Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Town Cryers - All's Well ep (1987, Flat and Black)

It seems this Ottawa four-piece had a thing for Tommy Keene, or at the very least his ringing guitar tones.  Call it jangly, call it chiming, or just call it flat-out bliss, cos' The Town Cryers luckily had that resplendent formula down pat.  And jolly good on them for it, as it yields some damn-near mesmerizing salvos in the shape of "Like a Telegraph," "You Told Me," and "Annie Says."  Admittedly All's Well is chockablock with familiar chords and themes that have been belabored by rock and roll hopefuls past and present, but my door is always open when it's delivered with the acumen the Town Cryers bring to the table.

I didn't realize until post-purchase that side two, track one ("Cry at Night") had some serious gouges embedded in it.  So many in fact that I spent a good half-hour editing them out, only later to learn that lead Cryer, John Allaire (who's still active btw) had made the entirety of this EP available for download on his site, alongside subsequent T/C releases.  Nonetheless, the remainder of my rip was fairly pristine and I'm offering it at a higher bitrate.

01. Like a Telegraph
02. Annie Says
03. Not Until
04. Cry at Night
05. You Told Me
06. Here We Go Again

http://www21.zippyshare.com/v/59385093/file.html

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Javany - Brighter Than Color (1985, Tribal)

Well, I'm probably going to lose some serious punk points with this one.  In fact there's barely a power chord punctuating this rather genteel slab of wax.  Javany (still trying to decipher if that's what this trio were known as collectively, or if this is actually a solo LP credited to the eponymously referenced front man on the back sleeve) register on the weaker end of the power pop spectrum, occasionally demonstrating some folky proclivities on Brighter Than Color's quieter pieces, watering down the oomph factor even more.  That being said, I like to think I'm sniffing faint traces of the Raspberries and Dwight Twilley - or perhaps Brighter... is really just a soft AOR record with a handful of rough edges and I'm merely deluding myself.  Plenty of ballads, a few clunkers, and a couple of genuine keepers like, "I Lied" and "What You Want," are what's in store for those brave enough to indulge in this long departed trio that once roamed the Inland Empire.

01. Eleana
02. What You Want
03. Screaming Eyes
04. I Believe in Somebody
05. La Unica
06. The Mine
07. Here For You
08. I Lied
09. Kaboom
10. Brighter Than Color

http://www1.zippyshare.com/v/57779819/file.html

Monday, July 21, 2014

The oxygen is plenty, don't touch that dial.

Just in time for summer, a mildly surreal power-pop classic from the mid '90s.  A lot of you may have this already, but I've tacked on a vinyl-only b-side that's sure to reel you in.  Cheers.

http://www77.zippyshare.com/v/76557648/file.html

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Crash - Everything Under the Sun (1992, Justine; rec 1985-87)

I haven't really brought them up on here, but I'm a big Ultra Vivid Scene acolyte, or more specifically prime-mover Kurt Ralske.  When I friend introduced me to Crash in the early '90s, he made a point of informing me that it was Kurt's pre-UVS band.  Upon hearing Everything Under the Sun (a consolidation of Crash's EPs and I Feel Fine LP) I failed to draw any obvious parallels to Kurt Ralske, most notably because he wasn't singing.  Instead, Crash featured a Morrissey-esque but otherwise undistinctive mouthpiece in the guise of Mark Dumais, who was passable as a vocalist, but a tad short on charisma.  As an entity, Crash dined on the work of a considerable number of their UK indie contemporaries, but had a propensity to spit out much of the charm in the process.  At the very least Ralske's guitar-work compensates, and occasionally Crash really get the ball rolling, namely on the chiming "Almost," and the rousing, Velvets-indebted "In My Head."  As a final saving grace, Everything Under... improves considerably as it's latter half progresses.

