Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Hüsker Dü - Celebrated Summer Winter Pt. 1: Live 1982/85 and more.

Witnessing the video for Hüsker Dü's "Makes No Sense At All"/"Love is All Around" on 120 Minutes in the fall of 1989, was the most visceral four-minute sales pitch I encountered in my entire life.  Maybe it didn't alter the ground I was standing on, so to speak, but it placed me on an exciting new trajectory that would lead to the discovery of literally hundreds of other artists with similar ideals and templates, not to mention the universe of indie rock in general.  Indirectly, my acquaintanceship with Bob Mould, Grant Hart and Greg Norton led to personal friendships, and even got me into the tape trading thing (remember that?).  Yes, that one fateful video (which from my vantage point might as well have been filmed on a home camcorder) made ripples that sill reverberate to this day.  "Who were these guys?" I thought to myself at the time.  Why the hell were they wearing street clothes?  SST Records?  Never heard of them.  And for God's sake, I thought Flying V Gibsons were exclusively the province of hair farmers like Poison. 

Being stuck in a small town in the '80s and early '90s finding indie titles invariably entailed mail-ordering.  So, while I was patiently awaiting a clutch of Hüsker tapes and records from SST, I investigated their Warner Bros releases, beginning with the sprawling Warehouse: Songs and Stories double album.  It may not have had quite the same velocity as say, Metal Circus, but I was bowled over nonetheless with the band's dual delivery system of profound melodic structures and unyielding swift tempos (that of course, ebbed appropriately on ballads like "No Reservations").  In 1990 I accumulated their catalog in short order, and absorbed it meticulously, song-by-song.  And in that very same year I was even treated to Bob Mould's subdued Workbook.  Around this time I put my feelers out there for any other Dü-rights like myself, and fortunately I wasn't alone in the world.
debut solo record,

Despite their breakup, not much earlier than my discovery of them they would soon become my go-to band of choice.  To paraphrase the great Michael Azerrad in his tome Our Band Could Be Your Life, Hüsker Dü were the kind of band you could hang your hat on.  Not so much in terms of political philosophy mind you, but the little trio from Minneapolis that could spouted a wellspring of truisms and empathetic sentiments on matters ranging from romance to society.  And the tangled latticework of feedback, hooks and then some which accompanied it was nothing short of flabbergasting.  While not always adequately acknowledged during their existence, the group has been canonized and immensely revered post their early-1988 breakup.

Ironically, 2017 turned out to be one of Hüsker Dü's most relevant years ever, even if all three participants hadn't been in the same room together for a solid three decades.  Tragically, and surprisingly to many fans, drummer/mouthpiece/co-songwriter Grant Hart passed away from cancer on September 13.  And roughly two months thereafter saw the arrival of Savage Young Du, an artfully and painstakingly crafted multi-disk box set featured mostly unreleased archival live and studio material culled from the earliest years of their tenure.  A remastered version of their first studio full length, Everything Falls Apart was also included.

Over the course of the first two nights of Chanukah, I'm going to feature a slim archival trove of my own.  The bulk of the first installment concerns two complete live sets.  Hüsker Dü's December 28, 1982 performance in Tuscon, AZ was thoughtfully captured on tape, and bootlegged multiple times under the moniker of Ultracore.  This rip wasn't taken from that often shady sounding piece of wax, rather another source tape.  The gig in question finds the fab three on the threshold of a more melodic modus operandi, while still keeping the breakneck thrust of their nascent years intact.  The crowd is treated to numerous songs from the then-forthcoming and soon-to-be seminal ep Metal Circus.  An absolute and utter scorcher.

I've never attended a Hüsker Dü (nor will I) but I'm convinced they never gave a poor performance, save for any external circumstances beyond their control.  By the time of this May 1985 gig in Toronto, the band was at the apex of their playing and songwriting aptitude, having paid their dues at pretty much every notable punk squat/dive in the country.  They were on the verge of graduating to larger venues, not to mention a considerably more sizable record label.  I would peg this show as having occurred between the New Day Rising and Flip Your Wig records, as the setlist draws heavily from both.  This is logical given Hüsker Dü's notorious penchant for previewing future album material in concert.  Audio quality is a little too bass-y for my tastes, but overall an above satisfactory audience tape at the height of their creative peak.

