Sunday, December 29, 2013

Peachy Keen: Play Classic Boo Radleys B-Side Here

I loved the Boo Radleys. They came around before Oasis sorta redefined the Creation Records sound and they stayed up until the end of the label. Shoegazers? At times. Britpoppers? By 1996, for sure, yeah.

Overlooked musical geniuses? Most assuredly.

"Peachy Keen (Acoustic)" is from the Lazarus EP in 1994, that lead EP track one of the highlights of the band's amazing Giant Steps record in 1993.

Martin Carr released some tunes as Brave Captain and under his own name, while vocalist Sice did one record as Eggman on Creation.

I miss the Boos.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Heartwarming Acoustic Clip From Liam Gallagher's Beady Eye

When it came to that Oasis split, I've made no secret that I was on Team Liam...especially when that team had Andy Bell (Ride, Oasis) and Gem Archer (Heavy Stereo, Oasis). And I was, and am, very fond of the fantastic debut record from Liam Gallagher's Beady Eye.

All that said, the 2nd Beady Eye album, BE, was a big disappointment for me this year but, hey, what do I know? I didn't like the last Arctic Monkeys record either.

But despite my disappointments there were two BE tracks that really grabbed my attention: the first single "Flick Of The Finger" and the lovely "Iz Rite".

This is a semi-acoustic performance of "Iz Rite" and I still think it's one of Liam's best tunes since "Songbird".

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Play The Sound Cover From The Upcoming Tribute Album Here!

I got word of a tribute album to the late, lamented The Sound from the folks at TheBeautifulMusic.com, the home label of D.C.'s Dot Dash.

This song, from Typwrtr, is a cover of a bonus track from The Sound album, From The Lions Mouth.

Follow along on TheBeautifulMusic.com

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Christmas Miracle: Yo La Tengo Cover The Clean

I love The Clean and I love Yo La Tengo so my heart is stuffed to share this rarity with you.

As many of you know, Yo La Tengo regularly plays all-request fundraisers for radio station, WFMU -- (they even put out some of those tunes as a compilation) -- and during those events the band plays everything from Gary Numan to Outkast to...The Clean.

Someone must have had the good taste to request the first track from The Clean's 1990 album Vehicle and Yo La Tengo do a remarkable job with the tune -- it sounds like they wrote it, frankly.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Dig Some Fresh And Fierce Tunes From Scotland's The Phantoms Here!

These 4 lads are starting to make a noise on the internet...a noise that warms my ears.

The Phantoms hail from near Edinburgh and they make a nice racket. Recalling worthy forefathers like The Skids -- "Undiscovered Secrets" is like Editors ripping through "Into the Valley" -- or even Joy Division -- "We're Coming For You" is like some weird, wild cover of "Disorder" as done by The Cribs -- The Phantoms are on the cusp of great things with a new EP that just dropped last month. For all the familiarity in these tunes, there's something epic and windswept here, for lack of better terms, and the vibe here brings to mind stuff like The Sound and The Chameleons.

And for those two reasons, you'd be wise to get on The Phantoms bandwagon now.

Follow on the official Facebook page of The Phantoms.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

How Did I Live Without This!?! Dog Bite Covers Bauhaus! Download It Here!

Well of course it sounds perfect! Upon hearing this, my first thought was "Well, Phil Jones made the song his own!"

Dog Bite have covered that old Bauhaus classic "Bela Lugosi's Dead" and it's splendid. Bauhaus were on 4AD at one point and Dog Bite nods in that direction stylistically; this sounds a lot like classic old Wolfgang Press, or maybe the first This Mortal Coil. But the instruments crackle here with a Joy Division-esque simmering fury.

The rare cover that adds something new to the original, this, like that first Dog Bite album, is a haunting bit of musical beauty.

Dog Bite will be releasing a new record in early 2014. For now, follow on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/dogusbitus

OR

https://www.facebook.com/carparkrecords

Download New Stomper From The Soft Pack Here!

