martes, 30 de junio de 2015

Family Fodder


Family Fodder was less a band than a never-ending collective of musicians messing with tapes in the basement of a London flat. Begun in 1979 by Alig Pearce, a label called Small Wonder released their first 7" when they still went by the name Te Deum (Interestingly, the other two singles released concurrently by the label were the first Cure single and Bauhaus' "Bela Lugosi's Dead"). The band was led by odd splices of tape, dub effects, and Dominique Levillain's chanteuse vocals. Influenced by Syd Barrett, The Kinks, and This Heat, Pearce moved his compositions from psychedelics to drones to proto-electronic music full of cut-up location recordings. The band thought themselves to be very serious musicians but the music takes on a light air due to the splicing and humor throughout. The group toured three times between 1981 and 1982. In 1983, Pearce borrowed some of the band's record advance money from their new label, Fresh, to fund another project's tour. The resulting album, 'All Styles', came out of these diminished funds and was scratchy, ill planned, and home-recorded. It sold only about 100 copies when released. Pearce went on to be a professional accordionist and in 1989 reformed Family Fodder with Levillain, Hobbs, and Wilson. He also tours under the name Johnny Human. With the 1999 reissue by Dark Beloved Cloud, Family Fodder has found a new audience with avant and new wave enthusiasts. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

lunes, 29 de junio de 2015

8 Eyed Spy


8 Eyed Spy was Lydia Lunch's third band after Teenage Jesus & the Jerks and Beirut Slump. She was joined by Jim Sclavunos, another member of Teenage Jesus who switched from bass to drums, and George Scott, a former member of James Chance & The Contortions. Michael Paumgardhen and Pat Irwin completed the line-up. 8 Eyed Spy were a rather more traditional rock outfit than the experimental and abrasive Teenage Jesus, though. 

The band's only single was a cover of Captain Beefheart's "Diddy Wah Diddy" as the A-side and the self-penned "Dead You Me" as the B-side. A full-length LP was also released together with a note about a cassette of live recordings the band made between January and August 1980. 

8 Eyed Spy broke less than a year after they formed due to the death of bassist George Scott from a herion overdose. Prior to Scott's death, the band was touring the US on "fly all you want for a month for a flat fee" tickets that they shared with The dB's. The dB's were actually using the Scott's airline ticket when he died and they dedicated 'Stands for Decibels' to him. [SOURCE: RATE YOUR MUSIC

domingo, 28 de junio de 2015

The Danse Society


The Sheffield, England-based Danse Society originated in Y?, a band that included bassist Bubble, drummer Paul Gilmartin, keyboardist Paul "Bee" Hampshire, guitarist Dave Patrick, and vocalist Steve Rawlings. After an appearance on the local scene's "Bouquet of Steel" compilation in 1980, Y? annexed with two members of Lips-X (guitarist Paul Nash and keyboardist Lyndon Scarfe) and changed their name to Danse Crazy. Following a recording session and a few gigs -including one at Leeds' Futurama festival with the likes of Public Image Limited, Joy Division, and Cabaret Voltaire- Hampshire and Patrick left. By early 1981, the remaining members became The Danse Society

The group made their recorded debut on IKF in July 1981 with the "Clock" single. Just prior to recording a Peel Session, they added bassist Tim Wright to the lineup. Their manager started the Pax label, which released the band's next single. A Pax EP and another Peel Session predated a defection to their own Society imprint for 1982's 'Seduction' EP. Another single closed the year out, and by this point The Danse Society was earning the interest of several major labels. Arista won out, signing the band in early 1983. 

A couple singles were released before the full-length 'Heaven Is Waiting'. Public interest never really caught on, which is evident through another pair of singles that failed to chart successfully. An LP of re-recordings and new songs entitled 'Heaven Again' was ready for release but never issued by Arista due to disappointing album and single sales. Dropped by the label, the band threw together a collection of demos and released 'Looking Through' on Society in order to woo another deal. A self-titled compilation of the band's first three singles was issued as well. Rawlings soon left the group; the remaining members attempted to carry on with a new singer, but they opted to quit within a short amount of time. Rawlings fronted a short-lived band named Society almost immediately after his departure and reappeared a decade later in Meridian Dream. In 2001, Anagram reissued the 'Seduction' EP, adding numerous single tracks. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC]

sábado, 27 de junio de 2015

Camper Van Beethoven


Back in the day, before alternative rock was invented and indie rock was still shy of roots music and other folk elements, Camper Van Beethoven's merging of punk, folk, ska, and world music was truly a revelation. Singer/songwriter David Lowery's smart-aleck lyrics, delivered in laid-back California style, combined with Jonathan Segel's violin as lead instrument, were the band's instant trademarks. Decades after their inception, CVB's sound is still remarkably fresh and their influence on alternative music undeniable and resounding. 

Self-described as "surrealist absurdist folk," the group had its beginnings in the summer of 1983 when Lowery and boyhood friend Victor Krummenacher (bass) started playing music together around Riverside and Redlands, California. Upon relocating to the Northern California college town of Santa Cruz, they enlisted friends Chris Pedersen (drums) and Chris Molla (guitar) to join the fold; Greg Lisher (guitar) and Jonathan Segel (violins, keyboards, mandolin) were added in 1985, and collectively they created a repertoire built on acoustic and electric, traditional and punky aesthetics. The band released their 1985 debut, 'Telephone Free Landslide Victory', on their own Pitch-A-Tent label; it was soon reissued by Independent Project Records, and thanks in part to the college radio success of the song "Take the Skinheads Bowling," it made the Top Ten in the 1986 Village Voice Pazz and Jop Poll, as did their second album, the confusingly titled 'II & III', along with their self-titled third album, both released in 1986. In addition to punk and ska, 'II & III' dabbled in lo-fi sounds, with touches of country (as in the original "Sad Lovers Waltz" and the twangy cover of Sonic Youth's "I Love Her All the Time"). The band's forte was its ability to switch styles, from Balkan folk to psychedelic rock on alternate takes and sometimes even within the same song. 

The third album, 'Camper Van Beethoven', continued the thread, as blueprint CVB tracks like "Joe Stalin's Cadillac" and "Good Guys and Bad Guys" fused punk-inspired looseness with more sophisticated melody and rhythm patterns. At the same time, they were blowing minds and ears with their prog rock leanings (check their nearly note-perfect version of Pink Floyd's "Interstellar Overdrive"). By the time of their Virgin Records debut (coinciding with the label's U.S. relaunch in 1988), the band took a more serious tack for its fourth album, 'Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart'. With Molla gone by then, the group was officially a five-piece, though a cadre of friends assisted them at recording sessions, including producer Dennis Herring (eventually, touring guitarist David Immerglück, later of Counting Crows, became an honorary sixth member). Stretching out in larger studio facilities and experimenting with sound, 'Sweetheart' was the first CVB release met with mixed critical response. Following the elegiac 'Key Lime Pie' and amid creative and personal strife, the band (then featuring female fiddler Morgan Fichter in place of Segel) called it a night in 1989.

In the '90s, Krummenacher, Pedersen, and Lisher (with Immerglück) continued to play together in Monks of Doom, a mostly instrumental prog rock concern, as well as in other formations that sometimes included Segel. Segel released three albums as Hieronymous Firebrain from 1990-1994, and two with Jack & Jill for the Magnetic label. In 2005 he collaborated with Dina Emerson in Chaos Butterfly. Krummenacher has released six solo albums and has collaborated with Eugene Chadbourne, Bruce Kaphan, and members of Tarnation, among others, also released through Magnetic. Lisher has two self-released solo albums to his credit. In the wake of the band's dissolution, Lowery formed Cracker, by far the most successful of the post-Camper ventures; it served as a vehicle to keep him on the road as well as a way to keep Camper's name in circulation, though he kept a distance from his bandmates and left California for Richmond, Virginia. 

By 1999, Krummenacher, Segel, and Lowery were reunited while compiling an unorthodox rarities collection, 'Camper Van Beethoven Is Dead: Long Live Camper Van Beethoven', a mash-up of rare cuts utilizing the band's back catalog. In 2002, they officially issued their song-for-song version of Fleetwood Mac's 'Tusk', recorded on a lark in 1987. In the process of reissuing and archiving, the original members (sans Pedersen) quietly reunited for a handful of live shows and began work on a new batch of songs. In 2004 they released 'New Roman Times' (a concept album about a Texas teen who joins the military, then leaves the ranks to join an anti-government militia), featuring all-original members including Pedersen on drums and original guitarist Molla sitting in. In 2008 Cooking Vinyl released 'Popular Songs of Great Enduring Strength and Beauty', a collection of fan favorites, followed by an all-new studio album, a concept album about Northern California titled 'La Costa Perdida', in 2013. Its sister release, 'El Camino Real', which focused on Southern California life, appeared a few months later in 2014. CVB continue to tour, often in support of alternative acts that have followed in their groundbreaking indie rock footprints. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC]

viernes, 26 de junio de 2015

Bad Brains


By melding punk with reggae, Bad Brains became one of the definitive American hardcore punk groups of the early '80s. Although the group released only a handful of records during its peak, including the legendary cassette-only debut, Bad Brains, they developed a dedicated following, many of whom would later form their own hardcore and alternative bands. As for Bad Brains themselves, they continued to record and tour in varying lineups led by guitarist Dr. Know into the late '90s yet never managed to break out of their cult status. 

