Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Tsunami - Cow Arcade tape (1991, Simple Machines)
I had a couple of misconceptions going into Cow Arcade prior to my newfound tangibility of it. First, I was expecting a traditional demo length release - three to five songs. Not. Instead, I would be treated to no less than an album's worth of material. Additionally, I was operating on the false assumption that the songs contained within were exclusive to the tape. Hardly. In fact, the majority of these prototypes would be re-cut for a myriad of Tsunami singles. And "prototypes" they are to a fault. Arcade's ten tracks were cut fast, loose, and live in one five hour stretch to four-track in 1991. As such, the audio quality is a little choppy and the performances a tad hasty, but the key ingredients were already baked into the cake. From the get go, they had the formula down - jagged, jittery guitar mannerisms, Jenny Toomey's headstrong vocal panache, and Tsunami's overarching rhythms that swayed and undulated like...well, a small-scale tsunami. For the unacquainted, Cow Arcade might not be where to jump aboard, as the more representative "finished" versions of many of these songs have conveniently been compiled on the 1995 singles anthology, World Tour and Other Destinations (that and their debut LP Deep End). Otherwise if you've been sailing the S.S. Tsunami as long as I have, may I introduce you to this long lost port of call. Enjoy. A huge debt of gratitude goes out to Josh for setting me up with everything.
02. Flameproof Suit
03. Kickball Babe
05. Ski Trip
06. World Tour
07. Jonathan (She Cracked)
08. Writing Letters
09. Andrew #1
Monday, January 27, 2014
Every power lunch has a Goldcard lining. I'm the Karl Marx of dining.
Sunday, January 26, 2014
Fluf - Songs 6 ep (2000, Cold Steel Facts)
01. I Know I'm Nobody
02. Shit Talker
03. Stand in Your Line
04. 5 Years
06. Thick as a Brick
07. Girlfriend in a Coma
Saturday, January 25, 2014
Pipe - 20th Century Masters: The Singles Collection (1992-96)
Amidst three riveting albums and a downright flooring ep (1992's Ball Peen) came a trifecta of singles that were equally as essential, and they're yours for the taking here. Together, they comprise an apt introduction of what Pipe was capable of intoning in kinetic, two-minute surges. Amongst six originals are Replacements and Joy Division covers, which I'll let you determine which is which on your own. Pipe had two split singles to their credit, one with locals Small 23, who drummer Chuck Garrison had ties to (and for that matter, Superchunk). And speaking of Superchunk, two of these singles were Merge Records titles, which might still be available. Merge was also responsible for issuing the last Pipe full length, 1997's Slowboy. Their earlier albums, 6 Days Till Bellus and Intl. Cement can be purchased on CD or digitally.
02. I'm In Trouble
05. Human Gutterball
06. Figure 8
08. Raceway Park
1 & 2 from Amish Records 7" (1994)
3 & 4 from Merge Records 7" (1993)
5 & 6 Merge Records 7" (1994)
7 from split 7" w/ Small 23 (1992, Matt Label)
8 from split 7" w/ Rubbermaid (1996, Amish)
Thursday, January 23, 2014
Third Rail - End It (1990, Caffeine Machine)
01. Climbing the Walls
02. Cold Inside
03. You Wouldn't Understand
05. Losing It
06. Hot & Bothered
07. Here I Am
09. End It
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Crain 7" (1993, Compulsiv/Automatic)
B. Hey Cops!
Monday, January 20, 2014
Check it out, I'm like a buzz bomb.
This 1993 full length is admittedly inconsistent, with righteously brilliant highs, and regrettably, some downright embarrassing plunges. To compensate, I've included their concussive, and frankly crucial, debut ep from 1991 as well. To those brave souls who opt to indulge, let us all blossom as hubcaps...
Sunday, January 19, 2014
Shelf Life 7" (1995/96, Cassiel)
Mingling nimble major and minor chords, Shelf Life's take on the left-of-the-dial thing wasn't particularly distinctive, but these two selections emanate a kind of warmth and bittersweet moxie that we don't hear enough of in this newfangled millennium of ours. RIYL Pavement, Gem, and Edsel.
