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!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Various Artists - Deep Six

Deep Six was the first compilation to capture the early Seattle scene. It's greatest claim to fame is that it represented Soundgardens first foray into the public consciousness. However, in my opinion the real gems here are the Green River tracks. Yep, we all know who Green River (and Malfunkshun) begat, but in my opinion Green River surpass all their descendants - and dare I say it, shoulda been huge! And unlike the Soundgarden tracks, the Green River tracks are unique to this release, and represent an important step in the band's evolution from the punk/metal of the Come on Down EP to the proto-grunge/groove of the Dry as a bone EP, a style later harnessed to amazing effect of the fantastic Rehab Doll album.

Various Artists - 1986 - Deep Six

1. Green River – 10,000 Things
2. Melvins – Scared
3. Melvins – Blessing the Operation
4. Malfunkshun – With Yo' Heart (Not Yo' Hands)
5. Skin Yard – Throb
6. Soundgarden – Heretic
7. Soundgarden – Tears to Forget
8. Malfunkshun – Stars-N-You
9. Melvins – Grinding Process
10. Melvins – She Waits
11. Skin Yard – The Birds
12. Soundgarden – All Your Lies
13. Green River – Your Own Best Friend
14. The U-Men – They


Monday, February 21, 2011

Red House Painters - Rollercoaster

The Red House Painters played folk-rock which somehow simultaneously managed to be both maudlin and strangely uplifting. Their introspective and self pitying lyrics about doomed relationships made them darlings of the teenage angst brigade. But there's alot more interesting going on here than introspection for the sake of it.

Although vocalist Mark Kozelek grew up listening to 1970's hard rock, it is impossible to trace any influence from this genre on the bands work. However, this influence must lurk somewhere beneath the surface, and this is perhaps one of the many intangible factors that makes the bands work so compelling. When the 1970's hard rock influence did manifest itself, in the guise of a cover of Kiss' Shock Me, and later in Kozelek's solo album of AC/DC covers, What's Next To the Moon, the songs were unrecognisable, but also as strong and compelling as the originals.

Rollercoaster, the bands second album, was the first of two self-titled albums, and become known as Rollercoaster owing to the sepia photograph of a dilapidated rollercoaster on the cover. It was released as a double-vinyl LP and clocks in at just under 80 minutes. Despite the length, there is no drop in quality or intensity throughout this remarkable album.

The album kicks of with the Grace Cathedral Park, a joyous, folky tune which gives little indication of what is to follow. Katy Song starts with first-album Smiths-like arpeggiated guitar picking, and slowly builds in intensity on the back of a distorted guitar soundscape. Mistress appears in two different guises - a full band version with arpeggiated guitar picking over subdued distorted guitar emphasising the melodic aspects of the song, and a piano/vocal version emphasising the haunting aspects.

Funhouse, an ironic song title if ever there was one, is funeral paced, starting with arpeggiated guitar picking. After five minutes a distorted guitar appears out of nowhere, and becomes progressively more discordant as the song builds towards it's climax. Take me out is another joyous, folky tune based around strummed acoustic guitar chords. New Jersey features arpeggiated guitar picking and vocals only. This song resurfaced in a full band version on the following (second self titled) album.

Mother, the album's climax, is funeral paced, haunting, and lengthy, clocking in at a mere 13 minutes. The lyrics are either melodramatic or heavy going depending on your frame of reference - essentially a grown man at the end of his tether crying out to his mother! Strawberry Hill is a wall of sound, giving Kozelek the chance to extend his vocal range.

Red House Painters - 1993 - Self titled

1. Grace Cathedral Park
2. Down Through
3. Katy Song
4. Mistress
5. Things Mean a Lot
6. Funhouse
7. Take Me Out
8. Rollercoaster
9. New Jersey
10. Dragonflies
11. Mistress (Piano Version)
12. Mother
13. Strawberry Hill
14. Brown Eyes

FLAC pt1, pt2, pt3, pt4, pt5

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Flaming Lips - 2009-08-28 - Splendour in the Grass, Byron Bay

Feeling a bit lazy today, so a quick post to tide things over until my next post, featuring the kings of feelgood pop, the Red House Painters!

Not that I should need any excuse for posting this gem....

Flaming Lips
Splendour in the grass
Byron Bay, Sydney, Australia

Triple J Live at the wireless

01. Silver Trembling Hands
02. Do You Realise


03. Interview (34 min)


From Triple J's website - split into three seperate files, with annoying DJ removed.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Straitjacket Fits - Blow

My first encounter with New Zealand band Straitjacket Fits was hearing Down In Splendour in the early 90's. This song was a alternative pop hit in Australia, and was played incessantly on youth radio station Triple J. And I HATED it with a passion! So I was apathetic when I heard Straitjacket Fits would be playing the 1994 Big Day Out festival tour of Australia.

