Wednesday, February 27, 2013

All 2011-2013 links restored!

You're welcome.  Essentially, I'm looking at two years down, three and a half more to go, and I still don't think I'll get to everything.  Taking re-upload requests as usual.  Will try to tackle 2010 next, and I've been refreshing random links from years prior as well.  Thanks for your patience.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tobin Sprout - Waxnails ep (1998, Recordhead/Wigwam)

It's been many moons since I've dedicated space to the mercurially monikered Tobin Sprout, who got his first big break in the so-called "classic" iteration of Guided By Voices.  The analogy that Sprout was the McCartney to Pollard's Lennon may have held some credence, but if you ask me that table can be turned.  In any event, Tobin Sprout's solo efforts often exceeded his counterpart in terms of quality control.  The fleeting Waxnails ep is a case in point, with the first two numbers "Get Your Calcium" and the timeless, singer/songwriter lilt of "Cereal Killer" being worth the price of admission alone.  The man makes weaving melodies appear as easy as inhaling cotton candy.  For the unacquainted, you'd do well to investigate Sprout's initial volley of solo albums if Waxnails leaves the same indelible impression on you as it does me.  Cheers.

01. get your calcium
02. cereal killer
03. seed
04. the crawling backward man
05. in good hands
06. how's your house? (demo)


Monday, February 25, 2013

Waking up will have to wait...

This one will probably throw a lot of you for a loop.  It's been a major guilty pleasure of mine for the past two years.  I'm not going to let the cat out of the bag, but let's just say I'm pretty bummed we won't be hearing a sequel from these Aussie's.  

If you're having difficulty accessing the file, please try again a little later.  Too many people hammering the link simultaneously is apparently giving Netkup's servers a headache.  With this in mind, I'll leave this up for a few hours past the usual twenty-four, k?  You're welcome to comment, just don't give away anything obvious.  Enjoy.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Hot Nun - s/t (2013) - A brief overview

Hot Sauce!  Pretty much anything Jeff Shelton attaches his name to, particularly a pair of straight-shooting power pop troupes - the Spinning Jennies and Well Wishers typically yields consistently reliable results. For better or worse, those two aggregations catered to the tired and true Not Lame Records set.  Now, Jeff has a brand new bag 'o whoopass to unfurl called Hot Nun, and perhaps the most steaming feather to stick in his proverbial cap to date.

Hot Nun are an economical trio in the classic sense - guitar, bass and drums, with not much else weighing them down.  No frills is the prevailing modus operandi here, and that point is driven from the get go on "Brave New World."  The proceedings hardly let up from there.  Rugged and utterly riff-happy, Jeff and Co. fly the three chord flag just as many miles high and then some.  Plenty of bite with no gristle or aftertaste.  The prevailing effect is that of the Posies adopting Superdrag's punkier penchant - that and maybe a smidgen of Redd Kross and '70s Cheap Trick   Amidst Hot Nun's seven originals is a reinterpretation of David Bowie's beloved fan-favorite, "Queen Bitch."  Digital downloads are available from Bandcamp and Amazon Downloads.  If you need to go the hard copy route, Amazon can take care of you as well, or you can contact H/N via Facebook.  Celebrate the Nun.  Hot Nun. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Frontier Theory - No Waltz in the Meadow (1988, Top) + re-rip of Atlantic

This is a folllow-up entry to the Frontier Theory album Atlantic that I digitized in 2011.  I lauded that 1987 album as something akin to what the creme de la creme of what the 415 Records roster (Translator, Red Rockers, etc) were responsible for.  The next, and apparently final frontier for FT would be the slightly lengthier No Waltz in the Meadow, presenting itself as a little more streamlined than the debut, featuring several songs that could slot evenly between rockers and ballads.  Definitely on the same wavelength as Dreams So Real and Fire Town.  A cover of the pop standard "Summertime" is really unnecessary.  "The One That Got Away" and "Madeline" bear a folky lilt, which takes some getting used to, particularly in comparison to Atlantic's sturdier poise.    

