Archive for kicks

BONGO BOY RECORDS-The Singles

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 11, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

There seems to be a whack of incredibly cool music coming out of New Jersey, and Bongo Boy Records seem to have their hand on most of it. Aside from the 2013  Mark Lindsay release, Life Out Loud, and the Gar Francis EP, Shine On, this Indie label out of Belvidere, New Jersey has a truck load of singles that they are about to release on a “Singles” album. Being quite fond of Bongo Boy Monique and Garage Guru Gar-the coolest musician to come out of Jersey since Frank Sinatra– I agreed to listen and wax poetic about this soon to be released compilation.

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Jana Peri, the New York City rocker with power pop and punk influences, delivers a knock out tune with “Ballerina Of The Bowery“. Written by Gar Francis, the song has a great surf-pop groove, great harmonies and a wonderful bridge and chorus. The choppy guitar  rocks and the riff, subtly great. Terrific opening track on any album.

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I didn’t know who The Easy Outs were, but  the New Jersey rock-punk-garage band’s “Come On, Come On” is up there on my list of coolest songs I have heard lately. The track has a great 1960s feel, delivered through wonderful keys and an amazing melody. There are great horns, beautiful transitions, and a dynamite bass line. I can hear Gar Francis all over this song. The riff, clean and crisp, and the solo, as always, class, not flash. Consider this a hit.

 

gr2The wonderfully multi talented Genya Ravan contributes a Gar Francis song, “I Won’t Cry Anymore” with a powerful voice and a delivery that made me shiver.  This rock-blues tune reminds me of something that should be on Janis Joplin album, and hands out great choral harmonies in the bridge and a wonderfully R & B harmonized “whoo hoo hoo”. This woman can sing.  Powerful and pleasurable.

 

 

rk3I don’t know where he finds the time, but Rockids is another Gar Francis project. Originally formed in 1973 by Gar and Wayne Olivieri, this garage band recorded Eddie Cochran‘s “C’mon Everybody” in 2012. I love this song. I dig Rockids cover of it. The guitar layered underneath, the amazing Jerry Lee Lewis piano, and the great hook, deliver an incredible track. Might as well stand when you listen, ’cause it will get you dancing.

kcBorn Dainty“, a country-rock song, was written and produced by, you guessed it, Gar Francis. Recorded by New Jersey’s Kelly Caruso, daughter of The Doughboys bass player, Mike Caruso, this track offers some amazing banjo, cool drumming, and a great chorus. The transitions are wonderful and the guitar riff, great. Kelly delivers a wonderful vocal track. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear this song covered by Kelly Clarkson.

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The Swinging Iggies,  with one of the coolest band names around, offer up “Lady Gaga“. This New Jersey garage-rock band is another one of Gar Francis’ projects. The song,  humorous and up tempo, has a dynamite power start. There are great transitions and I dig the guitar riff. Great song. Still, what a wonderful name for a band.

gfrocketOne of the most meaningful songs I have ever heard, Gar Francis’ “Rocket” touches me. This heartfelt tribute to American soldiers, raises powerful emotions as an acoustic number. The vocals are something out of Bowie’s Hunky Dory, and this is not the first time I have made a Bowie reference about Gar. The beautifully played strings set the tone and mood amid the haunting melody. Wonderful lyric like, “rest my faith against my gun”, drive home the message. I like Gar Francis unplugged.

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New Jersey singer, songwriter Gigi, contributes one way cool tune. “Put Your Freakin’ Hands Up” a  pop-dance track, in the Carly Rae JepsenCall Me Maybe” style,  has a great guitar intro and some amazing double tracked vocals. The melody, pure pop and the guitar riff in the bridge/chorus, wonderfully cool. The minimized instrumentation during the verses highlights the vocals that come with some great effects. Wonderful song with an incredible hook.

