Daddy's Coming Home mardi, février 17, 2004
Screams From the Vault September 28, 2004
Sacramento News And Review Before And After, August 12th & 19th, 2004
drugburn Daddy's Coming Home, May, 2004
Sacramento Bee Music: A Nuisance Comeback, May 6, 2003
e-mail from Dan Austin This is the first time I heard the White Strips do Small Faces
Mojo issue #108 Whaddya Mean You've Never Heard Of......
To be a public nuisance, you gotta question everything-and then be self righteous about it, too, right? Well, every one of these 28 refreshing songs recorded from 1966 to 1969 by four black-turtle necked Sacramento boys who went from being called the Jaguars to Moss & the Rocks to Public Nuisance, and finally to Glad, is filled with questions. Question yourself. Question me. Question what our bodily functions are doing. Question the Now and the Tomorrow. Question Charlie. But wait, don't question "love;" question if you can love your brother and if we can love one another! Nothing overly preaching here, people. Just groovy heavy exclamations! Don't question if some of these songs sound a bit like songs you already know by the Pretty Things or the Seeds. Question if a re-written imitation of Blue Cheer is the sincerest form of flattery. What if it sounds even better? Hell, yes! (Kelly Kuvo)
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Music: A Nuisance Comeback
By Chris Macias -- Bee Pop Music Writer
Published 2:15 a.m. PDT Tuesday, May 6, 200
Public Nuisance had few local peers when the band was rocking Sacramento in the mid-1960s. Its music was a garage-rocking blast of early punk, psychedelic trippery and British Invasion -- just the right stuff for making local teens go wild at dances (and freaking out parents). The band broke up in 1970, but Public Nuisance's music has been resurrected in a big way. In 2002, the band unearthed its never-released album and a slew of rare material as a two-CD and double-vinyl set. Titled "Gotta Survive," it received a three-star review in Rolling Stone magazine. Now, Public Nuisance can count the White Stripes as some of the band's biggest fans. The White Stripes, who've been heralded as the latest saviors of rock 'n' roll and graced many a magazine cover in recent months, has covered Public Nuisance's "Small Faces" at recent shows. And when the White Stripes arrived in San Francisco last week for two sold-out concerts at the Warfield , Public Nuisance co-founder and "Small Faces" songwriter David Houston was invited to come out and meet the band. Backstage, Houston and the White Stripes (Jack and Meg White) chatted about Sacramento's music scene from days of yore. Later, during the White Stripes' set, the band performed "Small Faces" and gave Houston a shout-out from the stage."It was totally flattering," said Houston. "They did a great job. I mean, (the song) really rocks and I was thinking, 'Did we do it that good?' The way Jack sings it sounds pretty close to the way I did it. And his guitar solo, man, it's screaming. Their version is faster and a little more punky, if that's the right word. But we probably sounded more like that when we played it live and weren't in the studio." "Small Faces" is indeed a retro-rock gem, with its fuzzed-out, yet melodic guitar hook and glorious chorus. To hear the song's original version, look for "Gotta Survive" at local record shops including Tower Records and The Beat, and at the True Love Coffeehouse. Compare Public Nuisance's "Small Faces" with the White Stripes' cover, which can be downloaded as an MP3 from Public Nuisance's Web page (www.publicnuisance.net) Meanwhile, a DVD documentary about Public Nuisance is scheduled for release next year. Anyone who has Public Nuisance photos and/or memorabilia lurking around is encouraged to get in touch with the band through its Web page. "Before we released ('Gotta Survive'), we thought that nobody would be interested in this," said Houston."It's very strange and very cool that people like it, but we'd never thought about any of that." Call it a survival of the fittest.
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Whoever coined the “freakbeat” sub-genre, trying to describe one of the many aspects of the '60s sounds, I'm sure it was after hearing some of the British bands. Now that the legacy of Sacramento's Public Nuisance is finally unearthed, the origin of this idea is about to be slightly redefined, because these guys are the pure essence, either if you listen to them or just look at them. As strange as it sounds, comprising their studio sessions from September 1968 to January 1969, this fabulous release has two full-length albums worth of killer tunes, and still, at the time there was no regular release!?!? ... Now that's unfair !!! As a special bonus, you also get two versions of each side of their only single, released in 1966 as Moss & The Rocks, both being great moody folk-janglers, with a Mersey splash or two. When they rock hard, which they do quite often, there's kind of a raw Motor City power about the songs, but with MUCH more harmonies than usual, like in America or the Nazz-sounding pair Darlin' and Small Faces, which also may share some of the late sixties nature of the song's namesakes, and there's also the Cream-y, super-melodic Time Can't Wait. After the Moss' single, there were still traces of the folk-rocking sound to be found in songs like Magical Music Box, sounding like a garage take on some of the Turtles' early Dylan covers, with Moon'n'Ox rhythm section, just like Man From The Backwoods, which also adds a bit of the Who-ish dynamics to the jangle, or Strawberry Man, a folky protest song with an unexpectedly furious finale. Another digression from the mostly “frantic” outcome, comes through a couple of soft sounding songs like Sabor Thing, with a Boettcher-like quality about it, Thoughts, recalling Neil Young's Buffalo-days, the acoustic 7 or 10, which is like a Paul Simon/John Lennon collaboration for “The White Album”. Some more Beatles references can be heard in the Eastern-influenced middle eight of another clean sounding popsike gem called I Am Going, as well as in Hold On. If you're looking for some strange sounds, check out Holy Man, which could easily pass for an action-packed sci-fi soundtrack, Daddy's Coming Home is a funky-garage thing, kinda predating Beck's moderndaze fusions, and if you have ever wondered how would Jimi Hendrix Experience sound like if fronted by Mick Jagger, I think Love Is The Feeling is as close as it can get. Another thing about Public Nuisance is that, if it wasn't for the involvement of one of THE '60s archivists, Alec Palao, I am sure I'd have some suspicions about most of these songs really being recorded back when they were. So, one of the BIG mistakes of the decade is now being corrected, no matter how “frantic” it may sound!
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e-mail from Dan Austin
So, I thought I'd share a brief story with you regarding P.N. I found the double-disc set at a used record shop in the Detroit area one day and picked it up. While I'm more of a fan of harder, grittier rock and don't listen to much from the '60s, I dig P.N. "Small Faces" eventually became one of my favorite tracks of the moment making it onto many mix tapes for friends, etc. Like most areas of the country, no one in the Detroit area had ever heard of P.N. before. Fast forward to 4/15/03 in Detroit. Some friends got some extra tickets to go see the White Stripes at the Masonic Temple downtown. I've seen 'em like 20 times, so I wasn't dying to go, but I figured, eh, what the hell. They usually cover some cool old blues covers and are usually fairly entertaining. Half way through the set Jack starts busting out the line, "Small faces" will hide from you..." I frickin' went nuts. They did a pretty good job with it, I think. Well, I happened to be taping the show as well, and, well, here is quite possibly one of the only known recordings of a P.N. cover. The White Stripes at the Scottish Rite Cathedral in the Masonic Temple, Detroit, 4/15/03: http://www.msu.edu/~austind1/smallfaces.mp3 (I don't know if this is still up or not but you can go here) Feel free to download and post on the P.N. Web site, but I have to ask you not to link to it directly from my site. The server will shut me down as I'm not supposed to be hosting stuff. I'm sure Jack White first heard P.N. through your work in restoring and releasing these recordings. I'm sure he thanks you, and I thank you as well. -Dan Austin Detroit, Mich.
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On of the best surprises of these last days is a double Cd edition of the complete recordings of PUBLIC NUISANCE (as well as their previous band MOSS AND THE ROCKS), garage band from Sacramento between 1963 and 1969. 28 tracks, from garage punk to folk rock, with a perfect sound and brilliant arrangements (harpsichord, harp, double bass fuzz, etc.) and a near perfect look (like a mix of THE RAMONES and ? AND THE MYSTERIANS). Some tracks recall THE SILVER APPLES or THE VELVET, others are more punk, close to THE PRETTY THINGS or THE SMALL FACES, all with great vocal harmonies. It may be too late for them, but obviously a great discovery for us."Gotta Survive", Frantic Rds.
