Sunday, November 12, 2006

what a long, strange couple of months its been

well, we finally made it back to metry for good (minus the frogs, they are in a little roadside grave outside of salina, kansas... poor things must've died pining for reno). so it goes...

this month back home has been exhausting, messy and sometimes frustrating, but the house is gettin' better every day. too bad this space has been another casualty of the busy times we've had. some things just needed to get done and this blog just wasn't one of them. we'll try to pick up some of the slack here but until then i guess a bit of catch-up is in order...

first off, we must thank the gods of drunks, dogs and children for getting us home unscathed, reasonably sane and all in one piece. the trip was virtually uneventful, but after doing it 3 times in the last year s.a. and i have that part down pretty good. seems the dogs had the worst of it, they yowled and cried all the way home, while kimmy and the p-man were quite civilized for the 3 and a 1/2 days it took to make the 2500 miles and were quite a pleasure to travel with. s.a. and i, on the other hand had our obligatory 'starbuck's moment', kissed and made up, then made it home. all in all it was a great way to end the road trips of my life (unless i feel the need to travel, which hits way too often...)

it has been very crazy around here for the last month. the house is still in need of a lot of work, tho the girls are painting and fixing up at an incredible rate. it is slow going in a lot of ways. we missed the cable guy the first monday back and got a three week penalty. then he goes and hooks up a fucked-up box and we had to wait another week for that. we didn't really miss the cable or the internet much at all. we were just too busy/tired to care.

i have finally got the w'room up and running, to a point (computer, tv/dvd and record player are go... the studio is kinda slogging along). everything is in but needs to be organized and wired, and that's always my favorite part, which is probably why i save it for last. this w'room could also use a good dose of paint, but the stark white is much better than the gloss black it was when the pornographers rented the place. and we're still hearing horror stories from the neighbors about those guys.

all in all life is looking better, tho the r.a. is still kicking my ass too much (in fact i need to do a shot right now), but soon the wear and tear of the move will go away and things will really brighten up.

damn, it's great to be home!

--- and besides feeling good about being back home there are a few other things lately that make us smile... the saints (altho they lost this week, so did hot 'lanta), the hornets (losing but started strong), it seems the evil empire is in it's last throes and the new beatles' record, 'love', is coming out real soon (it should be on the door step in about a week)...

we'll get into the grimy details later about the record, but from first listening 'love' is a very interesting addition to the beatle's catalogue. four tracks are available for your pleasure on 'the' but i'll dump 'em here for ya to enjoy at your leisure, available for a little while via yousendit...

strawberry fields forever
octopus' garden
while my guitar gently weeps
lady madonna

Thursday, September 28, 2006

live! from new orleans (part deux)

well, what a blast monday was. we're here in reno and it has still taken all week for the glow to even start to wear down. in new orleans it must be electric... just making it a bit easier to get back to the dirty work once again (times-picayune columnist chris rose gives us an idea).

in case you missed it monday was new orleans' coming out party. the uber-arch enemy of the saints were coming to town. the atlanta falcons were 2 and 0, the saints were 2 and 0. they got the superdome all fixed up and invited the whole world to watch. we sucked-up the hype all afternoon on espn, looking for faces of friends in the sea of people. it all felt like the build-up before a superbowl game. man was it worth it! the bayou boys whooped the dirty birds 23-3, and, for this week, own the nfl south. not only beating them but making vick and company look useless. this was not their day. it was ours. they may go on to bigger and better things, september 25th will always be our day, and god did we need this.

i don't think anyone really cared if the saints won or lost. we were just so damn happy to see that beautiful building back up and running... but as has been noted in a few places, there were things that didn't seem quite right. the crowd seemed very vanilla, not at all like the regular mix in the dome on any given sunday during the fall. i guess that just reflects how things are down there. there are a great many things there not right yet.

but for one day the city got to blow off some steam, and was rewarded for it by a fantastic football game, the likes of which had not been seen in new orleans in a very, very long time.

of course there was another story monday. u2 and green day (plus the rebirth and new birth brass bands) ripped through a 9 min. medley just before the game that was heartfelt, a bit political and all out fun (but what was that 'house of the rising dome' thingy?).

we are almost outta here and on the road to the easy. the house is rented, the remnants are being packed as i peck and the trip starts on october 11th. the energy around the wreckroom is focused... get the fuck home! so i guess we will...

...and just in case you missed all of this somehow...

...and if that ain't enough, here's the bands doing a photo shoot on the abbey road crossing...
oh yeah, and the live mp3 of the show at the dome, ripped and posted on yousendit for a lil bit o' time:

u2 and green day - the saints are coming (new orleans superdome 09-25-06)

(i haven't got it yet, but the single can be appropriated from rhapsody. the proceeds go to a great cause and the song rocks... i'm sure i'll need to do this real soon.)

and of all things, naming rights for the dome, pink taco dome? as if the talk of making the dome into a bowl of wheaties wasn't enough...

