Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Outtakes of the Gods: Kowabunga!!!

Okay, here's a tune that started life as a Flo Mos rehearsal jam version of The Byrds' "Eight Miles High," i.e. a self-consciously tongue in cheek take on the whole raga-rock thing, until one day we realized it was actually...a surf instrumental.

We ultimately called it "Barb Wire Beach."

The version in the clip above was recorded by a later incarnation of the band, after Andy (who co-wrote it with Gerry, if memory serves) had departed, around the same time and under the same circumstances as "Spin Cycle" (see the previous Outtakes of the Gods for more info). We used to play it live from time to time, on those rare occasions we were entreated to do an encore.

It's pretty cool, I think, in a Raybeats kind of way, although if you were wondering why my deliberately chintzy fake Farfisa organ work sounds a little, uh, atonal or Chinese, it's because whatever keyboard preset I was using on the primitive synth we employed for the session had some kind of weird harmonic overtone that nobody noticed until long after the whole thing was in the can. All these years later I still haven't decided whether it sounds kind of interesting or really annoying,

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Songs I Wish We'd Covered (An Occasional Series)

Buffalo Springfield. "Baby Don't Scold Me." In stereo, as nature intended.

This was on the original pressing of the Springfield's 1966 debut LP; when "For What It's Worth" went Top 10, ATCO hurriedly re-pressed the album with the hit in its place. The mp3 is from a vinyl transfer; the stereo mix, alas, has never been on CD (the version that finally surfaced on the Springfield box set a few years ago is the mono). I think the stereo is a lot more vivid, but on the other hand, having it in two-channel means you can really hear how sloppy the production is.

I'd loved the song (one of Stephen Stills' best, and kind of proto-power pop, I think) since forever, and I actually tried to interest the guys in working it up fairly early on. Unfortunately, the only copy I had of it was a wobbly old cassette a friend had taped for me in the early 70s, the woeful sound quality of which may have been why I was ultimately unsuccessful in pitching the tune. In any case, we wound up covering "Go and Say Goodbye" instead, which was okay by me, obviously.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Je Dois Etre Dans L'Amour

Things have been slow around here due to my dealing with an ailing mom, but the Flo Mos CD project is continuing apace. Basically, the track listing is all but complete and I await only the recovery of one rare tape before finalizing it.

In the meantime, Andy mocked up this fabulous cover for the live album we never made and I thought I'd share. I love the import logo.

The mp3 is us at the Other End in October of '82; the sound is just okay, but how many bands can you think of that were doing Rutles covers back then?