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Mojo Issue #108
by Keiron Tuler
Whadday Mean You've never Heard Of..... Public Nuisance Wish they all could be California Stooges It wasn't all flowers, beads, bells and kaftans in late-60's California. Sacramento, the state capital, spawned Public Nuisance, one of the wildest, most confrontational bands of the era. If The Stooges had been California born and bred, this is how they would have ended up. But although Sacramento supported a thriving local scene-The Oxford Circle, Kak and Group B ruled the roost-Public Nuisance barely registered with the local teens. Hardly surprising, really. As after just one 1966 single (as Moss And The Rocks), they recorded not one, but two unreleased albums. Both have recently been issued for the first time on the Gotta Survive double CD. One look at Public Nuisance tells you they were something special. Check out those Ramones-style duds, the aggressive, sullen gunslinger poses. Unearthed promo pics of the band show them larking about in the Hollywood hills, attempting to hang their singer from a tree. Flower children these weren't. "We were just kids being goofy, being influenced by the times," band leader David Houston told Alec Palao. "The look of the Pretty Things, The Seeds, trying to be as weird as we could. We might have looked like but we were well behaved boys." Sonically, Public Nuisance were as unique as they looked. "We made this noise," says Houston. I made a Theremin from a kit. This guy talked me into what he said was a really cool keyboard that no one was using:the electric harpsichord. "It's that harpsichord which gives Public Nuisance's music it's uniquely baroque slant: imagine if The Left Banke had suddenly turned punk and added fuzz bass, snotty vocals and grinding guitar. Songs like Gotta Survive start politely with some keyboard trills, but they soon turn into over-the-edge epics with crushing instrumental breaks worthy of Blue Cheer. Unfortunately, Public Nuisance were denied the chance to make an impact on the wider public when their recording for Terry Melcher's Equinox Productions were shelved. Following the attentions of Charles Manson in August 1969, Melcher went into hiding and all his then-current projects were ditched. Now, over twenty years late, Public Nuisance have finally found their audience.
About a year ago, I was looking through records at Birdman Sound in Ottawa, Ontario. The owner and I got talking about garage bands, and the recent surge of even more 60's garage re-releases. My ears perked up when he started talking about Public Nuisance, an unheard-of California band that had a rare box released just the year before. He pulled out the box he owned in his own personal collection and my jaw dropped just at the box itself, the Ramones style look of the band, and their purely attitude-filled stances in the picture. It’s always a gem when even the look of a band can send you imagining the sounds. Then he put on the first track, and I couldn’t believe my ears--why had these sounds never made the waves until 2002!? This sent me on a mission to learn more about this band. It’s 1964, and a few snot-nosed teens somewhere near Sacramento decide to start rocking out in their garages under the guise of The Jaguars. Soon they change their name to Moss and the Rocks and record a few completely unheard of and incredibly rare singles. In 1967, changing names one more time to become Public Nuisance, the band was set to record and gearing up for a magnificent future in the world of 60's rock. Having taken a liking to the new psychedelic wave, the band created a twisted blend of garage and psych. They had built up an amazing live performance and an incredible catalogue, including two full sessions recorded with Equinox Productions. The band had already opened for acts like the Doors, Buffalo Springfield, Sonny & Cher, and the Grateful Dead. The two albums' worth of recordings that were made in 1968 featured possibly some of the best garage-psych ever written. Lyrically and musically, it was a creative blending of genres, and definitely ready to hit the shelves--that is, until the Manson Family scared producer Terry Melcher into hiding. Thus, none of the recordings were ever released. The band fled into obscurity, with only the Sacramento musical elite who even remembering their existence. So, until 2002, the world was completely devoid of some of the best late-60's psych ever recorded. Frantic Records got their hands on the material and released a two-disc box set, including the singles released as Moss and the Rocks. It's probably one of the prettiest boxes I've ever seen. The vinyl box is printed on a thick card board laminate, with a glossy cover and a removable lid. Just the presentation is enough to make my ears tingle. With a price tag of nearly $150 Canadian, it had better look good. Song highlights for the rock-inclined: "Gotta Survive" and "Small Faces;" my personal favorites, "Love Is A Feeling" and "Strawberry Man;" and the psychedelic ballads "America," "Daddy's Coming Home," and "Katie Shiner."
by Jackson Griffith
(The Before and After is my tiltle to these two articales)
Before the Wasted Weekend show
......For local music fans, the big event will take place on Friday the 13th. Sometime after midnight, a reformed version of Public Nuisance will take the stage for the first time in well over three decades.
The Band, fronted by local solo artist, record producer and musical mentor David Houston, began as a south Sacramento teen garage band called the Jaguars. The Jaguars morphed into Moss & The Rocks before evolving into Public Nuisance. That combo- with David Houston on guitar, keyboards and harmonic; Jim Mathews on voacls and guitar; the late Pat Minter on vocals and bass; and Ron Mc Master on vocals and drums- recorded an amazing bunch of sides in 1968 and 1969 for Terry Melcher's ABC Records- distributed Equinox label. Unfortunately, Melcher, spooked by the August 1969 Manson murders at the Bel Air house he'd sublet to direct Roman Polanski, suttered the label before Public Nuisacne's debut got released. The Equinox tracks finally were compiled, with some earlier material, in a two-CD set titled "Gotta Survive!", which indie label Fractic issued two years ago.
