Archive for December, 2013

Twelfthnight- Masque 7” + Demo Cassettes

Posted in 1980s, 1983, bell hollow, deathrock, goth, goth-rock, Greg Fasolino, Joe Kasher, Joe Truck, New York, new york city, post-punk, Redex, Scarecrow, The Brain Eaters, US on December 19, 2013 by Frankie Teardrop

The holiday season is soon upon us, and I’m going to put the wrap on another excellent year with a gift from my bandmate, Greg Fasolino, who some of you may also be familiar with from Bell Hollow and The Naked and the Dead.

Anyone who knows Greg is aware of his vast archiving skills, complete with photos, setlists, friendships, and a collection that most of us would kill to own.  That said, the stories about this particular band date back to his time in the Naked and the Dead, a female fronted deathrock band from NYC who released one acclaimed demo before splitting.  The band reformed in the early 2000s with a different singer and have released archival material as well as sprinkled reissues of the demo across several compilations.  During his years as an underground musician, journalist, and all around music superfan, he befriended fellow musicians Joe Kasher (aka Joe Truck) and Andrew Cushen, who were both luminaries of the 1980s NYC underground as well.

It’s this musical partnership that is responsible for the tracks we’re posting today, but first a little backstory.  Cushen was originally involved in a band called Redex, who only released two demos in the early 1980s.  We’ll get to those another time, perhaps!  After Redex split, Cushen met Kasher and decided to form a new project, heavily influenced by the UK post-punk bands that were gaining momentum at the time.  They recorded two demos as well, one before releasing this 7” on Gash for Cash records in 1983, and one shortly afterwards.   As I understand it, Kasher and Cushen played every instrument you hear on these recordings, but recruited members to perform a few live shows.

The band quickly dissolved but the partnership continued as Cushen and Kasher drafted drummer Ronaldo Gonzalez (later of Swans) and Beth Balousek on vocals to form Scarecrow.  This band performed several shows under this name, and recorded one three song demo with a few live tracks, but as fate would have it, the band would also split as quick as they formed.  Kasher and Cushen then formed Chop Shop with Rebecca Korbet (later of Pussy Galore, King Missle) and Steve DiBenedetto, who also released a demo and recorded an unreleased album in 1985.  Meanwhile, Kasher and Cushen lent their expertise to Fasolino, co-producing the Naked and the Dead demo.  Greg also tells me that Cushen played e-bow on “Cassandra,” teaching him a skill that has become one of Greg’s signature sounds since.  Kasher also released a 7” with his next project, the Brain Eaters, in 1986.  Before Brain Eaters, Kasher and Fasolino played together briefly in a band called Burning Rome, who never recorded anything.  Everything’s incestuous!

Which brings us to today.  Kasher is still involved in the underground scene, and is currently playing as The Burning Ritual, who released their debut EP and are currently playing in the New York City area.  Kasher also collected several of these underground New York projects, including the Naked and the Dead, Scarecrow, The Children’s Zoo (featuring bassist Chris Bollman also of N&tD and Bell Hollow), and others for a compilation called Dark New York (Gotham City’s Post-Punk, Goth, and Deathrock Bands 1983-1988) Vol. 1, one of my favorite releases from last year.  We can only hope a volume 2 is in store in 2014!

Anyway, back to Twelfthnight.  I have here for you both demos (minus the 7” tracks, which I’ve been told are identical to the 7” pressings), and a fresh rip of the 7” from Greg’s collection.  You MAY recall seeing the flip-side to this on an early SOR compilation, erroneously credited to Twelfth Night (sorry!).  I’ve been curious to hear more about this band ever since, and while I’ve known Greg for ages, I had no idea that the missing pieces of this puzzle lay this close to home.

With that in mind, I’m very pleased to bring things full circle after all these years!  Thanks to Greg, Joe, and Andrew for their efforts both here and elsewhere!   Happy holidays and see you guys in 2014!

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Twelfthnight- Masque 7”
1. Masque
2. Tree Soldiers

Twelfthnight- Demo #1
1. Silent Spring
2. It Must Have Been Minutes

Twelfthnight- Demo #2
1. All Soul’s Day
2. Sanctuary
3. Premonition

BONUS:
1. Visions of These (Rehearsal 1983 – 17th Street, New York, NY)

*download all three here*

Atrocity- Because 7”

Posted in 1980s, 1985, denmark, post-punk on December 10, 2013 by Frankie Teardrop

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For those who prefer something a little more visceral than our last post, here’s a complete 180 for you.  A slice of post-punk bliss from Denmark, a very scarce 7” from 1985 on Hub Records (Kalishnikov). One could point to the Factory Records roster for direct inspiration, as those kind of buzzing synths call Martin Hannett and co. to mind. Very possible that the band name is a nod to Joy Division by way of J.G. Ballard as well.

Little else is known about these guys, but bassist Bjarne Hansen has some scattered production/engineering credits over the years.

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Atrocity- Because 7”
1. Because
2. Scene
3. Love Song
4. Part of the Crowd

*download it here*

Peggy & the Pills- Nobody’s Bride 12”

Posted in 12'', 1985, italian, italo, italo disco, peggy & the pills, synthpop on December 4, 2013 by Frankie Teardrop

It’s been a very low energy week here at SOR headquarters, so here’s something that gets my blood flowing a bit more, and hopefully will have the same effect on you.

This is a one off Italo 12” from Peggy & the Pills, recorded and released 1985.   While some Italo records fetch insane prices (some of the highest I’ve ever seen, actually), this one can still be found for a few bucks, and is worth picking up for anyone interested.   While the sound is very much in the Italo disco vein we all know and love, this song also calls the sweet, sugary, and sharp edge of bands like Strawberry Switchblade, Pink and Black, and especially Book of Love to mind.  There’s also some guitar undercurrents throughout the track, little stabs of chorus-infused strings that add an interesting element to the track.  I’m also reminded a bit of Stephin Merrit’s Future Bible Heroes project a bit, the sardonic wit of the lyrics call to mind some of the best moments from Eternal Youth, an album I used to adore (but haven’t thought about since coming across this record).

As with most Italo projects, the creators of this track had their hands in other releases.   Keyboardist Marcello Ciao was also the engineer for an early Litfiba release, while Mario Natale (arrangement) also worked with Den Harrow, Clockwork, and dozens of other Italo artists.

 

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Peggy & the Pills- Nobody’s Bride 12”
1. Nobody’s Bride (Vocal)
2. Nobody’s Bride (Instrumental)

*download it here*

Sadly, Peggy Richardson, the wedding-dress donning diva from this 12”, passed away a few years ago, but drummer Andrea Contini has posted an excellent video honoring her life and the project.  This video appears to be the only “live” recording of Peggy & the Pills, and shows the three piece band backing Peggy in 1984, who swaps out her trademark wedding dress at the halfway mark.   Check it out below: