Tuesday, December 9, 2008

V/A - "Christmas In Tucson" (2007)

Once again I come to you, groveling at your feet, apologizing for the severe lack of posts. Though I have been "home" for a month now I am still not settled enough to bring you regular updates. Hopefully this week I will have my own place to live and this situation can be remedied!

So for now I offer you a nice bit of local color in the form of last year's Christmas album by Tucson musicians, "Christmas In Tucson". This album features a wide spectrum of styles, from the traditional to hardcore punk rock and all points in between. My favorites are the cover of Jona Lewie's Stop the Cavalry by Marianne Dissard and Little Black Cloud's melancholy Holiday Song.

Hope you enjoy it and I wish you a wonderful holiday season.
See you soon with lotsa rare vinyl rips for the New Year!

RE-UPPED 11/23/10: HERE

01. Holly Jolly Christmas (Al Perry)
02. Sleigh Ride (Matt Mitchell)
03. Shake Your Christmas Tree (Lovemound)
04. Holiday Song (Little Black Cloud)
05. Tiny Lights (Creosote)
06. Hacia Belén se Encaminan (José Saavedra & Elise DuBord)
07. I'll Be Home for Christmas (Naïm Amor)
08. Stop the Cavalry (Marianne Dissard)
09. The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late) (The Solace Bros.)
10. We Wish You A Shitty Christmas (Bob Spasm)
11. Brainiac Pt.2 (Silent Night) (Blackwood & Co.)
12. Christmas In Tucson (T-Dub Rockers)
13. Little Klinker (Pt.1) (The Pork Torta)
14. In The Beginning (Bebe McPhereson)
15. Silent Night (Bob Log III)
16. The Animals Are Here (Bebe McPhereson)
17. Redemption (Bebe McPhereson)
18. Christmas Donkey (Bebe McPhereson)
19. Little Klinker (Pt.2) (The Pork Torta)
20. Meditations On Greensleeves (B4skin)
21. Dim The Lights On The Xmas Tree For Mother (Al Foul)
22. The Christmas Song (Mr. Tidypaws)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Sonic Youth - "4 Tunna Brix" Peel Session 12" EP (1989)

It is my pleasure to inform you that soon I will be leaving New Zealand for home in Tucson. For you, dear readers, this means more and frequent posts as I will have access to my music collection. For me it means I will get to see my friends, plan my next move and, um, post music for you in a regular and timely fashion.

So this is to tide you over. Not particularly hard to find, but I wanted to give you my take on it. It is often derided, mostly by avid Fall fans, as a waste of time. But I like it just fine and The Fall are my all-time favorite band. If you are not familiar with this release, a bit of background: The Fall recorded the most Peel Sessions of any band, 24 I think, so when Sonic Youth went into Maida Vale for a Session in 1988 they had the clever idea to do "a Fall Session", covering classics by the band as well as The Kinks' Victoria, which had recently been covered by The Fall themselves on their then-current "Frenz Experiment" album. And while SY do not add anything particularly intriguing to these songs, they are done purely in a spirit of FUN, and should be taken as such. Which is why I've never understood all the shit I've read about this like "worst idea ever" etc blah blah (including from MES himself). Sonic Youth do add their trademark sound to them, which I guess is unavoidable being Sonic Youth, and Psychomafia positively SMOKES.

So download this if you don't already have it, lighten up and enjoy.
It was apparently released on the sly by SY themselves as a bootleg on the pun-ishly titled Goofin' label, though I don't know if that's really true. Probably is, though.
Also, I thought this might be the version I have on cassette off the radio with John Peel adding his comments, but no. I must have downloaded it myself somewhere. Perhaps when I get home I will upload that version...
Get it HERE.

01. My New House
02. Rowche Rumble
03. Psychomafia
04. Victoria

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Cristina - "Sleep It Off" (1984)

Sorry, dear readers, for the dearth of new posts of late. There's a couple reasons for this, and it's not cos I'm too busy, haha. For one, I am traveling far from home with my laptop and thus have a limited source of material to post for you. Secondly, here in New Zealand broadband is allocated in a specific number of gigabytes (or even megabytes), and once you're over your alloted amount it reverts to dial-up speeds. So while I am wwoofing at a farm in Golden Bay (with broadband, unbelievably), I don't want to use up all of my host's bytes uploading (or downloading *sigh*)...we need those to watch Jon Stewart.

I do, however have a couple things hanging out at Megaupload or wherever that for one reason or another I have not yet posted.
So here is one of them!

This is one of my favorite albums from the Eighties. And it is very Eighties. But among the very best new wave albums, imho.
I was first turned on to Cristina via an untitled track on the first "Rodney On The ROQ" compilation, a bitchy cover of Peggy Lee's Is That All There Is?. For years I had no idea who did the track, but upon buying this LP when it came out immediately put 2 and 2 together.
Imagine if Lydia Lunch were a debutante (they were actually lablemates at Ze Records for a time). That's pretty much the only way I can describe this.
The album was produced by Don Was who was very hot at the time. Cristina's lyrics are bitchy, aloof and hilarious. There's too many gems to begin quoting here; just download and enjoy. There's also a great cover of Blue Money in which I can see Cristina actually contemplating her blue earnings, much more so than Van Morrison.

