Tuesday, October 28, 2008

My Peel Tapes - Part 25

Dearest friends,
I thought I'd better quickly shove in another edition of 'My Peel Tapes' before Feargal Sharkey decides to close Sexyloser down forever, so here we go:

(245) The Eggs - 'The Government Administrator' (mp3). The third release - from 1993 - on Hemiola Records from Leeds featured a combo from Arlington, Virginia: The Eggs. Despite of their stupid name the record itself was just marvellous. It must have struck a chord in Britain at least for a few people, because it reached # 10 in Peel's Festive 50 of that year. Doesn't make them worldwide superstars, but who gives a damn, right? And, more important even, The Eggs sent me the 7" for free, because I wrote a creepy letter to them complaining that I wasn't able to track down a copy here in Germany. In return I sent back a bottle of local liquor, real hardcore stuff, and to my great surprise the band thought it wasn't bad at all, at least so they wrote back to me. A few weeks ago I landed on a website done by The Eggs' former singer and believe it or not: he still remembered having enjoyed that bottle very well .... some 15 years later!

(246) Madder Rose - 'Madder Rose' (mp3). Their first and their best, as it so often is the case. From a 1993 compilation called 'Unnecessary Niceness - American Imports from the 7" Singles Bins of the Rough Trade Record Shop', which featured Allen Clapp, Big Louise, Helium, Lois, Lorelei, Spinanes, Swirlies, Twiggy and of course Madder Rose .... on Beechwood Music from the UK. The Madder Rose - tune comes from 1992, in fact.

(247) Sonic Youth - 'Personality Crisis' (mp3). From the 'Sugar Kane' - single (on Geffen, 1992), which was issued in various formats - well, with various tracks on it - back in 1992. The song was originally done by The New York Dolls, as you might know. Should you not know it, try to get hold of it, it is a real killer! Also on the single was this:

(248) Sonic Youth - 'Is It My Body' (mp3). Some kind of .... hmmh ... well .... sexy, there is no better way to describe it. Judge yourself, but as far as I'm concerned, the thought alone of Kim Gordon moaning with lust makes this tune somewhat special for me. Yeah ..... I know: I'm rather easily aroused in my age ..... oh boy!

(249) Curve - 'Missing Link' (mp3). Phew .... rather noisier than I expected it to be .... I thought it was a bit more tranquil. Good stuff nevertheless and again from one of those Indie Top 20 double albums. Recorded in 1993 and mainly featured here because Toni Halliday is such a goddess! [As you can probably tell, I still couldn't calm down from the Sonic Youth track preceeding this one here .... sorry ....].

(250) The Rulers - 'Copasetic' (mp3). Released in 1966 on The Sir JJ Label. I got hold of some fantastic albums in Kingston when I went to Jamaica for the first time, but alas couldn't track down any 7" singles. So I had to take this one from the 'Club Ska '67' - compilation, issued in 1980 on Mango/Island. The sound quality is rather poor, but to my best knowledge this is not the compilation's fault. I've never heard a (soundwise) better version of this track anywhere.

(251) The Harvest Ministers - 'If It Kills Me And It Will' (mp3). On Sarah Records, Sarah 84 in fact. Issued in 1993 as a 7" and just one out of a million absolutely adorable releases on the label. They really had all of the good bands back then and I always thought they were as influental as Factory were 10 years before. The Harvest Ministers' site is here.

(252) The Undertones - 'My Perfect Cousin' (mp3). On 'Hypnotised', the band's second album from 1980. Good throughout and highly recommended. If you have a look at the post preceeding this one, you might not want to cope with this choice, but I think regardless what one might think about Feargal Sharkey these days, it should not be forgotten that The Undertones were not just Feargal. The other members might perhaps even be pleased to see this tune posted here, who knows?

(253) The Shanes - 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' (mp3). A 7", most probably from 1993. Peel doesn't give a lot of information as well, and moreover I can't find much on the internet about the track. So just enjoy this version and let me know what you think ..... okay?

(254) Pulp - 'O.U. (Gone, Gone)' (mp3). A 12" on Gift Recordings from 1992 and my favourite Pulp tune. There you are. Better even than 'Common People'. I quickly have to move on to the next track, otherwise I'll change my mind again .....

(255) Elastica - 'Line Up' (mp3). Originally done in 1992, the version was later issued as a 7". This here is the LP version though, the album was released on Geffen in 1995. A great debut which surely has stood the test of time, at least it did for me. Luckily I have a rare first issue, which included the so-called 'Elasticatalogue', a little leaflet with photos from Donna Matthews in it (yes, another goddess!). A much-treasured item here in Sexyloserland, as you might imagine!