Thursday, September 21, 2006

live! from new orleans...

during our trip home last month s.a. and i sat with my dear friend, the reverend mr. freeze, and reminisced about the good old days for a few hours or so. s.a. just sat and giggled as we dredged thru our collective memories of all the shit that happened at concerts we had attended (if i had told her alone she'd would have thought me making it all up). she found it all very amusing and quite unbelivable, even tho i have played numerous shows for her claiming i was there. she still seems a little skeptical, but more willing to accept it as truth now that it has been corroborated. also, i may have mentioned it in here once or twice the fact that we attended nearly every concert in the greater new orleans area from 1970 until... well, until it all seemed to peter out.

almost all of those shows are preserved on tape. mr freeze would get his trusty sony recorder in concerts everytime, usually by using subversive and underhanded means (well he didn't get away with it everytime, he did get caught once or twice, but somehow still got a tape of the show. he is amazing like that). his list of live recordings is unbelievable and every now and then he surprises me with a copy of a show we went to that i forgot all about, but there i am, all over the tape, yelling and being a rock-n-roll fool... ahhh, those were the days.

a few shows were truly historical. the sex pistols next-to-last gasp on jan 8, '78 in baton rouge was one of those unforgettable events (documented here in the w'room awhile back) as was the wailers show at a warehouse a few months later (disscused here). to hear this stuff all these years later just brings back a rush of memories and goose bumps, just knowing that i was there while all this was happening.

back then it seemed every band, big and small, came thru the easy. new orleans was the one city most of them claimed they loved to play. the place most cited was a warehouse on tchoupitoulas st. it was a real warehouse, a huge rickety old building with a leaky roof, no air and just nasty enough to make ya wanna go back next week to catch a low priced rock and roll show. it was always too hot in summer and too cold in the winter, but man did that place rock.

the crowds were always loud, boisterous, and usually all drunk and hopped up on something or another, as they were in almost every other venue in the city like the municipal auditorium, the dome or any club (tho the pistols show was the most outrageous concert ever, and that was in baton rouge). it certainly was a blast then. i can't see that scene ever happening again, anywhere... ever again. it's a whole new world now, and never as much fun as it was tho. but i still have the shows to listen to...

...i know i promised the reverend i wouldn't let these shows go as a whole, but i can't help using pieces, some of this is just too good not to share. so here is a taste of just a few of the concerts i was fortunate to see (if ya listen close i am the one with the biggest mouth, mr. freeze is on the whistle), in mp3 for a limited time via yousendit:

the new york dolls at independence hall, baton rouge, march 1974:
the new york dolls at ballin' jax, new orleans, march 12, 1976 (1st set):
personality crisis/looking for a kiss

the kinks at tulane university, new orleans, feb 20, 1976:

the sex pistols at the kingfish, baton rouge, jan 8, 1978:
god save the queen
anarchy in the u.k.

bob marley and the wailers at a warehouse, new orleans, may 7, 1978:
get up stand up
lively up yourself

the ramones at old man rivers, new orleans, jan 14,1979:
blitzkrieg bop
surfin' bird
do ya wanna dance

Thursday, September 14, 2006

the saints are coming

well, a bit of cool news found today. it looks as though U2 and greenday are joining forces for a new single, a tribute to new orleans with proceeds going to music rising, the organization that u2 guitarist the edge helped start to house and support the musicians that were affected by katrina.

the song is a cover of the 1978 punk single 'the saints are coming' by the skids, an obscure scottish band known more for the fact that their guitarist, the late stuart adamson, was the hands behind the band 'big country', who had that seminal 80's hit song 'in a big country'. 'the saints' is an obscure tune to be sure (it did make #48 on the brit singles charts), but one that seems to be a great fit, for the bands and the city. dunno when it's coming out and it's not leaked yet, at least i can't find it from my usual sources. but when i get it so do you...

even better, both bands are playing on september 25th during the monday night football broadcast from the superdome in the heart of the big easy (dang, another three weeks and we'd be there too). what a great shot in the arm for the city. there is a game that night too. it doesn't even matter if the saints win, tho it would be cool to take down the falcons too... 'specially this early in the season. but that is all just a game.

the edge has been getting the musicians devastated by the hurricanes more help and attention than any other celeb, and he's getting some big names to help out. gibson guitars and president clinton have also got in on the act. gibson has built a limited edition les paul (painted like mardi gras in a flood) to donate and get proceeds for the affected musicians on the gulf coast. bill just handed them out... we should all be so lucky to do so much.

the skids - the saints are coming
the edge and friends - vertigo (preservation style) edit
big country - in a big country
greenday - american idiot (live)

other than that, we are a week closer to home, halla-fuckin-yoo-yah!

Friday, September 01, 2006

time to cut and run

i trashed the post i had planned for the anniversary of that thing, it has been just too much katrina overload and i really didn't feel like adding to the mess, so to speak...

well, we decided to chuck it all in here and head for home in metry. 'casa de wreck' is humming along better than expected and this house in reno is going nowhere fast (the neighborhood is now packed with houses for sale, unlike a year ago, pre-k, when we coulda got anything we wanted, what a difference a year makes). so the girls gave their 2 week notice and that means we are outta here!

we're gonna pack up kimmy and kid, harpo, sadie, sam, 2 frogs and the cat, and everything we haven't already moved and, as they say, just do it. i think the trip home last month did it, well, that and the idea of spending another winter here maybe. we leave here in about 5 weeks and everything is all set, barring another, uh, nevermind...

it's funny how people here in reno react to the news of us going back to metry. most of them still think we are kidding, but some think us crazy and foolish (then again most of those have never been east of the rockies). yeah, we may be a bit whacked going through all this just for it to happen again... this year?... next?... in 5?..., oh well, home is where the head is, so that's where we're heading (and none too soon to suit us).

