I came across this homage to the 80’s the other day by a band with an awesome name: Wormburner. Here’s a clip from their web site bio:

Wormburner was co-founded in 2002 by two guys with a song they couldn’t get out of their heads. New Yorkers Steve “Hank” Henry and Terry “Terry” Solomone once played together in a cover band. When that project ran its course, Hank and Terry began developing their own sound and their own songs. Inspired by progressive guitar rock and indie pop, their songwriting partnership quickly gave life to a tune called Skinny Leather Tie. Initially conceived by Hank as a lyrical goof best-suited for acoustic performance, he and Terry took to the City’s open mic circuit and gave the song some exposure. Astonished by universally-positive feedback, the duo visited a modest downtown recording studio and laid down an electric demo version of the song. The two of them played on all tracks: Hank on vocals and guitar, Terry on drums, bass, guitar and tambourine.

It’s a catchy tune with a kick ass drum intro, and some hilarious 80’s references in the lyrics:

But the skinny leather ties
They make me look straight outta 1985
Yeah back when three remaining Beatles were alive
California Coolers with the other middle-schoolers
Skinny leather ties

Wormburner – Skinny Leather Tie (mp3)

Buy Wormburner on CD Baby.

Comin’ Straight Outta…Edmonton?

I came across Cadence Weapon last week on Fluxblog. Cadence Weapon is an 18 yr old rapper / producer from Edmonton, Alberta. Yes, Edmonton. I didn’t know they rolled so hard up there, but judging by CW’s style, I think they do. Now I’m not as plugged into the hip hop game as I was say, back in – oh – 1989. I mean I’m far more likely to listen to Eric B and Rakim or Schoolly D than Tupac, Biggie, Lil Jon, or any of the many Lils. But Cadence Weapon gives me hope. The tracks and beats that back him up are funky as hell, and make this white boy bob his head. His rapping is smooth and cool. And that name – Cadence Weapon – cool name.

Cadence Weapon, from this 34 year old white boy in the Arizona desert, you go on with yo bad self son.

Cadence Weapon – Sharks (mp3)
Cadence Weapon – Oliver Square (mp3)

Cadence Weapon Official Site, where you can buy his music.
Check out more of his tunes on Soundclick.

Chop Suey with Joey and the Girls

There’s an eighties movie called ‘Get Crazy’. It starred Malcolm McDowell, who freaked everybody out as Alex in ‘A Clockwork Orange’. I haven’t seen ‘Get Crazy’. But on the soundtrack is a Ramones contribution called “Chop Suey”. It was an outtake from my favorite Ramones album, ‘Pleasant Dreams’. It’s a more pop-oriented album than their earlier releases, but as a little kid, I loved singing along to “She’s a Sensation’, ‘Don’t Go’, and ‘The KKK Took My Baby Away’.

An alternate version to “Chop Suey” can be found on the remastered release of ‘Pleasant Dreams’. It’s a pretty infectious tune, a little new wavy, a synth solo, and backing vocals by Deborah Harry, and Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson of the B-52?s.

The Ramones – Chop Suey (mp3)

Pleasant Dreams on Amazon.
Get Crazy on IMDB.

This Holy Mess

“It’s hardly morning
It’s early January
There’s always something
That’s coming or gone

Out in the dark light
I go walking
Into the quiet
Of this holy mess”

So I’m a sucker for the gritty raw singer songwriter types. Springsteen, Earle, Prine, Tweedy, and this fella, Matthew Ryan. My favorite of his CD’s, ‘May Day’, was left in a rental car at the Burbank Airport, along with about 30 others. I hope the rental car agent or car washer is at least listening to some of the CD’s. Yep, another one of my shining moments. DOH! There goes a case of CD’s! See ya!

Anyhow, take a listen to “Me & My Lover”. What I love about ol’ Matt is when he kicks it up a notch into the next octave at the 2:21 mark in the song. It’s effortless and so powerful. And the chord changes are great. This tune starts mellow, kicks into gear, and goes back down the hill toward the end. It’s a nice sweet ride with a hint of bitterness: “cause most things are meaningless, the more you get to know them”.

