Junior's Juke Joint - if you're only going
to check out one site from this page, check out this one! This guy's got a great
attitude and sense of humour and you might find some cool places to go and see
blues if you're in the US. For example the Walnut Street Bait Shop, Greenville,
Mississippi or Annie Mae's Cafe, Waterproof, Louisiana and like he says - "Be
sure to print out the map above so you don't have to ask any white folks for
directions"! This guy rocks! I'm saving up to go!
The Library Of Congress - quite possibly the most
fascinating and absorbing website in the entire world. There's excellent quality
photos and documents in lots of formats from Ansel Adams' trip to the Manzinar
detention camp, the WPA, the FSA, the Federal Writers Project, the Federal
Theatre Project, John and Ruby Lomax's 1939 Southern States Recording Trip
(including the two recordings of Booker White while he was in Parchman Farm) -
there's just literally months and months of reading in there. If you want to go
to the source - this is the place to go - actual photos of the original
hand-written documents - I just don't get enough time...
Blues World - check this out! Heaps of
blues links - books, CD's, essays, history, interviews, 78rpm collecting, more,
more, more! This is actually my favourite blues info site.
American Music - this is a
gigantic labour of love by record collector Stefan Wirz - it's easy to miss the
horizontal frame along the top - there's immense amounts of info in there.
Blues Lyrics -
Excellent site with heaps of lyrics from just about everyone - all blues of
course. Jack Dupree, Scrapper Blackwell, Lonnie Johnson etc. as well as some
modern guys like Michael Hill's Blues Mob etc.
Cajun Music mp3 - great site with
whole songs!!! I've met blues fans who "aren't into Cajun music" but I can't
understand why? Especially listen to/download the Nathan Abshire songs on here
FANTASTIC. I'm teaching myself Cajun
accordion at the moment and it's absolutely the hardest instrument I've ever
tried to learn!
History Hotlist - "Everybody want's to know why I sing the blues" B.B. King
- some links to find out why.
Black History Month -
more cool links on the history of the people who created the greatest, most
influential musical style ever.
Born into Slavery - FIRST HAND
(!!!!!!)accounts of slavery from the very cool Library of Congress. (I tried to
put a direct link to the article but it wont let me but you just click on "Born
into Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers Project, 1936 - 1938",
put on some Skip James, Son House, Robert Johnson, Bukka White etc. and have a
read - give you goosebumps.)
The History Of Jim Crow - can
you imagine Skip James, Son House, Charley Patton, Howlin Wolf or Nina Simone
being treated like this when they should have been treated like Luciano
Pavarotti or Paul McCartney?
Negro Holocaust - I know in this country I'm risking accusations of having a
"black arm-band view of history", but I really believe you can't just take the
music and ignore this history - maybe you can if you just listen to it, I don't
know - but as a performer you can't. I really didn't know about some of the
stuff on this site (there's a typo right at the top of the page - it's obviously
meant to say "Lynching and Race Riots in the United States, 1880- 1950" not
"1980-1950). Even worse is this - Without Sanctuary
- literally sickening to look at but essential to our humanity to
try to understand - how this could happen. God I hate to think of people
walking about pretending this didn't happen or wasn't this bad (I don't recommend
children or overly sensitive people to see that).
Lucky Mojo - one of my favourite sites with
LOT'S of interesting (and possibly useful)
information on hoodoo, Red Devil Lye, Hot Foot Powder, mojo hands etc. (in fact
you can buy the afore mentioned products and many more herbs, potions, minerals
etc.) Learn how to lay tricks on people, sell your soul or just get lucky!
Ragtime - Blues - Hot
Piano - Ragtime fans? Heaps and heaps and heaps of info on Jelly Roll
Morton!!! The newspaper articles give a great impression of those times and
places - gig guides from the 1890's !!!
Ray Charles Online! - Brother Ray! The
High Priest! The Genius! Raymond Charles Robinson on line at last! It's like
GOD.com! Actually if you haven't read "Brother Ray" or even if you have, you
MUST READ the autobiography on raycharles.com, REALLY.
Lomax - not an artist primarily but I put him here because he is one of the
most important people in popular music history - It terrifies me to think
what the world would be like if people like Alan Lomax hadn't existed! Be sure
to read the "Saga of a Folksong Hunter" - "When are we going to realize that
the world's richest resource is mankind itself, and that of all his creations,
his culture is the most valuable? And by this I do not mean culture with a
capital "C" - that body of art which the critics have selected out of the
literate traditions of Western Europe - but rather the total accumulation of
man's fantasy and wisdom, taking form as it does in images, tunes, rhythms,
figures of speech, recipes, dances, religious beliefs and ways of making love
that still persist in full vitality in the folk and primitive places of our
Center - I really didn't know where to put this one - the
should-be-more-famous Marc Savoy fits into all of these categories - great
musician, wonderful instrument maker and tireless champion of culture and what I
like to call "folk music". He has done more for Cajun culture and music than
anyone alive. (I would kill to have one of his accordions, I swear I'll get
Nina Simone -
official website - if I could only take albums or an album by one artist to
a desert island that had electricity and a hi-fi system on it I wouldn't have to
even think about who it would be - if I could bring all of Nina's albums that
would be great, otherwise I'll just take one. I think she was the most
complete musician that's ever lived - "My original plan was to be the
first black concert pianist - not a singer - and it never occurred to me that
I'd be playing to audiences that were talking and drinking and carrying on when
I played the piano. So I felt that if they didn't want to listen, they could go
the hell home." Really everyone should listen to a lot of Nina - you don't
have to be a jazz fan or even really a music fan - you just have to have a heart
and a soul.
Louis Jordan - Sadly there was a
time when no one seemed to remember Louis Jordan - he was too entertaining to be
taken seriously by the "blues fans" that were only looking for "Delta Blues" or
"Chicago Blues". Fortunately these days we're all starting to recognize how
complex history and society and culture are and are not so "tunnel eared" if you
know what I mean. Anyhow this is a cool site about Louis Jordan - who was a very
complete entertainer - monster alto sax player, fantastic singer, song-writer,
arranger, band leader, actor, comedian it's all here...
- fab interviews that are really gear! Who isn't a Beatles fan....really? I know some people
say they aren't....these are really cool interviews!
What Goes On - The Beatles
Anomalies Page - a great, great site put together by other people who have
spent YEARS with the headphones on and the LP's, CD's, Videos and DVDs out -
this will get you listening to them all again - if you've stopped! It tells you
where to look for all the gum chewing, talking, funky edits, squeaks, mistakes,
laughing and swearing than went on in almost every Beatles song.
Brian Wilson - official website - great
site with video interviews, slide shows, a great discography etc. etc. Even if
you're not really into the Beach Boys (I'm not particularly), really, really dig
Pet Sounds for proof that Brian Wilson is one of the few true genius' of 20th century
popular music. If you've got two ears (or even one cos it's in mono!), do them a
favour and stick Pet Sounds in there as often as you can.
Cool record labels and shops
Classic Records - OK, I'm not even going
to enter into argument - vinyl is better - music is all about how it
SOUNDS and vinyl sounds better! - if you love sounds, you ought to
check these out - 180 and 200 gram vinyl, from the two track master tapes - look
at the How To Reissue A Record section and see how serious these people are - I
have some of these records and they'll make you cry, they're so beautiful. Check
out "Atomic Basie" the mono version! Get real, get vinyl - get real
Ace Records Home Page
- one of the coolest reissue companies. UK site. Lots of nice box
sets.............mmmmm..........box sets! They've got some GREAT Johnny 'Guitar' Watson stuff and really cool B.B.
King stuff - they're currently reissuing ALL of B.B. King's albums from
Crown records! They SOUND really good too!
Arhoolie - another great record label with
cool blues, cajun, zydeco, field recordings, cool stuff. Great site too with
"Arhoolie" is a "field-holler", the most direct ancestor of the blues.)
JSP records - great label with
CHEAP sets of real good stuff - for example I got the complete Charley Patton
box - everything he ever did, including all of Son House's 1930 recordings, the
Delta Big Four, Edith Johnson, Willie Brown etc. etc. for...actually I can't
remember how cheap it was - but I reckon these are the best value sets you can
get anywhere in the world - check 'em out, especially the "American
Rounder Records -
have a heap of cool Library of Congress recordings and other cool stuff.
Bear Family Records -
interesting German reissue company with some cool stuff - including 9 CD(!) and
3 LP(!) Louis Jordan box set! Check out the 8 CD Fats Domino set! (mostly 1950's stuff)
Document Records - This is
where you go if you want to find anything by someone
vague or little known or if you want to get EVERYTHING by anyone else! Really! Check out "ALBERT AMMONS
1936 ALTERNATE TAKES, RADIO PERFORMANCES, AMMON'S UNISSUED HOME RECORDINGS" (I
didn't know there were any) !!!!! HEAPS AND HEAPS OF
Yazoo Records - great
country/delta blues reissue site - really great! Really the original
cool country blues label.
