Friday, June 8, 2012

Blogroll updated - any suggestions for me?

Doing some cleaning up on the blog, starting with the blogroll.

These are all some quality blogs which will provide you with hours of entertainment and turn you on to some wonderful sounds.

If anyone would like to send me suggestions for other blogs deserving of our attention, please let me know.

Stay tuned for more out of print records soon!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

My strange travel photo book project on

Not exactly vinyl-related, but I thought I'd share.  I don't usually self-promote very well but if I can't do this on my own space on the web, where can I?

I have a strange collection of photos of signs from around the world that I have taken in my travels in the past 16 years.  I am using to fund this project.  If you send me some money - and the project is fully funded - I will send you a hardcover copy of the book or a digital file of the book.  If the project is not fully funded you are not charged anything.

This is the link to the project, which explains more and would allow you to participate.

Obviously I'm trying to use any means of web promotion for this I can.  Please feel free to send these links to anyone you know who might be interested.

More records coming soon, I promise!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Stay tuned... the blog isn't dead, and will be updated soon!

Hi folks -

It's been over a year since I've updated the blog.  In that time I've had a number of pressing work projects and challenges to deal with, illness in the family, etc. but things are calming down a bit as we head into summer and I certainly have more records to share.

Soon I'll clean up the blogroll and shortly thereafter I hope to be back with some new posts.  Although I love this project, it is a bit of work and of course no income is derived from it, so it's pretty far down in the order of things that must be done.

I just consider myself lucky to have dodged the Megaupload massacre through happening to have chosen a different provider.  If anyone finds a broken link for any reason do let me know.

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!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Lalo Schifrin "Theme from Enter the Dragon" soundtrack 45 USA/Argentina 1973

It's a busy weekend and I only have time to post a single this week, although there are a lot of great LPs I have lined up for you folks in the coming weeks.  We'll be getting back to more '60s/'70s rock soon, including some rare compilations I think people will love.  It takes more time to edit an LP into mp3s and do the track listings, especially with compilations.

Here's something a little different, two Lalo Schifrin compositions from the soundtrack of the classic 1973 kung fu flick Enter the Dragon.  Schifrin is from Argentina, and has been involved in both classical music and pop movie and TV soundtracks in L.A. for deacdes.

I much prefer the A-side, which is an up-tempo funk/orchestral pop track punctuated by some awesome '70s kung fu screams.  You can enjoy this with or without irony.  The B-side, "The Big Battle", sounds like the composer was told "OK, we need a song for a long fight sequence... make it sound something like the main theme, but like it could be coming to a climax at any point... but don't do that, just keep it going..."  This was a thrift store find and I likely paid 25 cents for it.

Them kids was fast as lightnin'.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Fox "Only You Can" b/w "Out of My Body" UK/USA/Australia/Ireland 1974

Here's another one of those singles that I thought was a rarity, but is just relatively unknown in the United States.  This song hit #2 on the West German and #3 on the UK pop charts in '74, but at only #53 here in the US this is never going to get played on any commercial radio station.  My copy is a German pressing on the GTO label.

Fox was a multinational band put together by American songwriter/producer Kenny Young, and featured Australian Susan Traynor (using the stage name "Noosha Fox") on vocals, which in her case includes suggestive inhaling.

The hit has a loping beat, a softer side of dance-able glam-pop number that approaches, but never reaches, a reggae grove.  I bet they dug this at Rodney Bingehheimer's English Disco.  The B-side is more a psych-pop by way of glam ballad track and has quite the lysergic lyric, although if I had to pick a drug that was in the studio at the time I'd have to go quaaludes.  Despite - or is it because of? - this description I like both sides.  Now I'd like to hear the '75 LP.

