Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Virgin Release (Marshal Fields) 7" (1983, 3 Square)

A good many of you took to the Marshal Fields album I shared in January, and for good reason as far as I'm concerned, given their ample talent.  Low and behold a couple months ago Fields guitarist and songwriter John Mac got in touch with me, and was more than patient to indulge my inquiries regarding the band's history and such.  Part of that story was rooted in a Marshall Fields precursor band, Virgin Release who issued this 45 in 1983.  Essentially four-fifths of M/F (minus keyboardist Brian Gary) Virgin Release set to tracking these two cuts just as key songwriter Eric von Radics entered the group's lineup.  Judging from the band photo gracing the back sleeve of this single, the four gentlemen in question look all of sixteen, seventeen, possibly younger.  V/R's sonic motif was notably more economical than that of Marshal Fields rich, layered finesse.  Every parent's plea, "Turn It Down" offers modest proto-punk tinges, circa 1976 New York.  Straight up adolescent garage rock that seals the deal in two and a half minutes.  In the same span of time the boys kick out the boppin' "Hey Now!" a throwback of sorts to the Merseybeat pop that I'm sure they were lovingly weaned on.

A. Turn It Down
B. Hey Now!


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Moving Parts ep (1983, MPI)

Bearing just enough of an edge for my radar to hone in on, this synth-enhanced, Seattle quintet could easily flip the switch and hurtle into album-rock mode if they so desired, but to our good fortune they exercise a precious modicum of restraint.  And speaking of all things precious, the preppie visages and hairdos emblazoned on the back sleeve are as apropos as Moving Parts rather routine (though surprisingly not monotonous) take on mainstreamed new wave. "Cities Return to Me" is about as close as we get to something stirring, not far off from what the Comsat Angels brought to the party amidst their mid-80s tenure.  A bevy of other M/P tracks, both studio and live can be experienced here.  Further perusal of this website enlightened moi that the band recently regrouped under the strapping and freshly christened moniker Empire of Sleep, with a new CD to their credit no less.

01. Blindman Walking
02. Under
03. Cities Return to Me
04. Princess and the President
05. Nothing's Gonna Bring Me Down


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Venus Beads - A Client ep & Shackled ep (1994, Equator)

Unlike the Venus Bead's fairly well distributed long player, Incision, released in 1991, followed up quickly by the Black Aspirin ep, these two final eps for the Equator imprint never made it Stateside.  Rippling with feedback, echo, and angsty-ethos Incision and Aspirin encouraged comparisons to Jesus and Mary Chain among other distortion wielding merchants from across the big pond.  Both of the 1994 eps this entry concerns finds VB shedding pounds of much of that extraneous noise in favor of a decidedly streamlined tact.  I don't have the original releases in my possession to confirm this, but part of the "manicure," so to speak, could be due in part to a possible line up change.  Nonetheless, there was still muscular fortitude aplenty stockpiled in the Bead's arsenal, particularly evidenced by the aggressive title tracks of these respective disks.  The acoustic "In Disbelief" from the A Client ep mines a similar melodic vein to the Incision era, but otherwise the Venus Beads last gasps showed significant development. A big thanks to Duncan for supplying these files!

A Client ep
01. A Client
02. Friendly User
03. In Disbelief (acoustic)
04. Glorious Defeat

Shackled ep
01. Shackled
02.You Wish
03. Every Street Tells A Story


Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Caretaker Race - Hangover Square (1990, The Foundation Label)

In a 1990 interview Harriet Wheeler and David Gavurin of the Sundays informed TV viewers that prior to signing a major label record deal they participated in a battle of the bands in their native UK, going head-to-head with this troupe.  If memory serves, The Caretaker Race walked off with the prize, but ultimately it was their competition that made the grade.  I was curious to investigate this quartet of also-rans, so to speak, and got a deal on their Steven Street-produced Hangover Square CD that I couldn't pass up.  Unlike the Sundays, C/R weren't Smiths proteges, yet I could certainly see them siphoning an audience from Mozz's pool of fans.  The band's modus operandi tilted more in the direction of the Go-Betweens, and to a much lesser extent the C-86 vibes emanating from the likes of the Close Lobsters and Mighty Lemon Drops.  Nothing heavy handed mind you.  The occasionally uneven Hangover... isn't without it's fair share of pure-pop decadence, arriving in the form of "I Wish I'd Said That" and "Anywhere But Home."  The fiercer "Gun Metal" and "All Love Offers" explore the other side of that coin.  In addition to this main course, the Caretakers released several tracks from Hangover Square as eps and singles

01. All Love Offers
02. I've Seen a Thing or Two
03. Two Steel Rings
04. Anywhere But Home
05. Fire in the Hold
06. Gun Metal
07. Two Minutes By Train
08. Borrow My Car
09. I Wish I'd Said That
10. You Always Hurt (The One You Kick)
11. Man Overboard


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Piper Cub 7" (1995, Sub Pop)

By request.  Piper Cub were a short-lived D.C. indie rock 'supergroup' starring Jim Spellman from Velocity Girl, Andrew Webster of Tsunami, Steve Raskin from Edsel, and John Dugan courtesy of Chisel (Ted Leo's old gig).  Raskin is the primary vocalist on both of these songs.  Notwithstanding the considerable amount of talent brought to the table, neither of the tunes function in lockstep to the aesthetic of any of the aforementioned combos.  "Chance" and "Number One Sound" are rock solid on their own merits, playing like quintessential, mid-fi pop confections of their era.  Fans of Pavement, and for that matter Teen Beat and Slumberland Records enthusiasts would do quite well by this single. The sleeve for this wax is actually a lightweight, perforated card-stock sheet, with pieces that can be punched out to assemble, you guessed it, a Piper Cub paper plane.  For the record, my copy is barely intact at this point.  A neat memento if you were able to snag a copy almost two decades ago. 

A. Chance
B. Number One Sound


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Neon Rock Garden (NRg) - "Never Listen" 7" (1986, Critical Mass)

Throughout the better part of the '80s it would seem that Mitch Easter's every waking hour (outside of pursuing his meal-ticket, Let's Active) was spent producing/recording other bands.  From an audiophile's perspective this was a wizardly, and ultimately thoughtful move on Mitch's part, lending his acumen to scores of records that bear his name in the credits, including this beaut.  Neon Rock Garden were a co-ed trio based in the small North Carolina town of Hickory.  As of this writing I have yet to hear anything outside of these two NRg tracks, which offer a none-too-subtle wink and a nod to that aforementioned "meal-ticket."  Nevertheless they put their own spin on the New South trend-Du-jour, especially on the fevered "Don't Say Baboon," gushing forth a flurry of delirious, jagged arpeggios, and a guitar tone that nearly mimics the trademark leads of U2's The Edge.  The stuff of Wilfully Obscure ideals for sure.  The equally winsome A-side, "Never Listen" charts a slightly more contemplative trajectory.  I'm thoroughly rejoicing over this 45.  With any luck, in the weeks and months to come, I may have more NRg to share (that's right, keep your fingers crossed and I'll do the same).

A. Never Listen
B. Don't Say Baboon


Monday, July 23, 2012

Christ in Concrete - Future Men (198?, Sound & Vision)

Until I get the opportunity to rip some more wax, I thought I'd share another album that I downloaded a few years back from one of my favorite defunct music blog, Feelin' Kinda Froggy.  From what few details I've been able to glean online regarding this Dutch trio, Future Men was released either in 1986 or '87.  Christ in Concrete featured a mouthpiece whose timbre slotted somewhere between Roddy Frame and Robyn Hitchcock.  Automatically, you could reasonably surmise this would give them a pronounced Anglophile edge, and to a certain extent you'd be correct, but sonically they bear more in common with Guadalcanal Diary than say, the Jesus and Mary Chain.  There's no abundance of mystique to their schtick, which often strikes me as ripped straight from a period 120 Minutes playlist.  Plenty of slicing guitar salvos too, though the songwriting is frequently half-baked, even shoddy at times.  A few tweaks here and there could have worked wonders for their otherwise powerful performances.  Future Men's most convincing moments - "What Is a Fact," "Never Fall," "The World is Ice" would have served CIC more flatteringly if they (and maybe a couple other titles) had been pared down to a consistently satisfying ep, but alas, it wasn't my call. Make of this what you will. 

01. Future Men
02. The Barracks
03. Never Fall
04. Remainses in Skin
05. The World is Ice
06. Dancing Man
07. Pain Likes Pray
08. What is a Facct
09. Really True
10. Crying/No End
11. Little Woman


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Um, about those re-uploads from the other night...

