Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Man Sized Action - Claustrophobia (1983, Reflex)

Minneapolis' Man Sized Action were one of a handful of bands taken under the wing of Reflex Records, Husker Du's in-house record label during the early and mid-80s.  Responsible for issuing Husker's "Statues" 7" and first proper studio album, Everything Falls Apart, Reflex released both of MSA's albums, Claustrophobia and Five Story Garage.  Crisply produced by Bob Mould himself, Claustrophobia is a lost, noir-wave treasure, brimming with jagged post-punk, often skirting the periphery of hardcore.  Tippy's sweet, clangy guitar lines often outshine Pat Woods four-parts spoken/one-part sung vocals, but the real wow-factor for me is the band's spot-on approximation of the unrelated Middle Class,' especially their little known classic, Scavanged Luxury ep.  In fact, "Private Eye" and "Yea" almost strike me as plagiaristic, but when the results are this white hot I can hardly complain.  Wire's Pink Flag, and Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures also seemed to have been vying for space on this quartet's collective turntable.  If you enjoy this, check out The Verge's Habitual 7" ep I shared a few moons ago.  Recorded in the same year but a good thousand miles away in Albany, NY, The Verge were operating on an identical wavelength as Man Sized Action. 

As a further aside, I have it on good authority that this particular copy of Claustrophobia was previously owned by the late Kristen Pfaff of Hole and Janitor Joe.  R.I.P. Kristen.  For what it's worth, your record is in good hands.

01. Pressure Relief
02. Bubble Bursts
03. Who's Kiddin' Who
04. Don't Wanna
05. Private Eye
06. Self Respect
07. My Life
08. Looking At You
09. Yea
10. Claustrophobia

http://netkups.com/?d=e5dbc38c73392

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Painted Willie - My Fellow Americans ep (1984, Spinhead)

This is one of the scarcer Painted Willie recordings out there, which by the way didn't come out on SST Records.  Typically a fun, artsy punk band, the band's muse waxed a more serious tenor on My Fellow Americans, a concept piece inspired by Cold War tensions.  No liner notes accompanied the record per se, but the Painted Willie website linked above offers a great deal of insight regarding the provocative themes discussed within.  Definitely not as freewheeling as their "Ragged Army" 7" that I shared a few years ago, though it does feature one of my favorite PW tracks, the atypically weary "Crossed Fingers."  The Willie's first album, Mind Bowling was re-released on CD in 2009.  Enjoy (or not).

01. My Fellow Americans
02. Part II
03. Crossed Fingers
04. Republican Suntan
05. My Fellow Americans (inst)

http://netkups.com/?d=3222b5951c1ac

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Tall Tales & True - Up Our Street ep + You Got Your Troubles ep (1987, Survival)

This past January I shared the first ep by the long defunct (and for that matter completely unheralded outside of their native Oz) Tall Tales & True.  In that post I mentioned that it was sent to me as a present from one of my most generous friends down under.  In addition to that record, he included a clutch of other as well, which I'm just getting around to sharing.  Both of these 12" eps came to light before the first LP, Shiver, and as is often the case with early releases, it showcases a nascent side of the artist before they were molded by the whims of the "industry." 

"Up Our Street" is one of the Tales career finest, a polished but rugged slice of left-of-the-dial rock, with a dab of Americana that would do Stateside contemporaries the Del Fuegos and Guadalcanal Diary proud.  We're treated to a pair of hep '60s remakes on the flip, "7 & 7 is" and "Luicfer Sam," but you'd be hard pressed to detect anything in the psychedelic realm permeating TT&T's original compositions.  And speaking of originals, there are four more occupying the "You Got Your Troubles" 12."  The title track exudes the more pedestrian bent of early '80s Stones, while the most satisfying of the three b-sides, "Cyclone Sally" could pass for something off a Mick solo album from the same era.  That being said, beats the hell out of me why I like it so much.  The remaining pair are acoustic ballads that I'm relatively indifferent to.  More Tale Tales to follow...

