Two Phoenix favorites – Genre and Snailmate – released a split EP back in April with this angsty number thrown into the mix. “A Change is Gonna Come” is a dynamic alt-rock hit in the making and the four feisty tracks on the Snailmate & Genre Split offer up some stiff competition on the stand-out-single front. On the one hand, you have the frantic nerdcore hiphop of Snailmate. And, on the other, the dynamic angst-ridden alt-rock of Genre. Thankfully, you don’t have to make the choice. Head in for Genre and stick around for Snailmate… or vice versa. It’s all good and will serve your spirits well. Check out “A Change is Gonna Come” below or head here to score the complete EP.
The musical duo behind Wildera recount a great tale of predestination. Rusty Redden and Loren Moore both grew up in the same Dallas suburb, but it wasn’t until they sat next to each other on the flight that would take them cross-country to attend the Berklee College of Music. They became bunkmates and, eventually, collaborators. Now reunited in Los Angeles, Redden and Moore release their catchy brand of alt-rock as Wildera. Driving guitars and disinterested vocals give “The Only” a hip feel that could really take hold with modern listeners everywhere. Give the new single from Wildera a spin below or get that digi-download here.
This new single from Lenina Crowne has easygoing indie-rock sound that pairs perfectly with summer. This five-piece from State College [PA] creates a nostalgic atmosphere with the crisp musicianship reminiscent of early indie rockers of the pre-grunge fuzz-free era. “Know” makes me think of pool parties and Otter Pops and creekside hikes that end at a familiar swimming hole. That’s an indie rock sound we could all stand to hear a little more of. Give “Know” from Lenina Crowne a listen below or get the three-track EP from whence it came here.
Spencer Anthony has a bit some pop-punk festiveness thrown into the alt-rock sound that keeps the energy (and the angst) turned up for “Happy Pills”. One might even go so far to say that Anthony has some emo leanings that come through in his vocals – both in the lyrics and their delivery. “Happy Pills” comes to us from Spencer Anthony’s debut EP, Words To Hide Behind, which dropped in April. Give the single a listen below and then move on to the complete EP here.
How to describe the sound of Vero? Industrial funk? Alt-pop? Whatever it is, the funky get-down sound of Vero has a gritty edge to it that we really dig here. The Swedish 3-piece released their debut single, “Hello”, earlier this month and you’ll be able to hear some 90s-reminiscent permutations in the soundscape on this track that make it particularly catchy. Let Vero say “Hello” to you with their single below…
The Upper Strata set to release new album with versatile, profound new sound
by Matt Marn
Performing duo (and recent Arizona residents) The Upper Strata has undergone many style and identity changes over the past several years, both as performers and in their offstage lives. But while their tone and perspective has changed, their sound is still as original, profound, and enjoyable as ever. Their newest album, Neon Glitz, is a perfect example.
Like other recent The Upper Strata releases, Johnny Sanchez and Regula Sanchez-Schmid have branched out from the duo’s rootsy, Americana-folk origin, instead giving Neon Glitz a versatile style all its own.
“I don’t tend to turn influences or inspiration off,” said Jonathan Sanchez. “If a sound or lyrics pop into my head, I simply record them and use them, and am grateful to have them. I don’t usually say, ‘Oh, no; I can’t do a blues song or a dance song.’ If that’s what seems to be developing, I let it happen.”
The variety in tone on The Upper Strata’s new album, as well as its imagery and subject matter, is inspired largely by their new home in the Pacific Northwest. Jonathan and Regula have recently relocated from their former home in Phoenix to Portland, Oregon, and shortly after began writing songs for this album while exploring their new environment.
The move away from Phoenix has proven a significant, sometimes intimidating change, but some of that same tone and spirit is now reflected in the tracks of Neon Glitz, so the duo seems to be putting that emotion to good use as inspiration.
“Music with risk and danger is always more real and exciting to me,” Sanchez said. “Neon Glitz is talking about that connection to sneaking out as a teen to go experience live music, or getting into dance clubs to get sweaty and lost in the music.”
