Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Animal Tracks

Interesting news for any PowerPop readers who may be in the greater Nashville area this Saturday night -- specifically, near The Crow's Nest, at 2221 Bandywood Drive.

Some very cool guys will be reuniting for a gig you should try to check out.

The White Animals are the great lost American rock band of the 80s -- a ferocious live act (any band that shared a stage with them did so at their peril) and true musical visionaries whose ahead of its time mix of 60s garage-punk energy, British Invasion song structures, and dub reggae soundscapes by way of Lee Perry still sounds utterly fresh and contemporary. Perhaps the world wasn't ready for the Animals back when, but with the release of their long overdue career retrospective, "3000 Nights in Babylon," we've been granted a second chance. Don't blow it, world.
-- Steve Simels, STEREO REVIEW






I wrote that blurb back in 2000, on the occasion of the release of the aforementioned CD retrospective, but I first met these guys -- who basically ruled the college alt-rock/frat party scene down South in their heyday -- in the late 70s while interviewing the redoubtable Marshall Chapman. Years later, my skinny tie band had the great pleasure of opening for them on one of their infrequent trips to NYC.

In any case, I stand by the review assessment, and I hope you enjoy the mp3 of their mind-altering version of the ultimate garage epic "Gloria" (from the aforementioned career retrospective).

Animals drummer (and all around good guy) Ray Crabtree assures me there are still a few tickets available for the show; if you're in the vicinity of Music City Saturday night, you owe it to yourself to try to weasel your way in. For more info, call the Crows Nest at 615-783-0720.

15 comments:

Tierra Madre Horse Sanctuary said...

One of the all-time great songs - & a kick-ass version of it. Shades of early Van Morrison. Speaking of which, do you remember "Richard Corey" - & can you ever post Them's version of it?

Brooklyn Girl said...

Why on earth did they call themselves White Animals? Yeesh.

steve simels said...

You know, I never knew, and I never asked them.

dave™© said...

Hey, you guys shouls hire Jeffraham Prestonian as a "stringer" and send him to this - maybe with a recording device!

steve simels said...

dave™©

Southern Beale is also in Nashville. And she went to their 2004 reunion show.

MBowen said...

For whatever reason I don't remember these guys ever showing up in Raleigh during the time I lived there ('85-'86). This makes me sorry I missed them.

Walking Oliver Productions, Ltd said...

Steve, I seem to remember an earlier review you did of the White Animals for Stereo Review. Do you know the name of the album?

steve simels said...

It was probably Ecstacy.

Not sure if it's still available. Go to the band's MySpace page...you can probably find out over there, assuming on Amazon at the moment.

Terry Flamm said...

Sounds like a great band. Hope they come to the Chicago area some time.

Timothy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TJWood said...

I listened to the four tracks on their MySpace page. Wow. I'll say it: they should have been as huge as REM, and I say that as an REM fan of the first order, even of the recent stuff.

Anonymous said...

I grew up in Memphis, went to school in Knoxville, and had plenty of friends from Nashville. In the span of that time, people would travel to see this band take over a bar or club. They had great originals, but just as interesting were there choices in cover tunes - never the college radio song of the day, they would take something just slightly out of reach of the common ear and then turn it into something uniquely their own. This version of Gloria live would hypnotize an entire crowd on the dance floor. Thank you for posting a band that was big part of some fun years

Jeff
Atlanta

Southern Beale said...

We live up the street from the Crow's Nest and love the place, it's one of our hangs. So we saw this show advertised a few weeks ago. I'm guessing it's sold out now, but if not, we might be there! The 2004 show at the Exit/Inn was fun but I honestly remember very little about that night.

Which maybe is why it was fun ...

:-)

Mythical Monkey said...

I was lucky enough to be a college student in Nashville in the early 80s when these guys were at their peak. They really were as good as their reputation which in a town where, as Bobby Bare Jr. put it, the best guitar players in the world will deliver you a pizza or sell you weed, is saying something.

"I'm not trying to come on like Mighty Joe Young ..."

Anonymous said...

When I was in high school in Memphis (GO Owls!) in the 80's we used to sneak into the Antenna Club to see these guys. They put on a hell of a show.

Steve
Atlanta