Posts Tagged ‘Lee Hazlewood’

Weekend Playlist

7 December 2009

“Do not let any record company disturb your creative flow. You are not writing for the record company. You’re writing for the public.” ~ Grandmaster Flash

Ambulance LTD | Ambulance LTD

Erma Franklin | Super Soul Sister

Lightnin’ Hopkins | Best Blues Masters Vol. 1
[album cover not pictured]

Girl Talk | Night Ripper

Lynyrd Skynyrd | Winterland – San Francisco, CA – 3/7/76
[album cover not pictured]

The Outsiders | CQ

Slint | Spiderland

HKB Finn | Vitalistics

The Smoke | It’s Smoke Time

Reigning Sound | Too Much Guitar

Ghostface Killah | Supreme Clientele

Cafe Tacvba | Cafe Tacvba

Curtis Mayfield | Curtis/Live!

Various Artists | Mile Marker 383

Lee Hazlewood | Requiem For An Almost Lady

Jeff Tweedy | Chicago, IL – 10/21/99
[album cover not pictured]

G. Love & Special Sauce | The Best Of

Rodney O. & Joe Cooley | Everlasting Hits
[album cover not pictured]

U2 | Melon

Funky 4+1 | That’s The Joint

Grandmaster Flash | The Official Adventures Of Grandmaster Flash

6 (more) Albums I Wish Were In Print On Vinyl

28 November 2008

In honor of Black Friday, the shopping’est day of the year, I thought I’d compile my own list for Santa – another half dozen albums that I’d like to see in LP form soon…

The Black Crowes | Southern Harmony & Musical Companion
The Black Crowes | The Southern Harmony & Musical Companion – Hard to believe that this album isn’t in print on vinyl, but the moral of the story is that very few records were pressed on LP between 1989 and 1994, so grab them when you see them.

Currently goes for: $50 – $100

Fred Eaglesmith | Lipstick, Lies & Gasoline
Fred Eaglesmith | Lipstick, Lies & Gasoline – Eaglesmith’s music sounds like the American heartland, all twang and tales of people surviving on the fringe of society. In other words, exactly the kind of album I like dropping the needle on…

Currently goes for: n/a, although his Indiana Road LP goes for $75-$100

Amadou & Mariam | Dimanche a Bamako
Amadou & Mariam | Dimanche A Bamako – The best World Music album of the last five years, Dimanche a Bamako clearly deserves enshrinement on wax. Loaded with sound effects and ambience courtesy of Manu Chao’s excellent production, one can only imagine how good this album would sound on vinyl…

Currently goes for: n/a

Dexter Gordon | Doin' Allright
Dexter Gordon | Doin’ Allright – This one is a head-scratcher. Nearly every other Blue Note album has been reissued on vinyl over the last several years, except Doin’ Allright. It’s only one of the best albums by one of the most talented musicians to ever pick up a saxophone, so this oversight might just inspire my own letter-writing campaign.

Currently goes for: $100

Jorge Ben | Ben
Jorge Ben | Ben – Excellent Brazilian funk from the 70’s – another sound that I dearly love to drop the needle on. There aren’t many copies of this LP floating around, and those that do seem to reside in Sao Paolo, so good luck with that…

Currently goes for: $50-$75, plus expensive shipping from South America

Lee Hazlewood | Poet, Fool Or Bum
Lee Hazlewood | Poet, Fool Or Bum – This album earned a famously dismissive one word review (“Bum.”) but time has been kind to Lee Hazlewood. His psychedelic cowboy act is a refreshing antidote to the typical country music formula, and ought to be more readily available in LP form.

Currently goes for: $30-$50


Honorable mention…

Dave Alvin | King Of California
Marah | Kids In Philly
Johnny Cash | Personal File
The Coup | Genocide & Juice
The Soft Boys | Underwater Moonlight
Eric B & Rakim | Paid In Full

Hitting The Links VI

18 December 2007

It’s time to catch up on some of the musical goings-on from around the worldwide infotainment superhighway:

Amazing animation of John Coltrane’s music.

I’ll almost be sorry when Axl finally releases the thing.

