Wednesday, July 30, 2008

La De Da's (EMI NZ comp 2003)

Here's a great Sixtie's garage comp by New Zealand's premier band of the time, the La De Da's. I'm posting this to bring a bit of my new home to you. Plus I don't think it's been up on Kiwi Tapes or even the great TwilightZone! blog (though I could be wrong).
I got this in Wellington from one of those bargain tables out front of a record store on Cuba St. When I asked to have a listen (as you can do at all shops here, imagine!) the clerk got all excited I was interested in this and suggested some others. He was obviously stoked to have a customer he could relate to. A foreigner interested in 60's Kiwi Rock! We chatted for awhile about the great Northwest and The Sonics, Wailers, etc.
As I had limited funds, I only got this (by far the best of what I heard) and one of the V/A comps he suggested. But as that was a "Volume 2" and they were out of the first one, I'll wait til I can locate Volume 1 and post them both, perhaps.

This disc starts off with their biggest hit, Little Girl, and features lotsa great R&B covers (Stupidity, their excellent take of I Put A Spell On You, etc. And check the organ on Respect!) as well as indulging in the penchant of seemingly all the bands at that time: the instant cover version (Land of 1,000 Dances, Whatcha Gonna Do About It, etc).
All in all, an excellent, necessary addition to any collection of 60's psych/punk/garage!
I can't imagine this is very easy to get elsewhere, and the only other thing I saw online was another out-of-print collection on Amazon third-party. So get this while you can...320kps
Right HERE, mate!

01. Little Girl
02. Ever Since That Night
03. How Is The Air Up There
04. The Pied Piper
05. Don't You Stand In My Way
06. I Take What I Want
07. Hey Girl
08. On Top Of The World
09. Little Red Book
10. Jump Back
11. Bright Lights Big City
12. I Put A Spell On You
13. Whatch Gonna Do About It
14. Land Of A Thousand Dances
15. Shake
16. Parchment Farm
17. I Got My Mojo Working
18. Ride Your Pony
19. Stupidity
20. Coming Home
21. I Ain't Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore
22. Respect
23. Find Us A Way
24. All Purpose Low
25. Too Many Fish In The Sea
26. Rosalie
27. Thank You For The Flowers
28. Hey Baby

Cuba St., Wellington, NZSlow Boat (not where I got this CD) is a great shop w/ lotsa vinyl. I got a nice 12" by The Clean. And a Lee Perry/Mad Professor 2005 NZ/Aussie tour Tee(!) I asked the clerk about Dead C vinyl and he said that when they do have any, it's usually imported from the States! Oh well, so much for that dream...

Monday, July 28, 2008

Melvins - Slap-A-Ham 5" Single (1990)

A little something to hold you over til a proper post. Lazy me. But this is a good one, two Flipper covers by Melvins. This is a weird little 5" single in a clear bag. There's no identifying info on the record (though I think there's something in the runout groove, but I'm not anywhere near my records to check and tell you what it says). Bag has a clear sticker with the flipper fish logo, and "Melvins" with the 'x' as Flipper wrote it. But you can see all that.
I remember when I got this I hadn't heard the Melvins at all, if I had even heard of them yet...but I was a huge Flipper fan, so the fishy caught my eye. I was impressed that they do Flipper right. It's funny, I looked this up for info (3,000 pressed - not too rare) and on a Melvins discography the guy says pretty much the same thing about it.
Not much else to say...this is for sale for US$39.99 at Kreation Records website if you want your own copy. It's a cool thing to have, but I don't know at that price...

01. Love Canal
02. Someday

Right HERE. Rock on.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

"The Life and Times of Johnny Thunders" (BBC Radio 1 1992)

This is a radio program I downloaded somewhere I can't recall a while ago. I converted the WAV files to mp3/320 and made that "cover" for it that you see up there. I got a real thing about not having artwork in my iTunes uglying up the cover flow and all. Plus I get to get a little creative, even though I rarely spend more than 10 minutes making them up.
The program itself is a pretty good half-hour overview of his life and career and notorious reputation. I should state right here that Johnny Thunders is one of my all-time favorites. I've had a few friends who've idolized him mainly because they played at being junkies and I guess he was the unabashed rock 'n' roll king of junkies. I, never being a junkie (well, heroin, anyway), was a huge fan just cos he was so fucking great. Never have I heard sparks fly from a guitar like that man's. And what with his NYC street-tough accent and image (and yes his sentimental tunes), was always the epitome of cool to me. Junk or no.
Anyway, back to the program: It was a memorial-type episode put together shortly after the man's death. There's interviews with Waldo, his Mom, etc. They mention a period in the late 80's as his peak, and though there's scant studio recordings from the period the live shows were incendiary, to which I can attest. The first and only time I saw Johnny live was during this period, at Trenton City Gardens in 1987. He positively smoked. My friends and I were buzzing on that show for DAYS afterward, incredulous and listening to scant else but Johnny and periodically saying things out of the blue, like "How about how fucking great Johnny was the other night?", apropos of nothing.Johnny onstage at City Gardens, Trenton, NJ 1987. By Me.

Here's a kinda funny Johnny story: a few years later my wife and I went to see him in NYC. He was scheduled to play at a club called the Continental on St. Marks. It was getting pretty late and he hadn't shown up, though the crowd was still all there since he was notorious for showing up very late. We had to endure all the idiots around us going on about him nodding backstage or in a basement somewhere down the street or whatever. However, as it started pushing 3am we went home. Not even Johnny was gonna show up that late.
Sometime the next day or the day after we heard of his passing in...New Orleans. Yeah, the same night he was supposed to be playing at the Continental he was in The Big Easy busy being died. I was sad but also pissed off though not at him but at that fucking club which probably knew damn well he wasn't even in town and didn't tell anyone just to keep a full, drinking house there on a night with nothing else going on. This kinda shit goes on in New York all the time. In '96 the night after The Fall's notorious onstage brawl/breakup (which I videotaped and which was used, uncredited, in the BBC's 2005 Mark E. Smith documentary in a badly generated copy. But that's another story) at Brownies, they were telling callers that yes, the second show is ON, come on over! But I didn't fall for it not being completely gullible. Not after what I witnessed at the first show the night before.
I seem to have strayed from the subject of this blog entry...where was I? Oh yeah, Johnny done died on us. And a week or two later my sister-in-law came to visit with the great idea we should go visit the grave, since she found out at which of the many cemeteries in Queens where he was interred. So we get out there and realze: none of us knows his real last name! (Ginzale). We make an effort wandering around looking for fresh graves, but it's hopeless - the place is huge.
So we never did see Johnny that night and we never did see his grave.
Oh well.