Experiencing the music, and getting lost in the message, is one of The Upper Strata’s areas of expertise. Neon Glitz, like other Upper Strata albums before it, does not fit into one specific musical genre or style, but touches on many along the way. The album uses each one to help weave together the experience – the overall message – Neon Glitz works to convey… both caution and celebration, addressing both how short and fragile – yet also how beautiful – human life truly is.
True to Sanchez’s love for music with risk and danger, Neon Glitz tackles a staggering number of philosophical issues – as well as human doubts and fears – and brings them to the lyrical forefront. In the first track of the album, “Time,” the lyrics of the song address what the group calls the biggest theme any human can ever comprehend: our limited time on this planet. And while the gravity of the subject matter refuses to let up along the way, the album adds in a variety of those many genres and music styles, helping them paint new strokes of the same picture, but in new ways.
Moving on from the Middle-Eastern flavor and big dance beat of “Time,” the pair of songs that follow serve as two parts of the same message. “Garden Wall” contains dub elements, mixed in with accordion and mystical lyrics, followed by the club-sound induced “Beyond,” which serves as part two of the imagery the pair of songs works to convey.
“Thematically, the image of the garden in art and literature is both a fertile womb and a place of security,” Sanchez said of the two songs. “The most common symbol of this is the Garden of Eden. By stating that we need to go beyond the garden wall, the songs suggest it is inherently human to choose our own destiny and leave paradise, or the womb.”
The title track of Neon Glitz is dedicated to the artistry and life of David Bowie. The song has elements inspired by Bowie’s music, yet the song is its own creature. The song’s lyrics, including the lines, “ Going down, wrong side of town, where the sound is king, and we bow in the presence of the thing,” note both Bowie himself, as well as the original draw that music had on Sanchez, personally.
“I have always been attracted to music from the wrong side of the tracks – from gritty punk to raw blues in some sketchy juke joint, or reggae down at the port of Tampa in some illegal club,” he said. He said that idea, that pull toward the wrong side of town to hear and see underground music is central to the album, as well as the song.
The next two songs, “Sweet Distraction” and “Willow” are new-wave inspired dance tracks. The lyrics of “Sweet Distraction” address the way love can shelter you from the harsh and cruel aspects of life. “Willow,” however, is about the opposite – the way sometimes you can love someone, and never get that love back.
“Lighthouse” has a different feel – a style Sanchez calls cinematic and bluesy. The song observes how a partner in a relationship can provide shelter… or actually be the storm: “You and I form a bittersweet island, surrounded by a sea of orphan tears; we huddle against our deep, dark fears… Sometimes I’m your lighthouse, sometimes I’m the raging sea.”
Sanchez said the final track from Neon Glitz plays like a Motown and R&B jam. “Line” is ultimately about realizing what solace and support you give and receive in a relationship.
“Frankly, it was a rough year,” Sanchez said. “Several of the songs, including ‘Line,’ are about finding peace, optimism, and strength in bleak situations.”
As a husband and wife creative team, Sanchez noted the music of Neon Glitz forms a journal of the relationship. On this album, Johnny is often singing something pessimistic, while Regula is singing a positive answer. This motif helps symbolize the way partners support each other in life, both physically and emotionally – and, in the case of The Upper Strata, also creatively.
And, as Sanchez referenced, that mutual support has truly led Johnny and Regula through both good times and struggles, particularly in the last year. Sanchez said the album is being released later than planned, as Regula recently suffered a brain aneurysm while visiting abroad, requiring brain surgery.
“She is an amazing lady – as any husband should say of his wife,” Sanchez said of Regula. “But to survive an aneurysm and come back to making music is miraculous, really.”
Sanchez said his wife still has some difficulties, and it has influenced their music, as referenced in “Sweet Distraction” with the line, “Too many hospitals, too little healing,” which Sanchez said they had endured, for sure.
“’Time,’ and the two-part songs ‘Garden Wall’ and ‘Beyond’ are about being bound to this world by our limited mortal shells, and learning to go beyond them,” he said. “All of the medical nightmares we went through last year definitely made that longing more intense – especially when you feel it is your soul mate that might not have long to live, or might not survive all of the procedures and tests to keep her in this world.”