01. I Feel Fine
02. What I Found
03. Don't Look Now (acoustic)
04. I Go Round
05. All I Get
06. International Velvet
07. Cindy Jewel (demo)
08. John Stood Bye
09. Don't Look Now
10. Almost
11. Bright Colored Lights
12. In My Head
13. Rings, Chains and Groups
14. Superfly
15. Everything Under the Sun

http://www77.zippyshare.com/v/6797064/file.html

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

milf - ha ha bus! (1994, Big Deal)

Back in 2009 when I went milf crazy (as in the band folks) and posted the bulk of their discography, I left out two important pieces of the puzzle with the intention of featuring them at a later date.  That "later date" turned out to be today in fact, as my priorities inadvertently shifted in the five year layover.  For those of you with a question mark over your noggin in regards to the aforementioned, let me catch you up to speed with my synopsis on the band from my March 2009 entry for their split single with Tugboat Annie:

Got milf? Buffalo sure did, at least throughout a good swath of the early-to-mid '90s (before most of us actually knew what the now infamous acronym meant). One record scribe likened the trio music to a Husker Du 45 played at 33. Though not the most spot-on description of their sound, milf dispelled a sinewy, distorto guitar sprawl with jawdroppingly tuneful sensibilities bands from the Queen City have experienced before or since. Numerous short form recordings (tapes and 7"s) came and went, but their flooring debut album ha ha bus! on Big Deal Records found them at their creative apex, with the commendable antidope to folllow shortly thereafter. 

Five years on, I wouldn't rephrase a smidgen of that summation, but if these guys are fresh to your eyes/ears milf's proper debut is a good place to start your journey.  ha ha bus! isn't wall to wall fireworks, though it's most stunning offerings (check out this trifecta of perfect tens: "hate me," "model t," and "and there's me") are as visceral and gloriously amped-out as music of this ilk gets.  Dense, gauzy guitars soaked in a dream-pop haze, a noisome delivery system, and Justin Chapmans loud/soft vocal aplomb were milf's killer cocktail, one that was employed to it's fullest extent on ha ha bus!, which unfortunately wasn't quite duplicated on their follow-up, antidope.  Will get to that one soon, and hopefully fix the broken links in my previous ovations to the group.  Enjoy.

01. punch
02. model t
03. bad idea
04. angst and daisies
05. me
06. and there's me
07. hate me
08. hair bitch
09. certain people shouldn't lie
10. primate me

http://www76.zippyshare.com/v/30212837/file.html

Monday, July 14, 2014

Day dreams on the ceiling, ridges in my memory…

The '91 sophomore LP from Bay Area, popcore mainstays whose career has spanned four decades.

http://www18.zippyshare.com/v/36316246/file.html

Sunday, July 13, 2014

BOB - What a Performance ep (1987, Sombrero)

In reference to the title, quite.  Perhaps choosing such a ubiquitous moniker hampered BOB's efforts to make a name for themselves (pun somewhat intended) in the fertile UK indie heyday of the late '80s.  After all, they were a band, not an individual.  Alas, BOB were a year late with What a Performance for placement on the coveted, genre-inducing C86 cassette compilation, yet they exhibited a similar fey, bouncy lilt that scenesters the Bodines and June Brides had made their calling card.  The title track and the tweaked reprise of it, "Worra Performance" is a fantastic slice of homegrown, post-Marrissey indie-pop, fleshed out with some unobtrusive horns about halfway in.  BOB hit the perfect balance wherever the needle falls here, and it's little wonder why they were so championed by John Peel. 

