Happy birthday Coal Miner’s Daughter: The Loretta Lynn megapost
04.14.2014
11:53 am

Topics:
Music
U.S.A.!!!

Tags:
Loretta Lynn


 
Today is country great Loretta Lynn’s 82nd birthday. The “coal miner’s daughter” was born on April 14 in Butcher Hollow, a poor mining community near Paintsville, Kentucky in 1932. Her distinctive voice and groundbreaking songwriting have made her an American icon.

Throughout her career—now in its sixth decade—Loretta Lynn has been known to sing and write about blue-collar women’s issues—childbirth, cheating husbands, “the other woman,” alcoholism, birth control pills and being a Vietnam war widow. It’s interesting to note that “The First Lady of Country Music” was once considered quite controversial with nine of her numbers being blacklisted by commercial country radio. Even her first #1 hit, 1967’s “Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’ (with Lovin’ on Your Mind)”—a song about a woman pissed off about her drunk man wanting to get jiggy with it (obviously!) was considered too edgy by country radio of the day (and incredibly spawned a pro-drunk husband song the following year sung by Loretta’s own brother, Jay Lee Webb titled, “I Come Home A’Drinkin’ (To a Worn Out Wife Like You).”

Today Loretta Lynn’s music—and hardscrabble life story—is a part of the fabric of the American experience and she’s been honored with the 2013 Presidential Medal of Freedom, inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and, of course there was the Academy Award-winning film about her life, Coal Miner’s Daughter starring Sissy Spacek. Her 2004 album Van Lear Rose was produced by Jack White and it topped the country charts. Lynn and White were nominated for five Grammy awards, winning two. Last year Lynn told Rolling Stone that she wants to record another album with White and has nineteen albums for release already in the can.

Loretta Lynn has sold an estimated 48 million albums.

“You’re Lookin’ At Country”
 

“One’s on the Way”
 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Kurt Cobain asks William Burroughs to appear in a Nirvana video
04.14.2014
09:37 am

Topics:
Music
Pop Culture

Tags:
William Burroughs
Kurt Cobain

coburainough.jpg
 
In August 1993, Kurt Cobain wrote William Burroughs to ask if he would appear alongside his band Nirvana in the first video release from their album In Utero. Though Cobain had been in touch with Burroughs before, the pair had not yet met. Cobain had previously supplied music for Burroughs’ spoken word disc The “Priest They Called Him.

Interviewer: How did you get on with William Burroughs when you recorded together recently?

Cobain: That was a long distance recording session. [Laughs] We didn’t actually meet.

Interviewer: Did he show a genuine awareness of your music?

Cobain: No, we’ve written to one another and we were supposed to talk the other day on the phone, but I fell asleep — they couldn’t wake me up. I don’t know if he respects my music or anything; maybe he’s been through my lyrics and seen some kind of influence from him or something, I don’t know. I hope he likes my lyrics, but I can’t expect someone from a completely different generation to like rock’n’roll — I don’t think he’s ever claimed to be a rock’n’roll lover, y’know. But he’s taught me a lot of things through his books and interviews that I’m really grateful for. I remember him saying in an interview, “These new rock’n’roll kids should just throw away their guitars and listen to something with real soul, like Leadbelly.” I’d never heard about Leadbelly before so I bought a couple of records, and now he turns out to be my absolute favorite of all time in music. I absolutely love it more than any rock’n’roll I ever heard.

Burroughs was one of Cobain’s idols, and he hoped he could convince the writer to appear in the video for the song “Heart-Shaped Box” as an old man on a cross who is pecked by crows. In his journal, Cobain explained that birds are “reincarnated old men with tourrets syndrome.”

“. . . their true mission. To scream at the top of their lungs in horrified hellish rage every morning at daybreak to warn us all of the truth . . . screaming bloody murder all over the world in our ears but sadly we don’t speak bird.”

Burroughs knocked back the offer to appear with Cobain in the promo, though he would later make his final appearance in a piece of shit video by U2.

