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!
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Slint were another band that were largely unappreciated during their existence. They formed in Kentucky in 1986, and split in 1991. In the ensuing twenty years they have slowly garnered a modicum of the respect they deserved in their prime
The Slint sound is sparse, tense, hypnotic and slow tempo. The songs evolve slowly and non-linearly, and often feature breathtaking shifts in dynamics, changing from subdued and atmospheric to ugly and dissonant in the blink of an eyelid. It is music without any obvious antecedents, but with many descendent's - the slowcore and math-rock movements definitely owe a debt gratitude to Slint.
This post focuses on Slint's superb second album, Spiderland. Opener Breadcrumb Trail commences with guitar arpeggios/harmonics, and drifts dreamily with spoken word lyrics for the first minute, before a tempo change heralds the arrival of a dissonant distorted guitar and tormented vocals. The song then enters an extended instrumental break, before returning to the guitar arpeggios/harmonics of the songs introuduction. A. Classic. Nosferatu Man is a mid-tempo and dissonant, with disembodied vocals - the closest the band came to the prevailing grunge trend of the time.
The following three songs are each mesmeric, sparse and subdued. Don, Aman features only clean guitar, bass and whispered vocals for it's entirety, except for a few short unexpected bursts of distorted guitar. Washer and For Dinner...are in a similar vein, with the former picking up in pace and intensity towards the song's conclusion.
Good Morning, Captain is a mid-tempo track based around a snaking, almost funky bassline, with the guitars and spoken word vocals drifting in an out of the mix and occasional short distorted guitar bursts. The intensity lifts towards the song's conclusion with dissonant distorted guitar and tortured vocals.
Slint - 1991 - Spiderland
1. Breadcrumb Trail
2. Nosferatu Man
3. Don, Aman
5. For Dinner...
6. Good Morning, Captain
FLAC Pt1, Pt2
Sunday, June 26, 2011
This may get me excommunicated from a certain torrent site, but WTF - it's worth it!
In response to Adelle's recent post on The Move, here is something special for Roy Wood devotees. The following is quoted directly from the torrent info file.... Enjoy!
Artist: Roy Wood's Wizzard
Lineage: Pre-FM Promo Reel (WRNO-FM)>cassette (freezer)>JVC XL-R5010 stand alone cd burner>1cdr(0)>1cdr(1)>eac>wav>flac
Transferred By: Mister Freezer
tracking and volume corrections applied to recording
01. Ball Park Incident
03. Salt Peanuts
04. This Is The Story Of My Love (Baby)
05. California Man
06. Eddy's Rock
Transfer of freezer's prefm cassette copy of this limited promo live recording done in advance of Roy Wood's Wizzard album Introducing Eddy And The Falcons. The album was tribute to 50's and early 60's rock and roll. This particular promo reel was sent out by United Artists to WRNO-FM in New Orleans. It is a fake live recording(studio but made to sound live). This recording has never been officially released. The only copy we know of as of this writing (june 2011) is an old bootleg pressing of a crappy over the air fm recording of this promo.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
A bit short of time at present, so a quick post for now....
This post features Throwing Muses' limited edition live album The Curse, recorded at the Grand Theater in Clapham, London, in October 1992 with the Red Heaven "power trio" incarnation of the band, featuring Kristin Hersh, David Narcizo and Bernard Georges.
While I love the Tanya Donelly incarnation of the band, I prefer this incarnation - the sound is stripped down to the bare essentials, and more powerful - this band rocks!
This album is worth downloading just for the version of Manic Depresssion.
