Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Ultra Cindy - Mermaid's Parade (1994, Earthling) & V/A Wyatt's Torch (1994, Brilliant/Spinart)

I suppose it wouldn't be inaccurate to term Ultra Cindy as part of the "second-wave" of shoegazer bands, part of the unheralded American contingent that featured contemporaries Fudge and The Swirlies. Like the aforementioned, the Virginia Beach-rooted Ultra Cindy also had their sights set on something other than the floor. Their most sublime moments, particularly Mermaid Parade's stunning opener "Hoyt," as well as "Starblazer" benefited greatly from the echoing, tremolo-laced glaze the quartet was wont to embellishment them with, but strains of more straightforward anglophile pop cropped up elsewhere. Ultra Cindy failed to make it onto the field in time to be included in the dream-pop vanguard, and despite their capabilities they were barely regarded as a footnote.

Had it not been for the Wyatt's Torch four-band compilation, The Mermaid's Parade wouldn't be a component of this posting. I initially bought it for the inclusion of Poole, a whip-smart indie-rock troupe, also from Virginia, with considerable power pop leanings. It was here that I made the discovery of Ultra Cindy. Featured here are four alternate recordings of songs that made it onto their lone album. The Wyatt's Torch arrangements have a rawer, and from my experience, a more visceral bent that didn't quite translate over to the album. This collection also includes two Richmond, VA natives, The Technical Jed and The Seymores, the latter impressing mightily with a host of slackeresque, yet melodic tendencies. 
Ultra Cindy - The Mermaid's Parade
01. Hoyt
02. Fever Pitch
03. 18 Stories Down
04. Eusebio
05. Starblazers
06. Neat
07. Red Nails
08. Crinoline
09. Near Perfect
10. Dean Henry 
V/A - Wyatt's Torch 
Poole
01. Si
02. Tangle Up
03. So Peaceful When He Sleeps
04. Smiley Mr. Lion 
The Seymores
05. Sicker Than You
06. Drywall
07. Red Snapper
08. Sidewinder 
The Technical Jed
09. Hanging Brain
10. Moebius Strip
11. New Messengers of Happiness
12. Dual Buckets
Ultra Cindy
13. Hoyt
14. Starblazer
15. Neat
16. Near Perfect

Monday, April 28, 2008

Singles Going Single #34 - Chopper One 7" (1995, usaside1/Dummy)

Even in the John Luerssen-penned Weezer bio River’s Edge, from 2004, it’s somewhat unclear whether original ax-slinger Jason Cropper was exiled from, or left the band on his own volition, but Chopper One would wind up being his cup of lemonade extracted from the proverbial lemon. Considering the lucrative entity Weezer would soon become, I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t Cropper’s loss, but as far as I’m concerned it was River’s as well, evidenced by the strength of the two songs here, and even more so on Chopper One’s debut album, Now Playing. Jason’s sonic template paralleled River’s to a certain extent, not the least of which being the fuzz-addled guitars, but I’ve always found Chopper One’s material more relatable and endearing. Admittedly, Now Playing’s revisions of “Free Lunch” and “Mr. Waldon” were an improvement over these vinyl incarnations, but eminently catchy as they are, it’s hard to complain. You can obtain Now Playing for mere pennies on Half and Amazon.

A. Free Lunch
B. Mr. Waldon

http://netkups.com/?d=51d141f635a49

Singles Going Single #33 - Shufflepuck (1994, Catapult)

L.A.’s Shufflepuck first came onto my radar via the Hear You Me! compilation CD. Upon hearing their absolutely flooring “Where the Hell is She?” I went on an immediate manhunt to procure any sliver of info on a relentless quest for more Shufflepuck material, and by and large my efforts weren’t terribly fruitful. That was until I found this single, featuring an alternate version of “Where the Hell...,” and the accompanying flip, “Fool Like Me,” both devastating slices of riveting, power chord-laden power-pop, or at any rate a heavier variation thereof. In the coming years I eventually made contact with Shufflepuck lead-man Adam Orth, and furthermore learned that the band had their proverbial wings clipped just as their first major label album was slated to hit shelves, which you can read all about here. If “Where The Hell’s” mesmerizingly addictive hooks weren’t enough to perk your eardrums, the song touches on a subject that spells ‘worst-case scenario’ for many, if not all men pursuing the fairer sex…and strangely enough you can hum along to it.

A. Where the Hell Is She?
B. Fool Like Me

http://netkups.com/?d=b5345f71445a6

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Special Goodness - At Some Point, Birds and Flowers Become Interesting (2001)

Thought I'd throw this on here before I send it to the lucky Ebay winner. The Special Goodness is the side-project for Weezer guitarist, Buffalo's very own Patrick Wilson. The self released At Some Point... is the second Special Goodness album (aka "Pinecone"). Sonically, these songs come from the same place as the last couple of Weezer albums, but without Rivers on board, not as stimulating or for that matter charismatic. This album was followed up by the Epitaph released Land Air Sea. Enjoy (or not).

01-You Know I'd Like To See
02-The Story Is Wrong
03-Life Goes By
04-Whatever's Going On
05-Let Go
06-Say It
07-Let's Go Down
08-Reason To Worry
09-What You're On
10-Happy

http://netkups.com/?d=07f5581a905a4

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Downsiders - lp (1987, Black Park)

The Downsiders were yet another band to quietly emerge from the "new south" in the mid-80s, which makes the fact that Mitch Easter's omission in the credits as something of a surprise. The North Carolina quartet plays ringing, collegiate guitar-pop with the best of them, but tend to emanate to the more "downcast" side of the fence, in league with the likes of Dreams So Real and the Rain Parade. Over the course of what feels like a very lengthy nine-song album, The Downsiders grows a little redundant, but if you're an aficionado of this stuff, there's plenty of decadent nooks and crannies to excavate and revel in. The band released a second album, All My Friends Are Fish, on Mammoth Records in 1989.

01. Another Horn's Cry (Count on Your Hands)
02. Fourth Falling
03. Curl of Hair
04. My Only Reply
05. Or So He Said
06. Mudslide
07. Ugly History
08. Goodnight Troll
09. How We Used to Play

http://netkups.com/?d=3455a83ba0578

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Singles Going Single #32 - The Pods "It's a Bummer About Bourbie" 7" ep (1992, Stone)

As Evan Dando said himself, "I"ve never been too good with names." If you happen to be Ben Deily, former co-singer/songwriter for The Lemonheads, I suppose you'd have a right to harp about the fact that said band forged ahead without you, retaining the moniker in the process. The cutoff point for Deily was shortly after their third and final Taang! Records album, Lick, released in 1989. Not only did Deily jump ship, but bassist Jesse Peretz departed as well. The Deily-helmed Pods (yet another power trio) arose almost immediately afterward, but made a minimal impact in comparison to Evan's "altera-hunk", Spin-cover adorning status that was shortly in the offing.

During the Deily era, The Lemonheads produced three rough and tumble punk-pop doozies - Hate Your Friends (1987), Creator (1988), and the aforementioned Lick. Dando unarguably dominated this trifecta of barn-burners by leaps and bounds, but the notably higher-pitched (not to mention a bit hoarse) Deily left his mark with some considerable songwriting contributions, including lacerating offerings like "Second Chance," "Uhhh," "Ever," and a walloping reworking of "Amazing Grace."

While the exact impetus for Deily's resentment of Dando remains something of a mystery (at least to myself), you can do a lot of reading into It's a Bummer's... lead-off cut, the fairly telltale "Name In Vain." Maybe there's more to the story, or maybe there isn't. The rest is purely conjecture I suppose. With the emergence of the Pods came a rapidly maturing and lucid-throated Ben Deily. "Name In Vain" is the 'statement' here, but the keeper is the flip-side's "New Stings," which really finds the man coming into his own. This single was followed up with a just as worthy album, Where I'm Calling From in 1994, but both didn't enjoy wide-scale release or promotion.

