Friday, December 30, 2005

it's the end of the year (as we know it)

before going any further, the cd of the year goes to ... sufjan stevens, for 'come on feel the illinoise!'
no big deal, in the scheme of things, means a lot around these parts tho. not much cracked the jaded veneer of the w'room this year, maybe spoon and billy and a few sneakers, not much else.
so, at any rate here are just a few fave tunes that got us thru this dismal year, all in all,
... and if ya started us talkin' 'bout the year in music, well ... we'll just give up the mp3s ... thru yousendit for a week or so:

sufjan stevens - jacksonville (from 'illinoise!')
spoon - the beast and dragon adored (from 'gimme fiction')
fiona apple - better version of me (from 'extrordinary machine')
john mayer trio - wait until tomorrow (from 'try!')
billy harvey - dope wings (from 'pie')
bob dylan - desolation row (alt take) (from 'no direction home : bootleg series 7')

we sure hope that the '6' is better than the '5', pahleezzz, at least music-wise ...
the billboard year-end charts
the top whatever
pitchforks top 50 albums
npr's list, (closer to ours, somewhat, if we had one)

(and we'd do a top movie thingy, but darn if none of 'em stuck! ....)

and a step back ...
shades of the '80s!
... way back, about 20 years ago or so, tipper gore began her crusade about the evils of the demon rock and roll. and now it's another bored soccer mom with too much time on her hands and pitchin' a bitch about rock and roll 'noise'. i 'googled' 'noise' and found no reference to a 'noise' band outbreak, but she is making a stink of devil making music to anti-authoritarian rock bands like 'radiohead' 'sonic youth' and some other groups i never heard of, like merzbow and wolfeyes (tho from the looks of it she may be onto to something about the last two, guess we'll just 'limewire' 'em just to find out how harmful/useless they really are ... we always love to do things we are told not to!)
so, for the preservation of the pampered white, overfed, under-educated, lazy, game-fed american youth, we urge all mothers to join 'mothers against noise' today! i guess it's better to join the service than to make 'noise' ... and so it goes.

we love you guys! happy new year all, 'specially all our friends and family dealing with the daily hardships of picking up after katrina and rita. we can't wait to get home and are actively seeking ways to make it soon after justin's wedding, ahhh, a sure sign of rebirth. hang on ya'll!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

the ultimately last christmas mix (for now)

just in time, the final yuletide installment of the season. and we think ya'll will find it's a doozy ...
hope everyone is out of the malls, all wrapped and loaded under the tree, sittin' around knockin' the nog with family and friends (coz that's what this is really all about) so ya'll have time to download this bunch of goodies we fixed up for all ya's.
we've tried to stray away from stuff we have already found on the web and the radio-elevator- malls, and even from the likes of the great reverend frost, homercat, and big rock candy mountain and it wasn't easy. but we guess there should be enuff goodies here to keep ya'll warm and fuzzy for the next 100 christmas morns.
well, we figure if not quality then quantity; and there is even more in the old sack (left off all the real low-ball humor pieces), but this should do just fine ... all in mp3 and on a first come ... well you know the schtick ... via yousendit:

the who - christmas
the o'jays - christmas just ain't christmas (w/out the one you love)
sufjan stevens - oh come oh come emmanuel
phil spector -
winter wonderland
john mellencamp -
i saw mommy kissing santa claus
the vandals -
grandpa's last christmas
louis armstrong -
christmas in new orleans
the ravonettes - the christmas song
freddie king -
christmas tears

my chemical romance - all i want for christmas is you
danny kaye - all i want for christmas is my two front teeth
jack johnson - rudolph the red-nosed reindeer
marvin gaye - i want to come home for christmas
green day - christmas day
jethro tull - god rest ye merry gentlemen
ella fitzgerald - white christmas
john holt - happy christmas (war is over)
the beach boys - the man with all the toys
xtc - always winter, never christmas

otis redding - merry christmas baby
the sex pistols - a punk rock christmas
fats domino - blue christmas
smashing pumpkins - christmas time
the rat pack - it's a marshmallow world
emerson, lake and palmer - i believe in father christmas
the black halos - homeless for christmas
u2 - christmas
vince guaraldi trio - skating

(christmas cards created by angela mark)

and to all the friends we have made here in the last year
(ya know who you are, ya'll are listed to the left)
and everyone who left a note ...
all of of us in the w'room wish ya'll
an amazon wal-mart and a target best buy!
and to have a more peaceful and prosperous new year ...
merry christmas everybody!

Monday, December 19, 2005

south rampart bounce!

just found this really cool site that lets ya upload viddys, looks like 'youtube'is just my cuppa tea! so, i figured i'd let all the innocents have a look see what i do when not doin' what i should ... and here it is, in all it bandwidth gobblin' glory,'south rampart bounce' ...

and if ya wanna see more ... 'everybody's doin' it!' is up also, with more to follow.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

one more christmas mix

well, it's been a crazy week of more lies and denials, just in time for the season of giving. christmas is under attack, if ya listen to the fuck-up whack jobs on fox news and in the white house, but we don't see much of that bru-ha-ha. we been shopping and spreading cheer and it seems it is quite alive and throbbing as it should be, as it has since we can remember. what a load of right wing bullshit. we need to be nice, not stupid. so, in the manner of the holidays we send another batch of 'christmas' tunes to welcome the yule.

we are spending the night, cuddled by the fire, watching 'christmas vacation' and 'it's a wonderful life' and thinking how wonderful life really is ... we're avoiding calling over seas so georgie doesn't get wind of what evil non-american thingys we are up to (even tho s.a.'s sis is in egypt and is a big non-threat to national security, too silly and could give a shit anyways), we don't want another terrorist threat, such as having a nice time with family. my wish this christmas is for george to send his bimbo daughters to iraq to entertain the troops, if ya know what i mean (it's the least they should do!), ... for all those dodgers to go over there and clean up that mess he wanted so badly for his pork fed buddies, and finally, to get all of our kids home for christmas to be where they should be, god bless all of those poor souls that were dupped ... enuff!

