Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Just put the damn tree up. It's an aluminum Christmas tree, dontcha know. Everyone should own an aluminum tree, dontcha know. It's a party in a box.
But y'all aint here to hear about the damn tree. Ya got yr own tree to worry about, and you want some swell tunes to play for the hangin' of the ornaments. And we've got some musical ornaments for y'all today.
Country's what we're known for, and that's what yr gonna get today. A little contemporary, we must say, but these folks prove that contemporary aint necessarily bad. Followin' in the footsteps of their ancestors, and all is well.
Mike Ireland is one of our favorite current Country practitioners, pure Bakersfield meets Owen Bradley honky tonk. Here, he sings about all that's good and bad about the high life, tavern life during the Holidays. And Shelby Lynne tells us exactly what's what when it comes to Xmas expectations.
For our re-post special, we're going back to Mike Ireland, with a song that may be near the top of our weepy Xmas fave raves. And if that aint good enough for y'all, how about a little Dave Dudley givin' off a swell boom chicka chicka for yr stocking hanging?
Christmas in a bar! Indeed.
Mike Ireland: Christmas In A Bar (mp3)
Shelby Lynne: Squat (mp3)
Mike Ireland: Christmas Past (mp3)
Dave Dudley: Can I Sing A Christmas Song For You (mp3)
Please support yr local, cheap light strewn, pub this Holiday Season.
Monday, November 29, 2010
Finger-poppin', beat-boppin' elves and elvettes, this one's for you.
Tony Rodelle Larson and the Saints' "Cool Yule" is essential Beatnik Christmas listening in the same vein as classics by Babs Gonzalez, Patsy Raye and Edd Kookie Byrnes. It's daddy-o delicious.
Louis Armstrong may not be an obvious choice for our Yuletide bust-up, since he's a pretty ubiquitous this time of the year, but he does his own "Cool Yule" (which is a completely different song than the Larson tune), which we think is pretty damn fruitcake-worthy, so we're gonna post it anyway. Besides, it kinda fits the theme, don't it?
We've got one more beatnik Christmas post coming up down the line, which y'all are gonna really appreciate, so stay tuned.
For our re-post special, we've got a request for Wanda Jackson. We aim to please, and we love Wanda, so there you are.
Christmas is for hep cats.
Tony Rodelle Larson and the Saints: Cool Yule (mp3)
Louis Armstrong and the Commanders: Cool Yule (mp3)
Re-Post Special (By Request)
Wanda Jackson: Rockabilly Santa Claus (mp3)
Wanda Jackson: Blues For Christmas (mp3)
Please support yr local, independent coffee house this holiday season.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Howdy. Welcome back to the Big Rock Holiday insanity.
On the weekends, we're gonna have a special treat for y'all. A few years ago we posted some Xmas mixes featuring previously posted tunes. Those proved to pretty popular with all y'all, so we're gonna keep it up this year. Every weekend we'll have a fresh new shiny package under the tree.
We think, modestly, that this first one's pretty swell. Perfect for yr swingin' Yuletide party. Just slap this sucker on the hi-fi and git to cuttin' some Christmas rug, nog in hand and mistletoe looming!
A Big Rock Candy Mountain Tinsel Tickler (download link follows track listing)
1. Don't All the Girls Get Prettier Around Christmas Time (Mickey Gilley)
2. All I Want For Christmas Is A Go Go Girl (Bey Ireland)
3. Merry Christmas Loopy Lu (The Kaisers)
4. Hee Haw Honey (Boxcar Willie)
5. Christmas In The Hills (Hylo Brown)
6. Fuck Christmas, I Got the Blues (The Legendary Tiger Man)
7. Your Christmas Whiskey (The Minus 5)
8. Daddy's Drinking Up Our Christmas (Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen)
9. Drinking Up Christmas (Dwarves)
10. The Wrong Way To Celebrate Christmas (Rev. Edward W. Clayborn)
11. Christmas In Prison (John Prine)
12. Soul Santa (Brooke Benton)
13. Boogaloo Santa Claus (J.D. McDonald)
14. Christmas Spirit (Julia Lee)
15. It's Christmas Time (Qualities/Sun Ra)
16. Santa Claus Shuffle (Tommy Scott)
17. Santa's Gonna Come In A Stagecoach (Buck Owens)
18. Honky Tonk Christmas (Dale Watson)
19. Santa's Gonna Shut 'Em Down (The Untamed Youth)
20. Momma Look, Santa Claus Is Crying (Stonewall Jackson)
21. I'm Waiting Up For Santa Claus (Nervous Norvous)
22. If Christmas Can't Bring You Home (Reigning Sound)
23. Christmas Stomp (The Stompers)
Big Rock Candy Mountain Tinsel Tickler (mp3)
Please support yr local, independent fir tree dealer this Holiday season.
