Got The Fever

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


I had to pick up the gauntlet thrown my way by the good DJ jabartlett over at The Hits Just Keep On Comin’. He mentioned this meme and I thought I’d try it out.

It’s not as easy as it looks. Being a total music whore, being asked to choose one, and only one, really is against my nature. But, I did try to keep it at one.

Of course if I had to choose at knifepoint, without pause, the first diarrheal flood of thought to slide out of my head - these might be my choices.

1. Favorite Beatles song: Huh? You’re asking a Beatle phreak for one? At knifepoint, maybe “I Should Have Known Better”. Wait, “Within You, Without You”. Hold it, “Because”!
2. Favorite Rolling Stones song: Emotional Rescue
3. Favorite Doors song: Five To One
4. Favorite Bob Dylan song: Leopardskin Pillbox Hat
5. Favorite Led Zeppelin song: Since I’ve Been Loving You
6. TV Theme Song: Mod Squad
7. Favorite Prince Song: Peach
8. Favorite Madonna Song: Believe. Cher did that? Ok, Vogue
9. Favorite Michael Jackson Song: Billy Jean
10. Favorite Queen Song: Modern Times Rock n Roll
11. Favorite Motorhead Song: Don’t know any well enough
12. Favorite Ozzy Song: No More Tears
13. Favorite Public Enemy Song: Fear of a Black Planet
14. Favorite Song from a cartoon: Top Cat
15. Favorite Bruce Springsteen song: Adam Raised A Cain
16. Favorite Depeche Mode song: Personal Jesus
17. Favorite Cure song: Boys Don't Cry
18. Favorite song that most of your friends haven't heard: Anything by Betty Davis
19. Favorite Smiths song: How Soon Is Now
20. Favorite Beastie Boys song: Fight For Your Right
21. Favorite Clash song: Charlie Don’t Surf
22. Favorite Police song: Invisible Sun
23. Favorite Eurythmics song: No Fear, No Hate No Pain
24. Favorite Beach Boys song: You’re So Good To Me
25. Favorite Cyndi Lauper song: She-Bop
26. Favorite song from a movie: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
27. Favorite Duran Duran song: Wild Boys
28. Favorite Peter Tosh song: Legalize It
29. Favorite Johnny Cash song: San Quentin
30. Favorite song from an 80's one hit wonder: Maybe “The Salt In My Tears” by Martin Brinley
31. Favorite song from a video game: Huh?
32. Favorite Kinks song: Superman
33. Favorite Genesis song: The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway
34. Favorite Thin Lizzy song: Emerald
35. Favorite INXS song: Suicide Blonde
36. Favorite Weird Al song: My Bologna
37. Favorite Peter Gabriel song: Biko
38. Favorite John Lennon song: Whoa! Maybe “I’m Losing You”. Or, Nobody Loves You (When You’re Down And Out). Or, “I Don’t Want To Be A Soldier Mama (I Don’t Want to Die)
39. Favorite Pink Floyd song: Young Lust
40. Favorite cover song: Favorite? “You Really Got Me” by Robert Palmer
41. Favorite White Stripes: Take, Take, Take
42. Favorite dance song: Right now (actually, all this summer), it’s “Don’t Cha” by The Pussycat Dolls
43. Favorite U2 song: Numb
44. Favorite song from an actor turned musician: “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” by William Shatner
45. Favorite disco song: “Ring My Bell” by Anita Ward
46. Favorite Power Ballad: “Keep On Loving You” by REO Speedwagon
47. Favorite Guns N' Roses song: Live And Let Die
48. Favorite The Who song: Eminance Front
49. Favorite Elton John song: We All Fall In Love Sometimes/Curtains
50. Favorite song, period: “If I Were Your Woman” by Gladys Knight And The Pips

Friday, August 25, 2006

Susan Tedeschi

She’s the name associated with food stores in my area of Massachusetts, and one welt of a gutsy blues player. Not the dime a dozen another-lady-belts-the-blues singer that come out way too often. This is a savage talent with conviction.

Evidence One:
A bitter, different slice of what the blues are all about – not about the physical absence of someone, someone already gone, but the feeling that someone is incrementally easing their way out of your life. Watch out! Not the love like some one has left you. This is the love that you feel when you begin to feel that the one you love is becoming … well, the one that you USED to love!

Heartache, a piece of you dying with every beat and enough bold regret to cry about. Nothing you can do to stop it, it’s just been building up for much too long and now all the telltale signs are there that you are no longer included on the itinerary.

