Gary in Medleyville

Whilst continuing to faithfully remain
Lost In The Groove
all summer long,

your resident Pig has consented
to scribble monthly,
right over there at
Medleyville Dot US
as well.

so then,
If you’re ever wondering

why Bob was Judas,

when Simply Saucer turned Half Human,

who That Lucky Old Sun is still shining upon,

where you should buy Your First Punk Rock Record,

and even How much those Rolling Stones just got out of
the Universal Music Group,

(plus Pat Boone to boot),

feel more than free to get Lost
in that Medleyville Groove,
as autumn falls all around us

(…making sure to tell ‘em
Gary Pig Gold sentcha,
of course !! )

 

 

LA 10/29: 3 from 33 1/3 event at the Hammer Museum

WHAT: Hammer Presents: 3 from 33 1/3 with Hayden Childs, Kim Cooper and Scott Plagenhoef
WHERE: Billy Wilder Theater, Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., LA 90024, 310.443.7000
WHEN: Weds October 29, 7pm
INFO: http://www.hammer.ucla.edu/calendar_full_Oct_2008.htm#day29

33 1/3 is a series of books about a wide variety of seminal rock and pop albums. Join three of the authors for readings and special multimedia presentations. Hayden Childs’s "Shoot Out the Lights" puts into context Richard and Linda Thompson’s album—from the personal history driving the songs, to the recording difficulties they encountered and the subsequent fall-out. He has appeared in "Lost in the Grooves: Scram’s Capricious Guide to the Music You Missed." Kim Cooper’s "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea" sheds light on the underground classic album by Neutral Milk Hotel. Cooper is the editor of "Scram," and co-editor of the anthologies "Bubblegum Music is the Naked Truth" and "Lost in the Grooves: Scram’s Capricious Guide to the Music You Missed." Scott Plagenhoef’s "If You’re Feeling Sinister" provides perspective on how Belle & Sebastian transformed from a cult secret into a polished, highly entertaining, mainstream pop group. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Pitchfork.

Knock Knock

                   

Sacramento pop band Knock Knock was recently awarded a Sammie to honor their second CD Girls on the Run (2008), but as superb as that release is, I feel their debut was even more deserving of recognition. Warm Fronts, Cold Shoulders (2004) is comprised of such an abundant range of intriguing textures and indelible melodies that it would inevitably be a tough act to follow. It's remarkable that punchy uptempo tunes like "I've Been a Drag" and "Dan Can You Stand" can occupy the same space with the languid beauty of "Oceanography" and "Levee," but Knock Knock seems to have a knack for mixing things up without having to struggle to do so. "Eye of the Storm" finds a nice balance between the two extremes and is perhaps the best representation of their work as a whole, but you certainly wouldn't want to miss out on other catchy numbers like "Jorge" and "Rotten Dogs." Think of a poppier version of Yo La Tengo and you might have an idea of what to expect. Frontman Allen Maxwell's feathery-but-urgent vocals compare favorably to Ira Kaplan's while Heather Conway adds an even lighter touch to a pair of songs a la Georgia Hubley.  Tasty stuff indeed, and when you're finished with this one, you should be more than ready to take in the gorgeous harmonies and sugar-rush momentum of Girls on the Run.

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You can find Knock Knock's Warm Fronts, Cold Shoulders for sale here.

Greenberry Woods

Just a quick entry to tell you about my Band of the Week, or month maybe. I don't how or why I've gone this long without hearing about the Greenberry Woods, but I got tipped on to them because of something else I was looking at or bought on-line, and now I have their two albums and cherish both. They formed in Maryland in the late 80s and between then and 1995 recorded two long players, Rapple Dapple and Big Money Item. Both are power pop gems, with vocal hooks around every corner and some nice distorted guitar work. Each album has filler material on it, but each also has three songs which are power pop hall-of-famers. Like just about every power pop band that has ever existed, the 'Woods owe much to Alex Chilton and Big Star, whose sound they quite clearly emulate. If you are into power pop, if you like the Posies, Guided by Voices, New Pornographers, dB's, Dwight Twilley Band, etc, etc, do what you need to do to buy the two Greenberry Woods records. After the two albums the band split up, apparently because there were too many creative forces under one roof (heard that before). Some core members went on to form Splitsville, who seem to be somethning of a camp/novelty act and who I have not yet explored. Could be a future blog.