Thursday, October 30, 2008



"Vote" mp3
by Chris Stamey and Yo La Tengo
Public Service Announcement

"Time Has Come Today" mp3
by The Chambers Brothers, 1968.
available on The Time Has Come

"Stand!" mp3
by Sly and the Family Stone, 1969.
avaliable on Stand!

"Yes We Can Can" mp3
by Allen Toussaint, 2005.
available on Our New Orleans: A Benefit Album for the Gulf Coast

"I'll Take You There" mp3
by The Staple Singers, 1972.
available on Be Altitude: Respect Yourself

"Let's Make A Better World" mp3
by Dr. John, 1974.
available on Desitively Bonnaroo

"This Land Is Your Land" mp3
by Woody Guthrie, 1944.
available on This Land Is Your Land: The Asch Recordings, Vol. 1

"Yes We Can Can" mp3
by The Pointer Sisters, 1973.
available on The Pointer Sisters

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Fluville Gazette Vol. 1 No. 1

I've been getting a little static lately from the readers of this blog about the lack of posting frequency here. This is a blog. It's not my job, but it feels like it. A few months ago I had to explain this to my son. He's kind of impressed at how many people actually read this (and I am too) but confused at how much time his Dad spends doing it. Today, on the phone, he asked me how to download the songs here.

So, rather than compose another one of my long winded and angular diatribes combining conspiracy theories of relativity with songs we love so much and the people who record them, I thought I might bring you all up to speed on some exciting new developments here at the Fluville Chamber of Commerce.

Well, not really. But that was fun to say.

Let's see.

Yesterday, I went to the dentist and left with one less tooth in my mouth. It's a drag, because I really liked that tooth. It reminded me of this song which I saw The Feelies perform last month, it was one the best shows I've seen by anyone in recent memory. It contains the following lines:

Next day I went to the dentist
He pulled some teeth
and I lost some blood

"Sedan Delivery" mp3
by Neil Young, 1979.
available on Rust Never Sleeps

"Sedan Delivery" mp3
by The Feelies, 1986.
from No One Knows EP
out of print

They also played a semi-obscure number by The Modern Lovers.

"I Wanna Sleep In Your Arms" mp3
by The Modern Lovers, 1976.
available on The Modern Lovers

When I got home, a little lighter in the jaw, I saw that I had received a package from the nice folks at Rhino containing the new batch of Replacements reissues. After you listen to these teaser tracks, just go and buy the damn things if you don't have them already. They are that good. I contributed a photograph to the Pleased to Meet Me reissue, and you can see and read all about it HERE and listen to one additional track.

"Waitress In The Sky" (alternate) mp3
by The Replacements, 1985.
available on Tim

"Tossin' and Turnin'" mp3
by The Replacements, 1987.
available on Pleased to Meet Me

"We Know the Night" (alternate) mp3
by The Replacements, 1989.
available on Don't Tell a Soul

"Attitude" (demo) mp3
by The Replacements, 1990.
available on All Shook Down

Okay, so then I went upstairs and and ate some very soft food in my very sore mouth, and watched the very excellent Johnny Cash's America on the A&E Biography Channel produced and directed by friends of Fluville, Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville. You can buy the DVD next week HERE

In the meantime, enjoy this:

"The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" mp3
by Johnny Cash, 1975.
from John R. Cash
out of print

Oh, there are some very good interviews in the film by a number of artists including these people:

"Violin Bums" mp3
by James Luther Dickinson, 2006.
available on Jungle Jim and the Voodoo Tiger

"Killing Him" mp3
by Amy LaVere, 2007.
available on Anchors & Anvils

"Marching To The City" mp3
by Bob Dylan, 1997.
available on Tell Tale Signs: The Bootleg Series Vol. 8 (Deluxe)

"In The Jailhouse Now" mp3
by Steve Earle & The V-Roys, 1996.
available on Songs of Jimmie Rodgers: A Tribute

Also featured in the film is 'Cowboy' Jack Clement. He wrote a lot of songs for Sun artists, and produced and engineered a lot of records recorded there.