Oh what you doing baby, don’t you know it ain’t right
I wonder what your doing, that it takes all night
Little by little, oh I’m losing you oh I can see
And bit-by-bit your love is slipping away from me

Solid rhythm section, distinct, powerful, forceful guitar presence and harp with soul.

I get so disgusted when I try to kiss you
Just don’t fell like it used to do
Little by little, oh I’m losing you oh I can see
And bit-by-bit your love is slipping away from me

How damn, the way this woman sings you know she has a huge stake in the outcome! Get a heaping helping of this.

Evidence Two:
This is a true powerhouse treatment of an original rock standard. Rhythm section with so broad a backbone that you know you can comfortably lean on it. Originally done by Ruth Brown (on the Atlantic label) and covered by dozens, Susan contorts it into as original a fine testament about abuse as anyone could. While the original is truth on its own, Susan totally lays down a mean spirited streak that leaves no doubt that she hates the som’bitch.

Oh I said mama I'm so disgusted,
He just can't be trusted Mama he makes me squeeze him ,
Oh tell mama my squeezes just don't please him I've stood all I can stand Gonna pack my bags and leave this man

I read over and over again on the web about how good she is from everyone – but the critics! I never did get them!

The people who have seen her live rant a blue streak about her blistering, growling voice and her commitment on stage. The people crowd the keyboard trying to describe just how good her CD’s are. But, the dudes just out of journalism school who don’t know squat about diddy-wah try to make a name for themselves by playing devil’s advocate.

Screw ‘em. Long after they’re just about to pay off their school loans people will still be singing the praises of Susan Tedeschi.

Oh yea, Angel from Montgomery is on here, and it stands very well on its own also given her gifted machinations (along with the whole album), but come on bitch, open up the wallet and buy the whole package.

Susan Tedeschi
Little By Little and Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean
From: Just Won’t Burn

Friday, August 18, 2006

Jimmy Castor - Singer - Songwriter - Performer

I was known, back in the day, as the one who would bring his own albums to parties. I’d be polite and acknowledge everyone who stood in the path that led from the front door to the stereo system – shaking hands, laughing, kissing on the cheek, catching up and accepting drinks. I’d continually slither towards, and finally block, the front of the phonograph, scan what was playing, make a quick mental decision of what I’d place next, and when a track on the playing album had stared to fade, before the next track could start, I’d replace it with one of my platters without nary a quake in pause.

Obviously, it was all fluid motion – as the song was ending (prematurely, most likely) I’d lift and move the needle over, remove the platter and place it on top of its inner sleeve, slide my platter out of its inner sleeve and onto the turntable, start the turntable and wipe the album at the same time, drop the needle spot-perfect(!) before the cut I chose and turn up the volume simultaneously!

Anyone who is a DJ reading this will know precisely what I mean. They also feel the cluttering jolt of expectancy while scanning the crowd knowing that they think they are about to hear the next cut on the album that was playing just a moment ago. A great rush that always makes you want to top yourself with the next selection.

E-ManSuch was the case with me at endless parties and Jimmy Caster, otherwise known as the ‘E-Man’. Standing for ‘The Everything Man’ because Jimmy was greedy, and when in line for talent, took more than his share of talent than God had originally allotted him.

Good for you E-Man.

Anyone know he replaced Frankie Lymon in the Teenagers? Truth by AllMusic. And that he started as a Doo-Wop singer penning “I Promise To Remember” for Wing With The Juniors? Like I said - more talent than God allotted him.

Evidence One: Troglodyte
Just as the title suggests, this is primordial stew here. Thick with bass, sticky with funk and unforgettable as pride - this is relentless, and has a “slappin’ off-side o’ yo head” beat.

Tell me – which nut, or ovary, would you have given to be there live – your jaw dropping in awe at the E-Man and his minion’s performance? Either or, right?

A “quotational” sampling of some of his undulating, guttural utterings (listen for them, follow along and adapt accordingly):

Dance – dance

Gotta fine’ a woman, Gotta fine’ a woman, Gotta fine’ a woman, Gotta fine’ a woman

Come ‘ere, come ‘ere

Move – move

Her name was Bertha. Bertha Butt. S’was one of da Butt sisters.

Sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me

When she said “I’ll sock it to you daddy!”
He said, ”Right on, right on”

If this hasn’t got you lurching and twitching yourself into an animalistic frothy foam from the intoxicating, palpating effects of this groove I suggest your infected with neurotoxins.

Evidence Two: It’s Just Begun
You’ve got green ooze flowing from your ears, lush moss on your back and footprints on your ass if you haven’t heard “It’s Just Begun“. It’s been sampled by everyone from The Spice Girls to Marky Mark to 2 Live Crew to Salt n” Pepper. Bow your head, proper respects here.

