Thursday, November 29, 2007
Britney Spears? Clueless. Lindsay Lohan's been clueless, too. So has Paris Hilton. Because...
They've all been photographed pantyless.
It doesn't take any talent for some cunt to go around bald-faced.
The sensuous woman knows that lingerie is part of seduction. Not only that, it keeps the bugs out of the flytrap. Better musicians than Britney have declared, from albums titled "I Enjoy Being a Girl" to "New Boots and Panties," that fashions can ignite passions.
When Bob Dylan chose to go commercial and promote Victoria's Secret, he meant that before you lay a lady 'cross the big brass bed, she should do a sexy strip, first.
If radio stations weren't run by robots, Ditney's new album would be in the trash bin, and Jude Kastle would be all over the airwaves, singing about how she found her boyfriend's "stash of pornos" and realized that women in slutty undies are super sexy, and only dumb sluts walk around showing their slits. The chick in the pic would be a whole lot worse for not wearing that eye-catching wardrobe. Hey, Jude's got the song and the thong, so sing along...
PRETTY PURPLE PANTIES, ON THEIR WAY DOWN No porn ads! No pop-ups!
Guitarist Fred Chichin died the other day. He was 53. Along with singer Catherine Ringer, they were the French-language band Les Rita Mitsuoko. Under that odd French Italian Japanese name, they baffled listeners with synth-disco, avant garde oddness, Latin-tinged dance singles and even some straight rock.
With enthusiasts ranging from the equally eccentric American duo Sparks, to producer Tony Visconti, Iggy Pop and director Jean-Luc Godard, Fred and Catherine collaborated, careened and collapsed all over Europe in the 80's, and their challenging music videos even managed to escape the confines of France and intrigue the English-speaking market.
Though their big hits are old (first album 1984) they were still coming up with fresh material and recorded a new album this year, in both French and English versions. Fred was diagnosed with cancer only two months ago, and he died November 28th.
The band's too quirky to be represented by only one or two tracks, so you have three to choose from. You can take 'em all, too, and that barely scratches the surface of this eccentric band, since they had many International hits beyond these things: Le Petit Train (skittery synths that veer into Eurythmics territory, jumpy dance beat, precocious high-pitched diva vocals), Les Histoires 'd Amour (some actual rockin' out on the vocals, which switches mid-tune from punk stomp to retro Grapelli coyness and syncopation and stomps back again) and the highly commercial Blondie-esque disco romp Ding Dang Dong (done!)
Listen to some ill de France...
LE PETIT TRAIN
LES HISTOIRES 'D AMOUR
DING DANG DONG
Jane Morgan sings "These Boots Are Made For Walking," and it's on the Illfolks blog. You know what to expect.
Did anyone want this aging Mom singing a slutty S&M pop song??
OK, Jane's looking over her shoulder and sees that she'd better "get hep," but did she really think she could do it with a pianist who apparently had only three fingers on his right hand?
What turns this into an object of derision is not really Jane's earnest if clueless attempt at a song that doesn't match her personality, but the irritating arrangement that goes with it.
In other words, any smile of incredulity will be wiped into a downward frown before the song's over. You might never want to hear this again, but you'll want to experience it at least once.
Jane Morgan BOOTS it Instant download or listen on line. Mom, if you don't know how to click a link, ask your kids.
Around the same time Jane Morgan was struggling through lightweight arrangements of heavy songs like "These Boots are Made for Walking" and "Sounds of Silence," veteran lounge babe and Louis Prima-holster Keely Smith was likewise keeling over at the thought of giving up being a Top 40 songsmith due to some scruffy mop tops. In a similar "If you can't beat 'em, put a beat to 'em" mood, she made a mod album of swingin' Beatles covers.
Thing is, some of them actually do swing, and there's something appealing as well as appalling about her very valid New Yawk take on "Hard Day's Night." (Actually her "hawd" pronunciation may reflect her Cher-like Southern-styled roots more than her New Yawk and Vegas lifestyle). Generally, loungemeisters made clowns of themselves when trying to be cool with "today's sound." Old school talents like Sinatra and Dino were smart enough to leave that stuff alone and find their way into the charts with more age-friendly fare ("Strangers in the Night" and "Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime").
Today there's a bit more tolerance for big band concepts. People are rediscovering rock covers by Lena Horne and Ella Fitzgerald, and yeah, having a laugh with Richard Cheese (or Paul Anka's one cheesy album of swingouts).
Keely is still gettin' it done, by the way. Now that lounge is so finger-snappin' cool to 20-somethings, she even made it to Jimmy Kimmel's show last month to premiere a track from her latest CD. No, it wasn't a Beatles cover. But hey, it coulda been.
