Razorcake Podcast #153: With Rev. Nørb
Every so often, my work ships me to the palmy, balmy City of Angles for a few days. And, when I can swing it, my preferred non-vocational activity ((apart from, of course, buying eleven-dollar six-packs in Hollywood...that NEVER gets old)) is to stomp on down to the heavily fortified Razorcake subterranean homesick bunker and bang out a few podcasts, primarily for my own amusement ((and because Todd will usually give me a ride to the airport or bus station if I do a podcast, allowing me to re-route my petty cash into more eleven-dollar six-packs)). This is a many-splendored thing indeed, but one caveat to emptor is that my tune selection is therefore limited to whatever the hell I can fit in my carry-on luggage, 'cause Rev. Nørb don't do checked baggage, boyee.
T Lance And The Cocktails, “Abba-Dabba-Do Dance” (Telstar)
Le Kid Et Les Marinellis, “T’es Pas Ici” (Telephone Explosion)
The Underthings, “Shake Me Just a Little Bit More” (Vanna-Tee)
Wheels On Fire, “Bad Lie” (Trouble In Mind)
The Strike, “Take Action” (Johann's Face)
Mojomatics, “Another Cheat on Me” (Douchemaster)
Beat Beat, “Without You” (Milk Chocolate/Bachelor)
Gee Cees, “Buzz Saw” (Crest)
Nervous Eaters, “Loretta” (Penniman)
Lama, “Raha” (Johanna)
Von Zippers, “Monkey on You” (Estrus)
Barreracudas, “New York Honeys” (Douchemaster)
Professionals, “1-2-3” (Virgin)
Nomads, “Primordial Ooze” (Sympathy For The Record Industry)
Perfect Fits, “Radio Transmitter” (Douchemaster)
Rantouls, “Little Bit of This” (Chocolate Covered)
Ramma Lamma, “Tiger Don’t Change Its Stripes” (Certified P.R.)
Preston Epps, “Bongo Rock” (Original)
This merry romp starts off with the musical genius of T. Lance & The Cocktails, “T. Lance” actually being Todd from Telstar Records, which explains how they got signed. This record came out in the mid-to-late 90's and is a cover of an even more obscure 60's band called The Tradewinds. Tim Yohannan loved this song, I shit thee not. “T'es Pas Ici” is probably my favorite a-side of 2010, for whatever that's worth, and I assume Le Kid is French, although it'd be cooler if he was Belgian, like Plastic What's-His-Fuck. I played “Shake Me Just A Little Bit More” at a Milwaukee club between bands and people were standing around the turntable with their heads on a swivel trying to read the artist off of the label as the disc played. The Underthings are/were Andy from the Little Killers' next gig; I should have glued shit all over the label to make it unreadable a la Mad Mike. Trouble In Mind puts out some good shit, and “Bad Lie” by Wheels of Fire is a gleaming example of this. Sounds like 1971 AM radio crossed with the immediate now. I dig it. Everybody oughtta know and love The Strike – Twin Cities mid-90's Mod – and this is their first and best record.
The earlier Mojomatics stuff is okay kinda swampy/bluesy racket, but their more recent stuff like “Another Cheat On Me” is absolute freakin' genius. Beat Beat are Austrian and not to be confused with the Beat, who were from L.A., or the Other Beat, who were from England, or Beat Beat Beat, who are from Atlanta, or even the Midwest Beat, for that matter. Their really recent stuff takes a bit more of a powerpop slant on things, but this early pounder from a couple years ago is likely never to be equaled. Now that I think of it, Beat Beat were one of the bands on the bill the night I played that Underthings 45. Go figure. The Gee Cees were really Glen Campbell; if you're old like me you remember his TV show from the early 70's and his huge pop-country ballads like “Gentle On My Mind,” “Rhinestone Cowboy” and “Wichita Lineman.” He played on a few Monkees records, toured with the Beach Boys and was kind of a mainstream big deal, which is why the rockin'-ness of this 1961 gem is kinda noteworthy. My copy says the song is called “Buzz Saw,” but there are also copies that say “Buzz Saw Twist;” if you want to know which came first and why there are two different titles, you can go hunt up that info yourself 'cause I haven't a clue. I think “Loretta” is my second-favorite Nervous Eaters song ((after “Get Stuffed” but before “Just Head”)) because I absolutely love the line “when I talk to Loretta, she makes me feel like number – ONE TWO THREE FOUR FIVE SIX SEVEN EIGHT!!!” and dig the blatantly Velvet Undergroundy guitar work. This recording dates back to 1976, but this actual record is a 2000 reissue in case I get shanked in Highland Park and someone cops my singles.
Finnish punk was the shit for about a month in late '82, and I picked up this Lama 45 thru a swap with a Finnish pen-pal when I was seventeen. “Raha” means “money,” or so they tell me. Not sure why they don't have partitions between their toilets in Suomi. The Von Zippers were an awesome Canadian band of the late 90's/early 2000 who never seemed to get their due, whatever said due might have been. I was about ready to beat my girlfriend-at-the-time's head in with a brick when she wouldn't stop flirting with the drummer in 2000, but Rock beats Brick any day of the week. The Barreracudas are a current band and both their 45s ((of which I am aware)) rawk; this is their first and I think it's from 2009. The Professionals were Steve Jones & Paul Cook from the Sex Pistols; I played a different Professionals record on an earlier podcast years ago, and I botched up their names so many times that I felt compelled to play yet more Professionals so I could get their names right. As best I know, Steve Jones wrote or co-wrote this song – dba “Second To None” – for the Avengers when he was producing them, then altered it a bit and recorded it as “1-2-3” with the Professionals. Great record; used to have the poster sleeve up on my wall when I originally bought this record back in 1980.
Everybody probably remembers the Nomads as being perhaps the quintessential Sympathy band back in the 90's ((or at least a quite compelling argument for the continued existence of Sweden)); I wouldn't say that every song they recorded was a meatball of Jupiterian quality, but there is no denying “Primordial Ooze” frickin' RAWKS, my good man. “Radio Transmitter” is by the Perfect Fits, and is perfect, which fits. It's a couple years old, and another swell Douchemaster product. The Rantouls are today's undisputed Kings O' Bubblegum ((or is it “Buddah-core?”)), this 45 came out in '09, I think, and it's a cover of an appropriately chewy 1968 bubblegum nugget by the Waterproof Tinkertoy. Gavin from the Fevers is in the Rantouls, so calibrate your equipment accordingly. “Tiger Don't Change Its Stripes” is Ramma Lamma at their Muddiest; even the EP cover is a semi-swipe of the “Tiger Feet” sleeve so I think dancing boys are the obvious next step.
We conclude today's service with the classic “Bongo Rock” by Preston Epps, which is arguably the first surf record ever, although I'm not sure who'd bother to argue that.
– Rev. Nørb