Nov 29, 2010

The Mice - Unreleased Album (Canterbury Bells)

I've been trying to track down the full version of this non-album for a while but I can't find it anywhere so I've just decided to post what I have. Included here are 10 cuts for the "Scooter" follow-up that never happened. I particularly like Nearly a Mile Away, Resurrection Day, Run Away, and Something Pushed. I'm not too into Music Here, which is pretty unremarkable in every way, or Phone in my Car, which is about the ridiculous notion of having a phone in your car because "you have so much to say." Bill Fox clearly didn't make any money investing in cell phone companies.

The ten cuts are supposedly accompanied by live songs, and other rarities. The live set has some classic rock covers that I didn't care too much about but there were also some mystery moments. I have managed to track down the Mice's first single (also included here with a track number of 21 so we have 10 unaccounted for songs at least) "Can You Walk on the Water Baby?," and while it pales next to their other releases it is interesting to see their entire progression as a band.

If you have a lead on the full record drop a comment. Otherwise enjoy this rare ass shit.


Nov 10, 2010

Teenage Cool Kids - Queer Salutations

Power-pop punk. I've been listening to this album heavy since the summer. Great hooks and the lyrics are actually funny. "Awkward Type of Girl" rips on indie girls who wear vintage dresses. "Write Back Soon" talks about "white girl dreads" and $500 fixed gear bikes. I didn't really listen to the lyrics the first dozen times, and you don't need to because the songs work on their own. "Self Abuse" is an awesome fucking song, and as with the rest of the album - this shit is fun.


Nov 1, 2010

Rooftop Vigilantes - Carrot Atlas

Okay, so Guided By Voices came through Detroit last weekend so I can stop boring you with all those EPs and shit. I've got a bunch of good stuff that I've wanted to post for a while so I'll try to get them all out before Christmas.

First up is Rooftop Vigilantes from Lawrence, KS. These dudes came through Detroit a few weeks ago and played at the CAID. They play this great combination of 50's keyboard pop, raw punk and accents of screamed choruses. They also clearly don't take themselves very seriously as noted by the track titles (ex. "Oscar want 7," "Brad Shanks Tells A Joke," where Brad Shanks from Blood on the Wall tells a nonsensical thirty second joke, and "Charley No Want Girlfriend"). Hasn't left my speakers since I got it.


They tore it up when they were here, video below:

Oct 16, 2010

Demons and Painkillers

This is one of the discs of the Hardcore UFOs box. It consists of rare bonus tracks and country exclusives. There are alternate shiny versions of "Game of Pricks" and "Unleashed!" and a few off of Mag Earwig, including the superb "Choking Tara (creamy version)." There are also some rock solid classics like "Dodging Invisible Rays" and "The Ascended Master's Grogshop," the former being a Tobin Sprout song and the latter lasting all of thirty beautiful seconds. A long, great collection of loose ends that in typical GBV fashion has stand-outs that rank with the best.


Sep 29, 2010

Robert Pollard - Not in my Airforce

It says Robert Pollard but it might as well be another GBV fan-club release. This early boy is filled with short weird songs but somehow insanely good songs like "Quicksilver" and "Beauty Flat" snuck in. Pollard's golden period has some secret releases. This is one of them.


Sep 21, 2010

Guided By Voices - King Shit and the Golden Boys

A collection of outtakes. There are some solid gems here. Nothing so good that you can't believe it isn't on Bee Thousand or anything like that, but some winners nonetheless. You should probably just delete "Tricycle Looper" from the start though, that song bugs the shit out of me. "Indian Was An Angel," "We've Got Airplanes," "Crutch Came Slinking" and "Scissors" are all classics. If you like the scrappiness of GBV, here is a another fix.

The title comes from the line in "Don't Stop Now," which is also included here in an early version.


Sep 7, 2010

Guided By Voices - Tonic and Twisted Chasers

This "fanclub-only" release is every bit as good as a full fledged album. The songs are a little odd, and pretty lo-fi, so they might require a couple more listens than normal, but there are some solid tracks here. "Key Losers" is great, "Dayton Ohio 19-something and Five" is solid, and shows up later as a live version on the "Selective Service" EP. My favorite tracks of this collection are the three that start with "At the Farm." That one, "Unbaited Vicar of Scorched Earth" and "Optional Bases Opposed" are so goddamned good. Download this shit and listen to em.


Aug 31, 2010

Guided By Voices - Hold On Hope

This little man is pretty overlooked. No one thinks of "Do The Collapse" B-sides as anything worth listening to, but I have always thought of these oddball songs as true GBV and the Ocasek approved collection on the album as an imitation. "Underground Initiations" would have made an excellent fit on "Isolation Drills" and "Fly Into Ashes" is a solid song too.  Don't overlook this EP like so many have. It's good.


Aug 26, 2010

Guided By Voices - Static Airplane Jive

Another GBV EP. Another from the golden era. This one has the brilliant short jam "Hey Aardvark," and the slow burn of "Damn Good Mr. Jam." The latter's finale of "everything for free" might be recognizable from the clip in "Back to Saturn X Radio Report" off of "Propellor."

