Monday, November 1, 2010

Guantanamo Baywatch - Reptile Roommate

I came across this band several weeks ago when I was planning my trip out to Portland. This was the only band playing while I was out there that came up when I searched the term "garage". Needless to say, they did not disappoint. One bit. I would even say they exceeded my expectations. Initially I was drawn to this band for, well, the reasons are too many to list. But fuckit! I love garage. I love surf. I love garage-y surf. The kind found on some of the 50's & 60's comps I got at home, like Strummin' Mental, or Diggin' Out. I love the fun-first, irreverent, borderline offensive (but too funny to be) song titles, like Titz & Twatz, Clam Party, and Cum Fart Food. But most of all I love the fact that this band is TIGHT. This is a good band. And their recordings, while definitely for fans of the lo-fi, indie variety, showcase a band that not only brings it with the energy, but is capable of geetin er done in the studio as well.

So, on to Portland. I see them in the basement of an indie record store in Belmont (I think it was Belmont). They don't even serve alcohol in this place so I am nippin' it on the flask. The singer/guitar player gets on stage, takes his pants off, puts on a pair of short 80's beach shorts, and as he turns around a projection of a giant pepperoni pizza is shone on the backdrop behind (and on top of) the drummer. The pizza starts spinning around. I'm laughing my ass off. The bass player goes up on stage and I notice on the back of her guitar is a painting of the King! Amazing. Band starts playing, kids start dancing, faux-hawked lead singer/guitarer keeps tryin to come out into the crowd with his axe, these dudes were feelin it, and the kids were LOVING IT! Great energy from the band. Great vibes from the kids. Got to get these dudes out to New York.

So, what I have here for you is their tape, Reptile Roommate, on Gnar Tapes. Six succulent cuts of Sun, Fun n' Sleaze. Enjoy!

(Coming Soon: "Postcard From the Tar Pitz")

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Lost Classic - Wild In The Country (1961)

I discovered this gem thanks to TCM a few months ago. Hooked instantly by the stunning title track which plays during the opening sequence panning across gorgeous hills and valleys, I sought out more info about this film, a rare dramatic role for Presley. Fans of Elvis are surely aware of the early promise he displayed in films such as Love Me Tender and Loving You, but Wild In The Country is one that had completely escaped my attention. I've never been a huge fan of the King's post-Army output, but there's no denying he had a unique ability to deliver a song. Between the title track and his pared-down acoustic rendition of the lovely "In My Way", his gifts are on full display. I've prepared a four track sampler from this film, all sparse, acoustic material, two of which appeared in the film (Wild In The Country, In My Way), one gorgeous number which was left out of the film and later issued on the Elvis For Everyone LP (Forget Me Never), and an acoustic demo of another outtake (Lonely Man). More people need to see this film and hear these wonderful treasures. Click on the poster.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Druids Of Stonehenge - Creation (Stereo) 1967

So, I came across this record a couple months back. I've seen mixed reviews about this band around the web, but this record slays me. The drums sound great (drummer is killer as well), David Budge (singer, center, below)'s got a great voice, these guys are just tight. Pretty straight ahead garage with some psych undertones, they cover a few of the prototypical bar band repertoire of the late 60's, however to great effect. I must've heard hundreds of covers of both "I Put A Spell On You" and "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue", but these renditions are definitely my favorites of both. (Side note, Big Papi just yanked a donger off Jeff Niemann)

Anyways, I'm gonna get to the point here. I have this record in stereo on vinyl. The mix is killer. Love the panning. Buuuut, apparently the label that owns the digital rights refuses to put it out. All the copies I've found on the web have been in mono. I HATE listening to mono in headphones. My friends know this. So, today I bucked up and finally figured out how to rip vinyls onto the computer. Unfortunately, I did not figure out how to "trim" the tracks (you'll hear the needle drop on the first track of each side). But all in all I think this is a pretty quality stereo version of this record for the Ipod. For more info, there's a good bio here

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Animated Egg - Guitar Freakout (Sundazed)

Killer psych guitar record from the folks at Sundazed. This is about as lazy a post as you can get, but since the gang over there already went through the trouble of a press release, here goes:

"The late L.A. session guitar genius Jerry Cole has long been worshipped for his work with everyone from the Beach Boys and the Byrds to Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley and by surf fans as the leader of the Spacemen. But unbeknownst to many, Cole was also the driving force behind the Animated Egg, a fictitious band whose lone, self-titled 1967 LP is one of the greatest psychedelic exploitation records ever to hit the budget bins of U.S. chain stores—and eventually the want lists of big-spending DJs and collectors.

Comprised of splashy, fuzz-drenched “Now Sound” instrumental groovers, The Animated Egg easily lives up to both the eBay hype and the promise of its evocative track titles: “Sure Listic,” “Sock It My Way,” “Sippin’ and Trippin’,” and—yes indeed—“I Said, She Said, Ah Cid.” In addition to the rare self-titled LP by the Animated Egg, this collection also includes cuts by other related Cole projects: the Projection Company, the Generation Gap, T. Swift & the Electric Bag, and the Stone Canyon Rock Group. Sourced from the original analog masters, Sundazed’s glorious CD and high-definition double-LP vinyl editions of this hallowed prize are a must for turntablists and brain-trippers alike. "

2-LP set. If you're looking for a gift for me, look no further...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Si, Para Usted (Volumes 1 & 2)

Communist Cuban Funk from the 60's & 70's (although on volume two there is a completely out of place Juan Pablo Torres track from 1990). Mostly instrumental, superb sound quality. Each volume is a double-LP set pressed on 180-gram vinyl. Issued by Waxing Deep & Light In The Attic, a label you will be hearing much more from. Highly recommended

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Los Holy's - Sueno Sicodelico (1967)

Los Holy's were a Peruvian Psych-Surf outfit who put out this killer record of instrumentals back in '67. The back sleeve of this LP sums up their vibe perfectly (albeit with a wonderful english-as-a-second-language quality): "Los Holys symbolize the restless and evolved heart of today's youth. Do we know all of the sounds that are heard at the bottoms of the sea? Space stations don't capture sound-waves produced at thousands of light years? We will try to reproduce those sounds with our instruments and maybe they'll end up being more pleasant than the crashing of waves." This is almost as perfect an instrumental record as you can get, forgiving the super-cheesy surf rendition of Unchained Melody. This group was featured on each volume of Back To Peru, both tracks of which came off this record. Been meaning to post this one for quite a bit...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Margo Guryan - Take A Picture (1967)

Another record I've been quite obsessed with lately, I came across this one looking through the Sundazed catalog. Apparently the title track was used in a film commercial recently, though I'd never heard it (apparently the commercial didn't run on MSNBC...) The story about this gal goes something like this: classically trained jazz pianist from New York, discovers pop music through Pet Sounds, writes/records killer album, decides she doesn't want to tour, record flops, becomes music teacher in LA. Is this saccharine pop? Maybe (though I don't think so). Guryan's singing style comes across like a gentle whisper, and the tenderness of her lyrics only reinforce the comforting quality of this music. But what really stands out to me is the production. The drum sounds on this record are fantastic. The kick is prominent throughout, and the toms really pop out at you. Please give a listen and share your thoughts.