“The intermediate stage between socialism and capitalism is alcoholism.”

Friday, July 29, 2005

Flashback Friday

Time now for another exciting (yay!) episode of...

(otherwise known as music from my collection that you can download for free, at least for the next 7 days, it doesn't sound as fancy put like that now does it?)

This Friday's musical theme is going to be songs about "MEAN" people. I'm still pretty busy at work so I'll keep the commentary short and sweet this time. I'll include links for the artist's to allmusic.com and you can read more there if you're interested. I hope you enjoy the picks and have a great weekend. I'm headed up north to do some camping and canoeing...and of course drinking, I wouldn't want to disappoint!

Eric Clapton - Mean Old Frisco

Here's one of my favorite tracks from Eric Clapton's Slowhand album. It's got a pretty sweet groove to it and along with The Core and Cocaine, really stands out from the rest of the songs on this album. Overall it's a pretty good outing from Clapton scoring a number of hits with the likes of Lay Down Sally, Wonderful Tonight (my wedding song by the way), as well as the tracks listed previously. Mean Old Frisco is pretty much a straight forward blues track in the laid back style that this whole album seems to have. Along with 461 Ocean Boulevard this is probably one of Clapton's best solo albums. I still say that Jimmy Page is the better guitarist though! (I had to fly my flag in that never-ending battle!)

Johnny Winter - Mean Town Blues

Blues guitarist Winter became a major star in the late '60s and early '70s. Since that time he's confirmed his reputation in the blues by working with Muddy Watersand continuing to play in the style, despite musical fashion. Born in Beaumont, TX, Winter formed his first band at 14 with his brother Edgar in Beaumont, and spent his youth in recording studios cutting regional singles and in bars playing the blues. His discovery on a national level came via an article in Rolling Stone in 1968, which led to a management contract with New York club owner Steve Paul, and a record deal with Columbia. His debut album (there are numerous albums of juvenilia), Johnny Winter, reached the charts in 1969. Starting out with a trio, Winter later formed a band with former members of The McCoys, including second guitarist Rick Derringer. It was called Johnny Winter And. He achieved a sales peak in 1971 with the gold-selling Live/Johnny Winter And. He returned in 1973 with Still Alive and Well, his highest-charting album. His albums became more overtly blues-oriented in the late '70s and he also produced several albums for Muddy Waters. In the '80s he switched to the blues label Alligator for three albums, and has since recorded for the labels MCA and Pointblank/Virgin.

This song is from an album titled The Progressive Blues Experiment originally issued by Imperial Records and later re-released by Columbia. This was probably the first album that brought Winter to the national attention of guitar players in America. Mean Town Blues is an original song by Winter and nicely showcases his blues chops without a glimmer of rock commercialization. Sit back and just enjoy this one.

Grand Funk Railroad - Mean Mistreater

Here's a track from Grand Funk's Closer to Home album. I'm a pretty big fan of Grand Funk Railroad for their music but also because they hailed from Flint, MI. Flint, MI is about 45 minutes South of where I currently live and also happens to be where I went to college/partied for a few years. Anyway, back to the subject at hand...One of the most interesting elements of Closer to Home is that it found Grand Funk Railroad varying its sound on a few tracks by replacing its usual guitar edge with keyboards. The most effective keyboard-driven song on the album was "Mean Mistreater," a slow-burning power ballad that proved the group could be just as fierce without a guitar. The lyrics are reminiscent of the group's previous tune "Heartbreaker" in that they present a narrator who is both repelled by and drawn to a woman who is bad for him: despite the complaint "you lay around and watch me die," he comes to the conclusion "I'm needin' you to set me free." The music is a bluesy style that avoids pop-song verse/chorus concerns in favor of a single, repeated verse melody that features a repeating two-note hook at the end that creates a haunting feel. Grand Funk Railroad's recording of "Mean Mistreater" adds a sense of dynamics into the mix by underpinning the verses with a solo electric piano accompaniment and alternating these verses with instrumental breaks that underpin Mark Farner's bluesy keyboard solos with a frenetic, insistent throb from the rhythm section. The result was different from the group's previous guitar-driven epics but heavy enough to sit alongside such songs. As a result, "Mean Mistreater" quickly became a live favorite, and a live recording of the song became a Top 50 single on the pop charts. "Mean Mistreater" also inspired a notable cover by the Bar-Kays, who reworked the song into an ominous funk epic full of drawling horns and sinuous jamming.

Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac - Mean Mistreatin' Mama

Mean Mistreatin' Mama is an old Elmore James tune and appears on the 1995 two-disc collection Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac - Live at the BBC. If you've ever wondered what the original Fleetwood Mac really sounded like, these BBC Recordings give a very good idea. They're one part blues band, one part oldies act, one part serious, and one part tongue very much in cheek. Any band that could play Elmore James and B.B. King blues with absolute precision and passion one minute and become a drunken lunatic rockabilly band the next had to have chops and a sense of humor and this version of the Mac had both in spades. Jeremy Spencer craziness balances out Peter Green's seriousness, while Kirwan and the rhythm section of McVie and Fleetwood rope it all in. An illuminating two disc set that any roots music or blues lover will adore. Highly recommended.

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - Mean Heart

The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion's funky wild blues on critical albums like Orange and Now I Got Worry defined the band as being in a league of its own. With an intoxicating and sexy vocal growl, Spencer united with bassist Judah Bauer and drummer Russell Simins to define raw rock & roll outside of grunge, post-grunge, and modern rock throughout the 1990s.
The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion's eighth record, Plastic Fang, doesn't overlook anything this time, for the album exudes a new power. Spencer and his mates sought the expertise and slick work of musician/producer Steve Jordan, who brought brashness back to the front on Plastic Fang. A Rolling Stones-like romp, "Mean Heart" is truly killer. It's Spencer's best take on a ballad, too, and it's bittersweet, but he's not totally hung up on love. As a songwriter, Spencer is impressive. Plastic Fang isn't exactly focused on one particular sound. It's simple, and the depth behind the band's musicianship has expanded into something fiery once more. With Jordan's assistance, Plastic Fang sounds live and abrasive, and it's infectiously undeniable.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Do you have any Grey Poupon?

Stumbled across this archive of files in mp3 format, I thought it was pretty interesting so I figured I'd share (now you can't say that you've never learned anything from a drunk)...

Thomas Alva Edison
(1847 - 1931)

"The archive at Edison National Historic Site includes approximately 48,000 disc and cylinder records produced by Edison in West Orange, New Jersey, between 1888 and 1929. Many of these, including unreleased and experimental recordings, have been at the Laboratory since Edison's lifetime. Some of the earliest examples of recorded sound in existence are preserved within this unique collection.

The subject matter of the recordings is mostly music, covering genres popular in the United States during Edison's era. Spoken word recordings include vaudeville comedy sketches, documentary speeches, educational lessons, and motion picture dialogue soundtracks. Experimental recordings document research carried out at the Edison Laboratory to develop recorded sound technology.

We have compiled a selection of sound files in the MP3 format from the archive and arranged them by genre. They may be played on Windows with the Windows Media Player or WinAmp, and on Macs with QuickTime, or by using another MP3 player of your choice."

Edison with one of his audio cylinders

In 1929, Edison's close friend, Henry Ford, completed the task of moving Edison's original Menlo Park laboratory to the Greenfield Village museum in Dearborn, Mich. In 1962 his existing laboratory and home in West Orange, N.J. were designated as National Historic Sites.

I've actually been to Greenfield Village before to see Edison's laboratory, it's an extremely interesting place to visit. If you're ever in the area definitely take the time out to see this place. Plus they've also got an Imax Theatre at Greenfield Village which regularly shows films!

Monday, July 25, 2005

Low Ride Tractor Plow

Hey all,
Work's been pretty killer lately so I haven't been able to update as much as I've wanted in the last week, hopefully it will improve slightly this week. In the mean time, spare a few minutes to check out my boy Tan Man's blog that he just started. The Tan Man and I go back to high school days where we used to write rap songs about Low Ride Tractor Plow's and assorted odd goods. Now days we're lucky to snag a few beers on the weekends but it's always a good time. Anyway, show him some love and stop on by to amuse yourself for a while. I'll check back in later...

Monday, July 18, 2005

Something Like a Mahna Mahna (Tan Man Remix)

For all of those who were disappointed with the 1st version of "Something Like a Mahna Mahna" I've got good news...my boy Tan Man helped put together a full & proper version of the song. The quality over the teaser is a huge improvement as well as completing the song in it's entirety. Hopefully everyone will be much more satisfied with this version, let me know what you think! Enjoy!!!

Download "Something Like a Mahna Mahna (Tan Man Remix)" Now!

Friday, July 15, 2005

Something Like A Mahna Mahna Tee!

Express your inner Muppet/Rapper mentality with this Exclusive Something Like a Mahna Mahna t-shirt! Buy one today and help support the site.

Mahna Mahna...enjoy the weekend!

Update: Well, I thought with the previous post's subject matter that this might be a good time to update this one so that they're both easily available. Enjoy!