Dr. Know (born Gary Miller), a former jazz fusion guitarist, formed Bad Brains in 1979, inspired by both the amateurish rage of the Sex Pistols and the political reggae of Bob Marley. Realizing that the lines between punk and reggae were already blurred in the U.K., he set out to replicate that situation in the U.S., and he recruited several similarly minded musicians -vocalist H.R. (born Paul D. Hudson), bassist Darryl Aaron Jenifer, and drummer Earl Hudson- to prove his point. Bad Brains quickly became one of the most popular punk bands on the East Coast, particularly in their hometown of Washington, D.C. Their live performances were legendary, but their recordings were difficult to find. Their debut single, "Pay to Cum," was pressed in limited numbers, and their 1982 debut album was only issued in cassette form by ROIR. In addition to the Bad Brains tape, the group released a handful of other EPs in 1982, finally moving to PVC for 1983's full-length debut, 'Rock for Light', which was produced by Ric Ocasek. 

The handful of indie recordings Bad Brains left behind, as well as their live shows, made the band legendary in American hardcore, yet few potential fans could actually hear the band due to poor distribution and erratic touring. The band took three years to deliver the follow-up to 'Rock for Light', finally releasing 'I Against I' on SST in 1986. In those three years, the group developed more heavy metal leanings, and the resulting record received mixed reviews. More importantly, it divided the band, with Dr. Know and Jenifer wishing to continue to pursue heavy rock, and H.R. and Hudson wanting to devote themselves to reggae. Over the next three years, the latter pair frequently left the band to make reggae albums before finally departing in 1989. They were replaced by Israel Joseph-I (born Dexter Pinto) and Mackie Jayson, respectively. 

In the wake of the alternative rock boom of the early '90s, Bad Brains were finally offered a major-label contract in 1993, releasing 'Rise' on Epic later that year. The album bombed and the group was dropped. Maverick Records offered the group a contract in 1995, provided that the original lineup reunited. They did so and released 'God of Love' that summer, to mixed reviews and poor sales. H.R. and Hudson left the band shortly after the album's release, and the band was dropped by Maverick. In 1998 the band again reunited and began touring under the name Soul Brains

In 2002, Reggae Lounge compiled remixes of Bad Brains' '80s hits and released a full-length dub album titled 'I & I Survived'. The following year Caroline released 'Banned in DC: Bad Brains' Greatest Riffs', a solid anthology compiling songs from their first album up to 'Quickness'. For the next few years, the group members concentrated on solo endeavors, with a few scattered guest appearances on other bands' albums or live shows. In 2006, Bad Brains reunited for a few shows at CBGB's, which quickly sold out. With a resurging interest in the band, in early 2007, Megaforce announced that they had signed them to their roster. Under Beastie Boy Adam Yauch's studio supervision, the original band went back to the studio for the first time in over a decade and recorded 'Build a Nation', an inspired attempt at returning to the band's hardcore roots. In early 2011 the band began work on the next record. The record was initially titled "Let's Have Fun", but that title didn't stick and was changed to 'Into the Future', an album which saw release in November of 2012. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

jueves, 25 de junio de 2015

Absolute Grey


Formed in Rochester, New York in September 1983, the darkly melodic jangle pop quartet Absolute Grey first made a name for themselves performing at local clubs such as Schatzee's, Scorgies, and the Snake Sister's Cafe. The group's commitment to an updated psychedelic sound caught the attention of listeners who compared the band to R.E.M., Dream Syndicate, and Rain Parade, as well as Jefferson Airplane. With two of the members still attending Sutherland High School, the group released a six-song cassette in 1984, and later that same year they recorded and self-released their first full-length album, 'Green House', which was soon reissued by East Coast indie label Midnight Records. In 1986, the band recorded their second album, 'What Remains', which was produced by Tim Lee of The Windbreakers, but not long after the LP was released, percussionist Pat Thomas and guitarist Matt Kitchen left the group. Guitarist/vocalist Beth Brown and bassist Mitchell Rasor continued on as a two-piece, using the group's name for an acoustic EP, 1987's 'Painted Post'. Thomas and Kitchen rejoined the band in time to record the 1989 album 'Sand Down the Moon', which was issued only by a small Greek label, Di Di Records; the same company also released 'A Journey Through the Past', a live album which focused on material which hadn't appeared on the group's studio sets. By 1990, the band had quietly parted ways, though a small trickle of posthumous releases continued to emerge -a two-CD retrospective 'Broken Promise' in 1993, an expanded reissue of 'A Journey Through the Past' in 2002, and in late 2003 a remixed edition of 'Green House: 20th Anniversary Edition' augmented with a bonus disc of live recordings. The new edition of 'Green House' was released as the band announced they were at work on a new album, featuring all four original members, which they hoped to release in 2004. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

miércoles, 24 de junio de 2015

Yo La Tengo


Yo La Tengo are in many respects the quintessential critics' band: in addition to their adventurous eclecticism, defiant independence, and restless creative ambition -three qualities that virtually guarantee music press acclaim- the group's frontman, Ira Kaplan, even tenured as a rock scribe prior to finding success as a performer. So frequently compared to the Velvet Underground that they even portrayed the legendary group in the 1996 film "I Shot Andy Warhol", the Hoboken, New Jersey-based Yo La Tengo have explored the extremes of feedback-driven noise rock and sweetly melodic pop, shading their work with equal parts scholarly composure and fannish enthusiasm. Prolific and mercurial, they have ultimately transcended their myriad influences to ensconce themselves as a beloved institution of the indie community. 

The core of Yo La Tengo (Spanish for the outfielder's cry of "I've got it!") is comprised of singer/guitarist Kaplan and his wife, drummer/vocalist Georgia Hubley. After forming the band in 1984, they placed an advertisement seeking other musicians to round out the lineup, requesting applicants who shared their fondness for The Soft Boys, Mission of Burma, and Arthur Lee's Love. A number of bassists and lead guitarists passed through the band's roster during its formative years, but after bowing in late 1985 with the single "The River of Water," backed by a cover of Love's "A House Is Not a Motel," Yo La Tengo's membership appeared to stabilize with the additions of guitarist Dave Schramm and bassist Mike Lewis prior to the sessions for 1986's full-length roots pop debut, 'Ride the Tiger', produced by former Mission of Burma bassist Clint Conley. 

However, both Schramm and Lewis exited in the wake of the record's release, leaving Kaplan to assume lead guitar duties. Bassist Stephan Wichnewski signed on for 1987's 'New Wave Hot Dogs', a more assured outing that brought the group's Velvet Underground obsession to the fore via a cover of the early VU composition "It's Alright (The Way That You Live)." Not only did Kaplan's introverted, half-spoken vocals and buzzing guitar work closely recall Lou Reed, but Hubley's rock-steady drumming and breathy backing turns simultaneously conjured memories of vintage Maureen Tucker. Even better was 1989's 'President Yo La Tengo', recorded with producer and guest bassist Gene Holder; opening with the droning squalls of the stunning "Barnaby, Hardly Working," the record spotlighted the group's sonic schizophrenia by including two Jekyll-and-Hyde versions of the track "The Evil That Men Do" -one a gorgeous instrumental, the other a blistering feedback freakout. 

Schramm returned to the fold for 1990's 'Fakebook', a remarkable acoustic folk-pop journey through Kaplan's record collection and a virtual family tree of Yo La Tengo reference points. A wonderfully low-key collection of covers ranging from forgotten nuggets (The Kinks' "Oklahoma U.S.A.," The Flamin' Groovies' "You Tore Me Down," Gene Clark's "Tried So Hard") to absolute obscurities (Rex Garvin & the Mighty Cravers' "Emulsified," The Escorts' "The One to Cry," The Scene Is Now's "Yellow Sarong"), 'Fakebook' also included a handful of outstanding new originals as well as luminous retakes of the previous record's "Barnaby, Hardly Working" and 'New Wave Hot Dogs'' "Did I Tell You?" The superb 'That Is Yo La Tengo' EP previewed 1992's 'May I Sing With Me', the first effort to feature permanent bassist James McNew (formerly of Christmas). A return to noise typified by the hot-wired nine-minute feedback saga "Mushroom Cloud of Hiss," the record balanced out its extremist tendencies with the occasional sidestep into melodic beauty ("Detouring America with Horns") and infectious indie pop ("Upside-Down"). 

A move to the Matador label predated the release of 1993's 'Painful', another winner informed by the atmospherics of shoegazer drones and dream pop. Bookended by radically opposed renditions of the track "Big Day Coming" -the first an organ-driven mood piece, the other an edgy guitar outing- the record pushed Yo La Tengo in a multitude of new directions, significantly expanding the trio's palette of sounds and textures. Released in 1995, 'Electr-O-Pura' continued the progression, zigzagging from dead-on British Invasion re-creations (the sparkling "Tom Courtenay") to shimmering folk (the Hubley-sung "Pablo and Andrea") to bracing sonic experimentation ("Decora"). After 1996's 'Genius + Love Equals Yo La Tengo', a two-disc compendium of B-sides, compilation tracks, rare singles, and unreleased material, the trio resurfaced in the spring of 1997 with 'I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One'; 'And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out' followed in early 2000. 