August 2, 1993

Mr. William Burroughs
WILLIAM BURROUGHS COMMUNICATIONS

Dear William:

It’s a bit odd writing someone whom I’ve never met but with whom I’ve already recorded a record.  I really enjoyed the opportunity to do the record—it’s a great honor to be pictured alongside you on the back cover.  I am writing you now regarding the possibility of your appearing alongside my band (Nirvana) in the first video from our new album, “In Utero.”

While I know Michael Meisel from Gold Mountain Entertainment (my management company) has been speaking to James Grauerholz, I wanted the opportunity to personally let you know why I wanted you to appear in the video.

Most importantly, I wanted you to know that this request is not based on a desire to exploit you in any way.  I realize that stories in the press regarding my drug use may make you think that this request comes from a desire to parallel our lives.  Let me assure you that this is not the case.  As a fan and student of your work, I would cherish the opportunity to work directly with you.  To the extent that you may want to avoid any direct use of your image (thus avoiding the aforementioned link for the press to devour), I would be happy to have my director look into make-up techniques that could conceal your identity.  While I would be proud to have William Burroughs appear as himself in my video, I am more concerned with getting the opportunity to work with you than I am with letting the public know (should that be your wish).

Having said that, let me reiterate how much I would like to make this happen.  While I am comfortable letting Michael and James discuss this further.  I am available to discuss this with you at your convenience.

Thank you very much for your consideration.

Best regards,

Kurt Cobain

 
222burrocoba.jpg
 
While on tour with Nirvana in October 1993, Cobain visited Burroughs at his home in Lawrence, Kansas. In Nirvana: The Day-By-Day Chronicle, Burroughs recalled the meeting:

“I waited and Kurt got out with another man. Cobain was very shy, very polite, and obviously enjoyed the fact that I wasn’t awestruck at meeting him. There was something about him, fragile and engagingly lost. He smoked cigarettes but didn’t drink. There were no drugs. I never showed him my gun collection.”

Along with his family and his child, Cobain counted meeting William Burroughs as one of the high points of his life.
 
11cobaburro.jpg
 
Below, Nirvana’s “Heart Shaped Box” video. Imagine how extra amazing this video would have been with WSB hanging from that cross!
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds
When Kurt Cobain met William Burroughs
 
Via FuckYeahBeatniks!

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
Famous composers doing normal shit
04.14.2014
07:25 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
John Cage
Gustav Mahler
Prokofiev
Aaron Copland

1114copyard.jpg
 
Whether it’s Aaron Copland raking the leaves in the yard, John Cage picking mushrooms, or Prokofiev playing chess, these photographs show famous composers in their everyday life doing normal everyday shit.
 
232debpicuss.jpg
Claude Debussy having a picnic with his daughter.
 
232321kite.jpg
Sergei Rachmaninoff flies a kite with friends.
 
191919hches.jpg
Sergei Prokofiev plays chess with violinist David Oistrakh, while another violinist, Liza Gilels watches on.
 
17shacar17.jpg
Caroline Shaw kayaking on the Hudson River.
 
11cagshroom1111.jpg
John Cage picking mushrooms.
 
Via Composers doing normal shit
 
More composers doing normal shit, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
‘Bay City Rollers We Love You’: Nick Lowe’s secret musical love letter
04.14.2014
07:09 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Nick Lowe

Tartan Horde
 
According to Nick Lowe, the first musical release he did “all by myself” was a bizarrely enthusiastic fan club-style ditty written in mock adulation of one of the dominant pop sensations of 1975, the Scottish quintet known as the Bay City Rollers. The same song was also the catalyst from his sorely desired move from United Artists to Stiff Records, the independent label that did so much to define a certain brand of brainy pop in the early punk era, including, in addition to Lowe, Elvis Costello, The Damned, and Ian Dury.
 
Tartan Horde
 
“Bay City Rollers We Love You,” by the ad-hoc (and fictional) outfit “Tartan Horde,” in addition to being a damn fine pop ditty (I’ve included it on plenty of mixes over the years), is one of the more intriguing products of the continual strife between pop artists and record executives, an honorable lineage that includes Prince scrawling “Slave” on his cheek, Neil Young’s Landing on Water, the Sex Pistols’ “EMI,” and Graham Parker’s “Mercury Poisoning.”  (It might not be a coincidence that two of the examples named here emerged in the the UK of the late 1970s, the same general record label petri dish that Lowe was working in.)
 
