"Stood Up" on New Years: RICK NELSON


Well, since we're on the subject of early rock n' roll "teen" stars who definitely don't get the respect they deserve, let's talk for a moment about RICK(Y) NELSON. While this post may seem out of the blue, it's unfortunately quite timely. Unfortunate because it was 22 years and one day ago, December 31, 1985, when Rick Nelson died alongside his fiance and band in a plane crash on his way to a New Years Eve concert in Dallas, Texas.

Rick Nelson's early career on his family's radio and television program (the massively popular The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet) did nothing in the long run to help legitimize his music career. Nelson's musical performances on the television show did a great deal to bring rock n' roll into mainstream households and make the form palatable to conservative parents who may have been fretting where the younger generations obsessions were heading (remember, this was the generation who were frightened of Elvis's pelvis).

Sadly, Nelson's boy-next-door persona and insane good looks would pigeonhole him as one of rock's first "teen idols." This, paired with the fact that his father refused to let Nelson peform any one of Ricky's dozens of hits on any other show but his own, put the figurative shackles on his musical career.

It must have been perplexing for Nelson to deal with having so many hit singles and yet receiving little respect in his lifetime for being one of rock's earliest stars. While posthumous, his induction into the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame in its second ever induction (by John Fogerty) was a fitting tribute just a year after his death. Not long afterward, he was also inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. Too little too late, perhaps, but respect is respect in my book.

"Stood Up": (Previously posted here in October 2005) A staple of my old DJ sets, "Stood Up" was usually played as the last song of the night, as a little joke to all those sad bastards still hanging around the bar trying miserably to arrange that last-minute hook-up. If I owned a bar, this is how I'd announce closing time every single night.

"Travelin' Man"
"Hello Mary Lou": How many great singles did Nelson have? So many that "Hello Mary Lou" was the frigging b-side to "Travelin' Man," and both were massive hits!

"Poor Little Fool": Written by Sharon Sheeley, the fiance of Eddie Cochran who - along with Gene Vincent - was one of the other passengers present in the car crash that would result in Cochran's death.

"I Will Follow You": Originally recorded under the title "Chariot" by Petula Clark, and then covered as "I Will Follow Him" by 14 year old Little Peggy March, who had a #1 hit with the song the same year that Nelson recorded it, 1963.

"Lonesome Town": Whether or not you'd like to admit it, appearing on a Quentin Tarantino soundtrack can go a long way to re-igniting interest in an artist's career. I probably wasn't 18 years old the first time I heard "Lonesome Town," but I'm pretty sure catching it on the Pulp Fiction soundtrack sparked a newfound interest in this guy I'd always assumed was as square as Pat Boone.

"Garden Party": Nelson's biggest (only?) late-career hit, "Garden Party" tells the story of a concert in the early 70s where Nelson joined other rock legends at Madison Square Garden, and was booed after performing new material (some reports say he was covering a Rolling Stones song). While it later came to light that the audience was possibly booing some police officers in the crowd, Nelson took the incident quite personally, leaving the stage and later penning one of the biggest hits of his career. "It's all right now / I've learned my lesson well / You can't please everyone so you've got to please yourself."

"My Rifle, My Pony, and Me" (with DEAN MARTIN): In what has to be one of the most pimp musical moments in celluloid history, crooner Martin joins up with Nelson for this classic little nugget of a country song, taken from the John Wayne movie Rio Bravo.

- His official homepage if pretty packed with info, trivia, merch and more. The gallery of old 45" picture sleeves is a particularly fun way to waste a few minutes. And if you've been confused at my usage of Rick and Ricky tonight, please note that his own site uses both names as well.
- A bunch of Nelson clips over at YouTube



THE EVERLY BROTHERS - 50 years to my ears.


So, ever since posting their version of "Love Hurts" during my K-Dilly 70s streak a while back, I've been on a bit of an Everyly Brothers kick. Since a small handful of their albums just popped up on eMusic (and they've been running a $9.99 special on Booster Pack downloads this month), I spent the other day downloading pretty much everything they had available.

I will sometimes read the user reviews for albums on eMusic to check out any recommended tracks, or to get fair warning from other users to make sure if these albums are the actual records or re-recorded versions of classic songs. It can be an annoying task, especially when someone ill-informed about the artist takes an opportunity to slag them. I remember once seeing a reviewer by the name of FartHead dis Creedence Clearwater Revival as hillbilly music, saying only "every doublewide needs a copy of this" and "yeeeeeehaaawwww" in his review.

So fucking annoying. Similar to that were the comments from "ElectroJosh" regarding one of the Everly's fantastic albums, Songs Our Daddy Taught Us. States "ElectroJosh":

The look of these fellows on the album cover says it all. This is cheese in its purest form, and I'm lactose intolerant. This album is recommended for those who: missed the sexual revolution, are ashamed of the 1960's (and every decade since), never drank anything harder than Miller, complain about "kids today," and are still to this day afraid of the Soviet Union. If "Hee Haw" is too cutting edge in your eyes, this is the album for you!

I checked out "ElectroJosh's" download history, and he seemed to have somewhat similar tastes to my own. So, what would possess him to go out of his way to review a record he obviously had never even heard? Had he listened to it, he would have seen that it's actually a pretty intense collection of classic early country songs and murder ballads. Had he known anything about the Everly's or their undeniable influence on rockabilly and early rock and roll (there's no doubt in my mind, based on their gorgeous harmony vocals alone, that "no Everly Brothers = no Beatles"), maybe he would have thought twice before hastily rapping his moronic rant out on his keyboard.

Not that I lay too much value in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but it's no mistake that the Everly Brothers were in the first round of inductees in 1986 (they were inducted by Neil Young). With an influence as far reaching on everyone from Gram Parsons to The Who, Simon and Garfunkel, Bob Dylan and Beck, they are, in my book, above mockery. Too bad you can't see it my way, ElectroJosh. Hope you enjoy that Dane Cook album you downloaded, though. Play that William Hung album much these days? Glad to see you know funny just about as well as you know your history.

"All I Have to Do is Dream"
"Bye Bye Love"
"When Will I Be Loved"
"Let it Be Me"
"Barbara Allen"
"Down in the Willow Garden"

"Sleepless Nights" by BECK and EDDIE VEDDER
"Dream (All I Have to Do)" by R.E.M.
"Man With the Money" by THE WHO

- The official website of The Beehive, the Everly Brothers fan club.
- Enjoy some streaming clips on the jukebox at Everly.net.
- A ton of Everly clips at YouTube
- The Everlys at the Rock Hall of Fame.




No time to post anything new tonight, but I am going to redirect your attention to some free music elsewhere on the interwebs.

If you recall from a few months back, I posted a couple of songs from CANON BLUE's debut CD. At several thousands of downloads, those tracks went on to become a couple of the most downloaded songs in the history of Pimps of Gore, coming in only slightly behind a handful of Lee Hazelwood songs and a couple of 70s cock rock anthems from Mountain and Aerosmith (note to prospective bloggers: if you ever want to drive traffic to your site, include a lot of songs people might be too embarassed to buy with a credit card).

Needless to say, I was definitely pleased with the response. I was even more pleased to find this email from Canon Blue's Daniel James in my email box a few days ago:

hi dylan!

how are you man? i'm not sure if ever replied to your previous email
(editor's note: he had),
so if not im terribly sorry! i hope you are in good spirits and good

anyway, i just wanted to let you know that i'm giving away the new
canon blue ep 'halcyon' for free at this link:


you can also hear some of the songs and see the art at:


happy holidays!

Thanks, Daniel.

Okay, what are you guys still doing here? Go enjoy that EP. . .


Pimpcast Volume 2: "They're Dying on the Dancefloor"


I was driving home from a long all-nighter of studying last week, and on the way back, my iPod decided that it wanted to join an LSD-fueled motorcycle gang. These songs are in exactly the order they popped up. The sole exception is the podcast closer, "In n' Out of Grace," which made the 'cast simply because when I think of biker gangs, that song automatically pops into my head.

And now, the Podcast:

"They're Dying on the Dancefloor"

Love's Lost Guarantee (ROGUE WAVE)
Transfiguration (SCREAMING TREES)
Outside My Door (CAN)
The Life I Live (Q'65)
Jumble, Jumble (THE WHITE STRIPES)
Starship - snippet (THE MC5
In n' Out of Grace (MUDHONEY)


NOVEMBER - 34 Songs. . . Well. . . Now.


I'm in the middle of writing a paper and studying for finals, but I'll be damned if I'm not going to meet my deadline here. Get ready for it, y'all, because I'm just going to be puking music all over you tonight.

Thanks to everyone who offered kind words, donations and bids on my Ebay auctions. I'm going to try and post a few more things next week after my tests are over. My auctions went incredibly well. . . just over $400 for about 18 items. That should definitely help.

Anyway, enough about me.

For those of you who don't like to read, tonight's going to be a treat for you. Sorry I don't have time to elaborate and pontificate. My mind is elsewhere. I'm going to be all over the map tonight. Folk. Punk. Hip-hop. All over the map. Let's get to it, eh?