However, I challenge you to laze back and dreamily wonder, “Where would they be if they had to write their own”? No disrespect, just talking directly to the master here.

Dig deeply on the cut though. There’s mucho serious reason to sample. A rushing, coming for your face, undeniable force of funk targeting you right through the speakers. Comfortably replete with cowbell, thundering bass, chant-along's and a sax that sounds like it was inspired by Gabriel himself. Insuring it isn’t a fluke, is the tearing, fuzz-drenched, surgically precise, postulating guitar at 2:17 that assures us solemnly that no, we are no longer in Kansas here. Only deep Funk City spoken here, thank you very much.

album - Its Just Begun
Jimmy had a lot of other tracks that I could have included, other than the spotlighted two of my all-time. They include 'The Bertha Butt Boogie', 'Hey Leroy' and 'King Kong'. All with 'must-have to own' status. You can take a look at his web site and see that he’s still up to the challenge today.

So, at the next party you’re at – slip one of these cuts unexpectedly into the mix and take credit for really getting the crowd juiced.

The Jimmy Castor Bunch:
Troglodyte and It’s Just Begun
From: It’s Just Begun [1970]

Friday, August 11, 2006

Southside Johnny

Spending a few hours going over names I wanted to title this blog, I kept getting "this is taken" over and over. I finally won out with "Got The Fever" which is not quite "The Fever" (which I wanted), but I am satisfied enough. So, let's get 'The Fever' going with it's namesake.

Southside Johnny And The Asbury Jukes: The Fever
From: I Don't Want to Go Home [Sony 1976]

Southside, docksideSouthside Johnny. Back in the day, what made this band so different from the cacophony of gutter-litter that was so prevelent on the so-called Top 40, was the Stax sound-leaning, horn-driven, rhythm and soul drive that permeated their early albums. Stevie Van Zandt - later jumping ship to Springsteen's band (Springsteen also wrote a few Southside cuts including both featured here) helped pen a lot of the early material. Certain to create a sea of swaying hips on the floor, bobble-heading at the tables and a lot of "Damn, they're good" comments from the most casual listeners, Southside was there to sell soul truth and nobody could deny that.

State's evidence one: The Fever
The late-hour, last-song of the night feel of the single organ note and the crisp piano riff at the beginning joing with the juke joint horns immediatly snap all to attention.

He's alone, memories of her torturing his mind and he thinks:
Well now the days grow longer
And my love just grows stronger
And the fever gets so bad at night

Gut level wrenching that leaves him twisted and tortured in his mind. And who couldn't relate to:
When I turn down all the lights
And when I lay my head on the pillow
I can't stop myself in thinking "Baby, where are you tonight?"
"Where is she tonight?"

I want to know who can be stone hearted enough not to yell out an 'Amen' after he sings the line:
There ain't nothing that a poor boy can do
When he's got the fever for love

Anybody? No? Didn't think so.

State's evidence two: Trapped Again
Bass line that just simply tears flesh, neck-snapping drums, tight horns to drool over, and a lead guitar solo (in a soul song?) that's an addition rather that a subtractor to the mood.

Expertly layers sounds that all come together evoking, yet again, lonliness. But, I could never figure out if he's trapped again because of drug addiction, his cheating ways, never getting a break in life or...? I was never able to crack that.

Listen to him wail:
I can't let my past mistakes
Let 'em bring me down
I ain't waitin' on no angel of mercy
I've tried my best and I can't help myself

Listen to the man give up and plead for help:
Come and rescue me

Southside is still living the touring life and preaching the message. Check their website for more info. Be sure to grab the free downloads including covers of the Stones' "Happy" and Ruffin's "What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted".

Southside Johnny And The Asbury Jukes: Trapped Again
Hearts of Stone [Epic 1978]

Alright, it's the first post. You being judgemental? Quit it.

Inauguration Day

Having ambitions to do this for quite some time, and bolstered by encouragement from online giants, I've decided to throw my proverbial turntable into the foray and get down to sharing what I have.

Though I tend to lean more toward the soul and funk strains of music, I'm just not the type to stay on one path very long. I'll dig into all my eclectic tastes including pop, jazz, new wave, garage, dance, prog ... you get the idea. It's pretty much whatever strikes me fancy and anyone that knows me can testify that I'm all over the musical map.

I have much more music than storage space - both in my house, and on the pc, and I'm forever trying to burn something for someone. This is going to allow me to share in a much larger way.

Enjoy and leave a message when you can.