Sunday, September 27, 2020

i'm insufferable when i'm in heat...

From 1999. (Good) trouble from down under.  An absolute keeper.

**Please do not reveal artist in comments!**


Saturday, September 26, 2020

The Front - Le Bete Humaine ep (1987, Nocturnal)

Between the chugging rockabilly strut of the title cut and bluesy slow-walk of the concluding "Ball & Chain" The Front deliver three solidly memorable guitarsy burners that intermittently smack of Lords of the New Church and Screaming Blue Messiahs.  Foremost among them is "Temples," bustling with sass and an anthemic ethos so fiery I'm not even sure if these guys knew they possessed such a potent stockpile of ammunition. This Front aren't to be confused with another band of roughly the same era bearing said moniker who existed for a spell in the early '90s and later changed their name to Bakers Pink.

01. La Bete Humaine
02. Lost Seekers
03. Temples
04. Son of Sam
05. Ball & Chain

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Rockin Bricks - Havin' A Wild Weeknight!! ep (1982, Major Label)

I know this record is almost forty years old and that I should cut these guys some considerable slack, but I'm puzzled as to why Rockin Bricks lead off their only record with a frivolous piece of party tripe (a la Oingo Boingo) like "Planning My Weekend."  That coupled with a not so credible moniker might have you suspecting this record is an outright throwaway - but stay with me folks, because these Jersey kids redeemed themselves to an almost colossal extent on Havin' A Wild Weeknight!!'s remaining three tunes.  "Heartbeat," "Foreign Girl" and "Can't Say No" rain down like manna from the power pop skies like some of the greatest songs the Romantics (and I mean that band's halcyon era) never got around to penning. I'm picking up on some jangly leads throughout recalling the Plimsouls and other like-minded combos as well.  So skip track one and fall in love with other 75% of Weeknight, because it just might make your month.

01. Planning My Weekend
02. Heartbeat
03. Foreign Girl
04. Can't Say No

Sunday, September 20, 2020

I wanna skip the dishes and drown in the sink...

From 2016. Marvelous. Perfect, in fact.

**Please do not reveal artist in comments!**


Notes on new music - Exploding Flowers, Sofa City Sweetheart, Bye Bye Blackbids and Stutter Steps.

What possesses the benignly mercurial affectations of the Rain Parade, the mid-fidelity penchant of early Guided by Voices, and is chockablock with comely, chiming arpeggios and empathetic vocal aplomb?   Why it’s none other than Stumbling Blocks, the new LP by L.A.’s Exploding Flowers.  Applying just any one of the aforementioned characteristics would likely emanate a certain magic unto itself, but with all elements functioning in tandem the Flowers imbue “Among Burn Out Stars,” “Far, But Never Gone,” and the especially striking title cut with an even more mesmerizing alchemy altogether.  Contrary to the album moniker, no stumbling blocks here, just a dozen winsome stepping stones with myriad charms and a keen forward-thinking temperament that’s retrofitted in all the right places.  Stumbling Blocks is available from the band's Bandcamp page or The Beautiful Music.      

It's been awhile since I checked in with San Diego's Sofa City Sweetheart, just over a decade in fact, when their self titled 2008 effort made it's way into my CD player (remember those?).  Not many more sofa albums have filled the gap between that one and 2019's Super(b) Exitos, which surprisingly finds focal point Juan Lopez bartering in the same thoughtful, warm-hued singer/songwriter pop that's equal parts invigorating and empathetic. Tunes including (but not limited to) "Stanley Waited" and "Stop the Thinking" exude the competent, harmony-ridden craftsmanship of Sloan and Mike Viola, while simultaneously bearing the emotional heft that the late Elliott Smith made his calling card.  There are lilting ballads along the way as well, featuring ornate and refined flourishes of piano, strings and even an abundance of cooing oohs and ahs.  Much to revel in here, as well as SCS's Bandcamp site, which not only offers Super(b) for a modest amount of shekels, but other goodies like an even more recent collection of Elliott Smith covers.  

Seemingly exploding into the spotlight just this year (but actually boasting a good decade or so under their belts) Bye Bye Blackbirds featuring frontman Bradley Skaught are one of the hottest commodities in modern day power-pop.  No, I ain't talking about the three-chords-in-three-minutes-and-we're-outta-here variety of said genre, rather the more immaculately prepared and considered variation thereof, entailing rich, deftly honed musicianship and an uncanny melodic finesse.  Wedding the aesthetic of bygone, under-the-radar pop classicists the Grip Weeds and The Rooks to Roger McGuinn-esque guitar fills, not to mention a twenty-first century aptitude, The Blackbirds have seized on a polished but breathable formula that practically screams "class." Produced by Doug Gillard, with engineering assistance from another vaunted pop demigod, Chris Von Sneidern, Boxer at Rest is a bouquet of sophistication, harmonies and appropriate nods to the past, yielding such should-be hits, signature songs, etc as "So True" and "All Our Friends."  Skaught and Co. even have the wherewithal to break out a horn section on occasion.  Boxer at Rest can be had via Amazon, and physical versions are for sale over at BBB's Bandcamp corner of the web. 

