Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Dif Juz - No Motion AGAIN

One of the very finest gifts of music to hit my ears in this lifetime. I may erase this later, but for now....

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Martha & The Muffins - Black Stations White Stations (1984)

ARRRRGH Haven't enjoyed this song in so long!!! :) :) :)

Incidentally, there was a Dutch man named Martin who recently wrote me a nice, long email about Dif Juz etc. If you're out there, I'm sorry I haven't been able to concentrate on it, but I was so delighted you took the time to write it all. Thank you very much!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Esperanza Spalding

This woman is incredible. Absolutely incredible. So talented!!! Shit, she plays the bass too. What in god's name do you want? I'm just talking about music, here, and woah, her MUSIC!

Wow doesn't she just kick Anita Baker's ass to the curb?

Simple Minds - Sparkle In The Rain demos

Simple Minds - Sparkle In The Rain demos are back up HERE.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Sheena Easton - Madness, Money & Music, 1982

Sheena Easton - Madness, Money & Music, 1982

I'm really in love with this album. I've played it enough times to be really sure of this. If you thought Sheena was just a cheezy 80's throwaway, this album ought to change anyone's mind. My god. I've heard the one she did before it and the one she did after it and I'm convinced this album cannot be matched. It costs a lot of money get on CD, now. I think I might just have to get it on vinyl for fetish reasons. This is just far more of a fantastic record than it should be. Listen for example, to how funky "When I Needed You" was. This was truly well-crafted songwriting with a killer singer to sing it.

Die Unbekannten - Don't Tell Me Any Stories LP ('81-83)

Die Unbekannten - Don't Tell Me Any Stories LP, '81-83

I am utterly ASTOUNDED at the quality of this record. 100% Grade-A GOTH right here. This was an LP release from 2005 on a label called Vinyl On Demand that compiled their entire discography from 1981-1983 and added a few as-yet-unreleased goodies. The problem is they only did 500 copies and it looks as though they are all sold and now looking around I find that records by this band are going for US$200-600, WAY out of my price range (or any sane person's price range, I think). But oh the treasure trove in store for your ears here! If you like goth, like Joy Division, etc. I think very few releases get as good as this one in that genre. The song "The Game" for example (second version on this) has a bass that sounds like early A Certain Ratio or early Section 25, SO cool! And check out that crazy ass synth drum sound on that track. That almost gives New Order's "Chosen Time" a run for its money. Yikes.

Fantabulous stuff. If anyone wants me to take this down, please just let me know because I would love to believe that SOMEONE somewhere is going to re-release this.

Also, that last track "Alone" gave me goose pimples (chills) today and I can't even REMEMBER the last time any music did that to me!

Pink Turns Blue - Eremite, 1989

Pink Turns Blue - Eremite LP, 1989

I normally don't pay attention to anything with the "goth" tag past say, 1983, but this one sounds pretty cool, it reminds me of stuff that used to be on Louisiana's (U.S.) Doctor Death records in the 80's, if anyone remembers that label. Whoops! I mean C'est La Mort records! That's the name of that label, Doctor Death was only the name of the guy who ran it. He was from Baton Rouge. Hell, I can't believe I'm remembering all this now. But yeah...I think this band were from Germany, not Belgium as the DJ at this goth night told me. But I'm not really sure. The interesting thing about him telling me that though was I actually did buy their next album "Aerdt" while I was in Belgum in 1991! But I no longer have it. Oh well.

"Michelle" is the most compelling track here, I think. I heard it at a club night and it's got an infectious beat you can sortof dance to if you want. Sometimes this album is a bit abrasive...the way he shouts "She's dead! She's dead!" at the end of "Moon" is kindof you know...ouch with the pain! You know that guy is NOT kidding when he says that woman is dead. "Now.Son" is rather in-your-face and industrial. "Emerite" seems to mimic Nick Cave's crazy Birthday-Party vocals. I will stress though, that these guys did use synthesizers. Well, I say they did use them, but it looks as though they are still playing according to their myspace page.

Probably not my most FAVOURITE type of goth, but an interesting album nonetheless. I think in a way it's really the lyrics that are the best thing about it. The lyrics are really extraordinary on this. Of course the accent of the singer makes them hard to understand for a native English speaker at times.

Altar Ego - Big Picture 12", 1987 (1982?)