"The Headmaster Ritual" by RADIOHEAD:
(Thanks to Stereogum.com for posting these a few weeks ago.) In case you missed it, Radiohead recently did a suprise online "gig" from their studio, apparently just for shits n' giggles. In between individual bandmembers DJing some of their favorite tracks and playing some nutty video footage, they performed a few new songs along with a couple of incredible covers as tributes to some classic British bands of old. The former track is a JOY DIVISION cover, while the latter is a classic by THE SMITHS. Oh, and in case you hadn't heard from just about every online media outlet under the digital sun, Radiohead's new album In Rainbows is awesome.

"Civil War"
"Stop" by JOE HENRY:
Joe Henry is an amazing songwriter who has a new album out, Civilians. "Civil War" is from that album, and is a blueprint for his style of songwriting: well written, typically dark songs with incisive lyrics that cut to the bone, no matter the topic. Dude writes some of the best breakup songs out there, and "Trampoline" (from the album with the same name) is one of those songs. "You once kissed me not to hear me speak / and loved me just so you could leave / every bit of life wrung out of me." Dude is like Raymond Carver with a guitar instead of a typewriter. I could have sworn I'd posted that one before, and the follow-up track, "Stop." Oh, he also happens to be Madonna's cousin. "Stop" might sound familiar to some of you because she wound up covering it and making it into a big old hit (and a massive paycheck for him). Naturally, his version rules.

"It's Only Life"
"Let's Go"
"Dancing Barefoot"
"Paint It, Black" by by THE FEELIES:
Any loyal readers out there want to prove to me that I haven't posted these songs before? Because I could swear I had. Not having done so until this point is pretty criminal. What's also criminal is that The Feelies' records are out of print. Some awesome blogger out there posted their cover of PATTI SMITH's "Dancing Barefoot," which I bring you tonight, along with my two favorite original tracks and a second cover, THE ROLLING STONES' "Paint It, Black."

"Molly" by EUX AUTRES:
The Portland-via-Omaha brother/sister duo of Eux Autres have a new record, Cold City, coming out on Tuesday. I highly recommend it, especially to those of you who took a shining to their previous album or heard a couple of their tracks on Pimps of Gore last year. Out on Happy Birthday to Me Records, this album has the same great songwriting with more solid (but not too slick) production and a ton of great melodies. Plus, Nick and Heather are two of the nicest people I've ever had the pleasure of meeting, so rest assured your hard earned record dollars will be going into hands that deserve it, unlike Scott Stapp or Daughtry or some other lunkheaded dickweed. Not that your record dollars were headed there. . .

"God's Zoo (Live)"
"Moya (Live)"
"The Snake"
"Red Jesus"
"Big Neon Glitter (Live)" by THE CULT:
Consider yourselves lucky; I was going to devote an entire week to some of the great, overlooked music by real-life Spinal Tap rockers The Cult, the first band I was truly obsessed with. When I was growing up, my brother gave me a copy of their classic Love album, and a copy of his cassette of the Rick Rubin-produced Electric. Those albums ignited a spark in me, and I turned into a voracious collector. One of my prized posessions was a tape of the band's debut album, Dreamtime, which featured an early concert at London's Lyceum theater as the b-side. The live album was pretty much unavailable anywhere until a few years ago, when Beggar's Banquet finally reissued it on CD. Regardless of anyone's opinion of their later work (the band pretty much became a punchline as their career progressed, with lead singer Ian Astbury going so far as briefly becoming the lead singer of the fucking Doors), their early shit is pretty great. That live album (where the first two songs come from) features several songs from the first Death Cult EP, and even a song from Astbury's previous goth-rock band, Southern Death Cult. I'm also including a couple of b-sides, the wild but a little too long "The Snake," and a later track that popped up on a single from the pretty awful Ceremony album. Probably should have stuck "Red Jesus" on the album, boys. Closing things out is an early radio performance of "Big Neon Glitter."

"Mother Sky" by CAN:
If 15-minute psychedelic freak-outs aren't your thing, I definitely wouldn't rec' clicking this link. Also, if you're on heavy acid, you might want to avoid this, as it will make you think you can fly. If you like awesomeness, step right in. Plus, it's a great lead-in to. . .

"Reign (Anagram Mix)"
"Be There" by UNKLE with IAN BROWN:
Now, I'm positive I've posted "Be There" before, so don't be too quick to download if you've been a regulare here for a while. I'm merely re-posting it in conjunction with "Reign" to show just how badass it is when the former lead singer of the STONE ROSES gets together for a collaboration with James Lavelle's UNKLE project.

"Guns Blazing" by UNKLE with KOOL G. RAP
"Streets of New York" by KOOL G. RAP AND DJ POLO:
Since we're on the subject of UNKLE, here's the opening track to Psyence Fiction, back when the extraordinary DJ Shadow was manning the wheels of steel. The song features one of my favorite old school rappers, Kool G. Rap.

"Let's Start" by FELA KUTI with GINGER BAKER:
I could have sworn I'd downloaded this whole album from eMusic a few months back, but I don't see it anywhere on my external drive. Lamentable. . . looks like I'm going to have to DL it again, because it SMOKES. This is the concert opener, and if I'd seen this go down at a club, I probably would have fainted before it was over. Trust me, you'll probably be sweating -- or wishing you were doing something that would make you sweat (wink, wink) -- by the halfway point. Unreal.

"You Never Knew (Domino Remix)"
"The Who (DJ Kool EQ Mix)" by HIEROGLYPHICS:
How do I make a jump from The Feelies to these guys in the same post? I have no idea. That's just the way my mind is working tonight.

Ripped from the vinyl-only 2 LP release of DAVID HOLMES' Come Get It I Got It, which features the unmixed versions of songs from his DJ-mix album of the same name. Sexy.

"Be Easy"
If this were 40 years ago, I wouldn't have to tell anyone that Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings new album 100 Days, 100 Nights is a monster. You'd already know. You'd be all like, "No shit it's awesome. She's the queen of soul." Instead, it's 2007 and Sharon Jones is not (yet) a household name. Get this album. Get this album for your parents for Christmas. Just don't ask them what they do when they listen to it, cuz you do NOT want to know.

Trick your friends. Tell them that Justin Timberlake's hit is actually a cover of this track, and that it originally came out in the late 1970s.

"God Gave Rock N Roll To Us"
"So So Sick"
"So Sick" by UNREST:
I'm not quite sure whether Unrest is making fun of the KISS (who had a minor hit with their cover of this ARGENT song) version, paying tribute to the original, or taking themselves seriously here. I don't care. It's a great take on a pretty bad song. The latter track is an alternate version of "So Sick," which appeared on the B.P.M. compilation, and was my first exposure to these long lost indie darlings. Closing things out is the original version of the track, so you can decide for yourself which one you like better.

"One True Vine" by WILCO:
So, let's be honest: I may never get my "Tweedy 100" back in the air any time soon. Hell, I may not even be doing this blog in a month or two. Let's just enjoy the Wilco I can provide while we're all here to share it, okay? This one's off the Sky Blue Sky bonus EP.

"Follow if You Can" by WE ALL TOGETHER:
Yeah, I posted this about two years ago. I'm doing it again. Skip it, or enjoy it for the first time. I've got work to do.

"My Name is Jonas"
"Say It Ain't So" by WEEZER:
I'm just finishing things off tonight with these two tracks because Guitar Hero 3 and Rock Band just recently reminded me of how awesome Weezer once were.



NOVEMBER - 39 Songs in 18 Days


Well, the liquidation of my LP collection has begun. Putting shit up on Ebay is such a long, laborious process. I usually run out of steam after putting up about 3 or 4 items a night (and that's really all I have time for right now, anyway).

As of right now, I've got up the first three rare, early Cursive 7" singles, a super-rare Pearl Jam Christmas fan club 7" from 1994 (and the limited edition "Wishlist" 7"), a Weezer 10", a never-released-in-stores Beastie Boys jukebox single, an out-of-print Uncle Tupelo clear vinyl 7", and a British import 2 DVD Old Grey Whistle Test set. I'm going to try and add 2 to 4 items every day over the next couple of weeks. If you're looking for some cool Christmas gifts, or if you'd like to help me do cool stuff like pay my medical bills or fly to see my nephews for Christmas, any help would be appreciated. (Of course, straight donations to my Paypal account are always welcome, and I'd be sure to send you a care package full of all kinds of cool stuff.) Who knows, you might even keep this site from bankruptcy.


As for what I'm peddling on this site, here you go. Another short one tonight. . .

"I Got You" by ROGUE WAVE
"I Got You" by PEARL JAM
"I Got You" by SPLIT ENZ

Rogue Wave and Pearl Jam both doing drastically different live takes on one of my favorite '80s numbers from New Zealand brothers Neil and Tim Finn. The Pearl Jam one sticks closest to the original, with just a wee extra dose of testosterone, while the Rogue Wave number, performed just a few weeks ago at a radio station I can't at the moment recall, taps into the foreboding nature of the original single. All three are pretty choice, in my book.

