Raw Energy - "On the Road" Compilation CD

A&M records released this Raw Energy label sampler of Canadian indie rock in 1993, featuring a comic strip called "On the Road". Sadly, even though the CD features the likes of Dinner is Ruined, Groovy Religion, HHead, King Cobb Steelie, The Imagineers, Jale, Cottage Industry, Yeti, Wooden Stars, Spool, Wining Dining & Drilling, Deadbeat Backbone, Eric's Trip, and Change of Heart, you should feel free to give it a miss unless you were a Canuck in Ontario or the East Coast at the time. The best of this bunch is below.

Sample mp3: Wooden Stars - Hate Everyone
Full download: http://www.zshare.net/download/1284188086305d67/


ROC, those marvy mavericks, were destined to fail commercially from the get go. I can't think of another album that's as diverse in sound and style as this one while maintaining such a high level of quality and artistic integrity. They run the soundscape gamut from pop to rock to folk to punk to spoken word to electronica, yet somehow manage not to alienate the semi-dutiful listener across these 15 songs. Plus it's pretty damn hard to know what their band name is from the cover (ROC? R.O.C.?), and the band's not forthcoming about what it stands for. And the sleeve doesn't list the songs or nuthin. Based in the UK, they're still at it, though for me this album represents their most dynamic and interesting work. Karen Sheridan's monologue on Thirteen Summers is a treat, as is their cover of "Plastic Jesus" (from Cool Hand Luke). Released on Sentana in 1996.

Sample mp3: ROC - Thirteen Summers
Full download: http://www.zshare.net/download/12842178722ac3fc/

The Ropers - All their singles and compilation tracks

"i fell asleep," she said.
"missed my stop; i fell asleep"
"well." i said with a puff of cigarette.
"can you tell me where i am?"
i looked at my feet and scratched my head, thinking. a rain drop ran down my nose and i said, "i wish i knew; i did the same thing...wanna go get a drink?"
- from the sleeve of The Ropers EP (original source unknown)

I'm so grateful that Moscow Olympics have taken up the torch of creating consistently momentous indie pop songs; their new album "Cut the World" is astoundingly good. I haven't heard something as lovely and catchy since The Ropers, whose singles and compilation appearances I herein bequeath to you. The archive below contains all of the following goodies...

1. The 6-song Ropers CD EP from (Slumberland Records, 1994), which compiles 1993's Sunbathe and 1994's I Don't Mind 7" Slumberland singles, plus one extra track (September's Rain).
2. Both songs from the Why Popstars Can't Dance compilation double LP (Slumberland Records, 1994).
3. Boyracer/The Ropers tour 7" split (Slumberland Records, 1994).
4. The Ropers/The Tribbles 7" split (Brilliant Records/Giant Pool Balls, 1994).
5. Revolver/Transparent Day 7" (Slumberland Records, 1995).
6. Cover of The Cure's "Jumping Someone Else's Train" from Give Me The Cure: A Tribute to the Cure compilation CD (Radiopaque/Corduroy, 1995).

Did I miss anything? If you enjoy these songs, you should seek out their two full length albums too: All The Time (Slumberland, 1995), and The World Is Fire (Teenbeat, 1997). Neither captures the full glory of these early releases, but both albums are still very solid. My favourite Ropers song is Waiting for you below.

Sample mp3: The Ropers - Waiting
Full download: http://www.zshare.net/download/1284132319f8fe6c/

Pavement - Stray Slack LP

Here's a very enjoyable live Pavement bootleg LP released in 1993 on "Pseudo Indie Label". The full album name is Stray Slack: About As Valid As A Record Contract. The cut-and-paste collage work on the back cover features at least one disturbing pornographic image involving a rubber glove, a bum, and...urination...I think. Or perhaps I just need quite a bit of therapy. I'll let you be in my dream if I can be in yours. Haw. "Black Walls" (hear below) sounds like a cover. Is it? It's my favourite of the 17 songs on the LP.

Sample mp3: Pavement - Black Walls (live)
Full download: http://www.zshare.net/download/125172713232e579/

Poem Rocket - Felix Culpa CD

NYC's Poem Rocket are one of my favourite unheralded noise/art rock bands. They released a number of singles in the mid-90s (see their site for a full discography) that were compiled on 1995's Felix Culpa (on PCP Entertainment). They've also released three albums to date, 1997's Infinite Retry on Parallel Time-out, 2000's Psychogeography, and, according to their new website, a double CD in 2007 called Invasion! that I plan to download from eMusic very soon. Poem Rocket create a lovely din, at times recalling Nation of Ulysses ("Eject"), Charalambides ("The Animal Planter"), Jessamine ("Contrail de l'Avion"), Hood ("Saint Sebastian's Halo"), Drugstore ("Pretty Baby"), and fellow NYers Bardo Pond ("Blue Chevy Impala").

