrations �
while those less fortunate amongst us were stuck listening to the Cars
and pondering the fate of J.R., just to put things in their improper
hysterical perspective � duly inspired little ol� ME, among many many
others, to eventually start my OWN fanzine �then my OWN band �then even
my own record label! You could say, then, that "You Tore Me Down"
single-in-handedly spared me from a life of University study and
squarely set me down the road to, uh, starvation, bankruptcy,
mononucleosis and� uhh� anyways�
And THEN, when Bomp founder /
mastermind / domo-major Greg Shaw Himself actually blew my way in early
1978, his raw, unbridled enthusiasm instantly swept aloft all of us
riding the then-new Toronto punk wave, in turn inspiring such things as,
oh, off the top of my once-buzz-cut scalp, Teenage Head (the band),
SCTV (the television show), and possibly even Maggie and Ronnie (the
weekend that ALMOST brought down a Canadian Prime Minister �via that
goof in the once-Rolling Stones).
So! Just who was this Greg Shaw fella then, you might well be asking?
was born in San Francisco in 1949, raised on a healthy diet of Elvis,
Fats Domino and sci fi zines, and when not hovering backdoors at the
touring Rock �n� Roll Revues of the day could be found not only hanging
with such folk as Robert Silverberg and Philip K. Dick, but
immortalizing all of his thoughts and adventures of same in a series of
crude, mimeographed broadsheets he fearlessly circulated to an
ever-growing circle of friends, fans and followers.
soon published over 200 such "fanzines," as today they�d be called, one
of which (entitled "Entmoot," an early Tolkien epistle) even earned him a
write-up in the Saturday Evening Post! But lest Greg end up just
another Trekkie-in-training, come 1966 he happened upon a nearby
street-corner labeled "Haight" and "Ashbury." Talk about yer
crossroads� needless to say the NEXT Shaw fanzine, "Mojo-Navigator Rock
& Roll News," became no less than the socio-musical template upon
which another local rag, "Rolling Stone," was soon to be intrinsically
based. Too bad. As usual, Greg was there first. But the scene, and
the spoils, went Wenner�s way. Drat!
high-jacked, but energy and enthusiasm stubbornly unbowed, Greg by the
Seventies had joined that elite-and-then-some tiny circle of scribes
(alongside such hallowed personages as Ed Ward, Nick Kent, and � pause
for reverence � Lester Bangs) who not only knew, but actually WROTE
about such things as "Raw Power" and the New York Dolls � and in
publications that us fellow music addicts could actually unearth and
devour at the neighborhood newsstand! Consequently, Greg�s newest
publication � and soon label -- "Bomp!" quickly found a rabid,
wide-eared audience which truly transcribed the globe �and then some.
And it should also be remembered right about here that for most of the
musical events now considered pivotal during this era (very roughly
speaking? the first "Nuggets" album, the creation of the Runaways, and
the Sex Pistols� first paying gig) �Shaw was There. No, not Malcolm
McLaren. Not even Kim Fowley. And CERTAINLY not Rolling Stone
magazine. No. It was Greg Shaw.
Lest those ill-informed now be
wont to cast all things Bomp onto the nostalgia heap alongside "I Hate
Pink Floyd" t-shirts and Sid Vicious EP�s, here�s a short-list of just
some of the bands Greg has helped bring to our attention in those long
years SINCE that oh-so-fateful Summer of Hate. Ready?
Plimsouls, The Romantics, The Barracudas, The Shoes, The Soft Boys,
Black Flag, Redd Kross, The Pandoras, The Chesterfield Kings, Bad
Religion, Lazy Cowgirls, Ray Campi, Spacemen 3, Ant Bee, Brian Jonestown
Massacre, The Black Keys.
OK then: some names therein you may
not be intimately familiar with, but each and every one of �em are
without a doubt acts which have proven, and shall continue to prove,
instrumental in laying groundwork for most every pop �n� rock
genre-du-jour (ie: Goth, Grunge, Hardcore, Rave, Industrial,
alt.C&W, Power Pop, insert your own pigeonhole here). And once
again, each and every one of those acts, to varying degrees, owe their
influence � not to mention their initial recording contracts � to, do we
note a pattern developing here, Greg Shaw.
Closing words? They
should really belong to The Man Himself. Listen closely, all of you
(especially those who deign to nurture musical talent in whatever
capacity yourselves). For HERE was a man who knew of what he spoke:
guess I�d most like Bomp to be remembered as a label utterly dedicated
to the people who care most about music: the fans and collectors. I
think it comes down to the fact that Bomp is an outgrowth of my love for
music. Where many would view it as a marginal business that barely
breaks even, I prefer to see it as a hobby that�s profitable enough to
allow me to build my life around it. The opportunity to make more money
elsewhere has never once tempted me � but it HAS drawn many talented
people AWAY from this business.
"But we�re still here, doing
what we want, on our own terms, answering to nobody, dealing with people
in an old-fashioned "mom and pop" kind of way. It�s a satisfying life
that I�d NEVER trade for, say, David Geffen�s.
"If nothing else,
maybe we�ve set an example that might offer an alternative to this
increasingly corporate, impersonal society. Or maybe not. At least
we�ve had a good time trying�
"�and we�re not done yet."
Greg Shaw? Thank You.
R.I.P. Greg Shaw
by Joe Viglione
Greg Shaw passed away -
A proper tribute to follow from Joe Viglione, Nancy "Neon" Foster and other fans of Greg.
says "Greg Shaw was definitely one of the initiators of the independent
scene in the 1970s. BOMP the magazine really was the touchstone for
people that wanted to search out and find the good rock & roll.
With the Bomp Label he supported many bands that couldn't find support
anywhere else. Greg was really a visionary and on top of that a really
kind, decent man. Thanks to Greg for everything he did for the scene
and for keeping it pure. You knew for him it really was a labor of love
not driven by any commercial concerns whatsoever."
Top 30 August 2004 / September 2004
by Joe Viglione
As I was posting August's Top 30 critic Gary "Pig" Gold submitted his story on Al Aronowitz's wonderful book
DYLAN & THE BEATLES- VOLUME ONE OF THE BEST OF THE BLACKLISTED
JOURNAL. That was my #1 item for August, but because I wanted Gary's
article to get as much attention as possible, I didn't post my Top 30.
Keep in mind http://www.varulven.com is in the Top 100,000
on the internet! We are 64,719 for the 3 month average as
of August 28, 2004. This posting made at 6:27 PM on a
Here is the information for AUGUST. September will be posted early next week:
#1 Bob Dylan & The Beatles - Volume One Of The Best Of
The Blacklisted Journal by Al Aronowitz
for copies write firstname.lastname@example.org
#2 BUSH MUST GO - Bill Press
Bill is on Visual Radio Program #311 airing 8/04
#3 Myra Breckinridge
The Raquel Welch Boxed Set http://www.foxhome.com
This is a classy DVD collection featuring
One Million Years B.C., Fathom, Bandolero,
Mother, Jugs & Speed and - of course - MYRA!
What can be said - this collectors item film has
a fan club!
It still gets dreadful reviews
But to those who love the film for its cult elements -
a theme song from Mamas & Papas' John Phillips,
Mae West and Raquel Welch with claws extended, and
the lost hunk of all time, Roger Herren as "Rusty",
it endures. TV's "Dream On", "Dallas" and "Dynasty"
all owe much to Myra. Joan Collins is the extension of
Myra Breckinridge - her Alexis is so very Myra. And
look at how "Dream On" picked up on the flashback old
The film needs to be re-made, for sure, but this one is
incredible on certain levels. It's now available again
in the RAQUEL WELCH COLLECTION.
#4 Swing Era Duke Ellington In Hollywood
featuring Billie Holiday, Ive Anderson & Mae West
Idem Music Video Distribution
#5 This Man's Army ANDREW EXUM
Andrew fought in the Afghanistan War. He is heading
to Beirut in September to write a book about the
youth there. A fascinating 26 year old man who was
born into writing. It comes to him naturally, and
this book reads well.
#6 Rainy Day Soul Bruce Sudano
Bruce co-wrote one of my all-time favorite songs -
BALL OF FIRE - his co-writer is Tommy James!
It was The Shondells 13th hit, making the Top 20
in October of 1969. Out of all of Tommy James
hits it is tied for tenth place with the sublime
"Three Times In Love" from 1980 - but I've not seen
him perform it live. Anyway, Mr. Sudano was in a great
band called ALIVE 'n' KICKING who had a tremendous
summer smash "Tighter Tighter" in 1970, written by
This excellent album RAINY DAY SOUL is on the
Purple Heart Recording Company http://www.phrc.com
You can also contact Bruce @ http://www.brucesudano.com
"Show Me Who You Are" is a great mixture of the early
Tommy James pop meets Bruce's later day Brooklyn Dreams
but without the disco - it's terrific singer/songwriter
stuff. Love it!
#7 The Remains Http://www.TheRemains.com
The Reunited Remains! 35 years in the making.
What would have happened if this band had issued this
great music once a year over those 35 years? We can't
cry over what is not, we must be happy with what is,
and this is a solid effort! "Listen To Me" would
really brighten up radio these days. Would be a very
cool beach song for the summer of 2004.
#8 Brent Daniel "Better Late"
This generous 16 track CD contains very esoteric
borderline "modern psychedelic" tunes which convey
a dreamy aura that McGuiness Flint and Sutherland
Brothers and Quiver gave us decades ago. There's
the introspection of "Baby Step" or Marmalade/Tin
Tin influenced "Nothing To Hide". For those of us
who adore British-styled pop with heavy orchestration
and glittering acoustic guitars, "Better Late" is
quite a find. Sixty-Seven minutes and forty-five
seconds of an excellent musical journey you should
consider taking. See #10.
#9 THE ELEKTRAS featuring President John F. Kerry
Democratic presidents can form their own band -
Bill Clinton on saxophone, John Kerry on bass -
and this early 1961 disc - as Corazong's Evert Wilbrink
pointed out - pre-dates The Rolling Stones.
Rock critic Joe Tortelli thinks it is great. Good!
Maybe he will do the right thing and vote for JFK!
#10 Gavin Sutherland Diamonds & Gold
"Acoustic music to soothe the troubled soul" is
what the Corazong Label calls 2000 release from
one of the Sutherland Brothers. We only just received
this from the Netherlands. Http://www.corazong.com
More descriptions soon.
AL ARONOWITZ: THE MAN WHO INVENTED THE SIXTIES
by Gary Pig Gold
�I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every
hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made
plain, and the crooked places will be made straight.�
(Martin Luther King, Jr., Washington D.C., August 28, 1963)
Dallas, Texas, the flash - apparently official - President Kennedy died
at 1:00 p.m. Central standard time, 2 p.m. Eastern standard time, some
thirty-eight minutes ago.�
(Walter Cronkite, CBS Television, November 22, 1963)
"Houston, this is Tranquility Base. The Eagle has landed."
(Neil A. Armstrong, Apollo 11, July 20, 1969)
�There are SEVEN LEVELS.�
(Paul McCartney discovers �the Message of the Universe,� August 28, 1964)
if veteran rabble-rousing, uber-networking, visionary (�Blacklisted�)
journalist Al Aronowitz�s lifetime of achievements may be remembered for
but one solitary event, may I posit it be for what he managed to pull
off in the immediate hours following The Beatles� concert debut at
Forest Hills Tennis Stadium, Queens, New York, one dreamy midsummer
For it was within mere minutes after the final
shrieks of and around �Long Tall Sally� wafted skyward that our story
begins, with the Fab Four safely ensconced back upon the sixth floor of
Manhattan�s grande olde Hotel Delmonico as a greenroom full of various
folkies and followers (including the Kingston Trio, Peter Paul and Mary,
plus the ubiquitous Murray the K) sat all but ignored down the hall.
Somehow though, into that inner sanctum high atop the Beatle-manic
corner of Park and 59th was snuck none other than Bob Dylan, a bottle of
cheap wine, and a fateful envelope�s worth of herbal libation.
and gentlemen, life as we knew it was about to abruptly cut from stark
black and white to rich, fully-dimensional stereophonic day-glo from
that momentous moment hence.
You see it seems Bob, misreading a
certain �I Want To Hold Your Hand� refrain as �I get high� as opposed
to �I can�t hide,� had been convinced to confront those four lyrical
Liverpudlians he�d previously dismissed with that cruelest of epithets �
�Bubblegum!� -- and in the process, to break the trans-oceanic ice as
it were, he decided to introduce his fabulous new pals to the hitherto
non-rockin� accoutrement known as, yep, Marijuana.
introductions quickly if not exactly politely proffered between
America�s greatest living songwriter and the World�s most Fabulous Band,
Ringo (designated �Royal taster� for his comrades) went first and,
oblivious to the proper pot-etiquette, proceeded to inhale the entire
inaugural joint himself. Watching with sheer wonder as their drummist
slowly melted onto the carpet in fits of laughter, John and manager
Brian excitedly lit themselves up next, only to be followed by Paul and
George who, interestingly enough, proceeded to follow one another
throughout their maze of Beatlesuites for the remainder of this most
historic of evenings. That is, until a typically profound McCartney
suddenly called forth for pen and paper as he announced to all left
standing around him, �I have discovered the Meaning of Life!� Something
to do with the Universe, it seems, and Seven Levels�..
to say it wasn�t just the Cute Beatle�s consciousness which was forever
altered that night, but the very course of rock and roll, the music
business as a whole soon enough after, and as a result just maybe
Western Civilization Itself, dammit! And it is in my wisened opinion
that the singular man we all have to thank for that, for �Rubber Soul,�
for �folk-rock� in the process and, really, for loading Dylan into his
station wagon and dragging him towards the Delmonico to set all of these
historic balls into motion in the first place, is none other than a
dear, sweet man I�ve recently had the pleasure to have known named Al
FACT: With all apologies due Ralph J. Gleason, Al
Aronowitz was the first widely-published man to ever take what we now
regrettably take for granted as rock and roll �seriously.� His Pop
Scene columns four decades ago in the New York Post, not to mention a
litany of legendary Village Voice and Saturday Evening Post features,
brought to widespread attention such figures as the fledgling Brill
Building songsmiths, teen tycoon Phil Spector, and of course Bob and
those Beatles to boot (i.e.: the best-selling Aronowitz Summer of 64
Saturday Evening Post cover story of JPG&R I still fondly recall as
the first living-color magazine on the band to ever penetrate my
previously rock-free household �because the boys looked so handsome in
their top-hats and walking sticks on the cover, I can still hear my
mother swoon). Even prior to that above-mentioned hot August night at
the Delmonico though, Al was busy forging crucial artistic bridges
between hitherto insurmountable cliques and cultural divides. To cite
but one cataclysmic example, it is SO plain to see how Al�s introducing
Allen Ginsberg to a fresh-from-Minnesota Dylan eventually helped Beat
meet Beatles, as it were, and in all the most ingeniously genre-busting
Aronowitz was also right there on hand at the
post-premiere party for �A Hard Day�s Night� in London, as a wickedly
soused Lennon motioned a very young, green Keith Richard(s) and Brian
Jones over to his table �only to conspiratorially sneer that �there�s
something wrong with yez, isn�t there? There�s one of ya in the group
that isn�t as good as the others. Who is it? Find out, tell
yourselves, and get rid uv �im.� Keith glanced uneasily over at Brian.
