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Top Five Fridays: The Plums

March 11, 2016

Hey Folks,

I’m excited to kick off another exciting season of Top Five Fridays, the part of the show where some fantabulous artist comes aboard this crazy ol’ website and takes us all on a magical mystery tour through five of their favorite records.  Our guides this week are a rowdy bunch of good time rock ‘n’ rollers from music central Philly PA, The Plums.

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I first heard tell of The Plums from their fellow York PA rockers The Ok-Oks (some of you repeat offenders to this blog might recall The Ok-Oks’ own T5F back in 2015).  Thanks to the incomparable Animal House Shows, I was finally able to catch the band live at a killer showcase in Harrisburg a couple weeks back, and from the instant I heard the opening riff of their banger “Bad Apples,” I was sold.  Seriously, I’ve had that song playing on a loop while I was writing this piece.  From the dueling lead guitar intro to its call to arms ear worm of a hook “Bad Apples” is as a great a slice of garage rock goodness as you’re going to find anywhere these days.  These gents are far from a group of one trick ponies though.  A listen through their live album “Live at Sign Of The Wagon 6/6/14” shows a band who is just as capable bringing out the meandering windy guitar jams as the blazing riff rockers.  These cats can play.  Perhaps the greatest sum up of their sound I could offer comes from the band itself: “What the Ramones would sound like if they had learned more than three chords.”

Today for their TF5, The Plums have offered up a selection of records as eclectic as their live show, and I’m excited to share it all with you…Give it up for The Plums!

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According to an old saying, bands with a name starting in “The” only listen to other bands with names starting in “The.” We’re still undecided. Here’s five of our most cherished LPs, thanks for tuning in.

The Plums

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The La’s : Self-titled 

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The go-to tape in our band van. Perfect blend of psychedelia, Mersey-beat and pop—if you haven’t heard any of their songs besides “There She Goes,” take a listen to some of their Timeless Melodies.

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The White Stripes : De Stijl

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We spent the early years of the band cooped up in friend’s basements, recording the weirdest songs on an 8-track cassette recorder. We’re not technophobes by any means—at the time we were just too broke to afford 21st century recording equipment. Most were original songs that ended up becoming our album, but a few didn’t make the cut—there’s a tape somewhere of us doing a Wesley Willis-esque cover of Fatboy Slim’s “Praise You” with a running time of 12 minutes. “De Stijl” is one of the best home recorded albums ever, and as a kid, it was A Boy’s Best Friend.

And did you see The Hateful Eight, when it cuts to “Apple Blossom” in the snow? Perfection.

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Dionne Warwick’s Golden Hits Volume 1 & Part 2

These recordings have influenced our songwriting in surprising ways. We try to crush dark chord progressions like these into our double-timed, electrified garage rock—what the Ramones would sound like if they had learned more than three chords. If you’re going through a bad breakup, Make It Easy on Yourself and take a listen.

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The Clash : Sandinista!

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What the world needs now, is triple albums, sweet triple albums…Jeremiah has a vinyl copy of this new wave odyssey. We used to drink endless pots of coffee and clean our old apartment to it and yes, it took 36 tracks to get things straightened up. We always ended up throwing a big party that same night and wrecking the place all over again—the seasonal ritual of sacrificing an acoustic instrument, broken ceiling tiles, wrestling, you name it—our landlord was a patient and forgiving man. I think we did it because deep down, we just wanted to listen to Sandinista! One More Time.

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Hartle Road : Self Titled EP

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Last but certainly not least is Hartle Road’s self-titled EP. We met these guys at our first show in Philly—these guys are “super-rad” musicians who play some of the meanest, most inventive psychedelic rock coming out of the South right now. We fell in love with the cut of their jib when they did a perfect note-for-note rendition of Television’s “Marquee Moon” and we’ve been fans ever since. Take a minute to check out their Bandcamp, they have some great tunes.

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Thanks guys!

I’m going to stand by any band that cites both The White Stripes and Dionne Warwick as influences.  Also late era Clash does not get enough love.  Combat Rock any one?

If you are aiming to have a good time and are roundabouts Philly Saturday March 19th, The Plums are playing Connie’s Ric Rac.  More info about that HERE.  I advise you go and experience this fine outfit for yourself.

These gents have some links across the interwebs, including Facebook, and Twitter.  Follow them/like them wantonly click on these links so you can see what they are up to.  Also keep checking their website for news of a full length album!

 

Thanks for reading folks and tune in next week for another exciting installment of Top Five Fridays!

well peace out good people of the world,

Peter Winter

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Peter Winter loves music, tacos and not exercising.  If you like these things as well, mayhaps you should follow him on twitter.

 

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