Wednesday, December 10, 2008

CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL - Lookin' Out My Back Door / Long As I Can See The Light - Fantasy - 1970

I feel a little funny liking Creedence as much as I do. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because my mother refers to them as 'Creedence Clearwater Survival' and that bugs the shit out of me. I correct her every single time, hoping she'll get it right eventually so I can enjoy their music without THAT in my head, but it's useless. They are, and forever will be, Creedence Clearwater Survival to her.

Ironically, my mother is the reason why I own this particular copy of this single. She spotted it at a garage sale, or auction, or something, I'm not sure, I'm not a very good listener, and brought it home for me. She's pretty cool, quirks and all.

This record's pretty cool too. "Lookin' Out My Back Door" is one the best songs CCR ever released. John Fogerty was spot on with his production, as usual, and the song writing is all aces. The hooks and leads are precise and never overdone, and the lyrics are probably Fogerty's crowning achievement. John gets home from tour, gets loose on some brain drugs and starts seeing all sorts of craziness out his back door. Shit, get me a flying spoon, I wanna take that ride.

The B-side, "Long As I Can See The Light" has all the qualities to add up to a HORRIBLE song. Let's count: John is trying his best to get super soulful, there's possibly the worst sounding keyboard I've ever heard, and worst of all, the goddamn SAX SOLO (fuck off, Fogerty.) When all is said and done though, it comes off, definately not 'good,' but at least somehow endearing. (Not sure how.) Dudes that loves Bob Seger and His Silver Bullshit Band like this song. Mechanics and plumbers and electricians will all dance to this song at their weddings. It's THAT bad, but I can still appreciate some unnameable quality of it for whatever reason. Maybe it just means I can look foward to a life of plumbing, who knows? (Shit, I hope not.)

Regardless, this single is cool. So is the majority of CCR's output (until the very end.) I don't know why so many people hate them. Maybe it's their rural appeal. Oh well. I'm not the one missing out.

The Dude agrees. (And, of course, The Dude abides.)


Saturday, December 6, 2008

THE KNOCKOUTS - Darling Lorraine / Riot in Room 3C - Shad - 1959

There was a band called the Knockouts that played in or around Dunkirk, NY in the mid to late 90's. They sounded like the Ramones covering Dion and the Belmonts and had a hit single (as far as I was concerned) called "I'm In Love With A Tenth Grader." To boot, they were pretty cool guys.

This is NOT a record by that band.

The top side of this record is cute. It's a lot like 'Earth Angel' but replace the Penguin's sugary vocals with something a bit more rockabilly influenced. All the sentiment is still there, just a bit rougher around the edges. Apparently this song slipped through the cracks and never really charted, though it was the closest the Knockouts ever got to a hit.

I actually bought this record because of the promising title on the flip side, though it doesn't quite live up to expectations. This is an instrumental song that sounds strangely similar to 'Rebel Rouser' by Duane Eddy. The intro "There's a riot goin on in room 3C" is pretty funny though. I'm planning an instro podcast here, it'll likely show up on that.



Saturday, November 15, 2008

TERRY STAFFORD - Suspicion / Judy - Lana - 1964

So I kind of disappeared for a minute there, huh? What can I say? I've been really busy with a few other projects, and things in life got a little retarded, so this thing got neglected. Likely story, big deal.

Well, I've had this post saved as a draft for a really long time, and I finally realized that it's because I don't have a lot to say about this guy, so I'm not going to pretend that I do. The bottom line is that Suspicion is a great single, and Terry Stafford owes every bit of his (fleeting) success to Elvis and his producer. Elvis released Suspicion two years before Terry (on his Pot Luck LP,) but the Stafford version has a slightly different instrumental treatment that I think works a bit more effectively than Elvis'.

The B-side is nothing. Terry still does his best Elvis impersonation, but this time on a song that accomplishes nothing in it's entire 2.5 minutes.

I guess when you add it all up, Terry Stafford was kind of a hack. Well.. so what? It doesn't make his version of Suspicion any less enjoyable.


Monday, October 6, 2008

THE DOORS - Love Me Two Times / Moonlight Drive - Elektra - 1967

I can't honestly say that I'm a very big fan of the Doors. I think Jim Morrison was kind of a phony douchebag, and musically the band didn't do a whole lot for me. Granted, there's a few songs here and there that I really enjoy (People Are Strange, and End of the Night are both pretty rad,) but as a whole it's not my thing.

However, My pal Cory was visiting me here in the city a while ago and turned me on to the fact that the Doors 45's, specifically this one, are hilarious and amazing when played at 33rpm. This song, that I typically wouldn't miss if I never heard it again, is pure genius in this capacity. Morrison sounds the best he ever will with a super-dropped pitch, in ultra slow motion, sounding like a drunken bear who's been huffing glue for the past several hours. It's really quite amazing, the transformation that occurs with a simple flip of a switch. And this little trick kept us entertained for quite some time. After listening to this song several times in a row (honestly worth it alone just for Jim's retarded howl before the big gay solo.) we played around with other 45's to see what else sounds better in slo-mo.