Friday, January 17, 2014
The Killing Field - Courage tape (1988)
Garnering comparisons to U2 and Tears For Fears, The Killing Field bore a similar sonic penchant that was actually more relative to The Alarm and mid-80s Simple Minds, paired with a lukewarm socially conscious slant, much in line with the aforementioned. Thing is though, the songs were pretty damn good, not to mention deftly performed. A independent full length album followed several years later, which you can investigate at Amazon and iTunes.
01. Down With You
03. Ian's Song
04. Postcard from Holland
Thursday, January 16, 2014
Fun w/ Atoms - Main Street (1985, Boat)
In deference to the band, I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that a) they're still active and have a 2010 LP to show for it called Smart, and b) Main Street has been reissued digitally via CD Baby. So why am I throwing this on the blog? Well, I ripped this from a crackly piece of vinyl, and given it's fresh availability I'm only going to be keeping the link live for a few days. If you enjoy what you hear, please consider upgrading by visiting the CD Baby link, and of course, you'll be supporting the band.
03. I'll Be There
04. National Geographic Girl
05. Last Cigarette
07. Ice and Snow
09. Killing You
10. Another Bend
Monday, January 13, 2014
A miscellanious affair, over-congested crazy hair.
Sunday, January 12, 2014
Coachella 2014 - My way or the highway.
Friday, January 10, 2014
Vim 7" ep (1995, Dry Hump)
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Love Camp 7 - s/t ep (1989, Bowlmor)
01. Take Love Where You Can Find It
02. Father Serra's Children
03. Janice in a Green Light
04. Under the Sign of Saturn
05. Myra Breckenridge
Monday, January 6, 2014
In a flash I'll change the universe, or at least the world I knew...
Saturday, January 4, 2014
2013 - My playlist, of sorts.
01. Lowest of the Low - Shakespeare My Butt (1991) - One of my best Johnny come lately discoveries ever. Why I dismissed this for over two decades I really don't know. John K. Sampson of the Weakerthans puts it's together than I ever could: A relentlessly brimming collection of songs that somehow contain all the desire, anger, camaraderie, politics and humor of being alive.
02. Austra - Feel it Break (2011) - Sleek, aerodynamic techno-pop with a sumptuous dance floor pulse, that turned out to be way more addictive than I could have ever anticipated. You'd swear this was the product of European engineering, but would you believe Toronto? Ironically, Austra's 2013 album, Olympia was a considerable disappointment held up to the standard of this enthralling debut.
04. Saves the Day - s/t (2013) - Album #8 offers a sweet synthesis of everything Chris Conley & Co. have been attempting for the past decade or so, and contains many a song that would befit a perfect Saves the Day mix tape.
05. Cheatahs - Extended Plays (2013). Early Swervedriver by way of '90s American indie rock? I'm in! As it's title would suggest, Extended Plays is comprised of 2012 eps. An album is set to drop in '14.
06. Young Light - Great White Arc ep (2013) The offspring of Amusement Parks on Fire and Giant Drag alumni, Young Light's melancholic spin on ethereal mood-rock was a must-have, day-to-day listen for me last year. Sonic gratification overload.
07. Motion City Soundtrack - Making Moves single (2012) - Available as part of the Making Moves 7" compilation box set or separate digitally. Two poignant as hell originals, and as a bonus with the digital version, a chilly reading of Rilo Kiley's "Pictures of Success."
08. Funeral Advantage - demo (2013) - Four hushed and gracefully melancholic originals steeped in a lite, gaze-pop glow, brimming with the fertile promise of Pains of Being Pure at Heart...and they even tack on a Cure cover to boot.
09. The Crush - Here is Where I Cross My Fingers (2002). Like Jawbreaker never went away. Wish I had known about them at time so I could have taken in a live gig. For further details inquire here.
10. Adam Marsland - The Owl and the Full Moon (2013) - A new Adam Marsland album only drops abut every three years, and luckily our man makes it worth the wait. Taking cues from '70s AM radio pop, Pet Sounds and then some for another endearing platter. Well played.