The radio show is broken up into 6 parts, get it HERE.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Leningrad Cowboys Go America (1989 OST)

This is the soundtrack to the Aki Kaurismäki film. The story of a bunch of Finnish hicks in a polka band whose manager (the late, great Matti Pelonpää, also seen as the Helsinki taxi driver in the Jarmusch film Night On Earth) takes them to Amerika to "make it big", with hilariously disastrous results.
The soundtrack is appealing for the innocent, unjaded accordion music, which varies from your typical polka to Mexican mariachi (Desconsolado, Tequila), from the end of the film where they finally get a gig at a Mexican wedding. It also features more straight-up rockers like their cover of L.A. Woman, which opens the disc and is not from this film but from a Kaurismäki short (as are the second and third songs on the disc).
I picked this disc up in Finland in 1993. Though the film had a US release, at the cinema as well as on VHS, this disc was never released Stateside (nor has a DVD of the film). I looked it up on Amazon and there are 2 Korean "imports" available from secondary sellers, from 57-65 dollars. Ouch. And I put imports in quotes cos one should always be wary of *cough*imports*cough cough* from Asia (unless they're from Japan). I'm not saying they're pirated, I'm just saying be WARY. This is the actual Finnish release on Megamania, so download with confidence. HERE.

01. L.A. Woman
02. Thru The Wire
03. Rocky VI
04. Marching
06. Sunday Morning
07. Highway
08. Blue Swing
09. On The Road
10. Glamour Cowboy
11. No Man's Land
12. Ten Lost Gringos
13. Mambo From Säkkijärvi
14. Desconsolado
15. Ballad Of The Leningrad Cowboy
16. Tequila
17. Chasing The Light

I won't go into the bizarre post-film history of the band (or their matching hair-and-shoe styles), you can get that from Wikipedia. Suffice to say it is interesting. But seek out the VHS, it's well worth a viewing (Cameo-spotting: Jim Jarmusch, the great Samuel Fuller). I often tell friends that Kaurismäki films are like "if Bresson did comedy". And if that means anything to you, you know what an interesting film that would be. Other than that, I highly recommend the easy-to-find The Man Without A Past, which is by now the biggest Finnish film (in America, anyway). And on September 23rd, the Criterion Collection releases a box-set of his three best films as The Proletariat Trilogy (though in Finland it's known simply as the Suomi Trilogy. Suomi is Finnish for Finland. I think considering the different titles together says something about it. Though I really wish they would have stuck with the original. I mean, this is a Criterion, not mainstream release. But this is quibbling...Preorder now!)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Ham - "Saga Rokksins 1988-1993" (1993 comp)

This is an Iceland-only compilation of stuff from Iceland's mighty Ham. It's loud, gravelly, operatic and glorious. Some say it's metal, but that's too simple (aren't all "labels"?). Download, play loud and see what you think.
Ham had one non-Iceland release that I'm aware of, "Buffalo Virgin" from the late 80's on a British label. One Little Indian I think. I picked this comp up in Iceland on a stop-over to Finland in '93. I've never seen it elsewhere.
Ham's singer, Ottarr, was an exchange student at my high school in the mid-80's. Well, I was out of school by then, but he became best friends with the girl I ended up marrying a few years later. But at the time, we were all friends. I remember we all went to an awesome Cure show at the Tower Theatre in '84. Hard to remember much else from that long ago, though, for various reasons, nefarious and otherwise. After he returned to Iceland and after I was married and living in NYC, he came to visit a couple times, once with Ham when they did a mini-tour. Really not much to say's a pic, though! That's my friends Glenn and Robin on the left, Me in the middle doing I don't know what. I don't think puking...maybe sunstroke, and our man Ottarr on the right. Photo taken after a day at Rockaway Beach. Waiting for the 'A' Train back into the city, I think. Like '91 or so.

There's some good Ham stuff on Youtube from an Icelandic TV documentary. I don't wanna litter up my blog with Youtube clips, but you can search "Ham Iceland" to find 'em. Check out the Musculus clip. Ottarr doesn't have much to do in this clip but stand there and bob his head, but the song rules. And this totally blew me away when I saw it at the end of the clip:That's Ottarr in a short bit at the end of the song saying something in Icelandic, totally styling in a pink Misfits shirt! That I made for him! That's from like 25 years ago and I had totally forgotten about it! I got a good laugh, and the memories came flooding back. I found tons of super-cheap pink seconds at a flea market and printed these, as well as pink Black Flag 'Police Story' (you know, the Pettibon "Make Me Come, Faggot" one), Minor Threat, etc. We'd wear 'em out to shows and get the most...interesting reactions.

Ottarr has a new band, Dr. Spock, and they actually competed to be Iceland's entry for the Eurovision Song Contest this year! I guess after Lordy won, it's a free-for-all now. I lost track of it and don't know how it ended up...I know they made it to the Iceland finals. Anyway, they totally kick ass. Check out their Myspace page. Man, Icelandic bands fucking rule. Even Sigur Ros.

01. Musculus
02. Sanity
03. Dimitri
04. Death
05. Gefðu mér ást
06. Lonesome Duke
07. Transylvania II
08. Æskublóm
09. Trúboðsleikar
10. Svín
11. Auður Sif
12. Transylvania I
13. Hold

Get it HERE. Enjoy. Dress warm.

UPDATE 3/27/09:
Ham's only LP released outside their native Iceland, 1989's "Buffalo Virgin", is HERE. Not the best copy, but not bad and the ONLY one on the web anywhere. And you've just gotta hear their version of ABBA's Voulez Vous!

I promise you...

...that you will not get mp3s identified only by "Track 1, Track 2, etc". Nor will you get mp3's identified as "Pista 1, Pista 2", cos I don't even know what that means.
...that you will always get mp3s. Not WMAs or AACs or Oggs whatever the hell they are. I will endeavour to supply decent bit rates.
...that I will always use Rapidshare or Megaupload. I will never use those stupid Russian or German sites with pop-up ads and things flying around annoying the shit out of you while you're trying to be Sherlock Holmes and find the fucking download link!
(and really, for the price of one CD -half a CD in New Zealand- you can get 2 months of Rapidshare or Megaupload and download with impunity. Stop being so damn cheap!)
...that you will always get decent artwork. You will not need a magnifying glass.
...that I will not needlessly post stuff readily available elsewhere, and that what I do post will be, as I've said, rare, out-of-print or just ridiculously hard to acquire.
...I will always have something at least somewhat interesting to write about the stuff I post. Whether you read it or not is entirely up to you. I will not plagiarize other's posts (I've seen this), nor will I ever just copy and paste stuff from All Music Guide or idiot record reviewers. Unless to make the point that they are idiots.
...that I will never pretend I am a rock critic.
...NO passwords. I'm sure people have perfectly good reasons to use passwords on their blog posts, but I sure as hell don't know what they are. Passwords blow.
...that if you use iTunes, the mp3s will go seemlessly into it, cos that's what I use. So no one line all-info-in-the-title info for you to clean up.
...that if you leave me a retarded comment about ripping artists off I will rip you a new one.
...that if you are an artist that I have posted, and/or the copyright holder, and this can be verified, and you object to my post, and you ask me nicely, I will probably most likely consider taking it down and will not get into a big email spat on internet music philosophies cos that bores me. And I won't even hate you. Probably.
...that I am doing this to spread the love of the music I love, and that you should feel the love.
...that I am doing this for "fun" and it should be taken in that spirit. That also goes for my fucked-up opinions, my crude language, my misogyny, misanthropy and xenophobia. But I am not racist. So lighten up.
...that my name really is Peter and that I really am in France I mean New Zealand and that even though I am far from home and loved ones in a strange land and starving for any kind of human contact - or at least virtual contact - I will never, ever fish for comments. Nope, won't catch me doing that. If you wanna leave one, that's fine. It's totally up to you!
...that I will never tell you I love you if I don't.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Bunnydrums - Little Room / Win 7" (1981)

Here's a nice little 7" from '81 to hold you over. Bunnydrums were a Philly band that trafficked in New Wave (as it was called then) with a sinister undercurrent. There were a couple similar bands in Philly at the time--Executive Slacks and Pretty Poison come to mind. The Stickmen. And take out the undercurrent, The Vels.
Not much to say about this one 'cept it's very danceable! This always got 'em up on the dancefloor, whether back in the day or more recently at my monthly punk rock dance party in Tucson. Not-so-coincidentally also called The Pessimist Club (I decided to nick the name from myself!).
Tucson has a weekly dance meat-market for drunken sorority girls and the like called The Optimist Club (which they nicked from Lions or Rotary or something like that). That not being my cup of tea, not least of all due to the exceedingly BAD music, I started The Pessimist Club as an antidote, as a reaction, as a couple fingers up their nose. Actually, it had nothing to do with its evil twin, I just thought the name was clever, and as we mainly played punk/hardcore/noise, it fit perfectly.I do miss TPC, but I am glad to hear my cohorts are carrying on the tradition with jazz and noise nights. The Tucson underground scene is in good hands...

Back to Bunnydrums. Like just about everybody else from that era who isn't dead, they have been back together and doing shows, though I think they're based in NYC now(?), with the de rigeur Myspace page and all. Anyway, good for them! I'm sure they're better than 90% of the crapola that passes for "punk" these days. But I won't get into all that (maybe I would if we didn't have the likes of Clockcleaner offering hopes for the moldy corpse).
Get this single HERE. And dance, baby!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

22-Pistepirkko - "Suburban Ladyland" + 2 single (2008)

If you've been following my blog you'll have figured out two of my most important criteria for posts: 1.) The item should be out-of-print and/or hard to find/acquire, and 2.) that I should have some kind of story, a personal relationship to the item that I can relate to you via the blog. The very essence of blogging, in other words.
While this single is not out-of-print and is in fact a recent release, you would most likely have to send-away to Finland for it. And what with the tanking dollar in relation to the Euro, you'd have to pay a hefty price. But I do have a nice tale for you all concerning this and the LP it's from (I am not posting the LP and encourage you to download it from 22PP's website, which I will give you the link to at the bottom. Let this 3-track single [2 non-LP tracks] serve to whet your appetite for the LP!)

