Welcome to my blog!
UPDATE: Mediafire have suspended my account and locked my downloads. Having endured the tedium of re-uploading everything I had previously hosted on Mega Upload onto Mediafire earlier this year, I can't be arsed re-uploading everything again.
So please don't ask for things to be reuploaded!
I undertake this venture knowing that I don't have the spare time to do it, but feel that these artists NEED TO BE HEARD (please excuse my shouting!). Or is that I think I need to be heard? Or that there are (or have been) some great music blogs that have inspired me to wanna jump on the bandwagon? Probably all of the above??I hope you enjoy the blog. If I turn one person onto these bands that turned me on then it will all have been worth it!
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Of these 4 comments, only one comment actually related to the material I have made available.
Fortunately this comment, on my Phonograph post, indicates that I have turned at least one person onto one of these bands. So in terms of the modest metric indicated in my blog header (If I turn one person onto these bands that turned me on then it will all have been worth it!), I have been successful!
However, I'd like to hear what other people think of the material I have made available. Do I have a leg to stand on, or am I a misguided fool? Does this blog fill a niche?
Second opinions may help people to take a chance and try out some of this stuff.
All comments, positive or negative, appreciated. I don't bite!
Friday, January 28, 2011
Wilco - 2004 - The Wilco book CD
1. Pure Bug Beauty
2. This is New
3. Diamond Claw
4. This is New (The Explanation)
5. What Good Am I
6. Here Comes Everybody
8. The High Heat
10. Barnyard Pimp
FLAC Pt1, Pt2, Pt3
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
The Go-Betweens - 1989 - The Peel Sessions
1. The Power that I now have
2. Secondhand Furniture
3. Five Words
4. Rare Breed
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Warrior Soul were part of what I described in my Mary My Hope post as the new-wave of "intelligent" rock bands (Jane's Addiction, Mary My Hope, Soundgarden, etc.) that emerged between the hair-metal and grunge eras. They were led by the enigmatic vocalist Kory Clarke, whose diverse and colourful career is described in an excellent article from the New & Improved Live & Otherwise Blog. Before starting Warrior Soul, Clarke trained as a jazz fusion drummer, deejayed, played in art-punk outfits, and specialised in spoken word performance art.
Warrior Soul were a hard rock band with punk and psychedelic elements, described by Clarke as Acid Punk. As may be expected based on Clarke's background, Warrior Soul's debut album Last Decade Dead Century is an intelligent and diverse album. The album explores the political corruption and seedy underbelly of Western society of the early 90's, and is as relevant today as it was then.
Opener I see the ruins starts (and ends) with spoken word vocals over a stop-start beat and atmospheric guitar noise, before blossoming into a mid-tempo rocker with a triplet rhythm. We Cry Out is a poppy and joyous, with uplifting lyrics (a rarity for this album!).
The Losers is a standout, starting with subdued volume controlled guitar over a military beat in the verses, switching to loud driving guitars in the chorus, which contains the lyrical refrain "here's to the losers.....cos I think we're beautiful."
Downtown is a driving rocker, while Tripping on Ecstacy has a spacy, psychedelic feel, that perfectly matches the lyrics.
Four more years is spoken word performance art over an atmospheric sound collage. Superpower dreamland and Charlie's out of prison are driving rockers in a similar vein to Downtown.
Blown away is the second standout, a heavier slower tempo track built around a colossal riff, providing Clarke with the opportunity to rage against the American way. Lullaby is a sudued atmospheric track (dare I use the word ballad?), while closer In conclusion is a mid-tempo melodic rocker.
Warrior Soul - 1990 - Last Decade Dead Century
1. I see the ruins
2. We Cry Out
3. The Losers
5. Tripping on Ecstacy
6. Four more years
7. Superpower dreamland
8. Charlie's out of prison
9. Blown away
11. In conclusion
FLAC Pt1, Pt2, Pt3, Pt4
Friday, January 21, 2011
The book comes with a CD containing two versions of the song Things The Grandchildren Should Know - the demo version, and the version from the immense double CD Blinking Lights and Other Revelations. Below is one of my favourite anecdotes from the book that references this song, as well as the links to the demo version of the song.
HOW IS IT POSSIBLE?
I'm sitting in a posh hotel in Paris. Mick Jagger is having tea in the lobby. I'm stuck in the draughty conference room doing a TV interview. The French TV journalist is asking me about the song Things The Grandchildren Should Know, that's about to come out on the Blinking Lights and Other Revelations double album, which is finally being released, a year after I finished it.
'Do you have children?' the TV journalist asks in her heavily accented English.
I sit back in the wooden chair they've offered me. 'Not yet. I'm gonna go straight to grandchildren,' I say.
She blinks and stares blankly back at me, squinting and squeezing her eyebrows down. 'But ... how is it possible?'
