Archive for July, 2011

My Dad Is Dead- The Best Defense LP

Posted in 1988, indie, my dad is dead, post-punk, US on July 22, 2011 by Frankie Teardrop

Here’s a collection of rarities by My Dad Is Dead, a post-punk/indie project from Cleveland, Ohio. My Dad Is Dead formed in 1984 after the breakup of Riot Architecture, and since then has been primarily a solo outfit for drummer Mark Edwards. Revolving door lineups came and went over the years, and the band enjoyed some underground success as well as opening spots for bands such as Modern English and Butthole Surfers.

Edwards is still active to date, releasing MDID records well into the 2000s. Recently, Edwards put the lid on MDID and is now working under the moniker Secular Joy. A debut LP is currently in the works.

This particular collection consists of several leftovers from the band’s early career. Tracks 1, 3, and 10 were slated for a 1987 EP release, while the rest of the tracks are a combination of album sessions (recorded during the Let’s Skip the Details sessions) and home 4 track demos. The sounds here are definitely raw and guitar-driven, definitely recommended for fans of Big Black, Game Theory, Husker Du, early R.E.M., etc. Not a sound generally explored on this blog, but a cool record by a cool band that some of you may find enjoyable. It’s certainly hitting the spot during this NYC summer heat wave. Here’s the info:

My Dad Is Dead- The Best Defense
1. In The Morning
2. When The Elephants Fight, The Grass Gets Trampled
3. Anti-Socialist 2
4. For Your Trouble
5. Pile It On
6. Cut Out
7. It’s Not What You Said
8. Chopsticks
9. Hole In My Eye
10. The Best Defense

*download it here*

Note: You can get a lower bitrate recording of this release (as well as enjoy several other freebies) via the band’s website, viewable here. Lots of information and multimedia for anyone curious about the band’s history!

Two of China- Telk Mee 12”

Posted in 1980s, 1984, german, synthpop, westside music on July 20, 2011 by Frankie Teardrop

Contained within we have a classic slice of Westside Music synthpop, circa 1984, courtesy of Jeffo!, a fellow NYC DJ.

Generally known as a vehicle for Andreas Tomalla (Moskwa TV, Bigod 20, MCL), Two Of China released three 12”s in total (2 if you’re not counting the Axodry collaboration), including a rather straightforward cover of “Los NiƱos Del Parque” by Liasons Dangereuses. This particular 12” can still be found for dirt cheap (that can also be said about most Westside releases), but we all know that just because it’s expensive doesn’t mean it’s good, don’t we?

Just noticed the back of this sleeve comes with the potent quotable: “If you don’t listen to this record you cannot enjoy the essence of future music.” Well, what are you waiting for, kids!

Two of China- Telk Mee 12”
1. Telk Mee (Wild Version)
2. Telk Mee (Strange Version)

*download it here*

For another great Westside Music release, see this post from the archives.

If you dig this post, please be sure to support the label and the artist by purchasing these tracks via iTunes!

Combined Minds- 1984 K7

Posted in 1980s, 1983, american, arizona, minimal, minimal synth, new wave, US on July 19, 2011 by Frankie Teardrop

This particular cassette was also donated by Ben, and features nine tracks from Combined Minds, a minimal synth band from Maryvale, Arizona.

The band operated as a three piece and recorded two cassettes for their own Multi-Purpose Musik label, an outlet for this project as well as prior releases dating back to 1979.

Always looking towards the future, this tape was released in 1983, and the follow up was released two years later. Lots of great sounds to be had here, especially for fans of Tone Set, League of Nations, (early) Soft Cell, and the more experimental side of the minimal synth spectrum. I can’t seem to get enough of “More Knobs Than Notes” and “Shop Town,” but this entire tape is a must hear for minimal synth fans big and small. Here’s the info:

Combined Minds- 1984 K7
1. Combined Minds
2. Feel The Beat
3. More Knobs Than Notes
4. Shop Town
5. Time To Relate
6. Nocturnal Nocturne
7. Comfortable
8. If I Don’t Move, I Can’t Dance
9. Sold American

*download link removed*

Sorry for the premature post, folks. I’ve just gotten word that this release (as well as several other Multi-Purpose Musik releases) are avaialbe from Shawn Helton, a member of Combined Minds who is still active in music today. Please click THIS link to read more about Helton and his projects, and to purchase these releases!

