Sunday, January 31, 2010

In Dan's Garage...#18


HEY!!! I hope everyone is having a great weekend! The band played out last night to a small but very enthusiastic crowd who dared to venture out in the subzero weather we've been having here in upstate New York. Plus, we had a gigantic full moon. I guess it's the biggest one of the year, so the whole evening had a spooky vibe to it. Overall, we had a blast. Now I'm sitting here recovering from several pints of delicious IPA's. Not exactly hungover, but just a little drained from last night's activities.So what better way to wind down the weekend than with another posting of "In Dan's Garage"? This particular edition features some very familiar, and maybe "not so garage or psychedelic" sounds. I just opened a new box and was greeted with some old favorites, and a few oddballs. I'm sure you'll all enjoy it. So here it is....

Rogues - Everyday
Let's not confuse this studio group with the other 100 or so "Rogues" out there. This is Bruce Johnston & Terry Melcher doing a super solid remake of Buddy Holly's lightweight classic. Sorry Buddy Holly fans, but this version is absolutely the best I've ever heard, with a nice "Louie Louie" thing thrown in for good measure!

C.L. & The Pictures - Let's Take A Ride
 Here's a nice early '60s rocker. The only thing I could find out about C.L. Weldon is that he released an album of hard blues rock called "Houston's Natural Gass" with another guy named Jesse Lankford. It sounds an awful lot like Grand Funk Railroad. 

Excels - It Isn't So / Run Girl Run
Every search I do on this group comes up with references to Northern Soul. I dig soul music, but this sure as hell ain't nothing like James Brown. Actually, it's a pretty cheesy teen garage band. The top side is an inept weeper, and the flip is a Buddy Holy style thing with cool organ fills. From the Chicago area....

High Spirits - (Turn On Your) Love Light / Tossin' And Turnin'
Pretty good version by a bunch from Minneapolis. If you haven't heard their awesome "I Believe" yet, you definitely should. This was their 1st 45....

Sev & Fred - Bye Bye Love
As long as we're in the upper Midwest, why not throw in a couple of mystery men from Wisconsin? Not sure who Sev or Fred were, but this is a way cool version of the Everly Bros. classic. Note: No electric guitars....

Mod Rockers - Lovers Lane
 Another mystery. These guys may have been "rockers", but this tune sure doesn't sound "mod" to me... Wait...Mod...Rockers...hey! I get it! It's an oxymoron!!!! How clever....

Mugwumps - I Don't Wanna Know
Hey, let's throw in some nice "folk rock" OK? This was Mama Cass and Denny Doherty of Mamas and Papas fame with Zal Yanovsky of Lovin' Spoonful fame before they split into their respective groups. I'm not a "folkie", in the trditional sense, but I kinda like this "power folk" (for lack of a better term).

We Five - Let's Get Together
As long as we're doing the "meaningful folk rock" thing, let's throw in this little nugget. We Five's "You Were On My Mind" was one of the first to blend traditional folk with rock music. I think it's a fantastic song. What is overlooked is the fact that We Five did the hippie anthem "Let's Get Together" a good two years before the Youngbloods had a hit with it. This one's a completely different take on the song. Real cool.

Jamie Coe & The Gigolos - Greenback Dollar / But Yesterday
Jamie Coe was discovered by Bobby Darrin in the late fifties and did a few teen rocker 45s. After the Beatles hit big he lost his popularity (except in Michigan where he was still a big favorite), changed his up sound and released this cool folk rock 45. 

Gentrys - Spread It On Thick / Brown Paper Sack
Great Frat rock/R&B group from Memphis. They sang this one in a movie with The Animals and The Castaways, but I forget the name of it...

British Walkers - Shake / That Was Yesterday
A Washington DC. group that had a few 45's  released, all of them pretty good. This one is rumored to be the Chartbusters in disguise.

Kingsmen - If I Need Someone
 It's real hard to believe that this is the same band that gave us Louie Louie, or even Jolly Green Giant for that matter. Nonetheless, this is a terrific version of George Harrison's classic folk rocker.