Up Our Street
A. Up Our Street
B1. 7 and 7 is
B2. Lucifer Sam
B3. Joe's Bar

You Got Your Troubles
A. You Got Your Troubles
B1. Cyclone Sally
B2. Who Will Buy
B3. I Always Picture Her

Up Our Street 12" http://netkups.com/?d=e1e55221204e6
You Got Your Troubles 12" http://netkups.com/?d=5512d51b41573

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Buzz Hungry - At the Hands of Our Intercessors (1995, Compulsiv)

Ex-Mercyland visionary David Barbe's meal ticket came calling in the early '90s when he was tapped by Bob Mould to become one third of Sugar, specifically the bassist.  While the trio was in mid flight, Barbe opted to spearhead a new band of his own, Buzz Hungry.  Their debut Fried Like a Man, was issued in 1994 (with most of it's contents actually penned pre-Sugar).  That record was about as inconsistent as they made 'em back then, with only a handful of legitmate songs standing head and shoulders amongst way too much aimless and alienating noodling.  In fact, the best that came out of it was “Where Diamonds Are Halos,” a dense but slightly anthemic track that Sugar would often adopt for their live sets.  By 1995 Bob Mould’s latest and greatest parted ways, and left to his own devices, Barbe went to work with Buzz Hungry to compose this sophomore effort.  Like the aforementioned Fried Like a Man, At the Hands of Our …. is hardly a start-to-finish thing of beauty, offering no dearth of dissonant, and occasionally math-y string wrangling and cantankerous energy.  A concerted effort to eke out a geuine melody goes a fairly long way here (e.g. "White Sky," "The Envictor," and "Grey Machine").  To compensate for some of this album’s dodgier selections I’m tacking on "Where Diamonds Are Halos."  The entirety of Fried Like a Man (for those with the stomach) can be heard here, but you'd be better off investing your time with Mercyland's Spillage and No Feet on the Cowling.

01. White Sky
02. Fear of Hell
03. Vomit Ball
04. Black Hole Soul
05. {}
06. There is a Time
07. The Envictor
08. Magnum 7
09. Dikwuli
10. Raw Beef Salad
11. Grey Machine
bonus: Where Diamonds Are Halos


http://netkups.com/?d=55621c474e511

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Singles Going Single #182 - Baby Tooth 7" (1993, Remora)

Here's a 45 I obtained from a dollar bin a few years ago but didn't give a spin until this week.  For shame, because I had been depriving myself of two excellent songs from this long departed NYC three-piece, who had the good fortune of releasing their single on a label run by Richard Baluyut of Versus/+ - renown.  Baby Tooth were fronted by Michal Sapir, a young chanteuse of Isreali origin.  Sapir's offbeat knack for melody meshes well with the brooding, dynamic post-punk aplomb of "Jet Lag," just as fittingly with the comparatively twee, flute-enhanced "Explosive Crescent Man."  Baby Tooth released an ep, Rare Book Room in 1994 that I really need to get my hands on...

A. Explosive Crescent Man
B. Jet Lag

http://netkups.com/?d=24b599d016c17

Monday, August 22, 2011

Pedaljets - Today Today (1988, Twilight) re-upload

To follow up my Pedaljets entry from my last night, I checked the link to my 2007 post of this album, and sure enough it hadn't seen activity in quite a spell, and had subsequently expired on Rapidshare.  Just as well I suppose, considering I just upped the bitrate for this repost.  Today Today was the Pedaljets first album, and contains re-recordings of two songs that appeared on the Pedaljets tape that I dedicated last night's entry to.  If I remember correctly, the CD version of this album includes at least two songs not on the vinyl incarnation, so good news for all you completists.  The Pedaljets followed up Today with a self-titled album a year later.  Long dissatisfied with the mix of the album, they belatedly corrected it in 2006, and made it available for public consumption once again..  While they were at it, they regrouped for some "reunion" shows, and have been playing intermittently ever since on their home turf of Lawrence/Kansas City. 

