Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I Hear A New World

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Here's Joe Meek's pet-side-project thing from 1959, an outer space adventure made in his home studio using all sorts of unconventional and home made goodies and effects. Fascinated by the space program, he explained this project as an attempt "to create a picture in music of what could be up there in outer space." From the wikipedia entry:

This he (as producer) achieved by blending The Blue Men's skiffle/rock and roll style with a range of sound and effects, created by such kitchen-sink methods as blowing bubbles in water with a straw, draining water out of the sink, shorting an electrical circuit, and even banging partly-filled milk bottles with spoons; yet one must listen carefully to detect these prosaic origins in the finished product. Another important feature of the recordings is the very early use of stereophony.

This is 50's futurism at it's most creative and bestest. It was never fully released at the time it was made in '59/60, but two versions were released more recently. The version posted here is the warts-and-all (more authentic) version included in Barry Cleveland's book "Creative Music Production: Joe Meek's Bold Techniques."

The Blue Men with Rod Freeman - I Hear A New World (Alternate Mix)
The Blue Men with Rod Freeman - Love Dance of the Saroos

Full Album:

Joe Meek / Rod Freeman and the Blue Men - I Hear A New World

+ Buy Creative Music Production: Joe Meek's Bold Techniques
+ Buy Let's Go: Joe Meek's Girls

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Hawaiian Pups

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Here's the Hawaiian Pups' Split Second Precision EP from 1983. Mostly good stuff, espesh "Young Boys" and "Baby Judy" and their respective b-side reworks. The way she coos on "Young Boys" and the whole reverse predatory thing is pretty great. "Baby Judy" is totally nuts and lots of fun to dance to, gets playd at Part Time Punks regularly. Great cover art, too.

music removed at the request of the artist, who provided some additional info and alluded to a possible reissue in her email. I've included the email in the comments.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Flying Lizards

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Yay for my first entire album posting, The Flying Lizards' self-titled debut from 1979. These guys were pigeonholed as kind of kitschy because of some of their cover singles (Money! That's What I want etc), but this first album has some pretty innovative and interesting stuff on it, and they used all kinds of interesting found things as instruments on this album. A 1980 Melody Maker review of the album can be found here, and some other good reviews and interviews from the time here.

Two standouts are the tracks Vivien Goldman sings on, "Her Story" and "The Window." Vivien Goldman is probs best known for her music journalism and her solo single "Launderette," co-produced with John Lydon, which has a lot in common with the tracks she sings on here.

Here's "Her Story" for preview/download for those of you who don't like downloading stuff before you've been able to sample.

The Flying Lizards - Her Story

Download Full Album here.


Vivien Goldman - Launderette

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Sweets from a Stranger

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Two overlooked Squeeze gems from 1982's Sweets from a Stranger. The album got bad reviews I guess but these tracks are hot, "strangers" is a kind of skittery funky thing (but with the obvious squeeze-isms) and the other a sort of gooey new pop confection.

Squeeze - Stranger than the Stranger on the Shore
Squeeze - The Very First Dance

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Suicide Half Alive

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Here are some early Suicide demos from the ROIR-released Half Alive (1981). There's also some live stuff on it, with some real prime examples of Alan Vega screaming like a crazy, but I like the demos cause they're prettier. And that's how i'm feeling. Most of these turned up on the first or second albums as similarly named but differently produced songs, and all except for "Dreams" were recorded at their home studio.

Suicide - Space Blue ('75)
Suicide - Speed Queen ('75)
Suicide - Dreams ('75)
Suicide - Chezazze ('79)
Suicide - Cool As Ice ('79)
Suicide - Love You ('79)

Friday, June 22, 2007

The Wicker Man and Paul Giovanni

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I just saw The Wicker Man (1973) recently, and it was the best movie I've seen all year, maypoles and sexy rituals and masked pagans oh my. I read somewhere that Paul Giovanni wrote the entire score in a week, which is rad since it's pretty much a masterpiece.

It's a shame that an awful remake of this film was made last year with Nick Cage (boo). Some of the most popular videos on YouTube right now are mash-ups of the lamest scenes from the remake with everyone ragging on what a douche Nick Cage is in the comments. Ha. But everyone should see the original and forget about the remake. Here is some music from the movie - I wasn't able to download one or two of my favorites, so when I do I'll add them to the post.

