A while back, we got a list from a band called France Has The Bomb. They listed a song called “Meat Step Lively” by Thee Oh Sees. Of the song, Srini Radhakrishna said, “This band can do no wrong right now.” I couldn’t put it any better.
Thee Oh Sees (formerly OCS, The Ohsees, and a few other things) is the baby of John Dwyer—prolific songwriter, garage pop virtuoso, and one helluva nice guy. Clearly, we’re big fans of garage rock, but it’s hard to think of another band that’s taken the genre in so many directions. The duet vocals of Dwyer and Brigid Dawson work to make a sound that’s eerie, understated, and atmospheric, or they can create a straightforward garage attack.
Every time this band releases an album, the blogosphere understandably explodes in excitement. From their latest album on In The Red, Help, to the appropriately titled Thee Hounds Of Foggy Notion (because of its subtle, foggy sound), it’s all good stuff.
Thee Oh Sees – “I Was Denied” (from the upcoming Warm Slime)
They’ll be at Schubas with two other fantastic bands, The Fresh & Only’s and CoCoComa, on Sept. 27. Buy their music. Here’s their five, care of Dwyer.
1) Norma Tanega – “What Are We Craving?” (from Walking My Cat Named Dog) – “She has an incredible voice, although a strong record over all, this track is so far out and beautiful. Just drum tamborine and maybe a trumpet(?) and very sparse finger picking. Her songs are definitely in the poem area, but this song really hit me while driving down the I-5 high on medical grade banana bread. Careful.”
2) Hugh Masekela – “Gold” (from Masakela) – “This man ruled it at Monterey Pop Festival back in the day, but this song, and this whole LP actually, is psyched out even for him…pretty political and lovely, hypnotic…this song has him doing a sing song monologue about gold diggers in Africa wondering were the gold they slave for is going to and who are the people who desire it and how it is just a means to make a living for them.”
3) Idle Race – “The Lady Who Said She Could Fly” (from Back To The Story) – “Jeff Lynne’s first band as far as I know…the best thing I have heard all year, hands down. I can’t stop listening to this collection, every song is a totally mind blower pop masterpiece, I think. Mellotron out the ass and crispy tape delay vocals and the total move/Electric Light Orchestra song style in its most fetal stage but at its best and most raw.”
4) Nina Simone – “Lilac Wine” (from Wild Is The Wind) – “This song is just plain beautiful. Makes me wish that I could play piano and sing and have the heart of Nina Simone beating in my white boy chest…weird.”
5) Le Orme – “Era Inverno” (from Collage) – “Sixties Italian psych band from Venice, Italy…my friend William turned me on to this band and I have been slowly tracking stuff down online…very, very amazing psych pop stuff and homeboy’s voice sounds like Colin Blumstone from The Zombies, except he is singing in Italian, so basically it’s the best panty remover in the history of mankind.”