Sunday, May 30, 2004

Exploratory Drilling For Gems in the Deep Hot Auralsphere, Part 1
A mostly irreverent, irrelevant, irregular feature done so I can avoid cleaning my house, taking out the trash and digitizing my vinyl
Who, wha, where?
Wha'd they say?
What I say
Where its at
Galaxie 500

From: Don't Let Our Youth Go To Waste (1987-1991)
2DVD set -
DVD cover

Insound: one of indie rock's most influential and beloved bands...DVD includes videos and  an archive of 40 songs as well as an unreleased 7"

The deluxe booklet contains exclusive photos and a new interview with members Dean Wareham, Damon Krukowski, and Naomi Yang, conducted by Yo La Tengo's James McNew."
I am eagerly awaiting the DVD as soon as I figure out where to get it (I'm assuming NOT Netflix)... If the NY Dolls can get back together, maybe this DVD will bring Galaxie back together (and they're all alive!)....

This live mp3recording of "Ceremony"  requires patience through the muddy  warm-up but should have you swirling and jumping around by mid-point... yo, hand me my neck brace...

Insound (mp3)

Bonus mystery download
(mp3, ogg format)
The Distillers
"L.A. Girl"
L.A. Girl

Amazon Reviewer: LA Girl- Pretty good song, but her voice is grating. 8/10 (Amazon reviewer)

Polish Guy: "2 girlies from US"
If you'd ask me what current capital-P Punk band that is still together that I dig, I would say The Distillers  -I  love how they  carry on in  the L.A. Punk / Germs/ Nirvana  tradition (for lack of better word).   Coral Fang (currently on  iTunes) was one of last year's favoritesalthough it is different from their debut  -wherein L.A. Girl first appeared. This is a live version I found on a Polish music fan's website  --  I'm assuming it'sdone  with the pre-Coral Fang  '99-00 line-up.  You can hear the original LP version from the Amazon download although the quality is pretty crappy and I would recommend you look for it elsewhere.

Download live version here (mp3) from Polish Guy's Website

Amazon Download of Studio Version (yes I know it says this is the Joe Strummer but Amazon must have made a mistake - you also need to have an amazon account to download)

Xiu Xiu
"Apistat Commander"
from Fag Patrol
Fag Patrol EP

"The moment when, pitted against a throbbing, impenetrable wall of industrial noise and organic hiss, Stewart's unstable tenor wails, "Oh, this relief it's the oddest thing/ Oh my god oh my god oh my god," constitutes the most moving musical climax I've heard this year. While some are put off by the over-the-top, undeniably confrontational nature of Xiu Xiu's music, it's the very willingness to overstep conventionally accepted boundaries of expression that renders their music so incredibly affecting. link
Oh Iggy, I hate it when a buncha 28" waist, vegan, no-tattooed, shorthair, bottle-water drinkin' non-hooligans make some of the most awesome racket in a small room with only a guitar, a bunch of antique instruments and obscure percussionalia. 
This mp3 found at Stupid like the Wolf.

Visit Xiu Xiu home page

KillRockStars Xiu Xiu page (with additional mp3 downloads
all recommended)

Saturday, May 29, 2004

Doctor Nerve Armed Observation Cuneiform Records (1987) - During the mid-80s (84-88) I lived in Baltimore and had two of the coolest neighbors. She was a professional massuese and part-time DJ and he was an engineer who as it turned out lived in the same dormitory as I did at Va. Tech in 1980. They were prog-rock hippies and had integrated into that local music scene. Their friends included the rock critic for the Baltimore Sun, several WJHU DJs (back when they were an independent) and the guy who runs Wayside Music and Cuneiform Records, still both touchpoints for avant-prog-jazz-rock fans. I am hazy on his name -- but I think it was Steve, normal, nondescript guy with glasses, beard, spindly white legs. As the resident punk, their parties were always a good time to get into conversations about music. Steve and I particularly got into it -- me arguing for Sonic Youth, Lou Reed being just as valid in terms of "art" as the more formal (mostly Euro) avant-rock that he digged. He recommended Doctor Nerve as his response to the whole punk thing and I got a copy of his catalog and bought it at a reduced price (it's a cut-out with a hole drilled in the upper right hand corner). I continued to subscribe to Wayside music's excellent and informative catalog for years to come.

