All Posts,mp3,Old Music — Dan on February 22, 2010 at 1:38 am

Been meaning to post about some recent (to somewhat recent) reissues and share some music before posting about our own upcoming reissue, This is Still It by The Method Actors. These are all releases that I would’ve loved to have done on Acute, but a better, more appropriate label got to do it!

First up is Flaming Tunes, whom I feel so strongly about I had to make a little collage from the original tape insert…

Flaming Tunes was a cassette only release from 1985 or so recorded by longtime friends Gareth Williams and Mary Currie. It first came to my attention in the pre-file-sharing days when people would make tapes or even burn CDs for each other when I traded some CD-rs with a guy in Germany named Eric Wilhelm. I sent him CD-rs of the Homosexuals, Desperate Bicycles, Scritti Politti, Prefects etc and he sent me a ton of This Heat-related stuff. Since getting turned on at the Oberlin Co-Op, This Heat had been a favorite band of mine. Among the live recordings and other rarities was a release with a photocopied sleeve called “After the Heat (unreleased Demo-Recordings)”. I was totally blown away. I was expecting to hear some kind of lo-fi proggy, punky noisy racket  and instead found an eclectic selection of beautiful and delicate songs, ranging from minimal and ambient atmospheres to circular and repetitive yet melodic and enchanting songs.

Except for the fidelity, it didn’t sound like a demo to me, it sounded like a completely new and different direction for This Heat, though with a few similarities. It wasn’t until a few years later that I learned it wasn’t a This Heat recording at all! I can’t remember exactly where, but somewhere on the internet, discussion about these recordings came out and Mary Currie appeared to right all wrongs. After Gareth Williams left This Heat to spend some time in India, he came back and started collaborating with Mary. In 1985 they released these recordings as Flaming Tunes through Contagious Unit, which described itself as “a cooperative of musicians producing and distrubting low cost, high quality cassettes because we want to.” Unfortunately, following it’s release, it was relatively forgotten until copies started circulating with the “This Heat” title.

Since straightening the internet out, things began to fall into place and Flaming Tunes finally saw release last year on the new label Life and Living Records. They have kindly given me permission to share one of the songs, and I had a hard time choosing. It’s really a perfect record. Tape experiments, lo-fi keyboards, whimsical percussion, strange drop-outs…moments of silence. 80s drum machines and Casios co-exist with fiddles, whistles and clarinets. Echoes of Indian percussion, dub reggae, acoustic folk, musique concrete, a bit of the ReR/Rock In Opposition prog/art/songcraft you’d expect. In Raindrops from Heaven, over 2 minutes of outdoor nature noises exist before a simple percussion part (loop?) and beautiful out of tune piano and bass emerge for 2 minutes before giving way back to nature. Another Flaming Tune presents a minimalist piano arpeggio while buzzy, reedy electronics and clarinet hum and drone underneath and tapes and percussion stutter and start . Elsewhere Gareth and Mary sing harmonies and wonderful pop melodies particularly in the enchanting Beguiling the Hours, the song I’ve chosen to share.

Flaming Tunes-Beguiling the Hours
control-click to download

This song has long been one of my favorites. When I first got the bootleg CD, I’d listen to it over and over again. Probably second only to Pink Frost by the Chills in my list of “songs left on repeat”. The piano, the clapping, the clarinet and keyboards, the melodies, the lyrics, “think of the wealth…” part. I don’t know, it just kills me every time.

It’s really amazing that a release so obscure that even fans of the artist didn’t know it existed, or if they did, where it came from, has taken such a vibrant life in the last year. Gareth passed away in 2001 and it’s hard to separate the growing tributes to him from the growing interest, awareness, and passion about Flaming Tunes. First, there is the Flaming Tunes website, where you can find additional downloads, videos, old letters and input from various Flaming Tunes associates and friends. More information and ordering info can be found at Life and Living Records. It’s also on iTunes of course. There’s a great and informative interview with Mary as well as Andrew Jacques of These/Life and Living and Mick Hobbs, who was involved in the reissue and plays on the original tape, by The Wire. And as testament to it’s power, check out Diamond Age, a musician out of texas who recorded a complete cover version of the entire tape. It’s really wonderful, and can be ordered from Life and Living. Meanwhile, more material keeps turning up on the Flaming Tunes website, such as later recordings of Gareth’s and even videos, some shot then, some shot now, some shot then and finished now. This song, Nothing On, and it’s video, can be downloaded from the site, but it’s also on youtube, so I can more easily share it here…


next up…

There’s always been a great deal of mystery and debate regarding No Wave. How do you define No Wave? Which bands were No Wave? Is it limited to a specific location and time period or is it a timeless attitude and aesthetic? Do you hyphenate No-Wave? Do you capitalize it? For a long time everyone was sure of one thing, the four bands that appeared on No New York–Mars, DNA, The Contortions and Teenage Jesus and the Jerks–were No Wave.
But what about the so-called Soho bands? Theoretical Girls, The Gynecologists, Daily Life, The Static, A Band. And all that 99 records funk stuff…Liquid Liquid, ESG? Lesser known but more appropriate to be defined as such, was a group of bands who came up just after the initial years and continued to blaze raw and noisy paths in downtown New York through the early 80s. I’d first hear some of them on Elliott Sharp’s Peripheral Vision comp, a fantastic and ubiquitous record store staple in NY for much of the 90s. While many of these bands started out opening up for and playing shows with Mars and Lydia Lunch, their sound was less dark…more lo-fi and often political. Mofungo bassist Robert Sietsema said they were “the stepchildren of the first generation of no wave bands.” I’d come across the occasional Mofungo, The Scene is Now or V-Effect record but only heard whispers of TAPE #1, the self-released compilation cassette that came out in 1980 featuring songs by Blinding Headache, Information and Mofungo.

Blinding Headache was apparently first, forming as early as 1978 in the basement of an NYU dorm by Jim Posner, Willie Klein, Kym Bond and Rick Brown. Rick Brown would leave Blinding Headache and join Information, which featured Chris Nelson, Gary Larson and Phil Dray. The remains of Blinding Headache would be joined by others including Sietsema to form Mofungo. By 1980 they decided to put this tape together, and it’s a fascinating slice of a certain time, with some crossover and influence from the current no wave scenes and some amount of pointing at various sounds of New York City (and Hoboken) for the next decade or so. Information would eventually mutate into The Scene is Now, Rick Brown would play with the incredible V-Effect, followed by Timber, Fish & Roses, Run On, collaborations with Charles Hayward (see above), etc etc. Sietsema would find more fame as the Village Voice’s resident foodie, inspiring many a visit to Flushing,Queens while leaving me eager to find out if Sonali in Sunnyside is as good as he says, because they may deliver to me.

