Sunday, September 26, 2010

In Dan's Garage...#44

Greetings music lovers! I had this whole thing written up about how Summer was over and how I was looking forward to Fall, with grape and apple harvests and wine and grape pies etc. Then I hit the wrong  button and ZAP! It disappeared! CRAP! So I'm just going to get to the point today because I don't remember what I wrote exactly. I usually have this "stream of consciousness" thing going and write whatever comes to my head at the moment... um....kinda like what I'm doing right now, so let's get with it!!!!!

Joey & The Continentals - Linda (1964)
Pretty good do-wop influenced garage from a bunch of Cleveland, OH greasers. These guys were apparently a very popular local act act at the time...

Renegades - Cadillac / Bad Bad Baby (1964)
The Renegades were originally from Birmingham UK, but found huge success in the rest of Europe especially Italy and Finland. This is a German release of their first 45, a slow, menacing rework of Vince Taylors classic.

Boys Blue - Take A Heart / You Got What I Want (1965)
 The amazing thing about this 45 is that they aren't covers of the Sorrows two biggest hits. These are actually the original versions recorded by a rather obscure British group, and was their only release. Miki Dallon would then give these to The Sorrows where they apparently had more success with them. It also should be noted that this band is not an early version of the Sorrows. How this ended up on this US label though is anybody's guess. Check out a cool video here!

Keyes - She's The One (1966)
Great garage 45 from Louisville, KY with a wild fuzzed out organ break!

Counts IV - Spoonful / Where Are You (1966)
 Often considered by collectors here in Western NY to be a "local" 45 due to the fact that bassist Al Peluso was from nearby Utica (home of Utica Club beer!), they are in fact from North Carolina. This one's a great take on the Willie Dixon/Howlin' Wolf classic. Al Peluso would go on to have another solo 45 released in 1971, a great version of Dylan's "You Aint Going Nowhere".

Randy & The Holidays - Paul Revere 250 / Living Doll (1967)
 This one takes the garage and hot rod genres and mixes them up real well. Great fuzz guitar and good vocals too. You didn't hear much of this kind of stuff in '67, the so called "Summer Of Love".

Very-Ations - She Can't Be Won (1966)
 Although this is on an Atlanta, GA label, all indications point to Birmingham, AL. I can't really put my finger on this one. It's definitely "garagey", but it's got this way cool swampy, bluesy thing going with what sounds like some kind of dobro or other acoustic style guitar in the background, and the lead player sounds like he's about five years ahead of his time (no pun intended).

Vejtables - Feel The Music / Shadows (1967)
 I'm not even going to try to connect the dots concerning the personnel about this Bay Area group, but in my opinion this, the last of their 45s, is definitely the best. Great raga/eastern style guitars, and the A side "Shadows", has been sadly overlooked by compilers as "Feel The Music" basically steals the limelight.

Shag - Stop And Listen (1967)
An absolute, bona-fide true blue garage/psyche classic! The Shag were from Milwaukee, WI, and although this was one of two releases they had, I'd say this one's enough for me!

Uncle & The Anteaters - Let's Be Happy / Shed A Tear (1967)
A great poppy/psyche record from Iowa City, IA even if it's got a few horns in the mix. They got their name at the suggestion of a drunk at a frat party!

Jim & Jean - Strangers In A Strange Land (1967)
 A folksy duo who had some help from Phil Ochs and a few of the guys who played on Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited. This one's got a great psyche tinge to it.

Status Quo - Ice In The Sun / When My Mind Is Not Live (1968)
Their third and quite possibly their best 45 in this style. Better than "Pictures Of Matchstick Men", and way better than anything they produced after 1970.

Them - But It's Alright / Square Room (1968)
 The story of Them is a long and rather complicated one. That being said, we usually split them between the Van Morrison era and "post" Van Morrison era. I think both deserve merit because they are so unalike and are virtually two different groups. This one which was recorded "post" Morrison is an excellent example of what they were doing at the time which was some pretty wild psyche.

Stained Glass -  Soap And Turkey / Lady In Lace (1968)
 This San Jose, CA group had four excellent 45s on RCA Victor before being signed by Capitol and changing from a Beat/Folk Rock group, to a poppier psyche affair. This was the first on Capitol and is excellent. They also had two LPs on Capitol which aren't too bad either.

