05.04.2011

FROM THE VAULT: Lee Hazlewood – Requiem for an Almost Lady

Lee Hazlewood - Requiem for an Almost Lady

To say that time forgot Lee Hazlewood isn’t quite right, but he’s not exactly a household name, either. He’s the other half of the Nancy (Sinatra) and Lee tandem, the relatively obscure pop genius behind “These Boots Were Made for Walkin.’” His crotchety baritone and air-tight lyrics put him in the same league – in a lot of ways – as Leonard Cohen, or at least Tim Hardin, but he’s got a wry streak that you’d be hard pressed to find from other late-‘60’s/early-‘70’s troubadours.

To say that time forgot his 1971 album Requiem for an Almost Lady is a little more on-point. Originally only released in Sweden and the UK, it was re-released in 1999 on CD in the US. When the board was rearranging CDs in the pop vault, I found the station’s copy. His name rang a bell, since I’ve been on a Nancy Sinatra kick for the better part of a year now, and the greatness of her collaborations with Hazlewood has never been lost on me. This was the first Hazlewood solo I’d come across, and it seems as good a place as any to start.

There’s a self-consciously campy quality to Requiem that will endear some, and no doubt irk others. It is, first and foremost, a breakup album, and Hazlewood never minces words (though he doesn’t give any names). He introduces each of the ten songs on this album with some self-styled platitude about romance, and that’s where most of the camp lies. He could be your creepy uncle, the wizened dude pounding Wild Turkey at the end of the bar, or the poet laureate of something in between. “In the beginning there was nothing,” he says in the album’s opening seconds, “but it sure was fun to watch nothing grow.” He offsets those kinds of wistful remembrances with deadpans like: “I’m glad I never owned a gun.” I happen to like this combo. It works best songs like “I’m Glad I Never,” “Little Miss Sunshine (Little Miss Rain),” and “If It’s Monday Morning,” the latter two of which rival any of Hardin’s or Kris Kristofferson’s hits. While the album isn’t all gems, these cuts alone make it worth the listen.

Given his status as a niche songwriter, it makes sense that Hazlewood doesn’t carry the name-recognition that Kristofferson, Hardin, or Cohen do. Still, he’s a nice foil to these guys. For every great songwriter inspired by the craftsmanship of these songwriters, there are others who tend to embody only their more lachrymose and affected moments. If there were more songwriters like Hazlewood, people might write pop songs better able to express the conflicting emotions – a little more sunshine, a little more rain — that come with heartbreak (save his concession that he’d “rather be her enemy than have her call me friend”). But Lee’s all we’ve got, and that’s really not so bad.

RIYL: Tim Hardin, Kris Kristofferson, Leonard Cohen, Nancy Sinatra

(Matt Orenstein)

Lee Hazelwood – If It’s Monday Morning

03.11.2011

FROM THE VAULT: Vinyl Mix 3/11/2011

Blaque

Here’s this week’s mix…bookended with two pieces by American composer/visionary Robert Kelly.

R.Kelly – Feelin’ On Yo Booty

Simple Minds – Promised You A Miracle

Prefab Sprout – When Love Breaks Down

R. Stevie Moore – Puttin’ Up The Groceries

Dead Milkmen – Instant Club Hit (You’ll Dance To Anything)

Blaque – Can’t Get It Back

R. Kelly – Feelin’ On Yo Booty (Remix – Street Edit)

-Brian Becker and the Vinyl Workgroup

03.06.2011

FROM THE VAULT: Vinyl Mix 3/6/11

Vinyl Mix 3/6/11 - John Prine

For the rest of the semester, we’ll be posting mixes of a few songs off of records found in WOBC’s deep vault. Here’s the first mix of many.

Wreckess Eric – (I’d Go The) Whole Wide World

Ihashi Elimhlophe – Bambela

John Prine – Pretty Good

Sigue Sigue Sputnik – Love Missle F1-11

-Brian Becker and Vinyl Workgroup

02.12.2011

FROM THE VAULT: Nanci Griffith – Lone Star State Of Mind

Nanci Griffith Lone Star State of Mind

Digging around in WOBC’s vault of folk vinyl for my country show last summer, I came across a compilation called Country and Eastern. I didn’t think I would like it because the part of country that is western and not eastern is what usually appeals to me. But on that record is a track by Nanci Griffith (“I Wish It Would Rain”) that got me thinking beyond the parameters of raspy old man country music.

