US Times MP3 Download Wanna Go To London

21 January 2011

Available now on Amazon! The US Times have digitally published their Wanna Go To London album for your nostalgic enjoyment of the early ’80s Baton Rouge music scene!

Wanna Go To London


Cash for your iPod

22 August 2008

Want to sell your old iPod? I am impressed by some of these programs that will buy your old electronics, like iPods, cell phones, digital cameras, etc. and pay you for them. Most people don’t want this old stuff, but it’s such an incredible waste to throw it away.

Here is a statement from Gazelle’s website. Maybe more people and companies will embrace the idea that recycling starts with reusing; that everything is not disposable. Reduce and reuse are the forgotten stepchildren of the recycling triumvirate, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

What does Gazelle do with the items?

Gazelle believes that recycling starts with reuse. When we receive an item that is still in great condition, we extend its life by removing all personal data from the item, then reintroducing it into the consumer cycle through a variety of retail outlets. On the other end of the spectrum, if an item has no more value in the marketplace, we ensure that it is recycled responsibly. We also have wholesale partnerships to ensure that all the items are not recycled prematurely.

I will be trying this program shortly, as soon as I can come up with an old gadget. I’ll let you know how it goes. ūüôā


Free Pretenders Music!

9 August 2008

The Pretenders are offering a new cut each week from their upcoming release for FREE from their website. I signed up on the mailing list, and last week’s issue included the following offer:

Want to See The Pretenders in LA 8/11?
Attention Southern California Pretenders fans!! Want to be a part of an exclusive major internet event with The Pretenders?

Yahoo! Music and Shangri-La Music want you to join us when The Pretenders take the stage for Nissan Live Sets in West Los Angeles, CA.

August 11, 2008
7 pm (subject to change, you will need to arrive two hours before)
Location: West Los Angeles

The first 200 fans to email us at invitation@yahoolivesets.com will get in the doors for this exclusive taping. Plus you get to bring a friend. Just email us your name and your location, and we will contact you if you are chosen to attend.

How cool is that?

Sorry I haven’t had much time to update, but I will ASAP!


Baton Rouge 80’s Local Music

28 June 2008

In the late 70’s and early 80’s, the Baton Rouge local music scene was super-hot. I enjoy reading about this time, because in 1982 I was introduced to WPRG, now known as KLSU, and started hearing lots of cool music I had never heard before on commercial radio. WBRH had a rock show that started at 3:00, and since I liked a guy who was into that music, that’s what I got into for a time. Once I went to LSU, everything changed (although I do still enjoy Rush). What a great radio station broadcasting from inside the guts of Tiger Stadium! Geaux Tigers!

Some of the bands I was listening to on WPRG in the Fall of ’82 and Spring of ’83 were the U.S. Times, Gang of Four, the Cold (from New Orleans), Wall of Voodoo, English Beat, Trio, the Pretenders first album, Squeeze, the Ramones, Sex Pistols, 60’s Beatles, 60’s Rolling Stones, B-52’s, Psychedelic Furs, R.E.M. and the Clash. I’ve compiled some of these into a fabulous playlist.com list. Click on the atomic particle to open a new window for listening.

Atomic Particle

Here are a couple of links you might enjoy regarding the punk/new wave scene of the 80’s as it pertained to Baton Rouge:

Detailed blog discussion of the Baton Rouge 80’s local music scene

Punk Rock in the American South: Comprehensive guide to punk and indie releases in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Tons of album covers, also partial discographies and some reviews. A real gem!

Dash Rip Rock: Read the whole thing or scroll down a little more than halfway to find “The History of Baton Rouge Punk”, which brings me right back to that time and those places. Loads of anecdotes.

Enjoy!


Smells Like Teen Spirit

19 June 2008

I have become fascinated by genre-defying cover songs, songs that are originally recorded in one genre and re-recorded by other artists in seemingly disparate genres. There are many of these types of songs floating around, but the one I heard recently that inspired me was the cover version of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” as performed by Patti Smith. Whoa! I read on the Wikipedia entry that Kurt Cobain was modelling one of my favorite bands, The Pixies, in this song. Good choice.

