Tag Archives: Shout

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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Filed under Editorials, Music

New Album! Fountains of Wayne

First Rate show in the Second City

First Rate show in the Second City

I often engage in discussions with other writers on a wide array of topics. Among the pedantic exercises that such people joust about are lists – the ten best this, the three things that, ad infinitum. One of the more challenging questions raised has been which bands have come right out of the chute with a string of killer albums, and when does the slack usually begin to show? In other words, a band whose first album was killer, and then the sophomore slump was avoided, and then it kept on for a bit. And we’re talking albums, not a repackaging of singles in a twelve-inch format (sorry, Beatles!), and in truth the conversation was concerned more with post-60s artists (sorry, Neil Young). Sure, the Police and REM and U2 are supremely popular, but did they really strike gold immediately, then consistently? Even Bruce Springsteen has people on both sides of the fence. When the conversation eventually focused on the last 25 years, the field thinned dramatically.

But even when you go back to the dawn of rock, the magic number seems to be three, maybe four albums at best. We all know the adage that an artist has their whole life to write their first album, and…well, it used to be six months to create their second, but now it’s more like three years. Whatever. Many artists has solid runs but after an unspectacular debut. Some never even got to four albums before imploding. Seems like the majority might have gotten a great two and then hit a speed bump, temporary or otherwise.

Everyone has a personal favorite, of course – you won’t talk a card-carrying Nickleback fan out of arguing to the death that their mulleted posers haven’t recorded a wrong note. Ever. Which is why these things are best done in consensus, lest the water of truly worthy get diluted with the emotions of the moment. You know, like the IMDB list of the greatest films of all time, an inordinate amount which have apparently been released in the past twenty years, some as recently as this month. More whatever.

Which brings me to the subjects at hand – Fountains of Wayne. Maybe the most consistent career-opening salvo since Elvis Costello, in my book. Literate, funny, poignant, incredibly catchy and just off the beaten path enough to avoid the mainstream (“Stacy’s Mom” excepted, of course) but real masters of songcraft, harmony and…well, art. Go listen to their albums if you don’t believe me.

They’ve long had a reputation for being slightly more exciting than moist toast in concert, despite the nature of their music, and I have witnessed some clips that attest to nervousness at best and indifference or boredom at worst. But this 2005 live recording, now available on DVD from Shout, really changed my mind. And the bonus recordings!  These stripped down recent studio sessions (as a trio) where they are tracking the songs live – no overdubs – are wonderful. No matter what Robbie Fulks thinks.

Check out my full review in Blurt Online.

FOW wiki.

That killer 1-2-3-4 punch.

They've got a flair.

They've got a flair.

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Filed under Film/TV, Music, Reviews