Get out of your body.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Marie Laforêt "Vol. 3" LP France 1967

This album was purchased a few weeks back at the same record fair where I picked up this stunning Czech record.  I bought this from a Quebecois guy who came down to sell some records, and I'm glad he was there.  Because I have the first couple of Pop à Paris CD compilations, I recognized the name, and more important the first track on the album, an awesome cover (with an unrelated rewritten French lyric) of the Stones' "Paint It Black."  If you haven't heard this yet do yourself a favor and give it a listen.  It might well be better than the original.  She certainly has a better voice than Mr. Jagger.

That song plus the "Sounds of Silence" cover make the LP worth having by themselves.  As a bonus you get 10 more songs by Ms. Laforêt, mostly orchestral pop-folk of the sort the yé-yé ladies were cranking out by the boatload in the '60s.

You can read about her career in music and movies - both of which she tossed aside for the visual arts - here or if you parlez the French here.  She's also left France and is now a Swiss citizen.  Apparently this is one of 7 roughly annual consecutive albums up through 1970 titled by number, putting her in the same league as Chicago and The Soft Machine in the competition for World's Most Imaginitive Album Titles.  The nice Canadian fellow had a few of the others, and despite him giving me a bit of a price break for actually knowing what I was buying, and trying out my college French, I had only so much cash to spend that day, and this album will have to do for the time being.

Incidentally Marie- douceur, Marie-colère translates as "Sweet Mary/Pissed Off Mary" or something to that effect. Also of interest: she had a euro-hit in 1977 with Il a neigé sur Yesterday ("It Snowed [on] Yesterday"), an homage to The Beatles which yeah, I won't be posting that.

Face 1

Marie- douceur, Marie-colère
Je voudrais tant que tu comprennes
La voix du silence
Siffle, siffle ma fille
Ma chanson faite pour toi
La plage

Face 2

Toi qui dors
La moisson
Je t'attends
Après toi qui sait
La tendresse
L'arbre qui pleure


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Various Artists "The ARP Family of Synthesizers" 7" EP USA 197?

This 7" 33 1/3 record was pressed in order to sell ARP synthesizers to the public.  It wouldn't be surprising to me if this were given out for free or for postage, in stores or through mail order.

My copy is a little beaten up, and I bought this in a thrift store in a plain paper sleeve, probably for 25 cents.  As I don't have a picture sleeve and there's no date on the record, the best I can date it is to c. 1972 if the statement on the A side that the Who's Next album was "recent" is accurate.

Side A is basic narration by Roger Powell about the ARP instruments and samples of their use.  The B side has some music samples from Powell and Dave Fredericks, both of whom had synthesizer records out at the time.  The first tracks I would describe as jazz fusion and ambient/easy listening, but the winners for me are the two brief final tracks, which are respectively cosmic experimental '70s bloop-blorp and one of those silly Moog-pop-type songs which sounds like the cartoon theme for an idiot character.  I don't know how else to describe it, but it makes me smile despite myself.

We'll be back to some rock in the next post.  In the meantime, enjoy this little tutorial that explains in part how the '70s sounded so interstellar, man.  Oh, here's a great list of acts that used ARP instruments.  It might have been easier to compile a list of who didn't!  Also check out this tribute page to the instruments.

Side 1

"The ARP Family of Synthesizers" - Roger Powell

Side 2

"Stinger" - Dave Fredericks
"Queene Efineska" - Roger Powell
"Hermetic Enigma" - Roger Powell (both Powell tracks on the 1973 Cosmic Furnace album)
"Mockingbird Hill" - Dave Fredericks


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Various Artists "Killed by Glam 2: 14 Euro Glam Rock Gems" LP international 1970s

This LP came out within the last couple of years on the MoonBoot label out of London. The first volume is all British bands and I'd love to hear that if anyone out there has it. This is all pretty killer '70s glam from continental Europe as the title suggests. Not much more I can add to that. If you like that genre, you'll love this. If you're a sucker for cheesy '70s electronic effects mixed into stomping rock tracks like I am, you'll love it even more.

Unfortunately my copy seems to have a couple of minor flaws in the pressing that cause brief skips in the first couple of tracks. (The obvious way to avoid this is for you to track down the CD or another vinyl copy like this and buy it.)

