Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Los Angeles Post-Punk, Vol. 4


Featured acts: 

Abecedarians, Angel Of The Odd, Autumnfair, Christian Death, Eddie & The Subtitles, Ethyl Meatplow, Fender Buddies, Gothic Hut, Grey Obscurity, Information   , League of Nations, Los Illegals, Marina Swingers, Marnie, Newsbreak, Noble Gas, Nocturnal Education, Nu Beams, Opus, Peter and Mary Saving Grace, Pompeii 99, Psi Com, Red Wedding, Slow Children, Standard Of Living, Steaming Coils, Tex & The Horseheads, The Cramps, The Fibonaccis, The Nerves, The Rotters, The Runaways, The Salvation Army, The Untouchables, Vidiots, What Is This, Wog.

The Marina Swingers, I'm a Swinger 12" (L.A.X., 1979)
Disk 1
1 Marina Swingers  — Little Swine (1979) 2:57
2 Eddie & The Subtitles  — Magic (1981) 3:53
3 Red Wedding  — Drums (1982) 3:47
4 Opus  — Get Procedures (1979) 3:01
5 Nu Beams  — Oh Chico (1981) 3:18
6 Standard Of Living  — Dancing In The Street (1982) 5:15
7 The Cramps  — Surfin' Bird (1989) 5:08
8 League of Nations  — Fade (1984) 4:13
9 Ethyl Meatplow  — Car (1990) 2:25
10 Peter and Mary Saving Grace  — Queen of the Night (1980) 5:46
12 Angel Of The Odd  — Infinite Tunnels (1989) 5:47
13 Marnie  — Shanghai My Heart (1988) 5:41
14 Autumnfair  — Arterial (1986) 3:09
15 Pompeii 99  — Ignorance is the Control (1982) 4:35
16 Eddie & The Subtitles  — Zombie Drug Killers (1981) 1:20
17 Tex & The Horseheads  — The Slip (1985) 1:35
18 Information     — I Know (1985) 3:35
19 The Untouchables  — Lovers Again (1985) 3:27
20 The Rotters  — Sit On My Face Stevie Nix (1979) 2:27
21 Red Wedding  — Goddess No More (1984) 2:43
22 Vidiots  — Laurie's Lament (1981) 1:41
23 Slow Children  — Spring in Fialta (1981) 3:24

Steaming Coils, Breaded (Nate Starkman & Son, 1991 [recorded 1987])


24 Christian Death  — Romeo's Distress (1982) 3:15
25 Grey Obscurity  — Tell Me A Story (1983) 3:43
26 Eddie & The Subtitles  — Dave Dacron (1981) 4:14
27 Tex & The Horseheads  — Bartender Sam (1985) 2:59
28 Wog  — Businessmen In Love (1988) 3:25
29 Nocturnal Education  — Alive in You (1986) 3:54
30 Standard Of Living  — Don't Worry (1982) 2:33
31 The Salvation Army  — Happen Happened (1981) 3:02
32 Angel of the Odd  — Darker Side (1985) 4:25
33 Newsbreak  — Hidden Eyes (1983) 3:14
34 Noble Gas  — Possibly Maybe (1982) 4:31
35 Information     — Inside Your Mind (1985) 4:38
36 The Fibonaccis  — Tumor (1983) 3:26
37 Abecedarians  — They Said Tomorrow (1988) 5:06
38 The Nerves  — Hanging On The Telephone (1976) 2:05
39 The Runaways  — I Love Playin' With Fire (1977) 3:18
40 What Is This  — Days Of Reflection (1984) 3:42
41 Los Illegals  — Guinea Pigs (1983) 4:45
42 Gothic Hut  — C-14 (1982) 3:40
43 Fender Buddies  — Furry Friend (1980) 1:33
44 Psi Com  — Ho Ka Hey (1985) 4:07
45 Steaming Coils  — Harry Languid (1987) 1:09
46 Marina Swingers  — I'm A Swinger (1979) 3:28

I've had a few backchannel exchanges with a music publisher and photographer about the ethical nature of this project. I'm really just trying to create interest in this period of music, and with luck some of the bands might find renewed interest and income through more conventional, commercial channels. If you are an artist whose tracks appear here and would like it removed, please write to me and I'll remove it immediately.

