martes, 13 de noviembre de 2018

The Dickies


The Dickies were the clown princes of punk, not to mention surprisingly longstanding veterans of the L.A. scene. In fact, by the new millennium, they'd become the oldest surviving punk band still recording new material. In contrast to the snotty, intentionally offensive humor of many comedically inclined punk bands, The Dickies were winningly goofy, inspired mostly by trashy movies and other pop culture camp. Their covers were just as ridiculous as their originals, transforming arena rock anthems and bubblegum pop chestnuts alike into the loud, speed-blur punk-pop -basically the Ramones crossed with L.A. hardcore- that was their musical stock in trade. As the band got older, their music slowed down little by little, but their sound and their sense of humor stayed largely the same, and they were an avowed influence on new-school punkers like Green Day and The Offspring

Inspired by the first wave of punk coming out of New York and London, The Dickies were formed in 1977 in the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles. Their initial lineup consisted of cartoon-voiced lead singer Leonard Graves Phillips, guitarist Stan Lee (both of whom would remain constant throughout the band's myriad personnel shifts), keyboardist / saxophonist / guitarist Chuck Wagon (b. Bob Davis), bassist Billy Club (b. Bill Remar), and drummer Karlos Kaballero (b. Carlos Caballero). Already local scenesters, the majority of the band had some connection with The Quick, either as friends or roadies, and started out mostly as a cover band and an amusing diversion for its members. They started playing around the burgeoning L.A. punk scene within a few weeks of forming, and quickly earned a following with their zany live show, which featured outlandish costumes, puppets, and a midget roadie. 


On the strength of their demo tape, The Dickies became the first L.A. punk band to score a major-label deal in 1978, when they signed with A&M. That year they issued their debut single, which featured their warp-speed cover of Black Sabbath's "Paranoid" and the originals "Hideous" and "You Drive Me Ape (You Big Gorilla)"; the latter reigned as their signature song for many years afterward. In early 1979, the group's debut album, The Incredible Shrinking Dickies, was released to significant sales in the U.K., where their cover of the "Banana Splits" cartoon theme song became a Top Five hit. By the end of the year, The Dickies were able to put together a follow-up, Dawn of the Dickies, which featured the fan favorites "Attack of the Mole Men" and "Manny, Moe and Jack", plus a jokey, rocked-up cover of the Moody Blues' "Nights in White Satin".

In 1980, The Dickies released a single version of "Gigantor", the theme from a Japanese cartoon series. By the end of the year, the increasingly volatile Chuck Wagon had left the band; sadly, he shot and killed himself in June 1981. Stunned, the rest of The Dickies went on hiatus, during which much of the original lineup drifted out of the group. Late that year, Phillips and Lee returned with a new version of The Dickies, which included guitarist Steve Hufstetter (ex-Quick), bassist Lorenzo "Laurie" Buhne, and drummer Jerry Angel; Hufstetter was soon replaced by Scott Sindon. This lineup recorded half of the material on the 1983 mini-LP 'Stukas Over Disneyland', the other half of which dated from 1980 sessions with the late Chuck Wagon replacing Kaballero on drums and Sindon on second guitar. 


A lengthy hiatus from recording ensued, as Phillips and Lee struggled to keep a steady lineup together just for touring purposes. A new group featuring second guitarist Glen Laughlin, ex-Weirdos drummer Nickey Beat, and founding bassist Billy Club was on the road by the end of 1983. Beat was replaced by Rex Roberts in early 1984, and when Laughlin broke his hand in a car accident later that year, Steve Fryette signed on; around the same time, Jerry Angel and Laurie Buhne returned as the rhythm section. By 1985, Laughlin had recovered and returned as the bassist, teaming with new drummer Cliff Martinez. In 1986, ROIR issued the live compilation 'We Aren't the World', which featured concert recordings from throughout The Dickies' existence, as well as their original demo tape. 

