Saturday, August 30, 2008

Guided By Voices - "Bee Thousand - The Director's Cut" (2004 3xLP)


This is an out-of-print three LP set subtitled on the Scat Records website as a "10th Anniversary 'What If?' Edition". From what I can remember from reading the liner notes, the "Bee Thousand" LP kept changing as Robert Pollard sent in cassettes to the label, from track listings and songs to the title of the album itself. This release attempts to put it all together. A big convoluted mish-mash, in my humble opinion but that's Guided By Voices for ya, eh?

Copied and pasted from the Scat site:
Sides 1-4 are an early Bee Thousand sequence, at the time titled "Instructions to the Rusty Time Machine."
Side 5 has the official Bee Thousand tracks not included in the 2LP sequence (and a bit besides).
Side 6 compiles the Grand Hour and I Am a Scientist eps, along with an outtake from the latter. This version of My Valuable Hunting Knife is very different, very rock - not just a studio version. A highlight, for sure.

I have put the six sides together as two "Discs", Sides 1-3 on Disc 1 and Sides 4-6 on Disc 2.
This was a royal pain-in-the-ass, as GBV songs not only run together, but often one song will sound like three or four distinctly different songs. I think I did a pretty good job of it and if you have any complaints, well, buy one off eBay and do your own.

If you wanna restore the original 3LP's six sides, go to Scat's page for it Here. They'll also tell you where non-Bee Thousand final CD songs ended up being released, and the six previously unreleased songs and/or versions on here.

My 320 vinyl rip is here: DISC 1 and DISC 2

Tracks:
Disc 1:
01. Demons Are Real
02. Deathtrot and Warlock Riding a Rooster
03. Postal Blowfish
04. The Goldheart Mountaintop Queen Directory
05. At Odds With Dr. Genesis
06. Hot Freaks
07. Queen of Cans and Jars
08. Bite
09. It's Like Soul Man (4 track version)
10. Supermarket the Moon
11. Stabbing a Star
12. Ester's day
13. Her Psychology Today
14. Good For a Few Laughs
15. Smothered In Hugs
16. What Are We Coming Up To?
17. Peep-Hole
18. Revolution Boy
19. Indian Was an Angel
20. Zoning the Planet
21. Scissors
22. Crayola
23. Kicker of Elves
24. 2nd Moves to Twin
25. I'll Buy You a Bird

Disc 2:
01. Awful Bliss
02. Echoes Myron
03. Why Did You Land? (4 track version)
04. You're Not an Airplane
05. Crunch Pillow
06. Rainbow Billy
07. Tractor Rape Chain
08. Crocker's Favorite Song
09. I Am a Scientist
10. Buzzards and Dreadful Crows
11. A Big Fan of the Pigpen
12. Mincer Ray
13. Way to a Man's Heart
14. Twig
15. Gold Star For Robot Boy
16. Hardcore UFOs
17. Yours to Keep
18. Shocker In Gloomtown (demo version)
19. Break Even (demo version)
20. I'll Get Over It
21. Shocker In Gloomtown
22. Alien Lanes
23. Off the Floor
24. Break Even
25. Bee Thousand
26. I Am a Scientist (7" version)
27. Curse of the Black Ass Buffalo
28. Do the Earth
29. Planet's Own Brand
30. My Valuable Hunting Knife (Shernoff version)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Victor Jara (from CounterPunch.com)

I first heard of (though it took many years for me to actually hear) Victor Jara, the Chilean poet and folksinger, from the line in The Clash's "Washington Bullets" on their Sandinista! LP in 1981: "Please remember Victor Jara / In the Santiago Stadium / es verdas, those Washington bullets again".

Years later I downloaded several songs from Limewire, and though I don't speak Spanish I was struck by their gentle beauty.

The forthcoming Calexico LP, "Carried To Dust" (Download from Bolachas Grátis blog HERE) opens with the song "Victor Jara's Hands", a reference to the military junta breaking his hands and saying, "Play your guitar now!"
--Peter

Photobucket
(from an East German poster)

MASSIVE Victor Jara post at Cuadro Letárgico blog, check it out!

August 28, 2008

Who Killed Victor Jara?

By PAUL CANTOR
CounterPunch. com

A few days after the other 9/11, Victor Jara., a Chilean folksinger, songwriter, actor, director, poet, political activist and teacher, was tortured and then shot to death while being held prisoner by the military. This year on May 15th Chilean Judge Juan Eduardo Fuentes found Colonel Mario Manriquez, the man in charge of the makeshift prison where Jara was being held, guilty of his murder. Today Colonel Manriquez is under arrest awaiting sentencing while the judge is attempting to determine who else was responsible for torturing and killing him.


ARREST AND MURDER

Here is some of what we know about the circumstances surrounding the death, the discovery of the body, and the struggle to identify the murderers:

On Tuesday, September 11, 1973 the democratically elected Popular Unity government of Salvador Allende, a socialist, was overthrown in a bloody coup d'état led by Augusto Pinochet and supported by the United States. Afterward thousands of Allende's supporters were arrested, tortured, and killed.


Victor Jara was detained on September 12, 1973 at La Universidad Técnica del Estado (UTE or State Technical University) where he worked and along with hundreds of students and colleagues forced to jog with his hands behind his neck to the Estadio Chile , a sports stadium six blocks away. Witnesses report he was beaten at the time of his arrest and en route to the stadium. At the stadium an army officer recognized who he was.


"Bring that son of a bitch over here to me!" he ordered a soldier.


The officer's helmet was pulled down to his eyes. Over one shoulder hung a machine gun. On his chest was a hand grenade. On his belt, a pistol. His face was painted. He wore dark glasses. And, he stood with his black boots spread wide.


"Don't treat him like a young lady, damn it!"

The soldier, following orders, struck Victor in the back with the butt of his rifle sending him sprawling face forward to the ground in front of the officer.


