The Day Care Centre-A JUMPIN' JACKPOT OF MELODY 2-LP set (Czecher Records, Czech Republic)
J. D. King recommended this one to me, sayin' in his usual restrained way that it came off like a cross between the Velvet Underground, Syd and Sonic Youth, with maybe some krautrock thrown in there as well. And after such a recommendation as that why should I even review this thing? After all, King said everything about it that needs to be put to pixel so why should I bore you with my own opines onna thing!
Oh yeah, I guess you want me to imbue this review with a little bitta insight along with my usual long-windedness, eh? Well, I certainly am good for doin' it all, and I gotta admit that an item like this (not only a vinyl-only affair but a two-record set that comes in a gatefold sleeve!) is something that is worthy of my attention, limited span that it has. And considering that amongst the members of this Day Care Centre is none other than an honest to goshness former bandmate of King's during his Coachmen days whose name isn't Thurston Moore then maybe we're really onto something with this new release that's making pretty sure that 2007 ain't just another hum-drum ho-ho year filled with the usual blogfodder that might excite the usual pipsqueaks but not ME!!!
Extrapolating on King's description...yeah, the ever-pervasive presence of the once-sainted VELVET UNDERGROUND INFLUENCE is in full swing here, though thankfully it ain't the tiresome drone-on VU snore that way too many acts in this so-called "underground" have milked to a terminally eroded state thinner'n my own hairline (you already know the usual suspects!). Actually it's a pretty hefty sorta Velvets homage that A JUMPIN' JACKPOT OF MELODY oozes all over, and considering that a good portion of these platters evoke classic late-sixties garage band riffage a la Faust (think first LP, side two track one), Amon Duul II and a nice enough portion of the better krautrock groups during the day then may I even call this a true 2007 update on early Sonic Youth and F/i experiments in the same droneage twennysome years back? I'd also toss in the Coachmen themselves (at least the latterday variety) and hey, as far as Syd goes where would anything be without him?????
Oh yeah, the group consists of Rich Clarahan on guitar and bass, Dan Hill on bass and guitar, Laura Feathers on violin and Dave Keay on drums. I dunno who does that spoken word thingie on the only "vocal" track on side for but whoever he is, he sure sounds like a creep! Anyway, Keay is the guy who used to be in the Coachmen (hence King's initial interest in these disques) and he was also with Harry Toledo for a spell. Keay is also married to Feathers which I guess might put another li'l spin on this outing. Unfortunately, like the Coachmen this group is a studio-only affair so don't expect to see 'em playin' anywhere, that is if there's any place that would let them play this def. spaced-out repeato-rock. And if you wanna buy one for yourself, let it be known that although the usual outlets seem to be lacking New Yorkers might be able to snatch it up at Bleeker Bob's, Subterranean, Kim's Video and Mercer St. Books. Everyone else pray that the big time underground music providers get the hint and real soon.
***The Light-TURN ON... CD (Ugly Things, click on link at left to order)
Ugly Things' recording arm continues to pop out these once-obscure six-oh garage band items like there was no tomorrow, and considering how these Southern Californian mop tops got their own humble feature in the latest ish of that very mag like what else would you expect? OK, you might think it some sorta incestuous tie up with the mag promoting the hootch its sellin' for obvious free pub reasons, but I sure find it a whole lot less offensive'n when ROLLING STONE was pumping the entire Taylor Family and in-laws as the next big hep trip while gobblin' up all that Warner Brothers money that was promotin' the saccharine likes of James, Livingston and Carly!
Anyway, for late-sixties So Cal fun and games (as opposed to the slick folkie trip that entire scene would mudslide into once 1969 rolled around) you can't beat TURN ON... which not only has a bit of the then-fading Music Machine sound and attitude (thanks to producer Brian Ross who as you may know also produced our one-gloved wonders) but a bit of the Moby Grape-derived "good timey" San Francisco feel and of course a general West Coast attitude that like I said wasn't gag inducing yet. Lotsa fun post-Byrdsian moments here, one brazen Beatles SGT. PEPPER (w/o the proto-prog hysteria) ripoff and loads of that great garage band negative energy that for some not-so-odd reason sounded so refreshing in light of the whole "kumbaya" trip of the day. Mike Stax, Alec Palao and the rest of the names involved of course need to be commended, though what should we give A&M for not stickin' by these punks while rakin' in all that Tijuana Brass moolah other'n one big RAZZ!!!