FYI October 2011

by Bart MendozaOctober 2011

San Diego Troubadour Anniversary Party
The San Diego Troubadour celebrates its 10th anniversary with a huge party at the Sunset Ballroom on October 9. If you’ve been to any of their other parties, they’ve always been amazing — now times that by ten, and you’ll have this evening. With so many musicians on hand, it’s only natural that many will perform — so an all star open mic will take place. Meanwhile, short sets will be performed by Robin Henkel, A.J. Croce, Berkley Hart, Steve Poltz and Peter Sprague with Leonard Patton. Wow! Don’t miss this one in a lifetime gathering.

Three Mile Pilot Resissues
Three Mile Pilot’s first two records are being reissued by San Diego’s own Hi Speed Soul have reissued both LPs! Each is limited to 200 copies, with Na Vucca Do Lupu on clear wax and The Chief Assassin to the Sinister on silver, complete with downloads. Just got these in stock, so make sure to grab your copy!

Music Mart hosts instore 10/18
Music Mart will host a special instore on October 18, Maton Guitars Presents: Nick Charles & Lisa Nemzo. The free performance kicks off at 7 p.m. and is meant to celebrate the guitar makers wares.

Music Mart 122 S Solana Hills Dr.
Solana Beach CA

Iron Butterfly Live 1968
Unbeleivably, a new, vintage era Iron Butterfly album, Fillmore East 1968, has just been released by Rhino Records. The first 1,000 pre-orders of the double CD received a free Iron Butterfly iron on transfer! Recorded April 26-27 1968, this captures the band at its peak, 22 tracks, though there are multiple versions of some

The Wellingtons return
Powerpop fans won’t want to miss the return of Australian group, The Wellingtons. They’ll be at Eleven in San Diego on October 8 with Wendy Bailey & True Stories, The Yawmen and more. The bands high energy, high melody rockers are instantly memorable. Their music reminds me a bit of the Muffs or other mid nineties power chord merchants — in other words, they rock, they have great hooks and they’re a lot of fun!.

The Contrasts — s/t

Originally scheduled to be part of a release via Ugly Things, these 9 tracks from San Diego’s Contrast’s will remain in the vault for now, but an advance CD-R, shows this to be an essential listen for garage rock enthusiasts. A missing link in the history of San Diego music, these early sixties recordings were taped at legendary studios, Capitol and Gold Star, though the tracks here are taken from lo fi sources, complete with acetate crackle. Honestly, it just adds to the authenticity of the whole thing . Opener “She Don’t Care,” shows up twice, including an ‘alternate’ take. It’s a song that owes a nod to the Yardbirds “Heartful of Soul,” but it works beautifully. The studio tracks are all excellent contributions to the garage rock canon, but what really seals the deal for me is the pair of live tracks, “Shakin’ All Over,” and “Surf Party,” recorded live at Ozzie’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Band Contest. Lo fi again, but they capture the ambience of a 1960’s talent show, complete with DJ intro. Awesome stuff. Hopefully this will see the official light of day sooner than later.
Recorded at Gold Star Studios / Capitol Records Studio.

Carl Durant — Last Place (NuNu)
It’s a veritable United Nations in the San Diego music scene these days, with so many performers moving to San Diego to become part of our musical community. Amongst them is Carl Durant, formerly of Belgium. This is Durant’s debut release, with five self penned songs. Durant is a solid songwriter, with a lot of potential — dreamy pop opener “Come Closer” reminds of the Dream Academy and such, sweeping tones, breathy vocals, chiming guitars and build up, while the follow up, “Appropriate,” has a bluesy rock feel with a Peter Murphy-esque vocal delivery and a nice hook. The arrangements are basic, but effective- the only downside being the drums / percussion being a bit weak in spots. I’d love to hear Durant with better production, but in the meantime this is an excellent calling card that showscases his music to good effect.

Produced by Carl Durant
Mastered by Paul Abbott

Fountains of Wayne — Sky Full of Holes (Yep Roc)
Appearing at Anthology on October 11, the latest Fountain’s of Wayne is just as you’d expect, for the most part. Melody is in excess, as might be expected when you have a pair of songwriters as strong as Chris Collingwood and Adam Schlesinger. Lyrics on the thirteen tracks are observational and they’re all catchy as heck. That said, while a few of the tunes certainly rock, such as horn backed “Radio Bar,” Skyful of Holes is much more about the strum and jangle than the power chord, evident from the opening notes of the albums excellent first track, “The Summer Place.” Nothing lost in the translation though, this is as strong a batch of tunes as Fountain’s of Wayne has ever turned in, knee deep in singles. “Someone’s Gonna Break Your Heart,” is my favorite song here, with a melancholy sing along chorus that’s instantly lodged in your brain, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg, there are a lot of gems on Skyful of Holes. Highly recommended.
Produced by Chris Collingwood and Adam Schlesinger
Recorded at Stratosphere Sound, NYC

