Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Jad Fair
"Another Silent Night"

I saw ½ Japanese, who featured Jad Fair on vocals and guitar, open for the Dead Kennedys when I was 17. Based on that performance, I was firmly convinced they were the worst band on Earth. Later, I was shocked to discover they had a 7" single out! I mean, someone was stupid enough to put out a record of that? They just made a buncha noise, and, out of six people on stage, only one of them appeared to know how to play his guitar, and he looked all of 14 (he, Mark Jickling, was actually quite a bit older than me)!

I didn't know at the time that the single, Spy, was from a full-length album, Loud, now on CD with the b-sides from the aforementioned single plus the also excellent Horrible EP. Or that Loud had been preceded by a couple of 7" records, a couple of cassettes, and a triple-LP box set, 1/2 Gentlemen/Not Beasts!

Jad and his brother David founded ½ Japanese in 1974. David wrote the majority of the songs in those early years, so I guess that's why Jad started doing solo releases. Jad's solo songs gravitate mainly towards love, mostly unrequited, and monster/horror movie themes; today's song, Another Silent Night, is one of the former. Musically, the album veers from noise collages to frantic anti-rock to beautiful sadness. As far as I know, it is the only of his solo albums to never see reissue, in CD or any other form. That's a damn shame.

NOTE: There was a follow-up, of sorts, to this song called 1,000,000 Kisses on the 1988 ½ Japanese album Charmed Life.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Tormentor
"Branded with Satan"

Tormentor
The Seventh Day of Doom
CD
(H.L.K. Prod., 1997)


It musta really bit to have been a rock'n'roll band behind the Iron Curtain. I would think it was probably completely illegal when Tormentor started, though I could be wrong. Today's song is from their 1987 demo tape, which was officially reissued on CD in 1997 in Italy. I've also seen a pirated CD version with a solid black cover and the band name written in white in a completely different font. I'm guessing the sound quality here is kinda crap due to probably not being recorded under ideal conditions. Or maybe the CD was just mastered from a crummy copy of the tape. I EQ'd it a tiny bit to lessen the mud; hope you don't mind.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I Almost Saw God in the Metro
"Surveillance"

I found the debut CDR EP by these folks in the bargain bin at my fave local store. It turned out they were locals and a power trio of guitar, synths and drums. The bass end of things was usually held down by the guy who plays just keyboardy things (the guitarist/vocalist also played synths), and I love deep, rumbling, dense synth drone in r'n'r. All of the songs on the EP were on the follow-up album featuring today's song, so I passed it along as a gift to a friend. I never really listened to stuff like Gary Numan (love the song Cars, though), but I imagine fans would find something here of appeal. They released one more album on their own Cracked Egg label, this time on pressed CDs, Silver Dust of the Funk Age, then disappeared, though I did see MiniMoog man Zachary Hollback later play with the rather completely different (but also good) Brodie Stove.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Nutchild
"+[.o.] . i ° .3 .   ° . ."

Nutchild
Nutchild
CD
(self-released, 2000?)


I found this bizarre CD in the free bin at my favorite local store around a decade ago. There was no info other than the artist name on the cover, song titles on the back in spidery handwriting mixing letters and symbols with little regard to standard capitalization, and an e-mail address. I sent him a fan mail and he responded, but I lost it long ago when I moved my e-mail from one platform to another. I just did a search, though, and found his website. It's jam packed with some pretty amazing artwork, sculptures, and tattoos. Plus, if you poke around, you can find samples of more songs from this CD plus another called Ignakiiiatussin Epilektum, though I'm not sure that it's been released in physical form.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Freeze
"Paranoia"

The Freeze
In Colour
7" EP
(A. 1. Records, 1979)

No, this is not the hardcore band from Boston. This particular The Freeze were late '70s punkers from wee Scotland. They only released a couple of 7" records in their lifetime, and, while they're good records, they're more historically significant for being transgender warrior Gordon Sharp's band prior to Cindytalk, whom I featured back in July. Not to denigrate The Freeze, mind you. I think this is a pretty sharp tune. HA! Pun not intended.


I've added a download button so songs can now be downloaded or streamed, as you wish. I plan on retroactively adding it to the preceding posts, but there are 140 or so of 'em, so don't expect it to be done overnight.