Once or twice a year an unsolicited gem makes it's way into my mailbox.  Here's one of 2020's most impressive entries into that not-so-expansive rectangular receptacle.  Bathed in analogue hues with an ever-so-slight undercurrent of keyboards supplementing the usual guitars and drums, the real key to Stutter Steps' charm doesn't merely reside in their sonic facets, rather Ben Harrison's mildly melancholic and casual parlance.  Bearing a resemblance to East River Pipe, Outrageous Cherry, Galaxie 500 (Stutter Steps collaborated with Dean Wareham previously) and to a less obvious extent the Velvets, the Steps are going for depth on Reeling without outright sinking.  What Harrison extols about isn't always identifiable to the listener, but his ruminations never overreach into any sort of histrionics or gratuitous drama.  My only quibble with this otherwise excellent disk is it's general sameyness from song to song.  Then again it's hard to argue that I'd want them to upset the apple cart when their results are so uniformly effective.  Reeling is available now from Blue Arrow Records and, you guessed it, Bandcamp.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Red House - 25 Reasons/Teenbeat 7" (1983, Wave Seven)

Here I am sharing a single I don't actually own (but really have no excuse not to).  This isn't the Red House from New Jersey whose album I shared eons ago, rather this was an even less renown band bearing the same moniker.  The Red House in question were actually Minneapolis denizens, and frontman Mark Freeman came from a late '70s post-punk outfit, NNB, who also released but one single before closing shop.  Both tracks here border on excellent, with "25 Reasons" representing itself as a comparatively insular but forward-thinking pop-rock number.  The darker "Teenbeat" is antithetical to it's title with minor chord shadings and a subtle but well-placed piano line situated around the chorus.  A big thanks to whomever ripped the files for this one. 

A. 25 Reasons
B. Teenbeat

Friday, September 18, 2020

Pinko Pinko - Traffic (1996, North of No South)

I learned of Pinko Pinko the old fashioned way - a friend lent me their CD.  I already knew going into this one the band was of Swedish stock, but had I not I would have unsafely assumed them British, because right down to the seemingly mimicked accents they sounded every bit the part.  Traffic was their parting shot, and after a few spins it occurred to me that this is what I had really hoped the first couple of Blur albums could have amounted to back in the day.  Blur didn't truly win me over until Parklife, and even on subsequent albums they didn't do a whole lot for me, but Pinko points to where those guys might have gone if they had modified their aesthetic a tad and went for something more ironic.  Another one of Pinko's Britpop contemporaries, Salad, come to mind on more than a few occasions here, albeit no one in P/P is female.  Traffic isn't swimming in obliqueness, though it's hard to ignore its creators wry and not-so-obvious maneuvers. Again, this band sound nothing like their Swedish brethren and are Anglophiles to the ever lovin' core.  Check this out and draw your own conclusions.  In addition I've tacked on a couple of era b-sides.

01. No. 1
02. Lately, My Mind's Been Going Lots Of Places Without Me
03. Nosebleed
04. On the Show Tonight
05. Shangri-La
06. Juvenile Delicay
07. Mad helicopter
08. Cheekbone
09. Oh Mother, Oh Brother
10. Sirocco
11. People in Motion
12. Nature is Hasty (Nosebleed b-side)
13. Nobodyknows (Cheekbone b-side)

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Waiting, hoping for a sign that what's forbidden can be mine.

A CD of outtakes and demos from this band's 2001 career summary box set.

**Please do not reveal artist in comments!**


VA - Unloved: A Tribute to the Music of Arthur Lee and Love ep (1994, Chunk)

As far as tribute comps go...let's just say this isn't one of the more appealing ones.  Plenty of reasons for that but none too dramatic to torpedo this affair outright.  Arthur Lee & Love are good enough  candidates as any for this type of homage, and in fact the same year this double 7" ep made it's way onto shelves so did an entirely unrelated Love tribute CD, We're All Normal and We Want Our Freedom.  For whatever the reason, Unloved only plucks songs from one of the group's albums, namely their 1966 debut.  Not a bad record at that, but if you're craving any favorites along the lines of "Andmoreagain," "The Good Humor Man..." or even "Seven and Seven Is," you're flat out of luck, Jack. 

