Tom Dyer's New Pagan Gods — History of Northwest Rock Vol. 1 1959-1968
(Green Monkey GM1031, 2015, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2015-11-09
When it comes to garage/psych revivals, there’s more to investigate than just Fruits de Mer and Mega Dodo, which we’ve covered so much of. Up in Seattle, there’s Green Monkey Records, home of The Green Pajamas. Seattle has a long history of music in this vein, going back to the 60s with The Sonics, The Ventures, Paul Revere and the Raiders, and a score of lesser known bands, and it is this rich history that provides the subject matter for Tom Dyer and his New Pagan Gods. Dyer is aided and abetted by members of King County Queens (guitarist Scott Sutherland and drummer Scott Vanderpool) and The Green Pajamas (bassist Joe Ross and Jeff Kelly on keyboards) – they could have been billed as The Green Monkey All-Stars rather than New Pagan Gods. The material includes some well known tunes (you probably shouldn’t try to do a Northwest rock history without including “Louie Louie”), some real obscurities (who outside of collector circles knows The Dynamics or The Dimensions or Tiny Tony and The Statics?), and at least one unexpected recontextualized oddity (Merilee Rush’s “Angel of the Morning” with a male lead voice). The arrangements are approached with a spirit of invention rather than reverence – “Louie Louie” is almost unrecognizable, though according to the liner notes, it’s based on a little-known rendition by The Nomads, and “Angel of the Morning” is treated more like a rock song than the folky or countrified versions usually heard. In addition to being a great set of rocking tunes, this collection is something of a history lesson, and serves as proof that there’s more to Northwest rock than Jimi Hendrix and The Wailers. Here’s hoping there will be a Volume 2! As a footnote, when the band played this material at the release party, they added a killer take on “Purple Haze” which was not included on the CD due to licensing issues – a pity.
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more
Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more