jt songs – The Good Irish Doctor and a Story for Smiling.

About 10 years ago I lived in a sweaty attic in Athens, GA with my good friend Michael Tully. Mike brought few possessions down from his home state of Maryland: A suitcase filled with indie rock tees, a pair of Jack Purcells and a very large box of video tapes filled to the brim with every essential film to watch before you die. I think I got a heavy dose of an indie film education from that box. Before his arrival we were forced to watch a borrowed video cassette containing 6 episodes of the sit-com "Friends." Those were dark times.

On Mike’s birthday his sister express-shipped a large container of Maryland crabs for us to enjoy. I remember a steady pile of empty PBR bottles and crab carcasses scattered on newspaper all around the living room while Altman’s Nashville played in the background. I remember thinking that a grand gesture of sending seafood to your little brother on his birthday, not just for him, but enough for 10 people to enjoy was something special and showed the power of having family members that were also your best friends.

Mike also does an amazing impression of his Irish father drinking a beer. He raises his pint, says "Gud luck" in the thickest of brogues and drinks it down in one, long swallow. It is hilarious to see.

This long introduction is meant to show you how golden the Tully family is to each other and to those around them. This brings me to jt songs. Jt songs is the musical product of John Tully, my friend Mike’s Irish cousin. I don’t really know John, only through his music and a few messages back and forth on that other site with the teens and the music…you know the one I am referring to. John’s songs have that dusty reel-to-reel, buried in the back of the closet "how did this stay hidden for so long" feel. When I first heard "song from limbo" I was floored. It is so haunting, so rocking and so, well Irish, I had a hard time believing this guy was just making these dirges to fill an artistic need until he finished Med School. Yeah, I feel lazy and ashamed in comparison.

Apparently the legend goes like this. Mike’s sister Carol passed John’s songs to Mr. David Berman, the Silver Jew. Out of politeness to his friend Carol, Mr. Berman gave the disc a spin and was so smitten that he arranged for jt songs to come to the States and play some shows with the Silver Jews. The rest will soon be history. the jt songs website isn’t up and running yet, but you can find and download a few tracks from that other site…until the real record drops.

And Mike? Right now he is burning up the festival circuit with his beautifully tragic directorial debut, Cocaine Angel.

Please support the good Tully folks and check out their offerings. I am all the better for it.

Sub-publishing for bands and labels

Lost in the Grooves now offers full-service sub-publishing

Bands/labels – are you missing out on overseas (or domestic) royalties? If you can answer yes to the following questions, we may be able to help you. We have skilled sub-publishers in every part of the world who are very experienced in claiming lost monies owed for live performances (also called Neighboring Rights), record sales and any licensing done outside the US.

If these facts are true for you, please drop a line to Kim c/o this site to find out what we can do for you and/or your artists

1) Does the band/label have no other publishing deal?

2) Has (or will) the band / label release or distribute CD/LPs in any part of the world?

3) Has the band played shows in Europe or Japan?

4) Has the band/label had a song in a major motion picture or TV series released overseas?

5) Has the above happened within the past five years?

6) Can you provide writer/publisher information and (for tours), dates and venues?

If so, we can collect overseas royalties and account semi-annually. We can also collect for the US/Canada on request. The fee is a flat 25% for all foreign collections, 20% in the USA, and your first royalty payments will usually be received within nine months to one year of registration.

Give Me Sahm of This

All this national rhubarb over immigration issues has gotten me to thinking how much I enjoy the music of other countries. My current fave, one I am sure George Bush wouldn’t appreciate right now, is Tex-Mex. My fave performer of such music has always been the insanely talented and oft-overlooked Doug Sahm. The Sahm album I like the most: Groover’s Paradise, originally released in 1974 and recently reissued by Collector’s Choice.

First gaining national notoriety in the mid-60’s as a member of the Sir Douglas Quintet (suitably named after him and saddled with a fake British Invasion backstory to trick fans into thinking they were a British beat band) Sahm and his group had hits with She’s About A Mover, Mendocino and a few other classic ’60’s tunes. By the time he recorded Groover’s Paradise, however, the Quintet had temporarily split (they would split and regroup often over the years – right up until Sahm’s death in 1999) and his label had dropped him. Luckily, Sahm hooked up with the rhythym section of the recently split Creedence Clearwater Revival, Doug Clifford and Stu Cook.

Through this fortuitous alliance Sahm was able to record the best album of his career, in my opinion. Starting with the choogle-rific first cut and title tune Groover’s Parardise (a tune that sounds like John Fogerty stepped aside just long enough for Sahm to record a vocal with Creedence) the album sails on with wonderful song after wonderful song, Sahm and his new band jazzed and on a roll. As much as I like Sahm, a lot of his albums are cluttered with throwaway songs, but not this one. Used to working with Fogerty, the Creedence boys were well versed in brevity and playing great songs. Sahm was trying to recapture his career and he ably stepped up to the task. It is simply a blazing killer of an album! Hooking up with Capitol in part due to the participation of the Creedence guys, this album was put out to great critical acclaim….

but rotten sales. Sadly, this was Sahm’s last record for a major label until he teamed with Freddy Fender and a few other Tex-Mex refugees to form the country band Texas Tornadoes in the late ’80’s. Sahm did not sit still though. Thankfully, Sahm recorded like an old bluesman: if you gave him money, he would sing. Lightnin’ Hopkins had nothing on our Tex-Mex boy. In his near 45 year performing career Sahm made recordings on over forty different labels in many configurations. Solo, duo, group projects, it didn’t make a difference to Sahm. Not even genre mattered to Sahm. Blues, jazz, country, R&B, rock – he was good at all of it.

Funny thing is, recordings are still being unearthed and his legend and reputation grows every day. Everyone who loves music should have a little Sahm in their collection.
If you ever want to hear pure American music played by one of the most talented musicians on this green earth, check out some Sahm. Who knows, get this recently reissued classic and you could be living in Groover’s Paradise whenever you feel like it!

The Music Nerd knows……

An introduction.

Hello.

This is Craig and I am going to try my best to write as much as possible about music I like and love. Does the world need another voice about the subjective noise that we are all so very fixated on?

Yes, I think so.

Reviewing records is really a new charge for me. I have been treading on it with a soft foot, as initially I really had no idea how to approach someone else’s labor of love with a critical eye without either gushing over it senselessly or tearing into it with sadistic pleasure. Neither responses are really interesting to read nor ultimately to write for that matter. So this has become an excercise in detailed description and appreciation.

As the records keep coming, I have come to the realization (which really has been there all long) that there is so much good music in the world right now that is hardly noticed (yeah, that reads like a revelation – my next entry will shed light on the growing popularity of “television”). It is exciting that music will never reach peak use.

So I think everyone has a place when it comes to talking about music (or film, or theatre, or interpretive dance…you get the idea).

Ok. No real content today…I just thought I would write my name in my trapper keeper and sharpen my pencils for the coming school year.

Carry on until next time.

Grant McLennan R.I.P.

So shocked to hear that songwriter Grant McLennan died in his sleep yesterday. The loss of a great artist and gentleman is always sad, but when it’s an artist whose creative life was so thoroughly meshed with another’s, it’s doubly tragic.

In memory of Grant, I’ve posted the Go-Betweens interview from Scram #14 (2000) on the Scram website.

Our thoughts are with Robert, Adele, Glenn and Grant’s family. 

cult of the week – Wet Taxis

artist: Wet Taxis

title: From the Archives

year: 1984

label: Hot Records

personnel: Simon Knuckley (lead guitar), Penny Ikinger (rhythm guitar), Nick Fisher (drums, scrotum), Tim Knuckley (bass, vocals), Louis Tillett (vocals, piano),Gary ‘Moneywoe Bradbury (rhythm and tapes), Dr. Bronstantine Karlarka (vocals), various (backing vocals)

tracklisting: but mono never dies, last time around, unchain my heart, i’m gonna burn, you burn me up and down, i wanna come back, rich with nothing, nun’s strike, it’s gonna rain, hypnotized, in the past, vomit, bucktooth gobbler, love

further info: http://www.louistillett.com/biography.html

cotw say

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

As I promised in my last blog, I would like to devote today’s space to the person who most influenced me as far as the music I like, why I like it so much, and why I am the person I am today. That would be my brother Robert Allan Homewood.

