Our friends in Blackwater Jukebox have a couple of new things: a new video, for Hangman Two-Step, which you can watch below, and also a new website. Hangman Two-Step purports to hail from Australia’s Barossa Valley, acquired during an encounter with Lazarous Scamp and the Bear Tribe Boys. I like it because every time I listen to it I remember the first time I heard it: standing on a freezing train platform in Newark, NJ, watching rats scuttle over the tracks, and possessed by a spike of joy of the kind that causes one to do things like abandon pastries and dance in public. As for the video, it is a fine piece of work by Kenji Christopher Green, even if that rope around Geordie’s neck makes me nervous every time the camera pans over it.
Dearest readers, Blackwater Jukebox (Geordie McElroy and a legion of talented friends) has put out a new, self-titled record, and it is packed full of foot stomping, hip-shaking, grab-your-partner-and-swing-em-around tunes. Some are remixed versions of material from Sleaze of the Reaper and Banjos and Breakbeats; others are new. But they are all great, and worth your time. To whet your appetite, here is Cleo May, a new tune which I like a lot: Blackwater Jukebox by Blackwater Jukebox And also the video for Eastside Girl, featuring Sadie D’Marquez and, you guys, I love it so much I wish I could teleport myself inside it, so I could dance along with the crowd.
Geordie McElroy of Blackwater Jukebox is one of my all-time favorite storytellers, and I am super excited to report he has gathered up some of his best tales of ethnomusicology derring-do – previously published in Schlock! webzine – and made them into a book called Song Catcher: Adventures of Blackwater Jukebox. You can read a sample on the Blackwater Jukebox website. The book will be available as a free download from Amazon today (January 16) through Saturday (January 18) so be sure to go over and get a copy.
For all of your Halloween party / waiting for trick-or-treaters / quiet evening at home with zombie movie needs: the latest from NTSIB favorites Blackwater Jukebox. I suggest you download it – it’s free! – and then crank it up. Some of my favorites include Black Rain, from the Restricted Archives of the Smithsonian: Black Rain by Blackwater Jukebox And also Harvest Tarantella from the Sicilian highlands: Harvest Tarantella by Blackwater Jukebox
It’s a simple yet sublime pleasure, and just thinking about it can make you feel a little calmer, a little more content. Imagine: You bring out one of the good rocks glasses (or your favorite mug or a special occasion tea cup) and pour a couple fingers of amber liquid (or something dark and strong or just some whole milk). You drop the needle on the jazz platter (or pull up a blues album on your mp3 player or dig out that mixtape from college). Ensconcing yourself in the coziest seat in the house, you crack the spine on a classic (or find your place in that sci-fi paperback or pull up a biography on your e-book reader). And then, you go away for a while. Ah, bliss. In this series, some of NTSIB’s friends share beloved albums, books and drinks to recommend or inspire. We hold a special place in our hearts for Blackwater Jukebox around here. Partially because, while my co-blogger Jennifer and I are often at odds in our musical tastes, we are both enthusiastic about the synthesis of old and new, dance and hip hop churned up with folk and blues, produced by Blackwater … Continue reading
And for Thursday, banjos, breakbeats and blasts from the past, from Blackwater Jukebox. What was I just saying about old friends in new clothes? Or in some cases old acquaintances; I have to confess I came to appreciate New Wave in general and Depeche Mode in particular only later in life. Beck, on the other hand, I loved at first listen. Two songs for flavor; get the rest of them here. Depeche Motherfucker – Blackwater Jukebox by Blackwater Jukebox Queen of the Nightmare Hippies – Blackwater Jukebox by Blackwater Jukebox
Blackwater Jukebox, aka Geordie McElroy, originally from Queens, NY but now based in Los Angeles, is the fourth member of a (so far) very exclusive club: bands whose music April and I both like. (Other members: The Felice Brothers, AA Bondy, and We See Lights.) I won the virtual game of Rock-Paper-Scissors this time, and thus got to sit down with Mr. McElroy for a virtual chat about his tunes and his very diverse resume: he has been a bus driver, a taxidermist’s apprentice, a deejay in Vermont and a field music archivist for the Library of Congress and private collectors. In the spirit of fair warning: I use way too many exclamation points and there is some discussion of dead bobcats. So I’ve read your bio, and my first response is HI I AM AN ARCHIVIST TOO!!! (I am, for real, that is my day job!!) Amazing that you are an archivist! I don’t know what gave you the bug, but for me the turning point was the discovery of Alan Lomax (and all his associated acts/performers – especially Leadbelly). I fell head over heels and knew that’s what I was supposed to be doing with my life – … Continue reading