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Friday, November 30, 2012

Kogar's Big Thrill-O-Rama Trash Show #2!

Here is the 3rd in a proposed series of 4 CD's that will eventually all be available here at Ichiban! Special thanks once again to JR Williams for the amazing cover!


(volume one is here )
Volume Zero is here )

Thursday, November 29, 2012

McHouston "Mickey" ("Guitar") Baker, 1925-2012

As many of you are already aware, Mickey Baker died a couple of days ago. He was the greatest non-household-name guitarist that Rock & Roll has ever known and quite possibly the greatest guitarist period. He played on countless sessions for Atlantic, Savoy, Okeh, and a zillion other labels. He was half of Mickey and Sylvia of "Love Is Strange" fame. There was no one like him. No other musician of such enormous chops would have the good taste to play a one-note solo and the power to play it as authoritatively as he did (see the Coasters' "I'm A Hog For You Baby"). We'll never know for sure how many records he played on, since he was very busy as New York's first-call R&B session guitarist from the mid 50's to early 60's, and the record keeping was not so meticulous in those days. This was before the powers that be decided that Rock & Roll was art and if somebody farted within a few blocks of where the Beatles were recording, we would know who did it and what they had for lunch that day. Mickey Baker was ranked 53rd in Rolling Stone's 100 greatest guitarists list, behind such greats as The Edge, Joe Perry, and the guy from Metallica.

Today on my Ichiban show (1 to 3 PM), the majority of the two hours will be dedicated to him, showcasing his scorchingest recorded work and making the case for Mickey as the all-time champion of Rock & Roll Guitar.

In a way we should count ourselves lucky that Mickey Baker never became a mainstream household name, because he had the kind of life tailor-made for a horrible Hollywood biopic, and with any luck we will now be spared that movie. For more on Mickey, we recommend this piece from 2009 by the Hound (sadly, most of the mp3 links are now dead), and this amazing photograph and story by Jim Herrington.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Ichiban Is Back From Exile

The Jersey City Ichiban server has finally been brought back to life, and thusly your Thursday live programming will again be heard on the Ichiban stream: Matt from 1 to 3 PM and Ted from 3 to 5, Eastern Standard Time. Debbie's show will not be heard this Friday; check this webpage for updates.

Immeasurable gratitude to Doug Schulkind at our sister stream Give The Drummer Radio for keeping us on the webwaves during Sandy's aftermath, and to WFMU tech guru Jeff Moore for getting us back on our feet.

Oh, and: WFMU has reached its post-hurricane fundraising goal! Thanks to everyone who donated.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tassel Twirler Tuesday!

Monday, November 26, 2012

I've Got A Polecat By The Tail (MP3)

Abbie Gaye with Ken & Mel  -  I've Got A Polecat By The Tail

I don't know what Buck Owens would say about this take-off on his Tiger By The Tail, but I approve wholeheartedly.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Ichiban HQ

The Usual

Do It Again!

Thanks to Billy for this photo of the Norton 3

DJ lineup for today's Norton Records Wash-A-Rhon Brooklyn Bowl, 61 Whyte Street

(The Sultan Of Squat)
(Smashed! Blocked!)
(The Dictators)
(Norton Records)
(Friars Club)
(Metropolis Vintage)
(Music To Spazz By, WFMU)
(Little Killers, Piggies)
5:30PM * REX
(Fool's Paradise, WFMU)
(Rock N' Soul Ichiban)
(The Nouvellas)
(Norton Records)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tassel Twirler Tuesday!

Candy Barr

Monday, November 19, 2012

In With The Out Crowd At Brooklyn Bowl

Thanks to everyone who came out yesterday to help save Norton Records!  It was like a crazy Batman movie.  Thanks, also, to everyone who tweeted and texted, etc. that the sound was distorted.  You helped us get it right.  Sorry we blew the archive.  Shame photo coming soon.

DJ Ted Barron
Photo by Ted Barron
Todd-o-Phonic Todd
The Hound
J. Toubin
Nortons working non-stop
Miriam gets a dance break
2 thumbs up

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Live From Brooklyn Bowl!! DJ Marathon For Norton Records

Soul Clap
Ichiban will go silent today at 4:00 to prepare for a live remote broadcast from Brooklyn Bowl.  Tune in from 6-11 PM this evening for top DJs!!  Fingers crossed.

