25 April, 2007

KAK - Everything's Changing

KAK - Everything's Changing (mono) / Everything's Changing (stereo) (Epic 10383) 1968

Thankfully Kak have been well cared for by the re-issue market and their excellent album was compiled onto CD by Big Beat in 1999 titled Kak-Ola. The cool thing about this release was that not only did they re-issue the 1969 LP, but 45s and previously unreleased demos and live tracks. Well worth your investigation if you don't already own the CD.

Kak hailed from Davis in California. The line up was Dehner Patten (lead guitar/vocals), Gary Yoder (lead vocals/rhythm guitar), Joseph Damrell (bass) and Christopher Lockheed (drums). Yoder of course previously led The Oxford Circle whose punk 45 from 1966 'Foolish Woman' / 'Mind Destruction' (World United 1002) is more than worth your interest.

The interesting thing about this Kak 45 under the Expo spotlight is that the shortened version of 'Everything's Changing' is in mono and was not present on the Big Beat round up and is technically uncompiled and unavailable elsewhere.

Coming in at 2 minutes 40 seconds it's a much stronger version, typically louder and much more punchy as with most mono 45s. It more or less fades out at the end before the guitar soloing of the LP version (which is on the flip). I much prefer this 'radio friendly' non hit record. I'd be surprised if it ever got past the promo stage.

17 April, 2007

STONE COUNTRY - Time Isn't There (Anymore)

Stone Country - 'Time Isn't There (Anymore)' /'Life Stands Daring Me' (RCA Victor 47-9301) 1967
 Excelent late 60s group of country rockers from California. Not sure what part of California exactly but their recordings were made in Hollywood.

Stone Country consisted of Dann Barry (bass), Steve Young (lead guitar), Don Beck (12 string guitar and banjo), Dennis Conway (drums), Richard Lockmiller (rhythm guitar) and Doug Brooks (also rhythm guitar).
Steve Young would go on to become a country rock star when Stone Country disbanded and Don Beck would later work with Dillard and Clark.

This was their first 45 for RCA Victor. They would release three more, aswell as an awsome album in 1968. Well I think it's an amazing album, very hard to categorise but I'll have a go and say it's psychedelic country (whatever that means) but you can get the picture. Basically if you dig late period Byrds and in particular their Notorious Byrd Brothers phaze, you'll dig not only the album but you'll want to own their 45s aswell.

The plug side of this 45 was the Dann Barry and Doug Brooks song 'Time Isn't There (Anymore)'. It's a beautiful country tinged psych tune full of harmonies and a wall of guitar sound. Pretty damned cool bass runs aswell.
This song was recently compiled on 'turned-on' CD Soft Sounds For Gentle People Volume 2.

The uncompiled 'Life Stands Daring Me' again treads a country psych path and is just as good as the top side. Notable for the closing raga guitar sound. This song was written by Don Beck.

It's also worth mentioning that Stone Country were slated to do recordings and possibly appear in some scenes in the late 60s LSD comedy caper Skidoo starring Mickey Rooney and Groucho Marx. Unfortunately this never materialized and all of the songs for the film were Harry Nilsson's.

16 April, 2007

BILL WENDRY and the BOSS TWEEDS - A Wristwatch Band

Bill Wendry and the Boss Tweeds - 'Fire' / 'A Wristwatch Band' (Columbia 4-44605) 1968

This band came from Springfield, Massachusetts and these Boss Tweeds were not the same as the Boss Tweads that released a 45 on Studio City.

The promo copy of this record had 'Fire' as the 'suggested side' although for my money the flip is far better. 'Fire' is the Jimi Hendrix song and this version is not without merit but how can the original be bettered or even equalled for that matter? Well, the answer is it can't of course, but maybe Columbia thought this side would be a hit for them.

'A Wristwatch Band' is a Bill Wendry original and it's a shame this wasn't the side to be played by radio stations. First off it's a strange title for a song don't you think? and the music is classy and twisted psychedelia. Just how I like it!

'Im going out of my head
A man is dead
Beneath the floor
Old heaven's door
A wristwatch band.'


Both sides were produced by Jimmy 'Wiz' Wisner who I'm led to believe worked with other Columbia artists The Buckinghams and Jacobs Creek.

This song has been compiled before on Incredible Sound Show Stories Volume 6 and Psychedelic Unknowns Volume 7.

14 April, 2007

THE AMERICAN ZOO - Magdalena
































AMERICAN ZOO - Mr. Brotherhood / Magdalena (Reena Records 1026) 1968


Another very cool double sided psych 45. American Zoo were a group of hip teenagers who recorded for Hollywood based label Reena. This picture of the band shows them looking extremely young and I suspect they never even went anywhere near an LSD tab. That being said, they made an exciting couple of psychedelic 45s.

'Mr Brotherhood' written by Bill Hawkins was probably the top side, although both songs are strong. Can't decide which I prefer, so I won't! This version appeared on Psychedelic Unknowns Volume 11 however, a longer cut was compiled on High All The Time Volume 2 (never heard this version so I'll have to try and locate that comp).

'Magdalena' has four name credits on the label, J. Martz, B. Bottrell, B. Hawkins and D. Daniell. This song appears to be non comp which is strange because it really is a fast paced psycher with cool instrumentation. Infact, the band are very competent musicians for youngsters.

13 April, 2007

THE MOVE


Here's a rather fetching photograph of English band The Move. I rescued this shot from an old reference book called 'Hippie'.
The picture was taken in Soho Square, London 1967. You've got to stand back and be amazed that most rock stars were dressing up in this way during those psychedelic days.
Can't imagine going to the local shop for a loaf of bread and a tin of beans dressed like that in 2007. You'd quite rightly be laughed out of the shop and possibly reported to the local constabulary.