Friday, November 26, 2010
All right! Here we go. Daily posts from here on out, reflecting our obsessive need to survey the whole wide world of Holiday/Xmas/Seasonal/Yuletide joy! We're still gonna do some regular-type posts as well, but those will be supplements to yr daily fix.
We've got some great tunes on tap, so if you don't like one day's selection, the next day will be sure to tickle yr tinsel.
Like last year, we're also gonna offer up a special re-post section, where we feature tunes from previous years' madness. So, if you've got a request, let us know.
To kick us off this year we've got a nifty, rootin' tootin', doo-woppin' little tune from Bill Lacey and the Ebonaires (not the tune of the same name by The Prairie Ramblers from a few years ago). Get out yr toy pistols! Following that, it's the ubiquitous Brenda Lee, with a boppin' little ditty about loneliness at Christmas.
For our re-post special, it's one of the greatest Xmas songs ever, courtesy of The Sonics, with a swell cover by Santa's favorite trash banger, and perennial Mountain fave, Billy Childish. Tasty!
Trim my tree baby!
Bill Lacey and the Ebonaires: Cowboy Santa Claus (mp3)
Brenda Lee: Christmas Will Be Just Another Lonely Day (mp3)
The Sonics: Santa Claus (mp3)
Wild Billy Childish and the Musicians of the British Empire: Santa Claus (mp3)
Please support yr local, independent merchants, when possible, this Holiday Season.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
We're taking tomorrow off, of course, and then diving headlong into our Holiday presents the day after. We're gonna do regular non-holiday posts coinciding with the Xmas madness, so y'all should leave the season feeling well-gifted.
To our friends in the U.S.A., happy Thanksgiving. To our non-U.S. friends, please indulge us.
To celebrate, here's a couple of nifty ditties to help you through those special times with the extended family (we've heard a cocktail or so helps as well).
One's pretty obvious, and the other is an old favorite (and reminiscent of an actual Thanksgiving weekend, but we tell no tales). So, there you are.
Too Much Joy: Thanksgiving In Reno (mp3)
William Burroughs: A Thanksgiving Prayer (mp3)
Please support yr local, independent turkey shoot.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Holiday blowout is coming. Hang on to yr stockings.
We've been meaning to chat about one of favorite bands for awhile now, but random things keep getting in the way. With the release of a couple of 7"'s and a new long-player this year, seems about right to pick yr eardrums about the super-snazzy Wheels On Fire.
Burning rubber outta Athens, Ohio, Wheels On Fire are rawk'n'roll baby, in the tradition of The Fleshtones, The Stones, The Replacements, and the Oblivians (and do we detect some Faces, as well?). Yep, pretty heady company, but Wheels On Fire manage to sound like all of those and none of those at the same time.
Organ-soaked, and greasy, greasy, greasy, like yr street corner desperate Romeo, tight pants cock hangin' low and ready, gonna take you to the dangerous side of town, where the drinks are hard and the ladies shimmer and shake, smarter than you, and who they go home with is a matter of opinion.
Gad. Tasty shit, and you're gonna bop yr socks of to these mighty sounds. Don't take our word for it. Listen for yr self, and get yr world blown out. Seriously...crank it, and let yr speakers be damned.
They've got a new full length on Alien Snatch, called "Liar Liar". And they've got a killer new 4-song 7" on Kind Turkey Records, called "Cherry Bomb" (oh yes indeed).
If you don't check these cats out, then why are you here? 'Cuz this is what we're all about.
From Liar, Liar
Wheels On Fire: Losin' (mp3)
Wheels On Fire: Looking At You (mp3)
From the "Cherry Bomb" 7"
Wheels On Fire: Black Wave (mp3)
From the Trouble In Mind 7"
Wheels On Fire: Come On Judy (mp3)
From the Get Famous! Lp
Wheels On Fire: Can't Get A Line (mp3)
From Wheels On Fire Lp
Wheels On Fire: Rock Bottom (mp3)
Oh, hell, buy 'em all. Have we ever steered you wrong?