8:00 PM * DEBBIE D
7:30PM * REX

Apologies From Debbie D And The Ichiban In Exile Crew

Photo by Jimmy Fountain

I Blew Live From The Admiral with Dr. Filth & Greg Cartwright again last night.  Sorry, guys!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Norton DJ Wash-A-Thon!!

Sunday Record Washers League



Sunday November 18th

61 Wythe Avenue Brooklyn, NY

4pm til Midnight!


Hurricane Sandy may have preempted one NYC Marathon but it has precipitated another -- the world’s first ever record washing marathon! Yes, join us at the Brooklyn Bowl as we tackle a truckload of wet wax from the label with the able stable- New York’s own NORTON RECORDS, which was totally trashed, bashed and flooded by the wrath and fury of Sandy! Get in on it as thirteen of the nation’s top disc jockeys blast their best, while lucky YOU joins the loud crowd lathering and buffing our Sandy-soaked footlongs back into action! Free admission but B.Y.O.RG. – Bring Your Own Rubber Gloves … and rolls of hi-klass paper towels! Teams of clean freaks will work with record washers provided by the acclaimed Discwasher Company of Pittsburgh, while others will use the time tested soapy sponge method. Learn a trade! And know that you have participated in saving the wildest wax in the world. As you know, Hurricane Sandy destroyed the contents of the Red Hook based Norton Records warehouse, soaking everything within. Time is not on our side as we strip off and discard wet jackets, and wash, dry and resleeve the recordings of the Sonics, Link Wray, Hasil Adkins, Jack Starr, Bloodshot Bill, Esquerita, Daddy Long Legs, King Uszniewicz and hundreds of artists whose shouts and stomps have come into your homes and hearts via the Norton label. Kudos to the beautiful BROOKLYN BOWL for setting the pins up for the first ever NORTON RECORDS WASH-A-THON—enjoy their food, beverages, great sound system.. plus break for BOWLING after the WASH-A-THON! See you there!


8:00 PM * DEBBIE D
7:30PM * REX

Limited advance copies of Norton’s upcoming releases (which were safely at the plant during the storm) will be on sale at Brooklyn Bowl. This includes KIM FOWLEY - KING OF THE CREEPS (1959-69), THE DEL-AIRES - ZOMBIE STOMP (full LP by the Horror of Party Beach Guys), four new albums in our EL PASO ROCK series and T. VALENTINE WITH DADDY LONG LEGS - THE VAMPIRE! Several new singles will also be available! Pick up a Norton bags and teeshirt, too!

Sneak peak, pre-pub copies of LORD OF GARBAGE VOL. 1 (memoirs from 1939-1969) by KIM FOWLEY will be available—hot off the press at KICKS BOOKS!

In case you can’t come by, but would still like to help, we have a donation button on our homepage,

Friday, November 16, 2012

Here's To The Ichibaners!

WFMU is in big trouble thanks to Sandy.  The Ichiban server got fried when the power went out and we are currently streaming from Dr. Filth's bunker in Asheville, NC.  We hope to be back up later this week.  In the meantime, please donate if you can.