IMHO Deily's departure from the Lemonheads was appropriately timed, as I seriously question if he would have inhabited a comfortable spot on the refined 'heads albums to follow, specifically It's a Shame About Ray, and Come on Feel... Unfortunately he wasn't able to stake his own legacy with the Pods, or for that matter, as a solo artist. I guess we can't all grow up to be "alterna-hunks," can we? 
 
01. Name in Vain
02. Can't Win
03. New Strings
04. Blackout 
 

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Various - Four Dots (1998, Montesano)

The germ that inspired the location-specific Four Dots compilation was the death of curator Adam Gimbel's girlfriend Summer Brannin, who passed at the tender age of 21 due to cancer. Per the liner notes, Summer developed a taste for indie-pop bands from the Pacific northwest, as well as maritime provinces Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. The four cities/towns specifically honed in on here are Seattle, WA; Bellingham, WA; Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Moncton, New Brunswick.

The international plethora of musical combos that comprise this album were many of Summer's favorites, including Bellingham's then nascent Death Cab for Cutie, proving if anything else, she really had her ear to the ground. Not a "hit parade" so to speak, Four Dots features a bevy of exceptional Washington state guitar pop acts, like Tubetop, Five Gears In Reverse, Peter Parker, that didn't make much of a dent beyond their overcast hometowns. The Emerald City is furthermore represented by the Ken Stringfellow helmed Twin Princess, and the long-running Green Pajamas.

The Moncton and Halifax entries are less recognizable, but the latter city's creme-de-la-creme rawk ambassadors, Thrush Hermit, deliver the vigorous yet sublimely tuneful "Everybody's Gotta Move," one of the choicest nuggets in their catalog, and exclusive to this comp no less. We're also treated to a contribution from Halifax's Elevator Through Hell, an offshoot of Eric's Trip, not to mention noiseniks North of America. Sackville's Sycamores chime in with the Weezer indebted "Me & You," and The Peter Parkers (different from the Seattle band, strangely enough) sweeten the pot to further delight. Four Dots is one of those rare compilations that you buy with one band in mind, only to be introduced to half-a-dozen others that will become eventual favorites. I really dug this one.
01-Tubetop - So Blind
02-Thursh Hermit - Everybody's Gotta Move
03-Elevator Through Hell - Only Sea To Thought
04-The Revolutionary Hydra - Everything Sounds So New
05-Rebecca West - Dead Men (Don't Sing Along)
06-Green Pajamas - Ballerina
07-Death Cab For Cutie - Hindsight
08-The Peter Parkers (Canada) - Different Kind of Stride
09-Veer - Deep Freeze
10-North of America - Walking in Greatcoats
11-Appleseed Apart - Two Separate Hills
12-Purple Knight - To Our Moderesty
13-Twin Princess - Gimme a Kiss
14-This Busy Monster - Don't Walk Away
15-5 Gears in Reverse - Apathetic Regimen
16-The Sycamores - Me & You
17-The Delusions - 96 Beers
18-Peter Parker (USA) - Aesthetic of Dumb
19-The Microphones - Bass Drum Dream

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Singles Going Single #31 - Christmas (the band) 7" (1984, Iridescence)

Yes, Virginia, there really was a band called Christmas, and they were damn good. A co-ed trio from Cambridge, MA, Christmas' quirky but compelling post-punk/indie-pop, assumedly made minor ripples left of the dial, but little elsewhere. According to a highly informative band bio found here, this was their debut release, featuring the Mission of Burma-inflected "Wilhelm Reich." It would later be followed by their first album, In Excelsior Day-Glo in '86. Christmas signed to IRS Records for their next album, the often wondrously melodic Ultraprophets of Thee Psykick Revolution, which saw the light of day in 1989 to little fanfare. A third album, Vortex was posthumously issued in '93 on Matador Records. Perhaps Christmas' true claim to fame was that it served as a launching pad for an eventual reformation as wry, cocktail revivalists Combustible Edison in the early 90s. I apologize in advance for the vinyl noise.

A. The Invisible Girl
B. Wilhelm Reich

http://netkups.com/?d=5d65f5d441249

Friday, April 18, 2008

Dragnet - Life in General (1988, Whittier)

Yet another bargain bin find that panned out nicely. I have precious little info to disclose about this Minneapolis punk-savvy, power trio, but even the briefest listen to Life in General will yield that Dragnet were undeniably a product of their era, and more tellingly, location. You could say some of their Mpls contemporaries rubbed off on them just slightly (ha ha). The proceedings here lean a bit pedestrian at times, but Dragnet's revved-up fervor, as well as a deliberate-or-not penchant for keeping all of the dozen songs here under the three minute mark, compensates more than satisfactorily.

01. Recycled Day
02. Five Days
03. Love is Green
04. So Sincere
05. Situation Nowhere
06. The Race is On Today
07. Did You Compromise
08. Falling Down
09. Just Disappear
10. Life in General
11. Radio Won't Play
12. Did I Say

http://www53.zippyshare.com/v/83856884/file.html

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Singles Going Single #s 29 & 30 - Solomon Grundy (1991, New Alliance) & Dr. Janet (1990, Ringers Lactate)

The Screaming Trees will always be defined not only by Mark Lanegan's husky bellow, but it's colossal backbone, namely brothers Gary Lee Conner and Van Conner, rounding things out on guitar and bass respectively. Circa the Trees Uncle Anesthesia album in 1990, the Conners produced two worthy spin off outfits.

Van Conners's baby was dubbed Solomon Grundy, ostensibly named after the brute force villain in the Legion of Doom, but I won't go into that any further. Van's axe-squalling, pysch-freakouts that colored many a Screaming Trees tune were also adorned on Grundy's one and only album, unofficially known as Stone Soup and Other Stories. More hard rock than grunge, the band surged forth with sturdy, mid-tempo finesse, but as a whole, far from a classic. Alongside Stone Soup, Solomon Grundy also released a companion single, both releases coming courtesy of the SST Records offshoot label, New Alliance. Their lone single featured a rather faithful rendition of Rush's signature hit, "Spirit of Radio," and the non-lp, "I'm Not the Freak." Although a Rush cover seemed ironic at best, at the time anyway, it's arguably more entertaining then Van Conner's original compositions. In fact, if you listen closely as the song trails off, they segue into Rush's "Limelight." Neat. Really neat actually.

Both Van and Gary Lee Conner are of considerable...well...girth. Despite this fact, their vocals are surprisingly fey held up against Lanegan's golden throat. Gary Lee's day in the sun came in the form of The Purple Outside, who like Grundy also recorded one album (Mystery Lane) that happened to bear the New Alliance imprint. However, this intrepid crusader had another trick up his flanneled sleeve. Enter the 1990 one-off, un-super-group Dr. Janet. Spearheaded by Gary Lee, the group was further bolstered with axe/bass slinger Matt Sweeney of the then active Skunk (who you really should check out), and in years to come, Chavez and Zwan. Yo La Tengo's Ira Kaplan also straps on a bass, while drummer Lyle R. Hysen, formerly of Das Damen fleshes out the ranks. For better or worse, Dr. Janet's "Ten Years Gone" ain't the Zeppelin tune, but "Starry Eyes" is The Records power-pop classic for the ages. A good time was had by all - at least I hope so.

