A reading from the gospel according to Arthur Lee.
The great Mr. Carr was one of the best to ever do it. “A Man Needs a Woman” is one of those special moments when the right song and the right voice intersect and that little minor-keyed “To carry on” bit that balances the chorus is just perfect.
By Chris Gedos
The indisputable psych-bubblegum paragon, “Green Tambourine” was the first Buddha Records #1 when it reached the Billboard pinnacle in February, 1968. (Lou Christie, a Buddha alum, reached #1 with “Lightning Strikes” the year before, while he was still with MGM.) For some unknown reason, “Green Tambourine” and much of the best bubblegum from the Summer of Love era has been brushed under the soundboard by OBG radio (thinking of Strawberry Alarm Clock and 1910 Fruitgum Company). The Lemon Pipers’ follow-up, “Rice is Nice”, fizzled out at #46, but it’s a solid ditty in the Village Green / Odyssey and Oracle vein. The Lemon Pipers’ influence on both their contemporaries and subsequent acts like Super Furry Animals and The Flaming Lips is incredible. Not bad for a one hit wonder from Ohio.
By Jon Herriot
Whenever I listen to Teen Daze I always find myself grooving out a little bit. “Brooklyn Sunburn” starts out nice and slow, and builds into something funky. There is one continuous underlying beat but TD keeps us captured throughout the entire track with subtle changes and twists around every corner, including some haunting backing vocals from LA artist Steph Thompson. The new Teen Daze LP All of Us comes out on May 22nd, make sure you check it out!Teen Daze – Brooklyn Sunburn
Teen Daze (Facebook)
Contributed by Chris Gedos
Hey every band from the past thirty years! Josef K called! They’d like their royalty check now! How fitting that fellow Scots Franz Ferdinand would be indebted right down to a name similarly lifted from the dawn of modernism. It’s impossible to do Kafka justice, but Josef K sure gives it a good shot on their only album, The Only Fun In Town. “It’s Kinda Funny” was recorded, according to frontman Paul Haig, in the shadow of Ian Curtis’s death. It’s one of the few albums from the period which can go toe-to-toe with the Mancunians.Josef K – It’s Kinda Funny
Contributed by Chris Gedos
It should’ve been your New Year’s Resolution to listen to more Motown – especially when antiquated b-sides by minor artists are so enjoyable, as is the case with “I’ll Cry Tomorrow” by The Serenaders. From January of ’64, the song’s doo-wop proclivities will sound even more outmoded by the time Mary Wells and The Supremes break big with “My Guy” and “Where Did Our Love Go”, respectively, later that year, but the melodramatic intro into a verse underpinned by shala-wala-walas is difficult not to adore. Don’t be fooled by this grainy, lo-fi cut, for it’s a solid performance of a song with infectious structure and arrangement.The Serenaders – I’ll Cry Tomorrow
By Chris Gedos
The New Jersey bubblegum band oh-so-ironically named 1910 Fruitgum Company was not a one hit wonder. “Simon Says” made it to #4 in March, 1968; “1,2,3, Red Light” and “Indian Giver” both reached #5 in ‘68 and ‘69, respectively. So why are all three songs so scarcely heard on OBG stations today? All three records sold over a million copies upon release, so where’s the love? My only thesis is that overtly saccharine songs associated with the period between The Summer of Love and the devastation of ’68 are seen as historical aberrations and therefore discarded as irrelevant. (Examples supporting this theory are “Green Tamborine” by The Lemon Pipers and, to a lesser extent, “Incense and Peppermints” by Strawberry Alarm Clock. Both of these songs made it to #1.) “Simon Says” is a bit gimmicky, but it’s also important to remember that the Milton Bradley game Simon wasn’t released until 1978. The saying Simon says can be traced to Simon de Montfort, who led the barons against Henry III of England during the Second Barons’ War, way back in the 1260’s! I think all this culturally and historically juicy information is enough to give 1910 Fruitgum Co. some much deserved airplay.1910 Fruitgum Company – Simon Says
1910 Fruitgum Company (Official)
#1 for 4 weeks back in February-March 2001 and co-produced by the legendary Teddy Riley, the “Stutter” remix featuring Mystikal (who finally got out of jail not too long ago but who we still wouldn’t fuck with) still crushes. This song (or really any song that samples “Passing Me By”) could be released today and be a top 10 Hot 100 hit. Joe’s comin’ for you Pitbull. #dontbelyinwhenyouretalkintojoeJoe – Stutter (Feat. Mystikal)
Check out this video from MTV’s 120 Minutes of lo-fi prodigy Dean Wareham and his band Luna playing “California (All The Way)” from the 1994 album, Bewitched. The show, which ran from 1986 until 2000 on MTV and until 2003 on MTV2, has been recently revived with Matt Pinfield as its host. Indie’s current preponderance on late night TV is nothing short of phenomenal given its marginal status even ten years ago. We simply wouldn’t have Fleet Foxes playing SNL if it weren’t for Dean Wareham fighting the good fight 20 years ago. Luna never really escaped from the shadow of Galaxie 500, Wareham’s previous band, but “California (All The Way)” is one of the sweetest songs in all of nerd rock. “And now I realize I’m livin’ like a trucker does, although I haven’t got the belly” = pure brilliance. Now let’s get James Franco to act, write and direct the biopic! Contributed by Christopher GedosLUNA – California (All The Way)
Consider this review a work in progress, for information is scant on “I Will Never Love Another”, the only Motown A-side from FIVE SMOOTH STONES, released in 1969. I think they were a Philly gospel group – I wouldn’t be surprised if this had been written several years before – it recalls a more innocent time, before the irreparable political realities of The Sixties had done their damage. So many of the lost singles could be inserted into the OBG master Rolodex without radio listeners blinking twice. In the ministry, The Five Smooth Stones are faith, obedience, service, prayer, and the holy ghost! The B-side, Love Unto Me, is more standard pop despite the title’s more spiritual syntax. Contributed by Christopher GedosFive Smooth Stones – I Will Never Love Another
Five Smooth Stones: (Purchase)