Doctor Nerve is an ensemble led by Nick Didkovsky, a Czech immigrant who plays guitar and composes most of the music. The band includes drummer, reeds (contra-bass and soprano sax), trumpet, keyboards and electric bass -- all accomplished in their own right.

Armed Observation is Nick's second album with this ensemble. Its mostly a frantic-pace blip/blap/beep...bop type jazz with a few contemplative pieces thrown in for measure. Some of it just leaves me cold as it seems to be just a conversation among NYC jazzers (indeed "Keine Jazz Platte" and "Portland Applauds the Radio" are literally that!) or weak stuff made up to fill out the album such as "Three Curiously Insubstantial Duets." There are punk influences -- check out the wall-kicking rhythms in parts of "Out to Bomb Fresh Kings." But there are plenty more funk and latin and other influences -- listen to the bass line in "Sister Cancer Brother Dollar" and the Baretta-theme-song-like animal noises at the beginning of this track. Experimentation is rampant -- Didkovsky plays with things like the little known tiple and ambient sounds.

But there is a "punk" feel to what he is doing -- the back cover of the album features a picture of a J.R. Dobbs like suburban man surveying his kingdom as his pretty June Cleaver wife looks on adoringly -- such a picture could have graced any number of Toxic Shock records in the '80s. It seems like (and this goes back to the conversation among jazzers) that Didkovsky is trying to challenge the establishment to adopt a harder and noisier edge and copy the fierce independence then prevalent in indy music. Musically, Didkovsky's guitar plays with feedback, differing levels of distortion and the aforementioned straight-ahead rhythms but he can almost playfully just turn on a dime (something that the indy music of the time rarely did). Listen how "Sister Cancer Brother Dollar"'s guitar solo subtly turns into distorted laughter at about 2:00 minutes into the cut or how "Out to Bomb" shifts back and forth in syncopation.

You can hear the clicks in "Sister Cancer Brother Dollar", so this is no pristine LP. Over all I would rate it G+, maybe VG -- there's no skips or any other problems, just some surface noise on a few tracks. You would be much better off buying the CD from cuneiform as it combines Armed Observation with their first LP (Out to Bomb Fresh Kings). Wayside and cuneiform have a great selection if this is your bag and of course support the independent guy whenever you can.

These cuts will be up for next seven days:

Out to Bomb Fresh Kings
Sister Cancer Brother Dollar

Fine print: All cuts are claimed under the fair use act (see link to the right) in the interest of criticism and education -- original copyright and all rights belongs to the artist and label.

Of course, if the artist or label objects, I will gladly take them down immediately (email to the right).

Let me know if you have any problems downloading as I am experimenting right now.

((picture swiped from
Make-up Queens of the World Unite, You Have Nothing to Lose but Your Sister's Rouge!

My favorite left-wing rag, the UK Guardian, wastes precious anti-American propaganda space Friday to run New York Dolls memories and reflections by Malcolm McLaren, Thurston Moore and Glenn Matlock (among others) in preparation of their reunion of remaining members next month during Morrisey's Meltdown. Morrissey was the president of the New York Dolls fan club.

McLaren describes his first experience with the ruffians (link below):

All of this stuff was situated in a field of glitterdom that I had named Let It Rock in 1972. Within a year, I was bored with it all. Bored with the same surrogate suburban teddy boys that drifted in from God knows where. Bored with the hippies and refugees of Chelsea's swinging 60s looking for charity and kindness. Bored with the demands of the BBC wardrobe department and their dreadful revivalist TV shows. I felt like Steptoe and Son. I was lost in dead tissue. I wanted something new. On a typically rainy, grimy London day, I stood by the jukebox glumly listening to the antique rock'n'roll music, occasionally falling asleep to the whining semi-literate, pimply, racist wannabes debating whether to buy pink or yellow fluorescent socks.