This set starts with a true rarity from the Marina Swingers, who have since reformed and are distributing new tracks on their MySpace page. Another rarity, from a band that also only ever released a single, is from the proto-grunge Opus, about whom nobody seems to know anything except that they had an exception cover design for their single. The Rotters, pretty much a "punk" band with (I think) fake English accents, show up with a single that was banned from KROQ for understandable reasons.

There's some relatively lo-fi New Wave here in the form of Grey Obscurity, Newsbreak, Wog, Nocturnal Education, and Information as well as some more polished work by Slow Children (who had a few hits in their day) and League of Nations, and a haunting track by Autumnfair, yet another offshoot of Savage Republic, and from whom a CD comp of their work (no LP was released) is commercially available.

Friday, May 25, 2012

L.A. Post-punk Covers

Cookie Bonanza over at Ruminations of the Ephemeral has kindly designed three covers for the three volumes of L.A. Post-Punk I've posted so far. If you are as obsessed as Cookie with the album covers in your iPod, just select all the tracks in your iTunes, choose Get Info and drop these images, respectively, into the artwork box. This is such a nice gift to get on a Friday afternoon... love that Su Tissue takes center stage on the first one.







Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Los Angeles Post-Punk, Vol. 3


Featured Acts:

17 Pygmies, 45 Grave, Aurora Pushups, Blissed Out Fatalists, Bone Cabal, Burning Image, Cathedral of Tears, Cipher, Drowning Pool, Freshly Wrapped Candies, Gleaming Spires, Human Hands, if-then-else, Infantry, Johanna Went, Kommunity FK, Marina La Palma, Marnie, Mnemonic Devices, Monitor, Neil Young, Null And Void, Outer Circle, Partly Cloudy, Party Boys, Peter Ivers, Phranc, Pompeii 99, Pop Art, Puppies, Rand Kennedy, Readymades , Shadow Minstrels, Shiva Burlesque, Steaming Coils, Stiv Bators, Subjects, The Cramps, The Fontanelles, The Gun Club, Transport, Wog

Kommunity FK, The Vision and the Voice (Independent Project Records, 1983)
Disk 1
1 Kommunity FK — Incompatible Disposition (1983) 2:48
2 Neil Young — Transformer Man (1982) 3:23
3 Party Boys — Nora (1986) 3:53
4 Drowning Pool — Festival of Healing (1987) 2:56
5 Peter Ivers — Sweet enemy (1974) 2:46
6 17 Pygmies — Suit Of Nails (1985) 3:35
7 Gleaming Spires — Are You Ready for the Sex Girls? (1981) 3:59
8 Marina La Palma — Mi Ni Parolas (1984) 2:51
9 Blissed Out Fatalists — Everything & Nothing At All (1987) 3:03
10 Phranc — One O' The Girls (1985) 4:58
11 The Cramps — Green Fuz (1981) 2:08
12 Infantry — The Call (1987) 3:50
13 Monitor — Amphibious (1981) 3:10
14 Wog — I Had a Notion (1988) 5:54
15 The Gun Club — Devil In The Woods (1982) 3:05
16 Outer Circle — My Mona Lisa (1984) 3:53
17 Pop Art — Never No (1987) 2:31
18 45 Grave — Riboflavin-Flavored, Non-Carbonated, Polyunsaturated Blood (1980) 2:38
19 Stiv Bators — Evil Boy (1979) 3:17
20 Puppies — Mechanical Beat (1981) 2:45
21 Human Hands — Jubilee (1981) 3:59
22 Cathedral of Tears — Calm Storm (1984) 3:00
23 Mnemonic Devices — Marriage Of Convenience (1982) 3:42
24 Freshly Wrapped Candies — Cherry Tomato (1989) 2:22