My next big complaint is the performances. New Radiant Storm King who I normally enjoy could have really pulled off something sweet with "My Little Red Book" if it wasn't for the fact that Peyton Pinkerton decided to phone in his vocals.  Next, Love's "Signed D.C." wasn't exactly exciting to begin with (after all, it was a ballad) and the Lyres live take is respectful but anticlimactic.  The Supreme Dicks are/were true to their name, insisting on employing a ridiculous vocal effect on "Can't Explain," winding up resembling something like Ween.  The Veronica Cartwrights win this rather meager sweepstakes with a linear but heartfelt reading of "A Message to Pretty."  One more thing - Discogs' page for this record depicts an entirely different (and more attractive) sleeve than the one above.  Dare I say there were multiple pressings of Unloved?  But anyway...

01. New Radiant Storm King - My Little Red Book
02. Lyres - Signed D.C
03. The Veronica Cartwrights - A Message To Pretty
04. Supreme Dicks - Can't Explain

Saturday, September 12, 2020

White Animals - Nashville Babylon ep (1981, Dread Beat)

My apologies for making you wait so long for some new tunes this week.  If you're a long time visitor of his site you may have come across this Nashville combo before.  In fact, I've shared three whole White Animals long-players that came out between 1984-87.  They struck me as erstwhile purveyors of the more pedestrian end of the college rock thing...but their first ep, Nashville Babylon was quite the horse of a different color.  Behold, six no-frills rootsy cuts of unadulterated rock 'n roll in the manner of the Flamin' Groovies, by a crack quartet  wielding an acumen that could realistically slot anywhere between the Easybeats and George Thorogood.  The Animals weren't quite Nuggets, but vastly removed from the mainstream FM hoi polloi of the day. Two covers on this ep make their intentions relatively well known, specifically a hearty rendering of the Yardbirds signature cut "For Your Love," and kicking off side-B, the blues-pop pearl "Tobacco Road" (originally done by the Nashville Teens, later popularized by Johnny Winter and others). There's a discernible purity to this disk that never quite translated to W/A's later records, as good as some of them were.  Enjoy.

01. Old Jazzmaster
02. For Your Love
03. Only Sorrow
04. Tobacco Road
05. I Need Somebody to Love Me
06. I Need You So

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Sometimes I feel like a palm tree in the middle of the pavement...

From 1997.  This quartet's only album, from what I can tell.  Signposts vaguely point to latter-era Replacements.
**Please do not reveal artist in comments!**


Saturday, September 5, 2020

Weather Permitting - Into the Ground (1987, VOT)

I suppose there isn't one individual dot on the map Weather Permitting strike me as sounding indigenous to, circa the era of this record.  England for sure - in a heartbeat in fact.  Maybe down under in Christchurch, NZ or more broadly Australia.  Heck, toss New Jersey in there too...but Montreal?  Yeah, it surprised the heck out of me to learn WP's actual stomping grounds were in Quebec, because they sure in hell don't resemble any Canadian band I've laid ears on before. Not that they were swilling out anything particularly exotic mind you, but these Anglophiles had a solid grasp of what was going in Britain's indie scene of the day, taking a page from the June Brides, Bodines and Felt.  They have enough jangly inclinations to conjure up a likeness to New Zealand's Bats, and a gift for meaningful strummy song-craft faintly recalling the Triffids.  And if your sensibilities are anything like mine you may even hone in on the tincture of American, left-of-the-dial fixtures the Feelies.   

Into the Ground isn't an outright revelation, as there were so many records sharing its aesthetic that made it to the table prior to Weather's arrival, but the band's acumen and quality control are demonstrably impeccable wherever the needle lands.  I could name several favorites here - "Almost
Happy" and the sorta two-for-one "Land/Goldmine," but I'm content to let you pick one of your own.  In 2011 Raised on Canadian Radio blog offered a brief but informative backgrounder on the quartet that you may wish to refer to.

01. The Hounds
02. Almost Happy
03. In the House
04. I Needed You
05. Into the Ground
06. Love is Good
07. Land/Goldmine
08. After All This
09. Her Moods Will Change

Friday, September 4, 2020

Children's Crusade - Scorpio Moon 7" (Scat, 1990/rec. 1985)

Children's Crusade were your classic definition of a footnote band for more reasons than one.  The lineup entailed future overachiever Doug Gillard who would later hone his talents in a plethora of higher profile combos with national audiences including Death of Samantha, Cobra Verde, Gem, and predominantly in the twenty-first century by way of Guided By Voices and Nada Surf - not to mention as a bonafide solo act in his own right.  C/C's footnote status is further cemented by the fact that their discography (prior to this archival 45) consisted merely of a cassette, where these three songs were derived from.  It's a gentleman named Fraser Sims (who served a mid-80s stint in Cleveland hardcore kingpins Starvation Army) on the mic, with the credits indicating Gillard was responsible for all other aspects of the band's sonic force majeure.  And what a force to reckoned with, usurping their noisome inspiration from some of the more subterranean SST Records stablemates of the day. The six and a half-minute "Blue Venus Aflame" boasts faint art-punk leanings, and were it not for Sims half-spoken vox this might pass for a Meat Puppets outtake.  "Your Time is Through" is this disc's most blatant charmer, a borderline melodic, mid-tempo piece that bore resemblance to the Crusade's fellow Buckeye state contemporaries Great Plains.  The concluding "St. Jack's Bible" is grimy and cranky as all-get-out, making it's aforementioned accompanying flipside sound like a downright anthem by comparison. Plentiful liner notes can be located on the record's inner and back sleeves.

