Thursday, July 31, 2008

Jay Reatard & Cheap Time

Last night I finally got to see Jay Reatard in a decent setting. A few months back I saw him open for The Black Keys and the venue was less than ideal for his type of show. Last night I saw him at The Echo in LA and it was fantastic. Up close and intimate. The energy in the room was great. Jay of course is amazingly prolific and so he has so many songs to choose from for a set. In the set there wasn't a bad song. Even some of the new songs from recent singles kept the energy of the show going. The room was filled with fans and so new songs like "See-Saw" didn't seem new to them. There wasn't that lull that happens in so many shows when the new songs are played. And the great thing about Jay is that even if the songs were new to you, he write such catchy hooks and melodies that you'll instantly pick them up and rock out.

Opening for Jay was Cheap Time. I must confess going into the show I didn't do any prior research on them. They were great. I picked up their LP and a single while I was there. When I got home I was looking over the LP and saw the songs were written by J. Novak. That was a red flag to me. Could this be Jeffrey Novak from "Jeffrey Novak's One Man Band"? I have a heard a few singles from Jeffrey and they were great. And after a quick internet search I confirmed that this was indeed the Jeffrey's latest vehicle. The show won me over and now I know why. I'm definitely a new fan.

Anyways here are a few photos from the show and of course as always I've added a link to my Flickr account where I have posted about 40 photos. So if either Jay Reatard or Cheap Time come to your town, please do yourself a favor and go see them. I've also included a shot of the set list, which I was also lucky enough to take home with me. Hurray for me!!!!

Corey Hart - First Offense - 1983

I'll be honest. "Sunglasses at Night" is the only reason I am posting this record. The other thing I have to confess is that I cheated with this posting. Even thought I own the LP, I saved myself some time and pulled this from a CD rip.

The rest of the record isn't all that bad. in fact I'd say about half the songs are decent.

I really like "Lamp At Midnight". It reminds me of "One Thing Leads To Another" by The Fixx. It's mostly in the rhythm and even the arrangement. There are some sounds in here that are right from The Fixx. Remember that hollow wood wind sound they had, well this song has that same synth here.

"It Ain't Enough" is also a pretty decent song. Yes I said "decent". I am a child of the 80's. Anyways, I think this was kind of a hit as well. I at least kind of remember it and think it's quite strong.

"Does She Love You", "At The Dance" and "Jenny Fey" are also worth the listen.

This guy had some talent. I don't think he ever recaptured the lightning of "Sunglasses" but according to he is still writing and living happily in the Bahamas. Probably still living of the royalties of that one single.


01-Sunglasses At Night.mp3
02-Peruvian Lady.mp3
03-Lamp At Midnite.mp3
04-She Got The Radio.mp3
05-It Ain't Enough.mp3
06-Does She Love You.mp3
07-Cheatin' In School.mp3
08-The World Is Fire.mp3
09-At The Dance.mp3
10-Jenny Fey.mp3

Corey Hart - First

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Novo Combo - Novo Combo - 1981

I have no memory of these guys from when I was a kid. This one I picked up as part of the new wave power pop purchase earlier this year. The album isn't too bad actually. Right off the bat the first track will conjure up thoughts of The Police circa "Zenyatta Mondatta".

Most of the other tracks on the record are pretty good. They also have that slight reggae/Police flavor to them. So if you are a fan of that sound then I think you'll like this record.

I don't know much more about the band. They don't even have a bio write up in allmusic. So if you know anything please chime in and fill me in.


01 Up Periscope.m4a
02 City Bound (_E_ Train).m4a
03 We Need Love.m4a
04 Long Road.m4a
05 Tattoo.m4a
06 Don't Do That.m4a
07 Sorry (For The Delay).m4a
08 Axis Will Turn.m4a
09 Light Of The World.m4a
10 Do You Wanna Shake.m4a
11 Hard To Say Goodbye.m4a

Novo Combo - Side
Novo Combo - Side

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Kathy Buck - Don't Beat Around The Bush 12" - 1983

Here is some classic 80's electro funk from Kathy Buck. The opening synth/drum beats are simply classic. You'll recognize these sounds as being used in other songs from the period. One of the beats/synths reminds me of the backing track on "Sexual Healing". I haven't listened to the side by side, but that is what comes to mind when I hear it. Some of the beats even remind me of early Def Jam recordings by say Run DMC or LL Cool J. Have a listen and let me know what you think.


