Archive for November, 2007


Little Feat “Waiting For Columbus”

This is a live album from 1978, again with a Neon Park cover, this one is a woman with a tomato head in a hammock, and it’s pretty great. A lot of what’s bad about this record, though, is the same as what is bad about all the live records of the 1970s– long stretches of loving applause and then someone in the band saying something inane like, “You people are crazy. ” It’s embarrassing.

What’s best on this record is once in awhile they get into a real groove that you don’t hear on the studio stuff. What’s worst about it is Bill Payne going into wankyland with his synthesizers– just the kind of stuff you wish you never had to hear. Somehow I can forgive Garth Hudson for coming up with the same sounds, maybe just because it’s better– but that is still The Band at their worst. But this stuff– it makes a lot of the album unlistenable, or is at best,  boring.

The song “Willin’,” which I believe is from their first record, is the high point for me.


Little Feat “Feats Don’t Fail Me Now”

Way to take a bad pun one step further! This 1974 record isn’t as good as their previous one, and the cover, again by Neon Park, isn’t as good either. But this is the first Little Feat record I heard (recommended by Tommy Strange’s older brother) and the only one I heard for awhile. It’s got some real crap on it, with Bill Payne already pretty much ruining the band with his synthesizer– but I’ve kept this record all these years and still put it on just for a few songs, such as “Cold Cold Cold,” and most significantly “Rock’n’Roll Doctor,” which is really a pretty great song.


Little Feat “Dixie Chicken”

This is a band that I’m always kind of drawn to even though I hate them– or maybe I like them, but I’m constantly repulsed– I don’t know. Anyway, this 1973 album is the best one of theirs I’ve heard– it’s a pretty solid record. At first I was totally repulsed by the cover, by “Neon Park”, but the more I look at it, the more I like it. It looks like a folk art painting– it’s a woman with a really long accordion. It makes no sense.

The one thing I really like about this band is that no one overplays, and the one thing I don’t like about them is that the keyboard player, Bill Payne, overplays more and more. Not so much on this record, but you can hear it starting. I always think of Little Feat as Lowell George’s band– whether or not that is true, I don’t know– but I like his singing and I can sense his presence. He was a large man, I think, and he died fairly young.

My favorite songs on this record are “Dixie Chicken,” “Two Trains” (a good train song!), “Walkin’ All Night” (great bass part), “On Your Way Down,” “Fat Man In The Bathtub,” “Juliette,” and “Lafayette Railroad” (another good train song!) That’s two good train songs on one record! That must be some kind of a record!

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November 2007