The guys in The Soft Pack probably get tired of being compared to The Strokes but -- let's get it out of the way -- they sound a lot like them...at least on this cut.

I think other stuff from The Soft Pack shows more of a debt to Nuggets-era stuff but on "Answer To Yourself" it's all about something more modern. A trace of a Richard Hell sneer and a nod to Casablancas and co. and they're off.

Follow The Soft Pack on their official Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/thesoftpack

Download Live Version Of My Favorite Superchunk Song Here!

I don't know if it's my favorite but it's certainly one of my favorites from the North Carolina legends.

"Detroit Has A Skyline" was originally on 1995's Here's Where The Strings Come In but the song really didn't leap forward in my list of most awesome 'Chunk songs until I heard the acoustic version on the 2003 compilation Cup Of Sand.

Even though I probably heard the band bash through the track a few times back in the late 1990s, something about it "clicked" for me later on.

This live version -- from a concert you can find elsewhere on the web -- roars and fills with me with joy.

Follow Superchunk on their website:
www.superchunk.com

Play And Download Rare Peel Session Track From The Jesus And Mary Chain

I can remember where I was in early 1987 when I heard The Jesus and Mary Chain for the first time.

My friend was playing me tapes on my old boom-box in my parents' kitchen. After something like the VU-inspired "Just Like Honey", he flipped Psychocandy over in the player and hit play. "Never Understand" boomed out where I had my snacks and helped with dishes. I had never heard anything like that before and -- quite frankly -- I can count on one hand the rush of musical moments like that since then.

Remember that for me that was a full year before I heard any Creation bands or got my hands on any My Bloody Valentine recordings.

In 1987, it was a long way from The Smiths to JAMC in the USA!

However, all that being said, this Peel Session track from September 1985 is a good deal lighter.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Play And Download Rare 1991 Polvo Radio Session Track Here

I saw Polvo at least once, maybe twice.

They made an unholy but fascinating racket at the Black Cat when they were opening up for Helium. Ash Bowie was in both bands but he switched to bass with Mary Timony's Helium.

Polvo were a bit outside my comfort zone in the mid-1990s when I was listening to a lot of Britpop. But they were/are an adventurous act and one of the essential bands on Merge Records. I am glad they're making music again.

This track is part of a radio session for WMBR in Cambridge, Mass., on 11/15/1991.

Play And Download Rare Felt Radio Session Track Here

In late 1986/early 1987, I was a cassette-only sort of guy. I hadn't made the switch to CDs yet. I was mainly buying a lot of import tapes at the Tower Records near George Washington U. in D.C. and a few other select stores -- hands up who remembers the Melody Record Shop in Dupont Circle? -- and my friend Wolfgang was still buying both import cassettes and vinyl.

We were standing in Olsson's in Georgetown looking at this record by a band called Felt. In early 1987, in the grim pre-internet days, the best you could do to find out about a band was to read a British music mag or ask some hip friends. As Wolfgang and I had better taste than anyone else either one of us knew at that time -- though that was about to change when I started working in record stores -- we had no one to ask but each other. We stood looking at this record and wondering who the hell the band was. The song titles hinted at some kind of artiness, the type of thing we'd been bonding over via David Sylvian, Cocteau Twins, or early, pre-Pixies-era 4AD releases. But what was on that Felt record was something else entirely.

Wolfgang took the plunge and bought the vinyl. If there had been an import tape I might have been the experimenter.

He called the next day:

"Dude, the lead singer sounds like Tom Verlaine and it's got an organ on it!"

I think he was mildly disappointed. The tape of Gold Mine Trash would change my mind and make me a fervent fan...especially with that rare cassette-only flip-side of instrumentals.

This is from the September 11, 1986 Andy Kershaw radio session.

And, yeah, that dude does sound like Tom Verlaine.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Download Rarity From C86 Legends The Bodines Here!

Featured on the original C86 cassette, The Bodines never got a fair shake. They had a lot of good songs, to put it simply. The final track on their 1987 album, Played, "William Shatner" is a good example of the jangle-y charm of The Bodines. It's not as instantly memorable as their signature tune ("Therese") but it's as good as a lot of the tunes from the Creation Records bands of this era. Play and download it below.