For a journal telling the story of a relationship, The Upper Strata’s newest album, Neon Glitz is profoundly developed. It tackles not only styles and genres rarely blended together (let alone, so fluently), but also addresses in its lyrics issues and concepts many are afraid to even consider.
But here – in this contemplative, exploratory space – is where husband and wife team Johnny Sanchez and Regula Sanchez-Schmid truly shine in their music as The Upper Strata. With new styles, new uses of vocal synthesizers and instrumental layering, and deeper lyrics and messages to discover inside each track, Neon Glitz is truly an album with a style all its own – promising something new with each listen.
Digitally released May 5, the limited edition vinyl of Neon Glitz will be released July 7, 2017 and is pressed by Cascade Record Pressing in Portland, OR. For more info check out The Upper Strata on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
Usually it’s Lauren Ruth Ward’s sultry Americana swagger that has us all wound up, but this week it looks like Ward is ready for rowdy and rocking. “Blue Collar Sex Kitten” is the latest hit to come out the songwriting partnership between L.A.-based musicians LRW and guitarist Eduardo Rivera. There’s so much sass on this single, you’re going to want to skip it on the drive to work and save it for that cruise home… unless, of course, you want to arrive at your job ready to burn the whole fucking place down. Consider that your warning.
London-based band The Great Malarkey dares to ask the question, “Why did the Irish artist, the Canadian surfer, the Portuguese London tour guide, the Gloucestershire gardener, two UK Guild Hall students, a Latvian paralegal and an androgynous cockney, walk into a bar?” Apparently, the answer is create some riotous folk punk of orchestral proportions. Of course, with eight members listed as part of The Great Malarkey, I would imagine this band brings the party every time they show up to perform. If you dig “Gaffa” (and you will), I suggest checking out more of the online musical offerings The Great Malarkey released last month (here).
This garage rock trio from PHX adds some colorful kitsch to their punk rock punch bowl. Yes, Sturdy Ladies throw out the feisty fun on “Secret Weapon” that will have you shouting along so you might want to consider your location before you smash that play button. Luckily you’ll get your chance not once but twice. Not only are the Sturdy Ladies playing this Saturday, May 13, at the Yucca Tap they’re also opening for Shonen Knife (from Osaka, Japan) on May 24 with Shovel and The Pübes! More on that event here. Until then, spend some time with “Secret Weapon” and also their campy classic, “Cat Olympics“, available online as well. Both singles comes to us from the Sturdy Ladies’ debut EP, Brut Force, which you should pick up at a one of the previously mentioned shows because, so far, that’s the only place you can get ’em. Enjoy.
Okay, so when “It’s Not Easy” kicks off, you’re probably going to worry that I might be confused about what the word “rowdy” means, but give it a minute. The NYNY quartet known as the Dolly Spartans turn up the energy and the angst for this indie rock single. The vocals call to mind club scene kids like The Strokes while the accompanying instrumentation has an emo tinge that reminds me a bit of Jimmy Eat World. This single comes to us from the band’s latest EP, Time Sides with No One, which came out last month. Give “It’s Not Easy” by the Dolly Spartans a spin below…
Shanghai-based act Round Eye is comprised of “American ex-pats and Italians” which might seem like a bit of a metropolitan muddle, but rocknroll is a transcendent language that cold-crushes culture divides. “Billy” has a feisty punk energy and catchy hook that might just lodge into your brainspace and never leave again. Twenty years from now, a routine traffic stop could result in you screaming “Billy was a cop! Billy was a cop! Billy, Billy, Billy, Billy!” if you let the music of Round Eye take hold. And you definitely want to.
Britain’s Annabel Allum first landed on our radar with her single, “Rich Backgrounds”, and this new single proves Allum is more than a one-trick pony. She has some chops. “Eat Greens” rips into that impetus toward better health that hits many of us as we move toward full-time adulting, but the song is more about finding balance than just clever witticisms. Allum has a gritty sound and a dry tongue that reminds me of Courtney Barnett. “Eat Greens” came out on April 28 through Killing Moon Records. Give the new single a spin below and, if you haven’t already, check out “Rich Backgrounds” from Annabel Allum as well.