The Wicker Man Soundtrack (Paul Giovanni) - Gently Johnny
The Wicker Man Soundtrack (Paul Giovanni) - Willow's Song
The Wicker Man Soundtrack (Paul Giovanni) - Maypole Song
The Wicker Man Soundtrack (Paul GIovanni) - Corn Riggs
The Wicker Man Soundtrack (Paul Giovanni) - The Wicker Man (End Title)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Friday, May 18, 2007

It Doesn't Count

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Image by Mr. Nagel

I still haven't had time to work out my vinyl to MP3 technical issues, but I want to post something, so this is what I've been listening to today:

Section 25 - Girls Don't Count
Gina X Performance - No G.D.M
Ludus - Little Girls
Modern English - Swans On Glass
The Delmontes - Love In A Guillotine
New Order - Video 586 (Edit)

Friday, May 11, 2007

Meccanik Dancing

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XTC's Go 2 (1978). Seems like most bands add crappy bridges or middle 8s as an afterthought to make the return to a final verse/chorus that much sweeter. But for XTC, the bridge is often the meat of the song. Actually, i Don't even know if these qualify as bridges or middle 8s because they are longer than those... whatever, suffice to say that songs like Red depart from the verse/chorus in interesting ways halfway through the song.

XTC - Meccanik Dancing (Oh We Go!)
XTC - Red

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Listening to Go 2 reminded me a lot of the first Oingo Boingo album Only a Lad (1981). I'm obsessed with Danny Elfman and this album is one of my favorites. Oingo Boingo also change things up halfway through, bringing in sections that depart drastically from the previous verse/chorus..

Oingo Boingo - What You See
Oingo Boingo - Controller

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Dirty Laundry Post - From Bromley with Love

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Call me Ambular, I've been having some technical problems ripping new vinyl acquisitions to MP3 lately and so am resorting to going through Mutant Sounds dirtly laundry. Pretty shameful stuff for an MP3 blogger, but oh well, it's good music so just download it and be happy. These tracks are from the "From Bromely with Love" compilation (Alternative Records - ALT 007 - 1982) posted on MS back in January:

Story A - Only Dreaming
Easter and the Totem - Nothing There
Burlesque - Collision of Sex
20-20 Systems - Dresden

You can still get the whole thing from Mutant Sounds here.

I'm finishing up an audio project of my own, will be back with new music when it's done mid-May. xx, unclealex.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Video Classics - McLaren and Madness

I've gone pop, turn back now if you can't deal. Two great videos, two great songs. Pretty much a founding father of punk, this is what Malcolm McLaren was up to by 1984. Amazing what the passage of a little time will do. This jam is from his first album as a solo artist, the Trevor Horn-produced Duck Rock (1983). Malcolm McLaren, especially in this video, is bizarrely fascinating to me, creepy but endearing, an awkward armchair ethnomusicologist with northern soul.

Malcolm McLaren - Double Dutch

Dudes, I'm adding this one after the fact because I just cant resist - pure 80's pop goodness. From 1984's Fans, McLaren bastardizes Puccini's Madame Butterfly and a few other classics. "Take it away Cio Cio..." haha - Puccini is rolling in his grave. McLaren probably has a lot of people rolling in their graves come to think of it.

Malcolm McLaren - Madame Butterfly

And the Madness video for 1981's "It Must be Love" single. These guys were sharp.

Madness - It Must Be Love

Friday, April 06, 2007


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Ludus was based around Mancunian artist and singer Linder Sterling, who's swooning, shrill voice has been described as "an exquisite torture." That's pretty accurate I'd say. LTM reissued The Visit EP (1980) and The Seduction LP (1982) on one disc in 2002. Here are some tracks.

From The Visit:

Ludus - Sightseeing
Ludus - Unveil

From The Seduction:

Ludus - My Cherry is in Sherry
Ludus - Mirror Mirror

Full Ludus story here

Buy the album here

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Strawberry Switchblade - hot hot hot

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These bitches were HOT. For more photos go here. Fashion mavericks - they're like brunette british Olsens with talent. Have a bit of that psychedelic punk thing Rubella Ballet had going on, a little Robert Smith, etc. Rubella Ballet + Robert Smith + Olsens = something close to Strawberry Switchblade style.