This album was re-released a few years ago on CD, but from what I've read it inextricably altered the perfect track order, as well as flubbing the remastering. I never got the reissue so I can't really speak to that; this is ripped from my original heavily played vinyl.
This is one of my all-time Top Ten albums so do not take my recommendation lightly!
Get it HERE

01. Don't Mutilate My Mink
02. Ticket to the Tropics
03. She Can't Say That Anymore
04. Quicksand Lovers
05. Rage and Fascination
06. The Ballad of Immoral Earnings
07. What's A Girl to Do
08. The Lie of Love
09. Blue Money
10. He Dines Out On Death

Oh, and apparently this album was such a dismal flop upon release that the artist/photographer who designed the cover saw fit to copy it exactly for Grace Jones' "Slave to the Rhythm" LP a scant year later. Guess no-one noticed...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

V/A - "Til Things Are Brighter...A Tribute To Johnny Cash" (1988)

This is an early tribute album before the glut of them. I remember I had this around the time of "The Bridge", the Neil Young tribute and that NME Sgt. Pepper one. I thought it was a cool concept til it got done to death. Not to mention tributes to people who really didn't deserve one...
But no-one's gonna argue with a Johnny Cash tribute. Especially one as good as this. Put together by John Langford of the Mekons (who also did the fine cover painting). While many of the names may not jump out at you as instantly recognisable, you may know them from their bands: Steve Mack from That Petrol Emotion, Stephen Mallinder of Cabaret Voltaire, David McComb from Triffids, Marc Riley of The Fall and Creepers... Anyway, in the iTunes comments I've listed them all and where from.
Oh, and this came out before the whole Rick Rubin/Johnny Cash revival. Before the hipsters thought it was "cool". I remember seeing Johnny and Merle Haggard at The Ritz in NYC in '86 and it was all old people and country fans deigning to make the trip into the city for this great bill. A couple of them commenting to me and my friend that they were surprised and happy to see us whippersnappers getting into Johnny and Merle. I commented back that hey I grew up on this stuff (as well as a lot of crap but good stuff is good stuff and will always shine through if you're not an idiot).
Then a few short years later that same NYC audience at the new Ritz (the old Studio 54) now had plenty of spiky green mohawk'd crusties in the audience. And good thing, too.
But I digress. Back to the record (I don't know if it's ever been on CD or not):
I think it's basically the Mekons backing everyone up, and they do their own real nice version of Folsom Prison Blues.
Get it HERE.

01. One Piece At A Time (Michelle Shocked)
02. I Walk The Line (Stephen Mallinder)
03. Rosanna's Goin' Wild (Steve Mack)
04. Cry, Cry, Cry (Sally Timms)
05. Country Boy (David McComb)
06. Wanted Man (Marc Riley)
07. Straight 'A's In Love (Peter Shelley)
08. Ring Of Fire (Cathal Coughlan)
09. Five Feet High And Risin' (Tracey and Melissa Beehive)
10. Home Of The Blues (Brendan Croker)
11. Boy Named Sue (Mary Mary)
12. Folsom Prison Blues (Mekons)
13. Man In Black (Marc Almond)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Original Sins - "Just 14" b/w "Sugar Sugar" (1986)

I used to see these guys open for lotsa bands at Trenton City Gardens, etc. I think they were from the Allentown/Bethlehem (Pennsylvania) area. Good basic garagey rock, nothing extraordinary. But this single is, just cos it's so wrong. The music's a straight-up unabashed Lust for Life rip-off, but the lyrics...I don't think you could get away with it so easily today. Not without ending up on some scary database. So I won't quote them. But download and enjoy. Cos it is a great single, even the Archies' cover flip-side. Which kinda sorta fits in with the theme.
Incidentally, for years I only had this on a cassette that a friend made me that had gone all wobbly from being in the car. So not too long ago I set out on an internet search to find a copy, and when I finally did I had to send away to Italy for it! For 3 Euros! And the guy gave me an even exchange rate which was very nice.

REUPPED 2/20/11 on Mediafire, HERE.

01. Just 14
02. Sugar Sugar

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

M.A. Numminen - "In English" (1974)

Here's an album by Finnish avant-legend M.A. Numminen in, as the title makes clear, English. If this is a good thing I do not know. To say M.A. is an acquired taste is an understatement. But the first song, American Patrol is loopy fun (and I've even included the loopier Swedish version from the Swedish version of this album. I got that single track off WFMU's great blog ages ago). And it's not even all in English, with one track apparently in German.
Anyway, thought I'd put this up as a companion to the Arctic Hysteria comps and be done with it.
Get it HERE.

01. American Patrol
02. I'm In The Mood For Love
03. Society Rock
04. What The Young Husband Must Remember
05. I Saw Miss Helen In Bath
06. Da-Ga Da-Ga
07. La Donna E Mobile
08. Little Broen Jug
09. When You Wish Upon A Star
10. An Die Musik (To Music)
11. I Sat With My Woman Outside The High House Of Ministry
12. All Of Me
13. I Want To Be Free
14. Wovon Man Nicht Sprechen Kann
15. What Is?

Friday, September 19, 2008

V/A - "More Arctic Hysteria/Son Of Arctic Hysteria" (2005 Love Records comp)

Here's the second part of the "Arctic Hysteria" post. Actually second and third as this is a 2-disc two-in-one sequel. Lots and lots more Finnish weirdness! I neglected in my last post to mention that this is an overview of early Finnish avant garde. Indeed, it is amazing to me that a lot of this stuff was recorded around the same time The Beatles were whining "She loves you yeah yeah yeah", haha. Many on these three discs are legends in certain circles, M.A. Numminen, Erkki Kurenniemi (who invented his own electronic instruments in the early 60's) and The Sperm, to name a few. And god bless the legendary (and sadly defunct) Love Records (also home to prog titans Wigwam) for supporting this music!
Get Disc One, "More Arctic Hysteria", 1964-1982, HERE.
01. Olen väsynyt (Pekka Streng)
02. Kahella sarvella (Karelia)
03. Kiven poiminta (Samsa Trio)
04. Democracy (Omar Williams Experience)
05. Ritual (Osmo Lindeman)
06. Electrocomposition I (Jarmo Sermilä)
07. Kaukonen ennen vanhaan (Åke Andersson)
08. A (Gandhi–Freud)
09. Bhupala I (Jone Takamäki Trio)
10. Y – part V (Lauri Nykopp)
11. Maailman reuna (Edward Vesala)
12. Virkamiehet (Matti & Pirjo Bergström)
13. Kahlaaja ('Wader') – excerpt (Ilkka Volanen)
14. W (Kaj Chydenius)
15. Oigu-S (M.A. Numminen)

