Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Two More From Boston

I've been spending a big chunk of my morning setting up posts to go through the next couple of months. I'm rapidly wearying of trying to come up with clever shit to say about records. These are from the Boston Area.

This is the new wave-y one. There's a farfisa on "Inanimate Objects". "Neighborhood Kids" is more power pop. If they weren't on the same single I might otherwise have thought them by two different bands.

Infliktors (1979)

This is the first record on Ace of Hearts and is notable (to me anyway) for how fucking good the guitar sounds on the A side. There's another song on this record, but it's not nearly as good if not rather crap in comparison to that guitar tone.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Choose Your Band Name Carefully

In the annals of bad band names for actually quite good bands, Balloon Guy has to be really high on the list.

They existed for a chunk of the mid-90's in Minneapolis, managed to get signed to Warner Brothers in the frenzy to find the next big thing that was supposed to follow grunge, squeezed out a long player and an ep onto cd and then dissolved into nothingness.

Before they left they did manage to leave a quartet of seven inches in the pre-Warner Brothers period. It was sometime around 1994 or so that I think I first encountered them. I was heading into work by Loring Park and there was a band playing in the park. I stopped to listen. I liked what I heard. I sought out the records. The rest is as they say history.

Theirs is a fuzzy tense brand of so called "indie rock" that a lazy person might point to Pavement as  sonic brethren. I'm even lazier. I won't do that. The songs are structured. The lyrics pointedly impressionistic and leave themselves open to interpretation in multiple ways. There's layers on layers here and some really nice drumming throughout holding it all together.

As it is, I'm still a bit groggy this morning and finding that squeezing descriptive phrases for music to be rather difficult right now. You'll just have to trust me on this. Try it. You may like it. 

Someday enough people may discover this small cache of goodness and prompt a reunion show or two so that they may live out their days basking in the warm glow of vindication. Until now. There's these as well as used copies of "West Coast Shakes" & "Soundbull" to be found cheap.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

I Hate Christmas Music

I really do.

I find it to be perhaps the lowest form of the novelty song. (and coming from someone who is a big fan of novelty songs, is saying kind of a lot) Nevertheless, there are a great many people who quite enjoy it and for some reason aren't covering their collective ears from the day after Thanksgiving until New Year's just waiting for the tide of shitty music to blow over for another year.

This post is for them.

Because the truth of the matter is that part of being an obsessive collector type is that when one does spend the countless hours searching out complete discographies many of them are littered with crap that you need to have anyway to cross one more thing off the list for better or worse.

 the Greedies (1979)

What happens when the less interesting half of the Sex Pistols hook up with Thin Lizzy to cash in on a fast One-off Christmas medley? This stuff. It's one for the completists. These lazy fucks couldn't even be bothered to come up with a b-side. It's just some kind of backwards remix of the front. Pure bullocks!

I love Morphine. This is one of those rarities that sputtered out in all kinds of odd places during their way too brief existence. The Christmas side is certainly not one of Mr. Sandman's better efforts, but I can't really argue with having the song "Cure for Pain" on a vinyl format at least somewhere in my world.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

More Compliations

Kids today forget how essential compilation records used to be. (And stay off my lawn while you're at it.)

In the dark ages before the internet and google, youtube and wikipedia a person had to find out about music on the streets like an animal through actual human interaction with like minded individuals who a person would have to talk to in order to share information about music that either of you enjoyed and the other may or may not have heard of. You'd also have to listen to something called a "radio" and more specifically ones attached to colleges which weren't bound by commercial concerns so the kids who ran them could play pretty much whatever the fuck they wanted and did. There might also be xeroxed 'zines around that would also have articles and interviews with bands you might not know of, but may find interesting.

And then there were always compilations. These could be a goldmine of introductions to things. You'd get one for one song by one band you liked and you'd discover a couple more and the cycle of life would continue until you're old and sitting on a shit ton of records and wondering if you've wasted your life.

So what we have here is a compilation of four bands from the Buffalo, NY area circa 1981. There apparently was a small but robust music scene in the area with enough stuff to cobble together a "Bloodstains Across" lp. This little slice is probably most notable for an appearance by the Vores, one of the vanguard of punk bands in Buffalo, who put out a pair of well regarded singles and who have existed periodically long enough to have a Facebook page. 
It's some decent stripped down rock and roll all the way through perfect for drinking beer and shoveling snow. It's not likely to change your world, but it's certainly not going to ruin your day.

This is an entirely different beastie. It came out on Subterranean Records also in 1981 and features some half baked recordings of bands that seem to have been from Arizona. (It's in the title of the record and I'm not going to argue.) This is very much in the vein of starting the band before learning how to play an instrument school of rock and roll primitivism . It's one two three Go!

