The Plimsouls

I don’t remember where I’d been camping. I was thirteen years old, a boy scout. One of my best friends at the time, Greg Angel, was having a birthday party and because of a scout trip I wouldn’t be there. There was a Plimsouls show at Perkins Palace in Pasadena, California. The party bus captained by Greg’s mother would be leaving before I returned. A blowout between me and my parents probably erupted at some point, but my father, ever the peacekeeper, ever the politician, negotiated an early pick-up from the campground and offered to drive me out to the show. I don’t remember many of the details, but I do recall: the pure stoke I felt towards my father as he drove our orange, ’73 Ford Pinto up some L.A. freeway, headlights illuminating the road ahead of us, the seemingly cavernous venue, the sweet stink of marijuana smoke clouding the room, the raw energy of live drums, guitar, and the bass setting the pace of my heart, Peter Case in the flesh, cocked pigeon-toed at the mic belting out the songs I’d sung to myself hundreds of times before, the epiphany of rock and roll. And now these resurrected feelings of youth, stirred to life by this live album from that same tour, ordain my middle-age. Now what? Do it all again, this time with my own kids in tow.

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Brian Olive

Since I missed the ’70s and blindly followed the “Proud to be Drug Free” crowd in the ’80s, Brian Olive is filling in the blanks for me. If I fell asleep to this record I’m sure I’d dream myself into New Orleans sometime in the ’70s, chemical high and all. The music is as colorful as the album cover, and sounds like a stack of beatnik, jazz, and psychedelic records melted into one soundtrack to a ’70s brown-hued television show. I think I’m gonna need a brownie.

(by our friend Emily M.)

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Two Gallants

Young and well-read, this San Francisco duo have, thankfully, spent very little time listening to (and even less time being influenced by) their rock ‘n’ roll contemporaries. Instead they’ve forged these songs from their own blood, sweat, and tears, and brought them to life with the simple tools of voice, guitar, and drums.

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