i guess it is sorta like the old west down there, or like the old south, since new orleans has always been a pretty tough town. its history is bloated with atrocities of all sorts, man made and not. it makes for a pretty resilient breed of folk too. we know nothing's very easy in the easy right now. we still got work to do as does almost everyone else we know. but we got a good feelin' about this. we feel very lucky, a lot of people still can't get back at all, or have nothing to come back to. the thought of that makes me wanna cry. it's really hard to say goodbye to new orleans.

the yats (locals to ya'll) always said the reason the city parties so much is because we're just living in a bowl, five feet below sea level, surrounded by water, and waiting for the crack. sure it's not exactly safe, but where in the world is safe?

at least with a hurricane you have a fair amount of time to get outta the way. not like living on a faultline or in tornado alley. the price of living in the easy is worth it, the food, the music, the people, the good times and even the bad times; it's all too good to give up.

we are itchin' to get back to all the little things we love about that place; grabbing beignets and cafe ole around the corner each morning, hanging out at tipitina's or snug harbour gettin' a nice dose of southern culture, or boiling crayfish and drinkin' with family and friends in the backyard watching the thunderstorms roll in on a hot afternoon... oh yeah, and po' boys anytime of the day within a walk away...

here's some recent news about the big easy:

Report: Overhaul system or New Orleans will suffer again

do you know what it means to myth new orleans

not much has changed

and a few of our favorite songs in mp3, via yousendit for less time than it takes to de-water the city that care forgot:

gary 'u.s.' bonds - new orleans
muddy waters - louisiana blues
dr. john - sweet home new orleans
dukes of dixieland - do you know what it means to miss new orleans
fats domino - walking to new orleans
tragically hip - new orleans is sinking
leadbelly - new orleans
louis armstrong and the dukes of dixieland - bourbon street parade
better than ezra - king of new orleans
elvis presley - new orleans
dire straits - planet of new orleans
rebirth brass band - new orleans
freddie cannon - way down yonder in new orleans
sonny boy williamson II - city of new orleans
tom waits - i wish i was in new orleans (in the 9th ward)
dr john - goin' back to new orleans

Thursday, August 24, 2006

johnny cash on american radio circa '58

for all the indie kidz and rockabilly hippies these here mp3s are an amazing bit of rock history, johnny cash and the tennessee two appearing on a few radio shows between 1958-59. these were recorded around the time johnny switched labels, from sun records to columbia, a very productive time for him. i'm unsure of the source, but it is definitely from vinyl, as the pops and clicks can attest, and probably came from an armed forces record (they really push the army lifestyle during the breaks, "...there's no obligation.").

still, it really has very good sound quality for the age (i have records a tenth this old that sound as tho someone danced on 'em, no matter how good you treat vinyl records, they scratch). the band is crisp and fresh as they bash out the first three sun singles with cash's voice sounding as good as it ever did. very nice...

this is about as good as it gets, so get it soon coz it only lasts a little while, for the getting, in mp3 via yousendit:

Country Style USA Intro
Hey Porter
I Walk The Line
“Join The Reserve For Youth Training Program” spot
Rock Island Line
So Doggone Lonesome
Country Style USA Outro

Country Style USA Intro
Folsom Prison Blues
Cry Cry Cry
“Reserve For Youth Training Program” spot
I Was There When It Happened
Get Rhythm
Country Style USA Outro

Guest Star Intro
Country Boy
Chat w/ Johnny
Don’t Take Your Guns To Town
Johnny Cash “Buy Savings Bonds” spot
Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
Guest Star Outro

thanks to mr. freeze for the heads-up on this one, a very nice catch indeed... enjoy!

Monday, August 21, 2006

are we scared yet?

well, we made it to a vibrant metry and got back without too much incident. in fact, the whole trip was actually great until we had to fly back to reno... via atlanta, where we spent the night at gate t-3 coz we missed the last flight out. it was totally my fault, as i brain-farted and forgot the time change (still, s.a. thought any city below the mason-dixon line was in 'southern time').

we sat in the bar and drank until they ran us out, then parked under a row of seats in front of a t.v. full of cnn, covered ourselves in found airplane blankets, and munched on the food we had brought back from the easy, (hubig pies, pralines, and man i was sorry i never tried to smuggle that po' boy back like i had wanted).

we literally had the terminal to ourselves, with not a thing to do but try and sleep. a starbucks was right there, so we loitered around waiting for it to open at 5am (their time). it seemed like such a long, long wait.

one cannot obtain much rest when every five minutes the p.a. is screeching out the latest homeland in-security warning about impending liquid death in the skies over amerika. it was such a joke to listen to this tripe about no this, that, and everything, then get all the drinks on the plane anyways. everyone thought it was all bullshit.

the whole flying experience has gotten appallingly more scary... everyone you meet looks like scared and frustrated sheep, ready to bolt. the anxiety is electric and oppresive. they really do go all out to try and frighten the shit out of us. so much for fly the friendly skies, forever. i am so glad i don't fly for a living anymore and that i'll never have to do that again.

since the only time we ever feel scared is when traveling by air, a few songs to enhance our fear of flying and things as they are today in general, in mp3, via yousendit, available for as long as it takes to put your stuff back on after clearing security:

10cc - clockwork creep
the motors - airport
david bowie and nine inch nails - i'm afraid of americans
the faces - flying
john lennon - scared
red hot chili peppers - aeroplane
husker du - eight miles high
the kinks - acute schizophrenia paranoia blues
albert hammond jr - scared
xtc - terrorism
frank sinatra - leaving on a jet plane
barney - the airplane song

