Sunday, August 30, 2015
Just for laughs let’s stay in and we’ll perfect our autographs…
Saturday, August 29, 2015
...and I'll be back on your sofa in a puddle in a couple of weeks.
This is a 320 kbps rip likely taken from streaming video, if not a soundboard tape. "You Don't Know Me" has a brief glitch, and according to Setlist.fm there's an intro piece played by yMusic that isn't included in this recording. Rock this, beyotch. Enjoy.
Ben Folds and yMusic, Bonnaroo 6/12/15
01. So There
02. Long Way to Go
03. Not a Fan
04. Erase Me
05. Capable of Anything
06. Rock This Bitch
08. Phone in a Pool
10. Steven's Last Night in Town
12. You Don't Know Me (partial cut)
13. Not the Same
Thursday, August 27, 2015
VA - Burger Records Tribute to VU's White Light/White Heat (2013)
Those of you who've lived with White Light/White Heat, be it for a few years or several decades knows this was the grittiest thing V/U ever put their beloved stamp on, but that facet doesn't always translate over to this bad boy. Natural Light are the most effective of this tribute's half dozen at conveying the raw, analog aesthetic in roughly the same mold originally cast by Lou Reed and Co. Memories replicate the pithy, word-for-word dialogue of "The Gift," which frankly never did squat for me in the first place. "Lady Godiva's Operation" is my favorite WL/WH selection, and Mozes and the Firstborn are as adept as anyone in reinterpreting it, while Curtis Harding infuses "Here She Comes Now" with a distinct Motown bent. And sadly, Gap Dream thoroughly butcher the dirge-like grandeur of the Velvet’s slow burning “Sister Ray,” bleaching it into one
solid streak of wordless, space-age ambience rendering it unrecognizable, passionless, and for that matter, innocuous. I call bullshit. And to think I actually respected these guys before I heard this monstrosity.
If you would prefer to stream this as opposed to absorbing 80 or so megabytes Soundcloud has you covered. My rip is culled straight from the cassette.
01. Natural Child - White Light~White Heat
02. The Memories - The Gift
03. Mozes and the Firstborn - Lady Godiva's Operation
04. Curtis Harding - Here She Comes Now
05. Mr. Elevator and the Brain Hotel - I Heard Her Call My Name
06. Gap Dream - Sister Ray
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
The Obvious - Home ep (1987, I Wanna)
02. Black & White
03. Suicidal Anne
04. Sold Out
06. Home (radio edit)
Sunday, August 23, 2015
I feel guilty every time I have a dream…
Saturday, August 22, 2015
Mega City Four - Terribly Sorry Bob (1991, Decoy)
In the 1980s you might say the premise of American punk rock transitioned from the socio/political to something of a more personal nature. Husker Du, The Descendents, and a bit further along Superchunk, were a handful of key propagators of this trend. In England, Mega City Four were analogous to this sort of "re-purposing" and they boasted a damn fine catalog to show for it, including five length studio albums and an avalanche of singles. Terribly Sorry Bob chronicles 45s and eps from the first half of their career (1987-90), leading up to and surrounding MC4's Tranzophobia and Who Cares Wins albums. Many a deliriously melodic and euphoric tune can be experienced here including the likes of "Clear Blue Sky," "Thanx," and "Miles Apart." I made their fourth LP, Magic Bullets available here many moons ago, and the record that preceded it, 1992's Sebastopol Road recently underwent a grand de-luxe reissue treatment. Frontman "Wiz" Darren Brown sadly passed on in 2006 due to an aneurysm.