John, as it turns out, was as right � not to mention prescient � as
And you bet, Al captured it all. For unsuspecting Saturday Evening Post readers the world over.
long after the Stones, not to mention the Sixties, began burning
themselves inside out, Aronowitz continued to prowl the sidewalks of
Greenwich Village, keeping eyes and especially ears wide open as he hung
and howled amongst the veterans (Johnny Cash), the recently established
(John B. Sebastian), the new kids down the block (a young Richard X.
Heyman, who Al once commissioned to assemble an opening act for Sly and
the Family Stone) and of course all the contritely contrary-as-ever who
were shamelessly being ignored by the Rolling Stone�s � I�m speaking
Jann as opposed to Jagger � of the day (I refer most notably to that
once-promising Vanguard recording artist Patrick Sky, who Aronowitz
bravely helped find a home for that still-incendiary 1973 �Songs That
Made America Famous� album, one of your humble columnist�s favorite
American recordings EVER). Al also somehow found time to keep his
Beatle bonds alive as well, taking our sweet George bowling on Broadway
late one night, then conveniently stepping into fresh doggie-do just
before crossing the threshold into John and Yoko�s West Village walk-up
for the very first time (John responded by taking an utterly appropriate
Polaroid double-exposure of Al as he apologetically stunk up the room.
�Look at this,� cried the photogenic ex-Beatle Chief. �The two
different faces of Al Aronowitz!�)
Then suddenly our hero
seemed to vanish altogether off the very face of the Earth -- not to
mention the pages of rock's hepper periodicals -- as folk sorrowfully
gave way to singer/songwriter,� Nixon rued the airwaves, Patrick Sky
accepted a grant from the Irish government to become an Aeolian pipe
maker and, perhaps not so coincidentally, Al�s old pal Bob dissolved
altogether into the bit parts of big-budget Peckinpah westerns.
why? �I was driven crazy by my unjust firing from the Post when my
column was one of the most popular features in the paper,� Aronowitz
recalls, �by the treachery of the American Newspaper Guild and by my
colleagues whom I had helped so much.� The death of his wife and
subsequent plunge into the clutches of non-recreational drug use
followed and, he says today, �so began a long period of time when
editors stopped taking me seriously, a fact that continues until this
day. In other words, my writing got a little crazy and even when it
wasn't, editors still refused to print me. Why? Ask THEM!�
thank God or Al Gore or whomsoever, along came the Internet at just
about the same time Our Al was getting his life, not to mention his
voluminous-and-then-some archives, back in order. Duly invigorated and
in no small part inspired by the liberating autonomy of the www,
Aronowitz was promptly reborn as The Blacklisted Journalist and, domain
name duly secured, began posting his vast wealth of work in monthly
installments right up there at www.bigmagic.com/pages/blackj �It was
only when I could do an end run around the blacklisting that editors had
imposed on me by putting my material on the Internet that I discovered I
could get readers, something all writers crave,� the man proudly
relates. �It was my achievement of a reading audience that brought me
back to sanity.�
Today, after a decade spent defiantly
republishing his gems on the web, when he was afraid his good words
would otherwise languish unread or, worse still, disappear altogether
(it was through a tiny backpage ad in the New York Press circa 1996 that
I first became reacquainted with that entity henceforth known as The
Blacklisted Journalist), Al has now compiled his Greatest Hits, so to
speak, across the 615 history-packed pages of �Bob Dylan and The
Beatles: Volume One of The Best of the Blacklisted Journalist.� The
result is, without a solitary doubt, Required Reading for anyone and
everyone who considers themselves fans, followers, students, or those
just plain curious of the Golden Age of Popular Music, and how the
players � Dylan and the Fabs especially � met, influenced, and
eventually actually interacted with one another during those
halcyon-indeed daze. Thanks in no small part whatsoever to the
Herculean efforts of the man who, in his very own only slightly jocular
words, may try to pass it all off by claiming �I was just a proud and
happy shadchen, a Jewish matchmaker, dancing at the princely wedding I
�I recognized Dylan and The Beatles as immortals, and
I wanted to cop some immortality for myself,� Aronowitz now admits. �I
knew that bringing Dylan and The Beatles together would have exactly
the result that it had. The result is that contemporary popular music
changed for the better. Otherwise, every generation creates its own
�Whether subsequent heroes will enjoy the same
immortality that Bob and The Beatles attained, I am unqualified to
predict. All I know is that Bob Dylan and The Beatles are hard acts to
Oh, and by the way, if the gala Bowery Poetry Club
launch party for �Volume One of The Best of the Blacklisted Journalist�
is any indication whatsoever, the master shadchen�s talents are alive
and very very well: Entertainment was provided by a band comprised of
David Amram�s wholly Kerouac-worthy �spontaneous bop prose� backed by
Hayes Greenfield�s Coltrane�d sax and, to top it all with that classic
decorum-be-darned Aronowitz touch, Babukishan Das, the Bengali Baul
who�s become one bonafide Indian pop star. The ears truly boggled!
then, for your own numbered and signed edition of Al Aronowitz�s book
-- including, right there on Page 395, that priceless Lennon
double-exposure of the author himself � simply send a United States
Postal Money Order for $17 plus $3 shipping and handling to:
THE BLACKLISTED JOURNALIST, BOX 964, ELIZABETH, N.J. 07208
Or, if you want the book shipped to you via Priority Mail, send a money order for $25. Remember: No checks accepted!
and tell �em Gary the Pig sentcha, ok?
Joe Vig's Top 30 For July , 2004
by Joe Viglione
A quick and easy index to pop culture that permeates the home and business life of Rock Journalist Joe Viglione.
It is good stuff, and contact information is there when
Top 35 Books, Compact Discs and DVDs
32)Jon Macey Actuality In Process
31)Dee Dee Ramone "Hop Around"
Produced by Chris Spedding on http://www.corazong.com
30)Jack Stock "Light Of The Moon"
Colleague of Jeff Mastroberti (Caution: You Are Entering
Jeffland) and Buzzy Linhart with his new disc
LIGHT OF THE MOON Http://www.jackstock.org
29)Elton John "Are You Ready For Love"
This is a classic Thom Bell song that comes on a CDR
featuring the Radio Edit, full 1979 version and the
tune "Three Way Love Affair". Also contains a CD Rom
video. Got this off of EBAY - a copy from Isarael
28)Ryko Disc 20th Anniversary Boxed Set
27)The Eyes Of Alice Cooper
26)Goldmine Magazine Velvet Underground Issue
25)Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein DVD
OK - I bid on this one for ages on eBay. My friend
James Miller interviewed Ilona Massey for my magazine,
Varulven, around 1970 or so. The commentator on this
DVD references Jim's interview!!! That's why I bought
the DVD - but have to admit - the film is a lot better
than I ever gave it credit for. This writer didn't like
that "the monsters" had to suffer the indignity of being
in a comedy. Years later it works as a wonderful period
piece. The DVD is fascinating and worth seeking out.
24)Let It Be / Beatles Rarities Russian APPLE Records
23)The Byrds "Sweetheart Of The Rodeo" Columbia/Legacy
Picked up the British import version on eBay because I
like getting things from overseas! Contains the Byrds
take on Woody Guthrie's "Pretty Boy Floyd" which
inspired Andy Pratt to write "Avenging Annie".
WZLX's Kimberley Jaeger (hostess of Common Ground) used
to play both songs next to each other when she was a
22)Rachel Sage Ballads & Burlesque
21)Inner City Blues: The Songs Of Marvin Gaye
20)Cursed By A Happy Childhood (Harmony Books)
Carl Lennertz http://www.crownpublishing.com
19)My Life Bill Clinton (Book)
18)Shock Futures Volume 1 FS-5691-1
Produced by legendary author/songwriter Harriet Schock,
this is an eclectic blend of music written/recorded by
Schocks students and proteges. Very well done.
17)The Secret Commonwealth - Uninvited Guest
16)Jon Butcher Live At The Casbah DVD
15)FEVER - The Book Tim Riley, Author
14)Kris Kristofferson The World Warrior & Repossessed
13)Piss Ant Your Best Sucks
12)Kurt Michaels Inner Worlds Part 1
11)Genya Ravan "For Fans Only"
Http://www.genyaravan.com Gems that fell through the
cracks emerge as one of Genya's greatest achievements.
A CD for old fans and great recruitment tool for new
10)Yoko Ono "Walking On Thin Ice" Remix
Stunning. John Lennon predicted Yoko would hit #1
23 years before she did. This is tremendous.
Find it. Play it. Wonderful!
08)Cafebar 401 (Wampus Media, WM-037)
07)Farrenheit Live At The Roxy
06)THUNDERTRAIN Hell Tonite!
05)Charlie Farren Live At Club Passim (F-Man, 009)
04)A Quaint & Curious Collection Of Forgotten Lore!
Frank Dello Stritto
03)The Clarks Fast Moving Cars
02)Lou Reed "Animal Serenade"
01)Night Train To Nashville: Music City Rhythm & Blues
This album hit #1 on Amazon for Tennessee, it is an
amazing double disc of important music, from Johnny
Bragg's original "Just Walkin' In The Rain" to
Bobb Hebb's "Sunny", and exquisite liner notes that
indicate "Sunny" may have been written as the answer
to "Just Walkin' In The Rain." 35 songs, some bonus
tracks, and a booklet that is easy to read and highly
informative. So well done it could set an example for
similar compilations. Was released coinciding "with
the Country Music Hall Of Fame and Museum's 2004-2005
exhibit which goes by the same name - Night Train To
Nashville. Commercials by Little Richard and Earl
Gaines are priceless.
Vol. 2 is in the works. Hopefully they will find
Bobby Hebb's "Sun-in" commercial for Toni's SUN IN
hair product. Hebb's classic spoon playing on
Poppa John Gordy's "Way Down South" would also be a
prime candidate for Vol.2, as well as Bobby's lost 45
"Proud Soul Heritage" (Laurie).
Great to listen to, the sound is amazingly pure and
crisp in the digital domain, and as stated, the thick
liner notes are worth the price of admission. Selling
briskly on eBay as well. A good indicator.
in The Mad Kingdom of ROBIN STANLEY
by Gary Pig Gold
During the very midst of that most-summery Summer of 1983, after
several years spent power-poppin� �round Southern California with my
latest bunch of musical Loved Ones, I somehow found myself
night-managing instead a brand new 7-Eleven in Vancouver, British
Columbia �in order that I could save up enough to buy a PortaStudio�
and become the Great Wide North�s one and only Lindsey Buckingham, that
But as with even the best laid of schemes, I merrily became, for a year at least, Peter Tork instead.
How, you might very well ask?
it all began one late hot August night, during some precious time off
between serving Slurpees to a certain Loverboy�s girlfriend and readying
the coffee machine for the four-thirty-AM cab driver rush. Twas then
and right there that I spotted a fateful little ad in the local used-car
weekly. �Band Forming,� I believe the headline read. �Wanted: Bass
guitarist. Vocal ability a plus. Must have own transportation and
equipment.� �Groovy!� as I believe the saying even then went.
dialing, the voice on the other end of the line instantly seemed so
pleasant that I simply had to confess I not only had no means whatsoever
of self-transportation � still don�t either, if truth be told � but
also that my guitars were all still being held for ransom by Canadian
Customs, somewhere between Seattle and Victoria where my trunk and I had
been heaved off the trans-border Greyhound the previous month. �That�s
okay,� I believe the voice then replied. �Why don�t you come by for an
audition tomorrow anyways?�
Ladies and gentlemen, need I report
this was only the first of so many indications over the many years to
follow that Robin Stanley was one heckuva fine, understanding, and
totally accommodating guy indeed.
So you bet, I somehow passed
that audition, Robin even helped me track down an amazing faux-Beatle
Hofner bass in some Gastown secondhand shoppe mere days later, and
before you could call your Auntie Grizelda I�d become a fully-fledged
all-singing, all-playing member of that harbinger of the West Coast
proto-pop scene, the Fun With Numbers band. Why, I even got to tackle
Dave Davies� starring role on �Party Line� (not to mention that tricky
Phil Everly vocal on �When Will I Be Loved�), as Robin & Co. quickly
became the toast of what in retrospect can be heard as the
extra-melodically-inclined beginnings of those post-punk / pre-grunge
movements we now so highly regard and respect.
though, before I could ever become wholly settled within my latest and
greatest musical family, Duty (in the guise of a Toronto-based Beach Boy
tribute act so subtly named Endless Summer) called, and I had to pack
up my pretend Hofner before ever getting to appear on F w/ N�s one and
only official release (1984�s wholly summery �Sunny Holiday� single:
think Mr. Hobbs Takes a Holiday in Waikiki). However, throughout the
succeeding two decades of my various Endless touring, Dave Rave-ing,
Ghost Rocketeering and To M�Lou Music-making I managed to remain in
good, constant touch with my good friend Robin, whole-heartedly cheering
from afar as each new cassette came in the mail filled with the man�s
latest creations and deploring him, with ear-numbing regularity by way
of each and every response, �Hey! When are you gonna make an album
Well, he just did.
