Thursday, May 07, 2009

Primitive Sound System and Bill Dolan at D.C.'s - Thursday May 7th from 9PM - Closing

Hello Y'all,
A few weeks ago was Record Store Day. Now that is a holiday I can celebrate. So I packed up the family and off we went to the City. We took our six year old son to Generation Records on Thompson Street. We walked around for quite a while when suddenly he yelled, "I KNOW WHAT I WANT!" Two minutes later he was back with a CD in his hand. He could have chosen anything. His decision. Anything at all, he knows what he likes and he has a pretty good range of genres to pick from. So what did he choose? Green Day - Dookie! Not a bad first record for a six year old. He opted for the CD since he has a player in his room. I grabbed a few 7-inches and off we went to the next store. Some time after eating at Panna II we parted ways so he could go to the park and I could dig deep into the boxes at Big City Records. All in all I'd say it was a pretty good Record Store Door.

- pat.

Primitive Sound System
"Audio Visual Triumphs and Disasters" -

Primitive Sound System, Bill Dolan & Joe Raaen and of course Larry The Hunter will be our mixologist
Thursday May 7th 9PM to Closing
D.C.'s Tavern
505 8th Street
Between Jefferson and Madison
Hoboken, New Jersey
PH: 201-792-5550


Records and descriptions you can trust...

Bo Diddley - "Im High Again" b/w "Another Sugar Daddy" (Checker cat. 1200)
Bo Diddley - "Do The Frog" b/w "We're Gonna Get Married" (Checker cat. 1475)
You don't know DIDDLEY! Bo Diddley was one of the first musicians I was exposed to as a kid. My Dad had this amazing LP with Bo on the cover threatening you with his guitar. He was turned slightly, full of attitude and It was simply called, Bo Diddley. Like any great Super-hero, his secret identity was larger than life. What I loved about the cover was that Bo looked like a such a real Nerd. There was something that much more powerful about him because of it. Massive, bookish and badass. He was hiding something with that look and like the Hulk when it came out there was no escaping it. Unlike most musicians, Bo remained completely relevant until is death. Sometime in the 80's I picked up a Bo Diddley record called, "Where It All Began." It was pretty beat up and only cost a buck or two (since I have replaced it with a better copy which has the die-cut cover intact). When I got it home and dropped the needle... my jaw dropped. I had no idea Bo could be so progressive. I certainly felt like I had dropped the ball on knowing Bo. Sometime in the late 90's the LPs "The Black Gladiator" and "Big Bad Bo" got reissued and "Where It All Began sat nicely between them.

These two releases pre-date all three of these LPs. "I'm High Again" is from 1968 and "Do the Frog" from 1966.
The beat on "I'm High Again" jumps out of the grooves. Hammering from the first second. Bo knew exactly what to do. How to change with the times and not only stay current but actually be a part of the younger sounds around him. There are psychedelic guitar effects bubbling under the surface throughout explodes just before it ends. The sounds are like several guitars being swung around over head. Swirling and out of step with each other. Bo compares his relationship to being on a high and casually tosses off the comparison to LSD. There is a simplicity that makes him hip and not come across like your uncle joining a discussion about "the pot." GO! BO! "Another Sugar Daddy" is easily as good and will see the needle as much as "I'm High..." the sound here is a bit more of a throw back but not too far back. The beats are funky and the back-up vocals are raunchy, sexy and soulful. "Do The Frog" is just crazy good in the way any "do the _ _ _ _ _" (you fill in the blank) song is. This one literally sounds like it was recorded in a Garage. I know the organ sound in the back but I can't quite place it. The drums could be a tambourine and a wooden box but there are drum rolls toward the end. A lot of drum rolls. HOLY SHIT THIS IS GREAT!

Thee Midniters - "Land Of A Thousand Dances" Part I & II (Chattahoochee Records cat. CH 666)
I love the re-issue that Norton Records did for these guys a couple years ago. "Jump, Jive and Harmonize" is simply brilliant. A true stand out on the LP is the bands version of "Land of A Thousand Dances" and I couldn't be happier to have stumbled upon this copy. Part two features some of the wildest guitar playing anywhere and this band is definitely wild. There is no question that this is live and unfortunately the band struggles to be heard over the noise and screams. The guitar is pure perfection cutting through the din with a sound that is not only raw Garage rage but Soulful and Jazzy as well. Side two is really just a showcase for the guitar but the band keeps things moving enough to make this worth playing to get some drunks out on the dance floor and play human bumper cars.

