April 2011 Archives

Provi Phoenix nominations 2011

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The 2011 Providence Phoenix Music Poll nominations are out and the 75orLess label has a total of 15 nominations, including three of the six nominees for Best Album! Head over and vote for Mark Cutler, Coma Coma, Suicide Bill, The diePods, Skinny Millionaires, Tom Chace, Broadcaster, Mandy Allan, Baylies Band, The Jesse Minute, and Six Star General.

Found Music 4-28-11

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Bright Eyes, Grant Hart, New York Dolls, Bill Callahan, The Church

Big Box of Tapes has the New York Dolls 8-28-04.
Mystic Chords Of Memory Bright Eyes 3-9-11.
Daytrotter has a session from Bill Callahan.
I've Made You a Tape has Grant Hart on KST radio 11-17/18-95.
Big Plans for Everybody has The Church 3-24-88.

Motif Music Nominations 2011

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75orLess artists have eleven nominations (Mark Cutler, Six Star General, The diePods, The Jesse Minute, Girl Haggard, Skinny Millionaires, Chris from The Blood Moons, Mandy from Girl Haggard, Mike from Skinny Millionaires) in this year's Motif Music Awards. Go here to vote. The March issue also has an interview with the founder of 75orLess on page 24.

Husker Du The Story of the Noise-pop Pioneers Who Launched Modern Rock by Andrew Earles (Voyageur Press)

Written with the cooperation of Grant Hart and Greg Norton, Earles relies on many old interviews with Bob Mould for his input (Mould has his own book in progress.) There's lots of background on the fertile midwest scene, the groundbreaking touring contributions from the Suicide Commandos and a full chapter to the label the band started, Reflex Records. After moving on to New Alliance and then SST, Husker Du quickly became SST's biggest selling band and the revenue they generated funded the second wave of SST bands. This also examines decisions that changed the future of the band, especially sticking with SST for Flip Your Wig and the details of the major label choosing two Hart songs as singles for their debut 'Candy Apple Grey', while the follow-up 'Warehouse' had two Mould songs for selected for singles. A brief summary of the post-Husker Du musical output raises the question that while Mould has undoubtedly has more success, Hart may have an superior post-band musical catalog. Seeing this in print is important because the secret clique of people who also feel this way have long been banned from the cool kids musical debate club. There is very little to complain about when looking at the overall story Earles tells and the format he uses. The song-by-song, album-by-album dissection is a little much, but this is nothing more than a small complaint. What makes this book great is not only what it contains, it's what it ignores. The focus is on the albums themselves, the circumstances under which they were made, and very little space is devoted to the stuff of Husker folklore - the really non-existent feud with The Replacements, the drug use of the band, the sexual lives of the band members, or the exact circumstances of the breakup. The very nice hardcover first edition is available at Amazon, while it appears a much smaller second edition (also hardcover, but with corrections) of 1,500 was released in April 2011.

Found Music 4-22-11

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The Blasters, Thin Lizzy, Roky Erickson, Patti Smith, Bardo Pond

NYC Taper has The Blasters 3-11-11
Grateful Breed has Thin Lizzy 9-5-78
Le Garage Abandonne has Roky Erickson live Kohl 2010
Big O has Patti Smith 5-15-78
Acid Punks has Bardo Pond 8-23-97

The Feelies - Here Before

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The Feelies - Here Before (Bar None) [upcoming shows]

Crazy Rhythms is considered by many to be The Feelies' crowning achievement, but I have always preferred 1986's The Good Earth. The austere strummed acoustics, the fuzzy melodic leads and the buried murmuring vocals created an unmistakable vibe that is as visceral today as it was on its release. It's been 25 years since the Good Earth, but the music on Here Before sounds like it could have been recorded in the same sessions. There is not a hint of technology or a new style or fad. This is pure Feelies; and that makes this Feelies fan feel real good.
The Heat Tape - Raccoon Valley Recordings

The Heat Tape released "Raccoon Valley Recordings" February 15 on Red Scare. 12 tracks in 25 minutes, taking the buzzsaw punk of the Ramones, pop hooks of Guided By Voices, and touches of the Reatards and Thermals to create a pure rock and roll album with just enough fuzz to weed out any Better Than Ezra fans. Purchase a copy at the label store.

