Scott Bateman is making a short animated film every day for a year. On day 277, he tastefully featured our own Sex Clark 5 revamping the classic ’60s jingle for instant Great Shakes milkshakes. Maybe you’ve heard the versions of this incredibly catchy tune by the Who or the Yardbirds… but did you know that the song was written by another LITG artist, the incomparable Brute Force?
We like it when the universe converges in so nifty a fashion. So click on this link and get "Great Sheikhs."
GQ has asked various notables to recommend their favorite Unsung Musical Heroes. New Pornographers’ leaders A.C. Newman selected Lost in the Grooves own Sex Clark 5, and a clip of their earwormy "Faith" is on the GQ website.
To learn more about this magical Alabama pop outfit, hear samples or buy some music, please click here.
Sex Clark 5's Strum & Drum! is a Lost in the Grooves exclusive, with bonus tracks. Click below to sample music or purchase.Â
Available CDs: Strum & Drum!, SC5 Rarities, Strum & Drum! + Rarities compilation
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Sex Clark 5 Strum & Drum! (Records to Russia, 1987/ Beehive Rebellion, 1996)
Hailing from Huntsville, Alabamaâ€”the place where Wernher von Braun traded rocketry know-how for immunity, but perhaps more significantly birthplace of â€œEight Miles Highâ€â€”these lo-fi pop wunderkinder had one of the eightiesâ€™ great lost discs in Strum & Drum! Their name is one of the broad strokes forming a sly humored sensibility, this from a group also given to titling a noisy piss-take â€œGet Back Yoko,â€ and producing an electronic loop of the phrase â€œGirls of Somalia,â€ apparently a 5th dimensional play on the Beach Boysâ€™ celebrations of regional pulchritude. But these are the oddities on a disc thatâ€™s 95% ebullient, near-perfect Beatlesque pop, delivered with careless glee all but unheard of in the power pop ghetto. None of singer/guitarist James Butlerâ€™s twenty songs clocks in above 2:43, giving them the opportunity to charm without boring. SC5 leaves you wanting more, but with the next unforgettable melody never far away. Take â€œDetention Girls,â€ a reductive micro opera with a cheerleaderâ€™s chant giving the if-you-blinked-you-missed-it bridge that extra jolt sending the whole marvelous package into sugary hyperdrive. â€œModern Fixâ€ is at once daffy and poignant. The powerfully delivered line â€œWhy donâ€™t we take all our gimmicks, put â€˜em all in one box/ And trade â€˜em for a bag of tube socks?â€ seems (and is) absurd on its face, but in context itâ€™s the possibly final plea of a lover trying to make a rough love work. â€œValerieâ€â€™s singsong melody seems somehow backwards, an exquisite medieval meander fused with a sweetness straight out of the McCartney songbook. Lightning-paced â€œAlaiâ€ is blessed with one of those hooks that wonâ€™t quit, though what the â€œalai-lai-lai-laiâ€ the band is on about may never be revealed. Sometimes bassist Joy Johnson sings in the sweet, slightly flat voice of a serious little kid, but mostly Butler leads the show, mouth racing to keep up with the shambling, ecstatic rush of his band. These dizzy, precise little tunes are like musical meringues, each one a brilliant gem of an idea whipped to soft, gooey peaks. Look for the out-of-print 1996 CD reissue that includes the magical early â€œNeita Grew Up Last Nightâ€ EP. (Kim Cooper, from the book Lost in the Grooves)