Sunday, October 31, 2004

Bloggin' For Democracy

As I was flipping through a box of old singles the picture sleeve of Faith Brother's "Country of the Blind" (Select) caught my eye. The cover by artist Conny Jude, depicts the planet earth shooting itself in the mouth. Combine this image with the song and you have a message that is still relevant today. We can't be blind during the coming U.S. presidential election. It could be one of the most important elections of our lives. The music blogging community has banded together to remind you that you need to get ready to vote. Find out where your polling place is. Tell your friends to vote. VOTE! Not a U.S. citizen? Then call or email your American friends and make sure they plan on voting. Need help sorting through the rhetoric? Here are some links:
Rock The


George W.

Music For
Declare Yourself

Just Vote

My Polling Place

Get Educated

Let's Not Be Blind - Get Out And Vote On November 2nd.

But I digress. Faith Brothers, led by Bill Franks, wrote some politically charged songs back in the mid 80's and released a couple of albums. Faith Brothers were Billy Franks - guitar, vocals; Lee Hirons - bass; Mark Hirons - guitar; Steve Howlett - drums; Will Tipper - trumpet; Henry Trezise - keyboards; Mark Waterman - saxophone.

Thanks to Billy Franks for allowing me to post his music. Billy continues to make music and also has appeared in a couple of films.

Go to the download page to get Faith Brothers "Country of The Blind"

and also to hear a little PSA from Chris Stamey w/Yo La Tengo called "V.O.T.E."

Thursday, October 28, 2004

More Obscure Than Obscure - Still More Halloween Music

This site was inspired by a New Wave message board posting entitle "More Obscure Than Obscure". I was going to use that as the title to this blog but what's obscure to one person is common to another. I think it would be tough to argue that San Francisco's kookie all-girl-band Inflatable Boy Clams are more obscure than obscure. They released a double 7" containing 5 songs on Subterranean Records in 1981. That's it. They got a lot of airplay around Halloween, particularly from Rodney Bingenheimer on KROQ in L.A. The record was produced by Voice Farm's Myke Reilly. The band was Carol Detweiler - bass, drums, organ, vocals, JoJo Planteen - bass, vocals, Judy Gittelsohn - organ, slide guitar, bass, vocals and Genvieve Boutet de Monvel - sax. You can read more about them at this tribute site which is were I got this information from.

Go to the download page to get Inflatable Boy Clams- "Skeletons" mp3 here

Saturday, October 23, 2004

More Halloween Music

The Comateens formed in 1980 in New York City. They played bouncy dance rock rooted in chintzy '60s Farfisa organ pop and spooky horror-movie soundtrack music. They first gained recognition in 1979 with a self-produced single that featured a stripped-down version of Bowie's "TVC 15" which they re-recorded for their first LP in 1981 on the Cachalot label. The album became an underground favorite and contained this remake of “The Munsters Theme". They released two more LPs – 1983's Pictures on a String and 1984's Deal With It. The Comateens gained a large following in Europe but despite being signed to Mercury Records remained a cult band in the U.S. and split up in 1985. The Comateens were Ramona Jan - guitar, Nik North -bass, vocals, and later Lyn Byrd - synthesizer, vocals and Oliver North -guitar, vocals.

Sadly Oliver North died in 1987. Nic North and Lyn Byrd continued to work together and recorded an album for French Virgin under the name of West & Byrd in 1988.

A hard-to-find best of complation CD called "One By One" was released in 1991.
"The Munsters Theme" is also available on Rhino's Just Can't Get Enough: New Wave Halloween CD.

Go to the download page to get the Comateens - "The Munsters Theme" mp3 here

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Ghoulish Garage

Just in time for Halloween is the Pandoras spooky, surf guitar instrumental "Haunted Beach Party" (Voxx). The all-girl Pandoras formed in Hollywood, CA in 1984 and went through many line-up changes. The ensuing fights led to the forming of two bands fighting over and the original name and playing around L.A. as the Pandoras at the same time. When the dust settled a band led by Paula Pierce emerged and continued to record great psychedelic garage rock for Rhino and Restless Records. Sadly Paula Pierce died of an aneurysm while exercising on August 10, 1991. She was 31 years-old.

