All Posts — Dan on April 2, 2012 at 11:22 pm

How about I post another Pyjamarama show to Viva Radio? I like this one. Then again I like them all. That’s because I pick all the music. And it’s been said I have the best taste in music in New York City, maybe even the world. This one has a surprisingly relatively large proportion of “new” music, over half! There’s a definite post-punk vibe with a bit of a minimal synth/industrial thing going on, but when isn’t there? I’ll stretch out on the next one. This one should go up today (Tuesday April 3rd) at at 1pm on Viva Radio and be in the Pyjamarama archives occasionally after that.

1. Total Control – The Hammer
2. Horrid Red – Suicide Daydream
3. Fra Lippo Lippi – Quiet
4. Jee Day – Lowhand
5. Django Django – Waveforms
6. Kevin Hewick and the Sound – Plenty
7. Horrid Red – Motionless
8. Cabaret Voltaire – Messages Received
9. Absolute Body Control – Figures
10. Son of Sam – Nature Makes a Mistake
11. Black Marble – On My Head
12. Tuxedomoon – No Tears
13. Rene Hell – Red
14. FWY! – The 405
15. Roxy Music – Over You
16. Total Control – Sunday Baker


All Posts — Dan on March 2, 2012 at 3:56 am

Figured I’d post a few behind the scenes photos of the Trypes sleeve to show you what we’ve been up to.

Type cuts locked up in the bed of a 1939 Vandercook proof press for letterpress printing.

Your classic improvised drying racks.

Final assembly…the affixing of many photo corners to many photos to many jackets.

Album due out late next month. Vinyl includes digital download card with bonus tracks and deluxe booklet feature liner notes from several band members and Yo La Tengo’s Ira Kaplan. Read more here and stay tuned.


All Posts,Radio — Dan on February 21, 2012 at 12:08 am

If you can take a moment’s break from listening to the leaked Trypes song, check out my latest Viva Radio playlist, which I somehow found a minute to put together and an hour to upload. It’ll be on Viva at 1pm today (tuesday) and in the archives thereafter. Listening now I realize I picked a different song than I had intended from one of the artists, but it’s still good. Actually, it’s great. No theme this time, something for everyone, if you’re the type of person who likes at least 1 of the following 13 songs.

1. Franco Battiato – Energia
2. Jeremy Jay – Gallop
3. White Fence – I’ll Follow You
4. It’s Immaterial – White Man’s Hut
5. Electrelene – The Valleys
6. Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons – The Night
7. Hot Chocolate – Every 1’s a Winner
8. Roxy Music – Flesh + Blood
9. S.C.U.M. – Whitechapel
10. Tristesse Contemporaine – I Didn’t Know
11. Benoit & Sergio – Principles
12. La Dusseldorf – Geld
13. Disappears – Not Nothing


All Posts — Dan on February 9, 2012 at 4:54 pm

Just a quick update about our next release, Music for Neighbors by The Trypes. The Trypes were a wonderful psychedelic folk rock band from suburban New Jersey well within the Feelies axis, along with Yung Wu, The Willies etc. When The Feelies took a hiatus after the release of Crazy Rhythms, Glenn joined the Trypes, high school friends who were already a band. Bill started recording demos. Then sometime Feelie and all-time Young Wu Dave joined. Then Stan and Brenda took over the rhythms section, then Bill on percussion and by the early mid-80s, The Trypes were an ensemble of anywhere between 4 and 7 or 8 friends playing beautifully arranged folky psychedelia with a heavy nod to George Harrison and the Velvets.

Eventually Bill and Glenn re-formed the Feelies and took Stan and Brenda with them, while the rest of the Trypes formed Speed the Plough, who are still going strong to this day (despite their own hiatus or two). During their existence the Trypes only released 1 EP and contributed a song to a compilation, there were other recordings, ranging from earlier demos, to later rehearsal tapes, painting a broader picture of a unique and powerful band. Acute’s vinyl/download release will feature all this stuff and more, but I don’t want to give too much away, just wanted to get it on the record! Music for Neighbors is due out April 24th on vinyl with digital download or sold digitally lossless or otherwise from various sources. There will be more details in the next few weeks, feel free to get in touch if you have any questions, and to whet your interest, you can listen to the first song here:

(From the) Morning Glories
[audio: The Trypes-From the Morning Glories.mp3]


All Posts — Dan on January 9, 2012 at 10:30 am

Sorry it’s taken a month, but I’ve been meaning to recap Happy Refugees visit to the great city of New York in these United States, for their first time ever on these shores not to mention their first time even playing together since the mid 80s! To celebrate the release of Acute’s reissue/compilation Return to Last Chance Saloon, they decided to fly trans-atlantic and have an adventure and did they (we) ever!