a bit of cheer via yousendit, tax-free and no ads in the w'room ...
phish - a christmas without weed
tom petty - it's christmas all over again
fats domino - i'll be home for christmas
stiff little fingers - white christmas
lowell fulson - lonely christmas
xtc - countdown to christmas party time
eek a mouse - christmas a come
sufjan stevens - that was the worst christmas ever
ramsey lewis - christmas blues
joe satriani - a heavy metal christmas
d.i. - mr grinch
badfinger - the christmas song
ray charles and ella fitzgerald - baby it's cold outside
fountains of wayne - i want an alien for christmas
george thorogood and the destroyers - rock and roll christmas

Thursday, December 08, 2005

goo goo ga joob!

i am the walrus

I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together
See how they run like pigs from a gun see how they fly
I'm crying
Sitting on a cornflake Waiting for the van to come
Corporation T-shirt, stupid bloody Tuesday Man you've been a naughty boy
you let your face grow long

I am the eggman
they are the eggmen
I am the walrus Goo goo ga joob!

Mr. city policeman sitting pretty little policemen in a row
See how they fly like Lucy in the sky See how they run
I'm crying ... I'm crying, I'm crying!

Yellow matter custard Dripping from a dead dog's eye
Crabalocker fishwife Pornographic priestess Boy, you've been a naughty girl
you let your knickers down

I am the eggman
They are the eggmen
I am the walrus Goo goo ga joob!

Sitting in an English garden waiting for the sun
If the sun don't come you get a tan from standing in the English rain

I am the eggman
They are the eggmen
I am the walrus Goo goo ga joob!

Expert, texpert choking smokers don't you think the joker laughs at you
See how they smile like pigs in a sty See how they snide
I'm crying
Semolina pilchard climbing up the Eiffel tower
Elementary penguin singing Hare Krishna man, you should have seen them
kicking Edgar Allan Poe

I am the eggman
They are the eggmen
I am the walrus Goo goo ga joob!

... i think everything i have to say about today has already been posted here in the w'room (see john lennon's birthday post). i was gonna do this on a different day, but since it is the 25th anniversary of that fateful day ... well, it's as good as any ...

awhile back we did a post on all the various versions we found of 'strawberry fields forever', and never a blog to not beat a dead horse silly, we decided to flog it somemore ... only changing it up with another lennon song, 'i am the walrus'. it is arguably one of the strangest songs the beatles recorded as a band (revolution 9 notwithstanding as that was more of a lennon solo project). and to me 'the walrus' is still one of the most powerful pieces of music i have ever heard ....

the way i remember this was from late 1967. my aunt lived in an apartment in vegas, when vegas was a real desert. the only building nearby was a record distributor warehouse. sometimes, late at night, she would drag me over there and heft me into the fenced-in garbage bin to fetch anything of value i could pillage. i would heave out posters, various crappy 45's and sometimes lp's, with or without the vinyl. a few times we really scored, but mostly it was just a futile attempt at fun ... well, naw, it was fun.

on one morning just before christmas one of the neighbor kids came 'round saying there were records all over the desert. we ran out to find copies of i am the walrus scattered around the building just melting in the sun. we scrabbled up as many as we could, and tho' some were still in the sleeve, almost all of them were bent, warped or scratched. i had vaulted the fence, and was finding more in the trash. i kept tossing to the others when i reached under the bin and pulled out a pristine copy not touched by the sun, it was the only one, and that was the one i kept. i must have played that record a million times in the two weeks or so before i found 'magical mystery tour' under the tree (i knew 'hello goodbye' was the flip, but that wasn't the point, was it?).

well, i still got that 45, buried somewhere in the archives, where it'll prob be until payton needs to cash in his inheritance ... thanks for the memories john.

john winston ono lennon oct 9, 1940 - dec 8, 1980

and in honor of the man that wrote that nonsensically wonderful ditty here are presented a shitload of the walrus, in mp3, and only around for a lil while via yousendit:

the beatles - i am the walrus (take 1)
the thurston lava tube - i am the walrus
spookytooth - i am the walrus
oingo boingo - i am the walrus
jim carrey - i am the walrus
oasis - i am the walrus
gray matter - i am the walrus
crack the sky - i am the walrus
louis clarke - i am the walrus (wma file)
styx - i am the walrus
eekoostk hooka - i am the walrus
the canadien brass - i am the walrus
frank zappa - i am the walrus
swingle singers - i am the walrus
jackl - i am the walrus
phish - i am the walrus
xtc - i am the walrus

and, of course, some really cool walrus wanna-bees -
the dukes of stratosphear - the mole in the ministry
the rutles - piggy in the middle
tears for fears - sowing the seeds of love

... and if ya got bigger balls than me you can mix a paul tune

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

and yet another goofy christmas mix

we never have enuff fun and we never get tired of our favorite christmas jingles. i've been digging in the bag of goodies and found these laying around unused since last year (actually i found the tunes after digging in the bag, but that's another story, for later).
ain't got much to add to that now, so, at any rate, here are some more obscure or bizarre, yet meaningful and heart-felt tunes of the season ... in mp3, of which you have the opportunity to download (on a limited time basis via yousendit):

slade - merry christmas everbody
james brown - soulful christmas
billy idol - yellin' at the christmas tree
the wondermints - ski-party christmas
roy wood and wizzard - i wish it could be christmas everyday
the vandals - a gun for christmas
coldplay - have yourself a merry little christmas
the cruxshadow - happy christmas (war is over)
danny elfman - kidnap the sandy claws
prince - another lonely christmas
the damned - there ain't no santa claus
marilyn monroe - santa baby
sufjan stevens - it's christmas, let's be glad!
squirrel nut zippers - sleighride