So it is especially
ear-warming for me to finally be able to invite you all into that deep,
sonic jungle which is the one and only Robin Stanley�s mad, magical
musical kingdom. Yes, a wondrous land where heroes carry hearts which
may actually sometimes hurt, villains fuss and stew in their respective
states of confusion, yet where bluebirds fly o�er every rainbow and each
wayward angel always finds its way back home. Eventually. Precisely
the kind of octave-bounding optimism which may no longer fuel the
virtual Top Forties of this cranky old world, I�ll have to admit, but
which in the hands of a lovingly mad curator such as Robin can
unapologetically fill us all with endless seasons of sunny listening to
�They come and they go,� to paraphrase one of the first and
greatest Stanleysongs I ever met, �all these faces from my life.� But
in these many years since first dialing his number, I can attest before
every one of you out there that a man like Robin, not to mention a true
blue muse such as his, really do not bop down the pike nearly often
So as I pause now to restring my trusty olde
Gastown Hofner (it still works just great, y�know!) may I direct
everyone straight on over to www.robin-stanley.com
not to mention to the virtual survey below, for even further information�..
EIGHT QUESTIONS for ROBIN STANLEY:
1. "Munsters" or "Addams Family": Which one's for you, and why?
"Munsters," because the theme song was way too cool.
2. Who in the world, living or dead, would you most like to play a game of Twister with?
Marilyn Monroe. Do you have to ask why???
3. How many rare and/or unreleased recordings by the Brothers Gibb do you own?
Bee Gees albums I love the most are the ones that are more obscure,
like �Life in a Tin Can� and �Mr. Natural.� "Sea of Smiling Faces" off
�To Whom It May Concern� always gets to me. Let's not forget about
Robin Gibb's solo album �Robin's Reign,� either.
4. If you had
been working the front gate at the Dakota that night back in 1980 when
Mark David Chapman showed up, pistol in hand, to avenge the chief Beatle
for his "bigger than Jesus" wisecrack, what would you have done?
would have given Mr. Chapman a swift kick in the nuts, and when he
dropped the gun I would have disarmed him and held him for the police.
Afterward, John and Yoko would have invited me inside for a cuppa tea
and later John and I would have sat down at the piano and written
5. "Ginger" or "Mary-Ann": Which one's for you, and for how long?
Mary-Ann would have made a great wife. And Ginger would have made a
wonderful girlfriend. So, do I really have to choose???
6. What single song -- living or dead -- do you most wish you'd written? And why didn't you?
"Smile." Unfortunately, I never got a chance to write a song with Charlie Chaplin (or Lennon, for that matter!)
7. Whose vintage six-string would you most like to be reincarnated as?
Sheryl Crow's. That girl is HOT. Can you imagine having her run her hands up and down your neck???
8. In 2000 words or less: your hopes, aspirations, and goals -- musical and otherwise -- for your life and your country?
like my rise to the top of the Billboard music charts to coincide with
world peace. Everybody's so busy grooving to my album �Mad Kingdom,�
which is played endlessly on the radio, in bars and clubs, shopping
malls and elevators etc that they don't have time to fight with each
other. I'd also like to put Vancouver, a city previously known for
bringing the world the likes of Bryan Adams, Loverboy and Michael Buble,
on the musical map as a serious music town, like Boston or Seattle.
I'd also like to see British Columbia's premier Gordon Campbell
accidentally run over by a speeding ambulance.
The Count and the Psychotic Reaction Count V
by Joe Viglione
Legendary Underground Bands Change Names!!!!
Sunday, April 18, 2004
1979 The Count review in Trouser Press
Trouser Press The Book - and The Magazine - have reviewed The Count for the past
25 years: http://www.trouserpress.com/entry.php?a=count There is only one COUNT
- the mantle of Count Basie placed on his shoulders - thousands of live
performances and songs are being prepared to be available on
http://www.varulven.com Downloads and CDRs of THE COUNT will be available soon!
Sunday, April 18, 2004
The Count Live At Jumbos, Somerville, Massachusetts November 8, 1982
The Count Live At Jumbos, Somerville, Mass. August 18, 1983
Engineered by Toby Mountain! Digitally Recorded!!!
# posted by wri @ 4:36 PM
Dear Friends -
There are 3 bands calling themselves THE COUNT long after my use of the name
showed up in Paris http://lastcallrecords.com
Help spread the word! Wait till you see all the Count tapes we release on
The Real Thing!
� 4:47 PM
THE COUNT and THE COUNT V trade names!
Special Report by Janis Reed
punk rock group THE COUNT FIVE who had the hit "Psychotic Reaction"
(Double Shot Records), a Top 5 Smash in September of 1966,
have traded names with THE COUNT, Joe Viglione, producer / host of
Visual Radio-Television. The Count was informed by a major Boston radio
personality that The Count Five took the television host's stage name when
that host found their posting on CD Baby.
Count Viglione is now THE COUNT V
A New Count For The New Millenium tm
� 3:57 PM
Hello Blog World! � 3:22 PM
Andy Pratt, J Geils perform at Kevin Visnaskas 50th Birthday, 4/10/04
by Joe Viglione
ANDY PRATT, J GEILS perform at Kevin Visnaskas surprise 50th Birthday Party
for Music Business Monthly http://www.varulven.com/mbm/mbmfrontpage.shtml
Guitarist Kevin Visnaskas was stunned when he walked into the Big Bear Lodge
in Brookline New Hampshire around 7 PM, Saturday evening, April 10. The parking
lot was jammed with cars to celebrate the half-a-century mark for "The Installers"
guitarist. Vocalist Stephen Clark, bassist Marc Rines, the drums of Jim Burns
with second guitar Barry Callahan awaited the arrival of fellow
bandmate Visnaskas before the R & B/Rock/Blues outfit rocked the
house to open things up.
The band's producer, John "J." Geils showed up to much applause and added even
more amplified magic. http://www.theinstallers.net/install2.html
Wife Lisa Visnaskas conspired with her husband's friends for months to put together
the event. A beautiful Sitar was the key gift (along with the party) for the underrated
journeyman who packed concert halls like The Commodore in Lowell and The Paradise
in Boston in the 1970s and 1980s with "Eastwood Peak" and the "Andy Watson Band."
Originally signed to brother John Visnaskas' Pure & Easy Records - the label that
issued discs by MC5 Wayne Kramer, latter-day Nervous Eaters when they were known
The Reflectors along with Gary Shane solo as well as his work with
Shane Champagne, Eastwood Peak closed the show with a lengthy set of
ran the gamut from Mott The Hoople's "All The Way To Memphis" to Bob Seger's
"Fire Down Below". Between the appearance by J. Geils and the reformed Eastwood
came a four song set by Andy Pratt. "Pass Away" from the Perfect
Therapy album, The Beatles' "Fool On The Hill" (a tune rarely played
live by Pratt), "Avenging
Annie" and "Summer Summer" from his soon-to-be re-released Sony disc "Andy Pratt",
were an extra special birthday treat for Kevin.
The music was non-stop in the stunningly spacious venue just re-opening to music.
Debra Lefebvre has a winner on her hands in this room with the country
music of The Midnight Bandits, the blues of Roxanne and The Voodoo
Rockers, and tributes
to the Police as well as celebrated Neil Young appreciators Rust Never Sleeps all
Longtime New England area sound technician/producer/recording engineer
Ben Chandler will be putting his sound system in the place, a nice
complement to his recently opened Studio Metronome, a state of the art
facility located in Brookline, NH.
The entire event was videotaped and a lengthier critique will follow.
Eight Questions for BILL LLOYD
by Gary Pig Gold
My favorite Nashville-based musician, songwriter, recording artist
and sometimes even record producer to boot, Bill may be best renowned
�round rootier musical circles for his fine work within the
unapologetically Everly-esque Foster And Lloyd duo. But it�s his
incredible-indeed string of solo releases that always hit me hardest
(�Set to Pop� especially!) while his grand new Paisley Pop release
�Paparazzi,� cunningly crafted alongside Spongetone Jamie Hoover and
Jersey�s own Dennis Diken, certainly deserves your immediate and
undivided attention as well. All of which duly reminded me to ask
1. "Munsters" or "Addams Family": Which one�s for you, and Why?
Family� all the way. Outside of having a great theme song, �The
Munsters� was just a typical goofy �60�s TV show. The Addams offered
bizarre eccentricity as an option of a lifestyle that could work in
society... and taught that money could buy you out of many of your
problems. Obviously, �The Addams Family� was more like real life than
we ever considered.
2. Who in the world, living or dead, would you most like to play a game of "Twister" with?
Naked Twister with Ann-Margret in 1973 comes to mind... she was volump-tuous.
3. How many Sid King & The Five Strings records do you own?
If you had been working the front gate at Graceland that night back in
�76 when a drunken Jerry Lee Lewis showed up, shotgun in hand, to "put
that damn Elvis outta his mis�ry", what would you have done?
I would have really done and what bravado I�d muster up for a fantasy
question are two different things! What I probably would have really
done was praised Jerry Lee for his own genius and abundance of talent
�while quietly sliding out of his focus and running like hell. What I
would have liked to have done would have somehow gotten him in a
conversation about his considerable gifts, gone for coffee, and
eventually produced the long string of hits on him he didn�t have in
5. "Ginger" or "Mary-Ann": Which one�s for you, and for How Long?
just saw a thing on TV the other night that was a �tell-all behind the
scenes� look at that show, and Ginger was really so full of crap in her
interviews, and looked drawn like she�d had several facelifts. Mary-Ann
was still a cute 50-something. Time tells the tale!
6. What single song, living or dead, do you most wish you�d written� and Why Didn�t You?
songs only die when they�re totally forgotten, so it�s got to be a
living song. A favorite song of mine is �Young at Heart� that Frank
Sinatra recorded. Written by Johnny Richards and Carolyn Leigh, who
obviously got there before I did.
7. Whose guitar would you most like to be reincarnated as?
just saw Charlie Christian�s guitar in the Smithsonian last month...
that would be a good resting place. The glory of being one of the first
electric guitars to boot.
8. In 2000 words or less, Your Hopes, Aspirations and Goals, musical and otherwise, for your life and your country?
would hope to continue to stay musically active song-writing, playing
and recording, and continue to have an active family life -- those are
the biggies. Making a living is a good idea. My Country is an amazing
thing... we can seemingly do our worst and because of the way it�s set
up, altruism still has a chance. We be the peoples!
Doris Troy - The Legend Lives On
by Joe Viglione
Mark Farner biographer Kris Engelhardt sent an e mail on February
19th about our friend Doris Troy, who left us either on Monday,
February 16, 2004 or Tuesday February 17, two different dates have
appeared in the press. The news was devastating. Doris was only 67
years of age! A spectacular voice and personality silenced. Go to EBAY
see just how collectible that voice is. As of Friday, 2/27/04, Ms. Troy's APPLE record is going for U.S. $61.00
11 bids on it, starting at 14.95 - with two days to go.
record collectors know who she is, but the kids running the record
stores today do not. The girl at Tower Records in Burlington said to me
after I asked for Doris Troy "Did you say "Dire Straits". NO, "Doris
Troy - the woman on Pink Floyd's DARK SIDE OF THE MOON; on the Stones'
"40 Licks." "Oh" she said. Disgraceful.
We must make it a personal mission to keep the spirit of Doris Troy alive. Just One Listen was all it took.
SOME PERSONAL NOTES:
& I had a conference call with Doris a few months back and she
sounded great - when no Christmas card came this year I was worried a
bit - no emails came either since our last phone conversation. Troy is
one of the greatest singers in rock music - from "Just One Look" to her
work on Dark Side Of The Moon to The Rolling Stones' "Forty Licks"
album - "You Can't Always Get What You Want"...maybe my old business
partner Jimmy Miller can produce her once
again - God - this is so rough...When Mr. Jimmy discovered
Doug Fieger (eventually of "The Knack") and signed him
to R.C.A. with the band "Sky", Doris appeared as one of the
singers on the "Don't Hold Back" album (see AMG
). She's on many a session record, but what really needs to be
discussed is how to keep this great lady's name alive. If her passing
was a shock, I wasn't ready for the shock to come. Going from store to
store - Virgin Records, Newbury Comics, Barnes & Noble, it was
ultra-distressing to see that no one had the Ichiban label release of
"Just One Look: The Best Of Doris Troy." Here's a song that was all
over television, a melody known to millions and millions of people,
covered by Mark Farner (see AMG:
), The Hollies, Bryan Ferry, a standard's standard, and a woman who
made an impact on Broadway and as an executive with Apple Records, which
issued her highly collectible 1970's album. Also released in the 70's
was a Gospel recording,
THE RAINBOW TESTAMENT: http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&uid=UIDMISS70402261319522159&sql=Acuom96oo3ep7
Davies, author of "It Ain't Easy" was on the phone with me just a few
months ago, and then I heard he died on October 30th, 2003 - we were
going to do an interview. He sent me a copy of his album "Where Does
The Time Go" - and an additional copy to send to AMG. My editor let me
review a couple of weeks ago:
Doris was going to be on Visual Radio when she was singing Gospel in
New York a couple of years ago, we didn't get the chance to connect -
but she did appear via phone on my WMFO radio show, "the Demo That Got
for "Just One Look" --- John Kalishes of The Ben Orr Band
left us a couple of months back, as Ben Orr did a couple of years
earlier - this is all so distressing.