Things started with a bang when they were invited by Crystal Stilts to open up for their EP release party at the Knitting Factory on Friday December 9th. I’d love to embed the video of that performance but I’m having technical difficulties so you’ll have to click on over to to check it out, where it should be up for a few months at least. Crystal Stilts were amazing, as were openers McDonalds, which featured members of Cause Co-Motion and Oxford Collapse. Also important that night is that I had my first fried chicken sandwich from the Commodore across the street.

The next day, Saturday the 10th, our favorite radio station WFMU aired Terre T’s Cherry Blossom Clinic featuring a live session recorded by Happy Refugees. Terre T always hosts great bands, and we (Acute) brought The Nightingales out for a session many years ago. This time we actually took the right PATH train so things when swimmingly. You can hear the entire show, including an 8 song set by the band online at Cherry Blossom Clinic. There are also links to go to each individual song if you’re feeling impatient. Here’s a picture from above:

Many thanks to Terre T. for having the band on, Dave Amels of the Reigning Sound for engineering the session, and Acute’s good friend Paul Bruno of The Unblinking Ear for helping out.

If that wasn’t enough, there was still one more show. Saturday night, December 10th, Happy Refugees headlined a show at the Cake Shop. Josh from Regal Degal helped brainstorm a pretty interesting bunch of artists. The night started with the mysterious and unique Suspensors, followed by the Felt-loving Sapphire Mansions and alternate-universe next big thing (in a superior universe), Regal Degal. If that wasn’t enough, DJing and selecting between sets was DJ iDeath (Andrew from MGMT) and none other than myself, playing some of the bands faves and some likeminded sounds from the 70s and early 80s. Another great night all around and a great surprise that Joly from Punkcast offered to come and shoot some of Happy Refugees set. He edited together and posted two songs…the classic Hamburger Boy:


and a special treat, the otherwise unrecorded What’s Your Appeal:


So thanks to Andy at Cake Shop, and all the dudes from Suspesnsors/Sapphire Mansions/Regal Degal and DJ iDeath and Joly! The next morning we capped things off with brunch at Roberta’s, because I wanted to make sure Happy Refugees got some good food and didn’t just eat bad NY pizza, and that was the end of a pretty exhausting and pretty awesome rock-n-roll weekend. A great way to celebrate the release of the album and to end the year. Speaking of which, Return to Last Chance Saloon made a few year-end best of the year lists despite only being out a couple of weeks, such as Jim Allen’s The Best Albums You Didn’t Hear This Year, Evan “Funk” Davies of WFMU’s #5 reissue of the year, a top 10 reissue of the year from Chris at Kim’s, number 3 top album of the year from Zan Emerson at Le Poisson Rouge,  and one of the reissues of the year from the excellent Straight to Video blog. They also made an appearance on a great playlist from France called Foggy Girls Club, well worth checking out.



All Posts,Old Music,Radio — Dan on December 22, 2011 at 2:37 am

So a week or so ago there were quite a few events (and posts) about Happy Refugees visit to NYC, which I will be re-capping soon, including clips and links and all sorts of fun. In the meantime, I realize I never told you (the internet) about my last 4 Viva Radio shows, all of which are currently available to stream in the archive for my show, Pyjamarama. Just click there, select a show from the pulldown menu and hit start! Here’s the shows in reverse order, and boy are they awesome.