A. Blue Venus Aflame
B1. Your Time is Through
B2. St. Jack's Bible

Sunday, August 30, 2020

No man breaks ranks, no foe outflanks!

From 2016.  Riveting and harshly administered coed punk/post-punk that may recall Unwound or Metal Circus at moments - but I'd say this threesome had something a little more economical in mind.

**Please do not reveal artist in comments!**


Mudhoney ‎– On Top! (KEXP Presents Mudhoney Live On Top Of The Space Needle) (2014, Sub Pop)

Another Record Store Day has come and gone...but actually not exactly this year due to an obvious and wisely chosen postponement of due to the Covid-19 virus that's tragically very much still with us.  In fact, to keep crowds at bay to avoid anything approaching a super-spreader event, this year the breakdown of the 500 or so releases was spread across three dates, August 29th being the first.  While I'm not quite at liberty to share anything that just came out, I've made an an inconsistent tradition of sharing titles from previous RSD sales. This year, the honor goes to a 2014 release from Seattle's quintessential Mudhoney.  It's a live set captured by KEXP radio of a July 11, 2013 gig the band performed at the top of the Emerald City's defining landmark, the Space Needle.  Presumably Mark Arm and Co. were situated in the observation deck, where the audience were treated not merely to a breathtaking 360 degree view, but a visceral half-hour of power with the legendary quartet busting out ten, tight, serrated grunge-punk blasts, revisiting know-em-by-heart classics "Touch Me I'm Sick," "Suck You Dry," and "Into the Drink."  Alongside the standards were nearly as many new songs from that years Vanishing Point, a late career record that I wasn't completely sold on, but hearing live incarnations of "The Final Course" and The Blue Cheer-flavored "I Don't Remember You" enlightened me with a greater appreciation of the path Mudhoney had placed themselves on in the twenty-first century.  Enjoy.

01. Touch Me I'm Sick
02. I'm Now
03. The Final Course
04. Into the Drink
05. Chardonnay
06. Who You Drivin' Now
07. What to Do With the Neutral
08. I Don't Remember You
09. Suck You Dry
10. The Only Son of the Widow From Nain

Friday, August 28, 2020

The Holidays - Restless Heart (1989, Broken)

The Holidays put a wrap on their gift, as it were, long before the internet could say stuff about 'em, so background details on this trio are considerably scant.  A fan club address of Fontana, CA points to where the band hailed from, but let's just say that's unconfirmed.  Hanging out on the more accessible (i.e. pedestrian) side of the alt-rock fence these fellas give us eleven fairly commendable tunes infused with a healthy dose of melody and a sweet, albeit muscular guitar aptitude.  Sonic sign posts point to contemporaries Drivin' 'n Cryin', Crossfire Choir, and the Rhythm Corps.  Not quite power pop, but had they tweaked their m.o. a tad they could have opted for that path without much of an imposition on their part. There are occasionally vague spiritual connotations amidst Restless Heart, but you'd really have to read deep into lyrics to identify them.  Not a masterpiece, but in the band's favor, they're frequently well-above average.  A cassette album, Everything is Now preceded this disk.

01. Tear the Curtain
02. Two Times Two
03. Round and Round
04. Touch Me
05. Should I Tell You
06. Sunshine
07. Promises
08. It's a Fight
09. Color Me While
10. My Love
11. The Lines of Time

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Broken links from last weekend's re-ups fixed.

It was brought to my attention that a lot of the download links from my re-ups post this weekend were not working.  I just remedied that.  If you any broken links please post them in the comments.  By the way, hope you like the facelift I gave the site.  Well overdue.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Sex is mine, this body is good. Tired of being misunderstood.

From 1992.  This low-profile, dissonant pop quartet managed to slightly buck the trend of most of their more renown labelmates.  Admittedly, this one's an acquired taste.

