Monday, March 31, 2008

The ball is gone in a flash

It's spring so here's the SF Seals BASEBALL TRILOGY 7".

Barbara Manning had first shown her love of baseball with the ONE PERFECT GREEN BLANKET album, which had a ball game on the cover and a clip from a Giant's pennant game tacked on to the last song.

BASEBALL TRILOGY was the first record by the SF Seals, a band that Manning performed with from '93 to '95. The band was named them after a Pacific Coast League team where Joe DiMaggio got his start. Which is probably why the SF Seals recorded this pretty good version of a Les Brown song from 1941.

Next is "The Ballad Of Denny McLain" which is about the Detroit Tiger that won 31 games in 1968. McLain could have won 31 games but he gave the soon-to-retire Mickey Mantle his 535th home run instead. McLain also played organ (sometimes during games that he was also pitching) and released two LPs on Capitol Records. McLain got into a bit of trouble with the law after he left baseball.

Batting third is "Dock Ellis", a really great song about the Pirate that pitched a no-hitter while tripping on acid. Read more about it here.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

It may be today

Friday, March 28, 2008


Just in time for the weekend, here's a few more versions of "Creeper".

Thursday, March 27, 2008


I took a chance when I bought the Tiki Men's first record. I found their first 45 at Sunburst Records and bought it only because it had a cover of "The Swingin' Creeper". I liked it well enough that I went back and got the bands two other 7" records. The Tiki Men were not a surf band, they played rock & roll instrumentals.

A few months after the singles, Hillsdale Records released an LP called TWELVE DUSTY DIAMONDS. 12 songs recorded in a bean sprout factory. This blog adds a little more detail.

That's everything I know about the Tiki Men.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

No chance

no chance at all

Monday, March 24, 2008

Richard Twice twice

There were a couple of guys named Richard that started a band. So the band was called Richard Twice. It’s a nice little chamber pop record from the time when there were lots and lots of nice little orchestral pop records. Since there were so many to choose from in 1971, this one fell through the cracks. That’s the only reason I can think of that this record wasn’t a hit. It's as good as some of the singer-songwriter that were popular back then. The record is timeless, it's could've been released anytime in the 30 years and wouldn't sound out of place.

Whoever wrote the liner notes really believed in Richard Twice. "More melodic than the early Beatles, not as obscure as Simon & Garfunkel". The unknown writer also points out that Richard Twice were not society-rejecting hippies: "They are normal in the sense that they are not square because they feel and are aware. On the other hand, they don't reject the culture... they are not angry... they see society's faults and try to understand them..."

The excellent backup band is a supergroup of musicians whose names you almost remember. Drake Levin (Paul Revere & the Raiders), Don Galluci (The Kingsmen, Don & The Goodtimes, FUN HOUSE producer), Larry Knechtel (Simon & Garfunkel, Bread), Mark Tulin (the Electric Prunes), and Rusty Young (Poco) all contribute to the record.

Those guys are still making music. I can’t find any evidence that either Richard made another record.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Some glad morning

when this life is over

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Can't stop the spring

Here's some songs about my second favorite season. I meant to post these the other day but I got distracted.

Spring Rain
Spring Time
The Rites Of Spring
Can't Stop The Spring
I Live In The Springtime

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Wish I could have been there

Do you wish you could have been there too?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

An empty heart is like an empty life

An empty heart is like an empty life
I said a empty heart is like an empty life
Well, it makes you feel like you wanna cry
Like you wanna cry
Like you wanna cry

Well, you've been my lover for a long long time
Well, you've been my lover for a long long time
Well, you left me all alone, and end my time
I want my lover again
I want my lover again
I want my lover again
I want it back again

Yeah, a little stick
Yeah, a little bit darling
Take it down
Take it down
Yeah, take it down

Come on back to me, baby
Come on back to me, baby
Come on
Come on back to me
And I'll show ya
I'll show ya

That an empty heart means an empty life
Yeah an empty heart like an empty life
Oh, it makes you feel like you wanna die
Like you wanna die
Like you wanna die
(I wanna die)

- Nanker Phelge

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Take it

and get

Monday, March 17, 2008

More love songs in the night

A repeat of a repeat:

These two songs are from a single that Steve Martin released in 1971. Steve Martin was the lead singer in the Left Banke. That’s him on “Pretty Ballerina”, “She May Call You Up Tonight” and “Walk Away Renee”. The songs were written by the Left Banke’s keyboard player and primary songwriter Michael Brown. Also on the session were Left Banke bassist Tom Finn and drummer George Cameron. So this is the Left Banke in every way except for the name on the label. The name could not be used for legal reasons.

Love Songs In The Night” is a terrific power pop song. This song should’ve been a hit but it’s barely known outside the circle of Left Banke fans. The flip isn’t as memorable but it's still a good song.

