Listen to COWBOYS AND INDIANS by The Smoke.
John again. One of the neat things about living in NYC even 5 years or so ago was the ability to find whatever, whenever, for whyever. A Long Tail-ers paradise. Sure, you can still do that now, but since then the internet has not only flattened that curve, but inverted it. Witness the search in these pages for Ray Price, which was found not in a dusty crate off 4th Avenue, but on eBay. Or take the case of Midnight Records, which used to be on 23rd St., but has since shut its doors to become a mail-order only shop. Now, I can't be sure if the internet shoo-ed it away from Manhattan, after all it was a weird place to begin with (open only a few days of the week on odd hours), and I only made it there a handful of times myself, but I can be sure that it was fun to visit the shop and walk out with a stack of dubious quality discs.
One such disc was simply titled The Smoke. Billed as a lost-psych one-off classic by Michael Lloyd who, at age 18, had already co-founded, recorded with, and left the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, I was sold - who wouldn't be? Plus it was dedicated to Stuart Sutcliffe, so that had to mean good things, right? But my skepticism returned when I opened the case at home to find a cd-r with a cheap stick-on label which wouldn't play in my cd player. Eventually, I figured out a way to play it, and even though the songs seemed to be mislabeled and a couple jammed together, they were all spot on 1968 Northern California: trippy sounds, a dash of self-indulgence, and lovely harmonies.
Today's track, "Cowboys and Indians", leads off the album and hints at the Destruction Of The West theme the Beach Boys would soon take up in earnest. Enjoy!