Wednesday, July 9, 2008

My Peel Tapes: Part 16

Hi kids,

yet another edition of 'My Peel Tapes' and another fine one, I would like to think (although there's quite a lot of me bragging about included this time ... hope this doesn't turn you off). Here we go:

(120) Galaxie 500 - 'Another Day' (mp3). I may well have told this story before, but back in 1990 - when being in the army and therefore always out of money (back then they forced you to attend for one fucking year, but would pay you no more than ~ 300,- Deutschmarks, not Euros: can you believe that?!) - a mate of mine worked as some manager and/or concert promotor for one or two German Ska combos. I helped him out, doing backstage stuff and stagebuilding and one of the benefits of this relation was that I was often provided with free tickets for other gigs.

And one of those gigs was the WDR Rocknacht, where - amongst others - James played, together with Galaxie 500. It was quite a big venue, but not that crowded, therefore I used to leave the backstage area and stand in the middle of the audience watching a few of the bands playing from there. Suddenly a most beautiful young woman (I could say a goddess as well, male readers: have a look at the link further below and you'll see what I mean!) approached me (mind you: back in those days my belly was tending towards zero and I was as pretty as a picture altogether!!) and placed herself right beneath me and - as it happened very often back in those days (it still happens nowadays, to be absolutely frank to you) - I was too shy to speak to her. So we stood silently together and watched the entire show of whoever was playing then and we thought beautiful thoughts of what we could do together instead. Well, I did, to be precise, she, on the other hand, just watched the band, I think.

You can believe me that I was not little surprised when that women entered the stage right after the band finished and started (she was playing bass) together with her band)) one of the finest performances I've ever seen (although it was surpassed by what James did later in the night). So, Naomi Yang out of Galaxie 500, should you be reading this: I never stopped adoring you!

'Another Day' is on their fantastic 'On Fire' - LP, Rough Trade Records 1989. Not only is the music truly awesome, also the sleeve notes, done by Kramer, are essential:

THEN there was The Great Chicago Fire. I was there. The stories of how the fire began were wildly contradictory, but I was there. Some people say the fire was started by a stampede of cows. Some say it was just one cow. Some tried to blame it on someone they didn't like. One fella tried to blame it on his own brother, just because his brother had stolen away his girlfriend and married her. The wedding took place in Las Vegas. It was a modest affair of about 150 guests, non-denominational(which really pissed off the parents of the bride, but hell, you can't please everybody). During the ceremony some rotten little punks yelled "Fire!" "Fire!" and the whole place cleared out in no time. The maid of honor even broke her ankle in two places after being shoved down the altar by the always overly zealous justice of the peace. Well, the ankle was pretty bad and the maid of honor had to be shot, and exactly one week later the entire block burned to the ground. Even the bricks burned. But at least nobody tried to blame it on a cow. And the wedding went ahead as planned. And some people actually believe that Nero fiddled as Rome burned, and that he really did look like a badly aging Peter Lorre. On Sunday nights we'd all gather round to watch the Disney show, and I would always fall asleep from boredom. But I had a big ol' Siamese cat named Butch who'd always loved to play with my face as soon as my head hit the pillow. So I'd awake startled, sometimes crying, sometimes covered with blood and crying, staring into the idiot box. Sometimes I'd see Walt himself, sometimes Mickey or Goofy. But sometimes I'd see a thousand bright blue caribou racing a dust storm to the finish line, neck and neck all the way, like nature's own Indy 500! Flesh and blood against the elements! And I remember wondering to myself..."Why are they racing?" Then one fine day I understood why the race took place. It was because the hairs on those caribous necks were being tickled by the instinctual knowledge of a fire raging not too far away, and most certainly headed this way. Humans often get the same feeling ... like an oddly warm breeze malevolently fueled by the maddening flames behind it. Come ride the fiery breeze of Galaxy 500!- KRAMER, New York City 1989.

[upon request:
Prudes - 'Something Tells Me']

(121) The Senseless Things - 'Too Much Kissing' (mp3). A perfect little pop song and exactly the type of tune I like most: catchy, simple, neat guitars and a nice chorus. What else could you possibly ask for? And for those of you who have never heard of The Senseless Things, here's a little name-dropping which I stole from Wikipedia:

Keds went onto form Jolt then Trip Fontaine, The Lams and now Like A Bitch. He very briefly played with The Wildhearts. Ben went onto join 3 Colours Red and has since developed a career in public and media relations with diverse organisations including Help the Aged, the Eden Project and the Crown Prosecution Service. Morgan joined Vent with Miles Hunt from The Wonder Stuff then went on to play with The Streets. He is now part of Muse's live set-up. Cass went on to sing for Delakota and then Gorillaz. He also briefly played with Urge Overkill. Senseless Things reformed (minus Morgan, who was unfortunately touring in Japan with Muse) for one short four song performance on 4th March 2007 - over 12 years after the band last performed - as part of a gig to celebrate the life of former Mega City Four frontman Darren 'Wiz' Brown, who died in December 2006.

