Thursday, April 23, 2009

John Cale - "Mercenaries (Ready for War) b/w Rosegarden Funeral of Sores" 7" (IRS 1980)

This was a strange little single release by the major label (A&M) affiliated IRS Records. It is a particularly vicious, scorching track and quite prescient as it's turned out (note the map of Afghanistan on the sleeve) what with the recent Blackwater "contractor" scandals. But the weirdest thing about it is that while the label says it's from the "Sabotage/Live" album, it is clearly a studio recording. And this song benefits much from that fact as I think the live album's production is a bit thin. This is loud and punchy, all the better for the rata-tat-tat buildup at the end.
The B-side is probably more famous for Bauhaus's cover version. And while researching this release online I found a comment as to how their version is much better. I like the Bauhaus version OK, but this is great, too. On the record's label there is a disclaimer: "Vocal distortion intended", haha.
Also strange, these songs seem to have never been released elsewhere. I checked all the Cale albums from the time, as well as the various "Best Ofs" that have come out. Nada anywhere... please feel free to correct me if I am wrong.

Get this truly great (and rather rare) single HERE.
(If you have trouble with that link try THIS ONE).

Tracks:
01. Mercenaries (Ready for War)
02. Rosegarden Funeral of Sores

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ween - Radio Sessions 1991 - 1995

Here's a great collection I got off Browntracker, the Ween collector's torrent site. Even being a rabid Ween fan for many, many years I hadn't heard these great versions. Sound is excellent throughout. The folder came with a text file about how it was run through Soundforge and Adobe Audition and whatnot. Good job, too. I was expecting crappy cassette sound like you get from so many unreleased Peel Sessions, with bits of the man himself unceremoniously clipped off. But no, this is pristine stuff. Some versions are significantly different, too, like a very different Push th' Little Daisies which was a delight to hear. And the "Live at The Wireless" thing is a little studio concert with bits of banter between songs ("I need a beer! Gimme a beer!")

So what I downloaded were flacs which I have converted to 320 kbps mp3s for you. If you want the flacs, click on the link above. I also spent about 20 minutes making that nifty cover art up there!

Get it HERE now!

Tracks:
KJJO Wisconsin 1991:
01. Pork Roll Egg and Cheese
02. Push th' Little Daisies

Peel Session 1992:
03. Pork Roll Egg and Cheese
04. Nan
05. Captain Fantasy
06. Don't Get 2 Close (2 My Fantasy)

Peel Session 1993:
07. What Deaner Was Talkin' About
08. Vallejo
09. Take Me Away
10. Buckingham Green

JJJ Australia Live at The Wireless 1995:
11. Baby Bitch
12. Spinal Meningitis (Got Me Down)
13. Piss Up a Rope
14. Take Me Away
15. I Can't Put My Finger On It
16. Mister, Would You Please Help My Pony?
17. Koko

Friday, April 17, 2009

CMX - Kolmikärki Gold (2002 Bad Vugum)

CMX are Finland's best rock band, in the classic sense. They are still around, but their sound has evolved, with a more prog influence. I'm not so into that fancy-rock stuff, but I do love their early records and this is a compilation CD of the first three. It contains the complete "Kolmikärki" LP from 1990 as well as their first two EPs.

I first heard CMX on the double 7" that Sympathy for the Record Industry put out of acts from Finland's Bad Vugum label ("If It Ain't the Snow, It's the Mosquitos", available on this very blog). So on a trip to Finland a few years ago I made sure to pick this up. Early CMX is pretty hardcore, but you can tell that right from the start they had ideas, and were not going to be stuck in any kind of hardcore orthodoxy. Which is probably why they are pretty much ignored within hardcore circles while bands like Rattus and Terveet Kadet are revered (not that they're not great... I'm just saying is all). Anyway, this is a great CD, fucking kicks ass all the way through.

I've also included the CD-EP version of their last single for Bad Vugum. You can hear their musical growth, which led them to getting signed by EMI Finland.
At least they never sound pompous about it...