The Bay City Rollers
The Bay City Rollers
 
Here’s an account of the single’s creation, drawn from Punk Diary: The Ultimate Trainspotter’s Guide to Underground Rock, 1970-1982 by George Gimarc:
 

Back in 1975, when Brinsley Schwartz split, United Artists were quite keen on keeping Nick Lowe under contract. He had written the songs, he was the “valuable one.” He desperately wanted out of the contract so he could pursue his own things and puzzled about how to do it he decided to submit some really bad records to UA. Lowe recalled “I couldn’t be obvious about it by turning in Country & Western songs with sitars [not a bad idea!] … so I decided to make one of those fan type records like in the ‘60s …. at the time there was no escaping the Bay City Rollers they were everywhere! So I wrote this stupid little song. … I recorded it and it was actually the very first thing I’d done all by myself.

 
The song was written pseudonymously, under the slightly hilarious name “Terry Modern.” I haven’t been able to track down the personnel on the song, but that sure is Rat Scabies of The Damned in that picture up top. The Internet contains several references to the song “topping the charts” in Japan, but I haven’t seen details. Here’s the Japanese cover art, which is very Peter Max influenced:
 
Tartan Horde
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
1000 band T-shirts in 1000 days
04.11.2014
07:11 am

Topics:
Fashion
Music

Tags:
t-shirts

1000 band T-shirts
 
Isac Walter sure does love his band T-shirts. With a small number of exceptions, for 1,000 consecutive days he wore a different band T-shirt—and he documented the process. This is a lad who positively luxuriates in the golden era of AmerIndie: the Tumblr project is even called “Minor Thread.” Click through and you can see Isac’s torso several hundred times, each time draped with a bit of fan memorabilia. He only revealed what he looked like from the neck up after the project was completed.

I’m guessing that Isac is an Angeleno—these pics were taken at XIX Studios in Eagle Rock—and from all appearances he loves his SST records—there’s lots of Descendents here, Black Flag, fIREHOSE, Hüsker Dü, All (not SST but Descendents-related), Dinosaur Jr. and so on. Some of them are label shirts, I definitely saw Sub Pop and Dischord. 

Then there are the curveballs: a David Lee Roth Eat ‘Em and Smile tour T-shirt, a Foreigner Agent Provocateur shirt, a Phil Collins But Seriously tee with the cursive handwriting in the corner, a Slayer shirt with the Dodgers’ “LA” logo between the S- and the -yer, and my absolute favorite, a Belle and Sebastian shirt done up in the style of a Bad Brains rasta shirt.
 
1000 band T-shirts
See a much larger version of this image here.

As Isac says of the above picture, “if you click on the picture it should take you to a full size version you can nerd around on and look in more detail. have fun with it, spend some time kooking out.  share it with your friends.  then go make something like this yourself.” 
 
The question I’d love Isak to answer is, Is it OK to wear the band’s shirt when you are seeing that band’s show? I’ve had this conversation with a lot of music fans, and opinions vary widely—some people feel strongly about it. I think Isak should have the final word on that one.
 
band T-shirts
At least he’s tidy….. this is just a fraction of the full 1,000 shirts
 

 

 
via Das Kraftfuttermischwerk

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
‘Teen Talk’ on early ‘80s L.A. punk
04.11.2014
07:07 am

Topics:
Music
Punk
Television

Tags:


 

I’ve seen beatniks, hippies and flower children. I’ve heard Guthrie, the Beatles and the Stones…

It’s almost poetic, like a dorky, suburban, baby-boom travesty of Howl. Those words, spoken by San Fernando Valley high school teacher Joe Feinstein, introduce the “punk rock” episode of his early ‘80s TV show Teen Talk, one of those grownup-rappin’-on-the-real-with-the young-people shows which every media market seemed to have. For this episode, Feinstein invited “punk rockers and new wavers and all kinds of rock ‘n’ rollers to talk with us about their extreme forms of communication.”