^_^

Thursday, November 25, 2010

sorry

No song for Thanksgiving. Not in the mood. Considering flaking out and shutting the blog down, anyway.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Spahn Ranch
"Wonder and Perish"

Spahn Ranch
Thickly Settled
LP
(Insight, 1987)

We got this one at my college radio station and I was pretty blown away. Unfortunately, the album gave no information beyond song titles and who produced it (Matt Wallace, best known for producing a buncha records by Faith No More and The Replacements). Until I found this MySpace page just now when doing this write-up, I didn't even know they were from Michigan; I'd just assumed California.

NOTA BENE: There's another Spahn Ranch that plays industrial dance music, I think. Seeing as most of their releases are/were on Cleopatra Records, I imagine they're probably best avoided.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Burning Hotels
"Stuck in the Middle"

The Burning Hotels
Eighty Five Mirrors
CD EP
(self-released, 2007)

I found this one in a dollar bin this past Saturday at a little store around the corner from my house. The band name was intriguing and the cover art eye-catching, so it whored itself out and went home with me (if it'd been in a free bin, it would've been just a slut, not a whore). Today's song is the leadoff track and it jumped right out of the CD player and grabbed me by the ears on first listen. I checked their MySpace and they've released a single and another CD since this, so you'd better believe I will be investigating further.

Monday, November 22, 2010

MX-80 Sound
"Spoonfight"

DAMMIT! I had a nice writeup started then my computer locked up. Oh, well.

I've featured MX-80 Sound before, but that was before I was setup to rip from records and tapes (I cheated for that post and ripped the song from the CD version of the album where it appeared, but the cover I scanned was from my copy of the single). This was their very first recorded appearance, from a local compilation album released in 1975. From what I've read, they started in 1972, the same year that Suicide and the Swell Maps started. Punk rock ground zero, so to speak.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thin Lizzy
"Mama and Papa"

Thin Lizzy
The Lost Recordings
CD EP
(HotPress, 2006)

Well, Decca finally got off their asses and issued the deluxe remasters of Thin Lizzy's first three albums: Thin Lizzy, Shades of a Blue Orphanage, and Vagabonds of the Western World. Back in those days (the very early 1970s) they were a trio with Eric Bell on guitar, rather than the twin guitar attack of Scott Gorham plus another guy (there were several of 'em over the years). These darn things were initially announced as forthcoming close to a decade ago, so it's about darn time! Today's song, therefore, is a tune that predates those records, even.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Last
"Snake in the Grass"

The Last
Look Again
LP
(unreleased, 1980)

This album was recorded with the intent of it being the The Last's second album, following their snazzy debut album L.A. Explosion! For a number of reasons, it ended up never making it past the test pressing stage. Click the album title above for the sad saga from the band themselves. Then, if you like, read the topic about it on their forum; both fans and members of the band get in on the action.

Friday, November 19, 2010

11th Hour
"Carpetplace"

11th Hour
11th Hour
7" EP
(Shag Records, 1985)

Barrett Jones is best known for his production and engineering work with the Foo Fighters and other alt. rock bands in the 1990's and beyond. In the mid-80's, however, he was an aspiring musician type, and led a swell combo called 11th Hour, singing, playing guitar, writing, and producing everything. I didn't snag their demo tape, sadly, but I did pick up both of their 7"s, on their own Shag Records, and caught them live (they rocked impressively). The first 7" was this EP, and today's selection is the lead-off track. It was followed by an equally excellent single called Servation, and then they vanished.

One might be tempted to say there's an obvious Dinosaur (Jr.) influence, but Dinosaur's first album was released the same year as the debut 11th Hour 7", so I don't there'd been time yet for them to be influential. On top of that, my buddy Hubert K. Bunwich reviewed 11th Hour's demo in issue #5 of the magazine Live Squid, whereas Dinosaur's album wasn't reviewed 'til issue #6 (by moi). So . . . yeah.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Canis Lupus
"G.T.O"

Canis Lupus
II
LP
(Alter Deep Connect, 1989)

As with the previously-featured Phonogenix, I picked this up because I'm a big fan of Masashi Kitamura, best known for leading the band YBO². After they split, he started Canis Lupus. Now, YBO² had always mixed proggish tendencies with their punk and post punk influences, but Canis Lupus upped the ante and went full-on, hard prog. Today's song is the lead track from their second album, the brilliantly named II. Yes, that was sarcasm. On the other hand, their first was named 1. Their third and final album, however, was entitled Aqua Perspective, and was the only one to appear on longplaying CD rather than longplaying vinyl.

