Velvet Monkeys

One of Don Fleming's earliest outfits. The first was the Stroke Band—primitivist punk with flecks of demented doo-wop folded in—but it's the project that followed, Velvet Monkeys, I've really taken a liking to. Their debut, Everything Is Right, is this odd fusion of bone-dry psych rock, sloppy surf, and fuzzed-out electric blues that's all shellacked with a wicked sense of humor I find myself drawn to. Imagine Jad Fair from Half Japanese playing with Bauhaus. (Incidentally, Fleming was in Half Japanese for a spell, and the two bands recorded a live album, released on cassette, together.)

Their second album found them getting a little more rock, a little more dense, a little more heavy, a little more sludge.

With the final LP, Fleming recruited John Hammill of Pussy Galore, Thurston Moore, J Mascis, and Julia Cafritz to make a fake soundtrack that somehow parodied Shaft. After that came Gumball, which I'll dedicate a separate post to.