Sunday, August 30, 2020

No man breaks ranks, no foe outflanks!

From 2016.  Riveting and harshly administered coed punk/post-punk that may recall Unwound or Metal Circus at moments - but I'd say this threesome had something a little more economical in mind.

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


Mudhoney ‎– On Top! (KEXP Presents Mudhoney Live On Top Of The Space Needle) (2014, Sub Pop)

Another Record Store Day has come and gone...but actually not exactly this year due to an obvious and wisely chosen postponement of due to the Covid-19 virus that's tragically very much still with us.  In fact, to keep crowds at bay to avoid anything approaching a super-spreader event, this year the breakdown of the 500 or so releases was spread across three dates, August 29th being the first.  While I'm not quite at liberty to share anything that just came out, I've made an an inconsistent tradition of sharing titles from previous RSD sales. This year, the honor goes to a 2014 release from Seattle's quintessential Mudhoney.  It's a live set captured by KEXP radio of a July 11, 2013 gig the band performed at the top of the Emerald City's defining landmark, the Space Needle.  Presumably Mark Arm and Co. were situated in the observation deck, where the audience were treated not merely to a breathtaking 360 degree view, but a visceral half-hour of power with the legendary quartet busting out ten, tight, serrated grunge-punk blasts, revisiting know-em-by-heart classics "Touch Me I'm Sick," "Suck You Dry," and "Into the Drink."  Alongside the standards were nearly as many new songs from that years Vanishing Point, a late career record that I wasn't completely sold on, but hearing live incarnations of "The Final Course" and The Blue Cheer-flavored "I Don't Remember You" enlightened me with a greater appreciation of the path Mudhoney had placed themselves on in the twenty-first century.  Enjoy.

01. Touch Me I'm Sick
02. I'm Now
03. The Final Course
04. Into the Drink
05. Chardonnay
06. Who You Drivin' Now
07. What to Do With the Neutral
08. I Don't Remember You
09. Suck You Dry
10. The Only Son of the Widow From Nain


Friday, August 28, 2020

The Holidays - Restless Heart (1989, Broken)

The Holidays put a wrap on their gift, as it were, long before the internet could say stuff about 'em, so background details on this trio are considerably scant.  A fan club address of Fontana, CA points to where the band hailed from, but let's just say that's unconfirmed.  Hanging out on the more accessible (i.e. pedestrian) side of the alt-rock fence these fellas give us eleven fairly commendable tunes infused with a healthy dose of melody and a sweet, albeit muscular guitar aptitude.  Sonic sign posts point to contemporaries Drivin' 'n Cryin', Crossfire Choir, and the Rhythm Corps.  Not quite power pop, but had they tweaked their m.o. a tad they could have opted for that path without much of an imposition on their part. There are occasionally vague spiritual connotations amidst Restless Heart, but you'd really have to read deep into lyrics to identify them.  Not a masterpiece, but in the band's favor, they're frequently well-above average.  A cassette album, Everything is Now preceded this disk.

01. Tear the Curtain
02. Two Times Two
03. Round and Round
04. Touch Me
05. Should I Tell You
06. Sunshine
07. Promises
08. It's a Fight
09. Color Me While
10. My Love
11. The Lines of Time


Sunday, August 23, 2020

Sex is mine, this body is good. Tired of being misunderstood.

From 1992.  This low-profile, dissonant pop quartet managed to slightly buck the trend of most of their more renown labelmates.  Admittedly, this one's an acquired taste.

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


Saturday, August 22, 2020

Dick Tracey - Movin' to the Beat ep (1983, DT)

There's something for everyone here - that is, everyone that has even a modicum of appreciation for power pop and wave.  Dick Tracey were coed kids from Philly who hung around in the mid eighties for a couple of singles and an LP, Talkin' Bout the Future, but Movin' to the Beat is the only one I can vouch any real familiarity with.  The lead-off title piece is quite the corker, brandishing enough guitar crunch to propel half a dozen like-minded cuts, if that's the direction they intended to take things.  D/T were more diverse than that however, pitching us the noticeably sweeter keyboard-enhanced "A Modern Experience."  Not to be mistaken for a ballad, "When the Lites Go Out" manages to shift the proceedings into a more benign modus operandi, with washes of pleasant ringing chords.  Sadly, I'm not in possession of this record, and in fact I purloined files thereof several years ago from the now defunct Vinyl Obscurity Blog - which to this day I'm thankful for it's brief but revealing existence.

01. Movin' to the Beat
02. A Modern Experience
03. When the Lites Go Out


Monday, August 17, 2020

Fellow bloggers please read/respond - cannot update previous entries.

I know most of you won't be able to offer me a solution given this is an issue with the mechanics of Blogger, but if you have a blog of your own I could really use some assistance.  If you're merely browsing Wilfully Obscure (as a good 95% of you are) this conversation will be foreign to you. 