And speaking of Atlantic, I recently obtained a better sounding copy, and have re-ripped it anew.  The d/l links for both are below, and you can reference the original post here

01. Don't Walk Away
02. One More Season
03. The One That Got Away
04. We're So Cool
05. Whirlybird
06. Summertime
07. Madeline
08. Call

Atlantic: Hear
No Waltz: Hear

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Posies - Broadcasts, Vol. 5

Swedish National Radio, April 22, 1996
1. Dream All Day
2. Throwaway
3. Love Letter Boxes
4. Golden Blunders
5. Precious Moments
6. Coming Right Along
7. Everybody Is a Fucking Liar
8. World
9. Flavor of the Month
10. Please Return It

KMTT Seattle, May 13, 1995
11. Precious Moments
12. Fight It

KNDD Seattle, May 13, 1995
13. Please Return It
14. Ontario

"Common Threads," G-Rock Princeton, August 24, 2000
15. Lady Friend (Byrds cover)
16. You Avoid Parties
17. My Big Mouth
18. Saying Sorry To Myself
19. Going Going Gone
20. Dream All Day
21. Suddenly Mary

XFM London, March 6, 2001
22. Matinee


Julian Cope - Leicester University, UK 1/21/87

It came to my attention this week that Julian Cope's classic 1987 LP, Saint Julian just got the double disk reissue treatment (with the bonus disk largely repeating the contents of The Followers of Saint Julian, a 1997 import compilation of contemporary b-sides and remixes).  This bears no small significance to me, as Saint Julian, along with PiL's Happy? (also from '87) functioned as a double barreled gateway drug into this thing of ours called "alternative rock."  And yes, witnessing the video for "World Shut Your Mouth" put me over the moon.  Years of absorbing broadcasts of 120 Minutes and plenty of left-of-the-dial surfing followed...not to mention becoming a college radio DJ in my own right.  This eventually lead to the introduction of Wilfully Obscure.  In essence, you can lay the blame of just about everything I've offered to date right at the feet of Mr. Cope.  

This performance at the University of Leicester preceded the release of SJ by a couple of months, and contains the better half of it's songs, providing the crowd with an exceptional sneak preview.  There are pit stops to some of Copey's earlier solo endeavors, and yes, a handful of golden oldies from the Teardrop Explodes to boot.  We even get some in-the-raw concert versions of SJ b-sides, including a white-hot rendering of Pere Ubu's "Non-Alignment Pact."  The concert strikes me as a soundboard recording, if not a primo audience tape, though the opener "Trampoline" is very dodgy, and doesn't recover until about halfway in.  

01. Trampoline
02. Pulsar
03. Eve's Volcano
04. Strasbourg
05. Saint Julian
06. Sunspots
07. Elegant Chaos
08. Non Alignment Pact
09. Bouncing Babies
10. A Crack in the Crowds
11. Greatness & Perfection of Love
12. unknown
13. Bandy's First Jump
14. Shot Down
15. Spacehopper
16. World Shut Your Mouth
17. Reynard the Fox
18. Pussy Face


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Cheticamp - Aeroplane vs Automobile (1997, Poster Girl)

Had a request for this one awhile back, that I'm just getting to today.  It follows up last night's Can-indie delight nicely, as it's also a '97 release.  Cheticamp called Halifax, Nova Scotia headquarters, and though they weren't slavish imitators of any of their more renown hometown boys/girls done good, this combo was endeared to a similar indie aesthetic.  Aeroplane... was tracked at different recording facilities over the course of two years, and for better or worse it sounds like it.  Not too much in the way of genre-hopping, save for the twangy, bar-stool inflected "Leaving."  There's a bit of a slacker vibe to Cheticamp as well, if that does anything for you.

