Children of Nuggets

Reviewing a Box Set

Children of NuggetsOriginal Artyfacts from the Second Psychedelic Era 1976-1996

I love compilations.  They promise to provide something I haven’t heard before, remind me of something I used to listen to, all the while wading through a bunch of questionable material.  It’s like a bent wedding: something old, something new, something kooky, something cool.  And a box set – a box set! – well, that’s just 4 times more something new, something old, and a whole buncha crap.

I picked up this 4-CD compilation from my public library.  I was looking for any digital music from the Hoodoo Gurus.  (I have Mars Needs Guitars! on Lp; I have Stoneage Romeos and Blow Your Cool! on one cassette tape.  I can’t think of another band with 2 albums that have exclamation points in the titles.)  Anyway, this compilation came up in the search.

Children of Nuggets is really, really good!  While the title suggests “psychedelic” music, I’d have to say this box set picks up a lot of different styles and sub genres.  (I mean, who thinks of The Bangles as ‘psychedelic’?)  Of course, a band that you don’t think of as psychedelic might have that one track, and that one track might show up here.

If you’re into several realms of 1980s music, I’d highly recommend this as a refresher, or if you don’t know anything, this is a pretty good introduction, though a bit sideways.  Here are some picks.

something old

The Church – “The Unguarded Moment”

Once upon a time, I called The Church my favorite band.  Then there was just too much stuff – so much great stuff – I couldn’t select just one to be a favorite.  After time, The Church lost their staying power, and I don’t listen to them anymore.  Good to hear some again.

something new (to me)

Chesterfield Kings – “She Told Me Lies”

I like this music.  It’s a retro 1960s vibe.  It’s abusive to a synthesizer, and I think synthesizers could be abused more often.  I hadn’t heard of these guys previously, but reading about them a little bit they have some import.  I like this a lot.

something kooky

The Cramps – “New Kind of Kick”

“psychobilly”!  In my living room, I display a postcard of the image I’m using here.  Still, I’ve never listened to these guys with any sort of commitment.  They have their moments, as this song shows, and maybe I need to listen to them some more.

something cool

Julian Cope – “Sunspots”

I used to live for Julian.  His former band, The Teardrop Explodes, has the best visual name ever.  Can you see it?  poof splash gone  Then he had a bit of a mental breakdown and a way-too- fucking-long LSD trip, then two more really cool solo records, and then a bunch of crap.  But those 4 records, man, cool stuff.

You can read more about the box set, including the entire track listing, on Wikipedia.  Maybe your local library has a copy.  Check it out!


© Community Noise 2017.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Playlist #2: Songs to Learn and Sing

I know you sing.  In the car, in the shower, walking down the street with the headphones on, in the privacy of your home, I know you’re singing and screaming.  Maybe you just sing the refrains; maybe you can’t quite hit the high notes, but you’re singing.  Think you’re a real crooner?

I can make some recommendations for you, some Songs to Learn and Sing. I’ve compiled a playlist on YouTube for your convenience.  I’ve had to make choices, excluding many deserving songs.  I try to curate original videos – the way the artists intended you to see their music.  Short of that, I do the best that I can to find something interesting, or at least ensure the version of a song is “correct”.  I try to avoid songs with the radio edits; many times over, those blips are worse than the f-word.

I got me a car, it’s as big as a whale
And we’re headin’ on down to the Love Shack
I got me a Chrysler, it seats about twenty
So hurry up and bring your jukebox money

Here’s the playlist:

  1. Echo and the Bunnymen – The Killing Moon
  2. Sinatra – You’re Getting to Be a Habit with Me
  3. The Brian Setzer Orchestra – There’s a Rainbow ‘Round My Shoulder
  4. Billy Bragg & Wilco – Way Over Yonder in the Minor Key
  5. The Screaming Blue Messiahs – Wild Blue Yonder
  6. The Pixies – Dig for Fire
  7. The B52s – Love Shack
  8. Romeo Void – (I Might Like you Better) If We Slept Together
  9. The Prettiots – Boys I dated in High School
  10. The Modern Lovers – Pablo Picasso
  11. The Specials – Blank Expression
  12. The Dirty Heads – Lay Me Down
  13. Smash Mouth – All Star
  14. Velvet Underground – Who Loves the sun
  15. Little Eva – Loco-motion
  16. Ben Gibbard – They Don’t Know
  17. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – (I’ll Love You) Till the End of the World

Sometimes the flow of my playlists are abstract.  The Screaming Blue Messiahs and The Pixies had to be back to back, because they both have bald men screaming at you.  Sometimes there isn’t a good flow … I’m working on that skill.

 


© Community Noise 2017.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

 

I own none of the photos, just grabbed stuff from Internet searching. I love how you can google images for anything and find it – “singing vampire”?  Check.

Second Inversion

A few years ago, Seattle’s classical music station, King FM, went public and is now a not-for-profit enterprise.  Commercial free, community supported, and still running strong.  Er, that rocks.