01. Liking You
02. The Crossing
03. A Certain Sunday
04. One Million Lovers
05. Today Today
06. It's Not Too Late
07. Hide and Go Seek
08. Dumbwaiter
09. Ride With Me
10. Hypothermia
11. Tiny World
12. Lullaby Alarm Clock
13. White Beach
14. When the Fun Runs Out

http://netkups.com/?d=897fd132651c2

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Pedaljets - tape (1986)

Before venturing further, please allow me to indulge with a rhetorical question.  What band wouldn't want to have a song in their repertoire called "Sensual Cardboard Experience?"  With that ponderous notion out of the way, here's a vintage Pedaljets cassette with that dandy little number on it.  I shared their first album, Today, Today shortly after starting Wilfully Obscure in mid 2007.  Hell if I know if the Rapidshare link is still active or not (keep your fingers crossed).  An online bio described them as the missing link between the Replacements and Nirvana.  I think the quote from my write-up four years ago holds a little more water:

The Pedaljets are a good approximation of the earnest, but rugged guitar rock of the Replacements and Nils. The band's approach is further coloured with a penchant for ringing, jangly chords, popularised by REM and the like.

In terms of the wondrous clamor emanating from Mike Allmayer and Scott Mize's collective six-strings, I'd say "clangy" is an operative adjective as well.  This tape is largely all I could realistically hope for in the way of mid-80s indie rock.  A true artifact.  Enjoy, and make sure to check out Today, Today while you're at it, that is if it's still up.  If not, it looks like I have my work cut out for me.

01. Life Movie
02. The Calmest Room
03. Sensual Cardboard Event
04. When the Fun Runs Out
05. Hide & Go Seek
06. After the Window
07. Done For You

http://netkups.com/?d=8702101555d39

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Hook Generation ep (2002, Fuzztropic)

An appropriately monikered outfit if there ever was one, these Buffalo, NY area denizens pitched an array of baited hooks into the glistening H2O as if they were culling them from a bottomless tackle box.  The leadoff salvo, "Undiscovered Bum" flaunts a retro-fitted, Merseybeat stride, incorporating a subtle hint of the rhythmic quirk that made T. Rex's "Baby Strange" the classic it is.  Some shaky psych-pop undercurrents ripple through "Twenty Seven" as well, but judging by the rest of this ep The Hook Generation weren't necessarily stuck in a '60s time warp, at least not full time.  RIYL: Sloan and Outrageous Cherry.  Sad to say, this quartet hasn't left us with an iota of web presence.

01. Undiscovered Bum
02. Pale Blue Sea
03. Twenty Seven
04. So Long...


http://netkups.com/?d=8099651e20291

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Viola Peacock - The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter (1996, Bedazzled)

Hard to believe, but it's taken me over a year to get around to following up my initial Viola Peacock entry from last summer.  At the time I remarked that this Ann Arbor, MI troupe had come to the table in 1995 bearing moderate dream pop inclinations, in keeping with one of their home states finest exports of the period, Majesty Crush.  Well, fast forward to 1996 for VP's first (and from what I gather only) proper full length, The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter, which illustrates the trio's desire to skew further into the vicinity of downer indie-rock, sans much of the woozy tremolo.  The result is an album with lengthier pieces (four surpassing the seven-minute mark in fact) and an unmistakably contemplative ethos.  If you're an aficionado of the droney, albeit tuneful soundscapes concocted by New Radiant Storm King, Sometime Sweet Susan, or even early Afghan Whigs, it would behoove you to give this a spin.  