Tape #1 was still a holy grail to me when word first arrived that it would be getting a reissue as a digital only release on Anthology Recordings, a fantastic label with an eclectic selection of downloads to purchase. Currently, their website is down as they reconfigure some stuff, but I’m sure it’ll be back shortly. And if that wasn’t enough, the craziest thing happened. Teenage Jesus and the Jerks decided to do a reunion concert at the Knitting Factory and somebody had the brilliant idea of inviting Information to reform and open up. A band so obscure that their only release was on a 1980 tape compilation. I was there and as I’ve said elsewhere, Teenage Jesus was a blast, but Information blew them out of the water. I’ve suggested that they should get back together and in the least, record the set they played that night. I’ve decided to share 3 songs from the release…normally I wouldn’t share so much but the tape had 43 songs! So one from each band, including the most punk song from Information, which has already been released into the internets when Brian Turner of WFMU found Tape #1 and blogged about it. Check out his write-up, as it’s more interesting and informative than mine!

Information-Let’s Compromise
control-click to download

Blinding Headache-Total Media Blackout
control-click to download

Mofungo-Out Of Line
control-click to download

In an almost logical follow-up to discussion of Tape #1, we have another stepchild of No Wave in the band Interference. David Linton moved to New York City around the same time as his college friend and bandmate in The Flucts (Fluks?), Lee Ranaldo(still waiting to hear those tapes), and they both quickly fell in with the No Wave scene of the times. Lee would famously end up with Glenn Branca in his Ascension band, play in some of the early symphonies and end up in Sonic Youth. Linton on the other hand would play with that other proponent of guitar orchestras, Rhys Chatham. After leaving Chatham, Linton and Michael Brown would form Interference with Anne DeMarinis who had just left Sonic Youth, which Lee would then join. Music was recorded and was intended for release on Branca’s Neutral label, but it never happened. Finally a few years ago The Social Registry, one of New York’s finest record labels, announced they were going to release it, and after a gestation period almost as long as the typical Acute release, it’s finally coming out. It’s so cool, so NY, that when Rich from The Social Registry first played me the tape I said “you gotta let me release that, it’s such an Acute release!” But he turned me down, got to work, and now we’re finally hearing the whole thing.

Interference often sound exactly like what you’d expect them to sound like. The repetition and clanging guitars of the guitar orchestras and the punk rock energy and aggression of no wave. At times they sound more like Sonic Youth than Sonic Youth do on their first EP. Think about that! Oddly tuned guitars, gamelan sounding percussion, even a bit of Liquid Liquid funk at their noisiest. There’s a bit of vocals but even less conventional song structure then the typical Sonic Youth song of the period and at times they reach a tribal intensity of guitar skronk, no wave funk, minimalist repetition and sonic assault that I’ll be surprised if this release doesn’t see them added to that great canon of No Wave step-children already occupied by Mofungo, by Sonic Youth and the Swans. And Ut. For an interview with Linton, check out Too Cool To Die, check out Linton’s website, and for more information and to purchase this release, which will be a double LP featuring an LP of the original material and a fresh record of remixes, visit our friends at The Social Registry.

Interference-Excerpt #1(Version 2)
control-click to download

and finally….

Here’s an obscure one that was totally new to me until a few weeks ago. I was checking out one of my favorite music blogs, Last Days of Man on Earth, excited to see the great review of the forthcoming Acute release, This Is Still It by The Method Actors when I noticed their following post. Last Day’s author Joe was excited to be reviewing a reissue/compilation from a post-punk/new wave band from his hometown St. Louis. I had no idea what to expect from that particular region from that particular time, but let me say I definitely didn’t expect a totally rocking, totally spacey, totally glam and totally sci-fi punk sound like this. For peers, I’d say 70s punk oddities like the Twinkeyz, the Fans and Chrome, american punk rock bands with a healthy fascination in all things cosmic and/or modern with a degree of a glam/euro/Eno/Roxy/Bowie going on. Relatively early Ultravox! would probably be a good reference as well, the sci-fi lyrics of John Foxx and synthesizers creating a futuristic atmosphere, underpinned by killer Stooges/Mick Ronson rock and roll. I was excited enough by the samples on the blog that I promptly ordered the album from BDR Records. The LP comes with a CD featuring even more tracks then are on the record, and it has an awesome cover that is right up my alley. Speaking of covers, they do a few, including the early Bowie song She’s Got Medals and Syd Barrett’s No Good Trying. The best cover since Cabaret Voltaire covered The Seeds? This release is one of those really obscure oddities that comes out of nowhere and makes you wonder how you lived so long without it.

control-click to download

That’s it for now. (that’s all??) Coming soon: catching up with Viva Radio and another Acute release, This Is Still It, by The Method Actors.


All Posts,Old Music,Radio — Dan on November 17, 2009 at 5:18 am

New Viva-Radio Pyjamarama show Victory Garden goes up tuesday at 1pm, and should cycle in and out of the archives thereafter. I’ve been listening to a lot of Broadcast lately and had just discovered the Broadcast Origins youtube series and was thinking of doing a show of Broadcast influences. Then I decided not to and just followed my whims and picked a bunch of typical favorites and less typical favorites and maybe they work together, maybe they don’t…YOU be the judge! I’ll get back to Broadcast and their influences soon though. I’ve decided that Stereolab are my favorite band of the 90s and Broadcast my favorite band of the 00s and they are very similar in many ways but very different in others and I will write another blog post in the (near) future about both bands. For now, VICTORY GARDEN!

1. The United States of America-The American Metaphysical Circus
Another discovery care of the fine-folk at the Oberlin Co-Op Bookstore Record dept, from when the CD was initially released by CBS or Sony. This record is pretty mind-blowing to anybody who had a standard classic-rock upbringing. A band with no guitar, fretless bass, ring-modulated vocals, synthesizers droning and everything heavily processed. Produced by Joe Byrd and released in 1968, the songwriting runs the gamut from fuzzy rockers to ethereal hymns, songs rooted in classic americana, some Beatles rips and moody and dark experiments like this song, who’s closest relative may be The Velvet Underground and Nico. The breadth and ambition of the record could be likened to what Van Dyke Parks might have done if he had studied with Morton Subotnik. The songs aren’t all great, but enough of them are to make this a total classic. This song especially is such a blueprint for certain key aspects of Broadcast that when I first heard the latter I completely wrote them off as a shallow imitation. The first couple of songs on their first LP, The Noise Made By People, for starters. It took me a few years to get over that, and I’ll talk about that more in my forthcoming epic blog post about Broadcast and Stereolab, due out sometime in the next year or two.

