Wednesday, November 29, 2006

HAVE YOU SEEN ELAINE?



Some names conjure up a famous face. It's hard not to think of Julia Louis Dreyfus' Seinfeld character when somebody mentions "Elaine."
When I listen to the old Currie sisters tune "Have You Seen Elaine," I think...well, yeah. Not quite as much as I'd like, but we've gotten pretty good glimpses...(and yes, if you click the pic her naughty bits get bigger)...

Since the answer to "Have You Heard The Curries In A While?" is probably no, here's a download.
The peroxide 'n mascara twins Cherie and Marie could eat the Olson Twins alive, and if it was on pay-per-view, I'd pay.

Instant download of "Elaine" no RS Mega hoops to jump through.

Ruthann Friedman: "WINDY" Girl


The Association didn't write "Windy." It took one woman to do what five guys couldn't. She's Bronx-born Ruthann Friedman. In '69, she got a shot at solo stardom via Reprise. The sympathetic label gave chances to other songwriters trying to become singers; Joni Mitchell, Jimmy Webb, Randy Newman and even her friend Van Dyke Parks (the guy who helped get her song to The Association). After one acoustic album, they wouldn't ink another contract for her.
Here's that first album, along with the single "Glittering Dancer" that wasn't on the original disc. Married nearly 30 years and with two children, she's alive, and, well, at least she is Inky Friedman again, a signed artist. The new album is "Hurried Life." And yes, THIS particular album probably influenced Devendra Banhart and Ruthann is a fan of Devendra's work.
Be warned, the first track is extremely annoying. But it's short. Considering that most busy reviewers tend to check the first track to see if an album's worth reviewing, Ruthann made a tactical blunder with a coy intro piece that was nothing like the rest of the album's songs.
PS, Ruthann reccomends this website which describes what the world is like, in terms of 100 people: http://users.gazinter.net/melan/Warn/Warnenu.htm
Everyone knows...where to find a RS download.

A WINK AT DEATH


Most know Wink Martindale from his almost stereotypical quizmaster work...the genial guy with the 100 watt teeth and enough electricity left over to keep his hair wired into position.
Some know him for resurrecting "Deck of Cards" and turning that venerable card trick of Christian thinking into a Top Ten hit. This was quite a feat, since the 1948 song had already lost its novelty value after performances by T. Texas Tyler, Phil Harris and others.
Only a few know "Remember Me," another of Wink's spoken-word singles. If you think the idea of organ donation is fairly new, listen to this oldie. In recording this essay on the hereafter, Wink was ahead of his time.
As "Graduate" Benjamin Braddock would say, "It's completely baked."
Here's winking at you, kid. While you're still with us.
No rapidshare. INSTANT no-code-number download here. Wink-wink. Nudge-nudge.

