Here is the download and the notes for today's Pointcast.
01 I'm Gonna Do All I Can For My Lord - John Fahey (The Legend of Blind Joe Death): Blind Joe Death was a blues guitarist who recorded one 78rpm record in the 1920s. About four decades later, John Fahey hijacked the name and used it as an alter ego, confusing the living shit out of blues purists and mouth-breathing shut-ins. His 1959 debut album had only the name "Blind Joe Death" on the cover. It had no liner notes, and no information about the identity of the musician.
Most of the BJD tracks are available on compilations Fahey released in the late 1960s When you listen to him, you can tell immediately that he was doing things on guitar that nobody else ever had. It was cool to hear Matt Ward mention Fahey on the Elvis Costello TV show. Ward is an extremely talented young man and if he says Fahey's the real deal, there can be no debate. Ward's newest record, Hold Time, is sheer perfection, and I'll get some tracks on here soon.
02 Four Winds - Bright Eyes: I was about 12 months late to the party, but at some point last year I found Cassadega, and fell over for it. There is so much good writing and good playing on it. It's one of those "no one makes records like this" records.
As with anything Bright Eyes- /Saddle Creek- /Team Love-related, a typical troop of highly skilled laborers join Conor Oberst here:
Mike Mogis: guitar
Nate Walcott: organ
Dan McCarthy (Tucksy): bass
Jason Boesel (Rilo Kiley, Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins): drums
Anton Patzner (Judgement Day, Two Gallants): violin
Maria Taylor (Azure Ray, Now It's Overhead): vocals
Andy LeMaster (Now It's Overhead): vocals
03 Change - Killing Joke: Their 1980 debut was remastered in 2005, and it sounds real good. One of the alt bonus tracks is a dub version of "Change." Today, we get the original version, straight up, and way ahead of its time. I think I give my Killing Joke records less attention than they deserve. I'll try to amend that this weekend.
04 I Know You Got Soul - Bobby Byrd: What a voice. What a hook! The version I played was a burn of the 1971 single, but it's also on an amazing comp called James Brown's Funky People (Part 2). Hard to find, but so is love and the perfect cup of coffee. How far back do Byrd and Brown go? Way back. They met as teenagers on, of all places, a baseball field where Byrd's church team was playing against a local reformatory prison team. The not-yet-Godfather of Soul was in the lineup for the latter. They shared a love for music, and soon Byrd's family made arrangements for Brown's parole.
Byrd brought so much to the table as a vocalist and arranger (and maybe the world's first hype man!), but he probably cemented his name in history in 1970 by being the "Get on up" to James Brown's "Git up-ah" on "Sex Machine."
Listening back to the recorded Pointcast, I wonder if I could have said the name "Bobby Byrd" a few more times. What do you think? Maybe two dozen utterances weren't enough for you. Duh. I'll chalk it up to being a geeked-out old man who talks about his favorite music with the unrestrained enthusiasm of a psychotic zealot. But anyway.
05 Screamin' Fist - Viletones: They are considered one of the first (if not the first) Canadian punk bands to release a record. This single came out in 1977. Here's a great clip of a Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) news report from that time, where the Nehru-jacketed reporter begins, "The latest fad in popular music is punk rock..." You know it gets good from there. Hey, check it out! Even long-disbanded groups (like the Viletones) now have official websites and myspace pages.
Their earliest singles and EPs are out of print, but most of what you need is compiled on the Taste of Honey CD.
06 Don't Ha Ha - Jürgen Wenger: Popmusik über alles! From the Pop In Germany collection on Bear Family; eight volumes of novelty, curios, and solid tracks in equal doses. This one appears on Volume 3. The series features covers of Dylan, the Supremes, Hendrix, the Box Tops, even Sabbath. There's a cool pass at the Shangri-Las' "Leader of the Pack" (called "Der Feuerstuhl") by a group called Verrückte Mädchen (Crazy Girls). I'll get it on here for you soon.
I'm surprised more bands haven't covered this song. I wish we could have heard the Ramones or the Cramps bite into it. Would have been perfect for them. I looked around online and all I found as far as contemporary acts doing this song is a band from Berlin called Mr Ed Jumps The Gun. Those guys and Jürgen Wenger? Wow, what is it with Germans and this song? (While I give the Mr Ed guys cred for putting "Don't Ha Ha" out to a new generation, I have to add that the band's canon also include a version of "Smoke on the Water" for the Dance Dance Revolution game, and a cover of Plastic Bertrand's "Ça plane pour moi"... for a Pamela Anderson film flick. Their Wikipedia page has to be a joke.
07 Koladiola - Yello: From their fourth album, the underrated Stella. Nearly everyone knows them for "Oh, Yeah" which took off after it was used in the Ferris Bueller movie. It turned up in more movies and probably dozens of TV commercials after that. The song itself has become a Hollywood cliché, I think. Like "Bad to the Bone" or Jeff Buckley's version of "Hallelujah." But I digress. "Koladiola" is from the same album that "Oh, Yeah" is on; it's a much better album than you, I, or our music snob friends would have thought.
08 Set Fire to the Face on Fire - The Blood Brothers: Fye-uh! Fye-uh! Fye-uh! Another band I missed altogether. I got their 2004 album Crimes but never made time to listen. Years later, they appeared on the IFC Henry Rollins Show and shredded a version of "Set Fire...." I got my act together -- got the 2006 album Young Machetes, then went and picked up all the rest of the EPs and albums before it. It's Young Machetes that I play most often, and it's a great place to start your introduction. "Set Fire to the Face on Fire" is one of the all-time greatest side-A track-1 songs. (Great line, don't miss it: "I'm kicking snowmen like it's going out of style style style!")
Dialogue excerpt from The Shield, 2004.
09 Cyanide - The Lurkers: As long as I'm dropping opinions on all-time this and all-time that, here's another. My all-time favorite overlooked band. When friends ask to hear something new, I go back to 1976-80 era Lurkers. People freak when they hear it, and wonder how it missed them. There's a great write-up of the band on the Punk77 site. This song is from their second album God's Lonely Men. It wasn't as critically acclaimed as the debut, Fulham Fallout, which is proof that most music critics aren't worth the food they're fed.
10 Under Heavy Manners - Prince Far I: From the Trojan ROOTS box set. A great song by a reggae legend. My favorite part comes near the end, when he says, "Discipline is what the world needs today... manners and et-eh-kwett." In the mid-seventies, as Jamaica neared a virtual civil war, the Jamaican Premier declared a state of emergency, and said that the country was about to experience some "heavy duty discipline." The poor and disenfranchised knew it meant the shit was going to come their way.
I haven't done the Friday 10s in a long long while, but it doesn't mean you had to stop. Set your mp3 player to "shuffle all songs" and let us know the first ten songs in your earholes.
[posted with ecto]