The Irish rockers known as Otherkin have some “Bad Advice” to offer up to fans. The four-piece describes their sound rather accurately as “Grunge Pop” so I could easily seeing them sharing a bill with Phoenix favorites like Fairy Bones or maybe Harper and the Moths. This single comes to us from the band’s forthcoming debut album. Hopefully, we’ll be able to get our grubby mitts on that release in the not-too-distant future. Until then, enjoy “Bad Advice” from Otherkin…
LUAU stopped by the Radio Phoenix studio a few days before their Gone EP album release. We talked the release show, Phoenix music subreddits, and Crescent Ballroom burritos among other hot topics. Plus, the band brought down a ton of great Valley (+ Las Cruces!) bands to play live on the airwaves. Check it out.
Make sure to tune in every 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month at 7 PM for each live episode of The YabYum Hour, only on radiophoenix.org.
Not only of his own bands (of which there are many), but of many great lofi/garage/punkrock bands across this fine nation as well.
We here at YabYum came across his music a couple years ago and were instantly hooked to Jaime’s brand music: garage pop with grit. Recently, however, I came to the realization that I knew absolutely nothing about Mr. Lamb beyond his musical offerings and decided to change that.
So I sought him out through the power of the internet and he filled me in on all the Jaime Paul Lamb happenings from his main act, Moonlight Magic, to putting out a punk rock compilation to playing while only wearing a dog collar…
When did you first arrive to Arizona and how did you get involved in the music scene here?
There are really three answers to that question because I’ve lived in Phoenix three different times and each time was distinctly different.
I got out of rehab in NY in the summer of 1990 and I didn’t want to go back to CT, where I had grown up. I was 19 years old, a high school dropout, and had been laid off from my job at a machine shop, and had a gnarly breakup with my girlfriend. She was no bargain – but I don’t want to get into that here. The counselor at the treatment center said that they had a deal with a halfway house in Phoenix and that they sent a lot of people from NY/CT/NJ out there. I said I’d like to go.
I moved to Phoenix – alone and with nothing – and lived at the halfway house around 7th st & Indian School and worked at Lindstrom’s Car Wash on Central. It was a cool, simple life.
Anyway, I picked up a gig drumming in a Hardcore Punk group called the Swooping Monkeybats. We were sort of a composite of things like Rudimentary Peni, the Misfits, and the Cramps. We played a lot with our friends the Glass Heroes. Once, we even had Sublime open for us at the Atomic Café, which is now called Pub Rock in South Scottsdale.
It was a cool time for a few years. I was off of drugs and made some really great friends. We would go to Tracks In Wax and buy a lot of Garage and Surf and Punk records from Don. I had a job at Tower Christown. There were a lot of romantic drama scenes at Tower. It was cool. Me and my other friends played music, drank coffee and smoked cigarettes. Luckily, I had a 4-track recorder, so I got to document some of that period.
In 1994, I moved out of Phoenix. I wound up in Houston TX for 9 months. A couple friends of mine lived there. We played and recorded some music and gigged a little in Houston and Austin, but I just really hated Texas, so I moved to Huntington Beach and Costa Mesa (CA) for a couple years. I ended up getting a drug habit but, whatever, it was cool. We had a Garage Punk band called the Dropouts and we used to play with the Stitches and Duane Peters’ Exploding Fuck Dolls, who were our buddies at the time and we did that until we ran out of money and resources and then I bailed back to Phoenix.
I moved back in 1997 and started a garage band called the Van Buren Wheels. I played Vox Continental organ and wrote all the tunes. We had a good run. Vince Bocchini, from Los Dirtclods & Rabid Rabbit, was the singer and Steve Shelton from the Glass Heroes played guitar. It was cool and people seemed to like us, but I got back into drugs and it kind of ruined the band. So, after a couple years of that, I moved to Vegas.
I was in Vegas and Los Angeles and Minneapolis and back home to CT doing my thing for the next 15 years or so before coming back to Phoenix in 2014.
