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Saturday, October 22, 2005
Weekly Playlist, 10/23/05
We started off by running this list in alphabetical order by playlister, but it hardly seems fair to give the same people the first and last word each week. So each week, the first will be last, and the second will be first. Not quite biblical, but close enough for rock and roll. Lou Cohan’s VW Camper Laura Nyro “Time & Love: The Essential Masters” (Columbia) Dion & the Belmonts “Dion Hits” (Ace via Laurie) Before the Blues: Vol. 1 (Yazoo) Springsteen “Misc. 2005 Live Cuts: Vol 1” (Hoffman Avenue) Van M “Apollo Theatre, NYC 3/18/05: Disc 1” (bootleg) Voodoo Train “Liquid City 9/30/04” (bootleg)
John Floyd Little Feat, Sailin' Shoes (WB) Willie Hutch, The Very Best Of (Motown) J. Geils Band, Ladies Invited (Atlantic) J. Geils Band, The Morning After (Atlantic) Donnie Hathaway, Craig Werner's Mix Candi Station, The Best Of (Warner Archives) Dyke & the Blazers, So Sharp (Kent) Paul “Wine” Jones, Mule (Fat Possum) Reigning Sound, Live at Maxwell's (Telestar) Arthur Alexander, The Monument Years (Ace) The Legendary Roy Orbison (Legacy) The O'Jays, Family Reunion (Epic)
Stewart Francke Bruce Springsteen & Sam Moore, Asbury Park Christmas show 2003 (bootleg) Ben Cyllus, Cinnamon Matinee (Cinnamon Records) Johnny Cash, The Legend box, (Columbia) Paul McCartney, Chaos & Creation In The Backyard (Capitol) Aretha Franklin, Sparkle soundtrack (Arista) Lizz Wright, Dreaming Wide Awake (Verve)
Bill Glahn Lloyd Branch Jr. & Elliott Pellibone, Lower Ninth Rap (recorded at Redfield, AR church camp for Katrina Evacuees) Bob Dylan, Infidels (Columbia) Brian Henneman, Dust and Wrath (bootleg) Various Artists, Juice Head Baby - Vintage Songs About Booze and Bars 1925-1953 (Buzzola, UK import) Various Artists, Like an Atom Bomb - Apocalyptic Songs From The Cold War Era (Buzzola, UK import) Various Artists, Reefer Madness - A Collection of Vintage Drug Songs 1927-1943 (Buzzola, UK import)
Dave Marsh Bono, “Mr. Big Stuff / (If I had any sense of shame) I'd Die on the Spot”(Self-Important) BoDeans, Homebrewed (Back Porch/ EMI) Mamadou Diabate, Behmanka (World Village) Missy Elliot, The Cookbook [especially "Party Time"](Goldmind/Atlantic) Brotherhood, “The Monkey That Became President”(from Funky Funky New Orleans, Volume 4) (Funky Delicacies) Marah, If You Didn't Laugh, You'd Cry (Yep Roc) Bobby Rush, Night Fishin'(Deep Rush) Stevie Wonder, A Time To Love (Motown)
Susan Martinez Swan Silvertone Singers, Swan Silvertone Singers At Their Best, (Gusto) Boubacar Traore, Kongo Magni (World Village) Ali Farka Toure & Toumani Diabate, In the Heart of the Moon (World Circuit) Daby Balde, Introducing Daby Balde (World Music Network) Various artists, Son Cubano NYC (Astralwerks) Charlie Rich, Set Me Free (Edsel) Thea Gilmore, Songs from the Gutter (Compass) Thea Gilmore, Rules for Jokers (Flying Sparks) Various artists, Rolas de Aztlan: Songs of the Chicano Movement(Smithsonian Folkways)(Includes "De Colores" from Si Se Puede LP featuring Los Lobos, and "El Tilingo Lingo" from the Los Lobos archives, previously unreleased). Sierra Maestra, Son: Soul of a Nation (World Music Network) Manuel Guajiro Mirabal, Manuel Guajiro Mirabal (Tribute to Arsenio Rodriguez) (World Circuit) Eliza Gilkyson, Paradise Hotel (Red House) Various artists, Lost Legends of Surf Guitar IV (Sundazed) Various artists, I Believe To My Soul (Rhino/WorkSong/HearMusic)
Lauren Onkey Eddie Bo and the Soul Finders, The Hook and Sling (Funky Delicacies) Bettye Lavette, I've Got My Own Hell to Raise (Anti) The Meters, Funky Miracle (Charly) Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas, Creole Crossroads (Rounder) Nicholas Payton, Sonic Trance (Warner Brothers)
Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen Marah, If You Didn’t Laugh, You’d Cry (Yep Roc) People in Planes, self-titled (Wind-Up, EP) Bruce Springsteen, Milwaukee 8/7/05 (bootleg) My Morning Jacket, Z (Badman) Various Artists, Children of Nuggets (Rhino) Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Howl (Red Ink) Absinthe, A Good Day to Die (Technically Llanas) Ryan Adams, homemade "Pop Star" mix (I may be the only person I know who thinks Adams is a better pop/rock artist than country artist.) Captain Beefheart, Clear Spot (Reprise) Depeche Mode, Playing the Angel (Sire)
APS Gary Allan - Tough All Over (MCA Nashville) Cam'ron - "Do Your Thing" (Advance single) Jack's Mannequin - Everything in Transit (Maverick) Damian Marley - Welcome to Jamrock (Universal) Bubba Sparxxx - "The Otherside" (Advance single) Bubba Sparxxx - "Band Leader" (download) Styles P - "I'm Black" ( Cornerstone Mixtape March 05 #70) Warren G - In the Mid-Nite Hour (Hawino Records)
Fred Wilhelms Various Artists, Doctors, Professors, Kings & Queens: The Big Ol' Box of New Orleans (Shout Factory, 4 CDs) Bettye LaVette: The Complete Recordings 1962-1997 – homemade mix (3 CDs) Ella Fitzgerald, The George and Ira Gershwin Songbook (Verve, 3 CDs) Mississippi Sheiks, Honey Babe Let The Deal Go Down (Columbia/Legacy) Dorothy Moore, I'm Doin' Alright (Farish Street Records) Don Covay, Seesaw/Mercy (Koch) Slick Ballinger, Mississippi Soul (Oh Boy, EP)
Danny Alexander Kristie Stremel, Ignoring the Obvious (Stremeltone) Magic, "9th Ward," off Thuggin' (Priority, 1999) Cindy Bullens, 29th Dream (Blue Lobster) Lil' Kim, The Naked Truth (Atlantic) Mariah Carey, "Shake it Off" (current single, Island) Kanye West, Late Registration (Roc-A-Fella) Patrulla 81, "Eres Divina" (current single, Disa) Chris Brown, "Run It" (current single, Jive) K-Paz De La Sierra, "Mi Credo" (current single, Disa) DJ Kane, Capitulo II Brinca (EMI)
I've always been something of a musical scavenger. From the age of 12, when I discovered my first Little Willie John LP in a cutout rack at Woolworths, I was hooked. For the past four decades, I've haunted thrift shops, garage sales, truck stops, and overstock liquidators in search of the forgotten, the under-promoted and the over-shipped. This is how I acquired my first Bobby Bland LP, my first Hank Williams, my first Billie Holliday.
The Internet, especially eBay, has supplanted a lot of the physical searching, although there isn't the same tactile thrill you get from coming across a find with the flip of a finger on a corner of a cover, and there's far less chance of that chance encounter where something catches your eye from the edge of your vision. It's not bad, but it ain't the real thing for me. Buying online is the true record scavenger's equivalent of non-alcoholic beer. You can do it forever without getting a buzz.
I've got one of those overstock liquidators near me, and I can't seem to drive by without stopping in. Of course, I have the excuse of being a new homeowner, so I can say I am going there to look for picture hangers or those nifty Teflon sliders you put under the chest of drawers so that you can push them around with one hand, as seen on TV. If I come back with a CD or two, I consider it just serendipity. Teri isn't always so sure, especially when I come home with the CDs but without the picture hangers or those nifty Teflon sliders you put under the chest of drawers so that you can push them around with one hand, as seen on TV.
