About the Hiatus..

Hey people. Sorry in the delay in posting. I've been having problems uploading the tunes to Uploadgalaxy for the past week and then my computer died on me last night. I will hopefully solve all of this soon. Bear with me and come back soon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tinkerbell Rock

The Pixies existed in Pre-Nirvana USA, and yet they did get to taste some level of MTV style "120 Minutes" fame.

Visionaries for their tense balance of barbwire guitar lines and emotionless singing about emotional stuff, they came just before they could have Really cashed in on alternarock hip. But like Ol' Blue Eyes says, that's life.

Here, from "The Pixies at the BBC" (incidentally, just what is that picture on the cover??!!) , some songs later made (semi-) famous ...

... and a short lil Beatles cover.

- Hey
- Monkey Gone to Heaven
- Caribou
- Levitate Me
- Wave of Mutilation
- There Goes my Gun
- Wild Honey Pie

Here are the best songs From Wire's debut, 1977's "Pink Flag" (as illustrated.)

The last track ("Strange") was more famously covered by REM, "12XSU" was covered by Minor Threat, "Lowdown" by "Eleventh Dream Day", oh, and the first track, the awesome "Ex Lion Tamer", by Henry Rollins...

From: http://www.sputnikmusic.com/review_1100:
When is a punk record no punk? When it's post punk? Wouldn't it have to been made after the punk years? Can a post punk record be made while the bomb for the punk explosion has not yet exploded? These questions seem stupid, but they have a purpose.

The album Pink Flag by Wire is an enigma. It was made in 1977 when
punk was just starting to explore the airwaves, yet it sounds nothing like the
material being made by it's punk brethren. Yes, this is a punk album, but not as you know it. Yes, it has the short, blazing songs, but there are also slow,
angular breaks.



- 12XU





All You Daughters and Sons Who Are Sick of Fancy Music

Loopy Mark E. Smith has gotten old! But he still keeps on pluggin' away, producing some of the most unique music out there. He is was and will be the heart and soul of The Fall, no matter the myriad personnel changes (there have been upwards of 40 (!) members).

Eventually to "influence" everyone from Pavement to Franz Ferdinand, this verbose crudmugeon has been churning it out for 30 years!

Check out the Mark E Smith speech generator version of the above text!!:

The electronic Mark E Smith says:
Loopy mark e. Smith has gotten old-ah! but
that bastard still keeps on pluggin' away, producing bloody some of the most
unique music out there. E's fuckin' were and bleeding will be the heart and soul
of the fall group, no matter the myriad bleeding personnel changes (there have
been upwards of 40 (!) members). Eventually to "influence" you lot from bleeding
pavement bleeding to franz ferdinand, this verbose crudmugeon has bloody been
churning it out for 30 years!

These songs are from "Psykick Dancehall", a 3 CD set documenting their earliest stuff, from 1977 to 1982. From Disc 1, ladies and gents, I give you, The Fall:

Diceman -

Psychomafia -

Flat of Angles -

Bingo Masters Break Out -

Psykick Dancehall -

Repetition -

And he's always got a cute babe in the band, whether his exwife Brix:

or the new singer, Elena:


This is Jonathan Richman, from his 2nd Modern Lovers record, from 1977. You might remember him from "Crazy About Mary", the dude who interludes throughout the movie w small little songs that echo the storyline from within the movie. "Jojo" writes songs that are almost embarrassingly childish and/or romantic. The Modern Lovers also featured Jerry Harrison, later to become part of the Talking Heads.

Ok, i'm not too inspired tonight, so, here are my favorite songs from this album:

- Rockin' Shopping Center
- New England
- Abominable Snowman in the Market
- Hey There, Little Insect
- Here Come the Martian Martians
- Government Center
- Roadrunner One

Moving to the Cleveland heat

Led by the irrascible Chrissie Hynde, previously a rock journalist for NME, The Pretenders (best known for songs like "Brass in Pocket" and "Back on the Chain Gang") were a grrrrrrrrrreat rock band. I never liked their post-"Learning to Crawl" work very much though. They turned into Pretenders Lite pretty damn quick.

