Labor Day weekend is upon us here in the States, and I am having a BBQ with some of my favorite ghouls. Here are some of the records spun at our little get-together.
The sun sits at high-noon out at our desert palisade in SlabCity, California. When that suns starts to beat down on you, you need some cool beer and some good tunes to keep your mind from melting. Walrus out of Canada provide just that. These kids throw down well polished psychedelic pop music that is enjoyed by Mummy and Frankenstein alike (a difficult task, I assure you). Just one track (Walrus), and the other side of the tape being another group called Pale Blue Light. Walrus is the best of the two, with its ethereal vocals and splendid guitar work.
Chupacabra is requesting we put on something English and upbeat, so Liverpool’s Balcony Stars is put on the turntable. Big guitar riffs and just enough drums to keep you on task, and it gets everyone onto the dance floor. Then the guitar lead kicks in and pulls everyone’s hands into the air. She may be going down as the vocalist reiterates, but we are all pulled up by this 7 inch.
Witchy Rhonda is hoping to get closer to Kid Dracula and requests a sweeter tune in which to push his heart towards hers. Seattle’s Heatwarmer is just the act to do so. “Keep pushing me, and I’ll keep pushing you” says the front man as a keyboard solo trails in to compliment the Genesis-inspired synth pulses. Very polished pop music, and best of all, it got Witchy Rhonda a kiss.
When this band submitted their new record, they said they played “lo-fi cat songs about death, anxiety, and death.” How could I not spin that at our desert shindig? This is experimental stuff that happened to clear the dancefloor, but Igor enjoyed the change of pace and willingness to distort the pop and rock rules while we worked the BBQ pit. “They Know” is the best track on the record in my opinion. Igor liked “Pea Soup Rapture Blues.”
Ok, time to pick things up a bit. Everyone has had more than a few beers and is looking for a way to shake out a few calories. I put on this Indiana groups well constructed collage pop and like a group of Sufi spiritualists, the group begins spinning in unison. Tracks like “3 August 1888, Linz” demonstrate the group’s ability to create danceable tracks while staying true to their cult like admiration for the peculiar.
The turntable is put aside for a bit as we bring in some of our fellow monsters to play live. My comrade Wolfman Dracula grabs his guitar to rock out with his psychedelic riff-rawkers and starts to peel the paint off the wall with his vibrato laced, full throated chords of rock prowess. Apeman says he thought he saw the devil on stage with the band, but that guy has a real drinking problem.
As expected, Wolfman Dracula smashes his guitar into a thousand pieces (the reason I put him behind the drums in my band) and the set is cut short. In desperation, I grab the next record in the stack which just so happens to save our desert party from premature destruction. This Wisconsin act slams together some larger-than-life sing alongs that Bruce Springsteen could make if he wasn’t trying to be the next Pete Seeger. I don’t know if this is about the financial bailout, but that shit pisses me off, and this song gets me all hot in bothered in just the right places.