Sample mp3: Poem Rocket - Flaw
Full download: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=SD49BIGL

Primal Scream - Sonic Flower Groove CD

I'm really not that savvy about indie esoterica. For instance, I only recently learned that OOP means "Out of Print". It's hard to believe that Primal Scream's fantastic debut album from 1987 is OOP. But it is; probably because it was released by Warner/WEA who are probably too busy releasing crappy crappy crap to reissue it. I was delighted to find it for $15 in a Toronto record shop a few years back. Terrible title aside, it's a beautiful jangle brit pop classic that I've not seen much around blogtown. Ten songs in 34 minutes. If you listen quickly you can hear it twice in an hour = time well spent.

Sample mp3: Primal Scream - Gentle Tuesday
Full download: http://www.zshare.net/download/12515153b01b5b59/

Pyloric Waves - Compilation CD

D-Tox Records released this 19-song meat-and-plastic-Slinky-covered compilation of the burgeoning Chapel Hill indie music scene in 1992, featuring Well Nigh Forgotten, Picasso Trigger, Blue-Green Gods, Matt Malloy, Slowchange Madegascar, Polvo, Geezer Lake, Orifice, Vanilla Trainwreck, Toxic Popsicle, Boil, Shiny Beast, Camper Van Chadbourne, Eighthundred, Superchunk, Erectus Monotone, Bicycle Face, and bookended by the BORE-Radio-reminiscent Robert Delaney. I'm not sure what a Pyloric Wave is, but it may well have something to do with digestion. Was D-Tox trying to give us waves of nausea with this here US indie rock comp? Did they succeed? Best keep a few Rolaids handy just in case.

Sample mp3: Shiny Beast - Texasatan
Full download: http://www.zshare.net/download/12517341909d6d6d/

...One Last Kiss - SpinArt Compilation CD

Goosepimples or goosebumps? As the fine sounds purveyed on this classic, classic comp pass through the tempanic membrane, indiepoppinfreshman and veterans alike can contemplate which term is more apt (less gross?). The star studded cast includes Swirlies, Suddenly Tammy!, Lorelei, Veronica Lake, The Magnetic Fields, White Town, Honey Bunch, Swirl, Our American Cousins, Tree Fort Angst, Crayon, Jane Pow, Whorl, Small Factory, Velocity Girl, Courtney Love, Lilys, Black Tambourine, and Wimp Factor 14. Seriously. All on one hunk of aluminum, thanks to SpinArt's debut CD release from 1992.

Sample mp3: Small Factory - Hey Lucille
Full download: http://www.zshare.net/download/12091233bddaded5/

Orange - Orange CD

I recently stumbled across a rare copy of Orange's self-titled (hence virtually unsearchable) CD at CD BBQ, hence I only have the CD and no cover, hence I'm not awkwardly holding the cover in front of my Mac's photo booth camera for once. I don't really understand CD BBQ logic. They don't send you the damn sleeve...but how much do they weigh, really, and how much space do they take up on their shelves? The good news is that thanks to them, you can now download their only full-length album, released on Dewdrops in 1994. Highly recommended for fans of Cocteau Twins, Alison's Halo, and their ilk. The singer's voice is sweet, not syrupy, and there's some great shoegaze guitar flourishes that Slowdivers will relish all the way down to the bottom of the soundpool. Includes "Feijoa" which I posted earlier from the Tangible Box Set to a rave review or two. More bonus: the archive includes Orange's cover of The Pixies' "Gigantic" from 1993's Thurtene: A Tribute to 4AD. Prepare to swoon.

Sample mp3: Orange - Seahorse
Full download: http://www.zshare.net/download/1209410814a5ac2a/

Orifice - Colon 7"

Here's a repost of some strangely compelling bizarro-rock from North Carolina that will win you both friends and enemies. And who doesn't need more of both? This 3-song EP was co-released by WiffleFist and Jettison in 1992. The archive contains a few other treasures from their trove too.

