By Adam Lovinus
By Lilledeshan Bose
By Gabriel San Roman
By Rachel Mattice
By Stephanie Zacharek
By Daniel Kohn
By Nate Jackson
By Mike Seeley
Contact: (714) 960-0463.
TRACK 7-The Neil Armstrong Band, "Invisible Man"
Okay, maybe we slopped on the hype a bit too much when we called the wonderful Neil Armstrong Band "jaw-dropping" on the CD insert. We don't think any band is really worthy of that pronouncement, and if we've used the term before in describing anyone, we were probably just too lazy to think of anything else. Don't get us wrong, though-we love the Neil Armstrong Band, whose calming, atmospheric, electric moods remind us of a cross between Wilco and Crazy Horse, fronted by singer Matt May's winsome, Daniel Johnston-flavored voice, which, when run over by the magical beauty of his Fender Telecaster, is a sound to behold. We love them, they gave us a brand-new song, and they have a cute phone number.
Contact: (714) 558-SHAG (7424).
TRACK 8-00 Soul, "Tabu"
When completely useless marketing schemes like Prodigy are what's passing for dance music these days, you know the fine art of bootie bumping is in sad shape. Thank Allah, then, for Long Beach's 00 Soul, who infuse their urban rhythms with old-school funk, using such honest-to-God real instruments as organs, drums and horns that seem to have arrived straight from an old James Brown session. Keyboard genius R. Scott is a certified groove master who has his hands in a vat of such equally funky side projects as Redd Foxx BBQ and West Coast Harem and even has roots in '80s alterna-band National Peoples Gang. But to truly appreciate Double-O, you need to see them live, especially at their ridiculously sweaty shows at the Foothill the first Saturday of every month. "Tabu," yet another new song donated to us-do we rate or what?-comes from their just-out new CD that's loaded down with mounds of other freaky grooves, too-plug, plug! LQOR: "We're hippies!/Why should we be like the other straight people?!" (Okay, it's a sample.)
Contact: (888) 556-9347
TRACKS 9 & 10-Moe's Art, "Kirby Lane" & Room to Roam, "Fall Again"
In 1994, a collective of Fullerton artists called Homespun put out a compilation CD with music, spoken-word stuff and assorted noodlings. It was pretty eclectic (in other words, some of it wasn't very good), but it served its purpose in getting the word out that there was indeed culture and creativity going on in OC north of the 91 freeway, something people needed to know back in the dark ages (in more other words, before OC Weekly was born). We did our part to publicize the Homespun disc by writing a full-page article about it for The Orange County Register's Show section, which nobody read-because it was in the Register. There was some great music on the comp, though, and we've resurrected two of the best tracks here, songs that deserve to be heard again: Moe's Art's rollicking "Kirby Lane," which is about a great Austin, Texas, café that's famous for its gingerbread pancakes (turns out, though, that the joint is actually spelled K-E-R-B-E-Y, which we discovered a couple of years ago when we were in Austin trying to find the damn place), and Room to Roam's "Fall Again," which is probably their most popular tune and would show up a year later in a different version on their superfine Oblivious CD. But this first take is the one we fell for, with its shimmering guitars and nifty drum breaks that made it a perfect cruising-around song. Both bands shoulda been huge, a slice of what was going on in Fullerton, circa 1994. Unfortunately, time hasn't been good to either band-they've both since broken up.
The whereabouts of Moe's Art members are unknown. But Room to Roam's Pat Gallagher is working on putting together a new band; you can buzz him at (714) 255-1684.
TRACK 11-The Pharmaceutical Bandits, "Teen Idol"
Well, we felt we had to put some ska on here. Wait, don't turn that page! Come back! Even ska-haters should love the Rx Bandits, or at the very least, "Teen Idol," even though it's a nasty-ass little rant about somebody's sleeping-around girlfriend. Lord knows there's a ton of crappy ska out there, but the Bandits just seem to be flat-out better musicians than all of the others. They punk their songs up when apropos (while showing enough restraint to not go overboard), they put on really sticky live shows, and they thanked us on their Those Damn Bandits CD, so of course we like them.
Contact: (562) 493-1746.
TRACK 12-The Irish Brothers, "Blue '55 Chevrolet"
Don't read too deeply into their name; this isn't any of that lame Riverdance Muzak. Irish is the real-life last name of real-life brothers Keith and Karl, who used to play under the name Orange Cicadae. We're awfully glad they changed it because their old name was too damn hard to pronounce. We've always thought that "Blue '55 Chevrolet" rose above any name hassles, with its glorious, echoing guitar ring, which gives it a sweetly innocent tinge. It doesn't hurt that singer Keith sounds a helluva lot like Los Lobos' David Hidalgo, either.
Contact: (714) 771-0498.
TRACK 13-Chlorine, "B.R.N."
No, the initials do not translate to "Bisexual Republican Nuns"-get the CD and decipher it yourself. What's more interesting is their squashing together of-at least on this song-punky metal (or metaly punk?) with reggae, and if you're really stoned, you might even be able to pick out parts of the Grateful Dead's "Terrapin Station." Y'know, we've been told on occasion that we have B.R.N. ourselves. LQOR: "My job's so, so hard/Now I'm on the beach with beer/And my boss isn't here/So I don't care."