Saturday, May 31, 2014

Ruby Falls- Hysteria (wav)

I never remember to update this blog, and no one reads it, so I guess it's safe to post a few songs here, right? Ruby Falls were a primarily grrrl band that straddled the lines between riot grrrl and the then burgeoning post-hardcore scene. Imagine part Pixies, part Bikini Kill, with a good helping of Fugazi because who doesn't like Fugazi? Unlike most bloggers, I'm gonna shut the fuck up and let one of my favorite 90s bands speak for themselves. Wav rip from near mint vinyl. Absolutely fucking recommended if you like Sleater-Kinney or if you're a human being who feels emotions. Link the comments.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Drag Triplets- Crushing 7" (1995) (320kb)

Today's post comes from the mid 90s world of Alt Rock, with all the trappings and connotations that includes. The artwork and black and white 7" brings you back to the era when all rock bands thought they could be the next big thing and film was still the only medium around.

Sonically, it reminds me a lot of mid 90s post hardcore along the lines of Drive Like Jehu and Capt'n Jazz, with female vocals and a more straightforward punk/grunge song structure. I'm a sucker for post-hardcore, and it's hard to find with female vocals. In those days, there was a pretty pronounced gender gap (which still exists, it's just different genres) where men formed emo/post-hardcore/post-rock bands and women formed riot grrrl bands. This record straddles between punk, riot grrrl, and post-hardcore so it seems a little disheveled. As a retrospective however, it works well.

Link in the comments.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Jeanette- In the Morning (1983)

Jeanette's first single is in many ways is a synth cross between Nico and Kate Bush's atmospheric production and approach, and the results are as interesting as both of those artists without the depth or originality. The production is actually very reminiscent of quiet Italo Disco- dark synths buried in the mix, world beats filtered through an European lens, however, it has a very distinct British feel to it, due to its indebtedness to early Industrial Records releases and Throbbing Gristle. I love it, and played it on my show, but it's not going to woo any new fans into the world of minimal synths. However, I think those who enjoy the blog and the show will dig it. Links in the comments.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Hello I'm a Truck (S/T 7")

Off kilter 90s Indie Rock, reminds me a lot of Archers of Loaf. Personally, I prefer side B. It's grungy, with time signature changes and enough interesting interweaving guitars to make more interesting than most rock of the era. I'm planning on playing it tomorrow on my radio show, calling all girls on KDVS!

D/L link in the comments, enjoy. The pic is from their self titled cd, not 7", FYI.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Destroy All Monsters- What Do I Get?

Destroy All Monsters started as an experimental rock band, but shifted into punk territory in the late 70s. The What Do I Get? is definitely on the punk side. You can tell they're gasping at stardom, bordering on heavy metal/power-pop territory at times, yet there is still a flavor from their earlier experimental work. I particularly like this single/ era of the band because it forces you to reevaluate genre-ificiation, to open up your mind and to simply enjoy the music. To that end, they succeed, though it is a little dated now and holds little value to those not already fans of the early punk era. So, I present this to you as mostly a time capsule and a curiosity for those who enjoy this era of rock music.

Link below, 320kb vinyl rip.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Valerie Stadler (Songs of Alienation)

In my musical travels I occasionally come across new music discoveries that are so quintessentially of my taste I am surprised; I wonder how I have never heard of this, after all of my searching? It is both beautiful to be reminded that my search will always reward me and that while I search and DJ for many reasons, at the end of the record I can still be reawakened to my passions by some new voice, new song, crawling inside my psyche. I am a very picky, and this doesn't happen often, but that makes it all the more sweet when it does. A few days ago, I was down in the basement at KDVS and noticed someone hadn't refiled a small stack of 7" in one of our listening rooms. Partly out of curiosity and partially because of my peeve of unfiled music, I picked the stack up to put it back in the stacks. On top was a hand drawn cover, very unassuming, almost amateur (not in the now cool hipster way) artwork. I noticed it was by someone called Valerie Stadler, so I figured I might as well give it a shot, as I give anything with female vocals a shot. To keep the story short, as soon as the needle hit the first groove, I knew I found another lost gem in the basement of KDVS.