01. The Big Slip
02. An Angel a Week
03. February
04. The City Behind Us
05. Burnt
06. Gael
07. Chemical Babies
08. Downtime
09. The Old Universe

http://netkups.com/?d=2bae5121c543f

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Dark Globe - Life is Research (1990, Scheming Intelligentsia)

You might be compelled to download this disk for the very same reason I bought it - the rather trippy and bodacious album jacket.  If it's mercurial, Barrett-esque psych-pop that you're licking your chops over you may not want to bother.  Dark Globe had their sights set on sludgy punk, resembling a ramshackle hybrid of Green River and the Lime Spiders, lacking a good half of the substance one could usually rely on those bands for.  In fact, much of Life is Research rings a little frivolous, but some of the group's mellower pieces, namely "Dragons" and "Love is Strange" help salvage things.  A rushed, but cranking tread through "Lucifer Sam" isn't a highlight so much as a curiosity.  You have been warned.

01. Fly Farm
02. Sleep
03. Kruk
04. Men in Suits
05. Monsters of Rock
06. Damn Good Time
07. Lucifer Sam
08. George: Prince of Darkness
09. Dragons
10. Factorytown
11. Hang 100 Crosses
12. Love is Strange
13. Fat Old King
14. Moonlight Coming On

http://netkups.com/?d=bdc5871a13ae2

Monday, August 15, 2011

Singles Going Single #181 - Blanket 7" (1994, Cher Doll)

Picked this up a few years ago for the sleeve.  Nice cardboard stock paper too, but all packaging concerns, Blanket was a low profile Seattle band who according to the Cher Doll Facebook page were: "Inspired by Spacemen 3 and The Velvet Undergound." The long-ish A-side, "Ocean," bears a negligible psych-rock angle, but the flip "Picked Apart" is markedly better, treading not so lightly in the footsteps of Galaxie 500.  In fact, the spindly guitar bit that winds down the song is reminiscent of the billowy conclusion of Galaxie's "Fourth of July."  As an aside, Cher Doll Records was responsible for releasing Neutral Mile Hotel's debut single, which I'm sure is a sheer bargain on Ebay.

A. Ocean
B. Picked Apart

http://netkups.com/?d=ed011115ea21d

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Monkey Rhythm - This Must Be the Place ep (1985, 415)

Monkey Rhythm were one of many decent 415 Records acts that failed to make the migration to the label's "merger" with Columbia (now Sony Music).  This Must Be the Place offers four slices of edgy, competent '80s alt-rock, minus the embarrassing trappings of the era.  That being said, this does put Monkey Rhythm in a relatively non-descript position, but I really like this ep - so there.  Mouthpiece Adam Gates graduated from this trio to a quintet called The Spent Poets who released an album on Geffen in 1992 to minimal fanfare.  Gates has periodically been in cahoots with Primus, but Monkey Rhythm were light years from Les Claypool and Co.

01. This Must Be the Place
02. Heaven's Gate
03. Buried in the Sand
04. Happiness Died at the Willow Tree

http://netkups.com/?d=23a211e5b61b8

Friday, August 12, 2011

Troubled Hubble - The Sun Beamed Off the Name Maurice (2000, The Magic Spot)

I was damn near-blown away with Troubled Hubble's 2005 parting shot, Making Beds in a Burning House, a slightly nerdy stab at otherwise brilliantly sculpted indie guitar pop, that at the time reminded me vaguely of the Dismemberment Plan (go figure they used DP guitarist Jason Caddell to produce it).  Imagine my amazement when I found this DIY 2000 artifact in a thrift shop a few weeks ago (ok, are you done imagining yet)?  With it's crazy, collaged album sleeve motif and off kilter track titles like "Mean Italian Ducks Pt. II" and "Everything's Going to Be Fine (in Canada)" I assumed I'd just stumbled upon a lost treasure trove of ultra lo-fi T/H tracks to serve as a logical precursor to said Making Beds... album.  Much to my chagrin, not quite.  It wasn't so much that The Sun Beamed Off the Name Maurice painted Trouble Hubble in a more nascent or premature light, rather the band was a different beast at the time of this recording.  As it turns out, The Sun Beamed... was the Illinois based quartet's debut, and for a starter album they were reasonably proficient.  If anything maybe it's the relative cheeriness of this disk that got under my skin.  Ever hear the old adage, "brevity is the soul of wit?"  Well, at the time of this recording, T/H seemed to be tacking in a wilfully wry direction that was unfortunately neither witty or brief.  Sort of like King Missile at moments, sans most of the verbose drivel (thanks for sparing us).  Nonetheless if you're familiar with Hubble's later work, this is still a download-worthy curiosity, not to mention otherwise unavailable, even via their own merch page.  Enjoy (or not).