**Please do not reveal artist in comments!**


Saturday, August 22, 2020

Dick Tracey - Movin' to the Beat ep (1983, DT)

There's something for everyone here - that is, everyone that has even a modicum of appreciation for power pop and wave.  Dick Tracey were coed kids from Philly who hung around in the mid eighties for a couple of singles and an LP, Talkin' Bout the Future, but Movin' to the Beat is the only one I can vouch any real familiarity with.  The lead-off title piece is quite the corker, brandishing enough guitar crunch to propel half a dozen like-minded cuts, if that's the direction they intended to take things.  D/T were more diverse than that however, pitching us the noticeably sweeter keyboard-enhanced "A Modern Experience."  Not to be mistaken for a ballad, "When the Lites Go Out" manages to shift the proceedings into a more benign modus operandi, with washes of pleasant ringing chords.  Sadly, I'm not in possession of this record, and in fact I purloined files thereof several years ago from the now defunct Vinyl Obscurity Blog - which to this day I'm thankful for it's brief but revealing existence.

01. Movin' to the Beat
02. A Modern Experience
03. When the Lites Go Out

Long overdue Re-ups.

Thanks for your patience.  Behold your reward.  I think I got to over ninety of them this time, including some links that had not been updated for almost ten years.  Enjoy.

Guided By Voices - To Trigger a Synapse, GBV Fun Wow Pac, Carefree Kitchens, Learning to Hunt, Beyond the Bars and Churches
Hüsker Dü - Zen Arcade demos, parts 1, 2 & 3
The Records - Paying for the Summer of Love (MP3 or FLAC)
The Chameleons - Tripping Dogs & Dali's Picture
Mega City Four - Wallflower and Superstar CD singles
Hagfish - Buick Men
Jawbox - Another Scrapbook of Even More Fatl Accidents
The Marshes - Fledgling
Salem 66 - Your Soul is Mine...
Creeper Lagoon - live 1998 & rare
The Church - Sum of the Parts interview LP & rarities 
The Hairs - Subcutaneous
Two Helens - Reflections in Red
Helmet Boy - s/t LP
The Sweat - No More Running
Sloan - Live at a Sloan Party (MP3 or FLAC)
Local Rabbits - This Is It Here We Go
French - two eps
Barely Pink - Starduster ep
Superchunk - Faith/Void (RSD 2013) 7"
Straitjacket Fits - Done ep 
Critics - Braintree
The Fluid - Punch n Judy LP, purplemetalflake demos, single and eps
No Knife - singles
Failure - Comfort demos
Private Plain - Godwatching ep
Outside World - tape
Ramrods - Jivin' 'n Twistin ep
milf - ha ha bus!
The Soup Dragons - The Sun is the Sky ep
Ten Ten - Ordinary Thinking
Shepherds of Hot Pavement - s/t
further - griptape & grimes golden ep
Spoon - some b-sides
Trilobites - Turn it Around
White Flag - Thru the Trash Darkly
The Dickies - Philadelphia 1/3/09 
Dramarama - The Days of Wayne and Roses 
Bent Backed Tulips - Tie Me Down 7"
Nobody's - 7"
Died Pretty - True Fools Fall 2x7"
Baby Lemonade - Wonderful ep & 7"
Cotton Mather - Payday 7"
The Crime - Crash City USA ep
Alter Boys - Piles 7" & Soul Desire
Hege V - House of Tears
Phones - Stick Man ep
White Animals - s/t LP, Ecstasy, In the Last Days
McGuires - Start Breathing
Fire Town - live & demos
Sister Psychic - Catch and Release
Three Leaning Men - Fun in the Key of E
Permanent Green Light - Against Nature
Odolites - Face Down in the Violets, Chimes 7", Persistence of Memory ep
Crash - Everything Under the Sun
Killjoys - Starry
Ben Kweller - Freak Out... & Bromeo
Versus - demos
Fig Dish - Onanism & Unleash the Cracken
Neon Rock Garden (NRg) - Perfect Sounds tape, Never Listen 7", Suicide Song 7"
Velvet Elvis - s/t & What in the World...
Cherry Blades - In-Dependence
The Proof - It's Safe
V/A - Echos From the Nation's Capitol
V/A - Boobytrap Vol. 1
The Furys - Indoor/Outdoor ep
Yanks - Made in the States ep 
The Raves - Past Perfect Tense
Breeding Ground - Tales of Adventure
Parrish Blue - Western Roads
Drumming on  Glass - Asparagus Tea
Something Blew - s/t
Swing Set - Life Speeds Up
In One - Ascension & Fade
Rainyard - Ice Cream Overdrive tape
Crumbs of Insanity - Spiral Stare tape
Populuxe - tape
Neurotic Blondes - tape
kiaro skuro - tape
Pigpen - Tard 7"
Jabberjaw - Novelty 7"
Punchbuggy/Treble Charger - split 7"
Ant Lions - 7"
Lines - Standby ep
Driving School - s/t ep
Breakfast in Bed - Australian Coffee
Ten Inch Men - Hours 'n Pain ep
Steve Naive - st LP 
Ceedees - Hit the Ditch
Outrageous Cherry - Stereo Action Rent Party
Adding Machine - Suspicious Package
Radio Blaster - Sugar-Shock 
Spaghetti Western - s/t LP
Noise Petals - s/t LP
The Cripples - What's in a Name ep?
Pivot - Oscillator ep
Graig Markel - July 7"
A Few Good Men - 7"

Monday, August 17, 2020

Fellow bloggers please read/respond - cannot update previous entries.

