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The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Music news, rumors, what you're listening to, how you're listening to it and whether it's all on the up-and-up.

Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby scratch » Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:02 pm

scratch wrote:FWIW they [the Library of Congress] file Muddy Waters under "M" and Bo Diddley under "D," but they are by no means 100% consistent.


No they don't and idiots like me misstating their stuff doesn't help. The Library of Congress has Bo Diddley under "B." A librarian even older than me told me that with Bo Diddley, the inspiration for his moniker was likely the diddley bow, one of which Bo may have played. Whether or not the pseudonym is taken from a phrase or meant to be a name and nothing else is among the criteria. Slim Harpo is filed under "Harpo, Slim," and both Sonny Boy Williamsons are filed under "Williamson, Sonny," even though the more prolific of them was originally named Rice Miller.
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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:44 am

Things have been moving slowly for The Project, but I figured it was high time I checked in.

The Didjits -- I cannot heap enough praise on this band. Love love love love'em. All of it. 'Nuff said.

Marlene Deitrich -- Why the heck do I have TWO CDs of Marlene Dietrich "singing"? One of them is mostly in German, which probably helps her phrasing (I wouldn't really know) but doesn't change the fact that she's pretty much tuneless. I enjoy watching her sing in movies, but divorced from the visuals, this stuff is pretty much pointless. And yet... I probably can't bring myself to get rid of them. Such is my sickness.

Digibot -- these guys have been tearing up Madison stages for as long as I can remember. Improv punk rock. They are playing TONIGHT at Mr. Roberts. You should go. They are special.

Varetta Dillard -- Ms. Dillard never achieved much fame but she's as good as anyone singing early rock-and-r&b stuff (the bulk of her recordings I have date from '56-'61.) Like so many folks looking for hits, the material isn't always up to her talent (could anyone make something called "Square Dance Rock" worth listening to?) but when she was on (particularly in her recordings for the Triumph and Cub labels) she's pretty fantastic. I can't find most of my faves on YouTube, but these will do to give you a sense of her vocal prowess:
"Good To Me
"Scorched"

Dion -- And speaking of great vocals. Wow. Dion was one of the best. His stuff with The Belmonts is legendary for a reason (and it really was him that made those sides shine, as the Belmonts-without-Dion recordings I have make plain.) And he continued making quality records for at least a couple years after he ditched his backup group for solo stardom. His first two solo LPs, Runaround Sue and Lovers Who Wander are both first-rate records, which was certainly not the norm for the era, even if they followed the accepted pattern of hits-plus-covers-as-filler. But Dion's got unique phrasing and a heckuva range, so he manages to put his personal stamp on covers like "Little Star, "In The Still Of The Nite" and "Take Good Care Of My Baby". Check out what he does with a much-covered track like "Kansas City". I've heard lots of versions of that (incuding better ones), but nobody else sang it like he did.
His "comeback" album Dion (the one with "Abraham, Martin and John") is a little more troublesome. I've always had a soft spot for the hit but the album is a mess. His medley of "Tomorrow Is A Long Time" and "Everybody's Talkin'" almost works, but "Purple Haze" is atrocious, as is his terrible reading of "Both Sides Now". Over-produced and trying way too hard to be relevant, it still manages to showcase his fantastic vocals, but buries them under so much orchestration (I've never heard so many harps!) that the end result is not very interesting listening.

Dire Straits -- I don't listen to these guys much anymore, but I sure used to love'em. Making Movies remains my fave, but Love Over Gold is pretty good too. Knopfler really does have a unique sound, although the band does go on too long on many (if not most) songs. At their worst when they're "rocking out" ("Solid Rock" and "Twistin' By The Pool", as examples, try too hard to generate excitement that really isn't there) or when Knopfler thinks he's being funny ("Industrial Disease" is the low-point of Love Over Gold.) Worst of all, of course, is when he's gay-baiting, like on the atrocious "Les Boys". Ick. Not that anyone needs me to tell them this probably, but avoid the CD-era best-of Sultans of Swing: The Very Best Of Dire Straits. Its tracks are poorly chosen and rely way too heavily on Brothers And Arms and whatever-the-hell-the-next-album-nobody-cares-about was. (It's not the "very best" of Dire Straits if it doesn't include "Skateaway"!)

