Wednesday, October 29, 2008
The Haskells - Hopscotch and Bourbon (1995, Flipside)
Like many before and after them, L.A.’s Haskells flew the three-chord banner with fervor. More specifically, axe-slinger Mark Sogomian, by accident or not, adopted the well-manicured crunch that Bob Mould brandished on the final Husker Du record, Warehouse: Songs and Stories. To my ears, the fourteen cuts here also recall Mercyland, a band who has been discussed on these pages before. Highly recommended.
01. Spinning Round
02. Brand New Friend
03. She Said
04. Filling the Space
05. Something to Do
06. Pull Back the Skin
08. Media Whore
09. Miss America
10. Karma Machine
12. Pretty When You're Dead
13. Cross on Wheels
14. Waiting for the Train
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Singles Going Single # 78 - The Wildebeests - Punk 7" ep (1996, Sympathy)
01. Public Image (PIL)
02. 12XU (Wire)
03. I Wanna Be Loved (Heartbreakers)
04. Garageland (Clash)
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Fire in the Kitchen - Theory of Everything (1990, Behemoth)
Don't have much in the details department to share regarding Fire in the Kitchen, but for starters you can visit their website. In fact, what little I can tell you about them I plundered from Used Bin Forever blog, which was my first exposure to the band.
This album, along with a handful of singles, were recorded in or around 1990. Based in New York (and apparently still playing the occassional gig), they have nothing on CD to their credit, and something tells me a reissue isn't in particularly high demand. You might detect trace elements of Mission of Burma, Agitpop, and the like on Theory of Everything, but otherwise they do their own thing, albeit a bit nondescript. "Showboat," "Between the Bottles," and "The Fog," all boast sweet, melodic guitar lines, and help prop up some of Theory's less engaging selections. I might post their singles at a later date.
03. Hen Fist
04. Body and Bone
05. It Always Does
06. Madame Curie
07. The Fog
09. Between the Bottles
10. Whole Lotta Love (not the Zeppelin song)
11. The Time Beats On
Singles Going Single # 77 - Half Hour to Go Don't Forget the Children 7" ep (1994) PLUS Items For the Full OutfitCD (1996, Grass)
Don't Forget the Children 7"
02. Grandpa's Blue Bus
04. Shave + outro
Items For the Full Outfit
02. Ellison Jelly
03. Theatre in the Round
05. John Glenn
08. Can mack Draw?
11. When Propaganda Sings
Don't Forget the Children 7": Hear
Items For the Full Outfit: Hear
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Singles Going Single # 76 - Ridel High 7" (1995, Morpehus)
Thursday, October 23, 2008
The Lilys - In the Presence of Nothing (1992, spinArt)
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Happy Hate Me Nots - Out (1988, Rough Trade)
01. Things Wearing Thin
02. New Hope
03. Don't Move to Far
04. Modern Times
05. Best of Intentions
06. Think About Tomorrow
07. Soul Rejection
08. Pride is Burning
09. Move For Love
10. Alright at Home
11. Praise For Fortune
12. Lively Up Yourself
Singles Going Single # 75 - Pavement "Black Out"/"Extradition" promo 7'' (2006)
As if 2006's Wowee Zowee (Sordid Sentinels) reissue, bustling with 50 tracks wasn't enough to seal the deal, those who pre-ordered the album were also treated to an exclusive 7" with alternate versions of a couple of the album's sleepier numbers, "Black Out," and "Extradition." Both songs are included in this post, of course, and here's a little background info I dug up:
According to Stephen (Malkmus), this version of "Black Out" (which is not the album recording) was recorded around the time Crooked Rain came out. It was originally intended for a compilation curated by Thurston Moore, but that never materialized. Matador's vault plunderers found it on a reel of final mixes from the Random Falls sessions in NYC from early 1994. "Extradition" is a version with different vocals and a slightly different mix from the album version.
So there you go. Now all you slacker Pavement completists who missed out on this deal the first time around can go to bed with a little more satisfaction tonight. Sorry, no picture sleeve. Move along, there's nothing to see here.
A. Black Out
Monday, October 20, 2008
Singles Going Single # 74 - Overwhelming Colorfast 7" (1992, Sympathy) + bonus: Sourdough ep (1995, Goldenrod)
Singles Going Single # 73 - Young Officers Movement (pre-Dreams So Real) 7" (198?)
