Sunday, January 02, 2005


Download: DOROTHY LOVE COATES "There's A God Somewhere"
Download: JAKE HOLMES "It's Always Somewhere Else"
Download: SHOP ASSISTANTS "Somewhere In China"
Download: PRISONERS "Somewhere"

Here are a few themed tunes at once, with apologies to fluxblog (though, like any other geek, I made mix tapes with name-kinda/ every kinda theme back as early as I can remember.) Tonight I was searching for a totally different song with "somewhere" in the title and couldn't find it, so here's these four instead. I also have Sun Ra's take on "Somewhere over the Rainbow," the song "Somewhere" on Zen Arcade, and Six Organ's amazing "Somewhere Between" handy, but I'm still trying to stick to 'rare' things, much as my definition of 'rare' is fairly loose. Songs with "somewhere" in the title tend to be reflective, hence perhaps they are well-suited to the new year? Let's pretend so.

Dorothy Love Coates was a gospel singer prominent in the late '50s/ early '60s who may not have been too technically talented but she could shout her way through any song and leave you breathless just from listening. This song is totally punk rock.

Jake Holmes is a groovy singer-songer from the late '60s best known for having "Dazed & Confused" stolen from him, although clearly he should be known for his music too, even though he wrote the Army's "Be All You Can Be" jingle. This song is typically compared to something off of Forever Changes.

Scottish combo the Shop Assistants are one of my favorite ever bands. This song is taken off their second 7" EP, the one with "Safety Net" on it, released in1985 on the 53rd & 3rd label (I always loved that this group of fresh-faced pop people in Scotland -- Stephen Pastel, Sandy McLean & Dave Keegan -- named their label for the Ramones' ode to male hustling). "China" is among their most restrained / whispy tunes; not everything they did was like this -- dude, that'd be like a cake made only out of super delicate icing or something.

The Prisoners were garage rockers from the early '80s in Chatham, and they recorded what might be the best-ever tribute to another band in "Here Come The Misunderstood," a song you must track down (I first heard it on the 1985 Pink Dust LP Revenge of the Prisoners and you're more likely to find it on the Big Beat CD reissue of the original LP it appeared on in the UK, WISERMISERDEMELZA). Trouser Press rightly pinned them as being somewhere between the Lyres and the Headcoats. This is not their very best song, but it's the one that adheres to the theme here, so, you'll eat your peas and like it!

PS: The only best-of 2004 list you need to read is right here.
I'm not posting mine since it'll be up on the VOICE site soon enough and my new year's resolution is to stop being so fricking Rain Man with all the lists, already.


Blogger Ingy said...

Zowie, the Shop Assistants song is just lovely!

5:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, Mike. I've been searching off and on for about 10 years for information on a band featured on the "Soluble Fish" CD. They were called Happy Cat and their song was "We Fuck You Like Superman". Just wondering who they were, if they ever made any other recordings, what they're doing today, etc. If you have no idea, no big deal. Great CD, by the way.

Jason Cooley

9:02 PM  
Blogger Mike McGonigal said...

You don't gimme your email so I shall write you back here and hope you see it: Happy Cat = Bill Berger, from Uncle Wiggly. Also he was in Smack Dab for awhile, plus he made a solo album called like World of Yadoosh or something on Dark Beloved Cloud a few years ago.

The song title was misspelled by Homestead (they also misspelled my name and I put it all together, hah!) -- supposed to be "Supermen". Glad you liked it! It's probably the best song on there.

9:18 PM  
Blogger Tim Matheny said...

Ever heard Jason and the Scorchers' "Somewhere Within?" The band that made cowpunk, well, cowpunk, turns REALLY melancholy on this song from A Blazing Grace, probably their most country album. (Is it really hard to say that about an album with a 90-miles-an-hour version of "Take Me Home, Country Roads?")

3:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

man, how can you not mention 'taste of pink'? as its the classique prisoners lp

8:40 PM  
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