Archive for the 'music' Category

“Claire” by Baxter Dury

After a helping a friend set up a new blog this week, I realized it was time to revive DRNRN!, which I’d been planning to do for months now. Mostly after seeing what Kaleb’s been doing over at Dynamite Chair, I’ve been thinking of changing my approach (which had been to post single tracks from my record collection) to focusing more on single tracks from anywhere, if they mean something to me. So, here goes.

This one is still a bit of a vinyl story, since it involves the new single from Baxter Dury that arrived in the mail yesterday. It was technically a Record Store Day 2011 release, but since the US has consistently slept on Dury, it was only available in the UK. I bought it from Banquet Records last week and it came very quickly. (Aside: have you noticed how much more skillfully packed parcels from England tend to be? So slender, yet so strong!) The person who packed the 45 left a little note for me along the lines of “Thanks for your order. Did you manage to pick up any other RSD ’11 items? -Chris.” I was dying to answer yes, I did, but realized I couldn’t. I imagine he knows I did.

Anyway, without further ado, “Claire.”

The b-side is an equally great song, “The Sun.” Both are a little crisper and brighter than his other records, but very much in the same vein. Baxter’s songs are so different from his father’s in almost every way, but the wryness, the humor, and the effortless way they inhabit the characters in their songs. Here they are together on the cover of New Boots and Panties:

2002′s Len Parrots Memorial Lift and 2005′s Floor Show are both subtlely brilliant records that never got the attention they deserved, as evidenced below.

Beneath The Underdog

Lucifer’s Grain

Francesca’s Party

Cocaine Man

For those interested in both Durys, the film “Sex & Drugs & Rock n Roll” is a must see, but probably for fans only. It’s on Netflix Instant!

Oh, and to Chris from Banquet: I picked up the two Black Angels RSD ’11 releases and I’ve been obsessed with “Melanie’s Melody” and “Choose to Choose” for the last 6 weeks.

“You sold the cottage” by Martha and the Muffins

martha.jpgBefore another month goes by, I have to make another post. I have many on deck, and a big project to procrastinate from, so I’m hoping to squeeze in a few posts this week before we go on vacation the first week of August. & on the cusp of something great is the perfect time to post about Martha & the Muffins (later M+M), one of the greatest Canadian bands of all time. & that’s saying a lot.

This track, from their 3rd LP, This is the Ice Age,  is one of my favorites, and demonstrates their keen attention to sound. Their albums are so amazingly mixed it gives me goosebumps to listen to them. Also, this album’s cover is just gorgeous in every detail, down to the tiny typography.

This is the Muffin’s first album produced my Daniel Lanois, the production genuis– he happened to be the brother of Jocylene, the band’s new bassist. Lanois, with Brian Eno, is responsible for blowing the world’s mind with the production on the Joshua Tree. The band eventually had 2 Marthas (!) and even featured Tim “not that Tim Gane” Gane and his brother Mark. Talented siblings.

Martha & The Muffins, “You sold the cottage” from the This is the Ice Age LP on Virgin (1981).

You should pick up a copy of the reissued Danceparc cd ASAP.

Here’s a video of the group performing “Echo Beach,” from their first album.

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 & a mix I recently made featuring their great track “Cheesies & Gum” about 1/3rd of the way in (track 6).

“Kelly Kilogram” by Janeen Brady

metrics.jpgSorry for two reasons! First, I apologize for not posting for so long… I’ve been having some hardware issues lately that are keeping me from getting good recordings. Hope to have that sorted soon. So, on to the next apology: this post is only about half as good as it should be. I bough this metric system indoctrination LP in Boston several years ago because of this song, “Kelly Kilogram.” It’s got a great groove, but I was disappointed that the singer envisions Kelly as a man, instead of a woman. I was hoping to make this my wife’s theme song.

Anyway, here it is. I wish we were on the metric system.

Janeen Brady, “Kelly Kilogram” from the The Metrics Are Coming LP (1977)

“Rainbow” by Jerry Adams

adams.jpgSmooth reggae groove with some nice synthy effects. Honestly, though, I just think this one is a great song.

This one is also produced by T.T., who I noted in drnrn!’s first real post. I’ve managed to track down several other cuts produced by this guy, and I’ll post some more soon. This, I think, is the most traditional one I’ve got.

