Photo by Rachel Yas
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.
Here is a love story. Two strangers coincidentally end up in the same apartment building in Atlanta. They are introduced by a mutual friend who invites them to jam and rock out together. They instantly bond and become best buddies over a shared love for Velvet Underground, The Stooges, Love with Arthur Lee, Howlin Wolf, T. Rex, We Five, The Beach Boys, Captain Beefheart and many many others. They both recognize they are falling in love, but don’t want to mess up their good musical chemistry. Those two strangers are Nakia and Simon Black, who ultimately decided to take that leap anyway. To this day, they have zero regrets.
What about that musical chemistry in Nakia and Simon’s band The Sound Station? As evidenced by their two songs on a 2020 split single for Outro Records, it never left. Give Your Lovin’ To Me is an absolute blast, and Things Will Never Be The Same is another killer track. Kafadan Kontak picked up the two songs to promote it online, and the band received rave reviews. The songs of Sound Station are the kind of nuggets you’d expect on your favorite greasy garage rock-‘n’-roll compilation. Fortunately, a new Sound Station record is in the making. “We’re going back to the Jazzcats studio with Jonny Bell to record an album’s worth of material. In the meantime, this summer, we are releasing 3 previously recorded early versions of our songs to streaming platforms that we will re-record for the album release,” Nakia explains. The first of that trilogy has just been put online. It’s called Down To The City and is a teaser of good things to come. [post continues below]
Here is another love story. It’s a story of two persons whose love for music runs deep and who have impeccable taste. Below they not only share 5 records they feel everyone should own, they also namedrop a lot of additional artists AND share a 90-minute playlist with some of their favorite beat and fuzz tracks of all time. Make sure to check out that one if you like what you read and hear. Thanks for your generosity Nakia and Simon!
Nakia & Simon Black (The Sound Station ): “We could definitely name all the garage beat rock’n’roll bands and compilations like Born Bad, Nuggets and Back From the Grave, that entered us into the world of fuzz: LOVE, The Seeds, Music Machine, Standells, Troggs, ? and The Mysterians, Animals and the whole shebang. RnB tittyshaker groups like Ike Turner and swinging crooners like Big Joe Turner would be another list as well as jazz ensembles that we feel add to the scope of garage. There would be a long list of boogie blues as well, from Lightning Hopkins, John Lee Hooker, Big Bill Broonzy, Memphis Minnie, Muddy Waters, Jimmy Reed and Slim Harpo. There would be another list for surf, rockabilly, glam and punk as well as bands we love from the present that inspire. Everything by Link Wray & His Wraymen and The Cramps as they are kaleidoscopes of the best of it all. There would be another list for albums to put your mind into a healing place like Parachute (The Pretty Things), Out There (Love), T. Rex (T. Rex), Chelsea Girls (Nico), The Astrud Gilberto Album (Astrud Gilberto) to name a few. Keep checking back on our Spotify page as now we feel we need to create and post these playlists for good measure.
These albums that we did list are a painfully chosen bunch that we think should be had as just plain good taste chronologically. If we kept writing this another day or another five minutes, the list would likely rotate so this is a snapshot.”
1. Howlin’ Wolf || Moanin’ In The Moonlight
“This album is influential in that these singles are the blueprints for all rocknroll to come via Bo Diddley who adding polyrhythmic afro cuban drums and guitars has become our north star. We didn’t mention Bo Diddley because then you would have to name Chuck Berry with T-Bone Walker and jazz rockabilly cocktail and Little Richard’s Sister Rosetta Tharp as their own early pioneers.”
2. Thee Midniters || Whittier Blvd
“Great album for cruising and joyriding the boulevards of any town but especially provides a great soundtrack for Los Angeles. They perfectly encapsulate R&B with the obligatory fuzz, organ and howls. Little Willie G is one of the best crooners of this Garage era, although there are many, he is just tops.”
3. Captain Beefheart || Safe As Milk
“Garage fuzzed out rural blues and hillbilly inspiration. They won the Teenage Fair Battle of the bands at Hollywood Palladium in 1965. They keep the witchy blues element going in a pure haunting form, you could even say eerie on what feels like an R&B ballad, Autumn’s Child. You can definitely hear the Bo Diddley influence on Abba Zabba.”
4. The Velvet Underground || White Light / White Heat
“Total artistic savantry as part of the Andy Warhol surreal intellectual subculture, pure punk adrenaline especially on Sister Ray and White Light/White Heat taking all the music before it and putting it in the intensified light of a changing time and drug magnification. You can hear a lot of the gospel Little Richard influence as well as the jangle folk of The Byrds.”
5. T Rex || Electric Warrior
“This album is a rocknroll rockabilly dream with the orchestral muppet-reminiscent background vocals of Flo & Eddie from The Turtles. Make no mistake, Marc Bolan was a punk rocker, love his attitude and how tight the band was. Definitely hear the Carl Perkins, Chuck Berry influence.”
The Best Beat And Fuzz || A Playlist By Nakia & Simon Black of The Sound Station: