All Posts — Dan on June 28, 2007 at 11:14 am

Hey! Welcome to the Acute Records blog, which is short for Acute Records Web-Log. I know what you’re thinking, why a blog? I thought it would be really cool to have a forum to discuss music, but actually it’s just a way to try to get people to check out the website on a regular basis. Just so you know, this isn’t the first time I’ve had a blog…

I actually had a LiveJournal for almost 3 years in the beginning of the decade. There was a lot of talk about cool post-punk bands and old records, but also a lot of drunken posts about girls, as well as sober posts about drunk girls. This time I plan on narrowing my focus to things I think an Acute Records fan would be interested in reading about. So any of the 4 of you who may be reading this, feel free to let me know what you think! And as I discussed here, that vague Acute aesthetic that is defined by basically whatever excites me…

Here are a few things I’m going to be posting about…

  • New reissues of old records of various kinds, but especially from that late 70s-mid 80s period we love so much.
  • New bands that are cool. In the last few years there’s been an explosion of artists drawing from the type of stuff that we’ve been reissuing. I’d like to think that some of the older record collector types who may still mostly live in the past (like myself) could be checking out some of these younger bands who draw from many of the same influences. And half of these are just bands that added us on myspace.
  • Radio shows, including my contributions to Viva Radio and tours of interest.
  • Random rants about personal musical obsessions regardless of relevance.
  • Updates about Acute Records and our website, when features are added, when there’s some news about our releases, etc.
  • Interiews and little mini-features.
  • MP3s will be posted as often as possible, and only with permission.

So I imagine you get the idea. I don’t know, I’m sure it’ll evolve as it goes on. I’m pretty dedicated to doing this, so I hope it won’t be one of those blogs that starts off all ambitious and has like, 3 posts. My goal is to post at least 1 thing a week, but will probably post more. I hope you bookmark this, check it out often and comment as much as you can. Let me know if you have any ideas/suggestions, please excuse any technical hiccups in the beginning, please let everyone know about this, make sure you check out the rest of the site, and thanks for reading this far! Talk soon….




  1. Hi Dan.
    Under my Jack Throb name I’ve had a few shared moments with Stuart Argabright. I hear the Lyon trip went well! I’d like to ask you a technical question as I’m new to all this web stuff. I find I’m putting down my thoughts in a blog format on my site and I may as well do it in a bloggy way so other peeps can interact if they’d like! So…How do you set up this (your) blog? Is it hard?
    Keep well

    Comment by Strangely Perfect — July 5, 2007 @ 6:23 pm
  2. Hey-glad you wrote in and conrgats on the first comment on the first post! I’ve checked out the Crawling Chaos website a bit, but not nearly enough. Will have to spend some more time there. As far as blogs, considering my limited experience so far, I’d have to say it’s VERY easy, unless, like me, you make it otherwise! There are all kinds of automatic ways to set one up and get going, I was able to figure out how to install WordPress with their famous “5 minute install”, which actually took me more like an hour, there was definitely some issues I had to work out. But the problem was I really wanted to integrate it with the rest of my site by having the same pull-down menu navigation, so that took a bit more tweaking beyond my skills, and for that I have to thank Maxx Klaxxon at Artifice Eternity for helping me out.

    But for anybody else, there’s just a few basic decisions you need to figure out. Are you gonna host it on your site yourself or have it hosted by the blog software. Beyond that it’s a question of which software to use. The most popular are WordPress and Movable Type, and both offer hosted options ( and Typepad). Also hosted is Blogger. They’d all do the job but all my research led towards WordPress being the best, so that’s what I’m using. I think if you want to use the basic software as it’s installed, then change the look by picking a theme, it’s pretty easy to use, and the more you want to tweak it, the more you need to mess with code. Like I’m still toying with the CSS code of the theme I chose to personalize it. I have no idea what I’m doing, but I’m getting there. If I were you, I’d definitely start by researching The next thing I’d say is to find somebody who knows a thing or three about HTML, MySql databases, CSS etc, and get them to help you out. I’m sure there’s an easy way to not only install the blog, but have it fit seamlessly in with your website.

    Anyway, that’s advice from someone who’s not even sure how this is gonna work out! I’ve been waiting to get around to post my second post before officially announcing the launch of this blog and the site in general, so we’ll see how it goes. Good luck!

    Comment by Dan — July 5, 2007 @ 8:22 pm
  3. Thanks Dan. I’ll check that lot out. I too have heaps to learn; but you know, it’s fun!

