Tuesday, July 27, 2010

In Dan's Garage...#40

I was going to post this last Sunday, but I got so sidetracked I had to postpone it till this evening. Instead of rewriting this, I'll let you all make believe it's late Sunday morning. Better yet. Just stop reading now, and save it for next weekend!!!! 
   Happy Sunday friends!!!! After a blistering hot week here in "lovely" Upstate N.Y., I think it's about time we cracked open an ice cold beer, or mixed ourselves a nice cool cocktail and kick back with some good music, don't you think???? I love a good beer in the afternoon or early evening. Maybe with a nice shot of fine bourbon, or Irish Whiskey perhaps??? My favorites (bourbon that is...) are Jim Beam Black and Wild Turkey 101. I'm also a huge Jack Daniels fan too, and Makers Mark is oh so fine. Those all go great with a nice India Pale Ale. There's a place up here that The True Believers play at often called "Monty's Krown". These are some of the best people in Rochester, and they are the ONLY venue in town that let's us play whenever we like, provided there's an open date that is. It is in my opinion, the only true melting pot of Rock & Roll in the city. It's a small pub style bar that's kind of dark and the smell of beer hangs heavy in the air, but it's got such a great "underground" atmosphere, it reminds me somewhat of the Cavern in Liverpool.They also have one of the best beer menus in the city, and they don't serve any Budweiser, the absolute worst beer in the world. I had an argument with a co-worker of mine who thought Bud Light (even worse than regular Bud if that's possible) was a great beer, and he said "It's the most popular beer in the US, so they must be doing something right". My response was, "No, it just means that there are more non beer drinkers drinking beer than ever before". He scratched his head trying to figure out what I meant, and what I mean is, junk like Bud Light, Coors Light, Miller Light, etc., are made for people who can't handle "real beer". Don't get me wrong. I may be a "hop-snobber", but I will drink what's being served. My wife once asked me "If all that's left in the world is the worst beer you ever drank, would you quit drinking beer?" I responded "NO". I consider myself a "cheap beer" connoisseur. Pabst Blue Ribbon is great. So is Utica Club which I was totally surprised they even still brew. Sorry, I got off track here. Drink what you like today. An ice cold brew, a room temperature Guinness, a crisp cool Martini, whatever. Enjoy yourself!!!!!

Black Jeans - El Tigre (196?)
Early 60s or late 50s effort from a wild, rocking Mexican group who had several releases if I'm not mistaken. Excellent rockabilly/proto punk.

Scot High & The Highlanders - Sure Fire (1961)
 More "proto-punk" from a very obscure group. Great guitar on this one.

Surfaris - I'm A Hog For You / Wipe Out (1963)
Of course we all know the legendary surf instrumental from 1962 "Wipe Out", but what makes this 45 interesting is it's garagey flip "I'm A Hog For You" and the fact that this issue is a entirely different version than the original Dot Records release.

Preachers - Yesterday, Today, And Tomorrow / Shake That Thing (1966)
A pretty obscure 45 that claims it was "Recorded In England" on the flip, but these guys sound like they're from the good ol' USA to me.

Scoundrels - Easy / The Scoundrel (1966)
A great folky punker from Brooklyn, NY. Nice production on this one too, with those great background vocals. These guys also released the fantastic "Up There" which is a lot punkier than this one.

Shy Guys - We Gotta Go / Lay It On The Line (1966)
Real teenage stuff from a bunch out of Michigan. Both sides are A-1 garage punk.

Badd Boys - Never Going Back To Georgia / River Deep, Mountain High (1967)
Here are the same guys featured in IDG #17. I still haven't come up with any solid evidence of where they're from, but both sides of this 45 are really good. Even the cover of "River Deep,Mountain High" which has some pretty over the top production on it.

Dawnbreakers - I'll Never Ask You Why / Love Me Or Let Me Be (1966)
An extremely moody two sider from Kentucky. This 45 features a trumpet, not an entire horn section, but one guy playing trumpet, who was probably in the high school band or something and wanted to be cool, so he hooked up with these guys. They also had a cover of "The Alligator" which is really wild and nothing like this record.