2. The Red Krayola-Victory Garden
No clear relationship to the prior song, accept maybe as a nice counterpoint. One similarity of course is that the Red Krayola, originaly the Red Crayola, pre-lawsuit, are among the few other truly revolutionary and avant-garde bands of the period. I’d say that in comparison with the Red Krayola, The United States of America are a conventional rock band plugged into a voltage processor. I suppose I don’t see any reason to go into the history of these bands, you’ve got wikipedia. But if I can say anything personal about The Red Krayola and it’s mainstay Mayo Thompson, well there’s just nothing like The Red Krayola. The first two albums stand alone as such a unique experience. Among the two weirdest, most experimental albums that could even remotely be called “rock” that emerged from the 60s, and completely different from each other, while still having amazing, shining moments of accessibility. Victory Garden is one of the few straight up songs on their second LP God Bless the Red Krayola and all Who Sail With It, and it’s a charming ditty. The few songs on this record pretty much prefigure a very specific but very primal aspect of what could be called “indie-rock”. There were very few bands at the time who were willing to be this loose, this raw, this direct. I’d also like to mention that while I’m cool enough to have been a fan of The United States of America prior to hearing Broadcast, my first exposure to the Red Krayola was because Galaxie 500 covered this song on the Blue Thunder CD EP, which I bought in Portland Maine at a record store called Bad Habits while on a trip during summer camp. Their version is awesome and they also cover New Order’s Ceremony.

3. Flying Saucer Attack-Come and Close My Eyes
This is NOT the kind of indie-rock I was thinking of when I was discussing Victory Garden. But I like this band and this song. I like things that are both noisy and pretty. At the same time. Or taking turns. Some of the new hipster stuff that’s coming out now seems like post-modern versions of this aesthetic. Similar but done with samplers instead of distortion pedals or something.

4. Main-There is Only Light
Couldn’t find a picture of this and sold the actual CD some time ago. (no judgement there, I sold ALL my CDs, except the ones YOU gave me). This is tangentially sonically related to Flying Saucer Attack. I’d say FSA have a relationship to the Spacemen 3 and My Bloody Valentine axises in their merger of a modern british psyche folk with krautrock and shoegaze inspired noise. Main is a more direct descendant, growing out of Loop, who I just now decided are the grunge Spacemen 3. (Sorry if this is getting questionable, I’m really tired.) They put out this really cool record of fuzzy drones and krauty repetition and Wire-esque loops and songs, then got into the whole “ambient isolationism” thing and threw out their guitars and bought field recorders and I stopped listening. I’m sure it’s all good, but I like to sing along.

5. The Trypes-A Plan Revised
Couldn’t find a good enough pic, couldn’t be bothered to scan my copy. Another Feelies side-project. Glenn and Bill from the Feelies joined keyboardist John Baumgartner band The Trypes while the Feelies were on one of their many breaks and recorded The Explorers Hold EP in 1984. When the Feelies would return with The Good Earth, they’d have Trypes members Brenda Sauter and Stanley Demeski. The Trypes have a definite Feelies sound and feel, but a more psychedelic vibe and Baumgartner’s keyboards make it something else all together. The Trypes EP is one of my favorite things ever and I hope it gets reissued in one form or another.

6. Joe Byrd and the Field Hippies-Patriot’s Lullaby
After the United States of America LP, leader Joe Byrd released this LP, which isn’t quite as good, but has a few gems on it.

7. Broadcast and the Focus Group-The Be Colony
The centerpiece of this internet playlist, or any internet playlist. Broadcast’s latest release is a collaboration with the Focus Group. The Focus Group is Julian House, who has been Broadcast’s graphic designer and occasional tour DJ for some time. He also runs the Ghost Box label, which is relatively new to me. An entire label filled with british acts obsessed with old british library records. The label has a great consistent aesthetic and brand, and a somewhat consistent sound. And it’s a really cool sound but a lot of it is more experimental/sampled collages. This song is one of the few moments on the CD where you get a proper Broadcast “song”. For those following Broadcast’s career, on their last album Tender Buttons, they had shed most of the musicians in the band leaving the percussion to be mostly electronic. This collaboration with The Focus Group seems to move them more towards using samples, of actual old library and soundtrack type releases or of their own creations, I’m not sure. No matter, this is awesome.

8. Elephant’s Memory-Old Man Willow
Speaking of Broadcast and soundtracks…Elephant’s Memory were a psychedelic band from New York best known for playing with John and Yoko in the early 70s. This earlier song appeared in the movie Midnight Cowboy, and is often mentioned along with the United States of America as a key Broadcast influence.

9. The Fates-Sheila-She Beats In My Heart
I first heard about this record when it was posted on the blog Bimble’s Windy Weather. The band is comprised of original Fall and later Blue Orchids member Una Baines with her sometimes partner Martin Branah and several other women, with many songs deriving from pre-Christian and feminist themes. It’s a really cool album. I had met Bimble, who’s real name was Mark, on the I Love Music forum where we often talked “post-punk” among other things. I met him at the first Part-Time Punks festival and traded some music with him, I think I sent him a CD of italo-disco, which I don’t think was quite post-punk/new-wavey enough for him. A few months ago I found out he took his own life. I just started writing some thoughts about him but decided I didn’t have the space to make it all make sense and this wasn’t the time or place. I know he didn’t even like this record that much, and he wasn’t that into the Italo I sent him, but we bonded heavily over enough music that his memory and enthusiasm is permanently stamped on countless favorites of mine and other likeminded fans.

10. Mayo Thompson-Horses
My favorite song from one of my favorite records. After the Red K(c)rayola got increasingly experimental and alienated pretty much everyone, I can’t imagine anyone would think that a few years later Mayo would round up some session musicians and whip up this goddamn record, which was reissued on Dexter’s Cigar, the David Grubbs and Jim O’Rourke curated reissue imprint of Drag City. There’s nothing exceptionally sonically avant-garde about this record. It’s an album of adult songs. Songs about relationships and sex and god knows what. Some people may think his voice is less then radio-ready, but I’d rank him with Bob Dylan or Neil Young. He’d emerge again a few years later with a few other versions of the Red Krayola…collaborating with art collective Art & Language, fronting a super-groups of post-punk hipsters, exploring marxism, producing The Fall, Cabaret Voltaire, The Raincoats etc and eventually joining Pere Ubu for when they got really weird, including a much stranger version of this song.

11. Galaxie 500-Another Day
Galaxie 500 introduced me to the Red Krayola so I figured they deserved a spot here. This is the one song from On Fire, my favorite album of theirs, that’s sung by Naomi, and it’s beautiful.

