sábado, 19 de agosto de 2017

Made For TV


Perhaps because of the cachet of having ex-Velvet Underground John Cale as its producer, this D.C. quartet's "So Afraid of the Russians" became a new-music hit in 1983. It can't be said that "So Afraid of the Russians", a recitative dig at right-wing paranoia, has aged poorly: It wasn't very interesting the first time around. Still, their craggy industrial-funk owes so much to Pere Ubu that it seems to make sense when singer Tom Lyon starts aping Pere Ubu singer David Thomas. [SOURCE: THE WASHINGTON POST

viernes, 18 de agosto de 2017

Grauzone


Grauzone (German for "grey area") was a band from Berne, Switzerland that was active and disbanded in the early 1980s. Grauzone is most famous for their 1981 hit "Eisbär" ("Polar Bear"). The single charted at #12 in Germany and #6 in Austria. In addition to "Eisbär" they had some success with the singles "Film 2" and "Wütendes Glas". 

At the end of 1979, Marco Repetto (drums) and GT (bass) left the punk band Glueams to form a new band called Grauzone with Martin Eicher (guitar, vocals, synthesizer). Martin had already supported Glueams on their single 'Mental'. They gave their first concert in March 1980 at club Spex in Berne. Martin's brother Stephan Eicher (guitar, synthesizer), Max Kleiner and Claudine Chirac (saxophone) supplemented the group temporarily in live appearances and recordings. After ten concerts, four singles and an album the group split up at the end of 1982. [SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

jueves, 17 de agosto de 2017

Cowboys International


A band that managed to bridge the gap between Bowie, Eno and the new wave that would follow, Cowboys International was basically an all star group collected by vocalist and songwriter Ken Lockie that put out one tremendous album in 1979 and a handful of 45s ("Thrash", "Aftermath", "Nothing Doing", "Today Today") before retreating into obscurity. 

With punk icons from The Clash's Terry Chimes to Public Image Limited's Keith Levene contributing, 'The Original Sin' actually garnered a rave review from Rolling Stone's David Fricke and was included as number 11 on Melody Maker's Best Albums of 1979 list alongside such classics as Michael Jackson's 'Off the Wall', The Clash's 'London Calling', Talking Heads' 'Fear of Music' and Elvis Costello's 'Armed Forces'. "Here Comes A Saturday", the album's official single became a minor hit in the United States and "Thrash" and "Pointy Shoes" were staples of the New York City club scene (despite the superiority of the Soft Boys-esque "Aftermath"). Still, the loose collective of a band didn't stick together and 'The Original Sin' went out of print for over two decades. 

In 2003, Ken Lockie reissued his masterpiece of days gone by along with non-album material and alternate mixes as 'Cowboys International Revisited' and began work on more original material with the intent of releasing a new record. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

miércoles, 16 de agosto de 2017

Chi-Pig


Chi-Pig was a new wave power trio hailing from Akron, Ohio. During the 1960s and 1970s, Susan Schmidt (daughter of Marjorie H. Schmidt of The Co-Eds) and Deborah Smith were active in several area bands, notably The Poor Girls, Cinderella's Revenge, and Friction. Smith and Schmidt formed The Poor Girls with Pam Johnson and Esta Kerr in 1965, while studying at Litchfield Junior High School, the first significant rock band to come from Akron and the first to consist only of women. They played regularly and opened for bands such as Cream and Steppenwolf. The group continued during their time at Firestone High School, until splitting up in 1969.

Around 1977, Schmidt and Smith teamed up with Richard Roberts to form Chi-Pig, taking their name from a local barbecue restaurant that sold both chicken and pork (whose sign featured a cartoon drawing of a pig with wings). The band was known for wearing flamboyant flamenco-style Latin-American outfits, even though this had nothing to do with their musical style. The band released a single, 'Bountiful Living / Ring Around the Collar' with lyrics by Mark Mothersbaugh, of Devo, in 1978. Despite active participation in the local music scene and national interest in the Akron area due to the popularity of Devo and Tin Huey, Chi-Pig was unable to land a record deal, ultimately splitting up in 1981. During the fall of 1979, they recorded an album at Criteria Studios in Miami with Bruce Hensal. Although the album was not released at the time, in 2004 the band released a CD of the Criteria recordings along with their earlier recordings, including "Apu-Api (Help Me)" that appeared on the Stiff Records album 'The Akron Compilation'. Their CD, 'Miami', was critically acclaimed as "25 years ahead of its time even now" by Richard Riegel in The Village Voice.

