Tuesday, December 29, 2009

anniversary! One year of the PoIT!

One year ago, give or take a few days, we began with the record that gave the blog its name: Big Black's Songs About Fucking.

That record was also one of the first links deleted by the hosting service - apparently Touch and Go didn't take too kindly to me linking it. So I'll do it again.

Harsh, brutal, in-your-face, piledriving machinery. From Chicago's finest forges, Big Black at their best doing what they do. It was the best record and their pre-announced swan song. They toured out the record and then went off their own separate ways, Steve Albini into production, Rapeman and global mouthpiece; Santiago Durango into his Arsenal project and then a well-respected entertainment lawyer; Dave Riley to wherever punk bass players (with a bit of funk) go to rest.

So this time, if it sticks, enjoy. One of my all-time favorite records, and still a very difficult listen.

From the opening blog post:

Steve Albini, in the liner notes to this album, stated:
Every good Vegas act has an opening theme, some appropriately triumphant fanfare to welcome the delight of the audience. It helps convince them the show was worth their thirty bucks or so.
Translated: Every blog needs an opening post, something to convince the teeming hordes that their mouse-clicking was worth the effort and to feed the expectations of terrific material to come. Though had Albini written those words today, I don't think he'd be stating thirty bucks or so. Try hundreds...

I discovered this record in high school in 1987 or 1988, about a year or two after their scheduled 1987 breakup. Founder/guitarist/singer/songwriter Steve Albini says they broke up at the right time, they were getting to the point where their popularity was exceeding the amount of energy and effort it would have required to maintain it. Guitarist Santiago Durango also was about to start law school so all things just fell in line to call it a day after this record - an ending which the band pre-announced. There's another school that states this record took Big Black about as far as they could within their framework, and some think it didn't better their previous LP Atomizer - it wasn't a progression, it was just a continuation of the themes and attitudes brought forward with terrific impact by Atomizer.

This LP still sounds as jarring and "ugly" as it did twenty years ago. Not many bands can you say that about today - what seemed earth-shaking then might be commonplace today. I figured it was an excellent way to lead off the blog - and the first song having bequeathed its title to the blog, why the hell not?

Songs about Fucking

Albini's song-by-song blurbs from the liners, after each track name....

01 The Power Of Independent Trucking
Oh, you think that was a nice piece there, eh? I'll tell you something. I got an exit book here, shows the best steak on any mile of interstate in the whole pig-friggin' country. Shows every decent motel and a few indecent ones. Shows where to get a new axle at four in the morning. Fucking bible. Well, I got another little book I wrote up myself. Sort of an exit and entrance book, if you get me. Shows me where every piece of ass I ever picked up is. I can get laid inside ten minutes just about anywhere in the fucking world. It's all in the book. This one chick though, I'll never forget it. Moved her ass like a blender. Bitch simply could NOT get enough. Buck and scream like a wild animal. Every time I go through Jersey I stop in for a taste. The one thing I can't stand is when they get emotional about it. Want you to call 'em and write 'em. When I'm gone, I'm gone. I'll take 'em with me for a while, we ride, then fuck, then ride. I've burned out three mattresses in the cab-over up there. That one, though. She was wild.

02 The Model

Boy, don't we all look SMASHING in red.

03 Bad Penny

What's really IMPRESSIVE is that some of these guys last so long, you'd think more of them would get killed, since all they do is burn their bridges.

04 L-Dopa

Daisy went to sleep at 15 and woke up many years later. She, being perfectly sensible, decided she ought to die, since she had literally slept away her entire productive life. The medical profession had, in her absence, decided that all life must be preserved, regardless of worth to its owner, and prevented her from performing the only NOBLE act she was capable of.

05 Precious Thing
In general, someone is a thing of value if and only if he or she is willing to SUBMIT to whatever degradation and abuse is required to preserve that position. Anything less betrays a lack of commitment.

06 Colombian Necktie

The necktie, a particularly HUMILIATING way to die, involves having your throat slit from ear to ear, so your tongue can flop out on your neck.

07 Kitty Empire

Ever since that fellow there moved in, there's been some mighty strange goings on over there. He's up until all hours, he's got that crazy music, noisy all the time. There's some sort of CAT ARMY there, too. They live under that porch. Someone saw him out there jaybird naked one time hopping like an Indian out in the weeds. The smell is just ferocious sometimes. Like he does his own number twos out there in the yard. I SWEAR.

08 Ergot
Psychedelic fungus infestation of European grain, not divine inspiration, as responsible for many of the "visions" so lovingly portrayed in the Christian paintings of antiquity. How many people were pressed under stones or drowned or burned for Satanism while those of faith were quietly tripping their brains out on BAD BREAD?

09 Kasimir S. Pulaski Day
The Mafia still knows how to throw a good killing when it needs to. The more COLORFUL ones get the most attention. A bomb, for instance, doesn't need to be in the victim's car. It can be in a stalled vehicle on the roadway, waiting to go bang until the victim happens to be driving by. Other people may be driving by as well. Life's rough.

10 Fish Fry

It went like this, near as anybody can tell. He went to her family's fish fry, took her to the drive-in, porked her, then beat her to death with his BOOT. It is speculated that he was upset about the ease with which he got into her pants, when she had resisted his brother's attempts earlier. He threw her body into Frenchtown pond, if memory serves, and went home. When the police found him the following afternoon, he was nonchalantly scrubbing out the cab of his truck with the aid of a garden hose.

11 Pavement Saw

The things people do when they have nothing to do can be pretty silly. Those same people can become all-important in each others lives. The things they do increase in importance in proportion. Soon a lot of people who do nothing individually scrutinize the miniscule doings of the others. This, in short, is "FALLING in love."

12 Tiny, King Of The Jews
Sometimes, even killing yourself wouldn't be enough. Like when you realize that your entire life has been lived under a PRESUMPTION of free will, but all you've been able to make of it is a sad parody of everything you used to hate. Slowly, without trying, everyone becomes what he despises most.

13 Bombastic Intro

Every good Vegas act has an opening theme, some appropriately triumphant fanfare to welcome the delight of the audience. It helps convince them the show was worth their thirty bucks or so.

14 He's A Whore

Hey, breaking up is an idea that has occurred to far too few groups, sometimes to the wrong ones.

T'anks fer da laffs: Corey, Lisa, Justin, Paul, Pat, Nate, the pals we made, the pals we didn't, Jochen, Carlos, Byron, Jimmy, bands who don't write love songs. Joel, get your shit together.

If you're ever in Chicago, don't stop in, it's a small place we've got.

Big Black:
David Michael Riley: Bass (David uses and endorses Alembic basses and Trace-Elliot amplifiers)
Melvin Belli: Guitar grrr (Melvin follows and endorses the Fibrelife meatloaf diet plan)
Steve Albini: Guitar skinng (Steve uses and endorses heroin)

The future belongs to the analog loyalists. Fuck digital.

edit: Removed link.

Monday, December 21, 2009

concert: New Order 16 June 1989 Irvine, CA *remastered*

So the internets are abuzz lately with talk of a newly-discovered Joy Division rehearsal tape floating around, featuring not one but five full-length takes on "In A Lonely Place" - the last song written by the band prior to Ian's suicide, and closing with the verse beginning with "Hangman looks round as he waits / Cord stretches tight, then it breaks...". In 1997 this song was released on the Heart and Soul box set, but ending just prior to the final verse (sensitivity reasons to his surviving family, perhaps?). So it would be great to finally hear the long-rumored full-length variant, alas the set has yet to surface publicly on the internets so we will just have to wait.