12. Movietone-Sun Drawing
Flying Saucer Attack-related british psychedelic post-shoegaze indie rock. Kind of reminds me of Opal.

13. The Oscillation-Head Hang Low
Don’t know much about them. On DC records, which I primarily know for the krautrock-esque nu-disco act The Emperor Machine. I think this was their “rock” signing? A bit of the Spacemen 3/Spiritualized/Main thing going on, but updated for the post-electroclash era. Sorry, I’m really running out of steam here.

14. Labradford-Soft Return
This sounded really great on headphones during sophmore year of college. I just spelled that “softmore”. Time for bed.


All Posts,Old Music,Radio — Dan on June 3, 2009 at 11:23 pm

I realize now I haven’t blogged about my Viva Radio shows in a while. Hey, what do you know, it’s been over a YEAR! Now I’m not like some of those other Viva DJs who update every week, I update only when inspiration hits. Or when I’m really bored and/or frustrated and looking for a distraction. Or when they email me and say “hey Dan, how about a show?” So here’s the last bunch ‘o shows playlists typed up so more people will stumble on my blog while googling. Sorry I’m not gonna give the complete history or some weepy story about how each song changed my life, I’m not that bored and/or frustrated, and I have a lot of work to do. A few of these shows are up and accessible at the Viva Radio Pyjamarama page.

In reverse order…

My Strange World An eclectic mix, there’s connections, but maybe only in my head.
1. Martin Rev – My Strange World
2. Ana Da Silva – The Lighthouse
3. Quando Quago – Go Exciting (12″ version)
4. Judy Nylon – Others
5. Ruth – Mabelle
6. + Instruments – Paradise
7. Laurie Mayer – Black Lining
8. The Moles – Cassie Peek
9. The Passions – Runaway
10. Ann Steel – Sweet Life
11. Red Crayola with Art & Language – Keep All Your Friends
12. Flying Lizards – Hand 2 Take
13. Michael Nyman – A Walk Through H
14. Arnold Dreyblatt – Group Velocity
15. Meredith Monk – What Does It Mean
16. Mic Woods – Weekday Lovecrush

Chain or Reaction All New Zealand, all the time.
1. Peter Jefferies & Robbie Muir – Catapult
2. Roy Montgomery – Something Else Again
3. Plagal Grind – Vincent
4. The Chills – Doledrums
5. Cyclops – Lunar Fall
6. Dadamah – Papa Doc
7. This Kind of Punishment – Overground in China
8. David Mitchell & Denise Roughan – Grey Funnel Line
9. Alf Danielson – Glover
10. Dead C – Scarey Nest
11. The Clean – Tally Ho
12. Alastair Galbraith – Stormed Port
13. Nocturnal Projections – Nerve Ends in Power Lines
14. The Bilders – Bedrock Bay
15. Pin Group – When I Tell You
16. The Gordons – Spik and Span
17. Norma O’Malley – Some Tame Gazelle
18. Peter Jefferies – Chain or Reaction
19. Alastair Galbraith & Graeme Jefferies – Timebomb
20. Roy Montgomery – In Our Own Time

Dignity of Labor Early (mostly) UK electronic/new wave/industrial, not unlike my last Beats in Space appearance.
1. The Human League – The Dignity of Labor (Part 1)
2. Fad Gadget – Back to Nature
3. Chris Carter – Outreach
4. The Associates – White Car in Germany
5. Thomas Leer & Robert Rental – Attack Decay
6. Vice Versa – New Girls Neutrons
7. The Future – Blank Clocks
8. Severed Heads – Lamborghini
9. Our Daughter’s Wedding – Airlines
10. Yazoo – Goodbye Seventies
11. OMD – Messages
12. Heaven 17 – I’m Your Money
13. Cabaret Voltaire – Kneel to the Boss
14. Throbbing Gristle – AB/7A

Biting My Nails Again, some threads exist, sort of avant/fake white dub, digital dub, I dunno.
1. Piero Milesi – Modi 2 (Extract)
2. The Lavender Pill Mob – It Doesn’t Matter
3. Alla – Una Dia Otra Noche
4. Genevieve Waite – Biting My Nails
5. Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazelwood – Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)
6. Sister Nancy – Bam Bam
7. Cabaret Voltaire – Digital Rasta
8. Renegade Soundwave – Liquid Up
9. Vivien Goldman – Laundrette
10. Flying Lizards – Her Story
11. Scritti Politti – Jacques Derrida
12. Holger Czukay, Jah Wobble, Jaki Liebizeit – How Much Are They?
13. L Voag – Kitchen
14. Agentss – Agentss
15. Tom Ze – Gloria
16. Brian Eno – St. Elmo’s Fire
17. Snatch – Amputee

Sail on Sailor Songs for a sinking boat or something.
1. Glen Campbell – Galveston
2. Split Enz – Six Months in a Leaky Boat
3. Thomas Dolby – Europa & the Pirate Twins
4. Echo & the Bunnymen – The Cutter
5. In Embrace – Our Star Drawn Through Panes
6. The Lines – Ultramarine
7. Can – Future Days
8. This Heat – A New Kind of Water
9. Tindersticks – Tiny Tears
10. Stephen Mallinder – Del Sol
11. 808 State – Pacific
12. Beach Boys – Sail on Sailor

The Simple Life I think I wanted to just make sure this one rocked, indie-, punk- or otherwise.
1. Sparks – Propoganda/At Home, At Work, At Play
2. The Ex & Tom Cora – State of Shock
3. Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 – The Operation
4. Mission of Burma – That’s How I Escaped my Certain Fate
5. Oxford Collapse – Please Visit our National Parks
6. V3 – Hating Me, Hating You
7. The Stranglers – Bitching
8. Dry Rib – Quail Seed
9. Artery – Pretends
10. Toy Love – I Don’t Mind
11. Peter Jefferies & Robbie Muir – Catapult
12. The Saints – This Perfect Day
13. The Cigarettes – All I Want is You
14. Alternative TV – Action Time Vision
15. Male – Risikofaktor 1:X
16. Subs – Gimme Your Heart
17. Rudi – Big Time
18. Helter Skelter – I Need You
19. Urinals – I’m Like You
20. Clive Langer – The Simple Life

Little Fluffy Clouds This is me in 1992.
1. Renegade Soundwave – Murder Music
2. Pop Will Eat Itself – 92ËšF (The 3rd Degree)
3. Meat Beat Manifesto – Psyche-Out
4. Psychic TV – I.C. Water
5. Aphex Twin – Analogue Bubblebath 1
6. Orbital – Chime
7. The Orb – Little Fluffy Clouds
8. Ultramarine – Stella
9. 808 State – Pacific 202
10. Tranquility Bass – They Came In Peace
11. Richard H. Kirk – The Feeling (Of Warmth and Beauty)

