19 December 2012

NMdT S14E03 .: Amber Waves and Plastic Clouds


01. Dave Heenan Set. so many roads [SG Epic 1967]
02. Bill Soden. my mermaid and me [SG Compass 1967]
03. The Oracle. don't say no [SG Verve Forecast 1967]
04. The Roman Numerals. the come on [1967]
05. The Shaggs. ring around the rosie [SG Palmer 1966]
06. The Lollipops. i'll stay by your side [SG Karusell 1965]
07. Paul Messis. time will tell [SG State 2010]
08. The Yellow Payges. never see the good in me [SG Showplace 1967]
09. The Plastic Cloud. shadows of your mind [SG Allied 1969]
10. The Touch. no shame [SG Public 1968]
11. Nineteen Eighty-Four. amber waves [SG Kapp 1969]
12. North Atlantic Invasion Force. blue and green gown [SG Congressional 1967]
13. Emergency Exit. why girl [SG Dunhill 1966]
14. The-Xtreems. facts of life [SG Star Trek 1967]
15. The Enfields. face to face [SG Richie 1966]
16. Stefan Arngrim. where has christmas gone [SG Jerden 1967]

Last episode of 2012 and maybe the last before the world goes to and end, as we all hope!

First set kicks off quietly with Dave Heenan Set. This was no other than New Jersey's fave band Glitterhouse with english frontman Dave Heenan (ex Merseylads) on vocals. After this lone single, Heenan left and they changed the name to Glitterhouse. "So Many Roads" is a sad tale of despair by someone who is quite exhausted of life on earth («this sadness will never end») and was the back side of Alice in Wonderland, nice pop psych too! Then we sail in enchanted seas with Bill Soden and the sitaresque psych masterpiece "My Mermaid and Me". No details to be found about this songwriter who released a bunch of singles.

We move now to LA with the team of Curt Boettcher and Keith Olsenrecording here as The Oracle. They teamed up with female folk goddess Ruthann Friedmann (of Windy fame) who wrote this absoulte personal fave. "Don't Say No" is a quiet shout for love hidden in the mists of sitars, tablas, wind effects and beautiful string arrangements.

«Standing in this rainy darkness, not a star pervades the night
Standing in my lonely shadow, will I ever see the light?
Don't say no, give me just a little of your sunshine
Don't say no, can't you see how dark my life is without you?
In the winter of my life time, longing for a hand to hold
Want to find my only true love, before my eyes have grown too old
Don't say no, give me just a little of your sunshine
Don't say no, can't you see how dark my life is without you?
People always call me on earth
I think that you hang far between
Always searching for my rainbow
Going where the grass is green
Don't say no, give me just a little of your sunshine
Don't say no, can't you see how dark my life is without you?»

The set ends now with the
Roman Numerals. Again, no information to be found. Just one lonely release for Columbia, but what a great sad sunshine epic tune!

Second set starts with The Shaggs and "Ring Around the Rosie". A pretty 19th century nursery folk song turned into moody garage bitternes («you treated boys like you play with toys, you break them apart like you broke my heart») by this Miami band that toured a lot in the Detroit area. After a song for kids, now is the kids talkin! The Lollipops were a succesfull band in Denmark. They were about 13 years when their career started, and achieved excellent skills in both songwriting and playing. Released many personal faves (i.e."Look at this Boy") including "I'll Stay By Your Side", a sweet promise of eternal love.

Minor key folk garage follows with Paul Messis. This british guy is just awesome. A handfull of singles and one LP make him one of my top five artists that Europe has produced in the last years. Don't miss his work, also now writing and playing with The Higher State. The set ends with the first release, back in 1967, by California's fave band The Yellow Payges.

We take a psych turn now in the third set, straight up into obscure rainy skies with the Plastic Cloud. "Shadows of Your Mind" was taken from his rare rare lone album. This guys from Canada really knew how to translate angst and the feelings of disturbed and troubled minds into an elegant, fuzzy, dreamy and restrained anger sound. A total fave! Then we move again to LA. From Oregon, The Hunger established there to release another top five psych algum, "Strictly From the Hunger". But right before that, they released a couple of songs, later remade for the album, as The Touch. "No Shame" is a pure psych baroche gemm about the end of a love.

Then, and still in LA, the Nineteen Eighy-Four (ex Mark and the Escorts) tell us in Amber Waves a summer daydream love story with a misterious girl («she walked along the bay, her hair was shining bright, bathing in sunlight») and how they ended up knowing not what to do «standing there staring at her amber waves» and finally «suddenly in a blur I found myself in a sidewalk in LA».

The flight through dreamy skies ends with the North Atlantic Invasion Force. «And when you come down wear your blue and green gown». A short (1.35min) organ psych tune and one of my faves by this obscure Conneticut band that released five singles.

For the final set we take the Emergency Exit. This Seattle guys waxed just a few songs, but oh boy, "Why Girl" is a mindblower cry for an answer of the lost love. Overwhelming bass line and effects make the whole thing quite intense. Talking about intensity, The Xtreems from St Louis are next breaking a fuzz storm in "Facts of Life", a tale of youngsters inadapted to modern society rules.

«People try to talk to me, they try so hard to make me see,
but to me the facts of life just can't be right»

Ending the set, personal idol Ted Munda with The Enfields. His work with both The Enfields and Friends of the Family deserves a golden plate, a marble obelisque, a silver pyramid! I really can't tell how much I like all of the songs they released and even more the ones unreleased, all available at the great Distortions compilation.

And since it's Christmas time, the final minutes go for Canadian actor Stefan Arngrim, produced here by Kim Fowley in a weird and sad christmas song with some anti capitalism wise thought about this time of the year.

«Marching soldiers made of tin, teddy bears and dolls,
store stay open every knight, you know where the money goes,
but where has Christmas gone, there's more to Christmas
if you just open up your eyes»

See you in the next episode!

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