This version of Public Nuisance will feature David Houston and Ron McMaster, who now remasters CD reissues for Capitol-EMI in Los Angeles. David isn’t sure how much Ron will play or sing, (Why? You might ask. Well Ron lives In L.A. and had no chance to make it to rehearsals) so drummer Matt McCord will keep time, with Megan Cauley on bass. Local musician and record producer Chris Woodhouse will play guitar, because Mathews plans to attend but won't be able to play. “He’s (Chris) been,like, ‘What fuzz did you use on that song?’” Houston said. “He already knew the parts.” David claimed to be more nervous than excited about playing--“It’s way too short a time to get ready,” he said--but he said that one highlight will be “Small Faces,” the Public Nuisance song that found its way into the White Stripes’ set. “Actually, that’s one of the reasons I said yes to doing shows again was, after Jack and Meg [White] started doing it, and I heard it, it was like, ‘Oh, that’s fun,’” Houston said. “So, then, I tried to play it myself, and that sort of like reopened the other songs--like, I can do them again.” This, of course, doesn’t sound like a weekend wasted at all.
Ater the Wasted Weekend show
For most local-music fans, used to seeing singer-songwriter and record producer David Houston playing his warm pop tunes in an intimate setting without a whole lot of volume, the reunion of Public Nuisance last Friday, on the opening night of the Wasted Weekend garage fest at Old Ironsides, was a bit of a delightful shock. Houston was joined onstage by Ron McMaster, these days a recording engineer at Capitol-EMI in Hollywood who specializes in remastering old tapes for reissue. Back in the day, he was the drummer for the 1960s South Sacramento band that evolved from the Jaguars into Moss & the Rocks and then Public Nuisance. The two other members of that band didn’t make it; bassist Pat Minter died in 1994, and guitarist Jim Mathews was unable to participate. So, Ron and David, who alternated between a Fender and an unwieldy Vox 12, were joined by Chris Woodhouse on guitar, Matt McCord on drums and Megan Cauley on bass. Matt and Megan had played Public Nuisance songs with David before, at the same venue last Halloween. Ron McMaster drummed on a couple of tunes and played congas and sang backup on the others. The 45-minute set drew from Public Nuisance’s two-CD set Gotta Survive, issued in 2002 by local enthusiast label Frantic Records, and included such gems as “Magical Music Box,” “Strawberry Man,” “Love Is a Feeling, “Holy Man” and “Small Faces”--the latter a garage classic recently covered by the White Stripes in concert. Chris Woodhouse, in particular, sounded like he’d spent the last month headphoning Gotta Survive while researching guitar tones and vintage fuzz-box setups. The set was punctuated occasionally by shouts from Frantic proprietor Joey D, the kind of person my dad might’ve pointed at and said, “That guy’s a real character.” Later that night (actually this was the next night Aug. 14th), across the downtown grid at the True Love Coffeehouse, David Houston finished off the over-24-hour marathon held by the venue to mark its closing at its J Street location, with the True Love’s final set of music to eat waffles by. Backed by cellist Krystyna Ogella and bassist Erik Kleven, Houston’s gentle renditions of songs from his current repertoire belied the idea that he ever was any kind of public nuisance.
Uh-oh, here comes trouble! It's Public Nuisance and they're naughty
Screams From the Vault
September 28, 2004
Coinciding with the over-hyped, now-waning garage rock revival (White Stripes, Hives, etc.), '60s psychedelic, beat and garage reissues have been popping up so much that it's hard to keep track. Bands like Gonn and John's Children have records out that are easier to come by than when the bands were still kicking around. It's hard to tell what's good from what's lame and I have learned that obscurity doesn't necessarily mean greatness. Consequently, I was a bit ambivalent about Public Nuisance, so I waited a full two years after I first saw an article on them in Ugly Things magazine to buy the double CD set "Gotta Survive." In the end I was suckered in by their groovy haircuts and even got the same 'do as their drummer at my last trimming.
The band featured guitarist/electric harpsichordist/singer/songwriter Dave Houston, rhythm guitarist Jim Mathews, bassist Pat Minter and drummer Ron McMaster. They began gigging around Sacramento and Northern California in 1964 under various monikers such as the Jaguars and Moss and the Rocks. They eventually opened for bigger names like the Doors, Sonny and Cher, the Grateful Dead and Buffalo Springfield.