I know most of you won't be able to offer me a solution given this is an issue with the mechanics of Blogger, but if you have a blog of your own I could really use some assistance.  If you're merely browsing Wilfully Obscure (as a good 95% of you are) this conversation will be foreign to you. 

That being said, Blogger has switched to a new graphic interface, which will become a mandatory replacement for the "classic" interface.  It has several inherent flaws, most notably the feature that allows us to edit previously established content (i.e. "old" entries).   Typically once I'm signed into Google/Blogger I can search for any given entry and scroll down to the bottom right hand corner of the post and click on the Quick edit (pencil) icon ().  This will take me directly into that entry to make any necessary modifications. 

While the Quick edit icon is still present in Blogger's new interface it does NOT take me to the original entry as it has for almost twenty years, rather a list of ALL previous entries in reverse chronological order.  I am nearing 3000 entries on this page and it is virtually impossible to access a specific entry with this method.  While I can create and edit new posts (say, one's created in the last two months) it could literally take me hours of loading and scrolling this list to reach the one I intend to.  In essence, I will not be able to modify previous entries in the future.  This translates to no more refreshed download links. I have a posted to Blogger's "support" page, but Google is notorious for not replying to any queries, and email/chat/phone support is not existent.  There isn't even an option to pay for support.

If any of you utilize Blogger on a regular basis and can duplicate the issue I'm describing please leave a response in the comments.  If you have a direct contact to a Blogger/Google developer and are brave enough to share their contact details you can email me as well (please check my profile).  Thanks so much for your help!

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Reject your will, you'll find it's not your own.

Four EPs time again, all from fairly disparate artists.  Remember, no spoilers kids. 

Have a great week Kevn Kinney, wherever you are.


Saturday, August 15, 2020

Jet Black Factory - Days Like These ep (1986, 391)

Like many (perhaps even most) of the groups I post about here, Jet Black Factory made it to my radar only posthumously.  When I did finally start to encounter what records/CDs I could locate approximately twenty years ago, I was scared off by the very inaccurate assumption they were industrial or goth (after all, Factory was part and parcel of their name).  To my detriment I had been putting off some genuinely earnest indie rock that was far more organic than the ill-informed notion I had ignorantly planted in my head.  On their debut (yep, Days Like These) they didn't have much intimidating in store after all, but still mightily effective.  Frontman Dave Willie wielded a delivery that suggested a welterweight Mark Lanegan (not that he was deliberately aspiring to sound like the real McCoy) and his three fellow Nashville compatriots play rugged, distortion steeped tunes with thoughtfulness and depth, sans any contrived mystique or gimmickry.  "Tonight" is my go-to song here. Though my memory banks aren't bringing up much in the way of accurate comparisons, you're bound to come up with one or two on your own I'm certain.  Days Like These was followed up by another ep and two long-players.  Apologies for the radio station call letters adorning my humble copy. 

01. Real Down Ticket
02. By the Temple
03. Tonight
04. Chelsea
05. The City Sleeps
06. Waters Edge

Friday, August 14, 2020

Passionate Friends 7" (1983)

Passionate Friends, who despite their namesake did not follow in the same creative footsteps of the Teardrop Explodes, were a Scottish six-piece who made minor waves with a pair of singles in the early/mid-80s.  Consisting of no less than three brothers John, Malky and Allan McNeill, the Friend's debut 1982 single, Time Bandits/What's the Odds was an impeccable stab at new romantic pop firmly in league with A Flock of Seagulls, but somehow more resonant.  The band caught the interest of MCA a year later, who released the 7" platter I'm presenting today.  Bearing a mildly more linear tact with the guitars taking on even footing with the synths, the band's self-titled tune (imagine that, beating Living in a Box to the record presses by a good three years or so) exudes melodic and casually melancholic hues, to gratifying effect.  The flip, "Wake Up/Shake Up" charts more of an uptempo course, but not as memorable (patented '80s sax wails don't do them any favors).  However, I've decided to do you a favor by tacking on the winsome "What's the Odds" from their previous 45.  The Wiki2 link provided above will steer you to all of the biographical deets you could want on the Passionate Friends, including info regarding their 2008 reunion.  Cheers.

A. Passionate Friends
B. Wake Up/Shake Up
plus: What's the Odds

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Precisely in our wheelhouse.

Could it be someone associated with Captured Tracks has taken a gander at this site...or do they merely possess remarkably refined and esoteric taste?  I don't have the specifics on exactly when Strum & Thrum, a double LP comp of collegiate jangle "nuggets," circa 1983-87 is going to be dropping, but if the video alone isn't enough to sell you check out Strum's impeccable playlist here in the article.  Bravo CT!