Get Disc 2, "Son Of Arctic Hysteria", 1978-1990, HERE.
01. Tähtien rauha (Kollaa Kestää)
02. Rakkaudella sinulle (Aavikon Kone Ja Moottori)
03. Puinen koira (Kari Peitsamo)
04. Apatian tanssi (Yhte)
05. Do You Wanna Dance (Silver)
06. Schrecklich (Hefty Load)
07. Alkuasukkaiden lääkkeet (Vaaralliset Lelut)
08. Musiikki ja urheilu (Jaakko Kangosjärvi)
09. I Love It (Tapa Paha Tapa)
10. Baggage Claim (Swissair)
11. Lippukunta (Harri Tuominen)
12. Mihin sie meet Keijo (Suomen Poliisit)
13. Kalinka (Kansanturvamusiikikomissio)
14. Empty Faces (Joan Bennett Museo)
15. Pallokentällä (500 Kg Lihaa)
16. Olet valloissasi (Super Ladex)
17. Gagarin-Kombinaatti (Raskas)
18. Le Petomane (380v) (Jimi Tenor & His Shamans)
19. Snorkkelijenkka (Reinin Myrkky)

"Mt. Doom", Tongariro National Park, North Island, NZ (Somehow this snuck into my rearview mirror and gave me a bit of a start...)

V/A - "Arktinen Hysteria: Suomi-avantgarden esipuutarhureita" (2001 Love Records comp)

So I'm driving around the Fiordland region of the South Island (NZ for non-followers) and I'm amazed at how, at first it's very Alpine (the Southern Alps are a bit to the north) but then, true to it's name, it's very Nordic. At least to me. So before I set out to Milford Sound this morning I loaded this up in the iPod. Buncha crazy Finnish weirdness, somehow appropriate. The weather's been great after enduring a drenching antipodean winter, and the crowds haven't started yet with their "campas" that they can't drive and probably half the time on the wrong side of the road...so I've been really enjoying the time out of the city. New Zealand is very beautiful!

I got this from an online shop in Finland, along with the double-CD sequel which will follow real soon.
I figure it's been a long time since I posted any Finnish stuff and my friends over at Progressive Globe blog must be getting antsy, haha, so here ya go!
A Google search only turns up a bunch of hits for an art exhibit exhibit called "Arctic Hysteria" at P.S.1 in N.Y.C. (L.I.C., actually) which pissed me off that I can't go see it but oh well. Can't do everything. Oh, and it's also a Residents song title so I guess this was all ripped-off them!
Get it HERE.

01. Eleitä kolmelle röyhtäilijälle (M.A. Numminen, Tommi Parko, Pekka Kujanpää)
02. Kaukana väijyy ystäviä (Sähkökvartetti)
03. Hysteriablues (Tommi Parko)
04. Information Explosion, Prologue (Salmenhaara Erkki)
05. Shivers of Pleasure (Blues Section)
06. Antropoidien tanssi (Erkki Kurenniemi)
07. Mikä aika on (Jukka Ruohomäki)
08. Vallankumouksen analyysi (Jouni Kesti & Seppo I. Laine)
09. 3rd Erection (Sperm)
10. 1962 (J.O. Mallander)
11. Kuoleman puutarha live (otteita) (Sperm)
12. Pieni sienikonsertto - A Little Soup for Piano and Orchestra op 46,8 (Pekka Airaksinen)
13. Spirea (S. Albert Kivinen)
Milford Sound, Fiordland, New Zealand, September 19, 2008

Monday, September 15, 2008

V/A - "Get A Haircut - 31 of the Best New Zealand Rock'n'Rollers Ever!" (2004 comp)

I'm sitting in a camper-van park halfway to Christchurch, the ocean behind me, the craggy beauty of the Southern Alps before me. Last night was a beautiful full moon on the serene ocean...

Here's a different concept in compilations: all-out Kiwi rockers from 1958 to 2001, chronologically arranged. While there would certainly be a much different track list had I compiled it, I didn't and this is what we got. Still, remarkably consistent. Plus there's not one but TWO songs with motherfucker in the title. How rock 'n' roll can you get?!
Nevermind that 11-year gap when Kiwis apparently weren't rawking at all...I guess they were noodling around proggily with the rest of the rock world (except AC/DC, of course).
Amazon says it's discontinued with none used for sale, though there's a Buy It Now on eBay at a fair price right now...
Or just get it HERE.