What are some of the early, perhaps unknown, artists and bands that helped define the sound you go for?
My favorite rock band is the Velvet Underground, hands down. And I don’t care how cliché that is because everybody loves the Velvets and says how influential they are. The Velvets are actually my Top Five favorite bands – they inhabit 5 positions until another band is allowed to even chart. So, that’s how that is.
Other than that, I like a lot of stuff. I listen to a lot of Free Jazz, Hard Bop, Avant Garde, European Concert Music, 70s Power Pop, Indian Classical Music, 60s Khmer Pop, Thai Pop, Gamelan, Mid-80s Black Metal, 50s Exotica, Lounge Music, 60s Ska, Northern Soul, obscure 50s Doo Wop, 80s No Wave, Library Music like the KPM Library, 60s Bossa Nova, Dutchbeat, Early 80s Hardcore, 60s Punk, Krautrock, etc. – I can go on and on. I’ve worked in record stores and have been a very avid music fan my whole life. I’m into everything.
But, to answer your question more directly, in terms of some other less conspicuous bands that I have found influential, I would say the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, Albert Ayler, the Downliners Sect, Martin Denny, Chaino, the Flamin’ Groovies, the Electric Eels and some of Billy Childish’s work from the 80’s should be enough to make the point.
How did you get into self-recording? I believe you record at home, what is your current set-up like?
I only went digital a few years ago. I have always been a little behind the curve, technology-wise. I’m currently running Ableton Live 9 as my DAW and I have a Focusrite interface, or whatever it’s called. It’s the thing that the mics plug into, like a pre-amp. I don’t know – I’m not much of a techie. I had a good buddy, Bruce Connole (who was in the Jetzons, Billy Clone and the Same, the Cryptics, the Revenants, etc. – a real Phoenix legend, if you ask me) set me up with the whole thing, and he laid a bunch of plug-in suites on me. He really hooked me up.
Anyway, I have some decent mics and I’ve learned how to use the equipment enough to make some sounds I like. I get better every time I do it though. I’m constantly learning stuff just from getting in there and doing it. Of course, I couldn’t be bothered to actually read the manual or watch tutorials. I don’t have time to do things the right way. Haha. Duh. I’m way too punk for that.
What band(s) are you in currently? I know many of the tracks and bands on your Bandcamp, SoundCloud and YouTube pages are of older bands but honestly I can’t tell if you recorded these recently or 20 years ago!
Currently my main group is Moonlight Magic. We’re instrumental and we write all our own music – no covers at all. We gig a lot and we just cut a record for a future LP release on Slope Records. Cris Kirkwood from the Meat Puppets produced it. He’s extremely talented and insightful and has become a really great friend – we went and had Cambodian food the other night and laughed our asses off at nothing – it was great.
I started playing guitar for Eddy Detroit a couple years ago. I used to see him in the 90’s and always thought his thing was super cool – in an authentically “outsider” kind of way. Eddy is a true weirdo. He always had that tropical, Exotica element with the hand drums and his association with Sun City Girls, who are so awesome that they actually defy critique. I have no idea what to say about them. I love them. Anyway, check out Eddy’s stuff if you’re unfamiliar – it is very unique and sort of voyeuristic, like you’re listening to someone come unraveled on mushrooms.
I had the good fortune to go with Eddy and I Bob (from the Very Idea Of Fucking Hitler) and Hisham Mayet (Sublime Frequencies and Assophon, who put out Eddy’s last two records – including Black Crow Gazebo that we recorded at my house which had Dan Clark/AKA Clear Bob from the Feederz/Exterminators/Victory Acres and Alan Bishop from the Sun City Girls on it) on a European tour. We played all over the place and it was amazing and I love all those guys.