Here's a few of the songs that he's written:

"I Like It" mp3
by Roy Orbison, 1956.
available on Rocker

"It'll Be Me" mp3
by Jerry Lee Lewis, 1957.
available on All Killer, No Filler: The Anthology

"Guess Things Happen That Way" mp3
by Johnny Cash, 1958.
available on The Essential Johnny Cash 1955-1983

"Miller's Cave" mp3
by Gram Parsons & The International Submarine Band, 1967.
available on Safe at Home

This weekend, I'm going to the WFMU Record Fair. It's a lot of fun, but I'm going to try and practice some restraint and try not to buy too many records. My tooth is not the only thing I'm missing these days, and when I'm not sharing all this fabulous music with you folks, I've been out trying to find another more lucrative gig. You can direct any reasonable offers to me here.

Last year I picked up this one up at the fair:

"Susie-Q" mp3
by Dale Hawkins, 1956.
available on Oh! Suzy-Q: The Best of Dale Hawkins

In related webosphere news, I've been posting mp3's and some of my photographs at East of Bowery, a fantastic new blog that my good friend and writer Drew Hubner (that's pronounced Huebner) and I are collaborating on. Check it out. Drew is posting stories of his misspent early days in New York City. I didn't know him then, but it seems we were in the same place at the same time. Life is sweet.

Also on the Interweb, artist and fellow blogger Steve Roden graciously plugged the Boogie Woogie Flu, at the web version of The Wire magazine last week. You can see it HERE.

And recently, I recieved a letter from a reader who lives on an olive farm in Catalan, Spain, who was so excited by the music here on the Boogie Woogie Flu, that he decided to start a Boogie Woogie Flu listeners page on Last FM. I'm not sure how that thing works, and I'm a little over-saturated with this web stuff, but if you use Last FM, join him, his name is Pault and he goes by the tag r_seven. He's very nice.

Okay, that's it for now. Have a good weekend.

Photographs: Lincoln Barron by Ted Barron © 2008

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

History Lesson

There's a joke about rock bands, that when they get too big and fall out of touch with their audience, they start writing songs about the trials and tribulations of being on the road. It's a cliche in 1980's rock videos. You know, being on the bus, looking wistfully out the window as you roll into another town. Whatever.

Here's a group of songs by an array of artists, that look to their band as a subject for their song. This is almost, but not exclusively, the provenance of British bands: the idea of being in a band as being a member of a gang. The Clash perfected this concept. I was hard pressed to pick just one of their songs. "Clash City Rockers" was the obvious first choice, but isn't really on the subject. It's no secret that they modeled themselves after Mott, or at least guitarist Mick Jones did, and that's a good thing. Railroad Jerk tells a tall tale. The Mekons have a sense of humor about it, but the Mekons are "a band that deals in the facts of life." The Minutemen are dewey-eyed romantic punks name-checking their forebears. Felt are jangly, and Them are Irish, slightly menacing, and very intense.


"History Lesson - Part II" mp3
by The Minutemen, 1984.
available on Double Nickels on the Dime

"The Ballad Of The Band" mp3
by Felt, 1986.
available on Stains on a Decade

"Sympathy For The Mekons" mp3
by The Mekons, 1987.
available on Honky Tonkin'

"The Ballad Of Railroad Jerk" mp3
by Railroad Jerk, 1995.
available on One Track Mind

"The Story of Them Parts 1 & 2"
by Them, 1967.
available on The Story of Them Featuring Van Morrison

"The Ballad Of Mott The Hoople" mp3
by Mott The Hoople, 1973.
available on Mott

"All The Young Punks" mp3
by The Clash, 1978.
available on Give 'em Enough Rope

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Journey Is The Destination

Her chariot is an empty hazel-nut
Made by the joiner squirrel or old grub,

Time out o' mind the fairies' coachmakers.