Thursday, December 01, 2005

happy christmas beatle people!

for seven years the beatles released an annual christmas record for members of the fan club. it began in 1963 as the four of them sat around a microphone in abbey road studios to record a thank you message, but by '66 they were making it a small epic, of sorts, using audio skits and new songs, and by '69 they weren't even doing it together at all, just piecemealing stuff they each recorded at home, then handing it over to kenny everett (the bbc dj) to edit for release. in december 1970, after the band broke up, apple records released all 7 christmas records on one l.p., again, only to the fan club.

for years this was really hard to find on any medium (i was lucky to have a friend whose sister belonged to the fan club and had them all, including the l.p., which she would not part with but let me tape, so i at least could listen to 'em). now the price for any of these is unreal, as you can imagine. but thanks to the wonders of the internet you can find these lil gems, tho sometimes for a hefty sum also (i found a nice cd of the set along with the other christmas tunes done by each after the split on ebay a while back, but i'd love to own the l.p. in vinyl before i die)

the beatles were always big on christmas. they would plan album and single releases for the holidays and even had a kinda off-broadway christmas show in the early years. and as mentioned in a previous post, it meant a guaranteed record under the tree on the morning of december 25th each year. i still miss those times, but at least we got the christmas records to fill the house with cheer when it comes at the end of every year ...

here are the very hard to find fan club flexie disc records on mp3 download for you to put under the tree for that special santa on your list ...

The Beatles' Christmas Record

Another Beatles' Christmas Record

The Beatles' Third Christmas Record Pantomime: Everywhere It's Christmas

Christmas Time is Here Again!

1968 Christmas Record

The Beatles' Seventh Christmas Record

Monday, November 28, 2005

it's beginning to sound not a lot like christmas

so, it seems it's that time of year again, too many happy holiday greetings, too much egg nog and brandy, one too many secret santas, the fist fights in the malls for x-boxes, the online shopping scams, the endless rehashes of classic christmas songs done by lame no-talent-disney-girl-boyband-rap-country hacks pushing everything you really don't need from stores you never go to the rest of the year, and of course, all the music bloggers are rushing out their x-mas mixes. i thought i would beat the good reverend frost to this, but alas i shoulda known better. at least i can try and mix it up with the big boys myself. i choose to take the low road on this one. a bit of an edgier, grittier, obscure rockin' kinda christmas mix. the kind of stuff you wouldn't want to sing while roasting your nuts over the fire (then again maybe you would, i can't tell from here).
well, i better leave it at that before i start getting all sentimental and shit ...

here's the 1st wreckroom x-mas mix in mp3 (via yousendit):
the sonics - don't believe in christmas

keith richards - run rudolph run
sparks - thank god it's not christmas
the darkness - christmas time (don't let the bells stop)
the ramones - punk rock christmas
cheap trick - come on christmas (edit)
the kinks - father christmas
xtc - thanks for christmas
the beatles - christmas time (is here again)
jet - back door santa
the eels - christmas is going to the dogs
jimi hendrix - little drummer boy/silent night/auld lang syne (ext ver)

... or the whole thing all mixed already for your christmas cheer:
the wreckroom x-mas mix no.1 (39mbs file)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

it was 37 years ago today ...

the greatest rock and roll album of all time was released on november 22, 1968. the beatles by the beatles, or the white album as it is known in pop culture vernacular, is a sprawling, chaotic two record masterpiece that can't be pinned down to any fixed conception of what a rock album should be. even today musicians are trying to emulate the breadth and scope that the white album delivers; it is truly one of the few records that has a little something for everyone. from the beach boys/chuck berry send-up of 'back in the ussr' to the grandeur of the closing track 'goodnight' it has an enduring, appealing magic that still seems to grow with every listen. when taken as a whole it's like a three course dinner, very satisfying, while still leaving room for dessert ... at any rate it is a mouthful of a record.

this was the album that really changed my life. 1968 was a very wierd year, things were changing very fast all over the world (i remember my aunt claiming it was the end of the world during the riots after martin luther king, jr was shot). but i was only 12 so to me that was just the way it was supposed to be. nothing had been normal in my life to that point and that was a time where it felt as if anything goes. that was the year i found sex, drugs and rock and roll. my aunt gave me her old guitar for my birthday in janurary and i was off to the races. constantly listening to songs on the radio and trying to pick them apart for chords or watching shindig and hullabaloo hoping to see the fingers on the frets, (i woulda learned a lot faster if they had the early emp-tv back then). the music seemed to be getting cooler as i got older, like it was following my lead (altho now i know it was the other way around). i started reading and listening to anything and everything ...and i kinda sucked up as much as i could, as fast as i could, from that year on.

the beatles were always on the radar. when i was 10 my best friend's dad was a lieutenant in the las vegas police dept. he got the two of us tickets and we sat in the back of the convention center on that afternoon of august 20, 1964. i sorta remember the band, but mainly we went there to watch all our female classmates pee on themselves over the beatles. i didn't really care about music then (or about girls, unless it was to humiliate them), so i don't feel as it really counts for much. but things changed in the next year or so. my first real album was a copy of 'yesterday and today' that i got xmas of '66. my sis got what she wanted, 'headquarters' by the monkees and i remember these bloody knock-down-drag-outs over who was the best band. we would spend our weekends fighting over this massive, ostentatious piece of furniture that was mom's stereo only to have her cut in and start playing a sinatra record to break us apart (we would flee in all directions at the first hint of frankie. funny how your tastes change as you age, i love that stuff too now!). but in the long run it seems my argument has won out. and i still have that first record in my archives, along with about another hundred or so other beatle albums, 8 of those being copies of the white one because i kept playing them til they were unplayable (plus 4 on cd, because i keep finding lower numbers, daggnnabbitt!, my first white l.p. i got for xmas of '68 is #0307809, i haven't found one lower yet on vinyl, but i'm not done.)

