A few years ago, right around this time I found a copy of a bizarre and great kids-play-rock LP by a duo known simply as Donnie and Joe. Their long-player debut, "Dreamin' Wild," totally bowled me over when I brought it home from an antique store in Eastern Washington. Hazy, heartfelt crooning that seemed to project out of this really lonely but familiar place - backed by slightly off kilter instrumentation - it became a quick favorite with me, and as the word spread, with many others too. They had such a peculiarly singular sound that I was truly surprised to find something that I thought matched it in the *wow* department, but also that the 45 in question just sounded uncannily like it could be those same two kids casting off a 7" ... albeit from across the country and culturally as far from Spokane Valley farm-land as you could get. I know very little about Dennis Harte or the Roundtable label out of New York City, but he and his brother cut at least 3 7"s, one of which I'm missing (unfortunately). The best cut of the bunch is this utterly powerful slab of teener summer sneer that just buzzes and hisses it's way across the thick Manhattan haze, an intense wall of sound backing the pleas of Dennis as he extrapolates his heart-ache. I've listened to this song 50 times since picking up the 7" and still can't get over how much this sounds like Donnie and Joe... total goosebumps! I'm not as in love with the flip but it's worth checking out nonetheless.
Treat Me Like a Man
Let's Get Out of the City
I Don't Need Anymore
Anyways, the other 45 I have to share is nowhere near as epic or mind-melting as "Summer's Over" - but it's worth posting up as it has kind of a quirky lo-fi dork-rock charm of it's own. Sounds to me like it's an older brother singing on these songs... there's some great wah and a mildly psychedelic edge on the flip, too, which may be the stronger song of the two. If anybody has further info on the Roundtable label or the Harte boys - please let me know. Would love to hear more from these guys!