The group also performed a three-night stint as the backing band for Ray Davies on his 2000 U.S. tour, and in 2002 released 'The Sounds of the Sounds of Science', a soundtrack to the undersea documentaries of French filmmaker Jean Painleve. That fall, they released the 'Nuclear War' single, which featured several versions of Sun Ra's epic, and that winter performed their second annual Hanukkahpalooza, an eight-night musical festival at Hoboken, New Jersey's Maxwell's, which also led to a special limited-edition EP of Christmas songs. Yo La Tengo released 'Summer Sun' in spring 2003, and that year Georgia Hubley performed in "Mirror Man", an avant-garde rock opera by Pere Ubu's David Thomas. 

In 2005, Matador Records paid homage to Yo La Tengo's 20th year as recording artists with the career-spanning compilations 'Prisoners of Love: A Smattering of Scintillating Senescent Songs: 1985-2003' and 'A Smattering of Outtakes and Rarities 1986-2002'. The band returned the following year with the strong all-new album 'I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass'. 'Fuckbook', a covers album that the band released under the alias Condo Fucks, arrived in 2009, followed several months later by the full-length 'Popular Songs'. The following year, the 'Here to Fall' EP, which featured remixes by De La Soul, Rjd2, and Pete Rock, arrived. The group's 13th album, 'Fade', was released in 2013. This album marked a departure for the band, as it was the first record since their 1993 breakthrough, 'Painful', not recorded with producer Roger Moutenot, but instead tracked with Chicago scene veteran and Tortoise member John McEntire. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

martes, 23 de junio de 2015

XTC


XTC was one of the smartest -and catchiest- British pop bands to emerge from the punk and new wave explosion of the late '70s. From the tense, jerky riffs of their early singles to the lushly arranged, meticulous pop of their later albums, XTC's music has always been driven by the hook-laden songwriting of guitarist Andy Partridge and bassist Colin Moulding. While popular success has eluded them in both Britain and America, the group has developed a devoted cult following in both countries that remains loyal over two decades after their first records.

Partridge, Moulding, and drummer Terry Chambers formed the first version of the band around 1976, calling themselves Star Park. As punk rock took off in 1977, the group changed their name to Helium Kidz and added keyboardist Barry Andrews. After being turned down by CBS Records, the band changed their name to XTC and secured a record contract with Virgin; they released their first EP, '3-D', in October of 1977. 'White Music', the band's first full-length album, was recorded in a week and released by the end of the year. Critics praised the angular yet melodic pop, and the album reached number 38 in the U.K. charts. However, none of the singles released from the album charted (including "This Is Pop"), nor did "Are You Receiving Me?," the teaser single for their second album, 'Go 2' (1978). 

After returning from a brief U.S. tour, Andrews quit the band; he would eventually form The League of Gentlemen with Robert Fripp, as well as pursue a solo career. Guitarist David Gregory was added to the lineup after Andrews' departure and the group recorded their first charting single, "Life Begins at the Hop." XTC released their third album, the calmer, more pop-oriented 'Drums and Wires', that summer; the record climbed to number 37 on the charts, thanks to the hit single "Making Plans for Nigel." While 'Drums and Wires' began to climb the U.S. charts, Partridge released his first solo album early in 1980; outside of the band's devoted fans, the record appeared without much fanfare. 

XTC continued to smooth out their edges on 1980's 'Black Sea', bringing in elements of mid-'60s Beatles and Kinks to their guitar-driven pop; thanks to the singles "Generals and Majors" and "Towers of London," it was the group's most successful American album, peaking at number 41 while reaching number 16 on the British charts. Released the following year, 'English Settlement' featured more complex arrangements, as well as more intellectual lyrics, particularly from Andy Partridge. Nevertheless, the album was XTC's biggest success in the U.K., reaching number five on the album charts and launching the Top Ten single, "Senses Working Overtime." 

While on tour in March of 1982, Partridge collapsed while on-stage, suffering from exhaustion. Less than a month later, he collapsed again with a stomach ulcer. The band canceled the tour shortly after his second collapse, prompting Chambers to leave the group. In November, Partridge announced that XTC would never play live again, concentrating on recording instead; he also blamed his collapses on intense stage fright. As the band completed their new album, a compilation called 'Waxworks: Some Singles (1977-1982)' was released at the end of the year. 

'Mummer', the first album the studio-bound XTC recorded, appeared in the summer of 1983; former Glitter Band member Pete Phipps recorded the drum tracks for the record. XTC refused to tour for the record, which caused some tension between the band and Virgin, and was presumably the reason why "Love on a Farmboy's Wages" didn't make it past number 50 on the charts. Recording under the name The Three Wise Men, the group released the holiday single "Thanks for Christmas" at the end of the year. 

Released in the fall of 1984, 'The Big Express' essentially followed the same pattern as 'Mummer', yet it charted higher in the U.K. XTC released a psychedelic parody album, '25 O'Clock', under the name The Dukes of Stratosphear in 1985. After a difficult recording session with producer Todd Rundgren, the pastoral 'Skylarking' appeared in the fall of 1986. Upon its release the album was hailed as a masterwork by critics, even though the band were claiming they were unsatisfied with the production. 'Skylarking' was a bigger hit in the U.S. than it was in the U.K., spending over six months on the charts and peaking at number 70. 

XTC recorded another Dukes of Stratosphear album, 'Psonic Psunspot', in 1987; the two Stratosphear albums were collected on one disc the following year. 'Oranges and Lemons' (1989) reworked the psychedelia of the Stratosphear side-project, leaving out much of the loopy humor and replacing it with a Ray Davies-inspired nostalgia. The album was a minor hit in both Britain and America, reaching number 28 and number 44, respectively; "Mayor of Simpleton" became XTC's only charting U.S. single, reaching number 72 while peaking at number 46 on the British charts. Three years later, the group released 'Nonsuch', an album that recalled both 'Pet Sounds' and 'Revolver'. Like every XTC record, its critical acclaim was greater than its sales -the album dropped out of the British charts after two weeks. In America, 'Nonsuch' was more successful, reaching number 97 and staying on the charts for 11 weeks. Years of internal difficulties and label battles kept the group from releasing any new material for much of the decade, however, and not until 1999 did the next XTC album, 'Apple Venus, Pt. 1', finally appear. 'Wasp Star (Apple Venus, Pt. 2)' followed in mid-2000. 

XTC's lack of commercial success isn't because their music isn't accessible -their bright, occasionally melancholy, melodies flow with more grace than most bands- it has more to do with the group constantly being out of step with the times. However, the band has left behind a remarkably rich and varied series of albums that make a convincing argument that XTC is the great lost pop band. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

lunes, 22 de junio de 2015

The Walkabouts


Despite their background (punk), geography (Seattle), and label affiliation (Sub Pop), The Walkabouts were anything but a grunge band; dark, haunting, and elegiac, their work instead sprung forth from the storytelling traditions of American roots music and the kinetic excitement of rock & roll. The Walkabouts were formed in 1984 by Chris Eckman and his brothers Curt and Grant, all of whom had previously played together in a number of punk-pop outfits, along with singer Carla Torgerson, a veteran of folk and street singing. The group's lineup proved fluid, although Chris Eckman and Torgerson remained The Walkabouts' driving forces; a later roster including bassist Michael Wells, multi-instrumentalist Glenn Slater, and drummer Terri Moeller did hang together for a number of years. 

After issuing a self-titled cassette in 1984, The Walkabouts released the EP '22 Disasters' a year later. A full-length LP, 'Weights and Rivers', was planned for 1987, but the record was never released -a harbinger of music industry problems to come. Instead, the group offered 'See Beautiful Rattlesnake Garden' in 1988, which not only marked the continued maturity of Eckman and Torgerson's songwriting but also earned The Walkabouts a contract with the fledgling Sub Pop label. The deal resulted in upgraded production values, as evidenced by 1989's 'Cataract' and its follow-up, the next year's six-song EP 'Rag & Bone', which featured the keyboard work of the newly added Slater. 

Released in 1991, 'Scavenger' proved to be the last Walkabouts record issued in their native land for some time; however, while the deal with Sub Pop's American division went sour, the label's European division, Glitterhouse, hung on to The Walkabouts, where the band's following had been steadily growing. Between 1993 and 1995, the group issued a staggering seven full-length records in Europe -three by the full band, a limited-edition live collection, and three more released by the duo of Chris & Carla. Finally, in 1995 the three aforementioned Walkabouts albums -the double-LP set 'New West Motel', the all-covers 'Satisfied Mind', and the more rock-oriented 'Setting the Woods on Fire'- all appeared domestically. A year later, the band issued two more albums, the all-new 'Devil's Road' (recorded with the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra) and 'Death Valley Days: Lost Songs and Rarities, 1985-1995', a collection of odds and ends. In November 1996, Wells left The Walkabouts to devote himself to his side project, Pluto Boy; he was replaced by bassist Baker Saunders. 'Trail of Stars' followed in 2000. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC]

domingo, 21 de junio de 2015

Venus Fly Trap


With a grim appeal of darkened noise that's accompanied by a flowing of sense of bleak, electronic rhythm, Venus Fly Trap have been haunting their hometown of Northhampton England since the mid-1980's. Debuting with their first mini-album 'Mars' in 1988, the band also released a hand full of singles and compilation tracks between 1987 to 1989. Following their next two albums 'Totem' (1991) and 'Pandora's Box' (1991), Alex Novak (vocals), Neil Ridley (bass), Gary Lennon (guitar), and Andy Denton (drums) would embark on a number of European tours in support of their releases; one of which resulted in the live album 'Jewel-Live in Prague'. After their second mini-album 'Shedding Another Skin' in 1992, Venus Fly Trap's added a combination of metal overtones with a lyrical content of drugs, urban decay, "Zen and space travel" is found on their 1994 album 'Luna Tide'. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC]