After the demise of Canis Lupus, Kitamura fired up Differance (yes, they misspelled it), who released two full-length CDs, a CD EP, and a CDR of live tracks and various other odds-and-ends, all on Kitamura's own SSE Communications label. They dialed back the prog a bit plus introduced some drone and folk elements (they covered the Third Ear Band on the EP!). You can be assured they will be featured here at some point.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Raising the Fawn
"Cableknit Clouds"

Raising the Fawn
Raising the Fawn
CD
(self-released, 2001)

Another free bin discovery! I came across their third album, The Maginot Line, in the free bin at, naturally, my fave local shop for music fans. The cover art was intriguing and the band name . . . odd. When I got it home and into the compact disc playing device, I found it to be a worthwhile risk (hey, I coulda thrown my back out carrying it home!). The structure of the songs was a bit proggish, but it was definitely not progressive rock; 'twas more indie rock that wasn't afraid of extended musical pieces. Now that I'm thinking about it, one could possibly get away with calling them a more gentle version of Thee Speaking Canaries, whom I featured last month.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

MC Trachiotomy
"Ma Baby"

MC Trachiotomy
Robot Alien or Ghost
CD
(Anal Log/Rhinestone Records, 1999)

I found this in the $1 bin at one of my fave local music emporiums several months ago. How could I possibly pass up something that strange looking? And strange it did, indeed, turn out to be! There are beats, and vocalizations, and noise, and samples ranging from various tunes from Queen's News of the World to medical information on the color of normal urine. Today's song is actually one of the more coherent pieces.

He followed this with the slightly more musical ...w/Love from Tahiti. After that, it gets sketchy. He mentions stuff on his MySpace that I've not been able to find, and some stuff seems to have been partially released. The latter being a seven song EP with Quintron called Rowdy Life. It was announced as a limited edition 12" EP from New York Night Train Recordings, but I can find no evidence that it was actually released in that format. My copy is a CDR that I found in a bargain bin a few weeks ago at another of my favorite local record shops.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Diocletian
"Annihilation Ritual"

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Otherwise, there'd be a cute lil' streaming audio player on the left, rather than this message.

Diocletian
Demo I : 2005
cassette
(self-released, 2005)

In my Vassafor post the other day, I mentioned they share members with Diocletian, right? Go check. I'll wait.

 

 

 

See, I was right! And . . . here's the first song from their first, and only, demo tape, which they released themselves in a numbered edition of 99 copies (mine is 44!). They re-recorded it for their split LP, Chaos Rising, with Denouncement Pyre, who are not Kiwis but, rather, Aussies.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Dysrhythmia
"Polytrip"

Dysrhythmia
Contradiction
CD
(self-released, 2000)

A burner from Dysrhythmia's long out-of-print debut album, yet another Wayside Music catalog discovery. From talking to guitarist Kevin Hufnagel several years ago, I gathered they aren't very happy with it and don't plan on reissuing it. I happen to be of the opinion that it rocks, however.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

KnowMassive
"Fly by Night (Third Movement)"



KnowMassive
MoodSwingSet
CD
(Moodswing Records, 2003)

The now defunct magazine Southeast Performer featured some of the poorest writing about music I have ever read. Every once in a while, though, an artist I didn't know would be featured and would sound worth investigating. KnowMassive (birth name Jason Atkins) was the featured artist in the July 2004 issue, one of the few I've actually kept. He talked about "listening to a lot of Can, Chrome, Nurse with Wound, Current 93, and Psychic TV" and "trying to incorporate those sensibilities into hip-hop." That, coupled with the photo after the break, caught my eye. The only hip-hop I'd heard remotely along those lines was dälek, so the prospect of more was appealing.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Human Sexual Response
"Pound"
(Extended version)

Human Sexual Response
Pound
12" single
(Passport Records, 1981)

The non-extended version appears on their second album, In a Roman Mood.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Nuclear Crayons
"Teenage Suicide"

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Nuclear Crayons
Nameless E.P.
7" EP
(Outside Records, 1982)

I want to make it absolutely clear that today's post is not making light of suicide. This is an ugly song for a heartbreaking situation.