So there I am, among the deeply discounted cans of off-brand colossal olives and straight-to-video DVDs. I am flicking my way through row after row of New Kids On The Block and "Italy's Greatest Hits" CDs when the radar goes off. Down on the bottom shelf, three CDs, shrink -wrapped into a single package, all with the same name--"Doo Wop." There's a picture of Tony Williams and the Platters on the thin slipcase. For the present, we will skip the potentially divisive debate about whether the Platters belong on the cover of a "Doo Wop" compilation. The only source identification on the outside of the package is a tiny logo on the bottom of the slip case. It says "Time Music International" and "Made in Canada." The price sticker says $5.99.
The back gives a track listing:
I WONDER WHY - CADILLACS IF I CAN'T HAVE YOU - FLAMINGOS THE WIND - DIABLOS DARLING I'M SORRY - AMBASSADORS TWO HEARTS - OTIS WILLIAMS & HIS CHARMS LIFE IS BUT A DREAM - HARPTONES IN MY LONELY ROOM - LARKS VOO BEE AH BEE - THE PLATTERS MY BEAUTY, MY OWN - FASCINATORS HARBOUR LIGHTS - THE DOMINOES FEAT CLYDE McPHATTER WORK WITH ME ANNIE - THE ROYALS CHERRY - DIAMONDS EVERY BEAT OF MY HEART - THE ROYALS MY HEART'S DESIRE - OPALS IS IT A DREAM - VOCALEERS SECRET LOVE - MOONGLOWS WILL YOU BE MINE - THE SWALLOWS THIS SILVER RING - CASTELLES JUST TO SEE YOU SMILE AGAIN - FOUR BUDDIES I LOVE YOU SO - CROWS
SH-BOOM - CHORDS WEDDING BELLS ARE RINGING IN MY EARS - ANGELS NIGHT'S CURTAIN - CHECKERS I'LL CRY WHEN YOU'RE GONE - THE PLATTERS I USED TO CRY MERCY, MERCY - LAMPLIGHTERS OOP SHOOP - SHIRLEY GUNTER & THE QUEENS YOU'RE TIRED OF LOVE - GEMS BLUE VALENTINE 0 SOLITAIRES SHOULDN'T I KNOW - CARDINALS DEAR ONE - SCARLETS MY TRUE LOVE - SWANS SUCH A NIGHT - CLYDE MCPHATTER & THE DRIFTERS I - VELVETS I MISS YOU SO - SONY TIL & THE ORIOLES FOOL FOOL FOOL - CLOVERS JOHNNY DARLING - FEATHERS I'M SLIPPIN' IN - THE SPIDERS SUNDAY KIND OF LOVE, A - HARPTONES WHERE ARE YOU (NOW THAT I NEED YOU ) - THE MELLOW-MOODS NADINE - CORONETS
DEAR RUTH - BUCCANEERS GLORIA - CADILLACS LING TING TONG - FIVE KEYS ONE MINT JULEP - CLOVERS TABARIN - FOUR FLAMES EARTH ANGEL (WILL YOU BE MINE) - THE PENGUINS LOVE ME MY DARLING - SHARPS HEARTBREAKER - HEARTBREAKERS THE STARS ARE OUT TONIGHT - TEARDROPS A BEGGAR FOR YOUR KISSES - DIAMONDS WE THREE - CLEFS JUST WALKIN' IN THE RAIN - PRISONAIRES BLUE FLOWERS - STRANGERS A THOUSAND STARS - RIVILEERS TELL ME - MASTER TONES FOOL HEART - WHISPERS RUNAROUND - THE THREE CHUCKLES UNDER A BLANKET OF BLUE - CARDINALS GOODNIGHT SWEETHEART GOODNIGHT - SPANIELS UNTIL THE REAL THING COMES ALONG - RAVENS
All for $5.99. These 60 titles are essential stuff, many of the best-known titles and most important groups, but also some that qualify as cult classics ("A Beggar For Your Kisses" may be the best of that category in this set). There are some necessary groups missing, most obviously the “5” Royales, but this set fairly represents the cream of the vocal group genre. It's an amazing collection, especially for the price.
I'm standing in the store looking at the package. Alarms go off in my head immediately. There are three possible explanations for these CDs to be that cheap.
1. They're bootlegs. The generic packaging is a troubling clue in favor of this conclusion. "Time Music International" sounds like an obvious attempt to palm this set off as something legitimate from "Time/Life."
2. They're either re-recordings or mastered from vinyl. These will make listening a painful experience, either, or both, on aesthetic grounds or because of the surface noise. I can pretty much discount re-recordings, just because I've never run across re-recordings of a lot of these titles. If the set is a bootleg, mastering from vinyl is a real possibility.