For those who like the artists I mention above, you’ll like Matthew Ryan. ‘May Day’ is a great introduction…

Matthew Ryan – Me and My Lover
(mp3) – 2000, ‘East Autumn Grin’ – {Amazon}

Mas Sangria, por favor!

In keeping in line with music that involves one of my favorite cocktails, sangria, I give you the long intoxicating journey that is “Sangria for Three”, as performed by Nels Cline, Wayne Peet, and Alex Cline, live at the Alligator Lounge in Santa Monica, CA. This one was downloaded from Nels’ Official Web Site, which has a ton of great MP3 downloads. Check his site out here. I’ve just recently begun to explore Nels’ music, which is, again, hard to label. Improv crazy acid mind bending guitar jazz. III dunno.

Nels Cline/Wayne Peet/Alex Cline – Sangria for Three (mp3) – from the Tony Williams “Lifetime” Tribute – Live @ Alligator Lounge, Santa Monica, CA USA 03/17/97

DVD – “Tom Dowd & The Language of Music”

The language of music indeed… Recently watched this DVD about the legendary engineer/producer and all-around music man Tom Dowd and I have to say that this is the best music documentary/DVD I’ve seen in years. The life this man led and the scope and span of music and musicians he was involved with is simply staggering… I wish I could have done one-tenth of the things this man as done. We’ve all seen his name countless times on 45s, LPs, CDs, but we never really knew who he was and what he was capable of, until now? From jazz to rock, from soul to blues, from Dizzy Gillespie to Eric Clapton, this man has seen it all and heard it all and been there behind the scenes. The only comparison that comes to mind in this genre-spanning, decades-long category is discoverer-producer John Hammond, Sr. Dowd proves himself to be not only a worthy study because of his musical history but also because he is a thoroughly wonderful human being. From his involvement in the Manhattan project (no, not the vocal group the Manhattans), to his innovations in the technical aspects of recording music, the man is awesomely talented. But it ends on a ironic and sad note, Mr. Dowd passed away shortly after the film was completed and originally shown. Buy this, rent this, steal this…. do anything, just see this wonderful documentary. Note: I noticed once in a while it shows up on PBS outlets and things like Bravo.

Here’s the link on Amazon.

Old School Saturday

It’s time to take you back to 1985. I was a 15 yr old snot nosed little kid and I loved the 80’s R&B / Soul of the time (thanks to Prince opening up my mind and expanding my love of music a year earlier), including this absolute classic by Con Funk Shun. Now, these brothers were around a looong time before I came across this tune. They got together in the late 60’s.

This track was produced by Larry Smith, who produced Run-DMC’s first two albums, and Whodini’s Escape (another one of my favorites of the time…”I’m a Ho”, anyone?). So dig if you will the picture, of Con Funk Shun busting out a little Electric Lady on yo ass….

Con Funk Shun – Electric Lady (mp3) – 1985, Mercury – {Amazon}

By the way, I have to thank Tofu Hut for an honorable mention on their site. My traffic has picked up quite a bit as a result.

So come on folks, click the little Comments thing under the posts and let me know what you think. Does any of this music fill your soul, or make you beeline for the latest toilet? Anybody else remember Electric Lady? You thought it was Cameo too huh? Hehe. Me too…

What do you get when you cross Elvis and Bob Marley?

No, it’s not fried peanut butter & ganja sandwiches, it’s this ‘mash-up’ of Elvis’ “Crying in the Chapel” over the rrrrasta beat of Bob’s “Satisfy My Soul.”The great music blog The Suburbs Are Killing Us writes:

“Fuckin’ love song here, son.”
That’s what the King says at the end of what must be a modern mashup of ol’ Elvis croonin’ the Orioles’ 1953 hit “Crying in the Chapel” over the Wailers’ “Satisfy My Soul.” If there’s one thing that Elvis knows more than love, son, it’s Rasta biznezz. And snacks.

The tune came out on a limited edition 7-inch last year, with Presley’s “In the Ghetto” vox laid over “Taurus Song” by Sound Dimension on the flip.

Elvis Presley & the Wailers – Crying in the Chapel (mp3)- bootleg 7-inch, 2004