Tuesday, December 30, 2014

In Dan’s Garage…#105

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   Welcome one and all! I hope everyone out there has had a great holiday this year, I myself took some extended time off through all of it and it’s given me a chance to catch up on this blog, something I haven't been able to do lately. Did you get a lot of cool presents???? I did OK this year. My lovely wife gave me a new chair to park my ass in while I hack away at this here keyboard. Very comfy, and it should be a good motivator to get more of these things out in the upcoming year. Record buying has slowed down somewhat, mainly because my resources have been diverted to Christmas gifts and the like, and a lot of food and booze as well, not that that’s a bad thing because I love to eat and drink and tis the season to be jolly indeed!
     On to a different subject… I have in the past tried diligently to keep up with bad or expired links. You out there have helped immensely by writing comments about the dead ones, and although I don’t post them on the timeline, it doesn’t mean I don’t read them, and it certainly doesn’t mean I’ll ignore them either. I just have to work at my own pace so be patient. I think I have them all taken care of (except for #21, you all have to figure that one out for yourselves. It IS available, just not here) but there may be one or two that have slipped through the cracks, after all, I have 105 of these to deal with now, but you all have been great letting me know if there’s any bad links out there. For this I give much gratitude. There are those out there that for whatever reason, need to bitch about really stupid things.
   A good pal at work and I were having a conversation about lunches that are provided to us by customers as a sort of a “Thank You” for the work we've done for them, or maybe the Holiday luncheon courtesy of the management, you get the picture? We couldn’t believe how many people actually complained about what they were given to them FOR FREE. If they’re grilling free hot dogs for you at lunch, don’t complain about what brand their using. Take what you can get and enjoy it for what it’s worth, PLEASE????? “Oh there’s anchovies in the stuffed mushrooms, ewwwww”. Just pass on the ‘shrooms and go on to the next entrĂ©e please???? You’re wondering where this is going right??? I received a comment recently that really kind of pissed me off. As you all know I’ve had trouble in the past with file hosts that have yanked my files and literally put this blog on the brink of extinction. That’s bad FOR YOU. It’s bad for you because you’ll never be able to enjoy this stuff if I can’t find some way of getting it out there, so when times were tough I tried to fly under the radar by attaching passwords to the files until the heat got turned down. The vast majority of you got it except for one person named “Anonymous” (naturally) who wrote this in reference to IDG #79…”Would someone please explain the password again? I've wasted over an hour so far, just looking for it. Lame lame lame.”  You sir are a tool. The password is “The Bears” Without the quotation marks if you could figure that out as well. The Bears. Just type it in the way it’s written and you should not have an issue. No, copy and PASTE it into the dialogue box. That’ll work too. Hell, when I got this message, I actually went to the trouble of downloading it myself to see if there was an issue and guess what???? It worked fine. Mr. Anonymous Tool cant figure it out. I don’t mean to berate the computer illiterate, that’s not what I want to do here, but, my beef is that if you do have an issue, give the hostility and invective a rest. You are the one that’s truly lame, not because you couldn't figure it out, but because you had to act like a total ingrate, because after all, you are getting a free lunch here. GET IT??? Sorry for being curmudgeonly, I just needed to get that off my chest. Whew!
   For those out there that have been faithful followers, commenters, and contributors, I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. You keep this blog alive and give me a reason to do it over and over. Again, I hope that all of you have had a wonderful Holiday season this year. Share the good times with your family, your friends, your co-workers, and even the anonymous out there. Savor it. Bless you all and have a happy and very prosperous new year.
Rockin’ ‘R’s – Heat / Nameless (1959)
Here’s a really beat up disc to start things off this time around by The Rockin “"’R’s who also had the great “Crazy Baby” on the same label. Somehow, all the pops and scratches make this 45 sound better.
Citations – Everybody Philly (1965)
Well, I’m not exactly sure who this group is, probably a studio bunch but there's  one source on line that claims their British. I’m not sure. What I do know is that the name “Nilsson” appears on the writing credits and if I had to make an educated guess it would be that Harry Nilsson co-wrote this side and the other guys obviously took some credit for it. If you ask me it sure sounds like him right down to the layered background vocals that are obviously the same as the lead vocals. Somehow there are no references to Nilsson being involved with this. Perhaps I’m wrong????????
Uniques – Run And Hide / Goodbye, So Long (1966)
One of the most prolific groups to come out of Texas in the 60s, the Uniques had 17 releases on Paula records that stretched into the early 70s (although some were re-releases). This is tied for my favorite with “You A’int Tuff”. Joe Stampley went on to become a star in country music.
Sip & Smoke – My Friend / Look What Your Love Did To Me (1966)
A completely unknown duo from what I would presume to be the NYC tri-state area. That would be NYC, New Jersey, Long Island, perhaps Connecticut? It was real tough finding any info on these guys who give us a sort of Everly Bros. type thing only more garage-like with some ambient organ fills.Nice.
Beagles – I Wanna Capture You / Looking For The Beagles (1966)
Interesting. The Beagles were actually a cartoon developed by Total Television, the same bunch that gave us “Underdog”, “Tennessee Tuxedo”, “Klondike Cat”, and a host of other characters that many of us grew up with during the 1960s. This was clearly an attempt to cash in on the Beatle craze going on at the time and the music is surprisingly good, eschewing typical bubblegum sounds for some very decent mid 60s Rock & Roll. Both sides of this 45 are pretty good and the song featured in the video is even better in my opinion. They did release an LP on Harmony Records (a subsidiary of Columbia) but I’ve never heard the whole thing. I’d love to though.
Rebounds – (I’m Not Your) Stepping Stone / Since I Fell For You (1966)
The Rebounds from Columbus, OH won a battle of the bands and got to record this 45 on Tower along with a version of “Little Black Egg” that never got released. This was doing fine on the local charts until a band called The Monkees released it shortly after and ran away with all the accolades. More info HERE
New Colony Six – I Confess / Dawn Is Breaking (1966)
One of the all time great two-siders, this was their first and arguably their best, although my personal favorite is “At The River’s Edge”.
Ian & The Zodiacs – This Empty Place / So Much In Love With You (1965)
ian and the zodiacs
Ian & The Zodiacs were a popular Liverpool act that were mainstays at The Star Club in Hamburg but unlike The Beatles never had any real prolonged success. They were very good though and had a great guitar sound but compared to their contemporaries and were somewhat more “lightweight” than the others.
Sopwith Camel – Treadin’ (1967)
sopwith camel
Here’s a group that’s tough to put a finger on. On the one hand they were one of the mainstays in San Francisco’s mid sixties scene hanging with such acts as Quicksilver Messenger Service, The Great Society, The Charlatans, and The Grateful Dead. This 45 though is a sort of schizophrenic affair with the A side “Hello Hello” being one of those goodtimey Lovin’ Spoonful styled things that to my ears just falls flat. I have to be honest that type of thing never caught on with me. The flip on the other hand is a great folk rocker worthy of any of their rival Bay Area groups.
David Bowie – The London Boys / Love You Till Tuesday (1966)
david bowie
When I bought this 45 back in the mid 80s (1986 to be exact), I bought it solely with the intention of keeping it for a collectors item. At the time I was suffering from a severe case of  “garage band myopia” and would not even consider plopping this down on my turntable for a listen. Until about 25 years later. Is it great. Nah. But it sure as hell is compelling. I never knew that this was some sort of homage to “Mods” with all the pill popping and the peer pressure to just want to be liked and to belong to something. Yeah..I’ve been there.
Roosters – The Rooster Song / Lost And Found (1968)
the roosters
A group from Utica, NY (my stomping grounds) that released this 45 on Krishna Records which was also affiliated with Kama and Buddah which they released a version of “I Wanna Do It” (no relation to the nationally distributed label). These guys made the rounds at all the local high schools and colleges including Hamilton, Cornell, Ithaca, Etc. Not recorded at The “Appollo” but actually was recorded in the studio with fake crowd noises provided by the band themselves! Get more info HERE.
Guilloteens – Dear Mrs. Applebee / I Love That Girl (1967)
The second last 45 released by this Memphis, TN group and certainly a clear departure from the 45s they released on HBR. They take a somewhat bubblegum-like turn here but I think both sides are excellent nonetheless.
Moby Grape – Omaha / Someday (1967)
moby grape
Wow what a great song this is. It’s a mover from beginning to end with some real nifty guitar work as well. These guys should have been legends and were far better than most west coast groups at the time. It’s a shame.
Xtreems – Substitute / Facts Of Life (1967)
Both sides of this 45 exhibit some of the most over the top fuzz guitar I’ve ever heard on any record, as well as some crazed wah-wah pedal work at the end of the flip side. The lead guitarist made sure he could show off all those newfangled electronic guitar gizmos on this one!!!!!
Simon Stokes & The Night Hawks – Jambalaya / Big City Blues (1970)
simon stokes
Simon Stokes had a long career starting in the early sixties and which I believe continues to this day. This 45 released in 1970 is a re-make of a 45 released on HBR in ‘66 and they couldn’t be any more different. Jambalaya sounds like it gets the “Honky Tonk Woman” treatment, but “Big City Blues” is a standout with superb guitar work and awesome vocals courtesy of Simon including some blood curdling screams at the end. DIG IT!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

