from James Gardner writer for "The All Music Guide"
Pop Songs and Kyries, the new CD from Blake Jones' Trike Shop, takes me
back to a time, long ago, when my record collection was on the scale of
one shelf rather than a couple of rooms. When listening to a new album
music wasn't a cursory exercise, but an involving experience. Like those
cherished Sixties albums, Pop Songs is immediately appealing, and like
the best of them, it reveals depths of songwriting and arrangement (both
by lead singer/multi-instrumentalist Jones) with repeated listening.
Unique Pop Sound is Worth the Long Wait
SONGS & KYRIES" Blake Jones & the Trike Shop
"This is more or less the greatest hits of my last four years of writing," Jones says. "So I'm hoping just the cream of the crop came through."
Lineup: Jones singing, playing guitar and theremin with Leland Vander Pool, Martin Hansen, John Shafer and Mike Scott filling out the Trike Shop. The band always had been a loose group of friends, but as recording for this project came to a close, this lineup became solidified.
Style:"It's like guitar and theremin," Jones says. "We throw some left-handed curves in there." Sales pitch: "Hear some pop music that's not Wal- Mart-ized or McDonald-ized," he says.
Influences: "Sixties pop music, '50s science fiction and maybe even a little dash of vocal music from the 1460s," Jones says.
music has been featured twice on the International Pop Overthrow compilations
put out by Not Lame Records. "Snapshots" was featured on Vol.
6 of the series, and "Clever Things" was on Vol. 7. It could
be the soundtrack to: "Those '60s Italian Fellini movies," Jones
says. "Those kind of surreal '60s movies. Everybody's riding Vespas,
and they all going to this underground cavern for a party, and we're the
house band." Check them out live: The "Pop Songs and Kyries"
release party is at 9 p.m. today at Club Fred. 2 a.m. Orchestra and The
Neptunes also perform. Tickets cost $5.
Reviews of A-Sides & B-Movies:
"Cool & Strange Music" magazine
"File Under: Mad Pop Inventions" appears in the upper right hand of the front cover of this album, a tribute to the same style of categorization that Capitol Records employed on their records throughout the '60s as a useful consumer hint. But right here and now, it provided a clue to at least two of Blake Jones' major inspirations: the melodic pop of Brian Wilson and Paul McCartney. Also hovering above and within this collection of well-constructed pop songs are the melodies of Todd Rundgren as well as the occasional (and non-satirical) trace elements of Frank Zappa. A-Sides & B-movies is a clean, orderly and unabashed pop album of the highest optimism. I wouldn't be half-surprised if "Did You Know It Was A Dream" was composed as a tribute to Brian Wilson himself. Best track: "My Baby Lacksadaisy". Best reason #1: Its companion track, "Lackadaisy" sounds uncannily like an outtake from the unreleased Beach Boys album, SMiLE. Best reason #2: The Hawaiian slide and the uplifting melody stayed with me for days....what pop music is supposed to do, remember?
A-Sides and B-Movies - Blake Jones and the Trike Shop (Whispermaphone)
Enter the world of happy home recordist Blake Jones, who combines guitars, toy pianos, cheesy organ, theramin (!), layers of harmony vocals, and a 60s-70s pop ethos. A Trike Shop album is a fun trip, like DIY king R. Stevie Moore but without all the tape hiss. If the bass is a little thin, its more than made up for in eclectic content. Theres the dead-on Zappa experience of Ross Used to Play Us His Frank Zappa Records (Cold Pepsi and Croutons), the surf-guitar soundtrack feel of No, Waiting for the Rebirth of Wonder, the innocence of My Baby Lacksadaisy, the retro sci-fi feel of Makin My Honey Like a B-Movie, even a touching Christmas track The Light Still Shines. Jones has the cahones to back Jill Jansens contralto with chunky, plucked, and surf guitars on Carmens Big Aria. And you get 16 tracks for an unheard-of $7, shipping included, at www.blakejonesmusic.com or The Trike Shop, 1801 21st Ave., Kingsburg, CA 93631 (make checks out to Blake Jones).
-Don Thomason (contributing writer)
Immedia Wire Service
BLAKE JONES & THE TRIKE SHOP A-Sides & B-Movies (Whispermaphone)
The true nature of the independent spirit flows through the veins of Mr. Jones, a zoned-out composer and terrific guitarist. Where some will hear atonal madness, others will get that same zany awed look as you find at concerts by Mike Knealley or others who fell under the spell of Frank Zappa. Not for the lovers of boy bands, but rewarding for those who are REALLY into music.