Tuesday, May 31, 2005

The Perfumed Garden

I don't call out other blogs that often, I should probably do it more. Here's a new find, The Perfumed Garden - basic concept? Post a new Peel Session every week, focusing on the bit more obscure. So far? Worth your time - hats off to the Perfumed Garden for doing the job well.

Don't sit down

Richard Bitch. With a name like that, you can't go wrong, can you? Straight ahead, don't hold on. Check this out:

Richard Bitch - Psionic Railway 2 Mars

We need more of this, don't we? Ken, Dave, Tracy and John have a new album in the works but the problem I see is topping the title of their first, "The Really Really Jeff Hair People." What could they possibly come up with that'll be any better than that?

So who are they? Where do they come from? Why do they do what they do?

I've got all the answers. And more. Tracy and John agreed to play verbal twistor with some annoying questions for me. And here you are:

1) What is your first musical memory?

John: Driving around with my mom in her Nova in the summer with the AC on going to art class, listening to AM Radio - songs like "Seasons In The Sun" and "Alone Again Naturally."

Tracy: Leafing through album covers stored in my parents‚ hi-fi. I don't remember them ever actually using the hi-fi, but they had a ton of albums.

2) What was the first album/CD/tape that you remember purchasing? The last?

John: I bought my first album ever when I paid my neighbor a dollar for his bongwater-damaged copy of Boston's first album. The last album that I bought was actually Boston's first album, on vinyl, from Amoeba last week. I still love it.

Tracy: My first album was Best of Blondie. Actually, that's not true. My first album was Chipmunk Punk. Alvin, Simon and Theodore sang punk rock covers and my parents would yell at me to turn it down. Then came Blondie.

3) Has there been anything lately in your life that unexpectedly struck you as beautiful?

John: Getting beat up when I was 12 years old. I lost the fight, my head hurt real bad, but when it was all over my friends still loved me anyways.

Tracy: I love to travel and just being surrounded by foreign culture is extremely beautiful to me. I'm a cultural voyeur.

4) Of all of the things that you own, what is the one material thing you couldn't do without?

John: My Œ69 Marshall Super Lead 100 amplifier.

Tracy: Anything that friends or family have made for me. Those special gifts are irreplaceable and so meaningful.

5) If you could go back and change one decision that you made in the past, what would it be and why?

John: I wouldn't have slept with a certain girl, cuz then my band would have stayed together.

Tracy: I would have gone to prom with the first guy I said yes to instead of the second.

Richard Bitch - Jacques Cousteau

6) What's your favorite part of the music making process?

John: If you mean recording, I like doing overdubs and mixing most of all. Otherwise, definitely playing live with THE RAWK POSSE is the best.

Tracy: Performing something for the first time on stage that I've had to struggle to learn how to play.

7) What's your best musical memory?

John: It was last week at a sloppy-crazy show when our bass player Tracy in her naughty tank top and black wig presided over a drunken mosh pit while I ripped off a monster solo.

Tracy: Probably when John invited me to be in the band. Before that I'd only ever been in "band," not "a band!"

8) What's the most frightening thing that's ever happened to you?

John: When my sixth grade girlfriend broke up with me.

Tracy: Having a massive panic attack alone on BART. I was headed to Hayward, so who can blame me?

9) What's your favorite television show, film or book?

John: I'm totally ga-ga over Haruki Murakami's freaked-out surreal novels right now. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is fabulous. Right now I'm reading Hard-Boiled Wonderland At The End Of The World and it rips.

Tracy: Favorite book: Naked by David Sedaris. Favorite movie: The Jerk. Favorite show: The Amazing Race.

10) How old is your oldest piece of clothing?

John: It's about 40 years old, I'd guess. I'm talking about the bitchin early 60s dark blue suit I
inherited from my grandfather. He lived in Hollywood and he was a model for a while. He wore this thing in a TV commercial for Chevrolet. It's all slim and
James Bond and shit, and it fits me perfectly.