A good, short EP. It doesn't hold together as well as "Fast Japanese Spin Cycle," but it still has a bunch of solid tracks. Totally worth getting.


Aug 23, 2010

Guided By Voices - Fast Japanese Spin Cycle

I'm seeing Guided by Voices on October 30th when they come to Detroit. I am so completely excited I'll be posting a bunch of odd loose ends (that are still brilliant) in preparation.

"Fast Japanese Spin Cycle" is an 8 song EP that has alternate versions of Marchers in Orange from "Vampire on Titus" and Over the Neptune from "Propellor" (here called Kissing to the Crying Cooks), as well as a solid classic in My Impression Now and a short gem in Indian Fables. Listen to this boy all the way through. Like a mini-"Alien Lanes."


Aug 16, 2010

Guided By Voices - Sunfish Holy Breakfast

There's some food upon the table boys. 

This is an EP from the Under the Bushes sessions. In typical form for golden period GBV releases the variety is great, and while the standout classics are minimal, the whole is more than the sum of its parts. "Stabbing a Star" is an old outtake and probably the weakest member here. "If We Wait," is a stunner, and "Cocksoldiers and their Postwar Stubble" (how did he name a song this good a name that terrible?) is uhh...better than it's name. 

Jul 28, 2010

Male Bonding - Nothing Hurts

The first video (linked below) for "Years Not Long," the opening track off of Male Bondings debut Nothing Hurts features a pretty wild twist. The entire video has jocks playing football and then arm wrestling, until the last third of the video where a giant man-on-man make-out party erupts. It is pretty hilarious and encapsulates the I-don't-give-a-fuck mentality of the band. What's the first thing we should do when we get a record deal, and have money to shoot a music video? GIANT BRO MAKE-OUT SESH!

Nothing Hurts kind of reminds me of the pop sensibilities of Harlem and the energy of caUSE co-MOTION. They tear through a bunch of hits rather quickly.


Jul 15, 2010

Tobin Sprout - Moonflower Plastic

I imagine it would be hard to stand out if you're in a band with Robert Pollard. I mean, no one gives a fuck about Mitch Mitchell, or the millions of other members that have come and gone throughout the years, except for Tobin Sprout.

His two to three songs per album from GBV's golden age are standouts on albums full of standouts.

Moonflower Plastic is his first post-Guided By Voices album, and it is also his best record. Listen to "Beast of Souls" and "All Used Up." These are classic songs. I can't even imagine how awesome Do the Collapse would have been with a couple of these nuggets.


Jun 30, 2010

The State Lottery - When the Night Comes

1/4 from Detroit, and 3/4 from various other places, The State Lottery's latest album "When The Night Comes" is real good. It has a Titus Andronicus vibe (basically early Springsteen) and the yelped choruses and varied instrumentation make it a fun listen. It is bright, and urgent.

But really, you'll love the choruses.


p.s. They are on tour right now. You should check them out. They are predictably great live.

Jun 16, 2010

Hanoi Janes - Year of Panic

German lo-fi guys - Hanoi Janes.  It has almost twee instrumentation but the vocals are blown out, Jay Reatard style yelps. It turns out to be a great combination. They do enough different things to keep the record interesting, and their ear for a seemingly endless stretch of catchy melodies doesn't hurt one bit.
A one hundred dollar bill.


May 18, 2010

The Mice - For Almost Ever Scooter

Please download this album. "The Mice" are a power pop punk band from 80s Ohio. This album is a collection of their first EP and first LP. Then they broke up.

Start at "Little Rage," (the first song on the full length) and play it on repeat. This album has blown my mind. It is exactly what I want to hear. It has a solid closer, and gets better and better on each listen.



May 12, 2010

Bill Fox - Shelter From the Smoke

Bill Fox is one of the guys featured on the "I Stayed Up All Night Listening to Records" album I posted a couple weeks ago. His "Shelter From the Smoke" is real good.
A bunch of lo-fi solo gems. Similar to Tobin Sprout's GBV stuff. Give "Lonesome Pine" a listen. You will like it.

May 1, 2010

Pet Shop Boys - Singles

Keeping the 80s electronic spirit alive I present the singles collection for the first decade of The Pet Shop Boys. Maybe you'll get a kick out of how "West End Girls" sounds like "Jizz In My Pants," but there is no denying that "Suburbia" is a rock solid classic. Then you'll get all over "What Have I Done to Deserve This" and "Always on My Mind" and others. This hit-machine duo sure knew how to call em. It can't be all lo-fi all the time. This is summer music.

Apr 29, 2010

Yazoo - Upstairs at Eric's

The final shot in Wong Kar-Wai's "Fallen Angels" has two of the leads riding in a tunnel under the city of Hong Kong. The girl (played by Michelle Reis) is narrating that the two of them haven't had a connection but how she is currently enjoying the "lovely warmth," to the tune of The Flying Pickets' "Only You." Great closing moment. Always makes me want to instantly re-watch the movie. The song is excellent and only recently did I hear that it is a cover of 1980s synth-pop legends "Yazoo."
Not only that but there are singles on this record that you are guaranteed to have heard before even if you have never heard of "Yazoo." Classic, poppy, synth dance songs, and a monster-solid slow jam - "Only You." Soooo worth it. While you're at it see "Fallen Angels." Great fucking movie.