Monday, November 22, 2010
Screw it, let's go daily starting right now. The day after Thanksgiving starts in with our Holiday insanity, but we've ignored too many great records over the past year with our glacial pace, so let's see what we can fit in over the next month and a half in addition to our Xmas blowout.
Gonna kick it off with a new disc by the wonderfully named Girl Haggard (get it?). The record's called Country And Eastern, and it's exactly the kind of booze-fueled hootch'n'hayride hootenanny we love so dearly here at the 'Mountain.
According to their bio Girl Haggard were "formed in December 2008, in order to give its members something to do while drinking, other than stand around in barrooms. Girl Haggard’s goals were simple, and easily attained; play rock n roll and country music, loud and fast (while drinking beer and whiskey)."
The band reminds us of early Bloodshot, when the label featured the go-for-broke punkass hillbilly that paid it's dues in hardscrabble shit-kickin' and honky hangovers. And that's a goddam compliment.
The songs on "Country And Eastern" are full of alcohol, regret, and defiance, at once sly winkin' and pickup-truck ready, full throttle tavern-smoked vintage, loaded and brawlin'. Lead singer Mandy Allen is the Loretta Lynn of the trailerpark, full of kiss-offs and fuck-ups, a yowling yodel of a voice. Guitarist Adam Theroux slings off greasy fried chunks of country-seared chug-a-lug. The whole damn mess is the best diner skillet you ever had, flavored, of course, with a hearty dose of bourbon.
The song titles say it all: "Drunk, Broke and In Love (The Hank Shuffle)", "Early and Often", "Pick Up Lines", and "Thinkin' About Drinkin'", to name a few. On the song "Modern Lovers", the band give their best "(We're Not The ) Jet Set", with Mandy Allen intoning:
"Drunk enough to wake up next to you
Listen to your tired lies of always being true
Wish I could be stronger and find a love that's new
Instead of being drunk enough, to wake up next to you."
It's a great song, on an album full of 'em.
This is the kind of band we wanna hear every damn night we're out at the bar, downing tall boys and long necks. Hell, this may be the best drinkin' record you'll hear all year.
Girl Haggard: Modern Lovers (mp3)
Please support yr local, independent honky tonks. Whatever's left of 'em.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Christmas is comin'. Either you know what that means, or you don't. If you're in the latter, stay tuned for what that means for this little ole site.
Now, then. One of our very favorite bands (and we really mean it), Pure Country Gold, are out on the road in support of their spankin'n' face meltin' new rekkid, "Tough Tuesday" (out now on super keen colored vinyl and download) on the magnificent Cave Punk record label.
Even better, they're gonna be in Chicago this Thursday (11/11, mofo's) at the legendary Hideout. Following that, they've got dates in Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Missoula, and Spokane. Y'all should go if you can.
The new rekkid is an easy contender for our album of the year.
We posted about them previously, when we premiered an advance song from the new record. We're gonna reprint that here, below, cuz we don't feel we can better it. It includes an interview with the band and some super swell tunes, including a track from the new record:
A Previous Post On Pure Country Gold
We can't even pretend to be objective when it comes to Pure Country Gold. They're one of our favorite bands, a two-man (drums, guitar, vocals) force of raw nature, all desperation and booze-fueled rock'n'fuckin'roll.
We finally got to see 'em play live at last summer's Deep Blues Fest, and they exceeded every expectation, a sweaty barrel-house blast of amped-up sound and wail.
"Pure Country Gold is pure trash. Tasty, nasty and loud. And sleazy. Sleazy like the barroom floor at last call, you don't have to go home, but you can't stay here, and who're you gonna pick up to take home for a quick rut just to say your weekend wasn't a total waste, burning sensation be damned...Yeah, it's that good. ...It's complete (glorious, sonic) junk masquerading with a name designed to confuse. But, they've got that sensibility, if you know what we mean...Imagine some urban cowboy wandering into a local jukejoint only to be faced with this glorious racket, shit-amped guitars through busted speakers, some guy hollerin' wounded goat over the bluescowpunk mess. Feller would probably crap his Lee's...Hyper-amped, garage-fuelled, amphetamine muckity muck."
