Shortly before summer solstice, Shawn Reed (of the impressive and prolific Iowa-based label Night People and Wet Hair ) sent us an illustrated first-rate mix of “old” music that we kind of selfishly savored during the sunny season. Hot picnic days are now gone but you can still listen to this hour and sixteen minutes of invigorating nonchalance and forget that another endless winter will soon swallow you up.
A few samples:
Deep Freeze Mice – minstrel radio yoghurt
English Subtitles – sweat
The Ropers – you have light
Yeah Yeah Noh – prick up your ears
Images of Deception (NP mixtape)
1. The Sea Urchins – solace
2. The Weeds – baby don’t go
3. Los Yetis – llegaron los peluqueros
4. Disco Zombies – time will tell
5. Hansadutta Swami – helpless awe
6. The Terminals – batwing
7. The Apryl Fool – the lost mother land (part 2)
8. Graeme Jefferies – nothing’s that new
9. The Ropers – you have a light
10. Close Lobsters – foxheads
11. Deep Freeze Mice – minstrel radio yoghurt
12. Silicon Teens – memphis, tennessee
13. Ana Hausen – professionals
14. Fatal Microbes – violence grows
15. English subtitles – sweat
16. Lost Cherrees – real crimes
17. Colette Magny – répression
18. The 39 Clocks – stupid art
19. Danny and The Dressmakers – TV boredom on the dole
20. Ann Summer – gordisk knut
21. Portion Control – in pursuit of excellence
22. Yeah Yeah Noh – prick up your ears
23. Soldiers In A Field – lullaby
By the way, Night People has struck again this week with a fresh batch of TEN cassettes swinging from retro synth wave, cosmic disco prog and weirdo dance to garage psych pop, freak folk, diy reggae etc. You can buy them or at least contemplate the unfailing beauty of their artwork here.
You can also download Spent Minds, a free mix compiling samples of each release (and others coming up soon).
Here’s a selection from our favorite tapes so far, all reviewed by Shawn Reed on NP’s website :
Gem Jones – Exhaust
Gem Jones lives in Iowa and lays real low and outside the normal fray of the underground music scene. An outsider even in small town scene terms, Gems music has evolved a lot over a few years of weirdo pop cassette releases and even more rare live shows. Exhaust shows Gem in a new stretched out mode making serious nods to jazzy outsider rock, reggae, and DIY pop. Playing all the instruments and tracking the release to sound like a live full band make this tape sound like something truly out of its time. Not often in contemporary times is a songwriter able to create something so unique and also specific from so many influences so successfully. If you dig the sound of a wild cross section of Larry Young, Prince Buster, and Eddy Detroit you will enjoy this.
Gem Jones – Starquisha
Gem Jones – Just Broken
Happy Jawbone Family Band – The Silk Pistol
Happy Jawbone are a loose collection of Brattleboro musicians who come out of the same Vermont weirdo scene as fellow Night-People bands Blanche Blanche Blanche and Son of Salami. Happy Jawbone also have close connections with the Feeding Tube record label with two prior LP’s. Happy Jawbone ride a kaleidoscopic rainbow of influences stretching out from the loose jangly air of garage psych pop into country and freak folk with a bit of everything in between. Where as prior releases showed a bit more of a bent Beatles or Kinks vibe this one feels way more paisley underground (think early Rain Parade) meets Texas psych (think Easter Everywhere era Elevators) and maybe even a bit of 60s soundtrack style weirdness. Comparisons aside, this crew does their own thing in the saturated world of garage and psych pop revival. Something must be floating around the collective creative brain in Brattleboro to keep things unique and without pretension. Happy Jawbone seems so full of youthful sonic exuberance that there is plenty more room to grow even after three killer full lengths.
Happy Jawbone Family Band – Deep Dreamer
Happy Jawbone Family Band – Livin’ Foul
Blonde God – s/t
This is a reissue of a self-released CDR, which Carson Cox of Merchandise had on tour with him last spring. After playing a gig together and jamming choice deep records until the early morning hours a bond was made concrete after a couple years of short duration crossings on different tours and mail correspondence. A good warm up for the upcoming Merchandise LP on Night-People, Blonde God is Carson all by himself, or so it seems. Its hard keeping up with this Tampa crew with such a tight knit relationship to collaboration and backing up each others solo outlets that goes beyond Merchandise itself into all the bands surrounding and coming before or surely after. For those of you who have been paying attention to Night-People long term you know full well this is the kind of thing the label is all about: The end of the road destinations and cities without much of an outside identity where creation happens for its own sake. Blonde God plays good and loud, it is reflective of the overall output but has its own aesthetics at play. Carson’s voice hovers in and out of a wash of electronics and dreamy guitar work, in parts influenced by classic shoegaze and also harsher noise sensibilities, all in all if feels sad, heavy, distant and lost. There is a landscape to the sound. Is this what living in Tampa Bay can feel like?
Blonde God – I Don’t Want It (Anymore)
Blonde God – Diggin’