Apr 19, 2010

V/A - I Stayed Up All Night Listening to Records

A collection of lo-fi gems. Bill Fox's "Electrocution," Tobin Sprout's "Cryptic Shapes," Jenny Mae's "Drapes," and so many others are classic classic songs. This isn't rowdy low fidelity. It mostly falls on the indie folk side of things, but the tape hiss and awkward production lend bucketfulls of charm. Yeah, some of the tracks are bullshit (I can't stand the opener) but there are more than enough solid gold numbers to require a DL. Highly recommended if only to pad your Bob Pollard complete collection (and good luck with that by the way).

Skip the first 45 or so second of this to get to the goods.

Mar 29, 2010

Alex Chilton and Teenage Fanclub Live in Glasgow 1996

R.I.P. Alex Chilton.
Somehow Teenage Fanclub and Alex Chilton did a gig together. It opens with "September Gurls" so that's reason enough to download. I basically melted into a gross puddle when Teenage Fanclub started to do the harmonies on the chorus.

I was in Korea the day Alex Chilton died and by pure coincidence sang "The Letter" at a Karaoke bar. If I had a hand full of glitter I'd throw that shit on a bonfire.

What a weird, great man. If you haven't checked em out grab "Like Flies on Sherbert" and The Gories' "I Know You Fine But How You Doin?" (which Chilton produced) and of course everything Big Star ever did/////

Feb 10, 2010

Alien Father - Sunday at the Speedway

The members of New Jersey’s “avant-garage” threesome Alien Father have been noodling away since they were in high school and the first few years of their partnership produced some exceptional tracks. But it’s hard to argue that they hit their stride with the Summer ’08 release of Knives with Journalism. The excellent 10-track album was anchored by their classic synth/bass garage pop sound, while ranging the spectrum from up-tempo video game-esque keyboard sprees to dark, proggy epics.

If you’re like me and you have had Knives on constant rotation while waiting anxiously to see what these guys will do next, then rejoice: their follow-up, Sunday at the Speedway, has been released for free download by Ourselves Collective (with a suggested donation of course!).

Sunday at the Speedway finds the band covering diverse territory as before, but they have used the album’s rather genius production to truly create a signature sound. With the songs steeped in a Spector-like wall of sound and tied together with entertaining transitions of dialogue and feedback, it’s an effect that allows a dance song (“Chinga Tu Madre”), an evil metal anthem (“Hellbound Homo”) and a fuzzy, punky pop gem (“He’s a Fader”) to all exist on the same album and still sound like they were recorded by the same band. The songwriting is as good if not better than that on Knives, and the production really adds to it.

This is not to say that the band does not cross into new songwriting territory on this album. There are several slower songs, almost ballads (“Incest People,” “Cloudsong”) that, while gentler than their normal fare, still manage to sound sinister and awesome. What’s more, the musicianship has been beefed up a few notches—the keyboards sound more intricate, the drums sound tighter, the guitars wail and shred to epic levels, and the bass is deeper and more resonating than ever.

Long story short – Sunday at the Speedway continues the upward trajectory that Knives set in motion and treads some new ground while it’s at it. Highly recommended if you like DIY music and your tastes fall anywhere on the spectrum from punk to metal to indie rock. This album will end and you will instantly want to start it again.

Recommended trax: It’s only 26 and a half minutes long! Listen to them all!

Click here to download Sunday at the Speedway from Ourselves Collective, and check out the other awesome bands when you're there!

Feb 9, 2010

The Strokes - 2nd Impressions of Earth

The Strokes' Third album "First Impressions of Earth" was definitely their worst. It was 20 minutes longer than their previous two records and felt self indulgent, with intros and extended instrumental segments throughout. Little did most people know, myself included, that it's a pretty good record buried underneath a mound of rough edges.

For some reason the longest songs on the record are also the weakest. I trimmed those the most significantly, weighed bridges and outros against the flow of the album and edited it down as if it were a mixtape. So what we're left with is a Strokes album that runs 32 minutes instead of 52 minutes with the best parts kept and the worst parts in such a different context that they feel fresh. "2nd Impressions of Earth" is exactly as the name sounds. It might be my favorite Strokes record now.

This is an album re-cut for the thousands of people that skipped the original.


Feb 3, 2010

Dave Davies - The Album That Never Was

Last week I posted a thing on Beach House and was asked to take it down by Blogger. They even asked me to take it down again after it was already down. So I'm back tracking. Here is an unreleased album that I am guessing no one is going to give a shit about it being for free online.

It's a collection Dave Davies songs. He is the guitarist and occasional singer for "The Kinks" and a damn good song writer. This collection is worth a download for "Mindless Child of Motherhood" alone. It is one of my favorite songs of all time. "This Man He Weeps Tonight," is also really solid as are a bunch of the others.
For the completionists out there I must apologize that "Death of a Clown" is missing on this comp, but isn't too hard to track down. For the rest of you, get on it. It's very good.