Incidentally their 1991 LP, Leave the Straight Life Behind has been reissued and greatly expanded.  Details here or at Amazon

01. What a Performance
02. Piggery
03. Deary Me
04. Memory of a Free Lunch
05. Worra Performance

http://www53.zippyshare.com/v/38842308/file.html

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Nixon's Head - Traps, Buckshot & Pelt (1987, Groove Disques)

Before doing my homework, I was prepared to reference Nixon's Head exclusively in the past tense, but not only do they have an online presence, they're still roaming the earth apparently, or at least their corner of Philadelphia.  Just when I thought that all the City of Brotherly Love had to offer was cheese steak sandwiches and the Dead Milkmen, the wise bard at the often noted Little Hits blog tipped me off to this marvelous indie rock contingent, who sadly released but a handful of records during their initial '80s lifespan, this one being the lengthiest of the bunch.  For Traps, Buckshot & Pelt, Nixon's Head were a five-piece setup, and a fairly no frills one at that.  No gaudy Reagan-era schlock here pal, just straightforward guitar rock with faint resemblances to Twin-Tone epoch Soul Asylum (albeit quieter), Mercyland and Agitpop.  "I Like You" and "She Should Know Better" get my juices flowing the most, though I'd be misleading you if I passed this disk off as being anything less than totally consistent.  This rip was taken straight from my own crackly copy, but it appears the band has made this and a previous ep available on Soundcloud.  If that weren't enough, original vinyl copies might still be obtainable from the Groove Disques store, where you can also investigate their "reunion" releases at very modest prices.

01. Four Corners
02. The Same Thing
03. I Like You
04. She Should Know Better
05. My Best Friend
06. Let it Go
07. Instant Woody

http://www52.zippyshare.com/v/19145735/file.html

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Waking Hours 7" (1992, Brilliant)

It's singles like this that make all the dollar bin rummaging I do worth the dusty task it so often is.  Per the back sleeve, Richmond's Waking Hours bear a certain mod appearance, when in fact they inch more towards the Merseybeat side of things.  I have a name for music of this esteemed caliber - "Ricken-pop," though I don't have an iota of proof that anyone in this trio actually strapped on a Rickenbacker guitar for these two sublime performances.  If you're an aficionado of the Smithereens, Something Fierce, Grip Weeds, or even the Nashville Ramblers, this 45 is worth it's weight in jangly gold.  Check out their Myspace page for more equally divine tunes.

A. What You Don't Know
B. I'm Falling Down

http://www9.zippyshare.com/v/84319313/file.html

Monday, July 7, 2014

the sign at the fork in the road says "straight on"...

The 1993 solo debut from a Chapel, NC luminary.  Also included are a couple of singles that were issued shortly thereafter. 

http://www45.zippyshare.com/v/4735161/file.html

Sunday, July 6, 2014

A note about all Netkups hosted files.

As some of you may have noticed, all Netkup links are currently not functioning. While the Netkups website is still active, their servers are not, nor have they been for almost a week now.  I apologize for this, as I am still using them as a file hoster for some of the older entries that you've requested I revive.  I've been employing Zippyshare exclusively for more recent entries, but that's only the tip of the iceberg in terms of deep catalog I've been offering you for the past seven years. 

For you established Wilfully Obscure clientele, you might recall that in January of 2013, my file hoster of five 1/2 years, Rapidshare, abruptly kicked me and over a thousand of my files straight to the curb, without the slightest explanation.  Shortly thereafter, I migrated about 90% of those files to Netkups, but I've had some substantial difficulties with them, and am sadly in the lurch that I currently am.  I have other options, the most obvious being Zippyshare, but as is the case with all file hosting clients, files are deleted from the servers if not accessed in 30 days.  In short, moving the entire Wilfully Obscure "catalog" to any single platform would be a Sisyphean endeavor, so I'm not sure what the future holds, even if Netkups finally gets their shit together.  In a nutshell, if there's something that you want to grab that's currently unavailable, I'm taking requests (and yes, I'm still going to be plugging along with new stuff).  Cheers.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Buzzcocks - Songs in a Different Time (2001, Prism Leisure)

Nobody needs another live Buzzcocks album.  Nobody.  Happy 4th everyone.

