monographs in quad
Today's song is The Maps' "My Eyes Are Burning" (MP3), a super-hot B-side from their self-released 1979 single "I'm Talking to You." The Maps were one of the great late-'70s Boston underground bands, and way underdocumented--here's a page about them. Their singer was Judith Grunwald, later of Salem 66; after she left the Maps, the rest of them continued as Artyard for a while--one of their songs appeared on one of Hyped to Death's Homework CDs. Thanks to Robt. C. Valentine (who wrote this song, and plays that huge fiery guitar part) for permission to post it. (He also notes that it'd be nice if someone had access to some of the Maps' never-released radio tapes, like "Explosive Decompression"--anyone out there?)
NaSoAlMo goes apace--my strategy seems to be writing more than recording early in the month, recording a lot of stuff in the last week. Two more-or-less complete songs down, one of which is very bad fake Elliott Smith, the other of which is very, very bad fake Elvis Costello channeling Harlan Howard's "Busted." I think I need better songwriting strategies.
Speaking of which, still more NaSoAlMo signups:
How's everyone else doing with their solo albums? I've seen updates on a few people's sites...
In the Dept. of Gentle Ironies: when I'm in a mood to whine about now-defunct bands I wish I could see just once more for one more taste of my squandered youth, Unrest is always at the top of the list--I probably saw them at least 10 times in the early '90s, but that was not enough. They're usually followed on that list by Eggs, which I saw even more often, & in particular found that the Beaujon/Christiansen/Rickman/Shurak lineup targeted some kind of internal ideal of mine.
And, as it turns out, both of them are playing one-time-only reunion shows at the first night of the Teenbeat 20th anniversary celebration in Washington, DC... roughly a week before the baby is due. Absolutely no way I can even think about going.
Oh well. Maybe Flin Flon will make it out to the West Coast one of these years.
Musical disappointment of the week: Doctors, Professors, Kings & Queens: The Big Ol' Box of New Orleans. I'm a sucker for oh let's say pre-1964 New Orleans local hits--my love of Huey "Piano" Smith & the Clowns knows few boundaries, and I'm very fond of Professor Longhair, Ernie K-Doe, Eddie Bo, etc. too. Looked at the track listing and thought "hey, lots of warhorses--'Carnival Time,' 'Let The Good Times Roll,' 'Mardi Gras Mambo,' yeah yeah--but lots of names I don't know here, too!" The names I didn't know, it turns out, are almost all contemporary or sort-of-contemporary New Orleans-nostalgia-act recordings, which are... sometimes not entirely awful, but they really shouldn't be on the same piece of plastic as Fats Domino.
Much more fun: the new collection of stuff Nicky Siano used to play at the Gallery between 1973 and 1977 (it's on Soul Jazz)--not quite disco, but the stuff that turned into disco. I only knew a few songs, mostly thanks to Beats International sampling them in the early '90s, like Exuma's "Exuma, the Obeah Man." Back cover quote from Frankie Knuckles: "Larry [Levan] and I would blow up balloons, set up the food bar, prepare the punch, and give out acid, but we also spent a lot of time hanging out in the booth, watching Nicky's every move."
And the new Holly Golightly album, Slowly but Surely, is my favorite of hers to date--who can tell me about Peter Chatman, who wrote "Mother Earth" (along with Louis Simpkins, who I'm guessing is Lewis Simpkins, the guy who wrote the almost-never-performed lyrics to "Night Train")? Did he write anything else as good? I'm also wondering if it inspired "Down in the Flood," or if I'm just hearing Blues Formula #37...
Also: somebody at the talkiewalkie livejournal posted an MP3 of People In Control's splendid "When It's War," so far as I know the only single by this Family Fodder-affiliated band.
Favorite newish-to-me-because-I'm-behind-the-curve slang is "pastede on yay"--of very recent vintage (it was coined in April, and we actually know by whom). Means "transparently phony," as in "America Red/America Blue dichotomy iz pastede on yay!" I need to find a better way to use it, though.