Thursday, December 31, 2009

In Dan's Garage...#14

Hooray! I hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday season and yes, it's almost time to ring in the New Year! On this New Years Eve I'd like to thank all the friends and even the lurkers out there who've come to visit my little corner of cyberspace. In the past year I've been able to reacquaint myself with my record collection, and doing one of the things I love the most. Sharing it. I've always admired the the people who put the great comps together, mainly because they had great collections of far out cool records, but they also were making it available to fans and connoisseurs of hip sixties sounds. With this blog I've tried to present a wide spectrum of these sounds, from early 60's rockers to late 60's heavy psychedelic numbers. Even though this blog is firmly rooted in garage/punk, I include lots of records that don't exactly fit in with that description. I once asked a collector and dealer that I had dealt with if he was a "Back From The Grave" type purist and he said "Hell no. A good song is a good song". I've pretty much adhered to this same philosophy. Some friends have balked at my "choices", but as Iggy Pop once famously said..."Screw Ya". I like all this stuff. From The Trashmen to The Giant Jellybean Copout. So here we are with Number 14! This one's another crazy trip through what I consider the greatest decade in the history of Rock & Roll. This handful of 45s takes a few twists and turns and you'll hear a wide variety of cool tunes. I hope you all enjoy it. I'd really like to thank all the friends who dropped by with comments, and especially the friends who provided valuable info and corrections on my posts. You are as important to this blog as the music is. Thank You, and I wish you all a happy and very prosperous New Year.
Love, Dan

Clingers - Gonna Have A Good Time
I usually start with the beginning of the decade with these posts, but I couldn't resist kicking off with this one. The Clingers were a girl group produced by Kim Fowley & Michael Lloyd, and this one from '69 predated The Runaways by about 6 years, although they're certainly not as aggressive.

Moonriders - Rockin' Robin
Here's a great early 60's rocker out of Park Ridge, Ill. I'd guess this one is from about '61 or '62 (who knows? maybe earlier) and has a great inept guitar solo and pounding piano.

Head Lyters - You'd Better Come Home / I Need You
I'm not sure if this is the same group from Michigan who gave us "Girl Down The Street" on Phalanx records, 'cause they sure don't sound like it. This is a "La Bamba/Twist And Shout" ripoff, and the flip's a great soul influenced number.

 Buddy Knox - Jo Ann
Everyone knows Buddy Knox as the guy who did "Party Doll" back in 1957. He later cut a lot of teen pop stuff for Liberty, and then United Artists. In 1966 though he cut this maraca shakin' thing on the tiny Ruff Records label (also the home of the Blue Things and some other stellar garage 45s) that's real strange. It's got a real lo-fi feel to it and there's no electric guitars, just this acoustic 12 string. Totally weird, but rockin' nonetheless.

Charles Christy & The Crystals - Cherry Pie / Will I Find Her
This 45 sat in a guy's box for years until I offered him a $1 for it thinking it was just a total piece of crap. I was actually pleasantly surprised by this. Charles Christy was from Fort Worth, TX, had one other 45 on HBR. Although this is kind of lightweight, it's got a great garage feel to it.

Larry Roquemore - Mrs. Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter / Just Stay
As long as we're in Fort Worth, lets check this one out. This is none other than Texas legends Larry & The Blue Notes, who's "In And Out" is what I consider one of the top 10 garage/punk songs of all time. This on the other hand is not quite as "killer". Real interesting though....

Don Charles - She's Mine
 Can't tell you much about Don and this cool British raver, except that he was from Hull, UK. and possibly had an album.....

Fugitives - What Made You Blue / Theme Of Love
 YOW! One of my favorites! This is positively one of the crudest recordings I've ever heard, but these guys totally rock. Great guitar solo and honking sax. These guys put out an entire album on the famous Justice label. From Richmond, VA. Woo Hoo!

Hole In The Wall - Bring It On Home / When Blue Turns To Gray
Here's a real obscure one that I actually got some info on. Hole In The Wall were from Matawan, NJ and were originally known as "Jay Walker & The Pedestrians". They were produced by an entrepreneur named Johnny Dee who was trying his hand at promoting/managing groups, this being one of them. He got them a one shot deal with Epic and produced this one 45 which I think is fabulous. Cool organ dominates both sides of this two sided gem.

