poison to the mind


he’s got to cut that jheri curl

Do people remember when rapsploitation films were actually good? The '80s were a bit dire with yer endless breakdance whatnots (nb: I have not seen any of these) and Tougher Than Leather and so on, but there was a brief golden age in the early '90s with the House Party series doing fine young-teen comedy, New Jack City being a fun Scarface rip-off, Boyz-N-The-Hood fooling us all that both Singleton and Gooding were promising young talents, and of course the one-two punch of CB4 and Fear Of A Black Hat both trying to be the Rap Spinal Tap. Both are atrociously patchy, with enough decent gags between them for one only slightly lame comedy, but with good will, they'll entertain a bunch of stoned uni students.

The best bits in CB4 are probably the slight filkings of actual rap hits to make the fictional group's tracks. "Sweat Of My Balls" actually fumbles some of the lines from Kool G Rap's "Talk Like Sex" in its efforts to be slightly different ('give you more than pussy-tickle devices' is hardly an improvement on 'give you more than battery-operated devices'), but you have to admit that 'I fucked your sister, I fucked your cat / I woulda fucked your mom but the bitch was too fat' has a charming directness that even NWA didn't resort to until the second album. The version of Rapper's Delight is completely pointless, obv, but at least the movie's all over at that point...

CB4 - Straight Outta Locash
CB4 - Sweat Of my Balls
CB4 - Rapper's Delight

The soundtrack is out of print, as far as I can tell, but you can probably pick up the movie on VHS from the $2 bin at your local Video Ezy that's still trying to shift space for more copies of Cheaper By The Dozen 2 on DVD.

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benedict back on the team

If you're going to do a half-arsed NWA reunion in 1999, then I s'pose it's not too awful to draft Snoop in. (Obviously a whole-arsed reunion with Yella standing to the side being useless, and the D.O.C. doing the lines he wrote would have been ideal, and possibly Eminem standing in for Eazy in the confrontational-whiny-voice stakes would have been a more interesting half-arse, but politics innit?)

The concept does fall apart, though, when your reunion only extends to one live appearance on a TV show, and then said TV show releases a compilation album featuring only a Snoop Doggy Dogg cover from your performance. I mean, it's probably down to whose publishing was easier to clear or something but FUCKING COME ON!

N.W.A - Nuthin' But A "G" Thang (live on Farmclub)

At least I knew to be disappointed going in. I haven't even listened to half the horrid nu-metal nonsense, and most of the hip-hop is lame me-and-my-posse shouting unsubtly over boomy instrumental versions (okay, Eminem - The Real Slim Shady (live on Farmclub) is alright, if hardly essential), BUT!!! the five bucks or whatever I paid was totally worth it just for Mya's "Case Of The Ex." Yes, it's just a PA, and it's got a tedious "my album drops on the 23rd" plug at the start, but I had never heard the song before, so hurrah for Farmclub.com for introducing me accidentally.

Mya - Case Of The Ex (live on Farmclub)

I'll recommend you do try and find a copy in the 5-for-$20 bins at JB like I did, but if you're a mad keen fan of Bionic Jive or something, then Live & Unreleased From Farmclub.com does appear to still be in print. Unlike the URL itself.

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rama lama lama

Happy new year, kids - it's been a busy few weeks, but we should be sticking up tracks far more frequently for the rest of the summer.

Seeing Francis McDonald (in his capacity as a Teenage Fannie) programming Rage before Christmas prompted me to dig out this, perhaps the most relaxed cover version ever. From the B-side of BMX Bandits' "Serious Drugs," this take on fellow Scots Primal Scream's "Don't Fight It, Feel It" is labelled as being live, but plainly has a ludicrously obvious loop of cheering sitting near the bottom of the mix (the recording could well be one take, though).

BMX Bandits - Don't Fight It, Feel It

There's a newish BMX Bandits comp out, spookily enough titled after the above-mentioned single. Sanctuary don't sell stuff online, cop it at Amazon, along with their latest.

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ex mass


But first, multiculturalism:

Beck - Little Drum Machine Boy
for those of you who feel the Hanukkah Funk.


Doris Day - The Christmas Song
Chestnuts roasting, and all that.

Doris Day - Winter Wonderland
Okay, so here in the real world, we're a month into summer, but let's indulge cultural dominance, eh? IN THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS.

John Denver & the Muppets - Twelve Days of Christmas
Actually is John Denver on this? Well, it's from that record, you know the one. My bodge Korean-licensed CD version doesn't have any credits or anything and I didn't listen to this before putting it up. There's loads of Muppets, I can tell you that.

Dr Teeth & The Electric Mayhem - Little Saint Nick
This one I can credit properly due to fond memories of the gatefold vinyl edition as a nipper. Look out for Animal.

