Archive for the 'rocknroll' Category

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“Crystal Clear” by the Darling Buds

darling.jpgI miss hearing stuff like this on the radio. The Darling Buds get lumped in with all of the late-80s/early-90s woman-led British bands, but they stick out for me for some reason. I’m kind of a sucker for poppy stuff like this where someone paid way too much attention to the background guitar sounds.

Though not on this record, former Darling Bud Donna Matthews played in Elastica as well.

The Darling Buds, “Crystal Clear” from the Crawdaddy LP on Epic Records (1990)

On Youtube:
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“Crash,” by the Primitives, the group I always confuse with the Darling Buds:
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“Cleopatra” by Elastica

elastica.jpgHorrible surface-noisy recording of the free flexi that came with vinyl copies of Electrica’s 1995 LP. Nothing unexpected here, but seemed like I needed to ri this before it completely disintegrated.

I always loved this group’s unassuming, lazy-almost-bored delivery. Also, you gotta love a band who’s not afraid to bite both Wire and the Stranglers.

Next up is an Elastica related post, by member Donna Matthews’ prior band, the Darling Buds. Seems like I’m posting a lot of female lead vocal stuff lately, huh? Don’t expect it to stop.

Elastica, “Cleopatra” from the free flexi 45 accompanying the Elastica LP on Geffen Records (1995)

“Strip Me” by Suzi Quatro

suzi.jpgThis sludgey rocker is my favorite Suzi Quatro song. Like much of her work, it’s kind of dirty-clean.

The best part of her career, let’s call it the pre-Leather-with-a-capital-L phase, consists of this rocky, glammy, screamy type stuff; I can’t believe she’s not much more popular. Her later stuff gets a little lite-rock, but my second favorite Quatro jam, “Stumblin’ In,” which she recorded with Smokie (see below), is about as lite as it gets. Picture me and Kelly in a karakoe duet: this is the jam.

Suzi Quatro, “Strip Me” from the Your Mama Wouldn’t Like Me LP on Arista (1976)

SO BAD ASS.

Her breakthrough 1973 song, “Can the can”:
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& 1979′s “Stumblin’ In”:
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“Henry’s In Love,” by Henry Badowski

I recently ripped my LP of Henry Badowski’s Life is a Grand for our friends over at dualtrack, so it’s been turning up on my iPod all the time lately. While I like all of the dense and poppy tracks, I find myself repeating this one over and over again. The lyrics fit together really well, I think.
Henry Badowski, “Henry’s In Love” from the Life is a Grand LP (1981)

If you like this track, go get the whole album zip– James from dualtrack was kind enough to post it on rapid share.

& please, if anyone has any requests of things you’d like me to post, let me know. I know I’m likely to continue in my own directions until someone requests I try a new one.

“Suicide Jockey” by Tyla Gang

279855.jpgA mishmash of 70s styles. I first fell in love with Tyla Gang because of their enigmatic rambler “Styrofoam,” which Stiff released on 45 in 1976, and I heard on an early Stiff Records compilation. Buy that song.

This song is equally as confusing as “Styrofoam”, but endearing in how it pulls together the sounds of Thin Lizzy, Frampton, Santana, Stooges, Buffalo Springfield, and Alice Cooper into one strangely subdued song about suicide. Y’all hear all of that?

The bside, “Cannons of the Boogie Night,” however, does not live up to the promise of its title.

Tyla Gang, “Suicide Jockey,” from the Skydog Records 45 (1977)

“Sound Alarm,” by Polyrock

poly.jpgGreat new wave from NYC. I really love the use of warm, light keys in all of this band’s music. This album was produced in part by Phillip Glass, which may be why it sounds so fresh still.

I just found out that this album, as well as their album Changing Hearts were re-released by Wounded Bird this year. I think I’ve picked up all of their discs in the dollar bin, but I urge you to get the cds. That way you don’t have to deal with any surface noise. & check out Wounded Bird’s tons of other great 60s, 70s, and 80s re-releases while you’re at it.

One of the things I love about this record sleeve beyond the awesome colors and typography, is the portraits on the back… it seriously looks like 5 of the 6 are the same person in different clothes and poses:

poly2.jpg

Now that’s a look. Find more tracks on their myspace page.