Suddenly, a force-10 gale blew open the doors of my pathetic sartorial oasis, and in burst a gang of girly-looking boys looking like girls dressed like boys. Tiny lurex tops, bumfreezer leggings and high heels, this gang with red-painted lips and rouged cheeks and hair coiffed high ran riot. They crawled all over the jukebox, destroying the neat racks of teddy boy drapes in their wake. Their tongues revealed they were not from the old country. The Uxbridge teddy boys were stunned into silence by this alien invasion - from Harlem? Dressed up to mess up, their shoulders became enormous in their new teddy boy clothes. I learned that they were called the New York Dolls before they vanished.

More fun (including the Doll's adventures in Cajun Country) can be found here: Dirty pretty things

UPDATE: Found this, an earlier story that goes into more detail on the Dolls reunion:

Johansen hasn’t spoken with Kane or Sylvain for more than a decade, but the three will reunite, with Steve Conte taking over for Thunders (who died of a drug overdose in 1991) and the Libertines’ Gary Powell replacing drummer Jerry Nolan (who died of a stroke in 1992), for performances at the Festival Hall on June 16 and 18.

Thursday, May 27, 2004


Steve Albini was another hero. He recently gave a lecture to a Mid-Tennesse State University class on sound engineering and somebody caught it here (it's long). If you don't have time to watch the entire thing, it's summarized here quite well courtesy of Andrew. Here's an interesting quote:

Another audience question concerned Albini's work on his most notorious project, the Nirvana In Utero sessions. The recording sessions themselves were "totally normal, it was just like any other record I've ever done. We go to the studio, we make the record, they're happy with it, they go home. After that, when the record label finally heard it, that's when it started. That's when the record label started to try and influence the band, and started to call me names. It didn't affect me on a personal level … but it did begin an ugly period when I almost went bankrupt … The core clientele eventually came back, and I lived."

Another quote from the video when asked about favorites that he had engineered:

"If I rated them purely on the sonics, I was very fond of the records I did with the Jesus Lizard in the '90s. They were a great band and they were playing really well and their recordings were like real bare and I like how those records came out...Um, I did a record with the Pixies and Kim Deal, the bass player from the Pixies had started a band called the Breeders and I made a record for the Breeders shortly thereafter and... the Pixies became real popular and that baffled me cause I thought they were a trivial band. But I really like the Breeders. I thought that they were a real interesting, really unique... Kim carried on with the band for a few years and then took some time off and came back in 97 or 98 to work on another album and I got to work on that album and I liked that album alot as well..."

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

The Butthole Surfers were one of my favorite bands in the '80's. I must have seen them at least a half dozen times including a monumental free concert in the mud on the Washington Mall sometime in the '80s. One weekend, me and some others phone-bombed WHFS, the so-called "alternative station" in DC with requests for them -- they finally relented and announced the song as "something from the B-hole Surfers." I was recently tooling around the dial and the "new HFS" was playing "Mexico" from their last (spotty) album. Unfortunately, the station is now incredibly more obnoxious (they were obnoxious when they were laid back as well -- anyone remember Weasel and Bob Here?).

Even while Gibby and Paul have been dormant, they have still managed to put up what I would say is one of the best fan-oriented website around (others should take notes). This is not surprising as they were always quite accessible to their fans.

Like the band could be at times, the website takes a little getting used to but eventually you'll find your way around. There are literally hours of MP3s here -- from self-recorded DAT bootlegs to a generous amount of cuts from their albums. If you haven't ever "gotten them", here's a chance to do it risk-free. Eventually, I'll get around to their albums and I think I even some bootlegs in my cassette collection.

Butthole Surfers Website

Selected MP3s
To Parter is perhaps my favorite cut...