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Do you think I should take a class to lose my southern accent?

This past Saturday (Aug 8th) marked the 25th anniversary of one of the most dazzling debut albums ever...or at least so says I.  Instead of sharing the record in question I thought it would be more of a kick to share the demos for it...and some demos for their even more popular sophomore LP...and why not some really scarce and altogether unreleased tunes on top of that?  This collection was sourced from tapes, and whomever did the digital transfer may have had the Dolby switched on, but it's barely enough to detract from the overall quality of both the audio and the songs.  For what it's worth, back in '96 it meant a lot to have these tracks to tide me over while I was patiently waiting for their second album to come out.  Hope ya dig.

**Please do not reveal artist in comments!**


Saturday, August 8, 2020

Pacer - s/t ep (1993, Remora/Bear)

Pacer were a coed trio of New York indie kids with a penchant for noise and serrated guitar histrionics, but on their lone ep they reign in just enough of the chaos to filter in a few morsels of the latent tuneful ambition they could have likely made so much more of on subsequent records had they stuck it out.  They were label-mates with Versus, who were newly incorporated themselves at the time, and the two bands had just enough in common to draw a legit comparison.  Truthfully, Pacer made more of a racket and played it a good bit looser.  You might sense trace elements of the first Seam album (Headsparks), and Unwound, but I think the latter was more of a coincidence.  Of the three Pacer aluni, it's bassist Samara Lubelski that went onto to the most robust career with stints in the Sonora Pine, Chelsea Light Moving and has abundant solo releases to her credit. My apologies if the audio is a little bumpy in spots.  Purchased this one used and the condition wasn't as sharp as I preferred.

01. Hot Wired
02. Go
03. Tell You Something
04. Seven
05. Two
06. Disso

Friday, August 7, 2020

Punchbuggy - The Great Divide (2002, Boss Tuneage/Does Everyone Stare)

Got a request for this one recently.  The Great Divide was the fourth in a series of Punchbuggy albums to feature less songs than the LP that preceded it.  I suppose they called it quits after this one considering the only logical move for a fifth record would entail offering merely ten songs (or less). That would hardly be a complaint though given the caliber and consistency of what they pumped out for almost ten solid years.  These Ottawa-based Doughboys proteges knew their way around a hook, not to mention chunky punk-pop riffs, all the while sustaining maximum sonic density.  I've gone back and forth on my favorite Punchbuggy albums over the years, but since they're not a band that anyone normally "debates," so guess what?  I don't have to pick favorites. Even with the absence of Jim Bryson on guitar (who also wasn't aboard from 1998's My Norwegian Cousin) The Great Divide is another wall-to-wall trove of aces, wherein the band even negotiates some modestly mature gestures on the slower (but not quite ballad-worthy) "Easy to Leave" and the relatively contemplative title cut.  Aficionados of the Doughboys Crush or Goo's Superstar Carwash will find plenty to love here.  In fact, the only thing that might have improved ...Divide is if the band employed another halter-topped model for the album cover, as they so effectively did with the aforementioned My Norwegian Cousin...but once again I digress.  You can also find the band's second LP, Grand Opening Going Out of Business Sale here.

01. Same
02. Way to Go
03. Kids Say
04. Rock and Roll Fantasy
05. Easy to Leave
06. Heart Attack
07. Just Another Day
08. Want You More
09. Lucky Me Lucky You
10. Marianne
11. The Great Divide

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Don't try to get a ride in my Cadillac, you don't look good enough for that...

From 1982.  I had car songs on the brain the other day, and when that happens the first tune on this album invariably comes to mind.  Not typical Wilfully Obscure fare...but that's why Mystery Mondays were invented. 

**Please do not reveal artist in comments!**


Saturday, August 1, 2020

The Cure - Live in Orange (rec. 1986, released on video 1987)

My friend was looking for the audio portion of The Cure's 1987 Live in Orange concert video tape.  I found it for him and am sharing the contents with you as well, with lossless FLAC as an option. The video/audio was captured from a series of gigs Robert Smith & Co. performed in 1986 at the Théâtre Antique d’Orange, in Orange, Vaucluse, France, in support of the Head on the Door album.  As such, don't expect to hear anything from Disintegration or Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me.  The setlist is exceptional, not skimping on old fan faves like "A Forest," "Charlotte Sometimes," and "Shake Dog Shake."  The audio component of Live in Orange was never officially released on record/CD, but somehow it found it's way to market in places like Malaysia and China.  Online video links are available here.

