Saturday, November 25, 2006

compared to U2

Before she was famous Sinéad O'Connor worked as a waitress at The Bad Ass Cafe on Crown Alley, Temple Bar Dublin. Inspired by Jason Soon posting a YouTube vid of her doing Nothing Compares 2U I've whacked these pics up. Jason has a special place in my heart for his love of Dylan and Sinéad has a place also for this quote: "Van Morrison should be friggin' canonised"FXH sitting in Bad Ass Cafe Dublin as part of the great Hibernian cultural tour of Oct 2006 thinking of Sinead and Jason. Huge version of pic here.

The common people eating at Bad Ass. Huge version here.

Friday, November 24, 2006

friday cat blog

I think I first really noticed Ruth Brown when I bought a working jukebox for my singles and I managed to get the singles that were already loaded into it thrown in.

The single that reached out of the speakers and grabbed me and in particular the kids, and party guests, was, This Little Girls Gone Rockin’ by Ruth Brown. It’s from 1958 and has the great King Curtis blowin’ sax. Great rockin forward beat, Ruth Brown - Miss Rhythm – The Girl With Tear In Her Voice makes it a dance floor and singing favourite. Anyway we played it and played it and played it again. Then I went out a bought a few other Ruth Brown CDs. Once I heard Ruth doing Lucky Lips I realized how insipid Cliff Richard’s version was.

She was born Ruth Weston on Jan. 12, 1928, in Portsmouth, Va., the oldest of seven children. From the age of 4 she played and sang alongside her father, who was noted for his strong voice, at the local Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. In summer, she picked cotton with her brothers an sisters at her grandmother’s farm in North Carolina.

As a teenager, she performed at U.S.O. clubs at nearby naval stations. She ran away from home at 17, working with a trumpeter named Jimmy Brown and using his last name onstage. She married him, or thought she did; he was already married. But she was making a reputation as Ruth Brown, and the name stuck.

She played with big bands, around 1946, and then a few years later she was “discovered” and recommended to Atlantic Records.

On the way to New York City, however, she was seriously injured in an automobile accident and hospitalized for most of a year; her legs, which were smashed, would be painful for the rest of her life. She stood on crutches in 1949 to record her first session for Atlantic, and the bluesy ballad “So Long” became a hit.

You can hear her influence on most of the next two decades female singers, from Aretha to Etta; even Little Richard acknowledged that he'd based his vocal stylings on those of Brown. And although she had no formal training, she had a natural ear for music - Dizzy Gillespie observing that " Ruth Brown could hear a rat wee on cotton."

She had at least 10 hits in the ‘50s and between 1950 and 1955 Ruth scored 5 #1 hits on Billboards R&B charts. She led a good life with cadillacs and musician lovers. The hits dried up in the ‘60s and she worked as a teacher –aide and housemaid to support herself and her sons.

In the late 70s she made a comeback and never stopped. She was an outspoken advocate onstage and in interviews, about the exploitative contracts musicians of her generation had signed. Many hit-making musicians had not recouped debts to their labels, according to record company accounting, and so were not receiving royalties at all. Shortly before Atlantic held a 40th-birthday concert at Madison Square Garden in 1988, the label agreed to waive unrecouped debts for Ms. Brown and 35 other musicians of her era and to pay 20 years of retroactive royalties.

The next time you hear the record industry talk about how they "support artists", or how downloads effect their profits, try picturing the pile of records lost to the world because labels like Atlantic kept R&B singers in poverty, cleaning rooms to live when they should have been making music. Atlantic was known at one stage as The House the Ruth paid for.

Ruth was the best, she could sing jazz, R&B and Broadway – make them all sassy, rockin’ and with that trademark Ruth Brown Teardrop in the voice.

Ruth Brown died Friday in a Las Vegas area hospital from complications after a heart attack and stroke earlier in the week. She was 78.

Go and buy The Best of Ruth Brown – Cat of the Week

I wrote my mom a letter
And this is what I said

Well-a, well-a, well-a, well-a
I washed all the dishes
And I did a lot more
I even bought the dinner
At the grocery store
Now, Mom, you'll find

The key next door cause
This little girl's gone rocking

I left some biscuits for the pup
I put fresh water in his cup
And now I'm off
I'm gonna live it up cause
This little girl's gone rocking

Well, I'm be home about
Twelve tonight and not a
Minute, minute, minute later
Don't forget the front door lock
That's all for now
I'll see you later, mater

You'll find these things
That you wanted done
I'm off to meet that special one
Boy, oh, boy, will we have fun
Cause this little girl's gone rocking

Well, I'm be home about
Twelve tonight and not a
Minute, minute, minute later
Don't forget the front door lock
That's all for nowI'll see you later, mater

You'll find these things
That you wanted done
I'm off to meet that special one

Boy, oh, boy, will we have fun

Cause this little girl's gone rocking
Yeah, this little girl's gone rocking.....

Thursday, November 23, 2006

ain't got no ipod

Good news.

At JB Hi-Fi Tom Waits new 3CD richly packaged set Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards for $73. The beautifully designed booklet reproduces Tom's lyrics in the style of a book of old poetry, with twenty pages of never before seen photos. The limited edition deluxe package contains a hardcover-bound 94-page booklet.

Tom Waits - Lie To Me

Also all Johnny Cash, American series for sale at $9.90 or so each.
For $23 the new Solomon Burke, Nashville, album. Great. This is the country-soul album I was wanting Van Morrison to do. He's still got the time and the talent.

