Monday, November 29, 2010

Young Canadians - No Escape

To make up with the lack of post last month, I’ll be posting twice this month. And right now it’s the Young Canadians. They were one of the earliest punk bands in Vancouver, together with DOA. They were formerly known as the K-Tels until they were threatened by the actual record company of the same name, just like what happened with Redd Kross.

They played punk with some power pop undertones. Their music is more akin with the Pointed Sticks than DOA. They only released a handful of EPs and singles and it is collected here in No Escape plus some live tracks.

These guys are legends in their own right, so grab it now.


Young Fresh Fellows - Electric Bird Digest

This is my favorite YFF record. It's mixture power pop and rock tunes made this album worth a listen. When I first got this, I can't believe how good these guys are, especially their guitarist.

Here are some info about the band:

The Young Fresh Fellows are an American alternative rock group that was formed in 1981 in Seattle, Washington, by Scott McCaughey and Chuck Carroll; Tad Hutchison, Chuck Carroll's first cousin, joined for the recording of the group's debut album in 1983.
Their first album was The Fabulous Sounds of the Pacific Northwest (1984) after which Jim Sangster joined the group on bass and McCaughey switched from bass to guitar. Carroll left the group in 1988, and was replaced by Kurt Bloch from The Fastbacks.
The song "Amy Grant", a comical song about Contemporary Christian music and pop music artist Amy Grant, from the album The Men Who Loved Music, was a huge success on college radio and arguably their biggest "hit."
The band are still together, although after 1996's A Tribute To Music they released no new material until Because We Hate You (2001), a split release with McCaughey's other band, the Minus 5. McCaughey has given more attention to the Minus 5 since then, while Bloch and Sangster have formed the band Sgt. Major, and Hutchison is working more on visual art and design, as well as performing/recording as Chris & Tad with Chris Ballew of The Presidents of the United States of America. However, the Fellows released I Think This Is in 2009 and embarked on a tour of Spain that October.
Since 1994, McCaughey has been a sort of "fifth member" of R.E.M., working with the band both onstage and in the studio.
The band was mentioned in the They Might Be Giants song "Twisting", and in the song by The Ziggens "Big Salty Tears", which was later covered by Brad Nowell of Sublime on the album "Brad Nowell & Friends: Acoustic".
The tribute album This One's for the Fellows (2004) features twenty covers of Young Fresh Fellows songs by artists including The Presidents of the United States of America, Robyn Hitchcock, and The Makers. (wikipedia)

Young Fresh Fellows - the Men Who Loved Music

The Men Who Loved Music was the third album by rock band Young Fresh Fellows. Their first for Frontier Records, it was released in 1987.
Tracks 1-14 are from the original release of "The Men Who Loved Music" (spine title: "Chicago 19"). Tracks 16-21 on the CD reissue are from the EP "Refreshments" (spine title: "Condiments"). Track 15 (Happy Death Theme) was cut from the original album release for space reasons, and is available only on the combined CD.[1] The reissue CD does not contain the Young Fresh Fellows Theme (remix), which was on the original vinyl release of "Refreshments".
Track 22 is listed in some music databases as 'Do the Fonzie'. The face of the CD is illustrated with a picture of the character Fonzie from the TV show Happy Days. (Wikipedia)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

VA - Another Damned Seattle Compilation [Tribute to the Damned]

I’m sorry about the late posts and totally missed October but I’m too busy and lazy [whoa! that’s an oxymoron] at the same time. Busy doing a lot of father/husband stuff and lazy posting. Actually, I’ve already uploaded at least 10 records but I’m so tired lately to write something up.

Anyways, I’ll try to make up for that with this post. This a Seattle tribute to one of the best punk bands ever – the Damned!

The culprits here are the who’s who of the Seattle scene:

the Purdins – 1 of the 2
Young Fresh Fellows – Fan Club
Coffin Break – Love Song
Skin Yard – Machine Gun Etiquette
Gas Huffer – Suicide
the Accused – Neat Neat Neat
Love Battery – I Just Can’t Be Happy Today
Motorhoney – Psychomannia
Freak – Anti-Pope
Flop – Disco Man
Hammerbox – New Rose
Derelicts – Born to Kill
Gruntruck – Nasty
Mudhoney – Stab Your Back
The Posies – Smash It Up
Big Satan Inc. – Melody Lee
Whitey – Wait for the Blackout
Fastbacks – Hit or Miss
Young Fresh Fellows – Life Goes On


the Damned - Machine Gun Etiquette

The Damned - Machine Gun Etiquette

There’s much fuzz on what was the Damned’s best record ever – their debut Damned Damned Damned or this one, their third. Honestly, I am more partial with their debut but I totally enjoy Machine Gun as well. Anyways, I’m known to change my opinion regarding which is the best album of a particular band, but right now it is STILL Damned Damned Damned.

Machine Gun Etiquette boasts some of the Damned best songs ever – Love Song, the title track, Plan 9 Channel 7, Smash It Up, plus covers [MC5’s Looking at You, Sweet’s Ballroom Blitz and Jefferson Airplane’s White Rabbit].

I was supposed to upload their debut album only to find out that I left it at my sister’s house where most of my records are. Good thing Punk Not Profit blog posted that record, So, just click HERE to redirect you to that excellent blog for the Damned Damned Damned album.


Chameleons - Live Shreds

A friend of mine gave me this CD while as was visiting him at his house. He knew I like the Chameleons UK and he’s not that much into it anyways. Too bad for him, but a million thanks brother!

This is one of the best post-punk bands ever. And the bands up there in my list together with Joy Division, and the Sound, just to name a few.

