Music

Arthur Alexander Proclaims, "(She Got Me) Wang Dang Doodle"! (premiere)

Jedd Beaudoin
Photo: Jeremy White / Courtesy of Pavement PR

Former Poppees/Sorrows man Arthur Alexander emerges with first-ever solo album, One Bar Left and corker of a new single.

Arthur Alexander has done a lot of things. He left his native Poland with rock 'n' roll dreams, landed in the U.S. just in time to form the power pop princes, the Poppees, just as Max's Kansas City, CBGB and Bomp! Records synergized and launched an underground music revolution. By the close of the 1970s, Alexander had left the Poppees and formed Sorrows. That outfit secured a deal with CBS and released two LPs for CBS, including the 1980 gem Teenage Heartbreak. When Sorrows split, Alexander hightailed it to Los Angeles and spent his days producing younger bands. What he had never done, in all that time, was release a solo album. But faster than you can dzień dobry, that he's remedied that with his solo debut, One Bar Left, due out 4 May.

The single "(She Got Me) Wang Dang Doodle" arrives just ahead of the LP and suggests that the wait has been more than worth it. With thunder/clatter/boom/boom/boom beat and psychedelic guitar hook, the track is as heavy as anything Jack White has ever tried, hookier than a body suspension convention. It's melodic, driving and remarkably youthful sounding, more energetic, in fact, than anything you've heard in the last three days, let alone what's residing at or near the top of whatever charts matter these days.

If there were still something called rock 'n' roll stardom this'd surely catapult Alexander there, though a lack of neon signs and rhinestone boots hardly seems reason enough to prevent him from giving this the ol' college try. The rest of the album promises to be as sharp, driven and focused as this track and that alone seems reason enough to sit up and take notice of a master musician who still has passion and fire in deep reserve.

Speaking about the new single, Alexander said, "This one started as a complete fluke. I had just bought my 12-string Rickenbacker guitar and had it sent to Phoenix instead of L.A., because I was there, producing an artist. The guitar came in and was immediately pressed into service on a spontaneous jam. Literally, within minutes of the guitar being in my hands, I came up with the intro riff and the main instrumental hook, just as you hear it here, and then we just jammed, with me singing, mumbling some incoherent sounds to make up the 'lyrics.' Part of that mumble that came to my head on the fly was 'wow, wow. Woooow, she got me sooooo….' Got me soooo… what?!... Ummm…. Ummm. 'Wang dang doodle' just popped into my head, probably 'cause it worked with the timing and phrasing of what I was doing. Thank you, Howlin' Wolf, for the inspiration. You're still the greatest in my book! I finished the song back in L.A., but that's how it all started."

However he got to the hook, line and sinker of this song, we can rest assured that we'll keep pitching it all night long.

Arthur Alexander's One Bar Left will be released 4 May on vinyl, CD, digital and streaming formats via Dead Beat Records. Limited edition red vinyl, black vinyl and CD may be ordered here. The album may also be purchased via iTunes.

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