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Plain and Fancy

"I hope for nothing, I fear nothing, I am free"


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Painted Faces - Anxious Color (1967-68 us, significant garage psych rock)



The original band consisted of Jack O'Neill (vocals), Jerry Turano (lead guitar), Harry Bragg (drums), John McKinney (rhythm guitar) and Craig Guild (bass). This line-up recorded some demos in late ±966 at Qualicon Studios in Naples, Florida which consisted of a Crown 2- track recorder in a garage. Before their first single was released, Craig Guild left and John McKinney switched to bass. "Things We See" / "I Want You" was released April '67 on Qualicon Records which was owned by producer Walter Fredrickson who had connections with Mike Curb of Sidewalk Productions.

Through the Curb/Sidewalk connection, the group signed with Manhattan Records which was run by Curb's publishing company Mirby Music. Their first -45 on Manhattan, "Anxious Color" was a big hit in Florida for ±4 weeks in a row, reaching #± on some local stations. After this single was released, George Schule was brought in as the new bass player and John McKinney switched back to rhythm guitar. With this line-up the band recorded an even better follow-up single, "I Lost You In My Mind" / "I Think I'm Going Mad".

Unfortunately, the record company was getting negative feedback from DJ's complaining of the drug-like references from the two singles . Therefore, "I Lost You In My Mind" and their last single "Don't Say She's Gone" never got off the ground except in Florida where the group was based. Painted Faces began getting better gigs and were often traveling to New York City which didn't go over well with the parents of Jerry Turano and John McKinney who were pressured to leave the band to pursue careers outside of music.

They were replaced by numerous musicians but the nucleus of the band remained Jack O'Neill, George Schule and Harry Bragg. The group became very popular in Greenwich Village area clubs such as Cafe Wha? whose manager sent them to a club called The Jet Set in Puerto Rico for ±2 weeks. From here they got a gig in St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands at a club on Creque Alley where The Mamas & Papas used to perform.

Upon returning to playing gigs in NYC, local New Jersey band The Critters wanted to record a new Painted Faces song, "Girl, You're Growing Up" but they decided to record it themselves for their new single on Sidewalk which never came out. It was around this time that the group recorded an entire LP to be released as a budget LP on Sidewalk. With cover tunes like "The Letter", "Brown Eyed Girl" and "Incense & Peppermints", this LP never got beyond the acetate stage.

However, this album may have come out as part of the masses of unknown Sidewalk or Tower albums undiscovered to this day! By 1968 the Painted Faces recorded some of their finest originals such as "Hard Life", "Lady", "Black Hearted Susan" and their own arrangement of "Play With Fire" done in 7/4 time. They even recorded a few Bee Gees tunes including "Birdie Told Me" which was supposed to be released as a single in the summer of '68.

Like countless other American 60's bands, the Vietnam War led to the ultimate demise of the group as the drummer Harry Bragg was drafted and had to fight for Uncle Sam. Without their long time drummer, the group faded into obscurity until some of their songs began to appear on various garage compilations in the early 80's.

This led to an entire new generation of Painted Faces fans who were captivated by their originality and superior songwriting ability. Thankfully, for fans old and new, their music has been preserved on this much deserved disc. Though there is some noticeable surface noise due to old acetates and lack of master tapes, the music itself has survived the test of time which is all that matters.... 
David L. Brown


Tracks
1. Anxious Color  (O'Neill, Turano) - 2:32
2. Want You  (Ron Elliot) - 3:03
3. Things We See  (O'Neill, Turano) - 2:07
4. She Don't Care About Time  (Gene Clark) - 2:21
5.1 Can't Wait  (O'Neill, Turano) - 2:12
6. Can't Stop Lovin' You  (Lombardo, Byrnes) -  2:25
7.1 Lost You In My Mind  (Schule, Turano) - 2:18
8.1 Think I'm Going Mad  (O'Neill, Turano) - 2:13
9. Don't Say She's Gone  (O'Neill, Turano) - 2:08
10. Girl, You're Growing Up  (O'Neill, Schule) - 2:15
11. Hard Life  (O'Neill, Schule) - 2:22
12. Incense & Peppermints  (Carter, Gilbert) - 2:26
13. Play With Fire  (Jagger, Jones, Richards, Watts, Wyman) - 2:59
14. Lady  (O'Neill, Schule) - 2:46
15. Black Hearted Susan  (O'Neill, Schule) - 3:42
16. Birdie told Me  (B. Gibb, R. Gibb, M. Gibb) - 2:33
17.1 Can't See Nobody  (B.Gibb, R. Gibb) - 3:41
18. Lonely People  (George Schule) - 2:20
19.1 Think Of You  (Schule, Turano) - 2:54
20. If You Go Away  (George Schule) - 1:57
21. And Now She Knows  (Schule, Turano) - 2:42
22. Close Your Mind  (George Schule) - 3:03
23. To Love Somebody (Bee Gees) - 3:09
24. Look Away (Spencer Davis) - 2:37
25. Good Day Sunshine (Beatles) - 2:08
26. Ain't Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore (Rascals) - 2:42
27. One Minute Woman (Bee Gees) - 2:17
28. A Day In The Life (Lennon) - 5:10
Tracks 23-28 Live recordings

Painted Faces
*Jack O'Neill - Vocals
*Craig Guild - Bass
*John McKinney - Bass
*Bruce Morford - Bass
*George Schule - Bass
*Jerry Turano - Guitar
*Harry Bragg - Drums
*George Ayers - Guitar
*Jack Ross - Guitar
*Tony Yadouga - Guitar
* Danny Toriello - Organ

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The New Race - The First And The Last (1981 us/aussie, total energy raw rock 'n roll, with Stooges, MC5 and Radio Birdman members, White Color Vinyl limited edition)



This album earned credibility for documenting a unique, one-off event. In 1981, ex-Radio Birdman bassist Warwick Gilbert, guitarist Deniz Tek, and vocalist Rob Younger saluted their influences by joining the Stooges' lead guitarist Ron Asheton and MC5 drummer Dennis Thompson for a six-week blitzkrieg of Australia. 

The notion made sense, since Radio Birdman had been acclaimed on their Australian home turf yet relegated to cult fodder elsewhere, while the MC5 and the Stooges had never been commercial propositions either. Still, once listeners pass the "punk summit" angle used in promoting the album, they'll find the fruits of this alliance impressive enough to warrant further exploration. 

Not surprisingly, there's strangled, slash-and-burn guitar playing aplenty on burners like "November 22, 1963," a conspiratorial recall of President John F. Kennedy's assassination. This track, by Asheton's major post-Stooges outlet, Destroy All Monsters, would undoubtedly win filmmaker Oliver Stone's approval. Tek's "Descent into the Maelstrom" and "Haunted Road" open similar forays into the fretboard jungle, while the Gilbert-Thompson axis never lets up, especially on the drummer's MC5 standard "Gotta Keep Movin'." 

As these choices show, the set draws evenly from across the board, with "Looking at You" nodding again, respectively, to the MC5 and the Stooges. Tek's moodier songs, "Breaks My Heart" and "Sad TV," inject variety into the proceedings, while time constraints only permitted one new song to emerge: "Columbia," whose propulsive riff and atypical space-travel theme closes the album on a powerful, decisive note. 

Strategically overdubbed backing vocals and guitar on three songs, which offers historical value from a one-off event that never occurred again. Tek's terse yet engaging liner notes aptly sum up the exercise: "Humor beats bitterness every time." It's hard to disagree when the evidence is this powerful. 
by Ralph Heibutzki

New Race was meant from the beginning to be a one-off project since all members had other commitments. They did a national tour of Australia in 1981, and recorded a live album, The First and the Last. The music was hard, fast rock in the style of the parent bands. Everyone involved had a great time on tour. The shows were packed with crazed punters.

New Race was an exciting line-up which featured Detroit legends Ron Asheton (Stooges) on guitar, Dennis Thompson (MC5) on the drums together with 3 ex Radio Birdman players, Deniz on guitar, Rob Younger on vocals and Warwick Gilbert on bass. They played a set of songs derived from The Stooges, MC5, Radio Birdman, the members current bands and one new song written jointly for the tour, Columbia. Chris Masuak guested at some shows, creating a monstrous three guitar version of the MC5's Looking At You.

Miscommunications and financial troubles later poisoned the waters for years to come, especially between Ron Asheton and tour/album financier Michael McMartin. Asheton released cassettes of shows to French label Revenge for the First to Pay album. The irony of the name of both the company and the album was not lost on Ron. Fortunately this did not affect relations between most of the band members, most of whom remain close friends to this day.

Of course, the Revenge releases feature the original vocal, which is felt by many to be superior in feeling and intensity to the overdubbed version. Never happy with his vocals, Rob had redone these in the studio for the album though the rest of it is truly live.


Tracks
1. Crying Sun (W. Gilbert, D. Tek) - 3:06
2. Haunted Road (D. Tek) - 3:46
3. Sad TV (D. Tek) - 4:29
4. Breaks My Heart  (D. Tek) - 3:26
5. Looking at You (R. Tyner, F. Smith, M. Davis, D. Thompson, W. Kramer) - 7:48
6. November 22, 1963 (R. Asheton, Niagara) - 5:50
7. Alone in the Endzone (D. Tek) - 2:20
8. Love Kills (D. Tek) - 3:51
9. Gotta Keep Movin' - (D. Thompson) - 3:18
10.Columbia (R. Asheton, W. Gilbert, D. Tek, D. Thompson, R. Younger) - 4:56

The New Race
*Ron Asheton - Guitar
*Warwick Gilbert - Bass
*Deniz Tek - Guitar, Vocals
*Dennis Thompson - Drums, Vocals
*Rob Younger - Lead Vocals
Additional Musicians
*Clyde Bramley - Vocals
*Pip Hoyle - Piano
*Chris Masuak - Guitar

Similar releases
1976-87  Various Artists - Do The Pop

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