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Wednesday, November 30, 2005


does anyone else think its pathetic to read a headline in yahoo that says "Bush maps out Irak War Strategy"? What, now he's mapping out a strategy?? Didn't we invade like in early 2003???

not to mention of course that he did not actually map out diddly jack!

ay ay ay

good news! pollard to tour!

i'm looking forward to seeing bob again... its been a year since i caught the DC GBV farewell gig... glad to see its a new band...from

Bob's touring band for his solo tour in support of From A Compound Eye is all set:Bob - vocalsTommy Keene - guitar/keyboardsDave Phillips - guitarJason Narducy - bassJon Wurster - drumsThe tour will start in late January. Look for tour date announcements in late December.

whoomp! there it is!

Johnny Cash: The Solitary Man Interview With Tim Robbins

Johnny Cash mania is gripping America.. why else? a movie! a biopic.. the biopic genre is dicey. .. still i've heard good things about this movie and may go see it....

however, bet you learn a lot more about the man in black by downloading and listening to this interview he gave to promote American Recordings III: The Solitary Man (the first few minutes of the mp3 are cash's cover of "i won't back down")... this must have been around year 2000.. tim robbins does the fawning..... there were 3000 of these promo cds distributed to independent record stores and i snagged one... follow this link for the download:

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Whats happened to Joe Liebermann? Is he senile? Brain aneurysms?

Time magazine Baghdad bureau chief Michael Ware on Morning Sedition this morning:

I and some other journalists had lunch with Senator Joe Lieberman the other day and we listened to him talking about Iraq. Either Senator Lieberman is so divorced from reality that he's completely lost the plot or he knows he's spinning a line. Because one of my colleagues turned to me in the middle of this lunch and said he's not talking about any country I've ever been to and yet he was talking about Iraq, the very country where we were sitting.

Is that Ziggy Stardust or Keith?!

I love this picture from the early 70s... yah..thats Chuck Berry! Keith on Mick: "The Crawdadday is where I realised that Mick could actually work a stage about the size of a rug better than anybody in the world- except for maybe James Brown."

Ahmet Ertegun with some of his boys... Look at Keith (left) and Ron Wood (right).. one of the things that emerges in the book is just how tight Keith and Ron were... Ron speculates that perhaps Keith found in him some of the things he missed in Gram Parsons who had been his closest friend..(this is the type of stuff you learn in this book.. i knew keith and gram were friends but tight like that?) all the naysayers who constantly say that the rolling stones should retire or they are too old or this or that i throw ahmets words at them: "The soul of the group has always been Mick, Keith and Charlie, and of course Bill Wyman was very important during his many years with them. The group today sounds to me as good as it ever has, maybe even better. They have kept on going because there has been no reason for them to stop. I don't know how long Mick wants to continue, but to me, when you're in the audience in a big hall, he looks just the same as he did when he was twenty-two. He's in great shape and he's very limber, and the whole band sounds fantastic. The Rollign Stones are the longest-standing circus of all time." (Quote dedicated to Armand Lione!)

this picture suffers in my photo but i think you get the gist.. late 70s john belushi with a bottle of whiskey and ron wood sitting on him backstage at SNL...god bless John Belushi....

Keith (undated but probably around 1977)... if this isn't what a rock star looks like I don't know...Keith quote, one of many classic, quotes in the book: Elvis was fantastic, but because Buddy had glasses and looked a bit like a bank clerk, you could say to yourself, "Well, it's not just for guys who look like Elvis", because otherwise it was sort of unattainable. What Buddy did was to level things out and say, "Hey, if you've got any good songs in you, you can do it", Of course later on I found out that Elvis was the real mama's boy backstage. It was Buddy who got the bitches over the fucking table; he never used to go on before he'd had a couple. It was totally the other way round from the images that people had of them.

