Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Sounds Of Love ...A To Zzzz

From the liner notes:

"Dim the lights, hug something warm, and surrender your ears to the supremely sensual intermingling of passionate sighs and pulsating electronic music.

Yes...The Sounds Of Love, featuring the recorded verbal 'offerings' of two very emotional, ardent lovers, is played against a backdrop of skilfully SINthesized chords, and builds to a frantic climax unequalled in the most explicit annals of human experience.

Let The Sounds Of Love seduce your imagination...release your inhibitions...and guide you to new, exciting vistas of pleasure beyond all expectations. Listen along with someone you love...someone who appreciates beautiful music."

To sum up -- this record contains the sounds of a couple copulating, backed up by ancient modular synthesizers. 1972 was a good year for such things, apparently.

I even got a little turned on listening to it, etc.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, The Sounds Of Love ...A To Zzzz.

Sensuously Sinthesized (Yorkshire)
1. Scented Wind
2. Black & Blues
3. Midnight Waterfalls
4. Ravel "Pavane"
5. Ravel "Bolero"
6. Mozart "Piano Concerto No 21"

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Royal Harmonizers

From the liner notes:

"In 1953, several men dedicated to their religious faith came together with the desire of expressing it to others in the community, with music as their medium of communication. Mr. Berkley Bell played an instrumental part in organizing the Royal Harmonizers. Over the past several years the Royal Harmonizers have been privileged to perform numerous spiritual concerts in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina. On several occasions they have sung on Radio Station 'WUST' in Washington, D.C. The Royal Harmonizers are made up of two denominations, Baptist and United Methodist. It is the faith and dedication of these men towards their faith and to one another that enabled their union as a group to be a unique and rewarding one. In 1969, Berkley Bell -- Leader and Manager, William Ridgley -- Tenor, Fuller Ming -- Baritone, James Ridgley -- Bass, and Victor Chance -- Second Leader and Guitarist decided to have the name 'ROYAL HARMONIZERS' Incorporated. Through determination and Christian belief, these men are able to tell the world that 'JESUS IS REAL.'"

In the 1950s Berkley Bell was putting out his own records and booking his own tours. You cannot fuck with a man who does it himself.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, The Royal Harmonizers (of Montgomery County, Maryland).

Jesus Is Real (Mark)

1. Mean Ol' World
2. When He Set Me Free
3. Father Alone
4. I'm A Pilgrim
5. I Love To Call Jesus' Name
6. Yes, Jesus Love Me
7. Jesus Is Real
8. Uncloudy Day
9. I Dreamed Of A City
10. I've Got My Ticket
11. Won't It Be Wonderful
12.  Shadrack

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


I love her voice. This record rules.

Yes, the back cover is hand colored. These little touches make the artifact more special, I would say.

I wonder how many bands were named after this particular color.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Red.

Red EP (Odds On Music)

1. Walking In The Park
2. Rooftop
3. God Save America
4. Red
5. The Landed

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Reds

I wonder how many labels started because of the success of labels like Dischord (particularly in the DC area), but we never hear about because none of the bands toured, etc.

I am currently looking into such things.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, The Reds.

The Reds EP (Ambition)

1. (It's Not The) Same Thing
2. Stronger Silence
3. Killing You

Thursday, December 24, 2009


The cover of this record is like a renaissance painting but with electric guitars. Fantastic. Psych folk from 1970 featuring Sandy Denny (of The Fairport Convention) -- you can't really go wrong with that.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Fotheringay.

Fotheringay (A&M)

1. Nothing More
2. The Sea
3. The Ballad Of Ned Kelly
4. Winter Winds
5. Peace In The End
6. The Way I Feel
7. The Pond And The Stream
8. Too Much Of Nothing
9. Banks Of The Nile
10. Gypsy Davey

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Tix

From the liner notes:

"The Tix have been around for about nine months, inventing and looking for an audience. Now we are cutting our first record. We hope you'll like it; we do. It was recorded at Insight Film Media on January 22-23, 1980. It isn't representative anymore as we are continually metamorphosing. It is an accurate record of where were were in space-time and mentality. Anyway, here it is, and we hope you enjoy it as much as we do -- dance to it, eat to it, or something equally physiodelic.

love and kisses
The Tix"


"Nu Wave music is more than a simple reminiscence. It is a parody of high-clone dressing without the rigid and stylized mold. The Tix performed this spring (1980) at the Rock Island in Houston, they broke the mold and changed. Rock Island a sometimes club, sometimes playhouse, mostly vacant building engulfed The Tix fully in their own sound. The audience knew, The Tix knew. A burning aggression that destroyed all gramour and singled the erotic with sadism was not only felt but mastered at Rock Island. Unnoticed by most, it was a return to the 60s, the 50s and late 40s. Not a return to somple salad dressing music but a continuation of an intelligent revival. The Tix's style explores the past's unfulfilled promise."