Human Cannonball
Sharkey's Machine Let's be Friends Shimmy Disc (1987) So, this LP is nowhere to be found. Shimmy Disc has excised it from their catalog, so you either on your own or you can deal with me.

Originally known in the NYC area as Killdozer and then Killdozer 85, the name change (from one to another bad 70's movie title)occurred after the Killdozer from Michigan were signed to Touch and Go (more about them in the future). Both cultivated similar post-hardcore type grooves although Sharkey's Machine never went beyond this album and as such veered more towards the 150 mph jams. Still, one can tell from such tunes as "Lock and Dam" and their interpretations of "Big Boss Man" and "Stray Cat Blues" that there was potential.

Finding out what happened to the band members has been fruitless except for Mike Edison who went from the Raunch Hands to his own band, Edison Rocket Train (available at Steel Cage Records). The biggest flaw in the album is that it is kind of lazy, kind of hazy, like they spent more time into Shimmy Disc owner Wayne Kramer's ganga stash than they did in the studio. Still, for every throw away cover of "Blue Moon" there's a "Lear Jet", a speedy tribute to Lauren Tewes (c'mon, you gotta remember HER??) who, we are told, "fucked up on valium and tawny port/she grabbed a Checker to the airport." "Road Hawg" is a rockabilly h-core piece that more than makes up for the incomprehensible "Motor City Madness" which we are told was co-written by ted nugent/andrew lloyd webber and additional lyrics by Aliester crowley, Exekiel and Sharkey's Machine. This is a swansong but makes you wonder what they coulda done had they kept on going. Byron Coley writes a damn good epitaph here. (the album is in VG+ condition in case you want it).

And for the next seven days:

Lock & Dam

Stray Cat Blues

Monday, May 24, 2004

Boston Herald has a review of a MoB show that looks really intersting:

It wasn't even down to the band's clever, though sensual musicianship, as an intangible energy held sway as the left-wing liberal proto punks barreled through two long punchy sets, as well as two passion-packed encores that included a new tune, ``13,'' and a stinging cover of the Wipers' ``Youth of America.''
Aided throughout by an old colleague, Waltham-born Chicago resident Bob Weston, on sound manipulation, Burma was briefly joined at various points by Tanya Donnelly, who added her special feminine sweetness; the Allston Philharmonic, as guitarist Roger Miller referred to a violinist and cellist; and members of openers Hand of Sunburned Man, who displayed serious percussion

I found sometime this weekend to digitize the Tin Huey album (I'm slow but careful) and am going to work on Sharkey's Machine "Let's Be Friends" tonight.

So should I post some mp3s???

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Joseph Arthur has a new cut for downloading...(MPEG-4) more in the direction of his previous efforts (less so than his more friendly Shrek cut). Darken the room, light a candle and put on the headphones....

Monday, May 17, 2004

-- Teaching the Indie Kids has some MP3s from the upcoming Fiery Furnaces disk up (site link on the right)

-- Neil Gaiman is hosting a Sandman script in his Exclusive section (again, site link blah blah blah)

-- I absolutely hate flying and am just glad I got on a non-stop even if I have to drive 40 miles to get to the airport
I'm off a travelin this week and may check in if I can.

In the meantime, here's two Burma stories from the past week:

Washington Post (Mark Jenkins)

A substantial piece (for the Post) but of course Jenkins can't resist saying something stupid:

...the reunited Burma has been greeted enthusiastically because the band didn't wear out its welcome the first time

--- ah just read it and ignore the retard's attitude...

Austin Chronicle (Kate X Messer)

A rather spare article but a little bit of quotage and nice picture.

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Here's the Siren Festival web-page (click on the sponsorship link for a cool Quicktime video from last year). Free, all-day at Coney Island in mid-July Burma will be playing as well Fiery Furnaces and many more. Hmmmmm...

