Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Zenta the Dragon

DKT-MC5 - I Believe to My Soul

Congratulations for having made it to the last diatribe of the month!

Today we're gonna honor two recently departed troublemakers -- one of whom would have been 76 today -- who are finally dead enough for the milquetoast minions in Cleveland to decide to do the same.

I can see the ceremony in my head right now.

The lights will dim and dramatic music will play. A picture of them all without the shirts, in front of an upside down American flag, will fade up as the crowd -- who wouldn't know legitimate dissent or rebellion if you roasted it and served it to them for Thanksgiving dinner -- will cheer lustily, hoping the balls and bravery these guys exhibited will somehow rub off on them.
It won't. Not even if they pledge fealty to Zenta, the religion these crazy blokes invented back in the day to catapult their propaganda.

Then, a picture will fade up of their manager, all 6 foot 13 of him puffing on a big joint, and the crowd will cheer just as lustily for the idea that cannabis is now mostly legal, due to the pioneering efforts of self-sacrifice he made that they themselves wouldn't dare try if it jeopardized their pitiful careers one pathetic, cheese- and Autotune-encrusted iota.

Then the story will be told, about how this band of basically kids from Detroit invented Punk Rock and Rock-n-Roll rebellion, and terrorized the established order into authoritarian responses against them.

They'll tell you all about how Mr. Manager got thrown into jail for what was supposed to be a decade, for giving two of those jazzy cigarettes of his to an undercover lady cop he was likely trying to bed. And how no less than John Lennon sprung him from the dungeon.

The revisionist and thoroughly phony narrative -- concocted by those for whom revolution and rebellion are just disguises and hypes to sell pieces of plastic to impressionable and autonomic consumers -- will include how they bravely fought the record company and eventually got dropped by the label, with the manager's incendiary (and hilarious) liner notes erased from the LP gatefold and the word to blacklist them coming down from the highest echelons. The music will swell to a dramatic crescendo.

Then their most notorious song will play, and the wealthy, connected and powerful attendees -- steeped like moldy teabags in the mordant dystopia the CIA and Mossad made of the music industry in the last 35 years -- will bang along apace and feel oh so proud and brave for fistraisingly saying the word "motherfucker" out loud like they do in the tune. You naughty rebels, you.

The entire spectacle will be both galvanizingly true and spectacularly false, simultaneously. There may even be PSAs admonishing viewers to "vote" for the catatonic and zirconia-fake money duopoly these cats railed against their whole lives.

You see, once upon a time it was 1968, and the Motor City 5 -- whom some people consider the very greatest Rock band ever to play -- knew what was really at stake. If there were an analogous outfit today, they'd likely be killed in a mysterious Motorway crash and black helicopters would be seen fleeing the scene.

I always laugh when I see the footage of record douchebag honcho Jac Holzman describing how elated he was to have signed both the MC5 and The Stooges in one phone call for a total of 25 grand.

He must have thought the whole White Panther, overthrow the government, dope plus fucking in the streets thing was some sort of elaborate ruse to sell teen magazines.

Where is he now, now that the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame has decided that not only do these guys belong, but they deserve a special Achievement Award induction? I guess Wayne Kramer -- born this day in 1948 -- and his mentor John Sinclair (they both passed away, weeks apart, earlier this year) are at last fully deceased enough that the people who run the thing no longer have to worry about what those guys might say on that stage when the moment at last arrives.

Not to over-fantasize the thing into a scene where the two guys blow up the whole stage with homemade incendiary devices, but that would have been a true testimonial for all times.

