Saturday, September 25, 2010
In 1986, former members of Volcano Suns, Gary Waleik and Steve Michener (the latter was also in Dumptruck), recruited guitarist/vocalist Bill Goffrier (formerly of The Embarrassment), and drummer Jeff Oliphant (formerly of XS and the Iron Gerbils), who was Gary's cousin. Goffrier struck up a friendship with Waleik when he attended a Volcano Suns gig in mid-1985, and the next year the band was formed.Their first release was the 1987 mini-album Boo-Boo on Homestead Records (released on Demon Records in the UK). The full-length album Heavens, which was released later in 1987, has been described as "one of the finest American indie albums of its era". Their second full-length album, Craps, followed in 1988. Three of the band contributed with songwriting. One of the tracks on the album reflected Goffrier's interest in extra-terrestrial phenomena, with the song "Semjase" about a Swiss farmer who in the 1970s claimed to have been regularly visited by Semjase, a woman from the constellation Pleides. They signed to Epic Records for 1990's Slam. This would prove to be their final album. Michener left the band and they continued with various players for two years, splitting up in 1992 after releasing a 45 and recording more than an albums worth of material. In 2008, Merge Records released a 3-CD anthology of Big Dipper's Homestead recordings, with additional material,including the unreleased tracks recorded after Michener left, titled Supercluster: The Big Dipper Anthology. This renewed interest has prompted the band to reform for some live shows in April 2008
Big Dipper - All Going Out Together - Vinyl album with members of Volcano Suns on Homestead Records
Damaged-era Black Flag bassist Dukowski now leads this LA power-rock quartet which unconsciously draws on the sound of the '70s for likable, original music that stop well short of metal. Former Bandmate Greg Ginn produced the hard-driving, intelligent debut album which revolves around Merrill Ward, a singer who can really project. Sex Doctor refines the concept on a batch of new tunes, penned mostly by Ward. The lyrics are generally presentable without saying much; tight group playing lends the music conviction and dignity.
SWA - Evolution 1985 - 1987 - Compact Disc
Once Upon a Time: The Singles collects all ten of Siouxsie and the Banshees' A-sides spanning the years 1978-1981, with four songs otherwise unavailable on LP. It's a neat and accessible encapsulation of the group's early guitar-driven sound -- a frosty, dissonant art punk that had a tremendous impact on the emerging goth rock scene. Unlike similarly forbidding work by such proto-goth contemporaries as Joy Division or the Cure, the early Banshees were tense and visceral; the darkness of the Once Upon a Time singles doesn't come from a sense of downcast gloom so much as it does from a jittery angst. Yet as challenging as the music is, it's also accessible enough for eight of these singles to have charted in the British Top 50. The melodies are angular and almost alien, yes, but oddly memorable once the listener has assimilated them. Starting shortly after the period covered by this collection, Siouxsie Sioux's icy detachment would be fused with an elegant romanticism and lusher, smoother arrangements. Which means that Once Upon a Time isn't the one, definitive Banshees compilation, but it is a cohesive and essential overview of the band's edgy, influential peak
Siouxsie And The Banshees - Once Upon A Time The Singles - Cassette tape on PVC Records
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Elvis Costello - Out Of Our Idiot - UK import vinyl album on Demon RecordsElvis Costello - Out Of Our Idiot - UK import vinyl album on Demon Records
Elvis Costello - Out Of Our Idiot - Vinyl Album
Brand new, never played but not sealed in the original plastic seal
Demon Records 1987
OUT OF OUR IDIOT is a compilation of non-LP singles, B-sides, and previously unreleased material.
1. Seven Day Weekend - (with Jimmy Cliff)
2. Turning The Town Red
3. Heathen Town
4. People's Limousine - (with The Coward Brothers)
5. So Young - (previously unreleased)
6. Little Goody Two Shoes - (previously unreleased)
7. American Without Tears No 2 - (Twilight Version, with Elvis Costello)
8. Get Yourself Another Fool
9. Walking On Thin Ice - (with The TKO Horns)
10. Withered And Died - (with The Imposter)
11. Blue Chair - (with Elvis Costello)
12. Baby It's You - (with Elvis Costello/Nick Lowe)
13. From Head To Toe
14. Shoes Without Heels - (with Elvis Costello & The Confederates)
15. Baby's Got A Brand New Hairdo
16. Flirting Kind, The
17. Black Sails In The Sunset
18. Town Called Big Nothing, A (Really Big Nothing) - (with The MacManus Gang/Sy Richardson)
19. Big Sister
20. Imperial Bedroom - (with Napeoleon Dynamite & The Royal Guard)
21. Stamping Ground, The - (with The Emotional Toothpaste)
Elvis Costello - Out Of Our Idiot - UK import vinyl album on Demon Records
Guitarist/vocalist John Lee formed the indie-punk band aMiniature in San Diego in the late '80s; the lineup gradually gelled with guitarist Mark Monteith, bassist Colin Watson and drummer Johnny Schier. The band signed with Restless in 1990 and delivered the debut album Plexiwatt the following year. Depthfiveratesix followed in 1994, and after appearing on the Tom Petty tribute You Got Lucky and touring with Seaweed and the Bay City Rollers, aMiniature released Murk Time Cruiser in 1996. The record was produced by Mark Trombino of Drive like Jehu.
Aminiature - Foreign Room - Grey Swirl Vinyl Seven Inch Produced by Drive Like Jehu
Compilation - Program: Annihilator II- Vinyl Album
Brand new, never played and still sealed in the factory plastic seal
Cut in spine
All Your Lies - Soundgarden
Head Injury - Soundgarden
Creeps, The - Saint Vitus
Bitter Truth - Saint Vitus
Lick My Pussy, Eddie Van Halen - Sylvia Juncosa
Tower Of Ashes - Sylvia Juncosa
Hurtin' Crew - Descendents
Iceman - Descendents
Regulator, The - Bad Brains
Coptic Times / F. V. K. - Bad Brains
Headphones - SWA
Goddess - SWA
Overdrive - Bl'ast!
Out Of Alignment - Bl'ast!
Thirsty And Miserable - D.C.3
Angel Of Death - D.C.3
Compilation - Program: Annihilator II- Vinyl album on SST Records
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Anyone doubting the authenticity of Shonen Knife as legit alternative rockers should direct their attentions to this title, which couples their Pretty Little Baka Guy (1986) LP with another eight tracks documented "Live In Osaka Japan" from a pair of respective sets in 1990 and 1982, the latter recorded when Michie Nakatani (vocals/bass), Naoko Yamano (vocals/guitar), and Atsuko Yamano (drums) were still in their teens. The ten studio sides perfectly demonstrate the band's quirky, if not terminally catchy approach to crafting pop melodies. Their grunge-inspired instrumentation and D.I.Y. execution give the material a rough and edgy quality. Lyrically, the Knife are all over the place, ranging from the ecological concerns of "Bear Up Bison" (aka "Making Plans for Bison"), to the confessions of a sweet-tooth on "I Wanna Eat Choco Bars," and the fun little romp on "Ice Cream City." The angular and trippy "Public Bath" extols the virtues of the decidedly Eastern tradition of public bathing facilities in a manner that only they can pull off. "Antonio Baka Guy," "Kappa Ex," and the previously mentioned "Ice Cream City" are repeated in the five-song performance dated January 21st, 1990. By contrast, the three tunes from April 1982 are rougher and arguably more stinging than their counterparts -- especially the lead guitar crunch of "I'm a Realist." Audible tape noise indicated that these probably originated on cassette, however what they lack in fidelity is more than compensated for in sheer inspiration.
Shonen Knife - Pretty Little Baka Guy / Live In Japan - Cassette tape on gasatanka Records
DRESSED compiles 22 tracks from various LPs and singles. The Dentists: Michael Murphy (vocals, guitar); Robert Collins (guitar); Mark Matthews (bass); Ian Smith, Alun Jones (drums). Engineers: Jeff Home, Julie Anne Jones, Howard Turner. Recorded at Woolly Studios, Sheerness, England; Rooster Two, London, England; Raven, Norwich, England.
The Dentists' 1992 release, DRESSED, is a compilation of the band's mid-to-late-'80s singles and EPs (which had previously been collected on the vinyl-only SOME PEOPLE ARE ON THE PITCH and BEER BOTTLE AND BANISTER SYMPHONIES). It's also the belated American debut of the quartet, which hails from Kent, England. Over the course of these 22 tracks, which begin with the classic "Strawberries Are Growing in My Garden (And It's Wintertime)," singer Mick Murphy, guitarist Bob Collins, bassist Mark Matthews, and drummer Rob Grigg perfect a brilliant synthesis of 60s-inspired psych-pop and '80s-style indie guitar jangle. The results include playful gems like "Just Like Oliver Reed," "You Took Me By Surprise," and the swirling "She Dazzled Me With Basil."
The Dentists - Dressed - CD on Homestead Records
One of the lesser-known bands on the legendary SST roster, the Tar Babies emerged from Madison, WI, with a distinctive brand of punk-funk that often drew comparisons to their labelmates the Minutemen, as well as the Texas-based Big Boys. Colored with bits of psychedelia, jazz, and avant-noise skronk, their music quickly progressed beyond their roots in hardcore and evolved into a scratchy but danceable, groove-centered hybrid complete with horns and George Clinton-style jamming. The Tar Babies were formed out of the ashes of Madison hardcore punkers Mecht Mensch, who disbanded in 1982. Guitarist/vocalist Bucky Pope, bassist Robin Davies, and drummer Dan Bitney debuted with the 1982 EP Face the Music, issued on local indie Bone Air. By the time of their second release, 1985's Respect Your Nightmares, their funk influence had begun to come into focus, which helped catch the attention of SST. The Tar Babies' first album for SST was 1987's Fried Milk, on which their punk-funk fusion truly crystallized. For the follow-up, 1988's No Contest, they played up that funk connection by adding horns -- most courtesy of woodwind player and multi-instrumentalist Tony Jarvis -- and even flirting with Washington, D.C.-style go-go. Their third SST album, 1989's Honey Bubble, also proved to be their last. After a brief hiatus, during which some of the band's personnel shifted, Pope reconvened the Tar Babies, now with second guitarist Bobby Vienneau and new horn player Andrew Lawton; this lineup cut one record, Death Trip, for the small Sonic Noise label in 1991. Following its release, the group disbanded permanently. Dan Bitney moved to Chicago and joined the seminal post-rock combo Tortoise as a percussionist and effects manipulator, also playing with Isotope 217 and several other local projects. Pope and Davies later reunited as the Bar Tabbies for local gigs, and Davies' son Jesse Collins-Davies was also a member of the preteen hardcore band Old Skull.
Tar Babies - Honey Bubble - punk CD on SST Records