Recorded in Paris, 1995

01. I Don't Know What to Do With My Life
02. Love You More
03. Autonomy
04. Orgasm Addict
05. Promises
06. When Love Turns Around You
07. Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've)
08. What Do I Get?
09. Oh Shit!
10. Fast Cars

http://www66.zippyshare.com/v/70405689/file.html

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

V/A - Temple of Music - Independent Pop from Western New York (1996, Atom Smash/P22)

Before Buffalo, NY's main claim-to-lame was being the snow capital of the nation (though technically, Syracuse, three hours down the road, is actually subject to more of the white plague than the Queen City), the town in question had an even more dubious distinction - the assassination of President William McKinley at the Pan Am Exposition in 1901.  In 1988, a macabre opportunist with hip taste in music assembled a compilation LP highlighting the cream of Buffalo's up-and-coming crop, strikingly dubbed, We Killed McKinley.  Eight years on, another opportunist decided to try his/her/it's hand at providing yet another snapshot of the Erie County scene, highlighting equally worthy tuneage in the Clinton-era.  And to our good fortune they did a pretty apt job at it.  Temple of Music's CD sleeve and title is yet another dig at the 1901 tragedy, as it depicts the building where that unholy act took place (which by the way looks suspiciously like a Carnegie library, but I digress). 

The liner notes to Temple... openly attest that Buffalo failed to receive any bona fide support from "the mainstream press."  It's a scenario which played out in many mid-sized, less-than-cosmopolitan towns elsewhere in the States.  Too bad ace power-pop prodigies girlpope, Tremendo, BoBo, The Willies, and even Rochester's Koo Koo Boy didn't transcend the mainstream morass of the day.  Spawn's garagey goth, The Wrench's shredding' punk-pop, and milf's noiseome, but devastatingly melodious maelstrom are downright peerless as well, not to mention additional, well above average contributions from the likes of Stella, Java Man Ray Gun and Hula.

If you dig, physical copies of this and full lengths/ep's from the aforementioned girlpope and BoBo may still be available from P22, who by the way are responsible for some rather gnarly fonts as well.

01-BoBo - Suzie
02-Hula - Kissbox Diesel
03-The Wrench - Worry When We Get There
04-Tremendo - More Or Less
05-Durango 95 - Extraordinary Relief From Res Judicata
06-Rarely Seen Public Figures - Beautiful
07-girlpope - Song About Girls
08-The Tim - 360°
09-Spawn - Swirling Priest
10-Java Man Ray Gun - She's So Paranormal
11-The Amazing All My Children Band - Finding Out All About The Flowers
12-Dan Lewis And The Tomorrow File - Face On The Floor
13-Nimrod Wildfire Band - Happy Hunting Grounds
14-The Willies - Looks Like She's From Another World
15-The Wife Swappers - Ashtray
16-McCarthyizm - Take What You Can Get
17-Stella - Paint-Stain
18-milf - Super
19-Copper - Serial Killer
20-Koo Koo Boy - Sunday

http://www17.zippyshare.com/v/23027492/file.html

Monday, June 30, 2014

Six billion little freckles, with freckles of their own...

When I attended the final Hey Mercedes concert at the Metro in Chicago in 2005, the opening act was celebrating their debut album release.  And here it is.  I'm also tacking on a song they recorded shortly thereafter. 

http://www22.zippyshare.com/v/25985981/file.html

Saturday, June 28, 2014

A Special Pillow - A Very Special Pillow 7" (1995, Really Fast Racecar)

A little pedigree action going on here.  File under Yo La Tengo and Hypnolovewheel, cos' A Special Pillow entailed James McNew and Dan Cuddy of the aforementioned respectfully.  Cuddy is actually the mastermind here, and the only consistent participant on the trio of full lengths that followed this 45.  Just as significant are the contributions of violin shredder Katie Gentile and cellist Cindy Brolsma, who provide a poignant chamber pop element..  "Tomorrow Night" (not the Shoes classic in case you were wondering) is sheer naval-gazing bliss if there ever was such a thing.  Slow, strummy, and even a tad glummy, it's the perfect slacker lullaby for hammock season.  The flip, "Paranormal," is considerably more enthusiastic, with Gentile's chin-music savvy escalating the tune's fervor to something along the lines of Pillow's string-wielding contemps the Dambuilders. 