And if you want to learn more about this seminal band from the outskirts of Manchester, please check out this lovely site.

Now You Can Play (And Buy) My Favorite Jet Age Tune!

If not my favorite then at least in my Top 5, this recent non-album Jet Age cut rocks like a champ!

Somehow the guys in this D.C. band must have invented a time machine and sent Robert Pollard back to 1968 where he bum-rushed Daltrey and took over for The Who. Pete Nuwayser, once again impressively calling up the ghost of Moonie, batters the drum kit into helpless submission. Bassist Greg Bennett channels both Geezer Butler and Jack Bruce in his bass runs and frontman Eric Tischler lets loose squalls of free jazz feedback and glorious postrock guitar noise as "Had A Plan" rockets forward. By offering a lyrical reference to "My Generation", Tischler makes his Who fixation pay off here.

Play and then buy the massively rockin' "Had A Plan" via the link below.

As I already posted, The Jet Age will be rocking the house this week at Tropicalia, their first gig in a long while.

The Jet Age will be premiering a handful of new songs from their upcoming record, Jukebox Memoir, at this gig. Jukebox Memoir is the follow-up to 2011's excellent Domestic Disturbances.

The Jet Age will be sharing the stage with Tereu Tereu, DJ sets from Paul from the Hometown Sounds blog, and Heavy Breathing.

Check out the Tropicalia website for more show details:
www.TropicaliaDC.com

And be sure to check out the official website for The Jet Age for more details on their upcoming album, Jukebox Memoir, which should drop in early 2014.
http://www.thejetage.net/

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Jet Age Set To Rock D.C. Again This Thursday!

Playing live for the first time in a long, long time, The Jet Age will be rocking the house this week at Tropicalia. I think the last show I saw in D.C. before moving to Hong Kong was the December 9, 2011, Jet Age gig with Deathfix. The pics and videos here come from that gig back then. It seemed like a fitting final show for me to see before moving away.

(Oddly, I am nowadays cranking Jet Age songs like "Left for Dead" on my iPod in Hong Kong while I dream of escaping HK and heading back to Maryland, but enough about me!)

The Jet Age are probably -- most likely -- gonna debut songs from their new record, Jukebox Memoir, at this upcoming gig. That album will be the follow-up to 2011's excellent Domestic Disturbances.

The Jet Age will be sharing the stage with Tereu Tereu, DJ sets from Paul from the Hometown Sounds blog, and the thoroughly wicked Heavy Breathing. I saw Heavy Breathing when I was home last Christmas and they rocked. Here are the details on that gig.

Check out the Tropicalia website for more show details:
www.TropicaliaDC.com

And be sure to check out the official website for The Jet Age for more details on their upcoming album, Jukebox Memoir, which should drop in the early part of 2014 and it's got some surprise guests on it. Or so I've heard.
http://www.thejetage.net/

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Play Yo La Tengo Cover Of Todd Rundgren Here

There are times when my biggest regret is that I haven't see Yo La Tengo live more than once. There's still time. It's not like they've broken up or something.

But my first visit to the "new" 9:30 Club was for a sublime Yo La Tengo performance in early 1996 with Air Miami (Bridget and Mark from Unrest) opening up. So I got lucky my first time out to see Yo La Tengo live.

I found this Yo La Tengo cover of my favorite Todd Rundgren song on Soundcloud. It sounds like a Moe Tucker-led VU track...or Galaxie 500.

Dig it and thank your stars for the folks in Yo La Tengo.

Photos And Video From Dot Dash/Hugh Cornwell Gig

How many Dot Dash gigs have I missed since I've been in Hong Kong? If you said "A bunch of good ones" you'd be right.

Luckily my buddy Michael Lynch went to the show the other night, the second time that Dot Dash opened for Hugh Cornwell of The Stranglers -- (A look back at the first time is here) -- and he shared some photos and a tiny bit of video with me.