I immediately searched for her on the absolutely prehistoric computer that lives in that room, the curiosity burning inside me like the worst heartburn. I wanted, nay, needed to understand who made this, her context, her time, her experience. I could tell she resided from San Fransisco from the label and the art (thanks to the triangle building for always being immediately identifiable). I was able to dig up she played at the Fillmore a few times in the early 90s, yet no info on discogs or any direct links to her music online. I'm still puzzled- how could someone be as popular in the local scene at the time to play at the Fillmore be completely forgotten?

That's what I live for though, to scour the depths of KDVS where no other DJs travel anymore, with no relationship to time, hoping to find these lost treasures. Musically, she's essentially Joni Mitchell if she was young in the midst of the modern indie/DIY movement. Her voice, passion, and energy are the same. I mean this as a compliment of the highest order, as she truly does deserve the comparison Her guitar playing and accompanying player/ backup vocalist (hardly noticeable until I saw the insert inside the sleeve) have the effect of having a real life delay and the added complexity and diversity of two guitars. The songs and lyrics are hauntingly simple (alienation is definitely the obvious but still creatively realized theme) but with an added intrigue only offered by an almost 'secret' companion.

Track one, "Nightmare 66", has the clearest Joni Mitchell influence, but personally tracks two "Evelyn's Tracks" and track four "Elations" are the strongest. Track two may be the strongest because she really lets her voice out of the cage (At times, it reminds me of Mia Zapata from the Gits) and has the most intricate/interesting guitar playing. However, "Elations" is the most haunting and the best use of the two player aesthetic.

I also do apologize for the lack of new material, this blog dies alot. I should keep on top of it more. Now that I have better access to rare stuff there will be more posts.

320kb rip from vinyl. Link in the comments. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Bagarre- Circus (1982) (320kb)

This record fits this blog's mission, but perhaps not its readers. By that, I mean, if you like and read this blog, you probably enjoy early 80s post punk and new wave with female vocals. However, many (at one point in time, myself) 'femme vox' fans have never heard of a genre called italo disco.  This is too bad, as it is essentially the disco version of New Wave, at least in Europe (obviously). Like in many punk and inspired genres (new wave and early electronic music) there was an explosion of female vocalists, and combined with disco's already existing propensity towards female vocals, this means that there is an entire genre of music with loads of female vocals and punk inspiration that most Americans have never heard of. That's just a shame to me, especially since i'm a fan of italo disco and female vocals (also obviously).

For the uninitiated, Italo Disco is essentially minimal electronics akin to the British and French electronic scenes of that era, but with a unique, pop bent- it's not an Italian version of American or British synth pop (electronic music rooted in rock based pop), although the two can overlap, it's disco (electronic music rooted in disco). The distinction makes sense once one emerges themself in the European electronic scenes of the early 80s. It just happen to originate in Italy, and that is a whole different story, for a whole different post. Continuing on...

Video: Bagarre- Lemonsweet (the most common song played in the clubs, back in the day, somewhat ironic as it's about a person who collapses in Studio 54 while on drugs).

That bring us to this post and how it has to do with this blog. Bagarre was an early Italo band that blends the line between New Wave, Post Punk, and Italo Disco, and it's quite fun, and held up very well (and that's saying a lot, in a period where a lot of music has not held up so well...). In fact, Twin Shadows did a cover of one of their songs on this album last year, called "changes" which you should also check out. The album is a mix of awesome guitar loops, with such trendy 80s sheen you can imagine it being played in any John Hughes film. The vocals are quite good for Italo Disco (they often couldn't speak English, so the vocals were often enjoyably horrible) however the singer is part English. This allows her to give the songs some actual lyrics rather than the standard meaningless disco lyrics of the era. It's got saxophones, drum machines, and lots of moaning. Some songs sound like electo disco jams, some sound like they belong on one of Calvin Johnson's infamous female vocal post punk cassettes. Anyways I hope you give it a try, even if you didn't understand a thing I just wrote about. A flac and a 320kb mp3 link are in the comments. Enjoy!

FYI: If you really enjoy the album, a bootleg repressing of the original vinyl can be found on discogs for pretty cheap for italo disco standards (about $20 US, plus shipping). They also put out a number of 12" singles and another album Epitaph in 1985.