In the meantime, we move forward. 10 years from last week's post, and 20 years in the past. According to New Order bassist Hooky, the band first died in the afternoon of today's featured gig, when Bernard announced to the group that he was starting Electronic (his project with Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr) and no longer wished to carry on with New Order. Seeing as how this was at the near beginning of that summer's American tour on the back of their 5th LP Technique, the band's sets from this point forward were those of a group in their death throes - and nobody outside the band knew it.

Which may account for the unique setlist of this June 16, 1989 Irvine Meadows Ampitheatre, Irvine, CA gig. "Age of Consent" and "All Day Long" see rare airings - it was the next-to-last-ever "Age of Consent", and the last-ever "All Day Long". Maybe Bernard was throwing Hooky a bone with "Age of Consent"?

This actual recording, the mastered version presented here, was considered for release recently by the band and ultimately rejected for feelings of sounding too "clinical" - it's too much of a pristine, sterile soundboard or something like that. Which is why I love it so - it's perhaps the best pure soundboard recording of this band I've ever heard, with a stunning clarity and depth that's got to be heard. It's also got perhaps my favorite live versions of "Your Silent Face" and "Temptation", at least for modern-day performances.

Sadly Bernard introduces the gig dedicating the set to Echo and the Bunnymen drummer Pete deFreitas, who died the day before. The two bands were good friends with each other and they toured the States in summer 1987 as co-headliners.

This gig was ultimately sourced from a DAT liberated from the band's archives by persons affiliated with Hooky. Interestingly enough, the same DAT liberated from Hooky shows signs of editing the between-song bits, perhaps to make the gig fit on a 74-minute CD? So this either was considered for release way back in the day, as well as more recently, or perhaps Hooky just wanted it edited down so he could throw it in his car/Discman for private listening? We'll never know.

This was available on various filesharing sites, but not in the mastering you find here. So if you had a previous copy of this gig, I'd still suggest grabbing this version. It's that much better.

16 June 1989 Irvine Meadows Ampitheatre, Irvine, CA
remastered and EQ'ed from the band's leaked master soundboard DAT

01 intro, dedication to Pete deFreitas
02 Ceremony
03 True Faith
04 Age of Consent
05 Dream Attack
06 All The Way
07 Mr Disco
08 Your Silent Face
09 Vanishing Point
10 Round & Round
11 Temptation
12 Bizarre Love Triangle
13 The Perfect Kiss
14 All Day Long
15 Bernard jamming
16 Fine Time

Grab it here, lossless FLAC split across 5 RAR files

Sunday, December 13, 2009

radio live transmission: Joy Division Paris 1979 UPGRADE

I do have quite a few queued items in the "to be blogged" category, but while this one wasn't techically atop the list, we are close enough to its 30th anniversary that I wanted to feature it this week.

One of the better sounding Joy Division live CDs out there is Les Bains Douches, a disc documenting 9 tracks from their 18 December 1979 gig in Paris (with the remaining tracks on that particular CD coming from other gigs).

I had a slight problem with this CD though.

1) The compilers did FAR too much noise reduction on the track intros.

2) Better (DAT) sources existed than what was given the compilers, though you can't fault the compilers for that since I believe the DAT source didn't surface until after this was done.

3) It wasn't a complete document of the gig.

Reasons for all three?

1) I think the original source for the compilers was off cassette;

2) The DAT, the person helping the compilers, and the compilers themselves couldn't get together in time;

3) France Inter radio - in particular DJ Bernard Lenoir - did not broadcast, at least that we are aware of, the entire gig. This gig has been broadcast several times on Paris radio, though each time a different selection of tracks featured. The 1994 broadcast is the source for *most* of the below, it was recorded on 32kHz DAT by a gentleman direct off the air.

Bernard Lenoir has said in the past that the original reels, as recorded for France Inter at the gig, are unusable and safety copies had to be used to source the latter-day broadcasts.

So allow me to present a hodgepodge - though in total, the best document of the gig ever assembled outside of France Inter offices - of this legendary gig.

Lossless FLAC of course!

Source key to follow.

18 December 1979
Les Bains Douches, Paris, France

01 Passover
02 Wilderness
03 Disorder
04 Love Will Tear Us Apart
05 Insight
06 Shadowplay
07 Transmission
08 Day Of The Lords
09 Twenty Four Hours
10 Colony
11 These Days
12 A Means To An End
13 She's Lost Control
14 Atrocity Exhibition
15 Interzone
16 Warsaw

01 from a 2001 broadcast, DAT source
02/10/13/15 from an audience recording
03-09, 11-12 from the 1994 broadcast, from DAT source
14/16 from a unknown-year 1980s broadcast

Grab the 4 RAR's here!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

got ready: New Order Get Ready *mastered* Premix

Since everybody was nice enough, here's the exclusive mastered version of the Get Ready Premix tracks, mastered by yours truly. I left the tracklisting the same as on the unmastered leak, but of course feel free to assemble your own sequence if you wish!

What did I do?

First, these tracks were, for the most part, not properly EQ'ed. The worst was "Runwild [Primitive Notion]", it really suffered from heavily overcooked mids, and sounded as if somebody tossed a blanket on the speakers. The other tracks all needed some fresh EQ as well, which I've done. It sounds loads better, professional even!

Second, I compromised a bit and applied a light touch of mastering compression. And I mean light. The original leak was rather quiet sounding, and the mastered official release was MUCH too brickwalled. This version here is definitely neither, it's really a nice touch.

Third, I repaired the track intros as I suspect the watermarking used on the original Warners leak did things to the song intros. (This was also done on the version I posted last week.) Many of the intros were cut off, and while my source did do a nice job fixing it initially, I've made it all seamless and had I not told you that every song intro is a patch job (and I mean the first 5 seconds or so), you would never have known it.

I daresay that with a bit of judicious editing, this variant could really blow the official release out of the water. It's missing "Rock The Shack" (addition by subtraction at its finest!), and while a couple of the tracks do begin to overstay their welcome in that some of middle or ending bits might go on a tad too long, I much prefer this version to the final release. Not that "Field" or "Run This River Dry" make the record, but I just prefer these versions more than the final mastering as released by Warners.

Sequence-wise I'm not sure if I'd have done it different than the official release did. I think the sequence on the final release does work, and I like how it opens with the barnstormer "Crystal" and ends with the gently-into-the-good-night vibes of "Run Wild", but perhaps I'd have moved up "Primitive Notion" in the final sequence and moved down "Vicious Streak". Or not.

The CD inner pictured above is the closest thing I can find online for this actual product timing-wise. The only difference is "Crystal" in our version has moved up from the 7th track to the 4th, presumably Warners were catching on to its superiority as an opening track.

So do enjoy - and I'm making one last attempt at Mediafire. I hate Rapidshare and for whatever reason I can't get my uploads to Megaupload to work.

One last bit. I know that pre-mastering versions of Waiting For The Sirens' Call are out there and if anybody has it lossless I would love to get my mastering hands on it! Imagine "Jetstream" pre-Ana Matronic for starters...