Tracy: Right now I'm wearing underwear that is barely attached to the waistband anymore. But my oldest piece of clothing is probably my Dead Milkmen T-shirt from a concert I went to in the 8th grade (1988).

11) What instrument strikes you as being capable of producing the most beautiful sound?

John: Steel-string acoustic guitar.

Tracy: The bassoon. I played for one glorious year back in the day. So haunting and complex.

Richard Bitch - This Bastard Year

So run right over and grab the rest of the songs available over at their site. How can you resist?

Georgia: web release

My Mean Magpie have another digital release, this time from Georgia.

"Georgia was the work of Patti Kim (Meowch / Tel Quel) and Five Seventeen (Toys for Elliot / 5MP) who carefully crafted songs with their 4-tracks in separate houses rather than walk the half-block to each others houses. This CD compiles the original Nothing New release issued in 2000 and adds 4 tracks (2 previously unreleased).

From the lesser-known Sesame Street cover, "I Don't Want to Live on the Moon" (originally performed by Ernie) to the ethereal "Highway Soul (Miracle Mix)" the album brings in outside talents of Wendal's Jef McLarnen and Oval-Teen's Brad Davis to reach levels far beyond their scrappy debut cassette released three years prior."

It's a nice release, a definite lo-fi sound with some surprises. I'm a big fan of My Mean Magpie and all that he (Five) does, most of his releases are done under Creative Commons guidelines and he continually is a big supporter of music in general. Plus, he likes birds.

Check it out:

Georgia - I Don't Want To Live On The Moon (originally sung by Ernie on Sesame Street)
Georgia - The This Man Boyfriends Club

And the whole release can be found over at the Internet Archive:

Georgia - Nothing New

And here's a link to My Mean Magpie's other releases. And the beauty of these releases is that they are available in almost any format you could want. With album art, to boot. Have at it.

Tom's a bum

Tom Thumb has some digital sweets for your downloading pleasure...

Tom Thumb - Boot(y) Camps
Tom Thumb - Growing Pains

More more more at his site.

via Crown Dozen.

Spice Girls Reunite

MTVe.COM | Spice Girls Reunite: "The girls are going to head out on a world tour with all the original members, including Ginger Spice, Geri Halliwell."

I don't know what to say. I never thought I'd put them on this here blog, I mean, why do I care?

Uncle Neptune's old timey music

Want some ukulele for your Tuesday afternoon? via Boing Boing, here's Uncle Neptune's old timey music.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Edwyn Collins: Moving On

Again, I've been a bit lax, but Grace wrote on the 25th:

Moving On: "Well, he's made it to rehab, safe and sound and hale and hearty (medically speaking.) He's in very good hands and I have to get used to stepping back a little, which is difficult for a control freak. Might be a relief for Edwyn... Sorry for interjecting a personal note but a young friend and neighbour died this week and we said goodbye to her today. So to Martin and the family, our love, our sorrow and our prayers for strength. Grace Edwyn and William xxx"

It only seems to be getting better, which is good, eh?

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Before You Start

I'm feeling really lazy. Here's a quote from discogs:

Propaganda was formed in 1982 by Ralf Dörper and Andreas Thein. Dörper had been active on Düsseldorf's punk/new wave scene, and had released a number of records both as a member of S.Y.P.H. and Die Krupps, and solo (under his own name and as Die Lemminge). Thein had previously DJ'd.

Their first move was to recruit a mutual friend Suzanne Freytag as vocalist. As a three piece they totally re-vamped the Throbbing Gristle single Disziplin, turning the original TG mesh/mess into "New Pop". This was to be released as the first Propaganda single in 1983 on Operation Twilight (OPT 019), but never appeared.

Following the whole Disziplin project the Propaganda trio took on two new members. Bavarian born Claudia Brücken was recruited for co-vocal duties. Michael Mertens, a member of the Düsseldorf Symphony Orchestra whom Dörper had befriended responding to an advert Mertens had placed when selling a drum machine, was brought in an "invisible" fifth member, primarily writing and arranging.

