Standout Track: No. 5, “City of People,” a frenetic cover of a garage obscurity by The Illusions, features Jake Starr (formerly of Adam West) singing about a case of walking-down-the-street paranoia ’cause his hair’s too long and his heels too high, so it must be 1966. Starr lets loose with a blood-curdling scream and a guitar solo so freaked out you’ll think Roky Erickson has infiltrated your headphones.
Musical Motivation: Starr writes via e-mail that he chose “City of People” because “It’s always been one of my favorite garage tunes. I prefer rock ’n’ roll that hits you with a visceral punch. And I think my voice and the way the band plays make it a perfect combination. We always play this song live and it gets a great response.” As for what it’s about, he says, “The ‘shutdown/alienation’ feeling kids got in the mid-’60s when the generation gap was really starting.” Does he feel any of that? “Oh yes, indeed,” he says. “I’ve always dressed ‘weird’ and still do. I’ve always been a spectacle! I am that guy … minus the long hair.”
Immodesty Blaze: Starr says, “I started singing and performing when I was around six years old … to O’Jays records during dinner parties in the ’70s.” And where did he learn to scream like that? “Growing up listening to Roger Daltrey, Iggy Pop, Jim Morrison, Tom Jones, and Mick Jagger,” he says. “I’m lucky I was born with a very powerful voice and can dance, too. That plus my outlandish, narcissistic extroversion has turned me into quite the frontman.”
Listen to “City of People” after the jump.
The band plays April 4 at Quarry House Tavern and April 23 at Comet Ping Pong.