Terry & The Chain Reaction - Stop Stopping Me / Keep Your Cool
The first of two 45s released by this Alabama combo...

Layng Martine Jr. - Crazy Daisy
 I wasn't sure whether to post this one. It's got a cool fuzz guitar and a great break, but it's got a teenybopper goofiness to it. Layng Martine Jr. is best known for writing some huge country hits, and this obviously isn't one of them. He had another 45 called "Surabian Lament" which is a pretty cool psychedelic number. I'll feature that in a later post.

 Royal Guardsmen - Baby Let's Wait
 Oh what the hell. Let's throw caution to the wind and talk about this one too. We all know the Guardsmen's famous "Snoopy" songs. I really feel sorry for these guys, because they actually were a decent band that got pigeonholed with those goofy Snoopy things. While this certainly isn't their best, it is a great garage ballad, and I like it!

Magicians - An Invitation to Cry / Rain Don't Fall On Me No More
One of the truly great 60's masterpieces. Gary Bonner and Alan Gordon went on to write about a half dozen hits for the Turtles including "Happy Together" and "She's My Girl". They also wrote "Put The Clock Back On The Wall" a pop/psyche classic.

Michael Paul - Jingle Jangle
 "A good song, is a good song". Here's a perfect example. Although this Troggs cover is a "big production" style number, you can't escape the cool 12 string "jangly" guitars, and the almost snotty like vocals.

Off Set - A Change Is Gonna Come / Xanthia (Lisa)
Originally known as "The Jagged Edge" who put out the fantastic "You Can't Keep A Good Man Down", this is a great pop/psyche/folk rock two sider. They had to change their name because there were so many Jagged Edges at the time...

Opus IV - Mess Around / About Her
 Here's a great one from Ohio. The guy singing sounds a lot like Paul Jones from Manfred Mann.

Tayles - Funny Paper Sam / It's High Time
 I swore this was from 68 or 69,but it's really from 1971! This Madison, WI group had an album and another 45 credited to them.

Mind Garage - Asphalt Mother / Reach Out
 This Morgantown, WV group is credited with being one of the first "Christian Rock" bands, but before they began doing an "Electric Liturgy" in churches around the east, and releasing two LPs on RCA Victor, they released this rather obscure 45 on the trippy "Morning Glori" label. Both sides are real heavy psych.

Get it HERE

Thursday, December 24, 2009

In Dan's Garage...#13

Hellooooooooooooo everyone and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! In the last post, which seems like eons ago, I mentioned how beautiful and balmy the weather was here in upstate New York. Well, you know... Mother Nature likes to turn on a dime, and now were in the midst of a January like deep freeze. No problem though. It actually feels Christmasy out there with a nice blanket of white snow covering everything. We're not exactly knee deep either, and that makes life a little easier. I've been really busy doing the shopping thing for Xmas, and my lovely wife has been so busy baking delectable goodies for all to enjoy. She's also very adept at candy making, and this years bounty was one of the best. She made these almond joy like things, you know, with coconut and almonds and chocolate that were literally out of this world...ummmm....I'm sorry. I got a little sidetracked there. This is a music blog, and I do have another post here. As usual, you get a veritable cornucopia of hip 60's sounds ranging from frat-rock to freakbeat. So here it is....In Dan's Garage #13!!!

Dee Jay & The Runaways - She's A Big Girl Now / He's Not Your Friend
Dee Jay & The Runaways' big claim to fame was "Peter Rabbit", and were one of the biggest bands to come out of Iowa. This was their follw up, and as you can see by the label, this particular tune was "restricted" because the theme of the song has to do with a girl "blossoming out". Pretty strong stuff back in '66.

Kenny & The Fiends - She Kept Doing Him Wrong / Last Night Was The Night
Great two sided frat rocker from L.A. I don't know much else.....

Untamed - Someday Baby / Lonely Boy
Fantastic, upbeat garage from a Chicago area group, with an upfront electric piano as opposed to the cheesy vox/farfisa organ sound that was so popular at the time. The flip is a cool moody ballad.

Vandals - Ballad Of A Loser / My Girl
From 1966 comes this coolest of moody garage "ballads". This was the same label that brought us the crushing "I Love You" by The Worlocks. This one on the other hand is a little more polished with dripping, surfy guitars and ultra cheesy organ. Both sides are fantastic.