A. Tomorrow Night
B. Paranormal

http://www46.zippyshare.com/v/12041526/file.html

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Crocodile Shop - Lullaby (1988, Susstones)

Two months ago, I introduced many of you to Crocodile Shop's 1987 ep, Head.  With a quintessentially indie rock sound that drew from the choice stock temanating from the then contemporary Minneapolis and American Southeast, I was practically beside myself to learn that within a decades time the band was not only still active, but had adopted a thumping, industro-EDM modus operadni.  Starling as that was, Croc Shop's metamorphosis was relatively gradual, and Lullaby was a none-too-telling chapter in their transition.  With the Chameleons (UK) Dave Fielding producing, the trio cast their gaze on the chillier strains of post-punk, often threatening to breach into noir environs, resembling the likes of Wire and the Comsat Angels.  Frustratingly, Lullaby doesn't fully blossom until the latter half of side two, closing out with a trifecta of tense, yet melodically adept numbers.  All in all, more substance than schtick, and a grand finale worth hanging around for.

01. The Big Goodbye
02. Three More Times
03. But Not Now
04. Hands and Pocket
05. The Floor of the Sea
06. Own the World
07. Knocking Down the Doors
08. Corrupt Solution
09. Lies Don't Move
10. Tender
11. December Mourning

http://www38.zippyshare.com/v/76903589/file.html

Monday, June 23, 2014

See these hands? There’s splinters in my palms...

The 1986 album from an unheralded Minneapolis combo.  Lots of ringing guitar leads on this one, not dissimilar to another troop from this era, Dreams So Real.

http://www56.zippyshare.com/v/40639877/file.html

Friday, June 20, 2014

Doll Congress ep (1983, Enigma)

I went into this one with a couple of serious misconceptions.  Doll Congress' lineup contained a pre-solo/pre-fame Michael Penn, who would later rise to prominence in the late '80s with a big 'ol Top-40 hit.  He also happened to be the brother of Sean Penn.  I was under the impression that Michael fronted Doll Congress.  Not exactly.  Furthermore, an unverifiable source led me to believe that D/C were all about the power pop.  Waaaay off the mark.  The lead-off number, "Concrete and Clay" is outright owned by chanteuse Gabriele Morgan, whose ungodly high pitch is at the very least an appropriate pairing for this tropical slice of pseudo new wave.  Clearly not what I was expecting.  The two flip-sides are at least a tad more in my wheelhouse.  The comparatively rockin' "Easy to Touch" bears a bouncy, Blondie-esque panache that I don't have nearly as much of a beef with, and we finally get to hear Mike adorn the mic on "The Main,"the closest Doll Congress comes to offering conventional guitar chords.  Make what you will of this long defunct L.A. quintet.

A. Concrete and Clay
B1. Easy to Touch
B2. The Main

http://www73.zippyshare.com/v/14777784/file.html

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Rotary Ten - two tapes (1990-91)

Presumably taking their name from the R.E.M. song, it's virtually inevitable for me to draw some sort of parallel between this Cleveland area quartet and Michael Stipe's former meal-ticket.  Rotary Ten, in fact, didn't siphon as much as you might assume from said Athens, GA staple, so much as the bands whom R.E.M. informed - Miracle Legion, For Squirrels, and even more negligibly Toad the Wet Sprocket.  Submitted for your approval, two low-budget forays into the unlikely realm of organ-laced indie pop.  The proceedings on Long Walk and Coffee Songs emanate a discernible collegiate ardor, yet are uniformly approachable.  Rotate Ten wield some fairly ambitious melodies when they put their collective minds to it - "Glacier Run," "Rainfall" and "Insomnia" for starters.  Otherwise, I have precious little else to opine on here.  However, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that some of these songs are available on an R/T compilation from this period, Adopt a Highway, which is attainable via Bandcamp, alongside a collection of later material. Should you find anything stimulating on these cassettes, please consider supporting the band and send a few $$ their way!

