Category Archives: Music

Johnny Rotten critiques Katy Perry. Really.

File this under, “Holy shite, what next?”

I just love the part when he calls her father a “skinhead priest.” Not that he isn’t right, but still, you’d really have to tack hard to crazy to be called a “nutter” by  Johnny Rotten — even a late model, dentally augmented, marginally less psychotic Johnny Rotten. Of course, at this point, it’s a miracle he can even string a sentence together, let alone follow anything as complex as a Katy Perry video. If you don’t believe me, take a look at what he got up to in ’78. Just in case you aren’t familiar with Mr. Rotten’s oeuvre, he’s the only who is one not, musically speaking, wailing on either an instrument or an audience member. Singing is what you might call it, but then again, maybe not.

The Best Music You’ve Never Heard #5: Wanda Jackson

Shakin’ ALL over!

wandaLong before Miss Tina explained “we never, evah do nothing nissse, and easy. We  always do it nice. And rough…”  a fringe-shaking firecracker from Maud, Oklahoma by the name of Wanda Lavonne Jackson was rocking it nice and rough from one end of the USA to the other. Now, I’m not a true rockabilly aficionado; that’s really Mr. Slattern’s bailiwick. Truth be told, in many ways I prefer Camelot Elvis to the Sun Studios version. I know it’s wrong, but some things are so wrong they’re just right. Still, no matter which way your musical tastes run, I guarantee that after about thirty seconds of Fujiyama Mama, you’ll be up off the sofa and shaking your groove thing for all it’s worth.

Anywho, at the age of 75 Miss Jackson is still tearing it up, these days with the likes of Jack White and Loretta Lynn. Give her a listen, and ask yourself, would we have had Chrissy, or Patti or Amy without her? Maybe, maybe not.

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Looking for more slatternly musical recommendations? If you can stand it, I certainly can.

The Best Music You’ve Never Heard #4: Rhonda Vincent

The Best Music You’ve Never Heard #3: Support your local bar band

The Best Music You’ve Never Heard #2: Chris Thile

The Best Music You’ve Never Heard #1: Mark Geary

Spring Party Mix

The best music you’ve never heard #4: Rhonda Vincent

Set that bluegrass on fire!

Rhonda VNow I know what you’re going to say: Bluegrass is for square dancers, hillbillies and flannel-clad hipsters. Truth be told, as a rule, it’s not one of my favorite genres, but I make the occasional exception for the greats: Ralph Stanley, Chris Thile and the musical queen of the Smokey Mountains, the one and only Miss Dolly Parton.

To my way of thinking, Jolene is one of the greatest heart-broke ballads ever written. Plaintive and gorgeous, it’s musical heaven in my book. So you’ll understand why I was dubious when my better half brought home a CD that included a cover of Dolly’s magnum opus some years ago. I was very skeptical, but lord have mercy, was I wrong.

Backed up by The Rage, Rhonda Vincent puts some serious fire in bluegrass music. Not only does she have a great set of pipes, but she can really play. This is seriously hot stuff. Give a listen.

Is your computer smoking yet? No? Then you don’t have the volume up high enough.

A big thank you to my blog buddy Tom Wisk for motivating me to get back to work with his latest post

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Think you can handle more musical ramblings? OK, but don’t say I didn’t warn you — it can get a little weird hanging around my iPod.

Oh holy crap, here it comes again (The Slattern’s holiday party playlist!)
I did NOT have musical relations with that disco band
The best music you’ve never heard #1
The best music you’ve never heard #2
The best music you’ve never heard #3
Guilty Pleasures: Spring party mix

The best music you’ve never heard #3

Support your local bar band

Some guys in Hamburg.
Courtesy Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

Back in the day, Mr. Slattern used to play rockabilly guitar in all manner of disreputable bars in and around the city, and I won’t lie, I spent many happy hours on bar stools in those same venues tossing back cocktails and bopping the blues with his various bands, combos and ensembles. Before he moved on to other instruments and styles, my better (and more musical) half played with lots of ridiculously talented folks, such as front man, novelist and Han Solo lookalike Steve Szilagyi, the lovely Edith Frost, New Orleans’ own Lenny Zenith, and  Phil Hummer when he was backed by the Roadhouse Romeos. Though Steve has traded his guitar for a pen, the rest are still producing great music, and I cannot urge you strongly enough to investigate their websites and acquire their CDs.

Not convinced? Check out Phil Hummer. This video was shot in 1997 (not 77 as indicated) and features Mr. Slattern on guitar, which is why I chose it over more recent video of Phil and his current band, the White Falcons, though they are certainly churning out some mighty fine music down there in Nashville.

All these folks are worth listening to, as are thousands of musicians out gigging in your local bars, auditoriums and streets. There’s a world of live music just waiting to be discovered. Get out and give it a listen, why don’t ya’?

Happy Birthday, Mr. S! 


The best music you’ve (maybe) never heard #2

Support your local mandolin genius: Chris Thile

Now I know what you’re thinking: Mandolin GENIUS? C’mon, that’s really reaching. Piano genius, certainly. Guitar virtuoso, perhaps, but the lowly mandolin? Nah.

Well the folks at the MacArthur genius board of standards do not agree, and this year they awarded one of the much coveted, extremely elusive “genius grants” to Chris Thile, grown-up musical prodigy and collaborator to such middling talents as Yo Yo Ma, Béla Fleck and Dolly Parton.  He plays classical music and bluegrass, and every genre in between with amazing skill. Still not convinced? Have a look at this, then.

Though not musical myself, I have it on good authority that what you just witnessed is completely freakin’ impossible, but there he is, sitting around the apartment in his yellow socks, picking a Bach prelude on his mandolin!

For those of you looking for more accessible musical offerings, give Maestro Thile’s bluegrass and acoustic music a try, under the band names Nickel Creek or the Punch Brothers. I’m also partial to the Goat Rodeo recordings, from which I’ll share the following, my favorite song from the record. And yes, that IS Yo Yo Ma playing the cello.

Want more obscure music recommendations? Try this.

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