The liner notes have tons of pictures of the band dressed in black, sneering and defiantly posing and looking like a gang of hoods. One would think with this look they'd be making a racket similar to that of the Ramones or early Stooges, but their sound is more unique than that. I wouldn't call them hoods, but rather unabashed flower children and their music is good psychedelic rock that is too heavy for the likes of the Turtles but too poppy for the MC5. The CD set includes a great set of demos, a would-be album and two different versions of surf singles as Moss and the Rocks.
The albums are filled with optimistic psychedelic ballads dripping with fuzz bass and heavy guitar riffs, all overlaid with a whimsy-sounding electric harpsichord. What I like about the songs is that they take on a wide range of character. For instance, "Strawberry Man" is an earnest anti-war tune that has a Flipper-ish ending which sounds like a simulation of the sound of napalm dropping. "Gotta Survive" turns into a rocking inspirational jam and "Ecstasy", a great mystical freak-out tune, features Minter on vocals. His singing style is especially endearing, with his proclivity for adding extra r's and turning s's into sh's (Eerchshtrashee/Oh whrat a feerlin'/ I shreem to reach evrardray). The second CD is the heavier of the two, like Blue Cheer but still retaining their pop harmonies. The heaviest song on this one is probably "Pencraft Transcender" which sits along side great tracks like the funky "Daddy's Comin' Home" and a cover of "I'm Only Sleeping."
What's really a bummer about this set is that it is not just a re-issue but in fact it's the first time that the record-buying public has had the chance to hear this music, a fact we can kindly thank Charlie Manson for. The Nuisance's label, Equinox, was owned by Terry Melcher, who had promised Manson a contract but never went through with it. After Sharon Tate's murder in Melcher's home, he went into hiding and his label subsequently went under. These recordings were then shelved, not to be released until 33 years later. And unfortunately, bassist Pat Minter, who passed away in 1994, would never see the fruits of his labor.
The wait was worth it, however, and I find myself smiling whenever put on these CDs. $20 may be a bit spendy for something with a sound that is particular to the idealism of those times, but good vibes are universal.
mardi, février 17, 2004 Daddy's Coming Home About a year ago, I was looking through records at Birdman Sound in Ottawa, Ontario. The owner and I got talking about garage bands, and the recent surge of even more 60's garage re-releases. My ears perked up when he started talking about Public Nuisance, an unheard-of California band that had a rare box released just the year before. He pulled out the box he owned in his own personal collection and my jaw dropped just at the box itself, the Ramones style look of the band, and their purely attitude-filled stances in the picture. It’s always a gem when even the look of a band can send you imagining the sounds. Then he put on the first track, and I couldn’t believe my ears--why had these sounds never made the waves until 2002!? This sent me on a mission to learn more about this band. It’s 1964, and a few snot-nosed teens somewhere near Sacramento decide to start rocking out in their garages under the guise of The Jaguars. Soon they change their name to Moss and the Rocks and record a few completely unheard of and incredibly rare singles. In 1967, changing names one more time to become Public Nuisance, the band was set to record and gearing up for a magnificent future in the world of 60's rock. Having taken a liking to the new psychedelic wave, the band created a twisted blend of garage and psych. They had built up an amazing live performance and an incredible catalogue, including two full sessions recorded with Equinox Productions. The band had already opened for acts like the Doors, Buffalo Springfield, Sonny & Cher, and the Grateful Dead. The two albums' worth of recordings that were made in 1968 featured possibly some of the best garage-psych ever written. Lyrically and musically, it was a creative blending of genres, and definitely ready to hit the shelves--that is, until the Manson Family scared producer Terry Melcher into hiding. Thus, none of the recordings were ever released. The band fled into obscurity, with only the Sacramento musical elite who even remembering their existence. So, until 2002, the world was completely devoid of some of the best late-60's psych ever recorded. Frantic Records got their hands on the material and released a two-disc box set, including the singles released as Moss and the Rocks. It's probably one of the prettiest boxes I've ever seen. The vinyl box is printed on a thick card board laminate, with a glossy cover and a removable lid. Just the presentation is enough to make my ears tingle. With a price tag of nearly $150 Canadian, it had better look good. Song highlights for the rock-inclined: "Gotta Survive" and "Small Faces;" my personal favorites, "Love Is A Feeling" and "Strawberry Man;" and the psychedelic ballads "America," "Daddy's Coming Home," and "Katie Shiner." Links: Birdman Sound