City Slang: “Ultraglide in Black” revisited

Feb 1, 2012 at 7:48 am

By now you should have seen the lineup for Blowout 15. If not, take a look. Last week’s Revisited, on the Sights’ debut album, was due to Eddie Baranek’s band’s appearance at this year’s festival. That will be an ongoing Revisited theme up until the week of Blowout. This week, the Dirtbombs.

It’s kind of hard to pick a Dirtbombs album to go back to because, 1) they’re all great, 2) the band was originally intended to be a singles group, and 3) the albums always have different themes focusing on the different sides of the band. ‘98’s Horndog Fest, for example, is very much a punk record.

Ultraglide in Black, released three years later, is a very different thing. It was an interesting time for the band. The White Stripes had broken globally and Jack White, a fan of Mick Collins due to his time in the Gories, was bigging up the Dirtbombs at every opportunity. Garage rock was in, and it was at that time that the Dirtbombs put out an album of soul and funk covers.

Well, nearly. There is one original tune on the record, “Your Love Belongs Under a Rock”, but it is a song that fits in perfectly with the theme of the album. An album, by the way, that is superb. The versions of homeboy George Clinton and the Parliament’s “I’ll Wait” is faithful enough not to confuse but has that gritty Dirtbombs stamp. Barry White’s “I’m Qualified to Satisfy You” sounds super-sleazy here, while Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give it Up” is arguably the best tune on the record.

All of the Dirtbombs’ albums (and singles) are worth digging out, but this is a little bit special. Catch them at the Blowout on the Saturday in the Gates of Columbus Lounge.

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