Monday, June 22, 2015

Vivian Williams and Barbara Lamb

Artist: Vivian Williams and Barbara Lamb with Tall Timber
LP: Twin Sisters
Song: "Leather Britches"
[ listen ]

Before there was Macklemore and Ryan Lewis...before Pearl Jam and Nirvana... probably even before Heart! Before any of that, the fiddling Twin Sisters were paving the way by rocking the Seattle music scene in 1974! I found this still-sealed copy of Vivian and Barbara's LP at the Goodwill store in Bremerton yesterday on my way to my youngest sister's college graduation ceremony. (Congratulations, sis!) It's a lot harder than you might think to find records in Bremerton. Info from the back of the album is included below, plus you can read about Twin Sisters here and buy MP3s of all the songs on this record here—which may be the only way you'll ever get to hear "Leather Britches," since DivShare has been broken for weeks!
PS: They're not really sisters...or even twins.

[ Twin Sisters: Vivian Williams and Barbara Lamb ]

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Narcissistic Fibrosis

Why do I always feel like the abnormally thick mucus my lungs and pancreas are secreting is more important than everyone else's?

side one:
01. Tell a Lie - Dresses
02. God Loves Little Girls - The Keane Brothers
03. Video Kid - Klymaxx
04. Umi De No Jisatsu - Asobi Seksu
05. In Between Days - The Cure
06. Cry and You Cry Alone - Deep River Boys
07. Lay Love On You - Luisa Fernandez
08. Every Christian Lion Hearted Man Will Show You - Bee Gees
09. Larawan (Your Photograph) - Nora Hermosa
10. Oo Baby, What You Do to Me - Vivian Reed
11. Avenida 486 - Joe Quijano and His Pachanga-Cha Cha Orchestra
12. Dream About Me - Trails and Ways
13. Carousel - Siouxsie and the Banshees
14. Tomorrow - Chris Crosby
15. Dream - Glenn and Brenda Derringer
[ listen ]

side two:
01. King Without a Crown - ABC
02. Blonde With U - SSION
03. Counting Backwards - Throwing Muses
04. Central Park Arrest - Thunderthighs
05. Feathers-Oar-Blades - Cocteau Twins
06. Where Love Has Gone - Jack Jones
07. This Is a Foxy World - Tom Tom Club
08. Light My Fire - Shirley Bassey
09. Un Nouveau Jour Va Se Lever - Jacques Michel
10 Just a Little Sunshine In the Rain - Connie Smith
11. Grapes Upon the Vine - Echo and the Bunnymen
12. Far Away - Eivør
13. The Show Must Go On - Dakota Staton
[ listen ]

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Seventh Wave

Artist: Seventh Wave
LP: Things to Come
Song: "Old Dog Song"
[ listen ]

I've never had a dog of my own, but I like dogs and dogs seem to like me too. Here are one, two, three, four, five, six, seven...yes, eight adorable pictures of lovable old dogs. You can read about the short-lived mid-'70s psychedelic synth-rock band Seventh Wave here and here, sing along to "Old Dog Song" with the lyrics included below, and find one last neat old dog photo here.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Stampeders

Artist: Stampeders
LP: From the Fire
Song: "Ride In the Wind"
[ listen ]
Song: "Running Wild"
[ listen ]

Considered a one-hit-wonder in the USA (their "Sweet City Woman" went to #8 here in 1971), Stampeders were a ten-hit-wonder in their native Canada, with a slew of top-20 hits between the years 1971 and 1975. Their 1973 "From the Fire" LP spawned one of them—"Running Wild" peaked at #18 on the Canadian singles charts early in 1974. You can read more about Stampeders here.


