Archive for September, 2007

Chi-Pig

Posted in 1970s, 1980s, akron, chi pig, post-punk, wave on September 28, 2007 by Frankie Teardrop

I’ve heard about these folks for some time now, and have been itching to get ahold of more material. The band is Chi-Pig, a female-fronted wave trio hailing from Akron, Ohio.

The band formed in 1977, though members Susan Schmidt and Deborah Smith had previously been involved in 60′s girl group The Poor Girls. Chi-Pig got their curious moniker from a local barbecue joint and even curiouser, would take to wearing loud, Latin-inspired outfits, a style which had nothing in common with their jerky, post-punk sound. The band would come to some prominence in the wake of the success of similar-styled outfit Devo, but without securing a proper record contract, the band folded in 1982.

Until recently, only a handful of Chi-Pig tracks had been made available on various compilations and promotional discs. However, in 2004, the band released Miami, a full-length record consisting of 1979 recordings. From what I’m gathering from their official site, the band reunited for a one off-tour to promote a documentary honoring Akron’s music scene, but it’s unclear whether or not the band is still active.

For your listening pleasure, here’s a duo of Chi-Pig tracks, both featured on various compilations:

download Chi-Pig- ‘Apu Api (Help Me)’
download Chi-Pig- ‘Ring Around the Collar’

And here’s a few handy-dandy links for more on Chi-Pig:

Purchase Miami from Cdbaby.com
Official Chi-Pig site

Romeo Void

Posted in 1980s, post-punk, romeo void, san francisco, wave on September 27, 2007 by Frankie Teardrop

Another request to fulfill today, ladies and gentlemen. Today’s featured band is San Francisco based post-punk/new wave act Romeo Void.

Formed in 1979 by a group of college art school chums, Romeo Void would stir up a slice of controversy with their sex-fused lyrics and fiery performances. However, this controversy would not stop the band, led by Debora Iyall, from scoring a few independent hits for Columbia Records over the course of six years.

Romeo Void would record three full length records and one EP before officially disbanding in 1985 due to an apparent slew of lineup changes. Debora would release one solo record in 1986 before forming a handful of bands (including current outfit Knife In Water) while other remaining members would soon do the same. The band reunited in 1992 for a handful of benefit gigs for a friend and have since performed a one-off show on Vh1′s behalf in 2003. Though new material is rumoured to have been recorded since the band’s demise, no new tracks have appeared. Instead, the band’s legacy has sadly diminished to that unforgettable catchy chorus from the song ‘Never Say Never.’ The song features one of the most remembered lines of the 1980s- ‘I might like you better if we slept together’ and is to this date, a dancefloor favorite.

I’ve uploaded an extended (and far superior than the broadcasted version) mix of ‘Never Say Never’ plucked from the EP of the same name. The second featured tune is a personal favorite from their 1982 record Benefactor.

download Romeo Void- ‘Never Say Never (12” Single Version)’
download Romeo Void- ‘Chinatown’

And for your viewing pleasure, here’s a (somewhat low quality) video for the song ‘Say No’ from their first record, 1981′s Instincts.

A few scattered links:
Debora Iyall’s website
Romeo Void on Amazon.com

We’ve Got a Fuzzbox and We’re Going to Use It

Posted in 1980s, british, fuzzbox, post-punk, synth, we've got a fuzzbox and we're going to use it on September 24, 2007 by Frankie Teardrop

We’ve Got a Fuzzbox and We’re Going to Use It formed in Birmingham in 1985 as an incredibly raw, all female post-punk act with a knack for outrageous dress and catchy hooks. Their initial style, a devil-may-care attitude fostered on punk rock fury and a dose of playful sexuality, initially caused a controversial buzz upon their debut.

After a double-a side single for the songs ‘XX Sex’ and ‘Rules and Regulations’ reached number 41 in the British charts, the band took to the studio and recorded their first full length record. Released in 1986, their self-titled record hit the charts, airwaves, and dance floors in England, but failed to make much of an impact outside of Europe, where their name was truncated simply to ‘Fuzzbox’ and the album retitled to Bostin’ Steve Austin.

Their second record, 1989′s Big Bang! featured a revamp of style and sound, the band trading in their punk rock ethics for a sound more in line with slick dance pop. Despite an attempt to adapt to the times, the band split almost immediately after the album’s release, and lead singer Vickie Perks would form Vix And The Kix after a failed solo effort.

After a few listens, I’m not too keen on their second record, so with that being the case, I’ve instead uploaded two of the singles from their debut record, Bostin’ Steve Austin for your consumption.

download Fuzzbox- ‘Love is the Slug’
download Fuzzbox- ‘Rules and Regulations’

The video for ‘Love is the Slug’ may very well be one of the most amusing, fun, and strange videos I’ve ever seen, so approach below with caution and perhaps a love for sheer wackiness.

Most of their output is seemingly out of print, but available on LP via various auction and second-hand sites. If you like it, seek it out!