Testify Live

Royce Hall
Los Angeles, California USA

01 Ramblin' Rose
02 Tonight
03 Call Me Animal
04 Sister Anne
05 I Believe to My Soul
06 Human Being Lawnmower
07 Kick Out the Jams
08 Over and Over
09 Looking At You
10 High School
11 Skunk
12 Rocket Reducer No. 62 (Rama Lama Fa Fa Fa)
13 Starship/There Is a Land/Outer Spaceways, Inc./We Travel the Spaceways

Total time: 1:17:23

Michael Davis - bass
Wayne Kramer - guitar & vocals
Dennis Thompson - drums
Nicke Royale Andersson - guitar & vocals
Handsome Dick Manitoba - vocals & kazoo
Lisa Cocolla - vocals & percussion
Mark Arm - vocals
Greg Dulli - vocals
with members of The Sun Ra Arkestra, supervised by Marshall Allen:
Marshall Allen - saxophones
Dr. Charles Moore - trumpet
Buzzy Jones - saxophones
Phil Ranelin - trombone
"There Is a Land" is a poem by Sun Ra

320/48K webstream from Wolfgang's Vault
spectral analysis goes losslessly to 20k, so essentially equivalent to a preFM source
captured, converted to 16/44 CD Audio, edited, tracked, repaired & remastered by EN, April 2024

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

01 Ramblin' Rose
02 Shakin' Street
03 Tonight
04 Sister Anne
05 Call Me Animal
06 Come Together
07 Miss X
08 High School
09 Spirituals/The Music Moves Inside/A Love Supreme
10 I Believe to My Soul
11 Human Being Lawnmower
12 Over and Over
13 Motor City's Burning
14 Kick Out the Jams
15 Looking At You
16 I Want You Right Now
17 Future/Now
18 Teenage Lust
19 I Can Only Give You Everything
20 Tonight
21 Let Me Try
22 American Ruse

Total time: 1:45:28
disc break goes after Track 11

Michael Davis - bass
Wayne Kramer - guitar & vocals
Dennis Thompson - drums
Nicke Royale Andersson - guitar & vocals
Handsome Dick Manitoba - vocals & kazoo
Lisa Cocolla - vocals & percussion
John Sinclair - vocals (Track 09)
Johnny Walker - vocals
Mark Arm - vocals

Tracks 01-16 (Paradiso), 19-22 (Ramier, Toulouse FR 9.8.2004): 320/48K soundboard webstreams from Wolfgang's Vault
spectral analysis goes losslessly to 20k, so essentially equivalent to a preFM source
Tracks 17-18: Bluebird Theater, Denver CO 7.9.2004 * HD YouTube file of a minidisc capture from the soundboard, bitrate unspecified
captured, converted to 16/44 CD Audio, edited, tracked, repaired & remastered by EN, April 2024
1.14 GB FLAC/direct link

So that's the big tribute project Wayne Kramer masterminded, from the mid 2000s when the post-9/11 goings-on demanded it. I made kind of a box set of it all, almost 3 1/2 hours of balls-to-the-wall testimony, worthy even of the original MC5 and including all the members of it who were still breathing at the time.

For John Sinclair's testimony, I'd refer you all here, taped the day I spent with the dude -- who was 101% real -- back on Easter Sunday of 2005.

So Wayne Kramer and John Sinclair are gone, after a lifetime of shitstarting and the honest, necessary provocation the forces of repression require at every turn, consequences be damned. Let the whitewashed, depoliticized narrative of Baby Boomer indulgence and fictitious, bloodless "rebellion" begin! And thank you Wayne and John for trying.--J.

                                    4.30.1948 - 2.2.2024  10.2.1941 - 4.2.2024
                                                      stay alive with the MC5

Monday, April 29, 2024

Crosscut Saw Delight: Otis Rush 90

Otis Rush - Right Place, Wrong Time

Here we are as indicated, with #2 of three in a row depicting all sorts of birthdays. April is so heavy with 'em, all seven posts this month concern someone's born day.

Today's milestone is all about one of the architects of what we know as Chicago Blues.

Part of the second wave of Southern-born artists to migrate to The Second City after Muddy Waters got there, our main man arrived in 1948 and never left.... except to go on tour, bringing the music to the whole world.

An instantly-identifiable guitar slinger and an always-emotionally-intense vocalist, he is undeniably one of the formative fellows that made Blues what we know it as today: perhaps the central foundation of American music.