Nice big 320 kbps rip of this great-sounding CD right HERE

Tracks:
Original "Kolmikärki" LP 1990:
01. Johdatus salatieteisiin
02. Sika ja perkele
03. Nahkaparturi
04. Kaikki nämä kädet
05. Götterdämmerung
06. Kuolemattomuuden ääni
07. Pyydä mahdotonta
08. Pyörivät sähkökoneet
09. Taivas ja Helvetti
10. Voittamaton
11. Suuri äiti
12. Kolmas Johannes
13. Hiljaisuuden pelko
14. Liekkisusi ja sulkakäärme

"Raivo" 7" EP 1989:
15. Lintu
16. Rituaali
17. Syvä vesi
18. Jumalan ruoska
19. Raivo
20. Hiki
21. Kolme näkyä
22. Anathema
23. Maailmoiden välissä

"Johannes Kastaja" 7" EP 1988:
24. Mielipuolinen rakkaus
25. Lapsi
26. Siunattu otsa
27. My Tribe
28. On the Wing
29. Shaman's Prayer

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

VIDEO: Ween - Live at Court Tavern 1996 (96 min.)

Here's something a bit different for ya! Back in the mid to late 90's I videotaped a lot of shows. Primarily because I had a public access live music show (no "videos"!) in NYC, TV KiLL, weekly for about five years. So I've got a bunch of stuff I'd like to get out there. You can see lots of samples I uploaded to Myspace HERE. Feel free to request any complete shows you'd like (I used to have a Youtube channel but the corporate fucks pulled it cos of some stupid PiL video I posted thank you Dick Clark Productions).

This is all new to me, the video ripping and all. So It's a bit of an experiment. This video is an 800 MB m4v file. That means it'll play on your iPod if you're so inclined. It also plays in Quicktime and VLC media Player. I don't know if it'll work with the Windows Media Player cos I have a Mac. I'll try to do a AVI version and post that, too. What I'd really like to do is make uncompressed AVIs, at like 3.5 GB or whatever, but I don't want to have to make like 30 downloads. Having a Mac I seem to be real limited in my RAR options. I downloaded HandBrake to make the files, and it seems to work great. But all I can find to do the RARs is SimplyRAR, and it doesn't seem to want to let me choose my split file sizes. Ideally, I'd like to do just four downloads. It offers several options up to 100 MB and then "User Defined" size, but it doesn't let me define the size! I'm gonna keep researching this and hopefully I'll have it all figured out soon. In the meantime any Mac Techheads wanna leave any helpful advice in the comments section, it'd be much appreciated!

So for now this 800 MB version plays pretty good. The video was originally analog Hi8 format, not digital. Stereo audio and it sounds great. As for the show itself, it was a warm-up for a tour in support of Foo Fighters. Ween had been regularly playing as a full band for about two years at this point, but for whatever reason they reverted to the duo-plus-DAT format of their earlier days for this tour. So that's what we have here. It's a local crowd (not John and Peters in New Hope, but close enough) full of heckling friends etc. As I recall I was shrooming pretty hard by the time they came on and was thus kinda surprised how great this video turned out. Mickey's guitar was loud and rude right in front of my face (you can see how some high notes cause the tape to actually wobble inside the cam!), but it all came out good since I had a real nice external mic (a Sony Professional Walkman accessory).

So if you get this, tell me what you think. Hopefully in a few days I'll have added a link for an AVI version. And at some point down the road a 4-part uncompressed AVI. Like I said, it's all a bit of an experiment for me at this point so any input is greatly appreciated!

Get it HERE.
UPDATE:
Get the AVI file HERE.

Set List:
01. What Deaner Was Talkin' About
02. Don't Shit Where You Eat
03. The Golden Eel
04. The Mollusk
05. Help Me Scrape the Mucus Off My Brain
06. Spinal Meningitis (Got Me Down)
07. Pork Roll Egg and Cheese
08. Piss Up a Rope
09. Mister, Would You Please Help My Pony?
10. I Can't Put My Finger On It
11. Freedom of '76
12. The HIV Song
13. Mutilated Lips
14. Waving My Dick In the Wind
15. Coco
16. Drifter In the Dark
17. Buckingham Green
18. Buenas Tardes, Amigo
19. Sketches of Winkle
20. Nan
21. Papa Zit
22. Cover It With Gas and Set It On Fire
23. Puerto Rican Power

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Mekons - "20th Anniversary Show" (1997 Bootleg)

I recently got a couple real nice Mekons boots from the CeArt-Bootlegs blog and it got me thinking about some live cassettes I had stuck away in a box. Particularly this very nice audience recording of a celebratory Mekons gig. Recorded in 1997 at Chicago's Institute of Contemporary Art (Langford: "20 years! And now we're in a museum!"), the set is replete with seldom-played mid-period songs like King Arthur and Big Zombie, prose readings by various band members, the usual entertaining onstage banter and the obligatory, raucous Where Were You with Mitch the Roadie.

