Saturday, June 26, 2010

Lost Gem: "Strobe Light" - B-52's (1980)


"Then I'm gonna kiss your tummy.
Then I'm gonna kiss your pineapple.
~ B-52's ~


The B-52's are an American surf-punk-new wave band that hail from...Athens, Georgia?

Yea...and they encapsulate all the best parts of the genre that make for a real good time.

"Wild Planet" (1980) was the B-52's sophomore effort and it doesn't disappoint.  Mystery. Camp.  Future-Chill.  Sexyback.  It's all here.  This is left-field goodness at its wacky finest.

Fred Schneider is the spastic prince that conducts this cacaphony of catchy kool with his nasal talk-sing voice...while great drumming and guitar spank create simple grooves that simply will not go away.
And of course, the B-52 babes...Cindy Wilson & Kate Pierson...have adapted well since leaving their own planet...The one I like to refer to as...'Yum-Yum'.

Finally, do not mistake silly, for sloppy. The B-52's are skilled.


Lost Gem:--> "Strobe Light"...is a lusty...call-&-response...hook-up song with Fred and Cindy doing the honors. The conversation is constantly being interrupted by a delicious frenetic rhythm groove that screams out...URGENT!

Have you heard this one?


Where's my telephone?

"Is that you baby?"
"Yeah."
"Got something to tell you."
"Oh, what?"

I want to see you tonight
I want you to walk in the door
I want you to lay on the floor
Cause tonight's the night
We make love, under a strobe light
Underneath the strobe light

Wanna make love to you under the strobe light
Wanna make love to you under the strobe light
Strobe light - Woah oh oh
Strobe light - Woah oh oh
Yeah!

But the light goes to my head!
Everything I see is red
Baby when I kiss your hair
I feel electricity in the air
I'm gonna kiss your eyes
Then I'm gonna kiss your neck
Then I'm gonna kiss your tummy
Then I'm gonna kiss your pineapple.


Good stuff!

Casey Chambers
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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Lost Gem: "Never In My Life" - Mountain (1970)


"You make me feel so good...bringing me the cider whiskey."
~ Mountain ~




This four-piece New York band, Mountain...formed in 1969... was one of the first bands marked with the tag...heavy metal.

Lead by jumbo Leslie West (guitar, vocals) aka..."The Fattest Fingers In Rock N' Roll" and featuring classically trained...Felix Pappalardi (bass, piano)..."Climbing" (1970) is a must-own CD filled with sledgehammer blues rock and a coup of hippie psych.

And for their first three albums, the members of Mountain were inspired and wall-breaking musicians. Kowtowing to no one.

The band also earned a "must-see-live" rep...capable of taking their album jams...and bringing it hard to the stage...times-two. In other words...Mountain was a tough act to follow. TOUGH!!!

Felix Pappalardi & Leslie West

It's sadly amazing, FM radio...for the most part...has relegated this hard working howitzer to one-hit wonder status. (you know...the one dedicated to sweet Cajun poon-tang.)

Trust Your Own Ears People!

"Never In My Life"...is another riff-driven rocker from Leslie West with Felix , drummer Corky Laing and Steve Knight charging out the gate.

Have you heard this one?


Never in my life
Could I find a girl like you
Never in my life
Could I find a girl like you
When I wake up in the morning
You make me feel so good
Bringing me the cider whiskey
Feel a bit lonely too

For the first time in my life
I finally found someone like you
For the first time in my life
I finally found someone like you
I feel like a bolt of lightning
But it feels so good
Knowin' my baby's waitin'
And of course I do
Hey hey hey

Never in my life
Could I find a girl like you
Never in my life
Could I find a girl like you
When I turned around to wake her
About the way she moves
I don't want to leave her
But I wanna love you too.

Good stuff.

Casey Chambers
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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Lost Gem: "Alcohol and Pills" - Todd Snider (2004)


"The fame don't take away the pain...it just pays the bills."
~ Todd Snider ~



Singer-Songwriter Todd Snider...hailing out of Oregon...appears to have more than a friendly acquaintance with every subject he sings about.

