The Omecs on Dig the Now Sound

Dig the Now Sound (Thursdays at 10:00 pm eastern on Turn Me On, Dead Man Radio) plays standout recent garage/psych. The featured track this week is “My Mask” by The Omecs, a garage/psych band from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Normally for these posts I email back and forth over a couple of days but I’ve been corresponding with the Omecs for several months now since I first found them on Bandcamp. Their lineup has changed a little since then, but unchanged are the two principal members Luke Bonczyk on vocals and guitar and Mike McFarlane on drums. The Omecs have a great raw sounding garage groove, and I included their track “Can’t Get a Ride” on the Turn Me On, Dead Man mix of the best tracks of 2013.
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Dark Side of the Rainbow

This year is the 75th anniversary of the release of the MGM classic film The Wizard of Oz (1939). A few years ago I had a number of Wizard of Oz-related articles and I’ll be revisiting those topics throughout the year (and beyond). I though a good place to start would be the rumored connection between The Wizard of Oz and Pink Floyd’s 1973 album Dark Side of the Moon. If you properly synchronize the film and the album, as the rumor goes, a number of coincidental events occur. So many, in fact, that a large audience is convinced that Pink Floyd intentionally created Dark Side of the Moon as an alternative soundtrack to the film. Just to cite a few examples, side one of the LP is the same length as the first black-and-white segment of the movie; “The Great Gig in the Sky” begins as the tornado approaches Dorothy’s farm, builds as the storm worsens, and slows when Dorothy is knocked unconscious; “Brain Damage” plays as the Scarecrow sings “If I Only Had a Brain”; and the album concludes with the sound of a heartbeat as Dorothy puts her hand on the Tin Woodsman’s chest. Over time the “Dark Size of Oz” or “Dark Side of the Rainbow”, as it is sometimes called, has taken on a life of its own and references to it pop up fairly frequently.
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Crisis Warning on Dig the Now Sound

Dig the Now Sound (Thursdays at 10:00 pm eastern on Turn Me On, Dead Man Radio) plays standout recent garage/punk/psych. The featured track this week is “I Don’t Wanna Go” by Crisis Warning, based in Brighton, England, from their 2013 EP Technical Difficulties. Though Crisis Warning draws on a variety of influences, their most obvious point of reference is 1977-era punk. Reaching back 37 years (Jesus, has it been that long?) is extraordinary given that all of Crisis Warning’s members are 16 and 17 years old. They play like the seasoned band they are, though. A quick glance at their Facebook, tumblr and Twitter pages reveal them to be a hardworking band that’s already had a number of noteworthy gigs. I recently corresponded with guitarist Jack Goring (I think). Or it might have been bassist Scott Holder–the name on the email account is Jack Holder, and he signed his emails “Jack”. On drums is Arthur James, and Oshen Dee is the vocalist.
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The Best Tracks of 2013

Following up on my previous post where listed the best LPs, EPs & 7″ releases of 2013, here is a Mixcloud compilation of my favorite tracks released in 2013. As I said last year, there is an ever-growing wave of excellent garage and psychedelic releases. I would go so far as to say we are living in a golden age. Bandcamp in particular has made it easy for bands to release their own material in a way that is relatively easy for fans to find. I just hope this run of great material continues. The tracks are roughly in order of preference with the obvious #1 being “Cannonball” by the People’s Temple. Just a great, great track.
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The Turn Me On, Dead Man Best of 2013

The past year was an interesting one for Turn Me On, Dead Man. The most notable events were the release of two Creative Commons compilations: Conspiracy A-Go-Go, a collection of tracks referencing the JFK assassination released as the 50th anniversary of that event was approaching, and Who Break a Butterfly upon a Wheel?: A Tribute to Pussy Riot. I also interviewed several bands, most by email, a few on the phone and in person. I hope to be able to continue along those lines in 2014.

I don’t listen to everything that comes out. When I made my Best of 2012 list last year I missed a couple of great releases–I would have picked Whatever Forever by The Migs as my favorite EP and Private Airplane by Connections would have been near the top of my LPs list. My apologies for missing those and I’ll probably make similar late discoveries in the coming year. Still, I listen to my share, and the Turn Me On, Dead Man Best of 2013 list is what it is: a list of my favorite LPs, EPs & 7″s that were released in 2013.
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New Pussy Riot Tribute Compilation

Like a lot of people, I have been following the stories about Pussy Riot in the news. Major news outlets are reporting this morning that Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina were freed today. When I first heard the news that the members of Pussy Riot were to be pardoned, I asked several bands who had recorded songs in support of the band if they would contribute those tracks to a tribute compilation. When I read the news this morning I posted the compilation as a free download on Bandcamp. The liner notes are below.
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Dead Drugs on Dig the Now Sound

Dig the Now Sound (Thursdays at 10:00 pm eastern on Turn Me On, Dead Man Radio) plays standout recent garage/psych. The featured track this week is “Downer” by Dead Drugs, a two-piece garage/psych/noise/punk band from Lake in the Hills, Illinois. A few days ago I was doing my usual visit to Bandcamp and I downloaded a two-song EP called Grass E.P. by Dead Drugs. I really liked “I Watch Grass Grow” so I uploaded it to the Turn Me On, Dead Man rotation. I needed to attach the cover art so I went back to Bandcamp the next morning only to find that it was gone. BUT there was a new Dead Drugs release, Dead Drugs 1! Upon listening to the new download, I discovered that it was the same two songs I had downloaded the day before with more concise titles. I contacted Dead Drugs to find out what was going on and I had an entertaining correspondence with Jeffrey Piatkowski, guitar/vocals for Dead Drugs. Since we corresponded Dead Drugs has released several more songs, all of which are available as “name your price” downloads on Bandcamp.
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Paul Jacobs on Dig the Now Sound

Dig the Now Sound (Thursdays at 10:00 pm eastern on Turn Me On, Dead Man Radio) plays standout recent garage/psych. The featured track this week is “Drug Theaters” by Paul Jacobs, a prolific and multi-talented artist from Windsor, Ontario. In the last 12 months Paul Jacobs has had four full-length releases, all well worth checking out. Starting with Demos From The Basement, which collected some recordings from late 2012, he released a self-titled album in March, followed by Coffin Ride in June and Drug Theaters in November. Paul Jacobs is a one-man show. In addition to writing and solely performing all of his material, all of his albums feature his own cover art.
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JFK Assassination Reference in “American Pie” by Don McLean

I believe “American Pie” by Don McLean makes a reference to the JFK assassination. “American Pie” is the (early) Baby Boomer coming-of-age story, as the chronology of the song runs roughly from 1959 to 1971, the year “America Pie” was released. The song is about disillusion, and each of the song’s six verses describes a moment of despair (“the day the music died”) for that generation. Most of these moments revolve around music and its potentially redemptive powers, but the song also makes cryptic references to larger political issues of the time.
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