More a father than a brother (since my own father worked so much he was rarely around – sorry, no sordid tales of divorce or prison time, just a dad with a son born late in life when he was earning decent money and had a family to support) Bobby’s love of music affected me a lot when we were growing up. With an eighteen year difference between our ages, Bobby had been exposed to music I hadn’t and was only too eager to share it with me, his nuisance of a brother. Cooler still, he could play guitar!

His favorites were the Rolling Stones, for whom he was a fanatic (no surprise that they are also my favorite band) and Neil Young. When I would ask him why all the people in the bands he liked looked so ugly and sang so bad he would just reply that rock and roll was about passion and truth other than looks or how well you could carry a tune. Of course, I am paraphrasing and shortening what he said but you get the idea that he was about the realness of music, not the facade and thank God for that as I have learned it and lived by it ever since. My brother wouldn’t tolerate boy bands and Britney and all the other poseurs who choke up the musical landscape. I don’t either.

To give you an idea: the first real concert I went to was with him in a little blues bar in Niagara Falls NY where we saw John Mooney, Duke Robillard from Roomful of Blues, and Muddy Waters. I believe it was 1980. Can you believe that? Muddy Waters!! I actually bought the tickets myself with money from my paper route as he just had a premature-born son and his job with Union Carbide wasn’t quite cutting it, but he suggested the show. He was killer! Muddy died soon after.

He was always a fan of the blues, and learned about them through the Stones, as I later did. He loved Muddy and BB and I remember going to record stores and buying blues albums because if I bought one he was interested in, he would let me come over (for a while he had a house across the street from my parents’ house)and we’d listen to it together. Often, his wife would come in the room and ask us what crap we were listening to but we understood how good it was. At least, HE did. I was just enjoying learning what was good and having fun with my brother.

My birthday hit when he was still having money troubles and I remember him giving me Damn The Torpedoes by Tom Petty and then asking me if he could borrow it because he didn’t have the money for two copies just then. He LOVED Tom Petty. And when I interviewed Tom Petty once, I told Petty this story. I don’t think he knew what to say. Bobby also liked Robert Palmer and Benny Mardones so he had a chinks in his armor like everyone else, though I still like that Mardones hit from the ’80’s. Makes me think of Bobby.

Robert Allan Homewood died in February of 1982 of a brain aneurysm. He was 34. It nearly destroyed me. I remember being called over to his house across the street by his wife Marie to get his albums and 45s because she knew he would want me to have them. I didn’t want them. I guess it was like I would have to admit he was gone. I took them anyway. For a while, I chased death like a hungry leopard. I was sixteen and not ready to lose my father/brother. I couldn’t kill myself, didn’t have the guts, so I tried to do it by ingesting any liquid, pill or substance I could. Luckily a friend got to me, and even had a drumset to bash on until the pain went away. I later learned to play pretty good and took up the guitar like my brother and play that fairly well too.

Everything I am I owe to my brother and father. After I finally got a chance to hang with my dad, I figured out my brother was just like him. Although only my dad loved Hee Haw. Now, I often give blues CDs to my dad for road trips (80-year-old guy still loves to drive)and he loves ’em!

I often wonder how my life would be different had my brother lived. I just wish I could share some of the music I have with him because I know he would like it though I am sure he is able to hear great music where he is. In fact, I AM sure of it.

Thanks Bobby – for everything.

The Music Nerd knows…..

Origin of the Music Nerd

Welcome to the first blog from The Music Nerd! Please allow me to introduce myself: I, Scott Homewood, am The Music Nerd and I will be writing this blog as often as humanly possible (okay, roughly three times a week) and using this space to discuss my musical passions whatever and whoever they may be. I have been a freelance music writer for over fifteen years (just Google my name – you’ll see!)and also a steadily gigging musician at one time in my life (but not in quite a while)and I feel qualified to comment on music because it is my passion and that’s what I like to do. Also, because I get paid to do so quite often so I would figure that means I am pretty good at it. Usually, the topic of this blog will focus on a particular artist/group I have discovered and become enthralled with and therefore, being the proselytizer I am, will want you to experience as well.

