Thursday, December 31, 2009

Phairot Sangwaribut - Ya Lam Daen  (Khi Klak Concrete, 1978)

Phairot Sangwaribut isn’t just a street musician who's worth fewer than 100 baht, according to producer Seksan Sornimsart. He’s become a cult favorite among young and old, and he’s got numerous other talents. Whether he’s singing, writing songs, or sleeping on park benches, he’s brilliant at everything he does.

"Phairot's genius gave me the inspiration to write the song 'Khi Klak Concrete' for him to sing" says Sornimsart. "When the recording session was finished, there was a feeling of satisfaction and gratification for everyone involved, especially for Phairot himself, who admits it was the most fun he's had since winning the Gao Gae tournament at the soup kitchen."

And don't forget Phairot's brilliant sidekick, Amara Boribun. Though she's always a bit annoyed with the antics of her homeless partner, she's willing to pitch in with her very own rendition of "Khi Klak Concrete".

Stay tuned... we've saved the best song from the album for our Thai compilation coming early next week. Happy New Year!


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Instrumental version, from 1980.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Pratt & McClain - Whachersign  (Pratt & McClain, 1976)

Pratt & McClain had moderate success writing the theme for "Happy Days" and singing commercial jingles, but their greatest accomplishment was producing the world's most effective study tool for the field of astrology.

"The stars say you should like us a lot...we can't understand why you do not."

Monday, December 28, 2009

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Mel Cabang - Your Love  (For You Lady, 1978)

Mel Cabang was born at the Honokaa plantation on the Big Island of Hawaii, the son of a Filipino sugar worker and his Portuguese wife. After spending his childhood playing the guitar and feeding chickens, he left Hawaii for Pasadena City College in California. He worked his way through school by playing music gigs and managing a taco stand.

His first professional music gig was at the Newport Beach Club. "Jose Feliciano used to come in, and that was before he became a star." Mel even recalls the night Jose's seeing-eye dog bit him on the arm. Recent state legislation allowing pets in night clubs meant that the California club circuit was rampant with seeing-eye dogs. To this day Mel can't understand why the dog bit him, but he shrugs his shoulders. "Us musicians have to put up with a lot."

Mel decided to try his luck in Vegas, where he landed a regular gig in the Crown Room of the Hilton. Between sets, he would catch Red Foxx's show. Mel studied Red carefully and began working humor into his routine. "I used to call the audience 'a bunch of gorillas' and they just loved it."

But after a while Mel tired of singing the same old tunes night after night. "How many times can a human being sing Union Of The Snake without donning a safari suit?" So he moved back to Hawaii and decided to go solo. He built up quite a large following in Hawaii as the house performer at the Outrigger Hotel, the Gold Coin Restaurant, and the Hickory Steak House. His debut album Lady, which he produced, arranged and conducted, was the culmination of many years of hard work. Richard Wong, the owner of Gold Coin restaurant said it best: "Everybody has problems, personal problems... Mel helps folks forget all their troubles. He helps them forget they're even humans."


Friday, December 25, 2009

We celebrate the birth of Jesus with a story from the recently uncovered (and still controversial) New Testament book, The Gospel According to Henri, which was made into the film L'Explosion in 1971. It is a tale of contracts, guitars, and marijuana cigars -- a warning to Jesus to never return to earth unless he's prepared to make spaghetti westerns and soap commercials with Jacques Dutronc. Hey, don't throw him in the briar patch.

Of course, Goteu Loteu Houi is cajun for "gotta lotta weed". Who would've guessed Mother Mary was a dealer?


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Celia Lipton - Jingle Bells  (Merry Christmas With Love, 1987)

Celia Lipton and Christmas songs? Now that's ideal casting. Never content to be known simply as the wife of the man who invented the paper milk carton, the former actress and now legendary socialite was the driving force behind the Palm Beach Charity Scene in the 1980's. In 1987, she teamed up with the Independent Record Corporation to release this Christmas album as part of her annual Socialites Against Scurvy campaign. Celia's unique brand of warmth gives everyone that "I'm glad I'm livin'" feeling that is so much a part of the joyous holiday. It's no wonder the project was one of her greatest triumphs, as sales from the album went a long way towards eradicating scurvy in southern Florida.