Andrew Jemsek (from Haunted Cologne, Button Struggler, Fathers Day and a million other things around town over the years) and I had been trying to get something going for about a year. He’s just a super-talented younger guy, like me, with an incredible sense of humor and he’s become a really good friend. His exceedingly virtuosic musicality is only surpassed by his deep, deep humility… he’d be the first one to tell you. So, Andrew and I started writing all of these lounge-y little melodies and nice songs and bossa novas and sambas, etc. because we wanted to make a pornographic movie starring Eddy as “The Coconut Man” who has this foot fetish (anybody who knows Eddy knows that this in reference to his storied obsession with girls’ tootsies) who ends up eating out this girl’s butt. Andrew and I were going to be hard-boiled detective types who were trying to put a collar on Eddy.
But the music ended up developing faster than the porno film so we figured we might as well round out the band. I had recently done a rehearsal on another project with Ruth Wilson (from Tempe’s legendary Flathead) who was a friend of mine from the 90’s – around the time everybody was playing at Nita’s Hideaway. I always loved her playing and I thought she was a super-cool chick, so I called her up and she loved the idea. I’m not sure if we ever told her about the porno movie, but whatever. She is rock solid and her and Eddy make one of the tightest rhythm sections I’ve ever played with.
So, we wrote a ton of tunes and have been playing regular engagements at cocktail lounges like the Bikini (every First Friday 6pm-8pm) and the Womack, Carly’s Bistro (every 4th Saturday 10pm-2am), art events and festivals, private parties, casuals and other things that come up (though we’re decidedly trying to stay out of the rock rooms – because we are a real “Lounge Combo” – we don’t need to be the center of attention, under lights and shit. We are fine with being wallpaper and accompanying whatever else is going on. We are very subliminal and ambient like that. We get in people’s ears differently than rock groups do. We kind of take the back door into your mind).
Anyway, Moonlight Magic is my main thing – and we just recorded that LP for Slope – but I still do other projects like Thee Faded Pyctures, which is a 60s Punk-style project that I sing and play organ in. It’s a lot of fun and high energy. We gig infrequently, but we did record an album last year and we’re still looking for a label to release it.
Oh, and I play bass in a jazz trio with a killer local drummer named Troy Maskell (from Thee Madcaps, among other things) and Steve Asetta (a tenor saxophonist that I used to play with a lot in NYC/CT when I played upright bass on jazz projects). We play straight ahead and “Out” jazz and have a regular thing at Carly’s Bistro, every 2nd Saturday from 10pm-2am.
And, of course, I do my home recording stuff where I play all the instruments, but I also have invitational recording projects with friends. We’ve got a couple of those going right now. One is called Puppy and the Hand Jobs – kind of a sleazy, punk/r&r thing like Crime or The Jabbers. We will have an LP out next year on Loose Grip Records out of Los Angeles. And another [project] called STNKY FRKS (part Pagans, part Black Randy, part Yardbirds).
It seems like you’re a multi-instrumentalist. Do you lay down all the parts of your recordings?
Yeah, if I’m doing a home recording or sketching out an idea, I’ll usually get all the parts and the arrangement together on the guitar or piano, then I’ll sometimes lay down a scratch guitar track to a click so I have something to lay down drums/percussion to. After that, I’ll either do a guitar or bass track – whichever one seems like the better way to go. Then, whatever…organ, vocals, hand percussion, kazoo, ambient noise.
After I have all the tracks, I EQ everything, mix levels and usually apply reverb (where needed), compression, and a limiter. I’m pretty basic and I don’t know a whole lot. I’m not interested in the techie/production aspects. I don’t know anything about the plug-in suites I have. I know enough to get by.
What’s your view of the garage/lofi/punk scene currently here in the Valley and State? I’m sure you’ve witnessed a few changes. Although, maybe it’s stayed pretty consistent?
I have to admit that I haven’t paid much attention. I tend to not like modern Garage bands. And I definitely can’t stand going out to see live rock bands. It’s loud and I don’t drink and I’m not out cruising for sex so the whole thing is pretty boring and too loud. I’m not interested in that kind of night life, despite the fact that I’ve lived and died in stupid rock clubs for the last 25 years or whatever. I’d rather go ride my bike or take a walk than go see some band go through the motions in a rock club. Not all bands, of course, but the vast majority of output from most rock bands is redundant & unnecessary. I know that the same critique can be leveled at me and I’m okay with that. Don’t get me wrong, I like music and most of my friends are in bands and doing creative things but it is so fucking rare to hear somebody doing something that is truly mind-blowing and innovative. And again, I’m not saying I am capable of that either. I’m getting a little depressed just thinking about it.