Propaganda relocated permanently to England when Disziplin caught the ear of Paul Morley at Zang Tumb Tuum, with whom they signed. The groups 1984 debut single, "Dr Mabuse" (produced by Trevor Horn) was a chart and critical success. The group suffered a 13 month wait for the follow up single and debut album release while ZTT were ploughing all their energies to Frankie Goes To Hollywood. As a result Andreas Thein left Propaganda, Michael Mertens filling his space on group photos.

When the follow-up single, "Duel", arrived it was received rapturously. The groups debut album was regarded as one of 1985s finest. Propaganda spent the second half of 85 touring, expanding their line-up to include ex-Simple Minds bassist Derek Forbes and drummer Brian McGee. November saw the release of a remix album, "Wishful Thinking". By the end of the tour at the end of 1985, rumoured tensions within the group were confirmed when a fourth single ("The Murder Of Love") was cancelled and Claudia Brücken announced plans to leave. Claudia`s decision arose from split loyalties when she married ZTT's Paul Morley. Claudia officially left in early 1986 and due to contractual problems/obligations the band were injuncted by ZTT for fourteen months, preventing them from releasing any material.

In 1987, the ZTT injunction was lifted leaving Propaganda without a record deal. Suzanne Freytag and Ralf Dörper elected to lend a hand with writing and recording but stick to their day jobs, so Mertens tamed up with former Propaganda helpers Derek Forbes and Brian McGee. Betsi Miller, American-born but living in Germany, was brought in on vocals. Virgin snapped the group up, but the 1990 album "1234" was poorly received. A tour was announced then cancelled and the group wound down.

Rumours circulated in the late 90s of a Propaganda reformation. Indeed Mertens was working again with Brücken and Freytag, and in 1999 Propaganda's website announced a new album was being recorded. The reformed group were set to sign with EastWest and announced plans to release a promo remix single ("No Return") on Superfly. Momentum was lost, and no official releases from the mark 3 Propaganda recording sessions were forthcoming, though nine polished-sounding tracks leaked via the internet a few years on...

Here's a link to their official (?) site, Propaganda. They've got some videoclips and some more info. Here's a link to Claudia's site, which has a bunch of music samples from the various bands she's been in. Most of her site is in French.

Propaganda - Femme Fatale REMOVED
Propaganda - das testaments des mabuse REMOVED

Both of these are from the 12", "Propaganda Present The Nine Lives Of Dr. Mabuse," released in 1984.

You can find some of their releases over at Amazon, as usual.

Architecture In Helsinki: Cafe du Nord 5-25-05

Saw Architecture In Helsinki last night. What a great show. The band was extremely happy - happy about the size of the crowd, happy to be in San Francisco, and happy it was the Tara the Tuba player's birthday today - the crowd sung happy birthday to her at the stroke of midnight.

They put on a great show, lots of energy, lots of band members moving around, playing different instruments throughout the show.

The highlight? Their cover of Love is the Drug rocked the night. Very unexpected on my part and beautifully done. If anyone has a recording of this, I'd love to have it.

The crowd was really into, even forming a congo line at the band's urging. The band was really tight, playing a good collection of songs from their two albums, including a great extended version of "Do the Whirlwind." I ended up buying the vinyl 12" of it, hopefully the extended version they played last night is the same as the one on the album, I'd assume so. They also covered a Randy Newman song, which, as I'm not overly familiar with his catalog, can't name for you.

They said they'd be back in September, I know I'll be there again.

Strange: I was the tallest in the crowd. Hmmm.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Stop! Rewind!

Shortly after my last post, I realized that Stop + Rewind is kind enough to share a lot of music with us.

Especially for you who love that lo-fi indie sound.

Made in Canada - Asking For It

Scout - my dj

The Heathers - Should I Call

Slow Down Cowboy - Best Of Me

A bunch more tracks available at Stop + Rewind: Sounds.

from Alabama via Portland

Take a listen to the simple beauty and lo-fi goodness of Jessica Jones.

Jessica Jones - This Time Too
Jessica Jones - The Same Place

She also runs her own label, stop + rewind.

There are two more songs available on her site.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Is summer really here?

What day is it?

I wish I could remember who originally pointed me in her direction, but Elizabeth Harper has some more songs up. She's got this nice sound, something along the lines of the Sundays meets the Beautiful South, (but better than the Sundays, I wasns't a huge fan) and she manages to update the sound.

Elizabeth Harper - Low Tide

There are three more songs at her site.

Like a Billion Burning Suns

Got an email from Cosmos Corbin of Raging Family. Seems they've posted an entire album over at their site. At first glance, it's nice stuff. Here's a song:

Raging Family - The Next Stop is Extended

Run on over and grab it while you can.

In poking around, turns out they've got loads of tracks for your listening please. These kids know how to share.

Raging Family - WU VS MMW

Which can be found as part of the If I Remix You Tonight release.

And then there's this track:

Raging Family - Ink A Dink A Doo

Which is part of Longhorn Pete's Adventures in Hollywood release.

There's more...just dig around. Like I said, these kids know how to share.

Friday, May 20, 2005

eenie meenie records

eenie meenie records has a lot of mp3s for your downloading pleasure.

Pine AM - Do I Know You

Ulysses - The Falcon

The list goes on and on...including Oranger, High Water Marks and Seksu Roba.

Check it out.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Seksu Roba is for Pleasure

Seksu Roba: electronic sounds, 60's spy theme influence. Think of Pizzicato 5 with an indie feel and a bit more Figurine thrown in.

SEKSU ROBA - telephone
SEKSU ROBA - Velvet Star (remix)

Lots more tunes at their site.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Edwyn Collins: Good news

Grace wrote just tonight:

Good news: "..which is an understatement. We heard today that Edwyn is on his way back to rehab on Monday. He is infection clear. His improvement is quietly accelerating at the moment. Contrary to reports that he is fighting for his life, we are in the boozer for lunch every day. (Edwyn is on the Oj and cranberry.) As you can probably tell, I'm a little euphoric tonight. Tkae care all of you Grace"

It's getting better all the time.

The Comas

Chapel Hill, NC based The Comas have a bunch of tracks up for your perusal...swirling guitars...nice stuff. Reminds me of Yo La Tengo a bit.


The Comas - Science
The Comas - Tiger in a Tower

A bunch more available here, don't forget to visit.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

I've been to that too

What Comets, Stars and Moons are All ABout: I've been to that: "it's easy i promise. copy this list, post it on your blog. leave in the bands you have seen perform live and delete the ones you haven't seen. finally add new ones that you have seen until you have 25 bands. one * means the previous person had that band on their list. two ** means that the last two people who did this before you had that band on their list. add an * if you have seen the same band as me."

01.) Beck

02.) Blonde Redhead

03.) Beastie Boys*

04.) Heaven's To Betsy

05.) Depeche Mode

06.) Dead Can Dance

07.) Bikini Kill

08.) the cure **

09.) Nine Inch Nails*

10.) Fugazi

11.) Pavement

12.) Oasis

13.) Make-Up

14.) Built To Spill*

15.) the Evens

16.) Y.A.C.H.T

17.) Jonathan Richman

18.) Dresden Dolls

19.) Hole

20.) Lemonheads

21.) Peter Gabriel

22.) sonic youth *

23.) weezer **

24.) Stereolab

25.) Ditty Bops

The Last Supper

I just can't pass this up...

Star Wars: The Last Supper

via BoingBoing

Name your cheap price

Minimal Compact were/are one of those bands that seemed to be everywhere, yet popular acknowledgement always evaded them. They've worked with everyone from Colin Newman (Wire) to John Fryer (Cocteau Twins, Depeche Mode) and Peter Principal (Tuxedomoon) and others. Recently, "several leading DJs (such as James Murphy/LCD Soundsystems, Playgroup, Ivan Smagghe & more) are raving about 'Next One Is Real', 'Statik Dancin' and other Minimal Compact vintage favourites." (quoted from here.)