Big thanks to everyone who has pledged so far during our 61 Days Of October fundraiser!  Like Joe in NY NY, Tom in CT (twice!), Chris in East Elmhurst (twice!), Bob in Rockford, MI, Roger in Morristown, Jon in Paris, Anna in Brooklyn, Greg G in Decatur, GA (twice!), Nancy in NY NY, Patrick in Philly, Mellisa in Baltimore (twice!), Richard D in Sebring, FLA, Chris May in Brooklyn (twice!!), Mark in Toronto, Phil in Edwardsburg, MI, Chris in Weehawken Duncan in Manchester, UK, Don in Canada, Theodore and Polly in Brooklyn, Patrick in Austin, Steve in the Bronx, Kevin in Brooklyn, JFO aka Jimmy Fountain in NY, Tiffany in Astoria, Tom in San Diego, John in Levittown, Jody in Brooklyn, Joe in Il, Gio in Brooklyn, Jill in NY, Frank in Ohio, Thomas in Urbana, JD in Shelby, NC, Carmen in Philly, William in Wilmington, Bopkat Vintage in Brooklyn, Terry in Sunnyside, Brendan in Chicago, Ralph & Susan in the Uk, Nicole in Australia, Alexander in London, Thomas in Sweden, Tom in Chicago, Simon in San Fran, Greg O in Asheville, M in Santa Monica, Jacob in Harlem, Hana in Pennington, NJ, Intoxitard, Howie P in Ca, Christopher in Waco, Mike Mc in San Fran & Rob in NY NY!!  You can help keep Ichiban streaming 24/7 by making a donation here.   We'll even let you choose a thank you gift while you're there!  Thanks.  I thanked all y'all at the end of yesterday's Debbie Does WFMU!

Slim Harpo - Baby Scratch My Back

Thursday, November 15, 2012

ALL HAIL NORTONIA! has been said, last year at this time we were all together & all celebrating a miracle of modern times, Norton Records. It was an ecstatic long weekend of historic proportions, as is every day life for Billy & Miriam. These people are role models, figureheads, they are what i aspire to be...real, happy honest people that love what they do & love us. Crazy? Without a doubt, but hey? Aren't you? I met Miriam Linna in 1976 at a very early Cramps show & we started talking about her Flamin' Groovies button (I always remember her first words "The Flamin' Groovies! They're my number one!" with a little squeal...). I met Billy Miller A couple years later. Our worlds have collided endlessly through the decades, there's so many photos...
I have been privileged to go on so many Rock N Roll adventures with these people. Whether it be driving out to Randy Fuller's place, to Timothy Carey's house where the World's Greatest Sinner was filmed, All rushing to meet Big Daddy Roth in 1984, an almost teenage house party featuring Esquerita, or paying respects in forgotten graveyards to our icons, always leaving with a rare memento...i have to say i love these people. Their baby, Kicks Magazine/Norton Records/Kicks Books is as i said a miracle. They have given life to artists that were never ever recognized, ever. And given these people hope & fun & careers even. Wonderful memories that define their lives, certainly. We who are obsessed with the alternate side of pop culture are endlessly indebted to them for single-handedly seeking these people out and serving them to us on a 7 or 12 inch silver platter.I can't tell you how insane i felt sitting there watching half the Del-Aires in a VFW Hall somewhere in Florida with 8 or 10 elderly men & women in the middle of the afternoon all of us actually watching Miriam doing the Zombie Stomp all having a blast...these are my personal memories.
Seeing someone like this in tears standing on a pile of rubble that is in fact all of these loves/obsessions/memories/mementos is heartbreaking. I actually cried when i watched it. On a global level, there are people everywhere that love real Rock N Roll & Norton Records & NEED them to fix their day to day working lives. There are people that need this. We are those people! And now is our time to give back!
It's so hard to put into words just how important this is (I'm writing this off the top of my head so bear with me). Billy & Miriam have done endless benefits forever, Miriam goes long distances to visit sick icons & friends in the hospital, I guess I could go on & on but i know I'm preaching to the converted here.
The most important thing here is to HELP. And to know that no help is too small. It really adds up. After a disaster like this people tend to go back to their lives when there's no more news coverage & forget about it. But the victims have to go on still in the midst of the disaster. This is why WE ALL MUST KEEP POSTING OVER & OVER & OVER AGAIN TO HELP NORTON RECORDS. They need our help now more than ever. Donate 5 bucks a week! Make a tiny plan to do something & just follow through with it. It will make you feel good & you will help save A huge chunk of Rock N Roll.
The Dictators asked on a Norton Record, Who Will Save Rock N Roll? The answer is YOU! Do it.
Over & out-
Howie Pyro 11/2012

To donate go here:
To volunteer call the Norton office (718-789-4438) or Billy's cell (917) 671-7185 or email with the word Volunteer in the subject box.


Otis Redding on stage at the Whiskey A Go-Go in 1966.  Image borrowed from the Facebook page Vintage Los Angeles.

