Download: Salty Dog’s unreleased album

About 15 years ago, the publisher of a ‘zine I writing for (MOO Magazine) handed me a cassette labeled “Salty Dog Demos”. “You like these guys, right?” Tony asked, knowing full well that I was a hair metal fanatic. And while Salty Dog wasn’t exactly from the lipstick-and-leather Sunset Strip scene, they were often lumped into the hair metal category due to the fact that, well, they had long hair, wore leather pants, and played loud rock n’ roll.

The cassette had come from Tony’s friend, Michael Hannon. By the time that cassette reached my hands, Salty Dog was all but done – grunge had taken over and major labels like Geffen, which had released Salty Dog’s debut, Every Dog Has It’s Day, were dropping anything remotely hair metal related while trying to discover the next Nirvana. But what that tape held – eight demos that had been recorded as the foundation for Salty Dog’s second album – is something that people have been waiting to hear for 15 years.

By the time these songs were recorded, Salty Dog had jettisoned it’s singer, Jimmi Bleacher, due to his problems with drugs and had hired the singer of a Dallas, Texas hard rock cover band, Darrel Beach. As you’ll hear in the interview below with Michael, while Beach possessed an amazing voice, his attitude left a lot to be desired.

The following video was recorded in Michael’s basement last week, following his band’s (American Dog) appearance at a 3,000+ seat venue opening for Cinderella. I had originally intended on doing just an audio interview but at the last minute set my digital camera up on the bar and started recording. The quality of the video is poor and at some point around the 3 minute mark, the audio is no longer in sync with the video. But it’s the words – the reflections about the Salty Dog days and about the set of demos that were intended for Salty Dog’s second album – that really matter.

Please remember that the cassette from which these songs were transfered is at least 15 years old and therefore the MP3s sound the way they do for a reason. There is even a point during one of the songs where the song sounds a bit warped for a few seconds, probably because the cassette was buried in a box in my basement for so long. All that being said, take a listen to what might have been and enjoy!

DOWNLOAD: Salty Dog’s unreleased album

1. Damned If I Do, Damned If I Don’t
2. Hell Hath No Fury
3. All That Glitters, It Ain’t Gold
4. Honeysuckle Wind
5. Old Fashioned Love
6. My American Dream
7. Open Says Me
8. Just An Alcoholic*

* “Just An Alcoholic” would later appear, in different versions, on releases by two of Hannon’s post-Salty Dog bands – Hilljack and American Dog

Interview: Gold Motel

Formed after The Hush Sound went on (permanent?) hiatus, Gold Motel is led by Greta Morgan and features members of This is Me Smiling. The band’s girl-group-sounding, pop-friendly full length debut, Summer House, comes out on June 1.

I e-mailed Greta some questions earlier this week. Here’s what she has to say.

The Gold Motel stuff sounds so “summery” to me – it’s bright, happy and shiny. If you owned a convertible, what songs would you have playing on your “Cruising Around Town – Summer ’10” playlist as you drive around and sing at the top of your lungs?

Vampire Weekend “Giving Up The Gun”
The Strokes “Under Control”
Generationals “When They Fight, They Fight”
John Lennon  “Oh Yoko”
The Kinks “Drivin’
The Beach Boys “Good Vibrations”
The Supremes “When The Lovelight Starts Shining In His Eyes”
The Zombies “Summertime”
Beach House “Walk In The Park”
Bob Lind “Cool Summer”

Interview: James Milne (Lawrence Arabia)

Lawrence Arabia just wrapped up an extremely successful run through the U.S. with Fanfarlo and Robert Francis. The band, London-by-way-of-New-Zealand, is led by George Harrison-loving frontman James Milne and live they comes across much louder (in a good way) than they do on their U.S. debut, Chant Darling (featuring the fantastic pop ditty “Apple Pie Bed”). Milne says that after a run overseas, Lawrence Arabia will be back on these shores, so do your studying now.

I grabbed James for a quick interview before Lawrence Arabia’s set in Columbus on April 1 (no fooling here!).

Interview: 3 minutes with The Kissaway Trail

I’m suffering from both a Kissaway Trail hangover and withdrawal after seeing the Danish band perform as the opening act for The Temper Trap this past Friday night in Columbus, Ohio. The five-piece (six if you count the bearded and dancing tambourine player) blew me away with a sound that was equal parts Arcade Fire, Mew, Snow Patrol, Sigur Ros, Long-view, Modest Mouse and Polyphonic Spree. Everything built up into huge anthemic crescendos that rained on the close-to-sold-out audience and kept me (and hundreds others) in a 45-minute state of bliss. After their set was done, I went backstage and threw a few questions at Rune Pedersen (bass), Hasse Mydtskov (drums), and Daniel Skjoldmose (guitars, keyboards). Apologies for the background noise (ie – Temper Trap performing), the dressing room walls were pretty thin.

Rune told me that after this run of dates with The Temper Trap, The Kissaway Trail is heading overseas but will be back in the States this summer/fall and will be performing at some festivals (hmm … maybe Lollapalooza?). You can pick up the band’s U.S. debut release, Sleep Mountain (Bella Union / Yep Roc), on April 20.