Who's My Favourite Drummer?
Please note: MP3s are only kept online for a short time, and if this entry is from more than a couple of weeks ago, the music probably won't be available to download any more.


Joseph Spence - "Bimini Gal"

In a book of John Fahey tablature that I once read, I came across a list of attributes that, according to Fahey, all good guitar players share. I think that the first one was something like “a good guitar player is not afraid of his guitar.” I don’t know what Fahey thought of Joseph Spence, but I bet he liked him a lot. Spence is not afraid of his guitar; his guitar is afraid of him. Nor does he really play his guitar; he wrestles it. He holds it down, he smashes it, he eats it, picks up another, eats that, his eyes were bigger than his stomach, throws up the second guitar, gets a good hold on it, a full nelson, tells it if it wants mercy it must say “uncle,” but it’s a guitar and it doesn’t speak English, so instead it makes every noise it knows how to make, hoping it might make the “uncle” noise, it doesn’t, it can’t, and Spence takes pleasure in his guitar’s struggle, in his power over it, and he lets out a hot dry laugh like the Bahamian sun. Which brings me to my second point. Spence doesn’t so much sing as croak like a crocodile (is that what a crocodile does? Bleat? Meow?). His guttural incantations (imagine a zombie-Glenn Gould) provide an intricate counterpoint to his spectacular guitar work.

At the exact moment that I heard this song, the seasons changed, and now I find myself among the grass and blooms, sitting on a lawn chair in white pants, a batik shirt, and a straw hat, alternately sipping a pineapple and rum cocktail and dictating this post through a megaphone so that my secretary - still inside - can take it down. [Buy]

The Silvertones - "True Confession"

Well this guy sure fucked up. Now, too scared to simply call his ex-girlfriend and apologize for being so mean, he is trying to woo her back by publishing a letter in a magazine. Believe me, buddy, easier said than done. Luckily (for him), what he seems to fail to realize is that this song about his letter of apology acts as a pretty nice apology itself; his girlfriend is now willing to forgive him and take him back. This is a rather unfortunate turn of events for me, since the ex and I had been seeing each other in the interim. I came home after work yesterday to find her gone along with all of her stuff. The only thing that remained was her reel-to-reel which was playing a song she’d written about a letter of apology addressed to me that she was trying to get published in a magazine. According to the song, the letter explained that she was sorry, but that she’d had no idea how easily Mr. Silvertones’s voice slips down into the bass register or how sweetly and playfully he interacts with his horn section. There was also something (which I completely agreed with) about how he must be truly sorry, since the scattered and desperate keyboard line is clearly a representation of his disturbed emotional state. Whatever, man. Plenty of fish in the sea.

I have a great little slender-necked dolphin-head Silvertone, and my editor, Max Maki, has a beautiful sea foam green one with a terrific beefy tone. But rarely do our Silvertones produce music that approaches the quality of that of these Silvertones. [Buy]


Both songs today come courtesy of Sarah B. Let's all applaud her impeccable taste.

Posted by Jordan at March 22, 2006 2:48 PM

oh no. that silvertones song's link does not work.

great, great writing, as per usual.

you guys inspire me.

Posted by jerimee at March 22, 2006 4:01 PM

Please do not speak for my guitar. In a wrestling match between you and my silvertone, my money's on the green.

Posted by Max Maki at March 22, 2006 4:20 PM

J - Thanks. The song should be up now.

Max - So, the ever elusive Max Maki deigns to make a comment on our little blog... I wouldn't wrestle your guitar for all the green in the world; it's old enough to be my father. Plus, wasn't it, like, All-American in college, or something?

Posted by Jordan at March 22, 2006 6:56 PM

Just must say that John Fahey lived near me for a number of years. Several of his early to mid compostions recall locations in working-class Prince George's County, MD.

Posted by Embee at March 22, 2006 8:12 PM

is it Jerome "Bigfoot" Brailey?

Posted by dan at March 22, 2006 8:26 PM

aw, thankx fer the creds, jord.
this is totaally unrelated but if anyone is reading this they should also go listen to "lords and ladies" at www.harrisnewman.com/recordings.html which i was listening to when reading this and was causing me to slowly die inside from some sort of sickening pleasure.
ps: who is your favourite drummer? i hope me. hahah.
pps: stop wrestling you guys.

Posted by pizza at March 22, 2006 11:22 PM

All these wrestling stories have conjured up this image of a deathly silent black Dobro (Undertaker-style) squaring off against a fire-engine red Stratocaster (voiced by "Macho Man" Randy Savage), with Frank Zappa as the referee.

What a ghastly image to be haunted by. Thanks guys.

(But seriously, the tunes were wonderful.)

Posted by Seb at March 23, 2006 2:43 AM

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Sean Michaels is the founder of Said the Gramophone. He is a writer, critic and author of the theremin novel Us Conductors. Follow him on Twitter or reach him by email here. Click here to browse his posts.

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