A while back I posted a link to a bunch of SS demos and radio sessions. For those that didn't check that out, I've gathered a few of my favorites together. "Dance" is an early version of "Since Yesterday" from their self-titled debut album (1985). Listening to them side-by-side you can see the evolution they underwent from Postcard-esque indie pop to bubblegum dance pop. It wasn't a total evolution though, if the gothy beauteousness of "Nothing Changes," also from 1985, is any indication.

Strawberry Switchblade - Dance (BBC Jensen Session Oct 1982)
Strawberry Switchblade - Secrets (Peel Session Oct 1982)
Strawberry Switchblade - Trees and Flowers (Peel Session Oct 1982)

Strawberry Switchblade - Since Yesterday (1985)
Strawberry Switchblade - Life's Full of Wonders (Peel Session Feb 1985)
Strawberry Switchblade - Nothing Changes (Peel Session Feb 1985)

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


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This is some rare and interesting post-Weirdos stuff from the Denney Brothers, Dix and John. It's a departure from the first-wave punk of The Weirdos, very industrial and electronic, but the political bent of a punk band is still apparent in the song titles. No singing though, which is kind of a bummer, I'd like it even more with some vocals.

They apparently used a washing machine to make the drum sounds. This is the A-side from the 1981 album "Warhead" - which I nabbed from Goodwill for a buck :)

If-Then-Else - Hey Big Oil
If-Then-Else - Sidewalker
If-Then-Else - The Wedge
If-Then-Else - Warhead


The Weirdos - Cyclops Helicopter

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Cowboys International®

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Cowboys International® was a short lived, super tight, kaleidoscopically fantastic project from that liminal period in British music when punk, post-punk, new wave and new pop were all swirling around in some sort of fertile, hazily defined stew. Unconcerned with where one genre ended and another began, songwriter Ken Lockie, unsung genius if there ever was one, got together a group of players that included Keith Levene (PiL) and Terry Chimes (The Clash) to record 1979's The Original Sin. The album was named a Melody Maker top 20 album that year, but it didn't make the lasting, meteor-sized impact it should have, and after it's initial release was out of print for more than 20 years.

Thanks to some cosmic benevolence, a few years ago Lockie released an expanded reissue of album titled Revisited, ensuring that you can get your grubby hands on it today. Terry fucking Chimes man, he really seals the deal here - the drumming is amazing. And the production (even on CD) makes the ears warm like a whiff of poppers.

Cowboys International - Aftermath (Radio Mix)
Cowboys International - Future Noise
Cowboys International - Many Times (Revised)
Cowboys International - Wish
Cowboys International - Here Comes A Saturday

The rest of the album is as good if not better than the tracks above - you can and should buy it at CD Baby.


Shortly after the release of this album the Cowboys dissolved and Lockie, after a brief and unproductive stint playing keyboard for PiL, moved to New York, where he apparently got swept up in the downtown dance scene as Dominatrix.

Dominatrix - The Dominatrix Sleeps Tonight (1984)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Only Men Fall in Love

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Home Service was a short-lived project by David Motion and David Fraser that bore several releases on their own label Crystal Groove Records as well as a 7" single of "Only Men Fall in Love" on the Beggars Banquet subsidiary Situation 2.

Alhtough Home Service didn't last long, Motion became enamored with the recording process during the Home Service project, and went on to become a successful producer, recruited to produce a number of bands including Strawberry Switchblade. He talks a bit about Home Service and his beginnings as a producer in an interview on the Strawberry Switchblade site. More recently he's scored films and produced a number of ditties for commercials - full bio on his music career here. And, you can listen to some of his current work on his Myspace. It's super interesting to me that someone behind such a leftfield track as OMFIL would go on to make music for mainstream commercials. But I guess a lot of musicians have that trajectory.

This is actually ripped from a 12" of OMFIL that US label Cachalot released in 1981. It's played pitched way down, beecause playing it at it's intended full 45 was WAY TOO FAST! I Can't believe it's that fast, and now understand why Andrew over at Lovefingers posted it at 33 a while back.

Home Service - Only Men Fall in Love
Home Service - O.M.F.I.L.

