Scrawl/Versus - Working Holiday - January

After the tsunami of nostalgia in my last post, and with it being nearly New Year's eve and all, I thought I'd post the January Working Holiday 7" songs by Scrawl and Versus. Both songs sound wistful and agitated, like how many of us feel on New Year's eve. Best wishes to all of you, whoever you weridos are, in 2007.

Side A - Scrawl - 11:59 It's January [3 stars mp3]

Side B - Versus - Tin Foil Star [3 stars mp3]

Codeine/The Coctails - Working Holiday - March

Back in 1993 I was just getting into these wee record thingies, and I missed out on subscribing to Arlington, Virginia's Simple Machines Records' Working Holiday single-of-the-month club. I found a copy of January's single in a skateboard/record shop called Sk8 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. I enjoyed it, and as a result I started ordering a bunch of stuff directly from Simple Machines. Jenny Toomey and Kristin Thomson ran the label, and they were also two members of the up-and-coming band Tsunami. They created quite a buzz with this label...and they even published a guide for how to set up your own label. Where was the guide to setting up a blog when I needed it? The staff at Simple Machines liked receiving my orders because I would include oddball stuff with my order (their favourites were the Canadian Bazooka Joe comics because the jokes are provided in both French and English). Anyway, I managed to acquire all 12 of the singles with some difficulty (as most or all of them sold out), and then I bought this nifty carrying case (from Simple Machines, of course) to keep them all in:

At the University of Winnipeg in 1995, I landed a DJ show with CKUW and I used to play nothing but my obscure 7" singles, which I toted into the DJ booth in my little container like the complete and utter geek that I happily The name of my show, "This Is My Show (You Can Have It)" was a very lame parody of this, Veronica Lake's "This Is My World (You Can Have It)" song from their The Man Who Was Not With It 7" EP which I will share with you later on down the alphabet:

I confess that I had to pull out the EP to remember what my radio show was called. I was a bit surprised when I saw the picture on the front. Remind you of anyone's blog pictures? I had no idea what was on the cover. Really. Anyway, I only hosted the show for one term, and no one listened. No one. How do I know that? I know that because at that time, CKUW was not a real radio station. It broadcast only in the basement lockerrooms and in the smokers' coffee area. I would put on a record, then walk up from the basement where CKUW was housed and into the smokers' den. That place was always packed with smokers and their chatter was far louder than the music. I should have turned up the volume, but I was too shy and didn't want to attract too much attention. People were trying to enjoy their cigarettes and all. So, I guess you could say I'm taking my discography from an audience of zero to the whole world, thanks to this blog. But I'm still trying to keep a low profile...and have been very successful thus far!

The March 7" featured C-bands on both sides, so let's give 'em both a look in, shall we? Codeine's "Ides" (March theme, get it?) is very sombre and depressing, as you might expect given the band's name. Which makes it a very unlikely pairing with The Coctails' upbeat and whistling-infused sing along "Working Holiday". However, post boxing day, any song about working and holidays also sounds sombre and depressing to me. Or maybe it's all the reminiscing. Too many memories floating back and too much time taken with this self-indulgent post!

Side A - Codeine - Ides [3 stars mp3]

Side B - The Coctails - Working Holiday [3 stars mp3]

Cardinal Sin - Market Street

I'm trying to remember how I acquired this one. I seem to recall that I traded a stack of singles with a guy in Australia (coincidentally; see previous post), using an old email list called Indie List Exchange. I think the list was run by Douglas Wolk (or was it?), who is now a professional music journalist. People would post stuff they wanted to trade or sell to the list, and if you were interested, you would email the person and work out the details. None of this anonymous mp3 downloading like the kids (and I) do these days. The downside of this deal was that I got killed by Canadian was supposed to cost me less than CDN$1 per 7" but by the time customs got through with me, it was double or triple that. So: Advantage mp3! Anyway, this 7" was just throw in among 30 or so (I think), and I didn't much like it at the time. But now, more than a decade later, I've had a change of heart. "Market Street" is everything a 7" song should be...unique, odd, interesting, and fun. It's not great, alas, but fans of outsider music may wish to take note. The B-side, "Angela Carter" is a much prettier little ditty that I may post when the C-train comes around again. This 7" was released on Goleta, California's Blackjack Records in 1990. And, according to the caption at the bottom of the sleeve, "This record is BLESSED!! If you don't like it go fuck yourself!!" Tisk, tisk. How sinful.

