Slip Inside This House: MP3s from the Moving Sidewalks, the Proper Circle and Those Boys

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The Moving Sidewalks, “I Want to Hold Your Hand”

It would really be screwed up if I kept on writing this column on Houston psych and garage 45s and didn’t show some love to the Moving Sidewalks. So here’s everybody’s real favorite little ol’ band from Texas.

Long before those beards began to sprout and songs with a ridiculous amount of sexual innuendo were written, Billy F. Gibbons was already a Houston psychedelic deity. Formed in 1967, the Moving Sidewalks were one of the - if not the - premier psych bands in the Bayou City scene, thanks primarily to their ridiculous single titled “99th Floor” on the local Tantara label; it became a regional hit and was picked up for national distribution by the Wand label soon thereafter.

If you’ve heard one Sidewalks song, it’s probably that one. But Slip Inside This House’s goal is to highlight some of the darker corners of local psych and garage, so although “99th Floor” is a damn good 45 and one of my favorites, how about an insane psychedelic version of a Beatles classic instead?

The Proper Circle, “One Day Love”

This rather rudimentary psychedelic attempt took place in Galveston most likely around 1968, though an exact date seems unclear; the Proper Circle previously recorded another 45 a year or so earlier, also on the Houston-based Picture label.

“One Day Love” was actually the last release on Picture before the label met an untimely demise. Starting in the early ‘60s, Picture produced a good handful of singles, ranging from early pop tunes to Sleepy Labeef’s rockabilly numbers. Members of the Proper Circle were also in a Galveston rock and roll group that got its start in the late ‘50s, appropriately called the 1900 Storm.

Those Boys, “No Good Girl”

Not much - or anything, really, for that matter - is known about Those Boys; however, the group really seems to like writing songs about girls. It released two singles, both on the local Fed label and three of those four songs have “Girl” or “Girls” in the title.

“Girls Don’t Leave Me,” with B-side “Never Go Away,” was Those Boys’ first release, appearing in 1966, is just too poppy for most garage fans. “No Good Girl,” from 1967, still has a large dose of pop appeal, but the combination of three-part male harmony and fuzz bass makes this much more appealing to the seasoned garage palette. – Brett Koshkin

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