The B’s Knees 2013 – Down and dirty, all for you

miss b knee

I’m not old enough to remember it, but the B’s Knees have been around since around 1800.  Although in the beginning they were considered insignificant (and really, who among us did not have insignificant knees when we started), they have since grown to be highly admired.  To be a B’s Knee has become something to which many aspire…and few achieve.  If only I could have more Knees, then everyone could be happy.

I am pleased to present to you now, the B’s Knees of 2013.

First, the show…


Bird Mancini Bird Mancini Lounge

So proud to have them on this year’s record about records for Record Store Day, we gotta thank Mr. Curt for making sure they were a part.  But this cd is so cocktail lounge that there is no way you can make it past the second track without looking for your shaker.

Booker T Sound The Alarm

This disc makes me want to meet up with the one I want to meet up with to dance with really up close.  And what more could a gal like me want?

What a groove and luxurious organ.

Cathy Swimsuit Season

I disclaim nothing.  That is how good this disc is.

I admit, I only picked it up due to its relationship to other Bubbles in the Think Tank favorites.  But it grabbed me from its start, letting me know that any connection was merely to want to create another genius.  I can’t get enough of this record and eagerly await its followup.

You sure picked two of my favorite tracks from Cathy’s “Swimsuit Season” – damn, I love this record.

I love this CD ! Played it over and over on the way back from their Cape Cod gig !
And I’m picky !

The Claudettes Infernal Piano Plot…Hatched!

I totally lucked into this disc.  The cover pulled me in.  And then…it had so many pieces of people I love, I couldn’t turn away.  But who is giving me any boogie piany that makes me this happy these days?  Seems like Claudette is it.  And yes, Claudette is IT.

Stumblin’ Home Satisfied by Claudette…I always do after BITTT.
Love this boogie !!  It’s boogie in the woogie!

David Champagne & Friends Agnostic Gospel

So many Kickstarter et al projects in this year’s Knees…I think that is a testament to the artists that we love having so much love coming back to them.  This disc rises to super group status without even trying, without even thinking about it.  It grounds me and lifts me at the same time.  And I’m glad every record does not do that so that when it happens on those rare occasions, I really notice.

David Greenberger & A Strong Dog So Tough

David Greenberger & Shaking Ray Levis Tramps That Go Think in the Night

I know he doesn’t release a title or two or more just to make it into the B’s Knees, but it never won’t happen.  I just have a feeling. David is always just on the right path to find the right musician combo to fit what he does.  I really hope he never stops.

It’s one thing to be prolific,harder still to be prolific AND consistently good !

Eleni Mandell Let’s Fly a Kite

Thanks to Yep Roc for knowing that Eleni is someone I should know.  Metadata can pay off!

What do I love the best about all the things to love about Eleni?  The flourishes in her tunes that are ten flavors of Skeeter.  Note such flourish in “Put My Baby To Bed” and know what I’m sayin’.

Put My Baby To Bed by Eleni Mandell is awfully perky

AWFULLY perky.

Eleni Mandell sounds like the kinda gal you’d want whispering sweet somethings in your ear.

Garland Jeffreys Truth Serum

Yet another Kickstarter…and I’m not complaining.

My love of Garland Jeffreys goes back to the movie Times Square and doesn’t end with him telling Dan Reed that I love him.

This album feels so fresh, so alive, if I could just take the time to listen when I don’t feel much of either, I could pull myself together.  Maybe I should do that…

I’ve been a Garland Jeffreys fan for years & years – another crowdfunded album that I supported and that made the B’s Knees!

Brilliant sounding guitars Hey!

This rocks, and drones !

Geraint Watkins Mosquito,, Vol. 2 – At the Gates of Dawn – EP

Last year I said that Geraint Watkins made me feel things I forgot I could feel.  So how could he make me feel those kinds of things now?

This one…yes this one…I melt, I sway, I swoon.  He really takes my legs right out from under me.  And if that means I can be legless with those whom I want to be legless, then it’s all working out right.

This started playing and I thought to myself “this must be Geraint Watkins” … lo & behold!

I Love Mosquito ….I remember this….Just elegantly delicious !

Geraint Watkins make me want to drink bourbon and smoke Gauloise cigarettes


Greg Townson On Your Side

You know how we feel about the Hi-Risers here at Bubbles in the Think Tank.  Greg on his own steps up the romantic.  He sings right to you…you can’t stop listening.  And he has tunes co-written with John DeAngelis?  What more could we want as our knees go so weak?

Lonesome Brothers – Check Engine

It wouldn’t be the B’s Knees without Ray Mason.  And the listeners agree.

Love that loopy Lonesome Brothers groove on “12 pieces of Paper”!

“Devastated” is a gem on “Check Engine” – I dig the horns a whole lot.

Lucius Lucius Get Noisey

Harmonies and hooks?  It’s like they know me.

Mike Gent The Rapid Shave

“Arriving in a Drum” sneaks into my head so many times in a day that there was no way this release couldn’t make the list.