Excentrique Noiz- Dark Crystal Day 7”

Posted in 1980s, 1986, coldwave, darkwave, excentrique noiz, japan, japanese, post-punk on July 14, 2011 by Frankie Teardrop

I keep forgetting to post this one. A recent favorite, you may recall seeing these guys on the Systems of Romance vol. 1 compilation. A rare Japanese darkwave entry, Excentrique Noiz released two 7”s and a full length LP before calling it a day. Here we have their second 7” from 1986.

Obvious touchstones here include Clan of Xymox and Danse Society on the A-side, while the flip is a fantastic piece of post-punk/coldwave. A strange stylistic shift halfway through the song, but still an awesome tune. Here’s the info:

Excentrique Noiz- Dark Crystal Day 7”
1. Dark Crystal Day
2. In Dis Tree

*download it here* (RE-RIPPED 6.4.13)

Violet Town- Violet Town K7

Posted in 1986, coldwave, darkwave, post-punk, primary records, US, utah, violet town on July 11, 2011 by Frankie Teardrop

Here’s a very generous donation from Ben in the form of a rare cassette release from 1986. Fans of the post-punk/coldwave sound should go ga-ga for this one, as I undoubtedly have.

At first glance as well as at first listen, this American-released K7 might suggest a few obvious touchstones. Firstly, the band’s name is naturally an allusion to a track from (in my opinion), The Church’s finest hour. Secondly, the tape was released via Primary Music, a virtually unknown label in Utah that obviously sounds like a nod to a classic Cure single (I wouldn’t be surprised if this was a self-release under the guise of a label). As if the Cure comparisons weren’t strong enough, we have the opening seconds of “Torn Inside,” which immediately recall the title track from Seventeen Seconds to mind with their warm synths and back and forth melodies.

All of this said, this is tape is awesome. While there are a mix of sounds throughout, it generally sounds as if the band is combining the aesthetics of both bands mentioned above (also think Chameleons, Mighty Lemon Drops, Grapes of Wrath etc.), very surprising given the time period and the location of the band. From what I understand (and for those who were there, feel free to correct me), early Cure and Church imports were hard to come by in the United States, all but buried by those who didn’t know to seek them out until both bands broke with their respective tour de forces. I’m sure folks had access to these records, but it wasn’t as easy as going to their local record store, especially in Utah, to find these gems. Maybe that’s just my imagination running away with me, but while there are dozens of Cure and DM influenced bands scattered throughout Europe, a US entry is very rare indeed, which makes this tape even more unexpected and interesting to me.

Ok, enough theoretical babble. Despite the obvious influences, this tape is definitely a treat to be heard, and many thanks to Ben for sending a rip my way! Here’s the information:

Violet Town- Violet Town K7
1. Torn Inside
2. Hope Is Gone
3. Mantis
4. Wrinkle In Your Eye
5. Secrets Told
6. Alice Temple
7. Two Girls
8. Deer In A Graveyard

*download it here*

The Trial- Pictures LP

Posted in 1980s, 1990s, 1991, Czechoslovakia, new wave, synth, synthpop, the trial on July 7, 2011 by Frankie Teardrop

Here’s one that’s been kicking around in some form or another for some time, but never complete, or never at tremendously great quality. You may be familiar with this band via the Crispy Nuggets VA compilations, one which featured a loose track from this LP and another the b-side off the band’s debut 7”. I’ve been playing this LP out a lot lately at the Wierd party, so for those who have been asking about this one, here it is!

Released in 1991, here we have the debut LP from The Trial, a six piece (!) Czechoslovakian synth band. Fans of the heavy synthpop sound of the late 80s (Depeche Mode, Camouflage, Xymox’s “Obsession”) should find lots and lots to love on this LP. A few of the songs haven’t aged so well, but the majority of this LP (especially side B) is phenomenal and I can’t stop listening to it. Don’t take my word for it though, see for yourself!