- - - - -

mastered by thepowerofindependenttrucking.blogspot.com

01 60 MPH (mix 2)
02 Runwild (mix 3) [Primitive Notion]
03 Dream On (original mix) [Close Range]
04 Crystal
05 Freefall (mix 2) [Someone Like You]
06 Slow Jam
07 Shipwreck (mix 2) [Turn My Way]
08 Vicious Streak (mix 3)
09 Field (mix 1 vox up) [Player In The League]
10 Run This River Dry (recall from submix) [Sabotage]
11 Full Circle (mix 2) [Run Wild]

Lossless FLAC again, split across 4 RAR files as usual...

Mediafire folder with the links!


Sunday, November 29, 2009

getting ready: New Order Get Ready sessions

In August 1993 (at the Reading Festival) New Order played their final gig of the Republic tour, and disappeared. With Bernard saying to Hooky that if they never see each other again it would be a good day, nobody expected the band to work together ever again. Each had their own side projects, some more successful than others (though one wished The Other Two saw the same sort of success Hooky had with Monaco, and Bernard with Electronic), and each member was moving on with their lives.

Then the offers to reform for the UK festival circuit became too big to ignore. With late, loved manager Rob Gretton convening the members in January 1998, they finally agreed to give it another go after realizing the differences they had with each other had faded as the years had passed. With no firm committment other than a series of gigs and a "let's see how it goes" attitude, it was of great interest to learn in 1999 that the band was writing and recording a comeback album.

The first fruit of this renewed partnership was the lone track "Brutal", released in 2000 on the soundtrack to the Leonardo DiCaprio vehicle The Beach. Part of these sessions were devoted to other new material, though, with at least (what became) "60 MPH" and "Turn My Way" seeing primitive airings.

Then they joined up with producer Steve Osborne and recorded what would become the LP Get Ready, and some B-sides to go with it. Periodically, tracks from these sessions would wind their way to the record company, with some (watermarked) listening copies making their way out of the studio into the public. The LP eventually saw release in fall 2001, however, pre-mastering copies did exist in the wild and the differences - not only in the mastering, but some of the recordings themselves - are striking.

Featured today is the earliest-known leak of the Get Ready sessions. Dating from at least early 2001 (if not earlier), these tracks are all pre-mastering and in virtually all cases longer than the final released variants. It's almost as if Warners/London went to producer Osborne after these and said "OK Steve, tighten them up and then let's talk!". While nothing would be considered "shocking" per-se, at the very least the tracks are different enough (different recordings, different synth lines, different vocals, etc) to be very interesting in their own right, and IMHO the album - as featured in the configuration presented here, which was the same configuration on the Warners/London CD leak - would have been even better than what eventually was released. You know, no "Rock The Shack" here, etc. The final LP was pretty good - if this, however, was instead released as the resulting LP, it'd have really been spectacular.

So enjoy! These are presented basically warts-and-all, pre-mastering. It's not undergone any mastering compression as the final LP did, and it's not been EQ'ed properly. Maybe if you're all nice enough I'll put out there my own release-ready mastering of these tracks, which I've done for myself, as it shits all over the version presented today. For posterity's sake however I've chosen to initially present these as they were given to (or leaked from) the label.

The tracks are mostly working titles and I've titled them as best can be determined from the various pre-release and leak tracklistings that do exist on the Internets.

As a special bonus, I've also included tracks for a companion CD that I've accumulated over the years, tracks - for the most part unreleased - which mark various 1998-2001 recording ideas and, most curiously, the theme from Mission Impossible which they recorded in 1999 for the Tom Cruise movie. Alas it was never used and most people don't even know the band had attempted it! Also in the companion set is a pre-Billy Corgan version of "Turn My Way" for all the haters who disliked the album version because of Billy's presence on it... (which I don't understand, because IMHO "Turn My Way" is the best track on the LP!)

All presented as lossless FLAC - for most of this material, the first time ever anywhere, at least non-MP3!

Unmastered and not final EQ

01 60 MPH (mix 2)
02 Runwild (mix 3) [Primitive Notion]
03 Dream On (original mix) [Close Range]
04 Crystal
05 Freefall (mix 2) [Someone Like You]
06 Slow Jam
07 Shipwreck (mix 2) [Turn My Way]
08 Vicious Streak (mix 3)
09 Field (mix 1 vox up) [Player In The League]
10 Run This River Dry (recall from submix) [Sabotage]
11 Full Circle (mix 2) [Run Wild]

- -

mastered by thepowerofindependenttrucking.blogspot.com

01 Beach Demo #1 ["Brutal" instrumental]
02 Beach Demo #2 ["60 MPH" original version]
03 Beach Demo #3 ["Mission Impossible" theme]
04 Brutal (Rollo EQ'ed as Master 1 but vox down)
05 Brutal (Rollo EQ'ed as Master 2)
06 Brutal (Rollo EQ'ed as Master 1)
07 Brutal (monitor mix 9/29/1999)
08 Brutal (monitor mix Rollo restructure 9/30/1999)
09 60 MPH (monitor mix Rollo demo mix)
10 Shipwreck Of A Broken Man ["Turn My Way", no Billy Corgan]
11 Temptation '98 (Albert Square Manc 8/21/1998 louder vocal mix)
12 60 MPH (Kahne v2 edit)
13 60 MPH (Osborne monitor mix)
14 Crystal (Osborne monitor mix, very different!)

9 chunks of RAR'ed FLAC goodness, you have to download each part - a pain, I know, but what a payoff!

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
"Slow Jam" and "60 MPH Rollo monitor mix" here in case you were unable to extract from the main fileset.
And if you still get errors on Slow Jam, get it here by itself.

Getting fed up with mediafire so I will have to seek out alternative hosting solutions. Any of my readers care to share storage space?

Monday, November 23, 2009

a blog without qualities III: New Fast Automatic Daffodils III

To date the PoIT has featured the New Fast Automatic Daffodils twice: here and here. Must be an amazing band to get three featured entries, right? Absolutely.

Today we feature the collected (mostly) output surrounding (and including) this mostly-unclassifiable band's second LP Body Exit Mind, released in 1992. This time the New FADs retreated to Brussels and recorded with producer Craig Leon, and emerged with a much more involved, dense, abstract and energetic collection of songs than the debut record.

Featuring perhaps the catchiest New FADs track known to mankind in "Stockholm" ("where our travels take us further north, where there's fish in the sea and food on the shelves"), this LP bristles with oddly-scathing social commentary and ruminations on the state of society (how's that for indie rock lyrical analysis?).

Whatever. I just love lyrics that ask the listener to consider the plight of the Stasi and their ilk, the secret police forces suddenly finding themselves without work after the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe - and how the allure of the almighty dollar rides roughshod over the basic needs of society. Take the track "American Money":
He was sick and tired of always being the odd one out,
in a place where the mean street cars were littered with fallout
of the American Money, coupled with native misgivings,
of the future of cities, where he was inclined to agree with.

Millions of unemployed policemen, all over the eastern world
will lose their powers of persuasion, and it seems such a waste,
and no amount of retraining in the socially-useful will make up
for that killer instinct new nations value so greatly.

And I want to thank you, I want to thank you, for letting me be yourself again.
There's few things you can't buy without American Money here.
Just give me one good reason, please give me one good reason, why I shouldn't be myself again.
There's some things you can't buy without American Money here.
It shits on your dreams daily, barely makes up for the handouts.

So there you go. At least this LP won't shit on your dreams - rather, while I've owned this since release in 1992, it's only recently I've discovered the allure of this record and it's among my all-time favorites. Nevermind the brief between-song pastiches (though I'm particularly enamored of the pseudo-shoegaze "What Kind Of Hell Is This?", I wish they'd actually developed it into a full-on song!), the tracks themselves are flawless.