Current reading: "According to the Rolling Stones" came out last year. .its sorta the official Rolling Stones bio and is told through a series of interviews largely by Ron Wood, Charlie Watts, Keith Richard(s), and Mick Jagger.. there are essay pieces by important players in the Rolling Stones story such as Atlantic Records empresario Ahmet Ertegun and Prince Lowenstein (who has handled their finances for 33 years and counting), and there are essays by some more tangential figures such as say Peter Wolf of J Geils.... but the photos and interviews are just spectacular.... the Charlie Watts and Keith Richards interviews are to me what makes this book crucial for any fan of rock and roll.... Its clear reading this that the Stones are telling their story in their own way.. they got things they want you to know and things they don't..but thats like anyone! and to hear Keith or Charlie talk about music is critical.. to me Mick comes off a bit like the jerk i always think he is but.... I've taken a few pictures from the book and will post here.... I'm too lazy to scan them and anyhow I've noticed when I scan them they tend to take up too much memory..its not really worth the tradeoff.. anyways I heavily recommend this book ..even if you're not a huge Rolling Stones fan (which if you're not you ought to be taking a good look in the mirror and asking yourself what is wrong) find a copy of this... if you look around you can probably score it for cheap as it came out last year and I've seen it as a remainder (without marks).. or get it from amazon for a song...get the hardcover...great stuff!

Monday, November 28, 2005

michael moore so on target

as far as i'm concerned this is on the money..check it

cameron crowe interview

check it at

its the type of converation i like having....

where do i come in on a few things:

coldplay: nay...clocks is a great song though...
new rolling stones: nay..wanted to like it but its just got too much tripe on it...i could probably find 6 good songs on it though which is saying something
self protrait: one of his best.. tremendously underrated...

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Classic Christmas LP Cover by none other than Norman Rockwell! Cover says on bottom right corner "Illustration by Norman Rockwell created for Hallmark Cards".. lovely just delightful..... this is the original Decca black label DL 8171 "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" by Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians..... The music itself you ask? very tame 50s christmas stuff... nice if you're in the right mood.... choirish...first side has some upbeat fare such as jingle bells , rudolph, santa claus is coming..while the second side is to be listened to after you've had a pitcher of egg nog and are dozing on the couch: adeste fideles, beautiful saviour, silent night.. you get the idea..

And Christmas season is finally here... we can and will -wether we want to or not- listen to christmas music! Personally I love christmas records so I'm looking forward to it.. Blue Note does not have much in the way of Christmas records but I did find this one... Duke Pearson's Merry Ole Soul BST 84323...from 1969.... Duke produced this himself... the cover I'm not too sure about..... I want to say it works but I dunno... It was in charge of Frank Gauna who I think is a disgrace as a Blue Note art director....Seeing the great work Reid Miles had done I'm not sure how he could sleep at night coming up with stuff like this.. still.. it might work .... I love Duke Pearson (see my comments on his work on Idle Moments)... I also empathize with the man as he had multiple sclerosis which took him out young and must have caused him a lot of pain....Bob Cranshaw plays bass on this.. same guy that did so in Idle Moments too.... The songs are traditional but the arrangements are Pearson...I dug this one but i'm going to have to listen to it more before putting down a review....

Worse Blue Note LP cover of all time? This could be it....Jimmy McGriff's "Black Pearl" LP BST- 84373 from 1971.. one of the last Blue Notes on the series that had started way back when with Sonny Rollins....I like this record... down and dirty organ recorded at some shit dive - the Golden Slipper- in Newark New Jersey...McGriff's "Ode to Billie Joe" is kinda cool... but the LP cover??!?! what in the name of God happened? Who came up with this? It says on the back "Cartoon Covers: John Van Hamersveld"..its called "Johnny Mouth".... Art Director by this point was no longer the disgrace Frank Gauan (see Turrentine cover below) but a Norman Seeff...I have to emphasize though this is a cool jazz organ LP worthy of that great Blue Note organ stable which goes from the inventor Jimmy Smith, through Baby Face Willette, John Patton, Larry Young, Lonnie Smith, Reuben Wilson to