it's now known that the beatles were also going through a lot of changes that year. at the time no one had any idea of the turmoil within the greatest band in the world, the output had slowed but the music was so much better. they were no longer those lovable mop-tops. the fab four had found new loves and interests that made the whole concept of stardom a bit less attractive. earlier in the year all the beatles and their friends and lovers went on a sabbatical to india to study meditation under the maharishi. they left seperately after it was found that his exhaultedness was chasing the young women in the group like harpo marx (john became very bitter in the aftermath and wrote a scathing song about the guru that evolved into 'sexy sadie'). and it would be the last time they would gather as a group for anything other than making records. and they only had that to keep them together at all from that point on ...

the record was begun on may 30th with the initial sessions focused on john's 'revolution' (which was morphed into to three radically different
released versions) and ended on the 21st of october. in between the band had many rows, with even the mild mannered ringo quitting the band for 2 weeks because of the squabbling. of course no word of anything rotten in the land of beatles got out, but the feel of their music on the white album had definetly gotten edgier and in john's case, more personal. gone were the frilly promises of a psychedelic wonderland envisioned only a year ago. this was no mystery tour, it was more like a misery tour. john even reported later that it was really a solo record by the band, each one using the rest to highlight their songs.

yet the white album, with all it's uneveness, is more a beatle record in feeling than 'sgt. pepper', which relied more on studio wizardry over songwriting prowess. each song on the white one is like a celebration of life itself, the loose studio feeling of songs like 'birthday' and 'yer blues' with hooping and hollering all throughout, the little snippets of songs that float in and out, the heartfelt ballads wedged in between the raucous rockers, the sense that every song did not fit with the last, all made for a roller coaster of a ride. even the dreaded 'revolution 9' is a snapshot of the times the beatles were living in with it's aural description of the wars, riots and chaos of 1968. in fact the whole l.p. encapsulates it's surroundings more than any other record, while still sounding relevent and mysterious, even after 37 years of repeated listenings. i have tried to collect as much of the outtakes over the years, and have amassed all that i know is out and about, except for a mono copy of the white one (if ya got one for sale i am in the marrket), take 3 of helter skelter and the 20 something minute version of revolution 1, but i am afraid if i ever do find them my hunger for music will be filled and then i'll just wither and fade away. but i keep looking anyway .

a few rare alternate tracks from the white album sessions on mp3 (via yousendit):
i'm so tired (take 14)
step inside medley (recorded 9-16-68)
sexy sadie (remix from take 117)
revolution 1 (yoko's diary/session mix take 20) 23 min

buy the white album!

along with the beatle's 'anthology' tome, mark lewisohn's essential beatle books, 'recording sessions' and 'complete chronicles' are a constant source of reference and entertainment, a real must for any beatle fan of any age.

not done yet tho ...
here is a link to the charlie manson/white album connection,
and a track from dj dangermouse's mash-up of the white album and jay-z's black album on the grey album... (which is fairly bizarre in it's own right, this cut features rips of helter skelter)
99 problems

... i think that is all i got to say, for now.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

it's beginning to look a lot like christmas

on sunday mornings s.a. and kimmy always launch into a small skermish over the stack of ads that arrive in the newspaper. the paper is promptly discected and shredded, rendering the wreckroom into the likeness of a brawl between william hearst and rupert murdoch.
such was the case last sunday, as usual ...

one of our fave ad booklets is the best buy thingy. it's usually the only time i do any window shopping, looking for all the newest high tech gear i would love to have but know better. well, s.a. starts digging and shoves it in my face, pointing at a vgc-rc110g sony vaio media center desktop with accompanying monitor, printer and all the accruement on sale for an obscene price ... 'you want this don't cha?', she chimes, (she really just wanted the monitor, a 17" lcd, i'm a crt guy, much better color for viddy). 'yeah, right', i said dubiously, (i know where this is going but i certainly don't wanna get my hopes up just to be dashed). then with a wicked smile tells me, 'kimmy and i'll go pick it up today before they're all gone, just gimme a list of what all ya need to make it work' ...

i swear this woman is trying to spoil me ....

so i've been kinda busy this week transferring files and tweaking the new HAL (this is my 3rd vaio, gettin' bigger and badder each time), and not had much time for much else. it's finally up and running in my own graven image with more speed and space than i should be allowed. it's funny to think my first pc in '96 was a silly 'compact' with all of 4 gig of hard drive ... this mother's got 250! but i'm sure i'll find a way to fill it up too fast. and now i feel this gnawing need to make some videos ...

good old john, of the open mind in the land of the aus, tagged me with this little piece of blogging bric-a-brac, so i guess i gotta make someone else pay for it too ... at least it ain't a chain letter ...

The tag is as follows:

1. Go into your archives.
2. Find your 23rd post.
3. Post the fifth sentence (or closest to it).
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.
5. Tag five other people to do the same thing.

(from the sex pistol post)
the sweat and humidity dripped off the walls like a waterfall, even tho it was early january, and the smell of almost a thousand black leather clad punk rockers from all points south was almost gagging.

there ya go, and for those keeping track ... danno (nola cuisine), laurie (do ya know what it means ...), mike (sonicfrog blog), the reverend frost (spread the good word) and mr snave (various miseries) ... tag, ya'll are it!
and no fudgin' now, cuz i know where ya blog.