That being said, Blogger has switched to a new graphic interface, which will become a mandatory replacement for the "classic" interface.  It has several inherent flaws, most notably the feature that allows us to edit previously established content (i.e. "old" entries).   Typically once I'm signed into Google/Blogger I can search for any given entry and scroll down to the bottom right hand corner of the post and click on the Quick edit (pencil) icon ().  This will take me directly into that entry to make any necessary modifications. 

While the Quick edit icon is still present in Blogger's new interface it does NOT take me to the original entry as it has for almost twenty years, rather a list of ALL previous entries in reverse chronological order.  I am nearing 3000 entries on this page and it is virtually impossible to access a specific entry with this method.  While I can create and edit new posts (say, one's created in the last two months) it could literally take me hours of loading and scrolling this list to reach the one I intend to.  In essence, I will not be able to modify previous entries in the future.  This translates to no more refreshed download links. I have a posted to Blogger's "support" page, but Google is notorious for not replying to any queries, and email/chat/phone support is not existent.  There isn't even an option to pay for support.

If any of you utilize Blogger on a regular basis and can duplicate the issue I'm describing please leave a response in the comments.  If you have a direct contact to a Blogger/Google developer and are brave enough to share their contact details you can email me as well (please check my profile).  Thanks so much for your help!

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Reject your will, you'll find it's not your own.

Four EPs time again, all from fairly disparate artists.  Remember, no spoilers kids. 

Have a great week Kevn Kinney, wherever you are.


Saturday, August 15, 2020

Jet Black Factory - Days Like These ep (1986, 391)

Like many (perhaps even most) of the groups I post about here, Jet Black Factory made it to my radar only posthumously.  When I did finally start to encounter what records/CDs I could locate approximately twenty years ago, I was scared off by the very inaccurate assumption they were industrial or goth (after all, Factory was part and parcel of their name).  To my detriment I had been putting off some genuinely earnest indie rock that was far more organic than the ill-informed notion I had ignorantly planted in my head.  On their debut (yep, Days Like These) they didn't have much intimidating in store after all, but still mightily effective.  Frontman Dave Willie wielded a delivery that suggested a welterweight Mark Lanegan (not that he was deliberately aspiring to sound like the real McCoy) and his three fellow Nashville compatriots play rugged, distortion steeped tunes with thoughtfulness and depth, sans any contrived mystique or gimmickry.  "Tonight" is my go-to song here. Though my memory banks aren't bringing up much in the way of accurate comparisons, you're bound to come up with one or two on your own I'm certain.  Days Like These was followed up by another ep and two long-players.  Apologies for the radio station call letters adorning my humble copy. 

01. Real Down Ticket
02. By the Temple
03. Tonight
04. Chelsea
05. The City Sleeps
06. Waters Edge


Friday, August 14, 2020

Passionate Friends 7" (1983)

Passionate Friends, who despite their namesake did not follow in the same creative footsteps of the Teardrop Explodes, were a Scottish six-piece who made minor waves with a pair of singles in the early/mid-80s.  Consisting of no less than three brothers John, Malky and Allan McNeill, the Friend's debut 1982 single, Time Bandits/What's the Odds was an impeccable stab at new romantic pop firmly in league with A Flock of Seagulls, but somehow more resonant.  The band caught the interest of MCA a year later, who released the 7" platter I'm presenting today.  Bearing a mildly more linear tact with the guitars taking on even footing with the synths, the band's self-titled tune (imagine that, beating Living in a Box to the record presses by a good three years or so) exudes melodic and casually melancholic hues, to gratifying effect.  The flip, "Wake Up/Shake Up" charts more of an uptempo course, but not as memorable (patented '80s sax wails don't do them any favors).  However, I've decided to do you a favor by tacking on the winsome "What's the Odds" from their previous 45.  The Wiki2 link provided above will steer you to all of the biographical deets you could want on the Passionate Friends, including info regarding their 2008 reunion.  Cheers.

A. Passionate Friends
B. Wake Up/Shake Up
plus: What's the Odds


Thursday, August 13, 2020

Precisely in our wheelhouse.

Could it be someone associated with Captured Tracks has taken a gander at this site...or do they merely possess remarkably refined and esoteric taste?  I don't have the specifics on exactly when Strum & Thrum, a double LP comp of collegiate jangle "nuggets," circa 1983-87 is going to be dropping, but if the video alone isn't enough to sell you check out Strum's impeccable playlist here in the article.  Bravo CT!

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Do you think I should take a class to lose my southern accent?

