Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Go See The Fleagles!! Free! Sunday in L.A.




The Fleagles will be celebrating the release of their new CD "Goodbye to Mars" this Sunday 4/2 at Mr. T's Bowl with a free show. The Fleagles will be playing two sets, and in between DJ Don Waller, Agent 00Soul, will be spinning the platters.

Date: Sunday, April 2
Time: 7pm
Place: Mr. T's Bowl, 5621 1/2 Figueroa, Highland Park, CA, 323-692-3136
Directions: Take the 110 freeway northeast from I-5. Get off on Ave 52 exit, go left. Right on Figueroa. Park in parking lot behind Mr. T's and enter from the back.

Sign Jeff Barry's Birthday Card

If you love those great girl group records, Andy Kim and the Archies, send a little birthday love out to the genius who made them swing when you sign songwriter/producer Jeff Barry's virtual b-day card. Bubblegum webmistress Laura Pinto says: "The big day is next Monday, April 3rd, and I want to do something special for Jeff's 68th so I've set up a QuickTopic message board just like I did for Ron [Dante]'s birthday last August. Here's the link:

http://www.quicktopic.com/36/H/C3bqPbmPeEPt3

Monday, March 27, 2006

Bubblegum Achievement Awards DVD Release

October was International Bubblegum Month, a celebration of the chewy chewy sound that stretched from Europe to Canada to Australia, with the grandest of happenings in Los Angeles: the 2nd Biannual Bubblegum Achievement Awards.

Canned Hamm and the Bubblegum Queen performed live and hosted a night of many delights, including a puppet spectacular by the Bob Baker Marionettes, the L.A. premiere of a documentary based on the book "Bubblegum Music is the Naked Truth," Abram the Safety Ape's tribute to Lancelot Link, and musical performances from Ron Dante solo and in duets with his fellow Archie (and 2003 Gummy winner) Toni Wine and the Ohio Express' Joey Levine.

Then it was time for the Gummy Awards, with trophies presented to Steve Barri (Lancelot Link, Grass Roots), Ron Dante (Archies), Dr. Demento (radio hero) & Joey Levine (Ohio Express).

Now available: a 71 minute DVD spectacular featuring the highlights from this most pink and magical night, The 2005 Bubblegum achievement Awards Show. Copies are available for $22 postpaid in the USA and for $25 elsewhere. Please send payment in US dollars to Scram, PO Box 31227, LA, CA 90031, or paypal to scram @ scrammagazine . com.

Please note that the documentary is not included in the DVD package, and the puppet show has been heavily edited due to time constraints. Special orders for a second DVD containing the entire puppet show are possible. Email scram @ scrammagazine . com for more info.

I used to have dreams like this...

...only they were always set in basements.

A small town Ohio family record store, frozen in time since 1970, has finally been sold to the highest bidder. The contents will be on view and passed on to new homes at the Austin Record Convention over the weekend. Gaze upon the photos, drool, and dream.

RIP Nikki Sudden

Terribly sad to learn pirate Nikki died over the weekend after a show in NYC.

Scram never got a Nikki interview, though we tried. He liked blondes too much to talk to brownette me and Maggot, but we did speak with his compadres David Kusworth and Marky in a little piece we call Drinkin' with the Jacobites.

Our sympathies go out to Nikki's family and friends.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

EMP Pop Conference Takes On The Guilty Pleasure

I like to think that our anthology Bubblegum Music is the Naked Truth had a little something to do with giving a bunch of academics and rock critics the nerve to spend a long weekend wallowing in the guiltiest pleasures their devious little minds can devise. It's cheap! Drop by and leave your blush at the door.

