Friday, August 31, 2012

Red Lorry Yellow Lorry - BBC Radio Sessions 1983-84

In 1984, while you were listening to Michael Jackson and Def Leppard, I was rocking Michael Jackson and Def Leppard.  Ok, there, I admitted it.  It wasn't until the latter half of that decade that I wised up and very rapidly began immersing myself in this thing of ours called alternative rock/post-punk/indie/punk, etc.  One of the single most seismic forces that lured me over to the "proper" side of the fence was the Leeds, UK outfit Red Lorry Yellow Lorry (or "Lorries" for shorthand).  My first exposure to them was the video for the Nothing Wrong era track "Only Dreaming," which I believe aired sometime in 1989 on 120 Minutes.  Soon thereafter I purchased Nothing Wrong and was completely bowled over to the point where I was calling up record stores out of the pages of Goldmine magazine in search of whatever albums and singles (mostly pricey imports mind you) I had yet to lay ears on.  It occurred to me back then, just as much as it does today - if Joy Division and Killing Joke copulated, the Lorries would have been the not-so-bouncy love child.  They never asked for the "goth" tag that dogged them throughout their career, but it persisted, which I'm sure led to a decent quotient of RLYL record and ticket sales.

With a gale force rhythm section, SG guitars plowed through stacks of distortion-ravaged Marshalls, and Chris Reeds deep, world-weary golden throat, they offered everything I was looking for in a rock band.  Of course, it didn't last, and by the early nineties the original lineup: Reed/Wolfie/Leon Phillips/Chris Oldroyd parted ways.

In 2008 I posted the aforementioned Nothing Wrong and you responded with several hundred downloads.  Haven't offered anything by then since (save for a couple comparisons) as much of their catalog has been reissued.  The cluster of BBC sessions (two Peel, one Janice Long) I'm sharing has never been commercially available however.  All three are contemporary to nearly a dozen singles the Lorries churned out in the mid '80s, which preceded their first two albums, Talk About the Weather (1985) and Paint Your Wagon (1986).  Included is a take of the pivotal "Monkeys On Juice" single, and the track "Conscious Decision," which was never recorded for official release.  Audio quality varies.

John Peel session 1/13/83
01. Conscious Decision
02. Happy
03. Sometimes
04. Silence

John Peel session 11/16/83
05. Strange Dream
06. Monkey's On Juice
07. See the Fire
08. This Today

Janice Long session - January 1984
09. Feel a Piece
10. Hand on Heart
11. This Today
12. Sometimes

Now available on See the Fire

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Gluons ep (1983, Beth)

I was introduced to Gluons via a minute long clip of "Miami," a hyper slice of neo-punk colored with vocals a la Leonard Grave Phillips of the Dickies, married to a halfway-there Devo groove.  Not bad, though not quite crucial in my book.  Still, the price was right so I decided to give this relic a home (and the fetching sleeve didn't hurt either).  I was pleasantly surprised to learn than the other three tracks outdid the quirky "Miami" big time.  The leadoff "I Enter Your Void" boasts chilly, albeit chiming fretwork, and functions as the icy yin to "Miami's" sprite yang.  It was side two however that turned out to be the better of both whirls, peaking with the melodic post-punk persuasion of "A Room In Your Head," a perfect component of any left-of-the-dial, 2 AM playlist.  The Massachusetts quartet conclude their fine ep with "Your Manikin Hand," their most illustrative stab at pop craftsmanship, and wouldn't you know it, they hit the bullseye.  These lads have a bright future ahead of them, mark my words.  A video for "...Manikin Hand" follows:

01. I Enter Your Void
02. Miami
03. A Room In Your Head
04. Your Manikin Hand


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Vivid - singles (1992, Relentless)

Vivid were a little known Asbury Park, NJ trio who owed a considerably higher sonic debt to the likes of the Alarm, Rhythm Corps, and even Cactus World News than "The Boss."  I know not if these were the only recordings they had to offer.  "Breathe"/"Stand Alone" ranks well above the other 45, which I've also included.  I know for a fact that these were shopped to college radio outlets, but Vivid would have had far greater commercial potential if they made the rounds in 1986, as opposed to the post-Nirvana era.  Abundant echo-ridden guitar passages and soaring vox rule the roost here, that will no doubt do fans of early U2 (and the aforementioned) more than enough justice.  A live YouTube clip is provided below.