The video is a snippet of "That Was Now, This Is Then" from the band's superb debut, Spark>Flame>Ember>Ash from 2011 on TheBeautifulMusic.

And follow Dot Dash on their official Facebook page:
www.facebook.com/dotdashdc

[Photos and video in this post courtesy of Michael Lynch.]

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Play Two Rare Lauren Laverne (Ex-Kenickie) Demo Tracks Here!

I have precious little details on these two tracks but the poster said they were from a 2003 demo session that he recorded. So that would place them well after Lauren Laverne had worked with Mint Royale and, obviously, a few years after the break-up of Kenickie.

Of course, Lauren Laverne is now a DJ and an author but these two tracks remind us fans what a fantastic singer she was.

Until she fronts a band again, play these.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Gaz Coombes And Paul Weller Rocked Save The Children's Christmas Tree Sessions Gig Last Thursday

Gaz Coombes, Paul Weller, Tim Burgess, and my favorite DJ -- and ex-lead singer of the band which I loved so much and whose b-side inspired my e-mail handle -- Lauren Laverne were at the Christmas Tree Sessions gig in London last night (December 5). The event was for Save the Children's Christmas Jumper Day charity drive.

More details here:
http://www.savethechildren.org.uk/

And here:
http://www.christmasjumperday.org/

About Christmas Jumper Day:
All money raised from Christmas Jumper Day activities will help save the lives of the world’s most vulnerable children. In the world's poorest countries, more than 7 million children die every year from easily preventable causes like diarrhea and malnutrition. Simple solutions, like vaccines and mosquito nets save lives – so by getting friends and colleagues to take part in Save the Children’s Christmas Jumper day on Friday 13th December and donating £1, you can help make a real difference.

About Save the Children:
Save the Children works in more than 120 countries. We save children's lives. We fight for their rights. We help them fulfill their potential.

savethechildren.org.uk

Musicians from Christmas Tree Sessions performed in festive knits in support of Save the Children’s Christmas Jumper Day. Join them by donning your Christmas jumper on Friday 13th December and donating £1 at http://www.christmasjumperday.org/

And it took me a minute to find video from the event but here's a clip someone took of Supergrass frontman Gaz Coombes performing a lovely new track called "Buffalo":

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Hey Bulldog Cranks It Up Into Overdrive: New Tunes From Another (!) Superb Manc Band!

These guys are from Manchester and they rock. That's really all any music fan needs to know before going "Oh yeah, let's play that!"

Sounding a helluva lot like Loop channeling Jesus and Mary Chain, Hey Bulldog -- named after one of my favorite Beatles songs -- brings the fuzzy goodness on "Numb" and you can play it below.

There's a trace of early Nirvana here but the sound is closer to American garage rock channeled through those Loop lads and their psychedelic wickedness.

For more details on Hey Bulldog, hit up their Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/heybulldogmusic

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Pretty Much Everything From Manatee (Mike Schulman From Black Tambourine) Is On Bandcamp For Free (But You Should Pay For This Stuff!)

When he's not busy running Slumberland Records, Mike Schulman is in Manatee, a Bay Area band who are equal parts early Replacements, mid-period Husker Du, and...a hint of Circle Jerks or Fear? Just a hint...maybe on the punkier cuts like "Things Falling Down" or "Chased By Anderson Cooper" (Robert Pollard called and was angry that he didn't think up that song title).

For a limited time this month you can get pretty much everything from Manatee for free. Just head over to their Bandcamp page.

Of course, I urge you to pay for this stuff.

Or at least head over to Slumberland Records and buy something like a piece of Mike's past which also happens to be an essential compilation.

Hit up Slumberland Records.com for more details on Mike's label.

Manatee's official Facebook page is here.

And the Manatee Bandcamp page is where you wanna go.

Monday, December 2, 2013

In Case You Forgot How Great The Clean Were, Play Second Single Here

In late 1987, I read something in Option magazine about The Chills. I got Brave Words on cassette -- back in the days when Homestead Records in the U.S. was distributing A LOT of killer music, both homegrown and imported -- and then I sought out anything on the Flying Nun label.