For full schedule, click below--

Ain't That a Shame: Loving Music in the Shadow of Doubt
The 2006 Pop Conference at Experience Music Project
Seattle, Washington, April 27 - April 30

Friday, March 24, 2006

Federal Duck S/T CD (Radioactive)

When I get my time machine working, maybe the eighteenth or nineteenth thing I’m gonna do is port back to the studio where the Federal Duck were making their (I assume—it’s on Radioactive, so notes there’s not) sole album, grab hold of the pseudonymous producer’s lapels and hiss, “Listen, bub, you got an ace mournful New England garage pop songwriter in this George Stavis kid—so drop the rest of the repertoire and focus on the band genius and in 35 years fanzine writers will cream all over this disc instead of giving middling reviews that rely on that tired old time travel gimmick.” The Stavis tunes really are strong enough to recommend the whole album, which when not working this haunting, wintery academic sound ala the Rising Storm plays around with neo-Vaudeville, heavy acid rock, old time banjos and a smattering of head humor, all played with sophistication and imaginatively arranged. Surprised I’ve never heard of these ducks before.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Dream Lake Ukelele Band on Lost in the Grooves

Dream Lake Ukulele Band is a Lost in the Grooves exclusive. Click to sample the music or purchase.

Dream Lake Ukulele Band
Dream Lake Ukulele Band
(Crest, 1976)

What do you get when you cross twenty-seven ukuleles, a Little Marcy record, and the Langley Schools Music Project? The result is a bizarre hybrid called the Dream Lake Ukulele Band, a Florida school group whose performances are documented on Crest Records, a New York vanity label. The back cover shows twenty-seven grade school aged students, all wearing white shirts and red vests, the boys also wearing neckties. Sound boring? Not when every kid is smiling and holding a ukulele.

The lead-off, “There’s So Many, Many Ways,” is one of the more charming Christian songs around, but I’m sure my opinion is altered by the sheer innocent joy of twenty-seven children’s voices singing in harmony while strumming their ukuleles. That spirit changes a bit though, when the songs veer off into the Bicentennial patriotic songs that fill the rest of Side 1. Such lyrics as "My Sunday school teacher loves me when I am never late" preceded by "God loves when I learn to shoot the gun" makes one wish that the band director would have been cool enough to be teaching the kids David Bowie songs.

Fortunately, Side 2 has the perfect antidote, for that is where the children present and sing their own original compositions. Compiled under headings such as "Wish Songs," "Name Songs," and "Music Songs," each features a progression of five to ten kids strumming and singing solo. These aren’t loud bratty kids singing "Tomorrow" at the top of their lungs, but more often small waif-like girls singing with very timid voices. My heart melts whenever I hear one girl who sings, "I am Mary, I like to play the ukulele" or another girl whose verse starts by saying her parents are always busy, and then proceeds with "Daddy is a band director, Mommy is a piano teacher, I love them." This record is listed as being Volume Seven, which definitely makes me wish that I also had volumes One through Six. (Vern Stolz, from the book Lost in the Grooves)

Are you a member of the Dream Lake Ukelele Band? If so, please contact us!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The Chamber Strings on Lost in the Grooves

The newest addition to the Lost in the Grooves fold is The Chamber Strings, a Chicago band of the mid-'90s whose soaring orchestral pop art is like the interesection of Bacharach and Tonight's The Night-era Neil Young. Lovely stuff. Sample some tunes or buy a disk when you click here.

John Trubee's Prank Calls CDs, exclusively on Lost in the Grooves

The latest addition to the LITG music store are four of John Trubee's legendary Prank Call CDs, available for sample or download:

Greatest Prank Phone Calls Of All Time Vol. 1
Greatest Prank Phone Calls Of All Time Vol. 2
Greatest Prank Phone Calls Of All Time Vol. 3
Greatest Prank Phone Calls Of All Time Vol. 4

Monday, March 20, 2006

LITG Seeks Bloggers Of Underappreciated Sound

Do you have a blog or website that celebrates great neglected music/culture of the sort we honored in the Lost in the Grooves anthology? Are you interested in reaching a wider audience for your writing? Does your site generate an RSS feed, or are you willing to have a feed created?

If the answer to all of these questions is yes, you might be a candidate to join the Lost in the Grooves syndicate. At our new site, lostinthegrooves.com, we are currently syndicating or hosting the writings of 15 pop fiends. Syndication means we automatically republish their blog postings, with all links and images intact, with a link in every post pointing back to their blog. Hosting means we provide the blogging engine and technical support for the writer's blog.