For the record: The Doors should never be listened to on 45 (because it sucks) and Arthur Brown 45's, as killer as they are normally, were MEANT to be played at 33. That shit is terrifying.

Try it on..


Sunday, September 21, 2008

NEAL FORD AND THE FANATICS - Get Together With Me / Pain - Hickory - 1967

The Fanatics are a band that seemed to release either amazing songs or absolute shit. Never really anything in between. Their polarized tendencies are perfectly illustrated with these two sides.

'Get Together With Me' is a useless, regrettable pop song and ultimately a waste of 2 minutes. I don't understand how a group of guys who can turn out gems like 'Woman' and this record's flip can willingly release such sugar-pop bullshit. It's not that I write off candy tunes as a whole, as a matter of fact I have a real weakness for a well written pop song, this just doesn't happen to be one. At all. It stinks.

Luckily, 'Pain' alone is worth this record's weight in vinyl. It's actually pretty surprising that The Fanatics aren't listed next to the garage and psych staples like the Blues Magoos or Count Five. They certainly released enough quality tunes to be a real contestant. While 'Pain' isn't the best thing they ever released, it certainly is enjoyable and could hold it's own on any given garage comp.

Maybe it's because they released so much garbage that they don't get the cred they really deserve...



Monday, September 8, 2008

((( CRASH #1 )))
Hosted By Psychedelic Elvis

It's been a while since I posted some actual music, so
here's a new mix of free tunes. I kept it a bit shorter this time, and a bit more focused (by my own standards.) There's a bit of an underlying theme here...

Hey, if you download this and dig it (or hate it,) return the favor by leaving a comment. I just wanna know if anyone actually grabs these or if I'm wasting a lot of time creating and posting them for no one.

::: Crash #1 :::
1. Link Wray - Hidden Charms
2. The Fanatics - Woman
3. The Electric Prunes - Get me to the World on Time
4. Bobby Freeman - Big Fat Woman
5. The Zombies - Tell Her No
6. The Rolling Stones - Dandelion
7. Arthur Brown - I Put A Spell On You
8. Shadows of Knight - Bad Little Woman
9. The Pretty Things - Honey, I Need
10. Mitch Ryder - I'd Rather Go To Jail
11. The Nightcrawlers - You're Running Wild
12. The Music Machine - The People In Me
13. Gary U.S. Bonds - New Orleans
14. The Kinks - I Gotta Move



Tuesday, September 2, 2008

BLUES MAGOOS - One By One / Dante's Inferno - Mercury - 1967

This record's B-side is really the most noteworthy thing about it. More B-sides should be treated like this. I guess the standard practice was to pick the hit for the A-side, then stick a boring, pales-in-comparison track on the flip side and I guess that's the most functional approach if your main objective is to sell a song, but where's the fun in that? Blues Magoos got something right when they stuck 'Dante's Inferno' on the flip of 'One by One.' This isn't even a song. No melody, no harmony, no structure of any kind. Just noise, effects and yelling. Right on. Why waste a side of vinyl on something so boring when you could release something completely retarded and amazing? Kudos, Blues Magoos. This single is right on.


Friday, August 22, 2008

ALVIN CASH & THE CRAWLERS - Twine Time / The Bump - Mar-V-Lus - 1965

This record is pretty cool. I first heard 'Twine Time' on The Arrows' 'Apache '65' record and it really stood out (which is saying a lot, since that record is basically flawless.) So when I learned that it was originally recorded by Alvin Cash & The Crawlers, I started looking for it, and actually found it pretty easily, and cheap.

The Crawlers' version of the song is rad. It's a bit more of a tradional instrumental than The Arrows version, with some horns and such, a sparse vocal, and a stupid sax solo that I surpringly don't hate. I might actually even enjoy it, somehow. (What happened to me?) On certain days I would actually prefer this version over The Arrows'. Strange how that works..

The flip, unfortunately, isn't another instrumental, and really not as good. At first I REALLY didn't care for this song, but it's grown on me with some time. Nothing great, nothing horrible. 100% meh.

I've been a bit torn about looking for other Alvin Cash records. It seems he re-recorded 'Twine Time' later on, and that version sounds like shit. (modernized. gross.) Also, I have a feeling that 'Twine Time' may have been a bit of an anomaly, and worry that the bulk of his songs lean a bit closer to 'The Bump.'

However, he did release a Muhammad Ali tribute record, and I'm curious to know what that's all about. If anyone knows something about that, do tell.

"Let's twine, baby."


