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The Killer Sounds of The Closeouts

I first became aware of Joe, aka norcalhodad, during the 2005 mp3 compilation during the Yahoo Group days. I received an mp3 along with an intriguing picture of a guy with a red Mosrite standing next to an Ewok (which I later learned was his daughter in a Halloween costume). I don't think Joe had posted to the group yet, so he was a complete unknown to me. The song was a cool lo-fi rockin' little party number called "Drink, Stomp, Twist". Since then, Joe has periodically sent me little mp3 demos, usually with a cool little photo. Joe also contributed the topics and Downloads icons for this site.

So I was really excited to receive a CD-R demo from Joe's band, The Closeouts. Now get this: Joe's band is actually just him. That's right, Joe plays all the instruments. Let me repeat that. Joe plays ALL the instruments: guitars, drums, bass, baritone guitar, keyboards, wacky sound effects, all of them.

So what does this demo sound like? To be honest, this is one of the best things I have heard in months! Joe can play raging surf like Dick Dale, The Fender IV, and The Jesters (Hella, The Red Triangle, Droppin' In). He can also play Los Straitjackets inspired party tunes, and sadder, slower material. Each song has a very identifiable theme. There are spaghetti western tunes, hot rod tunes, a tribute to Star Crunch, bad ass wicked stomps, and happy upbeat drinkin' tunes. It is really quite stunning to me that one guy pulled this all together. Its kind of rough and un-produced in spots (hey it is a demo), but Joe is sitting on a gold mine! I urge any musicians in Northern California to seek this guy out and form a band. These songs need to be fleshed out and recorded properly, not to mention performed live! In fact, if no one steps up to the plate I am prepared to quit my job, divorce my wife, and move next door to Joe to become his rhythm guitarist (Just kidding honey! Love ya, xxoo). Yes, it is that good and holds that much potential.

Joe does have a myspace page where you can sample a few of the songs. He has also uploaded "Juanita, Juanita!!" to the SG101 site. I urge everyone to check him out. You'll be glad you did, and you'll be able to say to your friends "I knew Joe back in the day on SG101 before he was discovered".

This story has 4 comments.


Joe sent me a copy a while ago, and I agree completely--it's killer. Killer! For a demo it's consistently better than many of the new surf albums I've picked up recently. The songwriting's great, and it covers a ton of ground stylistically. It's hard to pick favorites, but the Star Crunch tribute is dead-on, and honestly a lot better than anything on Made From Techneit-however you spell it. And dig the guitar tones on "Gummi Robots"--it sounds exactly like the bastard hybrid monstrosity suggested by the title. Great, great stuff. -Warren

CaptainSpringfield | 01-Sep-2006 03:45:15 | Flag

I totally agree with Brian, judging on the four songs on Joe's myspace site - it's really great stuff! Joe, get a band together and start playing out ASAP. I have no doubt you will blow people away!


IvanP | 01-Sep-2006 09:28:27 | Flag

Yeah man, your tunes are really good. Keep it up!

Jon | 01-Sep-2006 13:00:57 | Flag

Brian, wow Man! Thanks for writing such an enthusiastic piece. You are a gracious host here at SG101...and you other guys...I really appreciate the inspiring comments. Thank you all very much. Cheers and Reverb for Days! Joe

norcalhodad | 01-Sep-2006 20:24:23 | Flag

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