230. back in flesh

Wall of Voodoo being one of the first uniquely post-1970s outfits I ever threw in with — tight, unafraid of new technology, a little nasty, full of film noir shadows and surprises, even some laughs. And they could deliver live. Which is what happened in Vancouver’s Luv Affair, early 1982, one of the great shows of that or any year. They opened strong with a cover of Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire, and it all peaked maybe an hour later with Back In Flesh – a song about what happens when your arm gets smashed and your salary gets cut and the corporation’s boiling over … and everything else. Yeah, it sounds a bit like the B52s, I suppose, but what the hell’s wrong with that?” (Philip Random)

WallofVoodoo-1981-promo

(photo source)

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The 12 MixTapes of Christmas [2018 version]

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These 12 Mixtapes of Christmas have got nothing to do with Randophonic’s other 12 Mixtapes of Christmas from two years ago, or even with Christmas (beyond being a gift to you). And they’re not actually mix tapes, or CDs for that matter – just mixes, each 49-minutes long, one posted to Randophonic’s Mixcloud for each day of Twelvetide (aka the Twelve Days of Christmas).

There’s no particular genre, no particular theme or agenda being pursued, beyond all selections coming from Randophonic’s ever expanding collection of used vinyl, which continues to simultaneously draw us back and propel us forward (sonically speaking) — music and noise and whatever else the world famous Randophonic Jukebox deems (or perhaps dreams) necessary toward our long term goal of solving all the world’s problems.

Bottom line: it’s five hundred eighty-eight minutes of music covering all manner of ground, from Roy Orbison to Curtis Mayfield to Can, Bob Dylan, Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, Kraftwerk, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and beyond (and that’s just from the first mix) — anything and everything, as long as it’s good.

491. lost weekend

“As I remember hearing it, Wall of Voodoo started out wanting to make movie soundtrack music, but somewhere along the line, they just started making their own movies, in the form of songs. Case in point: Lost Weekend. It may be only four of so minutes long on record, but it’s feature length where it matters, in my soul and imagination. Smoke a little dope, pour yourself some bourbon and you can see the whole thing play out. Wasted and true.” (Philip Random)

531. tse tse fly

The album’s called Dark Continent, and the song’s called Tse Tse Fly (both references to Africa) but Wall of Voodoo‘s first (and best) long player is really about America. The jangly guitars, cheap drum machines, scrapyard percussion bits and tips into noise. And the stories being told, equal parts noir and surreal. What could be more American?

WallofVoodoo-1981

967. call of the west

Wall of Voodoo at Vancouver’s Luv-A-Fair in 1983 remains one of the greatest live shows I’ve ever seen. I walked in knowing maybe two of their songs (including the Johnny Cash cover) and walked out a convert. But then lead guy Stan Ridgway quit, and though both he and the band would continue to release stuff, none of it would ever touch the electricity of what they had together. At least I still had the records, except they weren’t as good as the live item, with Call of the West a case in point. Whereas live it was an epic sort of west coast surf rawk film noir (with an Ennio Morricone edge), on record it was merely very good. Oh well.” (Philip Random)

WallofVoodoo-1983