Since a few of my then fave bands (Soundgarden and Smashing Pumpkins) were playing the BDO, I decided to attend three of the shows, those in Melbourne, Sydney and my hometown of Adelaide. Since there were no other bands I wanted to see while Straitjacket Fits played at the first BDO show, I thought I'd begrudgingly watch them - and it was a revelation! So much so that by the third BDO show they were the band I was most eager to see. The set they played at the BDO shows was largely derived from the Blow album featured in this post.

Straitjacket Fits had their own unique sound - a sound difficult to describe, so I won't try! They fit within the broad sphere of indie/alternative, but they were not afraid to expand out into other areas - two of the excellent singles being a case in point. Cat Inna Can has a rockabilly feel, and is noticeable for using "da da das" and "meow meows" without detracting from the song or sounding kitsch or camp - no mean feat! And If I were you has relaxed, jazzy vocals over a reggae rhythm.

Blow kicks of with Done, a raucous and joyous song with a gonzoid riff, distorted vocals, guitar feedback and great dynamics - an indication of a band at the peak of it's powers. Brother's Keeper is fast paced and urgent, with the lead guitar following the vocals to great effect. Burn it up is a slow and brooding. Spacing is sparse and atmospheric, with a jazzy vocal feel, rolling tom-tom beat and guitars drifting in an out. Every song is short and concise, clocking in at under three and a half minutes.

My only criticism of the album is that the awesome Whiteout, arguably the highlight of the BDO shows, was left off the album - though it is available on the Done single.

Straitjacket Fits - 1993 - Blow

1. Done
2. Falling
3. Brother's Keeper
4. Cat Inna Can
5. Burn It Up
6. Joyride
7. Train
8. Let It Blow
9. If I Were You
10. Turn
11. Way
12. Spacing

FLAC Pt1, Pt2, Pt3

Friday, February 11, 2011

Dig - Self titled

I know very little about Dig. I read a positive review of their debut self-titled album around the time of it's release in 1993. This review, and the fact the album was produced by Dave Jerden, then one of the hottest producers around due to his work with Jane's Addiction and Alice in Chains, convinced me to shell out some of my (then meagre) finances and take a chance on this album - and it was worth it! While the album is by no means a classic, I felt there was enough promise there for the band to eke out an existence - yet I failed to hear anything further about them until researching for this post, when I learnt that Dig were dug (ha ha) by no less than Courtney Love -  kiss of death, or what?

Dig (the band) inhabited the space between alternative and hard rock without neatly fitting into either category. Arguably their most novel aspect was that they were a three guitar band. And while Dig did not sound like that other, slightly more famous three guitar band, Radiohead, there are some similarities in how the guitars are employed: rhythm and lead guitars, and guitars providing soundscapes and textures. This provides a lush and dense wall of sounds, expertly orchestrated by Dave Jerden. Imagine shoegazer guitars atop hard rock songs and you're kinda there - definitely a unique sound with no obvious influences. While you may be able to argue that the songs on their debut album may not quite be there, you can't argue that the sound isn't!

Dig (the album) avoids the pitfalls of many debut albums by including a diversity of song styles. Let me know is driven by a crunching heavy riff, dropping back into more melodic segments during the verses and choruses, featuring tasteful use of controlled guitar feedback and wah-wah. Conversation starts subdued and sparse, above a background of (guess what?) conversation, before exploding into the chorus, and dropping back into a melodic bridge. Believe, arguably the standout track, features dense and heavy riffing in the verses before changing gears into a melodic and joyous chorus. Ride the Wave is fast and urgent. Fuck You is built around a great chugging riff that worms it's way into your subconcious, and has a catchy melodic chorus. Anymore and closer Decide are both slower, atmospheric tracks that make excellent use of the three guitar orchestra.

Dig - 1993 - Self titled

1. Let Me Know
2. I'll Stay High
3. Unlucky Friend
4. Anymore
5. Conversation
6. Believe
7. Feet Don't Touch the Ground
8. Ride the Wave
9. Green Room
10. Tight Brain
11. Fuck You
12. Decide
[hidden track]. Tahoe Hoes

FLAC: Part 1, Part 2

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Rant #1

I've titled this rant #1 as I can feel a few more coming on - on a few different subjects!