01. Flight Path
02. Huey Hog
03. The Princess
04. Morphine Blues
05. Sickamee
06. Leaving
07. It Shows
08. You On
09. After Eight
10. Beverly Hills


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

V/A - iHL Records 7" (1997, iHL)

First off, I'm not sure if this compilation is untitled or if the title is the lettering on the sign that adorns the over which reads "Fireworks."  Hmmm.  At any rate, this record is the product of a Quebec label, and it's safe to assume that all four participants hail from one corner or another of Canada.  The female-fronted Minipops lead things off with a soft/loud/soft piece, "Nancy," with the loud quotient possessing some hefty guitar crunch.  A catchy little bugger at that.  Ontario's New Grand (whom I've profiled before) were a quartet who fell loosely in the same realm as Thrush Hermit and the Superfriendz.  They won favor from me in a heartbeat, and I believe their contribution, "There is Something Wrong Here," is exclusive to this record.  Didn't know a thing about the Knurlings til I bought this.  A soft undercurrent of Wurlitzer helps buttress their otherwise average take on indie-pop.  As for Starbean, would Stereolab on sedatives do the trick for you?  If so, you're ship has come in. 

01. The Minipops - Nancy
02. The New Grand - There is Something Wrong Here
03. The Knurlings - Bob Ate My Homework
04. Starbean - OVNI 5


Monday, February 18, 2013

She's trying to pronounce my name...

If it's Monday, it's mysterious.  Since this week's offering is a bit larger than usual, I'll at least tell you this much - it's a two CD anthology of an '80s band.  Upon downloading and opening the file, for those not familiar with the group in question, may I suggest you dive in with disc two, and work your way backwards.

When Mystery Mondays started two weeks ago there were concerns raised about the accessibility of the Netkups link.  In short, if you're having difficulty, try again a little later.  Too many people hammering the link simultaneously is apparently giving their servers a headache.  With this in mind, I'll leave this up for a few hours past the usual twenty-four, k?  You're welcome to comment, just don't give away anything obvious.  Enjoy.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Shy Mirrors - Negative Collector (2013, Big School) - A brief overview

No sophomore slump here.  In 2011 I was blown damn-near clear out of the water by a new invention called Shy Mirrors, or more specifically their first album, Sailed Blanks.  The responsible party for this new contraption was none other than Mike Downey, the guitarist for Champaign, IL indie-pop stalwarts Wolfie, a band I couldn't get enough of during their tenure a couple decades back.  Shy Mirrors was initiated roughly ten years after Wolfie dissolved, and in an unlikely locale to boot, Stockholm, Sweden, where Downey relocated during the '00s.  For better or worse (oh alright, for better) his new endeavor siphons nada from the storied hipster circuit of his new home turf, and for that matter tables the comparatively "soft" tenor of his former Stateside exploits. 

Instead, the template for Shy Mirrors is an unremitting scuzz-punk surge of blaring distortion and downstroked power chords, holding firm to the time tested, two-minute aesthetic.  In fact, there's no single thought occupying Negative Collector that exceeds further than 135 seconds!  Fusing Superchunk-esque vocal hooks to the breakneck thrust of the Exploding Hearts and Jay Reatard, and torpedoing his relentless salvos through lo-fi land, Downey has seized upon a winning formula.  Negative... isn't a particularly measurable progression from Sailed Blanks, but it doesn't need to be, as anyone who appreciates that first album will tell you.  As if the fourteen dozen tracks here aren't stupefyingly impressive in their own right, Negative's sheer consistency is the icing on an already scalding hot cake.  But don't take my word for it.  Bandcamp is beckoning, giving you the usual digital or vinyl (very limited I might add) options.  Refer to Big School Records for any other pertinent details you might need. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Muler - The State of Play (1997)

When I compiled Muler's volley of '90s singles for a blog post all the way back in 2009, I'm not sure why I wasn't prompted to share their fantastic debut album that was released in the midst of all those crazy cool 45s.  Well, here it is all those years later.  The State of Play was a week-to-week (if not day-to-day) staple for these ears when it dropped some fifteen years ago.  Glorious, distortion-soaked noise pop, comprised of equal parts propulsion and melody.  Muler would almost certainly have been branded with the “emo” tag had State of Play arrived with a post-9/11 copyright date (and they probably would have moved a helluva lot more copies too).  In that first entry I did on these Rochester, NY wunderkinds, I mentioned they bore more than a passing resemblance to New York's Lotion, but even more so they would have slotted perfectly with The Promise Ring (think, Nothing Feels Good or Very Emergency) and to a lesser extent, Tugboat Annie, also from that era.  Numerous highlights here - "Share an Apple," "Thrush," and "Something Sour" to name three particularly great ones.  In 2010, Muler resurfaced with their second full length, Hope You Found a Home, available on vinyl or digitally.  BTW, the d/l to the Muler singles thingy I talked about earlier has been revived.  

