Saturday, May 03, 2008

Carolina Dreamin'

     My in-laws live in a smallish town in South Carolina, and  every few months or so the missus and I go down there for a visit.  There isn't really very much to do, which is kind of nice, but when we feel like venturing forth we'll sometimes go downtown to check out the thrift stores and see if there's anything worth spending a few bucks on.  There's one store in particular that's run by a crazy cat lady, and although it can be a somewhat disgusting experience to go in there--you risk being exposed to foul cat smells, dust balls, decaying book matter, etc.--there are usually a few good records to be found, which makes it worthwhile.  (The last time we were in there, the lady tried to foist some stale holiday cookies on us, but we were somehow able to escape unharmed).  So this post is really about a bunch of music that doesn't have much in common except for where it was found.
     One record I scored there is this Ornette Coleman disc from 1976 called Body Meta.  (I was reminded of it whilst reading a post of Mr. Poncho's that mentioned the recent New Yorker article about him).  I don't think this one is considered to be on par with some of his 
other LPs, but I've been enjoying the out-thereness of it lately.  I like listening to the guitar--there's some nice distorted playing, and there's actually what you'd call a riff happening in this tune.  The record has a gatefold sleeve with some psychedelic-looking artwork and minimal text (the cover is by one Chief Z. K. Oloruntoba).   (I think there was supposed to be a booklet, but it's missing).  The players include Bern Nix and Charlie Ellerbee on guitar, Jamaaladeen Tacuma on bass, and drummer Roland Shannon Jackson.
     I don't know about you, but it's hard for me to resist buying a record with the title How About Uke?  So that's what I did.  The playing is fine, not much more than just pretty, but it's a neat little curiosity, especially for those of us who are fans of the ukulele.  From "free jazz" to "square jazz" in one easy step.
     Isn't this just one of the greatest songs?  Ever?  (From the 1975 Capricorn LP Struttin' My Stuff, which includes the tunes "Slick Titty Boom" and "I Love The Life I Lead").
     Finally, to the Mamas and the Papas.  The record is called If You Can Believe Your Eyes And Ears, and it includes "Monday, Monday", "California Dreamin'" and "Go Where You Wanna Go".  Good songs, but we've heard all of them enough times, haven't we?  Here's something else from it, written by John Phillips.  If you know what I mean.


Happy In Bag said...

Definitive Driftwood.

Lefty said...

Bit 'o trivia on Lyle Ritz: in the Steve Martin movie "The Jerk," when Navin R. Johnson (Martin)is playing uke on the beach and singing "You Belong to Me" with Marie (Bernadette Peters), the uke-playing is actually by Lyle Ritz.

Also: there's something about that Elvin Bishop tune that feels like the secret prehistory of Night Ranger. Guys who wear overalls and no shirt underneath. Gay redneck soft rockin'.

Frankie Lee said...

Thanks for that interesting tidbit L! Great movie, great song. I think I recall you playing it one time, if I'm not mistaken.