Check out this cool rotoscoped Girl Talk video.

The perfect gift for that music snob on your Christmas list.

Ben Ratliff had good things to say about the Led Zep reunion.

A great take on the fine art of drumming.

‘Tis the season for Vince Guaraldi.

One set of guidelines for making a mix tape.

The Onion A.V. Club runs down some truly horrendous band names.

Pink Martini has a lot of members, and a great sound.’s worthy salute to Lee Hazlewood.

It’s possible to bum out both Elvis and Dead Kennedys fans in just 60 seconds.

These people know their album sleeves.

This new starmaking vehicle shouldn’t suprise anyone.

All bootlegs, all the time.

Aram assures me this is the Boss’ finest performance on TV.

A belated goodbye to Village Music.

I enjoyed this video quite a bit.

[Please report any dead links in the comments section of this post…]

Top 10: August 2007

3 September 2007

Plenty of vacation days, lots of lazy reading, and heat without the humidity. Those were just a few of the highlights of my August. Here are ten more:

Hazlewood - album
1] Lee Hazlewood * Requiem For An Almost Lady

Hazlewood passed away on August 4th, but his music lives on…

40 Watts - book
2] Sue Carpenter * 40 Watts From Nowhere

A hilarious and revealing look at the inner workings of pirate radio. The author – my new hero – ran stations in San Francisco (KPBJ) and Los Angeles (KBLT) and she packs this slim volume with lots of anecdotes and plenty of suspense. Highly recommended.

Cosa Nuestra - album
3] Willie Colon y Hector Lavoe * Cosa Nuestra

This is the latest in a long line of Fania reissues that I’ll be buying. One of the great Salsa albums ever recorded, it features one of the coolest album covers ever.

jazz festival - photo
4] The 2007 Newport Jazz Festival

Another great jazz festival with an extra special bonus – no humidity! My special thanks to the P family for hosting, and to the town of Newport for being so easy on the eyes.

Trout Mask - book
5] Trout Mask Replica * by Kevin Courrier [33 & 1/3 series]

Big credit to the author – he took an album that’s dreadful to listen to and made a pretty fun read out of it. Dark tales of mind control, mascera snakes, and rotting carp heads make for another winner in the 33 & 1/3 series of album biographies.

Otis Redding - album
6] Otis Redding * The Best Of

A fantastic album for hot August nights. Otis simply ignites every song that he puts his voice to. Hearing his version of ‘(Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’ reminded me of reading that Redding’s version, with the horns, is how Keith Richards actually heard the song in his head before it was recorded, and that he preferred Redding’s version to the Stones’ own.

Max Roach - album
7] Max Roach * We Insist! Freedom Now Suite

In tribute to another fallen legend – bebop drummer Roach passed away on August 16th at age 83. Recorded in 1960 with a group that included vocalist Abbey Lincoln, Coleman Hawkins on tenor sax, Booker Little on trumpet, and many other luminaries, this meditation on freedom and equality is Roach’s masterwork.

Elvis Presley - album
8] Elvis Presley * From Vegas To Memphis

I picked up this double album for a song at the most recent flea market. It features two live concerts, one from Vegas, one from Memphis, and both from 1969. This album could have easily been included on this list, and backs up commenter Ted’s assertion that “never was a better pure rock band assembled.”

Julian Bream - album
9] Julian Bream * Baroque Guitar

Classical guitarist Bream’s baroque renditions are the perfect background music for intense work – which I have unfortunately been doing plenty of lately.

