Jerusalem and the Starbaskets
L.A. Freeze [LP; Hitt]

I remember hearing scattered songs of Jerusalem and the Starbaskets about a decade ago. Yet, with the wealth of music that is churned out year after year, and many of the best artists making sure to give listeners something new each year, the glacial pace between J&TS releases has made the heart grow fonder. So as soon as L.A. Freeze came in, it hit the turntable. It was not a disappointment, and I was reminded of the weird, yet familiar tones of a band that takes southern fried folk and blues only to distort and mangle it. L.A. Freeze, like most albums with Los Angeles in the title, moves the southern needle from J&TS’ current Memphis home to the landscape of SoCal (just as the title suggests), basking in some post-Byrds psychedelic folk and Stephen Stills blues being played in some dusky bar. You can smell the cigarette smoke and stale beer as it permeates every groove of L.A. Freeze; failed screenwriters, failing actors, and successful bartenders drinking in the desperation and deprivation as J&TS play them to happy sadness as the sun sets and the house lights grow just as dark as the California horizon. Consider this a nearly 25 year deterioration of Tuesday Night Music Club (shit, I just dropped a Sheryl Crow reference in Cerberus — you just stopped reading but so what, TNMC is a great tears-in-beers album), where any hope-against-hope is now resolve-against-resolve. One’s failures does not mean an end, but rather a new beginning. So, as I sat in that same bar hoping to hear some new J&TS, all I had to do was get my quarters out of the jukebox and give ‘em to the band on stage. It may have taken them awhile to hitch a ride back from the sunset, but thankfully they found a way.

Links: Hitt


Cerberus seeks to document the spate of home recorders and backyard labels pressing limited-run LPs, 7-inches, cassettes, and objet d’art with unique packaging and unknown sound. We love everything about the overlooked or unappreciated. If you feel you fit such a category, email us here.

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