Wednesday, May 29, 2019

The Sing Market - Via TV 12" (1986, The Dark Network)

Not really sure how to classify this.  Roxy Music-ish art pop with oblique angularities and discernible mystique?  The co-ed Sing Market were a one-off endeavor featuring minor players that formally performed with the Thompson Twins, Graham Parker, and if the blurb I read is to be believed, even Elvis Costello.  Via TV's title piece takes a minute and a half to build to anything resembling a melody...but when it kicks in it's downright pretty, not to mention vaguely addictive.  The two fretless bass-enhanced flip-sides are grittier, with "Blue Cavaliers" proving to be the more rewarding of the two.  Interesting disc.  My copy contains a lyric insert with a small, asymmetrical swatch of fabric glued to it.  No clue.

A. Via TV
B1. Continental
B2. Blue Cavaliers


Sunday, May 26, 2019

"Do I wanna do a seven inch?" said someone from the deacon's bench...

From 1998.  Some serious, lo-fi Dylan-esque jonesing at play here - and quite stimulating at that. 

**Please do not reveal artist in comments!**


Pylon Reenactment Society - live at The Independent, San Francisco 12/12/16

Following the unexpected passing of their guitarist Randy Bewley in 2009, innovative Athens, GA post-punks Pylon abruptly called it a day.  It was an appropriate gesture given Bewley’s signature, and moreover singular, guitar textures…but what if there was a spinoff in the form of a Pylon tribute/heritage act?   Enter Pylon Reenactment Society featuring original front-lady Vanessa Briscoe Hay alongside alum from Casper and the Cookies, The Glands, and Big Atomic, who’ve been performing Pylon tunes live for the faithful since 2014.  I've got a complete 2016 San Francisco performance for you today with the new lineup in question, and it's hardly a hackneyed covers routine, rather a sincere, if not visceral homage to the work of a seminal and singular musical entity.
Vanessa’s lovingly dissonant pipes remain unaltered since Pylon’s initial run in the early ‘80s, and Bewley's fill-in Jason NeSmith (from Casper and the Cookies) is note-for-note perfect in resurrecting his predecessors chiming, staccato licks.  The similarities between this PRS and real deal are downright canny - but I suppose that was the idea in labeling the project the Pylon Reenactment Society.  And the setlist is peerless - "Volume," "Cool," "Stop It," and "Crazy" among pretty much anything else in the Pylon oeuvre you might naturally expect.  Just follow the links below to hear this wonderfully recorded set in MP3 or FLAC.

Not long after this concert, the PR lineup cut two brand new songs for a 2018 single on Chunklet Records you might be interested in checking out here

01. Working is No Problem
02. Gravity
03. Volume
04. K
05. Yo-Yo
06. Danger
07. Altitude
08. Italian Movie Theme
09. The Human Body
10. Precaution
11. Buzz
12. Feast on My Heart
13. Crazy
14. Cool
15. Beep
16. M-Train
17. Stop It

MP3  or  FLAC

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Sarah Shannon - Estheraho ep (1999, Marzipan)

This one slipped by a lot of people, myself included when it was released twenty years ago.  In fact it only made it's way onto my radar quite recently.  Estheraho was an utterly brief, low-key EP from Sarah Shannon, cut shortly after her sizably more renown stint as frontwoman for D.C. area pop wunderkinds Velocity Girl.  In what little I've been able to glean about this CD online, Sarah doesn't regard it as terribly noteworthy, and considers it little more than a stepping stone to a pair of much more sophisticated full lengths, an eponymous 2001 album, '07's City Morning Song.  Thing is, those albums never really sank in with me, but the comparatively spartan Estheraho makes a keener impression.  Whether it's the crunchy indie-pop persuasion of "Wheel in a Wheel," "Marvel's" nervy angst, or the bright and brisk "Gone," there's something about this little disc that I wish she had parlayed to those subsequent albums.

01. Wheel in a Wheel
02. Learn the Ride
03. I Don't Want to See the Light
04. Marvel
05. Gone


Sunday, May 19, 2019

I guess you're over it, 'cos you're all over me...

From 1993.  Punky indie rock from Durham, NC with tuneful sensibilities galore.

