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, September 30, 2011

The Pursuit of Happiness - One Sided Story

An album that starts with the lyrics "Your love is like greasy fried noodles, instantly gratifying, makes me want to come back for more" has gotta be good, right!?

TPOH are best known for their late eighties hit I'm an adult now, which I hated with a passion at the time - I was going through my "everything in the charts is crap" phase! I got my comeuppance a few years later - what I was listening to at the time (grunge) became mainstream (sigh)! Also, I felt  I'm an adult now was championed by people who wouldn't know a good tune if it bit them on the arse! 

Despite my holier than thou attitude, I later heard (and fell in love with) the Love Junk album, and duly bought the follow up One Sided Story, which I felt was a huge step forward for the band: better songwriting, more diverse.

Yet the album was slagged by many critics! Labels such as confused, flawed, awkward, dated, and misogynistic abounded - and those were the good reviews! I always found that last criticism a bit, odd given there were two girls in the band. Whatever! But then the same criticism gets leveled at The White Stripes.

In short, the album wasn't Love Junk volume 2. It was better, but it is not what most people expected/wanted. Ain't that the same with many bands?

Anyhow, enough waffling......

What to we have here? Essentially pop-rock. If you like Cheap Trick or Red Kross, you may well dig this!

The Pursuit of Happiness - 1990 - One Sided Story
  1. Food
  2. Two Girls in One
  3. New Language
  4. Something Physical
  5. One Thing
  6. No Safe Place
  7. Shave Your Legs
  8. Runs in the Family
  9. All I Want
  10. Forbidden Fruit
  11. Little Platoons (My Neighbourhood)
  12. Survival

Saturday, September 24, 2011

American Music Club - Mercury

By now you've probably all heard that REM are going to split?

If you're expecting a eulogy, or a heartfelt tribute about how influential the band has been for me, you've come to the wrong place. Rushbo has done a better job of that than I'd be able to manage!

Instead, my reaction to this news is to post an album by American Music Club!

Why, I hear you ask? Because I believe there is a parallel universe somewhere where REM are an obscure alternative band, while AMC are HUGE!

Inside Chateau de Dodger, REM and AMC are on an equal footing - untouchables!

And if you need any justification or support for this notion, I again refer you to Rushbo.

This post presents the Mercury LP. This contains arguably their most well known (and my favorite) AMC track, Johnny Mathis’ Feet. For sure, the orchestration is cheesy and schmaltzy, and your grandma would probably dig it, but it's a songwriting tour de force, both musically and lyrically. In particular, the lyrics

Johnny looked at my old collection of punk rock posters
Anonymous scenes of disaffection choas and torture
And he said, "You were on the right track
But you're a lamb jumping for the knife." 

kill me every time. While they are too close to home, the thought that Johnny Mathis could utter such lines is almost the coolest thing imaginable!

The remainder of the album is a superb collection of ballads (Gratitude Walks,  I’ve Been a Mess, The Hopes and Dreams), pop (If I Had a Hammer, Over and Done), and heavier songs (Challenger, Keep Me Around ), which give the band a chance to flex their muscles. And all tracks are lyrically superb. Hell, there is even an ambient track (More Hopes and Dreams) - what more can you ask for?

American Music Club - 1993 - Mercury

01. Gratitude Walks
02. If I Had a Hammer
03. Challenger
04. I’ve Been a Mess
05. Hollywood 4-5-92
06. What Godzilla Said to God When His Name Wasn’t Found in the Book of Life
07. Keep Me Around
08. Dallas, Airports, Bodybags
09. Apology for an Accident
10. Over and Done
11. Johnny Mathis’ Feet
12. The Hopes and Dreams of Heaven’s 10,000 Whores
13. More Hopes and Dreams
14. Will You Find Me?


Monday, September 19, 2011

Therapy? - Troublegum

This is a great album for so many different reasons.

I can listen to in any mood - from punk and belligerent to introspective - and dig it!

It has pop-tastic tunes that are as infectious as <insert your favorite venereal disease here>: the superb Die Laughing, and the singles Nowhere and Screamager.

It has songs that rock your socks off: Stop It Your Killing Me, Femtex and Trigger Inside. 

It has psychosis: Knives, Trigger Inside and Unrequited.
It has malevolence: Turn, Unbeliever and Hellbelly.

It also features the feral vocals of the fantastic Lesley (Fat Axl) Rankine on Lunacy Booth.

It also features my favorite Joy Division cover - Isolation. It satisfies the major Dodger criteria for the perfect cover - i.e. it adds to the original without losing anything.

And it ends with (an uncredited) You are My Sunshine - what more can you ask for?

The lyrics focus on the trials and tribulations of being an outcast, but maintain a sense of humor that engenders sympathy and avoids melodrama (e.g. "Here comes a girl with perfect teeth, I know she won't be smiling at me, I know how Jeffrey Dahmer feels."). And some of the lyrics make killer soundbites: "masturbation saved my life", "reveal yourself to me, like cheap pornography".

Troublegum is a rarity - an album by a band simultaneously at their commercial and creative peak.

Therapy? - 1994 - Troublegum

1. Knives
2. Screamager
3. Hellbelly
4. Stop It You're Killing Me
5. Nowhere
6. Die Laughing
7. Unbeliever
8. Trigger Inside
9. Lunacy Booth
10. Isolation
11. Turn
12. Femtex
13. Unrequited
14. Brainsaw


Monday, September 12, 2011

Eels - Rotten World Blues

On the subject of bonus CD's accompanying Australian releases, here's the Rotten World Blues EP, which accompanied the Australian version of the Souljacker LP.

It's a nice mixture of oddball songs that didn't fit in with the rest of Souljacker.

The title track is a killer, which eventually made it's way onto the excellent odds and sods release Useless Trinkets. In some ways it summarises the whole Eels ethos: accept life's a bitch, and get on with it!

I Write The B-Sides is a whimsical look at being the being the poster boy of the depressive set: "I write the b-sides, that make a small portion of the world cry. I like the seaside, and singing songs that make you not wanna die!"

Eels - 1992 - Rotten World Blues

01 - I Write The B-Sides
02 - Hidden track
03 - Jehovah's Witness
04 - Rotten World Blues


Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Mandelbrot Set - A place called Kansas

In response to a request on my other blog The Lucid Ocean diaries, here is the debut release from Adelaide early nineties indie pop darlings The Mandelbrot Set.

And it's pretty damn good too! Not as good as my personal faves The Happy Patches two releases, but the Mandelbrots were the band who secured the much sought after record deal - with Aussie Independent RooArt, then riding on the crest of the enormous success of Ratcat.

These guys were all pretty young, in their late teens/early twenties - or at least they looked like it!

A place called Kansas is an amalgam of the shoegazer pop of the era and classic indie-pop fair such as The Smiths and REM. The instrumental title track, Massive and Lush fall into the former category, while the remaining tracks fall into the latter. Although I'm a shoegazer tragic, I prefer their indie-pop songs - in particular Landslide and I Swan. But I thought Lush was such a great track that I rewrote it for my own band Lucid Ocean!

The Mandelbrot Set recorded a second EP for RooArt, an New Order like electropop/dance record which contained little of the charm (or tunes) of their debut, before promptly disappearing off the face of terra firma!

Check the bands myspace page for more tracks/photos.

The Mandelbrot Set - 1992 - A place called Kansas

01 - A place called Kansas
02 - Landslide
03 - More than happy
04 - Massive
05 - Julia
06 - I Swan
07 - Lush


UPDATE: 17/03/2012 - track 2 of the FLAC is apparently unreadable. An updated version of this track is available here.