[ Stampeders ]

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Leisure Process International

Artist: Leisure Process International
LP: 7" single
Song: "A Way You'll Never Be" 
[ listen ]

Up the street from Lula B's in Dallas, Texas is B4, "a neighborhood swap shop filled with collectibles, antiques, toys, and a healthy selection of vintage vinyl," according to their website. Their selection of vinyl was healthy; I was able to breathe more easily after buying records there. They didn't have a listening station at Lula B's nor at B4, so I was basically taking a stab in the dark when buying some of the stuff I'd never heard of before. Fortunately, there wasn't a single stinker in the bunch I ended up taking home with me to Seattle. Leisure Process (or Leisure Process International, as they're called here) is one of the groups I hadn't heard before; their early '80s new wave sound would have been so far up my alley in high school it would have hurt. The duo released just four singles before splitting up in 1983; this is single #2.

When I walked into B4 I still had my bag of records I'd bought at Lula B's with me. In Seattle, it's customary to leave all your bags behind the counter while you shop. Evidently nobody in Seattle is able to control themselves and, if they're holding a bag while shopping, they automatically begin to steal things. Nobody at the stores ever says out loud that they don't trust you, you just know that you've got to put your bag behind the counter while you shop. It's unspoken; it's passive. Anyway, when I walked into B4, I showed the guy there that I'd just bought a bag of records at Lula B's and I asked if he'd like me to leave it behind the counter. "Why? You're not going to stuff things into your bag and then walk out without paying for them, are you?" I assured him I was not going to do that. He shrugged and said then there wasn't any reason for me to leave my bag behind the counter. It's so refreshing to get out of Seattle sometimes to spend a few days in the real world.

 [ B4 — Dallas, Texas ]

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Texas, Li'l Darlin' — feat. Kenny Delmar

Artist: Kenny Delmar w/ Mary Hatcher and Chorus
LP: Texas, Li'l Darlin' [10" EP]
Song: "Texas, Li'l Darlin'" 
[ listen ]
Song: "The Yodel Blues" 
[ listen ]

I just got back from Dallas, Texas! I was there for an AIRS conference related to my work, but I did manage to slip away for a few hours to explore the city and to see if I could track down some records. My first attempt involved walking 2½ miles round trip in the muggy Texas sunshine from the Dallas Sheraton to Shake Rag Music. I had unwisely remained in the dark blue velveteen pants, dress shoes, and long-sleeved dress shirt that I'd worn at the conference, and by the time I arrived at the store I was a sweaty Texan mess.

[ Shake Rag Music Store — Dallas, Texas ]

It looked like a neat store from the outside, with the exception of this discouraging sign stuck on the door:


I set out the following evening in a slightly different direction (and in slightly more comfortable clothing) to visit Lula B's, an antique mall in the Deep Ellum neighborhood of Dallas that was rumored to have some vinyl. They did indeed have some records, including this terrific 1950 Broadway musical soundtrack 10" EP featuring eight songs from Texas, Li'l Darlin', a realistic portrayal of Lone Star state politics, where honesty, integrity, and old-fashioned American values triumph over corruption and deceit every time.

[ Lula B's — Dallas, Texas ]

Texas, Li'l Darlin' opened at the Mark Hellinger Theatre in New York City on November 25, 1949 and closed on September 9th of the following year after 293 performances. I was excited to have stumbled upon a record that could double as a Texas souvenir, and when I got home I discovered that the show includes an upstanding primary lead character named Dallas, so that's even better! The show's song lyrics are by Johnny Mercer; the cast includes Kenny Delmar, Danny Scholl, Mary Hatcher, Fredd Wayne, and Loring Smith. You'll find brief cast bios along with the entire plot outline of Texas, Li'l Darlin' in the liner notes included below.
 
[ Kenny Delmar: September 5, 1910 — July 14, 1984 ]

[ Danny Scholl: July 2, 1921 — June 21, 1983 ]

[ Mary Hatcher: born June 6, 1929 ]

[ Fredd Wayne: born October 17, 1924 ]

[ Loring Smith: November 18, 1890 — July 8, 1981 ]

[ Texas Li'l Darlin' — Cast Photo ]