Friday, March 25, 2011

Australian relics -- Lime Spiders; Beasts of Bourbon

I had a housemate in school named Joe who'd always come back from a trip home with something really cool he'd picked up at his local record store. Near the top of that list of cool things was the time he cranked the hell out of the 'Slave Girl' EP by an Australian garage punk band called the Lime Spiders. I think it was an import, because I've never seen it on a record shelf. There's not a good version of 'Slave Girl' on youtube, but that EP and their first album were full of great songs. Check out a couple:

Weirdo Libido

Out of Control

Formed in Sydney (by way of Perth and Brisbane) in the early 80s, the members of Beasts of Bourbon are probably more famous for their other bands, including Cruel Sea and the Hoodoo Gurus, than this ass-kicking bar band. They have a great swamp vibe, and Tex Perkins is one of that small group of guys who was just born to be a rock and roll singer.

I Told You So

The Hate Inside

"I hate the dog, I hate my wife. I hate my two kids, and they hate me coz inside hate is all this family gives"

Let's Get Funky


This is a cover of the song written by country legend Leon Payne. Shows Tex's tender side.

Friday Old Stuff: The Jangle, Part 3: The Loft, The Weather Prophets, Biff Bang Pow, Felt, The Primitives, The Wolfhounds

This is the third installment of our showcase of the '80s jangle pop bands. Listen and enjoy!

The Loft was formed in 1980 with four members, including guitarist/vocalist Peter Astor and drummer Dave Morgan, and recorded for Alan McGee's Creation label. Plagued by deep interpersonal squabbles, the band broke up in 1985.

The Weather Prophets was formed in 1985 by Astor and Morgan after The Loft shut down. The original, but temporary, bassist was Alan McGee, who also was the founder and head of their label, Creation. Astor then added a permanent bassist and rhythm guitarist. The Weather Prophets had a short life span, but the compilation Blue Skies & Free Rides: The best of 1986-1989 is worth the coin you'd spend for it.

Biff Bang Pow has a connection with the above bands -- it was the band formed by Alan McGee of Creation and Dick Green. The band was formed in 1981 and disbanded in 1991.

Felt had a ten year run from 1979 to 1989. It was the project of Lawrence Haywood, who was a fan of Tom Verlaine and Television. If you like what you hear, try he compilation Stains on a Decade.

The Primitives

The Wolfhounds were an English group that recorded in the late '80s and 1990. While generally considered part of the C-86 scene, their music tended to be a bit darker and grittier.

Old Stuff Friday- The Soul Corner - "I Bet You"

One of my best friends as a kid, Bill, had a brother Don who was around 8 years older than us. Don was a real east side Detroiter, super cool, liked fast cars, tough guy, but was super nice to and patient with Bill and me, showing us barely adolescent boys the ropes of growing up.

Don had a car with a turntable in it that played 45s (!). And in the summer of 1970, his car was rocking one song, "I Bet You" by the Funkadelic. The song had been previously done by Parliament, Funkadelic leader George Clinton's prior (and subsequent) band. [Just heard from Bill who informs me the car was a late 1960s blue Chevrolet Impala convertible, which makes my fond memories all the more understandable].

But the new super funked up version of "I Bet You" redefined the song and accomplished the ultimate merger of funk and psychedelic rock'n'roll on Funkadelic's self-titled, now classic debut record. Eddie Hazel's fuzzed out lead guitar from here has been sampled many times, while the bass lines define funk itself.

Don would blast the song and take us somewhere fun like Putt Putt or to ride go carts, instructing us that this was the music we needed to be listening to, not the Monkees or the lightweight stuff our friends liked. Bill and I were smart enough to realize this was truly sound advice.

George Clinton of course, is still touring, and still tossing out great lines like one from here "You ain't gonna lose with the stuff I use" (appropriated by the Cramps' Lux Interior among others). Clinton is an underrated lyricist in my opinion (he gets help here from his main man Bootsy Collins), and the lyrically inclined among you should check out the words to "I Bet You", where nearly every line is a great one (my favorite - "You can't know what's going on when you're asleep, I bet ya!"):

And thanks to CKLW, the Canadian AM radio station across the river from Detroit with its powerhouse signal, this track became a regional hit single, which was surprising even then, but now seems downright impossible.

Enjoy your weekend:

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Burnt Ones: "Bury Me in Smoke" from Black Teeth and Golden Tongues

Burnt Ones have a catchy, fuzzed-out garage-rock sound. Heard on a podcast late last year, this is another one I've been meaning to learn more about... If you're still into garage rock, this is among the better artists I've heard in the genre lately. This is almost a year old, but [sheepish grin] better late than never...

Video for "Bury Me In Smoke" from LaundroMatinee:

Burnt Ones - Bury Me In Smoke from LaundroMatinee on Vimeo.

Here's their label website: Roaring Colonel Records

And here's their Bandcamp:

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

REVIEW: The Generationals - Actor-Caster

When the band Eames Era broke up because three of the members no longer desired to pursue a music career, the two remaining were Ted Joyner and Grant Widmer. They had been playing music together since their high school years, and they resolved to continue. Calling themselves The Generationals, they released LP Con Law in 2009 and the EP Trust in 2010. Their sophomore effort, titled Actor-Caster is scheduled for release on March 29 on the Park the Van label.

The music The Generationals wrote and recorded for Actor-Caster clearly falls in the guitar/indie pop category. However, the really refreshing thing about the album is the breadth of Joyner's and Widmer's vocabulary within that genre. This breadth is underscored by the first four songs of the album. "Ten-Twenty-Ten" begins the album on an upbeat pop note with the song propelled by a driving rhythm. The second track, "I Promise", is a jangly indie rocker. "Yours Forever" slows the pace down into dream pop territory. "You Say It Too" grabs the listener's attention with a catchy funk/soul groove that repeats for the duration of the song. The album continues with indie rock stompers, power pop and soul influences. And in order to record this variety of music, the duo relies on judicious use of drum machine, synths and horns in varying degrees. However, it all hangs together well, bound by consistency in writing and performance, and an overall sunny vibe. There is a lot going on in some of the songs in terms of instruments, changes of pace and various frills, and it is a credit to the band that it all adds to the final product rather than becoming distracting.

Ten-Twenty-Ten by Generationals from Jubadaba on Vimeo.

Stream the entire album Actor-Caster here:

It is too early to predict where this album will rate at the end of the year. However, I wouldn't be surprised to find this album of well crafted, varied and hook-filled indie pop on my year-end list.

Label Profile for Generationals

Voxhaul Broadcast: Timing is Everything

Just out this week, a new album from Voxhaul Broadcast. I first heard them back in the fall, took note and when I went looking for more info, found out they apparently made a big impression at SXSW and put out a new album this week! What's the album called, you ask? Appropriately enough, Timing is Everything.

This sounds great.

Listen to new album on Voxhaul Broadcast's Bandcamp page.

And here's the video for "Rotten Apples" from their previous album of the same name:

Voxhaul Broadcast on MySpace

Voxhaul Broadcast Website

Monday, March 21, 2011

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit: "Codeine" from Here We Rest

Jason's got a new one coming out soon (April 12). Here's a widget to check out a free MP3 of the song "Codeine" from the album Here We Rest:

Also, he is a very active "Twitterer". He just finished a very busy week at SXSW, playing or sitting in for four shows, and it sounds like he had a great time.

He's one of the best songwriters we have currently. I'm not a big lyrics guy, but I'll invest the time and effort to check out Jason's, and of course I'd listen for the guitars alone. Really looking forward to this record...

Jason Isbell website (with links to Myspace, Twitter, Facebook, etc.)