Thursday, July 05, 2007

Bill Dolan and Primitive Sound System - D.C.'s Tavern Thursday July 5th from 9PM to Closing

Hello Y'all
Sometimes I think I spend too much time on the little things. There are much bigger issues than the 7" 45RPM record. Considering I only have one 16" (no pun intended) I am talking about the 12" LP. This week at D.C.'s I am breaking out my big 12" records. I was filing records and realized that I was ignoring some amazing songs that I only had on LP. To make it a little easier on myself I chose records only of the 60's Garage variety. Let's drop some acid, grab a beer and hit the dance floor!

- pat.
Primitive Sound System

Bill Dolan and Pat. Longo
Thursday July 5th
Spun Gold from 10 to Closing
D.C.'s Tavern
505 8th Street
Hoboken, New Jersey
PH: 201-792-5550
MyBarStool -
UnUsed Web SIte -

The LP's:

Captain Beefheart And His Magic Band - Safe As Milk (Buddah Records cat. BDS 5001 (stereo) (solid red label with bumper sticker and inner sleeve)
"May The Baby Jesus Shut Your Mouth And Open Your Mind." "CAUTION: Electricity May Be Hazardous To Health"

Count Five - Psychotic Reaction (Double Shot cat. LP-DSM 1001 (complimentary copy))
After being obsessed with the 45 of "Psychotic Reaction" I only got the full LP after reading Lester Bangs book ("Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung"). I wish there was an LP called "Carburetor Dung" but so it goes. There are very few Garage songs that can even touch the greatness of "Psychotic Reaction" but the Count Five tried very hard to top it throughout this amazing LP. If you are only as good as your competition then they really had something to prove. As seems to be true of most Garage bands they can play the hell out of their instruments. Oh yeah, what also seems to be true is Garage bands LOVE the Who! I really don't understand people who hate the Who. Actually, if someone says they don't like the Who I have a very difficult time taking ANYTHING they say about music seriously. The Count Five like the Who a lot ("My Generation" and "Out In The Street" are included here) so I want to hear what the have to say. I also want to hear what they have to offer musically and the stellar recording on this record offers more than just a glimpse into their sound. The Count Five don't change the formula in anyway from many other Garage bands but they just do it better. "Pretty Big Mouth," and "She's Fine" make me want to hit the dance floor as well as sit back and enjoy the fuzz and pounding beats. "The World" gives us a taste of the Blues as only 60's Garage bands could. Side One close with the classic "Psychotic Reaction" and we are once again reminded of the musicianship and shear energy that The Count Five had. Side Two opens with the one song that gives "Psychotic Reaction" a run for its money, "Peace Of Mind." "Peace of Mind" is nothing if it isn't intense. Musically it is a short burst of trippy fuzz but at its heart it is a positive message. The silly "They're Gonna Get You" is certainly not a throw away nor is the completely spooky "The Morning After." I wish there was an instrumental of this because this would make the best theme song for a movie. I have played "Can't Get Your Lovin'" out just because I like the fast tight drumming. At times the vocals comp the Beatles a bit but sometimes that does work. The side closes with easily my favorite early Who song, "Out In The Street." Nice try guys but The Who CRUSH this song. Viva le Townsend!

Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera (Epic cat. BN 26415 (stereo))
So I sat and stared at an original British copy of this on the wall of Finyl Vinyl for close to five years. The cover begged me daily to sample its grooves yet its price tag screamed DON'T COME NEAR IF YOU KNOW WHAT IS GOOD FOR YOU! Oh how right that price tag was. One day, some six or seven years later a very nice man strolled through the door looking to lighten his load of LP's (most of them given to him, most were promo copies). He drove a Volvo and was dressed like your average Joe. This usually didn't result in a collection worth our time but I politely agreed to sample a box or two (hey I am a junkie, I can't help but flip). Who says nice guys finish last. Turns out our clean cut man of the 'burbs was The J. Giels Band's original manager and he had a crazy collection to unload. I only grabbed four records from the entire collection but all have made me extremely HAPPY. The "Intro" alone on this LP is all you need to hear to realize this is going to one sick opera. Each song better than the next including an odd choice like Oscar Brown's "But I was Cool." Soon I hit "Walter Sly Meets Bill Bailey" and I was hooked for life. This is Garage / Psych / Prog at its finest. Heavy ass bass, drums and riffing pummel you as you try to make sense of where this is going. Where will it end? Medieval? Exotic? Spacey? Things start to come apart at the seams and soon a twenty second version of what may be Bill Bailey played by some Billy Childish band is soon interrupted by the same frantic noise that led up to it. The theme is stated again and the drums and bass get to pound you until you are tender enough to handle what is next. "Air." I have listened to XTC for as long as I have been hooked on Garage rock and knew there was a connection. That connection couldn't have been any more obvious when XTC released the amazing Dukes of Stratosphere ep. Well they could have EASILY included "Air" and no one would have questioned it as not an original composition. Floating on a beautiful sitar progression and a simple beat the world slips away. If all this wasn't enough side two ignites with the AMAZING "Flames." Unfortunately and horrifically the song is marred with a nasty scratch which skips. Normally this would make me put a record back and say I'll find a better copy but something about this record made me know it was now or never. (Shortly after I found a NM promo copy of the "Flames" 45 so no harm no foul.) The heady mix of Garage / Psych and Prog continues through side two. "The Long Nights Of Summer" is a spectacular breezy Pop song that brings to mind the genius of P.F. Sloan. "Dream Starts" would have sat comfortably on a Soft Machine or Caravan record but is every beat a perfect fit with the material presented here. The tortured "Now She's Gone" closes out side two but usually I just flip it over and start the whole thing over again. Layers of ideas and sounds played to perfection by passionate and talented musicians. Sadly I have never heard any other record by this band but something tells me I would be disappointed.

The Litter - Distortions (K-Tel cat. 835-1) -
So I dug this out of a pile on the floor of Kim's in NYC in the early 90's, probably not long after it was released. I relieved it from them for a dollar . Man I would have paid TWICE that! This is one of the best garage records I have ever heard and unfortunately every issue of it is rarer then the next. If you really need one the Get Hip! version supposedly sounds great. The Litter keep the vocals clean for the most part but certainly know how to fuzz, squeal and make their guitars generally sound as if they are in pain. "Action Woman" is a classic garage romp that opens with all the guitars sounding as if they were shot out of a cannon. Moody, soulful vocals coo and chastise all at once. The drums and keyboards are not as prominent as most Garage songs but the groove is undeniable. A crazy, one take sounding version of the Who's "Substitute" is followed by an instrumental called "The Mummy" which almost comes off as the best outro for "Substitute" ever. Maybe it is me but side one closes with the best song The Bongos never recorded, "The Egyptian." Side two is just as fantastic running through fuzz drenched Blues based noise like "Rack My Mind," "Blues One" and the KILLER version of "I'm A Man," (one of the bonus cuts) a fine selection of covers and the brilliant original, "Soul Searchin'." It seems Mr. Kane saved this particular vocal sound for the originals; smooth as silk and soulful as hell. The sound on this is clean and clear with miles of separation making this one of the best recorded tracks amongst an already great sounding recording. Find your copy tomorrow!

The Orange Peels - s/t (????)
What the hell is this?! I picked it up because the completely unassuming cover made it impossible to pass by (all white cover with just text listing the band name and members on the front and just the song titles on the back). I think this may have been recorded on a child's portable recorder. The playing is as raw as the recording and the track selection is largely a greatest hits of late 50's early 60's instrumentals. Everything about this record makes me smile. Coldly and matter of factly introduced in the opening grooves, "THIS IS THE GROOVY SOUNDS OF THE ORANGE PEELS!" and I couldn't agree more. I believe "The Bennet Hunch" is an original. I say I believe because there are bits and pieces of every great instrumental poking out of the soft peel. This doesn't make it any less great. Let me explain, you know when you are walking around and you start humming a song but suddenly you sense that you are humming a different song. You then try to get yourself back and lo and behold a third song pops up. That is the genius of "The Bennet Hunch." The covers get the same raw, one take, "Look Ma no hands" treatment as the originals. "Apache," "King Bee," "Stranger From Durango," "Runaway," "Honky Tonk," "Samoa," "Mashed Potatoes," and "Rebel Rouser" are all represented here and completed whether or not each member remembered their parts. These guys have heart and soul and play with a sense of caution that makes every song sound as if it is going to unexpectedly stop and then taken from the top for another go. What disturbs me most is that if this was released today it would be relegated to the internet and sullied by the scourge of sound know as MP3 quality audio. True raw recordings need not be compressed further so that they are crap but need to be heard, felt, lived and devoured. Kick out the jams motha-fuckers! Are these guys available for my next party?

