Archive for the arizona Category

The Psalms- A Story I Was Told 7”

Posted in 1982, arizona, gin blossoms, jangle, new wave, post-punk, US on October 22, 2020 by Frankie Teardrop

First things first I’d like to thank Bret Helm of the excellent post-punk band Audra and from the Life on This Planet blog for clueing me into this one, as well as for providing the rip to share with you all. This particular 7” is one of those rare nuggets that only pops up once in a blue moon, and goes for an extraordinary amount, but in my opinion, is totally worth the asking price.

The Psalms were a new wave/post-punk band from Tempe, Arizona. The biggest touchstone here is guitarist/synth player Doug Hopkins and bassist Bill Leen, both who would form the Gin Blossoms a few years later. I could probably get into a big rant here about how the Gin Blossoms were REM in the time of Hootie, unfortunate timing for an otherwise solid jangle pop band. I’ll defend them to my dying day, but that all being said, this single is its own beast, and certainly should find lots of love around these parts. The A-side has an excellent airy synth lead and some power pop overtones, while the B-side has a little bit of a darker and harder edge. Both songs are incredibly catchy, and fans of bands like The Lucy Show, Weeping Messerschmitts, and Wild Flowers. More info about the band (including some lineup change info) can be found here.

This single was released in 1982 on Reilly Records and is the only piece of wax The Psalms released. The band put out a cassette in 1983, the single-sided No Great Cathedrals, with four more tracks. I’ve heard one of them on Youtube, but if anyone out there has the cassette (or a nice rip of it), please do get in touch! Otherwise, here’s the details for this 7”:

The Psalms- A Story I Was Told 7”
1. A Story I Was Told
2. Christmas Island

*download it here*

Tone Set- Calibrate Mini-LP

Posted in 1980s, 1983, arizona, minimal synth, synth, synthpop, synthpunk, tone set, US on August 22, 2015 by Frankie Teardrop

Been slacking for a bit here, my apologies. Skipping to the top of my imaginary queue is a fresh rip of Tone Set’s classic Calibrate mini-LP/12”, released on Valentine’s Day in 1983. I originally covered this band in 2007, back when I was posting only a handful of tracks and maybe a video or two, and it took eight years to track a semi-affordable copy of this gem down. Man, time flies!

Click here for a refresher on this Arizona-based synthpunk band, who invoke the same spirit as Devo, The Units, Voice Farm, Oppenheimer Analysis, etc. It’s also worth noting here that the A-side features upbeat pop songs while the B-side features re-recorded versions of their earlier tape experiments.

Tone Set- Calibrate LP
1. Life Is Busy
2. Living In Another Land
3. Slim
4. Out Out!
5. What Good’s A Hit Song?
6. Wigglin Around In Middletown

*download it here*

More soon, I promise!

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*

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!

Pre Fix- Underneathica 7”

Posted in 1981, arizona, post-punk, pre fix, san francisco, subterranean records on November 12, 2007 by Frankie Teardrop

Here’s an incredibly rare treat to kick off your Monday, ladies and gentlemen. I have found scarce tidbits of information about today’s band, Tuscon, AZ’s Pre Fix. The band, whose credits consist of multi-instrumentalists Johnny Glenn and David Herbert, released but one curious and excitingly strange 45” in 1981 on San Fransciso’s Subterranean records.

Credits for the Underneathica single also include production by Tommy Tadlock, more well known for his work with Tuxedomoon. Post-Pre Fix, Johnny Glenn formed The Ballad of Johnny Glenn.

For your listening pleasure, here’s both sides of their lone single:

Pre Fix- Underneathica 7”
1. Underneathica
2. Ectomorphine

*download it here*

Tone Set

Posted in 1980s, arizona, minimal, synth, synthpunk, tone set on October 1, 2007 by Frankie Teardrop

Today’s band is a synthpunk classic, an ephemeral act who released little, but recorded a string of stellar tracks throughout their tenure.

Upon the demise of similar synthpunk unit Dow Jones and The Industrials, guitarist and vocalist Greg Horn would relocate to Arizona and kick off a band called Tone Set along with fellow KAET coworker Galen Herod. The two piece band would record a series of tracks which would compromise the 1982 cassette Cal’s Ranch. Their sound was a minimal blend of synthpunk, mostly relying on tape loops, various keyboards, and vocal samples; some tracks cold and experimental and others a bit more lighthearted. None of these songs featured lyrics, aside from a handful of lines in “Wigglin Around In Middletown.”

After a few compilation appearances, the band would shift in a more vocal direction for their 1983 record Calibrate, both members splitting vocal duties on the A-side. Despite a bit of underground buzz for their single ‘Life Is Busy’ (including high praise from Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo, who voted for the band in an early MTv competition) Tone Set would split up soon after as both Greg and Galen would go their separate ways, each releasing a series of solo records over the next decade.

The following two tracks come from their two releases. The first, ‘Life Is Busy’ is the lead-off single from 1983’s Calibrate and the second, a previous recording of ‘What Good’s a Hit Song’ from 1982’s Cal’s Ranch cassette.

download Tone Set- ‘Life is Busy’
download Tone Set- ‘What Good’s a Hit Song’

No videos or links today, ladies and gentlemen- for I’m almost positive their work is out of print and their video for ‘Life is Busy’ is long-lost. If anyone does have said links, feel free to drop them below!