Listening to these songs makes me wish they'd stuck to their guns and gone on to produced more of this kind of urgent fuck off RnR they were oh so very capable of belting out.

Oh well.

From their first album, the best songs:

- "The Wait",
- "Tattooed Love Boys" and
- "Precious"
, off-kilter brilliant punk, as well as

, a brilliant pop gem.

Eat your heart out, PJ Harvey!

Aht Uh Mi Hed

Shuggie Otis, born in 1957 as Johnny Otis Jr., Son of 50's RnB multiinstrumentalist Johnny Otis, was far ahead of his time. He began his recording carreer when he was just 15 years old, and in 1974, released what is considered his piece de resistance, "Inspiration Information". Featuring all self-penned, self-played (all instruments were recorded by Shuggie) compositions, this recording was the first to use an electronic beatbox as the percussion. After further recording, including some very good blues with Al Kooper, he was pretty much forgotten about for years. That all changed when Luaka Bop, David Byrne's label, re-released a compilation of tracks, from "Inspiration Information" and "Freedom Flight", in 2001.

Check out more info at this soultracks.com feature, or the brief Wiki entry. Here are, i.m.h.o., his three best tracks. Doesn't "Strawberry Letter sound like Neil Young somehow? Comment!!!:

- Aht Uh Mi Hed

- Pling!

- Strawberry Letter 23

This Charming Man

I was feeling rather maudlin, so I thought today's post would be appropriate. These Recordings are from '83, The Smiths' first, low budget attempt attempt at a full album, after the underground-level success of their one-off single recorded with Rough Trade, "Hand in Glove" (featuring the ever so heartwrenching lines: "Hand in glove, the sun shines out of our behind").

Produced by Troy Tate, these are versions very similar to those on the first released Smiths album, properly produced by John Porter, but still, these versions are rawer, more garageband practiceroom style.






If you enjoy this lil' preview, check out all the tuneage HERE. Also, Here's an interesting article about Morrissey's appeal to LA chicano kids. Go figure

El Bárbaro del Ritmo - Beny Moré!!!!!!!!!!!

Beny Moré (that's right, one n) was born a poor peasant worker in Santa Isabel de las Lajas on August 24, 1919.

Uneducated and alcoholic, he was the best male singer of son and boleros in Cuban history, and made Cuban music popular in Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, Brazil and Puerto Rico, along with his first bandleader Perez Prado.

The rum that he so loved finally did him in on February 19, 1963, at the age of 43. Here are some of my favorites ..







Hail, Caesar!

Just wanted to make a brief post to publicly thank Caesar Tjalbo for featuring this fledgling mp3 blog on his awesome blog !! If you are reading this, you probably came thru his site, and i thank you for taking the time to check this out. If not, be sure to check out his amazing site. Thanks, Caesar. You rock.

Los Lobos do Waits, Costello, Blasters !!

LOS LOBOS have been my most constantly favorite band for the past 20 years, ever since my brother Gabriel (seen here with Blasters' head honcho Phil Alvin) bought ".. And A Time to Dance" in the mid 80s. My love and admiration for them has only grown since then, as I heard them go from rockabilly to norteño songs to swamp blues to bolero to mexican sones to their bugged out Mitchell Froom experiments to mex. style cumbia and back again.

In 2004, to celebrate their 30th anniversary as a band, they released "The Ride", a collaboration with some of their musical friends and idols, including new takes on old tunes from the Lobos' songbook.
At the same time, they put out a "companion" EP of them doing covers of songs originally recorded by their guest artists. This EP was called "Ride This".
In an article in ICE magazine, they discuss the "Ride" project:

LOUIS PEREZ: "That song ("A Matter of Time") was written by David and me sitting face-to-face with a pencil and guitar at a time when we were much like the characters in the story… we had toured for [Los Lobos’s 1983 debut] …And a Time to Dance, and we were at a crossroads: ‘Are we just going to be the best bar band in the country, or are we going to follow our hearts and do something that’s really important to us?’ When I got the track back from Elvis, I was speechless."

