71, or maybe 73 today and hopefully still hiding out happily in L.A. someplace, though why anyone would even want to go to L.A. is kinda a mystery to us.
Like the bear on the cover here it seems we’ve woken from hibernation a little on the tetchy side. ‘Let The Good Times Roll’ my lily white ass! What types of lazy old cliché bullshit is that? First track, title track, chugs in like it’s ‘Summertime Blues’ and I keep thinking it’s gonna turn into Jet Boy/Jet Girl but it never quite cuts loose. Second tune ‘Bossy’ was around as a free download last year and is more uptempo, it reminds me somehow of when The Fall play rockabilly, next cliché in line – ‘It’s All Over But The Shouting’. Right off the bat, it’s fair to say, I’m in a pretty bad mood with this record ‘cos it seems on the surface to have retreated from the promise of his last one. Takes a few listens though, leastways with my worn ears and thick skull. JD walks himself a mighty fine line. A lot of young bands who take on rockabilly seem to focus on the primitive energy of it, mix it in with some punk rock and douse the whole thing in tired old imagery. They just can’t stop with all the the hiccuppin’ and hollerin’ y’know? Now, we don’t mind a little of that now and then but this is somehow less in your face while still being pretty rockin’. He ain’t doing no karaoke revival pastiche thing here neither. Or he’s doing it so damn well it don’t matter. Deeply indebted to the 50’s but drawing on a much wider, deeper pool of sounds than straight up retro or punkabilly type acts it slowly reveals itself as really good album, the playing sounds relaxed and natural. Lean back and let her sink in, there are lovely little touches of sound all over the record, the sci-fi organ intro and honking sax on highlight ‘Mother Of Lies’, the delicate, perfect piano and bells on ballad ‘Building Bridges’ and the great handclaps on ‘Head Over Heels’. Which leads us handily to this new video what they done…
mmm hmmm. Rollerskates. We never did get along with rollerskates so good. Getting along good with this record now though. JD and the boys is about to kick off a short UK tour playing venues without any need for skates – here’s the record …
Seems as how the ‘Paperboy’ got himself a little lost out on someone else’s route there y’know? I was reminded of the feller the other day on hearing him and the band roar out on a TV advert for a new phone or the internets or some damn shiny gew-gaw or other. Maybe not the types of technology he favours his own self to judge from this picture (I should say Brother Randy about desperate to get a personal stereo like Eli has there). So, seems as he been following in the footsteps of his heroes a little too much and getting screwed over left and centre all up and down and sideways and who knows how by the big record labels over his last couple of records. Last year he made a more modern/pop sounding record called ‘Nights Like This’ you hear that? No, pretty much passed us by as well truth to be told, seems as regime change upstairs pushed the release date back and back until the thing had actually paid for itself off of film and ad revenue and they couldn’t see much point releasing it all and the sorry thing crawled out into the world only to find everybody lookin’ the other way. The happy upside to this story is Paperboy walks out debt free, and perhaps more arguably the record, while bold and accomplished, was not his best effort. He may have sidestepped an ugly fate, chewed over in the jaws of the mainstream beast. The album was much too shiny for our tastes, even more shiny than some of his suits, although he could probably rake in some extra dollar selling some of the tunes on to big pop acts – no lie. Anyways, figuring out what to do and where to head next he’s recorded this raw, gorgeous, gospel infused tune that gives full rein to his wonderful voice and shimmering guitar. Seems like he’s on the righteous road brothers and sisters, can I get an amen?
Us too. We bin hibernatin’ and what all. It ain’t all been lissenin’ to Taylor Swift and drinkin’ and cryin and so forth though. Here’s a young feller same age as our beloved Taylor. I been enjoyin’ his album from last year a lot too and this film for a couple of its songs is feelin’ a good deal more powerful than it already was this past week. I hope I don’t need to spell that out for y’all. I’d want for you to just watch it without me writin’ too much but I know nobody wants to click on youtube videos on blogs so much. they kinda annoying. but this is worth it I think. It is beautifully made.
Benjamin Booker plays a kind of garage blues that has a whole lot less of the oil and schtick of that scene on it than most. Like a blues guy who really dug The Gun Club. Which is what he is. Like Jack White I guess, who took him on tour an made a ‘Live a Third Man’ record with him. If you was lookin’ for an older blues comparison I’d go maybe for Hound Dog Taylor but without the slide – that sort of sound. Booker has a great soulful voice and pretty damn impressive guitar playing chops too. He’s kinda the real deal y’know? Not a bunch of snotty white punks who dig Howlin’ Wolf and hate their mamas wearing somebody else’s pain. This is a tricky enough row to hoe and means he gonna be gettin’ caught up in all that authenticity bullshit and championed left and right by a bunch of reactionary dullards, who’d like nothing more than for him to get fat and lazy and boring and real, real famous. Let’s hope he’s too smart for that, maybe his buddy Jack can steer him right. Meantime, first record is worth all your time and investigation but was basically done live in the studio, the Third man one is a slightly messier affair in front of an audience and doesn’t include either of the great tunes in that film up there. – WATCH IT.
hey, hey, hey, just think… while you’ve been getting down and out about the liars and all the dirty, dirty cheats of this world you coulda been getting down to this, sick, beat.
that’s right Taylor’s gone all the way pop and we ain’t afraid to admit we loves it bitches. Dancin’ around clumsily to this is not all we’ve been up to – honestly – but we know it’s been all the flavors of quiet on the blog here for a good while. Just so you know, we ain’t done here. there bees more things coming along, eventual like.
meantime y’all shake it off! seriously, what kinda uptight, miserable, joyless, life-hating, loser asshole is gonna piss on this joyous parade?
cute hmmm? Damn but we been quiet about the place awhile, missed christmas, even missed Elvis’ birthday. This makes a nice little companion to the one of Lux below though right? Probably the coolest woman in Rock ‘n’ Roll ever, 62 and I bet she still kick your ass – wishing her all the best.
And we be pulling our heads out our asses soon – there’s things been a happenin’ over on our facecrack page now and then, and Randy’s got all extra curricular on us – it ain’t like we dead, not yet