Seven years ago today Joe Strummer died suddenly in his home at Broomfield in Somerset, the victim of an undiagnosed congenital heart defect. From the time I discovered the Clash in 1979 to the present day, Joe has been a defining force in my life. When I heard the news that Joe had passed away it was a devastating day for me as well as countless others. Most of us know the basic history of The Clash, one of the most important groups of our times. Yet Joe was a man of mystery, willfully reinventing himself to take part in the 1977's radical punk movement. The reality - which included a secret family past, enormous worldwide success, bleak years in the wilderness and a triumphant return to stardom - contained all the elements of Shakespearian tragedy. But through enormous personal struggle and resolve, Joe Strummer turned his life into an uplifting, epic story. I have often said that as the world was getting it's first look at punk via the Sex Pistols and parents being scared shitless by them, it was really the Clash that should have had the parents running scared. Joe Strummer was a man I much admired and one of the greatest poets of our generation if you will. There's really nothing more I could say that hasn't been said by better writers than homercat. Was he the greatest singer? Compared to many, no. Was he the greatest guitarist with the cleanest live performance? No way. But when you read the lyrics and see the raw artistic talent, it will make you involuntarily sit down and take your breath away. Thanks for the music Joe.
Willesden To Cricklewood Global A Go-Go
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
When my alarm went off this morning my local radio DJ said something like only seven days till Christmas, and my mind went holy crap where in heck did this month go. The insanity and madness that is gripping the North American continent will soon be over. I don't know what it's like in other parts of the world right now, so I can only speak of present experience. This will be my only posting to feature Christmas music this year. Homercat will probably grace these pages a couple more times this year and then it will be vacation time until 2010.
Good Rockin recently passed it's six year mark of bringing you the best of rocking goodness. Homercat doesn't exactly get the goods out on a daily basis, but unlike many other fine music blogs who have closed up shop, he is still around. So it has kind of been a Christmas tradition here to post up the best Christmas song that I know of. Those of you who have followed Rockin' for more than a year will be familiar of what I speak about. It has been upped every year just in case someone has missed it or for those who have never heard it. This year I'm going whole hog and putting up the whole damn album. If you are a Mojo fan, this is arguably his best CD. If you are looking for something different in your holiday music, here it is. This recording sounds like Mojo and the Toadliquors got together for a few (too many) drinks to rehearse, and just ended up recording that. It's a great mix of R&B, traditional, and a few original songs. The singing and playing may be a little sloppy, but the inspired piano playing by Wet Dawg more than makes up any musical short-comings. A Christmas album for the masses who despise Christmas albums. Mojo's interpretations and "re-wordings" of classic Christmas tunes, as well as some original tunes leads to a FUNKY-FINE CHRISTMAS!!! This is the best holiday album I own which contains the best Chritmas song ever which also may be one of the best songs ever in the song It's Christmas Time.
1. Happy Birthday
2. Trim Yo' Tree
3. Good King Wenceslas
4. Mr. Grinch
5. Head Crushing Yuletide Sing-A-Long
6. It's Christmas Time
7. Jingle Bells
8. Boogie Woogie Santa Clause
9. Santa Clause Go Straight To The Ghetto
10. Run Rudolf Run
11. We Three Kings
12. Everyday Will Be A Holiday
13. Sleigh Ride
14. Little Man Song
15. Go Tell It On A Mountain
16. 'Twas The Night Before Christmas
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Christmas Wrapping by The Donnas
Song For a Winters Night by Sarah McLachlan
Christmas Card From a Hooker in Minneapolis by Tom Waits
Sunday, December 13, 2009
For nearly three decades Powder Blues has been Canada’s favorite blues band. Their music incorporates elements of Swing, Blues, Jazz, Rock & Roll and Rhythm & Blues into their unique and instantly identifiable sound. This broad approach has resulted in an appeal whose demographic is so wide that it is not unusual to find people from seven to seventy swaying side by side at a Powder Blues concert. Throughout the years they have toured ceaselessly throughout Canada, the United States and overseas, spreading the joy of a music that makes people smile and dance. When they first burst upon the recording scene in late 1979, with their self-financed and self-produced debut album, ‘Uncut’, after nearly two years of wood shedding and honing their unique blend of sounds in Vancouver’s then flourishing nightclub scene, the established recording industry label giants shrugged their effort off as ‘not commercial’. The band was told there was ‘no market for the blues’.
Undiscouraged, the band pressed the album at their own expense and proceeded to sell it off stage and deliver it to radio stations. When the switchboards at the stations lit up with calls asking ‘who’s that?’ other stations followed suit. After selling nearly 30,000 copies in a matter of weeks, the major record labels came calling and entered a bidding war for the band’s services and the right to distribute this ‘non-commercial’ product nationally. RCA won the contract and to date that album has gone on to sell over a million copies worldwide. In June of 1981 The Powder Blues released their second album 'Thirsty Ears'. It shipped platinum and the first single reached Top 5 nationally. Their touring schedule continued at a pace of over 300 shows per year. You wanna hear something pathetic? The first time homercat ever heard these guys was the day after he got his new turntable and he started playing the Missus' old vinyl. When I put it on and listened I was enthralled. Very, very infectious stuff. So I had to rip and share my find. Now I'm haunting the the used record and thrift stores looking for more Powder Blues since all their stuff seems to be out of print. A Great album for people with "thirsty ears".
Thirsty Ears Joy Ridin' Secret Success
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Six-time Juno award-winner Colin James has driven his 12-album, 25-year career with his blues influenced guitar mastery and soulful vocals. Colin has juggled his skills as a singer, guitarist and big-band leader so well over the years that diversity seems almost synonymous with his career. Throughout it all, Colin has always forged ahead, without regard to fads or trends, going wherever his muse takes him.
On his latest album, Rooftops and Satellites, Colin’s singing and guitar playing has never been more soulful and his new songs are among his most meaningful ever. This album came out the first week of October and I can't get enough. It’s not a breakthrough disc by any means or even a comeback record, because Colin’s an established rock and blues institution who’s never gone away. But it is an album that serves notice that Colin James just keeps on getting better and better with every studio outing. Searching the net I managed to find just a couple reviews of this album. One reviewer didn't like it as much as his 2005 album Limelight. I have to disagree. While there aren't any downright blistering blues riffs on this album, overall it is way better and every song is a keeper. Compared to Limelight which I felt had one or two throwaway tracks on it. In fact you could slap any song from the new album on the radio and it should be a hit. The songs are very stay in your head all day catchy and there is a perfect mix of horns, guitars and all the James trademarks his fans love. This disc is burning a hole in my head because I can't quit listening to it.
Homercat scrobbles his tracks over at Last FM and when I checked out his artist page I was shocked to see that I was one of only 47 listeners out of millions who have listened to this new album. That's shameful and I always try to rectify a situation where an artist doesn't have enough exposure. Rooftops and Satellites will be on my year end top ten list and more than likely will take the top spot. James is also one of those artists that sounds better live than on album. I've seen him every trip he's made through Victoria and his performances are nothing short of jaw dropping. So here's a suggestion, feed these couple of tunes through your ear canals, take a chance, buy the album for yourself or as a gift for the music lover on your Christmas list and you'll be glad you did. Better yet, If you can catch him live on this tour buy a ticket, you won't be sorry. You can thank me later eh.
Wavelength Better Than I Can Imagine
Friday, December 04, 2009
Banned on Vulcan is a 4 song EP by the dark cabaret/darkwave artist Voltaire. It was released in 2001. Voltaire is a great fan of Star Trek, frequently attending conventions. All four tracks on this album relate to the Star Trek universe, and mention characters, places, and situations from the all the shows. Not to mention that this stuff is catchy and absolutely hilarious. Even if you're just a passing fan of Trek this is too good to miss and you'll want to track it down. I'm going to feature two of the songs from this EP and give a little description. Check em out and soon you'll be trying to find this classic gem at your local record store.
Worf's Revenge (Klingon Rap)"
A gangsta rap-esque song celebrating the character Worf, a Klingon who first appeared in Star Trek: The Next Generation, and later, Star Trek: Deep Space 9 extolling his physical strength, achievements, and sexual prowess, referencing his on-screen romances with Deanna Troi, Jadzia Dax and Ezri Dax.
The U.S.S. Make Shit Up"
A song about treknobabble, Star Trek's tendency to use borderline nonsense to explain away technical details, and some inconsistencies within the Star Trek universe. It describes every series from The Original Series to Voyager. A live version of this song also appears on Voltaire's live album, Live!, and includes a "bonus verse" dealing with Enterprise.
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Prairie Oyster is an award-winning Canadian country music group from Ontario. They were named Country Group or Duo of the year six times by both the Canadian Country Music Association and the Juno Awards. The band actually formed in 1974 as a trio playing live gigs and disbanded only to reform and release their debut album in 1986. The band released their first greatest hits album, String of Pearls, in 2000. This is just a terrific album if you like country music or you are unfamiliar with this great Canadian band. The singing is good, the writing is wonderful, and there's a range of different sounds on the album so you can listen all the way through and it doesn't get dull. Their albums are extremely hard to get a hold of besides this album and their most recent album which came out in 2006. All the other albums seem to be out of print and I can't find any of them. Too bad as I really enjoy this group. Not all is lost though, as I will be searching for them on vinyl whichg may be easier to find.
Black Eyed Susan She Won't Be Lonely Long
Friday, November 27, 2009
I'm going to put up this quick post about classic Canadian rockers Chilliwack for a couple reasons. First off this is my first vinyl rip from my new turntable and the sound quality is pretty darn good for a first timer and secondly my free time has been almost non existent lately which I'll talk about in a future post. I didn't want everyone to think I had fallen off the face of the earth. Opus X is the tenth album (hence the "X") by the Canadian rock band Chilliwack, released in 1982. Producers Bill Henderson and Brian MacLeod received the Juno Award for "Producer of the Year" for their work on the songs "Whatcha Gonna Do" and "Secret Information" from this album. This is the whole album and will only be available for a short time.
Whatcha Gonna Do
She Don't Know
Lean On Me
Don't It Make You Feel Good
Really Don't Mind
You're Gonna Last
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Friday, November 20, 2009
Colin James is one of my all time favorite musicians and if you've been around my site for any length of time, you know I have mentioned him here and there. We go and see him every time he is in town and this tour is no exception. We just scored tickets for his second sold out show here in Victoria for February and I can't wait. He is supporting the release of his latest album which I'm going to cover in a future post.
Colin James is an artist that Canadians know all about. Colin James grew up in Saskatchewan, listening to folk and blues. After learning the penny-whistle and mandolin, he quit school and worked with a succession of bands. I hadn't heard of him until I moved to Canada. He really needs more exposure in outside of his native Canada because he is truly a great blues guitarist. I guess you could say his big break came in 1984 when a band he was in got the gig for opening for Stevie Ray Vaughn in Regina. Vaughan was so impressed that he took James on the road with him to open several dates in the US. James first album debuted in 1988 and became the fastest-selling album in Canadian history. The biggest problem for Americans is, he doesn't tour the U.S. very much, and spends most of his time in Canada where his shows sell out instantly.
Bad Habits is a blues rock album by James, released in 1995. I say this as James has another project called Colin James and the Little Big Band where his music is more swing oriented and they have released three albums. Bad Habits earned James the 1996 Juno Award for "Male Vocalist of the Year". This is a fine set of both original and cover material. Paring back the sound to the basic guitar, bass and drums, James uses horns and keyboards to color and accentuate certain tracks rather than overwhelm them. This is a five star effort that edges right into essential albums for any fan of music. There are several killer cuts from this album. In fact the first time I saw James perform Better Days live, I thought I was going to lose my mind. It sounded so damn good and he can positively make that guitar of his wail like nobody's business. So if you're unfamiliar with his work, you've got to give these two tunes a spin.
Better Days Saviour
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
There is a reason I haven't been around for a bit. Homercat has finally acquired a turntable and he has been rediscovering the vinyl age. So all those vinyl albums that have been sitting around forever finally got to have their moment in the sun again. The price was right too, as in free. We were at a friends house that has tons of vinyl and he showed me crates and crates of stuff that he was going to get rid of as they were all duplicates. See he buys vinyl by the boxful and ends up with a lot of duplicates. As the conversation turned around to me maybe taking them off his hand as I was finally thinking about getting that turntable he says hey I've got one that's still in the box that I got a long time ago with a bunch of stuff. Take home and see if it works. It does and it's a beaut. Now the adventure has begun and I'm scouring thrift stores and used record stores again looking for forgotten treasure.
As I slipped on that very first album it took me back to when vinyl was king. Holding that album and reading the liner notes while the record played was our closest connection to the artist. Some of us would actually use the cover to roll up a big doobie while we listened to Pink Floyd's Atom Heart Mother for the umpteenth time. We only had 2 TV stations, 3 on a good night, and they usually signed off at midnight. Remember that test pattern they'd run. If you were lucky one of the magazines like Rolling Stone, Circus, Hit Parader or Creem would have an article about your favorite artist. You never saw them on TV unless you allowed to stay up late on the weekend for the Midnight Special. So when you bought that new album you would cherish it. Nowadays you can take your music everywhere with you, but back then you had to wait till you got home to hear your favorite record as turntables weren't the most portable of devices. I do know that those of us who grew up listening to our favorite artists on the record player will never forget what it was like to buy that new album and that feeling you had when you held it while the music played.