"Fuck your mother!" the officer started to rant as he began kicking the well known and popular song writer who now lay at his feet. "You're Victor Jara, asshole! You're the Marxist singer. Your songs are pure shit! I'm going to teach you how to sing Chilean songs which aren't communist you son of a bitch!" Victor's hair and face were soon covered with blood and one of his eyes swollen shut.


Then Colonel Manriquez showed up. With him, under guard, was Danilo Bartulin, one of Allende's doctors. Victor was made to join Bartulin and the two of them were led to an underground walkway. There, according to Bartulin, they were beaten "from seven in the afternoon until three in the morning." Then their tormentors were called away to help deal with the arrival of a new group of prisoners. It was at that point that they managed to join their companions in the stadium's tiers of seats. There they remained until Saturday, September 15.


Saturday around noon word reached Victor that a number of prisoners were to be released. He responded by scrounging two sheets of paper and a pen from Boris Navia, a professor of law at the UTE who had been arrested with him, and starting to write. After a time two soldiers appeared and signaled for him to follow them. Victor passed the two pieces of paper back to Navia as he rose to go. On them was a poem. The poem later made its way to the outside world and became famous.


The soldiers took Victor to a broadcast booth where he was again badly beaten. Later Carlos Orellana, another of Victor's colleagues arrested at the UTE, was approached by a student. The student had seen Victor in a passageway where he was again being held isolated from the others. Victor told him he wanted to talk to Orellana.


As Orellana approached the passageway, Victor persuaded the soldier guarding him to allow him to go to the bathroom. Orellana followed. In the bathroom Victor told Orellana about a prisoner who was acting as a spy for the soldiers. In other words, Orellana later recalled, even after Victor had been tortured and beaten and had good reason to believe that he wouldn't make it out of the stadium alive his concern was for the welfare of others, not himself.


Saturday afternoon, after his brief encounter with Victor, Orellana and other prisoners being held at the Estadio Chile were transferred to the Estadio Nacional, another sports stadium in Santiago that had been converted into a concentration camp. On their way out of the Estadio Chile they saw Victor's body. It was riddled with bullet holes and piled together with other bodies in the foyer of the stadium.


Three days later, on Tuesday, September 18, Joan Jara, Victor's widow, received a visit from a young man she hadn't met before. "I'm afraid to tell you," he said, "Victor is dead. His body has been found in the morgue...You must come, because …unless his body is claimed they will take him away and bury him in a common grave.
"

TRIAL AND TRANSITION

Until the 9/11 1973 coup d'état Chile had been the most stable democracy in Latin America. It had an elected President, a two house legislature and a free and lively press. The military Junta with support from President Richard Nixon in the United States changed all that. Led by Augusto Pinochet it abolished the Congress, outlawed political parties and labor unions, appointed military rectors to run the universities, censored the press, forbid the playing of Victor Jara's records and other popular music, and established a secrete police force that arrested, tortured and killed those it considered a threat to its rule.


Even in the face of such repression, however, a resistance developed which won international support and 16 years after the coup forced the junta to hold a Presidential election. In the election, Patrico Alywin, a Christian Democrat, defeated the candidate supported by Pinochet.


The transition back to democratic rule in Chile began when Alywin took office on March 11, 1990. That transition led to Michelle Bachelet, a socialist like Allende, being elected President in 2006. Bachelet's father, a General in the Air Force and supporter of Allende, had been arrested after the coup and died after being tortured. She and her mother had also been arrested and tortured. Hence, her election signified for many that Chile was once again a healthy democracy.


President Bachelet, however, does not share that view.
Rather, in response to a question regarding the trials of military officials for human rights abuses she said,

"The important thing is in our country we do have trials going on. We are advancing and under my government we will still advance on three great principles: truth, justice and reparation for all the victims, all the families of the victims. We have been walking in that direction. And I will do all my efforts to continue in that direction. I mean -- no impunity -- no! Because I'm a doctor, I know when you have an injury it will heal if it's clean enough to heal; if your injury is dirty, it won't heal. And so when you are talking in societies, we are also talking in healing processes, and for a good healing process, you need to make things right.
"

That effort to make things right got a boost even before Bachelet was elected when on October 16, 1998 Pinochet was detained in England on a warrant issued by a Spanish judge, Baltasar Garzon, charging him with human right violations. Pinochet's arrest set a precedent. It marked the first time anyone had been arrested under the doctrine of universal jurisdiction. Universal jurisdiction holds that certain crimes threaten the welfare of people in all countries and therefore all countries have the right to arrest and hold accountable those responsible for them. After his arrest Pinochet was allowed to return to Chile on the grounds that he was not mentally fit to stand trial. After his arrival home he was again detained and charged with human rights violations. Though when he died in 2006 he was still under house arrest he had never spent a night in jail.


Joan Jara first brought charges against those who tortured and murdered her husband in 1978. However, for three reasons -- a decree issued by the military that year provided amnesty to its members for actions carried out in the aftermath of the coup, fear of how the military would react to prosecutions, and the resistance of many Chileans to opening old sores -- nothing came of her action or others like it. But in August 1999, ten months after Pinochet was arrested, when she once again filed a lawsuit against her husband's killers, the climate in Chile had changed dramatically. As a result on May 15 Judge Juan Fuentes found the man who had been in charge of the Estadio Chile, Colonel Mario Manriquez, guilty of his murder. Then by declaring the case closed he provoked an outcry which led on June 3 to him agreeing to continue an investigation which seeks to identify and bring to justice all those who were involved in torturing and killing Victor Jara. Already, a key suspect, Edwin Dimter, has been identified. Dimter is believed to be an especially brutal guard whom prisoners referred to as the "Prince.
"

WHO KILLED VICTOR?

How important is it to bring to justice every single individual who took part in torturing and killing Victor Jara 35 years after he was murdered? Imagine walking down the street and seeing someone who tortured and killed a loved one sipping tea in a café while knowing that pickpockets and prostitutes are serving time in jail. Chile will only become a healthy democracy again when everyone in the country is confident that wearing or having once worn a military uniform won't provide people with impunity for the crimes they committed.


