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Sunday, June 30, 2019

The Real Nitty Gritty - Today at 11:00 AM on DJ Roulette

Tune in to WFMU's Rock-n-Soul ICHIBAN this morning at 11:00 for a new episode of The Real Nitty Gritty on DJ ROULETTE! Listen here:

Friday, June 28, 2019

Dance Floor Essential!

Koes Bersaudara - Poor Clown

The Drag, No. 2 (Ends And Odds)

Jimmy Reed (feat. Remo Biondi, vln): Odds And Ends
Barbara Blake: I Need Your Love So Bad
Lou Reed: Nowhere At All
Lou Reed: Downtown Dirt
The Videos: Trickle Trickle
Bill Haley & The Comets: Ain't Love Funny Ha Ha Ha
Emmy Oro & Her Rhythm Escorts: A Fish House Function (For A One-Eyed Cat Named Sam)
Benice Swanson: Lying Awake
J.B. Lenoir: Voodoo Music
Willie Joe: Unitar Rock
Cheerful Earfuls: The Drag, No. 2
The Ramones: Swallow My Pride
The Ramones: We Want The Airwaves
The Ramones: It's A Long Way Back
Bing Day: I Can't Help It
The Ethix: Bad Trip
The Ethix: Skins
Jimmy Reed: Ends And Odds
Three's A Crowd: Bird Without Wings
The Bluestars: Social End Product
The Premiers: Get On This Plane
Mary Sue Wellington: Save A Little Monkey
Bruno Nicolai: La Mandria (excerpt)
Bruno Nicolai: Bruciatelo Vivo! (Gli Indiani)
Billy Mize: Planet Named Desire
Jimmy Castor Bunch: It's Just Begun
Paul Bascomb Band: Liza's Blues
Toussaint McCall: Saigon To San Francisco (instr. version)


Thursday, June 27, 2019

Vocal Group 45 of the Week!

LATE_IN_THE_EVENING! (listen/download)

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Fringe Factory 6/26/19

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Big Planet Noise Show #154 Airs Tonight!!

Big Planet Noise airs tonight at 8pm/7c on WFMU’s Rock ’n' Soul Ichiban!!! Fuzz, freaks, rockfolk, sitars and space...  Please dress casually.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Fringe Factory June 19th!

Vocal Group 45 of the Week!

THE_SHACK! (listen/download)

Monday, June 17, 2019

Big Planet Noise Show #153 Airs Tonight!

Big Planet Noise airs TONIGHT – 8pm/7c – on WFMU's Rock 'n Soul Ichiban! ALABAMA JUKEBOX. On a trip down south, I wound buying a small batch of records from an older gent, in a mighty ruff part of town. He'd once been an operator and had TONS of 45s (familiar & forgotten) in an old shed out back. After digging through thousands of filthy/destroyed records, I wound up buying several dozen of the cleanest and/or most interesting. I've hosed off the dust and grime – and that's what we're playing for you tonight. So, it'd prob be best to put the Stroh's on ice now, grab a bucket of fried chicken, and fire up the Rock-Ola Capri. This will be BIG FUN – and we'll be back to the usual stuff next week!

Friday, June 14, 2019

I'm Hip To Your Game: some productions of Richard Pegue

The Norvells: As I Walk Alone
The Norvells: Without You
Little Ben &  The Cheers: (I'm Not Ready To) Settle Down
Renaldo Domino: Nevermore
Bull & The Matadors: If You Decide
Renald Domino: Not Too Cool To Cry
Renald Domino: I'm Hip To Your Game
Renald Domino: I'm Getting Nearer To Your Love
The Extensions: Your Heart Belongs To Me
The Voices: Forever Is A Long, Long Time
Jackie Bee: It's A Possibility
The Hallelujah Chorus: I've Got To Find A Way
South Suburban Electric Strings: (Pisces) Sign Of The Zodiac
Sidney Barnes: Ember Furniture ad
South Shore Commission: Shadows
Renaldo Domino: Let Me Come Within
The Brothers & Sisters: Nobody Is Gonna Turn Us 'Round

playlist inspired by Bob Abrahamian’s interview of Richard Pegue (“Sitting In The Park,” WHPK, 8-15-04)

South Shore Commission: Right On Brother (pt. 1)
Jackie Bee: I Am Gonna Get Even With You
Renaldo Domino: Don't Go Away
Renaldo Domino: I'll Get You Back
Renaldo Domino: Just Say The Word
Renaldo Domino: Two Years, Four Days


Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Vocal Group 45 of the Week!

