Here ya go, kids: Vagrants – I Can’t Make A Friend 1965 – 1968! This is Light In The Attic’s first release of 2011 and it’s ready to get in your face and scream “buy me a drink!“. We’ve been talking about this for some time (and working on it for even longer!) and the release date (January 25) is so close but we couldn’t resist announcing it.
This comp includes 12 slabs of groovy garage, propulsive psych, and primitive proto-punk remastered for CD and Vinyl (180 gram) and sporting deluxe packaging and extensive liner notes by Ugly Things’Mike Stax. Get ready to make a new friend…
Pre-order (MP3 available NOW) CD/LP for Vagrants: I Can’t Make A Friend 1965 – 1968HERE!
Florida. A weird and mysterious state that you gotta be from to truly understand (yours truly, Patrick, hails from the Northern “Southern” reaches of the state). Smack dab in the middle is the sprawling magical metropolis of Orlando. Largely known for its amusement parks and mosquitos, Orlando’s also got a thriving underground music scene that is centered around Rich Evan’s record shop, Wiggly World, and his label, Floridas Dying. This week we sat down with Rich to talk popsicles, the Beatles, and the strangeness of the Sunshine State.
Shop has been here for just over two years now. It’s an area of town called the Milk District. There is only one Milk factory so I don’t think that technically qualifies as a district, but whatever it’s Florida. We make our own rules. I’m in a free standing building at the back of a parking lot. It’s great for doing in-stores. Jay Reatard played my parking lot for the one year anniversary. The store actually grew out of my house. I started an online distro about 6 years ago, and it started to take my life over and a friend used to rent the space I am now in. Her boutique was moving to a larger location up front, so the building was available and super cheap so I snagged it.
What kinds records/CDs/ etc do you carry? Used & new? That Cramps Memphis Poseurs record I got from you kills!
I carry mainly records but also some tapes and zines. I carry a lot of punk and psych reissues, and mostly smaller current garage/ indie labels.
Is there a record you play that someone will usually buy/inquire about every time?
When I had it the Better Beatles was almost always a definite sale. An insanely understated synth and drum back track with a girl singing a monotone non-version of a Beatles classic over it. Completely stupid and totally better than the Beatles.
What’s the coolest/most prized record that has come into your store that you never thought you’d ever see?
Well unfortunately I don’t sell used vinyl at this point so for me it has been the records that are slow to show and have somehow already become ebay fodder. I don’t do the ebay thing, but it insures that the copies I sell for a reasonable price to end up there. I’m just the middle man.
How about your awesome label Floridas Dying. How did that come about? Didn’t you just celebrate 6 years?
Yeah I celebrated 6 years in January. Floridas Dying stated because Florida really does not get any respect musically, especially 6 years ago. And while I agree that a lot of what goes on here musically should be kept a secret because its shameful there are some really good bands, and some really cool people down here. I was bored here so I figured I better do something to change that. I think its been a real good run so far. I’ve brought a lot of amazing bands down here that would not have come down otherwise, and kids down here have really gravitated towards it. I’ve also got to help some bands down here get some much wider attention nationally which is a great feeling. There are a lot of good bands going on right now, and Im excited to get to be a part of it.
Floridas Dying 6 year anniversary show flyer.
Are the label / shop associated?
Oh god are they associated. I spend pretty much my entire day from the time I wake up till the time I hit the bar to “unwind” working at the shop. I love what I’m doing and couln’t think of anything else I would rather be doing, but it’s a lot of work for one person, which thankfully is starting to pay off. I no longer live on a couch.
Floridas Dying has some great bands on it–Jacuzzi Boys (who just signed to Hardly Art, right?), Dead Ghosts, Shannon and the Clams, Cop City, etc the list goes on…
Yeah I put out mostly Florida bands. I’ve done two singles by the Jacuzzi Boys as well as the first LP. I also put out two Electric Bunnies singles and their full length. I’m currently working on the Cop City / Chill Pillars LP. They are a new band from Lake Worth who I’m really excited about. Also starting a reissue label called Floridas Dead. The first release will be a Roach Motel LP collection. They were an incredible hardcore band from Gainesville in the early 80′s. Floridas Dead is going to do all Florida reissues. Also just started a singles label called Total Punk! It’s gonna be a fun singles label. Real cheap hand stamped covers, two songs a record. All punk of course.
Jacuzzi Boys "No Seasons" LP
Are all of these bands local or do you have greasy A&R dudes out patrolling house party shows across the USA?
I’ve done mostly local bands, but have also done records for bands outside of Florida. Most of the bands I work with are people I know through traveling around, or have met through booking shows down here. I work pretty much exclusively with friends.
OK, what’s your favorite Light in the Attic release and why?