So. I first heard 22-Pistepirkko (the name refers to a kind of ladybug in Finland with 22 spots) when I picked up their LP "Big Lupu" on a trip to Finland in 1993. They have been one of my favorites since, despite being very hard to keep up with from the U.S. until recently with the advent of websites, internet ordering and iTunes (where you can get several of their LPs, including Big Lupu but curiously, not the new one. Oh well, fuck iTunes anyway, really. Stupid copy protected stupid AAC files). They have always trafficked in a unique mix of blues, rock and (GASP) electronica. That, coupled with their excellent, often Beatles-eque (I mean that in the best way possible) songwriting and the fact that they sing in English, makes for a very unique Finnish band. They are a trio consisting of the brothers P-K and Asko and their childhood friend Espe, making music together since 1980 and releasing records as 22PP since '83.
About this time last year I saw a call to the fans on their website to submit photos of "22"s for a cover collage for their new LP, to be produced by one Kramer, he of Shimmy Disc Records, producer of Galaxie 500, and one-time bassist for the mighty Ween and the even mightier Butthole Surfers. They wanted pics of "22" wherever we found them: Route 22, Gate 22. 22nd Street, graffiti, whatever. I resolved to have my own photo of something on the cover. What and from where I did not know. Nothing jumped out at me. Sure, I could have gone down the street and snapped a pic of a neighbor's house number. But what's so special about that? I wanted something grand, something that would blow them away. A centerpiece for the album cover!
As it was, the deadline for submissions was fast approaching and I hadn't found anything. On Labor Day weekend last year I took a trip from Tucson to San Diego on my motorcycle, camera at the ready determined to find something/anything along the seven hour ride. My friends and I had rented a beach house for the long weekend. Their band (The Mission Creeps) were playing a one-off show in San Diego; I was their video artiste/projectionist. We were taking advantage of this show to spend some much needed time at the beach; at the water. Being from the desert, this was a rare treat.
As I got into town I was totally bummed that I hadn't found anything "22" the whole way. As I was making the final turns to the beach house, then the very last turn on to the last street that dead-ended at Pacific Beach I saw HUGE straight ahead in front of me:So there it grand 22-Centerpiece!
I commenced to photgraphing this lifeguard station from all angles and lighting conditions, then uploaded them to the website, just in time for the deadline. Several days later, back home in the desert, I got an email from them saying they liked the photos and would be using one, and asking where I photographed this strange contraption festooned with such a large 22. This pleased me greatly-not only would I be a published photographer, but on an album cover of one of my favorite bands! With a credit, Woo-hoo!
So a couple months go by and I get a small package in the mail from Finland. It is of the single I've posted here. I hurriedly tear it open, examine it front and back...none of my photos. Oh well, they did say it would be on the LP, and that wouldn't be out for a few more weeks. In the meantime, I get to enjoy some new 22PP music at least (funny, I had almost forgotten about...the music). I open the plastic wrap and notice it's a gatefold sleeve. And inside:Wow. The photo I took at sunset is used to stunning effect!
Here's the original:
I shelled out for the limited-pressing vinyl edition of the album, a wheelbarrow of worthless dollars to the Euro and the exorbitant postage fees...but I HAD to get the vinyl, no? What point is having a photo on a CeeDee cover fer chrissake?! Album cover means LP and so what if it means I'm eating ramen for a week!
Here's the album cover for 22-Pistepirkko's 2008 LP "(Well You Know) Stuff Is Like We Yeah!" (I think they could have stuck a "Huh?" in there somewhere, haha):After the little pop masterpiece you've downloaded has burrowed under your skin, you'll surely want to go to 22PP's Bone Voyage (their label) Webshop and get the whole album in 320 download, HERE.
Also visit their website, which has LOTS of FREE downloads, including a complete demo version of their excellent LP "Eleven", here: And their Myspace page is HERE. Become a friend!

Almost forgot! Get the single HERE!

As a post-script, 22-Pistepirkko made their first trip to the States last year, as part of the "Finnish Moosic Tour", put together mainly for SXSW in Austin, they also had dates in Minneapolis (lots of Finns there), and the Knitting Factorys in NYC and LA. I, of course, made the trip to LA for it (and got to visit long-neglected friends at the same time), and it was an amazing night. Not just 22PP, who were wonderful, But also KTU, which I had no idea about but totally blew everyone away. Featuring an insane Finnish accordionist, Kimmo Pohjonen, and two guys from King Crimson, they were LOUD, clear and, well, not funky but...something (here's where you see I'm clearly no rock critic!). Yeah, SOMETHING!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Butthole Surfers - "Double Live" (1988)

This was a numbered, limited edition release on the Butthole's Latino Bugger Veil label. Released on LP, cassette and expanded compact disc editions. This is from my CD. The CDs were released in an edition of 2,750...I don't know the numbers of the others. The show was recorded on DAT, and the packaging had a bootleg look to it, from the B/W cover and plain, typed song list on the back with recording info. And being, I believe the first LBV release, these things left it kind of ambiguous whether it was a legit release or not. The typically disturbing cover art left little doubt for me, though: no-one else, not even an ardent fan, could so nail the Buttholes' aesthetic. The glossy insert and the simple fact that it was available in all three formats left little doubt.
This is a recording of the band at their mid-80's peak when they were by far and without a doubt the best live band out there. We'd go see them at various venues whenever they came around and they never disappointed. Sometimes they could be...frightening.
This recording features two excellent covers: REM's The One I Love, a hit at the time and a song particularly well-suited to Gibby's inimitable singing style. When I first heard them do it, I thought they topped the original (I was never a big REM fan, anyway). The second is Paul's psychotic take of the Leather Nun's already creepy No Rule, long one of my favorite songs (There is also their cover of Grand Funk's, not Sabbath's Paranoid). Lots of their swirly psychedelic jams here, too (shows often went well past the 2-hour mark). Lotsa good old Buttholes mayhem.
I have heard from my friends back in the States that the "classic" line-up has been touring. I haven't heard any reports yet aside from my friends' emails that "they were fucking awesome and we missed you, man!"

Disc One:
01. Too Parter
02. Psychedelic Jam
03. Ricky
04. Rocky
05. Gary Floyd
06. Florida
07. John E. Smoke
08. Tornadoes
09. Pittsburg to Lebanon
10. The One I Love
11. Hey
12. Dum Dum
13. No Rule
14. U.S.S.A.
15. Comb

Disc Two:
01. Graveyard
02. Sweatloaf
03. Backass
04. Paranoid
05. Fast
06. I Saw An X-Ray of a Girl Passing Gas
07. Strawberry
08. Jimi
09. Lou Reed
10. Kuntz
11. 22 Going On 23
12. Creep in the Cellar
13. Suicide
14. Something

As with the Charlie Feathers post, this is tough to find today and commands big bucks on eBay, etc. Like that CD, I sold mine on Amazon for an obscene amount of kablingy. It never fails to surprise me what some people will pay for CDs...vinyl, I can see, but CeeDees?! Oh well, helped out for my trip so WTF!
Get the first disc HERE, second disc HERE. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Billy Childish & Sexton Ming - "Which Dead Donkey, Daddy?" (1987)

Here's an out-of-print and hard-to-find LP from 2 Medway scene greats together. You can still buy their other collaborations, "The Cheeky Cheese" (my favorite) and "Here Come the Fleece Geese", a kind-of sequel, so I won't post them here. But I had to suck it up and dish it out on eBay for this one, to complete my collection. And well worth it, it was. Don't really know what to tell you about this. Thee World-Famous Billy Childish needs no introduction, so I'll concentrate here on the other half. Sexton can be an acquired taste, to put it mildly, but one I acquired immediately. I first heard him years ago on Track 1 of Disc 2 of Sub Pop's "I Am Thee Billy Childish" compilation. I was stunned, "Woah, this ain't Billy" thought I and immediately hit the booklet to see that it was some bloke named Sexton Ming, and it was from this very LP you are now downloading (if you know what's good for you). Years of half-hearted searching for it yielded no results and it receded to the back of my mind and my priorities. Then one day I was talking to my friend Ella, an American living in London. She mentioned that she was dating a musician, a fella by the name of Sexton Ming. My jaw hit the floor. Not that this would be so unlikely, Ella was after all one-half of the Voodoo Queens and quite an accomplished (and now fairly famous) painter (Stuckist). It was just that, was Sexton Ming!
So not long after that I got to meet the man when they flew in to NYC, where I lived at the time. He kinda freaked me out at first, being very quiet and well, if you've seen pictures, you understand. Finally he spoke to me: "I like beer". I had to agree, I did to. We were at a bar on St. Marks and after a few pints we were all lubricated and getting on famously. Turns out he's one of the sweetest gentlemen I have had the pleasure of meeting. He reminds one physically of nothing so much as a Weeble.
After Calamari at Dojo's (L-R): Your Humble Narrator, Sexy, and Thee Timmytatts, 1997

