Thursday, April 28, 2005

Fringe Rawks at the Diner

Well. Here it is. The moment both of you have been waiting for. The first 5 plus 1 plus 1 inductees into the Big Rock Candy Mountain Fringe Hall of Fame.

These entrants are my choices. Over the next forseeable future we're gonna ocassionally alternate between reader submissions/nominees (of whom I'm still responding to. Thanks for all the emails!), and a series of polls compiled from YOUR suggestions. If you don't like a list of nominees, tell me who I left out. We're a Demo Crassy here, so tell me what I'm missing or who I'm overrating. There's a poll at the bottom of this post. Vote early and vote often.

First, I'm giving out a Legacy induction to Mr. Harry McClintock. Regular readers here will already be familiar with my obsession with McClintock. This is the third time I've posted about him. McClintock is responsible in some part for the title of this blog. View my February 18th post for the full story. Harry's a bit of what it's all about isn't he? Putting the myth of the hobo, the long lost freedom of roads and rails that never existed, on the musical map. It's about the journey, not the arrival. Harry welcome to the Hall.

Harry McClintock: Hallelujah I'm a Bum (mp3)

Now for the rest.

Junior Kimbrough. Kimbrough may, by some folks estimation, be the last great Blues Man. Best known as the flagship artist for Fat Possum, and his appearance in the documentary Deep Blues, Junior had already been making his version of Mississippi Hill Blues for 40 years before being "discovered". It's the raw hypnotic style of his guitar playing, and his full throated wail descending into hushed, scratchy meditation. While Kimbrough had his influences, primarily Fred McDowell, he sounds like nobody else before. Ultimately, and too late, he became a touchstone for future musicians, an influence himself.

Junior Kimbrough: Sad Days and Lonely Nights (mp3)

Charlie Feathers. The real King of Rockabilly. In his book "Lost Highway", Peter Guralnick states about Charlie "...what seems to have held Charlie Feathers back was an absence of polish, an inability to adapt, the same forthright and unsophisticated manner that creates a wall of isolation around him even today". Sounds like a poster child for our little corner of rock revisionism. Feathers played it nasty and, yes, greasy. His back catalogue is a complete mess of starts and stops, but when he was on, he took his honkybilly into a stratosphere few can touch.

Charlie Feathers: Cherry Wine (mp3)

Screamin' Jay Hawkins. Well. Without Screamin' Jay, there is no Cramps. No Alice Cooper, Marilyn Manson, New York Dolls, Kiss, Gwar, Gories, or Mr. Quintron. Realy. Plumbing the depths of the darkest of souls, Hawkins set the standard for all things that go creep in the night. He's regarded as a novelty act now, which is unfortunate because it's hard to put into context how chilling his songs were back in the day. They still are, frankly. I'm not sure what devil Jay sold his soul to, but that muther could sing. Hawkins originally wanted to be an opera singer (!), but opted instead into rock and r&b. The world's a better, if slightly scarier, place for it.

Screamin'Jay Hawkins: I Put a Spell On You (mp3)

The Legendary Stardust Cowboy. The Ledge. If Screamin' Jay perfected shock, the 'Cowboy invented Punk. DIY never sounded so perfect and so fucked up. What was the deal with this guy? Who really knows. There's a great film about the man which I would highly recommend, Cotton Pickin' Smash, which should be available on DVD now (or very soon). When I saw the film here in Chicago, there were approximately 6 of us in the audience. For it's premiere. That's kind of telling, if unfortunate. We're not talking easy listening. Indecipherable murmerings followed by blasts of his bugle horn, a guitar eternally tuned out of tune. Like the best of "Outsider Art", the Ledge is unconscious of the rules, or just doesn't give a flying fuck. And in "Paralyzed", it was the Ledge, not the Shaggs, who set the standard for the legions of indie rockers, both good and bad, to come.

The Legendary Stardust Cowboy: Paralyzed (mp3)

Captain Beefheart. What can I say? The good Captain takes Howlin' Wolf, marries him to the Dadaists, and takes ole Hank along on the shotgun wedding. If Zappa is a salad, Don Van Vliet is a stew. Trout Mask Replica is the one most slobber over, and fair enough. But it's only a small, and admittedly dense, corner of Beefheart's musical palette. From barnyard stompers and fuzzback freakouts, to laconic mezmeration, the Capatain placed a middle finger on the art of expectation, and took off on a rocket all his own. And yes, you can even dance to it.

Captain Beefheart: Sure 'nuff 'n Yes I Do (mp3)

Tom Waits. Frankly, if been reading here for any length of time, this really shouldn't come as a surprise. Whether you buy into his persona or not, whether you can stomach the voice or recoil in horror, it's hard to deny that man can write. And he obviously hears sounds inside his head that shouln't suggest sanity. One could (and I believe several have) spend pages and pages of material dissecting Tom's various "periods" (piano troubadour, noise merchant, cubist funkster, etc.), but as a body of work, I tend to look at it as "Tom's next album". The man inspires obsession like few other artists. It's still hard to picture him sitting around the kitchen table with the wife and kids, drinking a near beer and chewing nicorette gum. I've already written about Waits numerous times here in these very pages. So I'm gonna leave it at that. He's in.

Tom Waits: Diamonds on My Windshield (mp3)

Well, that does it for round one. The next round is all up to you (although I'll still add at least one of my own choices...). Vote in the Poll below (you can make multiple selections). And, as ever, tell me who you think I'm missing. I had to cut out about 60-70 nominees in the following poll alone.

The Mountain family is moving this weekend. Regular posting will resume in a week or so. I'll still have access to my email, though. Thanks for stopping by.

Fringe Hall o'Fame...Who's next?


Bobbie Gentry

The Pogues

Billy Childish

Lee Hazelwood

Hasil Adkins

Andre Williams

Sun Ra

Pere Ubu

Dave Dudley

13th Floor Elevators

Roland Kirk

The Fall

Moby Grape

New York Dolls

Johnny Bond

Hank Thompson


Townes Van Zandt

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Vote Early, Vote Often

This is a test poll.

Ok...apparently there is no poll. I hate HTML.

Come back tomorrow for the first 5 Fringe worthy inductees into the Hall. You won't be disappointed. Or, you might be. In which case I expect lots of opinions. Give me hell, if need be.

Monday, April 25, 2005

World's Greatest Sinner

Thanks to all the respondents to my Fringe Hall of Fame challenge.

I'm about halfway through responding to y'all, and I gotta tell ya...this is gonna be pretty fun. It's never too late to respond, though, so keep the emails coming. There's no limit. Anybody can be a Mountain for a day. (if you don't know what I'm talking about...see the post below).

I'll have the first official post on Thursday, with my first five personal inductees.

Until then, a quickie today.

More trashcountrygarageblues courtesy of the always swingin' A-Bones. A sordid tale of sin and desperation. You might have noticed we like our tunes of vice round these here parts.

A-Bones: World's Greatest Sinner (mp3)

Support yr local dens of sin and vice. Buy Satan's music from yr neighborhood rekkid store.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Handsome Beast


BigRockCandyMountain. Scouring the globe for all the latest bands you crave. Future Spin cover stars and modern rock heroes? We've got it covered. Where music comes second to promotion, and we're always trying to land that big gig writing for How to Sell Rehashed Crap to the Masses magazine.

Somebody's a little tetchy today, hmmmm?

Thanks for yr patience. I was beginning to forget what this whole world wide web thingy looked like. Future mother-in-law is safely returned home, and half the apartment is now reflecting a fine shade of cardboard-box brown. Yikes. I'm pretty sure I packed something away that I'm gonna need.

Well, gee, yr here for music, not a daily packing report.

First, I was hoping to solicit some ideas. I'm soon going to start a series of posts dealing with artists that should be in some sort of Hall of Fame, but aren't and will never have a chance to be. While I'm sure we can all agree on the importance of Bob Seger in the pantheon of rawk, or at least pickup truck advertising, but what about Captain Beefheart? Charlie Feathers? Screamin' Jay? The New York Dolls? 13th Floor Elevators? Sun Ra? The Legendary Fuckin' Stardust Cowboy? Do the Minutemen and the Germs and the Dead Kennedys have a shot? And why not? I've gotta believe the Replacements might manage to slip in, but will they ignore Husker Du and Yo la Tengo? Mark E. Smith and Billy Childish are probably toast. And don't even get me started on how many rap artists will get ignored by the old white men with ponytails who make this decision as to what musicians are valuable. There's a thousand great artists who will never get the recognition they deserve. Sad fact, and true. Doomed to live a dusty life in the rekkid collections of awkward fan boys and girls.

Now for the solicitation part. Got a musician or band that you'd nominate for...oh...let's call it the Fringe Hall of Fame (until I or you come up with a better name for it)? Let me know. I'm taking submissions. If you make a good case (even if I disagree), I'm gonna give you a guest spot. That's right, you get to use and abuse the BigRock name and bandwidth for yr own personal use. There's no limit. There could be 50 winners or 5. Or this could be a complete failure, and y'all'll'll'll be stuck with just me. And who wants that, really? Leave a comment or email me at The Mountain's an opinionated bastard. You should be too.

And now for something completely indifferent. Sir Bald Diddley and His Wig-Outs. Frankly, I could find very little info on this band on the web. What I do know is that they're a British band in the grand tradition of Thee Headcoats. The album these two songs are pulled from is called To Baldly Go, and can be found from the essential Sympathy for the Record Industry label. Mixing spiittle soaked harmonica, THE Bo Diddley guitar riff (in all it's glorious forms), and a twisted take on surf music, it's the perfect album for yr next hi-fi rent party. Oh, and the man wears a fez. It may not be Bob Seger, and it probably doesn't even qualify for The Mountain's hall of fame, but it'll shake yr ass nonetheless....really. Download it now. If you don't find yrself twisting the night away, I'll give you yr money back.