Gene Autry - 32 Feet & 8 Little Tails

Gene Autry - The Story Of The Nativity
Never mind the narrative quality, feel the length! 13 minutes + of children being indoctrinated into The Amazing Robe-Man.

Fat Les - Naughty Christmas (Goblin In The Office)
Let's hope this doesn't bring back bad memories. Except of Keith Allen.

Sonic Youth - Santa Doesn't Cop out On Dope
But can we take their word for it? I mean, it's only one night a year the dude's really got to hold it together and punch the timecard, who knows how he squanders the rest of the year?

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we went home for tea, it was Bushells

So, a few months ago I did a post about singer/songwriter Greta Gertler, showcasing loads of new & unreleased songs, that could well have been an entry on Womenfolk. What we're gonna do right here is go back - way back - and then come forwards a bit. The recordings today are all from a 2001 gig, but the songs mostly date back to the mid-'90s and her chamber-pop group Peccadillo - there's lots of light-hearted humour, examination of human mating rituals, bemoaning of acid trips gone wrong and silly innuendos. Plus the odd spot of sensitive introspection.

Greta Gertler (& ¾ of Peccadillo), live at the Harbourside Brasserie:

Football Song
- Possibly the first instance in popular song of musicians and rugby players being likened.
Wedding Song
- Can you spot the occasional pattern to the song naming?
I'm Not A Lizard
Fishy Song
- If you like to hear pretty girls shouting "SEX!", this is the one song you should download.
- This song had its lyrics changed and point removed by A Successful Musician a couple of years later, and became the biggest Australian radio hit of the year. And look! Here's one about the previous time he did it:
I Heard Your Song On The Radio

And here's the one newer song in the batch, written after Greta's move to New York and performed in the "solo" set of that night's show. She'd just won an unsigned artist songwriting prize thingy for it at the time. Aw.
Everyone Wants To Adore You

Greta's in Sydney this week, playing one show at the Vanguard on Sunday night. Go along for dinner, buy a CD or three.

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say “Go! Go go go!”

Everyone loves The Go! Team, right? Hyped-up sample-clashing fizzy-pop TV-theme happy funtime music, etc etc - you're on the internet, you know the drill. So I really, really wanted to love them live (they're the only foreign band I've gone to see all year, actually), and they certainly seemed to be putting their side of the effort into it: a crowd of people running around, swapping instruments, jumping up and down and shouting... but in Sydney, the mix was so dead that in order to get excited, I had to ignore what was actually coming out of the speakers and dance to the platonic ideal of the song inside my head.

Retrospective forgiveness: thanks to my tax dollars, one of their Melbourne shows was recorded a few days later and broadcast the next month on yoof network Triple J, whereupon I was able to confirm that indeed they should have sounded totally ace. And now so can you! The whole broadcast edit (about half an hour of the show) is streaming on the JJJ website, and for re-listening pleasure, here's a few of the non-LP songs they played on the tour:

The Go! Team - We Just Won't Be Defeated (live in Melbourne)
- from the limited edition Australian tour EP/less-limited bonus disc on the tour-coinciding reissue of the album

The Go! Team - The Ice Storm (live in Melbourne)
- originally a bonus track on the Japanese version of their album, but also on the EP/bonus disc as above

The Go! Team - Untitled New Song (live in Melbourne)
- not on the tour EP, BUT! while Ninja makes a big deal about the song being untitled and asking for suggestions, the chorus asks "Are You Ready For More?".. which happens to be the title of the EP. Hmm.

You can get the two-disc version of Thunder Lightning Strike for $26 (it's cheaper in shops than direct from the label), or Are You Ready For More by itself for $12. (For some reason, Shock have the wrong sleeve up on the site, so I'm giving you the real one here, stolen from Sanity).

You can support JJJ by paying taxes and voting against John Howard.

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Mother, do you have a prick?

Remember hearing this on the radio in the '80s?

Well, he loves to wear silk knotted scarves around his neck, baby
Finger them, finger the scarves!
He twists the scarf around my neck, baby
I wish he was twisting it around my clit, I mean my dick, I mean my cock, baby twist it
Twist it good, twist that silky scarf

And pull it oiled, knotted, out of her ass, let her come, etc etc. Those were the days, eh?

Since her Best Of dropped the ball, it's about time someone got to doing some lavish bonus-disced-up reissues of the first couple of Sinéad O'Connor albums (remastering is pretty essential too, the CDs are close to inaudible at times) so that a coffee-table audience can have the joy of being exposed to the way the adorable contrarian handled the marketing requirements of the 12" single.

Classic beyond classic was the "Jump In The River" extended version, which basically played the song and then let Karen Finley in the door to rant and, indeed, pant for another five minutes, but also of interest was the "I Want Your (Hands On Me)" 12" that welcomed MC Lyte on somewhat more integrated cameo duties. Two of the mixes are below.