This is fantastic. Everything about it looks handmade, private press records are the best. They did it themselves, and the organ sounds great.

Ben Franklin ain't no friend of mine, indeed.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, The Tix.

The Tix (Lunar Lab)

1. Gucci Pucci
2. Manneuqin
3. Icarus
4. What I Want
5. Ben Franklin
6. The World Is My Cage

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Puttin' On The Ritz

Two years ago when we recorded our debut album Bangin' Your Way Into The Future we also cut a version of "Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer". Two weeks ago we recorded our second album and also cut a version of "Jingle Bells."

Now I am releasing both of them as a single.

You may not know this, but Kevin and I recorded a Christmas album in 2004 shortly after performing for Bjork and some other holiday shoppers. We made approximately 20 copies before deciding that it was "out of print."

I figured the 5 year anniversary (and the release of this new single) was a good as reason as any to "reissue" it.

Safe travels to you and yours, etc.

Puttin On The Ritz is:
BJ Rubin -- vocals
Kevin Shea -- drums

Moppa Elliott -- standup bass
Jon Irabagon -- saxophone
Nate Wooley -- trumpet on "Jingle Bells"
Sam Kulik -- trombone on "Jingle Bells"
Matt Mottel -- keyboard on "Jingle Bells"
Peter Evans -- trumpet on "Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer"

featuring the Puttin' On The Ritz singers:
Sara Oliver
Scarlett Carter
Cat Tyc
Dorie Van Dercreek
Kendall Nordin
Dominika Michalowska

"Jingle Bells" was recorded by Keith Parker at The Gallery Studio and Jeff Davidson at Davidsounds in December 2009.
"Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer" was recorded by Jeremy Scott at The Civil Defense in August and September 2007.
Both were mastered by Josh Bonati at Bonati Mastering.
"Jingle Bells" artwork by Dorie Van Dercreek.
"Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer" artwork by Travis Millard.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Puttin' On The Ritz.

Jingle Bells b/w Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer (Pukekos)
1. Jingle Bells
2. Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer
3. Jingle Bells (Polish A cappella Remix)

A Very Puttin' On The Ritz Christmas (Self)
1. O Tannenbaum
2. Here Comes Santa Claus
3. Joy To The World
4. Winter Wonderland
5. Jingle Bells
6. Deck The Halls
7. Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer
8. Silent Night
9. Puff The Magic Dragon
10. Rainbow Connection

Monday, December 21, 2009

Lenny Dee

From the liner notes:

"Nothing they say, succeeds like success. And Success seems to have been Lenny Dee's middle name. He has Attracted a growing army of admirers, chiefly because he is one of those who have made the organ, that noble and classic instrument, vibrate with fresh effects and new vitality. He has developed a definite style of his own. He can make the ogran strum like a banjo, pulse with the beat of tom-toms, or sway with the sensuous rhythm of a rumba band. It is said that he can do literally anything with an electric Hammond Organ except one thing -- he cannot be dull.

He has not always been an organist. When Lenny was seven years old, he entertained friends by playing the banjo. Reared in Illinois and in Florida, he studied the piano-accordian in his youth. The Navy claimed him for three years; he was on an aircraft carrier which had a route between the West Coast and Japan. After the war he took advantage of the G.I. Bill to enroll at the Conservatory of Chicago, where he received his first lessons on the organ.

It was not long before he landed a series of bookings at some of the most prominent hotels in the south. Encouraged by the response, he began featuring original ideas and novel rhythm arrangments with floor shows. He was heard on a weekly network and, during an engaement at Nashville's Plantation Club, he signed a contract with Decca Records, largely through the interest of Red Foley.

These recordings reveal the virtuosity of a star performer, the skill of a gifted arranger, and the taste of a true musician.

Some listeners may notice that practically all of Lenny Dee's renditions have a similar ending. They will be right in so noticing, for Lenny Dee does this on purpose. His endings are, in a sense, his 'key signature' -- a way of signing off which is personal and quickly recognizable."

Sometimes, you just need some hi-fi organ solos with a beat, etc.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Lenny Dee.

