RBF’s Eclectic Excitement Playlist – July 2022
Text © Robert
Barry Francos / FFanzeen, 2022
Images from the Internet
Podcast radio is the big thing, I know that. But I
am more interested in listening to the obscure music arena than prattling on
about it, despite my brief comments. So, here is my limited monthly column of
some shamefully cult releases, be it due to initial limited release, or just having
fallen out of the mainstream eye. These will be of a multitude of genres, from
punk to folk, to just out there.
The songs are listed alphabetical by first letter
of the artist or group, and not listed in a “ratings” order. Art is subjective,
so I hope you like these as much as I enjoy them.
Note: There is no advertising on this page, so I
will not be making anything off the work of others.
“I Need a Friend”
This folk group came to me at a used furniture/record shop in Kingston, Ontario. Though this Canadian release is obscure, it seems to have a strong cult following. The entire album is an interesting mix of folk classics with some unique arrangements without losing its folk sensibilities, and some new material, such as this one.
“Girl, You’re On My Mind”
Covering a Mystic Eyes/Bernie Kugel penned song, this garage-tinged group of rockers from the Pittsburgh area add some fuel to their sound here. An extremely fun live band, they are still active so see ‘em if they come to your town.
This is the song that hooked me onto Harry Chapin, who I saw live a half dozen times, even singing on stage with him one night. This is not just a tune, this is a sociological study of Charles Whitman, the first mass sniper shooter in Texas in the 1960s, that includes criticisms of loneliness, insanity, and mass media manipulation. All these years later, I am always struck by its strength and perception.
With a fashion sense that was allegedly lifted by Boy George, this British threesome never clicked in the US, despite a couple of hits on their own turf. While not a style that enraptured me, generally, this song reached me in places Culture Club never did.
Lenny Kaye Connection
“I've Got a Right”
This song was originally geared towards the Ronnie Reagan period of introducing the Silent Majority into the government, but with the fruition of that movement, the song has now become more relevant than ever. Lenny is better known for his early single, “Crazy Like a Fox” (as Link Cromwell), but his solo period while Patti raised her kids produced an excellent album on which this is the opening cut.
Louis Armstrong and His Orchestra (featuring JC
“St. Louis Blues”
There are so many versions of this 1929 standard, even by Armstrong, but I grew up hearing this raver on a Swing compilation owned by my mother. The exchange between brass mavens Armstrong and Higginbotham is jaw-dropping considering the notes they reached in their prime.
“My Time to Leave”
Hailing from Buffalo, this group presents a pop garage sound that mixed Jonathan Richman with the Invictas. This may be a break-up song, but the upbeat rhythms and smart lyrics are exceptionally catchy.
This was a major label release that didn’t really go anywhere, sadly. I was the first person to interview the band who played at CBGB and Max’s Kansas City.
Rachel Lynch and the Daydrinkers
I first heard this song on the soundtrack of a film adaptation of Lady Usher, based on EA Poe’s story. It very quickly grew on me.
Ronnie and the Jitters
“She’s Not the Girl For Me/Rockaway”
Infamously, they played the last weekend that Max’s Kansas City was open. I co-interviewed the band with Stacy Mantel, who introduced me to their rockabilly infused rock. A band that should have made it. All really nice guys, by the way.