Almost three years ago, with the motto, “Rethink Classical”, they added to their charter an on-line radio station called Second Inversion.  You can listen to them streaming, read their blogs, and see what they’re all about on at www.SecondInversion.org .  They also have a YouTube station https://www.youtube.com/user/RethinkClassical , and I’m sure they have a foot print in other media.

I discovered them by picking up a business card they’d placed at a local record store.  Key point:  while you ignore as much noise as possible, never ignore a free opportunity to learn something new.  There’s a fine line there somewhere.

Seattle record stores always have free shit laying around near the exit – CDs, posters, flyers, cards, newsletters; generally, stuff.  (Is this true in other places?  My excursions in England have failed on this point.  Portland, sure, lots of stuff.  Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco: I can’t remember.  Other?)

The idea for Second Inversion is to re-imagine what classical music can be.  This includes re-interpreting 250-year-old pieces using different arrangements, different instruments, different combinations, or different tempos.  It includes using a full orchestra to play rock and roll.  It essentially includes doing anything you can think of when considering “classical music”.  The results have been outstanding.  I can list the reasons why I don’t listen to Second Inversion more: 1) I still have a day job, 2) there’s so much other stuff going on, and 3) I’m a rocker at heart.

I want to be clear, I love classical music.  I’m not terribly knowledgeable, but I love the stuff.  I’ve enjoyed going to the symphony a few times and listening to various things from time to time.  Classical music doesn’t need help; I like it the way it is.  Still, it’s always, always, a great thing to re-imagine what could be.  And thus we have Second Inversion.

My entire mindset is supportive of what these folks are trying to do.  For this post, I wanted to share some of my favorite finds from this virtual station; I’m interested if other people see connections between this project and more typical popular music.

Andy Akiho and the Friction Quartet with steel pan

Joachim Horsley — Beethoven In Havana

Passenger String Quartet — Mozart/Nirvana Mashup

 

To close, this concept isn’t new to me.  I’ve been a big fan of John Cale for a very long time.  His adaptation of Dylan Thomas poems to an orchestra is well known and has been a personal favorite.  From The Falkland Suite.

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Moreover, here is a sample of his musical scores for the debut of two Andy Warhol films, Eat and Kiss.

Movement 3 [from Kiss]

 



© Community Noise 2017.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Photo credit Ram Mallari Jr.; see Steampunk Tendencies on FB.

 

Birthday Wishes for Elvis and Bowie

Elvis Presley (1935) and David Bowie (1947) share a birthday today.  I figure there’s enough celebration of Bowie today, that I’m not needed.  In celebration of Elvis, here is my favorite song of his.  The opening scene of his movie King Creole, “Crawfish” with Kitty White is excellent!   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQOlgXaSDy8

 

This might be my only post for a few days.  My primary computer died last week; the piece I was working on for today is on that hard drive.  I will provide a more jam-packed offering as soon as I am able.

Community Noise Playlist #1

I’ve gathered together a collection of songs, and put them together into a YouTube playlist.  I was working with Spotify, but I could not find 4 of these 13 songs there, and everything is on YouTube.  If you need better sound dynamics, I’m sure you can find sources elsewhere for most of these.  I’m really sorry for the commercial interruptions – that’s not my doing.   Playlist #1

No theme for this playlist.  Simply an introduction to songs that I think are great and songs that I want people to listen to.  And if you don’t like one, don’t listen to it, but you’re still better off knowing about it.  Listen to anther song.  Here’s the list:

  1. Bauhaus — Bela Lugosi’s Dead
  2. Of Monsters and Men — Little Talks
  3. Hoodoo Gurus — (Let’s All) Turn On
  4. X — Soul Kitchen
  5. Frank Black — Nadine
  6. Patti Smith — Birdland
  7. Goat Girl — Country Sleaze
  8. Glass Animals — Youth
  9. Jack Kerouac — McDougal Street Blues
  10. Tom Waits — Jersey Girl
  11. Liz Phair — The Tra La La Song
  12. Gil Scott-Heron — The Bottle
  13. The Who — Love Reign O’er Me

Here are some liner notes:

Bauhaus.  Cool song to start a set – the long intro makes you settle in a little bit.  I recently re-watched Bowie’ film, The Hunger, which uses this song in the opening scene, and I have to say, the movie makes me less interested in being a vampire.

Of Monsters and Men.  As long as we’re talking about monsters…

Hoodoo Gurus.  A much forgotten band from the 1980s, these guys really had the stuff.  If I make a top 5 list of favorite-ever songs, I think this would be on there somewhere.  Great use of tandem vocals as instruments.

X. These guys! Harmonizing vocals and speed guitar from a rockabilly-punk band, these guys are fantastic.  I love the idea of cover songs, as long as the band make the song there own.  This is a good example of that.

Frank Black.  I just like how the song shimmers.  I like how it sounds like Country music, which I don’t listen to.  A long time ago, I went to a show in Santa Barbara.  John Doe, of X, opened, then FB and the Catholics, the headliners, played.  When Frank came out, he told this story; he said he’d promised John not to tell the story.  We’d had rains just that day or the day before, and I’m telling you, even for a Seattleite, when it rains in Santa B., man, it really rains.  So Frank tells us that John owns a ranch in the area, and his road flooded and he couldn’t drive out.  Luckily, John’s a private pilot, so he walked over to his neighbor’s farm and borrowed the crop duster, and flew himself into the show.   Rock ‘n’ Roll, baby.

