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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Mad Tea Party

Caught Mad Tea Party-- a one-man-band-ukulele duo-- in Asheville last weekend at Bele Chere.  Their smiling, energetic, catchy fuzz-country-blues songs were an early-afternoon surprise in an otherwise bland afternoon of music (granted, we only stayed a few hours, it was 100fuckingdegrees).  We did catch Southern Culture on the Skids Friday night who were great, as always.  Their new songs sounded good to me, looking forward to their new record.

So Mad Tea Party comes highly recommended, especially live.  This 7" naturally caught my attention.
I didn't want to carry it around all day so I settled on a Zombie Boogie t-shirt and their latest CD.  But it's available as a easy-as-pie download with bonus song.  Maybe I'm just a sucker for anything Halloween-ish, but it's my favorite of what I've heard so far.

And here's a music video by my friend Skizz!

And here's a link to the fairer half's blog about her awesome skeleton-Uke tattoo.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

In the transition is the interesting stuff

I think I love the '60s because it was a decade of such utter transition.  Compare 1958 with 1972 and the world is a very, very different place.  And it's inside these transitions where the most interesting things happen, new ideas clashing with old ones, nobody sure what's gonna win or what new ideas are gonna stick.  Allot of people in the '50s thought rock n roll was a fad that would soon be replaced by Calypso or Bossa Nova.
When I was writing SSS, I wanted to place it in the exact transition between the naivete of the early '60s-- where the most important thing on most kids minds was What new dance is gonna replace The Twist?!-- and the bitter cynicism of the late '60s/'70s.  It's in that transition when garage bands sprang up everywhere and teens were trying to write dance songs, but with fuzzed out Farfisa organs and reverb-drenched guitar chords.  I found this video on a bootleg DVD of Garage Bands several years ago at Dragon*Con.  It was significantly influential (along with the Hullabaloo DVD box set) in the look of SSS.

One video in particular really struck me-- PSYCHOTIC REACTION by The Count Five.  It's been a couple years since I've see this clip, but I remember a moment-- when the garage-pop repetition turns into an atonal, off-time guitar solo and the Go-Go Girls have a look of panic because their happy dance steps no longer fit here.  They don't know what to do.

Looking at this now, that moment is clearly in my head only.  Regardless, this song will always represent the exact moment when innocence is lost and and the '50s became the '70s.  After this, a whole lot of music became too self-aware, less fun and people started dancing with themselves instead of each other.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Man or Astroman?

I hope this blog doesn't turn into an Oh-the-good-old-days kinda thing, but I'm really looking forward to seeing Man or Astroman? this weekend at The Earl's 15th Anniversary.  Which makes me think of one of the first times I saw them play INVASION OF THE DRAGONMEN, mid-90s, probably at The Point.
Much like my Go Go Gorilla moment with the Hate Bombs, MoAM? nailed my noggin with a cultural reference that solidified my fandom for good.  It took a few seconds for it register, but I recognized the samples from a Power Records Spiderman read-n-listen comicbook-n-record that I used to listen to on my Winnie the Pooh record player incessantly.  It's at 1:40 into the clip below.

 I own 18 MoAM? 7" singles.  I counted.  Here's the poster for the show, done by awesome guy Jordon Gum.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Q: What's wrong with you? A: Wavy Gravy

Back in the summer of 1989 (feel free to stop reading if you hate blogs posts that start this way), I worked in Yellowstone National Park, waiting tables at the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone Lodge.   It was that summer that a cassette tape changed my musical taste... forever.   

Living amid a hive a college students, free time was spent drinking and smoking pot, or road-tipping to Idaho/Jackson Hole/Canada to drink and smoke pot, or occasionally hiking.  There were three guys from Minnesota (one from Bemidji, I remember b/c of his speech impediment), who had a home-recorded cassette called WAVY GRAVY.  It was only recently that I realized the title had less to do with the '60s psychedelic icon than with Cleveland DJ The Mad Daddy.  I could describe it to you note for note, but his guy's already done it, "There are, broadly speaking, two types of people in the world. Those who realise that the Wavy Gravy compilations are the greatest albums in the history of mankind; and those who suffer from unsightly genital warts. Which are you?"

I probably listened to that cassette 120 times in 120 (late) nights that summer.  Not every night, but some nights 3 times in a row.  By mid-summer, it took every fiber in our gaggle of stoners to not quote it verbatim every time we'd play it for someone new.  We were annoying college students.

I got my own copy of this precious gold, but it never rang quite as true after that summer.  A couple years later-- about the time I realized that the music I really loved was this thing called Garage Rock-- I saw The Hate Bombs at the Star Bar and their encore was "Go Go Gorilla".  It was probably pretty close to when this was taped:

I never knew my favorite track from the summer of '89 wasn't just an novelty/obscurity, but a Garage rock classic!  I've since become instantly enamored with any band who covers it.  Clearly there was no better track to use in the climactic scene of Stomp! Shout! Scream!

[For the record, the Shandells' track is actually called "Gorilla."  "Go Go Gorilla" is by the Ideals and more of a doo-wop classic.]

Monday, July 5, 2010

2 Girl Garage bands

As much as I love pretty-much every 3-chord garage rock band, you put a couple of girls in the band and I'll love it even more.  This is not surprising, consider... you know... that movie I made.

The Like

Picked up their CD at Criminal this week.  The cover caught my eye, and since it was at the listening station, I listened.  Good fuzzy guitars and Fafisa/Vox organ.  On the pop side of garage, but really good.  And of course, adorable in their '60s styling.

The Cocktail Slippers

Saw these girls at SXSW this past March.  Like the Donnas, but *somehow* hotter.  And Norwegian. Or: because they're Norwegian.  Bought a couple CDs just so I could stare at 'em up close for 30 more seconds.  They crank it up more on their first record, MASTERMIND, than the pop-ier second one ST. VALENTINES DAY MASACRE.  Their part English, part Norwegian blog.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Swamp Rats

The only band to out-Sonic The Sonics.  The Swamp Rats from Pittsburgh. Available from awesome label Get Hip Records.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Garage Rock

This blog has sat dormant since Stomp! Shout! Scream! was re-released on DVD by Indican Pictures (as Monster Beach Party A Go Go).  Marketing and selling and such is now in their hands.  So I'm going to use this space to write about what ever Garage Rock crosses my ears.

I found this 7" Single by The Vice Barons at Criminal Records today.  I love singles, but have about 1,000 that I don't really listen to, so I don't really buy that many any more.  This one grabbed me, however-- clearly the sexy-as-all-get-out cover and the song title DEATH WALK OF FRANKIE STEIN.   It's a 4-track EP of fuzz guitar-organ surf songs.  Other tracks are: SWAMP SUFER, BUZZ..., AND RADIANT.  A google search found an album called FRIENDS IN LOW PLACES that sounds great on first listen.  Thanks for reading.