Archive for the US Category

Bangah- Bangah 12”

Posted in 1980s, 1984, baltimore, indie, new wave, US on June 4, 2015 by Frankie Teardrop

Here’s an excellent four song 12” from US band Bangah, released in 1984. The band, like most US bands featured here, were from Baltimore, which was apparently THE town for underground wave music in the States, so it seems… As for sound, Bangah employ a great mix of new wave and indie/jangle pop, with a slight Factory Records influence thrown in for good measure. My favorite here is “It Means Very Little” which reminds me of a mid-period Wake song with a more vibrant singer (think Ultravox) and excellent, icy synths. In general, the band remind me quite a bit of underrated UK bands The Icicle Works and Wild Swans.

Vocalist Eric Snyder was also active in the Ultra Violets, whose record I’ve seen in a few bins over the years but haven’t checked out yet…

Bangah- Bangah 12”
1. Every Wave
2. Trapped/Hide & Seek
3. It Means Very Little
4. Pale Fire

*download it here*

The band also appeared on Baltimore dance program Shakedown, performing an unreleased song. The audio isn’t great here, but definitely a decent look at the band in their prime:

Crashblack Big Orange- Crashblack Big Orange K7

Posted in 1980s, 1989, chicago, crashblack big orange, darkwave, goth, goth-rock, post-punk, US on April 15, 2015 by Frankie Teardrop

Today’s post is a supplement to Goutroy’s excellent post from 2012. His original post featured the lone full length LP from Chicago based husband and wife duo Crashblack Big Orange, which was a surprisingly excellent late 80s darkwave record in the vein of Intelligence Unit, Stimmen Der Stille, Xmal Deutschland, & Insulin Reaction. I’ve always thought these guys were kind of like a gothier version of X (or even a much less campy version of Rumania-era Nuns).

In his post, Goutroy mentioned that the band released three demo tapes prior to the LP, so this is one of the three missing pieces to the puzzle. This particular demo from 1989 is a single sided, self-titled affair, and features three tracks- two of which are exclusive to this release. The final song appears on the LP as well, and doesn’t seem to be too heavily altered, so it’s hard to tell if they just re-used this version or re-recorded it in exactly the same manner. The two exclusive tracks are exactly what you’d expect if you’re already a fan of the LP. The uninitiated can expect plenty of trashy, distorted deathrock-style guitars, high energy drum patterns, a mix of excellent male and female vox, and plenty of menacing hooks to go around.

crashblack

Crashblack Big Orange- Crashblack Big Orange K7
1. Voices
2. Nerves
3. Strange Sky

*download it here*

If anyone has a copies of the remaining two demos, feel free to drop a comment or an email! Would love to hear them!

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!

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*

Psi Com- Worktape 1 and Demos

Posted in 1980s, 1984, alternative, deathrock, goth, goth-rock, jane's addiction, LA, los angeles, mazzy star, perry farrell, post-punk, psi com, red temple spirits, US on August 12, 2013 by Frankie Teardrop

psi com group 2

Before there was Jane’s Addiction, there was Psi Com, a post-punk/deathrock band fronted by Perry Farrell.  The band released one demo tape and one 12” (re-released on CD and 10” in the mid-90s) in 1985.  The band began in 1983, when Perry answered an ad from guitarist Vince Duran looking for a drummer, as his fledgling band was primarily using a drum machine.  Instead, Farrell took over as vocalist, adding Rich Evac on bass, Aaron Sherer on drums, and Mariska Lassius on keyboards.  This was the lineup for their demo tape that was eventually sold at shows in 1984 with elaborate packaging reminiscent of Independent Project Records releases.  The photo above depics the lineup for these recordings.  Soon after the demo was released, Lassius and Evac left the band, replaced by bassist Kelly Wheeler for their 12” sessions.

