Friday, June 29, 2007
We know Paul McCartney mumbled "Scrambled Eggs" before he arrived at "Yesterday."
Well...Paul Simon had similar breakfast problems, singing:
"Something tells me things have changed since I've been gone.
My bowl of Rice Krispies ain't what it used to be!"
His lady friend isn't what she used to be, either:
"Your eyes are filled with icicles, your touch is bitter cold.
"And I know I have been on the road too long..."
What lyrics are these?
Lyrics that didn't make it.
The melody lingered on, but Paul changed his dark lines about cold cereal and colder girlfriends into a hallucinatory report on happenings "At the Zoo."
That's when Garfunkel decided it was worth joining in. Here on this demo, Paul's on his own.
Hear what happens when you're so alienated, your bowl of Rice Krispies gives you the silent treatment.
Snap, Crackle and... DOWNLOAD (OR LISTEN ON LINE)
No flash in the pan, the pan-shaped Frisbee was born 50 years ago when the Wham-O company bought a toy called the "Pluto Platter" from inventor Walter Morrison.
Yes, in 1957 after they poo-poo'd "Platter" and re-named the glider after the plates flung for sport at the Frisbie Pie Company, the toy really took off.
You can fling a vinyl copy of the first "Flash and the Pan" album, too. Flying Frisbees decorated the cover of the auspicious Aussie debut album, which yielded a demi-hit with "Where To, St. Peter."
A strange alloy of 60's rock and 80's synth and disco, the band offered Dylanesque lyrics robo-recited as much as sung, atop keyboard dominated music. The choice track is "Lady Killer," with its obscure but mordant lyrics, tasteful synth, near-disco percussion (no wonder Grace Jones was a fan) and in this case even some cheesy Bee-Gee-esque backing vocals.
Intended as a one-off (hence the jokey name), nobody expected much from this odd outgrowth of The Easybeats, but the guys kept tossing out quirky vinyl, just as Walter Morrison flew the "Whirl-o-Way," the "Flyin' Saucer" and "The Pluto Platter" in the sixteen years before Wham-O made him rich by manufacturing the "Frisbee."
Flash and the Pan made six sardonic and strange albums before disappearing into the oblivion they expected after the first one. More like a boomerang than a flung frisbee, their albums all came back on CD. Vanda and Young's stuff might not amuse their Easybeats or AC-DC fans, but if you're a slightly strange music devotee, listening to the Flashes might brighten up your pan.
LADY KILLER...watch it, watch it... Instant download, no porn ads or wait time.
Here's Joan protesting in 1965 (James Baldwin with the barefoot Baez) and in 2005 (re. the execution of "reformed" ex-crip Tookie Williams). But in 1972 the National Lampoon protested her, via parody.
Oh, the sacrilege!
How could they fug with such a well-meaning folkie?
First thing they had to do was avoid using the inflammatory title "Pull the Triggers, Niggers." They didn't need no stinkin' Sharpton to tell 'em not to be that rude. The Lampoon's "Radio Dinner" song was punningly if not cunningly titled "Pull the Tregroes." But the N-word was sung on that black vinyl of black humor.
Written by Tony "Going too Far" Hendra, and performed by a Baez soundalike named Diana Reed, the song references George Jackson. In 1970 Jackson and two other inmates killed a prison guard. As one of the "Soledad Brothers" he wrote a few books and joined rivals Eldridge Cleaver and Black Panther Huey Newton as a pet of white liberals, the kind who condoned violence as long as it was "just across the bay."
Liberals with the same perceived Baez bias against law enforcement probably admired Jackson's brother, who later in 1970 stormed into a Marin County courtroom and seized Judge Harold Haley as a hostage. Haley's face was blown off during the getaway, and Jackson was killed as well.
In 1971, after receiving a gun smuggled to him by a well-meaning white guy, George Jackson shot prison guard Jere Graham in the head, execution-style, exclaiming, "Let's see if this works." Two more guards as well as two white prisoners bled to death before Jackson was gunned down and the prison riot brought under control.
While it was actually Joan's ex-boyfriend Bob Dylan who came out of protest-song retirement to release a single called "George Jackson," the Lampoon gang mocked Baez instead.
