I'm going to head to my local record shop today to pick up a new release and a reissue. I was somewhat relieved to discover that I can buy the new Wilco album, Sky Blue Sky, without the secret shame of feeling like an old man trying to be hip, because according to the young whippersnappers at Pitchfork, Wilco are no longer cool. In fact, Wilco are now so uncool they make "dad-rock." This is a welcome development for me, because I had to pay a 16-year old skater kid $5 bucks to pick up A Ghost Is Born for me while I waited in a back-alley behind the record store hoping no one from my son's preschool spotted me. No need to do that for this release. I can just pull my minivan up the curb, waltz into the record store and order a heaping helping of dad-rock, Wilco-style. What a relief.
The reissue is one of the great overlooked albums from the 60s: The Remains (later known as Barry & The Remains). This is a fantastic garage rock album that includes the wonderful "Don't Look Back," which was a highlight of the original Nuggets compilation, and penned by Billy Vera (yes, that Billy Vera). Leader Barry Tashian later showed up on Gram Parson's first solo album, and drummer N.D. Smart II went on to play with Parsons in the International Submarine Band, as well as on Grievous Angel. Smart also played drums for Mountain, Great Speckled Bird, and The Hello People (yes, those Hello People).