What Use
1. Tuxedomoon-What Use
2. Can-Spoon
3. The Lines-Nerve Pylon
4. Colin Newman-We Means, We Starts
5. Robert Rental-Double Heart
6. Clock DVA-Resistance
7. The Box-Water Grows Teeth
8. Moebius-Countramio
9. The Fakes-Look Out
10. Metropak-OK Let’s Go
11. Visitors-Moth
12. Marc Riley-Favourite Sister
13. The Fall-Leave the Capital
14. Thomas Leer & Robert Rental-Monochrome Days
15. Simple Minds-I Travel
16. Throbbing Gristle-AB/7A
17. Ultravox-Hiroshima Mon Amour

In A Vision
1. Virgo Four-In A Vision
2. Psyche-Elements
3. Julio Bashmore-Ribble To Amazon
4. PIRI PIRI-Disgo
5. Underground Resistance-Amazon
6. Oni Ayhun-Oar 003-B
7. Omar S-Psychotic Photosynthesis
8. Reel by Real & Shake-Serene
9. Yellow Beach Balls-Like Ecstasy Comes Down Like the 66

1. Neu!-Neuschnee
2. John Maus-Believer
3. Rema Rema-Rema Rema
4. The Yummy Fur-Colonel Blimp
5. Felt-Birdmen
6. David Bowie-Teenage Wildlife
7. The Associates-When You Were Young
8. Robin Gibb-The Worst Girl in this Town
9. The Who-See My Way
10. 21-645-Babble
11. La Dusseldorf-Geld
12. Faust-Lauft..Heisst Das Es Lauft Oder Es Kommt Bald..Lauft
13. Harmonia-Watussi

Multi-Track Suggestion
1. Vangelis-Multi-Track Suggestion
2. Severed Heads-Lamborghini
3. Vogel-Guten Morgen
4. Plus Instruments-Paradise
5. Kevin Harrison and Steven Parker-Distant Truth of English Dreams
6. Harmonia-Deluxe (immer weider)
7. Harald Grosskopf-Emphasis
8. Robert Görl-A Ist Wider Da
9. Food Pyramid-Last Shuttle to the Red Planet
10. Ryan Garbes-Boys are Back
11. The Beach Boys-Let Us Go On This Way
12. Bron Area-You Would Be Amazed
13. An Bene and Pierre Lambow-Celestial


All Posts,event — Dan on December 12, 2011 at 12:29 am

Just a quick break from all things Happy Refugees, who’s successful visit to NYC is now done (recap and links soon). Tonight I’ll be joining South Brooklyn’s finest BYOV music selecting/listening party Monday Night Vinyl Club to celebrate a visit from another bunch of old-school rockers, Rocket From the Tombs…better known as the pre-punk prior to the post-punk of Pere Ubu (and punk of Dead Boys). Me and my old Jaguar Ride bandmate Nate the K of the Burn it Down parties will be playing records up front sometime around after the band, probably 10 or so. We’ve got a whole bunch of proto-punk, mid-70s longhaired weirdos, Cleveland stuff, Akron stuff. San Francisco stuff. New York stuff. MC5 to MX-80. Blue Cheer to the Bizarros. Mirrors all the way to the Styrenes. Come on down for the show, or if you’re cheap, hang out up front and celebrate monday the only way you can, with anger and frustration.

Bell House, December 12th, 8pm-1am, 149 7th st, Brookland



All Posts,event — Dan on December 8, 2011 at 2:28 am

Happy Refugees are here in NYC. Here’s a partial itinerary, and since some of the events include the electronic broadcast of sound and vision, this should be of interest to people worldwide. I’m going to try to make this concise.

Thursday, December 8th
Kev and Max’s Pizza Party on EVR will be celebrating the release by playing some selections, plugging some shows, and hosting Happy Refugees themselves…in one form or another, unless they can’t make it, in which case they will come up with something entertaining. Tune in online from 4pm to 6pm.

Friday night, December 9th
Knitting Factory Brooklyn 361 Metropolitan, Williamsburg
Crystal Stilts
Happy Refugees

Happy Refugees set will be broadcast live (est. 9pm) on livestream, and streamable from there afterwords.

Saturday afternoon, December 10th
Live set to be broadcast on the radio on Terre T’s Cherry Blossom Clinic on WFMU, between 3pm and 6pm. Tune into 91.1 fm in NYC, 90.1 in the Hudson Valley or check it out online at

Saturday night, December 10th
Cake Shop 152 Ludlow St, L.E.S.
Happy Refugees
Regal Degal
Sapphire Mansions
Special guest DJ DJ iDeath, playing late night tales with Kevin Pedersen and Dan Selzer (this guy.)

So that’s it. Come on out to one of these shows. I KNOW you didn’t see them play in 1984.