This past Tuesday I began the not-so-painful and not-so-arduous task of renewing a spate of dead links for  Babylon Pink, Belreve, Drip Tank, Monkey Rhythm and Snatches of Pink entries that I had posted at various times over the course of the last five years.  Despite having a paid priority account with Rapidshare, my file hoster of choice, the renewed links were shuttered in less than a week, as one of my astute readers pointed out yesterday.  Never mind that when I originally shared these titles the links were active without incident for years.  Never mind that I actually had the approval of sharing these records from some of the artists themselves.  Never mind I was not alerted or provided an explanation when they were originally nixed (earlier this year I believe in the case of all five, and close to a hundred more).

When I selected the updated links today the resulting page on Rapid's site indicated they were "illegal."  A thoroughly arbitrary move on their part on these titles and dozens of others that have gone dormant.  In short, R/S is ostensibly ok with me uploading fresh files seeing the light of the day for the first time, but they mean business about the established ones, that once again were removed arbitrarily in most cases.  The vast majority of links I've posted since 2007 are still live, but I'm at a bit of a loss as to where to re-post that batch of "dead" files.  I know Mediafire has been closing certain blogger accounts entirely, and a lot of the newbies like Rapid Gator and a bunch more are prone to depositing spyware, and nearly as annoying, depict misleading download prompts.  I'll continue utilizing Rapidshare for brand new posts, but could use some help in determining where to park the links I have need to revive.  Thanks.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

fenn - spanish (1993, Mean)

There probably isn't a hell of a lot I can tell you about fenn, other than that they were actually Scottish, not Spanish.  Ensconced in their lineup was one Luke Sutherland, who eventually went on to be the prime mover in Long Fin Killie, a band I never quite got the gist of.  Spanish (fenn's lone full length from what I've been able to discern) yields ten slices of noisy indie rock drawing from such rich, feedback-ridden watering holes as Swervedriver, Loop, Bailter Space and even American legends Bitch Magnet.  There's plenty more comparisons I can rattle off that are doubly arcane, including the mildly tuneful Cars Get Crushed, Rein Sanction, to name two, but those likenesses are almost certainly coincidental.  fenn's swirling sonic density can't be understated, but neither can their surprising approachability.  These folks must have been absolutely concussive in a live setting.  If there are any other records by them that are worth investigating please let us know.

01. quietly vegan
02. not jelly
03. mild mannered janitor  
04. anagram stan
05. numb
06. pop jop
07. saint's gate
08. lead limb
09. cosh
10. head realiser


Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Mice - Who Cut the Cheese? (1988, Waffle)

As a quick caveat, this is not the same Mice from Cleveland featuring the talents of the great Bill Fox, rather a trio with origins in Florida, commandeered by Joe Reineke who had greater success with The Meices in the early/mid '90s.  For those of you familiar with The Meices (particularly their early catalog incl. the Greatest Bible Stories Ever Told album and surrounding singles) you'd likely agree with me in a heartbeat they were about as ramshackle and unhinged as a punk-pop band could be while still managing to carry a tune.  That being said, you'd expect a Meices precursor band to sound even more Jerry-rigged...but not necessarily so.  Who Cut the Cheese is not without it's moments of goofy frivolousness (try "New Wave Country Song" or the backwards looped two-minutes of wasted space "Ypupp" on for size), but the Mice were downright competent, tidy even in comparison to the neurotic hand so often dealt by the Meices.  If there's anything the Mice lacked it was the punky verve Reineke's later claim to fame oozed all over the place, but it's hard to complain with driving, melodic keepers like "Pushin' 30," "Blank Day." and "Is it Too Late" slappin' you in the face a la late '80s Soul Asylum.  There's another Mice album, Say No to Cheese that preceded this one by a year.  The band migrated to the left coast soon after the issuance of this platter, soon to splinter with Mr. Reineke trudging forward with not only the Meices, but later Alien Crime Syndicate as well.   

