Sunday, November 30, 2008

4,000,000 Telephones (1985)

This band called 4,000,000 Telephones are really way cool. I'm surprised how good this album is. I guess they're like Medium Medium a bit, but wackier. Check it out at Annie's Animal blog here.

Reposts of My Captains, Gods Gift, Sub Sub

Okay, I've reuploaded three records, now, two of them by request.

Gods Gift 12" EP, 1981 (By the way, Stephen, the nice man I met from this band, tells me Chuck Warner of Hyped 2 Death is now looking at helping them release a Gods Gift CD)

Sub Sub - Coast EP, 1992 (I managed to rip this with NO SKIPS THIS TIME! WOOHOOO!)

My Captains - 7" EP, 1981 (I think this is probably a better sounding rip than last time - thanks Adam for letting me use your record cleaning machine!)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Altar Ego - Big Picture 7" ('82? '87?)

Altar Ego - Big Picture/Walls 7" ('82? '87?)

I found this record for dirt cheap at a record convention in '90 or '91. I didn't think I'd ever be able to find anything about this band, and even with the aid of the internet, I still can't. All I know is that this was also released in 12" form on an Australian label, and out of sheer curiosity, I've gone ahead and ordered that so I can hear the other songs on it. The A-side of this sounds a lot like New Gold Dream-era Simple Minds with the synths & bass. The lead vocalist is a man, but they have a lady singing along sometimes, too. The b-side is darker and doesn't even have synths. I like the way the bass sounds. This record doesn't give any indication of what year it came out, but places selling these records online say it comes from 1982 and that the 12" came from 1987! I really can't tell. Maybe when I get the 12" in the post, I can figure it out.

And yes, it is a pretty strange sleeve, isn't it? ;)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Certain Ratio - "Shack Up" from Part Time Punks Festival 2008

Okay, be prepared because the sound on this clip is horribly distorted, but I think it's worth watching anyway because Denise is so beautiful and it shows how neat "Shack Up" sounded with her on lead vocals. If you look closely there's a short guy directly in front of her in the audience who's head is bobbing up and down faster than other people around. That's me! Haha, you can even see me raise and wave my fist to the music at one point.

This entire gig is available on the internet in audio form with much better sound quality than this, and it's a fantastic gig all around. Their new album is supposed to be out in France any day now and I'm absolutely foaming at the mouth for it.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Deckchairs Overboard "That's The Way" EP, 1982

Deckchairs Overboard - That's The Way EP, 1982

I first heard of this band a few weeks ago due to a certain person I'm not sure if I should give credit to here or not but if wants me to, I will. Anyway a video of "That's The Way" was posted on You Tube and I decided I had to have this record, only I could find no blogs or elsewhere online to find this record. So I bought it and ripped it myself. See what you think. I love the last track especially, "Where Elephants Hide". So DARK. So GOTH. So...weird and subversive.

Here's the video that hooked me in:

They went on to do a whole LP, released in 1985, but I haven't heard that yet.


Are you like me and feel that Craig Scanlon & Steve Hanley were the best things to happen to The Fall outside of Mark E. Smith and Brix? Then please hear this new band from San Diego called The Muslims. Because they make me feel like Scanlon & Hanley are back playing with the Fall at times. The production is just brilliant, and the guitar has that perfect twang to it, and the bass echo...what a joy they are. Certainly they're a bit like the Monks as well.

Here's their myspace page. You might do well to remember, though, that sound is always horribly compressed on myspace, so you'd do well to buy their record/CD (you get the vinyl AND the CD together!!! Isn't that sweet?) at

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Servants - She's Always Hiding 7", 1986

The Servants - She's Always Hiding/Transparent 7", 1986

Oh my god I fucking love this single. Oh my god. This band were on the NME C86 cassette from 1986 ("Transparent") and they really stood out amongst the other bands in my opinion. They went on to do another 12" release called "The Sun A Small Star" EP which I still have and could post later. Also the singer David Westlake did a solo EP on Creation Records which I could also post later if I feel like it. But mostly the Servants will probably go down in history for joining up with Luke Haines just after his Auteurs breakthrough in the early 90's. But the album he did with them just wasn't the same as this kind of stuff I'm posting here.

Did someone say GOOD OLD FASHIONED UK MID 80's INDIE POP????????

Even fucking Sarah records fans should hear this, and weep. Wasn't there a dude in this band who went on to be in Lush, too? Philip King? Eh?