Those acquainted with DSR will be taken aback by the starkness, and bleakness exuded by YOM, particularly in light of the comparatively warmer and empathetic tones that Marler would espouse in his next band. In fact, the two selections here, especially "You Can Walk," are icy enough to encourage any listener within earshot to make a mad dash for a thermal blanket. Starting off with a monologue of a gentleman (my guess from a TV documentary or Zoloft commercial) weighing the options of driving a train to a gas chamber, or to merely be a passenger on said train. With it's stabbing guitar riffs and Marler's lyrics entailing such dark passages as:
Another morning to sleep late
Another afternoon to kill
Another week of insecurity
Another chunk out of their lives.
It wouldn't be inaccurate to deem that REM were to Dreams so Real, what Killing Joke were to Young Officers Movement. The flipside, "It's Alright" is equally embellished with the "dark wave" post-punk tendencies Marler and Co. were wont to wallow in here. Intriguing stuff. If anyone perusing this can offer any pertinent info on YOM, don't be a stranger. BTW, I'm uncertain which songs are the "A" and "B-sides."
Posted on January 26, 2009: Thanks to LC for supplying the sleeve art.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
The Killer Whales - Emotional Geography (1983, Ripete)
06. Emotional Geography
Friday, October 17, 2008
The Wrench - Worry When We Get There (1993, New Red Archives) & Cop Krueller 7" ep (1994, Mississippi Cake Hole)
It should be of little surprise that Buffalo's departed Wrench (formally Monkeywrench, before some certain Seattle luminaries forced them to truncate their moniker) followed in the footsteps of Queen City kingpins, the Goo Goo Dolls. Additionally, it shouldn't be much of a shock to see a production credit to Robby "Goo" Takac on the tray card of the Wrench's one and only album, Worry When We Get There. No power ballad's here mind you, rather the strain of full-tilt, melodicore punk that used to frequent the Goo's earliest and greatest albums like Jed and Hold Me Up. Moreover, mouthpiece Timo and company smack of Big Drill Car, albeit a tad more pedestrian. In fact, Timo could even be mistaken for BDC's Frank Daly at times. In a nutshell, The Wrench were perfectly tailored for the corner bar and the half-pipe.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
The Halflings - 20th Century Masters: The Singles Collection (1994-95)
08. Padded Room
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Treepeople - some singles (1990-93)
Long before Built to Spill were on every self-respecting, music snob's shortlist, I had the good sense in 1991 or so to take a chance on a cassette by a Boise via Seattle combo dubbed the Treepeople. Little to my knowledge at the time, Treepeople contained in their ranks one Doug Martsch who by the mid-90s would be spilling all that was built to fairly significant acclaim and notoriety. It took me many years to concede that BTS were superior to the Treepeople. This was due in large part to the brilliant melodic, noise-punk (a la vintage Dinosaur Jr) residing in T'peoples bitchin' Something Vicious for Tomorrow, and Just Kidding albums. Both of these were issued on C/Z Records, and are apparently still available. The six songs that this post concerns are extracted from two vinyl-only singles, and as a bonus two additional cuts from a 1993 promo-only ep.
Recorded at roughly the same time as their Toxic Shock Records debut, Guilt, Regret, Embarrassment, "Mistake" was the A-side to a one-off single on the Sonic Bubblegum label, and also happens to be one of the strongest and most representative songs of their nascent period. The flip-side,"Ballard Bitter," named after a Northwest beer, was later rerecorded for Just Kidding. Their second single, from 1992 on C/Z provided a preview of Just Kidding, with it's A-side, "Outside In" later to appear in a different version on the album. The backing "Hide and Find Out," was exclusive to this record. As for the pair of bonus tracks I had mentioned, "Damnation Dawn," and "Flies In my Coffee" (the latter actually a cover of Carly Simon's "You're So Vain") were found on a five-cut C/Z Records promo Treepeople CD that was never released for public consumption. Of course, I own a copy 'cause I'm good like that.
After Doug left Treepeople in 1994 (or around there), the band hobbled on without him, largely in name only, before wisely rechristening themselves as Stuntman.
Sonic Bubblegum Records 7" (1991)
02. Ballard Bitter
C/Z Records 7" (1992)
03. Outside In
04. Hide and Find Out
from C/Z Treepeople promo CD (1993)
05. Damnation Dawn
06. Flies In My Coffee
Friday, October 10, 2008
The Drowners - Destroyer (1996, A West Side Fabrication); World Record Player (1997, Speech)
Imparting a sumptuous cavalcade of crunchy power chords operating in tandem with a commanding, but none-too-glossy production job, that album's 13 indelible songs left me craving more. Luckily, the Drowners had a back catalog to plunder, but it would take some hunting to obtain their previous LPs, Destroyer and World Record Player.
Destroyer would have been a superb debut effort for any of their ilk, but factoring in The Drowners much stronger albums to follow, it wasn't quite revelatory. The record would generate a number of singles for them in their native Sweden, including "Teenager" and "Stupid Way," but album cuts "Responsibility" and "Turnpike Down Again" found them working to their true potential.
Containing early versions of a number of Is There Something on Your Mind ? selections, including the positively flooring "Summer Break My Fall" and "Bittersweet," World Record Player boasted more aptitude than their debut, and convincingly set the table for their first stateside album three years later. You'd be hard pressed to find fans of Jason Falkner and the Gladhands who wouldn't become lifetime devotees after a spin of WRP. A real treat for anyone with an appreciation of this album's aforementioned follow-up.
03. Stupid Way
04. Paulina's Eyes
08. Hey Superman
09. My Sacrifice
11. Turnpike Down Again
12. The Bitter End
02. Fake R&R Personality
03. Is There Something On Your Mind?
05. Summer Break My Fall
06. What Comes Naturally
07. From a Distance
08. One Star
09. I Hear You Knocking
10. Hey Seventeen
11. Winter Left You Alone
13. Happy Endings
World Record Player: Now playing on Amazon.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Map of the World - An Inch Equals a Thousand Miles ep (1989, Atlantic)
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Singles Going Single # 73 - Fig Dish (1993, Happy Tails)
The single concerning this post was a precursor to the aforementioned albums. Featuring an early incarnation of one of Love Song's most durable numbers, "Rollover, Please," and the otherwise unavailable "Miss California," this 7" makes a strong case for Fig Dish opting to go with a big indie like Sub Pop instead of selling their souls to the suits. Woulda, coulda, shoulda. Anyway, I recently learned that in 1998 Fig Dish recorded an album's worth (and then some) of songs for a tentative third album that never was. You can try it on for size by clicking here. On the same blog, you can also partake in a download of a 2006 Fig Dish reunion gig. More Fig Dish songs are available on this here Myspace fan site.
After Fig Dish, mouthpiece/ax-slinger Blake Smith and fellow Dish alumni Mile Willison founded the slyly electonica-inflected Caviar to no significant commercial consequence.
A. Rollover, Please
B. Miss California
Singles Going Single # 72 - The All Golden - Velikovsky 7" (1999, Bubblegum Smile)
Monday, October 6, 2008
V/A - The Living Room: A Compilation (1983, The Living Room)
Even lil' ol' Providence, Rhode Island had a happening powerpop/wave scene back in the day, or so it would seem from this 13-cut compilation. Presumably released in conjunction with the Living Room nightclub in Providence, my appreciation for Mike Viola (with or without the Candy Butchers) led me to take this off the hands of an Ebay seller a few years ago. He appears here under the guise of the Mike Viola Alliance, and as superb as his singer-songwriter talents go, his crew isn't the only one to steal the show on this surprisingly consistent scene artifact. The Threats "Dream Girl" is a killer three-chord reminiscent of The Pointed Sticks. The Probers "Waste of My Time," is taught, driving power pop that fully evocative of the era, the female fronted Hi-Beams check in with one of Living Room's standout moments, "Live in Shadows, while Gary Shane and the Detour exercise their sheik, new-romantic finesse. Rash of Stabbings, whom bring The Living Room to a close, went onto greater things I believe. As for Mike Viola's scintillating contribution, "All the Time, All the While," is downright punky, and a very distant cry from his current work. Would love to hear more where that came from.
Sorry for the glare on the sleeve pic.
01. The Schemers - Streamline Heart
02. The Probers - Waste of My Time
03. Big World - Something Special
04. The Threats - Dream Girl
05. Ed Tabela - Right or Wrong
06. Mike Viola Alliance - All the Time, All the While
07. Outrage - Candy Store
08. Hi-Beams - Live in Shadows
09. The Detectives - Can't Remember Her Name
10. Some Red - She Snickers Euphoric Barf
11. Parallel 5th - Carrots and Peas
12. Gary Shane and the Detour - Middle of the Night
13. Rash of Stabbings - I Kill With Warning
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Gem - singles, etc
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Everready - Fairplay (1992, Liquid Meat)
Friday, October 3, 2008
Waves of Grain - The West Was Fun (1985, Stonegarden)
My apologies for the pesky vinyl noise.
01. How the West Was Fun
02. Kelly N.S.A.
03. She Must Be in Love
04. Kinetic Passion
05. Catch Me, I'm Falling
06. She Said Yes
07. When I Said ''I Love You'' (Marie, Marie)
08. Horizon Cinema
09. Upstairs Where the Air is Better