Brandon Bitner is the latest in the horrible rash of teen suicides in the last several months. He threw himself in front of a tractor-trailer around 3 a.m. the morning of November 5, after deciding he could no longer endure the relentless bullying at school for his perceived sexual orientation. He was only 14 years old.

There have been over a dozen teen suicides that have made the national news recently. All were cases of young people driven to take their own lives after undergoing relentless bullying, either for being openly gay, bisexual or transgendered, or simply for being perceived to be.

Two boys were even younger than Brandon: Asher Brown and Seth Walsh were both only 13. Asher shot himself in the head; Seth never regained conciousness after trying to hang himself.

SadCat started a blog, The Price of Hate (now in my blog links), at the end of September to remember these poor children, who either took their own lives or were killed. There are already fourteen entries dating back to this past July. There are also entries for two boys who were not yet even in their teens when they killed themselves in 2009; Jaheem Harerra and Carl Joseph Walker were each just eleven years old when they took their own lives. The other two entries are a suicide from 2007 and a murder from 2005.

The two children who were murdered were not even school-aged. Ronnie Parris died in 2005, five days after his third birthday, at the hands of his own father, who slap boxed with him to, toughen him up, so he wouldn't become a sissy. Roy A. Jones was beaten to death this past August by his mother's boyfriend for acting too girly. He was seventeen months old.

Unlike other posts with long write-ups, this time I will not shut up. I'm one of the lucky ones; the other kids at school apparently didn't figure me out, even though I knew by the time I was eleven. Then again, I lived in extreme denial for nearly two decades after that realization.


Nuclear Crayons were outsiders in the Washington, D.C. punk rock scene, hence the label name of Outside Records. Vocalist Lynch Lavoison started the label to document both her own band and others that fell outside the box that was harDCore. In addition to this EP, she also released a compilation of area bands, mixed nuts Don't Crack, and a full-length Nuclear Crayons LP. I'm sorry for not writing more about the band, but there are other blogs out there with excellent info, as I discovered after starting this post. I highly recommend investigating further. By the way, the discoloration on the sleeve is from whatever they used to glue the sleeve shut. The brush strokes suggest to me rubber cement, but I could be wrong . . . or the voices could be lying.


I should explain Flipper damage, I guess. It was a term coined in the early 1980s to genrefy punk bands who played on the slower end, with bass driven melodies and harsh, noisy guitar, like the band Flipper, naturally.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Demi Semi Quaver
「赤いガラスの心臓」

Demi Semi Quaver
Three
CD
(Dohb Discs, 1998)

more to come

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Reactions
"Marianne"

The Reactions
Official Release
7" EP
(Reaction Records, 1980)

I love getting freebies when I buy stuff. Around 25 years ago, I think, I got the second 7" EP by The Reactions, The Reactions Love You, as a bonus when I bought something via mailorder. I wanna say it was in an order from Solid Eye, but don't hold me to that OK? Thanks.

It was a rockin' little slab of pop punk and was a most welcome surprise. The scant liner notes on the back indicated there was a previous record called Official Release, so on the hunt I went. I scored a copy and it was just as sweet. "Marianne" appeared on both EPs, for some reason. I prefer the earlier version, so here 'tis. Dig it, OK? Thanks.


UPDATE [Feb 21, 2012]: Cheap Rewards Records has released a full LP of archival material by The Reactions! You can stream the whole thing on their Bandcamp page (and it's pretty darn kickin'), plus you can order the LP direct from the label. Interestingly, the one song missing from the LP is this jukebox entry. You're welcome.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Dick Powell & Ruby Keeler
"I Only Have Eyes for You"

Dick Powell & Ruby Keeler
Dames
movie musical
(Warner Bros., 1934)

I hate musicals, for the most part. There are a handful of exceptions, though, and old movie musicals with Dick Powell and/or Ruby Keeler, with production numbers by Busby Berkeley, fit the bill to a T.

I pulled today's song, btw, from a great collection called Lullaby Of Broadway: The Best of Busby Berkeley at Warner Bros. The only drawback to it is it does not include "Pettin' in the Park" from Gold Diggers of 1933. That oughta be against the law!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Major Stars
"When You Leave"

Major Stars are yet another killer, hard rockin', psychedelic combo led by guitarist Wayne Rogers, formerly of Connecticut, just like my daddy, and Crystalized Movements & Magic Hour, unlike my daddy, who is 80-years-old and does not like rock music.

