Virtual Crate Diggin’: Lenny & the Squigtones Elder Utah Smith
I will rhapsodize about the joys of crate diggin’—going to record stores and searching for hours through boxes, looking for undiscovered gold or rare gems—forever. Same goes for virtual crate diggin’. It’s essentially the same thing, only you can do it in your skivvies, with no time constraints, unlike at brick-and-mortar stores that have things like “regular business hours” and standards of dress. And online, the crates are myriad and deep, especially at WFMU.org, which is like KRCL XXL, an alpha among public/listener-supported radio stations. It’s a music-geek Mecca, if you will.
Many times in my life, I’ve stayed up all night suckin’ down digital music from “Beware of the Blog” (blog.wfmu.org
). It’s also a lot like staying up to listen to The Dr. Demento Show
on Rock 103.5 back in the early-to-mid ’80s, only … XXL. You’re guaranteed to find a slew of rare studio and live recordings by artists you know and love, and acts you’d likely have never discovered otherwise.
Earlier this week, my man Spaff
, a local song-parody lyricist I covered way back when, sent a group text announcing the latest addition to his autographed LP collection: the eponymous (and only) album by Lenny and the Squigtones. A fictional group led by Lenny and Squiggy (Michael McKean and David Lander), the greaser goofballs from the Happy Days
spinoff Laverne & Shirley
. Naturally, since the songs are written and performed comedic actors, they’re funny—but also remarkably faithful to the music of the time. So it’s doubly satisfying as a joke and a time warp. It’s even better when you realize, as most of you will, that McKean is David St. Hubbins from Spinal Tap (and, more recently, Charles “Chuck” McGill on Better Call Saul). The Squigtones also mark the first appearance of one Nigel Tufnel, Tap’s lead guitarist, played by Christopher Guest.
You can download Lenny and the Squigtones here
. Then continue pilfering the WFMU blog’s offerings, as Lenny and Squiggy sing, “Night After Night.” This, despite the blog being shut down for lack of an admin in 2015 (but all links remain live). Here’s something I came across on this particular nocturnal scavenge: a man variously called Elder Utah Smith or Rev. Utah Smith, a gospel blues singer from New Orleans. Check below for a little number from him.
Teasing City Weekly vs. Thunderfist Beer Pong Interview
’s annual Utah Beer Festival is comin’ up, and in addition to the usual cover-package content, the main music feature will be based on a beer pong match/listening party for the new album by Salt Lake City’s titans of debauchery, Thunderfist. And of course, the brew of choice will be a big fat brick of Pabst Blue Ribbon, the domestic pisswater the group lionized in “PBR,” a song that used to be on every T-fist album until those fuckers decided tradition isn’t important. This oughta be fun—er, dangerous.
Thunderfist – “PBR” (from Live at Burt’s)