'Uh, well ... think about it; it's a much better deal,' I say, shifting in my chair. 'With grandchildren, you just see them on the weekend. Then you get the rest of the week to yourself."
'But how is it possible?'
'I don't know. I'll figure it out.'
'But ... it is not possible ... '
Eels - 2008 - Things The Grandchildren Should Know (demo)
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Happy Patch were originally known as Wintermind, and played progressive-alternative in the early 1990's: imagine The Smiths and REM combined with Television and early (first album) Verve - albeit before Verve. They were reinvented as Happy Patch, complete with new songs and a heavier sound, after another (inferior) local band The Mandelbrot Set signed to leading Australian independent label RooArt. Happy Patch recorded two songs for a compilation of local Adelaide bands, The Sound Barrier, before releasing two EPs (featured below) and the album Here Comes Oblivion, before again reinventing themselves as the country-tinged Tuscadero.
Happy Patch were built around a solid rhythm section which provided the dual guitarists with a canvas for understated guitar artistry. The guitars often played interweaving lines and counter melodies to each other (and sometimes the vocals), and also provided the musical dynamics, rising and subsiding, alternating between clean and distorted as appropriate. The vocals had a distinct but non-overt Michael Stipe influence, and the lyrics frequently focused on the innocence of youth. The songs were well crafted and avoided standard structures.
The Oleander Land EP features the mid-tempo title track, describing growing up in the Western suburbs of Adelaide. Believe is a joyous track with strong dynamics, whose lyrics "sleepy town where no-one really cares" again surely refer to Adelaide?! Hound is a great song, written from the perspective of a dog, capturing the child-like enthusiasm of man's best friend and describing all the great things about having a dog! A very promising debut, unfortunately suffering from a mediocre production which stifles the song dynamics a little.
The Hotstuff for psycho EP is a step forward on several fronts. It has a much better production allowing the song dynamics to shine through, and the band use dynamics without necessarily invoking the turbo chargers on each song. The inclusion of acoustic guitar also adds further diversity to the sound. Nancy, about US ice skater Nancy Kerrigan ("she's gracious and her thoughts are clean"), is poppy, with tasteful melodic lead guitar and great dynamics. Skywards is a slower tempo song based around acoustic guitar. Bedroom Nation features more great dynamics, and is noticeable for being in 5/4 time without sounding forced. Formaldehyde has a relaxed feel, built around lolloping bass, clean guitar, and melodic lead guitar.
I have yet to hear the Here Comes Oblivion LP - getting my hands on that is one of my major objectives! This may help compensate for the devastating loss of my TDK AD90 cassette containing their fantastic 5MMM session!!
2. Oleander Land
5. Rust yard
Happy Patch - 1996 - Hotstuff for Psycho
4. Bedroom Nation
Saturday, January 15, 2011
This post is a little different, as Arbouretum are still alive and kicking - they are about to release their fourth album The Gathering. So it's up to you, kids, to put them in their rightful place and make them huge. Let's start the make Arbouretum huge movement right here and now!
Arbouretum - 2007 - Rites of uncovering
1. Signposts and instruments
2. Tonights a jewel
3. Pale Rider Blues
4. Ghosts of here and there
5. Sleep of Shiloath
6. Mohammed's hex and bounty
7. The Rise
8. Two moons
FLAC Pt1, Pt2, Pt3
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
The first vindication of this feeling was the Peel Sessions EP. Girl Named Sandoz and Smiley both have a relaxed playfulness and confidence absent from Gish, and represent a large step forward, both vocally and musically. Girl Named Sandoz, a mid-paced rocker with a subtle groove, is a cover of an obscure The Animals B-side, and the band deserve kudos for selecting it and making it their own. Smiley is a pleasant slow tempo acoustic guitar based song.
The follow-up single I am One ups the ante. Plume has a slow groove, with a fantastic sludge guitar sound. Starla is a mellow mid-paced song, with excellent dynamics and long rambling instrumental sessions. Both songs have a psychedelic feel without the need for instrumentation other bands use to try and sound psychedelic.
The final vindication was Drown, from the Singles soundtrack. This song is in a similar vein to Starla, with a subdued start, slow build, and some tasteful harmony guitars, before dropping back down at the half way point, with some atmospheric guitar solos and feedback drenched in reverb.
These songs led to huge expectations for the next album. However, Siamese Dream was a let down. It had it's moments (Cherub Rock, Disarm), but as a cohesive whole it didn't work. The follow-up, the sprawling double CD Mellon Collie and the infinite sadness, was an improvement, as the songs were more concise and direct. The next album, Adore, was so abhorrent I have avoided any further material like the plague!!
In my opinion, the Pumpkins peaked in 1992, your honour, and here is the evidence.....
Smashing Pumpkins - 1992 - Peel Sessions
Smashing Pumpkins - 1992 - I am One (CDS)
Smashing Pumpkins - 1992 - Drown (Singles OST)
Monday, January 10, 2011
Me: "There's plenty of good music around, you just have to know where to find it, and/or be prepared to put the effort in."
Them: "But I can't be bothered doing that", or "but I don't have the time".
Me: "Then music obviously isn't that important to you then, so why are you complaining!"
I'm often reminded of the famous aphorism attributed to golfer Jerry Barber: "The harder you practice the luckier you get", and my reapplication to the search for great music: "the harder you search the luckier you get." A good example of this was my chance location of a review of the self titled album by Phonograph. This was miraculous given the difficulty in getting info on this band on the interweb (give it a try and see what I mean - there's more links to stores selling the album than links discussing the band or the album!). I managed to find a copy of the album on the legendary OINK (RIP), and it's been on my ipod ever since.
Phonograph can probably best be described as country-rock. An obvious touchstone is the mighty Wilco. In addition to the similar genre, Phonograph's songs use similar atmospheric sound collages similar to those on Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. And although vocalist Matthew Welch has a country drawl, at times sounding like Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and Lou Reed, his phrasing is sometimes similar to Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, and it's easy to imagine Tweedy singing some of these songs.
The Wilco comparisons are at their strongest on the first three tracks. Proem is an atmospheric piece with a Yankee Hotel Foxtrot vibe. In Your Mind is a mid-tempo song based around acoustic guitar, parping organ, and synthesised effects. Watch and Ward is reminiscent of Wilco's I'm the man that loves you, and contains chiming guitar melodies.
Radio Waves is one of the standout tracks, based around a shuffle drum-beat, with subdued reverb drenched guitar effect and Lou Reed like vocals. Parsons White has a driving beat and agile bass guitar, with reverb drenched guitar giving an atmospheric feel. Have I told you has a strong country feel.
Next follows a trilogy of standout songs. Thinking of you is led by piano and bass, with a driving snare beat, and an interesting tremolo guitar effect in the chorus. TV Screens is the album's high point, a slow-paced atmospheric track built around a synthesised drone, with world weary vocals and a distorted organ sound. Nu
The album ends with Isobel, a slowly building studio construct built around an eerie drone and slowed down synthesiser effects, with disembodied spoken word vocals and random drum parts.
A good album from a band I hope to hear more of - although given their publicity track record this may be wishful thinking!
Thursday, January 6, 2011
Dead sea navigators is the final great (and probably best) song on the album. It uses the same chords as The Go-betweens The Clarke sisters (deliberate homage?). If the song wasn't so good this similarity may grate, but this is great assimilation, similar to how Oasis used the riff from T. Rex's Get it on in Cigarettes and Alcohol - genius assimilates, mediocrity steal! Dead sea navigators starts atmospheric and sinister with clean guitar and cello, with organ and drums emerging for the chorus. It again features more great lyrics: "boys with more brain than brawn, this one's for you!" After Murder park is short (1 min 57 sec) and sweet - musically at least. Lyrically it reminds me of The Smiths Suffer Little Children. A song with "album closer" written all over it.
After recording the best music of 1996, Haines, ever perverse, split the band! The Auteurs reunited in 1999 for How I Learned to Love the Bootboys, an excellent album lyrically based around rock/pop sub-cultures. Haines also recorded four albums with Black Box Recorder, and five solo albums, including Das Capital, which included orchestrated re-recordings of classic Auteurs songs (including Unsolved Child Murder), along with some new tracks, including instant classics Satan Wants Me and Bugger Bognor. While these albums have maintained Haines' lofty standards, he has yet to eclipse the After Murder Park era.
Let's hope, to (miss)quote Future Generations (from How I Learned to Love the Bootboys and Das Capital) that the next generation gets it from the start!!
The Auteurs - 1996 - After Murder Park
1. Light Aircraft on Fire
2. Child Brides
3. Land Lovers
4. New Brat in Town
5. Everything You Say Will Destroy You
6. Unsolved Child Murder
7. Married to a Lazy Lover
10. Fear of Flying
11. Dead Sea Navigators
12. After Murder Park
FLAC Pt1, Pt2, Pt3
The Auteurs - 1996 - Back with the Killer (EP)
1. Unsolved Child Murder
2. Back with the Killer
3. Former Fan
4. Kenneth Anger's Bad Dream
The Auteurs - 1996 - Light Aircraft on Fire (CDS)
1. Light Aircraft on Fire
2. Buddha (4-track demo)
3. Car Crash
4. X-Boogie Man
The Auteurs - 1996 - Kids Issue (EP)
1. Kids Issue
3. A new Life a new Family
4. After Murder Park
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
McLennans debut single Easy come easy go came out a few weeks later. This contained two non-album cuts, The man who died in rapture and She's So Strange, which I felt surpassed most of the songs on the Watershed album. Both songs are sparse, acoustic guitar numbers, the latter drenched in reverb, with accompanying double bass and violin, and clocking in at just over two minutes - leaving you wanting (much) more. Possibly McLennans finest moment? The CD single also came with a bonus 5-track cassette Live Last Monday recorded at The Club, Melbourne, Australia, May 27th 1991. This features the aforementioned Clouds and She's So Strange, plus Haven't I Been A Fool and Just Get That Straight from Watershed, and Providence from the Jack Frost album, McLennan's collaboration with Steve Kilbey of The Church.
