Friday, September 28, 2007
The Reivers (Zeitgeist) - Translate Slowly (1985)
With loads of jangly, echoing guitar leads, and vintage college-rock aplomb, the co-ed Reivers recalled some personal favorites such as Dreams So Real, Translator, and perhaps more vaguely, The Replacements. Translate Slowly features a rather stiff rendition of Daniel Johnston’s “Waking the Cow,” amongst of bevy of solid originals. This rip was from the cd version which included bonus tracks. It is now out of print and getting tougher to find.
03. Legendary Man
04. Blue Eyes
05. She Digs Ornette
06. Things Don't Change
07. Translate Slowly
08. Sound and the Fury
09. Without My Sight
10. I Knew
11. Freight Train Rain
12. Hill Country Theme
13. Electra (Cd bonus track; originally on Zeitgeist E.P.)
14. Wherehaus Jamb (Cd bonus track; originally on Zeitgeist E.P.)
15. Walking The Cow (Daniel Johnston) (Cd bonus track)
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Christie Front Drive - ("anthology") lp (1997)
There was a similar, but no less pronounced situation with Denver's Christie Front Drive. Swiping their moniker from an obscure, turn of the century fire engine, DCF's dim flame burned out quickly, but posthumously they were anointed as one of the key disseminators of the genre. Yet there is virtually nothing on this collection of long out of print singles and EPs to suggest any type of influence from say, Ian MacKaye, nor did they definitively lay the groundwork for bands like Thursday and Dashboard Confessional. Like many bands of their era, Christie Front Drive were a product of punk' s post-hardcore movement, and as such, angst usually trumped politics.
Determining if CFD were indeed the "missing link" is ultimately subjective, much like opting to use the term emo to begin with. Long since broken up, CFD spawned some cool spinoff projects, including The 101 , Golden City and Daniel G. Harmann
02. Dyed On 8
03. Long OUt
08. Now I Do
Get it from iTunes and Amazon.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
The High Speed Scene - s/t ep (2002)
Sunday, September 23, 2007
A Tribute: Otis "O" Barthoulameu ~ Olivelawn, Fluf, and beyond
Last but not least, this post will concern the little known O solo 7" ep on Goldenrod Records. O. O. Crispies is about as close to unplugged the man gets (and it certainly ain't emo). You can definitely say It's a departure....not that there's anything wrong with that. For the truly devoted only.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Swell Maps - Whatever Happens Next...2xLP (1981)
All mundanities aside, when Mute Records initially reissued the two aforementioned albums and the outtakes/singles collection Train Out of It in 1989. Containing songs dating as far back to 1974, Whatever... was also slated to be ushered into the digital age, but the label opted not to release it. Quite frankly, who can blame them? Whatever... is rough, and I mean rough going. It's a rudimentary maelstrom of improvised thrashing, kitchen noises, and occasionally something approaching a punk rock song (or more accurately post-punk). What should be of most interest to Nikki Sudden/Swell Maps devotees are early versions of future album and single tracks like "Midget Submarines" "Read About Seymour," and one of the band's signature blasts, "Vertical Slum." 2006 saw the release of another Swell Maps collection of miscellaneous debris, Wastrels and Whippersnappers, that's even more treacherous than this.
01. Read About Seymour
02. Fashion Cult
04. (I Am) The Greatest Pluming!/Radio Ten
05. Here's The Cupboard (Thrash)
06. Terribly Insect
07. Midget Submarines
08. Whatever Happens Next...
09. Clearasil Record
11. Down With Tractors
12. Amphibious Landing Craft
13. Paul's Dead
14. Sheep Dip
15. Havoc All Ended
16. The Himalayas
17. You And The Night And The Music
18. The Stairs Are Like An Avalanche
19. Vertical Slum
20. Forest Fire
21. Midget Submarines (II)
22. Armadillo (II)
23. Bandits On Fire
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Splitsville - Amateur Hour (1998?)
As far as "unreleased" albums are concerned Splitsville's 20-song Amateur Hour, a supposed concept piece, isn't particularly storied. Whether this is due to Splitsville's relative obscurity, or rather to the frivolous nature of these recordings is subjective I suppose. When I say frivolous, I'm referencing the stupefying brevity of the tunes here, which average 45 seconds a pop, not counting some lengthier closing tracks.
According to the band's contribution to cyberspace, Amateur Hour is noted as follows:
A seventeen minute concept album that may best be described as "the bastard child of Sergeant Pepper and Tommy with attention deficiency disorder".
Hardly. If anything, much of this album recalls mid-period Elvis Costello, however there's mucho genre hop-scotching. As for a storyline, I'm suspicious if there's one at all. For those acquainted with Splitsville's ironic take on power pop, there's nothing especially revelatory on here, but it's a fun way to kill the better part of a half hour.
No track list or art available for this one. Anyone care to contribute?
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Buzz of Delight - Sound Castles ep...plus (1984)
With Buzz of Delight, Sweet married the breezy, ethereal pastiche of the “new romantic” strain of new-wave, to the skittish obscurity of the nuevo-southern pop contingent of the period: REM, Pylon, and Let’s Active, uber-producer Mitch Easter, yada yada. There’s a purity that wafts it’s way through Sound Castles, that Matthew Sweet would never replicate again, or for that matter, try to - and that’s what makes this all the more special.
Tacked on the ep is “I’ve Got Gold,” a cut from the Db Records compilation, Squares Blot Out the Sun, which may be uploaded in it’s entirety on this page at a later time, but as usual, I digress.
“Ask for Jill” credited to The Jacks, was from a one off session with Don Dixon and Chris Stamey. The song would later be recorded by Stamey’s legendary band, the dBs. Outtakes from the Sound Castles sessions can be found on Sweet’s To Understand – the Early Recordings of Matthew Sweet compilation.
03. In Summer
04. Happy Town
07. I’ve Got Gold (from Squares Blot Out the Sun compilation)
08. Ask for Jill (performed by The Jacks)
Sunday, September 16, 2007
White Flag - Thru the Trash Darkly 1982-1992 (1993)
Formed in 1982 as a parody, just as much as an afterthought of the Los Angeles punk scene that had recently burned itself out, White Flag were to a certain extent the punk equivalent of the Ruttles. And like the Ruttles, White Flag were actually quite adept at what they did. Their early singles and albums, like Third Strike and WFO play like quintessential artifacts of their era, providing the perfect soundtrack for the nascent So-Cali skateboard scene at the time. I don't think White Flag were necessarily trying to appeal to "the kids," and from my vantage point they didn't. It took more seasoned ears (and eyes) to appreciate White Flag's parodied album sleeves, aliases such as Pat Fear and Jello B. Afro, choice cover tunes, and of course the band's patented tongue-in-cheek sensibilities, that were if not outright funny, at least attention grabbing.
Many contributors, both famous and non-famous have passed through White Flag's revolving lineup, including but certainly not limited to: Kim Shattuck (Muffs), Steven McDonald (Redd Kross), and Tony Adolescent. Although this compilation revisits White Flag's halcyon era, the band in one form or another carried on sporadically. With a reborn sonic overhaul, White Flag carried their banner into the 21st century with the album Eternally Undone, featuring Ken Stringfellow from The Posies of all people.
Thru the Trash Darkly does an adequate job of cherry picking White Flag's complex discography, which would frustrate even the most anal of completists. You can read up on white flag here and here.