From the 1983 CD release of "One by One:"
Minimal Compact - Ready Made Diary REMOVED

From the 1986 release "Raging Souls:"
Minimal Compact - My Will REMOVED

So, who are these guys? Sammy Birnbach, Berry Sakharof, Malka Spigel and Rami Fortis were the core of the band. Malka went on to marry Colin Newman and "Berry Sakharof and Rami Fortis have both returned to Tel Aviv where they have enjoyed huge popularity both together and seperately. Malka is a partner with Colin Newman in the swim label based in London. She has released several solo albums as well as partnering Newman in Immersion, on his solo albums and on their recent live collaboration. Samy Birnbach, still resident in Brussels, has worked with Benjamin Lew, with Newman and Spigel in Oracle and as part of The Gruesome Twosome. He also performs as an ambient DJ under the name Morpheus, and is also an associate A&R for SSR/freezone. According to legend, Max Franken (who never left Amsterdam) still plays drums and football!!" (quoted from here)

There's a slew of information about the band, and I know I've left out a lot.

Crammed Discs
Crammed Global Sound Clash
Minimal Compact Biography
Trouser Press Biography/Discography

A lot of their stuff is available as imports through Amazon.

Minimal Compact

Monday, May 16, 2005

Nothing up my sleeve...

Hey, Monday's here, so here's the video:

Possum Dixon - Watch That Girl Destroy Me (quicktime)

Not the best video, by a long shot, but the song has always been a favorite. This is one of those bands that should've/could've been bigger than they were. Great live show, great songs, just wasn't meant to be. This song is from the 1993 self-titled album which you can get at Amazon for $1.15! What are you waiting for? One of the better albums of the mid 90's for $1.15? Power-pop at it's best!

And check this: Rob Zabrecky, the former Possum Dixon singer/bassist, is now a magician.


This video is so bad...why oh why?

Jamiroquai Feels (quicktime)

So much money...

Heavy Metal Quiz

I do not have this much time on my hands...maybe you do?

Sunday, May 15, 2005

just for a day: king of bluegrass: rest in peace

Jimmy Martin passed away, Just For A Day has a nice post on him:

just for a day: king of bluegrass: rest in peace

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Let's clean out your system

The Virgin Prunes formed back in 1977 in Ireland. They didn't easily fit into a "category," and as such stumped the critics. A mixture of performance, new romantic, goth and punk, they floated between musical camps. As such, their influence was felt everywhere. Gavin Friday, the lead singer, is still out and performing, releasing some pretty good solo work, in many ways more easily approachable than the Virgin Prunes.

These two tracks are from the 12" of "Love Lasts Forever," released in 1986.

Virgin Prunes - Love Last Forever REMOVED
Virgin Prunes - I Like The Way You're Frightened REMOVED

"Our love will last forever, until the day it days."

Here's an Amazon link for your shopping pleasure.

Edwyn Collins/MRSA

I've been lax on my coverage of Edwyn lately, here's the latest from Grace (his wife) on his site:

Edwyn/MRSA: " Some of you may be aware of press reports about Edwyn having MRSA. I didn'y want to get into this as I know the hysteria that this stuff creates, but my hand has been forced. Anyway, MRSA is indeed the infection he's been fighting. He is much better. In fact, with a bit of luck, he's licked it. The next few days will tell the story. So, together with me, could you keep everything crossed, so to speak? Love Grace"

I'm not familiar with this type of infection, but apparently it's a type of bacteria that's resistant to certain antibiotics. More info here.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

While we're on the subject...

Since Highpoint Lowlife has been on the tip of my tongue so many times lately, I thought I'd do it once more. Another great release by the label is their compilation, "Some Paths Lead Back Again," put together by the band The Marcia Blaine School For Girls. It's an eclectic mix, focusing on electronic based music, with a enough to please everyone. It's also a double CD, so you get a lot of bang for your buck.

