As a teenager I had this fantasy of running my very own punk rock radio station, I would actually scan radio stations and record song on cassette then make my very own mixed tape using my double cassette player. I remember the smell of fresh paper I would carefully pack into the top holes of the cassette, so I could record over my old albums like new kids on the block, thinking, “what was I thinking?”- lets tape over this shit! Why do I bring this up?
Well the other day, with the most intense writer’s block, of all blocks I started to go to one my favorite sites bandcamp to find a spark of inspiration. I looked at metal, rock, folk, nothing, no spark. This is not to say I didn’t find fantastic artists, just nothing that brought out that je ne sais pas. So I went to punk where I discovered, behind the loads of bands, there it was, Drinking from Puddles: A Radio History. This compilation was culled from the vaults of a semi-legendary punk-rock radio show on KBOO in Portland, OR, this compilation features some tasty gems by such Indie darlings as Cat Power, Kristen Hersh and Elliott Smith. While not every track is a winner, overall the intimate setting captures the best in the performers. All those memories of making mix tapes, and a fantasy There are a few specific gems I love. First up is Dead Moon’s track Graveyard. Dead Moon was formed in Portland, Oregon, which started up in 1987. Fronted by singer/guitarist Fred Cole, the band also included bassist Toody Cole, Fred’s wife, and drummer Andrew Loomis. Veterans of Portland’s independent rock scene, Dead Moon combined dark and lovelorn themes with punk and country music influences into a stripped-down sound, which has this Violent Femmes vibe to it. Fred Cole engineered most of the band’s recordings and mastered them on a mono lathe that was used for The Kingsmen’s version of “Louie Louie”. Their early records, such as In the Graveyard, were released on the Tombstone Records label, named for the musical equipment store Fred and Toody operated at the time. In December 2006, near the end of the Echoes of the Past tour, Dead Moon announced their disbandment.
Next, which is my absolutely my favorite track- Monsanto by Pleasant Gehman, whose poetry, essays and short stories have been widely anthologized in a number of literary journals and collections and she has written and edited a number of books, including Senorita Sin, Princess of Hollywood, Escape From Houdini Mountain and The Underground Guide to Los Angeles.
She was known for her recorded collection in the ‘90’s which consisted of her poetry and spoken-word routines entitled Ruined. Among the venues where she has performed spoken-word pieces include The Unhappy Hour at the Parlour Club. Monsanto is a blissful four minute time warped into the sixties and seventies, brought with incredible poetry. My favorite quote from this piece is: “was synonymous with drugs and sex, anyone who grew up in LA in the sixties or the seventies who fondly look back with nostalgia will come over their faces, and they will remember their first kiss, or their first hit of window pain, or their last half of a pint of southern comfort, or splitting a quaalude, or their first ten minute session on unbridled of teenage lust with someone you met in line on the way to the matterhorn. ” Although I am breaking rules a bit, because this is not in fact a musical track: I found this track brought me back into the time where most of the other tracks were recorded. This is what I would call, the time machine track. All in all, this album is a diamond in a rough, a definite must listen for all punk, or rock lovers.
Check This Album Out Online www.killrockstars.com, www.facebook.com/killrockstarsofficial and www.killrockstars.bandcamp.com/album/drinking-from-puddles-a-radio-history
– By Lana Nimmons