Friday, August 15, 2008

MOUSE AND THE TRAPS - Cryin' Inside / Ya Ya - Fraternity - 1967

It's been quite a while since I updated the blog properly. Come to think of it, it's been a while since I've done much of anything properly. I don't think I would call it laziness exactly, but more like a lack of motivation, or maybe more accurately a general indifference to practically everything. Nothing feels good or right anymore and this summer is killing me. Those Gershwin brothers are full of shit; it's summertime and the livin' is certainly NOT easy. The livin' is actually kind of a drag, honestly.

Yea yea yea yea, shut up.

Here's a record I stumbled upon a few weeks ago. I had been previously acquainted with Mouse and the Traps though various psych comps, most frequently their song 'A Public Execution,' which never did much for me. I hadn't heard either of these songs before until I picked this up, and they're actually really good, especially the A-side. I guess what surprised me most is that they don't sound much like the other songs I've heard by them, which was always too blatantly Dylan influenced for me. Here they're sounding more garage-poppy and it suits them quite well.

The sad bastard in me really latched onto 'Cryin' Inside' pretty quickly. The title sums the song up pretty effectively and I don't think there's much to dissect about this. It's a really well written pop song with classy garage-ish production and lyrics about not letting some no-good-girl know that she got you down. They really covered their bases with this one.

It's surprising to me that this band didn't get a lot bigger. It's been suggested that they were possibly TOO diverse for their own good, which I guess makes sense in a very sad way. Apparently being too capable has it's downside. Oh well.

Cheers, ya jerks.


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

It's my birthday and it's terrible. Yeah!!!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

THE ROLLING STONES - Street Fighting Man / No Expectations - London - 1968

There's not really a whole lot that I could say about the Stones that hasn't been said before in about a hundred different ways, so I'm not going to try too hard here. Here's the thing, I happen to love pre-70's Stones, and I also happen to think 'Street Fighting Man' is one of the greatest rock and roll songs of all time.

The note-worthy thing about this single is that "Street Fighting Man' is a different mix than what I'm used to. The music is about the same, but Mick's vocals are noticably different, the mix is very dirty. You can see why they remixed it, but I think it sounds great. I can't tell for sure if it's a completely different vocal or just a peculiar mix, but it sounds really raw. Super cool.

'No Expectations' seems to be the standard mix, and it's a good song, just not a favorite Stones' song of mine.



Wednesday, July 9, 2008

BOB DYLAN - Knockin' On Heaven's Door / Turkey Chase - Columbia - 1974

I've recently been placed, rather abruptly, into a situation that is forcing me (or encouraging me, depending on how you look at it) to examine my life, or life in general, with a different point of view. Some things that I may have viewed as certainties have been shaken up and now I'm re-assessing the whole thing. The Big Picture.

This process has inevitably led to a spike in the amount of sad-bastard music I listen to, and being the chronically morbid person that I am, I'm stearing clear of the sad songs that are merely about love lost. I'm jumping right into the heart of darkness; death songs.

While I can't deny the immediate appeal of pure despair and pain that some of these songs recall, there are a few that surpass that and end up being truly beautiful. 'Knockin' On Heaven's Door' (strictly Dylan's own version) is one of these rare gems.

Inside the simplistic structure of this song is the story of a man who feels his time running out, and though there is nothing outwardly optimistic in the words that are sung, somehow his voice conveys a sense of acceptance. Paired with some of the most haunting and beautiful backing voices I've ever heard, this song kicks the shit out of me when I'm listening with the right ears.

Times like these, I'm all bruised up.


Monday, June 30, 2008

GEORGE EDWARDS - Norwegian Wood / Never Mind, I'm Freezing - Dunwich - 1966

Once again, here's a record I picked up for totally superficial reasons. During one of my thrift store rummages I found a record on the Dunwich label with a song titled 'Never Mind, I'm Freezing' by some guy I'd never heard of before. Seeing that the flip side was another cover of 'Norwegian Wood' didn't exactly inspire confidence, but the record was a buck, making it worth checking out something else from the Dunwich label with a cool song title.

Here's the problem though: My first experience with Dunwich was the Shadows of Knight 'Gloria / Dark Side' 45, so without fully realizing it, I put this record on expecting something similar, some garage-y filth, or at least something mean. So... I played the record, catagorized it almost immediately as sappy folk, and didn't even bother listening to what was surely a shitty version of a Beatles song. I took the record off and shoved it into a box where it sat for quite some time.

Then a few months ago, for whatever reason, I decided to pull this single out and give it another shot. What a difference a change of perspective makes. I actually started wondering what the hell was up my ass when I first listened and met this record with such disdain. Never Mind... certainly isn't as nasty as the title may suggest, but it's still a pretty good song, negative but charming, in the folky, light-psych vein. After a few more listens it grew on me a bit more, now I actually dig the song.

I was impressed enough to try out the other side (actually it's A-side) and see if this guy could come close to pulling off a Lennon tune. Well, it's not great, but much better than I had expected. He does the song justice and there's a pretty cool sounding harpsichord part. Not a total failure, as I had expected.