Sounds great; it's a 320 cassette rip from my 2nd generation copy. No hiss or nothin'! I broke it up into 2 discs in a slightly different order from my tapes (Disc 1's 11 & 12 opened Side 2, and Disc 2's 10-13 were on a 2nd tape). Both discs are in one easy download HERE.

Tracks:
Disc 1:
01. Intro: Kathy Acker
02. Reading: Group
03. Brutal
04. Ugly Band
05. King Arthur
06. Oblivion
07. Reading: Tom Greenhalgh
08. Orpheus
09. Bomb
10. Come and Have a Go
11. Reading: Sally Timms
12. Reading: Jon Langford

Disc 2:
01. (Sometimes I Feel Like) Fletcher Christian
02. Poxy Lips
03. Curse of the Mekons
04. Memphis, Egypt
05. Reading: Rico Bell
06. Heaven and Back
07. Big Zombie
08. Hard To Be Human Again
09. Where Were You
10. Amnesia
11. Reading: Mitch the Roadie
12. Ghosts of American Astronauts
13. Lyric

Friday, April 3, 2009

V/A - "Flying Nun 25th Anniversary Boxset" (2007)

This amazing, absolutely essential box set was released in '07 in a limited edition of, I believe 2,000. It features 82 songs by 82 artists spanning the Christchurch, New Zealand label's history. It runs chronologically from their first release by The Clean and the great Gordons (who became Bailter Space) through to The Mint Chicks and Shocking Pinks.

This goes for a hefty price on internet sites ($205 on Amazon), and was also quite pricey in New Zealand. If you don't know where to start with the history of the amazing Kiwi scene, this is a great place, as Flying Nun was there from the beginning. I also recommend getting, as a kind of companion set, the 4-disc Not Given Lightly - A Kiwi Tapes Retrospective from the late, great Kiwi Tapes blog (which turned into the equally great though not exclusively Kiwi, Decrepit Tapes - see sidebar for link). The links appear to all be active, but I'd hurry. In fact I wouldn't sleep on this box set, either!

I'm not gonna do a massive track list for this. Suffice to say everyone is represented, and all are properly identified.
320 kbps rip.
Disc 1 * Disc 2 * Disc 3 * Disc 4

Enjoy!

Half Life - "What's Right" (1985 Mind Cure cassette)


Here's a quick one from my younger, hardcore days. I picked this up at a show this Pittsburgh band did in Philly at Abe's Steak House back in '85. Also on the bill were SNFU and Philly's own Circle of Shit. But Half Life were the best band that night, as I recall. And while this tape suffers from only fair production values (levels are particularly low but hey you can just crank it up, eh), the passion of the music shines through. Not your typical loud/fast hardcore, this has chomping riffs and clear vocals and is just a fun listen. The straight-edgey homoerotic cover notwithstanding. I mean that just screams "Earnest! Not Fun!". But you'd be wrong...
What's It Mean To You? is my favorite on here.

I never heard anything else by this band (or ever saw them again) until just recently when I got a CD release by them off the excellent Lo-Res Viscera blog, which led me to dig this tape out of a box. They look a bit crustier by then than I recall, and only one song from this cassette is redone on the CD.

Get the 320 cassette rip HERE. Complete artwork included.

Tracks:
01. Old Glory
02. Gimme the Gun
03. What's It Mean To You?
04. Stupids Die
05. Revile
06. Just Like T.V.
07. New Blood
08. Their Today, Our Tomorrow
09. Deathtrap
10. Something's Missing
11. Pick Yourself Up
12. United & Strong