Friday, January 20, 2006

I like to folk

Since we started this blog, a mere ten days ago, I've been frantically posting all manner of disco, house and techno tracks - all of 'em solid, with the notable exception of that godawful Black Strobe tune. Such is the colossal amount of quality dance music being pressed up these days, that I occasionally forget that what musical wonders exist beyond the borders of 4x4 linearity. Not today. I'm feeling ruinously hung over, with a pain in the back of my skull that feels more like the death-knell than a drinker's headache. As such, I'm in no fit state to blast out the pontillistic minimal and ill disco that is, to all intents and purposes, my daily bread and butter...And when you can't push forward, the best thing you can do is look back. So here are a few tabs of audio paracetamol from the well-stocked pharmacy of US folk & country; if I had a choice between saving any of these camp-as-chips songs from an annihilating fire, and saving the entire Crosstown Rebels back catalogue, I would almost certainly choose the former...the reasons, I think, will become obvious...

Dion DiMucci (above) started his career as a doo-wop megastar (yep, such a thing did once exist), cooing the soundtrack to young America and becoming a household name for it. By the end of the sixties, as befits a legend, he was ravaged by heroin addiction, washed-up and musically bankrupt...But he cleaned up his act, re-invented himself as a country-rock salvationist, and recorded the classic album 'Born to Be With You' with gun-toting sonic despot Phil Spector. The title track to the LP is a real epic, with Spector's trademark drum and sax sounds providing a fine setting for Dion's yearning vocal performance. Bobby Gillespie claims it to be his favourite song of all time, though I guess he probably digs the whole opiate redemption vibe more than you or I. In truth, it's a little bit over-egged to occupy my heart's inner sanctum, but fuck me, it's a diamond all the same.

Dion - Born To Be With You

I can't say I know a great deal about Chris Lucey. I read a short piece on him in Mojo two or three years ago, where his cruelly forgotten 1967 album 'Songs of Protest and Anti-Protest' was being reinstated as a jewel in the crown of the West Coast folk scene. The obvious soundalike is Arthur Lee, and the lilting, playful feel of this here track underlines the comparison; unlike Lee, the hard-edged Beatles influence is not really apparent - rather, the mildly jazzy arrangements call to mind Tim Buckley's more whimsical stuff. Anyway, in short, if you love Love (and who in their right mind doesn't?), you're bound to get on with this tune. It's breezy, breezy, breezy....

Chris Lucey - That's The Way The World Has Go To Be

I don't exactly claim much expertise on Bergen White either. Specializing in delightfully camp, spectacularly over-orchestrated love songs, White reached the height of his innocently twisted powers with 'She is Today', the opening track of brilliantly titled LP 'For Women Only'. A soft pop masterpiece, it sounds like the theme tune to some 60s TV show about, say, a young girl and her heroic pet dog. If I suggest that White makes Brian Wilson sound/seem like Nine Inch Nails at their most cathartic, you'll have some idea of quite how cutesy and saccharine this short song actually is. I've owned this for three years, and I still can't decide whether it's the best or worst thing I've ever heard.

Bergen White - She Is Today

I'll be posting again soon with some slightly more contemporary soul-soothers. And then back to der techno, ja?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can you put on again the Chris Lucey Disc. I'm late to know him,and is so difficult find the record.I'm a brazilian guy and recently i discover this wonderful singer.Make me a favour and let me know him. Thank you very much.You're great,Richard Carnage, Mr. Soft and Puffin Jack.

10:25 PM  

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