Featuring music from the Badger State
and the surrounding area.To showcase the "lesser known music",Independent music,and bands with ties to Wisconsin.
Music from the past and recent past.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
The Baroques- Self Titled Album on Chess Records and The Musical Tribute To The Oscar Mayer Weiner Wagon
The Baroques formed in 1966 in Milwaukee,Wisconsin. In January 1967 they signed a contract with Chess Records. By June 1967, both the album “Iowa” and single “Mary Jane” were released and banned in the same week. The ban was imposed by some local DJs whose stations directors thought “Mary Jane” was a pro-drug song about marijuana. Jay Berkenhagen had actually written it as an anti-drug song but no one got it. Instead The Baroques became infamous as “acid-heads” due to the “far-out” sounds on the record. At this point, Jay had never tried drugs in his life. The Baroques had a fuzz-guitar/keyboard-damaged sound that retained much of the garage intensity of ’66 while plunging into the experimentation that marked the latter part of the decade. Sure, there are traces of the Byrds and the Zombies, but by the time the Baroques have had their way with a pop song, it’s like the deformed bastard child of those bands hobbling around on one leg. As on “Rose Colored Glasses,” where Jay Berkenhagen’s odd,deep vocals bounce along with awkward (yet insanely catchy) riffs until settling into a gorgeous, harmony-laden chorus. “Nothing To Do But Cry” is an exceptional folk-rocker that’s dirtied up with some nice distorted jangling and raw power-chording. At times they veer into chaotic fits of noise that wouldn’t sound too out of place on a Scientists album.(the punk/garage band from Perth, Australia-which I think might be stretching it a bit,but what the heck-maybe you'll check out the band because they are awesome) (“Iowa, A Girl’s Name” “Musical Tribute…”). But what really sets them apart from other similarly-minded bands is the excessively glum atmosphere which pervades most of the album. The sludge-folk(a new term) of “Purple Day” and “Seasons” may come off too monotonous for some, but there is something absolutely hypnotizing lurking in the uncommonly dark textures of these songs. Included for your pleasure are the original album The Baroques, the way it appeared on Chess Records,and I include the newest release Purple Day 1967-1968 with some ultra rare Milwaukee recorded outtakes,and other bonus songs,never before heard. They are a little strange,but they might grow on you. The Baroques
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