A companion piece* to "Life Is a Problem," this release on Mississippi Records collects gospel and sanctified blues recorded "between the wars."

V/A- Fight On, Your Time Ain't Long

*EDIT: Mike McGonigal, head YETI and sometimes-collaborator with Mississippi Records, just let us know that, in his mind, Fight On... isn't really a companion to Life is a Problem in that LIAP focuses on under-heard post-war sanctified blues, while Fight On... compiles a more widely available and distinctly tamer set of songs. Additionally, while Mr. McGonigal was deeply involved in the curation of LIAP, Eric and Warren- Mississippi's owners- compiled Fight On... entirely on their own.



A note on the Mississippi Records tape series:

We have several more tapes to upload, but our tape player just quit on us. If we can find them on the 'net, we'll post them here, but it may be a while. In the meantime, we plan to make good on our commitment to post some of Mississippi's hard-to-find LP releases.

MRC-005: We're Gonna Make It Pt. 2
Popular 1960's Soul Music

Side A
The Falcons - Since You’ve Been Gone
Tammy Montgomery - If You Don’t Think
The Ikettes - So Blue
JJ Jackson & The Jackals - Ooh-Ma-Liddi
Betty Lavette - Let Me Down Easy
William Bell - Any Other Way
The Impressions - I’m Loving Nothing
Gino Washington - Around The Town
The Grand Prees - Jungle Fever
Joe Tex - The Love You Save Today

Side B
O.V. Wright - Motherless Child
Nina Simone - Break Down & Let It All Out
Inezz & Charlie Foxx - Broken Hearted Fool
Eddie Floyd - I’ve Just Been Feeling Bad
Garnette Mimms & The Enchanters - Baby Don’t You Weep
James Carr - Dark End Of The Street
Chambers Brothers - I’m So Tired
Wilson Pickett - Teardrops Will Fall
James & Bobby Purify - You Can’t Keep A Good Man Down
Big Maybelle - Heaven Will Welcome You Dr. King

MRC-006: Death Might Be Your Santa Claus
Random 78's recorded between 1903 & 1953 in no particular sequence

Side A
Big Maybelle - That's a Pretty Good Love
Hoagy Carmichael - Hong Kong Blues
Canalejas - Danza Mora
Sister Rosetta Tharpe - Didn't It Rain?
Bo Diddley - She's Fine, She's Mine
Big Mama Throton - I Smell a Rat
Hank Williams - Please Don't Let Me Love You
Hada Brooks - The Man I Love
Two Gospel Keys - Can't No Grave Hold My Body Down
Angelillo - Bulerias
Glacier Park Indians - Medicine Song

Side B
Roy Smeck - Lil' Grass Shack
Bobettes - Look at the Stars
The Soul Stirrers - Pilgrim of Sorrow
Dixie Hummingbirds - What Are They Doing in Heaven Today?
Billie Holiday - Gloomy Sunday
Stuff Smith & His Onyx Boys - Ain't No Use
Rose Murphy (the Chi-Chi Girl) - I Can't Give You Anything But Love
Canaries With Organ - La Poloma
? - Chinese Opera Song
John Jacob Niles - Lulle Lullaby
Pale N. Lua - The Rosary



It's no secret that we're big fans of Titus Andronicus (full disclosure: we released their debut 7"). Last time they were in Chicago, frontman Patrick Stickles kept whipping out his video camera, insisting the band was working on a legit film project. It turns out he wasn't totally full of shit, as New Jersey's favorite suns have posted a trailer to their forthcoming web series, "Absolute Zero."

For your pleasure:



The kinetic sculptures of Theo Jansen.

via Strandbeest



Anna Ives, adorable daughter of our friend Zac (co-head of GONER Records), needs your help. From Goner:

Goner owner Zac Ives' little girl, Anna, has been undergoing treatment for cancer during the
past two years. She's been through quite a lot, but she's been a trooper and unimaginably strong, charming everyone who has met her with unwavering cheer.
Anna has been through her second surgery and is undergoing radiation treatment, which will mean the whole family will be staying 8 weeks in Boston.

We are auctioning off items to help offset expenses.

For more information, please go to http://www.goner-records.com/AnnaIvesAuctions

And don't forget the Anna Ives Vs Cancer Benefit Concert Thursday, January 29 at the Hi Tone!

with Harlan T Bobo, John Paul Keith & 145s, and Jack Oblivian & The Tearjerkers. Short Sets, rotating all night!

Auctions are live now and will run through February 2nd. Bid early, bid often!


A mesmerizing record of Congolese pop-Gospel, ca. 1970-1980. Out now on Mississippi Records.

