Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Modernettes

modernettesVancouver, Canada's Modernetttes were described by critics as a cross between the Velvet Underground and the Ramones. They were regulars on the Vancouver club scene and played up and down the west coast of the U.S. They burned out quickly but not before delivering some great punk pop recordings. They debuted with the EP "Strictly Confidential" (Quintessence, 1980) quickly followed by the critical favorite EP "Teen City" (Quintessence, 1980) They released one full length LP,"Gone...But Not Forgotten" and one last EP "View From The Bottom" before disbanding. Selections from these recordings as well as unreleased live tracks & demos have been collected on CD by the Sudden Death label.

The Modernettes were:
John "Buck Cherry" Armstrong - guitar, vocals
Mary Jo Kopechne - bass, vocals
John "Jughead" McAdams - drums, vocals

John Armstrong wrote a book documenting his time with the band called "Guilty of Everything"

You can get "Get it Straight" here.

Go to the download page to get Modernettes - "I Can Only Give You Everything"

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Steve Almaas - Suicide Commandos & Beat Rodeo

Minneapolis, Minnesota's Suicide Commandos formed in 1974 and are considered one of the first punk bands. In 1997, a house that they had rented was condemned and scheduled to be burned down so they wrote a song about it and filmed a video during it's incineration. The song was "Burn it Down" and the video director was legendary filmmaker Chuck Statler.

Over the next two nights, the band played with Iggy Pop and then the Dead Boys. In the audience was Mercury label rep Cliff Bernstein and he offered them a deal on the spot. "Make A Record" (Blank, 1978) was produced by Twin/Tone Records co-founder Paul Stark. The band broke up by the end of the year but still released a live album "The Commandos Commit Suicide Dance Concert" (Twin\Tone 1979).

Here's the video for "Burn It Down"

Make a Record was released on cd but is out-of print.

The Suicide Commandos were:
Dave Ahl - drums, vocals
Steve Almaas - bass, vocals
Chris Osgood - guitar, vocals

More on the Suicide Commandos at Something I Learned Today

In 1983 Almaas formed Beat Rodeo. The band was named after an EP that Almaas made with the help of some of the Bongos and producer Mitch Easter. He formed a band and recorded an album and in 1984 Beat Rodeo's debut album, "Staying Out Late" was released in Germany on Zensor Records. After signing to I.R.S it was released in the U.S. "Staying Out Late" was produced by Don Dixon (with two tracks by Richard Gottehrer). Tours of Europe and the U.S. followed. Next came the Scott Litt produced "Home in the Heart of the Beat" but after that the band broke up.

Beat Rodeo were:
Steve Almaas - guitar, vocals
Bill Schunk - guitar, vocals
Dan Prater - bass, vocals
Mike Osborn - drums
Lewis King - drums
George Usher - keyboards

Steve Almas continues to record

Go to the download page to get Beat Rodeo- "Just Friends"