Pete Donnelly Face the Bird

We talk about Pete and his own TSOP, and this record won’t shut us up anytime soon.  Plus we share a record cover artist…Jad Fair!


I’m having a dance party here at Chez Valet!

First purchase of the night. But I got a late start

“Face the Bird” is one great song – I love the kids voices on it, and the video is one of the adorable, loving things I’ve seen in a very long time. This makes me so damn happy!

Great solo records from both Mike Gent and Pete Donnelly this year – The Figgs are one creative fucking band.


Mink Stole Do Re Mink

Yet even another crowdfunded record on the list this year.  I had no idea what to expect from Mink Stole, but this shot way up on the list (MBTSUTMB) on the first listen and stayed there.


Female Trouble by Mink Stole?  Well, duh.  Perfect!

Hearing this, I’m all noirish and stuff !

It’s got a soupcon of Peggie Lee.

Mink Stole – a B’s Knees! I gave to her Kickstarter campaign for this CD and damn glad I did

Richard X. Heyman X

X is right up there with Actual Sighs for me.  Lucious!

Robyn Hitchcock Love From London

My fave Robyn release in some time…and that’s saying something given how much I love them all.  I think David Greenberger said it best:

 I love this ensemble he has, the cello really adds a mysterious richness. This is a potent album indeed (“I’m ready for the end of time…”).

Steve Shook Dignify – EP

There’s just something about this one that keeps me coming back to it.  Why Steve took so long to do this, I have no idea, but I am so glad that he did.

Thank you, Liz Shook, for getting your dad off his butt and into the recording studio and thank you, Kimon Kirk, for the production and guidance – you done good.


Bubbles in the Think Tank presents Eponymously Entitled

I feel so wrong to put my own record in the B’s Knees again, but it’s soooooo good.  My curatorial skills shine at their finest!  (Plus it was the only way I was going to get Chandler Travis in this year, thanks to the Catbirds!)

Playing Records is such a catchy goddamn song, I still listen to it !

 The Hot Shots Sample My Kissin’

I could listen to Chie sing a little something to me every day.  I haven’t yet found where to get the record if you missed the Kickstarter, but I will strike this out when I do!  Here’s the link to the rest of their stuff!

For some reason, “Walkin’ My Baby Back Home” made me want to hear Chie sing “Surrey With the Fringe On Top” 

Again, I dig the banjer player.  My inner hick, yes,but great arrangement 

I LOVE that Hotshots CD !! Different from their other CD’s…the banjo player is way cool and uses the instrument in creative ways not wholly expected

Chie Kodama and The Hot Shots – hard to get much more adorable and sweet – and dig that crazy banjo! I’d be honored & delighted to sample her kissin’, that’s for sure.

 The Liminanas Costa Blanca

This disc may have been the toughest one to narrow down what to play.  The Liminanas always grab me in that way that I like so much.

Bb  The Liminanas apparently fucking rule, ITPOOT.

This Liminanas track (“I Miei Occhi Sono I Tuoi Occhi” )is beautiful and haunting!

Molto bene.

The Spampinato Brothers Smiles

Those Spampinato harmonies are some of the sweetest in the world.  This EP just made me want more.

Note the brotherly harmony !  Nothing like it.

How Will I Know – Great tune ! Buy it !

Spampinato harmonies are delicious and make Linda smile!

 The Split Squad Now Hear This

Keith Streng is enough to make me want to buy just about anything, but teamed up with this supergroup there was no way it would miss the list.

The Split Squad are my kinda supergroup. Yours, too!

This song makes me feel like I’m floating on a cloud. Oh wait….maybe it’s the weed…..

Jack Grace Band The Money’s Gone Away

I really had no idea what to expect from this disc when it landed in my hands.  But oh did it make me happy, want a martini and start to move like I was listening to a Kirsty MacColl record.  That’s how you know it’s good.


Then there’s the single tunes we couldn’t let go…

Chuck U. & Lady Di – “Zilch” from A Lowbudget Barrel of Monkees

The Julie Ruin – “Just My Kind” from Run Fast

Colorway – “Go Back to Sleep” from Colorway

Michael J. Epstein and Sophia Cacciola – “Fred Boak” from their Kickstarter campaign thank you songs

and of course

Sweet Joe Silver & Suzy – Bubbles in the Think Tank Jingle


And as Marshall Frederick Stockwell, Jr. said of the show:

THAT was a great B’s Knees show, or I’m not the Titular Head of Research of BITTT, All Purpose Chimp at Bittt Records,Titular…you get the idea.
More great music comes out that goes under the general radar. Thank Kahimi for this show !!
Not that much silly, but who cares ? “So much love I can barely find room for my Scotch on the Rocks !! “—
Exclaims Irving “Hype” Blurbman of the Barnstable Blatant Exxagerater.
Bye kids !

It’s not that we’re purposely playing these artists because they are from the BITTT Records stable of stars, it’s because our stable is carefully hand selected and talented !



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