Tuesday, December 09, 2008


* Horny As Hell by The Fuzztones. I'm a newcomer to this band, which, in various forms, has been around since the '80s. Though they started out in New York, Fuzztone frontman Rudi Protrudi and his latest incarnation of the band have been based out of Berlin in recent years.

The '08 model of Fuzztones includes a horn section (I don't think that's them pictured on the album cover) and a female chorus. I believe that King Khan & The Shrines is a major influence on this garage/soul sound.

Most the songs are Protrudi originals, though they cover a Pretty Things tune here ("Alexander," which features PT bassist Wally Waller) and a Billy Gibbons tune "99th Floor," which Billy the Beard used to play with his pre-ZZ Top band Moving Sidewalks. Probably my favorite song here is a new all-hornied-up version of an old Fuzztones song "Ward 81."

And just for the heck of it, I downloaded another Fuzztones tune, "I'm a Wolfman" from the Wicked Cool Records Halloween a-Go-Go album.

*Look Ma, No Head by The Cramps. It's been five long years since The Cramps released their last studio album (The Fiends of Dope Island), and as the Wolf Brand Chili used to say, "That's too long!"

Look Ma is a 1991 effort. In my Terrell's Tune-up review, I wrote that this album, "offers no new revelations, innovations or justification for its existence. But it still sounds great when you pop it in your tape deck going 85 mph on the Interstate."

I'll stand by that, even though I don't have a cassette player in my car any more.

As on any Cramps album, there's lotsa, lotsa trashabilly fun in here. Iggy Pop guests here on "Miniskirt Blues." Ry Cooder co-wrote "Hard-Workin' Man." There's references to cavemen, UFOs, Jayne Mansfield, Ernie Kovacks and songs like "Eyeball in My Martini," "Two Headed Sex Change" and "I Want to Get in Your Pants."

How can you not love 'em?

* Pleasure by The Ohio Players. old school funk at it;s funkiest. This is the Players' second album on Westbound, released in 1972.

Mainly these are jazzy instrumental tracks falling somewhere between Music of My Mind-era Stevie Wonder and Bitches Brew-era Miles Davis..

Their character "Granny" appears in a couple of spots (with a little barnyard humor in the tune "Rooster Poot."

And in case you forgot it was 1972, on "Introducing the Players" the band members are introduced by thier names, instruments and astrological signs.

* Stax Profiles by Rufus Thomas. He was as funny as he was funky. He was a veteran of vaudeville and a pioneering Memphis DJ. He did The Funky Chicken, The Funky Robot, and, though it's not on this otherwise excellent collection, "The Funky Penguin."

* Stocking Stuffer by The Fleshtones. A Super Rock Christmas album by The Fleshtones? That seems to be the situation. Titles include "Christmas with Bazooka Joe," "Champagne of Christmas," "Six White Bloomers," which sounds like a Yuletide tribute to AC/DC, and of course "Super Rock Santa." Chuck Berry's "Run Rudolph Run" isn't a very original choice. But I do dig the Joe Meek/Del Shannon "Runaway" organ in "Hurray for Santa Claus." (Consumer tip: "Champagne for Christmas," at least as of this writing, is available for free on the 2008 Redeye Holiday Sampler.)

* Five Shane MacGowan & The Popes songs I didn't already have from a best-of compilation The Rare Oul' Stuff. These include some Irish standards like "Danny Boy" and "The Minstrel Boy," a lovely Christmas song called "Christmas Lullaby," a Pogue-ish rocker called "Rake at the Gates of Hell" and a cover of Neil Diamond's "Cracklin' Rosie." (I have that song on their Live at Montreaux 1995 DVD.)

Then I took a couple of tunes Shane sang with a band called Lancaster County Prison on their album released early this year, Every Goddamn Time. There's a banjo stomper called "Satan is Waiting" and a cover of "Long Black Veil." There's another couple of songs here with McGowan vocals, but I wasn't that impressed with the 30-second clips. Maybe someday curiosity will get the best of me and I'll download those also. Meanwhile, all these just make me thirsty for some new Shane.

*Some Christmas tunes, including "Call it Christmas" by The Supersuckers, which, along with the above mentioned Fleshtones song is free from the 2008 Redeye Holiday Sampler, "Santa's Gonna Shut 'em Down" by Untamed Youth, "Christmas 1979" and "A Poundland Christmas" by Billy Childish & The Musicians of The British Empire. Maybe next year I'll downlaod the whole Christmas 1979 album, from which these came.
* The first five tracks from Holland Shuffle, a live album by Andre Williams with a band called Green Hornet, released in 2003 by Norton Records. This is an excellent companion to the old R&B shouter's Can You Deal With It, released earlier this year on Bloodshot. I'll download the rest of these next week when my account refreshes.

And don't forget:

* The five tracks from Passover by The Black Angels that I didn't get last month. Like the first tracks I downloaded, these take listeners to a fuzz-laden aural psychedelic wonderland. If Marvel Comics ever makes a decent Dr. Strange movie, The Black Angels would provide a tremendous soundtrack.

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