In 1988, The Dickies regrouped for a return to the studio, specifically to record the title theme for the low-budget sci-fi / horror comedy "Killer Klowns from Outer Space". By this time, their lineup included Phillips, Lee, second guitarist Enoch Hain, and a Buhne-Martinez rhythm section. The "Killer Klowns" project turned into a five-song EP -issued by Restless- that also included a cover of "Eep Opp Ork (Uh, Uh)", a rockabilly tune once featured in an episode of The Jetsons. The EP brought The Dickies back to underground prominence, and 1989 brought their first full-length album of new material in six years, 'Second Coming'. In the meantime, A&M issued a retrospective of their earlier work called 'Great Dictations: The Definitive Dickies Collection'. A second live album, 'Locked 'n' Loaded', followed in 1990 on Taang. 

Another lengthy hiatus followed, however, during which time rumors about the band's drug problems began to circulate. The Dickies didn't resurface again until 1993, when they issued the three-song EP 'Road Kill'. Not long after, bands like Green Day and The Offspring brought punk-pop to the top of the charts, shining a spotlight on The Dickies as an influence. Renewed interest in the band led to a new album, 'Idjit Savant', which appeared on Triple X in 1995. It featured contributions from the previous Dickies lineup, as well as Glen Laughlin, bassist Charlie Alexander, and Smashing Pumpkins cohort Jonathan Melvoin on drums. Phillips and Lee subsequently assembled a more permanent lineup featuring second guitarist Little Dave Teague, bassist Rick Dasher, and drummer Travis Johnson. Always known for their tongue-in-cheek covers, the band put together its first all-covers album, 'Dogs from the Hare That Bit Us', for Triple X in 1998. They subsequently signed with Fat Mike's Fat Wreck Chords indie punk label, debuting with the single "My Pop the Cop". The full-length 'All This and Puppet Stew' followed in 2001. 'Punk Singles Collection' appeared in June of 2002 on the U.K.-based Spectrum. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

jueves, 8 de noviembre de 2018

Didjits


Purveyors of revved-up, tastelessly funny trash-punk, the Didjits were an atypically straightforward part of the Touch & Go stable, as well as an utterly manic live band. Their sound was mostly speed-blur garage-band punk with a dash of AC/DC-esque hard rock, but their true inspirations were rock & roll wildmen like Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard, not to mention the guitar heroics of Chuck Berry. Most Didjits albums were virtual catalogs of rock & roll sleaze and vice -sex, booze, drugs, violence, death, Satan, and the like- all rolled into a smart-alecky, Midwestern white-trash act. Whether he was being jokey, offensive, or just plain bizarre, lead singer / guitarist Rick Sims' sense of humor could only be described as indelicate, leading to charges of sexism and racism from journalists with little patience for tongue-in-cheek political incorrectness. In truth, they sent up white-trash culture much more than they embraced it, but did so with such gleeful immaturity and abandon that they often made things pretty convincing. 

The Didjits were formed in Mattoon, Illinois in 1983 by brothers Rick (guitar / vocals) and Brad Sims (drums). The two had grown up listening to first-generation British punk, as well as high-volume guitar bands like Sonic Youth and Big Black, and had each been in several local groups (including a new wave pop outfit) before teaming up. Adding bassist Doug Evans, the trio began playing around the local club scene under the alias Rick Didjit. Their frontman quickly distinguished himself with a crazed stage demeanor and a wardrobe of snappy suits. Their debut recording, 'Fizzjob', was issued in 1987 on the band's own Bam Bam imprint, but it was the as-yet unreleased follow-up, 'Hey Judester', that caught the attention of Touch & Go Records. Boasting tougher, beefed-up production, 'Hey Judester' was picked up for release in early 1988, and launched many of the cornerstones of the band's repertoire: "Max Wedge", "Dad", "Skull Baby", "Plate in My Head", "Stumpo Knee Grinder" and others. 


Now with a slowly growing cult audience, the Didjits returned in 1989 with the one-off single 'Lovesicle' then completed their next album, 'Hornet Pinata', in 1990. Its key track, "Killboy Powerhead", a moderate success on college radio, was later covered by Didjits enthusiasts The Offspring. A not-so-official live album, 'Backstage Passout', captured a gig in London from the supporting tour. 1991's 'Full Nelson Reilly' kept the band's creative prime going, but the following year Brad Sims went through something of a life crisis; he got divorced, remarried a short time later, and left the band to take a day job. The Didjits quickly replaced him with Rey Washam, who'd previously played with Rapeman, Scratch Acid, and the Big Boys, among others. Washam played on the 1992 five-song EP 'Little Miss Carriage!', but for the group's next tour, he was replaced by Todd Cole, who was soon made a permanent member. Cole made his recorded debut on 1993's full-length 'Que Sirhan Sirhan', which also proved to be the band's swan song. In 1994 the Didjits broke up. Sims joined spiritual kin The Supersuckers for several months, then played briefly with Fred Schneider before starting a well-received new band, The Gaza Strippers. Washam went on to play with Ministry and Lard, among others. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

miércoles, 7 de noviembre de 2018

The Dils


Once labelled as "California's The Clash", The Dils were part of the very first wave of the L.A. punk scene. They formed in Carlsbad in San Diego County before moving first to San Francisco -where bassist Tony Kinman was briefly in The Avengers- then to L.A. In 1977 What? Records released their debut 7" 'I Hate The Rich / You're Not Blank'. After a two year gap, Chip and Tony Kinman, who were the axis of the trio, returned with a three-sided EP, 'Made In Canada', which was a far more melodic affair, offering hints at their future as country-punk band Rank & File. They split up in 1980. [SOURCE: DISCOGS

martes, 6 de noviembre de 2018

Operating Theatre


Operating Theatre is an Irish music theater company founded by composer Roger Doyle and performer Olwen Fouéré. Operating Theatre has been active in two phases: the first from 1981 to 1988, and the second from 1998 to the present. During their first phase the company operated as both a theater company, integrating music as an equal partner in the theatrical environment, and as a band releasing records. Roles were flexible within the company in that Fouéré also sang and Doyle also acted. In phase two there has been no band, and the texts (if any) have been "found," devised and/or drawn together from various strands, instead of being commissioned from writers as in phase one. Performances have taken place in both conventional and non-theatrical environments (e.g. an abandoned warehouse, a glass room in a hotel), and music has become more integrated. 

The first appearance by Operating Theatre (the band) was in the summer of 1981 with the release on CBS Records (Ireland) of "Austrian". A single, 'Blue Light And Alpha Waves / Ramp Walk' followed a year later. The LP 'Miss Mauger' was released in 1983 on the Kabuki label in London. [SOURCE: FORCED EXPOSURE

lunes, 5 de noviembre de 2018

Normal Brain


Normal Brain was a project of Yukio Fujimoto, using electronic gadgets like analog-synth, rhythm machine, and Speak & Spell. His music was intelligent and witty, traversing the fine line between modern art and pop. Fujimoto's minimalist approach also had a child-like playfulness and elegance, conceptually paralleling the music of early-Kraftwerk or Eno. Currently, Fujimoto is active as sound artist, producing sound objects and installations. [SOURCE: ATLANTIS AUDIO ARCHIVE

miércoles, 31 de octubre de 2018

The Max Block


Obscuro Flying Nun group The Max Block released a sole twelve-inch in the mid-'80s before members Maryrose and Brian Crook moved on to The Renderers. Before hanging up the towel on The Max Block project, however, they recorded another EP that never saw the light of day. In 2012, the Siltbreeze label announced plans to release the group's full discography. 