Nelson George - book
10] Nelson George * The Death Of Rhythm & Blues

Uber-critic George’s look at the history of black radio and music features plenty of great lines on early dj’s, like “When [Frankie] Crocker said, ‘Music might not heal you, baby, but it’ll help your soul. Reach over and touch your radio one time,’ speakers were fondled all over Fun City.” But this is a truly critical take on the negative toll that integration forced upon black music in the 70’s and 80’s. Worth your dime, and your time…

Buried Treasure: Poet, Fool Or Bum/Back On The Street Again

17 August 2007

[Lee Hazlewood passed away on August 4th at the age of 78. A fond farewell to the man who re-invented cowboy cool…]

Hazlewood - album

Almost every rocker wants to be seen as a rebel, but Lee Hazlewood was the real deal. He rebelled against the music industry, against stuffed shirts, and finally, against his own success. His psychedelic cowboy crooning, lush musical arrangements, and ‘aw shucks’ lyrical brilliance denied easy categorization and made him, musically, a man without a country. With a slow drawl and a quick wit, Hazlewood sang like a real-life cowboy – weaving in and out of the melody, his voice rich in character and seemingly shaped by a lifetime of bourbon and hell-raising. Every song Hazlewood recorded was tailored to that voice, rather than the other way around.

Best known for his collaborations with Nancy Sinatra in the late 60’s, Hazlewood carved out his own unique niche in the world of music. Never fully embraced by the established Nashville country scene, he was just starting to gain wider acclaim when he up and moved to Sweden in the early 70’s. He would live there for the rest of the decade, sporadically releasing albums that were as good as any in his iconoclastic career. That move was a microcosm of his career: undercutting a chance at mainstream success in favor of following his fun-loving muse down a dirty side street.

This two-for-one disc collects a pair of albums he released while in self-imposed European exile: 1973’s Poet, Fool Or Bum, and 1977’s Back On The Street Again. Like most of his non-Nancy Sinatra-related records, these albums were panned on release and have only recently begun to find their audience. In fact, Hazlewood’s back catalogue is selling in unprecendented numbers these days. It seems Lee understood something that the indie kids are just catching onto: if you’re going to package yourself, it’s best to act like you’re not selling a damned thing.

Listen: The Performer

Random Propaganda

14 April 2007

Here’s a rundown of some stuff that’s been hitting my mailbox and turntable (or turntable substitute) lately. To make it easy for you, I’ve divided it all into two easily digestible categories:

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Mingering Mike - book
Mingering Mike: The Amazing Career Of An Imaginary Soul Superstar (published by Princeton Architechtural Press) – ‘Mingering Mike’ Stevens was a Washington DC area music fan who circumvented the music business and created his own imaginary career as a Soul/Funk/Rock superstar. He produced dozens of his own hand-painted album covers (complete with cardboard records), as well as 45’s, 8-Track Tapes, and more, that add up to an amazing legacy and a fascinating story. This book collects all of his known work in one place for the first time. This is like seeing someone’s childhood dreams preserved in amber, and it’s a moving display of the human imagination that reminded what it was like to be a kid and dream big. Highly, highly reccomended.

Swamp Dogg - album
Swamp Dogg * I’m Not Selling Out, I’m Buying In – Had Mingering Mike actually had a singing career, he might have sounded a lot like Swamp Dogg. Dogg’s distinctive mix of Blues, Funk, social awareness, and general kookiness was lost on black and white audiences alike, and most of his albums have never been in print on disc. 1981’s I’m Not Selling Out was worth the ten bucks I paid for it (on LP) if only for the cover shot of Dogg dancing on a corporate boardroom table in white top hat and tails. But the music is even better – ‘Wine Women & Rock ‘N’ Roll’ gets things off to a rollicking start, ‘Dead Flies’ is a killer duet with Esther Phillips, ‘California Is Drowning And I Live Down By The River’ is a hilarious and heartbreaking look at the perils of life in the Golden State, and ‘A Hundred And’ sounds a lot like the music Al Green would have made if he hadn’t gone away from secular music right at the advent of disco. With lots of great guitar licks, and lyrical cream puffs like ‘We’ve got to make some jobs/And make ’em fast/That’s the only way to get the poor folks/Off their ass’ this is an amazing album that has fallen through the cracks of popular culture.

Cake Or Death - album
Lee Hazlewood * Cake Or Death – Lee Hazelwood deserves a lifetime achievement award simply for marching to the beat of his own drum for so long. In an industry where nearly everyone bends over backwards for fame and/or fortune, Hazlewood’s muse has always led him far from the glare of the spotlight. He was diagnosed with renal cancer early last year, and this will almost certainly be his last album, but the psychedelic lounge cowboy is going out with both guns blazing. Cake Or Death is a poignant, humorous, and wholly appropriate way for him to close out a stellar and offbeat career.