01. Blank Day
02. Carl's Jr.
03. My Jalopy
04. New Wave Country Song
05. Cheap Cigs
06. Ypupp
07. Pushin' 30
08. What's the Matter?
09. Hair and Image
10. We Ain't-a-Flamin'
11. So Long
12. Straight Up
13. My Hometown
14. Is It Too Late?
15. Labor Day


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Heavy Into Jeff "Grime" 7" (1993, Jeff Jam)

Who the hell was Jeff, and furthermore why was anybody so friggin' stoked about him?   While I'm still coming to terms with that matter, I can at least enlighten you that Heavy Into Jeff was a name occasionally uttered in power pop circles during their mid-90s tenure.  HIJ's pair of albums suggested that the nebulous "alternative" tag might have been more appropriate, given they were heavily prone to riff-rock that often transgressed into flannel territory.   As it turns out, the a-side to this wax, "Grime," is a glorious anomaly - a resonant, harmony laced mini-masterpiece that could pass for the greatest tune the Liquor Giants never committed to tape.  Wowser!   The lengthier and looser flip, "Sick" ain't no slouch either, albeit cut from significantly different cloth.  My apologies in advance for the vinyl static, however if it's cleaner versions of both songs you're looking for, they're available on HIJ's 1995 LP, Fu, available from Amazon downloads and iTunes.  If you like what you hear please support the band!

A. Grime
B. Sick


Monday, July 16, 2012

Wolfie - Necessary Sailing tape (1997)

I may not have been the biggest Wolfie fan in the world, but during their existence it sure felt like it at times.  With only a handful of fellow fans (ok, make that only one fellow fan) in my neck of the woods, I would have craved social networking sites had they been operational at the turn of the millennium.  Not that I was totally starved for info on the quartet, merely I was a little lost in the wilderness, with my flashlight being their 1998 debut, Awful Mess Mystery.  Brandishing a healthy dollop of Weezer-crunch plus chirpy Casios and organs, Wolfie had their crush-inducing schtick all snuggled up in twee yet sassy subtext.  With the exception of drummer R.J. Porter, vocal duties were divied up between axe-wrangler Mike Downey, Amanda Lyons on keys, and Joe Ziemba handling bass.  It was the latter two of that arrangement who garnered most of the attention, as they were a couple throughout their tenure in Wolfie, ultimately marrying and divorcing in the '00s if I have my facts straight.  Awful Mess... was followed up by two more full lengths, 1999's Where's Wolfie, and Talk Dark Hill arriving two years later, amongst a handful of short-form releases and compilation appearances.  Unfortunately, I don't have a comprehensive Wolfie website to send you to, but the first two albums are still available through Parasol

Ironically, I found out about the 1997 Necessary Sailing cassette from a fairly comprehensive band website that has inexplicably been removed from the web.  The irony doubles as that website was introduced only around the era of the last Wolfie record, Tall Dark Hill, where I posthumously learned of this thirteen song cassette-only album that preceded all of the band's other releases.  The kicker?  It was limited to a startlingly meager 50 copies (or was it 75)?  The prospect of this scarce recording fascinated me to no end, and I very much wanted to add it to my collection.  The odds of fulfilling that ambition were pretty nil, thought to my good fortune, by the middle of the 'Dubya' era, Mike Downey had established a website, which featured no small amount of podcasts of his solo recordings (predominantly four-track stuff from what I recall)...and one featuring the entire Necessary Sailing tape.  I was finally able to lay ears on it, albeit in one long contiguous track.  My desire for an original copy never quite waned however, and when I added this particular title to a "want list" on the blog last December, who came through for me other than Mike himself, who informed me he had an extra copy and I would soon be the grateful and lucky recipient.

Judging by a quick Google query today, Mike's website has been shuttered, and with it all of the aforementioned podcasts.  Since this was such a holy-grail find, I wanted to share it en masse, despite it not being the most representative Wolfie recording (the most notable circumstance being the apparent absence of Amanda Lyons in the lineup at this particular juncture in their career).  This rip was taken from my original tape with all the tracks properly separated.  This nascent and modest reel of lo-fi goodness may pale in comparison to Wolfie's sturdier vinyl and CD releases that would soon come in it's wake, but it's a worthwhile listen for established customers.  Fans of early Eric's Trip and the like would equally be advised to jump aboard.  A big, big thanks to Mike for his generosity.  If you're reading this, I owe you one big time!