I re-read my review of the Furnaces and it seems too negative. Let me be clear -- I want to see them again but with the benefit of having listened to more of their music (I'm a lyrics guy if you couldn't tell by now). It was a bit overwhelming not having any grounding and that's why I think it was just a bit too long of a set.

((Um, shouldn't you be getting back to the project? -- little voice in my head editor))
Rowland Howard has put up a 1981 NME story in his Press page. It's a fun read all these years later (NME questions in italics):

So what’s kept you from the threshold of madness?

Cave: " Funhouse, the two Suicide albums (also the new live cassette)... Slates by The Fall. The Fall are a great group. Slates is one of the best things I’ve ever heard. It has a violence and humour which if offputting to sheep."

Is a popular music culture an important thing?

Cave: "When the history of rock music is written – which, since it’s practically dead, will be soon – it’ll just be remembered as a sordid interruption of normality."

Pew: "Rock will be remembered as the anus of culture. Not Del Shannon but Iggy Pop."

Cave: "The last two years in London will be swept under the rug. This I can tell you: THE LONG FRINGES WILL NOT BE REMEMBERED. The point is that the creative process is not some fucking craft. WE’RE A LIVING MUSICAL CLICHÉ."
I was just going through my favorite pages and I came across a kind mention of my little project. My approach is to generally add a link when I write something about a band or find a cool music site. So I should have said something earlier about my links to the right under Some MP3 Blogs.

If you are not familiar, these are places where fans write about music and then put up a temporary Mp3 (usually one or two songs, not whole albums) so you can share the experience with them. There are many of them and they all link to each other. I've picked the three that I most enjoy and I'll add more as I come across them. Mystery and Misery brings out lots of hidden gems mostly from bands influenced by the great English indie pop explosion of the 80s and the 90s. Like an idiot, I dissed this music at the time and now regret it (I did the same thing about disco and turned on my 60's/70's rock icons as well). It's elegant and always full of surprises. I've learned since that there are incredible sounds everywhere and we should all try to pick them up when we can. Fluxblog is known as the grand-daddy of Mp3 blogs and probably first started it - the author has a good ear for stuff and goes all over the place in his selection. Finally, the site that introduced me to the phenom is Teaching the Indie Kids how to Dance. I like its enthusastic shambling style and its a pretty descriptive title of the music the author enjoys. So go check them out, try out a track or two and maybe find a new favorite band. A Small Victory which is linked under Some Others also puts up the occasional good tune but covers a much wider area (politics, pop culture, personal stuff) and is unbashedly pro-War on Terror (fore-warned). Michele is a one man machine organizing worthy charity drives (buying radio equipment for Iraq, helping a woman who cares for many handicapped children) and helping to maintain Command Post, a blogging collective that finds and links to stories regarding this war.

So enough about the other blogs: The question I ask is whether I should do something similar? However, I'm concerned about the legal issues (is it fair use or not?) involved, etc. Morally, I think it is fair use and much more so than the PtP networks. I have no problem downloading from Mp3 blogs because invariably if I like it I'll seek out some more from the artist or I will delete if I don't like it. I am being educated and as I understand it that is part of the reason for fair use -- but would it be fair to, say, do the same thing with authors and scan in a chapter from a book or a short story? Actually, I think it would be.

I think my general philosophy tilts towards trying to get the copyright holder's permission first or only hosting songs for a limited time and only if it can't be obtained elsewhere (99 cents for a song is not too much of a hardship after all). Barring that, it's best judgement and, as others do, state that you will immediately take something down if the copyright holder complains.

It's too bad there isn't some sort of exchange where artists/copyright holders can sign off on MP3 blogs and/or indicate whether the song is out there for free or sale. If the RIAA or BMI, etc. wanted to do something useful rather than sueing and intimidating their natural customer base, they would set something like this up.

Roger Miller, Clint Conley and Peter Prescott are Mission of Burma.

Unattractive picture courtesy Highroadtouring... nice site even if you don't book bands (and no, that was not a paid commercial announcement but hey, let's do lunch sometime).

