Making an appearance here on The Gig’s Video Clip of the Week for an unprecedented THIRD TIME (Woo!), Long Beach rock trio Tijuana Panthers serendipitously capture both the elation of the beginning of summertime, and the sweet melancholy of summer’s end, in their latest video for the sublime tune, “Front Window Down. I love this band.
Visually, this is a fun, no-frills clip of the band “performing” in a small living room, with super-imposed images of bassist/lead singer Daniel Michicoff rocking out on the vocals, sometimes with a cigarette nonchalantly dangling from the corner of his mouth. A wash of jangly, surf rock guitars buttressed by a viscerally sludgy bassline, this exuberant burst of aural energy takes me back to the surf-garage rock revival of late ’70s / early ’80s California, and it’s all good. “Front Window Down” comes from the band’s upcoming fourth album, Poster, which, perhaps appropriately, will arrive on August 28th (via Innovative Leisure), just in time to reflect on this summer, and summers past. Enjoy!
There is so much to love about the video for “Especially When” from retro-rock trio Baby Guru, who come to us from Athens, Greece. If you’re all about a cohesive storyline, I’m not sure what images of a fast girl driving a fast car, a wall of flame and troops in gas masks — interspersed with performance shots of individual band members filtered through 80’s-era kaleidoscope special effects — is supposed to say. But the song is a stone groove of surf rock with discernible time changes and a prog rock keyboard solo that just doesn’t quit. Win Win!
Baby Guru’s third album, Marginalia will be out on Inner Ear Records by the time you read this. Visit their website at This Link for more information on the band! Enjoy!
Well known on the NYC rock scene as the guitarist and primary songwriter behind retro garage-pop quartet The Friggs, Palmyra Delran is a bit of a local music icon. While The Friggs never broke commercially, they opened for legendary bands such as The Ramones and Cheap Trick, earning a devote regional following as well as solid professional props for being an “all-girl” band that could rock as hard as any group of guys. In her second solo venture, Delran stays close to the layered pop sound she helped to hone in The Friggs, while continuing to demonstrate innovation with regard to arrangements and intriguing personal storytelling in songs that draw the listener into her very relatable world.
If Palmyra Delran isn’t the coolest chick on the block, I don’t know who is. Seamlessly blending the guitar rock grit of Joan Jett with the pop sensibilities and subtle humor of Blondie, You Are What You Absorb will feel instantly familiar to fans of the classic Girl Groups, Sixties Psychedelia, Surf Rock and the very best of the early eighties New Wave movement. There’s not a lot of timeless music being made today, but the twelve memorable tracks on You Are What You Absorb certainly qualify as such, being packed with lyrical hooks sharp enough to draw blood and retro musical flourishes, such as sitar and organ, that establish Palmyra’s reverential connection to the past while bringing her music into the present.
A favorite track among many is the single “Shy Boy” – an endearing love song to a reluctant wallflower that will melt the coldest heart. I also dig the way that the propulsive drumbeat and furious guitar outtro of “Lies For You” dig deep to fondly recall the Nick Lowe-penned Elvis Costello classic, “(What’s So Funny About) Peace, Love & Understanding.” Bringing other unexpected influences the forefront, Delran’s expert guitar playing on “Never to Be Back Again,” especially, recalls Jeff Beck’s distinctive riffage on The Yardbird’s “Heart Full of Soul,” and I don’t think there is much higher praise to give than that. Palmyra also shows her stylistic versatility on “The Turtle,” which successfully flirts with sixties lounge jazz.
Although it’s still pretty chilly on the East coast, as New York fights hard to break into spring, you need to grab a copy of You Are What You Absorb right away, so you can get ready to take it to the beach with you, add it to Party Mixes and slap it on the car stereo for long drives with the car top down as these songs become the soundtrack to your Best Summer Ever.
Palmyra Delran’s You Are What You Absorb is out now and available for purchase on iTunes, Amazon.com and wherever quality rock is procured.
View the acclaimed video for “You’re My Brian Jones” Below:
OK, I realize it’s not even April yet, but I’m predicting now that there will be no better album released in the year 2010 than MGMT’s sophomore release, Congratulations; due to drop officially on April 13th. Downloads of Congratulations first leaked all over the Internet weeks ago, so of course this work of sheer aural bliss found its way to me, as things of great genius tend to do. Being blessed with a pair of old-school rock and roll ears, these nine heavily 60s and 70s influenced tracks appealed to me on first listen. Yes, this album is a massive departure from the dense electro-pop of Oracular Spectacular – which was my favorite album of 2008. And in this case, change is good.
According to the band, the songs on Congratulations were primarily inspired by surfing. That much is obvious from the opening track, “It’s Working” which draws heavily from classic surf instrumentals by The Ventures and Dick Dale. Ah, simply sublime. There’s a pervading sense of psychedelia throughout the CD as well, which reminded me early on of Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd, The Lovin’ Spoonful and, to name a more contemporary influence, Israeli rockers Rock Four (recommended: check out their 2007 release Memories of The Never Happened, which is just amazing). There is even an homage to Brian Eno. Brian Fucking Eno, I shit you not. Track Listing for Congratulations is as follows:
1. “It’s Working”
2. “Song for Dan Treacy”
3. “Someone’s Missing”
4. “Flash Delirium”
5. “I Found a Whistle”
6. “Siberian Breaks”
7. “Brian Eno”
8. “Lady Dada’s Nightmare”
A lot of people whose taste is all in their mouths are whining about how this album sucks because it doesn’t sound like nine different versions of “Kids,” but they can all go fuck themselves because MGMT’s Congratulations is the best album of the year!
This past Sunday, June 14th, Bob Bogle, guitarist for the legendary and wildly influential instrumental surf rock band The Ventures, passed away after a lengthy battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He was 75 years old. My friend and colleague Steve Stav, a truly marvelous writer, has posted a very personal remembrance of and fitting tribute to Bogle on his blog, Intermittent Signals, which you can read by following this link. RIP, Bob.