Podcast 2020.10 Bad Apples

While the music of this episode of Turn Me On, Dead Man is recent garage rock and psychedelic releases, 2020.10 Bad Apples is also a tribute to the demonstrations that have been going on the last several days in response to the killing of George Floyd by the Minneapolis Police. While it would be easy to assume that this event will not change anything, the public outcry has gone well beyond the usual response to events like this. Only time will tell if this represents any sort of turning point.

2020 continues to be a great year for garage rock and psychedelia. I did short interviews with most of the artists featured in this episode. I wanted to know how they were getting along in these strange times. Their responses are below.

00:00 TMODM – Intro
02:19 The Reverberations – Palm Reader
05:30 Lanes – 俳優 [Actor]
08:45 Dayshifters – Greg’s Song
12:51 Turtle Skull – Rabbit
16:50 Psychic Idols – Sheel of the Wizen
21:07 ToneTeeth – Liquid Lady
24:04 Holy Monitor – This Desert Land
27:57 Heavy Trip – Mind Leaf
35:57 Los Pebbles – One of These Days
39:45 The Silk RailRoad – 8 Sided Pyramid
48:44 Snakes Don’t Belong In Alaska – ทะเลทราย [Desert]
64:45 TMODM – Outro

The Reverberations – Palm Reader [from Palm Reader b/w Under Your Spell, released May 29, 2020]

TMODM: Who are your main influences?
Dave: It’s vast and continually growing, but some of our shared influences definitely are… The Beatles, 13th Floor Elevators, The Pretty Things, The Byrds, and Rare & Obscure Psychedelic and Garage Records from the 60’s
TMODM: Have you been able to perform, record or even rehearse much in the last few months?
Dave: We actually were in the studio tracking songs for our 3rd LP right before the lockdown began. Since then, I’ve written some songs, as well as our Keyboard player Bob. But it’s been difficult; We’ve experimented with social distance recording, but it’s much harder to get a good take/vibe when we all aren’t in the same room together and not experimenting. We’re doing the best we can and hopefully plan to get together soon, once it’s safe to do so.
TMODM: Also, there have been so many demonstrations across the US in recent days, I’m curious to know what the mood in Portland is like right about now?
Dave: I would classify the mood as angry, heartbroken, and tired. There needs to be major revolutionary changes. I can’t speak for the protesters who are marching downtown every single night, but I think we can all agree that we don’t have the proper leadership running the country, and there needs to be a systematic change in the police force and an end to racism forever. To sum it up, We stand with Black Lives Matter and the Antifascist movement.

Lanes – 俳優 [Actor] [from 俳優 [Actor], originally released April 20, 2018]

TMODM: Who are your main influences?
Yuji: My influences varies from jungle pop to noise music. For this particular song it is heavily influenced by old jungle pop like Byrds and Beatles, Paisley Underground bands like The Three O’Clock and Rain Parade, and English C86 era indie pop bands like early Primal Scream and McCarthy.
If I had to list my influences it would be a long one. Cause I like lots of different genres. I like post punk bands(This Heat, Women,The Fall, Sonic Youth), psych pop bands (Broadcast, the Millennium, Scott Walker, Todd Rundgren), Krautrock style bands(Can, Neu, Stereolab), No Wave bands( Liquid Liquid, Contortions), Jazz(Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders),Trip-hop bands(Portishead), folk (Linda Perhacs, Anne Briggs, Jude Sill, Beverly Glenn-Copeland), and harsh noise(Merzbow, Whitehouse)… So many. These are just some examples.
TMODM: Have you been able to perform, record or even rehearse much in the last few months?
Yuji: I haven’t been able to rehearse or perform for last a few months because of COVID-19. One gig in April we were going to perform at was canceled. I’m trying to write and record new songs instead. Since the state of emergency ended in Japan recently and some rehearsal spaces are open again, we are technically able to gather and practice, but there’s no gig to rehearse for. Maybe for recording?
TMODM: There have been so many demonstrations across the US in recent days, I’m curious to know what the mood in Tokyo is like right about now?
Yuji: For demonstrations, I was really sad when I heard the news of George Floyd, though I don’t hear anything related happened in Tokyo/Japan. I think it’s because there are few black people living in Japan, but maybe I’m just ignorant. Instead I heard a news that Kurdish people did a demonstration in Shibuya, Tokyo a few days ago, reacting against the police’s using violence when they questioned an innocent Kurdish man in the street. Lots of immigrants especially from Asia live in Japan and they are often racially discriminated. I really hate it.

