In short, Essentials is a segment that allows artists to put down their instruments and divulge about a specific topic, giving fans and the like the opportunity to connect with their interests and inspirations. It’s just unlike any other listicle feature, we’re totally okay with things getting weird and/or uncensored. With a new album on shelves, we asked Long Beach’s TIJUANA PANTHERS to open up about a few influential records that define California. To note, Daniel Michicoff’s five picks are must-owns.
Le Shok’s We Are Electrocution (2000)
We Are Electrocution was a piece of vinyl that exploded into my life in high school. I loved the art, the band, and mainly the energy. I think it’s a 15 minute album that really banged out what I was feeling at the time and even now because it still holds up. Hot Rod Todd and the LBC crew were local heroes for us. The only conversations I have had recently about Le Shok have been with old Long Beach local scenesters and other record heads like Ty Segall.
Wounded Lion’s Wounded Lion (2010)
This album rules. They’re just some art dudes that killed in the art world and were thriving on In The Red back when we were starting as a band. The album itself is an upbeat party of perfectly strange lyrics. We still play shows with them and I am surprised that more kids don’t own this album and know every word. They’re older guys that have more energy than most of today’s teenage garage bands.
Nodzzz’s Nodzzz (2008)
Nodzzz are another group that had a nice following and were hip in our circles but ended before they got more recognition. Not sure how this record did, but their absurd songwriting and perspective on life helped remind us as a band to be unique and to do our own thing. They are from San Francisco and “Losing My Accent” just gives me a So I Married An Axe Murderer vibe.
Suburban Lawns’ Suburban Lawns (1981)
Suburban Lawns are an obscure Long Beach band that clearly resonated with us the moment we heard their song “Janitor”. I had to have this particular album and it’s one I bring to every DJ set I do. I got one of my copies as a birthday gift from our guitar player (Chad Wachtel) who was given it by Tony Lombardo. I’m pretty proud of that history. I’m not sure how well known they are but every weirdo or punk I talk to has a little thing for Su Tissue. Including me! You can see why in this video.
The Soft Pack’s Strapped (2012)
These are some really close friends from San Diego and we met them through playing shows together. They got on fire for a while and embodied the California spirit of “Come to our party if you want to know what a good time is… or don’t”. I’m not sure how well this album did as the band stopped playing shortly after they toured around it. I think the new music culture and the recent explosion of bands mixed with too much online content is why this record might have gotten lost in the sea of things. But it’s a solid album and they’re a California must.