08 April, 2007

HAMILTON STREETCAR


HAMILTON STREETCAR - Confusion / Your Own Come Down (LHI 45-1206) 1968

Second and last Hamilton Streetcar 45 on the LHI label. After this record they signed for Dot Records and released a further three 45s and a neglegted but interesting album.
'Confusion' reminds me of early Cream records from 1966 (when they were still good). It's fast tempo with excelent instrumentation and very well produced but still has a 'loose' feel. A cool psychedelic rock record.
'I've heard you talk and I know you're confused. You're just hung up by the words that you use.'
'Your Own Come Down' written by Ralph Plummer is a slower paced song with organ throughout. It's a strange amalgam of styles. It has a strong Doors influence with a Spencer Davis Group 'Gimme Some Lovin' organ rip. I dig this song very much indeed.

Hamilton Streetcar supported The Doors at the Phoenix Memorial Coliseum on 17th February 1968. Sunshine Company were also on the same bill.
Both songs appear to be uncompiled.

HAMILTON STREETCAR - Invisible People


HAMILTON STREETCAR - Invisible People / Flash (LHI Records 17016) 1968
Here's an obscure and sought after psychedelic 45. Hamilton Streetcar hailed from Los Angeles and recorded two 45s for Lee Hazlewood's LHI Record label. He also produced this record and the follow up 'Confusion' / 'Your Own Come Down' (LHI 1206)
'Invisible People' starts off with a menacing organ riff then the bass, guitar and drums come pounding in to add more coolness. This song is without question their most garage punk moment but it's also got that hint of psychedelia that makes it a very memorable performance.
Ralph Plummer wrote 'Invisible People' and for those of you who don't have an original 45 check it out on Highs In The Mid Sixties Volume 3.
The song is probably about dropping acid. Check out these lyrics.
'They're gonna get you baby,
They're gonna make you invisible too.
You're gonna walk around in the dark
And people are gonna trip on your transparent body.
I wouldn't worry too much though,
It's fun to be invisible.
I know I tried it.'
Plummer was also responsible for the top side 'Flash' This song is a laid back psychedelic affair with sound affects, swirling organ and weird whispering vocals near the end.
'Flash' can be heard on Psychedelic Unknowns Volume 11.

01 April, 2007

THE PINK FLOYD - Scarecrow



























THE PINK FLOYD - See Emily Play / Scarecrow (Columbia DB 8214) 1967


Most people should be familiar with the Pink Floyd classic 'See Emily Play'. It is quite rightly regarded as a psychedelic masterpiece. Most, if not all of Syd Barrett's songs during this time period were.

So, I'll focus instead on the flip titled simply 'Scarecrow' although the song appeared as 'The Scarecrow' on the LP 'Piper At The Gates Of Dawn'.

This delightful song did not have the full scale production of 'See Emily Play'.

Instead this is a very delicate and gentle song. Some people label this type of psych as 'toytown' I'm not sure about that. All I know for definate is 'Scarecrow' has a very minimalistic backing and shows more of Syd Barrett's eccentric genius. The song has a beautiful melody and the atmospherics are generated as much by the vocal delivery as the percussion and the mainly mellotron sounds.

After the last verse, so typical of Pink Floyd, a heavier feels ends the song with Waters bass guitar taking a moodier and menacing tone.
Indeed one of the true great late 60s psychedelic 45s was released on Columbia DB 8214 and thankfully I own a copy.

LOOS FOOS and the FIBERGLASS CORNFLAKE

Loos Foos And The Fiberglass Cornflake - I Think I've Got You / Bless Me Father (Ace Record Co ARS-135) Sept 1969
 Here's a weird 45! The top side 'I Think I've Got You' and the one the band or record company thought would sound better on the radio is a pleasant enough pop song. It has a 'soulful' feel and above average vocals. It's even an OK song but it doesn't really do much for me. Maybe because of the 'soul' vibe and soul just ain't my cup of tea maan.

The flip however is more my scene. 'Bless Me Father' is a cool psychedelic song with haunting organ, distorted guitar and wah wah.....it's also blessed with some fuzz. This song has turned up on the CD only 'A Fistful Of Fuzz' compilation in the late 90s.

Both songs were written by R. Sousa. I don't know anything about the band apart from the rumour that they hailed from Rhode Island in New England, so any information will be appreciated.

'Bless me father for I have sinned.
And these are my sins.'


TINTERN ABBEY







Tintern Abbey's sole single on Deram DM 164 released in 1967 is a brilliant and rare slice of English psychedelia. Both songs 'Beeside' and 'Vacuum Cleaner' virtually define the genre.
Vacuum Cleaner is notable for some cool fuzztone guitar work, trippy sound effects and mellotron.
These psych masterpieces have been compiled several times since the 80s. First time I ever heard them were on the Chocolate Soup For Diabetics Volume 1 compilation.

THE OPEN MIND




'Take a drink from my magic potion, soon you're gonna really feel fine.'


THE EYES


The Eyes hailed from West London and released probably two great freakbeat singles and two average ones.
The classics in my mind are 'When The Night Falls' and 'You're Too Much'
Not everyone can afford these amazing 45s so my advice is to track down the Bam Caruso vinyl LP titled 'Blink'. This really is an essential addition to your collection. It compiles every Eyes 45 A and B sides plus two songs from The Pupils album. The package also contains some cool pics and informative liners.

THE ARTWOODS