With just a touch of research I learned that George actually sang backups on the Shadows of Knight recording 'Oh Yeah' which was recorded directly after the Never Mind single was finished. After his very brief solo career he started H.P. Lovecraft and had a bit more success with that.

It's not worth going crazy to try to find, but I'd suggest picking it up if you ever happen to come across this little slab.


(Side Note: Actual picture is coming soon-ish (my copy of the record isn't pictured.). Sadly, I have very limited access to my records & the internet right now, as I technically don't live anywhere in particular, so the blog may be neglected until I have my shit re-situated. It won't be abandoned though.)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

THE MIGHTY HANNIBAL - Hymn No. 5 / Fishin' Pole - Josie - 1966

Woo child, I got fuzz in my brains this morning. Went out last night to meet Benoit at some shitty magazine's launch party, hurdled the spazz with the guestlist and drank as much free Belvedere as possible until the place was dry. Now I have the luxury of being hungover at work, sitting next to the goon with a chain wallet who picks his nose and chokes up phlegm all day, staring at a very unforgiving computer screen, pondering the cruel necessity of a 40-hour work week.

To the issue at hand; I've been sitting on this review for over a week now, rewriting it, consistently unhappy with it. But ya know what? I'm hungover now and I don't care anymore. Sorry, Hannibal. Here's all I got, quickly:

Hymn No. 5 is certainly one of the best anti-war songs ever recorded, Fishin' Pole is a good B-side, and Hannibal is grossly under-rated. I didn't even know the man existed until I saw him in the Norton Records catalog. Oh, and he did a lot of junk.


Monday, June 16, 2008

DONOVAN - Wear Your Love Like Heaven / Oh Gosh - Epic - 1967

Today, feeling pretty lousy. Lost a real good friend exactly one year ago on this date. Don't know what to say about it really. I get weird whenever I think about it, and today being the anniversary makes me more-so.

Also, having a real nasty sore throat for the fifth day in a row is kind of a drag.

And some other shit that's none of your goddamn business.

So I'll use today to write about something that doesn't take much thought or effort, hence a Donovan review.

'Wear Your Love' is, in my opinion, possibly the best song Donovan ever wrote. The breaks between verses and choruses are absolutely brilliant and Mickie Most's production is sharply on point. Luckily Donovan is singing primarily about colors and doesn't have an opportunity to slip in any dreadfully embarassing lyrics, as he is so adept at. What else is there to say about this track? A+.

'Oh Gosh' is basically a pile of shit though. I think most people's beef with Donovan is that he wrote so many songs like this. I can't even take this shit seriously. There's 2 things that save this from being ranked among the worst songs ever. 1: The phrase "with the babies in your bellies." It's not meant to be, but I find it pretty funny, especially Donovan's phrasing. 2: The music in the outro. Sounds like primitive video game music for a bonus level where you're character takes flight on the back of some friendly, oversized creature soaring through a psychedelic sky between fat, purple stars and smiling moons collecting treasures and extra lives. Sadly, this euphoric bonus land only lasts for 20 seconds. BOO!

That's all for me today.

Gonna have myself a drink in honor of my good friend, Ben Fran.

Cheers, fuckfaces.


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

THIRTEENTH FLOOR ELEVATORS - You're Gonna Miss Me / Tried To Hide - IA - 1966

I can't accurately desribed how pumped I was to get this 45, and I can't very well explain why either. It's not like this is ultra-rare, obscure, or hard-to-find. As a matter of fact, it's by far the easiest Elevators single to find, having been re-pressed about a zillion times.

Yea, so what? The record's amazing, and the Elevators are a main reason why I started digging the garage world in the first place. I'll be listening to 'You're Gonna Miss Me' till the day I fry and I'm quite certain it'll never get old. The flip side is, like every other song on Psychedelic Sounds, amazing as well.

Now if I could only find a copy on the Hanna-Barbara label...

*** *** ***
Alright. Anyone who knows me at all knows that I have a slight (depending on who you ask) fascination with psychedelic drugs and the effect they have on people, specifically the people who eat/ate it up like candy. Now, it's tough to say whether it was the massive drug consumption or the shock therapy that finally cracked Roky Erickson (though I would lean toward the shocks,) but there's no denying the effect the drugs had on the music, and it certainly is phenominal. Though I do feel a slight (very slight) twinge of sorrow when I see dudes from that era who are completely useless-fried, I'm honestly thankful that there was a point in our history when so many people were turning on and twisting their brains inside-out. The music and art in general that came from that time, directly influenced by the brain candy, was unreal, and as of yet, unmatched. So maybe we should consider the Roky Erickson's of the world as martyrs for a great & noble cause, directly responsible for the only real revolution of the 1960's.

"Him... I want what he's on..."


