Town + Country
The Rave-Ups were another blink and you missed them band in the ’80s, but not for lack of skill or heart. Their 15 minutes of fame occurred when they appeared in the John Hughes epic Pretty in Pink, performing a few songs in the background, including Town + Country‘s “Rave-Up/Shut Up” and their signature song, “Positively Lost Me”, which sadly didn’t make the movie soundtrack, and it’s exclusion probably crippled the band, in hindsight.
Ancient history aside, this reissue of The Rave-Ups 1985 album Town + Country will hopefully serve to hip wise ears to their sound. Luckily for us, they couldn’t quite decide what sort of band they were – the moody New Wave of “Positively Lost Me”, the righteous twang of “Better World” or “Radio” or the punkers of “In My Gremlin”? Produced by Stephen Barncard (who worked on the Dead’s American Beauty) and featuring the legendary pedal steel of Sneaky Pete Kleinow (Flying Burrito Brothers), the group- Jimmer Podrasky, vocals, Terry Wilson, guitar, Tommy Blatnik on bass and drummer Timothy J- were an amalgamation of sounds and influences. Their version of the Dylan staple, “You Ain’t Going Nowhere” is spot-on, and the inclusion of “If I Had A Hammer” and “Nine Pound Hammer” (guys had a thing about hardware, I guess) are good fun, if not exactly reverent to Pete Seeger or Merle Travis.
But it’s the yelp of Podrasky that ties it all together, and he reminds you a bit of Jason Ringenberg from the Scorchers, all hell-fire and giddyup, and fans of the early days of alt-country – the Long Ryders, Lone Justice and the like need this reissue, it’s the lost link between Pretty in Pink and, well, Hank Williams. With guitars. Wonderful stuff that thankfully wasn’t lost to the ages.