Amoeblog

The B Side Live Waves Bye Bye

Posted by Whitmore, May 18, 2010 08:48pm | Post a Comment

Ok, so Alyssa Milano wasn’t tweeting back and our resident rock-star-who-we-can’t-name was too busy doing rock star things elsewhere to be in attendance, but there was a tall, thin gentleman looking a helluva lot like my former conspirator in the Amoeba Hollywood 45 room, son of Texas, Brently Heilbron, in the audience eating pretzels and keeping his distance from the enormous 77 pound chocolate cake which was parallel parked alongside the couch so that the large live studio audience -- triple the regular crowd size, which explains why security showed up -- could dance and binge on food and booze, all to celebrate the end of season one of Eguiders.com’s webcast The B Side Live.
 
The B Side Live is a webcast tailor-made for record geeks whodella Reese have a taste for blathering, dusty singles, top shelf whisky, terrible green-screen effects and who don’t mind waves of pandemonium and chaos. The theme for this week’s episode was cover-songs. Some of the 7 inch records slapped on the turntable included Della Reese’s absolutely perfect version of the Sinatra standard “It Was a Very Good Year” (1966), Big Maybelle’s “96 Tears” (1967), Brothers and Sisters featuring Merry Clayton doing Bob Dylan’s “The Mighty Quinn,” Joey Covington’s (the future drummer for the Jefferson Starship) garagey version of The Who’s “Boris the Spider” (1967) and the show stopper of the evening, from 1969, Wilson Pickett’s incredible, wickedly possessed, mind blowing single version summerof “Hey Joe” -- featuring Duane Allman’s nervously ecstatic guitar lines, plus of course tracks from the likes of Tina Turner, Sharon Jones, Jimmy Smith, Otis Clay, Nina Simone, the Mighty Tom Cats, the sly vocal gymnastics of the late, great, Peter Sellers and many more.
 
After a summer hiatus, The B Side Live will return, optimistically rested and tanned and with a whole new stack of great seven inch classics. Hopefully we will have found a secret thriftstore Shangri-La, laden with vinyl dubloons or hit big in Vegas, “seven come eleven, baby needs new northern soul,” or we will have won epic battles on eBay against all deep pocketed comers, and even if my taste for such a good life leads me down the road from champagne to whiskey, from whiskey to wine, and from wine to sterno and denatured alcohol. It is simply the price you pay to play good records, so be it...

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.

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.”
outsider artoutsider art

Vinyl Confidential, 1.2 – the odd order of oblong boxes

Posted by Whitmore, July 26, 2009 10:15pm | Post a Comment
The record geek can be recognized in his home by the lovingly quick glance he gives the album covers framed on his walls -- next to the original Family Dog, Fillmore and Frank Kozik posters -- a look both swift and penetrating, but thoughtful, as if he was recapturing a fine moment ... or simply undressing them. This is either followed by pained reverential silence or a thought in his head like, “I really wish I could find a Japanese or Thai pressing of that record.” The record geek will stand back from the framed album at a distance, his head slightly cocked to one side, in his hand a Scotch or Irish whiskey, eventually, after a long moment of wishing or searching Ebay, he -- and it is always a he -- will cautiously slink forward to within a millimeter of the frame, study the blur of lines and color in the cover art and remember being fourteen years old again. Then he'll return to his former distant position by the sliding door in the living room, give the framed art piece one last glance, wander over to his stereo system and play the Import CD version of that very record, grimace as he recognizes the inferior digital sound of the classic disc he still can’t believe everybody doesn't own. He sighs exhaustively. But that’s where the Scotch comes in; he pours himself one more drink, collapses in his mid-century arm chair and contemplates a better tomorrow.  
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