Bob Morrison - Hey! Puppet Man / I Looked In The Mirror
I'm not exactly sure who Bob Morrison was, but I presume he was a studio musician from either N.Y. or L.A. He did leave us with at least three 45s on Columbia Records, and this great two sider was his best. Puppet Man has a nice snotty vocal with teriffic fuzz guitars, and the B side is a fantastic folk rocker. He allegedly had an LP on Capitol too, but I've never seen it...

Dearly Beloved - Wait Till The Morning / You Ain't Gonna Do What You Did To Him To Me
One of Tuscon, AZ finest groups. They reportedly recorded an entire albums worth of music for Columbia, of which only four songs were released. This one's pretty good, even with the slightly wacky B side.

Caeser & His Romans - Green Grass Makes It Better / Why Make A Fool Of Me
 I should have saved this Buffalo, NY 45 for my "Upstate New York" post, but what the heck... As you can see, singing songs about "Green Grass" in 1967 wasn't too cool with radio station WSAY (I'll get to this legendary Rochester, NY radio station in a later post...), so they "renamed" the song "Changes". This band eventually became "Big Wheelie & The Hubcaps" who were sort of a "Sha Na Na" 50's revival band. I saw them once, and they were actually pretty good....

Gypsy Trips - Ain't It Hard / Rock 'N Roll Gypsies
 Another Los Angeles Guy/Gal combo, this was the original that was later covered by The Electric Prunes.

Hardtimes - Fortune Teller / Goodby
Originally from San Diego, these guys moved to L.A. and were regulars on Dick Clark's "Where The Action Is" An excellent version with a great B side in my opinion...

Jerry Raye - I Cry
 The guy who sang the legendary "Mindrocker" in Fenwyck, this one is a solo effort which features a blistering fuzz guitar throughout. Great stuff.

 New Dawn - Slave Of Desire
 Here's an obscure one that I know nothing about. Great soul influenced psych/punk...

Newluvs - Be My Girl / It's All Over
No, this isn't the real label artwork. Just some teenager getting wild with a handful of magic markers. An awesome garage/punk two sider from Reading, PA

Noah's Ark - Love In / I Get All The Luck
Groovy, eastern influenced psych from Tampa, FL.

Ron De Voos - Trip So Wild / Run, Run, Run
 I'll presume this is the same group who gave us "The Maid" on Back From The Grave Vol. 7. This single is a weird psych effort though, and not exactly punk like their earlier record.

Second Summers - Bad Vibrations 
Another real obscure group, probably from the NYC area. Released in 1969, this is a great example of how some bands still avoided the more "progressive" sounds of the "Woodstock Generation" (blechhh)

Smoke - My Friend Jack / We Can Make It
I'm gonna finish this off with one of my absolute favorite singles ever. You can't beat this one for total freakbeat goodness!

Get it HERE

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas time is here....

Hello friends! Well, here we are in the midst of the Christmas season. Buying gifts, battling traffic, and for many of us, dealing with a radical change in weather. While working on the next Dan's Garage post, my mind drifted to one of my favorite things...Christmas songs. I'm here with my lovely wife Red, and two of her nieces, and our future daughter in law making chocolates and baking cookies. Now that's what I call Christmas cheer! But, let me get to the crux of this non-musical post. One of the luxuries of being a postman for the University Of Rochester (yes, it's that big), is having a vehicle that's really nice with a CD player so I can listen to WHATEVER I LIKE!!!! But we also have some not so nice vehicles that DON'T have a CD player. Just a plain old AM/FM radio. So when my "nice" vehicle is going through routine maintenance, I'm forced to listen to whatever is on in the vehicle that's given to me. Usually I turn to sports, but since this is the holiday season, I'm tempted to tune in to one of the various 24/7 Xmas stations. This is like hearing fingernails on a chalkboard most of the time. Yeah, we're treated to Bing Crosby's "White Christmas", and Elvis' "Blue Christmas"once in a while, but lately I've been hearing so much crap, it's unbearable. The worst, is that piece of shit that Mariah Carey sings. I don't know the name of it, and I don't care to. There are various horrible versions of "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree" too, with some country bimbo. I dunno, Kelly Pickler, or some really bad generic singer warbling over a really overproduced band that most likely wasn't there when she was singing it. Then there's George Michael, and his contribution. I'm not sure of the name of that one either, but man does it suck. Anything by Harry Connick Jr. sucks too. That Sinatra wannabe should stick to wanting to be Sinatra, which he doesn't do very well. I love Ray Charles, but I heard his Christmas album once, and it was horrific. There's also a plethora of "divas" who's singing is totally indistinguishable from one another. They really suck too. That song about the shoes needs to go also. Why would anyone want to listen to that depressing piece of shit at a time when we're supposed to be uplifted????? They must play that crap every hour. I think I'm on a roll here, but let me get to what I really like. Here's Dan's top ten Christmas albums in no particular order....

