Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The New Sell Out

Do you remember this?

Swag's time in the spotlight was all too fleeting, not to mention that said spotlight never really got above 25 watts, anyhow.

Here was a power pop "supergroup" consisting of members, official or honorary, of Cheap Trick, Wilco, The Mavericks, and Sixpence None The Richer, as well as Doug Powell, Todd Rundgren (who overdubbed Trick bassist Tom Petersson's bass parts for a re-release when Cheap Trick's management decided to give a shit and demand all Cheap Trick memorabilia be removed from the album cover, as well as any of Petersson's involvement), Bill Lloyd, and producer Brad Jones.

That was from something I posted in 2011. You can read all of that post HERE.

There was one small detail from that post that caught the eye of reader Cryptique.

I've been obsessed ever since, especially knowing they recorded a cover of The Who's "Early Morning Cold Taxi" for a still unreleased tribute.  (Please! Find that for me.)

Well, Mr Cryptique, you've outdone yourself.

Here's what I found in my in-box:

Put together 12 years ago and gathering cobwebs ever since, The New Sell Out is finally out! Dedicated to Rick McBrien, the soul of Futureman. Thanks to every contributing artist and everyone who worked on this! Full liner notes and artwork included in download.

P.S. Like the original, these tracks connect with each other. For best results, please burn a -gapless- cd!


released 28 May 2012

The New Sell Out – Futureman Records 

Reading like a power pop fan's wet dream with performances by Brendan Benson, The Shazam, Mitch Easter, The Grip Weeds, and of course SWAG, this long lost tribute to my favorite record by The Who finally sees the light of day.


Monday – Mike Giblin

1. Armenia City In The Sky - Paranoid Lovesick

Whoopie - Mike Giblin

2. Heinz Baked Beans - The Andersons

More Music – Cockeyed Ghost

3. Mary Anne With The Shaky Hands - The Phenomenal Cats

Premier Drums – Barely Pink

Bah Bah – Ed James

4. Odorono- The Atomic Numbers

Smooth Sailing - Brendan Benson

5. Tattoo - The Jigsaw Seen

Church of Your Choice - Linus Of Hollywood

6. Our Love Was - Splitsville

Big L - Ed James

Rotosound Strings - Mitch Easter

7. I Can See For Miles - The Shazam

Charles Atlas - John P. Strohm

8. I Can't Reach You - Chris von Sneidern

9. Medac - Brendan Benson

10. Relax - Cloud Eleven

Rotosound Strings (demo) - The Jellybricks

11. Silas Stingy - Zumpano

12. Sunrise - Willie Wisely

13. Rael - Myracle Brah

Top Gear - Fundaro & Moll

14 Commercial Break

Pt 2. Welcome - Rodney Bingenheimer

Radio London - The Rubinoos

Pro-Stripe - The Breetles

Great Shakes - The Magic Christians

15. Glittering Girl - The Flashing Lights

16. Commercial Break

Radio London - Double Naught Spies

Mullet Man - P. Hux

Gino's Hair Cappucino - DM3

17. Melancholia - The Grip Weeds

18. Commercial Break

Coke - Fundaro & Moll

Dr. Giggle's Ginsing Root - Devin Hill

Radio London - Roger McGuinn

John Mason - The Jellybricks

19. Jaguar - Jim Babjak's Buzzed Meg

20. Commercial Break

Radio London - The Masticators

Dizzy Mouse - The Masticators

Spaz Cola - Ed James

Radio London - The Merrymakers

21. Someone's Coming - The Pearlfishers

22. Commercial Break

Radio London - Bobby Sutliff

Coke - The Anderson Council

Yellow Pilsner - John McMullen

Radio London - The Chevelles

23. Early Morning, Cold Taxi - SWAG

24. Commercial Break

Radio London - Bingo Durango

Jock-A-Lot - The Popdudes

Top Popsicles - crash into june

Great Shakes - The Absolute Zeros

Radio London - Heavy Blinkers

25. Glow Girl - The Vandalias

Track Records - R. Stevie Moore

26. Bonus Track: Doctor, Doctor – Brendan Benson

Words fail me.