Albatross - I Can't See Why / Pieces Of My Life (1969)
A really obscure heavy psyche 45 with great guitar work. All indications, and believe me there aren't many, show this one is probably from Corpus Christi, TX.

C.K. Strong - Stormbird / Daddy (1969)
 This group featured vocalist Lynn Carey, a bluesy, strong voiced Joplin style singer. Both sides of this are great late 60s rock and roll.

Andromeda - Heart Of Darkness / Sweet Sweet Baby (1970)
I know of at least one other band with this name and they are from the UK. This one escapes me though. Wild Hammond organ and fuzzy guitars highlight this late 60s,early 70s effort.

Get it HERE 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

In Dan's Garage...#43

I was having some random thoughts earlier this week about which era of the Rolling Stones was the "best". My brother always claims that the latter day Stones were better, but he pretty much based that on how many records they sold, and his logic was that if they sold more they had to have been better. Well, Justin Bieber sells a hell of a lot of records, but that doesn't make him any good. The latter day Stones definitely sold more but people these days are buying more than ever, and there is an expanded fan base which includes young people, as well as "mature" customers like myself. That being said, I think the last great Stones LP was "Sticky Fingers". I know there's lots out there that think "Exile On Main St." is better, but I never could sit through the whole two albums. For my money, you can't beat the 1964 to 1966 era. I know lots of you will disagree, and you're probably saying "there goes Dan again with his narrow minded myopic 'sixties' view of things...blah...blah". Well...what the hell is "Emotional Rescue" compared to say..."Satisfaction"??? How about "Miss You" compared to "The Last Time"???? Or even a fairly decent song like "Angie" compared to "Play With Fire"??? I could go on, but you get the point. It's not that they're horrible, er...wait...yeah, judging by their performance at the Super Bowl a few years back, I'd say they're horrible, and it's a shame. They were once a truly great band that really can't get it up anymore. Maybe it's not even that. I think they have an attitude problem. "Well we're the Stones and we really don't need to give a shit so we'll do whatever we want and people will pay $200 a ticket anyway so fuck 'em". I don't know, maybe I'm just being real cynical, but I see lots of "old guys"out there doing their thing and they're still bringing it. The Who (or what's left of them anyway) did the same Super Bowl halftime thing, and although they're not what they used to be vocally, they still have tons of energy. Same with Paul McCartney. He's got one of the best bands in the business, and he's not losing any steam. Tom Petty's no spring chicken and he's still rockin'. I saw the Moody Blues (or what's left of them) three years ago, and they were excellent. Hell, I saw Bad Co. (I band I hated for a long time) do a TV concert thing, and was really impressed that they could still "rock". Mick Ralphs looks like a curmudgeonly old dickhead though.  Enough of this blather. I think the Stones are cool and I guess I should give them some credit for still hanging around, even though Keith Richards should buy himself a guitar tuner. Did I mention I have a new "bunch" to post today??? I sure do! As the weather gets cooler, I'll probably have a little more time to do this so there'll  be more frequent posts. As usual, I offer up a diverse medley of cool sound for all of you, so you never know what's coming next. So without further adieu I present In Dan's Garage #43!!!!

Applejacks - Like Dreamers Do / Everybody Fall Down (1964)
A six piece from Solihull, UK which is close to Birmingham and thus considered a "Brum Beat" group, they had the distinction of having a female bassist, something quite rare at the time. On this, their second 45, they tackle the Lennon-McCartney cut "Like Dreamers Do', and they do it well, but the flip is the fantastic "Everybody Fall Down", a superb chunk of British Beat!

Unit Four plus Two - Hark / Stop Wasting Your Time (1965)
 Just like "Concrete & Clay", Unit 4+2 show some very diverse influences on "Hark" as opposed to the standard British beat formula. The flip is a more traditional affair, and really good.

Misfits - This Little Piggy / Lost Love (1964)
 From San Diego, this group's claim to fame is that it featured future Moby Grape member Bob Moseley on bass and vocals. He also "wrote" this decent rework of "I'm A Hog For You".

Bruce Duncan & The Impulses - Lonely Too Long / No More Movin' (1967)
 Great soul influenced garage from the Louisville, KY area. This is a great cover of The Young Rascals' hit with cool cheesy organ as opposed to Felix Cavaliere's Hammond B-3.

'D' Men - Don't You Know / No Hope For Me (1965)
 Good two sider from the band who would eventually become The Fifth Estate and release "Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead"

Lancers - Somebody Help Me / (You've Got To ForgetHer) (196?)
 Another obscure soul influenced garage band from the south. These guys might be from Mississippi.

Wylde Main-iacs - Why Ain't Love Fair / Not The One For Me
 Rumoured to be record collector Erik Lindgren, my guess is that's probably true given the good production on this one. Although this is probably a "neo-garage" band, it deserves inclusion on my blog because it's so true to the spirit of the genre. In this case they take the "Pushin' Too Hard" riff and expand on it nicely. True genius!

13th Power - I See A Change Is Gonna Come / Captain Hassel (1967)
 Allegedly this is Max Frost & The Troopers, but I'm not convinced. That would mean this is also Davie Allan & The Arrows, and it really doesn't sound like them, and by the way, Mike Curb's name is nowhere to be found on this 45. Anybody out there know the scoop????

Young Lions - We Better Get Along / Live And Learn (1965)
 Good pop from 1965 with a folk group feel to it and some deep fuzz in the background.

Id - Boil The Kettle Mother / Short Circuit (1967)
 Also from San Diego comes this awesome piece of demented psychedelic genius. Real great guitar stuff on this one. One of my personal all time favorites.

Truth - Wade In The Water / Love Locked (1970)
 One of the many bands who called themselves "The Truth", this very obscure hard psych act probably hailed from the Nashville area. But of course I might be wrong.......

Uglies - Hello Gooday / Previews (1969)
 A very popular act from Minnesota who were originally known as The Unbelievable Uglies", and had a bunch of records released in the mid 60's including the awesome "Get Straight" on Liberty records. This one here is a cool "post 1966" Beatles influenced 45. They continue with reunion shows to this day.

Underground Sunshine - Don't Shut Me Out / Take Me, Break Me (1969)
This Montello, WI group had a minor hit in 1969 covering the Beatles' "Birthday", a cool lightweight version with cheesy Farfisa organ. This, their second 45 features a bubblegummy A side with a great fuzzed out psyche number on the flip.

Aardvark - Salty Dog (1969)
 Here's a neat hard rockin' 45 from a southern group that has some wild fuzzed out guitar, and a rather amusing "southern rock" style vocal delivery.

Young Californians - Hey Girl / In A Garden (1969)
 Another tale of two groups. On the A side we have great bubblegum with nice organ fills, and on the flip we have a cool trippy pop tune. I wish I could tell you more about this one, but all I know is that they're from California. Most likely L.A.


Thursday, September 2, 2010

In Dan's Garage...#42

OK!!! I got everything up and running, so it's back to business here at Dan's Garage. Summer is almost over, and with that comes the new football season, (that's "American" Football to all those overseas...), and the start of baseball's post season. Truly the finest time of the year if you're a sports fan in the US! Whoever your team is, go to a game (if you can afford it) or enjoy the spectacle on your TV in the comfort of your living room, with some chicken wings and a pizza perhaps. Oh yes. DO NOT forget the beer. If you really hate those dorky sports announcers you can play some of the fine rock and roll I've posted here while watching. It really works well with the beer and pizza. Hope you enjoy this latest offering. As usual it goes all over the place with some very interesting cuts. Cheers!

Casuals - Mustang 2+2 / Play Me A Sad Song (1965)
Cool hot rod/surf from a very unknown band.

Chris & Craig - I Need You / Isha (1966)
 Another obscurity, this time a terrific pop/psych two sider.

Stonemen - No More / Where Did Our Love Go (1966)
 According to Fuzz, Acid, & Flowers this is considered a "significant" recording. I'm not so sure about that, but it definitely is a very crude, inept garage two sider. The top a ballad and the flip a mid tempo number. From Fall River, MA.