"Too Many People"
"Dear Boy" by PAUL McCARTNEY:

I'm sure my love of Paul McCartney has been stressed enough to my readership at this point. I even wrote a recent column in the now defunct Philadelphia magazine PLAY about my favorite Macca solo albums, including the vastly underrated Ram. Of the two songs from that album featured here tonight, the first is a not-too-thinly veiled stab at former songwriter partner and friend John Lennon. I get chills at the part in "Too Many People" where McCartney intones, "That was your first mistake / You took your lucky break / and broke it in two. / Now what can be done for you?" The seemingly always friendly Beatle is pissed! The latter track, "Dear Boy," would be the most Beatle-esque non-Beatles song ever if Ram didn't already contain "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey." Lennon felt "Dear Boy" was also an attack on him, when, according to Wikipedia, it was really directed toward Linda McCartney's ex-husband.

Don't you want these poor kids to see their Uncle Dylan for Christmas?



NOVEMBER - 41 Songs in 21 Days


Just a quick couple of songs tonight, both from the newly released DVD of Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof. Those of you who bought the soundtrack way back when the movie, which was part of a brilliant double feature called Grindhouse that also featured director Robert Rodriguez's Planet Terror (a note-perfect tribute to the horror films of George Romero and John Carpenter), probably wondered why these two songs appeared on the CD when they were not in the theatrical release of the film.

When Tarantino released Death Proof to international audiences (whom were robbed of the joyous experience of seeing two movies for the price of one), the excised scenes that featured tonight's tracks were restored. The first, "Down in Mexico" by THE COASTERS, plays over the teased but never revealed (in the U.S., at least) lap dance that Kurt Russell's Stuntman Mike character receives from one of the women he stalks at the beginning of the film. Tarantino's decision to cut this scene is lamentable, as it's one of the better directed and more electrifying scenes in the movie. Plus, the look on Russell's face is pretty priceless.

The second track, Willy DeVille's "It's So Easy," roars from Stuntman Mike's car at the beginning of the movie's second act, as Russell makes the mistake of sizing up a second group of females for his next kill. From the moment you hear the song in the movie, you want it blaring out of your own car stereo. While I can't promise you'll get a lap dance from Vanessa Ferlito with the first song, I can at least provide you with the same thrill on the DeVille number.

"Down in Mexico"

"It's So Easy"

- Willy DeVille was the frontman for late 70s NYC punkers Mink DeVille. He has released a bunch of solo albums, and somewhere in there even wrote and recorded the theme song to The Princess Bride. This will be all the more bizarre when you listen to "It's So Easy." I can only imagine Tarantino first heard "Easy" on the soundtrack to the Al Paciono film, Cruising. Learn more at his official homepage, or at this informative Wikipedia entry on DeVille.

- The Coasters. . . well, they're just a bunch of fuckin' pimps. Try and tell me that "Down in Mexico," the R&B group's first single, sounds like it came out in 1956. If I hadn't looked it up myself (and known that the band didn't make it long into the 70's), I would have guessed it was far more contemporary. Among many other hits, The Coasters were responsible for "Charlie Brown," "Yakkity Yak," and "Poison Ivy." Learn more here.


NOVEMBER - 60 Songs in 30 Days (v3)


Regular readers know the drill: November is the month where I strive to post 2 songs for every day in the month. That doesn't mean I'll be on here on a daily basis, but I will be holding to that rule, regardless of whether I post 2 times or 20 times this month (looking at my post history, let's just be honest and say it'll probably be closer to 2 than 20).

I might focus on one artist one day, and a whole assemblage of tracks the next. There's not really a lot of rhyme or reason to it, just a massive delgue of music for you to sort through.

I have to be honest: I'm a little unsure about the future of Pimps of Gore right now. I just got my renewal notice from my web host, and since I've been operating this site out of my own pocket for years (aside from the help of a couple of friends, and one reader who donated money once, way back when I tired to have a Paypal link here), the "returns" seem more and more diminishing each year. Between my doctor's bills, my school debt, my other debts, and my lack of free time these days, the idea of keeping this thing going has become a little illogical (and a lot counterproductive) lately.

With my debt mounting, I've been eyeballing my record collection and have considered a massive Ebay clearance in attempt to raise some money. I've also been considering creating a spreadsheet or document with everything I'm selling and maybe sending it along to interested parties. I'm going to start work on that in the coming weeks, so please feel free to let me know if you'd like to do some record shopping. I'll try to keep the prices fair, but if there's something rare that I might be able to auction on Ebay, I'm just going to be honest and price it at the "market value." Not a whole lot of CDs, probably a few hundred records, and some DVDs will be in the mix.

Anyway, the free tunes will keep coming for the next couple of months, at least. Enjoy!

"Society" by EDDIE VEDDER
"Hard Sun" by INDIO
"Bee Girl"
"Sheraton Gibson" by EDDIE VEDDER
"Tonight You Belong to Me" by EDDIE VEDDER w/JANET WEISS
"Tonight You Belong to Me" by MEREDITH LOUISE MILLER:

To wear my heart on my sleeve for a moment, I have to say that I was profoundly moved by Into the Wild, Sean Penn's film adaptation of John Krakauer's incredible nonfiction book about a young man's tragic journey into -- well -- the wild, in Alaska. I'm not going to get into an entire movie review here, but I thought it was one of the most humane and beautiful films I've probably ever seen, and would highly recommend it, especially to anyone who may have entertained the thought, at any time in their life, of disappearing off of "the grid" and leaving everything they know behind them. I know, as a college kid, I pondered the idea myself more than a few times, and Krakauer's book was a monumental reminder to me that, as Christopher McCandless discovered, happiness is meaningless if you can't share it with anyone.

I think Penn made a pretty wise choice in peppering the film with music written especially for the film by Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder. Even Vedder haters might agree, because he seems the perfect voice as the internal monologue -- and possibly the Greek chorus -- for this incredibly ernest and idealistic young man, who lived his life, and measured all others, by a strict moral code. "Society" is from the soundtrack to Into the Wild, and sums up better than any other song the character and motivation of McCandless. I would not be surprised if we see Vedder performing this song at the Oscars this year.

One of the highlights from that soundtrack is Vedder's cover (paired with backing vocals from SLEATER KINNEY's Corin Tucker) of INDIO's "Hard Sun." I'm posting the original, which reportedly features backing vocals from Joni Mitchell, here this afternoon. Vedder and Pearl Jam's history with Sleater Kinney goes way back (I've even theorized that SK's bombastic, stadium-rock-sized The Woods may have been influenced by their long tour as openers for PJ in the year or two prior to the making of that record), and it's only appropriate that Vedder popped in at SK's final show on August 12 of last year, performing "Tonight You Belong to Me" with drummer Janet Weiss.

I've always loved "Tonight You Belong to Me," a song which I first heard in the Steve Martin film The Jerk, in one of that movie's most quiet and sweet moments, performed on beach between Martin and the adoreable Bernadette Peters. While I couldn't locate that version, I'm including another take of it from Meredith Louise Miller.

The two other Vedder solo tracks, "Bee Girl" and "Sheraton Gibson," are alternately a rare Pearl Jam track about the little girl who appeared in the BLIND MELON "No Rain" video, and a Pete Townsend cover from a 1994 tribute concert. While the latter isn't the best live recording, it still makes for a fun listen.

"Goin' to Acapulco" by JIM JAMES AND CALEXICO
"Simple Twist of Fate" by JEFF TWEEDY
"Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again" by CAT POWER
"Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again"
"Simple Twist of Fate" by BOB DYLAN:

Speaking of movie soundtracks, the FUCKING STELLAR soundtrack to I'm Not There, Todd Haynes nutty Dylan semi-biopic featuring a handful of actors playing Dylan at different stages in his career, was just released last week. It's a bargain at any price, but I got my copy of it from iTunes for less than $15. . . not too shabby for 37 songs (the iTunes version includes 3 bonus tracks) by an incredible list of artists that includes the likes of Eddie Vedder, Willie Nelson, Sonic Youth, Stephen Malkmus, Tom Verlaine, John Doe, Yo La Tengo, Sufjan Stevens, and tonight's three artists, who all contribute incredible covers of classic and somewhat obscure Dylan songs.

I'm just going to say it right here: Chan Marshall, I love you. Call me.

"Just Keep Walking" by INXS:

I know I've posted on here many times before that I think even some of the most wack artists can pull out a great song (which is why I think it's important to reserve the word "sucks" for bands that truly, truly suck, like Creed). This INXS song, from the band's self-titled debut (although this comes from an early compilation called INXSive) is further proof of my theory. A nice rip of that whole Adam Ant/Gang of Four postpunk sound, and not something you'd expect from a band that would go on to become so corny that they'd replace their dead lead singer with an Elvis impersonator.

