Friday, 26 November 2010

The Friggs - Bad Word For A Good Thing. Telstar Records TR-009.

The USA's answer to The Headcoatees. This was their finest moment. A single on Hoboken, New Jersey's Telstar Records. It's buzzy, bassy, powerful stuff. That's all I can think to say. The music can speak for itself.

The Friggs - Bad Word For A Good Thing. Telstar Records TR-009.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Various Artists - Tom Andolino presents Beat of the Traps. MSR Madness Vol. 1.

A slight swerve here, and and LP some of you may have heard before. Or you may have heard the cover versions of songs on it as performed by The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion (Beat of the Traps) or Bassholes (Little Rug Bug). It's an LP of songs ... actually, I've tuftied the LP sleeves above from a Blues Explosion website, so I may as well go the whole hog and appropriate their transcription of the sleeve notes in order to give you a proper idea of what this record IS ALL ABOUT.

The small print above:
"Wild music; crazy lyrics. Beautiful music; perfect lyrics. You get all this and more with these kinds of records. Strange sounding cheap early electronic keyboards like the Mellotron; out of control drum machines. Normal-sounding budget session musicians; drunk -- or something -- sounding session musicians. And singers who usually sound like they never saw the words to the song until the recording light was on. They probably recorded 50 of these "songs" in one day, sometimes using the same track more than once. It is this kind of set-up that can produce innocently beautiful works of art.

The ads in the back of magazines would say "Send us your poems or song lyrics and we'll get them recorded. Big money could be yours!," or some such come-on. What it turns out to be is that you pay them to put music to your words, then they send you a couple of copies of it on their label. And that's all they do. There are many of these companies, but the king of them all would have to be the MSR label of Hollywood, California -- now, sadly, defunct. Sometimes the song would be pressed on a 45, sometimes on an album collection, maybe with a picture of the house composer to help convince the customer that they're legit.

One day in 1971 I was looking at some albums in a surplus hardware store that had bought out a radio station's record library when I saw an album on MSR Records called Variety Songs For '69. It had a cheap stock cover with a big musical staff and song titles like "Richard Nixon," "More On Ode To Billy Jo," and "Beat Of The Traps," and the back cover was blank. It looked like something I'd better get.

I went home and played it, and by the time I got to the song called "Beat Of The Traps" I knew there was something wild going on here. Not every song was great (they can't all be gems), but the ones that were sounded like they'd reached outer space. Listen to the song "Beat Of The Traps" and you'll see what I mean. These guys must have been recording these songs all day and by the time they got to this cut all hell had broken loose. Everyone involved gives an amazing performance -- these lyrics really inspired them.

From then on, I would look out for these kinds of records and found that there are a lot of them out there. Rod Rogers also turns up on other labels, sometimes under the name Rodd Keith. I'd like to see a picture of him. Once while in Hollywood I called the MSR number, hoping to find out about Rod. A guy answered the phone and I asked him if he knew where Rod Rogers could be reached. He said, "You wouldn't want to go where he is." "What do you mean?," I asked. "He's pushin' up daisies, that's where he is." "Oh no, you mean he died?" "Yep. He was a keyboard genius," was his reply. And I agree. Listen to his perfect track for "Little Rug Bug." The words about a baby are great, too.

I love all the songs on this collection. "Our Hearts Were Meant To Beat As One" is one of my top choices for the "if you could have been at any recording session, what would it be" category. And check the punchline to see what "Lost In Space" is about. From great lyrics, indescribable music. These selections have them all.

Apollo Up,
-- Tom Ardolino (the man who beats the traps for NRBQ)"


Various Artists - Tom Andolino presents Beat of the Traps. MSR Madness Vol. 1.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

The Spoiled Brats - Rich Kid. Real Records. Real 103.

The Spoiled Brats were yet another amalgamation from the limited gene pool that coughed up most of the budget rock / garage scene in the early 1990s. So, here we have Elka Zolot fresh from or on her way to The Trashwomen, The Count Backwurds and The Spastics, alongside Shane White whose career could only head down after The Fingers split up. In the meantime he pouted meanly on behalf of The Rip-Offs, The Infections, The Tight Fits, The Loose Lips and The Bearded Tits. This is a great single, managing to get that shitty Brentwoods vocal sound nailed to the meatiness of The Rip-Offs. It came free with Sooprize Package magazine which was run by a great fella down on the south coast whose name I have, rather embarassingly, forgotten. So, sorry Tarquin Lunchbox, or whatever your name was, but thanks for the finest of the two singles (not including the MRR split) that The Spoiled Brats put out. And I hope that when you put 'Laundrymat Brat' as the flip you were just following orders.
The Spoiled Brats - Rich Kid. Real Records. Real 103.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

The Secret Seven - Hold On To Love. Bronze Records. BRO 164. 1983.