Could you tell us about the WE’RE LOUD: 90s Cassette Punk Unknowns release you helped put together?
I had a Yamaha 4-track cassette recorder throughout most of the 90’s. I wrote a lot of tunes, had a million bands and recording projects and documented just about everything with that 4-track. Not just Punk either – we did a lot of Psych and non-idiomatic free improvisation, noise-scapes and Musique Concrete – but the stuff people were interested in was the Garage Punk material.
Anyway, about 5 years ago, I was living in Los Angeles again and I had this cache of demo and home recorded cassettes from all of mine and my friends’ bands that had never seen the light of day. I literally had all these cassettes in a taped-together Chuck Taylor shoe-box. I figured I digitize everything and put it up on Bandcamp or something.
But then I got the idea to hit up my buddy Bazooka Joe Alameida. I knew him in Las Vegas years ago. I met him at the Double Down and we connected over a mutual obsession with Crypt Records’ Back From The Grave and Garage Punk Unknowns compilations. He eventually got into the business of putting out Garage Punk records and had a label called Black Gladiator. He also worked for Slovenly Records – Pete Slovenly/AKA Sticker Guy, who every band in the 90’s had their nice vinyl stickers made by.
Anyway, I figured if anybody would be able to do something with these recordings it would be Joe. So, I sent him some mp3s – just a taste, maybe 10 tunes – and he emailed me back saying, “we HAVE to put this out!” He was so enthusiastic about it that I started to get all excited too, and then he got Pete involved and Pete was really, really into it too.
The part of the process that blew my mind the most was that they got Tim Warren to master all my cassette recordings for vinyl. He was a hero of ours because he was the guy behind CRYPT Records and all of those great comps that meant so much to me and my contemporaries on the Garage Punk scene in the 90’s. So I was unbelievably stoked to have a guy like that involved.
Anyway, the record came out a year or two ago – a double LP with pics and liners and the works. They did an amazing job with it and kept me in the loop the whole time. You can buy it at record stores or online. It’s easy to find.
There are even festivals in Europe called “WE’RE LOUD” after a song I wrote that’s on that comp, but I never get invited to come over and play them! Jajaja!
What’s upcoming for Jaime Paul Lamb? More releases? Any shows booked?
There’s a lot on the horizon right now and I’ve been extremely busy.
Moonlight Magic has been gigging like crazy (catch us at the Bikini Lounge every First Friday from 6-8pm and at Carly’s Bistro every 4th Saturday from 10pm-2am and we’re usually at the The Womack once a month, so watch their calendar – You can find our Facebook page pretty easily too, if you want to see our updated calendar) and we’ve got that record coming out on Slope Records.
Thee Faded Pyctures have an album recorded and have been gigging sporadically. We just need to get somebody to put it out.
I’ve also been playing bass in Mighty Sphincter, Doug Clark’s legendary Phoenix Horror-Punk band that’s been around for a million years. We’ve been rehearsing and working on an LP and some shows.
The Gnomes actually have two LP’s worth of stuff recorded that I haven’t bothered to shop. I wish someone would put that shit out because it’s some of the best music I’ve ever written. It’s a shame that more people can’t hear that stuff.
Puppy & the Hand Jobs are putting out a vinyl LP on Loose Grip later this year. We might have a hard time getting gigs because I play naked in that band with a dog collar on because I’m “Puppy”.
And then I have a bunch of recording and basically conceptual art projects called: Wrong Hole, STNKY FRKS, The Lamebrains, TRD STRM, and a bunch of the stuff that’s on my Bandcamp and Soundcloud pages.
Do you have any parting words of wisdom for the young kids out there that want to live the grimey, rocknroll lifestyle, free-wheeling about the country playing and recording in a ton of bands, crashing wherever they can and surviving just long enough to make it to the next gig?
