Monday, July 20, 2009

Mitch Easter - Rare Tracks

I've been listening to my treasured Let's Active records of late and marveling at how good those three albums were. Mitch Easter channeled influences such as Big Star and Television into a unique psychedelic stew, all flavored by the Athens Georgia, North Carolina sound from the early 1980s. All three Let's Active efforts are great and well worth picking up.

I really liked Mitch's comeback effort "Dynamico" from a couple of years ago and I saw him touring with Don Dixon and wife Shalani. Very nice show. I was all set for new high output period. However so far, only the one record. Mitch has produced far more music than he has put out under his own name.

To stretch his catalog a bit, I put together a compilation of Mitch songs from tribute records, a couple of songs that he authored and sang from Shalani records and a few songs that Mitch sang lead on from the Sneakers projects with Chris Stamey. There also a couple of Let's Active B-sides and some brief appearances by Mitch and Don Dixon on TV.

I've got to admit that this compilation will be enjoyed most by really serious fans (though everyone SHOULD hear Mitch's version of the Monkees classic Vallerie - at least once).

Let me know if you have anything I'm missing here.

Friday, July 3, 2009

KC Bowman - Preoccupied Piper

There are a lot of people who haven't yet encountered KC Bowman. Little known outside of di-hard pop circles, he has been writing and performing power pop songs in the style of XTC (with a bit of Apples in Stereo thrown in) for the last ten years. Great power pop tunes representing a somewhat skewed outlook on life (also think They Might Be Giants).

Bowman was one of the original driving forces behind the California band Lawsuit . Since Lawsuit broke up in the mid 90s, He has presided over a loose configuration of like minded artists known as The Preoccupied Pipers. The ever changing roster of the Preoccupied Pipers take turns writing and singing and have released a string of great albums. I strongly recommend checking them out. There is great stuff on every Pipers release.

KC's solo album Fresher Tin Villages was released in 1998. In my opinion, it is an absolute classic - and KC has kindly made it available for download here. Don't miss this one!

To accompany Fresher Tin Villages, I've assembled a sampler of Preoccupied Pipers tracks with KC singing lead. This is great stuff, not to be missed. If you haven't heard him before, you are going to want entree into KC Bowman's world.