Thursday, October 25, 2007

Here are the Sonics???

The Sonics, those famous Northwestern garage rock legends (and one of the many groups attributed with being the first "punk" band), are back! They are, however, a bit older this time around. This reunion (not the first), will feature three "classic era" Sonics members: Gerry Roslie (vocals), Rob Lind (saxaphone) and Larry Parypa (guitar). Keeping things local (both temporally and geographically speaking), fellow 60's era Pacific Northwest rockers Dave Rowland (the Wailers) and Don Wilhelm (the Daily Flash) will be accompanying on the drums and bass, respectively.

Best known for their two raucous LPs, Here are the Sonics!!! (1965) and Boom (1966), the Sonics also have several other releases (mostly complilations and rarities), including their third and (thankfully) final LP, the god-awful Jerden Records release, Introducing the Sonics (1967).

Now then, back to the reunion:

The Sonics will be playing at Cavestomp! 2007 (November 2-4). The tenth anniversary of the annual festival will be held at Warsaw in Brooklyn. For those of you too lazy to read the lineup below, the Sonics will be headlining Friday, November 2nd and Sunday, November 4th.

The lineup, lifted directly from the above Cavestomp! MySpace page:

7p Doors/DJ Pokemonojeff of LYRES!
10:25p THE THANES!
11:30p THE SONICS!

Followed by more DJin' & dancin' and the bar is open until 3am!

7p Doors/ DJ Switched On Audrey of
8:45p THE URGES!
12a STRAWBERRY ALARM CLOCK!-Playing their 1st album in its entirety!

Followed by more DJin' & dancin' and the bar is open until 3am!

7p Doors/ DJ Billy Miller & Miriam Linna of Norton Records
9:30p LYRES!
11:30p THE SONICS!

Followed by more DJin' & dancin' and the bar is open until 3am... AARRRRRGH!"

To get tickets, visit Ticketmaster (oof) or pick them up in person at Earwax Records, Other Music or at Warsaw itself. Tickets are $35.00 in advance, $40.00 the day of the show and $90.00 for a three-day pass.

I have uploaded a couple of Sonics tracks here for you poor souls who have never listened to this great band.

The Sonics - Psycho

The Sonics - Shot Down

The Sonics, one cool band.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Jay Reatard - In the Dark

If you actually have a copy of In the Dark, an EP released this year by Jay Reatard on Squoodge Records, consider yourself lucky. Jay is known for frequently pressing limited numbers of his 7 inches, but this time the reason for the record's rarity rests with another (I am always attempting alliteration). Although In the Dark only contains one new song (two of the songs being different, much slower versions of songs from Blood Visions, demos perhaps), it's pretty rare, having been involved in a bit of a scandal.

Apparently the EP was oversold, and, when various people wrote to Squoodge to inquire as to why their record had not arrived, they were met with the same uniform and suspect letter alleging that the record must have been stolen out of the mail.

Ironically enough, when you visit Squoodge Records, you are immediately greeted with the cover of a "European Tour Single" by The Rip Offs.

On the Goner Message Board, Jay had this to say:

"Yeah FUCK Squoodge Records !!! This guy ripped me and fans of my records off on this project ... He pressed a run of 49 six inch square records with a different sleeve with out even asking me... Then had a buddy put a few on ebay at over $250.00 bucks a pop.. I'm really sorry to anyone who got ripped".


The track listing is:

In the Dark

Searching for You (Nightmares)

Haunting You (Fading All Away)

In other Jay Reatard related news, Eric Oblivian (of the Oblivians and Goner Records) let slip that the Reatard will be releasing a singles collection, not a bad move considering the number of EPs he has released and plans on releasing (apparently he has signed a deal with Matador Records to put out a single every two months for the next year).

Monday, October 22, 2007

You Left Me Shattered...

Yes, this is an article about the Exploding Hearts. HOWEVER, it is my intent here to avoid all of the clichés generally encountered when discussing them. I'm not going to refer to their tragic accident (the word "tragic" having been tossed around so much that, for me at least, it has lost almost all meaning). I'm not going to mention that of which the world has been deprived in future releases from this excellent group. And I'm definitely not going to talk about the Nice Boys, Terry Six's current band (whoops). Instead, I'm going to talk about a single track (that appears twice) on their final (ugh) release, Shattered. This collection, released in October of 2006 (on Halloween, if I remember correctly), comprises their last, eponymous EP, as well as slightly different takes of various songs from Guitar Romantic, the "pink demo", and all of their previous EPs.

Astute listeners, and, actually, even those who aren't that astute, have probably noticed the similarities between "Shattered (You Left Me)", from the last Exploding Hearts release, and "Gypsy Switch", from King Louie Bankston's long put off "new" album, Memphis Treet. The reason is thus: King Louie wrote the song.

In fact, if you look at the writing credits for The Exploding Heart's sole album, Guitar Romantic, you will see that of its ten perfect tracks, Louie had a hand in writing seven. According to another blog that I came across while writing this post, the song was originally used in one of Louie's previous bands (of which there are many), 10-4 Backdoor. The liner notes for Shattered credit Adam, Jeremy, Louie, Matt and Terry for the creation of this song, assumedly due to their having changed it around a bit. I can't help but wonder what the original original version sounded like.

Though clearly the same song, the different versions are, well, different. The Exploding Hearts rip through the main riff, a hook-filled hunk of honky-tonk, with the same great poppy energy and tone as their previous recordings, but this time with a cowbell! The Louie version, however, has a much more subdued feel, coming across as sad and sincere, helped, surely, by his down-and-out vocals and the dampened organ in the background (the slightly off-pitch soloing and reference to falling "off really hard" probably don't hurt either). Well, enough rambling from me, check them out for yourselves:

Download it here:
The Exploding Hearts - Shattered (You Left Me)

Download it here:
King Louie and the Loose Diamonds - Gypsy Switch

Shattered!, originally to be just an EP featuring "Shattered (You Left Me)" and "We Don't Have to Worry Anymore", was slated for release in 2004. We ended up having to wait until October of 2006 to actually get our hands on it, and this only in the form of the afore-mentioned collection (although there were mp3s of dubious quality floating around the net for years before this, along with the live KBOO Radio set).

The artwork for the never-released Shattered! EP:

P.S. If you're looking to get either Shattered! or Memphis Treet, you can find them for sale on the internet or at a record store. Do your own damn search. All images taken from websites without permission.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

First post

Ok, this is the first post of what I hope will be many. The format may change, depending on how things work out, but the essential idea here will be to showcase great, current bands, as well as the occasional dalliance into the past.

For a bit, until I get my footing at least, I'll just be posting videos and uploading songs here and there along with a spattering of words. Anyways...

To celebrate the birth of this blog, here is a great video of (the) Buzzcocks playing what is probably their best (if not most played) single, "Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn't Have)", which may or may not have been about a homosexual relationship between Pete Shelley, and, well, some guy. This particular video was shot in 1978 at the Lesser Free Trade Hall in Manchester, England, where, just a short time before, the Sex Pistols blew away the aimless young rock and rollers of the day, moving them away from pub and glam rock and on to their future callings.


If you liked that video, check out the original and a cover below:

Buzzcocks - Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn't Have)

Nouvelle Vague - Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn't Have)