Based heavily in the psychedelic roots of Pink Floyd as well as the UK post-punk movement, Psi Com’s sound was much more in line with Savage Republic, The Ex, and Bauhaus than the horror punk sound that was developing on the West Coast.   If anything, Psi Com was a vessel for the Red Temple Spirits sound moreso than the hedonistic excesses of Jane’s Addiction, though both bands continued exploring their psychedelic influences and alternative leanings.  Even Perry Farrell’s trademark wail is downplayed on these recordings, though there’s no mistaking it during certain key passages.

Psi Com broke up suddenly in 1985, after gaining a heavy local following.  Legend has it that Eric Avery, bassist for Jane’s Addiction, was drafted as a new bassist for Psi Com, changing direction as Stephen Perkins and Dave Navarro joined.  Bassist Kelly Wheeler played briefly with Dino Paredes of Red Temple Spirits, and Aaron Sherer eventually retired from music after playing drums on several tracks from Mazzy Star’s excellent Among My Swan LP.

Here we have a fan circulated collection of demos and additional tracks, including the debut Worktape cassette as well a series of studio recordings and instrumentals that originally appeared on a Jane’s Addiction bootleg CD from 1991.  While the 12” has received a fair amount of attention as Farrell’s pre-Jane’s vessel, these demos are still rather obscure, and definitely worth hearing even if you’re not a fan of what came next. 

psi com worktape art

Psi Com- Worktape 1 and Demos
1. Hopeful
2. Them
3. Psi Com Theme
4. 14th Floor
5. Cat
6. Karuna
7. 14th Floor (Instrumental)
8. Cat (Instrumental)
9. Karuna (Instrumental)

*download it here*

Luxus- Smiling Daughters 7”

Posted in 1980s, 1982, luxus, minimal, minimal synth, new wave, ohio, synth, US with tags on May 21, 2013 by Frankie Teardrop

Here’s a 7” recommended highly by a few collectors out there.  This one hails from 1982 and features a dirgey, drum heavy minimal synth sound very similar to Pink Industry (with vocals that sound like a pitched down/drugged out Bowie or John Foxx) on the a-side.  The B-side is a little more new wave-y by definition, but still a great listen.  Fans of Fallout Club may like this one as well.

This is the band’s second single on Stork Records.   I only have the A-side of that at 128, but if someone has this one and can rip both sides, feel free to chime in!  EDIT: Soul brotha Nick over at Crispy Nuggets just exhumed the first 7”, so head on over there to grab it.

Chuck from the band chimed in recently and had this to say about this excellent slice of synth goodness:

Recorded in a basement on a Dokordor Open Reel 4 track on the east side of Cleveland, Ohio. I know this because I played bass, some keys, and audio manipulations. Smiling Daughters took months to record, I’m So Confused(I’m A Mess) took a weekend.

You heard it from the source, kids!

Luxus- Bent to Scale 7”
1. Smiling Daughters
2. I’m So Confused (I’m In A Mess)

*download it here*

Bethany Curve- Mee-Eaux K7

Posted in 1990s, 1995, bethany curve, california, dreampop, shoegaze, US on April 6, 2013 by Frankie Teardrop

While I haven’t posted much shoegaze here, I’ve been a fan of the genre as long as I can remember… Aside from the classics, I’ve also grown to love more modern bands such as Ashrae Fax, Stella Luna, Tamaryn, The Autumns, the Claire Records bands, and of course, Bethany Curve.  With that in mind, I’ve been looking for a copy of this cassette for ages, pretty much a holy grail for me for many years, so it’s proof that good things come to those who wait.  This came to me as an anonymous donation at first but many thanks to the original collector who spent a lot of effort and time to track this down. 

Bethany Curve formed in Santa Cruz, CA in 1994, taking their name from a local street sign.  The band released four albums and one EP, going on hiatus in 2004 after the release of Flaxen.  Though they haven’t released anything since, the band played some shows in 2010, and their site hints at a new record, Murder, whose release date is still TBA.  There’s also talk of this tape being reissued with remastered sound, so this download will be obviously be removed once it’s available for sale.