"Magdalene Lane"
"Castles in the Air"
"Till Tomorrow" by DON McLEAN

Speaking of artists considered corny, Don McLean has been done no favors by being know as that "American Pie"/"Vincent" dude. He inspired the poem that inspired Roberta Flack's "Killing Me Softly," so he can't be all bad, right? "Magdalene Lane" is, in my eyes, his true masterpiece, a harsh indictment on Los Angeles, Hollywood, and the movie industry's tendency to chew up and spit out young stars. More specifically, McLean tackles the tragic story of Judy Garland ("The Wizard brought benzadrine smiles / and he never let Dorothy doze"), who abused pills and alcohol and died at age 47 from an overrdose of barbituates. McLean's song is absolutely scathing.

I once won a Delaware radio station contest where entrants were asked to rewrite the lyrics to "American Pie" and update them to speak to today's music industry. McLean picked the winner, and I was truly honored, but was going to be out of town for the concert and wound up calling the station to ask them to give my prize of going to the show and meeting McLean backstage to the second place entrant. A truly regretful loss on my part, because I would have begged him to perform "Magdalene Lane," or, at the very least, "Till Tomorrow," one of my other favorite songs of his, and one that broke my heart at such an early age that, like The Beatles' "Yesterday," it was a revalation to my young mind that a song could make me so sad. I remember being in love with a girl in elementary school and making her a tape by the time we were "graduating" from junior high that included this song.

Another of those songs that made me aware of music's power to break my heart at an early age was Roy Orbison's "Crying," covered here by McClean, and alternately by country legend Waylon Jennings.


"Zaratozom" by GOBLIN:

I finally had the pleasure of sitting down before Halloween and watching the Dawn of the Dead DVD boxed set I purchased a while back, which features several different versions of the movie and includes the Dario Argento edited European version. Trimmed down from Romero's longer version, Argento's cuts to the chase and works more like an action/horror movie. It also features the entire Goblin-recorded soundtrack (Romero's used a couple of the band's songs). "Zaratozom" is a charging little rocker that really sets a fire under the scenes where the biker gang stroms their way into the mall. Good stuff.

"Danelectro 2" by YO LA TENGO:

A gorgeous, simple and sleepy instrumental from one of my favorite bands, and a fine tribute to the guitar(s) for which the song is named. And a nice way to close things out this afternoon. See you around.





No time for love, Docta Jones.

Here, chew on some bands with Band in their names:

"Long Tall Sally"
I could have sworn I'd written about the movie Backbeat before now, but I guess I was wrong. Backbeat tells the story of the pre-world famous Beatles as they were still in their infancy, playing as a pill-popping bar band in Germany's Cavern Club. More specifically, the movie's focus is on the somewhat tragic story of Stuart Sutcliffe, one of the several "fifth Beatles" debated about by fans across the world (other "fifths" include producer George Martin, keyboardist Billy Preston and drummer Pete Best). While the movie is pretty damn good, it's elevated by the soundtrack of 50s covers (the movie takes place before Lennon/McCartney would become a songwriting powerhouse) performed by The Backbeat Band, comprised of vocalists Greg Dulli (AFGHAN WHIGS) and Dave Pirner (SOUL ASYLUM), drummer Dave Grohl (NIRVANA, FOO FIGHTERS), guitarist Thurston Moore (SONIC YOUTH), bassist Mike Mills (R.E.M.), and guitarist Don Fleming (VELVET MONKEYS, GUMBALL).

"It's Not Too Beautiful"
"Dr. Baker"
The documentary 7 Days in September is easily one of the best films I've ever seen, and the film's use of The Beta Band's hypnotic, psychedelic "It's Not Too Beautiful" is just one of the many reasons for my high opinion of the movie. I'm not even going to describe the movie; if you haven't seen it, you're really doing yourself a disservice. If you've never heard The Beta Band, you aren't doing yourself any favors there, either. I promise, I was onto them before that famous scene in High Fidelity where John Cusack drops one of their songs into the store stereo to sell a few copies of the album. While the scene itself is kind of geeky, akin to the embarassing "The Shins will change your life" scene in Garden State, it's still a pretty truthful one to anyone who has ever worked in a decent record store. I once had a similar moment at a store I worked at in Omaha, selling two copies of an I AM KLOOT album within a period of 3 minutes based on a single song I was playing. It was pretty gratifying, and a nice "What's up now, bitch?" to the guy I was working with, who doubted that the tactic would work.

"The Start"
"Left Foot Stepdown"
I already wrote, a few years back, about my absolute love of A Band of Bees' (in the UK, they are known simply as The Bees) sophomore album Free the Bees, where tonight's "The Start" first appeared. The band's most recent album, Octopus was released months ago, but was virtually impossible to find for a long time, even on iTunes. It's finally started to rear its awesome head, and is definitely worth checking out, based on tonight's groovy "Left Foot Stepdown."

Of course, there can be really only one band. . .

"It Makes No Difference" (live)
"The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" (live)
I will never forget, as long as I live, a night spent bowling at The Lucky Strike in Chicago years ago with a group of great friends. I dropped about $5 in the jukebox and went to town, playing everything from Built to Spill to Otis Redding. At one point, my choice of The Band's "It Makes No Difference" from the soundtrack to The Last Waltz came on the sound system, and my friend Lesley scoffed at the song, asking incredulously "Did you pick this?" If Lesley had been a man, I probably would have punched her in her fucking face for this indiscretion. The hard part would not have been dealing with the aftermath of our broken friendship; it would have been the difficulty in deciding exactly which reason for punching her in the mouth would have been best. Would it have been in defending the honor of deceased bassist Rick Danko? Would it have been because this song is one of the highlights of that fantastic concert movie, and one of the scenes that brought me near tears when viewing it in a Philadelphia theater the year before? Would it have been because she was dissing THE fucking BAND, the band that backed Bob Dylan through some of the most incredible and creative parts of his career? All I know, it was definitely punch-in-the-mouth territory. If she'd made fun of drummer Levon Helm (who sings the shit out of "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" from the same soundtrack), murder would have been da case that they gave me.




Why mess with a good thing, right?

Actually, things are really busy right now and I decided to take a request from one of the readers and post the out-of-print self-titled Band of Horses EP tonight. You know, in lieu of actually putting forth some effort to write about another band.

I guess I can use this space to correct my previous post. My original leaked copy of Cease to Begin had several jumbled song titles. I remedied the situation by buying the CD the day it was released. The song whose lyrics I quoted was actually entitled "Detlef Schrempf," taking its name from a German immigrant who had incredible success playing for the NBA, and more specifically for the Seattle SuperSonics.

What that song has to do with Schrempf, I have no idea. Perhaps that person leaving town in the song ("If you're gonna go, well be careful. . .") is Schrempf leaving Germany? Retiring from the team? Doesn't matter. . . I like my interpretation just fine.

Anyway, tonight I'm sending out a couple of .Zip files, so make way for a little bandwidth. First up is that aforementioned out-of-print EP:


1. Savannah (Part One) - demo
2. The Snow Fall - demo (previously posted here)
3. For Wicked Gil - demo
4. The Great Salt Lake - live (previously posted here>
5. Billion Day Funeral - live
6. (Biding Time Is) A Boat Row"

Next up is a recent radio broadcast from the world famous KCRW studios, aired on Thursday, September 6th, 2007. After hearing his self-effacing banter and seemingly genuine and humble nature, I think I'd really enjoy interviewing singer Ben Bridwell. Anyone who loves Neil Young and Built to Spill as much as I do is a friend in my book.


1. Is There A Ghost
2. Islands On The Coast
3. The General Specific
4. (=Interview=)
5. Our Swords
6. Ode To The LRC
7. The Funeral
8. Wicked Gil
9. Marry Song

Some YouTube fun:

Here's an awesome performance, just a few days old, of the band doing "Is There a Ghost" on Late Night With David Letterman. Stay tuned to the end and clock how damn excited Bridwell is to shake Dave's hand:

Here's the video for "The Great Salt Lake":

A video for "Is There a Ghost":

A proposed but rejected video for "The Funeral," created by Super!Alright!:

And, what the hell, here's a cutie in her pajamas doing a piano cover of "The First Song":

For more Horses/YouTube hotnezz, click HERE.


BAND OF HORSES: Cease to Begin


There are a number of decent releases (the online release of the new Radiohead, for one!) slated to come out tomorrow, October 9th, but the one I'm most excited about is the sophomore release from Seattle's BAND OF HORSES, entitled Cease to Begin.

That band's debut, Everything All of the Time, was an instant classic, lauded by a number of critics. This new record has been the source of some debate, especially online. Some consider it a real dropping off from the first record, while folks like me think it might just be even better than Horses' debut. One of the more hilarious complaints is that this album is too short. This complaint seems a little silly, considering this record is about 56 seconds shorter.

One thing is for sure: produced by Phil Ek, Cease to Begin might be the best Built to Spill album the band has failed to release in the last 6 (or more) years. Where Doug Martsch and company have drifted into caring a little too much about noodling guitars, Band of Horses have streamlined their songwriting on this record, delivering a number of poppier songs that clock in at around the 3-minute mark.

I have to be honest: I've had the album, which leaked on the internet, for months now. I can't stop listening to it, to the point that it's getting ridiculous. My favorite song on the record, and possibly my favorite song of 2007, is the charging "Islands on the Coast." I'm not exaggerating here: I've listened to nothing but this song for a few days on end. I've been going for long walks a few times a week, trying to get back in shape, and on several of those walks, I put that song on Repeat for at least 20 to 30 minutes at a time.