Monday, July 31, 2006

goin' down south

this big ol' house appears to be not going anywhere, so we are. it's time to make another trek across this big ol' country to carry a big ol' load of records and other various sundries down south. i have no problem with driving the 1200 miles, i just hate flying back. we were gonna hold on until the house sold, but that ain't exactly going as planned. so we make a run, come back and probably leave for good before winter, sold or not.

did i say i hate to fly? i really hate it... i just may stay in metry this time, tell s.a. that i'll watch 'casa de wreck' until we sell this monolith... yeah, right. it's not that reno is bad, in fact it is quite nice when you're not 5 feet under snow (winter here can be a real bitch). there's lots to do and see the rest of the year tho, but it just ain't home.

i do love to drive across this country. it is so many things in the course of a few days, a lot more if ya linger to look around and soak it in. growing up in a travelin' jazz band afforded very few opportunities to linger. my dad would take advantage of off days like clark griswald, always searching out the largest frying pan in the world, the solar system's biggest ball of foil, or some side-road freak show consisting of a trailer, a thick-faced, stumpy barker and some fool buried in a clear box filled with snakes. anything within a days drive.

but god forbid if we had to pee and he was on a deadline. mom would just pass the pee jar while dad growled 'we pee when the car needs gas', and we'd just keep truckin' on down the road. but we sure saw some cool shit in the weirdest places, just don't have the time today tho...
ahhhh, the good ol' days...

s.a. and i got to know each other very well while driving from new jersey to reno (via new orleans) after not seeing each other for a few decades. we had so much fun we've hit the road to the easy nearly every 6 months for the last five years. yep, a long road trip will break hardy men, make enemies out of lifetime friends, or make friends out of complete strangers.

s.a. is as fired up about getting back to metry as i am. she has a beautiful new $20.000 kitchen to do what she wants with. and i couldn't be happier for her, cuz i get a new improved, expanded wreckroom in which to carry out my sound and vision experiments free of hinderence from the outside world.

well, i still gotta make a few more cd's for the road, pack a book and my dobro and then we are outta here,
happy trails ya'll!

another one of the road cd's, in mp3, that'll be around here almost til we get back to reno:

red hot chili peppers - road trippin'
bob dylan - highway 61 revisited (alt mix)
junior parker - drivin' wheel
canned heat - on the road again
eddie kendrix - keep on truckin' (extnd)
bobby 'blue' bland - farther up the road
deep purple - highway star
aretha franklin - freeway of love
wille lofton - dark road blues
king crimson - vroom vroom
creedence clearwater revival - side o' the road
rem - drive
sir douglas quintet - she's about a mover
madness - driving in my car
soul surivors - expressway to your heart
the grateful dead - truckin'
the north mississippi allstars - goin' down south
muddy waters - louisiana blues

Friday, July 28, 2006

woodstock nation, revisited

last weekend s.a. and i went to tahoe to decompress for a few days... and to see crosby, stills, nash and young. the only reason i really wanted to go was to see neil young, s.a. just wanted to go. i was blown away by how good these guys still are. of course, there were some missed high-notes and the boys look a lil worse for wear, but they sure can rock. and they still make a point...

during the course of the two-set, three hour show almost everything important that this band, and it's members, has done in the past 40 years was played. neil's new record, 'living with war' seemed to highlight the festivities with the cut 'flags of freedom' kicking it all off and the rest of the album scattered through the sets. that was quite fitting seeing as neil's scathing sonic indictment against bush and company is keeping up their fight against injustice and the 'man'. only the new stuff is dark and saddeningly nasty in it's delivery. none of the passion was lost in translation with the others joining in. it may have tempered it, made it easier on the ears with 4-part harmony, but it was a bush bashing kinda evening overall.

i knew that going in, as should of the rest of the crowd. as usual a few couldn't, got mad during 'let's impeach the president', and showered the stage with assorted debris... to show their love of king and country i suppose (what part of 'csny' spells neo-con, right-wing, stem-cell savin', war-monger bigot?). the band just played on as clips of king george's blunders flickered across the massive backdrop. so much for the 'freedom of speech' as the name of the tour.

other than that the band put on an amazing show. the bit where neil and stephen gigged on 'treetop flyer', or when graham jumped on the beat-up pianny while the other three stood along side singing 'our house' and the unreal guitar shoot-out between neil and stephen for 'de ja vu'. david was even up and about, laughing and singing like an angel. it warms my heart to know this man is america's most famous sperm donor.
all in all a great time was had by the majority. enuff sed...

oh yeah, there was this bit where they left the stage and the star spangled banner by hendix played, loud. almost everyone stood and was singing along, i think that was my favorite part, next to the rest of it.

