RAINY DAY – ” Rainy Day “

Posted: March 7, 2017 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
Tags: , , , , ,

They began collaborating after meeting at a barbecue held by Green On Red. Rainy Day recorded and released their eponymous, lone compilation album in 1984. It pays tribute to the various psychedelic and folksy rock acts that paved the way for the starting point of their own bands.

This lovely daydream of an album is one of a kind, and like a dream, it’s frustratingly elusive. It came and went in a blur, and the only place you can find it now is in the shadowy alleys of the internet. All of which seems appropriate, because it feels like a rumor, like a secret gig in a small club that you hear about after the fact and takes on a mythic quality: Did you hear that all these musicians got together the other night and played some of their favorite covers? Participants on the LP include members from various bands that made up the Paisley Underground scene in L.A.: The Bangles, the Dream Syndicate, Rain Parade (David Roback from that band is the album’s producer and creative center), the Three O’Clock, Opal.

All of the songs except one (Alex Chilton’s “Holocaust” , a track from the Third Big Star album ) are from the ’60s: there are two Buffalo Springfield songs written by Neil Young, folk songs that were adapted by the Byrds and the Beach Boys, a section of Pete Townshend’s opus “A Quick One While He’s Away”, and songs by Dylan, the Velvet Underground, and Jimi Hendrix, all emerging through a low-fi haze. It starts with Susanna Hoffs purring Dylan’s “I’ll Keep It With Mine” , ends with a psychedelic excursion on Hendrix’s “Rainy Day Dream Away” , and in between the high spots include Kendra Smith of the Dream Syndicate singing “Flying On The Ground Is Wrong”, Hoffs on Lou Reed’s “I’ll Be Your Mirror” , and Roback’s solo version of “On The Way Home” . The whole Paisley Underground world was a mixed bag, some of it utterly engaging, some too precious and quirky for quirk’s sake, too much mood-making and too few memorable songs. At its best though, it was beautifully textured, a relief from all the slick bombast of ’80s rock. It makes sense that one of the more purely likable albums to come out of that community was this intimate and relaxed psych-folk session that looked back with affection at inspirational bands like the Byrds and Buffalo Springfield, guiding spirits of so much Southern California rock.

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