Since I’m feeling rather bitter and mean today – weeks of bad weather resulting in interruptions of basic necessities like electricity and water, a cold that just won’t go away, bad news – I thought I’d spread a little joy by sharing The Music Machine.
I love all that Nuggets-y 60s garage band stuff, just like I love mid-late 60s B-movies, like all those biker movies and LSD movies. As Ponyboy in The Outsiders would say, it’s tuff, man. And no one’s tuffer than The Music Machine, especially if you are feeling bitter and malcontent.
The Music Machine was essentially Sean Bonniwell cracking the whip on a revolving cast of musicians. Bonniwell wrote nearly all of The Music Machine’s original output, masterminded the group’s trademark grindy, grungy sound, and also came up with the visual hook that made The Music Machine stand out in a crowd: all members dressed totally in black, usually wearing dark glasses, while Bonniwell put the icing on the cake by wearing one elbow-length black leather glove. Obviously Michael Jackson was paying attention, right?
The difference between The Music Machine and a lot of the other one-hit wonders you find on the Nuggets comps and B-movies is that The Music Machine actually produced at least one album full of great, highly-listenable music. The 1999 compilation Turn On: The Best of the Music Machine collects that awesome album, 1966’s Turn On along with several other singles.
Without further “Talk Talk” (the most famous song by The Music Machine, which I’m not including, because I’m a misanthrope), here are a few songs by The Music Machine:
Double Yellow Line – one of the last singles by The Music Machine to come anywhere near the charts. The Farfisa organ gives it a distinctive, horror-movie sound, although the swampy production dates it clearly as garage stuff…
Masculine Intuition – a slightly cleaner production than some of TMM’s stuff (which is tantamount to saying “the windshield smeared with with oil is cleaner than the one smeared with mayonnaise), and interesting lyrics.
WARNING: Listen to this on IPOD/MP3 player headphones at your own risk. The mix on these two songs is so trebly and shrill on digital player that it will deafen you and make dogs three miles down the road howl…