Thursday, December 23, 2010
Pissed and Proud is an album of live recordings by English punk rock band, Peter and the Test Tube Babies. It was originally released in 1982 on No Future Records and was recorded at three different venues - Hammersmith, Wood Green, and their hometown, Brighton - during the August bank holiday of 1982.
Peter And The Test Tube Babies - Pissed And Proud - Cassette tape on Century Media Records 1994
YES, Morphine's third release, offers Sandman's sleekest, most consistent songwriting efforts to date, and the band has never sounded so inviting.Morphine is as close as alternative rock comes to jazz. It's swinging bass lines sound impossibly low, complete with a rain-like drum beat and smoking sax lines. What sets Morphine's rich tones apart from swank background music is Sandman's highly physical lyrical angle.In the dizzying "Whisper," when Sandman soothes "Don't worry I'm not looking at you/Gorgeous and dressed in blue," you can see the color. When he croons, "Just whisper me your number/I'll call you up at home," you've already mouthed the words. Sandman knows where he's aiming, and, at it's best, Morphine recalls the jazzy excitement of rock's lushest moments.
Morphine - Yes - Cassette tape on Ryko Records
Bongwater was an often trippy college rock band formed by Ann Magnuson and Mark Kramer (founder of the Shimmy Disc record label) in 1985 and dissolved in 1992. The group also featured drummer Dave Licht and guitarists Dave Rick and Randy Hudson. Guests included Fred Frith, Peter Stampfel and Fred Schneider.
Bongwater - The Peel Sessions - Cassette tape on Strange Fruit Records
Monday, December 6, 2010
Known most for his early membership in the Clash and also for his slicing, slashing guitar work with Public Image Limited, Keith Levene is one of the more overlooked key players of punk and post-punk, not only as an innovative guitar player but also as a major factor in punk's sound collision with reggae. Since leaving PiL during the making of their fourth record, Levene has worked sporadically, popping up every now and then with a new project.
Keith Levene - Violent Opposition - Vinyl Album
Produced by R.E.M.'s Peter Buck, March 16-20, 1992 represents Uncle Tupelo's full evolution into a true country unit; with the exception of the eerie squalls of guitar feedback which haunt Jeff Tweedy's mesmerizing "Wait Up," there's virtually no evidence of the trio's punk heritage. Instead, the all-acoustic album -- a combination of Tupelo originals and well-chosen traditional songs -- taps into the very essence of backwoods culture, its music rooted in the darkest corners of Appalachian life. An inescapable sense of dread grips this collection, from the large-scale threat depicted in the stunning rendition of the Louvin Brothers' "The Great Atomic Power" to the fatalism of the worker anthems "Grindstone" and "Coalminers"; even the character studies, including a revelatory "Moonshiner," are relentlessly grim. A vivid glimpse at the harsh realities of rural existence, March 16-20, 1992 is a brilliant resurrection of a bygone era of American folk artistry.
Uncle Tupelo - March 16-20 1992 - Cassette tape on Rockville Records
With his best album since Over the Edge, and his second-best LP out of his ten releases (behind Youth of America), Phoenix guitarist-magician Greg Sage restakes his claim as America's most committed, most uncompromising, most important rock artist: After laying low through his last two refreshing, moody LPs, Sage and drummer Steve Plouf flex the old musical muscle for the first time in seven years and come out swinging. Raining blows all over the place, particularly on the first five songs, The Herd reveals a man with aural fire burning in his fingers. A mixture of aggression, moxie, mastery, and doomsday warnings, the LP thunders right from its opening snare crack, on the astonishing, staggering "Psychic Vampire." For the entire 43 minutes thereafter, Sage piles on outrageous, piercing guitar runs on feral, short passage after passage, the strings bending brutally under the strain of Sage's wild left hand. Apart from the daring ride of the melodic songs themselves, his striking, sensational, six-string manipulations transform already strong material into mini-epics. The delicately fingered leads are laced with reverb and feedback, trumpeting in paranoid, turbulent, and often indescribably beautiful fashion, mature themes of a society run amuck. Furthermore, Sage continues his knack for dive-bomb, dramatic chord changes (his penchant for non-traditional chord patterns is remarkable). Add Sage's voyeuristic, troubled, Father Time voice, and The Herd is a battering experience, a harsh, power-driven, insane wonder-record that compares well with the book/film On the Beach for its combination of intelligent sci-fi alarm and the raw, mainlined savageness of the music that reflects it. The Herd is a compelling triumph, a supreme accomplishment from one of the true giants of our generation.
Wipers - The Herd - CD on Tim Kerr Records