The reclusive Green Pajamas have a couple upcoming gigs, one in Portland and one in Seattle this weekend. The long-time Seattle band are masters of the psychedelic tempest in a teacup otherwise known as plain old psych rock, or for you 80’s o’philes the paisley underground. The band only ever play one or two 2 gigs per year so these back to back dates could be construed as a full blown tour. They may be agoraphobic when it comes to playing live, but when it comes to putting out records they turn into in your face extroverts. The band have been Seattle wallflowers dating back to 1984 and have put out more than 20 albums not including Jeff Kelley solo records. That’s nearly an album a year for a quarter of a century. Longevity appears to be in the pajamas (sorry). It’s kind of crazy to think about the number of albums they’ve put out, and it’s more than a little overwhelming to a newcomer.
So where do you start with a band that have so many records to choose from? Some of my favorites are the albums that they put out in the late 90’s. All Clues Lead to Megan’s Bed, Seven fathoms Down And Falling from that period and the reissue of their early album Ghost of Love are all worth hearing. Another way to go is the compilation route, Indian Summer collects their early hard to find singles, while Through Glass Colored Roses focuses more on late period Pajamas. Getting both of the comps gives a pretty good overview of their career and you can dive in from there.
Live, they play songs from way back. The last time I saw them they played one of their first singles, the almost famous Kim the Waitress, which was later made famous by Material Issue. It’s not all old stuff, though, the band have been consistently releasing records on Hidden Agenda for the past six years. Their latest record Poison In the Russian Room came out earlier this year. It continues the psychedelic rock that these paisley undergrounders have been doing for so long. Overall it’s little more mellow in feel, but there are a few upbeat songs on it to keep you on your toes.
Another way to introduce yourself or reaquaint yourself with a band like the Green Pajamas who’s longevity is evidenced by their huge discography is by going to their gig. They’ll be down in Portland Friday at Kelly’s Olympian and then here in Seattle on Saturday at the Lo-Fi. Just in case you’re on the fence, here are a few mp3’s to get you going.
Dec 4 – Green Pajamas w/boatclub @ Kelly’s Olympian in Portland
Dec 5 – Green Pajamas w/boatclub @ The Lo-Fi in Seattle
mp3: Green Pajamas – Any Way the Wind Blows (from Poison In the Russian Room)
mp3: Green Pajamas – Walking In the Rain (from Ghosts of Love)
mp3: Green Pajamas – Streets Of London (from Indian Winter)
mp3: Green Pajamas – Rattlesnake Kiss (from All Clues Lead to Megan’s Bed)
mp3: Green Pajamas – Planet Love (from Seven Fathoms Down and Falling)