01. Noids
02. On Your Way
03. Suspension Catchs
04. Let's Say We Forgot About It
05. Life Saver Socks
06. On Cinder Blocks Looking In
07. Pinecar Derby
08. VFW
09. Looks Fine on the Ledge
10. A Dumb Life
11. Silent Autumn Parks
12. The Long Drive Back
13. Graph Chaser


Friday, July 13, 2012

Airlines - s/t (1994, Quixotic)

This is a request and a follow-up to the Airlines tape I put up last month.  Unlike today, the nineties never struck me as an era of legit post-punk revivalism (unless you want to count a few random Elastica singles), but if such a movement had been afoot, I'm sure these guys could have more than held their own.  Owing a debt to the Feelies just as much as Mission of Burma, Airlines wrapped dextrous, sometimes challenging guitar lines in a fuzzy sling of warm reverb, achieving nearly sublime results on "Remote Color," "Weekend," and "Talking About Talking."  In fact, nothing on Airlines is a let down, but if you're not well versed with the likes of Television, Versus and the aforementioned, this album could pose itself as a bit of a grower.  This is what Big Takeover magazine had to say about it:

Add Airlines to the list of promising New York bands (at last there is a small crop). Theirs is a sprightly minimalist pop, the occasional one-chord drone uplifted by loping bass, bopping snare hits, and caustic guitar lines that encircle that steady bass. The playing is crisp-former KRAUT producer RYK OAKLEY gives them a tight mix-and simple but effective ideas run all over spaces this economical quintet leaves. Like the late `70s Wire, to whom they might be compared (as well as all the U.S. West Coast pop minimalists they inspired, such as the Urinals/100 Flowers, Sleepers, Flyboys, later Middle Class), nothing is chunky, yet the sound has depth, and the post R.E.M./Libertines plucked guitars never fail to invigorate and take unexpected paths... Investigate.

01. Empathy Box
02. Steady Goes
03. Still Life
04. Remote Color
05. Deja Vu
06. Talking About Talking
07. Interval
08. No. 2
09. Weekend
10. 10,000 Days
11. Ad Infinitum 
12. Manitoba 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Straitjacket Fits - KPFK FM, L.A. 10/21/89

Before moving onto another band I thought I'd follow up my Straitjacket Fits re-upload post from two nights ago with something I haven't shared by my favorite Kiwi quartet, and it's a truly divine artifact at that.  In that most recent spiel I mentioned the band's first two albums, Hail and Melt.  This is a ten-song set cut for renown Los Angeles station KPFK bearing a late 1989 airing date, falling right smack in-between the release of the aforementioned LPs, and moreover what most would regard to be their halcyon era.  As if their studio recordings weren't sonically stirring enough, the Fits exude even bolder hues of texture, melody and flat out visceral persuasion in a live setting.  There's a real purity to this session that I can't put my itchy finger on, all the better to hear for yourself as opposed to me babbling on about it.  There's some slightly cheesy inter-song banter, but the band reveals that as of this date Hail technically wasn't available Stateside yet, but would be in the very near future.  As you might surmise, songs from that disk comprise most of the set, but we do get a few previews of 1991's Melt in the shape of "Headwind," "Hand in Mine," and "Follow & Fall," which was later rechristened "In Spite of it All."

01. Dialing A Prayer
02. Seeing You Fled
03. Bad Note For A Heart
04. Hand in Mine
05. Roller Ride
06. She Speeds
07. Follow & Fall
08. Headwind
09. Quiet Come
10. Hail


Monday, July 9, 2012

V/A - Boobytrap! Vol. One 2x7" ep (1996, Derivative)

I was dazzled by the Starbean track "No Earthly Means of Transportation," that commences this double 45 compilation when I first got a whiff of it on CBC radio at some point in the mid-90s.  Problem, was, I finally found a copy of Boobytrap about ten years too late, and by then I hardly recognized it.  Aficionados of twee, Moog-driven "space pop" are likely to do well by this song.  The flip of the Starbean side features Saturnine, a far greater known commodity who issued a healthy slew of albums that didn't abate until the 2001's fine Pleasure of Ruins.  Their contribution, "Compromised" is anything but - a little meek perhaps, but quintessentially indie pop with some hard-strummed jangly bits and a good dynamics.  Believe it or not, I haven't head anything by The Ladybug Transistor outside of this record.  "Your Walling Tail" plagiaristicaly plunders Pavement's slower moments circa Slanted and Crooked.  No complaints from this end, though I have ever to wonder if this was Ladybug's calling card back in the day or just an anomaly.  Hmmm.  May have to investigate further.  Although they don't owe much to Malkmus and Co, Blaise Pascal bring on Boobytraps! real slack attack, via the tweaky, anti-climactic "Shielded."  I can think of a hundred bands from this era that would've been far more deserving of these grooves than BP, but of course, I didn't have any say in the matter.  Enjoy (or not).