Another song on the record, which I believe is titled "The General Specific" but won't really know until tomorrow (the leaked version of the album had one or two song title swaps), has had a pretty profound effect on me in recent weeks. See, as I'm going to school for a Nursing degree, I am also working in the pediatric intensive care unit at a local hospital. It's a pretty large, pretty reputable transplant hospital, so a lot of the kids on our floor are recent transplants, making them constantly returning visitors.

Recently, one of the kids almost everyone on the floor had taken a shining to died one morning, at the beginning of my shift. Part of my job as a tech when something like this happens is to do hand molds for the family. Hand molds are little cement "statues" we make using that pink dental mold stuff. To make them, you dip the (deceased) child's hands into this solution as it hardens, and then add the "cement" mix later.

On this particular occasion, the family stayed in the room while I did the molds, making an already emotional part of my job almost unbearable. As I made the molds, I stared off at a point in the ceiling, which is painted to look like a cloudy sky, and thought of the words to "The General Specific," a ballad that seems to be about someone leaving the town where they grew up to become anonymous and new somewhere else. I had been listening to the song on my way to work that morning, but the lyrics really struck me in a new way as I hid my crying from the family of this dead child:

(Again, this is my interpretation. . . he could very well be singing something entirely different. . . under a completely different title. . . )

Take a little walk when the worst is too cold
When I saw you looking like I never thought.
You say you're at a loss, or forgot,
that words can do more than harm.
The town is gonna talk. Well, these people do not
see things through to the very minimal.
What's it gonna cost to be gone
If we see you like I hoped we never would?
Eyes can't look at you any other way.
Any other way, any other way.
Eyes can't look at you any other way.
Any other way, any other way.
So take it as a salve, or a lesson to learn
and sometime soon, be better than you were.
You say you're gonna go. . .
well be careful. . .
and watch how you treat every living soul.
My eyes can't look at you any other way,
any other way, any other way.

Those last few lines kept going through my head. . . especially "sometime soon, be better than you were" and "be careful, and watch how you treat every living soul. . ." until I had to leave the room and weep in the bathroom. It's pretty amazing how something can change the context of a song. For all I know, this could be some tune about lead singer Ben Bridwell's crazy ex-girlfriend. For me, it will be linked to that moment in my life forever.

Regardless of your interpretation, the song itself is probably worth the price of the whole album (which, I believe, is going for $7.99 at Best Buy tomorrow). I'm not including it tonight to hopefully encourage people to check it out for themselves. Luckily, the rest of the record is worth paying for, as well.

From Cease to Begin:
"Is There a Ghost"
"Islands on the Coast"

From Everything All the Time:
"The Great Salt Lake"
"The First Song"

From the Band of Horses tour EP:
"The Great Salt Lake (live)"
"The Snow Fall" (original demo for "The First Song")

From the "The Funeral" 7":
"The End's Not Near"

Original version of "End's Not Near" by THE NEW YEAR:
"End's Not Near"


K-Dillie: Now Yer Messin' With a Son of a Bitch


"Fox on the Run" by SWEET:
Every time I hear this song played unexpectedly on iTunes' Party Shuffle, that goofy intro scares me into thinking that somehow the Steve Miller Band's "Swingtown" snuck onto my computer. Because, man, do I fucking hate me some Steve Miller. Luckily, it's just the opening notes of (the) Sweet classic "Fox on the Run," a sublime rollerskating jam that combines ELO and T.Rex. Of course, Sweet aren't completely innocent in my eyes, having scored a hit with another of my all time least favorite songs, "Ball Room Blitz."

"King of the Night Time World"
"Detroit Rock City"
"Love 'Em and Leave 'Em" by KISS:
The sound of that Sweet song makes me think of one thing: the original glam dorks, KISS.

Last post I covered The Runaways, and this afternoon Kiss brings us a link back to that band of bad ass rock chicks. How? Through the involvement of a man by the name of Kim Fowley. Fowley was a singer, songwriter and musician who eventually made his way into the more promotional side of the music business. . . basically by being an all around bullshitter and "svengali." The Runaways were essentially his creation, with Fowley putting the band together and giving them their jailbait image (and at one point, the backstory hype of them actually being runaways). One of Fowley's other great moves was penning, with the help of his writing partner Mark Anthony, "King of the Night Time World" for Kiss's break-out 1976 album Destroyer.

Now, I may have discussed this around these parts before, but Destroyer, released a month after I was born, scared the absolute shit out of me when I was a kid. The cover imagery, a painting of the band in their kabuki makeup dancing on a pile of rubble as cities burn at their feet, was partly to blame. Part of the blame also lies at my young feet. Not old enough to understand things like sexual innuendo, songs like "God of Thunder" sounded like the embodiment of evil. Little did I know that almost every song on this (and any) Kiss record was really just about fucking.

I'm sure it didn't help matters that the record starts out with "Detroit Rock City" (presented here in its radio-edited form, which excises about 1.5 minutes of "rock theater" where a guy gets into his car, cranks up the Kiss, and dies in a fiery crash), a song about rocking. . . and dying. Maybe if I'd heard a few more of the band's more lunkheaded songs, like "Love 'Em and Leave 'Em," I wouldn't have taken them so seriously. The fact that I did is a testament to the power of theatricality, especially in the eyes of stupid pre-adolescent kids.

"Move Over" by SLADE:
Really, if I wanted to personify the '70s at its most rockin', glammed out, cock flappin' best, I could choose pretty much any song from the Slade catalogue. Aside from penning one of the greatest Christmas songs ever ("Merry Xmas Everybody"), Slade basically created the template for 80s hair metal with tracks like "Mama Weer All Crazee Now" (covered by The Runaways and Quiet Riot, among many others), "Cum on Feel the Noize" (that's right, the other Quiet Riot hit), and more. Since the band was covered and emulated so often, today I'm including "Move Over," their semi-hit cover of a Janis Joplin song.

"Randolph's Tango" by THIN LIZZY:
I already wrote plenty about my love of Thin Lizzy back when I did an entire week of Lizzy posts, so I'll keep this brief. If I'm writing all of this month's posts under the guise that these songs would save you from getting your ass kicked if you put them on in the dingiest of biker bars, "Randolph's Tango" might actually get you laid. Or married. It's also one the most musically intricate and interesting songs of Lizzy's storied career. Man, I really do wish Phil Lynott were still alive, because I think he's one musician who had the skills to keep maturing as a songwriter without becoming a complete puss like Sting or Mick Jagger.

"Hair of the Dog"
"Whiskey Drinkin' Woman"
"Love Hurts" by NAZARETH:
"Love Hurts" by GRAM PARSONS:
For a band from Scotland, Nazareth sure sounded like they belonged on the L.A. Strip with hard rockers like Guns 'N Roses and Motley Crue. From the opening cowbell of their hit single, "Hair of the Dog," they let it be known that they were here to bang heads. It's hard not to picture Axl Rose behind the microphone here (Guns would go on to cover the song on their patchy, almost hilarious covers album, The Spaghetti Incident?) especially with the tough guy chorus, "Now you're messin' with a son of a bitch!"

All of tonight's songs come from the Hair of the Dog album, including the sludgy Joe Walsh-ian "Whiskey Drinkin' Woman," and Nazareth's biggest hit, their cover of the Everly Brothers' "Love Hurts" (though I really think they based their version on Gram Parsons' cover. . . listen to all three and judge for yourself). Time for a slow dance between you and the old lady you met up with back on that Thin Lizzy number.



K-Dillie's Seventies in September

photo by Tom Gold

"Mississippi Queen" by MOUNTAIN:
Because you just can't do a tribute to 70s balls out rock without this song. You're supposed to play pool to this. . . or strip. I didn't realize until checking on the band's Allmusic entry that their fourth live performance ever was at Woodstock.

I've always thought one of the funniest and most telling (about the music industry and what it has become, at least) thing about 70s rock was the fact that you could be UGLY AS FUCK and still have a massive hit. You couldn't do that today. I think the last lump of shit to break the mainstream was John Popper. Seriously, check out Mountain guitarist Leslie West:


He looks like Andre the Giant in The Princess Bride! And yet, massive hit. Dude played Woodstock. Who is the ugliest person on MTV or the radio today? Can you name three truly ugly people? Back in the '70s, it was ugly for miles. Frank Zappa. Blue Oyster Cult. They had better looking dudes in 70s porn, and even those dudes were heinous.

"School Days"
"You Drive Me Wild"
"Cherry Bomb" by THE RUNAWAYS:
I think I've already said enough around these parts about how Joan Jett was the first woman I ever fell in love with. And that was only because of her early solo career. . . if I had seen her back when she was in The Runaways (she would have been about 16, and I not yet born), I would have run away from home to find her. A cute girl who loved Black Sabbath and AC/DC, and she rocks? Just kill me. Yep, it was her and Diane Lane for me. I'm still dying this day to find a copy of Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains, where Diane Lane pretty much plays Joan Jett in an all-female punk band. Anybody out there have this movie? Please? PLEASE?

Anyway, "Cherry Bomb" is probably the most recognizable of The Runaway's songs. I can't say for sure, but it seems like the soundtrack to Dazed and Confusled kind or rescued the song from obscurity. If you know anyone who likes The Donnas, I want you to slap them right in the mouth, stomp on the part of their hard drive that stores all their Donnas downloads and ringtones (because this person must be 14, right?), and replace it all with music from The Runaways. They did it so much dirtier, and so much better.

"Atomic Punk"
"Jamie's Cryin'"
"Outta Love Again"
"Somebody Get Me a Doctor" by VAN HALEN:


Van fucking Halen.

I will never, ever make apologies for my love of David Lee-roth era Van Halen, and most specifically for the two self-titled albums they released at the close of the 1970s. Any doubters can just bow at the throne of "Atomic Punk," which pretty much laid out the blueprint for the band's entire M.O.: scream loud, play louder. Just clock the metal-ness of Roth bellowing, "I am the ruler of these netherworlds / The underground. . . oh yes! // Nobody rules these streets at night but me! / The atomic punk! UhAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHAAAAAHAAAAA!!!!" followed by that absolutely insane no matter which way you cut it guitar solo. So their lead singer had flowing blonde hair and wore tights like a goddamned trapeeze artist? Van Halen fucking rocked. It must have really pissed off the punk rock kids that these guys stole their word so early on.

Then you've got a classic like "Jamie's Cryin'," which somehow pushes The Kinks through a Motown filter and cranks the shit out of it on the other end. Great backing vocals from Roth and the rest of the band, great melody, and it's a story song, to boot. I'm telling you, it's because of Roth's clown pants that these guys continue to get robbed of the credit they deserve.

For me, Van Halen II was the real gem. It's just a banger, from start to finish, and chugs along in a surprisingly groovy way. Since any Van Halen fan out there already knows the brilliance of songs like "Dance the Night Away" or "Beautiful Girls," I'm sticking to some of the deep tracks. "Outta Love Again" is just flat out bad ass, and Alex Van Halen's drumming is off the charts. You know when drummer's use the phrase "playing in the pocket"? This is what "in the pocket" sounds like.

Not bangin' enough for you? Check out "D.O.A.." Or try "Somebody Get Me a Doctor," which I'd use as my car chase music if I ever got to direct a movie. Still not bangin' enough for you? Go fuck yourself. Van Halen.

Metal fans: That guitar was buried with Dimebag Darrell


THE RETURN: K-Dillie's Super Sounds of the 70s


Last year I dedicated a post to a few of my favorite 70s jams. . . the kind of stuff you shamelessly crank up in your car on a road trip when all the music you're not embarassed to listen to starts to bore the living shit out of you. Go ahead, try putting on an Arcade Fire record 12 hours into a road trip. You've passed the cool point. Tossing that Grizzly Bear CD on may just get you a punch in the face from a grumpy travelling companion.

Here's how I described it in my K-Dilly post from last year:

While every era in music has its cheese, from the corny stuff in the '50s to the hippy-dippy shit in the 60s to the Candleboxian "grunge" of the '90s, I seem to have a soft spot for the 70s stuff.

The 70s produced a lot of bad music, don't get me wrong. I wouldn't even be afraid to say that some of tonight's music is, in some way, bad. I just don't care. This stuff isn't brain surgery. This is the 70s stuff that was custom made for a few specific activities. Drinking in your backyard. Lighting a shitload of fireworks. Watching, or participating in, a roller derby. Driving fast, especially in a Camaro.

For the entire month of September, I'm posting only the sweetest in 70s rawk. This time around, my idea was basically to construct a playlist of songs that, if played in a dingy biker bar jukebox, the kind of bar where Pee Wee Herman almost lost his life in Big Adventure, would NOT get your ass kicked.

"Hello There"
"ELO Kiddies" by CHEAP TRICK:
What better way to start things off than with a couple of hello/ello's from Chicago's reigning pop rockers? Some of my earliest memories revolve around Cheap Trick, who -- though we may have forgotten this now -- were HUGE when I was young. Maybe it was just because I was growing up in the midwest, but the kids in my 'hood, especially the ones my older brothers' age, loved them. They had a great look, a cool name, a fantastic lead singer in Robin Zander, a goofy guitarist, and a drummer with one of the best names in the history of rock: Bun E. Carlos. "Hello There" was the song Cheap Trick played to open the majority of their shows, and it's easy to see why: it's punk as fuck. "ELO Kiddies," from the band's debut, is no slouch either, sounding like some crazy mix of Gang of Four and Alice Cooper.

"Last Child"
"Mama Kin"
"Toys in the Attic"
"Back in the Saddle" by AEROSMITH:
I have to admit, it took Guitar Hero 2 to re-awaken my love for old Aerosmith. There's a band who have not done themselves any favors (at least in my eyes) for at LEAST 15 to 20 years. "Love in an Elevator?" "Falling in Love is So Hard on the Knees?" They don't write songs anymore. . . they just go to Spencer's Gifts and lift lyrics off the worst bumper stickers they can find. Don't even get me started on all of those Dianne Warren soundtrack tunes they've been shitting out ad nauseum. But man, back in the day? Aerosmith were kinda the shit. Clock the stoned out brilliance of "Last Child," which starts out all slow like it's going to be another "Dream On," before turning into some kind of whiskey soaked porn soundtrack. (Is it a rule that Steven Tyler has to rhyme something with "sassyfrassy" on every song they do?) I was in grade school when I bought their debut album on cassette because it contained "Dream On." Once I got over that drag of a tune, I found the real gem in "Mama Kin" (so had Guns n' Roses, who covered it on the Live Like a Suicide half of their Lies EP). When I was 14 or 15, my mom and dad gave me the awesome gift of their Pandora's Box boxed set, which collected all kinds of great pre-Permanent Vacation/career revival music like "Toys in the Attic" and "Back in the Saddle." I stupidly sold the set in college, and now more than ever wish I had it back.

"Black Betty" by RAM JAM:
I can't say I own a single Ram Jam record (of course, there are only two). I honestly don't have any idea what the rest of their "catalogue" sounds like. All I know is that I'm dying to play this song on the 8-track player in a crazy souped up Camaro on a backwoods dirt road.

"Parchman Farm" by CACTUS:
Remember that scene in Ghost World, where Steve Buscemi goes to see a blues concert and is met with the white boy blues cockrocksanity of BLUESHAMMER? Yeah. That shit happened in 1970, and that band was Cactus. If scientists had to predict the sound it would make when you combine the rhythm section of Vanilla Fudge with the vocalist from the Amboy Dukes and Mitch Ryder's guitarist, they'd probably actually come really close to predicting this sound. Their debut album, which spawned this rocking but totally hilarious cover of a blues classic, gets an incredibly overstated 4.5 stars over at Allmusic.com.

"New York Groove" by ACE FREHLEY:
As a show, Entourage sucks more and more as it progresses. Lately, however, they've at least been making some interesting musical choices. Digging up this glorious glam rock anthem, off of the Ace Frehley solo KISS record. Back in September of 1978 (29 years ago, Christ!), all the members of KISS released solo albums on the same day. The only one I ever bought (again, on cassette) when I was going through my KISS phase was Ace's, which was just a bit less spotty than the rest of them but still had some great songs like "Groove" and the ode to cocaine, "Snow Blind." I'll get to KISS a post or two from now, so I'll just leave you to enjoy Frehley's take on a song that had been a hit for a band called Hello a few years before this version was released.

Alright kids, that's all for now, but stay tuned all through September for more 70s grooves. . .



Last pimp o' the month: CANON BLUE


(Sorry about the inactivity. There has been a whole boatload of stress in my hands lately, what with my return to college, my health, etc.. I've got something great planned for September, and I hope you'll stick with me and stop by often. The only hint I'll give is that my radio dial is going to be stuck on K-DILLY for the entire month. This will hopefully be great news to some readers, like Nick from Eux Autres. For now, I'd like to highlight a new artist. . .)

It's pretty rare -- hell, almost never -- that I have a chance to follow up on any of the promos or publicity emails that I get in my Pimps of Gore inbox. It's not that I don't love discovering new artists, it's just that this blog was originally intended to just be this little page where I sent some of my favorite music along to my friends. I never really anticipated that there would be any sort of readership around here. I just figured I'd drop in every once in a while and share a few songs I'd been listening to that day or that week.

After several months of running the site, I started to get random email, sometimes from publicists, sometimes from musicians or bands, pimping new music. At first, I figured this was all just spam. No offense to people who may have sent me this stuff, but I just figured these people were fruitcakes and rarely even bothered to open the mail.

Then I started to notice that people were reading. Songs were being downloaded, and occasionally people would actually return and read more. Gradually, I started paying a little more attention to the emails I was getting. Still, I rarely heard anything that caught my attention enough for me to say "This belongs right alongside the stuff I've been posting." It didn't help that when I did my weekly bloghunt, where I pore over the 50+ music blogs I follow, I'd see that I'd already been beat to the punch on posting this stuff. I never saw Pimps of Gore as a site for new music, but more of a place where you might find something you missed when it first came around 5, 10, 20 years ago.

I got an email a few weeks ago from a guy named Daniel James, a very nice email which discussed a shared love of producer/composer David Axelrod. In the email, James mentioned that he was releasing an album of material he'd recorded on his own, under the name CANON BLUE. Seeing "I recorded/produced it myself" did not, in all honesty, bode well. I've received some of the absolute shittiest "self-recorded" music known to man, but the fact that Mr. James had already referenced David Axelrod was a plus. He also mentioned that his album, Colonies, had been mixed and further produced by GRIZZLY BEAR's Chris Taylor. and mastered by CHRISTIAN VOGEL, an expirmental techno artist whose name I recognized from some of his remix work.

"Okay, maybe this guy's got something," I thought, and for the first time in a long time, I clicked the link in the email that would take me to one of his songs.

That song: "Pilguin Pop"

Goddamn, was I surprised. This didn't sound like some nutjob holed up in his apartment, jerking around and putting it all down on 4-track tape. This was real music: dreamy, somewhat trippy techno folk with layers of instruments, melody and nuance. I immediately wrote James back and asked if he could send me the whole album.

I've been listening to Colonies for a couple of weeks now, and am continually impressed with his music. I know it sucks that all new artists have to go through that phase of their careers where their work gets compared to other people's work, but it's an inevitability. No one has to say "Sonic Youth sounds like . . ." because they're fucking Sonic Youth. So, if I have to do the shitty "Sounds like. . . " thing, I'd have to say Canon Blue sounds like what would have happened if Jeff Buckley had decided not to go swimming in the Wolf River that fateful night and instead decided to make a record that sounded like a mixture of Bjork and the Folk Implosion.

There are some really oustanding tracks on the record, which comes out in about a month on Rumraket records. I highly rec seeking out "Mother Tongue," as it's my favorite on the album, but I'm not going to post it tonight (partly at James' request, and partly to entice you to go seek out Colonies for yourself). I'm closing instead with another beauty:

"Rum Diary"

For more on CANON BLUE:

- Here's a link to CB/Daniel James' MySpace profile, with several more songs streaming from the new album.



"See it all. See the world."


"All I Could Do is Cry"
"Hey Henry" by ETTA JAMES:
My friend Bill sent me a request via email to see if I could fill in some of the gaps for songs he needed to DJ our friend Laura's wedding in a few weeks. The list included some really cool choices from Bob Dylan, Hank Williams (a hilarious choice, "You're Gonna Change (Or I'm Gonna Leave)"), Willie Nelson, Cat Power and more, and also included "At Last" by Etta James. Now, don't get me wrong: "At Last" is a fantastic song with a goosebump-inducing vocal performance from the legendary Ms. James. My problem with it is that EVERY WOMAN ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH HAS IT PLAYED AT HER WEDDING. I'm surprised there isn't just a section in all wedding programs saying, "The playing of "At Last" will be at 11:00." As I said in my email to Bill: "I just want every female to know that "At Last" is like the fucking "Stairway to Heaven" of songs for women. Remember in "Wayne's World," how there's a sign in the guitar shop that says "NO STAIRWAY!" There should be a sign like that at weddings for "At Last." "At Last" is like "Star Wars" for a woman. They have "At Last" action figures and shit."

Anyway, "All I Could Do is Cry" is something like the anti-"At Last." Like the Doug Sahm track I posted the other day, it's the perfect soundtrack for that terrible moment at a wedding when you realize this person you liked is going home with somebody else. . . forever. Next time I watch someone I had a crush on get married, I'll have this song blaring in my head to block out the sounds of "At Last" coming from the dance floor. Really though, if you want to get those asses shaking at your wedding party, try "Hey Henry" instead.

"Maybe Sparrow" by NEKO CASE:
From Neko Case's unbelievable Fox Confessor Brings the Flood comes this haunting, impeccably produced heartbreaker. Case's vocals here are so chilling and note-perfect they will freeze the blood in your veins.

Here's Neko performing the song on Letterman:

"The Beginning of the End" by BILL RICCHINI:
I met Bill Ricchini on the night of his debut CD release party at the North Star Bar in Philadelphia many years ago. I was with a friend who had gone to high school with him, so it was kind of cute to watch her getting all excited and proud about her old school buddy. Of course, Ricchini has since proven himself as a top rate songwriter and arranger, especially with 2005's Tonight I Burn Brightly, which sees Ricchini shining like a young Randy Newman or Harry Nilsson. The Sam Prekop-esque "The Beginning of the End" is from Ricchini's debut, Ordinary Time. I highly recommend both albums, which you can sample and buy here.

"Police On My Back" by THE EQUALS:
The Equals were a multi-racial Merseybeat group formed by a teenaged Eddy Grant (you might know him as the singer of 80s electro/reggae "Electric Avenue"), known for their interesting twist of mixing ska and other island rhythms (Grant was originally born in British Guyana) into their Britpop. It wasn't until recently I'd heard this track, which I'd first heard performed by The Clash. For three days after it popped up on my iPod, it was all I listened to on my 10 minute drive to and from work.

"Hello Sunshine"
"Hello Sunshine (Weevil Mix)" by SUPER FURRY ANIMALS:
Back when I lived in Chicago, I used to love cueing this song up as I got off the subway downtown. It was either this or "The Cedar Room" by Doves, but both songs gave me that same great feeling that I was stepping into something epic, full of the good and bad in humanity, along with that odd sense of crowded isolation that you can only get being in a huge city, bouncing off of thousands of people while feeling connected to almost none of them. With either song, it felt like you were breathing new air. I wasn't sure if I had posted "Hello Sunshine" before, so tonight I'm also including a cool remix from the Phantom Phorce remix album.

"Breath" (live in Italy) by PEARL JAM:
A liquor store run with a few tipsy friends who wanted to hear the Pearl Jam songs from the Singles soundtrack inspired my inclusion of this live track. Even the Italian crowd understands how rarely played this song is in the long legacy of Pearl Jam setlists.

image by Jiri Bohdal


"You say it's the real thing this time. . ."

From "Alight Trio" by Betsy Popp

"Listen, Listen" by THE MERRY-GO-ROUND:
Thanks to an anonymous response to my previous post on Emitt Rhodes, I now have a few extra Rhodes song in my digital collection, including a handful of songs from Rhodes pre-solo career band, The Merry-Go-Round. "Listen, Listen" is one of those new (to me) songs, and it's a rocking nugget of California pop via filtered through the Beatles (Rhodes never denied his love for the Beatles in interviews).

"I Am Not Willing" by MOBY GRAPE
"I Am Not Willing" by WILCO:
Alexander "Skip" Spence was the original drummer for Jefferson Airplane and one of the founding members and guitarists in Moby Grape. Spence DOES NOT, however, play on the first song in this trio of tunes, "I Am Not Willing." The reason Spence was not in the band by the time they recorded "I Am Not Willing?" Skip, during the sessions for Grape's second album Wow, smashed through one of his bandmate's hotel doors while freaking out on acid. Spence was committed to New York's Bellevue Hospital, the beginning of a long and tragic life ruined by mental illness. The story goes that Spence, upon being released from Bellevue, drove a motorcycle (wearing only his pajamas) to Nashville and recorded the insane and brilliant Oar. "Little Hands" is the first, and probably least weird, song on that record. Spence died from lung cander in 1999, after years of mental and physical illness.

Wilco's cover of "I Am Not Willing" appeared as a b-side on "Box Full of Letters," their 1995 debut single.

"The Mental Traveler" by DAVID AXELROD:
I've written about Axelrod previously, so I'll spare you the explanation this time around. This comes from the soundtrack to Guy Ritchie's "Revolver," a 1995 film I didn't even know existed, and I was a big fan of Lock, Stock and Snatch! That Madonna movie he made, however, is an irredeemable turd.

"Linus & Lucy" by BUILT TO SPILL:
Built to Spill just announced the somewhat random release of two new songs to online retailers (the tracks are also to be released as a 12" vinyl single), "They Got Away" and a cover of the Gladiators "Re-Arrange." While the former sees the band in a spacey reggae mode, their cover of "Re-Arrange" turns the reggae song into a Built to Spill song, so much so that if you weren't aware it was a cover, you'd swear it was their own. The Gladiators recorded one of my favorite reggae songs of all time, "Soul Rebel." I'll save that one for another day. I will, however, include Built to Spill's live cover of one of the most classic themes from the animated Charlie Brown features, "Linus & Lucy." I've posted this one before, right?

"I'm Glad for Your Sake (But I'm Sorry for Mine)" by DOUG SAHM AND THE SIR DOUGLAS QUINTET:
Ever have one of those moments where you realize you're standing as an observer at the wedding of a woman/man you were once in love with? Where you can't pay attention to the ceremony because you're about to explode inside? Where you watch that man/woman dance with one of the cute young nephews of the groom, and you can't bear to watch so you walk away as you think, "That should have been MY nephew she was dancing with? That was supposed to be MY dad giving the tipsy, embarassing-but-funny toast."