Oscar Weathers - "The Spoiler" (Top and Bottom Records cat. 405)
I love records that have a big sound. This is one of those records. Vibes, soft and sweet back-up vocals, horns and pleading lead vocals. Somewhere there is an action movie that sadly does NOT have this on the soundtrack. Maybe he already has, but I am surprised Quentin Tarantino hasn't grabbed this up for one of his films. The song lopes along and never really changes but nor does it have to. just enough of everything to keep things moving, shoulders shaking slowly and eyes closed and lost in the sound.

The Coasters - "Charlie Brown" b/w "Three Cool Cats" (Atco Records cat. 45-6132)
The Coasters are another early lesson from my Dad's record collection and equally revered as Bo Diddley, Johnny Cash or Donald Byrd. Three Cool Cats has always been a favorite and I could be ant more excited to have it on a glorious 7 inch. This is raw and simple. the drums are as stead as a metronome. The guitar is lounge Jazz sly, the congas pop when an accent is needed and we are treated to a brief sax solo that lifts everything up for a moment. Of course the vocals are just stellar. Like a favorite food or even a favorite pair of socks some sounds always sound pleasing to us, the Coasters vocals ALWAYS sound pleasing to me. These guys are endlessly cool even when telling us so which is really difficult to do. Sorry unless you are in the Coasters you just ain't this cool.

Ray Rodriguez - "Workout" Part I & II (Ghetto Records cat. G - 010)
Ahh... BOOGALOO BABY! Workout part two is one of the best Descarga / Boo-ga-loo tracks I have ever heard. I think I have this on a comp somewhere but I KNOW it doesn't sound this good. Ghetto was Joey Bataan's short lived imprint and he acted as musical director on this masterpiece. and This is one of those tracks that you want playing every time you walk into a room. The band is sharp as hell and knows it. The first solo is a beautiful sax solo that doesn't just try to impress with force but engages in subtle interplay with the baritone sax. Together they create an atmosphere layered on top of the rest of the band. The track is so good that without the solos it would be great. With the solos it is one of the best records I have ever heard. There are a lot of individual reasons this is so good but one element stands out throughout the duration, knowledge. This band knows the material, knows how to play it and knows that we will notice if they aren't putting their hearts and souls into every beat. The title says it all and I definitely need to catch my breath.

Doc Bagby - "Mix It Up" (VIM - Variety In Music cat. Vim 517)
Sadly I don't know enough about Doc Bagby. I will certainly make an effort to find more after picking up this 45. "Mix It Up" punches you in the face with heavy as hell organ, drums, congas and horns. Everything is pushed to eleven and Doc Bagby seems intent on keeping that way. He does take an organ solo at one point but this is a Garage Instrumental not a Jazz side. Some how the sound is both familiar and unique. The sheer force of the track is impressive. This is like the Peter Gunn theme but played with the intent to leave your bloody body in a back alley or pushed off the dock not to save you.

Lefties Soul Connection - "Code 99" b/w "Buckaloose" (Melting Pot Music cat. 063)
Lefties Soul Connection - "Have Love Will Travel" featuring Flomega b/w "Here Come The Girls" featuring Flomega (Melting Pot Music cat. 075)
There is a very small place where Garage Rock and Soul / R&B meet. When the combo is done right it is brilliant. Lefties Soul Connection are a favorite Organ New Funk band of mine and I was pretty excited when I saw that they were covering "Have Love...." These guys get it. There is enough kick to the guitar and drums to keep this parked in the Garage but the organ swings from Garage to Soul throughout. What almost always kills any attempt at a cover, especially one so rooted in history, is the vocals. Here that is not an issue even for a second. Singing, screaming and leading us to the asylum, Flomega, rips through this classic and can certainly hold his own with the best.

The Nu-Trons - "Beat" b/w "Searchin" (Eldee Records cat. 45-85)
Not sure if this is the same Nu-Trons that I have doing "Tension" on Federal but that doesn't matter to my ears. This is easily now one of my favorite guitar instrumentals. The guitar quietly and gently introduces the drums but the drums are certainly not shy. The drums are obviously on display here (you did catch the name, right). There is an equally soft spoken sax solo before the drums take a short aggressive break before laying back into the mix. The band locks back in and takes this groove to the end. Great stuff.