Bonerus - A whole shitload of Strawberry Switchblade demos, Peel Sessions, outtakes etc. available for download on the Strawberry Switchblade Site. Good stuff!!

Friday, February 16, 2007

The Queen

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Ms. Lunch is the mistress of off-key insouciance. She sings like she's coming down off the Anna Nicole Smith cocktail (too soon?), and it's sloppy and lazy and perfect. From her 1980 debut Queen of Siam:

Lydia Lunch - Atomic Bongos
Lydia Lunch - Spooky

Atomic bongos is my jam du jour, and Spooky is a rendition of an old Classics IV song from 1967. Here is the original for comparison and contrastison:

Classics IV - Spooky

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Way of the West

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I don't know much about this Boston band Way of the West, and Google didn't help, but it's pretty good shit. I tracked this down after hearing "White Boys" sandwiched in between The Hawaiian Pups and Cluster by one of the DJs at The Echo. I think it was at an Ariel Pink show.  If you know anything about these dudes, do tell.

Here's a folder with all their singles and a few extras:

Don't Say That's Just For White Boys (1980)
Drum (1981)
See You Shake (1981)
City for Lovers (1984)
Feel the Steel (1984)


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Y Pants

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Y Pantssssss! I've mentioned before that I LOVE girl drummers - add Virginia Piersol of Y Pants to that list. Y Pants, part of the DIY No Wave stew, got started out on toy instruments (the toy piano of my childhood sounds JUST like the one they play), and threw the heaviosity of earlier punk and experimental acts into relief with their awesome softness. Creative girls, these ones, birthing surprises at every turn despite the super simplicity of their playing.

They recorded their first EP in 1980 with the legendary Glenn Branca, and released an LP, Beat It Down, in '82. Both releases are included on the 1998 CD release of their catalog issued by Periodic Document. Note the covers of songs by The Rolling Stones and Leslie Gore, as well as lyrics based on Emily Dickinson's I heard a fly buzz when I died. For an idea of just how radically they altered the originals I've included the original Leslie Gore recording of "That's The Way Boys Are" (1964) for comparison and constrastison.

Y Pants - Off The Hook (Rolling Stones cover)
Y Pants - Beat It Down
Y Pants - Love's A Disease
Y Pants - The Fly (words by Emily Dickinson)
Y Pants - The Code Of Life
Y Pants - That's The Way Boys Are (Leslie Gore Cover)

Lesley Gore - That's The Way Boys Are

Friday, February 02, 2007

Diagram Brothers

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Diagram Brothers ('79-'82) were a high-concept postpunk group from Manchester made up of four science students who devised strict constricts for their songs and diagrammed the planned unfoldings of their studio sessions, interviews, shows, and record sleeves. Says bassist Andy Diagram (also trumpet player for Dislocation Dance):

"The music was made to a strict formula, or set of rules. All the guitar chords were based on discordant notes, all the beats were very simple rock or disco, and all the words were very straightforward and down to earth."

Diagram Brothers - We Are All Animals
Diagram Brothers - I Would Like To Live In Prison
Diagram Brothers - Bricks
Diagram Brothers - Discordo

The expanded "Some Marvels of Modern Science" can be downloaded in it's entirety for free over at Mutant Sounds, or purchased from Darla.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Family Fodder B-Sides

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I just received some ebay-purchased Family Fodder 7", and they are the cutest little 7" ever. The singles are old favorites of mine, but the B-sides are new to me and are, like most of their stuff, totally great and fascinating.

Family Fodder - Savoir Faire (1980)
Family Fodder - Carnal Knowledge

Family Fodder - Film Music
Family Fodder - Room

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Dalek I Love You

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Dalek I Love You were a synth-pop band that formed in Liverpool in 1977. The name is the result of a band compromise, a combination of Dalek, the evil alien mutants from Dr. Who, and "Darling, I Love You." I'll butcher history by paraphrasing that in their few early years they shared and lost members to The Teardrop Explodes and OMD, and by the time they released their debut album Compass Kumpass (1980) they were a duo, Alan Gill and Dave Hughes.

