Every Friday, Dusted Magazine publishes a series of music-related lists compiled by our favorite artists. This week: Chicago punks CoCoComa and Rachel’s pseudo-namesake Rachel Grimes.
Listed: CoCoComa + Rachel Grimes
CoCoComa has been cranking a joyful guitar/drums/organ racket since the mid-00s, starting as the garage rock project of Bill and Lisa Roe and soon adding keyboard and bass player Mike Fitzpatrick. Dusted’s Nate Knaebel called their second album, Things Are Not Right (Goner) “a blueprint for how to create a loud, melodic, built-to-last punk record.” The band also has a collection of singles, unreleased and live tracks called Spectrum of Sounds out now on Red Lounge Records in Germany. Their own label, Trouble in Mind, has released a spate of singles lately – their own plus White Wires, Fresh & Onlys, Sonic Chicken and Ty Segall among others. CoCoComa will be touring in Europe this winter.
1. Kaleidoscope (UK) – “Music” (from Faintly Blowing)
This song is possibly the most epic ever written. “Music” lets loose and reigns it back in about four times before blasting into chaos. PERFECT. Throw away those lousy post-Syd Pink Floyd records and get set for melodiousness to rival the Zombies. Both LP (not to mention the other stuff recorded when they changed their name to Fairfield Parlour) are must haves and worth the somewhat prohibitive jacked up "rare psych" prices even for the re-ishs. (Lisa)
2. Clear Light - “Black Roses” (from Clear Light)
Somehow I end up often liking bands that are "poor man’s imitations" of other bands. Penny Arkade to me was the poor man’s Buffalo Springfield and Clear Light were sort of marketed as the poor man’s Love. This song is particularly great because it’s got like eight different parts (in a three-minute song no less) and they all work and come together to forge this unjaded, hopeful, yearning, very cool song. (Lisa)
3. Gene Clark - With the Gosdin Brothers
Bill and I have talked about why we love this record. He says it’s because it’s like a Byrds record but without the pretense of the schlocky "psychedelic sixties," but this is exactly why I love the Byrds – and why, on paper, this record really shouldn’t do that much for me. I’m not into "rootsy," which is a word that might possibly be used to describe it. However, at the end of the day, we love this record because every song is just tremendous and all the elements are just perfect: the lyrics, the arrangements, and especially the strings on "So You Say You Lost your Baby," which are shiver inducing. (Lisa)
4. Hells Angels On Wheels OST
I am obsessed with biker movies…like seriously obsessed. One thing you start to realize with the more "Hollywoodized" biker films like H.A.O.W. is that (I guess) they were trying to attract female audiences, and so they do things like have biker weddings or have a scene where biker dudes ride around in fields of flowers. Totally ridiculous! This soundtrack is that same sort of contradiction. It’s got the Davey Allen-like Fuzz and a swingin’ ‘60s feel, but with some real cheese thrown in for good measure. One of my favorite “sitting around drinking and bs’ing with friends” records. (Lisa)
5. White Wires - White Wires
This record will always remind me of a time and place. That being the first few months of our daughter’s life. I can’t count how many times Bill, Ronnie and I have danced around our living room with this record on. It’s punky, surfy, wistful and sweet all at once, and it made me start to get excited about current music again…cuz as evidenced by this list, I don’t listen to much. (Lisa)
6. Equals - "Rub-A-Dub-Dub"
We became morbidly obsessed with the Equals on a tour we did with the Hipshakes in 2007 – the First Among Equals collection was required listening right before we went to the club to play – totally got us pumped! This song is probably not most people’s favorite Equals tune (that is, if "most people" actually have a favorite Equals tune), but it always makes me smile and sing along every time I hear it! (Lisa thinks it’s about masturbating before you get ready to go out on a date – ha!) Regardless, it’s great bouncy, bubblegum pop – plus the bridge is killer! (Bill)
7. Hollows - Hollows
