Saturday, May 31, 2008


Sinatras - Happy Feeling 7", late 1980 or early 1981

Sinatras - Seeing Comes Before Words 7", 1981

Continuing the theme in this blog of posting singles on the Dining Out label, here are two from the Sinatras. I'm not going to pretend I'm crazy about this band. It seems to me all they wanted to be was this happy, boppy pop band at a time when all these other bands were being far more daring and experimental. To lump them in with most other post-punk is really stretching things. But as far as happy, boppy pop bands go, you could do far worse than these guys. I will also give them credit in the sense that it seems when they finally got round to doing the b-side "That Shape" from the second single, they realized it might be cooler to do something more interesting than just be a pop band. I do think at least that song is worthy of the term "post-punk". It reminds me a little of Eyeless In Gaza, actually, that one. Anyway, I realize there was a Mod revival going on during the golden years of post punk ('78-'82), but I'm not sure these guys really remind me of those kinds of bands. I suppose some people might say the first single was power pop, but then I'll let the power pop connoisseurs decide whether this qualifies, since I'm not one of them. "Seeing Comes Before Words" has a very slight ska feel to my ears. At least they added horns. It's a better song than the ones on the first single, I think.

This band released a debut album in 1984 entitled "Betrayal" on Strike Back records. It bored me to tears.

Easter & The Totem

Easter & The Totem - "Taboo", 1982
Many bands get compared to Joy Division but I think in this case the comparison is especially apt. Not that these guys are as good as JD, but that is certainly the style they were going for with their debut 1982 LP entitled "Hip Replacement". You can see from the picture of the inner label that this was truly a DIY affair, not too fancy...except for the fantastic sleeve. I mean do record sleeves get much better than that? I don't think so. Anyway, the way this record was mastered to vinyl was less than ideal...the sound is sortof muddy sometimes (though not unlistenable) and I found a skip in one song that I was unable to correct no matter how many times I trained the needle with a steady hand. The good news is that West Nile Records realize the missed opportunity with this record and are going to attempt to clean up the sound and release the whole thing on CD in the near future, so I won't post the entire LP here, just the first song. Apparently Easter & The Totem are still playing music today (gotta admire that kind of stubbornness I think) and you can go look at their myspace page to learn more about them. You can also hear another track from this LP at the West Nile Records site. Incidentally, I found out about this band from the compilation of bands entitled From Bromley With Love which is up on Mutant Sounds' site, I believe.

Dif Juz

I don't know why anyone could ask anything more out of music than this band. The highest of the high, the holiest of the holy. Even Vini Reilly must give pause.

Rest assured I shall return...with two Sinatras singles on Dining Out, as well as a song from the collector's item 1982 Easter & The Totem LP soon to e released properly on CD with much improved production...also I have a single by Orchestre Rouge yet...

More surprises in store...

Saturday, May 24, 2008


I am on vacation and blogging has not been way up there on the agenda of late. I shall return soon.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Cocteau Twins - Treasure LP on vinyl

I just got Cocteau Twins Treasure on vinyl again for the first time since I was a teenager oh my god! Talk about VINYL FETISH! The thick inside sleeve with the gorgeous green design! Look at the inside labels of the actual vinyl! Holy jesus christ. I can't even breathe. I can't wait to hear those loud drums again on Persephone! AAAAAAAGGGGH! This record is godhead, there's no other word for it.

And the quality of the vinyl is superb too! I might pass out.

Occult Chemistry

Occult Chemistry 7" EP 1979-1980ish

I am so eager to put this up cause I just got it in the mail (post as the Brits say!) and I think it is WAY cool. I didn't find any other blogs that had it up, either, but feel free to prove me wrong. Another 7" on the Dining Out label. I have no idea whether this was '79 or '80 but I seriously doubt it's 1981. This was the band that had Martha Tilson singing, a lady who went on to do some vocals with A Certain Ratio circa their Sextet album. Now, I'm a pretty big fan of A Certain Ratio, but Sextet is just about my LEAST fave album of theirs up through the early 90's and I really didn't like her vocals with them at all. But she does just smashingly on this fantastic slice of DIY punk! It's not as funky or radically political as Delta 5 or Au Pairs, and it only bears a passing resemblance to A Certain reminds me of early Dislocation Dance a bit. Yeah that's about right. Sorta like early Dislocation Dance. I really like this EP a lot, I want to play it over and over. And charmingly, the sleeve consists of two pieces of paper CUT OUT BY HAND that weren't even glued together. Notice the cheap black and white copy of the sleeves, too. I deliberately left the scan of the back sleeve to look lopsided because I wanted to stress this thing was cut out by hand. God, it doesn't get any more DIY than that. I don't know if Chuck Warner has ever put these guys on a Messthetics comp yet, they certainly weren't on the original 8 discs of Messthetics, but I can SO see this being put on one of those. Another piece of trivia: notice this is the next release on the Dining Out label after the Insex 7" I posted earlier.