Frozen Warnings “Arty” mix, some “world” and some “hippie” stuff. Best Viva playlist ever?
1. John Cale – Frozen Warnings
2. Popol Vuh – Gemeinsam Tranken Sie Den Wein
3. Catherine Ribeiro – Un Sourire, Un Rire Des Éclats
4. Mahogany Brain – Silkskin Dawn
5. Illitch – N.A. (No Answer)
6. Faust – Baby
7. Rita Lee – Vamos Tratar Da Saudade
8. Joe Byrd and the Field Hippies – Moonsong: Pelog
9. Franco Battiato – Areknames
10. Hapshash & The Coloured Coat – The New Messiah Coming 1985
11. Amon Düül – Bitterlings Verwandlung
12. Comus – The Herald
13. Nico – Frozen Warnings

That’s it for now, go listen to all of them, let me know what you think, thanks.


mp3,Old Music,Radio — Dan on May 12, 2009 at 4:32 pm

Things are pretty busy for The Lines so I figured it was time for another update, and while I’m at it, why not share some music?

First, The Lines appeared on Ambrosia Rasputin’s show on Resonance FM a few months ago, as mentioned here. Mr. Rasputin played some selections including some releases Rico Conning worked on both now, like a beautiful track from Torch Song’s Laurie Mayer, and then, like a classic song from the Swan’s Children of God, which Rico engineered. And of course they played some Lines.

Around 5 minutes and 30 seconds in, Rico announces a selection from their forthcoming album. That’s right, another Lines release! For everybody who thinks they’ve heard it all, Memory Span and Flood Bank simply comprise the complete RELEASED output of the Lines. After the release of their final album, they continued recording, moving further into electronic, dance and experimental territories. Acute is planning on releasing this as a limited vinyl and digital download, and other then the few times this has been played amongst friends, this is probably the first time anybody has heard this. The song Single Engine Duster is an instant Lines classic…the songwriting and melodies are as good as anything they had released, but the production is more aggressive and electronic then anything they’d done till then.The rest of what will make up this album is varied in style and as good, ranging from atmospheric instrumental grooves that sound like Savage Republic jamming with Cabaret Voltaire to (almost) straight up vocoder and drum machine electro-funk. Really amazing stuff and a few of the super-fans who’ve heard it have ended up liking some of it better then the stuff that actually was released!

Later in the set, the Lines played live, mixing old unfinished tapes with new live improvisations. Very krautrock, very cool.

And that wasn’t the last time they’d get some radio attention in the past few months. At the end of March, Henry Rollins played a track from Flood Bank on his KCRW radio show. We’re proud to say that Henry seems to be a fan of Acute and has played most of our releases on his radio show. You can check the tracklisting and info for the show here, unfortunately it seems it’s no longer archived, sorry I didn’t post about this sooner. I know Henry has played Metal Urbain and Ike Yard among other Acute releases, and he always makes a point of saying how he makes sure to check out our releases because he seems to trust our judgement. You should too!

Meanwhile, beyond their appearance on Resonance, The Lines continue to meet up and play together. With hope, this will result in some shows and maybe even some new recordings! Make sure you befriend them on Myspace to keep up to date on all the details, though obviously I’ll keep posting here.

Before I go, I figured I’d share some more Lines rarities. First we have the version of On the Air recorded at Alaska Studios. After the release of the On the Air single but before the recording and release of the Cool Snap EP, the band went into Alaska to record a possible album. This included new recordings of On the Air and Not Through Windows from the single, early versions of the Cool Snap songs, a very early version of Nerve Pylon, and 3 otherwise unheard songs, Time To Go, Uneasy Affair and Blisstability–the latter two making their first appearance on Acute’s Memory Span compilation. (or Hyped2Death’s Messthetics 102, if you’re really keeping track). Time to Go and the other early versions will remain in the vaults for now, but here’s On The Air…

On the Air (Alaska version)
control-click to download

Another awesome–and even more essential–rarity, is the original version of the song Transit. Recorded for their second Peel Session, Rico would rewrite the lyrics before the final version that appears on the single and on Memory Span. This version is more direct, aggressive and has the classic Peel Session raw intimacy lacking in the more subtle and produced final version.

Transit (2nd Peel Session)
control-click to download

So enjoy these tracks and check out the Ambrosia Rasputin jam session and the special sneak-preview of our next Lines release, which you will be hearing plenty about soon enough.


All Posts,Old Music — Dan on April 22, 2009 at 5:57 pm

A year or so ago some friends of mine asked me if I wanted to help out on this movie they were working on, a documentary focusing on the no wave cinema scene that emerged in NYC in the late 70s. I talked my way into becoming the “music supervisor” of their movie, Blank City, and began suggesting music to use. I didn’t realize how serious the project was until I finally saw the rough cut, which was about 8 hours long. The film was beautifully shot, excitingly edited, masterfully directed…and covered so much more than just no wave cinema. While the no wave film of the late 70s and the cinema of transgression of the 80s are the focal point, the movie goes further back to discuss influences in NYC and underground film, from Warhol and Jack Smith through the punk films of Amos Poe. And in discussing the scenes, they paint a more expansive picture of the times, the artists, the musicians, the lifestyle. So while the focus is certainly on the movies that were made, the movie should interest anybody with an interest in that time period.

I haven’t seen the final final cut yet, so I don’t know if all my favorite parts and all my favorite music made the cut, but movie goers will likely hear selections like imPLOG!, Glenn Branca, Ut, Patti Smith and tons of other great stuff.

The movie was accepted into the Tribeca Film Festival as part of it’s Encounters programming and has gotten great advance buzz. The festival site for the film is here, and you can purchase tickets here. The premiere, this saturday, is already sold out, but you may be able to get tickets to showings on Monday April 27th or Friday May 1st.


All Posts,mp3,Old Music,Radio — Dan on February 25, 2009 at 12:14 pm

The Lines are back! I’m excited to report that The Lines have been rehearsing again for the first time in many years. They hope to play some shows and record some music. I’ll do my best to keep you informed here on this blog, but the best way to follow them would be to check out their myspace page here. We’ll be adding more press and information and the guys will be be posting to the blog with announcements, such as this one…

Resonance Radio appearance

Dear best friends,

we have been cordially invited to join Mr Ambrosia Rasputin on his wednesday evening, wireless show. Show starts at 9.pm so make sure your generators are fully wound and batteries loaded. We will play some of our recorded music, which has not been heard since the mid – 1980s and then, only by a minute portion of the conescenti. We will also play music by other artistes, and although there will only be three of us: Rico; Michael and Nick, we aim to perform live, making it up on the spur as it were. Resonance Radio 104.4 Fm

So definitely tune in tonight, 9pm UK time, to Resonance Radio 104.4 Fm in London, or online here.