Nobody's Children - Don'tcha Feel Like Cryin'
Here's one of those borderline tunes with horns. This one's pretty good though, because it's got cool fuzz guitars, and the singer sounds just like Joey Ramone! From the Maryland / D.C. area.

Seeds - Mr. Farmer / Up In Her Room
 I don't think this band needs any introduction. This was one of their better efforts that wasn't a clone of "Pushin' Too Hard"

Balloon Farm - Question Of Temperature / Hurtin' For Your Love
The first "garage" 45 I ever bought! A true classic! The flip side "Hurtin' For Your Love" is really overlooked.

Bristol Boxkite - Clors Of Love / If You Love Me
Great folky/poppy/psyche sounds from a group out of Castro Valley, a suburb of San Fransisco.

Vagrants - I Love, Love You (Yes I Do)
 What the hell...I'll throw in this beat up copy of the seldom heard flip side of "Respect" Leslie West wails on this vocal....

Music Explosion - What You Want (Baby I Want You)
 I originally bought this for the freaky instrumental psychedelic flip side "Road Runner", while completely ignoring the A side. know what? The A side is pretty freaking cool. Emphasis on "freak". The guys who sang the bubblegum classic "Little Bit Of Soul" really take a left turn on this 45.

 Ohio Express - Try It / Soul Struttin'
Here's another Kasenetz & Katz effort, this time by the Yummy Yummy Yummy guys. Between that and the great "Beg Borrow and Steal", this group tried their hand at the Standells' hit. The flip was co-written by Tony Orlando!

Bubble Puppy - Hot Smoke & Sassafras / Lonely
 Debut 45 by one of the best known Texas psyche bands ever. It was there, so I had to include it.

Bintangs - Ridin' On The L & N
 Definitely not a garage tune, but a great rockin' blues number. The Bintangs from The Netherlands have been around forever and are a very prolific group.

Get it HERE 

Saturday, January 23, 2010

In Dan's Garage...#17

YOW! It's been almost one full year to this day that I started this blog thing, and I'm really enjoying the hell out of it. I'm planning on some "special editions" in the near future like an all instrumental edition, and one or two (maybe three) that will focus on upstate New York groups. The comments section is really taking off too. Thanks again to all who made corrections and provided valuable information on some very unknown bands. Here's a reminder...check out all the other cool blogs I have listed in my favorites. They're all great and provide a wealth of info as well as some fantastic tunes.

Astronauts - I'm A Fool / Can't You See I Do
The Astronauts were one of the best "landlocked" surf groups of the '60s. "Baja" should be on everyone's surf playlist. Around the time of the British Invasion though, they changed their sound up and released "I'm A Fool" about a year before Dino, Desi, & Billy had a big hit with it. Both sides of this 45 are superb in my humble opinion....

Bouncin' Beats - I Need Your Love / The Bounce
 Here's a group that I tried really hard ( least as hard as I can try) to find some info on, but reached a dead end. Possibly from Canada(?), Ottawa's Don Norman & The Other Four covered "The Bounce" in '66. Top side is a rather inept invasion styled tune. Relatively crude stuff for a major label.

Marilyn Mattson - He Means That Much To Me / You Cheated
 Real spooky, moody garage with LOTS of reverb in the mix. Not exactly sure who Marilyn was, but she managed to put out this one 45. She also graces the cover of our post.

Robin & The Three Hoods - That's Tuff / I Wanna Do It
 This Wisconsin group released this three times. Twice on this label with different flip sides, and once on Hollywood Records which was distributed nationally. This is a fantastic garage two sider with great guitar breaks on both.

Badd Boys - I Told You So
All my efforts to nail something down about this fantastic 45 have come up with dead ends. Fuzz, Acid, & Flowers claims that they're from the UK, but they sure don't sound like it,especially if you've heard their second 45 "Never Goin' Back To Georgia". Producer Dick Monda was a song writer based in LA, and Stu Phillips is credited with film and TV scores, among them "Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls", and the Monkees television show. My guess is that these guys were either from LA or the west coast, or possibly even a very good studio group. This was a regular on the Riviera Playboys' set list.....

Dave Davani Four - Tossin' And Turnin'
 Superb Mod/R&B sounds ala Georgie Fame and Zoot Money. Way cool Hammond organ throughout.