McCarthy - Frans Hals 12", 1986

McCarthy - Frans Hals 12" EP, 1986

I already told you lot about this band. They had Tim Gane from Stereolab. Totally guitar-based UK indie pop, the old fashioned way.

McCarthy - Red Sleeping Beauty 12", 1986

McCarthy - Red Sleeping Beauty EP, 1986

This is the first of the first two McCarthy 12"es. This band used to have Tim Gane from Stereolab in it, and he is on this release. Jangly guitar-based UK indie pop the old fashioned way. This one is good but the next 12" I'm going to post is better.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Kurtis Blow - The Breaks (1980)

On my way back from L.A., going through airport security, a certain tall, stocky black guy who worked for Homeland Security was rapping out loud for people, and being rather entertaining. I wasn't sure what he was rapping but it sounded like he was doing something cool. Then he threw the words "Sugarhill Gang" into his rap and I just smiled from ear to ear thinking "wow this guy knows Sugarhill Gang is rapping some kind of old Sugarhill Gang stuff!". I wish I'd had the courage to say something at that point to him, but I guess I was too shy and instead, I just stood and smiled, listening to him, waiting for my luggage to come through the metal detector. Well I remembered enough of the lyrics of what he was rapping later to look it up, and apparently it was this song by Kurtis Blow. I don't think I've ever heard this before, but I think it's pretty great:

Occult Chemistry 7" EP ('79-80-ish) REPOST

This record has now been reposted by request. This is the band Martha Tilson was in prior to her involvement with A Certain Ratio circa the "Sextet" album. Please click here.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Part Time Punks Festival, 16 Nov 2008, Los Angeles

I’m stunned by what I experienced last night. Never before have I seen so much talent in one place, so many good bands and cool people in one 24 hour period in one place. The night began slowly of course, and seemed to gradually get larger and larger than life. The first band I saw was called Grimble Grumble from Chicago. They didn’t sound quite as slow, layered and shoegazey as I remembered them sounding from their myspace page, but they were still pretty good, and did have a Spacemen 3 feel at times, only with a female singer. My friend Dan Selzer from Acute Records was there and I found out from him that one of the songs they did was a Faust cover called "It's a Rainy Day (Sunshine Girl)". And the last song they did had a riff that sounded so terribly familiar to me. Luckily Dan was able to identify it as Brian Eno’s “Here Come The Warm Jets” and I realized he was right. That's a fucking amazing song but I always forget it because Eno tacked it on at the end of that album and it doesn't really fit with the rest of it.

After Grimble Grumble were through, DJ’s took over. First song played was the amazing Chills’ “Pink Frost”, a classic of monumental proportions. I also heard some things I hadn’t heard before that piqued my interest and I asked what they were. One was by Gogogo Airheart, and another thing was by the Theoretical Girls but it sounded so much like The Dancing Did to me, only with keyboards. I was puzzled by that because for some reason I thought that band was from NY or something , but it sounded really British. I looked them up online afterward and indeed they were from NY, so I'm even more confused.

I believe the next band to play was an old Boston post-punk band called The Wild Stares. The cool thing about this post-punk festival was that there were two clubs linked together. So if you got bored with what was going on upstairs, you could just go downstairs and vice versa. Well the Wild Stares bored me so I went downstairs and caught the Vivian Girls. I’d checked them out on myspace earlier, and thought I wouldn’t like them, but instead I really enjoyed them. They are an all female band and they reminded me of those really punk-ish songs Lush had when they first started out. I found their energy infectious and was delighted that they weren’t as twee as I thought they’d be. They also had tunes, which the Wild Stares were sorely lacking. My friend Dan said a lot of people were really into them when they played New York, that they seem to be a “trendy band of the moment” kind of thing. Apparently they’ve only just put out their first album this year.

The next thing I remember is the Nightingales started playing upstairs. Unlike Vivian Girls, they've been around since the heyday of post-punk. I’ve tried to get into them in the past and was unsuccessful. Their performance didn't do anything to change my opinion so I went downstairs and that’s when things REALLY started to get good because Medium Medium were playing. Now, a lot of post-punk fans know their song “So Hungry So Angry”. I gave their record a try a long time ago and once again many years later and this band just never caught fire for me. But here they were live and I was utterly and completely amazed. Truly, I wanted to take this band home with me. I wanted to buy a CD but they weren’t even fucking selling any. They absolutely shredded. Guy even had a saxophone. It seemed to me that band were the love child of Gang of Four and Dif Juz. They really reminded me of Gang of Four a lot, actually. Also the stage banter was classic. The singer kept saying “this is a sad song about…” and each time it would be something different but for nearly every song he’d say “this is a sad song about…” and I thought that was so cool, because the reality was the songs didn’t come across sad at all. This band seemed really surprised that so many folks were getting into their music. I guess they had really low expectations and my guess is they haven’t played live much recently, at least in the US. Another cool thing that happened was someone in the audience shouted out “awesome!” in between numbers and the singer said he still couldn’t get his head around that word, that it always sounded like “arse-ome” to him, and I laughed at that.