All Posts — Dan on November 29, 2011 at 12:58 am

“Happy” to say Return to Last Chance Saloon by Happy Refugees is out today! Ordering information, samples, photos, PR copy and other goodies can be found here. Figured I’d take this chance to promote their upcoming visit to NYC and give a little background about the release.

To celebrate this long-awaited (by a few) release, Happy Refugees reunited and are coming to NY for a couple of shows.

Friday December 9th they will be playing at the Knitting Factory Brooklyn, where they were graciously invited by Crystal Stilts who are celebrating the release of their new EP. Crystal Stilts count among the aforementioned “few” who had been lucky enough to be exposed to Happy Refugees during these years where their records were rare collectibles. The affinity makes sense. They will be joined by McDonalds, the band. More information can be found at the Knit and at the Facebook event page.

Then, Saturday the 10th, first they will appear on Terre T’s Cherry Blossom Clinic on WFMU.

Later that evening, they will be headlining a show at Cake Shop, where they will be joined by one of my favorite young bands (obviously most of my favorite bands are old), Regal Degal, and their friends Suspensors. More info at yet another Facebook event page.

But if they were so obscure, just how did Acute Records discover Happy Refugees? Good question! Many many years ago, there was a time when the internet did exist and it was possible to quickly reach strangers in far off lands, but there was a shortage of what’s called “bandwith”, so while you could electronically talk to people, it was not yet quite possible to simply send music and other media quickly over the wires. I don’t remember how I came into contact with the record dealer Steve in the Netherlands, ( but I did. Now back in those days, record dealers would make mix tapes on cassettes of things they thought you might like to buy. Steve made me such a mix and it contained the classic Hamburger Boy by Happy Refugees. Steve had been in touch with the band, so a few years later when I finally decided it was time to try to reissue it, he got me in touch with them. And only 5 or 6 years later we have Return to Last Chance Saloon! Steve meanwhile is still spreading the news at his blog Low Down Kds and selling the goods here. Thanks Steve.

As we roll out this release, it’s been really interesting to hear people’s response. This is definitely one of those “I can’t believe I’ve never heard this before”, “where has this been hiding”, “you’ve changed my life” kind of releases. This isn’t post-punk-era barrel-scraping. This is a fully formed awesome record without a bum song. The references that people dig up have been interesting. Lots of comparison to the likes of The Fall, Marc Riley, Nightingales and Mekons, all favorites. DIY favorites like Swell Maps, Homosexuals, Desperate Bicycles. The early Flying Nun/New Zealand scene. Velvets and Stooges, Reed and Cale and Iggy solo. OK, I needed to get that lame name-dropping referencing out of the way. Taken on their own, Happy Refugees are a great rock band and Return to Last Chance Saloon is a great, shambolic, emotional and catchy rock album. Check it out, meet them on Facebook and come see them in NY.


All Posts,New Music — Dan on November 19, 2011 at 4:19 pm


You are going to hear a lot in the next few weeks about Acute’s next release, Return to Last Chance Saloon by Happy Refugees, starting with this. We made a little slideshow video for the song that started it all for me, Hamburger Boy. See it here, see it on youtube, please forward and post it, live it and love it. We’ve also put up the release page here:

Happy Refugees – Return to Last Chance Saloon

so check that out to read some promo blurbs and get 3 free songs as a taster. Heck, may as well post them here as well…

This is Cold
[audio: Happy Refugees-This is Cold.mp3]

Hamburger Boy
[audio: Happy Refugees-Hamburger Boy.mp3]

Warehouse Sound
[audio: Happy Refugees-Warehouse Sound.mp3]

The record comes out November 29th, I’ll post again when that long-awaited date arrives and will update that page with ordering information.

You will also be hearing a lot about this because not only has this been REMASTERED…not only is this being REISSUED, but Happy Refugees have REUNITED and they’re going to play two shows in New York City early in December to celebrate the release. Friday December 9th they have been graciously invited to open up for Crystal Stilts at the Knitting Factory for their EP release party (on Sacred Bones) where they will be joined by McDonalds. Then the following night for those who can’t brave Brooklyn or prefer more intimate basement spaces, Happy Refugees will be headlining at Cake Shop with Regal Degal, Suspensors and maybe more.

So consider this the first shot over the bow. There will be a few more posts with more detail and a whole lot of facebook info, so make sure you check out Happy Refugees and Acute Records on facebook.

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