Here's two tracks from it:

Tresh Jetterax - An Introduction to Malcomatics REMOVED
Accrual - Dodgsons Pleasure REMOVED

Be sure to visit The Marcia Blaine School For Girls and Highpoint Lowlife as there are more downloads their.

One of the great things about this compilation is that they released it under the Creative Commons license, giving permission to sample, file-share, copy and webcast the release.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The Band with 6 hands!

The Groovie Ghoulies - the name says it all, surf-punk-rock with tales of monsters, spaceships and all things ghoulie!

The Groovie Ghoulies - The Beast With Five Hands
The Groovie Ghoulies - 'til death do us party

Visit their site for four more songs, don't be scared...

Kepi's (the singer/bassist) keep's himself busy painting as well.

Cut to: Our Hero

UPDATED: Contest is over, thanks for playing!

I'm gonna mix up the format here, shake you guys up. Just when you're getting used to the Monday Music video. But's it's all worth it, 'cause I've got something to give you. Well, only two of you, so pay attention!

Imagine if Polvo got into a heavy duty relationship with Soul Coughing, had a kid and their kid went off to marry Cake and they had a kid. That kid would date Like A Stuntman.

Their newest release is a combination of sounds and styles, bending across genres and making you feel comfortable, but not familiar. The band, C. Fleck, S. Fritz, M. Gross, and T. Ullrich have been making music since 2001, but this is their first full length release.

From their newest release, "Fresh air is not the worst thing in town" (2005):
Like A Stuntman - Let's Talk About Horses

About a month ago, I was lucky enough to come in contact with Thorsten, from Highpoint Lowlife records. You might remember his label from this post I did a month ago. He put in me in touch with the band, who agreed to an interview:

1) What is your first musical memory?
In terms of music, we had a horrible childhood, since our parents didn´t have a good taste or a particular interest in music. So we grew up listening to stupid german folk music and other bad things from the radio until we figured out where to get the good stuff from.

2) What was the first album/CD/tape that you remember purchasing? The last?
As a sign of rebellion Christian´s first CD was AC/DC - must have been really bad times back then. Some of the last CDs we bought were boyracer, the books, deerhoof and
sufjan stevens - all good stuff.

4) Of all of the things that you own, what is the one material thing you couldn't do without?
Guess today nobody can live without the computer. Everything that we do, including music and artwork for cover, posters.... is done on the computer as well as most of the organizing and communication stuff concerning the band. So it´s definitely a computer and internet access. Nothing is better that sitting in front of the screen, pretending to do some serious work.
Oh - and of course a stereo, records and instruments - guess one thing isn´t enough.

5) If you could go back and change one decision that you made in the past, what would it be and why?
Nothing real big, probably lots of small decisions. Never regret anything.

6) What's your favorite part of the music making process?
Drinking beer after the show – no, just joking.
Writing and recording songs is usually a mixture of planned and unplanned things that happen, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn´t, so our favourite part of the music making process is when it does work out and we´re satisfied with the result.

From their 7", "Reduce" (2005)
Like A Stuntman - Home Run

7) What's your best musical memory?
The best thing is, what´s happening just now. We´re getting such good reviews, and we´re totally looking forward to the upcoming UK tour – sorry, nothing else in our memory at the moment.

9) What's your favorite television show, film or book?
“Man without a past” was pretty cool.

10) How old is your oldest piece of clothing?
Sven has a pair of shoes that´s nine years old which he´s wearing while painting, Christian has some 8 year old pants, and Matthias owns a sweater that he got from his uncle which is probably from the seventies, but it got a big hole around the elbow lately.

11) What instrument strikes you as being capable of producing the most beautiful sound?
The most beautiful sounds usually happen quite unexpected while playing around with the synthesizer or trying out different effects on instruments or voices.

