Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Bag O Shells

Before they settled on the name Velvet Crush, Paul Chastain and Ric Menck (both separately and together) issued music under a bewildering array of monikers; Choo Choo Train, The Springfields, The Paint Set, Paul/Paulie Chastain, The Nines, The Reverbs, The Big Maybe, Stupid Cupids, etc. I have never been entirely clear on what distinguished one project from the next, and I doubt even Paul and Ric could explain the difference between all of these bands. (To make matters more confusing some of these early recordings were later collected under Ric Menck's name on the wonderful Ballad of Ric Menck CD.)

This song comes from a 1990 Bus Stop 7" credited to "Bag O Shells." It's hard to imagine that they ever envisioned Bag O Shells as anything other than a temporary moniker, but for all I know they thought that was the name they were going to ride to the top of the charts. More pre-Velvet Crush material has recently been collected on the appropriately titled, Hey Wimpus: The Early Recordings Of Paul Chastain & Ric Menck, but for some reason none of the Bag O Shells material is on it. It's hard to understand why, because this is wimp rock in its purest form, I mean, this song is even called "Pocketbook" for crying out loud.

Like most of the pre-Velvet Crush material, this is more twee and cutesy than anything Paul and Ric did as Velvet Crush, which makes it pretty darn twee and cutesy. It's easy to hear their infatuation with the baroque pop of the The Left Banke on this cut. I like it.

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