... enuff messin' around, i got a new toy to play with. i'll leave a few mp3s i found that were hanging forgotten in the old HAL, a bit obscure perhaps, but fun none the less ...

the rolling stones - cocksucker blues (ext ver)
heatmiester - plainclothes man (elliott smith's first band)
led zeppelin - black dog (a very weird acoustic version)
paul mccartney - growing up falling down (bonus chaos tune) wma file
marvin gaye - what's going on (backing track)
buchanan & goodman - flying saucers (parts 1 & 2)
(... flying saucers is my 1st memory of rock-n-roll, i was about 4 and it scared the bejezzums outta me, now it is just plain silly)

and a really neat viddy, how'd they do this? ...
gorillaz - feel good inc (live) quicktime video from devil ducky

and on a sad blogging note, one of our favorite daily reads (and good bunch of net buddies too) is shutting the shades. 'last night an mp3 saved my wife' is calling it quits. i am really bummed about this as i got to know these whacky boys from leeds quite well, and a lovelier lot you won't find on this side of the pond i tell ya. well, good luck ya'll, we hope you change your minds about it and resurrect the wife soon, we're gonna miss the music and the witty banter. so, here's cheers to 'the wife'. r.i.p.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

there and back again

jeesh, where to begin? i finally feel up to posting in here after s.a. complained about a definite lack of activity on my part (the jaunt just left me broken, tired and lazy).
it's been a pretty hectic few weeks for us, what with the trip to new orleans and back, kimmy havin' a baby and all that goes with that ...

the drive to the easy was, well, easy. s.a. and i tag-teamed our way across the country, making good time and enjoyed wonderful weather until the last push from okc. the sunny days turned grey, nasty and very sierra-like all the way to metry. and then the cold swept into the city as we did, and stayed the whole time, much to my pain and dismay.
the wreckhouse was still standing, altho the ground floor had the drywall and carpets stripped and the yard was a mess of broken trees and debris. there's nothing in the house but what we dragged down from reno, so we slept on a matress on the floor of our empty new master bedroom (that sucker's huge!) and watched t.v. on a silly little $20 b&w set we bought at a gas station (it paid for itself that week). it seems we spent nearly the whole time talking with adjusters, electricians, plumbers, painting and cleaning upstairs and looking for stuff to replace the whole kitchen (that was s.a.'s favorite part, she shopped for countertops and ovens while i just tagged along nodding and playing my harmonica up and down the aisles of lowe's and home depot).

the first thing we noticed in metry was the amount of traffic and number of small signs. signs are on every street and pole. signs for everything from mold removal, house gutting and clean-up to oriental take-out masseuse services and hair replacement. but most of the signs were for help wanted. it seems every open buisness was looking for workers. and a lot of places had signs reminding you they are open, but the sign with the establishment's name was long gone. very strange ...
and the place is more crowded than i can remember. just getting around is a nightmare, every main street is packed with people going somewhere usually following a line of trash trucks or construction equipment

the only time we went into the city was when my sister jan, s.a. and i drove into lakeview to see angel and jacques's house. it was not a pretty scene. as soon as you cross into new orleans over the 17th st canal on veterans blvd it becomes very , very surreal. there is absolutely no color, just a dusty grey covering everything. it is block after block of total destruction; a pile of trash 2 stories high on west end blvd, everywhere you look are wrecked houses with water-lines to the roof, cars strewn about like discarded toys and trees ripped up and uprooted. poor angel's house was a complete mess. the house is wide open and all their stuff is covered with caked mud and mold. the saddest thing was seeing all of jacque's wondeful paintings rotting in the heat.
the only way to lift our spirits after the dismal lakeview tour was to head to the french quarter and find po' boys and bloody marys, which we did at cafe mespero's (we made a toast to ya danno!).

while we were there we didn't get out much, not a whole lot of places are open and those that are run at about half-speed, but things seem to be getting better.
all in all, it was not as bad as i thought it would be. but there is still an unreal amount of trash lining every street in metry. and the damage varies from house to house ( jan's neighborhood had no flooding at all, there's just a lot of 'blue roofs' and tree damage). but we came home feeling a lot better about the future than when we left, and we really love that big ol' freaky house.
my good friend tim has been back in the parish for awhile now and is posting some great stories on his myspace blog, 'tim's nameless blog', about what it's like living in metry on a daily basis. a very interesting read.

but metry is a distant memory since we got back. kimmy was still preggers and miserable the whole week and finally, last saturday, she gave birth to little payton. me, being much too old and never having expereinced the whole process up close and personal-like before, i was just mortified. just sitting in the room i got all nervous and twitchy every time she went into contractions. i was kinda glad to be sent from the room, i don't know how dad's can do it at all. inside i was a wreck, but i put on my brave face for the girl's benefit. kimmy is a real trooper. she just took it all in stride and pulled it off just like the book said to (she read 'em all first). the kid is cute as a puppy and so far is being very good. oh boy, it's gonna be strange and wonderful to have a little guy growing up in the wreckroom ... (i can't wait to put some drum sticks in his little hands, the band needs a good drummer).

a bit of house music on mp3:
paul mccartney - i love this house
maddness - our house (12 inch mix)
the beta band - the house song
prince - housequake
crosby, stills and nash - our house

(and the kick drum is the fault ...)

i dunno if anyone else has seen this, (i am sorta out of the loop lately) ... pete townshend, (yes, the same one), has his own blog, 'the boy who heard music' and is dropping chapters from a new project along with some demo mp3s. and he even has the comments open, worth a look see for sure.
also, i got an e-mail from a wendy williams (no, not that one) at advising us that the w'room should post the new xtc tune 'spiral'. they have a very cool site posting a bunch of free, legal downloads from a vast assortment of bands. we especially love it that they have quite a few videos available that we have never seen. nice, nice, very nice!