It’s as naively charming as all such shows are, but given the subject, it could have been horrible—was any “punk rock” episode of ANYTHING ever any good? Quincy and After School Special had punk episodes so clueless they remain notorious decades later. So I kind of have to hand it to Feinstein for finding smart kids who listened to credible music. (Name-checks include X, Urban Guerrillas, Siouxsie, Oingo Boingo and TSOL—not bad! I’ve still never heard Meyer Goldstein and his Seven Cockamamies, though…) So while this has a lot of the same goofy naiveté of all such shows, it also contains glimpses into the SoCal punk scene, not from the usual perspective of aging, semi-famous rockers indulging in self-glorification long after the fact, but from fans who were actively checking this stuff out while it was still new, and had the self-awareness to talk about it all intelligently—though one can’t say he got a truly representative sample, as none of his guests seem to be junkies.

One little postscript—the uploader, hipsville, notes that Feinstein went on to become a cruise ship Rabbi. Kudos to him for landing such a plush gig.
 

 

 
More Teen Talk after the jump…
 

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
El Vez, the Mexican Elvis: Che Guevara meets ‘Viva Las Vegas’
04.10.2014
06:42 pm

Topics:
Art
Music
Pop Culture

Tags:
The Zeros
ELvis
El Vez


 
Although he regularly tours internationally—and he might not even live here anymore—I tend to think of El Vez, the Mexican Elvis, as one of the best things about the city of Los Angeles. One of my very, very first nights out “on the town” when I first moved here involved catching El Vez and the Elvettes—totally by accident—at the Atlas Bar and Grill on Wilshire Blvd. Claiming to be the bastard son of Elvis and Charo, his act was super fun—reminding me of John Sex, Deee Lite or The B-52s—and the sort of multilayered political and racial satire and hilarious dog whistles that went into his material like “En El Barrio” made me an instant fan. Over the years I’ve seen El Vez (real name Robert Lopez) at least a dozen times and it’s always been a blast. He’s a local institution. (Still in high school, Lopez co-founded LA punk legends, The Zeros way back in 1976. He can also be seen as part of Catholic Discipline in The Decline of Western Civilization.)

El Vez doesn’t only do Elvis songs. He might do something by ABBA or The Clash or T.Rex or David Bowie (El Vez had his “Thin Brown Duke” phase), but it’s always ultimately filtered through his “Chicano power” persona, one part Che Guevara, one part Viva Las Vegas. The guy pays attention to the details and the revolutionary politics in his idiosyncratic (and very, very funny) artform. Is it just a novelty act? Well, sure, but only to someone too stupid to get all the jokes. He’s like The Simpsons, even someone thick would enjoy seeing El Vez do his thing.

El Vez will be touring with his Cinco de Mayo review. Dates are listed on his website, where you can also buy a lock of his hair (in a “deluxe” ziplock bag) for just $3.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Much more El Vez after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Kick out the jams with ‘Brother’ Wayne Kramer of The MC5, this week on ‘The Pharmacy’
04.10.2014
01:59 pm

Topics:
Music
Pop Culture

Tags:
MC5
The Pharmacy
Wayne Kramer


 
Gregg Foreman’s radio program The Pharmacy is a music / talk show playing heavy soul, raw funk, 60′s psych, girl groups, Krautrock. French yé-yé, Hammond organ rituals, post-punk transmissions and “ghost on the highway” testimonials and interviews with the most interesting artists and music makers of our times…

This week’s guest is the Wayne Kramer from the legendary MC5:

  • Where The MC5 came from and what “the Revolution” was all about
  • Why the MC5’s first record was a live record which was rather untraditional at the time , and the differences between the records and recording ...
  • The MC5’s affinity with free jazz musicians like like Sun Ra and Albert Ayler.
  • Why The MC5 were the only band to show up at the 1968 Democratic Convention…
  • Wayne’s post-prison band, Gang War with Johnny Thunders

Plus some advice to the kids…


 
Mr. Pharmacy is a musician and DJ who has played for the likes of Pink Mountaintops, The Delta 72, The Black Ryder, The Meek and more. Since 2012 Gregg Foreman has been the musical director of Cat Power’s band. He started dj’ing 60s Soul and Mod 45’s in 1995 and has spun around the world. Gregg currently lives in Los Angeles, CA and divides his time between playing live music, producing records and dj’ing various clubs and parties from LA to Australia.

