Sunday, September 30, 2007

Music I Liked And Didn't - 9/26/07 - 9/30/07

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V/A: You Got Yours!: East Bay Garage 1965-67 CD (Big Beat) - In this reissue crazy era, there is an almost endless stream of 60’s garage/punk/psych collections being released, most of which are pretty marginal, at best. Each year, however, there are a handful of real winners, like “Scream Loud!!! The Fenton Story” triple LP set (issued earlier this year by Way Back) and, now, this CD, the latest installment in Big Beat’s Nuggets From The Golden State series “You Got Yours!: East Bay Garage 1965-67”.

This collection focuses on the mid-60s garage scene in the San Francisco Bay Area’s East Bay, which contains cities and towns in the counties of Alameda and Contra Costa, like Berkeley, Castro Valley, Hayward (my home since 1985!), Oakland, and San Leandro. Its 24 tracks contain a nice mix of tracks from rare singles and previously unissued material, ranging from blue-eyed soul rave-ups (such as the Donnybrookes and the Spyders) to post-British invasion power pop pleasers (like the Baytovens and the Shillings) and, of course, tough garage punk. Personal favorites included “Her Heart Said No” by The Blue Lite Conspiracy, “I’m Feeling Good” from The Bristol Boxkite, The Gants’ “Look At The Sun”, “Humpty Dumpty” from The Epics and “Get Out Of My Eye” by The Soul Vendors.

My only slight criticism might be that this collection could have even been more representative of the overall scene during those years if it had tracks by groups such as the Crystal Garden, Misanthropes, and the Remaining Few (all of whom had either singles or, at least, recorded material with the legendary Leo de Gar Kulka at Golden State Recorders!), rather than multiple tracks from groups like the Baytovens and the Harbinger Complex (who were certainly one of the premier bands of the era, but whose tracks here pale in comparison to their other material) or, even worse, recycled tracks that Big Beat has already used on previous collections in the Nuggets From The Golden State series. That all being stated, “You Got Yours!: East Bay Garage 1965-67” is still a pretty solid and welcome overview of a previously overlooked and underappreciated scene.

Two Additional Notes - For the record, I must admit my slight personal bias/tangental connection to this collection, as I am an acquaintance with the curator of this set, Alec Palao, and have actually done business with Bill Quarry, the promoter who, to a great extent, enabled so much of this scene.

Also, if you’d like to get more info on the East Bay scene in the 60’s, I’d encourage you to check out Bruce Tahsler’s (of US Male) somewhat amateurishly written, but fairly definitive book, “Garage Bands From The 60’s - Then And Now. The San Francisco East Bay Scene” (more details are available at

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Running Count For The Year

Adds 100/85%

Did Not Add 18/15%

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