Brand new band from Chicago. Their self-titled LP just came out, and I haven’t been able to stop listening to it! Equal parts girl-group melodrama mixed with goth-y garage ghoulishness. I love it when a band (especially a band from Chicago) seemingly comes out of nowhere and surprises the hell out of me. Solid tunes with interesting arrangements & melodies. (Bill)
8. Roky Erickson - "For You (I’d Do Anything)" (from You’re Gonna Miss Me OST)
This song gets me every time I hear it - a solid testament to the genius of Roky, stripped down & solo acoustic (the audio I think is from a VHS camera recording). It has an unfiltered directness both lyrically & melodically that reminds me of greats like Buddy Holly or Otis Redding. I prefer this off-the-cuff version from the ‘You’re Gonna Miss Me" soundtrack to the slick-produced studio version. (Bill)
9. Pack - Pack
Three slightly older dudes from 1970’s Germany who I’m told were from the hard rock/metal scene that decided to get in on this "punk craze" & wrote & recorded this album. The funny thing is (and this has alot to do with why I love this record) they totally nailed it without any hint of irony. Songs like "Riots" & Terrorist" convey dissatisfaction with government & society with an immediacy & rock-solid hooks that would make any ‘77 punker swoon. "(I Should Better Be Lookin’ For) Danger Man" was famously covered by the Mummies in the 90’s & we were covering "Nobody Can Tell Us" for a while there... (HOLY CRAP check out what I just found on YouTube!) (Bill)
10. The Soft Boys - "The Queen Of Eyes" (from Underwater Moonlight)
Lisa & I are both suckers for Byrds-ian jangle in any song ,and this one has it in spades. This is definitely my favorite Soft Boys tune and possibly my favorite Robyn Hitchcock song (tied with "I Often Dream Of Trains"). There are definitely nods to classic ‘60s song structure and melody, but it somehow still comes across as modern-feeling. I love the juxtaposition of the sour and the sweet – the lyrics are obtuse and kinda creepy (prostitutes? murder?), but the music is poppy and dynamic, with undeniably hummable hooks. (Bill)
Rachel Grimes got her start in post-rock, playing piano in the classically influenced Rachel’s (which was, oddly enough, not named for her). She self-released her first solo album, Book of Leaves, earlier this year, a set of fourteen unaccompanied piano pieces. In his review, Dusted’s Tobias Carroll noted that, “while Book of Leaves occasionally becomes too understated, its most interesting moments blend a precision that’s as old as the instrument Grimes plays with a willingness to incorporate more contemporary elements.” Grimes will perform December 18 at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Her 7 p.m. show will feature music composed by Erik Satie and an improvisation based on Diego Rivera’s Detroit Industry murals, and another set at 8:30 p.m. will be a complete performance of Book of Leaves.
In random order, chosen only because I had to whittle it down to 10 (SO difficult...), decided upon because they fixed themselves in a permanent place in my tissue:
1. Talk Talk - Laughing Stock
Such a beautiful, wooden chairs and candlelight mood, clear unhurried playing, graceful flow and segues with no extra baggage.
2. Led Zeppelin - II
How to say anything that has not been said… This vinyl was in heavy rotation in high school. Heavy, blues swamp wallow is the sound of what you dream of feeling in your first band.
3. James Brown - “Night Train”
Tighter than tight, pure dance
4. Ella Fitzgerald - “Angel Eyes”
From Live in Rome, such genuine, gorgeous expression.
5. Miles Davis - Kind of Blue
Can not be overstated how brilliant this ensemble sounded, gorgeous warm tones, Bill Evans’ touch is astounding.
6. Andras Schiff - Well-Tempered Clavier Book 1, J. S. Bach
Such an elegant performer, makes these exquisite works into perfect balanced geometric shapes.
7. Kronos Quartet - Volans - Hunting: Gathering
Such a momentous ensemble, led the way for so many recent performers and composers. This work has such a playful use of rhythm and harmony.
8. The Smiths - The Queen is Dead
Just can’t pick a song, this record is a time and place.
9. Cocteau Twins - Heaven or Las Vegas
What sensuous, underwater tone in the production, immaculate vocal fabric – works so well as an album.
10. Igor Stravinsky - Petrouchka / The Rite of Spring
By the Cleveland Orchestra. Propulsive, amazingly imaginative orchestration, so compelling and rich.
By Dusted Magazine