Thursday, September 30, 2010

"Drink Beer Till It Hurts"

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What You See Here, Hear Here, Say Here, Stays Here When You Leave Here
12" EP
(self-released, 1986)

All I've been able to find out about this record is the band was from Toronto, where a hooker asked me if I wanted a "date" when I was 20. I politely declined.

Regardless, it's a cool record. I think we got copies at my college radio station, and I took one of the extras home (there were advantages to being a music director).

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

"Eleanor (Has 4 Arms)"

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Small Wire
(Evil Teen Records, 1998)

write-up forthcoming . . .

Monday, September 27, 2010

"Tod durch die Blume"

So, like, this post was already scheduled for today, but I hadn't done the little write-up yet. So what does one of my fellow blogger buddies do? He makes the whole dang album his feature for yesterday! THE NERVE!

This song, however, does not appear in his post, other than as a mention. HA!

So, anyhow, we got Belfegore's second, eponymous album at my college radio station, and I dug it. The single, All That I Wanted, sounded like Killing Joke ripping off The Stooges' TV Eye. On top of that, it had a video that I thought was actually pretty cool and unsettling (please, see below) (unless you're blind, that is) (or your monitor isn't working) (or you're just stupid) (or you're trying to deliberately hurt my feelings) (meanie).

So, my buddy Mike did some checking and found out they'd released an LP, a 7" EP, and a 12" single prior to the eponymous album. Of course, this meant that I had to purchase all three. While I think the second album is stronger, overall, A Dog Is Born definitely has some worthy material. Like . . . today's song!


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Citizen 23
"Janie's Got a Black Eye"

Citizen 23
The Taj Mahal Present$
No Room to Dance

compilation LP
(Blue Wave Records, 1980)

These days, Mr. Don Fleming is a big time record producer. He's also most likely still very tall.

I once said to Thurston Moore, many, many years ago, that he, Don, and Steve Michener (then in Dumptruck, following a stint in the Volcano Suns) should form a band, since they're all so tall. Of course, Steve plays bass, so he was not involved with the Dim Stars, since Richard Hell sang and played bass, but Don and Thurston were both there.

Freaky, man!

Don was, at the time of the aforementioned conversation with Mr. Moore, still leading the Velvet Monkeys and playing in Half Japanese. His roots went back further, though.

The Velvet Monkeys were based in the Washington, DC area. Prior to that, however, they lived in Tidewater, VA, and played under the name Citizen 23. Their only release, to the best of my knowledge, was the three songs on this compilation album. Don sang one, "American Neutron," and Elaine Barnes sang the other two. Since "American Neutron" appears on the Homework #9 compilation CDR (according to the track listing on the Hyped to Death website), I decided to go with one of Elaine's. There are no writing credits anywhere, so I don't know if she wrote it, or Don did, or they collaborated, or someone else did.

Prior to Citizen 23, Don was a member of The Stroke Band, from Valdosta, GA. They released an LP called Green and Yellow in 1978, and I've been looking for a copy for over twenty years. Any help would be appreciated!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Bic Runga
"Bursting Through"

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Bic Runga
Bursting Through
CD single
(Columbia, 1996)

I first heard Bic on the compilation CD Live At Helen's. I'd picked it up for the tracks by her fellow Kiwis, David Kilgour and Martin Phillipps, but Bic's song, a version of "Drive," blew me away. A couple years later, I came across a copy of her debut album, Drive, in the new arrivals bin at a local used CD store. I snapped it up and found that I could not stop listening to it. It's probably my favorite album of 1998, in fact.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Death by Milkfloat

Like Thule, another promoter-significant-other discovery, I found the second Death by Milkfloat 12" EP (of four), The Absolute Non-End, amongst the records, and had to give it a listen, due to the utterly bizarre band name. Today's tune, however, is from their debut 12" EP, which was released in Greece, rather than the UK. Sometime after the release of their third 12" EP, Uninformation, they dropped the Death by appellation and released a 7" single and their final 12" EP, Guilt Edged Steel, under the truncated name Milkfloat.