Oh and did I mention I really love this record?

The Distributors

Distributors singles plus 2 tracks from their Peel Sessions, all from 1979-1981

This is another one of my favourite post-punk bands. Above is a link to a site where you can hear these two singles right away without even downloading them, as well as two Peel session tracks that have much better sound quality than the versions I've heard. The Distributors were from Wakefield in West Yorkshire, England. Most folks who know them do so from the song "T.V. Me" which was included on the "Hicks From The Sticks" compilation. They dabbled in dub reggae for the track "Never Never" (probably my fave of the lot) but in general they were just trying to stretch the boundaries the way good post-punk should. The truth is that "T.V. Me", with its drum machine, ominous and unusual synth sound, infectious bass line and subtle guitar (used only for atmosphere), is not going to give you a clear idea of what their other songs sound like. It's a very eerie song that is not at all goth but reminds me - perhaps unsurprisingly - of that strange and delightful film from 1983 with Debbie Harry called "Videodrome" in which TV and reality blend. The Distributors were ARTY with a capital A, but not afraid to hook listeners in with a catchy bass line or tune. I was surprised to learn that a number of members of the band (Steve Beresford, Jeremy Welsh, Robert Worby) were actually accomplished, well-trained musicians and artists in their own right...Worby now being a presenter on BBC Radio 3 and who also played with the Mekons, Beresford a jazz musician who played with many other artists including the Slits, Jeremy Welsh a professor of visual arts in Norway. I couldn't find any information on the singer Keith James, but I don't believe this is the same Keith James who is known for covering Nick Drake songs. Other members of the band at one point in time or another were David Holmes, Mick Switzerland and Enzo Raphael. The Distributors actually had a third record released after these two singles. It was a 12" on Red Rhino with the tracks "Hold"/"Get Rid Of These Things"/"Wages For Lovers", but this 12" represented a drop in musical quality in my opinion.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Ed Banger & The Nosebleeds w/Vini Reilly on guitar. Watch for Tony Wilson!!!

This is the most amazing thing I will see all year.


Anyway sorry for the non-musical detour, folks. This is not my intention as a regular thing, I mean I love discussing Nietzsche but this is - and will always be - a blog primarily about music. I really love talking about Nietzsche, though, so if anyone wants to talk to me about him just email me. I'm not going to say he was perfect - far from it - and I can't claim to have read even half his books, but he really pushed my buttons a lot of times when I read his stuff. He reached me in ways no other human being ever has. But I'm not sure if "genius" is the right word to use about him or not. He's tricky like that.

Anyway enough about Nietzsche and back to music (which he loved! He loved music, too, Nietzsche did!!). I'll probably post the Distributors next.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


It seems to me as if my brain is permanently stuck in 1985 subconsciously, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I never get out of 1985. I guess you can say this is a good or bad thing depending on how you feel about it personally. Everyone is different. But some deep part of me never leaves 1985. I can't help it. It's just the way I feel.

Nietzsche (the late 19th century philospher, for those that don't know him) talked about the "eternal recurrence" - when you keep living the same life with the same patterns over and over and over and over.

From Wikipedia:

"Eternal return (also known as "eternal recurrence") is a concept which posits that the universe has been recurring, and will continue to recur in the exact same self-similar form an incomprehensible and unfathomable number of times. The concept has roots in ancient Egypt, and was subsequently taken up by the Pythagoreans and Stoics. In the Hebrew Scriptures, the notion is supported in the book of Ecclesiastes.[1][2][3] With the decline of antiquity and the spread of Christianity, the concept fell into disuse, though Friedrich Nietzsche briefly resurrected it.

In addition, the philosophical concept of eternal recurrence was addressed by Arthur Schopenhauer. It is a purely physical concept, involving no "reincarnation", but the return of beings in the same bodies. Time is viewed as being not linear but cyclical.

The basic premise is that the universe is limited in extent and contains a finite amount of matter, while time is viewed as being infinite. The universe has no starting or ending state, while the matter comprising it is constantly changing its state. The number of possible changes is finite, and so sooner or later the same state will recur."

It's like when there are bells that ring from a church. Same sound but at intervals. Over and over. For however many times are necessary to mark the hour.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Lowly American

I'm just a lowly American. They're going to send me off to prison camps in Wales, soon. But post punk paves the way. Doesn't it? God is dead. Nietzsche said.

