Monday, July 16, 2012

Los Angeles Post-Punk, Vol. 9


Featured Acts:

100 Flowers, 17 Pygmies, 20/20, Afterimage, Alfalfa, Ann DeJarnett, Celebrity Skin, Chas Smith, Che Blammo, Dennis Duck, Extruders, Fourwaycross, God And The State, Hilary, Hundredth Monkey, Jetzons, John Trubee, Johnny Chingas, Lotus Lame And The Lame Flames, Luther Davis Group, Marc Monroe, Mark Lane, Moebius, New Marines, Nick Paine, Owned By the Public, Page Croft, Passionel, Penetrators, Q, Red Temple Spirits, Subjects, The Deadbeats, The Pandoras, The Romans, The Signals, The Three O'Clock, The Tikis, The Tweezers, The Wake, Tiger Lily, To Nije Sala, Urinals

Che Blammo, Rock Moderne 7" (Permanent, 1982)
Disk 1
1 Urinals — Surfin' With The Shah (1979) 2:42
2 Lotus Lame And The Lame Flames — Bad Sex (1983) 3:40
3 Passionel — Make Like You Like It (1985) 3:56
4 Ann DeJarnett — Baptism by Fire (1987) 4:09
5 Che Blammo — Stupid for Your Love (1981) 3:07
6 Hundredth Monkey — Mute Lament (1986) 4:50
7 The Pandoras — Hot Generation (1984) 2:16
8 Fourwaycross — When Will You (1985) 3:46
9 100 Flowers — All Sexed Up (1983) 2:43
10 God And The State — My Name Is Mud (1985) 2:42
11 The Deadbeats — Let's Kill More Hippies Like We Did Last Summer (1996) 2:34
12 17 Pygmies — Drunkard (1988) 3:00
13 The Tweezers — Loveable and Fearless (1985) 4:30
14 Q — Sushi (fragments) (1982) 1:54
15 John Trubee — Blind Man's Penis (1976) 1:41
16 Extruders — Street Avenger (1981) 3:35
17 Solid State — Owned By the Public (1982) 7:16
18 Celebrity Skin — Introduction (1991) 3:09
19 Marc Monroe and Silentype — Shovelin' The Snow (1982) 4:04
20 Urinals — Dead Flowers (1979) 0:56
21 100 Flowers — 100 Flowers (1983) 1:09
22 Page Croft — You Hold Nothing (1978) 3:49
23 Alfalfa — Lucky Guy (1985) 3:32
24 To Nije Sala — Dog Trail (1989) 4:08
25 The Wake — Lion's Heart (1985) 1:59

Moebius, Moebius (Moonwind Records, 1979)
Disk 2
26 Dennis Duck — Dennis Duck Goes Disco - Intro (1977) 1:27
27 Hilary — Goose Step, Two Step (1983) 3:37
28 New Marines — I Like Baseball (1980) 2:31
29 Tiger Lily — Die Laughing (1984) 3:42
30 The Three O'Clock — Mind Gardens (1981) 2:43
31 Mark Lane — Sojourn (1981) 6:41
32 Subjects — I'm Mechanical (1982) 3:18
33 Penetrators — Sensitive Boy (1979) 3:27
34 The Romans — Big Neck (1983) 1:46
35 20/20 — American Dream (1981) 4:56
36 Jetzons — You (1982) 3:19
37 Nick Paine — Solid State (1985) 3:23
38 The Tikis — Junie (1981) 2:04
39 Moebius — Money (1979) 5:31
40 100 Flowers — Our Fallout (1983) 2:29
41 Luther Davis Group — To Be Free (1979) 3:55
42 Afterimage — Strange Confession (1984) 2:47
43 The Signals — Person to Person (1984) 2:43
44 Johnny Chingas — Phone Home (1982) 8:37
45 Hilary — Drop Your Pants (1983) 3:25
46 Red Temple Spirits — Lost In Dreaming (1988) 4:46
47 Chas Smith — October '68 (1982) 4:44

