HOME REVIEWS CONTACT LINKS ARCHIVES FORUMS
by Justin CollectorScum
When I first put together the idea for this column I went through my collection and made a big list of potential records to feature. It turned out very lopsided with the uncompables column having about ten times more records than the flipsides one. And as I sat down to make my picks for this time around, I realized most of them are unusable. Endtables? The whole EP is easily found on a few blogs. Death? Best reissue of the decade thanks to Robert Manis and Drag City, and you can read about them in the New York Times. Fems? Drag City again, but I wouldn't expect a mention in the paper of record. Sado-Nation? "Mom & Pop Democracy" is my favorite track on that one (yes, better than "On Whom They Beat") but apparently it was comped on an all girl punk LP I never bothered with. So instead of scraping the bottom of the barrel and going though the trouble of digitizing songs that most people will never listen to more than once, I'm going to make this column all uncompables, at least for the foreseeable future. There's just a lot more out there which while not necessarily worthy of being on a vinyl comp, is certain worth hearing, sometimes even more than once.
Time to go a little off-genre, and feature some records on the more psychedelic side of things...
Uncompables: (Psyched-out edition)
Three years back I bought a bunch of records from a local punk scenester of 20+ years who had fallen on hard times and needed cash more than his vinyl. I had to wade through tons of bad '90s pop punk to find maybe a couple dozen keepers, which included the 1st Cheetah Chrome Motherfuckers 7", the F 12" from Florida, and the oddball of the bunch, this 7" by Erratic (1980, Canoga Park, CA, outside Los Angeles). At the time I had no idea what it was, other than recalling it was listed in the Volume 3 discography, and the seller didn't know anything about it either and didn't care about it, so it cost me all of $10. When I got home, I threw it on the turntable, and was pleasantly surprised when I found it to be strongly reminiscent of Mike Rep's early work, which I'm a huge fan of. I Wrecked Myself wouldn't be out of place on his Stupor Hiatus Vol. 2 LP. In hindsight I did really well, as this record has since sold on at least one occasion for as much as the Rep "Rocket to Nowhere" 45. And who were Erratic anyway? I have no idea. The record is sleeveless, and the labels have no songwriting credits, only "produced, written & performed by Erratic". I imagine it was a studio project with one person playing all the instruments and singing. If you know more, please get in touch.
Rep's "Rocket to Nowhere" was released in 1978 on Dave Gibson's seminal Moxie Records label, which did a mix of 60s reissues and contemporary (meaning late-70s to 80s, when the label operated) releases by bands usually mining 60s garage/psych influences. Another band who had at least 3 releases on the Moxie label in the late 70s was Rich and Famous. I became aware of these guys when a collector friend made me a tape years back of his favorite unknowns and after all the punk, tacked Neutron Star (1978, Hollywood, CA) along with a track by Peter & Mary Saving Grace (see below) at the end. At the time I didn't care for either, but over time they grew on me and I eventually tracked down both records. Rich and Famous was Rich La Bonte and Shari Famous. Rich is still active in music and you can learn more about Rich and Famous and his other endeavors in this interview.
Peter and Mary Saving Grace remains something of a mystery. The band may have started in NYC, definitely were in San Francisco in the mid-late 70s, but this, their second single is marked "Made in L.A." Despite turning up rarely, it went through two pressings with different colored covers, but it might just be one vinyl pressing with two sleeve print runs -- I've never compared them side by side. And for years the few punk collectors who actually knew of this record thought it was their only release, but then an earlier 45, perhaps from 1976, was discovered last year where the band is billed as Peter and Mary Savinggrace (one word instead of two) and sounds more like Chrome. But it's this second single, released 1980 and probably recorded in 1978, which is their best, specifically Queen of the Night, which to quote a fellow collector is "a psychotic experience, about as messed up as anything you want to match up against it". I couldn't say it better. I'd recommend listening on headphones for the full brain-pummeling effect.
And finally, I'll feature the only record of these four which might actually be easily attainable. I discovered the Jerry Rooth 7" at the late and not-so-lamented Dinosaur Records of Bayonne, NJ. I googled "Jerry Rooth" and found another copy or two online and then offered one up to the same person who clued me into the Rich and Famous and Peter and Mary Saving Grace records. In his reply back he said he liked the record, but wouldn't need one of mine since he googled "Rooth, Jerry" and found that Fusetron was selling stock copies. It's still listed in their catalog today for $6. Knowing Fusetron's inventory problems, I wouldn't be surprised if it's long gone, but I'll leave that to you to find out. The Jerry Rooth 7" is to my knowledge the only vinyl record on Kenneth Higney's Kebrutney Records (Bayonne/Lyndhurst, NJ) which is not by Higney himself, although he does get the production credit. Higney is known to Acid Archives fans for his "Attic Demonstration" LP from 1976, but he also did a single in 1980 which was quasi-punk on one side and quasi-disco on the other. From the same year, I prefer the Rooth single, specifically But You'll Try...Again. If you like this stuff, an album-length reissue is rumored to be in the works.
Questions, comments, corrections? Send them my way: justin-at-CollectorScum.com.
These MP3s are intended for educational purposes and to allow people to hear songs from rare and/or hopelessly out of print records. If you're an artist or label behind one of these recordings and you want an MP3 taken down, please contact the editor at termibore-at-aoldotcom.
PREVIOUS PAGE HOME NEXT PAGE