Chi-Pig's music was made up of smart pop rock songs addressing the concerns of women living in a consumerist society with just a touch of humor on the side. Musically, Schmidt and Smith had developed a tight sound over their many years of playing together. Unfortunately, the band fell apart just as other female led groups such as The Go-Go's and The Pretenders were breaking out. In 2005, the band appeared in the PBS documentary, "If You're Not Dead, Play", which detailed the Akron Sound that sprung out of the Ohioan punk rock and new wave scene in the second wave during the 1980s. "Bountiful Living" was used in the soundtrack of the Klaus Nomi documentary film, "The Nomi Song" (2004). Chi-Pig members Susan Schmidt and Deborah Smith co-wrote the Devo song "Gates of Steel" with Gerald Casale and Mark Mothersbaugh. [SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

martes, 15 de agosto de 2017

Big Dipper


A great band that never quite fulfilled their enormous potential, Boston's Big Dipper had impeccable indie credentials and an excellent line in crunchy post-post-punk guitar pop, but their later albums were no match for their early work. Big Dipper was formed in 1985 when guitarist Gary Waleik and bassist Steve Michener left the original lineup of Volcano Suns, which they'd formed with drummer and vocalist Peter Prescott after the breakup of Prescott's earlier band Mission of Burma. Both uncomfortable with the idea of taking lead vocal chores, Waleik and Michener recruited singer/guitarist Bill Goffrier, who had moved to Boston after his former band, the Lawrence, KS-based indie pioneers The Embarrassment, had split up in 1983. Completing their lineup with local drummer Jeff Oliphant (formerly in an early lineup of Dumptruck), Big Dipper gigged around Boston and Cambridge for a while before recording their first EP, 1987's 'Boo-Boo', at the soon-to-be-famous Fort Apache Studios. Leading off with the killer "Faith Healer" (a song Goffrier had brought with him from the final days of The Embarrassment that would prove to be one of Big Dipper's most popular tunes, even getting covered by Shonen Knife), 'Boo-Boo' was well-received on both the local and national indie scenes. Later the same year, the full-length 'Heavens' was released (with no overlap from the EP, which was included on the CD issue) to even greater acclaim. An excellent synthesis of sunny power pop, neo-psychedelia, and indie rock angst featuring gems like "She's Fetching" and "All Going Out Together," 'Heavens' is one of the finest American indie albums of its era. 


Unfortunately, 1988's 'Craps' is a comparatively weaker effort, with less sharp songwriting and a more sedate vibe. (Goffrier at this point was dividing his time between Big Dipper and a temporary Embarrassment reunion, which might account for his less striking contributions.) After that release, Big Dipper surprisingly signed with Epic Records. Like their Boston compatriots O-Positive, who had signed with the same label around the same time, Big Dipper's one and only major-label release is a major disappointment; 1990's 'Slam' features far-too-slick production, with intrusive brass sections and too much emphasis on the rhythm section. Demoralized by the lack of critical and popular success for the album, Big Dipper broke up shortly thereafter. Michener moved to California and briefly worked with Barbara Manning before retiring from music to become a nurse. Other than the short-lived supergroup Crush, which released one album in 1993, Waleik also retired, becoming a producer for National Public Radio. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

lunes, 14 de agosto de 2017

Volcano Suns


Volcano Suns was an American alternative rock band from Boston, Massachusetts formed by Mission of Burma drummer Peter Prescott in 1984, the only founding member to remain until their break-up in 1991. Prescott had auditioned for the position of drummer with Disneyland, but took two of that band's members to form Volcano Suns. The other original members were Gary Waleik and Steve Michener who would leave after a few months, before the release of the first Volcano Suns album, to form Big Dipper. Prescott then added Jeff Weigand on bass guitar and Jon Williams on guitar. This second line-up created the band's debut album 'The Bright Orange Years' (1985), as well as its follow-up, 'All-Night Lotus Party' (1986), both released on the now-defunct Homestead Records. In 1987, Bob Weston and Chuck Hahn replaced Weigand and Williams respectively for 'Bumper Crop', the band's final release on Homestead. Other contributors included Roger Miller on piano and Gary Waleik on sitar. 