You know, I think the thing that matters most is trying to live authentically. I try to have real experiences that are unmediated by things like my cellphone and computer programs. Not that I’m a Luddite or any kind of curmudgeon – I simply insist on having a genuine and visceral experience in life.
I have no regrets about my past. I’ve had a good run. I’ve gotten into a lot of adventures and misadventures, but I love my life. In fact, overall, heroin has had a positive effect on my life, if I look at some of the meaningful experiences I’ve had over the years and all the causal cycles that were subsequently set in motion.
Obviously, I’m not qualified to give advice to anyone, but sometimes when I leave work on Friday afternoons, I tell some of the younger guys who work in the warehouse to go out, experiment with drugs, try to have sex with someone or some thing, and do something dangerous.
The Nashville band known as Welles is set to break big so you should check out this single so you can say you knew them when. The band performed at SXSW and they’re on the bill for Bonnaroo, but it might be this single that pushes them into the mainstream. “Life Like Mine” offers a slouchy vibe and sharp musicianship while catchy, Sgt. Pepper-made-modern vocals (provided by Welles’ frontman, Jehsea Wells) seal the deal on this hit-in-the-making. Give “Life Like Mine” a listen below…
Woah, did we almost miss the bus on this release or what? Phoenix 4-piece, The Edisons, released their debut, Space Whales, back in October and we’re just getting to it now. Don’t judge. We’re busy. These feisty alt-rock get downright gritty at moments on “5 Reasons I Stopped Drinking Tequila (and Why I Started Again)”. But The Edisons like to keep their sound dynamic so expect some shifts, not only on this single but on Space Wales as a whole, as you move from start to finish. They are seeking to explore their sound on this first release, not to define it. Make sure you check out this single and, if you dig what you’re hearing, I highly recommend diving into Space Wales.
This alt-rock quartet from Santiago, Chile now divides their time between has made the jump from South America to Southern California. Honey-sweet vocals over a sludgy sea of shoegazy rock on their single, “Forever Together”, brings me back to my 90s-era youth; a nostalgic time for me of grumpy baristas and Juliana Hatfield. This single is just the first from the band’s forthcoming EP, Ultraviolet. I’ll be keeping watch for that release. And maybe after you give “Forever Together” below, you’ll be a Slowkiss fan too.
I can imagine this new single from Absofacto really catching on with alt-rock radio stations across the country. It has just enough of an electro-pop punch to really hit home with contemporary audiences. Of course, once it starts to enjoy that regular radio play, I’ll probably start to hate it, but right now I’m jamming “Lights Outside”. The track premiered with Earmilk back in February and enjoyed some HypeMachine attention early on, but my guess is that we’re just hearing the start of Absofacto. Hop on that fan-train early and give “Lights Outside” a listen below…
The SoCal act known as Hunny puts a sunny pop-punk spin on their alt-rock sound that makes it perfect for warming weather. “Shy” marks the first single from their forthcoming collection. The energy on “Shy” can buoy your spirits in the middle of a rough week so it’s no surprise to us that , even though it only dropped last week, it’s enjoying some serious early attention from listeners. HUNNY plans on setting out for tour with Bad Sun soon so check for dates in your area. But, first, give “Shy” a spin below…
The Brooklyn duo, comprised of Molly Murphy and Jenni Lind, goes in for that raw, emotive sound first popularized by the alt-rockers of the 90s: something gritty and a little aggressive. Maude Gun calls their debut single, “On High”, a “mystic-folk riot grrrl anthem” and that description pretty much hits the head on the nail. There is something simultaneously earthy and otherworldly in Maude Gun’s sound. Give “On High” a listen below…
The Danish indie rock trio The Great Dictators combines forceful guitars with hazy vocals to erect a wall of shoegaze sound on their new track, “Blood”. The Great Dictators stomp all over the divide between post-rock and alt-rock; allowing elements from both traditions to seep into their own brand of indie. The effect is a hypnotizing blend of textures and sounds that you can really sink down into. “Blood” comes to us from the band’s new album (due out later this year). I’m definitely interested in hearing more of what The Great Dictators have to offer. Listen to “Blood” for yourself below…