01. Johnny Devlin And The Devils – Nervous Wreck (1958)
02. Clyde Scott And The Zanyopolis – Gravedigger Rock (1959)
03. Max Merrit And The Meteors – Get A Haircut (1959)
04. Peter Lewis And The Trisonic – Four City Rock (1960)
05. Glyn Tucker with Ian Lowe And The Tornadoes – I’m In Love (1960)
06. La De Das – Little Girl (1965)
07. Chants R&B – I Want Her (1966)
08. The Bluestars – Social End Product (1966)
09. The Smoke – No More Now (1967)
10. Ray Columbus and The Art Collection – Kick Me (1967)
11. The Scavengers – Mysterex (1978)
12. The Enemy – Pull Down The Shades (1978)
13. Proud Scum – I Am A Rabbit (1979)
14. The Terrorways – Short Haired Rock And Roll (1979)
15. Toy Love – Sheep (1980)
16. The Spelling Mistakes – Feels So Good (1980)
17. The Androidss – Auckland Tonite (1981)
18. The Dum Dum Boys – Let There Be Noise (1981)
19. Bored Games – Bridesmaid Again (1982)
20. The Henchmen – Bitch Goddess (1983)
21. Flesh D-Vice – Flaming Soul (1985)
22. The Warners – Night Of The Iguana (1988)
23. Sticky Filth – Maybe A Lover (1988)
24. The Axel Grinders – Don’t Hurry Be Happy (1990)
25. SMAK – Aunt Sally (1991)
26. The Rainy Days – Uh Huh (1995)
27. Nothing At All! – Busted (1995)
28. Shaft – Playing With Our Selves (1996)
29. The Rock And Roll Machine – Rock And Roll Disease (2000)
30. The D4 – Rock And Roll Motherfucker (2001)
31. The Datsuns – Motherfucker From Hell (2001)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Cardinal - "Cardinal" (1994/2005 Wonderland reissue)

I could discern two kinds of Cardinal fans—the ones who hear what’s on the surface and think they’ve got it, and then there’s the ones who keep listening and start to discover the mystery of it, and I think they’re more rewarded. The fans who are a little mystified are our equals, because we don’t quite know how we did it either.
—Richard Davies

Cardinal was a one-off project of The Moles' Richard Davies and Eric Matthews. Davies wrote most of the songs, Matthews took care of the lush orchestral arrangements. The album is a classic and early example of the chamber pop / orchestral pop genre. Originally released in 1994 on the now-defuct label Flydaddy, this is from a 2005 reissue by UK's Wonderland and includes 11 bonus tracks in addition to the original album's 10. It was released in a numbered limited edition of 500.
Get it HERE

01. If You Believe in Christmas Trees
02. Last Poems
03. Big Mink
04. You've Lost Me There
05. Public Melody #1
06. Dream Figure
07. Tough Guy Tactics
08. Angel Darling
09. Singing to the Sunshine
10. Silver Machines
11. Forest Theme
12. If You Believe in Christmas Trees (Demo)
13. Willow Willow
14. You've Lost Me There (Demo)
15. Out-Take
16. Tribute to a Crow
17. Tough Guy Tactics (Demo)
18. Say the Words Impossible (Demo)
19. Poolside '75
20. Sweatshirt Gown
21. Say the Words Impossible

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Moles - "Untune the Sky" (1991/1999 Flydaddy Reissue) & "Instinct" (1994)

This is a great, sadly neglected Australian psychedelic pop album. Seemingly influenced equally by Velvet Underground and Brian Wilson (note: the bonus track Surf's Up is not the Beach Boys song), The Moles on this album take you on a trip that is pure pop bliss. From the opening track, Bury Me Happy, which would have been a massive hit in a just universe, to the album's harrowing closer (well, for such blissful pop anyway) Nailing Jesus to the Cross and all that lies in between, we are treated to probably the best unknown album of 1991.
Tacked on to the end are a couple tracks from their Aussie-only 12" of Tendrils and Paracetamol and the complete "What's the New Mary Jane" EP, the title track being a staple of The Flaming Lips' mid-90's live set which is, incidentally, how I was turned on to this band. Wayne Coyne often prefaced the song with the tale of how they heard it between sets at a club somewhere and inquired as to who the hell that was you just played and their subsequent search for the then (and once again) hard-to-find Moles records.
Get it HERE.

01. Bury Me Happy
02. Tendrils and Paracetamol
03. This is a Happy Garden
04. Breathe Me In
05. Lonely Hearts Get What They Deserve
06. The Crown Souls
07. Rebecca
08. Europe by Car
09. Curdle
10. Wires
11. Nailing Jesus to the Cross
12. Accidental Saint
13. Rich Man [original mix]
14. Surf's Up
15. What's the New Mary Jane
16. Going Down
17. Saint Jack
18. Let's Hook Up and Get Some

This second (and last) full Moles LP, from '94, is basically a solo album of bandleader Richard Davies, the band apparently having broken up after the EP. This is a natural progression from the psych-pop of the first LP to the nascent chamber pop which Mr. Davies had a big hand in starting. He also released the genre's acknowledged masterpiece, "Cardinal", as Cardinal with Eric Matthews. But I prefer this one. It's short, sharp and sweet. It's perfect.
Get it HERE.

01. Minor Royal March
02. Eros Lunch (1963)
03. Already In Black
04. Instinct
05. Cars for King's Cross
06. Cassie Peak
07. Raymond, Did You See the Red Queen
08. Treble Metal
09. Crasher

This album also features The Moles' fiercest rocker, Already In Black, which you can see below in a video from '95 I shot of Mr. Davies backed up by the aforementioned Flaming Lips at a CMJ show at Brownies in NYC.
Check out this video: Already In Black (Richard Davies w/ Flaming Lips

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Mo-Dettes - "Paint It, Black b/w Bitta Truth" + flexi (1979)

This is one of my favorite singles, a great Stones cover by London band Mo-Dettes. Mo-Dettes had a sort-lived career, releasing a handful of singles and one LP, "The Story So Far". Of those, the White Mice single, their debut, is awesome as well and I'll try to get that posted soon.
What I like best about this single, besides the spare production, is the French-Swiss singer's charming accent. Simple as that, folks! I've had this since it came out and can listen to this anytime, anywhere and often still do.
Also included is a flexi that came free with the single.
Right HERE.