I always wonder what the heck happened to Blue Note after Alfred Lion's sale of the Label to Liberty. I mean look at this "brown" cover! Can you believe this picture was taken by the same guy that took all those classic shots? Francis Wolff (my namesake!).... I guess it comes down to the fact that design meister Reid Miles had left and was replaced by a chump named Frank Gauna... It just boggles the mind that this is a Blue Note LP cover... Stanley Turrentine's Common Touch BST 84315 from 1968.... What I like about this record is that its got Leo Morris (aka Idris Muhammad) on drums.. Jimmy Ponder's not too shabby on guitar and Turrentine does a nice job handling a very varies set list including Blowin' in the Wind..... I wonder if they will ever release a CD called "Blue Note does Dylan"?

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Planet Xtabay has mp3d this hard to find record... This Esquivel record, although to my understanding recorded for US RCA in 1968 (in the midst of Esquivel's Las Vegas period where he recorded very sporadically), was only released in Latin America... I'm digging his version of "Guantanamera" right now...the piano on this which I assume is Esquivel is pretty cubopy

go to spaceagepop site for a good bio on the man

another great space age pop/exotica/lounge site

check out planet xtabay at

under the exotica tab you'll even find an esquivel album never released on cd (Esquivel!! 1968)...some interesting stuff also under the space bachelor tab...

happy thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


check out Pinocchio's great site at
some great lounge music being posted there including lounge maestro esquivel, the aforementioned abbe lane, les baxter etc.... getting in a loungey mood here.. maybe its the winter... just need something different to perk me UP....

time for a martini...

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

this is the LP i've been digging the most this month!.... its a bit of an old friend i had not listened to much for a long while... mainly because i had not managed to procure a vinyl copy and since i have a vinyl copy reissue at the other end of the world i did not want to buy another reissue (and i just find it hard to get into the cd copy) i found this original new york pressing of grant green's idle moments (BLP 84154).. its got a lot of scratches and the jacket even has some red paint which almost makes it look like blood is coming out of grant green's hands (but i did not have to leave an arm and a leg behind in exchange)... not to mention the rucker fellow who owned it before felt compelled to write his name just about everywhere (THANKS guy!).... but its the real mcoy original first pressing of one of the greatest blue note sessions ever!....a stone cold classic!....AND most importantly it sounds pretty good...a little snap crackle here an and there but no real pop!...while grant green shines on this album as usual, duke pearson who wrote two of the tracks including the title tune which is a wonderful hynotic doze you to sleep classic, produced the album, and plays piano all over it, and bobby hutcherson who shines on the vibes (which i usually hate) are what make this album so special...pearson provides the framework, hutcherson the ambiance and grant green weaves in an out a few times here and there doing more than enough to justify this album's place as the best of his magnificent body of work... joe henderson who i usually find a bit strident is great on the sax here..oh one last thing: this is is one of the best reid miles (design)/francis wolff (photo) blue note album covers!

"Get too close to Mama Zuma and you will get burned. This woman is determined to scorch everyone in her path. Mama Zuma's weapons are the hottest jalapeno and habanero peppers this side of the Rio Grande. Since she lost the love of her life in a bizzare and tragic potato peeler accident, Mama Zuma has been hell bent on burning every mouth she kisses with her special brand of passion."

also in heavy rotation: Pink Martini's 2004 release "hang on little tomato"..what a great cover by the way! this agglomeration of musicians and artists from the northwest is of course well known for that french song that goes something like "je ne veux pas travailer je ne.." ("i dont' want to work...") which made it to just about every lounge compilation about three years ago... anyways this release is just as stylistically diverse as the first album - "sympathique"- this one has songs in french, portuguese, and even japanese!.... quality music for adults....

once the embargo around these parts on xmas music is lifted following thanksgiving this is the first thing thats going into the stereo.... i'm excited to hear this....other xmas records i really want this year include the asylum street spankers christmas spanking and the chris isaak christmas record from last year.. have to procure those somehow soon... obviously we will be working on our annual christmas mix cd....planning is already under way!

i was excited to score this for $3... not that its probably worth much more but what is special about this record is that its only the 23rd release ever on blue note.. came out as a 12" 78 in about 1943...thats right: the 23rd in the series....for more info on the first releases on blue note or any check out and then click on blue note....notice the company had not even moved to 767 lexington yet!.. my favorite version of careless love remains the dylan-cash romp from their session in 1969..

i finally got this on double lp! seu jorge's 2002 "Carolina" album....this is hot stuff... definetly kicks it over the latest release "cru" which is so so slow.... highly recommended stuff....