Monday, June 9, 2008

THE LOLLIPOP SHOPPE - Someone I Knew / Through My Window - Shamley - 1968

I've been listening to the Lollipop Shoppe pretty consistently since I picked up a copy of the repressed 'Just Colour' LP (an original is a bit out of reach for a poor boy like me.) Then Kyle picked up the Weeds / Lollipop Shoppe collection that had the first Weeds single ('It's Your Time' / 'Little Girl,') the 'Just Colour' LP, the 2 tracks from the 'Angels From Hell' soundtrack ('Mr. Madison Avenue' / 'Who's It Gonna Be,') and the final two songs recorded by the band in the early 70's ('Stop' / 'No Good News'[credited as the Weeds.]) But curiously, this 45 is not included on that release. So when I found a copy, naturally, I had to grab it up.

I've always associated the Lollipop Shoppe rather closely with Love (though I would never call them a Love rip-off) and this single reminds me of, not-so-much Love's sound, as their trajectory. Just as Love had moved from a more-or-less basic garage sound to the orchestrated psychedelia of 'Forever Changes,' the Lollipop Shoppe seems intent on the same progression. This single is slower and more somber on both sides, even including a bit of string arrangement, and Fred sounds more desperate than angry here.

And honestly, I don't know if it really works for them.

I guess it's cool that they were trying something new and different, but I was hoping for something a little closer to their 'Just Colour' sound. And after reading an interview with Fred Cole, I'm not convinced that this is the direction he was looking to head in.

Regarding the production of 'Just Colour,' he had this to say:

"She (Danielle Hudson) was producing us and had this idea of orchestras and shit. She was a big fan of Charles Aznavour, some French singer who she used to hang with and that was her cup of tea - not ours. She was into a commercial pop sound and we just wanted to rock."

He goes on to explain why the band broke up:

"We were under a five-year contract with Lord Tim and Uni. We hated the direction they were leading us to which was a commercial bubble gum band."

So, maybe that explains why this single was left off of the Weeds collection (the only reissue Fred Cole ever authorized.) Though I don't mean to paint this as a shitty record, it just can't live up to the standard they set for themselves with 'Just Colour.' And to their credit, the shortcomings of this single can likely be traced to the notoriously bad decision making of record company executives and money-hungry management. I mean, for fuck's sake, Lord Tim Hudson, their manager, made them change their name from something pretty cool to something that's wimpy and totally unfitting, just to try to sell more records.



Friday, May 30, 2008

THE BITTER SWEETS - What A Lonely Way To Start the Summertime / Mark My Words - Cameo - 1963

All the credit for my owning this amazing record goes to Tyler Robert Farren, who not only introduced this song to me, but is also directly responsible for my purchase of it.

He came over to my humble home shortly after he had bought One Kiss Can Lead To Another: Girl Group Sounds Lost and Found, the 4 disc Rhino collection that comes packaged in a vintage hat box, and skipped through some of the tracks that he liked the most, pointed out the Bitter Sweets song "What A Lonely Way to Start the Summertime." On surface value alone, this track sounds like a pretty typical girl group song with it's layered harmonies, pop stylings, and teenage melodrama subject matter, and even if it was a standard girl group track though, it's first rate, complete with stellar production and a looming darkness hanging above. But this track sets itself apart before it's finished. The song starts to build into a climbing crescendo, and just when you expect it to go back into the chorus, or some key change to happen, the song just cuts off, ending abruptly with just the slight reverberation on the track echoing after. It's a curious production decision, but the effect is quite amazing. Someone named Brute Force is credited as the writer, and I seem to recall him being responsible for the production as well, and I wish like hell that I could track down some more information about him. Seems like an interesting character.

The B-side, "Mark My Words," unfortunately lacks the unique production qualities of it's flip and pales in comparison. It's still a good listen, still sad and dramatic, but nothing to shit yrself about. Probably just as good as most other girl group stuff that came out around then, just no "Lonely Way."

Luckily Tyler searches ebay for records he already owns (for whatever reason) and came across a copy of this one, told me about it, and I got it for a fraction of what it's worth to me.
So, thank you, Tyler.

And.. If anybody has any more information about Brute Force, or 'Cave Sound Production,' PLEASE contact me. I gotta know what it's all about and I'm not finding anything.


Thursday, May 29, 2008

? AND THE MYSTERIANS - Can't Get Enough of You, Baby / Smokes - Cameo - 1967

Remember that shitty band Smash Mouth? They had a string of really regrettable, embarrassing hits in the late 90's? Basically summing up exactly what is wrong and fucked up about modern music? Yea, I hated that shit too. Sadly, those spazwits and ? picked the same Toys song to cover, and worse, I can't for the life of me sit through the Mysterians version because of it.

Or maybe it's just because ?'s version isn't exactly that great anyway. The organ line is basically recycled from "96 Tears," ? sounds terribly un-enthused, and overall it's quite boring. Sorry.

