The music produced by Blank Dogs is some of the best New Wave of the decade, and arguably of all time. It’s great pop music, for sure, but the murky vocals add a menacing and ominous quality that’s hard to pin down. It’s got a “jump out behind a dumpster” kind of feeling, but it’s immediately followed by an impromptu dance party.
Blank Dogs is actually just a one-man project by that mysterious figure, Mr. Blank Dogs (that’s right—Deep Throat has been dethroned from the title “best fake name ever”). If you find any of his records from Captured Tracks, Woodsist, or In The Red, pick them up. They’re guaranteed to be awesome.
Blank Dogs – “No Compass” (from Under And Under)
Here’s a list from that masked menace, Mr. Blank Dogs.
1) Colin Newman – “Alone” (from A-Z)- “I’m a huge Wire fan, but I really like the first two Colin Newman solo records. I love the effected drum machine and the lyrics cut to the chase. This Mortal Coil wound up doing a version of this. They also covered ‘Not Me’ which is another great Newman solo song.”
2) Golden Rain – “Ketjak: The Ramayana Monkey Chant” – “Golden Rain isn’t a band, it’s the name of an album that Nonesuch did in their series of field recordings. It’s a Balinese vocal chant and it gets super-intense. I heard that the guy recording it started to have a panic attack in the midst of it, no surprise really. I’d like to witness this in person, time to go to Bali (seeing gamelan performed in Bali would be great as well). This is one of the first ‘world’ records I bought, but I hate that term, really.”
3) Kaleidoscope – “Music” (from Faintly Blowing) – “This is from the 2nd Kaleidoscope record Faintly Blowing, which is probably my favorite British ’60s psych LP. My idea of psychedelic differs from a lot of people who seem to think of it as droning and/or heavy-ness. PHASER all over the place.”
4) Grass Widow – “Tattoo” (from Grass Widow EP) – “I love this band so much. I’m putting this song out on a 12″ EP for them and I feel like the luckiest person in the world. Both the live shows and recordings are great. I don’t know how there’s so many great bands in San Francisco right now. It’s almost irritating.”
5) Dukes of Straosphear – “25 O’Clock” (from 25 O’Clock) – “Fake ’60s psych from the mid-’80s by XTC. I think the Dukes’ stuff is better than any XTC, save maybe ‘Science Friction.'”