We already have a terrific slate of blogs--including Andrew Earles, Cult of the Week, Domenic Priore, duck stab, Ed Ward, Gary Pig Gold, Hayden Childs, Ken Rudman, Mark Prindle, Mike Appelstein, Tony Sclafani, Tosh Berman and LITG illustrator Tom Neely--and are eager to add more to the roster. So if you are an offbeat music blogger, or you know and love one, please drop a line to me, Kim Cooper, at amscray@gmail.com for more info.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Introducing The Lost in the Grooves Record Store

I am pleased to announce that after some digital hiccups that derailed
the first attempt at a Lost in the Grooves music store, we've been
taken under the wing of the Maryatt Music Group, and are back online
and in business selling MP3s of individual tracks (99 cents) or full
albums (most are $11.95) for download or as physical CDs. The site is
live at:

http://www.lostinthegrooves.com

I hope you'll stop by to hear samples of tracks by our exclusive
artists, including:

BRUTE FORCE (linguistic trickster and singer of the farest-ever Apple
45)... COSTES (Suckdog's early collaborator, utterly unique Francophone
noise guru) ... FUGU (French one man band orchestral pop majesty)...
THE LEOPARDS (mid-70s Kansas City Kinksy pop legends)... GIBSON BROS
(mid-80s punk-blues visionaries from Ohio)... LIPSTICK KILLERS
(Australian surf-garage heroes, with Radio Birdman connections and
perfect pop sensibilities)... THE ORGONE BOX (one man band from rural
England channeling the most exquisite aspects of 60s pop-psych)... SEX
CLARK 5 (brainy, ultra-catchy Beatlesque pop from Huntsville,
Alabama)... SUCKDOG (post-punk avant-garde opera from the incomparable
Lisa Carver)... JOHN TRUBEE (iconoclastic prankster and deconstructer
of jazz and rock convention). Coming soon, more from JOHN TRUBEE and
discs from THE CHAMBER STRINGS and ROSEHIPS.

LITG music is licensed directly from the artists, and they are paid for
every track sold. And due to our partnership with Maryatt Music Group,
you might even hear some of these tracks on soundtracks or in ads.

We welcome your comments and recommendations, on the LITG site or in
the community forum. We'll be adding new music, plus blogs from artists
and writers, regularly, so stay tuned.

Thanks for your interest in Lost in the Grooves, and for supporting
independent musicians.

-Kim Cooper, Editrix, Lost in the Grooves & Scram Magazine

Monday, March 13, 2006

Eefing on the air

Inspired by Deke Dickerson's article on eefing in the latest Scram, the always intriguing Jennifer Sharpe turned in a neat little exploration of that weirdly American rhythmic wheeze on NPR's Day To Day. It's archived here.

cult of the week - P'o

artist: P'o
title: Whilst climbing thieves vie for attention
year: 1983
label: Court Records

personnel: Peter Price (drums, keyboards), A.C. Marias (electric bass guitar, voice), David Tidball (clarinet, voice), Bruce Gilbert electric guitar), Graham Leiws (electric guitar, voice, keyboards)

tracklisting: time and time, back to back, holy joe, earl, vanite, today's version, i will, mhona, blind time, crystal streams

further info: http://www.wireviews.com/

cotw say…

what with the re-release of their first three truly groundbreaking albums, it's time to, once again, celebrate the true post-punk genius of Wire. or at least one of the many solo projects featuring bassist Graham Lewis and guitarist Bruce Gilbert, recorded during the band's 1980-86 hiatus.

conceived initially as a live project (and partially improvised in places), "Climbing Thieves..." was hastily recorded before the band was forced to end. the deadpan vocals and drum machine of 'Time and Time' and thundering bass of 'Holy Joe' are reminiscent of a well-tempered Psychic TV. but although the music is decidedly avant garde in places ('Earl' has a creepy, ritualised feel), the slow-paced and semi-ambient album never loses it's sense of beauty, thanks in no small part to the haunting and strangely catchy 'Mhona'. the unmistakable highlight, however, remains 'Blind Tim', a heavily processed synth loop with oriental embellishments over which David Tidball offers a bizarre spoken monologue. once heard never forgotten.

given such P'o-tential, it remains a disappointment that the album's sound is rather muddy. however, we heartily recommend grabbing your wellies and wading towards it.

