Thursday, November 7, 2013

CD Review: The Seattle Underground Scene Brings Up Flashes Of The Past

The Seattle underground rock scene is supported by one label that is trying to turn the rest of the U.S. on to the new music brewing in the Northwest. Green Monkey Records have a couple of new releases that they are passing along to music community of the world.
First up is the first official release of the 1987 live-studio recording by The Green Pajamas. The band entered the studio with Seattle engineer Jack Endino (Sub Pop) to record twenty songs live in front of a small audience. They released a limited-edition, cassette-only version of these sessions shortly there-after. The tapes were then left dormant for ten years until Jack and Joe Ross remixed the recordings, but never got around to releasing them, until now. With the appropriate title of "November," The Green Pajamas are finally officially releasing this recording session through Green Monkey Records.
Right from the opening notes of "Mary Magdalene," you are instantly transported back to a time in Seattle, before the days of grunge. The Green Pajamas sound like a poor-man's R.E.M. on "Get Away" and seem very loose on "What In The World." The pre-grunge sound of "I Wish That It Was Christmas" are few and far between as the band show many sides to their sound as with the blues-rock of "Expand The One" and the sixties vibe of "Just Like Seeing God." It's amazing how the band just moves along between musical genres, rocking out to the raw garage rock of "Suzanne," then switching gears to the eighties pop-rock of "Down." The band capture one of their best performances in "Pony And Me" before ending with their theme song "Green Pajamas" and the fun sing-along of "Michael Row The Boat."
To find out more about this newly released album, please visit
Also new from Green Monkey Records is the debut solo album from Gary Minkler who was the lead singer for Seattle underground band Red Dress. Gary's new album "Little Trailer Ruby" was released in September and is the result of Gary's Kickstarter program.
The twelve-song release begins with Gary sounding like a young Tom Waits on "Where I Am" as his words are so powerful amongst a stark background of music. Gary gets going on "Black Cloud" as his combination of words and music is so refreshing and classic at the same time. He adds a little soul music to the title-track and keeps the tempo going with "Big Heart." He finds that perfect match of folk lyrics and rock groove on "Red Hot Face" that has kept Bob Dylan's career on track all these years. The mellowness of "The Old Man's Bay" seems authentic because of Minker's aged voice, while he finishes up with the up-tempo, keyboard led "Somewhere Between The Come And Go."
To find our more about Gary Minkler's new album "Little Trailer Ruby," please visit his Facebook page at

No comments: