Sunday, January 31, 2010

Happy Birthday Klara!

My German Shepherd Dog, Klara is 10 years old today.
Below is a photo of Klara and her cat Tabby relaxing in the bohemian loft from which this blog originates.

Edward Meeker - The Argentines, the Portuguese & the Greeks 1922 Edison 78rpm


Columbus discovered America
in Fourteen Ninety-Two.
Then came the English and the Dutch,
The Frenchman and the Jew.
Then came the Swede and the Irish-man,
To help our country grow;
Still they keep on comin'
And now everywhere you go!

There's the Argentines
And the Portuguese;
The Armenians,
And the Greeks!
One sells you paper,
One shines your shoes;
The other shaves the whiskers off your cheek.
When you ride again,
In a subway train,
Notice who has all the seats!
And you'll find that they're held
By the Argentines,
And the Portuguese
And the Greeks!

I am in love
With the sweetest girl;
The sweetest girl
Loves me!
Though she's sweet
And hard-to-beat,
Our ideas don't agree.
I love to dine in the swell cafe;
Terrapin and wine
My girl has a different craze,
And she just loves to dine

With the Argentines,
And the Portuguese;
The Armenians,
And the Greeks.
She loves to rally,
Down among the garlic
And her breath will knock you over
When she speaks!

But the fate I dread,
Is the year we're wed,
And our child has aged three weeks!
It will look just like
All the Argentines,
And the Portuguese
And the Greeks!

There's the Hupmobile,
And the Oldsmobile;
The Ca-dill-ac and Ford.
They are the mo-tors
You and I can own;
The kind that everybody
Can afford.

But the Cunningham,
And the Mersideez [Mercedes]
And the Rolls-Royce Racing Prix
Ah, they are owned
By the Argentines,
And the Portuguese
And the Greeks!

They don't know the language,
They don't know the law
But they vote in the country of the free!
But the funny thing
When we start to sing
"My Country 'Tis of Thee"
None of us know the words
But the Argentines,
And the Portuguese
And the Greeks!

They all love their liquor,
They don't give a nickel for
The stuff that runs in rivers
Brooks and creeks!
But there'll come a day
When they sail away
From this land where laws are freaks
And we'll all be aboard with
The Argentines,
And the Portuguese
And the Greeks!

There's a little flat
Where you hang your hat
As myst'try I'll explain:
The janitor is Irish,
The hall-boy is a Pole
And the other lazy fellow is a Dane.
But who is the gent?
Who collects the rent?
At the end of each four weeks?
Ah, that is all done
By the Argentines,
And the Portuguese
And the Greeks!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Eugene Allen "Gene" Hackman

Actor Gene Hackman turns 80 years old today!

Here's a tribute to the genius of Gene by Hoodoo Gurus.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Must've Been High

This album is essential listening.

"HONEST. Pure. Simple. These are the qualities that attracted us to punk rock. The fact that the four of us, or any like-minded jackasses for that matter, could get up on a stage and just rock out is something that we find immeasurably appealing. And it has been our search for the best that rock-n-roll has to offer which has inevitably led us down that old dirt road to the country. Simple, (there's that word again) three chord songs, sung from experience, played on an old beat up acoustic guitar--that's what we're talkin' about here. We're no virtuosos, but we had a damn good time makin' this record and we're hoping you have a damn good time listening to it. We must've been high."

Here's an outstanding live performance from the band.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

"(I'm Hungover In) The Walmart Breakroom"

By D. Striker

-- Robert K. Oermann, @Music Row

I first discovered D. Striker on one of my frequent visits to "A Truer Sound" (great blog, always worth a look).

From his website: Every Friday the 13th since 1998, D.Striker has published RR, a zine which tackles Nashville's past and present while throwing up a salute revelry and crazy people. Past issues have given readers finger holes to fill to make Tammy Wynette's legs, the history of the Kenny Rogers phone sex scandal, and a first person account of a night out during "fan fair" wearing a T-shirt with iron-on-letters, "I'll take your photo for a beer." Given the freakish publication schedule, Jim Ridley of the Nashville Scene called the zine, "A beast as elusive as the centaur or free beer night." Quite often, D.Striker brings the new issue of RR to life on stage with his band, featuring members of Ole Mossy Face, Hands Down Eugene, The Carter Administration and Duraluxe. Country music historian, Robert K. Oermann once wrote of D.Striker's music, "He can't sing, but you can't help listening." On stage, the shows can get wild. An audience member's face was once bloodied up during an overzealous attack on a Glen Campbell effigy. Such is Friday the 13th with RR and D.Striker.

D.Striker has a new album, I Can Handle It. You can stream all the songs and download them for free at

Monday, January 18, 2010

"Nashville Radio"


A modern renaissance man, Jon Langford is not only a musician, but also a painter and comic artist. As a founding member of The Mekons, Langford was one of the leaders in incorporating folk and country music into punk rock. Over the years, he has released a number of solo recordings as well as recordings with other bands outside of The Mekons, most notably the Waco Brothers, which he co-founded after moving to Chicago in the early '90s.
He is strongly involved with the Chicago-based independent label Bloodshot Records.
Langford also runs a group called the Pine Valley Cosmonauts, a country music cover band, whose high-powered members take turns interpreting music by some of the genres' great songwriters like Johnny Cash or Bob Wills.
Jon is also a prolific and respected visual artist best known for his striking portraits of country music icons like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, and Elvis Presley. His paintings appear on bottles and other items for the Dogfish Head Brewery.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

"Oranj Symphonette Plays Mancini"

"Free Improvisation is a lot of fun for the musicians, but it has a tendency to leave the audience in the dust. However, when your original reference point is as well known as, say, 'The Pink Panther Theme', you don't lose people on the ride. There is a long jazz tradition of re-working popular songs into vehicles for improvisation. This band just gets its material from some unusual sources."- Matt Brubeck

There have been numerous tributes to the music of Henry Mancini, but none have been half as zany as this Oranj Symphonette release from 1996.