'Too Much Kissing' is on the band's debut mini album called 'Postcard C.V.', released on Way Cool Records in 1989.

[upon request:
Edsel Auctioneer - 'Strung'
Galaxie 500 - 'When Will You Come Home']

(122) Another Sunny Day - 'You Should All Be Murdered' (mp3). On the wonderful Sarah Record Label from Bristol, home to many great artists back in the early 90's. Their 7" singles were not terribly easy to get hold of at the time, but if you were lucky, you could pick up one of their stunning compilations. This track can be found on a rather early one of them, 'Temple Cloud', released in 1990. The 'You Should All Be Murdered' - 7" dates 1989 though ...

[upon request:
X-Ray Spex - 'Genetic Engineering'
Family Cat - 'Final Mistake'
House Of Love - 'I Don't Know Why I Love You'
Galaxie 500 - 'Snowstorm']

(123) Carcass - 'Ruptured In Purulence' (mp3). Well, still - after all these years - I haven't yet fully come to terms with the sheer explosion of 'those sort of bands' at the end of the decade, nearly 20 years ago. You wouldn't believe how much attention they got, as well Carcass as Extreme Noise Terror, Napalm Death or Morbid Angel: John Peel championed them all in an obsessive way and every programme was bound to be filled with (death) metal/grindcore tracks.

When the whole genre started, the numbers were incredibly short (Napalm Death's 'You Suffer' for example being 0.75 of a second long) and (especially at concerts) it was fun, 'cos when they issued tracks which started to near the one-minute mark, there would be booing and the band would be accused of turning into hippies. Home of them all was Nottingham's Earache Records and the tune above is from Carcass' second album 'Symphonies Of Sickness' from 1989. And yes, my copy is the one with the withdrawn sleeve, so let me know if you're interested in having it. The best thing is this song is, I always thought, the strange sound the singer makes at 0:40 minutes. As though he's some creature from hell ..... bloody spooky stuff!!

[upon request:
Carcass - 'Exhume To Consume']

(124) The Family Cat - 'From The City To The Sea' (mp3). From their debut Mini - LP on Bad Girl Records 'Tell 'Em We're Surfing', released in 1989. A perfect band to watch live, which I actually did (in a cool cellar venue in London, the name of which escaped me) one year later on their 'Place With A Name' - tour. Cool homepage here, with some nice downloads as well ...

[upon request:
Carcass - 'Swarming Vulgar Mass Of Infected Virulencies']

(125) Link Wray - 'Batman' (mp3). The definitive reading of the Neil Hefti classic, I would think. Originally released on Swan in 1966, I took it from a re-release on Norton Records (in their very fine 'Jukebox - Series'), a 7" released in 1995. Peel will surely have played the original Swan 7" at the time of me taping his show in 1989, I think. So start the nuclear power for the Batmobile an let it happen, kids!!

[upon request:
Hüsker Dü - 'Something I Learned Today']

(126) The Leyton Buzzards - 'Saturday Night Beneath The Plastic Palm Trees' (mp3). Their second single and quite contrary to what they did before. Mind you, this 7" was released in 1979, a time - so I might imagine - where quite a lot of die-hard punks were rather furious because of this record, which is, as you can tell, by no means punk-ish. It even entered the charts at No. 53 and a Top Of The Pops appearence followed. Either way, I've bragged about my dislike of labelling-bands-into-genres often enough and this record is a very good example why I'm right with my opinion: it's a pretty neat track, as easy as that. Which you will be able to confirm if you download it. On Chrysalis Records. Here's a little bit more on The Leyton Buzzards .... and also I hope FiL from Pogo A Go-Go will pleased to hear this (again).

[upon request:
James - 'Come Home'
Electronica - 'Getting Away With It']

(127) Grant Hart - 'She Can See The Angels Coming' (mp3). A chilling emotive end to an astonishingly great album. It's a vulnerable, touching, but subtle memorial to the horror of Hüsker Dü's closing months, when band manager Dave Savoy committed suicide just before the band's final fraught tour. Well, I don't know whether Grant Hart was responsible for the more melodic tunes Hüsker Dü did, but listening to this album makes me think that this might well have been the case. So if you liked Hüsker Dü's 'ballads' more than the hardcore stuff, this LP might well be tracking down: on SST Record from 1989.

[upon request:
Family Cat - 'Taken By Surprise'
Fatima Mansions - 'Valley Of The Dead Cars'
A Witness - 'I Love You, Mr Disposable Razors']

(128) The Undertones - 'Rock 'n' Roll' (mp3). From the 'Peel-Session' album (Strange Fruit Records, 1989), which is not terribly easy to track down, I might think, at least not in vinyl form. The perfect reading of the Gary Glitter favourite, done by - definetely (!) - the best band ever to come from Northern Ireland. 'Rock 'n' Roll' is from The Undertones' 3rd session for the John Peel Show, it was recorded on 21.01.1980. This is a mighty tune, folks! Enjoy it .....

