Sunday, December 25, 2016

Seven more scintillating singles.

This is a follow-up to last Chanukah's popular assemblage of fantastic, vintage 45s that I either recently acquired or finally got around to listening to in 2016.  At the end of the write-up is a link to download the entire bundle in MP3 or FLAC.  Here's the record-by-record breakdown of the whole ball of wax.

Faith. No Man - Quiet in Heaven b/w Song of Liberty (1983, Ministry of Propaganda)

Holy cow.  This was a find (and that's coming from someone who doesn't even own an original copy of the record).  Faith. No Man was a very, very early incarnation of Faith No More.  The only members that transitioned over to the platinum hit-makers were Roddy Bottom, Mike Bordin and Bill Gould.  Mike Patton and even Chuck Mosely were nowhere near the band when this 7" was cut.  M. Morris is the man on the mic.  Both songs bear a heavy handed Killing Joke influence, right down to the tribal percussion  A really cool, intriguing record even if The Real Thing wasn't your thing.  Check out the bio in the hyperlink above.  Note: I only have this one available in MP3.

Killing Joke - A New Day (dub)/A New Day (1984, EG)

And speaking of KJ, this was the record that got me through the front door, in a colossal way I might add.  Seeing the video for this (and "Eighties") on 120 Minutes launched me on a profound and vastly fulfilling post-punk trajectory.  Geordie's doomy but tuneful guitar lead-in had me enticed from second one, and Paul Ferguson's martial drum line couldn't have fit "A New Day" any better.  A perfect ten all the way around, and although Killing Joke put out many fine singles and records I think this one tops them all.

Lords of the New Church - Lil' Boys Play With Dolls 7" ep (2012, Devils Jukebox)

The untimely passing of Stiv Bators in 1990 has always posed a big "what if" for me.  Were he alive would he have reunited with the Dead Boys, Lords of the New Church, or both?  Neither perhaps?  Maybe we'd be Facebook friends.  Who knows.  The only thing I can confirm is that I was a fan, and when it came to the first LotNC album (a 1982 self-titled effort) few debuts have impressed me more.  This 7," which is supposedly limited to 300 copies, but seems more common, is obliviously a cash in.  We get a subtle remix of "Lil' Boys Play With Dolls," Stiv's homage to the New York Dolls, and two '82 live tracks on the flip, with the guitars a bit low in the mix unfortunately.   The tunes shine through though, and I hardly regret the purchase.

Klark Kent - Don't Care, b/w Thrills & Office Girls

Excellent as The Police were, they operated within considerably strict parameters.  No wonder Stewart Copeland opted for something on the side.  Klark Kent was his alias, and over the course of an EP and a handful of singles, Copeland manifested a nervier power pop stride that "the cops" only hinted at. Safe to say if early Elvis Costello was your bag, or Brit power pop in general, you might enjoy this.  BTW, all of the Klark Kent material was reissued on CD in the mid '90s as Kollected Works, but it's a heck of a lot scarcer than the original records.

The Wishniaks - Tickertape Trash b/w River (1990, Junk)

Philly's Wishniaks had been hiding in plain sight for years.  In fact, I recognized the name as far back as the '90s but didn't venture a listen until I got around to playing their wonderful 1988 Nauseous and Cranky ep just a few months back.  Smart and inspired power pop with an indigenous stripe, and even something of a serrated edge to boot.  Here's a single that came a couple years later that's nearly as vibrant, especially the thoughtful "River."

The Beef People - Fragile b/w Nothing You Can Do (1986, Zub)

Bit of a cold case, this one.  The only vital stats I have is that The Beef People were a co-ed, female fronted (Adrienne Meddock's the name) four piece from Greenville, SC.  "Fragile" has a quivery but entrancing snyth line running the gamut of it's all too fleeting 161 seconds.  Some serious homegrown magic on this one.  The flip, "Nothing You Can Do" is punkier and not as immediate, but hey, there's only two songs here, so I'll take what I can get.  Coincidentally, there was a completely different but concurrent crew dubbed The Beef People, also making the rounds.  Make your best effort not to get 'em confused.

