Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Where do you intend to go?

GARY HIGGINS "Thicker Than A Smokey"
The sun is sunning and the blooms are blooming and Spring has totally sprung out here in the Pac NW... meanwhile tomorrow I officially enter MIDDLE AGE, as, barring unforeseen circumstances, I will turn 37. Thank goodness the ideal soundtrack to such a groovy yet mildly melancholy scene arrived in the post yesterday: the fabulous-sounding reissue of the 1973 LP Red Hash by Gary Higgins, due in July on Drag City. Maybe I'll even write about it at someplace other than an e-commerce site... we'll see. Nothing against e-commerce, now--that's how I've made my living for the most part, for like 7 years. Damn, that's a long-ass time! (Birthdays make me all reflective and shit.)

Interesting developments are in the works for a record release party -- I'd say more but I've been sworn to secrecy by the producer of this shebang, the great Zach Cowie, who called every single Gary Higgins in the Connecticut phonebook to find the guy and see about reissuing the album! How rad is that? You know there're more than three... [Breaking news -- Zach writes for a minor correction: for the record, i WROTE to every gary higgins i could find and talked to just about every psych-collecting-weirdo around the globe!...hehe] Thanks to Zach for permission to post this tune, which many will recognize from its being covered by Ben Chasny on tour and on the last Six Organs record (and how retarded do I feel for not calling it out in my review for AMZN)? Ohh well, I'd never heard it before.

One of our favorite obsurantismophiles, Richie from OP, says this on AMG about the brother: Little is known about Gary Higgins, who released one rare album in 1973, Red Hash, on the small Nufusmoon label. While the record was generally in tune with the mellow singer/songwriter style of the early '70s, it was somewhat more distraught and eccentric in its manner than most such efforts, with an accent on melodies and vocals that were sad without sinking into gloom. It's been reported that Higgins was in prison in Connecticut in the early '70s, though it's not certain whether he might have been in or out of jail at the time the LP was recorded.

PS: I'm guessing dude was NOT in jail when the album was recorded (he did a "two-year, nine-month sentence for possession of marijuana" according to Pitchfork).


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just cannot say enough great things about your blog. it's absolutely amazing. if you are ever in atlanta and want to do a guest stint on a college radio show, let me know. since you seem to be some kind of music guru, do you know much about a band called tea set? i've managed to track down two tracks from them and both are amazing, but other than that i can find out nothing about them.

4:58 PM  
Blogger Mike McGonigal said...

Thanks man! That means a lot since I just started this thing in lieu of making mixtapes for friends...

Hah. It really got going from laziness! I just might be in your part of town next Spring on a book tour, if things go as planned. Hopefully you'll still have a show there/ then?

Say hello to the little five points for me.

5:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll be here for another year. my e-mail address is dot-88@excite.com. just give me a little heads up whenever you can come up. Your online mixtapes are great, i love the great mix of early blues with punk and folk. it's all great. thanks again.

11:14 AM  
Blogger Andrew Beaujon said...

Hey Mike, thanks for posting this. I'm really enjoying your blog. I thought you might be interested to know that my uncle, Dave Beaujon, played bass on this album; he and Gary were in a band together for years. Dave's pretty amused by the album being released lo these many years later, and the reunited band is going to play a show at Tonic on July 23. They'll be on FMU the next day.

4:08 AM  

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