And I am happy to tell you that all these years later, Sexton and Ella are still together, with a family now, a lovely daughter, Lucy. Though I haven't seen them in ages, we are still in email contact. And I miss them.

01. Dung Beetle
02. The Story of the V2, Bomber
03. Mission Mulch
04. Let's Buy a Car
05. Big Beetle Mumma
06. Lesson Number One
07. The Scare-Crow Nation
08. Trixy the Jolly Dustman
09. The Arthur Young Workbench
10. The Double Axe
11. Schrimp Goes Shopping
12. Wally the 2nd Hand Salesman
13. I'm Living in a Grave
14. Who's Driving This Car
15. Talk Dirty To Me
16. Dead Donkey
17. Go To Sleep

Get the nice big fat 320 rip right HERE.
Be sure to visit Thee Medway Beat Appreciation Society blog (link along the side over there) for more Sexton, Billy and sundry Medway needs!

Me So Clever...

No download here, as this is all over the web (for instance HERE...there, I've done the work for you). Just wanted to share this little cover I made in the spirit of the original Album/Cassette/Compact Disc covers for this fairly-decent 1986 release. I got to wondering, I wonder what cover you get if you download it on iTunes? So I looked it up and was quite disappointed to see you get the "compact disc" cover. Someone's not on the ball somewhere. So I made this one up, same generic Helvetica font and all! Simply drag and drop onto your desktop or iTunes or wherever it is you would put such a thing. (Ideally, click on the image first for a slightly larger version.)
Oh, and I won't get into the whole ripping Flipper off blah blah. Flipper's one of my all-time favorites, so I know all about it. Maybe I should make one up for that, too. OK...stay tuned!

Captain Sensible - "Women and Captains First" (1982)

Of all the Damned guitarist Captain Sensible's many solo albums, this is by far his best. And it remains the only one (as far as I know) to never see a CD release; it remains frustratingly out-of-print. I think we can thank the corporate retards at A&M Records for that - this is his only major label release. It is also the album that contains his only hit, the massive rap attack Wot (though I think the goofy Happy Talk may have done something in the UK judging from the gloriously ridiculous Top Of The Pops clip on Youtube). This was a staple of the fledgling network MTV in its early days - it was a delightful irony back in the day that this corporate beast was forced to feature music so resisted by the American mainstream only because these bands were the only ones making videos (my favorite heavy-rotation vid was The Jam's Town Called Malice). Anyway, aside from the rap novelty which opens this record, there are many beautiful, melodic tunes. I suspect one reason for the (artistic) success of this LP is the songwriting participation of Robyn Hitchcock, then of the Soft Boys. There's some rockin stompers as well (well, only Yanks With Guns), but my favorites are the melancholic Martha the Mouth, the seven-minute Brenda and best of all the album's closer, Croydon, wherein the Cap'n looks back mock-wistfully on his hometown and cleaning toilets, from his anticipated home in L.A. from where he will always remember Croydon, "especially in the cold and rain". (As a bonus, I've included the superior 7" version and its B-side, as well as the Captain's version of Elton Motello's Jet Boy, Jet Girl [itself a piss-take of Plastic Bertrand's hit Ca plane pour moi] from the flip of The Damned's Wait for the Blackout 45. Lucky you!)

Back in '82 I went to see The Damned at Philadelphia's tiny East Side Club and we brought this album along for the Captain to sign. He happily did so, scrawling (literally) "Maggie Thatcher is a pig --Captain Sensible" across his mug on the back cover, backwards "e"s and all. It was beautiful. However, I lost this in a break-up (see "The New Wave Girlfriend" from the Wasted Youth post) and this vinyl rip comes from a replacement copy I found in a used bin a few months later. So be warned: this is a very scratchy copy and it's not my fault! I always took (and take) much better care of my records. That said, it doesn't skip and once the music kicks in you'll not notice it too much.
Featured in a 320 rip so every pop and click comes through resoundingly clear, haha. Get it HERE

01. Wot
02. A Nice Cup Of Tea
03. Brenda (Parts 1 & 2)
04. Yanks With Guns
05. Happy Talk
06. Martha The Mouth
07. Nobody's Sweetheart
08. (What D'ya Give) The Man Who's Gotten Everything
09. Who Is Melody Lee, Sid?
10. Gimme A Uniform
11. Croydon
The Captain and an apparently unimpressed bouncer, Damned show at East Side Club, Philadelphia 1982

New! Bonus Bonus!
Get the Capn's 12" Single version of Wot! HERE!The B-Side, Strawberry Dross, is kinda like a mini-album of different, quick songs all interspersed with the "producer" exclaiming "Sounds GREAT!"
F-ing hilarious!

