After a couple of crazy new release weeks, today is a bit slower. Beirut came out on top last week. At least for us at Amoeba. I am still thinking Jens Lekman has the best album out this year. But I know its now a new week. And the Christmas releases are continuing to come out. The Michael Buble "Let it Snow" EP is finally out at retail stores. I know most people really hate the Christmas music. But I sort of get a sick pleasure out of it. I may not be excited by Michael Buble but there are plenty of great christmas albums. I am actually getting excited that we will soon be putting out our Christmas section. I am not really sure what is wrong with me. But don't worry. I'll be doing some Christmas blogs in December. But my plan was to do all sorts of Halloween blogs as well. But somehow it is already the 16th of October. But I still have a couple of weeks to go. The Halloween sections are up at all the Amoebas right now. So go buy all your favorite Halloween music soon. I really do love October. When I think about October, I think about horror movies and the magical Elvira. Unfortunately, it is a rare treat for an artist to do a whole Halloween album. It is just not the same as Christmas. Try to imagine how great it would be to hear a whole album of The Carpenters singing Halloween classics. Or how about Aretha Franklin or Dolly Parton. Almost everybody does a Christmas album at some point in their career. Even Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand have Christmas albums. But who besides the great Elvira puts out a whole album of Halloween songs. You really need to check out some of those great B movies hosted by Elvira that have been coming out on DVD. Amazing stuff. Her jokes are still hilarious. But I guess if you never liked her then you still will not like her. I grew up watching those Elvira movies and really thought that she was the coolest thing ever. She actually still is. Her reality show "The Search for the Next Elvira" just started a couple of days ago. I have not had time to watch it yet. But all I know is that it is a four part series and I will be watching and talking about it very soon. It on the special Fox Reality network. If you live in the Bay Area and have Comcast cable, that is channel 159. I seriously had no idea that this channel even existed until I was searching for her new show to record.
There have been some amazing reissues coming out lately. I'm not just talking about Depeche Mode and Joy Division. But some more obscure bands are finally getting some fancy reissue treatment. The Delta 5 got their fantastic reissue last year. This year it is time for a great little band called Pylon. It is a nice week for this to come out. They come from the land of Athens, Georgia. The little town that brought us R.E.M. and The B-52's. R.E.M., who were influenced by Pylon, also have an album out today called "R.E.M. Live." I was a big fan of the new wave music of the 80's. But I was not really old enough at the time to discover the more hidden obscure bands of the period. I was only 16 when the 80's ended. So I pretty much only listened to what I heard on KROQ or saw on MTV. I was a very big B-52's and R.E.M. fan back in junior high. I loved them. But it really was not until I moved to San Francisco that I actually heard of Pylon for the first time. Pylon started playing music together in 1978. They released "Gyrate" for the first time back in 1980. It is now reissued by DFA with some bonus tracks and has been renamed "Gyrate Plus."
The band were all art students at the University of Geogia in Athens. The band was made up of Randall Bewley on guitar, Michael Lachowski on bass, Curtis Crowe on drums, and Vanessa Briscoe on vocals. They were not together for that long but had a huge influence on a lot of punk and new wave bands. Both the B-52's and R.E.M. were big fans and supporters. Pylon toured with both of them and also Gang of Four. They opened for U2 on their first U.S. tour. The band broke up in 1983. They later reunited and put out an album in 1990. They have got back together a couple of times over the years to play reunion shows. They even played a show this year in celebration of this reissue.
The Love of Diagrams covered the first track on this Pylon album called "Cool." And it is on their album that came out this year that I talked about months ago on my blog here. This new reissue will hopefully get Pylon a new group of fans. I think a lot of people will claim to have liked Pylon forever. I can imagine some kids who were born after the band broke up claiming to have been a fan for years. But some people will be very excited to discover this new band that they knew nothing about. The album only took 27 years to come out on CD! Some fans will be excited that their favorite band is finally getting the credit and respect they deserve by a reissue. But others will be upset that their little secret band is now exposed for everyone else to listen to. Those rare albums and 7"s might not be as valuable today now that this reissue is out. But that stuff might even become more valuable as more and more people discover Pylon. Hopefully it is not too late for them. It is sort of great that they have been preserved for so long. Because the album still sounds amazing. They don't sound at all like R.E.M. or The B-52's. Sort of more like Siouxsie singing for Gang of Four. But they really also remind me a lot of Romeo Void. I think Pylon was the Romeo Void of Athens. And Romeo Void was the Pylon of the Bay Area. They were both around at the same time and played a similar style of New Wave. But Romeo Void got much more exposure. I heard "Never Say Never" and "Girl In Trouble (Is a Temporary Thing)" many times on KROQ in Los Angeles. Pylon really only got exposure on college radio. But it is fantastic that we can now be exposed to them. If you want to listen to them just go here. There is another great reissue coming out next week from the band known as the "Sisters of Mercy of Denver." Smooch reissues a 2cd set of the "Soul Merchants."
here is a clip of Pylon from an Athens music documentary...
also out today...
"Pieces of Peace" by Pieces of Peace
"R.E.M. Live" by R.E.M.
"Oblivion with Bells" by Underworld
"Rare & Unreleased" by Aretha Franklin
"Chase this Light" by Jimmy Eat World
"Heresy & the Hotel Choir" by Maritime