In 1988, the band moved to Greg Ginn's SST Records for their 4th release, 'Farced'. The line-up however was the same as on 'Bumper Crop', including Miller on piano and Waleik on sitar. 1989 brought their most experimental release, 'Thing of Beauty', also on SST, on which David Kleiler (formerly from the band Sorry) replaced Chuck Hahn on guitar. This would be the Volcano Suns' final line up. The band moved to Chicago-based indie label Quarterstick Records for their final release, 'Career in Rock' in 1991. The album was engineered by Steve Albini, who would later work with Bob Weston in their band Shellac. [SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

domingo, 13 de agosto de 2017

Beirut, La Noche


New wave quartet from Madrid formed by Juan Carlos Martín Blanco (voice), Alberto Cedrón (guitar), Manolo Sirvent and Luís Gómez Rubio (drums), they were a very good guitar pop band, with really funny lyrics, catchy melodies and a very good singing voice. They recorded two singles in the middle of the 80's; one of them contained the cuts "Ella se Hizo Monja" y "Vómitos", edited for the sub-label of the Compañía Fonográfica Española (Ref. F-003) El Fantasma del Paraíso in 1983, which was recorded at Audiofilm Studios in Madrid in July that year. A second single, edited by the same label (Ref. F-012) and recorded in the same studios, in this case in February 1984 was 'Expaña / Ruinas del Imperio'. [SOURCE: GRUPOS NACIONALES NUEVA OLA 80

sábado, 12 de agosto de 2017

Toxin III


Hailing from Crowley, Louisiana, Toxin III named themselves after a strain of anthrax rumored to be used in the Iran-Iraq war, then used against Saddam's own citizens 10 years later. They opened for Black Flag in 1980 for their "Jealous Again" tour. Their only release was a 6 song 7" that had a picture of the Confederastika (a Swastika with stars on a Confederate Flag) that was conceived from a Time Magazine article claiming that the Confederate Flag was the new Swastika in America. The band was NOT by any means Antisemitic or racist. The EP was later re-released (with 5 additional studio outtakes) as a CD on Hyped2Death in 2003, an LP with a few added tracks on Rave-Up Records in 2004 and most recently on Burka For Everybody Records in November 2009. [SOURCE: LAST.FM

viernes, 11 de agosto de 2017

The Sting-Rays


Born in the early 80's they were one of the most important bands of Brithish rock'n'roll sound, even one of the best british bands. They are one of the first bands who made a sound nowdays we called psychobilly. Their sound mixed rock'n'roll and garage and that make it really savage. Founded in Crouch End (north of UK) they were sticking and alive from 1981 to 1987 touring all along Europe. The members of the band changed in those years but the spirit and writer of almost all the songs was Alec Palao. 'Dinosaurs', their debut album, caught The Sting-Rays crossing a bridge most other bands would have fallen off, poised between styles that would take them a while to reconcile. As the time passes The Sting-Rays changed and their sound turned less savage (you will notice it if you hear their last album). At the end of the life of the band Alec played with The Go-Betweens and The Pogues, getting turned on to folk rock. In 1988 when the band was already disolved Alec finished playing in The Sneetches, a band whose sound remember the 60's. During the six years that they were playing edited five albums, six singles and appeared in lot of compilations albums, but if you want to know what's the meaning of savage R'n'R try with their compilation album 'The Essential (Early) Sting-Rays Recordings'. [SOURCE: WRECKINGPIT

martes, 8 de agosto de 2017

Ruth


It’s the early ‘80s, and Thierry Müller, a graphic artist and krautrock fan from Paris, has decided to put his experimental rock group Ilitch on hold and make something, as he puts it, “that people could dance to”. The result is Ruth, a conceptual project that exists for just one album, 1985’s 'Polaroïd/Roman/Photo'. Seven tracks long, it is a remarkable piece of experimental but danceable new-wave, and nowhere more remarkable than the title track -an icy-cold cut of flickering synthesiser, taut guitar and jagged saxophone featuring disconsolate boy-girl vocals and the mechanical click-spool sound of a Polaroid camera. 'Polaroïd/Roman/Photo' is not a success. History has it that the record sells in the region of 50 copies, and before long, Müller’s interest has strayed elsewhere – his next project, recorded 1985, is an EP called 'Pile ou Face', recorded under the name Crash in homage to the JG Ballard novel of the same name. [SOURCE: MINIMAL WAVE RECORDS