Spiritual Singers: Ntsamina



On a recent trip to San Francisco, we were turned on to a digestif called Underberg. Light, herby and vaguely medicinal, Underberg is Germany's version of the amari found throughout Italy. Reputed to cure a wide variety of ailments, amari are typically consumed before or after a meal or to assuage a hangover; or in the case of Underberg, to drive away hallucinations and nightmares.

If only all advertising was so compelling.



As promised...

MRC-003: We're Gonna Make It Pt. 1
Early Soul

Side A
The Mask Man & The Agents - The World Is A Cafeteria
The Electrodes - Go Away
Edyth Alexander - My Dearest DArling
Dorothy Prince - Seek & Ye’ Shall Find
The Dynamics - Misery
The Ikettes - Here’s Your Heart
Betty Levette - You Killed The Love
Pearl Woods & The Gems - Think Of Poor Me
Sam Cooke - (Somebody) Ease My Troublin’ Mind
Beverly Ann Gibson - Love’s Burning Fire
Chris Kenner - Time

Side B
O.V. Wright - Everybody Knows
Jesse James - I’m Alright
Mack Rice - I’m Coming Home
Fred Parris & The Restless Hearts - Walk A Little Faster
Jackie & The Starlites - You Put One Over On Me
Aaron Neville -How Could I Help But Love You?
James Carr - These Aint Raindrops
Amos Milburn - Gloria
Slim & Ann - I Submit To You
Bessie Banks - Go Now
The Mighty Hannibal - We’re Gonna Make It

MRC-004: Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven, But Nobody Wants to Die Pt. 1

Side A
The Staple Singers - Hear My Call
Lightnin’ Hopkins - Needed Time
Swanee Quintet - Sit Down Servant
R.H. Harris - Someday
Dixie hummingbirds - Testimonial
Mahalia Jackson - My Story
Pilgrim Travellers - Come On Home
Swan Silverstones - My Rock
Gospel Seekers - Why Am I Treated So Bad
Dora Alexander - Russia, Leave God’s Moon Alone / Times Done Changed

Side B
Utah Smith - Two Wings
Highway QC’s - Way Up The Hill
Soul Sisters - One More River To Cross
Spirit Of Memphis Quartet - If I Should Miss Heaven
Nancy Dupree & The Ghetto Reality Youngsters - Dr. King
Sister Rosetta Tharpe - Jericho
The Harmonizing Four - All Things Are Possible
Rev. Louis Overstreet & His Four Sons - Holiness Dance


We just got back from a month-long holiday in Portland. While there, we picked up the first 8 installments of Mississippi Records' new mix-tape series. Eric Isaacson- shop owner, label head, and tape maker- gets pretty loosey-goosey with these things, and gives his curatorial muscles plenty of creative breathing room. Below are the first two tapes, with scans dutifully swiped from Root Blog. As soon as we re-set up our own hi-fi, we'll get subsequent volumes up as well, along with some of Mississippi's LP-only releases.

MRC-001: House Of Broken Hearts Pt. 1
Early R&B, Doo Wop, Rockabilly & Instrumentals

Side A
The Counts - Enchanted Sea
Sonny Day - Beyond The Shadow Of A Doubt
The Versatones - Bila
The Saxons - Camel Walk (Part 1)
Vernon Green & The Phantoms - Sweet Breeze
Noland Strong & The Diablos - The Wind
The Vitones - The Storm (So Blue)
Maurice Williams & The Zodiacs - The Winds
The Sound Offs - The Angry Desert
Wanda Jackson - Funnel Of Love
Maylon Humphries - Weep No More
Hasil Adkins - By The Lonesome River

Side B
Art Neville - Arabian Love Call
The Neptunes - House of Heart Ache
Roy Junior - Victim Of Circumstances
Dee Clark - Blues, Get Off Of My Shoulder
Buddy Knox - I Think I’m Gonna Kill Myself
Donald Woods & The Vel-Airs - Death Of An Angel
Link Wray - Facing All The Same Tomorrows
Slim & Ann - I Just Can’t Stay Away
Charlie Feathers - The MAn In Love
Bo Diddley - The Great Grand Father
The Chell-Mars - Roamin’ Heart

MRC-002: House Of Broken Hearts Pt. 2
Early R&B, Doo Wop, Rockabilly & Instrumentals

Side A
Bunker Hill - Hide & Go See Pt.1
Blue Gene Vincent - My Love (In Love Again)
Joey Reynolds - Endless Sleep
The Saxons - Camel Walk (Part 2)
Screamin’ Joe McNeal - Don’t Quit Me Baby
Jackie & The Starlight’s - I’m Coming Home
Carl Perkins - Her Love Rubbed Off
Dave “Diddle” Day - Blue Moon Baby
Chris Jensen - Torture
Hasil Adkins - I’m Happy
Santo & Johnny - Slave Girl
Ernie K. Doe -Reapin’ What I Sow

Side B
Bo Diddley - Down Home Special
Dale Hawkins - Everglades
The Ventures - Fear
Ricky Nelson - Lonesome Town
Jackie Lee Cochran - Georgia Lee Brown
Tyrone Schmidling - You’re Gone I’m Left
The Phantom - Love Me
Screamin’ Jay Hawkings - I Hear Voices
Peggy Lee - Is That All There Is?
Holly Golightly - There Is An End



The great Joe Tex in 1966.

