Got The Fever

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Requisite (Late) Halloween Post

(Been trying to upload to Savefile for days!!)

Succinct post tonight before I lay back showcasing two favorite, and underplayed, tracks that go well with the Halloween spirit.

From the band that shared the talented producer Terry Knight with Grand Funk, comes this tale of crash and die in a morbid and gruesome way.

White Rabbit
Creepy, albeit growling, crunching remake of the Grace Slick/Jefferson Airplane standard. From the movie Resident Evil: Extinction.

Neither should be listened to alone in the dark.

Bloodrock: D.O.A.
Collide (Spc Eco Mix): White Rabbit

Addendum 11/04/08: I have a new post over on WNEW, Hidden Gems: Requiem For The Masses by the Association. Get over there and leave a comment when you can.

Monday, October 13, 2008

They just don’t make ‘em like that anymore! (1976)

You know, one day you’ve got long wavy hair, you’re riding a monster jet-roaring, pocket-rocket, get in all the cool clubs for free because you work at the coolest one of them all that’s right down the street, get to see all the crowd-drawing bands for free, drink free all night long, have a great bachelor pad with three female roommates, have a respectable, cushy bill-paying day job and you’re also whimsically dating the local Helen of Troy.

Then the next day you look in the bathroom mirror and with shock in your voice exclaim ‘Who the hell put up the poster of my Father?’

Good ol’ Dad. You can’t help but notice that as time has passed you not only look like Dad, but you act like Dad in so many ways, and even speak like Dad at times!

One of the things Dad used to say that’s particularly ringing true in my head is “They just don’t make ‘em like that anymore!” He used to listen to a few of his favorite LP’s, sit up, smile and with genuine joy utter that famous line as if proclaiming creativity and drawbridges to the heart stopped thirty years ago.

Funny how I hear myself using that same phrase every once in a while.

Disco Lady
Johnny Taylor was no stranger to success. He replaced Sam Cook in the Soul Stirrers, had a monster 1969 hit with Who’s Makin’ Love, signed to Stax, recorded Cheaper To Keep Her and his 1996 album Good Love! For the Malaco label went to #1 on the blues charts. Talk about longevity, the man even went on to DJ for a bit in Dallas/Ft. Worth.

In 1976 Johnny had one of the smoothest, groovin’, slick songs on the chart with the smash Disco Lady. Don’t let the title jerk you - this was not to be confused with the Shake Your Groove Thing disco, this was humid, clothes wet, animal, sexual soul that pleases from within. Featuring an electric piano opening that bores to the core right away, a surgically precise guitar and wah-wah that can’t go unnoticed, a silky voiced Johnny shows that he also has the range to pivot into a sexy growl. Dig it!

Move it in, move it out
Shove it in round about, disco lady

Hey, sexy lady
Girl, you drive me crazy
You dance so fine and your right on time

Girl, you driving me out of my mind, ya
If it wasn't for the girl sittin' next to me
I'd jump right up and outta my seat you see
You got me hyp-no-tized, so mes-mor-ized

Girl, your movin' me
Girl your groovin' me


Showing that you can fuse any combination of music together, Brick actually penned the title Dazz by combining their two major influences, disco and jazz.

Side thought and cause of constant consternation: the short version of this track that you hear on the radio (yea, when was the last time?) clocks in at 3’22. The version I always play (and you also) is a hefty, hearty and more pleasing 5’39. For an extra 2’17 you’d think they would play it – if only to chew up airtime. But alas, there’s no fulfillment there.

Everybody go on and dance if you want to
Music makes your body move, well all right
Funky dancing get up, get down, shake your booty
Music makes your body move, well all right

Jazz dazz (disco jazz)
Jazz dazz (disco jazz)

The killer for me is at 2’31 where the flute and whistler come in together. Think a flute can’t be killer? This’ll prove you wrong. Kicking in at 3’14 is the bass line that someone sampled sometime ago and I’ll be damned if I can’t remember right now. Any help? This is the track to play to get everyone’s ass off the chair.

These are pure, satisfying, comfort songs. Both from 1976. Let me now quote for you something you may find yourself saying from time to time, “They just don’t make ‘em like that anymore!”

Johnnie Taylor: Disco Lady
Brick: Dazz
From: Rhythm & Blues [1976] (No link found. ?Not available anymore?)