Bedforde Set - Girl, Go Run Away / The World Through A Tear
 Tough garage from Rockville, MD, with raunchy guitars and a driving organ. The flips' a great pop/psyche number.

Primates - Knock On My Door / She
 Grade 'A' garage classic! These guys were from Astoria in Queens and had another great 45 "Don't Press Your Luck", which is rarer, but this is hands down the better record. Real lo-fi garage at its best!

Shadden & The King Lears - All I Want Is You
Here's a good example of a garage band forgoing the usual guitar solo in favor of a sax. It works, cause this song is great with sort of a meanacing tone to it. Shadden & The King Lears were a  very popular group from Memphis, and the flip of this one is "Come Back When You Grow Up Girl" made famous by super wimp Bobby Vee. Ironically, this one came out first.

Urban Roots - You Make My Heart Ring (Like A Bell) / I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man
Another mystery group. Terrific reverb soaked guitar and electric piano instead of the typical cheesy organ.

Jury - Who Dat? / Please Forget Her
Stinging punk with the snottiest vocals from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. I don't know a lot about these guys either, but any info would be appreciated. This is another bona-fide classic.

Lenis Guess - Workin' For My Baby
 Lenis Guess is a very popular R&B/Soul singer from Norfolk, VA. Although most of his output is straight up soul, he fronts a way cool garage band on this one, and the result is this top notch winner, with a heavy dose of garage attitude.

Six Pents - She Lied
 Great punk from Houston,Tx. These guys changed their name to the Sixpentz, had an album and a couple of 45 on Mainstream records, and eventually became "Fun & Games", a more pop oriented group.

Boys From NYC - A Little Bit Harder / Goin' To California
Also known as The Energy Package (which can be heard on #16), The Boys From NYC had three 45s on Laurie. This is a great garage/pop two sider with great vocal harmonies. Real polished stuff here...

HamiltonWalker - Graveyard Shift / You Must Be The One
I really don't dig "horn bands", or any horns. I say that as a plural. A wild honkin' sax player is totally cool, and yes, horns ections are essential in soul and r&b music. But you get what I'm saying right? I do have to make exceptions though, and this is one. This 45 is just freakin' wild! Hamilton Walker was obviously from the Pacific NW, as this is a Jerden Records production. You can tell by the pounding drums, especially on "You Must Be The One". I still can't figure out the weird swishing noise on that tune. I first thought my record was screwed up, but it's actually right in the mix!

Pretty Things - Come See Me / L.S.D.
 Arguably their best 45. This one's a German release. Nuff said...

Torques - Merry Maker / You Make Me Feel Good
 Another mystery group. The top side is a great pop/psyche tune, and the flip is a good rendition of the Zombies classic.

Fairytale - Guess I Was Dreaming / Lovely People (Like You And Me)
 From Warrington, England, this was one of two 45s they released. Real "dreamy" first rate British psyche
Get it HERE

Saturday, January 16, 2010

In Dan's Garage...#16

Greetings friends and followers! I'd like to thank all of you who left comments on my last, and all previous posts. I'm very flattered, and I hope you're enjoying them. Extra special thanks go out to the people who've left valuable information about some of these bands, and hey, if any of you were actually in any of these groups, we'd love to hear from you! Alrighty then, let get this show on the road!

Shevelles - Oo Poo Pa Doo /  Like I Love You
Great beat version of Jessie Hill's classic, by an unknown UK group. There's at least one other 45 by these guys, although it's in a poppier style. I'll post that one later....

Birdwatchers - Wake Up Little Susie / She Tears Me Up
The Birdwatchers were a rather prolific group from Tampa, FL who released about 21 different 45s in various styles. "I'm Gonna Love You Anyway" is perhaps their most famous. This early one is real garagey and is kind of tough to find.