Altar Ego - Big Picture 12", 1987

For more info on this band, see my previous post of the 7" of this. Notice the 12" has a similarly strange sleeve. Why a band would release a 7" in England and a 12" in Australia with an entirely different sleeve I don't know. This record does say 1987 on it, but this really only adds to the mystery. As for the songs on this that are not available on the 7", they are synth-less and pretty cool. I don't believe this band really knew what sound they were going for. It's pretty hard to describe them in a handy, catch-all sentence.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Bimble's Badass Mix

I want to pause here and give thanks to the people who introduced me to these wonderful songs. Thank you so much! I feel so lucky to know people who could give me this kind of music. The second and third tracks are jazz, the fourth & fifth are some mightily amazing instrumental synthesizer fun. Maybe if I can get Audacity downloaded and kindof sober up for awhile, I will put this up as a mix.

James Brown - Let A Man Come In And Do The Popcorn
Esperanza Spalding - I Adore You
Joyce - Aldeia De Ogum
Space - Magic Fly (1977!)
Donna Laser Orchestra - Vega Synthauri (1984-85?)

Here's a video of that last one:

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Maps single finally reposted at last

Maps single finally reposted HERE.

The Now Dead

Wow, my friend just turned me on to this fantastic goth/punk band called The Now Dead.
To see their myspace page, click here.

Rudimentary Peni - Death Church

Rudimentary Peni - Death Church

This album totally turns me on. Punk with a hint of goth.

Time Zone - The Wildstyle (1983)

I want the entire world to hear this. This is absolutely the most badass dance record I've ever heard in my life. New Order should be jealous of this thing. It's got EVERYTHING you could possibly want...Bambaataa, that sexy French lady called B-side and a whole bunch of groundbreaking synth 1983 skullduggery. I've heard this thing about 4 or 5 times now and I'm still convinced it's the absolute deal as far as dance records go. Damn, you thought Sugarhill Gang records were good???? You ain't seen nothing yet.

I don't want to mislead people, though, this song doesn't have John Lydon on it the way Time Zone's "World Destruction" did.

Time Zone - The Wildstyle 12", 1983


Okay, I have got the Belt & Braces LP ripped and the Maps single and will be putting those back up as soon as I can get them uploaded.

I am also planning NEW things to post on the blog (oh my god, what? You mean it's not all about resting on my laurels at this point?). So stay tuned and watch the reposts get done at the same time as some new posts. Dig? See it's UPLOADING IN THE BACKGROUND SO BE PATIENT, etc.

Someone gave me a gig of The Cult from like, 1986 last night. I went insane over that, absolutely insane. Their "Love" album was a really wonderful record. I also went nuts over a bunch of other things including a wonderful James Brown song someone sent me. But I'll explain all this later, much later.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Public Image Ltd. - First Issue, 1978

If you like post-punk and you don't have this album on vinyl with a proper turntable, well, you're very unfortunate. I don't even want to HEAR that Gang of Four are better than this, because I will have to ask you to step outside. Everything that is great about reggae and funk later in post-punk is encapsulated in an embryonic form as "Analisa". James Brown would run screaming from that track, are you kidding?

Bimble loves early 80's Top 40

Okay you folks want me to reupload all this stuff, see. And I get TIRED of working for YOOOS when I just want to take a break and hear the music I really want to hear.

Early 80's Top 40 like this, Julian Lennon's "Valotte" (can't get over this fucking song)

And INXS "Don't Change" ultimate 80's?:

More Reposts

Okay, I'm home from work today so I am working on all these reposts people have requested.

Here's what I'm working on:

Belt & Braces Roadshow Band - Self-Titled LP, 1974-75 (definitely hope to have this one back up today, this is a fun one)

Guitar George - Who Is Innocent?" 12", 1987

The High - Take Your Time 12", 1990 (this one is back up now already)

Blue In Heaven - Across My Heart 12", 1984 (this one is already back up now)

Walk The Walk LP, 1986 (this is an awful record and I dread ripping it again, but okay)

Urban Shakedown - The Big Bad Wolf/Rap The Wolf 7", 1982

Cathy La Creme & The Cro-Tones - "I Married A Cult Figure From Salford"/"Tea Machine Dub", 1980 (this one is already back up now)

Ed Banger - Kinnel Tommy/Baby Was A Baby 7", 1978 (this one is already back up now)

and last but not least...

The Maps single (another really fun one I'd like to get done today)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Orchestre Rouge Repost

Okay, as requested, Orchestre Rouge 7" from 1982 has finally been reposted HERE.

I don't care about anything right now because I am playing Rudimentary Peni "Death Church" and I love it. PUNK ROCK WITH A HINT OF GOTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Foreign Press Reposted

As requested, all three of the Foreign Press 12"es have been reuploaded. Find them here, here, and here.