3. They're gray market; legally released under licenses from the putative owners of the masters (more on that "putative" stuff at a later time), but not for release in the U.S., where someone else holds the rights.
I buy the CDs, plus another 3-CD set that I found behind the Doo Wop stuff. It is from the same company and titled "The Birth of R&B." It has an equally impressive track list. I am working, or have worked in the past, for artists who appear on both sets, so I have some investigation to do.
If these are boots, I get to let my clients know, and then I get to write nasty letters to the "real" rightsholders asking why they aren't paying attention to someone ripping off them, and my clients, too. It doesn't mean my clients will be paid, but it puts the owners on notice that someone is watching out for the artists. There have even been a couple occasions when the "legal" owners have actually chased the bootleggers once I've pointed them in the right direction, so anything can happen. It costs me a stamp. That makes this a cheap thrill.
If the CDs are gray market, I get to make sure the rightsholders are including them on royalty statements, when there are statements. If there aren't statements, I get to ask why not. It's always something of a crap shoot, and often the result is not much more than a paper trail that may prove valuable if my client ever decides to sue for royalties. There are times, however, where just starting the process of asking questions pays large dividends. A client recently came across what appeared to be an Australian bootleg CD of some of her 60s recordings. There is substantial doubt that the label has any rights to release the CD, but the inquiry led me back to the U.S. company that claims to hold the worldwide rights to my client's recordings, and they ended up admitting they had never paid her any royalties. The result was my client's biggest royalty check in her 40-year career. Actually, it was only her second royalty check in her 40-year career, and I had gotten her that other one, too.
The sad reality is that many times, the reward, in terms of royalties, cannot justify the pursuit. If the labels actually paid what they were supposed to without involving people like me, those royalties could make a substantial difference in the lives of the artists. But when you factor in the amount of time a suit normally takes, subtract a fair attorney's fee, and allow for the potential for large out-of-pocket costs to build the documentary record, the justification for legal action is often reduced beyond the point where winning might amount to a moral victory, but nothing more.
Research on "Time Music International" satisfies me that what I have purchased are gray market CDs; sets that should not be reaching the retail market in the United States because someone else holds a license for domestic releases.
Now I am happy, because the presence of these CDs in a local store is a problem for the domestic licensee, but not for anyone I work for. If my clients tell me to do so, I can and will chase the royalties, knowing that somewhere there is a legitimate bank account where that money could be reached. We may not get all the way to the bank this time, but every fight makes the next one a little easier. We may measure our successes in half-inches, but we have them to build on.
And I am also happy that I have now two really neat sets of legal CDs picked up on the cheap, and that's perfectly in line with where I started out four decades ago, riffing through the racks at Woolworth's.
Professionally, I am satisfied. Personally, I am thrilled to death with my acquisitions.
Every week, we’ll publish the Holler If Ya Hear Me playlist, a list of the discs that have been in heavy rotation among blog members and our partners in crime. Old stuff, new stuff, stuff that’s not officially released yet, stuff that’s not out “legally”…don’t ask us no questions, and we won’t tell you no lies.
Danny Alexander Kanye West, Late Registration (Roc-A-Fella) Lil' Kim, The Naked Truth (Atlantic) DJ Kane, Capitulo II Brinca (with the unlikely gift of an "Es Tan Bello" cover that deserves to stand beside Intocable's) (EMI) David Banner, Certified (SRC International)
Lou Cohan Neil Young, Prairie Wind (Reprise) Bob Dylan, No Direction Home soundtrack, disc 2 (Columbia) Various Artists, The Golden Age of American Rock ‘n’ Roll, disc 1 (Ace) Albert King, New Orleans Heat (Rhino) “Songs of the Great MS Flood of 1927,” homemade mix Bruce Springsteen, Live in Seattle, 2005, disc 1 (bootleg)
John Floyd J. Geils Band, Nightmares (Atlantic) J. Geils Band, J. Geils Band (Atlantic) Paul “Wine” Jones, Pucker Up Buttercup (Fat Possum) The O'Jays, Ship Ahoy (Epic/Philadelphia International) Little Feat, Little Feat (Warner Bros.)