Overall this is a very nice job of presenting the music - very clean sound, and color reproductions of the 45 sleeves on the reverse with brief liner notes.

Side A

01. Rocket Men - "Rocket Man" (France 1974)
02. Sharaton - "Caught in the Act" (Netherlands 1974)
03. Mabel - "Hey, I love you!" (Denmark 1976)
04. Tiger B. Smith - "Morning Bird" (West Germany 1974)
05. Nicky Bulldog - "Chewingum Rock" (Italy? 1976)
06. House Of Lilly - "Turn Around" (Switzerland? 1973)
07. Walkers - "Fire" (Denmark 1973)

Side B

08. Funky Family - "Part of My Life" (West Germany 1973)
09. Black Fire - "Come On and Do It" (Netherlands 1975)
10. La Strana Societa - "Vento che soffi" (Italy 1973)
11. Lennart Messagie & Dagleth - "You Can Make It Better" (Belgium 1975)
12. Blue Vamp - "Jolly Dolly" (France 1974)
13. Tears - "Ooh Lah" (Sweden 1974)
14. The Killer - "Say Goodbye" (Netherlands 1975)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Various Artists "Radio Bond-Age" LP France 1980s

This cool compilation consists almost entirely of French bands of the 1980s.  Although I believe it was released in 1989, much of the material here dates from in some cases as many as 5 or more years earlier as it was meant to promote a number of releases on the Bondage label out of Paris.

It is one of the most impressive packaging jobs I've ever seen on a true indie release, with an elaborate glossy color gatefold cover and informative English language liner notes.  It seems the album was meant to introduce some French acts to an English-speaking audience.  This was one of the records I most had in mind to post when starting the blog.

There's a mix of punk and related genres, steering clear of the hardcore/thrash scene that also existed in Paris at the time.  You have fairly melodic art punk from (relatively) famous bands such as Bérurier Noir and Ludwig von 88, known for their artsy political stage shows, as well as several other inconnus that take things in a number of post-punk directions, ranging from the twisted folk of Les Nonnes Troppo (who dressed as nuns) and Les the hip hop-inspired sampling of No Vision, a group that apparently grew out of a "graffiti crew."  Expect from the best tracks some combination of demented B-52s, a touch of Cramps and standard melodic '80s punk sounds along with horns, accordion, and a variety of other instruments.  I can pretty much guarantee that everyone will like some of this and very few will like all of it.

The one non-French band on the LP is The Lords of the New Church, a "supergroup" American/British post-punk band composed of former members of The Dead Boys, Sham 69, The Barracudas and a number of other projects, who had at least one release on the Bongade label and were the first non-French band on their roster.

I bought this in a used record store in Philadelphia in about 1989 or so and haven't seen a copy since.

Face A

"Ready Ready Go Punk Rockers" - The Brigades
"Jardin Potager" - Les Endimanches
"Guerriers Balubas" - Ludwig von 88
"Nuit Apache" - Bérurier Noir
"I Love You - Fuck Off" - Lucrate Milk
"Les Voisins du dessus" - Les Satellites
"Pizza Attack" - Washington Dead Cats

Face B

"Hotel du Labrador" - Messageros Killers Boys
"Le Roi de la route" - Les Nonnes Troppo
"Pop SIDA" - Les PPI (Pervers Polymorphes Inorganises)
"Je suis un evade" - Nuclear Device
"Death Penalty" - No Vision
"Real Bad Time" - The Lords of the New Church

Vive le rock!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Les Luths "Joey" b/w "Smokey Dog" Canada 1969

This single goes for some ridiculous prices online and is featured on at least one digital collection of French Canadian garage rock.  My copy came without a picture sleeve, is a little beaten up and I forget where I bought it, but in all likelihood in an American thrift store for less than $1.

"Joey" is listed as the A-side online but sounds a bit more like a B-side to me.  It's part of the way between a '50s doo wop track and the Stones' "Time Is On My Side."  The B-side is the up-tempo rocker, a mix of Chuck Berry, any '60s garage band and maybe, because of the aggressive, cutting lead guitar, a touch of The Stooges.  "Smokey Dog" is the second song featured on this blog with barking.