Next repost will be the Orchestre Rouge 7", as requested.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Hannett & Wilson, Strawberry Studios, 1980

NEW A CERTAIN RATIO ALBUM 2008!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I had to get it from Amazon France. There is another place you can get it called FNAC.


God, life hasn't been so good since the last Kate Bush album came out circa 2005 (12 years in the making).

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Heures Sans Soleil, LTM compilation, 1985

Various Artists - Heures Sans Soleil, 1985

This comp has probably been put up on other blogs already but I decided to put it up anyway out of sheer sentimental value. Long before the LTM (Les Temps Modernes) label became well known as the fine reissuer of Factory records and post-punk gems we know it to be today, there was this compilation, and as far as compilations go, it is a doozy. Greater than the sum of its parts. I bought this when I was about 15 years old and I remember skipping school one day and listening to it on my walkman, sitting next to a dirt road out in the country. Trivia buffs will note that the Crispy Ambulance track here is actually mistitled. The Section 25 track "Hold Me" is to die for, and not on any of their regular LP's, though I'm sure it was later added as a bonus track to something or other.

My only complaint is with the Dislocation Dance track, which I find torture to listen to. I feel duty bound to point out that Dislocation Dance have a hell of a lot more different and better stuff than that.

Track listing:
Section 25 - An Introduction
Clock DVA - The Discussion
Minny Pops - She Said Go Go Go
Tuxedomoon - Shelved Dreams
Mazowsze - The Little Candle End
Eric Random - 6:55
Dislocation Dance - (the next year I returned to) St. Michelle (but Marie had gone and with her my childhood)
The Happy Family - March In Turin
Section 25 - Hold Me
Crispy Ambulance - Rain Without Clouds
A Primary Industry - From This Prospect

Grace Jones - That's The Trouble 7", 1984

Grace Jones - That's The Trouble 7", 1984

I got this from my friend Adam, and wasn't going to post it except for that fact that someone said "oh that's a rare 1984 remix of a 1976 song" or something like that and asked me to rip it. So here it is. By request.

Chic - My Feet Keep Dancing, 1979

I know, I said The Hustle was the best disco song ever. But Chic are the best disco act ever. This is some HIGH CLASS shit right here. They should have been as big as the Beatles.

Stevie Nicks - If Anyone Falls, 1983

I can't stop playing this song over and over. I can't help it. And I don't understand it either, cause I never even owned this record. But this thing has cast a spell on me. I can't get out. When will I get tired of it?

Zang Tumb Tuum Sampled, 1985

Zang Tumb Tuum Sampled, 1985

To be honest, I think most of this comp is boring, but I'm DYING over these two Frankie Goes To Hollywood tracks. "Disneyland" wasn't on their first album at all and it almost sounds like a different band. The live version of "Born To Run" is ace as well, much better than the album version, more sincere somehow, not so gimmicky. Also, the version of Propaganda's "P-Machinery" here is not recognizable to me, either, but then I know there's a zillion versions of that and I probably haven't heard them all. It's a real treat nonetheless! I'd really like to know what folks think of this stuff.

It's kindof ironic because the next record I want to rip for this blog is a label sampler as well.

Here's the tracklisting for this:
Art of Noise - Closing
Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Disneyland
Propaganda - Femme Fatale
Anne Pigalle - Intermission
Instinct - Swamp Out
Art of Noise - Egypt
Andrew Poppy - The Object Is A Hungry Wolf (extract one)
Propaganda - P:Machinery
Anne Pigale - Looking For Love
Art Of Noise - A Time For Fear (Who's Afraid)
Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Born To Run (live)
Andrew Poppy - The Object Is A Hungry Wolf (extract two)

A Certain Ratio - Good Together LP, 1989

ACR - Good Together LP, 1989

This album is not for everyone. This is the commercial, sanitized (major label) version of ACR. I believe the band kindof wishes this didn't exist now (I know Martin Moscrop said as much). At first, I didn't like it, but with some plays it really, really grew on me. There's not much funkiness here at all, and the lyrics are sortof sappy & overly optimistic at times, but then you have to realize this was back in the days when the drug Ecstasy was all the rage. I think even if you can't take the sugary-ness of this, there is one main reason listen to it and that is Anthony Quigley's sax, which fucking slays me. In fact, for clear evidence of why this record is worthwhile, please skip ahead to the tracks "Every Pleasure", "River's Edge", & "Coldest Days".