From their newest release, "Fresh air is not the worst thing in town" (2005)
Like A Stuntman - We're Not In Brazil

From their self-released e.p., "Park the trailer in the park" (2004)
Like A Stuntman - For The Mission

And, there are some additional live tracks available on their website, which will hopefully get you in the mood for the tour, that is if you're fortunate enough to live in the UK.

And this, kids, is where it gets fun. I've got, courtesy of Highpoint Lowlife Records, two copies of their newest release, "Fresh air is not the worst thing in town," for two lucky winners. All you have to do is spend a little time with these guys and answer three questions:

1) Name one of the three LIVE tracks you can dowload from the band's site.
2) What city was Highpoint Lowlife Records originally based in?
3) What other artist on Highpoint Lowlife Records has been on grapeJuiceplus before?

So there you go. First two people to answer all three questions correctly gets their own copy of Like A Stuntman's 2005 release, "Fresh air is not the worst thing in town." Email your answers to guanoboy at gmail dot com. I'll let you know if you won and there you go, what more could you want?


And if this is something you want to see more of, make sure to let Highpoint Lowlife know by visiting them and buying their stuff. Thorsten is a super-cool guy and he believes in music and sharing it.

Thursday, May 05, 2005


And I don't mean Suzi.

So it's Cinco de Mayo...maybe we should all take a few moments to read what this day is all about (from wikipedia):

Contrary to popular belief in the United States, Cinco de Mayo does not mark Mexican independence day. That distinction is reserved for dieciséis de septiembre ("September 16"), which is celebrated on the night of September 15 through to the early morning hours of September 16 with a re-enactment of the Grito de Dolores – the formal call for an end to Spanish rule in 1810 – at all offices belonging to the executive branch of government, from the president down to the municipal governments.


The rise in Cinco de Mayo's popularity in the United States can be attributed to the Chicano student movement of the late 1960s. Inspired by student-activists nationwide, members of the MEChA organization in California sought to find a day of celebration that highlighted their largely Mexican ancestry. El Dieciséis de septiembre seemed like an obvious choice; however, this day proved too early in the school year for college students to effectively organize rallies and celebrations. Thus Cinco de Mayo became the de facto alternative for these student assemblies. Over the years this holiday grew outside university circles and its activist roots, and was absorbed by mainstream culture in the Southwest United States. For many Mexican-American communities Cinco de Mayo is an important way to proudly honor Mexican heritage, overshadowing Mexico's Independence Day in significance.

And on a completely unrelated note, here's a couple of tracks from one of my top forgotten bands of the 80's, Fiat Lux. Want a little history on the band? From an earlier post I did:

Fiat Lux were one of those bands that almost made it...but not quite. They had a minor hit in the U.K. with their song "Secrets," and released a series of singles and e.p.s as well as various appearances on compilations but never managed to release a full length album. And it's really unfortunate, too. They've managed to stay within my lexicon of favorite bands throughout the years.

Fiat Lux was formed in 1982 in Yorkshire by Steve Wright, David Crickmore and Ian Nelson. And yes, that's Nelson as in Bill. And, I guess, having Bill Nelson as your brother is a bit of a help, as their first single was released on his label, as well as few of their other releases.

They broke up in 1985. Unfortunately, I don't know why. If anyone does, I'd love to hear the story. I've got this laserdisc release of their's that's pretty insane and soooo very typical of the time period. It's a combination of "music videos" and live performances that's, well, almost comical in its seriousness. Plus it's all shot on video so it has this very strange, home-made feel. If I remember correctly, it also involves mimes and clowns.

Ian, after they broke up, went on to briefly appear in a number of different bands, including Colourfield (Terry Hall) and BeBop Delux and is still out their making music. He's currently involved with a band called Moonstone.

From a Bill Nelson site:

(Ian Nelson)... did session work with The Colourfield on their 1985 Virgins and Philistines album. Was to be a member of a new version of Be Bop Deluxe in 1990 but the project never got off the ground. A few months ago Ian signed on full-time with Moonstone, and is plays with them. He is also a member of The Lost Satellites that performed at the Nelsonica 02 and 03 events. Still teaches college.

