Saturday, March 07, 2009

eMUSIC MARCH


* Rockin' n Reelin' in Aukland, New Zealand by The Cramps: Papa Satan's in Heaven! Long live Lux Interior!

This live set was one of the few Cramps album I didn't have. And it's good and crazy. Recorded about the same time as their 1986 album A Date With Elvis, there's lots of songs from that album here -- "Cornfed Dames," "The Hot Pearl Snatch," "What's Inside a Girl," etc.

And Elvis shows up for this date, at least in spirit. The Cramps put their stamp on "Heartbreak Hotel" and a true Elvis cheese classic "Do the Clam," which actually was a hit from his 1965 movie Girl Happy.

Lux is with Elvis now. Maybe The King is teaching Mr. Interior the words to "Queenie Wahini's Papaya."

* Funky Yo Yo by Don Covay: Here's an obscure 1977 album from soul master Covay.

Despite the fact it came from the dawn-of-disco era, the album is free of '70s gloss. In fact, some songs are downright minimalist.

My favorite song here is "I Don't Think I Can Make It," which sounds almost like a long-lost Percy Sledge meditation with a sweet organ coloring heavy drums. But the best part is the spoken word segment: "You might your find yo' love with the trash man, the ice man, sometimes the undertaker. But wherever you find it, baby, I want you to hold on to dear life."


* Impala Play R&B Favorites: Impala was (is?) an instrumental group from Memphis that played a basic surfy sound sometimes augmented by a crazy sax.

It was a song called "Taos Pueblo" -- which sounds a lot like the surf classic "Apache" that made me download this 1998 effort. But there's other tracks that make this album a real joy. There's a greasy, sleazy tunes including a cover of Henry Manacini's "Experiment in Terror" (this might even be better than the version by The Blue Hawaiians, which came out about the same time) and Link Wray's "Vendetta."

The song "Makin' It" sounds like the stuff they had to have played in Jack Ruby's Carousel Club. And no, "Hell of a Woman" is NOT the lame Mac Davis hit. It's even darker and more menacing than "Experiment in Terror."

* Burn, Baby, Burn by Stud Cole: Yikes! This is some of the most intense stuff I've heard in awhile. If you're looking for labels, "psychedelic rockabilly" is about the closest I can come up with.

There's a mad apocalyptic feel to many of these songs. "The Devil's Coming" sounds particularly acid damaged, aided by some cheap recording effects.

But that's just a little crazier than "Stop the Wedding" in which Stud's voice sounds as if he might really burst into the church and interrupt the ceremony.

And in "Black Sun" Cole sounds like some swamp shaman railing against the elements. Then songs like "I'm Glad" and "It Ain't Right" sound right out of the '50s.

I really don't know much about Cole. Crusing the Internet for information about his life has been frustrating. Some sources say his real name is Patrick Tirone (there's a track here that's a radio jingle for a Tirone Real Estate!) and he originally was from Buffalo, N.Y. He moved to L.A. to try to make it in the music biz. Supposedly this is his only album and he only pressed 100 copies. I'm glad Norton Records rescued this from obscurity.


* 200 Million Thousand by Black Lips: You can still hear the basic Black Lips sound in here — basic guitar snot rock with frequently off-key sing-along verses that remind me of The Dead Milkmen of yore.

But somehow these wild-eyed Southern boys seem to be expanding their sound without sacrificing their raw, rough amateur-hour appeal.

On some songs The Black Lips sound as if they’ve been listening to another “Black” band — The Black Angels. Thumping psychedelic sludge colors tunes like the faux-bordello “Body Combat” and “Big Black Baby Jesus Of Today.”

Sometimes you wonder whether The Black Lips are idiot savants or just idiots. Take the track called “I Saw God.” This sounds like some deranged anthem that teeters between ridiculous and sublime.

But here's a complaint. For reasons best known to the band and its record company, the final track “Meltdown" isn’t available for download on eMusic. I was willing to spend a buck on Amazon or iTunes, but it's not available for download there either. Sorry, Black Lips. Due to this brilliant marketing strategy, you just lost a dollar.



* Satan's Little Pet Pig by Demon's Claws: This album is the musical equivalent to the the plague of feral hogs the New Mexico state Legislature is trying to battle.

The music of this Montreal band is basic garage punk (The Black Lips are among their top MySpace friends) with some metallic overtones. There's also a distinct country feel on some of the songs, especially "That Old Outlaw" which almost sounds like it came from Bob Dylan's Basement Tapes.

And do I hear an echo of early Replacements on "Tom Cat"?


*Hully Gully Fever by Rudy Ray Moore: This is Rudy Ray before he became Dolomite.

I only had enough tracks left to get a dozen of these songs. I'll get the rest when my account refreshes next week.

I actually owe Cornell Hurd for leading me to this album. Cornell covers "I'm Mad With You" on his latest album American Shadows: The Songs of Moon Mullican. Cornell pointed out how cool it was that Mullican, a country star in the '40s and '50s, would record a tune by Rudy Ray Moore. I started Googling to try to find Rudy's original, and low and behold, it was right here on eMusic.

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