**Please do not reveal artist in comments!**


B Team - Buy American ep (1983, Faulty Products)

This was a killer find.  Another one I kinda bought for the cover that turned out to be way more significant than the sleeve.  B Team were a Bay Area trio with a post-punk sonic aptitude and a socio/politico hardcore ethos.  Buy American's artful opening salvo "Dance Capital" is driven by an irresistible, staccato-laden groove plundered from Entertainment!-era Gang of Four and fortified by clever lyrics.  The dissonance continues on "Eyes Are Bleeding," wherein the B Team doctrine yields a more distinctive tact.  Bleaker forays on side two, "This Damage" and the concluding "Right," point to an absorption of Joy Division in addition to dadaist funk. Compelling in both their sheer attack and forward-thinking palette B Team had a wealth of things going for them, but they apparently dissolved after a this disk.  A 1982 single preceded Buy American, which I'm going to try to get my hands on.

01. Dance Capital
02. Eyes Are Bleeding
03. Living for Christmas
04. This Damage
05. Youth Corps
06. Right


Friday, May 17, 2019

The Rise - Fortunes Ride (1989, Shaman)

File under post-U2?  I say this not because The Rise weren't  necessarily plagiarizing Bono & Co, so much as the myriad of bands they had a more discernible influence on - The Alarm, Cactus World News and Then Jerico.  Thing is, this quartet didn't hail from the British Isles, rather from the States, presumably from San Fran.  But unlike much of U2's aforementioned offspring, The Rise boasted a distinct Americana bent - the kind that only the tail end of the '80s could have given rise to.  Armed with vaguely world-weary concerns, and a back-to-basics rootsy fervor, the band's ambitions never amount to anything too pompous or grandiose on Fortunes Ride.  Such moderation works to their advantage, but their songs don't necessarily follow suit.  The driving title track is a sheer highlight though, and the vigorous "Empty Soul" and "In Our Land," while formulaic, pack a decent modicum of urgency.  The ballads (I'll let you figure out which ones they are), while well intentioned just don't cut it.  Elsewhere, a curious anomaly sprouts up in the guise of "Eagle Dancer," a souped up spaghetti western hoedown if I've ever heard one.

01. Desert Hope
02. A Great Spirit
03. The Whole Earth
04. Waiting for You
05. Fortunes Ride
06. Eagle Dancer
07. Empty Soul
08. Trail of Tears
09. In Our Land
10. Salvation


Sunday, May 12, 2019

Watch out for those that say "everything will be ok."

From 2016.  Contrary to their moniker, this band is quite frankly everything.

**Please do not reveal artist in comments!**


Thursday, May 9, 2019

The Bardots - Sad Anne (1998, Bliss Out/Che)

I didn't realize it until I had a chance to scan the sleeve art, but this Bardots compilation overlaps heavily with 1992's Eye-Baby LP, which I shared all the way back when his site was still in it's infancy.  Sad Anne not only reprises remastered versions of the vast majority of that album, but also emphasizes oodles of non-LP single sides and such.  Not much has been spoken about the Bardots, a UK export who flirted heavily with guitarsy atmospherics while sidestepping dream/Brit pop almost altogether.  In fact, they had more in common with the likes of such minor contemporaries of the day as the Straitjacket Fits and Smashing Orange, capably exemplified on such rousing moments as the driving "Sunsetted," "Pretty O," and "Ashamed."  And there are plenty of chilled out and even thoroughly unplugged respites as well.  Alas, I don't have much more time for a write-up tonight, but the proof is in the pudding, and we get a generous 21 tracks here.  Dig in.

01. Sad Anne
02. Alligator
03. Ashamed
04. The Crack Up
05. Let My Body
06. Gloriola
07. Slow Asleep
08. Sunsetted
09. Phone Phoney
10. Call me a Whore
11. Pretty O
12. Caterina
13. Shallow
14. Us Making
15. Chained-Up
16. Cruelty Blonde
17. Sister Ruchard
18. My Cute Thought
19. Skin Diving
20. We Are Fiasco
21. Applepan


Sunday, May 5, 2019

I am marching through the branches in a fit of wanderlust...

From 2012. 

**Please do not reveal artist in comments!**