11. Soundboard prank calls on YouTube - Yes, they're that entertaining! I'm partial to the Deputy Martin, Bail Bondsman and Springfield Pervert calls. Enjoy responsibly, and don't try this at home unless you know your way around a soundboard.
12. The Hobbes Fanclub - "Your Doubting Heart" 7" & s/t ep (2012) - A co-ed trio from Bradford, England stoking the C-86 fires for a new generation. Fingers crossed for an album this year.
13. Red Delicious - The First Cassette By... (2011) - A resplendent five-song set of hooky, four-chord power pop by a Rhode Island by way of Buffalo bunch that I need to hear move of pronto!
14. Microdisney - The Clock Comes Down the Stairs (1984, reissue 2013) From the bowels of the UK indie underground came the surprisingly plush and polished Microdisney. Think the Smiths with a baritone on the mic, with a repertoire that was often as engaging as anything in Mozz's catalog. This is their masterful sophomore LP, reissued for the second time and will hopefully remain in print for awhile.
15. Medicine - To the Happy Few (2013) - Dare I say this damn-near picks up where The Buried Life left off? No squandered reunion here.
16. Nostalgist - Monochromatic 7" (2013) - This doomy Seattle dream-pop outfit sound doubly ominous thanks to singer Asa Eisenhardt's whose pipes sound like they're pitched at 33, while his MBV-induced comrades move along at 45 rpm clip. Odd combination, but it works.
17. StarTropics - "By My Side" 7" (2013) & demo (2012) - Chicago's chiming, post-punk wunderkinds, inspired by Sarah Records and contemporary revisionists The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. Awesome.
18. Atlas Genius - When It Was Now (2013) - Souped-up keyboard pop, gleaming like a newly minted BMW. Slick as all-get-out, but a blast to listen to when cruising at 80 mph down the interstate.
19. Turin Brakes - The Optimist LP (2001) If you thought Ether Sound was the shit, do yourself a favor an re(visit) Turin Brakes debut for some lightweight, cosmic enlightening that's sure to clear your head in the best way possible.
20. Lees of Memory 7" - Nu-gaze gold from Superdrag's Johnathan Davis and Brandon Fischer. best thing these guys have put their name on in years.
21. Choo Choo Train - Hey Wimpus -The Early Recordings of Paul Chastain and Ric Menck (1998; rec. 1980s) - Ok, so maybe I didn't encounter this for the first time in 2013, but I played the hell out of it. One of the ten-finest jangle-pop albums ever conceived, by two giants of the form no less. I'd take this over Velvet Crush 90% of the time.
22. Part Time - PDA (2013) - Arresting electro-pop from budding genius, David Speck, who's ripped up the new-romantic palette and retooled it for Millennials. Love the clangy, Bernard Sumner guitar inflections that populate so much of this album.
23. Shy Mirrors - Negative Collector - fuzzed to the hilt punk pop, from former Wolfie guitarist Mike Downey. So what if every songs sounds the same?
24. Twitch - Medicine Ball ep & unreleased second album (199?) - Not exactly sure how this would go over with the bulk of you. Check out the song I supplied in the mix, and maybe I'll give it the Mystery Monday treatment. Righteously heavy (and icy) guitar-rawk suitable for the deadest of winter nights.
25. The Replacements - Songs for Slim ep (2013) - If not for the cause, if not even for the songs that comprise the record, Westerberg and Stinson deserve mucho props for reconvening and playing three much-in-demand concerts, fulfilling the collective wish of tens of thousands of us.
Wednesday, January 1, 2014
Yazoo Beach - The Solace and the Blaze (1988, N-Beat)
01. Chasing the HEart
02. In a Bright
04. A Rose From Emily
06. Who Lives on the Inside
07. Low Cotton
08. Waiting for Woods
09. Big Green Eyes
10. Missing Ring
11. They Tried So Hard
13. Running Away
14. The Solace and the Blaze