In Dan’s Garage…#104

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Greetings friends to another edition of “Dan’s Garage”! I’ve been working on this one slowly while I took a week of for vacation and got myself quite busy with Thanksgiving holiday preparations. We usually do two of these affairs, one for my side, and another for my wife’s side. She has an especially large clan that mostly lives out of town so we do it the Saturday after the official Thanksgiving. Good fun and lots of food and drink band it really tires us out but it’s well worth it.
I’ve got the usual offerings today with a few novelty items thrown in for entertainment value. I know you all will enjoy it. I hope to get at least one more out before the end of the year so in the meantime enjoy this. Happy Holidays!
Butlers – Shop Around / It’s A Fine Time (1967)butlers
Let’s kick things off with a nice garage rendition of this Motown classic that has some buzzy fuzz guitars thrown in. This was a “Chartbuster” production so my guess is that tis group was from somewhere around the Washington D.C. area.
Applejacks - You're The One For Me / I'm Gonna Send My Love (With Three Little Words) (1964)
The Applejacks from Birmingham, were somewhat unique in that they had a female bassist Meagan Davies, who was rather good by the way, unfortunately The Applejacks never quite caught on big although they did release several fine 45s including this one their third.
Cartees – 4 Quarters On The Football Field / Don’t Say Goodbye (1966)cartees
Here’s one to get you going for those Saturday and Sunday football games. “4 Quarters” is basically a loose reworking of Dave Dudley’s “Six Days On The Road” done Beach Boys style with some rather, shall we say crude, cut and paste production techniques courtesy of Scotty Moore, Elvis’ legendary guitarist.
Pigmees – O Rang A Tang / The Whole World Knows When I’m In Love (1965)
I couldn’t get any info about this nutty 45. This sounds like it would fit in well on one of those “Big Itch” comps (for all I know it may have already). Maybe  a studio group from NYC??????
I Giganti – La Bomba Atomica (1966)
i giganti
Another novelty of sorts, this time from an Italian group that released a slew of 45s from the mid-sixties into the 70s.
Creations – It’s Up To You / T’aint That The Truth (1966)
Don’t know much about this group, but I’d presume they were from somewhere close to Union, KY. Bothe sides are kinda lightweight garage.
Drafi – I Wanna Take You Home (1967)
More from this German hit maker.
Harpers Bizarre – Lost My Love Today (1967)
This song appeared four times on two different labels. The first was on Autumn credited to The Tikis, the next two were on Warner Bros. credited to the Tikis as well, this one was one of the flips to “The 59th Street Bridge Song” (also released twice) by Harpers Bizarre. A complete 180 from the light pop that Harpers Bizarre became known for.
Druids – Puffin / Old Willow (1966)drueeds
A bunch of nice clean cut fellows from Scranton, PA that had a decent folk rock sound. This was the second of two 45s.
Soothsayers – Please Don’t Be Mad / I Don’t Know (1966)
Great folk-rock from a Colorado group that would release one more garagier 45 that’s pretty tough to find these days.
Industrial Image – Put My Mind At Ease / Living In The Middle Ages (1966)industrial image
A group from Glen Rose, TX that had this sole release on Epic and both sides are excellent folk-rock with some superb harmonies. You can get some more in-depth info HERE.
Shanes – Chris Craft No. 9 / Time (1966)
A Swedish group who’s only release stateside was this re-working of Herman’s Hermits’ “Must To Avoid”. The flip is a cover of The Pozo-Seco Singers’ hit “Time”.
Hoppi & The Beau Heems – When I Get Home / So Hard (1967)
I love this 45! I would always tell people that this was an early Doors demo and they'd fall for it. This guy (and the band) do a really good job mimicking their sound, complete with a cheezy keyboard solo!
Baroques – Iowa, A Girls Name / Mary Jane (1967)baroques
Real trippy stuff here from a popular Wisconsin group. They had two 45s and and album released on Chess Records. How they ended up on America’s pre-eminent blues label is anybody's guess.
Hunger! - Mind Machine / She Let Him Continue (1969)
Great psych-rock from a band that relocated from Portland, OR to LA. Their LP is somewhat of a collectors item, but these tracks are two of their best.
Skunk Foot – Mexico City / Eternity Is Truth (1971)
A band from Mattydale near Syracuse. Although this ones from 1971, it’s got an earlier 60s feel to it. Not bad.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

