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 Daphne Lee Martin & Raise The Rent "SONG OF THE WEEK" The Mocking Birds
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History of the Mill Valley Taters
© 2002 Mill Valley Taters

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Mill Valley Taters
History of the Mill Valley Taters
(double CD)

Total Time: 2:17:27
Cost: $13.98 + s/h*

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Read Our Review

STYLESurf / Instrumental

HOME TOWNStratford, CT

E-MAIL: Mill Valley Taters
Part 1 - 69:04
1. Stratfordized!!
2. Friction Proof
3. Garaged!!
4. Flux Meditations
5. History Of Rock N Roll
6. The Night Is Young

Part 2 - 68:23
7. Stratford After Dark
8. Hey Mr Rock N Roll
9. Foam Aroma
10. Dirty Wheels
11. Unwatchable/3 Piece Suit
12. Walk On By
13. Christmasized
14. History Of Rock N Roll - Live
Issue #45                          Jan. ’03

“I was tuning in the shine of the light night dial…”

I don’t listen to the radio much anymore, except for a couple of shows – One Sunday evening late in November I tuned in to the "Local Bands" show, which originates out of New Haven, CT on WPLR and is hosted by Rick Alison and James Velvet, only to have this amazing surf sound jump my ears and awake my senses – It was TOO GOOD to stop listening to – I wanted MORE! – “Who is this?”

It was the Mill Valley Taters. I had just heard a few tunes from their newly released double CD “History of the Mill Valley Taters” a retrospect chronicling the bands 1992-1999 catalogue which previously had only been available on a limited number of self-manufactured cassettes…

Fast Forward to the next Friday – I’m listening to the only other radio show I can appreciate; "Franorama" on WPKN, college radio from the University of Bridgeport, CT when host Fran Fried begins to play cuts off…yup… “History of the Mill Valley Taters” Again I’m captured, hooked, aroused to the point of needing more…

A couple of phone calls, an email from a mutual friend, and a week later I’m sitting in a local pub listening to The Big Fat Combo. On bass is former “Tater” frontman Tom Andrukevich; he passes me along a copy of the professional grade self-manufactured double CD, happy to hear I like it, yet reserved over my enthusiasm…

On the drive home I couldn’t believe my ears, there was an amazing amount of music taking place – it came from everywhere, it went everywhere, yet, it was all right here, on these discs – after several detours to extend the ride and continue my listening pleasure without breaking the magic, I arrived home popped the CDs into the player and proceeded to read the Liner Notes – And that’s when I fully realized the significance of what I was hearing. I also realized that I could never write a review that could so completely capture the essence of the music, in the same way the music had so completely captured me.

There was only one thing to do; I contacted Fran Fried, entertainment editor at the New Haven Register, New Haven, CT and the author of the Liner Notes, I requested his permission to reproduce them here for you – word for word –
Permission Granted…

They arrived quietly and, years later, departed the same way.

They were the guys hanging out in the corner at the party who you didn’t give a second notice to. Only when they walked to the corner of the room, set up their gear and played the bejeezus out of their instruments did you look up and raise an eyebrow.

I was talking figuratively, but it might as well have been literally. The Mill Valley Taters, three unassuming, square-living guys from Fairfield County, Connecticut, with a funny name and a funny way of going about things, materialized from nowhere, made a big impression on a few, didn’t get too impressed about themselves, went about their business and, when they were done, just faded out the door – and again, no one noticed.

The reps of Messrs. Andrukevich, Sullivan, and Neal – Tom, Steve and Chris, respectively – grew in centimeters over the years, by word of mouth and by the tapes they would pass out to friends, fans and small surf zines around the world. Living in a land where the waves don’t get over 3 inches, their idea of surf music bounced off walls at funny angles. Their instrumentation was two guitars, a bass, a drum machine (glad Sandy Nelson didn’t hear this) and, if you were good boys and girls, a theremin (and hey, even Brian Wilson didn’t use one of those on his surf tunes). And while you could occasionally pick out Dick Dale and The Ventures, there was also room for Link Wray, rockabilly, The Mystics, film noir, even Television (the band, fool, as in “Marquee Moon”).

And that last name-drop is more than appropriate, because their music, really, was made for nocturnal driving more than daytime hanging ten. Taters tunes are right up there with Jonathan Richman’s “Roadrunner” for all-time late-night cranking while driving fast down some black, barren highway, emptying your skull – especially when playing one of their 15-minute-long tapes that repeated on the other side. Believe me – I’ve logged more miles and lost more Taters tapes than I can count over three vehicles in the last decade. These guys were road warriors and didn’t even realize it.

Which is why this new double CD is such a treat. Not only do I get to hear all these great instrumental tracks again in pristine form, I just get to have them all again, period, in one place for the first time. And many of you will finally get to just plain hear them for the first time. And since some of you now have CD decks in your Ray Bradbury scarab-beetles, you too, will know the sensation of white-stripe surfing by the light of the silvery moon at high decibels some July night. And you will dig every minute of it. Just obey posted speed limits, or something like that.

- Fran Fried  2002

History of the Mill Valley Taters
Double CD by Mill Valley Taters
is now available for: $13.98 + s/h*

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*Shipping & Handling charges:
USA - $3.00 for the first 2 CDs ordered,
                     Add $1.50 per each CD after.
Canada - $5.00 for the first CD ordered,
                          Add $2.00 per each CD after.
Everywhere else -$7.00 for the first CD ordered,
                                        Add $3.00 per each CD after.

Daphne Lee Martin & Raise The Rent Go To Top The Mocking Birds

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