KEELING OVER Instant download or listen on line. No pop-ups or Rapidshare wait time.
A lesbian version of "I'm Your Man" by a woman named Lizzie. Make up your own pun.
Lizzie is a 30-something who hasn't made much of a name for herself because she refuses to be pegged to any particular genre. The Brooklyn-born singer has a varied resume of achievements...songs used in movies (like "Secretary") and as background for various TV shows (including "Alias" and "Everwood").
At 30, she signed with Warners and seemed on the road to huge success. Now she's just on the road a lot, with her band Baba Buffalo. She'd rather do it her way...coming up with original songs that can be edgy or country, and lyrics that can be very original or a bit like those of her idol Leonard Cohen.
And here she is, either ready for gender-bending fun with some metrosexual male, or getting butch with some bitch, covering Leonard Cohen's "I'm Your Man." Which brings us back to the title of this entry. How amphisbaenic.
LIZZIE WEST Instant download or listen on line. No pop-ups pop-unders or porn ad blunders.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Submitted for your approval, a song by Kas Product, an early 80's French new wave duo. It's Mona Soyoc on vocals and synths by Spatsz.
One picture is worth a thousand words, so I'll let you discover this little oddity for yourself, with, oh, a few lyric lines from "Pussy X" for a tease:
"Hi puss! Pussycat! Where are you?"
"Oh Fish! Why can't she leave me!"
"I just want to pick you up, dear, have you in my arms..."
"...I wasn't always a cat. Used to be like YOU in fact...and it's your bad luck if I'm black! Wait and see till I scratch...see what you get now?"
"OH! Ohhhh cat! You're such a....oh pussy....you're too..."
Ah yes, and don't forget to visit the Black Pussy Cafe...has Michael Finn been in today? Instant download, no code words or wait time.
How City Boy failed to get the fame it deserved...is still a question fans of the band can't answer. Maybe the very name was a handicap, since it was rather bland (and not even in tough plural). The group arrived in 1976 with a first album brimming the wicked harmony and challenging lyrics ("Deadly Delicious" on both counts, with Lol Mason unafraid to admit that he wasn't sure what the hell a woman being "sharper than a telephone" really meant).
After three promising albums all loaded with eccentricity ("Oddball Dance," "Man Who Ate his Car," "Bordello Night," "Dinner at the Ritz') the boys from Birmingham got serious with a one-hit-wonder single "220.127.116.11" (commercial lyrics replacing the original "Turn on to Jesus" lines). Their new album "Book Early" was titled as if they were finally firmly on their way to international success. Their two follow-up albums had titles that seriously distanced themselves from their whimsical power-pop image: "The Day The Earth Caught Fire" and "Heads are Rolling." How whimsical had they been previously? Lol and Steve used to do a Rockette set of high leg kicks during "Dinner at the Ritz."
Despite polished production by Robert John "Mutt" Lange, and the fierce guitar of Mike Slamer balancing the Michael J. Fox-like prettiness of lead singer Steve Broughton (whose cuteness was offset by the band's other lead vocalist, bulky and bearded Lol Mason), City Boy just kept "Moving in Circles" (to quote a song title). It was quite a mixed up irony that their lone hit single was voiced by neither lead vocalist, but drummer Roy Ward (though on some TV appearances it was Broughton lip-synching!)
Broughton departed the band not long after. Their "lucky seventh" album was gut-checked with the title "It's Personal," to further counter their rep as a band more along the harmonic and theatrical sensibilities of Queen. It didn't get a UK or USA release, trickling out briefly via an obscure label in Scandanavia.One might expect a debacle, but your download proves (if you own the others) that this was (with the exception of the annoying "Guerra de Mondo") quality work. Mason wrote the lyrics, and the music was from either Slamer, or keyboard player Max Thomas. It's power pop with intelligence, sophistication and some punch. In fact a little extra punch was supplied by Ian Dury's sax man, wild Davey Payne on several tracks.
Lol Mason went on to form Maisonettes, and had the distinction of having a one-hit-wonder with that group, too, "Heartbreak Avenue." The heart of City Boy, Broughton and Mason, have been sorely missed ever since. Certainly here, where both Steve and Lol are fondly remembered as really nice guys to spend some time with.
Ask any fan of City Boy why they love this band so much, and they'll start to give you a lot of reasons but...some of the chords they struck were deep enough to make two words all that matter: "It's personal."
IT'S PERSONAL rip from the LP
Updates: Nov, 2011, the Rapidshare link lapsed, so it's been re-upped via Box instead. Since the album was first posted, the album finally had a CD pressing. So if you'd like a higher bit-rate than the average 198-200 here, and want to support indie re-issue labels in their divine futility, grab the CD. On most of the usual suspect websites, like Amazon, it's selling pretty cheap.
