The Spin Doctors: The Mouse That Roared

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Proof of Utah

by Joseph Ocon
I listen to a lot of music, especially right now. I listen to music all day at work and then I go home and listen to music there and sometimes I listen to music in between those places in a car or while walking on headphones. The thing about doing something all the time is that anybody who has even the tightest death grip on sanity actually begins to go completely crazy and start to hate that thing, no matter how much they love it deep down in their heart of hearts.

And then that person, the one who usually clutches onto sanity with both hands, has to listen to even more music in concentrated bursts for a blog post, and has to read liner notes from dudes who probably have bad mustaches and comb-overs and wear big aviator-style sunglasses inside and who burned gaping holes in their brains by dropping acid 24/7 for all of the ’60s, ’70s and probably most of the ’80s and filled those holes with slang from the ’40s for some reason and the worst sentence construction this side of a first grade classroom. And at this point, that person, who I’m sure you have realized is me, realizes that most of the music to which he’s listening is not really that good even if it is super obscure and that maybe there’s a reason there’s no information about this garage group from Ohio called Flumpp* and that reason is because they’re fucking terrible and as he is violently reshelving another bad compilation, vainly attempting to shove it into place so hard it pulverizes into dust, he finds the record Out of Order by Proof Of Utah. A record by a band that looks like this:

And sounds like this:

Proof Of Utah are an absurd art rock band from Champaign, IL via Bowling Green, OH, two places of which this California boy has never heard and in which he would probably set a record for longest continual scoff as he drove through them as quickly as possible. The song I posted, “I’ll Make You Feel Good,” opens side B and is one of the more straightforward songs on the record. POU fill songs with total sonic switch-ups, spazzy prog-rock breakdowns, sax solos, half-spoken half-yelped vocals, etc. Listen to the whole thing if you get the chance, but for now enjoy “I’ll Make You Feel Good.” It’s a catchy song that, for lack of a better phrase and a general weariness from writing way too much in the first half of this blog post, makes me feel good, puts me in a summery mood, and even makes me thing that Flumpp could be maybe slightly less bad than I first thought.

*Flumpp is not a real band. They are a stand-in for all the bands to which I listened before I found POU. And they suck.

 

 

The Deep Freeze Mice

by Winona Bechtle

This isn’t the first time Joseph has tried to steal my thunder. He comes into the office with “dry hair” and “nice clothes” and a “clean haircut” looking all fancy and “put together.” Well Joseph, I can still make coffee without polluting it with grounds, so there!

When I looked to review my weekly find from the vinyl library, I was going to write exactly about the theme of over saturation that he mentioned. But hey, maybe I have something different.

Sometimes I do feel cynical about music. As much as I really do enjoy lots of new releases, it’s hard for me to move past the feeling of comparing everything (a little bit) to a Beatles song. New folk music always makes me ask the question… “Well I like this, but is it really better than Dylan?” Working at KSPC has forced me to stop making those comparisons, if only for a moment, so I can look at the band as its own entity rather than in the light of other groups. The Deep Freeze Mice (DFM as I’ll call them from here on out) stand as a perfect example of what I believe embodies KSPC; they are a band that, in their own way, made it. They produced a record that they are immensely proud of, judging by the liner notes which proclaim that ‘half of this LP is derived from other sources which we are not at liberty to disclose at the present time.’ Lofty indeed.

The DFM seem amazingly at ease with themselves. Anything I could find about the band pointed to their respective success on a label as oddly named as “Mole Embalming Records.” They released 10 albums! Impressive.

Do I think DFM are a group deserving fo the rock n’ roll hall of fame? International success? Top 40 charts? No, maybe not. But that’s definitely not a bad thing. I can imagine the DFM as a group of guys that genuinely loved what they were doing, and from the little information I could find online, a select group of people really seem to enjoy their music. Each band member was able to move away from DFM and create a career in music that lasted him the rest of his life. Their album is fun, very silly, and includes such non-hits as Phylis is a Protozoan Actually:

So, on second thought, maybe the Deep Freeze Mice give me a little bit of hope that I don’t need to be world famous to achieve something that really matters to me. I don’t need to write a bestselling book or become a music critic for The Rolling Stone. Maybe if I do something I love with people I love, I can be as happy as Alan, Sherree and Mick were. Sure, these boys from Leicester weren’t nearly as popular as their Liverpool counterparts, but they sure seemed to have just as much fun.

Maybe my original idea for this blog post couldn’t stand in the light of my co-workers. Maybe I had to skirt the issue, come up with a theme of my own, and go from there. Like the DFM, I had to dance to the beat of my own bloggy drum.  Is this a great blog? I don’t know. Probably not.  You tell me. But did I enjoy writing it? Yeah, definitely.

 

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2 Responses to “The Spin Doctors: The Mouse That Roared”

  1. July 19, 2012 at 5:41 am #

    I may be a bit biased but I certainly think this is a GREAT blog. Thank you for posting the Proof of Utah song. Much appreciated. I haven’t listened to that one in years. Always enjoy a DFM song too.

  2. October 9, 2013 at 1:57 am #

    Hello Winona,

    How dare you say we don’t deserve to be in the rock and roll hall of fame!

    But seriously now – thanks for the nice post.

    Alan (ex DFM)

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