YOU_CAN_TAKE_MY_GIRL! (listen/download)

Monday, June 10, 2019

Big Planet Noise Show #152 Airs Tonight!

Big Planet Noise is on the air Tonight-8pm/7c – on WFMU's Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban!  We're goin' to the movies!  No high-concept here – just a really great mixed-batch of wax culled from the teen-flix of the day: surfers, skiers, hot-rodders, girl-watchers, guy-snatchers, and, god-knows, bikinis absolutely everywhere...  TONIGHT!!!  JOIN US!!!


Sunday, June 9, 2019

The Real Nitty Gritty is moving to DJ Roulette -- on WFMU's Rock-N-Soul ICHIBAN

The Real Nitty Gritty is MOVING! just down the block to DJ ROULETTE on WFMU's Rock-N-Soul ICHBAN! We'll be on monthly Sundays at 11:00 AM ET. Debut episode on June 30. Watch this page for more updates, and you can listen to all of our shows from the past 4 years any old time in the WFMU archives:

Always in our hearts....

Tune in to the Whig Out Sunday 8pm (right after the Real Nitty Gritty) we play tribute to our buddy Jeff Walls and the great Roky Erickson and we play a plethora of new releases plus lots of our (and yours) fave 60's brain burners. Listen here:

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Vocal Group 45 of the Week!

LET'S_GO! (listen/download)

Monday, June 3, 2019

Big Planet Noise Show #151 Airs Tonight!!

Surfboards, skateboards, skis & slicks!!! 
It's all that and more TONIGHT on Big Planet Noise as we blast big-fave 45rpm summer-sounds!!! TONIGHT! 8pm/7c on WFMU’S Rock ’n’ Soul Ichiban!!! Wax up your board!!!


Sunday, June 2, 2019

Joe Meek : an Ichiban Hero

This documentary was on the Ichiban stream Sunday 2 June 2019. You can listen to the archive here :

BED : Tornados - Jungle Fever
Thanks for tuning in to this special edition of the Whig Out, Joe Meek, an Ichiban Hero. Thanks to Richard and Glynis for their support and for letting me sit in today and to my friend Kieron for his helpful advice. I'm going to play some Ichiban favorites that you'll recognize, as well as some tracks that may be new to you. I don't claim to be an expert on Joe Meek, but I'll do my best to tell his story in the next hour.
MUSIC : John Leyton - Johnny Remember Me
BED : Moontrekkers - Night of the Vampire

Why is Joe Meek an Ichiban hero ?
Joe Meek was an English recording engineer and record producer, mainly active in the early 60s. He was a one-man revolution, an outsider and innovator, he did everything his own way, refusing to be controlled by the powerful major labels, producing his own hits and leasing recordings to the majors on his own terms.

Chapter 1 : Recording techniques
When Joe arrived on the scene in the late 50s, the particularly staid British recording establishment, who were still wearing white lab coats, viewed their job as accurately capturing a live performance. Joe had a different perspective, fueled by boundless creative talent and imagination.
He pioneered, in England, techniques literally considered wrong by major British recording studios.
CLIP : Kerridge Lansdowne
When Meek's innovative ideas were rejected at Lansdowne, he quit his job and opened his own studio in an apartment above a London leather-goods shop.
CLIP : Screaming Lord Sutch broom incident
MUSIC : Screaming Lord Sutch & The Savages - She's Fallen In Love With The Monster Man

BED : Cherry Wainer - Cerveza
At 304 Holloway Road, Joe conceived a new way to make hit records with recordings that jumped out of the speakers on crappy radios and record players, creating extraordinary, unique pop recordings that would catch peoples' ears.
CLIP : Jonathan King kick drum recording
Joe Meek was a pioneer in using the recording studio as an instrument, creating sounds without the restrictions of a live performance.
choosing non-standard microphones
close miking
overloading devices and pushing signals into the red for distortion
using massive compression and limiting
taking direct input from the bass
natural echo
tape echo
spring reverb
overdubbing and layering
speeding up vocals or the whole tape
…not to mention wild sound effects, often using unexpected techniques like repeatedly dropping a toilet chain into an old biscuit tin, which you can hear in this song.
MUSIC : David John & The Mood - Bring It To Jerome