I've chosen to label them C86 for genre, as I've seen it used before for similarly gambolling bands like bIG★fLAME, Membranes, and The Wedding Present. Feel free to correct me, if necessary

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Juan-Pablo Cáceres
"La Orquesta"

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Juan-Pablo Cáceres
(Garrapata Discos, 2006)

I picked this up from the classical section when Tower Records was in the midst of closing a few years back. The cover art looked interesting, and the price was down to around $4, I think, so I decided to give it a risk. Once again, my gut feeling paid off, and it turned out to be a really cool, weird, and bizarre album.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Dresden Dolls
"War Pigs"

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The Dresden Dolls
War Pigs
digital EP
(The All Blacks B.V., 2004)

I saw The Dresden Dolls play an in-store at a local record store when they were touring for their first album. Actually, it was more of an out-of-store, as they played in the parking lot. At some point, Amanda (vocals and piano) announced they were going to play "an American classic." I wasn't really sold on them at that point, so I chuckled derisively to myself at her egregious error, when it turned out she meant this lil' tune. As it turned out, though, their version killed.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

"Grease & Flowers"

Wake Up You Must Remember
(Generic Records, 1984)

Man, I HATED the Orthos the first time I saw them. Of course, being on a bill with Minor Threat, Government Issue and the Velvet Monkeys left them odd man out, as the VMs at least rocked, even if not as aggressively as the hardcore bands on the bill. The Orthotonics, however, were this arty, dancey crap that I wanted to end . . . immediately!

Seeing as they were from Richmond, a scant hour's drive from where I went to college, I ended up seeing them a number of times. Eventually, they grew on me. A lot. Clotramazole was no help.

This song is from their vinyl debut album (it was preceded by a cassette album, Accessible as Gravity, and a 7" single of Doo Doo Cars), which they recorded as a quintet. They slimmed to a trio (keyboards/guitar, saxophone, percussion) a bit later and released one more album, Luminous Bipeds, before splitting. The last time I saw them, they were playing a lot of fantastic, new material. It's a pity those songs never became available to the record buying public (i.e., ME).

In my opinion, the Orthotonics and Honor Role were the two best bands ever out of Richmond, VA. Not to slight Axehandle, of course.

Monday, September 20, 2010

"Lonely Nights"

(Jab Records, 1982)

Another odd bargain bin find . . . note the $3.50 price tag still present . . .

Messendger were from Cordele, GA and apparently played a "throw-it-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks" style of music.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The ABC Children's Chorus
"These Boots Are Made for Walkin'"

The ABC Children's Chorus
Songs for Children . . . by Children
(ABC-Paramount, 1966)

When I was a kid, I had a little record player, and my parents bought children's records for me. This record, though, was a bit of an oddity. Sure, it was mostly kids singing kids' songs, but then there was this song. What a vindictive song sung to a former lover is doing on a kids' record is beyond me. Perhaps, the liner notes will explain?

Take a dozen energetic youngsters ranging in age from nine to fourteen, match them with a dozen bright familiar songs, and out comes one of the most charmingly lighthearted records you've ever heard!

From the opening note to the last, this first recording by the ABC Children's Chorus bursts with the boundless vitality that only the young possess—and the older than young only remember. As up to date as the latest missile launching, this collection includes the theme song from Batman, the TV series that caught the imagination of children of all ages; and It's Superman, a musical tribute to the superhero whose latest triumph is the starring role in the Broadway musical, It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's Superman. Another Broadway hit—The King and I—is represented by I Whistle a Happy Tune, and the movie Mary Poppins introduced Chim Chim Cheree. Included also is the chorus's version of two popular hits—These boots Are Made for Walkin' and an unusual rendition of Tijuana Taxi, which has no lyric.

The ABC Children's Chorus consists of five boys and seven girls, who, despite their early achievements in the entertainment world, sing just like your kids would sound if they joined voices with the kids down the block. Enrolled in public schools, junior highs and high schools around the New York City area, these twelve children's ambitions run to show business (I would like to be another Connie Francis. I want to be just like Helen Hayes and Judy Garland. I'd like to be like Gene Kelly, singing and tap dancing), but one would like to be a physicist in nuclear astronautics.

