Monday, January 29, 2007

"MacIDOL Monday" Returns

What happened? Where'd he go? Wha?

Dunno. Time just flies by sometimes. Anyway here are some of my favourite recent uploads at MacIDOL

Frequency Karma
Opening with a wickedly jaunty beat and getting straight down to the main question. This is Powerpop in essence. The Bangles hitting on Metallica. No drink taken.

Men Of Luggage
The Calculus Affair
When they namecheck Simon and Garfunkel you know they're serious. No-one does that without meaning it. This is some of the most gorgeous Pop since the Beach Boys.

Long Time Comin' v2
RC Andrews posted this tune up asking for additional instruments, and this is my favourite, though there are a few to choose from! A beautiful song perfectly complemented by MO's haunting guitar work.

Stevil Darkman
Funky World beat with throat music - what more could you ask for?

The Dead Dance!
A Good Front
Their tribute to the Cramps is a kickin' slice of Pre-Psychobilly Horrorpop. Great tunes alround and just the right Garage feel to the recordings. If you tried to get this sound you'd be brain twisted howling at the moon before you finished.

Tesseract (Mosterberged)

SLUMBERING!! YAY! a new slumbering track is always a cause for celebration all across the Kingdom, and this one is MOSTERBERGED. We are living on the Edge!

Invisible Bike

The Radio Told Me
Don't you just know it. Timeless and catchy from the Tasman.

Circulus Vitae II
Deadman Turner
And this works! slumbering (see above) extemporising vocals over Deadman Turners opus which uses every major and minor chord in it's composition! (Is that sharps and flats, too, I wonder? A wonderful piece.

Jesus Done Called Me
ThreeCatClem is making a name for himself as a full-on mighty guitar grinder, and this track is my favourite, though they do get heavier than this. Check out his jamroom.

Peanut Butter
And at the completely other end of the attitudinal scale is this delightful recording of a young girl's homemade song. Mighty Better Than Honey!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Bloodshot Bill and Esquerita

I was following the trail to Bloodshot Bill - that maniac who plays Guitar and drums AT THE SAME TIME as well as singing some of the wildest rockabilly around. So wild that the USA has decided to ban him from entering their fragile country. He might subvert honest folks from their chosen tasks, now, mightn't he!
So Norton Records will be putting out a single called One Man Banned.
Watch this space!
He also has a new album which is called Trashy Greasy Rockin' Billy on which he is accompanied by Johnny Montreal (of The Alley Dukes) and which contains a track called:

Ring The Bell MP3

Norton have a (first?) interview with Mary Weiss of the Shangri-La's, which is entertaining, and has some great archive photo's and anecdotes.

The Norton Icon on their web pages is the head of arch-weirdo-piano-demon Esquerita and they have a collection of his raucous rock on CD and LP. That reminded me. And he only has one track listed on the Hype Machine, so off to google and see what turns up.

The first surprise is Esqerita's Myspace page so you can listen to some tracks there, for a start. Now, what do we now about the man. Well he grew up in Greenville, South Carolina and took to the piano at an early age, playing in his local church, and somehow here the story gets blurred. There is some confusion as to whether he influenced Little Richard, or the other way round. They were about the same age and their styles are similar, but, well, different.
There are some good biographical notes and a great album by album discography.

And it's at this point that I find what I always suspected. If you go wandering down the byways of Rock'n'Roll looking for the weird and wonderful surprises that lurk there, then The Reverend Frost has been there first.
There is a more precise Discography at Wang Dang Dula. That should keep you busy for a few hours if Discographies do it for you!

Anyway. Esquerita was playing the regular spot at the Owl Club in Greenville, like the Rev said, and the story goes that Gene Vincent's guitarist Paul Peek discovered him, and brought him to the attention of Capitol's A&R department, resulting in the 1958 sessions and an album on Capitol. It's probably close to the truth. The thing is that when Paul Peek joined the Blue Caps he was playing in a band from Greenville, with Bill Mack who would soon be a Blue Cap for a while. Mack takes up the story:
Paul Peek and I started playing music together around 1955. We played some gigs with Esquerita, real name Eskew Reeder who was also from Greenville, S.C., and after we got hooked up with Gene Vincent, we introduced Esquerita to Lawrence Thacker, and Thacker introduced him to Ken Nelson, A&R man for Capitol Records. I heard that Esquerita later became a big star in Europe. His first record was, "The Flu" on Instant Records. Paul knew a musician from Greenville, S.C. by the name of Red Redding, who had moved to the Washington, D.C. area.
Just to be cool, Bill Mack from Greenville, Carolina isn't Bill Mack from Shamrock (Shamrock?) Texas.

Does this site turn up every time you search with Google?
Esquerita, the Nation

And in a nice turn around, Miriam Linna who helped to interview Shangri-La, Mary Weiss, for Norton Records, has this to say about Esquerita:
6 - Weirdest situation on stage
Another good one was playing at a party with Esquerita-- we were playing for no money and Esquerita was surprised that we would play gratis. he was watching for a while and then went and pulled at Billy's sleeve. "Introduce me!" he said, and then he joined us. He turned to me and said SLOW DOWN and I though (another Spinal Tap moment!) that me meant I was paying too fast. A few more times he turned and said SLOW DOWN and each time I was going slower... and slower... Then I realized he wanted to do the Larry Williams song Slow down! Boy, I'm a dope!

Haha! Like Esquerita would want the music slower.

I Need You MP3
Laid Off MP3

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Glen Glenn

Everybody's Movin' MP3
Blue Jeans MP3
One Cup Of Coffee MP3

Rockabilly Hall Of Fame

Glen Glenn's recordings stand out in the annals of 50s Rockabilly for a sound that you didn't hear anywhere else. Pared down, passionate, with a snappy simple sound, his recordings were earthy and raw but crisp and clean and right up in your face.

Glen was a cousin of Porter Wagoner, and toured with the Maddox Brothers (and Rose) in the mid fifties who could rock it up in their own way, but Glen's musical life turned around in 1956 when he met Elvis after a show in 1956. He didn't find a label for his music until late in 1957 because "I wanted to start on a fairly large company, so I didn't even take my records to a small company. Era had a lot of hits at that time, so they had a good distributor".
It backfired though, because in the meantime he had been drafted and was in the army for two years after his first record was released, unable to gig or promote his local hits.

As you might not be surprised to learn having heard his crisp recordings, he went on to a succesful career in Movie sound production so his name might be familiar if your the type who sits in the theatre til it's empty, hoping to see the film again.

Since his resurgence as a performer (culminating in a shared billing with Bob Dylan in 1995 - see the Hall of Fame link) started because of a record released from a little shop round the back of Camden Tube station in 1977 you should shout HALLELUJAH! and go buy a decent collection from Ace Records. Well done, Ted.