YUSUF THE CAT


The artist formerly known as Cat Stevens and Steven Demetre Georgiou, is now recording as Yusuf (short for Yusuf Islam). "Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," he sings. Cat's "Animals" cover version here is more compelling than his new soft-rock originals.
He sings it to counter the bad publicity he received for allegedly siding with the fatwa against Salman Rushdie, as well as devoutly following a religion that has followers who devoutly engage in the mass-murder of innocent people while screaming fanatic slogans.
The hostility against "Cat Stevens" led 10,000 Maniacs (none of them maniacal suicide bombers) to remove a cover of "Peace Train" from their "In My Tribe" album. After the 9/11 attack in 2001, Yusuf performed "Peace Train" for "The Concert for New York City" in 2001, his first public performance in 20 years. He also donated a chunk of change to the September 11 Fund and declared:"I wish to express my heartfelt horror at the indiscriminate terrorist attacks committed against innocent people of the United States yesterday...no right thinking follower of Islam could possibly condone such an action..."
Now he hopes right thinking followers of Yusuf Islam will support his new album, which continues a career that began 40 years ago with the catchy "Matthew and Son" in 1966, followed by "The First Cut is the Deepest" (more of a success covered by others). After a big lull, including recovery from tuberculosis, Cat resuscitated his career in 1971 with "Wild World," "Moon Shadow" and "Morning Has Broken," establishing him as a tremulous addition to the ranks of James Taylor and Elton John. By 1977, he had tried everyone's patience with the seriously annoying "Izitso" album, and after becoming a Muslim that year, issued "Back to Earth," and dropped out of sight.
He wasn't heard from again until the Ayatollah's death decree against Salman Rushdie, which prompted Cat to yowl: "In Islam there is a line between let's say freedom and the line which is then transgressed into immorality and irresponsibility and I think as far as this writer is concerned, unfortunately, he has been irresponsible with his freedom of speech. Salman Rushdie or indeed any writer who abuses the prophet, or indeed any prophet, under Islamic law, the sentence for that is actually death."
Today he spins it this way: "At a lecture, back in 1989, I was asked a question about blasphemy according to Islamic Law, I simply repeated the legal view according to my limited knowledge of the Scriptural texts, based directly on historical commentaries of the Qur'an. The next day the newspaper headlines read, "Cat Says, Kill Rushdie." I was abhorred, but what could I do? I was a new Muslim. If you ask a Bible student to quote the legal punishment of a person who commits blasphemy in the Bible, he would be dishonest if he didn't mention Leviticus 24-16."
Yusuf now sings: "You can't bargain with the truth. 'Cause whether you're right or you're wrong, we're gonna know what you done, gonna see where you belong in the end." You can choose to view lyrics like that as comforting if you want to.
Along with other 70's solo stars such as Paul Simon, Elton John and Paul McCartney, the ex-Cat Stevens is capable of issuing innocuous albums that won't embarrass older fans but won't bring in many new ones. He's here on the illfolks page since he was once a physically ill folkie (tuberculosis), and is now trying to mount a comeback from obscurity. Check Cat's new bag of tricks here:
RAPID-CAT
UPDATE MARCH 20, 07 -- due to inactivity (ie, disinterest) the file died.
Update JULY 2008: file returns. If it expires again, it'll be terminal.
RAPID-CAT
UPDATE: May 2009. Interest in this one was so low, Rapidshare finally killed the link for having been idle for 90 days. This Cat doesn't have nine lives here! No Re-up.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

SACRILEGE #1: Kate Bush Parody


The first of a series.
Oh, how can satirists dare to smash our beloved icons! Is nothing sacred?

"England My Leotard" was broadcast Nov 3, 1980 on "Not Necessarily the 9'Oclock News." Title based on her 2nd lp, music copped from "Them Heavy People," it suggested her fame was based on eccentric, wide-eyed Femlin posturing in a leotard. Why not? Thinks: "She's so nuts, I might even have a shot at her! I'll say Proust or Bronte and she might come flying towards me..."

Even Pam Stephenson, impersonating Kate, was pretty hot. Pam married Scottish comedian Billy Connolly, has three kids, and now is a hypnotist and therapist. She has a degree from the California Graduate Institute, which I think carries more weight than anything from the University of Phoenix.

Correct me in the COMMENTS section if any of the lyrics are wrong. Some of these lines don't quite make sense. Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow. Unbelievable!



I was into yin and yang and hatha yoga
Ginseng and caraway seeds and being a non-smoker
My carrot quiches were better than the bought ones
And they were thicker than two short ones
People bought my latest hits
'cause they liked my latex tits
Everyone trying hard
To get inside my leotard

Went to my hairdresser to have a hair-do (do-be-do-be-do)
He asked if I knew A La Recherche De Temps Perdus
That's how I was introduced to Colette, Cocteau and Marcel Proust
Now wholefood cookery is just a sideline [speeded up la la la's]

I went to Cairo and I read the Gnostic
Apocryphon of John in the original Coptic
Korsakoff's psychosis theories
And the Fibonacci series
Studied acupuncture and the Bible. Buy-a-bubble!
Opened the windows in my mind

'It's not your mind, it's your body they're into-ooh'
My business-manager said.
He said that I need an intellect like I need a
Hole in the-hole in the-hole in the head

Though I'm an honorary member of Mensa now
I'm going to try and keep up the pretense somehow
Will you buy my latest hits
Because you like my latex tits?
And you're all trying hard to get inside my
Leotard...leotard...leotard


Yes, the stereo version differs slightly from the actual broadcast version (which you can find on YOUTUBE). Return to the days when Kate used to sing, dance and pose in a leotard. Bulging eyes and lips, lithe movements, strange lyrics, odd voice, a bustline even a blind man could appreciate...
SACRILEGE #1: How Can they Make Fun Of...

KATE BUSH. Instant download. No mega-rabid wait.

