The Clean - Compilation LP Re-Issue!

I have no idea how this re-issue flew under the radar, but I went record shopping yesterday and there it was... a newly re-issued LP of The Clean's Compilation! I nearly fainted when I saw it! It's being put out by Little Axe Records and also in a very small run (I've heard as little as 300!) I just wanted to let you all know because it looks like these babies are going to move fast!

Mike Rep & The Quotas - A Tree Stump Named Desire

More archival recordings from Mike Rep & the gang including a cover of "Cowboy Diddley" and the flip-side to the original 1975 "Rocket to Nowhere" single "Quasar" among many other gems.

Mike Rep & The Quotas - Mama Was a Schitzo, Daddy Was a Vegetable Man b/w Rocket Music On 7''

From the man himself, Mike Rep:
"Mama was a Schitzo" was recorded in 1975 around the same time as my first single "Rocket To Nowhere" on a Sony Reel-to-Reel two track recorder that had a "Sound On Sound" function that we could dump tracks on top of each other so that we could create multi-track recordings. We balanced tracks as we went along, keeping in mind future tracks to come.

Various Artists - The Harrisburg Players Volume One 7"

While working with Tommy Jay & Mike Rep on re-issues of "Tall Tales of Trauma" & the new Mike Rep release, Columbus Discount Records also uncovered recordings by long time collaborators such as T.A. Lafferty & The General. This was issued in a limited edition (now sold out) edition of 250 exclusively to the Columbus Discount Records Club members. If you dig REp & The Quotas, you will find a lot to love in these recordings!

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Royal Trux - S/T

Royal Trux's eponymous debut album is a collage of primitive guitar chords, clattering production, howled vocals and sheer white noise. Occasionally, the music showed signs of actual song structure, as well as shards of Stonesy blues, but it generally sounded like an abrasive, deconstruction of classic rock and a mighty good one at that!

The Dead C - Harsh 70's Reality (Bonus Tracks)

One of the most important lo-fi / noise albums and quite simply a masterpiece. No album more perfectly captures the spirit of the Dead C than this album. Starting with (in my opinion) their best recording the 22-minute "Driver UFO" that has absolutely no structure but explores so many interesting sounds and textures that you won't believe how quickly it goes by. The album then kicks in to full gear with "Sky", one of the band's most straight forward "rock" songs that is just a totally relentless sonic attack on the senses. The album never lets up from there and there isn't a single wasted second.

This is a special version of the album because two of the tracks from this album were not included on the CD release: "Shark" & "T Is Never Over Parts I & II" both ripped from the vinyl version. All of the other tracks are from their original digital sources. The version that was originally posted to Kiwi Tapes did not include these tracks.

Great news for all of you Dead C fans: their current label Ba Da Bing! has teamed up with Jagjaguwar to bring two new deluxe edition vinyl reissues of the Dead C's first two releases: DR503 & Eusa Kills. DR503 has the original album's running order on the first LP (not DR503b or c) and the second LP includes the entirety of the Sun Stabbed EP and outtakes from those sessions (some of which were on DR503b). The Eusa Kills re-issue is equally devistating, with the epic Helen Said This/Bury Siltbreeze single on the second LP at 45 RPM (the original was 33). I own both of these and I would high reccomend seeking them out, excellent packaging and pressing all around. They are both available at the Jagjaguwar Mail Order Store

Coming Soon

Decrepit Radio: Before the end of the month I will be posting my very first podcast to the site. The intent is to make one episode per month. I'm going to try to find ways to make it different than your usual "just talk & play music" radio show, with the possibility of also incorporating live music.

A Wider Range of Musical Styles:
I'm trying to avoid falling into the same trap as Kiwi Tapes where I limit myself too much and end up getting bored. I want to extend outside of the "lo-fi" category a bit (while still also keeping with it) The recent Sam Cooke & Harmonia posts should tell you where I am coming from in that regard. Hopefully by now I have gained enough trust that you guys will like what I will post.

Comments have now been enabled for everyone and you no longer have to register with Blogger in order to leave comments. Hopefully this will promote more of a discussion. I reserve the right to delete any comment at any time for any reason.

Your feedback would be much appreciated.

Psycho & The Birds - All That Is Holy

One of the many, many Robert Pollard side projects that have popped up in recent years. This is an album you'll either love or hate right from the start. So the obvious question is, what makes this project different than any of Pollards other projects?

For this album he went back to his lo-fi roots and recorded all of these songs in a single sitting with his acoustic guitar on his old sears boombox. It appears that many of the songs were made up on the spot due to their rather loose structures and primitive vocals. The tapes were then sent to Todd Tobias (Pollard's long time collaborator) who added drums, lead guitar, synth and anything else he could find to these songs. The finished product is a rather interesting juxtaposition between spontenaity and a very well considered studio recording. The music stylistically sounds quite different than the usual Pollard affair: much more countified, much twangier and overall less emphasis on the vocals and melody and more about creating an interesting mood.

