Saturday, 30 November 2013

THE SHEEP RECORDS STORY #12: THE LAZY COWGIRLS "GOODBYE TO YESTERDAY / GOODNIGHT AND GOODBYE" (1999)



Sheep Records was a Swiss underground label specialized in Garage-Rock, Surf, Lounge and other Rock'n'Roll oddities. Run by Christian Müller from Zürich, along with friends Andi Frick and Andreas Egi, it was active from 1996 to 2004 and published about 30 releases, mostly on 7" vinyl singles.



In october 2006, after about two years of hiatus, all the contents of the now defunct Sheep Records website were deleted from the Internet, and replaced with a blank page announcing that "Der Kebab ist gegessen" ("The kebab is eaten"), a last goodbye and a reference to the label's cataloguing system that included the prefix "kebab" for vinyl releases and "gigot" for CD releases.



The twelfth Sheep Records release was a 7" by veteran punk-rockers The Lazy Cowgirls from Vincennes, Indiana. The single was released in October 1999 and it was limited to 300 copies on pink vinyl and 700 copies on black vinyl, for a total of 1.000 copies.

Side A features a cover of Texan country singer and songwriter Billy Joe Shaver's "Goodbye Yesterday", originally recorded by the author in 1996; on the flip side we find an original composition by Pat Todd, the calm and sad "Goodnight and Goodbye".

Here's the original short press-release:

"The Lazy Cowgirls are back! The four piece, around the most underrated Rock'n'Roll singer Pat Todd, present two brand new songs exclusively on Sheep Records. "Goodbye to Yesterday" is a powerful, speedy and energetic Rock'n'Roll tune, as we know and like it from the Cowgirls. With "Goodnight and Goodbye", this californian institution goes acoustic for the first time ever in their career. And it sounds good! A perfect soundtrack for every BBQ. You'll enjoy it."





Here's the track list and the personnel/credits list for this 7" single as they appear on the back cover:

01. Goodbye To Yesterday (3:03)
02. Goodnight and Goodbye (3:10)

Produced and mixed by The Lazy Cowgirls and Earle Mankey.
Engineered by Earle Mankey.
Arrangements by The Lazy Cowgirls.
Recorded at Earle's Cowpalace, May 1999.
"Goodnight and Goodbye" is taken from the LP "Rank Outsider" released by Sympathy For the Record Industry.

The Lazy Cowgirls
:
Pat Todd
- vocals, acoustic guitar
Michael Leigh
- electric and acoustic guitars, vocals
Rick Johnson
- electric guitar, vocals
Leonard Keringer
- bass, vocals
Bob Deagle
- drums

Both tracks were remastered from vinyl in November 2013 and are available in FLAC lossless format or high-quality 320 Kbps MP3 files, both formats include scans of the original item in PDF format. Please have a look at the comments for the download links.

The following biography of The Lazy Cowgirls was written by Mark Deming for AllMusic, the original page is available here.

If The Ramones had been a road-tested biker gang instead of pop-obsessed cartoon speed merchants, they might have sounded something like The Lazy Cowgirls. Merging the buzzsaw roar of first-wave punk, the sneering attitude of '60's garage rock, the heart-on-your-sleeve honesty of honky-tonk, and the self-assured swagger of The Rolling Stones, The Lazy Cowgirls played raw, sweaty outlaw rock and roll at its most furiously passionate and physically intense; like a Harley gunned up to 95 mph, The Lazy Cowgirls may not sound safe, but they sure are fun.

Vocalist Pat Todd, guitarist D.D. Weekday (aka Doug Phillips), and bassist Keith Telligman left their hometown of Vincennes, Indiana in 1981 to move to California, hoping to get a rock band off the ground. In 1983, they finally settled on fellow Indiana refugee Allen Clark as a drummer, and began hitting the L.A. club circuit as The Lazy Cowgirls. After countless shows playing to "no one, and people from work" (according to Todd), the band caught the ear of Chris Desjardins (aka Chris D.), former leader of art-punks The Flesh Eaters. Desjardins got the band a deal with Restless Records, and produced their self-titled debut LP in 1984. The album didn't quite reflect the band's powerhouse live show, and they were soon dropped from the label. After two years of local shows and occasional touring, Bomp Records came to the rescue by releasing the band's second long-player, "Tapping The Source", which came much closer in capturing the fire of their live show on plastic, and merged fifth-gear originals like "Goddamn Bottle" and "Can't You Do Anything Right?" with stripped-down covers of "Justine" and "Heartache." The following year, the newly-founded indie label Sympathy For The Record Industry opened for business with "Radio Cowgirl", a souvenir of the band's high-octane live set at KCSB-FM in Santa Barbara.