01. I Love My Canoe
02. Cereal
03. Everything's Going to Be Fine (in Canada)
04. Transmission From Fermilab
05. Meantime
06. Mean Italian Ducks Pt. II
07. Your Song
08. Tyra's Prancing Ferret
09. Dr. Bones
10. Clothes
11. Lonesome Hawthorne
12. Phones
13. idiotic answering machine messages

http://netkups.com/?d=b223bd7451d17

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Moth Macabre - s/t (1993, Interscope)

I remember virtually disregarding this when it came out back in 1993.  Too samey and derivative I thought.  Pulled it out again a few years later.  It still didn’t gel with me, but I wasn’t compelled to discard it or trade it in either.  For the longest time I went under the mistaken premise that “Moth” was the name of the band, and that “Macabre” was the album title.  At any rate, I’m glad I hung onto it, because I have a far better appreciation for Moth Macabre these days, albeit posthumously by nearly two decades.  A coed four-piece that called San Francisco home base, M/M had an intense penchant for dynamics, entrenched waist deep in the Pixies quiet/loud/quiet algorithm.  The screaming opener “All Great Architects Are Dead” is a sheer knock out, and although the remainder of Moth Macabre isn’t quite as startling, it is rewarding.  I’m hearing a little Smashing Pumpkins and Drop Nineteens on here too.  To add another wrinkle to the equation, frontman Daniel Presley is often a dead ringer for the Straitjacket Fits Shayne Carter.  You can download a live M/M show (featuring a nifty Velvet Underground remake) on this page curated by guitarist Tom Risse.  The video for “All Great Architects…” is below.





01. All Great Architects Are Dead
02. Amazing
03. Elizabeth
04. Pale
05. Blow
06. Two Days
07. Malibu
08. Glass Eye
09. Screwdriver Girl
10. Lemuria
11. AEIOU

http://netkups.com/?d=5e0f826118b49

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Kent State - Walk Through Walls ep (2011)

I can think of few bands out there, past or present, who can pack as much of a head-spinning wallop into two minutes (or less) than Baltimore, MD's finest new export, Kent State.   Their most recent and lengthiest ep, Walk Through Walls, is a brash amalgamation of noisy punk and delirious shoegaze-ridden headiness, channeled through a scalding, lo-fi delivery system.  In the span of just thirteen minutes, Kent State cut an airplane hanger-wide, amped-out swath, the likes of which I haven't experienced since My Vitriol a good ten years ago.  Speaking of plane hangers, that's just where one might expect these seven ditties were committed to tape, but Walk Through Walls engulfing sonic landscape was more likely corralled in a conventional studio or basement.  The sprawl factor is at full bore on the howling "Nuclear Winter," while Kent State's dream pop inclinations work their Swervedriving magic on "Secrets for Sale" and the title cut.  A slightly cracked rendering of Guided By Voices' "Pimple Zoo" somehow slots in comfortably with the originals.

