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Saturday, February 21, 2004

Responses to yesterday's exculpation, beginning early next week, pending permission. Meanwhile, current listening:

Go Girl: Dream Babes: 22 Brit Girl Classic from the Sixties (RPM/Cherry Red): What the title says. Vocal ability ranges from the great (Linda Thorson) to the comical (Twiggy); it's all about the arrangements -- big horns, wild studio drumming, randomly inserted stabs as psych guitar. Writing not as varied interesting as the mostly-French Ultra Chicks series (at least the one quasi-illegal volume I found before they went off the market) -- "When Love Hit Me" and "When He Comes Along" are exactly what you'd expect. Standouts: The Chantelles' "I Want That Boy" ("'cos he doesn't hang around/with the troublemakers and the window-breakers/and the gangs that roll through town"), melodically strong as well, and The Orchids' "Mr. Scrooge," a straight-on I-IV-V stomp with some good lines ("You keep hoarding all your riches/like a miser hoards his kisses") and a huge missed opportunity to rhyme with "Take a tip from Ebenezer." (That's after the bridge, when he sees the ghosts.) I understand v. 5 of this is closer to the ironed-hair folk-pop tip -- may include some rare Marianne Faithfull singles.

The L.A. Carnival Would Like To Pose A Question (Now Again/Stones Throw) Reissue of c. 1971 LP (plus live material) from bi-racial Omaha, Nebraska soul/funk band. Singer Les Smith spent some time out West, hence otherwise inexplicable name; there's also an instrumental "Blues for L.A." Funk is solid, someone's a good post-bop sax player, not utterly unique or anything. Shocking: "The Klan," 7:42 jazz ballad largely based around a single, not quite correctly-intoned (of maybe just strangely voice) horn triad. Smith describes racially-motivated death/disappearance of siblings; three-minute-plus flute solo; Smith returns: "Minds have not changed/The plan is still the same/I killed a man today with my bare hands/a member of The Klan." At least as much pain as rage.

If anyone's worried, I've written about 5000 words of my diss this week.

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