"Smokes" is pretty cool though. I get a kick out of ?'s creative use of language ('Hey, what your face looks like?') and the subject matter is funny in a real superficial way ("I don't know what your face looks like, I don't know how it looks in the light... I don't care if you're blue or red, I'll take you anytime, anywhere, in the night."). Although there's nothing that really stands out about this side compared to their other tunes, it's still great song, as only ? and the Mysterians could really pull off, and a cool addition to the collection.

Alright then,

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

THE TROGGS - Any Way That You Want Me / 66-5-4-3-2-1 - Fontana - 1967

As I was listening to "Any Way That You Want Me" I realized that I've always sort of regarded the Troggs as an unintelligent group of guys. Then when I played the flip side, "66-5-4-3-2-1," I realized that this group of dummies could certainly write a hell of a song.

The A-side of this single isn't one of the better songs the Troggs ever recorded. It's a real lightweight number but reuses the same rhythm that's instantly recognizable as the "Wild Thing" beat (which is far better suited for heavier songs like that, or their version of "I Want You,") and has some of the stupidest lyrics imaginable. Nothing to be disappointed about though. I bought this record for the B-side anyway.

"66-5-4-3-2-1" is, on the other hand, one of the best songs they ever wrote. Somehow they managed to continually write goddamn amazing songs using only a few very simple elements, usually based on one or two parts, and this song fits that mold pretty well. Basic, perfectly minimalistic drumming, short and simple structure, and a guitar leads that kicks dicks in. These fools were on-point when they wrote this tune. I love it.

Also, this song is apparently on the soundtrack to a Vietnam game for Playstation. I can't confirm that though.

Why am I so convinced that the Troggs were dummies? I don't have a solid answer. Maybe it has something to do with their consistently bad & corny lyrics, or maybe The Troggs Tapes have influenced that assumption (which is vaguely worth a listen,) or maybe it's the reggae jam version of "Wild Thing" they released in the mid 70's in a lame attempt to chart again. It could also be their regrettable collaboration with R.E.M. in the 90's, or the not one, but two different new versions of "Wild Thing" they released in the 90's for whatever silly reason, one of which featured Wolf of the show Gladiators. (Yup, the British version of American Gladiators.) Certainly not the smartest choices ever made.

It doesn't matter though, some of my favorite music was written by complete dimwits. You can't really hold it against them.

But honestly, someone please take the guitars away from these guys ASAP. No one's excited for an updated 5th version of what was originally a classic, killer tune.

Alright then.


Friday, May 23, 2008

THE GERMS - Forming / Live - What? - 1977

Here it is. The first single by the first band to ever have any real effect on me. I was 10 or 11 years old when I heard the Germs & just couldn't believe that music could be so trashy and noisy. Since that day I've been fascinated by them. I was unaware at the time of just how difficult it was going to be to track down their records though. For years I would walk into any place that sold music, in any form, asking hopefully if they had a copy of 'GI,' their only full length album, and for years I always got one of two reactions; either absolute confusion, or a rude kind of brush-off, like "yeah right, asshole. good luck." This was long before the wonderul / terrible invention of ebay, so it was my only hope. Oh well, I had my Germs MIA cassette, which had all of their studio recordings, and I played that tape so much that now it sounds like 'The Germs - Live From A Wind Tunnel."

Anyway, about this single.. It is considered by most to be the first LA punk single, & considered by others to be the most premature release in history. As far as I can tell, both claims may be true.
Forming was recorded using a karaoke machine & mixed down with some very convoluted idea of 'stereo' in mind. All of the instruments are panned to one side, the vocals panned entirely to the other. Darby (still known as Bobby Pyn) hadn't started using his rabid snarl yet & he's much closer to talking than any form of singing on this track. The band's marginal musical talent is very blatantly on display, & coupled with Darby's snotty little rant at the end, it makes for one hell of a punk masterpiece.

The B-side is actually Sex Boy recorded live (it was never recorded 'properly.') The sound quality is terrible, and the band can still barely play, though Darby should be given some credit for being as close to 'on time' as he would ever be caught on a live recording again. Still, this thing is a mess. At one point you hear what sounds like glass shattering and somebody yelling to "stay away!" The band finishes the song & the crowd is very audibly not happy. As Pat's guitar stops feeding back, there's a split second of silence before a giant, roaring "BOOOO!!" Faintly, in the fadeout, you hear a woman yelling "Get out of here!" It's absolutely amazing.

How is it, exactly, that this is the music that so violently grabbed my attention as a kid? I wish I knew.

This single isn't exactly an accurate representation of their music as a whole. From this, their first single, to Lexicon Devil, their second single, there's a colossal leap in the song writing, playing, and recording quality. They went on to write, in my opinion, some of the greatest punk rock songs ever recorded.

The Germs terrorized LA for 3 years, getting banned from so many clubs that they had to start billing themselves as GI (Germs Incognito) in order to get shows, then Darby killed himself.