This past Saturday (Aug 8th) marked the 25th anniversary of one of the most dazzling debut albums ever...or at least so says I.  Instead of sharing the record in question I thought it would be more of a kick to share the demos for it...and some demos for their even more popular sophomore LP...and why not some really scarce and altogether unreleased tunes on top of that?  This collection was sourced from tapes, and whomever did the digital transfer may have had the Dolby switched on, but it's barely enough to detract from the overall quality of both the audio and the songs.  For what it's worth, back in '96 it meant a lot to have these tracks to tide me over while I was patiently waiting for their second album to come out.  Hope ya dig.

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


Saturday, August 8, 2020

Pacer - s/t ep (1993, Remora/Bear)

Pacer were a coed trio of New York indie kids with a penchant for noise and serrated guitar histrionics, but on their lone ep they reign in just enough of the chaos to filter in a few morsels of the latent tuneful ambition they could have likely made so much more of on subsequent records had they stuck it out.  They were label-mates with Versus, who were newly incorporated themselves at the time, and the two bands had just enough in common to draw a legit comparison.  Truthfully, Pacer made more of a racket and played it a good bit looser.  You might sense trace elements of the first Seam album (Headsparks), and Unwound, but I think the latter was more of a coincidence.  Of the three Pacer aluni, it's bassist Samara Lubelski that went onto to the most robust career with stints in the Sonora Pine, Chelsea Light Moving and has abundant solo releases to her credit. My apologies if the audio is a little bumpy in spots.  Purchased this one used and the condition wasn't as sharp as I preferred.

01. Hot Wired
02. Go
03. Tell You Something
04. Seven
05. Two
06. Disso


Friday, August 7, 2020

Punchbuggy - The Great Divide (2002, Boss Tuneage/Does Everyone Stare)

Got a request for this one recently.  The Great Divide was the fourth in a series of Punchbuggy albums to feature less songs than the LP that preceded it.  I suppose they called it quits after this one considering the only logical move for a fifth record would entail offering merely ten songs (or less). That would hardly be a complaint though given the caliber and consistency of what they pumped out for almost ten solid years.  These Ottawa-based Doughboys proteges knew their way around a hook, not to mention chunky punk-pop riffs, all the while sustaining maximum sonic density.  I've gone back and forth on my favorite Punchbuggy albums over the years, but since they're not a band that anyone normally "debates," so guess what?  I don't have to pick favorites. Even with the absence of Jim Bryson on guitar (who also wasn't aboard from 1998's My Norwegian Cousin) The Great Divide is another wall-to-wall trove of aces, wherein the band even negotiates some modestly mature gestures on the slower (but not quite ballad-worthy) "Easy to Leave" and the relatively contemplative title cut.  Aficionados of the Doughboys Crush or Goo's Superstar Carwash will find plenty to love here.  In fact, the only thing that might have improved ...Divide is if the band employed another halter-topped model for the album cover, as they so effectively did with the aforementioned My Norwegian Cousin...but once again I digress.  You can also find the band's second LP, Grand Opening Going Out of Business Sale here.

01. Same
02. Way to Go
03. Kids Say
04. Rock and Roll Fantasy
05. Easy to Leave
06. Heart Attack
07. Just Another Day
08. Want You More
09. Lucky Me Lucky You
10. Marianne
11. The Great Divide


Sunday, August 2, 2020

Don't try to get a ride in my Cadillac, you don't look good enough for that...

From 1982.  I had car songs on the brain the other day, and when that happens the first tune on this album invariably comes to mind.  Not typical Wilfully Obscure fare...but that's why Mystery Mondays were invented. 

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


Saturday, August 1, 2020

The Cure - Live in Orange (rec. 1986, released on video 1987)

My friend was looking for the audio portion of The Cure's 1987 Live in Orange concert video tape.  I found it for him and am sharing the contents with you as well, with lossless FLAC as an option. The video/audio was captured from a series of gigs Robert Smith & Co. performed in 1986 at the Théâtre Antique d’Orange, in Orange, Vaucluse, France, in support of the Head on the Door album.  As such, don't expect to hear anything from Disintegration or Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me.  The setlist is exceptional, not skimping on old fan faves like "A Forest," "Charlotte Sometimes," and "Shake Dog Shake."  The audio component of Live in Orange was never officially released on record/CD, but somehow it found it's way to market in places like Malaysia and China.  Online video links are available here.

01. Shake Dog Shake
02. Piggy in the Mirror
03. Play for Today
04. A Strange Day
05. Primary
06. Kyoto Song
07. Charlotte Sometimes
08. In Between Days
09. The Walk
10. A Night Like This
11. Push
12. One Hundred Years
13. A Forest
14. Sinking
15. Close to Me
16. Let's Go to Bed
17. Six Different Ways
18. Three Imaginary Boys
19. Boys Don't Cry
20. Faith
21. Give Me It
22. 10:15 Saturday Night
23. Killing an Arab

MP3  or  FLAC