Thank you Cryptique and thank you Futureman Records.

Now go buy it HERE for a paltry sum of money, $7.


Jeff Matthews said...

Listening to it now and really enjoying. I'm a sucker for these sorts of tribute/theme/covers albums but I'm not sure I understand why. Because they never outdo the original, of course (are there any examples to the contrary?). Best I can come up with is my geek fascination with knowing that musicians I dig revere the same music I do. Sal, others, your thoughts?

Sal Nunziato said...

I think cover versions are an attraction because half the work is already done for you. You basically know what you're getting. But,there is great excitement in not knowing how you'e going to get it.

It's rare when a cover is better than an original. My fascination is a bit like what your saying, Jeff. When Todd Rundgren covers the Beach Boys or the Beatles, it's this great mix of what I love ahout all involved.

Bad examples are those Mojo discs, like the recent Pet Sounds redo. Just horrible misinterpretations by artists who have no clue. I don't doubt for a minute every artist on this "Sell Out" tribute LOVES The Who.

jeff k said...

I'm just loving the fact that so many of my indie powerpop favorites are included: Mike Giblin is great as are the Vandalias and the Grip Weeds, and Splitsville, whose best of has been in regular rotation for two years, and Sal, I think I sent you some Willie Wisely cuts a month or so ago. He's terrific, funny as hell, too. Myracle Brah, Pearlfishers, the Rubinoos, Rodney Bingenheimer (the great DJ). Hell, these guys along with the others can cover Looking Glass's Greatest Hits and I'd be happy.

jeff k said...

and just to respond to Jeff, to me a cover works most often when it's a daringly different take and yet still captures the spirit of the song. Two immediately come to mind: Stevie Wonder's joyous version (as it should be) of "For Once in My Life" and Joey Ramone's "What a Wonderful World." Until, Joey's version I'd never heard a single song ever recorded by Armstrong where I didn't prefer his take.

Jeff Matthews said...

I think we could name many examples where an individual cover song is better than the original, even if it's uncommon. My comment was specifically referring to a cover version of an entire ALBUM. Obviously, we know that the "redo" of, say, London Calling can't possibly live up to the original, so why do we fall for these? Same applies to tribute albums to an individual artist - e.g. Chimes of Freedom or the Buddy Holly one, most recently. I think Sal has it right - there's something magical when musician's we love love the same music we do.

jeff k said...

oh, gotcha. The one that comes to mind there was the smithereens note for note cover of Meet the Beatles. What was the point?

phenomcats said...

Great comments guys! Thanks so much for the post and the interest. Obviously I'm a bit biased (as I'm the one that put this together) but I'm sure hoping every ounce of this shows our total love for The Who Sell Out! And here comes the biased part...I honestly think some of these versions come VERY CLOSE to equaling the originals. (<- I so tempered that comment, I feel 20% more strongly than that, haha) It feels very good that this is finally out in ANY form, it needed to be heard!! And I totally agree about the Mojo discs, if we're lucky there might be one or two tracks worth listening to twice. The plus here for US is that one of your own(ME!)hand picked every band here and we all have amazing taste!

phenomcats said...

ironically, I need to correct the "personally hand picked" bit as I realized afterwards Chris Richards is the one who delivered SWAG! Thanks Chris!!

cryptique said...

cryptique here. Glad to be of service. A friend and fellow Swag (& Who) fan pointed me to this compilation, and I was doing a little research on it when I turned up your previous post.

I bought Swag's album when it came out in '01 -- probably due to the Wilco connection, and/or because it was featured on the NotLame site -- and it's been among my favorites ever since. Having seen your request to find this previously lost song, I knew I had to pass the news on to a fellow fan.

I'm digging your site ... I'll have to start working my way through your archives.

Tom, a.k.a. cryptique

Peudent OORU said...

just heard this album, and it is very worthy of what is the band's best record. I really like the "extra" ads, very authentic and perfectly fitting in with the rest. A superb job all round. Congrats to everyone involved.