Candye Kane — Sister Vagabond
Opening strong with a Johnny “Guitar” Watson, Sister Vagabond is another classic from Candye Kane. The secret weapon is fantastic guitarist Laura Chavez, who plays on the whole thing, co-penned nine of the 13 songs here and produced the album to boot. Kane is in fine vocal form with her originals all top notch — “Love Insurance” is a lost Motown classic, while “Walkin’ Talkin’ Haunted House” is a terrific bluesy torch song with wonderful stinging guitar from Chavez. Harmony fans will want to check out “You Can’t Hurt me Anymore.”Kane also covers Brenda Lee’s “Sweet Nothin’s” as well as two from San Diegan’s, Jack Tempchin (& Glen Frey’s) “Everybody’s Gonna Love Somebody Tonight” and the late Steve White’s “Down With The Blues.” If you like the blues, you need this
Produced by Laura Chavez and Candye Kane
Engineered and mixed by Thomas Yearsley
Recorded at Thunderbird Analog Studios

Erleen Nada — Peachy Keen (Destination Pop) 7”
Funny how so many San Diego artists find acclaim in other countries, before gaining recognition in the U.S. Such is the case with Erleen Nada, who’s new single, “Peachy Keen,” is just out on German label, Destination Pop. Electronica or dance fans will enjoy the disc, which is limited to 200 copies. The numbered 7” vinyl single comes complete with picture sleeve. The tune itself reminds me a bit of Heaven 17, with layered synths and beats and Nada’s conversational vocals over the top. Similar to Danielle Dax or Strawberry Switchblade, but more confrontational and with heavier dance beats

Roy Moller — No One’s Listening To (The Beautiful Music)
Scottish performer Roy Moller is a genius. That’s the only way you can explain a disc like No One’s Listening. Echoes? Jonathan Richman, fairground music, campfire sing-alongs, Robyn Hitchcock, calliope, Television Personalities, The Kinks, toys, Dylan, Bowie… you get the picture. Clearly recorded over a span of time, the tunes have a demo-ish quality, but that’s part of the charm, with the tracks piled on top of each other in an amazing mix. Indeed some of the songs seem to start in progress. Favorite track is “More Fool You,” a Mersey-ish rocker with terrific Zombies like middle eight, but there’s not a bad track here. “Wonder Understand” is true acoustic strummed primitive cool.
I’d be curious to hear this recorded in a big time studio, but somehow I don’t think it would be as good. As ramshackle as this is at time, it’s a minor masterpiece.
Recorded at Singalong Junk

The Very — The Discovery (Aural Gravy)
The Very — A Okay (Aural Gravy) single

A ten track excursion into new wave, punk and electronica with an eighties influence and a garage punk attitude. The latter is particularly clear in stomping rocker “Sneaky,” complete with a neat Mancini quote at the guitar break, but there are touches everywhere. All ten songs on the album were written by Phil Inzunza, with vocals shared by him and keyboardist Lex Pratt, occasionally joined by bassist Diana Death, the mix of male and female vocals being one of the keys to the Very’s sound. What makes it all work is the songs and Inzunza knocks it out of the park with this batch – these are dense, well arranged recordings, that remind me a lot of the import 45’s I was buying from Licorice Pizza in 1978. The album kicks of strong with a stop start powerpop gem, “Shattered Up Mirror” (great title) with Buzzcocks, New Musik, Cars, The Brains, early B-52’s, Pixies and more echoing through the tune. Power chords drive “Wicked,” while “Long Way” is the albums spotlight ballad, simple picking set against synth driven strings and harmonies and a good melody. Highly recommended.
The first single from the album is “A-Okay,” notable for its inclusion of a non LP b-side, “Hush Gush.”
Produced by Phil Inzunza
Recorded by Mark Haemmerle , Rob Logic, Twon Ridenhour
Recorded at Haemmerle Productions, Cabana Studio
Re-mixed / Mastered by Twon Riden hour

The Zombies — Afterlife (Big Beat)
Originally released in 2007, this compilation of Zombies related odds and ends somehow slipped under the radar on initial release, but any fan of the seminal British band needs this on their shelf. Having collected the bands recordings for decades, when their ‘complete’ box set was issued, I thought that was the end of the story — they split in 1967, after all. Not quite. A handful of scattered alternate takes have since surfaced as bonus tracks and there are the vital reunion discs, but Afterlife is different. Sort of a “what we did after” comp, this brilliant disc brings together music made just after the break up, with Rod Argent and Chris White demos, orchestral and live Zombies tracks as well as all the single tracks (+ an outtake) recorded by Colin Blunstone, under the pseudonym Neil McArthur. Completist’s will be happy to know that both of ‘McArthur’s’ psychedelic versions of “She’s Not There,” in English and Italian, are included.
Highlights are many including an early version of “She Loves The Way They Love Her,” a live take on “Going to A Go Go,” a previously unheard piano rocker, “It Never Fails To Please Me,” or a demo of “I Could Spend The Day,” each brilliant in execution.
There’s really not a bad track here, though some grab you quicker than others. The Blunstone tracks would slot in perfectly with his solo debut, One Year, with an outtake of “Never My Love,” particularly interesting.
The only downside is that I don’t imagine there is much left in the vaults after this.. More than forty years after this music was recorded, it still sounds great. For Zombies fans, Afterlife is an unexpected gift that stands up to repeated listens and is absolutely essential to any fan of sixties music.
Compiled by Alec Palao
Produced by Mike Hurst, Rod Argent, Chris White

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