The next thing that happened was one of the DJ’s started playing this song from a 7” single that I especially liked and totally recognized but couldn’t place, even as I watched it spin around on his turntable. So I asked him and of course it was the song “Watch” from the first Sisters of Mercy single – the song that has a delicious PIL-ish bassline and a singer I believe is someone other than Andrew Eldritch. I’d forgotten how much I love that song because it’s so atypical of Sisters. It doesn't sound a damn thing like Sisters of Mercy.

I decided to go outside to the “smoking area” which was actually cool even though I don’t like cigarette smoke (there wasn’t much of it, as it turned out). While I was there, I looked around at people, and there were many interesting people there but the one that kept getting my attention was a guy against the back wall, quite far away from me, but he had the most amazing Nick Cave shirt and I was dying to see the rest of it because you couldn’t tell what the picture was on it from where I was. So I finally gave in and got courageous enough to go up to him and see it and it was actually a picture of Nick Cave’s face on his side, as though he were laying down. I mean it was very arty, very blown up. And below the picture it said “& The Bad Seeds”. Well I got the nerve to tell this guy that I loved his shirt, that it was really something else and he immediately pointed at my own shirt (dark green New Order “Ceremony”) and said “I really like your shirt too!”. At this point one of the women who was standing in between us said “yeah you guys have cool shirts…did you make them?” Well at that point, I sortof got embarrassed at the attention, looked down at the ground beaming and said “No…” and went back inside. Then I started to feel really, really happy.

The next thing that happened was the band Love Is All was playing downstairs. They are from Sweden. I tried to get into them and they were alright, but I felt they were trying to be as good as Life Without Buildings and they would never get there. I’m sure they weren’t really trying to sound like them, but that’s how I felt. So I went upstairs…

And yet another band blew my mind. I mean completely blew my mind. I had checked them out on myspace earlier in the day and knew I liked them, but I wasn’t prepared for what I saw and heard. They are called The Muslims and I would imagine they’re not much over 30 years old but believe me when I say they are the love child of The Fall and the Modern Lovers. I don’t know how in the hell that guy got his guitar to sound like that but I just kept thinking how goddamn proud Mark E. Smith would have been of this lot. They fucking scorched. They were so “no-frills” about it all. No keyboards either. No pretension, no putting on airs, no “I am so hip in my cool clothes” none of that fucking shit. Just raw and damn good post-punk. Also the singer wore a Rudimentary Peni T-shirt, which I thought was cool, though I admit I’ve never actually heard that band to this day and I really want to.

Anyway, the next thing that happened was a rather impromptu portion of this festival, and my friend had told me about it only about a half hour before it transpired. Three pre-pubescent kids got up onstage and played “Teenage Kicks” by the Undertones. I’m not sure who drummed for them because they all played guitars. Maybe the drums were taped, I don’t know. Anyway, it was hard to tell whether the singer was a girl or a boy. Then they asked the audience if anyone knew the lyrics to Buzzcocks’ “Everybody’s Happy Nowadays” or The Cure’s “Boys Don’t Cry”. Well, they asked twice, but no one volunteered. One person near me shouted out that they should go ahead and play and we would sing along. Then an adult came onstage and said “oh come on folks, they’ve worked so hard…” but no one volunteered to sing. So it ended up that one of the kids sang (the one with a giant hip hop cap on) the Buzzcocks tune. Then they finished with TV Personalities’ “Part Time Punks” which made sense because that’s the name of the folks who organized this whole festival. These kids were great, even if they missed a note or stumbled a bit at times. Everyone cheered them on. They said the name of their band was Daytime Television. It was totally rad.

