With Sleep Talk, Shannon and the Clams blast rock's ghosts of the past into the future
The name Joe Meek pops up more than once in conversation. "I love how Meek's records sound, so inventive and strange," Cody says, regarding the innovative Space Race-era producer behind "Telstar," an instrumental No. 1 hit by the Tornados. "And he seemed totally nuts."
Shannon and the Clams haven't yet rocketed to the moon, but a trip to South by Southwest and a tour with Hunx and His Punx are part of their immediate travel plans. I ask what comes after that. "I feel like something [currently] brewing in Oakland is much weirder caveman-type music," Shannon says, in anticipation of the scene's next wave of creativity. "Can we just be weirdo, other rock 'n' roll?"
Cody is convinced that the dedication of the Bay Area music scene is unique and undying. "I can't think of any other cities that are so enthusiastic about [music]," he says. "It just keeps coming. Waves of all kinds come and go." If you think Shannon and the Clams are riding the wave for teenage kicks and landing in tragic territory, you're partly right — and it's working. Right now, with Sleep Talk, you've got a second dose.