Rodriguez – Cold Fact without a doubt. I got that record when I was going through some real dark times and that for sure helped me through it.
Nice display...dig the Rodriguez in there!
What’s the funniest/weirdest/strangest encounter you’ve had with a customer in the store?
I’m in a bit of a weird area in town. I had a homeless guy that would give me $20 bills for a while. That was pretty cool. He’d tell me “You look like you need $20.” Then he would produce a bill. There was a guy at the milk factory for a while who was standing up on top of the silos during his breaks, and would shoot out windows with a high powered air gun. He was going up there on his break eating popsicles and shooting holes in windows. They never caught the guy, but the police found the spot he was shooting from. There were popsicle sticks and bb’s all over the ground. There is a techno record store in the next parking lot so sometimes they have barbqs where they blast techno music and people throw fire.
The store has a ton of in-stores, right? Have a favorite?
Yeah Thomas Function did an instore that was really great. The Jay Reatard one was the biggest. I’ve also had Pink Reason, Jacuzzi Boys, and the Electric Bunnies play my parking lot. This Friday Cop City is playing.
Lastly, tell us about the scene down in Orlando. Any more cool bands we should be on the lookout for?
Lots of great bands. I play drums in a few bands so everyone should check them out. Garbo’s Daughter is great. 60′s girl group stylings. Mandy Mullins, Garbo’s Daughter mastermind, has a beautiful voice. Slippery Slopes are the go to party band in town. Fun sloppy punk. Hungry Gayze, Vein Cranes, Sexcapades. Snakehole from Miami are great. Love Handles, James, Cop City, Electric Bunnies, Jacuzzi Boys, Ghost Hospital. There are a ton of great bands.
Medical Records continue to blow our minds with their releases of incredibly rare/obscure electronic albums and their latest release, OGI, does not disappoint. Originally released in 1980 on EMI France, the OGI LP is the work of Hungarian-born Peter Ogi (pronounced as “ohgee”). Peter Ogi obtained formal education in music composition at the Budapest Music Academy and quickly thereafter formed the very early Hungarian punk outfit, the Spions. In the late 1970s, Peter began traveling back and forth between Paris and London where he worked together with legendary producer of the Sex Pistols, Malcolm McLaren. Their collaboration was integral to the creation of the OGI LP. It was recorded in Autumn 1980 at Pathé Marconi Studios, Boulogne. The album was composed by Peter Ogi with lyrics written by Malcolm McLaren on over half of the tracks. Unfortunately, the record was criminally overlooked most likely due to it’s French-only release. It is now being reintroduced for the first time in over 30 years.
Transferred from the original analog tapes from the vaults of EMIFrance. Officially licensed from EMI and features re-envisioned front and back cover art. This reissue is over one year in the making and is lovingly presented on high-quality 180gm magenta vinyl in a hand-numbered limited edition of 650 copies. All of the Medical Records releases go out of print very fast so don’t sleep!
Who would’ve thought? Check the trailer (below) for yourself…SpokAnarchy! chronicles the manic highs and desperate lows in the emergence of the alternative music scene in culturally barren Spokane, Washington. Before MTV, before the Internet and cell phones, Spokane seemed a long way from anywhere. A small group of bored teenagers banded together to make art and music and live a lifestyle that tested the social and moral boundaries of conservative America.
From the late 70s through the 1980s, Spokane had a diverse array of bands in sound and style. Like many small scenes, often times wildly different acts would appear on the same bill. Especially in the early days, shows were not a regular event and with so few bands some bands lasted only one show.
Most of these bands were formed in Spokane and existed only then and there. Some towards the bottom of the page were formed by Spokanites who moved away. Some of these tracks were recorded in professional studios, but most were recorded on a humble 4-track tape recorder (or worse!) in a living room. All are passionate, unique, and show the range of what came out of “the world’s largest hick town” in the 1980’s.
If you were to distill every Light In The Attic release to its essential parts, you’d find the two necessary elements to be great music and the engaging history behind it. Over the years this passion has expanded from music releases to documentary films about our releases and adventures. From the Wheedle’s Groove film, to The Jim Sullivan Story, The Rock-N-Roll Farmers on Donnie & Joe Emerson, and even our annual Road Trip shorts, with Light In The Attic Docs we bring the stories behind our releases to screen.
In late 2012, we sent Light In The Attic’s own Patrick McCarthy to Austin, Texas to spend some quality time with Tim Kerr and Chris Gates of the legendary Skate Rock band the Big Boys. Over a long weekend, Patrick sat down with Tim and Chris to talk about punk and hardcore in the early 80s, the Austin scene, and their 1981 debut album, Where’s My Towel/Industry Standard. Where’s My Towel will be released in March 2013 by our imprint Modern Classics recordings on deluxe LP and cassette (a co-release with Burger Records)! For exclusive color variations, pre-order now at LightInTheAttic.net. For the story behind this album, watch Big Boys – Looking Back It’s Just Reflections above.