May 15th, 9:30 Club, Wash DC

So, Burma was in town last night (that's Mission of Burma not the country) and I finally went to the new 930 club. Pretty cool place for a show -- lots more room and places to chill out or watch the show from the balcony -- close to the subway -- drinks are a tad expensive but they even have food (not in the old 930). I also like that they got rid of all the TV monitors -- guess you don't need them cuz you can see the band from everywhere.

Two bands open up. The first is appropriately called The Hiss -- as in the hiss that Foghat would make if they blew a wet fart at Iggy. I knew they were from DC when someone yelled to the singer, "YOU LOOK HOT!"... taken aback, the first thing he said was "and you sound hot." He shoulda left it at that but then the Ian voice must of kicked in as he then snidely said, "I wish you would have said that instead." Yes, we know... the creeping dangers of lookism. Well, you can take the band out of the Fugazi but you can't take the Fugazi out of the band. Remind me never to arrive early.

There were two of those "activists" there trying to sign up people to vote. They look oh so earnest and were interviewed by a TV crew from some Eastern European country. They signed up ONE person to vote and he was a guy wearing a football hat with a beer belly and goatee (shut up, not me) and I'm pretty sure he probably won't be voting for Kerry which is the unspoken intent of these folks. Republicans ought to start signing people up at wherever sympathetics show up -- preferably in the heartland in the malls.

So the next band -- Fiery Furnaces were almost awesome. They were a blast to watch and hear, very tight, interesting songs but went on about 10 minutes too long. There is only so much quirky alt-rock-pop operas I can take. They have a single out available on I-Tunes (and an older LP is there) that is a fine piece of summer fluff that in no way approximates the amazing show they put on (for too long). This was definitely a band qualified to open for Burma. They're on tour now and their website has the dates.

As for MoB --- what can I say? They've been gone from the scene for longer than most prison sentences. The cicadeas don't take as long a break. Crowd was mixed about 80-20 youngsters vs. aged folks like myself. The youngsters all knew the older songs by heart. Burma also had a reasonable volume level so some folks were able to take our the ear plugs and still stand near the speakers. Perhaps this is part of a result of Roger Miller's ear problems or just a general regard for the audience with the confidence that loud doesn't always mean good (hear that, The Hiss?). The songs pretty much rotated among each member (they all sing) and they played a good mix from the new album and some older stuff and some stuff I didn't recognize at all (which means they may have another album in them). By all means, get their newest (complete album at iTunes for 9.99, two songs available at the Matador Records site -- to the right, dummies) and if you can find it get Vs. I haven't checked this out but here's the alltheweb MP3 sweep for MoB (caveat auditor/corripio). . .

PS I have some Burma records in my collection but haven't found them yet (I'm going through a box at a time). I did find a Roger Miller solo album entitled Oh. guitars,etc... and it is in the queue.

Saturday, May 15, 2004


I look at the boxes and boxes of recorded music in my den closet and I wonder how did it all get there.

What drove me to buy all this stuff that I haven't listened to in years?

Was it to be cool? Perhaps in my own mind but since I am not a social butterfly it's only a rare occasion that I can find someone that shares my tastes and for which I can share this or that gem.

Was it because I am a collector? I don't think so, at least not in the Goldmine sense -- I am using their grading system but only in case people are interested in acquiring any of these records. Perhaps there are some records in there that are worth alot but I kind of doubt it. It's not like I was overly scrupolous in the care of the records. They've been moved commercially thrice now and I didn't take any special precautions or send them specially.

Was it because I felt I was part of something when I was buying music, mostly from indies and alternative channels? I sure remember the anticipation of getting a big mailorder box or finding a wanted gem for $7.99 and at the independent record stores in Baltimore and DC. Going out to shows and meeting other fans and the bands even was always something to look forward to. But I never got into the political stuff (mostly left-wing though I did know a few right-wing skinheads) -- sure I had a anti-censorship and even an anti-organized religion bent back then but you didn't have to be part of any music scene to find others that shared those particular political opinions.