Patti Smith.  Love Patti.  Love her poetry and her songs and her books and her photography and her persona.  She doesn’t just have the stuff, she is the stuff.

Goat Girl.  Favorite song of 2016.  I can’t wait to see what they can put out in 2017.

Jack Kerouac.  Sometime in the 1950s, Steve Allen invited Kerouac onto his talk show.  They talked, normal chit-chat that you hear on talk shows, then Steve invited Jack to read several pieces of his poetry, while Steve played little jazz riffs on the piano.  Later, they went into a studio and made a spoken word / jazz album.  (I’ve read this both ways – maybe the studio sessions came before the talk show appearance?  Doesn’t matter.)  I am generally interested in spoken word mixed with music – watch this space for more.

Glass Animals.  I joined a record-of-the-month club earlier this year, and I acquired this album in August.  (I’ll write a piece about the club later.)  I’d never heard of the Glass Animals, but I really like this record.  I have to admit, I have no idea what to do with it.  I mean, I’m no master of the segue, but this one is puzzling.  I love that.  It means, I hope, that I’m still growing and still finding new things that interest me.  I discovered that I have a need – can somebody help me with a beginner’s guide to Hip Hop?

Tom Waits.  There’s a TV concert somewhere on YouTube where Tom makes fun of himself – people always wondered what it would sound like if he sang a lot of “sha la las”.  It’d sound pretty good.

Liz Phair.  We’ll follow up the ‘sha la las” with some ‘tra la las’.  There’s a really cool compilation album, Saturday Morning Cartoon’s Greatest Hits, where artists cover theme songs from old-time cartoons like, The Archies, Scooby Doo, Hong Kong Phooey, Speed Racer, and this from The Banana Splits Adventure Hour.

Gil Scott-Heron.  I love this song.  Don’t know much about him, but he has some songs on my MP3 player.  And the incredible video is 1970s-bleak-cool.  I cannot find a version of this to buy/download – I’ve searched for vinyl and digital, I’ve searched Amazon, Spotify, and the local record shops.  There is a nine-minute version, by somebody else, but I don’t want that.  This is the version.

The Who.  This is a good way to end a night.  I don’t listen to The Who very often anymore.  At one time I would have called them my favorite band, and I still think they’re great.  I have all of my old cassette tapes out in my woodshop and I can play them on this crappy little stereo that I have out there. I imagine that eventually the sawdust will kill everything, but so far, we’re still working.  Out there, sometimes, I’ll listen to Quadrophenia, and I’ll listen to both sides back to back (it’s a double album: 4 LP sides equates to two sides of a cassette).  And when this song comes on, last song of side B, I know it’s time to go do something else.  I’ll start cleaning up and close down the shop for the night, and when the song’s over, I’ll go inside and do something else.  This song, is a great song to close a set and wrap up an evening.

 


© Community Noise 2017.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Winter Break

I’m out of rhythm due to the holidays.  My intention is to post on Sunday evenings, with sporadic miscellaneous, posts in between.  I suppose it doesn’t matter.

For the past several years, for Winter Break, I’ve been traveling somewhere looking for sunshine and warmth.  San Diego, Palm Springs, and Tucson, Arizona have all been recent winter destinations, and Palm Springs has been the repeat choice.  That’s what I did this year.

Generally, for my sunshine-hunting vacation, I’ll rent a convertible.  Cars make me a little claustrophobic and I like to be outside, so when I drive to a hike or to the beach or to lunch in the next town over, I can put the top down and woohoo!  This year, I was anticipating it being colder than usual, and I made a reservation for a less glamorous hard-top car.  I got to the rental counter at the airport, and was hit with the manager’s special.  Thus, I spent 4 days driving around in a brand new, bright yellow, convertible, The Dead Milkmen – Bitchin’ Camaro.

The car had (free) satellite radio, which really isn’t very good.  Most of the stations are bad: poorly curated, redundant, and an absence of soul.  You can’t have algorithms and accountants programming your music.  You need a real person, passionate about their music and wanting to share, to curate playlists for you. I ended up listening to a lot of opera on the trip, which is beyond unusual for me.  But flipping through the satellite channels, #74, Metropolitan Opera Radio was the clear winner, and surely the Metropolitan knows more about opera than I.  Here’s a taste:  Verdi: Aida — “Gloria all’ Egitto” …and here’s a full bite:  Verdi – Aida

Finally, for several weeks, and all during my sunshine-hunting trip, I couldn’t get this song out of my head: Jesca Hoop – Pegasi  .  I love the textures of the two guitar parts and the cohesion of the guitars with voice as instrument.  I believe this song will be on a new record set for a February 2017 release with Sub Pop Records.

I hope your winter break brought the gift of music.

 


© Community Noise 2016.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.