If the Creation folks in England were attempting to make something Sixties-infused, with a Byrds record as the common touchstone, the guys behind New Zealand's Flying Nun Records were on a more literate wavelength. Looking to both Australia's The Go-Betweens and NYC's Television for inspiration, these bands were rough around the edges but their tunes had melody and the words to the songs had smarts.

First it was The Chills, then The Verlaines, and then The Clean for me. It would be a year or so before I met anyone else into these bands even while I found a handful of people who knew who those Creation bands were. The Flying Nun stuff seemed more obscure and wonderful.

This is "Getting Older" and it's The Clean's second single. And it's hard in spots -- were they listening to Neil Young or Sonic Youth? -- but it's also got real yearning in the vocals. It's the sound of young men who'll never get old...or young men who know deep down how inevitable that journey will be.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Play Rare Smiths Take Here (I Just Started The Moz Autobiography So That's Why...)

I got the Morrissey autobiography at HMV in Causeway Bay last Friday.

(Along with that David Sylvian "best of" which had been marked down.)

It's slow going so far but he's got a way with words. Obviously.

I found this rare version of a track from the final Smiths album. Enjoy and wish me luck as I make it through the Moz tome.

Dot Dash Set To Open For Hugh Cornwell (ex-The Stranglers)...AGAIN! Plus Free MP3!

For the second time, the boys in Dot Dash have the honor of opening for Hugh Cornwell of The Stranglers. The show is Thursday, December 5, 2013, at the Black Cat and details are here.

It was October 22, 2011, when Dot Dash opened for Hugh Cornwell before. My review of that gig is here and the photos and videos in this post are from back then.

Dot Dash are gonna be playing songs from their superb 3rd album Half-Remembered Dream.

And one of those pop gems is the sublime "Hands of Time" and you can play it below. Download it here and click the "free download" link.

I have heard that Hugh Cornwell has still got Clem Burke from Blondie in his band and that dude is worth the price of the ticket alone.

Check out the photos and videos below and head on over to Dot Dash's page on Facebook for more details:
www.facebook.com/dotdashdc

Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Moment Bob Stinson Got The Boot From The 'Mats? Play Rare Live Cut From The Replacements Here

I'm sure The Replacements played Trenton's City Gardens more than once. And I can't track down the date of this recording -- the Soundcloud user left it a bit blank -- but there's a point where Paul Westerberg says something about being fired and it could very well be directed at the late to the stage and soon-to-be-sacked Bob Stinson.

Even if this is just another ramshackle gig for the 'Mats, it's still a great version of this classic from Let It Be

Another 10 Lessons From A Life Spent Listening To Music

This post is a follow-up to this one from last spring.

1. It was probably stupid of me to throw out that Dream Police CD insert autographed (in 1997) by all the members of the band except Bun E. Carlos.

2. There are better individual songs on Reckoning but R.E.M.'s Murmur is a better overall album.

3. Dead Can Dance get a free pass on being pretentious.

4. There are days when I think that "Lipstick" by the Buzzcocks is my favorite single of all time.

5. The best Christmas present I ever received was probably that cassette of Aztec Camera's High Land, Hard Rain in 1983.

6. That one famous 4 Non Blondes song can still make me want to pick up an axe and start swinging.

7. If I had a dollar for every big-haired sorority chick who came into the Record Co-Op asking for "that tape that has that 'big hands' song" on it", I could probably afford to hire the Violent Femmes to play my birthday party Jeff Spicoli-style.

8. I like 2 Creed singles. Sue me.

9. Between mid-1984 and early 1987 -- barely 2.5 years -- Husker Du cranked out 2 double LPs (Zen Aracde and Warehouse: Songs and Stories) and 3 other LPs (New Day Rising, Flip Your Wig, and Candy Apple Grey). They are all uniformly fantastic, life-affirming, transcendent, and essential.

