Archive for January, 2006

postheadericon Wee Hairy Beasties: Animal Crackers – Review

No one has ever accused the Mekons of being an especially “family friendly” ensemble, but two longtime members of the Leftist Punk Band That Refuses To Die guitarist and singer Jon Langford and vocalist Sally Timms have decided to take a stab at the children’s music market, and the result is an unexpected delight. As the Wee Hairy Beasties, Langford and Timms team up with alt country chanteuse Kelly Hogan and the rollicking acoustic trio Devil in a Woodpile, and on Animal Crackers they’ve cooked up 14 tunes lively enough to please even the most fidgety youngster, and which are also witty, swinging and guaranteed to make the grownups in the room tap their toes. Most of the numbers deal with curious critters of one kind or another ants with attitude, dancing turtles, flies feasting on breakfast cereal and ducks with a taste for trad jazz and the wordplay is silly enough to make children giggle, but smart enough to still appeal to the more mature listener (especially the parade of clichés on “Animal Crackers,” the Muddy Waters lift on “I’m an A.N.T.” and the playfully ethereal “Toenail Moon”), though some parents may find themselves at a loss to explain the convoluted story of “Cyril the Karaoke Squirrel.” Read the rest of this entry »

postheadericon Wee Hairy Beasties

Wee Hairy Beasties
(Bloodshot BS 136)

Release date: Oct 24, 2006

SONGS:
1.Wee Hairy Beasties (3:00)
2.Flies on My Tears (1:39)
3.Animal Crackers (2:07)
4.Ragtime Duck (2:10)
5.Housefly Blues (3:08)
6.A Newt Called Tiny (0:16)
7.I’m an a.N.T. (2:40)
8.Road Safety Song (1:59)
9.Cuttlefish Bone (2:47)
10.Glow Worm (1:08)
11.Buzz Buzz Buzz (1:49)
12.Cyril the Karaoke Squirrel (4:43)
13.Toenail Moon (3:55)
14.Lightnin’ the Turtle (1:36)
15.Wee Hairy Beasties Reprise (0:29)
plus Enhanced CD Video “Toenail Moon”
Lineup:

Cyril the Karaoke Squirrel (Jon Langford): gt, perc, voc
Marjorie the Singing Bee (Kelly Hogan): voc
Monkey Double Dippey (Sally Timms): voc

and Devil in a Woodpile:
Rick Sherry: harm, washboard, voc, clarinet, drum, jug, kazoo
Joel Paterson: gt. lap steel, voc, kazoo, drums
Tom Ray: bass

Produced By Jon Langford with Ken Sluiter

Bloodshot says:

The young will thrill to the sing-a-long tunes about ducks, squirrels, flies, newts and turtles, while the music geek in all of us will marvel at the dexterous harmonica and National steel guitar playing and super excellent vocals. All will benefit from the important lessons about road safety, keeping flies off your supper and the perils of karoake.

The Wee Hairy Beasties theme song even has a special dance. Every time the Beasties go “Wee!,” you climb up on your Mom or Dad’s shoulders and kick your legs up as high as you can–but make sure you hold on tight and if Dad’s wearing a wig hold onto his ears!

“Kids’ hootenannies don’t get any more fun, or parent-friendly, than this rootsy collection. A-.” Chris Willman Entertainment Weekly

“14 tunes lively enough to please even the most fidgety youngster, and which are also witty, swinging and guaranteed to make the grown ups in the room tap their toes…the wordplay is silly enough to make children giggle, but smart enough to still appeal to the more mature listener…and all the musicians brought their A Game.” Mark Deming All Music Guide

“This troupe rewrites the rules of the animal kingdom, delivering a barrel-full of fun against a collection of highly toe-tapping music that rarely quits… kids of all ages can grow an appreciation for music that doesn’t require the the need of a net or a purple dinosaur.” Today’s Parent