Polyrock, “Sound Alarm,” from the Polyrock LP (1980)

“Up in Daisy’s Penthouse,” by Jody Harris and Robert Quine

dsc_0009.jpgOn the heals of my Raybeats post is the Harris/Quine project I alluded to. Robert Quine, who I learned had died on at trip to Subterranean Records a couple years ago, was, like the Raybeats, a very influential musician. He did stints with Richard Hell & the Voidiods, in Lou Reed’s band, with Lydia Lunch, James White & the Blacks, They Might Be Giants, Material, and many more.

This is a nice landscapy track with a nice little lofi drum machine beat. Background music for some, I suppose.

Jody Harris and Robert Quine, “Up in Daisy’s Penthouse,” from the Escape LP on Lust/Unlust (1981)

Here Quine is onstage with Lou Reed, smoking and playing “Some Kinda Love” with Italian chatter overdub!

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“Holiday,” by The Odd Numbers

dsc_0006.jpgI bought this 7″ at a WAX show in 1993 or 1994… WAX’s singer, Joe Sib, who had started Side 1 Records, put it out. It’s amazingly tight-sloppy mod indie rock from when that seemed like a fresh, new idea. I really like the guy’s nearly-British accent. The B-side of this disc has a great cover of “Ever Fallen In Love,” which was the first I ever heard of the Buzzcocks.

Whenever I play this out in public someone always comes up to me to tell me that it was their favorite song in some skate video they saw in high school.

I have a full-length album on CD of these guys called Retrofitted for Today, that also has some great cuts on it, but they’re much more polished and lack the energy of this track. It appears that they’re still together, and putting out records.

The Odd Numbers, “Holiday” from the Side 1 records 45 (1993)

Totally unrelatedly, the reason we were at the WAX show, is that my high school friends and I became big fans of theirs after they sneaked us into Trees in Dallas to see fIREHOSE play on a school night once. They were opening, and we happened to be the only folks at their instore performance downtown that afternoon (fIREHOSE was supposed to be the instore performer) Since we weren’t old enough to get in to the show that evening, they told us to come back before the show so we could carry their gear in. WAX later had mild fame with a Spike Jonze video for Souther California, off of their second album, 13 Unlucky Numbers. Also, their drummer Loomis sometimes pops up in Jackass videos.[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/dPT7q825gwI" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

“The Big Country,” by the Raybeats

raybeats.jpgI put the Raybeats up there with the Fleshtones in terms of solid, high-energy acts from the early 80s that never really got their due. This track is from the Raybeats’ follow-up to the legendary Guitar Beat (which was re-released on a now hard-to-find CD in 97). “The Big Country” is a standout on It’s Only A Movie due to its more abstract, filmic approach– the rest of the tracks, in line with most of the Raybeats material is much more R&B/Surf-guitar oriented and up-tempo.

The band itself is comprised of some very important musicians who were highly influential, but seem to have flown mostly under the radar when it comes to their actual names. Jody Harris, one of the guitarmen in the group, teamed up with the late Robert Quine to record under their own names (more on that later), and also played with the Contortions, and eventually the Golden Palominos. Pat Irwin, also in the Contortions, has links to John Cage and William Burroughs, and eventually did some production for Love Tractor and ended up in the B52s. Check out more band history on their embryonic site.

The Raybeats, “The Big Country,” from the It’s Only a Movie LP on Shanachie (1983)

What I find remarkable about this track is that it sounds like it could have appeared on some of the late 90s Tortoise-crew records. This song actually comes to mind when I think of Tortoise’s TNT, and I can’t force myself to remember a note of music that actually appears on that.

Guitar Beat is a much more solid album, more in the party vibe than It’s Only A Movie. You should pick it up both if you see them. They’re strangely expensive online, but seem to pop up all the time in dollar bins.

Here’s a video of “Jack the Ripper,” also from It’s Only A Movie

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“Thank You Mum/Pam’s Moods,” by Kilburn & the High Roads

Kilburn & the High RoadsA proto-Blockheads twofer. My love for all things Dury is not a secret. Just about everything I have that Ian Dury recorded is perfectly funky and wry. There’s one hit-or-miss 12″ from the late 80s where he has a peace symbol shaved into his head, but mostly it’s all golden.

This pair of tracks from the Kilburn & The High Roads are about as early as it gets. This band opened for The Who! The songs on this 10″, in a less scratchy form, are available on Handsome. I bought this in the sad final days of Sound Exchange on Guadalupe in Austin. 30% off!

Kilburn & The High Roads, “Thank You Mum/Pam’s Moods” from the Upminster Kids 10″ (1975)

Incidentally, Ian’s son, Baxter Dury, has recorded two of the best albums since 2000, in my opinion. Buy them.