Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Here Are The Sonics...The Sonics Story and Show # 193

The Sonics had their beginnings in the early 1960s and were from Tacoma, Washington. The band known for its raw driving garage fueled sound first got its initial start as part of other local bands. After going through some line up changes the classic line-up of The Sonics formed around 1963/64. The classic line up was Gerry Rosalie (Lead vocals), Larry Parypa (Lead Guitar/vocals), Andy Parypa (Bass), Bob Bennett (Drums), and Rob Lind on Saxophone. The bands sound can be described as R & B influenced, but also they took some of their influence from bands such as The Kingsmen, The Kinks, and The Wailers. Gerry Rosalie's vocal style has often been described as a white Little Richard. The band was quite influential on any band in the Seattle area, they were known for their energetic live shows. In 1964 the band released their first single which was the song titled "The Witch". The single was very popular with the local fan base and was one of the biggest selling singles in the Northwest; The song contained controversial lyrical subject matter (as are a majority of their original songs). The song was also considered quite strange by others compared to what was coming out musically at the time.

In 1965, The Sonics started recording their first album with recording engineer Kenny Barton. It would be titled Here Are The Sonics. Recorded in Seattle, Washington the album is known for employing different recording techniques which resulted in the bands unique sound. For the drums the band used only one microphone to capture their sound (usually when recording drum sounds bands use at least three or more mics). The actual album contains many of the bands well known songs which lyrically were very different with subject matter ranging from drinking strychnine in ("Strychnine"), to witches ("The Witch"), and psychopaths ("Psycho"). This was contrasted with more light-hearted subject matter dealing with 60s culture such as girls, surfing, cars, and guitars. The album also contains some cover songs by Chuck Berry and Little Richard as well as other originals that are equally as great such as "Boss Hoss".

The next album would be titled Boom and would come out in 1966. For this album the band reportedly ripped out the sound proofing of the studio they were recording in to give it more of a live sound. Many Sonics fans choose Boom as their favourite album, but the first and second albums are both very good. This time the band came in with more unique original songs such as "He's Waitin'", "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark", and "The Hustler". The album was also balanced out with some covers of R&B classics such as "Louie, Louie", "Hitch Hike", Skinny Minnie", and "Let the Good Times Roll". After this album the band would go to another label (Jerden Records) and go to Hollywood to record yet another album, this time with a more polished, cleaner sound.

Introducing The Sonics came out in 1967, and did poorly. Because of its more conventional sound, it did not do as well; The band would later denounce this album calling it "The Worst Garbage'. After this the band was essentially over and in 1968, the band dissolved. Members of the band would go on to other bands or to school to lead more conventional lives. The Sonics would briefly fade into obscurity. The band reformed in 1972 for one live show and in 2007 the band reunited for the Cavestomp Garage rock festival. The Sonics are currently still together and in 2008, recorded a radio session for BBC 2. The Sonics have been influential on numerous bands, being known as unique garage rockers. The band has influenced the likes of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Eagles of Death Metal, The Dead Boys, The Fall, The D4 and others. They are known for their raunchy, raw, garage rock, punk influencing sound.

The Play List:

1. Buzzcocks - No Reply
2. Sex Pistols - New York
3. Teenage Head - Picture My Face (With Marky Ramone)
4. Gruesomes - You Said Yeah
5. Munks - Long Time Waiting
6. Haunted - Eight O'Clock
7. Painted Ships - And She Said
8. Hammersmith Gorillas - My Son's Alive
9. Standells - Riot on the Sunset Strip
10. Pretty Things - Buzz the Jerk
11. Sonics - Strychnine
12. 13th Floor Elevators - Reverberation
13. Velvet Underground - What Goes On
14. MC5 - Looking At You
15. Modern Lovers - Modern World
16. Stooges - Shake Appeal
17. Generation X - Night of the Cadillacs
18. The Saints - Nights in Venice
19. Ride Theory - Alright
20. Young Rival - Authentic Child
21. Tokyo Police Club - In A Cave
22. Young Knives - Up All Night
23. Only Ones - City of Fun
24. The D4 - Omerta
25. The D4 - Trust Nobody
25. Dirty Pretty Things - You Fucking Love it

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