Saturday, August 28, 2010

Mix: Nocturnal Plant Life

Here's an oddball 80s mix I fooled around with recently, and decided to stick out there... Strange intersection of harder wave edges and ambient new age textures. May be the first in a small series of mixes on this theme. There are a few artists included here, who'd I'd love to write about at greater length as time allows, on the blog. In the meantime, enjoy...

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Jugs - First Batch

I've always complained to no end that the state of Vermont never reached it's quota of truly fried private press hippie rockers in the seven-ought-tees, a disgrace considering the plethora of granola osmosis the state endured from '69 onward. The Philo label sucked up a lot of local talent, and while impressive in their scope and professional flair, most of those LPs lack the grit and gristle that drives me wild... Having grown up in the Green Mountain state I can count a mere handful of actually home-made longhair releases I would go to bat for, so resigned I've been for the most part on anything new coming to light on this... though one can always dream! It seemingly took forever, then, for this slab of teenage Deadhead litanies to surface on the collector scene - a whole long player's worth of rural jamming w/ properly zonked shit-kicker attitude and a few ace original tunes, the perfect antidote to the last time you actually forced yourself to sit through a Mark Winokur LP. "First Batch" was issued in 1981 on the custom press imprint at Green Mountain Records, the band consisting of 5 students from the Vershire School in southern Vermont who had recently returned from a class trip to Mexico where the bulk of the songs were written. The small private school was closed several years later, due to various tawdry reasons which seem in keeping with the existence of "First Batch" as a musical reminder of the place and time it came to be. I can't proclaim this some kind of masterpiece that will appeal to everyone, as it's a true paen to late 70s Deadhead mores and moves, but for me the thing just oozes summer charm, and many stony vibes close to the heart of this olde Vermonter... so jump for joy!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Latitudes: 1974

This compilation from Montgomery Community College has been known about for years, but I had mistakenly slept on it for as long as I've been buying private press stuff, and now thanks to a good friend who recently gave one to me - all of that has been changed. I figured since I had already posted the volume from '75 I would give this one a post too, and was doubly motivated to do so because one song on here just kind of worked its way into being something of a summer anthem for me, the deliriously glammy, lite-Rush melodic power-pop gush of the band Y and their alternate-universe hit "Silver Screen Betty" - so go figure! Several of the groups here, including Y just nail that dreamland private press sound, and I would take even a half-hearted (or baked) full-length from any of them. Particular stunners include the stoned basement art-rock of the Tubular Chamber Ensemble, the immaculate hard-prog of Puddleduck, the singularly bizarre folk-rock lyrical mash-up of Donna Pretsch, and a superb folk-psych cut from the Shack People. Even the seemingly goofy hick outfit, the Ambler Ramblers who receive two slots on the billing, at turns deliver a gorgeous piece of instrumental psychedelia called "High Harbor." I owe Brennan in VT a big thanks for swapping this out to me, and if anyone has further info on these bands or anything else they did, drop me a line. I'm interested, too, as to if there are any LPs in this series from before 1973... Here's a link to the full LP, and below a sample for those just curious... rock on, Betty!

Silver Screen Betty

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Tyger on Tiger Records

Well, with summer vacation now winding it's way down I will be back in some capacity for the duration of the hot weather and peak annual beer consumption. The above record is something I only found out about recently - and is a total mystery to me. Found in a thrift store in Arizona, none of the usual sources seem to know it at all, and but for a stunning home-made sleeve and limited info on the labels I can't even verify the band name - etc. But what there is, is an album's worth of very nice folk rock that reminds me at times of Wilcox, Sullivan, Wilcox though a bit more amped and AM ready. Tasteful violin playing gives it an edge like Jackdaw or Canada's Mantra but this might be all more a factor of my own personal mind garden, and you may just hear some charmingly low-key longhair vibrations not altogether that distant from America or (gasp) James Taylor. I think it's a real nice LP and worth a few spins at least, especially in all those dusky twilight summer moods I'm sure you're kicking up out there... Big thanks to Bruce in California for sharing this, and hoping this post may shed some kind of light on who or what this release actually is. I've posted label scans below, and here's a track-list too, for good measure. Any info can go here, and otherwise enjoy!

1. Wendy's Song
2. I Need You to Give
3. Manna
4. Where Do You Get Your Ideas
5. June Brown Wheat
6. Tell Your Lies
7. Your Eyes
8. Rented Room
9. Think About the Music
10. Sunday in the Country