"To walk into Cesar’s house and see Rubén Blades standing there in the kitchen, or to drive up in front of the house and have Richard Thompson pull up behind me in a mini-van… it was almost surreal… these people are our heroes."

STEVE BERLIN: "We sent Tom a rough demo and he said, ‘I love this track and want to collaborate, but I want to do it my way.’ He demanded that no one else be there, and he recorded it on this archaic, multi-track cassette… so we had to find one of these machines — of which there aren’t many left."... "The funny thing Tom said was, ‘You know, I’ve always wanted to sing in Spanish. My dad spoke Spanish.’ So we were, like, ‘Great! Awesome!’ We got it back and it was just Tom chanting ‘Quítate’ [‘move over’]. That was the extent of his Spanish. And then Louie had the idea of adding Marta to it… she’s one of my favorite singers. Then Francisco Torres put his trombone thing on there… he lives right near Cesar, so he came down at 1:00 a.m. one night and did it."

Here are my favorite songs from "The Ride", and, when possible, the quid pro quo "Ride This" tributes, plus a couple of odds and ends:

- QUÍTATE (Tom Waits with Marta Gonzales of LA group Quetzal, from "The Ride")
- JOCKEY FULL OF BOURBON (Los Lobos covering Tom Waits, from "Ride This")

- MATTER OF TIME (Los Lobos covered by Elvis Costello, from "The Ride")
- UNCOMPLICATED (Los Lobos covering Elvis Costello, from "Ride This")

- YA SE VA (Rubén Blades, from "The Ride")

- SOMEDAY (Los Lobos covered by Mavis Staples, from "The Ride")

and for lagniappe,

- I GOT LOADED (live on BBC radio, May 11, 1985)

Hadicillin Boogie

Ray Tremblay , better known as Ray Condo
was a manic, crazy hepcat. His life was music and he was hellbent on preserving the rich history of north american music.

"Most people don't know anything about roots music and don't care," he told one interviewer. "I happen to think that's a crime. We all have this heritage that we should respect. If we want to get into the future, you've got to know where you're coming from."
Otherwise, he joked to another, "You get lost, and you end up paying a hundred bucks for a ticket to an Eagles concert."
(from www.raycondo.ca)

He spent his early youth in Vancouver, where he played in two bandswhere he lived until he dropped out from Emily Carr Arts College, where he was studying painting, his second love.
He moved to Montreal in 1984, with the intention to continue painting independently, but he got more involved in the music scene there, starting up his own band, the Hardrock Goners.

Then in 1991 he moved back to Vancouver and got together what was to be his last backing group, The Ricochets. With them he recorded 3 albums: "Swing, Brother, Swing", "Door to Door Maniac" and "High and Wild" in 2000.

Doing the research for this post, I found out that he had died, in April of 2004, from a heart attack at the age of only 54. He was a great performer and a great man. His music mixed the sensibility of Billie Holiday with the punk rock energy of classic rockabilly and the catchiness and danceablility of country swing. He will be missed. Here are some of his best sides:



WILCO emerged from the ashes of Uncle Tupelo, which also engendered the great and much underrated Son Volt.

This, "A.M," from 1995, was their first album, featuring legendary steel guitar player, producer (and Dixie Chick father) Lloyd Maines.

For your listening pleasure, here are the original demos made during thE preproduction of the album, including two unreleased tunes.
Please disregard the minor hiss.


El León de la Salsa, EL Sonero del Mundo

Oscar D'leon, The Hardest Working Man in Show-bidness!!!

Born Oscar Emilio Leon Somoza, on July 11, 1943, Oscar D'León is one of the best salsa performers alive. Once a taxi driver in his native Caracas, Venezuela, Oscar began his musical career in 1972 with Dimensión Latina (in the picture on the right, he's the bad motha' in the center), singing alongside Wladimir Lozano. Two of his best songs from this period are :

In 1976 he broke away to begin his solo career. He is an amazing live performer, belting out 3+ hours of his best songs every night, back-to-back Ramones style, peppered with Beny More and Orquesta Aragón covers.