Throwing Muses - 1992 - The Curse
1. Manic Depression
2. Counting Backwards
4. Hate My Way
5. Furious Hersh
6. Devil's Roof
7. Snail Head
11. Say Goodbye
13. Two Step
14. Delicate Cutters
FLAC Pt1, Pt2, Pt3, Pt4, Pt5
Saturday, June 18, 2011
The God Machine formed in San Diego at the end of the eighties. Like Sparks many years earlier, they moved to the UK in order to increase their chances of success, shedding a guitarist in the process. They recorded and released the three track Purity EP, which was well received by the UK music press. They then signed to Fiction records, releasing two excellent albums. Bassist Jimmy Fernandez died from a brain tumor during the recording of their second album, One Last Laugh in a Place of Dying, leading the two remaining members to call it quits. Vocalist/guitarist Robin Proper-Sheppard later went on to form the vastly underrated Sophia.
The God Machine's debut album Scenes from the second storey is a alternative/gothic/atmospheric rock masterpiece. It is unashamedly epic in vision, scope and length (78 minutes). The sound ranges from sparse and restrained to mesmerising and skull-crushingly heavy. Drummer Ronald Austin played using mallets rather than conventional drumsticks, giving the drums an almost orchestral intensity. Proper-Sheppards vocals are piercing, malevolent, yet melodic. The album features re-recordings of all tracks from the Purity EP.
Opener Dream Machine starts funeral paced, with backwards masking and spooky sound effects, before launching into a mid-paced heavy track full of grand gestures. She Said is the closet the band come to the musical fashions of the time, starting of fast-paced with a Smashing Pumpkins type riff, before changing to a slower tempo midtrack.
The Blind Man commences with acoustic guitar picking and world weary vocals, evolving into an malevolent, funeral paced track, before changing pace for a long instrumental coda. I've seen the man is a shorter, heavy mid-tempo track. The Desert Song starts with a sound collage featuring eastern vocals and ambient atmospheric noise, leading into a circular, descending guitar riff, a rolling tom based beat, and underlying eastern wailing and sampled voices.
Home starts with more eastern wailing, evolving into a slow tempo, grinding track propelled along by a subterranean, epic bass riff. It's all over is driven by a slow tempo bass riff, with the guitar providing ambient noodling. Temptation is an instrumental, based around a single heavy guitar riff, with a second guitar alternating between ambient noise, shoegazer-like noise and feedback.
Out starts with clean guitar, before evolving into a mid tempo, heavy track. Ego starts with a bass riff and ambient guitar noise, before the drums crash in, leading into a slow tempo track with an epic guitar riff and piercing vocals.
Seven is the albums epic. It slowly builds up to the eight minute mark, before dropping back down to bass, drums, ambient guitar and slowly building again over the next 8 minutes. Purity is another slow builder, starting with acoustic guitar and cello. Closer The Piano Song features piano and bass with background noises.
The God Machine - 1993 - Scenes from the second storey
1. Dream Machine
2. She Said
3. The Blind Man
4. I've seen the man
5. The Desert Song
7. It's all over
13. The Piano Song
FLAC Pt1, Pt2, Pt3, Pt4, Pt5
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Mystic Chords Of Memory has a great collection of webcast and soundboard recordings. Some of my recent faves include:
Wilco - Orpheum Theatre; Boston, MA [4.6.10]
Fleet Foxes - BBC Radio Theatre; London, England [6.3.11]
My Morning Jacket - Mountain Jam, East Stage, Hunter Mountain; Hunter, NY [6.5.11]
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Taking your name from the title of a Franz Kafka novel is either a foolhardy or brave move.
Fortunately, German Indie-pop band Blumfeld were able to deliver the goods, producing six high quality albums between their inception in 1990 and split in 2007.
As with previous bands featured on this blog, I found it difficult to select a single album to include in this post. I've elected to post their second album L'état et moi, mainly because I love the way they hijacked the cover from the 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can't Be Wrong LP (checkout the first YouTube clip)!
Blumfeld played guitar-driven indie-pop, existing somewhere in the realm between grunge and slacker pop. They have previously been described as a more subdued and tuneful Sonic Youth. And while musically they occasionally sound like Sonic Youth, there are other influences, such as The Fall and Pavement. As with Super Furry Animals' Welsh language album Mwng, a least part of their appeal for me is the mystery associated with not being able to understand the lyrics.