01 Don't Beat Around The Bush.mp3
02 Don't Beat Around The Bush (Instrumental).mp3

Monday, July 28, 2008

Slim Whitman - Rainbows Are Back In Style/How Could I Not Love You 7"

Listen to the opening few bars of “Rainbows Are Back In Style” and tell me it doesn’t sound like the beginning to the theme song for “Three’s Company”. It’s funny I never really made this connection before, but just a couple days ago I was listening to TV theme songs and that was one of them, so it is in my head. So when I kicked this on to listen to for the blog, I couldn’t help but make the comparison.

This is another record from my collection that I put into the incredibly happy genre. It seems like you don’t get songs this happy these days, at least not in such abundance. I mean really when was the last time you heard a new pop song singing about rainbows. I’m not saying there aren’t happy pop songs, but on the whole they are far and few between.

Slim Whitman in my mind was a country artists, but this song really isn’t very country. Like I said, it sounds more like “Three’s Company” which conjures up images of the Santa Monica peer and not Nashville.

“How Could I Not Not Love U” is the real prize here. What a beautiful song. The lyrics are great. The melody is pure romance and Slim’s voice is sublime. Again, not really a country song. It’s just a great pop song. It brings to mind classic’s like “(I Can’t Help) Falling In Love With You” and that is pretty strong praise in my book.

I can’t state this strongly enough. Just give the song one chance. Listen to the opening line. “How could I not love you, when you’re everything dear to me?” This line has everything I’m talking about. The amazing voice and delivery send electricity through my body they are so perfect. You hear that opening and you will be hooked for the whole 2 minutes 18 seconds. Ah, yes, it’s also short and to the point. No outstaying it’s welcome by any means.


01 Rainbows Are Back In Style.mp3
02 How Could I Not Love U.mp3

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Level 42 - The Chinese Way - 1983

I am by no means a big fan of Level 42. They are one of those bands that I've always just kind of known about, but never really got around to getting into. There are so many of those bands and there just simply isn't enough time and resources to get to them all.

Anyways, this record is really my only real exposure to them. I'm sure that may shock some people, because I think there is a devoted following for Level 42. This single of "The Chinese Way" is pretty decent. It's got a catchy synth popness to it if you are into that sort of thing. I think I like the music more than the lyrics, which in a way makes the second cut my favorite because it is the dub version.

After that I like the UK Mix better than the US mix. It sounds fuller and seems like is would be better in a club. That's my opinion anyway. Let me know which version you like.


01 The Chinese Way (U.S. Mix).mp3
02 The Chinese Way (Dub Version).mp3
03 The Chinese Way (UK Mix).mp3

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Haircut 100 - Pelican West - 1982

I love this record. I can't say it enough. I am a recent convert to this record. Similar to my story with Icicle Works, I never thought much of these guys back in the 80's. I knew the hit songs, but never listened to any album cuts. They I picked up this record and listened to it from start to finish and couldn't believe how great it is.

I think back in the day I was tripped up by the name of the band. The mere fact that it had "haircut" in the name I associated them with all the other new wave MTV groups like A Flock Of Seagulls that were too wimpy for a young boy like myself. Luckily I grew up and learned to broaden my horizons.

I'm sure if you know anything about this band, you'll know the opening track "Love Plus One", which is a fine track, but certainly not the reason I'm raving here. Skip right ahead to the second track "Favourite Shirts (Boy Meets Girl)". This song cooks. Listen to the bass line and the great horn section. This song kicks in and brings up memories of early Duran Duran or Japan. Simply great.

As you go further into the record you'll find that it is layered thick with funk and jazz flavors. It is dense and goes fare beyond the simple pop of "Love Plus One". Track 3 "Lemon Firebrigade" in an instrumental with funk and some great rhythms. I don't know whether to classify them as Latin or Caribbean. Someone wiser than me can probably identify the influences here more clearly. All I know if that coming through my headset the song makes me want to dance.

There are two versions of this release, a UK release and an American release. This is the American release which changed the track order to put the singles up front. I don't mind. It makes the album start out really strong. The rest of the album may not have the tracks that may be considered singles, but they are still a great listen.

