Music

Various Artists: Boddie Recording Company: Cleveland, Ohio

A.C. Jones and the Atomic Aces

The Numero Group goes to Cleveland, finds true DIY gems.


Various Artists

Boddie Recording Company: Cleveland, Ohio

Label: Numero Group
US Release Date: 2011-11-22
UK Release Date: 2011-11-22
Amazon
iTunes

The lovable lot at the Numero Group is at it again with another layer of American obscurity that will leave your jaw dropped and your ears hungry for more. The time is 1958 to 1993, the place is 12202 Union Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio, home of the Boddie Recording Company, which issued nearly 300 LPs and 45s in its impressive run. Additionally there were more than a million hand-pressed records, 10,000 hours of tape and a whole lot of blood, sweat, and grooves.

The fine peeps at the Numero Group remind us that DIY is not now nor was it ever merely the province of punk and indie rawk. Thomas and Louise Boddie were the owners who spent virtually every waking moment churning out more homemade product for a small but respectable public. This three-disc collection is the result of a covenant 'twixt Louise Boddie and the Numero Group. The collection focuses on three imprints -- Thomas Boddie’s Soul Kitchen, Luau, and Bounty, and the variety of artists who graced their recordings.

As with past Numero releases, including Smart’s Palace, commemorating a Wichita, Kansas label and boutique, as well as a collection for the Tragar and Note labels, this package is as memorable for the unbridled works of genius it brings to light as for the sheer oddities, eccentricities and impressive flops. As you might expect, the Boddie collection demonstrates that despite having emerged from a secondary market the music from Cleveland -- regardless of genre -- retained a distinctive and remarkable flavor.

"World of Soul" from Chantells comes off as the closest thing to a Motown ripoff -- the Gordy-esque drums and rubbery reverb are the key indicators, while the canned audience noises mark it as a decidedly independent production. But even that offers something more than average, a decidedly ragged but determined character that makes this box -- and that tune in particular -- a real joy to find.

Some of the more impressive material comes from the gospel corner of the label. The Reverend R.L. Hubbard’s "Child of the King" somehow manages to marry psychedelic sounds, reggae, soul to heavenly music in a fashion that is most unsettling and most original. Juanita Ellis’s "Make A Joyful Noise" is eerie, martial and heavier than most heavy rock albums of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. Harvey And The Phenomenals’ "Darlene" is inexplicably weird and tuneful, replete with basketball court reverb and sax work that recalls King Curtis at his best. There’s also the heavy soul of Creations Unlimited with the unbelievably heavy "Chrystal Illusion" (Dig that spelling, man!) and the Latin-tinged "The Players" from Inter-Circle.

The more inexplicable tunes stick out -- for the better. "Monkey Hips and Yice" from Little Anthony Mitchell & The Modern Detergents might have been utterly forgettable had it been exposed to a larger audience but here it’s in imaginary #1 record from yesteryear.

Hats off to the Numero gang for unearthing these gems and to Louise Boddie for opening her vault and her heart to them. The music here is outta sight and the archival images are wonders to be held as well.

8

The year in song reflected the state of the world around us. Here are the 70 songs that spoke to us this year.

70. The Horrors - "Machine"

On their fifth album V, the Horrors expand on the bright, psychedelic territory they explored with Luminous, anchoring the ten new tracks with retro synths and guitar fuzz freakouts. "Machine" is the delicious outlier and the most vitriolic cut on the record, with Faris Badwan belting out accusations to the song's subject, who may even be us. The concept of alienation is nothing new, but here the Brits incorporate a beautiful metaphor of an insect trapped in amber as an illustration of the human caught within modernity. Whether our trappings are technological, psychological, or something else entirely makes the statement all the more chilling. - Tristan Kneschke

Keep reading... Show less

This has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it.

It hardly needs to be said that the last 12 months haven't been everyone's favorite, but it does deserve to be noted that 2017 has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it. Other longtime dreamers either reappeared or kept up their recent hot streaks, and a number of relative newcomers established their place in what has become one of the more robust rock subgenre subcultures out there.

Keep reading... Show less
Theatre

​'The Ferryman': Ephemeral Ideas, Eternal Tragedies

The current cast of The Ferryman in London's West End. Photo by Johan Persson. (Courtesy of The Corner Shop)

Staggeringly multi-layered, dangerously fast-paced and rich in characterizations, dialogue and context, Jez Butterworth's new hit about a family during the time of Ireland's the Troubles leaves the audience breathless, sweaty and tearful, in a nightmarish, dry-heaving haze.

"Vanishing. It's a powerful word, that"

Northern Ireland, Rural Derry, 1981, nighttime. The local ringleader of the Irish Republican Army gun-toting comrades ambushes a priest and tells him that the body of one Seamus Carney has been recovered. It is said that the man had spent a full ten years rotting in a bog. The IRA gunslinger, Muldoon, orders the priest to arrange for the Carney family not to utter a word of what had happened to the wretched man.

Keep reading... Show less
10

Aaron Sorkin's real-life twister about Molly Bloom, an Olympic skier turned high-stakes poker wrangler, is scorchingly fun but never takes its heroine as seriously as the men.

Chances are, we will never see a heartwarming Aaron Sorkin movie about somebody with a learning disability or severe handicap they had to overcome. This is for the best. The most caffeinated major American screenwriter, Sorkin only seems to find his voice when inhabiting a frantically energetic persona whose thoughts outrun their ability to verbalize and emote them. The start of his latest movie, Molly's Game, is so resolutely Sorkin-esque that it's almost a self-parody. Only this time, like most of his better work, it's based on a true story.

Keep reading... Show less
7

There's something characteristically English about the Royal Society, whereby strangers gather under the aegis of some shared interest to read, study, and form friendships and in which they are implicitly agreed to exist insulated and apart from political differences.

There is an amusing detail in The Curious World of Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn that is emblematic of the kind of intellectual passions that animated the educated elite of late 17th-century England. We learn that Henry Oldenburg, the first secretary of the Royal Society, had for many years carried on a bitter dispute with Robert Hooke, one of the great polymaths of the era whose name still appears to students of physics and biology. Was the root of their quarrel a personality clash, was it over money or property, over love, ego, values? Something simple and recognizable? The precise source of their conflict was none of the above exactly but is nevertheless revealing of a specific early modern English context: They were in dispute, Margaret Willes writes, "over the development of the balance-spring regulator watch mechanism."

Keep reading... Show less
8
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.

rating-image