This record also marked the last time ACR would use regular instruments to my knowledge. They released an EP soon after this (also entitled "Good Together" if memory serves) but it was all electronic, even the drums, and as someone I was chatting with last night said "Why would you use freaking programmed drums if you have Donald Johnson in your band?" Indeed. They released some stuff after this album, but I never liked any of it and gave up on them. I'm delighted that on their new album they've gone back to using regular instruments. Can't wait to hear it.

Apparently this album was indeed released on CD but I've never been able to find a copy. I was somewhat unhappy with my vinyl copy for quite some time, but after my friend Adam let me use his record cleaning machine, I got a nice rip of this.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Van McCoy...The Hustle

I know, I know, it's not exactly obscure but if this isn't the best fucking disco record in the history of the universe, I'd like to know what the hell is.

The Tapes - Party LP, 1980

The Tapes - "Party" LP, 1980

I believe these guys are from Holland. I don't know what to make of this record. I bought it from a local store some years ago simply because the sleeve looked cool, and when I first heard it I flipped with joy. Then I frantically bought their other records (one before, and one after this record) and quickly grew bored with it all. It's hard to describe. Take Gang of Four minus the funk, then add lyrical weirdness. That band I mentioned before called 4,000,000 Telephones were like that, too. A post-punk tower built on lyrical weirdness, which isn't too bad a way to go, really...

They're certainly fucking arty, this lot. I think they deserve a listen, even in a purely instrumental sense. I still don't know the second side of this record very well.

Whatever you might think of it, I think you'll find it hard to deny it's post-punk.

Here's one of the songs from this. Can't believe these guys are on You Tube.

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!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Armande Altai - Nocturne Flamboyant, 1983 (re-post)

Armande Altai - Nocturne Flamboyant, 1983

Here's a link to my previous post about this record.

Some wonderful soul named Matt asked me to repost this one (since ZShare seems to have gone AWOL) and even though I had to rip the entire record again, I didn't mind at all.

There is some serious Martin Hannett production GENIUS at work, here. Just listen to "Balance-toi-Lola" and HEAR the Joy Division-y guitars and the ICY PIANO. Then listen to "Ciel d'Hiver" and tell me this is not a goth heaven of some kind.

If you can't hear Hannett in this record, you're not a Hannett fan.

Fairport Convention - Liege & Lief, 1969

Good old fashioned English Folk-Rock, baby! Fuck, I can't figure out how to make the sleeve for this LP bigger. This album is fucking amazing. If you don't like this, you're not an anglophile, period. I wish I could die on English soil. If only I knew for sure that I would die on English soil, the peace it would bring me.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Dif Juz - No Motion, 1985

I can't remember if I posted this one already. But this is GOD right here. This is the second coming of a non-existent Jesus if there ever was one. I'm going to a desert island, baby and I know what I'm taking. Cocteau Twins fans listen up, if you don't know this band, you don't know nothing.

Look at that drummer, the way he meets your eyes, furtively, slyly. Incredible. Okay, I know I still need to put up their "Who Says So?" EP here, I know. I've made a grave omission which I will have to correct in the coming weeks. Sigh.

This blogging business...such work!!

Talking Heads - Psycho Killer, 1978

Their performance on Old Grey Whistle Test. I'm not much of a Talking Heads fan, but this just scorches me. Did someone say post-punk? Yikes. Music was clearly not in Kansas anymore when the likes of this showed up on the scene and wiped the vomit off punk's floor. All hail the avant garde new wave!

Donna Summer - Heaven Knows, 1978 (again)

I'm very disappointed that the amazing Donna Summer video I linked to earlier of this song was taken down off You Tube. She was absolutely gorgeous in her green tunic, and the sound was perfect as well. God, what a clip that was! Wish I'd downloaded it. :(

I feel the need to do something to rectify this, as I really think it might be my fave Donna Summer song ever. You can hear the song here, even if you don't get anything but a still photo of her to look at:

Or, if you're a bit more adventurous and you want to see some live action and don't mind a significant drop in sound quality, try this one:

The Past Seven Days - Raindance 7", 1981

The Past Seven Days - Raindance/So Many Others... 7", 1981, WAV

The Past Seven Days - Raindance/So Many Others... 7", 1981, MP3

I've long resisted posting this one, because you can get the tracks on the Various Artists "Natures Mortes-Still Lives" CD, a compilation of early 4AD bands. I would also be willing to bet this record can be found on other people's blogs. But this is my favourite 7" single of ALL TIME by ANYONE, and THE best obscure post-punk band ever. Still makes the hairs on my arms stand on end after 20 years. The music is dark in nature, but it doesn't strike me as goth, really. There are some great synth sounds, but the music doesn't revolve around synths. I've decided to upload two versions of this single for you - one is in .wav format (higher quality sound-wise, but takes longer to download, obviously) and the other in regular mp3 format. This thing is so special I think it deserves to be heard in an uncompressed format. I guess I could have ripped these tracks from the CD, but I did it the old fashioned way and ripped them from the vinyl, because I think that's really the proper way to hear them.

And what an amazing sleeve! Believe it or not, the band themselves put this sleeve together, so you can't even look to the latter-day art design geniuses that made the 4AD record label so unique and special back in the day. I've tried to find some information about the members of this band, but I can't find any by googling. Certainly they didn't go on to release anything else, sadly. Apparently you can find some bio information about them in a book called Beats Working For A Living: Sheffield Popular Music 1973-1984 by Martin Lilliker, but this book goes for quite a bit of money and I'm just not at a stage in my life where I want to invest in any more music books.

Maybe I'm posting this record in the hopes that one of the band members will contact me. Yes, maybe that's the real reason. That would be a dream come true.

Last thing I'll say on this is it distresses me that in the scans of the sleeve I've done here, you can't really appreciate the shiny gloss of the thick paper sleeve. I wish I could show how it glistens in the light! :)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Wendys - More Than Enough Promo 12", 1990

The Wendys - More Than Enough Promo 12", 1990

I'll be the first to admit there were a lot of crap or mediocre records released on the Factory label. But I think Northside & The Wendys were fabulous. The Wendys weren't quite as good as Northside, I don't think, but pretty close for awhile. Anyway, the key thing here is the A-side, a vocal version of "More Than Enough" that cannot be found elsewhere. The B-side, the instrumental version of the song, was released as the b-side of the "Pulling My Fingers Off" single.

I'm proud to say I saw the Wendys live in Manchester in 1991. There weren't many people there, but it was a thrill, I must say. I took home a Wendys poster someone gave me off the wall. Don't have it anymore, though, unfortunately. I'm aware they did do a second album "Sixfoot Wingspan" in 1999, but I'm really not sure how I feel about it, to be honest.

Pauline Murray & The Invisible Girls - Dream Sequences 10", 1980

Pauline Murray & The Invisible Girls - Dream Sequences 10", 1980

Martin Hannett is in the band and producing as well. Saville does the sleeve. What else do you want? Well, to be honest, I much prefer Hannett & Co.'s work with John Cooper Clarke than Pauline Murray (I think she was a fine punk singer in Penetration, but I don't think she makes a very good pop singer). But the reason I post this is if you have the Pauline Murray & The Invisible Girls CD, you might think you have everything and you don't, because the "Dream Sequences II" on this is unavailable on that CD and Hannett left a lot of his paws on this song, production-wise. Enjoy.

Marc Riley & The Creepers - Four A's From Maida Vale, 1985

Marc Riley & The Creepers - 4 A's From Maida Vale, Double 7"

Messages etched in the inner grooves:
Black Dwarf - "Dedicated To The Fat Dwarf Cow!"
Going Rate - "This Sounds Like The Stones In Their Demonic Period"
Cold Fish - "I Wish I Had Eddie's Head"
Bard of Woking - "A Writ From Dim Wit?"

My friend Adam suggested I post some Marc Riley & Creepers, and for me this is really the one and only essential record of theirs. This was released as a 12" with a red sleeve, but I think I was lucky because as a teenager I bought it in a double 7" version, which enables me to show you the artwork in a better way than the 12" would. Marc Riley was, of course, and early member of The Fall, and went on to even be a DJ on BBC Radio. I think he still is, actually. When they say "4 A's" they mean 4 songs worthy of being the A-side on a single, and they're bloody right. All four of these songs are equally brilliant, but it's funny that upon playing it again today, "Going Rate" struck me as particularly noteworthy and catchy with the way the vocals kindof slide up and down a scale of notes. I always thought that song was a dig at Mark E. Smith of The Fall, but now I wonder if it wasn't just complaining about getting shortchanged financially at gigs. Certainly "Bard of Woking" is a dig at Paul Weller, no mistaking that, which is wonderfully ironic for me because I'm actually a bit of a Weller fan, now, though I wasn't at the time I bought this record.

The music on this is very much like The Fall, as you would expect, though it does have horn sounds which is rather interesting. Perhaps 1985 is a bit late to be calling anything "post-punk", but I don't think it's too off-the-mark to say this is a fine post-punk record.