Meanwhile, accolades for Flood Bank continue to pour in. Check out Andy Kellman’s 8/10 review at allmusicguide, an extensive 8/10 review by Timothy Gabriele for PopMatters, and Kris Need’s 4 star review for Record Collector in which he states The Lines are “Monstrously ahead of their time”. Extra thanks to Kris for letting us use his 1981 interview with the band from Zig Zag magazine in the liner-notes for Flood Bank. Both Lines releases got a mention in Simon Reynold’s ‘Year in Reissues’ feature for The Wire’s 2008 Rewind issue, where Flood Bank was also listed in the Office Ambience chart.

Also make sure you check out the January 2009 issue of Dazed and Confused magazine for a great 4 page feature on the band with some more of Martin Mossop’s photography. Great article, but features the glaring mistake of calling Acute a “Brooklyn” label. I know Brooklyn is the hippest place on earth, but technically we are based in DC and the slightly less hip borough of Queens. Gotta represent!

What can we expect in the future? Hopefully some live shows and new music and in the meantime, they’ve been going through the archives and digging out more old stuff, unreleased stuff better than most bands released stuff, I assure you! More info about that soon!


All Posts,event,Old Music — Dan on February 6, 2009 at 2:31 am

I know, this blog is not what it’s supposed to be. You come here for all kinds of vintage post-punk type music discussions and are confronted with nothing but disco dj’ing self-promotion. I’m sorry, I’ll try to be better, I’ve got all kinds of subjects to discuss, music to share, posts to post, but for now, all I’ve got is this…

If you’re in the Brooklyn area, I’m DJing in Williamsburg at the Kiss and Tell party. Kiss and Tell has been going on for 3 or so years, hosted by Seze and Deanna, and has been a sort of mid-week after-work gathering where techno DJs play their new wave records and each week there’s a new theme of sorts. Past DJs have included John Selway, Derek Plaslaiko, Mike Servito, Veronica Vasicka, Peter Gunn, Small Change, Sam Valenti, Jeffery Ssfire, joining resident DJs Bethany Benzur and Carrie Whitenoise.

This week’s theme is SPACE IS THE PLACE. As much as I’d like to do nothing more than play The Night by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons over and over again, I’m going to stick to a more cosmic aesthetic, as in deep space. We’re talking classic euro-disco, italo-disco, electro, new wave, techno etc. If you check out the Facebook page I’ve posted some videos to set the mood, and will post some more of the next few days, so check it out. I’ll also be DJing with none-other-than Ulysses, a fellow-traveller from back when, those glorious pre-electroclash days of the late 90s into the early 00s. Those were the days.

The party is Wednesday February 11, from around 8pm till 2am or later, if you’re feeling it. It’s at Rose Bar, 345 Grand Street in Williamsburg. Here’s more info:

Kiss & Tell Presents:

…:::SPACE:::… is the place

Wednesday February 11, 2009
Guest DJs: Dan Selzer + Ulysses
Hosted by: Seze & Deanna

K&T Resident DJ: Bethany Benzur
Burlesque by: Amber Ray
Photos by: Seze Devres & Zach Dilgard
Midnight Birthday Blast Off for Eddie O

On February 11, blast off on an orbital space flight with the Kiss & Tell in flight attendants Seze, Deanna, and Bethany Benzur. Cosmonauts Dan Selzer and Ulysses, our talented guest DJs, will guide you as you voyage through some of the catchiest and rarest bleeps and bloops in the universe. Our gorgeous resident burlesque star Amber Ray will be our Big Bang. There will be a special Midnight Birthday Blast Off for Captain EO [Eddie O] who is our Space Camp expert, avid astronaut autograph collector, shuttle launch enthusiast [nerd] and close friend of everyone’s favorite astro-babe Lisa M. Nowak.

Your lovely cabin crew at Rose Bar will make sure you are comfortable and properly hydrated throughout your journey. You will be surrounded by handsome celestial bodies and breathtaking views. If you are in the mood, you are welcome to come dressed as your favorite astronaut, martian, stormtrooper, cosmonaut, alien, or Star Trek-inspired space babe. Costumes are not mandatory, because space is a state of mind. In the great words of Sun Ra, Space is the Place.

Starting promptly at 8pm, our lovely blonde encyclopedia of disco, Bethany Benzur, will be indulging the dance floor with fabulous italo disco space hits.

Join us for a night that is sure to make NASA blush! Darth Vaders & Luke Skywalkers get special K&T love…


All Posts,event,Old Music,Radio — Dan on December 9, 2008 at 12:32 am

To help celebrate the 35th anniversary of NYU’s radio station, WNYU, 89.1, I’ve been invited to DJ Wed night on (Make The) Product, Jacqueline Castel’s awesome radio show dedicated to DIY music. For a year or two, (Make The) Product has been an amazing outlet of self-released underground music. Because WNYU is looking back, I’ve been invited to play some DIY music from the days of old. I’ll be playing a lot of my favorite music from that fertile late 70s/early 80s period when DIY really came into it’s own, focusing on self-produced and self-released music, as well as some of the crucial—or just cool—small labels/collectives. Expect to hear the Desperate Bicycles, Scritti Politti, The Homosexuals, Throbbing Gristle, Metabolist, Thomas Leer, Robert Rental, Funboy Five, One Gang Logic and selections from cool labels like Object Music, Propeller Records, Waldos and Absurd Records.

There may also be give-aways to WNYU’s 35th anniversary concert, featuring Pylon, Christmas Decorations and others. Here’s WNYU’s blurb…

*Wednesday December 10, 7:30-9 p.m.: *DAN SELZER Guest DJ Set on (Make The) Product!

In honor of WNYU’s 35th Anniversary, (Make The) Product! will be doing a special broadcast to survey the d.i.y. and small press underground music scene from the past 35 years, with an emphasis on the late 70s/early 80s d.i.y. scene. The show will be joined by Dan Selzer, founder of local label Acute Records (with reissues from The Lines, Fire Engines, The Prefects, &
Theoretical Girls to name a small few), for a guest DJ set on the show. Don’t miss this show during a very special anniversary week at WNYU Radio!