Dayshifters – Greg’s Song [released June 1, 2020]

TMODM: I’d like to include “Greg’s Song” in my next podcast.
Mark: This specific track is a little out of the ordinary for us. It’s dedicated to Greg Enlow who passed a little over a year ago after taking his own life. You may very well know all of this, but he was a well known Austin musician and was in the Strange Boys as well as numerous other projects. He was a gifted musician. We grew up together in East Texas, were friends for a long time, wrote music together at times, and even lived together for a while. We had a bit of falling out at one point as you do, but had recently reconnected in recent years after I ran into him again while he was living in Marfa a few times. I would drive to West Texas and bump into him a lot while going camping. It felt like we grew apart only to find later we had both grown in the same direction as people. This song was a way to honor our friendship and process some grief I hadn’t entirely dealt with. That’s the context for this particular recording.
TMODM: Who are your main influences?
Mark: For Dayshifters I think we come from a pretty wide range of influences. In particular, for my own contributions, I feel like the list could go on entirely too long, but I’d point out bands like Wipers, Unwound, and Hot Snakes as big ones.
TMODM: Have you been able to perform, record or even rehearse much in the last few months?
Mark: We haven’t been able to so much as get together to even practice, but we were lucky enough to do some live 4-track cassette recordings live in our practice space shortly before the isolation restrictions really landed. That’s given us time to talk about the songs, things we want to incorporate in our recording process, and just generally decide exactly how terrible we want our recordings to sound. Greg’s song doesn’t necessarily sound that similar to the previous demos we’ve put out which are all pretty outdated at this point. Patrick Travis, of The Gospel Truth and Golden Boys infamy, is playing drums with us these days and any time the drummer in a band changes it seems to have a big impact on the sound. Greg’s Song came out of our current isolation, having a 424 available, and a need to tie up some loose ends emotionally.
TMODM: Just curious to know, what’s the mood in Austin like right about now?
Mark: Before this previous weekend and the associated protests I would have said Austin’s mood was largely what you would have expected from Austin. Everything, in my little corner, seemed pretty laid back with me just caring for a cucumber plant daily, trying to mind my own business, between harrowing adventures to the grocery store. However, the protests ignited what I think has always been an issue on the verge of boiling over in this city. Austin, as progressive as it is, has always felt like it had racial tension that permeated every aspect of the city on every conceivable level. You see it in the day to day, you see it in the housing crisis, and you can even see it in the music and art communities. Anyone that’s ventured down the road to San Antonio or Houston can see a pretty stark difference between those cities and Austin. Now, I can’t imagine it not being apparent at this point that there’s an issue in Austin and, well, the entire country. Greg’s Song was actually recorded between trips out to the protests this past weekend, so it would be hard to say that those feelings didn’t cross over into the recording as well. I don’t think Greg would have any issue with that. What I saw more than police aggression this weekend though was the overwhelming solidarity of people enraged by police brutality. The mood in Austin is dark, but the people are shining a light.

Turtle Skull – Rabbit [released April 17, 2020, will be included on the upcoming album Monoliths to be released August 18, 2020]

TMODM: Who are your main influences?
Dean: As a band we take a very diverse interest in so many types of music. For me specifically I have a long standing love of soul and Motown stuff, also old folk and blues and of course a big interest in psych and stoner. Bands like Black Mountain, Sleepy Sun, King Gizz, Follakzoid, Kikagaku Moyo, Sleep, Dungen…
TMODM: Have you been able to perform, record or even rehearse much in the last few months?
Dean: Unfortunately we haven’t been able to play or rehearse at all! We did do a live stream with 2 members a couple weeks back but that was it. It has been strange. But also nice in a way to reset and plan for future stuff!
TMODM: There have been so many demonstrations across the US in recent days, I’m curious to know what the mood in Sydney is like right about now?
Dean: Yes the demonstrations have been troubling and my heart goes out to the black community in the US. In Australia we also have a lot of problems with racism, police brutality and wealth and health disparity between the broader caucasian majority and the original inhabitants of this land, the Aboriginal people. I think what’s happening in the US is forcing Australia to take a closer look at how we treat people of colour here. Of course that is only some Australians and I would say on the whole that there is a lot of prevalent racism that occurs here everyday…

