Wednesday, July 27, 2011


There are a handful of bands that I never run into online. One of those bands that I'm constantly on the prowl for is the Nomads, a band from Sweden. Today I finally ran into one single Nomads mp3, and a fine one it is. A great cover of Alex Chilton's "Bangkok," from their 1984 LP, Outburst. (I think it was their first album.) I bought that album when it came out, based just on the songs listed on the back cover. Besides "Bangkok,", there was a cover of the Bards' "Five Years Ahead of My Time," and the Kinks' "I'm Not Like Everybody Else," along with a song called "Rat Fink A Boo Boo," which was the name of a B-movie (the Ray Dennis Steckler film, Rat Pfink A Boo Boo.) Not long after buying that LP, the Nomads became one of my all time favorite rock n' roll bands, and still are.

In lieu of finding additional mp3s I went looking for videos. And the first one I found happened to be from a 2008 show in Borlänge, Sweden, with the Nomads backing Roky Erickson, who I just wrote about yesterday, doing "The Wind and More." Figuring that it was a weird coincidence, I took a gander at the clip and was reminded off something; that music is sometimes more than performer and audience. Sometimes it is a moment. Check out that cropped screen grab at the top of the post. In it, you see a young guy, maybe late teens, early twenties, on the left, head banging away; and on the lower right, a couple caught up in the moment, making out. All this happening while the Nomads are backing Roky Erickson on stage. Is this not the textbook definition of bliss?

One thing you don't see in the screen grab is that, early in the clip (;38-:48), the young head banger guy is actually singing along, as is a young woman of roughly the same age (she's shown only for a few seconds). Their parents may not have even met when the song was released. Then there's the Robert Frank type moment. At 1:00 in the clip, time is about to stand still. With all sorts of individual experiences happening simultaneously, the headbanger bangs head, and the couple make out, with Roky Erickson and the Nomads onstage. Planets aligned, unadulterated symbiotic rock n' roll bliss. You can't get that from a computer. On that note, I gotta go book a flight.

The Nomads with Roky Erickson (center), 2008

The Nomads - Bangkok mp3 at Athens Indy Media
The Nomads and Roky Erickson, live in Borlange, Sweden, 2008. The whole set at YouTube
The Nomads - I'm Out of It (live, 2011) at YouTube
The Nomads at a Link Wray tribute, 2006 at YouTube Because parts of it sound a lot like Rocket From the Crypt's "On A Rope"
More Nomads videos at YouTube
The Nomads Official site
The Nomads at MySpace
The Nomads at Wikipedia

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