Pram - Little Angel, Little Monkey

Pram did not enjoy the same level of success as Too Pure labelmates Stereolab or PJ Harvey, but that's OK, their failure puts them in the same class as Th' Faith Healers. Helium, from 1994, was a pretty strange album then, and it remains so now. Not all the songs work for me, but I really like this one. Horns, syncopated percussion, and probably a toy piano or three. Best new jazz on mars.

Side A - Pram - Little Angel, Little Monkey [4 stars mp3]

Polvo - The Drill

"Vibracobra", The A-side of this 1991 Polvo 7", is a bit better, but "The Drill" is no slouch. You can obtain said vibrating cobra on 1992's terrific Cor-Crane Secret album on Merge Records. This 7" was co-released by no fewer than four record labels: Rockville, Kitchen Puff, Jettison, and Dutch East India Trading. Those cobras are a real handful, apparently, and require labelsful of charmers. Indie rock via Sears guitars from the then-emerging Chapel Hill scene.

Side B - Polvo - The Drill [3 stars mp3]

Palace Brothers - Drinking Woman

Taint indie pop. Taint indie rock. Tis indie folk. Tis fine too. "Drinking Woman" is the B-side of the Palace Brother's first 7" single on Drag City, released in 1993. The A-side "Ohio River Boat Song" was compiled on Lost Blues and Other Songs, but unless I'm nuts, this song escaped compilating. Shame really, as this is a fun song, especially if you're into alcohol and/or women. When Will Oldham's on he's unbeatable. Tis true.

Side B - Palace Brothers - Drinking Woman [5 stars mp3]

Orifice - Colon

From the insert included with this one: "Loud and swaying, Orifice creates an uncomfortable world of feedback, melodies, and teeth-gritting frustration, but it somehow makes sense...if a bad LSD trip could be committed to vinyl, it would probably sounds a lot like this." Apt! Apt! I get a kick out of this band. They were part of the early 90s Chapel Hill scene; a scene I hold more dear than Seattle's grunge scene. It was co-released by Jettison and Wiffle Fist Records.

Side A - Orifice - Colon [3 stars mp3]

The Orchids - Avignon

Calling at Duke Street (An Anti-Fascist POP compilation LP) is a swell record, released on Germany's A Turntable Friend in 1993. It single-handedly wiped out fascism, thankfully. Glasgow band The Orchid's "Avignon" operates like a Necker cube for me. Some days I love it. Some days not so much. But on balance, 4 stars. Certainly a different fish from the post on top of this one. Oranges, Orchids, and Orifices. Rank the songs, then the referents. Discuss.

Side A - The Orchids - Avignon [4 stars mp3]

Orange - Feijoa

It would be easy to suggest that Orange's "Feijoa" sounds a lot like the Cocteau Twins. Hmm. That WAS easy. My laziness aside, the song has a lovely post-coital winter-through-the-windowpane to it. Does it? Hmm. Maybe it does. This is anudderone from the Tangible Box Set released in 1993.

Side B - Orange - Feijoa [4 stars mp3]

Neutral Milk Hotel - Up And Over We Go

I can't think of a better way to spend 1:37 than listening to Neutral Milk Hotel's "Up and Over We Go", which appears in somewhat different form as the latter part of "The King of Carrot Flowers Pts. Two & Three" on their classic 1997 album In the Aeroplane Over the Sea. This version appeared on Side B of The Amazing Phantom Third Channel 7" compilation released on, yup, Cher Doll Records, back in 1993. Listening to this and the Names For Pebbles song below, back to back, actually reverses the aging process. Handy.

Side B - Neutral Milk Hotel - Up And Over We Go [5 stars mp3]

Nebtwister - Come On Down

They can't all be 5-starers. But Nebtwister's "Come On Down" is a pretty good song if you like Brian Jonestown Massacre and do not require a song to go anywhere. This is one of the six wee records included in the Tangible Records 7" Box Set released in 1993 that I've harped on about elsewhere on YSKOD.

Side A - Nebtwister - Come On Down [3 stars mp3]

Names For Pebbles - Imaginary Friend

Lip-smacking indie-pop suger rush, by the mysterious Names For Pebbles, off the Champagne Dance Party Compilation 7" released on Cher Doll Records in 1995. Gosh, seems longer ago than that. I wish the lyrics were better, but oh, the jangle! The jangle! Don't miss this one.