Album opener Draußen Auf Kaution commences with the sound of helicopters, evolving into a slow tempo-ed, dreamy atmospheric track reminiscent of Sonic Youth's Shadow of a Doubt, before upping the tempo towards the songs conclusion. Jet Set and 2 Oder 3 Dinge, Die Ich Von Dir Weiß are faster tracks, the former frantic, the latter again featuring Sonic Youth-like guitar.
Walkie, Talkie and Ich-Wie Es Wirklich War are both mutant rockabilly/reggae hybrids, similar in feel to The Clash's London Calling. Eine Eigene Geschichte, Sing Sing, and L' Etat et Moi all feature spoken word vocals, the latter sans music. Evergreen is jazzy, while You Make Me features acoustic guitar and vocals.
Blumfeld - 1994 - L'état et moi
1. Draußen Auf Kaution
2. Jet Set
3. 2 Oder 3 Dinge, Die Ich Von Dir Weiß
4. Walkie, Talkie
5. Eine Eigene Geschichte
7. Ich-Wie Es Wirklich War
8. L' Etat et Moi (Mien Vorgehen in 4, 5 Sätzen)
9. Sing Sing
12. You Make Me
FLAC Pt1, Pt2, Pt3, Pt4
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Since I have so little time available to work on this blog, I regret to inform you all that........I have started yet another blog!
This blog will present my diaries and reminiscences from my time in a local indie band, Lucid Ocean.
So if you need to remind yourself there is always someone less unfortunate than yourself,head over to http://the-lucid-ocean-diaries.blogspot.com, where you can laugh at my misfortune, insecurities, and various psychological complexes!
I've started the new blog on a bad note - by plagiarizing last weeks post from this blog on our demo! And it probably won't get any better!!
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Dirty Three are a three piece instrumental band from Melbourne, Australia. They are perhaps best known as the band from which Bad Seed/Grinderman violinist/guitarist Warren Ellis came to prominence, and to a lesser extent for their collaborations with Low.
I was fortunate enough to see the band in their early days at the Tivoli Hotel in Adelaide. The Tivoli was a 200 person capacity dive where I saw many great artists, such as G. W. McLennan, Kristin Hersh and Pavement with Gary Young - though Gary didn't stand out the front of the venue handing out spaghetti like he reputedly did at other gigs! My old band Lucid Ocean also played the Tivoli, and were shafted by the venue management - further confirming my prejudices that the music industry is run by scum-sucking parasitic leaches! But I digress.....Dirty Three's gig was as memorable for the music as it was for Warren's stream of consciousness and meandering stage banter. In fact, being an instrumental band, Warren's microphone was only there for the purposes of between song banter.
Dirty Three's debut album Sad and dangerous was apparently given away as a free cassette at their gigs. It was recorded over the course of two years. The album is not for impatient listeners - the songs evolve sloooooooooowly, sometimes over the course of 10 minutes, but there are rewards for those prepared to put in the effort.
Dirty Three - 1995 - Sad and Dangerous
1. Kim's Dirt
2. Killy Kundane
4. Devil In The Hole
5. Jim's Dog
6. Short Break
7. Turk Reprise
8. You Were A Bum Dream
9. Warren's Waltz
FLAC Pt1, FLAC Pt2
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Yeah, we all know the influence the New York Dolls had on the nascent English punk scene. But I'm tired of them only being referenced as footnote in the annals (or a hemorrhoid on the anus) of rock history.
Their self titled debut is one of the best rock records every released......oh stuff it, it's THE BEST GODDAMN ROCK RECORD!
The Guns 'n' Roses it's OK to like, dare I say it.
I won't do this album justice by writing about it. You have to hear and feel it. Trust me, you won't regret it.....
