Lagniappe (la ·gniappe) noun ‘lan-ˌyap,’ — 1. An extra or unexpected gift or benefit. 2. Something given or obtained as a gratuity or bonus.
Whether recording as Wooden Wand, under his own name or with others, I’ve long made a point to keep up with most everything James Jackson Toth has a hand in. Next week sees the release of the deluxe edition of Wooden Wand’s 2011 Briarwood LP, supplemented with 8 stripped down corresponding demos of songs from the original release. In Toth’s own words, “the demos are the grimoire.” Here, on the eighth installment of the Lagniappe Sessions, Toth pays tribute to Jonathan Richman and Born Against. Toth, in his own words, below…
Wooden Wand :: Mary And Child (Born Against)
When I was 16, Sam McPheeters was my hero. I still follow his stuff – I’m going to Cincinnati to see him read from his book this very weekend, as a matter of fact. Born Against is my second favorite punk band of all time (after Black Flag, natch, though I’d much rather hang out with Sam McPheeters than Greg Ginn, and Born Against wrote ((much??)) better lyrics). “Mary and Child” is one of the most lyrically strong, eloquently caustic, and perfect punk songs ever written. Since reproductive rights remain a hot button issue in America, this song is, tragically and inexplicably, still pretty timely.
Wooden Wand :: Fly Into The Mystery (Jonathan Richman)
Of course I have loved the Modern Lovers s/t album and the Kim Fowley-produced The Original Modern Lovers LP since I heard them way back when, but it took an episode of Ken Katkin’s terrific radio show Trash Flow Radio to draw my attention to this outtake from the Fowley sessions. I guess Jonathan Richman recorded this song again years later, on the not-so-good Rock and Roll with the Modern Lovers LP (I’m told the album has its supporters), and Luna actually recorded a pretty awesome version as well, but this early bootleg-only version I heard on Ken’s show is the one I covered here. Thanks Ken!