Side A - Cardinal Sin - Market Street [3 stars mp3]

The Cannanes - Frightening Thing

The Cannanes are still at it; we saw them at the Hopetoun (or "Hoey" as the locals call it) in Sydney this summer, on our lovely month-long vacation. Back in 1992, when this 7" was released on K Records, the band lived in the Newtown area of Sydney, which was our favourite Sydney hood. But now they live in Melbourne, which they seemed to lament a little, at least in front of a roomful of (mostly) Sydney folk. We didn't get to Melbourne, so I cannot comment on the Sydney/Melbourne rivalry. The Cannanes put on a fine set that afternoon, and they even played this song, much to my delight, as it is my favourite. "Frightening Thing" gets five stars from me for being a ramshackled piece of pop perfection. By the way -- I'm starting to have strong sexual desires -- that's what the shark is saying to the Freudian-like character on the cover. In case you were wondering.

Side A - The Cannanes - Frightening Thing [5 stars mp3]

The Brian Jonestown Massacre - Deep in the Devil's Eye & You

The Brian Jonestown Massacre will be the last of the B-bands to be fblogged here for now. Anton Newcombe and his crew passed through our town this year and they put on a jaw-droppingly good show. I have been a fan of this kind of music for almost half my life, but I rarely get to hear it live...what a treat. BJM were "highly prolific" in the mid 90s, and the Spacegirl and Other Favorites LP was one of several releases they put out in 1995. The album came out on San Francisco's Candy Floss Records (CF-009), but the copyright lists Tangible Records as the label. It's a fine album, even though I accidentally sneezed on Side B, functionally ruining Spacegirl and damaging Spacegirl (Revisited). But maybe I'll be able to use my Audacity software to digitally remove the dried snot pops and crackles! We shall see. For now I'm posting "Deep in the Devil's Eye & You" which sounds like the title reads...disorienting and senseless.

Side A - The Brian Jonestown Massacre - Deep in the Devil's Eye & You [3 stars mp3]

Buddha on the Moon - 100,000 Fireflies (Magnetic Fields cover)

I confess that "100,000 Fireflies" is not my favourite Magnetic Fields song, and that Buddha on the Moon's version is not my favourite Magnetic Fields cover. But, it does start with a B, and it does help me complete my B-band gimmick. This "dream pop" cover comes from the 4-song Translucence 10" EP released on Farrago Records in 1994.

Side B - Buddha on the Moon - 100,000 Fireflies (Magnetic Fields cover) [3 stars mp3]

Blanket - Picked Apart

I don't know a darn thing about this band Blanket, other than that they released the Ocean/Picked Apart 7" on Seattle's Cher Doll Records in 1994, and that it's quite good. It should appeal to fans of the Galaxie 500 sound.

Side B - Blanket - Picked Apart [4 stars mp3]

Babe The Blue Ox - Zero Gravity

Back in 1994, I signed up (and paid something like US$36 in advance) for a subscription to New-Jersey-based i-Sore records' 5" record club. I was indie-vinyl-crazy at the time, and I had never seen or heard a 5" record before (it's the same size as a CD, folks). i-Sore promised to mail me a new one every month for a year, featuring all kinds of up-and-coming indie bands, so I was pretty excited. I received the first record on time, the second one was late, and records 3-12 never arrived. I emailed the i-Sore guy to complain, and he apologized for the delay...he claimed he was having trouble getting the vinyl pressed. He claimed there was only one place in the US that pressed 5" records, and they were a Christian outfit, and they weren't happy with what they were being asked to press. Or, at least, this is my reconstruction of what he told me. I could be wrong (you are getting your facts from a guy whose head is covered with vinyl, after all). The guy was also fielding lots of complaints from subscribers who were having a hard time playing these little suckers on their automatic turntables. Indeed, everytime I tried to play mine, the tone arm would lift up and auto-return to its cradle. It was really annoying. Luckily, I owned another turntable, this sprite green number here...

...and it was able to play 'em...until sadly, it broke down.