So if you are a fan of New Wave, this record is a must. My vinyl rip is okay, but if you can find this one on CD or have the money to download it it will be well worth the money.


01 Love Plus One.m4a
02 Favourite Shirts (Boy Meets Girl).m4a
03 Lemon Firebrigade.m4a
04 Marine Boy.m4a
05 Milk Farm.m4a
06 Kingsize (You're My Little Steam Whistle).m4a
07 Fantastic Day.m4a
08 Baked Bean.m4a
09 Snow Girl.m4a
10 Love's Got Me In Triangles.m4a
11 Surprise Me Again.m4a
12 Calling Captain Autumn.m4a

Haircut 100 - Pelican West - Side
Haircut 100 - Pelican West - Side

Friday, July 25, 2008

B. E. Taylor - Vitamin L 12" - 1983

This one falls into the category of "what the hell?" I don't know anything about B.E. Taylor, but after hearing this one I think I know why. Vitamin L is a perfectly weird song. It is from his 1983 release "Love Won The Fight". The song starts off with a sort of electro funk proto hip hop vibe, but then once the vocals kick in, it basically falls apart into silliness. The lyrics are just laughable and there is this big sort of rock chorus. You listen and all you can say is "what the hell?"

The other two tracks are generic rock songs complete with bad 80's synth rhythms. These sound like songs that would have ended up in one of the B teen sex comedies of the 80's. They are worth listening to, because it does show you that it isn't easy writing the pop rock songs of the 80's.

By the way "Just A Beat Away" sounds like a poor man's Journey or the 80's. Give it a listen and tell me I'm not right.


01 Vitamin L.mp3
02 Love Won The Fight.mp3
03 Just A Beat Away.mp3

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Gus Gus - Very Important People 12" - 1999

Gus Gus are from Iceland. The only other artist(s) I know from Iceland are Bjork and The Sugarcubes. These guys are electronic oriented, but are perhaps a little more accessible than some of the weirdness Bjork and The Sugarcubes produced, not to take away from their fine work.

This 12" contains four mixes of "Very Important People" which is from their 1999 release "This Is Normal". These are cool songs, and by that I mean cool as in cool jazz. There is definitely some smooth cool jazz things going on in these mixes. In particular I love the first mix by Masters at Work. It's one for the evening with the lights turned low. I also like the 3rd mix by Francois K. Tracks 2 and 4 are okay, but not as good as 1 and 3, at least to me. Though this is almost 10 years old, the music still sounds relevant and current.


01 Very Important People (Masters At Work Main Mix).m4a
02 Very Important People (Fire Island Vox).m4a
03 Very Important People (Francois K. Mix).m4a
04 Very Important People (Francois K. Dub).m4a

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark - If You Leave 12" - 1986

Today's entry is going to have very little to do with the actual music I'm posting. This is the 12" single of OMD's "If You Leave" which is great. This is an extended remix and as far as remixes go this is a good one. I think that is because I just can't get enough of this song. The reason brings me to the subject I really want to talk about.

I think there are two groups of people when it comes to fans of John Hughes films. I think there are those who like "Pretty in Pink" and then there are those that like "Some Kind Of Wonderful". I don't think there is much crossover. I either here people say they love "Pretty in Pink" and don't like "Some Kind of Wonderful" or they think "Pretty In Pink" didn't get it right and "Some Kind of Wonderful" did.

Now before I go any further I know he did not direct these films, but there is still so much of him in the movies, that I consider them part of the canon.

As you might guess from the posting I fall on the side of loving "Pretty In Pink". For years I had never watched "Some Kind Of Wonderful" all the way through so I really couldn't say anything. I knew I loved "Pretty In Pink", but did think it was flawed. I always did and still think Andie should have wound up with Duckie. Blane is lame and that relationship probably ended after a few months. Her long term happiness had a better shot with Duckie. I'm still waiting for the day when I can see the release of the original ending of the movie where Andie and Duckie end up together. So as much as I loved this movie I knew that the ending had been changed and that I thought the movie was flawed.