The Premiers - Farmer John live by... (Warner Bros. Records cat. 1565 (stereo))
Being at the recording of some legendary session would be story worthy for a lifetime. But, for the most part recording sessions are pretty boring. Dancing frantically and spilling beer in every direction in the crowd at The Rhythm Room in 1964 would be a black out to try to remember... for a life time. It is very hard to get passed the hard grooves of "Farmer John" and "Don't You Just Know It" which open this beer drenched soundtrack but there is barely a bad cut throughout. By the third track the band invites us to get close with our partner because "We Go Together" but what I like most is that the drummer never backs off the intensity. No brushes here. Let's get close but lets grind 'em and keep the sweat flowing. OK, enough of this slow shit let's hop back to it! "Look At Me" as the floor bounces right back into a frenzy but ya know what? The booze is taking hold and every chic within ten feet is looking pretty damn good so back to the grinding as we go "Over The Mountain, Across The Sea." "Tell me more about my eyes." Suddenly "Annie Oakley" shoots first and we hit the floor scared for our lives shaking our shoulders and stomping our feet. Side Two opens with another slow dance but at this point even if your are courting a wooden pole or facing a corner bleary eyed making out with a beer you need a moment to, well drink up! Anyone "Feel Like Dancing?" Sounds like half the crowd is ready willing and able and the fun never stops. As far as we can tell the majority of the crowed is "Ruined" but clapping is the easiest way humans express themselves all except for the greatest drunken screams on any record. Let's give our lady with the siren like pipes a break and meet her in the middle of the floor because lord knows "I Won't be back Next Year." The promises and begging keep coming but there is no more honesty here than, "the check is in the mail" ... I swear... I will write you this Summer... "Cross My Heart." For one last song we storm the floor with our sweet "Mary Ann" and hope we haven't blown it. Now that his a night to remember... or better yet... not.

The Pretty Things - S.F.Sorrow (Rare Earth Records cat. RS 506 (die cut / stereo))
This is considered the first Rock Opera. If Quadraphenia was the only other one recorded that would be wonderful. Call me crazy but all I can think of when I hear "Rock Opera" is Mr. Fucking Roboto. The opening is jangly and acoustic and S.F. Sorrow's birth is one filled with lush string arrangements, drama and majesty. Moments of this LP call out familiar sounds and feels but then you realize this was 1969 and predates almost everything that comes to mind by as much as three - five years. "She Says Good Morning" is all snot nosed aggression blended with Pop perfection. Briefly "She" is Sorrow's only happiness. For days after listening to "She Says Good Morning" I find myself hearing the chorus and that giant fuzz heavy riff that clobbers you about half the way through repeated and echoing in my head. If you haven't guessed the story of Sebastian F. Sorrow is not a happy one. It would be too easy to say that life sucks and then you die and Sebastian's life is twisted and pushed him up against historical moments, fantastical moments and the tragedies we only experience in our homes or amongst friends. Sadly the best thing about Sorrow's life is this LP. The Pretty Things create a fitting soundtrack to the vivid landscapes and imagery they evoke throughout this masterpiece ranging from devastatingly heavy to lilting and sweet. The guitar sound is spectacular and the vocals are never presented as if they are simply a voice over to the happenings. The proceedings are so tragic you almost don't want to let "Loneliest Person" finish because you know this is Sorrow's demise.