10. Whenever Ira Kaplan unfurls a guitar solo on a slow(er) Yo La Tengo song I feel like a Deadhead listening to "Jerry" unwind on "Dark Star" or something.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving On Lamma Island, Hong Kong

I spent my first Thanksgiving in Hong Kong (in 2012) at Pizza Hut (!) in Causeway Bay. This year, the excellent Prime Bar and Grill on Lamma Island did "American" Thanksgiving.

(They owed it to us Yanks after they did a Canadian Thanksgiving back in October!)

It was awesome. The pumpkin pie was freshly made which was a nice suprirse after the typical pre-made pies people grab at the grocery stores in the U.S.

Since I spent two Christmas vacations here in 2009 and 2010 before I moved here in 2011, I don't really mind spending Christmas here. But, for some odd reason, Thanksgiving here makes me incredibly homesick.

So among the many thousands of things I'm thankful for, I am a little bit grateful and pleasantly surprised that I could have such a good U.S.-style Thanksgiving here.

(And they are doing it again this Sunday if you want to head out to Lamma Island for a Thanksgiving follow-up, the "leftovers" as it were!)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

It Doesn't Get More META Than This: Wrap Your Old Fogey Heads Around This New Superchunk Video

Superchunk have made a video for a single named after a Dischord band -- (the subject of a recent split 7 inch release from Superchunk that itself was a nod to the Dischord label split release) -- and the video by these indie legends -- starring drummer Jon Wurster as an aging indie rock fan -- gently mocks the current indie scene.

The guys (and gal) in Superchunk are now as old as the people that would have yelled "Turn that shit down!" back in 1993 when "The First Part" roared out of indie kids' dorm-room speakers and POS car stereos.

(I referenced that song 'cause I think there's a bit in this video where an imagined mosh pit is a nod back to the pillow fights in the 1993 vid for that Foolish single.)

Decide for yourself and play the video below.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Spin Some Rocking Tunes From History Repeated (John Stabb of Government Issue) Before D.C. Gig At Smash!

Certified D.C. legend John Stabb (Government Issue, Emma Peel, etc.) is bringing his new band History Repeated to the famous Smash! Records in Adams Morgan.

(God knows I bought a lot of stickers and stuff at that place back when it was in Georgetown back in the 1980s!)

That gig is on December 8 and you can find more details here.

But, between now and then, why don't you spin some of these kickin' tunes from History Repeated? The band is John Stabb on vocals, Derrick Baranowsky on guitars and vocals, C.F. Best on bass, and Mike Diana on drums.

The tunes have kick and punch and -- of course -- are held together by Stabb's signature wail. The dude is a natural frontman, ain't he?

Here's a picture of Brian Baker (Minor Threat, Government Issue) and John Stabb rocking it out with G.I. at the Salad Days: The DC Punk Rock Revolution gig last Christmas.

In the meantime, follow History Repeated on their Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/historyrepeated

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Free Covers EP From Manchester's Wonderful Temple Songs (And Download Free B-Side Too!)

Lest any of you think I've posted about Temples more lately than Temple Songs, here's an update on the activities of my favorite new Manchester band.

In October they released a single via London's RIP Records.

(A single that I blogged about nearly a year ago I might add!)

Play and download the B-Side "She's Away" below!

And, through that same arrangement with RIP Records, the lads in Temple Songs have made available a free 6-song "covers" EP...covers of some pretty obscure stuff, I might add -- I think the only one I knew in its original version was "The Lesson" from Mayo Thompson.

Follow Temple Songs on their Facebook page:
http://www.facebook.com/templesongs

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Fun And Bands (With Video) At Lamma Fun Day 2013

The Bollands

Follow The Bollands on their official website:
http://www.thebollands.com/

The Sleeves

Follow The Sleeves on their Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/the.sleeves

That's the awesome Ivy Fernie of Dark Himaya who joined The Sleeves for "Mirror" (short excerpt below).

The David Bowie Knives

Follow The David Bowie Knives on their Bandcamp page.