The Patti Smith recording is a more acoustic version, using banjo and violin in the instrumentation (Or is it fiddle? How do you tell? See my previous post, “Fiddle or Violin?”). Now I do like Patti Smith, but I would love to have an instrumental-only version of this song; I respect her artistic expression. She throws it at the wall and it sticks, but it gets a little chatty, in my opinion. Nirvana rocks it, but Patti Smith brings an interesting new undertone of folk to it. This is from her album of covers entitled "Twelve".

Check it out! Click the atomic particle below and a new window will open. The Nirvana version is first, to refresh your memory. Listen on the best speakers you have; the Patti Smith version is full of quiet and subtle details, including comprehendable lyrics.

Listen to 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'

Fiddle or Violin?

19 June 2008

I’ve heard a few different ways to answer this question. A violin dealer told me the following:

“It’s a fiddle if I’m buying it from you. It’s a violin if I’m selling it to you.” Good one!

I’ve also heard that it’s a fiddle if it’s playing solo or in a folk band; it’s a violin if it’s in an orchestral band. Or it’s a violin if it’s played in Europe, a fiddle if it’s played in America. Perhaps it’s a fiddle if you’re self-taught, a violin if you’ve studied it with classical music.

Anybody have any good info to share on the matter? Please post in the comments. I love ’em both!

Now, let’s say you wanted to learn to play the violin, or you want your child to learn, but you can’t afford all those pesky lessons. There is a cool self-teaching program available that I had the chance to take a look at last year, thanks to a vicarious interest in having one of my sons play. I would love to learn myself, but I have some wrist and neck problems which I think would preclude me. Guess it’s the steel drums for me! Anyway, this program does not require any musical training or background, just the discipline to actually purchase and use it. (And, no, I am not an affiliate.) Visit Ebaru for more info.

But on this one I am…
Virtual Sheet Music – Classical Sheet Music Downloads


The US Times

11 June 2008

WOW! Everything finally lined up just right and after 26 years of looking for the band, the US Times, I have finally struck gold!

The US Times had an album, “Wanna Go to London”, with two songs that seemed to get a good rotation on WPRG in Baton Rouge, LA, US¬†(now known as KLSU, the¬†excellent¬†LSU college station) sometime in 1982: “Wanna Go to London” and “I’m an Actor”.¬†Unfortunately, I never saw them live. Oh, well. Those were the only songs I’ve heard from the album, that I know of.
 

They got enough airplay for me to remember some of the music and lyrics over the course of 26 years, slowly fading, fading, until today.¬†Nothing in¬†used record stores;¬†in 1995, I began searching on the internet for it, maybe searching every year or two.¬†At some point, about 1994, I spoke with my old high school friend, who is now married to Don, the¬†original bass player, but somehow didn’t put two and two together.¬† The internet grew and grew, the new music revolution was on and still I couldn’t find anything on the US Times.

About a year ago, I found a couple of good posts tucked into discussion groups, one of them at Dash Rip Rock’s site, with some info about the US Times. It was interesting to find, but still no sign of an album or tape to buy. Nothing on eBay,¬†Amazon, eMusic, iTunes, etc.

Until today, when I found it on playlist. So fabulous, better than I remembered. And it’s dreamier still because it has the scratchy album sounds. Sigh…

Baton Rouge had a super-cool punk/new wave movement of local bands in the late 70’s and early 80’s, which was substantially encouraged by the Sex Pistols tour in 1978. Bands like the Shit Dogs and the Pigs have been cited among the local influences on this movement, and the fabulous Carlotta St. Parties, particularly at Halloween. The State Street/Chimes Street area just outside the LSU gates held the hotbed of clubs like The Chimes and The Bayou which hosted memorable shows.

Lead singer Gino Luti belts out with¬†seriously cool¬†inflections.¬†I adore his voice in these tunes. With Don Snaith (aka “Snake”)¬†thumpin’ out the bass grooves, Hans¬†van Brackle¬†rocks on guitar and currently provides the “classic edge” with the cover band Legendary Rhythm Bandits, and Buddy Bowers on the skins.

The tune “Wanna Go to London” is¬†punky and energetic, while “I’m an Actor” seems to pick up more of a funky r&b groove. These are both really fun songs with delightfully simple progressions and subtly clever lyrics. FUN, did I mention FUN? I can’t help but groove when I hear them.

There is a recent rendition of the song “Wanna Go to London” by the band Jonny Was, featuring Shane West. Haven’t heard that, but would be interested in taking a listen.

Do you remember the US Times from Baton Rouge? Do you have any copies or recordings that you would like to share with this desperate listener? Post a comment if you do.

Click the atomic particle below to listen on playlist. A new window will open.¬†Ouch, it’s gone! Easy come, easy go.

Listen to the US Times

If you have a better update than this, please post them in a comment!¬† [Words in brackets like this¬†] signify a phonetic guess. If you look around the internet, you can find a lame version of “Wanna Go to London”, presumably based on the Jonny Was release of the same song. They probably did change some of the lyrics slightly from the original, but the lyrics listed below are closest to the original lyrics of the 1982 release.

ENJOY

 

********************************************
Wanna Go to London Lyrics
********************************************

I wanna have a bloody good time
Get drunk on English stout
[Finally meet a queen so mean]

I want
I want
I want
I want
I wanna go to London
Now can I go to London?
Now will I go to London?
So leave me London England

Show me ’round your sleepy town
Where Holmes and Watson lurked
Is there still a Baskerville?

I want
I want
I want
I want
I wanna go to London
Now can I go to London?
Now will I go to London?
So leave me London England

The girls all talk so sexy
The guys are fuckin’ trash
And everybody’s proud to be
Of the working class
WORK
WORK
WORK
WORK

I don’t love it so I’ll leave it
I’ll go to Liverpool
Muswell Hill, Soho, Brighton

I want
I want
I want
I want
I wanna go to London
Now can I go to London?
Now will I go to London?
So leave me London England

I want to see the home of Hitchcock
And where a buzz bomb hit
If I don’t go I’ll be undone

If I
If I
If I
If I
If I don’t go to London
My life would be undone
If I don’t go to London
Well, my life would be no fun
THIS IS NO FUN

WORK
WORK
WORK
WORK

Not Jamaica, not Paree
[Not gonna go to] Waikiki
Not to Egypt or Japan

********************************
I’m an Actor Lyrics
********************************

They got places
For people like me
They got ideas
For what I can be
To set me back
On the right track
For I might need
Something I lack

I might fake it
As a matter of fact
I’ve been fakin’
Puttin’ on an act

I’m an actor
Not in movies
I’m an actor
Not Broadway
I’m an actor
I’m acting normal
I act okay

[If I get one
Livin’] like you
There’d be no choice
As to what to do
So I’m faking
I’m imitating
May not be real
But it’s still me
I do what I like
Keep it legal
And when it’s not
I keep it cool

I’m an actor
Not in movies
I’m an actor
Not Broadway-yay-eeeeee
I’m an actor
I’m acting normal
I act okay

Well, if I acted
The way that I felt
They’d put me away
For my own health
So I act fine
I don’t speak my mind
It’s not that hard
Once you get the hang
Stifle yourself
Don’t react rash
Nothing is
Important as

I’m an actor
Not in movies
I’m an actor
This ain’t Broadway-yay-eeeeee
I’m an actor
I’m acting normal
I act okay

[horn/guitar solos]

I smoke cigarettes
I’ve got housepets
I read the newspaper
I mow my grass
I change my oil
I change my clothes
I love my girl
I pay for it
I lost a job
I try to act not like a slob
I pull it off
I seem okay
So now they can’t put me away
I’m such a good actor
I act naturally
I act casual
I act comfortable in awkward situations

I’m an actor
Baby, baby look at me
I’m an actor
All the world’s a stage to me
I’m an actor
I’m as real as I can be
I’m an actor