My request for comments was based upon people giving second opinions of the material I made available. It was not about being thanked. In fact, after the first few comments I received, I was going to make a point of saying "Don't feel the need to thank me". This blog is about the music, not me. After all, I have been as guilty as anyone of not leaving thanks.

But I've since had my first negative reaction from an artist/artists representative. It hurts when someone you respect questions your integrity. It made me appreciate the risk that bloggers take, both personally, and legally, in making material available. And I'm not the only blogger that has recently been through this - check out the legendary Luxor's recent post on this very issue.

So I've changed my opinion - some thanks would be nice! Not just for me, but for all bloggers that make material available for you to download.

Underground Lovers - Leaves Me Blind

In my earlier G. W. McLennan/The Go-Betweens post I suggested there were three great Australian bands: The Go Betweens, The Birthday Party, and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.

They hold the first three positions, in no particular order, in my imaginary league table of Australian bands.

The next three positions, again in no particular order, are held by Happy Patch, Smudge, and the subjects of this here post, The Undies!

The Underground Lovers emerged during the shoegazer era. While they have musical similarities to that scene, they didn’t fall into the trap of drowning their music and vocals in reverb. And there were three other factors that separated them from that scene: they weren’t cute, they didn't have a member named Tarquin, Crispin or Tristan, and they were (wait for it) Australian! To the UK music press at the time (i.e. NME, Melody maker, et al.), being Australian equated to being as credible as Miley Cyrus! I remember being so incensed by the NME’s condescending review of a Smudge single around this time that I pledged to never lay my eyes on that poor excuse for a magazine again – a pledge it has been easy to keep. This was of the same navel gazing fervour that led to the ridiculously hyped Britpop scene. But I diverge…

The Underground Lovers were a good live band with interesting songs and ideas, who let their music do the talking. There were no gimmicks or posing. Their sound encompassed elements of JAMC (Jesus and Mary Chain), Sonic Youth and My bloody Valentine, although with a greater appreciation of rhythm. There was a definite cinematic feel to their songs, so it was no surprise when vocalist/guitarist Vincent Giarrusso later emerged as the director of the feature film Mallboy, which was selected for the prestigious Director's Fortnight at the Cannes Film festival.

It was a toss up between featuring their second album, Leaves Me Blind, or their fourth album, Rushall Station. The former is more diverse, while the latter is more straightforward heavy guitar pop but with arguably better songs. I’ve elected for Leaves Me Blind in this instance – though I’ll make Rushall Station available if there’s enough interest.

Leaves Me Blind starts with Eastside stories, in my opinion one of the great pop-rock songs of all time (I get chills up my spine just thinking about it, let alone hearing it!). The song starts with an ominous drone that continues throughout the song, before the band kicks in. The rolling tom-tom beat is similar in style to Sonic Youth’s Expressway to yr skull. The guitar is savage and the bass has a great bottom end sound. The song ebbs and flows, rising up to a crescendo, and then dropping back down to just vocals and the drone. Fantastic stuff.

Promenade follows up with a great contrast, being poppy and uptempo, with JAMC-like distorted guitar layers. I was right starts with synthesised drum and bass before the savage guitar returns, with acoustic guitar providing a counterpoint to main riff in the chorus. Phillipa Nhill’s vocals are reminiscent of My bloody Valentine’s Bilinda Butcher. The guitars drop back down, and fade in and out. Another great song. 

Holiday is pure synth pop, with a subtle Manchester-style synthesised drum dance beat, an atmospheric keyboard wash, and dreamy Phillipa Nhill vocals, this time with a Sinead O'Connor influence. Got off on it is a mid-tempo track with JAMC like guitars, which builds tension by delaying the introduction of the drums. The dynamics are provided by the guitars, which rise and surge as appropriate.

Your eyes is a mid tempo track propelled by a funky baseline and a nice groove. Interest is maintained by different instruments providing the focus through different parts of the song, though being eight minutes long it outstays its welcome by a few minutes.  Ladies choice features laid back drum and bass, and is spaced out and dancy. Trip hop before there was trip hop?

A good, but not quite great, album - it ends not with a bang, but with a whimper – the last two tracks pass by almost apologetically! But don’t let that put you off…

Underground Lovers - 1992 - Leaves Me Blind

1. Eastside Stories
2. Promenade
3. I Was Right
4. Holiday
5. Got off on it
6. Daze
7. Waves
8. Your Eyes
9. Ladies Choice
10. Get to Know
11. Whisper Me Nothing

FLAC Pt1, Pt2, Pt3