sábado, 20 de junio de 2015

Unrest


The flagship act of frontman Mark Robinson's own TeenBeat label, Unrest was a towering pillar of the American indie rock community throughout the early '90s -from the tongue-in-cheek garage noise of their earliest efforts to the shimmering, manic pop thrills of their later, most enduring work, the band was a paragon of DIY virtue, perfecting a genre-hopping eclecticism and knowing, ironic lyrical outlook that virtually defined the sound and feel of college rock in the pre-grunge era. Robinson, bassist Tim Moran, and drummer Phil Krauth formed Unrest while students at Wakefield High School in Arlington, VA; borrowing their name from a Henry Cow record, the fledgling trio soon made its debut on the first TeenBeat release, the 1985 cassette compilation 'Extremism in the Defense of Liberty Is No Vice'. Comprised of 25 tracks bootlegged from a show at the Washington, D.C. venue the 9:30 Club, the tape was released in an edition of about 60 copies, and sold primarily to Robinson's classmates; among the featured acts were Jungle George & the Plague, led by another Wakefield student, Andrew Beaujon, who later led the much-acclaimed Eggs and briefly tenured with Unrest as well. TeenBeat itself would over time emerge as one of the most respected American independent labels of its period, evolving from the Xeroxed covers of early cassette releases to a prolific flow of beautifully designed releases inspired by Robinson's abiding affection for the lavish packaging of the British imprints Factory and 4AD; the company's ever-changing roster reflected its founder's diverse tastes, issuing recordings from artists spanning from Versus to Gastr del Sol to Blast Off Country Style. TeenBeat's sophomore release, the 'Unrest!' cassette, followed in the spring of 1985; recorded live to two-track in Moran's living room, the tape was soon trailed by another cassette, 'Lisa Carol Freemont', serving early notice of the prodigious output which defined the band's career -at the same time, Robinson and Krauth even collaborated in another band, Clarence. All of Unrest's releases catalogued Robinson's ever-shifting lyrical and musical obsessions, which (especially at the outset of the group's existence) often resulted in jarring track-to-track juxtapositions embracing everything from punk to funk. The band's more radical experiments make their unofficially self-titled 1987 full-length debut easier to admire than actually enjoy: recorded with bassist Chris Thomson filling in for Moran, the LP was pressed in an edition of 1,050, each with a cover hand-decorated by friends -since every cover was different, each copy had its own title. (An expanded edition appeared on Matador in 1993 under the title 'Fuck Pussy Galore and All Her Friends'). Bassist Dave Park signed on for Unrest's second album, the 1988 Caroline Records release 'Malcolm X Park' -although the disc as a whole lacks focus, the lovely pop entries "Can't Sit Still" and "Christina" hint at the brilliance of later efforts. Silent in 1989 but for the 'Catchpellet' single, the trio resurfaced a year later with their third LP, 'Kustom Karnal Blackxploitation', highlighted by their interpretation of the Heathers soundtrack's satiric protest anthem "Teenage Suicide." With the 1991 single 'Yes, She Is My Skinhead Girl', Unrest achieved indie rock sainthood -a joint release with the K Records label, its skittering, oddly propulsive pop approach signaled the band's creative breakthrough, also earning strong critical notices. However, it was the arrival of bassist Bridget Cross that truly fortified the Unrest sound -a onetime member of Velocity Girl, her throbbing, insistent rhythms closely evoked the pioneering bass lines of New Order's Peter Hook, complementing Robinson's own Factory Records fixation and offering the perfect counterpoint to the frenzied strumming of his guitar work. Appropriately enough, Cross made her debut on the 1991 Sub Pop Singles Club release 'A Factory Record', a four-song collection of obscure covers from the Factory catalog including a brilliant reading of Miaow's "When It All Comes Down". The 1992 album 'Imperial f.f.r.r.' remains Unrest's defining moment, a sprawling yet laser-focused pop masterpiece boasting the single 'Cherry Cream On'. The follow-up, 1993's 'Perfect Teeth', arrived as a joint release with the 4AD label -featuring onetime Miaow frontwoman Cath Carroll on the cover (a longstanding Robinson heroine, she'd later issue several solo LPs on TeenBeat) and jokingly crediting Duran Duran's Simon LeBon with production duties, the record's highlight, "Make Out Club," even earned airtime on MTV. The EP 'Animal Park' appeared in early 1994, but at the peak of their success, Unrest then disbanded -while Krauth mounted a solo career, Robinson and Cross reunited in the short-lived Air Miami. Robinson then went on to issue a series of solo records, variously credited to projects including Olympic Death Squad and Flin Flon. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

The Teardrop Explodes


One of the pivotal groups to emerge from the Liverpool neo-psychedelia community during the late '70s, The Teardrop Explodes was a showcase for Julian Cope, a notoriously eccentric figure whose unfashionable love of Krautrock and hallucinogenic drugs set him distinctly apart from the prevailing punk mentality of the era. Cope formed the band in 1978 after a tenure in The Crucial Three (also comprised of Echo and the Bunnymen's Ian McCulloch and Wah!'s Pete Wylie); taking their name from a panel in a Marvel comic book, the premiere lineup of The Teardrop Explodes also featured guitarist Mick Finkler and drummer Gary Dwyer, as well as keyboardist Paul Simpson, with whom Cope previously played in the short-lived A Shallow Madness

Upon signing to Bill Drummond and David Balfe's fledgling Zoo label, the quartet issued their 1979 debut single, 'Sleeping Gas', a surreal electro-pop effort distinguished by its swirling keyboard washes; Simpson exited The Teardrop Explodes' ranks in the wake of the record's release, allowing Balfe to assume keyboard and production duties for the bizarre follow-up 'Bouncing Babies'. After touring with Echo and the Bunnymen, the group concentrated on streamlining the more excessive elements of its sound: the result, the buoyant 'Treason (It's Just a Story)', nearly reached the pop charts. 

After Finkler was replaced by former Dalek I Love You guitarist Alan Gill, The Teardrop Explodes issued 1980's infectious 'When I Dream', which hit the U.K. Top 50 and even garnered some airplay in the U.S. Finally, in October the band's debut LP, 'Kilimanjaro', appeared to rave reviews and respectable sales; early in 1981, the single 'Reward' hit the Top Ten, and a subsequent reissue of 'Treason (It's Just a Story)' surged into the Top 20. Still, The Teardrop Explodes' roster continued to fluctuate wildly, and soon Gill exited to make room for guitarist Troy Tate in time to record 1981's ambitious 'Wilder', highlighted by the smash "Passionate Friend." 

A tour of the States followed, with disastrous results; Tate quickly broke ranks to join Fashion, leaving the remaining trio to begin work on a planned third LP to be dubbed 'Everybody Wants to Shag the Teardrop Explodes'. In the midst of recording, however, Cope dissolved the band; only a 1983 EP dubbed 'You Disappear from View' appeared on schedule, although the unfinished sessions were finally released in full in 1990 under their projected title. In the wake of The Teardrop Explodes' breakup, Balfe later re-emerged as the founder of the Food Records label, while Cope embarked on a successful and occasionally brilliant solo career. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC]

jueves, 18 de junio de 2015

Scratch Acid


The Austin, TX, post-hardcore noise group Scratch Acid laid the groundwork for much of the distorted, grinding alternative punk rockers of the '90s. Formed in 1982, the band originally featured Steve Anderson (vocals), David Wm. Sims (guitar), Brett Bradford (guitar), David Yow (bass), and Rey Washam (drums). Anderson was soon kicked out of the group and the band performed as an instrumental outfit for a short while. Yow moved to vocals, Sims switched to bass, and the band released a self-titled EP in 1984. Two years later, they released the full-length 'Just Keep Eating' and the scathing 'Berserker' EP. Following a long tour that took them through America and Europe, Scratch Acid split in May of 1987. Sims and Washam joined with Steve Albini to form the consciously caustic Rapeman. After Rapeman split, Sims reunited with David Yow to form The Jesus Lizard in 1989, which picked up where Scratch Acid left off. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