The whole story of the Germs is definitely an interesting one, and the book 'Lexicon Devil' (co-written by drummer Don Bolles) is a pretty detailed account of their existence, & a great read to boot. If you have any interest in familiarizing yourself with the Germs, read this book, I beg of you, before the potentially disgusting Germs film (starring Shane West [WTF?!?!?!]) is released nationally. The book is written in the same style as "Please Kill Me" which is another favorite of mine.

Sink yr teeth in. Tasty.


Monday, May 19, 2008

((( CHERRY BOMB! #1 )))
Hosted by Psychedelic Elvis

This is a bit of a mixed bag. My first time using my new tables & mixer into the computer. It turned out pretty well, though I'll probably shorten them up just a little bit next time. As I mentioned before, these are all strictly vinyl transfers, mostly 45's. (Only 4 of the 26 tracks came from LP's.) Enjoy, & feel free to leave any feedback.

I think I'm obligated to say that if you own the copyrights to any of these songs and want them removed, please contact me and it will be swiftly taken care of.

Here it is...

Cherry Bomb! #1
1. Them - Mystic Eyes
2. The Shangri-Las - Out In the Streets
3. The Troggs - 66-5-4-3-2-1
4. Otis Redding - Down In the Valley
5. Q65 - The Life I Live
6. Nancy Sinatra - My Baby Cried All Night Long
7. The Neal Ford Factory - You Made Me A Man
8. Dion - (I Was) Born to Cry
9. The Nashville Teens - Tobacco Road
10. Things To Come - Darkness
11. The Monkees - Porpoise Song
12. Buddy Knox - I Think I'm Gonna Kill Myself
13. The Smoke - My Friend Jack
14. Sam Cooke - Having A Party
15. Blues Magoos - Gotta Get Away
16. The Bittersweets - What A Lonely Way to Start the Summertime
17. The Castaways - Liar, Liar
18. Love - 7 and 7 Is
19. The Mighty Hannibal - Hymn no. 5
20. The Animals - A Girl Named Sandoz
21. Davie Allan & the Arrows - UFO
22. James Brown - I'll Go Crazy
23. The Kinks - I'm Not Like Everybody Else
24. The Clique - Splash 1
25. The Rock-A-Teens - Woo Hoo
26. The Music Explosion - Sunshine Games


Psychedelic Elvis

Sunday, May 18, 2008

SAM COOKE - You Send Me / Summertime - Keen - 1957

I used to buy any Sam Cooke album that had 'Summertime' listed hoping to find this version of the song. Even the generic, untitled collections, the ones with every obvious hit, just on the off chance that I might finally own this version on vinyl. I really got my hopes up when I found a record with a track titled 'Summertime, Pt. 1,' but it's just the standard, greatest hits version with a little orchestration overdubbed on top. It's a cool version, but disappointing considering my expectations. (Side note: Where is 'Summertime, Pt. 2?' Does it even exist?)

Then, one day as I was digging through a dusty pile of 45's at a thrift store, I found this 45. Despite numerous disappointments before, I was pretty pumped & couldn't wait to get it onto my turntable.

Sure enough, this is the faster paced, upbeat version I had been searching for. Talk about satisfaction. Sam swings like a sonic boom. Pure gold. Sort of even makes me wish I had a soul. Or at least accurate words to sum up the heavyweight power of this seemingly airy tune. Sam slays with a grin, and luckily for all of us, this was merely a sign of what he was capable of.

I must admit though, as much as I love this version of 'Summertime,' I can't say that I prefer it over the slower, more somber, minimalistic, greatest hits version. Both are, in their own ways, absolutely flawless tunes.

Oh, and 'You Send Me' is actually the A-side. Pretty standard (and entirely enjoyable) but I think I have enough records with this song that I could listen to it repeatedly for a few hours without playing the same record twice. Being Sam's first single in the 'pop' world though, the historical value of the song is undeniable.

Luckily, Sam continued to write and record steadily, releasing an impressive collection of righteous and moving music, right up until his very untimely and confusing murder in December 11, 1964.

Strange that music from more than 50 years ago moves me far more than anything my generation can manage to burp out, huh?


On to all other things blog-related..
I have been, and still am, very reluctant to post mp3's of each 45 I review. This is mostly out of my need for convenience, since transferring vinyl onto my computer is a bit of a task. Instead I'm going to start posting mixes, or 'podcasts' or whatever the technologically-up-to-date will call them, that will have at least some of the mentioned records in them. These mixes will be recorded live from my turntables, will be strictly vinyl (primarily 45's,) and won't be cleaned up at all. I just have to figure out the details of where I'll be hosting them and exactly what format to offer them in. (One continuous mp3, or a .zip with the tracks broken up, etc.)

And finally, the blog-affirming, exciting news. I have never had delusions that anybody, at all, visited this site, but I just got my first comment from none other than Bill Gallagher, the guitar player of The Bougalieu. Click the comments of the post below this to read what he had to say. Luckily he wasn't offended that I ripped on one side of that 45. It's cool to know that anybody at all has ever read this little blog, but extra-cool when that person is responsible for something that I've chosen to write about.