1. Chet Atkins - Christmas With...
As a guitarist, I've never been a huge Chet Atkins fan. He's just a little too "technical" for me. But this album has such a great feel too it, I became a fan almost instantly. There's some goofy vocal group things going, but overall, it captures the Christmas mood perfectly. Great for putting lights on the tree, or Christmastime home repairs.
2. Los Straitjackets - 'Tis The Season
As a guitarist, I love Los Straitjackets. I saw them in '04 doing their Christmas shows with The Pontani Sisters and Kaiser George, and I must say it was one of the most entertaining shows I've ever been too.
Great for work parties.
3. Christmas Classics (Rhino Records Compilation)
The best "modern" mix of Xmas tunes. The Ventures, The Cadillacs, Roy Orbison, James Brown, and Brenda Lee all appear on this album. I'd have to say, if there's one comp of great Xmas tunes to buy, this is it!
Great for anything.
4. A Christmas Gift For You From Philles Records
his was Phil Spector cashing in on Xmas by having his best acts sing Xmas standards. All I can say is I'll never forget hearing The Ronettes sing "Sleigh Ride" when I was a little kid. Every song is a classic.
Great for driving to the mall.
5.The Ventures - Christmas Album
Like Los Straitjackets, this is another fantastic instrumental/rock Xmas tribute. The Ventures take tried and true classics like "I Feel Fine" and "Wooly Bully" and turn them sideways into Xmas classics. Definitely a must have.
Great for happy hour.
6. The Fab Four Christmas Album
Like the Ventures, the Fab Four take very recognizable Beatles songs and tun them sideways into Xmas classics. Very ingenious! Everyone I play this for is amazed.
Great for Jerry's Christmas Party or YOURS!!!!
7. Christmas Cocktails Vols. 1 -3
Be a lounge lizard. Put on your good suit, a skinny tie, shiny shoes, and girls...put your BEST cocktail dress on, invite your best friends over (no jeans please), mix up a pitcher of martinis and throw this on. Nail the lampshades to the lamps please.
Great for getting drunk.
8. 101 Strings - Christmas
So your parents are coming over and they're not "down" with Los Straitjackets??? No problem. Put this on and you'll mellow them out just fine. Actually it's great as far as Xmas albums go. Real traditional stuff.
Great for putting the old folks to sleep.
9. Elvis' Christmas Album 
Yikes I almost forgot this! Elvis puts his stamp on a bunch of greats, and delivers only as Elvis can.
Great for anything.
10. Nat King Cole Christmas
What's Xmas without "The Christmas Song"? I've heard countless versions of this, but no one beats Nat King Cole. Even if every other song on this album was a piece of shit (not that they are), this one song would make it worthwhile.
Great for romancing your woman by the fire. 

There's also a few honorable mentions...
Brian Setzer - Dig That Crazy Christmas
Elf - Original Soundtrack
Mr.Hankey's Christmas Classics
Frank Sinatra - A Jolly Christmas From...
Moody Blues - December
The Ultimate Christmas Album Vols. 1 - 6
Vince Guaraldi Trio - A Charlie Brown Christmas

All of these are really good, especially the"Ultimate" collections. Just like "Christmas Classics", they pretty much cover all the bases. You might want to listen to Mr. Hankey alone in the car though. It's not exactly everyone's cup of tea.

So there you have it. Christmas time is here...happiness and for all that children call...their favorite time of year...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

In Dan's Garage...#12

Yeah, what a week! I hope everyone had a great holiday, and for those across the Atlantic and around the globe, I hope your week was good too! Let me continue now with another offering of beat, garage, psyche... NUMBER 12!