01. In the City
02. Don't Give It way
03. Face Down
04. I Need You
05. Beyond Hurt
06. In a Different Light
07. Suicide King
08. He's a Whore
09. Think 4 Yourself
10. Everything Means Nothing
11. Hot Rails to Hell
12. Fruit Loop Dreams
13. Glass Dagger
14. I'm Down
15. Instant Breakfast
16. Butterfly Revolution
17. Demolition Girl
18. Return of the King
20. I'll be Back
22. Suite Bobby Brady
23. Hot Bitch
24. Shattered Badge
26. Wake Up Screaming
27. Over My Head
29. Mirror Mirror
30. Suzy Secret
31. Hoppity Hooper
32. Flaming Halos
34. Why, Because?
Saturday, September 15, 2007
The Trilobites - I Can't Wait For Summer to End ep (1988)
Preceding Summer, there were Trilobites singles nearly as good, but this ep's followup full-length, 1989's Savage Mood Swing, was less consistent.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Bracket - Like You Know (unreleased LP, 1996)
Five of the cuts here would eventually be issued as part of a Bracket singles collection on Fat Records, and the other seven cuts made their way onto a split cd with another band that shall remain unnamed, because I forgot their name. Copies of that one were just as scarce.
Like You Know lacks some of the bite and spunk of it's predecessors, but is a worthwhile listen, for established fans and soon-to-be fans.
02. Serena Hides
03. Eating Pie
04. My Very Own Apple Tree
05. Flea Market
06. Whatever Piper
07. Shoe Gazer
09. Warren's Song Part 6
10. Shadow Puppets
Soon to be officially reissued. Details to follow.
Saturday, September 8, 2007
Majesty Crush - Fan ep (1992) & Sans Muscles ep (1994)
The Fan EP, on the independent Vulva Records label served as a demo Love 15, containing formative versions of three songs that would appear on the album, including "No. 1 Fan," perhaps the most melodically stunning song ever to suggest a presidential assassination. Seriously. Lyrically, much of their early material may strike some as being a tad underwritten, but MC's sonic prowess is adequate compensation.
After apparently being released from their contract, or perhaps simply imploding, their final release came a year later. Sans Muscles is another five-song delight, this time showing a marked progression wherein the band extricates themselves from their dreamy haze, landing on a more lucid plateau.
To read up on the band's history, and for details of their recent "best-of" collection, check out their myspace page (linked above) and their Wikipedia entry.
01. No. 1 Fan
02. Penny For Love
03. Sunny Pie
Sans Muscles ep
01. Space Between Your Moles
03. Bestower of Blessings
04. If JFA Were Still Together
05. Ghost of Fun
Fan ep: Hear
Sans Muscles ep: Hear
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
further - grimes golden ep (1994)
Monday, September 3, 2007
The Beekeepers - Third Party, Fear and Theft (1998)
Sunday, September 2, 2007
Various - Why Do You Think They Call it Pop? (1994)
The results are about as mixed as they come but the creme de la creme disproportionately populate the first slab, filled with ringing roughewn pop gems from Small Factory, Sleepyhead, and the sensory-overloading guitar sprawl of Monsterland, whom I will dedicate to future posts. The Dambuilders do their best Polvo imitation on "Pennsylvania," apparently oblivious to the fact that Polvo themselves are on the flipside of the disk!
Side three offers a female-fronted trifecta: Helium, Ruby Falls, and Twig. The last side rounds things out with some lesser knowns, and an early Grifters song. Many selections here would crop up on original albums or retrospective singles & rarities compilations specific to each band, but this is a wonderful and unique souvenir of the era. If anyone wants future postings for any of these bands, just say the word and I'll see what I can do.
01. Sleepyhead - Hot Stuff
02. Dambuilders, The - Pennsylvania
03. Small Factory - Yeah!
04. Versus - Sunburned (Life's a Beach)
05. Polvo - Colonial Arms
06. Monsterland - Sunburn
07. Wingtip Sloat - Leap Into My Velvet Arms
08. Helium - In a Little Box
09. Ruby Falls - Let Me Go
10. Twig - Airplane
11. Greenhorn - 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover
12. Kudgel - Friction~Ali Baba
13. Grifters - Black Fuel Incinerator
Saturday, September 1, 2007
3 1/2 Minutes - Peep ep (1992) & Bled Me Dry ep (1993)
Bled Me Dry ep (1993)