Long Walk (1990)
01. Autumn Years
02. Save Me Mary
03. Glacier Run
04. Rainfall
05. The End of it's Over
06. Lover's Lane
07. Cowboys

Coffee Songs (1991)
01. Coffee Song
02. I Am in a Coma
03. Insomnia
04. Winona

http://www39.zippyshare.com/v/20671399/file.html

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Close the door and kick the light out...

From 1993.  Stellar indie rock from Canada, with nods to Sonic Youth and Superchunk.  Loads of sweet jangly breaks throughout.

http://www71.zippyshare.com/v/98321636/file.html

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Swell Maps - rehearsals, outtakes, etc.

I didn't rip much vinyl this week, nor do I have much time on my hands today, but since I've been on a bit of a Swell Maps kick of late, I thought I'd toss this out there.  You might say this very hodge-podged, bottom-of-the-barrel scraped collection is only for the most dedicated devotees of Soundtracks, Sudden and Head.  In case you're wondering, this wasn't assembled by yours truly.  The main attraction here is arguably a highly shambolic concert tape from 1979, running a good forty minutes.  No "hits" here folks, but some of this stuff is more constructive than I might be making out.  For those of you who want to properly acquaint yourself with these seminal, post-punk noiseniks, I would recommend beginning with their two albums, A Trip to Marineville (1979) and Jane From Occupied Europe (1980). You might also be further enlightened regarding S/M by gleaning this.

01. 14th Floor
02. Forest Fire
03. Harmony In Your Bathroom (Alternate Take)
04. live in Aylesbury, Sept. 1979
05. Marineville outtakes
06. instrumentals 1
07. instrumentals2
08. instrumentals 3
09. rehearsal, July 1977

http://www73.zippyshare.com/v/92147691/file.html

Friday, June 13, 2014

The Caroline Know 7" (1992, #1 Records)

The gentleman on the cover is flipping us da bird, and for the life of me I can't figure out why.  Maybe I shouldn't take it so personally.  My familiarity with The Caroline Know starts/ends with this particular single, though they had at least one more, and even a full length to their credit.  Jason Loenstein (yes, from Sebadoh and Folk Implosion) had some involvement with this Massachusetts indie rock proposition, but by the time the "finger" single dropped he was out of the picture.  Perhaps even more significantly singer Stephen Rand passed on in 2011.  His distinctive timbre doesn't go unnoticed, and neither does the C/K's guitar interplay, ostensibly inspired by Dean Wareham (Galaxie 500 and Luna).  Both tracks qualify as 'growers' in my book, but I'm compelled to investigate further.   

A. Krushedy Krush
B. Little Bocephus

http://www52.zippyshare.com/v/59712424/file.html

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Graphic - Baysongs (1985, Baysongs)

Another Orange County jewel.  Blurring the lines between new age and new romantic (skewing heavily to the latter), Graphic's surreal choice of sleeve art is somewhat reflective of the occasionally exotic and sublime music ensconced within Baysongs.  I'm honing in on traces of Haircut 100 and the Three O'clock, among such other plush contemporaries, but there's a freshness and sophistication to these ten cuts that thrust this Irvine, CA quartet beyond the pop stratosphere.  I might also add that tasteful flourishes of sax blend in smoothly with Baysongs breezy proceedings. Cool disk.

If you want to take this one out for a test drive before d/l, someone has made a streaming version available on Bandcamp.  The version I'm offering below is my own rip.

01. In a Different World
02. The Hour Has Come
03. The Cast
04. Medieval Daydream
05. Someday You'll Look Back
06. Jacquie
07. In Transition
08. The Baysong
09. To the Good Guys
10. The City

http://www17.zippyshare.com/v/44236728/file.html