Greek Fountains - I'm A Boy / She Does It (1966)
A Louisiana group who was managed and produced by Huey Meaux, the same genius who produced The Sir Douglas Quintet. This two sider features a nice cover version of The Who's "I'm A Boy"

J.J. Lancaster - So Unkind / The Parade Has Passed Me By (1966)
Presumably from Tulsa, OK, this is the only thing I've ever found by him. "So Unkind" is a cool, snarling fuzz punker, but the flip is a nice pop tune, with the same guy laying down fuzz guitar I would assume.

Wreck-A-Mended - Dirty Old Man / (a)Sally's The One (b)Long Tall Sally (1967)
Way cool, deranged fuzz punker from Philadelphia. The flip starts off and ends as a nice garage ballad and then segues into the Little Richard classic.

Ox-Bow Incident - Harmonica Man / Reach Out (1968)
These guys were a very popular Brooklyn, NY outfit that had two 45s, this being their first. The A side is a cool number with some decent harp and the flip is a cover of "Reach Out" which is another sterling example of a NYC area band doing the heavy organ thing much like The Vanilla Fudge, with great results I might add. They were produced by Steve and Bill Jerome who also worked with the Left Banke and the....

Front End - Remember (Walking In The Sand) / The Real Thing (1968)

Released just a short while after the Ox-Bow Incident 45, these guys took a stab at The Shangri-La's epic hit. They do a great job too! Those Jerome guys must have been pretty busy back in those days....

Culver Street Playground - Alley Pond Park / Decent Sort Of A Guy (1967)
A real obscure group who might also have roots in the NYC area. Their second 45 "East River Lovers" / "Feedback" is cool organ driven psych. This, their first, leans very heavy on the pop side of things.

Grapefruit - Dear Delilah / Dead Boot (1968)
Dreamy psychedelia by a four piece outfit from England. One of my favorites.

Sorce - Tomorrow Won't See Me / Courthouse Massacre (196?)
 Some real heavy organ drenched psyche from the deep south. Crowley, LA lies between Lake Charles and Baton Rouge and this obscure group were probably popular in that area. The flip is a wild freaky instrumental workout, and was most likely reminiscent of their live shows.

Get it HERE

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

In Dan's Garage...#39

Whew! Is it freaking hot here in New York! Last summer we broke all sorts of records for having the coldest July ever, and this year it feels feels like summer. And that's a good thing. People always whine to me about the heat, but I have to remind them about what's facing us come winter time, and it aint pretty. I hope everyone had a great 4th of July. I've been kinda busy the past week or so just enjoying the nice weather, and the band has been rather busy also. Two gigs in one weekend! I think that was a first. I'd also like to thank all of you who added info in the comments section, and who've given me a thumbs up for this little effort. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!!

Al Michael & The Capers - Twist Every Witcha Kinda Way / Say You'll Be Mine(1962)
 Let's face off with this rockin' r&b number from what I would assume to be a Baton Rouge, LA group. Great honkin' tenor sax, and a bunch of gals doin' some cheezy backup vocals. The flip sounds like some nice swamp pop.

Dino & The Dell Tones - Sticks And Stones / The Living End (1966)
 Lets move west to San Antonio, TX where Dino And The Dell-Tones serve up a frantic version of this Ray Charles classic. The flip is a cool bluesey guitar instro.

Dudes - What A Releif, It's All Over (1966)
I'm gonna shift gears here with a real folky type thing. Actually it's pretty much on the pop side of things, but it's cool in my opinion. This group was led by Gil Guilbeau who had a very long career and appeared on a slew of records from the 50's to the present. Here's a link to his story.....

Galaxies IV - Let Me Hear You Say Yeah / Till Then You'll Cry (1965)
A terrific group from Trenton, NJ, whose "Don't Lose Your Mind" is a psychedelic classic. This one here is a straight up punk raver with a great garage ballad flip.

