Stew, Paper Garden, Naked Raygun, Laxmikant Pyarelal

Terribly rude to waiters,
Overtips like Sinatra,
Quite fond of Stiv Bators,
She drops acid and goes to the opera,
Her cat has a personal chef
Her dog wears a dead mink sweater
Her rabbit won't pose for Hef
She wears leather, whatever, the weather

Stew - Giselle

A few weeks ago I caught wind of the Negro Problem and bought their Welcome Black album from the local wimped-out record store / head shop combination. It's totally amazing, and I needed more, so I got Post-Minstrel Syndrome and Stew's The Naked Dutch Painter. Stew is the mastermind behind everything the Negro Problem does, give or take; he's one of those idiosyncratic West Coasters who flex their creative opinions lucidly in interviews and who think of music as a collaborative snapshot of all its elements: songwriting, instrumentals, lyrics, production. His ameliorative synthesist style works really well on all of the albums he made and there's certainly no shortage of his loving pop craftmanship.

Let me get something straight: I grew up listening to They Might Be Giants, from age 5 to 13. My only real musical exposure until I was 13 was them, extreme classical obviouses (Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner), and Smashmouth. Oh shit, right? Well, it was a perfect soundtrack to early childhood, and although I see TMBG as a contrived, whiney ironic joke now, I can still respect their songwriting ability. That's to say, if you look past the godawful vocals and Whoa Silly! sound effects, they could really write a good song. Stew's music does the same for me, but without all of the terrible aspects, and without coming across as maladroit or pretentious.

Anyway, try the track, it's great.

The Paper Garden - traces of the Small Faces, obviously big chunks of the Beatles, and something playful and different. The whole album has an odd feeling of detached dissonance which feels out of place in a such a warm, energetic psychedelic pop band, but works extremely well. It could also just be that my speakers suck. I'd recommend buying the album as most of it's great, but here's the first track from Paper Garden's 1969 self-titled album.

Paper Garden - Gypsy Wine

Naked Raygun are one of my favorite bands, & I haven't heard an album or bootleg of theirs that I haven't loved, which is pretty unusual for a band's live recordings. Anyway, this version of "Coldbringer" is a little more energetic and faster than the version on Jettison, and the crowd gives it even more life (especially toward the end). I'm not sure if the album I got this from (Free Shit) is a collection of earlier live material or if it was recorded and released in 2001. It's a total adrenaline rush and if it really is from '01, they've lost nothing since they quit in '92.

Naked Raygun - Coldbringer

This one comes from Laxmikant Pyarelal's 1966 bollywood album Pyar Kiye Ja. Can't give much of an introduction for this one since I'd have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about, but suffice it to say that it's a shitload of fun. If you'd like more information on Laxmikant, read this.

Laxmikant Pyarelal - Dil Hamne De Diya


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