That is one argument. Others think it is more important to move up the chain of command than down. "Who killed Victor Jara?" The superficial answer according to this point of view is that most likely it was a soldier from a poor or working class background. The more substantive answer is: "the people at the top of the chain of command, a chain which in the case of Victor Jara and other victims of the Pinochet regime leads all the way from Chile to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C.


How could a common soldier with a working class background end up pulling the trigger that ended Victor Jara's life? Victor answered that question a month before he was killed when in response to a question about his military service he said:

"I think that the professional soldier, from the fact of wearing a uniform and having power over the rest of the contingent, loses the sense of his own class. I think the exercise of command makes him, consciously or unconsciously, put himself on a different plane and see life from a different point of view. He believes himself to be superior. As a shaven-headed private, I remember having to polish an officer's boots or do the cleaning in his house and I thought it very natural…indeed, I thought it almost a privilege to be called upon to do it, because it meant that I was a very disciplined bloke who could be trusted to do the job properly. But looking at it now, without innocence, I think it was a conditioning – it conditions the servility of the private, just as it conditions the superiority of the officer.
"

THE MAN AND HIS MUSIC

"Duerme, Duerme negrito." That is the title of a Cuban lullaby sung by Victor. When I think of how Victor was killed I think of that song. The lullaby is so gentle, so sweet, so beautiful. How could anyone harm even a hair on the head of the man who sung it? "Sleep, sleep, little back baby." "Que tu mama está en el campo." Your mama is in the fields. "Tabajando." Working. "Trabando duramente." Working hard. "Trabajando sí." Yes, working hard.


Victor Jara was born on September 28, 1932 in a rural region south of Santiago. Joan Jara describes Victor's earliest memories in her book An Unfinished Song: The Life of Victor Jara. His parents, Manuel Jara and Amanda Martinez were dirt poor peasants. Amanda "had a strong strain of Mapuche Indian blood in her" and "was the mainstay of the family" As a child she had learned the folk music of the countryside. Manuel "was embittered with the heavy toil of being an inquilino" or tenant farmer. "He saw his children more as additional labor than as independent human beings." Manuel was illiterate but Amanda had taught herself to read. The relationship between his parents was strained. After Amanda became pregnant with her fifth child they separated and she moved with her children to the city. There she got a job as a cook. When Victor was 15 his mother died and he began living with friends. In the winter of 1950 he entered a seminary. In 1952 he dropped out of the seminary. "Ten days later he was called up for military service." After he left the military he pursued a career in theatre and music. He also joined the Chilean Communist Party and became an active supporter of Allende. And he took a dance class that was taught by a British born and raised woman named Joan Turner who later became his wife. Together they had a daughter. They named their daughter Amanda after his mother. When he learned that Amanda had diabetes he wrote a song which he dedicated to her. The song is called, "Te Recuerdo Amanda." It has nothing to do with diabetes.
It is a song about love and loss and revolution

"Te recuerdo Amanda. La calle mojada. Corriendo a la fabrica donde trabajaba Manuel….
"

I remember Amanda. The wet street. Running to the factory where Manuel worked. The wide smile. The rain in your hair. None of it mattered. Soon you would be with him. With him. With him. With him. You have five minutes. A lifetime in five minutes. The back to work siren sounds.


"Y tu caminando. Lo ilumias todo. Los cinco minutos te hacen florecer.
"

And you walking. You make everything brighter. Those five minutes make you flower.


Because he wants more than five minutes a day to spend with Amanda Manuel retreats to the mountains to join others fighting for workers' rights. Five minutes later he is killed. The back to work siren sounds again.


"Muchos no volvieron. Tampoco Manuel.
"

Many didn't return. Neither did Manuel.


Most of Victor Jara's songs are like Te Recuerdo Amanda in that they are concerned with justice and the people who struggle for justice. Most promote progressive change. And most evince compassion for workers and the poor.
An especially lively ditty called Ni Chicha Ni Limonada is one of his most popular and difficult to translate:

Arrímese mas pa' ca
aquí donde el sol calienta,
si uste' ya está acostumbrado
a andar dando volteretas
y ningún daño le hará
estar donde las papas queman.


Usted no es na'
ni chicha ni limoná
se la pasa manoseando
caramba zamba su dignidad.


The song makes fun of those who sympathized with Allende but refused to actively support him. A rough translation of the excerpted lyrics above is: Come closer..here in the heat of the sun..if you're already accustomed..to somersaulting about..it won't hurt you..to be where the potatoes burn. You, you are nothing..You're neither hard cider nor lemonade..you go about putting everybody down.. man you have no dignity.


VICTOR JARA PRESENTE

Victor Jara was a loving, compassionate singer and songwriter who shared the Allende government's goal of moving along a peaceful road toward socialism. His only weapon in the struggle for justice was his guitar.


His brutal murder therefore is seen by many as emblematic of the lengths the U.S. is willing to go to overthrow even peaceful, democratic governments when they pursue policies which it considers a threat to its interests. The military junta in Chile was not out just to kill a man. Rather, acting as an agent of the Nixon White house and the most reactionary force within Chile, it was out to kill the idea that democratic socialism was a possibility.
But as the popular progressive singer, actress and songwriter Holly Near points out in her song entitled It Could Have Been Me it failed:

The junta broke the fingers on Victor Jara's hands
They said to the gentle poet "play your guitar now if you can"
Victor started singing but they brought his body down
You can kill that man but not his song
When it's sung the whole world round.


It could have been me, but instead it was you
So I'll keep doing the work you were doing as if I were two
I'll be a student of life, a singer of songs
A farmer of food and a righter of wrong
It could have been me, but instead it was you
And it may be me dear sisters and brother
Before we are through
But if you can sing for freedom
Freedom, freedom, freedom
If you can sing for freedom I can too

That, of course, is the sentiment echoed at political rallies and other events when someone yells, "Victor Jara!" and others respond, "Presente!" Yes, Victor, you are here in our hearts as we search for your killers and struggle for human rights everywhere in the world.


Paul Cantor is a professor of economics at Norwalk Community College in Connecticut.


