Sunday, 23 October 2011

Liars - B- Sides and Compilations Compiled

It's no secret I'm a massive fan of U.S. noise hipsters Liars. Of the glut of 'altern/ underground' bands that arose in the early 2000's, Liars are perhaps the ones that still sail closest to the wind in being not afraid to try something new. Whilst there are a few overlaps sound-wise with their five studio albums, each does have it's own distinctive 'vibe' and sound.
The first LP released in 2001/2 - 'They Threw Us In A trench And Put A Monument On Top was a wonderfully tense and angular affair, with careening post punk scratch guitar against a fervent Gang of Four style wired funk bass and drums, and a 'running round the block' vocal urgency that was infective. It was love at first spin, and became one of my albums of the year (nay decade).

This was followed by a total change of direction in 2004 release ' They Were Wrong So We Drowned' Haunted 'Halloween' tribalism was the order of the day. With a big nod to the forbidding 1985  Sonic Youth album 'Bad Moon Rising', easy listening it certainly was not (hear a live recording of this tour from an earlier post here) but it succeeded in bucking the 'punk funk' audience that seemed to have coalesced around the band. Rumour has it that they totally scrapped the follow up to 'They Threw Us In A Trench...' in order to follow their twisted occult leanings out in darkest mid state New York. Worried that the original follow up was to much like the debut, they threw the baby out with the bath water and totally re-realised their vision in 'They Were Wrong'.

2005 album 'Drums Not Dead' was upon initial listens, a bit of a disappointment for me I must admit. Whilst on the surface it appeared to follow a similar vein to 'They Were Wrong...', albeit with a more electronic sheen, it did take a while for it to reveal it's layers, and I spent quite a lot of time worrying that they had shot their bolt musically speaking. In  the years since it's release, it's a record I've warmed to immnesley, and if not quite as out there as 'They Were Wrong...' or as Insistent as their debut, it's still a mighty fine record.  There is a concept at work, with Mt Heart Attack turning up as a theme on several tracks. All that said, It's worth the entry fee for the heartbreaking beauty of 'The Other Side Of Mount Heart Attack' alone

The next album came two years later in the eponymously titled 'Liars'. An altogether more electro psyche affair, it has more than it's fair share of alt. 'rockers' but for me has a certain 'downer' feel to it as well. Sweeping from Jesus and Mary-Chain style 'Spectorisms' to almost dream pop moments, it's a real return to form music wise.

'2010 release Sisterworld was for me, the pinnacle of their experimentation, in the same way that Bowie's 'Scary Monsters and Super Creeps' seemed to take a little of what went before and mixed it all up, Liars did the same with Sisterworld. Encompassing great Kraut grooves (Proud Evolution) alongside slightly sinister ditties to suicide (Scissor) and ode's to the goof off lifestyle (The Overachievers), for me, this is their 'Tour de force' musically.

Which brings me to the point of the post...the bits between the bits, the uncollected debris of their career, compiled for your delectation into two neat discs worth of oddities and out-thereness.

Liars - B-Sides Compiled goes something like this...

Part 1......

1. Pillars Were Hollow And Filled With Candy So We Tore Them Down
2. Everyday Is A Child With Teeth

3. Rose And Licorice
4. All In All A Careful Party
5. Dorothy Taps The Toe Of The Tinman

6. We Got Cold, Coughed And Forgot Things
7. You Know I Hate Stupid Phones
8. Every Two Hours With A Ducks Fan

9. Leaving For Dubbo In A Panda-Bear

10. Skull and Crossbrooms
11 Broom

12  Sex Boy
13 The Fountain And Its Monologue

14 The Frozen Glacier Of Mastadon Blood
15 Bingo! Count Draculuck

16 Do As The Birds, Eat The Remains

 And Part 2....

17 Sunset Rodeo

18  Mimic The Hurricano
19 Volcano Police

20 Panic Button

21 Leopard On My Right
22 Dear

23 Red Dirt
24 Dear God

25 Cycle Time
26 HouseClouds
27 Pure Unevil
28 Plaster Casts of Everything

Tracks 1-2 taken from the 'Fins To Make Us More Like Fish' EP
Tracks 3-5 taken from the split LP with Oneida 'Atheists Reconsider'
Tracks 6-8 taken from the 'We No Longer Knew Who We Were' EP
Track 9 from Split 7" with Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Tracks 10-11 taken from the single 'There's Always Room On A Broom'
Tracks 12-13 taken from the EP 'We Fenced The Gardens With The Bones Of Our Own'
Track 14-15 taken from the single 'It Fit When I Was A Kid'
Track 16 from the 'Other Side Of Mt. Heart Attack' single
Tracks 17 'Sunset Rodeo' free web download
Tracks 18-19 taken from 'Plaster Casts Of Everything' single
Track 20 from the 'Worried Noodles' compilation album
Tracks 21-22 from 'Leopard On My Right' single
Tracks 23-24 from the 'Houseclouds' single
The rest are a few A-Sides

If you fancy a listen - get it Here....

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Shellac with David Yow as the Sex Pistols - 10.31.98 - Lounge Axe Chicago il........Plus B-sides and Rarities Compilation


This is a great little bootleg I turned up  a few years ago courtesy of a mutual Shellac freak.