The release is called 'Air Ache in the Belly of the Leech' and includes The Max Block's self-titled debut and their unreleased tracks. As Siltbreeze explains, "The Max Block pushed different boundaries than other active Christchurch bands at the time; they came out slinging a brain-splattering goo of art-spaced, Pere-Ubu-seared cerebellum, and frenetic, Mars-fried medula oblongata." [SOURCE: EXCLAIM!

martes, 30 de octubre de 2018

The Lo Yo Yo


British band The Lo Yo Yo was founded by Family Fodder frontman John Pearce, aka Alig, in 1984. The Lo Yo Yo was active for 2 years and released one cassette, one split cassette with Look De Bouk, one full-length LP and appeared on the 'Local International 15-26' compilation cassette on Recommended. The band’s name comes from a Captain Beefheart song titled "Low Yo Yo Stuff" on the 1972 'Clear Spot' LP. The Lo Yo Yo’s line-up was actually more varied and included, along 10 or so other musicians, various Family Fodder members like Mick Hobbs, Felix Fiedorowicz and Rick Wilson. All three also played in The Work and Officer!, sometimes with Pearce himself. Charles Bullen of This Heat occasionally played drums with Family Fodder and co-produced The Lo Yo Yo’s unique LP, 'Extra Weapons', in 1985. 

Pearce’s punchy bass playing and Carrie (Caroline) Brooks’ post-punk drumming form the backbone of The Lo Yo Yo sound, complete with singer Joey Stack, Annie Hunt's cello and Mick Hobbs’ guitar. At times, this rhythm section has the band appear like a dub+rock fusion with occasional flexible, bouncing reggae touches -characteristics also present in Family Fodder. Playful vocals and the songs’ inventive arrangements evoke punk influences from bands like Rubella Ballet, Hagar The Womb or The Slits. [SOURCE: CONTINUO

lunes, 29 de octubre de 2018

Kozmonaut


Hans Schiller (real name Michael Gutierrez) moved from a small providence in Canada to San Francisco due to his sexual orientation. He was fascinated with electronic music and Germany in general (hence his artist's name). He converted his garage into a little recording studio and ran three different phone lines (artist, sexual orientation, legal name). 'Flieg' was his first release. He pressed a 1,000 copies of this record, but never sold it. Hans ended up getting language cassettes to improve his German. 

He used some of those tapes for his second release called 'Hyko'. It never came out and exists as a demo tape only. Right around this time is when he met Peter Ziegelmeier and formed Kode IV. In 1994, Hans returned to Canada being very sick from AIDS. After his death, all his records and cassettes that were stored in his garage were thrown in the garbage and his synthesizers, instruments, and recording equipment were sold for very cheap. His 'Flieg' original LP as Kozmonaut is nearly impossible to come by. 'Hyko' consists of 16 songs in total, all of which are unreleased. [SOURCE: DISCOGS

viernes, 26 de octubre de 2018

John Duncan


Painter / experimental musician John Duncan is renowned for his use of shortwave radio. Getting his start hosting radio programs (including one such show titled "Close Radio"), Duncan began his musical journey in 1980, as he likened the sounds of a shortwave radio to what one may hear while dreaming, and began to merge this uncharted sound with music (another popular technique of Duncan's is recording his voice on tape reading text backwards, then inverting the tape to achieve peculiar effects on his voice). One of his earliest recordings, the 1984 cassette 'Pleasure Escape', includes a piece titled "Blind Date", which features Duncan talking about a dead body and a vasectomy operation. Further releases followed, such as music for a series of Japanese porno films, titled 'The John See Soundtracks', plus 'Riot', 'Incoming', 'The Crackling', 'Tap Internal', 'Palace of Mind', and 'NAV', among others. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

(More Info on WIKIPEDIA

jueves, 25 de octubre de 2018

Furyo


Furyo were a British gothic rock band who formed in Luton in mid-1983 after UK Decay split. UK Decay members Steve "Abbo" Abbot, Steve Harle and Eddie Branch stayed together after that band split. The three recorded under the name Slave Drive on compilation LP 'The Whip' (though the CD reissue credits the song to UK Decay) and as Meat of Youth on LP 'Young Limbs, Numb Hymns: The Batcave Compilation', with a guitarist named Patrick, who soon left.

They were joined by guitarist Albie de Luca, formerly of Gene Loves Jezebel, and renamed themselves Furyo. They played their first show in September 1983. The band released two mini-albums, 'Furioso' and 'Furyo', and recorded an unreleased album before splitting in early 1985. [SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA