Dance Macabre

Dance Macabre

Friday, 27 October 2017

Some More Rockers From The 50's & 60's

Fats Domino ~ 89 ~ Classic New Orleans R&B pianist with hits w/"Blueberry Hill", "I'm Walking", "The Fat Man". Fats was not the most famous black R&R figure of the 50's, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddly, Little Richard and Nat King Cole can fight over that title, but Fats actually had the most hit's starting in 1949.

FATS DOMINO ~ "AIN'T THAT A SHAME";


Howard Carroll ~ 92 ~ American guitarist with 1950's & 60's Gospel group The Dixie Hummingbirds

THE DIXIE HUMMINGBIRDS ~ "I'VE GOT SO MUCH TO SHOUT ABOUT";


THE DIXIE HUMMINGBIORDS ~ "IF YOU SEE MY SAVIOUR";


THE DIXIE HUMMINGBIRDS ~ "DIDN'T IT RAIN";


JIMMY BEAUMONT ~ 76 ~ Singer with 1960's Doo-Wop group The Skyliners ("Since I Don't Have You";

THE SKYLINERS ~ "SINCE I DON'T HAVE YOU";


George Young ~ Singer and guitarist from 1960's Australian band The Easybeats with hits like "Friday On My Mind" and "Sorry". He was also the older brother of Angus and Malcolm Young from AC/DC and he served as their manager in the early years.

THE EASYBEATS ~ "FRIDAY ON MY MIND";


THE EASYBEATS ~ "SORRY";


THE EASYBEATS ~ "SHE'S SO FINE";


Pentti Glan ~ 71 ~ Finnish-Canadian drummer (Alice Cooper, Lou Reed, Mandala, Klaatu)

THE MANDALA ~ "LOVEITIS";


KLAATU ~ "A ROUTINE DAY";


Riem de Wolff ~ 74 ~ Dutch-Indonesian singer w/1960's Dutch Pop Band The Blue Diamonds

THE BLUE DIAMONDS ~ "RAMONA";


Boris Lindqvist ~ 76 ~ Swedish 1960's rock singer


Dick Noel ~ 90 ~ American big band band singer w/Ray Anthony's Orch ("Count Every Star")

RAY ANTHONY ORCH w/DICK NOEL:


Gert Timmerman ~ 82 ~ Dutch big band singer


Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Some More Figures From The Punk & New Wave Era

Grant Hart ~ 56 ~ Drummer/Singer/Songwriter w/classic 1980's Minnesota band Husker Du ("Don't Wanna Know If Yo Are Lonely", "Turn On The News", "Eight Miles High"

HUSKER DU ~ "DON'T WANT TO KNOW IF YOU ARE LONELY";


HUSKER DU ~ "COULD YOU BE THE ONE";


HUSKER DU ~ "EIGHT MILES HIGH";


Iain Shedden ~ 60 ~ Scottish-Australian drummer w/1970's Punk band The Saints
THE SAINTS ~ "I'M STRANDED";


Mike Hudson ~ 61 ~ American guitarist with 1970's Ohio Punk band The Pagans

THE PAGANS ~ "HOPPED UP";


Fred Cole ~ 69 ~ Singer with California Garage bands Lollipop Shoppe and Dead Moon

DEAD MOON ~ "DOA";


Chuck Mosley ~ 57 ~ American singer w/Faith No More ("We Care a Lot") and Bad Brains

FAITH NO MORE ~ "WE CARE A LOT";


C'el Revuelta ~ Bassist with Los Angeles Hardcore band Black Flag

BLACK FLAG ~ "RISE ABOVE";


BLACK FLAG ~ "NERVOUS BREAKDOWN";


Eric Eycke ~ 62 ~ Former Singer with American thrash band Corrosion of Conformity (circa 1984)

CORROSION OF CONFORMITY;


Borislav Oslovčan ~ 56 ~ Serbian bassist w/Punk Band Pekinška Patka

Pekinska Patka - Biti ruzan, pametan i mlad;


Pekinška Patka - "Poderimo Rock";


Alvin DeGuzman ~ Guitarist with American Alternative Band The Icarus Line
THE ICARUS LINE ~ "UP AGAINST THE WALL";


THE ICARUS LINE ~ "PARTY THE BABY OFF";


Larry Ray ~ 63 ~ American rock guitarist w/Psyche-Rock Band Outrageous Cherry

OUTRAGEOUS CHERRY ~ "LOVE & OTHER ELECTRICAL STORMS";


OUTRAGEOUS CHERRY ~ "OUR LOVE WILL CHANGE THE WORLD";

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Tom Petty & Gord Downie

TOM PETTY & THE HEARTBREAKERS ~ "REFUGEE";