(256) The Rezillos - 'Flying Saucer Attack' (mp3) / 'No' (mp3). Well, I intended to post only 'Flying Saucer Attack', but 'No' is tucked so close behind it on the album ('Can't Stand The Rezillos', Sire, 1978), that I decided to let the needle run and download the two tracks for your pleasure. In fact I listened to the whole LP again after this and I must say it is an absolute masterpiece!! Do yourself a favour and get hold of a copy somewhere, this album really shouldn't miss in any halfway decent record collection!
(257) Billy Bragg - 'The Milkman Of Human Kindness' (mp3). 'Life's A Riot With Spy Vs. Spy' was Billy's first release on the Utility Label in 1983 and from it this tune is taken. One of his quieter songs but don't let that hinder you from listening to it. Billy's site is here.

Well, folks, I do sincerely hope you enjoyed this week's selection: quite a fair number of older tracks for you, but as mentioned before: I just post here chronologically what Peel played back then on BFBS.

Have fun,


Monday, October 27, 2008

Dear Feargal Sharkey,

I was suprised to learn from my mate J.C. that you have become rather successful lately. Quite a long way from singing in a grievously underrated band to becoming a Chief Executive for British Music Rights, isn't it? Well, it must have been a long way, Feargal, because apparently you seem to have forgotten some things. Important things, my old friend. I came to this impression because of the statements you made in this article.

Feargal, have you ever thought about why it is that you now have the successful job you currently have? Have you ever thought about who it was that made you so important? No? Well, I'll tell you, Feargal: it was us. Yes, us, the people who spent their hard-earned money for your records. The people who followed you around and paid to see your gigs. Some of them still exist nowadays, believe it or not. Those people are called fans, Feargal. Sometimes I think this is an expression which isn't used very often in your nice little BMR - office these days, right? Fans. Hmmmh. Sounds strange these days, I admit. But, the thing is, Feargal, fans - in the true sense of the word - are not criminals. Nor have they ever been. They are just little people who like what someone else has done or is doing. And they want to share their joy and excitement with other people.

Come on Feargal: you're not that old, are you? Do you really have forgotten what you did back in the mid 70's when you were short of money and your mate had the latest single, by, let's say, The Faces? I bet he taped it for you, didn't he, so that you could listen to it at home over and over again: "Pool Hall Richard, You're Far Too Wicked, We Know ...". Boy, that was fun, wasn't it, Feargal? I bet you sang along with it in your room like nobody's business, didn't you?

Your mate taped it for you for free, Feargal, so I assume. Or did you pay him for it? No, I bet you didn't. Now, would you describe your mate - and yourself, mind you - as having been criminals back then? Did you even give a toss about the fact that you stole Rod Stewart's money? Be frank to me, Feargal: you didn't, no way. Rod is a multi-millionaire by now, even though you and your mate stole his money. Deliberately.

You see, today the tape decks have gone. Out of fashion. Replaced by computers, Feargal. But the attitude has remained. Still some fans want to share stuff they really appreciate with other people. People who might not have the chance to listen to it that easily. And please don't get me wrong, I'm not talking about the real pirates. Those are criminals, I admit. I'm talking about fans. Fans who post a little something and in doing so they encourage other fans to go and buy other stuff from the artist. As easy as that, Feargal. Fans have a blog which is read by some thirty other fans per day, if at all. Pirates steal music on a commercial basis. Don't mix this up, Feargal, please!

If you want to save artists' rights, kindly attack the pirates and their battleships. Don't bomb the fans' rubber boats, my friend. I understand this is the easier thing to do, but that doesn't mean it is the right thing to do. So please leave us fans alone, okay? Ed, Steve and Coxon are not your enemies, Feargal, they're just fans. Not more, not less.

Think about this if you have a minute, Feargal. That's all I would ask for, mate.

All the best, your old fan,


PS: and to show the young fans - who probably can't afford to pay some 50 quid for this single (or whatever it's worth on ebay these days) - that you made some fantastic records some years ago (and therefore can't be such a bad chap after all), here's your 1978 debut on Good Vibrations Records:

1) Teenage Kicks (mp3)

4) Emergency Cases (mp3)

I'll await your kind response to this, Feargal. In one form or another ...