Click the picture to enjoy the genius that was Jim Henson! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

RetroBabe - An Eclectic Mix of Wine, Women & Song !!!!

Updated: I stand corrected, sorry for the mix-up!

If you're into digging old tunes by some fancy females (Guys & Dolls) stop on by RetroBabe's site. She's He's got a great little collection of mp3 tunes all by some pretty dandy leading ladies and pictures of some retro girlies. Give her him a shout & tell her him that McBoozo sent ya!


Here's a few other mp3 blogs you might enjoy as well:

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The World's Ugliest Car

After sitting in a field behind a body shop for 30 years "The World's Ugliest Car" was "re-discovered" and restored by Brit Andy Saunders.

The unique Aurora, a 19 feet long monster that was built by an eccentric New York priest as the ultimate safety vehicle, is now turning heads again.

Father Alfred Juliano bankrupted himself creating the prototype, which remained the only one ever built because the contraption was so full of faults no one wanted one.

It was supposed to be the safest car ever built and included features that are now common, but at the time were unheard of.

It had seatbelts, a roll cage, side-impact bars, a collapsible steering column, foam-filled bumpers
and a padded instrument panel.

Its windscreen was curved away from the driver so the possibility of impact with it was reduced.

This design meant that windscreen wipers were not required, but it also distorted the view through it.

The silver and black Aurora included a large "front-end air-scoop" instead of a conventional grill.
This was to reduce frictional drag and to lessen injuries to pedestrians it hit.

But its most peculiar safety feature was the seats that swivelled 180 degrees so before a crash those inside could turn round and take the impact backwards.

Monday, July 11, 2005

The World's Strongest Clown

I'm just at a loss for words...

Friday, July 08, 2005

"Mad" as Hell!

For whatever reason I decided that this week's theme for McBoozo's mp3 Flashback was going to be groups from artist's that were "mad" (or might as well be in the case of The D). Hope you enjoy!

Syd Barrett - Late Night

Like a supernova, Roger "Syd" Barrett burned briefly and brightly, leaving an indelible mark upon psychedelic and progressive rock as the founder and original singer, songwriter, and lead guitarist of Pink Floyd. Barrett was responsible for most of their brilliant first album, 1967's The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, but left and/or was fired from the band in early 1968 after his erratic behavior had made him too difficult to deal with (he appears on a couple tracks on their second album, A Saucerful of Secrets). Such was his stature within the original lineup that few observers thought the band could survive his departure; in fact, the original group's management decided to keep Syd on and leave the rest of the band to their own devices. Pink Floyd never recaptured the playful humor and mad energy of their work with Barrett.

"Late Night" occupies a special place in the mythology of Syd Barrett's solo career, being one of two songs (alongside "Swan Lee") that he cut with producer Peter Jenner on May 13 1968, at his first ever lone recording ssession. A second version was then recorded on May 28 and it is this take that was retained for eventual use as the closing track on The Madcap Laughs, Barrett's debut album. The instrumental backing track alone was later dusted off for inclusion within the Opel portion of the Crazy Diamond box set.

"When I woke up today and you weren't there to play...." Over the mournful cries of sketchy electric guitar, with just a hint of percussion deep beneath it, Barrett intones a lyric of gentle loneliness, regret and devotion - "the way you kiss will always be a very special thing to me." As we enter the instrumental break, a band moves in behind him, but the mood of the lyric remains unbroken and, besides, their presence is fleeting enough that, as the song closes, the guitar alone remains, still keening quietly and ultimately unaccompanied, to itself.

Peter Green - The Green Manalishi

His career riddled by drug abuse and paranoia, Peter Green is still regarded by some fans as the greatest white blues guitarist ever, Eric Clapton notwithstanding. As he grew up in London's working-class East End, Green's early musical influences were Hank B. Marvin of the Shadows, Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Freddie King, and traditional Jewish music.

Born Peter Greenbaum but calling himself Peter Green by age 15, he played bass before being invited in 1966 by keyboardist Peter Bardens to play lead in the Peter B's, whose drummer was a lanky chap named Mick Fleetwood. The 19-year-old Green was with Bardens just three months before joining John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, whose rapidly shifting personnel included bassist John McVie and drummer Aynsley Dunbar. A keen fan of Clapton, Green badgered Mayall to give him a chance when the Bluesbreakers guitarist split for an indefinite vacation in Greece. Green sounded great and, as Mayall recalls, was not amused when Clapton returned after a handful of gigs, and Green was out.