It turns out that we’ve got a whole lot of Nanci Griffith in the vault here, including her 1986 album Lone Star State of Mind. The record does well what country music does best: songs about really sad things that don’t make you sad, and songs about getting out of town. My favorite is “Ford Econoline,” because I love songs about ladies pursuing happiness by taking to the open road, and “Cold Hearts/Closed Minds” is a really sweet contribution to the I’m-gonna-leave-you-in-the-morning classification of sad songs. -Stella

— Side One —
Lone Star State Of Mind
Cold Hearts / Closed Minds
From A Distance
Beacon Street
Nickel Dreams
Sing One For Sister

— Side Two —
Ford Econoline
Trouble In The Fields
Love In A Memory
Let It Shine On Me
There’s A Light Beyond These Woods (Mary Margaret)

01.30.2011

FROM THE VAULT: Vanity 6 – Drive Me Wild 12″

Vanity 6
From the Vault is a reoccurring feature where fearless DJs plunge into the depths of the station vaults to bring you the freshest stuff gone stale! In addition to a massive LP collection, we’re also sitting on hundreds of 45s eager to see the light of day. Enjoy!
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This single from 1982 was a minor hit for Vanity 6, a girl group trio formed and produced by Prince under the pseudonym Jamie Starr and the Starr ☆ Company. “Drive Me Wild” and its rockin’ B-side, “Bite The Beat,” appear on Vanity 6’s only full-length album, their self-titled debut release (pictured above). According to unconfirmed sources, Prince had been wanting to mentor a girl singer or group since the late ’70s when he saw the film A Star is Born starring Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson. “Drive Me Wild” is everything you’d expect from a tune ghost-written by Prince, featuring sultry spoken female vocals: you’ll be stepping back and forth in no time at all. -Will Floyd

Vanity 6 – Bite The Beat
Vanity 6 – Drive Me Wild

01.29.2011

FROM THE VAULT: The Three O’Clock – Sixteen Tambourines

The Three O'Clock - Sixteen Tambourines

From the Vault is a reoccurring feature where fearless DJs plunge into the depths of the station vaults to bring you the freshest stuff gone stale! In addition to a massive vinyl collection, we’re also sitting on hundreds and hundreds of 45s, lots of which are super rad and super rare. Enjoy!
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Here’s a gem from the WOBC vault. A good friend of mine showed me this record at the end of last year and, sure enough, a copy was buried in the pop vault.

The Three O’Clock were a part of the Paisley Underground scene in L.A. during the early 1980s. Young bassist and frontman, Michael Quercio, coined the term “Paisley Underground” as a joke meant to distinguish bands like Dream Syndicate, Rain Parade, and the Bangles (early days) from the hardcore punk scene prevalent at the time.

Sixteen Tambourines was the first full length released by The Three O’Clock under that name. A different lineup led by Michael Querico played earlier under the name The Salvation Army. The band continued to record until the late ’80s releasing their final album in 1988. However, Sixteen Tambourines is by far the most enjoyable of their releases. A great pop album. Michael Querico’s vocal melodies and the occasional horn lines are highlights. -Will Floyd

–Side One–
Jet Fighter
Stupid Einstein
And So We Run
Fall To The Ground
A Day In Erotica

–Side Two–
Tomorrow
In My Own Time
The Three OClock – On My Own
The Three OClock – When Lightning Starts
Seeing Is Believing

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Also, check out this strange roller rink inspired music video for “Her Head’s Revolving,” 
the single off of their 1985 album, Arrive Without Travelling.

07.01.2010

FROM THE VAULT: The Nonce – Roadie For The Kinks 45”

From the Vault will be a reoccurring feature here on the WOBC blog where fearless DJs plunge into the depths of the station vaults to bring you the freshest stuff gone stale! In addition to a massive vinyl collection, we’re also sitting on hundreds and hundreds of 45s, lots of which are super rad and super rare. We’ll be posting cuts from these recordings for your enjoyment, so let us know what you think!
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It’s been a while since we posted any cuts from the archives, but want no longer! Here’s a 45” from an old Oakland area band The Nonce (feat. Rookie Phenom). This got pulled on the merits of its title and turned out to be pretty awesome. The A side, “Roadie For The Kinks” is a fun homage to Davies, Davies & Co. (the sleeve also bears the plea: HELP PUT THE KINKS IN THE ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME! call 415-648-9405) but the real winner is the B side, “Sometimes I Wonder.”

RIYL: The Kinks, History, Parahistory

More information can be found on the following site: www.energyoverseer.com/Nonce2.html

A1 The Nonce – Roadie For The Kinks
B1 The Nonce – Sometimes I Wonder