01. Paint It, Black
02. Bitta Truth
03. Twist and Shout (flexi)

The Mekons - "The Quality of Mercy Is Not Strnen" (1979)

The debut album by one of my all-time favorite bands. The title derives from the "Infinite Monkey Theorem" which holds that an infinite number of monkeys typing on an infinite number of typewriters would eventually produce Shakespeare (the title is from "The Merchant of Venice" and the monkey has misspelled strained). There are many references to this in popular culture, my favorite being on "The Simpsons": Monty Burns has a roomful of monkeys at typewriters and he chastises one for typing "It was the best of times, it was the blurst of times?! You stupid monkey!"
Anyway, back to the LP! The Mekons originated in Leeds, England, also the home of Gang of Four. And not coincidentally, this has much in common sonically with early Gang. In fact, the back cover has a photo of the Virgin labelmates instead of the Mekons, kinda like Stiff putting a photo of Eddie and the Hot Rods on the back of the first copies of The Damned's debut LP. I imagine they came up with the basic sound organically, together, being friends and all.
The bonus tracks at the end are from a 1980 double 7" and finds them developing a more PiL-ish dubby sound. The Mekons moved all over the post-punk map before settling on the post-Gram Parsons honky-tonking for which they became famous, single-handedly inventing alt.country. For good or ill depending on your point of view. I love the band and basically feel they can do no wrong. They are one of the most entertaining live bands I have ever seen. I have in fact shared the stage with them as a rabid fan not once but twice - at NYC's Central Park in '91 when roadie Mitch pulled several of us up onstage to dance (this after passing me a pitcher of ice cold beer - it was crowded and hot as fuck) and at DC's 9:30 Club in '94 where I joined them for the shouted chorus of "Rock And Roll!" on Memphis, Egypt and even a verse after Tom gave me the nod to take it! There ya go, my rockstar moment-in-the-sun!
Anyway, this is outta print, on sale used on Amazon for an obscene sum, blah blah.

UPDATE 8/31/09: Reupped! Mediafire:
Get it HERE!

01. Like Spoons No More
02. Join Us in the Countryside
03. Rosanne
04. Trevira Trousers
05. After 6
06. What Are We Going to Do Tonight
07. What
08. Watch the Film
09. Beetroot
10. I Saw You Dance
11. Lonely and Wet
12. Dan Dare
13. Teeth
14. Guardian
15. Kill
16. Stay Cool
17. Work All Week
18. Unknown Wrecks

Tracks 1-11 from the original 1979 LP, Tracks 12-16 from 1980 double 7", Tracks 17-18 from 1979 single. All tracks from the out-of-print Virgin (UK) CD reissue.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Neil Pye (Nigel Planer) - "Neil's Heavy Concept Album" (1984) & Bad News - "Bad News" (1987)

Here's a nice double post of "Young Ones" (the British TV comedy series) related albums. First up is "Neil's Heavy Concept Album" by Nigel Planer's hippy character Neil Pye. It's got covers of Sixties stuff by Pink Floyd, Traffic (Hole In My Shoe was a UK hit), Donovan, etc. as well as originals and lotsa Neil's funny/inane spoken bits. A hard-to-find one for hardcore Young Ones/Neil fans (like me).
Get it HERE
01. Hello Vegetables
02. Hole In My Shoe
03. Heavy Potato Encounter
04. My White Bicycle
05. Neil The Barbarian
06. Lentil Nightmare
07. Computer Alarm
08. Wayne
09. The Gnome
10. Cosmic Jam
11. Golf Girl
12. Bad Karma in the UK
13. Our Tune
14. Ken
15. The End of the World Cabaret
16. No Future (God Save The Queen)
17. Floating
18. Hurdy Gurdy Man
19. Paranoid Remix
20. The Amoeba Song
21. Brown Sugar
22. Cassette Jam
23. Go Away

Next up is a lesser-known project of most of the Young Ones (minus Mike): Bad News. This was a Spinal Tap-ish metal spoof band done for a British TV series, and actually pre-dates the Tap by a year (1983, though this Brian May-produced LP came out in '87). I was turned on to this only a year or so ago by downloading the totally awesome track Warriors of Ghengis Khan (with the chorus "Burning, looting, raping and shooting!") from the totally awesome WFMU blog (link on the right).
Get it HERE.
01. Bad Dreams Rehearsal
02. A.G.M.
03. Introducing The Band
04. Bad News
05. Hey Mr. Bassman
06. Hey Mr. Drummer
07. Masturbike
08. Trousers
09. Drink Till I Die
10. Vim Is Angry
11. Warriors Of Ghengis Khan
12. Excaliber
13. Bohemian Rhapsody
14. Double Entendre
15. Cashing In On Christmas
16. Life with Brian
17. Pretty Woman (with Brian May) (bonus track)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Z-Rock Hawaii - "Z-Rock Hawaii" (1996)

If you hurry over to Amazon right now you can pick up a brand new copy of this great Ween/Boredoms collaboration for a mere $299.98! Don't dilly-dally, though cos once that's gone there are only two used ones left for $499.99--"DISC AND COVER ARE IN EXCELLENT CONDITION! First Class shipping!" You better send that shit first class, motherfucker! Christ...
Or just fuck those deluded, greedy bastards and download from The Pessimist Club!

Not much to say about this. I mean it's Ween. It's Boredoms. Together. Loud burping rudeness as well as Eye incoherently screaming over pretty melodies. A song titled Love Like Cement. Can't you just wait?