Maybe it was just me. Anyway, if you ever find yourself in that situation (here's a word of advice: get a pack of ciggs, and plan on spending most of the wedding choking down that smoke), I challenge you not to conjure in your mind Doug Sahm's brutally on-the-nose "I'm Glad for Your Sake (But I'm Sorry for Mine)." Also, pray for an open bar.

"M62 Song" (Four Tet Remix) by DOVES/FOUR TET:
Radically different from the original. Gotta respect that.



"Be thankful every day for everything, and pray. . ."


"Seven Curses" by BOB DYLAN:
One of the darkest, most powerful Dylan songs I've ever discovered was included in the 3 CD box set The Bootleg Series, Vol. 1-3, the same release from which I previously cribbed "I'll Keep it With Mine." "Seven Curses" tells the story of a man named Old Reilly who goes to jail for stealing a horse and is sentenced to hang. Reilly's daughter hears news of her father and comes bearing riches to free him, but the judge gives her only one option: you must sleep with me to free your dad. The way Dylan describes the tragedy of the pay-off of the judge's sexual bribe without actually describing the act itself is chilling: "The gallows shadows shook the evening / In the night, a hound dog bayed / In the night, the grounds was groanin' / In the night the price was paid." I won't spoil the ending, but suffice to say that "Seven Curses" is as old-school-Country and cold blooded as it gets.

"Sea Ghost" by THE UNICORNS:
Always a mix-tape favorite.

"Dancing Girls and Dancing Men" (live)
"Dancing Girls and Dancing Men" by ROBERT POLLARD:
The sad reality that Guided by Voices are no more shouldn't have an effect on recognizing the continuing greatness of frontman Robert Pollard. I've recently been loving the live version of "Dancing Girls and Dancing Men" (I'm also including the album version, from Pollard's From a Compound Eye double LP). I thought I'd read somewhere that Pollard was releasing a double CD "Best of" from his Fading Captain series of albums, EPs and ephemera. Since I've fallen behind on trying to keep up with the prolific Pollard, this will be a nice way of trimming down his expansive catalogue to the most listenable bits.

"Problem Child" by THE DAMNED:
Every six months, I have a new favorite Damned song. This one just recently beat out the old favorite, "New Rose."

"Teen Age Riot" by DAVID KITT
"Teen Age Riot"
"Teen Age Riot" (live, 2003)
"Theresa's Sound World" by SONIC YOUTH:
While Goo was the first Sonic Youth album I ever heard, Daydream Nation was the first Sonic Youth album I ever owned. For no other reason than that the record store was out of stock in the former, so I went with the remaining album I thought had the best cover art and song titles. "Eric's Trip," "Total Trash," and the best one of all, "Teen Age Riot." Since I was 14 years old, just back from a YMCA summer camp where I'd discovered Goo, my CD buying dollar meant a lot to me. It took a long time, and probably a couple of miserable Omaha summer lawn mowings, to save that kind of money. I remember my thoughts at the exact moment on this song, the album opener, when that fast guitar finally kicks in at 1:22: "Worth the money."

David Kitt, a singer/songwriter guy who dabbles in a bit of electronica, brilliantly extracts the melody of this song and shows any doubters the clever pop sensibilities hidden in some of Sonic Youth's more structured songs. I apologize for the static-y bits that pop up toward this song's end. If you find it really frustrating, I suggest actually seeking out and buying the track or album from a store near you.

As for "Theresa's Sound World," I guess the only reason I'm including it in tonight's playlist is that it kicks fucking ass.

"Kerze" by Gerhard Richter


"One day, I am going to grow wings. . ."


I'm trying a new thing, a new type of "format" if you will, for Pimps: more songs, more often.

I'm still going try and keep writing longer, more comprehensive posts about some of my favorite bands whenever I have the chance, but lately I've found I just don't have the time for the research and contemplation. The only real minus to my new plan is that sometimes I may post a few songs that aren't tangentially related in the least bit. So, if you don't mind a little Fugazi or J-Live slipping in with your Wilco or Wings, this should all go smoothly for you.

On with the music:

"Really Wanted You" by EMITT RHODES:
For those of you who may have stopped by the blog a few days ago and weren't sure whether you wanted to take the time and bandwidth to download either of those out-of-print Emitt Rhodes albums, here's a taste of one of my favorite songs from each album. Wes Anderson fans will recognize the short but beautiful "Lullabye." Listen to this song on headphones and you'll discover one of the coolest things about its production: Rhodes' voice, like a lullabye, rocks you back and forth by traveling from your left ear and slowly back and forth from your right. I only recently discovered Mirror and the song "Really Wanted You," but the composition has become my new favorite Rhodes song. Sometimes I listen to it on repeat, marveling at the arrangement and all of the different instrumentation Rhodes crammed into this pop gem. Just picture this guy, just out of his teen years, coming up with the harmonies. . . the layered guitar parts. . . even the drums, in a shed behind his parents' house.

"Let Down" by RADIOHEAD
"Bands With Managers" (live) by DAVID BAZAN:
This month marks the 10th anniversary of the release of Radiohead's OK Computer, in my mind (though I'm not alone in thinking it) one of the greatest rock albums ever recorded.

This dark bummer of a record couldn't have found me in a worse place back in 1997. A lot of bad things had happened to me as I stayed the summer in Columbia, Missouri, prior to my final year in college, but nothing worse than the severing of an incredibly important friendship. Of course, that friend had also been bearing the burden of the knowledge that I was madly in love with her, so things had been a bit uncomfortable for a good while.

Not many people had stayed behind that summer, so without my friend, I was pretty much left to my own devices. I spent my days writing for a depressed and alcoholic editor at the city paper, and my nights working at a record store or driving/wandering around listening to music that made it feel okay to feel completely awful. OK Computer, and more specifically "Let Down," was part of that soundtrack. "Let Down" is one of the saddest (to the point of transcendence) songs about loneliness and disconnection, and in my situation, it hit me like a ton of bricks. That summer, "let down and hanging around" became a mantra.

Recently, Stereogum.com released a free tribute to OK Computer, featuring covers from acts like The Twilight Sad, Cold War Kids, and tonight's contributor, David Bazan (Pedro the Lion, Headphones). Bazan has been covering "Let Down" for a while now, at both solo and Pedro the Lion concerts, so it's nice to finally have a studio recording. In his liner notes to the Steregum track, he pretty much nails my feelings on the song:

""Let Down" is the first song from OK Computer that really got me. I was more skeptical then and I remember trying to resist the record that all my buddies were freaking out about, but then the first depressed/hopeful (now classic) guitar line of this song cascaded out of the speakers and caught me off guard. I was instantly moved. By the end of the second verse I was choking back tears, undone. Days later it dawned on me that it was possibly the saddest and most beautiful single the radio would ever play. I still marvel at its sturdy construction and simple, sketch-like beauty."

"How it Feels to be Something On" by JEREMY ENIGK:
Since we're already getting a little heavy, I might as well throw in this crushing live-in-studio performance from Sunny Day Real Estate's Jeremy Enigk. I once chickened out and declined an opportunity to interview Enigk. Some dudes are just so intense that I don't want to find out that they might be regular guys. I prefer imagining this song being hammered out by some mad scientist, his scrubs literally soaked in blood, as he howls this song at the moon. Maybe it's just me.

"I'll Keep it With Mine" by NICO
"I'll Keep it With Mine" by BOB DYLAN:
And since we're kind of on a sad song tear at the moment, here's a little Nico by way of Bob Dylan. I'm not even so sure this is a sad song (the Dylan version featured here is a rehearsal take, and I don't believe an actual album version appears anywhere in his catalogue), but everything coming out of Nico's mouth is pretty depressing. You can find proof right there on Chelsea Girl, the album where this song comes from, with her rendition of Jackson Browne's "These Days." That song is so incredibly sad that it almost cost me my life, but that's another story for another day.

"Scythian Empire"
"Scythian Empire" (Fingerlings version) by ANDREW BIRD:
I've written plenty about Andrew Bird at this point, so I'm not going to bore you with the rehashed details. I just wanted to take a moment to make sure I spoke up about the greatness of Bird's latest album, Armchair Apocrypha. Sometimes when you write a blog and you've already written about an artist, you forget that the time might come when you need to speak out about them again. "Scythian Empire" was one of the songs that I glossed over the first few times I listened to the record. A dark walk to work one morning opened my eyes to its genius, and now I'm presenting it to you in both its album form and an earlier version from Bird's Fingerlings series of tour-only CDs. "Self-Torture" is a brilliant track that appeared soley on eMusic, but may have been used as a b-side at this point.

"Baby Brother"
"Hand Springs" by THE WHITE STRIPES:
I'm closing out tonight with a few more rarities, this time from The White Stripes, whose recently released Icky Thump has been taking residency in my headphones. "Baby Brother" is a new b-side, while "Hand Springs" was released in 2000 as a split 7" record with the Dirtbombs in copies of a magazine called Multiball. I can only assume the magazine is geared toward pinball geeks?