As for the band’s sound, Bethany Curve often explored darker territories than most of their peers, citing Dead Can Dance and Depeche Mode as influences alongside Cocteau Twins, Slowdive, and the like .  The influence is most apparent on this tape, released in 1995 as a demo.  There are a few experimental synth moments here as well, serving as interludes between the remaining tracks.  Either way, if you’ve been looking for this tape as long as I have, you’ve already skipped this text and have gone straight to the download, so let’s cut straight to the chase:

Bethany+Curve+MeeAux

Bethany Curve- Mee-Eaux K7
1. Sequence
2. Satellite
3. Mar
4. Walk In
5. 2 Minutes of Hate
6. Jalap
7. Sunned
8. Reversion
9. Out of the Clear
10. Me Voy

*download it here*

The Wild Flowers- The Joy of It All LP & Blue Hollow- Stealing a Whisper LP

Posted in 1980s, 1984, 1986, blue hollow, coldwave, dreampop, new wave, post-punk, the wild flowers, uk, US on January 28, 2013 by Frankie Teardrop

Hope you’ll all indulge me for a little two-for-one post here.  While these two records are generally unrelated, they sound incredibly complementary and it’s no stretch that if you love one, you’ll probably love the other.  Also, both LPs have been posted by other blogs in the past.  I only double dip today to offer fresh rips and hopefully to turn you guys on to two excellent, if but vastly under-appreciated post-punk masterpieces from the mid-80s.

First up is the debut LP from The Wild Flowers, which you may have heard via Curious Guy’s excellent post from 2006.  There, he mentions that the band was the original outlet of guitarist David Newton, who left soon after to form the also excellent Mighty Lemon Drops.   I’m on my second copy of this LP, between DJing and home listening, so that should speak highly of this particular record, which calls the lush majesty of bands like The Chameleons, Icicle Works, The Lucy Show, Breathless, The Sound, and of course, Echo & the Bunnymen’s Heaven Up Here to mind.  You can grab their first two 7”s here.  I do have the third LP, 1988’s Sometime Soon.  It’s been a while since I’ve heard it so I don’t remember how it stacks up, but I’m very interested in hearing 1987’s Dust.

The second LP is the one and only release by Blue Hollow, who rose from the ashes of Gluons, a darker and more dissonant band from Massachusetts.  Stealing a Whisper, which was released three years later, would shed much of the cacophony and offer up a record that sits comfortably alongside The Wild Flowers on sheer strength of songwriting.  Equally lush and romantic songs and catchy hooks, clearly pulling from the same set of influences and delivering a similarly striking album…

It’s a shame that neither of these records are more well known, even in these circles, so hopefully this post brings them to a wider audience.  Enjoy!

The Wild Flowers- The Joy of it All (1984)
1. Melt Like Ice
2. Beggar Man
3. The Promised Land
4. After All These Years
5. Dark Times
6. The Joy of it All
7. Bamboo
8. Hold the Torch
9. Things Have Changed
10. From the Sky

*download it here*

 

Blue Hollow- Stealing a Whisper (1986)
1. Color of Night
2. Inhale
3. Running Down
4. Blue Hollow
5. We Fall
6. Hearts Hang Souls
7. Wildskin
8. Stranger

*download it here*

Thanks for indulging me here today… For those who are looking for something new and unheard, hang tight- as the next few posts will feature very rare cassettes, demos, and more!  Thanks to all who have sent things over in the past few weeks- it’s always appreciated!

Necropolis Of Love- In Search Of… 12” / The Graffiti 1.31.1985

Posted in 1980s, 1983, san francisco, US on July 23, 2012 by Frankie Teardrop

Uploading this as I just came across a copy and haven’t seen it posted out there before.  This is the final piece of the Necropolis of Love puzzle, which began with a minimal synth-tinged 7” in 1982 and ended with 1984’s The Hope, which is a seminal piece of post-punk from the West Coast scene (the guitar version of “Talk” remains a constant staple in my DJ sets).