Tiffiny in front of the Route 11 Potato Chip Factory in Middletown Virginia which is located near the Shenandoah Valley....i got to see them making the chips... their Mama Zuma's Revenge Habanero Potato Chips are the spiciest thing i have ever put in my hot i can't eat more than six at a time... thats HOT!

heavy rotation this week: i had not heard this asylum street spankers album- mercurial- released in 2004.. this is their last album.. they are currently recording a children's album me thinks.. anyhow.. i had been dissapointed in 2002's "my favorite record" and even "spanker madness" but this record is just fabulous.. real strong..includes some choice covers including the beastie boys "paul revere" and b-52s "dance this mess around"... this is one band that deserves to be better known.....

i thought this album cover pretty cool..i guess its a reference to blue oyster cult's "don't fear the reaper" - grim reaper- on this live album....this live album blows by the way.... what did people ever see in that godzilla song anyways.. i read a review on all all music guide that pretty much sums it up as an unecessary album from a period- mid to late 70s- where rock'n'rollers inthe wake of the megasucess of frampton comes alive where all putting out live albums....but the cover is all..would have made a great grateful dead cover, no?!

Finished! This book took me about 8 years to finish reading...its a good book but for some reason i could not get through it....I still say Rushdie's "Moor's last sigh" is his best..i love the way rushdie writes but its a tough slog getting through his books....satanic verses is great reading me thinks in this day an age of east vs west christian vs muslim crusade rehash...

Album cover of the week. The magnificent Abbe Lane gracing her husband Xavier Cugat's Columbia CL 718. Her best known LP cover is probably Cugat's OLE! Abbe Lane of course made her very own records including one with Tito Puente.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Now playing: Reuben Wilson's "A Groovy Situation" on original Blue Note 84365 (Promo indentation on upper right corner)... recorded September 1970 and released in 1971... so this was the Blue Note stuff being released when I came into the world!..... I suppose Blue Note was just about to go off the cliff -I think when the 4300 series ends about 15 titles later that is it.. and i'm being kind.. some would say the label just sunk into oblivion after alfred lion went around 4250- but they still had the ocassional funky jazz up their sleeve.... this is pretty straight ahead soul jazz...I can't help but wish it was Lou Donaldson on sax and Grant Green on guitar but Earl Turbinton and Eddie Diehl acquit themselves real cool while Harold White bangs the drums.... So far I like Reuben's own composition "Sweet Tooth" and his cover of Stevie Wonder's "Signed Sealed and Delivered" as well as the title track.... The Turtles "Happy Together"? jury still out... still this is overall great music if you're into that late 60s soul jazz period that was mined in the mid 90s by the London acid jazz scene.....A friend said he saw Reuben Wilson in San Francisco this past weekend (november 13) with Grant Green Jr. on guitar and Clyde Stubblefield on drums at the Elbo Room and it was great.. so remember, seek out these cats and support them while supporting live jazz! now i wish he'd come to DC..reuben wilson's last release bythe way looks real cool: beastie boys tunes done bogaloo... sort of like the lonnie smith cd of beck stuff (bogaloo to beck) the way you can check out a live set from reuben wilson and grant green jr (with purdie on drums i think) they played at a free show at the kennedy center millenium stage february 3, 2002

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The cover for Willie Colon's CD "El Juicio" ("The Trial") one of a whole host of classic recordings released on Fania Records. "El Juicio" came out in 1972 and features Hector Lavoe on stellar vocals.Includes a great version of "Sonhando Despierto" ("Dreaming Awake") which I'd heard previously through a version by Mimi Maura. "El Juicio was co-produced by Fania label impresario Jerry Masucci (who I believe wrote/produced and directed the Salsa movie) while the proceedings were overseen by the great Johnny Pacheco. I need to get my hands on the LP (Fania 424).. this cover I think loses lot on the CD (Fania LPCD-00424). Willie Colon would of course go on to make other great albums with Ruben Blades including "Siembra".

