DOWNLOAD: Mighty Mighty Bosstones, "Shoppin' for a Friend" [mp3]
If you were around in 1978, it’s possible you could’ve bought Unnatural Axe’s legendary seven-inch "They Saved Hitler’s Brain' out of the bin at Newbury Comics, then gone to see Richie Parsons’s obnoxiously loud (or loudly obnoxious?) OG punk band tear the Police a new asshole at the Rat. Thirty years on, the Rat is dead, but the Unnatural Axe and Newbury Comics are still with us. They even share a birthday, which they’re celebrating together with three Parsons-curated gigs at Church August 21 and 22 and the Middle East downstairs August 23. For those who would dispute the continuing relevance of either institution, there’s Ruling the World from the Back Seat, a new double-LP (yes, vinyl) tribute to the Axe on which their songs are played by the likes of Mission of Burma (“Creeper”), the Neighborhoods (“The Man”), Jerry’s Kids (“Bombing”), the Queers (“No Surfing in Dorchester Bay”); there are even takes on “Hitler” B-side “Summertime” by both the Bags and the Dogmatics. Here we’ve got the Mighty Mighty Bosstones rampaging through “Shopping for a Friend,” a song that could still pass for a Johnny Thunders tune if not for the local details. As in the original, Dicky Barrett name-checks Filene’s Basement, which is (essentially) lost to history, along with (you guessed it) Newbury Comics, which is not.
BONUS TRACK: Another new Dicky Barrett song!
Longtime Phoenix contributor and former music editor Ted Drozdowski is about to release Luck In a Hurry, a new album by his punk/blues duo SCISSORMEN (with the drummer from Blaine "Nashville Pussy" Cartwright's old band Nine Pound Hammer).Ted taught OTD most of what we know about the blues, which is not bad tutelage considering Ted learned partly from the late critic Robert Palmer, and partly from the hill-country virtuosos of Clarksdale, Mississippi, including the late R.L. Burnside. The new Scissormen record is the fucking balls, and this track is even gnarlier thanks to a cameo by the Bosstones' Dickie Barrett -- who with his grizzly-bear growl is actually a much more believable blues singer than he is a ska singer. HE MISSED HIS CALLING. Kidding, plaid ones, kidding.
DOWNLOAD: Scissormen and Dicky Barrett, "Whiskey and Mary Jane" [mp3]