Saturday, April 14, 2012


No mp3 today. Instead, I'd like to direct your attention to the video below. It is most awesome. It's a few different groups playing in some sort of battle of the bands in Croton-On-Hudson, NY in 1967. This sucker's a hoot, so many things to dig. The teen dancers, the distinctly different bands, the venue. You've got your choice here. It opens with a standard (for the time) group, the Active Ingredients, followed by three other groups that didn't have the wherewithal to put their band name on the drum head, so I can't ID them. The Active Ingredients do "Midnight Hour," passably for school age kids I suppose. I love the ad-lib grunts and such towards the end. When the second band comes on (at 2:06)...well, the first thing that hit me was that they had a Monks-like beat. All repetitive, all banging thuds. I really like them. The drummer plays funny to boot. They're followed by a guy who probably thought of himself as some sort of sensitive John Mayer-type lady killer, at least of Croton-On-Hudson in 1967. I was kind of annoyed with this guy. I wouldn't go so far as to say his band have this thing completely nailed down, but they're far better than the rest of the bands, and that of course makes them completely uninteresting to me. The fourth band, whoa, they're my favorite. It's kids, really, trying their hardest, bless their jumping-the-gun hearts. Their tune (at 3:25) is quite a racket. In a way that I love, meaning that the only redeeming thing about it is that they are trying so hard to hold it together. And, they're at least doing it. (Proto-William Hung.) The kid singer assesses the performance at the end. Clearly audible as the song ends (at 3:51), he says "ahhh, we sucked pretty bad on that one..." It is a defining moment in rock 'n' roll, because every rock 'n' roll band has had one of those moments.

What I like about this video, and what made it worth watching several times, and posting it without accompanying tunes of any sort, is that it really has the timeless elements of shitty bands everywhere, from every era. To a certain degree, even the winner of this band contest, even the second runner up, let's just cut to the chase here, even the Beatles, at one time or another, sucked pretty bad on that one.

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