Album art and packaging was an art form in itself and I feel that now album art is a lost art form. So many new releases now tend to be so uninspiring as to produce many yawns and a lackluster response in general. I couldn't begin to tell you how many albums I purchased based on the cover itself. Without even knowing who the heck they were or what they sounded like, if a cover caught my eye I would think,"That cover is so damn cool that it has to be good" and 80% of time it would be great. My most prized piece of vinyl back in the day was Alice Cooper's 1972 release, School's Out. The original album cover (designed by Craig Braun) had the sleeve opening in the manner of an old school desk. You could actually fold it out into a desk and you opened the lid and the vinyl record inside was wrapped in a pair of girl's panties. Priceless I tell you. When you removed the record, there was all manner of clutter in the desk that you could spend hours looking at. I can tell you it's a hard puppy to find now.
So I may be spending more time refining my ripping skills and getting some of my great rare and out of print stuff on the pc. In the meantime I have been enjoying the warm and friendly sounds of an old friend. Today I'm just going to put up a few gems from back when I got my very first record player. So somewhere down the road I should have some old goodies for you.
Green Eyed Lady by Sugarloaf
One Toke Over the Line by Brewer and Shipley
Afternoon Delight by Starland Vocal Band Yo Yo by The Osmonds
Posted by homercat at 3:07 PM
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Tom Cochrane, whether on his own or with Red Rider, has long been an underrated and overlooked rocker-poet-folkie. It was a funny thing when I did a little research about Tom to fill in the gaps of my knowledge about him. Canadian web sites are chock full of information and no wonder as he is a premiere Canadian artist. Check out any US based web sites and he barely garners a short paragraph. For example Rolling Stone had this to say.
For U.S. audiences, singer-songwriter Tom Cochrane's career can be summarized in four words: "Life is a Highway." In his native Canada, however, he's parlayed his brand of radio-ready, Bob Seger-meets-Bryan Adams heartland rock into a lasting career. His crafty songs continue to fill a void for people who like their music uncomplicated and to-the-point.
I would rather listen to Tom Cochrane over Bryan Adams or Bob Seger at any time because Tom is a fine musician and a great humanitarian and that short little paragraph doesn't even come close to explaining the scope of his music. One of the things I found interesting is that he actually released his first solo album in 1974, way before the Red Rider years. Then he went to Los Angeles where he got a line on writing theme music for the Happy Hooker, Xavier Hollander, movie My Pleasure Is My Business. After that he drove a taxi in Toronto and then landed a job on a Carribean cruise liner. Eventually one night he walked into the El Mocambo club in Toronto and met a group called Red Rider and he auditioned and got the job. In 1990 Red Rider was officially history and as research and new inspiration, Cochrane took his family to West Africa on a fact finding mission in 1990 for the famine relief organization World Vision -- he would make two more trips just like it to raise awareness and money. That experience, dealing with the starving masses, helped shape his next album - 'Mad Mad World' - and specifically it's international hit single "Life Is A Highway".
It's really too bad Tom has never got more exposure in the states other than the overplayed Life is a Highway. Songs like Stonecutter's Arms, No Regrets and Big League really give you a better idea of what Tom's music is all about. Folks just don't know whats they is missing. A good starting point to explore more of Tom's music is the 2002 release Trapeze which is a 2 disc overview of his career. The first disc covers his Red Rider days and the second disc covers his solo work and every single cut is a gem and really is essential music for any fan of rock n roll.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Lone Rhino is the first solo-career album by the artist Adrian Belew following years of playing in groups such as Talking Heads (as a touring member) and King Crimson (as lead singer and main songwriter), Frank Zappa, and David Bowie to name a few. Really the list of people he has played with is pretty incredible as he is widely recognized as an "incredibly versatile player. He remains one of the most underrated and woefully overlooked guitarists of recent times. Belew has released a number of solo albums for Island Records and Atlantic Records which blend Beatles-inspired pop-rock with more experimental fare.
Belew was discovered by Frank Zappa in 1977, where he was playing in Nashville with a band called Sweetheart. Zappa invited Belew to audition for an open spot for an upcoming tour which he landed easily. It was during Zappa's lengthy 1978 U.S. tour that David Bowie came to see a performance, which resulted in Belew being invited to join Bowie's touring band when the Zappa tour wrapped up. Once more, Belew accepted, touring the world alongside Bowie and appearing on his 1978 live recording, Stage, and 1979 studio effort, Lodger. Just as Belew's Bowie gig was about to wind down, he received an offer he couldn't refuse from another artist, Brian Eno, who introduced the guitarist to the Talking Heads, who were in the middle of recording their classic 1980 release Remain in Light. Belew was invited to lay down guitar for the songs, which led to his participation on the album's supporting tour. Belew just kept falling into somegreat gigs because of his versatile guitar work. It was around this time that Belew also began work Lone Rhino which came out in 1982 and includes the incredible robotic funk of Big Electric Cat.
The Momur Big Electric Cat
Sunday, November 08, 2009
Any Mojo Nixon fan will greedily scarf up this offering before it has much of a chance to get to know the shelf. Especially since this is out of print, although I do believe you can download the mp3's from Amazon or Itunes, I think. A fantastic example of what happens when attitude, rockabilly, and smart lyrics go out drinking together. Whereabouts Unknown came out in 1995 and shortly into the opening track, "Gotta Be Free," he is talking about having his penis enlarged, and later on, "Tie My Pecker to My Leg" is probably his bawdiest song ever. In between, often shouting over familiar blues-rock riffs, he explains that he loves his girlfriend more than anything except football. Then he also says, "I ain't gonna be George Bush's whore" in the four-years-out-of-date anti-war song "My Free Will Just Ain't Willin'"; demanded "Don't Ask Me Why I Drink"; and launched into a cover of the Smiths' "Girlfriend in a Coma" that found him calling songwriter Morrissey "a fruitcake" and declaring, "I am the anti-Morrissey." So get the damn album, son, grab a twelve pack of cheap beer, and surf away on some classic Mojo groovin.
If I Can Dream Tie My Pecker to My Leg
Friday, November 06, 2009
Slayed? is the third studio album by the British rock group Slade. It was released in 1972, and reached No. 1 on the UK charts.
The album contains two of the group's biggest hits; "Gudbuy t'Jane" and "Mama Weer All Crazee Now", and is consistently said by rock critics to be their "...greatest studio album," whereas fans tend to disagree and a lot of them say that this accolade belongs to Slade in Flame. I'm not one of those fans. This is the essential Slade album. Taking away the two big hits from the equation, Slayed? is a nonstop party, from the riotously self-fulfilling prophecy of "The Whole World's Goin' Crazee" to the down-key but still eminently stompalong-able "Look at Last Nite," the latter a reminder that, even at its loudest, Slade was still capable of some fetching balladry. It is said that the closing medley of "Let the Good Times Roll" and "Feel So Fine" was the closest you could come to the mania of a Slade live show without actually going out and buying a ticket. Of course, listeners don't have that option today. This is essential rock n roll!