But first, you may ask, why did I choose to name this blog Music Nerd instead of the more current and fashionable term Music Geek? Well, for starters, it is my experience that most Music Geeks are obsessed with the tiniest deatils of a recording, like serial numbers and instrumental players on a particular song or album. Although I am a fanatical album cover and CD liner note reader, I have never gotten to the point where I have been obsessed about those things. There is definitely a place for those obsessions but I have always just been happy enjoying the music itself to worry about too much minutae, although I do get quite in depth a lot of the time, like most music journalists. Next, the people who are memorizing serial numbers and such are usually dealing with vinyl, which I do not, though I will reserve the right to comment about such matters in this column if something compels me to do so. A while ago I had to sell all of my vinyl to handle an unexpected expense ande, at that point, I forfeited all of my rights to comment about music as a Music Geek. A Music Geek obsesses over vinyl, end of story. I do not have any, so I am only a Music Nerd who collects and obsesses over CDs. See the subtle difference? Also – Music Geeks tend to be interested in only very obscure artists and hard-to-find releases. While some of the artists I like are obscure (actually a lot of them are) most of the stuff I will blog about will be artists/releases you should be able to find if you look hard enough. What would be the joy in telling you about artists and music you could never hear? Music is to be shared and I hope if something interests you an effort will be made to search it out and enjoy it.

So, that is the start of this blog, better to keep it short and sweet the first time, at least. The next blog (in a few short days)will deal with who inspired me to become interested in music. After that, the true focus of this blog will begin: to introduce you to all of the great artists and recordings populating my listening world. Hopefully I can help lead you to some mind-altering music or your new favorite artist. At the very least, I may be able to hip you to some new sounds that help satiate your music-listening appetite. Who knows?

The Music Nerd knows….

Bill Lloyd’s Slide Show

   Ever since days long gone spent hassling the Everly Brothers for their long hair and loud songs – not to mention them dern Byrds for bringing a ( gasp! ) fuzzbox onto the hallowed Grand Ole Opry stage – Nashville has enjoyed quite the abusive relationship with the rock and the roll, wouldn’t you agree?

Eventually of course, it took such brave new souls as Steve Earle, Dwight Yoakam and those Everlys-for-the-Eighties Foster & Lloyd to once and for all shove the corn out of Country and the Wit back into Western.  And not surprisingly in the least to those in the know with ears wide open, the latter half of the latter, Bill Lloyd, has to this day remained busy right there in N-town writing, playing, singing and recording mighty storms up alongside anyone and everyone from Carl Perkins to Marshall Crenshaw to Buck Owens to even our favorite Brady herself.

Leave it to those Wizzards at Japan’s greatest label, though, to finally make available, All In One Place as the man himself would say, fifteen selected Bill Lloyd tracks from 1984 clear through 2004.  Said stellar new collection’s called Slide Show, and it really does contain such Required Bill Listens as “Back To Even” (“from a Dom Perignon to a brown paper sack; from a Jacqueline Susann to a Jack Kerouac” indeed!), “Turn Me On Dead Man” (for those out there still without out-takes from the second and third Badfinger LP’s), “Cool And Gone” (lyrically autobiographic of all of us who’ve spent any time at all Lost in the Grooves), “This Very Second” (someone somewhere call Richard X Heyman asap!!), and lastly but far from leastly the classic “I Went Electric” (featuring the afore-mentioned M. Crenshaw) and the should’a-been, COULD’a-been Worldwide-Multiple-Format-Crossover Top-Five H-I-T “In A Perfect World.”

And speaking of perfect worlds, Bill’s got an additional little CD-R full of just such, and I quote, “Nashville tracks I made available as downloads but are sort of meant to be a collection …as in record."  That one’s called Horizontal Hold, offering fourteen more (!!) rooty-pop gems the likes of “Blue Radio” (too bad The Blue Shadows never got hold of this one…), “A Brand New Way To Say I Love You” (which should be cut IMMEDIATELY by no less than Hoboken’s own Tammy Faye Starlite!), and one of my fave Lloyd numbers ever, “I Can’t Tell My Heart What To Do.”

No need to go to Japan or even Tennessee for this all, however;  just drop right by Bill Lloyd Music

….and yep,  Tell ‘em the Pig sentcha.