Sunday, November 20, 2005

Rare, Rare Finds: The American Fuse, The Old Joe Clarks, "Scrappy" Jud Newcomb

Welcome to another installment of rare, rare finds--artists and songs you might only know if you were in that city at that time.

The American Fuse - (Dallas, 1997)
"Psycho Killer" *Talking Heads cover
If Motley Crue's "Red Hot" fucked Iggy Pop's "Blood on Your Cool" just after last call in the back of a Dallas country bar, this would be the sound you'd hear.

The Old Joe Clarks - (San Francisco, 1997)
"Breaking Ground"
"New John Henry"
2:20am. Heading toward Upper Haight. 1995 or so. Stopped at a light. Look over. In the next car --a ragged Caprice Classic-type-- is OJC's Mike Coykendall. And he's singing, loud, with drunk-like swagger, griping the wheel, to a song off Richard Buckner's "Bloomed."

I first bought these songs in the only-offered cassette form after a show before 15 or so of us. If life is fair, I imagine Buckner, driving late at night in his pickup, singing along to "Breaking Ground."

"Scrappy" Jud Newcomb - (Austin, 2003)
"Empty Bottles"
"Maybe I Caught a Glimpse"
This is THE guitar player-for-hire in Austin. Fans of the Richards in Jagger-Richards should love this.


At 10:11 PM, Blogger Satisfied '75 said...

glad to see this feature back!

At 12:25 AM, Blogger jsbankston said...

Your descriptions certainly put the hook in me, but when I tried to follow the links it made my computer all wacky.

I would like to ask Triple J and everybody else--Where do you find the songs and performers you like, that is, the new ones, the non-established ones? Certainly not radio or MTV or anything like that.

I myself get the heads up from a friend who writes music reviews and gets lots of free promotional stuff, and I also make educated guesses based on magazines I read--mostly British music magazines. I almost never listen to the radio and very rarely hear bands live.

It just seems that music fans don't learn aqbout music the way they used to 10 and certainly 20 years ago.

At 7:13 AM, Blogger TripleJ said...

The single greatest change: the ability to share/trade/buy songs electronically.

I still learn about music the old-fashioned way: friends, magazines (especially the British ones and online blogs like Satisfied '75s), music stores (now including online ones) and then just checking out music at a reliable live music venue.

For the three acts above:
1. The first band features, on vocals and guitar, a friend (Nate Fowler) I grew up with.
2. This band opened for another band that I went to see at a solid (now gone) venue in Upper Haight. Funny, I can't remember the band I went to see.
3. First time ... I believe it was seeing Scrappy play guitar at Toni Price's Hippie Hour at the Continental Club. (Something of note: Toni Price, Scrappy and band performed at Julia Roberts' last wedding in New Mexico.)

At 9:11 AM, Blogger jsbankston said...

Twenty some-odd years ago I was visiting a friend (now former friend, and I think, deceased) and he wanted me to go to some now-defunct comedy club. The only time I've ever been to one. The two main acts were Judy Tenuta and Emo Phillips.

The funny thing is I too don't remember much of what they had to say, but I remember some bits by the opening act. His best line: "I like women with small hands--they make my penis look larger."

At 9:21 AM, Blogger jsbankston said...

The whole buy/share/trade electronically aspect is one I'm not currently involved with. I had lots of songs on Napster when I was at CS, but when I got laid off I didn't have a computer at home and no place to store the tunes, so I had to delete them.

After I got fixed up at home I tried a few online services, but they ate up enormous amounts of space on my computer and made it crash all the time, so I had to withdraw.

I don't have an Ipod or anything, but I think my music columnist buddy who makes all my mix CDs gets most of his stuff online.

Maybe I'm just not what they call an "early adaptor."

Even so, I never seem to have the time to hear all the music I have. I've got some CDs I bought months ago that are still in the wrappers because I've not had a chance to listen to them. It always seems I have to make an appointment with my CDs to listen to them.

BTW, have you picked up a copy of "The Rock Snob's Dictionary"? It's a compilation of that feature that's appeared in "Vanity Fair's" music issue the last few years, and breaks down the whole rock snob culture with humor and clarity, naming names, saying who's who and what's what, and zeroing in on tired old rock critic buzzwords like "plangent."

At 9:58 AM, Blogger jsbankston said...

SPEAKING OF covers, have you heard Jesse Dayton's country cover of The Cars's "Just What I Needed"?

It's very much in the modern tradition of taking rock songs and making them real country (Ex:Johnny Cash's "Hurt" and Foster and Lloyd's "Whole Lotta Love"--In the latter, Radney Foster and Bill Lloyd hilariously channel "Hee Haw's" Hager Brothers in their interpretation of the line, "Gonna give you every inch of my love").

At 9:23 PM, Blogger jsbankston said...

You know, Triple J, for someone whose blog has been around slightly more than half a year, you have a hell of a lot of content--and a diverse lot of it too.

At 12:38 AM, Blogger Satisfied '75 said...

bankston, i read/contribute to music reviews. this is a place where I have gotten a heads up on many an artist.

having said that, I think music blogs are where it's at in 2005. read the author's insights and then sample the track(s).

At 8:52 AM, Blogger jsbankston said...

I have been thrilled on many occasions to run across a new song/CD/artist that I've liked, having been lead there merely by a well-done written description, without having heard a note beforehand. I'm a definite subscriber to the possibly simplistic notion that the best music writing should make you want to go out and listen to the record.


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