This is taken of the group’s official website:

Few bands have enjoyed a larger "cult following" than Greater Manchester, England's Chameleons U.K. - known to the rest of the world as simply as The Chameleons - and, accordingly, their brief offshoot bands The Sun and the Moon and The Reegs. Though this commercially unsuccessful quartet split up nine years ago without notice, announcement, or fanfare, the group's ravenous army of scattered fans worldwide have refused to let their uniquely emotional, intensely atmospheric, powerful post-punk slip from the memory.
The demand is such that in the last six years, no less than ten full albums of unreleased Chameleons' material have been released, on two U.S. labels, Dutch East India and caroline, and four English labels, Imaginary, Nighttracks, Glass Pyramid, and Bone Idol: four live LPs of British radio sessions, and three more of studio outtakes and early demos, including the famed scrapped fourth LP sessions from 1987, released as Tony Fletcher Walked on Water.
These ten posthumous collections are even more astounding, when one considers that Chameleons only made three albums(!) during their existence, 1981-1987, the last of which, 1986's double-LP masterpiece Strange Times was even issued two years ago here in the States by original label Geffen Records, bowing to immense public pressure and a flood of fan mail requests. Likewise, their first two LP's, 1983's 58-minute monster debut Script of the Bridge and 1985's astonishing follow-up What Does Anything Mean? Basically, both originally issued on import on Statik, were recently given their second reissue in England via Dead Dead Good Records (A bastardised version of the former with several songs missing appeared here for one season in 1984 on MCA, earning the major label the ire of both the band and the fans. Fortunately, it's now as out of print as The Beatles' Yesterday & Today "butcher sleeve". Think about that reference for a second...).
Got all that? Yeah, it's a hell of a '90s blizzard for an '80s band. Like the one that dumped nearly three feet of snow on my New York apartment this past January. But it's a deluge warranted by the singular quality of the music. Which can only mean still more to come. Thus:
Make that eleven posthumous LP' (and four live ones). You have before you the latest argument for the lasting brilliance of the Chameleons. Rather than flogging a decidedly beaten horse to death, this Live at the Hacienda documents territory quite different from that of its sister releases. The ultimate live statement of the group is definitely the import Live in Toronto (I felt so strongly about this Canadian radio broadcast, I even unwittingly supplied the tape for the release), which catches them in full bloom, from their final ever, devastating tour in North America, February-March 1987. And surely one of Toronto's main advantages is that it hits on all three original LPs material, and that the line-up had tightened over the years of gigging and recording. But Live in the Hacienda boasts a recording as crystal clear and dynamic, only of an infinitely more naive, innocent period of the band, equally fascinating.
It's recorded at the notorious downtown-Manchester dance club (and later "Acid House" palace) The Hacienda. Co-owned by Factory Records boss Tony Wilson and his label's marketplace heavyweight champions New Order, then as now one of the biggest (and hippest) bands in Britain. The place had a big buzz for kick-starting careers. For example, another obscure, unsigned Manchester area band also yet to make their first LP had the sense to gig there in 1983, namely The Smiths!
In such an obviously apropos atmosphere, this short concert predates the recording of Script of the Bridge in 1983; one can tell because "A Person Isn't Safe Anywhere These Days" is introduced as "Men of Steel," from the repeated words of the chorus. Likewise "Thursday's Child" appears here as "Years Ago," with some small differences in the original verses' lyrics. But even if one is not a rabid, frothing Chameleons fanatic/historian, likely to be roused by such ephemera, there can be no question that the little bits of boisterous brilliance are already slotted into place, the cornerstone of the formula that was to inspire endless worship.
Unlike the two year period that predated this concert - see the posthumous Fan and the Bellows (a former indie label release also recently reissued by Geffen) and Dali's Picture collections and the first Peel Session if you are curious for The Chameleons rough-hewed but sometimes knockout diaper phase - we find here the classic line-up that made all their releases finally formulated: young drummer John Lever is comfortable ensconced on drums in relief of earlier pounders Brian Schofield and even original Magazine drummer Martin Jackson, his trademark rhythms, deft touches, and power-style form the solid backbone for the band's epic sweep.
Equally important, The Chameleons here hit on the guitar combination that was to become their main innovation, the unbeatable duo of Dave Fielding's delay-ridden, smouldering, glistening, other-worldly strumming, pitted against Reg Smithies staccato, harsh, post-punk plucking, each note as clearly defined and sharp as Fielding's is blurred and billowing. The marriage of Fielding's cascading tones and the rich, deep bottom end of Burgess's looping bass creates the unbelievably warm textures found once again here, just as Smithies' aggressive precision and Lever's insistent beats supply the forward thrust. The result sounds as fresh and magical today.
Since this concert, which was originally issued in 1994 in Britain with some raw footage as a video, is somewhat on the short side, three songs from another performance of this percolating period are also tacked on, from the previous year at the Gallery. Like six of the seven Hacienda tracks, these three were later properly recorded for Script of the Bridge (the only exception, "In Shreds", was the band's first single, a 7" on the CBS major label, a corporation that did as majors do, dropping the band despite a full sell-out off the few-thousand pressed), but you can hear t


Japan - the Very Best of

A lot of people could not believe that I like this band. Hey, same here! It must be mind control or something… or they’re just plain good. Yeah I know it’s not up in my alley but who cares.

I can still remember the first Japan song I heard over at the sadly-defunct radio station here in Manila – XB 102. It’s Visions of China. It’s not “Wow, what a great song!” but I kind of crept-up slowly in my brain. Then, the next song was Gentlemen Take Polaroids followed by their Smokey Robinson cover – I Second That Emotion. After those songs, I said to myself that this band’s something else. David Sylvian’s voice is unique and easily recognizable, and don’t forget Mick Carn’s haunting bass.

Anyways, I hope you enjoy this post as much as I do.