New York Dolls - 1973 - Self titled
1. Personality Crisis
2. Looking for a Kiss
3. Vietnamese Baby
4. Lonely Planet Boy
7. Bad Girl
8. Subway Train
10. Private World
11. Jet Boy
FLAC: Pt1, Pt2, Pt3
Sunday, June 5, 2011
Some more Australasiana - if such a word exists...
I posted the Straitjacket Fits Blow back in February. It didn't receive the traction I felt it deserved, in terms of both downloads and comments. So here, dear reader, is your chance to make amends.
A quick recap....."The Fits" emerged from Dunedin, New Zealand. They released three great albums before disbanding in the mid 90s. Their debut album Hail was released in 1988. The album posted here is the 1990 re-release, comprising of the Life In One Chord EP and original debut album. Although they fit (groan) within the broad sphere of indie/alternative, The Fits had their own unique and diverse sound resulting from the differing contributions of their two songwriters: Shayne Carter contributed the snap and crackle, while Andrew Brough provided the pop (groan). This is acknowledged in the sleeve notes of Hail, which almost apologetically refer to the "different flavours" of the music on offer - like that's a bad thing?
Opener Dialing a Prayer sets the scene well, alternating between pop, subdued and spooky, and psychedelic, and features some great guitar noise. Telling Tales and Dead Heat are more straightforward indie pop, while Hail is more raucous and discordant.
She Speeds is the standout track. The subdued verses build suspense until the song bursts to life in the choruses, eventually leading into a joyous bridge. Sparkle That Shines and Take From The Years are again more straightforward indie pop. So Long Marianne sounds like mid-sixties Stones.
Grate is a mid-tempo atmospheric track built on great (oh puhlease!) discordant distorted guitar riffing. Fabulous Things is a slow-tempo atmospheric pop reminiscent of their best known song, Down In Splendour. Life In One Chord is a great three minute blast of pure punk, featuring some great guitar noise.
Straitjacket Fits - 1990 - Hail
1. Dialling A Prayer
2. Telling Tales
3. Dead Heat
5. Only You Knew
6. She Speeds
7. Sparkle That Shines
8. Take From The Years
9. So Long Marianne
11. Fabulous Things
12. All That That Brings
13. Life In One Chord
14. This Taste Delight
Saturday, June 4, 2011
Inspired by Rushbo's guide, and snippets from his band Little Red Schoolhouse's LP, I present a demo recorded by my old band Lucid Ocean for your entertainment/laughter (select as appropriate).
Being a music obsessive, I kept a (virtual) diary throughout my time in the band. And again, inspired by Rushbo, I'm thinking of unleashing this on the public. Whether there is any interest in the shenanigans of four misfits and their trials and tribulations on the path to early-nineties-indie-pop-nowheresville is another question?! The diaries have everything - sex, drugs, rock 'n' roll, bad hair, jealousy, hatred, borderline psychosis, unscrupulous music biz operators, local music rags questioning our moral fortitude....did I mention bad hair?
So onto the demo. It was recorded and mixed over a weekend at Tony Nesci's home studio, and sounds fantastic for a cheaply recorded demo. However, the sound clarity makes the limitations in Andrew's vocals all too obvious - we probably should have put him lower in the mix or drowned him out with reverb! IMHO our drummer Mark was the best indie drummer in Adelaide, and the drum sound showcases his abilities well. I was the sole guitarist in the band, and given that every other indie band had around two guitarists, I tended to overplay to compensate. I was also in the midst of my Ride-influenced guitar effects obsession, and this reduces the clarity of some of my playing.
The demo featured three of our best half dozen tracks. Our best track, Haunt, was recorded for an earlier demo, but all I have is the version I taped when it was first played on local radio station MMM (now 3D). I may make this available if there is any interest.