I bought this CDR from them when they blew Acid Mothers Temple off the stage at a show back in 2002. Only one of the five songs, "Deep End," has appeared on another release. This is one of the four limited solely to this fine lil' puppy.


NOTE: Those are the Bremen Town Musicians on the cover, a musical and crime fighting combo from Bremen, in northern Germany.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Necros
"Face Forward"

Oh, dear! You must not have a compatible version of flash!

Necros
Conquest for Death
LP
(Touch and Go Records, 1983)

Greg Anderson and Stephen O'Malley are seen here fighting over the name for their future band. Luckily, Crate and Peavey both lost; Pignose or Sovtek mighta been interesting, though.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Hot Young Priest
"Burn Up"

Hot Young Priest
Burning Hot and Free
CDR EP
(self-released, 2004)

I sometimes wonder if Hot Young Priest leader-vocalist-guitarist-songwriter Mary Byrne has some issues with religion. Prior to Hot Young Priest, she led the band Shamgod, and that was after leaving a band called the Bibles. This lil' 5 tracker was HYP's debut release. They followed it with an excellent album, Fiendish Freaky Love, then pretty much just . . . vanished.

:'-(

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Vassafor
"Craft of Dissolution"

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New Zealand is probably best known, musically, in the rest of the world for spawning Split Enz and Crowded House, who were both led by the brothers Finn. Not quite as well known is the indie pop/rock world of Flying Nun Records and the more dissonant sounds of the now defunct Xpressway label.

Much like France, though, I doubt most people think of NZ as a source of raw, blasting black metal. In this case in the form of Vassafor and Diocletian. Incest abounds, however, as they also share members, just like SE and CH.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Randy Pie
"Luie"

Randy Pie
Sightseeing Tour
LP
(Polydor, 1974)

I was given a copy of Randy Pie's second album when I bought Kiss's Alive album at Stan's Records when I was 14. The store had a box of freebies, and the person who rang me up said I'd like it. Seeing as I live in the US, and it was a US pressing, it was eponymously titled, but, in their homeland of West Germany, it was called Highway Driver.

It sounded nothing like Kiss, but I did kinda like it.

Me being me, I eventually bought the other albums I could find locally, but I had to special order this one from the JEM Catalog* at my favorite local record store, Sooto Records (Sooto = something out of the ordinary). The West German pressing of this one was eponymously titled, but I ended up with the UK version, hence the title above of Sightseeing Tour. This was their debut and is ever-so-slightly more on the hard end than what followed. The later records are a bit more jazzy and discofied, but I still like 'em.


OK, this is freaky:

When I found the Facebook page linked above, dedicated to the memory of SOOTO, one of the wall commenters was someone I used to know.

Now the really freaky part:

I bought this record while my sister and I were staying at his house in 1978! Our parents were friends, so we stayed at their house while our folks were getting our new house ready in another state. Small world, eh? I remember playing Love Theme from Kiss for him to prove Kiss were good musicians. He was not impressed. Then again, he was a little bit older than me and a big fan of Jimi Hendrix, who was rather talented.


*Older readers in the US may recall that the JEM Catalog used to be pretty much the only way to get imported records back in the 1970s. I still have albums with big, orange JEM stickers that still will not come off.

>:-(

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sex Vid
"Trainwreck"

Oh, dear! You must not have a compatible version of flash!

Sex Vid
Sex Vid
7" EP
(Kill Test, 2005)

Some nice, blasting hardcore from Washington state. Hardcore in the early 1980's sense, that is; not some crap like Atreyu or Hatebreed. Sex Vid are so hardcore, in fact, that they don't even have a MySpace page. This track is from their ripping debut 7" EP. They've since released three more 7" EPs, a 12" EP and a coupla live tapes. It's all pretty much essential, imo. Except the live tape I missed out on. Since I don't have a copy, I'll have to assume it's awful, so I won't feel sorry for myself.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Les Sales Combles
"Papa Bricole"

Les Sales Combles
Les Salles Vides
12" EP
(self-released, 1989)

Some friends and I stayed at the apartment of Christian "Dodo" Addor for a night back in 1990. In the morning, I was chatting with him and looking through his record collection when Débile Menthol came up (I think I spied their albums on his shelf). I only knew his first name at that point, so I had no idea he was a member!