Charlie Feathers - "Get With It - Essential Recordings 1954-1969" (1998 comp)

This is an amazing, must-have compilation for ANY good music collection. Released in 1998 in a typically gorgeous Revenant Records (John Fahey's label) edition, it cosists of two discs. The first is a chronological collection of "hits", not that they ever were, really. Charlie Feathers is most well-known in the underground music community for the original version of The Cramps' song Can't Hardly Stand It, which I'm sure most of you have on either one of the different "Songs The Cramps Taught Us" or "Born Bad" comps. That's how I was introduced to him, and yes, that's on here, but there's so much more as well. It starts out pretty much in full "Hillbilly" (as they called it then, not me) mode, a dead-ringer for Hank Williams but not suffering any for it. Moves on to hiccuping rockabilly and ends in something akin to the Tex-Mex sound popular in the late 60's with Deep Elm Blues. In between we get the politically incorrect Tongue Tied Jill, about a girl with a speech impediment, and Jungle Fever which, know.
But it is on the second disc, the unreleased and rarities, where the revelations are. The three-songs-in-a-row of We're Getting Closer To Being Apart, The Man In Love and Johnny Come Listen are my favorites, and a mind-blower. The Man In Love sounds more like Elliot Smith than Elvis Presley (for whom Feathers penned I Forgot To Remember To Forget). Way ahead of its time. And the ghostly, echo-laden Johnny Come Listen gives me goosebumps every time.
This 2-disc set is long out-of-print and goes for big bucks on eBay and Amazon's secondary sellers (where I sold mine to help raise money for my New Zealand trip). I offer it to you in a 320kps rip, first disc HERE, and second disc HERE. Enjoy!

Disc One:
01. I've Been Deceived
02. Peepin' Eyes
03. Someday You Will Pay
04. Defrost Your Heart
05. Wedding Gown of White
06. Get With It
07. Tongue Tied Jill
08. One Hand Loose
09. Can't Hardly Stand It
10. Bottle To The Baby
11. Everybody's Lovin' My Baby
12. Too Much Alike
13. When You Come Around
14. When You Decide
15. Nobody's Woman
16. Jungle Fever
17. Why Don't You
18. Dinky John
19. South Of Chicago
20. Nobody's Darlin'
21. Deep Elm Blues

Disc Two:
01. Runnin' Around
02. So Ashamed
03. Honky Tonk Kind
04. Frankie & Johnny
05. Corrine, Corrina
06. We're Getting Closer To Being Apart
07. The Man In Love
08. Johnny Come Listen
09. Talkin' 'Bout Lovin'
10. Early In The Morning
11. Don't Let Me Cross Over
12. Where's She At Tonight
13. Don't You Know
14. Wild Side Of Life
15. Release Me
16. Feel Good Again
17. Defrost Your Heart (Early Sun Demo)
18. I've Been Deceived (Early Sun Demo)
19. Bottle To The Baby (Early Sun Demo)
20. Bottle To The Baby (Sun Demo)
21. Bottle To The Baby (King Alternate Take)

Charlie Feathers died in 1998. I don't know when in relation to this release...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Stranglers Live at Emerald City, Cherry Hill, NJ (1981)

Never a big fan of live albums or live tapes, I have this one as a souvenir of the show, which I attended with friends. It's an FM broadcast from Philadelphia's WMMR 93.3 (can you imagine that happening today?). A friend of mine was left at home with the task of taping the broadcast, but of course he flaked on it. Actually, he managed to record the last 10 minutes for me when he finally remembered. But a couple years later I managed to secure this 2nd gen copy from someone selling records and tapes out of the trunk of their car at Trenton's City Gardens' parking lot. It's a pretty decent copy of an excellent show. My favorite bits are the between song banter. I remember being surprised at the time that The Stranglers were such cut-ups.
Emerald City was a strange place for shows, and they had lots of 'em. Formerly the Latin Casino, they used to host the likes of Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, etc. And the place still retained the trappings of the mafia-chic decor, with glitter, cherub'ed water fountains inside, etc. Saw many great shows there in the pre-hardcore days of the late 70's-early 80's: Gang of Four, Stiff Little Fingers, Captain Beefheart, many Ramones shows, Buzzcocks, B-52's, Iggy Pop (during an hellacious snowstorm, "You guys are lucky I showed up". Really, what else was he gonna do in strip-mall hell Cherry Hill?, ensconced as he was at the Hilton across the street), The Jam, XTC, etc. all in their heyday. Even Alice Cooper and Blue Ōyster Cult in "secret" club shows at a time they were playing hockey arenas.
Then that all came to an end when they closed down and became (and believe still are) a car dealership. An ignominious end to a fun place. Other Philly clubs were still going strong (East Side Club, mainly, but Ripley's on South St. as well) bridging the gap (for me, anyway) 'til HxCx shows and their scattershot gigs in the back lot of pizza shops (Abe's), basements, Elks Centers, etc. And then the gorilla of Tri-State shows, City Gardens. Where I practically lived, going to 3-4 shows per week at the peak. I'll find time to go on about the ups and downs and ups of this place in another post.

But for now, HERE's the Stranglers April 11, 1981 show. (Please note with my apologies that 2 songs are together as Track 5 since I missed the track edit - on the toilet or something, haha - and was too lazy to start over). And yup, that's my ticket stub up there as the "cover".

01. Waltzinblack (intro)
02. Threatened
03. The Raven
04. Toiler on the Sea
05. Just Like Nothing On Earth / Thrown Away
06. Who Wants the World
07. Second Coming
08. Meninblack
09. Shah Shah A Go Go
10. Hallow To Our Men
11. Tank
12. Nuclear Device
13. Genetix

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Wasted Youth - "Wild and Wandering" (1981)