'Course, that barely covers the band and their sound. But, we figger, why listen to us blather on, when you can hear direct from the band?
Singer and guitar fucker Patrick Foss (aka Petey, aka Pure Cunt) was kind enough to answer a few questions for us.
A Big Rock Candy Mountain Interview With Pure Country Gold
(In which we learn the value of bubbles)
Big Rock Candy Mountain: Who is Pure Country Gold and how did you come to be?
Patrick Foss: Patrick & Jake or Petey & Beefjake or Pure Cunt & Tree Gold. We'll answer to any of those names. One night we were both drinking in a bar called Club 21 and decided to start playing together.
BRCM: Where did the name Pure Country Gold come from, and how pure are you?
PF: The name came out of my desire to pick something happy and hippie sounding. I like to think we play feel-good music and thought the band-name should put warm and happy images into people's heads. Sunflowers & sunshine are the images that popped in my head and I felt that that aesthetic was the antithesis to the Jack Daniel's t-shirt and devil-doll rawk stuff which I find kinda dumb. We never considered that having the word 'country' in our name would confuse people, but sometimes we don't think things through too good. Pure? Uh...probably not so much.
BRCM: Are you a Blues band with Punk roots, a Punk band with Blues roots, none of the above, all of the above, or something else entirely?
PF: I've never thought of us as a "blues" band, but there's definitely a strong blues and R&B influence. Punk and blues music is how we learned to play our instruments so those influences inform how we perform the songs I write. I think we play rock & roll, but that doesn't mean anything anymore so I'll just let the journalist-types like you decide what we play.
BRCM: Who are your influences, if any? What infernal sounds inform the Pure Country Gold aesthetic?
PF: 50's and 60's rock and pop are heavy influences on my songwriting, as is later power-pop and punk rock. I'm a huge nerdy Beatles fan. Discovering Crypt Records sometime in the mid-90's was pretty big for me. I also love early hardcore and Greg Ginn is probably my favorite guitar player. Jake and I are also the world's only 2-piece Bad Brains tribute band if that says anything about us.
BRCM: Whiskey or beer?
PF: Beer. Mostly Vodka for me, but I don't discriminate too much.
BRCM: Yellow Bubbles. Discuss.
PF: We were in a bar on tour and I ordered a Pabst and the bartender said they didn't have Pabst, so I tried Hamm's, Olympia, Rainier, etc and they didn't have none of those either. Finally I asked for anything yellow with bubbles in it. Some drunk at the bar was amused by that and said he was gonna write a song called 'Yellow Bubbles'. I think I yelled back at him, "Not if I write it first! I'll see you on the pop-charts motherfucker!"
I don't remember what beer I ended up being served, but it had yellow bubbles in it. Anyway, I ended up writing a silly pop song about domestic beer and the apocalypse. I'm proudest of the line "have a magic moment sometimes" which is a backronym for Hamm's that I made up. Anyway, Big Legal Mess still has some of the 7 inchers lying around so people need to buy them puppies up! They’re on yellow-gold vinyl!
BRCM: Has there ever been a situation where one of you had to play a solo gig due to, ahem, unforeseen circumstances? If so, how did that work out, and what important lessons about life did you learn?
PF: Just about everybody who was at the Deep Blues Fest 08 knows this story, but we've never told our side. We were at the Holiday Inn lounge with many other DBF performers and I wanted some tequila. When I asked how much the Patron cost the bartender told me $4. That's really fucking cheap and probably a mistake, so I ordered 15 shots! I drank 2 or 3 of em, gave away several and left Jake with the rest when I headed up to my room to go to bed.
At some point Jake went outside and sat down to make a phone call and fell asleep. The hotel security couldn't roust him so they called the cops. The next morning I get a call from our buddy Jay to inform me that Jake's in the drunk-tank. We were slotted to play at noon and I got the call around 10:30. Jay and I drove into St Paul, tracked down the detox center and found out there was no way Jake was making the gig.
There was nothing else we could do so we headed towards Lake Elmo to the festival and I jotted down a list of songs I thought I could pull off solo. All I was thinking was that I needed to pull something off because we needed to get paid! We arrived at the festival at a quarter to noon and I set up on stage. I played 8 or so songs and it went great - I wrote those songs alone on my acoustic so there was no reason they wouldn't work this time. Thankfully Chris was kind enough to make room for us the next day so we were able to get a set in with the whole band.