an mp3 of pete's 'in the ether'

and some mp3s from
xtc - spiral
spoon - i turn my camera on
the clientele - e.m.p.t.y.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

down the road

i grew up in the back seat of a midnight blue oldsmobile station wagon. my family was a dixieland jazz band doing one niters up and down the roads of america, and during the late 50's there were no interstates. the only way to get to from one end of the u.s.a. to the other was route 66, a two-lane blacktop that wound from chicago to santa monica. it crossed 8 states through some of the prettiest parts of the country, and some of the most boring.

i must've traveled that road a hundred times through the years since i was a kid. in the 90's it was in a ragged, slow, bumpy, hot truck zig-zagging back and forth doing shows across the country. we'd travel through gallup, amarillo, flagstaff, barstow, st. louis, albuquerque, kingman .... tho most of the little eating and gas places i remembered are gone, as is most of '66'. it's all swallowed up by various interstates now (although sometimes you can find it as a side road along i-40 in certain places). i still have vivid memories of the old blacktop tho, driving thru the night, playing with radio to help keep my dad awake and playing 'spot the v.w.' or 'name the licence plates' with my sis. sure was a cool way to grow up ...

so now we are heading down that old hi-way again, or whats left of it. we're leaving for new orleans, or whats left of that, on friday to do that thing everyone else down there is doing, mainly cleaning up. we're gonna be gone for a week and as my laptop is down i'll try to post from my sister's when i can ...
well i gotta go pack now, but i'll leave ya'll all the tunes from one of my road cds that's gonna help get us farther down that road.
happy trails ya'll!

cartunes road mix 05 (via yousendit):
drivin' - the kinks
down the road - smiley lewis
run it - the replacemants
drive me - blodwyn pig
key to the highway - big bill broonzy
under my wheels - alice cooper
feats don't fail me now - little feat
rocket 88 - jackie brenton
traffic light rock - xtc
you can't catch me - chuck berry
back of a car - big star
big road blues - tommy johnson
little red lights - todd rundgren
passenger side - wilco
have love, will travel - the sonics
drive around the world - weezer
chevrolet - zz top
terraplane blues - robert johnson
killer cars - radiohead
crosstown traffic - jimi hendrix
here comes bob - sparks
grey cortina - tom robinson band
driving sister - mott the hoople
caddilac man - the jesters
going mobile - the who
transfusion - nervous norvus
(and, this all fits on a cd, if you are so minded ...)

Sunday, October 16, 2005

fats comes home

Clean living keeps me in shape. Righteous thoughts are my secret. And New Orleans home cooking.
-- Fats Domino

well, fats domino made it back to his ninth ward compound thursday to assess the damage from katrina. he was accompanied by a local news crew that filmed his reactions, which, considering the devastation, was pretty upbeat. there is about a foot of muck covering the floors and everything else is laced with mold. his cadillac couch and white piano are ruined, but his favorite shirt seems to have made it through, and he said he is never gonna leave new orleans and is already planning to rebuild.

after katrina hit fats was thought to be missing. for a few days rumors were rampant about him being lost in the flood that washed out most of the neighborhood where he lived. thousands were relieved when the news broke that the 77 year old pianist had been rescued and was taking shelter in the apartment of l.s.u.'s quarterback jamarcus russell.

as he walked around his house w/ his son-in-law fats was smiling and pointing out the various items damaged in his once beautiful home to the reporter. later he stood outside and chatted with fans who took pictures with him in front of a spray-painted message on his house mourning his exagerated death. the fatman said he felt as though he had gotten off better than many others, and with a laugh he exclaimed,“I’m still here, thank God. I’m alive and kicking.”

the fats domino compound on st. claude is famous around the world. many tourist would venture out daily from the french quarter to pass by in the hopes of seeing him sitting on his porch. in september 1964 the beatles played at city park stadium and they made a special trip to the ninth ward to pay a visit to fats in his house. afterward paul mccartney told the press, "fats domino we admired. we met him in new orleans. he had a very big diamond watch in the shape of a star, which was very impressive." george harrison added, "he was sweet. just like a little boy."

in 1968 the beatles released 'lady madonna', a throwback rocker that recalled the best of the fatman, and later that year recorded 'birthday' in one session after being inspired by a group viewing of 'the girl can't help it', which starred many of the early rock-n-rollers; fats, little richard, eddie cochran and gene vincent (among others, and oh yeah, the voluptuous jane mansfield).

fats reciprocated later that year by releasing singles of 'lady madonna', the wild and crazy 'everybody's got something to hide except for me and my monkey' and sgt. pepper's 'lovely rita', (now out on the album 'sweet patootie') and all of which fit the mold he had created over a decade before.
fats has been a major influence in rock-n-roll for the past 5 decades and says he has plans to release a new song soon called 'alive and kicking'... and we sure are glad he is!

fats goes home (a photo set)

fats and the rock-n-roll connection

from the mississippi to the mersy's a few fats domino tunes (mp3s via yousendit):
everybody's got something to hide except for me and my monkey
lady madonna
do you know what it means to miss new orleans

... and the beatles thinkin' 'bout the fatman!
lady madonna (anthology mix)
birthday (alternate mix)

buy fats domino and the beatles!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

tommy ridgley Oct 23, 1925 - Aug 11, 1999

during the 90's i had the great fortune to work with some of the old guard of new orleans rhythm and blues. i would work any show, anywhere, as a sound man/monitor guy/stage manager/lighting geek/consiglieri/gopher and anything else that was needed. there were always shows happening in the easy, everyday, (and as many as one could handle on the weekends), done in all kinds of venues; school gyms, open air festivals, hotel ballrooms, even the superdome. and we did 'em all ... fats, ernie k-doe, the funky meters, dr. john, neville bros., clarence 'frogman' henry, irma thomas, gatemouth brown, earl king, rockin' dopsie, and many more legends, most of whom are gone now.