Addendum 1: I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you that my reason for thinking of Dad in the first place came directly after reading darcy’s blog Feel It. The Dad that he had been blogging about for some time now has sadly passed away. I know that all of our sincerest and most heartfelt condolences are with him and his family in his time of need. Make the time to get over and help him along.

Addendum 2: Apparently I did alright (also thanks for the encouragement – again – from the good dj), and WNEW is going to post my second article. It’s shaping up that I’m going to concentrate on, and feature, “Hidden Gems”. This time I write about a band that I blasted in my own blog on August 2nd ‘08 in the Addendum section. But, I insist that they have a few that have endured and can still make me cheer!

Monday, October 06, 2008

What I listened to in the 80’s (Part 1)

When I hear a radio retro 80's weekend filled with Culture Club, Duran Duran, Soft Cell, Stray Cats, the Bangles, Pat Benatar, Tears for Fears, Foreigner, Quarterflash and Fine Young Cannibals I have to take pause. There was so much more than that during the eighties that I remember!

Siouxsie and the Banshees, the Fixx, the Smiths, the Clash, PIL … and countless others were mainstays of the alternative party/club scene that never get a reflection on any station. Seriously, when was the last time you EVER heard a Ramones song on the radio? And, damn it, you could not miss them - they were everywhere!

Don’t get me wrong; I dug on Oingo Boingo, Madness, Joe Jackson, the Motors and other Top 40 - 100, but where is the representation of the rest of the era? Where’s the justice?

But, I feel a rant coming on, so I’ll let it slide. The great thing about having way too many tracks, as the music whore I am, is that I can reminisce freely and play what I remember being revved up on.

These are a few angry, angry men here. Bellowing with the call for murder, one can almost see the froth dripping and spittle catapulted from the lips of these Brit punkers.

Amazingly, they guys turned away Chrissie Hynde (Pretenders) and Tony James (Gen-X) when they auditioned for the band. I personally prefer the live version, which gave it so much more of a livid stamp, but this’ll do.

Listen for the slight chuckle at the end. I like to think it tongue in cheek.

I believe in homicide i rest my case,
Don't cast a sigh you'd better believe it,
That's the truth of it take it or leave it, resign to it
No one cares when someone lies they'd rather say
That it's a red alert
You'd better believe it,
That's the truth of it take it or leave it,
Resign to it
Homicide, homicide, homicide, homicide!

Skin Deep
Why wasn’t this a ‘hit’? It certainly was with the crowd I ran with, and we’d hear it on our local favorite station WFNX 101.7 in Boston quite a lot. They played all the alternative music that we craved. Matter of fact, I think it was on FNX that I heard the term ‘alternative’ used for the first time as a station format.

The Stranglers weren’t punk, not quite goth, not pop, but could have easily fit nearly into any one of those slots. When the Ramones toured the UK for the first time, the Stranglers warmed up the crowds, and it was in the UK that Skin Deep peaked the charts at #15. Shame it never charted in the US as it’s a good composition and a nice dance-to as well.

Many people tell you that they're your friend
You believe them
You need them
For what's round the river bend
Make sure that you're receiving the signals they send
'Cause brother you've only got two hands to lend
Maybe there's someone who makes you weep
And some nights loom up ahead

When you're asleep
Some days there's things on your mind you should keep
Sometimes it's tougher to look than to leap
Better watch out for the Skin Deep

So when someone throws out Kangagoogoo, Lipps Inc., Cristopher Cross, Queen, Kenny Rogers, M, Human League or Phil Collins, sure, I’ll take a listen and have me some guilty pleasures once in a while. But I also remember that the music scene was a hell of a lot deeper than what the Top 40 tells me it was.


Homicide [1977]
Can be found on:
The Best of 999 [1998]

The Stranglers:
Skin Deep [1984]
Can be found on:
Aural Sculpture [2001]

Addendum 1: Adding video starting with this post.

Addendum 2: The folks over at
WNEW have asked me to write for them! I’ve always thought my style (if I do indeed have a style) is rather rough and stream of thought, and not as polished as what I read there. Joel, my contact man, really put me through a lot of rewrites to get it just right for the site, but I had fun doing it. I’ve always admired the site and a few of my fellow bloggers that I read voraciously (such as the good dj over at The Hits Just Keep On Coming) post there. So, that was really the tipping point for me. My first post is on the Motels and the song Dressing Up. If you get a chance, get over there and leave a comment letting me know what you think.