Guilt by Association
It’s easy for me to explain why I like certain things; the answer is almost always that my favorite things are awesome. For example: the Slackmistress, trashy rock and roll, breakdancing robots, The Sneeze, JustJENN (who just has a birthday), 4th Street Poker Tour, and the Mets are clearly awesome so you can see why I like them.
On the other hand my reasons for NOT liking things are harder to pin down but in most cases it boils down to me being mad at someone. For example, for years I have not shopped at Amoeba Records because someone I didn’t like lived on the same street. Had the same store been opened a block away I would have had no problem but in my head Amoeba=bad based on proximity.
This random hate policy does not just apply to record stores but to records as well. Several years ago a girl said to me “You should listen to The Oblivions, you’ll really like them.” She had my best interests in mind but I refused without ever giving them a listen, because we had broken up a few weeks before and I was in no mood for suggestions from her. Even after we got back together I refused to listen because in my head the band represented that temporary breakup. Silly, I know. It wasn’t until several years later when a friend sent me some live Oblivions stuff, essentially saying “Get over it already, you’ve been missing out.” and so I finally listened and I loved it (In fact I almost went to Amoeba to pick up some more stuff but I figured baby steps was enough). In case you’ve never heard them, or you’ve missed one of the hundred times I’ve mentioned them, the Oblivions are trashy garage soul at it’s finest, read about them here. For weeks I was both enthralled with the sound and kicking myself for not listening sooner because by this time the band had long since broken up.
What’s the point of this? Not to tell you that I do stupid things, you already know that. The reason I’m telling you this is because I was reminded of the great Oblivion’s misstep when I opened up the Onion AV Club today to see that their selection for the Permanent Record Collection today was Reigning Sound’s Time Bomb High School. Reigning Sound is a favorite of the Slackmistress and me when we’re bouncing around the fake detective agency or when we’re driving around town and they also happen to be the band formed by former Oblivion member Greg Cartwright (aka- Greg Oblivion). Had I not gotten over myself a few years ago, I’d be denying my wife the chance to rock today.
While it’s been a few years since a proper Reigning Sound record, they do currently appear as the backing band on the recently released record by Mary Weiss. Who is Mary Weiss you ask? Well you know her well, you just don’t realize it; Mary was the lead singer of the Shangri-Las who sang “Leader of the Pack” and “Give Him A Great Big Kiss”. The latter song was produced by Shadow Morton, who also produced the second NY Dolls LP. The Dolls and later the solo Johnny Thunders frequently played “Great Big Kiss” live…this nerdy rock aside was brought to you by Norton Records, who have put out Mary’s record. Anyway, 40 years after Leader of the Pack, Mary Weiss sounds amazing and I couldn’t think of a better backing band for her than Reigning Sound.
Click on the link below for a .zip file featuring The Oblivions, their precursors The Compulsive Gamblers, Reigning Sound, and Mary Weiss. All of these are available at eMusic for your listening pleasure.
8/28 Garage Rock Special (click to download .zip file)
Compulsive Gamblers – Pepper Spray Boogie
The Oblivions – Christina
Reigning Sound – Reptile Style
Mary Weiss – Stop and Think it Over
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