Psychic Idols – Shell of the Wizen [from Tiny Wire Animals, released May 19, 2020]

TMODM: Who are your main influences?
Jim: Not to sound cliche–we’re influenced by so many artists, but to single out a few: Guided by Voices (especially the lof-fi periods), the Velvet Underground, Billy Childish, Spacemen 3, The Fall, and 60s garage rock as a genre. More recent bands like No Age, White Fence, and Honey Radar also inform our sound, especially our last 5 or 6 releases.
At this stage we are recording project. We’re really into the lack of time constraint and freedom to experiment that home recording offers. We haven’t played live in a couple of years. We used to play out quite a bit, but were finding it more and more difficult to get booked playing our brand of underground psych, so we decided to set the live act aside for the time being and concentrate on recording. The interesting thing is that as our catalog grows we get surprise offers to travel and play some interesting shows, but as there’s now only two of us, we have to turn them down.
TMODM: Have you been able to perform, record or even rehearse much in the last few months?
Jim: As far as recording/rehearsing during the pandemic, we’re not, but that probably has more to do with me needing to concentrate on writing some new material.
TMODM: There have been so many demonstrations across the US in recent days, I’m curious to know what the mood in Richmond is like right about now?
Jim: The mood in Richmond is pretty dire right now. I haven’t been downtown since the riots started, but from what I’ve been told and the TV coverage, it looks looks like there’s a lot of significant damage.

ToneTeeth – Liquid Lady [from War Mother, released May 16, 2020]

TMODM: Who are your main influences?:
Jesper: I like to listen to Psychedelic Rock, Garage Rock, Noise-Rock and some Electronic music sometimes. I like very full sounding stuff with a lot of interesting textures and movement. Can’t really say that any one band have influenced me more than another.
TMODM: Do you work completely independently or do you collaborate with others?
Jesper: Toneteeth is a solo project, i write and record everything by myself in my home.
But i have played in bands before and have had projects with other musicians.
TMODM: Have you been able to perform live?
Jesper: Yes! I have played on clubs/bars before both by myself and with others.
TMODM: As for my last question, that’s great that you’ve been able to play live. I was wondering if COVID-19 had taken away those opportunities to play live shows. I know Sweden hasn’t shut down the way other countries have but I was still curious.
Jesper: It has affected me slightly. I had one show cancelled due to covid 19, but it did not affect me financially as it was just a fun gig with friends.

Holy Monitor – This Desert Land [from This Desert Land, released June 1, 2020]

TMODM: Who are your main influences?
HM: The band’s influences is mainly psychedelic rock and krautrock music from the 60’s and the 70’s, as well as some African blues music.
From today’s bands we really love the sound of Wooden Shjips, Kikagaku Moyo and Goat.
TMODM: Have you been able to perform, record or even rehearse much in the last few months?
HM: During the lockdown we had the opportunity to write and record three brand new tracks and one older. This Desert Land, Summer Of Thorns and Bloodworm were mainly influenced by the lockdown. Radiant Child was written during the summer of 2017, but left out of our second album.
TMODM: There have been so many demonstrations across the US in recent days, I’m curious to know what the mood in Athens is like right about now?
HM: As for the demonstrations all across the US, we are witnessing police brutality every day in Athens as well, during the right wing governance so we can understand all this grief and rage. We hope that the fight for human rights has a positive outcome for generations to come.

Heavy Trip – Mind Leaf [from Heavy Trip, released March 28, 2020]

I asked my standard three questions (influences, COVID-19 effect, and demonstrations), and Heavy Trip replied, “some of our influences are 70s hard Rock and current Stoner Metal. We just started rehearsing after some quarantine restrictions have lifted and are in solidarity with the BLM movement.”

