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!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Jimmy Eat World - Coffee and Cigarettes

My current fave song - Weezer-approved power pop!

One of those songs that worms it way into your subconcious.

I never gave this band a listen before as I, umm, hated their name! Still do.

On the strength of this track I sought out the Invented album, but I think this is the standout track.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Ears To The Ground

Shortest "break" in history?

No siree!

Just had to return to point you towards stilllisteningonyourbehalf's excellent blog Ears To The Ground, and in particular his excellent post on 2 Cellos. You won't believe their version of G'n'R's Welcome to the Jungle.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Time for a break

I'm going to have a break from this blogging caper to allow me to ruminate about a few things:

  • whether this blog has served it's purpose?

  • whether to continue this blog or devise a new concept?

  • whether to kill off Ralphee D and create a new internet alias?

  • whether I have enough enthusiasm for any of the above?!

Thank you to all my regular readers, especially those who have taken the time to comment. Feel free to contact me if any of my links expire and I will reupload.

Special thanks go out to Rushbo, Adelle and Oxy, who I feel I've developed a special bond with. I hope to keep in touch with you via your own blogs!

And yes, Oxy, I'll keep the Lucid Ocean diaries going, although it's getting close to the end....

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Pleasure Club - Here comes the trick

There's three bands/artists I feel that I've pushed harder than most on this blog (i.e. multiple posts) but which have elicited no comments: Arbouretum, Straitjacket Fits and James Hall.

Fear not, dear reader. The last thing I intend (or want) to do is lecture you on blog etiquette!

The reason for bringing this to your attention is simply that.....I'm puzzled! Is it that:

a) everyone already knows about these artists? i.e. don't bore us, Ralph, get to the chorus!

b) my musical radar is out of whack? Or to get technical, the Ralphee Dee musical radar has high sidelobe levels?!


But your penance is part three of the James Hall series! Or to be more precise, the debut Pleasure Club LP Here comes the trick. This album was actually intended to be the third Hall solo album. However, since Hall felt the album was more of a "band" effort he elected to release it under a band moniker rather than a solo project.

Here comes the trick follows the template set by Hall's second solo LP, Pleasure Club - a melting pot of Stones influenced rock, punk, funk and soul. Opener Permanent Solution starts (and ends) with eastern wailing, percussion and sitar, before breaking into a driving punky rocker, with a subdued midsection providing a brief respite.  High Stepping alternates between white-boy funk in the verses and driving rock in the chorus, and featuring a brief but great noisescape guitar "solo". Next is the Stonesy title track, which starts with acoustic guitar and vocals, developing into a swaggering rocker. One Hand Washes the Other starts with clean guitar and vocals, developing into Hendrix influenced heavy blues rock.

Roll Around is a slow tempo blues based around a sliding bass riff. Starting sparse and atmospheric, the song eventually evolves into a snarling beast with a huge guitar riff and unhinged vocals. Terrific stuff.

Shout! You're Automatic starts with vocals over a funky drumbeat. The bass and guitar eventually appear, and the song evolves into a white-boy funk rocker complete with wailing vocals and saxophone. Daze in Daze Out is a new wave/disco hybrid. Good Time Girl is late 70's Stones influenced, laid back, subtle funky in verses, driving rock in chorus, and featuring another great soundscape guitar solo.

Street Car  is a Beatle-esque slow tempo bluesy ballad. Marble Coast  is an excellent low-key, subdued rocker, with world wearied vocals. A supreme illustration of the concept of saying more with less. Holding Hands and Singing is a short lullaby, featuring just clean strummed guitar and vocals.

Another great album. Trust me, you need this album in your collection - hit that download link NOW!

Pleasure Club - 2001 - Here comes the trick

1. Permanent Solution
2. High Stepping
3. Here Comes the Trick
4. One Hand Washes the Other
5. Roll Around
6. Shout! You're Automatic
7. Daze in Daze Out
8. Good Time Girl
9. Street Car
10. Marble Coast
11. Holding Hands and Singing

FLAC Pt1, Pt2, Pt3

Friday, July 8, 2011

Voice of the Seven Thunders - Self titled

As I've mentioned previously, I don't consider myself an old fuddy duddy who subscribes to the view that things were better in the past. As a music obsessive/snob (choose your own label) there's never been a better time to be alive. The interweb provides an almost instantaneous opportunity to listen to arists you may have read or heard about. There are also some great blogs such as 365 bands in 365 days that present artists that have managed to avoid detection on the Dodger radar. Ever heard of The North Mississippi all-stars? Neither had I until recently, but now their sounds resonate regularly around the halls of Chateaus de Dodger!

The fact that most of the relics posted here date back to last century is more indicative of my unwillingness to provide downloads of recent material for legal reasons, rather than being stuck in the past. So I'm going to start posting some newer artists and providing YouTube links for you to see/hear those artists. If you consider this to be moving in to Adelle's territory, then I plead guilty, officer. But the main points of difference are that this will not be my modus operandi (i.e. I will still post relics), and I'm definitely not going to post a band a day! And hey, as I see it, Adelle has had 188 chances to post some of these bands, but instead elected to post the Spin Doctors! Ha!

