Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Guest Spots: Iggy Pop

Iggy Pop has a recording career that spans half a century. In addition to his albums with The Stooges and as a solo artist, he has made numerous appearances on tribute albums, soundtracks, and other artists' records.

Iggy has collaborated with Fatboy Slim, Bill Laswell, Ministry, Slash, Buckethead, Was Not Was, Medeski Martin & Wood, Peaches, NRBQ's Terry Adams, Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse, among others. Iggy has covered songs by Black Flag, Betty Davis, Nick Cave, Yoko Ono, the Who, the Monochrome Set, Eddie Cochran and Duke Ellington. 

He has participated on tributes to Cole Porter, Junior Kimbrough, Don Covay, Jeffrey Lee Pierce, and the Black Keys; and benefits for The West Memphis Three and The David Lynch FoundationIggy has also appeared on Christmas records by William Shatner, Kylie Minogue, and Michel Legrand (not to mention the holiday chestnut, "Jesus Loves The Stooges").

He has contributed original songs to numerous movies (everything from a Bond film to Robert Altman's Short Cuts, Johnny Depp's disastrous The Brave, Arizona Dream, and the theme to last year's Goldas well as TV shows (including Peaky Blinders, True Blood, and Vinyl). Iggy has lent his distinctive baritone to animation (Persepolis and Lil' Bush), video games, and spoken word (from Poe and Walt Whitman to William S. Burroughs). 

In the last two decades, Iggy has become quel francophone, recording classic chansons and composing songs inspired by Michel Houellebecq. He has sung with Anaïs DemoustierDemi MondaineFrançoise Hardy, Lulu Gainsbourg, and Emmanuelle Seigner

Iggy has also appeared on records with Misia from Portugal, Songhoy Blues from Mali, the late Israeli singer Ofra HazaLes Rita MitsoukoOs Mutantes member Sergio DiasJapanese guitarist Tomoyasu Hotei, Sweden's Teddybears, and German artists Millenia Nova, Tarwater, and WestBam.  

I posted an earlier version of these mixes on another blog in 2016, but Iggy has been a prolific collaborator since then; most recently with Underworld, Josh Homme, and the jazz trio of Jamie Saft, Steve Swallow, and Bobby Previte.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Elvises Everywhere!

Our correspondent Stinky recently asked himself: how many countries and record companies had an "Answer To Elvis" -- a response to the musical and cultural phenomenon that was Elvis Presley? And now, on the King's own birthday, Stinky presents Answer To Elvismore than two dozen songs in the key of TCB.

France had Johnny Hallyday; England gave us Cliff Richard, Billy Fury, and Tommy Steele; Germany, India, Japan, Australia, and other countries had their own answers to Elvis. Numerous record labels hoped to duplicate the success of Sun's biggest star. Movie studios and TV networks did the same.

But this isn't a compilation of Elvis impersonators (although it does include Clownvis and El Vez). Most were his contemporaries, though few were his equal. I contributed a few performers who met Stinky's criteria: Arch Hall, Jr. (the Elvis of B-movies), Ronnie Hawkins (one of Canada's answers to Elvis), and the masked singer Orion. I also suggested some who didn't make the cut; among them were Danzig, Eilert Pilarm, and this guy (one of whose albums is wittily entitled Return To Splendor).  

Maybe you have a few ideas to share. And maybe Stinky will compile another volume of Answer To Elvis!

Thursday, January 3, 2019

A Stinky New Year To You

It's time for the second volume of Stinky's Sound Effects Records, twenty tunes ranging from the doo wop era through the present day, from sandy beaches to steaming jungles, from apemen through garbagemen, from subterranean tube stations to stratospheric satellites.

No doubt you are already searching the jukebox of your mind palace to guess what Stinky might have up his malodorous musical sleeve this time. The roar of rockets and hot rod engines? The screams of animals and desperate men? Squealing brakes and squalling sirens? The charming chime of a child's bicycle bell?