martes, 16 de junio de 2015

The Raincoats


One of the more unusual bands to rise from the British punk explosion of the 1970s, The Raincoats were post-punk before punk's first act had fully played out; they had little interest in the speed or velocity of The Clash or The Sex Pistols, instead embracing a more open and dynamic approach which incorporated purposefully chaotic arrangements that made the members' lack of instrumental experience a virtue rather than a drawback. They also occasionally employed acoustic instruments (particularly violin) as well as percussion that showed influences of reggae and world music, and sang lyrics that dealt with feminism and personal politics in a direct yet non-dogmatic manner. The Raincoats were formed in 1977 by Gina Birch and Ane de Silva, then students at the Hornsey School of Art in London (Birch was working in video and conceptual art, and de Silva was interested in three-dimensional painting). Fascinated by the "anyone can do it" spirit of punk, Birch and de Silva decided to form a group, despite having little musical experience, and played their first show in November 1977. Initially, Birch played bass and sang, de Silva played guitar and sang, Ross Crighton played guitar and Nick Turner played drums, but within a year, the band had reverted to an all-female lineup with Palmolive (formerly of The Slits) replacing Turner on drums and Crighton out in favor of violinist Vicki Aspinall. In the spring of 1979, The Raincoats released their first single, 'Fairytale in the Supermarket' through the seminal British indie label Rough Trade, and their self-titled debut album appeared later the same year. Not long after the album came out, Palmolive left the band, and Ingrid Weiss became their new percussionist; this lineup recorded the 1981 album 'Odyshape', which included guest appearances from Robert Wyatt and Charles Hayward of This Heat. In 1982, during a tour of the United States, The Raincoats performed several shows at New York City's celebrated performance art space The Kitchen; the shows were recorded, and the New York-based cassette-only label ROIR Records released an album drawn from this material, 'The Kitchen Tapes', in 1983. By their own admission, Birch and de Silva had frequent differences in creative and personal opinions (de Silva once quipped to reporter Maddy Costa, "We broke up after every record," to which Birch replied, "We broke up after every gig"), and The Raincoats's uncompromising confrontational sound prevented them from enjoying much more than a cult following. After the release of the album 'Moving' in 1984, the group broke up. In 1992, de Silva was working in an antique shop in London when she one day received an unexpected visitor -Kurt Cobain, who was visiting London and hoping to replace his badly worn copy of the first Raincoats album. After stopping by the Rough Trade retail shop, he was told de Silva worked nearby, and he wrote about their meeting and his love of her music in the liner notes to the Nirvana rarities compilation 'Incesticide'. This helped spark a new interest in The Raincoats, and with the help of Cobain and Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth (a fellow Raincoats fan), The Raincoats' three studio albums were reissued by DGC Records. Cobain also persuaded The Raincoats to reunite so they could open some shows for Nirvana, but Cobain's suicide prevented those concerts from taking place. However, in 1994, Birch and de Silva assembled a new version of The Raincoats and recorded an EP, 'Extended Play', which appeared on Smells Like Records (a label founded by Sonic Youth's Steve Shelley), and they followed with a full-length album, 1996's 'Looking in the Shadows', which was released by DGC in America and Rough Trade in Europe. Since then, Birch and de Silva have occasionally performed and recorded as The Raincoats when their schedules permit; they also formed their own label, We Three Records, to reissue material from their back catalog, and have collaborated on multimedia art projects. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC]

lunes, 15 de junio de 2015

The Parachute Men


Formed in Leeds, Yorkshire, England, in 1985 by Fiona Gregg (b. 26 July 1963, Norwich, Norfolk, England; vocals), Stephen H. Gregg (b. 29 November 1960, Bishop Auckland, Co. Durham, England; guitar), Andrew Howes (bass) and Mark Boyce (drums), The Parachute Men proved to have a bat’s ear for a tune, yet were persistently undersold by circumstance. Signing to Fire Records in 1987 was a promising move, particularly when ‘The Innocents’ was released to warm approval, but shortly afterwards, Howes and Boyce departed acrimoniously, leaving Fiona and Stephen H. Gregg to tour as an acoustic set-up until Matthew Parkin (bass) and Paul Walker (b. 7 July 1966, West Yorkshire, England; drums) filled the vacancies. The second album was released well over a year after it was recorded, costing the band valuable momentum and causing Parkin to be replaced by Colleen Browne (b. 25 August 1966, Kelowna, Canada), but The Parachute Men continued to create lovingly textured guitar sounds. However, the lack of media focus, undoubtedly exacerbated by their northern location, ensured that their talents remained the knowledge of a privileged few, and they disbanded soon after the release of 'Earth, Dogs And Eggshells'. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

domingo, 14 de junio de 2015

Orange Juice


The leaders of the Scottish neo-pop uprising Orange Juice formed in Glasgow in late 1976. Originally dubbed the Nu-Sonics, the group comprised vocalist/guitarist Edwyn Collins, guitarist James Kirk, bassist David McClymont, and drummer Steven Daly; following the formation of the Postcard label by Collins protégé Alan Horne, the quartet renamed itself Orange Juice in 1979, adopting the new moniker as well as an aura of romantic innocence as a direct reaction to the increasingly macho aggression of punk. 

As Postcard's flagship band, Orange Juice quickly distinguished the label as a leading proponent of independent pop music; their 1980 debut single 'Falling and Laughing', recorded for less than 100 pounds, garnered massive critical acclaim, and subsequent releases like "Blueboy," "Simply Thrilled Honey," and "Poor Old Soul" further established the group as a major new talent. Soon, sessions began for a full-length album; however, in the midst of recording, Orange Juice left Postcard to sign to Polydor, which funded the LP's completion. After the 1982 release of the album, titled 'You Can't Hide Your Love Forever', ex-Josef K guitarist Malcolm Ross joined the group, hastening the exit of Kirk and Daly (who went on to form Memphis) and paving the way for Zimbabwe-born drummer Zeke Manyika. 

The addition of Manyika gave Collins the new capability of exploring a more complex fusion of pop and blue-eyed soul; consequently, 1982's 'Rip It Up' was a more ambitious affair than its predecessor, veering from the buoyant Motown tribute "I Can't Help Myself" to the energetic pop of the title track, Orange Juice's lone Top Ten single. However, subsequent releases failed to chart, and relations between the group and Polydor began to disintegrate; amid these tensions, both Ross and McClymont quit, with Ross later resurfacing in Aztec Camera. Reduced to the duo of Collins and Manyika, Orange Juice enlisted reggae producer Dennis Bovell to record the 1984 EP 'Texas Fever'.

After a makeshift tour, Collins and Manyika returned to the studio to record a dark, ambitious full-length effort; released in 1984, neither 'The Orange Juice' nor its singles 'What Presence?!' and 'Lean Period' charted, and Collins was dropped from his contract, although Polydor kept Manyika on as a solo act. Only in 1995 did the stunning single "A Girl Like You" finally win Collins the commercial respect that had so long eluded him and his former bandmates. Later on, throughout the late '90s and early 2000s, the rise of Scottish bands as disparate as Belle & Sebastian and Franz Ferdinand won Orange Juice a younger set of fans, helped in great part by the 2005 compilation 'The Glasgow School'. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC]

New Musik


New Musik's near-total lack of commercial acceptance is one of the great mysteries of early-'80s pop. Their music, rooted in classic pop songwriting but with a forward-looking interest in shiny electronics, is both instantly accessible and coolly forbidding. This dichotomy is most clearly expressed in the split between group leader Tony Mansfield's melodies, which are hummable, welcoming, and often quite bouncy, and his lyrics, which even Joy Division's Ian Curtis might have sometimes found a little too alienated. 

New Musik formed in 1977, growing out of a casual band of south London school friends who jammed together under the name End of the World; singer and guitarist Mansfield, keyboardist Nick Straker, and bassist Tony Hibbert drafted drummer Phil Towner, who had played on The Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star." Rather than hotly pursue a record deal, the newly christened New Musik wisely chose to hone their craft first. Working during down times at a south London studio where Mansfield was informally employed as a session musician and apprentice engineer, the foursome recorded most of what would become their first two albums before approaching the British label GTO Records with the finished master tapes. However, before GTO released the first New Musik single, 'Straight Lines', in August 1979, Straker had left for a fusion-oriented solo career, scoring a minor U.K. hit with the jazzy disco instrumental "A Walk in the Park" and working on reggae sessions with Dennis Bovell and Linton Kwesi Johnson, among others. He was replaced by Clive Gates, who had previously played pub gigs with Mansfield's King Crimson-inspired teenage band Reeman Zeegus. The new lineup completed New Musik's debut album, 'From A to B', released in April of 1980. 

Because GTO was a CBS subsidiary, Epic Records had first dibs on releasing 'From A to B' in America; they chose not to, instead releasing an entry in their short-lived NuDisk series of 10" EPs that collected "Straight Lines" and the group's second U.K. single, 'Living By Numbers', along with both B-sides. After another pair of U.K. singles, 'Sanctuary' and 'Luxury', the group's second album, 'Anywhere', was released in April of 1981. Again, Epic declined to release the album as it was; instead, the label gathered a side's worth of material from both 'From A to B' and 'Anywhere' and released the compilation 'Sanctuary'. While 'Sanctuary' does contain most of New Musik's best early material, both of the group's first two albums are strong enough that they deserve to be heard on their own. 