The Whole World's Goin' Crazee Let the Good Times Roll / Feel So Fine
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
I was talking to my young protege at work the other day and the conversation was naturally about music and something he said caused me to mention Dread Zeppelin and he said who's that? I went OMG (sometimes you gotta talk their language) you've never heard of Dread Zeppelin? So I proceeded to educate him and soon the whole concept of the band was blowing his mind. Anyway I mentioned them briefly back in September and did a full piece on them some 4 years ago. Once again I feel I must pull out the education stick out and start breaking some heads with it so we won't have to hear "who's that" again.
So do you like Elvis? Do you like Led Zeppelin? Do you like reggae? If so then Dread Zeppelin is a band that will be right up your alley. Channeling the musical spirits of Led Zeppelin, Elvis Presley, and Bob Marley to create a unique novelty rock sound that is surprisingly good and is heartily endorsed by no less than Robert Plant himself. Led by one Tortelvis, a 300-pound Elvis impersonator, the lineup also included guitarists Jah Paul Jo and Carl Jah, bassist Butt-Boy, percussionist Ed Zeppelin, and drummer Fresh Cheese. Don't forget Charlie Haj (the man who hands Tortelvis his water and towels on stage). I think these guys were hanging out one night and after smoking some good weed they thought hey we should try this it sounds cool.
Dread played their debut live gig on January 8, 1989 (the 54th anniversary of Elvis' birth), the CA-based group performed reggae-influenced renditions of classic Led Zep anthems capped off by Presley-like vocals. By 1990 the group released their first album Un-led-ed which contained all zeppelin covers. Dread Zeppelin's second album, 5,000,000, followed in 1991 and contained zep songs and a few original compositions. Even after all these years of listening to these guys time after time, it's still funny. But even more amazing is the fact that this was ONE TIGHT BAND. Brilliant guitars, loud drums, and incredible production tells you these guys are a serious band. Even Robert Plant said he thought their version of "Your Time is Gonna Come" was better than Led Zeppelins original version. Now that's high praise. The lineups have changed over the years, yet they released a new album 2 years ago so Dread Zeppelin is still spreading their patented "zeppelin-inna-reggae-style" around the world. So young grasshopper you now know a little more about Tortelvis and the gang.
Whole Lotta Love Your Time is Gonna Come
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Da Da is a highly overlooked Cooper album from 1983. The album revolves around an insane, unnamed character(Who some think may be Steven again). The character is a cannibal, as revealed in the song, "Fresh Blood." The title track is an instrumental introduction to the album in which we here fragments of a conversation between a psychologist and his patient. Soon it becomes clear that the patient has a history of violence, cannibalism, and is confused whether he has a son or a daughter. The same confusion reigns as whether this is a "Steven" album or not.
“[Doctor] Tell me about your son. [Patient] My son, yeah well, he took care of me. He's took care of me for a long, he still takes care of me. She takes good, and she takes care of me. She takes, she takes good care of me. He takes care of me, Do you believe it. I have a daughter too. [Doctor] You don't have a daughter. [Patient] Yeah, I have a daughter, yeah. [Doctor] A son - you have a son, a son. [Patient] No I, no I, all I have, I have I have a son, I have a son and a daughter, and a daughter. No, I have a son, daughter, daughter too, and a boy, and a boy “
The patient’s confusion is probably a flirt with the Alice Cooper persona. Alice Cooper is a man with a girl’s name, and therefore the patient could be Alice’s father. In the next song “Enough’s Enough”, it becomes clearer that there is a father character in the story. It’s father of the storyteller (Steven?). We learn that the father was glad when the mother died, and that he kept the storyteller’s brother, Former Lee Warmer, locked up in the attic. Then the songs tells the story of how the main character gets by in America (“No Man’s Land”), how he falls in love (“Dyslexia”), an erotic venture with two women (“Scarlet and Sheba”), what he thinks of his home country (“I love America”), a song about a cannibal like killer (“Fresh Blood”) and at last a suicide epic (“Pass The Gun Around”). It’s mainly the first song, the third “Former Lee Warmer” and the last song on the album, which has made many Alice Cooper fans suspect that the person telling the story is in fact Steven. The themes present on the album, and especially in these three songs resemble those on the “Steven albums”. The three Stevenesque tracks are some some of the creepiest Alice Cooper tunes in his entire catalogue. Although relatively short at 9 tracks, This Cooper album ranks in my top 5 fave Alice Cooper albums and I have every one of them. There's just something about it that grabs me. Unfortunately Alice has never performed the material from this album live. He says that he doesn't even remember recording this album he was drinking so heavily. I would love to hear a live version of Former Lee Warmer. It just wouldn't be Halloween without Former Lee.
This album Out of Print
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Voltaire, is a Cuban-American musician popular in the goth scene, although I would have to say it's closer to new wave than anything else. He's also an experienced animation and comic artist, and is a professor at the School of Visual Arts in New York. Even though Voltaire was born in Cuba, his music has strong roots and connections to European folk as well as other influences such as the goth scene. However, many listeners (including myself) find his music hard to classify. Although it has a sound reminiscent of European folk music, many people claim it to be darkwave or even goth cabaret. One thing is for sure it is extremely enjoyable to listen to and addictive as well. The album Boo Hoo came out in 2002 and was largely inspired by his sadness over the breakup of a relationship. Thus the hilarious cover art: Voltaire as sweater-wearing troubadour on stage, one eye blackened, with broken hearts behind him. The album features the song "BRAINS!" which is arguably Voltaire's most notable song which was originally a song written for the Cartoon Network show The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy. Good Stuff and I'll certainly be featuring more Voltaire coming up.
BRAINS! The Vampire Club
Monday, October 26, 2009
Army Of Darkness is a 1993 comedy horror/adventure film and the third installment in the Evil Dead series. The original title was supposed to be Bruce Campbell vs the Army of Darkness. The Evil Dead series are just all around awesome and fun horror movies to watch. They are so over the top, especially the third one. I watched this yet again the other night and Bruce has many memorable one liners. Army of Darkness is not as violent or gory as the prior Evil Dead films, relying more on slapstick. It does have it's moments though. Danny Elfman wrote the "March of the Dead" theme for the movie, but after the re-shoots were completed, Evil Dead II composer Joseph LoDuca returned to score the new film. LoDuca sat down with Raimi and they went over the entire film, scene by scene. The composer used his knowledge of synthesizers and was able to present many cues in a mock-up form before he took them in front of an orchestra. I had to put up the whole album for us Evil Dead fans, but it won't be up long.