Stewart Francke Alicia Keys, Unbreakable (MTV Unplugged) (Arista) BB King, 80 Songs (Geffen) Bob Dylan, No Direction Home soundtrack (Columbia) Howlin Wolf, The Chess Box (MCA/Chess) Jackson Browne, Solo Acoustic, Vol 1 (Inside) Richard Pryor, Is It Something I Said? (Warner Bros.) Stevie Wonder, A Time To Love (Motown)
Bill Glahn Truckstop Honeymoon, Delivery Boy (Squirrel) Bob Frank, Rise The Restless Wind (Bowstring) Ray Wylie Hubbard, Delirium Tremelos (Philo) Shaver, The Earth Rolls On (New West) Kinks, X-Norman - A Soap Opera (Strider, bootleg)
Dave Marsh The Moon Was Blue, Bobby Bare (Dualtone) Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Howl, (Red Ink) BoDeans, Homebrewed: Live from the Pabst, BoDeans (EMI) Jackson Browne, Solo Acoustic Volume 1(Inside Recordings) Cindy Bullens, Dream #29 (Let's Play / Blue Lobster) John Coltrane, One Down, One Up: Live at the Half Note (Impulse) Dion, Bronx in Blue (Orchard, pre-release) Mississippi John Hurt, DC Blues: The Library of Congress Recordings Volume 1(Fuel 2000) K-Otix,"George Bush Doesn't Like Black People” (download) Betty Lavette, I've Got My Own Hell to Raise (Anti-) Marah, If You Didn't Laugh, You'd Cry (Yep Roc) Charmaine Neville, "Clean Up After Mardi Gras” (1998 single) Billy Joe Shaver, The Real Deal(Compadre) Kanye West, Late Registration(Roc-A-Fella) Andre Williams, Red Beans and Biscuits (Soul-Tay-Shus)
Susan Martinez Gene Vincent, Be-Bop-A-Lula Boppin' with Gene Vincent (Golden Stars) Amadou & Mariam, Dimanche a Bamako (Nonesuch) Bruce Springsteen, Human Touch (Columbia) Dion, The Essential Dion (Columbia) Various, The Rough Guide to Boogaloo (WMN) Los Camperos de Valles, El Ave de Mi Sonar (Smithsonian Folkways) Thea Gilmore, Avalanche (Compass) Jimmy LaFave, Blue Nightfall (Red House)
Lauren Onkey Irma Thomas, Ruler of Hearts (Charly) James Booker, Junco Partner (Hannibal) Soul Rebels, No More Parades (USA) Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Funeral for a Friend (Ropeadope) Fredy Omar con su Banda, Desde Nueva Orleans (Louisiana Red Hot) Treme Brass Band, Gimme My Money Back (Arhoolie) Various Artists, Crescent City Soul: The Sound of New Orleans 1947-1974 (Capitol)
Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen Against Me!, Searching for a Former Clarity (Fat Wreck Chords) Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Howl (Red Ink) Green Day, Bullet in a Bible (live) (Reprise, due Nov. 15) My Morning Jacket, Z (Badman) The (International) Noise Conspiracy, Armed Love (Burning Heart) Elton John, Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy (Island) Paul Weller, As Is Now (Yep Roc) Johnny "Guitar" Watson, The Funk Anthology (Shout Factory)
APS Gary Allan, Tough All Over (MCA Nashville) Three 6 Mafia, Most Known Unknown (Sony BMG) Jully Black, This Is Me(Universal Music Canada) Kanye West, Late Registration(Roc-A-Fella) Dolly Parton, Those Were the Days (Sugar Hill)
Craig Werner Mary Gauthier, Mercy Now (Lost Highway) Various Artists, The Gospel soundtrack, especially the knockout cut by Yolanda Adams (Verity) Faith Evans, The First Lady (Capitol) Various Artists, Children of Nuggets, Rhino OutKast, ATLiens (LaFace)
Fred Wilhelms Bettye LaVette, I've Got My Own Hell To Raise (Anti-) Various Artists, Crescent City Soul: The Sound of New Orleans 1947-1974 (4 CDs)(Capitol) Various Artists, Night Train To Nashville: Music City Rhythm & Blues, Vol. II (Lost Highway) Various Artists, Doo-wop (3 CDs) (Time Music [Canada - Note: This is NOT Time/Life])