I'm including a third "mystery" file, that you'll just have to download to reveal its nature. Cool?  Thought so.  Tune in tomorrow evening for the second tranche of Hüsker goodies.  Links and tracklists are as follows.

Backstage, Tuscon AZ 12-28-82  MP3  or FLAC

In a Free Land/Target/What Do I Want?/M.I.C./From the Gut/Blah Blah Blah/Wheels/Everything Falls Apart/It's Not Funny/Real World/Standing by the Sea/Deadly Skies/Out on a Limb/Bricklayer/Tired of Doing Things/Afraid of Being Wrong/Strange Week/Big Sky/Ultracore/Let's Go Die/Data Control/Sunshine Superman/Statues/Punch Drunk 

Larry's Hideaway, Toronto ON, 5/2/85  MP3  or  FLAC
New Day Rising/It's Not Funny Any More/Everything Falls Apart/The Girl Who Lives On Heaven Hill/I Apologize/If I told you/Folklore/Every Everything/Makes no Sense at All/Keep Hanging On/Find Me/Terms Of Psychic Warfare/Powerline/Books About UFOs/Chartered Trips/Diane/Hate Paper Doll/Green Eyes/Divide and Conquer/Eight Miles High/Ticket to Ride/Pink Turns to Blue/Recurring Dreams~The Wit And The Wisdom~Recurring Dreams/Love is All Around

Mystery bonus - MP3  or  FLAC

Sunday, December 10, 2017

I call you up, but you just bring me down...

A major league favorite of mine.  Should've been huge.

Here

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Watching the candles burn...BFD uploads a 'comin Tuesday evening for Chanukah 2017.

Let's face it.  Content-wise I haven't given you as much this year as I typically do.  There are myriad reasons for this - chronic procrastination, overtime at the office, depression ruts, fatigue, and of course, good old fashioned laziness.  But beginning this Tuesday evening for one week and one day, all will be right and proper with the universe.

In what has become an annual tradition on Wilfully Obscure (not to mention the ever increasing bane of my sanity) I'll be rolling out extra special, super duper entries over the week of Chanukah.   Beginning in 2012, I decided to spread the goodies out over the eight nights of Chanukah (check out the preliminary details for 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.  This made sense on a couple of levels.  For one, it gives me a convenient excuse to share several mind-blowing "gifts" instead of just one biggie on Christmas.  Secondly, Chanukah represents personal relevance to me.  We all know you were envious of that boy down the block who had a yarmulke festooned to his head, who was given the privilege of lighting the menorah, and of course, reveling in eight glorious nights of presents.  Once again, I'm paying it forward.  Previous Chanukah entries have featured Wire, Velocity Girl, Jellyfish, The Pursuit of Happiness and Redd Kross, but name recognition is not hardly a guarantee.  As in past years, there will definitely be familiar faces, but also several participants that have never garnered face-time on W/O.

At the top of each Chanukah upload will be a thumbnail photo of a menorah, with the appropriate number of lit candles to denote each succeeding evening until all eight slots in the candelabra are occupied on the concluding night, December 19th.

All of this begs the question, "Has Wilfully Obscure been holding out on us for the last 11 months?"  Somewhat...but not quite.  In short, the presents I plan on revealing over the eight nights of Chanukah are of considerably high caliber.  I like to think that everything I share qualifies as good to excellent, but to paraphrase that sage Orwellian dictum, some are more equal than others.

A few housekeeping tidbits to be bear in mind.
  • I was originally planning a big fat opening night, but decided it would be too overwhelming...so I'll partition it out across this Tuesday and Wednesday evenings.  No worries though, as I'm certain you'll be Düly rewarded.
  • No box sets this year.  Ain't going there.  Maybe next time.
  • If I can offer files in FLAC (in addition to standard MP3) I will.  If I don't post a FLAC download link for a certain title you can assume it's not available in that format.
  • Mystery Monday will be active this week as usual, but not next Mon (Dec. 18).
Come around sundown this Tuesday, and as always, download responsibly.

Friday, December 8, 2017

The Searchers - Another Night: The Sire Recordings 1979-1981 (2017, Omnivore) - A brief overview.

If you're of a certain age (say fifties or older) you'd be forgiven if the only Searchers songs you might be able to conjure up chestnuts from the band's initial reign like "Needles and Pins" or "Love Potion No. 9."  The Searchers were after all a product of the UK Merseybeat era, and a successful Brit Invasion contender in the States.  Hailing from Liverpool however, it's hard to ignore the fact that they were edged out by another considerably more contagious quartet from the same town. Nonetheless, between 1963-65 the Searchers were responsible for roughly a dozen charting singles - a respectable feat in era of more than enough like-minded outfits vying for precious space in record racks on both sides of the Atlantic.

By the late '60s, their singles run had dried up, and throughout the majority of the 70s the band (with a rotating cast of members) kept a comparatively low profile, playing gigs on their home turf.  In reality, the Searchers were hardly sought after, so to speak.  Enter Seymour Stein, founder of Sire Records in America, who was a huge fan and believer of the Searchers who reached out to his Brit heroes with the prospect of reviving the band's career.  The result were two new albums - 1979's self titled album, and an especially potent follow-up in 1981, Love's Melodies, both of which have been restored and expanded on Omnivore's two disk Searchers collection Another Night: The Sire Recordings

Hardly picking up where they left off in their halcyon era, the Searchers showed up with not only new material, but a fresh modus operandi that had more in common with Nick Lowe than the Fab Four.  In numerous respects, this hardy crew really was the best kept secret in their league, quite literally as the Searchers had seemingly lost their initial fanbase from a decade and a half prior.  Problem was, they didn't quite grab the ears of new listeners either, who had gravitated to hipper purveyors like Elvis Costello and Squeeze.  I suppose you could chalk that up to the Searchers not conveying themselves as hipsters at all, gravitating more to the Bay City Rollers end of the power pop spectrum at least on their 1979 comeback effort.  Sure, they slapped on a skinny tie or two, but image wasn't the goal.  Luckily, the tunes were - and melodious salvos like "It's Too Late," "Switchboard Susan," and "Hearts in Her Eyes" (the latter written by The Records Will Birch and John Wicks).  Some stray forays into country-rock and overly sappy balladry are evidenced on The Searchers as well, but thankfully not egregious enough to put a damper on everything.

Love's Melodies, though chiseled from much of the same aesthetics as the aforementioned record, is an improvement on virtually all fronts, with the Searchers conveying stronger songs and an assertiveness to boot, even if a healthy dollop of preciousness was still intact.  Virtually anywhere the needle or laser lands yields some variance of stick-to-your-ribs goodness.  Admittedly Love's Melodies is polished and linear as all-get-out, but it's a formula that suits deftly effective selections such as "Silver," "little Bit of Heaven" and the title track to a T.   A reading of Big Star's signature piece, "September Girls" sounds splendid, even if it's undergone some subtle tweaks (I'll let you figure out where).  Safe to say if the Searchers power pop contemporaries including Hawks and Rubinoos did the trick for you, this platter will work the same magic.  We get four bonus tracks on this one, including all of the contemporary b-sides, and a John Hiatt penned outtake, "Ambulance Chaser."

To reiterate, the Searchers weren't hipsters or punks, and for that matters didn't even have a foothold in the emerging new romantic movement. True, these records are a trifle deficient in the innovation department, yet the band in question transcends this situation with a bouquet of quality material and hook-savvy panache, keeping them competitive with virtually any of their era's blossoming youngsters.  Another Night is available straight from Omnivore, and Amazon.  Get it.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Not Shakespeare - Edge of the World (1992, Not)

Not Shakespeare's self titled 1986 ep blew me AWAY...when I heard it for the first time almost twenty-five years later.  Yep, another one who made his way to the party a quarter century after the fact, though given the strength of the four songs on that record late was way more preferable than never.  And I didn't even realize there was a follow-up full length that existed until I stumbled upon it in a used music shop just a couple years back.  By 1992, this Blacksburg, VA quartet traded in some of their collegiate indie rock luster for more streamlined pastures while still retaining more than a modicum of earthy jangle.  It's pretty evident that Roger McGuinn cast a spell on these gents, and I'd almost swear N/S adopted a thing or two from late-80s R.E.M., the Pedaljets and Dreams So Real.  Edge of the World boasts an Americana tincture in places, which might take some getting used to for those of you whom only know them by that stunning aforementioned ep.  I can do without some of this disk's more long-winded ambling numbers, but pearls like "An Age Like This" and "Sister" compensate perfectly. 

