Monthly Archives: September 2012

Surf Music Sunday (classic): Los Seims

With our first post of the day, we featured a band that is a bit of a departure for us. We figured we might as well continue the theme with Los Seims. Again, this isn’t strictly a surf song, but just listen to it. There are plenty of surf elements to go along with the instrumental garage sound. In any case, if you’re having a beach-themed party (or Tiki, or surf) this would be a good song to put on your party playlist.

Surf Music Sunday: King Beez

Photo by Marissa Tiel

This is a bit of a departure for us here at Incognito HQ. Normally for Surf Music Sunday, we feature an instrumental surf band. King Beez isn’t strictly instrumental. But then, it’s not strictly surf either. Why then are we featuring this band on Surf Music Sunday? Well, you’ll notice we did say it’s not strictly surf. There is a healthy amount of surf music in the music of King Beez (particularly in the song “Space Invaders”). However, there is also a healthy amount of garage rock in it. In other words, it has the reverb you expect from surf music and the raw energy and sound of garage rock. This is a solid band that I can imagine seeing in some dark hole in the wall on a weeknight. Just one thing, boys. There’s another band named King Beez. I don’t know who had the name first, but it’s always better if your band name is unique.

Ska Saturday: Skatalites

Loyal reader, there is not a lot I need to say about Skatalites. Clearly it is one of the classic ska bands with a long history. And yes, my three-year-old digs this band. But then, why wouldn’t a person of any age like this band? The tunes are pretty mellow but they get you moving. So without further ado, we present one classic from Skatalites and one live performance. Get ready to use those skanking muscles. You’re gonna need ‘em.

Ska Saturday: Pocket Billiards

A ska sampler platter from Belfast

One of the things I enjoy most about doing this is exploring how music spreads throughout the world. Ska obviously has its origins in Jamaica, but has spread throughout the world to places like Belfast. And yeah, maybe I’ve been around the block a time or two, but I still think it’s cool to have a music find like this one.

Pocket Billiards is an interesting ska band because it’s a bit of a sampler platter. At times, this band reminds me of Madness, Fishbone, Mustard Plug, even The Clash (especially in “Panic”). More than that though, this band still weaves some of the roots of ska into its music (just listen to the horns and guitar in “So Many People, So Little Time”). Plus, check out Robot Repeat. Doesn’t the intro remind you a bit of “Guns of Navarone” by Skatalites?

Ska fans of all stripes should enjoy this band because let’s face it. This band will get you skankin’ in your living room (or wherever you may be). And isn’t that what you want from a ska band? Click the picture to hear Last Chance to Dance! in its entirety.

Funk Friday: AJ and The Jiggawatts

The Drop EP is available now

The thing about funk is that it has the power to draw you in immediately. That is exactly what happened when I visited the Soundcloud page of AJ and The Jiggawatts. From the opening notes of the first song “Throw a Fit,” I was pretty well hooked. And who could blame me? This is high-energy stuff that gets you moving, much like Big Sam’s Funky Nation. And then you hear some of the other songs like “Brown Bottle Fever” (drinking) and “Don’t Mess with Me” (woman trouble) and you realize that this band keeps your head moving while singing about some classic themes. “Don’t Mess with Me” has my favorite line: “I love all of your curves, but your voice is getting on my nerves.”

If you like Big Sam’s Funky Nation, you’ll probably enjoy AJ and The Jiggawatts. The band has a new EP called The Drop available on G.E.D. Soul Records. Just know that you’re going to need some good dancing shoes when you listen to it.

Like AJ and The Jiggawatts on Facebook.

Follow the band on Twitter.

Far-Out Thursday: Strawberry Alarm Clock

Where can I find a jacket like this one (far left)?

In our first post of the day, we talked about a song called “Trippin’ like I Do.” Well, loyal reader, Strawberry Alarm Clock must have been trippin’ on something when they wrote this song. “Rainy Day Mushroom Pillow?” Lemme tell ya somethin’, loyal reader. I have seen a lot of rainy days, a lot of mushrooms, and a lot of pillows. But I’ve never used a mushroom as a pillow on a rainy day. But to each his own, right?

Far-Out Thursday: Blackfeet Braves

The sounds of the late 60s…now.

If you were to play “Mystic Rabbit” (the lead track on the Blackfeet Braves self-titled album) for someone and ask them to guess what year the song was recorded, that person might respond, “1967.” And it’s a good guess. Frankly, it has all the elements of a song from 1967: a mellow, spacy sound, jangly, psychedelic guitars, and the vocals that bring to mind bands like Strawberry Alarm Clock. If anything, the second song feels more spacy and psychedelic (with a twist of surf guitar), which makes sense considering the title: “Trippin’ like I Do.”

This is a solid album of psychedelic rock that will definitely take your mind to another place. If you like late-60s psychedelia, check out this album from Blackfeet Braves. You’ll dig it, man. In fact, you can listen to the album in its entirety on Bandcamp (just click the picture.)

On being a music snob (sort of): an addendum

If it tastes horrible, don’t drink it. If it doesn’t feed your soul, don’t listen to it.

Loyal reader, last week I wrote about being a music snob. Well, someone said something to me last week that made me think I need an addendum to that column. The thing that got me to thinking was this:

“Did you have some of that tequila?” someone asked me.

“No, I don’t drink tequila.”

“Why? Because it makes you mean?”

“No, because I don’t like the taste,” I answered.

“Nobody likes the taste of tequila.”

Your humble narrator can certainly understand why no one likes the taste of tequila, but if that’s the case, why do so many folks drink it? Obviously for the buzz. But there are plenty of other ways (legal and illicit) to get a buzz without tormenting yourself with something that tastes horrible. Indeed this got the old coconut working.

I told the guy that I don’t waste my time with drinks that I don’t like. By the same token, I don’t waste my time on music that doesn’t move me. Sure, I could listen to the radio, but why? Why would I choose to listen to something that bores the stuffing out of me just because it’s popular (or was at one time)? You see, loyal reader, I don’t subscribe to the idea that music is just background noise. (In fact, if you walk by my desk at work, you just might see me moving to whatever tunes I have on.) Music is food for the soul. It should make you feel better, not worse. Think about it this way. If I go to a restaurant and I don’t like the first bite of whatever I ordered, do I keep shoveling it in? Of course not! Then why on earth would I keep going back to music that doesn’t feed my soul?

Again, I have to pose the question: does this make me a music snob? Quite possibly. But again I have to answer that I’m fine with that. You won’t ever catch me listening to an artist just because he has sold millions of copies. Now, if an artist has sold millions of copies of a record that moves me, that’s cool. All I’m saying is that millions of people are not going to get me to buy something just so I can be one of the millions.


Your humble music snob