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Some Of The Best There Ever Has Been: '1996'

Hello party people,

rrrrright, time for another edition of 'Some Of the Best There Ever Has Been'. This time we'll have a look at 1996, not a fantasticly spectacular year for music all in all, I would think. But there have been a few good tunes nevertheless, and here are the ones that I liked most. Still love to listen to them today, in fact:

Armstrong - 'You Deserve To Succeed' (mp3)

Melys - 'Puppet' (mp3)

Revelino - 'Step On High' (mp3)

Belle And Sebastian - 'The Stars Of Track And Field' (mp3)

Billy Bragg - 'Northern Industrial Town' (mp3)

Babybird - 'Goodnight' (mp3)

Jay-Jay Johanson - 'So Tell The Girls That I Am Back In Town' (mp3)

Rather a tranquil selection, you could well argue, and of course you would be entirely right. Don't know why this is, perhaps I finally got fed up with listening to Grunge and Grunge-related stuff back in 1996. Then again it was a brilliant year for Scottish and especially Welsh music and this kind of stuff never tended to be hardcore.

Either way, I like the tracks above to no degree. I hope you do too.

Just let me know if this is the case, okay: leave comments to cheer me up ...

See you,


Friday, October 17, 2008

(Yet) Another Great Song Lost On A B-Side

Dearest friends,

my good pal J.C. over at The Vinyl Villain does this 'Lost ...' - series fairly frequently and yesterday he drew our attention to a track by The Go Betweens. Thanks for that, J.C., and to the rest of you, I recommend to have a look here.

Now, I shamelessly had to steal the idea today (hope you don't mind, mate), because this morning in the car I listened to a very old cassette of John Peel's music on BFBS. John started the show with a track by Echo & The Bunnymen, one which I always simply adored, in fact I think it's one of the very best tunes they have ever done.

To my best knowledge it was never released on an album, it was available only in the UK as a B-Side of the 'Bring On The Dancing Horses' - 7" on Korova (KOW-43), released in October of 1985. The Americans had to live with 'Read It In Books' on the B-Side, poor people ....

Not only the song is a real treat, also John Peel's intro (to the show) is quite wonderful, I think. Therefore you'll get it both, folks, (more or less) neatly segued into each other. Enjoy this:

Echo and The Bunnymen - 'Over Your Shoulder' (mp3)

Friday, October 10, 2008

My Peel Tapes - Part 24

Hello dear people,

welcome to Pt. 24 of 'My Peel Tapes'. I hope everyone of you will find some enjoyable stuff below:

(231) Sonic Youth - 'Ca Plane Pour Moi' (mp3). From a very nice compilation album called 'Freedom Of Choice' on City Slang Records out of Germany, released in 1992. Apart from Sonic Youth it features White Flag, Yo La Tengo, Big Dipper, Chia Pet, Connels, Das Damen, Erectus Monotone, Finger, Hypnolovewheel, It's OK, Mudhoney, Muffs, Permanent Green Light, Polvo, Red Kross, Superchunk and Tiny Lights .... and they all do covers of favourite 'New Wave' - tunes you all will know by heart, I would think .... well, and if not all, you will know this one here, originally done by Plastic Bertrand back in 1977 .... yes, that golden year .... oh boy!

(232) Killbilly - 'Diesel Dazey' (mp3). A 1992 7" on Diesel Only Records from the States. And perhaps you are more clever than me and can track down something about them or the record on the internet: I searched for quite some time now and have given up on it! Anyway, it's some very nice hillbilly country style - stuff for you for a change .... enjoy!

(233) The Jeans Shop Guerilla - 'The Rhine Near Bale' (mp3). A most curious item this is, for sure. A 7" single on Strandgut Produktion from 1992, titled 'Dr. Sorgsam - Oder Wie Ich Lernte, Die Bausparkasse Zu Hassen', which translates as 'Dr. Careful - Or How I Learnt To Hate The Building And Loan Association' ... and please don't ask me what this may possibly be all about! The other five tracks on this single are even more obscure, rather left-wing-pro-1977- German RAF - terrorism stuff mostly, I would think. Strange indeed, but the track Peel chose is rather neat altogether.

(234) Culture - 'Lion Rock' (mp3). Taken from the 1983 Peel Session (released on Strange Fruit Records) by Jamaica's Culture, one of the true Jamaican masterpieces, perhaps along with The Congos' 'Heart Of The Congos'. When I was in Jamaica in 2004, Culture played in Negril or Montego bay, can't remember properly .... one day after (!) I had to fly home. What a freakin' shame to have missed this great band. Now Joseph Hill is dead and gone and my chance to ever see them again has died with him. Bugger!!