Then I had heard that even John Hughes felt this way and "Some Kind Of Wonderful" was his answer to that. The movie has almost identical character dynamics, except in the end the main character chooses the best friend over the new pretty face. I think this is the very reason many people like this movie more than "Pretty In Pink" and you would think that I was one of those persons. However this last year I finally sat myself down to watch this film, hoping that it would be better. However it pales in comparison. Sure there are some good one liners, and the soundtrack is decent (Hughes trademarks), but the acting and the story just aren't that good. When it gets to the end and Eric Stoltz chooses Mary Stuart Masterson it literally comes out of nowhere. They never have the chemistry Andie and Duckie had. It was very disappointing.

I invite people to voice their opinions on the matter. Please.

I'm sure this argument will go on for years to come. All I know if that when I hear "If You Leave" I get chills. I think about that end dance. I think how much I love "Pretty in Pink" and I think how much I would have loved it more if Andie and Duckie got together and there wasn't that horrible reshoot with Duckie hooking up with some random girl. Ugh!

On a side note if anyone at Paramount is reading or if anyone knows somebody at Paramount, tell them that this movie should have a sequel. I think there would be a lot of people who would like to see Andie and Duckie today. I would love to see them all these years later after many failed relationships they are still friends and they finally realize they belong together. It could be a kind of "When Harry Met Sally" kind of thing. The great thing is that both Molly Ringwald and Jon Cryer are back in the limelight succeeding on TV. They both still look great. They both are still working and part of pop culture. Someone please make this movie.

Until then we'll have to enjoy the DVD and the soundtrack.


01 If You Leave (Extended Version).mp3
02 La Femme Accident (Remixed Version).mp3

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Oscar Brand - Bawdy Songs and Backroom Ballads Vol. 4 - 1951

Every once in a while, when sifting through bins of used records at thrift shops you come across old records that catered to adults back in the day. I've picked up a few here and there. I've got a couple Rusty Warren records that crack me up. Not because they are actually very funny even though they are supposed to be comedy records, but because they were considered risque at the time. They seem so tame by today's standards. Her use of the word Knockers over and over again isn't offensive anymore and now just seems silly.

Anyways, when I saw this record I figured I get some of the same. Songs that had once shocked, but now only illicit a little giggle at their innocence. What I have to report is that it starts of that way indeed, but as you get into the record, the songs do get kind of graphic and I think will still make your ears do a double take. Oscar Brand's bawdy folk songs at least to me still today seem racy for their subject matter. I don't want to go into all the detail, but I'll just say that there are a few songs on hear that I don't think I need to listen to a second time. Still some of them are still funny and have that aura of just being slightly naughty. What makes those songs so appealing is the sort of absurdity of a grown man singing them. They really sound like the songs boys would make up on the school yard in grade school. That should give you an idea of the sort of high brow humor involved here.


01 Cindy.m4a
02 Tom Bolynn.m4a
03 Plymouth Town.m4a
04 Two Maidens.m4a
05 Basket Of Oysters.m4a
06 Green Grow The Rashes.m4a
07 The Cuckoo's Nest.m4a
08 Sweet Violets.m4a
09 The Money Rolls In.m4a
10 I Used To Work In Chicago.m4a
11 The Old Sea Chest.m4a
12 The Wayward Boy.m4a
13 Don't Call Me.m4a
14 Roll Me Over.m4a

Oscar Brand - Side
Oscar Brand - Side

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Impacts - Wipeout - 1962

The big claim to fame for the Impacts is that Singer songwriter Merrell Fankhauser claims to have written the original "Wipe Out". he claims he originally wrote the song and the Surfaris ripped it off and made it a big hit. I listen to the two songs and while there are similarities, I think they are different enough. I like 'em both.

This is one of those great authentic surf rock records from the Del-Fi Label. Release in 1962 this was what the surfers were listening to. This wasn't the pop version of surf music made popular by Jan and Dean or The Beach Boys. This was Dick Dale influenced guitars and music that on it's own felt like surfing. The Saxophone work is quintessential surf. The cool factor of Southern California permeates every note of these songs.

So step into this time and space machine and transport yourself back to Malibu in 1962 with this artifact.