tommy ridgley was the most down to earth performer of all from that era. that man was a fashion plate if there ever was one. tommy would show up at a gig, dressed to the nines in the latest in leisure suit wear, in the most outlandish colors known to man ... with shoes to match. he would sit and talk with everyone and make it feel as if you knew him all your life, remembering your name and your momma's, (in the easy it is always polite to ask, 'how's yo' mamma?), and he was always very sincere and funny as shit. many a show tommy would hang by the soundboard to joke and kid about the old days with me right until he ran onstage to sing. and it didn't matter if it was a show at the aquarium, a buisiness convention or the jazz fest, he was always tommy ... what a wonderful man.

tommy had his first hit in '49 with 'shrewsbury blues' on the imperial lable. shrewsbury is where he was from, a little part of metry at the lower part of causeway in jeff parish, where it meets the river. he went on to record many regional hits during the 50's, riding the rock and r&b wave, including the immortally wild 'looped' and the influential instrumental 'jam up'. he was always a must see at the new orleans jazz fest from it's inception until his death from kidney troubles in '99. his band, 'the untouchables' also backed many of the other new orleans legends including miss irma thomas, whom tommy took under his wing and started her long career.

his birthday is october 23, so i needed to get this down before we head down the road to see the destruction first hand, (we split that day). so, tommy, where ever you are has to be a better place for you being there ...

a few of mr ridgely's good stuff on mp3 from yousendit:
shrewsbury blues

and a good book to read: rhythm and blues in new orleans

and fats went home to the 9th ward today, but as of press time i couldn't squeek a link from anywhere .... from what i saw on cnn he didn't look too happy to see his white piany all flipped over in his flooded, muddied purple mansion on st. claude avenue... more to follow ...

buy some tommy ridgely music!

Monday, October 10, 2005

xtc - the apple box

xtc, one of the w'room's favorite bands of all time, is releasing a beautiful box set of their last two albums (with a bunch of neat goodies!) ...

Apple Box
Released 31st October 05

United as originally intended the stunning Apple Venus Vol 1 and Wasp Star with their respective demo recordings. Packaged in a stunningly simple white box with the peacock feather varnished on the front, this 4 cd set includes a 64 page booklet including all the lyrics for the very first time and new sleeve notes.

A real treat for all XTC fans is the inclusion of a content card enabling the user to download for FREE from the XTC web site 2 brand new digital download tracks (Spiral and Say It) and via their mobile phone a FREE 'Stupidly Happy' ringtone.

All copies of the Apple Box are signed by Andy and Colin.

so, as usual for these guys they finally get what they want, a few years later. the initial idea for apple venus (which was released in 1999) was a double album, one rocking, the other mellow. and as usual, they had to fight their record company, (this time tvt records) and as usual they lost.
although this is really sweet, i wish they would do something new. we are really jonesing for another album from the boys of swindon. but then again the wait between 'nonsuch' and 'apple venus pt.1' was only 7 years ...

a few tracks from the demos of 'apple venus' from yousendit:

rivers of orchids (demo)
i'd like that (demo)
greenman (demo)
stupidly happy (demo)
we're all light (demo)
church of women (demo)

(and we always thought it was cool that there is an xtc song in more than one jim carrey movie ... 'dumb and dumber' and 'me, myself and irene', just a silly note to end on ...)

Sunday, October 09, 2005

john winston ono lennon

john woulda been 65 years old today ... if only ...

i guess anyone who is old enuff to remember could tell ya where they were and what they were doin' when they heard the god-awful news that night in december of 1980. me, i was making a tape of beatle sound-alike stuff for my lil sis angel as a x-mas present, songs from cheap trick, badfinger, sparks, big star and the like, (i corrupted that poor girl so bad, to this day she still can't listen to revolution 9 because of me playing it backwards when she was just a pup, but now she is grateful for the rest of the influences).

... it was a monday night and i was feeling rather good, picking thru records looking for the ideal beatlesque tunes to fill a 90 minute casette. and as usual, (on a monday nite), the t.v. was on monday nite football, sans sound. the ear-goggles were on when my mom came busting in the wreckroom, scaring the crap outta me and pulling the phones off my head yelling, 'john has been shot!'. i laffed her off, she left, just to return about 5 minutes later, yanking the phones off again saying, 'john is dead ...'. i turned to the t.v. and saw a solemn looking howard cosell talking to the camera. when i flipped up the sound i heard howard say something about '... he came to visit us in the booth for the giants game in october ...', then i knew it was true. i sat cross-legged on the floor, staring at the tube, more numb than i had ever felt since my father died, with mom going on about something that i didn't really hear ... i just knew.

i didn't cry until the next night when all my friends got together at our bar, sir john's in fat city. that is when it really sunk in, we were listening beatle songs, drinking and singing along ... and we all cried together. we had lost a brother and a friend. we had all grown up with john. he spoke for us all, from a lofty perch maybe, but he was still us, human, frail and scared. in the following days, watching the mass of people in the streets on t.v., weeping and singing his songs all over the world, i kept crying ... those were some long and sad days. it hasn't really gotten any better, the days are still too long and sad without him ... and i'm still cryin' about it.

so we spent last night playing all of john's songs, drinking wine, singing along and loving the way he made us feel.

happy birthday brother john ...

mp3s from the lennon box set (alternative tracks from the plastic ono band lp)
by way of yousendit:

buy john lennon 'cos ya should!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

this from wfmu's beware of the blog ...