Notes for Disk 1:

I thought I had included some tracks from 100 Flowers earlier in this series but I actually hadn’t. They are probably the most significant and quintessentially “post-punk” band in Los Angeles, having a sound that can waver between Gang of Four chunky white funk, Wire’s clipped song structures and enigmatic lyrics, the more typically LA Dada puerility of their song titles and subjects (the first version of the band, formed when the members were still students at UCLA, was the Urinals — and it’s the name they use now!), the also very-LA layered primitive percussion, and even in their DIY publishing aesthetics — their label, Happy Squid Records, was responsible for getting a number of underground acts some attention, especially via their compilation, Keats Rides a Harley, an expanded CD edition of which is still available.

Urinals/100 Flowers were a big influence on the Minutemen in particular, maybe the explanation why the Minutemen can get away with being so “arty” while also keeping it real with the hardcore crowd. So here they are, belatedly. The smallish output of the Urinals and 100 Flowers is all very excellent,  beginning to end. The band some members formed afterwards, Trotsky Icepick, runs to 5 LPs and is less challenging and a bit more uneven. The band God and the State, included the drummer from Urinals/100 Flowers. Most of their posthumous LP is kind of gritty PIL-like instrumentals with lyrics uttered over it (and with some nice guitar work), but this uncharacteristically techno-beat one was most appealing to me.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Los Angeles Post-Punk, Vol. 8


Featured Acts:

20/20, 3D Picnic, 5uu's, Agent Orange, Ann DeJarnett, Artiphax, Battery Farley, Bulimia Banquet, Cigarettes, Del Rubio Triplets, Demolition Gore Galore, Doubting Thomas, Dr's Rx1, Drowning Pool, Invisible Chains, Irritators, Jane's Addiction, Kommunity FK, Los Illegals, Luther Davis Group, Mind Games, Minutemen, Mr. Epp And The Calculations, Motor Totemist Guild, No Right No Wrong, Pilgrim State, Saint Vitus, Schematix, Scott Goddard, Starforce 1, Steaming Coils, The Bangles, The Death Folk, The Motels, The Toons, The Witch Trials, Transport, Vagina Dentata, Vicious Fish

A Beginner's Guide to COMA (Rotary Totem Records, 1985)
Disk 1
1 The Motels — Art Fails (1981) 2:58
2 The Death Folk — Hobos (1989) 3:36
3 20/20 — Alien (1981) 3:42
4 Saint Vitus — Clear Windowpane (1987) 3:19
5 Starforce 1 — Space Agent (1981) 3:34
6 3D Picnic — Dizzy (1989) 2:00
7 Invisible Chains — Old Speak/New Teeth (1986) 2:14
8 The Bangles — Going Down to Liverpool (1984) 3:43
9 Steaming Coils — 4/10 (1987) 3:12
10 The Toons — Video Games (1982) 2:46
11 Demolition Gore Galore — Long Gone Blonde (1986) 4:17
12 Irritators — Voodoo Boogie (1981) 2:55
13 Ann DeJarnett — Eyes (1988) 3:36
14 Schematix — Second Story (1980) 2:30
15 Scott Goddard — Cowpunk (1984) 4:53
16 Vagina Dentata — Golden Boys (1984) 5:32
17 Doubting Thomas — Fourteen Or Maybe 8 (1987) 5:30
18 Cigarettes — Oh Oh Oh (1978) 2:55
19 Vicious Fish — Foreign Cities (1982) 4:00
20 5uu's — The Birth Of Compromisation (1985) 3:02
21 Los Illegals — The Mall (1983) 4:33
22 The Motor Totemist Guild — Farmer Without Strings (1985) 4:06