Next up... The fabulous girl group sounds of The Dixie Cups!
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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby rrnate » Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:25 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:Digibot -- these guys have been tearing up Madison stages for as long as I can remember. Improv punk rock. They are playing TONIGHT at Mr. Roberts. You should go. They are special.


Woo! A couple Digibot shows are on my all-time-never-published-best-shows-I've-Seen list. Wish I could make it out tonight for the triumphant return to the stage.

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:
Dire Straits -- I don't listen to these guys much anymore, but I sure used to love'em. Making Movies remains my fave, but Love Over Gold is pretty good too. Knopfler really does have a unique sound, although the band does go on too long on many (if not most) songs. At their worst when they're "rocking out" ("Solid Rock" and "Twistin' By The Pool", as examples, try too hard to generate excitement that really isn't there) or when Knopfler thinks he's being funny ("Industrial Disease" is the low-point of Love Over Gold.) Worst of all, of course, is when he's gay-baiting, like on the atrocious "Les Boys". Ick. Not that anyone needs me to tell them this probably, but avoid the CD-era best-of Sultans of Swing: The Very Best Of Dire Straits. Its tracks are poorly chosen and rely way too heavily on Brothers And Arms and whatever-the-hell-the-next-album-nobody-cares-about was. (It's not the "very best" of Dire Straits if it doesn't include "Skateaway"!)


OH MY GOD do I hate the Dire Straits. They are the true sound of rock & roll getting boring and it's terrifying. I DEMAND a more in-depth explanation of how you could POSSIBLY like these schlubs.

PS1 - Stu Levitan, big Dire Straits fan.

PS2 - No Dillard & Clark? No Digable Planets? No Divine Fits? No Dinosaur Jr? No Dismemberment Plan? No Dirty Projectors? Your "DI" section is simply not complete my dear boy!

PS3 - Dixie Cups! Yes!
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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:50 pm

rrnate wrote:OH MY GOD do I hate the Dire Straits. They are the true sound of rock & roll getting boring and it's terrifying. I DEMAND a more in-depth explanation of how you could POSSIBLY like these schlubs.
Not sure what point there is in trying to convince someone why they should like Dire Straits. I completely understand why so many don't. I think they have a unique sound and I think Knopfler's guitar playing is interesting. And as I said, I never really listen to them anymore. Until they came up in The Project, I honestly can't remember the last time I pulled them out.

rrnate wrote:No Dillard & Clark? No Digable Planets? No Divine Fits? No Dinosaur Jr? No Dismemberment Plan? No Dirty Projectors?
As I've mentioned previously, I'm not listing everything in this thread. That would quickly become even more tedious that it already is. That said, no, I don't have any of the groups you mentioned. I know very little Dillard & Clark, but never heard anything that made we want to explore further. I am completely unfamiliar with Digable Planets, I've never heard of Divine Fist, Dinosaur Jr are fine but I've never owned any nor understood the slavish devotion they engender, I know nothing by Dismemberment Plan, and I've never heard of the Dirty Projectors. Post some links and I'll dutifully check out anything you recommend. The fact is, my musical knowledge is extremely limited and, except for a brief few years from middle school into high school, I've never paid much attention to "new" music, no matter what the era. Heck, I didn't even get into The Didjits until just before they broke up. I tend to like old stuff. Stuff from before I was even born. Always have. (I'm that way with movies too.) But I'm always interested in hearing what I've been missing.
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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby minicat » Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:15 pm

Divine Fist is a band that covers only songs off "Smell the Glove."

Wags, you can skip Dirty Projectors. I gar-on-tee.

