MsS: September 2005

Friday, September 30, 2005

You're my favorite number. All that counts is you.

Today I'm going to give you some tunes from The Diskettes and Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers. Ok so I've been planning on writing this entry for a while now and finally got around to doing it today. And wouldn't you know, today is Frankie Lymon's birthday! Craziness. If he was alive today, he'd be 63. So Happy Birthday Frankie!

Now you might be thinking, "What do Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers have in common with The Diskettes?" Well for their 2003 self titled release, The Diskettes did a cover of the teenagers' hit song, ABC's of Love. Earlier this year, my friend Stafford and I were ordering CDRs practically every week from Asaurus Records, a label that specializes in indie pop, lo-fi, and "quiet noise". If you haven't been to the Asaurus store, I suggest you go visit. There's some great stuff there and most of their releases are less than $5. You can really go crazy ordering things from them if you're not careful, which Stafford and I found out when we first discovered the label. Anywho, during my Asaurus shopping spree, I ordered the Diskette's self titled record and loved their sound.

The Diskettes are from Canada and consist of David Barclay and Emily Beliveau. Their sound is a really friendly and happy go lucky sort of indie pop. But there's nothing that fancy in their sound. It's usually just some guitar, David and Emily's dual vocals, and the occasional maraca. Their music is perfect for lounging around and taking it easy with your friends. Their bio on Asaurus puts in perfectly. It reads, "The tunes sit perfectly for the poolside set, those who wear shorts, landlocked surfers, anyone who sells anything homemade, amateur local historians, professional hobbyists and anyone who enjoys wearing canvas deck shoes with no socks for the months of April to October."

Frankie Lymon died in 1968, long before the Diskette's recorded their version of The Teenagers song ABC's of Love. Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers (originally just called The Premiers) were a doo wop group that formed in New York in the 1950s. In 1955, the group group had been working on a song called Why Do Birds Sing So Gay? Richard Barrett, lead singer of The Valentines, heard them singing one day, and wanted them to audition for George Goldner, owner of Rama Records, the label that The Valentines were signed to.

There are a couple of versions as to what happened the day the group went to audition for George. One was that lead singer, Herman Santiago, was sick with a cold and therefore couldn't sing lead that day. And so Frankie was the one who took over on lead vocals. In the other version of that days events, while Herman sang lead when the group auditioned, Frankie's voice (even singing backup) was the one that really stuck out. Frankie was a cute, 13 year old, bold in his singing style, but with a maturity that only seasoned performers usually possessed. Whatever really happened that day, Frankie became the lead singer, and the group was renamed Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers.

In November of 1955, the group recorded Why Do Birds Sing So Gay? (which was retitled Why Do Fools Fall In Love?) at Bell Sound Studios in Manhattan. There would be lots of disputes later on about who actually had written the song (Herman Santiago or Frankie Lymon).

The song received lots of local airplay and entered the Billboard Charts in February of 1956. It would reach # 1 on the R&B charts and #6 on the Pop charts. Frankie Lymon became the first black teenage pop star, and the Teenagers singing style would serve as an initial inspiration for Barry Gordy, who modeled his entire Motown production approach around Frankie's vocal style.

Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers were only together for 18 months. In the movie Why Do Fools Fall in Love (the story of Frankie Lymon), you can tell that there was an atmosphere of jealously that sprung up within the Teenagers when they saw that Frankie was becoming the stand out star in the group. Tensions came to a head when the group discovered that the label and Frankie's manager were trying to make Frankie a solo star while leaving the rest of the Teenagers in the dust. Frankie and the group split, and neither would have a successful career afterwards.

As with many child stars, Frankie got caught up in drugs and struggled to stay clean and sober while simultaneously trying to revive is ailing music career. Career wise, he was was pretty much over by the age of 18, and he died of a heroine overdose in 1968 at the age of 26.

If you ever get the chance, definitely watch the movie Why Do Fools Fall in Love? It comes on VH1 every now and then, and Larenz Tate plays a great Frankie Lymon. The story is told from the point of view of Frankie's three ex-wives, who battled in court over the royalties to the song Why Do Fools Fall in Love? One of Frankie's ex-wives was Zola Taylor (played in the movie by Halle Berry), a member of the doo wop group, The Platters. I believe Frankie's last ex wife was the one who got what money was left over in the end, although in 1992 a U.S. Federal Court ruled that Herman Santiago and not Frankie had written Why Do Fools Fall in Love. Anyway, the movie gives great insight into Frankie's crazy life, and his struggle to regain the success he has as a 13 year old boy.

So now that you know a little about the Diskettes and way more than you probably wanted to know about Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, here are some songs to listen to.

First, here are the two versions of ABC's of Love
Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers- ABC's of Love
The Diskettes- ABCs of Love

I also really love The Diskettes cover of OMC's How Bizarre which can be found on Asaurus Records' box set You Already Have Too Many CDRs. So here's the Diskette's cover as well as OMC's original version
OMC- How Bizarre (from How Bizarre)
The Diskettes- How Bizarre (from You Already Have Too Many CDRs)

And here are two songs from The Diskette's newly released record Weeknights at Islandview Beach
The Diskettes- 1 2 3 4 5
The Diskettes- Get! Together!

For more Diskettes tracks visit these places:
The Diskettes on Myspace
Official Diskettes site
Asaurus Records

Ok, now for some more Teenagers stuff. I love the old doo wop sound so I think all of these songs are pretty damn awesome. All of these songs can be found on The Very Best of Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers. Definitely listen to Goody Goody and Baby Baby

Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers- Why Do Fools Fall in Love?
Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers- I Want You To Be My Girl
Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers- Baby Baby
Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers- Goody Goody
Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers- Little Bitty Pretty One

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Kanye and Jesus are like THIS

This was just posted in Negroclash. I found it funny so I thought I'd put it here.

K-Dubs: "So, nobody cares about us?"
JC: "Well, there's always the month of February. And c'mon, VH1 LOVES you guys..."

(from Late Registration)
Kanye West- Gold Digger (featuring Jamie Foxx)
Kanye West- Hey Mama

Bloc Party at the Tabernacle (Atlanta, GA) 9-26-05

Bloc Party was awesome. I got there around 7:30 and was surprised to see that doors were already open. So I got two shirts, and went upstairs to find a spot near the stage. And guess what? There was hardly anyone in there! So I got the very last spot on the baracade, on the left side. Next to me was this guy named Tim who turned out to be really cool, and I talked with him throughout the whole show. The opening band was The Tom Collins band. They were like hard rocking americana almost, and I wondered who's idea it was to have them open up for Bloc Party since it seems as though their genres are miles apart. Oh well. Bloc Party went on a little after 9:30 opening up with So Here We Are. Kele was adorable as always. He has the best smile ever and they sounded awesome. Again, I don't know why people think they suck live 'cause they were fantastic. They pretty much played every song they've ever written. They played Blue Light, The Marshalls Are Dead, Banquet, Price of Gas (which Kele said is about evil), Helicopter (Whenever I've seen footage of Kele singing the line "Stop being so American," he always smiles. It's almost as if he's waiting to see how people are going to react to it), Little Thoughts, Positve Tension, She's Hearing Voices, This Modern Love, and Like Eating Glass. I can't remember if they played Luno or Staying Fat. Gordy was wearing a Death From Above shirt and it seems like they would've played Luno, but I just can't remember. The last two songs they played before the encores (yes as in more than one encore) were Plans and Pioneers. It's funny because Kele asked the crowd what songs they wanted to hear next, and people were shouting out all sorts of things, but mostly Plans and Pioneers. So they started playing Plans, and then Kele said, "If you play your cards right, you might get the other one as well." When they came back out to do the encores, the first song then did was Tulips which sounded AMAZING. I never thought I'd hear that live. They also played a song called The Present, which I can't remember if Kele said was a new or an old song. The final song they did was Skeleton which is like the fucking B-side of the Helipcoter 7 inch. Seriously, they were really playing EVERYTHING. Of course they didn't play Always New Depths which is the song I REALLY wanted to hear, but that's ok. There were a lot of people there, and it was nice to see that Bloc Party can pack the Tabernacle. This was the final show of Bloc Party's American tour, and Kele said, "I'm pleased to report to you that's it's gone very well." When they finished playing he said, "See ya next year." All in all, they were absolutely fantastic. And I'm happy that I finally got a chance to see them live.