It's right HERE, right now. And don't forget to leave me $99.00 or so via my PayPal Donate button on the NZ Psych comp post. I mean, I'm not greedy...

01. Chuggin'
02. Bad to the Bone
03. In the Garden
04. Love Like Cement
05. Tuchus
06. Piledriver
07. I Get a Little Taste of You
08. God in My Bed
09. Meadow
10. Sunset Over Osaka

V/A - "Verschwende Deine Jugend - Punk und New Wave in Deutschland (1977-83)" (2001 comp)

I don't know much about this great comp and what I can find about it on the web is in German and I don't speak German...
I do know that this is a 2 CD set that came with a book on German punk/new wave of the same title by Jürgen Teipel. I know that the title translates to "Waste Your Youth" and is from a DAF song which is included. There is also a film of the same name which apparently has nothing to do with this book/CD. It's got the greats like Einstũrzende Neubauten and Deutsch-Amerikanische Freundschaft, and other greats I've discovered via this comp like Mittagspause and Abwärts. In fact the whole comp is awesome and a good entry point to the Neue Deutsche Welle and once you're hooked you can then go find tons of cool stuff on other blogs. Like I did. Mutant Sounds is a good starting point (link is on the right).
My German friend in Tucson, Jörg (nom de radio The Jorgenator) burned this for me years ago and it has brought me much listening pleasure.
Disc 1 is HERE, Disc 2 HERE.
So get your Sprockets on and DANCE. And touch the monkey!

Disc 1:
01.Testbild (Mittagspause)
02. Innenstadtfront (Mittagspause)
03. Risikofaktor 1:X (Male)
04. Zensur, Zensur (Male)
05. Zurück Zum Beton (S.Y.P.H.)
06. Industriemädchen (S.Y.P.H.)
07. Lachleute & Nettmenschen (S.Y.P.H.)
08. Eisenleer (Depressiv) (Neonbabies)
09. Blaue Augen (Neonbabies)
10. Man of Stone (Hans-a-plast)
11. Stumpf Ist Trumpf (Der KFC)
12. Herrenreiter (Mittagspause)
13. Abenteuer & Freiheit (Fehlfarben)
14. Sei Lieb (Östro 430)
15. So Froh (Ede und Die Zimmermänner)
16. Wir Werden Immer Mehr (Der Plan)
17. Ich und Die Wirklichkei (Deutsch-Amerikanische Freundschaft)
18. Kebapträume (Deutsch-Amerikanische Freundschaft)
19. Ich Liebe Metall (The Wirtschaftswunder)
20. It Always Rains In Wuppertal (Pyrolator)
21. Waschsalon Berlin (Frieder Butzmann)
22. Herzschlag (Mania D)
23. Zuckendes Fleisch (Einstũrzende Neubauten)
24. Computerstaat (Abwärts)
25. Wir Kriegen Sie Alle (Horst Herold)

Disc 2:
01. Da Vorne Steht 'Ne Ampel (Der Plan)
02. Sehnsucht Nach Dem Osten (Andreas Dorau)
03. Der Kommissar (The Wirtschaftswunder)
04. Angriff Auf's Schlaraffenland (Die Radierer)
05. Apokalypse (Ernstfall) (Fehlfarben)
06. Gott Sei Dank Nicht in England (Fehlfarben)
07. Wie Lange Noch (Der KFC)
08. Dosenbier (ZK)
09. In Der Ecke Stehen (ZK)
10. Was Kostet Die Welt (Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle)
11. Telephon (Palais Schaumburg)
12. Tulpen und Narzissen (Andreas Dorau & Die Marinas)
13. Fred Vom Jupiter (Andreas Dorau & Die Marinas)
14. Wahre Arbeit, Wahrer Loh (Die Krupps)
15. Wir Bauen Eine Neue Stadt (Palais Schaumburg)
16. Kalte Sterne (Einstũrzende Neubauten)
17. Sieben Tödliche Unfälle Im Haushalt (Die Tödliche Doris)
18. Your Turn to Run (Malaria!)
19. Ich Will Gewinnen (Tommi Stumpff)
20. 180° (Pyrolator)
21. Etre Assis Ou Danser (Liaisons Dangereuses)
22. Verschwende Deine Jugend (Deutsch-Amerikanische Freundschaft)
23. Happy New Wave (Xao Seffcheque)
24. Jürgen Engler Gibt 'Ne Party (Die Toten Hosen)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

"To Sir, With Love" (1967 Original Soundtrack)

This is one of my favorite soundtracks and not coincidentally one of my favorite films. I've had the film on VHS, it was one of the first DVDs I ever bought and I've had a scratchy old vinyl of the soundtrack since I was a kid. But don't worry, this is from the out-of-print CD release.
The film is a total classic and is basically a remake of "Blackboard Jungle" with Sidney Poitier's graduating from the juvenile delinquent character in that film from about 10 years prior to the teacher character in this one. Except in this one he's a Trinidadian and the setting is moved from the States to London in its mod Carnaby Street heyday, allowing lotsa great fashion watching and even a lesson from the kids in Cockney!
This soundtrack has 3, count 'em!, versions of the massive hit theme song by Lulu. None of them are the super-slick single version, these having a rawer, rougher production that accentuates the thwacking drums and that great bass line. The second (Track 6) version is my favorite. It's also got one of my all-time favorite song titles: Thackeray Loses Temper, Gets an Idea. I know I get my best inspirations in moments of rage, don't you?
It's also got some seriously great psych courtesy of The Mindbenders, particularly Track 2 with Lulu belting the shit out!
The rest of the LP is incidental music all based on the song's melody. Basically it's all over the film, prompting a friend of mine to remark while viewing the DVD at my house, "Man, I am getting real sick of that song", to which I replied "At least it's a good one", which prompted a strange look back...
A must-have, get it HERE.