Hasil Says...

    Dig DEEP for Norton Records AND WFMU.

Exile on Montgomery Street (or Ain't This A Bichiban), Week 2

The Ichiban server in Jersey City is still down, so those of you looking for Ichiban live programming today will find it on our sister webstream Give The Drummer Radio. Matt will be on 2 to 4 PM Eastern, Ted from 4 to 6.

Thanks to Doug and everyone at Give The Drummer Radio for having our backs during this craziness.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Norton Records: The Hound Checks In...

 At the Norton 25th anniversary party: The Hound, Ichiban's Debbie D and WMBR DJ John Funke.

Last year we were celebrating Norton Records' 25th anniversary, this year they're struggling to recover from Hurricane Sandy.  I spent two days this week helping out, cleaning discs on the volunteer assembly line.  It's a daunting task, two hundred thousand + records destroyed, jackets ruined - although some of the discs can be salvaged, hence the assembly line, but they need some help.

I go way back with the Norton Records people - Billy Miller and Miriam Linna.  Before Norton Records, before the Zantees, before Kicks, Bad Seed and Flamin' Groovies monthly magazines even.  Back to another time, back when it seemed like there were maybe a dozen or so people in the whole world that liked the type of sounds Norton has brought to the world - Esquirita, Hasil Adkins, Jack Starr, et al.  Now it seems like everyone knows who they are.  Last night a friend texted me - his daughter was playing on WFMU at that exact moment.  I tuned in to hear the kid, and she and her friends are warbling their way through a Charlie Feathers tune!  My, things have changed.  If there was one factor in bringing great rock'n'roll to the world, it was Norton Records.  Now they're fighting for their life, Hurricane Sandy (obviously named for the Dion tune) destroyed their warehouse, taking out records, personal items like most of Miriam's fabled paperback collection, Billy's 78RPM's, master tapes, fanzines, Kicks Books, etc.  If there was ever a good cause, this is it.  You can donate money at the Norton website or time or both.

Reasons you should head to Norton headquarters and volunteer:

*For one thing, it's a good cause, maybe the best cause ever.  Norton Records has long been at the forefront of what some of us think of as rock'n'roll, and they're just about the only ones who still do it.

*Free pizza and beer.  And rubber gloves....

*Its' where all the cool people are, the ones who hardly ever go out anymore (like me and my wife....).  I saw some of my favorite people in the world there this week.

*Despite the tragic and stressful conditions, Billy Miller is still one of the funniest people in the world.

*You'll earn indulgences to get to heaven, or where ever you plan on spending your afterlife.

*Learn the record business from the ground up.

*Learn about the hazards of global climate change and how it affects you and your Hasil Adkins records.

*Meet folks from all over the world, study their habits and learn to recognize their accents.

*More fun than it looks, in fact more fun that most NYC clubs these days.

To volunteer call the Norton office (718-789-4438) or Billy's cell (917) 671-7185 or email with the word Volunteer in the subject box.

Norton Records: It's bigger than all of us

When I opened my first record store in the early 90s, in Columbia, Missouri, Norton Records was the label on which the whole store pivoted, at least in my heart.  Crypt had the best contemporary bands and the Back from the Grave comps and an essential persona of hilarious anger and resentment. Estrus and Sympathy had their own West Coast garage punk thing and the attractive graphic design. In the Red had the weirdos, Goner were the weirdos, and Telstar and Bag of Hammers and Ripoff and others were important to an overall healthy rock and roll presentation. But Norton Records not only had some of the best records - it had the point of view and the sense of humor that most explicitly dovetailed with and informed my own idea of what rock and roll was and why it deserved to be celebrated in all of its crazy permutations.

The Revelators play in front of Whizz! Records ca. 1996 or so.

It helped that they were the label that put out local heroes the Untamed Youth. This put Columbia, MO in the rock and roll game, and it was to my mind essential that we keep their records in a position of prominence at all times. This meant frequently ordering directly from Norton, since none of my other distributors reliably kept deep Norton catalog in stock. You could pick up the latest from Matador or get a 35% fill from Get Hip, but if you wanted to make sure you got exactly what you wanted you went straight to the phone and talked to Miriam. Plus they'd keep me in stock on the Youth's notorious "banned" Sophisticated International Playboys EP, which you couldn't get anywhere else.  (You should check out Deke Dickerson's remembrances of his early experiences with Norton here.)