Sounding like a blended mix of harder John Prine and twangier John C. Mellencamp, Todd plays the part of an Americana reporter...with a sly fox orneriness.
Lost Gem:--> "Alcohol and Pills"...written by Fred Eaglesmith, is a Todd Snider blistering wake up call on how NOT to solve your problems.

Not preachy...but certainly personal...(Todd's several brushes with near-death substance abuse problems can attest to that.)
And the hook is anthemic and easy to find yourself belting along with...The Snide.

Have you heard this one?


Hank Williams, he came up from Montgomery
With a heart full of hard-luck country songs
But Nashville, Tennessee, they didn't understand him

because he did things
Differently then the way they were done.
But when he finally made it to the Grand Ole Opry...

he made it stand still.
He ended up on alcohol and pills

Elvis Presley, he came up from Jackson
With a brand new way of singing
A brand new way of dancing
And even from the waist up, he gave the world
A thrill... he ended up on alcohol and pills

Alcohol and pills
It's a crying shame
you'd think they might have been happy
with the glory and the fame
The fame don't take away the pain
it just pays the bills
and you wind up on alcohol and pills

Janis Joplin, she was a wild and reckless
Then there was Gram Parsons, 

then there was Jimi Hendrix.
The story just goes on and on.
I guess it always will... 

they ended up on Alcohol and pills

Alcohol and pills
It's a crying shame
You'd think they might have been happy
With the glory and the fame
The fame don't take away the pain
It just pays the bills
And you wind up on alcohol and pills

Sometimes somebody won't wake up one day
Sometimes it's a heart attack
Sometimes, they won't say
When they pulled poor old Hank Williams
Out of that Cadillac Coupe de Ville
He ended up on alcohol and pills

Alcohol and pills
It's a crying shame
You'd think they might have been happy
With the glory and the fame
The fame don't take away the pain
It just pays the bills
And you wind up on alcohol and pills.


Good stuff!

Casey Chambers
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Monday, June 14, 2010

Lost Gem: "25th Floor/High on Rebellion" - Patti Smith (1978)


"Desire to dance,
too startled to try.
Wrap my legs 'round you,
starting to fly."
~ Patti Smith ~


Patti Smith is a brave bad-ass babe who doesn't play nice.

Patti is the...Godmother of Punk...a CBGB icon...and a beatnik poetess with a rock and roller heart.

"Easter" (1978) is filled with classic rockers and head-spinning free-form poetry burns.  Though rarely does one hear anything but the charter song..."Because The Night".  (A good song...but hardly the best one).

The words of poetry flow from her beautiful mouth with defiance. Sometimes angry.  Sometimes with an aching vulnerability.  But always with words of truth...intent on exacting just the right emotion.

Backing Patti...are fine rollers...deliciously skilled in hammering Patti's RnR nail deeper and deeper into our consciousness.
Best of all...Patti Smith lays it out...her way. And no apologies.

She's real.  The music's real.  And hey, if it was easy. we'd all be doing it.

Lost Gem:--> "25th Floor/High On Rebellion"...is about sexual abandon...that grooves into a thrilling poetry rant.  The studio captures the band tripping off Patti's free-flow sandwich...and the rest is magic.

Have you heard this one?


We explore the men's room.
We don't give a shit.
Ladies' lost electricity;
take vows inside of it.

Desire to dance;
Too startled to try.
Wrap my legs 'round you,
starting to fly.

Let's explore
up there, up there, up there,
on the twenty-fifth floor.

Circle all around me,
coming for the kill, kill, kill
oh kill me baby
like a kamikaze
heading for a spill.
oh but it's all spilt milk to me.

Desire to dance;
Too startled to try.
Wrap my legs 'round you,
starting to fly.

Let's soar
up there, up there, up there,
on the twenty-fifth floor.