01. To Sir, With Love (Lulu)
02. School Break Dancing "Stealing My Love from Me" (Lulu with The Mindbenders)
03. Thackeray Meets Faculty, Then Alone
04. Music from Lunch Break "Off and Running" (The Mindbenders)
05. Thackeray Loses Temper, Gets an Idea
06. Museum Outings Montage "To Sir, With Love" (Lulu)
07. Classical Lesson
08. Perhaps I Could Tidy Your Desk
09. Potter's Loss of Temper in Gym
10. Thackeary Reads Letter About Job
11. Thackeray and Denham Box in Gym
12. Funeral
13. End of Term Dance "It's Getting Harder All the Time" (The Mindbenders)
14. To Sir, With Love (Lulu)

A Couple Early(ish) Ween Shows (1991/1992)

The first time I saw Ween it was all the way back in 1985, about five years before their debut LP, "GodWeenSatan - The Oneness". It was at City Gardens in Trenton which looking back had an embarrassment of riches show-wise, back then. We would go several times a week and I won't get into all the bands that would play there as I think I did in a previous (Johnny Thunders) post. They were on the bottom of a bill headlined by Butthole Surfers. In between were Malcolm Tent and the awesome Cleft Palate. As my acid-addled memory of that night reveals (we usually did acid for the Buttholes, wisely or not) still as clear as yesterday, they were completely wild and blew me away. They must have been about 14. Deaner on guitar, Gener screeching screaming and squirming and some pal of theirs on backing tapes, lying on the drum riser with a microphone held up to the cheap cassette player, stopping starting and RW/FF'ing. Quite a site. And let me assure you their future greatness was evident, clear as day, and I told them as much.
They were local kids often seen at shows there, and after that show I remember heading to see The Cramps in my friend Tim's (R.I.P., buddy) school bus and stopping for gas on the way at the Mobil in New Hope. The bus was full of us miscreants at various stages of being extremely fucked-up on any number of substances and I can't recall which drug(s) I was on but I remember there was a keg in there and it was very smoky and Tim pops his head in the door while fueling and goes "Pete! Ween! Ween!". I hopped out to find Mickey filling the bus and telling us to please believe him The Cramps have cancelled (you can hear his tale of working at the Mobil on the excellent Working 4 the Man on Ween's 1992 "Pure Guava" LP). Of course we didn't/couldn't/wouldn't believe him and headed to the show anyway. Of course he was right and I don't remember what else happened that night cos well, you know...
Mickey still talks about this night when I run into him usually at shows these days.
Another slightly less outrageous but sublime tale is years later Tim (R.I.P., buddy) and I were at a later Buttholes show at the Troc in Philly. Tim had by then become pals with the Buttholes and we hadn't paid for a show in ages. We were hanging out with the band backstage, just Tim, me and the band. After a while someone else walked in; it was Mickey. We kinda looked up and said "Hey, Mick" and went back to our conversations and doing lines or whatever. Paul was a bit taken aback by our nonchalance and asked us "You guys not into Ween?" at which point Tim opens his jacket to reveal a massive Boognish collage t-shirt I made for him and says "Ween fucking rule, man". Also shows off his home-made Boognish tattoo...

As for these shows, I prefer the '91 Court Tavern show. It's rawer and wilder. The Wetlands show sounds much better, though both are ok. The Wetlands show was a pre-major label debut showcase at CMJ.
Court Tav is HERE,
Wetlands HERE.
Both highly recommended.

Court Tav:
01. The Wind
02. Bumblebee
03. Seconds
04. Cover It With Gas and Set It On Fire
05. Sketches of Winkle
06. Marble Tulip Juicy Tree
07. Tick
08. Weed Whore
09. Papa Zit
10. Boing
11. Fat Lenny
12. Cold and Wet
13. You Fucked Up
14. Tastes
15. Pork Roll Egg and Cheese (partial)

01. Fat Lenny
02. Don't Get 2 Close (2 My Fantasy)
03. Puerto Rican Power
04. Cover It With Gas and Set It On Fire
05. Big Jilm
06. Sweet Texas Fire
07. The Goin' Gets Tough From the Getgo
08. Marble Tulip Juicy Tree
09. You Fucked Up
11. Freedom of '76
12. Pork Roll Egg and Cheese
13. Tick
14. Demon Sweat
15. Captain Fantasy

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

V/A - "Those Were Different Times: Cleveland 1972-1976" (1997 Scat)

A cursory web search reveals this great comp as "discontinued by the manufacturer", and nary a one for sale at even inflated prices on Amazon. So get it here now, folks!
This collection features three essential though lesser known (than Pere Ubu and Dead Boys/Rocket from the Tomb, anyway) Cleveland bands that spanned the post-psychedelic / pre-punk era of rawk. The apparently Velvets obsessed Mirrors, the proto-punk of the Electric Eels and the proto-New Wave of the Styrenes. Though all these tracks are raw, they are bristling with life. I can only imagine that these bands suffered in obscurity even in their hometown at the time, all going to each others shows and playing in each others bands. The Eels are the only ones I had heard before I got this (there's plenty on the web by them as they are legends), but I like all the bands here. An awesome CD if you can find it, those screws in the pic actually hold a book together with the CD.
At the time anyway all these tracks were exclusive to this release.

Get it HERE.