Following yet another bout of long touring, the band cut the near-definitive "How It Looks - How It Is" in 1990, but years of hard work with little commercial reward began to take their toll, and at the end of 1991 Telligman and Clark quit the group. The Cowgirls' rhythm section became something of a revolving door for the next few years, and while The Lazy Cowgirls cut a handful of singles and EP's for various small labels, conventional wisdom had it that the band had called it quits. But in 1995, the Cowgirls re-emerged with a new album, the superb "Ragged Soul", and a seemingly stable lineup, with Todd and Weekday now joined by Michael Leigh on rhythm guitar, Ed Huerta on drums, and Leonard Keringer on bass. The band toured the United States and Europe, but 1996 brought more personnel shake-ups, as D.D. Weekday and Ed Huerta both turned in their notices. Bob Deagle signed on as drummer in time for 1997's "A Little Sex and Death", with Eric Chandler sitting in on guitar. By 1999, Michael Leigh had rejoined the band on guitar, and almost 20 years after leaving Indiana, the indefatigable Pat Todd began pushing the The Lazy Cowgirls harder than ever, with the band spending plenty of time on the road and releasing two solid albums on Sympathy within six months of each other, "Rank Outsider" and "Somewhere Down The Line". The live album, "Here and Now: Live" was issued in summer 2001. 2004 found the band recording for a new label, Reservation Records, and releasing their strongest new album in years, the rootsy "I'm Goin' Out and Get Hurt Tonight".

Some time after the release of their last album "I'm Goin' Out and Get Hurt Tonight" in 2003, The Lazy Cowgirls called it a day. Singer Pat Todd currently has his own band called Pat Todd & The Rankoutsiders, you can check them out here.


The Lazy Cowgirls performing live sometimes in the '90s


The following video offers a preview of the remastered single: "Goodbye To Yesterday"!



More information about Sheep Records, The Lazy Cowgirls and Pat Todd is available here:

http://www.surfnroll.de/interviews/sheep/sheep.html

http://www.pattodd.net/

http://www.allmusic.com/artist/lazy-cowgirls-mn0000148340

http://www.discogs.com/artist/Lazy+Cowgirls

http://www.grunnenrocks.nl/bands/l/lazycowg.htm

http://www.cuttingedgerocks.com/Cowgirls.html

http://sonsofthedolls.blogspot.com/2012/10/the-lazy-cowgirls-here-and-now-live.html

http://detailedtwang.blogspot.com/2009/07/how-lives-are-changed-lazy-cowgirls.html

http://ivemadeyouatape.blogspot.com/2011/07/lazy-cowgirls-singles.html

The Sheep Records story will continue in the next months. All your inputs are more than welcome, if you want to get in touch please write to stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you!

Friday, 29 November 2013

CHARLOTTE'S BIONIC BLIMP "DEMO 97-98"



Charlotte's Bionic Blimp was a band created by Colette and Jason Savall in the late '90s. On a certain level the project also involved Jordan Tarlow, and it's worth mentioning that both Tarlow and Savall were ex-members of the mighty Garage-Rock band The Fuzztones.

Their first - and only - single was released in September 1998 by Sheep Records in Switzerland; this release has been the subject of a previous post here on Stereo Candies.

For some reason they shortened their name to Bionic Blimp and in 1999 they debuted on CD with "Exploring Automatic Rhythms", released on their own imprint TGTBT Music. This release seems to be quite rare and I wasn't able to find a single copy available for sale on the Internet.

It seems that the band lasted at least until 2001, and they often played live concerts in the Los Angeles area with an extended lineup that included a bassist and a drummer. During their short lifetime they were often compared to the B-52's, the Sparks, The Cars and Stereolab.

On offer in this post is a demotape recorded circa in 1997-98 which used to be available on ScrapeFlutter.com. Since the original files were deleted, I though about offering them here. Three of the four tracks included on the demo were later re-recorded and included on "Exploring Automatic Rhythms", I truly hope that someday I will be able to listen to them...


Charlotte's Bionic Blimp at the Jack's Sugar Shack in Los Angeles in Los Angeles (December 18, 1998), picture by Steve Adam


Here's the track list for this release:

demo 97-98

01. Twice (1:48)
02. Here We Go Again (2:43)
03. More To Life Than Meets the Eye (3:04)
04. See Passed the Mountain (3:32)

extra tracks

05. 1999 (3:01)
06. Here We Go Again (2:41)

All tracks were remastered in November 2013, they are available in FLAC lossless format or high-quality 320 Kbps MP3 files, both formats include complete printable artwork as PDF files. Please have a look at the comments for the download links.