Tom Petty occupied an odd position in the 1980's. He could have been easily seen as a grizzled old vet like Bob Seger, both had been kicking around since the early seventies (earlier even, albeit not recorded) playing straight ahead three minute rock & roll songs in an era when such artists were being rudely pushed aside by the snarling hordes of Punk and the sneering artistes of New wave and Post-Punk. And yet Tom Petty became one of the few guys that everybody, even the most hardcore punk or pretentious Waver had to admit to a grudging liking for Tom Petty. It's partly his music which was stripped down enough to appeal to New Waver fans of the Pretenders, Police or Cars or punks like the Ramones, Jam or clash. His songs were exactly the sort of catchy, short and no-nonsense rock and roll songs that the original punks said they wanted when they tore into the dinosaurs of the 1970's; bloated Prog Rock, drippy sing-songwriters, drugged out Southern Rock, the wasted offspring of the sixties. Then there's the fact that while Petty was on a major label he Petty also had enough integrity to take on his own record company at considerable cost to himself. He also embraced other causes that some of his more red-necked fans might have objected to; the environment, peace, gun control. The Florida born Petty did use the Confederate flag during his "Southern Accents" album and tour but after seeing how this encouraged right-wing fans he had the integrity and guts to publicly back off which is more than you can say for Lynard Skynard or any number of Southern Rock, Rockabilly or Psychobilly bands.

TOM PETTY & THE HEARTBREAKERS ~ "YOU GOT LUCKY";


Also; unlike most of his no-frills rock Petty had just enough sense of visual style to toss off a few vaguely mod touches instead of the the beardo-trucker look of Bob Seger or Bryan Adams. Besides he was cool in a southern stoner way. Petty was cool enough to record with old fogies like Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, Ringo Starr and Stevie Nicks.

THE TRAVELING WILBURYS ~ "HANDLE ME WITH CARE";


In retrospect he was the American equivalent to British Pub Rockers like Nick Lowe, Dave Edmunds, Dr Feelgood, Ducks Deluxe and even Dire Straits in their early years. Except Petty turned out to be more successful than any of those worthies. The multi-platinum selling Dire Straits may have moved more product but in the end Petty's songs have had a longer life. Like Neil Young he would later be embraced by the next generation of Grunge and Alt-Country bands.

TOM PETTY & THE HEARTBREAKERS ~ "CHANGE OF HEART";


TOM PETTY & THE HEARTBREAKERS ~ "DON'T COME AROUND ME";


It's a little hard to explain to Americans (or Brits for that matter) the Tragically Hip. Musically they were sort of in the tradition of Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen of vaguely garagey straight ahead working class rawk & roll. But the Hip lacked the bombast of Springsteen and were more garagey then Petty. Also for all his old fashioned populist instincts Tom Petty saw himself as a polished songwriter, not a troubadour as Hip singer and songwriter Gord Downie clearly did. The Hip didn't start out that way. I saw them back in about 1988 and thought they were basically in the vein of what the Replacements, Soul Asylum and especially UIC were doing by that point. Downie even looked EXACTLY like UIC singer Dave Robinson with their plaid shirts and Darryl Sittler hair. (Later they would coincidentally both shave their heads, not sure who did it first).

THE TRAGICALLY HIP ~ "NEW ORLEANS IS SINKING";


I thought they were OK but I never predicted they would become they most beloved band in Canada. Then again neither did anybody else. It happened slowly as Downie warmed to his self-appointed role of Canada's rock and roll poet laureate, sort of a cross between Woody Guthrie, Dylan, Springsteen, Petty, John Cougar, Neil Young and Micheal Stipe. Both folksy and artsy in equal measure. His literate insertions of obscure Canadian locals and celebrities into numerous songs earned him a fanatical following that would never be able to translate to other countries. The Hip did have some American fans, tellingly mostly in border cities like Buffalo (where there is a giant mural in tribute) and a few astute critics. But while the rest of the Hip were sold enough everybody knew that without Downie they would have been the Georgia Satellites. A good party band with perhaps a few catchy hits but little more.

THE TRAGICALLY HIP ~ "MUSIC AT WORK";


Even as he cultivated an image as a sensitive, thoughtful man-of-the-people, Downie was not seen as an explicitly political figure (unlike Midnight Oil's Peter Garrett, another comparison) until fairly recently as he embraced environmentalism and indigenous people. It's a measure of how genuinely loved he had become with much of the country that while normally celebrities who take such stands, even popular Canadians like Neil Young, would immediately get viciously attacked by conservative politicians and media, nobody, literally nobody on the right, no matter how sleazy, dared to utter a peep in protest. The revelation that Downie had incurable brain cancer basically deified him and and their final tour became a national event which he deftly used to direct attention to his causes while still being seen as down-to-earth in ways that Bono, for example, never could. It should be said that the Hip's audiences where overwhelmingly white (and native), nobody ever called the Hip "funky". Still in the end Downie was seen as an avatar of how Canadians like to see themselves, friendly, decent, modest, down-to-earth, hard-working, smart without being snooty and proud of their country without resorting to the braggadocio and xenophobia they so dislike about Americans.