01. Annie (The Mirrors)
02. How Could I (The Mirrors)
03. You Me Love (The Mirrors)
04. Living Without You (The Mirrors)
05. Beaver Girls (The Mirrors)
06. Frustration (The Mirrors)
07. Hands In My Pockets (The Mirrors)
08. Sweet Refrain (The Mirrors)
09. I'm Going To Wyoming (The Mirrors)
10. We'll See (The Mirrors)
11. Safety Week (The Electric Eels)
12. Wreck & Roll (The Electric Eels)
13. Splitterty Splat (The Electric Eels)
14. Stucco (The Electric Eels)
15. Circus Highlights (The Men From UNCLE [Electric Eels])
16. Now (The Electric Eels)
17. You Crummy Fags (The Electric Eels)
18. Mustard (John Morton & Paul Marotta)
19. The Big "O" (Dave E. McManus)
20. No Nonsense (The Electric Eels)
21. Spinach Blasters (The Electric Eels)
22. Flapping Jets (The Electric Eels)
23. Thirtyfour (Styrenes)
24. Draw The Curtain (Styrenes)
25. Mr. Crab (Styrenes)
26. You're Trash (Styrenes)
27. Pleasure Boating (Styrenes)
28. Grey Haired Rats (Styrenes)
29. Nineteen Sixtyseven (Styrenes)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Killdozer - "For Ladies Only" (Links deleted; sorry)

Killdozer were the Kings of the Awesome Cover Version. Period.
Each album had at least one classic that Killdozer stomped and ground into the dirt in supreme fashion. Therefore it was only natural that they would do a whole wonderful album of them. This originally came out as a box set of five 7" singles in 1989, then was released on CD and picture disc (with a far sexier pic) LP in 1990.
For some reason, probably bullshit publishing reasons, their cover of Buffalo Springfield/Neil Young's Mr. Soul was not included in the reissue.
I searched the web for it since I only have the CeeDee, to no avail. I suppose it's available on SoulSeek, but I grew impatient. I did however find several other covers, and along with covers from my Killdozer CeeDee collection, I assembled an "addendum" of bonus tracks that I call (very cleverly) "Bone-Us Covers" geddit? So in addition to the original 8 there's 14 more! Note that these will come up in iTunes as their own album with their own art, not scattered around. So if you have one or three Killdozer albums on there, they won't get mixed up. To find where they came from originally highlight the track and click "info" (apple>i on a Mac sorry but I don't know squat about PCs nor do I care to). I put the info in the "comments" section, and the original artist in the "composer" section, even though they may not be the, ah, composer (Like Hush, a hit for Deep Purple but written by country singer Joe South).

I've tried re-upping several times, but links are continually deleted. I am beginning to suspect this is the Touch and Go Internet Police. They are, of course an awesome label deserving mad respect (if you haven't read "Our Band Could Be Your Life", do so!), and I was recently saddened to read they are going out of business! Where would us noise rock fans be without them!
Anyway, I have run into this with other blogs posting T&G stuff. So I will not re-up again. It gets tedious anyway.
You can find the Bone-Us stuff that is not T&G (tracks 3, 7, 11, 12, 13 and 14 on other blogs. [Disco Inferno is from the Killdozer Tribute "We Will Bury You", which is pretty easy to find]).

For Ladies Only:
01. Hush (Deep Purple)
02. Good Lovin' Gone Bad (Bad Company)
03. Burnin' Love (Elvis Presley)
04. You've Never Been This Far Before (Conway Twitty)
05. One Tin Soldier - The Legend of Billy Jack (Coven)
06. Take the Money and Run (Steve Miller Band)
07. American Pie (Don McLean)
08. Funk #49 (James Gang)

Bone-Us Covers:
01. I'm Not Lisa (Jesse Colter)
02. I Am, I Said (Neil Diamond)
03. Conquistador (Procol Harum)
04. Cinnamon Girl (Neil Young)
05. Sweet Home Alabama (Lynyrd Skynyrd)
06. Run Through the Jungle (Creedence Clearwater Revival)
07. Hot N' Nasty (Black Oak Arkansas)
08. I Saw the Light (Hank Williams)
09. Unbelievable (EMF)
10. Nasty (Janet Jackson)
11. Let Me Put My Love Into You (AC/DC)
12. When the Levee Breaks (Led Zeppelin)
13. Aquarius/Let the Sun Sine In (from the Broadway musical "Hair")
14. Disco Inferno (Trammps)

The first time I saw Killdozer, '88 or '89 at Khyber Pass in Philly, they did American Pie, and in the middle of the song Michael Gerald leans over the audience and drops a big stringy loogie over some girl's head then sucks it back up at the last second! (Better than what happened to my friend Jesse at a Cows show: the bassist hocked a big loogie right onto his cheek). The next time I saw them, also at Khyber, '94, they opened with Unbelievable. The mic stand was set like eight feet high with a step ladder to it so Micheal would step on and off to sing his lines! Even then it was high, so he had to do the Lemmy-thing where you crane your throat up (and open) to it. F-ing hilarious! The last time I saw them, at Coney Island High in NYC on their "Fuck You, We Quit!" farewell tour, they did Levee, Sweet Home Alabama AND Cinnamon Girl! I videotaped that for my public access show (TV KiLL, Manhattan Neighborhood Network, Sundays 5pm, 1995-2000) and here's a taste:Check out this video: Cinnamon Girl (Killdozer)

Sorry it's a crappy Myspace link, but like I said in my Ruin post, the corporate pricks at Youtube deleted my "channel" for terms violation thanks to NBC crybabies...
(More vids I shot on my profile page! Or just click on something at the end of this vid...like the awesome Jesus Lizard New Years '97 show at CBGB!)

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

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!"

(from an East German poster)

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

August 28, 2008

Who Killed Victor Jara?

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.


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.


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.


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.


"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 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.


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

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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!

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

Vinyl rip @192 right HERE