(Make The) Product is a weekly 90 minute radio program on WNYU devoted exclusively to demos and otherwise self-released, small press, and live recordings with limited to no distribution. Check the website (www.myspace.com/maketheradio) for playlist archives, show listings, and postings on guests, live sets, and interviews! Tune in each Wednesday with
your host Jacqueline from 7:30-9 p.m. on WNYU Radio.

and the official show information/description…

(Make The) Product!
Wednesdays 7:30-9pm
WNYU 89.1 FM NewYork

Producer/Host: Jacqueline Castel (maketheproduct@wnyu.org)

(Make The) Product! is a weekly one-hour radio program dedicated to demos and otherwise self-released, private press, live, or found recordings with limited distribution. Be it freak folk, experimental, noise, punk, or free form psych drones, (Make The) Product! seeks out the rarest in vinyl, tape cassette, and CD-R releases from the local and international underground.

Tune to 89.1 FM in New York or listen online at www.wnyu.org through Windows Media or Real Audio. You can also listen through iTunes. Click on radio, and find WNYU in the public file.

Listen to the (MT)P! archives at www.wnyu.org/archive

View (MT)P! playlists live or archived at www.wnyu.org


All Posts,event,mp3,New Music,Old Music — Dan on December 5, 2008 at 1:38 am

Sorry I didn’t do this when it was fresh in my mind. Been busy and there was a national holiday to deal with as well. What an adventure! I’m going to kick it LiveJournal style now. I went out there with nothing really planned except the incredible oppurtunity to crash on the floor of my friend Adesh’s room at the Standard Downtown. We decided to rent a car, because people apparently drive in LA, but the super budget car rental place had no GPS, so most of the trip involved me yelling at Adesh and telling him his iPhone’s GPS was junk. We got to town, I ate some tacos the size of my head at the Grand Central Market, complained about eating too much for a while then went to Amoeba, where I didn’t end up buying any records but I tried to convince some dude to buy some Cabaret Voltaire 7″s for 10 bucks each—you cannot pay too much money for copies of Extended Play and Silent Command. Ran into Mahssa and thought I was back in NYC. Went back to the hotel, hung out with Dahlia and took a nap. Woke up and Adesh was too busy hanging out with A Certain Ratio at the Standard’s roof pool so I went over to the Echo by myself. Met Michael from Part Time Punks and Benny Shambles who I knew from Go Go Go Airheart playing in NYC, and Scarlet from Hang the DJs. Pop Noir and Adult. played. Adult. was way more industrial then they used to be and I missed the neo-italo new wave of the electroclash days. Rico from The Lines showed up to say hello then at the end of the night after Dirty Dave and Franki Chan loudly rocked the kids with their serato sets I got to DJ. Of course I only brought CDs and they didn’t have CDJs set up and their computers were about 100x louder then my CDs so when I opened with Perfect Kiss it sounded terrible but enough of me making DJ excuses. That’s my new DJ name, btw, DJ Excuses. So after the club closed at 2 we went to what looked like a cool old diner but was really a total hipster hangout called Brite Spot or something and we sat next to the singer from Veruca Salt, a real L.A. moment. It was 2am LA time, so 5am NYC time, which is what time I’d usually end up at the diners of NY (Odessa, or Veselka), so all was right, even if I had 2 hours of sleep the night before.


Went over early to catch ACR’s soundcheck. The rest of the day was spent running up and down the stairs checking out bands and working the merch table where I sold 9 Acute CDs. Was re-introduced to Jessica Espeleta of E.S.P.S. who I had met years ago in NYC. Ran into original Dazzle Ships bartender Brion Paul, who still has my Norman Mclaren DVD, but I’ve got his copy of Jubilee. Victor who played Lines singles for me in SF last year at his Teenage Kicks party, ILXor and blogger Bimble, Don from the old Don’s Records in Brooklyn, Brody from the Plant Bar days, DJ Rob, my old LiveJournal friend Elena and others were all there. And to think I thought I wouldn’t know anybody, a stranger from NY in a stranger land (LA).


I didn’t see all the bands. I saw Magic Bullets who make a suitably powerful slightly twee Postcard Records style indie-pop with a singer who’s a bit too Morrissey. I saw What’s Your Rupture? signees Nodzzz, who were good simple rock and they had a sense of humor. I saw Grimble Grumble do a classic droned out space rock thing, felt like 96 all over again, they even covered It’s a Rainy Day Sunshine Girl. I saw a bit of Warpaint do some sort of tribal rock and the Vivian Girls for a few seconds playing their c86 girl-group sound. I read an interview with them where they talk about being influenced by the Shangri-Las and never having heard the Shop Assistants. They sounded great, better then the one time I’d seen them before. Love is All as well. I always wonder when bands start to hit bigger stages whether they’ll benefit or suffer. Some bands, especially punk bands, need that intimacy and energy of a small room. But both Vivian Girls and Love is All were great and went over swimmingly. I did not see the Muslims, who sound pretty cool. Nervous Gender was some old-school industrial and Medium Medium and Pylon were both dependably great though I didn’t get too pay too much attention. I totally missed Savage Republic and Softboiled Eggies, to much regret.

Onto my pet faves.

Wild Stares were awesome. I didn’t really know what to expect. I first heard them on a Hyped2Death comp and later found a few of the records here and there. They started out in Boston with releases on the seminal Boston punk/post-punk label Propeller, spent some time in Europe and eventually settled in LA where they’re all involved in tons of projects. Vocalist/gtrist Steve Gregoropoulos is a producer well known on the scene and a member of Lavender Diamond. While they were playing I spoke to some LA kids who couldn’t believe what they were seeing, not expecting Steve to rock out like he did, I suppose. They’re a hard band to describe with their own sound. It’s a noisy post-punk, angular and aggressive and chaotic. They use a drum machine and some electronics to good effect. They did a furious version of one of my favorite songs, Piece of the Picture, which Steve was kind enough to let me share here.

Wild Stares-Piece of the Picture
control-click to download

Before they played, I was DJing between bands and thought it would be fun to play the Dangerous Birds single on Propeller, the first band featuring Thalia Zadek. I wondered if anyone in the band noticed. A few hours later I was checking out the merch table and noticed another member of Wild Stares sitting behind some records, including original copies of some of their old records including an old Propeller 7″. I mentioned how cool I thought it was that they had that there for sale. He introduced himself as Justin Burrill, who was the man behind Propeller! And yes, they did notice I played the Dangerous Birds single. It was this kind of punk-rock networking that made the event so cool. There’s a great and extensive interview with the band from an old edition of Perfect Sound Forever, well worth reading.

