South Bay Surfers "Rock and Roll Girls" (MP3)
I don't have much more to say other than I adore this 7" and these fellows. Clearly they have more spirit and style in them than half of the punk bands that have asked them to open their gigs as a hoot at the Surfers' expense (one guy writes "if you're ever at a club and they start to play, my advice is that you head to another club or at least go out for a smoke and a drink, cuz they're probably gonna play too long"). But if it gets them a paycheck, all the better. Besides the Fogerty cover, this 7" offered up "Treat Her Right", "Short Shorts", "Teenager In Love", "Wooly Bully" and "Lollipop". The back of the single features the drummer behind the Unsane's borrowed kit. Check out the MP3 in its satin jacket glory.
Love Child "Live on WFMU 3/9/90" (MP3)
A dip back into the time machine to Gerard Cosloy's radio show in 1990, where he hosted local rock band Love Child, very much being touted by some at the time as the Next Big Thing in the state of indie rock. Will Baum and Alan Licht switched off guitar and drums, Rebecca Odes played bass, and they all wrote and sang their own tunes, which swung between nervous, catchy, sloppy pop anthems straight out of the K Records/Modern Lovers rulebook, and slightly more aggressive nods to Black Flag, Pere Ubu and Red Transistor. In a most unfashionable indie rock move (then) Licht even ripped out some severe Eddie Van Halenisms amidst a severe worship at the alter of the 1970's-Ohio/1960's Velvets bridge. Their first 7" soiled many fanzine writers' undergarments, creating a pretty high bar for their first Homestead LP Okay (which came out somewhere around this radio set). On their second disc Witchcraft they had replaced Baum with a new drummer and ventured off into a new orbit ("Stumbling Block" was one of the greatest My Bloody Valentine/Mogwai-evoking moments of building noise in a pop song) before splitting up. Baum went on to Hollywood and the band 9 Iron (not before depositing Andy Breckman at WFMU where the two actually hosted radio together before Andy and Ken connected), Rebecca became a writer and also had the band Odes on Merge Records, and Licht also writes, went on to the band Run On, and remains a central cog in the NYC experimental scene). This MP3 of "Crocus Says" and "Sofa" showed the dichotomy of the band's sound pretty accurately.
Goh Yokota "Toy" (MP3)
If you've worn out that Thai Elephant Orchestra disc, and like the sounds that kids but don't actually want any, well, we've got a CD for you. Kindermusik: Improvised Music For Babies (Amorfon label) declares: "All babies are geniuses. Have you ever listened to babies' musical performances seriously? These pieces in this album are live recordings with no editing. Playing zither, piano, steel pan, turntable toy and pacifier instrument which is controlled by computer...10 babies under 1.5 years old are gathering from 6 countries. You must be impressed by their unique sensitivities!"
Harold Rome "Art In the Night" (MP3)
This is the "We Didn't Start the Fire" for the art scene (thanks Kenny G).
Unknown Angry Caller (MP3)
This guy has a beef about a TV documentary on crop circles. To say the least.
Blurt "Some Come" (MP3)
Bookbinder, puppeteer and musician Ted Milton founded Blurt in 1981 as a very capable UK equivalent to the Downtown art-skronk being transmitted across the pond by the likes of the Contortions. His squealing sidestepping sax augmented African-inspired rhythms, rubbery basslines, and psychotic vocals (not unlike moments of Mark Stewart in the Pop Group), creating a chaos that issued forth more hooks than many of his distant No Wave contemporaries. Lyrically, it was more about dada than JB (as this passage can vouch: "I will lead the world over the end of the Santa Monica Pier, but not until you've raised the temperature of the Pacific Ocean to blood temperature and provide warm towels in the dressing room.") The band's sound see-sawed between art-damaged punk and jazz through a consistent career of output (over a dozen LPs regularly flowing between 1981 and 2000). Milton is still fairly active today (and a frequent corresponder with FMU, thanks for the permish to post this MP3), and lately he's been putting out crazy cardboard CDRs held together with prongs often featuring wooden kitchen utensils glued to the covers. Salamander Records is a good first stop to get familiar with the sound of Blurt, there are a few great anthologies in print now.
Robin Kahn "Sings Carole King's Tapestry" (MP3's)
April 27, 2005 on Kenny G's Intelligent Design show. Kahn had appeared earlier in the year doing an a capella rendition of Jesus Christ Superstar in it's entirety. Jesus Christ had his name invoked around the office quite a bit on this day as well. Here are individual MP3's of "I Feel the Earth Move", "So Far Away", "It's Too Late", "Home Again", "Beautiful", "Way Over Yonder", "You Got a Friend", "Where You Lead", "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow", "Smackwater Jack", "Tapestry", and "You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman."
Chandra "Subway" (MP3)
Thought we'd toss this one in, as we're waiting to hear of the impending MTA strike as of presstime. Chandra's 1980 EP Transportation (On/Gogo) featured 10-year old lead singer Chandra Oppenheim, daughter of sculptor/visual artist Dennis Oppenheim. In '79 via her dad she met the band Model Citizens, and upon their breakup they decided to back her up and call the group Chandra. They met with fairly good response: Warhol interviewed them for his mag, they got good paying gigs at all the NYC hotspots, and apparently appeared performing on Captain Kangaroo. Fred Maher, drummer of many Lou Reed sessions, was in this band as well.
Janek Schaefer "Morning 29/03/95" (MP3)
London-based sound artist Janek Schaefer kicked off his career in 1995 with this piece, originally issued on Stock, Hausen and Walkman's Hot Air label on a 7", later on the compilation CD Medical Milestones. Basically, Schafer obtained 70 minutes of recorded sound from a voice-activated tape recorder he mailed to himself through the British postal system. It became a fascinating audio documentary of the journey of mail, from being stamped to handled by a bunch of ruffian postal workers all speaking explicitly about what they did the night before, to the actual arrival of and signing for the package. Thanks to Janek for OK-ing this MP3 (and congratulations on becoming a dad this month!), check out this interview which gives some more details on this particular project, as well as other of his fine improvised/concrete and miscellaneous works. We're all really jealous about the koala bear picture, too, man.
Below is a digest of all MP3s featured in Beware of the Blog over the past month (gathered by Liz Berg):
- Einsturzende Neubauten has sold out. Over and over. Check out these hilarious German commercials starring Blixa, and grab an MP3 of 12305 Te Nacht, the song that runs through each ad, on this post from Scott.
- Another fantastic addition to the WFMU podcast roster: Ed Shepp!