McCoys – Fever (Bang)
Cryan Shames – Ben Franklin’s Almanac (Destination)
Rationals – Out In the Streets (A2)
The Lime – Soul Kitchen (Westwood)
Strangeloves – Night Time (Bang)
Music Machine – Masculine Intuition (Original Sound)
British Walkers – Diddley Daddy (Try)
Guilloteens – For My Own (HBR)
Sidekicks – Not Now (RCA)
New Colony Six – Let Me Love You (Sentar)
I hope all is well by you.
This has been a weekend of extremes. Friday night was all about fun, dropping a set of funk and soul at the Asbury Park 45 Sessions. Saturday on the other hand saw me locked in mortal combat with the millions of leaves on my lawn. When the day was done, my body was wracked with pain (bad knees, is a bad thing brother) and I had twenty five of those 30LB leaf bag stacked up on the side of my house.
I have to tell you, nothing…abso-freaking-lutely NOTHING, strikes me as a more intense waste of time and energy than blowing, raking and bagging leaves, the natural by-product of….uhhh…TREES. If it wasn’t for my “neighbors” – who once left me an anonymous note in my mailbox complaining that I waited too long to pick up my LEAVES – I’d leave those beautiful red, yellow and orange bits of natural wonderfulness rolling around my lawn reflecting the sunlight.
Maybe I need to start a pro-leaf movement of some kind.
POWER TO THE LEAVES!!
F*** THE NEIGHBORS!!
Thank Jeebus I can still type, or the whole enterprise would come crashing down.
I’d been kind of dancing around the idea of a garage punk podcast for a while, circling the idea warily like a wrestler looking for an opening, and then last week a reader made a specific request thereof, and so here I sit, writing up the accompanying text for same (your wish, of course, being my command).
When I swooped down on the crates to select the 45s for this mix, I had no specific theme in mind outside of the obvious stylistic touchstones (timewise and fuzzwise), and the only guiding factor was to find ten sides that grabbed me. Among those sides were a few things that I hadn’t listened to in years and decided to give a refresher spin. A couple of those went back in the box, and a couple ended up in the mix.
Things get started with a serious fave by the McCoys. If I never hear ‘Hang On Sloopy’ again, I wouldn’t miss it, but their take on Little Wille John’s ‘Fever’ is pure garage heat. Sometime in the future I’ll have to post their original version of ‘Say Those Magic Words’ later covered by the UK Birds.
The Cryan Shames – the first of two Chicago bands in the mix – are best known for their version of ‘Sugar and Spice’, but in my humble opinion, ‘Ben Franklin’s Almanac’ on the local Destination label is their garagiest effort, with a fantastic, fuzzed out breakdown.
Dig – if you will – the crazed, quasi-instrumental madness of ‘Out In the Street’ from the Rationals. One of the major Detroit bands of the era, alongside the MC5, Bob Seger & the Last Heard and others, the Rationals recorded a number of outstanding 45s for A2, Cameo (including the mindblowingly Beatle-y ‘Feelin’ Lost’) and eventually an entire LP for the Crewe label. ‘Out In the Streets’ (the flip of a Goffin/King tune, ‘I Need You’) was later re-recorded with lyrics under the title ‘Sing’.
I’ve never been able to track down much info about the Lime, other than the fact that they hailed from Ohio. I found this record (complete with a groovy picture sleeve of the band in white jeans and dark blazers) in a weird little record store in suburban NJ over 20 years ago. How the original, Ohio issue of this 45 (several copies in fact, some of which were picked up by a buddy of mine) ended up in Keyport, NJ is a mystery. The record with it’s a-side ‘Love a Go Go’ was picked up and issued nationally on Chess, and is a great slice of garage pop.
I’ve always been a big fan of the Strangeloves, even though the first time I heard ‘Night Time’ it was via a cover by – wait for it, here it comes – George Thorogood & the Destroyers back in the 70’s. They made a grip of very cool garage/frat style 45s (including the original version of ‘I Want Candy’) in the mid 60’s, of which ‘Night Time’ is the finest. The coolest thing about the band – which I wasn’t aware of until years after I started collecting their 45s – is that they claimed to be three Australian brothers named Giles, Miles and Niles Strange, when they were in fact Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein and Richard Gottehrer. Gottehrer went on to play a major role in New York-based punk and new wave as co-founder of Sire Records.
Back in the day, I – like many of my garage/mod cohorts – was introduced to Sean Bonniwell and the Music Machine via the Rhino issue of their greatest hits. I thought then, and still believe now that they were, unlike many of their ilk, actually a really good band with much more to offer than just their hit 45 ‘Talk Talk’. ‘Masculine Intuition’ is one side of their best Original Sound 45 (the flip of ‘The People In Me’) and is – like much of their work – a great slice of intelligent, slightly dark garage/psyche/pop.
The British Walkers were a DC-based band that released a number of excellent 45s during the mid-60’s. Over the course of their career, the lineup included both Roy Buchanan (who I believe is on this record) and John Hall (later of Orleans). ‘Diddley Daddy’ – a cover of fellow DC-ite Bo (Diddley that is) – is a wailing, grungy slice of bluesy garage. Oddly enough, the flip (which I’ll definitely feature here in the future) ‘I Found You’ is a wonderful, Beatle-esque pop record.
The Guilloteens (how cool is that name??) were a Memphis-based teen group that were reportedly Elvis Presley’s fave local band. They recorded a couple of 45s for the HBR label – including the savage ‘Hey You’ – and at least one for Columbia. ‘For My Own’ is a groovy, slightly fuzzed bit of garage folk.
I don’t know much about the Sidekicks, other than they were probably from the suburbs of New York City (maybe Long Island). Their RCA 45 ‘Not Now’ (with a cover of the Hollies ‘Fifi the Flea’ on the flip) features a very cool guitar solo.
Things close out with one of my fave sides by Chicago’s own New Colony Six. If you can get your hands on a copy of the ‘Best of’ CD that came out some years ago, do so as the NC6 made some fantastic records during their existence. They were capable of garage, R&B, and the sweet, sophisticated pop that brought them their biggest success in the late-60’s. ‘Let Me Love You’ is a great mix of garagey energy and psychedelic touches.
So, I hope you dig the mix (if you tend to download the zip files, check out the mix too as I dug up some cool soundbytes).