BED : Freddie Starr and the Midnighters - Peter Gunn Locomotion
Ironically, by the time of his death, Joe's recording techniques had become standard for recording rock music. However, his approach frustrated some performers, who weren't able to get the sound of the records when they played live. To record Have I the Right by the Honeycombs, he had people stamp out the beat on the wooden stairs of the studio and recorded that noise with five microphones he had fixed to the banisters with bicycle clips. It reached #1 on the British charts in August 1964 and sold over 2 million copies worldwide.
MUSIC : Honeycombs - Have I the Right

Chapter 2 : Independence, the outsider
BED : Outlaws - Sioux Serenade
Joe kept his independence and control by making his own recordings in his own studio and licensing them to the big labels, so that he profited from their pressing facilities and distribution networks. Because he was making hits, the majors were obliged to work with him, but the relationship remained tense and they considered him a threat.
CLIP : Meek watch them like a hawk
There were UK indie labels in this period but not to the vast extent found in the US at that time. In any case, Joe was targeting the mainstream, much like the bigger indies in the US.
He even started his own label, Triumph, but lack of access to big pressing plants meant that his first potential hit could not be produced rapidly in large quantities, putting the brakes on what might have been a #1 record.
SONG : Michael Cox - Angela Jones

BED : Fabulous Flee-Rakkers - Green Jeans
Johnny Remember Me by John Leyton, which we heard earlier, was another story of Joe's combat with the establishment. BBC radio blacklisted the record, but Meek found a way around them, getting the song performed on a popular TV series. The record hit #1 in the UK in August 1961, sold 500,000 copies and became "Record of the Year".
This made his reputation, as well as Telstar, by the Tornados, which was the first single by a British band to reach number one on the U.S. charts in December 1962. It was written and produced by Joe Meek, and featured his wild production techniques as well as a clavioline, a mutant keyboard instrument.
In 1963 he produced the film "Live it Up" featuring many of his top artists in order to promote their records.
Joe was always an outsider, in terms of business and in terms of production, but also in terms of content. His Tribute To Buddy Holly came from holding seances, Johnny Remember Me concerns the afterlife and connected with the trend in death discs. ‎we'll talk shortly about his sexual politics and in particular the track Do You Come Here Often.
MUSIC : Outlaws - Shake with Me

Chapter 3 : His unique vision and style
BED : Saints - Wipe Out
Joe had an instinctive, commercial ear.
He also had a vision of a market where teenagers were buying records made for them, rather than the boring adult records that dominated sales.
He tried everything, including so-called death discs, poppy ballads, space age pop, girl group sounds, surf, jazz and country. He had a roster of bands that he produced and recorded, including Screaming Lord Sutch, and he did his own A&R.
His innovative recording techniques meant that his records sounded like no one else's.
MUSIC : Neil Christian and the Crusaders - Big Beat Drum

BED : Original Checkmates - the Spy
Fueled by his vision, plus amphetamines, Joe Meek took a manic approach to recording and production. From 1960 to 1966 he produced about 700 recordings. He composed and wrote lyrics for about 250 of them. Between 62 and 65, he released 141 records, 24 of which made the British top 40.
But after his death in 1967, 4,000 more hours of music were salvaged in his studio by Cliff Cooper of the Millionaires, who bought them for 300 pounds sterling.
Joe Meek's records are marked RGM sound recording, for (Robert George Meek),  or Meeksville Sound after his 1964 split with his financial associate "Major" Banks.
MUSIC : Glenda Collins - This Little Girl's Gone Rockin

MUSIC : Danny Rivers and the Rivermen - Movin' In

Chapter 4 : Sexual politics
BED/MUSIC : Tornados - Do You Come Here Often
In the early 60s, homosexuality was still illegal in the UK, as it was, by the way, in almost every state in the US, and persecution and criminal prosecution were very real threats to Joe Meek.
CLIP : Goddard arrest
'Have I the Right?' by the Honeycombs, a summer hit in 1964, can easily be interpreted as a strong statement concerning the suppression of his right to express his sexuality.
CLIP : Pink pressure
Living daily with this oppression, Joe came up with an even more remarkable statement of sexual politics on a Tornados B-side from 1966, which proved that Columbia records literally hadn't listened to what they were putting out - if they had, it would have been instantly rejected.
After a long stretch of an instrumental track, 'Do You Come Here Often?' includes a conversation between two men in a gay bar.
John Savage, in an essay in the Guardian, calls a it a true slice of queer life, and an extraordinary achievement. 