These Streets - album
Paolo Nutini * These Streets – This nineteen year old Irish singer has a once-in-a-generation kind of voice, but carries the kind of baggage that will result in swift and sudden backlash – namely his good looks, the mobs of screaming teenagers lined up at his shows, and his opera tenor-sounding name. These Streets contains an impressively diverse array of pop stylings, but Nutini makes the biggest splash on the uptempo numbers. Fortunately there’s enough shaking going on to offset the tearjearking – but even on the ballads it’s hard to deny to power of this prodigious crooner.

Shaar Murray - book
Charles Shaar Murray * Crosstown Traffic: Jimi Hendrix And The Post-War Rock ‘N’ Roll Revolution – A brilliant book on a brilliant subject, Crosstown Traffic skirts away from the nuts and bolts of Hendrix’ life story in favor of exploring the depth of his legacy in music and culture. Shaar Murray rises to his subject, and presents a very thorough and enjoyable look at the impact of Jimi Hendrix beyond the feedback and burned guitars. This and Electric Gypsy are the only books about Jimi that you’ll ever need to read.
Kings Of Leon * Day Old Belgian Blues – This 6 song, 20 minute EP was recorded in 2004 at AB Box in Brussels. It was released in June of last year and slipped completely under my radar. There’s nothing new here (all the songs performed came off their raucous debut Youth And Young Manhood), but it’s great proof that on a good night, Kings Of Leon are one of the hottest live bands on the planet.

Millenium - album
Zeca Pagodinho * Millenium – I take casual carpool from Oakland into SF every week day. Most days (say 9 out of 10) people are listening to talk radio and I’ll say good morning and put on my iPod. But that 10th person who is listening to music is sometimes very interesting, and one day about a month ago, I got into a Beamer being driven by a very polite Rasta dude who was listening to Zeca Pagodinho. I asked him who it was (Seyka Bagojeeno, he told me, no doubt pronuncing the name impeccably, but lengthening my search by about 59 guess-style entries). Anyway, homey tells me that in Porteguese, all of the lyrics are pretty potty-mouthed. It sounds great to me, and kind of makes me wish I spoke the language…


unsmiley face

Sound Of Silver - album
LCD Soundsystem * Sound Of Silver – Like the millionaire who thinks he can do no wrong and proceeds to build the ugliest house on the block, James Murphy has created a cringe-inducing monument to excess. LCD’s self-titled 2005 debut was a witty, brilliant collection of booty shakers, but the follow up often sounds like a band covering a Joy Division cover band (as if Murphy decided he wanted nothing more than to sound like Interpol). And that’s not the worst of it – the final track ‘New York, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down’ is freakin’ embarassing, and not in a good way. The cracked cowbell riff of ‘Us V Them‘ is undeniably satisfying, but on balance this is a big disappointment from an immensely talented artist.

KOL placeholder
Kings Of Leon * Because Of The Times – If the title sounds like an apology, well… there’s a good reason. After two top-shelf albums of full-throttle, southern-style rockinroll, the Kings have taken a detour (let’s hope that’s all it is) down some pretty pedantic side roads. Not a terrible album, and there are some fine moments, but Because Of The Times clearly lacks the start-to-finish fire of its predecessors. What it is unfortunately NOT lacking is the screaming and yelping throughout the insanely misnamed ‘Charmer’ that had me genuinely concerned that someone was being harmed right outide my window. Not good times.

Please note: because I love both of the above bands, I’m happily linking to BIG THUMBS UP reviews of both of these albums (LCD, KOL). Hey, everybody hears shit differently. And coincidentally both five-star reviews are written by different brits named Ben!

On that note, I’ll be toodling on my way. Cheerio…


[Next time I’ll tell you a little story about Andrew Bird, Mandrill, Shadows Of Knight, Oliver Wang’s ‘Soul Sides’ compilation, Sonny Boy Williamson, Gabor Szabo, and more…]