However, this record walks a fine line between both sounds, catching the band in a transitional phase.  “Dance,” despite the surface-level title is an excellent wave track with club aspirations, the best moments being the ascending synth lines.  A different version of track also appears on The Hope 12”.  “Debutante” is a rhythm-based track that reminds me of a more dance-oriented Störung, with blaring saxophones to break up the repetitive rhythms.  “Cafetown” is the weakest song here, a jerky number with lyrics that seem to criticize California coffee-shop types.

This 12” was released in a generic sleeve- likely in small numbers, and it seems the scarcest of all the Necropolis of Love releases.  The copy I have didn’t sound that wonderful, but between the record cleaner and a little even-handed click removal, it should be a serviceable listen until a better copy presents itself .  I’ve only heard one other rip of this 12” before (overblown and tinny sounding) but it seems to have similar issues, so this is perhaps a common pressing problem.  If anyone else has a better sounding copy out there, feel free to get in touch!

As a bonus, I’ve uploaded a radio session the band performed on KSUF in 1985, featuring several unreleased tracks as well as a few familiar favorites.  This has been floating out there for some time but I don’t think it’s been blogged before either, so I’ll include it for anyone who missed it the first time around.  It seems the band has shed some more light on their time together, and there was to be an album deal with Sire records but it ultimately fell through.   Curious if some of these tracks were  being considered for the LP…

Necropolis of Love- In Search Of… 12”
1. Dance (Dance Mix)
2. Debutante
3. Cafe Town

Necropolis of Love- The Graffiti- Jan 31st 1985 (Live on KSUF)
1. KSUF Announcer Intro
2. Night Out
3. Cafe Town
4. The Tunnel
5. Alyssa
6. Heart of the Beast

*download both here*

Nuvo West- Scary LP

Posted in 1980s, 1983, arizona, minimal, minimal synth, new wave, US with tags on June 26, 2012 by Frankie Teardrop

Here’s a rare and obscure minimal synth LP from Phoenix, Arizona, perfect for fans of Bugger West, Tone Set, Combined Minds, etc (the latter two who also hailed from Arizona). Varying degrees of DIY desert-synth magic here, my favorite track being the closing instrumental “Shades of Yesterday,” which almost feels like a synth version of Angelo Badalamenti’s Twin Peaks score… I do believe there’s a tape out there somewhere that precedes this LP, but no info about that one, sorry!

Thanks to Bx-59cppw for the donation!

Nuvo West- Scary LP
1. Theme For Alienation
2. Accidents Don’t Happen In My World
3. Dogs Have Their Days
4. Little Yellow Pills
5. Androids Love
6. Shades Of Yesterday

*download it here*

Jarvon Jol- The Dustcollector 12”

Posted in 1980s, 1984, darkwave, new wave, New York, new york city, synth, synthpop, US on April 17, 2012 by Frankie Teardrop

You may have seen this one over at Vinyl Obscurity in the past, but I’ve been playing this one out at the Wierd party for several years now with extremely positive results, so here’s a fresh rip from my own copy.  Speaking of which- for those who live nearby, be sure to check in at Home Sweet Home tomorrow night (4.18) for the US debut of UV Pop!  I’ll be on the decks with Caleb of Sacred Bones & Alessandro from Mannequin—-surely a night to remember!

An incredibly affordable synth/wave 12” from 1984, recorded and released here in New York.  The clear winner here is the title track, a dark and fast paced synth number with short stabs of guitar, a sinister refrain, and several references to London town.  The British references also carry over to the album cover, which depicts a photo of Shaftesbury Ave., the heart of London’s theatre district.  Perhaps the dustcollector is a player on the stage?

The flip is a more care-free pop tune with some shamelessly soulful female vocals in the background.  Not really my cup of tea but your mileage may vary.  However, the A-side more than does the trick for me, as this 12” never leaves my record bag.

Jarvon Jol- The Dustcollector 12”
1. The Dustcollector
2. It’s Time

*download it here* (RE-RIPPED 1.27.18)