Another release that betrays my weakness for guitar-based pop music failures. Formed in the wake of The Distractions - a Manchester band who were touted for bigger things - The Secret Seven featured vocalist Mike Finney exercising his soulful vocal stylings on the over-produced 80s-sounding but still listenable Hold On To Love and the less enjoyable b-side Up In Smoke, which suffers from yucky production and a relentless tune. There will be a chance to hear the early Distractions singles and material recorded in the 1990s when 'Nothing' is released in 2011.

The Secret Seven - Hold On To Love. Bronze Records. BRO 164.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Redd Kross - Burn Out. Posh Boy PBS 22.

Stickypedia is skipping like a bastard tonight so I've not been able to do even cursory research on this one. As far as I can work out, it's either a 1990 reissue of a single which came out c. 1981 or a 1990 first issue of songs which were recorded in 1979 and 1981. Or it's a 1990 reissue of tracks which were issued in 1979 and 1981, but on different records and were brought together just for this release. One of you knows. Tell me.

Redd Kross - Burn Out. Posh Boy PBS 22.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Supercharger - Sooprize Package for Mr. Mineo. Super*Teem 4501.

Ah, Supercharger. How many ways do I love you? This single was issued on Darin Rafaelli's own Super*Teem records after the band had split up. It is in no way essential Supercharger. Main track, Sooprize Package for Mr. Mineo comes from Supercharger's self-titled debut LP, but is more famous (ha ha) for having been covered by The Mummies for Fuck CDs, It's The Mummies on Hangman and Never Been Caught on Telstar. The b-side is South City Psycho and this appears to be the only time it was released. Which is understandable as it is very much minor Supercharger.

Supercharger - Sooprize Package for Mr. Mineo. Super*Teem 4501.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Various Artists - Everybody's Goin' Surfin' / Nobody's Goin' Surfin'. Repent Records LP. 08-637.

I must confess I nicked the image above. I'm struggling to get good images from LP sleeves; particularly those with the shrink-wrap still on them, so I took the easy way out and lifted it from some Japanese fellas website. Sorry, Surfy San.

Anyhow, another upload, again from Mike Lucas's Repent label. This one is Heritage-focussed. Lots of 60s surf and not-surf. And The Phantom Surfers.

Enjoy.

Various Artists - Everybody's Goin' Surfin' / Nobody's Goin' Surfin'. Repent Records LP. 08-637.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

The Neatbeats - (Do The) Global Twist EP - Hillsdale Records HR-23.

Apparently John Lennon would have been 70 this year and there has been some activity around this. At what point does it flip from dead pop star would have been X years old to dead pop star was born X years ago? In ten years will it be John Lennon would have been 80 this year or will it be John Lennon was born 80 years ago. Tricky thing, history.

Anyway, how better to celebrate a dead pop star than with a long out-of-print record from a bunch of Japanese Beatleniks released by a Beatle-wig-wearing American. Here's Johnny...

The Neatbeats - (Do The) Global Twist EP - Hillsdale Records HR-23.

Friday, 5 November 2010

The Vice Barons - Dragstrip Terror EP.

A rarity from Belgium's The Vice Barons. It's not their finest work, but still very enjoyable. I can write no more. Work beckons...

The Vice Barons - Dragstrip Terror EP.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Various Artists - The Stickboy Song Contest Winners! 7" Gila Monster and The Pooh Sticks.

A once in a lifetime collision between two things I love deeply - Dennis Worden's superb Stickboy and Welsh Wales' superb The Pooh Sticks. The best ever song written for a song-writing competition in any comic ever. Gila Monster are on the other side. Good for them!

The Stickboy Song Contest Winners! 7" Gila Monster and The Pooh Sticks.

For Xian.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

The Fingers - The First Time / Barracuda. Budget Rock Showcase 7". 1991.

For my good friend Anonymous, who liked Melons on Melrose so much he (or she, but much more likely to be he based on years of scientific research and analysis into this sort of thing by me and the rest of the scientific community) became this blog's very own Oliver Twist by asking for more. More Fingers. Ouch! And here it is.  My first Fingers single. The one that ruined me for all other garage bands.

The Fingers - The First Time / Barracuda. Budget Rock Showcase 7". 1991.

By the way, if you like this shit, tell your friends. I'm feeling kind of lonely.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Strip Kings - Backlash. Redline RL4571.

A rock and roll screamer from Swinging London. I came across this lot supporting Bassholes on tour; Strip Kings drummer was doing the Bim Thomas / Rich Lillash job as Don Howland had come over on his own. They were an energetic bunch. A second single was released on Redline, along with an American release on In The Red. I haven't heard the former, but let the latter go some years back.

Strip Kings - Backlash. Redline RL4571.