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May and a half 2019: Al Bloch’s Summer of Fun Super Party Mix Tape

OK Kids – it’s time for summer fun!

And who knows more about that than anybody? Al Bloch, that’s who!

A couple months back Al had this idea to make this joyusful album and I said sure as long as I don’t have to do anything. I told Al he was to be the curator of the project, a term that normally makes me hold my nose. Al, being a very stable genius, accepted immediately. I told Al he could access anything released by the GMR Stable of Stars, then we sent out an open invite to actively active musicians who would then submit to Supreme Curator Al. People submitted. Al listened and reflected deeply. Al curated. Al and his lovely wife Cathy Watson got Nipper to come out of retirement and sit for one last beautiful new painting and a  proper cover was done. The album is officially releasing this Friday May 31 on Spotify, Apple Music and all that modern stuff but today Al said "summer is here - let's get it out today" so we did! The album is intended for your summer enjoyment so we advise that you get it right away while the sun is high and bright! Get it here:

Here are important facts about these great songs!

  1. Al Bloch – "I’m in Love!" Uber rocking pop from Reverend Al his bad self. I know nothing about this song other than that Al wrote it and sang it and it’s just so damn happy. So Summery! So Fresh! Sez Al:  This song is a favorite of mine, and is only available on the Summer of Fun Super Party Mixtape (at least right now).  I’m pleased that it has a few tricky chords, and that I got to play some lead guitar!  It has a super-crazy beat that will start your Summer day off right! More Al:
  2. Purple Wizard – "BBQ." Our pal CJ from Girlsville got on board the Wenis train and a beautiful new friendship was born, which led us straight to Purple Wizard. Who knew it would be so delicious? Al sez:  One of my fave bands of the last bunch of years, from their excellent compilation on Girlsville Records, “Cream Of The Crop”.  The only non-Pacific Northwest artist on the Summer of Fun Mixtape.  You need to crank it up loud in the car and sing along!  This band kicks some ASS!
  3. Next Exit - "Are You Domesticated?" Some fine Spokane lads who got off at the next exit when they got to Seattle and had many rocking bands. Al's thoughts:  I always loved these guys from playing Seattle clubs in the ‘80’s.  Always great in their many incarnations.  Jan Gregor sent this tune for inclusion on this album, and it fit perfectly with the program.  Crazy playing and great lyrics, these guys have tons of great songs.  Thanks Jan!
  4. Swedish Finnish – "Hungover." So pop – so sweet – so summer! They have a great album full of goodness that you want! Al tells it straight:  Beautiful tune from their classic Green Monkey release.  A bit of a somber lyric, with great harmonies.  Hey, we’ve all been there . . . am I right?
  5. Thee Sgt. Major III – "To the Ocean." The elder Bloch Rocker Kurt in one of his many incarnations – boom, the master of hats! Al advises:  Back to the SUPER-CHARGED ROCK, with TSM3!  Unreleased song, exclusive (at this point) to the Summer of Fun Party Mix Tap.  Blast this tune on the beach to attract really cool people to your party!
  6. Jim of Seattle - "Great Big Beautiful Day." From Jim’s brilliant Second album - the song between the two sides that don’t exist. Yes! Al pontificates:  Jim of Seattle should be a superstar.  A little different vibe with this tune . . . it doesn’t necessarily make you pound the steering wheel when you’re driving, but it will get your toe tapping and your fingers snapping . . . and put a smile on your face, and poses important questions to the listener: chips and dip or brie?  Sprouts or KFC?  Starbucks or MJB?
  7. Jimm McIver - "Paula’s Room." This album is so heavenly, so ripe with excellence. The song is a little freaky in an unrequited kinda way.  Al:  I was unaware of this album until I dug dep in the Green Monkey vaults.  Classic ‘90’s sound, recorded at Egg Studios by Conrad Uno.  Brilliant pop song by Mr. McIver, sounds like sunshine and feels like a cool, cool breeze on your face . . . especially when played loud! 
  8. Rusty Willoughby - "Find a Way Home." Pure Joy, Flop, Llama, all pure Rusty. Rusty is biodegradable. Al knows:  From the excellent album “Cobirds Unite”, Rusty is a fantastic songwriter with many great Seattle bands to his credit.  Super nice guy also.  I think I love the albums he released under his own name best, and this song makes me want to dance, and I don’t like to dance.  I love this song, and I think I could just listen to the drums without anything else . .  they sound fantastic.  You must buy this album!
  9. The Queen Annes - "It’s Not My Life." More typical greatness from The Queen Annes third album – That is something to take seriously.  Al's truth:  A real breathe of fresh air back in 1980’s Seattle, a fantastic band that takes their fun very seriously.  A typical great tune from an underrated band, this song and the album it’s from is a true Green Monkey classic!
  10. Insect Man - "Sunshine Down." I love Insect Man. Al loves Insect Man. You love Insect Man too.  Hungry Man Al:  This is one of those albums you can listen all the way through in one sitting and still want more.  Thick and meaty guitars, great tunes . . . a band you should see live.  I hope to see them play soon!  They make my Summer fun.
  11. AAIIEE - "Come To The Fair." A Warm and Thoughtful invitation from a band you cannot pronounce. Released nearly in time for the 50th anniversary of the Seattle World’s Fair!  Straight-up Al:  This band includes my old buds, Johnny Vinyl and Jeff Larson and makes killer records.  Maybe not exactly a Summer tune, but it’s about the Seattle World’s Fair and that makes me happy . . . so there.
  12. The Green Pajamas - "Thinking Only Of You." Vintage Pajama Green Pajamas - Happy Halloween!magic from ‘85 or so that was eventually released on the 21-song eruption know as Happy Halloween! Al believes:  Jeff Kelly is a songwriting genius, and I love this tune and the scrappy sound of this recording.  All the Green Pajamas records are great, and I knew I wanted to include one song on this compilation so I drew straws with myself and chose this one.  I could have included 20 Green Pajamas tunes!
  13. Calvin Johnson - "(I’ve Still Got) Sand In My Shoes." From the King of K Record’s latest and one of his finest, A Wonderful Beast. Calvin calls it experimental, we just call it fab. Al notes:  This song sounds like the winding down of a perfect Summer day.  Great beat and stellar vocals, and instrumental flourishes that tickle the brain.  Bravo, Calvin!
  14. The Yes Masters - "Summer Theme." All Kurt Bloch all the time. So much guitar. So much summer. Time for sno-cones! Al yet again:  And with this song, we complete our journey through a perfect Summer day.  An EPIC Kurt Bloch guitar showcase, the soundtrack to packing up our stuff at the beach, exhausted and sunburned, and heading off to crash the party that we weren’t cool enough to be invited to.
  15. Tom Dyer/Mark Brunke – "Barbra." These near brothers open their hearts to you to share their warm love for Ms. Streisand (the singer). Bass clarinet is the sound of summer! Al bares his soul:  Wistful, pensive and yearning, I had no idea this song was about Barbra Streisand when I first head it.  The perfect closer to the Summer of Fun Super Party Mixtape, that evokes reflection in the twilight hours.  It makes me feel sad and happy at the same time.  I find comfort in the sound of the guitar and the way the bass clarinet provides a poignant counterpoint.  A perfect ballad for an imperfect world.  Maximum Sublimeness!

While you are riding in your car with the top down blasting this at Alki Beach, please know that on June 21 we will be releasing Tom Dyer’s 1+1 = ?, an album without precedence. You are quite likely to enjoy it!

Tom Dyer - 1+1=?Blah de blah de blah,

td May 2019

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