The mock Joan sings: "Just because I can't be there doesn't mean I don't care. So next time, Brother, off a pig for me." The chorus: "Pull the triggers, Niggers, we're with you all the way, just across the bay."
Later in the song Joan is crucified for being sanctimonious ("I'm the world's Madonna...I'm needed from Belfast to Bangladesh"). She confesses to trying to right "grievous wrongs" by writing "tedious songs." All these years later, Joan Baez is still singing her heart out, and sometimes wearing it on her sleeve.
Pull the trigger on this download.
The famous "Summer of Love" was FORTY YEARS AGO. Those who fondly remember it through an acid haze, remember all the girls looking a lot like Leigh Taylor-Young.
Leigh was the hippie-dippie princess of "I Love You Alice B. Toklas," in a movie that arrived a year later suggesting to an uptight Peter Sellers that all you need is to drop out, make love...and eat marijuana brownies.
It was a sweet, naive, uplifting movie at the time, and part of its charm was the silly psych theme song, which was more Captain Crunch than Sgt. Pepper. It's still very sweet.
The comparison of Leigh Taylor-Young then and now is not really depressing at all. Not if you compare it to pictures of Peter Sellers then and now.
THE LEAVES OF GRASS sing I LOVE YOU ALICE B. TOKLAS Instant download or listen on line. No porn ads or wait time.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Ancient Asian pop music!
Here are two examples of the joys to be found in the exotica bin of your local Chinatown thrift shop.
Rita Chao? She was like French ye-ye or American go-go.
You'll recognize one phrase here: "Wooly Bully."
The needle stays in the groove for the next track, Rita's take on the Herman's Hermits classic, "I'm Into Something Good."
They could be Chao main hits, but the tasty songstress probably had many more.
Wong Shiau Chuen issued over a dozen albums in her "Golden Voice of..." series.
I bought all I could find years ago, because she DOES have a golden voice.
She sounds like something off the soundtrack to "MASH," or a scene from a bad re-make of "Charlie Chan" as #1 son visits a Chinatown shop looking for his aging pop while stereotypical Asian pop plays in the background. You get a typical sing-song melody that is all sharps and flats, mated to clip-clop chopstick percussion and some silly twanging from The Stylers, a back-up group no threat to The Ventures. Above it all, Wong's sweet voice shimmers oh so gently.
Pass the tea; no need for sympathy, since these ladies were stars then, and when you hear them, stars again.
CHAO Instant Download or listen on line
WONG SONG Instant Download or listen on line.
"Just a Little Bossa Nova" shows that the World of Susan Wong has expanded.
Previous albums were catalogs of mainstream movie themes, jazz standards and harmless pop ("Desperado" or "Killing Me Softly").
Let's say "Eva Cassidy, East."
On this 2005 album, the safe and tasteful singer rocks gently with the expected beats ("Girl from Ipanema" and a slightly more exotic take on "Beyond the Sea"), and tries an interesting twist by adding bongo and maracas to John Lennon's "Imagine." You don't have to imagine that exotic Wong song, or the rest of this hard to find album. Just download via RS.
That righteous album Of Wong Bossa Nova
Update: This one timed out from lack of interest. "Won't somebody sing one of them somebody done somebody Wong wrong songs..."
Don't call her Utada (wasn't that a song in "Lion King?") Call her "Hikki." Her fans, do. You'll be a fan too, once you download "Ultra Blue," Hikki's 2006 album. It compiles the hit singles she made in the four years since her last full-length release. Stand-outs include "Dareka no nagai ga kanau koro" from the soundtrack to "Casshern" and "Passion," which was on the soundtrack to "Kingdom Heart II."
Though Hikki's album has several songs with English titles (Blue, Colors, Wings, Be My Last, and Passion) none are sung in English (although "Keep Trying" does use those two words surrounded by Japanese lyrics). As you'd expect from JPop, a predictable melody takes odd minor-key turns in its execution. There's little intrusion of beats or electronic noises, and Hikki doesn't test her limited range by holding notes dramatically. Another pick here, "Making Love," is more a pop song (suggesting a wafer slice of Madonna circa the 80's) than a soundtrack for the act itself.
Don't worry, don't worry, don't worry...Kyoko Fukada isn't going to alarm you. Neither will I, so don't worry about any puns about her last name. Nothing here matches Yoko Ono at her wildest, although this singer-film actress can get a bit quirky. She seems to have had an adverse reaction to David Rose's 'Holiday for Strings.' Echoes of that fast-paced melody and its lounge-style orchestration turn up from time to time on tracks of her album "Universe."
The opening song "Kimi no Hitomi ni Koishiteru" sets the pace with cute, quickly sung lyrics. The backing shifts from Henry Mancini and Buddy Rich to Badfinger or Abba on "Swimming" (no, not sung in English) and "Shitsumon Ga Aruno." "American Shorthair" goes the bossa nova route with a prowling bass line. When you reach the last track, "People," you'll enjoy a sweet anthem with nice chord changes, as Kyoko wanders into territory that wouldn't be out of place for Petula Clark or a slightly saki-high Olivia Newton-John.
WHO COULD FUKADA THAN KYOKO?
FOR YOU UTADA BLUE
Saturday, June 09, 2007
"I'll grab you
by the hair...
and choke you
with your underwear,
Mix Paris Hilton saying her catch-phrase...
a rude song by indie band Hotbox...
and a timely remark about her return to jail....
and you've got the latest original ILLFOLKS MASH.
(And click the image if you want
a closer look at her thong).
Bitch Slut Paris Hilton. Instant download!
If Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie had talent, they would've recorded BORING instead of being the poster girls for it. The anorexic thing. Check. The bad amateur porn. Check. Smirking into the camera while doing drugs. Check. Flaunting wealth and stupidity and getting in trouble with the law. Check, check, and double-check.
"Boring" is a track from one of the best new sister acts around, The Pierces. There were four girls in the family, but only two made the move from Alabama to take on the music industry. Their first album arrived in 2000. They've paid a lot of dues gettin' through. If they don't make it with their new album, the scene will truly be "Boring."
"Marijuana...cocaine...heroin...BORING! Nothing thrills us anymore..."
But they didn't mention the illfolks blog.
Listen to BORING or download it
When Billy Joel signed his first solo deal, he had competition.
There was another promising male singer-songwriter on Artie Ripp's "Family Productions" (a division of Paramount Records). Billy released "Cold Spring Harbor" while Kyle (shortened from William Kyle Eidson II) offered "Times That Try a Man's Soul." For some, Kyle's earthy rock seemed more promising than Joel's Long Island pop.
Guitarist Don Evans played on both these 1971 albums...that's how even Billy and Kyle were.
A big difference between Kyle and Billy's albums: Kyle's was properly mastered at the right speed! (The flaw was finally rectified for Billy when Columbia re-issued "Cold Spring Harbor). But in the end, both the chipmunk-y Billy Joel and rootsy Kyle debut albums both failed, in part due to Paramount's indifferent parent company Gulf + Western.
Billboard, on May 22, 1971, declared that Kyle ("a new discovery from the West Coast") was a "winner." The mag praised the "well written and performed" album. The same issue also had the same complilment for the debut album of another Illfolks fave, "Gun Hill Road," pronouncing this debut "a winner" as well.
Most performers never get any kind of deal and say "some day..."
On your sample song from the album, Kyle sings: "Some day's late and yesterday's right on time." If he's still singing, he's singing that line out of years of experience.
Sticking to the single name "Kyle," the singer-songwriter would get two more chances: "KYLE" (released by MGM in 1973, featuring "Stoney Road" and "She Brings Sunshine") and "KYLE" (released by ABC-Dunhill in 1974, and featuring "Rescue Me" and "I'll Be Back Again.") Both were more pop than country-rock, which one might expect from producers Bobby Hart and then John "At the Hop" Madara. Despite the three different record labels, all were "Family Productions," the name of Artie Ripp's management company.
The original post below gave Kyle's real name as "Kyle Garrahan," due to what seemed like a well-researched reference on the Internet. Ahem. Hmmm. Wasn't the case. Thanks to the poster who mentioned the esteemed Joel Whitburn, and the news that a Kyle single nearly made the Top 100 back in 1973, "She Brings Sunshine." Additionally, I've researched music publishing records, and found that Layne Music, on December 16, 1971, registered one of Kyle's songs, "Ain't No Use in Loving You," as "w & m Kyle, pseud, of William Kyle Eidson II." So forget Kyle Garrahan as being THIS guy, or Kyle Minogue.
KYLE, instant download