When Clapton left the band for good six months later to form Cream, Mayall cajoled Green back. Fans were openly hostile because Green was not God, although they appreciated Clapton's replacement in time. Producer Mike Vernon was aghast when the Bluesbreakers showed up without Clapton to record the album A Hard Road in late 1966, but was won over by Green's playing. On many tracks you'd be hard-pressed to tell it wasn't Clapton playing. With an eerie Green instrumental called "The Supernatural," he demonstrated the beginning of his trademark fluid, haunting style so reminiscent of B.B. King.

When Green left Mayall in 1967, he took McVie and Fleetwood to found Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac. Jeremy Spencer and Danny Kirwan shortly afterward gave Fleetwood Mac an unusual three-guitar front line. Green was at his peak for the albums Mr. Wonderful, English Rose, Then Play On, and a live Boston Tea Party recording. His instrumental "Albatross" was the band's first British number one single and "Black Magic Woman" was later a huge hit for Carlos Santana. But Green had been experimenting with acid and his behavior became increasingly irrational, especially after he disappeared for three days of rampant drug use in Munich. He became very religious, appearing on-stage wearing crucifixes and flowing robes. His bandmates resisted Green's suggestion to donate most of their money to charity, and he left in mid-1970 after writing a harrowing biographical tune called "The Green Manalishi."

Nick Drake - Harvest Breed

A singular talent who passed almost unnoticed during his brief lifetime, Nick Drake produced several albums of chilling, somber beauty. With hindsight, these have come to be recognized as peak achievements of both the British folk-rock scene and the entire rock singer/songwriter genre. Sometimes compared to Van Morrison, Drake in fact resembled Donovan much more in his breathy vocals, strong melodies, and the acoustic-based orchestral sweep of his arrangements. His was a much darker vision than Donovan's, however, with disturbing themes of melancholy, failed romance, mortality, and depression lurking just beneath, or even well above, the surface. Ironically, Drake has achieved a far greater stature in the decades following his death, with an avid cult following that grows by the year.

Drake managed to produce Pink Moon (1972), a desolate solo acoustic album that ranks as one of the most naked and bleak statements in all of rock, after a couple of lackluster albums. He did record a few more songs before his death, but no more albums were completed, although the final sessions (along with some other fine unreleased material) surfaced on the posthumous compilation Time of No Reply.

Drake's final couple of years were marked by increasing psychiatric difficulties, which found him hospitalized at one point for several weeks. He had rarely played live during his days as a recording artist, and at one point declared his intention never to record again, although he wished to continue to write songs for others. On November 26, 1974, he died in his parents' home from an overdose of antidepressant medication; suicide has been speculated, although some of his family and friends dispute this.

Tenacious D - Double Team (aka Sex Supreme)

As anyone who witnessed their legendary shorts on HBO will attest, Tenacious D is indeed the greatest band on earth. Bad D is still better than the Beatles and good D is transcendent. Even so, Tenacious D's debut album will likely kick fans on their asses because the D is no longer just about JB and KG. They're even ready to be more than a power trio -- they're ready to be backed by a full band, complete with Dave Grohl on drums and the Dust Brothers behind the boards.

Here, they sound like victors who've had their delusions of grandeur come real (which is true when you think about it -- those shorts might not have done much on HBO, but videotapes passed through a lot of hands on the underground video railroad). This is a bigger change than you might think, and while the acoustic D sounds better, weirder, and purer, this still is a hell of a record, particularly because it rocks so damn hard.

The tunes have hooks, Kage and Jables harmonize well, and the cheerfully demented worldview is intoxicating, since their self-belief and self-referential world is delightfully absurd and warm (think about it -- the sex songs may be vulgar and may be about their prowess, but their prowess is about making those backstage Betties feel good). Sure, some listeners may chuckle because this all comes from two large, 30-something slackers, but they're missing the inspirado behind this record -- Tenacious D certainly know they're funny, but that doesn't erase the fact that they rock so hard. They came to kick your ass and rock your socks off, and that is a very special thing.

Disclaimer: Ok, so maybe the D don't quite fit the "mad" category officially, after listening to this album you may tend to think otherwise!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Back to the Grind

Back to work after the Holiday weekend...believe me, that vacation was much needed for me! I spent the weekend up north on Houghton Lake at the family cottage doing some boating, fishing, and much drinking of alcoholic beverages! Of course the work is piling up already this morning (and that damn hangover!!!) but hopefully between today and tomorrow I'll get back to posting...I've got some great stuff that I've been meaning to post for quite some time now along with another round of mp3's...just need to find the time. McBoozo...I'm out!