Maybe this is a question I'll get to answer over the course of this journey -- this stuff is, to some degree, part of me. Maybe not, but it will be fun to find out whether this music now some 10-25 year later still matters ...

UPDATE ON A PREVIOUS POST: Mission of Burma tonight. Tick-tock. Good news and bad news -- good news: the Washington Post did an article on their return in the Friday Weekend section - nice to see them get publicity and see their latest publicity shot. Bad news -- the Post did an article on their return in the Weekend section -- this may lead to a crowded show. Ugh. I hate to rub shoulders with people. Hoping for some bad weather as this may keep a few people away. (I know this sounds awful for the band but they see to be pretty content and not totally wanting for the money).

Steve Jones (Sex Pistols) has a radio show that streams live daily from 103.1 in L.A. You can listen to it here. His show is 3-5PM eastern and 12-2 pacific. The show is a mix of everything, sort of like a non-self-conscious college radio show interspersed with Jones commentary and stories -- often tales about the bands he is playing or his days with Sid and Johnny.

Monday, May 10, 2004

Oh, man, been listening to the Mission of Burma record for the past two days and it's way way way delivering... they're in town on Friday -- and so is Bruce Sterling... MoB MP3s available at Matador -- link on the right.

UPDATE: MOB is here on SATURDAY not Friday. Slate is publishing a journal from Roger Miller that explains who MoB is, why they broke and what he's been doing with himself since (I have one or two of his solo albums which I will get to soon).

Saturday, May 08, 2004

UPDATE: I just read this and it's an awful piece of Trouser Pantload crapola and I have to say THE SYSTEM DOESN'T WORK!! If I wasn't such a lazy ass I would get out an HTML reference and learn how to put those cross-markey thingies all over that post. I'll just let it sit there and fester and humiliate me for the rest of my natural known life.

First -- why hasn't this blog been updated lately -- my two readers wanna know. Well, first of all some major malfunction took my home CPU out of commission from early March through late April. Damn Radio Shack and Compaq to hell. For the money (and time, my current billing rate is $200/hour plus expenses) I spent getting it fixed, I could have probably bought a new and upgraded computer! The upshot is that that the repair toad ended up wiping my system (and me with no backups because I'm lazy when it comes to 'puters) and reloading -- of course they returned it to me still broken and I had to take it back for another three weeks. I've been spending all my free time trying to recover and reload all my software and come up with a back-up scheme.

So anyway during that time I only listened to two pieces of vinyl (this one below) and a disc from Dr. Nerve which I hope to get to later.

Here's the REAL review for Tin Huey:

Did you know Debby Harry can't sing for shit? "Call Me" which is a hard vocal song was all enhanced in the studio. I mean look at her singing live on A&E and you'll see what I mean. Her band (Blondie) were always in shadows because everyone focused on Debby and her unique looks (Andy Warhol loved her because she so personified the blankness that his materialist nihilism worshipped) and tight small bod. But now that she's wrapped in a shawl and looking more like the diner waitresses she plays in movies, we got a chance on A&E's Live by Request (is it Request Live, it's certainly not Total Request Live for Idiot Adults, nicht wahr) and we can focus on the band. First of all, god love Chris Stein -- he was a hoot and Blondie's drummer is the real shit -- wish I could play like THAT.

So what does this have to do with Tin Huey? Man, I'm GLAD you asked. 1979. I was suffering through the ignobleness of senior year watching all the retreads around me glomming on about oh so how they were punky 'cuz they had a cassette by Blondie. The other half were still caught in their Led Zep years (in retrospect, both bands have some very good cuts). 1979. West Coast: Tin Huey are no doubt giving the Warner Brother execs SHIT FITS over this album. I mean can you imagine them listening to "Puppet Wipes" and squirming in their tightie whiteys, glaring at the A&R rep saying, "I thought you said they were an accessible Devo? What's this shit about a car filled with puppet heads?? Dude, you are so fired!" And while aforementioned song is probably the weakest, you gotta hand it to them for sneaking it in among all this untechnogroob and that brings me back to Blondie -- if TH wanted to they had all the access to all the studio gadgets they needed to make "New York's Finest Dining Experience" into a aural-funkadelic cut -- instead they chose to stick with their gut and made some garagewhiteboyfunk that still rocks. The task still remains for anyone who wants to take up the gauntlet.