Los Pebbles – One of These Days [from Vol. 0, released April 25, 2020, originally recorded in 2002]

TMODM: Am I reading this right, this album was recorded in 2002? Discogs only has one release under Aboryginal Records (The Right Nows), but two more releases mention Aboryginal Records in the comments (Royalties and Retobato). Sounds particularly obscure. How did you come across Los Pebbles?
Carlos: First, indeed the album was recorded in 2002. Also, indeed the disc was recorded in Aboryginal Records like that of The Right Nows that are related to Los Pebbles. The other two releases: Royalties and Retobato, are unrelated.
The link is Ricardo Rodriguez (Richie Rodriguez) who came from a previous group The Nuggets ( https://www.discogs.com/es/artist/3185389-The-Nuggets-5 ) which have two edited 7″, (only one appears at discogs: https://www.discogs.com/en/The-Nuggets-Get-A-Move-On/release/3534701).
The band was based in Madrid and after separating The Nuggets Richie formed The Pebbles.
Later, after moving to Galicia, Richie formed another band The Right Nows, and there they met Gerardo Calvo from Aboryginal records who had also moved from Madrid to Galicia, and they recorded a 10″ in 2009 in his little studio recording for my label Action Weekend Records together with Sunny day records (Cáceres) and it was there where I knew them because at that time I also lived with my girlfriend in Galicia. (https://actionweekend.bandcamp.com/album/the-right-nows-aw002).
The story does not end here, currently Richie has another band, Los Cids, with the original members of Los Pebbles except the singer Chuso Gonzalez-
( https://actionweekend.bandcamp.com/album/los-cids-aw028 ). Chuso Gonzalez appears as a singer in the label’s latest digital release, The Trouble Couple, which are Richie Rodriguez and Chuso Gonzalez (https://actionweekend.bandcamp.com/album/the-trouble-couple-aw031).
As a summary, the union of all these groups is my friend Richie Rodriguez who has had five groups: The Nuggets, Los Pebbles, The Right Nows and nowadays Los Cids and The Truoble Couple all of them edited by Action Weekend Records except The Nuggets.
TMODM: So what ever happened to Aboryginal Records? Why didn’t they release any more records?
Carlos: Aboryginal records was a little studio recording based in Madrid working in the late 90’s and beggining of 00’s owned by Gerardo Calvo. After moving to galicia he doesn’t work too much, anyway, it wasn’t his job just a hobby, he really works for the army i think. The Right Nows recordings were the last works he did. A shame because he was able to get a really good sound at aboryginal studio.
TMODMWhat are your plans for Action Weekend? Are you on the lookout for more older recordings? More new bands?
Carlos: i´m planning to release on vinyl 4 LP´s and one 7″ of The Trouble Couple after the summer. All are new recordings or only a year has passed since its recording (except Los Pebbles one which is a 2002 recording as you already know). Also there´s one LP of The Routes (JP) which is in the process of composition and is not yet recorded.
This is the schedule of new releases out from september 2020:
AW028 Los Cids – N / T
AW029 The Pebbles – Vol. 0
AW030 Chris Jack – Miles to go
AW032 The Routes – N / T
AW031 The Trouble Couple – N / T

The Silk RailRoad – 8 Sided Pyramid [from Love in the 33rd Degree, released June 8, 2020]

TMODM: Who are your main influences?
Zach: Huge influence is Anton Newcombe of BJM/lePee, but what we’ve been listening to a lot lately is Anton Youtube mix tracks of unreleased beats, over 75 tracks of bliss. Spacemen 3 definitely and just wide range of psych rock bands. Kundalini Genie, Dead Skeletons, Pete Bassman.
TMODM: Have you been able to perform, record or even rehearse much in the last few months?
Zach: Kell and I have been jamming most days recently. We record often, should be a lot this weekend, trying to put something together to perform tracks live . We are putting finishing touches on Love in the 33rd Degree and already have tracks coming behind it.
TMODM: There have been so many demonstrations across the US in recent days, I’m curious to know what the mood in Portland is like right about now?
Zach: Mood in Portland is what to be expected of Portland.

Snakes Don’t Belong In Alaska – ทะเลทราย [released May 17, 2020]

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