Doris loved my review of her RAINBOW TESTAMENT album
I also had the honor of writing up "Just One Look" for AMG
the great Nik Venet passed away it was the first time I was alerted to
the loss of a friend via the internet - Harriet Schock sent me an e mail
that the world had lost the man she introduced me to, the producer of
The Beach Boys, Jim Croce, Linda Ronstadt and so many others.
The passing of the legend, Doris Troy, came via internet as well.
These are just rambling thoughts...
Mr. Engelhardt wrote :" She'll be GREATLY missed. A finer woman never walked the earth."
She is missed already. Doris Troy is #1.
Here's the NY Times article:
Troy, Pop Singer Whose Life Inspired a Show, Dies at 67
By BEN SISARIO
Published: February 19, 2004
A FAB FORTY
by Gary Pig Gold
Has it REALLY been four decades already since television�s
greatest-ever talent scout took a chance on a brash young musical
novelty act from far-off Britain? Yes, even to those who weren�t
extremely tuned into the 2 / 9 / 64 �Ed Sullivan Show,� the look, spunk,
and above all SOUND of J, P, G & R continues to ring within eyes
and ears this whole world over. But nobody needs ME to tell them that.
instead, I thought I�d pick a mere forty of my favorite Beatle tunes of
the moment, and tell you all why I think they�re so, well, Fab. Of
course, YOUR mileage � not to mention choices � will differ, but that�s
half the fun of listening AND listing, isn�t it?
Allow me then
to kick straight off with the Beatlesong I still find myself humming,
playing, and yes, writing about most often than not�..
PLEASE PLEASE ME �and, with the supreme Beatle ballad �Ask Me Why� on
its original flipside, perhaps the greatest one-two career launcher in
2) IT WON�T BE LONG As you�ll soon
realize, John is my unapologetically favorite Beatle, and he was
positively on fire throughout my fave Fab album, �With The Beatles.�
Elsewhere upon same, �Not A Second Time� and �All I�ve Got To Do� were
pure Smokey Robinson-worthy young Lennon gems, while Paul�s �All My
Loving� � not to mention George�s first-ever (!!) ditty �Don�t Bother
Me� � also helped make the band�s second album an end-to-end unbeatable
beat group classic.
3) STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER Arguably the
very pinnacle of the band�s studio concoctions �BEFORE they started
getting altogether too magically mysterious for their own good, that is.
And STILL the greatest fade-out(s) ever committed to vinyl to boot.
4) I DON�T WANT TO SPOIL THE PARTY Both Everlys notwithstanding, The
Beatles hear-by invent alt. country and, coupled with �Eight Days A
Week,� produce in the process their first of many 1965 North American
5) TOMORROW NEVER KNOWS If you hadn�t already
realized during its previous thirteen songs, �Revolver� had just forever
re-written musical history right before your very ears.
HARD DAY�S NIGHT The undeniable State of the Art, 1964-model. Listen
closely for the driving bed of bongos, not to mention that stellar
George M. vs George H. piano-guitar solo (�and not a bad li�l movie they
stuck after it either!)
7) HAPPINESS IS A WARM GUN Lennon
truly was pop�s Picasso, compositionally-speaking, and only The Beatles
could�ve made it successfully thru this dizzying mini-History of Rock
�n� Roll with the help of only three or four tape splices.
GOOD MORNING GOOD MORNING Stripped of all its Pepper down to the rhythm
track alone, as the �Anthology 2� version demonstrates, we realize how
great a tight little band The Beatles really were �even AFTER a whole
year off the road!
9) EVERYBODY�S GOT SOMETHING TO HIDE EXCEPT ME AND MY MONKEY
THIS totally Pepper-free hum-ringer must�ve been even more fun to
record than �Birthday,� �Hey Bulldog,� or maybe Lennon�s Ninth
10) I�LL BE ON MY WAY Along with �Hello Little
Girl,� the nascent Lennon and McCartney�s keenest Buddy Holly re-write
ever �though you must admit Billy J. Kramer, as opposed to them Beatles,
recorded the definitive rendering.
11) I FEEL FINE The first
feedback on record, as John once claimed? Link Wray might just have
something to say about that. But there certainly was nothing finer to
be heard over Christmastime 1964 �and THAT�S the truth.
12) I SAW
HER STANDING THERE The album-opener to start all album openers ...or,
as producer-extraordinaire Sir Big George Martin would so aptly
characterize it, �a potboiler.� Why, even the other George�s
wholly-Hamburg-drenched guitar solo lives up to Paul�s proto-Dee Dee
13) I�LL BE BACK Add the lads� always-shimmering
three-part barbershop chorale atop John�s loving tribute to the late,
very great Del Shannon�s trademark major/minor way with a song
structure, and you have the album-closer to end all albums. At LEAST.
14) I�M DOWN Meanwhile, Paul gamely wrestles Little Richard to the studio floor �whilst telling Jerry Lee the news.
THANK YOU GIRL This raw diamond, which along with �Misery� Squeeze
particularly built a whole vocal career after, truthfully deserves much
more notice after four decades spent languishing upon the underside of
that original �From Me To You� single.
16) BABY YOU�RE A RICH MAN
And on the subject of Great Lost Beatle B-sides, this big-bass and
Clavioline-driven sing-along has aged SO much better than its Summer of
Love topside, �All You Need Is�� �now what was that word again??
COME TOGETHER Wherein Lennon caps his Fab career with a slyly-subtle
slice of Liverpool funk. And, as always, Ringo positively SHINES. So
much for the rest of �Abbey Road��
18) LOVE ME DO So frequently
poo-poohed coz Brian Epstein could only buy its way up to Number 17 on
the hit parade. Yet as no less an authority as Raymond Douglas Davies
has always attested, The Beatles� vinyl debut nevertheless pricked up
all the right ears all over Britain during that otherwise uneventful
winter of �62.
19) IT�S ALL TOO MUCH �and I guess it IS,
clocking in as the not-so-quiet Beatle�s long long longest Northern Song
ever. Still, I can so much more easily hear it closing �Sgt. Pepper�
rather than that other epic production �A Day In The Life,� can�t you?
No?? oh, well�
20) THERE�S A PLACE Somehow telepathically
(though monophonically) linked since �63 with Brian Wilson�s �In My
Room� as two of the most deeply touching agoraphobic studies of all
21) I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER Here our heroes, lead
again by John, toss off one of the greatest deceptively-arcane musical
throwaways of the era with one harmonica holder tied behind their backs.
Plus George says it all with the last twelve-strung note of his guitar
solo, as usual.
22) I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND The crowning jewel
which, rightfully so, took Beatlemania global �and opened B. Dylan�s
ears especially to a certain misheard phrase in the bridge, just as
importantly it turns out.
23) MARTHA MY DEAR The most beloved
song ever written to a sheep dog? Irregardless, it is that most
infrequent instance of a McCartney composition which is perfectly,
regally understated in both arrangement and execution. Hence its rare,
pure, and SIMPLE (got that, Paul?) charm.
24) DAY TRIPPER The
boys gamely take on the twin late-�65 titans of the Stones and Stax
�and, wouldn�t you know it, cross the line with flying colours.
ACROSS THE UNIVERSE (Spector version, btw!!) So maybe its words do
flow out endlessly, but WHAT a tune! (no doubt inspired by George�s
most-melodious �Inner Light� being completed that very same week).
26) NOWHERE MAN The Beatles meet The Byrds.
DEAR PRUDENCE What happens when you take your guitar, and Donovan, to
India with you. And then one of your playmates won�t come outside.
Superb drumming as well �by PAUL this time though!
28) NO REPLY
Hey! A Beatle samba, with an actually complete lyrical narrative along
the way. Before John fell off Dylan�s deep-end altogether with �You�ve
Got To Hide Your Love Away,� mind you.
29) THINK FOR YOURSELF
Can you think of any other song, Fab or otherwise, that can employ a
word like �opaque� � not to mention a fuzz-toned bass � and get away
30) GETTING BETTER Paul�s ever-cute cleverness pretty
near capsized the Peppery proceedings in all too many places, but for
these two-minutes-forty-seven he�s kept keenly in check (��can�t get
31) TICKET TO RIDE The first heavy metal song, as John once claimed? Oh, boy�
YOU KNOW MY NAME (LOOK UP THE NUMBER) Until Apple Inc. gets around to
compiling all of the band�s great goonish Christmas recordings on one
shiny disc, there�s always this inspired chunk of Brian Jones-saxed
lunacy readily available on a compilation and/or file-sharing trough
33) AND YOUR BIRD CAN SING The Beatles BEAT The Byrds!
CRY FOR A SHADOW George was only� HOW old, when he helped create this
delightfully mock-Marvin (as in Hank of the Shadows) Hamburg
35) THINGS WE SAID TODAY Finally! The first McCartney effort to hold its own against a Johnsong.
36) YES IT IS Barely-in-tune British doo-wop �and the greatest Beatle backside since its first cousin �This Boy.�
HOLD ME TIGHT Similarly suspect in the vocal pitch dept., but it�s
about as close to, yes, heavy metal as these four comparative
short-hairs ever got during the once-swinging Sixties.
SAID SHE SAID Metal doesn�t even BEGIN to describe the veritable wall
of Epiphones which took less than three minutes to raise even Peter
Fonda from the near-dead.
39) HELP! Sure, the movie�s a
clinker, but the song is as harrowingly autobiographical as anything on
�Pet Sounds� �AND you can frug to it!
40) YOU CAN�T DO THAT When all is said and sung, however: GOTTA have cowbell...
ANDY PRATT at N.E. Compact Disc Expo and SitNBull Pub
by Joe Viglione
ANDY PRATT signed autographs at Randolph Music's
Original N.E. Compact Disc & Record Expo on Sunday,
February 8th, 2004 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM at the
Dedham Holiday Inn. We met former WZLX Music
Director Paul Lemieux, former WZLX jock Dr. K, Access
Producer Steve Roy, who covered Andy's "Fun In The
First World" - and Expo DJ Jim McCarthy played the
cover version along with Andy Pratt's self-titled
Columbia album and tracks from "Cover Me." Lots of
people came by the table, signed the book, and the
entire exposition was treated to Andy performing
various tunes from his career. All caught on
Mr. Pratt's performance at the SIT N BULL in January was
fantastic. Rob Soltz was the new drummer along with
bassist Chuck Fisher and Stomper Sal Baglio on guitar!
They will return to the SITNBULL on March 18, 2004, when Andy returns from playing in New York on March 14 with
Moogy Klingman at The Triad, NYC. Moogy, Andy and yours truly are speaking at the IBS College Radio Convention on
March 12 and 13 at the NY Penn Hotel. Watch for Andy Pratt's record catalog to be re-released soon in all the
Boston area stores that matter.
MORE ROCK & ROLL NEWS: Check out the new TV show from
Matt O'Connor - http://www.mattoconnoronline.com First
guest is THE DEAL from Medford. 2nd "The Audrey Ryan Band".
TEN YOU MAY HAVE MISSED IN 2003
by Gary Pig Gold
In that tipsy-turvy year when Triumph the Insult Comic Dog�s �Come
Poop With Me� outsold labelmate REM�s latest �Best Of� by a margin of
twenty-to-one in most key retail markets, and the RIAA�s legal staff
seemed the only entity who can claim to have made actual musical hay in
the bazaar that was the 2003 Record Biz, I merrily continued to seek
sonic refuge by burrowing both ears deeply down within the cultural
subterrane I might like to call Outsider Music for the In Crowd. So if
you�re up to joining me in taking a dip beneath the r�n�r radar, come
read with me as I exhume a mere ten of my Frequently Forgotten Faves
from �03 �and in absolutely no order other than the alphabetical, I must
implore, for those keeping score:
�Wire Flowers: More Songs from the Wrong Side of Memphis�
�In the winter of 1996, I retreated into a small room to write and
record songs on my four-track,� explains Ithaca, New York�s premier
moving man with a six-string. �Many of those recordings found a home on
my first album, WRONG SIDE OF MEMPHIS.� (Required Listening, by the
way, everyone!) �The rest are here. Different versions of some of
these songs are on PICTURES FROM LIFE�S OTHER SIDE and THE PAWNBROKER�S
WIFE,� Johnny continues in his handy WIRE FLOWERS liners, �but what
you�ll find here are the original bad seeds.� And what stunningly
glorious underbrush this is, from the SAFE AS MILK Beefheart-break of
�Monkey Run� to the Elvis SUN SESSION-ready �I See Horses,� the broken
Buffalo Springfield �Ain�t Got a Dime,� clear on up and out towards the
inevitable �Judgment Day� (precisely the kind of anti-Americana which
broke the late, extremely great Rank and File up on their third album,
I�ll have y�all know). But then there�s the should�a been �Cold Turkey�
B-side �Rockefeller Eyes,� the Jandek with a budget (and a libretto)
�Black Rain,� and STILL enough additional raw jewels left over to score
David Lynch�s next three films �so long as Rick Rubin promises to
produce, that is. I admit, Johnny Dowd seems to end up on my year-end
tallies each and every twelve months it seems. If you�ve ever wondered
why, I heartily suggest you give yourself some WIRE FLOWERS today.