01 Steel Pier.mp3
02 Tandem.mp3
03 Sea Horse.mp3
04 Beep Beep.mp3
05 Lisa.mp3
06 Church Key.mp3
07 Wipe Out.mp3
08 Fort Lauderdale.mp3
09 Tears.mp3
10 Revellion.mp3
11 Blue Surf.mp3
12 Impact.mp3


Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Producers - You Make The Heat - 1982

Last month I posted the first release from The Producers. My rips was quite flawed and I felt really bad about that. This rip of their second record is much better. The downside is that the record itself isn't quite as strong as the first LP. There are however still some excellent cuts. "She Sheila" is a catchy number and is considered by some to be one of their better numbers. I believe it appears on some power pop collections. To me it is a little reminiscent of "Kristina" by Rick Springfield. I know that may seem like a stretch, but I can't help it. That is what it reminds me of. "Operation" is another very Springfield-esque song. "Breakaway" delves into Police territory. That chinging Copeland symbol action and the vocals are very much like The Police. In fact I'm of the opinion that the deeper into the record you go the more you hear the police. Side 2 in particular has Sting, Andy and Stewart all over it. Check it out and see if I'm crazy.


01 Back To Basics.m4a
02 She Sheila.m4a
03 Operation.m4a
04 Dear John.m4a
05 Breakaway.m4a
06 You Make The Heat.m4a
07 Merry-Go-Round.m4a
08 Chinatown.m4a
09 Domino.m4a

The Producers - You Make The Heat - Side
The Producers - You Make The Heat - Side

Friday, July 18, 2008

Cameo - Word Up 12" - 1986

This is one of those songs that for a long time I couldn't listen to. In 1986 this song was so overplayed. It was used for a Coke commercial which really pushed out of the realm of cool into the world of cheese ball in my teenage world. I still can't think of this song without thinking of that Coke add. I tried to find it on youtube for this post, but ater some preliminary searches I couldn't find it. I didn't feel like digging too much deeper into it. Anyways, this record was obviously a DJ's copy. The jacket actually have to identical copies of the record. They both are well played and it looks like they were even used or some scratching. So the quality isn't great, but you can find this song on Itunes probably or any number of places. It's not exactly obscure.


01 Word Up (12").mp3
02 Word Up (7").mp3
03 Word Up (Instrumental).mp3
04 Urban Warrior.mp3

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Martha Reeves - Loves Is Like A Heat Wave/Come And Get These Memories 7"

For everyone in the northern hemisphere things should be heating up this time of year. So this classic single should be right on theme.

Motown was a fine tuned hit making machine and this is one of their fine products. Perfectly produced on every level, this is just a great pop tune. This is screaming for a remake, especially now that Mark Ronson is heavily mining this sound with artists like Amy Whinehouse.

By the way if you're into this whole neo-soul sound that is going on right now, please check out Jamie Lidell's release Jim. It is fantastic. The Amazon link is here.


01 Your Love Is Like A Heat.mp3
02 Come On Get These Memories.mp3

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Golden Earring - Twilight Zone 12"

I loved this song as a kid. With this 12" you get the long and short version of the song. This song was really my introduction to Golden Earring. After this I went back to discover their hits from the 1970's. Hearing the two time periods I think these guys made a nice transition from a straight up rock band to a sort or 80's, MTV style band. They are pretty much still a rock band, but they've added little lazer type sounds in there to make them sound sort of new wavey.

This song was also famous for having a censored video. I remember seeing this video and when the naked girl walkes across the room the image was darkened. Not like with an obvious black box, but she was just darkened more to a silhouette. But thanks to youtube you can enjoy the uncensored version.

And after the video, you can check out these vinyl rips.


01 Twilight Zone (Long Version).mp3
02 Twilight Zone (Short Version).mp3

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Tex Williams - Cynthia Ann/Walkin' On The Wind 7"

Tex Williams has made two previous appearances here. One was with his song about Miss Nancy Ann's Hotel for single girls. That turned out to be a pretty popular pages according to my statcounter statistics and the number of downloads. The other one was a record with a song about artichokes. Artichokes you say? That's right artichokes. Check out the previous blog entries for more on those fine selections.

So of course I'm going to follow up on that with another fine installment from Tex. This one has another girl with a Ann in her name. This time Cynthia Ann instead of Nancy Ann. And like Tex's other songs, there is a healthy sense of humor to this song about a small town girl who poses nude in a girly magazine. Listen on for the whole story.