The Toons, Looking at Girls (Rhino, 1982) 
Disk 2
23 Agent Orange — Blood Stains (1980) 1:46
24 Battery Farley — New Deals (1985) 4:07
25 Drowning Pool — Weaving Petals (1987) 3:43
26 Luther Davis Group — You Can Be a Star (1979) 4:40
27 Mind Games — Don't Take The Car (You'll Kill Yourself) (1981) 2:05
28 Del Rubio Triplets — Chica Chica Boom Chick (1989) 2:40
29 The Witch Trials — The Tazer (1981) 6:20
30 The Motels — Only The Lonely (1981) 3:28
31 Artiphax — Mystery Eyes (1985) 3:34
32 Mr. Epp And The Calculations — Mohawk Man (1982) 2:53
33 The Bangles — How Is The Air Up There (1982) 2:52
34 Kommunity FK — Is It Your Face (1990) 6:17
35 Bulimia Banquet — Naked Movie Star (1986) 2:03
36 Transport — Isotope Tan (1982) 3:14
37 No Right No Wrong — Girls Girls Girls (1986) 2:34
38 Dr's Rx1 — Crunch (1983) 5:11
39 Minutemen — The Anchor (1983) 2:34
40 Pilgrim State — Fuck Society (1983) 0:44
41 Irritators — Whack the Dolphin (1981) 4:20
42 Jane's Addiction — Thank You Boys (1988) 1:04
43 Battery Farley — Flag Waving Idiots (1985) 3:44
44 Invisible Chains — Sal Mineo Youth Growing Up (1986) 3:57
45 The Toons — Mind Death (Sally Only Had One Eye) (1982) 6:38

The Motels’ third album, after the relatively minimally produced self-titled debut and Careful, neither of which produced national hits, was the highly experimental Apocalypso, produced by Val Garay, hot off of the success of producing Kim Carnes “Bette Davis Eyes.” The album was rejected by the label and sat on the shelf for thirty years, only to be released last year on colored vinyl and CD. Some of the tracks reappeared on the more commercial sounding All Four One, which produced their first big hit “Only The Lonely,” but I prefer this earlier version, along with this grittier version of “Art Fails.” They probably made the right decision to scrap this album as they wouldn't have made a dime off of it, and now they are lucky to have had it in the kitty for us retrophiles to buy later.

Another famous act whose sound changed dramatically was the Bangles. I was surprised to read that they were associated with the Paisley Underground since all I ever knew of them was “Walk Like an Egyptian” and “Manic Monday,” which are both pretty solid pop tunes but could never be called underground. I just assumed they were a label concoction. These two tracks, both covers, show the transformative talent the band had (the songs themselves are nothing special), not to mention savvy with harmonies and some nice guitar work. “How is the Air Up There” is a cover of a pretty obscure 60s track by Changin' Times – they also knew their history – while “Going Down to Liverpool” features a very odd, completely non-sensical but cute video starring Leonard Nimoy as a sexually repressed chauffeur driver (not a huge stretch).

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Los Angeles Post-Punk, Vol. 7


Featured Acts:

20/20, Animal Dance, Artistic Decline, Barton A. Smith, Bay of Pigs, Black Randy and the Metrosquad, Brooke Shields, Celebrity Skin, Code Blue, Electric Peace, Fender Buddies, Gabriele Morgan, Invisible Zoo, John J. Lafia, Lem, Mark Lane, Nervous Gender, Nip Drivers, No-Y-Z, Pop Art, Randoms, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Screamin' Sirens, Skooshny, SSQ, Stefan Weisser, Steve Stain, Stillife, Suspects, The Dream Syndicate, The Germs, The Hollywood Squares, The Last, The Motels, The Plimsouls, The Romans, The Signals, The Skoings, The Soul Brothers (of Chula Vista), Tidal Waves, The Tweezers, Tunneltones Visiting Kids, Wall Of Voodoo, Zoogz Rift

