O U T S I D E L E F T   stay i n d e p e n d e n t

Puttanesca is a Special Sauce

Great albums often take a torturous path, but few get derailed by attempted murder

get the weekly Outsideleft newsletter
by LamontPaul, for outsideleft.com
originally published: October, 2006
The vocals arc, arch and bend your will.
by LamontPaul, for outsideleft.com
originally published: October, 2006
The vocals arc, arch and bend your will.

Seems like Joe Baiza is turning into the busiest man in show business town. In one week, his 80s beat-punk band, Sacharrine Trust opened for (by special request of the very lovely) Tortoise at the Troubador; a few days later Joe Baiza's Congress of... absolutely, pitilessly tore up Taix, the venue where he's now also somehow involved in drawing great and diverse bands for the monthly Joe Baiza night.

I ran into him in the parking lot after the Taix show, and between nips from his flask of Old Grandad which is onsale at Gelson's this week, he gave me a copy of the recently released, long lost record from Puttanesca, the band he'd joined/formed, (it's a long story), more than a decade ago, with vocalist, Weba Garretson, bassist, Ralph Gorodetsky and drummer, Wayne Griffin.

The recently reformed Puttanesca have been putting in some quite enthralling performances in support of the record. That vocalist Weba is one of the more intensely charismatic  performers I've witnessed helps not a little. Damn! She captivates a room by moving across it, even before she opens her, well, let's face it, rather generous mouth.

I guess you might be forgiven for thinking if you're gonna call yourself Puttanesca you wouldn't have any trouble tossing off a rather spicy album in a day or something... Originally recorded with Mark Wheaton at Catasonic in Echo Park, the record got itself shelved when the magic and momentum of the raw recordings and the live performances got somehow lost in the mix. Before it could be retrieved, Joe was a victim of a racist attack while touring in Germany. Some might call it attempted murder. As Weba says of the time, "Things began to unravel..." Just seems to be the way when you shoehorn so much talent into one band.

After ten years  of contemplation and a myriad of other quite notable projects for each of the band members, the Puttanesca record finally arrives much closer to Joe Baiza's original concept. Uncompromising and courageously stripped down; angular, trippy and raw. The beat of the drum, the bass and guitar is sheer and insistently clear. The vocals arc, arch and bend your will. Like a meeting between Dot Allison and the Gang of Four in a particularly troublesome part of town, the record is a bed of perfectly contemporary needles. It never lets me rest.

To find out more about Puttanesca and hear them, visit their website: http://www.webagarretson.com/Puttanesca/

see more stories from outsideleft's Music archive »»

LamontPaul

publisher, lamontpaul is currently producing a collection of outsideleft's anti-travel stories for the SideCartel, with a downloadable mumbled word version accompanied by understated musical fabulists, the frozen plastic

more stories you really could read...


thumb through the ancient archives:

search for something you might like...


sign up for the outsideleft weekly. a selection of new and archived stories every week. Or less.

View previous campaigns.

Introducing John Waters
John Waters closes the Orange County Museum of Art
300 Words From London: Grace Jones Meltdown
Grace Jones at the Royal Festival Hall. Still stomping in disco high heels at 60.
Fancylad's Style Guide For The Modern Cad
There's Going To Be a National Album Day. Why?
Jason ponders the mood music behind National Album Day
Holding Firm with Germa Adan
Creole folk star Germa Adan recorded one of the great LPs of 2017, the rare beauty, Kenbe Fem. Whatever happens next for the UK based singing violinist, surely 2018 is hers...
Fancylad's Style Guide for the Modern Cad
Some of our favorite things...