Life lesson? For me: don't leave your already-drunk drummer in the bar with 4 or 5 shots of tequila in front of him when you have a gig at noon the next day. For Jake: don't drunk-dial your friends outside of hotels in Ramsey County, MN.
BRCM: Louder, Faster or Out of Control?
PF: Out of control.
BRCM: As a duo, how does your dynamic work? Do you find yourselves limited or freed by the drum 'n' guitar format? And how do you get so damned loud? Is there a volume above 11?
PF: I write song ideas on my acoustic at home and then bring Jake and some amplification in to flesh things out. We're definitely limited, but I think the limitation is a good thing - it's a fun challenge to make things work with just the two of us. Maybe someday we'll run out of ideas and we'll add instruments or members to open things up, but I think we'll be ok for a while with the setup we have now. I've always been a pretty "busy" guitar player and combined with Jake's bombastic drumming I think it works out well. Yes, we're loud too, but because Jake's a loud fucking drummer and I turn up to be heard!
BRCM:You're based out of Portland, Oregon, a city known for a great music scene. How does the band fit into the city? Where are the best clubs to play? Is beer at Club 21 still just a buck on Wednesday night?
PF: Everyone says how Portland has this great scene but I don't really see it. There’s no unified Portland scene at all - it's all fractured and cliquey like everywhere else. There are too many venues and bands here and everyone just goes to see their friends' bands play and ignore everything else. That being said, we have many great friends in many great bands and we play lots of great shows with our friends. I love that, but I don't feel that we're part of any greater Portland music scene and I don't think any of our friends do either. I don't mean to sound like I'm complaining - we really love playing in this town and have played with many bands of many genres at many venues - but all this talk of a Portland scene doesn't really make sense to me.
There are some great venues here - the Kenton Club, the East End and Slabtown treat us well and we love playing those places. Club 21 is not really a club - meaning there are no bands or strippers there - but we spend lots of time there drinking even though beer is no longer a buck on Wednesday nights. As much as we love the place, it's a pretty shitty bar and I love to imagine that people may someday go in there just because of that song we wrote about it, but think it sucks and leave and never come back.
BRCM: Your favorite t-shirt?
PF: Probably my shirt that says "I'd rather be over the hill than under it", but I don't wear the shirt for the statement so much as because it's comfy and blue. I like blue.
BRCM: Obligatory Deep Blues Festival question: How did you come to play at the Fest, and what are your best memories of the Fest
PF: Jay Martin (aka DJ Hwy 7) is a close friend of ours and is friends with Chris Johnson and Rick Saunders and many other folks involved with the Deep Blues community. He recommended us and Chris contacted us to play the 2nd fest in 2008. We had a great time, met some great folks and Chris invited us to play again at the DBF09. Chris has a great thing going with this fest and I hope he can continue to build it to what it deserves to be. We’re certainly proud to have been a part of it!
There were many great bands at the fest last year, but I think Chooglin’ was my fave (ed note: Chooglin' did indeed kick much ass). My best memory of DBF09 though is hanging out with Jay on Thursday afternoon before the fest. He was so drunk by 3pm that he passed out and missed the whole Thursday night show. Maybe that's a silly thing to choose as a highlight, but I'd never seen him so drunk before and he made me laugh a lot.
BRCM: God or Satan?
BRCM: In a perfect world, Pure Country Gold has the number one single in the world. How do you celebrate?
PF: With drugs and girls I'm guessin.
BRCM: What's next for the band? Rumor has it you've completed a new record and are shopping it. Anything you can tell us about the album? Tour in the works?
PF: New record is done and yes, we're talking to labels now. We're real proud of this record - I think it sounds great, has a good variety of tunes and represents our live sound well. We have plans to tour the US and Europe in 2010. We'd love that record out before we hit the road so we're concentrating on that first, but we'll hit the road regardless. We promise.
Thanks, Patrick. Check 'em out, then...well...check 'em out!
Pure Country Gold: I'm The End (mp3)
Pure Country Gold: Yellow Bubbles (mp3)
Pure Country Gold: Setting Sun (mp3)
Please support yr local, independent booze slingers and guitar wranglers.