Original Big Boy, Tim Kerr, sits down with Tracy Schultz of “What’s New” to discuss the humble beginnings of “Skate Rock”, our upcoming reissue of Where’s My Towel?/Industry Standard, Tim’s artwork, our release parties, and more!
Skate Rock may have been one of the defining sounds of Southern California in the late ’80 / early ‘90s, but its origins were in another time and place. It began, in fact, in post-Outlaw Country 1970s Austin, Texas. That’s where singer Randy “Biscuit” Turner, guitarist Tim Kerr, bassist Chris Gates and drummer Greg Murray were mixing the prevailing trend of playing hard and fast with playing loose and funky.
The Big Boys came from the same scene that spawned Scratch Acid, The Dicks, and MDC, but stood out with music that ventured far beyond post-punk angularities and hardcore machismo. With features in the earliest issues of Thrasher Magazine and coveted spots on their influential Skate Rock tape comps, Big Boys were the first band to be labeled “skate rock.”
Originally released on David Bean’s (of the Judys) Wasted Talent label, their debut album Where’s My Towel / Industry Standard is a classic of American independent music. Lyrically inspired by the group’s growing dissatisfaction with the local hardcore scene and how the release of their Live at Raul’s split record with the Dicks was handled, musically the album showed a move from the prevailing sound of the time. In this, the album’s sound has roots in funk, rock and avant-garde noise guitar as much as punk.
But the record only tells part of the story. Big Boys shows have gone down in history as theaters of chaos, frequently involving stage invasions, food fights and the sight of occasional cross-dresser Turner wearing a tutu or dress – or even a string of Christmas lights. Years later, Kerr told an interviewer of a gig where Biscuit performed with bagged sandwiches pinned all over him, which he went on to throw into the crowd. At a gig six months later, a member of one audience threw the by-then-moldy sandwich back at him. The band also frequently extended to include a horn section, The Impromptu Horns, led by Chris Gates’ brother, Nathan.
Famously, the Big Boys would end with the foursome shouting, “OK y’all, go start your own band.” This DIY attitude continues today in Tim Kerr’s art, which instead of being signed with his name is inscribed “Your Name Here”. The list of fans who did go out and start their own band includes the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who opened for the Big Boys in Hollywood in their club years. After five short years and three albums, each of the four Big Boys departed too, taking their own advice: each member went on to play in numerous bands like Poison 13, Monkeywrench, Jack O’Fire, Junkyard and many more. They are also featured in the critically-acclaimed documentary American Hardcore and appear on its soundtrack. In 2005 Biscuit died of complications from Hepatitis C. Tim Kerr continues to play music and his artwork has been seen all over the world. Chris Gates continues to play music in his band Chris Gates & Gatesville.
“We never really decided to ‘break up’, it just happened,” Kerr said, five years after the split. “We had been on a two month tour and it got to be exactly like being in a station wagon with mom and dad with your brother and sisters… lots of tension and everything.” That won’t come as any surprise on listening to the album: the tension’s what makes it so very vital.
It’s Friday! Y’all know the drill. We’re here to hook you up with some fresh jams before you head off into the weekend. This week we’re giving away the Big Boys’ debut Where’s My Towel? / Industry Standard on limited edition hand numbered LP with randomly packed colored wax (either green or white) AND the limited edition hand-numbered cassette (a collab with our friends at Burger Records)!
Famously, the Big Boys would end their sets with the foursome shouting, “OK y’all, go start your own band.” So, for your chance to win, go start your own fictitious band, fantasy football style! Pick any musicians (living or dead), tell us the lineup, and give yourselves a name! Winner will be chosen and announced next Friday! Be sure to leave your name and email address (kept private) in the proper field, so we can contact you if you win! Good luck, y’all! Have a great weekend!
Lay your eyes on this EXTREMELY limited edition skateboard by Conspiracy Skates – paying homage to the legendary skate rock band Big Boys with original artwork by Tim Kerr!
Available in two models: 8.5 Popsicle and Tim’s custom shape, the “Texas” Stinger (custom as to Tim’s specs and in the tradition of John Gibson’s Zorlac model). We also have three one-of-a-kind decks available that have been hand-painted by Tim Kerr himself!
Like we said before, these are EXTREMELY limited, left over from the Tim Kerr/Chris Pastras art show, never to be restocked. Get ’em while you can! Head to LightInTheAttic.net to grab a deck and shred in style!