This obscure parody of "Folsom Prison Blues" was done in 1972 by the Conception Corporation.
They, along with Credibility Gap and Congress of Wonders, tried to be broader, bolder versions of the hallucinogenic Firesign Theater.
35 years ago, city slickers figured Johnny Cash was nothing but some cowpoke with an off-key Mr. Ed voice glorifying violence. "Folsom Prison Blues" was, after all, recorded in front of a live prison audience, as if killers deserved to be entertained.
The Corporation open with a nudge-nudge in-joke reference to Lenny Bruce, inventor of "Yaddi-yadda" via his prison bit "Father Flotski's Triumph." Maybe the funniest thing about the parody is the crowd sound effects...how easily an audience can be manipulated into cheers or boos.
For 30 years, Johnny Cash was more country than crossover, same as George Jones or Merle Haggard. Finally, at just about the end of the line, he became a living legend to all, thanks to a string of albums produced by Rick Rubin. These discs included Gospel, country, and most interestingly, some haggardly haunting versions of recent rock songs (check out the rock video for "Hurt"). Johnny Cash's last years were both painful and prideful.
It would be insane to try and parody what Johnny did in his last years, but a dig at the guy who claimed to have shot a man in Reno just to watch him die? That's worth a chuckle. I myself was in Nevada once, and I shot some craps in Reno just to watch those die.
THE CONCEPTION CORPORATION CLOBBER CASH Instant download. No code words, time wait or porn ads.
One of the traditions around Thanksgiving is, well, giving thanks. But that's a little too positive for some of you shoe-gazers out there. So here's a more emphatic admonition from the little-known and short-lived PhD. It's called "No Right to Be Sad."
For the record, Glasgow's Jim Diamond was the lead singer, formerly of Gully Foyle and Bandit. He and Jeff Beck band members Tony Hymas and Simon Phillips called themselves PhD, and their first album had the hit single "I Won't Let You Down."
THIS track is from their sophomore-jinxed second (1983) album. When Jim Diamond came down with hepatitis, PhD faded away. Album title: "Is It Safe?"
With angst and anger, Jim torches this dirge with the fiery message that, unlike you, there are people really suffering out there. And not just because Rapidshare makes you wait two hours between downloads.
After the demise of PhD, Diamond had solo UK hits with "I Should Have Known Better" and "Hi Ho Silver." He issued a solo album in 1993 on which he re-recorded some of his best known songs, and in 2000 issued a "Best Of," neither including this song. How sad. The newest album by the bald Diamond is "Souled and Healed" on Hypertension Records.
NO RIGHT TO BE SAD Instant download, or mope on line.
Friday, November 09, 2007
Since so many postings here lack a peel, I thought I'd slip in a bunch of banana songs. Watta fun fruit; you can eat it, you can make somebody have a pratfall, you can use it as a sex toy. The National Lampoon used a banana for a label logo...since you could get high smoking one (and that's good for a giggle).
One of the earliest songs mentioning this exotic fruit was from British Music Hall star Billy Merson. In "Out on the Prairie" he comes to America, finds a Mexican girl (in Indiana!) and propositions: "Have a banana, my dusky queen!" In "The Night I Appeared as Macbeth," he recalls the audience throwing sultanas and bananas at him ("Gadzooks...what a hit.")
But...our download begins with the first popular banana tune, "Yes, We Have No Bananas," here rendered with campy glee by the oft-irritating Anthony Newley. Less popular, but a dolefully fun novelty, is the Hoosier Hot Shots non-hit "I Like Bananas, Because They Have No Bones."
The next time a banana slipped into the charts was probably via the annoying Harry Belafonte classic "Day-O" (aka "The Banana Boat Song,") a number so obnoxious that Stan Freberg had a hit parody of it. (A similar request to cool it can be found on Shel Silverstein's "Inside Folk Music," which didn't make the download's 15 track max). The troublemaking team of Buchanan and Goodman offered a break-in piece called "Banana Boat Story" which makes almost no sense at all. Peter Sellers obscurely melded his Belafonte parody to the old Harry Champion British Music Hall hit "Boiled Beef and Carrots."
Probably the most popular banana song of the last few decades was simply the Chiquita Banana commercial jingle, but you'll find bananas on the minds of Gwen Stefani, M.I.A., Meie Mees, Jack Johnson and Garibaldi. They need no special mention here, but Guy Marks does. The deadpan comedian not only did strange miming (the cadence of a stork) and peculiar impressions (a western parody single in which Humphrey Bogart speaks and translates for an Indian chief)) he also issued an album featuring the campy but tongue-in-cheek novelty "Loving You Has Made me Bananas."
Your potassium-rich download also includes the sick-joke story-song "30,000 Pounds of Bananas" (we miss you Harry), "Bananas and Blow," "Juanita Banana" and "Banana Pancakes." Most of these banana tunes should put a big yellow grin on your face.
15 BANANA SONGS VIA R.S.
(UPDATE February 19, 2011...This file's gone due to Rapidshare's policy of punting a file that hasn't been downloaded in 30 or 60 days. UPDATE; November 2011 -- re-upped via Box, along with a dozen other files Rapidshare lost)
Still considered something of a cult item at 47, Aimee Mann's skeletal arms still strum some dark tunes, her hollow-eyes so haunting you'd think Edvard Munch painted her face for her. Both sultry and desultory, she isn't so depressed that she can't work up a certain amount of cranky energy when she plays, but the 5'11" crow-scarer can turn any venue into Alienation Row.
In case you somehow missed the Mann act, and are wondering if you should cross over state lines to see her, just download this live version of "Going Through the Motions." It's lovingly brought to you in perfect stereo. The song begins, "Something isn't right..." so how wrong can it be? Hear here, the mildly annoyed adenoids of Mon Aimee.
Goin' Through the Motions, LIVE Instant download or listen on line; no pop-ups, porn-ads or wait time.
Jane Aire seemed part of the British Stiff invasion, and her Bronte-esque name pushed that image along, but she was really Jane Ashley from Akron, Ohio.
She bumped around with Kirsty MacColl and Rachel Sweet as a woman with Punk-Babe star potential, but after a few singles, one album, and a last 45 rpm in 1982, she was then, and remains now, an obscure but lovely collectors item.
If you remember her 1979 Virgin picture disk of "Call Me Every Night" fondly, then you're old enough to take this news: on December 2nd, she'll turn 51. While "Call Me Every Night" didn't vault her to the heights of another New Wave power pop star, Deborah "Call Me" Harry, you'll still catch a sweet air buzz from Jane's addictive single. Picture disk sound quality was never that great, but you'll still get the message; calling this chick every night was probably blissful phone sex. In the picture, that's not herpes, that's the spindle hole.
Gimme Aire Instant download or listen on line; no pop-ups, porn-ads or wait time.
Journey back to 1974, when Frank Zappa's Discreet label discretely ended the careers of Southern roots rockers Kathy Dalton and Brenda Patterson. The label's male roster included Ted Nugent and Tim Buckley, but the gals never had a chance. Managing a handful of releases (1973-75) the company dried up, releasing only a bit of Zappa stuff before getting zapped.
Kathy Dalton's solo album was actually released twice, the second time (the one you get here) with a song called "Long Gone Charlie" booted in favor of the new title track, "Boogie Bands and One Night Stands." The strategy paid off...22 years later when "Boogie Bands and One Night Stands" was picked for the soundtrack for the film "Sleepers" (nestled in between tracks by Frankie Valli, Dean Martin, Doris Day and The Beach Boys). Before going solo, Dalton, as Kathy Yesse, fronted the Daughters of Albion, a group that made one album produced by Leon Russell.
Hardly anyone mentions Kathy Dalton except when confusing her with Karen Dalton, the folkie with the damaged Billie Holiday voice who was around when Bob Dylan hit the Village, and disappeared into a haze of drug and alcohol problems, suffering an obscure and lonely death in 1993. At least her two albums are re-issued on CD.
The only KATHY Dalton singing you'll find on CD is her work on "Jump," the 1984 Van Dyke Parks album which featured her among various supporting singers.
In addition to Dalton's album, you get 3 bonus tracks...some of the best cuts from Discreet label-mate Brenda Patterson. The tracks are: "I'll Be There," "Crazy" and "I've Never Been a Fool Like This."
Brenda started the 70's on Epic with "Keep On Keepin' On," which included her cover version of "This Wheel's On Fire." Nothing ignited. In 1973, she joined the ill-fated Playboy Records label for an album that included "Bury Me Down By the River" by Maurice and Barry Gibb, the old Pitney classic "I'm Gonna Be Strong," and Paul Simon's "Congratulations." The 1974 Discreet album "Like Good Wine" was the end of the solo road.
A few years later she fronted The Coon Elder Band, which had a one-off deal with Mercury. The last track, and the last I've heard of Brenda, is a tune called "Grinnin' My Blues Away," and Brenda, wherever you are, in show biz or out of it, I hope you're still grinnin'.
Back at ya...Kathy Dalton and Brenda Patterson.
KATHY AND BRENDA