Solomon Grundy
A. Spirit of Radio
B. I'm Not the Freak 
 
Dr. Janet
A. Ten Years Gone
B. Starry Eyes 
 

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Luxurious Bags - Frayed Knots (1995)

With the rapid dissolution of independent (and even some chain) record stores, not only are discophiles like yours truly left with fewer places to buy tangible recordings, we're also left with fewer places to be exposed to music. Case in point is the Luxurious Bag's excellent mini-album, Frayed Knots. This band would have remained unbeknownst to me, at least indefinitely, had I not heard this cd played in-store at Reckless Records in Chicago a few years ago. Something tells me this experience wouldn't be duplicated at say, FYE or a big box retailer. In-store play sells records - always has, always will...that is until there's no more stores...

Before approaching Frayed Knots, it would be to your benefit to be acclimated with Polvo. While the Luxurious Bags don't share any affiliation with the Chapel Hill quartet, they take more than a couple pages from Polvo's chord-mangling indie-rawk days of yore, particularly their earlier releases like 1993's gloriously dissonant, Todays Active Lifestyles. The Bags slide the lo-fi quotient up a few notches, while carrying a tune at the same time. Furthermore, the songwriting occasionally strikes an emphatic tenor here, a move that's an anathema to most noiseniks.

The Luxurious Bags earlier recordings, collected on Quarantine Heaven were a largely in one ear, out the other proposition, leaving Frayed Knots as the band's most essential offering.
 
01. All the Time in the World
02. Movie Mind
03. Woolite
04. Lost Wallet
05. 12 Miles Back
06. This Won't Help a Bit
07. Eyes Tell Me, Hands Tell Me
 

Monday, April 14, 2008

Singles Going Single #28 - The Fans 7" (1979, Albion)

I'm still trying to make sense of this one. I was such a sucker for the eye catching sleeve, I paid $8 for it on that basis alone. The Fans were from Atlanta, GA, and were considered one of the first, if not the first new wave band from The Peach State. Utterly feigned British accents gave many the impression they were from the UK, and the fact that this wax was minted on a Brit label only added to the "myth." Signposts here point squarely to Pink Flag/Chairs Missing-era Wire. "Cars and Explosions" wields a sly melody that sneaks in and out, buttressed with strong dynamics. On the flip, "Dangerous Goodbyes," The Fans offer a comparatively linear and sustained attack, albeit less memorable than the A-side.

You can read an alternate write-up on The Fans here (just scroll down a ways).
 
A. Cars and Explosions
B. Dangerous Goodbyes
 

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Ken Stringfellow - SXSW 2004, Austin, TX

This cd-r of Ken Stringfellow's performance at SXSW in March of 2004, was given away for free with pre-orders of his third solo effort, Soft Commands. No room for Posies (or Saltine) material here folks, but Ken's solo work succeeds just as well by it's own merits. The emphasis here is on Soft Commands selections, as well as choice cuts from his preceding solo record, the even more stimulating Touched. Just Ken, a guitar, and a modest audience. No venue info provided. An impeccable soundboard recording, with entertaining inter-song chatter. No venue info provided.

Ripped @ sparkling 256 kbps. Enjoy. 
 
01. introduction
02. Death of a City
03. Cyclone Graves
04. chatter
05. Known Diamond
06. chatter - switching to guitar
07. chatter - music theory
08. Any Love
09. chatter - tuning, back catalog intro
10. The Lover's Hymn
11. chatter
12. Here's to the Future 
 

Friday, April 11, 2008

Sour Landslide - They Promised Us Jobs (1997)

Toronto's Sour Landslide were one of many bands I discovered on a barn-burning, mid-90s compilation of Canadian bands called Popcan, perhaps a subject of investigation for a later post, but as always, I digress.