Notes.



Those interested in familiarizing themselves with the history of the U.S.
involvement in the coup might read Covert Action in Chile, the report of the Select Committee To Study Governmental Operations With Respect to Intelligence Activities of the United States Senate and available on the web at http://foia. state. gov/reports/churchreport. asp.
They might also view Costa-Gavras' riveting film, Missing staring Jack Lemmon and Sissy Spacek.

The Estadio Chile was renamed the Estadio Victor Jara in September 2003.


This information comes primarily from Boris Navia, a law professor at the UTE who was arrested with Victor. Navia's account of the singer's final hour can be found on numerous web sites.


"That first night two officers of the Chilean Air Force approached Victor." One of them threw a cigarette butt on the ground. "Want to smoke?" he asked. Victor raised his head but did not respond. "Smoke big balls, smoke!" the officer commanded. Then as Victor reached for the cigarette butt the officer stomped on his hand. "Now let see if you are going to be able to play your guitar, you communist piece of shit," the officer said. That account comes from Juan Cristóbal Peña Fernandez article La Sangre de un Poeta or The Blood of A Poet which appeared in the September, 2003 edition of Rolling Stone-Chile Fernandez attributes the information to Boris Navia (see footnote 2). However, since Navia was not with Victor when the incident he describes took place his story is based on hearsay. Nevertheless, given the manner in which Victor was treated from the moment he arrived at the stadium it would not be surprising if at some point an incident similar to the one described by Navia actually did take place. That certainly would be consistent with Joan Jara's report that when she saw Victor's body in the morgue in Santiago: "His eyes were open and they seemed still to look ahead with intensity and defiance, in spite of a wound on his head and terrible bruises on his cheek. His clothes were torn, trousers round his ankles, sweater rucked up under his armpits, his blue underpants hanging in tatters round his hips as though cut by a knife or bayonet…his chest riddled with holes and a gaping wound in his abdomen. His hands seemed to be hanging from his arms at a strange angle as though his wrists were broken." (Joan Jara, An Unfinished Song, Ticknor & Fields, New York, 1984, p. 243).


The poem, titled El Estadio, is available on the web in Spanish and in translation at http://everything2. com/e2node/Victor%2520Jara and many other places. Pete Seeger set it to music.


Joan Jara, Op. Cit., pp. 241 – 242. See footnote 4 for Joan Jara's description of the condition of Victor's body when she saw it in the morgue.


January 25, 2006 interview with Elizabeth Farmsworth on the News Hour with Jim Lehrer.
Found on the web at: www. pbs. org/newshour/bb/latin_america/jan-june06/chile_1-25. html

Pinochet was also under investigation at the time of his death for squirreling away money obtained from illegal financial operations in the Riggs National Bank in Washington, D.C. In 2007 his wife and five sons were arrested on related charges.


This question is similar to questions that South Africa, Cambodia, Rwanda and many other countries are confronted with today.




Joan Jara, Ob. cit., p. 36 This response is consistent with the conclusions of Stanley Milgram and Philip Zimbardo, two experimental psychologists who carried out experiments which demonstrated the willingness of almost anybody to behave brutally toward others. Milgram discusses his experiment in his book Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View. Zimbardo's Stamford Prison Experiment is described in his best selling The Lucifer Effect. It is also important to point out that many common soldiers feared that if they disobeyed orders they themselves would be beaten and/or shot.


On you tube you can listen to Mercedes Sosa singing the lullaby.


www. youtube. com/watch?v=qfESgtCTn1Q takes you to Victor performing Te Recuerdo Amanda on You Tube.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Lydia Lunch - "13.13" (1982)


While I'm on LL here's another hard-to-find one. This came out on Slash Records' subsidiary Ruby Records and I think it was one left on the shelf when they sold out with/to Warner Bros. No doubt it scared/confused the corporate idiots. It even took them ages to re-release Gun Club's "Fire of Love", a bona-fide classic. And when they did it was with a neutered cover from their art department flunkies. God it was awful: 2-tone baby shit colored with zig-zag triangles on the bottom FIRE get it? Fucking stupid. At least when they put it out on CD they restored the voodoo cover. But this ain't a Gun Club post, it's about Lydia and her howling stomping lumbering caterwauling album that is 13.13. This was pretty radical sounding in '82 and paved the way for the even more awesome sound of Swans. Anyway, it's not a great album, but I like it. Just can't listen to it every day, like "Queen of Siam".
Vinyl rip is HERE

Tracks:
01. Stares to Nowhere
02. 3X3
03. This Side of Nowhere
04. Snakepit Breakdown
05. Dance of the Dead Children
06. Suicide Ocean
07. Lock Your Door
08. Afraid of Your Company

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Lydia Lunch - "Queen of Siam" (1979)


This is one that's been in and out of print over the years, currently out of.
This was my introduction to Ms Lunch, before No New York and Teenage Jesus and the Jerks. I was immediately smitten with her bad-girl image (not a mere image, as any look into her canon will prove), and loved the trashy-jazzy sound of this LP, which for some reason always put me in mind of Courageous Cat and Minute Mouse. Probably because I had no real reference point for this music as a Young Amerikan Teenager. And it's deadpan hilarious, lyrically. Hard to believe she was just 19 when she made this LP. This is from the original Ze Records release; I think other editions jumbled the track order and had inferior covers (though one CD on I think the Triple X label was nice, it had a current to the reissue photo of her with her tribal tattoos on display, something she definitely didn't have in '79).
Nice cover of Classics IV's Spooky, too.

UPGRADED 320kbps vinyl rip is HERE!.

