Amoeblog

eGuiders.com Live -- Great Records, Real Good Whiskey, Even Jambalaya ...

Posted by Whitmore, May 4, 2010 11:05pm | Post a Comment
eguiders live
Not to sound like a complete SoCal elitist snob, but I do most of my writing down by the pool, lounging about – in the shade, of course -- often sipping some kind of beverage, sometimes a cappuccino, sometimes a whiskey and soda, Sinatra style. Anyway, this is where I met Marc Ostrick, good neighbor, family man, music aficionado, Scotch connoisseur, raconteur and co-founder of the website eGuiders.com. The site, launched in February of 2009, is in essence your TV Guide to online videos. And starting this past April 1st, Marc began adding original programming to the mix. Shows include eG Live, The Untitled Series, Two Live Jews (featuring Marc and comedian Ed Krasnick) and my favorite show, The B Side Live.
 
The B Side Live combines all the elements dearest to my geeky, fool's paradise kind of life -- great eguiders liverecords (and always 45’s), good single malt whiskeys and ridiculous tomfoolery, always augmented with a live audience, dancers and green screens, and on special nights when the moon is high and some immense, slippery funk track greases up the studio, your hosts Marc, Brian Rothe and myself serve up some real good jambalaya.
 
This Thursday, May 6th at 9 pm (Pacific Coast Time), we will be dishing out one last episode before our summer hiatus. Below is last week's extravaganza, here is episode 3 and episode 4 and yeah, on occasion it’s a bit jejune, puerile, brutish, corporeal, feral, and yes even a little ferine, but it’s a helluva good, goddamned time. Tune in.

The Vinyl Confidential, 3.4 – The Odd Order of Oblong Boxes

Posted by Whitmore, April 12, 2010 05:29pm | Post a Comment
"All I saw was the seven inch record lying there on the floor under the vibrating glare of the florescent lights, split in half like a fortune cookie, except this platter’s fortune would read doom and troubled kismet; “you’ve seen better days,” it’d say.
 
Pissed, I flopped around the room like a huge puppet entangled in strings, cursing, spitting guttural yaps till my own ears grew tired of the clamor. I had wheeled my office chair across the small hovel of a room, felt the rear end mysteriously fishtail, looked down and there it was, splattered across the speckled black and blue tile, long gouges furrowed into the vinyl, Ruby Andrews'Just Loving You” sadistically dismembered. A few minutes earlier she had been lapping curves on the turntable, how was I supposed to know she was spinning on stolen time? Her love had been so good to me ...
 
I thought about every other goddamned record I would’ve loved to have snapped in half. This was a pitiful shame. The urge to apologize to all the DJ’s in all the clubs who would crap their knickers for a chance to spin her crept into my brain. How do you explain the mangled demise of such a rare and expensive beautiful thing? The stink of stupidity hung around me like some cheap truckstop aftershave.
 
I let the record lie there for a while as I priced some inexpensive pop vocal records. And just before heading home for the day, as I shut the computer down, the stereo, clicking off the lights, I finally tossed the halves into the bin. Again her melody spun in my head over and over in a dizzying parade of nostalgia. And as I slammed the office door shut, I thought I heard a thin voice say, "Thanks, for listening, mister."

Digging through the Record Stacks 3 -- O'Hegarty, “Body in the Bag”

Posted by Whitmore, April 6, 2010 09:52pm | Post a Comment
o'hegarty Body in the bag 
O'Hegarty – “Body in the Bag” / “What a Mouth” (Verve-Folkways 1966)
 
Every record geek’s collection benefits from owning a few sides of twisted little English ditties, if only to help explain our twisted little lives. And this seven inch is as ridiculous and perverse a record you could ever hope to find. Most any vinyl fiend, jonesing for some new weirdness, would love to slip a needle on this disc. Anyway, one thing you should know, I’m not a big fan of pets, just not ... at all ... but if push comes to shove and to preserve harmony in the mostly cat loving Whitmore homestead, I too am more cat people than a dog people (it’s the poop question), so dear cat family, be warned, “Body in the Bag” yanks out several merry and morbid feline jokes, driven along by an acutely cheery organ and a happy jaunt on the sunny side of the street as the singer retells the tale of how he tries to rid himself of a dead cat. The original lyrics start like this:
 
“I met a strange man on the street today
He shoved a bag into my hands and quickly ran away,
I really must admit that it took me by surprise
What a charming fellow to leave me such a prize.
But when I took a look inside
I couldn’t believe my eyes,
He left me with a body in a bag
So on I went with a body in the bag
A body in the bag, ta ra ra.”
 
