THE STANDELLS – “Dirty Water” (MP3)
Yes, I admit it, my own greed undid me: while attempting to swap a CD-R’s worth of hooky MP3s from work to home I managed to annihilate my RealJukebox set-up and delete all my playlists. I was left with no choice but to order RJ to sweep through my hard drive and import every piece of recorded tat I’ve picked up over the last year. Which is a lot of tat.

But released from the tyranny of the playlist I find new freedom, not least in a handful of garage-punk tunes I downloaded months ago and forgot about entirely. “Dirty Water” is one of them. All good garage, I hypothesise, is made up either of one fantastically awesome moment repeated again and again or of a load of smaller, discrete moments, which are still of themselves awesome.

Something like “I’ve Been Waiting” by Paul Bearer and the Hearsemen is an example of the former (although bonus awesome points are awarded for the name). Mr Bearer alights upon a gargantuan concrete block of a riff which his faithful Hearsemen proceed to play loudly many times, while howling. Ten out of ten, thankyou, you may recede into obscurity confident that the world is a far better place for your efforts.

“Dirty Water”, much more famous, falls into the latter garage category. The awesome moments run as follows: he’s going to tell you a big fat story; “ah, but they’re cool people”; he loves that dirty water and here come some goofy drums to prove it; “FRUS-TRATED WIMMEN!”; he squirms “aawwuhh” just before the harmonica solo; handclaps!; more abstract beatnik drumming; he’s the man he’s the man.

I need more of this garage stuff, for sure.