Cellist/bassist Matt Brubeck (the band's leader and son of jazz legend Dave Brubeck) met guitarist Joe Gore and Ralph Carney (sax, trombone and slide clarinet) while recording the Tom Waits soundtrack album for the film Night On Earth in the early 1990's.
In 1993 they became a group with the addition of drummer Scott Amendola and began playing in the San Francisco area on a part-time basis the following year with their main purpose being to reinvent Henry Mancini songs. With Pete Scaturro added on organ and Diarmid contributing zither playing and bird calls, the band tears apart a dozen Mancini tunes on their frequently hilarious debut album.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

"Scientists ain't nothin' but crooks!"

Jackie and Dunlap discuss Global Warming, Climategate ... and Humanure.

Today's Date In Music History: Banyan

Live at Red Devil Lounge in San Francisco, CA - January 13, 2007

Banyan is an art rock/jazz/punk/improv group, based in Los Angeles, California.
The band is led by drummer Stephen Perkins (Janes Addiction, Porno for Pyros). The core members of the band are Nels Cline (Wilco) on guitar, Willie Waldman on trumpet and Mike Watt (Minutemen, fIREHOSE, Dos, Stooges) on bass. Mike Watt also sings on some Banyan songs.
L.A. artist Norton Wisdom paints on a wet-erase board while the band plays, and the imagery he creates interprets the music much in the same way that lyrics might.
Saxophone player Steve Mackay (Stooges) has also joined the group during select live shows.
In liner notes and personal conversations, members of the band cite both Igor Stravinsky and Miles Davis as influences.

1.) Mad as a Hornet 2.) Oh My People 3.) A Million Little Laughs 4.) El Sexxo 5.) Lovin Them Pounds 6.) TV Eye 7.) Om Om Om 8.) Maggot Brain 9.) A Love Supreme 10.) Fun House 11.) New Old Hat
12.) E Ticket Ride 13.) We Are Time


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Grateful Dead Donates Archives

(original post date: 4/25/09)

The Grateful Dead will donate their huge archival stash to be displayed at U.C. Santa Cruz.

Update: Their new homepage is up.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Kinks Choral Concert

Ray Davies performs with the Dessoff Chamber Choir at Town Hall in New York City on Nov. 20.

As the front man and lead songwriter of the Kinks, Ray Davies helped lead the British Invasion of American pop music. The group's influence has grown over the years, as an increasing number of young musicians cite them as an influence.
The latest release (November '09) by Ray Davies, The Kinks Choral Collection — featuring the Crouch End Festival Chorus — is a collection of songs focusing mainly on The Kinks' three legendary albums (Something Else, The Village Green Preservation Society and Arthur) while also including some early material and the exceptional "Working Man's Cafe" from his solo album of the same title.

Hat tip to NPR Music.

Bonus audio material from NPR:

Hear Jeff Lunden, who sings in this concert, talk about it on All Things Considered

Hear Ray Davies Spin Some Of His Favorite Songs For 'All Songs Considered'

Sunday, January 3, 2010

"I had to start drinking to understand some aspects of country music."


Hank Williams III: Drunkard Of The Month
(from the Modern Drunkard Magazine Archives)

For seven decades the legendary Williams family has sang about the bottle. Now it’s Hank Williams III’s turn.

First taste: I was four or five, I remember sticking my finger in a glass and licking it off.

The usual: Jack and Coke. When I’m on stage it’s whatever they got.

Drunkest on stage: I probably just fell down from trying to rock out or head butting some friends.

Why we must drink: To not be sober. I had to start drinking to understand some aspects of country music.

The bar on the bus: Fridge full of beer and a bottle of Jack Daniels a show.

Ever get sick of answering questions about your grandfather? Still not sick of talking about Sr. I’ll never get tired of it.

Best city to booze in: Wherever I have the most friends that are buying and wanting to show us a good time.

Why the hooch and heartbreak left country: The radio stations and CMT and bullshit Music Row killed country. There needs to be more outlaws today.
Drinking songs: Couldn’t tell ya how many drinking songs I know but I know a few, I would say.

Three musicians (living or dead) you’d like to go on a bender with: Sid Vicious, Jerry Lee Lewis, and GG Allin.

Describe the evening: I’d say a drunk punch fight.

Are you going to do a “wide release” hellbilly album? Don’t know. Curb Records is in the way. He needs to be killed.

Drinking ritual: No drinking rituals, just bottoms up. If you’re into drinking, fucking knock it back, go crazy. If you’re not, more power to ya.

How long have you been a vegetarian: Nawww, I eat meat. I’m skinny enough as is. Fuck the veggie shit.

Drinking on the road: I love the road when I’m healthy and hate it when I’m too sick too party, which is like every 6 weeks. I’m sick as fuck but no matter what the show must go on.

Line from a drinking song that best sums up life: I drink to think.

You can check out Hank’s country music at and his side
project with Philip Anselmo from Pantera at

Interview by Nick Esposito