Tag Archives: Games

Flashlite #258

Sweet AppleWelcome to our first regular show in 2014. After several shows in which we had a year-end review, new records piled up so today’s show is filled with new stuff. We start off with the brand new tune for Games, who we just pronounced as the band with the best record in 2013. We also use this opportunity to learn about some previous bands for Jeremy and Dave in Games. Then we check out the new Apache tune. They have a new single. First Base come from Toronto and they just released a fun debut record on Hozac. We check them out as well. Then we have a relatively new tribute that Ben Deily and his Varsity Drag performed in honor of Wiz (ex Mega City Four and Ipanema). We continue with an exclusive new track from Sweet Apple which is scheduled to appear on their upcoming album Golden Age of Glitter. It sounds a bit like Suicide, so we check out another song that also sounds like Suicide, by a new band Dreamsalon from Seattle. Chris Eckman also has a new record called Harney County. We also check out Rainy Day Saints live in Cleveland. I read in Sanjin Strbac book Token For The Favorite Wurlitzer a quote from Zikica Simic that there’s not enough appreciation for blues these days. So I decided to feature one blues musician that I admire in each new show in alphabetical order. So, in our new regular segment Blues Alphabet, we hear Pink Anderson. Finally, we pay a special tribute to Dick Dodd (ex Standells) and Phil Everly, of The Everly Brothers. Both of them died recently.

The Beach Boys – California Girls;
Games – Little Elsie;
Busy Signals – Got It All Wrong;
Ex Humans – Emergency;
Apache – Faster Louder;
Apache – Civil Disobedience;
First Base – Don’t Let Me Down (This Summer);
Ipanema – White Cat In A Snowstorm;
Varsity Drag – White Cat in a Snowstorm;
Rainy Day Saints – You Can’t Escape (Live in CLE);
Sweet Apple – Hold Me I’m Dying;
Sweet Apple – Another Desert Skyway;
Dreamsalon – In The Air;
Suicide – Suicide – Ghost Rider;
Chris Eckman – Ghostrider;
Chris Eckman – Many Moons;
Pink Anderson – The Titanic;
The Standells – Dirty Water;
The Everly Brothers – Amanda Ruth.

Games (Hozac)

GamesOne friend of mine classifies albums that he likes into big and small records. Not according to the dimensions, but according to impact and depth of a concept laid out on the record. According to that classification, Games is a small record. Simple three minute love songs, no impact or concept whatsoever. Still, simple can sometimes be really great. In this case, Games reached a near perfection in my mind. Every song is super catchy and fun. Simplicity of the overall delivery here is disarming.

This is a bubble-gum, a candy. In my ears it sounds so dandy, lemonade and cotton candy. These lyrics lay the ground for this record. But it’s real sugar cane, no artificial sweeteners, no corn syrup. From the beginning, the record strikes you as something really fun, but things really take off with songs number 3 and 4 Different Times and Baby Put Down That Gun. This is when you realize that this record is really special. Urgency and whirl of Different Times take it to that different level. Baby Put Down That Gun keeps the level high with a great chorus, perfect harmonies and a bridge lifted straight from The Ballad of John and Yoko.

The highlight on the B side is When The Time, the only slow number with wonderful 70s retro keyboards and harmonies which are just right. Those harmonies are just slightly out of tune and weary, after all, this music is made by humans. It’s also the moment of the record where the lyrics become more ambitious then the rest of the bubble gum oriented song-smithery. In recent past, this record has the same retro feel and atmosphere as the debut album for Gentleman Jesse and His Men, which is not that crazy of a comparison having in mind that, just like Jesse, the boss of Games, Jeremy Thompson, was once in The Carbonas. Also, Dave Rahn produced and played drums on both records. Going further in the past, this record could easily stand head to head comparison to any of the Stiff, Rak or Buddah releases and maybe even win.

My pet peeve with record reviews in general is that whenever the writers hear some harmonies or power-pop attitude, they start comparisons to Big Star. I love that band, but this needs to end. Neither Games or Mikal Cronin have anything to do with power-pop or Big Star. In case of Games, this is your good old unadulterated, pure sugar-cane bubble gum and be ready for the rush.

The vinyl copy of this record is absolutely one of the nicest pieces of plastic out there. The sound of the record is absolutely flawless and it’s a great example on how vinyl should be done in this day and age. All major flaws are skillfully avoided – the sound is full, no inner groove distortion whatsoever, no sibilance problems, perfect groove centering. Just great. Credit for such a great job goes equally to all engineers involved in the pre-mastering process and Dave Eck from Lucky Lacquers in Midleton WI, who cut the lathe. United Press from Nashville did duplication. The record finishes with a sound of a soda bottle opening and a special treat on the B side is a neat locked groove which takes the carbonation all the way to the infinity. Locked groove is pulled away from the center, so it will lock even for the turntables with automatic tonearms.

Flashlite #255 – The Best Albums in 2013

GamesAs usual, at the end of the year, we bring you the list of the best albums played here at The Little Lighthouse in the past season. I think this was an interesting year. Debutant band Games tops the list with a catchy selection of hits. The ghost of Jim Dickinson rules the list this year with several bands paying tributes to him. Memphis is the most frequent city on the list, remaining the capital of rock’n’roll still after all these years.

01 Games (Hozac)
02 The Trashed Romeos – Where Dreamers Never Go (Trashy Creatures/Burger)
03 King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard – Eyes Like The Sky (Flightless)
04 The Oblivians – Desperation (In The Red)
05 Chris Cacavas – Love’s Been Re-Discontinued (Cactus Head)
06 The Fuzz (Munster)
07 The Bevis Frond – White Numbers (Woronzow)
08 Michael Tarbox – Works And Days (self)
09 The Sadies – Internal Sounds (Yep Roc)
09 Meat Puppets – Rat Farm (Megaforce)
10 Mikal Cronin – II (Merge)
11 Low Cut Connie – Call Me Sylvia (Side One Dummy)
12 The Dirtbombs – Ooey Gooey Chewy Ka-blooey! (In the Red)
13 North Mississippi All-Stars – World Boogie Is Coming (Songs of the South)
14 Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog – Your Turn (Northern Spy)
15 Bad Sports – Bras (Dirtnap)
16 Howe Gelb – The Coincidentalist (New West)
17 Jim Keays – Dirty, Dirty (Shock Entertainment)
18 Willie Nile – American Ride (Loud & Proud)
19 Jimbo Mathus And the Tri-State Coalition – White Buffalo (Fat Possum)
20 Left Lane Cruiser – Rock Them Back to Hell (Alive)
21 Barrence Whitfield – Dig Thy Savage Soul
22 Stan McMahon – La Di Da
23 Fuzz (Ty Segall)
24 The Len Price 3 – Nobody Knows
25 Miss Chain And The Broken Heels – The Dawn

Miss Chain And The Broken Heels – It’s Gone;
The Len Price 3 – My Grandad Jim;
Fuzz – Raise;
Stan McMahon – Let It Go;
Barrence Whitfield And The Savages – Hey Hey Little Girl;
Left Lane Cruiser – Juice to Get Loose;
Jimbo Mathus And The Tri-State Coalition – Fake Hex;
Willie Nile – Say Hey;
Jim Keays – Come See Me ( I’m Your Man );
Howe Gelb – Unforgivable;
Bad Sports – Eddie Bender;
Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog – Special Snowflake;
North Mississippi Allstars – Rollin ‘n Tumblin;
The Dirtbombs – Sugar On Top;
Low Cut Connie – Don’t Cry Baby Blue;
Mikal Cronin – I’m Done Running From You;
Meat Puppets – River Rose;
The Sadies – Leave This World Behind;
Michael Tarbox – Capricorn;
The Bevis Frond – For Pat (On the Chaise Longue Dreaming);
The Fuzz – Air;
Chis Cacavas – On the Floor;
Oblivians – Pinball King;
King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard – Eyes Like The Sky;
Trashed Romeos – The Grass Is Never Greener;
Games – It’s Just Impossible;
Games – When The Time.

Flashlite #234

J.J. CaleToday we begin with two obituaries. J.J. Cale died on July 26 from a heart attack. A day after that Mick Farren, British writer and leader of proto punk band The Deviants passed away after collapsing on stage. Then we hear some new stuff. From Hozac label we check out Games who had a great album last year which somehow fell through the cracks. Also on Hozac, Heavy Times from Chicago are back with the new record called Fix It Alone. R.Stevie Moore has a new compilation record entitled Personal Appeal. City of Cool from Australia are back in great shape and we check out the new tune. Mallard from San Francisco and Eat Lights Become Lights are influenced heavily by the kraut rock, so we finish things off today in that style.

The Three O’Clock – Mrs Green;
J.J. Cale – Rock And Roll Records;
The Deviants – You´ve Got to Hold on;
Mikal Cronin – See It My Way;
Games – When The Time;
Heavy Times – Trouble Walker;
Shocked Minds – Shocked Minds;
Scrawl – Live in CLE June 15 2013;
City of Cool – Cholera Outbreak;
R. Stevie Moore – Why Can’t I Write A Hit;
Thee Oh Sees – Tunnel Time;
The Mallard – Gestur;
Eat Lights Become Lights – 13th Looking South;
Kraftwerk – Ruckzuck;
J.J. Cale – After Midnight.