Sunday, April 17, 2011

Various Artists "Flipside Vinyl Fanzine Volume 1" USA / UK 1984

Last I checked, a couple of weeks ago, the three Flipside Vinyl Fanzines were not available online (this via my usual source of checking for online availability).  Some blogs had posted them all but the links seem to be down.  It looks like I'll be posting all of them in the coming weeks.

Of the three LPs this is likely the weakest, although it is an excellent time capsule with a few great tracks mixed in.  For those who don't know, there were two major punk zines in the US in the 1980s, which in the era before the internet and when long distance phone calls were still expensive (I sound like an old man!) became the main means of communication in the punkosphere.  One was Flipside, out of the Los Angeles area.  The other was MaximumRocknRoll out of the San Francisco area, which grew out of a college radio program to become the world's central punk resource.

Flipside was the older of the two, had the more "fun" image, was far less political and was more likely to cover music outside of the punk sphere and as time wore on its coverage edged into bands trying to "make it" in L.A, or even bands that had made it years earlier (I recall them covering Twisted Sister and Hawkwind).   It would cover even the odd hair/glam metal band and by the end of the decade had a glossy color cover and took ads from major labels.  MRR was and is the much-maligned heart of hardcore, especially political hardcore.  Always in stark black and white newsprint, it was political and focused on punk and had an editorial line and ad policies actively against music as an industry.  Contrary to popular belief, I think MRR did the best they could to cover many genres of punk-related rock until they got literally too many submissions to review each issue, and had to start drawing a line somewhere.  They would never have considered covering a hair metal band, but for years there were reviews of '60s garage re-releases, neo-surf and neo-garage bands, "crossover" metal and general weirdness like Butthole Surfers on top of the standard thrash and punk.

I was one of many people who read both every chance I could.  They were different but had some overlapping coverage area.  Between the two, reading the MRR reviews and the Flipside "Unclassifieds", you could stay in touch with people from all over the world, buying and trading music, zines etc.  The key was that both were dependable publications which came out like clockwork.  This was no small feat at the time.

The first of the three Flipside Vinyl Fanzines was released in 1984, and for the most part unlike the next two is a straight-ahead punk and hardcore affair.  By this time the novelty of early '80s hardcore speed was wearing a bit thin and within a couple of years the better bands diversified their sounds somewhat.  And that I think makes the next two records from the later '80s better.  All three albums have affixed to the front of each track a short sound sample from each band, who sound like they had a microphone shoved in front of them and were asked on little or no notice to record a message to the kids out there for the album, which ends up being for posterity.  The next two albums feature some experimental playfulness with this concept, leading me to think that people had more notice and were recording something they knew would be a memorable chunk of their bands' legacies.

As best as I can recall only British punk veterans G.B.H. are not Americans.

Side 1

1 The Dickies "Gigantor" (Live Cleveland Agoura)
2 Government Issue "Religious Ripoff"
3 The Freeze "No One Is Ever Coming Home"
4 White Flag "Question of Intelligence"
5 Kraut "Flossing with an E String"
6 F "Attack"
7 Plain Wrap "Meat Between the Treads"
8 Flag of Democracy "Madhouse"
9 TSOL "Suppose They Gave A War ..."
10 Adrenalin O.D. "Me Three Bunch"

Side 2

11 Scream "Fight"
12 The Undead "In '84"
13 FU’s "Warlords" (Live on WERS FM Boston)
14 Black Market Baby "Total Waste"
15 Psycho "Master Race"
16 Gay Cowboys in Bondage "Domestic Battlefield"
17 Borscht "Suburbia"
18 Anti-Scrunti Faction "Big Women"
19 G.B.H. "Give Me Fire" (Live At Perkins Palace, Pasadena)


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Dynastie Crisis "Vivre libre" b/w "Faust 72" France 1972

It was my intention to post a compilation this past weekend, but I was hit with a computer virus that took me most of the weekend to clean out of my machine.  I have a backlog of LPs to post, mostly compilations, but editing and labeling those audio files takes a lot of time, so for now here's a single and I hope to post an LP this coming weekend.