FUNNY...So, I love "Pink Berets" -- a send-up of what was a hot topic at the time (women in the military) as told from the perspective of the go-go boy in the U.S.O. going abroad to entertain the ladies. The lyrics are a plain hoot -- "Discussing strategy/With General Jean/Arm wrestling with/A lady Marine/Black market nylons/Baby, give me your dough/Now I'm a boy in the U.S.O." Or check out side one's "I Could Rule the World If I Could Only Get the Parts" in which the singer can't find the equipment he needs to take over the world and instead is dealt a smorgasbord of Army high-tech: "Lazer razors/Electric bone tweezers/Spincter raters/Nuclear coffee pots."

SERIOUS: "Coronation" with simple lyrics and a repeating stattaco underplaying riff makes the point of the blindness that comes with power. Public Image never did this as well. "Hump Day" is the song that fellow Ohion Drew Carey SHOULDA used in his second season opening credits. All about the mindlessness of the Joe Sixpack Birth/Work/Death mentality -- yeah, been said and done before and doesn't offer any real alternative but it bears repeating that there's more to life than the camper in the driveway and two days on the weekend.

SO YEAH -- this is an effing fine slab of plastic -- a few cuts aren't up to my standards - despite my love for the whole idea of "Puppet Wipes", it just doesn't make it as a classic like some of the others. But I dunno, I used to hate "The Revelations of Dr. Modesto" but it kinda grew on me. And yeah, there are a couple of times where they could have dropped the saxophone.

There, so that said, I wish I had this record when it was first released. It wasn't until the mid-80's when I was exploring the '70's Cleveland-Akron scene (thanks mostly to Phfuddd! the best xerox fanzine in the world -- Stigliano is still publishing but under the name Black to Comm -- see Slippytown for copies. I'm not sure I appreciated it as much as repeated listening has pointed out. All I remember from my mid-80's listens was the much played cover track of "I'm a Believer"...

Okay, feeling MUCH better about this posting...

Tin Huey contents dislodged during shipment Warner Brothers (1979). So this has been re-released in CD after many years - for awhile I suppose this was sought by collectors although perhaps not as much as their indie releases. Tin Huey were and are one of the great mid-70's Akron-Cleveland axis of garage-punk-wave bands that included Ubu, Devo, Rocket from the Tombs, Dead Boys, Electric Eels, Human Switchboard and so on. They were known for their offbeat shows and costumes and probably inspired some of Devo's goofiness. WB, I suppose, hoping to capitalize on some trends at the time (and the hot Cleveland scene) signed 'em up and then the bottom fell out of punk-new wave 'n' dropped 'em like a...well Tin Huey.

Most of the members went onto other things -- you can read about their wonderful achievements on the website. Good thing is that they are still playing together in various configurations around Cleveland and working on new songs. Their site has an MP3 for download (see also here -- unfortunately, it doesn't approximate some of the better cuts from this album including a play-it-loud cover of N. Diamond's "I'm a Believer", "I Could Rule the World If I could Only Get the Parts," "Coronation", "Squirm you Worm".

I don't like some of the cuts where the Ralph Carney's reeds are prominently mixed. I just don't like the sound of soprano saxes, I guess. Trouser Press touts Carney as one of the great reedman of the era. Perhaps its more like one of the only. But whatever...

The record itself is G -- the vinyl is fine but the LP cover is a cut-out and something like a sticker was ripped off the bottom. I'd be willing to part with it after I rip a few MP3s.