Tacked onto the end of the LP proper are the various B-sides (and, in "Stockholm"'s case, the single remix) released in association with this record's singles and EPs. From the Bong EP we have "Head On" and "Beautiful", and from the "Stockholm" CD single the aformentioned "Stockholm" remix and the B-side "Cannes" I would have loved to have included the tracks from the limited-edition "Stockholm" 10" vinyl single, demo versions of "Stockholm" / "It's Not What You Know" and the B-side "Hexagon Spring", but the version I've been able to source on the internets is too heavily noise-reduced and not good enough-sounding for my persnickety ears. So dear readers, if you have this 10" or can locate a nice, clean, unadulterated transfer, please let me know!

Body Exit Mind - and collateral material

01 Bong
02 It's Not What You Know
03 Stockholm
04 I Take You To Sleep
05 Bruises
06 How Much Longer Must We Tolerate Mass Culture?
07 Kyphos
08 Teenage Combo
09 Beatlemania
10 What Kind Of Hell Is This?
11 American Money
12 Missing Parts Of Famous People
13 Patchwork Lives
14 Music
15 Exit Body, Exit Mind

- - end LP tracklisting here - -

16 Head On
17 Beautiful
18 Stockholm (radio mix)
19 Cannes

Two RAR files for your pleasure!

Part I / Part II


***** NEWS FLASH *****

In researching this post I've come across some potentially fantastic news - it appears the New FADs may be reforming! Nothing on the mentioned Facebook page since Andy's post mentioned in the link, but hope springs eternal! After all, I could get a real job if I tried, but what's the point...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Take a gander over that way ----->

at the Recycle blog.

£50 Note and brunorepublic have done a yeoman's job in assembling the best New Order package ever - and it's all been a fan's project.

They've accomplished what the record company has abysmally failed - a comprehensive, beautiful, chronological assemblage of this terrific singles band's many fantastic singles. Tracked down elusive B-sides, 7-inch promo edits, the works. And it's all been done with the most amazing care for sound it truly puts Warners to shame (ref: the CD2 materials from the recent "Collector's Edition" New Order 2xCD packages). Twenty - 20 - CDs of pristine, amazing, groundbreaking music.

I've never heard 99.9 percent of the tracks they've assembled sound better than what they've done.

And the artwork - oh the artwork! Lovingly assembled mini-LP sleeves either meticulously scanned from mint 7"/12" sleeves, or recreated to be identical to the original, with directions (on the Recycle blog flickr account) for assembly - beautiful, beautiful stuff.

They're only missing one final Factory-era single in the batch, the last New Order release on Factory, "World in Motion" - and I can hear the world salivating at that one ;) Nevertheless it too will be included.

So in lieu of enjoying my latest offering, scoot on over there ----> and start downloading. You may not like all the material - "Sub-Culture" sounds just as vile as it did 24 years ago - but at least it's pristine-sounding vile ;)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

postpunk on the prairie: PEGBOY

This post has been a long time coming.

As the 1980s came to a close, the legendary Naked Raygun utterly dominated the Chicago punk rock scene. Their fierce blend of Buzzcockian pop sensibility, Misfitsish "oh-wey-ohhh" vocals, and the amplifier-crunching colossal guitar attack - courtesy of John Haggerty - set the stage for the postpoppunk revival of the 1990s. And for the most part, Raygun missed it.

1990 came around with John feeling burnt out on Raygun. So he quit and started over again. Teaming up with former Bhopal Stiffs Larry Damore (vocals) and Steve Saylors (bass), and joined by his brother Joe (ex-Bloodsport and Effigies) on drums, Pegboy was born.

Why should you care? Because no band, or rather no progression of bands (in this case, Naked Raygun -> Pegboy), best represents the old-skool "Chicago sound". The second (or was it third? #2 and #3 came within a week of each other) gig I ever saw was Naked Raygun in 1989, and to this day I remember that night like it was yesterday, it meant so much to me.

And in 1990, your humble blogger also attended Pegboy's debut gig at Chicago's Metro.

Paring down the sound to basics - wall-of-crunch guitars, gruff vocals, throbbing bass, and flailing drums, with songwriting to match, Pegboy was perhaps the greatest punk band to ultimately make it out of the Chicago scene. Oh many will disagree with me, and on some days I would disagree with myself as well, but Pegboy just did their job, day-in and day-out, not particularly messing with the formula.

In 1990 the foursome asked legendary Chicago punk producer Iain Burgess to record a 4-song demo. The resulting recording was so powerful it was released as-is, as the band's debut on newly-formed Touch and Go offshoot Quarterstick Records (coincidentally, also Quarterstick's debut release as well). Three-Chord Monte opens with the anthemic "Through My Fingers", which is John Haggerty's sound to a T. Possibly the greatest Chicago punk song ever, at least in the top 5. And the other three tracks on the EP are none too shabby either.

1990 Quarterstick Records

01 Through My Fingers
02 My Youth
03 Fade Away
04 Method

- -

1991 saw the band release their debut LP, also recorded in Chicago by Iain Burgess, entitled Strong Reaction. With more of the same stellar playing and songwriting, this record just solidified the impact generated by the EP and presented the band to the world. Tracks "Strong Reaction" / "Field Of Darkness" (also released as a 7" single) / "Superstar" are the standouts, with the rest nearly as melodically strong. It's hard to locate a single bit of filler in the bunch, this record truly is one of the greatest Chicago punk sets EVER. Larry isn't the world's greatest singer, but it works here, and works wonders.

1991 Quarterstick Records

01 Strong Reaction
02 Still Uneasy
03 Not What I Want
04 What To Do
05 Locomotivelung
06 Superstar
07 Field Of Darkness
08 Time Again
09 Believe
10 Hardlight
11 (untitled)

- -

Sometime following Strong Reaction, founder bassist Steve Saylors left the band. Yet with songs to record and a name to keep out there, to build on the goodwill created by the EP and debut LP, the band returned to the studio anyway, this time with Big Black / Rapeman / legendary engineer Steve Albini on bass. Albini also engineered the recording session, and the resulting EP Fore really digs down deep into the angular crunch of the band. Perhaps the band's hardest-sounding record, nonetheless the songs are great. And the cover art just has to be seen to be believed, who'd have thought they'd see Albini in golf attire ;)

1993 Quarterstick Records

01 Never A Question
02 Witnessed
03 Minutes To Hours
04 Jesus Christ

- -

Abini on bass was obviously only a temporary solution to the needing-a-bassist problem, with Albini's new band Shellac (not to mention his busy engineering career) demanding most of his attention. So, with Naked Raygun now in indefinite hiatus, legendary bassist Pierre Kezdy suddenly was free and Pegboy wisely snapped him up.

Moving on, 1994 saw the band's second LP Earwig come down the pipe. This time the band traveled to provincial France to record in Iain Burgess's newly built residential studio, and the resulting record is stellar. More of the same classic Haggerty guitars, and a more tuneful Larry (did he get vocal coaching?), mean this record will also get stuck in your ears. "You" is one giant slagpile of melody, and with perhaps a tighter vocal melody this might have been a hit. They also pull off a reverential Mission of Burma cover ("That's When I Reach For My Revolver", here shortened to simply "Revolver"), throw Clint Conley's original vocal track on top and you'd not know you weren't listening to the Burma musicians. And as far as I know, "Over The Hills" is Haggerty's first-ever acoustic track and it's spectacular.