King Floyd- Handle Me With Care



Denise LaSalle - One Little Thing

I've been loving this song, the b-side to Denise LaSalle's first single, "A Love Reputation", on Billy "the Kid" Emerson's Tarpon label.

Denise LaSalle - A Love Reputation

Emerson recycled an existing backing track from an earlier (and totally inferior) recording by Carol Vega, replacing the double tracked vocal with LaSalle's effortless delivery.

Carol Vega - One Little Thing

Where Vega's coquettish phrasing makes the organ and woozy guitar sound kind of annoying and cute, LaSalle's voice fills the whole arrangement, giving space & drama and against the odds lines like "one little kiss from you started an avalanche" come off feeling real and palpable. There's something about a voice like LaSalle's-- big & capable of the awesome-- singing small, sort of foolish songs that just slays me. Limitations of form or something? Best not to think.

Another recent favorite is Archie & Al Perkins' "You Can Belong to Someone," an answer to the Impressions' "I Need to Belong to Someone." The original is a bit of a poor man's "People Get Ready" (a monster by any non-Curtis standard) but the Perkins' traded verses take the song into realms of the infinite. Moment: "Stop CRYIIING like a motherless child"

Archie & Al Perkins - You Can Belong to Someone

The Impressions - I Need to Belong to Someone

While Perkins was a radio personality of some renown, his musical talents were apparently up for debate. In Chicago Soul by Richard Pruter, none other than Denise LaSalle recounts:

"Al Perkins, a famous disc jockey that was killed in [Detroit in 1983], was a good friend of mine. He couldn't sing that well, couldn't keep time with the music. Al went down to Willie Mitchell's studio and cut a smash hit. So I said, 'If this man can make Al sound that good that's where I'm going."



Patrick McGoohan, star of our favorite 1960's tee-vee freakout (The Prisoner) has died. Like a proto-Gilliam fever dream, The Prisoner injects elements of surrealism, sci-fi, allegory and spy-action into a wholly singular vision of dystopia. At once silly and deadly serious, The Prisoner's gleeful opposition to mainstream squaredom is one of the few messages generated by 60's-era mass media that actually feels a little earnest. The show also inspired one of the best episodes of The Simpsons ever, on which McGoohan guest-stars as Number 6 and Homer is repeatedly gassed by a menacing, psychedelic koala.

As played by McGoohan, Number 6 is all lantern-jawed outrage, refusing to accept that a man might be reduced to just a number. His constant challenges to the authorities of "the Village" say more about individuality and resistance to assimilation than Abbie Hoffman ever could. Snappy dresser, too.

Be seeing you, Number 6.


The new Dan Clowes looks only so-so.



via garance doré

A Frenchman in sneakers is like a Frenchman singing rock and roll. Certain things simply weren't meant to be. They get high fashion, flake pastries, and sensual masculinity, but bad taste is all ours.



The Carter Family - Will You Miss Me When I'm Gone (1928)

Woody Guthrie - Will You Miss Me When I'm Gone with Sonny Terry, Leadbelly, Cisco Houston and Bess Hawes (Alan Lomax's sister).

The Carter Family - Can the Circle Be Unbroken (1933)

Ken Parker - Will the Circle Be Unbroken
From Keep Your Eyes on Jesus, an album of gospel released on Tabernacle, a Studio One subsidiary.

Pentangle performing "Will the Circle Be Unbroken", from a French television special.

The Carter Family - Wildwood Flower (1928)

Bob Dylan and the Band - Wildwood Flower
From the Genuine Basement Tapes.

Kilby Snow - Wildwood Flower

The Carter Family - Cannonball (1930)
The first Carter Family recording with AP taking solo lead.

The Carter Family - Cannon Ball Blues

Townes Van Zandt - Cannon Ball Blues
From Live at the Jester Lounge, Texas 1966

Here is a clip of Sara & Maybelle performing "Cannon Ball Blues" in 1966. After Sara came out of retirement to record An Historic Reunion, with her son Joe stepping in for the deceased AP, Maybelle coaxed her into playing some live engagements to promote the record. Allegedly, they were headed to their car after a performance when John Cohen asked if he could film them playing a few songs.

The second song, Sweet Fern, is here.