David went on to join a few other bands and is currently playing in the Durbervilles. From Hired History:

David has also continued to produce other artists, and with Mark & Lee of The Durbervilles, runs Anne Frank Studios. Recent output includes CDs from Ramon, Batinka and Shawn Hunter, all on SPLID records. David is not married, but instead eats small quantities of cheese and drinks straight Baileys on special occasions.

Steve (vocals) got out of the music business altogether and is apparently a freelance director.

It's kinda weird to quote myself, but you know...I'm feeling kinda lazy. Their stuff is all out of print and not too easy to find...all on vinyl, as far as I know.

Fiat Lux - Secrets REMOVED
Fiat Lux - Blue Emotion REMOVED

Both of these tracks come from the 1983 release, Hired History.

And I know, their stuff can veer over to the "wimp" catagory, as my love complains about some of my music, but the new romantic in me just won't let go.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

The Hype Machine: Comments?

Have any of you seen The Hype Machine?

My initial reaction is that it bothers me. They cache audio files from mp3 blogs to their server so that you can download them all from their site, in a sense, bypassing the mp3 blog site from which the track was posted.

From their site:

Please note that the "download" links for the tracks are utilizing NYU's Coral caching and distribution network and are not direct links.

Yes, they do supply a link to the original post, but it still seems inherently wrong. I know, there are those that would say that what we're doing is wrong as well, but this seems to be breaking one of our precious codes of the mp3 blog community. The whole point of our posts is to share music and get people interested in the band and, hopefully, search out and purchase their release(s), right?

This doesn't seem to really encourage that, even though they supply an Amazon link and a link to the blog, it's secondary...

Any comments?

UPDATE: Anthony, the force behind the Hype Machine has added a comment and pointed out two other discussions on this topic over at Stereogum and Micropersuasion.


Lismore have three tracks up at their site...here's one.

Lismore - Tremolo

Visit their site, Lismore Music for the other two.

thanks to Crown Dozen for the heads up.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Nancy, Nancy Reagan! King of the new frontier!

This is a 12" Ranking Roger (English Beat, General Public, etc.) recorded back in the 80's with Blue Riddim (2 tracks), the B-side featured Papa Kohe and Blue Riddim (another 2 tracks). There's no info out there about this release, it seems to be pretty rare. I'll just dish it up like it is, run with it.

Nancy Goes to Moscow - Ranking Roger and Blue Riddim REMOVED
Nancy Reagan Re-Election Re-Mix V1 - Papa Kohe and Blue Riddim REMOVED

This is out of print, but I found a used copy here.

Linkin Park wants a Warner-free IPO

I'm not a fan, but it's an interesting development....

Boing Boing: Linkin Park wants a Warner-free IPO

Happy Birthday, Pete!

Effect Measure has a nice little tribute to Pete Seeger, who turns 86 today.

Effect Measure: Happy Birthday, Pete!

It's a great blog, although not normally music related.


If you get a chance, read the comments that have just popped up over at this two month old post....

grapeJuiceplus: JLoDown.com

It's really quite entertaining.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Grandma, what big hair you have!

This one's for my girl, she's the coolest.

What can I say about the Jesus and Mary Chain that you haven't already heard? Here they are with "Some Candy Talking."

The Jesus and Mary Chain - Some Candy Talking (quicktime) REMOVED

Forgot how big their hair was, didn't you? This may not be their most exciting video, but it's a bit harder to find.

There's a lot out of info out there, including this and this...and here's the Amazon link.

The Jesus & Mary Chain

Edwyn Collins: update

Edwyn update:

"Edwyn is still in the Royal Free. This infection has been very difficult to get under control, although I'm hopeful we're turning the corner. In spite of having missed out on weeks of valuable rehab time, he continues to feel quite well in himself and is working as hard as he can in the circumstances. So he continues to progress at a pace. Thanks for keeping him in your thoughts, love Grace."
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