In Dan’s Garage…#103

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Hello music lovers! It’s great to be here once again giving you another edition of “In Dan’s Garage”, my humble blog which I hope you will all enjoy. I don’t have much to say today, except that I really wanted to get this one out before the end of the month, because I’m going on a well deserved (in my opinion) vacation next week, cruising on the MSC Divina, a gargantuan vessel that serves fresh pasta, pizza, gelato, and Italian pastry all day (and night). If any one of you happen to sail out of Miami on Nov.1 on this thing, look for me. I’ll be wearing Ray Ban sunglasses and sporting a Rochester Red Wings baseball cap for the duration of the cruise.
    As usual I have another potpourri of 60s sounds, with a bit of 50s and 70s thrown in for good measure. I hope you all enjoy and I’ll see you next month before the Thanksgiving holiday. Bon Voyage……….

Chan Romero – My Little Ruby (1959)
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I really dig this 45 by the legendary Chan Romero who wrote one of my favorite songs ever, “Hippy Hippy Shake”. This follow-up does not disappoint and is just as good as “Hippy”.

Underbeats – Book Of Love / Darling Lorraine (1966)
A very popular Minneapolis group that had a heavy group vocal/do-wop influence.

Astronauts – Tomorrow’s Gonna Be Another Day (1965)
Before The Monkees recorded this song and released it on their debut LP in 1966, The Astronauts tackled this beast and gave it an incredibly snotty garage/punk delivery. The flip is merely an instrumental version of the A side. What a rip off!!!!!!

Beatin’ Path – The Original Nothing People / I Waited So Long (1966)
Total legendary coolness from a Reading, PA band that had this one release. I love the whole “recorded in a cave” type sound they get here. Real garage band stuff here my friends.

Beat Merchants – So Fine (1965)
beat merchants
The flip side of Freddie & The Dreamers’ “You Were Made For Me”. I guess Tower couldn’t come up with anything decent to put on the B side, so they let these guys loose with a great beat pounder that’s based on the Fiestas’ original. Actually, this 45 was released twice with the same catalog number. The first version was actually a Freddie & The Dreamers two sider.

Sean & The Brandywines – She Ain’t No Good / Cod’ine (1966)
An unknown California group that released this one spectacular 45 produced by Gary Usher. He may have been part of the group but I really don’t know for sure……

Standells - Mi Hai Fatto Innamorare (1965)
I’m very picky about re-issues but I think this one deserves inclusion. This was written by guitarist Tony Valentino who was a native of Italy and probably held a lot of sway in the release of this song, although I’m not quite sure when it was released and if it was a B side. In any case, Tony and the crew get real “Italian” here with a traditional Italian style intro featuring mandolins and all before busting into a great garage/pop number.