Psychedelic Elvis

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Bougalieu - Let's Do Wrong / When I Was A Children - Roulette Records - 1967

After bringing this record home and doing a bit of research, here's what I came to learn about this group. ... ...pretty much nothing. They're from Albany, apparently, and have been comped on a few garage / psych records, most notably Pebbles. I, however, was unaware of this before buying this 45, purely on a whim.

Anyway, to the substance. This record is definitely a one-sider. "Let's Do Wrong" (which I believe is the A-side) is a fantastic rhythm & blues raving burst with a strangely atonal and nonsensical, albeit short, middle section. Clocking in at a wondrous minute and 45 seconds, this song delivers all that gets me jazzed in a nice short-attention-span-friendly package.

And then there's the flip side. "When I Was A Children" is a pretty forgettable, middle-of-the-road pop song. It's not good, and it's not bad, and I think that makes it worse. At least a REALLY bad song has the power to make me cringe, or feel embarrassed, sometimes even occasionally make me laugh. This is exactly mediocre, and I'm not impressed. Not one bit. Another convenient reason to not spin this side is that my copy has a locking skip in the final fading seconds of the song, and that can just about drive me nuts.

So what? I'll take a one-sider. Especially when that side is SO FUCKIN' GOOD.

On a side note: Isn't learning the ropes of good garage/fuzz/psych/whatever through Nuggets & Pebbles and What-Have-Yous at least kind of cheating? OK, buying them for the sake of owning those impossible gems (ie: Teddy & His Patches) on vinyl, or for DJ purposes seems to make sense, but having a nice little list laid out for you to begin with seems pretty passive and lazy to me. Isn't the thrill in the hunt? I guess some people just need to be told what's cool and what isn't... Then again, maybe I'm just a snobby music nerd. Who knows?
Psychedelic Elvis

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Poppy Family - Which Way You Goin' Billy? / Endless Sleep

Sometimes I buy shit that I don't have a clue about, just out of curiosity, because it has interesting looking cover art, a good band name or song title, or is on some really obscure, independent old label. Most of the time I end up owning a piece of historical garbage that makes me cringe every time i flip past it until I remove it from my record collection. But, as we all know, occasionally you mistakenly stumble across something really great and it makes all those wasteful purchases justified. Well, this record is a piece of shit. End of review.

No, but really, this record is fucking awesome. Half of it anyway. The B side. I could take or leave 'Which Way.' There's nothing especially note-worthy about it, except that it can get stuck in your head, but you don't really want it there. Oh but the B side is a killer. Jody Reynolds wrote this song, and actually had a pretty big hit with it in 1958, but I must've been living under a rock in 1958 cuz I never heard of it before. Anyway, this song fucking slays and is dark as fuck. Read them lyrics.

The night was black, rain falling down
look for my baby, she's nowhere around.
Traced her footsteps down to the shore,
'fraid she's gone for ever-more.

I looked at the sea, and it seemed to say
'I took your baby from you away."
I heard a voice cry from the deep
come join me, baby, in my endless sleep.

Why did we quarrel? Why did we fight?
Why did I leave her alone tonight?
That's why her footsteps ran into the sea
That's why my baby's gone from me.

Jody Reynolds' version had an extra verse about running into the sea and saving his lady, but the Poppies left that verse out, thereby making the song even cooler. This may have been Terry Jacks' finest moment in his musical career. Certainly much more respectable than that fucking pitiful and embarrassing 'Seasons in the Sun' bullshit he ended up doing. Now I think he's a lumberjack in Canada or some shit. Who knows. Susan Jacks (the singer, also his wife at the time) was a total babe to boot.

Also, I think this gem of a song is only available on this 45, as I've never seen it on any of the collections of theirs that I've found since picking this up. Hooray for compulsive record shopping!!!

Heavy. Heavy.
Psychedelic Elvis
The Clique - Stay By Me / Splash 1

Here's what I've come to realize; there is no upside to being a nerdy record collector. You're forever doomed to be a useless, pathetic, no-friends-having loser, until the day you die, or realize the errors of your ways. Honestly; who gives a flying fuck if I own this record (that I've been pining over for a few years now?) NOBODY. So why did I spend so much money on it??? Because I'm a useless, pathetic, no-friends-having loser with a serious problem. The truth has been told, finally. The saddest part is that I realize exactly how pathetic I am for this kind of weakness, and I still continue to pay ungodly amounts of money (that I don't have) to buy this stupid shit.

Anyway, I had a really well thought out review for this record planned, but then I thought about how much I hate myself for being 100% retarded, so fuck the full review. In spite of my mongoloid-self, I give this record a 10 out of 10 star rating.

Seriously, spend a whole shitload of money to buy this. Then swallow a handful of broken glass & rid the world of one less waste of flesh. I suck at life, for real. This record is proof.

With disdainful love,
Psychedelic Elvis.