For the release of the album, the sneaky petes at Phonogram shortened the band's name to Dalek i without even telling them. Compass did well in the UK, reaching #54 on the pop charts, but didn't receive a whif of attention elsewhere. NME writer Andy Gill reviewed the record upon its release:

"A prime example of living-room music construction, it features catchy,
interlinking little riffs over a plodding beat formed by combining
elements of both drums and drum-machines and Gill's calmly urgent
vocals. Ingeniously simple but infuriatingly infectious -- rather like
an adult Human League on speed -- "Freedom Fighters" is one of the
year's best singles so far, and from what I heard of their other
material, there's plenty more where that came from."

Dalek i - Destiny (Dalek I Love You)
Dalek i - Freedom Fighters
Dalek i - Mad
Dalek i - Good Times
Dalek i - Heat

And that was it for the initial period of the band. Get the exhaustive, unbutchered full story on Dalek I Love You here.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Tapes on Vinyl

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The Tapes were a dutch new wave band based out of Amsterdam, and that's all google wrote. In English at least. I did find some info on dutch-language sites, but it didn't lend itself nicely to translation in a crappy online translator. The one thing I garnered (and could have figured out by reading the album cover) is that their third and final album "On A Clear Day" (1981) was produced by John Leckie, who's production hand also grazed the likes of XTC, The Fall, PiL, Simple Minds, and Magazine.

I'm patting myself on the back - I finally checked my laziness for a second and figured out how to convert vinyl to MP3, so this here is fresh from vinyl. Still working out how to get a nice LOUD recording, and put an awful knick in "Good Riddance" (fuckfuckfuck) before I made some tweaks that resulted in a more tolerably pitched "Night After Night," so my apologies for the lowered volume. Anyhow, enjoy, and I'll be posting more rare-ish stuff that I only have on vinyl soon (with better volume hopefully).

The Tapes - Night After Night
The Tapes - Good Riddance

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

do the quango

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Quando Quango was an early 80's electronic dance band formed by Hacienda DJ and Factory A&R man Mike Pickering and dutch siblings Hillegonda and Reinier Rietveld. Hillegonda does a better job than I could of describing the music:

"...Fela Kuti meets Kraftwerk somewhere between Manchester and Rotterdam, part of a new wave of post-punk electronica, with a whole lot of Mike Pickering's admirably broad knowledge of soul, disco, reggae and pop to stuff the gaps."

And Trouserpress says:

"Playing and production are uniformly sharp, but Quando Quango was best served by 12-inch dance mixes; an entire LP's worth becomes redundant and forgettable."

I totes agree. These two 12" singles rock, but some of their other stuff is a little chintsy.

Quando Quango - Love Tempo (12" mix) (1983)
Quando Quango - Atom Rock (12" mix) (1984)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

For you winos

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From the fertile valleys of Manchester, in some very pristine years for this locale, Dislocation Dance are a spritzy new wave outfit with a french pop bouquet and a post punk nose. Enjoyed best over a coastal drive or an upbeat cheese party, this spirited offering is free of harsh aftertastes and noisy elements. The flavors are clearly defined and in unique balance - crisp and tasty!

From mini-album Slip that Disc!, released by New Hormones in August 1981:

Dislocation Dance - Spare Concern
Dislocation Dance - We Can Work it Out (Beatles Cover)
Dislocation Dance - This Problem

From LP Music Music Music, released by New Hormones in October 1981:

Dislocation Dance - Meeting Mum and Dad
Dislocation Dance - Friendship
Dislocation Dance - Roof is Leaking

Taste it for yourself on the jam-packed LTM reissue of the above releases plus bonus singles, available for purchase from the fine folks over at Darla

Thursday, January 04, 2007

New Year New Wave

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Be Bop Deluxe get swept up in the New Wave and go electronic-ish on 1978's Drastic Plastic. I would like this more if it had less guitar solo, but frontman Bill Nelson was regarded as quite the guitarist at the time so I guess he's entitled to some soloing. Shit, I hate guitar solos, I can't believe I'm posting this as my first post of the New Year. Bah, just listen. "New Precision" sounds like talking heads, but Byrne and company would never have abided by all the soloing because they just get it.

Be Bop Deluxe - Electrical Language
Be Bop Deluxe - New Precision

P.S. that kind of sizzly fuzzy blown-out speaker sound that the drums and bass have is inherent in the actual recording, not due to a bady copy.