Legacy Recordings - being a division
of Sony Music it's much easier to order these box sets than some of the above -
lot's of them are on the shelves already - anyhow they're also very cool, they
sound very good, they're often "complete recordings" and they've got good
booklets and stuff. I've got most of them but I gotta get the Louis Armstrong
Stella Guitars - a great site
dedicated to the guitars that every blues guitarist played (at one time or
another) between 1900 and WWII.
Vintage Goya Guitars -
I'm not exactly a Goya fan myself, but Levin originally made the Goya brand
guitars and this site's got some cool, hard to find info on Levin guitars,
including some whole catalogues! I have two Levin archtops, an acoustic and an
electric and they are great guitars (the electric's a 1959 335/M2). If you want
a full body archtop with a carved spruce top for under AU$2000!!! get a Levin!
They look cool too!
Twanger's Paradise - an excellent site with heaps of cool info on Teiscos.
Just about anyone who has been playing guitar for a while started on a Teisco -
mine's an MJ-2 - in fact my first band was (as many people's was) two Teisco's
and drums! They're wonderful guitars and this is a wonderful site - including an
excellent ID parade where you can work out what yours is! My bass
player's guitar had no name on it and mine has an ill fitting (and
blood-drawingly sharp cornered) "Coltone" nameplate - inexplicably stuck
across (not along) the extraordinarily long headstock!
Karl Hofner GmbH & Co KG - I have a "500/1 Vintage 63" bass -
you know the "violin" or "Beatle" bass - now these are really beautiful instruments. The new ones are made
far better than the original 1950's and 60's ones - at the time they had much higher labour costs than a Fender
bass but they were retailing for much less than a Fender - but these new instruments are made of spectacular, solid
flamey maple and spruce and are really artworks as well as tools. And the playability is fantastic because the neck is
thinner than any of my guitars and they have lower tension strings and a shorter scale length - they're so small and light -
I love it - and they have a great tone - it's my favourite instrument I own - check them out.
National guitars - The news that some guys were going to start making
guitars with the National name on them again brought mixed feelings to a lot of vintage National fans (like me) in the
late 1980's - however these guitars have managed to capture all of the magic of the original ones whilst eliminating
some of the problems (like intonation, fit and finish) - I have two National Resophonic guitars and they are both
completely faultless in design, construction, sound and playability. National fans ought to get the
catalogue - it's a COOL booklet with a cool CD, check it out.
Notecannons - the best and biggest collection of
excellent pictures of original old National guitars, ukes etc. - some really
really rare ones here too.
Diamond Bottle Necks -
the Rolls Royce of bottlenecks, made from real bottle necks in England.
(Imperial bottles generally fit much better than metric ones.) They are
cut off of real bottles but they're not like the ones you do at home, they're
properly polished etc. and they come in cool colours!
Rhythm Boards - you
may or may not know that it's very hard to find a washboard for musical purposes
- a lot of people use them decoratively (apparently) and when you find one it's
usually glass which is no good - or zinc which has been rubbed smooth by years
of coarse, old fashioned underwear - this site has got cool washboards with
cowbells, cymbals etc. - I'm gonna order one cos all the thinking's been done
for us! very COOL - the washboard bits are from Columbus Washboards who have been
making washboards since they were cutting edge laundry technology!
Elderly Instruments - very, very cool US
music shop focused on acoustic-ish instruments/accessories etc. - very good
place to find info on equipment - cool photos/descriptions etc. They have a very
tasteful selection of stuff as well as having many things made for them - for example
I get my cobalt plated fingerpicks from here. Great selection of music and DVDs too.
Funk Logic -
way cool studio gear - accurately described as "RACK FILLER
PANELS WITH A BUNCH OF STUFF ALL OVER 'EM"! Check out the Palindrometer -
I'm gonna get one for my home studio.
Hammond organ and vintage keyboard resources
Hammond-Leslie FAQ - HEAPS OF WAY COOL INFO on the KING AND BIG GRAND-DADDY OF ALL
(ELECTRIC) KEYBOARD INSTRUMENTS - history, tech. stuff, mods, tips, links
Tonewheel General Hospital - I can personally
highly recommend this place - I reconed my V21 successfully with parts and info from here (and
I had never messed with the insides of speakers before) - also other parts I've bought
from here have arrived safely, cheaply and promptly - you can't ask for anything more (also
home of The Hammond/Leslie
Age Determination List).
