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Saturday, April 16, 2005

Record Collecting

Pelle & Greg, originally uploaded by Theresa K.

Think what you want of Sweden's The Hives, those boys know their American rock n roll. And not just the regular stuff. They know it ALL. They know your vintage garage, which I call the antecedent to punk, they know your punk, your indie rock and your post punk. Most importantly, they are HUGE fans of the band that in the 90s helped to bring punk back to its roots. That band would be The Oblivians, a powerful punk trio that could unleash the fury as well as subtley wink an eye with Greg Oblivian's clever song-craft.

These days, Greg Oblivian goes by his given name of Greg Cartwright and fronts The Reigning Sound. With them he is carrying the torch he himself lit, one of good songwriting, giving-it-all singing and playing and unforgettable live performances. In fact, I have the distinct pleasure tonight of seeing The Reigning Sound play at Cleveland's Beachland Tavern.

Now, those Hives like Greg's songwriting so much that they cover his "Stop And Think It Over," a Motown-inflected tune from his days in the Compulsive Gamblers. Sometimes during the last tour the Hives and Reigning Sound did together - Summer, 2004 in the USA, Howlin' Pelle brought Greg up on stage to sing along.

Pelle and Greg are pictured here backstage at NYC's Irving Plaza looking over their day's haul from record shopping at Billy Miller of Norton Records home / record archive.

If you want to complete your punk rock record collection, keep your eyes peeled for records by The Oblivians, along with Detroit's Gories, which boasted future Dirtbomb, Mick Collins, and future Demolition Dollrod, Danny Kroha. These two bands brought back all the fresh punk-ass attitude that I found in 1976 and 1977. And to top it off, they were also bringing back that NO BASS thing that I first noticed in The Cramps. If you are a fan of the White Stripes, you will be able to trace Jack White's record collecting and musical influences when you listen to the Oblivians and the Gories.

So, in record collecting, as in all things: go back to the source, and when you think you've found it, go back even further! You never know what kind of gems you will unearth.

1 comment:

DAN said...

ENOUGH with the Hives already! My girlfriend won't stop talking about them and I think they are just average. Tell me more about the Oblivians, though. And the Gories. If these bands influenced the White Stripes, I'm down with that.