Thursday, February 22, 2007

all killer, no filler

Musicians don't look threatening anymore, no matter what they try. Jerry Lee was The Killer.

Jerry Lee Lewis on Ready Steady Go! - Hi Heel Sneakers and Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On

I LOVE this footage of Jerry doing one great song after another. The first time I saw it was when RSG! was repeated on Channel 4 while I was at university. I remember kneeling in front of the TV and thinking that there really wasn't much point in any of the music that had come out since 1964 when this was filmed. It's all there. I'm still jealous of the audience.

Jerry Lee is: Robert Mitchum in Night of the Hunter, a striking cobra, a weirdly predatory older family member, a teenage heartthrob serial killer, Norman Bates at the end of Psycho and your cool uncle with a secret who you don't see all that often all rolled into one. At the start of that amazing performance he look like a bank clerk, hair all slicked back. He pounds out the opening chords and looks at the audience as if to say, "Idiots. I will kill you all". And then he slays them.

I love the way his eyes roll into his head when he hits the long repeated staccato chords and the amazing burnt edges to his vocals when he starts to testify. How is it comfortable for him to keep the mic stand in that position?

Half way through Whole Lotta Shakin' his hair comes undone and he's a bank clerk no more. You wouldn't trust him as far as you could throw him.

Then he starts to testify, looking straight into the camera, looking straight at YOU. And the final gallop to the finish line never fails to give me chills.

Plus the band in this footage is called The Plebs. Awesome.

Here's some prime Jerry Lee for you right here. Like many great artists, he seems to have had the potential to be an amateur human being. But at the very least Whole Lotta Shakin ' Goin' On is a top 5 all-time track. Don't you agree?

Jerry Lee Lewis - Lewis Boogie

Jerry Lee Lewis - High School Confidential

Jerry Lee Lewis - Whole Lotta Shakin ' Goin' On

Buy - The Essential Jerry Lee Lewis
Visit -

Posted By stevedomino to Domino Rally at 2/22/2007 04:43:00 PM

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

and in other news...

I've taken part in the latest edition of the mighty Contrast Podcast - go there now and listen to me ruminating on My Favourite 45.

I'm talking about Deep Purple by Nino Tempo & April Stevens - this is something that I wrote about a long time ago. An anonymous commenter recently asked me to repost the single's B-side, so here it is!

Nino Tempo & April Stevens - I've Been Carrying A Torch For You So Long That I Burned A Great Big Hole In My Heart

In other news, Spoilt Victorian Child is back back BACK! Go there NOW and shake them firmly by the hand - still class! 

it's getting funky 'round here

I'm probably the least qualified person in the world to talk about the funk (or Da Phonque). But I've recently rediscovered Funkadelic's amazing fourth album, America Eats Its Young.

Now, I came to funk music pretty late in my musical eduction (adolescent suspicion of music that sounds like the band are having fun, perhaps?), but listening to it the other night I was again struck by their use of SPACE - the funk and rhythmic hiccups are in the gaps where no-one is playing. Plus I love the fact that guitarist Harold Beane can just hang out on that great spiky 7th chord all the way through "Loose Booty" without it getting dull.

Funkadelic - Loose Booty

This was the first album to really benefit from Bootsy Collins' amazing timing, like on this track - the whole rhythm section is totally relentless and unstoppable. Plus there's some funky "Jew's Harp" on there and the amazing keyboards of Bernie Worrell.America... is seen as a transitional Funkadelic album by those in the know, taking nearly two years to record as the original line-up was falling to pieces at the time (the album was recorded in 3 cities and features over 30 musicians). It was also where George Clinton took complete artistic control which is probably why the album is - in the best possible way - all over the place. They even invented a new genre on this track - Funktry and Western, no?Funkadelic - Biological Speculation

My favourite track on the album is the mental psychedelic gospel workout, "Everybody Is Going To Make It This Time". This song is crazy.

Funkadelic - Everybody Is Going To Make It This Time

They practically throw everything at this track, a huge arrangement with massed backing vocals. The lead vocal is something else entirely - an occasional touch of the "Sexual Chocolate"s there, methinks.

But it's still utterly engrossing and strangely moving and uplifting. There's a beautiful liquid guitar break at 3.10, but by the end of the track it sounds like the end of the world in there. One of those tracks where you could quite happily listen to the coda section go on forever in a Hey Jude stylee.

Buy - America Eats Its Young
Visit - Funkadelic on Wikipedia
Visit - Funkadelic at the Motherpage

PS - the title of this post is from a song by Stax-Volt recording artists Black Nasty - I may have to post that someday...

GRUMBLE - I recently migrated to New Blogger which works fine most of the time, but with a few occasional glitch fests - most notably, the migration completely spanked the Feedburner site feed and now every time I edit an old post (to remove links to files that aren't on the server anymore) the post gets added to the feed as a new item.

So if you visit an old post and the link to the file doesn't work, it's probably because the file ain't there anymore - apologies. If you're desperate for something, however, we have been known to take requests... which reminds me...