Christina Applegate's PRIDDY MOM

Today anyone digging up Nancy Priddy's album is probably curious about a) the chick Stephen Stills punned a song about ("Pretty Girl Why" via Buffalo Springfield) or b) what sitcom tart Christina Applegate's mama looked like.
This album is Priddy obscure for a good reason. It's neither psyche, folk or even mainstream pop. It's an eccentric album veering from Lesley Gore lost in Burt Bacharach's horns ("We Could Have It All") to embarrassing faux funk ("Other Side of the River") which is straight out of Sammy Davis Jr. visits Carnaby Street.
With production influenced by the Mike Curb sound and Enoch Light, Nancy's brand of buttery corn sometimes pops. You might snack on some tracks and figure, not bad at all. Not on "Christina's World," though. That tune, which one assumes is based on the Andrew Wyeth painting of that name, has precocious/pretentious lines about "lightning bugs at sundown" and "ocean sprays and holding hands." Nancy liked the song so much that when her daughter was born, Nov 25, 1971, she named her Christina. Christina's parents split up a few years later, and Nancy raised her mostly by herself (but Stephen Stills was around some of the time). Fast forward to 2003, and Christina turned up at a charity benefit honoring her mother, a breast cancer survivor. Nancy continues to take acting roles and write songs.
This vintage album's a peculiar mix of affectations, but if you are hung up on the late 60's man (or mama), then dig the download for some folk-wonk and pseudo-psych.
There's a good reason for blogs. It's to let you hear odd stuff you are curious about, might listen to once, and never play again.


Rapid Sharing the whole Priddy good album
Update: This one timed out. Not enough interest. A CD version is now available anyway.

Bobby Darin & Bobby Kennedy


There's a new movie about Bobby Kennedy's death. It doesn't mention two repercussions: Bobby Darin changed his name to BOB Darin, and grew a mustache.
He also began writing the best songs of his career. Especially since he didn't write either "Beyond the Sea" or "Mack the Knife." Bob Darin turned up on variety shows singing protest songs. Audiences were shocked. Critics didn't buy his sincerity, or understand that Darin had worked hard for Kennedy's campaign and was devastated by the assassination.
A few years passed, and Darin put a toupee on, got his tuxedo out of mothballs, and was once again a star. His Copa-type stuff is still lapped up by the same "lounge" heads who think the Rat Pack still matter. Just one CD compiles selected tracks from his two sincere self-penned folk-rock albums, and two of his best are missing.
"In Memorium" was inspired by RFK's death. Strange that any re-issue label preserving Darin's legacy could leave off a song Darin cared so passionately about. Sorry for the pops and clicks; I got this rarity used and it's been well played.
Also left off, is "Bullfrog," which I include as an example of Darin's humor. It's got a bit of Randy Newman to it, especially in the "turn your radio down" talking aside.
RFK was not on a lot of folks' minds when Darin was playing Vegas and Nixon was in office. Bobby died on December 20, 1973 from the heart ailment that had plagued him since childhood, and a year later Nixon resigned.
Direct downloads: no Rapidshare, porn ads, or swervy code-words to read:
IN MEMORIUM (for RFK)
BULLFROG (for social satire)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

LA LUPE WOLFS DOWN PHIL OCHS

At last! Illfolks offers Phil Ochs!
One of Phil's more unusual songs was "That's The Way It's Gonna Be," where gloomy minor key clouds keep breaking for a resolute melody line that forces optimism. Phil co-wrote it with Bob Gibson. Here, it gets a bizarre Latin twist from the legendary La Lupe.
La Lupe usually sang in Spanish, and as the photo shows, she was such a legend that a Spanish Harlem street was eventually named for her. Sizzling to the point of becoming a charred Charo, she somehow creates an interpretation that is both amusing and riveting, kind of funny but also fierce.
Phil, who once wrote a tune called "Bracero," and was devoted to the cause of peace in Chile, was no stranger to Latin stylings. And no Latin version of an Ochs song, including Jose Feliciano's take on this very same tune, is as strange or as singular as this one from La Lupe.
That's The Way it's Gonna Be Wait and See. Actually, no wait. This is not a Rapidshare or Megaupload or any other wait 45 seconds, "peer through a zillion ads to find the download link" deal. It's INSTANT. Hear on line or download.