Sir Bald Diddley and His Wig-Outs: Handsome Beast (mp3)

Sir Bald Diddley and His Wig-Outs: Bull Moose(mp3)

Fer Pete's sake, why are you still buying from The Man? Check out yr local independent record stores. Amongst the dust lies a wealth of treasures Rolling Stone's never heard of. And that's a good thing.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Hangover Blues

Sorry to have been gone so long. The Mountain and his intended are preparing to move to new digs and hosting the future mother-in-law for a bit. So between packing away half the music collection and acting as tour guide, we've been a touch busy in real life activities. Oh, and it's been a real thrill watching the Cubs stink. The more things change.....

And, with regret, I'm suspending the cd giveaway for the next month. Once all the previous winners get their cd's and the tunes get unpacked, normal contest service will resume. Promise.

Now, where did I leave off? Ah, yes, chick music. Broads, dames, dolls and molls.

The Maddox Brothers and Rose, aka America's Most Colourful Hillbilly Band, began life as the sons and daughter of a migrant laborer family back in the 1930's. Combining pop, gospel, boogie, swing, and, of course, all the best elements of country and western, the Maddox siblings, including 11 year old Rose, talked their way onto Alabama's KTRB, performing as the "Alabama Outlaws". From there they found moderate success, touring the country and performing on the Louisiana Hayride, even making a few appearances on The Grand Ole Opry.

Of course, it was Rose who was the true star of the group. From "Ramblin Rose" by Johnny Whiteside:

Rose Maddox was country's original, high-kicking firebrand. As leader of the Maddox Brothers and Rose from 1937 to 1957, she exploded the previously inconsequential role of the 'girl singer' in country music, established herself as one of country music's first national female stars and set the tone for every woman that followed her. A member (briefly) of both the 'Grand Ole Opry" and "Louisiana Hayride," she reached national radio audiences. Her recordings on the 4 Star, Columbia, Capitol, and Starday labels constitute one of the most influential and groundbreaking bodies of work in country music history. Strongly rooted in traditional Gospel singing, her fiercely declamatory vocal style was, and still is, a pure blast of Southern soul.

Whoops...I wrote here yesterday that Rose was still alive. I was wrong, and thanks to Colonel Tom for pointing that out. Grave error (errr...) on my part. RIP Rose.

More info on the Rose and her brothers can be found here, here, and here.

Maddox Brothers and Rose: Mule Train (mp3)

Maddox Brothers and Rose: Hangover Blues (mp3)

Most folks can't afford to buy every album they want. Cold hard fact that no amount of "rules and regulations" is going to change. But, if you find a spare 10 bucks or so in yr pocket, please consider supporting your local independent. If large online retailers are all that's left, choice will fly out the window.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Holy Cow

Just so you know, The Mountain is in no way associated with any large fast food chains, nor does it endorse the use of it's theme song to sell bad burger products. Just, you know, in case you were wondering.

That said, and contrary to my moral stance in previous posts, the Mountain has decided it would gladly sell out, and sell it's soul. For Cubs tickets. No, really.


So I promised an all-female week and a half here. I lied about that. Sorta. Cuz today, we're plopping our lazy asses on the couch, drinking cans of Old Style, and watching baseballbaseballbaseball. Opening day, my friends. Comparable in majesty as "Pitchers and Catchers Report". No time for lenghty posts and rambling, unproven, and tedious discussion. Baseball. Must. Watch. Baseball.

Here's the Hoosier Hot Shots doing the all-time classic. Your job is to sing along in yr best Harry Caray impersonation, beer optional.

The Hoosier Hot Shots: Take Me Out to the Ball Game (mp3)

Oh, yeah. new quote above, as ever on a Monday. Be the first to guess the quote, and I'll send you a specially-made BigRockCandyMountain mix cd. Hint: Read today's post above.

Cheer on yr local from yr local beer and rekkid vendors.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Girl Gangs at the Truck Stop

Happy Birthday Thurman.

And happy April Fool's Day to the rest of y'all. Yr shoe's untied.

Aplolgies (as always) about the expiration of the yousendit files below. I'll try to get some more Miss Mary up in the near future. Bandwidth is back!

Haven't done any truck and train tunes lately...figgered once a week was getting a little excessive. You'll still get yr'll just be a surprise.

Kay Adams gets hardly a mention in the annals of country. Which is a shame, as she's got that great booming hard country voice that traces from the more extroverted Patsy Cline moments to Tammy Wynette to the formidable Neko Case. Her most famous song was "Little Pink Mack" (see below), from the essential Wheels and Tears, a concept album about truck driving from a woman's perspective, recorded in the mid-60's. After giving up on recording and public appearances for some time, she's resurfaced occasionally in recent years, even recording a new trucking song with the barroom honky bandits BR549. Hopefully with the resurgence of interest in "real" country(and western) music (whatever that is), Ms. Adams will reap some of the benefits, and get the recognition as the pioneering artist she was/is. No big rig fan's record collection should be without some Kay Adams.

Kay Adams: Little Pink Mack (mp3)

Kay Adams and BR549: Mama Was a Rock (Daddy Was A Rolling Stone) (mp3)

Support yr local Truck Stop. The coffee's better there.