Boneyard Media


Archive for April, 2007

Sunday Service: The Mercy Seat (1988)

Sunday, April 29th, 2007

posted by Stanislav

I hope nobody minds seeing a Sunday service post by Rev. Religious Dodo, ie, myself. Never been to church (except as a tourist), never prayed, not even as a child, not too familiar with the concept of god or God, simply never really cared… but some weird energy creeps through when I listen to the Mercy Seat, an 80s album by Gordon Gano of the Violent Femmes and his super hot girlfriend Zena Von Heppinstall. The whole album is filled with religious topics. Some songs are pensive and reflective but most are fanatical baptist-style gospel stomps. I can totally see myself in a religious trance in some Southern church without air-conditioning, my sweat pouring in heavy drops as the church rolls on and on. If the Mercy Seat is the ticket then Lord let me ride!

The Mercy Seat – “Let The Church Roll On / I Won’t Be Back”

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Song ID: The Dictators – “(I Live for) Cars and Girls” (1975)

Friday, April 27th, 2007

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You approach Handsome Dick Manitoba and his gang of White Castle goons in the spirit of satire. Hear ’em mangle the words for “I Got You Babe,” goof on “California Sun,” and celebrate themselves as a “Master Race.” Then you get to the last song, “(I Live for) Cars and Girls,” and you realize it’s no joke. They’re completely sincere, and you’re a converted flag waver. Also see: The Winkies.

The Dictators – “(I Live for) Cars and Girls”

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Album ID: The Beach Boys – Golden Harmonies (1985)

Tuesday, April 24th, 2007

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Just found an image of the scarce Golden Harmonies compilation I asked about earlier. I recognize the pic as an outtake not from an 80’s photo session, but a late 60’s Wild Honey-era one I’ve seen other stuff from (Dennis’s orange terrycloth pants are the giveaway). The funny image I had in my head, though, based on Golden’s description in Southern California Pastoral, isn’t too far removed from what’s here. What a strange compilation this Golden Harmonies is, incidentally: two records with four songs on each side with nothing from beyond 1965 except one – the Pet Sounds title track.

John Milward, The Beach Boys: Silver Anniversary (1985)

Monday, April 23rd, 2007

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Music journalist John Milward’s The Beach Boys: Silver Anniversary is a coffee table book full of glossy photos which outnumber the pages of large-font text. Notwithstanding this, or the fact that he offers up no new raw material, it’s in the upper echelon of Beach Boys books because he’s managed to string together all the familiar quotes and anecdotes from previous publications with artful, personally invested prose. The mid-80s were a significant checkpoint for the Beach Boys: they turned 25; they had a hit single (“Getcha Back”); they bounced back from Secretary of the Interior James Watts’s 1983 refusal to allow them to play a concert on the Washington DC Mall by returning triumphantly the following year with full support of both the public and the president (Watts ended up losing his job); and a couple of crucial books about the group saw publication – David Leaf’s heartfelt 1985 revision of his Beach Boys and the California Myth and Steven Gaines’s leering tell-all, Heroes and Villains. Milward’s book appropriately walks the middle ground between the two and the result is a highly accessible relic from this era, not only in terms of readability but also availability on library shelves.

This isn’t to say that Milward doesn’t let his own discomfort with elements of the Beach Boys’ then-current state of affairs show. This is evident in the book’s appendices, in which he insists on mapping out his discographical essays according to the jumbled availability of the group’s recordings circa 1985. Even less happily, Milward reveals himself as a Brian cultist who’s more or less given up hope. “The Beach Boys devotee is innocent by nature,” he writes, “and is glad to grab at straws while imagining the band’s return to full glory.” He passes my own personal Friends and Love You tests with flying colors simply because he gives them their due, but he does so in an unmistakably bummed out, straw-grabbing manner. Friends: “A wholly likable record that has aged remarkably well; the seed of its amiability, however, is that it had nothing to do with ambition.” Love You: “Fans of Brian heard their old friend, and if he wasn’t the aural sophisticate he once was, there was a chilling charm to these simple songs.” (Dare you to try playing any of these “simple songs” at the campfire, Mr. Milward.) And I do have to take issue with his understandably Brian-cultist decision to dismiss the Carl and the Passions and Holland albums altogether as “abysmal.” Perhaps most revealing of his discouraged outlook, though, is the picture he paints in the book’s final paragraph, an almost macabre fantasy scenario in which a creatively spent Brian reunites with dead father Murry among monuments to glorious musical achievements of his which, although never to be forgotten, have long since passed. Recommended all the same.

posted by Kim Simpson

Poslednja igra leptira – “Kiksmix”

Friday, April 20th, 2007

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posted by Stanislav

When Kim started a series of posts about medleys, I immediately thought of one that was a moderate hit in Yugoslavia, but I had trouble finding it until now. Poslednja igra leptira (“last dance of the butterfly”) was one of the groups that appeared on the tail end of the punk and new wave period of Yugo rock. They were basically a parody band, but I’m not so sure if their humor still holds water. They were often played on a popular radio show “Zeleni megahertz” which was aired every Saturday morning. In true Yugoslav spirit, the show was produced in simulcasts from two studios – one in Belgrade and other in Zagreb. Lacking a good hit for their second album, PIL’s “Kiksmix” gave them an opportunity to reiterate their huge first hit “Natasa” along with several other folk and rock hits in a typical “Stars on 45” fashion.

Poslednja igra leptira – “Kiksmix”

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Johnny Rivers/Yardbirds

Wednesday, April 18th, 2007

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I always assumed the Whisky a Go Go live albums Johnny Rivers released were, in truth, of the Beach Boys Party variety, where a “live” setting was re-created in the studio. It’s a non-issue, but I still sometimes wonder. (“Memphis” was Johnny’s Chuck Berry-via-Lonnie Mack breakthrough hit.)

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I’ve also always thought that Rivers’ voice sounded identical to the Yardbirds’ Keith Relf.

Johnny Rivers – “Memphis”

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The Yardbirds – “Evil Hearted You”

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