(235) Benny Spellman - 'Lipstick Traces (On A Cigarette)' (mp3). Again from a compilation LP, also called 'Lipstick Traces', this time on Rough Trade Records from 1993. A very strange collection of bands and songs featured here, some punk stuff (Adverts, Buzzcocks, Clash, Slits), but mostly rather obscure dadaistic nonsense from quite some time ago. Fairly unlistenable too, at least for my ears. Benny Spellman's tune though is okay with me, originally released as a single back in 1962, it has surely stood the test of time. Again, at least for me it had ....

(236) The Misunderstood - 'I Can Take You To The Sun' (mp3). A great tune from 1966 on Fontana Records, pretty much way ahead of it's time, I would think. Some describe it as a "psychedelic classic" and I'm not enough an expert on this genre to be able to disagree here. I always liked it a lot and I think it will remain another one of my all-time favourites forever. The Misunderstood's website is here.

(237) The Faces - 'Pool Hall Richard' (mp3). Now, I don't care very much for Rod Stewart, I must admit, not my cup of tea really. Also I know that he was not all of The Faces, other members of the band might have been more important than him. Either way, this is a great tune, a singalong if you want, but there's nothing wrong with that. It's the sheer energy in that that I like so much, but judge for yourself. A 7" on Warner from 1973 and more on The Faces can be found here.

(238) Culture Fire - 'No Existance' (mp3). Well, here's the deal: find anything about them on the internet, folks, and I'll send you a fiver! The only thing I can tell you is that the record was released on One-Hour Records from Omaha, Nebraska, I think in 1992, so I assume that the band should come from roughly that area. One-Hour Records in fact once was the home of Simon Joyner, now this is a guy whose name could ring a bell with you. He later recorded for Sing, Eunuchs! ... together with Frontier Trust, Mousetrap and The Mountain Goats, for example.

(239) Mambo Taxi - 'Prom Queen' (mp3). A 7" on Clawfist/Hunka from 1992. They had quite a few rather nice records, this is but one of them, I would like to think. Mambo Taxi's Wikipedia entry: here.

(240) Gumball - 'New Rose' (mp3). Now, the orginal by The Damned is quite a stormer, as you will know. But Gumball manage to give it a good kicking as well, they make it sound even harder in my eyes. You think I'm joking? Press the download button and judge for yourselves, people! From a 12" called 'Wisconsin Hayride', which is full of interesting cover versions, the originals being done by for example by The Small Faces, Black Flag and The Mahavishna Orchestra. The sound quality is alas poor, but I hope you forgive me.

(241) Delicious Monster - 'Snuggle' (mp3). Once again I delved into my collection of 'Indie - Compilation' double LP's to find these little gem. Originally released on Flute Records as a 12" back in 1993 and somewhere someone referred to them as 'one heck of an overlooked band': only partly I am able to disagree upon that ... but simply because there were so many other 'overlooked' bands at the time who had deserved even more attention than Delicious Monster should have deserved. Also their name sucks.

(242) The Heptones - 'Sufferer's Time' (mp3). Again in especially dodgy sound quality, this is because I took it from the original Peel Tape .... I only wish I'd own a vinyl copy of this 7" from Jamaica on the Hep Hep Label from 1978 .... but I don't. Alas.

(243) Pulp - 'Razzmatazz' (mp3). Yes. Okay. I know very well that I have to be terribly careful with what I write here about Pulp and especially Jarvis Cocker, otherwise 75% of my female readers (if there are any at all) will never come back again. Up to a degree I can understand why Jarvis is such a cult figure, but I always had severe difficulties in mixing up good looks and good music. I mean, just because he looks damn sexy, he isn't allowed to do things that sound shite, right? The same would be true for Bowie, and he really looked good back in those days! There was a period where I was fed up with what Pulp had done, but there still are some tunes I keep coming back to. Also I mostly like what Jarvis is doing on his own these days. 'Razzmatazz' clearly is a winner, originally released as a 7" on Gift in 1993, but also to be found on the 'Intro: The Gift Recordings' - Mini - LP on Island, 1993.

(244) The House Of Love - 'Love In A Car' (mp3). A track from their self-titled debut album from 1988, which is good throughout. You will know their 'Shine On', kids, because you can hear it fairly frequently on the radio these days, albeit only a remix of it, which is best being described as utter shit!
That's all for today, friends. Please leave a little comment, this keeps this blog alive!

Friday, October 3, 2008