Happy CUBS Season, Everyone!!!
Monday, March 31, 2014
Sunday, March 23, 2014
Noval song-poems are often an offbeat treat. The one's I typically enjoy feature half-assed musical performances of lyrics which are badly suited to the backing provided, sung by a guy who has problems staying on pitch. Today's feature, however, has a decent, if journeyman-like bluesy jazz backing, and the singing is considerably better than I'd have expected.
In this case, it's the lyric that makes me grin, every time I hear it. I won't spoil the source of the argument that's central to that lyric - you should get to discover that yourself - but I will say that I cannot imagine anyone having a major argument ("for most an hour"), over the disagreement described here (especially given that the singer states he will "do anything for you")
At 100 seconds or so, this is one of the shorter song-poems you'll hear. Also please note that the entire song has only eight lines of lyrics, some of which are repeats of earlier lines.
Download: No Artist Named - Salvation Army
The flip side, "You" is about as creative and interesting as is its title. Again, there are minimal lines to this song, stretched out at a snail's pace, again across about 100 seconds of music:
Download: No Artist Named - You
Sunday, March 16, 2014
Mr. Fontaine's name appears on only two documented Tin Pan Alley discs, and only on one side of this one. His vocal is artless and struggles with varying success to stay on pitch throughout, but as this latter point is true of many who recorded for TPA after about 1963, there must be some other reason for his brief tenure with the label.
Note that although the record is nearly three minutes long, there really aren't even two full verses here, and the record is padded by about 1/3 of its total length by one of the dullest instrumental passages imaginable.
Download: Nick Fontaine - Two Little Irish Roses
I wanted to make the post a tie-in to the holiday, and have done that, but the real meat on this disc is to be found on the non-Irish side, provided by our old pal "Lance" (as he was always credited), and a rollicking number titled "Darling Teenager".
The surf-styled drum intro and doo-wop chords leading into the vocal tell you immediately that you're in for something fun, and the rest of the record doesn't let you down! Something about the pianist's style leads me to strongly believe this is a jazz guy slumming in the song-poem trenches - his chording, soloing and other licks just don't fit this style at all, which just adds to the sort of wonderful weirdness of the track.
"Lance" isn't really up to the task (and rarely, if ever was, on his TPA sides), but at least he has something resembling a style. On the other hand, his shouted encouragements seemed canned - the one at 1:45 sounds exceptionally fake and cracks me up every time. In addition, this is another song where a couple of verses have been stretched out to the standard 150 seconds by an extended instrumental solo, although at least in this case, it has some energy. All in all, a very entertainingly weird track.
Download: "Lance" - Darling Teenager
Saturday, March 08, 2014
Today's offering is a prime example. The song, titled "Really", is not likely to set anyone aflame. Yet the the drummer and bass player seem to think they're backing up a top of the line Motown session, with a deeply soulful offering on the part of each. Whoever is working those Chamberlin strings isn't doing too shabbily, either. Saving the best for last, Gene Marshall gives it his all, with a warm, inviting vocal - I love the sound of his voice.
By the way, the glitch beginning at 0:23 is right on the record - the sound muddies, and there is a tape glitch sound a second later. I'm guessing this was an imperfection in the reel tape used for the master, and presumably not caught (because, you know, who really cared?).
Download: Gene Marshall - Really
Download: Gene Marshall - Life is Like a Rose