Thursday, September 30, 2010

September's "Forgotten" Music: RAINY DAY (and, THE BUNCH)

A number of folks in the loose assembly of early 1980s LA-based bands which became known collectively as the "Paisley Underground" got together to record some tracks that were released in 1984 as Rainy Day. This album has not yet been released in any digital format, as far as I know...somewhere, I have a cassette copy, which probably wouldn't sell for the inflated prices that the LP does.

As puts it:
Rainy Day (Self-Titled)
Rainy Day (Author), Susanna Hoffs & Vicki Peterson (Author), David & Steven Roback (Author), Will Glenn (Author), Michael Quercio (Author), Matthew Piucci (Author), Dennis Duck (Author), Kendra Smith (Author), Ethan James (Author), Karl Precoda (Author) | Format: Vinyl

Only three tracks have been posted, and reposted, around the web, that I've found, but they do give a sense of the charm of this collection of covers of folk-rock songs and work that draws on the folk-rock of the '60s, even as such bands as the Bangs/Bangles and the Dream Syndicate did themselves.  ***2014 update: here's a full-album post:

As Jenny Woolworth put it in her Women in Punk Blog:

Included here for you today are three songs: ”Flying on the Ground is Wrong” (featuring Kendra Smith on vocals, David Roback on guitar and Susanna Hoffs on backing vocals), “I’ll Be Your Mirror” (featuring Susanna Hoffs on vocals and guitar, David Roback on guitar, bass and tambourine and Kendra Smith on backing vocals) and “I’ll Keep it With Mine” (featuring Susanna Hoffs on lead vocals, David Roback on guitar and tambourine and Will Glenn on violin).

And this kind selection leaves off the fine reading of Alex Chilton's "Holocaust" and a handful of wit, from the Lossless Music site:

Track Listing:

1 I'll Keep It With Mine
2 John Riley
3 Flying on the Ground Is Wrong
4 Sloop John B.
5 Soon Be Home
6 Holocaust
7 On the Way Home
8 I'll Be Your Mirror
9 Rainy Day, Dream Away

1. I'll Keep It With Mine
Written by Bob Dylan; originally recorded by Nico.
Personnel: Susanna Hoffs - lead vocal; David Roback - guitar, tambourine; Will Glenn - violin; Michael Quercio - bass guitar.

2. John Riley
Written by Phil Belmonte, Bob Gibson, Ricky Neff; previously recorded by the Byrds, Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, Judy Collins, and others.
Personnel: Michael Quercio - lead vocal, bass guitar; Matthew Piucci - acoustic 12-string; David Roback - electric 12-string, background vocals; Will Glenn - violin, background vocals; Dennis Duck - drums.

3. Flying on the Ground is Wrong
Written by Neil Young; originally recorded by Buffalo Springfield.
Personnel: Kendra Smith - lead and background vocals; David Roback - guitar; Susanna Hoffs - background vocals.

4. Sloop John B.
Traditional; best known as a Beach Boys hit.
Personnel: Michael Quercio - lead vocal, bass guitar, percussion; Ethan James - keyboards; Dennis Duck - drums; David Roback - guitar, congas.

5. Soon Be Home
Written by Pete Townshend; originally recorded by the Who, as Part V of "A Quick One While He's Away".
Personnel: David Roback - lead vocal, guitars; Michael Quercio - bass guitar, drums; Vicki Peterson - background vocals; Susanna Hoffs - background vocals; Spock - tambourine.

6. Holocaust
Written by Alex Chilton; originally recorded by Big Star.
Personnel: Kendra Smith - lead vocal; Steven Roback - piano; Will Glenn - cello; David Roback - guitar; Ethan James - backwards piano.

7. On the Way Home
Written by Neil Young; originally recorded by Buffalo Springfield.
Personnel: David Roback - vocals, guitar.

8. I'll Be Your Mirror
Written by Lou Reed; originally recorded by the Velvet Underground and Nico.
Personnel: Susanna Hoffs - lead vocal, guitar; David Roback - lead guitar, bass guitar, tambourine; Sue and Kendra - background vocals.

9. Rainy Day, Dream Away
Written by Jimi Hendrix; originally recorded by the Jimi Hendrix Experience.
Personnel: Michael Quercio - lead vocal; Ethan James - bass guitar, keyboard; Dennis Duck - drums; Karl Precoda - guitar; David Roback - congas.

One of the other discussions of this album that I've found on the web noted that it reminded the author of that other collection of covers of older songs by a group of folk-rockers (no bones about it folk-rockers in this case), the album recorded by the largely Fairport Convention-member/ex-member conglomerate and entitled Rock On (and here swiping from Wikipedia):

Sandy Denny lead vocals from Rock On:

Track listing(s)

Original LP album
"Crazy Arms"
"That'll Be the Day"
"Don't Be Cruel"
"The Loco-Motion"
"My Girl the Month of May"
"Love's Made a Fool of You"
"Willie and the Hand Jive"
"Jambalaya (On The Bayou)"
"When Will I Be Loved"
"Sweet Little Rock 'n' Roller"
"Learning the Game"

Flexi-disc included with original LP
"Let There Be Drums"

Fledg'ling Records FLED 3042 CD bonus tracks
"Let There Be Drums"
"Twenty Flight Rock"
"High School Confidential"
"La Bamba"

Gerry Conway - drums and percussion (not the comics/tv Conway)
Tony Cox - piano
Sandy Denny - vocals
Pat Donaldson - bass
Ashley Hutchings - vocals
Trevor Lucas - vocals, 12-string guitar
Dave Mattacks - drums and percussion
Linda Thompson - vocals
Richard Thompson - vocals, guitars
Ian Whiteman - piano
The Dundee Horns - brass

And this one is now an overpriced collectible, too, in its CD release (I have the vinyl from Island). But the (Amazon samples) link above will give you a taste of what they were on about (2014 additional video links)...sadly, events today keep me from writing up the paean to folk-rock and its extensions I hoped to...

Please see Scott Parker's blog for the other "forgotten" music this month...


  1. I remember Susanna Hoffs from the Bangles (sort of), but none of these other folks. Be mighty interesting to hear this version of "Sloop John B."

  2. It's not too shabby, as I recall it. Vicki Peterson was the (even cuter, in the '80s rather young-Jane Fonda-looking) Bang/Bangle, and the lead guitarist. The Bangles were the only band in that group to have a sustained pop-charts career, though Mazzy Star did okay, too.

  3. Sounds good. Andy Kershaw was the disc jockey in Britain who really promoted the Paisley Undergound and I liked most of what I heard. Susanna Hoffs is a Facebook friend and she hasn't taken an injunction out. Yet.

  4. I like the mix of music: Dylan, Lou Reed, and Pete Townsend. Nice.

  5. Paul--well, the Bangles do seem rather approachable, even if perhaps not always willing to stick together. I wonder if anyone was a particularly advocating DJ or DJs in the States for the Brit folk-rockers...

    George (John and Ringo will be checking in later, maybe Billy too)--these were the folks who inspired the Paisley Undergrounders...and it tells in their own work.


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