Quirkily irresistable guide to the best records you’ve never heard. 4/5 stars.
It’s a great idea. Somewhere in the overflowing cut out bin of a dusty store in Scuntthorpe, lies your favourite record – and you don’t even know it exists. To help you locate it, a bunch of American fanzine writers have nominated their own neglected ‘classics’ in a book designed to ‘nudge the cannon so that lost records tumble out’.
They’ve come up with a fascinating list, full of records too demented and generally out there to have round mass appeal. Not all of the 200 or so reclaimed masterpieces are in the same league as Nick Drake, and quite why the editors “want Mekon fans to check out Kylie Minogue” is never clear, but there’s enough unhinged zeal in the writing to make you want to track down most things here.
Uncut readers will take some convincing that they have unfairly overlooked David Cassidy Live! all these years. But it’s a resounding ‘yes’ to Joe E Covington’s Fat Fandango, Ron Nagle’s Bad Rice, John Phillips’ The Wolf King of LA and Bridget St. John’s Songs for the Gentle Man. The latter appeared on John Peel’s Dandelion label in 1971, and makes you wonder why the great man himself never wrote a book like this.
If your own lost classic isn’t included, don’t sit there fulminating. Get in touch via www.lostinthegrooves.com
Originally, Lost in the Grooves was an anthology celebrating music that slipped through the cracks.
With essays by Brooke Alberts, Mike Appelstein, Jake Austen, Peter Bagge, Ken Barnes, The Bengala, Tosh Berman, Jon Bernhardt, Gene Booth, Derrick Bostrom, Joe Boucher, Carl Cafarelli, Kevin Carhart, Sean Carrillo, Hayden Childs, Genevieve Conaty, David Cotner, Robert Dayton, Jean-Emmanuel Deluxe, Stuart Derdeyn, Deke Dickerson, Brian Doherty, Jonathan Donaldson, Philip Drucker, SL Duff, Andrew Earles, Becky Ebenkamp, Russ Forster, Phil Freeman, Ron Garmon, Doug Gillard, Chas Glynn, Gary Pig Gold, William Ham, Doug Harvey, Max Hechter, Richard Henderson, Elizabeth Herndon, Tim Hinely, Jay Hinman, Andrew Hultkrans, Elizabeth Ivanovich, Kris Kendall, Kelly Kuvo, P. Edwin Letcher, Ted Liebler, Michael Lucas, Michael Lynch, Erin McKean, Richard Meltzer, Rick Moody, Jim O’Rourke, Alec Palao, George Pelecanos, James Porter, Mark Prindle, Domenic Priore, Howie Pyro, Ken Rudman, Metal Mike Saunders, David J. Schwartz, Gene Sculatti, Greg Shaw, Jack Shay, Matthew Smith, Matthew Specktor, Vern Stoltz, Deniz Tek, Michele Tepper, Dave Thompson, Gregg Turkington, Jillian Venters, Elisabeth Vincentelli, Ed Ward, Steve Wynn and Jacqueline Zahas.
Coming soon on Lost in the Grooves: music from Rosehips and the Chamber Strings. Subscribe to our mailing list or your favorite RSS/XML feeds to get all the news when it’s announced.
A number of the albums featured in the book are available on CD. This link goes to a handy shopping guide to help you ferret them out.
a new anthology celebrating the greatest records you’ve never heard (but now you CAN!)
Or download individual tracks in our custom iTunes music store
on iTunes (Action-Cowsills)
on iTunes (Crenshaw-Gaillard)
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on iTunes (Mekons-Ramones)
on iTunes (Raspberries-Yoakum)
Lostinthegrooves.com is the online face of the Lost in the Grooves anthology and Scram magazine, the source for downloads and information about the great, neglected artists whose music deserves wider acclaim. Visit our online store to sample and purchase music by Brute Force, Costes, Dream Lake Ukelele Band, The First Team (“Chevrolet Sings of Safe Driving and You”), Fugu, Garland, Gibson Bros, Juviley, The Lipstick Killers, The Orgone Box, Sex Clark 5, Suckdog and John Trubee.
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ABOUT THE BOOK: Pop music history is full of little-known musicians, whose work stands defiantly alone, too quirky, distinctive, or demented to appeal to a mass audience. And even the well-known musicians are frequently misplaced or misunderstood within that pop history. The book Lost in the Grooves: Scram’s Capricious Guide to the Music You Missed explores the nooks and crannies of the pop music world, unearthing lost gems from should-have-been major artists (Sugarpie DeSanto, Judee Sill), revisiting lesser known works by established icons (Marvin Gaye’s post-divorce kissoff album, Here My Dear; The Ramones’ Subterranean Jungle), and spotlighting musicians who simply don’t fit into neat categories (k. mccarty, Exuma). The encyclopedic alphabetical structure throws off strange sparks as disparate genres and eras rub against each other: folk-psych iconoclasts face louche pop crooners; indie rock bumps against eighties soul which jostles proto-punk; outsider artists set their odd masterpieces down next to obscurities from the stars; lo-fi garage rock cuddles up with the French avant-garde; and roots rock weirdoes trip over bubblegum. This book will delight any jukebox junkie or pop culture enthusiast.
The Orgone Box’ self-titled debut is a Lost in the Grooves exclusive. We are also pleased to feature the follow up, “Things That Happened Then.” Click to sample the music or purchase.
The Orgone Box
The Orgone Box
(Minus Zero UK, 2001)
Too many bedroom bands drink at the trough of Evolution and Revolver, fire up the old four-track and seek to replicate same, with results typically stiff, unconvincing and a trifle embarrassing. But not this time. Rick Corcoran is the real thing: a massively skilled sixties-influenced songwriter who doesn
The Lipstick Killers’ Mesmerizer is a Lost in the Grooves exclusive. Click to sample the music or purchase.
The Lipstick Killers Mesmerizer (Citadel, Australia, 1984)
On the strength of a Deniz Tek-produced 45 issued by Bomp subsidiary Voxx in 1979, Sydney’s Lipstick Killers decamped for Los Angeles and dreams of Northern hemisphere success. They lasted a year in the cozy grime of the Tropicana Motel and a bug-infested Silverlake apartment, playing about a dozen gigs, including a Brian Jones memorial at the Whisky and at Madame Wong’s with the Plimsouls. Mesmerizer is the document of one of these shows, recorded on cassette by Flesh Eater Chris D., cleaned up nicely and released posthumously on Radio Birdman crony “Brother” John Needham’s Citadel imprint. In the absence of an official studio album, this high energy set stands as slightly sloppy but irresistible evidence of the band’s magic. Over twelve songs, including terrific covers of the Chocolate Watchband’s “Let’s Talk About Girls” and the Elevators’ “I’ve Got Levitation,” the Lipstick Killers swagger like the Hindu gods of their signature song, all power chords, tribal drums and perfectly controlled frenzy. The band’s originals come across like unknown frat rock standards gene-spliced with a finely honed blend of psychedelia and DIY punk energy. Insinuation was their strong suit: “Dying Boy’s Crawl” and “Strange Flash” get right under your skin and pull you bodily towards the music. Maybe a band this tight and moody was nothing special on the Sydney scene, but they must have blown their L.A. competition sideways. Unfortunately, the usual band problems intruded–mental illness, money, the singer getting a day job to pay rent on the communal flat–and the Killers called it quits. The members eventually wound their way back to Australia, where they still occasionally play as the Lipstick Killers. When I saw them open for Radio Birdman in 2002 they fulfilled every promise of Mesmerizer and more. (Kim Cooper, from the book Lost in the Grooves)