Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Get real groooooovy with The Heavy Blinkers.

The Heavy Blinkers, photo courtesy of the band.
I won’t pretend for one second that when The Heavy Blinkers came on my headphones as I was listening to my massive 2017 Albums To Review playlist that I park all music as it comes in so I eventually get around to it and don’t lose it in the shuffle—oh wait, am I over-explaining?

So The Heavy Blinkers. When their album The Night And I Are So Young came on at first I thought I had filed a reissue in the the wrong playlist but lo and behold the album is from the 2004, ergo not some ‘70s time capsule! Why did I think it was such a relic, you ask? Allow the notes I took while listening explain that to you:
Sounds like groovy hippy cult choir music from the '70s. With Beach Boys overtones. Which, I guess given the Manson connection that group had, makes total sense.
I was picturing robes and long flowing hair and all that, so imagine my surprised when I dug out the band’s press kit and saw they looked totally (see above photo) normal! What the eff?

So I don’t know if they’re going for kitsch, or if it’s a long running joke or what, but whatever it is, it’s lovely late summer music.* So, get groovy?

*It should also be noted that the main reason The Night And I Are So Young is only now crossing my radar is because it is finally getting the vinyl treatment from the aptly named Label Obscura records. Also, it appears only one member of the band involved in this album is active in the group currently. But at least the group is currently active, right? That's pretty cool.

UPDATE 9/13/17: I admit when I first read this band’s bio I thought it might be an elaborate joke. How is it possible I wouldn’t have heard of them at all? And some great, undiscovered album of 2004 would only catch my attention now? But of course, The Heavy Blinkers are the real deal, and this was kind of the album that broke the original band, from what I can tell. Now they’re basically a rotating cast of musicians centered around one guy, and they still make music, and they are still pretty safely ensconced well north of the border and don’t seem to really tour (from what I can initially divine).

If you remember back to the heady days of 2004, that was just as the blogging nation was gaining real steam by heralding indie acts that would usually get niche exposure and turn them into acts that would become mainstream superstars. But the froth was just starting so bands from before that era that were amazing have often been lost to time, since they also had a minimal digital footprint. Heck, I can think of dozens of Chicago bands that would have thrived if they were to debut now, but were never able to quite capitalize on the emerging critical internet buzz machine that was just getting really revved up at the time.

 Which then made me wonder: wouldn’t it be great of all those undiscovered bands of that era were to put up all their stuff on band camp so at least the world now could have the option to hear them? Heck, even I don’t have hi-fi files of some of the acts I absolutely loved in the first half of the aughts. Nowadays it would seem to at ;east mean something to release the music, even for free, to help keep true diamonds from getting ground up in the digital dustbin.

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