Here's the best picture that I snapped during the show.

And here's a very, very short clip of the boys tuning in between songs
. I would've recorded more, but the security guard was looking at me weird. And I would've recorded a performance but it would've sounded all muffled since I was right in front of the speakers.

Now for some music. Here are two songs that came on over the speakers while we were waiting for Bloc Party to play.

Les Savy Fav- Hold On to Your Genre (from Inches)
Kylie Minogue- Slow (from Body Language)

Also, I'd like to say congrats to Michelle who can die happy now after meeting Noel Gallagher last night. I've never been a massive Oasis fan, but even I know THAT'S HUGE! So I'm really excited for her. So here are some Oasis tracks.

(from (What's the Story) Morning Glory?)
Oasis- Roll With It
Oasis- Champagne Supernova

(from Be Here Now)
Oasis- D'You Know What I Mean
Oasis- Don't Go Away

Sunday, September 25, 2005

It's taken me all this time to find out what I need

I don't know if they still do this, but about once a year, 99x would put out a cd of Live performances and donate the money from the sales to a charity. The live performances were taped as apart of the Live X series, which is a program on the station where bands come in and perform in front of an audience. Usually the sets are acoustic. I had the pleasure of going to the Live X that Billy Corgan did back in 2000 and it was definitely a great experience for me.

I only have one Live X cd, and that's the third volume, 99X Live X III RAINN Songs. I'm sure I got it for the Bush track Comedown. I was OBSESSED with that band at the time. I think this particular Live X cd was released in 1996 or 1997 and proceeds from the sale of the cd went to RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network) which was co-founded by Tori Amos in 1994. Definitely a great organization.

This cd is of course out of print. Only a limited number of copies were made, and most probably ended up in the hands of Atlanta radio listeners. But I think almost all of the tracks are here are really great, so I'm gonna post the whole record. The ones with * next to them are the tracks that are especially amazing. I'm sure you've all heard most of these songs before, but not done in the ways you're going to hear them.

Tori Amos- Silent All These Years *
Goo Goo Dolls- Name
Dave Matthews Band- Satellite
Melissa Etheridge- I Want to Come Over*
Better Than Ezra- Desperately Wanting*
Joan Osbourne- Ladder
Paul Westerberg- Love Untold*
Tracy Chapman- Fast Car*
Jars of Clay- Flood
Dishwalla- Counting Blue Cars
Jewel- You Were Meant For Me
Bush- Comedown*
Barenaked Ladies- The Old Apartment
Fleming & John- Love Songs*

Friday, September 23, 2005

If you need me to be sweet, then I can give you what you need

Remember Luscious Jackson? They put out some really great stuff when they were together. The other day, Ladyfingers came on while I was listening to my iTunes library on random, and I remembered the first time I heard it, and how much I loved it right away. So I thought I'd write about them today.

The main players in Luscious Jackson were Kate Schellenbach (drums), Jill Cunniff (bass) and Gabby Glaser (guitar). They met in their teens during the NY post-punk scene of the early 80s. Kate played drums with the Beastie Boys when they were still a hardcore punk band. Jill met Kate when she interviewed the Beasties for her fanzine, The Decline of Art. The three girls started hanging out together and went to hardcore, reggae, hip-hop, and post punk shows together. Clearly all of the bands they saw in the early days would have a major influence of their sound when they formed Luscious Jackson.

After high school, Kate stayed in New York for college while Jill and Gabby moved to the west coast to attend art school in San Francisco. In 1991, Jill and Gabby returned to New York, and started working on songs together. They asked Kate, and Jill's friend, Vivian Trimble, to join their group. They called themselves Luscious Jackson, after a 60s basketball player for the Philadelphia 76ers. The group released their debut EP, In Search of Manny, on Grand Royal in 1991. The EP was reissued in 1992 on Capitol/Grand Royal. The rest, as they say is history.

