Tuesday, October 21, 2014

"Do You Not Hear What I Hear" Pt. 2: Your Fave & No One Else's

hpunch writes: Following a similar theme, I'd be intrigued to see a post about personally beloved albums that don't seem to grab anyone else.

He is referring to last week's post about the one record that you just cannot listen to by a favorite artist with a beloved catalogue. So running with his suggestion...

The first band that came to mind is Southern Culture On The Skids. This band out of North Carolina is a fave of mine, with records that cover heartbreaking country, revved up rock and roll, greasey garage funk, surf music and even their own brand of white trash soul.

Live, they tear the house down. But their records are just as strong. I mentioned SCOTS because they've been featured a number of times on these pages, including rave reviews of their last two, maybe three records, as well as a number of Songs Of The Day and Weekend Mixes and I can't recall there ever being any comments at all. Not even snarky ones. Complete silence.

Now this doesn't necessarily mean there are any ill-feelings towards this band, but as one friend once said to me, "There is nothing worse than indifference." Is it possible that this band I love so much has zero affect, one way or the other, with thousands of readers?

The record pictured above is all covers, with SCOTS putting their stamp on songs made famous by CCR, The Who, T.Rex, The Kinks, The Byrds and more. It's a hall of fame record. Brilliant, clever and rock solid. If you prefer something all original....

..."Liquored Up & Lacquered Down" is the way to go.

Maybe the white trash persona and the legendary live shows where they threw fried chicken into the audience gave the band a reputation that turned off serious listeners. But the antics have nothing to do with the music they make.


Aaron said...

I had no idea you were such a fan. I am too. saw them this summer in Cloverdale, CA - google it. Middle of nowhere - at an evening farmer's market, senior citizens sitting on the periphery, some with oxygen tanks. Talked to them about the New Year's eve Maxwell's show 20 years earlier when they had to quit because Rick had just gotten released from the hospital. I have pictures somewhere. Anyway, I think you're right about their live shtick and country goof-off being completely deceptive.

Ken D said...

I've never seen them live but love their albums. In addition to the ones you mentioned, "Dirt Track Date" and the live one, "Double Wide."
& since Halloween is just ahead: "Mondo Zombie Boogaloo" a fun ghoul-rock project with SCOTS, the Fleshtones and Los Straightjackets.

Agree that they remain a niche act because they're perceived as a novelty band. But they appear to be having too much fun to care...

Shriner said...

This band -- is awesome! Even Weird Al thinks so (one of his originals on his latest album is a pastiche of SCOTS songs -- which surprised the hell out of me when I first hear that album...)

Yes, almost nobody knows this band, but they should!

That covers album is the shit, though. Every track has a killer SCOTS spin on it that takes it beyond novelty.

buzzbabyjesus said...

SCOTS Have been rockin' a long time. They are friends of mine. In 1987-8, I had a popular band in Wilmington, North Carolina, named The Crack. SCOTS were the only band we opened for.
We used to do things like set up all my living room furniture on stage as if we were rehearsing at my house. We'd let friends sit on the couch and read magazines, hanging out. More than once I ordered a pizza from the stage. We liked to think SCOTS got some of those antics from us.
On their 1991 "Too Much Pork For Just One Fork" Roy Lee Critters is credited on drip pan. He toured with them awhile and is a former Crack member. We broke up when I moved to New York in August 1988.
We played a reunion show in 2012. For that I assembled this promo announcing our return. The audio is an actual radio spot for one of our shows back in the day.


M_Sharp said...

Another great band with a sense of humor, not unlike The Skeletons and The Morells. Always great live.

Ben Vaughn has been a favorite for years, mainly because I could see the Ben Vaughn Combo several times a month in Philly before he made it "big" with TV soundtrack work. He usually does a few shows when he's home for the holidays.

Ben's "Rambler '65" album should go down in rock 'n roll history. Every song was recorded in the back seat of a '65 Rambler; Ben played every instrument except sitar. It sounds as good as any studio album, great pop/rock tunes. Rhino even released a VHS of it.

Almost all of Ben's albums, SCOTS too, fit this post. It seems like great bands with a sense of humor aren't popular.

Squints said...

Abashed that it took me until 2005 to put a toe into the SCOTS swamp water. These are all just great, great records.

Anonymous said...

For me it's definitely the image. I had SCOTS pegged in the Junior Brown/Mojo Nixon/Reverend Heat vein - probably great live, but I never heard them played on the radio or in a store and didn't feel like taking a chance on an album. You've rectified that, Sal.

I've always been bemused that lovers of pop music haven't lifted a bunch of New Zealand/Australian bands from their humble fan bases - the chills, able tasmans, stereo bus (one of the many offshoots of the jean paul sartre experience), died pretty and the go-betweens. but we all have bands that we thought deserved wider recognition.

Anonymous said...

Slade-Nobody's Fool
Stepping out of their glam clothing and dabbling in various musical styles. This is a personal classic album. I've yet to meet anyone else who agrees

Anonymous said...

Gerry Rafferty- Can I Have My Money Back?
Most friends dismiss Rafferty while pointing towards Baker Street. Hard to argue that pointing.
But this earlier album is a masterpiece.

Jeff Matthews said...

Ike Reilly: Salesmen and Racists

Chris Schmid said...

I saw this band Face To Face open for the Alarm back in the day. Thought they were good and bought the cd the next day. I still play it on a semi-regular basis to this day and my wife often has it in her rotation. There isn't another person I can think of that has even heard of them. The album was One Big Day. Earth shaking? nope, nut a very enjoyable listen if you dig that acoustic guitar rocking chick kind of thing.

Anonymous said...

The Finn Brothers- Everyone Is Here.
When I first heard this album ( a month prior to the release date) I thought it was going to blow everyone away. I thought it was the strongest work from 2 herculean songwriters. The production was equal to the writing and playing. Jon Brion is all over it, as well as other revered session men.
I heard hits, I heard material that would have the scribes reaching for the thesaurus, I saw it listed on year end best-ofs.
It came out to no fanfare, not fair to the fans.
I heard it sold peanuts, and this is before peanuts was considered decent numbers.
Critics yawned. It was more confusing to me than Terrence Malick's Tree Of Life.
When I listen nowI, which is quite often, I still think it's masterful.

Troy said...

Two come to mind:

First, Canadian band Blue Rodeo is huge in Canada, and virtually ignored in the US. I don't get it. I think they are phenomenal. I'm still blown away by 'The Things We Left Behind' from a few years ago, a sprawling double album - - yes, recorded specifically to be experienced on LP, but still amazing on CD. I wish more people knew about and appreciated this band.

The other is a Chicago-based musician that I wrote about here a few years ago on a similar post. His name is Michael McDermott and when I wrote about him back then, several people checked out video clips on YouTube and responded with a collective "meh". I still don't get that either. His last album 'Hit Me Back' was terrific, and he currently has a Kickstarter effort underway (already 100%+ funded) to raise money to record a new solo album and an album with his side project band, The Westies. I still hope more people 'get him' because he deserves it.

Joe said...

Thanks for this post. I saw SCOTS in a small club 20 years ago and was blown away by the show. Great musicians and amazing performances.

Anonymous said...

Saw them at the late great Maxwell's in Hoboken; awesome. The goof is part of their persona, and that guy is a maestro on guitar.