Medallions - Leave Me Alone / She'll Break Your Heart (1967)
Originally thought to be a group from Wisconsin, The Medallions were actually from Oak Park, IL, a suburb of Chicago. The A side is perhaps one of the best girl put down songs ever. Those dopes at Fuzz, Acid, & Flowers have this listed as a cover of The Knaves' killer cut, but it's obviously a completely different song. Read more about this group and their spin-offs here.

Michel & The French Canadians - 'Cause I Believe / Comfort Him (1965)
Here's a great record from Montreal that features Michel, a kind of teen crooner, if you will, backed by a solid garage, almost rockabilly, group. I dig that whacked out spacey echo that permeates the entire song....

Teddy Boys - Jezebel / It's You (1966)
A genuine, bona fide garage classic!!!! This group from Hyde Park, NY had a great guitar sound and put out three other fine 45s. Their cover of the Kinks' "Where Have All The Good Times Gone?" can be found on IDG #22.

Wild Ones - Wild Thing / Just Can't Cry Anymore (1965)
Here's a 45 with a very interesting story. The Wild Ones (who weren't particularly "wild" by the way...) were a group out of New York City that came and went quietly. They released an album and a rather common (but good) 45 on the Sears label with a pic sleeve. The interesting part of the story is that this is the original version of the sixties classic, that propelled The Troggs to stardom, and made this tune an oldies staple. It's most interesting to note that it was written by Chip Taylor whose real name is James Wesley Voight, brother of actor John Voight. Chip wrote several rock and country hits in his career among them "Angel Of The Morning" by Merelee Rush, and "I Can't Let Go" by The Hollies. While this isn't as tough sounding as the Troggs' version, it has a Dylanesque quality to it which is very different.

Embers - Evelyn / And Now I'm Blue (1967)
A mystery group that sounds like it's from the south. Both sides of this folky/fuzzy 45 are pretty good, and it's relatively common.

Fabulous Pharoahs - Hold Me Tight / Sometimes I Think About (1967)
Wild fuzz and cool B-3 organ highlight this 45 from Newark, DE, which lies just outside of Wilmington and Philly. Dig the catalog number. 36-22-36! You can read a detailed story about these guys HERE.

Group Axis - Smokestack Lightning / Not Fade Away (1969)
According to "Fuzz, Acid, & Flowers", (and believe me, take their info with a large grain of salt), they were a West Texas group who based themselves in L.A. The Texas part makes sense because this was produced by Norman Petty, and was most likely recorded in his Clovis, NM studio. Both sides are great.

Music Explosion - Sunshine Games / Can't Stop Now (1968)
More great bubblegum with snotty-like vocals from the crew who brought us "Little Bit Of Soul"

Eyes Of Blue - Supermarket Full Of Cans / Don't Ask Me To Mend Your Broken Heart (1967)
Here's a 45 that I truly love. This is one of those records that strikes a nerve, not because of it's crudeness, wildness, or some other "garagey" attribute, but because both sides are such good songs. A perfect example of British mod/blue eyed soul.

Dave Berry - Latisha (1968)
One of the last, of many 45s released by this British Beat legend. On this tune, he goes "freakbeat" with some excellent results.

Waters - Mother Samwell / Day In And Out (1969)
Let's end this party with a freaky, phased out 45 from Louisville, KY. This was actually a local hit and was picked up for national distribution by HIP records out of Memphis. The flip is pretty damn good too!