The Skoings, Doctors Wives 7" (Vigilante, 1977)
Disk 1
1 Brooke Shields — Introduction (1980) 0:04
2 The Skoings — Do The Orbit (1977) 3:23
3 Nervous Gender — People Like You (1981) 2:40
4 The Signals — Clam Up (1984) 1:06
5 Mark Lane — White Glove (1984) 3:33
6 Barton A. Smith — Roland #119 (1980) 5:50
7 Black Randy and the Metrosquad — I Slept in an Arcade (1980) 2:30
8 20/20 — Yellow Pills (1979) 4:17
9 The Hollywood Squares — Hillside Strangler (1978) 1:55
10 Tidal Waves — Fun, Fun, Fun (1979) 1:53
11 Tunneltones — Happyland
12 The Last — Lies (1980) 3:20
13 The Dream Syndicate — That's What You Always Say (1982) 3:12
14 Lem — Scat Cat Kitty (1977) 4:18
15 Stillife — Celadon (1984) 7:35
16 The Plimsouls — I Can't Turn You Loose (1981) 3:22
17 The Tweezers — Ernie Kaboyng (1981) 2:08
18 The Germs — Round and Round (1981) 2:16
19 The Skoings — Doctor's Wives (1977) 2:15
20 Randoms — Let's Get Rid of New York (1977) 2:42
21 Suspects — Talking Loud (1979) 2:21
22 The Romans — Runaway (1983) 2:21
23 Invisible Zoo — Synthesizer Man (1983) 3:14
24 John J. Lafia — Escape (1984) 7:04
25 Stefan Weisser — You Think That Was Not An Attack (1983) 3:39

Electric Peace, Medieval Mosquito (Barred Records, 1987)
Disk 2
26 Visiting Kids — Trilobytes (1989) 3:21
27 Zoogz Rift — You're Killing Me (1982) 2:02
28 Animal Dance — Fake! (1983) 4:25
29 Skooshny — It Hides More Than It Tells (1978) 3:21
30 Red Hot Chili Peppers — True Men Don't Kill Coyotes (1984) 3:40
31 Fender Buddies — Dancing a Frenzy (1980) 1:48
32 Electric Peace — Case Of Dynamite (1985) 4:08
33 Celebrity Skin — S.O.S. (1990) 3:37
34 Nip Drivers — You Need Us (2000) 1:10
35 Code Blue — Whisper/Touch (1980) 2:35
36 The Soul Brothers (of Chula Vista) — The Brothers Johnson (1989) 2:37
37 Screamin' Sirens — Maniac (1985) 2:34
38 The Motels — Celia (1979) 3:06
39 No-Y-Z — Little Did He Know (1983) 3:33
40 Gabriele Morgan and Doll Congress — No Moon At All (1981) 1:40
41 Red Hot Chili Peppers — Why Don't You Love Me (1984) 3:23
42 Pop Art — A Beautiful Girl (1984) 3:27
43 Animal Dance — Sterile Mecca (1983) 3:29
44 Electric Peace — Came Into Town (1987) 6:05
45 Bay of Pigs — Mary Tyler Moore (1987) 2:21
46 Wall Of Voodoo — Ring Of Fire (1980) 6:11
47 Germs — No God (1993) 1:54
48 Fender Buddies — Poolside (1980) 4:37
49 Steve Stain — Flight of the Drill (1986) 3:50
50 SSQ — N'importe quoi (1983) 2:56

Notes by the guest editor Jeremy for Disk 1 (my notes follow):

On May 31, 1980, Brooke Shields celebrated her 15th birthday on “Rodney on the ROQ,” the radio show that helped bring widespread attention to the local punk and hardcore scenes. That cross-wiring neatly encapsulates Los Angeles.

Rodney Bingenheimer was also partially responsible for the success of the first single from the Hollywood Squares: “Hillside Strangler” was recorded, released, and snapped up (to the tune of 500 copies) well before the real Hillside Stranglers (turned out there were two) were caught in 1978. Other punk cuts here that would likely have seen airtime on KROQ include the Germs’ gloriously sloppy Chuck Berry cover, the Randoms’ anti-NYC anthem (the first single from Dangerhouse Records), and “I Slept in an Arcade” by notorious roustabout Black Randy (also on Dangerhouse).