1994 Quarterstick Records

01 Line Up
02 Sinner Inside
03 Gordo
04 Sideshow
05 Spaghetti Western
06 Revolver (Mission of Burma)
07 You
08 Blister
09 Wages Of Sin
10 Mr. Pink
11 Over The Hills
12 Louisiana

- -

The band basically dropped from the scene for a while, then came back in 1997 with the as-of-now final LP Cha Cha Damore, recorded by a returning Steve Albini. Featuring the same Damore/Haggerty/Haggerty/Kezdy lineup as the prior LP, this time the band returns to the more focused pop/punk of their earlier efforts, a choice that benefits supremely by Albini's recording methodology. The drums here sound amazing - as good as they've ever sounded on a Pegboy record - and the songwriting remains stellar. And the surprise cover this time? Cheap Trick's "Surrender", done with love and an obvious passion for the original.

1997 Quarterstick Records

o1 Dangerwood
02 Can't Give
03 You Fight Like A Little Girl
04 Dangermare
05 Dog, Dog
06 Liberace Hat Trick
07 Dangerace
08 Hey, Look, I'm A Cowboy
09 In The Pantry Of The Mountain King
10 Surrender
11 Planet Porno

- -

The band functionally disbanded in 2000 yet never officially gave up the ghost - they did pop up now and then for the odd one-off gig, but then in 2007 played the Touch And Go 25th Anniversary gig, and in 2009 toured in the summer with new bassist "Skinny" Mike Thompson replacing Pierre Kezdy (who had rejoined the reactivated Naked Raygun).

So I present to you all of the above, in compendium style, as is the wont of The PoIT. I'm only missing three tracks in their entire discography - the "Field Of Darkness" / "Walk On By" 7" single (what I've been able to track down online is pretty crap sounding), a Thin Lizzy cover "Emerald" from a 1995 Thin Lizzy tribute, and the 1996 "Dangermare" split single with Kepone.

Three RAR files as usual, gotta download each one.

edit: Removed link.


Monday, November 2, 2009

math rock: Rodan

On a trip this past weekend to faraway shores (of Chicago), the question was posited: What the hell is "math rock"? And why doesn't my local record shop have a "Math Rock" section?

Rather than go on some long-winded treatise on what makes a math rock band so mathematically mathy, one can basically point a finger at Louisville, KY circa 1989-1993 and there you go. Why Louisville? Ask the legendary Slint, the main proto-math act that also happened to call Louisville their home. For some reason kids in the late 80s/early 90s took the pummeling Chicago sound of Big Black, Naked Raygun and their ilk, matched it with Sonic Youth and 1970s Prog Rock (Yes, King Crimson, etc.), and fashioned their own unique take on indie rock. With precisely mapped out songs that start and stop on a dime, switch time signatures with abandon, and have carefully-laid-out angular, interwoven guitars sitting meshed with sometimes spoken, sometimes screamed vocals, the classic math rock acts carved out their own little niche that - with the notable exception of Slint - received little attention from the rock world at large.

And it basically happened in Louisville.

Slint begat, well, just pop over to Wikipedia for the family tree.

During the mid-Slintocene age, in 1992, Rodan formed. They released a record and promptly broke up, before they reached critical mass (as some thought was just around the corner). They too begat a family tree that needs parchment scrolls to map out - each baby carving out the next ring on the math rock tree.

And so today we begin our lesson plan with Rodan's only LP, 1994's Rusty. Named after recording engineer Bob "Rusty" Weston, bassist in Shellac and legendary engineer that follows the same ethos as Steve Albini, this record is Math Rock 101. Starting with the beautiful - and I mean that in the classical sense, as in "stunning beauty" - leadoff track "Bible Silver Corner", just when you've settled in for a nice late-night listening session, a dry red wine in hand, you get pummeled with the hardcore of "Shiner". Then things fly off the deep end with the uncategorizable, epic sprawling of "The Everyday World Of Bodies" at which point you're hooked for life. "Jungle Jim" brings it back down to earth a bit, but then angular-guitars itself into Tweezland (ref: Slint's debut LP Tweez). "Gauge" is a nice summation of things to this point, with "Tooth Fairy Retribution Manifesto" closing things out on a stellar note.

On a sad note, Rodan guitarist Jason Noble is laid up recovering from a very rare form of cancer, having just had surgery. I tried looking for a link to a donations area but failed to locate one - however there is this page which has some options to donate in Jason's name (as well as an area to follow his recovery).

So, with wishes streaming to Jason for a speedy recovery, let's enjoy Rusty.

(1994, Quarterstick Records)

01 Bible Silver Corner
o2 Shiner
03 The Everyday World of Bodies
04 Jungle Jim
05 Gauge
06 Tooth Fairy Retribution Manifesto

one zip file for you to enjoy!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

hats off: The Connells - Darker Days

Your humble blogger just upgraded to Windows 7 and while there's loads to recommend it over the Vista nightmare, it still takes some getting used to. I have to say the new taskbar and its OS X-style iconification is pretty cool but I'm still confusing myself over which apps that I've pinned are actually open or not. Anyhow....

Raleigh, North Carolina's Connells were a band apparently designed by a bunch of college radio analysts. Jangly dueling 12-string Rickenbackers, check. Morrissey-style crooning, check. Indie label, check. R.E.M.-style songwriting, check. That all being said, the band - while they did devolve into pseudo-Hootie alternacrap with their more recent post-1993 records - did at one point seem set to challenge the Smiths and R.E.M. for most favored status on college radio station playlists.

Their debut LP, 1985's Darker Days, is perhaps the most derivative of all - though some argue that they shared the same influences as the Smiths/R.E.M., hence a similar sound. But singer Doug MacMillan has admitted to a Morrissey/Ian McCulloch (Echo and the Bunnymen) fixation around this time, which would account for his strange vocal stylings on this LP that he'd soon abandon for a more gentle, less affected style.

The songwriting on Darker Days is top-notch though - and it's also very hard to find these days. So I'm presenting it here, slightly modified from the original release. It has some would-be-classics-in-an-alternate-universe such as the title track, "Hats Off" and the New Order-meets-R.E.M. vibe of "Dial It".

The band self-released it Stateside on their own label Black Park Records, and around the same time released it in the UK as well, on Demon Records. The tracklistings were different, and each release had a track the other didn't. I'm particularly fond of the UK tracklisting, however - it flows better and is a better introduction to the band. So what I did is re-create the UK tracklisting, and added on (as the final track) the track that was NOT released on the UK variant initially. (The later US release on TVT followed the original Black Park tracklisting.)

So enjoy!

originally released in 1985

UK cover:

US cover:

01 Darker Days
02 Much Easier
03 1934
04 Brighter Worlds
05 In My Head
06 Hats Off
07 Holding Pattern
08 Seven
09 Unspoken Words
10 Dial It

Track 05 from the UK vinyl on Demon

If you wish to hear the original US tracklisting, you would have it so:

Side 1: Hats Off / Holding Pattern / Seven / Unspoken Words
Side 2: Darker Days / Much Easier / 1934 / Brighter Worlds / Dial It

One zip file for your aural pleasure!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

dalliance: The Wedding Present vs. Steve Albini

Sometimes you own a record, you even like it, you listen to it off and on for almost 20 years, and then suddenly it clicks: The record you've liked for so long, is actually a masterpiece. Bits and bobs that you'd just hummed along to as the notes flew past, suddenly found their place in the collage of noise. And you wished the music never ended.