Party Boys, Daddyland (Nate Starkman and Sons, 1986)
Disk 2
25 Shiva Burlesque — Arabesque (1990) 5:14
26 Pompeii 99 — Android Police (1982) 3:00
27 The Fontanelles — Passion Kills (1987) 2:57
28 Steaming Coils — Carne De Sol (1991) 2:59
29 Drowning Pool — The Italian Pop Song (1990) 5:37
30 Rand Kennedy — Smith's Room (1983) 2:24
31 Null And Void — Un Sedatif Ce Soir (1980) 4:34
32 Cipher — Body Chemistry (1981) 2:09
33 Marnie — Everyone Loves Olga (1988) 3:09
34 Monitor — Mokele-Mbembe (1981) 3:23
35 The Gun Club — Preaching the Blues (1981) 3:59
36 Subjects — Augie (1982) 2:36
37 Transport — Body Buildings (1982) 3:49
38 Bone Cabal — I O Betulah (1983) 4:34
39 Shadow Minstrels — The Guest (1983) 2:30
40 Partly Cloudy — Bus Ride (1987) 3:16
41 Aurora Pushups — Angels on Runway (1978) 2:54
42 Readymades — Terry Is A Space Cadet (1977) 4:18
43 Burning Image — Time Is Running Out (1984) 4:09
44 Party Boys — I Love You (1986) 3:22
45 if-then-else — Sidewalker (1981) 5:23
46 Johanna Went — Slave Beyond The Grave (1981) 2:50
47 Peter Ivers — In Heaven (1977) 1:46

So this collection has been getting quite a few hits lately, thanks to an appearance on BoingBoing and a lot of tweeting and shouting. Thanks to everyone who has forwarded the link and downloaded the tunes. Various band members have been appreciative in comments an in emails as well — it’s been great fun hearing from them.

Like the past collections, this one has a few oddities. On a whim, I decided to include a track from Neil Young’s “electronic” album Trans, a sweet one written, purportedly, for his autistic son who apparently responded more directly to the vocoder voice than to an unmodified human one. Also a little strange will be the two tracks by Peter Ivers, the first from one of his solo efforts and the latter the ditty he wrote for David Lynch's first feature Eraserhead. Ivers was, of course, the host of LA’s New Wave Theatre on which many post-punk bands appeared. He was murdered in his apartment in 1983 in a still unsolved case. One occasionally hears about a Peter Ivers’ cult revival, and I must say I find much of Terminal Love, from which this track is taken, pretty great. 

The track from Aurora Pushups might sound anachronistic — some of the members of this band played in Zolar X — but I find it really catchy. The B-side, “Victims of Terrorism,” was included on Jon Savage’s Black Hole Califironian Punk 1977-1980, and they are if anything more out of place there than here.

There’s also a cameo by ex-Dead Boys singer Stiv Bators, who moved to LA in an effort to become a punk-pop singer. Well, it’s part of the history! Seemingly out of place will be Phranc, the self-described "All-American Jewish Lesbian Folksinger,” but I thought to include her due to her previous membership in Nervous Gender (included in the first volume) and because I saw her open for The Smiths at Jones Beach back in the day.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Los Angeles Post-Punk, Vol. 2


Featured Acts:

Abecedarians, Android, Atila, Bad Religion, Boxboys, BPeople, Christian Death, Cindy Lee Berryhill, Cipher, Deadbeats, Fibonaccis, Fourwaycross, Freshly Wrapped Candies, Geza X And The Mommymen, Gleaming Spires, Green on Red, Human Hands, IQ Zero, Jobriath, Knife Lust, Kommunity FK, Life After Death, Null And Void, Outer Circle, Passionel, Perfect Imperfect Circular, Primal Danse, Rikk Agnew, Savage Republic, Shadow Minstrels, Steaming Coils, Suburban Lawns, The Egyptian Lover, The Plugz, The Plugz, The Screamers, The Weirdos, Trotsky Icepick, Zoogz Rift.

