Harold Ott, Arkansas’s own homegrown authority on garage rock, has released another fantastic compilation
Lost Souls Volume 3
I have been listening to this collection since late summer. I definitely have my favorites, like “I Can See Your Ways” by Richard Vanover & Bob Ralph and “Hush Puppy” by The Spyders. The version of ” Little Latin Lupe Lu” by Don Norviel & the Visions I dig way more than the Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels cover. And you have to love “Fouke Monster” by Billy Cole & the Fouke Monster created to promote the cult classic film Legend Of Boggy Creek.
The entire collection is worth owning the hard copy: 29 tracks, a fat insert with super detailed liner notes and pictures – This is what all albums should be! Many of the songs compiled in these collections have been gathered from original acetates, 45s, and reel to reel tapes not found anywhere else. Not only is it an exciting and obscure part of Arkansas’s music history, but many of the songs are infectious and will make their way into your playlists.
ALSO: check out the complete Lost Souls documentary to see the story of the garage rock band out of Jacksonville who are the namesake of these labor-of-love compilations.
Thanks Harold for all the hard work!
Thanks to Indie Memphis and The Brooks Museum, I had the opportunity to catch a screening of Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then – A very unique feature film based on the unbelievable but true story of Leonard Wood, a Kentucky hardware clerk, who built a crazy “healing” house for his wife, Mary, in an attempt to appeal to God to save her from cancer.
The film’s creator Brent Green used this man’s own design to recreate a full-scale version of the handmade house in his own backyard where the entire film was shot. A beautiful and eerie mix animation, stopmotion, and live-action, the film was screened with a live musical accompaniment featuring the director’s own narration and the talents of Donna K, musician Brendan Canty and the indie-cabaret group The Bitter Tears.
I was sold when I walked into the room and saw a theremin, but the live soundtrack really did made this a knock-out performance. I would have stayed for the 2nd screening if possible. An emotionally haunting story, fantastically compelling visuals, and an other-worldly live score… It even had a stopmotion car crash!
This event made a huge impression on me. This might be the first time I have experienced filmmaking that is considered experimental but tells a clearly narrative story that is gripping in a completely new and unconventional way. I don’t want it to be the last either.
Check out the Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then Blog
If you’ve been paying attention to the music scene in Fayetteville, Arkansas, you may have noticed that the band Voyageurs is getting more and more buzz as their skuzzy, lo-fi psych rock gets the attention it deserves. With four free albums on their website, Voyageurs has been getting tons of blog and tumblr love, especially from Arkansans excited to hear the fuzzy, space-age chaos being put out by a band from the Natural State. Voyageurs’ sound walks a fine line between sounding like it’s about to completely fall apart and melding perfectly, full of droning noise, eerie transmissions, and vocals so full of reverb they’re at times indistinguishable. Other songs, like “Envy is Inevitable”, are straight up garage rock, minus the space camp goes stoner feel. Check out Voyageurs and download some free albums at:
While writing the 45 RPM script, some research brought me to Harold Ott’s website Psych of the South.
Here I found a wealth of information about Arkansas-based bands from the 1960s. Better still, a CD compilation of songs called Lost Souls Volume 1 – 1960s Garage and Psychedelic Rock ‘N’ Roll from the Un-Natural State: Arkansas. I have to say I have been listening to it nonstop. It is available on the Psych website, iTunes, and Amazon. Definitely check it out if you enjoy low-fi pre-punk garage music as much as I do.
Also just watched Ott’s 2008 documentary Lost Souls about a band from Jacksonville, Arkansas that put out a sole 45 on Leopard Records in 1966, “Lost Love”/ “My Girl”
It is tough to find such detailed first-hand accounts of what the music scene was really like Arkansas in the 1960s. Seeing the band discuss their teenage rock ‘n roll experiences gives me great insight into Arkansas’s musical past.
After taking in the screening of “Metropolis” with a live musical accompaniment by the Alloy Orchestra at the Ozark Foothills Film Fest, I stood in the lobby with the rest of the festival-goers chatting about the amazing performance we just witnessed. From across the room, I caught a glimpse of a guy at the merchandise table sleeving a 45 record. Curiosity immediately peaked and I marched over.
The guy was Roger Miller, guitarist for Mission of Burma and member of the Alloy Orchestra. He was selling two 45s of his own work which he barely had time to describe before I was fishing for money. I brought both records (only $5 each!) and proceeded to completely geek out as Miller tells me how John Cage had complained that recorded performances are frozen with no life to them which caused Miller to create “Pop” Record/Evolving – a record that is the starts, in-betweens, and ends of other records. In other words, the surface noise of a record itself. The more the record is played, the more the vinyl degenerates thus a record that has live and changes with each “performance.” And seeing as I am always fascinated with the life of vinyl records – the scratches, pops, and warmth of analog, I see it has a great addition to my collection.
The other 7-inch (that came with a free download) is also in the experimental category with sides label “X” Angled Scene and “Y” Feedback Guitars for John Cage and I was pleasantly surprised at the repeat-listening quality of the tracks. For experimental music – what some might call noise art – I like it and plan to check out more of Miller’s work. He apparently does a lot of soundtrack work outside of the Alloy Orchestra. Additionally, I’m ecstatic to find more proof than vinyl records are not just a thing of the past.