The two boy, one girl trio swiped their moniker from an REM lyric (in "Moral Kiosk" from Murmur to be exact). While their debut, Friends of Dracula utterly failed to do Sour Landslide justice, they made amends with the exponentially more satisfying They Promised Us Jobs in 1997. Akin to Shoes (the band) on a serious Nirvana kick, SL had their hooks and hearts in all the right places. Vince Nicholson's buzzing guitar salvos and melodic paeans to post-academic life, not to mention an array of romantic conundrums, dovetailed seamlessly with Landslide's crack rhythm section, occupied by bassist Vern Nicholson and skins-woman, Dee Gorvath. "Guns of Navarone," "Pop Knows a Weasel," and the more subdued "Hired Goons" are just three of fourteen exemplary selections, comprising a rather inconspicuous power-pop stunner that isn't likely to gain any further recognition - outside of Wilfully Obscure of course.
 
01. Human Rain Delay
02. Houdini
03. Star Search
04. Don't Call Me Stupid
05. Ghost Story
06. You Killed My Son
07. Guns of Navarone
08. Fuckin' Freak
09. Pop Knows a Weasel
10. Congradulations
11. Get To Know Me
12. Lenny
13. Hired Goons
14. Hero vs. Heroine
 

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Smudge - Tea, Toast & Turmoil (1993) & Hot Smoke & Sassafras ep (1994)

Never heard of Smudge? Chances are, if you're a Lemonheads fan, you have likely heard Tom Morgan's (Smudge frontman) songs, including "It's A Shame About Ray," and "The Outdoor Type." In fact, co-songwriting credits between Tom and Evan can be found all over Come On and Feel the Lemonheads. Defunct (with the exception of a few recent one-off gigs), co-ed power-trio Smudge hailed from points south, Sydney, Australia to be exact. Evan Dando has returned the favor by penning songs for Morgan, as well as a tribute song to Smudge drummer Alision Galloway, in the form of "Alison's Starting to Happen" from It's a Shame About Ray.

Smudge existed for the better part of the '90s, but only their first two albums saw any distribution in North America. Morgan and Co. had a penchant for up-tempo, riff-happy power pop with an emphasis on conciseness and the kind of hooks to give a right nut for. 1993's Tea, Toast & Turmoil was their debut album, rife with bitchin' two-minute ear confections, adorned with clever wordplay. In a perfect world, "Spoilt Brat," and "Don't Want to Be Grant McLennan" should have been universal classics that usurped the hollow dreck churned out by such embarrassing contemporaries as Hootie and Collective Soul.

The Hot Smoke and Sassafras ep came a year later, delivering more brisk, tongue-in-cheek tunes. Manilow, their second proper album broke Smudge to a larger audience in Oz, but did little to make waves Stateside. The two disks this post concerns are out of print, but Manilow was reissued as a splendid, two-disk deluxe edition, on Half a Cow Records.
"Somewhere between the Lemonheads and Husker Du, she keeps on getting on top of the sink but she can't get on top of you." from "Alison" 
 
Tea, Toast & Turmoil
01. Superhero
02. Missing You
03. Spolit Brat
04. Straight Face Down
05. Outside
06. Make All Our Dreams Come True
07. Pulp
08. plug It Up
09. Divan
10. Alison
11. Don't Want To Be Grant Mclennan
12. Stranglehold
13. Dabble
14. Leroy de Foix
15. Tea Toast & Turmoil
16. Foccacia
17. Steak & Chips
18. Babaganouj

Hot Smoke & Sassafras ep
01. The Wrong Pony
02. I Am Not the Cosmos
03. Coal Srge
04. My Bright Idea
05. It's Over
06. Tenderfoot
07. Guess I'm a Goner
08. All the Money in the World Can't Buy You A Near Death Experience 
 
Tea, Toast & Turmoilhttp://netkups.com/?d=1f6b564f45995
Hot Smoke and Sassafras - http://netkups.com/?d=5c5ae799fb91d

Friday, April 4, 2008

Singles Going Single #27 - The Affected 7" (1991, Rubber)

There's not a whole lot of info floating around in cyberspace on this long gone Aussie trio. I discovered The Affected by virtue of their debut (and perhaps only) album, the ingeniously titled A Fate Worse Than a Fate Worse Than Death, in 1994. Brandishing a searing, indie-punk panache with a faint but bratty No Depression-inflected sneer tacked on for good measure, The Affected were about as genuine and earnest as they came, especially by today's standards. Much rawer than their comparatively refined album, this 45's gloriously powerful thirteen minutes finds the Affected on a blistering tear, on par with some of the choicest, American indie rock, circa 1986. And that's a damn good thing.