Salsa at the Library of Congress Mary Pickford Theatre

Salsa (Salsa, Inc./Fania Records, 1976). Dir Jerry Masucci & Leon Gast. (80 min, 35mm)Documentary and performance film centering around the historic 1973 Yankee Stadium concert by the Fania All Stars featuring Celia Cruz, Ray Barretto, Willie Colon, Larry Harlow, Johnny Pacheco, Mongo Santamaria, Ricardo Ray, Bobby Cruz, Billy Cobham, Manu Dibango, and various stars of the Latin music scene in New York and Puerto Rico.

Luckily Armand tipped me off about this movie being on the schedule..

First of all the movie was introduced by Larry Appelbaum who in the past year unearthed the Thelonious Monk featuring John Coltrane recordings made at Carnegie Hall back in 1957. Before playing the main event, Salsa, he played a short jam featuring Tito Puente with Hilton Ruiz on piano, a conga player who kicked out the jams, and other supreme backing. The performance was stellar. Larry told us that this was the last recorded performance of Tito Puente's life as he passed on two months later...

Then Salsa began....I'd heard about this movie.... Salsa was in its heyday in New York in the early - mid 1970s... in particular the FANIA record label had been putting out phenomenal stuff.. ... in 1976 FANIA organized a concert at Yankee Stadium.. they sold it out... and filmed the live show which featured Fania's stable of stars with some notable additions such as Celia Cruz, Jorge Santana (Carlos' brother who is a deadringer for his brothers' guitar tone/style), master conguero Mongo Santamaria and Manu Dibango who reprised his Soul Makossa hit at length.... interspersed with the performanced by Fania All Stars such as Willie Colon, Hector Lavoe, Ray Barretto, el Gran Combo, Cheo Feliciano was dialogue featuring a then just starting out Geraldo Rivera (yes, his style was already formed back then) describing the history of salsa music from the african drum, enslavement, arrival in the New World and hybridzation with Portuguese/Spanish/English culture...vintage clips from the golden age of Hollywood where also utilized to illustrate how salsa or latin music became slowly incorporated into the American mainstream... these clips couldn't help but make one laugh as they suffered from terrible stereotyping of the worse kind and placed side to side with the booty shaking salsa jams at Yankee Stadium proved striking.... feature clips including Al Jolson, a Carmen Miranda skit featuring Groucho Marx (who could shake quite well) and of course the venerable Desi Arnaz doing his Babalu schtick....

I found the movie extremely enjoyable and the performances inspiring.... if anything though I think Masucci's Salsa could have been a bit longer and perhaps explored more the genesis of the nuyorican salsa from the more traditional Cuban Son rhythmns.... however, the focus was on the performances and seeing how good they were I'd be quibbling to take issue with the film...

highly enjoyable and highly recommended... now to scour the planet for some vintage Willie Colon , El Gran Combo and Ray Barretto records... that shit is tight!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

In Memoriam

Io Lara you will be missed.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Manu Chao on the cover of Argentina's Rolling Stone edition August 2001...(and yes.. I am missing the lower bottom left!)

