Category Archives: Rock

Clap Your Hands b/w Daddy Said – The Beau Marks (Shad Records, 1959)

Here is one for the scratchy record fans. The Beau-Marks had a #1 hit on the Canadian charts with Clap Your Hands. A rock-a-billy bopper, this tune is just right for anyone in rolled up Levi’s or thrift store cardigans.

“you got the beat / you’re in the groove / now grab your girl / and start to move”

The Beau Marks – Clap Your Hands (download&stream)

The b-side is just as good. A Bill Haley style piano part really puts the frosting on the cake. You’d be wise to grab these tracks for your next shin dig, Daddy-o.

“my daddy was right when he said / you better be careful / that woman is a devil in disguise”

The Beau Marks – Daddy Said (download&stream)

The Buck Pets – Snatch Rap (Island Records, 1987)

Named the wealthiest city in the US in 2008 and a consistent top 10 contender for “Best Quality of Life,” Plano, Texas didn’t always have such a sterling reputation. Luxury cars and nose jobs have always been fodder for high school lunch room talk in this Dallas suburb, but so have suicide, steroids and heroin overdoses.

Way before anyone uttered the phrase “McMansion,” executives flocked to Plano and it’s sprawling corporate campuses to build tasteless castles in so-called golf course communities. Does this sound a little like hell? It must have felt that way to the nine high school students who offed themselves in the early eighties, a tragedy that produced articles in the national media that were as much rubber-necking as they were hand-wringing. (Seemingly blind to their problems, the 90’s found Plano with an epidemic of heroin overdose deaths and less then ten years later, a string of hospitalizations related to steroid abuse.)

Guitarist Andy Thompson and singer Chris Savage met as Plano high school students in 1984. Together they formed the Buck Pets, a band that traded coked out for fuzzed out preppy for punk rock. In just a few years they were a staple of the Deep Ellum scene, appearing on this 1987 Island Records compilation “The Sound of Seep Ellum.”  They have the distinction of being the only band on the comp to get picked up by the label, later releasing two full-length albums.

If these guys has been born in Westchester County they might have been the first Vampire Weekend. Thankfully they opted for good old fashioned Texas rock instead. Frequent openers for the Ramones, Flaming Lips and Janes Addiction, the band broke up in 1993.

The Buck Pets – Snatch Rap (download&stream)


Bastards – Monticello (Treehouse Records, 1989)

I swear, the first time I heard this album I thought “Gee, that sure sounds like Nirvana.” Not exactly like Nirvana, but you know, its in there. Maybe I just got confused because its a Butch Vig joint with a track named Lithium, but you gotta go with your gut on these things.

Picture it– 1989. Those grungesters in the northwest were busy shooting smack and buying flannel shirts. Meanwhile duo Joachim Brewer and Anthony Martin recorded this scorching LP in Minneapolis. Its cold there. And there is not a lot do to except hate the world and fantasize about stabbing people.

“Stick the knife into the hole / Cut you up / No self control”

Bastards – Hole (download&stream)

So who the heck are the Bastards? No, really who are they? I don’t know. They don’t pay me enough to do the research on these things. They really are quite a mystery. Look at this album back cover. Its got dude schlong on it, and yet it totally rocks. Such are the conundrums we must face in life.

“With a gun in my hand again / Lithium won’t make me happy”

Bastards – Lithium (download&stream)

The Texas Instruments – s/t, 1987 (Rabid Cat Records)

I don’t know a lot about this band, but from what I can tell, they definitely have earned their place in the Austin music scene. The Texas Instruments (namesake of the Texas-born titan of circuits, calculators and embedded processing)  are frequently named as examples of Austin’s “New Sincerity” music style alongside other Austin groups such as the Wild Seeds, the Reivers and the True Believers. Recording with Daniel Johnston (Continued Story cassette, 1985) and appearing in the 1991 movie Slacker are certainly two large feathers in their “indie-cred” cap.

More than anything this record reminds me of the Screaming Trees, especially their 1987 release Even If and Especially When, a record I really, really like. Its a real bummer that this group seems to have fallen through the cracks (especially in the “Live Music Capital of the World” … *roll eyes*) Compare this track with Life’s Rich Pagaent-era R.E.M. and the comparisons the Athens’ scene are obvious. (Or compare to Athen’s heros Pylon for that matter.)  This is one of those “missing link” type bands that, in this case, didn’t ride the wave of punk that came before them or full-fledged grunge that rose to popularity several years later. RIYL Meat Puppets, R.E.M., Minute Men

Prussian Blue-The Texas Instruments (download&stream)

The Rave-Ups – These Wishes b/w Big Wide River 12″ (Fun Stuff Records, 1986)

raveupsepJimmer Podrasky and the boys from Beverly Hills are back with a two song EP. Released one year before they signed to Epic– and epically failed to make a name for themselves on the label– these are both great tunes.

I like these guys. They have kind of a roots-rock sound but it has plenty of poppy hooks and they aren’t afraid of a bitchin’ guitar solo. There is no use trying to figure why bands like this fall through the cracks, especially with lyrics like:

“You’re kisses don’t seem so rad anymore / like you were kissing thin air / your love is like a foggy vacation / and I’m wishin’ you were clear”

OK, seriously? “You’re kisses don’t seem so rad anymore”?

Thats fucking gold. Actaully, its fucking rad.

These Wishes – The Rave-Ups (download&stream)