What You Hear is What You Get
IKE AND TINA. Piss and vinegar personalities of the fabulous '60s soul generation. These two feisty and multi-talented rhythm and blues innovators clashed like slum-bred pitbulls in a back alley rumble. Thankfully, however, they managed to create epic and timeless dance-funk music despite the years of matrimonial turmoil. Case in point is the recently reissued Carnegie Hall masterpiece from 1971, What you Hear is What You Get, a foot-stompin' soul revue masterpiece of torrid, high-energy proportions. Soul food for the ears. Standout arrangements include Ike's distinct guitar scrapping on the bluesy "I Smell Trouble," Tina's show-stoppin' nine-minute version of C.C.R.'s "Proud Mary," and the sonic-funk meltdown of Sly's "I Want To Take You Higher." Ike and Tina proved they could even tear the roof off of prestigious and uptight Carnegie Hall. Amen.
-- Ron Bally
"The Best Of Blowfly: The Analthology"
I QUIT LOOKING for further info on Blowfly after two-dozen popular music encyclopedias turned up nothing. What is known about the guy is that he was the '70s offspring of Red Foxx, the Funkadelics and Screaming Jay Hawkins; a foul-mouthed musical comedian who recorded a series of party albums (complete with fake crowd noise) comprised of romantic tunes like "Too Fat To Fuck" and "Porno Freak." "I've Got To Be Free" is a weird, semi-serious, let-me-screw-around ballad meant for any guy who pissed off his girlfriend after she mistakenly brought up the Ring Thing. Yeah, the stuff's dumb, but it's also the bridge between modern nasty-talking rappers and the risqué rhythm-and-blues singers from the '40s and '50s.
Here...They Are: Live At The Crocodile Cafe
AVAILABLE ON CD or 10-inch vinyl, this 33-minute live set from the coolest and longest-running Seattle band was rumored to have been recorded before a crowd of 12 (soundman and bartender included). The 'backs perfect blend of classic pop and vintage punk remains terminally unfashionable, and all the more enjoyable, in the Alternative era. "Hung On A Bad Peg" is hi-octane Girl Group stuff that'll have you pulling out your Ronettes and Runaways albums, and when the band segues into a kind of revved-up Buddy Holly homage, you realize these folks are serious collectors and archivists for whom "fashion" is a verb, not a noun. Covering the UK Subs' "Rat Race" at the end of the set is only further evidence--Oi! Oi! Oi!
-- Fred Mills
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