Tracks:
01. Atomic Bongos
02. Lady Scarface
03. A Cruise to the Moon
04. Carnival Fat Man
05. Knives in the Drain
06. Blood of Tin
07. Mechanical Flattery
08. Gloomy Sunday
09. Tied and Twisted
10. Spooky
11. Los Banditos

Lydia at Maxwells, Hoboken 1985. By Me.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Velocity Girl - Your Silent Face b/w You're So Good To Me (1994)


I have been enjoying VGirl's Sub Pop debut "Copacetic" which I recently downloaded from over at YoungMossTongue (highly recommended blog). It reminded me of this excellent 45 of a New Order and a Beach Boys cover which I got after seeing them at FSU's student union in Tallahassee. I first saw them at 9:30 in DC in the early 90's while visiting a friend and just going to the club as a tourist attraction. They verily blew me away, the band jumping and whirling around creating a cacophonous din for the singer's angelic vocals to soar incongruously above. Though they never quite disappointed on subsequent shows I saw, they were never as awesome again. Maybe it was the shock of seeing a band out of the blue and being blown away. Anyway, they were a cool band and this is a great single; the A-side especially which I like better than New Order's original.
Right HERE.

Tracks:
01. Your Silent Face
02. You're So Good To Me

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Tragic Mulatto - "Italians Fall Down and Look Up Your Dress" (1989)


OK, here's the second TM post I promised. This one is basically the complete "Hot Man Pussy" LP of the same year with 5/8 of 1987's "Locos por el Sexo" LP and a couple other tracks from where I do not know. I do know that someone is selling this CeeDee on Amazon right now for $179.00...apparently it's "extremely rare and out of print".
This is a bit rawer than "Chartreuse Toulouse" and features their monstrous cover of Whole Lotta Love. They totally do it justice (which is no big thing in my opinion really cos I've never liked Led Zeppelin much).
And the opener, She's a Ho has Flagella shrieking "when I smell her fishyTWAT!!!", which you just gotta love.
Right HERE.

Tracks:
01. She's a Ho
02. Fist of the Fleet
03. Hardcore Bigot Scum Get Stabbed
04. I Say
05. The Hat
06. My Name Is Not O'Neill
07. Whole Lotta Love
08. Mr Cheese
09. The Sheriff of Weed
10. Ok Baby Ok
11. Freddy
12. Safeway
13. Potato Wine
14. Sexy Money
15. Monkey Boy
16. Twerpenstein

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Tragic Mulatto - "Chartreuse Toulouse" (1990)


The Part Time Christians post got me thinking of another classic on Alternative Tentacles that's been lost to oblivion; this one. Even on the 'net there's an appalling dearth of info on this band: the Wikipedia entry goes to the literary character/device from whence they get their name, with a "for the rock band click here" link, which brings you to a paltry one sentence entry. On RateYourMusic there's a horrendously bad photo of the cover, as well as incorrect info in the comments identifying the singer alternately as Flatula or Fistula. I recall it as Flagella, but who knows, it could have been either/all at one/any time. (If you have any useless trivia to add, please do so in the comments).
All I know about 'em is that Flagella was a big girl, they had a tuba in the band, were from Frisco and they rocked balls.
I have another release that's a comp of their first 2 records I'll post later this weekend cos it's fucking great as well. This record, featuring a green Toulouse Lautrec on the cover (and here I'll go off on a tangent and recommend you rent John Houston's 50's film "Moulin Rouge" which is great for Jose Ferrer playing the drunk with the little legs by walking on his knees and for the wicked Parisian prostitutes cruelly abusing him)...anyway, it's a great late-80's noise rock slab in the Buttholes-vein. It's considerably more restrained and, um, tuneful than their earlier work. This is their last album and is a fine note to go out on. It opens with a great Slade (!) cover, I Don't Mind, with tuba...how can you go wrong?
Nice, clean (for a change) 320 vinyl rip HERE.

Tracks:
01. I Don't Mind
02. Stinking Corpse Lily
03. Debbie
04. My Mother
05. Rhythm of Barcelona
06. Bathroom at Amelia's
07. Scabs on Lori's Arm
08. Farm
09. Man With a Tan
10. Rise Up/Get Down

Part Time Christians - "Rock And Roll Is Disco" (1984)


Here's a great Alternative Tentacles record that I don't believe has ever been released on CD. Very hard to find anywhere these days.
This was a 45rpm 12" mini-album, half of which concerns...bowling. Hysterically so. As a reaction reaction to all the skate punk releases at the time, PTC came up with a great tongue-in-cheek alternative. Songs like Bowling Pin Massacre, Orthopedic Bowling Shoes and Gutterball made this a must-have for me. Lines like "The pins see you comin and down they fall / I turn to my homeboys and say with a grin, I'm a damn good bowler for the shape I'm in", delivered hip-hop style with already hopelessly dated beats had us rolling on the floor. This segues into Orthopedic in screaming, sandpaper-throated hardcore style but not letting up on the laughs: "My bowling shoes are custom made, cos I know bowling shoes help me get laid / Foxes go into orgasm when they see my shoes, when I ask them for sex they can't refuse" (this couplet in again, already in '84 hopelessly cliched, "Wild and Crazy Guy" accent).
I loved all this back then cos all that skate-this-skate-that shit was boring me to tears, much as I loved JFA. At least they had a sense of humor as well as chops. But most of those bands were, to me, hopelessly earnest. i.e. boring.
And this isn't straight edge (tedious) hardcore, but screaming, screeching loud-ass Rock with a capital R. My favorite off the bowling-tip here is Bonique, with the line "Every time I phone her, I pop a big huge boner". Something I think we can all relate to, haha.
My terribly overplayed vinyl's rip is HERE

Tracks:
01. Religion On A Stick
02. Bonique
03. Case
04. Strength Thru Bowling
05. Bowling Pin Massacre
06. Orthopedic Bowling Shoes
07. Gutterball
08. Salisbury House

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Jam - "Live! EP" (1986)


Here's a quick little one since I just realized it's been several days since I've posted. Busy, busy, time flies...
This 4-track 7" EP came as a freebie in the initial pressing of the best-of LP "Snap!", no doubt as an inducement to people like me who already had everything by The Jam. Worked, too, as you can see.
Of the four songs, none of them were on the "Dig the New Breed" live LP from a year or two previous. I remember I tagged this onto a C-60 of that album for my cruising-around wasting-gas listening pleasure, and as that record was culled from different performances throughout their career, it flowed more-or-less seamlessly. Since then, Move On Up has appeared on a posthumous live album, but the other three songs are unavailable live elsewhere.
Nice cover, too!

