Thursday, October 30, 2014

Various Artists - Shots In The Dark

With a weekend of tribute shows coming up on the local club scene in celebration of Halloween, it seemed like a perfect time to showcase one of the most fun tribute albums ever released. Shots In The Dark - A Bob Keane Production brings together 20 different acts to honor the mega-successful TV theme and soundtrack composer Henry Mancini. Most of the performers involved are unknown outside of the indie rock scene, although some might be better-known musicians performing under pseudonyms.

Mancini fans might not even recognize the revved-up version of “Experiment In Terror” offered here by Davie Allan And The Arrows, but it’s well known to regular listeners of Little Steven’s syndicated Underground Garage radio show. Poison Ivy of The Cramps delivers a bone-crushing rendition of “Peter Gunn,” and The Wondermints exude a hippie vibe with their take on “The Party.” Wiskey Biscuit likewise connects with the 1960s on “A Shot In The Dark.” The Jigsaw Seen, a band that participated on a number of these tribute CDs, has a blast with an amped-up “Baby Elephant Walk.”

Just about every track on Shots In The Dark works as an unexpected but happy marriage of Mancini’s genius for creating indelible melodies and a cutting edge band’s ingenuity. Other highlights include The Boardwalkers doing “Banzai Pipeline,” Four Piece Suit’s “Something For Cat,” Man Or Astroman’s “Touch Of Evil,” and “Mr. Lucky” by Elliot Easton’s Tiki Gods. Even a literally out-of-this-world version of “Dreamsville” by Br. Cleve And His Lush Orchestra is fascinating.


The Jigsaw Seen October 30, 2014 at 3:42 PM  

Thanks Terry!

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