July 22, 2006
Stateline, NV: Harvey's Outdoor Amphitheatre

Set 1

Set 2
32. OHIO

Encore 1

a few all-american songs for america in these good ol' days,
by the all-american band (the beach boys don't count)
in mp3 on a limited time offer:

csny (in better days):
sea of madness (woodstock)
wooden ships (woodstock)
marrakesh express (woodstock)
suite:judy blue eyes (woodstock)

neil (these days):
after the garden
the restless consumer
living with war
let's impeach the president

(pics by s.a. copyrite amerika)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

have you got it yet?

pink floyd founder and lasting musical inspiration syd barrett has reportedly died. the man is seen as single-handedly starting the psychedelic movement in pop music with the release of floyd's 'the piper at the gates of dawn', hot on the heels of the beatles' 'sgt. pepper' at the start of the summer of love in 1967. the lp, almost solely written by barrett, is laced with songs about fairy tales and space travel. it is whimsical and menacing, light and dark, full of imagery, fantasy and sonic de-construction, and to this day remains a true cornerstone of psychedelia in pop rock culture... that, plus a few really great singles, were the only thing he really ever did, well all that, and being a beacon of inspiration for millions for the last 40 years.

syd barrett, he of the promise of the future, the leader of a new sound and movement, was one troubled individual. within less than a year of the summer of love syd was a complete wreck. probably the product of too much fame, drugs and his own demons. he became a babbling idiot during interviews and almost catatonic at gigs. syd thought of bringing in a banjo and sax players but the band nixed that and allowed syd's school-mate, dave gilmour, to take his spot. the idea was to let syd become a sort of 'brian wilson' for the band. to just write and be the creative force, while the band carried on in person. it was apparent that not even anything remotely short of psycotic intervention would make that possible, so that idea was soon abandoned...

the members of pink floyd recall:
"So we were teaching Dave Gilmour the numbers," Nick Mason told Zigzag, "but Syd came in with some new material. The song went `Have You Got It Yet?' and he kept changing it so no one could learn it." "It was a real act of mad genius," added Roger Waters. "I didn't suss it out at all. I stood there for an hour while he was singing… trying to explain that he was changing it all the time so I couldn't follow it. He'd sing 'Have you got it yet?' and I'd sing `No, no!'"...

yep, a fuckin' mad genius alright...

he went on to move into his mother's basement during the summer of 1968, from which it is said he never left. he made two critically acclaimed, but commercially ignored albums in 1970 using the floyd, friends and such, but the sessions were the same mess that ended his stint with floyd and it showed in the scattered-brained songs that made it to the records. but inside of those two lp's are some real jewels of pop schizophrenia, songs that tread the line between have you got it and yeah that's it. he set the bar for every other tourtured genius for the duration of rock and roll (cobain couldn't deal, knocked himself and left others, at least syd took care of his mum).

and of course pink floyd went on to conquer the world (singing about syd), and the rest is what legends are made of...

pink floyd - 'arnold layne'

here are some mp3 samples of the wackiness and genius that was syd barrett, via yousendit for about as long as it takes to make 15 minutes of fame last a lifetime, or less:

w/ pink floyd:
arnold layne
see emily play
astronomy domine
interstellar overdrive
apples and oranges
it would be so nice

solo stuff:
last night
baby lemonade (peel sessions)

rest in peace syd barrett.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

drop the needle on it, let it revolve

pop chameleon elvis costello and new orleans' musical powerhouse allen toussaint recently released one hell of a collaborated effort in 'the river in reverse'. the two had worked together before (on elvis' wildly ecclectic 'spike'), so when allen fled to new york right after katrina they started working together immediately, doing shows for the hurricane victims around new york during sept last year. then, the initial idea was for elvis to cut a record of allen's tunes. things changed, they started writing together and by the end of november elvis and the imposters, allen, big easy guitarist anthony 'ab' brown, and the crescent city horns (all whom had lost everything in the flood) began recording in hollywood and new orleans. they finished the sessions in about 2 weeks.

the album is a wonderful showcase of toussaint's immense talent and costello's resolve to do right by his roots. highlighted by the urgency and helplessness fueled by the disaster, the album is a celebration of the city that care forgot and an indictment against the powers that failed that city. even the covered standards of toussaint reflect the desperate conditions that new orleans faces. the powerful 'who's gonna help a brother get further', a song written by allen long ago about all mankind, becomes a tale for all that is wrong with america today ('what happened to the liberty bell? did it really ding-dong? it must have dinged wrong... it didn't ding long')... i guess it's all the way you look at things ...
the tunes written by elvis reflect his feelings about the whole ugly affair, his love for the doomed city and the music it produced. some of the songs they work on together, like 'broken promised land', are true to the sentiment felt all along the gulfcoast. 'ascension day' is a haunting re-write of professor longhair's 'tipitina' (actually similar to allen's 'tipitina and me') with elvis' lyrics and plaintive drawl summing up the aftermath like he actually had been thru it. 'international echo', an ode to growing up in england listening to the crescent city sound, rollicks along to toussaint's barrell-house pianny and funky horn swells.

the album really flows just like a river, nice and smooth, then you run into these eddys that whip you around. a wonderful, yet heartbreaking ride.

the cd we got surprised us with an extra dvd included. a fairly slick little film about the making of the record that shows the pair traveling the battered streets of new orleans and recording in hollywood and the easy. it's really great to see allen getting all this attention.quite a bargain indeed, as we got it on sale at tower for less than a good bottle of wine. this is just a very nice surprise from two of our musical heroes.

what toussaint's official bio at nyno records sez...

