“America’s Greatest Lost Band” by Winona
Growing up in Los Angeles with parents who really, really liked oldies radio, I was exposed to lots of KRTH 101.1. For those of you unfamiliar with this staple of my childhood/minor bane of my existence, KRTH is exactly the type of sugary, over-the-top kind of DJing that most Dads would like. And mine surely did. Here’s an example, featuring one of their staple DJs “Shotgun” Tom Kelly:
So for all of KRTH’s technical missteps, they did play a lot of really good music. Sure, 85% of programming would be the same song off of the Beatles’ White Album, or maybe the occasional Motown track. But every so often they’d play something unique that would segue into either an impassioned lecture from one of my parents or a hunt on my own to find the artist and maybe some more music by them.
For all the Stones, Dylan, and McCartney I heard, I never once heard of The Remains. So when I came across a distinctly Brit-pop looking album in the KSPC library it seemed very out of place to say the least. Curiosity got the better of me so I put it on, and this is what I heard.
My curiosity was piqued. This group sounded really good. They had a few more “punky” covers of songs (ie Hang on Sloopy, Like a Rolling Stone, etc.), but the one original track on the album (the song I linked, “Why do I cry”) was by far their best. They sounded like a hybrid between every mega band of the time, you know, the kinds that are painfully cited over and over again by people like me in relatively incompetent blog posts.
But hey! They were catchy, the guitar was awesome, and the jangly beat is something I could imagine being played over and over again on one of those oldie stations. I mean, sure, they weren’t worn and familiar sounding to me yet, but if clout in today’s radio world is measured by how quickly a band becomes disdainful through over-saturation, I could see these fellas coming out right on top. So why weren’t they big?
Turns out The Remains have a bit of a sob story, beginning with their brief taste of fame opening for THE BEATLES during their last tour. It almost sounds like it was meant to be, right? Too bad these guys couldn’t keep it together though… they broke up the summer after their opening gig on that tour and never really got off the ground again. They recorded a few cringe-worthy songs since, but have since faded into relative obscurity.
I’ll let rock journalist Mark Kemp say it, “The Remains most certainly are America’s greatest lost band.”
“Land of the Loops” by Joseph
This week’s record caught my eye because it features cute album art. It’s as simple as that. Take a look.
In my head, the commercial opens with a medium long shot of a couple twenty-something men sitting in the back of a moving pick up truck. They are clearly bros, wearing fitted baseball caps and tanks. Several shots of trees flying by intercut with close ups of the bros laughing or looking pensive and nostalgiac. Cut to the bros hopping out of the bed of the truck with a wicker basket full of Miller Lite (this is the only time the viewer sees Miller Lite). Cut to the bros hiking in the woods. One of the bros pretends to kiss a banana slug. The other bros laugh. Cut to side shot of the bros walking across a log in single file. Cut to the bros running across an open field. This is all shot on a shaky handheld camera, by the way. Lots of sweeping shots. Lots of lens flare. The bros tumble to the ground. A few bros are lying on their backs with their eyes closed, expressing bliss on their faces. The other bros are up on their elbows. A couple close ups of bros looking down and then up shyly, a little past the camera as if at the other bros. A slow sweeping shot toward the setting sun. White out. Miller Lite.