Every Friday, Dusted Magazine publishes a series of music-related lists compiled by our favorite artists. This week: Lo-fi luminaries Thee Oh Sees and Baltimore performance artists the Lexie Mountain Boys.
Listed: Thee Oh Sees + Lexie Mountain Boys
Thee Oh Sees
Though the land may be littered with a number of garage rock throwback outfits, few have established themselves with such a unique and irresistible kick as San Francisco four-piece Thee Oh Sees. The group originally began in the bedroom of Bay Area vet John Dwyer (Coachwhips, Pink and Brown, Yikes), billed under a revolving list of monikers for the acronym OCS (Orinoka Crash Suite and Orange County Sound, etc.) as an outlet for his analog oddities. Now he's formed himself a full-on rock band with seven records under the belt, cementing a distinct sound with the help of Petey Dammit (guitar), Mike Shoun (drums) and Brigid Dawson (vocals). The group has undergone a clear evolution since Dwyer first began laying tunes to 4-track as OCS several years back, improving with each successive record that culminated in last year's enchanted Sucks Blood - released on Dwyer's own Castle Face records. With a fresh full-length, The Master's Bedroom is Worth Spending a Night In out now on German imprint Tomlab, the group has shifted gears and punched up the distortion quite a bit, resulting in a lively compromise between the truckstop ruckus of the Coachwhips and the bleary-eyed lilt of Sucks Blood. Dwyer took part in this week's Listed.
1. Paul Cary
This guy used to do the frontman jig and guitar for The Horrors, ( the ones from Iowa, not the U.K.). He was a bad ass then and now. He is playing with a drummer who has mad shuffle skills. The songs are straight from way back when and he killed it live with us a year or so ago in Chicago. (Not to mention he is one charming motherfucker.)
2. Sic Alps
Every time I see them live and hear their new recordings, I am jealous. They are better than tacos and almost as good as beer on the beach. I screamed myself hoarse at one of their shows in a kitchen and couldn't speak for three days. Yup.
3. Ty Segall / Traditional Fools
San Fran-based and super lo-fi. They are young and they are fun as shit to eyes and ears. Ty has started doing a one-man band thing that is ridiculously killer.
4. The Mayyors
Chris Woodhouse records my favorite stuff and when I record with him it makes me cry a little… not in front of him, but maybe in the men's room solo for a bit. This band sounds like the Brainbombs meet Lake of Dracula. Retarded. I drew my own t-shirt to wear to their shows. It has Yoda on it.
5. Miles Rizotti
A young man we met online who lives in San Diego. His songs are under drug rugs and he smokes hell-of weed. We went to a museum together once. Nice kid.
6. Yellow Fever
From Austin…stripped and super catchy and nervous seeming in person. They have harmonies and beautiful voices. I listened to the Cats and Rats EP so much it doesn't work anymore in my $5 CD player.
7. Eddy Currant Suppression Ring
These boys are from Australia and we hooked up with them through Kelley Stoltz ( a whole nother article unto himself). When they play live, the singer has to look at the guitarist for vocal cues. Super rad live and the singer wears gloves so he can choke your brain without leaving a print.
8. The Dodos
I can’t say enough about how good these guys are live. And Jo has a cute little pinchable ass. Songsmiths and lovers with mad skills.
9. Parson Sound
Have you heard this shit? What the fuck? Swedish band from ’66-’69, it’s so good I want to rip it off but can’t even come close to writing anything like it. Too bad.
10. The King Brothers live
Jesus Christ, after all the times I've seen them and didn't think it would be as good as last time, I was sooo wrong. They are scary and hilarious, and the guy with the mariachi outfit on made me pee my pants a tiny bit. The next morning I threw up for the first time ever (in the morning after). I think maybe this band will still be better live than anyone when they are really old.
Lexie Mountain Boys
Named for their fearless "leader," Baltimore drifters Lexie Mountain Boys find their place on the fringes of multimedia: music, performance art (not the bad stuff, either!), and everything in between. Their live shows feature costumed, choreographed, chaos, put to the tune of their outer limits a cappella jams. It's not for everyone, but it's certainly for some. Among those for whom it is: Baltimore imprint du jour Carpark, who will release their new record, Sacred Vacation, this fall. They'll likely come parading into a city near you sometime soon (in the "fart van"), too.
We Thee Mountain Boys compiled a list of KISSES FAMILY VAN JAMMES: Music We Listen to in Kisses, The Toyota Previa, our tour vehicle. Right now, this very moment, whether we are overwintering in Texas, home-buying, school-teaching or noise-gargling, even thinking about these fine recordings hearkens our hearts to a place where the jams flow freely from our souls like salty nuggets off a grease fountain, the puzzle of the live performance is pieced out (peaced out), the sun shines through the roof, the hang is deep, and the bathroom breaks are frequent. Reviews by Sam Garner, Amy Harmon, Amy Waller and Lexie Mountain. Also van jammed: Growing - Color Wheel, Afternoon - Penis In The Evening, Gal Costa - Tuareg, Fleetwood Mac - Tusk Outtakes, The Congos - Heart of The Congos.