In New Orleans, at Jazzfest, I heard him sing a beautiful version of Beny More's bolero "Mucho Corazón", in fron of thousands of people. Here in Medellín he played a few years back at a beer festival for an audience of only a couple of hundred (it was badly publicized) and both of the shows were among the best I have seen IN MY LIFE. His biggest and best-loved hit is "Llorarás", which you can listen to here, along with a couple other favorites of mine:

There is a very complete biography and discography at DESCARGA.COM.

Happy birthday, Oscar!!

Mi Revolutionary Friend

Linton Kwesi Johnson Linton Kwesi Johnson is the originator of a style of writing that came to be dubbed (bad pun intended) "Dub Poetry". The pic on the left is my illustrated version of The Man..

He began writing in his early 20's, when he joined the British Black Panthers:

"That's where I learnt my politics and about my history and culture," he has said. "That's where I discovered black literature, particularly the work of W.E.B. DuBois, the Afro-American scholar who inspired me to write poetry."

Together with his arranger and producer Dennis BovellDennis Bovell, he has produced some of the toughest, most critical and touching music in reggae.
Here, some of his songs, my favorites:

-The brutal "Sonny's Lettah"
- the happy-despite-the-lyrics -Di Good Life", about the state of socialism , as well as its corresponding dub version, Dubbing For Life"
- a sardonically catchy critique of "buppies",The Black Petty Booshwa,"
- then we have Indapendent Intevenshan,"
and finally, a sweet ass "Guayanese Dub."

I got to see him this week, reading at the 16th annual Medellín Poetry Festival. A strange surreal happening, I was able to meet him, briefly. A wiry, proud, overly serious and yet brilliant man.
This is his website and his own record label, where you can purchase all of his music: http://www.lkjrecords.com/

Thee Billy Childish

Apologies for my looong absence!! I intend on posting daily (or bidayly when i m busy) from now on.

To atone for my sins, i thought i would post a few from thee prolific garage punk purveyor that is Billy Childish: painter/poet/musician, he is both a revolutionary modern day renaissance man and a throwback to a conservative, anti post-modern point of view (especially when it comes to art). But more importantly, he makes and has made some great, dare i say, unforgettable music.

Here are a few choice cuts from his Milkshakes phase..

"the band was... impressive for the prodigious volume of its output (in 1984, its most productive year, the band released no fewer than seven albums — four of them on the same day)"
(from Trouserpress)

,.. as well as his Jack Ketch & The Crowmen incarnation doing a cover of the Buzzcock's "Boredom", one of the first 70's punk songs i ever heard, plus the original as lagniappe.







Long Live the King of Ska

Born Desmond Dacres, Desmond Dekker was the first artist, before Marley, to crack the US and UK markets with Jamaican music. Touted as his greatest achievement, it is in my opinion his least relevant. Dekker was a brilliant pop composer. His sense of catchiness- with- soul was unbeatable. If he didn't reach the wealth and superstar status that other of his peers did, perhaps it was because of poor business sense or bad management, or mere fate, but it had nothing to do with the quality of his work. His lyrics show a sensitivity and a sense of social and moral responsibility that matches the sweet funkiness and fun of his music. I was fortunate enough to see him in NYC in the 90's, all decked out in a shiny silver jacket. Like Toots Hibbert, of the Maytals, he was a fierce combo of religion, soul, showmanship and humanity.He passed away 3 days ago, on May 25, in his London home. Below, 5 of my favorite songs by DD, and one by Toots Hibbert, his friend, "Desmond Dekker Came First", referring to an annual song contest held in Jamaica:

Sing a song yeahreggae soul my brother
There is a right or a wrong wayJust to do everything There's a right or a wrong way Just to do everything
Desmond Dekker, he came first And The Techniques, they came thirdClancy Eccles, he runs fourth And Derrick Harriot, he came fifth So I came second....mmmmm mmm mmm...in the competition

Dekker was also the inspiration for the Beatle's feeble attempt at ska: "Obladi Oblada"

For your listening pleasure, ladies and gentlemen, I give you-