The song was written by Charles O'Hegarty and recorded in New York City on July 5, 1966. And as you may consistently find with many of the great singles of yore, the superior side, the desired side, like “Body in the Bag,” was originally relegated to B side status. The plug side, “What a Mouth,” is a nice song, a funny song, sure enough, but it ain’t no “Body.” Over the years I believe O'Hegarty wrote several different versions of “Body in the Bag,” as I keep on coming across different sets of lyrics, but no need for you music lover to fear -- it is always a snappy song about a dead cat ... ta ra ra ... ta ra ra.
 
Throughout O'Hegarty’s career he was mostly known as a singer of the traditional seafarer’s ballads and shanties and a gifted creator of weird tales, blessed with the ability to spontaneously craft a little song at the drop of a hat as fast as a cat. In a career that spanned decades, he was also a member of the band The Starboard List, who put out two albums for Adelphi Records and occasionally he was a contributor to the ground-breaking humor magazine National Lampoon during its heyday in the 1970’s.
 
Unfortunately I just read some sad news today; Charles O'Hegarty died earlier this year in the Hackney at Homerton Hospital in London, England of a heart condition on Friday, January 29th. He was 72. Rest in peace, O'Hegarty.

The Vinyl Confidential, 3.3 – The Odd Order of Oblong Boxes

Posted by Whitmore, March 17, 2010 04:55pm | Post a Comment
“It was one of those evenings when the sky came down for its close-up, gray and dingy, wrapping itself around every megasized Hollywood billboard. The fog blanketed the windows of Amoeba like a broke down record geek trying to sneak out a satchel of stolen platters under his coat, and every time some honey lurched for the front door, he’d think “is now the time to dash for the exit while security talks up the sweet thing who just walked in from the rain?”
foggy day
 
Meanwhile down in the used 45 section, in the middle of the dozens of colorful boxes filled with musty records, some with enough gray, dingy dust thrown in to make you choke, two employees with barely two bits of sense between them were arguing over what was the better Dee Dee Warwick single, “You're No Good” or “I'm Gonna Make You Love Me.” That is, until a cool pair of legs in an outfit too short for the weather walked past us. Casually folded around her waist, a studded belt whispered sweet nothings to the black satin skirt she wore, she was young but her expression said she knew her stuff. Her muck boots looked like two skinned Siamese cats, suddenly a chorus of “Cat Scratch Fever” bopped into my head. Our employee conversation evaporated instantly.
 
Glancing about the shelves for a moment, in a matter of fact manner she said she needed to score some good Northern Soul ... if we had any. “You’ve come to the right place.” I pointed to the appropriate oblong box. She gave another box a swift shove out of the way as she reached into one marked Soul, quickly grabbing a record in a plain white sleeve on the old Blue Rock label. Staring at her new find for a split second, her lips tipped with a wicked grin, she snarled, “You’re both completely wrong.” As she sauntered away, she flashed us the single "We're Doing Fine," Dee Dee Warwick, 1965. She was right, absolutely right. And just before I decided I could only afford a wet evening alone, her hips waved back, certifying, "see you later fools.”
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Another Vinyl Confidential, 3.2 – The Odd Order of Oblong Boxes

Posted by Whitmore, March 6, 2010 01:32pm | Post a Comment
Cipher encoding/decoding, this is diddly squat, goose eggs, nothingness, zip, zilch -- kick it in the teeth, silence has passed on into legend for chrissakes, long may it live. Silence is as dead as a dodo. Noise reigns, its grip addles nothing except humanity, piece of mind and the marrow of a sun drenched life poolside, contemplating the big things: skin, the uniquely opposable thumb, nose hair and genitalia ... hooting, honking, howling, screeching, braying, farting, booming, crashing, whistling, whizzing, shrilling, hissing, warbling, gabbling, grunting and grinding augments the day as the noisy, nosey void advances like ashen weeds. Silence no longer had anything to prove so expired quietly, idealistically, never to be heard from again.                                          
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