As part of our new recurring feature Under The Influence we asked Long Beach psych-garage rockers Crystal Antlers to make us a mix of the songs that inspired their latest album Two-Way Mirror. Their thirteen selections are collected in a YouTube playlist below for easy shuffling; scroll beneath the player for singer/bassist Jonny Bell’s explanations about why each song was chosen.
1. Black Flag – “Police Story”
Our friend was killed by the police in an insane abuse of power case while we were working on the record. We wrote the song Jules’ story around the same time, which is pretty much the same story as this classic from Black Flag.
2. Henry Jacobs – “Electronic Kabuki Mambo”
Henry Jacobs was the first thing that really inspired this band to happen. It’s a miracle that we ever started writing actual “songs.”
3. Jim Sullivan – “UFO”
This was about as obscure as it got until recently. A friend loaned me the record a few years back and it was instantly a favorite. It’s been the soundtrack to a lot of touring…
4. Rudimentary Peni – “Teenage Time Killer”
Nick Blinko is a pretty interesting guy. I think we’ve all got a few Rudimentary Peni records in our collections.
5. Pere Ubu – “Chinese Radiation”
So important i don’t even know what say…
6. The Birthday Party – “Fears Of Gun”
From “the bad seed” EP. I bought it from an old lady at an antique store that was going out of business (original pressing!)…Lyrically and rhythmically it feels relate-able to things on our record some reason. I listen to this all the time.
7. Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell – “Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing”
We were trying to jam on this a lot in Mexico while working on the record. It’s a lot harder than it sounds! The musicianship and production is so good. I don’t care if it’s been played on the radio a billion times -one of the best recorded songs ever.
8. Captain Beefheart – “One Rose That I Mean”
“Lick My Decals Off Baby” is probably my favorite record of all time. This track is one of two brief vignettes, which inspired the two we have on our record.
9. The Sleepers – “Seventh World”
I think my copy of this might be a bootleg, but I got it autographed by all three surviving members. The “Seventh World” EP was such an amazing moment in the San Francisco scene.
10. Tangerine Dream – “The Big Sleep In Search Of Hades”
When I DJ i always play this at the same time as a record of Martin Luther King speeches..The track “Way Out” on our new record I made like 5 years ago when I was on a big Tangerine Dream trip.
11. Minutemen – “Bob Dylan Wrote Propaganda Songs”
We listened to a lot of minutemen while writing this record, though I don’t think it really comes though…but if you check out the song “100 Pigs” we did with some kids a while back you can totally hear it.
12. The Smiths – “I Know It’s Over”
So obvious I know, but the reason it was inspiring is a little different. It’s got this whole linear vocal thing going on, very free form which I was going for with the vocals on “Summer Solstice”.
13. Boys Next Door – “Shivers”
I remember how important this was to my youth. There’s a really amazing live YouTube video of it.
Check out the band’s own video for “Summer Solstice” then grab a download of the title track to Two-Way Mirror, which will be self released on Recreation Ltd. 7/19.