Otis Rush lived well into his eighties, passing in 2018 at the age of 84.

He suffered a stroke in 2003 that limited his playing, but he did make one last appearance at the Chicago Blues Festival in Grant Park, in 2016, to bring down the house one more time at that annual shindig, for which he was notorious at blowing up.

Speaking of that festival, here's that time he showed up with guitar masters Luther Allison and Eddie C. Campbell to lay waste to the place, thankfully transmitted over the FM band as it happened.

Otis Rush
Chicago Blues Festival
Grant Park
Chicago, Illinois USA

01 Everything's Gonna Be Alright
02 Big Legged Woman
03 Otis intro/Crosscut Saw
04 Right Place, Wrong Time
05 Somebody Have Mercy
06 Homework
07 It's My Own Fault
08 All Your Love
09 I'm Tore Up
10 I'm a Fool for You
11 Box Shuffle In C/Tell Me the Reason
12 Gambler's Blues/Sweet Little Angel

Total time 1:19:54

Otis Rush - guitar & vocals
Brother John Katke - guitar
Leonard Gill - bass 
Dave Maxwell - piano 
Big Ray - drums
plus an unidentified horn section
with special guests:
Luther Allison - guitar & vocals (Tracks 11 & 12)
Eddie C. Campbell - guitar & vocals (Tracks 11 & 12)

off-air DAT of the original FM broadcast
pitch corrected by Pervesser Goody in 2011
dead air & applause very slightly edited to fit a single CD by EN, April 2024
566 MB FLAC/direct link

This circulates as an 80 minute and 30 second thing, so I decided to trim some of the dead air and applause to cram it onto a single CD, for those that still do that.

I will be back once more for April, with a post in 24 hours that is very much guaranteed to kick out all the jams through the goalposts of Hell itself.

But for now let's get you all in the right place for which there can be no wrong time, as we tribute the b'day of Otis Rush, a legendary Blues deity born this day in 1934!--J.

4.29.1924 - 9.29.2018

Sunday, April 28, 2024

Soubrette Heart: Blossom Dearie 100

Blossom Dearie - My New Celebrity Is You

All right, we're gonna end April in torrential style, with the rare three in a row from me, beginning with a much needed interruption of the sausage fest that is my page.

Today we'll start the trifecta of birthday goodness by unpacking our adjectives for another undersung star of the firmament.

And wouldn't you know it, she's the third centennial of the month! April 1924 was quite a time, apparently, with Charlie Rouse, Hank Mancini and Blossom Dearie all hitting the C-Note in 2024.

Of course most people associate Blossom Dearie, if they know of her at all, from her cameo on several Schoolhouse Rock! songs from the early 1970s, when her friend Bobby Dorough -- I will cover him someday, I promise -- enlisted her to sing about the Number 8 and the Scary Bear, much to the delight of then-seven-year-olds such as I.

Of course we know she's about quite a lot more than grammar lessons via cartoons, as good as she was in that series.

As identifiable from one syllable as any vocalist who'll ever open their mouth to sing, she started wayyyyy back in the 1950s with her unique brand of coquettish, playful little-girl-gone-astray voicings.

The French call this type of character a soubrette, who can transmit a flirtatious, naughty vibe even when reading the phone book.

She forged a whole, decades-long career with her one-off style of swinging piano stylings accompanied by her unmistakable vocals, until she left our plane in 2009.

ROIOs of Blossom Dearie are hard to come by -- dare I say, nonexistent -- but here she is invading Marian McPartland's utterly ecstasy-inducing Piano Jazz radio program back in the 1980s, dragged by me off the archive site of that wonderful show and supplied here for your enjoyment.