01. Sister
02. Pockets
03. Stone
04. Burn
05. An Age Like This
06. Flood
07. He Says
08. Peace Prize
09. Conversation
10. Vertigo
11. Let Me In

http://www46.zippyshare.com/v/acz6FwbL/file.html

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Her lovers have her walking `round on instruments of torture...

Four eps from four different decades.  A veritable cavalcade of veteran heavy hitters...and one newbie.

Here

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Crossfire Choir - Dominique (1991, CBGB/OMFUG)

The Crossfire Choir circle is now complete, with the addition of their third and final album on these pages.  I mentioned when I launched their first album a few weeks ago that C/C seemed to gain credibility as their tenure progressed, but as it turns out that metamorphosis wasn't as pronounced as I initially thought.  Nonetheless, out of their trifecta of platters, Dominique is probably the most recommendable.  Perhaps the most interesting development is that the album was released by CBGB's in-house record label.  I'm not sure what Hilly Kristal saw in these lads, as they don't bear much of a punk pedigree, but something tells me Crossfire Choir must have gone off like a firecracker in that noted and now defunct lower Manhattan venue.  Now that I think about it, there are some pretty choice aggro numbers here like "I Know You Are" and "Can of Worms" which kick up more than their fair share of dust.  Elsewhere, C/C's prowess on Dominique is a little more tuneful and straitlaced with "If This is a Joke" and "Showdown" hovering in the vicinity of the Smithereens and Dreams so Real.  Not a bad place to be I suppose.  There's oodles of songs here - almost a double album's worth, so dive in and have at it.

01. Month of Sundays
02. She Cries
03. If This is a Joke
04. People Claws
05. Everything Girls
06. Field of Lilacs
07. Showdown
08. Testify
09. I Know You Are
10. Ghosts
11. Hand Out
12. Can of Worms
13. Upside Down
14. Heroic Ceaser
15. Yak Yak
16. Headspins
17. Frightened

http://www76.zippyshare.com/v/FsW4NNsu/file.html

Friday, December 1, 2017

Facts About Rats - I Don't Wanna Get Involved With You 7" (1992, Stanton Park)

"Nirvana's boring...Seattle's mainstream...What's a band to do???  Do what comes naturally!"

Or so goes the introductory blurb of the bio that accompanied my copy of Facts About Rats' 7," a veritable quarter-century old relic at this point.  The Rats comprised five guys from Beantown, who do in fact exude punk rock in relatively natural fashion.  But that's really not that remarkable of a revelation given that mic fiend Bobby Gaudeau performed a stint in the Queers, and even takes one of their songs to task on the a-side of this wax.  A Ramones-y stride is more than evident on this triple threat 45, and coincidentally or not, the Rats wouldn't sound out of place on a bill with another one of their contemporaries, the Action Swingers.  A ballsy, no-nonsense tact ensured these dudes would never be mistaken for any of the generic, left-coast fluff that was all too prevalent at this time.  A very solid 7," and apparently the only recorded document by the Rats that was ever in any kind of circulation.  They also contributed a track to the hardcore comp Apocalyptic Convulsions, which I'm also including in this download.  A mere four song discography you might ask?  This appears to be the case, but I'll take that over nothin' any day.

A. I Don't Wanna Get Involved With You
B1. Never Let You Go
B2. Go Away

plus: Still Want You (from Apocalyptic Convulsions comp, 1992)

http://www15.zippyshare.com/v/XOnkZgpC/file.html

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

V/A - Today Brooklyn, Tomorrow the World (198?, Brooklyn Beat)

So this one cuts both ways - half relatively serious (good) indie rock combos, with the remainder striking me as jokey/niche/novelty.  Problem is this Brooklyn scene report intermingles the whole lot of them haphazardly, when the far more logical route would have been to dedicate one album side to each contingent, as it were.  Also, it doesn't help that Today Brooklyn... fails to designate a copyright date on the sleeve or insert, though 1988 might be a good ballpark.  The band with the dippiest moniker, Squirrels From Hell, manages to wield this record's most crucial selection, "Cinderella Girl." a warm, analogue-hued slice of ragged and ringing guitar pop, with just the right measure of serrated distortion.  To my understanding there was more to come down the pike from the Squirrels, but in something of a different guise.  Medicine Sunday exhibit a similar aptitude, and would also be a shoo-in for left-of-the-dial hanger-oners like yours truly.  The Fields are strummy, goes down easy folks of some measurable distinction as well, and I introduced you to the formidable Woodpecker on these very pages about a year ago.  One thing that this comp doesn't need is an obnoxious take on "Shortnin' Bread," not to mention the bluesy piss-take Frank's Museum commence this disk with.  These transgressions aside, ...Brooklyn's more worthwhile inhabitants make this borough worth your perusal.

01. Frank's Museum - Baby's Got a Thang for Nasty Weather
02. The Original Rays - Ballad of the Green Berets
03. Squirrels From Hell - Cinderella Girl
04. Chemical Wedding - We Are Not Afraid
05. Formaldehyde Blues Train - St. Louis
06. Medicine Sunday - Conviction
07. The Fields - Beautiful
08. When People Were Shorter and Lived by the Water - Shortnin' Bread
09. Woodpecker - 25 Years
10. The Moe - Romance is Risky

http://www56.zippyshare.com/v/MHyw27Dc/file.html

Sunday, November 26, 2017

You won't get far if you're going nowhere.

This week it's the expanded reissue of this genre-defining band's 1993 comeback album. 

Here

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Terminal White - Death and Love ep (1986, White)

Sometimes I like to pitch ya'll a curve ball now and again.  The opening salvo, "Slaughter Me," on this Chicago unit's first ep oozes coldwave and synthy minimalism galore - not usually the stuff I specialize in.  In fact, Terminal White are wont to cling to their drum machine as fiercely as the marshall-istic beats that emanate from it.  Factor in ever-so-slightly pious, goth tinged vocals, and you might might be tempted to write T Whitey off altogether.  But if you're willing to invest a few more minutes in Death and Love, you'll be pleased to discover that things warm up quickly on "Waterboy" awash in sweet, clangy post-punk guitar lines.  "It's All Over in April" caps things off on a decidedly somber, albeit approachable note.

Terminal White are still in existence, and responsible for a recent mini-album, Blind Pig, available from the usual bevy of digital vendors. Also, for those of you who are noncommittal about downloading Death and Love, it can be streamed through the band's website, alongside a variety of their other endeavors.

01. Slaughter Me
02. Where do You Run?
03. Waterboy
04. It's All Over in April

http://www113.zippyshare.com/v/x7lJV8Gv/file.html

Thursday, November 23, 2017

R.I.P. Tommy Keene - Songs From the Film expanded ed. (1986/1998)

This wasn't what I intended to share with you on Thanksgiving, but considering the number of mentions of him I've doled out on these pages, I'd be remiss if I didn't extend my condolences to his followers, or at the very least acknowledge that Tommy Keene passed away today unexpectedly in his sleep.  In this year/era of premature celebrity deaths, I've nearly become desensitized to the ever mounting and staggering accumulation of losses, but as I'm sure is the case with a great many of you, this one really stings. 

Not only did Tommy record and issue an immense amount of spotless, par excellence guitar pop in his own right, his touchstone was wielded like a giant, melodic dragnet upon a myriad of artists that were "captured" subsequent to the start of his solo endeavors in the early '80s.  So many of his acolytes have been praised on Wilfully Obscure it's downright mind boggling. 

Much, much more can be spoken of Tommy Keene, and no doubt will be, but for toight I will leave you with this reissue of his first proper solo album, Songs From the Film from 1986.  R.I.P. TK.

http://www16.zippyshare.com/v/oTdoFjdC/file.html

PS: I will try to attend to any and all broken Tommy Keene download links from earlier posts in the coming days. 

Sunday, November 19, 2017

I'm not looking for escapism, I just want to escape.

A compilation covering this UK post-punk outfit's 1980-83 studio recordings.

Here

Saturday, November 18, 2017

The Reels - s/t (1979)

Denizens from down under, The Reel's peppy, organ-induced wave/pop was seemingly derived from the blueprint of such Elvis Costello slammers as "Radio, Radio" and "Moods for Moderns." To the band's credit, E.C. wasn't their only muse, boasting heightened rhythmic sensibilities that were more advanced than straight pub rock or power pop.  Robust but never overwhelming, The Reels manages to tread lightly into the same realm ska-lite demigods Madness were contemporaneously propagating.  The results are often infectious, with dizzying delights like "Prefab Heart," "Plastic Pop," and "Misused, Abused" all vying for the epitome of what this Aussie crew had to offer at the time.  The Reels didn't do squat in the States, and moreover they didn't hit pay dirt on their own home turf a couple years later with their breakthrough, Quasimodo's Dream.  If this record alone won't suffice, fear not, there's more Reels available on iTunes and such.

