Tuesday, April 2, 2024

PopeAlopes - Yolo County Line: The Good, the Bad, The Ugly (2002, P on the K)

This one has been on the burner for at least a decade and a half.  The fact that I had a request for this several months ago was certainly an impetus, but it was almost an inevitability that I would get around to sharing this bountiful three-CD mini box set of scarcities and rarities by the PopeAlopes, a Davis, CA indie proposition responsible for five redeeming and substantive albums through the late-80s and mid-90s.  Heck, I even reviewed Yolo County Line proper in 2011, but wasn't ready to disseminate it's content at the time as it was still available (albeit in small quantities). This likely isn't the case anymore, so without much further ado...

Going into this near 50-song collection of b-sides, outtakes, piss-takes, and concert and cable access TV performances it would be ideal to have some familiarity with the 'lopes, and seeing that I've featured their first couple of proper albums An Adder's Tale and Kerosene it's not beyond the realm of possibility to take that plunge.  A lot of you might be asking what in the hell were these chaps all about.  The aforementioned review can clue you in on that, but I tend to a spirited yet casual mélange of the following: The Reivers, Long Ryders, The Doors, and perhaps more minimally the likes of fIREHOSE, R.E.M. and the Replacements. If you go by what Trouser Press has to say the PopeAlopes come across as acolytes of True West, but my interest in T/W never extended that far to levy such a comparison. At last half of Yolo... consists of live recordings, the audio of which sounds to be culled from soundboard tapes. 

The collection is divvied up between what the band regards as material that ranges anywhere from decent to mediocre to not-so-much, but my assessment is that if they had the cojones to make this material available for public consumption in any amount even "the ugly" quotient of this is set is still relatively approachable.  And oh yeah, there's no shortage of covers populating this thing - "Wichita Lineman," "2000 Light Years From Home," Opal's "Happy Nightmare Baby, Galaxie 500's thoroughly winsome "Pictures," not to mention a riveting reading of T. Rex's indispensable "Telegram Sam."  As for originals, if I had to sweat it down to just one particular song to recommend in the band's repertoire here, I'd settle on the angular yet relentlessly ringing "Blesh." I've provided the entire tracklist directly to your right, and tucked the full artwork including liner notes inside the CD 1 (The Good) folder.  Enjoy. 

CD 1/CD 2/CD 3


Josef Kloiber said...

I own her three. An excellent band.

J-Ro said...

Very cool. I'd never heard of them before, but came across An Adder's Tale recently and bought it on a whim. Thanks for this.