This is a great time to remember my earlier post about Manchester band Gods Gift, right? They even did a song for Nico (you know, the lady from Velvet Underground?)! I don't know what else you could possibly want out of a band than that. Can we have a moment of silence please?

I have to hear their 12" EP very soon again or I will lose my mind. Must find my iPod. Weird thing is I'm not totally sure I ripped that from vinyl yet. Or even from CDR. I've got to find it somewhere. I'm really confused right now. I know I have it on vinyl for sure, but beyond that I have no idea what CD I ripped it to.

Now I am hearing some instrumental thing that sounds so much like early Fall and I am about to pass out from swooning nausea & dizziness.

It's the Gods Gift cassette is that is still playing. Hence the culprit! Wonderful music.

Maybe harmless Joan Jett will start rocking out soon so I can get past the intensity of this kind of life-changing post punk.

And as far as the US stuff goes, The Replacements is probably as good as it gets. I'm hearing the new reissue of "Stink" right now and "You're Getting Married" (solo demo) is flipping my lid right now. I don't know what else you could possibly want out of American music than that. No way.

I'm going to play early Sonic Youth again soon, too, though. It's the perversion of an anglophile to listen to these things. Guilty pleasures.

But when Loop's Arc-Lite comes on, I just can't get enough. I really just can't stand it. This song drives me completely insane even though I first heard it when I was 19 or whatever.

The guitarist of God's Gift wrote me an email

The guitarist of Gods Gift wrote me an email
The guitarist of Gods Gift wrote me an email

The guitarist of Gods Gift wrote me an email
The guitarist of Gods Gift wrote me an email
The guitarist of Gods Gift wrote me an email

The guitarist of Gods Gift wrote me an email
The guitarist of Gods Gift wrote me an email

I can't believe it. I feel very lucky.

Stay tuned.

Where The Hell Is Leicester? LP 1981

Various Artists - Where The Hell Is Leicester LP, 1981

Here's a compilation of bands from Leicester that is quite rare and I don't believe it has appeared on another blog. I don't know much about the bands here. Amber Squad apparently have a CD out on Detour records, and there is some info out there about Deep Freeze Mice as well. I can also tell you that the Observers released at least one 7" single. New Age is the band here I am most familiar with. They were on the Dining Out label and I own their entire discography (one LP, one EP, one single) which can all be found on Mutant Sounds' blog. He couldn't include all the sleeves, though, because the truth is he got it all from me some years back and I didn't have them scanned then! This presents a dilemma for me in the sense that I don't know whether to post this stuff again just because I have the sleeves or whether I should just let it stand that it's all available on his blog. I have a few more records that I have the same dilemma with. Maybe some folks will weigh in on what they think I should do. Anyway, the song by New Age that appears on this comp wasn't actually released anywhere else and it's quite good. Overall I think only about half of what's here is good, but then solid comps of obscure post punk are quite rare, aren't they? It's all about separating the wheat from the chaff. I'm probably not going to make a regular habit of posting comps or even entire LP's here in the future, though.

Here's the tracklisting:
The Danceable Solution - You Don't Know My Name
Tribal Games - Plastic Jah
Amber Squad - Six Of Me
Deep Freeze Mice - Minstrel Radio Yoghurt
Ronnie Slicker & The Banditz - Disco Music
Mental Notes - Is He Such A Fool?
The Silent - Ambition
Modern Living - Drink Is A Drug
Last Resort - Stepping On The Cracks
Observers - Crisis
New Age - Can't Get In
Future Toys - R.C.U.

Farm Life

Farm Life - Susie's Party/Simple Men 7", 1982

Here is another single on the Dining Out label, just like the Insex 7" I posted awhile back. This band don't sound anything like The Insex, though. I can't find any information about them online at all and I don't believe they released any other records. I get a kick out of this single, I think it's rather funny in its quirkiness. The A-side consists of a simple guitar line that sounds like the Byrds or something (maybe it's a Rickenbacker guitar) and a hilarious-sounding woozy synth noise that will remind you of what one of those 45's with a big hole in the center sounds like when it isn't centered and you try to play it. It gives you that same seasick feeling. But perhaps the funniest part is the lyrics, all about some poor girl who "had a party and no one came/since then she's never been the same". Anyway I don't want to give away too much more about this song, it has to be heard to be believed, I think. It's not goth at all - not even bad goth - it's just fun DIY silliness. The b-side has a much more typically post-punk guitar noise to it, sounds a bit like Wire. This is a more enjoyable single than most but I suspect there's no way these folks could have come up with a listenable album. It's odd that there's so many names on the back too - I can't see how that many people could have played on this!

p.s. I really can't be sure this single is from 1982, it could quite possibly be 1981 but I was forced to guess by looking at the releases on Dining Out that were before and after it. I will be posting more records on the Dining Out label later.

