Paisley Shirt Records is a San Francisco-based cassette label run by Kevin Linn, that likes lo-fi pop, experimental outsider music, and post-punk. Their motto is “Listen to The Boy In The Paisley Shirt by Television Personalities and you’ll get a good idea of what we’re about.”
What Kevin Says: “I run Paisley Shirt Records, record songs as Sad Eyed Beatniks/Present Electric/etc., and generally listen to a good amount of music. Paisley Shirt started in 2013 as a vehicle to release my and a couple of friends’ music: we assumed that no one else would release it, so why not just do it ourselves. Currently, I run the label by myself and have been releasing lo-fi pop, indie rock, & experimental music from the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. Some of the artists on the label include The Telephone Numbers, Hectorine, Tony Jay, Blue Ocean, Portabella, Mister Baby, Max Nordile, The Snogs, The Lice, Flowertown, Burner Herzog, Cindy, R.E. Seraphin, & HITS.
The Neon Boys – That’s All I Know (Right Now)
Anything Television or Richard Hell related will always be up my alley; take an early 13th Floor Elevators-inspired recording of Verlaine, Hell, & Billy Ficca as The Neon Boys and you have one of best proto-punk tracks ever recorded.
Mississippi John Hurt – Frankie
In 2009 or ‘10 I was digging through the dollar bin of Metamusic (now Metavinyl) in Santa Cruz, California and came across “The Blues At Newport / 1964 / Part 2” as I saw it had an Elizabeth Cotten track on it. When I took it home, I was blown away by the first few tracks: Mississippi John Hurt’s “Sliding Delta”/”Bye And Bye I Will See Jesus”/”Talking Casey” – softly sung, incredible guitar fingerplay, all delivered in a casual-yet-direct way. “Frankie” is one of Hurt’s earliest recordings and would go on to be included in the Harry Smith “Anthology Of American Folk Music” compilation.
Trash Kit – Coasting
I only got into Trash Kit last year when I heard the R.Aggs (Rachel Aggs) “Tape 1” on one of the Bandcamp Fridays. Trash Kit takes the best aspects of Rachel Aggs’s solo work and pairs it with mind-boggling drumming/percussion & bass.
Gumarang Sakti – Tari Garak Sapayuang (Tarian Minang)
This is off the Sublime Frequencies album “Folk And Pop Sounds Of Sumatra Vol.2” – I love every moment of it. At UC Santa Cruz I spent two quarters in the West Javanese Gamelan Ensemble; repeating drone of the cradled gongs, varying metallophones, and rhythm of the hand drums. This track incorporates the percussion & drone of gamelan but with these great overdubbed pop vocals. Generally anything from Sublime Frequencies is either so strange it’s fascinating or ethereal and mesmerizing.
Flaming Tunes – Breast Stroke
R.Aggs “Tape 1” may have been my favorite new release of 2020, but the reissue of the Flaming Tunes album spent the most time on my turntable and mind. How did I not know of a This Heat related project with lo-fi 4-track recorded sounds & Eastern inspired instrumentals? It’s like learning about Cupol or Dome, in relation to Wire.
Yo La Tengo – The Forest Green
Even on their first album you knew they were destined for greatness. Though a number of tracks are hit-and-miss, tracks like “The Forest Green” and “The Cone of Silence” really stand out. My real introduction to the band was one night in 2011 or so; I dropped a few hits of acid, listened through a recently torrented Yo La Tengo discography, and scrolled through the blog “Internet K-Hole”. Also this is a Coyote Records release; Twin/Tone was the parent label and released The Feelies best era.
The Arrows – Moon Dawg ’65
If you can get past the blatant fetishism of Native American/Indian culture you have some of the greatest surf-inspired rock instrumentals of the mid-60s surf-revival era. Originally a track by The Gamblers, here it’s a supercharged version of that late 50s surf sound. Davie Allan & The Arrows have these amazing rattling guitars, pulsing rhythms, & out of this world solos.
The Kinks – Yes Sir, No Sir
I don’t know if “Face To Face” or “Arthur Or The Decline And Fall Of The British Empire” is my favorite Kinks album, but I can say that on “Arthur” the Davies brothers (& Mick Avory) really hit their stride. Epic song structures, rockin’ guitar riffs & solos by Dave, commanding drumming by Avory, and beyond genius lyrics by Ray.
Paisley Shirt Records has a new cassettes out tomorrow: Sunday Music For An Overpass by April Magazine (featuring members of Flowertown and The Reds, Pinks & Purples!!!!) and a catalogue plenty of wonderful records by Flowertown, Tony Jay, Hectorine, The Telephone Numbers, Sad Eyed Beatniks and many others. Look HERE for more information on Paisley Shirt Records.