Well, if I’d only seen Medium Medium & The Muslims and these pre-pubescent kids, my mind would have been blown enough for one night, but fate had other plans. Pylon was next. And really what can you say about Pylon? I admit I do get tired of Pylon after a certain amount of time, but still, they’re really masters of the post-punk art aren’t they? At one point, a guy came up on stage and put his arm around the lady singer (I don’t know her name, I’m sorry) and when the song ended, he spoke in the mike at the audience and said “Do you guys wanna have sex?” which was sortof funny, but also sortof stupid. Well the lady singer handled it well, she said “Well, I don’t know what to say, but I’m glad you had a good time.” Eventually I went to the bar again during their set and wouldn’t you know they chose that moment to do the song “Crazy”. And there I was at the bar going completely bananas, couldn’t even bother ordering a drink even though the bartender was ready for me to order, singing that song and wondering how in the hell all these people around me didn’t know that fucking song. And WHY wouldn’t they know it? And HOW could they NOT KNOW IT?? The song REM covered, for fuck’s sake! How could they be at a festival like this and not know that song? So yeah that was amazing. And they did the one that goes “rock and roll now/rock and roll now” which I don’t know the name of but I love it, and I jumped up and down when they did that.

Well, when their set ended, David J. from Bauhaus took over DJ’ing duties. And he started his set with the Obama speech from election night. Then he played some old soul song that talked about “change is gonna come” or whatever. And then he played Curtis Mayfield’s “Move On Up”!!! And I was dancing around to that with joy wondering WHY ALL THESE PEOPLE AROUND ME DON’T KNOW THIS SONG AND HOW DO THEY MANAGE TO LIVE THEIR LIVES WITHOUT KNOWING THIS SONG AND WHY DON’T THEY CARE, ETC. Then he played a reggae tune. And I was amazed because since Obama won the election, I too have been on a reggae trip. At that point I decided to ask him (David J.) a question, but I soon realized he wasn’t going to talk to me, he was just gonna DJ. So I figured “oh well” and went back to the front of the stage.

And then…as if the entire night had not been enough…

A Certain Ratio took the stage. And it was just beyond anything I could have imagined. NO they’re not my fave band in the world, but GOD. Just about bloody close enough you know?? They’re the last ones standing now. The last beacon of Factory aside from Durutti Column. They didn’t even save up their best songs for last, oh no, they did “Do The Du” right away and then “Flight”!! THEY FUCKING DID FLIGHT and I felt as if they were channeling Martin Hannett’s spirit in the fucking room. And they did NEW SONGS, too. Yes! New songs. And these new songs weren’t the dry electronic techno crap I might have anticipated, but actually quite true to their roots, and very dark. It was truly like goth funk. They said they have a new album coming out on Marquee records (a French label I think he said). When I looked at the singer’s face, I realized I wasn’t sure if it was the singer they had circa Graveyard & Ballroom, or the singer they had circa Force/Good Together. So I listened to his voice carefully without looking at the band and realized it was the latter and that made me ridiculously happy because I love the sound of that guy’s voice. I absolutely adore that guy’s voice. He’s called Jeremy (Jez) Kerr. And Martin Moscrop was there. And fucking Donald Johnson. THERE IS NO REASON WHY A DRUMMER OF THAT CALIBER SHOULD EXIST. How is it possible? They also did “Wild Party” which made me so happy. And Tony Quigley with the soprano sax, oh god. And Moscrop did use a trumpet on one song. And last but NOT LEAST…they had this gorgeous black woman singing for them. I didn’t know it at the time, but this lady was none other than Denise Johnson, who also sang on Primal Scream’s “Screamadelica” album and the first two Electronic albums. There was a moment when all the rest of the band were playing and it wasn’t her turn to sing yet and she looked at me (I was in the second row) and we looked at each other for a moment and then we smiled at each other, a bit nervously. I shared a smile with that woman. What wonderful thing did I do in this life to deserve that? What did I do???

There was one song of theirs that is famous that they had her sing the whole thing of pretty much by herself. I think it was "Shack Up", but I’m not positive now. I thought that was so cool. Another cool thing was Tony Quigley had an old faded Rob’s Records T-shirt. I mean god, you’d have to be someone really important to have one of those, eh?

And they ended their set with Joy Division’s “Heart & Soul”. No lie. Part of me objected to this, for it’s pretty hard to make that into an ACR song, but I thought it was neat that there were these parts where they sortof left a tiny little funk stamp on it.

You know, I don’t have any big problems with Section 25, really (and I had the joy of hearing "New Horizon" played by one of the DJ's earlier in the night), but for me personally, A Certain Ratio are really the last ones standing of the greats of Factory records, aside from Vini Reilly. Seeing them at this event, at this stage of the game, in 2008 feels like about as close as I could get to Joy Division, to Hannett, to Wilson, to what I feel is the very best of Factory records. In fact, even though I finally got to see New Order 3 years ago, this ACR gig actually meant more than that to me. I’d never say ACR’s material was as good as the best of New Order, I guess, but…it was clear to me on seeing ACR that they are not past their prime, whereas with New Order I might have said they were, and after all, we know New Order are probably not going to record anymore anyway.

