Afterimage, Angst, Anna Homler, Beat-E-O's, Berlin, Blood on the Saddle, Cambridge Apostles, Christina, Cyrnai, Dark Arts, Dogma Probe, Doll Congress, Eddie & The Subtitles, Ex-Voto, Factory, Geza X And The Mommymen, Gothic Hut, Idle Lovéll, Laws of Motion, Le Forte Four, League of Nations, Marnie Sounds, Ministry Of Love, Minutemen, Oingo Boingo, Opal, Peter Ivers, Rainy Day, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rhino 39, Rik L Rik, Screaming for Emily, Screams For Tina, Sleeping Dogs, Suburban Lawns, Surf Punks, The Dickies, The Last, The Prime Movers, The Quick, Trees, Wet Picnic, Zoogz Rift.
1 Rainy Day — Soon Be Home (a Quick One While He's Away) (1984) 4:9
Liner notes after jump.
Some tracks here are not by LA bands, but Sleeping Dogs features Carolyn Fok (who is Cyrnai, included below), an LA-based musician and artist who must have traveled a lot, and their single EP is amazing. The track by Christina, who was from New York, is the closing track on the first Rodney at the ROQ compilation, and is a cover of a Leiber and Stoller song (they were, of course, nearly sued for this). Rainy Day was an ephemeral band spearheaded by David Roback made up of many of the Paisley Underground stars before they were stars; this cover of a Who song -- really just a fragment from "A Quick One" -- is from their album of covers, mostly beautiful if a little drowsy versions of songs from the 60s.
The Oingo Boingo track is the first one they ever released as "Oingo Boingo" (before that they were the Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo and more of a whacky music theatre act that made an appearance on The Gong Show), featured on the obscure compilation LA In (it's also where I discovered the Surf Punks, kind of setting the template for the Red Hot Chili Peppers). Angst was originally from Boulder and then settled in San Francisco, but they were very much on the LA scene back in the day, recording their first tracks for Happy Squid here in Hollywood, then a slew of albums for SST.
Other things to look out for are the songs by the Quick, Dennis Cooper's favorite "punk" band (they feature prominently in his literary magazine Little Caesar). The first track is from their only proper album, produced by the notorious Kim Fowley (you might remember him from the Runaways movie), and really sounds like nothing else -- a little glam, a little New Wave, some elements from the Sparks, and a bit of the AM "power pop" feel that seeped into a lot of work in LA. The Dickies were the first punk band to be signed to a major label in LA; their early sound was very Ramones influenced, but they outgrew that pretty quickly. I included a Berlin song because it was produced by Dan van Patten who was behind the Null & Void tracks featured heavily here; this one features their replacement for Terri Nunn, who had left the band temporarily to pursue acting. It also features a deliriously overblown operatic synth-drenched opening.
I'm going to update this blog soon with album covers and photographs that I can get permissions for. But for now... enjoy.