Sudden Sway article in a 1983 NME

Before I get to posting some more records today I wanted to share this. It's too large to post as an image here, but this is a link to an article in NME about Sudden Sway. I suppose I was lying before that I hadn't heard of their 1982 Tax Scheme single because they do mention it in this article, but they're not very specific about it. In fact, strangely at the time of the article it seems to be a work in progress, which I can't explain because the other blog did say it came out in 1982. Anyway, I happened upon this article by chance, really. In 1989 I decided to buy a bunch of old NME's and Melody Makers that had my fave bands on the cover like Joy Division, The Fall & Cocteau Twins and this just happened to be in one of them. I'm really happy to have it because it at least gives some explanation for the band's weirdness.

I tried unsuccessfully to make it easier to read by darkening it but if you use Mozilla Firefox like I do and run your mouse over it you can magnify it a little by clicking just once and then it's much easier to read.

Just to be obvious...

Okay look. I'm hearing this damn album again in my ears and we all know this is the goddamn post punk ultimate thing. Gang of Four "Solid Gold". Do you know I love it even more than "Entertainment" now? Please kill me now. And listen to how the drums in the middle of "Cheeseburger" sound like PIL off of Metal Box or whatever that song was...oh god.

It's just too intense. Do you want watered down post punk or do you want the fookin' classicks? I'm being killed by this album again. And I'm not afraid if it's a post punk cliche now. It just does NOT get any better than this ever as far as post punk goes. Forget it. But you know that already.

Anyway I'll post more obscure music tomorrow I promise. It's been a long night. I have a new best friend. Life is good.

I want to go riding with Batman & Robin in the convertible batmobile of GOTHAM while "A Hole In The Wallet" is playing.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Sudden Sway Part 3

It's beginning to seem to me as though people would prefer to have just one track from things going by the download rates here, and that's understandable. Who wants to be bothered downloading an entire album or EP by someone you're not sure of (and I fully admit I'm not that great at describing bands...especially Sudden Sway who are just...really damn hard to describe and that other blog agrees with me on that anyway).

So here is what I think *might* be the best song off Sudden Sway's absolutely stellar-to-this-day "To You With Regard" EP from 1981, it's called "Tales Of Talking Town"

Sudden Sway were eccentric both lyrically and in execution, but also rather amazingly tuneful at times. See, in my opinion it's usually the Brits who write the best tunes...Beatles, Kinks...where the appeal of the music is simply in the *sequence* of the notes itself. But I don't mean to give the impression that Sudden Sway sound a goddamn thing like Beatles or Kinks. Remember this is post punk. It's just this principle of the TUNE. Something catchy, it gets in your head...simply something about the sequence of notes that were chosen. This is really how I feel about a lot of music. But there are also plenty of bands from Britain who don't particularly specialize in tunes that I am also into, like the fact that I'm heavily (back) into Loop right now.

Next up I'm thinking of posting a 7" on that Dining Out label I mentioned before that had The Insex on it. Also a compilation of bands entitled "Where The Hell Is Leicester" from 1981.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Sudden Sway Pt. 2

Jesus H. Listen to that 1982 7" of them! I NEVER KNEW IT EXISTED BEFORE! Christ.
Life is good. I don't know what to say.

Sudden Sway

See here I was going to post the EP by Sudden Sway entitled "To You With Regard" and of course someone else has beat me to it. Good lord there's even a single there from 1982 I never knew about until now. Don't you love the internet??

Jesus, this blog even mentions a rumour that the boys from U2 were involved in the To You With Regard EP. Christ, that's insane. I don't believe that for a minute. It's a good excuse to pull out some old U2 though, which I am doing now. "Tomorrow" and "October" from the October album. That's some good shit.