After 'Anywhere''s disappointing commercial performance in the U.K. and 'Sanctuary''s instant oblivion in the U.S., New Musik went through a period of turmoil. Hibbert and Towner both left the band, leaving Mansfield and Gates to record the third and final New Musik album as a duo with a hired drummer. Unlike 'From A to B' and 'Anywhere', which blended synthesizers with acoustic guitars, live percussion, and other classic pop elements, 'Warp' is almost entirely electronic. One of the first albums to be recorded primarily with digital samplers and emulators, 'Warp' sounds a bit more dated than the first two New Musik albums, but the songs, among the most lyrically pessimistic of the band's career, are quite strong. New Musik split after this album, as Mansfield's sideline career as a producer started taking more of his time. Through the first half of the '80s, Mansfield produced hit singles for Naked Eyes, Mari Wilson, The B-52s, After the Fire, and others. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC]

sábado, 13 de junio de 2015

Marine Girls


Before Tracey Thorn established herself with Everything but the Girl, she produced mellow, spare indie pop with the all-female act Marine Girls. Inspired by The Raincoats and Young Marble Giants, Thorn formed Marine Girls with her schoolmate Gina and Jane Fox in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, England, in 1980. At first, Thorn played guitar with Gina on vocals and Fox on bass. Since they knew no drummers, the group decided to focus on a minimalist approach to music. After Gina kept missing rehearsals, she was replaced by Jane Fox's younger sister, Alice Fox, on vocals; Thorn would eventually sing as well. The trio recorded a tape called 'A Day by the Sea' and sold it to their acquaintances. Marine Girls eventually released two albums in the U.K., 1982's 'Beach Party' and 1983's 'Lazy Ways'. 'Lazy Ways' was produced by one of the band's influences, Stuart Moxham of Young Marble Giants. While attending Hull University, Thorn began writing songs for herself; she was only able to gig with Marine Girls during holidays. Marine Girls broke up after Thorn and Alice Fox had an argument following a concert in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1983. Thorn then recorded her solo album 'A Distant Shore' before joining Ben Watt in Everything but the Girl. In 1997, Cherry Red Records combined both of the Marine Girls' albums onto one CD; spinART reissued the albums in the US four years later. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

The Lambrettas


The Lambrettas, featuring Jez Bird (guitar/vocals/keyboards), Doug Saunders (guitar), Mark Ellis (bass), and Paul Wincer (drums), jumped on the Jam-inspired mod revival bandwagon of the late '70s, dressing in matching mohair suits and naming themselves after one of the mod-favored motor scooters. Although decidedly derivative, The Lambrettas proved to be one of the most fondly remembered bands of the mod revival. The band formed in the mod mecca of Brighton and, under the leadership of Bird's catchy songwriting, proved to be more than just Jam sound-alikes, leaving behind mod-life arrogance/elitism in favor of a pure pop sensibility. The band signed to Elton John's Rocket Records in 1979 and after one failed single, 'Go Steady', had a U.K. hit with their cover of Leiber and Stoller's "Poison Ivy." The follow-up singles 'D-a-a-ance' and 'Another Day (Another Girl)' also charted in the U.K. The latter (originally titled "Page Three"), with its not-so-thinly veiled jabs at The Sun newspaper's practice of placing photos of topless women on page three, earned them some notoriety when the newspaper threatened legal action. 'Beat Boys in the Jet Age', their debut LP, released in 1980, collected the early singles and other similar-sounding originals. Though it did make it into the British charts, the mod revival fad had pretty much run its course. Subsequent singles and a second album, 1981's 'Ambience', were commercial flops despite efforts to break from the mod mold. The band called it quits in 1982, playing their final gig in London, on April 14, 1982. Bird regrouped the band in the '90s, playing small venues in England, and recorded several demos for a new album which never saw the light of day. 

In 2008, Jez Bird lost his battle with cancer, passing away at age 50. After playing what was to be a one off gig in 2009, original members Doug Saunders and Paul Wincer decided to reunite the band with two new memembers -Philip Edwards and Chris Venzi-James. They continue to tour the UK and Europe. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC]

viernes, 12 de junio de 2015

Killdozer



A Madison, WI, trio renowned for their brutal, distorted country blues sound and smirking anti-intellectual stance, Killdozer formed in 1983 around vocalist/bassist Michael Gerald, guitarist Bill Hobson, and his drummer brother Dan. The group issued their debut LP, 'Intellectuals Are the Shoeshine Boys of the Ruling Elite', just a year later, quickly establishing both their menacing swamp rock sound as well as a lyrical outlook virulently attacking social and political malaise while celebrating life on the wrong side of the tracks. 

Upon signing to the Touch and Go label, Killdozer returned in 1985 with the primal 'Snake Boy'; the 'Burl EP' -a collection of ominous, sludgy folk tunes topped off by a cover of Jessi Colter's "I'm Not Lisa"- followed the next year. 1987's 'Little Baby Buntin'', produced by fellow Wisconsinite Butch Vig, found the Killdozer sound growing slower and more experimental, a trend continued by the following year's '12 Point Buck'. After 1989's 'For Ladies Only' -an all-covers collection deconstructing hits ranging from Deep Purple's "Hush" to the James Gang's "Funk #49" to Don McLean's "American Pie"- Bill Hobson left the band on the eve of a European tour, and was replaced by Halo of Flies guitarist (and Amphetamine Reptile label chief) Tom Hazelmyer. Hobson later re-joined the group, but again exited in the midst of recording a never-completed LP.

After a long layoff, in 1992 Gerald and Dan Hobson reformed Killdozer with new guitarist Paul Zagores. A single, 'The Pig Was Cool', followed in 1993, trailed the next year by the full-length 'Uncompromising War on Art Under the Dictatorship of the Proletariat'. After new producer Steve Albini helmed 1995's 'God Hears Pleas of the Innocent', Dan Hobson left the group to raise his family; he was replaced by ex-Die Kreuzen drummer Erik Tunison. Additionally, the roster soon expanded to include second guitarist Jeff Ditzenberger, formerly of Power Wagon. After recording a split single with Alice Donut, Killdozer disbanded in 1996 following the conclusion of the Fuck You, We Quit tour. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

jueves, 11 de junio de 2015

Jah Wobble


Born John Wardle, Wobble was an old friend of Sex Pistols singer Johnny Rotten. When the Pistols broke up, Rotten formed Public Image Ltd., and Wobble became the bass player. After the group's first few albums, Wobble had a falling out with Rotten (now Lydon) and guitarist Keith Levene and departed for a solo career, also collaborating with artists such as Can members Jaki Liebezeit and Holger Czukay and U2's the Edge. Wobble's solo repertoire ranges from pop to pseudo-reggae to "difficult to listen to" experimentation. In the late '80s, his career took a downward direction, and he had a job sweeping train stations. He began listening to music from places like North Africa, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe and formed Invaders of the Heart with guitarist Justin Adams. 

The single 'Bomba' brought Wobble back to the public eye in 1990, and he collaborated with Sinéad O'Connor and Primal Scream in addition to releasing the Invaders of the Heart album 'Rising Above Bedlam' in 1991. Three years later, he released 'Take Me to God', which featured a number of guest appearances from the likes of Gavin Friday. In 1995, he released 'Psalms', which was followed in 1996 by 'The Inspiration of William Blake'. In 1997 Wobble formed his own label, 30 Hertz, to release 'Jah Wobble Presents the Light Programme'. 'Umbra Sumus' appeared the following year. In 1999, Wobble released 'Deep Space', which featured appearances from Bill Laswell and Jaki Liebezeit. 

In the new century, Wobble became prolific. His first release was 'Full Moon Over the Shopping Mall', issued in the spring of 2000, followed by 'Molam Dub' that fall. 'Passage to Hades' with Evan Parker appeared in spring 2001. In 2002, Wobble began a series of interconnected -sometimes short-lived- collaborative groups to execute specifically minded projects. First, Temple of Sound -with Natasha Atlas, Nina Miranda, and Shahin Badar- released 'Shout at the Devil'. That same year, 'Solaris: Live in Concert' reunited Wobble with Laswell and Liebezeit, along with pianist Harold Budd and cornetist Graham Haynes. Reed and woodwind master Clive Bell and trumpeter Harry Beckett assisted Wobble with the nocturnal club jazz that was 'Fly' later in the year. 

In 2003, he resurrected another previous group he called Deep Space. This version contained original members Philip Jeck and drummer Mark Sanders with bagpipers Bell and Jean-Pierre Rasle, Beckett, guitarist Chris Cookson, and singer Cat Von Trapp. They released the full-length 'Five Beats'. Bell, Rasle, and Cookson would continue to play with Wobble throughout the decade no matter the band, as evidenced by the ambitious 'English Roots Music' (credited to his Invaders of the Heart project with Liz Carter on vocals). He also cut the soundtrack to the French film "Fureur" (Fury) for EastWest. Wobble and pedal steel legend B.J. Cole, with Bell, Cookson, and Beckett, cut the nocturnal jazz-dub recording 'Elevator Music, Vol. 1A' in 2004. Later that year, Trojan Records honored Wobble with a career-spanning three-disc retrospective, 'I Could Have Been a Contender'. The dub effort 'MU' was issued by Trojan in 2005. 

In 2006 there were two Wobble offerings: the completely solo 'Alpha-One Three' (titled for his taxi driver handle), which appeared in July, and 'Jah Wobble & the English Roots Band' in November. The latter is interesting because after 'English Roots Music', these musicians became a band apart from Invaders of the Heart. This latter album was recorded live in one take in the studio to reflect the fearsome live energy of their concert performances. Trojan Records issued another of Wobble's wild takes on dub with 'Heart & Soul' in 2007. This recording also brought Gregorian plainsong, Appalachian folk, and gospel into the mix, creating a past-future effect. 

The wildest was yet to come, however, as he brought dub to the East by employing Cookson, Sanders, and Bell alongside a group of Chinese traditional musicians to create the inimitable and provocative 'Chinese Dub' in 2008. 'Car Ad Music', with Cookson, Bell, Beckett, and percussionist Neville Murray, was issued in 2009, and the (mostly) solo 'Welcome to My World' arrived in 2010. Also in 2010, Wobble moved his dub fusion toward Japan with 'The Japanese Dub', recorded with the Nippon Dub Ensemble (Joji Hirota and Keiko Kitamura) with Bell and Robin Thompson guesting. 