Dee-lirious (Decca)

1. Coquette
2. I'm Beginning To See The Light
3. Cinatown, My Chinatown
4. Charmaine
5. Five Foot Two, Eyes Of Blue
6. Out Of Nowhere
7. Caravan
8. That's My Weakness Now
9. This Ole House
10. Five O'Clock Whistle
11. Twelfth Street Rag
12. Good Night Sweetheart

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Violent Femmes

"Ugly" and "Gimme The Car" were not actually included on the original LP release of Violent Femmes, but rather on this EP put out to accompany it. It was only the advent of the compact disc that brought all the material together in one convenient little package.

And here I am, in 2009, breaking them up again. I prefer to hear things as they were originally released.

They really hit this shit out the park. Of its time, but timeless.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Violent Femmes.

Violent Femmes EP (Rough Trade/Slash)

1. Ugly
2. Gimme The Car
3. Gone Daddy Gone
4. Good Feeling

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Human Beast

What do you need me to say? This band was called "The Human Beast" and you can see what the cover looks like. Progressive rock -- it might not be a surprise but that doesn't make it rule any less (no matter how hard you try, you cannot fight progress, etc). I love this sort of stuff.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, The Human Beast.

Volume One (Wa-hanna)

1. Mystic Man
2. Appearance Is Everything, Style Is A Way Of Living
3. Brush With The Midnight Butterfly
4. Maybe Someday
5. Reality Presented As An Alternative
6. Naked Breakfast
7. Circle Of The Night

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Brians

I thought I would get the joke, but I don't. I bet at least a few people found this hilarious at the time (maybe you were one of them, etc).

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, The Brians.

My Brother's Famous b/w Brian's Sister Sue (DinDisc)

1. My Brother's Famous
2. Brian's Sister Sue

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sugarhill Gang

When was the last time you listened to the long version in its (15 minute) entirety? I don't think I ever had, either (the short version even clocks in at 7 minutes).

Totally worth it. There is a whole verse about coping with a friend's mother's subpar cooking.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Sugarhill Gang.

Rapper's Delight (Sugarhill)

1. Rapper's Delight (Long Version)
2. Rapper's Delight (Short Version)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Stereolab/Nurse With Wound

I feel like there is an alternative universe where Stereolab is the most popular band in the world. I mean, they sound so sweet to me I can't even listen to them all the time. But when I do listen to it, I love it.

Nurse With Wound has always seemed inscrutable to me. I've only ever seen their records in English record shops for no less than £50, so they've never been a band that I've explored particularly thoroughly (or at all, really). I purchased both of these new (although Crumb Duck is a reissue, so I am also including the bonus tracks), thus avoiding high priced sticker tags (although as imports they weren't cheap records new either).

These are some dope jams. "Simple Headphone Mind" might just be my favorite Stereolab song.

Dig it, etc.

Ladies and gentlemen, for yr listening pleasure, Stereolab/Nurse With Wound.

Crumb Duck (United Dairies)

1. Exploding Head Movie
2. Animal Or Vegetable

Simple Headphone Mind (Duophonic)

1. Simple Headphone Mind
2. Trippin' With The Birds

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Mahavishnu Orchestra

When I listen to this record (and I have been listening to it daily), I tend to make jazz faces and pump my fist in the air. Sweet jesus, these are some guitar solos to blow yr mind.

I paid approximately two dollars for this album. I tried to calculate the number of notes per cent that is, but smoke started coming out of my ears.

Oh yeah -- John McLaughlin also played guitar on Bitches Brew.

My good friend Alice Cohen saw them tour on this album in 1971. They opened for Hot Tuna, who apparently "sucked".

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, The Mahavishnu Orchestra.

The Inner Mounting Flame (Columbia)

1. Meetings Of The Spirit
2. Dawn
3. The Noonward Race
4. A Lotus On Irish Streams
5. Vital Transformation
6. The Dance Of Maya
7. You Know You Know
8. Awakening

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Factory

This is a serious banger. If you are into 60s psychedelia, "Path Through The Forest" is definitely for you. In another world it was a hit single.

They never released an album, which is probably why only the heads know about them. Head or not, you do now too.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, The Factory.

Complete Recordings (Heads Together)

1. Path Through The Forest
2. Gone
3. Mr. Lacey
4. Try A Little Sunshine
5. Red Chalk Hill
6. Second Generation Woman
7. Path Through The Forest (Long Version)

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Velvet Underground

My friend Warren Ng made this tape for me as a birthday present some years ago.

"Sister Ray" might very well be my favorite song, and I love hearing all the different bootleg versions.

Enjoy it. Keep in mind that this is a rip of a cassette copy of bootleg LPs.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, The Velvet Underground.


1. Sister Ray
2. Sister Ray
3. Sister Ray
4. Sister Ray

Thursday, December 3, 2009


No, not that X.