I'd heard of it's existence but never expected to hear the show till the CDr dropped through me letterbox.
The basic premise was, punters turn up to Shellac Halloween gig, but instead of the usual 'Shellac' set, David Yow (Scratch Acid, Jesus Lizard) joins Albini et al on stage for a run through of edited highlights of the Sex Pistols debut album.
This is deffo one of those 'wish I'd been there' gigs, there's a fabulous atmosphere, and the band enhance the experience buy adopting almost comedic Dick Van Dyke cockney-isms for the intro's even going so far as dressing for the part.

Have a listen Here

Shellac - A Brief History

Shellac formed in Chicago, Illinois, in 1992 as an informal collaboration between guitarist Steve Albini and drummer Todd Trainer. Former Naked Raygun bassist Camilo Gonzalez sat in on early rehearsals and played on one song on Shellac's first single before permanent bassist Bob Weston, formerly of Boston's Volcano Suns, joined.

Shellac has a distinctive, minimalist sound based on unusual and urgent time signatures, repetitive heavy rhythms, an angular guitar sound, and Albini's surreal, bitingly sarcastic lyrics. Songs typically do not have traditional verse/chorus/verse structure and the arrangements are sparse, to the point where some describe them as "amelodic". Shellac's signature sound is often associated with their enthusiasm for vintage Travis Bean guitars, a rare brand of aluminium-based instruments, and the Interfax "Harmonic Percolator" distortion pedal. Albini is also known to use copper plectrums and unique guitar straps that fit around the waist rather than over the shoulder. The band prefers the intimacy of smaller clubs and live appearances are sporadic.

Both Weston and Albini are recording engineers. They prefer a sparse, analog recording sound with little or no overdubbing, and are meticulous about microphone placement and choice of equipment.
Shellac posing at Shibuya, Japan

Mid-set in many live performances Shellac take the time for one or more "question and answer" sessions, where members of the band respond in an off-the-cuff and at times jocular manner to questions shouted out by fans and hecklers alike. Notably, in 1997 they recorded an instrumental album known as The Futurist for modern dance troupe: LaLaLa Human Steps. Unwilling to grant what the band considered a sub-par recording a wider audience, they pressed approximately 700 vinyl LP copies of the music and gave them away as gifts to friends. The front cover was a list of the recipients, with the relevant name encircled in order to personalize the copy, as well as to aid the band in making sure all the listed recipients received a copy (the band is still looking for people on the list to get their copy to them). Shellac also played a Halloween show as The Sex Pistols, featuring former Jesus Lizard and Scratch Acid singer David Yow as Johnny Rotten.

In 2002, the band curated the All Tomorrow's Parties festival in Camber Sands, England. Knowing that most of the audience had come specifically to see Shellac, the band went on first every morning as an incentive for the festival-goers to be up in time to see the other acts. Other acts included The Fall, Will Oldham, Nina Nastasia, Rachel's, Mission of Burma, Silkworm, Threnody Ensemble, Shipping News, High Dependency Unit, Arcwelder, The Breeders, David Lovering, Blonde Redhead, Wire, Zeni Geva, Oxes, Flour, Smog, Cheap Trick, Danielson Famile, The Ex, and Dianogah. A CD of tracks from the bands performing at the festival was released on ATP Records.

 Part Two - B-Sides and Compilation Rarities

The Rude Gesture: A Pictorial History 7"ep (Touch and Go)
1. The Guy Who Invented Fire
2. Rambler Song
3. Billiard Player Song
Uranus 7" (Touch & go)
4. Doris
5. Wingwalker
The Bird Is The Most Popular Finger 7" (Drag City)
6. The admiral
7. Pul the cup
Jailbreak 7" (Skin Graft/Gasoline Boost)
8. Jailbreak
Rambler Song 7" (Touch and Go)
9. Rambler song (mellow version)
Shellac records 7" #9
10. The futurist
Ground rule double divot compilation - actionboy 300
11. Copper Song
Lounge ax defense and relocation compilation CD
12. Killeras
Steve Albini with Zeni Geva - all right you little bastards CD
13. A piece of angel
14. Kettle Lake
15. Painwise (cover of rambler song)
16. The model
Have a listen Here. (Compiled tracks courtesy of this great site saved me a few hours of Audacity rippage, many thanks!)

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Concert Climax - Saint Julian Cope Live in Hearing of The Motherfucker

Don't know much about this alleged 'rare Italian' 2006 release from Julian Cope. Part of it is live, part studio recordings. Contains an OK cover of 13th Floor Elevators - 'Easter Everywhere' and a few hard to find tracks. to me it seems a bit of a  cobbled together affair, but it has it's moments. Not his most outstanding release that's for sure, but for those Cope completists, I guess it's one to track down.

Cope fan site Trampoline has this to say about the release...

"Described by Head Heritage as: "This limited edition Italian-only release purports to be recorded live at 2005's Urbino Festival, though in truth it also includes unreleased studio sessions and four brand new songs including the 11-minute epic 'How the West Was Lost' and the Skynyrd-inspired heavy ballad 'Lost Generation'."


If this is your bag, have a listen Here.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Julian Cope Live - Camden Cumming 16th February 2006

In the interest of actually posting at least one thing this month, I've trawled the archive for another live Julian Cope set. This is from the heart of his 'metal' phase several years ago, but don't let that put you off, as it's a pretty entertaining show, with a great career spanning tracklist. Not a bad recording, sound wise either.

This was another of those Head Heritage forum swaps that the generous folk in those parts are won't to do, and the artwork for this one is by Black Sheep's very own Common Era if I'm not mistaken.

If you think this may be your kind of thang, you can listen to Disc 1 Here and Disc 2 Here