liner notes again (though this time those of no less an expert on the
subject than twistin� shakin� Beverly Paterson of �Rock Beat
International� magazine), �The first track on the album, �Pop Dreams For
You and Me,� begins on a rather ghostly note before flexing its muscles
into a spinning romp of power pop glory. Stepping into Byrds
territory, �Walking With You� reels with jingly jangly guitar magic and
heaps of sun-kissed melodies you won�t soon forget. Rock solid rhythms
pierce �The Actor,� while �Just a Song� is speckled with a nice
psychedelic motif, due to the snake charming fragrance of some trippy
sitar work. �Are You Afraid?� and �What Friends Are For� both log in as
straight-forward pop pursuits that grip you by the ears right away and
demand to be played again and again. POP DREAMS also includes a bright
and bouncy cover of Lennon and McCartney�s �Good Night� that adds a
whole new approach to the original version.� Well, Beverly, what can I
possibly add to all that but �Well said, ma�am! I couldn�t have
reviewed it better myself �so as you can see, I didn�t,� not to mention,
�Jeremy? Yessir, you�ve gone and made your very best album to date.�
And as for the rest of you out there, all I can say is there honestly
wasn�t a more purely positive forty-six minutes of word, sound and above
all vision put out there in 2003, and you each owe it to yourselves to
partake fully this very instant. Close quote.
those wondering what�s been new (pussycat) with Atomic Jones these days
-- when he�s not jamming da blooz alongside Jeff Beck for Martin
Scorsese or belting over Three Dog Night oldies on �Good Morning
America,� that is � here�s a hep little platter that belatedly came my
way �wherein Tom�s latest in a long line of contemporary collaborators
is none other than Wyclef Jean! Okay, so often these enforced pair-ups
twixt yesterday�s heroes and not-quite-so-oldies but goodies often fall
far flat, but Tom�s always had an impeccable ear whenever the need
arises to hitch his stalling star upon sympathetic shoulders (eg: Jerry
Lee Lewis in �67; Prince two decades later). So with a delightfully dub
yelp of �one, two, Tom�s coming for you, three four gonna bust through
your door, five six you better lock up your chicks, seven eight, before
it�s too late,� Messrs. Jones and Jean embark upon three quarter-hours
of deadly Diddy-beating, Ron Isley-esque RandB-moderne, and even a
Folkways/Smithsonian-sampled lunge at �Black Betty� that must have Ram
Jam, not to mention Leadbelly Himself, doing the funky chicken in their
graves. The main star throughout just has to be Tom�s lyrics, however:
this is, I believe, the first time in his illustrious forty-year career
he�s helped pen the majority of an album�s tracks, and whether waxing
nostalgic on his Joe Meek / Squires daze (�with a mike and a guitar I
used to racket on any stage�), bemoaning a fairer sexer�s lack of
attention � yeah, right (�I serve you breakfast in bed, but you say that
ain�t enough, so I take out the garbage on the weekend�), or simply
tipping his pelvic region on behalf of �my people working, waking up at
six in the morning, trying to make an honest living ogi ogi ogi ogi oh�)
Tom�s sentiments are surprisingly candid and heroically heartfelt to a
number. The guy really should write a book already! Now, this entire
jizzle may conclude with a somewhat misguided remix-make of �I Who Have
Nothing,� but hey, that�s what the �skip� button�s for, right? So put
down the man�s latest RELOADED hits comp for a little while at least
this year and let MR. JONES in with his load too, alright? Coz� Tom and
Wyclef? Why, it�s really not that unusual at all!
I eventually get to the West Coast chapter of my �Fallen Through The
Cracks� tome, more than special mention will certainly be given to the
mighty Nolte brothers, Joe, Mike and David, and their criminally
under-heard combo The Last who, between roughly 1976 and 79, helped
kick-start the entire Los Angeles punk, paisley and/or power pop
scene(s) in a way the GoGo�s, Germs, and even Plimsouls can only hope to
retrospectively rival. In this time, and in their prime, The Last only
managed to squeeze out one full album (which upon release was stupidly
criticized for being �too clean� -sounding to an audience already being
weaned for the likes of Black Flag). But listened to today, luvingly
restored, remastered and repackaged in all its Living Stereo glory by
their veteran mentors at Bomp, L.A. EXPLOSION provides no less than a
21-track, 57-minute primer for pop-rock�s anti-State of the Art circa
JOE�S GARAGE and TUSK (between sessions for which our heroes snuck in to
do their overdubs, just to put everything in its proper hysterical
perspective). Yep, you too can trace this seminal band�s evolution from
back-alley Seeds �n� Searchers regurgitators (�She Don�t Know Why I�m
Here�) to pseudo-nouveau surf-rockers (�Every Summer Day� �.Murry
Wilson, where are you?!!) through to their brave, early championing of
the SECOND British Invasion (�Bombing Of London� especially Clashes in a
way I�m sure J. Strummer would�ve approved, while �Century City Rag� �
written �way back in �75 after Joe Nolte quit his highschool prog band, I
kid you knot! � easily out-Wellers the Jam with one Rickenbacker tied
behind its back). Like their East Coast offspring The Cheepskates, what
truly set The Last apart from the pack was always the sheer complexity
and inventiveness of its in-house songwriting (ie: �This Kind of
Feeling� and �Someone�s Laughing� can stand proudly against ANY Beau
Brummels A-side), but while never letting such craft get in the way of
having tons-o-laffs in the process, I�m so pleased to report (like the
Gene Vincent vs. Doors fistfight which is their bluejean-bottomed take
on, you betcha, �Be Bop A Lula� herein). Alas, GET THE KNACK sorta
overshadowed L.A. EXPLOSION upon its original release, then the various
Bang(le)s etc. who comprised the Last�s audiences began to form their
own bands and, well� at least it�s never too late to marvel anew at the
harmony-packed history littering this monumental disc. At last.
taken over a decade since the man first stepped off the drumkit behind
some of his home and native Canada�s greatest bands (eg: Teenage Head)
and recordings (�Red Red The Rocking Horse,� for all you seven-inch
Seventies collectors), but Jack Pedler has finally, fatefully, fitfully
even released his SGT. PEPPER �no, better still, his WHO SELL OUT �wait a
minute, I mean BOULDERS for the Empty Millennium. From its initial
blast of iron-curtained oompah�s (�Wolfgang! Where�s the J�germeister?�
howls a lone voice in the sonic wilderness) to the concluding
in-the-bagpiped coda of Celtic chaos, we�re careened upon a journey into
deepest, dankest Dickensian strum and drang, buoyed with all the
pointed hilarity befitting a man of J.P�s learned world-wisdom. The
title track, f�rinstance, takes only minutes to scale the Roger Watery
Dark Side of The Wall (WITHOUT requiring any Gerald Scarfe artwork
either!), courtesy of the patent Pedler wordplay (��looking like a
comatose mangled mannequin�) while producer Georgie Fab�s always artful
cellarful of nice noise churns restlessly beneath it all. Elsewhere,
Blood Sweat and Tears meets Rocky Horror (�It�s Not So�), our ol� pal
�Baby H� lifts the oh-so-timely spectre of war pigs everywhere, but our
hero Jack nonetheless can still take time out to take a drive -- whilst
taking a bride! -- in the car-tune to end all cartoons, �Hot Wire.�
Whew! So, to quote the master yet again, if ever you should find your
laundry in a quandary, metaphorically speaking, what�s the worry? Just
grab your little log, pull yourself alongside the effigy campfire,
snuggle up warm as toast, and spend your way outta the hole, dammit, by
plunking your big bouncy bucks down for this delicately floured �n�
tickled wizard�s brew. Go ahead then. Don�t be ascared! Trust in
to David Bash and his truly International Pop Overthrow festivals,
musical wonders which under abnormal circumstances might go relatively
unheard altogether are most thankfully brought straight to the undivided
attention of just the kinda people who still believe rock and even roll
has the unmitigated ability to amass, amuse, and in the case of this
Osaka combo�s 2003 appearance at IPO NYC, absolutely AMAZE. I admit, it
took only three chords of The Playmates� Hamburg Beatles-tempered set
to make me a complete convert for life, and the three of their CD�s I�ve
managed to grab so far have barely left the trusty Pig Player ever
since. Interestingly, the most recent of these, LISTEN!, would have
nothing whatsoever to apologize for if, in fact, it WAS named after
Billy J. Kramer�s 1963 long-player of the same moniker, as the Mersey
beats hard and fast throughout these dozen tracks too (and, like Sir
George Martin�s most vital and vintage recordings, the Japanese LISTEN!
is also produced in power-pounding Back to Monaural sound �you better
believe it takes a real band to mix down to a single channel these
days). So, where even to begin? Well, howzabout the Pete Ham dates
Eric Carmen �Sweet Girl,� the �Substitute�-era Who acoustic six-powered
�In The Dream,� the Holland-Dozier-Holland-go-Walking-on-Sunshine �Tears
Are Fallin�� or even the shimmering Rubinoos-redux of �Tale Of Summer�?
Most aurally astounding of all though must really be the Tokyo City
Rollers-fashioned, sleighbell-encrusted �Everybody�s Rock �n� Roll
Winter,� which brings back such fond memories of those chilly ChinniChap
egg-noggers from Top Of The Pops past. No, not since Ron Nasty last
helped Utopia deface the music we all know and love has a mere thirty
minutes flat so expertly summed up the raw, raucous spirit of p-o-p in
all of its sly, innocent and yes, monophonic splendor. In just one more
word then? LISTEN!!!
�A Day At The Farm with Farmer Jason�
(Yep Roc Records)
From the fine folk over at Yep Roc, who�ve also just given us some
grand new Fleshtones and Big Sandy releases too, comes an alarmingly
disarming charmer which carries the following Parental Advisory: �This
CD contains songs that will have you singing along with your kids!�
Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce you to the one, the only Farmer
Jason. Now you may remember his previous incarnation as leader of those
red-hot Nashville Scorchers who, a couple�a decades ago, helped make
Bakersfield safe again for alternative airwaves �and quite some time
before Dwight the Yoakam ever squeezed into his first set of designer
Levis, by the way. But these days Jason seems rightfully content to
traipse the lower quarter before retiring onto the front porch -- after
the young ones have all been put to bed, that is -- to pick the simple
joys of life across his very own green acres. The result is a
harrowingly wholesome half-hour which may smack some of uprooting Mister
Rogers into the Hee Haw cornfield, but in fact makes quite an airtight
case that the REAL future of music with such wit and melody may
ultimately rest upon the stages of your neighborhood community centers,
pre-schools and library recital halls. Still with me? Then I suggest
you join Farmer J. asap as he takes us all on one family-friendly
hayride courtesy of his ever-courageous guitar pickin� chickens,
encountering en route an old cow (who sounds respectfully akin to J.R.
Cash), a hog-hog-hog (via a riff fully fit for the Duke of Steve Earle),
and a deere (as in John, that is) chug-chuggin� tractor. We learn
about sheep shearing and domesticated animals too � LITERAL pet sounds
abound, of course � and even manage to mend to some chores (plantin�
that �Corny Corn�) before the sun duly sets on Jason and his farm, with
the good Lord�s goodnight kisses and a heavenly vocal assist from Tahra
Dergee. You know, not since Jonathan Richman last crawled across the
kindergarten floor imploring �I�m A Little Dinosaur� has listening been
so, well, FUNdamental!
Excerpts from �Late Music�
(Nun Bett-R Productions)
just can�t live in New Jersey without being touched by the knowing
shadow of The Smithereens, and their long-sitting drummist Dennis Diken
is especially omnipresent to even NON-Jerseyites out there who still
find themselves regularly pouring over his digital Beach Boy and Lovin�
Spoonful liner notes. Personally speaking, when I asked Dennis to
submit a track to To M�Lou�s HE�S A REBEL: THE GENE PITNEY STORY RETOLD,
not only did a roller-rink-ready version of �Only Love Can Break A
Heart� eventually arrive in the mail, but a Bonus Disc by his and Pete
Dibella�s nom-de-disque of the moment Sleeping Giant mysteriously came
packaged right alongside same. Truthfully, listen after listen upon
countless listen later, I STILL cannot express fully how recklessly, yet
skillfully, the sounds imbedded therein effortlessly leap tall gamuts
between the lush, pulsing Anglo-Americana of Walker Brother lineage
(�The Sun�s Gonna Shine In The Morning�), late-Association-style
psychedelicacy (�Temptation Cake�) and, if you can ever imagine such a
cocky cross-breeding, Spanky and Our Gang as wrestled mischievously to
the studio floor by Lindsey Buckingham (that gem�s known as �In Another
Life�). Yet the melodic crux of this CD-EP just has to be �Fall Into
Your Arms,� as subtly intense as anything that other great drumming
Dennis (as in Wilson) conjured during his SUNFLOWER prime, only to be
followed most logically by the high-as-a-llama BRIAN Wilson-worthy
�Standing In That Line.� For those counting, that�s a big five for
five, song-wise, and I bet there�s at least another half-dozen Sleeping
Giants just waiting to be burned and mailed my way by now too (nudge
wink). You can bet that upon immediate receipt of same, I shall
continue to report my full findings to you all, that�s a giant promise.