The Wedding Present record Seamonsters, from 1991, is that record for me. I've owned it since it was released in 1991, on import since at the time it had no US release. I liked it for two reasons: 1) singer David Gedge, while a terrific songwriter, can't sing his way out of a paper bag - just like yours truly; and 2) it was recorded by Steve Albini. But for almost 20 years it stayed just that - a record I was happy to own, but didn't get more than the odd listen over the years. Then one day "Suck" came on the ol' iPod and suddenly I was transfixed. It just was "one of those moments", I can't really explain it. The same with "Carolyn" with its oddly-Mancunian groove, the same with "Dalliance".

The rest of the record suddenly became the same way for me. Not a duff track in the bunch, I even loved the B-sides tacked on by US label First Warning to differentiate the record from the import version that had been in the shops for some time prior to the eventual domestic release.

I think Steve Albini has that magic "something" when it comes to engineering records. Nearly every record he engineers has that same "in your face" feeling, you often feel as if you're RIGHT THERE between the Marshall stacks or Hiwatt cabinets. The drums in particular sound spectacular on just about every Albini recording - I would kill to hear the drums soloed at the console one day.

So I went back and eventually tracked down every song the Weddoes recorded with Albini - and here they are, in their entirety. Starting in 1990 with the re-recorded "Brassneck" (originally recorded and released on the 1989 LP Bizarro) backed with three other tracks (including a song written by then-unknowns Pavement "Box Elder", a track discovered by Weddoes bassist Keith Gregory when visiting New York City in 1989, before virtually anyone had heard of Pavement), Albini went on to engineer the vast majority of Wedding Present sessions up to and including their third LP Seamonsters, released in 1991.

So first we have the "Brassneck" EP with its associated B-sides. Then, we get the "3 Songs" EP which introduced the classic "Corduroy" to the world - a re-recorded version would feature later on the LP. Then, we get the B-sides to "Dalliance" (the lead single off their forthcoming LP), and then we get the Seamonsters album proper. Then we have the "Lovenest" single in its entirety, and then lastly two more covers also recorded by Albini.

This collection of material is stunning in its breadth and power. The Weddoes, in your humble blogger's opinion, never bettered this material featured here - I'm even including their most recent record that has the Weddoes name on it, and was recorded by Albini, but doesn't rate at all.

So enjoy!

The (classic) Steve Albini Recordings 1990-1991

01 Brassneck
02 Don't Talk, Just Kiss
03 Gone
04 Box Elder
05 Corduroy (single version)
06 Crawl
07 Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me)
08 She's My Best Friend
09 Niagara
10 Dalliance
11 Dare
12 Suck
13 Blonde
14 Rotterdam
15 Lovenest
16 Corduroy
17 Carolyn
18 Heather
19 Octopussy
20 Lovenest (edit)
21 Mothers
22 Dan Dare
23 Fleshworld
24 Don't Dictate
25 Crushed


1-4 "Brassneck" EP, 1990

5-7 "3 Songs" EP, 1990

8-9 "Dalliance" CD single, 1991

10-19 Seamonsters LP, 1991

20-23 "Lovenest" CD single, 1991

24-25 Singles 1989-1991 2xCD, 1999

EDIT: Links removed... why? Because I was honored with my first DMCA notice! Way to go, TPoIT! Only took three years...

Thanks due to Tock and Jan...........

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

whisperin' while hollerin' : fIREHOSE

Earlier on your humble blogger blogged the Minutemen - amongst postpunk's most holiest of bands. They suffered their untimely demise with the sad passing of guitarist/singer D. Boon in a car wreck in late December 1985, in the Arizona desert.

Guitarist and Minutemen fan Ed Crawford, from Ohio, couldn't bear to see the remaining Minutemen musicians Mike Watt (bass/vocals) and George Hurley (drums) - a legendary rhythm core in their own right - out of the music scene. So having found Watt in the phone book, Ed picked up the phone, called Watt, and eventually wound his way to San Pedro, California to seek an audience with Watt and Hurley. The three musicians eventually formed fIREHOSE (the name taken from Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues"), with Crawford (soon christened Ed fROMOHIO) on guitar and Hurley/Watt in their traditional roles.

Ed fROMOHIO was no match for D. Boon when it came to guitars, so he didn't even try. Rather, Ed approached his songwriting from a more folksy perspective, influences ranging from Neil Young to the legendary Elizabeth Cotten's fingerpicking style.

fIREHOSE recorded three alterna-classic albums for SST Records before jumping ship to major label Columbia in 1991. This entry focuses on their indie years; the two major label LPs on Columbia had their moments but are nowhere near as essential - and exciting - as their SST product. Ranging from punk to No Wave to Lemonheads-y pop to Nick Drake folk to their own style of punk jazz, each record is different and each one a stylistic growth from the previous release.

I saw fIREHOSE quite a few times live back in the day - all prior to their departure from SST. You will not find a more humble, genuine guy than Watt in this business. And you will not ever find a bassist break more bass strings in 90 minutes than Watt either. I miss this band, I miss Watt's spieling from on stage, but most of all, I miss the energy and excitement these guys always brought.

Anyhow... on with the music!


The SST Years
1986-1989 inclusive

"Ragin', Full On" (1986, SST 079)

01 Brave Captain
02 Under The Influence Of Meat Puppets
03 It Matters
04 Chemical Wire
05 Another Theory Shot To Shit
06 On Your Knees
07 Locked In
08 The Candle And The Flame
09 Choose Any Memory
10 Perfect Pairs
11 This...
12 Caroms
13 Relatin' Dudes To Jazz
14 Things Could Turn Around

(1987, SST 115)

01 Sometimes
02 Hear Me
03 Honey, Please
04 Backroads
05 From One Cums One
06 Making The Freeway
07 Anger
08 For The Singer Of REM
09 Operation Solitaire
10 Windmilling
11 Me & You, Remembering
12 In Memory Of Elizabeth Cotton
13 Soon
14 Thunder Child

Sometimes, Almost Always EP
(1988, SST 131)

01 Sometimes
02 She Paints Pictures
03 Rhymin' Spielin'

(1989, SST 235)

01 Riddle Of The Eighties
02 In My Mind
03 Whisperin' While Hollerin'
04 Vastopol
05 Mas Cojones
06 What Gets Heard
07 Let The Drummer Have Some
08 Liberty For Our Friend
09 Time With You
10 If'n
11 Some Things
12 Understanding
13 'Nuf That Shit, George
14 The Softest Hammer

Three RAR files as per usual......... edit: Removed link.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

songs for a blue guitar: Red House Painters

Flash flooding. Relentless torrential rains. Studying for a test for a class your humble blogger is taking. What better listening material, considering the day I've had today (when I was initially writing this post), than the album that is perhaps the summation of songwriter/guitarist/singer Mark Kozelek's Red House Painters ethos - melancholy acoustics, yearning vocals, the odd Neil Young-ian guitar workout, mixed with sad, forlorn pedal steel?