Full download: http://www.zshare.net/download/12094382ede88da9/

The Nightblooms - The Nightblooms CD/Never Dream at All EP

You could tell me this Nightblooms CD was made in 1986 or in 2006 and I'd believe you...if I didn't know better. The truth, as it so often does, lies somewhere in between. Released in 1992 on Paperhouse Records, this truly timeless indie rock/shoegaze album should be as revered as MBV's Isn't Anything or at least as Lilys' In The Presence Of Nothing. Butitaintso. Instead, this criminally ignored Dutch band is perennially trapped somewhere in between Anything and Nothing. They have one of the weest wikis you ever did see: see! Very sad. Please don't pass this by.

Sample mp3: The Nightblooms - Panicle
Full download: http://www.zshare.net/download/120883089477196e/

P.S. As an added incentive (do I really need to lure you this hard?), the archive also contains their 1993 Never Dream At All EP on Fire Records, pictured below, so get clicky with it!

The Noise and the Melodies - The Pearl Compilation CD

Excellent and rare hand-numbered 20-song compilation released by Germany's Pearl Fanzine in 1993, featuring Antiseptic Beauty, The Tony Head Experience, Lorelei, Red Letter Day, Flowerpornoes, Usura, Mosaic Eyes, Ecstasy of Saint Theresa, Die Regierung, Eva Luna, Acid House Kings, Adam Met Karl, Die Sterne, 18th Dye, U Thant, Hip Young Things, Des Garcons Ordinaires, Lucievacarme, Die Allwissende Billardkugel, and Fflaps. It certainly inspired me to get busy knowing some of these bands' discographies. Lots of pleasant surprises here.

Sample mp3: Des Garcons Ordinaires - Galaxy
Full download: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=Z3Y3H9B4

New Fast Automatic Daffodils - The Peel Sessions (cassette)

I know this is one is a bit more "commercial" than most of my posts, but I can't resist sharing this blazing 7-song set of NewFADs Peel sessions from 1991. Amazing stuff. If you can believe it, my cassette conversions trump the CD versions I've found elsewhere on the web.

Sample mp3: New Fast Automatic Daffodils - Man Without Qualities II
Full download: http://www.zshare.net/download/11769595b5713e58/

Marsh Arabs - Sticking to Basics Brings Profits (cassette)

Companion piece to the Joby's Opinion "Slippy Jewels" cassette posted last week from this pre-Joby's outfit. As enjoyable, in the same "early Jews" vein, too. Released on Friction Media in 1993. Give it a go.

Sample mp3: Marsh Arabs - Supersong
Full download: http://www.zshare.net/download/117694923ad4f5f9/

Mark Szabo - Regressing (cassette)

Well, if you don't win The Szabo Prizepack, you can at least take away the consolation prize...mp3 versions of all 13 songs on Mark Szabo's second tape, Regressing, released on Union Pole in 1994. Includes early versions of Pink Pages and Daytime Emmy, plus the wonderful Stringing You Along. If anyone out there is able to post a link to the songs on Mark's first tape, I'd sure be grateful.

Sample mp3: Mark - Stringing You Along
Full download: http://www.zshare.net/download/11770180fb09ed4d/

YSKOD Contest 3: The Szabo Prizepack

How'd you like to own a copy of all four of the following Mark Szabo rarities?

1. Good Horsey - Kazue CD (Trackshun Industries, 1994)
- their wonderful lone full length, featured earlier on YSKOD

2. Mark Szabo - Chocolate Covered Bad Things CD (Catsup Plate recordings, 1999)
- I don't have the sleeve for this copy (got it for $2.99 from CD BBQ), but here's a 17-song CD by Mark, limited to 1,000 copies

3. Evading the Devil's Darts 7" compilation featuring Will Simmons, Charlie McAlister, Mean Spirit'd Robots, Yak Brigade, Mark Szabo, Edith Presler, and Doormouse (Catsup Plate Recordings, 2000)
- only 500 copies were pressed and packaged in handmade sleeves
- includes "Love Outside Movies" by Mark Szabo, which was covered on Heartbreak Scene's "The Szabo Songbook" CD

4. Cappozi Park - The Record of Capozzi Park CD (Blue Curtain, 2000)
- this copy is still sealed! 11 Mark Szabo creations, including a Gang of Four cover and a 34 minute epic song! this was the last recorded output by Mark, to my knowledge...

Leave your email address in a comment and tell us something about Mark and/or his side projects, or why you think you oughta get The Szabo Prizepack. I'll pick the winner when we get to the end of the alphabet.