Blossom Dearie
Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
probably Manhattan Beach Studios
New York City, NY USA

01 NPR "Piano Jazz" intro
02 talk
03 My New Celebrity Is You
04 talk
05 I'm Shadowing You
06 talk/NPR ID
07 talk
08 Surrey with the Fringe On Top
09 talk/NPR ID
10 talk
11 Inside a Silent Tear
12 talk
13 Bye Bye Country Boy
14 talk/NPR ID
15 talk 
16 Everything I've Got Belongs to You
17 talk
18 The Things We Did Last Summer
19 talk
20 If I Were a Bell
21 NPR outro & ID

Total time: 57:23

Blossom Dearie - piano & vocals
Marian McPartland - piano

192/48k HD webstream captured from the Piano Jazz archive site
converted to 16/44 CD Audio and tracked by EN, April 2024
243 MB FLAC./direct link

Anyway I shall return in 24 with something completely different, yet similar in that it's another milestone b'day for another long-gone luminary.

Before we do that, we remind you to feel free to use any and all praiseful adjectives as we fondly remember Blossom Dearie on her 100th birthday!--J.

4.28.1924 - 2.7.2009

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Birthdays of Wine and Roses: Henry Mancini 100


Henry Mancini - Gonna Fly Now (From "Rocky")

There are a ton of milestone birthdays this month; for whatever reason, April of 1924 was exceptionally fruitful when it comes to marking the musical centennials.

This here is the second one of three, and the first of two in a row on this page. As the kids say, we're 100.

You know who else is 100? Today's honoree, born this day in that heady year of 1924 and in no danger of being forgotten, even decades departed from our realm.

Of course everyone knows the Pink Panther music, we all grew up going to those films and there can be no debate about the heights to which the instantly-identifiable, ultra-iconic work of today's main man elevates all those movies.

But he also scored dozens of other films, as well as roughly a million TV shows, and in doing so helped to define an entire genre most people refer to as Lounge Music.

So get out your cocktail glasses and your swizzle sticks, because we're going on a 2 hour and 15 minute safari into all those times Henry Mancini got funky. Which was a few.

Henry Mancini
Soul Saga: Mancini Funks the '70s

01 A Bluish Bag
02 Almond Eyes
03 Baretta's Theme (Keep Your Eye On the Sparrow)
04 Battlestar Galactica
05 Bench Warmer
06 Butterfly
07 Car Wash
08 Delta Dawn
09 Easy Baby (single version)
10 El Morocco Rocker
11 Get It On
12 Give Me Some Mo'!
13 Gonna Fly Now (From "Rocky")
14 Here's Looking At You, Kid
15 Ironside
16 Keyboard Harmony
17 Medley: Kojak/S.W.A.T.
18 Medley: Love's Theme/TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia)
19 Memphis Underground
20 Men's Room Rock
21 NBC Nightly News Theme
22 Naval Maneuver
23 Peter Gunn (1975 version)
24 Pick Up the Pieces
25 Police Woman
26 Pretty Girls
27 Satin Soul
28 Shaft
29 Shoe Shine
30 Slow Hot Wind (Lujon)
31 Soul Saga (Song of the Buffalo Soldier)
32 Sun Goddess
33 Symphonic Soul
34 The Deacon Speaks
35 The Rockford Files
36 The Streets of San Francisco
37 The Thief Who Came to Dinner/Watching Dynamite
38 The Zinger
39 Theme from Charlie's Angels
40 Theme from "The Night Visitor"
41 White Girl Boogie/Black Girl Boogie
42 You Make Me Feel Like Dancing

Total time: 2:15:01
disc break goes after Track 18

compendium of Mancini funk excursions from the 1970s
assembled and remastered in alphabetical order by EN, April 2024
824 MB FLAC/direct link

You can tell this is a dope mixtape because it goes by so fast... none of the tunes go for too long so if you don't dig one, just wait a minute and a new one will come on.

I'll be back on Sunday and Monday with the last two big b'days for this standout month.

That's in the near future.... the present demands you accept this gift of Mancini Funk and celebrate a foundational American musical figure's centennial. Dare I say, it's the bomb.... were you expecting one?--J.

4.16.1924 - 6.14.1994