Get it HERE.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

In Dan's Garage...#38

Greetings one and all!!! I'm getting this one out a day early 'cause my lovely wife "Red" and I will be doing some Fourth Of July activities this weekend out at nearby Port Bay here on the lovely shores of Lake Ontario.Eating, drinking, fishing, boating...well you get the picture, and the bonus is that it's going to be up near 90° today and tomorrow! Woo Hoo!!!! I'd like to thank all of you who have made contributions to this blog with valuable info on some of these bands that have been featured here. I try to do my best to get proper information on this stuff, but I do have to split my time between recording records, editing, scanning....well you get the picture. The contributions from you, make this your blog as much as mine, and I really would like to thank everyone once again. Speaking of comments, no post has ever generated as much feedback as my "rant" from IDG #36. Most of it was positive and wholeheartedly agreed with my take on today's bland offerings, but one reader took me to task for being a typical "old codger" who hates everything the "younger generation" does (I'm paraphrasing here) and who is basically suffering from some kind of "garage band myopia". Look, I appreciate the comments positive AND negative, but let's make one thing perfectly clear. I am NOT an "old codger". Being 49 years old does not make me ready for Depends and the "early bird special". I don't even drive a Buick. I know there's young people out there making good music, the problem is, where the hell are they, and who the hell are they???? There are some excellent groups here in Rochester, but the vast majority of the great music makers here are 30+ in age. Most of the "young musicians" are doing what I call the "tattoo and piercings" thing. And as for the "old codgers" like me, they've all drifted onto this "Americana" bandwagon like it's the next big thing. Old heavy metal popsters are getting praise heaped upon them for their "vision" and their "versatility" for this. Don't get me wrong here. I love Johnny Cash, but I'm not gonna start dressing like him or some guy from The Grand Old Opry who hasn't shaved for a couple of days. I'm not some kind of guy who hates everything that's not sixties either. I collect records(45's specifically) from the 50's, 60's, and early 70's and this blog is dedicated to that particular passion of mine. That being said, I by no means spend my entire life listening to garage and psychedelic music from that era. I'm a huge Frank Sinatra fan, the stuff he recorded on Capitol records is some of the best music of that or any era for that matter. Songwriters like Cole Porter and Sammy Cahn don't exist anymore. Those people were truly great. I'm also a Burt Bacharach nut. EVERY hit that guy wrote in the mid sixties to early seventies with Hal David touches a nerve because those hooks and melodies were not only great, they stick in your mind like glue. I was a child of the 70's. I started playing guitar in 1973. The sounds that really influenced me during that period go from AM pop to hard rock. The Allman Bros Live At Fillmore East was the first LP I ever played solos along with, on my cheapo Stella acoustic. I've attended dozens of concerts. I've seen The Grateful Dead, and I've seen Ray Charles, and pretty much everything in between. I could write a book about this, but the upshot is that I've tasted EVERY style of music there is out there, so I have a reference point on which to base my opinions. I've dug everything from Elvis to Miles Davis. They are not based on the outlook of someone who hates everything except for "garage" (and I know a LOT of those people), but someone who hears what is being done today, and comparing it to EVERYTHING ELSE I've ever listened to, and I must stand by my position. Most of what's out there these days really sucks ass. I'll use Country is a perfect example. Does anyone reading this think Kenny Chesney is any good?  I mean, he may have "talent", but to me he's a guy with a muscle shirt and a cowboy hat churning out cans of waxed beans. My main point was that today's mainstream music, whether it be Rock, Country, R&B, and even Jazz to an extent has been HOMOGENIZED for the masses. It's kinda like Budweiser beer (oh God now I've insulted the "Bud" fans...), it's watered down crud advertised as something great. Give me something with some body and character please. That's the way I like my music. I don't want to scare anyone away, so keep the comments coming. positive and negative. Enjoy this blog and anything else you like on this 4th of July weekend (even if you're across the "pond"). 
Love, Dan

Fabulous Counts - Money (196?)
Here's a real inept, blasting version of this Motown classic. This Philadelphia group probably shouldn't be confused with the late 60's funk outfit from Detroit.

Four - If You're Eyes Say Love (1965)
Probably from the Nashville area, this ones a cheezy teen crooner with some real lo-fi production.

Jimmy Stokley & The Exiles - It's Alligator Time / A Game Called Hurt (1965)
This Richmond, KY group has a long and interesting history. They started in 1963 and continued into the 70's with lead singer Jimmy Stokley, and had a hit called "Kiss You All Over" as simply, "Exile". Around 1983 they became a country group and continued into the 90's when they eventually broke up. This one's a great, greasy pounder with wild honkin' tenor sax.