I realize saying all this discounts Vini Reilly to some extent, but for one thing, he isn’t likely to come to America to play!

So yeah, ACR. Now and forever. A new album of dark, goth funk on the way, even. Who’d have thought?

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Certain Ratio in L.A.

I don't know if anyone cares, but I would like to explain that I won't be ripping anything for this blog this weekend because I am flying down to L.A. to see A Certain Ratio bitchez!!!! It is a DREAM. COME. TRUE!!! Never seen them before, and never thought I'd get to in a zillion years. As you can see from the flyer, there will be a lot of other cool happenings at this event for post-punk lovers, and I might report about them here.

In the meantime, please keep checking that Cocteaus thread, for this dude has posted some more Razor Penguins.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

All The Action is In The Cocteau Twins Post

All the action is going down in the comments section of my Cocteau Twins post. Seriously. Check this thing this guy posted by the Razor Penguins. This is where it's at, man. Check it:

Cocteau Twins Fever

Saturday, November 8, 2008

McCarthy - The Well of Loneliness EP, 1987

McCarthy - The Well of Loneliness EP, 1987

Picture the scene in the UK indie world, circa '87: The ALMIGHTY SMITHS had just broke up. This record made me think McCarthy were going to take over the title of "The next Smiths" and we'd all be happy ever after. But it didn't quite turn out that way, and instead, this record was the best thing the band ever did. Yes, up there in the left-hand corner of the back sleeve, you'll see Tim Gane from Stereolab. But what have Stereolab really got to do with THIS slice of mid-80's guitar-based, indiepop perfection? Nothing. This is a record I never get tired of. Ever. I'd gladly play it 1500 more times.

And especially that "Antiamericancretin" song that is so anti-US. Let me say that as a teenager, that was my anglophile wet dream. I always wanted music from the UK to keep its own identity, like this record, and that song was my rallying cry. I didn't want US influence to intrude on what was essentially gorgeous, untainted UK art. But of course, eventually, it did...

I'd love to hear from anyone who might appreciate this record.

They Do It With Mirrors 1991-1992

They Do It With Mirrors - The Last Real Baby EP, 1991

They Do It With Mirrors - Ox EP, 1992

I'm going to change up this blog just a little now and post some UK things from the mid 80's and early 90's. This is a band called They Do It With Mirrors, circa 91-92. They were on Setanta records, which I believe is where the Divine Comedy started out before they got more well known, and also the label that had the Frank & Walters first two (excellent) EP's. Anyway, this band is one of the few obscure ones that really stood out for me from that era. They have a real stripped-down production sound that I think would appeal to folks who like post-punk, and I even think they sound sorta dark and Chameleons-ish at times, at least instrumentally. The singer does have a lisp, which I find can be annoying in some singers (I don't care for Neil Tennant of Pet Shop Boys for example, but I love that guy from Breathless) but for some reason this guy's lisp on these records I'm posting here is okay by me. His name was Kevin Brew. I wish I knew what happened to him, or even where this band was from. Were they Irish??? Hell if I know. Come on folks, help me out. What happened to this band?

Whizz For Atoms 7" has been reposted

The Whizz For Atoms 7" from 1984 has now been re-posted here. GET IT NOW. Thanks.

New Grace Jones album "Hurricane"

I haven't said it here yet, and I've never even been a huge fan of Grace Jones, but her new album is absolutely amazing. I love the little reggae touches to it, too.

Cocteau Twins Fever


Alright, I know. Someone asked me to re-post the Whiz For Adams 7". I'm gonna do that right now.

I'm so sorry that almost my entire blog has been lost to ZShare's demise. Don't click on the links, don't give them any money, don't let them run their ads. They should go to hell. The problem is I lost a lot of music I ripped for my blog when my hard drive died. So I can't just upload all this immediately without ripping it again.

If you want something, please let me know with a comment or email. It's that simple, you only need ask. Thanks.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Come On

A person named "Ge" just posted a comment to my recent Talking Heads (You Tube) thread and mentioned their own post-punk band (called Come On?). Here is the clip. It definitely sounds like Talking Heads. Apparently they opened up for (were the support band for) Klaus Nomi in this clip. Very cool. Tell us some more about your band, Ge!