So today we have the mighty Voice of the Seven Thunders, whose self titled album is probably my favourite album of the decade. Their sound is a unique psychedelic/folk/blues hybrid. The songs are mainly instrumental, and varies between psychedelic rock freakouts with copious guitar soloing, and more introverted folky playing. The key to their sound is the use of an acoustic guitar played through a distortion pedal. This is a ploy used by other Shoulda been huge faves Grant Lee Buffalo, but VotST take it to a new level. The result is the meanest, fattest guitar sound ever heard this side of the cosmos. Neil Young, eat your heart out! In terms of musical reference points, the VotST sound sits somewhere between Led Zeppelin's "When the Levee Breaks" (a song I demand be played at my own funeral!) and a folkier, more instrumental, less epic Black Mountain.

Opener Open Lighted Doorway is a short introduction featuring distorted vocals over a subtle soundscape. Kommune starts with folky guitar picking over a distorted guitar chords, before a guitar solo emerges to dominate processings for the next few minutes. The song drops back into a folky guitar and subdued vocals, before evolving into the next track, Out of the Smoke, which follows a similar path to it's predecessor, starting with a classic rock riff played on acoustic guitar.

The following five tracks are all instrumental. The Burning Mountain is a psychedelic guitar freakout packed with wild-assed guitar solos. Dry Leaves is based around Led Zeppelin III approved folky guitar picking. Dalalven is a slowly evolving mid-tempo rock instrumental based around a triplet rhythm.

Cylinders is a seven minute epic, starting with synthesiser over ambient guitar noise, before folky acoustic guitar strumming and eastern sounding drumming emerge. Set Fire to the Forest is an 8 minute long up tempo track featuring incessant guitar soloing played against a musical background which eventually evolves into a wall of My Bloody Valentine approved ambient guitar feedback. The song drops back to folky guitar strumming around the 6-min mark, before tempo slowly picks up again as song rushes headlong to it's conclusion.

Closer Disappearances is a simple, vocal dominated pastoral folk. The vocals provide an almost rude awakening after preceding straight five instrumentals!

Voice of the Seven Thunders - 2010 - Self titled

1. Open Lighted Doorway
2. Kommune
3. Out of the Smoke
4. The Burning Mountain
5. Dry Leaves
6. Dalalven
7. Cylinders
8. Set Fire to the Forest
9. Disappearances

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Soundgarden - Down Under On The Upside

One of the advantages of living in Australia in the 1990s was that we were often privy to material that remained unreleased elsewhere. This material was released in a number of forms:

- Bonus tracks included to encouraged people to buy exorbitantly priced local CDs rather than cheaper imports.

- Tour EPs, such as the Nirvana's  legendary "Hormoaning" - not to be confused with Sonic Youth's  "Whores moaning" , which came out a few years later! As far as I know, "Hormoaning" was only released in Australia and Japan, and although all the tracks later came out on "Incesticide", I felt like I had something special in my hot little hands for 18 months or so!

- Bonus EP versions of previously released CDs that had taken a while to take off, or that were having a second life. This was of course a thinly veiled attempt to fleece more money from suckers (like me) who had already bought the original CD when it came out!

- Tour bonus EP versions of previously released CDs, with a similar motivation as described above.

One of my favourites of the latter, for both the content and the name, was Soundgarden's 1996 Australian tour version of Down on the Upside, retitled Down Under on the Upside (ho ho ho!). This featured a collection of b-sides that at least served to save some of us musical obsessives from having to track down the individual singles, and also compiled the songs onto a single source.

Opening track Jerry Garcia's Finger (b-side of Pretty Noose) is an interesting instrumental soundscape. Karaoke (b-side of Burden in My Hand) starts with a maelstrom of sound, before easing into a laid back slow tempo tune, before the maelstrom returns for the ending. Classic Soundgarden, and IMO better than at least half the tracks on Down on the Upside. Bleed Together (b-side of Burden in My Hand in some countries, later released on A-Sides, and as a single in it's own right) is an up-tempo rocker.

Next comes the demo version of one of my fave Soundgarden songs, Birth Ritual (b-side of My Wave), the song the band contributed to the Singles soundtrack. I am a complete sucker for songs that diverge from the standard rock 4/4 timing (of which Soundgarden had a few of these - Room a thousand years wide, Spoonman), so this 7/4 gem is right up my alley! And the riff - dum da-da-da-da-dum da-da-da-da-dum DA DA! I always wondered why the band didn't put this on an album, but I suspect they felt it was a bit too similar to Jesus Christ Pose.

Next up is the video version of Fell On Black Days (b-side of Fell On Black Days), arguably better than the album version. The last track is the Moby remix of Dusty (b-side of Blow Up the Outside World).

Soundgarden - 1996 - Down Under On The Upside (Australia & New Zealand Tour Edition)

1. Jerry Garcia's Finger
2. Karaoke
3. Bleed Together
4. Birth Ritual (original demo)
5. Fell On Black Days
6. Dusty (Moby remix)