�I Was Accident�
(Not Lame Recording Company)
THIS is Power Pop � with the emphasis on the Power. Ray Kubian, Keith
Hartel and, yes, the Squirrel, d.b.a. True Love, like to overdrive the
guitars, ride the crash cymbals wherever and whenever possible, then go
that extra decibel still by layering all with streams of glitter-socking
three-part vocal washes which �bap-bap� here, or Flo-and-Eddie there
�precisely whatever the true love song in question asks for. And oh
yeah, that�s another thing: the SONGS! Be they big bally ballads (such
as �Don�t Mean Anything,� �Service of the Knife,� or �Throwing Back the
Ring,� the latter of which drips more heartache �n� harmony than an
entire Everlys box set) or ear-wrenching corkers (like �Burn Rubber,�
let alone the sleighbell-and-acoustic-propelled �Now,� which comes
complete with Wall of Spector saxes to boot) these guys always know
exactly what to say, and more importantly HOW to say it, in usually
three-minutes-twenty or less. Can you say �lost art,� anyone? Plus
lyrically, there�s always lotsa love in these here true stories too
(�Riot Helmet� respectfully stops to nod Smokey Robinson�s way, while
�The Genius� just might be that long-anticipated follow-up to Los
Mockers� �Coronation� after all). Yet thankfully as well, there�s
seldom nary a trace of retro in True Love�s shake appeal, which one
listen alone to the fearlessly over-the-board �Time Dog� mix more than
demonstrates. Why, even Coyote Shivers should approve of the
extra-extraneous amp�n�SG clatter which dribbles over the ends of most
of these tight taught tracks! And, like the above-raved-over Playmates,
THIS powerful trio can offer the goods off the stage too, take it from
me. Or better still, from yourself someday in a rumpus room or true
venue near you. So go check �em out, buy three or four ACCIDENTS for
yourself �and don�t forget to tell the Squirrel that the Pig sentcha,
�ALBUzerxQUE,� volumes 13, 14, 15
not already intimately familiar with the self-styled �Okie musique
concr�te� of New Mexican Mark Weber may be quite unprepared indeed for
the veritable Carnival of Sound he�s assembled with the 50 tracks by the
29 artists on these latest three installments of the ALBUzerxQUE
series. But those with a very open mind, and ears to match, will find
joys aplenty in the (to cite but the most delectably) drunken Dixieland
vs. bouncing Brubeck of the Outpost Repertory Jazz Orchestra�s �St.
James Infirmary,� Mitch Rayes� touching lullaby-from-heck �Crushed
Little Baby,� those legendary Bubbadinos� quite possibly definitive
�Paint It, Black� and Stefan Dill�s blisteringly alt. Byrds �Union
County Stomp.� But that�s not all, folks! There�s a searing dollop of
vintage Var�se (C. K. Barlow�s �Name Day�), the semi-electronica update
of Dylan�s �Cough Song� as if, um, sung by Lennon�s Mr. Wok (�Dalai Lama
Throat Clearings� from Lisa Gill), the Bach-meets-Miles �Symphonia #9
in F minor� by no less than the Jazz Chamber Ensemble, and even some
wholly Fug-calibre paranoic pickin� from the Zerx master himself, Mr.
Weber (as The New York Times may still someday be referring to him as).
Garnish it all most liberally with slices of spoken word beatery,
crazed cowboy hop �n� sing-alongs, mutant mariachi, plus fractured
flamenco and you have far, FAR more than simply the audio equivalent of
the best dern Open Mic in what remains of the civilized world, you bet.
Better hurry and sign up soon, though: Last I heard, ALBUzerxQUE�s
already up to Volume 17 and counting�.
IT�S BEGINNING TO SOUND A LOT LIKE� WELL�YOU KNOW WHAT
by Gary Pig Gold
Ahhh, Christmas! That magical time of year when we share love,
presents, and our special musical tastes � both good and bad. Like
those mounted singing bass sold down at Wal-Mart, seasonal music is an
acquired, personal taste that says more about the listener than the
With this in mind, and as nosy as always, Gary Pig
Gold, alongside his trusted partner-in-all-things-yule Ken Burke,
decided to ask their many music-minded acquaintances the following
1) Which seasonal / Christmas recording do you never tire of hearing? What's special about it?
2) Which seasonal / Christmas recording irritates you?
Guess what they said?
Steve Lester of Wix Records
That's easy. "Santa Claus is Back in Town" by Elvis Presley.
Seasonal or not, that sucker rocks! Who needs flying reindeer when you
can have a "big black Cadillac"! I also have to give der Bingle's
"Melekalikimaka" an honorable mention. It has such a hypnotic, ethereal
quality. I once listened to it twelve consecutive times with no
intention of stopping there until family members intervened.
normally don't like to answer negatively slanted questions like this.
But in this case I'll make an exception: That Elmo and Patsy thing was
Mack Stevens, Rollin� Rock recording artist
Fuzzy thoughts...animal thoughts...my fave Christmas song is "Jingle
Bells," by those barking dogs. I don't 'member their names.
The most IRRITATING song about the Yule season is "We Three Kings" by
anydamnbody. They didn't mention me OR that Elvis guy.
Morley Bartnoff as Cosmo Topper
1) It�s a tie between �Punk Rock Christmas� by Venus and The Razorblades and �Christmas Rapture� by Blondie.
2) Hey! It�s Christmas! No time to be irritated. Let�s watch The Charlie Brown Christmas Special one more time instead.
Dick Dale, King Of The Surf Guitar
1) "�chestnuts roasting on a Christmas fire...."
Irwin Chusid, author of �Songs In The Key Of Z�
All of them. I am Scrooge Number One when it comes to Xmas music. I
hate it, hate it, hate it -- and despise it most for its unavoidability.
For years friends and listeners have been mailing me clever cassettes
and CDRs of Xmas novelties �which I abhor even MORE! Nothing goes into
the nearest trashbin faster. Any candidate who promises to impose a
permanent moratorium on Xmas music gets my campaign dollars. Have I
made this clear?
Kevin Mathews, Touched by the Power of Pop
1) "Little Saint Nick." It's the Beach Boys, dammit!
2) Anything done by a boyband/jailbait diva, etc etc.
Maryglenn McCombs of Dowling Press
1) I could never ever tire of Bruce Springsteen singing "Merry Christmas, Baby."
I think just about every other Christmas song would qualify for that
other question. How could I pick just one? Hate to pick on the King,
but "Blue Christmas" is borderline abysmal ...please don't let me have
that song stuck in my head all day!!!
Al Muzer, New Jersey music journalist extrodinaire
and 2) Least and most favorite are one and the same: Don Charles
Presents The Singing Dogs� "Jingle Bells" b/w "Oh! Susanna." Led by
tenor-bark Rex with Spot, Fluffy and Brown Dog on backing yelps, yips,
growls and howls, The Singing Dogs add that little something extra to
this oft-covered holiday staple that elevates the tune to a whole new
level. The group�s spirited reworking of Stephen Foster�s "Oh! Susanna"
in their distinctive staccato �n� growl style gives the tune the
lonesome, high plains spirit the author undoubtedly had in mind when
composing it. Despite a slew of records by such fly-by-night acts as
The Meowing Kitties, The Oinking Pigs, Bessie and the Barn Animals, The
Black Sheep, and a first-rate reissue from the genre�s original war
horse, Mr. Ed, The Singing Dogs remain the true masters of the singing
Lord Litter, singer / songwriter / international DJ
VERY easy to answer: It's �Bluegrass Christmas� by Haywire (Gene
Parsons on guitar, banjo). The only Christmas recording ever really
TALKING to me. Didn�t even like Roy Wood's Christmas tunes or Slade's
monster smash �Merry Christmas Everybody.� �Bluegrass Christmas�
definitely captures best the real spirit of �nature, peace, a silent
night.� This is pure, this is real, PEACE. Can't praise this enough
2) All others. None of them recaptures the SPIRIT.
Robert Pally, Swiss freelance journalist
"Silent Night" is my favorite Christmas recording. It reminds me on
how beautiful Christmas was when I was young. And it gets me in the
right mood for it. I am a hopeless romantic.
2) It�s not a
special song; it�s more the fact that certain artists bring out every
year a Christmas album only to make a few bucks. I still believe in the
true meaning of Christmas, which doesn't have anything to do with
Chris Chinchilla, former Mike Love of the only (authorized) Canadian Beach Boy clone combo Endless Summer (est. 1985)
"What Child Is This," set to the ancient �Greensleeves,� when sung
softly and tenderly, in a slow waltz, maybe played on a harpsichord,
maybe a bit of flute, with a bit of Rubato, building in volume in the
second half of the verse. Never leaves a dry eye in the house
...including yours truly. (Try singing it to your gals, guys, and your �X�mas will be very merry I predict.)
"Here Comes Santa Claus." I personally get a nauseous feeling in the
pit of my stomach whenever I hear this song. To me the melody and
overly chirpy bounciness of this song is especially aggravating during
the busy Christmas season. It's like one of those PR type people, who
say "GREAT!" no matter what you ask them. Also, mixing God and Santa in
the same rhyming couplet is a bit too much for this existentialist.
"Let's give thanks to the Lord our God, 'cuz Santa Clause comes tonight"
Mike McDowell, editor/publisher of Blitz Magazine
I never get tired of Bobby Helms' "Jingle Bell Rock." Although not
really reflective of the true spirit of Christmas, it's got that
timeless almighty hook like two other records that broke around the same
time: Danny And The Juniors' "At The Hop" and the Silhouettes' "Get A
Job." Records like those three hold up remarkably well under repeat
2) On the other hand, overkill has taken all of the joy
out of Nat King Cole's "The Christmas Song." Lately, I've found the
recent classic "Mary, Did You Know" (done by such diverse types as Kenny
Rogers, Donny Osmond and Barry McGuire) to be much more in line with
what Christmas is really all about.
Bill Lloyd, formerly of Foster & Lloyd and currently SO much more
Fave Christmas song would have to be "The Christmas Song" written by
Mel Torme. Even though Alex Chilton did a nice rendition, Nat King
Cole's version is flawless.
2) "The Twelve Days of Christmas"
comes to mind as being one of the most irritating holiday classics. It
reminds me of "100 Bottles of Beer On the Wall."
Robert Barry Francos, founding editor of the legendary Ffanzeen fanzine (est. 1978)
Favorite? "A Christmas Carol," by Tom Lerher: �Christmas time is here
by golly, Disapproval would be folly, Deck the halls with hunks of
holly, Fill the cup and don't say when, Murder ducks, geese and
chickens, It's time to roll out the Dickens, Even though the prospect
sickens, Brother, Here we go again. At Christmas time you can't get
sore, Your fellow man you must adore, There's time to rob him all the
more, The other 364. Relations sparing no expense will, Give some
useless old utensil, Or a matching pen and pencil, "Just the thing I
need, how nice." It doesn't matter how sincere it is, Or how heartfelt
the spirit, Sentiment will not endear it, What's important is... the
price. "Hark the Herald Tribute� sing, Telling sales of wonderous
things." "God rest ye merry merchants, May you make the Yuletime pay.
Angels we have heard on high/Tell us to go out and buy." So, let the
raucous sleighbells jingle, Here comes our good friend, Kris Kringle,
Dashing his reindeer across the sky ...Don't stand underneath when they
2) Least favorite: "Little Drummer Boy," especially the Bowie/Crosby version. Yeeeeeeeeeeeccccccccckkkkkkkkk.
Dale Hawkins, oh �Suzie Q" !!
�White Christmas.� What's special about it? Clyde McPhatter and The
Drifters, with Clyde doing the high vocals (��I Y I Y Y Y Y Y'm dreaming
of a white Christmas.�)
2) I really can�t think of any! Why? IT'S CHRISTMAS!
Wanda Jackson, the Queen of Rockabilly
Anne Murray�s "Christmas Wishes." I have "Merry Christmas From Elvis"
is what I have. George Strait�s "Merry Christmas Strait To You."
Kenny G, I love his Christmas album. I love choir groups.
think it�s wonderful that they play the Christmas music, and sometimes
I�m fearful that they�ll stop � things have become so secular. I�m a
Christian and I�d like to hear more of the songs about Christ, which is
what Christmas is all about. All I hear is "Frosty," "Rudolph" and all
James Richard Oliver of Illbilly Records
Elvis doing �Blue Christmas.� My mom used to put that record on every
Christmas. It wasn�t officially Christmas �til we heard it. My sister
and I would do our little mock-Elvis lip quivering, but we loved it
just as much as she did. I think about her whenever I hear it.
I�d have to say that�s a ties between those damn dogs barking �Jingle
Bells� and that godforsaken �Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer.� I�m
not sure exactly who�s responsible for either one, but they should be
punished. They should have to work in a mall the two weeks before
Christmas while constantly listening to each other�s song.
John Mars, www.johnmars.com
If it was a single recording, I'd have to say Canned Heat and the
Chipmunks� historic summit meeting "The Chipmunk Song" b/w "Christmas
Boogie," as it's very, very funny. It's sure to enthrall everyone,
young and old. If it was an album it'd be "A Christmas Present ...And
Past" by Paul Revere And The Raiders. That album comes from around the
time of their "Revolution" album, which was one of those great peaks in
the Raiders� history. So, it's that line-up of the band with Joe Jr.,
Freddy Weller and Charlie Coe. Mark Lindsay and Terry Melcher wrote
almost all the songs on that one which is nice, because most Christmas
albums are just cliches, but the Raiders' lp is a true original. It's
good for a special evening by the fireside, or for play during family
dinner. It sets a real nice atmosphere.
2) Well, I do sometimes
get kind of tired of hearing ANY version of "A Little Drummer Boy,"
including that one with Bing and Bowie. My dad always groans when any
take of that number comes on the radio. Even the Joan Jett attempt bugs
me. It's one of those numbers that you've just heard way too many
times, I guess.
Steven Rappaport, genius behind the 1963 Top Twenty smash "The Martian Hop" by the legendary RanDells!
�Jingle Bell Rock,� the Bobby Helms version. Great song, great
vocalist for the song, very happy. The bridge works terrifically - I
like the change from major (What a bright time) to minor (It's the right
time) and back to major (To rock the night away). Next time around it
goes to a 7th (Is a swell time). It's harmonically great. But it's the
happy sound that really makes the song for me. "Rockin� Around the
Christmas Tree," Brenda Lee. Anything Little Miss Dynamite sang was OK
with me. Killer voice. But I also liked what I think are steel guitar
riffs. "White Christmas," Darlene Love. Phil Spector production,
totally original arrangement, great voice. Best second version of the
song: The Drifters.
2) Worst Christmas record: by far, The Royal
Guardsmens� "Snoopy's Christmas." Also, I hate to say it, but Roy
Orbison's "Pretty Paper" is yucky, as is Vic Dana's "Little Alter Boy."
Gag me with a reindeer.
