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
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
(“Iowa, A Girl’s Name” “Musical Tribute…”).
But what really sets them apart from other similarly-
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

The Baroques-Purple Day


Anonymous said...

Cool cool post. thanks very much for these rockers. el gato

Anonymous said...

I've been looking for this forever. You rock!

Exeter said...

Is this ever great! I've never seen the LP!
Thanks so much!!

The Bomber said...

1st arrival on this site, which is great bytheway.
I love lots of great band that came from Winsc.

Great job, keep it up!

The Baroques rocked-a-lot.

Dotacus said...

Wow. I've been trying to remember the name of this group forever. Thanks for the backround info! I've got to find a copy of this. I still know all the words to Bicycle. :)

Anonymous said...

thanks for these 2, these guys are serioulsy underated, really great stuff :)

Cindy said...

I used to listen to them at the Avant Gard on Prospect Ave. so many, many years ago. The Velvet Whip also played there. What fun we had drinking strange tea and smoking strange cigarettes! Wooo Hoooo - Great memories :)

stephanie rocks said...

Wow the Avant Gard? That's a new one for me, that I never heard of,but that is before my time. Wonderful to hear about people's memories about seeing bands, places and when/where. I always love to read about this! So if anyone feels like adding their memories,please do so! I'm still hoping to hear about kids who went to the Scene Club,in downtown Milwaukee in the golden age, of the 1960's.

jenny said...

the Velvet Whip! I was just thinking about them! wow. I was just a kid then but already starstruck by musicians :) I remember seeing them at a house party in Oshkosh and standing right in front I was probably 8 at the time, felt pretty special. Of course in those days kids were exposed to all kinds of shit that would have social services down your throat these days :)