Manu Chao Radio Popolare Genoa Radio Session

this is publicly available manu chao with friends performance at a radio station in Genoa in 1999 as manu chao and anti-globalization friends gathered to protest a G7 summit. they got together at a radio station in an informal jam session and if the recording is any indication had a blast playing tunes (i think they had a party.. you can tell they are high) from manu chao's repertoire, a song from buena vista social club and classics in all sorts of languages... tonino carotone performed his tune "me cago en el amor" ("i shit on love") which became a hit two years later on an album manu performed on.. on some songs you can tell manu is trying to lead his friends in a certain direction but not being familiar with the song they get stuck (ie, mentira)..anyways this is my favorite live recording of all time!.. ..the sound quality should be perfect but somewhere along the line some ticks have appeared particularly on the first few songs... i dont' remember them being there originally so i'm not sure what happened...i belive manu chao's brother is the one playing the trumpet and helping keep things together... even though manu chao and his friends take an anti-globalization stance their music and spirit could not be any more global..its just a different type of globalization..a human one.... at one point you hear one person at the "party" start singing a few words from a song by argentine band "los autenticos decadentes"... there were clearly french , spanish, italian, argentines and latin americans participating...the segue from "mambo colombiano" to "everybody needs someone to love" is classic.. as is the "lagrima de oro" into "el cuarto de tula"...irresistible stuff on every level!

part 1:
part 2:

rapidshare enters blog

Manu Chao's appearance in Mar del Plata took me back to our drive through the northern parts of patagonia from buenos aires to san martin de los andes in neuquen.. manu chao's "proxima estacion esperanza" ("next station hope") was the perfect soundtrack from the impoverished outskirts of the greater buenos aires through the province itself -as we searched for gas stations- through bahia blanca, entering patagonia etc and back.. i'm experimenting with rapidshare and for purposes of sampling the great manu chao (run to your record store to buy the full cd) i've uploaded the first two tracks... you'll need a special program probably to open up the rar file (IZarc for example)..

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Manu Chao in Mar del Plata, Argentina!!!!!!

Manu Chao at a free concert in Mar del Plata as part of the anti-Bush activities November 3. Other participants in a large gathering tomorrow will include former Argentine soccer star Diego Maradona, Bolivia's Presidential Candidate Evo Morales.. Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez is also expected

Manu Chao earlier today at one of many anti-Bush demonstrations/gatherings/events/concerts organized as part of the counter march in protest of Bush's visit to Argentina as part of the Western Hemisphere Summit.

What the heck happened to Kevin Rowland he of Dexy's Midnight Runners fame? One minute he's got a huge hit with Come on Eileen and the next he dissapears for more than 15 years.... this was his great "comeback" album of 1999 titled "My Beauty".. A guy on amazon writes a review stating it sold less than 500 copies...with a cover like this one can see why.....

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

playing these days

i'm digging the dexter gordon in particular lately... as i listen to more jazz i keep coming back to the realization that dexter was a monster on tenor sax.. or perhaps i should say he plays the tenor sax the way i like it... lyrical..melodic.. i can't see how anyone can play ballads better than he does....i've been reading a lot about dexter these past few days and the thing is he apparently was the first tenor sax be bop player... started around 1943.... thats a bit of a shock to me that dexter gordon would be considered a be bop sax player but then again that shows how little i understand be bop.. i see dexter gordon as much more of a straight ahead melodic sax player....

i guess my resurgence of interest in dex or long tall dexter as he was known (he was 6 foot 5!) owes much to my having received my "one flight up" blue note 84176 liberty (i.e., second pressing though jacket is original) lp.... anyways reviewers don't tend to give "one flight up" the respect thats accorded to say "go" but i really do like "one flight up".. its a bit more modal on "tanya" and "coppin that dream" which were written by byrd and drew respectively, who support him on the album, but dexter's soloing is wonderful.. a bit less lyrical but perhaps that makes it sound more modern to me and that works...

dexter gordon's story is a fascinating one... started in the early 40s.. got caught in the heroin "fad" of the 50s (a lost decade largely) - had a brief spell in sing city- and stormed back in the early 60s with some blue note classic sides.. then moves to europe for the next 15 years.. can you blame him seeing as how black people were treated in america? returns to a triumphant homecoming in the mid 1970s...stars in "round midnight" in the 80s for which he wins an oscar... just a great story..

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