Abecedarians, Eureka EP (Southwest Audio Reproductions, 1986)
Disk 1
1 Steaming Coils — Singing Notice (1991) 3:12
2 The Plugz — El Calvo Y La Cruz (1981) 2:57
3 Cipher — Harmonic 33 (1981) 3:07
4 Geza X And The Mommymen — The Paranoids Are Coming (1982) 3:11
5 Bad Religion — Chasing the Wild Goose (1983) 2:50
6 Null And Void — All The Old Humans (1980) 3:36
7 Life After Death — Isn't It Time (1985) 2:57
8 Suburban Lawns — Baby (1983) 3:59
9 Rikk Agnew — 10 (1982) 2:58
10 Atila — De-pre-ssion (1985) 4:38
11 Trotsky Icepick — Mar Vista Bus Stop (1988) 3:03
12 Abecedarians — Smiling Monarchs (1985) 6:47
13 Android — Perpetual Motion (1982) 5:28
14 IQ Zero — Zero Gravity (1981) 3:09
15 Outer Circle — Broken Children (1982) 7:02
16 Primal Danse — Insomnia (1982) 5:00
17 Perfect Imperfect Circular — From The Ocean Above (1986) 4:09
18 The Plugz — Touch For Cash (1981) 2:40
19 Fibonaccis — Crickets (1987) 4:32
20 Knife Lust — Shrivel Up (1979) 3:10
21 The Screamers — 122 Hours of Fear (1978) 3:32

Zoogz Rift, Island of Living Puke LP (SST, 1986)
Disk 2
23 Christian Death — This Glass House (1984) 3:10
24 Shadow Minstrels — Popular Song Of The Hour (1983) 4:23
25 Suburban Lawns — Not Allowed (1981) 2:20
26 Green on Red — A Tragedy (1981) 4:20
27 Kommunity FK — The Vision And The Voice (1985) 3:48
28 Human Hands — New Look (1982) 2:44
29 Boxboys — Separate Rooms (1980) 3:12
30 Savage Republic — Mobilization (1982) 3:21
31 Abecedarians — Soil (1986) 6:08
32 Gleaming Spires — How To Get Girls Thru Hypnotism (1982) 3:56
33 Outer Circle — Blind Venetians (1982) 1:39
34 Zoogz Rift — The Breather (1986) 4:22
35 BPeople — Give Up (1980) 2:02
36 Freshly Wrapped Candies — Fa Fa Fa (1987) 3:11
37 Deadbeats — Brainless (1979) 2:31
38 Fourwaycross — Apologize (1985) 4:18
39 Rikk Agnew — Everyday (1982) 4:30
40 Cindy Lee Berryhill — Headin' For The Border Line (1987) 3:56
41 Earwigs – Freedom (1981) 2:47
42 The Weirdos — Helium Bar (1991) 3:22
43 Passionel — I Found You Crying (1984) 3:25
44 The Egyptian Lover — I Cry (Night After Night) (1984) 5:04
45 Jobriath — Heartbeat (1974) 2:45

This new set starts with a track well out of my date range from the great band Steaming Coils, but I though starting with some carnival sounds would give some symmetry to the collection, pointing back to the Wild Kingdom track from the first group. We then move into The Plugz, one of the great first-generation punk bands of LA, from their mellower second album Better Luck. A Mexican-American band, the Plugz incorporated a variety of musical styles into their work, one of the rare LA bands that seemed to want to do that, Tito Larriva being an excellent and ambitious songwriter whose since moved on to score a few films.

Geza X is something of an LA legend, perhaps best known as a producer, though his early band The Deadbeats recorded some classic tracks (one included here), and he himself was a pretty compelling, if very strange, performer with his band The Mommymen. Rikk Agnew is another legend of sorts, being a member of Adolescents and recording with the first incarnation of Christian Death. These two tracks are taken from his first solo album, All By Myself, on which he played all the instruments. These might seem out of place in a "post-punk" collection being largely rock music -- the second, slower track could have been a b-side from an early Kinks single -- but in fact I think this LP is a bit uncategorizable and somehow bridges punk with something more melodic, even a bit grandiose.