Set List

Mr.Pharmacist - The Fall
Ramblin’ Rose - The MC5
Pow! To the People - The Make Up
INTRO 1 / Boogaloo - Rx/Carol Kaye
Wayne Kramer Conversation Part 1
Tonight - MC5
Night Time - Strangeloves
Camel Walk - The Ikettes
Le Responsable - Jacques Dutronc
INTRO 2 / Sliced Tomatoes - Rx / Just Brothers
Wayne Kramer Conversation Part 2
1969 - The Stooges
I Can’t Stand It - James Brown
Action Woman - The Litter
Oh How to Do Now - The Monks
INTRO 3 / The Swag - Rx / Link Wray
Wayne Kramer Conversation Part 3
The American Ruse - MC5
Blank Generation - Richard Hell and The Voidoids
All This and More - Dead Boys
I Can Only Give You Everything - Them
Wayne Kramer Conversation Part 4
Kick Out the Jams - MC5
I’m Ready - Fats Domino
Wayne Kramer Conversation Part 5
The Wig - Lorenzo Holden
Twine Time - Alvin Cash and the Crawlers
Chasing a Fire Engine - Wayne Kramer and the Lexington Arts Ensemble
Outro

 
You can download the entire show here.
 
Below, the absolutely terrific documentary MC5: A True Testimonial:

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
‘Lou Reed part 2’: Little-known Public Image Ltd. footage from 1982
04.10.2014
11:55 am

Topics:
Music
Punk

Tags:
John Lydon
PiL
Keith Levene
Public Image Ltd.


 
When I was a kid, more than any other group, Public Image Ltd. were my band. As a teenager, I was a major acidhead who hated religion and PiL suited that state of mind better than just about anything. They were demented dada geniuses, doing more to move music away from the three chord blues-based rock and roll that had dominated popular music since the days of Chuck Berry than anyone else. It wasn’t as if John Lydon’s previous outfit had done much to musically challenge the status quo. The Sex Pistols may have shown that the prevailing rock acts of the day were all “dinosaurs,” but their music really wasn’t anything all that “new” was it?

Who would say that about Public Image Ltd.? With their second album, Metal Box, they changed the state of modern music the way Picasso and Georges Braque had changed the act of perception itself with the advent of Cubism some seventy years earlier. After PiL, everything was different and nothing was too weird. A hundred years from now those first three PiL albums will still be revered the same way they are today, except that by then they’ll considered classical music or something…

I was lucky enough to see PiL in 1983. I’d run away from home and PiL were playing a few days later on Staten Island at the horrible, decrepit and just downright shitty Paramount Theater (a venue that should have required a tetanus shot to enter). Jah Wobble had already been kicked out of the band, but that didn’t bother me (I’m probably just slightly more partial to The Flowers of Romance than I am the first two albums) and this was a few months before Keith Levene and Lydon had their famous falling out.

Without Wobble you still had PiL, but as Lydon would soon prove beyond all argument, he was only as good (or as bad) as his collaborators. When Keith Levene fucked off, forget it, after that it was Public Image Ltd. in name only. Not that Levene did much of anything—for years decades—without Lydon anyway, but Lydon without Levene was hopeless, a fucking joke from 1983 onwards if you ask most fans of the original group.

I’ve mentioned on the blog before that I have a pretty decent collection of PiL bootlegs on vinyl. Truly “oldschool” boots produced over thirty years ago, most of them pretty primitive pressings. When I got rid of most of my records ten years ago (keeping collectibles and signed pieces, plus my Jeannie C. Riley albums) I still retained them and as a percentage, they comprise a good bit of what’s left of a once ridiculously huge record collection. One of them is a boot of the actual show I saw called “Where Are We?” taped on March 26th, at the Paramount Theater.

The title comes from a song PiL had been playing in their sets around that time that was originally called “Lou Reed Part 2” and then later rechristened “Where Are You?” (the spiteful lyrics are about departed PiL video maker Jeanette Lee). It came out on both Lydon’s “official” This is What You Want, This is What You Get album and Levene’s less official version on the Commercial Zone bootleg.

