Thursday, August 26, 2004

The Raybeats - "B-Gas-Rickshaw"

"For all you supercharged types...decent...start your know, all that kind of stuff. Does anybody out there know what a B-Gasser is? If so, you probably get the rickshaw part." This is the liner note description of the song "B-Gas-Rickshaw" from the album "Guitar Beat" which Guitar Player magazine called "one of the ten best instrumental albums of all time". The nattily dressed Raybeats formed out of the remnants of New York's legendary the Contortions and 8-Eyed Spy. Their music blended surf rock, lounge and soul together with the experimental no-wave sound of downtown NYC. Their music recalled the sounds of the Ventures, the Shadows and Duane Eddy with trebly guitars, cheesy organs and wailing sax. The album "Guitar Beat" (PVC) was recorded on top of a cliff in England at producer Martin Rushent's (Joy Division,Buzzcocks, Altered Images, Human League, Stranglers, XTC) own Woodcottage (Genetic) studio. They debuted in 1981 with the EP "Roping Wild Bears", recorded "Guitar Beat" in 1981 and then ended their career in 1983 with "It's Only a Movie", which added electronic instruments.

The Raybeats were Pat Irwin: alto saxophone, Acetone combo organ, guitar, Don Christensen: drums, Jody Harris: guitar and Danny Amis: bass & guitar. George Scott who originally played bass, died in New York of a heroin overdose. Pat Irwin would go on to the B-52's (the group borrowed his amp for its very first gig in New York at the legendary Mudd Club) and compose for TV and films. Jody Harris went on to the Golden Palominos and Danny Amis recorded an EP called "Whiplash!" with producer Mitch Easter before forming Los Straightjackets.

Bar None records reissued "Guitar Beat" in 1997.

Go to the download page to get The Raybeats - "B-Gas-Rickshaw" mp3 here

Friday, August 20, 2004

The Bloods - "Button Up"

Here's a request. (Yes I take them!) It's New York City's all-girl post no-wave punk funk band The Bloods "Button Up" which was released in 1981 on the Au Pairs' EXIT label. The Bloods were led by part-time Contortionist Adele Bertei. Oddly enough this excellent single was the only release from this band other than the soundtrack for the feminist sci-fi fantasy flick "Born In Flames" which Adele composed and scored and also starred in. More recently "Button Up" appeared on the compilation "New York Noise" released by Soul Jazz Records. Despite the limited recording output, The Bloods played in the U.S and Europe quite often, sharing bills with The Clash, Gang of Four, Bush Tetras, Richard Hell, Johnny Thunders, the Slits, the Au Pairs, Lydia Lunch, Delta 5 and more. The Bloods were Adele Bertei: vocals, Annie Toone: vocals/keyboards, Kathy Rey: guitar, Kathleen Campbell: Drums and Brenda Alderman: bass.

Go to the download page to get The Bloods - "Button Up" mp3 here

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Voice Farm - "Elevate"

It's time for some Techno-pop. San Francisco's Voice Farm was a duo consisting of vocalists/keyboard players Myke Reilly and Charly Brown. They released two independent singles and 3 albums."Elevate" was the b-side of their second single "Double Garage". In 1982 they released the David Khane produced "The World We Live In" album on the Optional/Systematic label. In 1984 they also appeared on the KQAK Rock to Riches compilation album with the song "Reconstruction". In 1987 they released a self-titled album on the Residents' Ralph Records label, adding guitars and backing vocals to their danceable sound. In 1991 they added Ken Weller to the group and released "Bigger Cooler Weirder" on Morgan Creek Records. They had some dance chart success with the songs "Free Love" & "Seeing Is Believing" but the label didn't take advantage of the momentum and let the band die even after landing a spot opening for Depeche Mode during their "Violator" tour and playing at Madison Square Garden and the Cow Palace. Now you might say having major label distribution and opening for a major international act in arenas means Voice Farm might not meet the stringent requirements I have imposed on myself for this site, but rules are meant to be broken. Besides, as I am digging through my old records I am finding that I have limited myself to very tight parameters and there are many great bands that received the kiss of death upon signing to a major, Voice Farm included. Anyway, Myke and Charly found success in the music business another way: they produce music for television commercials.

You can still get Bigger Cooler Weirder here.

Go to the download page to get the Voice Farm - "Elevate" mp3 here

Monday, August 09, 2004

The Shivvers - "Teen Line"

Once voted "Best Band in Milwaukee", Wisconsin's the Shivvers led by singer-songwriter Jill Kossoris, had their roots in 60's music. "Teen Line" is a slice of great powerpop with female lead vocals reminiscent of Bomp artists the Little Girls or Nikki & The Corvettes. The single was released on the Fliptop independent label in 1980. The Raspberries were a big influence on the Shivvers. Eric Carmen loved the band and wanted to produce them but the collaboration never happened. The Shivvers opened up for The Shoes, The Romantics, and Iggy Pop among others. They broke up in 1982. The Shivvers were Jill Kossoris: lead vocals, keyboards, Scott Krueger: vocals, bass, Jim Eannelli: guitar, Mike Pyle: guitar and Jim Richardson: drums. Breck Burns eventually replaced Eannelli on guitar. A CD compilation of The Shivvers was released by Hyped To Death. Jill Kossoris is still writing and recording and released a solo record in 2001.

Buy The Shivvers CD compilation here.

Buy Jill Kossorsis's "Invisible" CD here.

Go to the download page to get the Shivvers "Teen Line" mp3 here

Thursday, August 05, 2004

The Nips "Happy Song"

The Nips (once known as The Nipple Erectors) were a band that played in and around London and released a few singles and a live album between 1977 and 1980. Their music was hard to label since they went in many musical directions. They touched on Punk, Rockabilly, R&B, Post Punk, Avant Garde and as "Happy Song" attests, Mod. This is especially true since the single released on Test Pressing Records, was produced by the king of all mods Paul Weller of The Jam. But what made The Nips so unique was the presence of Shane MacGowan. This was his first band before forming The Pogues. In 1978 Shane said "Music should reflect the mood of the times, but now it´s just fucking escapism. It´s got absolutely nothing to do with the way people feel any more." It's sad that Shane's statement still rings true today. - - - So forget about the state of today's music and get happy with a "Happy Song".

Go to the download page to get The Nips "Happy Song" mp3 here.

Find out more about The Nips and download live tracks here.

Buy The Nips CD compilation "Bops Babes Booze & Bovver" here.