September 2009

Title: Her Head’s Revolving

Artist: The Three O’Clock

Album: Arrive Without Traveling

Year Released: 1985

What It Is: Excellent “paisley underground” rock with a kick ass guitar riff (kind of out of the norm for this band, but hey, I’ll take it). This was the first cut on their major label debut, which stiffed for whatever reason. Maybe because the rest of it wasn’t as guitar heavy as this. Dunno.

Riffage / Hookage: Louis Guitierrez’ guitar adds muscle to the pretty hooks from Michael Quercio.

Cowbell?: Not that I can tell.

Words Of Wisdom: You know, I can’t find the lyrics on-line, and I don’t want to guess, but has to do with her head revolving like a Catherine wheel around the rock-and-roll.

Mixology Report: Quercio’s girly voice is not for everyone, but there’s enough here to please anyone even if turned off by his vocals.

Top Five Genius Results: It’s kind of rare and not on iTunes, so no dice on Genius.

For The Good Of The Order: Guiterrez left the band after this album and kicked around the LA scene with Mary’s Danish. Quercio & Co. soldiered on for two more albums. Later, Quercio founded two great bands, Permanent Green Light and The Jupiter Affect. He still may be kicking around LA with the latter. It’s hard to tell from their web site.

Ah, gotta love cheap 80’s videos!


Title: To Look At You

Artist: INXS

Album: Shabooh Shoobah

Year Released: 1982

What It Is: Kind of a moody, introspective number that was a the third single off of their breakthrough record. While it wasn’t played much in the States, from what I gather it was pretty popular elsewhere.

Riffage / Hookage: The chorus is hooky, as Michael Hutchense stops mumbling and actually sings during the chorus. There’s not really much in the way of verses though. I guess that’s how a song gets catchy, if it’s almost all chorus!

Cowbell?: Nope. Not here.

Words Of Wisdom: “What do you fear in the simple
Still of a summer’s night
I understand I sympathize for a day dream
Fairytales and I love you”

Mixology Report: It is rather moody, but it may surprise people who thought INXS was all up and loud.

Top Five Genius Results: Us Forces – Midnight Oil
Bittersweet – Hoodoo Gurus
Dirty Creature – Split Enz
Lonely In Your Nightmare – Duran Duran
The Unguarded Moment – The Church

Hmmm…just because they’re AUSTRALIAN doesn’t mean that 4 of those songs are the best choices, genius!

For The Good Of The Order: First real rock concert that I went to – INXS opened for Men At Work. I told the friends I was with that INXS will be bigger than Men At Work. Laughter and scoffing ensued, but who was right? HEH!

Video time…live…in person.

Title: Double Dutch Bus

Artist: Frankie Smith

Album: Children Of Tomorrow

Year Released: 1981

What It Is: One of the first melanges of rap and funk. Oh, and one of the only top 40 hits with Pig Latin. So give me a “HO” if you’ve got your funky bus fare…

Riffage / Hookage: It’s got a groove, an addictive bass and keyboard line, and an easy to remember tune. Yeah, it’s catchy.

Cowbell?: It has a bus horn!

Words Of Wisdom: “When I’m dealing with the funky sidewalk
I say sssssssss-sugar”

Admittedly, that loses something out of context.

Mixology Report: Oh yeah, especially on dance mixes!

Top Five Genius Results: In My House – Mary Jane Girls
No Parking (On The Dance Floor) – Midnight Star
Atomic Dog – George Clinton
You & I – Rick James
Dazz – Brick

For The Good Of The Order: In researching this song, it said that Pig Latin was big with the kids at this time. What? What? That trend totally missed me. But of course, I was a nerdball in the Midwest, but I had a cleric that could smite your ass with his mace!

Yeah, a video! HO! HO! HO! HO! It cost about $1.47 by my calculations.

Title: It’s No Game (Pt. 1)

Artist: David Bowie

Album: Scary Monsters

Year Released: 1980

What It Is: Even for the chameleon Bowie, a mind-fuck of an album opener. Starting with sounds of tape, a count-in with a weird electronic voice, a woman reciting the verses in Japanese with Robert Fripp frippering all in the background, and then Bowie comes in sounding totally deranged. He’s off kilter, off key and downright horrifying. At the end he tells Robert Fripp to shut up.

Riffage / Hookage: Well, Fripp rather much kicks ass, so you know there’s some good riffin’ going on, in his own art-rock proggy way.

Cowbell?: Bowie scared the cowbell away with his lunatic vocals.

Words Of Wisdom: “So where’s the moral
When people have their fingers broken?
To be insulted by these fascists
It’s so degrading
And it’s no game”

Remember, kids, he went from this to “Let’s Dance” in just two years.

Mixology Report: Wow. I am working on a mix right now for the CDP mix trade, and this is in it, and I’m scared that it will attack the other songs in the mix and beat them senseless.

Top Five Genius Results: Three & Nine – Roxy Music
Seen & Not Seen – Talking Heads
Last Gang In Town – The Clash
Oh, Jim – Lou Reed
Lonesome Cowboy Bill – Velvet Underground

For The Good Of The Order: This album, one of Bowie’s last good-as-in-good-art-good records, ends with a much more calm, peaceful, placid version of the song. Still, when I bought this in high school after seeing “Fashion” and “Ashes To Ashes” on MTV, I was a bit taken aback by how unhinged Bowie sounded on this track.

