Calm song by a band that deserved to be influential and to have more recognition than they had. Who knows, maybe it's better this way, so let's keep Salem 66 as a little secret to be discovered. To post any song from their first records would be great (“Across The Sea” or “Pony Song” are true gems), but let's go for “Sleep On Flowers” from the now legendary Boston Bands That Could Be God compilation.
|VA Bands That Could Be God LP (Conflict Records / Radiobeat Records, 1984)|
“Salem 66 is like your grandmother’s favorite china: glazed smooth across the surface yet chipped and jagged around the border. Formed in Boston by Beth Kaplan and Judy Grunwald in 1982, they have evolved from artistic abstraction to accessible avant-garde.” Julia Masi
“The guitarist Judy Grunwald and the bassist Beth Kaplan write songs that use folk-rock guitar riffs and drumbeats that resolutely refuse to rock, topped with eccentric vocal harmonies that overlap and move in unexpected directions, all at steady mid-tempos. The pieces fit together to create songs that drone smoothly, determinedly and enigmatically, as if interior monologues had somehow been set to music.” Jon Pareles (NY Times)
|Salem 66 (Robert Wilson, Susan Merriam, Judy Grunwald, and Beth Kaplan), 1984.|
|Beth Kaplan @ Chet's Last Stand, Boston, 1985. Robert Barry Francos|
“Never having played drums before, Susan's beats are made of simple, effective, and interesting patterns; each drum is treated as a separate instrument. Beth lopes her melodious bass lines around the rhythm, sensually flexing her knees to the beat. In contrast, Judy adds a degree of dissonance with her ringing chords and droning strings. Almost an Eastern touch. In relief to the positive aggression of their music, Judy's husky voice and Beth's softer tones float vocal harmonies together, keeping the sound warm and soothing.” Marc English (Boston Rock)
|Salem 66 (Judy, Susan, and Beth), 1984? Rocco Cippilone|
“We had a long, weird career. I think there was a point early on where the big break should have happened for us. It's not like we thought that if we could get onto a major label it would solve all our problems, but we got to the point where we had to make some sort of level change and, in the end, it just didn't happen.” Beth Kaplan
|Salem 66 Across The Sea 7" (Homestead Records, 1984)|
Salem 66 – Across The Sea
More info here.
“Really nice stuff here from Salem 66. 'Across the Sea' features some cool guitar and vocal interplay which is highlighted by a super chorus. The B-side falters in its vocals and length, but it's still strong. Play it for your Mom.” Lyle Hysen (Maximum Rocknroll #21)
|Salem 66 Salem 66 12" (Homestead Records, 1984)|
Salem 66 – Pony Song
More pics here.