Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Tom Robinson Band: 2-4-6-8 Motorway

One band I missed when I was young was the Tom Robinson Band. I first heard 2-4-6-8 Motorway on a compilation CD set that traced punk into the new wave. I regret not hearing it earlier - it's that punk-y, garage-y sound I like so much.


Sunday, August 16, 2015

All-Star Auditions: the Horndogs

A friend of mine forwarded this to me when we were talking about Joe Walsh.

In order:
Slash, Rick Nielsen, Dusty Hill, Matthew Sweet, Joey Ramone, Lisa Loeb, Dave Mustaine, Roy Clark, Johnny Lang, Michael Stanley, and Joe Walsh as "Ed."

I love that no one can keep a straight face when Joey Ramone is auditioning.

And the comments on Joe Walsh.

"His guitar playing's kinda sloppy"
"Yeah, yeah. And he looks kinda slow."

Hey, ten bucks is ten bucks.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Naive - Tanks-Punks / НАиВ - Танки-панки (live)

Just sharing this great live version of Tanks-Punks.

НАиВ - Танки-панки

Makes me wish I learned anything in that semester of Russian that I took. Maybe after Japanese and then Spanish, I'll go back to learning Russian.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

I Like the Cover Better: Ain't That A Shame

As always, the rule for these posts is that I love the original, but I like a cover version even more.

Out of all the Fats Domino songs, I think the strongest and best of them is Ain't That A Shame. It's got that Fats Domino swing, a nice beat-drop, beat-drop rhythm, and great lyrics ("My tears fell like rain" - been there.)

But the Cheap Trick "Live at Budokan" version of it? I like that version better.

It's everything I like about the Fats Domino song and it is a perfect showcase of everything about Cheap Trick. Great bass line, fantastic guitar, inspired and passionate vocals, and oh those Bun E. Carlos drums.

It's the first encore song at Budokan, and the intro is just classic Cheap Trick. This could be the intro to half a dozen other Cheap Trick songs, but instead it suddenly and seamlessly veers into Ain't That A Shame. The latter half of the song shows the virtuosity of the band, and their willingness to put on a show for the fans. My favorite version. On the full set, it goes right next into Clock Strikes Ten . . . too bad that video doesn't.

Those screaming Japanese girls give me goosebumps.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Wreckless Eric - The Whole Wide World

I love this song.

I was actually introduced to this song via a cover by The Prissteens*. That cover floored me, so I eventually found the original . . . and it was even better.

Wreckless Eric reminds me in ways I can't quite explain of Jonathan Richman. Maybe it's the soulful honesty of his voice? The confidence mixed with vulnerability? Not sure.

* Another WFMU intro, from Terry T's Cherry Blossom Clinic, who introduced me to countless bands, not the least of which was the Prissteens - ("They put the 'angry' in 'Shangi-La's'") and Puffy.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Night of the Vampire

I was in my old home town of Niigata (新潟) a couple weeks back and went to a live show with a friend. We saw 5 bands, but the standout was the final band, Night of the Vampire.

I can best describe them as half rockabilly and half Madness Japanese guys dressed as vampire clowns.

Yes, you might want to read that again.

They really rock, though - a lot of energy, great sax player, and a solid set list.

If you want to skip the intro chatter and get right to a signature song, click here. Or for their cover of I Want You To Want Me by Cheap Trick.

Here is them covering Rock This Town by The Stay Cats, with another band. It's that kind of energy they convey the whole time. My only complaints were that the set was short and they didn't sell CDs. I'd have bought one.

By the way, you can see them sing Happy Birthday to my friend Kevin at the end of this video. He mentioned they did that, so I decided to see if it was up on Youtube. Yes, yes it is.