I quickly discovered Norton was waaaay more than Untamed Youth - more than any other label I could or can think of, Norton epitomized rock and roll as a point of view, a way of life, a pair of shades through which you could view the world. The best bands are as much about fully realized, manifested personas as they are about the music (prime Stones, Dolls, Ramones, Cheater Slicks, Menster Phip & the Phips), and Norton was an entire label that managed to project that attitude of a larger-than-life entity strolling through the world casting illumination on all things rockin'.  From the perspective of a record guy in the middle of Missouri (and now North Carolina), Norton Records was not just Billy Miller and Miriam Linna - even if it really is just Billy and Miriam most of the time. Billy and Miriam had a baby and it named itself rock and roll.  

The Norton attitude was clearly flash-fried in the same kind of yuk-up-yer-sleeve Mad Magazine attitude as me, while at the same time, Norton obviously took the important things seriously - the Link Wray Missing Links series, f'rinstance, is some of the most deadly stuff released by anyone ever. Another label might have presented a wildman like Hasil Adkins as a novelty act, but Norton accorded him the respect and awe he truly deserved. At the same time, it also gave props and perspective on the stupidest records ever created and really opened up my mind to the vast scope and wonderful ridiculousness of rock and roll. The notion that, oh, I dunno, the Slough Boys and the Real Kids were part of the same continuity, that Wade Curtis's "Puddy Tat" and the Twiliter's "Rollerland" and Bobby Fuller's El Paso Recordings had an equal place in the rock and roll firmament was, if not exactly alien to me, brought into better focus because of Norton. 

I learned that it was all about chickens.
Kicks set the standard for hyper-hyphenated ultra-injokey but passionate and informative rock and roll writing. And don't get me started on how awesome their old print catalogs were. Distributed records (who knows where they came from?) like the Big Itch series clarified that the ocean of insane music was too big to ever get a true handle on, that it was impossible to ever run out of new noise, even if that meant digging deeper into the past rather than keeping a both eyes on the future. Which was fine with me.  

Without these records of unknown origin, the world would be a much poorer place!
I remember when Do You Feel It? The Captivating Sound of Question Mark and the Mysterians came into the shop fresh on its release.  This record defied every notion of what a reunited 60s band was supposed to sound like in the 90s - how could so many of those songs actually sound BETTER in '96 than in '66? I actually brought this question to Miriam in an e-mail to restock the album, and she replied "I don't know what to tell you about how it happened, all I know is that it just is, and that's what makes it so wonderful, darling!" 

And while you can fill in the timeline on the actual history of the Norton empire, like Question Mark and the Mysterians topping their two "real" albums on one crazy night in Coney Island in front of a room of 50 people at three in the morning (I think that's the deets), it's harder to get a grasp on how all the pieces fell into place to become the inspiration, the resource, and the outlet for so much great stuff.  How many of the labels I mentioned at the top of this post were inspired or at least influenced by Norton records, and how many of them are still even around? Would we have Ugly Things magazine without Kicks? Would Sundazed and the entire model of US rock and roll reissue labels even exist without Norton? Would Ichiban?

Thinking about the entire Norton catalog, along with their legendary archive of print memorabilia, master tapes, Kicks books, and God knows what other irreplaceable bits of the culture, all waterlogged and/or destroyed when the warehouse got swept up in the Sandy surge breaks my heart AND my jaw. That place was a museum waiting to happen, and the loss seems immeasurable. But Billy and Miriam, proud and determined parents that they are, aren't giving up. They aren't throwing out the baby with the flood water, but they need your help nursing it back to health. 

Norton Records needs to be saved. Norton Records has to survive and to continue, because the world needs Norton Records. And Norton needs volunteers and it needs donations. If you're visiting this blog or listening to Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban, remember - Norton Records is your heritage as much as it is anything else. 

You can find out the latest on how best to volunteer your time in this recent update on the  situation, and you can donate here.  