The members of the ABC Children's Chorus have to their individual performing credits numerous Broadway shows (Music Man, Sail Away, Here's Love, The King and I, and Bye Bye Birdie, among others); television appearances (Bell Telephone Hour, Armstrong Circle Theatre, Jonathan Winters Show, Naked City and The Nurses); you've seen some of them in TV commercials; and at least two of the girls have modeled for magazine illustrations and record album jackets. If this professionalism makes them sound less like your own kids—or those next door—don't be fooled. Kids will be kids, and when they get together and sing, they all sound pretty much the same—young and happy, bubbling with energy—and there you have a perfect description of the ABC Children's Chorus.

This album was produced by Richard Wolfe whose varied show business career has encompassed such activities as radio station program director, director and producer of nationwide amateur talent shows, staff writer for Sammy Kaye, musical director for a music publishing firm, president of his own publishing and production companies and a partnership with entertainer Arthur Godfrey in some of the Redhead's musical enterprises. Dick Wolfe is also a highly successful songwriter.

Hmmmmm . . . guess not.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

"First Kiss"

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(Changeling Music, 1983)

Screw U2. Horslips and Thin Lizzy are the most important Irish bands. After Horslips split in the very early '80s, the members all continued to play music. Three of them (John, Charles and Eamon) played together as Host and released this album, plus some singles.

The sound is on the new wave end of things, a direction Horslips had started heading with their album The Man Who Built America. Like The Táin, Horslips' second album, Tryal is a concept album. In this case, though, it's the true story of Bridget Cleary, who was murdered by her husband Michael in 1895, rather than an ancient Irish legend.

Michael was convinced she was a fairy changeling, who had replaced his actual wife. The town tried her (this included torture) but found she was human. Undeterred, Michael continued to interrogate her, then threw her on an open fire, doused her with lamp oil, and watched her burn to death. He was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to 20 years.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Taylor Hollingsworth
"You're Lost"

Taylor Hollingsworth
Shoot Me, Shoot Me, Heaven
(Brash Music, 2005)

As free music rags go, Southeast Performer left a bit to be desired (it's still around, but now called just Performer. The writing was almost always atrocious, for example. On the other hand, I discovered a number of good musicians and bands via their pages. As you've likely guessed, Taylor Hollingsworth was one of those.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Findells
"Breaking into People's Cars"

The Findells
The Radiators Are Bleeding
(self-released, 1983)

My roommates my third year of college, Dale and Maynard, were big fans of The Findells, but I never saw them, though they were somewhat local, being from tiny Staunton, VA (20 or so miles away). I vaguely remembered hearing and liking the song "Parking Meters," so when I found a copy of this album six or seven years later, I snapped it up, and I'm mighty pleased I did.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Puka Puka Brians
"It's Too Late"

Puka Puka Brians
Puka Puka Brians
7" EP
MajiKick, 1996

You may have heard of the Japanese group Tenniscoats. They're essentially a wife and husband duo, Saya Source and Ueno Takashi, plus guests. Before Tenniscoats, though, there was Puka Puka Brians. Well, I'm assuming so, since the first PPB release came two years before the first from TCs ('94 vs '96).

Anyhow, the impression I get is Tenniscoats are Saya's band, and Puka Puka Brians were Ueno's. I say were as they split sometime around 2005. This makes me sad.

Puka Puka Brians released this 7" EP and five albums:

  • Puka Puka Brians
  • Dubbing
  • A Sad Sound a Velvet Sound and a Happy Sound
  • Love Warrior
  • Pet Cemetary Sounds

Consider all of the above highly recommended.

Ueno also releases solo albums of guitar improvisation under his own name as well as under the alias Veno Tagashi.

Oh, and allegedly, "puka puka" is Japanese slang for floating, and "Brians" refers to Brian Jones, the Rolling Stone who drowned. Oh, my . . .

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Bailter Space
"The Escalator Song"

Bailter Space are what became of the gordons, who split after their second album, 1984's Volume 2, was released.

It's a bit circuituous, really. The first gordons album was recorded by the trio of John Halvorsen (g/v), Alister Parker (g/v), and Brent McLachlan (d). After it was released, to much acclaim, they split up. They then regrouped with Vince Pinker replacing Parker, and recorded Volume 2, toured, then split again.