Building The Deathcoaster
Give Me Some Sugar/Boneanza
Ash In Chains
The Forest Of The Dead/Graveyard
God Save Us
March Of The Dead (Elfman)
Whites Of Their Skulls
On The Parapet
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Sunday, October 25, 2009
Today I'm going to talk some more about Alice Cooper's fictional homicidal maniac character known as Steven. Steven made his official first appearance on the Welcome to My nightmare album but his roots can be traced back to the Love it to Death album on the song "Ballad of Dwight Fry" which is a predecessor to the character. In fact Alice has said that this song was the one that gave him the idea to invent the character of Steven. On the follow up to the Nightmare album, Alice Cooper Goes to Hell, the album has a text on the original LP inner sleeve that says:
“Lay still, Steven, and I'll tell you a bedtime story. I'll tell you a bedtime story that's not for all children. It's a very special story, that only special children will understand. It's a half-awake story, and it will be better if you close your eyes. It's a story that takes place in a dream, like other nightmares you have known. It's a dream that Alice has dreamed. You can dream along with him. You can follow Alice down the staircase, deep, down the stairs to the pit where he doesn't want to go, but he has to. If you go to sleep now, Steven, you can go down the long and endless stairway and sing sweet songs to Alice and free him. And if you can't get to sleep, Steven, and in the middle of the night you get out of bed, when everything is quiet and the trees are still and the birds are hiding from the dark, you can lie down on your bedroom floor and press your ear tightly to the boards. If you listen very carefully you can hear Alice searching for a way out, forever chasing rainbows. Sleep tight, Steven. And have a good night.”
The music itself seems to be more about Alice himself rather than Steven. In 1983 Cooper released the ultra creepy Da Da which is an album that revolves around an insane, unnamed character. The character is a cannibal, as revealed in the song, "Fresh Blood." The themes present on the album, and especially in three of the songs resemble those on the “Steven albums”. There is a Steven=Alice theory that supports the hypothesis that Steven is the main character on Dada, but I will deal with that in another post.
The next "official" appearance on an album came in 1991 with the Album Hey Stoopid. Steven makes his appearance on the last track on the album called Wind up Toy. Though the song was never released as a single, the song is very popular among Cooper's fans, often favourite above all others by some. In the song we learn that he is imprisoned in a lunatic hospital and that he makes only friends are the insects, rats and his toys on the floor. This tells us that he still has the mind of a small child. Obviously it upset Steven to become an adult. The song possibly suggests something happened that forced him to be like an adult, before he was ready for it. In the closing moments of the song we hear in a creepy schizophrenic voice,
You have to go now it's bedtimeThen a short pause and in an almost quiet like, child's frightened cry we hear a drawn out Steeeeven that will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end. Stay tuned, more Steven to come.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Most people know Fred Scneider as frontman for the best party band of the late 70's new wave era, the B-52's. What some people don't know is that he released a couple solo albums also. Well the first one was called Fred Schneider and the Shake Society. It was released in 1984 before the B-52's released Bouncing off the Satellites. Satellites is not one of the B-52's better efforts. Too bad they couldn't have combined the two albums and came out with one great album. So I'm going to feature Monster which is a perennial favorite Halloween song from Fred's first solo album. It certainly has been featured here before because it's an upbeat, quirky, funny song which had a great video which aired a lot on MTV back when they were good and used to play just music videos. In the song there is an innuendo implied, although Fred states in the disclaimer that this wacky space-age song is about a dinosaur walking around in his polka dot PJ's and not what some dirty-minded people might think. You decide, here's part of a lyric. "There's a monster in my pants and it does a nasty dance. When it moves in and out. Everybody starts to shout. Monster aah!" The backing vocalists include Kate Pierson. If you liked the B-52's then you should have this album. Here's a couple great Halloween party tunes.
I'm Gonna Haunt You
Friday, October 23, 2009
Songs in the Key of X: Music from and Inspired by the X-Files was the first album released in association with the popular television series The X-Files released in 1996. It contained both music that had been featured in the show, as well as music whose themes were in line with the concepts of the show. The album peaked at #47 on Billbord's Top 200 chart. Producers used the Compact Disc's pregap, so a listener would have to actually manually rewind the first track a full nine minutes to hear the 2 hidden tracks by Nick Cave. This is hinted at in the CD booklet - "Nick Cave and the Dirty Three would like you to know that "0" is also a number." Not all CD or DVD players will allow you to "rewind" back to these tracks as this violates Red Book standards. I was tempted to put up the bonus "hidden" tracks but decided against it and will go with my faves from one of my all time favorite TV shows.
Unmarked Helicopters by Soul Coughing (featured in episode: Max)
Red Right Hand by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (featured in episode: Ascension)
This is another repost from last year. The movie and the music have a solid cult following around the world.
Phantom of the Paradise is a 1974 horror-thriller musical film written and directed by Brian De Palma. The story is a loosely adapted mixture of Phantom of the Opera, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Picture of Dorian Gray and Faust. The film was marketed with the tagline "He sold his soul for rock n'roll", and then with "He's been maimed and framed, beaten, robbed and mutilated. But they still can't keep him from the woman he loves." Initially a box office failure and panned by some critics, it has since gained a huge cult following. The film was a box-office bomb the year of its initial showings. Curiously, the film's major market during its theatrical release was in Winnipeg, Canada where it stayed in local cinemas over four months continuously and over one year non-continuously until 1976. Relatedly, the soundtrack sold 20,000 copies in Winnipeg alone, and it got Gold status in Canada. The film was later shown on area IMAX screens in the 90s. A 2006 fan-organized festival, dubbed 'Phantompalooza', reunited the original cast and featured a concert by Paul Williams in the very theatre where the film played during its original run. A cult favorite and hard to find.
1. Goodbye, Eddie, Goodbye - Archie Hahn, Juicy Fruits
2. Faust - Bill Finley
3. Upholstery - Jeffrey Comanor, Beach Bums
4. Special to Me (Phoenix Audition Song) - Jessica Harper
5. Phantom's Theme (Beauty and The Beast) - Paul Williams
6. Somebody Super Like You (Beef Construction Song) - Harold Oblong, The Undeads
7. Life at Last - Ray Kennedy
8. Old Souls - Jessica Harper
9. Faust - Paul Williams
10. The Hell of It - Paul Williams
Copy and Paste this link into your browser to download
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Agents of Fortune is the fourth studio album by Blue Oyster Cult released in 1976. The platinum selling album peaked at #29 on Billboard's Pop Albums chart, while the single "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" peaked at #12 on the Pop Singles chart, making it Blue Öyster Cult's biggest hit. The album was also the band's greatest critical success. Of course, upon the success of the single, "(Don't Fear) The Reaper", Blue Öyster Cult became the center of a controversy surrounding the supposed pro-suicide lyrics of the song. Some stupid idiots never actually listened to the song which is a love ballad concerning love that lasts beyond death, and a call to seize the day. Unfortunately stupid idiots still exist to this day and continue to run around screaming, "oh that bad music makes people kill themselves, we must ban it so we can protect everybody". But forget them, this is essential rock n roll here. Reaper was also inadvertantly responsible for one of the funniest sketches ever to appear on Saturday Night Live that aired in 2000. Featuring the overly loud and vigorous cowbell player, Gene Frenkle (played by Will Ferrell). Absolutely hilarious.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Shaun of the Dead is a brilliant zombie movie and one of the best to come out in the last 20 years or so. We just watched it again last night and it just rocks. Prominent are many references to George A. Romero's earlier Dead films (Night, Dawn and Day of the Dead, with Dawn in particular being referenced). In particular, the plot of Shaun relates directly to the plots of Romero's zombie films — all of which involve several people trapped in a building, with flesh-eating zombies attempting to break in to devour them, without a direct explanation for the cause of the zombie plague. The title Shaun of the Dead is also both an obvious parody of and homage to the title Dawn of the Dead. Numerous lines, scenes and background details also directly refer to the Romero films, including the music playing over the Universal logo, which is the synthesizer soundtrack to Dawn of the Dead. The film also features a Kid Koala remix of "The Gonk," which was used over the closing credits of Dawn.