Interesting trivia: The first track "The Killers" ended up being re-recorded for Pollard's 2007 album Standard Gargoyle Decisions, and "Hello Forever" & "Frozen Fegtible Fiction" ended up being combined into one tune called "Cats Love A Parade" for Pollard's 2007 EP Silverfish Trivia.

Un - Transmissions 7"

This was Un's 2nd & final release. Ostensibly offered as a tour only 7", this was 1st made available by the band on their west coast jaunt w/Harry Pussy the summer of 1996. Stylistically the band seemed to orbit around planet Royal Trux & both the tracks sound like they could maybe be outtakes from 'Twin Infinitives'. It's also interesting listening to 'Hangin Judge' again after all these yrs & hearing the seeds of the New Weird America.

This limited release is on sale on the Siltblog!:

The Doledrums

I've recently been pointed in the direction of this blog:

It looks like she is picking up right where I left off with Kiwi Tapes (and doing a much better job than I did, I might add). So if you are still in need of your kiwi fix, please go there...

Harmonia - Musik Von Harmonia

Musik Von Harmonia is the debut album from the highly influential Krautrock/Kosmische Musik group Harmonia. Harmonia, was formed by the addition of Neu! guitarist Michael Rother to Cluster, the duo of Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Dieter Moebius.

It was Musik Von Harmonia that reportedly had Brian Eno proclaiming that Harmonia was "the world's most important rock band" at the time. Daniel Dumych, who cites that quote, writes in his article for "Perhaps Eno's reason for praising Harmonia so highly was that their music fit the requirements of ambient rock. Its music was equally suitable for active or passive listening. The careful listener found his/her attentions rewarded by the musical activities and sounds, but Harmonia's music was also capable of setting a sonic environment."

Musician, writer, and rock historian Julian Cope includes Musik Von Harmonia in his Top 50 Krautrock albums. As of September 4, 2007 ranks Musik Von Harmonia #78 among Krautrock albums in sales.

If you dig this album, you must pick up the Lilith pressing of it. It costs a pretty penny, but it is well worth it. One of the best vinyl pressings I've come across in recent years!

Sam Cooke - One Night Stand: Live At The Harlem Square Club 1963

For anyone who thought they knew Sam Cooke's music based on the hit singles, this disc will be a revelation. This is the real Sam Cooke, doing a sweaty, raspy soulful set at the Harlem Square Club in North Miami, FL, on Jan. 12, 1963, backed by King Curtis and his band, a handful of local musicians, and Cooke's resident sidemen, guitarist Clifford White and drummer Albert "June" Gardner. To put it simply, it's one of the greatest soul records ever cut by anybody, outshining James Brown's first live album from the Apollo Theater and easily outclassing Jackie Wilson's live record from the Copa. Cooke's pop style is far removed from the proceedings here, which have the feel of being virtually a secular sermon. The record opens with the frantic, desperate chant-like "Feel It," followed by a version of "Chain Gang" that has all of the gentling influences of the single's string accompaniment stripped from it -- Cooke's slightly hoarse voice only adds to the startling change in the song, transformed from a piece of pop-soul into an in-your-face ode to freedom and release. "Cupid," perhaps the most sweetly textured song that Cooke cut during the 1960s, gets the full soul treatment, with horns and Curtis' sax up front and Cooke imparting an urgency here that's only implied in the studio rendition. "Twistin' the Night Away" gets two hot King Curtis sax solos, the highlights of a pounding, rippling performance with a beautifully vamped extended ending (with the drums, bass, and White's guitar wrapping themselves ever tighter around the central riff) that never would have made it to the floor of the Copa. "Somebody Have Mercy" leads into a long vamp by Cooke, a brief, soaring quotation from "You Send Me" that could easily have been a high point in sheer intensity -- and then Cooke and the band crank the tension and the spirits several notches higher with the greatest version of "Bring It on Home to Me" ever done by anybody. It all ends with a version of "Having a Party" that manages to be both soothing and wrenching at the same time, Cooke luxuriating in every nuance as the crowd joins in singing, reaching a higher pitch to the gently swinging tune, the drums kicking in harder, the rhythm guitar rising up, and Curtis' sax and the horns rising up slowly while Cooke goes on with his singing, which is more like preaching and the group sounds like it could play the riff all night. It's one of the cruel ironies of the recording business that this unique and extraordinary concert recording went unreleased for almost 22 years, in favor of the more polished (but also more antiseptic and duller) Sam Cooke at the Copa.