At the time of this recording The Pandoras were, Paula Pierce - guitar & vocals, Gwynne Kahn - keyboards, Bambi Lee Conway - bass, Casey Gomez - drums. Future members inlcuded Julie Patchouli, Karen Blankfeld, Rita D'Albert, Sheri Kaplan, Melanie Vammen and Kim Shattuck. Vammen and Shattuck went on to form the Muffs.

Read the whole Pandoras story here

Find Pandoras CDs here

Go to the download page to get the Pandoras - "Haunted Beach Party" mp3 here

Monday, October 11, 2004

This One Goes Out to George W.

After watching the recent U.S. presidential debates and finally seeing "Fahrenheit 9/11", I couldn't help be reminded of the song by The Heaters called "I Don't like Your Face". While there are better Heaters songs to be found on the reissued CD, the sophomoric lyrics of this song, which if you lived in Seattle in the early 80's you couldn't avoid, are appropriate here.

The Heats, first known as the The Heaters, changed their name after learning that another band was using the name. As The Heaters they were one of the biggest bands in Seattle in the early 80's. You couldn't go to a club or a party without hearing the power pop anthem "I Don't Like Your Face". The single sold over 10,000 copies. Their debut album "Have An Idea" (Albatross Records) was named one of the "50 essential power-pop albums" by Goldmine. After signing a management deal, they landed a spot touring with the Knack. They also opened for the Records, the Kinks and Heart among others. The band split up in 1983. The Heats were: Steve Pearson - guitar, Don Short - guitar, Keith Lilly - bass, Ken Deans - drums, and later Wayne Clack - bass, Rick Bourgoin - drums. Steve Pearson later formed the Rangehoods and continues to record.

Find out more about the Heats here.

A CD was reissued by Seattle's Chuckie-Boy Records

Buy the Heats "Smoke" CD here.

Go to the download page to get The Heaters/Heats- "I Don't Like Your Face" mp3 here

Friday, October 08, 2004

The Hidden Track

A couple of weeks ago I posted a Higsons Track. In the copy of the post, I mentioned a Robyn Hitchcock song and linked it to an mp3 of the track. 34 people discovered and download the Hitchcock track versus 391 downloads of the Higson's mp3. I realize that regular visitors may bookmark my download page and skip the blog page altogether, but I also think that many people don't even bother to read the copy and just skip to the download. As other bloggers know, it takes time to write these things and while I am more of an information "regurgitator" than a writer, that regurgitation takes time to research and write. I'm thinking about cutting back on the background info going forward.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

The Dynamic Hepnotics - "Funky Turban Part 13 1/2"

The members of Australia's Soul/R&B/Funk band the Dynamic Hepnotics were a who's who of Australian music. Here's a list of who was in the band and the bands they played in: Original line-up: Continental Robert Susz (vocals, harmonic; Rugcutters, Humdinger Dogs, The Mighty Reapers (of Vengeance), Andrew Silver (guitar; Big Town Playboys, Wild Blue Yonder), Tim Martin (sax; Friends), Manuel Patty (bass), Richard Ruhle (drums). Later, Bruce Allen (sax; Jeff St John Band, Ol'55, Ross Wilson's Rockhouse, the Fabulous Zarzoff Brothers, The Eddys), Allen Britton (bass; Mangrove Boogie Kings, The Foreday Riders, The Bondi Cigars), Robert Souter (drums; Lizard, Gulliver's Travels, Living Legends), Mike Gubb (keyboards; Rough Justice, Mental as Anything, The Layabouts, Dog Trumpet, The Headhunters). Later still, Mark Simmonds (sax), Dave Brewer (Elks), Peter Bishop (trumpet), Duncan Archibald (drums), Chris Pascoe (keyboards) and Lloyd Swanton (bass; Benders).

The song "Funky Turban Part 13 1/2" was the b-side of the 1981 single "Hepnobeat" and also appeared on the "Strange Land" EP. In 1985 they had a big hit in Australia with "Soul Kind of Feeling" which stayed in the Top 10 for over six months, making it the best-selling Australian single of 1985. The song won the 1986 APRA award for most played song on Australian radio. The band broke up at the end of 1986.

Go to the download page to get The Dynamic Hepnotics - "Funky Turban Part 13 1/2" mp3 here