A solo record in all but name only, this San Francisco band recorded Songs For A Blue Guitar while under contract with, and for, longtime label 4AD - however, the record only saw release after 4AD dropped Mark Kozelek for reportedly refusing to cut down the Neil Young workout on "Make Like Paper". Eventually signing with Island, Island picked it up and punted it out in 1996. Of course Kozelek didn't stay there either, joining labels Badman Recording and Jetset for some future projects, and Sub Pop for the final Red House Painters LP in 2001.

You'll know after the first three tracks if you're a Red House Painters fan. Those three tracks - "Have You Forgotten" / "Song For A Blue Guitar" / "Make Like Paper" are the RHP tryptych and "HYF" could be up there for the best RHP song of all time. Not to be confused with the rocking-out variant Kozelek re-recorded for friend Cameron Crowe to include on the Vanilla Sky soundtrack of course - though I've tacked that version on at the end as well.

Mark Kozelek is also known for his AMAZING cover versions, a few of which feature on this set: Yes' "Long Distance Runaround", the Cars' "All Mixed Up", and Sir Paul's "Silly Love Songs" which is perhaps the best of the bunch here. Though you absolutely must check out his collection of AC/DC covers, I shit you not (released as a solo LP titled What's Next To The Moon). And who ever knew Genesis' "Follow You Follow Me" was a fantastic song? It is when Red House Painters play a beautiful acoustic cover of it (here!)......

Anyhow... Enjoy the music. And if you get sucked in - as I did from this record back in 1996 - you'll never get out of the Kozelek-universe and you'll be glad for it. He continues to write and record beautiful, amazing music as Sun Kil Moon, and still plays covers.

RED HOUSE PAINTERS Songs For A Blue Guitar

1996 Supreme Records / Island Independent

01 Have You Forgotten
02 Song For A Blue Guitar
03 Make Like Paper
04 Priest Alley Song
05 Trailways
06 I Feel The Rain Fall
07 Long Distance Runaround
08 All Mixed Up
09 Revelation Big Sur
10 Silly Love Songs
11 Another Song For A Blue Guitar
12 Have You Forgotten (electric arrangement from Vanilla Sky soundtrack)

Part I
/ Part II (split RAR files as usual)

Will take requests for additional Kozelek posts ;)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Boo Radleys - Everything's Alright Forever

Is this 1992 LP by that other Liverpool band The Boo Radleys the best post-Loveless (My Bloody Valentine) shoegaze LP there is?


I am not feeling too chatty tonight. That, or I'm simply not as deeply familiar with the band at hand tonight, or full of a wealth of useless nuggets as I am for other bands. But who says every post has to be my blathering?

Everything's Alright Forever is just a great, GREAT out of print record by a band that quickly escaped this classic sound just as the backlash started. When the UK press beat down the 'gazers, the Boos put out Giant Steps - a record that sounds like Britpop played by shoegazers, with a bit of the classic Rough Trade dubby catalog mixed in.

Giant Steps receives all the critical accolades, but this record is better. And the dynamics are utterly amazing - you can HEAR the volume swells.

Incidentally, I have an unused ticket (number 001) from November 1992 for the cancelled Sugar/Boo Radleys gig that was to be held at The Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I ran the college's live music committee, I booked Sugar who were bringing along the Boos as support (they were both on Creation in the UK), and then the Colorado voters passed a hateful anti-gay-rights constitutional amendment that forced Bob Mould to cancel all Sugar gigs in the state. So the interview for the college paper I conducted with singer Sice that fall, which was never published due to the gig cancellation, remains unpublished. It was on micro-cassette and I no longer have the cassette, or a micro-cassette player even if I did have the tape, so his musings are forever lost to history. A damn shame because it was a great interview!

Regardless, I never got to see the Boos live so I hope they were as good as the record is!

THE BOO RADLEYS Everything's Alright Forever
(1992 Creation Records CRECD 120)

01 Spaniard
02 Towards The Light
03 Losing It (Song for Abigail)
04 Memory Babe
05 Skyscraper
06 I Feel Nothing
07 Room At The Top
08 Does This Hurt?
09 Sparrow
10 Smile Fades Fast
11 Firesky
12 Song For The Morning To Sing
13 Lazy Day
14 Paradise

one file! grab it here!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

tO2: The Other Two 1992 advance promo

When New Order went to ground after 1989's Technique and the tour that followed, the band famously split into three camps: Bernard Sumner hooked with Johnny Marr (and occasionally Neil Tennant) to make Electronic; Peter Hook started Revenge, and the other two Stephen Morris and Gillian Gilbert formed, well, The Other Two.

Bernard's project scored the greatest acclaim (well, you would, if you featured the greatest UK indie guitarist in Johnny Marr paired up with Barney) and fame, Hooky's gig earned laughter (and a few points), while Steve and Gillian were basically ignored - and left to churn out perhaps the least-known, best-written, most New Order-ish material of the bunch.

Debuting on Factory in 1991 with the instantly-catchy single "Tasty Fish" (a track Factory boss Tony Wilson despised due to it's obscene poppiness), the Other Two then went on to record tracks for their as-then-untitled debut - which eventually received a Factory catalog number, FACT330, and saw at least several test pressings run off in September 1992. Prior to the LP being issued, Factory went bust in December 1992.

In the meantime New Order had regrouped and recorded Republic - an LP that divided fans' opinion of the band, and an LP that ended with a New Order track in name only, "Avalanche" - which was purely an Other Two contribution.

Though the Other Two's LP was technically ready for release, the re-activated New Order took all attention and focus. Meantime, US record company Qwest circulated at least a handful of promo cassettes of the Other Two's LP as well - at least six months prior to the record's eventual release, and David Sultan of www.worldinmotion.net states this promo cassette actually was run off in 1992. I remember listening to a dub of this Qwest promo, and the then-new New Order LP Republic, at roughly the same time in late spring/early summer 1993 - so it's entirely possible it existed in 1992.

The LP eventually saw release in October 1993 on Centredate/London Records in the UK, and Qwest in the US, entitled The Other Two & You.

Presented here is a very clean recent transfer of an actual Qwest promo cassette, the cassette itself dating from 1992 or early 1993. The tracks are mostly the same as the released version, but there are some significant differences in "Selfish" and the variant here is not available on any other release. There may be minor differences in the other tracks as well, but I've not given it a close A/B comparison.

So enjoy - in lossless FLAC too!

THE OTHER TWO The Other Two & You.
Qwest advance promo cassette, 1992/1993

01 Tasty Fish
02 The Greatest Thing
03 Selfish
04 Movin' On
05 Ninth Configuration

- - - A / B split here - - -

06 Feel This Love
07 Spirit Level
08 Night Voice
09 Innocence
10 Loved It (the Other Track)

The cassette originally featured a minute-long period of silence at the end of "Innocence" to give the appearance of "Loved It" being a hidden track, which I've preserved here.

Part I /// Part II /// Part III (three RAR files as usual, lossless FLAC)

enjoy! Links should all work out-of-the-box this time.

Monday, September 7, 2009

insight: Joy Division 1979 "unreleased" sessions

Joy Division, over their short duration, had several studio sessions which never really saw the light of day until 1997's box set Heart and Soul, and even then, not entirely.

Your humble blogger's previous Joy Division entry contained several tracks from these sessions, but I decided to do a roundup-style post featuring the majority of these - some are already available on the box set, but others aren't, and at that some of these have never been heard before in this quality you're about to find here.

So allow me to present Joy Division: 1979 Miscellaneous Studio, pulling from three separate recording sessions, presented in lossless FLAC for your pleasure.

