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Jay Presents: A Quick One

April 19, 2010

…or two. This week, Jay spins records by The Rolling Stones (12×5, ABKCO, 1964) and those acid-fueled (folk)rockers who put the jug back in juggernaut, the 13th floor Elevators (The Psychedlic Sounds of the Thirteenth Floor Elevators, Sunspots, 1966 ). The theme? Kiss-off songs. Why? Both albums have at least one great one. Read on, Tweed on, right on. And so on….*

“You’re gonna miss me, pretty baby….”

God bless the Sixties and its pointed little head. Only in this decade–or maybe *this* decade–would you find a quirky folk-rock outfit so dependent on a non-traditional, un-rock-sounding instrument. Yes, the 13th Floor Elevators‘ music features the prominent, mostly awesome sound of the electric…jug. Truly an acid-rock jug band, they were capable of some meandering nonsense at times, but they also put out several rocking psyche tunes like the driving kiss-off of “You’re Gonna Miss Me,” featured in music-geek love story High Fidelity. This is trippy stuff from before when “trippy” became cliche.

Recommended:
You’re Gonna Miss Me
“Splash 1 (Now I’m Home)”
“Reverberation”

Not so much:
“Fire Engine”

“I used to love her, but it’s all over now….”

This album catches The Rolling Stones just a bit before they started calling themselves The Worlds Greatest Rock ‘n’ Roll Band. This means that they sound a lot like their influences (Chuck Berry, pick a blues legend, name an R&B song). This also means you get an interesting snapshot of a band on the rise, doing the music that inspired them to make music, as they morph into what is definitely one of the world’s greatest rock bands, then and now**. Before being bad-boys became a full-time job for most of the personnel. Except for Charlie Watts. Can’t seem to pin a thing on him).

Soul, R&B, blues, near-country. Perfect for a rave up, a punch up, and the occasional slow-dance.

Recommended:
“Around and Around” Jay: excellent cover tune choice that plays to their strengths
It’s All Over Now
“2120 South Michigan Avenue”
“Congratulations”

Not so much:
“Under the Boardwalk” Jay: Poor cover tune choice; the background singing is especially bad, unlike that in “It’s All Over Now.”

* Music history buffs will take note of the striking differences between what the Stones were doing over in Britain and what the Elevator gang was cooking up on the U.S. music scene within just two years. Not that either band or culture (or album) are taken to be representative. It’s just interesting to hear how much the British Invasion bands loved American blues, soul, and rock.

** I will forever hate myself for not taking my Stones-freak father to see them when they played at Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY a few years ago. A good friend and long-time fan went and, despite bad seats, proclaimed them to still be in fine form. Too bad ole Keef just told Rolling Stone that there are no tour plans in place at present. I’d correct my mistake. That’s a promise, Dad.

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