Vivian left the band in 1998, after the release of Fever In, Fever Out. I clearly remember the video for Naked Eye, since it was on MTV every time I turned on my television. Fantasic video. Luscious Jackson put out their final record, Electric Honey, in 1999, and broke up in Early 2000.

Here are a couple of songs from Luscious Jackson's last two records. Electric Honey was a lot more upbeat than it's predecessor. Fever In, Fever Out, was more of a chilled out record that had this really great dark and haunting quality to it. Electric Honey was more fun and meant to be dance to. Luscious Jackson had a great ability to interpret many different genres of music and showcased a little bit of everything on all of their records. Everyone's probably heard Naked Eye and Ladyfingers, but definitely check out the other tracks as well.

(from Fever In, Fever Out)
Naked Eye
Why Do I Lie?
Mood Swing

(from Electric Honey)
Sexy Hypnotist

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

M.I.A. at the 40 Watt (Athens, GA) 9-19-05

I'm lazy, so I'm pretty much just gonna copy and paste from my LJ.

M.I.A. last night was amazing. If someone tells you that she isn't good live, don't listen to them, 'cause they don't know what the fuck they're talking about. She had a packed 40 Watt jumping up and down and singing their heads off to her songs.

Akeem picked me up from the North Ave. station around 7:30ish. we got to Athens a little after 9. There's was already a long line outside of the 40 Watt which I expected. But we got in quick enough and found a good spot near the front. Most of the people there, it seems, had come from outside of Athens (there were a lot of Atlanta people there) and while the crowd seemed small at first, it got bigger and bigger as time started to pass.

There was one opening act called Spank Rock who were from I believe Baltimore. They consisted of a DJ, a Hype man, and this skinny black guy rocking a fedora and an old school track jacket. There first song was I believe called Put that Pussy on Me. Yes. You read that correctly. I think it threw everyone off when he started singing about that particular part of the female body. But they were actually fun to watch, and got the crowd excited for M.I.A. I'm not too sure how long they played. These annoying girls got in front of us, and were all, "YAY! I love M.I.A.! I Can't wait til she plays Galang." But I tried to not let their ridiculous drunken yells bother me. They tried to give ma a beer as a peace offering for cutting in front of me but I declined.

I guess M.I.A. went on some time around 11:20 pm or so. The DJ came out (it wasn't Diplo) and spun for a bit, and then M.I.A. and her back up singer (Cherry I think her name is) came out and everyone just went nuts. By this point, the whole place was packed and I think she started off the show with her 16 bars in Bad Man, the final track on Missy Elliot's new album, The Cookbook. You just knew the rest of the show was going to be awesome after that. This is why M.I.A. puts on a good show:

She sounds exactly the same as she does on record which is awesome
She and Cherry are mad awesome winers (a west indian slang term that has to do with dancing)
She's all about crowd participation and gets close to the audience and has them shout back lyrics to her.
She rocks out just as hard as any band I've ever seen, with just a microphone.

So the songs she did were Pull Up the People, MIA, Fire Fire, 10 Dollar, Amazon, Bucky Done Gun, Sunshowers and of course Galang. I want to say that she did MIA over the beat for Bubba Sparxxx's Ugly (she asked the DJ if he had that) but don't quote me on that. It's weird, 'cause I'm usually really good about remembering stuff like that. But maybe I was just soo concerned with getting pictures (and I got some good ones). The DJ also kept ramdomly playing the sound bite of Kayne West saying that George Bush doesn't care about black people. The crowd especially loved that.

She did one encore: two songs, the last one being URAQT which I actually didn't think she'd play since it's not on the US version of Arular. I could tell that a lot of people didn't know that song, since the crowd wasn't screaming the lyrics to that one very loudly. I was of course, since it's been my favorite M.I.A. song for a while now.