    Comment by Strangely Perfect — July 6, 2007 @ 12:03 pm
  4. Dan,

    Can’t wait for The Lines reissues. A few years ago I did a Post punk mix CD for a friend. I knew it had to start with Public Image and end with Decades, and also knew that The Lines were going to be the secret ace up my compiling sleeve. I included Nerve Pylon, Transit and On the Air. Now my friend is obsessed and thinks they were the stars of the comp.

    Let me know when the first one’s coming out. I can’t make promises, but I hope that I might be able to help it get some attention in the pop papers this side of the pond. I’ll try anyway – you can write me on my email address about this if you like.

    Anyone who bought, say, the Scritti Politti `Early’ comp NEEDS The Lines As and Bs. You know it’s true!

    Best wishes, Matthew

    Comment by Matthew — July 12, 2007 @ 10:17 am
  5. Hi Dan – I wrote you some months ago and suggested a few possiblities that would fit perfectly on your label. I’m not sure if you were interested, but I thought I’d get back to you, as perhaps you’d be interested in some MP3s (I’ve finally joined the iPod world and have been digitizing everything I can). I started buying vinyl about 1980-81, so postpunk has always been at the top of my personal tastes heap (along with 70s style punk and some later indie stuff, but nothing tops Wire, Mekons, Au Pairs, Gang of Four, etc. in my humble opinion). Anyway, over the course of the years, I uncovered some great stuff that maybe isn’t as well known as say Joy Division or Raincoats, but it’s great stuff. So…here are a few suggestions again, and lemme know if you’d like me to send over some MP3s of these bands. I don’t have all of this, but most of it:

    * Dow Jones & the Industrials – GREAT punk/postpunk electronic band from Indiannapolis. They released one classic 3-song single, had a track on Gulcher’s Red Snerts compilation album, and also had one side of a split LP with the Gizmos. All of the recordings are fantastic, in a Devo kind of way, but noisier and more aggressive.

    * Pittsburgh postpunk: The stars of the scene were 3 bands, all great, my personal faves being the Five, who released only 2 singles in the 80-81 postpunk period (and a not as good LP in 1985). But also well worth noting are Dress Up as Natives (very much in line with many of the other all girl postpunk bands of the day), who only released 1 3-song single, but have several other songs posted online which are great, and Carsickness, who were maybe a little too “jazz-postpunk” for my tastes, but were the Pittsburgh scene stars and released several singles and 2 albums. I only have their first EP digitized.

    * Boston’s Propeller label. This is the label for which all of the arty Boston bands recorded. Great bands like V (enough material for a complete CD), the Neats (during their art-wave-punk phase, though there probably wouldn’t be enough material), and especially Thalia Zedek’s first band, Dangerous Birds, who deserve a retrospective all their own (if enough previously unreleased cuts can be dug up). An acquaintance of mine has managed to clean up the notoriously noisy (as in uninentional tape squeaking kind of way) Propeller Cassette, so I can put you in touch if you’d like.

    * X-X – This was the band that the Electric Eels mutated into, and it’s equally whacked out art terrorism, if better recorded. Just two singles on the Pagan’s Drome label, but there must be some stuff in the vaults. Just a question of tracking it down.

    * The Ralphs – Dallas Texas punk/postpunk. Ryan Richardson’s Existential Vacuum label has issued their amazing unreleased recordings (plus the band did put out one single back in the day), but on vinyl only. A CD version would be great. Ryan would probably be into it, though he’s wouldn’t want to do it himself, being a vinyl purist.

    * Pink Section – Great short-lived no wave/synth/noise San Francisco band. There is enough material for a compilation, as they put out a single, a 4-song EP, and a number of scattered tracks on compilations albums back in the day, plus no doubt there is some unreleased material in the vaults.

    * Units – They’ve developed a big cult following amongst neo postpunkers, judging by the awe with which my copy of Digital Stimulation was greeted at the WFMU show. Perhaps a reissue of their self-released 1st EP and the LP and single originally on the 415 label would be a big hit? I have a feeling the 415 catalog is owned by a major label, though.

    * Pylon – Same issue perhaps as above, with a major label owning the rights, but it would be great to finally see a reissue of all of their early 80s recordings, albums, EPs, and singles, not just the greatest hits comp that was released (and is now way out of print).

    That’s all I can think of for now. Really looking forward to the Lines and Fire Engines CDs!