The Nightingales were one of the main reasons I was there. They grew out of the Acute Records-released Prefects and I had suggested them for the festival. As those of you who have been religously following this blog know, I think they’re one of the best bands performing these days and I’ve seen them play NY a few times now, each time just getting better and better but never really reaching that huge an audience in this jaded town. I think it’s great that they’re playing so much though and really think it’s starting to pay off, building up a new fan-base show by show. Despite there being some last-minute schedule changes, which I am partially responsible for, they finally got to play around 6 or so, a few hours after they were supposed to play, but many hours before they were scheduled to play. It’s a long story, but the timing worked out well for them. They played upstairs to a packed room and I imagine most of the people there didn’t know what to expect. They put on a great show, though not quite as amazing as their performance at Asterisk in Bushwick the week before. I think they won over a lot of fans. The moment they finished two guys came back to the DJ booth and asked “who was that???”.  Robert Lloyd was in great form, taunting the audience as usual. One famous aside that has already been documented in more then one place involved Robert stopping the music and staring at somebody in the first row and saying “Don’t you fucking ever take a picture of me…holding a bud light.” They did that little bit of Faust So Far they always do, making for the second Faust cover of the day. Seriously, do not miss the chance to see them. They have a great new album out soon called Insult to injury, recorded with Hans-Joachim Irmler of Faust, here’s a song from it.

The Nightingales-Little Lambs
control-click to download

The Urinals have been a favorite of mine since the AmRep compilation came out. Unfortunately I didn’t see much of their set even though it was a prime goal of mine. I heard them play Strip Club from the 100 Flowers record, one of my favorite songs by one of my favorite bands. I also bought a t-shirt. They sounded great.

A Certain Ratio hadn’t played the US since 1985 and getting them to play the festival was quite the coup. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’m sure a lot of people were hoping to hear some of those early post-punk funk classics, which ACR did deliver. But I think some of the audience may not have remembered how far the band went into the 80s and 90s getting more and more involved with club music and various other influences, ranging from the smooth post-UK jazz funk grooves to acid house. While they may not have played Do the Du with all the frantic noise of a young post-punk band, they covered the breadth of their career and sounds, ending with a killer latin drum funk jam (a live remix of Skipscada?) and encored with a cover of Joy Division’s Heart and Soul. Now we have to get them to NY!

The bands ended sunday night around 1 or so, and were followed by a Part Time Punks dance party. Something I’d never really seen. Back when I started Transmission I had this dream of playing proper post-punk dance records to a dancing crowd. That’s never really flown here. Maybe you drop Gang of 4 or Delta 5 into a disco or 80s rock/new wave set you’re good, but a room full of people dancing their assess off to the Normil Hawaiins or House of Cracks by The Lines at 2 am on a sunday night? I take it all back LA, I’m sorry about all the horrible things I’ve said about you.

After the show, I joined Adesh to hang out with A Certain Ratio back at the hotel, the closest I’ll ever come to living 24 Hour Party People, then we hit IHOP. A few hours of sleep, waiting for valet service in 91 degree heat, just missing Rob Lowe filming something on the hotel roof, then we flew back monday. NY was like 40 degrees. The NME reviewed the festival here, including some video footage, though I take umbridge at the “hipster Brooklyn” comment.

Anyway, thanks to Part Time Punks for putting it all together and letting me take part. Till next time…

The photo up top is ACR taken by Adesh’s iPhone. OK at pictures, not OK at driving directions. Here’s one more for the road, I’d Like to See You Again, Los Angeles…


All Posts,Old Music — Dan on November 3, 2008 at 5:39 pm

Acute Records couldn’t be more proud than to announce the release of our 11th CD, and our 2nd by The Lines, Flood Bank. With our previous critically acclaimed compilation Memory Span, we introduced (and reminded) music fans of a truly fantastic band of the post-punk era. While Memory Span compiled their singles and EPs, Flood Bank contains the band’s two LPs, Therapy and Ultramarine.

Therapy released October 1981

Ultramarine released March, 1983

When listening to Memory Span, you can hear a progression as the band develops their songwriting and production. On these LPs, while the songwriting is as strong as anything on Memory Span, you hear the results of their further explorations in sound, production and process. One key change was, as singer/guitarist/trombonist Rico says in one of two vintage interviews included in the liner notes, “What’s happened is the focus has gone from me as song-writer and focal point. Now songs start as a rhythm and Joe and Nick, then me and Mick overdub melody and noise.” This results in music with an acute sense of atmosphere and rhythm, a sublime sense of space with a refined subtletly. However dig just below the surface and many of the qualities that made Memory Span such a hit remain; infectious melodies, angsty guitar, funky rhythms, and songs that will get into your brain and stay there.

The development from and comparison to the earlier material couldn’t be more clear then on the first song we’re sharing from Flood Bank, Airlift.

control-click to download

I love so many things about this song, it’s pace, the sound, and note in the chorus they recycle a melody from False Alarm, one of the great tracks from the Cool Snap EP that appears on Memory Span. I guess it’s just so good that it deserved another life!

The Lines didn’t just experiment with the production of these LPs, but with the songwriting—angsty post-punk numbers, punk-funk grooves,  instrumental exercises in noise, and even a few beautiful ballads. I wanted to preview one of them here but it was hard to chose, they’re all favorites of mine.

The Landing
control-click to download

And just so you don’t think Flood Bank is totally melancholy, there’s a few tracks that will put the angst in your pants as well as anything…

Have a Heart
control-click to download

And that’s just 3 of 16 songs, an hour and 15 minutes of music. In compiling Flood Bank, we spliced the two LPs together to create what we think is a more listenable CD. Of course the original tracklisting was chosen to suit both sides of two LPs, but since this was going to be one very long CD, we felt it would flow better and create a different experience if we scrambled it up this way. In this day of iTunes and iPods and CD-rs, you can always change the tracklisting back to reflect the original LPs.

If you own both Memory Span and Flood Bank you will have the complete recorded output of the Lines except for 1 song. The original vinyl release of Ultramarine ended with a song called Respit, a backwards version of the first song on the album, Stripe. However, combining both LPs would’ve been to long to put on 1 CD, so we had to cut a song. Here it is.

control-click to download

And there you have it. I’m really excited about this. When we released Memory Span last May, I talked a lot about how the music of The Lines takes a while to grab people’s attention, but when it does it never lets go. Sure enough, in addition to the small cult of fans who’d been waiting years for the CD, new fans have been taking to it like a long-lost family member. I don’t know if that metaphor really works, but you get the idea. And here we are now, presenting a follow up where the music is perhaps even more subtle and mysterious, and maybe more rewarding. Hope you dig it.

We’ll have a web-page for the release soon, in the meantime you can buy it the following ways:

iTunes (USA Customers only)
$11 + shipping in the USA: Add to Cart
$12 + shipping in Canada/Mexico: Add to Cart
$14 + shipping, rest of the world: Add to Cart

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