Wobble was no less prolific in 2011, recording a pair of albums that are, as has become his wont, radically different from one another. The first, '7', issued on Pressure Sounds, was recorded by his Modern Jazz Ensemble as a tribute to his some of his jazz heroes -Miles Davis, Donald Byrd, Weather Report, The Art Ensemble of Chicago, etc. The personnel include Cookson and Bell but also Marc Layton-Bennett (drums), George King (keyboards), Sean Corby (trumpet & flügelhorn), and Shri Sriram (tablas and bowed bass). The second offering of the year was a collaboration with guitarist, vocalist, songwriter, and celebrated post-punk revivalist Julie Campbell called 'Psychic Life', which was issued on Cherry Red in November. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

miércoles, 10 de junio de 2015

It's Immaterial


This pop duo, based in Liverpool, England, first emerged in 1980 with the low-key single ‘Young Man (Seeks An Interesting Job)’. Further independent singles followed, before they enjoyed an unlikely UK chart hit in 1986 with ‘Driving Away From Home (Jim’s Tune)’, and an album with the enduring catch-phrase title of 'Life’s Hard And Then You Die'. Following ‘Ed's Funky Diner’ and the impeccably strange ‘Space (He Called From The Kitchen)’, they disappeared from view for some time, before principal duo John Campbell (ex-Yachts) and Jarvis Whitehead re-emerged with a second album for Siren Records in 1990. As before, the music was of a subdued, understated nature, with wry wit in the manner of an indie Pet Shop Boys. Other members of the band included, at various times, Henry Priestman of The Christians, Paul Barlow (drums), Julian Scott (bass), Mick Dempsey (percussion), Brenda Airturo (percussion), Brenda Kenny (percussion) and Gillian Miller (backing vocals). [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

martes, 9 de junio de 2015

Paul Haig


Paul Haig might be best known as the frontman of Scottish post-punk band Josef K, whose lone official record played a major role in the development of the C-86 scene that followed a few years after the group's disintegration. Haig continued with a number of involvements in the following decades, releasing a number of records on his own in addition to issuing several collaborative efforts. The early-'80s breakup of Josef K also saw him abandon some of the anti-commercial ideals that he previously stood for, as he also aligned himself with a number of musically varied names in the process. 

Haig was most prolific in the years immediately following Josef K, releasing a number of singles and full-lengths under his own name as well as Rhythm of Life. Released in 1983, the synth-based 'The Rhythm of Life' (recorded in New York) featured the handiwork of Pere Ubu's Anton Fier, Parliament/Funkadelic's Bernie Worrell, and The Thompson Twins' Tom Bailey. Compared to the Human League and the British Electronic Foundation, the record hardly resembled his earlier, frantically guitar-driven work, basing itself in slick pop and alienating many of his fans as a result. 

A couple of 1984 singles were recorded with Cabaret Voltaire and Bernard Sumner before Haig teamed up more significantly with ex-Associate and live associate Alan Rankine. A full album was shelved due to label issues, but the recordings that followed were released as 1985's 'The Warp of Pure Fun'. Stylistically similar to 'The Rhythm of Life', Rankine remained aboard and added his mastery of electronics and production. Meanwhile, the big band and torch standards curiosity 'Swing in '82' was released, which sat in the vault for three years before seeing the light of day. 'European Sun' was issued in 1988, compiling singles and extras spanning six years. The self-funded 'Chain' was recorded during 1988 with Rankine, with Virgin affiliate Circa picking up the recordings, but not releasing them until mid-1989.

Circa put up the money for a follow-up, enlisting the services of Lil' Louis, Mantronix, and The Chimes. A single from the sessions went nowhere in clubs and on the charts, so the album ('Right on Line') was shelved. Crepuscle eventually bought the rights to the record, releasing it in 1993 as 'Coincidence vs. Fate'. Haig began a label of his own called Rhythm of Life, issuing a second installment of 'Cinematique'. He also released a number of posthumous Billy Mackenzie recordings, most notably the collaborative 'Memory Palace', released in 1999. In 2003 LTM reissued and remastered 'Coincidence vs. Fate' and 'The Warp of Pure Fun' with new liner notes and bonus tracks. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

lunes, 8 de junio de 2015

Galaxie 500


Though criminally overlooked in their own lifetime, Galaxie 500 later emerged as one of the pivotal underground groups of the post-punk era; dreamy and enigmatic, their minimalist dirges presaged the rise of both the shoegazer and slowcore movements of the 1990s. The group formed in Boston, MA, in 1986 and was comprised of vocalist/guitarist Dean Wareham (a transplanted New Zealand native), bassist Naomi Yang and drummer Damon Krukowski, longtime friends who first met in high school in New York City before all three attended Harvard University. Wareham and Krukowski initially teamed in the short-lived Speedy and the Castanets, which split after their bass player experienced a religious conversion; upon re-forming, the duo recruited Yang to play bass, although she had no prior musical experience. 

Named after a friend's car, Galaxie 500 began performing live throughout Boston and New York before recording a three-song demo tape which they sent to Shimmy Disc honcho Kramer, who agreed to become the trio's producer. After bowing in early 1988 with the singles 'Tugboat' and 'Oblivious' (the latter track featured on a flexi-disc included in an issue of Chemical Imbalance magazine), they issued their full-length debut, 'Today', which highlighted the group's distinct, evolving sound pitting Wareham's eerie, plaintive tenor, elliptical songs, and slow-motion guitar textures against Yang's warm, fluid bass lines and Krukowski's lean drumming. 

After signing to the U.S. branch of Rough Trade, Galaxie 500 issued its defining moment, 1989's evocative 'On Fire', a remarkably assured and rich record including the superb singles 'Blue Thunder' and 'When Will You Come Home'. After a limited-edition 7" release featuring live renditions of the Beatles' "Rain" and Jonathan Richman's "Don't Let Our Youth Go to Waste," the group returned in 1990 with 'This Is Our Music', a diffuse collection spotlighting the wry, sunny single 'Fourth of July' and a haunting cover of Yoko Ono's "Listen, the Snow Is Falling." Following a subsequent tour, Galaxie 500 disbanded after Wareham phoned Yang and Krukowski to say he was quitting the group.

A few months later, after Wareham formed his new band, Luna, Rough Trade went bankrupt, and with the label's demise went the trio's three albums, as well as their royalties. In 1991, at an auction of Rough Trade's assets, Krukowski purchased the master tapes for the group's music, and five years later the Rykodisc label issued a box set containing Galaxie 500's complete recorded output; a previously unreleased 1990 live set, dubbed 'Copenhagen', followed in 1997. In the meantime, after first resurfacing under the name Pierre Etoile, Krukowski and Yang later recorded as Damon and Naomi; additionally, the duo served as the rhythm section for the Wayne Rogers-led Magic Hour. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC]

domingo, 7 de junio de 2015

The Fall


Out of all the late-'70s punk and post-punk bands, none are longer lived or more prolific than The Fall. Throughout their career, the band underwent myriad lineup changes, but at the center of it all was vocalist Mark E. Smith. With his snarling, nearly incomprehensible vocals and consuming, bitter cynicism, Smith became a cult legend in indie and alternative rock. Over the course of their career, The Fall went through a number of shifts in musical style, yet the foundation of their sound was a near-cacophonous, amelodic jagged jumble of guitars, sing-speak vocals, and keyboards. During the late '70s and early '80s, the band was at their most abrasive and atonal. In 1984, Smith's American wife, Brix, joined the band as a guitarist, bringing a stronger sense of pop melody to the group. By the mid-'80s, the band's British following was large enough to result in two U.K. Top 40 hits, but in essence, the group has always been a cult band; its music was always too abrasive and dense for the mainstream. Only hardcore fans can differentiate between The Fall's many albums, yet The Fall, like many cult bands, inspired a new generation of underground bands, ranging from waves of soundalike indie rockers in the U.K. to acts in America and New Zealand, which is only one indication of the size and dedication of their small, devoted fan base. 

Prior to forming The Fall in 1977, Smith worked on the docks in Manchester, where he had auditioned and failed with a number of local heavy metal groups. Smith wasn't inspired by metal in the first place; his tastes ran more toward the experimental rock & roll of the Velvet Underground, as well as the avant-garde art rock of Can. Eventually, he found several similarly inclined musicians -guitarist Martin Bramah, bassist Tony Friel, keyboardist Una Baines, and drummer Karl Burns- and formed The Fall, taking the group's name from the Albert Camus novel. The band cut an EP, 'Bingo-Master's Break-Out!', which was funded by the Buzzcocks' label, New Hormones, but it sat unreleased for nearly a year, simply because the band couldn't find anyone who wanted to sign them. The Fall were outsiders, not fitting in with either the slick new wave and the amateurish, simple chord-bashing of punk rock. Consequently, they had a difficult time landing a record contract. After a while, the group had gained some fans, including Danny Baker, the head of the Adrenaline fanzine, who persuaded Miles Copeland to release the EP on his Step Forward independent label. 

During 1978, Smith replaced bassist Friel with Marc Riley (bass, guitar, keyboards) and keyboardist Baines with Yvonne Pawlett because they wanted to make The Fall more accessible. The new lineup recorded the band's first full-length album, 'Live at the Witch Trials', which was released in 1979. The Fall continued to tour, playing bars and cabaret clubs, and, in the process, began to slowly build a fan base. Radio 1 DJ John Peel had become a fervent fan of the band, letting them record a number of sessions for his show, which provided the group with a great deal of exposure. 