A couple of years later, Parker started a new group, Bailter Space, with Hamish Kilgour (ex-The Clean) on drums. They released an eponymous 12" EP and a 7" single of New Man. After that, half the band was replaced with Halvorsen, now on bass. That lineup recorded their debut LP, Tanker. The Grader·Spader single came from the album and featured two non-LP b-sides, the first of which is today's selection. It's also my favorite Bailter Space song and has not appeared on any of the reissues of Tanker or on any compilations, to the best of my knowledge.

After Tanker was released, they toured the USA with The Bats (I saw the two of them, and they were both amazing) then Kilgour left, to be replaced by Brent McLachlan, thus making Bailter Space now the same group as the original gordons.

Pretty twisted, huh?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Queens of the Stone Age
"18 A.D."

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This was the first release under the Queens of the Stone Age nom de rock. There had been a 7" single released under the name Gamma Ray, but it turned out some German power metal band or something already had that name, so they changed it. This song's never appeared anywhere else and that's a darn shame. So, here it is appearing now.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Phones Sportsman Band
"Get Down and Get with It"

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The Phones Sportsman Band
I Really Love You
7" EP
(Rather Records, 1980)

Phones was a rather swell map, hence the shoutout to Stephen on the cover.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


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5 x 7" single box set
(Dacoit, 1983)

The Nurses were yet another great band from my DC-area teenagerhood. Vocalist/bassist Howard Wuelfling has been in a number of bands over the years, and currently runs the PR firm Howlin Wuelf Media. In addition to the Nurses, he was most notably a member of the best band in the history of music, Half Japanese, and also The Slickee Boys.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Audio Sports
"Future Ball"
(Let It Cosmicbleed Mix)

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NOTE: the intro is very quiet until the -5:06 mark

Audio Sports
12" EP
(Bron Record, 1990)

I'm not sure how to classify this thing; too slow for dancing, too energetic for trip hop. On vocals, that's EYE from Boredoms, and this is the first record by Audio Sports. The follow-up full-length album, Era of Glittering Glass, was more of a Japanese rap affair, though with definite oddball leanings. After that, EYE left the group, and I've not heard the material without him.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

(The) Razz
"Love Is Love"

(The) Razz were supposed to be the next big thing out of Washington, D.C. when I was in high school. It was 1979, though, so the closest I got to listening to stuff even close to punk rock was Bill Nelson's Red Noise. In fact, I took a copy of their lone album, Sound-on-Sound, to a church youth group party in 1979, and it was immediately taken off the stereo: This is . . . punk rock!

So, I never heard (The) Razz when they were playing, but I was aware of them. They were hard to miss; the graphics for their records (there were three, in total) were eye-catching.

When I was in college, and playing catch-up with the local punk and other out-of-the-mainstream music from my high school years, I bought all three records: two 7" singles, and this live EP released between them. 'Twas a wise investment!

The before they were famous tag on this entry is for Tommy Keene, who played on the second and third records, and co-wrote this song (among others).

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

 "Hello Assholes" 
"Flattery Is a Bunch of Fucking Bullshit"
 "A Room Full of Hard-Ons and Nowhere to Sit Down" 
"My Stereo Has Mono and So Does My Girlfriend"

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one-sided 7" EP
(City of Hell Records, 2002)

I saw these guys several years ago and hated them. Just thought they were horrible. After they finished playing, I started think maybe I was wrong, and maybe I'd like them, were I in a different frame of mind. So, against all odds, I bought the CD they were selling, Canada Songs.

Whoa! It slayed me!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

"Five Days"

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Five Days
7" single
(Whittier Records, 1988)

Dragnet sprang from the ashes of Man Sized Action, sorta. OK, not really. Bassist Kelly Linehan was a member of both groups, but that's it. MSA were more post punk than power pop, and, obviously, Dragnet were more power pop than post punk. The a-side of this 45 was also featured on the album that followed, Life in General. The cover for the single is much cooler, however, so that's what ya' get. I think there was another 45, as well, that I've never found.

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Tom and Marty Band
"Cattle Mutilations"

I used to see this one in my local record store when I was in high school. Despite it being marked, For fans of The Residents, (I fit the bill), I never bought it. Luckily, when I joined the radio station at my university, they had a copy. This cheery little ditty was their hit. Meaning, I played it a bunch, and some other people did, too.