[upon request:
Grant Hart - 'Now That You Know Me']

(129) The Sundays - 'Here's Where The Story Ends' (mp3). Now, this track will please Greer out of the very fine 'A Sweet Unrest' - blog. I never tire of listening to this album. I really don't think "Blind" or "Static and Silence" could quite match the quality of "Reading, Writing and Arithmetic". Harriet's voice is well, one of those "that voice" descriptions. She could make polka music interesting. This LP gets it right, chiming guitars, laid back bass, complimentary drums, and did I mention "that voice"? "Here's Where The Story Ends" is absolutely top notch. Probably the best Sundays song, and for that matter one of my favorite songs ever, all these years later. Then again "Can't Be Sure" is equally good ... "Reading, Writing & Arithmetic" was released on Geffen Records in 1990.

[upon request:
Only Ones - 'The Big Sleep']

(130) Fatima Mansions - 'Only Losers Take The Bus' (mp3). Well, whilst trying to find some more info upon this track in the internet, I learnt that apparently there are quite a few versions of this track available. I only know two of them, first the one from the 'Against Nature' - album from 1989, and the one above, which is taken from the 12", released on Kitchenware Records, also in 1989. It's called the 'Hail & Flames' - Mix and it's good throughout! Fatima Mansions were of course led by the brilliant Cathal Coughlan, formerly of Microdisney.

[upon request:
Miracle Legion - 'The Back Yard']

(131) The Orchids - 'Something For The Longing' (mp3). Another one on Sarah Records (Sarah 29 in fact) and another one that grows on you, I would like to think! To be listened to with headphones on, 'cos having those strange helicopter noises spin right in your brain is some kind of a treat indeed .... a very fine 7" from 1989. The Orchids came from Glasgow and apparently they are still releasing records: some 22 years after they first got together .... and I wonder if my mate J.C. aka The Vinyl Villain has ever had the chance to see them playing live in or around his area? Most impressive homepages to be found here (The Orchids) and here (The Vinyl Villain).

[upon request:
Sundays - 'You're Not The One I Know']

I hope you enjoyed bits and pieces of the above and would be more than pleased if anyone could be so kind and leave a comment in order to tell me if this was the case. Annoy me with requests as well, okay?




Drunk Country said...

Hi Dirk,

Cheers for the note on the podpage ref. Colorblind James Experience.

Get in touch via thewaitingroom (at) btinternet (dot) com [minus spaces, parentheses & replacing obvious words with symbol/punctuation respecively) & let me know what you have - always interested, always.

On a side note #1: good G500 backstory, you lucky devil. I got into G500 via Shimmy/Kramer from their first 7" boat . I was (am, still) a huge admirer of Kramer & his production/involvement of/with many seminal bands of that period & agree the sleevenotes above are essential to the introduction of that album/band. Sweet genius.

Side note #2 I've asked a few bloggers, but none have taken, if they'd be interested in doing a retrospective of the Cardiacs - a very hard to find back catalogue band of the 80s; part grebo, part punk, part wigout prog, part folk surreal. I love them to bits but own very little by them these days as my entire vinyl back catalogue was stolen years ago. Still have their brilliant sunflower t-shirt, though. Moshpit scras & all. Care to take the challenge?

Greer said...

Hey Dirk, Another great post. I especially love The Orchids track you posted, and also the one from The Senseless Things.

So, I'd love to hear the request track you put up under The Sundays, 'The Big Sleep' by Only Ones :).


JC said...

Great stuff.

I own up...I aint ever seen The Orchids!!!

JC said...

I just listened for the first ever time to that track by The Undertones.


I'll be playing it to death for days now....

Dirk said...


Now THIS, dearest J.C., is EXACTLY what I do all of this for and what keeps me going on: giving people a little something they hadn't previously been aware of and then finding out that they adore it as much as I do: perfect!!

And now that I found something even YOU didn't know makes it even more worthwile!

Duncan said...

Gaawd I'd forgotten about the Senseless Things. I bought some of their singles and I'm sure I've got an LP somewhere - just for the cover art by J Hewlett. I also got a yellow T shirt of there somewhere too. I think I saw them support the Buzzcocks reunion at Manchester Apollo. T shirt (another JH artwork) was way too small for me even then, tho' I'm sure in a couple of years it'll fit my Retro daughter.


and since you like requests what about the Persuaders Theme by Paul Haig?

duncandonuts said...

Wow - just stumbled across your site today and can I just say thanks for posting some fantastic tunes that bring back memories for me - there's some stuff here I haven't heard for years - on that note is there any chance at all you could post the Edsel Auctioneer's "Strung" as had it on 7" (bside to Our New Skin) and just can't remember what it was like - apart from a vague recollection that it was pretty good - so I'd love to hear it again. Thanks!!!