1. Het - "Penis" (from Let's Het)
Oh yes, yes sir, oh man. The only song I have heard of Het's is rightfully called "Penis.” Reminds me of last summer in Baltimore and driving around town in Lexie's fart van. The drums in this song are pure hot, caveman style. The vocals become eerie at the climax of the song and sound like a choir of girls singing, when I think it is only one or two individuals. Yeah I love this band. They were way before their time. Listen to this song while preferably wearing a dreadlock wig and stomping on grapes whilst picking the ol' nose. (SG)
2. Food For Animals - Belly
A good CD coming from ye ol' Baltimore. Nice sounds and beatz. The boys of FFA know how to mush it up and lay it down and poop it out their brain holes. The lyrics will make you think hard and then possibly sit and spin on your butt like a dog. I greatly enjoy this album. (SG)
3. Brad Neely - "Wizard People, Dear Reader"
When listened to this as a book on CD-shaped tape rolling around for hour eleventy in a tour van named Kisses full of girl smoke, this recording has more wizardly powers to delight than a Turkish massage owl. To the uninitiated, brain genius, Brad Neely performs a retelling of the film version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone as the vaguest and most relatively unreliable narrator of your dreams. He magicks your brain. He does it with love. It really is some kind of poetry. Unless you are really annoyed with the fact that the two Amys are playing it AGAIN and you are all like "could you turn the speakers up FRONT and turn it down" and you'd rather listen to something else, in which case WHATEVER dudes, cause we are in the front seat NOW. (AH)
4. Mousse T. vs Hot 'n' Juicy - "I'm Horny 98 Extended Mix"
The anthem of a gold-soaked summer. A parking lot dance party. A sea shanty and a bug that flies right in your eye, but you are OK. Thanks to a summertime stop at Mystery Train records in Amherst, Mass., this totally sweet gem was plucked from amidst the bargain bins by Waller and pumped throughout the Kisses lounge and throughout our gold zone tour time by many of us. This song boasts a lot of time and repetition taken to tell the world the simple fact stated in the song title. The simple fact of horniness. Time and many hours spent. Thank you to the wonderful people at Mystery Train and to dollar bins everywhere. (AH)
5. The Free Design - Kites are Fun
Perfect sunny day song to roll by green Vermont hills eating carrot sticks. It is delicate, like time spent on a heaven cloud. Listen to it and just try to deny that you LOVE flying kites. You physically cannot deny it. (AH)
I remember, three years ago, a trip downtown in the kisses van and Lexie was playing something with group vocals. I said "What is THIS!" “Akron/Family,” she said. The song was "Raise the Sparks.” We had not yet fully conceptualized the idea(s) of Lexie Mountain Boys yet. I'm of the opinion that anyone who is in a band of more than one member, should be doing some type of group vocals. The Akron/Family now has three more amazing men who sing with the already three amazing men who come standard with the performance. Their harmonies remind you of the great past of music and hope for the great future of music. They should be recording again soon, and until then you can pick up Love is Simple. Their shows are always a full-course feast prepared with love and built with the intent of keeping their marriage spicy. So you never know what combination and percentage of vibrating bed, church revival or ham sandwiching you are going to get. (AW)
Every week I try to catch Liz Berg's show on Mondays, as well as Laura Cantrell, the Radio Proprietress. I love listening to these shows because it is a great sampler of music that I would never have the real patience to find or collect. I've always had the great fortune of having friends that are obsessed with music collections. Equally so, I love radio, and not having control. Liz also has a keen skill of playing songs that are traditionally hateable and then apologizing for them. But truth be told, I always want to listen again and again. Like "St. Elmo's Fire" by John Parr. Another song, I just love is found in the download section on the website, which is a middle-school glee club singing the "Cheers" theme song. It’s off-key, passionate, and powerful. (AW, who punched Lexie in the vagina whilst riding the WFMU elevator and had no prior experience of the station at the time of punching.)
8. LOUSIANA AM 1310
"The best music ever made." So true! Find yourself on a road trip? Find this and believe in not only America, but the United States of America, all over again. You'll be so happy that you'll just want to put everyone in jail or pay them $4.75 an hour. (AW)
9. Karl Blau - Dance Positive
Easy listening blown-out dub from the President of Friend. Blauin' your mind in green sweats and makin' touring a family affair. Our President, Karl Blau. Equal parts a sweet and dreamy toe-tapper, a document of ultra-catchy Arthur-Russell-esque croonery, and a testament to creative songbuilding, Dance Positive took us by storm. Live, he pulls all sorts of tunes out of his little loop station and he's like a tall, friendly, pop song-generating cloud of smiles or hugs or soft t-shirts in reggae colors or other ethereal eternal reassuring thing. I often cannot make it even a day without hearing "Are You Done?," all the while thinking it is directed specifically at me. (LM)
10. John Barry "Florida Fantasy" from Midnight Cowboy soundtrack
In the film, as this song plays, Dustin Hoffman is standing on the street, watching his dreams unfurl and crumple to the swell of some frenetic-ass musical phrasing. Innocent and lofty, yet insistent and cloying, this instrumental tune demands repeat listenings and invent-your-own-words singalong. Especially at the end where the whole thing gets louder and faster, then stops suddenly. A herd of retirees in sunglasses and noseguards chase Dustin from his earthly, white-clad paradise. The refrain is jaunty, brassy and lingers like a bad cold on a bus trip. Cheers to Jason Willett for playing this song at Stew's BBQ, where we performed and children taunted us and we made it rain. (LM)
By Dusted Magazine