Some of the best known hits penned by Toussaint include: Ernie K-Doe’s "Mother-in-Law;" "Fortune Teller," recorded by both Benny Spellman and The Rolling Stones; the Lee Dorsey hit "Working in the Coal Mine", also recorded by Devo and The Judds; and the Grammy-nominated "Southern Nights," recorded by Glen Campbell, which received BMI’s "The Most Performed Song of the Year" in 1977 and won the Country Music Association’s "Song of the Year." The master has produced such artists as Etta James, Albert King, Chocolate Milk, The Meters, LaBelle, Ramsey Lewis, John Mayall and Dr. John, and has been covered by and/or performed with the Pointer Sisters, Bonnie Raitt, The Judds, Robert Palmer, Otis Redding, The O’Jays, Boz Scaggs, Johnny Winter, Ringo Starr, Paul Simon, Chet Atkins, Lenny Kravitz and Elvis Costello, among others.

all that, and a lot more... and it fails to mention working with paul mccartney (which was somewhat of an epiphany back in '75 when paul and linda came to new orleans for mardi gras and record parts of 'venus and mars' at seasaint studios.)

elvis and allen perform 'who's gonna help a brother...'

elvis and allen:
six-fingered man
wonder woman
on your way down

allen toussaint:
brickyard blues ('89 jazzfest)
tipitina (w/ john cleary @ musicare's hurricane benefit)

now go buy 'the river in reverse' or any allen toussaint and elvis costello!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

rock-n-roll videos

well, it has been awhile hasn't it? not much going on in the old w'room lately, just waiting for someone to buy this house... feels like that'll never happen at all right now. so come august we are driving to the easy again with another load of stuff. now there is something to look forward to!

we have been real busy filling up with torrents and viddys, (HAL is nearly full everyday and the stack of cd's and dvd's of all things bootlegged are quickly filling up the empty spaces in the w'room), so much to download, so little time and space!

here's a few of our fave viddys of all time, so far...

the beatles 'free as a bird'

the chemical brothers 'let forever be'

bob dylan 'subterranean homesick blues'

blur 'coffee and t.v.'

the kinks - deadend street

radiohead 'paranoid android'

the rolling stones 'we love you'

xtc 'respectable street'

nirvana 'heart-shaped box'

the who 'happy jack'

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

stop me, if you've heard this one before...

fear of falling
hi-fi) (lo-fi) (mp3)

now she wants to come around, she wants to be my best friend.
she says she likes me hanging 'round, when can we do this again?...
...and if i start to fall, i always fall too hard and if fall for her when she calls i know i'll surely fall apart.

9 o'clock up on the wall ... it isn't telling time.
9 o'clock up on the wall ... it's only telling lies.
if she calls me should i listen or should i hang up? i'm in trouble cuz i know...
...that if i start to fall i always fall too hard and if i fall for her when she calls i know i'll surely fall apart.

now i like her coming 'round, i made her my best friend.
now i'm glad she's hangin' 'round, when can we do this again?
if i call her will she listen or will she hang up? i'm in trouble cuz i know...
...that if i start to fall i always fall too hard and if i fall for her when she calls i know i'll fall apart...

...and if i really fall, i really fall too hard, and if i really fall when she calls, i know i'll really fall apart...

Friday, June 02, 2006

stuff you need to know to get by in this world

Never argue with an idiot. The people watching might not know the difference.

If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you've never tried before.

On the keyboard of life, always keep one finger on the escape key.

When you're laying in bed at night looking up at the stars, don't panic when you suddenly wonder "Where the Hell is the ceiling?!"

Remember, when someone annoys you, it takes 42 muscles in your face to frown. BUT, it only takes 4 muscles to extend your arm and SMACK the asshole upside the head.

The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four people is suffering from some sort of mental illness. Think of your three best friends -- if they're okay, then it's you.

Just remember........if the world didn't suck, we'd all fall off.

Everyone has a photographic memory. Some just don't have film.

Some people are like Slinkies . . . not really good for anything, but you still can't help but giggle when you see one tumble down the stairs.

In the 60's people took acid to make the world weird. Now the world is weird and people take Prozac to make it normal.

There is a theory which states that if ever anybody discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.

The 50-50-90 rule: Anytime you have a 50-50 chance of getting something right, there's a 90% probability you'll get it wrong.

It is said that if you line up all the cars in the world end to end someone would be stupid enough to try and pass them.

Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

The things that come to those who wait may be the things left by those who got there first.

Birds of a feather flock together and then crap on your car.

If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.

Don't assume malice for what stupidity can explain.

The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing in the right place, but also to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.

The easiest way to find something lost around the house is buy a replacement.

If you can smile when things go wrong, you have someone in mind to blame.

The only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth of the hole!

Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile way and you have their shoes.

If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.

Some days you are the bug, some days you are the windshield.

Good judgment comes from bad experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one works.

Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

Always remember you're unique. Just like everyone else.

Never test the depth of the water with both feet.

Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than going to a garage makes you a mechanic.

Junk is something you've kept for years and throw away three weeks before you need it.

Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to recognize a mistake when you've just made it again.

By the time you can make ends meet, they move the ends.

Your mind not only wanders, it sometime leaves completely.

Sometimes you'll think you understand everything, then you'll regain consciousness.

A day without sunshine is like.................well, night.

Seen it all, done it all...........can't remember most of it.

Those who live by the sword..........get shot by those who don't.

Nothing is a sufficiently talented fool.

Everybody lies........but it doesn't matter since nobody listens.

There is always one more imbecile than you counted on.

Dogs have owners. Cats have staff.

When I die, I want to die like my grandmother who died peacefully in her sleep. Not screaming like all the passengers in her car.

Friday, May 26, 2006

it smells of ukulele

this is a real laugh riot, the ukulele orchestra of great britain doin' a smokin' version of that old standard 'smells like teen spirit'. the m.c. is jools holland from one of his specials on british t.v. jeesh, ya gotta love the world wide web!

and if ya got more time to kill, here is '2001: a space odyssey' fully explained, in flash animation.

have a great memorial weekend ya'll!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

'all i can do is be me... whoever that is.'

they're naming roads after him, and it's true, the whole world should come to a stop. his hometown is bracing for something they feel will compare to mardi gras, and we should all be there. it's bob dylan's 65th birthday today.

someone reflects (sort of... ) on dylan's life, up 'til now.

bob is one of our true inspirations, jeesh, what this guy has seen and done. just growing up with bob has been quite a trip in itself. the man is a mystery wrapped in an enigma, wrapped in a riddle (or however that silly saying goes). my first memories of dylan were of listening to 'like a rolling stone' on my little box radio and regaling in the knowledge that my parents couldn't stand what he sounded like, looked like and stood for. and that was just enuff for me back then. he was never a role-model for me, not like the beatles were, but then again he was a major influence on john's songwriting (and he was the 1st one to turn them on to pot) so i guess it was really thru osmosis that he sunk in so deep in my psyche.

i'm really sorry we missed him at the jazz fest last month, but i do have fond memories of seeing him at the warehouse in new orleans with the rolling thunder revue in 1975. the funniest thing happened that day. dylan came out on stage to complete silence. no one was even breathing. it was as if time stopped. but when joan baez stepped out she had a standing ovation. i was floored, 'diamonds and rust'? dylan was riding high with 'desire' but she gets the accolades. but for months later all the talk was about bob (well, bob, and roger mcguinn, who pulled off a stellar version of 'chestnut mare'). i think everyone was just quite stunned to actually see the man onstage. ahhh, it was a great show anyways,

here's a few of the wreckroom's favorite dylan tunes, in mp3, for your pleasure on his 65th via yousendit for about a week or so:

forever young
rainy day women #12 & 35
it's alright ma, i'm only bleeding
cocaine blues (live)
subterranean homesick blues
like a rolling stone (live)
don't think twice it's alright
stuck inside of mobile with the memphis blues again
tangled up in blue
the ballad of frankie lee and judas priest

buy some dylan shit, like his music or his book...

oh, and a last minute bonus, the incredible byrds tune 'chestnut mare'

good night, and good night...

Thursday, May 18, 2006

the white album, texas style

The White Album in Concert with Special Guests
7:30 pm May 19, 2006
10:00 pm May 19, 2006

Strings Attached closes its 5th Season with the Complete Beatles' White Album Live
FOR TICKETS: Call 477-9837, go to
This concert will be at University Baptist Church, 2130 Guadalupe Street, across from the UT campus.
On Friday, May 19th, Strings Attached is excited to invite you to a great musical fusion, as the acoustic chamber ensemble joins forces with some of Austin's most beloved musicians in a unique, one-night-only performance of the Beatles' entire White Album.
Join Joe Ely, Abra Moore, Jimmy Dale Gilmore, and more than 20 other special guests as they unite the past and present, bringing to life the 1968 acclaimed, best-selling Beatles' album.
The 2-hour show will be played twice with the second show including a live projection light show above the stage by Charles Beard.

White Album CAST:
Back in the USSR with Joe Ely
Dear Prudence with Jimmie Dale Gilmore
Blackbird - Abra Moore
Honey Pie - Olivier Giraud
Sexie Sadie - Billy Harvey
Happiness is a Warm Gun with Tony Scalzo
Wild honey Pie and The Continuing Story of Bungalo Bill with White Ghost Shivers
Glass Onion with Rodney Connell
Why Don't We Do It in the Road with Seela
Savoy Truffle with Bruce James
Obla di Obla da with Schrodinger's Cat
While My Guitar Gently Weeps with Gary Clark Jr.,
Martha My Dear - Libby Kirkpatrick
I'm So Tired - Wendy Colona
Piggies with Bob Livingston
Mother Natures Son - Tucker Livingston
Rocky Raccoon - Matt the Electrician
Don't Pass Me By Eric Hokkanen
I Will - Shane Bartell
Julia - David Halley
Birthday - Craig Marshall
Yer Blues - Seth Walker
Everybodies Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey - Chopper
Helter Skelter - Brian Keane
Long Long Long - David Hess
Cry Baby Cry - Beth Garner
Revolution 1 - Carolyn Wonderland
Revolution #9 - Special guest and Strings Attached ensemble

looks to be a really cool evening of music. if we were within 500 miles of that show we'd be there. faithful readers of this space know how much we love this record and we love it when someone tries to take on the white album in one pop. not many attempt this feat, and even fewer succeed in pulling it off. phish used to do whole shows using the white album (there is a very good bootleg from one of their white concerts out and about) and there are a few beatle tribute bands using it as their centerpiece.
so, if your around the austin, texas area tomorrow night, this looks like the place to be!

some starstudded stars here doing the white one, via yousendit for a little while at least:
siouxse and the banshees - dear prudence
sting with jeff beck - while my guitar gently weeps
u2 - happiness is a warm gun
crosby still and nash - blackbird
jack johnson - rocky raccoon
charles manson - why don't we do it in the road
chocolate genius - julia
bugs bunny and friends - birthday
fats domino - everybody's got something to hide except for me and my monkey
husker du - helter skelter
elliott smith - revolution
throwing muses - cry baby cry
phish - revolution 9

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


looks as tho sufjan stevens is gonna extend his stay in 'illinoise' during his insanely ambitious musical 50-state trek... news about upcoming release of 'avalanche' is here and here.