Sinéad O'Connor - Jump In The River (12")
Sinéad O'Connor - I Want Your (Street Mix)
Sinéad O'Connor - I Want Your (Dance Mix)

Her official webstore thing is a bit limp, so don't go there unless you live in Foreign. Better deals are getting the local issue of her new album of reggae covers, which comes with a bonus disc of dub versions, or the Collaborations compilation, which is a decentish round-up, but doesn't include either of these (or Marxman's "Ship Ahoy", come to think! If I can find the single, I'll stick a version up tomorrow).

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fank you very MUCH!

So, as it happens, I actually do have a Tricky bootleg from 1996 that I'd forgotten about! No Children's Story, unfortunately, but here's two other covers from this set at the Paradiso in Amsterdam. The oh-so-classique abbreviation of Public Enemy's "Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos", which singlehandedly earned enough goodwill that you still get excited to hear each new cover he does, even though eleven years later they're often bad enough to make you embarrassed on his behalf that you've overheard; and a tense take on Eric B. & Rakim's "Lyrics Of Fury," which by this time had been released on the Pre-Millennium Tension LP.

Tricky - Black Steel (live at the Paradiso)
Tricky - Lyrics Of Fury (live at the Paradiso)

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Dave the dope fiend, shooting dope

When Tricky came to Australia in the wake of Maxinquaye, it might have been his first proper tour, and was almost definitely his first big chunk of dates outside of the UK. Martina was solidly entrenched in the co-vocalist position at the time, but surprisingly, rather than sing over tapes or do a sound-system-type thing with a DJ, he'd hired a bunch of professional (white) session blokeys to be a backing band. They were capable, too - about a third of the set was Maxinquaye material, another third was (often skeletal) versions of songs that would end up on Pre-Millennium Tension, but the final third seemed to be pretty much improvised. Tricky's only animated moments would come when he approached a bassist or keyboard player, dancing in front of them, geeing them up, giving them cues until he felt inspired to freestyle (at one point Mike Watt - in the country with Porno for Pyros - even came out and jammed. "Is there a My Quott in the house?!" I heard as Tricky's exhortations before Watt emerged).

The rest of the time he either clung to the mike with his eyes screwed tight, repeatedly asking for the lights to be lowered (by the end of the show, the only illumination onstage came from the exit door light in the wings), or headed back to the drum riser and shadow-boxed while Martina sang or the band played. Except for one time, where he took the mic back with him and sat on the edge of the riser, head in hand, and began declaiming the lyrics to Slick Rick's "Children's Story." As I recall, he took digressions and freestyled on the story as he went on and the band picked up, but his paranoid rasp was fantastically suited for (English native) Rick's tale of travails in ver 'hood.

When he came to record it later that year, though, he left the vocals all to Martina and hid the cover away on the B-side to a Nearly God single. Not that that's any kind of poor substitute - her detached tone also matches the song splendidly - but if anyone has bootlegs of Tricky shows from around that time, I'd love to hear from you...

Nearly God - Children's Story

And while we're at it, let's hear another two-person collabo take on it. Here's the man eternally in search of the perfect gimmick, Everlast, teaming up with human beatbox/sampler Rahzel - oddly enough, this one's a B-side too, from the former's "Black Jesus" single.

Everlast (feat. Rahzel) - Children's Story

Shit, even the Nearly God album is out of print now! You can apparently buy it on Napster though. There's a super-dodgy Best of Everlast & House of Pain that you can find in Dirt Cheap and Rock Bottom. I don't think it has any Rhyme Syndicate-era Everlast, and I'm sure it doesn't have the Butch Vig remixes of HOP. If I ever get the 7" out of storage though...

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send a St. Bernard

Alright, a couple more overlooked-even-at-the-time gems from underneath the landslide of snow and rocks. I left the faffing and intro at the end of the session version on the previous post to TEASE YOUR EXPECTATION for this next track, except then I decided four versions of one song made a much better post. You know, thematic consistency and all that.

So anyway, here's the Tweakin' Mix of "Rolling High", the original version of which appeared on El Producto - this remix only appeared as (possibly the only exclusive track) on 1998's Homebake compilation.

the Avalanches - Rolling High (Tweakin' Mix)

Perhaps more exciting, their cover of "Do You Know The Way To San Jose?", from an all-Australian tribute album to Burt Bacharach, entitled To Hal & Bacharach (there were one or two songs by lyricists other than Hal David, I think). This is also from 1998 or thereabouts.

the Avalanches - Do You Know The Way To San Jose?

And just because you're special and you deserve it, another track from the same presumably-never-to-be-reprinted-due-to-licensing-headaches compilation - here's musical & life partners Dave Graney and Clare Moore roping in the Dirty Three for one of their rare stints backing a vocalist. I think Dave was going through his brief period of being famous around this time, or maybe that had already passed like a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day. Anyway:

Dave Graney/Clare Moore/the Dirty Three - What The World Needs Now

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