01. Livin' a Lie
02. What
03. Cutdown
04. Feelin Alright

http://netkups.com/?d=f1554b1661b26

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Chapterhouse - Pearls and Treasures (1990-91)

For any of you familiar with Chapterhouse, I need not go into how immensely superb they were, if only for one mind blowing album, 1991's Whirlpool. For everyone else, you can safely be forgiven, as it probably isn't your fault that you haven't been acquainted with them, thanks to the press and indie radio stations that were too busy drooling on themselves over much more anointed dream-pop titans of the era, My Bloody Valentine and Lush. Though this Reading, England quartet were of first class caliber, they were forever treated as second-string newbies, and never enjoyed the limelight. As far as early '90s shoegazer rock goes, there were many outstanding bands, but I have yet to find one that was as ethereal, transporting, and utterly engulfing as Chapterhouse.

Though they blew it on their 1993 followup, the dance heavy, Blood Music, and split shortly after, Whirlpool is crucial listening. You can obtain the 2006 reissue of it here. To the converted, Pearls and Treasures is a collection of radio session tracks and live cuts from two different concerts, that makes a fine companion to the band's halcyon era album. I know, like you really need three different versions of "Something More" on one disk. Chapterhouse weren't terribly prolific, so take what you can get and enjoy.
ripped at 256 kbps 
Mark Goodier session
01. Breather 
 
Peel Session 10/7/90
02. Falling Down
03. Something More
04. Inside of Me 
 
London, Marquee 9/3/91
05. Breather
06. Something More
07. Treasure
08. Then We'll Rise
09. Pearl
10. Autosleeper 
 
Paris, La Locomotive 4/13/91
11. In My Arms
12. Something More
13. Come Heaven
14. Feel the Same
15. Pearl
16. Autosleeper
17. Falling Down
18. Rain 
 

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Tictoc - Where the Picnic Was (1983)

Alright, I might as well fulfill my "new romantic" quota for 2008 and get it out of the way. Seriously, this one really is an obscurity. My information on this assumedly Canadian band is merely limited to the LP jacket. No insert with any pertinent band info provided, and not a speck of cereal to be excavated online. Nada. Nothing. Zip. Zero. Bupkis. What I can tell you is that Tictoc's album, Where the Picnic Was, saw the light of day in 1983 on the Canadian indie label Dallcorte Records. You should also be informed that the quartet appears in a very distant shot on the back of the sleeve, and furthermore appear to be of Hispanic descent, but that's purely a guess on my part. Heck, I can't even give you the proper names of this quartet. Since this was purchased secondhand, something tells me there was a long misplaced lyric/stat sheet that went with this record.

Signposts lean heavily to Duran Duran here, sans the arena-rock appeal and ego. Where the Picnic Was is actually a quality synth-pop record, that for better or worse, is highly derivative of it's era. There's really nothing here that echos as timeless as say, "Love Plus One," or "Space Age Love Song," (by Haircut 100 and A Flock of Seagulls respectively, for all you youngsters), but nevertheless, Tictoc's familiar strain of new wave was fun, Anglo, and otherwise totally in vogue despite the fact that they ostensibly failed to make any inroads in Canada, or anywhere for that matter. Extra crackly vinyl this time around. Sorry folks. 
 
01. Twenty Questions
02. Cry on Cue
03. Critical Path
04. Anything Everything
05. Open for Suggestions
06. In My Room
07. Halo
08. Crown of Snakes
09. V.F.W.