Conchords - Little Black Egg
Here's another mystery group doing a nice version of Little Black Egg. The flip's a cover of The Tornadoes "Telstar" which I'm saving for a special "Instrumental Edition"

Jason Eddie & The Centremen - Singing The Blues / True To You
Totally whacked out version of this standard which has been covered by everyone from Guy Mitchell, to Marty Robbins, to Marie Osmond. This is a prime example, actually it's probably THE BEST example, of how crazy Joe Meek could get in the studio. Where he got the idea for that absolutely crazed guitar riff is beyond me. Sheer genius. Jason Eddie was actually Billy Fury's brother, and continues to perform to this day, doing a tribute to him.

Saints - Girl Forgive Me /  Don't Make Me Wait Around
Another real obscure group from The Bronx. Real teen garage stuff here with some rather off key vocal harmonies.

Shy Guys - Feel A Whole Lot Better / Without You
 Real good version by a Detroit area band, with a vocal harmony thing in lieu of a guitar break. The flip is a cool up tempo garage number.

Lance Fox & The Bloodhounds - You Got Love / That's Your Problem
 Here's an interesting 45 by another unknown group. Famed songwriter/producer, Jerry Ragavoy has his name all over this record, as well as Bert Berns who worked with Van Morrison, The Strangeloves, The McCoys, and a bunch of others. If this is some kind of studio group, they're pretty damn good in my opinion, as both sides are terrific garage with great cheesy Farfisa organ dominating both.

Emotional Upsets - Maintain Your Cool / Baby Baby
This mystery group does a fine job aping Mitch Ryder. Both sides of this are great Blue Eyed Soul tunes with a nice garage flavor to them.

Tropics - As Time's Gone / Time
 Awesome garage/punk burner from Tampa, FL. The Tropics had several 45s, two of which are on Columbia, and are their best. My question is, how the hell did Teo Macero, the guy who produced such rockers as Dave Brubeck, Thelonious Monk, and Miles Davis end up in the studio with these guys??????

'Twas Brillig - Dirty Old Man / This Week's Children
 One of Minnesota's best garage/punk acts. These guys were formerly known as The Electras, and had a bunch of 45s, all great. Both sides of this one are intense punkers, with the flip side being real menacing.

King Bees - On Your Way Down The Drain
Not to be confused with the Canadian King Bees, this group was from New York City and some of their members went on to back up James Taylor. Hear their first one on In Dan's Garage #4.

Fifth Estate - That's Love
 This group evolved from The 'D' Men, whose "So Little Time" is one of my favorites. The Fifth Estate's claim to fame was a cover of "Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead". They had a penchant for doing whimsical pop type things, but this song really stands out with its ringing 12 string guitar and almost snotty vocals.

Energy Package - This Is The Twelfth Night / See That I Come Home 
 This group also released 45s as The Boys From New York City of which "I'm Down Girl" is one of my favorites. This one's a great psyche number backed with a nice folk rocker.

Jefferson Handkerchief - I'm Allergic To Flowers
 Everyone should know this classic psychedelic novelty which has made the rounds of many compilations. Obviously a studio group which probably included Dave Burgess who played with The Champs of "Tequila" fame.

49th Parallel - Close The Barn Door / Twilight Woman
 From Calgary, Alberta Canada, this group had the fantastic "You Do Things"/"Labourer" on RCA. They later had a poppier psych sound as heard on this 45. Both sides of this are great, and Twilight Woman was actually a hit in Canada and parts of the US.

Good Rats - The Hobo / The Truth Is Gone
 Wow. I could probably fill a few pages on this band's story, but I'll be brief. The Good Rats, also known as "The Worlds Most Famous Unknown Band", are from Long Island and are led by vocalist Pepi Marchello. The debuted in 68 with this single and an album of great psych on Kapp records which really went nowhere. After a few years they changed their lineup, adopted a great hard rock sound and released "Tasty", an album which I wore the grooves out of when I was a teenager. Never real superstars, they did in fact share the bill with some of the greatest rock acts, including The Rolling Stones, Kiss, and The Ramones. They still perform to this day and continue to make regular visits to Rochester.

KAK - Everything's Changing
 This Sacramento group evolved from Group 'B' and The Oxford Circle. Their album is very sought after.

Rooneys - Walter Wright
 This nice little folksy/poppy number is by none other than Mickey Rooney Jr. Mickey had a nice musical career and appeared several times on Shindig!

Get it HERE