Before recording The Fall's second album, Smith changed the band's lineup, firing Pawlett, Bramah, and Burns, while hiring guitarist Craig Scanlon, bassist Steve Hanley, and drummer Mike Leigh; Riley moved to lead guitar from bass during this lineup shift. Scanlon and Hanley would become integral members of The Fall, staying with the band for great part of their career. The new lineup recorded and released 'Dragnet' late in 1979. The following year, The Fall parted with Step Forward and signed with Rough Trade, where they released the live album 'Totale's Turns (It's Now or Never)', the studio 'Grotesque (After the Gramme)', and several acclaimed singles, including 'Totally Wired' and 'How I Wrote Elastic Man', in the course of 1980. Paul Hanley joined the group as a second drummer before the 'Grotesque' album. Though several Fall recordings appeared in 1981, they were all archival releases with the exception of the 'Slates' EP. After the release of 'Slates', drummer Karl Burns rejoined the group. In early 1982, the band released the full-length 'Hex Enduction Hour', which received some of the group's strongest reviews to date. Since the group was having trouble with Rough Trade, the album was released on Kamera Records, as was its follow-up, 'Room to Live', which also appeared in 1982. Following its release, Riley left the band. 

The major turning point in The Fall's career arrived in 1983, when Smith met Brix Smith (born Laura Elise Salinger) in Chicago while The Fall were on tour. The pair married within a few months and Brix, who originally played bass, joined the group as their second guitarist, replacing Riley; her first record with the group was 1983's 'Perverted by Language'. Brix brought a more melodic pop sense to the band, as demonstrated by 1984's 'The Wonderful and Frightening World of The Fall', their first album for Beggars Banquet. Following the 'Call for Escape Route' EP, The Fall struck up an alliance with ballet choreographer Michael Clark, who eventually collaborated on a ballet called "I Am Kurious Oranj" with Mark E. Smith. The Fall wrote the music and libretto for the ballet and performed the work several times during late 1984 and early 1985; an album of the music eventually appeared in 1988. By 1985, the Smiths were collaborating with each other, resulting in more structured, melodic songs like the singles 'No Bulbs' and 'Cruiser's Creek'. Midway through 1985, Steve Hanley had to take a leave of absence and classically trained Simon Rogers joined as the temporary bassist. Once Hanley returned, Rogers moved over to keyboards. The new lineup with Rogers recorded 'This Nation's Saving Grace', which was released in the fall of 1985 to terrific reviews. Rogers stayed for one more album, 1986's 'Bend Sinister', yet he remained involved with The Fall for several years. 'Bend Sinister' was recorded with Burns' replacement, Simon Wolstencroft, and, following its release, Rogers was replaced by keyboardist Marcia Schofield, who had previously played in Khmer Rouge

In 1986, The Fall unexpectedly began to have charting singles, as their cover of The Other Half's "Mr. Pharmacist" became a minor hit in the fall. Over the next few years, the group appeared in the lower reaches of the charts consistently, breaking into the Top 40 with 1987's "Hit the North" and 1988's cover of the Kinks' "Victoria," which signaled how much more accessible the band had become with the addition of Brix's arrangements. After the 1988 release of the Simon Rogers-produced 'The Frenz Experiment', Brix divorced Smith and she left The Fall in 1989; original guitarist Martin Bramah replaced her. The musical result of the separation was a shift back to the darker, more chaotic sound of their early albums, as shown on the first post-Brix album, 1990's 'Extricate'. Though 'Extricate' was well received, Smith decided to alter the lineup that recorded the album. He fired both Schofield and Bramah while The Fall was touring Australia. Featuring new keyboardist Dave Bush, 'Shift-Work' was released in 1991, followed by 'Code: Selfish' the next year. 

In 1993, The Fall signed with Matador Records, which provided them with their first American record label in several years. Their first release for the label, 'The Infotainment Scam', was recorded with the returning Karl Burns, who provided drums. Neither 'The Infotainment Scam' nor its 1994 follow-up, 'Middle Class Revolt', sold many records in the U.S., despite good reviews, and The Fall was again left without an American label as of 1995. Not that it mattered; they retained their devoted following in Britain, where both albums performed respectively. Brix rejoined The Fall during the supporting tour for 'Middle Class Revolt' and appeared on 1995's 'Cerebral Caustic'. At the beginning of 1996 keyboardist Julia Nagle had joined the band for the recording of 'The Light User Syndrome', an album that featured liner notes from longtime supporter and BBC DJ John Peel. The band recorded their 20th BBC session for the DJ in June, followed by the departure of Brix in October and Karl Burns in December. 

By this time a steady stream of compilations and live recordings started appearing, the majority of them on the Receiver label, mostly without the band's involvement. 1997 saw seven of them released along with reissues of 'Live at the Witch Trials' and 'Fall in a Hole'. Karl Burns rejoined the band in May for a U.K. tour and the 'Levitate' album, which appeared in September. New guitarist Tommy Crooks was brought on board and the band headed to the U.S. in March 1998 to support the new album. During an April gig in New York City at Brownie's, Smith was in rare form. The band played large parts of the set with Smith off-stage, at one point Smith said something to Karl Burns that made him jump over his drum kit and attack the singer, and Crooks and Smith were at odds the whole show, with Crooks kicking Smith and Smith flicking lit cigarettes at Crooks. Burns, Crooks, and Steve Hanley were out of the band and Smith spent a night in jail on assault charges. The live and outtake CDs kept coming and Smith released his first spoken word album, 'The Post Nearly Man', in September. 

A new single, 'Touch Sensitive', appeared in February 1999. It ended up as the soundtrack to car commercial, giving it extra exposure in the U.K., setting the stage for the April release of the new album, 'The Marshall Suite'. Nagle was now more involved with songwriting while guitarist Neville Wilding, bassist Adam Halal, and drummer Tom Head rounded out the new Fall. Another batch of reissues appeared, followed by the successful 'F-oldin' Money' single and more U.K. tours. In April 2000, Smith made a guest appearance on Elastica's album 'The Menace' and in November a new Fall album, 'The Unutterable', appeared. The same month, Spencer Birtwistle replaced Tom Head while Ben Pritchard and Jim Watts would replace Wilding and Halal, respectively, in February 2001. 

Julia Nagle was next to leave the band, and the more garage rock-oriented Fall released the extremely limited single 'Rude (All the Time)' in August 2001, with the full-length 'Are You Are Missing Winner' hitting the streets in November. The stripped-down band toured the world to support the ill-received album and documented the tour on the even-worse-received, half-live, half-studio '2G+2', released in June 2002. The disappointing "official" albums were now being balanced with some decent compilations for a change, with Sanctuary's 'Totally Wired: The Rough Trade Anthology' and Cog Sinister's 'Listening In: Lost Singles Tracks 1990-92' being the best. Smith's second spoken word album, 'Pander! Panda! Panzer!', appeared in September 2002, the same month his new wife, Eleni Poulou, joined The Fall on keyboards.

Released in December 2002, 'The Fall vs. 2003' single ushered in the next great era of the band, with Poulou offering a melodic base for Smith's abrasiveness the same way Nagle and Brix had before. Jim Watts discovered he was fired when Smith held a band meeting in a bar in March 2003 and bought everyone a drink but Watts. Bassist Simon "Ding" Archer would take his place for a June-July American tour. An early version of the band's next album was leaked to the Internet, influencing Smith to re-record and add/drop some tracks. The leak was referenced in the album's new title, 'The Real New Fall LP (Formerly Country on the Click)', released in October. A Christmas single, '(We Wish You) A Protein Christmas', appeared in December. 

The Sanctuary label reissued two classic albums -'Live at the Witch Trials' and 'Dragnet'- in January of 2004 with much better sound than ever before, and some bonus tracks were added to 'Dragnet'. A tour of America was planned, but on a visit to Newcastle, Smith slipped on some ice, breaking his leg. A bystander came to help him up, but Smith fell again, this time cracking his hip. Despite a metal rod running from his knee to hip, The Fall went ahead with the American tour, with Smith delivering his vocals while seated at a table. In June, Beggars Banquet released the first true career-spanning compilation of the band, '50,000 Fall Fans Can't Be Wrong'. Bassist Archer went "on loan" to PJ Harvey's band around this time and was replaced by Steven Trafford. The leftovers, live, and outtakes compilation 'Interim' was released November 2004 in the U.K. and January 2005 in the America. The new year also saw the departure of guitarist Jim Watts, a fantastic box set that collected all the band's sessions for John Peel, and the new album 'Fall Heads Roll'. In the summer the band toured America in support of the new album, but after a few dates, Smith fired all of the members of the band save his wife and keyboardist, Eleni Poulou. Members of the American bands The Cairo Gang and Darker My Love joined the band for the remainder of the tour. The 2007 album 'Reformation Post T.L.C.' featured a hybrid group of U.S. and U.K. members. That same year Smith collaborated with Andi Toma and Jan St. Werner of electronica duo Mouse on Mars on the Von Südenfed project. He published his typically challenging and entertaining autobiography in 2008. In 2010 they signed with the Domino label for the album 'Your Future Our Clutter'. 'Ersatz G.B.' was released on Cherry Red Records in the fall of 2011. They remained on the label for 2013's 'Re-Mit', a milestone release as it featured the same band lineup as the previous three efforts. 'Sub-Lingual Tablet' from 2015 made it album number four, and featured a cover version of The Stooges' "Cock in My Pocket" retitled "Stout Man". [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC]