Monday, November 17, 2008

1968: stoned is, into submission

detail from "snapshot of a slouch". graphic strip © ib, 1993.

Vanguard 6504.

I have Emmett from Art Decade to thank for originally bringing this song from 1968 - and this group - to my attention back in September, 2007. Emmett, in turn, caught it two years earlier on Ear Fuzz.

From Boston, Listening was a teenage band which in many respects served as a blueprint for Detroit's The Stooges. To my ears, at least. Since hearing this one track for the first time, I tracked down the LP, and while it is inarguably a cool slab of suburban psychedelic angst 'listened' to in its entirety, "Stoned Is" easily sets the bar throughout.

And it's not just that it rolls as much as rocks as a reinterpretation of the Kinks' "All Day & All Of The Night" - as Emmett rightly points out - which makes it so damn special. It not only very nearly succeeds in out-punking Iggy and The Stooges Elektra debut, but if I were a betting man I would comfortably wager that Malcolm McLaren had a copy of this stashed behind the counter of SEX. Right next to that pile of older Monkees and Small Faces 45's.

And if its cover were shown to be a little scorched and showing signs of Rizla wear and tear, well... I would not be at all surprised.

It's hearing shit as unexpectedly stunning as this every once in a blue moon that goes and makes my day.

Ernie Kamanis: drms, vocals; Peter Malik: guitar; Walter Powers: bass; Michael Tschudin: organ, keyboards, vocals.

Interestingly, too, bass player, Walter Powers previously played with Willie "Loco" Alexander in Boston garage punk ensemble, The Lost, before meeting up with him again further down the road in the last known line-up of The Velvet Underground.

Beat that for genuine pedigree.

The album was subsequently reissued on CD through Akarma (AK 050), but is sadly now out of print as far as I am aware.

Oh, and the fifteen year old artwork I looked out after shooting the shit with Jon from Poetry Is For Assholes about the dark underbelly of Santa Cruz, and the blackest lines which dissect the geography of serial intent.

WZJN ? Anything to add ?

LISTENING: STONED IS from "Listening" LP (Vanguard) 1968 (US)

SEX PISTOLS: SUBMISSION from "Never Mind The Bollocks Here's The Sex Pistols" LP (Virgin) 1977 (UK)




Löst Jimmy said...

ib - I do like that snapshot of a slouch art!

ib said...

Cheers, Löst Jimmy; it's a colour rough from a graphic novel I was working on back in the early '90s.

Never quite came through, sadly...

I got some of it inked up then moved off in a different direction, chasing whatever paid the rent at the time.

Mondo said...

Love it - never heard this before. Ever. And you're right it's one of those tunes Malcy would have had on the shop - did you ever see the Marco Pirroni comp'd SEX jukebox CD?

ib said...

Not a weak track on it, I see.

But what about those songs which never made the cut ? Curiouser and curiouser.

LV said...

lovely wishes

Emmett said...

Tracing the lineage back even further, the dudes from Ear Fuzz first heard it in the mix "AEIOU" by Diplo. However, I listened to that mix and the version Diplo used was actually the cover version by the band Cynara, featuring the keyboardist from Listening. The Cynara version isn't as good... what could be?

word verification: detracke

ib said...

Thanks, LV, and thanks, Emmett, for expanding on the Ear Fuzz/Diplo posts. I haven't heard the Cynara version, although I was aware that Michael Tschudin went on to join them.

I think Lost-In-Tyme mentioned Listening also released a couple of singles, the second of which - "Life Stories b/w Hello You" - I haven't heard in any version.

Apparently, too, "A reworked version of the album's opener, Michael Tschudin's You're Not There, appears on the highly-touted album ...Setting Forth... Improvising Against The Future by Odyssey", which I haven't heard either.

Nothing I heard on the LP compares with "Stoned Is", though.

"detracke" :)

WZJN said...

Nice to see respect given to Boston again - cheers!

Love the line from "You're Not There" - You just stare, Baby, you're not there. Stoned Is has been described what herb is to them as compared to Lou Reed's Heroin. Get a contact high?

Incredibly, vocals were done by Earnie, and Peter - who was only 16 when the this was recorded. Mike Tschudin went on to become a sought after producer and session man in the 70's and worked with, of all people, Tim Curry! Nice choice, at least in my quirky book.

Once in a blue moon we hear of Malick around these parts - not too often though.

ib said...

I had a sneaking suspicion you might have something to bring to the table, WZJN.

A very mellow contact high!

I'd read Peter Malik was just 16 when they did this; very punk. Strange indeed that Tschudin would go on to work with Tim Curry. Have you heard the "Fort Mudge Memorial Dump" LP ? I understand he produced it, but I'm not too sure if he plays on it; I haven't heard it myself, sadly.

Thanks for the comment.

WZJN said...

Heard the LP? Heck, I never even heard OF it.

Nice choice of tracks - my kind of quirkiness.