Walls is available digitally through K/S's Bandcamp space and their own blog.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Pop Art - Long Walk to Nowhere (1986, Stonegarden)

Pop Art may not have fit like a glove (or frankly, fit at all) with their hometown's burgeoning Paisley Underground fracas during the '80s, but that's ok, because these L.A., jangle-ridden wunderkinds were a notch of two above that bygone clique.  Unfortunately, not many paid much heed to P/A, and these days you rarely hear of them outside the blogosphere.  Speaking of which, PVAc blog has already covered the Snap Crackle Pop Art and A Perfect Mental Picture albums.  The record I'm featuring today, Long Walk to Nowhere, came out in between that pair of LPs, and for my money is the finest I've heard by them.  Dare I say Pop Art was California's subconscious answer to Miracle Legion?  The aforementioned albums were preceded by an ep that I'm going to try to get to in the near-future.  In the meantime, you might still be able to snag a copy of the Pop Art anthology CD, Really Blind Faith through Amazon.  Click on the first hyperlink of this article for a fairly comprehensive band bio that lays out their career better than I ever could. 

01. Mark Come Home
02. Really Blind Faith
03. Long Walk to Nowhere
04. Hands and Triggers
05. Relatives
06. If You Float
07. Rest of You
08. Feel Right Now
09. The Umentionable
10. We're Going

http://netkups.com/?d=24725f4921557

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Black Watch - Led Zeppelin Five (2011) - A brief overview

I really don't know what my excuse was for not paying attention to The Black Watch any earlier than two years ago.  Sure, they already had a plethora of releases under their belt by the time they got around to tracking their 1994 album, Amphetamines for the relatively well distributed Zero Hour Records, but even in '94 (not to mention that entire decade) they failed to make it onto my radar.  Somehow I was a little too distracted with Seattle, shoegazer, Britpop, pop-punk, etc to take note of an entirely competent and substantive indie guitar band from Los Angeles that I should been appreciating for at least the last decade and a half.    Enter the fall of 2009.  It was then that I finally made my acquaintance with BW, in New York City during the week of CMJ to be exact, when they were playing a small showcase.  Though I have yet to plunder the bulk of their back catalog (which is actually more sizeable than you might think) I've done some catching up over the last couple years with both the Amphetamines LP, and their 1999 release for Not Lame, The King of Good Intentions.  Long on the heels of those album come's Led Zepelin Five (in reference to the ripe-for-mocking title, shouldn't this disk have been dubbed Houses of the Holy...oh, wait that one's been spoken for).

The Black Watch's epicenter is singer/songwriter John Andrew Fredrick, who's an Anglophile audiophile if there ever was one, and like any aficionado of modern pop from the other side of the pond, he has a keen awareness of not overdoing it with either ballads or more strenuous rockers.  LZF cuts both ways (and a little in between) with plenty of class, not to mention smooth song sequencing.  Fredrick's timbre often recalls Don McGlashan of the Mutton Birds, but his band's overall sonic aptitude, ablaze with crackling six-string melees, would blend in just fine with Catherine Wheel or late '90s Swervedriver, particularly on this album's more robust entries, "Emily, Are You Sleeping?" and "The Maid's Been Round."  The sublime, pure pop splendour of "The Stars in the Sky," and tender sentiments comprising "How Much About Love" and "Kinda Sorta" showcase Fredrick's deftly honed acumen, one that's been in the making for well over two decades.  You can get Led Zeppelin Five from all the usual MP3 outlets, including Bandcamp, and physical copies are available through Amazon and CD Baby.

Singles Going Single #180 - Three Hands 7" (1983)

The fact that an ingenious, post-punk Boston act from the early '80s happened to arrive immediately on the heels of a far more seminal post-punk band from the same town, who by the way had just waved their collective white flag, strikes me as too much of a coincidence, but in the case of Three Hands, I have a feeling it was merely that and nothing deliberate.   Though similarities to Mission of Burma emanate from both sides of this ace 45, I don't believe this unheralded trio had any intention of usurping the throne belonging to Roger Miller and Co.  However modest or ambitious Three Hands' aspirations were is entirely irrelevant at this point, and hardly factor into Mark Kopenits ringing, clangy fretboard maneuvers that gracefully tumble down like a waterfall of minor-chord arpeggios, imbuing "Climb" with so much of it's texture and panache.  "Big Person" places more emphasis on choppy rhythms than melodic riffs, and as such acts as a fitting counterpart to the aforementioned "Climb."  According to a post on New Wave Outpost, this wasn't Three Hands only single, and on a sadder note, Kopenits passed away in 2009.