Eun-Ju Lee (Corrs song) FALLEN STAR

Like a falling star, Eun-Ju Lee was a bright and beautiful presence for a short time, and when thousands began to point to her, that's when the descent began.
This pretty South Korean actress seemed to deal with each new challenge in her career, rising from teen comedy roles to the more difficult parts of a blind woman, a woman dying of cancer, and a reporter carrying a deadly fetus. In many films her screen character suffered and died, and it seemed tough for this increasingly depressed and weary young woman to go home at night and shake off the day's shoot.
Adding to her pressures was family debt, an irony considering she was now one of her country's biggest stars. She appeared in "Tae Guk Gi," which was to South Korea what "Gone With the Wind" is to the U.S.A., starred in "Phoenix" (aka "Firebird") a huge TV soap opera (now on 9 DVD discs) and, near exhaustion, took on yet another bizarre and harrowing role. In "The Scarlet Letter" she played a bisexual nightclub singer in a script containing nudity, violence and gore. Aside from grotesque scenes in which she was blood-spattered and screaming, she also had to be convincing in the scene in which she performs a song.
She chose to sing in English, and performed the eerie Corrs song "Only When I Sleep." It was her only recording, and her last role. Not long after the film was made, and only weeks after graduating college, Eun-Ju Lee slit her wrists and hanged herself, leaving an apologetic note to her mother.
Two notes: in South Korea last names are given first (there, she's Lee Eun-Ju) and since phonetic English translation varies, her name is often spelled Eun-Joo. An actress with a similar name co-stars in "Take Care of my Cat."
Here's a worthy version of "Only When I Sleep,"even if she had some difficulty pronouncing certain words. Perhaps the fleeting photos on this page will lead you to buy or rent one of her films. She was talented, beautiful, and for as long as it was possible for her, determined and brave.
Eun-Ju Lee covers ONLY WHEN I SLEEP

Greta Keller: She was the Wan



A sweet sorrow will comfort you hearing the voice of Greta Keller (1905-1977). Rather than wax melancholic over the wax, discover for yourself the nostalgic niche occupied, perhaps to waning interest, by the interestingly wan Greta Keller. Perhaps it's Keller's lingering German accent that makes her interpretations bittersweet, the tremulous attention she gives toward interpreting the lyrics, or just the aura she presents as a world-weary and aging chanteuse on a dreary tour through smoke-filled nightclubs.


Madame Keller's private life, as her voice suggests, included a variety of traumas. The worst was the murder of her husband David Bacon, apparently while he was patronizing a gay brothel. He was vaguely known at the time for portraying The Masked Marvel in a movie serial. Pregnant at the time of the tragedy, Greta's child arrived stillborn.


In 1940 she opened "Chez Greta" at New York's Algonquin Hotel. Noel Coward, Gertrude Lawrence, Tallulah Bankhead, Greta Garbo, Cole Porter and Maurice Chevalier all toasted her as one of the best. In 1947 she opened a new "Chez Greta" in St. Moritz Switzerland and in 1960 returned to New York for two years at the Waldorf Astoria. She continued to tour the world through the 60's and early 70's, evoking nostalgia and stoking libidos. Her rendition of "Married" can be heard in the 1972 film "Cabaret."


Dietrich was more theatrical, Hildegarde evinced more humor, but the tender Greta Keller has a way with a sad song. A previous post had 20 of 'em, which Rapidshare killed during a "5 day inactivity" purge. It's hard to trust 'em again, but here's one number they can't take away...



Instant access, no Rapidshare, codes, or confusion in getting to a page where the link is hidden amid a dozen garish ads:
They Can't Take That Away From Me (or you)

Pat Benatar/Karla DeVito go Briley


Karla and Pat earned their M.B. -- by covering Martin Briley.
Briley's the misanthropic singer-songwriter who had an MTV video hit with "(You ain't worth) The Salt In My Tears."
When sung by WOMEN, Martin's vicious songs become feminist anthems. Oh, the irony of it. "I'm Just Using You" is power pop slapping you in the face. Pat Benatar is even tougher with "Take It Any Way You Want It."
Also here: two other vintage Briley songs, "Someday, Someway" covered by Jeff Healey and "Can't Keep Running" by Greg Allman. Briley toned himself down to become a very successful songwriter (Celine Dion and N'Sync) but his real fans are buying the 2 CD re-issue set featuring all three of his classic Mercury albums (and a few demo and bonus cuts), songs from when Briley was that bitter twisted lemon floating in the cocktail of the 80's. Or something like that. It's always a salty download if it involves wryly briney Martin Briley.

KARLA DEVITO

PAT BENATAR

JEFF HEALEY

GREG ALLMAN
It's always a salty download if it involves the wryly briney
MARTIN BRILEY