Thursday, November 08, 2007

Bill Dolan and Primitive Sound System - D.C.'s Tavern Thursday November 8th from 9PM to Closing

Hello Y'all,
I couldn't find an email for November so I am guessing I didn't send one. Well, I was busy building some shelves and storage so I could better organize. With that said there were a whole bunch of records to file away which means there are a whole bunch of records to write about. The reason for this wonderful overflow was the FMU Record Fair. As always and of course the "Dollar Guys" done me good! Also I snatched up two long time want list discs from a well known source for a very nice price but without saying much more let's just say he is back there in the Shadow(s). I thank you kindly sir.

Looks like Three Shall Be this week as Joe is back at the tables along with my esteemed colleague Mr. Dolan. There is barely a record in my boxes this week that have seen the dim lights of D.C.'s more than once so this should be a fun one.

Without making this too sad I would be remiss if I did not mention a tragedy from mid November. Early Sunday morning on November 18th a small electrical fire started in my brother's studio that spread to a large foam couch. The couch sat next to shelves of some of the rarest Jazz, Latin and Country records. Luckily no one was injured but the records couldn't take the heat. The fire fused the entire Latin section into a block of vinyl. Some of the Jazz and Country records suffered the same fate but most just warped or "melted" from the heat. Heat closed the grooves of sometimes only portions of a record and you could clearly see a silhouette of the flames and heat waves that licked the surface. Throwing each damaged record into the trash made everyone sick and almost brought me to tears. Weirdly the fire did the least damage. The sprinkler system which kept the fire from spreading beyond the couch and the record shelf standing near by devastated floors of the building and hundreds more of Michael's records. Clear plastic bags which were meant to prevent damage became torturous,soaking chambers for the records trapped inside. Covers melted in your hand as you tried to save them. A lot of the vinyl was saved and cleaned but without covers or inner sleeves their collector value is lost. Bill and I are planning a small benefit to help Michael get back some of his records. In the past Michael has DJ'd weddings for free and has ALWAYS been the first to step up when a DJ cancels or when someone needs equipment for an event. As we have more details and a date we will let everyone know.

- pat.

Primitive Sound System, Bill Dolan and Joe Raaen
Thursday December 6th 9PM to Closing
D.C.'s Tavern
505 8th Street
Between Jefferson and Madison
Hoboken, New Jersey
PH: 201-792-5550

The Records:

Big Joe Louis and the Soul Investigators - "Go-Go Train (Is Gonna Carry Me Away)" b/w "Rolling Down The Tracks" (Timmion Records cat. Timmion # 014)
Once again the folks at Timmion Records break the mold and show everyone else how it is done. The Soul Investigators will never loose sight of why so many people listen to what they do but can present it in so many different unique ways and never loose one fan. Here they get down in a 'lectric Blues groove that tries as it might to stay that way but rips at the seams in the final moments to expose its Funky beating heart.

The Mighty Soul Patrol Records Presents Outer Space - The Soul Investigators - "Outer Space" b/w The Minutemen - "Seven Minutes Special" (Monster Groove Records - a subsidiary of Soul Patrol Records cat. SPL005) Pretty cool extended grooves. The Investigators track clocks in at almost 14 minutes.

Caribean Gay Torpedoes - "Tropical Fever" Part - 1 & 2 (Welcome to Tropical Breeze Hotel & Luxury Beach Resort cat. TB 6772)
"The Gay Torpedoes Performing Every Night at the Tropical Breeze Night Club." This harks back to a time when Gay could still be confused for happiness but this is no naive little disk... one letter away from a laugh right there. The band comes on like a pool side party filled with tanned bodies, drinks stuffed with too much fruit and umbrellas, suntan lotion and nothing but free time for free love. Disco with a Funk beat played endlessly for hours on end.

