Photo by Beth LaBerge
With ‘Gimme 5!’ we take a peek into the collections of artists we admire. The premise is simple: artists WE like share 5 records THEY love.
This week’s Gimme 5 features a multitalented artist who plays (or has played) with Terry Malts, Smokescreens, Beehive and Jonathan Richman of the Modern Lovers. I am talking about Jake Sprecher, who made good use of his Covid induced boredom by purchasing a TASCAM 388 and recording a new solo bedroom-project as The Wind-Ups. The result is Try Not To Think, a 19 minute powerpop masterpiece disguised as lo-fi garagepunk record. Of his previous bands, Try Not To Think is sonically nearest to the early Terry Malts stuff: just as infectious but louder and slightly slower paced. The songs have that deceptive songwriting quality that can easily be misinterpreted as simplism. In truth, it takes skill to write songs that are this straightforward and yet so memorable. To give you an idea, listen to the two prematurely released tracks off the record: Lockdown and Too Many Bibles. I’ll write a longer review near its June 18 release date – spoiler: there are a lot of killer tracks on this one. [post continues below]
Given his past work, and the excitement we have for this Wind-Ups record, we asked Jake to suggest 5 adds to our wantlists. Rather than opting for the anticipated option to pick five albums that influenced Try Not To Think, Jake caught us off guard by taking a completely different approach. His picks couldn’t be further from the sound of The Wind-Ups and this is probably the most eclectic Gimme 5 on our site since Scott Davis (Virginia Trance) and Simon Jackson (Hogchoker). While broadening our musical horizons, Jake also offers insight in his listening habits during the pandemic. Read and listen below and enjoy the ride!
Try Not To Think will be out June 18, 2021 via Mt.St.Mtn on clear green splatter vinyl (pre-order here). Let’s hope Jake will be able to tour the songs once it is out. His Terry Malts buddies Phil Benson (also of Neutrals) and Nathan Sweatt are one call away to join him on stage.
Jake Sprecher: “Having spent “a year in outer space” during Covid, I probably listened to more music at home than at any other time in my life. It didn’t hurt that I also worked five months selling a large portion of a vast LP collection for a friend, which led me down many-a-beautiful rabbit hole. So here now are my Gimme 5! quarantine records, none of which sound anything like The Wind-Ups. Haha.”
1. Gabor Szabo || Dreams
“Although I haven’t been able to prove it, I’m firm in the belief that Hungarian-born jazz guitarist Gabor Szabo had an influence on John Cale and the Velvet Underground. 1968’s Dreams is a masterpiece from front to back, with its wavering Eastern melodies and subdued groove percussion. Galatea’s Guitar says it all, though a cut like Song Of the Injured Love may best affirm the Cale/VU claim.”
2. Sun Ra and His Solar-Myth Arkestra || The Solar-Myth Approach, Vol. 2
“My quarantine listening experience was dominated by jazz, and in many instances, free jazz. I could have chosen several different artists that grabbed me (Archie Shepp, Cecil Taylor, etc), but there’s something particularly insane about Sun Ra. His use of a Moog synth and “space-master” organ is indeed otherworldly, and side two of this ‘72 release is almost entirely textural noise.”
3. Corners || The Floor
“Here’s one of my favorite bands of the last 10 years. Corners (L.A.) had a brief but memorable run, and released this posthumous EP in 2019. I’d had it on my wish list for awhile, and my brother got me a copy for my birthday last fall. It’s a perfect extension of their only LP, with the title track ranking among my favorite individual songs in recent memory.”
4. Juniore || Un Duex Trois
“I found Juniore (Paris) on recommendation of my bandmate Lisa, and was immediately taken. With their dark pop sensibilities and undulating rhythm section, they actually fit perfectly with Corners (man, that would be a dream tour pairing). Un Duex Trois was probably my top album of 2020, and while it’s hard to pick just one track, La Verite Nue comes to mind first.”
5. DJ Shadow || In/Flux // Hindsight
“I also spent a lot of time during quarantine collecting breakbeat records. Though this Shadow release is actually a 12”, it’s 20 minutes of everything I love about instrumental hip-hop and raw samples. The kick-snare backbeat on “In/Flux” is absolutely to die for, and I could probably listen to that break alone for 24 hours straight.”