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THE LOONS: San Diego's psych-freakbeat legends to release new single ahead of European tour | Dirty Water Records

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Video for "Blue Ether" as premiered in The Spill Magazine.

In this click bait, flavor of the month, short attention span world, THE LOONS are an anomaly. Their records and live performances have commanded the attention of a devoted tribe of fans for twenty years and counting. In that time they’ve made four albums, a bunch of singles, and played gigs in more cities around the world than they can keep count of. They’ve collaborated with original ‘60s music icons like Glenn Ross Campbell of the Misunderstood, Dick Taylor of the Pretty Things, Randy Holden of the Sons of Adam and Blue Cheer, and Michael Stuart-Ware of Love. The Loons have grown and evolved but never compromised, remaining fiercely committed to the untamed spirit and creativity of ‘60s garage, freakbeat and psychedelia.

After fifteen years with the same lineup, they have a musical chemistry that is practically telepathic. Mike Stax, who also publishes Ugly Things magazine, is the lead singer.  Anja Stax plays bass and sings backing vocals. Marc Schroeder and Chris Marsteller play guitars. Mike Kamoo is the drummer and producer.

Mike Stax was already a veteran of several other San Diego bands, including the Crawdaddys and the Tell-Tale Hearts, when he first formed the Loons in 1997. Ebbot Lundberg of the Soundtrack of Our Lives produced the group’s debut album, Love’s Dead Leaves, released by Get Hip Records in 1998. Anja joined on bass after relocating to California from London, where she’d been playing with the Diaboliks, and the rest of the lineup clicked into place soon afterwards. 

The Paraphernalia album was released in 2004, followed by Red Dissolving Rays of Light in 2010, which included two tracks with Glenn Campbell of the Misunderstood on steel guitar, and Inside Out Your Mind in 2015. All were recorded at Kamoo’s Earthling Studios in El Cajon, which is outfitted with some of the finest vintage analogue recording gear known to man, including the original eight-track machine from Sunset Sound used to record landmark records by Love, the Buffalo Springfield, the Doors, Clear Light, and Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band.

The Loons catalog is anthologized on an exclusive cassette compilation, Diamonds, Garbage & Gold: The Best of the Loons, released on Burger Records in November 2017. Their song As the Raven Flies can be heard in the recent movie Dances With Werewolves, directed by Donald Glut and Dan Golden. They will be touring in Spain and Italy in March and April of 2018.

The Loons new single, Blue Ether b/w Saturday’s Son, is due for release on Dirty Water Records in March 2018.The A-side is a driving, psychedelic-infused number designed, like all Loons songs, to move your mind as well as your feet. The title and lyrics refer to the elusive, mystical realm where all creative inspiration resides, somewhere between the conscious and unconscious mind. “Saturday’s Son,” originally recorded by the Sons of Adam, has been in the Loons’ live set for years, and having reshaped it, they felt it was time to commit it to vinyl.


Spain and Italy Tour Dates

29.3. Longrono -Stereo

30.3. Cangas - Salason

31.3. Ponferrada, Spain - Freakland Festival, Sala La Vaca

01.4. Bilbao - Satelite T

02.4. Pamplona - Nebula Bar

03.4. Gijon - Sala Memphis.

04.4. Madrid - Funhouse

06.4. Scorzè/Venice, Italy - Novak Club

07.4. Alessandria, Italy - Primavera Beat, Cinema Macallè 

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The Dirty Water Club started in October 1996 in the Tufnell Park neighbourhood of north London, at a venue called The Boston. The club's name is derived from The Standells' 1966 hit 'Dirty Water' which glorifies the US city of Boston, Massachusetts.

Past performers have included The White Stripes (voted by Q Magazine as one of the top 10 gigs of all time, Mojo one of the top 30 and Kerrang one of the top 100!), The Gories, Country Teasers, Black Lips, NOBUNNY, Kid Congo Powers, The Fleshtones, Billy Childish, Radio Birdman, The Dirtbombs, Thee Michelle Gun Elephant, The's, The Horrors and The Brian Jonestown Massacre to name just a few. The club has also seen some original '60s performers, such as The Monks, ? and the Mysterians, Kim Fowley, Sky Saxon, GONN, Michael Davis of the MC5 and more grace its stage.

Their in-house record label, Dirty Water Records, is one of the leading garage/beat/(real) R&B labels in the world.


Matt Hunter

Press contact

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