The Black Hollies - "Hush" b/w The Dansettes - "Forty Days" (Ernest Jennings Record Co. cat. EJRC 029 (red vinyl))
Sometimes knowing a song, really knowing a song in that unconscious way that allows you to sing it while doing something completely unrelated is not always the best song you would choose to do as a cover. The Black Hollies take on one of the late 60's biggest tracks, the song made most famous by the one and only Deep Purple..."HUSH." The Black Hollies definitely know their way around what makes a 60's or 70's Rock track just plain devastate. Pounding drums, ample organ and sharp guitar. Much in the way that Deep Purple took this Country Jam into the world of Soul via Rock The Black Hollies keep the asses shaking with the Organ of JB Flatt and the vocals of the lovely ladies of the Dansettes. "Hush" is one of those tracks that helped define 70's guitar rock despite its soulful swirling organ solo or maybe because of it. The Black Hollies trick out a few parts with effects but lay down a raw bass and drums sound that grounds the track perfectly in a timeless place that all great music resides.

On the flip of this beautiful red vinyl disc is an original composition penned by the aforementioned JB Flatt for his band The Dansettes. The pace is slow to medium with a moody intro of organ, drums and the extremely warm vocals by Jamie Kozyra. There is a decided Motown sound here but as if the early 60's Sound was handled by the powerful Norman Whitfield. You can thank Gabe Roth of Daptone Records fame as he recorded this beauty and it is mixed to perfection by Carl Rusk. The instrumentation is layered with piano, hand claps and the stunning backing vocals of the remaining Dansettes (Leah Fishman and Jennie Wasserman). We are even treated to a vocal break over organ reminiscent of the Shangri-Las. Toward the end the guitar leaps out in a tribute to both Motown but steals nicely from Steve Cropper as the vocals and band build in intensity before it all fades. this will get a lot of play.

The Black Hollies - "Tell Me What You Want" (The Black Hollies/Lyrics by J.A. Morey) b/w "Tired of Being Lonely" (The Black Hollies/Lyrics by J. Gonnelli) (Ernest Jennings Record Co. cat. EJRC 020 (white vinyl))
Too often bands like the Black Hollies get called Retro. That just bugs the shit out of me. I guess Kanye West is retro because Hip Hop is 30 years old as well. This is good old fashioned Rock-N-Roll. "Tell Me What You Want" has a party feel as well as an edge warning you that someone just might get hurt. Justin Morey pleads in a similar way that the vocals of Richard Hell are pleading. He's not really asking as much as he is telling. "Tell me what you want, you can get it from me." What ever the hell it may be, doesn't really matter, he let's her / him / it know he can produce. The guitar cuts through and threatens everyone one in its path as the band slows just enough to make sure not to hit any on coming traffic. Soon they are off again barreling down the street, eyes closed, pounding the pavement and eventually crashing to a stop. "Tired of Being Lonely" shifts gears a bit and snaps with a more modern feel but certainly not like anything you would hear break the Top 100... and that is a shame. The guitar has this amazing organ sound to it and the rhythm guitar rains over it as if to remind us that sometimes it is OK to be sad. Does that sound wimpy? It does but somehow it comes off as a punch in the face. I fear I may go mad repeating "DON'T YOU COME ROUND HERE TRYING TO TELL ME, JUST BECAUSE YOU'RE TIRED OF BEING LONELY" for days on end. What happened to songs with Pop hooks and balls? Apparently they are an every day occurrence where the The Black Hollies live.

Baby Charles - "No Controlling Me' b/w "Invisible" (Hip Drop Records cat. HD 101)
Baby Charles can hit harder than most Rock bands. There is something to the way they assert themselves that lifts them up above and possibly through any of the bands mining a similar territory. "No Controlling Me" is a great name for this track. The band is amazingly tight (as always) and Ms. Charles is a forceful combination of Poetry / Soul Jazz era singers like Camille Yarbrough and Sherry Scott (Earth Wind And Fire). There is no containing this band. They can push in all directions yet make it all sound as tight as classic era JB's. The drums take a particularly strong roll in making this an aggressive Funky affair as the horns punctuate each expressive moment . Miss Charles sings and yells but never causes the band to get off point instead they are following her in her very confident march forward as she clearly makes her point that there is no controlling her or the band. Don't bother, just lay back and let them work a while. "Invisible" is anything but and is the closest I have heard Baby Charles hit a somewhat JB's groove. Talk about attitude. This track is full of it. Ms. Charles sings in short but measured phrases not wasting a word, a breath or a beat. The band ticks along like a metronome and eventually kicks up a little dust during what could be considered the chorus. A few sharp strikes and blasts and they are back ticking away. The horns are velvety smooth and gently lay on top of the groove enticing us to follow them and seduce us. Let's face it with music like this we don't need much coaxing. If they are invisible they are certainly worth looking for. Completely essential.