Music - another cool vintage keyboards shop with preamps, kits, gizmos and
parts for Hammonds, Leslies, Rhodes', Wurlitzers etc. etc. - very cool.
Velo-Retro - a fantastic site with Mavic and Campagnolo
timelines, where you can purchase beautiful vintage reproduction Musettes (feed bags) amongst many other wonders -
but especially visit the Velo-Retro links page - I could use that page as my bookmarks folder - or simply refer you
there instead of reading the rest of what I have to say here - it's brilliant!
Speedbicycles - if you took my advice above you would have already found
this site but this is a fantastic collection of detailed photos of some of the most beautiful bicycles ever made, if
you like chromed lugs, pinstriping, external brake cables and beautifully horizontal top tube! Bianchi, Cilo,
Colnago, Masi, Pinarello, Zeus, Gitane, Detto Pietro...a beautiful collection.
Yellow Jersey - a brilliant shop which I wish was on this side
of the globe, almost every time I search for a particular vintage part I come across this lovely shop! Some parts of
the site are out of date (I suspect they're too busy selling and repairing bicycles!), but there are some beautiful
items and useful bits of information here...I need to order some Modolo grips and maybe get some wheels built on
some of their NOS vintage hubs and rims...
Vintage Velos - Wool cycling clothing - I know, even for me
this sounds like I'm being deliberately and masochistically anachronistic - but, while I don't yet own any wool
cycling clothes, I have had woolen long-johns and I have to say that they weren't itchy at all! Apparently wool
breathes better than synthetics and therefore has the potential to be less itchy and smelly than the latest hi-tech
fibres - anyway, wool cycling jerseys have been on the comeback for a while - but these guys have wool NIX
Prendas Ciclismo - more cycling clothes, scroll down to
"Jerseys S-Sleeve", click on "show thumbnails" and check these out! It's presumptuous and pretentious I know but I'm
going to get a Mercier/BP jersey like Raymond Poulidor's! But seriously, the 1950's and 60's jerseys (as with all
forms of advertising) were so elegant and stylish - wearing a 1960's team jersey in 2008 is about as pointless as
playing 1920's boogie-woogie piano or country blues guitar, but it sure is fun!
Velo Orange - a great shop which focuses on the often overlooked world
of the touring cyclist - bags, panniers, baskets, fenders etc. Some really lovely old and new parts here - and
lovely frames and complete bikes too.
Sheldon Brown - Bicycle Technical Information - this is a great resource -
there are links to more links to get as deep as you like into the technical questions around bicycles old and new -
but everything is dealt with from a very practical point of view - stuff that will actually come in useful in the real
world of actually riding a bicycle!
Astronomy Picture Of The Day - since I found this page
some years ago there has literally not been a single day I haven't checked it - plus you can go back
through the archives for years and years...really good.
Solar And Heliospheric Observatory - this is an
amazing site about the most fascinating object in our solar system (okay besides the Earth and it's
passengers) - here you can watch movies and pictures of the sun that were taken sometimes as little as
15 minutes ago - see videos of Coronal Mass Ejections throwing ten billion tons of plasma out at 1000
kilometres per second - or of a comet plunging into the sun and vaporizing - seriously!
STEREO - This is another fantastic site - kamikaze comets,
Mercury, Venus and the our Moon transiting the sun, 3D movies of mass ejections - a film of a mass
ejection blowing a comet's tail off...dig it!
Black Holes by Ted Bunn - I can't
say I'm an expert on black holes but when I'm aware of how much I don't know about something it bugs
me until I can find out more about it - the trouble with black holes is that any serious literature
on the subject assumes you already know what one actually, basically is - and I couldn't get my
head around that until I read this page - it's pretty old now but it's a great explanation of the
basic concept - black holes are not endless vacuum cleaners into another dimension, they're objects
who's diameter and mass mean that their escape velocity is greater than the speed of light - and since
nothing travels faster than light - nothing comes out of a black hole. But it doesn't suck any more in
than any other object of the same mass (although if you watched the videos in the above sites you'll
see that an object the mass of our sun sucks in quite a lot of material!). Those people scared of the
Large Hadron Collider should probably acquaint themselves with these concepts!
From Early Jazz And Blues - one of the strangest sites I've seen (?!!??) The
Very Strangest. (But Cool). This site has some very useful links to jazz and
blues song lyrics as well as where to buy pre-1948 recordings - also there's a
link - in case you miss it - to the VERY detailed and
scholarly Facts on Farts page -
with it's own fascinating and absorbing links! (You thought I had too
much time on my hands!)