Flood is a six minute brooding atmospheric indie pop track. Mark's drums sound awesome. My guitar in the verses is far to busy - let's blame Johnny Marr! The spooky guitar effects in the middle worked well live but didn't cut it in the studio - no lights and dry ice there. As for the guitar solo, it was influenced by a certain heavy metal band from Birmingham, and IMHO works well in this context.
Autumn Color Haze is another atmospheric indie pop track, but this time at a faster clip. I think the guitar effects work well in this song, and Andrew's vocals work well.
This Peaceful Place is pure indie pop. It was one of our earliest songs, written on an acoustic guitar before my guitar effects obsession. And try as I may, I couldn't work my guitar effects or a guitar solo into the song without detracting from it! So it stayed pretty much the same as it was when written.
Circle She Is was my least favourite song. But everyone else liked it so I just had to accept it. The worst aspect about the song is that it often got us compared with Ned's Atomic Dustbin, who in my opinion were the most turgid piece-of-crap band in the entire fucking universe. I took the attitude that even if I disliked the song, I might as well enjoy what I played in it. I also use to play it with a guitar sound on the verge of feedback, and got some great sounds live. That aspect isn't really captured in this version, unfortunately.
The demo never had an official title. I always liked that idea of having a song with the pretentious title Anthem for the Estranged, and since there's noone here to argue with me I'm gonna adapt that for use as the demo title!
Lucid Ocean - 1992 - Anthems for the Estranged (demo)
02. Autumn Color Haze
03. This Peaceful Place
04. Circle She Is
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
When I started this blog I pledged to commemorate the anniversary of the death of two of my favorite artists.....and then promptly missed both dates.
Mark Linkous committed suicide March 6 2010 - and it was at least a week later that I realised, with great annoyance and regret, that I'd missed the anniversary of that date.
So you'd think I would've been prepared for May 6, which marked the fifth anniversary of the death of Grant McLennan, who passed away in his sleep on that date in 2006. But no! Although I missed this date, at least I have published some of his material previously.
Since I can't see this blog lasting until the end of this month, let alone March next year, the time for a Linkous post, or more precisely, a post on Linkous' band, Sparklehorse, has arrived......only for another dilemma.....which of the equally great four albums do I post?
I've elected to post the second album, Good Morning Spider, for two reasons - it's the album I feel most personally connected to, and due to the circumstances surrounding it's genesis. Being a slack motherfucker (a gratuitous Superchunk plug*), I'll quote from Wikpedia:
"Linkous overdosed on a combination of anti-depressants, valium, alcohol, and heroin in a London hotel room. Unconscious and with his legs pinned beneath him for almost fourteen hours, the resulting potassium build up caused his heart to stop for several minutes after his body was lifted up. The ensuing surgery almost caused him to lose the use of both legs and left him wheelchair-bound for six months."
The opening three tracks emphasise what I love about this band. Pig is frantic punk rock. Painbirds is mellow, mid-tempo pop, while Saint Mary is an achingly beautiful track featuring just vocals and acoustic guitar. More diversity and great songwriting in three songs than most bands manage in a career!
Other highlights include the uptempo pop of Sick of Goodbyes, Hey, Joe (unfortunately not a cover of the Hendrix classic - now that would have been something!), featuring just acoustic guitar, piano and vocals, the driving Chaos of the Galaxy/Happy Man, cloaked in radio static for the first 2 minutes, and the lazy and summery Sunshine.
Sparklehorse - 1998 - Good morning spider
3. Saint Mary
4. Good Morning Spider
5. Sick of Goodbyes
6. Box of Stars, Pt. 1
8. Chaos of the Galaxy/Happy Man
9. Hey, Joe
10. Come on In
11. Maria's Little Elbows
12. Cruel Sun
13. All Night Home
14. Ghost of His Smile
15. Hundreds of Sparrows
16. Box of Stars, Pt. 2
FLAC: Pt1, Pt2, Pt3, Pt4
* Yes, I know I've used the Superchunk reference before, which just goes to emphasise that it's the truth!