Friday, November 13, 2009

VA - Psychedelic States - Wisconsin In The 60's (2008)

Psychedelic States series, which collects vintage '60s garage rock singles on a regional, state-by-state basis, affords an utterly fascinating look into a time in the U.S. when every basement and garage seemed to have a band rehearsing in it, the visible (and audible) explosion of a true suburban folk movement. Most of the rare and regional singles included in these compilations are badly recorded, poorly performed, and clichéd and derivative at almost every level, which, of course, is probably why they're so prized by collectors. This volume, the 17th in the series, spotlights the raw garage bands of Wisconsin, and like the previous Psychedelic States volumes, it's heavy on spirit and energy but runs pretty low on originality (and even lower on recorded sound quality). Nothing collected here changed the face of pop music one iota, even in the home state, but a few of these cuts are at least interesting, including the Delcords' "I Got Wise" from 1966, which is an intriguing mix of the surf and British Invasion styles; the crude but infectious "Hey Ho" by the Blue Boys, also from 1966; the almost-but-not-quite commercial "It's So Hard" from 1965 by the Road Runners; the pretty "Take It from Me" from 1968 by the No Names; and the Byrds-like "You and I" from 1967 by the Sandmen. Even being generous, nothing gathered here could be deemed essential outside of the historical phenomenon of the '60s garage band explosion, which is often more fun to ponder than actually listen to when all is said and done. That Gear Fab is making this stuff available is marvelous, though, not so much because a perfect lost rock gem might turn up one day on one of these collections (it doesn't seem likely), but because this is really the sound of suburban America singing circa 1965-1967. It's folk music of a sort, the voice of a national community that had no idea it was a community. It didn't matter if you were a garage band in Arkansas or Wisconsin, Boston or San Diego. Come Saturday night you plugged in, turned up, and pretended it was Shea Stadium. It may have been history on a very small stage, but it was history, and it rattled plenty of windowpanes.

1 I Don't Care Gorde's Horde 2:33 
2 Can't Seem to Come Down Mother's Worry 2:54
3 I Got Wise Delcords 2:27
4 Next 21st of May Syndicate 3:02
5 Love Captured Me Pynk Peach Mob 1:44
6 Dance Woman Shags 2:50
7 World Full of Dreams Sandmen 2:07
8 Hey Ho Blue Boys 2:28
9 Gonna Miss Me Zoo 2:07
10 Fuzzy Orbits 2:02
11 Love Quest 3:56
12 Don't Sell Yourself Bacardis 2:18
13 I've Gotta Shout Dynasty 2:26
14 My Baby Left Me Rubber Band 2:43
15 Never Sad Sunstone Lollypop 2:40
16 Hitchhike Those Lil Ole Music ... 1:49
17 Realities in Life Journeymen 1:56
18 Take It from Me No Names 2:45
19 Funky Good Mother's Worry 2:48
20 No Tears Pynk Peach Mob 2:07
21 Cause I Love You Shags 2:44
22 It's So Hard Road Runners 2:26
23 Sometimes Zoo 2:14
24 I'm So Lonely Voyagers 3:05
25 Mood for Hurt Jack & The Beanstalks 2:39
26 I Know Blue Boys 2:49
27 This Time Bacardis 2:29
28 The Last Days Quest 2:35
29 Today, Tomorrow Caliphs 2:06
30 You and I Sandmen 1:49
31 Away Voyagers 4:42

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