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Jack Oblivian & The Dream Killers – Lost Weekend

Lost Weekend, the new LP from Memphis garage-punk legend Jack Oblivian is the focus of our show today. We play 2 tracks straight off the vinyl and discuss the LP as a whole. Read on for our official FTBOTRB review of this unique piece of work. In fact it’s an all vinyl play from Richard in this episode of the show. Firstly Elton John provides us with some wholesome patriotic US of A vibes. Secondly, it’s Richard’s back to back spin of two of Jack Oblivian’s tracks. Tobin bookends the show with Australian outfit Sparrows – two belting tunes certainly.

breathe. provide us with plenty to argue about and split the studio in two. This track causes combative conversation between us. Furthermore we have our first spin from Shook Twins. Identical twin sisters play a plethora of musical instruments including a giant golden egg and telephone microphone. We also find time to discuss the vagaries of cheap black vinyl.

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Track Listing

  1. Do You Wanna Dance? Sparrows
  2. Window Shook Twins
  3. Texan Love Song Elton John from the original 1973 vinyl
  4. London breathe.
  5. Bank Gun Jail Jack Oblivian from the original 2019 vinyl
  6. Cigarillo 1 Jack Oblivian from the original 2019 vinyl
  7. Over & Out Sparrows

What does FTBOTRB think of new release from Jack Oblivian

Straight off the bat this LP hits you with some Wilko Johnson-like choppy guitar, which is quickly enveloped by swirling psychedelic style guitar vibes. Jack Oblivian is certainly master of his own soundscape here. Jumping into track 2 we have quite a different sound, with Jack snarling into the microphone with cocky swagger. It’s clear this is going to be a bumpy ride. Lost Weekend is a collection of recordings made in Jack’s apartment studio and as such there is no coherent theme here. The LP weaves its way through anthemic film-noire instrumental to raging garage-punk growlers.

Further into the chaos there is some distinctly bedroom-project sounding minimalism. In fact, if there ever was a theme to this collection of material it is just that: stripped back home recordings. Don’t expect studio-level production mastery here, it has no place in this recording. Instead this is an intimate look into the mind of Jack Oblivian himself, almost like a personal diary of thoughts and ideas that would eventually take shape into something else and appear on stage in many of his sets. Being new as he is to us here at Record Box HQ, this is a great starting point to explore further magic from Jack Oblivian. There is much to hear on this LP and above anything else it will stand testament to the biting vocal delivery and often obtuse sounding guitar licks from a man whom very much wears many musical hats.

The Tape’s Always Rolling…

The Jack Oblivian Interview by Mike McCarthy, March 2019 

Jack Oblivian talks about his new LP Lost Weekend

Mike McCarthy: What is the history of the songs and how do they break down on previous releases?

Jack Oblivian: In the past years around 2009 or 10 or something like that I wanted to make a mix tape as a cassette release and call it After Party. I wanted to record an 8-track tape of songs also as a sort of alternative. The whole concept was anything that was recorded in the apartment where I live. Whether it was me playing on it or not. Usually I am playing on everything. That was the ultimate thing and out of that idea I ended up making a cassette of the music I did.

Three years ago I pressed-up 200 cassettes of almost an hour long set with just these random instrumentals and songs that ended up being on other records somewhere. Some were recorded at Keith’s (the guitar player) house and I think there is one or two actually recorded in Easley studio. So about 5 or 6 months ago this friend of mine who does a label in Spain called Ghost Highway Records, his name is Marco sees a post of the songs on YouTube while getting into a Facebook discussion with a painter/cartoonist named Olaf Jens. He’s a Dutch guy who lives in America – you might know his artwork.

Narrowing down the material

Mike McCarthy: These people overseas appreciate your work.

Jack Oblivian: Yeah, that guy Olaf put up a comment regarding the cassette songs on you tube, saying “in my humble opinion, I think this is the best stuff he has done right here!” It is all recorded rough. It’s pretty much when the idea first came to me before it turns into a group thing in the studio. Marco responds with “Well I didn’t know about this” (and you know Marco is obsessed with the Oblivians and Memphis music). So Olaf, the artist, says “Yeah, maybe you should put it out” and there’s this public conversation back and forth that I’m reading but I don’t chime in at all.

Marco sends a message to me about 5 days later, “Hey that cassette you did, would you ever consider doing a record?” and I’m like “Yeah maybe” and so I went back and forth with him talking about it, but I was telling him there’s a lot of rough sounding material that only belongs on a cassette tape, you know, plus there’s an hours-worth of songs and you’ll need a double album to fit it all on there. Ultimately, I narrowed the “LOST WEEKEND” LP down to the better stuff from the tape. I cut out a lot of stuff that was really noisy. 

Read the rest of this fascinating interview

You can read the full article by visiting Black & Wyatt Records’ website

More from Black & Wyatt Records

If you enjoyed the Jack Oblivian LP in today’s show then why not check out Black & Wyatt Records other releases to appear on From the Bottom of the Record Box? Initially we introduced Fingers Like Saturn and then we showcased Steady Girl by The Heathens. You can listen again to Fingers Like Saturn and to The Heathens with these links.

Better Days on Reform Radio

Chris E presents Better Days on Reform Radio

We are Better Days. Chris E and Pablo Blanquito. We play right across the board so you will hear everything from Mambo to Broken beat in the space of two hours. We love music, both new and old and we are unapologetically foolish. Listen now.

Daniel by Elton John – ending the mystery

As Tobin mentioned in the show, he was under the impression that the song Daniel which is on the LP from which Texan Love Song came, is about the death of Elton John’s brother in an air disaster. Actually this is quite incorrect. Bernie Taupin and Elton John received the 1973 Ivor Novello Award for Best Song Musically & Lyrically for Daniel, and it was, and still is, a massive hit. Taupin quotes the song as…

Daniel had been the most misinterpreted song that we’d ever written

Bernie Taupin

Taupin left out the final verse of the song which could have given explanation as to the subject matter and speculation as to its meaning would never have arisen. Taupin wrote the song after reading an article about a wounded US serviceman returning from the Vietnam war who despised the attention he was receiving as a vet and just wanted to get on with his life as it was previous to the war. The song is about a veteran returning home to a small town in Texas and being lauded as a hero. He just wanted to go back to work on the farm as he did before military service. He just wanted to fit right back in. Taupin wanted to write something sympathetic to the people that returned home.

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