Side A - Names For Pebbles - Imaginary Friend [5 stars mp3]

My Bloody Valentine - The Re-Release By My Bloody Valentine

Here's one that should drum up some traffic on YSKOD. It's a bootleg version of My Bloody Valentine's 1986 EP "The New Record By My Bloody Valentine" released on the bogus "Recreation Records" (an, um, side-splitting zinger of a pun on the UK's famous Creation Records label) in 1991. This is one of the first handful of singles I bought after cassettes and CDs took over the world; I picked it up at a record convention in Winnipeg for CDN$6. Interestingly, the recordings I've made from this 7" sound different than the versions I have of the original EP...this could be due to differences in the vinyl-rips, differences in the recording to vinyl, or perhaps (though I doubt it) the songs were re-recorded for this re-release. Does anyone out there actually own both 7"s? If so, do they sound the same on your turntable? Interestingly, some of the versions I've recorded sound better than the versions I have from the original EP (which I don't own, alas), but others sound more muffled. In any case, if you're an MBV fan, I hope you enjoy these bootleg versions.

Contrary to what the back of the sleeve suggests, I believe Side A contains "On Another Rainy Saturday" and "By The Danger In Your Eyes":

And I believe Side B contains "We're So Beautiful" and "Lovelee Sweet Darlene":

Here's the mediafire archive:

Normally I suffer a brief "refractionary period" with songs I post. By the time I get them into mp3 form, posted on the file host, and described on the blog, I'm a bit tired of them. Not so with these four....I've listened to the EP 5 times in a row (possibly a record for me) and I'm still digging it. Classic pre-shoegaze shoegaze reminiscent of early Jesus and Mary Chain perhaps, but poppier. You'll notice that the singer is not Kevin Shields and is certainly not Belinda Butcher. It's a guy named Dave Conway who left the band soon after. This EP is often written off as vastly inferior to the Strawberry Wine EP, and I agree it's not as good, but come on, it's still pretty damn cool. You can read more about MBV at this Wiki.

The Mountain Goats - Noche del Guajolote

It's been a while since I've posted a song from a compilation, and this is a real gooder, a five-star gooder, I tells ya. The "I Like Walt EP" was released on--you guessed it--Walt Records--in 1994 and it contains songs by Franklin Bruno, The Mountain Goats, Guiding Genius, Dump, Marcellus Hall, and Butterglory. Three of them get 4 stars from me, but The Mountain Goats song is a 5-star favourite of my wife and I. Indie-folk genius that begs for a campfire. Enjoy.

Side A - The Mountain Goats - Noche del Guajolote [5 stars mp3]

Mosaic Eyes - Moody Morning

Here's a pretty fine song from a pretty fine French shoegaze band. Mosaic Eyes released the "Europe Not So Far.....EP" in 1992 on Rolling Meadow, IL's lovely Sunday Records label.

Side B - Mosaic Eyes - Moody Morning [4 stars mp3]

Marzipan - I Believe/Last Train to the Sun

I really like this single, but whoever recorded it had the input cranked up to the proverbial 11, so almost every note is clipped. In Audacity, the waveform literally looks like a wall of sound, see:

Unfortunately, there's nothing one can do to restore the missing data, so the songs sound a bit, well, clipped. Let that be a lesson to all you well-intentioned indie rockers out there: turn the input down a little when recording; we can always turn it up at our end. I'm sure you've all noticed that songs sound "louder" these days than they did 10 years ago; this is why. It's kind of too bad that clipping is the new norm, because it produces imperfect recordings. Then again, all my stuff's in lossy mp3 format anyway, and I'm recording from vinyl using a so-so USB turntable and so-so software, so who bloody cares...let's rock!

I can't decide which song I like better, so here's both songs from this 7" released in 1992 on the aptly named Echonet label out of San Fran. Awesome id damaged jangle garage pop songs that Brian Jonestown Massacre fans should relish. Do turn these songs up to 11 at your end; there's nothing left to lose...

Side A - Marzipan - I Believe [4 stars mp3]

Side B - Marzipan - Last Train to the Sun [4 stars mp3]