Enjoy the mix. To all friends and readers of this humble blog, I wish you peace, happiness, good health and good fortune for the New Year.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

A Christmas Present From Atlanta's Past

Sister Ruby Records was an Atlanta label from the early 1990's, loosely associated with the late great Eat More Records store (RIP Craig Freireich). The label focused on local artists, and issued three Christmas comps that still find their way into my CD player every year.

Participants who went on to greater success include Shawn MullinsMichelle MaloneKelly Hogan (a lovely "Rockin Around The Christmas Tree" with the late Gregory Dean Smalley on guitar), the late Benjamin Smoke (aka Opal Foxx), and a blowsy combo from the far side of Lake Hartwell who were about to make the #1 album of 1995.

If you knew the ATL scene in the 80's and 90's, you will recognize veterans like Amy Pike, Anne Richmond Boston, Kristen Hall, Ray Dafrico, Tommy Rivers, and several folks who arose phoenix-like from the crack pipe crucible of The Coolies. You may remember bands like Big Fish Ensemble, The Vidalias, Engine, and The Doll Squad.

There are fine versions of Christmas tunes written by Mel Torme, José Feliciano, Buck Owens, Pete Townshend, Greg Lake, Steve Earle, The Ramones, Alex Chilton, Yoko Ono, John Lennon, and Joni Mitchell; the Heat Miser/Snow Miser song; and (my favorite) Uncle Green's "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas", with a lovely little segue into "Space Oddity".  Here they are -- olden, golden, and emboldened to tackle these holiday chestnuts, as well as creating a few original Christmas songs.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Stinky's Sweet Sole Music

Stinky's back again with "Songs Of Footwear, Volume Two". It's the perfect soundtrack for polishing the mirrors on your hobnail boots.

This one's got country, rockabilly, disco, a little bit of MSR madness -- something for everyone who has ever donned a pair of shoes, sneakers, slippers, sandals, or stockings. 

Every cowboy, bootboy, and bobby soxer; every tenderfoot, flatfoot and gumshoe; from the pigeon-toed to the well-heeled: all God's children got feet! So shake a leg, tap your toe, get on the good foot or kick up your heels. Stinky's got the remedy for the hole in your sole.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Scavenged Leftovers

It's a bit late for a Thanksgiving themed mix. The leftovers in the fridge are almost gone, and Christmas catalogs are already arriving in the mail. I didn't finish this mix until yesterday, but I'd hate to put it in the freezer or let it go to waste.

Consider it an all-purpose holiday food mix. Many of the dishes that will be served at Christmas are the same ones that Americans enjoyed last week: turkey and dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, all types of beans, and all types of pie. 

Good golly, there are a lot of songs about cornbread! I'm serving up three of them, along with a full menu of tunes about turkey, gravy, cranberries, ham, potatoes (sweet and mashed), green beans, butter beans, collards, and more. My guests include Tom T. Hall, Wild Bill Moore, Big Boy Pete, and Dee Dee Sharp. There's a place at the table for you to join us, and I hope you've brought your appetite. Apples, peaches, pumpkin pie...

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Cold Turkey and Stinky Shoes!

Stinky's back with another Homemade Record, this one on the theme of footwear. Shoes, socks, sandals, boots -- anything that fits on your feet, all celebrated in song.

When Stinky first floated the idea, I jokingly suggested "Flip Flop and Fly", so don't blame him for that one. It appears in a rollicking version by Geraint "Otis" Watkins, who was a major musical contributor to the first two Pearl Harbour albums.

You might also dig Stinky's new mix Do I Have To Spell It Out? It's a collection of tunes guaranteed to help you win your next spelling bee, like D-I-V-O-R-C-E, R-E-S-P-E-C-T and S-P-A-M-P-I-N-A-T-O!

Here's to the holidays, folks! Celebrate responsibly, drive safely, tip your bartender, count your blessings, be kind to your four-legged friends -- and raise a glass to Stinky, the patron saint of quality footwear and clever mixtapes.