Welcome to the modern day version of “Name That Tune.” Except in this day and age, it’s “Name that Sample”. I find myself getting quite obsessed with trying to figure out the classic tracks these fancy new electronic artists are layering into their music. It’s a fun game I like to play with myself and the debut album from Kamtin Mohager’s Chain Gang of 1974, called White Guts, has given me lots of good fodder to keep me busy this summer. I’m very smitten with this album and his clear obsession for 70s/80s music that is prevalently sprinkled throughout the record. Listening to it is both a treasure hunt and a flashback. It’s just good fun up, down and all around.
So now I bring my fun mind game to you with The OCMD’s Name That Sample contest for the track “Stop”. The first reader to correctly name the artist and song that Mohager is sampling in this track will win this free Chain Gang of 1974 t-shirt. Go!
The OCMD has been planning this post for some time, but as of May 13, it became top priority. On May 13th at the Verdi Club, OCMD’s @indierockgirl, Julie, was treated to a surprise birthday party with live music provided by her local favorite Ty Segall. While shredding 2 guitar strings to pieces, Ty finished the set with a pogo-inducing cover of T.Rex’s “20th Century Boy”, and our new series was born: UNDER THE INFLUENCE. In this first installment we recognize the profound influence of T. Rex.
Marc Bolan founded Tyrannosaurus Rex in 1967 and released 4 essential albums before shortening the name to T. Rex, and making 8 more records including the most infamous, Electric Warrior, which held his biggest hit “Get it On (Bang a Gong)”. With a bit of glitter under his eyes and a deep sense of his feminine side, he single-handedly created glam rock- the first in a long line of androgynous rock idols (Bowie, Lou Reed, New York Dolls, and many more to come…). Tragically he died 2 weeks before his 30th birthday when his girlfriend drove his purple Mini into a tree less than a mile from his home.
Bands have been doing covers of Bolan’s work ever since (Big Star, Replacements, Shins, Yo La Tengo, Flaming Lips, Blondie, the Melvins, KMFDM, Elf Power, Teenage Fanclub, Bauhaus…..). But in recent years the first true echos of Bolan’s sound came via Devendra Banhart. His warbly singing, guitar style and dedication to freak folk revival are clearly influenced by T. Rex (as much as he denies it).
Perhaps the most blatant rip off goes to Chicago’s excellent Smith Westerns -just check out “Girl in Love”. These kids are way too young to know T. Rex this well, yet they have the glam looks and Electric Warrior sound to truly honor the musical genius.
If you don’t own some of Bolan’s work, get to it. I know there is a lot of music out there and many of these recordings need a few listens to reveal themselves, but do yourself a favor, make time! Long live T. Rex, RIP Marc.
The perfect album for Mother’s Day. The perfect song. Portland-based Nick Jaina’s newly released album, A Bird in The Opera House, is a complex, lush and beautiful endeavor worthy of attention. His sound evokes a richer, folkier Elliott Smith. Kind of a contradiction, I know. But listen and see for yourself. It’s simple and complex all at the same time. Each listen opening up new layers and textures. His band alone is quite impressive with a strings section, clarinet, trumpet, steel guitar, banjo. No wonder it sounds so good. Happy Mother’s Day.
San Francisco has a new artist in residence and his name is Banksy. The notoriously reclusive British street artist has hit SF with at least six known locations of his signature graffiti art, which are nicely documented in this video from the Warholian. The artist has garnered quite a following and his reclusive mystic only adds to the allure and value. Banksy does not sell photos of his street graffiti but industrious art auctioneers have been known to attempt to sell his street art on location and leave the problem of its removal in the hands of the winning bidder. Let’s hope our installation survives.
LA-based, Holloys, have released a new limited edition split 7 inch with Dengue Fever featuring cover art by the visual artist and singer, Jim Brown. The first in a series of three split singles, each will feature a painting by Jim Brown. Collect all three to reveal the full artwork.
San Francisco synth rockers, Maus Haus, are poised to break out. They’re already climbing the charts at CMJ and now they’re set to kick off this year’s Noise Pop festival at The Mezzanine with the likes of My First Earthquake, !!! and Sugar & Gold. The band will be unleashing their new 7 inch the same night (that sounds kind of perverted, doesn’t it?) featuring the tracks “Winter” and “Zig Zag”. Consider yourself informed.