The Shadows of Knight - Back Door Men (Dunwich cat. 667)
The second I dropped the needle on this LP I placed it on my pile of "Must Haves." There is a great mix of originals and covers and the icing on the cake for me is of course an instrumental, "The Behemoth." The Shadows of Knight didn't just imitate the Blues, which I guess some people actually like, but they choose to smash it against Rock and fuzz and then speedball the mix. If you need to hear the Blues buy a Howlin' Wolf record already. How do you pick a track to play off a perfect LP? No, really I have no idea. No matter what I choose to play off here I will go home thinking why the hell didn't I play some other track. It is almost a disservice to go through the two sides and describe each song. "Bad Little Woman" could be your favorite song of all time until you hear "Gospel Zone," until you hear "The Behemoth," until you hear "I'll Make You Sorry," until you hear... get the picture?! Just like The Premiers, The Shadows of Knight look to New Orleans and Huey Piano Smith and the Clowns for a party worthy, dance floor blast with "High Blood Pressure." The Blues are equally represented here with their spectacular versions of "Spoonful" and "Hey Joe." Sundazed has reissued this and the Gloria LP so make with the clicking and buy some 180 gr vinyl perfection.

Some more great LP's:

The American Breed - Bend Me, Shape Me (Acta cat. A-38003 (stereo))
The Animals - The Best of... (MGM Records cat. E-4324)
Booker T & The MG's - 'Hip Hug-Her' (Stax S717 (stereo))
The Crazy World of Arthur Brown (Track Records cat. SD 8198 (stereo))
Donovan - Barbajagal (Epic cat. BN 26481 (stereo))
Julie Driscol & Brian Auger & The Trinity - Open (Atco cat. SD 33-258)
The Electric Prunes - (Travel Up To The) Underground (Reprise cat. cat. 6262 (stereo))
The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Are You Experienced (Reprise cat. 6261 (stereo sticker on a mono jacket))
Tommy James & The Shondells - Crimson & Clover (Roulette cat. SR-42023 (stereo))
Kinks - Well Respected... (Marble Arch cat. MAL 612)
Classics IV - Spooky (Imperial Records cat.LP-12371 (stereo))
The Liverpool Scene - The Amazing Adventures of... (RCA cat LSP-4189 (stereo))
Manfred Mann - The Manfred Mann album (Ascot cat. AM 13015)
Monkees - Head (Colgems cat. COSO-5008 (stereo))
The Moody Blues - Go Now (London cat. PS 428 (stereo))
Paul Revere & The Raiders - Midnight Ride with... (Columbia cat. CL 2508)
The Rolling Stones - Around and Around (Decca cat. SLK 16 315-P (Germany red label)
Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels - Take a Ride... (New Voice Records cat. New Voice 2000)
The Seeds - A Web of Sound (GNP Crescendo Records cat. GNP 2033 (stereo))
The Shocking Blue - s/t (Colossus Record Corp cat. CS-1000 (stereo))
Sly & The Family Stone - Dance To The Music (Epic cat. BN 26371 (stereo))
The Sonics - s/t (Etiquette cat. ETALB 027 (1984 Pacific Northwest Rock Collection Series)
Soul Survivors - When The Whistle Blows Anything Goes With The... (Crimson LP 502)
The Stooges - s/t (Elektra cat. EKS-74051 (stereo))
Them - Belfast Gypsies (Grand Prix cat. GP-9923)
Traffic - Mr. Fantasy (United Artists cat. UAS 6651 (stereo))
The Velvet Underground - s/t (MGM SE-4617 (stereo))
The Who - ...sings My Generation (Decca DL74664 (stereo))
Wilmer & The Dukes - s/t (Aphrodisiac cat. APH 6001 (stereo))
Yardbirds - Greatest Hits (Epic cat. LN 24246)
Golden Hits - The Original Hits - Golden Instrumentals (Dot Records cat. DLP-25820 (stereo))
You Are What You Eat - OST (Columbia cat. OS 3240 (stereo))

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