Saturday, May 19, 2007

Egyptian Shumba-The Tammys


I had been bored, drinking, and watching Red River on public television with the sound off. John Wayne with his big shifting haunches sauntered across the screen looking not unlike a badly hidden transvestite was pitted against his Oedipal foil, the gaunt-faced Montgomery Clift. I did not much like the movie so I put music on.

A song came on that I had never heard before. It sounded vaguely like French pop with its scatter-brained, circus clarinet and its heavy-footed thudding drums. French pop though, is almost always impeccably recorded, and this was mixed so far out of balance that the vocals were so loud and in front of the music, as to almost blossom into distorted fuzz. The trio punctuated their lines with shimmy shimmies, and delivered their lines in English: “Last night I dreamed I was on the Nile, Dancing with you Egyptian Style.”

The first verse magically collapsed into an entropic chaos of blood curdling feminine screams and jungle howls that reminded me of an Alex Chilton breakdown or a Guitar Slim freaked out solo; Judy Henske came to mind, as did Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Skip Spence, and possibly Little Richard.

It was almost deranged in its off the rails goofy magic. I am in love with the Tammys.



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