The Soul Impossibles - "Interpretation: Soul Power No 1" b/w "Souladelic" (Jazzman Records / Funk 45 cat. Funk45.036)
James Brown is easily one of the most important if not the most influential force who is singularly responsible for late 60's early 70's Soul and Funk. Jazzman / Funk 45 drop one giant slab of 70's Funk in this small package. The Soul Impossibles obviously were very determined the world that not only could they hold their own with Soul Brother number 1 but they could extend one of his grooves and even throw in a triple timed break (for lack of a better word) to show that they could easily take this thing called Funk to new heights and in different directions. The horns and percussion come off a bit like an Afro-Beat band but it is obvious from the organ, guitar, bass and vocals that these guys are straight up Funk. The little vocal blurb at the end throws a bit of a monkey wrench in the works. The vocal hints at the fact that this was "just another take (or song) for these guys. Vamping in this way comes natural in the same way it may have for JB himself. That is not always evident in other tracks from the same time and even ones of the same caliber. "Souladelic" is crazy fast with a frantic tambourine and guitar leading the way. Once again it shows off how in the pocket these guys could be.There is a very 60's Garage sound to the organ which just makes it that much better for me. At times though it sounds as if the organ is being choked by the out of control pace. Again the track ends in such a way to make you think this was tossed off sans rehearsal. I'd be very curious to hear more by The Soul Impossible. but if this is all that exist I am very thankful to Jazzman records for making it available. These guys truly believed that nothing is impossible.

Menomena - Friend or Foe (FILM Guerrero FG27)
The first I heard this was via the putrid mis-service known as MP3's. After only a few seconds of the LP I wanted to flog myself and apologize to each member of Menomena individually. The LP has a very full sound with miles of depth. Songs like "The Pelican" jump off the LP and explode with atomic bombs as well as party snappers. FUCK! I HATE MP3's! Menomena have a formula for what they do and if you believe the band they also have a computer program that controls a lot of the composition. BUT, this is a formula worth sticking with. Art Rock and emotional as well as aggressive and pissed. Sometimes influences are obvious (XTC) but for the most part Menomena are truly original. The packaging, like all the band's releases, is definitely worth mentioning. Stunning, black brush and ink (?) drawings cover every inch of the tri-fold gatefold cover drawn by the band's friend Craig Thompson. The cover is die-cut to expose the inner workings through a belly, a mouth, a thought and a brain . Through these windows we can read each song title by spinning the paper disc riveted into the cover. The angelic, (halo included) oblong, pure white creature dead center exposes the song sequence with numerical values and a blank stare. You could look at this cover for hours on every drug known to man in every possible combination and it will always be the best single illustration to represent the complexity of flavors, tones, textures, sounds, feelings and irritations contained in the grooves.

The Three Suns - "Just One More Chance" b/w "The Creep" (RCA Victor cat. 47-5553)
"The Creep" reigns pretty high on my "favorite tracks of all-time list." I have had this on 78 for many, many years and have enjoyed it when ever I can get all antiquarian technology and shit. Not long ago my Brother and I DJ'd a party with nothing but 78's and I believe we spun this two or three times. Maybe the very prophylactic Three Suns thought this was as scary as they possibly could get. Maybe it was down right spooly when it was released BUT what intrigues me most is the very 60's / 70's organ sound pumping in the background.

Johnny Lee Wills and Boys - "Blub Twist" b/w "Your Love For Me Is Losing Light" (SIMS Records cat. 129)
WOW! This is one special little rekkid. Johnny Lee Wills is of course the brother of Bob Wills and his renamed Texas Playboys as just plain and simple Boys. This thing comes out kicking with guitar and sax blasting and the big ass band jumping in line. Apparently Johnny Lee and Boys had the honor of hosting the longest running continuous live music broadcast (25 years) in radio history. "Blub Twist" has a touch of the Pat Boone cleaning up Little Richard but it certainly is NEVER corny. My favorite moment is the trumpet solo which is rarely ever hear on a Rock Instrumental. Usually that honor is bestowed on the sax or guitar (and sometimes even both).

Orgone - Killion Floor - So far AMAZING!