01. Wrong Coat
02. Thrush 
03. Share an Apple
04. Caesars Palace
05. Birthday Cake
06. Aspirin
07. Something Sour
08. Yellow
09. Honey Fondue
10. Sneakers
11. Son of Karate
12. Rubber Shoes
13. When They Were Ultimatum

 Available thru Amazon.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Snake Corps - Victory Parade ep & Testament ep (1986, Midnight)

Upon hearing this Brit quartet for the first time way after the fact just a few years ago, I quickly picked up on the Snake Corps moderate resemblance to another band of the era, Sad Lovers and Giants.  It didn't come as much of a shock to learn that six-stringer Tristan Garel-Funk was a recent alumni of Sad Giants.  The Corps sonic brew wasn't especially visionary, yet highly effective, often suggesting a hybrid of the Chameleons and The Cult (minus the loftiness of the former, and thankfully the bravado of the latter).  The two 12"s this post concerns were released contemporary to the combo's debut LP, Flesh on Flesh.  Tristan's ringing guitar leads, oozing with post-punk iciness mesh well with mouthpiece Marc Lewis' spot-on melodic prowess.  Among the aforementioned comparisons, I'd also recommend these chaps to admirers of Icicle Works and the Mission UK. While all of their albums made it into the digital age, some of these b-sides didn't, including one of their most riveting tunes, "Painted Ocean."  If you're sold like yours truly, I recommend exploring the bulk of the Corps catalog over at iTunes, Amazon, and Emusic.  BTW, per Wiki, the band have reemerged for some live shows here and there. 

Victory Parade ep
A. Victory Parade
B1. Always Be the Same
B2. Painted Ocean

Testament ep
A. Testament
B1. Hit the Cat
B2. Goodbye Forever


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Funeral Advantage - A brief overview

Now this is the kind of band I like taking up space in my email in-box.  Ladies and gentlemen I present to you Boston's Funeral Advantage, the coolest thing come to rolling down the Mass Turnpike since Passion Pit.  Imagine if you will a convention between the Pains of Being Pure at Heart and For Against, with Johnny Marr presiding, and you're well on your way to describing what F/A have in mind. 

Their newly minted five-song demo will immerse your senses in sublime, chiming guitar pop, dipped in a modest dream-pop glaze.  There's a slight air of melancholia to Funeral Advantage's low-key pastiche, deviating between grey and shimmering turquoise hues, coloring the calming introductory selection "Back to Sleep" just as vividly as the relatively uptempo "Wedding."  The digital incarnation of their Bandcamp'ed demo tacks on a cover of an ace Cure b-side "2 Late," dovetailing perfectly with F/A's promising original compositions.  For those of you who've been gorging yourselves on My Bloody Valentine's long overdue follow-up, you've just stumbled on the perfect after-dinner mint. 

Below is a link to the whole thing, or you can head over to Bandcamp (mentioned above) to stream it...not to mention take the opportunity to fix yourself up with a highly limited and collectible cassette version.

Monday, February 11, 2013

At the intersection there were two ways to go – you took the high road, I took the low.

If it's Monday, it's mysterious (sound familiar)?  Regarding last week's debut of Mystery Mondays, there were concerns raised about the accessibility of the Netkups link.  In short, if you're having difficulty, try again in a half hour.  Too many people hammering the link simultaneously is apparently giving their servers a headache.  With this in mind, I'll leave this up for a few hours past the usual twenty-four, k?  You're welcome to comment, just don't give away anything obvious.  Enjoy.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

A small victory - all 2012 links have been renewed!

One year down, and about five more to go.  Three weeks to the day Rapidshare pulled the rug out from under me, most of the lights are still out in the deeper trenches of the Wilfully Obscure neighborhood, but my goal is to restore power to the majority of them by the time the calendar reads, say, June or July.  Once again, I'm honoring more immediate requests, so if there are any broken links you'd like repaired, blast an email or comment in my direction.  Thanks for your patience, and we'll leave the light on for you. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Notekillers 7" (1980, Amreican Bushmen)

It only take one passionate, hardcore fan to serve as the impetus for an uber-obscure band of yesteryear to come out of hibernation.  Kurt Cobain coaxed the Raincoats to not only reissue their back catalog, but to reform and record anew.  Ditto for Thurston Moore's similar efforts to track down Philly's Notekillers, who in their initial 1977-81 lifespan only managed to eke out this single.  The threesome (occasionally accompanied by a conga player) were proponents of strenuous, instrumental jams that nibbled on the periphery of post-punk and no-wave, with a heightened avant flair.  "The Zipper's" gyrating, serrated edge is carried aloft by David First's raging tide of arpeggios, akin to what the Minutemen would soon be tinkering with.  The pulsing, not to mention near-tuneful penchant of "Clock Wise," bendy guitar licks and all, could have functioned as a template for everyone from Mission of Burma to Polvo.  Definitely not your average vocal-less malaise here.  Both songs appear in slightly different iterations on the Notekillers 1977-81 retrospective comp on Ecstatic Peace, which saw the light of day in 2004, and a full blown new album, We're Here to Help, arrived in 2010.  If you enjoy what you hear please show the band some love here and here.

01. The Zipper
02. Clock Wise


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Thumbs - s/t (1979, Ramona)

Though they're only sharing one track from this album, What Frank is Listening To blog beat me to the clock in profiling this one last year.  Like "Frank," I bought this album on whim as well, but I cannot agree with his his assertion that this Kansas quartet qualified as purveyors of "faux new wave."  They're only about as 'punk' as say, the Tuff Darts, and while said blogger also levels the ol' 'power pop' axiom at the Thumbs, 'pub rock' would be more in the ballpark.  IMO, even for that particular genre, this bunch plays it a little too low-key.  The four Thumbs bleed faint shades of the Velvets, Stones and Television, albeit in a far more restrained and pedestrian context.  Front guy Steve Wilson delivers his lines in an ever-so-slight Dylan-esque drawl, but even with some politely whirring organ to back him up, the Thumbs schtick is anti-climactic.  A little mystique would have down wonders for these boys.  With that criticism out of the way, I still enjoy partaking in this record, despite it falling well short of a revelation.    

01. Sweet & Wild
02. In the Family
03. Is It Asking Too Much?
04. 4th of July
05. Still Bound to You
06. Inch or Two
07. Straight to the Heart
08. Frame of Mind
09. Moonlight
10. Rags to Rags
11. Art History


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Netkups, or not? That is the question.

I hate to throw another "maintenance" post onto the fire, but it appears that certain concerns with my new file-hoster of choice, Netkups have arisen.  *sigh*  First the good news.  The files posted for my last two entries, the Troggs tribute and the subject of my first installment of Mystery Mondays, received a fairly whopping 200 successful downloads each.  The bad?  I received a spate of comments for both entries informing me of your inability to download them, particularly the Troggs tribute.

I recently signed up as a paid "premium" user with Netkups, and have thus far renewed approximately 200 of the dead Rapidshare links.  To troubleshoot this issue, I logged out of my premium account, selected the Troggs link via my website as an anonymous user, and after punching in the token Captcha passwords and closing the token pop-up ad I was able to download the file without incident.  In short, the Netkup links work for me, on multiple computers.  I realize I have other file-sharing options - Adrive, Opendrive, etc, but as with Netk, I need a large enough "cloud" to accommodate my fairly large trove of files, and of course, enough public traffic space for everyone to download what they want, when they want.  Unlimited usage of such services come at a price, and I can't afford more than one at a time, nor do I have time to manage multiple file-sharing platforms. 

Since I already have an investment with Netkups, I'm going to ask you to try accessing the links again (btw, most of the 2012 posts have been revived).  If you're unsuccessful, please leave me the exact error message you are receiving in the comments so I can then relay them to Netk's tech support.  In short, I can't keep rearranging deckchairs on the good ship Wilfully Obscure, and I need to settle on something.  I understand your frustration.  Aggravation on your end equals even more aggravation on mine.  Thanks for your patience.   

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

V/A - Groin Thunder! - Troggs Tribute (1992, Dog Meat)

Forgive me if this has already made it's way into the blogosphere in the last 24 hours.  A friend suggested I share this, upon last nights announcement of the passing of lead-Trogg Reg PresleyGroin Thunder! is a sturdy tribute set featuring garage/trash stompers like the Devil Dogs, Antiseen, Mummies, Cheater Slicks, Groovie Ghoulies, Miracle Workers, and Thee Headcoats alongside a handful of acts tilting to the pop-punk continuum, namely The Muffs and The Fluid (my favorite).  24 tracks total, and phenomenal sleeve art courtesy of Peter Bagge.  Since this disk includes some comparatively high-profile names, I'm not sure how long I'll be making this available (hint, hint).  R.I.P. Reg.


Monday, February 4, 2013

It’s all downhill from there anyway...

If it's Monday, it's mysterious.  Procrastinate not, for this is only going to be up for just 24 hours.  A very big favorite of mine.  You're welcome to comment, just don't give away anything obvious.  Enjoy.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Introducing: Mystery Mondays

Hey folks.  There's a Sloan lyric that goes something like "the only good thing about the weekend baby, is that Monday is two days away."  Over the years that ironic line has been of little comfort to me, however starting tomorrow, I hope to offer you something worth waking up for with our new weekly feature, Mystery Mondays.  As each and every working week commences I plan on sharing an album/ep that will not be identified anywhere in the post, and moreover will only be available for 24 hours-ish at best!  Truth be told, this beat-the-clock incentive is largely based around a much more significant ulterior motive. 

What is that motive you might ask?  I have oodles of music I've been sitting on that I don't feel comfortable sharing for an indefinite period of time, even though said music is predominantly unknown.  Let's just say I think it would be best to unveil these particular recordings clandestinely, not to mention within a much more limited time frame.  The majority of this secretive swag will fit in the power-pop/indie realm, but occasionally I might throw you a real curveball.  Often times, the Mystery Monday upload might interest you even more than what I plan to disseminate into the "permanent collection," so to speak.  In short, you really don't want to sleep on these babies, 'cos you might miss out on something truly special.  Then again, maybe not - but there's only one way to find out.  You're welcome to leave a comment, so long as you don't disclose the artist or title.  There won't be a traditional write-up, nor will there be any clues, save for perhaps a song lyric fragment that I'll post as the header (trust me, you probably won't recognize it).

In parting I should mention that I live in the Eastern time zone, and I'm not exactly sure when on any given Monday I'll be letting this thing drop, meaning the link will remain up well into the early hours of Tuesday.  Any...questions?  See you tomorrow.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Stray Trolleys (Cleaners From Venus) - Barricades and Angels tape (1982)

I'm not what you call a huge fanboy of Cleaner From Venus.  Case in point, I've resisted buying any of the recent Captured Tracks reissues (though I do have a handy anthology CD put out by the astute archivists over at Cherry Red in 2004, or thereabouts).  While perusing user lists on Soulseek awhile back, I took a chance on this particular item and was pleasantly surprised.  Didn't realize it at the moment, but the Stray Trolleys were an early endeavor of Cleaners prime-mover Martin Newell.  While the quality of the songs that comprise Barricades and Angels often surpass CFV's choicest material, the fidelity resides on the "lo" end of the totem pole, and to this set of ears that matchup is good as gold.  I'm hearing shades of everything, from the Soft Boys and XTC, to Wire's Outdoor Minor-ish vibe.  Furthermore, "Gunslinger" and the ace title track coincidentally foreshadow the magic Tobin Sprout would bring to Guided By Voices heaping dinner table in the mid-90s.  Barricades was paired with an ep on compact disk at some point, but apparently, it's no longer available.  Missed the boat yet again.  At any rate, enjoy.

01. Secret Dreams of Kitchen Porter
02. A Bluebeat Kid
03. Governor's Only Daughter
04. New Age Dreamer
05. Stiletto Love
06. Gunslinger
07. Love Into Action
08. Ten Million Years
09. Flaming Road
10. Finding Out
11. Barricades and Angels
12. No Static
13. Days of Firebirds

Sounds even better on Bandcamp.