Found Music 4-15-11

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The Jesus Lizard, The Ramones, Queens Of The Stone Age, The Jam, J Mascis

I've Made You A Tape has The Jesus Lizard 5-28-09
Shiny Grey Monotone has The Ramones 8-2-96
Hiding Behind The Shed has Queens of the Stone Age acoustic radio sessions 2007
Big O has The Jam 11-30-80
Southern Shelter has J Mascis 4-8-11
A Spectacular Crap podcast #49 - 75orLess Records episode

The 'A Spectacular Crap ' podcast recently did a show dedicated to 75orLess Records acts. Great Rhode Island-related sound bites and music from Mustache Ride, The Jesse Minute, Eight Pictures, Coma Coma, Six Star General, Baylies Band, Frenzy of Tongs, Chris Evil and the Taints, Ming Toro, Guntaard, Killing Pablo. Listen to the show here.

I Slept with Joey Ramone

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I Slept with Joey Ramone by Mickey Leigh and Legs McNeil (Touchstone Publishing)

'I Slept with Joey Ramone' is the story of Joey Ramone's brother Mickey Leigh, a talented but financially struggling musician himself, who is also the roadie and stage manager for the first five years of the Ramones. Leigh also contributed to their music by singing backup and writing small parts to their songs when they hit songwriting road blocks, but is never given any songwriting credit. This leads to many battles in their future, especially when the band earns royalties from television commercials, while Leigh cannot afford to eat. Over the course of 400 pages, it is revealed that everyone in the Ramones camp, including the author himself, has personal flaws that contributes to nearly the entire band's professional and personal destruction. Much of the book is focused on Joey's pre-Ramones life, details about his childhood and teenage years and his post-Ramones life, including the health issues that led to his eventual passing. Close when the band was together, Leigh and Joey pass in and out of each others lives once the band splinters. The lack of trajectory in the Ramones career is also examined. Aside from having their studio time paid for, no type of mainstream success or significant financial security ever happened. The Ramones made a living by playing live and touring without speaking to each other very much. It becomes obvious as you read that being in the Ramones was a wretched experience for everyone, fated to stay together due to needing each others contributions to complete an album's worth of material each year or so. This arrangement becomes a thirty year battle with deep bitterness, bullying and jealousy that outlasts the participants own lives. Sadly, the slow downward slide of Joey's health is the focus for the last quarter of the book, with very personal accounts of how the family reacted to the good and bad news as it came. However, Leigh recalls how through it all, the Ramones infighting outlasted Joey's lifetime and negatively impacted memorial shows in his honor, as well as their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction. Ironically enough, while Leigh never got credit for his contributions to the Ramones music in their lifetime, he is now, along with Johnny's widow Linda, one of two lone survivors to their royalties. This is an epic read, very well written and broken into 41 short chapters for brief reading sessions. Co-author of the book is Legs McNeil surprisingly, as it purposely avoids the 'only in their own words' approach of 'Please Kill Me'. This is a detailed account, separating myth of the Ramones from the actual lives of the Ramones, written by one of the only people who experienced these things from start to finish. 'I Slept with Joey Ramone' is currently available at Amazon for affordable prices.

Found Music 4-8-11

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The Fixx, Destroyer, The Cars, Godspeed You Black Emporer, Foghat

80's Rivision hasThe Fixx 4-17-89
NYC Taper has Destroyer 4-3-11
Big Box Of Tapes has The Cars live 1979
Swan Fungus has Godspeed You Black Emporer 3-3-03
Angi And Friends has Foghat 10-9-81

Surf City - Kudos

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Surf City - Kudos (Fire Records)

From the bountiful land of New Zealand comes a more tanned, but less extreme version of what Jesus and Mary Chain did to the Beach Boys a few decades ago. Minimal drum beats, clean and simple guitar licks, heavily reverbed vocals, with touches of Pavement and some shoegaze, but without the pastiness, attitude or regret. You can check out the video for See How the Sun, and also purchase direct from Fire.
Five Eight - Your God Is Dead To Me Now

Athens, GA veterans Five Eight have released "Your God Is Dead To Me Now", their seventh full length release on Iron Horse. Mid-tempo alt rock that is influenced by peers like the Leaving Trains and Cobra Verde, as well as the late, lamented Silkworm and current rock heroes The Hold Steady. You can stream the entire album at their webpage, where you can also check out the trailer to the documentary on the band.

Found Music 4-1-11

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The Smiths, Built To Spill, Opal, David Bowie, The Jesus Lizard

Hiding Behind The Shed has The Smiths 3-18-85
Captains Dead has Built to Spill 7-7-99
Feeding Dirt To The Short Bus has Opal 4-22-85
Big O has David Bowie 9-25-71
I've Made You A Tape has The Jesus Lizard 5-28-09

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