01. Shake Dog Shake
02. Piggy in the Mirror
03. Play for Today
04. A Strange Day
05. Primary
06. Kyoto Song
07. Charlotte Sometimes
08. In Between Days
09. The Walk
10. A Night Like This
11. Push
12. One Hundred Years
13. A Forest
14. Sinking
15. Close to Me
16. Let's Go to Bed
17. Six Different Ways
18. Three Imaginary Boys
19. Boys Don't Cry
20. Faith
21. Give Me It
22. 10:15 Saturday Night
23. Killing an Arab

MP3  or  FLAC

Friday, July 31, 2020

Nothing But Happiness - Detour (1987, The Remorse Label)

Been sitting on this one for awhile.  You can attach almost another ten years on top of that, as I patiently waited for an affordable copy of Detour to make itself available Stateside, given I was only looking to make a minimal to moderate investment in it.  The draw here was none other than Kurt Ralske of Ultra Vivid Scene renown.  Truthfully, Nothing But Happiness wasn't actual his "baby" so to speak, rather that of frontman David Maready Bowman, whom I believe occupies all the lead vocals on this record with Ralske serving as guitarist.  Bowman was also a contributor to Crash,  another pre-UVS band that Ralske had a more definitive role in commandeering, who happened to exist during the mid-80s as well.

There is sadly little to no details to be had online regarding NBH, and I'm not even certain of what side of the Atlantic they operated on (though a NYC correspondence address on the back sleeve indicated one or all of the members already had a foothold in the States). If you're looking for a "lost" UVS album by another name you won't find much of a discernible Ralske influence at all on Detour...but it is good, channeling a bevy of Brit, indie small-of-famers like the June Brides, Felt and  early Microdisney.  The wily and rambunctious feedback and horns-laced corker "Buried in the Flowers" taps into nascent Jesus and Mary Chain, "For Waitress Friends" and "Couldn't Make You Mine" are glistening guitar pop forays, however Detour counters with an equal number of ballads and relatively serene pieces too.  Nothing But Happiness were officially a co-ed quartet, with Lynn Culberstson contributing subdued backing vox on a number of tracks.

01. For Waitress Friends
02. Striped Socks
03. Battle Hymn
04. Buried in the Flowers
05. Facsimilie
06. Don't Laugh
07. Couldn't Make You Mine
08. My Summer Dress
09. Blue Kiss
10. Narcotics Day

Sunday, July 26, 2020

I've stood some ghostly moments with natives in the hills...

From 1978.  Every band has to have a start.  This was theirs. 

**Please do not reveal artist in comments!**


Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Local Rabbits - Basic Concept (1998, Murder)

Hard to believe this band's first and third albums were so utterly polarizing (to my ears anyway).  In fact I don't have a solid idea of what the Local Rabbits debut, 1996's You Can't Touch This, was all about, because on the two occasions I attempted to listen to it I was repulsed enough by the second or third song in I gave in to my compulsion to yank the thing out of my CD player.  I remember it having an unseasoned and unfocused air to it, and the fact that they went to the trouble of covering John Lee Hooker didn't do anyone any favors.  Ugh.  What a difference six years made, because by 2002's This Is It Here We Go, I was fully onboard thanks to the seemingly multiple quantum leaps these Montreal natives were responsible for.  The link above will take you to my critique of that LP, but in a nutshell, the quartet in question got exponentially more sophisticated from that off-putting debut, and post-Y2K they had fused bona fide singer/songwriter chops with retro yacht-rock tangents aplenty.  This Is It... was outright dazzling, and to this day I'm still stunned how a band who were so mediocre on the launch pad delivered such a devastating moon shot a mere six years later. Sadly, that's the last we heard from the Local Rabbits.

If you've gotten this far, you might be asking what of the band's crucial "transitional" second album?  Well, it was called Basic Concept and was an immense progression from their comparatively frivolous baby steps. I should also point out that L/R were on Sloan's Murderecords label.  They never particularly sounded like Sloan, but they did have something invaluably in common with the Halifax boys-done-good.  Much like Chris Murphy & Co. the Rabbits possessed multiple not to mention adept singer/songsmiths in Peter Elkas and Ben Gunning.  On Basic Concept they hadn't pulled out all the bells and whistles yet, but the record housed genuinely melodic, mature and stimulating tunes like "When You Return" and "Nightingale."  Further in we get nascent previews of the next album's diverse streaks by way of the sax 'n' keys enhanced ballad "Read How You Read" and the textured "Lowdown on the Download," a piece concerning romance in the recently-gone-mainstream digital era.  Again, the Rabbit's didn't fully emerge from the fabled "hat" until they got around to the full-bloom This Is It... but Basic Concept was genuinely respectable if not always consistently rewarding.

01. Our Life
02. When You Return
03. Play On
04. This Lengthy Glance
05. Nightingale
06. High School Hierarchy
07. Read How You Read
08. Stomp Your British Knights Down
09. The Deal
10. Something So Big
11. Keep it Down
12. Lowdown on the Download