Tracks:
01. Move On Up
02. Get Yourself Together
03. The Great Depression
04. But I'm Different Now

Vinyl rip @192 right HERE

Sunday, August 10, 2008

V/A - "Every Band Has A Shonen Knife Who Loves Them" (1989)


This Shonen Knife tribute album on Gasatanka came out in three different editions: a 23-track CD, a 14-track single vinyl LP and this, a 33-track double vinyl LP. I remember when this came out but didn't get it til I found it cheap at Amoeba on a trip to L.A. last year. I remember thinking I was hopelessly unhip that there was a band from Japan deserving of such a massive tribute and with such mega alterna-stars and that I had never heard of them. Eventually I sought out the Knife's own releases and was smitten along with everyone else. But I had forgotten about this.
It's pretty good; it's got Sonic Youth and Redd Kross, one of my all-time faves. And White Flag and other bands I knew mainly about as an EastCoaster reading Flipside. Horrible cover, though, yikes!
My double vinyl is one each pink and white.
It's broken up as one "disc" per LP, @320, Disc 1 HERE, Disc 2 HERE.

Tracks:
Disc 1:
01. Kappa Ex. (Redd Kross)
02. Summertime Boogie (The Freaks)
03. Insect Collector (The Three O'Clock)
04. Public Baths (Frightwig)
05. Dali's Sunflower (Government Issue)
06. Baggs (L7)
07. Froot Loop Dreams (White Flag)
08. Twist Barbie (The Pussywillows)
09. Making Plans For Bison (Big Dipper)
10. Ice Cream City (Christmas)
11. Lazy Bones (Pat Ruthensmear)
12. Elmer Elevator (Krave)
13. Devil House (Chemical People)
14. Burning Farm (Sonic Youth)

Disc 2:
01. Antonio Baka Guy (Lunachicks)
02. Flying Jelly Attack (The Mr. T Experience)
03. Miracle Woman (Project Jenny)
04. Parrot Polynesia (Ultra Violet Eye)
05. Angel Has Come (Angels Of Epistemology)
06. Parallel Woman (Masters Of The Obvious)
07. Blue Oyster Cult (Ella Without The Blacks)
08. Tortise Brand Pot Scrubbing Cleaner's Theme-Bye Bye (Disco Dave Landry)
09. Elephant Pao Pao (Reverb Motherfuckers)
10. Redd Kross (Death Of Samantha)
11. Watching Girl (Babes In Toyland)
12. Riding On The Rocket (Das Damen)
13. I Like Choco Bars (Dem Choclodytes)
14. Animal Song (The Maynards)
15. Ah Singapore (Wendy Horowitz)
16. One Day At The Factory Preface (Phil Blumel)
17. One Day At The Factory (Pippi Eats Cherries)
18. Cannibal Papaya (Smokin' Gas Truck)
19. Cycling Is Fun (The Pandoras)

Friday, August 8, 2008

V/A - "Jukebox - Music In The Films Of Aki Kaurismäki" (2006)


Anyone who has seen any of Aki Kaurismäki's wonderful films knows one of their best aspects is the varied, eclectic soundtrack. My previous Aki Soundtrack post, "Leningrad Cowboys Go America" featured only music by that band. But his many films are filled with music from all over: obscure Sixties rock, blues, Suomi Pop and, of course, Finnish Tango ("The Blues of Finland") and its primary practitioner, the great Olavi Virta (Aki has described him as "The Frank Sinatra of Finland").
For years I have tried to hunt down soundtracks, particularly for "Ariel", but none were available. Neither in Finland or on the internet. So I was elated to find out about this release a couple years ago. It's a Finland-only double CD, and I shelled out a pretty penny for it through an online shop in Helsinki.
Of course it doesn't have all the songs I would have included on it (that'd take a box set), and it only has a representative few from each of his many films. But it is a great overview of this man's wonderful taste and seemingly boundless knowledge of all musics cool and melancholy. There are no duds on this set.
My favorite on here is the second song on the first disc, Cadillac by The Renegades. In the film "The Match Factory Girl" the (anti)heroine walks up to a jukebox in her brother's flat, chooses this song then leans against the wall by a window, smoking and listening. To the whole song.
The Renegades were a British Invasion band, but one that invaded Finland, not America. They caused quite a stir there and decided to remain where they were loved. I think one or two of them still live there.
Also on here is the rarest Joe Strummer item, a track from "I Hired A Contract Killer" (which Warren Beatty blatantly ripped-off for his "Bulworth"). It was released as a 7" promo, only in Finland and in a minuscule pressing, and thus fetches $$$ when found not in bootleg form.

So get this while you can...I don't know how long it's going to be up. But I don't expect most people want to send-away to Finland for it, what with the horrible Dollar/Euro exchange rate. Not everyone's a fanatic!
You can, however, pick up the soundtrack to "The Man Without a Past" quite cheaply from Amazon third-party sellers. In fact, it's available from $5.99, and I of course highly recommend it (even though several tracks are on this comp).
Disc 1 HERE, Disc 2 HERE.

