This column is like the title says - its intention is to fill the gap for those of us who were satiated musically in the '60s and then searched desperately as we aged for music we could relate to and get the same buzz from nowadaze. iTunes was the answer for me in 2003 and I have been following the new releases every Tuesday ever since I realized there was an endless stream of music I could enjoy there.
I also include older items that I felt were obscure originally and might not have been heard back then. The reason I am writing this column is to make sure others don't miss this wonderful music. These are not top ten items; but they SHOULD'VE been!
Below is a jukebox containing all the songs I picked this week. After you read about them below, go back and listen to whatever you like by just clicking on that title in the jukebox, or stream the whole playlist by clicking on the "play" icon at the top. It's free and it's the entire song. We're not selling anything. We're just in the business of hopefully making your days better by listening to great music.
1. "Good Things Are Coming Our Way" — Rival Schools (3:11)
This is a GREAT opener! It’s got all the big bang guitar and drum stuff a modern record should have, and a bonus of good lyrics. However, it’s ELEVEN years old! These guys were ahead of their time and took nine years to release their next album which we’ll be hearing from in another upcoming column. From the New York hard-core scene, a compendium of men from many other bands. Good music is coming your way!
2. "Rolene" — Moon Martin (3:05)
This is an obscurity by one of the great unknown power pop geniuses who somehow avoided stardom. He wrote classics such as “Cadillac Walk,” “Bad Case of Loving You,” “Victim of Romance,” and “Paid the Price.” Even those covers by Mink DeVille, Robert Palmer, Michelle Phillips, and Nick Lowe did not uncover his shroud of secrecy. This is MY favorite Moon track from the mid-'70s and I’m sure Lindsay Buckingham was a Moon fan based on this track alone.
3. "I Keep Thinking" — Field Music (2:40)
One of my favorite bands of the millennium, this UK outfit featuring two talented brothers floored me again with their new album Plumb, released last week. With the demise of the major UK band XTC, Field Music moved in and kinda filled that void quite admirably. So if you liked XTC, chances are you’ll love Field Music. Tips: “If Only The Moon Were Up” and “The Rest Is Noise” from their first two albums. Really nice guys as well who have “hung at the house” and are welcome back any time.
4. "You As You Were" — Shearwater (3:16)
This band always has something for me on each of their albums. This is from their current collection, Animal Joy. They kinda remind me of one of my favorite '80s bands, The Call — same kind of intensity and originality. Wonder if they were fans/born back then...
5. "Mama Sho' Forgot to Tell Me" — Little Beaver (2:23)
Sorry for the lack of better sound and the mono, but this is my only copy — from a well-worn 45 on Cat Records from the early '70s. Beaver takes on the James Brown Sound and succeeds admirably, especially including the lyric "...and my papa wasn’t even nowhere around/my papa was somewhere gettin' down!" A little more distracted than James Brown’s papa’s brand new bag. "Gret stoff" as they say in Ireland.
6. "Lady Jane" — Four on the Floor (3:31)
So in the mid-'70s, all my friends who were studio players were playing on all the hit disco tracks, mostly for Casablanca on the west coast where we all lived. So I came up with the idea of all of us getting together and making our own disco album for Casablanca. They bought the idea and away we went. I decided we’d do covers of non-disco songs 'cause I love to arrange so much. Here’s part of our Glimmer Twins Medley featuring Glenn Hughes(!), from the ‘70s metal band Trapeze and Deep Purple, on vocals, showing off his soul chops. You cannot get this on CD and I’m pretty sure it’s rare on vinyl. P.S. It was obscure in its time but there are great performances from Jeff Baxter on lead guitar, Neil Stubenhaus on bass, and Elliott Randall on rhythm guitar. Pretty humorous arrangements as well.
7. "You Mean So Much to Me" — Sea Level (3:38)
Always though this was a great name for keyboardist Chuck Leavell’s band. A great original song and purrfect keyboard fills. This group was always a home for great players. I always used to tease Chuck when he played with George Harrison live 'cause he had to play my parts on “All Those Years Ago,” and when he played with The Stones, the same for “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” Here he plays at the correct Leavell.
8. "Beneath Your Wild Wings" — Howlin’ Rain (3:51)
These guys like their '60s sounds quite a bit and it’s actually refreshing to hear their tasteful juxtapositions. Ethan Miller fronts this home for psychedelic musicians in the millennium and it’s obvious the care and work that went into the compositions and the arrangements.
9. "You're Up to Something" — Ike & Tina Turner (2:59)
One of my fave and most obscure Ike & Tina tracks unveiled here for all to enjoy. While I was listening to Tina belt this out, I realized what a true end of an era it will be if she ever goes up to hang with Etta and Whitney. Maybe the longest-running chanteuse of soul on Earth. Again I have to remind y’all of the New York Post obituary headline for her unmanageable spouse:
IKE BEATS TINA TO DEATH!
10. "Convince Me" — Lucinda Williams (4:23)
I’m starting to realize how many LW tracks I really enjoy going back to every now and then. This is more recent and I am most fond of the studio ovation she receives at the end of this song (and that they left it in). A suitable closer for this rockin’ week.