01. Breathe
02. Stand Alone
03. Blinding Light
04. Silent Lonely Room


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Brainiac 5 - World Inside (1988, Reckless)

Here's a surprisingly un-anthologized Penzance, UK punk/post-punk outfit that you'd think would have had their meager back catalog preserved in some form or another.  Then again, the bulk of their recordings (collected right here in fact) weren't made public until almost a decade after Brainiac 5 hung it up in 1979.  The arresting lead-off cut, "Working" could easily pass as an outtake from an early Comsat Angels album, and while most of side-A explores vaguely similar terrain, you get the impression that Killing Joke might have taken a cue from these guys had World Inside actually been issued contemporary to when it was committed to tape.  Elsewhere, Brainiac 5 subscribe to a simpler tack, best summed up as a "lite" variation on what second-string punk combos like the Adverts and the Ruts were offering at the time.  Repeat exposure to World Inside reveals that Brainiac possessed the potential to forge a unique identity had they not burned out at precisely the same time the majority of their three-chord contemporaries did.  Enjoy, and if you want to read a far more exhaustive dissertation of the band, head over here

01. Working
02. Power
03. Primal Screaming
04. Woman Inside
05. Vegetable
06. I Tried
07. Pictures of You
08. Addicted
09. Trotsky
10. New Dark Ages

Read up on the reissue here.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Lannie Flowers - New Songs Old Stories (2012, Aaron Ave) - A brief overview

In 2008 a staggering 36-song CD quietly crept it's way into the marketplace - and no, it wasn't a new Guided By Voices or Bad Religion album.  The honor went to none other than Lannie Flowers, a low profile power-pop troubadour from Texas who set out to commit three albums worth of ideas to tape for the ambitious Same Old Story, but as you might guess there was a significant catch.  Each of those three-dozen numbers clocked in at an average of just over a minute.  These weren't four-tracked, lo-fi throwaways mind you.  To the contrary, all were professionally recorded, rather Lannie approached it as a "science project" and merely opted to tease listeners with a verse here, a chorus there, etc.  All things considered, Same Old Story offered some semblance of continuity in spite of each song's striking brevity, but once it's fleeting hooks set in it left some folks hankering "unabridged" versions.  In the years to come, Lannie absorbed enough praise for certain selections, motivating him to "elaborate" on them, which was the genesis for New Songs Old Stories.

As with it's predecessor album, New Songs... came with yet another catch - only seven songs out of Same Old's... bountiful triple-dozen batch would graduate to the three minute plateau.  As luck would have it, the ones making the final cut were aces - "Give Me a Chance," "Tired of Being Alone," and "Another Weekend," among the remainder.  Lannie's traditionalist, Rickenbacker bent recalls everyone from Dwight Twilley to '90s cult figures like Dillion Fence and the Gladhands.  A tried and true formula that accords these songs with an almost timeless appeal, and needless to say, well worth investigating.  In addition to the songs that were introduced four years ago, New Songs... in fact does feature to brand new numbers, "I Didn't Know" and "Come on Girl," the latter of which you can check out below, along with "Tired of Being Alone."  New well as Same Old Story, and Lannie's 2010 album Circles are all available from CD Baby and Aaron Ave Records.  Coincidentally, last year I featured a record by Mr. Flowers pre-solo outfit from the mid-80s, The Pengwins

Friday, August 24, 2012

Right as Rain ep (1987, Safety Net)

Right as Rain were good as gold on their debut ep.  Cut in Florida, and also released on the small Sunshine State imprint Safety Records, the band actually hailed from Atlanta.  Tellingly inspired by REM, RaR's recipe consisted of modest jangle, plenty of strum, and some rootsy undercurrents to boot, due in part to occasional banjo and mandolin fills.  The archetypical "new south" guitar pop that Right as Rain is, you'd swear Don Dixon or Mitch Easter had a hand in this affair, but not so, rather this fine quartet of songs was produced by Swimming Pool Q J.E, Garnett.  On the heels of this disk came two full lengths courtesy of DB Records, Undertown in 1990, Stop! Look & Listen a year later, both of which sport a surprisingly safe and wholesome tack that failed to make much of an impression on me.  Nonetheless, if any of you are game I'll consider sharing them, but this ep is really where it's at.  