Every year I try to get one Christmas and I found one recently that I heard a long time ago. I always thought it was some weird remix thing:
Electric Jungle - "Funky Funky Christmas" b/w "Soul Santa" (Nike Records cat. 1002) "Funky Funky Christmas" is a twisted funky slab of holiday cheer. "Soul Santa" is pretty pedestrian and I will probably will never play again unless I can't remember what it sounds like.

Les McCann & Eddie Harris - Swiss Movement (Recorded Live at The Montreux Jazz Festival Switzerland) - "Compared To What" b/w "The Generation Gap" (Atlantic cat. SD 7-1537 Produced by Atlantic Records especially for Little LP's Unlimited LP #123 (flapped sleeve))

Johnny Cameron & The Camerons - "Funky John" b/w "I Love You (Yes I do)" (Atlantic cat. 45-2734)

Kool And Together - "Sittin' On A Red Hot Stove" b/w "Hey Now Baby" (Pacemaker Records cat PM-1977 (Producer: Huey's Sugar Hill Studios, Houston Texas))

Little Alfred & The Linden Black Youth Choir - "For The Money" b/w "I am Dreaming Of A Black Christmas" (Wizdom Records cat. W 1983)

Harvey Scales & The Seven Sounds - "Broadway Freeze" b/w "I Can't Cry No More" (Magic Touch Records cat. MTA 16001)

Tender Joe Richardson - "Hip Huggin' Mini" b/w "I Aint Going For That" (The Hot Biscuit Disc Company cat. 1451 (label sleeve))

Spoonbread - "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart" b/w "I'm The One" (Stang Records cat. ST-5043)

Charles Spurling - "Mr. Cool" b/w "You'd Be Surprised (The Way I Love You)" (King cat. 45-6077 (label sleeve))

Freddy King - "I Hear Jingle Bells" b/w "Christmas Tears" (Federal cat. F-12439)

Eddie Harris - "Get On Down" Mono / Stereo (Atlantic cat. 45-3256 (promo - not for sale))

Milt Jackson - "Project X" b/w "Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye" (Limelight cat. L-3057)

The Afro Blues Quintet plus One - "Liberation" b/w "Walk On By" (Mira Records cat. 224)

Clark Terry & Bob Brookmeyer Quintet - "Blindman, Blindman" b/w "Straight No Chaser" (Mainstream Records cat. 610)

Grady Tate - "Slaves" b/w "Gary McFarland - "Slaves" (instrumental) (Skye cat. #4516)

Jimmy Smith - "Bashin" b/w "Ol' Man River" (Verve Records cat. VK/10262)

Jimmy Smith - "Goldfinger" Part I & 2 (Verve Records cat. VK/10346)

Horace Silver - "The Jody Grind, Part 1 & 2" (Blue Note cat. 45-1932)

The Three Suns - "Stumbling" b/w "Dancing Tambourine" (RCA Victor cat. 47-2756)

The Surfers - "A Touch of Pink" b/w "Mambo Jambo" (Orbit "A Sound That Is Out Of This World" cat. R 538X45)

Tommy Wills - "Night Train 66 Style" b/w "Honkey Tonk II 66 Style" (Air Town "A New Soul Sound" cat. 001)

Lloyd Green - "Green Strings" b/w "Skillit Lickin" (Hilltop Records (A Product of Pickwick International cat. 3010 (wht lbl promo)

The Who - "Pinball Wizard" b/w "Dogs Part Two" (Decca cat. 732465 (pic sleeve / Tommy pre-release promo))

SUNDAZED! 7-inches:

The Byrds - "You Movin" b/w "Boston" (Sundazed Kustom Shop cat. KS7-01 (yellow vinyl))
These sides show The Byrds in a slightly more Garage Rock vain than what was soon to come. The guitar sound is there and even some of the harmonies but this is pure cave stomp. "Boston" comes a bit closer to the traditional Byrds sound but even here it is still caught up in the sounds of the day.

The Pyramids - "Carol Ann b/w "Bikini Drag" (Sundazed cat. S-111)

Shadows Of Knight - "I Got My Mojo Working" b/w Potato Chip" (Sundazed cat. S-123)

The Counts IV - "Discussion Of the Orthodox Council;" "Spoonful;" b/w "It's All Over Now Baby Blue" (Sundazed cat. SEP 179)