THE TRAGICALLY HIP ~ "COURAGE";

Friday, 29 September 2017

Hugh Hefner, Playboy And Rock & Roll

Hugh Hefner isn't normally thought of as a figure with a connection to R&R but part of his "Playboy" esthetic, or ideology even, included the idea that a Playboy Man should have god taste in literature (Hemingway, Capote, Mailer, Miller, Vidal and Baldwin all wrote for him), art (Pop Art, Abstract Expressionism, Dali) and music. At a time when "swingers" were still listening to Mantovani or Jackie Gleason's "Songs For Lovers" albums Hefner promoted some fairly hip music. Starting with the obvious choices like Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughan in the 1950's he moved into Cool Jazz and before embracing the Summer Of Love in the mid sixties. One of his projects in the late 1960's was a late night TV show called "Playboy After Dark which had on some of the coolest bands around, including a number of black musicians hosted by Hef in a somewhat incongruous tuxedo.

IKE & TINA TURNER;


STEPPENWOLF ~ "AMERICA";


PETER GREEN'S FLEETWOOD MAC ~ "RATTLESNAKE SHAKE";


THE BYRDS ~ "YOU AIN'T GOING NOWHERE" & "THIS WHEELS ON FIRE";


DEEP PURPLE ~ "HUSH;


IRON BUTTERFLY ~ "INNA-GADDA-DAVIDA";


CANNED HEAT ~ "ON THE ROAD AGAIN";


JAMES BROWN;


MARVIN GAYE ~ "CHAINED";


JAMES COTTON & LUTHER TUCKER;


BUDDY MILES;


BB KING ~ "THE THRILL IS GONE";


BUDDY RICH;


DAVE BRUBECK ~ "TAKE FIVE";

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Steely Dan and Can

Pro-Rock gets a bad rap. And deservedly so. Most of it was laughably bloated, pompous, stoner-fart attempts to graft a middle-brow idea of high culture where it has no business being. That is on jazz-influenced hard rock. There was good reason why the not only the angry anarchists of Punk but also the reactionary revisionists of Neo-Rockabilly , Neo-Garage and Cow-Punk despised Prog-Rock so much. However not all of it was crap. Pink Floyd had some genuinely good, even great music. Then there were a few Prog-Rockers that even many punks had to agree were pretty cool. King Crimson for example, and FM. Then there were the German variety called Kraut Rock which was somehow less pretentious than the British version leading to bands like Can and Faust.

Holger Czukay, co-founder of Can with whom he played who played guitar, bass, keyboards, drums and horn, starting in 1968 died at age 79. He would alo record many solo albums and record with David Sylvian, The Edge, and PIL bassist Jah Wobble.

CAN ~ "PAPER HOUSE";


The term Prog Rock isn't usually used for American band Steely Dan, that tern normally being reserved for British and Canadian bands however it's hard to know what else to call Steely Dan with their slick Jazz influenced take on 1970's pop. Walter Becker, guitarist and bassist for Steely Dan also died this week aged 67.

STEELY DAN ~ "DO IT AGAIN";


STEELY DAN ~ "REELING IN THE YEARS";


After Steely Dan broke up in the early eighties Becker surprised some by returning to pkay with British New Wave band China Crisis.

CHINA CRISIS ~ "KING IN A CATHOLIC STYLE";


CHINA CRISIS ~ "BLACK MAN RAY";


Tuesday, 1 August 2017

A Few Canadian Rockers

Goldie McJohn ~ 72 ~ Keyboardist with 1960's Toronto bands Steppenwolf, The Sparrow & the Myna Birds

THE MYNA BIRDS ~ "IT'S MY TIME";


THE SPARROW ~ "GOING TO CALIFORNIA";


STEPPENWOLF ~ "BORN TO BE WILD";


STEPPENWOLF ~ "MAGIC CARPET RIDE";


Bobby Taylor ~ 83 ~ Singer w/1960's Canadian R&B group Bobby Taylor & the Vancouvers

BOBBY TAYLOR & THE VANCOUVERS ~ "I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE";


BOBBY TAYLOR & THE VANCOUVERS ~ "TRY A LITTLE TENDERNESS";


Kenny Shields ~ 69 ~ Singer w/Canadian 1970's & 80's rock band Streetheart ("Under My Thumb", "Hollywood", "One More Time", "What Kind Of Love Is This")

STREETHEART ~ "HOLLYWOOD";


STREETHEART ~ "UNDER MY THUMB";


Skip Prokob; Toronto drummer with 1960's Garage-Psyche band The Paupers and 1970's Prog Rock band Lighthouse, later a DJ at CFMY and other stations.

THE PAUPERS ~ "THINK I CARE";


THE PAUPERS ~ "THE MAGIC PEOPLE";



Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Some Figures From The Avant Garde

Erkki Kurenniemi ~ 75 ~ Finnish electronic musician, composer & instrument inventor from the 1960's onward

ERKKI KURENNIEMI ~ "ELECTRONICS IN THE WORLD OF TOMORROW";


ERKKI KURENNIEMI ~ "SAHARAN UNI I";


ERKKI KURENNIEMI ~ "KELLO 12.12";


Elisabeth Chojnacka ~ 77 ~ Polish harpsichordist w/The Xenakis Ensemble

IANNIS XENAKIS ~ "A LILE DE LA GOREE";


IANNIS XENAKIS ~ "IKHOOR";