Friday, January 11, 2019
Tone Scientists' ""Nuts" b/w "Tiny Pyramids"
This little 7" single started off as somewhat of a mystery. I had no idea where it came from or how long I've had it. It was just there, in the pile, with all the other vinyl. I gave it a spin, both sides, taking up about four or five minutes of my time. It was good, really good. The first side featured a song called "Nuts," and it felt like it had been plucked out of the post-punk era. Quirky vocals, a stripped down rock aesthetic, kinda grungy, and there's a flute playing all through it.
The second side, featuring a song called "Tiny Pyramids," obviously featured the same group of musicians, but this time it was an instrumental that barely touched the edge of jazz--the flute's still there, but it's now joined by a saxophone. Further research revealed that this is the very same "Tiny Pyramids" from Sun Ra. Again, fun, and I gave both sides another play and thought about what to do with this intriguing little black disc.
Well, I'm supposed to be a reviewer, so I'm supposed to dig in a little. The first thing I noticed was this pressed by ORG Music. That makes three ORG vinyl releases for the day, and the second one specifically released for Record Store Day last year. The second thing I noticed is that this little 45 was mixed and produced by none other than Mike Watt, the legendary bassist for the Minutemen. Remember how I said I loved John Doe earlier in the day, and what his music has meant to me? Same goes for Mike Watt. Minutemen were always buried deep into my heart all through my college years and ever since, as were many other SST bands from the early '80s. Mike Watt has had a long and storied career in the LA music scene, and he's never stopped being creative. Heck, I think we're even Facebook friends.
Turns out that Tone Scientists is one of those side projects where everyone is from another band--guitarist/vocalist Bucky Pope is from Tar Babies, drummer John Herndon is from Tortoise and Vince Meghrouni, who supplies the awesome flute and sax, is from Bazooka. And yeah, I know all three of those bands, so there. But here's the problem: I want more. I want an album from these gentleman because these two brief tracks are just so unbelievably cool. This is a virtual trip back to the early '80s when I was in college and my friends and I would travel to Hollywood and Santa Monica and the Valley to see all those amazing bands.
So get crackin', Mr. Mike Watt. Tone Scientists are THAT good, sir.