Bimble 7" Skullduggery continues: Moskow

Moskow - The Man From U.N.C.L.E./Too Much Commotion 7", 1979

This is the single I was thinking of that should appeal to folks who prefer the poppier side of post-punk rather than the gloomy artiness of a lot of stuff I've been posting. It's worth noting that "Too Much Commotion" appeared on the "Avon Calling - The Bristol Compilation". Anyway, I don't think it's right to call Moskow power pop, but I suppose they're in the same general neighborhood as that. They're really good with tunes, I'll tell you that much and this is a great single. Interestingly, both sides begin with an intriguing synthesizer intro after which they abandon synthesizers for the rest of the song. This single actually was released in three other different editions on different labels, all of which had a different b-side entitled "White Black". There is at least one other sleeve for it, too. If you want more info, you can go to this blog entry which leads one to believe that Moskow actually contained a member of 80's pseudo-goths The Bolshoi! I find that fascinating, though I can't claim I was a huge fan of The Bolshoi. A couple of years ago I remember a British friend of mine claimed he'd actually met a member of the Bolshoi. Anyway like I said, this is a great single, don't miss it.

Good Old Fashioned 4AD Records Part 3: Dance Chapter

Dance Chapter - Anonymity/New Dance 7", 1980

I'm not sure this band will appeal to everyone. I'm not even going to pretend I think it's one of the better early 4AD releases, but it's certainly interesting. The vocalist is a little strange, though. The 4AD website compares them to Joy Division and for the A-side I can see that. They released one other record on 4AD after this one - a 12" EP - before calling it quits. I don't believe any of the members of this band went on to do anything else musically. Notice in the photo for the back sleeve that there was a little card included inside the record with a poem on it. I taped this to the back of the 7". So far I've tried to stay away from posting any of the early 4AD 7"es that were later compiled on the excellent "Natures Mortes - Still Lives" compilation, but then that kindof leaves some other singles that aren't as good as what is on that comp. I still think this single is worth a go if you're into this kind of music, though.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Noyes Brothers

I already said in another post that I was crazy about this album. I'm still crazy about it. EVEN the experimental instrumental synthesizer doodlings towards the beginning and end are okay by me. Soon I will have my own copy of the vinyl and I will be so happy to hold it in my hands. They claimed it was a sealed copy. Fingers crossed. I will probably have an orgasm if it is a sealed copy.

In any case, here is some more prime post punk: Noyes Brothers "Night Sky Vision"

I realize some folks don't like Steve Solamar's voice, but I really do. He speaks to me somehow. And I hate to say it but it seems to me the songs he sings on this Noyes Brothers album are better than any Spherical Objects stuff. But the entire Noyes Brothers album is just amazing to my ears, no matter who's singing or what's going on.

Here's another really nice song from the album, this one with vocals from Steve Miro rather than Solamar.

Missing Presumed Dead part 2

God, I don't even know where to start with this band. I really have flipped over Missing Presumed Dead. I've completely lost my critical faculties. The "How's Your Bum For Cracking Walnuts" album is even more of an achievement than the "Revenge" album is. I want to post another track but the thing is, one track would mislead you because there's actually a fair amount of variety on their songs. They even bring in a woman singer for "Delicate" and that was the moment when I decided I had well and truly flipped over this band. They were never anything less than PRIME POST PUNK. This is post-punk the way it was always meant to be. And I love the way they flirt with jazz sometimes on the "Walnuts..." album, too. They come close to that skronk New York no wave stuff a little at times, though never really discordant.

So yeah, if you don't know it yet, run - don't walk - to grab it from Mutant Sounds

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Missing Presumed Dead

Missing Presumed Dead - "I Never Win" from Revenge LP, 1981

This is one of the bands I'm really into right now called Missing Presumed Dead. I think it's safe to say they were from the UK but other than that I don't know a lot about them. They had two albums, one from '80 and one from '81. They're really amateur, shoestring budget, you know real "DIY" even in production. But they're creative as hell. Can't call them goth. Can't call them punk. Not pop, either. They're just messing around, with wonderful results. This is my favourite song by them that I've heard so far called "I Never Win". Knocked me out first time I heard it. Also does anyone else really really love it when these post-punk bands will kindof weave the gloomy spare music along with no synthesizers and then all of a sudden about 60-70% through the song, they bring in some kind of horn??? OH MY GOD I love it when that happens! It's so unexpected! And it's like "wow"! So much better than some synthesizer solo could have been you know? There was a band on that Greek compilation I mentioned a few posts back called Yell-O-Yell who kept doing that in their songs, and it kept (pleasantly) surprising me! And yes I am a fan of A Certain Ratio and all that, but that's not why it drives me crazy when bands do that. I can't explain it, it just does.

And I see now that Mutant Sounds has already posted Missing Presumed Dead's albums on his blog. Sigh. Well, too bad. You know sometimes I just happen to hear good music and it happens to be on other blogs than mine already! :)

Anyway, I've got a 7" by another band in mind to post soon that should appeal to folks who appreciate the poppier side of post punk rather than the arty/goth side. I'll have it up before the end of the weekend.