01. Plastic Pop
02. Baby's in the Know
03. Love Will Find a Way
04. Don't Get Me Wrong
05. Wonder Why
06. Misused, Abused
07. Prefab Heart
08. Spot the Ridge
09. Apathy
10. Go Away
11. The Meeting
12. Livalafaway 

http://www31.zippyshare.com/v/WZGQWoKH/file.html

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Crossfire Choir - Back to the Wall (1988, Track Record)

By popular demand here's the follow-up album to the first Crossfire Choir LP that I shared with you late last week.  The Ed Stasium-produced Back to the Wall eschews a lot of the gratuitous '80s gloss of the Choir's debut, and by and large opts for a more organic penchant.  The results aren't always consistent, but Wall finds the boys with their fingers on the pulse of something approaching power pop on "Do What You Want" and "Even Now."  "Bombs" and "I Don't Feel Like Dancing" exhibit some discernible and much appreciated vigor, while the concluding "Shrink Rap" is a goofball, hip-hop pisstake that buttons up the record in less than dignified fashion - but not enough to dissuade you from exploring the preceding eleven songs. 

01. Catalyst
02. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah
03. Back to the Wall
04. Driven Man
05. Bombs
06. Neverland
07. Canary Song
08. Even Now
09. I Don't Feel Like Dancing
10. I Don't Think So
11. Do What You Want
12. Shrink Rap

http://www34.zippyshare.com/v/i5XdlPyf/file.html

Monday, November 13, 2017

In a jungle made of stars it's raining jewelry.

Cheeky but often sublime nouveau wave from 2011. 

Here

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Crossfire Choir (1986, Passport)

More rock o' the '80s, comin' atcha.  So...this one wasn't exactly what I was expecting.  I've been interfacing with Crossfire Choir's albums for awhile - more like a decade or so to be exact.  I initially took the plunge with their third record, Dominique a couple years ago (which I'll get to in a future post) but I thought I'd start chronologically with these Florida to NYC transplants. A good half of the quartet's self-titled debut is actually pretty respectable, albeit nondescript at points.  Residing in the middle of the FM bandwidth, the band offer meager concessions to us left field types, sporting an array of mainstream-ish likenesses such as late '80s Duran, the Alarm, and Glass Tiger (yeah, I know, but occasionally accurate).

Oddly enough, C/C would wind up accumulating artistic cred as their tenure progressed, which was usually the polar opposite with any of their contemporaries, famous or otherwise.  So far as this platter is concerned, revelations are in short supply yet it's more than listenable, perhaps with one glaring exception.  One of Crossfire Choir's key selling points for yours truly was the inclusion of a CD bonus track (remember those?), "Frantic Romantic."  Any indie music-head worth their salt would make the safe assumption this was a cover of the Scientists post-punk classic, but startlingly it's an original - one that veers heavily in the vicinity of Oingo Boingo to boot.  Bummer.  Here's a link to an archived article on the Choir pertaining to the era surrounding the record in question. 

01. Love Hate Relation
02. Nation of Thieves
03. To Be Young
04. Walk Walk
05. The Last Word
06. Well Lets...
07. What's it to Ya?
08. Disappointment

09. Blue Eyed Thunder
10. Spark In Your Eye
11. Left Behind
12. Hell Hath No Fury
13. Waiting
14. Heaven and Earth
15. The Bringing
16. Frantic Romantic

http://www42.zippyshare.com/v/nS0Ci8Ks/file.html

Me - Here Comes Everybody 7" (1993, spinART)

I picked up this one based on a pretty reliable trademark of quality, the spinART Records logo.  The bargain price didn't hurt either.  Bearing an undeniably selfish moniker, Me evidently called Bristol, England home.  You can imagine what a Google-induced nightmare awaits you when looking up this five piece, but I digress.  On top of that, they aren't the most convenient to typecast either.  The A-side, "Here Comes Everybody" is awash with subtle neo-psych overtones, mildly akin to the Boo Radleys, and even less so the Lilys and Elephant 6 conundrums Olivia Tremor Control. To my ears the second flip-side, "Lucy" is the real deal, which deliberately or not finds Me melding C86 Britpop to the harmony laced aesthetic of old school power pop champs the Rubinoos.  My cup runneth over...at least for a good three minutes anyway.  Several more Me singles and full lengths are available.  