There's not really much information on either bands to be found beyond a mention of their existence here and there and this page about Jr. Chemists from somebody who cared enough to type it out. Read it at your leisure.

Friday, December 19, 2014

SF Underground

I have nothing much to say. I want to post something.

 Here's both of the SF Underground compilation seven inches. You're welcome. 

Flipper Rules, Ok?

Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Elephant 6 Recording co.

The Elephant 6 Recording co. A loose collective of friends and bands that put out lots and lots of varied and interesting things throughout the 90's with long involved names and mostly done independently and at home. Anything with that logo was like a stamp of approval for me and I'd buy it without blinking or question and for the most part thoroughly enjoy it for the longest time. I really enjoyed the modern lo-fi aesthetics (born as much out of necessity as conscious decision) that took certain aspects of 60's Pop & Psych and fed through a meat grinder into a 4-track machine. It worked for me. I'm a sucker for a good trippy pop song.

My introduction was Apples in Stereo and it was happenstance that would lead me down the rabbit hole for a long time to come. Their first single was released on the Bus Stop Label. I liked Bus Stop records. I bought the Apples in Stereo one. I liked it. I noticed the little Elephant 6 Recording co. logo on the record and started seeing it on other things.

I got this one for the Apples in Stereo and found myself introduced to Olivia Tremor Control. The bands would tour and I'd go and see them. Apples in Stereo played with Olivia Tremor Control in the 7th St Entry and had some guy who called himself Neutral Milk Hotel playing with them and so one and so forth and then I got a computer and hooked onto the interwebs and a universe opened up and rained down glorious music upon us all and I end up with a drawer full of aging t shirts of nearly every E6 band that came through ton at some point in the following decade and fond memories & impressions of a lot of shows. And everybody lived happily ever after, amen. You should have been there.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Elongated Players

For a change of pace some 12" Elongated Players for your delectation & dissection.

The V; ep by V; (1982)

This was released on Propeller Products in 1982. Previous to that they'd released a single "Dinner Music for the Starving" (which is deep deep in the pile. I'll get around to it someday.) "Sirens" is one of those songs that I'm really surprised didn't at least become some kind of local hit. It's a dark little pop tune seemingly about sexual obsession. It's always a hit around my place. The rest of the ep gets a bit jarring with some more damaged arty punk stylings, more soothing darkness and culminating in a lovely song celebrating Daved Hild, one of the members of the legendary makers of Art Punk mischief, the Girls. A band so good that noted Pere Ubu frontman, David Thomas thought them worth of being the only non-Ubu/Cleveland related release on his Hearthan label when he foisted the single greatest one chord song in the history of recorded music unto the world in the form of the Girls' "Jeffrey, I Hear You" (also in the pile of eventually things)

 Speaking of the Girls.

Hi Sheriffs of Blue (1982)

This was the band formed by the two members of the Girls who apparently didn't hate each other. They'd moved to NYC, a bit too late to get themselves included in the annals of the legendary scene and consequently the band floats around in the limbo of "also" bands that may get a mention in a footnote in some scholarly tome discussing the No Wave scene as having also played with somebody whose records you can't afford. Doesn't matter. You can still afford Hi Sheriffs of Blue vinyl. I haven't heard the releases previous to this one, but this is sort of hard to fully fathom. There's some dub stylings in "12 Gates" that may or may not keep your sea going vessel buoyant. I kind of yawn in the presence of too much echo and reverb in that context. For my money, the second side is where the gold is. "19-80 Now" is a schizo take on the blues followed by "Pentagon" which makes one wonder how much you'd have had to shell out for this vinyl relic if Mark Dagley & George Condo had decided to move to NYC sooner.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Not all Sarah Bands Were Whiny

I'm pretty sure that the first single on the Sarah label that I picked up lo those many years ago was this one by the Golden Dawn. I don't know why. It may simply have been that it was cheap enough and looked interesting enough to me on that particular day that I decided to fork over a couple of bills to see what it was about.

I may have had the opportunity to listen to it. There were listening stations at some places I frequented where one might sample some of the used wares. I think the first few seconds of "George Hamilton's Dead" would certainly have sold me with "Let's Build a Dyson Sphere" sealing the deal. I have no regrets. 

(I also might have been initially interested because the name is the same as a particular 60's band who put out one rather decent record on International Artists and I liked making mixed tapes.)


So at some point I added Sarah Records to my list of things to pick up when I ran across them cheap enough. It didn't always work out for the better (there's quite a bit of really whiny crap) but there were more than a few winners that balanced out things enough to make it worth my while.


 I ended up with two by Action Painting. The noisier of them is the second one. I like that one better. Your mileage will vary.