Chapter 5 : Emotional and mental issues, spiritualism and the occult, financial problems, loss of relevance, increasing use of drugs, paranoia
BED : Spooks - The Spook Walks
Joe had always been spooky: obsessed with other worlds, graveyards and spiritualism. He claimed to be in regular contact with Buddy Holly through the spirit world
CLIP : Goddard seance
The forces working against Joe Meek gathered speed. As John Savage puts it, Jekyll overtook Hyde [sic], as his money troubles and declining fame caused him to increase his pill intake and to dabble further in the occult. He was initially slow to recognize the arrival of British beat and the changes in the music market and had to catch up. He was beaten up and his car was vandalized. He was threatened by gangsters who wanted to take over the Tornados' management. His emotional and sexual orientation was illegal. A copyright dispute froze royalties from Telstar. His paranoia seemed increasingly justified.
MUSIC : Millionaires - Wishing Well

BED : Packabeats - Theme From The Traitors
Joe bought out his partner, "Major" Banks, and found himself with huge debts and no financial expertise.
It seems generally agreed that Joe suffered from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. He also abused speed, leaving symptoms of amphetamine psychosis, and took downers as well.
MUSIC : Jason Eddie and The Centremen - Singing The Blues
Joe's long-standing paranoia intensified. He was convinced that competitors were spying on him, he tore off the wallpaper searching for hidden microphones.
CLIP : Sutch bug
There are many stories of violent incidents at the studio, including throwing Tom Jones down the stairs, and I know what you're thinking, that isn't really a bad idea.
CLIP : Clem Cattini Phil Spector
By mid-1966, Joe's mental state was worsening and he was in a downward spiral.
Some people say that he had a progressive loss of relevance with the arrival of British beat, and that he could not adapt to the new bands, which had their own material and their own sound. However, this next set should prove that Joe finally picked up on the trends and was perfectly able to make great beat records while adding his unique touch. We can only guess what he could have potentially achieved.
MUSIC : Paul & Ritchie & The Crying Shames - Come On Back

MUSIC : Buzz - You're Holding Me Down

MUSIC : Blue Rondos - Baby I Go For You

MUSIC : Riot Squad - I Take It That We're Through

MUSIC : Syndicats - Crawdaddy Simone

Chapter 6 Death
BED : Joe Meek & The Blue Men ― Love Dance Of The Saroos
On February 2 1967, Joe Meek burst into a friend's house all dressed in black, saying he was possessed. The next morning, the 18th anniversary of Buddy Holly's death, he blasted his landlady with a shotgun before turning it on himself.
CLIP : Pink shooting
Within a few months, the British law on homosexuality had been struck down and the Telstar copyright trial had finished, releasing most of the royalties.
Thanks for listening to Joe Meek, an Ichiban Hero. I'm Jon. Keep it tuned to WFMU's Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban.
MUSIC : Cryin Shames - Please Stay

recording Dracula's Daughter with Screaming Lord Sutch
Dracula's Daughter clip with Screaming Lord Sutch
Live It Up movie (1963) promoting Heinz and other Joe Meek acts
A Life in the Death of Joe Meek - forthcoming documentary - promo clip
The Strange Story of Joe Meek TV documentary (Arena, 1991)
The Joe Meek Page detailed biographic site
Joe Meek Masters of Pop: Melody Makers short documentary
Telstar: The Joe Meek Story feature docu-drama 2008 full movie
Joe Meek's Bold Techniques - book promo clip -

Joe Meek's Bold Techniques
The Legendary Joe Meek: The Telstar Man

We Sell Soul -- The Real Nitty Gritty -- Tonight at 7:00

We Sell Soul -- New episode, old records, tonight on The Real Nitty Gritty at 7:00 ET on WFMU's Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban: savage R&B, greasy rockabilly, gutbucket blues, gruesome garage, sweaty soul, & sleazy instrotrash platters. Then stay tuned for The Whig Out at 8:00! Tune in here:

Gin & Orange Show #3 Airs Today!

THIS MORNING!!! Gin & Orange show #3 airs on WFMU’s Rock ’n’ Soul Ichiban – 11am/10c!!! Have a brunch cocktail with me, Brother Jack McDuff, Lou Donaldson, Joe Cuba, Trudy Pitts, The Meters, Melvin Sparks and many others!!! Live chatroom and real-time playlist!!! C'mon!!!