When my new USB turntable arrived, I was disappointed at first that it wasn't automatic (and that it doesn't come with a dust cover...geez). But the good news is that I am able to play my two 5" records on it, so I've now converted all four songs to mp3. The January Lambchop/Spent 5" and the February(?) Babe The Blue Ox/Nectarine 5". By the way, if you're wondering how long of a song can fit on a 5" record, well...the longest of the four I have is 3:36, and of course, all of them were recorded at 33 rpm to squeeze as much music on as possible.

Even more sadly, after waiting more than a decade to be able to listen to these songs in a convenient format, I realize...none of them are especially good! Nonetheless, I'm gonna share 'em with you over time here on YSKOD. And if I don't, assume I have been struck down by the i-Sore curse/conspiracy.

If anyone out there knows more about the whole sordid i-Sore records scandal, please post a comment. I couldn't find anything about it on the web (although I did find a Lambchop/Spent 5" for sale on eBay for US$, not mine). I feel sorry for the i-Sore guy. He had a great idea and he meant well, and everything turned to rat shit for him. If you're reading this, Mr. i-Sore, it's all water under the Bayonne Bridge.

Enough yap. It's time for an outwardly expanding sequence of B-bands here on YSKOD. We shall begin with Babe The Blue Ox's "Zero Gravity", from the i-Sore Record Club 5" released in 1995. It's an acoustic number. The singers don't lisp; I probably should have adjusted something on my turntable. But what? Pitch or anti-skate? Anyone know?

Side A - Babe the Blue Ox - Zero Gravity [3 stars mp3]

Evil Wiener - Happy Holidays

OK, I'm caving in and have decided to post ONE Christmas 7" this year. Evil Wiener released this gem sometime in the early 1990s on Flavor Contra records, based out of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. I'm not sure if it's intentional, but the band name is listed as "Evil Weiner" on the back of the sleeve. Not the preferred spelling of wiener, as Martin Prince tells us. Unbelievably, if you live anywhere near Chapel Hill then on Friday you can go hear Evil Wiener's Christmas Show at The Cave. Wow, a band on my blog may still exist!

Side A - Evil Wiener - Secret Santa [3 stars mp3]

Side B - Evil Wiener - Mistletoe Head [2 stars mp3]

Side B - Evil Wiener - All Around The World [4 stars mp3]

Antiseptic Beauty - Nothing Gives

Here's a song I am very happy to have in mp3 format at last. Antiseptic Beauty were from Derby in the UK, and according to the insert included with this 7" "Antiseptic Beauty still haven't caught the fickle gaze of the British music press...although they showed the way long before the Pale Saints and the Boo Radleys". This song takes a loooooong time to get going, but if you are patient you will be richly rewarded. "Nothing Gives" comes from the A-side of a 1993 Split Single Club 7" on Belgium's Contrast Records label (CT 001). Only 500 copies were made, and mine is number 164. The B-sides by Mosaic Eyes and Les Autres are also very good.

Side A - Antiseptic Beauty - Nothing Gives [4 stars mp3]

Analogue - Christmas

Here's a festive slow-burner by Analogue from North Carolina, from the B-side of their Average Luck Charm 7" that was released on Sonic Bubblegum Records in 1995 (Gum 020).

Side B - Analogue - Christmas [3 stars mp3]

Air Miami - Airplane Rider

Well, I plugged in my new Numark TTUSB turntable and made my first vinyl to mp3 conversion today! And it only took me three hours! It's the A-side of Air Miami's Airplane Rider 7" (Teenbeat 147) which was released in 1994 on Teenbeat Records. It's a pretty harmless little jangle pop song, assuming you don't have a fear of flying. My copy is on clear vinyl. Air Miami is one of several bands fronted by Teanbeat's intrepid CEO Mark Robinson; some of his other bands include Unrest, Flin Flon, and Grenadine. I have some Unrest and Grenadine 7"s which I may post one day, if I don't flag of the blog (this is my first blog and first post ever). The B-side of this 45, Stop Sign, is a bit of a throwaway in my view, so I'm not going to convert it now. There are records I'm more excited about converting and sharing with you, whoever you are.

Side A - Air Miami - Airplane Rider [3 stars mp3]