Gene Sculatti, the Cataloger of Cool
I guess anything off Bobby Darin's "25th Day Of December" album
("Child Of God" was the single) or the Four Seasons' version of "Santa
Claus Is Coming To Town" are the ones I never tire of hearing �but then
I'm the only one who plays 'em, so I guess it makes sense. Their
specialness, I suppose, is that they both come from back in my day and
that, in the long lost way only early-60s pop can, they each "rock."
2) Can't really think of which seasonal song tires me (it's not that I love 'em all; rather, nothing really riles).
Alan Clayson, chansonnier, pop historian and erstwhile leader of Clayson and the Argonauts
"The Moonlight Skater" by Alan Clayson. Because a recent remake (with
a new arrangement and a specially composed bridge section) would
satisfy every qualification of a Christmas Number One if issued in time
for the December sell-in when the usual chart rues don't apply, and you
can get away with the ravages of middle age. Over the past ten years,
it's been covered by Dave Berry, Jane Relf, and Stairway.
"Happy Christmas (War Is Over)" by John and Yoko, because, regardless of
the time of year and its worthy sentiment, I hate it for the same
intangible reasons as I hate "I Got You Babe" (Sonny and Cher) and
"March Of The Mods" (Joe Loss). The fault for this is probably mine
Marti Brom, Goofin� Records rockabilly queen
Well you asked about a subject I just love. I've sort of a thing for
old Christmas records. I've got everything from Dean Martin, Frank
Sinatra, Brenda Lee, Gene Autry, Patti Page, Tennessee Ernie Ford,
Elvis, Charo, and the list goes on. I also have a stack of compilation
LPs. I usually start playing them in June, but that kinda confused my
four year old. I guess, though, my all time favorite would have to be
Bing Crosby singing Irving Berlin's "White Christmas." But mostly I
miss those Bing Crosby Christmas Specials. The year that Bing Crosby
dueted on "Little Drummer Boy" was especially neat, because it was the
first time my Dad acknowledged that David Bowie had talent.
The Chipmunks singing Christmas songs, or any songs for that matter,
I'd say irritates me the most. I hate it when rodents try to sing!
Beverly Paterson of Twist And Shake magazine
I never tire of hearing �Snoopy's Christmas� by The Royal Guardsmen.
It brings back good memories of when I was younger than yesterday and
besides, it IS The Royal Guardsmen. That alone qualifies for a classic
of any stripe!
2) �Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer�
irritates the egg nog out of me. It isn't even funny. An insult to our
kindly grandmothers and those groovy reindeers that make things happen!
Alan Abramowitz, on-air host forever of the syndicated cable music series "Video Wave"
1) That Ronettes song, "Sleighbells ring...."
2) Just about EVERTHING else.
Johnny Dowd, whose latest and greatest album, "The Pawnbroker�s Wife," is now far out on the esteemed Catamount label
1) "Little Drummer Boy." Great drumming.
2) "Jingle Bell Rock." I don't think you should mix rock 'n' roll and Christmas.
John Sinclair, managing editor, Blues Access magazine
Man, what a question! You might not know that I'm a R&B Christmas
record fanatic. I play six to nine hours� worth of Christmas songs
every year during the month of December on my Blues And Roots show, and
another six hours or so of Crescent City Christmas carols on my New
Orleans Music Show. So it's not fair to ask for ONE record! I'd have
to select TWO versions of "White Christmas": Clyde McPhatter and the
Drifters�, of course, and the live version by Charlie Parker recorded at
the Royal Roost on Christmas Eve 1948. These are special because they
sound so fucking good! And they represent the apotheosis of
African-American vernacular irony: "White Christmas," indeed!
I can't think of an irritating record because, well, I'm just too old
to listen to music that irritates me �and here in New Orleans, I simply
don't have to. Happy Holidays!
Mark Snyder, CEO, PMPNetwork.com and host of �The Entertainment Minute� on 96 radio stations in 38 states
I'll always enjoy John Lennon's "And So This is Christmas," Bobby
Helms� "Jingle Bell Rock," the Carpenters� "Merry Christmas, Darling,"
Nat King Cole's "Christmas Song," The Beach Boys� "Little Saint Nick."
All are great tunes that I can listen to all year round. None are
religious enough to ruffle my tender feathers.
2) None. Music cannot irritate me, unless it is by Michael Bolton or Barry Manilow. I save my stress for PMPNetwork.com!
Prewitt Rose of SRO Records (and discoverer of Ral Donner!)
My favorite Christmas song is whatever you say it is! Why? How would
I know? I don't even know what my favorite song is yet until I read
about it in whatever publication you so desire. Ditto for the
Christmas song I dislike most!
2) Sure, quote me! Anything you or Gary Pig say I said is plenty good enough for me! Hey, YOU guys are the writers, not me.
hate Pat Boone's Christmas song about the little green Christmas tree.
I've got a 45rpm copy of that piece of trash somewhere in the cellar.
It's a cellar dweller!)
Pat Cupp, legendary 50�s rocker
Maybe it's just my age and the times that I was raised in. My family
were not religious fanatics but I was always taught that Jesus Christ�s
birthday was something special, therefore most all the songs such as
"The first Noel" and related religious songs were what Christmas was
about. Later in life I really liked the "Christmas Song" (Chestnuts
Roasting On An Open Fire) by Perry Como became my personal favorite.
I really don't know why, but "Jingle Bell Rock" got on my nerves. I
just never liked that particular song. It just didn't make me feel like
it was Christmas. I realize that millions of people bought that record
and it still is played now as a classic, but I still don't like it.
Brenda Lee has done so many better songs in her career.
Jeffrey Thames (King of Grief), host/producer of �Sound Awake� on KPFT-FM Houston
Without contest, "Jingle Bells" as parlayed by The Singing Dogs. I've
always been a dog lover (that's not to say I don't love my three cats),
and hearing a bunch of purty puppies bark a holiday classic never fails
to make me smile. When I first got it on CD in 1990 (bless you, Dr.
D), I played it for my Doberman, Sam (may he rest in peace), and he just
stared at the speaker for the full time it was on. Nothing like music
to help you bond with your savage beast. Plus, legend has it that they
were signed to RCA after Nipper heard them harmonizing around a fire
hydrant. Ah, folklore.
2) Ask me again about a week before Christmas after I've been properly inundated...
I�aki Orbezua , editor, Oto�o Cheyenne magazine
Basically, there are two Christmas recordings that I never tire of
hearing, year after year, and those are Spector's Christmas album (an
obvious one I know, but I just love this one record so much ...and
because it's like the first concept album in the Pop era, and I kinda
like concept albums) and the second one is by a Spanish singer by the
name of Raphael: his classic �Four Christmas Songs� EP (an excellent
version of �The Little Drummer Boy� in Spanish) from the mid-60's will
never be absent from my turntable on Christmas time. This guy is still
singing today, he must be around 55-50 years old, and is now singing on
the Jekyll and Mr. Hyde musical here in Spain. He's awesome!!!
I could name quite a few Spanish artists that make horrible Christmas
music, but then again when I think of people like Michael Bolton and
Mariah Carey doing those IRRITATING Christmas albums... then I wish it
was summer again!
Roy Harper, editor, Outer Shell magazine
The best version of any Christmas song is The Ronettes' version of
�Sleigh Ride.� While it holds true to the feeling of girl-rock in the
Sixties, it also makes the listener �uplifted� not just with a Christmas
feeling, but generally; the whole winter season. It is brilliantly
arranged, and could very well be Phil Spector's finest production.
The WORST Christmas song is �Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer.� It
was �cute� hearing it for the first time, but after that it's boring
and stupid. I'd rather hear the barking dogs� Christmas song.
Tony Wilkinson of American Music magazine
The Phil Spector Christmas Album, which is just the wonderful
masterpiece of how to capture the feel good spirit of Christmas, "�Twas
The Night Before Christmas" by Huey Piano Smith and the Clowns, which is
sheer rockin� fun to listen to, and "Christmas With Tammy Wynette," in
which Tammy pours her heart and soul and the quality/feeling with which
she sings the songs is simply awe inspiring. Lastly, it has to be
"Christmas with Elvis": his voice and emotive singing were never in
grater shape. From this comes my all time favorite Christmas track,
"Santa Claus Is Back In Town." This track is full of absolute raunch
and grind, and the lavish expression in the curl and sneer of his
singing leaves one in no doubt what this Santa is coming down your
chimney after. Pure excitement.
2) As to the most duff
Christmas track, there are several and one of the paramount selections
has to be "The Chipmunk Song" by Canned Heat and The Chipmunks: just a
sheer travesty and pure waste. However, my choice as the worse all-time
Christmas recording has to be "A Not So Merry Christmas" by Bobby Vee.
Apart from bearing a remarkable similarity to "Run To Him," the sheer
wimpness of the cut is breathtaking. It is
bury-your-head-under-the-pillow time and blot-out-the-world time, if one
has the misfortune to be in audible range when this played.
Excruciating, to put it mildly.
Shane Faubert of To M�Lou Music
There seems to have been a Christmas song by Kenny Laguna that I heard
once, really liked and never heard again (was it a dream?) but we won't
count that. �Little Drummer Boy� by Joan Jett is my favorite of the
songs I actually hear on commercial radio, but the Christmas song I love
the most is (of course?) �I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday� by
Wizzard. It has a great melody, but what I really LOVE about it is the
fact that it is so incredibly messy. You can't get tired of it because
you can never hear it all... lots of layers and swirls. Nutty and
2) The David Bowie/Bing Crosby duet of �Little Drummer
Boy/Peace on Earth� is pretty bothersome. Reminded us that David Bowie
really WAS Anthony Newley's successor after all.
Rockin� Ronny Weiser of Rollin� Rock Records
"Santa Claus Is Back In Town," "Santa Bring My Baby Back To Me," "Blue
Christmas": all three by ELVIS. Also, I would like to hear more
2) Many of the others, especially the archaic
European sounding stuff. It's annoying to hear it over and over. I'm
an American and I generally prefer American music!
Marty Wombacher, editor, Fishwrap magazine
1) "Helter Skelter." That song always makes me think of Christmas ...and also of chopped up impregnated actresses.
2) �The Twelve Days Of Christmas.� Hello? Christmas is only one day long. Like, DUH!!
Ed Burns, indisputed Kingpin of the Northeastern U.S. oldies radio scene
I never tire of the Johnny Mathis version of �Oh Holy Night.� I have
been blessed with parents that happen to have wonderful taste in music.
At holiday time, Johnny Mathis was played in my home constantly. As
you might imagine, these recordings bring back warm and mellow memories
of very happy holiday times and a very wonderful childhood. Of all of
the seasonal classics that Johnny recorded, it is �Oh Holy Night� that
really GETS me. The Percy Faith arrangement, combined with Johnny's
voice at it's best, is one of popular music's great moments. The string
solo playing the melody mid-song is as beautiful, or as spiritual, as
anything recorded I have ever heard. I have been known to listen to
this one well after the holiday season (like in July).
for your second question, I think that �Dominick The Christmas Donkey�
is in a dead heat with �Give Love At Christmas Time� as the two most
annoying holiday recordings. "Dominick" is not funny ...never was,
never will be. I'm sorry, I refuse to believe that this song was once
considered a laugh-riot during "simpler times." I guess a lot of
holiday songs can be considered sickening, but "Give Love" takes the
cake. We really can't hold this against The Jackson Five: they were
just kids handed product from the Motown assembly line. I always
thought Sammy Davis could have done this song justice, or maybe Bill
Murray in his lounge lizard act.
Bob Brainen, WFMU-FM DJ and one actual Breetle as well
Fave: "Christmastime Is Here" by Vince Guaraldi (from �A Charlie Brown
Christmas�?) NRBQ do this song live with a wordless vocal,
"duh-duh-duh....": just lovely.
2) Least fave: MOST Christmas songs.
Mark Johnson, whose 1992 "12 in a room" album all but kick-started the entire Pop music renaissance
"The Chipmunk Song." Why? Because "we can hardly stand the wait"
always sounded like "we've been hoggish and 'go wayne' (my best friend's
name at the time was Wayne) �that's all that mistaken rock lyric stuff
I'm into. But REALLY, FOLKS...what a record! Really: it was Number One,
original, and a great melody. I don't hear it enough at Christmas
time! The B-side was a song called "Almost Good," or that may have been
the B-side to Alvin's orchestra. Let�s hear it for David Seville. HE
WAS IN REAL WINDOW!!! Played a frustrated songwriter!
2) I tire
most of modern attempts to put over Christmas music by people who just
think it's good to do for their careers and do bad things the rest of
the year. You can always tell who they might be.
Linda Gail Lewis, Jerry Lee�s sister and Van Morrison�s sometime singing partner
I think it�s Nat King Cole�s "Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire."
There�s just something about that song; his voice is so beautiful and
the song is so beautiful. It reminds me of being at home on Christmas
and being with my parents; they�re deceased now. It reminds me of that
time in my life when me and my brother, my sister, and my parents were
2) I�m such a big Christmas person and I love
Christmas music so much, I don�t even know if there�s one that exists
like that. I get so in to all that. I was talking to Van about it the
other night and he was saying how he dreads this time of year and I�m
saying, "Oh, it�s the greatest thing in the world! We can watch Scrooge
and �Miracle On 34th Street." I love all that stuff so much. The
biggest speeding ticket I ever got came when I was driving my kids back
from somewhere one night and we were singing Christmas carols. I was
making like 90 miles an hour, I kept going faster and faster because the
carols were getting faster and faster. I talked that highway patrolman
into giving me a ticket that said I was making 75 or something, or else
they would�ve taken my insurance away. I said, "I was singing
Christmas carols, please don�t do this to me." The Singing Cats are the
only thing. My husband�s niece has that damned recording and I don�t
like her anyway � and you can quote me on that. Some times we have to
get together with her because it�s one of those things you have to do,
and that bitch will put that damned thing on. It�s horrible: "Meow
meow meow, meow meow meow, meow meow meow�" It�s really bad.