This 1982 report from Canadian television about PiL’s first performance in the country, at Toronto’s Masonic Temple Concert Hall, features a short excerpted performance of “Lou Reed Part 2/Where Are You?” and during it someone spits right in Lydon’s face. He’s not happy. At the end of the piece there’s a bigger chunk of a live “Public Image.” With so little decent footage of PiL around—I’ve seen very little video of the post Wobble group—this is a real treat. Lydon’s sporting a hospital gown and looks, as he often did in his youth, like an escaped mental patient.

I don’t know exactly what he means by this, but if you click over to Keith Levene’s website, he’s trying to raise the funds to “finish” Commercial Zone 2014. For a guy who was so, er, quiet, throughout most of the past three decades, for the past few years, Levene seems intent on making up for lost time, recording and gigging with Jah Wobble, releasing solo material and writing his life story, the nicely titled, This is not an Autobiography: The Diary of a non-Punk Rocker, available soon as an e-book.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Killdozer: greatest cover songs, or awesomest cover songs?
04.10.2014
07:57 am

Topics:
Amusing
Music

Tags:
Killdozer


 
Along with the likes of The Melvins and Big Black, Madison, WI’s Killdozer pointed the way in the ‘80s to the bludgeoning, sludgy, heavy-but-not-really-metal underground sound that would own half of the ‘90s, but one crucial thing set Killdozer apart from their contemporaries—they were fucking HILARIOUS. Bassist/vocalist/ringleader Michael Gerald’s demented growl “singing” could inspire menace or laughter at his whim. You-have-to-be-kidding-me album titles like Intellectuals Are the Shoeshine Boys of the Ruling Elite and Uncompromising War on Art Under the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, and songs like “Man Vs. Nature,” the lyrics to which were melodramatically declaimed plot synopses of Irwin Allen disaster movies, cemented their rep in some circles as a goof band, despite their dark social commentary and completely BRUTAL music.

(Tangent/rant: this isn’t necessarily about Killdozer in particular, it’s really more general, but anyway, I do not understand the oft-diminished stature, in much of hip/crit culture, of bands that employ humor. It’s a damn good bit more difficult to make me laugh than to make me angry, but generally it’s been the angsty bands that have been considered “important?” Screw that. I respect the funny. They have a harder job to do.)

Some of the finest expressions of Killdozer’s humor lay in the many, many, completely incongruous cover songs they recorded. They did TONS of this stuff. There’s a cover on all but one of their albums and EPs, and covers comprise a hefty share of their 7” b-sides and compilation tracks.
 

Run Through The Jungle by Killdozer on Grooveshark

“Run Through the Jungle,” orig. Creedence Clearwater Revival
 

I Am, I Said by Killdozer on Grooveshark

“I Am, I Said,” orig. Neil Diamond
 

Age of Aquarius / Let the Sun Shine In by Alice Donut and Killdozer on Grooveshark

“Age of Aquarius/Let the Sun Shine In,” with Alice Donut, orig. The 5th Dimension
 

Nasty by Killdozer on Grooveshark

“Nasty,” orig. Janet Jackson
 

 
Then, in 1989, what was surely inevitable happened: Killdozer released an entire covers album, For Ladies Only, which you’d think would have included the Steppenwolf song by that name. It did not. But it was still really, really nuts.
 

American Pie by Killdozer on Grooveshark

“American Pie,” orig. Don McLean
 

One Tin Soldier by Killdozer on Grooveshark

“One Tin Soldier,” orig. Coven
 

Funk #49 (James Gang cover) by Killdozer on Grooveshark

“Funk No. 49,” orig. The James Gang
 

 
This won my grin—YouTube user arfortiyef layered Killdozer’s take on “Hush” over the famous footage of Deep Purple performing it on Playboy After Dark.

 
Lastly, here’s my absolute favorite Killdozer cover—EMF’s “Unbelievable.” It was the flip side of the 7” of “The Pig Was Cool,” a killer song. This 1992 audience-cam footage isn’t much to look at, but the sound does the job just fine.
 

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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