Song Of the Day: April 23, 2005
While most of the Jam-inspired mods were out on the town on their Vespas, showing off their cool threads and talking about the young idea, the Gas were sulking and pouting at home, leaving only occasionally to barge into the club and confront their girlfriend (who was dancing to Northern Soul with a member of the Chords or the Jolt) in an embarassing screaming row. Perhaps the angriest of the neo-mod bands, their anger wasn't in the least political; check out some of their song titles: "Ignore Me," "The Finger," "Definitely Is A Lie," "Losing My Patience." We very much like their album and all of the singles we've heard, but this one has a distorted, thundering sound to it that is particularly appealing.
The boys and I would like to take a moment to belatedly pay our respects to one of the greatest cats who ever trod over a pile of $1 LPs, Cayenne
. She was a sweet, delightful creature, and it was a privilege to have known her.
Song Of the Day: April 22, 2005
Stories of major label dashed dreams are pretty common in the UK signing frenzy that erupted after the punk explosion of '77. These future retail clerks were permitted two singles on Arista, but denied the shot at making the full length. Their first single, "High Rise" is typical, but quite good punk pop of the period, and would nestle in comfortably in a pile of singles by the Boys, Undertones, etc. They followed that with "Unfaithful," which was never officially released, and thus ended the very brief saga of the Trainspotters, or Train Spotters, depending on which of the two 45s you look at. This is the B-side of the latter.
Here's the real story on the Trainspotters from Steve Mitchell at Low Down Kids, which makes a lot more sense of the enterprise: "Trainspotters: this was Mike Read, the radio DJ. He'd been on Radio Luxembourg (actually based in Luxembourg - some kind of licensing loophole)
and had been in bands since the 60s, making records under all sorts of names. Immediately prior to the Trainspotters he'd released the "Are You Ready" 7" under his own name - not a great record, but on the pic sleeve he's standing outside the door of the Roxy club! By the end of the decade he moved to BBC's Radio 1, where he used to play guitar on his radio show and
it was at this point he did the Trainspotters singles. He even did a version of the "High Rise" number as a jingle: "Mike Read! Mike Read! 2-7-5 and 2-8-5!". After those two singles he released "My Town" under the name of The Ghosts, which is another good powerpopper. He's continued to make records ever since. Much of his Trainspotters/Ghosts-period gear has recently been comp'd on CD in Japan."
Song Of the Day: April 21, 2005
The Barracudas have released a good number of records over the years, progressing from an obviously retro 60s garage look and sound to a more traditional power pop sound that I suppose is equally retro, but never mind that. Everything I've ever heard by this band is worth picking up. When I first heard this song in the mid-80s it didn't seem that different than the popular "rock" music, and I wondered why I never heard songs like this or "Bigger Stones" by the Beat Farmers, or "White Lies" by Jason and the Scorchers on the radio. Which is, I suppose, why I like the iPod so much; on shuffle play, you can pretty much make it simulate a radio station where the top 40 chart dovetails perfectly with your taste and internal logic, and the world becomes a much more sympathetic place, at least until you take the headphones off.
Song Of the Day: April 20, 2005
This record is a fairly typical in many ways: teenage garage sound, low budget recording, not terribly sophisticated sentiment...why do I find it so perfect? In terms of construction, it has a bit more going on for it than most, the melody and harmonies are nice, but I think what really sells it for me is that it's just so...believable. The singer seems so sincerely distraught by this petty adolescent spat despite the fact he's not even direclty involved, and I find his concern just ludicrously moving. This is one reason I get kind of snarky when somebody (usually some punk rock kid in his early 20s) dismisses a band or song as "just pop" or "just a love song." Like they really spend more time fuming about the fact that their tax dollars pay for illegal wars in central America than they do mooning about their crush on the new teller. Wankers.
Not to be confused with the Journeymen, a "Mighty Wind" folk outfit, this Journey Men was a garage band from Florida that seems to have only made the one record. I fell in love with this song on some forgotten 60s comp that presented it in fuzzy, mediocre sound; when I saw that it appeared on a new comp CD called Total Raunch
, I immediately picked one up, hoping for a sound upgrade. Well, it is a little better, but slower; I'm guessing the version I was used to was mastered at an incorrect, slightly faster speed.
Song Of the Day: April 19, 2005
Having recently scored a copy of the Dentists' "Strawberries Are Growing In My Garden (And It's Wintertime)" 45, I was pretty stoked about putting it up here, but Rhino is going to use that track on an upcoming box set called Children of Nuggets
. That's OK, as I might like this one better anyway. The Dentists were a much beloved UK indie-pop band that was neither dour and introspective enough to fit in with the c86 crowd, nor interested in the sort of costumes that would have endeared them to the retro-60s clique. What they did have was a singer who sounded like he believed every word he sang no matter how ridiculous the concept, rushed tempos that added excitement, and some great hooks. Their best LP was probably Behind This Door I Keep the Universe
, which actually came out on a major label in the US, which is why there are plenty of copies available for $1.99.
BTW, here's a tracklist for Children of Nuggets
. The idea that some thread connects all of these bands is a bit dicey, but it is a load of great music, probably much more listenable than the more "serious" Left of The Dial
Song Of the Day: April 18, 2005
Whenever I'm approached on the fabled Mass Street in Lawrence, either at one of our relentlessly hip nightspots or one of the many fine boutiques who look to me to spearhead the next fashion trend, it seems the adoring public but one issue on its anxious mind: "Jon," they ask, "What is the most blatant Psychocandy
rip-off you've ever heard? Is it the Meat Whiplash 45? Is it the Raveonettes?" Well, maybe. Then again, it might be this 45 by a French band called Mary Goes Round
. It has all the elements. Layers of fuzz, buried vocal that never even approaches middle C, and a pretty nice little tune in there somewhere.
Song Of the Day: April 17, 2005
The lone single by NYC's Nasty Facts is one of the few records coveted by punk rock collectors that is actually worth the absurd prices it fetches. All three tracks are great and have been compiled on some of the many Killed By Death/Bloodstains/Back to Front-type compilations of rare punk stuff. The story is that a few high school kids asked a slightly older woman named Cherl Boyze to be in the band because they thought she looked the part; she played bass, sang, and wrote the songs. She is also the only member of the band who seems to have disappeared.