Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Laughing Soup Dish - We Are the Dish (1987) & "Teenage Lima Bean" single (1985)

As far as I know, this is the quintessential lo-fi psychedelic band of the 80s. With an abundance of catchy hooks, ridiculous psychedelic lead guitar, way far-out overdubs, self-consciously trippy lyrics, and a DIY garage rock grittiness, never has poorly recorded neo-psychedelia sounded so good. The Laughing Soup Dish formed in West Long Branch, NJ in 1981 as a three-piece headed by guitarist and vocalist, Wayne Larsen. The band was plagued with frequent inner turmoil, completing their debut album We Are the Dish after undergoing three lineup changes. The album was recorded on a four track reel to reel, which was then layered with two more tracks of sound effects. From 1987 to 1989, LSD (get the name now?) toured, which included shows in New York City with lights by Captain Wizzo, known for his lighting of Big Brother and the Holding Company shows and other San Francisco groups from the original psychedelic era. In 1989, they recorded their second album Overthrow the Underground, (if anyone can hook this up, please let me know!) which proceeded with even more internal conflict. The Laughing Soup Dish called it quits in 1992. This download contains We Are the Dish as well as the "Teenage Lima Bean" single, which includes the B-side "Rainy Day Sponge." Both of these tracks are on point and as good, if not better than the best tracks from We Are the Dish.

Listen to "Seven Seas" and "Teenage Lima Bean"

Watch the Laughing Soup Dish mime "Acidland" and make fun of Uncle Floyd's dumb hair (at 9:20) on the Uncle Floyd Show circa 1987:

The Laughing Soup Dish's myspace page

Download We Are the Dish & "Teenage Lima Bean" single

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Nirvana- The Story of Simon Simopath (1967)

Generally speaking, I don't have a ton of patience for concept albums. I've found that, more often than not, they're overly self-indulgent, meandering messes. Either that or the concept gets totally lost on me. Or both. Likewise, I have a personal aversion to the term "twee", partly because it's gotten so worn-out but mostly because I don't like the way it sounds. Anyway, here's a twee concept album.

Nirvana was formed in 1967 by Patrick Campbell-Lyons and Alex Spyropoulos who hail from Ireland and Greece respectively. Originally a six-piece, the band was eventually pared down to the two principal members along with assists from various session musicians. The Story of Simon Simopath was their first LP. The aforementioned concept of the album has to do with Simon Simopath wanting to fly and so he tries to get various things to give him their wings (angels, airplanes, etc.) and he ends up in outer space. Oh yeah, also love. Anyway, who really cares. The point is this album is pretty great from start to finish. Catchy tunes, solid melodies, lush instrumentation, and quasi-baroque arrangements more than make up for the occasionally quaint lyrical content. I'm not going to go into detail about each song or anything, the album's less than 25 minutes long, you should just listen to it.

1. Wings of Love
2. Lonely Boy
3. We Can Help You
4. Satellite Jockey
5. In the Courtyard of the Stars
6. You're Just the One
7. Pentecost Hotel
8. I Never Found a Love Like This
9. Take This Hand
10. 1999

Listen to "Pentecost Hotel"

Also, here's a video.

Download The Story of Simon Simopath