Les Luths is French for "The Lutes."  From what little internet research I just did they might be the better known Quebecois band Les Lutins with a bit of a name change toward the end of their career, but I could be completely wrong about that.  I'm sure someone out there in cyberspace will correct me.


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Various Artists "Talkin' Trash!" LP USA 1954-1963

Full title: "Talkin' Trash!: Greasy Rhythm & Blues with Attitude! 1954-63"

I've had this album roughly a decade and likely bought it at a used record store in Philadelphia.  It's a bootleg on the Greasy label, apparently catalog number "R&B5463". although this formula is clearly just a description of the contents.  Not much info of any sort on the album.

It's just what the title says, a very down'n'dirty roots r'n'b slice of lesser known African-American popular music from the mid-'50s through the early '60s.  Influences come sometimes a bit more from the gospel side of things and some a bit more from the craps game in an alley behind the bar.  In either event this is real, formative rock'n'roll with energetic performances and fun lyrics.  If it doesn't make you smile I would seek medical attention.

Most compelling is the story of The Honeybears' "Whoa!", in which our lyricist passes out from drink in a local watering hole only to have a cork - and I certainly hope I'm hearing the word cork - shoved up his bunghole.  When your parents say "they don't write 'em like they used to", I would point to this song.

The two most famous performers here are the venerable Pigmeat Markham, who scored a huge novelty hit in the late '60s with "Here Comes the Judge", and Rudy Ray Moore, best known as a blaxploitation film actor (Dolemite).

Put the cork in the bunghole!

Side One

"Talkin' Trash" - The Olympics
"Your Wire's Been Tapped" - Pigmeat Markham
"Alley Rat" - King Coleman
"The Hunt" - Sonny Boy
"Didn't It Rain" - Evelyn Freeman
"Homeboy" - Mr. Wiggles
"One Bad Stud" - The Honeybears
"Let a Woman Through" - Morine & The Zercons
"Pork Chops" - The Dorsets

Side Two

"Roll Dem Bones" - John Tee
"Look to Jesus" - Reverend Lofton & The Holy Travellers
"Show Me Where It's At" - Morine & The Zercons
"Ugly George" - Melvin Smith
"I No Longer Believe in Miracles" - Ada Ray
"Whoa!" - The Honeybears
"One Bone" - Claude Cloud
"Hobo" - Earl Curry
"Step It Up and Go" - Rudy Ray Moore

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Mike Roger and His Machine Guns "Dance the Slop" 45 West Germany 1963

Part of what I'm trying to do on the blog is present vinyl rips of material that I have not seen on other blogs.  I've been visiting dozens of high quality blogs pretty regularly for more than 5 years, and I tend to have a pretty good memory for what I have and haven't seen available.

The plan for today was to post the Mike Roger and His Machine Guns song "Dance the Slop" and the similar, German-language B-side.  The accent of "Mike Roger" would tell any native speaker of English that that was not the man's birth name.  In trying to figure that out and trying to figure out if the record were from Germany or elsewhere in Europe (my copy, bought in an American record store years ago for $3, has no picture sleeve) and get a release year for it, after recording mp3s of the single I did a (very) little research.

Immediately I discovered that the 45 has already been posted on the excellent Berlin Beatet Bestes blog, which I had somehow forgotten about and has now been added to the blogroll at right.  I'll send you there to hear the music, see the pic sleeve - which is more than I can provide - and get the whole story on the so-called "Mike Roger."  Since this was my planned post for the day and I already did most of the work necessary to provide it only to discover that someone else did a better post than I could... that's going to be my updated content for today.  I'm sure that Andreas will appreciate the traffic; he does an excellent job with the records he presents.

This weekend I will be posting at least one LP that I have never seen available at any blog, so be sure to visit again in a few days for that!  From now on I search for the record first and work on the post later!