Tag Archives: garage rock

Mixtape! Back To Schooldays

The good Doc knows the A-B-Cs of pop music; this was one of the first tape swap mixes I made for Son Of Tape Tree (a/k/a/ SOTT), a tradition which is in its thirteenth or fourteenth year. We’re down from one every two months to once a year despite the ability to dub CDs much faster and cheaper than C-90s! Title obviously stolen from a great Graham Parker song.

Video: Graham Parker, Back To Schooldays

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New Album! Matthew Sweet

The new album from Matthew Sweet is streaming at Soundcloud!

I must admit I’m not immediately blown away by Modern Art, although I can hear equal parts of his early pop and latter-day garage covers. Some songs are just not connecting at all. But tracks like “Sleeping” and “When Love Lets Go I’m Falling” hit the spot with me. Sweet has been hit or miss the last couple of releases, but he’s had a hell of a career run, and I would never count him out.

I can’t believe it’s been twenty years since Girlfriend, an album I can pull out at any time; I smell a Blast From The Past column on that one sometime soon. But that was then and this is now, and I will give this album an honest chance.

So check it out for yourself, end to end, for free.

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Kickstart The Standells!

Out of the garage and back into your lives.

Far too often we dismiss a band as one-hit wonders because that’s all we ever hear. I was collecting singles when “Dirty Water” came growling out of the transistor radio in the mid-60s, and the chorus of that song was as much a part of every weekend party as “Shout” was in the 80’s after Animal House revitalized frat parties.

People who never even lived in Boston swore allegiance to The River Charles, but since FM radio hadn’t yet found its footing, The Standells disappeared from view as quickly as The Count Five or Crazy Elephant. Of course, they were making great records before that hit and afterwards as well. But for most people, they were one and done, albeit a great “one”.

Video: “Dirty Water

Now, forty years after their demise, the band is heading back into the studio to record a new album including original songs (click here for a rehearsal video) and a re-recording of one of their vintage tracks that never saw the light of day. Founder Larry Tamblyn and long-time Standell John Fleck are joined by Greg Burnham and Adam Marsland. Tamblyn (yes, Russ’s brother and Amber’s uncle) is pragmatic in his approach to keeping the spirit alive.

The band promises that the new songs will capture the raw, driving sound The Standells were known for back in the ’60s. But in order to accomplish the mission, the band is reaching out for support through Kickstarter.

From the pitch page:

In order to do the music justice, the band wants to record it in the right studio situation – one that is not only state-of-the-art but also has the capacity to lay down tracks both digitally and on tape.  Plus, The Standells will be using an authentic Vox Continental.  The funds raised here on Kickstarter will be used towards those studio costs, tape stock, engineering, artwork, design, CD duplication and vinyl pressing expenses for all those who still love their 45’s and 33 1/3’s

The Standells have learned from experience – No major label suits will be allowed in the recording studio and no producers will be dictating to them what to record. That is why The Standells are using July 4th as their funding deadline.  Independence Day for an Independent Group!

Sounds like a plan! Click here to join the Kickstarter mission!

Video: “Sometimes Good Guys Don’t Wear White” (2011 tour!)

The Standells on Facebook

I love that Dirty Water

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T.G.I.F. – Ten For Joey Ramone

Joey Ramone would have turned sixty yesterday.

That’s inconceivable. It’s also hard to believe that so many older bands – who easily endured as much drugs and demonic activity as their younger followers – are still out there banging away when three of the founding Ramones are gone.

But time has taught us what only the die-hard fans knew at the time – The Ramones were one of the greatest American rock bands to ever take the stage. Initially classified as punk, they were really more of a hard, loud pop band who got in, banged out a few chords and got out without wasting your time. You not only could sing along with all the songs, you could play them. But there was magic in their direct simplicity, and Johnny Ramone was a very underrated rhythm guitar player.

Hard to believe that last month marked ten years since we lost him. Ten years! I feel like I’ve been in a coma; time shouldn’t move that fast.

But even though The Ramones are gone, their legacy lives on through their recorded work and the many bands who continue to carry the flag. Sure, there are the obvious ones, everyone from The Sex Pistols to Green Day.

But in honor of Joey – a fellow Queens guy – here are Ten For Joey Ramone…ten lesser known bands who took heed when American music was restructured back in 1974. Turn it up – gabba gabba hey!

(01) – Teenage Bottlerocket

(02) – The Huntingtons

(03) – The Methadones

(04) – The Leftovers

(05) – The Lillingtons

(06) – Screeching Weasel

(07) – The Riverdales

(08) – The Vindictives

(09) – The Queers

(10) – Teen Idols

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Beatlesque Again

What can I say? He’s done it again.

As a followup to the prior Meet The Beatlesque, my pal Angelo at Power Pop Criminals has unleashed a new two-CD mixtape of Beatley tunes called Beatlesque Again. These are not Beatle covers, but rather a collection of songs that capture the essence and spirit of the Fab Four.

The list of artists should entice any fan of the genre, from more recognizable names like Robyn Hitchcock and Julian Lennon to successful indie pop stars like Ben Kweller, The Nines and Splitsville. Those yet to discover the wonders of Magic Christian, Kenny Howes, The Singles, The Greenberry Woods and The Redwalls will be bowled over.

There’s great music being made all the time, you just have to go find it. Angelo is one of your chief warriors in this effort, so click here and be thrilled by this fifty-five track collection.

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