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!