The film's score by Pete Woodhead and Daniel Mudford is a pastiche of Italian zombie film soundtracks by artists like Goblin and Fabio Frizzi. It also uses many musical cues from the original Dawn of the Dead that were originally culled by George A. Romero from the De Wolfe production music library.
A short clip of the music video to The Smiths' single "Panic" is shown in the movie, where the line "Panic on the streets of London" is heard while Shaun is flicking through TV channels. Also the song "Don't Stop Me Now" by Queen is heard in a scene at the pub where Shaun, Liz, and Ed bludgeon the zombified owner of the pub to the beat of the tune. Additionally, "Kernkraft 400" by Zombie Nation is heard during one scene while Shaun is on a bus. Great movie, great soundtrack.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
A quick little weekend post. I won't have to go into much discussion here as I covered Zombina and the Skeletones a couple of posts ago. Today a couple of songs from one of their Halloween themed EP's. The EP is called Halloween Party Classics and it included just four covers of some classic Halloween tunes that are perfect for any rockin' Halloween parties. I believe it was released in 2007 and I'm not sure where one would go to buy the EP now as I'm pretty sure it's a fairly rare commodity now. Enjoy.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Welcome to My Nightmare is a concept album by Alice Cooper, released in 1975. This was Alice Cooper's first solo album (all previous Alice Cooper releases were band efforts). The songs, heard in sequence, form a journey through the nightmares of a child named Steven. This is the first appearance of Steven on an album. He goes on to appear officially on 3 more albums and may unofficially be referenced on others. Referencing other sites throughout the net and my own observations, we will take a walk through the Nightmare today because Alice Cooper certainly conjures up images of Halloween.
The album is a journey through Steven's mind, which is severely damaged. He lives in a constant nightmare and we are guided through this nightmare, by The Curator (played by Vincent Price). In the first song on the album, the title track, we are introduced to the nightmare. On the second song, “Devils Food”, Steven is trapped in a spider's web and is about to be eaten by The Black Widow. The spider and the web (and the whole nightmare) are only in his mind, so Steven thinks he has to obey The Black Widow, to get away alive.
The next song on the album is called "Some Folks," and reading between the lines, one can understand that the song is about how Steven enjoys killing women and possibly making love to their dead bodies, and then we learn of Steven’s abuse of his wife. The song “Only Women Bleed” tells us this. We once again learn of Steven’s lust for the dead, in the song “Cold Ethyl” where it’s clear that Steven is having sex with a woman’s (Ethyl’s) corpse. The next thing that is revealed to the listener is of Steven’s childhood and how he became the psycho killer we now know. In “Years Ago” we understand that Steven was alone as a child, and maybe that he feels rejected by friends and adults. The song “Steven” shows his transformation from an innocent child to a murderer. The refrain to the song “Steven” goes like this:
“Steven!/ Steven! I hear my name! Steven! Is someone calling me? I hear my name! Steven! That icy breath it whispers screams of pain!”
The voice that chants “Steven! Steven!” is most probably his wife, as he is killing her. This means that Steven could be beseeching her to stop screaming. After we have taken part of Steven’s transformation, he wakes up. Until now, we are unsure if the nightmare is a real nightmare or in fact part of Steven’s mental disease. But in the song “The Awakening” we understand that during the nightmare, Steven has killed his wife. From this we can draw the conclusion that the nightmare occurred when Steven was sleepwalking but not knowing what was real or what was his imagination, he abused his wife during “Only Women Bleed”, made love to her corpse during “Cold Ethyl” and then sat down in his easy chair, “waking up” and at first thinking that everything was a bad dream. But then he realizes what he has done. As a result of this he escapes into drinking alcohol, which takes place in "Escape". This is the basic storyline although there are some aspects of some of the songs that seem to still be up for debate.
Knowing the full story line makes the album that much creepier. Although Only Women Bleed is a nice ballad on it's own which charted at #12 on the charts, sandwiched in between the other songs it becomes more of a creepy song. While the album on first listen is not as gritty as previous albums with the Alice Cooper band, after listening to it knowing the story behind Steven, one realizes that the concept and the album is quite brilliant. Later on this month we will walk again with Steven and discuss his relationship with Alice, but for now listen to these three tracks in sequence with the alternate version of The Awakening instead of the original, then tell me it doesn't send a chill or two up your spine.
Years Ago Steven
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Zombina and The Skeletones are a horror rock band from Liverpool, England, formed in 1998 around the nucleus of vocalist Zombina and songwriter Doc Horror. The majority of their tongue in cheek lyrical content deals with themes of horror and science fiction, yet their musical style is upbeat and pop oriented, with elements of garage punk, doo wop and hard rock. Some critics have said they are the best unsigned band on the planet, and no-one even realizes they're unsigned. Fiercely self-sufficient since their inception in 1998 while still at school, the band have combined brain-controlling hooks, exceptional pop, electrifying stage shows, gallons of blood and good old fashioned hard graft to build a truly international fan base of all ages and, seemingly, all tastes. On record they're the 'Beatles of Horror', with albums such as "Taste the Blood of Zombina and the Skeletones", "Halloween Hollwerin'", "Monsters On 45", "Death Valley High" and "Out Of The Crypt And Into Your Heart". Taste The Blood Of Zombina and the Skeletones is the first official album by them which first came out in 2003. I have really gotten into these guys big time and simply love their music and personally highly recommend them. Fun to listen to and it sounds like they're having a blast making these albums. More to come from these guys for sure.