01. Get Out of Town
02. New Song #1
03. Rain
04. Love Away


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Ken Woll - tape (1993)

By and large, all the pertinent info I have regarding Ken Woll is confined to the sleeve of this demo cassette.  Judging by the provided phone number Mr Woll honed his power pop chops somewhere within the corridors of Long Island, and doesn't appear to have any other releases to his credit.  Taking a linear approach a la such noted songsmiths as Marshall Crenshaw, Kyle Vincent, and Nik Kershaw, Woll sounds as groomed for the FM radio sweepstakes as any of the aforementioned.  In a perfect world "So Far So Good" would have made the rounds on one of the Yellow Pills compilations.  My only complaint here regards the concluding "Searchin'" a drum-machine enhanced ballad that struck me as a little too pedestrian for my hep palette.  Enjoy, and if the man in question is reading this, feel free to give me a shout out.  

01. So Far So Good
02. All Good Things
03. Searchin'


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Teeny Records 7" (1992, Teeny)

While plundering a box of singles last week I happened upon this one, not recalling when I purchased it or how and where I claimed it, which believe it or not is a pretty rare circumstance for me.  Furthermore, upon examining the sleeve, I wasn't sure if Teeny Records was the name of the band, their record label, or both.  Turns out it was both, and a quick Google search generated a blurb regarding Teeny Records being an Almeda, CA duo comprised of Mario Hernandez and Jamie McCormick.  As for the music in question I was astonished with both songs - par excellence power pop, with a pronounced turn of the decade (late 70s/early 80s) panache.  Hernandez and McCormick had a keen ear for what was happening in their day and age as well, with the rollicking "Highschool" not being far removed from where Redd Kross were at, while the flip "Weekend Go" inadvertently forecasted the looming pop revival that would soon put labels like Not Lame and Big Deal on the map.  From what little I was able to learn about the duo, this was the only disk recorded under the Teeny Records banner, eventually morphing into Teeny Hi-Fi.  By the tail end of the '90s they would rechristen themselves as Ciao Bella, issuing an album on March Records, which from what I understand is quite commendable.  Hernandez has since kept busy with his twenty-first century endeavor From Bubblegum to Sky. Don't pass this beauty up!

A. Highschool
B. Weekend Go


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Graham Repulski - Lineman Poems ep & Liquid Pig Heart ep - A brief overview

Lo-fi outlier Graham Repulski has been a prodigiously cool acolyte of Guided By Voices' Robert Pollard since his 2010 debut Man Pop, not only adopting the Fading Captain's sonic boilerplate, but catching up to him in terms of an almost equally vigorous release itinerary.   Two newly minted eps, Lineman Poems and Liquid Pig Heart (paired on a cassette or available digitally) don't particularly deviate from last year's My Color is Red 7" and the generously maxed-out Into an Animal Together long player, though I'm hardly complaining.  Between his two latest and greatest, we have eleven new cuts clocking in at an average of one minute apiece, which happens to be plenty of time for Mr. Repulski to exercise his homegrown penchant for meshing mildly displaced vocals with all manner of tinny, static-ridden instrumentation.  The effect is not unlike that of Propeller-era GBV fed through Polvo's fractured delivery system, with early Sebadoh festooned to the top of the car (a la Mitt Romney's precious mutt) for good measure.  Click the links above to buy/stream both titles!

"Rancid Heart" from Lineman Poems
"Asleep at the Deep" from Liquid Pig Heart

Sunday, August 19, 2012

White Glove Test - LEAP (1989)

Some bands opt not to make the same album twice, and others go so far as to not make the same song twice.  Though decidedly left-of-the-dial throughout, White Glove Test's LEAP vaguely falls into that latter category.  Post-punk experimentalists at heart, this San Marcos, CA quartet run the gamut from noir, indie guitar skirmishes to starkly more insular and intimate forays.  Despite this amount of breadth WGT have me at a near total loss for any easy or meaningful comparisons.  Even more challenging, LEAP isn't overtly catchy, but “Poignant” and "Bycycle" arouse just enough curiosity to make the occasionally spotty remainder more appealing to explore.  Side two is blemished with more than it's fair share of static and surface noise, so I may have another go of cleaning this wax again, or better yet, tracking down a smoother playing copy. 

01. LEAP
02. Between the Oars
03. The Worshipping Boys
04. Poigant
05. Lisa
06. Bycycle
07. Pandora's Song
08. All and Everything
09. Moment
10. Every Day

Now on Amazon. No excuses folks.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Siren - Becoming Wheels (1997, Day After/Cool Guy)

This is going to be my last punk rock salvo for the week (possibly awhile) but it's a corker.  Siren were Cali punkers that never quite make it to the Warped Tour - and all the better for it.  Commandeered by longtime Maximum Rock N Roll columnist Brian Zero, Santa Rosa's Siren gave the melodic hardcore thing a go in the mid '90s, bearing a similar sonic penchant to Bad Religion, Dag Nasty and Avail, but often times their sheer velocity bested that lofty trifecta.  Zero's indigenous spin on sociopolitical concerns, coupled with his soaring, commanding timbre (damn near glass shattering at times I might add) proved to be the band's calling cards.  Unfortunately, Siren didn't make significant inroads beyond the newsprint fanzine realm, but they had chops to die for, not to mention more integrity than you could shake a stick at.  Becoming Wheels is a dense, wall-to-wall barrage of power punk, blending circle-pit catharsis with intellectual and metaphorical acumen.  This half-hour of power is comprised of ten blistering originals, and a cover of The Brains classic "Money Changes Everything."  Siren's 1991 In the Absence of the Sacred 7" ep is available here.  Original copies of Becoming Wheels might still be available through Midheaven

01. Becoming Wheels
02. What Progress
03. Dirty Pockets
04. Winding Up
05. Countless in Supply
06. Die Cast Mottos
07. Marble Cities
08. Potlatch
09. Foolish Things
10. I'd Like to Know
11. Money Changes Everything


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Various - So Punk, Barely Visible to the Naked Eye (1996, Ripped)

Just as DIY compilation cassettes were prevalent in the 1980s, that same blueprint translated to compact disks a decade later, particularly reverberating through the indie/punk circuit, thanks in part to increasingly cheap production costs.  So inexpensive in fact, some homegrown labels (like this one) sold their comp CDs via mailorder from $5 to $10, often including postage.  While So Punk... isn't particularly seminal (and btw, I strongly challenge the punk credibility of more than a few of it's participants), it's representative of the hundreds of various-artists disks minted on bedroom labels that flooded ad space in zines likes MRR and Flipside throughout the Clinton era.  For a lot of folks So Punk... probably began and ended with Less Than Jake whose "ROBO" may have been exclusive to this CD at the time.  As for someone like myself who gravitates to the pop side of the punk bullpen, I found saving graces with selections by Boxcar, The Resurgents, Dutchland Diesel and The Camp-fire Girls.  Those craving a little more roughage will be served well by The Halflings, and Violent Society, while hardcore purists can find their fix via The Alliance and The Tuners.  If the sentiments expressed on a good swath of these tracks strike you as a bit sophomoric, we can rest assured that many of these whippersnappers have gone on to bigger and better things, and are now likely practicing law and medicine.

I'd also like to mention that my buddy who fronts Shower With Goats started a little blog of his own a few years back, Punk Archives.

01. Violent Society - In a Hurry To Die
02. Slacker - Revolution
03. The Camp-fire Girls - Kids Inc. (theme)
04. Shower With Goats - Suicide
05. The Resurgents - Cate is Great
06. Less Than Jake - ROBO
07. Dutchland Diesel - Motto 21
08. Carmel Sun - I Thouroughly Hate You
09. The Tuners - She's an Alcoholic w/ Down on the Floor
10. Knuckleheads - It's Just a Punk Thing
11. The Halflings - Motherfucker
12. Boxcar - What's Eating Bullwinkle?
13. Thistlepink - Dega
14. Novelty - Wither
15. Hip O'Potamus - Dismissle 3
16. The Wastrels - On the Corner
17. Planet Labia - Goonies
18. The Alliance - New Day
19. Hubrubber - Slow Burn
20. Lost Cause - Something to Hide In
21. Eventide - Equal to Me 


Monday, August 13, 2012

Fighting Cause - Deadtown 7" ep (1994, Last Resort)

I was thoroughly bowled over by this San Bernardino quartet's contribution ("My Crime") to the 1995 Viva La Vinyl compilation, and immediately jumped at the chance to mail-order this 7" outta the pages of Maximum Rock 'n Roll to see what else Fighting Cause had in store for me.  Just what the doctor ordered - four more power-punk nuggets bearing a similar moxie to acts like Moral Crux, Crimpshrine, and even Scared of Chaka.  Bear in mind Deadtown came on the market when the majority of the burgeoning Epitaph and Fat records stable were honing their soon-to-be ubiquitous glossy punk sound, ersatz and pedantic as it often was.  Fighting Cause put the bulk of that homogenized dreck to utter shame if you ask me.  For whatever the reason, I failed to follow up on these guys and missed a full length they released before they disbanded.  If anyone has it, please share away.

01. In the Dark
02. Dead Town
03. Just Another Attitude
04. Media Speak


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Honest Injun - The Rosenthal Effect ep (1986)

Feels like it's been eons since I've had an honest to goodness (or in this case, "honest to injun," he he) punk record to offer up, but this slab of licorice pizza ought to rectify that.  Honest Injun were from Ottawa, ON according to the contact details on the back sleeve.  I was somewhat keen on The Rosenthal Effect the first time I laid ears on it, but now I'm merely meh.  Relatively generic hardcore with Western political concerns.  Reminds me of a myriad of Midwestern American h/c acts from the mid '80s, which not-so-coincidentally is when this disk dates from.  Gratifying Naked Raygun-style riffs crop up intermittently, but not a hook in sight, despite some fleeting artsy tangents.  It appears another Ottawa band I previously featured, Fluid Waffle (later Furnaceface), had loose connections to these guys.  Boogie til ya puke ya'll, and sorry in advance for the pesky vinyl noise.

01. Give & Take
02. Bats
03. Snake/Life
04. Sued the World
05. I'm Spilling (live)
06. Sterile Hands
07. Da Stomp
08. Fatherland America
09. Trained But Failed
10. An Enemy
11. Sweats Production


Friday, August 10, 2012

Tinsel - Quit While You're Ahead (1996, Jesus Christ Recs.)

Tinsel were one of several also-rans that spewed from Chapel Hill, NC’s collective technicolor yawn in the mid-90s.  No outright aping of the usual local yokels – Superchunk, Archers, or Polvo, but a likeminded, mid-fi aesthetic is highly palpable.  Early Built to Spill and Sonic Youth’s subtler sojourns were more Tinsel’s thing, thank you very much.  Munk's endearingly off pitched vocal aplomb and crooked melodic structures slotted the band in slacker territory, if not along the fringes of its cranky environs.   Overall, this isn't a particularly crucial artifact from what is generally regarded as a watershed era for indie rock, yet the vibes permeating this record are thoroughly quintessential of the genre. Give 'er a spin and you'll see precisely what I mean.  Quit... was preceded in 1994 with the more raucous Finding the Perfect Gift.  You can indulge in Tinsel's "Golden Retriever" 7" here.  Please excuse me for the chopped upper-right corner of the sleeve of this disk, which was apparently issued as a promo.

01. The New Machine
02. Major Warning
03. If I Had a Seizure
04. Gotta Get Some
05. Here Comes the Scum
06. Good to Loose
07. Esquire
08. Bottles and Tires
09. Spooky
10. Great White Hopeful
11. Scarface

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

DIIV - Oshin (2012, Captured Tracks) - a brief overview

Methinks I've been logging a little too much time in the Twentieth Century time warp, so it's back to the present (at least for a few minutes) to spiel on a current release that's becoming nearer and dearer to my heart every day.  DIIV (pronounced "dive," and spelled that way up until very recently) began as a spinoff solo project for Beach Fossils guitarist Zachary Cole Smith, but in the span of about a year, Diiv's success has nearly eclipsed that of it's antecedent band - no small feet when you consider that the Fossils are pretty green themselves.

Following three recent singles, DIIV's premiere foray into the full length realm tempts like New Order (sans the beats), and moreover smacks of tasty new-jack swillers Craft Spells and the Mary Onettes.  Oshin's merger of refurbished, Anglophile post-punk and mildly woozy dream-pop isn't a revolutionary concoction, but Zachary and his cohorts are dazzling craftsmen, enveloping their audience in a blissed-out glow of Marshall amp sprawl and then some.
If you really want to get down to the brass tacks of  DIIV's formula, sonic aura trumps text big time, occasionally suggesting some of these songs could have benefited from an extra verse or two.  Another poignant facet is Zachary's echo-heavy vocals, which don't dominate, so much as blend in with the band as an instrument unto itself.  "Past Lives" and "Follow" emanate a succulent distorto-chime flair.  Elsewhere, "Wait" and "Doused" meddle with chilly arpeggios amidst an ethereal subtext, with the latter of those two numbers recalling vintage For Against.  Always a plus in my book.  In essence, we have an album on our hands that's befitting a soundtrack to a planetarium laser light show, or a nice cozy evening of chemically enhanced navel-gazing at your crib.  But don't take my word for it.  For the time being you can stream Oshin at or purchase it from Amazon, Captured Tracks, Insound, and of course, iTunes

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Black-eyed Susans, The (1990, Turn of the Century)

If the moniker of this band rings familiar, I wouldn't be surprised in the least given that there are/were many Black-eyed Susans floating around in the annals of rock and rock, some of which have gone by alternate spellings of course.  Unfortunately I wasn't able to conjure up anything relevant to this quartet, who may have been denizens of Connecticut.  For me, the album jacket gave this one away - clangy, collegiate college rock in league with so many 415 Records bands.  There are a plethora of additional trace elements - Winter Hours, the Pedaljets, Carnival Season, and when the Susans apply a little grit, even Drivin 'N Cryin come faintly to mind.  Wouldn't call this one a game changer, per se, but "Knowing When to Leave is an Art," "Look Outside" and "Sister Mary's Tears" rank up there with the primo accomplishments of the aforementioned.  Can anyone shed some more light on this one?  Enjoy (or not).

01. Forever Girl
02. Flying
03. One to One
04. Look Outside
05. It's Not Easy
06. Just In Case
07. Sister Mary's Tears
08. Living With a Friend
09. Knowing When to Leave is an Art
10. Walkin' Over You


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Pop Art ep (1984, Stonegarden)

This ep is a long overdue follow-up to Pop Art's Long Walk to Nowhere which I shared this month ago in '11.  While I wouldn't say Pop Art necessarily trumps ...Nowhere in all respects, it's generally superior.  The outright immediacy of the bulk of these jangle-drenched tunes is the key, with hearty inspiration derived from the likes of Orange Juice and a then burgeoning REM.  The chimey lilt of "Cover Me" and "Creature Comforts" predate the goodness those Pennsylvania boys The Ocean Blue would have in store for our awaiting ears in the years to follow.  Yeah, they don't make 'em like this anymore.  Something tells me that Pop Art were lazily lumped into Tinseltown's 'Paisley Underground' movement, but there's no psych-aftertaste at play here.  Take a close look at the sleeve, and you'll discern that this particular copy belonged to a radio station, hence some of the intermittent crackle.   

01. Cover Me
02. I Want to Move
03. Beautiful Girl
04. Sweet & Sour
05. Creature Comforts
06. Thinking Twice


Friday, August 3, 2012

Glide (tribute w/ Toby Martin) - live 8/14/10, Annandale Hotel, Sydney

I'm not exactly sure how this concert came to pass, but my understanding is that the surviving members of Glide approached Toby Martin (crooner for fellow Aussie's Youth Group) to collaborate for a couple of "tribute" shows wherein he would fill the shoes of the bands tragically deceased leader William Arthur.  This all took place two years ago, yet I didn't catch wind of it until a few weeks back.  For the uninitiated, Glide were complete unknowns in North America, and virtual unknowns in their native Australia.  The quartet dispensed bittersweet ruminations of love and angst in the form of incredibly melodic and thoughtful guitar-rock songs - the kind, quite frankly that come along once in a lifetime. They took a few cues from ‘80s American indie-rock, and less obviously availed themselves to a handful of suave Brit-pop strides.  The untimely 1999 death of charismatic front-man William Arthur short-circuited Glide’s career, but not without leaving behind an impressive body of work that was sensuous, engrossing, and profoundly moving.  

I'm not sure how well Glide's original performances had been documented, but instead of dishing out an obligatory live album, Arthur's musical kin had another idea in mind, namely this one.  Whether to bring a sense of closure to Glide, or merely to offer friends, family and fans a glimpse of what they were capable of, they doubly proved to be a class act on this particular night.  Coincidentally or not, Toby Martin possesses a similar timbre to Arthur and is able is able to vocally maneuver in his range.  Perfect for a one or two night stand, but I don't think anything lasting was meant to come of this collaboration.  And the best part?  Chances are your favorite Glide song is included in the setlist.  There's a bum tuning here and there, but nothing to detract from the magic - and this concert exudes plenty of just that.  This rip was taken from a video stream of the entire performance, which can be watched here

I had been hosting Glide's three full length's, Open Up and Croon, Disappear Here, and the posthumous Last, as well as the ep collection Shrink Wrapped Real Thing for several years.  I pulled all of them upon learning they've all been made available through iTunes Australia (which I believe can still be purchased from abroad).  As of 2010, physical copies were also still available from the band's website.  I'd hate to consider myself personally responsible for cheating them on potential sales all this time!  You can still download a fan-made b-sides and rarities compilation here.   As for this show, the setlist is as follows:

Bug/Thin Faced Man/One More Mistake/Open Up and Croon/What Do I Know?/Hole in the Middle/Fade/Something/Dream of Sammy/Wrapped in Fingers/Tangled/Line/Wake/monologue/Why You Asking?/Surfaced Euphoric/Waterfalls


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Phones - Dial Direct (1980)

Not to be confused with the slightly more renown Phones from Minneapolis, these Phones, by what few details I have to go by, called Olean, New York home, a small city nestled deep in the state's Western tier.  I found myself in a dilemma of deciding whether to share this with you, given the copious amount of surface noise on my copy of Dial Direct.  When I went to separate and edit the tracks I discovered that some songs had over one hundred very audible pops and snaps.  In a nutshell, I did the best I could within the span of an hour and focused on cleaning up the most satisfactory selections.  With quasi power pop and post-punk inclinations, the Phones phone-in, so to speak, a batch of rather ordinary, though occasionally appealing tunes on this DIY platter.  Two songs (namely "Superstar Living" and "I Just Want to Be Your Man") were so embarrassingly vapid and limp that I came close to omitting them all together.  Dial Direct would have been more effective as an EP, salvaging the entirety of side two, esp the punchy "Fever" and "Commie Love/Cockroach." At best, the Phones vaguely entice a la The Motors, and more negligibly, the Plimsouls.  You be the judge.  By all accounts, copies of this record are very, very scarce.

01. Brain Damage
02. Oh Doctor
03. Superstar Living
04. I Just Want to Be Your Man
05. Fever
06. First Aid
07. Commie Love/Cockroach
08. I'm Tired of This Rock and Roll Show