01. Starbean - No Earthly Means of Transportation
02. Saturnine - Compromised
03. The Ladybug Transistor - Your Walling Tail
04. Blaise Pascal - Shielded


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Deep 6 - Garage D'or (1986, Coyote)

There's not a plethora of info to be had on Deep 6, a New York City trio who had an album on Coyote Records the same year another trio, Athens, GA's Dreams So Real, released their first LP on the very same label.  Brothers John and Dan Braun had played in Live Skull and the Del-Byzantines prior to turning in this platter of gimmick-free modern rock that slots in comfortably with its era while not getting mired in '80s indulgences.  The post-punk sway of "Stay Right Here" and "Open Mind" vaguely recall the Lucy Show and Comsat Angels, and in the process turn out to be Garage D'ors most charismatic offerings.  The remainder is respectable, but not always moving left-of-the-dial fare.  Side one ends with an untitled track threading together lines from a bevy of recognizable classic rock tunes and oldies that would've probably been more useful as a b-side.  Go figure.

01. Sunny Day
02. The Lawn
03. Stay Right Here
04. Something/Nothing
05. I Protect Myself
06. untitled
07. Open Mind
08. Sarah T
09. TV Land
10. No Big Surprise
11. Beautiful Day


Friday, July 6, 2012

VA - Shreds Vol. 1 - The Best of American Underground Rock 1993 (Shredder)

Per the thoughtful blurb on the back cover, 1993 gave rise to some 4000 independent singles in the US alone (had no idea anyone was keeping score)!  Good on Shredder Records/Shredding Paper mensch Mel Cheplowitz for sorting out so many of the vital ones, particularity in such a robust era when it seemed like every week there were at least half-a-dozen must-haves hitting the shelves.  Remember when?  Anyway, Mel and I (not to mention probably a lot of you who frequent these pages) were on the same wavelength, evidenced by this who's-who of twenty subrosa luminaries.  The emphasis on Shreds Vol 1 is clearly skewed to indie and punk-pop outfits, or moreover ones that straddled the fence narrowly dividing those two contingents.  Not a lot of big indie farm-team type labels are represented (save for perhaps Fat Records' NOFX who contribute the seminal lesbian narrative "Liza and Louise"), rather there's a strong emphasis on records that bubbled up from micro-indies and private labels.    

A healthy portion of this coveted roster have materialized in one or more features on Wilfully Obscure - Corduroy, Parasites, Fig Dish, J Church, Bracket, Tugboat Annie, Jolt, and The Deviators, yet in many cases the music was sourced from my own vinyl rips, whereas the versions here strike me as being culled from the master tapes.  Shreds functions as both a time capsule and a goldmine of tuneful, indie-punk treasures worth their weight in Nuggets from a parallel universe. We're even thrown a couple curveballs via the bendy dream-pop of the Swirlies, and even the relatively demure Mary Lou Lord made the cut.  My favorite Prisonshake song, "2 Sisters" is included as are offerings from  the Karl Hendricks Trio, The Leonards, and Mr. T Experience.  Time won't allow me to extoll much further on the music contained within, so just go ahead and download this already!   Let me know what you enjoyed.

01. For Sale - Hanging By A Thread
02. Corduroy - I'll Be On My Way
03. Swirlies - Wrong Tube
04. Parasites - Something To Hold Onto
05. Moist - Be Young
06. Odd Numbers - Autumn Leaves
07. Mary Lou Lord - Some Jingle Jangle Morning
08. Karl Hendricks Trio - Baseball Cards
09. NOFX - Liza And Louise
10. Fig Dish - Rollover, Please
11. Prisonshake - 2 Sisters
12. Tugboat Annie - Stay Inside
13. Stink - Never Will Forget
14. Leonards - Thinking About It
15. Jolt - Let It Go
16. The Deviators - Falling Away
17. J Church - Made Life Simple
18. Fracture - Babbling Atom
19. Bracket - Imaginary Friend
20. Mr T Experience - Swallow Everything


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Naked Soul (w/ Carlos Soria) - demo (1990)

I learned a couple of interesting tidbits when I was doing my homework on this long defunct Costa Mesa, CA conglomerate.  First, Naked Soul had close ties to another band from the same locale, none other than the best popcore quartet ever, Big Drill Car!  NS vox/guitarist Mike Conley served time in the Las Vegas hardcore hit machine known as M.I.A. in the mid-80s, a band that in their final lineup also included the future nucleus of BDC, Frank Daly and Mark Arnold.  I think I have my facts straight, but feel free to correct me.  Instead of going the diluted-punk route, Conley and Co. ditched M.I.A.'s blitzkrieg tempos and boilerplate h/c ethos entirely in favor of deftly crafted riff-pop, a la period Soul Asylum and the Doughboys.  Two Naked Soul releases would come down the pike in the early '90s - the Seed ep in 1992, and Visiting Your Planet a year thereafter, both on Scotti Bros.  They were destine to become bargain bin staples in the years to follow, but I digress.

I was pleased to come across an original NS demo last year, featuring the three songs listed below.  "Lonely Me, Lonely You" would be re-recorded for the aforementioned Seed.  As for my other kernel of enlightenment to share, Naked Soul's lineup included none other than Carlos Soria of The Nils - at least for the sessions on this tape.  I'm not sure how long Carlos' NS stint was, but evidently it was brief, as once he left the band had been reduced from a quartet to a trio, before they were signed.  And yes, he does seem to give these tracks a bit more of an edge than the Scotti Bros recordings, making this an extra special treat. 

01. Lonely Me, Lonely You
02. Yesterday Man
03. Raining Dreams


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Teenage Fanclub/Viva Saturn flexi (1992)

Hard to believe that with roughly 1200 features under my belt this is only the second flexi-disk I've shared to date.  For such a feeble and fragile music format, it's a downright ingenious one at that, considering they're probably cheaper to press up than a CD.  Plus, they take up nary any space even, when ensconced between magazine pages, as was this case with this blue beauty, which could be found in a 1992 edition of Revolver magazine (and also from what I understand The Bob, a periodical that cornered the market on flexi's in the latter part of the twentieth century).  The highlight here is a no-brainer - a live take of an early Teenage Fanclub single, the bittersweet (and preciously vulgar) "Everybody's Fool," from a Cleveland, OH gig.  The audio isn't half bad for a flimsy piece of plastic.  Following the Fannies is Viva Saturn, a spinoff of the Rain Parade featuring the frontman of those Paisley pioneers, Steven Roback.  Their contribution, "Black Cloud" would be re-recorded for Viva's 1995 sophomore LP, Brightside, though I preferred their first EP and 1992's Soundmind.

01. Teenage Fanclub - Everybody's Fool (live Cleveland 2-29-92)
02. Viva Saturn - Black Cloud

MP3  or  FLAC

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Bounce - Things That Go Bounce in the Night ep (1981, Catch 22)

Bearing a moniker like The Bounce and coupling that with a colorful, freewheeling record sleeve, you would naturally expect this female fronted New Jersey outfit to be of the upbeat persuasion.  For that observation you'd be right on the money, much like I was, though this six-piece don't quite exude the presence their numbers would suggest.  I suppose I need to remind myself that this record was recorded in mid-1981 (on my eighth birthday to be exact!), a good year or two before the glossy, over-the-top veneer of '80s production techniques began to lacquer the musical landscape in earnest.  In that respect, Things That Go Bounce... isn't particularly annoying, so long as you have a penchant for bubble-gummy pop with modest new wave leanings.  BTW, it sounds like there's a Farfisa organ wafting through The Bounce house as well.  Nonetheless, this troupe doesn't have anything on the Pointed Sticks.  Enjoy (or not). 

01. Don't Tell Me
02. No Choice
03. Another Instant Romance
04. Killing Me
05. Changing
06. Maybe Tomorrow


Sunday, July 1, 2012

White Animals - Ecstasy (1984, Dread Beat)

I had a request for this on the heels of White Animals' self-titled album which I shared a couple months back.  Popular local favorites, this Nashville crew had a penchant for churning out immensely vibrant power pop in the mold of the Plimsouls, Producers and early Marshall Crenshaw among other key touchstones of the era.  As the phrase goes, when the White Animals were on they were on big time, and for succulent, albeit a tad conventional pop/rock, you won't do much better than "You Started Something," "Don't Care," and the stunning title track.  There is one rather big misstep permeating Ecstasy's grooves, a long-winded reading of Them's "Gloria" (popularized by the Doors of course).  Absorbing half of side A and clocking in at over nine minutes, the Animals could have substituted a minimum of two more originals in place of this needless dreck, but such injustices are completely out of our control I suppose.  A thorough assessment of the White Animals can be found here.

01. Ecstasy
02. Goodnight and Goodbye
03. Gloria
04. Dreamland
05. Don't Care
06. This Girl of Mine
07. You Started Something
08. For Lovers Only