Furys - Little Queenie / Baby What's Wrong
Here's a cool blaster from Minneapolis, MN home of the Trashmen and other fine midwest rockers. It shows too! You can hear the awesome twang and reverb on both sides of this record.

Gamma Goochie Himself - (You Got)The Gamma Goochie / I'm Gonna Buy Me A Dog
 Not exactly sure who the Gamma Goochie really was, but Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart produced this wacky frat rocker. They also wrote the flip, "I'm Gonna Buy Me A Dog" which eventually ended up on The Monkees first LP.

Paramounts - Bad Blood / Do I
  The Paramounts - Poison Ivy / I Feel Good All Over
 Before Gary Brooker sang "Whiter Shade Of Pale" and Robin Trower rocked us with "Bridge Of Sighs" (a guilty pleasure I must admit!!!) they both played on these two R&B influenced British Beat gems! One of the more overlooked groups from the 60's.

Shags - Wait And See / It Hurts Me Bad
 Great two sided garage 45 from New Haven, CT. Listen to another one on #9.

Leaping Ferns - Maybe Baby / It Never Works Out For Me
 When The Chantays of "Pipeline" fame weren't hangin' ten, they went around calling themselves "The Leaping Ferns" and played moody garage ballads and Buddy Holly covers. True greatness!

Lord Alan & Sir Richard - Run In The Dark / Little Things
Real cool british invasion influenced two sider! I think Freddy Cannon may have had something to do with this one....

Chevelles - Tears / Cottage For Two
 Rip roaring garage on the top side, and a weepy, yet cool, ballad on the B side. I know nothing about these guys except that this might be from Delaware......

Gentlemen - I Really Love You / Elephants
 From Madison, WI comes this great 2 sider. The A side is pretty good invasion stuff with terrific vocals, but the B side is pure genius. I'm not sure what the song is about, but the lyrics are nothing compared to the really clever arrangement on this song. I think there's three guitarists, all doing something different, and then there's the brilliant bashing drums, and those crazy staccato breaks with that twangy quirky guitar thing...Genius. Total genius.

Evel Encorporated - All I Really Want To Do / Baby It's You
 Formerly known as "Evel Enc. Group", they debuted with the fantastic "The Point Is". This, their seond, isn't quite as good, but it's not chopped liver either. A "Bob Dyland" cover on the A, and a cover of "Baby It's You" by way of the Beatles on the flip.

Untouchables - Love Is A Beautiful Thing
How can you go wrong with something on "Psychedelic Records"???? Unfortunately, the other side of this Rascals cover is real icky lounge pop.

 Carnaby Street Runners - Live And In Person (a)Land Of A 1000 Dances (b)Gimme Some Lovin' (c)Satisfaction
 Here's a real kooky 45 by the same crew who brought us The Lemon Pipers, The Music Explosion, The Ohio Express, and a bunch of other "bubblegum"rock acts. Actually, this is pretty cool. You've got some "bloke" with a fake British accent, and canned applause, with a very garagey band diong a medley of three standards. Not really half bad in my opinion...

 Love Affair - Let Me Know
 The Love Affair were one of the most popular bands in Britain 1968. Although most of their output was slushy pop, which they reportedly never played on, they were allowed to play on their B sides, and this one is great with a nice heavy guitar riff.

 Young & Wild - For What I Am
 This here is a really obscure 45. The only thing I know is that Danny Dallas produced some stuff in Michigan, which is where I think these guys might be from. It sounds like a later 60's thing, maybe even early 70's, but it's got a definite mid 60's garage vibe to it. Fantastic guitar riffs and very cool background vocals.

 Karma - New Mexico / N.S.U.
Another very obscure record, this time from Iowa. Fredlo Records relesed several 45 in the late 50's and early 60's but that's all I can tell you. Good heavy psyche on the A side, and a great version of a Cream tune on the B.

 Giant Crab - Hot Line Conversation / Hi Ho Silver Lining
 Two sides of terrific psyche from Santa Barbara, Ca. Dig It!!!

Grump - Heartbreak Hotel
 I'm not sure if Elvis would approve of this whacked out, heavy rendition of "Heartbreak Hotel", but I really do!!!

Get it HERE