The Tom and Marty Band were a duo (surprise!) from Richmond, VA. Marty was Marty McCavitt, who'd previously been in the improv quartet Idio Savant, who released a pretty cool album on the same label in 1979, Shakers in a Tantrum Landscape; I did not know this at the time, however, so the point is moot. He was later the leader of the instrumental combo Famous Actors from Out of Town, who released a killer cassette album, FA3574, in the mid/late 1980s. Tom (Campagnoli), unfortunately, I know nothing else about. Please, find it in your heart to forgive me. If it helps, I do plan on featuring both Idio Savant and FAfooT on here at some point.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Turn Ups
"Crack My Face"

The Turn Ups
Turn Up
(Cracked Records, 1980)

One of the cool things about punk rock is finding gems from tiny, local scenes, especially in smaller areas. Harrisburg, PA's best-known musical export, sadly, is Poison, who emulated Hagerstown, MD's Kix, then moved to LA and made it big. The next biggest may be Billy Synth, but don't hold me to that. Please. Billy recorded two LPs backed by also locals The Turn Ups. I bought the second one, 1983's Disorderly Conduct, ages ago and it rocked.

When I found two LPs done by The Turn Ups on their own, I snapped 'em up, of course. Minus Billy's synth and decidedly odd vocal stylings, The Turn Ups sound kinda like Harrisburg's answer to The Suicide Commandos, from Minneapolis, MN. Both played speedy, hook-filled punk rock with a bit of a nod to power pop. This song is from their first album; the second was Urban Blight, and was also released on Cracked. Both are keepers.

Oh, yeah, the first Billy Synth and The Turn Ups LP was Off the Deep End. It, too, was on Cracked Records, in an addition of 300 copies. I have no information on the size of the press runs of the other LPs.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Boy Elroy
"The Legend of Farfel Knugren"

Boy Elroy
This Is Not Art
(His Boy Records, 1983)

These Minneapolis boys released just this one album, to the best of my knowledge. I have to confess I know very little about them as they didn't get all that much press back when this was released. Nonetheless, the reviews I read were interesting, so I bought the first (and possibly only) copy I saw at the time. The songs are speedy, hard and . . . odd, hence the artcore tag below. I just Googled this album, and saw folks selling it for anywhere from $3 to over $250. Holy crap! Regardless of collector pricing, it's a fun album.

Friday, September 3, 2010

"Death on the Installment Plan"

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Santa Lives in the White House
(self-released, 1991)

Some friends of mine formed a slammin' metal band before they scattered like the wind after graduation. OK, after one of them earned his doctorate and skipped town; I think the rest still live there . . . maybe. Mr. Dr. drew the lovely cover, and the name is pronounced "goatload."

\m/  ^_^  \m/

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Von Trap Family
"No Reflexes"

Before Nick Salomon made a name for himself with his fantastic, psychedelic, (usually) solo project The Bevis Frond, he played in at least a couple of bands. The Von Trap Family released just this one lil' EP (the first release on Nick's Woronzow imprint), but it's a mighty nice slab o' wax. While the full-on psychedelia of The Bevis Frond was still a few years away, there are certainly some elements here, especially in Nick's extended guitar solo.

After the traps came Room 13, but I've yet to find a copy of their lone 12" EP. Any help?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Dentists
"Where's My Chicken, You Bastard?"

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The Dentists
You and Your Bloody Oranges
12" EP
(Spruck Records, 1985)

One of the fun things about doing this blog is finding out new stuff about bands I'm featuring. In this case, I've found that The Dentists have been doing reunion shows! Unfortunately, only on the other side of the Earth, but, still, YES! In addition, there is a collection of rarities and unreleased material, If All The Flies Were One Fly, coming out this month!

Anyhow, this song is from their third release, following their debut single, Strawberries Are Growing in My Garden (and it's Wintertime), and first album, Some People Are on the Pitch They Think It's All Over It Is Now. As you can see, they've got quite the knack for song titles.

In 1992, the US label Homestead Records released a compilation of tracks from 1985 through 1987: Dressed. Tracks from all five of their releases in that time period were included, but no record was represented in its entirety. This is one of the songs to not make the grade, despite having one of the greatest titles both of theirs and of all bands.