Tracks:
Disc 1:
01. Serenade (Harri Marstio)
02. Cadillac (The Renegades)
03. Sä et Kyyneltä Nää (Olavi Virta)
04. Älä Kiiruhda (Harri Marstio)
05. Rich Little Bitch (Melrose)
06. Yyterin Twist (Timo Jämsen & Strangers)
07. Muuttuvat Laulut (Georg Ots)
08. Kunhan Palaan Takaisin (Topi Sorsakoski & Agents)
09. Thru' The Wire (Leningrad Cowboys)
10. Valot (Rauli Badding Somerjoki)
11. Sateenkaaren Tuollapuolen (Olavi Virta)
12. The Cossack Song (Leningrad Cowboys)
13. Ballad Of Leningrad Cowboys (Leningrad Cowboys)
14. Se Jokin Sinulla On (Badding Rockers)
15. Satumaa (Reijo Taipale)
16. Burning Lights (Joe Strummer)
17. Ennen Kuolemaa (Olavi Virta)
18. Mi Buenos Aires Querido (Carlos Gardel)
19. L'influence Du Bleu Dans L'art (Anssi Tikanmäki)
20. Yukino Furu Machio (Toshitake Shinohara)
21. De Velours Et De Sole (Serge Reggiani)
22. Those Were The Days (Leningrad Cowboys)
23. Old Scars (The Blazers)
24. Mustanmeren Valssi (Georg Ots)

Disc 2:
01. Think It Over (Regals)
02. Nolo Tengo Dinares (Leningrad Cowboys)
03. Kili Watch (Leningrad Cowboys and André Wilms)
04. Delilah (Leningrad Cowboys and Sakari Kuosmanen)
05. Dark Eyes (Alexandrov Red Army Choir)
06. Pilvet Karkaa Niin Minäkin (Rauli Badding Somerjoki)
07. Kohtalon Tuulet (Markus Allan)
08. Myrskyn Keskellä (Badding Rockers)
09. Syyspihlajan Alla (Henry Theel)
10. Kuihtuu Kesäinen Maa (Rauli Badding Somerjoki)
11. Juha (Anssi Tikanmäki)
12. Lokki (Tapio Rautavaara)
13. Paha Vaanii (Marko Haavisto & Poutahaukat)
14. Bandoneon (Antero Jakoila)
15. My Heart Must Do The Crying (The Renegades)
16. Muistatko Monrepos'n (Annikki Tähti)
17. In The Meanwhile (Melrose)
18. Volver (Carlos Gardel)
19. Donna Non Vidi Mai (Manon Lescaut) (Jussi Björling)
20. Jäätynyt Sade (Geronimo)
21. Ogonek (Toshitake Shinohara)
22. Les Tempes Des Cerises (Fred Gouin)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Terveet Kädet - "The Horse" (1985 Full LP)


One last Finnish Hardcore record before I move on to tamer, saner things!
I've seen a 7" reissue EP version of this up a few places, but never this original, full 12" LP. I offer this up in 320kps so if it is up somewhere, maybe not so nicely...
TK are one of the classics of Finnish HxCx, and one of the longest lasting. I don't know if they are still doing anything, but my cousin Krisse told me a couple years ago they still were doing shows, at least. Their name translates as "Healthy Hands".
This LP is a heavy, full-on sonic assault and not for the timid. They do a version of The Stooges' Search and Destroy.

As for the cover, when I first got this in the mail back in '85 from Toffo at Barrabas, I laughed my ass off when I saw it. Because when my sister and me spent summers with our farmor:grandmother in Finland as kids in the 70's, we would always have spiral-bound notebooks of graph paper for letter-writing, doodling, etc. kids-stuff. And they always had horsey pictures exactly like this one on the cover. (And it was always graph paper, for some reason, and we took to writing very tiny and geometrically within the squares...)
Also on the cover photo you will notice a price sticker with "ROCKS $3.99". There is a story behind that and I will tell it to you!
Back in '94 my friend Butch and I were going to England for the Reading Festival (and to visit my friends), but after buying the airline ticket I was pretty broke. So I brought a couple crates of records to one of my favorite shops, Rocks In Your Head on Prince Street in SoHo (NYC). They bought the lot, at a decent price and we had a smashing time at the festival. Lots of good stories which maybe I'll find reason to tell in a future post.
As often happens with all us record heads, selling vinyl for rent or trips or food is a last-ditch necessity (after we have sold our mothers and sisters, haha) fraught with anxiety and regret. Lots of good vinyl was forever lost to me, including most of my massive Fall collection. Some months later I was in the shop browsing through the records, looking for anything I might want to buy back. I didn't find hardly anything, but this one was there. And I did regret letting it go. As it was priced at only $3.99 and after hearing my tale of record-selling woe, the kindly clerk let me have it back, gratis. I thanked him very much and went on my merry way.
Now if this was a shop that had specialized in hardcore, like MacDougal Street's Revolution Records, this certainly wouldn't have happened. Because they would have had it up on their wall for $75 or so and would have snickered at my tale of woe. But Rocks didn't know what to do with this record, and he told me so.

Tracks:
01. Pushed Too Far
02. President's Dream
03. Another Side of Life
04. The Leader
05. Star Wars Game
06. Voodoo
07. Sexsick
08. The Power
09. All or Nothing
10. Search and Destroy
11. Gates of Hell
12. Day of Judgment
13. Out of Date
14. All Fools Day
15. Misunderstood
16. Introvert
17. No Man's Sky
18. Demon Seeds
19. The Horse
20. Metal Massacre

Brutal. Yeah. Right HERE

V/A - "Finnish Spunk / Hard Beat" (1984 Rock-O-Rama)


That last post got me thinking of another record I have of Finnish bands on a foreign label, this one on Germany's Rock-O-Rama. And though I've seen Propaganda Records' (from whom this release was licensed) "Russia Bombs Finland" LP posted on a few blogs, I've never seen this one up anywhere.
This is admittedly not as classic as the great "Russia Bombs Finland" LP, but it features many of the same bands that had the hardcore scene drooling and slobbering over (the heavily Discharge-influenced) Finnish HxCx in the early 80's. Was a time you couldn't pick up a fanzine without reading mad-dog ravings on the latest Finnish punk release. And this is a fine release; not just for the completist (but please, complete away!) Looking over the differences in line-up just now, I see that this one has at least two truly fine bands not on the other: Tampere SS and Varaus. Or is it Vaurio I'm thinking of?
As well as the usual suspects.
I believe some of these bands carry on to this day, notably Terveet Kädet.
320 rip right HERE.