it seems the ol' suf-man had a few extra songs recorded for 'come on feel the illinoise' , apparently he had alot to say about the prairie state, (i spent a few formative years in the village of niles, il. years later robin zander, of cheap trick, would giggle thru a stoned haze and exclaim to me that niles was the first suburb in america, tho i would beg to differ, i think that was levittown). we guess he decided to put out another album from the excess , or he just needs a bit of time cos he is doing more research for his next state/cd (he says he'll do new jersey by the exits on the turnpike, ha. i think i lived off exit 67 a few years ago, in barnegat, near the pine barrens, nevermind... it's a jersey thing. everything revolves around the garden state parkway there.)

but here's a leaked ditty from the cd 'avalanche', via yousend it for a shorter time than it takes to find the parkway:
sufjan stevens - adlai stevenson

plus one that prob will never make a record:
sufjan stevens - the 50-state song (live at the bluebird theatre in denver colorado 7-30-05)

and a song done for the rubber soul tribute 'this bird has flown':
sufjan stevens - what goes on

and a few tunes i left off the last post but shoulda included (was i drunk?), (no doubt)...
some kinks covers by the minus 5 (enjoy mr dvd!)...

the minus 5 - wicked annabella (from 'give the people what we want')
the minus 5 - get back in line (from 'this is where i belong')

Monday, May 15, 2006

the gun album

the minus 5 is like a blast of fresh air, a very needed thing in these musically-horse-lattitude-days.
scott mccaughy (pronounced 'mccoy'), his partner in crime, peter buck (of r.e.m.), and numerous musical friends have delivered a killer record. the self-titled 7th album has been labled by fans as 'the gun album', mostly for the haunting cover as well as the fact that many of the tunes mention firearms. but musically this is faraway from a violent record. like the rest of the minus 5 cataloge, it is quirky, ragged, well crafted pop rock. altho the lyrics are dark at times, the music is hum-along good, making hearing it over again and again something that peels the layers off, revealing a deep and thoughtful record laced with dry humour and toe-tappin' tunes.
this record is not as poppy and lightweight as their best effort, 'down with wilco', (a tougne-in-cheek title... it was done with wilco backing scott), but it is just as easy to fall in love with. a country-tinged semi-psychedelic beatle inspired endevour that seems cohesive and chaotic all at once. scott's plaintive moan over a farfisa organ and syd barrett-like slide on 'left over life to kill' sounds lifted from a late 60's acid record. the chipper feeling on 'my life as a creep' is infectious with it's sgt. pepper pumping piano and skewed falsetto backing vocals.
at times lyrically hilarious, with lines like, 'i had six white russians tonite and two of them were people', from the catchy hook and riff laden 'out on the maroon', the cd had us rolling on the floor at first listen... and there's been many listens since.
the minus 5 is with out a doubt the best album of the year, so far.

mp3's from the minus 5 'gun album' via yousendit for less time than it takes to load a pistol:
my life as a creep
leftover life to kill
out on the maroon
(buy the minus 5!)

an extra:
the little black egg (an amazing cover of the nightcrawlers song)

and a really interesting interview and some live studio treatments from the new record:
the minus 5 on npr 05-04-06 (stream)

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

ticket to mash

found this very funny viddy done with beatles action figures and a nice mash-up ...

Saturday, May 06, 2006

let's go for a drive

the house is done, the kids are gone for the weekend and we're hanging around drinkin' and loungin', wishing we were at the muddy jazzfest. soon come, soon come.

last week, in the midst of preparing 'casa de wreck' for sale, i kinda pooped this viddy out. this one, opposed to 'american 195x', kinda made itself. i forgot i had downloaded this goofy film from the 40's about driving safely. an innocent looking film using stop-motion animation to convey the typical safety message to the public. ahhhhh, but it is really a graphic depiction of horrid driving skills. the yellow car is always the culprit (amongst others) and a few bits are really disturbing (the guy in front of his brokendown car getting reamed is almost funny if it weren't so sad).

so i took it and ripped it over a semi-ancient 4-track song i had written about taking a sunny day drive. the tune started innocently on mandolin and ended up as an homage to the beatles' 'good day sunshine' and the kinks' 'drivin''. it seemed so, appropo, for the found footage. sometimes shit just works for spiritual reasons... but this ain't one of 'em, this is just down right silly. hope ya'll enjoy this and laff as much as we have...

blue stone drive

* don't you think that the weather is fine, dear?
lock up the house and we'll go for a ride . . .

we've been working real hard, with the days too long,
we've got to get away. . .
jump in the car, bring the dog along,
everything can wait.

* don't you think that the weather is fine, dear?
lock up the house and we'll go for a ride . . .

just you and me and sadie makes three, we can't leave her behind.
here's a map we won't need of the places we'll see, we're going for a drive . . .

* don't you think that the weather is fine, dear?
roll down the windows and we'll go for a ride . . .

(pianny solo!)

sadie's in the back, got beatles on the box, not a cloud up in the sky.
there's some wine in my sack, and a lil' bit of pot, as long as you don't mind.
later we'll stop long enough to eat beneath a shady tree.
and if it gets hot, we can fall asleep, fall in each others dreams . . .

* don't you think that the weather is fine, dear?
lock up the house and we'll go for a ride . . .

(...and since youtube compresses the song to digital mush in the viddy here is presented just the tune for your listening pleasure:)

the metry wrecks - blue stone drive (mp3 - play lo-fi - play hi-fi)