A. Climb
B. Big Person

http://netkups.com/?d=3362db2571465

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Otis and the Elevators - Some Career (1986, Smoking Munchkin)

The debut platter from this Champaign, IL four-piece conjures up what might have resulted if the Feelies or Popealopes had skewed more towards classic rock than left of the dial.  Not an entirely unappealing prospect, but it's one that was better left in the hands of Otis and the Elevators than the aforementioned.  Owing a far more pronounced sonic debt to Cream than the Chameleons UK, the long defunct Elevators profess on their Facebook page to amounting to a "jam band long before there was such a genre" during their 1985-90 lifespan.  By this set of ears, certainly not in the realm of the Dead, Phish or likewise, so I wouldn't let that claim scare you off.  Some Career's most striking anomaly is perhaps "Dominate," a tight slice of UB40-inflected reggae pop that manages to blend in just fine with the rest of the proceedings.  I have Otis' follow-up album, Cross the Bridge in my possession, so perhaps this won't be my final say on the band.  My apologies in advance for all the annoying surface noise. 

01. Foolish Man
02. Living Alone
03. Dominate
04. Little Man in a Large Automobile
05. Where Are You
06. Victim of a Magazine
07. Tired and Alone
08. Egg Salad

http://netkups.com/?d=5827dadab65e5

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Mayflies USA - s/t ep (1997, Clancy/Superhero)

The Mayflies have always been a back burner band for me, if only for the fact that I'm preoccupied with so many more artists.  Yet anytime I get the inclination to pop in one of their CDs, I'm instantly ushered back to the realization that this Chapel Hill, NC quartet could virtually do no wrong, delivering such flawless power pop opuses as Summertown and The Pity List.  This ep in particular strikes me as a near perfect synthesis of Matthew Sweet's most devastating hooks and Superdrag's plump guitar crunch, with the opening salvo, "The Apple" serving as the top jewel in a rather dazzling crown.  Download this, get yourself a copy of Summertown pronto and work your way forward to their remaining two albums, The Pity List (2000) and Walking in a Straight Line (2002).

01. The Apple
02. Reasons
03. Skywriting
04. After You
05. These Crayons Are Mine

http://netkups.com/?d=720416528a249

Monday, August 1, 2011

Velocity Girl - 10/29/93 @ Shoebox, Athens, GA

Quite simply, this is a band that I wish had stuck around for another album or two, or at the very least done a reunion tour.  Heck, come to think of it Velocity Girl didn't even leave us with a much needed singles and b-sides compilation.  While some of those 45s are long gone, we at least have their three albums for Sub Pop readily available, the second of which, 1994's Simpatico! is the era this concert is situated around.  Technically, this gig is slightly pre-Simpatico!, and as such we get to hear a host of cuts from their debut Copacetic, and even the inimitable "Forgotten Favorite."  This is a soundboard recording, though you might dispute that claim on the first few tracks.  Sarah Shannon's vocals are fairly prominent in the mix, but you would've probably figured that at on your own.  This isn't a bad place to sample Velocity Girl for any newbies in the audience. 

01. There's Only One Thing Left To Say
02. Copacetic
03. Diamond Jubilee
04. Tripping Wires
05. Audrey's Eyes
06. The All Consumer
07. Drug Girls
08. Pop Loser
09. Pretty Sister
10. Labrador
11. Crazy Town
12. Crazy
13. Forgotten Favorite

http://netkups.com/?d=2c25d4ef191d2