Remains – My Babe / Why Do I Cry (1965)
Oh my God. These guys are perhaps the greatest band to never to make it big. I don’t consider these guys a “garage” band because they’re too good. The Remains are the best band never to make it big from the 1960’s. Period. If any one is wondering why I feature the “My Babe” side here first, it’s because it was deemed the A side by the brilliant execs at Epic records, whilst the “B” side “Why Do I Cry” is the real gem here as we all know. “My Babe” is OK but pales in comparison to “Why Do I Cry”.

Rising Sons – Candy Man / The Devil’s Got My Woman (1966)
rising sons
A group that included such greats as Ry Cooder and Taj Mahal. They released this one 45 in 1966 and they were considered one of the best bands in LA at the time, their sound being way ahead of their time and rivaling the popularity of the Byrds.

Sonics – You Got Your Head On Backwards (1966)
sonics head back
One of The Sonics’ best. Real brutal crunch on this one as well as being one of the best chick put down songs of all time. A+.

Los Bravos – Brand New Baby / Going Nowhere (1966)
I like Los Bravos, even if all their songs kinda sounded like “Black Is Black”. This two sider is especially good.

Bob Seger & The Last Heard – Heavy Music (part 1) (1967)
heavy seger
This was Bob’s last 45 to appear on Cameo Records before Cameo went bust, and Bob signed with Capitol. It’s too bad that the execs at Cameo didn’t stick with him, but of course how do you compete with a mega-label like Capitol? Anyway…This 45 is OK in my opinion, but pales alongside his earlier efforts. The flip is just a continuation of the same “groove” on the A side.

Seeds – No Escape (1966)
I love the Seeds. Mainly because they would use the same riff over and over again, and rather successfully I might add. The reason I include this most common of Seeds songs is that there are actually TWO versions. The one that everyone has a prominent reverb on the vocals, and this… a completely different mix altogether is pretty dry. The Seeds, or Crescendo Records, had a habit of releasing different singles with the same catalogue numbers. I featured this “same” 45 back in IDG # 18 where the flip of “Mr. Farmer” was “Up In Her Room”…

Fountain Of Youth – Don’t Blame Me (For Trying) / Take A Giant Step (1968)
These guys from Texas were once rumored to be the “test band” for The Monkees, but I don’t really buy that although they were on Colgems, and they did cover “Take A Giant Step”, and they did sound a little bit like them(The Monkees that is). This is their best 45 and I always was a big fan of “Don’t Blame Me” from when it was re-released on Boulders, but I must say, their version of “Take A Giant Step” is stunning to say the least. Almost near perfect pop perfection.

Chosen Few – Asian Chrome / The Earth Above The Sky Below (1967)
I featured their other 45 in IDG #99, but this is their crowning achievement. Real cool far/middle east style guitar ramblings that culminate in a wacked out fuzz and reverb drenched solo. The B side which has had little attention is pretty good as well.

Springfield Rifle – Left Of Nowhere (1968)
One of the best bands to come out of the Pacific NW in the late 60’. They concentrated on good arrangements and tight vocal harmonies.

Music Explosion – Where Are We Going (1968)
One of many 45s that this Ohio based band would release, including the great “Little Bit Of Soul”.

Bards – Never Too Much Love / The Jabberwocky (1968)
The Bards were a very popular Pacific NW, kinda like The Sonics and The Springfield Rifle, both featured in this post. These guys were lucky enough to land a recording contract with Capitol Records and release this interesting 45 that mixes some really good blue-eyed soul with a whacked out rendition of “The Jabberwocky”.

Lucifers Friend – Everybody’s Clown (1970)
Sooooo… let’s fast forward to 1970, where in Germany, a band called “Lucifer’s Friend” was conjuring up a mix of Deep Purple, and Black Sabbath type sounds. This 45 45 from 1970 is a good example of how psych crossed over with hard rock.