They also have some 2 CD Best of sets for $11 near the checkout. Homer Paxton will be pleased to know that the Barry Manilow and Judas Priest sets are still available.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Designed, made, modelled and photographed by offspring
orders taken. ask in comment for link to more pics

Monday, November 20, 2006

john howard's humour

I know this is old news but I haven't stopped smirking since I read it.

Bono let it be known that he would like to meet with John Howard. Howard, not unreasonably, said he was amenable to meeting with him if a formal request was made. Bono responded by saying he would only meet with John Howard if he agreed to increase Australia's foreign aid to 0.7 of GDP.

Howard replied: "I don't accept preconditions from anybody. I don't commit in advance to businessmen in this country and I certainly don't do it to - much in all as he's high-grade - Irish entertainers."

Irish Entertainer - really cracks me up whenever I see a picture of Bono and his glasses. Especially given the scorn with which the "modern" ones like Bono hold the old
Irish Showbands.

So now whenever I see Bono I think of Irish entertainers like Daniel O'Donnell who was accurately unfairly portrayed as Eoin McLove in Night of The Nearly Dead episode of Father Ted.

Irish Entertainer - Thank you, John Howard.

Photo of Irish entertainer - Mr Bono

Sunday, November 19, 2006

friday cat blog - late

The Australian Weekend Mag has a better than the usual interview with Tom Waits by Gerard Wright on the occasion of the release of the 3 CD set, Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards. Available in Australia for around $100 the CDs are meant to stand alone musically as well as being part of the bigger set.

Tom describes Orphans as "A lot of songs that fell behind the stove while making dinner". It contains 56 songs of which around only 14 are to be found easily elsewhere. All reports so far is that it is a great spread of Tom's styles across the 3 CDs.

One of the highlights for me in the Oz Weekend interview comes when Tom talking about who the album is aimed at and is asked if he is worried about how the true believers will receive it (as if us true believers ever doubt). Tom replies that it isn't that audience that he worries about but how people like David Hildago Los Lobos, Mark Linkous Sparklehorse and Nick Cave are going to think. Oooh that just makes me and a few thousand others love Tom even more.

In another neat touch in the interview Tom talks about how he learnt Waltzing Matilda at primary school where it was a staple of USA music classes in the '50's & '60's:

"I knew that song since I was a kid. Everybody sang it in school. It's Banjo Paterson, right? Paterson yeah. I didn't know what a Matilda was but it sure was an intriguing song...... when I was older it haunted me. Somebody sat down and played it on the piano one day when I was in the studio. Just tore me up......... I had this whole romance with the road...... leaving your troubles that's what it became for me"

Tom Waits - Cat of The Week

Friday, November 10, 2006

friday cat blogging

Solomon Burke has long been the King of Country Soul. I don't know how many times I go and play his Just Out Of Reach Of These Two Empty Arms, a cover of a song by Bakersfield pioneer Wynn Stewart. It is THE Country Soul version of any song.

Although for many of us music knobs snobs aficionados tragics he never went away, for many he is seen as making a comeback. Unlike many other artists from the early days Burke probably doesn't need the money. He has a reputation as a savvy businessman from the early days of selling food and drink to his band members, to his later, and current, successful ownership of chains of funeral parlours, pharmacies, and hotdog and hamburger companies. Not only does he come from a church background, he is currently an active preacher in his own church.

His last release Don't Give up on Me whilst head and shoulders above most current "soul" offerings, didn't sustain as evenly as I would have liked throughout the whole album, despite having songs written for Burke by Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, Bob Dylan, Nick Lowe, and Van Morrison.

The latest release, Nashville, produced by Buddy Miller, looks as if it is the real thing right through every track. I've only heard about 4 tracks on radio but the
Tom T Hall song, That’s How I Got to Memphis, alone is worth the price of admission. Amanda Flop Eared Mule has written a detailed listen over at Road To Surfdom.

Solomon Burke - Cat of the Week

Friday, November 03, 2006

friday cat blogging

I shot this gentleman near 57th street the other day and as i reviewed the photo I kept finding all these well done little details that when combined are the secret to the success of his look.

First of all, I love the aggressive yet subtle (weird way to describe - I know) mix of pattern for his shirt, tie, and suit. This is the type of thing that people who don't understand menswear miss about how a guy can look edgy and completely classic at the same time. I find this level of creativity in mixing patterns and color in every way equal to another slim-cut black Dior Homme suit with a tricked-up white shirt.
I'm not saying i don't appreciate Dior but those type of designers don't own the market on true design creativity

He is wearing an Etro suit.Etro is better know for being one of the more colorful and sometimes over-the-top menswear houses ( the Italian Paul Smith) but this photo detail shows they can also deliver high-quality.
Notice how the plaid matches at the sleeve seam and how well the plaids match at the breast-pocket.

Maybe Gianni Agnelli was right about wearing his watch on top of his cuff. It is almost unavoidable that your cuff will get caught on your watch which is too bad because he is showing the perfect amount of cuff but the watch is throwing it off balance. Personally I avoid this by using the clock on my cell phone - sorry watch industry

The snaps and post are from one of my favourite blogs.
The Sartorialist is a professional fashion photographer who started a blog with snaps of street fashion. Not all anorexic females or super trendy youngsters either but a good smattering of old, young, male and female real people. The comments are the best bit. On this post alone it runs to 53 comments.

I'm warning you, don't start to read unless you have 3 or 4 hours. You'll want to go back in the archives and read every single post and comments.

The Sartorialist and his people - Cats of the Week.