Seriously, this band was from Sydney and they ruled. I think record labels have been losing money for decades now just trying to get this into people's hands. An ex-girlfriend played me Aspirations in the summer of 2001, and I soon thereafter picked up this reissue.

When discussing Australian punk bands from the late 70s, I don't know why people talk about Radio Birdman and The Saints but not X. Personally they are my favorite of the three, and those other bands are pretty awesome too.

Maybe people do talk about all three. What do I know?

You can decide for yourself (keep in mind the fact that Aspirations was recorded in 5 hours). I'm also including a live album recorded during that era. It sounds great and includes mostly songs that aren't on the album, oddly enough.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, X.

Aspirations (Rocknroll Blitzkrieg/Now!)

1. Suck Suck
2. Present
3. Simulated Lovers
4. Police
5. Revolution
6. Turn My Head
7. Good On Ya Baby
8. Delinquent Cars
9.  I Don't Wanna Go Out
10. Dipstick
11. It Must Be Me
12. Coat Of Green
13. Waiting
14. Batman

Live at the Civic '79 (Dropkick)
1. Infamy
2. Fuckin' Rockin'
3. Dipstick
4. All Over Now
5. Degenerate Boy
6. Dream Baby
7. Hey You
8. Not Fade Away
9. Don't Wanna Do It
10. I Don't Wanna Go Out
11. That's Not Nice
12. Runaway
13. Slash Ya Wrists

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Lost Kids

Lost Kids weren't around too long, but I saw them at Brownies when they played New York. They were great that night, although they didn't agree. Personally, I like shows where the band gets pissed off at soundman and takes it out not only on him but each other. Real tension in a live setting is a rare thing these days, something that I personally miss.

This was when I lived with Andrew Bottomley, and the band stayed with us in our apartment on South 3rd Street. They had the next day off, so we took them on the Staten Island Ferry (Grass Widow was not the first band to receive such treatment, apparently).

I fondly remember Dante emerging from a deli with a large bottle of water in his hand. Apparently the dude had given him a deal, saying "For you, one dollar!" Dante repeated that mantra all day, maybe he still does.

I asked Sonny Kay if he had anything to add (as he did actually put out this record), and he admitted that he might:

"Lost Kids, as I remember it, were kind of a detour from The Starlite Desperation, sometime soon after they'd moved from Salinas/Monterey to Detroit, in 1999 or so. My memory of it is hazy but I don't think the lineup was ever completely solid. Ben Blackwell from the Dirtbombs plays drums on the EP. They toured out to California in 2001, I believe (and I'm fairly certain Jeff from Starlite was playing drums by this point... or was it Jason Riddle? Shit...). I was living in San Diego at the time and the band and myself spent an afternoon in Tijuana, where I shot a bunch of footage of them just kind of walking around amongst the chaos and dusty alleyways, as well as an extended interview with Jennifer Pearl. I wish I knew whatever happened to that tape. I remember them playing a pretty stunning show at the Che Cafe on a crazy lineup with the Flying Luttenbachers and De Facto... Dante sprawled out on the floor. It's a shame they didn't do an LP. "

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Lost Kids.

Belle Isle Is On Fire (GSL)
1. Where The Lost Kids Go
2. Explode
3. Whirling Dervish
4. Alive In The Snow

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Brutal. Released in 1980, Suicide's second album predicted an entire decade, etc. When you are listening to it, imagine for a moment that it came out in 1981 rather than 1980. It is not difficult to envision the music video for "Fast Money Music" (or whatever), and I imagine that Suicide is much more popular in a world where their producer is a rock star and they are being heavily promoted by MTV.

It just goes to show that sometimes, no matter how good you are or who you know, you can't dictate good taste.

But what sort of world is it where Suicide is a part of popular culture? What would their third album have sounded like in that world?

Although Ric Ocasek cleaned up their sound, I would suggest that what he really did was get them to better channel their violence. Only a band called Suicide could manage to alienate their own fans.

Dream Baby Dream b/w Radiation is like a message in a bottle. I'm so glad they put it somewhere safe where I could find it, so now I can share it with you.

I am really feeling this right now. I've been listening to it daily.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Suicide.

Dream Baby Dream b/w Radiation (Ze/Island)

1. Dream Baby Dream
2. Radiation

Alan Vega/Martin Rev: Suicide (Ze/Antilles)
1. Diamonds, Fur Coat, Champagne
2. Mr. Ray (To Howard T.)
3. Sweetheart
4. Fast Money Music
5. Touch Me
6. Harlem
7. Be Bop Kid
8. Las Vegas Man
9. Shadazz
10. Dance