JOY DIVISION 1979 Miscellaneous Studio
(mostly unreleased, mostly remastered)

1) 4 March 1979 Eden Studios, London with Martin Rushent (the "Genetic" demo)

Four tracks previously released on Heart and Soul, but presented here slightly repitched and remastered
"Digital" never before released except on bootleg

01 Insight
02 Glass
03 Digital
04 Transmission
05 Ice Age

2) 4 June 1979 Pennine Sound Studios, Oldham (for Piccadilly Radio) with Stuart James

Four tracks previously released on Heart and Soul, but presented here remastered
"Atrocity Exhibition" never before released except on bootleg

01 These Days
02 Candidate
03 The Only Mistake
04 Chance (Atmosphere)
05 Atrocity Exhibition

3) mid-July 1979 Central Sound Studios, Manchester with Martin Hannett (the "1st Transmission session")

Two tracks previously released on Heart and Soul, two other tracks previously unreleased except on bootleg
"Transmission" and "Novelty" from this session never before heard in this quality

All four tracks taken from a previously-unknown source cassette, in "best-ever" versions - this cassette is suspected to be 1st generation mixdowns from the rough mix master

All four tracks presented here remastered

01 Transmission
02 Novelty
03 Dead Souls
04 Something Must Break

Four RAR files, as usual, grab 'em all!

Part I // Part II // Part III // Part IV

EDIT:::::::: PLEASE REDOWNLOAD ALL LINKS.... CONFIRMED 100% THEY WORK (and also re-ordered in correct folders, I repacked and re-organized, you need to grab 'em all)


Saturday, September 5, 2009

on returning: The PoIT returns!

Back up and running (though minus two iPods that the movers stole from us, it's a hella long story best saved for offline except DO NOT USE HERMAN MOVERS IN AMHERST, NEW YORK), new content to follow later this weekend.

Happy Labor Day Weekend for those USA'ers!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

temporary downtime

No post this weekend. Your humble blogger is moving residences and access to the Internets will be an iffy proposition for the time being. We are sorting out options and I hope to resume posting within a week or so.

In the meantime why not browse the blog's archives, discover some unheard music (to you), and feel free to use this post as a suggestion box for future topics!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

postpunk on the prairie: Rapeman

In 1987, Steve Albini had had enough.

Big Black had outlived its purpose - singer/guitarist Albini, guitarist Santiago Durango, bassist David Riley and drummer Roland all believed that they'd taken the Big Black concept as far as it could go within its constraints. And besides, Sant was entering law school that fall, so it was a convenient time to call it a day after a farewell tour and the obligatory final LP.

Then Albini got bored. Restless. Itchy to play out again - there was yet music to be played. And no band to do so!

Conveniently enough, Austin, Texas postpunk legends (in their own time) Scratch Acid had just broken up and had a phenomenal rhythm section just waiting to be taken. Rey Washam (drums) and David Wm. Sims (bass) hightailed it up to Chicago and joined Albini for his new project.

Calling themselves Rapeman after a very graphic Japanese serial comic (a name guaranteed to gain the hearts and minds of Albini's heretofore-underground female fan base), the trio gigged around Chicago and the American Midwest, played Europe, and recorded a few songs.

Then, they broke up. For the usual reasons, according to Albini - someone just didn't get along with someone else, the usual bullshit.

Certainly it didn't help matters that the name was keeping them off the radio (not that they were looking for that angle, mind you) and causing them endless frustration in touring Europe. So they too just called it a day - but in this case, listening to the music in retrospect you get the feeling that they were just getting started, that they'd just skimmed the surface of the power, the noise, the energy the trio was certainly capable of making. The sentence that was just beginning to write itself starting with the word "Rapeman" just didn't seem to have a period at the end of it.

Of course this wasn't the end for any of the members - Albini went on to sustain a prolific engineering career recording a gajillion (roughly) records for bands across the musical spectrum, and also performs indie-riffic music to this day with his latest project Shellac (with Todd Trainer and Bob Weston). David Wm. Sims rejoined Scratch Acid alum David Yow in the Jesus Lizard, and Rey Washam flitted about the underground scene with stints in Ministry, the Didjits, Tad, and quite a few other lesser-known acts.

Rapeman (Rx for short) did not leave much of a recorded legacy in its wake. With just two 7" singles, a 4-track EP and one full-length LP marking their existence, it's difficult to ascertain where they would have headed had the band continued. That being said, Rx finds Albini in true song-writing mode for the first time (as one wag put it, he actually learned to write songs!) and their recorded work showpieces the classic Albini guitar shards moreso than Big Black ever did.

The first Rapeman release was the 4-track EP Budd. "Budd" the song is about the sad sorrowful ending of one R. Budd Dwyer - just search the internets for the story. "Budd" and two other tracks were recorded live at Chicago's Exit on Bastille Day, 1988, while the last track "Dutch Courage" was "recorded dead at CRC, Chicago, Juneteenth, 1988".

Next came the "Hated Chinee" / "Marmoset" 7", a taster for the upcoming LP.

And then we have the LP Two Nuns and a Pack Mule, perhaps the best all-around album an Albini band has ever recorded. "Produced" by Fluss - Albini's cat, a clear indication of Albini's thoughts on what a producer should do, these ten bile and pile-driven tracks are about as good a showcase of the Albini songwriting style as you'll find. Abrasive, funny, sharp and cutting, these tracks address topics such as future Shellac drummer Todd Trainer's monobrow (err, the track "Monobrow") and a pair of female panties given to Albini, on Big Black's final tour, by Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon (the track "Kim Gordon's Panties").

Lastly, in 1989 the band released one final effort as part of the Sub Pop Singles Club monthly series of limited 7" releases. The instrumental tracks "Inki's Butt Crack" and "Song Number One" are as good as anything on the album or EP and could be an indication of where Rx would have gone had they continued.

I'm including all the above bar the "Hated Chinee" 7" (since I don't have it, and AFAIK the tracks are identical to the album versions) in one file linked below.

Here goes - enjoy!

Up Beat: The Mostly Complete Discography 1988-1989

(1988 Touch and Go Records T&GLP#34)

01 Budd
02 Superpussy
03 Log Bass
04 Dutch Courage


(1988 Touch and Go Records T&GLP#36)

01 Steak And Black Onions
02 Monobrow
03 Up Beat
04 Coition Ignition Mission
05 Kim Gordon's Panties
06 Hated Chinee
07 Radar Love Lizard
08 Marmoset
09 Just Got Paid
10 Trouser Minnow

Rx's descriptions for each track:
1. We don't hate vegetarians, we just think they're funny
2. Singular eyebrow as a fashion statement / Drunkasexual
3. Puny but angry
4. Professed goal of space program: conception and birth in space
5. Blatant Coachmen ripoff
6. Lotten flucking ruck
7. Golden earring tribute / reptile tendencies
8. Lincoln Park Zoo Nocturnal Mammal Building / failed hummer
9. Bonus Edgar Blossom muchas gracias
10. Men suck

(1989 Sub Pop Singles Club SP40, limited edition 1500 black vinyl, 1000 clear vinyl)

01 Inki's Butt Crack
02 Song Number One

"Inki's Butt Crack" is credited on the label to (Spencer, Moore, Mascis) - as in Jon Spencer, Thurston Moore, and J Mascis - but this is a joke. The song is a variation on Mendelssohn's "Hebrides Overture (Fingal's Cave)".

edit: Removed link.