Remind me to play you some Dion Columbia-era material. And the bizarre folk-rock reunion album with the Belmonts. Here's a sample:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nF6lf_-AOKM
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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:46 pm

minicat wrote:Remind me to play you some Dion Columbia-era material.
I have a comp of that stuff. Didn't mention it in the write-up because I didn't feel it really warranted much mention. Not nearly as good as the Laurie stuff -- too many lame backup vocals and overorchestration, and the songs are decidedly second-rate -- but not nearly as horrific as so much of Dion is.

I like this. Wouldn't have guessed in a million years it was Dion & The Belmonts though.
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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby minicat » Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:40 pm

With the Columbia Dion, it really matters what comp you've got. And not all the good stuff is on even the better one. The later period Columbia sides with the Wanderers are absolutely killer.

And, yes, the Belmonts reunion album is a very odd duck. It's like the Belmonts lost in some sort of nebulous, poorly mixed folk rock fog, but I love it.
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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:49 pm

minicat wrote:With the Columbia Dion, it really matters what comp you've got. And not all the good stuff is on even the better one. The later period Columbia sides with the Wanderers are absolutely killer.
My comp. just has stuff from '60-'63 -- the "Drip Drop"/"Ruby Baby"/"Donna The Prima Donna" era. I am unfamiliar with anything after this until Dion. What are the singles/albums from that era I should be on the lookout for? Nothing would make me happier than some cool new Dion!
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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Toonces » Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:50 pm

minicat wrote:Divine Fist is a band that covers only songs off "Smell the Glove."


Ha! You beat me to the punch(line).

Spoon + 1980's = Divine Fits

That's your math lesson for today, Prof.
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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby rrnate » Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:56 pm

Toonces wrote:
minicat wrote:Divine Fist is a band that covers only songs off "Smell the Glove."


Ha! You beat me to the punch(line).

Spoon + 1980's = Divine Fits

That's your math lesson for today, Prof.


FACT: Madison is home to the most annoying Divine Fits fan of all time. His dancing involves copious amounts of hand waving, his enthusiasm is eternal and his sense of personal space is non-existent. You have been warned.
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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Kyle Motor » Thu Apr 04, 2013 5:24 pm

Toonces wrote:Spoon + 1980's = Divine Fits


Holy shit. I'm having trouble imaging anything worse than this. BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRFFFFFFFF.
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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Kyle Motor » Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:24 am

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:Varetta Dillard -- Ms. Dillard never achieved much fame but she's as good as anyone singing early rock-and-r&b stuff (the bulk of her recordings I have date from '56-'61.) Like so many folks looking for hits, the material isn't always up to her talent (could anyone make something called "Square Dance Rock" worth listening to?) but when she was on (particularly in her recordings for the Triumph and Cub labels) she's pretty fantastic. I can't find most of my faves on YouTube, but these will do to give you a sense of her vocal prowess:
"Good To Me
"Scorched"

Never heard of her before, but this is good stuff. Makes sense that she had good stuff on Cub, that's a "buy anytime you see cheap" 45 label for me.
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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby 7 » Fri Apr 05, 2013 3:13 pm

rrnate wrote:OH MY GOD do I hate the Dire Straits. They are the true sound of rock & roll getting boring and it's terrifying. I DEMAND a more in-depth explanation of how you could POSSIBLY like these schlubs.


Hate is such a harsh word for this band. I am always amazed at the pureness of the dark and dead taste buds in Nate's musical palette.
No, this is not the first time I've seen it
Professor you are spot on.
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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby flanneljammies » Fri Apr 05, 2013 3:29 pm

I agree with rrnate. :shock:
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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby minicat » Fri Apr 05, 2013 3:49 pm

7 wrote:
rrnate wrote:OH MY GOD do I hate the Dire Straits. They are the true sound of rock & roll getting boring and it's terrifying. I DEMAND a more in-depth explanation of how you could POSSIBLY like these schlubs.


Hate is such a harsh word for this band. I am always amazed at the pureness of the dark and dead taste buds in Nate's musical palette.
No, this is not the first time I've seen it
Professor you are spot on.


Track 19 is genius:
http://cribshitter.bandcamp.com/album/methlehem
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