Grauzone

Posted in 1980s, german, grauzone, minimal, NDW, swiss, synth, wave on September 21, 2007 by Frankie Teardrop


A request fulfilled! A quick reminder to chime up in the comments if you’d like to see a specific band featured- whether you’re involved, a fan, or trying to get ahold of more material or information.

That said, today’s band is Grauzone, a Swiss wave band who released but a few singles and one LP before disbanding. The band was the brainchild of multilingual singer Stephen Eicher and formed in 1978 along with his brother Martin, G.T. on bass, Claudine Chirac on sax, and Marco Repetto on drums. Though of Swiss origin, the majority of Grauzone’s songs were sung in German, breaking into a budding synth movement with their mild hit ‘Eisbär’ in 1981.

Soon after, their self titled full-length was released and Grauzone disbanded. However, Stephen’s interest in French music sparked a successful solo career as an ever changing musician, his future (and current) work covering a broad range of genres.

I’ve uploaded a duo of tracks for your enjoyment. The first is ‘Eisbär,’ their initial buzz single (which has since been covered prominently by both the Dresdon Dolls AND Nouvelle Vague) and the second hails from Die Sunrise Tapes, a pressed to CD collection of Grauzone’s work released in 1998.

download Grauzone- ‘Eisbär’
download Grauzone- ‘Schlachtet!’

Die Sunrise Tapes seems to be the only available and in-print CD available from Grauzone, though their vinyl is relatively easy to find on Ebay. For a link to nab Die Sunrise Tapes online, click below:

CD Universe.com

Audra

Posted in 2000s, audra, glam, post-punk, projekt on September 19, 2007 by Frankie Teardrop


Today’s band, gloom guitar-oriented Audra’s origins are fuzzy at best. The brainchild of Helm brothers Bret (vocals) and Bart (guitars), Audra began writing and recording music as far back as 1993, soon after their relocation to Mesa, Arizona.

Alongside their trusty drum-machine (replaced by live drummer J. Dewolfe in 2002), the band would self-release a slew of cassette tapes and demos over the course of six years, eventually drawing the attention of Projekt’s Sam Rosenthal, who signed the band and released their self-titled debut in 2000, a driving record with glam rock hooks, dark meandering lyrics, and heavy backbeats.

Their sophomore effort, 2002′s Going to the Theatre improved upon this formula, adding more subtle and haunting beauty to their compositions. The record earned the band a series of favorable reviews and television spots on select MTv programs.

Though the band has yet to release their follow-up, it is said to be in the works. In the meanwhile, Audra has contributed Christmas tunes and cover songs to various compilations, and both Bret and Bart Helm have been regular members of neo-ambient act Black Tape for a Blue Girl since 2002.

For your listening pleasure, I’ve uploaded a track from both of their records, in reverse chronological order.

download Audra- ‘There Are No Snakes In Heaven’
download Audra- ‘In Hollywood Tonight’

Though it’s no handy embedded youtube file, for a video of the band’s cover of Joy Division’s ‘Walked In Line,’ please click the following link:

Walked In Line on IFC Media Lab

Otherwise, both of Audra’s recordings are available for purchase by visiting these links below:

Audra homepage
Audra on Projekt Records

Basking Sharks- Diamond Age 7”

Posted in 1983, basking sharks, british, minimal on September 17, 2007 by Frankie Teardrop

Scouring the usual channels, I’ve come up with very little information about today’s band, UK minimal wave act Basking Sharks. Origins and history otherwise undocumented, the band’s output consists of two singles and a full length record, all three released in 1983.

I’ve uploaded both sides of the Diamond Age 7” for your listening pleasure.

*DOWNLOAD LINKS REMOVED* Official copies and a CD reissue available from Basking Sharks dot net.

Silent Signals

Posted in 2000s, minimal, silent signals, synth, wierd records on September 13, 2007 by Frankie Teardrop

Today’s artist is one who’s worn several different hats and fronted a slew of projects over a period of time. Dating back to the 1980s, German electronic artist Dirk Torben K. has released material under the names Echo West and Intensive Care Unit, but today’s post will focus on his current work under the name Silent Signals.

Silent Signals appeared somewhat mysteriously in 2002 as a side project and has since released but one proper outing, a four track single entitled Walk on the Ladder. However, several Silent Signals tracks have appeared on various compilations and split singles, and the one-man outfit most recently appeared on NYC’s Wierd Records collection.

Without any further ado, here are the downloads. The first is the lone appearance of Silent Signals from the aforementioned Wierd collection, and the second is the title track from the Walk on the Ladder 7” single. Enjoy!

download Silent Signals- ‘Exit Out’
download Silent Signals- ‘Walk on the Ladder’

I’m not sure if Dirk has performed live under this moniker, but for a related visual treat, here’s a video of his main outfit Echo West performing in 2006:

For other information, and to nab a copy of the Wierd Records collection, please inspect these following links:

Purchase the Wierd Records 3x LP collection
Echo West homepage (in German)

Swell Maps

Posted in 1970s, art-punk, post-punk, swell maps, synth on September 11, 2007 by Frankie Teardrop

Swell Maps are among the most influential and chaotic bands of an early post-punk movement. The band originally formed in the early seventies by brothers Nikki Sudden and Epic Soundtracks (Nicholas and Kevin Godfrey respectively) but waited until the punk explosion to become a full-blown force.