The Grave (And Beyond) Nobody Likes You (When You're Dead) Braindead
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Midnight Syndicate is an American musical group that has been working mainly in the genre of gothic music since 1998. The band is based out of Chardon, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland. Their music is commonly used to provide atmosphere during the Halloween season, in haunted attractions and in the role-playing game industry. Over time Midnight Syndicate has become the standard with the Halloween and haunted attraction industries. In addition to haunted attractions, amusement parks worldwide license their music during the Halloween season. Born of the Night was the second album of the band Midnight Syndicate, released in 1998, and is currently out of print. As you may have guessed these guys play great creepy atmospheric music that is perfect for Halloween. The album has a theme - the setting is a haunted castle, there is a definite feeling of being in a gothic haunted castle amongst many different creatures of the night, such as gargoyles, bats, and vampires. Basically this album captures the spirit of the night and its mysteries and the many different creatures one would encounter in or near a haunted castle. Music like this is great for piping outdoors to creep out the trick or treaters especially if you've got your house all jazzed up for the occasion. if you're hosting a haunted house or are looking to set a darker mood for a party, this is the best Halloween music out there.
Haunted Nursery Born of the Night
Friday, October 09, 2009
For the rest of the month of October, homercat is going to try to focus on the darker creepier side of music as each day gets us closer to my favorite holiday, Halloween. I've had the house decorated since the first. Nothing better than a good creepy song or album to get the mood set for October. For the most part the rest of this month will have some kind relationship to the dark side of music. I may put up a couple of normal posts in between hauntings. It's inevitable that when Halloween rolls around every year, there are bound to be a couple re posts of stuff that I have featured in the past. Especially when it comes to what I consider essential Halloween party music.
I'm starting Halloweenfest off with a true classic soundtrack from one of the great horror movies of our time. This is one of those reposts that manages to get up When director John Carpenter was making Halloween, it's budget was a paltry $320,000. It went on to gross $47 million at the box office in the United States alone. Remember this was 1978. Needing to save a few bucks, Carpenter wrote the score himself. A major reason for the success of Halloween is the moody musical score, particularly the main theme. Critic James Berardinelli calls the score "relatively simple and unsophisticated", but admits that "Halloween's music is one of its strongest assets". Director John Carpenter notes that he played the film, without the music, for a movie executive, and she said that it wasn't scary. Months later, once she had seen it finished, with the ominous score composed and attached, her opinion changed completely. Carpenter, with just a few sparse notes, manages to interpose urgency, dread, fear, and evil presence, ever so exceptionally into the foreboding film. Creepy atmospheric minimalism at its very best.
Halloween Theme - Main Title The Shape Lurks
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
The Breeders are an American alternative rock band formed in 1988 by Kim Deal of the Pixies and Throwing Muses' Tanya Donelly. The band has experienced a number of line-up changes; the current line-up consists of Kim Deal (lead vocals and guitar), her twin sister Kelley Deal (guitar and backing vocals), Jose Medeles (drums and percussion), Mando Lopez (bass guitar) and Cheryl Lyndsey (guitar); Kim Deal has been the band's sole continual member.
Last Splash is their second album which came out in 1993. Last Splash peaked at #33 on Billboard's Top 200 album chart. By June, 1994, the album was certified Platinum by the RIAA for shipment in excess of one million units. The title of the album is taken from a lyric from its lead single, "Cannonball." The song I remember hearing all the time is Divine Hammer. It seemed like the station I listened to played it all the time which eventually prompted me to go out and buy it.
Sunday, October 04, 2009
Malice In Wonderland is the eleventh studio album by the Scottish rock band Nazareth, released in 1980. On this album Nazareth decided to return to the AOR experimentation they had toyed with during the 1970s on albums like Close Enough for Rock & Roll and Play 'N the Game. In doing so they also managed to retain their identity as a hard rocking group this time out by tempering their pop experimentation with a tougher sound that took advantage of their new dual-guitar lineup. All in all, while Malice in Wonderland not their best album, it is one of several high points in Nazareth's career and the best-ever fusion of their hard rock and AOR tendencies. In short, it's required listening for the group's fans and also an album likely to please hard rock lovers and AOR fanatics alike.
Hearts Grown Cold
Thursday, October 01, 2009
Back in 2006 Willie Nile released what I considered the best (albeit unknown) record of the year and quite possibly may be the best album to be released in the last five years. The album was called Streets of New York and it was fantastic. Right from the opening intro, this record, for lack of a better expression, kicks ass! The day I got this I listened to it ten times in a row, then it was bedtime. I still listen to it all the time. Well Willie has gone and done it again with an outstanding new effort.
House of a Thousand Guitars Is Willie Nile's sixth studio album which came out earlier this year. It literally picks up right where his previous album left off. On this album he demonstrates the diversity of his song writing and performing abilities with an equal mix of classic guitar rock and an equal part of his deep and sensitive piano ballads. I might as well say it now. Looks like I'll be rating this album as the best album of 2009 come December. I believe the magic of Willie Nile is his unbridled passion for life that permeates the man and his music. I can best describe the album through the lens of the title track, a hook-driven song about an imaginary place where great musicians dwell and can make their music in peace. “You can spread your fingers ‘cross the universe . . . in the House of a Thousand Guitars,” sings Nile, while naming House denizens Jimi Hendrix, Robert Johnson, Hank Williams, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, John Lennon, Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker, who, as the lyric says, is “gonna kick your ass.”
Willie Nile has likely made the best album of his career and I really didn't think he'd be able to top his last one. There is a song for every mood on this album. Each time I listen to it I enjoy it more than the last. Radio and the RIAA be damned, this work deserves to be heard!
House of a Thousand Guitars
Give Me Tomorrow
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Powerman 5000 is a Boston-based rock band formed in 1991, whose frontman happens to be the younger brother of one Rob Zombie. Tonight the Stars Revolt was their second major label release which came out in 1999 and sold over a million copies. In the loosest sense it might be called a concept album. No specific story is being told yet there is a theme based on campy science fiction reminiscent of the 1950s. Frontman Spider One seems to have a fixation on bygone science fiction much like older brother Rob's obsession with B-movie horror themes. The album is full of roaring heavy metal with electronics and sound effects. It produced three hit singles and went on to sell over a million copies. Must be something about this band because their music has been featured on no less than 15 soundtrack albums including a cover of Relax on the Zoolander soundtrack, and several video games have also featured their music.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Sinner is the 12th or 14th studio album (depending on whether you count eps and such) by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, released June 13, 2006, by Blackheart Records Group. While most of the contents previously appeared on the Japan-only release Naked (2004), it was her first record of new material released in the United States since "Pure 'n' Simple" in 1994. When you hear how vital and flat-out rocking she sounds on this album, you scratch your head and wonder why it took over a decade for the Queen of Rock to release a new album. Even the ballads have gloriously loud and gritty guitars and Jett's voice hasn't lost an ounce of power. Hopefully it won't be another decade before the next Joan Jett record, for with this album she's restaked a claim as an important artist and it'd be a real shame if she disappeared again. Another great album from yet another artist who has been woefully neglected as a candidate for the rock n roll hall of fame. I know she is currently semi involved with the forthcoming Runaways movie, but here it is 3 years later and no new material. Joan yer fans want more, please don't wait another 10 years for a new album. For the Runaways movie they've cast Kristen Stewart as Joan and Dakota Fanning as Cherie Currie. Not sure about those casting decisions. You know who would've been awesome playing Joan? Ellen Page would have been my choice, she kicks ass in every movie I've seen her in and would have been perfect. Anyways here's a couple cuts from Sinner.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
We have passed the autumnal equinox and summer has left us behind with the promise of cooler days to come. As the days get shorter we all wonder how in heck did summer fly by so fast. It is still quite summery like here on the island and while it may be a bit late for summer flavored fare, let's bring back summer with some Eddy Grant and his reggae/calypso type music.