Long Island Oddities -
interesting site about "urban exploring" with haunted houses, abandoned asylums,
UFO's etc, with links to a fascinating true story of WWI spy catching at a
Telefunken wireless station, the ruins of which are still there, antique
Telefunken electronics and all!
- exhibition at the Museum Of Science And Industry in Chicago. I don't mean to
appear morbid but this is a really interesting site. Check out the rest of the
museum too - there's an exhibit with Howlin' Wolf's harmonica and Jimmy Reed's
guitar in it.
Wumpus - German Wireless History. Excellent information on the early days of
radio in Germany. If you didn't know, a large part of the circuits and
technology used in every recording studio, radio station and guitar amp was
derived from German research both before, during and after WWII - this is an
excellent outline of the beginnings of that great tradition.
The Moomin Trove - if you don't know the
Moomins you really should read them whatever age you are - written by Finnish
author Tove Jansson in the 1940's - 70's, they are the most achingly beautiful
childrens stories ever written. This site has a massive collection of different
printings and general info on the books - you can still by most of them new
though as well...I think you should.
Car stuff and camera stuff
Grand Prix History -
excellent bios and info on Grand Prix racing from Georges Boillot etc. to Jimmy
Clark etc. with stuff on the Mille Miglia, Targa Florio etc. as well.
Atlas F1 Bulletin Board -
excellent discussions on all kinds of stuff - especially the Nostalgia Forum -
takes up a lot of your time though - if you're into that kind of thing.
Porsche 356 registry - my
favourite car, except for the Volkswagen - some would say it is a
Volkswagen - it's fairly true but I don't think they mean it in a nice way...
Pelican Parts - if
you're a REAL NUT you'll know that even PORSCHE PARTS are cool!
This site has got lot's of good information, articles, pics etc of all the
Golden Era of GP Racing - ridiculous amounts of info on grand prix racing
1934-41 - qualifying times, grids etc. for EVERY race - including the 1937
Australian Grand Prix at Port Elliott!! And
the 1939 Australian Grand Prix at Lobethal!!!
I love it!
Graflex.Org - very cool site about one of the
coolest and certainly easiest to use and cheapest large format cameras you can
get! (Yes, you can still get the film, No it's not too expensive!)
Rollei.html - unofficial
'way cool' site with LOTS of info on Rolleiflex/Rolleicord twin lens cameras -
also lots of links to other Rollei (and "other" brands!) sites.
bolex.co.uk - If two lenses aren't enough,
try three! All about the wonderful Bolex H16 movie camera. I used to have a
beautiful one which I swapped years ago for my first Speed Graphic - I wish I
still had that camera but I couldn't really afford the film...
The Lomographic Society International -
this is a great site dedicated to a nutty Russian camera and the nutty people
who do nutty things with them! There's models with no lens, one, two, four, and
nine lens models! Ones with mirrors, pull cords, rotating bits, clockwork bits -
I love them. It's all about the democratization of Art in that fantastic Russian
way that says it's not a design or construction flaw - it's a creative
opportunity! By the way, I want to clarify for any photographic people out there
- I know these last three links have been about multi-lensed cameras and I want
to explain my reason for this fascination! I love the perversity and slightly
warped common sense that went into the design of them - I mean the Bolex is more
obvious I guess - there was enough room and it certainly saves time changing
lenses for newsreels etc. But the Rolleiflex - I love it - if you're looking
through the lens - where does the film go? You either have a swinging mirror, a
little plastic window that points in the same general direction as the lens - or
you go to all the hassle and expense of putting in another lens with a fixed
mirror, a collapsible metal hood and a ground glass screen - and even then the
picture's back to front! But you get no vibration from the swinging mirror -
it's just my kind of logic - I like to think I would have come up with
Rob and Dave's
Aircooled Volkswagen pages - good site with very useful general information
about fixing, maintaining, tuning bugs and buses - anyone can and probably
should fix their own Volkswagen, except people who don't have Volkswagens.
I'll put more links
here as I go, these are just a few of my favourite things!
I try to check these pretty often
cos I hate dead links - if you're interested enough to click on it it's annoying
if it don't work - but if I miss any please let me know - Also I know there are
sites I haven't mentioned with more lyrics or better pictures or whatever but
I'm only putting links to sites that work and don't have too many ads