Archive for the ‘WBCN’ Category

Bob Kuban & The In-Men

Monday, August 24th, 2009

bobkuban, BobKuban, Musicland

Listen: The Cheater / Bob Kuban & The In-Men BobKuban.mp3

Just one of those moments in time – a song that basically came and went. Then one day recently, it got into my brain and I realized I hadn’t heard it for eons. It sounded pretty great. Even though the singer and general lineup may have taken them down the Blood Sweat & Tears road, fate had a different plan. Not only did the next two singles barely scrap The Hot 100 ( ‘The Teaser’ #83 and ‘Drive My Car’ #93), the singer Walter Scott was murdered by his wife’s lover. I’m sure, much to her surprise, she was next, proceeding to bury them under the cement in his back patio. Some of this is fairly well documented, but interestingly, last night, Matt & Kim played OFF BROADWAY in St . Louis. And I got into a fascinating conversation with the club’s owner. Turns out Bob Kuban & The In-Men were a local band, and he informed me of the above gory details. Some of them, although possibly local legend, are just too gory to share. But enough said.

The record, seldom heard these days (good old, very old, American programmers hard at work putting themselves out of jobs – note WBCN in Boston), was a big hit, reaching #12 in ’66 and sounded wonderful on the radio, it’s blaring mono-ness complimenting the British Invasion dominance quite tolerably. Lyrically, alarmingly, and certainly unknowingly, predicting the future.


Monday, July 13th, 2009

airsexy, Air, Source

Listen: Sexy Boy / Air AirSexy.mp3

airkelly, Air, Source

Listen: Kelly Watch The Stars / Air AirKelly.mp3

airradio, Air, Source

Listen: Radio #1 / Air AirRadio.mp3

Marc Lessner at Soul Trader in London was a most dependable source when it came to the latest, greatest dance and club releases back in the late 90′s. It was Marc who insisted I pay attention to Air, and gave me their first UK EP, LE SOLEIL EST PRESCE MOI. Despite a French aversion resulting from a few bad trips to Paris, I found Air irresistable. ‘Modular’ on Mo Wax followed and then came ‘Sexy Boy’, with an intro riff shockingly similar to New Math’s ‘They Walk Among You’, which was played down the phone to me by Howard quite early. But it was indeed the song’s similarity to Pink Floyd’s ‘Julia Dream’ that really grabbed my interest. All these years later, and I still don’t think I’ve even heard one mention of Pink Floyd when it comes to Air. Oh, and I do cherish my promo only UK single pictured above, one of many gems from the hands of Lessner. He always had my back when it came to promos bless him.

I excitedly went to see an early, maybe first, New York show at Town Hall soon after ‘Sexy Boy’ became an underground hit. It was very, very disappointing. I was shocked at how dull the whole event was. It put me off ever buying a ticket again, but not from loving the recordings.

Conveniently, despite their club royalty status, many of the singles were issued on UK 7″ vinyl. Both ‘Kelly Watch The Stars’ and ‘Radio #1′ were radio and chart hits in the UK, unlike here in the US. Once again, our programmers chose to grind their tired sounding stations to a cultural halt – I heard today that Boston’s WBCN bit the dust – put themselves right out of business with their stubborn musical policies. Good riddance.

Seems to me the excellent Animal Collective have quite good tastes – the influence Air have had on their records is worn very visibly on their sleeves. All good.