    – Bruce

    Comment by Brucifer — July 12, 2007 @ 1:47 pm
  6. Hey Bruce-

    Glad people are finding this blog! I’m actually writing the first big post for it right now and plan on “announcing” it shortly, but I really hope people keep posting. I remember we corresponded a bit about this stuff…the only update I have is it’s a fairly well-known rumor that the DFA is putting out a Pylon CD. When I was told that it was strictly hush-hush but I’ve seen enough people talk about it online now that I figure it must be public knowledge. Haven’t heard much about it but hope it happens.

    I don’t know if we’re talking about the same friend, but I have all/most the Propellor stuff digitized now and am still digesting it. Some of it is great though, if not us, maybe Chuck Warner will do something with it? I picked a few up recently, looked through the DIY/punk singles box at Academy in Williamsburg and found the Propeller Product single and a Wild Stares single, and have picked up 2 Wild Stares records, one at Academy and one during a trip to Pittsburgh at Jerry’s. Wish I knew to look for the Pittsburgh bands you mention.

    I think Gulcher is back in business and always assume they’re reissuing all their old stuff, no?

    Units are definitely picking up steam. I know Tim Sweeney played them on his radio show the week or two after I did my early industrial/synth-pop guest show (which I’m blogging about right now)

    But thanks for the comments and suggestions and please stick around…


    Comment by Dan — July 12, 2007 @ 2:01 pm
  7. Thanks, Dan. I think the guy who put together the Propeller comp was named Mike? He’s from the Boston area. I suggested Dow Jones to you, because Gulcher doesn’t seem to be doing anything about it. Not sure why, because they were to me the best stuff on the label (well, the Jetsons single is pretty incredible too).

    Great news on the Plyon reissue! I’ll keep my eyes open. LONG LONG overdue.

    I forgot to mention another band – Albany, New York’s The Verge, who put out an incredible 7″ EP back in ’82 I think, and had an even better track on an Albany comp called Hudson Rock. Very much in the Mission of Burma/Embarrassment vein. This band really deserves a retrospective, even though granted they’re obscure. There really weren’t that many bands doing the postpunk thing at the time in the U.S., so I’m hoping all of the worthwhile stuff gets reissued sooner or later.

    OK, can’t help myself…the Babylon Dance Band are another one, from Louisville, Kentucky. Matador put out a CD years ago, but it didn’t include their one and only original single (well, it did have one side, but remixed). A dissappointment.

    And on the postpunk/electronic side of things, Philadelphia’s Crash Course in Science are definitely worth revisiting.

    Lastly, another Athens, GA band who played with Plyon all the time, the Method Actors. Like Pylon, they managed to get several singles, EPs, and 2 LPs out before splitting up.

    OK, I’ll stop. I think I’ve covered just about every USA postpunk band from the original time period not already out on CD.

    I’ll be snatching up copies of all Lines CDs + Fire Engines the second they’re out. Thanks for putting these together.

    – Bruce

    Comment by Brucifer — July 12, 2007 @ 4:20 pm
  8. and thanks for the kind words, matthew…we can always use all the help we can get! I think for a lot of Lines fans it feels like their secret ace, when you know a band is that good it’s just shocking more people don’t know about them.

    Comment by Dan — July 12, 2007 @ 5:19 pm
  9. Dan,
    I’ve picked your brain a few times on some other blogzone of sorts (can’t remember even the name of it, stumbled across it while Googling for Lines info.)… anyway, I eagerly await the Lines reissues. I picked up the Ike Yard compilation and like it very much. Great work.

    Comment by Randy — July 12, 2007 @ 10:39 pm
  10. probably ILX. Glad you like the Ike Yard. We’re wrapping up the Fire Engines release now so among about 1,000 other things, the Lines is our number 1 priority. Hopefully we’ll have more info as it comes together soon, so watch this space!

    Comment by Dan — July 12, 2007 @ 11:17 pm
  11. Let me put in a plea for a reissue of the Propeller cassette. I’ve been looking for a copy of that bad boy for years, with no luck. Thalia Zedek’s cult following should make it possible for the reissue to make money, I think.

    In the meantime, if anyone can lead me to a copy, email me at

    Comment by Rick — July 17, 2007 @ 5:38 pm
  12. I’d be interested in a reissue of the Propeller cassette, too. I bought my copy in ’81 and quite literally, played it to death. It’s quite the touchstone and I still have it around, in case anyone can bring it back to life.

    Comment by Wes — January 7, 2008 @ 12:00 am

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