Tracks:
01. Haluun Kuolemaa (Riistetyt)
02. Tuomiopäivä (Riistetyt)
03. Maailma Palaa (Bastards)
04. Lopun Alku (Bastards)
05. Sinivalkoinen Lama (Hic Systeemi)
06. Uskonsota (Kaaos)
07. Kenellä On Valta (Destruktions)
08. Ajattele (Vaurio)
09. Sortoa ja Vainoa (Vaurio)
10. Sankaripeli (Poikkeustilla)
11. Painajainen (Appendix)
12. Syyllinen (Varaus)
13. Paiskattu (Varaus)
14. Suvivirsi (Klimax)
15. Moscow (Klimax)
16. Vapaa Maa (Lahden Raivaus)
17. Mikkeli Über Alles (Nussivat Nunnat)
18. Vapauttava Kuolema (Tampere SS)
19. Häkki (Tampere SS)
20. Petsamoon (013)
21. Musta Jumala (Terveet Kädet)
22. Outo Maa (Terveet Kädet)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

V/A - "If It Ain't The Snow It's The Mosquitos" (SFTRI 2x7" 1990)


Sympathy For The Record Industry released this double 7-inch of acts from Finland's legendary avant-punk label Bad Vugum. The acts are all over the map, but my favorites are the amazing CMX and the a capella weirdo Paska (that's shit in Finnish). This is late-80's stuff and one or two are too Chili-Peppery for my taste, but all in all, a nice overview of the Bad Vugum label (I think that name is nicked off Captain Beefheart. Appropriately.) to hold you over til the next massive post, haha.
Nice artwork, too.
320 vinyl rip right HERE

Tracks:
01. Sika ja perkele (CMX)
02. Maailmoiden välissä (CMX)
03. Kuinka aku ankasta tehdään poliisi (Liimanarina)
04. Nuo naapurin pojat puisine lintuineen (Liimanarina)
05. Ace of Spades (Paska)
06. Seiväsmiehen paluu (Radiopuhelimet)
07. Brain Off Dance (Generators)
08. S/M Party (Faff-Bey)
09. Death Trip (Death Trip)

There's some other great CMX on the excellent Down Underground punk blog. I highly recommend the LP "Kolmikärki", which is a best-of and is fucking great but you can't go wrong with CMX so get 'em all and tell 'em kiitos!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Believer 2005 Music Issue CD


This compilation, done especially for McSweeneys' The Believer magazine, is an indie-pop lover's wet dream: current (well, as of mid-2005) bands on the scene cover songs by other current bands. The exception here seems to be Two Gallants who cover ultra-obscure fellow San Franciscans Blear, from an old cassette they had. One of the best on here, too, and since included on the vinyl re-issue of their excellent The Throes LP.
Browsing around at a local newsstand, that is why I picked this up. That and a Fall article, on the occasion of their massive 6-Disc complete Peel Sessions release.
For about four years between 2004 and 2007 I owned a coffee shop on Tucson's main shopping/barring/and general hanging-out street Fourth Ave. It was called itl (don't ask me why; no-one knows). This was my decompression period after 13 years in NYC and what was surely an oncoming brain aneurysm or massive coronary from the stress of life post-9/11 in that great city. Anyway, the cafe was a favorite with the downtown arts folks (I won't call them "scenesters", thanks), most of whom are wonderful people and great friends. Tucson attracts a certain type. I guess the heat weeds out the weak and you get a bunch of unpretentious bike-loving artistic wackos. I fit right in.
We would regularly feature local music at the shop, both on the stereo and on the back patio. And the occasional touring acts. One day in early '05 we featured Two Gallants, whom I had never heard or heard of. It was a chilly, rainy winter's day so we decided to put the show on in the tiny front room and just squeeze everyone in. When the 2Gs walked in and set-up (drum kit and our bass amp someone left behind), my first reaction was something along the lines of "Oh jeez, what are these hayseeds gonna do?". Not that I have anything against scraggly looking ex-buskers, and they totally "looked Tucson". But from the moment they started playing and the minute Adam started singing, my jaw was on the fucking floor. "Holy shit! These guys are fucking great!" They blew everyone crammed in there mainly on account of the local opening act, away.
A few months later we had them back, at their request, for an afternoon show before their regular, paying gig at Solar Culture.
They are one of my favorites these days, and (back to the magazine CD) are why I have this CD and am able to offer it to you, woo-hoo. Usually I find that most CDs that come with magazines suck. And if they don't suck outright, they contain too much common stuff among the jewels (like most Mojo CDs, though generally I think they do a fair job for a mainstream albeit British rag). But this one has a great coffee shop vibe. NOT a Starbucks coffee shop vibe, but an itl Coffee Shop, that is, a cool coffee shop vibe. So the whole disc got lots of airplay at the shop. Lots of customers were disappointed to learn that by the time they heard it there they could no longer go out and buy the particular issue.
They do offer back issues on their website, though, and I checked that before posting. And yes, it's "Out Of Stock".
So just get it HERE and be done with it. It's a good, varied listen all the way through and not just eclecticism for eclecticism's sake.

Tracks:
01. Bridges and Balloons (The Decemberists cover Joanna Newsome)
02. Decora (Spoon cover Yo La Tengo)
03. Why I Didn't Like August 93 (The Constantines cover Elevator To Hell)
04. Ohio (CocoRosie cover Damien Jurado)
05. Pet Politics (The Mountain Goats cover Silver Jews)
06. Late Blues (San Serac cover Ida)
07. We Will Become Silhouettes (The Shins cover The Postal Service)
08. The Golden Window (Josephine Foster covers The Cherry Blossoms)
09. Surprize, AZ (Cynthia G. Mason covers Richard Buckner)
10. Nightime/Anytime (It's Alright) (Jim Guthrie covers The Constantines)
11. Firefly Refrain (Espers cover Fursaxa)
12. Anna's Sweaters (Two Gallants cover Blear)
13. Be Kind To Me (Vetiver cover Michael Hurley)
14. My Fair, My Dark (Ida covers David Schickele)
15. Waterfalls (Mount Eerie covers Thanksgiving)
16. Fistful of Love (Devendra Banhart covers Antony & The Johnsons)
17. Claxxon's Lament (Wolf Parade cover Frog Eyes)