We do not eat
flower of creation.
We do not eat,
eat anything at all.
Love is, love was, love is a manifestation.
I'm waiting for a contact to call.
Love's war. Love's cruel.
Love's pretty, love's pretty cruel tonight.
I'm waiting here to refuel.
I'm gonna make contact tonight.
Love in my heart.
The night to exploit.
Twenty-five stories over Detroit,
and there's more
up there, up there, up there.

stoned in space. Zeus. Christ.
It has always been rock
and so it is and so it shall be.
within the context of neo rock
we must open up our eyes and seize
and rend the veil of smoke which man calls order.
pollution is a necessary result of the inability of man
to reform and transform waste.
the transformation of waste
the transformation of waste
the transformation of waste
the transformation of waste
is perhaps the oldest pre-occupation of man.
man being the chosen alloy,
he must be reconnected via shit, at all cost.
inherent with(in) us is the dream of the task
of the alchemist to create from the clay of man.
and to re-create from excretion of man
pure and then soft and then solid gold.

all must not be art. some art we must disintegrate.
positive (anarchy must exist.)

(background)
i feel it swirling around me
i feel it feeling no pain
I'm waiting above for you baby
i know that I'll see you up there
I'm floating in a door backward
on boundaries over this world
I'm waiting above in the sky, dear
upon a ...
)

what i feel when I'm playing guitar is completely cold and crazy, like i
don't owe nobody nothing and it's just a test just to see how far i can
relax into the cold wave of a note. when everything hits just right (just
and right) the note of nobility can go on forever.

I never tire of the solitary E and i trust my guitar and i don't care about anything. sometimes i feel like I've broken through and I'm free and i could dig
into eternity into eternity riding the wave and realm of the E.
Sometimes it's useless. here i am struggling and filled with dread-afraid that I'll never squeeze enough graphite from my damaged cranium to inspire or
asphyxiate any eyes grazing like hungry cows across the stage or page.
inside of me I'm crazy I'm just crazy.

Inside i must continue. i see her, my stiff muse, jutting around round round round like a broken speeding statue. the colonial year is dead and the greeks too are finished. the
face of Alexander remains not only solely due to sculpture but through the
power and foresight and magnetism of Alexander himself. the artist must
maintain his swagger. he must he must he must be intoxicated by ritual as
well as result.

Look at me i am laughing. i am laughing. i am lapping cocaine from the hard
brown palm of the bouncer. and i trust my guitar. therefore we black out together. therefore i would run through scum. and scum is just ahead, ah we see it, but we just laugh. we're ascending through the hollow mountain.
we are peeking. we are laughing. we are kneeling.
we are laughing. we are radiating at last. this rebellion is
just a gas our gas a gas that we pass.


Good stuff!

Casey Chambers
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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Lost Gem: "Divine Intervention" - Matthew Sweet (1991)



"I don't know where 
I'm gonna live.
Don't know if I'll find a place."
~ Matthew Sweet ~


"Girlfriend" (1991) is filled with Matthew Sweet flavored alternative pop-rock.  A masterpiece that went against the popular grain of the  'then-sound" Grunge.

It would go on to become one of Rolling Stone's...Top 100 Albums from the '90s.

Sweet takes us on an emotional rollercoaster...full-circle.  And it is well-worth the price of admish.

Lost Gem:--> "Divine Intervention"...Turn it up and enjoy the wicked guitar tinkerings...that create a lyrical sledgehammer of sound.
Beatle influences are hard to miss...only packing a tad bit more gunpowder.

Have you heard this one?


I don't know where I'm gonna live
Don't know if I'll find a place
I'd have to think about it some
And that I do not wish to face
I guess I'm counting on his
Divine Intervention.

I cannot understand my God
I don't know why it gets to me
One day my life is filled with joy
And then we find we disagree
All depending on his
Divine Intervention.

Does he love us does he love us?
Does he love us does he love us?
I look around and all I see is destruction
We're all counting on his
Divine Intervention.