Sinnerama Mix

Thunderbird - The Hollywood Persuaders
Gesundheit - The Fall Guys
Lucky Lou - Jody Williams
June's Blues - The Commandos


Previous mixes:



We are still at it here at Norton Records, trying to recover from the total destruction of Norton Records warehouse. The volunteers have been amazing - there's even Norton artists cleaning their own records! Sony Records, United Record Pressing and Discwashers have donated a ton of supplies for salvage purposes and we can't thank them enough. The Discwasher machines are speeding up the salvaging process immensely. Volunteers are still needed. E-mail with VOLUNTEER in the subject line or call 917-671-7185 (my cell phone) but no text or Facebook responses. we will be setting up a second crew at Brooklyn Phono in Sunset Park. Tom at Brooklyn Phono has been a saint and this second location will surely help speed things up. He's come up with some insane mad scientist way of saving 45s. If you want in on that, please put VOLUNTEER SUNSET PARK in the subject.

Apologies From Orson And The Ichiban In Exile Team

Photo by Dr. Filth

Alex Chilton on 120 Minutes

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tassel Twirler Tuesday!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Norton Donations & Volunteer Help

Rockin' Joe Belock
Photo by Jacob Blickenstaf

I'm sure you've heard by now.  Norton Records has suffered a terrible blow in the shape of hurricane Sandy.  I'd like to thank all the "first responders" who have been helping out down at the warehouse, and at Norton H.Q., removing and drying records.  It's the kind of physical help that leaves you feeling like you're making a difference.  It's also the kind of help that folks in the Brooklyn, NY area are more equipped to provide.  But the norton family spreads out far past the five boroughs in every direction!  And the rest of us can help too.  By making a contribution.  This contribution will help to restore Norton's supply of jackets and sleeves for the salvaged LP's and 45's.  I remember once having a conversation with Miriam about the beginning of the label and where it has progressed to today.  It was while she and Billy were graciously housing the band at their home during the recording of the Mary Weiss album.  She remarked that "Norton isn't just a company or a label, it is it's own being with a heart and soul."  Nurtured and reared by a family of wild Rock and Roll fans all over the world!  And it is so true.  And now Norton needs our help.  Your help.  So that it may remain a home to superb music for generations to come.  Donate now!

You can also email for more info on how to lend a hand in Brooklyn.  Stay tuned for upcoming benefit concerts for Norton as well as a 1 day WFMU record fair that will include a Norton table with new stuff for sale!!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Live From The Admiral

Tune in tonight from 11-2 for Live From The Admiral with Dr. Filth and Greg Cartwright!

*Apologies for the technical difficulties last night.  We are still trying to figure out the logistics of Ichiban in exile.  Thanks for your patience!

Donations For Norton Records

Your help is still desperately needed here at Norton HQ to assist in our recovery from the destruction of Norton’s Red Hook warehouse at the hands of Hurricane Sandy. There are more records that can be saved, but we are still racing the clock to salvage them before they dry. If you want to help with Norton Records salvaging effort at our office in Prospect Heights (Brooklyn, NY), please contact us ASAP at with VOLUNTEER in the subject line or call 917 671-7185 (Billy) or 718 789-4438 (office). We will reply with info.

Please alert NY friends. We have had a great deal of help but we can use much more!!

The Norton staff

Donate Here!

Stompin' Riff Raffs On Fool's Paradise Today

Photo by Adrian Jones
Originally scheduled to perform at the WFMU Record Fair, Tokyo’s Stompin’ Riff Raffs will make good on their commitment to lowbrow sounds this Saturday on Fool’s Paradise with Rex. Thrill to the sounds of lead man Nao and his merry band of Fujiyama Mamas Rie, Saori, Miku. Expect to hear many Fool’s Paradise Favorites covered by these spirited trans-continental teens! If you’ve got a grudge against the whole square world—tune in to Fool’s Paradise with Rex this Saturday from 1-3 PM EST!!


Friday, November 9, 2012

The Old Man's Drunk Again

Jimmy Martin & The Sunny Mountain Boys  -  The Old Man's Drunk Again

Ichiban in Exile!