“At our reviewers’ household, the album was an immediate hit: ‘My daughter starts dancing like crazy when you put it on.’” Chicago Magazine

“What it would sound like if Where The Wild Things Are came to life as a song.” Songs: Illinois

“Make no mistake, Animal Crackers is a kids’ album. But it’s made with love and enthusiasm and will engage kids while making the parents smile. And if you had any affinity for The Bottle Let Me Down, you shouldn’t hesitate at all to get this album. Definitely recommended. zooglobble.com

About Wee Hairy Beasties

Sponsored by WBUG, a radio station that only insects can hear, The Wee Hairy Beasties’ first concert was at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. The band was under the mistaken impression they would be playing to the animals, so all their songs were about animals. The children that showed up seemed to enjoy the show a great deal as well, so a CD was concocted. The resulting Beastie music on Animal Crackers is mostly for kids, but if used wisely, shouldn’t bug the adults either.

The Beasties, Cyril the Karaoke Squirrel Jon Langford—Mekons, Waco Brothers, Pine Valley Cosmonauts), Marjorie the Singing Bee (Kelly Hogan), Monkey Double Dippey (Sally Timms-Mekons) and Devil in a Woodpile believe that Kids music need not be unlistenable. Their dance-with-ants-in-your-pants blend of back porch blues, hoppity country and wiggly old timey swing is bound to please any animal, child or adult within earshot.

“The Beasties have an eclectic sound, and a remarkable chemistry among them. Musically, this ensemble is having way too much fun, but because they are such accomplished musicians, they are able to put forth a fun and relaxed, yet tight and technically strong album.” The Lovely Mrs. Davis

postheadericon NASHVILLE RADIO

Beyond his work as a musician (Mekons, Waco Brothers, and solo), Jon Langford has attracted ever-growing attention as a visual artist in recent years. Nashville Radio is the first collection of his acclaimed art. It reproduces 215 paintings and etchings, along with song lyrics and autobiographical writings. The book also comes with an exclusive CD of Langford performing 18 of the printed songs. Read the rest of this entry »

postheadericon Jon Langford: Gold Brick

Jon Langford:
Gold Brick
(ROIR – RUSCD 8296)

Release date: March 9th, 2006

SONGS:
Little bit of help
Workingman’s palace
Invisible man
Buy it now
All roads lead back to me
Anything can happen
Gold brick
Salty dog
Gorilla & the maiden
Dreams of leaving
Tall ships
Lineup:

John Rice (guitar, mandolin etc.)
Pat Brennan (keyboards)
Alan Doughty (bass & vocals)
Jean Cook (violin)
Dan Massey on drums

Produced By Jon Langford with Ken Sluiter

Devilishly crafted and scarily melodic GOLD BRICK is Langford’s third solo album and finds him back with R.O.I.R. the pioneering New York label that released The Mekons classic New York album in the late 80s. Collaborating with a band that includes Pine Valley Cosmonauts John Rice (guitar, mandolin etc.) & Pat Brennan (keyboards), Waco Brother Alan Doughty (bass & vocals), Jean Cook (violin) and Dan Massey on drums, this is probably Langford’s most consistent and coherent recording to date.
Read the rest of this entry »

postheadericon Gold Brick – Review

Devilishly crafted and scarily melodic GOLD BRICK is Langford’s third solo album and finds him back with R.O.I.R. the pioneering New York label that released The Mekons classic New York album in the late 80s. Collaborating with a band that includes Pine Valley Cosmonauts John Rice (guitar, mandolin etc.) & Pat Brennan (keyboards), Waco Brother Alan Doughty (bass & vocals), Jean Cook (violin) and Dan Massey on drums, this is probably Langford’s most consistent and coherent recording to date.

While 2004’s ALL THE FAME OF LOFTY DEEDS (Bloodshot) took about a week to record and was described as Read the rest of this entry »

BOOKS (Verse Chorus Press)
DJ Jon
Interviews
Three Johns
Art Gallery