The band would further bastardize and obliterate the three-chord boundaries of punk rock, experimenting with expansive Kraut rock sounds, utilizing tape loops, and practically destroying synthesizers on tape. Both of their full length records include ambient soundscapes and short segments of noise in between shrill yet catchy lo-fi punk songs.

Though their tenure on record barely lasted over a year and change, the band would leave a spectacular trail of songs and sonic experimentation before their demise in 1980. Both brothers would join other outfits and pursue solo ventures, and compilations of single tracks and unreleased material would soon find their way to the market in the wake of the band’s budding influence.

I’ve uploaded a duo of tracks, the first is a personal favorite, a sprawling, clanging instrumental piece featured on their second and final record, 1980′s The Swell Maps In…Jane From Occupied Europe.. The second is a straightforward art-punk tune featured on 1979′s A Trip To Marineville. Enjoy!

download Swell Maps- ‘Big Maz in the Desert’
download Swell Maps- ‘Blam!’

No real footage or videos of the band exist in full form, but I’ve come across a live version of ‘Let’s Build a Car From the Tyranny of the Beat’ backed with assorted live bits and bobs.

Fortunately (and most refreshingly), the majority of this band’s official (and unofficial) output is available for purchase by clicking the following link:

Swell Maps on Amazon.com

Our Daughter’s Wedding

Posted in 1980s, nyc, our daughter's wedding, synth, synthpunk, wave on September 10, 2007 by Frankie Teardrop

Our Daughter’s Wedding were a quirky, New York City based wave outfit comparible to the likes of Devo and Suicide. The band formed in the wake of the initial New York punk movement in 1977, taking their name from a section of greeting cards found in shops.

By the time they would begin recording and releasing material, the original straightforward rock lineup would soon add synthesizers to the mix and slim down to a trio. Though they employed the techniques seen in a variety of new wave and synth acts, the band would stay more true to their punk upbrining, keeping their songs punchy and energetic and playing all of their instruments live without the aid of sequencers.

Their first single, ‘Nightlife’ was released in 1980 and failed to make any impact whatsoever, though their second attempt, ‘Lawnchairs’ made a splash in the college circuit. Alongside a few more 7” singles, the band would cut an EP and a full length record, 1982′s Moving Windows, but would soon split in 1983 without any further drive or mainstream success.

I’ve plucked two tracks for your listening pleasure. The first is a remix of their underground hit ‘Lawnchairs’ and the second is the opening track from the Digital Cowboy EP, released in 1981.

download Our Daughter’s Wedding- ‘Lawnchairs (Remix)’
download Our Daughter’s Wedding- ‘Target For Life’

Here’s a live video of Our Daughter’s Wedding performing their first single ‘Nightlife’ in NYC:

Though several collections of the band’s material have been pressed to cd, they remain currently out of print. For more information about the band however, please visit these handy-dandy links.

Discogs.com
Myspace Page

The Brides

Posted in 2000s, nyc, synthpunk, the brides on September 7, 2007 by Frankie Teardrop

Today’s band is a currently blossoming post-punk/wave act from New York City.

In the vein of both Devo and the Dead Kennedys, The Brides are a high energy, almost anthemic act combining the buzzsaw guitars of punk and the sharp synths of wave. Like the best sort of punk, there’s a whimsical atmosphere around their lyrics, and incredibly catchy organ hooks throughout even their most bleak material. The band’s vocals even contain a hint of Jello Biafra’s timbre and ferocity. Delightfully morbid, the band is equally austere as it is playful and energetic.

Though the band is relatively new, popping up in the bowels of NYC as early as 2001, both vocalist/guitarist Corey Gorey and drummer D.W. Friend are no strangers to the underground NYC punk scene, for the Brides were formed in the wake of the demise of the Brickbats, a more horror-punk outfit whose split triggered a change in direction for these two previous members. Since the turn of the century, The Brides have released a slew of EPs and compilation tracks, and their most recent offering, Sofa City Sweetheart was released just this year to a fair amount of critical acclaim and buzz.

If you’re living in New York, the Brides will be appearing shortly in both Albany and Poughkeepsie as well as playing various shows in their own hometown. For anyone else out there, here’s a duo of tracks plucked from their matching 2002 EPs; Here Come the Brides (parts 1 & 2).

download the Brides- ‘Amputation Celebration’
download the Brides- ‘Those Things You Cannot See’

And in line with their curious sense of humor, here’s their music video for ‘New Shocks,’ featured on Sofa City Sweetheart:

Their material is available through various outlest such as CDBaby and the Itunes Music Store. For all further information including upcoming shows and purchase links, please divert your attention to these links:

The Brides homepage
The Brides on myspace