Jerry Adams, “Rainbow” from the Tuff Beat 12″(1980)

“Back Too Black” by Keith Levene

levene.jpg btooback.jpg

Strange white-vinyl EP from PiL’s (and early Clash member) Keith Levene released about a year after he left the group. I had to post both the front and back cover images because I love the picture of him with the boombox. You really get the sense that he’s going it alone until you realize someone had to take that shot.

Levene left PiL over disagreements during the recording of their breakthrough This Is What You Want… This Is What You Get (which was rerecorded after Levene’s departure). Levene released his versions of the songs on Commercial Zone. This is pretty much where PiL changed course, from great post-punk band to pretty-great pop band. I still got love for you, late 80s/early 90s PiL!

But my loyalty lies with the originals like Levene and Jah Wobble, who continued to release interesting, funky, and inspired music well after their PiL years. This rough and dubby track is representative of the whole EP, which lived on a Penelope Spheeris movie soundtrack and on his Violent Opposition album.

Keith Levene, “Back Too Black” from the 2011 Back Too Black LP on (1984)
Keith and Jon Lydon on Tom Snyder’s Tomorrow Show (around the release of Second Edition, I believe):[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/uc3KDmX96jw" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

“Gutter Press” by Richard Strange

strange.jpgNice sloppy upbeat number from Richard Strange‘s 1980 debut solo album. Amazing imagery on this album cover.

From his website:

His rumbustious and unpredictable life has led him to cross paths with characters as diverse as The Sex Pistols and Princess Diana, John Cleese, Grace Jones and Damien Hirst.

Who else can say that? Especially when you throw “rumbustious” “Grace Jones” in there.

Richard Strange, “Gutter Press” from the The Live Rise Of Richard Strange LP on ZE Records (1980)

“Tempest” by Drop Nineteens

drop.jpgThis is a rocking Pixiesish track from a post-shoegaze-phase Drop Ninteens. & it’s about Boston!

I find this song a bit shocking; especially after listening to the rest of the Drop Nineteens’ Caroline and Hut records releases. It’s so upfront and tight. Seems to me this should have been all over mainstream radio in 1993.

Drop Ninteens, “Tempest” from the Limp EP on Hut Records (1993)

“Winona”, from Delaware:
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“My Aquarium”, from the My Aquarium EP:
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90s!

“Nadine” by Kevin Dunn

independents.jpgStrange, fuzz-rock cover of the Chuck Berry Classic from the guy who produced Pylon’s “Cool” and co-produced the B52s’ “Rock Lobster.”

 

The backing vocals on this sound different to me every time I hear them. Some great out-of-control noises on this one as well. Based on this recording, I bought a copy of Kevin Dunn’s C’est toujours la meme guitare LP, but it was shattered when it arrived in the post.  If anyone has this album, I’d LOVE a rip of it.

 

Kevin Dunn, “Nadine” from the A Declaration of Independents compilation LP on Ambition records (1981)

“Spread the Groove” by Bohannon

bohannon.jpgWhat else can be said about you after your name is repeatedly shouted out in one of the greatest songs ever recorded? Not much, so I’ll let Hamilton Bohannon speak mostly for himself. I have to admit, I’d listened to and loved the Tom Tom Club’s “Genius of Love” for more than a decade before I bothered to figure out who this guy was. He created some of the tightest and funkiest dance music of the 70s, I my opinion, and was no slouch when it came to album covers either.

From the sleeve to Dance Your Ass Off:

PLAY THIS RECORD LOUD
P.S. Dance Your Ass Off is not used in the sense of profanity.

There’s a signed 8×10 of Bohannon in the basement of Union Hall, a bar in my neighborhood, that I think is there mostly to spotlight his hairdo. I covet it.

Bohannon, “Spread the Groove” from the Dance Your Ass Off LP on Brunswick Records (1975)

Tom Tom Club’s “Genius of Love”:
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“The Man in the Dark Sedan” by Snakefinger

snake.jpgSnakefinger is lauded for his masterful guitar work, but I think his real genius lays in his ideas about percussion. This album, and this track in particular, give you a taste of that.

A frequent collaborator with the Residents, Snakefinger appears on most of their most recognizable recordings, like “Eskimo” and Tunes of Two Cities. He was set to lay down tracks in 1987 on the Residents’ God in 3 Persons album (which ruined my mind forever when I was 13), but he died of a heart attck while performing on stage just before the sessions.

Snakefinger,”The Man in the Dark Sedan,” from the Greener Postures LP on Ralph Records (1980)