And now you can hear it as well….

Title: Big Bang Baby

Artist: Stone Temple Pilots

Album: Tiny Music…Songs From The Vatican Gift Shop

Year Released: 1996

What It Is: In my ears, one of the few songs that realized the potential of Stone Temple Pilots. No turgidity, no excess, no sexism. Just good, strong, yet melodic rock and roll.

Riffage / Hookage: A decent riff and a pretty cool melody. Not much more that you can ask for, is there?

Cowbell?: Noper.

Words Of Wisdom: “So turn it up and burn it
Theres a hole in your head
Theres a hole in your head
Where the birds cant sing along

Does anybody know
How the story really goes
How the story really goes
Or should we all just hum along”

Mixology Report: It’s a quite versatile track, and can fit pretty well anywhere in a mix. It’s especially good at the beginning or as a transitional cut between genres.

Top Five Genius Results: Burden In My Head – Soundgarden
I’ll Stick Around – Foo Fighters
Animal – Pearl Jam
Seether – Veruca Salt
Zero – Smashing Pumpkins

There was this station in Indiana, X103, that was the first ‘alternative rock’ station, and yes, they became as predictable as the local AOR station. Those tracks probably made up a commercial free block, no doubt.

For The Good Of The Order: I first heard “Sex Type Thing” on MTV, liked it and bought their first record. I thought it was a turgid mess, and then read that the lyrics were pretty well misogynistic. So I sold it back. And I resisted STP for the longest time. When I heard this cut, I secretly liked it, but didn’t say anything. I finally bought it on iTunes, and now I have 5 (count ’em) STP tracks on le Pod. I still think some of their ‘hits’ are boring post-grunge sludge feasts, but I do admit they have a few good tracks.

Here they are on the Late Show. I always thought bassist Robert DeLeo looked more like a wise guy than a rock star.

Title: Matilda Mother

Artist: Pink Floyd

Album: The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn

Year Released: 1967

What It Is: Early Pink Floyd, in 3:00 or so. It’s dreamy, spacey, complicated, complex, yet simple in its own way. Basically, it’s Syd Barrett, pre-freak out. Well, pre-mental freak out. His music was pretty freaky anyway.

Riffage / Hookage: Barrett had an ear for hooks. There’s a lot of catchy parts here and it’s really a pretty good melody with good harmonies thanks to Syd, Richard Wright and Roger Waters. I think you could sing this in the shower, maybe. If you were so inclined, of course.

Cowbell?: No, but there’s enough other stuff going on to keep you occupied.

Words Of Wisdom: “Across the stream with wooden shoes,
bells to tell the King the news.
A thousand misty riders
climb up higher once upon a time.

Wondering and dreaming.
The words have different meanings…
Yes they did…”

Magical, really, isn’t it? No, seriously. Syd had a penchant for this child-like story telling.

Mixology Report: Duuuude. I’d say be careful for those who don’t “get” the whole LSD music thing deal bit – otherwise good to go. I’d rather hear this on the radio than anything from “The Wall”.

Top Five Genius Results: Effervescing Elephant – Syd Barrett
Armenia City In The Sky – The Who
Yes, The River Knows – The Doors
Pandoras Golden Heebie Jeebies – The Association (no, really, it fits!)
Uncle Jack – Spirit

For The Good Of The Order I love the first two Pink Floyd albums, but some of the edits are really butchered. They recorded them in Abbey Road, and you know some of the Beatles songs have pretty raw edits, right? Well, at about 1:59 here it’s just a sudden jump cut – BAM! – from the bridge to the last verse sung by Richard Wright. The song “Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun” also has a monstrously noticeable edit in it as well. But that’s just me – who notices these things.

Here’s a clip…and I know you can enjoy it WITHOUT substances! Just say no, if you will.

Title: Tighter, Tighter

Artist: Alive & Kicking

Album: Alive ‘N Kickin’

Year Released: 1970 (yes, again!)

What It Is: Great, breezy pop music penned by Tommy James (doesn’t it sound like a Shondells song, in a way?) with a great fuzzed out guitar solo.

Riffage / Hookage: Yeah, a pretty darn good hook in the intro AND in the chorus. So it is a Tommy James type tune. Mega-hooks, mega-hooks everywhere!

Cowbell?: Nope.

Words Of Wisdom: “Hold on a-just a little bit tighter now baby
I love you so much and I can’t let go no, no, no
Hold on a-just a little bit tighter now baby”

Don’t need more than that with the hooks.

Mixology Report: Yeah! It crosses generations and isn’t all schmaltzy.

Top Five Genius Results: Wildflower – Skylark
Hold Your Head Up – Argent (?)
Lay A Little Lovin’ On Me – Robin McNamara
Montego Bay – Bobby Bloom
If You Leave Me Now – Chicago

For The Good Of The Order: They’re still at it! And they’re celebrating their 40th anniversary by slashing prices! I wonder if they have a Ca$h For Clunker$ program as well? I mean, I have this copy of “Tin Machine” that I need to get rid of….STILL!

Here’s a nifty video tribute / ad for them backed by their hit, of course.

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