And in this state she gallops night by night

Through lovers' brains, and then they dream of love...

Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare

This week Sony unfurled the latest in the Bob Dylan Bootleg Series. Volume 8 contains unreleased and little-known tracks from 1989 to the present. In Dylan's sprawling archive of songs, this constitutes the later period, even though some of these tracks are nearly twenty years old. The highlights of the release are the alternate and unused tracks from 1997's Time Out Of Mind, a bitter, dark, and ultimately beautiful record that reflects on loss and alienation. Time Out Of Mind is not a light record. It starts with the following lines:

I'm walking through streets that are dead
Walking, walking with you in my head
My feet are so tired, my brain is so wired
And the clouds are weeping

Did I hear someone tell a lie?
Did I hear someone's distant cry?
I spoke like a child; you destroyed me with a smile
While I was sleeping

I'm sick of love but I'm in the thick of it
This kind of love I'm so sick of it...

For the next hour or so the singer walks us down dirt roads, paces around rooms, lays around one-room country shacks, rides midnight trains, drifts in and out of dreamless sleep, walks through the middle of nowhere, rolls through stormy weather, is lost somewhere and has made a few bad turns. This is a picture of a man shot out of a cannon, alone and drifting though time and space, wandering a bleak landscape. In the one slightly "lighter" track, the sixteen-minute talking blues "Highlands," based around a repeating Charlie Patton guitar riff, Dylan has a playful conversation with a waitress, yet still he explains:

Insanity is smashin' up against my soul
You could say I was on anything but a roll

It's grim out there. I listened to this record on a road trip - start to finish - last summer for the first time in a few years. I made a conscious decision to leave my iPod (which usually operates only in shuffle) at home and to bring only CDs in my rented vehicle. For whatever reason, this is the one Dylan record I brought and I played it multiple times as I whizzed through the landscape.

In "Not Dark Yet" he gets a letter written "so kind," which got me thinking about another song, "Tryin' To Get to You," best known from Elvis Presley's Sun Sessions, which contains my favorite Scotty Moore guitar part. Sam Phillips erased Elvis's piano track which leaves Scotty playing an alternating lead and rhythm part, start to finish. In "Tryin To Get To You," featured here below in multiple versions, including the original by vocal group The Eagles - no, not those Eagles - the singer also gets a loving letter, and sets out on a journey to find his baby. We never really find out if he gets there. He travels over mountains, through valleys, night and day, trying to get there.

So, allow me to go out a limb here, and consider that maybe these songs from Time Out Of Mind, offer the view of the aftermath and the unraveling of the mind and the soul of a man following a fruitless search - that maybe the letter was just a cruel hoax - and the singer has readjusted his expectations from trying to get to her, to "trying to get to heaven, before they close the door".


"Tryin' To Get To You" mp3
by The Eagles, 1954.
available on We're Gonna Rock - We're Gonna Roll

"Tryin' To Get To You" mp3
by Elvis Presley, 1955.
available on The Sun Sessions

"Tryin' To Get To You"
(alternate version) mp3
by Roy Orbison, 1956.
available on Rocker


"Tryin' To Get To Heaven" mp3
by Bob Dylan, 1997.
available on Time Out of Mind

"Million Miles" mp3
by Bob Dylan, 1997.
available on Time Out of Mind

"Standing In The Doorway" mp3
by Bob Dylan, 1997.
available on Time Out of Mind

"Not Dark Yet" mp3
by Bob Dylan, 1997.
available on Time Out of Mind

"Red River Shore" mp3
by Bob Dylan, 1997.
available on Tell Tale Signs: the Bootleg Series Vol. 8

"Can't Wait" mp3
by Bob Dylan, 1997.
available on Tell Tale Signs: the Bootleg Series Vol. 8

"Marching To The City" mp3
by Bob Dylan, 1997.
available on Tell Tale Signs: the Bootleg Series Vol. 8

top photograph © Mark Seliger