It would be nice to claim that this was a cool find on a trip or at a flea market, but it was simply an eBay purchase that I was the sole bidder on.

With a bunch of hair farmers and one baldhead, these guys look a bit like Spirit, and honestly given the variety of sounds that classic band gave us these guys can be said to sound something like them in places as well.  For some reason many French, Italian and other Romance language speakers seemed to have trouble producing rock'n'roll rhythms smoothly in the '60s, and although some gems were produced from those countries, early on many of the records from southern Europe up through the garage era sound awkward to me in a sense I have trouble describing.  Something about the rhythm section is often just a little bit off, as if the musicians had rock'n'roll verbally described to them once without ever hearing it in person.  (I sometimes think this is somehow related to language as Germanic and Slavic and some other speakers don't seem to have had these problems for the most part, but on the other hand neither did Latin Americans, so who knows...)  Many of my favorite '60s French recordings are things like Serge Gainsbourg productions that aren't really even trying to replicate straight rock'n'roll.  Once we get to the '70s and harder rock and prog, the different groove that France was in actually seems to have worked for them and produced some cool sounds.

The A-side here has some interesting percussion in a good way, almost Latin, and the addition of some flute puts this in the mid-ground between any hard rock early '70s band, Santana and Jethro Tull.  The B-side is even better, a blend of hard rock and prog with interesting keyboard sounds.

The band was only together for a few years, releasing only two studio albums.  More info here.

Live free or die.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Various Artists "Exploiting Plastic Inevitable: Lesson II" LP international 1960s/1970s

Full title: Exploiting Plastic Inevitable: Lesson II Globular Lightning

One of the great things about the internet is how people with similar interests in different parts of the world can become connected when otherwise they would never find each other.  That's the story with this album.

Shortly after posting the rare first volume of these two compilations, my post got some comments from one of the German fellows who put them together.  One thing led to another, and before I knew it I was proud owner of an untouched copy of one of only 700 of these follow-up compilations pressed back in 1996.  A couple of months ago I didn't even know this existed.

So Vielen Dank! to my German source.  The idea was that this was going to be the first time this rarity was posted by anyone, but as luck would have it the excellent blog Paradise of Garage Comps beat me to it by a few weeks.  Seeing the effort that went into getting this LP as far as it came, I'm going to plow ahead and post it again myself.  Two sources for something this scarce can't hurt.  (And yes, this is my vinyl rip... first time the album was played!)

Once again this album is composed of some fantastic garage and psych rarities from literally all over the world, spanning the mid-'60s through the early '70s.

Side 1

1 Les Problemes - Dodecaphonie (Puteaux, France)
2 Brains Ltd. - Change Your Life (Hamburg, Germany)
3 Adam's Boys - Get Away From Me (Athens, Greece)
4 Hide and Seek - Riven Street (Austria)
5 Los Vidrios Quebrados - Que Importa El Tiempo (Chile)
6 Rob De Neys - Bye Bye Mrs. Turple (Amsterdam, Holland)
7 John Wonderling - Man Of Straw (NY, U.S.A.)
8 The Nicols - She Has A Name To Find Out (The Hague, Holland)
9 Ganim's Asia Minors - Daddy Lolo (New York, NY, U.S.A.)

Side 2
1 The Rope Sect - Dae Du Dae (Villingen, Germany)
2 Tom Dae Turned On - I Shall Walk (Hartford, CT, U.S.A.)
3 Berry Clan & The Pollution - My Crock (Belgium)
4 Revolver - I'm Down (Israel)
5 Ram & Sel - Screw You (Sheffield, U.K.)
6 Illes - Nem Erdekel, Amit Monsz (Hungary)

Take a trip!