M.H. Royals - She's Gone Forever / Tomorrow's Dread (1967)
One of my all time favorites!!! Although this 45 is from '67 and on a major label, it's also pretty crude and simple compared to similar records of this time. From Chicago.

Vacels - I'm A Poor Boy (1966)
 Formerly known as Ricky & The Vacels, these guys went from do-wop to garage/beat with this 45 and another "You're My Baby". This is definitely the better of the two.

Romans - You Do Something To Me / I'll Find A Way (1966)
Cool as hell two sider from Little Rock, AK. I'm not sure if the flanged out sound on the A side was deliberate, or if someone was leaning on the tape deck, but it sure is pretty neat and a very early example of this effect.

Wig/Wags - I'm On My Way Down The Road / The Goofy Google (1966)
 A real classic. Probably a Texas group but I have no way of knowing for sure. The sadly overlooked B side is a great slice of garagey frat-rock.

Bare Facts - To Think / The Only Thing (1967)
 The same guys who cut the superb "Bad Part Of Town", this is a more psychedelic effort with some cool eastern style guitar effects. From Portsmouth, OH

Del Shannon - Under My Thumb / She Was Mine (1966)
 I saw Del Shannon around 1989 on a "package tour" of oldies artists. He was with The Angels, Gene Chandler, who had recently suffered a stroke and put on a depressing performance, Joey Dee & The Starlighters who were real goofy, and Del Shannon, who played all of his great hits and blew every pathetic oldie act off the stage. Even The Starlighters (the backing band for all the acts) who were relatively comatose during the entire program lit up as Del did his thing. He played guitar (an Epiphone Coronet) and sang without missing a note. I was really sad when I learned he committed suicide shortly after this performance. I really thought he could have made some kind of resurgence given the accolades every other "big"rock star was giving him at the time. Fortunately he left all of us a great catalog of music, this being one of them. Thanks Del.

Everpresent Fullness- Fine And Dandy (1967)
 The second flip of "Wild About My Lovin'" featured on IDG #35

Thomas Group - Ordinary Girl (1968)
 A real good psych/pop 45 with some Pet Sounds style vocals and that mystic harpsichord in the foreground. A Sloan/Barri production......

Him - It's A Man Down There / 4A.M. (196?)
 One listen to the vocals on this, and you'll know who "Him" is.

Silver Fleet - Look Out World (1971)
 Yup, you read it right. 1971. That's when Led Zeppelin released "Stairway To Heaven". I'm not sure what is up with this 45, but it's been rumored to have connections to 10c.c. Well....maybe on the hard rock A side (not featured here) but I'm going out on a limb. I think the group that did this particular cut was probably The Music Explosion working as a studio group for Kasenetz and Katz, the producers of this fine cut.

Herman's Hermits - For Love (1966)
 I think Herman's Hermits get a bad rap. Yeah, they played a lot of lightweight crud, and were wrongly accused of not playing their own instruments, but you knew they actually had something in them when they recorded this fabulous B side. An original no less!

Kingsmen - Wolf Of Manhattan / Children's Caretaker (1967)
 What have we here???? I was stunned when I heard this, primarily because most of their output was frat rock and essentially an extension of the "Louie Louie" aesthetic. They ventured into British Invasion/Folk Rock with "If I Needed Someone", but much of it was predictable. This on the other hand is superb psych pop which is nothing like "Louie Louie".

King Biscut Entertainers - Take My Thoughts Away (1968)
 A group that evolved from The Furys, Don & The Goodtimes, and The Wilde Knights, they had several 45s with mixed results. This side here is pretty good.

Group Image - Hiya (1968)
 A collection of New York/New Jersey hippies that had some kind of commune or something and released an album of Jefferson Airplane styled psyche. The wildest cut was "Hiya" which is an out of control screamer that lasts 6:00 and ends with a lot of noise. The side featured here is the shortened B side. I would have liked to have posted the long version, but the level is so low on the 45 you can barely hear it above the pops and crackles.

Wicked - The Spider And The Fly (1979)
 A 1979 remake of the psychotic "tune" recorded by The Monacles and featured on Pebbles Volume 3.

Get it HERE