Pylon - Crazy b/w M-Train (1981, DB)

Pylon were the epitome of 'cool' if there ever was such a thing.  Like the Beef Peeps, they were also a co-ed quartet, but made significantly bigger waves in their native Athens, GA not to mention numerous points beyond.  Some of the most affecting and curiosity-inducing post-punk you're likely to ever lay ears on.  "Crazy" was later covered by REM, and Michael Stipe has gone on to admit his jealousy of the original.  "M-Train" is angular as all-get-out, but that bass line is irresistible.  There's never been anyone like Pylon before or since.  Check out the reissues of Gyrate and Chomp (if you can still find them) plus a more recent live record from DFA Records.

MP3  or  FLAC

10 comments:

Douglas said...

Thanks!

Paul said...

Those Faith No Man single tracks have been kicking around Faith No More fan groups for a few years. Very noticeable PiL influence as well as the Killing Joke one, and Morris definitely has a Johnny Lydon vocal thing going on. That website you've linked to is great for Faith No More obscurantists, but what's really amazing is how many other Faith No Man tracks have popped up on youtube, including live performances.

vootie said...

I like you.

spavid said...

I like you too! Thanks for the comments folks, and yes, when I first found out about the Faith. No Man record I saw a bunch of related stuff on YouTube.

Traitor Vic said...

Very Nice! I'm from (and In) Greenville, SC, and tended to follow The Beef People around back in those days. I really wish they'd been able to release more material, as it was all just as wonderful. If only we'd had Mp3s in 1987 or so!

Bob said...

If I recall correctly,when I was talking with Pylon when they were opening for REM in '89 (I think) they mentioned that they had seen those glittery fish stickers in a country store when they were on the road so they bought a bunch to put on the singles sleeve.

Ken said...

Hey, my pal Traitor Vic pointed me to your site. I was a member of The Beef People (keyboard player), and we really appreciate the swell words! It's even more remarkable and gratifying to be mentioned in the same blog as a band we looked up to in Pylon. We in fact covered their "No Clocks" for awhile.
Since you mentioned The Beef People as a cold case, just a quick background for perspective. The band formed in the early '80s and stayed active up until around 1986. Based out of Greenville, SC, we played in the Carolinas (Cat's Cradle, Raleigh's Fallout Shelter, Charlotte's Milestone, Columbia's Rockafellas) and Georgia (40 Watt, a few places in Atlanta) fairly regularly, often in support, and played with some great bands like Yo La Tengo, The Rievers, Swimming Pool Qs, Connells, and plenty of others. Good times! Three songwriters and vocalists, although our clear leader and main songwriter was guitarist Steve McGowan. We released a single, which got some college radio play, and sold some cassettes at shows. If you're interested in some MP3s, just let me know!
Final thought - where on earth did you run across our single?
Thanks!!
Ken Norton

spavid said...

Hey Ken! Really appreciate your input. Well, I learned of the Beef People on Ebay of all places a few years go, probably when I was doing a genre search for "power pop" or something along those lines. Anyway, it sounds like your band was in excellent company, and you played all they key southwest venues to boot. You're welcome to send me a link where I can download more BP, or you contact me via the email address in profile. Thanks!

Jim said...

I knew Steve from High School in Massachusetts and played some Beef People as a college deejay. If you ever got that download link, it would be cool if you could post it here. Thanks. #InterstateUSA

Wiggle Reader 2014 said...

Hey Jim,
I spoke to Steve tonight- he says hi! He's hoping to work through the material for some sort of reissue at some point. We are both really excited that you and a few others still remember and appreciate the music.
If it's kosher to swap email addresses here on the blog, shoot that over, and I'll see about getting some things over to you.
Cheers #InterstateUSA