NORTON RECORDS 25th ANNIVERSARY: Day 3

Saturday night. Minds were blown. At least, mine was. Not to sound like a cop-out, but for the one of you actually reading this blog on a semi-regular basis, I got the idea that you probably don't need seventeen paragraphs of philosophy. If you did you'd go to grad school. So I'll do what I can to be brief.

Here is the Norton Records 25th Anniversary theme song: JJ Jackson's "OO MA LIDDY". By the third or fourth time I heard this record in between sets, it started to stand out as an obvious DJ favorite. Were there others I didn't notice? Possibly, but this song will now always remind me of these fabulous four days in New York.

Saturday was so much fun, I got sick. Saturday. Saturnalia. The Nortones by day 3 had found their groove and achieved full sloppy appeal. Brooklyn's Daddy Long Legs were next, purveying a cruder, lower-fi Legendary Shack Shakers (who are an excellent live band) or perhaps Link Wray of the "Hidden Charms" style of Link Wray. They were joined by Cyril Jordan and Roy Loney of the Flamin' Groovies. I think I would have fainted if that had been my band.

I didn't imagine that The Hentchmen, a Detroit band I have seen many times and (I admit) take for granted a little would be one of the highlights of the ball. I heard they were a little nervous before they went on. Nervous! I can't say they stole the show that night entirely, because Luis & the Wildfires were also great, but they were great. Did going on early enough not to be drunk yet have anything to do with it?

The South Bay Surfers are said to be the West Coast's answer to King Uszniewicz & the U-tones. Someone please tell me if these bands suck out loud (in a good way) on purpose. I'm definitely not in on the joke...or maybe I am! Russell Quan played drums and at one point during their set, the singer/sax player turned around and told him he had to follow along with the rest of the totally dysfunctional band.

WCBN's rockabilly DJ shared Luis & the Wildfires' new album "Heart Shaped Noose" with me a few months ago and I was on the fence. That neo-rockabilly scene occupies a grey area between sorta cool and really corny as far as I am concerned. Robbie Fulks sums it up pretty well with this song. Chances are if someone raves about how "authentic" one of these bands is, they spend more time on their costumes than on the music. Luis & the Wildfires, thankfully, turned out to be a fantastic live band. I don't think I was the only one thusly impressed: later on at the bar, as I tugged on Luis's coatsleeve to compliment him on an awesome set, several other drunk boys & girls were doing the same. He very graciously thanked us all and called all the girls nice things like "honey" and "beautiful."

Saturday night was the only night I drank more than my share of beer. By this time I was half in the bag. I'm pretty sure that Untamed Youth and Randy Fuller Four with Deke Dickerson were great, but this is the part where you might want to look at the Youtube videos. The last act was ? and the Mysterians. I was that drunk lady next to you singing along too loud with "Be My Baby" which I am certain they played twice. We didn't get home til about 5am, but that is partly because I refused to take a cab and spent an hour and a half on the subway. Bad move.

Damn. Still not brief enough.

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