Going for Broke is a 1984 album by Eddy Grant that has been grossly overlooked in my humble opinion. Following the major success of the previous album, Killer On The Rampage, this album takes a similar approach but was not as commercially successful. It featured the U.S. hit "Romancing the Stone", as well as the singles "Till I Can't Take Love No More" and "Boys in the Street". This album is proof that Eddy Grant is multi-talented when it comes to crossing over from one genre to another. If you ask me though, the overall scope of the album is way better that the previous album. The one weakness it may have had at the time is that there was no obvious killer single like Electric Avenue from the prior album, though how could you not love Boys in the Street. Since it's release I have listened to this album way more than Killer on the Rampage. Pity it's out of print. So say goodbye to summer with a couple of Caribbean tinged reggae/calypso tunes from Eddy Grant.
Boys in the Street
Only Heaven Knows
Friday, September 18, 2009
Apologies to those who have stopped by and found my output less than stellar. You know the story, real life gets in the way of virtual life and Homercat has had to catch lots of mices lately. Being that I'm short on time I'm going to dig up an old archive post that graced these pages around 4 years ago. One of these artists I've featured a couple times because it's good and fun stuff. Everytime I listen to Jimmy I thank my good friend Mick for pointing me in the King's direction
Best Cover Version of a classic rock song by an Elvis Impersonater
First place has to go to a guy named Jimmy the King. Funny enough this guys name is James Brown and he comes from Belfast, Ireland and his day job is postal carrier. He was discovered singing Elvis songs at a karaoke bar. A record producer had the idea to record the Nirvana song "Come As You Are" with an Elvis impersonator and Jimmy the King was born. Lest you think this to hokey, the album this song comes from (Gravelands)is actually pretty incredible and the quality of the performances are amazing and in many instances the covered songs are better than the original. The band backing this Elvis is top notch. My recommendation buy the CD if you can find it. Every single person who I have played this album for absolutely loves it and wants a copy.
No Woman No Cry by Jimmy the King
Runner up would have to go to Tortelvis from Dread Zeppelin. What do Led Zeppelin, Elvis Presley and reggae music have in common. One would think nothing at all but there you have Dread Zeppelin. I did a post on Dread Zeppelin a long long time ago and if you're interested to find out more about them then read it here. In fact it's been so long I may have to do an update.
Ramble On by Dread Zeppelin
I would suggest that if you could find anything by either of these artists then pick it up, as your local record store won't carry it.
Posted by homercat at 4:14 PM
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
The Reverend Horton Heat, aka Jim Heath, is the biggest, baddest, grittiest, greasiest, rocker that ever piled his hair up and pounded the drinks down. The Reverend is one of the most popular psychobilly artist of all time, really rivaled only by genre founders the Cramps. The Reverend (as both the three-man band and its guitar-playing frontman are known) built a strong cult following during the '90s through constant touring, manic showmanship, and a twisted sense of humor.
It's Martini Time is the title of the fourth album by The Reverend Horton Heat. It was released by Interscope Records in July 1996. It's Martini Time is the first Reverend Horton Heat album to feature Scott Churilla on drums, following Taz Bentley's departure from the band in 1994. It is also the first Reverend Horton Heat album to chart on the Billboard 200, reaching number 165 (the highest position of a Reverend Horton Heat album on that chart). Their sound is self-described as "country-fed punkabilly." Their music is a mixture of country, punk, big band, swing, and rockabilly, all played loud and energetically with lyrics that are often very humorous. While attracting a mostly cult audience, and having released almost a dozen studio albums, The Reverend's music has occasionally found its way into the main stream of American culture. "Big Red Rocket of Love" was used in a commercial for the Mazda Miata, and the instrumental which they often use to open their show, "Big Sky," was the music behind a commercial for Levi's jeans.
Big Red Rocket Of Love
Saturday, September 12, 2009
My previous post was about a live show so I'm going to continue in the same vein today. I'll sort of briefly revisit the Judas Priest concert I attended last year. First thing though, I just want to say that I truly wish I had a soundboard recording of every concert I've attended through the years. Over half of the shows I've been to I can't even remember the setlist. It seems to me in these days of our decent technology, a band could really rake in the extra dough by selling such recordings. Record companies and some artists are freaking out over file sharing and how it cuts into their revenue and blah blah we know the story. Personally I would be willing to fork out some cash for a soundboard recording of every single show I plan to attend. At the very least maybe an offer through their own websites. I have the whole thing worked out, as to purchase, distribution and the like. I know that it would initially cut into the record labels milking of the sacred cow by releasing a live album every 6 or 7 years, but in the long run it would make them more money. If anyone's interested in this idea and incorporating it, just let me know and I'll tell ya how to do it.©
So talking about milking cows we have A Touch of Evil: Live which is Judas Priest's fifth live album, and first with original vocalist Rob Halford since they reunited. It came out in July of this year and surprise it really is a good live album. The album focuses primarily on fan-revered album cuts (all previously unreleased in live form on CD), ‘A Touch of Evil: Live’ features absolutely brilliant renditions of such Priest gems as “Riding on the Wind,” “Beyond the Realms of Death,” “Dissident Aggressor,” “A Touch of Evil,” “Eat Me Alive,” and the set-closing “Painkiller.” So you won't have to sit through yet another live version of Breaking the Law or Living After Midnight. Fans and critics alike have been giving this live release high marks. Any self-respecting Priest diehard will want this for his or her collection; but I'm going to go as far as saying that it’s essential for the most loyal and dedicated Priest fans. If for nothing else than "Painkiller,” which closes out the disc, and it sounds f--king awesome! This album was recorded during their 2005 and 2008 tours and lo and behold when I slipped the disc into the old player the third track really caught my attention, especially in the middle guitar break when Halford screams, "What's Up Victoria!". You know when an artist releases a live album and you were at one of the shows you always wonder if one of those songs is from when you saw them. In this case Between the Hammer and the Anvil was recorded at the Victoria show and some of those screams you hear are from Mr. and Mrs. Homercat. If you're a fan you should really pick this one up.
Between the Hammer and the Anvil