The Itchy Drummer: Exile on Montgomery Street! Ain't This a Bichiban?

WFMU's Rock & Soul Ichiban stream was badly injured by Hurricane Sandy, leaving its live programming orphaned for the time being while Debbie D and Dr. Filth keep the stream running with duct tape and elbow grease from their respective homes in New York City and Asheville, North Carolina. Today from Noon to 3 PM, Ichiban's beloved sister stream, Give The Drummer Radio, hosts Ichiban refugee Matt Fiveash for a special three-hour show with co-host GTDR star Amanda Nazario of Nazario Scenario fame. Matt's Singles Going Steady week show got flooded out last week so he's having it this week instead and you will hear nothing but the little records with the big holes. November is Norton Records month on Ichiban; expect to hear a whole bunch of Norton 45s. Remember that Norton suffered catastrophic destruction to their warehouse in Red Hook and they still need your help!

You can listen to the show live on the Give The Drummer Radio Stream.

But most of all, don't forget to pledge. Thanks to Sandy, WFMU is in by far the worst financial shape of its entire life, and that's saying a lot!

Mucho thanks to champion disk jockey, GTDR head honcho and beloved WFMU veteran Doug Schulkind for making this happen.

Also, please note that Ichiban is playing nothing but Greg Cartwright DJ sets all day today up until 3:00 when Debbie Does WFMU returns to the Ichiban stream!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Ichiban Launch Party at Lakeside Lounge
Big heartfelt thanks to everyone who's been pitching in to help out WFMU and Norton Records this past week.  We are grateful to each and every one of you.  If you can get to Prospect Heights this week, there is still a lot to do at Norton HQ.  Email me at for directions.  There would be no Ichiban without Norton!  Please help if you can.

Greg Cartwright Spins

Dr. Filth & Greg Cartwright
I had a real good time recording a new DJ set with Greg Cartwright in studio D during the Ichiban 3 year anniversary week.  We were unable to record the back announcements so we won't get to hear that Tennessee drawl that we all love so much, but the music speaks for itself.

Greg Cartwright Spins Vol. 6 (mp3)

Holidays - Desperate
Kenny Owens - Wrong Line
Ted Lucas - Head In California
Keith Dennis - Almost Grown
Roy Hall - Little Queenie
Louis Jordan - Big Bess
Royal Rhythms - Lovey Dovey
Mosriters - Turmoil
Johnny Eager - Howl
Mad Man Taylor And His Piano - Rumble Tumble
Jerry Arnold - Honey Babe
Roscoe Shelton - Running For My Life
Len Wade - The Night The Angels Cried
Clyde McPhater - Shot Of Rhythm & Blues
Mosriters - On The Run
Four Flickers - Yo-Yo
Chain Gang - Little Black Book
Jackie Lee - Would You Believe
David Coleman - Foolish Heart
Danny Overbea - My Love
Al Brown & The Tunetoppers - Sweet Little Love
Danny Winkle - Don't Fall In Love
Arnold Sanford - LInda Lu
Holidays - Dark Valley

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Happy Birthday Dr. Filth!

Big thanks to Dr. Filth for saving the day and keeping Ichiban streaming after we lost our main server at WFMU. We hope to be back up and running this week! In the meantime, let's wish Dr. Filth a Happy Birthday! Eat some cake and raise a glass. Thanks.

Monday, November 5, 2012


You Tore My Brain

If you can get to Prospect Heights in Brooklyn this week, the Nortons need you! Email me at for directions.  The clock is ticking. Thanks!

Let Her Dance!

Dust & Grooves Video Of Operation Norton

Saving Norton Records after Hurricane Sandy from Dust & Grooves on Vimeo.

Thanks to Eilon from Dust & Grooves for shooting this.