The Go Betweens eventually reformed in 2000. A highlight of their reunion was their show at the Barbican in London, June 27th 2004, where they performed an eccentric collection of rarely played songs, including early songs such as Karen, the legendary B-side from their debut single. A subset of this performance was released as a bonus CD with the Oceans apart album. The whole performance was available on a double CD Live in London, sold at shows on the Oceans apart tour.
McLennan passed away from a heart attack at his home in Brisbane on 6 May 2006, aged 48. Some of the material he had written for the next Go-Betweens album was used by Robert Forster on his 2008 solo album The Evangelist, including Demon Days, which Forster felt was one of the best songs McLennan ever wrote.
G. W. McLennan - 1991 - Easy Come Easy Go (CDS)
G. W. McLennan - 1991 - Live Last Monday
2. She's So Strange
4. Haven't I Been A Fool
5. Just Get That Straight
The Go-Betweens - 2004 - Live in London
01. The Sound of Rain
02. It Could be Anyone
03. Your Turn, My Turn
04. Hammer the Hammer
05. People Say
06. This Girl, Black Girl
07. Make Her Day
09. Magic in Here
10. Poison in the Walls
11. Surfing Magazines
12. Baby Stones
13. Cattle and Cane
14. The Clock
FLAC Pt1, Pt2, Pt3, Pt4
01. Too Much of one Thing
02. He Lives My Life
03. The Wrong Road
04. Right Here
05. Spring Rain
06. Here Comes a City
07. Love Goes On!
08. The House That Jack Kerouac Built
10. German Farmhouse
11. Bye Bye Pride
12. When People Are Dead
13. Streets of Your Town
14. In The core of the Flame
FLAC Pt1, Pt2, Pt3, Pt4, Pt5
Saturday, January 1, 2011
Despite their talent, Mary My Hope had some things going against them. They were not easily categorisable, and had no obvious ancestors. They were a post-punk rock band with a psychedelic streak, and sometimes referred to as gothic – a cringeworthy kiss-of-death if ever there was one. And vocalist James Hall’s reputed moody and sullen behaviour did not endear him to the music industry movers and shakers. Some years later Hall admitted that being a teenager at the time, he was too young to appreciate what he had.
Suicide king is where things really take off. The song starts with subdued clean-guitar minor-chord strumming through the first verse and chorus, and then takes off in response to Hall’s rallying cry of “lift me up". This structure is repeated, leading into a heavy rock psychedelic freak out filled with oohs and aahs, demonic screaming and wailing and spooky minor chord piano. Fantastic stuff. Communion follows a similar template to Suicide King, before changing tempo midstream, and leading into an adventurous instrumental break with neat soloing.
I'm not singing and Heads and tails both have a subdued, bluesy feel, the
former with unsettling The Wall era Pink Floyd vocals, the former with a
Stones influence. These are followed by Grind, a crunchy mid-tempo rocker,
with some resemblance to Pink Floyd's Run Like Hell.
I'm not Alone is the second great song on the album, following the Suicide King quiet-loud-quiet template with another psychedelic freak out at the end. Death of me is subdued, with psychedelic effect laden vocals by guitarist Clinton Steele, and a haunting violin solo. A perfect song to end an album.
The Monster is Bigger Than The Man EP is a hodgepodge of material from different sources, including two songs from Museum, a Museum outtake, three new tracks and two live tracks. It starts with the title track, another quiet-loud-quiet epic along the lines of Suicide King, except with a longer, slower build. The song starts with psychedelic effects laden guitar and subdued vocals, before taking off at around the three minute mark with oohs and aahs, distorted vocals, and a guitar orchestra - more psychedelic guitars, guitar solos and feedback awash in reverberation – fantastic stuff. Brian Eno’s Needles in a camel's eye won't go down in the list of great rock covers but is interesting nonetheless, owing to the heavily chorused guitar effect.
2. It's About Time
3. Suicide King
7. I'm Not Singing
8. Heads and Tails
10. I'm Not Alone
11. Death Of Me
Mary My Hope - 1989 - The Roxy, LA
Mary My Hope - 1990 - Monster is Bigger Than The Man