When he comes the sun shine
When he comes the sun shine
Sunshine, the sunshine
Here it comes...


Good stuff!

Casey Chambers
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Monday, June 7, 2010

Lost Gem: "Romeo and the Lonely Girl" - Thin Lizzy (1976)


"When the train came in
it had to leave again...

and Romeo pulled away."
~ Thin Lizzy ~


Who didn't become a huge Thin Lizzy fan after hearing the iconic..."Boys Are Back In Town"?

It easily reminds the heart of the young carefree days of summer...setting our spirits aright when they've become slightly out-of kilter.

I'm an even bigger fan of the late songwriter, singer & bassist...Phil Lynott...who was only 36 when he died.  His death has been attributed, partially to an unsatiated drug and alcohol habit.

"Jailbreak"(1976) holds must-own papers filled with door-busting classics front-to-back.  This is just one of the gems.

Lost Gem:--> "Romeo and the Lonely Girl" ...Lynott was a cool-breeze romantic with an outsider's heart...rhyming words like  "Romeo and Owneeo" and still sounding like Shakespeare.

Add gorgeous twin guitar work from Brian Robertson and Scott Gorham...and Lizzy sells the noise like peaches at an open-air bazaar.  Just buy it and eat it up.

Have you heard this one?


Romeo and the lonely girl
They seemed to hit it off
Till Romeo told the lonely girl
I must take my leave, my love
It was these few words I overheard
And thought, I would move in
But before I could the lonely girl
Had fallen in love again.

Oh poor Romeo
Sitting out on his own-ee-o
Oh poor Romeo.

Romeo he had it rough
The guy you'd like to burn
But everything that Romeo had
You can bet it was well earned.
For all his good looks there were scars that he took
And a lesson to be learned
Never judge lovers by a good looking covers
The lover might be spurned.

Romeo he like to put it around
He was everybody's friend
But in the end even Romeo found
On no one could he depend
For all his charms in someone else's arms
Lonely girl safely lay
When the train came in it had to leave again
And Romeo pulled away.


Good stuff!

Casey Chambers
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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Lost Gem: "Roll Your Own" - Fabulous Poodles (1978)


"Well, the first time you try it you're gonna cuss and shout.
Cause the paper keeps tearin'
and the stuff keeps fallin' out."

~ Fabulous Poodles ~


The London bred band...Fabulous Poodles...released their American debut..."Mirror Star"(1978)...during a time of New Wave newness.

All good, except...the FP's sounded more like a wonderful, quirky earlier version of The Who and Kinks...rather than the quirky newness of, say, The Jam.

Who knows. They were sloppy good and wicked fun.  And the band deserved better.

And finally, "Mirror Star" (produced coincidentally by John Entwistle)...holds up better and sounds less dated...than most of what came out during this period.

Lost Gem:--> "Roll Your Own"...is a silly grass tune that is harmless fun. Filled with wicked electric violin (Bobby Valentino) and blow harp (Tony De Meur).

Plenty of tongue-in-cheek snarkin'...begs to be cranked and enjoyed.

Have you heard this one?


If you don't like the way they make 'em in the city
Cause they taste too strong the dang paper ain't pretty
Roll your own roll your own
You'll leave the ready rolls behind when you finally find a roll your own.

There's the raspberry strawberry pretty red wine
Besides tasting good you're gonna have a nice time
Roll your own roll your own
You're gonna have a nice time I ain't lyin' roll your own.

Well, the first time you try it you're gonna cuss and shout
'Cause the paper keeps tearin' and the stuff keeps fallin' out
But don't give up 'cause after a while
You'll be smokin' right on with a big fat smile
Roll your own, roll your own.

When you finally get the hang of rolling your own
Share one with a friend let 'em pass it along
Roll your own roll your own
You're gonna have a nice time I ain't lyin'
Roll your own.
You'll leave the ready rolls behind when you finally find
Roll your own.


Good stuff.

Casey Chambers
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