Back in the early 80's my girlfriend-at-the-time worked for a small local record store chain outside Philadelphia, Key Records. They had nice, mom-and-pop main street shops in New Hope and Lansdale, and she managed their satellite store in shopping-mall-hell, Montgomeryville. People came from miles around, due to their extraordinary bootleg stock, as well as their extensive Punk/New Wave section, which blew the mall competitor's (Listening Booth and Wall To Wall Sound) out of the water. We would get first dibs (at a "STEEP" discount, nudge, nudge) of all the cool shit that came in, which is how I picked this up. At the time I was totally into hardcore; she was a "New Wave Girl" (as they were called and sung about at the time by lame cashing-in bands. That was the actual title of a song by some jerks called 4 Out Of 5 Doctors, as I recall). She would come to shows with me and get shit from the HC/skinhead girls who would then be shocked that she took no shit. She broke horses, after all, and she ate these skinny little cunts for breakfast, haha).
Anyway, I picked this up thinking it was the other Wasted Youth (I guess this is why they ended up being called "LA's Wasted Youth", like The English Beat), the hardcore band. I was at first disappointed, but not being stupid I soon realized this was a great album. Although it's probably categorized as an early goth LP, and rightly so, it stands head and shoulders above the rest of the genre. Even Bahaus, IMHO. There are fierce rockers like Survivors and I Wish I Was A Girl (something lots of people had a hard time getting their head around, but I thought it was, and is, hilarious. Esp. very loud). There are pop gems that in another universe are probably big hits, like Games. Moreover, this LP is a complete listening experience from start to end.
I was disappointed in their other records I sought out, never listened to them much and they're long gone. But this LP is a masterpiece I can listen to any time, anywhere. On a cold late fall night or a bright sunny day at the beach (well, cos I'm weird that way).
As for Key Records, they disintegrated in a swirl of drugs, divorce and hatred. The wife would come in and take money out of the register, leave orders not to let her husband take any then he'd come in all cranked up, scream "Fuck her and fuck you!" and take the rest of the till. Nasty bill collectors calling and coming by, relaying threats. We saw the writing on the wall (in huge garish spray paint letters) and one night at closing pulled the car up and filled it with boxes and boxes of all the good stuff. It was the best Christmas ever!, haha.
It was quite a loss for the area, and people still speak wistfully of Key Records.
As for the "New Wave Girlfriend", well that ended similarly in a swirl of drugs, hatred, betrayal (mine) and domestic violence (hers on me. That's a whole blog entry in itself...). But after it was over I realized I needed to work at a record store. But it was never quite the same. Considering the owner was a friend of mine.

01. Maybe We'll Die
02. Housewife
03. Games
04. Pinned & Grinning
05. Wasted
06. I Wish I Was A Girl
07. If Tomorrow
08. Survivors Pt. 1
09. Survivors Pt. 2

OK. Get this 320 rip of my overplayed vinyl HERE. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

V/A - "Get Off My Back - Philly Hardcore Compilation" (1983)

I saw this classic comp up on some blog which I can't recall trolling around a few months ago. But I offer it here to you in a big fat 320kps rip (albeit in 3 files. Sounds awesome, though). Another reason I wanted to post it is for the cover art. I photoshopped the shit out of my old, dirty, crinkly LP cover, blowing it up a jillion percent and cleaning it up pixel by pixel. Well, not that intense, but it took a while and I think the results are worth it. Drag the photo over to your desktop, or the jpeg's in the third file, whichever you prefer.
As for the record itself, it's one of my old favorites. Not that all the tracks/bands are great, but there's a great diversity of sound that reflects the Philly scene back in the day. It's not as homogenous as the similarly themed "This Is Boston, Not LA" (though I love that record, too, you gotta admit it's hard to tell a lot of the bands apart).
My favorites here are the YDI tracks that open the album. I gotta say I was pleasantly surprised to find them getting some due in the "American Hardcore" film and soundtrack (though not too surprised, considering Steven Eye donated tons of his video footage from Love Hall shows). YDI are fierce, brutal and beautiful. At least until they went schlocky metal with the "Black Dust" LP. Their "A Place In the Sun" ("is where the nuns lick the devil's cum", as Jackal scrawled on a note when I got the 7" in the mail all those years ago) remains a bona-fide hardcore classic.
Also great are the Autistic Behavior tracks that close out side one; I saw them one time only, opening for Bad Brains at the Elks Center in January '82. I think No Milk and/or Sadistic Exploits also played...anyway, a GREAT show. The McRad tracks are choice, I think their best ever right here.
Anyway, this is a fun spin all the way through that rarely strayed far from my turntable in all those 25, TWENTY-FIVE years. Yeah, this is the 25th Anniversary post!

01. Enemy For Life (YDI)
02. I Killed My Family (YDI)
03. Murder Castle (FOD)
04. Suburban Cowboy (FOD)
05. Conspiracy (Blunder Boys)
06. I'm Afraid of the Night (Blunder Boys)
07. Middle Class Morals (Blunder Boys)
08. No Justice-No Law/No Crime-No Flaw (Little Gentlemen)
09. T.V. Messiah (Autistic Behavior)
10. Power Head (Autistic Behavior)
11. Proof (Ruin...)
12. Love Dog (Ruin...)
13. Right and Wrong (Informed Sources)
14. Dense Pack (Informed Sources)
15. Brain Down (Seeds of Terror)
16. Straight Edge (Seeds of Terror)
17. Inflation Dub (McRad)
18. Ejected (McRad)
19. Ooleigh at Great Adventure (The Heathens)
20. My Twin From Hell (Who WAS That Guy?) (The Heathens)

NEW! Single Megaupload Link: HERE
Rapidshare Links:
Get tracks 1-7 HERE. Get tracks 8-14 HERE. Get tracks 15-20 HERE. Enjoy!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Ed Gein's Car - "Making Dick Dance" (1985), plus 2 singles

Traveling up the Jersey Turnpike about 90 miles, we have NYC's Ed Gein's Car. Again, like Decontrol (below), this is just no-bullshit rock 'n' roll, New York-style. Lots of wit here, with the hilarious "Go Down On My Dog", about a skinhead dog, and "Annette", about the ex-Mousketeer and Skippy-slinger ("You talk to me about protein, I got some protein for ya right here, Annette") Annette Funicello. But my favorite is the straight-up narrative "Boo Fuckin' Hoo", about Bernhard Goetz (the "Subway Shooter", who took down a bunch of black kids he feared were robbing him. Yeah, it was never quite...clear).

01. Bars and Brick
02. Go Down On My Dog
03. Kiss Daddy Goodnight
04. Annette
05. Boo Fuckin' Hoo
06. Progress
07. A Girl Just Like You
08. Selby
09. R.A.P.E.
10. Cream of Wheat
11. Middle (R)age
12. Die Like You Really Mean It
13. Making Dick Dance

Get the vinyl rip - re-upped 7/24/11 - HERE

"Brain Dead Baby" was a 3-track 7" that preceded the album, in 1984.

01. Brain Dead Baby
02. Too Old To Die Young
03. Wait 'til Your Father Gets Home

Get it HERE
And finally, their last release from 1989. Not sure if this was recorded around then or dug up and released posthumously. I know the singer went on to Prong or someone like that (sorry, too lazy to look it up right now...) Anyway, it's classic EGC all the way.