erik - http://www.cultwithnoname.com

Thursday, March 09, 2006

To do: call Abram the Safety Ape, gross him out

G O R Y D E T A I L S A U D I O P R O J E C T W A N TS
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the garbage disposal... that sort of thing? Here's a chance to share
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stories for its GORY DETAILS AUDIO ARCHIVE. Just call the toll free
number, leave your story as a message, and within an hour or two, it
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CALL TODAY! SPREAD THE WORD!!
Listen here: http://artofbleeding.com/gorydetails.html
GORY DETAILS 24-hr HOTLINE: 888-467-8535

Monday, March 06, 2006

Phil Ochs' early albums

Phil Ochs All The News That’s Fit To Sing CD (Collectors Choice)… The title of his debut record for Elektra and the cover photo paint Ochs as a topical folksinger and songwriter, a somewhat academic observer of his somewhat trying times. He’s already found a couple of unsung heroes to laud (Lou Marsh and Medger Evers), tosses a sweet nod at Woody Guthrie in the memorial tune “Bound For Glory,” but he also has a tendency to preach. So there’s welcome levity when “The Ballad of William Worthy” kicks in, a funny, sing-song catchy chronicle of a reporter who went to Cuba and had his citizenship stripped for the privilege. A promising debut, but stiff.
Medium Image

Phil Ochs I Ain’t Marching Anymore CD (Collectors Choice)… On his terrific second album, Ochs’ no longer comes across as an uptight young singer of issues, but as a loose and inventive composer using the folk/storytelling conventions to express a more personal vision--one that would reach its full flower after he left New York for the reinvention capital of Los Angeles. In the first two tracks, the title song and “In The Heat of the Summer,” he slips fluidly from the role of universal soldier to topical troubadour, explaining the summer’s riots through a sympathetic class analysis married to a lovely cyclical melody. His confidence, intelligence and the sweetness of his voice make him a fine tour guide to the psychic map of young, left wing America in 1965, and its interests in civil rights, the death penalty, division between the states and the rise of militarism. One flat point comes with “That Was The President,” a predictable and tedious dirge for Kennedy, but even that becomes interesting when placed beside the incredibly powerful song “The Crucifixion” that he’d write a few years later, once he’d processed his grief and disappointment and found metaphors to express how important JFK felt to Ochs and his peers.
Medium Image

cult of the week - Delta 5

artist: Delta 5
title: See the Whirl
year: 1981
label: Charisma

personnel: Alan (guitars, vocals, marimba), Ros (bass, vocals), Bethan (bass, vocals), Julz (guitar, vocals), Kelv (drums, percussion, marimba) and others
tracklisting: innocenti, final scene, circuit, open life, trail, shadow, delta 5, anticipation, journey, make up, triangle, waiting, telephone, different fur

further info: www.comnet.ca/~rina/delta5.html

cotw say…

with a CD compilation finally seeing the light of day this year, it's high time that we reassessed the work of Delta 5. very much part of the English post-punk 'funk' scene, Delta 5 are probably best remembered as a band with two (female) bassists. a band that, sadly, only managed to produce one full-length album before calling it quits in 1981.

syncopated rather than sinewy, and angular rather than angry, 'See the Whirl' is a measured, arty slice of post-punk that has much in common with The Raincoats as it does with Gang of Four. among the album's many attractive features are the highly distinctive, multi-tracked (unilateral) female vocals, which possess a beautifully deadpan, unhinged quality. similarly, the addition of a brass section, not to mention piano, expands the sound considerably and serves to take the band further away from funk to all sorts of places (big band, country, even latin). many will be disappointed by the lack of punch in the production - you would hardly notice that there are two bassists unless it was pointed out to you - but each short, speedy burst is as interesting as the next. highlights include 'Journey' (part of a second side that has slightly more in common with Gang of Four than the first), 'Innocenti', and more avant garde efforts such as 'Telephone' (with its syncopated chorus and cool guitar solo) and the cowboy romp of 'Trail'.

see the whirl. then purchase it immediately!

erik - http://www.cultwithnoname.com

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

YouTube goodness for Lost In The Grooves fans: The Osmonds doing "Crazy Horses". DAMN!