After The Days of Wine and Roses Lp, Kendra Smith left the Dream Syndicate and they went downhill fast. Dave Prevost replaced Smith on bass, and they recorded an album called Medicine Show for A&M records. It was released in 1984. The much-hyped "Paisley Underground" was collapsing around its own ears.

When Medicine Show was released, those of us who'd gone nuts over The Days of Wine and Roses were grief-stricken. It's just not a very good record. It has its moments, but most of the weird madness is gone. Smith now says that she left for that reason: They were becoming too disciplined and regimented, too much of an ordinary rock and roll band. That's part of it, but most of the songs are weak, too.

Here's what they looked like:

Precoda sounds like they're keeping him on a short leash on Medicine Show; no real freakouts, not much feedback. He left after the tour in support of the album and has done very little since. None of it has been interesting. Steve Wynn hasn't done anything interesting either, but he's done a lot more of it. There were two more Dream Syndicate albums after this one, but they're not even worth discussing.


Track listing:

Side A:

  1. Still Holding On To You
  2. Daddy's Girl
  3. Burn
  4. Armed With an Empty Gun

Side B:

  1. Bullet With My Name On It
  2. The Medicine Show
  3. John Coltrane Stereo Blues (a.k.a. "Open Hour")
  4. Merritville

Here's the lyric to the "title track", by Steve Wynn. It's one of the better songs on the record.

I've got a page one story buried in my yard
I've got a troubled mind

I'm going down to the medicine show.

If I have to choose between doing penance and
doing time
I'm going down to the medicine show.

I got a one way ticket on the 8:06
to the outskirts of town
I'm going down to the medicine show.

I'm gonna say "Hey conductor don't you stop
till you hear that gypsy sound"
I'm going down to the medicine show.

And it's hard to be a reasonable man
when you stop finding reasons for everything

But tonight baby I'm gonna find some answers
When I go down to the medicine show.

I'm gonna find me that gypsy girl
that likes to dance and cry
When I go down to the medicine show.

We're gonna lay our burden down
under this lonesome gypsy sky
When I go down to the medicine show.

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