Archive for the 'rocknroll' 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).

“And He Descended into Hell” by Microdisney

crooked.jpgA strange, downtempo, twangy number from Microdisney, which feaures Sean O’Hagan of The High Llamas and Turn On (and, frequently, of Stereolab).

This album will feel familiar to any High Llamas fans, as it includes many lush arrangements of strangely-worded pop songs. Plenty of banjo as well. What’s a little strange about it is that the songs sound almost like they’re trying to be conventional… something I think O’Hagan is incapable of. I wonder if that’s the major label influence.

The first time I came across this album was in the mid 90s at School Kids Records in Carrboro, NC. There was a title card for them in the CD stacks, but no discs. I later found this LP at a store in Cleveland, and noticed Sean O’Hagain was involved. Needless to say, I think $1.99 was a deal.

Microdisney, “And He Descended Into Hell” from the Crooked Mile LP on Virgin Records (1987)

Phantom Tollbooth two-fer

tollbooth.jpgA few days ago, I went on a long walk on Brooklyn in search of some clementines. I ended up getting some at a produce stand in Cobble Hill, which is separated from my neighborhood by the Gowanus Canal, a filthy, opaque body of water that fills with poop when it rains. Jonathan Lethem called it the only body of water in the world that’s 90% guns in Motherless Brooklyn.

Anyway, when I was walking across it, I was reminded by Phantom Tollbooth‘s song “Down by the Gowanus,” and here it is, a fittingly fractured, sludgey ode to the canal. It’s short, so I’ve also included the brief instro freakout “Circle of Wolves.”

I’m sure someone could prove me wrong on this, but I think that Homestead Records pretty much ruled the late 80s– I’m only appreciating how much this is true in hindsight. Most everything they but out but the Dinosaur Jr/Sebadoh/Big Black stuff bored me to tears back then. Maybe this is grown up rock.

Phantom Tollbooth, “Down By The Gowanus” from the Power Toy LP on Homestead Records (1987)

Phantom Tollbooth, “Circle of Wolves” from the Power Toy LP on Homestead Records (1987)

“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)

“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)

“Holy Holy” by Play Dead

playdead.jpgBack from Buffalo with a million things to do. Here’s a quick holdover goth post I ripped from vinyl before I left.

I have a new batch on deck that I’ll begin posting soon, please let me know if there are any requests.

Here’s some mid-80s fuzzy goth from UK’s Play Dead. Weird but funky. Maybe more akin to a darker A Certain Ratio than anything typically goth. They’re on MySpace– more songs and obligatory reissue information there.

Play Dead, “Holy Holy” from the From the Promised Land LP on Clay Records (1984)

“Inkpot” by Shocking Blue

blue.jpg

Continuing in the same genre: another tough, layered female-led pop song.

Most know Shocking Blue from Bananarama’s cover of their hit “Venus.” This is probably my 2nd or 3rd favorite song by SB (“Hot Sand” and “Send Me a Postcard” figure in there too), but the lyrics for this one are the best. Is “putting the ink in the ink pot” really something everyone can relate to? It kinda makes me think I don’t properly know how to put some love in my heart. Notice the early sitar lead-in that they didn’t edit out. All of these pieces make a great whole.

Shocking Blue, “Inkpot” (1972)

Check out this great video for their version of “Venus”:[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/U2DBcbZc3ck" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]
They have such a great look.

I’ll post more tunes from this era in Dutch music soon.