8th Wonders Of The World - You You Yeah / Who Cares (1965)
An obscure, yet wonderfully inept garage/beat group from who knows where. These guys were in full British Invasion "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah" mode when they recorded this one.

New Breed - Green Eyed Woman / I'm In Love (1965)
The best of their four 45s in my opinion. From Sacramento,CA.

Pat Farrell & The Believers - Gotta Find Her (1967)
From Hamburg, PA, this 45 was originally released as "The Razors Edge" on Kingston, but due to a band name conflict, they changed it to Pat Farrel & The Believers. They had one other 45 on Diamond, "Bad Woman" which is a killer and a little tougher to locate than this one here....

Beau Brummels - Don't Talk To Strangers / In Good Time (1966)
I can't say much about these legends except that this is their finest folk rock moment, and stands up to anything in that genre.

New Colony Six - Cadillac / Sunshine (1966)
Terrific Bo Diddley beatin' two sider from these Chicago greats. If I'm not mistaken (and I may very well be), these were non-LP cuts.

Tony Turow - What I Think About You / Who Cares For You When You're Down (196?)
Ummmmmm.......this one here....well, I'm not sure what to make of it. The unknown Turow sounds like a lousy lounge singer, yet is backed up by what seems to be a four piece (guitar, bass, drums, and tenor sax) rock & roll/r&b group, but the drums and especially the bass are very prominent. The production is real lo-fi and someone forgot to give the backup singers a mike. Not exactly garage, but it certainly has a "garagey" vibe to it, but I wouldn't exactly call it R&B either. This is a real strange one, and I've never seen another copy of it, not that it matters any, because I'm pretty sure collectors won't be scouring E-bay for this one any time soon.

Don & The Goodtimes - Big Big Knight / I'll Be Down Forever (1965)
As we all know, Don Gallucci played the infamous intro to Louie Louie when he was a member of the Kingsmen. After he left, he formed Don & The Goodtimes and released a number of 45s in various styles, most of them pretty good. In this case they had to answer back to the Kingsmen's homage to "The Jolly Green Giant", by extolling the virtues of Ajax Cleanser's "Big Big Knight", who rode a white horse and made housewives across the USA very happy for making their laundry whiter than truly was "stronger than dirt"...

Endd - Out Of My Hands / Project Blue (1966)
Great garage from LaPorte,  which lies between South Bend, and Chicago, and which may explain the cover version here of the Banshee's great "Project Blue".

Fenwyck - Iye / I Wanna Die (1967)
The same crew that gave us the great "Mindrocker". This one is a little less on the "trippy" side, and is a hard driving folk rocker.

Group Love Corp. - Love Corporation / Should I (1967)
One side is credited to"Group Love Corp." and the other to "Love Corporation", but I think we can all agree that both sides of this fantastic garage/psyche 45 from Tulsa, are indeed the same band. Where are you???????

Jaguars - Black Is Black (196?)
Recorded at the "famous" Fame studios in Muscle Shoals, AL, I'm guessing these guys were one of those "beach music" groups from the south specializing in "blue eyed soul". I really love this song, and these guys do a stand up job which is why I included it.

Lavender Hour - Hang Loose / I'm Sorry (1967)
Super cool, movin' A side on this one from Houston, TX. The ballad B side ain't no slouch either. These guys cut the famous "I've Gotta Way With Girls" that became one of The Chesterfield Kings' best and most enduring covers. If you guys are reading this...I still love ya!!!!

Underground - Satisfyin' Sunday / Easy (1966)
 Let's end this with a real nice folk rocker by a group that I know nothing about. The interesting fact about this 45 though, is that the A side was pressed at 33 RPM, so when you play it, it sounds like the Chipmunks. I knew something was not right so I slowed it down and....Voila! There it was. This 45 was pretty typical of what Mainstream/Brent records we're putting out in those days.

Get it HERE