A. Here Comes Everybdoy
B1. Quester
B2. Lucy

http://www14.zippyshare.com/v/Nc7TavNj/file.html

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Holiday Slides - Ornate Coalmine (1989, $in¢ere)

An ace find here. What de minimis info that exists online regarding Holiday Slides somehow fails to mention this record.  For shame, because this New York trio come barging straight out the gate with "Fall of Rome," sounding like the best thing the Replacements didn't lay down for Don't Tell a Soul.  And believe it or not, it ain't downhill from there folks.  "That's Your Darling for You" is a glossy but wondrous slice of sophisti-pop faintly channeling the Three O' Clock and Squeeze.  In fact, the tenor of Ornate Coalmine feels like something of a precursor to soon-to-arrive conglomerations like Jellyfish, the Wondermints, Owsley, and heck, throw a little Sloan in there too.  Plush arrangements and polished songcraft utterly belie the fact that this was presumably a privately released album.  Not everything they fling at the proverbial wall sticks, but in addition to the aforementioned, make sure to investigate "Go to the Police With What You Know" and "Fe Fi Foe."  A cassette album that preceded Ornate, Can You Count the Brunettes? has been made available in rerecorded form on Bandcamp

01. The Fall of Rome
02. That's Your Darling For You
03. Fe Fi Foe (Be Big About This)
04. Down on Our Luck
05. Rick Wakeman
06. Astronauts on Your Birthday Cake
07. Ring
08. What a Lovely Surprise Karoline!
09. Have a Heart
10. Jason's Home
11. Go to the Police With What You Know
12. Terminal Hotel

http://www24.zippyshare.com/v/VdGMFi7P/file.html

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Where did I put this month's rent?

From 1998, but technically a year prior.  Divine crunch-pop with a slight Weezer underbite.

Here

Zeitgeist - Translate Slowly (vinyl mix) (1985, DB)

A couple of you have pointed out the CD version of  Zeitgeist's (later The Reivers) Translate Slowly, which I initially shared back in 2007 is a different mix than the vinyl version.  So, voila, I'm presenting you with the vinyl mix, taken from my own copy. Yes, sonically there are differences between the two of them, with the original analog version striking me as a tad bit murkier and grittier.  The CD mix, as as you might expect, is the brighter of the two, yielding a more lucid semblance to just about every given facet of the record.  The link to that version is here, where it's always been. 

For the uninitiated, Zeitgeist/Reivers crafted an impeccable album of jangly and clangy left-of-the-dial rock (this one).  After the name alternation they made two more equally substantive albums (Saturday and The End of the Day) for Capitol Records in the later '80s, and then some independently, including a reunion record in 2013.  Check out my original entry for Translate Slowly here, and the band's impeccably detailed website

PS: Track twelve has a skip that I couldn't do anything about.  My apologies. 

01. Araby
02. Cowboys
03. Legendary Man
04. Blue Eyes
05. She Digs Ornette
06. Things Don't Change
07. Translate Slowly
08. Sound and the Fury

09. Without My Sight
10. I Knew
11. Freight Train Rain
12. Hill Country Theme

http://www73.zippyshare.com/v/E49gY0QH/file.html

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Nice Strong Arm - Cloud Machine ep (1989, Homestead)

In the mood for some insular, densely packed indie rock, often approaching something of a melancholic maelstrom?  Yeah, me too.  NYC noiseniks Nice Strong Arm never failed to satisfy in this realm.  I featured their Mind Furnace and Stress City LPs prior to tonight's offering, both of which garnered no shortage of approval.  I'm about 95% certain the Cloud Machine ep was NSA's final recorded spasm, featuring two new studio tracks on side one, with the flip providing some live action.  "Cloud Machine" is another slyly dissonant, subtly melodic post-punk jewel in the band's sinewy oeuvre, amped-out to the hilt I might add.  Can't get enough of that guitar.  The instrumental that follows it, "Cop Show" doesn't make quite the same impression, but a live (at CBGB's no less) run through the choice Furnace kernel "Faucet Head" on side two more than compensates.

01. Cloud Machine
02. Cop Show
03. Faucet Head
04. Life of the Party

http://www61.zippyshare.com/v/K13lCl6s/file.html

Monday, October 30, 2017