In order to fulfill his obligation to his early solo label Bang Records,Van Morrison sat down in 1967 or so and cranked out 31 songs on the spot, on topics ranging from ringworm to wanting a danish, to hating his record label and a guy named George. Make sure you get past the first few tunes - it takes him a few to get cooking.

van morrison jumps out of bang contract
(just too damn funny not to pass along)

Sunday, October 02, 2005

hooray for captain spaulding!

julius henry marx was born 105 years ago today and without a doubt we still believe he is the funniest human to have graced this silly planet. he of the razor wit, snappy come back, fake 'stache and brow. groucho and his brothers made the most flat-out wildest movies ever and have influenced generations around the world to this day. his prominence as a subversive character even got the f.b.i. to create a file on him in the 50's. but then again, who wasn't profiled by j. edgar hoover and his gestapo back then?
groucho has been imitated more than almost anyone else in history, either visually or verbally. his affect on modern culture is unreal. it seems not a day goes by without some reference to groucho or the marx brothers in the media ...

the early films on paramount were total anarchy; nothing was sacred and no-one was safe. the later movies weren't as unpredictable, but even a bad marx film is funnier than almost anything else around. and after the brothers groucho went on to a sucsessful career on television, vinyl and film on his own.

the fave marx flick in here is 'duck soup'. it's the craziest and most thought provoking movie they made. when it was released in 1933, during hitler's rise to power in germany, it seemed to scare people from theaters with songs about war and the premise of dictators, spies and shady politics. now it is rather hard to find anything about the movie that doesn't ring true. if anything, it kinda reflects the way things are going today, shoddy diplomacy, arrogant leaders, inept battlefield tactics ... kinda like the morning headlines, eh?
happy birthday julius, old friend ...

... two years ago today our little beagle, sadie, had a litter of 5 puppies. she went into labor early in the morning and started popping them out at various locations around the wreckroom. being very aware that october 2nd was groucho's birthday, i started naming them after the marx brothers. she dropped 4 boys and a girl, (the girl we tagged mrs. dumont, after groucho's leading lady for 6 of their 13 films). the third one out we dubbed harpo, of course, and he is the one we kept. and a more apt moniker could not have been found. harpo is the cutest, funniest and sweetest dog we have known. he has this hilarious habit of 'honking' after lapping up a bowl of water and, swear to dog, it sounds just like harpo's horn.

he makes sure it's an all-out laff riot in the w'room on a daily basis, never dull and quite entertaining. and when s.a. leaves for any reason other than work he runs around the house endlessly crying and wimpering and driving me to drink, (not too hard), til she returns. but he knows when she goes to work and has no prob with that. we can't quite figure that one out yet. there is a bunch of shit we can't figure out about him other than we just love this puppy!
happy birthday lil' buddy!

and this is for the real harpo ... (who died on september 28, 1964)

To Harpo Marx
(by Jack Kerouac, 1959)

Harpo! When did you seem like an angel
the last time?
and played the gray harp of gold?

When did you steal the silverware
and bug-spray the guests?

When did your brother find rain
in your sunny courtyard?

When did you chase your last blonde
across the Millionairesses' lawn
with a bait hook on a line
protruding from your bicycle?

Harpo! Who was that Lion
I saw you with?

How did you treat the midget
and Konk the giant?

Harpo, in your recent night-club appearance
in New Orleans were you old?

Were you still chiding with your horn
in the cane at your golden belt?

Was your vow of silence an Indian Harp?
(audio of this in realmedia)
i ripped these from the films into mp3s for your listening enjoyment (via yousendit):

hello i must be going (animal crackers)
whatever it is i'm against it (horse feathers)
everyone says i love you (horse feathers)
my administration (duck soup)
we're going to war (duck soup)
lydia the tattooed lady (at the circus)

plus a video of lydia the tattooed lady (a wmv file)
and a short snippet of the marxes in color from 'animal crackers' (17 seconds of wonder)

go buy a marx brothers movie!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

let the good times roll!

my sister, angel, and her husband jacques, are part owners of a wonderful lil french bistro on esplanade ave. in new orleans called cafe degas.
we all thought our fave restaurant was gonna be a total loss in the first weeks after hurricane katrina. all the satellite photos showed water all around the little building, (it is near city park which was innundated), and it just didn't look real good. the news was already known about their home in lakeview, which was flooded beyond repair, and it is with great relief that we found out the cafe came out of it in a not-too-bad condition.
a friend had gotten down to the cafe the other day and took some photos of the damage. it was nothing as feared. jacques says he could fix it in a weekend. he cracks us up!

even the bar got out unscathed, with a bottle of wine still sitting untouched, as well as the racks of glasses ...

the cafe degas is quite unique, it has that tree in the middle that the building surrounds and a patio facing the oak tree-lined avenue, (well, there were oak trees, one is now in the restaurant). the dining area is open, yet very intimate and the wait staff are always friendly and very french-like. it's a very likable little place that has a huge clientele that is more like family ... and they have the best damn french onion soup we have ever had.

it looks as though that little tree held its ground. good thing too, if it woulda gone, the building would have followed ... (jacques says he wants to lose the tree now. i told him they should put a plaque on it since it rode out two hurricanes in 3 weeks. angel is now calling it 'katrita'!)

so spirits are a lot higher this morning. angel, jacques and the 2 boys are gonna be moving in to the metry wreckhouse a.s.a.p., we (s.a., kimmy and her new kid payton, three dogs, a cat and me), are gonna move in with them after the new year and we'll all be one big happy family as we work to help them get their (and the city's) shit together.
this should be exciting ... laissez les bons temps rouler!

some interesting blogs about katrina (with great photos):
operation eden

on the lighter side of insanity ...
21 ways to be taken away

... and now for some fun new orleans mp3s (via yousendit):
tommy ridgely - i'm looped
shirley and lee - let the good times roll
dave bartholomew - good jax boogie
clarance 'bon ton' garlow - new bon ton roule