J.R. Taylor, writer for the esteemed New York Press and Playboy.com
With the citizens of Whoville about to be made villains in a
big-screen travesty, it seems more important than ever to celebrate
"Welcome Christmas" from �How The Grinch Stole Christmas.� The
Waitress' "Christmas Wrapping" is also way overdue to be animated as a
Christmas special. But my personal favorite Christmas moment remains
"Merry Christmas, Neighbor" by the cast of �Bonanza.� This song truly
captures the warmth of the holiday. The Cartwrights always had a real
sense of neighborly love �even though their ranch took up most of the
2) As for the worst, it's easily The Pogues doing
"Fairytale of New York" ("featuring Kristy MacColl," of course, as a
million pop geeks immediately proclaim). What a lame and safe excuse
for Christmas sentimentality. Naturally, college radio continues to
embrace the song as a hipster holiday classic.
I almost forgot......
Nancy Neon, garage rock gourmet
1) Favorite is "Santa Claus" by the Sonics cos it kicks butt
and 2) the Chipmunks Christmas song ...well it's not really my least favorite, but it always makes me cry.
MATRIX REVOLUTIONS at IMAX
by Joe Viglione
The Matrix was made for IMAX, and Imax for The Matrix - so obvious
when watching "Revolutions." That the Wachowski Brothers have poured
their spiritual journey into a compilation of their favorite scenes from
Science Fiction and Fantasy films is understood. The resulting
cataclysmic (you know, a momentous and violent event marked
by overwhelming upheaval and demolition) war of worlds is loud and
fulfilling on the massive 65' x 85' screen. When Morpheus, Trinity and
Seraph are chasing The Trainman (Bruce Spence) through the subway the
advertisement for Tasty Wheat can slip right on by. Tasty Wheat was the
topic of conversation in the mess hall in the first Matrix film, and
the quick tongue-in-cheek humor from the Directors is more fun on the
JANIS REED'S HOTLINE TO THE UNDERGROUND...
Andy Pratt will be interviewed here 12/3/03! Hot Tuna are in town (Arlington at The Regent, actually) the same night!
will give you some insight on some new records. Watch for
reviews here on Willie Loco Alexander's new disc! and more!!
STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT
by Gary Pig Gold
At 1 PM on Wednesday, June 13, 1962, amidst an unusually heavy
downpour, the SS Maasdam docked at Pier B in Hoboken, New Jersey as it
had many times before and continued to for several years hence. It was a
fine ship, part of the prestigious Holland-America Line, and amongst
its passenger roster this day was an oddly attired young man, his bride
of fourteen months, and an infant girl who couldn�t help but glare and
screech at the stormclouds raging above. Despite every observance to
the contrary, history was indeed being written in Hoboken on June 13,
1962, but until now, the entire story has never, ever been told.
After having mysteriously defected to the then Soviet Union while
on Marine duty in the South Pacific, Lee Harvey Oswald seemed to have
remained in Russia only long enough to renounce his American
citizenship, attempt suicide, take a young bride in Minsk, then perform
an abrupt about-face of conscience and petition to return to the very
country he had just made such a big fuss over denouncing. With a
Russian wife and newborn daughter in tow, despite this being the very
height of the Cold War, the Oswalds had absolutely no difficulties
whatsoever in securing permission - and even Government funding - for a
journey back to the U.S. in May of 1962. A mere four weeks later, the
Maasdam deposited this motley trio on the wrong side of the Hudson.
It was then that a man known as Spas T. Raikin, who depending on
which texts you consult was either a representative of the Traveler�s
Aid Society or a high-ranking member of an anti-Communist emigr� group
with FBI links, met the young family and invited them to partake in
refreshments at the piano bar of the Redwood Lounge, just a short walk
up Third. There, to the strains of �St. James Infirmary�, it was
decided Lee�s wife and child should take a room for the night at the
nearby Meyer Hotel before continuing on to Texas the following morning.
Raikin had other plans for the man of the house, it seems.
A late-afternoon bar-crawl along Hudson Street (then nicknamed The
Barbary Coast for its preponderance of watering holes) seems to have
strangely endeared the usually suspicious Oswald to his traveler�s aide,
so much so that Lee readily agreed to accompany Spas into the nearby
Lackawanna Rail Terminal. Apparently oblivious to the rush-hour crush,
the two lingered here for several hours, darting in and out of Duke�s
Pool Room where, as if by pre-arrangement, a third man suddenly joined
the proceedings. Revealed here for the first time, Oswald was now
escorted outside into a waiting maroon Lincoln Continental with New York
plates and driven to the far end of town, Fourteenth and Washington to
be exact, to the site of the infamous Madison Hotel.
Hudson County�s most notorious flophouse, where furnished rooms were
rented in eight-hour shifts to visiting seamen and their playmates, the
Madison provided an incongruously seedy backdrop to a rendezvous of
then-unimaginable historical import. For it was here, very late on the
night of June 13, 1962 that Lee Harvey Oswald first came face-to-face
with the man who would put into motion a tragic chain of events which
would culminate less than a year and a half later in no less than the
death of American Camelot and the squandering of an entire generation�s
Despite an over-abundance of adventure
and intrigue in his short life already, Oswald was scarcely prepared for
coming face-to-face with the man who now beckoned him forward to a
rickety table in the corner of the Madison Lounge. Oswald had seen this
man before: not in person of course, but on the television, in the
magazines, and even on the silver screen. Why, even his friends in
Russia knew of this man; this legendary American who forever seemed
larger than life and was now involved, it transpires, in an escapade
that over-shadowed even his greatest achievements in the entertainment
field. Young Lee Harvey�s eyes remained transfixed as the envelope now
changed hands and his mission was described in ominous detail by the man
whose voice tonight sounded a far cry from its usual silky radio
A minute later, the man quickly stood, threw a
coat over his shoulder, and darted towards the Madison�s side entrance,
but not before tossing a wink and an oddly reassuring grin back at the
twenty-two-year-old ex-Marine. �Don�t let me down now�, that smile
seemed to say, and no, history chillingly records, each of us knows only
too well that Lee Harvey Oswald did NOT let Hoboken�s favorite son
Revolutions Review ---under construction...11 pm Monday
by Joe Viglione
The Matrix: Revolutions
Review by Joe Viglione, Monday evening, 7 P.M.
Viewed at 2:30 PM Loew's Boston Common, Boston, Massachusetts
The Matrix: Revolutions is great movie making. It is tremendous - an epic motion
picture with stunning multiple battles against overwhelming odds, restoring faith by
proving a big splashy cult film can rise above the hype and actually deliver what is
promised. Revolutions succeeds on many levels though it is not without its flaws.
What it does well it does so extraordinarily well that its creators, The Wachoski
Brothers, probably felt they could get a pass on the weak spots in this brilliant
part of The Matrix saga. Now that the characters are totally in play we get to
figure them out. Carrie-Ann Moss is Carrie Fisher only this time she's not in love
with Han Solo, she gets Luke Skywalker in this darker version of the Star Wars
theme. Moss as Trinity displays true passion for Neo, but Keanu Reeves comes off
like it is the brother/sister relationship exhibited in "Return Of The Jedi". He
has to save "the world" - whatever (and whichever) that is, so the love affair from
his perspective appears to be one of co-dependency. Where Reeves shines is when he
dons the George Reeves/Christopher Reeve cape of the Superman character. As Andy and
Larry Wachowski will be able to bask in the glow of this film epic, Keanu Reeves can
also stake a claim: he begins to come of age as an actor and deserves praise for his
very believable superhero. The naive and stumbling neophyte from the first film -
lost in the shadow of Laurence Fishburne's commanding voice and presence (that "Let
me out" scene where Fishburne as Morpheus is explaining to Neo/Mr. Anderson - Keanu
Reeves - that he is nothing more than a Duracell battery is as poorly executed as
Arnold Schwarzenegger's "Now I'm Quaid" delivery in 1990's "Total Recall.") Don't
think the employment Keanu Reeves as a limited-line Schwarzenegger in The first
Matrix film was an accident. This is Terminator with a pretty face, few words to
speak, and that dumbfounded look the wonderful Gloria Foster encountered when Neo
first meets The Oracle. What a pity Foster couldn't continue the trilogy to its
conclusion, though Mary Alice as the new Oracle is superb as well. TV actor Alice
displays that motherly wisdom with a very believable explanation to why she has
changed. She is the true hero of Biblical proportions - the female Jesus after the
resurrection - and she has as much disdain for The Architect as he has for her.
Though the machine consciousness in its God Almighty persona - a hokey but livable
plot used more effectively than it was in 1989's Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.
The Matrix borrows as heavily from Star Trek's pilot "The Cage" as it does from Star
Wars, The Terminator, Total Recall, and Keanu Reeve's own 1995 flick "Johnny
Mnemonic". Though the premise of "The Matrix" is the same as Star Trek's "The Cage"
(a.k.a. "The Menagerie") and the aforementioned Total Recall, world's created
outside (or inside) of "the real" world, the conclusion merges the 1989 Star Trek V
film with Lazarus from the 20th episode of the Star Treck TV series, 1967's Star
Trek 20: "The Alternative Factor". Agent Smith, not as frightening a villain as
The Sentinels, is as dry as the computer which originally generated him.
He is a program still and that program doesn't contain the malevolence of the
machines which hurt, maim and destroy. The fight between Bane/Agent Smith in "The
Real World" is far more exciting (and with more tangible ramifications) than Neo vs.
Agent Smith. Neo vs. Agent Smith is Superman II
fighting Terence Stamp's General Zod. The Matrix Revolutions successfully
blends TV and film Science Fiction concepts into a dark battle for the ages, failing
to give us a Darth Vader in Agent Smith, but lifting The X Men's "Sentinels" to good
effect with crashing molten metal and steel drills
any psycho dentist would find appealing.
Matrix: Revolutions could be attached to The Matrix: Reloaded to make one long 138
minutes + 128 minutes = four and a half hours of fun, though the second half of the
film would be far superior to what came before. The Matrix: Reloaded is but a
prelude to the action while being a bridge between Keanu Reeves' "Neo" character
awakening in film one to the courageous and inquisitive human in the third and final
Credits from www.allmovie.com
Keanu Reeves - Neo
Carrie-Anne Moss - Trinity
Laurence Fishburne - Morpheus
Hugo Weaving - Agent Smith
Mary Alice - The Oracle
Harold Perrineau, Jr. - Link
Ngai Sing - Seraph
Jada Pinkett Smith - Niobe
Monica Bellucci - Persephone
Daniel Bernhardt - Agent Johnson
Nicole Roberts - Hel Club Slave
Bruce Spence - Trainman
Anthony Wong - Ghost
Cassandra Williams - Bubble Girl
Jessica Wynands - Hel Club Pony Girl
Kathryn Jenkins - Hel Club Trainee Pony-Girl
Nathaniel Lees - Mifune
Nona Gaye - Zee
Neil Rayment - Twin #1
Adrian Rayment - Twin #2
Matt McColm - Agent Thompson
Genevieve O'Reilly - Officer Wirtz
Andy Wachowski - Director / Screenwriter / Executive Producer
Larry Wachowski - Director / Screenwriter / Executive Producer
Joel Silver - Producer
Bill Pope - Cinematographer
Don Davis - Composer (Music Score)
Zach Staenberg - Editor
Owen Paterson - Production Designer
Jules Cook - Art Director
Mark Mansbridge - Art Director
Catherine Mansill - Art Director
Charlie Revai - Art Director
Bruce Berman - Executive Producer
Grant Hill - Executive Producer
Kym Barrett - Costume Designer
Geofrey Darrow - Consultant/advisor
Kelsee Devoreaux - Stunts
Mali Finn - Casting
Yuen Cheung-Yan - Fights Choreographer
Yuen Woo Ping - Fights Choreographer
by Joe Viglione
An essay on the Matrix phenomenon
37 hours from writing this I will be at the screening for The Matrix: Revolutions - an exciting prospect the
conclusion to this amalgam of science phiction ideas.
is a fascinating site for fans of The Matrix story
line including original scripts and extensive
rented The Matrix Reloaded DVD Saturday Night - November 1 and watched
the film on a small TV screen - my 8th exposure to it. The previous
screening viewed was at
the three story high IMAX (story below on
this page ). Here are some immediate new impressions prior to the third
film's press screening on Monday, 11/3/03:
The 2nd film translates very well to the small screen as
it does to the gigantic Imax - but to my utter
fascination different details are exposed in the
condensed form as they are in the overwhelming
The sequel is an amazing piece of cinematography on
a fun level with The Wizard Of Oz. It's influences are
many - from the Talosians of the first (original)
Star Trek pilot -the beings with huge heads who can
put humans inside fictional stories to Keanu Reeves
JOHNNY MNEMONIC - where he has something plugged into
You can see a pastiche of many Science Fiction
favorites beyond that - the destruction of the ship
the Nebuchadnezzar a la The Enterprise evaporating in
Star Trek III: The Search For Spock
(info from a newsgroup on the Matrix ship
From: Rick Kon (email@example.com)
Subject: Matrix - Why is ship the Nebuchadnezzar?
Anyone have any ideas on why the ship of Morpheus is
N. was the King of Babylon from 607-562 BC, when it
was the empire that ruled the known world at that
time. He conquered many countries, including Egypt
and Judah and was generally considered evil.
He had dreams, including one of a giant statue; the
ten toes were interpreted by Daniel (who he had
enslaved) to represent the ten kingdoms that "will
comprise the 8th and final beast empire".
And no, I'm not some religious freak - I found this on
the Web.Kathy K. )
I could do without a lot of the martial arts stuff, it
is overdone and getting tired, as surely as the
car chase scene on that expensive highway - something
Terminator III did a bit better - both scenes
essential to both movies as far as the filmmakers were
concerened, and both diversions from the respective
stories. This is just a bit of a tease
before the review coming up Monday...