01. Naked Man
02. Consider Being True

All three vinyl rips are @ 320kps. Enjoy.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Blue - "Blastpheme" (1986)

Don't know much about this Philly band. A guy at the great Philadelphia Record Exchange threw this cassette into my bag after one of my apalling spending sprees. Said judging from my purchases I'd like it (he was prolly in the band, eh?). And he was right. Sludgy dirges, rocking precariously on the verge of teetering over. I had the opportunity to see them about 5 years later at some dive in the Jersey boonies. They played in front of the pool table while bemused barflys looked on. I remember one guys name was Sharpie (how do you forget that?). And I remember they rocked the shit outta the place, the precariousness (which I like) by then replaced by a fierce tightness (which I also like). Got some 7''ers I'll try to post in the near future, as well.

01. Cock N Sock
02. Herman
03. Trembling Earth
04. In the Woods
05. Blastpheme
06. Sunk
07. Big Black Boots
08. White Like A Swan
09. Lookin Thru Hell
10. (Kicked Me)
11. Pile O' Iron
12. Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey
13. Zoo Keeper
14. Lookin Thru the Eyes of Hell
15. Big Black Boots
16. All Day
17. Somebody's Dead Now
18. Plaid Sky
19. Kicked Me
20. Be Your Dog
21. Sometimes
22. Truth of It
23. Bad Drugs

Get the hissy cassette rip HERE (RE-UP 6/21/10)

V/A - "That Was Then...This Is Now" (1986)

A great, varied 33rpm 7" EP, it features 4 tracks from mid-80's Philly bands Ruin..., Electric Love Muffin, Scram and F.O.D. (still going strong with a new LP released last month).
The front cover is a shot of the rubble-strewn lot at Broad and South that was Philadelphia's legendary Love Hall. Saw many great shows there -- especially memorable were the Minor Threat and JFA shows.

01. By the By  (Ruin...)
02. Club Car  (The Electric Love Muffin)
03. Something To Cling To  (Scram)
04. Meat Factory (Live)  (F.O.D.)

Get the 192kps vinyl rip HERE

Decontrol - "Songs From the Gut" (1985)

Staying on the Philly tip, here's one of my fave LPs from the 80's, a short, sharp missive from the gut that doesn't fuck around. Neither hardcore, post-punk, alternative or whatever lame catregory you could come up with, the Lp's title says it all. Pure unadulterated angry rock 'n' roll. Catchy tunes, too.
Surprisingly, I never saw these guys during their heyday, but did get to catch them opening for Ruin on their '96 reunion at Nick's. Was not disappointed. Too bad no-one was there yet when they went on, but they played their hearts (guts?) out for me, my friends and a few other early birds.

01. Young and Tired
02. Bunker
03. Deathwish
04. Holiday In New Jersey
05. Never Again
06. Philly Cops
07. Fascists
08. Pillhead
09. Too Much Pressure
10. Prostitute
11. Decontrol Theme
12. 1992

Get the UPGRADED 320kbps vinyl rip HERE!

The Electric Love Muffin - "Playdoh Meathook" (1987)

Another Philadelphia band, ELM straddled the Hardcore/Post-Punk era of the mid-late 80's. You could say they were an early "alternative" band (though I despise that marketing term). They played lotsa shows around the Philly/Allentown area and were always fun. This is their first LP. A highlight of the album is their raucous cover of "Norwegian Wood", a bookend to Ruin's "White Rabbit" in the previous post. I had a nice video clip on Youtube of them doing that song at CBGB, but my whole account was pulled by NBC's corporate control-freak pricks for having the B-52's on SNL up, nevermind that 98% of my clips were my own and shot with permission (many remain on my Myspace. Click on "more from this user"  at the end of the Ruin vid, below. Lotsa good stuff).

01. Backstreet Ride
02. I Should Have
03. Look For Me
04. Norwegian Wood
05. This Time I'm Gone
06. Blackness That Could be Blue
07. The Muffin March
08. One Year Removed
09. Tomorrow's Regrets
10. Magna Opus

Get the UPGRADED 320kbps vinyl rip HERE!

RUIN... "Songs of Reverie and Ruin" (1996 comp)

For my first offering to you, dear reader, I give you Ruin. A Philadelphia band from the mid-80's, Ruin were a phenomenal live band. One of the best I've ever seen and I've seen them all. They wore all white, lit prayer candles onstage before playing, then unleashed a titanic fury. They were heavily influenced by the likes of Black Sabbath at a time when that was anathema, long before "My War" or "Slip It In". Check their gargantuan version of the Stones' "Play With Fire". Their music has been called Buddhist Hardcore (see Gibby's quote in the Butthole Surfers chapter of "Our Band Could Be Your Life"). Whatever, it's great punk rock, great rock 'n' roll. They covered not one, but two Leonard Cohen songs, one on each album. Quoth Master Cohen (in Spin, back when it was half-decent): "On this new album by Ruin, they sing the first verse of the Master Song more or less as I sing it, but then they bring this world to it of every sound you ever heard and murder it, but as it should be murdered. It's a clean killing."

Here's a video of Ruin in action I shot in Philly in '96, a reunion celebrating the release of this CD:

Ruin released 2 LPs, 1984's "He-Ho" (Red Records) and 1985's "Fiat Lux" as well as several compilation tracks. Their complete discography is here on this out-of-print 1996 remastered comp from Black Hole Records, minus a couple redundancies.
Download is 320kps HERE and HERE.

01. Alter
02. Dionysian
03. Freedom Has No Bounds
04. Baby Doll
05. He-Ho/Laudium
06. Alarm
07. Master Song
08. Where Fortune
09. Play With Fire
10. Rule Worshipper
11. Twilight
12. Proof
13. Phenomenal Expression
14. Love Dog
15. By the By
16. White Rabbit
17. You
18. Make Believe
19. Hero
20. Famous Blue Raincoat
21. Life After Life
22. China
23. Taster
24. Ruin
25. The Great Divide
26. Real Good Time

Play often, play loud, play well.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Pessimist Club

Another ill-fated internet venture for me? My podcast didn't hold my interest, not least of all due to iTunes' indifference to it. Fuck them.
So here I will periodically post music that A) is hard to find, physically or on the blogosphere (christ, I  never thought I'd use that ridiculous word), B) I like and would like to share, C) I think will annoy as many people as possible, D) any combination thereof.
So to start off I will click "publish post" and see what this stupid thing looks goes...