Monday, October 18, 2010

What's in a name?

A list of forgotten singles by a cast of unknowns is up 4 review tonite, as we prepare 4 R ALL NEW MUSIC review-session later this week. Any1 who can guess the true identities of all of the following "unknowns" will win the usual free CDs we have lying around the house collecting dust. We'll start w/ the EZ 1's & they'll get more obscure as we go. Good luck & good listening!

* Jethro Toe: "Back to the Family" -- Sorta understated, catchy, funny song-story about the +'s & -'s of having strong family ties. I like the sly way the lead singer & flutist sings the lyrics. These guys might have a future.
* Reginald Dwight: "Ego"/"Teacher I Need You" -- "Ego"'s an affectionate, nostalgic, slightly bitter # about all the "childish, foolish, immaturish" things the singer & lyricist did while growing up, apparently while pursuing an acting career prior 2 taking-up music -- & how their current Xperiences reflect back on their adolescence. Catchy, great lyrics, marvelous choruses. "Teacher I Need You" is a rollicking rocker about a schoolboy stuck on his teacher; not introspective at all. Xcellent piano all over both of these trax.
* Johnny & the Moondogs: "Thank You, Girl"/"There's a Place" -- "Thank You" is a rather downbeat lovesong w/ ragged harmonies & some nice harmonica. The lyrics R a puzzle, perhaps saying less than they mean -- mayB the girlfriend helped the singer get over some kinda sexual problem? The ragged harmonies & harmonica return 4 the altogether more effective & more introspective "There's a Place," which has echoes of the Beach Boys' "In My Room." Could B the start of something big.
* Hollow Notes: "How Does it Feel to Be Back?"/"Diddy Doo Wop (I Hear the Voices)" -- "How Does it Feel" is a strong, smooth modern R&B piece straight outta the '70s, w/ a punchy production, good guitar & Xcellent smooth vocals by a coupla white guys from Philly. "Voices" is something altogether darker & more mysterious -- possibly about the shadowy inspirations 4 '50s doo-wop music.
* Paul Ramon: "Love in Song" -- Big heartfelt ballad w/ a huge production, great vocals & solid gtr & keyboards. This singer/songwriter could have a future.
* Mabel Greer's Toy Shop: "Every Little Thing"/"Something's Coming" -- "Every Little Thing" is a marvelous cover of an old Beatles tune, enthusiastically performed by a band that obviously really enjoys updating this old #. & stealing the gtr riff from "Day Tripper" during the long instrumental intro is hilarious. "Something's Coming" is a remake of the old Bernstein/Sondheim # from WEST SIDE STORY, also enthusiastically done, but a bit less of a song to start with. Still, who woulda thot of doing this in 2010? It's so kitsch!
* Carl and the Passions: "Feel Flows"/"It's About Time" -- "Feel Flows" is retro-hippy, strait outta 1972, w/ marvelous warped gtr, a phased flute solo, & some very warm vocals. The lyrics R a bit over the top. "It's About Time" is a driving rocker, riveting in its impact but still a little high-falutin' -- its lyrics R about The Meaning Of Life. Despite the lyrics, marvelous performances.
* J. Eddy Fink: "In the Winter"/"From Me to You" -- "Winter" is a stark portrait of lost love, brief & haunting. "From Me to You" is advice from the singer/songwriter 2 the man she's leaving; some of the lyrics seem etched in acid. & this woman can SING.
* The Paramounts: "Wreck of the Hesperus"/"Long Gone Geek" -- "Wreck" is a rockin' shipwreck-at-sea tale, w/ a rolling piano, good gtr & Xcellent orchestrations. The vocal coulda been stronger. "Geek" is another rocker w/ some nice gtr & great closing group-vocal choruses.
* White Clover: "Back Door"/"Can I Tell You?" -- "Back Door" is an underplayed ballad w/ some nice drama & Xcellent synthesized bagpipes at the end. "Can I" sounds like a demo, but rocks a bit & has some nice rudimentary violin work & above-avg. lyrics. A name 2 watch 4.
* Group X: "You'd Better Believe It"/"Lost Johnny" -- "Believe" is a driving wall-of-sound rocker w/ lotsa chattering synthesizers. "Johnny" is a stripped-down, menacing rocker w/ eerie lyrics, a mix of metal & punk.
* Giles, Giles and Fripp: "Cat Food"/"Groon" -- "Cat Food" has hilarious lyrics & a pianist who sounds like a cat tiptoeing across the piano keys. Amusingly off-kilter; you'll laff. "Groon" is a warped, reverberating gtr/bass/drums instrumental with the tones bouncing off in all kinds of diffrent directions. This will stretch your speakers & possibly your ears as well.
* Soft White Underbelly: "Morning Final" -- Keyboard-led horror story set in the NYC subways. Great choruses & some very nice gtr at the end.
* Bartley Butsford, Daniel Dust, Wilton Carpet & The Beak: "Doctor Diamond" -- Gtr-led horror story set in the NYC subways. Marvelous vocals, superb lyrics.
* The Architectural Abdabs: "Flaming" -- Marvelous fake-psychedelia, strait outta 1967, w/ tape-loop gtrs, harps, cuckoo clocks, phased vocals, & terrific work by the singer/gtrist & organist.
* Roger, Roger, Rick and Nick: "Jugband Blues" -- Spooky.
* Brew: "Manic"/"Spirit of the Water" -- "Manic" is a driving rocker about schizophrenia, frustrated & angry w/ some screamingly intense gtr in the middle. "Spirit" is a brief, ghostly mood piece, hazy & watery. Haunting.
* Simon Dupree and the Big Sound: "Think of Me With Kindness"/"Knots" -- "Kindness" is a gorgeous tho downbeat, mournful lost-love ballad, let down only by a kinda lame acapella midsection. "Knots" is the confusing, overly-complicated acapella sound of a relationship falling apart. These guys show some real talent.

1 comment:

rastronomicals said...

Less fun to answer than to play along, so . . .

If I remember properly, that Paul Ramon guy was so good, Percy Thrillington decided to cover him.

Also believe that "Jugband Blues" included a certain Sydney . . .

. . . Though The Paramounts seem at this late date twice removed from yesterday.

Didn't the Soft White Underbelly also go by their alter-ego name of BOCephus?

And I'd heard of this Mabel Greer thing; everyone's told me they were just bodastic.