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Plainfield Slim, Gar Francis’ alter ego, offers 2 blues tunes. “Dirty Girl” has wonderful southern blues-rock guitar and sweet, double time drumming. The slide guitar rocks within a cool vocal track and nice harmonies. I swear I hear a train in there. “Let Go My Hand“, delivers a wonderful blues riff and a great rock beat. I love the guitar solo and the muted effect to the entire track. Jersey blues are way cool.

mark-lindsay_life-out-loudMy choice for coolest song of the year, “Merry Go Round (Christian’s Song)” by Mark Lindsay is a definite bonus. What can I say about this song that I haven’t said in my review of the Life Out Loud album? Way cool 60s organ, great harmonies, exciting guitar, wonderful changes, and I really dig the “less is more” drumming style. The vocals rock, the melody, dynamite and well, this is my favorite Mark Lindsay song since “Kicks“. Coolest song of the year for sure.

Well, there you have it. The Bongo Boy Records singles compilation. The genres are varied, with something to please everyone.  11 tracks destined to amaze and entertain. This album will rock you, and  it will surprise you. An amazingly eclectic collection of songs by incredibly talented artists. I would liked to have seen Gar Francis’ “Back In 1985”  included on this record.  Check it out for yourself and see what’s really going on in New Jersey. Its not just Snooki and The Sopranos. A must have for every collection.

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MARK LINDSAY-Life Out Loud

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 1, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

I am a huge Mark Lindsay fan. Have been since the mid 1960s.  Really liked Paul Revere and The Raiders. What was not to like? Songs like “Kicks“,  “Him or me-What’s it gonna be?“, “Hungry” and “Cinderella Sunshine” kept me heading down to Toronto’s Sam The Record Man to purchase Raider albums.

ml2I knew Mark Lindsay could sing. I knew he could write. I knew that he also produced several Raider albums around 1968, including Something’s Happening. Hard ‘N; Heavy, and Alias Pink Puzz.-I read liner notes. There was a solo career and then the nostalgia tours. And then, well, I thought that was the end of Mark Lindsay. I was pleasantly surprised, no, I was excited as hell to hear that Mark had been working on a new album with Gar FrancisWhen the good people at Bongo Boy Records, the Indie label smart enough to take on this project, sent me a copy of Life Out Loud, I found out what happens when a 1960’s pop-rock icon meets the guru of  New Jersey garage.

ml5Nothing short of amazing, this album kicks ass. Like a trip down memory lane to places you only thought that you had been, it offers familiar themes and styles in very different ways. Way cool! From the opening track, “Baby Come Back“, with its 60’s guitar riff, to the rockabilly feel of “Ghost Of A Girl“, and  the bluesy rhythm of “Rush On You“, Life Out Loud is a journey I was glad to have taken. The harmonica on “Easy Street” is beautifully placed. The throwback organ used in several of the tracks floats wonderfully in the background. The melodies rock and the harmonies are pure 1960’s.

ml6I particularly liked “Everything About You“, with its psych-pop melody, great organ, and cool guitar riff. Tongue in cheek lyrics-“I love the supermodel walk, I love the trashy way you talk”, don’t hurt one bit. “New Thing“, with driving power chords, has a wonderful chorus, and great vocals that tell us “since paradise can’t happen twice,here comes your new thing”. The subtle organ is reminiscent of 60’s pop as it lays under the guitar and vocal tracks. My favorite track, “Merry Go Round (Christian’s Song)“, delivers a beautiful melody in a great pop-rock song. The keyboards, subtle guitar, and amazing bridge lay the framework for the great vocal track.

mark-lindsay_life-out-loudLife Out Loud is exciting and provocative. It is basic rock, with that Jersey edge. The album is magical, the songs incredible, the production, dynamite.. I have listened to it several times, and always seem to find something new going on with each listen.  I can’t help feeling how much fun this album was to make. I hope they do it again. It is safe to say that Mark Lindsay is back. And I am glad. I only wish that I could get a copy of the CD autographed by Mark and Gar. Now that would be way cool.   

You can hear and then purchase Life Out Loud here: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/marklindsay4

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