Friday, October 28, 2005

Josef K

Josef K formed in Edinburgh in 1978 as TV Art. In 1979 the group began playing locally joining a thriving Edinburgh scene. In 1979 they changed their name to Josef K and recorded an eight-song studio demo tape but the songs failed to generate much interest. A chance meeting with Orange Juice drummer Steven Daly lead to an alliance between the bands and they began playing out together. After Daly set up his own label, Absolute, Chance Meeting by Josef K became its first (and only) release. Then they signed to Orange Juice singer Edwyn Collins' Postcard Records. In 1980 they recorded their debut album, Sorry For Laughing, but at the last minute the release was cancelled. Years later, the band would claim that the mix was unsatisfactory and that it failed to represent their blistering live sound. Nine months later came the Only Fun In Town, on which they re-recorded much of the scrapped album. The band claimed they would make one or two albums before splitting up and they did.

Paul Haig - Vocal & Guitar. Went on to form Rhythm of Life.
David Weddell - Bass .Played with Happy Family and Heyday.
Ronnie Torrance - Drums.Played with Happy Family and Heyday.
Malcolm Ross - Guitar & Piano. Played with Orange Juice, Aztec Camera

The scrapped debut album Sorry For Laughing has been released on CD along with Only Fun In Town

Go to the download page to get Josef K - "Sorry For Laughing" (Only Fun In Town Version)here

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Yesterday/Today - Any Trouble/Eugene Edwards

Manchester, England's Any Trouble had a lot of trouble turning talent into success. With the help of exposure of the band's first single by John Peel they landed on the legendary Stiff Records. Being on Stiff led to the inevitable comparisons to labelmate Elvis Costello but success didn't follow. The first record failed commercially and Stiff suggested that leader Clive Gregson go it alone. Gregson refused and the band recorded a follow up with a new drummer. During a stateside tour the band was dropped by Stiff and was stranded in America. The band split for about 18 months, got back together with a new line up and recorded another album but once again failed to achieve success.

Clive Gregson went on to an acclaimed solo career. Any Trouble have announced their intention to reform, make a new album and play some gigs.

When I first heard the new song "It Doesn't Get Better Than This", by Los Angeles' Eugene Edwards, I thought his vocals sounded a lot like Clive Gregson of Any Trouble. I miss-heard the first line of the song as a nod to Elvis Costello, an artist he is being compared to. Instead of "Washington detectives...", I heard "Watching the detectives..." There's also a bit of Nick Lowe's acoustic strumming in the instrumentation. The rest of the album may remind you of Squeeze, Tom Petty, or Marshall Crenshaw. He's an artist that deserves success and not become a "Lost Band".

Give a listen to both on the download page and hear Eugene Edwards very Squeeze-like "At Your Place" at Tall Boy Records.

Buy Any Trouble music here and visit Any Trouble's website here.

Learn more about Eugene Edwards, hear all his new album here, and be sure to pick up his excellent CD "My Favorite Evolution" too.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Cool It Reba

[Editor's Note: The following post was suggested and written by Bill W. As some of you have noticed I have not been posting as often as I have in the past so contributions are welcome and appreciated. Thanks Bill! - E.A.]

New York's Cool It Reba was spawned from the downtown post punk / no-wave scene in the early 1980's. They combined elements of James Brown funk, Television's guitar interplay and a more informed version of David Byrne's lyrical paranoia to a danceable beat. Formed in the Autumn of 1981, they quickly earned a reputation as one of New York's best bands, regularly playing such venues as C.B.G.B.'s, The Peppermint Lounge, The Mudd Club and Danceteria. After only their fourth gig they signed to Hannibal Records in 1982. Shortly thereafter, they released the Joe Boyd-produced Money Fall Out The Sky Ep. Containing such great songs as "I Saw Snakes", "Out Where The Buses Don't Run" and the title track, it was met with critical acclaim, making many critics' annual top-ten lists. The band then played alongside (and ultimately upstaged) the likes of Billy Idol, John Cale and R.E.M. Label restaffing and losing key members led to the ultimate break up of the band in the Summer of 1984. Half of the band later played together in the band Steve McQueen. Although only releasing one record during their existance, many bootlegs of their live shows and unreleased studio recordings have circulated, serving as a testament to their influence during the new wave era.

Cool It Reba were :
David Hansen - Lead vocals, Rhythm guitar.
John Fredericks - Lead guitar, Vocals.
Baker Rorick - Bass
Kevin Tooley - Drums, Percussion.

Later members included : Gordon Wands - Bass,
Sturgis Nikides, Jack Rigg, Sid McGuinness and
John McCurry - Lead Guitar...respectively.

Go to the download page to get Cool It Reba - "I Saw Snakes" here