Deke Dickerson remembers his early days as a Norton Records artist

 In the 1980's, as a headstrong teenager fresh out of high school, I was in a band called the Untamed Youth.  We were the first "new" act signed by Norton Records, back in 1988.  It's hard to remember this now, but at the time the two main formats were vinyl records or cassette tapes.  CDs were an expensive medium for classical and jazz fanatics, and if my memory is correct the earliest CD players cost something like two thousand dollars.  LP's were definitely waning in popularity, and cassettes were the highest selling format....and don't forget the most miserable format of all, "cassingles,"  the majors' feeble attempt to replace the 45 rpm record with a two-song cassette tape.  If you were a normal alternative rock or heavy metal band in 1988, you put your new release out on cassette, and it would possibly be released on vinyl if you were signed to a big indie or major label.  There was no "hip" association with vinyl at the time.  It wasn't cool like it is today.  Mainstream people hated it.  A lot of people thought the pressing plants for vinyl were going to go out of business (and a lot of them did) during that time.

I remember asking Billy Miller if the Untamed Youth album would be released on cassette, since I was very worried (insert sad horn sound here) about our band's commercial potential in the marketplace.  Billy's response was that "cassettes are for Madonna."  When the Untamed Youth came to New York to play, Billy took me in the Norton-mobile to the pressing plant to see our record being made.

To an 18-year old kid, immersed in the new-to-me mystical world of intense, obsessive record collecting, seeing the antiquated processes and machinery that created these records was like a visit to the Wizard of Oz.  Machines wheezed and clunked and the air was thick and acrid with the smell of vinyl particulate and steam.  It was awesome.  I watched as Untamed Youth "Some Kinda Fun" LP's came off the line.  I was surprised at how much hand-work was involved, figuring it would be an all-automated process.  Nope, it was pretty much like the 1950's, low-wage folks inserting vinyl biscuits into pressing machines, hand-inserting vinyl into sleeves.

Billy Miller looked at a stack of reject 45's and pulled out a red vinyl 45 called "Roaches" by the Court Jesters.  "Hey, this one is a good doo-wop song about Roaches, you have it?"  I replied I did not, but I knew I certainly needed it.  Soon my world would revolve around doo-wop sounds about Roaches, one-man band songs about government cheese, and surf songs about monkeys.

We loaded a bunch of boxes of literally hot-off-the-press Untamed Youth albums into the Norton-mobile and drove to the Norton warehouse (different place than it is now, but still a musty, moldy underground bunker with the sort of infrastructure and wiring and plumbing one would expect from a city built upon the ruins of the previous three centuries).  There I was, a kid fresh out of high school, unloading a princely 1000 copies of my first record down some rusty stairs into a dark basement warehouse.  I probably knew at that moment, though my ambition wouldn't let me accept it, that super-stardom was not in my future.  Madonna had not started out this way.

Somehow I knew, though, that this was my place.  A world where a pancake-shaped molded vinyl particulate would be obsessed over as though it were the Shroud of Turin by a group of unemployed, broke jackasses that really, god bless 'em, really really cared about the music.  They could tell you about alternate takes, they could tell you about which pressings were vinyl and which were noisy styrene, they could wax philosophical about how Hasil Adkins and Jerry McCain had been separated at birth, even though one was white and one was black.  I felt all the same things, and I knew that Jerry Lee Lewis alternate takes were important to me, too, even if they didn't mean a damn to the friends I had back in Missouri.  For that moment of recognizing and accepting my fellow species of lowlife music-obsessed, record collecting miscreants, I owe Billy and Miriam and Norton Records a huge thanks. 

Now here I am, two and a half decades later, lugging my own vinyl pressings into my own storage space, 1000 copies at a time.  Vinyl is hip again in a way that we never would have predicted back in the 1980s.  I have no embarrassing cassingles in my past, and I have Norton Records to thank for that as well.

It saddens me now to think of the Norton Warehouse, submerged under Hurricane Sandy bilge water, those precious biscuits of vinyl waterlogged.  Some of those priceless nuggets have my own precious teenage angst garage band music recorded on them.  I remember lugging those boxes down the stairs nearly 25 years ago, and it makes me damn proud to know that Norton Records has hung in there that long--prospered, at that.

I know that the good people will come together and help save what records can be saved, and people will help Billy and Miriam recover from this tragedy.  Norton Records is too damn important to let some flood water put 'em out of business, where Madonna had failed to do so.  You can't drown the loud sound, indeed!
 All photos appear here courtesy of the Untamed Youth's Facebook page.