Thursday, January 26, 2006

The 10

"Snuff Juice Everywhere" edition

1. "Dark as the Dungeon," Johnny Cash
2. "You Won't Be Satisfied That Way," Bill Monroe
3. "Annie," Elastica
4. "Stephanie Says," Velvet Underground
5. "I'm Not Angry," Elvis Costello
6. "What is this Feeling," Al Green
7. "Wang Dang Doodle," Howlin' Wolf
8. "Two Janes," Los Lobos
9. "My Heart ," Louis Armstrong
10. "Harry, You're a Beast," Mothers of Invention

Another mostly retro list.

"Wang Dang Doodle" is about my favorite Howlin' Wolf song. Not that it's a great song. It's a lightweight party anthem, the sort of Wille Dixon fluff that Wolf hated being forced to record. In lesser hands it would have been instantly forgettable. But Howlin' Wolf seems to channel years of frustration at not being allowed to record his own material. He spits out the guest list and describes the festivities with such menace and foreboding, you just know something terribly bad will happen to someone before the night is over. And that everyone it didn't happen to won't care much because, after all, he probably had it coming and that stain on the floor will wear off eventually, and besides the joint was rockin'. And your gut tells you that Wolf knows all that, yet growls out his invitation to a doomed evening with remorseless glee. Anyone can make "Forty-Four" or "How Many More Years" sound scary. Doing it with a mindless jukebox number like Wang Dang Doodle shines a different light on Wolf's genius.


grandpaboy said...

How do you like Koko Taylor's "Wang Dang Doodle?" I think there's a lot of menace and frivolity together.