Charlotte's Bionic Blimp performing at the Jack's Sugar Shack in Los Angeles (December 18, 1998), picture by Steve Adam


More information about Charlotte's Bionic Blimp and The Fuzztones is available here:

http://www.allmusic.com/album/exploring-automatic-rhythms-mw0001143593

http://mrhollywood.0catch.com/baby/blimp.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fuzztones

http://www.fuzztones.net/


If you have any other useful information about Charlotte's Bionic Blimp - especially corrections and improvements to this post - or if you spot any dead links, please get in touch with me stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you!

Monday, 11 November 2013

THE UNIQUES "RENEGADE / MALAGUENA" (1961)



Dick Jensen was a live musical performer of the Rhythm and Blues, Soul, and Gospel genres; a native Hawaiian athletic song stylist and a prime mover of nightclub shows. For a more detailed biography about him, I suggest that you have a look at this other post available here on Stereo Candies.

Born Richard Hiram Jensen in 1942, he first became interested in music through the numerous luaus his family would attend. When the family was back from the barbecue, his mother would often play the guitar and Dick, along with his five brothers and sisters, would sing, and play along on the ukulele, or a nearby spoon and ladle, or whatever might be handy. His first experience on stage was in the fourth grade when he put together a group for a teacher's show.



Dick continued to sing through his formative years and began to gain a local reputation. While he was at Honolulu's Farrington High School, he entered a local talent contest, winning first place, and adopted the stage name of Lance Curtis at the suggestion of Tom Moffatt and Earl Finch, both active as promoters in the local Hawaii scene; the name was choosen for its illusory Hollywoodian qualities.

The award gained Jensen a spot on one of Hawaii's major television shows and led to his first single recording Bye Bye Baby / Lover's Paradise published by Teen Records in 1959.

Sympathy / Leahi, another single credited to Lance Curtis & The Uniques, was released on the same label the following year; "Leahi" is the first Hawaiian song ever recorded with a rock beat.


The Australian edition of "Renegade / Malaguena" released by Strand Records, Side A

In 1960 Jensen graduated from Farrington and forgot his music momentarily, as he began to pursue a career in athletics. After winning Hawaii's "Athlete of the Year" award, he accepted a swimming scholarship to the University of Washington. While at the Seattle campus he began to get together a group during spare time.

In the meantime, The Uniques released two instrumental singles: (Ghost) Riders in the Sky / Taboo on Amber Records, and Renegade / Malaguena on United Southern Artists, Inc. in the U.S.A. and Strand Records in Australia; both of them were released in 1961, it is unclear if they were recorded before Jensen's departure or not...


The Australian edition of "Renegade / Malaguena" released by Strand Records, Side B

Side A offers "Renegade", a simple instrumental piece written by Jackie Bradford and Bobby Sims; I really have no idea who these guys can be...  My first guess was that they could be members of the group, but a deeper search led me close to discover the names of the other four members of The Uniques, and none of them is similar to those of the song's authors: if you take a look at this YouTube video, at about 2:00 you can approximately read the names of each member of the group on the top left: Richard Jensen, Edward Martin, Aaron Waivafolt, Robert Mahim and Abraham Rebago...

On Side B we find a lovely version of "Malaguena", a piece written in 1928 by famous Cuban composer and pianist Ernesto Lecuona. The song has since become a standard and has been provided with lyrics in several languages. Strangely enough, the previous Uniques single featured a piece written by Margarita Lecuona, cousin of Ernesto...


The Uniques, exact date unknown, probably taken in 1959-1960


Here's the track list for this 7" single:

01. Renegade (1:54)
02. Malaguena (2:29)

Both tracks were remastered from vinyl in Novmeber 2013 and are available in FLAC lossless format or high-quality 320 Kbps MP3 files, both formats include scans of the original item in PDF format. Please have a look at the comments for the download links.

The following video offers a preview of the remastered single, enjoy The Uniques' take on "Malaguena"!




More information about Dick Jensen is available here:

http://archives.starbulletin.com/2006/06/22/news/story02.html

http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2006/Jun/22/il/FP606220304.html

http://www.oahuislandnews.com/May05/Home.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dick_Jensen

I'm currently compiling a Dick Jensen biography, the first part of this work-in-progress covers the period 1942-1972 and is available here.

I'm also trying to compile a Dick Jensen exhaustive discography, my work-in-progress is available here.

Last but not least, I'm also trying to build a collection of Dick Jensen pictures and memorabilia, my work-in-progress is available here.

All my posts dedicated to Dick Jensen on this blog are available here.


I will post more Dick Jensen stuff in the next months, if you have any other useful information about him and his releases or if you spot any dead links, just get in touch with me at stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you!

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