Both songs were used in the soundtrack to a movie called Hot Parts. The movie starred an ex-Warhol Superstar named Ultra Violet and 'is mostly about sex.' Anybody seen it? doesn’t list the movie in Ultra Violet’s entry and there’s nothing available on eBay. There was a soundtrack released. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a copy of that either.

The songs have only been reissued on a Left Banke comp that Rhino released in 1985. If anybody ever wises up and reissues the Left Banke’s records, I hope they include both of these songs.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Run on for a long time

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Consumer alert

The Big Dipper anthology is out now on Merge Records. Three discs for 15 bucks. Here's a couple things that are not included. Here's Big Dipper playing "Making Plans For Bison" from the EVERY BAND HAS A SHONEN KNIFE THAT LOVES THEM tribute LP and here's the "Fruity Sound Collage" that was a b-side on the "All Going Out Together" 12" single.

And the Thomas Function CD is out now and the LP is due soon. Get one! Also, The Judys have finally released their records on disc. Get those too!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

I cover

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Hair & image

The Mice were a Florida band that specialized in short jokey songs. The trio released at least two LPs, one in 1986 and the other in 1988. They should have released 2 or 3 singles instead. Both LPs have too much filler and joke songs that stop being funny before they are finished. There are only a handful of good songs and some of those sound half-finished.

That said, that handful of songs is really good. Good enough that I've kept both LPs for twenty years. "Hair & Image" is the best of the bunch, it shows what The Mice were capable of doing when they tried. "Car Partyin'" and "It's For Real" are also a-side songs. The Mice had a sensitive side too, it's too bad you have to wade through all the filler and country parodies to hear it. This song has potential but the sax player isn't helping much.

The Mice were probably a fun band to see live, the joke songs would have worked better in front of a bunch of drunks. Head mouse Joe Reineke moved to California and started a new band called The Meices. They were popular for a while in the mid-90s. Not good enough for me to keep the CDs though.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Arms Akimbo

Last week, Little Hits posted a song from Arms Akimbo's first EP. It's pretty good. So here's the two songs from the band's 1983 7". The sides of the record are labeled 'pop' and 'dance'. See if you can guess which side the songs are from.

Arms Akimbo went on to release the pretty good EP and a not as good LP on Atlanta's 688 records. Both records are pretty common in used bins. If Arms Akimbo had only released the first 45, I'd be happy. It's the only thing I ever listen to by the band.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Strange things still happening

Saturday, March 08, 2008

I don't know why

Friday, March 07, 2008

No one ever heard the song

Jennifer Warnes third LP is a lost classic. It didn't sell when it was first released and has not been available since 1973. JENNIFER was produced by John Cale who would start work on his own PARIS 1919 album right after finishing this one. Warnes is a great singer, Cale & Warnes chose some terrific songs, the playing is excellent. Cale used several of the musicians on both JENNIFER and PARIS 1919, listen to both LPs back to back sometime. If you've ever wished that Cale had made another record like PARIS 1919, you need to find a copy of JENNIFER.

Warnes cover choices are interesting. How many artists cover Procol Harum and Donovan, and Free? Warnes is friends with (and worked as a backup singer for) Leonard Cohen in the early seventies but none of his songs are included on JENNIFER. Warnes made up for that when she recorded FAMOUS BLUE RAINCOAT.

JENNIFER has never been reissued. Several songs from JENNIFER are available on compilations. I have heard that Rhino is planning a deluxe reissue though. I hope that are a lot of outtakes.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Baby baby

where can you be?

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Arty and/or still obscure

In the mid 80’s, every college town in America had one or two R.E.M. and/or Echo & The Bunnymen influenced bands in the mid-eighties. They always had an arty and/or obscure name and put out a record with a black & white and/or blurry photo on the cover. Even Greenland made sure that Tuscaloosa, Alabama didn’t miss the arty and/or obscure boat.

Even Greenland was formed in late ’84 by Dan Hall and Rob Trucks and some other guys. Not listing the names of the band members is a key part of being arty and/or obscure. This is the only record that the band ever did, it’s the only one I’ve ever seen anyway. Tim Lee and Randy Everett recorded it and the 45 was released it on Big Monkey Records in 1985.

Most of the arty and/or obscure bands had members that went on to bigger things. Dan Hall drums for the Woggles as Dan Electro. They’re touring this spring, you should go see him play if you get the chance. Shout out a request for this song. Dan wrote it.

There’s a writer named Rob Trucks that looks to be about the right age and is from Alabama. I'm pretty sure it's the same guy, he went to UA and says that Will Kimbrough is his buddy. Will, Rob, and Dan had a pre-Greenland band called Cows In Love.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Strange things happening

Happy birthday!

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