M.I.A. finished around 12:30 am. Akeem and I waited around so that I could meet Maya and so that he could find out the name of the MC in Spank Rock. Maya was hanging out towards the back of the venue, talking to some people after the show. People were waiting for her to sign things so she started signing copies of Arular that people had with them. I brought my copy of her Pocko book to sign, figuring that it would be a more unique thing to get autographed. Maya was really surprised to see that I had it. She said, "Wow, you have my book! This is the first time I've seen it in the states." Akeem said that made me special. Haha. Then I waited for someone else to ask her for a picture first ('cause ya never know how people are about that) and then asked for one. I was pretty calm the whole time, but wish I had thought to ask her if she listens to soca at all. Although she probably does, especially since Cherry is from St. Vincent. I also wish I had mentioned that Akeem's and my parents are all West Indian. This was definitely one of the most culturally diverse shows I've been too. There were white kids, black kids, hispanic kids, east indian kids, just a little bit of everything. I think M.I.A. appeals to so many different kinds of people because her music is so diverse. She should be proud of the fact that no one else even comes close to doing what she's doing. After she took the picture with me, I said, "Thanks" in a kind of shy voice and Maya said, "Aww, it's ok." haha. She's super sweet. I love her more even now.

After getting the picture, Akeem and I left. We went to Walmart for snacks, and Quick Trip. I got home around 3, and had to get up 6:30. But it was all worth it. The show was amazing, and I'm so thrilled that I got to see Maya live.

Me and Maya

Pocko book

Go here for more pictures

Monday, September 19, 2005

M.I.A. day

Looks like I definitely have a ride to Athens today for the M.I.A. show. Hopefully, tomorrow I'll have cool pictures and a good story to share. I've gotta go get ready so, here are some more random tunes. Be good kiddies

Sunny Day Real Estate- In Circles (from Diary)
Elastica- Connection (from Elastica)
INXS- Need You Tonight (from The Greatest Hits)
Refused- New Noise (from The Shape of Punk to Come)

Oh and everyone should get one of these rad shirts from Threadless. They're only $10 and proceeds are going to the Red Cross to help Katrina victims

Sunday, September 18, 2005

You are the very first time I felt alive

Before my computer crapped out on me, I planned on writing about Estrela, a band from Augusta, Georgia. This morning I visited their myspace page to see what they've been up to lately, and it looks like they've gotten a new bass player. The split wasn't amicable it seems. You can read more about it here.

I first heard Estrela a couple of years ago, and remember them having sort of an emocore feel to them. In fact, I think they even likened themselves to Glassjaw. I wasn't that crazy about the singer's voice though (I totally can't remember his name right now), so I didn't really listen to them after that. But then earlier this year, my friend Akeem told me that I really had to listen to them. I explained to him that I had heard them before and wasn't really into it. Then he said, "But they have a new singer and she's amazing."

Changing singers can really make a band something completely different. And this was certainly the case for Estrela. With Chelsea Logue fronting the band, their sound changed to more suite her voice, and they sound like a completely different band now.

I saw Estrela at the very last Cotton Club show in Atlanta and was amazed at how well Chelsea's voice sounded live. I was thrilled when the band played Intramural, the first song of theirs that Akeem had me listen to. Intramural is one of those songs that have to listen to like 8 times in a row, because there's so much going on, and every lyric is one that you want to commit to memory. I've already listened to it 5 times today.

Some of the bands Estrela lists as influences are Dredg, The Mars Volta, and Incubus. You can definitely hear some old school Incubus in their stuff, so if you're a fan of Fungus Amongus/S.C.I.E.N.C.E. era Incubus, you'll definitely be able to hear similarities.

So here's the song that I love listening to over and over and over again as well as another track from their self titled demo.

Estrela- Eddifice

Estrela on Myspace

Estrela on Pure Volume

Saturday, September 17, 2005

I'm back

Hi People

Sorry that you haven't heard anything from me in a while. My computer crapped out on me, and for three weeks I was without the internet at home. That's right, no email, no flickr, and no music blogs. Yes it was as horrible as it sounds. Thankfully, I'm back online now. I've changed the template for the blog, 'cause the old one was getting...well old. Here are some random songs to start you off with.

Jane's Addiction- Jane Says (from Kettle Whistle)
N*E*R*D- Lapdance (from In Search Of...)
Incubus- A Certain Shade of Green (from S.C.I.E.N.C.E.)