The Trial- Pictures LP
1. The Bodies Of Evenings
2. Terrible Scream
3. Television Liar
4. Make-up
5. Shut Up!
6. Yourself
7. Sky Of Secrets
8. Anybody
9. In The Fiction Press
10. My Bed
11. What Do You Say?

*download it here*

If you’d like to read more about the band, click HERE for a page run by a devoted fan. Unfortunately, the main history of the band has yet to be translated to English, but still plenty of info to be had. Be sure to click here to check a few video clips of the band, all three which hail from the band’s pre-LP era. Lots of photos here!

David Kane Retrospective (Nullstadt, Decay of Western Civilization, Demo K7)

Posted in 1980s, 1985, 1988, alien registration, celibates, david kane, decay of western civilization, minimal synth, new wave, nullstadt, synth on July 5, 2011 by Frankie Teardrop

If there’s one synth whiz that the US can claim and attest to, it’s the prolific David Kane. The name should be familiar with astute followers of this blog and others, for he’s had his hands in many killer projects over the years. Most famously, he’s partially responsible for the Trek with Quintronic material and the Celibates LP, both worth picking up if you haven’t heard them already.

So last on the slab from Greg’s personal stash comes a series of David Kane rarities which should please fans of the man as well as fans of forgotten new wave gems. Lots to digest here, but plenty to enjoy. Up first we have the Decay of Western Civilization 12”, a rather affordable and quirky piece of beat-heavy synthpop with Eastern culture references. Two versions each of these instrumental tracks. It was released in 1987 (though I believe the back sleeve says copyright 1986, so pardon the discrepancy on the mp3s). At the time, Kane was also moonlighting as a member of Electroman as well as lending his hands to various projects, which we’ll touch on soon. Here’s the details for this release:

Decay of Western Civilization- Baby Doe Rules 12” (1986/7)
1. Baby Doe Rules
2. Baby Doe Rules (Uncut Version)
3. Moo Goo Guy Moo Goo Gal
4. Remix Drumless

The next LP is a full length from Kane’s full time band, Nullstadt. It seems this one just recently appeared on the Willfully Obscure blog. (sorry for the double post, man!). I do agree with his assessment of this LP. The closest touchstone would be Japan’s Tin Drum LP, though it’s tough to get a fair shake on this record. There’s the occasional Eastern influence on this LP as well, tying it to the Decay 12”.

You can read more about Nullstadt here, on a page chronicling the band’s 2007 reunion (which included Celibates member Kent Weber, a frequent collaborator of Kane’s even to date). Lots of fun facts about the band, including hints at other material that has yet to see the light of day. A very cool account! One thing I’m slightly confused about though, is the year of origin on this one. On a comprehensive David Kane site, we see that this LP came out in 1985, yet the stamp on the sleeve claims 1988. Perhaps it was recorded during the band’s tenure and released post-mortem? Maybe there are more unreleased tracks to be heard! Well anyway, here’s the info on this one:

Nullstadt- Flesh (1988)
1. Manifesto
2. A Similar Crisis
3. Steinland
4. War Time
5. Walking On Unstable Ground
6. Reincarnation
7. Voices Out of Sight
8. China

Last but not least we have the real creme de la creme of this post, a demo tape consisting of early, unfinished Kane compositions. Many of these pieces would become Electroman and Alien Registration songs once completed, and many would never see the light of day. If I recall correctly from a conversation Greg and I had in person, many of these recordings were written on the fly, as Kane was giving synthesizer lessons to aspiring musicians in upstate NY. My understanding is that the students would learn and play over the previously existing backing tracks, making the student the real creator of the lead synth lines with Kane supplying the backdrop. Either way, plenty of music to be had here, as both sides of the tape span the full 45 minute allotment.

Many of the pieces here appear more than once in slightly different forms, while several span ten minutes in length. There are no tracklistings to be found here on this tape, just great unheard proto-compositions that should feel right at home for fans of the minimal synth/experimental/wave genre. DEFINITELY be sure to grab this one, if you check out any of these releases.

David Kane- Home Demos K7
(no tracklisting available)

*download it ALL here*

Hope you enjoy this post and again, many thanks to Greg for loaning out these prized gems (as well as the extra photo inclusions here) for all of us to enjoy!