The Shadow Ring - Hold On To ID

The Shadow Ring's excursions into rock's most primitive territories have created something of their own musical language, and Hold Onto I.D. follows up excellently in this vein -- the band's abrasive minimalism is in fine, eerie form, but also sports a post-punk angularity that keeps the album as much in line with This Heat or the Fall as it is with gritty New Zealand projects like This Kind of Punishment. There is, of course, the fact that many music lovers might find this work completely unlistenable, but the select niche of listeners who have loved the Shadow Ring's earlier work will undoubtedly find Hold Onto I.D. a thrilling advancement of their musical aims.

Mayo Thompson - Corky's Debt To His Father

Although this, to put it mildly, is not a record for mainstream tastes, it nevertheless may be more palatable to pop ears than any of Thompson's numerous Red Krayola records. With a folkier bent than his group projects, Thompson projects himself as a lovable oddball of sorts, stringing together free-associative, non-sequitur lyrics against chord progressions and time signatures that, as is his wont, refuse to adhere to accepted norms. Much of it's rather catchy (if not hummable), though, with a whimsical sense of fun that makes it impossible to dismiss as pretentious artsiness.

Key Tracks: Oyster Thins, Horses, Venus In The Morning

Cluster - Cluster '71

Cluster 71 is Cluster's debut album -- after Conrad Schnitzler left the trio known as Kluster to go solo -- and it's a strange and mercurial wonder. Issued by Philips, it is a Krautrock record with no rock. There is precious little to hold onto here. Using a pair of organs with a boatload of effects pedals, audio-generators (the kind used by electricians), an electronically treated cello, a Hawaiian guitar, and some other sundry items, Dieter Moebius and Hans-Joachim Roedelius (along with producer Conny Planck, who functioned, in essence, as a third member) created a dislocating, disorienting meld of random space music, industrial noise, proto-ambient atmospherics, feedback, and soundwash that walked some crooked line between musique concrete, improvisation, and raw unmusical terrorism. There is no regular beat, though there is, at times, a very pronounced rhythm. The terrifying ending in the final third of "15:33" is one of many examples; so too, with the quiet yet creepy commencement of "7:38," with its hushed approximation of a heartbeat that escalates into a wall of clash and clang rather quickly, with the pulse of an organ emanating deliriously from the background before it slows to the point of silence -- not fadeout, but collapse. The final work here, "21:17," also oozes an irregular rhythmic pulse at the beginning, courtesy of a lone guitar chord played with a wah wah pedal and looped on a tape recorder. But it is displaced by random whirrs and whizzes from the generators in tandem. So many of the sounds here cannot be readily identified, and that lends this recording its sense of timelessness. Of all the pieces here, this last one, with its varying dynamics and textures -- all of them rather sparse but multi-dimensional nonetheless -- is at once utterly magical and nearly completely forbidding. Cluster 71 is a masterwork, not because it set out to be, but in spite of itself. It's one of those moments in music history where all bets were off and everyone involved -- except perhaps the record label -- found it liberating.

Chrome - Alien Soundtracks

On Chrome's second album, Helios Creed was recruited to replace original member Mike Low (though allegedly Edge initially turned Creed down after the latter appeared wearing a pirate outfit or something similar), Chrome started kicking into high gear at last. While Spain and Lambdin weren't out of the picture yet, cowriting half the songs with Edge, Creed's mind-melting guitar swiftly took prominence, turning a wiggy band into a total headtrip. Rather than just aiming at acid-rock styling, Creed stuffed his fretbending into an evil, compressed aggro-sound, at once psychedelic and totally in-your-face. Edge equals the activity by stepping into the vocal role himself, sounding like Iggy on a live wire with occasional attempts at weird, wailed crooning, while his electronics and drumming starts sounding a lot more vicious and totally scuzzed as well. It's not the short sharp shock of punk rock per se -- it just sounds like the title puts it, alien, sounds and TV samples firing out of nowhere and throwing the listener off balance. That many numbers are constructed out of short fragments adds to the weird overlay. Even the quieter numbers like "All Data Lost" play around with echo and drone to create disturbing results. The songs themselves allegedly were recorded as the soundtrack to a live sex show, which probably goes a long way towards explaining the sex and sci-fi combination of much of the lyrics. Not to mention the titles -- to quote some at random: "Nova Feedback," "Magnetic Dwarf Reptile," and the truly hilarious "Pigmies in Zee Dark" (there's some creepy crooning on this one) and "Slip It to the Android." The artwork adds to the weird effect -- a hand-colored late fifties 'cool' living room and busty babe setup with the band's and album name hand-scrawled in usual Chrome fashion over it, plus huge disembodied eyes and lips that make everything really disturbing. Overall, the combination of screwy sound and art on a budget placed Chrome as something like West Coast cousins of early Pere Ubu and Destroy All Monsters -- not a bad place to be.