01. Miles Apart
02. Running in Darkness
03. Distant Relatives
04. Clear Blue Sky
05. Less Than Senseless
06. Dancing Days Are Over
07. No time
08. Awkward Kid
13. Square Through a Circle
Friday, August 21, 2015
The Muffs - s/t (1993, reissue 2015 Omnivore) & Hard-ons Too Far Gone (1993, reissue 2015 Citadel)
Anyone with an inkling of what the Muffs are about know that the heart and soul of the band is ensconced within Kim Shattuck, who in the '80s had paid her dues in The Pandoras, and was a frequent collaborator with the on/off again punk send-up troupe White Flag. Kim's timbre registers somewhere between a shrill whine and a howling roar - just the kind of moxie necessary for survival in virtually any strata or punk rock. It was a given that she'd eventually front her own band, yet I doubt anyone could have predicted how effective and powerful that endeavor would be. Preceded by some bodacious singles issued on labels like Sympathy for the Industry and Sub Pop, The Muffs major label affiliation had seemingly nil effect on the sixteen boisterous proceedings within. Equal quotients pop and punk The Muffs eponymous debut was a positively pummeling yet bubblegum splattered body of song - a hookfest so unremitting that it could easily pass for a greatest hits compilation. Key salvos like "Better Than Me," "From Your Girl" and "Big Mouth" meld sticky-sweet persuasion to a decidedly aggro sonic aplomb, bearing the kind of visceral muster that only the waning years of the twentieth century could claim culpability for. If The Muffs strikes you as un-toppable, that's because it sorta was, though the groups third attempt, 1997's Happy Birthday to Me clocked in at a respectable second...but I digress.
The freshly remastered incarnation on Omnivore boasts ten bonus cuts, the bulk of which are Shattuck solo demos. "Do You Want Her" and "I Don't Expect" are remarkably hot prototypes left on the cutting room floor that could have been competitive album contenders. Also, remember "Everywhere I Go," the Muffs tune that was featured in a Fruitopia TV ad of all things? The cassette version of The Muffs featured a version that differed from the CD, and it makes an appearance here as well. MIA are two songs from the Muffs "Big Mouth" promo single on Warner Bros, a re-recording of the ace single side "Right in the Eye," and the actual 45 version of another non-LP nugget, "New Love." I'm presenting those tracks here, but as far as the reissue itself goes, it can be obtained straight from Omnivore, or Amazon and iTunes. No vinyl I'm afraid.
Lately, I've been talking up a series of reissues from the somewhat likeminded Hard-ons, punk/skate legends from the great state of Australia, Sydney to be exact. Over the last three years Citadel Records has done yeoman's work in orchestrating an exhaustive series of collections surrounding all five Hard-ons albums and their attendant eps, singles and more from the band's original 1980s/90s incarnation. The fifth and final of these packed-to-the-gills compendiums involves Too Far Gone. The album landed three years after the Hard-ons most consistent and dazzling album to date '90's Yummy! And whereth did said "dazzle" emanate from specifically? Simply put, Yummy! played to this trio's heightened melodic strengths, intermittent at best on their earlier ventures which often wallowed in a sophomoric (albeit amusing) stupor. If anything else I expected TFG to be the next rung up the ladder, relatively speaking. Instead, the album is haphazard and slapdash, meandering in and out of varying styles, with an excessive amount of obnoxious and messy hardcore dabbling. Still, Too Far Gone has more structured saving graces - "I Do, I Do, I Do," "Notice Me," "If She Only Knew," and "Wishing Well," with that last one being culled from the "Crazy Crazy Eye" ep padded on as bonus material to disk one. That leaves the second disk, a marathon 31 song smorgasbord comprised predominantly of demos and outtakes from the same era that is truly for the dedicated Hard-ons acolyte. If anything else the liner notes and packaging are bountiful and impressive as ever. If you're new to the Hard-ons, indulge in Yummy! first and then work your way backward. For better or worse, the band called it a day after this record.
The expanded edition to Too Far Gone is available from Citadel, Red Eye and Amazon.
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
Doc Hopper - Aloha (1993, Ringing Ear)
Closer to when Aloha was released it was mentioned to me that these fellows had a preceding cassette album in circulation. Would love to lay my ears on it if any of you can offer some assistance. If there's any interest I can share a couple of Doc Hopper singles as well. Their two follow-up albums, Ask Your Mom and Zigs, Yaws & Zags are available as paid downloads on iTunes and Amazon, and CD copies are a bargain at the latter.
06. Homeward Bound
08. Head Over Heels
09. Virginia Slim
10. Lonely Guy
11. Post-Letterman/Tuesday Morning 4 a.m.
Bandcamp, if you don't mind.
Sunday, August 16, 2015
Dunlop, Firestone, Pirelli too.
Saturday, August 15, 2015
Treebound Story - I Remember ep (1986, Fon)
01. I Remember
02. Like a Fool
03. Hunger Mountain High
04. If I'd Known
Swimming in the Heart of Jane
Trains And Boats And Planes
Friday, August 14, 2015
V/A - Colorwheel Compilation (2015, Hidden Gem) - A brief review.
- Might as well start with Hidden Gem's flagship band. Helmed by Gregory James, The Skating Party's lucid and buoyant pastiche strikes me as an intoxicating amalgam of New Order and Pains of Being Pure at Heart Check out their Drowning the Electric Boy ep while you're at it for six more songs cut from the same enticing cloth.
- TEEEL and Night Panther, hailing from New Jersey and Philly respectively, serve up pulsing techno pop that very well might beckon you to the dance floor, but won't regard you as a slouch if you opt to remain seated.
- Austin's Young Pharaohs massage their new-romantic canvas into something more soulful and plush with sweet results on "Truth and Fiction"
- As for Arctic Flow and Death of Pop, I can't recommend both of these upstart post-punk powerhouses enough. Neither tread the darkwave path, rather the road they've opted to traverse is considerably more subtle, revealing flourishes of chiming, gazy guitars and primo melodies along the way. Terrific.
say-so - tape (1986)
01. Fire Song
02. Celebration Waiting
03. Strengthening My Grip
Wednesday, August 12, 2015
Instructions - s/t (1982, Radio/WEA)
Yes, this is synth pop. Nothing too heavy handed mind you. The aforementioned link suggests similarities to Gary Numan and DEVO (among others) but there's little here that's as robotically rigid as the former, or as sardonic as the flower pot donning mofo's from Akron. Instructions wielded a decent array of hooks when it suited them - subtly on the smooth "Ha Ha Ha," and more vividly on the beefier "Wicked Heart" and "The Extra." The What is Frank... review mentions that members of Instructions formerly dedicated themselves to decidedly safer, more mainstream endeavors before plunging into the de regour "wave" onslaught of the '80s, though personally I wouldn't submit that as a foregone conclusion.
I should mention that a quote on the back cover arouses a bit of an enigma: "the fleshtones would like to express their gratitude to the many machines which made this project possible." A scan of the Instructions personnel reveals there is no crossover whatsoever with the band The Fleshtones so I'm thoroughly stumped as to what that blurb actually pertains to. Lead Instructor Owen Smith is apparently not using an assumed name, as there is linkage between him and Instructions on multiple online sources. Furthermore these folks hailed from Canada, whereas the Fleshtones were products of New York. Anyway, if you can get past this unresolved triviality, you've got a decent little artifact on your hands.
01. Wicked Heart
02. So You Learn From Computers
03. Don't Say Love
04. Suburban Dream
05. Ha Ha Ha
06. The Factory
07. The Extra
08. Naked Deer
Monday, August 10, 2015
A history of headaches.
Saturday, August 8, 2015
Scott Wilk + The Walls - s/t (1980)
Encountering the line between artistic influence and stylistic plagiarism, Scott Wilk grabbed a copy of Elvis Costello's Armed Forces and blithely pushed ahead. Parts of his record are uncannily accurate impressions; the cover design and group photo do nothing to reduce the Costello/Attractions allusion. Funny thing, though — the album is really good! If you can ignore its derivative raison d'être, you'll find powerful, well-crafted songs, impressive playing and production and an overriding sense of cohesion. An unexpected but disconcerting thrill.
03. Victim of Circumstance
04. Danger Becomes Apparent
05. Man in the Mirror
06. Too Many Questions
07. Shorting Out
09. Instant This, Instant That
10. Familiarity Breeds Mutation
11. Shadow-Box Love