"Walking On The Wind" is a happy song that starts off with the lyric, "There are so many wonderful things in life." That's such a happy thought. This song will definitely put you in a good mood just so long as you aren't lactose intolerant, because this one is filled with cheese.


01 Cynthia Ann.mp3
02 Walkin' On The Wind.mp3

Monday, July 14, 2008

Glen Burtnick - Heroes And Zeros - 1987

This isn't a great record, but it's not a bad record. In fact I retract that statement. Upon further thought I'm going to say this is a pretty good record. There are definitely more good songs than just okay songs which is mostly not the case on some of these forgotten 80's albums.

I'm posting this little piece of rock archeology for a couple reasons. One someone out there might actually like it more than me. It's pretty much a straight ahead pop rock record.

Another reason to post it is because this guy has had an interesting career and among playing with a lot of big names in the music biz her replaced Tommy Shaw in Styx when he left the band. I love Styx and I think Tommy Shaw has some serious talent and some big shoes to fill. Dennis De Young obviously felt good enough about Glen to have him fill those shoes. That little career tidbit it interesting enough to warrant a listen to this 1987 release.

Also it is worth listening to because this guy is from Jersey and I find that some of these tracks sound like a poor man's version of fellow Jersey rockers Bon Jovi. Just give "Heard In On The Radio" or "Spinning My Wheels" a listen and see if you don't here it as well. This may now be as hard rockin' as the Jovi. In fact the hard rock meter is probably closer to Rick Springfield tipping the genre scales more into the power pop category. "Abalene" and "Here Comes Sally" are good examples there. Let me know what you think.

The one oddity on the record is the last track "The Day Your Ship Gets Thru". It's really a vocal pop song kind of in the vein of Backstreet Boys. I know that sound crazy, but give it a listen. Now I'm not one to go crazy over the boy bands of the last ten years, but I will acknowledge that they had vocal talent and they produced some pretty solid pop tunes. So when i compare this track to Backstreet Boys or maybe even N'Sync I do that as a positive.

Another fascinating song is "Love Goes On". It's probably the weakest track on the record for me, but I find it so interesting because it sounds like other 80's bands. The vocals are very Jovi. There is even a line about going out in a blaze of glory. No joke. But then the interesting juxtaposition is the very Journey-like guitar. Listen to what that lead guitar is doing and the specific sound its producing and tell me that's not Journey.

Another highlight it "Here Comes Sally" now which I've already compared to a Rick Springfield song. The nice thing it adds is a great bluesy harmonica bit right in the middle of this driving power pop ditty. This is my favorite song on the record.

After writing all this I'm going to revise my first paragraph and say this is a great record. You may not know the songs, but once you give them a couple listens you realize that song after song is good to great.

By the way you should price this on Amazon. Must be out of print because it's selling for quite a pretty penny. Well, here you can sample it for free and then if you think it's worth kicking out the cash, Amazon is an easy place to go. There are several used copies on vinyl and CD for sale.


01 Follow You.m4a
02 Spinning My Wheels.m4a
03 Walls Came Down.m4a
04 Stupid Boys (Suckers For Love).m4a
05 Love Goes On.m4a
06 Heard It On The Radio.m4a
07 Abalene.m4a
08 Here Comes Sally.m4a
09 Scattered.m4a
10 The Day Your Ship Gets Thru.m4a


Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Belle Stars - Sign Of the Times/Madness 12" - 1983

Here's a poppy single from The Belle Stars. I of course missed this the first time around in the 80's. Wasn't really into female British pop groups at the time. However now I find this to be quite pleasant and a Bananarama sort of way.

The Belle Stars ran up a few hits in the UK in the early 80's. Later in the decade one of their hits "Iko Iko" was use in the film Rain Man and that brought them brief success on the Yankee charts. That song I do remember, but I wouldn't have known these were the ladies that did that song.

The B-Side "Madness" is also a pretty good song. It's a little more up tempo and aggressive. In my opinion a better dance track than the A-side. The sax work reminds me of some other popular 80's tune, but for the life of me I can't place it. If anyone out there has an ideas, please chime in.


01 Sign Of The Times.m4a
02 Madness.m4a