19 posts tagged with rock by flapjax at midnite.
Displaying 1 through 19 of 19.
It's a damn tough song to sing, that one we often hear on July 4th, but that didn't stop 'em from designating Francis Scott Key's clunky and tortuous little tune as the US national anthem. People have struggled with it ever since. There was one guy, though, who, back in 1969, performed a soaring, acid-drenched, whammy-barred and noise-punctuated version of it that still stands as one of the most daringly adventurous and poignant moments in American musical history: Mr Jimi Hendrix and his amazing rendition of The Star Spangled Banner.
Meet Holly Maniatty, the sign language interpreter who has brought the words of Wu-Tang Clan, Marilyn Manson, Killer Mike, Bruce Springsteen and the Beastie Boys to the deaf.
Well, folks, Eric Burdon turned 72 today. And the man deserves some props, you know, for Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood and It's My Life and We Gotta Get Out of This Place and Don't Bring Me Down and a few other tunes as well. Oh, and he brought House of the Rising Sun to, yeah, a whole new generation. Happy birthday, Eric.
From the early fifties to the mid-seventies, the Nashville based Excello Records released the kind of raw blues, R&B, and rock & roll that maybe wasn't ever going to make it to the Top 40, but was full of grit and sweat and soul, for those who liked their American roots music unadulterated. Their most well-known release was probably Slim Harpo's Baby Scratch My Back, but rocking blues like Lazy Lester's I Hear You Knockin' and Leroy Washington's Wild Cherry are little unpolished gems which deserved their place on any self-respecting cheap bar's juke box. Lowdown blues like Lonesome Sundown's My Home Is a Prison also found a welcome home at Excello, as did tunes that blurred the distinctions between country/rockabilly and R&B, like Lazy Lester's I'm A Lover Not A Fighter, and latin-tinged swamp-rock chuggers like Charles Sheffield's It's Your Voodoo Working. Then there were the straight up country tunes (reminiscent of that classic early Johnny Cash sound) like Al Ferrier's I'm the Man, or rough-hewn, raucous rockabilly like Johnny Jano's Havin' A Whole Lotta Fun. In short, Excello Records was a microcosm of the sound of the South, and though their artists mostly never achieved much in the way of wider national fame, they are an important part of the patchwork quilt of American pop music history. The tunes included in this post are just the tip of the iceberg: there's so much to explore from this one amazing little label. Happy searching!
Hey! The Bad Brains have a new album out! You can give it a spin here at ye olde You Tubes.
The Krew Kats were an instrumental surf-rock act out of England in the very early 60s. Cut from the same cloth, you might say, as the much more well known stateside crew The Ventures. But the Krew Kats had a playful, surprising, inventive and gloriously dopey sound all their own. As far as I can tell, their total recorded output consists of seven songs, all of which are available for your listening pleasure here.
Those of you who go in for gardening, specifically those with strawberry patches, may find this idea to be of benefit: strawberry rocks. Might just keep those birds away!
If you want to hear the rock solidest, rock steadiest, rock of Gibralterist rock drumming that's ever been rocked in the history of rock, then you want to hear this.
New Year's Eve is fast approaching, and for lots of folks that means... drinking. Plenty of drinking. And since there's no shortage of singers and songwriters who've had a little something to say about that particular topic, maybe some of the following tunes can serve as an appropriate soundtrack to your own joyous (or not?) imbibing of spirits. For example, there's... Jimmy Liggins with his succinct rendition of Drunk, and there's... [more inside]
A lady, back in 1957, addressing the camera in an elegant evening gown, fit for some grand society ball, had this message for the oldsters: "Now, whatever you think of rock and roll, I think you have to keep a nice, open mind about what the young people go for." She then proceeded to announce Buddy Holly and the Crickets, who obligingly performed their hit Peggy Sue for the ballroom dancers' pleasure and edification. That same Buddy Holly would've been quite the oldster himself, had he lived to see today, his 75th birthday. So, if you have a little time on your hands today, you might like to learn more about Buddy by viewing The Real Buddy Holly Story 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10. Cause, hey, Buddy was not only one of the most unique and vital voices of the early days of rock'n'roll, but he wore the same glasses that every other hipster in Berlin is wearing right now.
One is never too old to rock.
It's not so often that a US Top 40 chart hit is a song whose origins can be traced back 300 years, and even less often that such a song would be sung in Spanish. So when Ritchie Valens went into a studio and recorded La Bamba 50 years ago this month, he carved himself what would become a special place in American pop music history. It was one of those cases of the B side becoming the hit, though: the A side was Oh Donna, which showcased a sweeter, croonier side of Valens (singing in English), but was a somewhat unremarkable tune on its own. Here's a live recording of La Bamba by Valens, who, of course, along with rock'n'roll legend Buddy Holly, lost his life in an airplane crash just as his career was blossoming. Almost 30 years after La Bamba's original release, a version by Valens' natural heirs Los Lobos became a hit once again. And, admittedly, I didn't make it through the entire clip, but it's perhaps worth noting, for the record, that a Barack Obama-related version is available for your listening and viewing, er, pleasure? [more inside]
Surely one of the most memorable musician photos ever is this one: Johnny Cash, making his feelings known with customary aplomb. But did you ever notice he was wearing a jumpsuit in that photo, and not his more standard black shirt/trousers ensemble? Well, that very jumpsuit just went for a handsome $120,000 at auction. Someone else just paid $300,000 for one of Elvis' peacock-emblazoned jumpsuits. And remember that little necklace John Lennon wore on the cover of Two Virgins? Yep, the only thing he wore. Fetched a cool $528,000. Meanwhile, in Japan, a bunch of grapes just went for $910. What a bargain! [more inside]
Baby please don't go, baby please don't go, baby please don't go down to New Orleans, I love you so, baby please don't go.
Okay, first, take a look at this collection of 60's and 70's Asian Pop Record Covers. Cause they're just a helluvalotta of fun to look at. Now, if you find your musical appetite whetted, the same fellow who brought you those wonderful jackets has a Singapore and Asian 60's Pop Music MySpace page, where you can listen to his fabulous audio playlist, see video clips and more record jackets, and get more info on this very fertile period in Asian pop music history. [more inside]