Friday, December 17, 2004

Do you follow me?

Now I’m not one of those people who dwell on the past or anything, but good music is good music, and there will always be good music out there (believe me). I’d like to think that I don’t settle for the lowest common denominator, but you’re always going miss out on things, right? It stands to reason. But regarding reissues. Why is it that every magazine makes a point of telling you that: “You must own this.” This ancient artefact, neglected and ignored but essential nonetheless blah blah blah… Is it ever really that essential? Well, you have to be sceptical, but some sneak through. Some good stuff sneaks through. Which of course is mostly down to the Internet – it has to be said. So the theme of this “article” – as you might have guessed – is reissues. Now, I’m not going to preach to you over how the following artists are going to change your lives, but it’s interesting to see the imperfections on the records that were never given a chance for whatever reason. So here we are:

Many people view The United States of America ’only LP as the album that got away. An album of such genius, and originality that it’s reissue earlier this year was well, about time. Now, I must say, it’s a good record and certainly worth some of its press, but the outrageous superlatives that go along with this album are exaggerated to say the least. They were undeniably different, but I’m not convinced that they are as life changing as I was led to believe. This record does improve on repeated listening, but what is really different about this music other than their savage obsession with electronic noise? The record itself is grounded in psychedelia and the avant-garde, but it’s fairly disorientating and I must admit to liking that.

United States of America - Coming Down

Anyway, moving swiftly on. Michael Yonkers Band is an interesting insight in the realm of well, music that never really influenced many people, but remains interesting nonetheless. This Minnesota man, Michael Yonkers, recorded the majority of his material for his only album (Microminature Love) in 1968, but the music contained on this solitary recording is anything like typical of this period in time. It’s a ravenous mess of noise, Sixties garage and seventies punk – Even if it was made in 1968. Michael Yonkers custom built a lot of the instruments that were used in the process of making this album. An album littered with cheap guitar distortion, weird effects and even stranger vocal delivery.

Michael Yonkers Band - Hush Hush

God knows what might have happened if more people had listened to bands like The United States of America; of course, them breaking up after two year together hardly helped…Sadly, there has always been an underground, but it seems all the more important nowadays.

Buy both albums from Amazon or Insound. You might be able to track down a copy somewhere else, and they're not hard to get hold of.


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