Tuesday, December 4, 2007

there is nothing...

Like plugging in some change and hearing "Green Onions" on a beauty like this AMi juke box circa 1958. Especially when the box is found in a soda shoppe or lunch counter...

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Speed? Nah...

What helps keep you up 24 hours?
Speed? Nah.
After a long flight overseas I recommend hanging out with Wilko Johnson after one of his gigs in North London. It always works for me...

And don't forget to take Wilko's advice and stay hydrated!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

my kinda town, Memphis is...

A personal archive shot... A blistering hot Sunday around noon a couple years back outside of Royal Recorders in Memphis. Who should roll up but Willie Mitchell himself, accompanied by his charming granddaughter. A true gent who offered us a private tour of the legendary studio. Of course we took it! What a guy and what a town.

Friday, November 16, 2007

some more words on the Dub Rifles...

The final Dub Rifles line-up in Montreal, 1984. And to accompany the photo check into this link and some words from our old pal Vince on the Dub Rifles and post-punk... Thx, Vince.

Here's the link: Funky Monkey Ain't No Junkie

band lineage...

Originally formed in 1980 in Winnipeg, Canada. The Dub Rifles 5 piece line-up (2 saxes, guitar, bass, drums) combined their primary influences of Motown, Stax, R&B, punk (60s and 70s variety), dub reggae, and original 60s ska and rocksteady into a highly danceable big rhythm blend that knocked them for a loop wherever they had an opportunity to lay it down. Often mis-labelled a "ska" band, the bands material ran the gamut from free-form funk meltdowns and feedback guitar, to supercharged Booker T and The MGs style instrumentals.

A couple of lengthy road excursions (Vancouver-Halifax) garnered them considerable college radio play and a healthy core of fans at a time when the CDN underground scene was just beginning to flourish.

During their brief career the band was featured on The New Music program, shared the stage with the likes of Steel Pulse and Midnight Oil, released 2 independent EPs on their own Notown label, made an appearance on ROIR's Trouser Press comp. The Best Of America Underground (lone CDN entry) and saw the release of a 12 inch EP on Hamburg, Germany's Jax Pax/Juicy Peeple label.

Following their final performance at Toronto's El Mocambo in April 1984, and shortly after a brief change of base to Montreal the winter of 1983/84, the band split up.

Singles
1982 No Town No Country [5 song EP] (Notown)
Tracks: No Town, No Country / Production Of Funds / Delicate Action / Number One / Reluctant Host

1983 Boom [3 song EP] (Notown)
Tracks: Stand / Testify / X

12 Inch
1983 Dub Rifles [3 song EP] (Jax Pax/Juicy Peeple - Germany)
Tracks: Number One / Stand / Testify

Compilation Tracks
1983 "Stand" on 'Trouser Press Presents: The Best Of America Underground' (ROIR)

local lineage...

Taken back when the town had vibe...

award...

Well, I'm not sure how it happened but the band I fronted a few years back called the Driving Wheel won a local award called a Brewno. More info here at Beer For Breakfast. Bit of a gag really from a radio show called Beer For Breakfast (I'm really more of a morning wine guy myself but...). The award was for "One More Time (Band We'd Most Like To See Reunite For A Night)". Nice.
After the demise of the Driving Wheel a two show second version - minus Rob and Rej -with horns appeared while the other fellows carried on in a project called the Windups. The drummer (Dan) has been MIA for the last couple years. Shame that.

Friday, November 9, 2007

a few more words about Jesse Hector and ...

Is this the wildest album cover ever? Hmm... Could be! The fact that the band are actually presented "backwards" is a very interesting design choice, but the colours, planets and flashiness of the band's gear and hairstyles also go to making this one of the most stylish LP covers and the Gorillas one of the most unique groups ever to hit the stage.

This 45 cover by Nick Gerrard/Technimedia is also a great triumph of rock'n'roll art and speaks volumes about Jesse, the Gatecrashers and the Camden scene of the late mid-late 1990's. One of my faves. A great blend of mod/hard R&B and desperate rock'n'roll.



Another shot from the same session that produced the Gatecrashers 45 sleeve shown here. It doesn't get any more rockin' than this kids.

4 stroke lineage...

In my humble opinion this machine is a modern classic...

Sunday, September 16, 2007

a few words on Jesse Hector and The Gorillas...

No doubt that in the very near future someone will take on the task of running a Jesse Hector/Gorillas website. Sadly I've neglected adding much to the pages currently (or now previously?) I've done at Mohair Sweets,though in fairness apart from the Gorilla Garage release and the forthcoming Jesse Hector story DVD ol' Jess ain't been up to much musically in the last few years. Bit o'jammin',but that hasn't resulted in any gigs or anything and after him blowin' out the Marriot tribute show at Albert Hall and other offers I've been told of it sure doesn't look like he'll be playin' any time soon. Shame really, but I understand a lot better now where he's comin' from with regards to all that.
Anyhow, Mohair Sweets the zine was started as a tribute to Jesse and other great faves of mine who are often neglected and under-appreciated and so as a tribute -- again -- to Jesse here, here is my take and tale as life as a Gorillas/Jesse Hector fan... THIS was probably the first I saw of the Gorillas; the sleeve of the legendary "She's My Gal" 45. It was in a local shop back just when the record came out and I immediately thought to myself, "Now THIS is a band with something to offer me!" The jump! The trousers! The sideburns! The shoes!
And you know what? I wasn't wrong. At this point I'd long been a fan of the likes of the Feelgoods, Slade, Dolls and any number of back to basics and original 50s and 60s rock'n'ravers, so when I slapped on "She's My Gal" and heard Jesse's Marriot-influenced wail and the band's hard drivin' rootsy beat I knew I had picked a winner and I'd be grabbing every new release I could find. On a trip to the UK in '79 my pal and I were lucky enough to run into Jesse in one of his favourite haunts (and no doubt on one of his regular rounds) Rock On Records (RIP) in Camden, the home of Chiswick/Ace Records and the most seriously cool record shop perhaps that has ever existed. It was here and then that Jesse proceeded to tell us about some of his fave bands and leap about the shop. To say we were seriously impressed with is enthusiasm and style would be an understatement. My only regret of that meeting is that we never asked if we could accompany him to the band rehearsal he was on his way to. Damn.
I wouldn't meet Jesse again until the very end of the 1990's, of course in Camden Town. I had discovered in '97 that Jesse had resurfaced with a 45 a couple of years before and felt this would be a great opportunity to chat and perhaps get back to doing something music related myself after a couple year layoff. Well that interview turned into a 5 issue print zine with international exposure, a long running website and more fantastic meetings and musical experiences than I can possibly relate here.
I guess a big "Thank You Jesse!" is in order here... So, yeah, thanks Jesse! And of course big thanks to his manager (at the time) and pal Philippe Korpar-Migrenne, Ace Records Roger Armstrong, and Phil King who has carried on Philippe's torch and tried his very best to get Jesse's name and bad self out to the world....
I think at this point I'll say "more later". I can see a few more words about one of the greatest rock'n'rollers ever comin' on down the line sometime soon...

Paw-tay!

Every year we play our pal Deb's birthday party benefit to save the kitties. Come out and support the cause and catch a couple of set...