Archive for the ‘LPs’ Category

Dueling Debuts From 2 Electronic Wizards

April 30, 2010

Michael Rother, of Kraftwerk, Neu! and Harmonia fame, released his debut solo album in 1977 probably feeling quite ready to be freed of the success each of his previous groups had achieved and prove to the world just how little he needed collaborators to create his own works of perfect beauty. Now, this is getting to the late seventies, so the key word on this album is meelllooowww, as was common with any kraut rockers around this time, the zeitgeist was moving towards new aged and bliss out vibes. I’m all for this type of stuff because it’s undeniably dreamy and catchy but still weird and using those unmatched keyboards, oscillators and wacked out guitar tones that only the krauts could seem to find. I highly recommend this shit to anyone in a good mood. Also, while we’re here, be careful when digging for Michael Rother videos on the tube cause you might accidentally click the one where this guy is jammin with the chili peps and barf on your keyboard. Mine will never be the same.


Martin Rev, the musical brains behind possibly the punkest of all seventies punk bands, Suicide unleashed his out debut in 1980. Maybe it was the lack of Vega that made Martin create a very strange, but pretty and warm album that sound like if Suicide took a vacation and was gacked out of their brains on ecstasy. There’s certainly turns towards the dark and more classic industrial kick his previous work was so well known for but over all this album is a cool droned out exercise in electronic pop. I feel like you could watch the movie Brazil is fast forward while listening to this record start to finish and have a pretty good time. If you’re into that sort of thing.

Download: Michael Rother – Flammende Herzen

and

Martin Rev – S/T

Mourning for Alex

March 18, 2010

I will forever reccomend St. Patrick’s day, to now be referred to as St. Chilton’s Day.

My main man, Alex Chilton passed today and after a thorough examination of ever record of his touching i own, i assure you, the worlds loss is truly significant. In the young art form of pop music, few have had such a blinding and timeless impact as Chilton. His three albums with Big Star may be heralded now but it’s a scant near forty years late. Sure, i agree post humus appreciation for an artist is common form in our world, but surely none of us philistines can claim that this is ok, or even remotely acceptable. The human race has been plagued by mediocrity misinterpreting the work of geniuses since the dawn of the modern era but surely at some point we all must draw a line and encourage righteous self examination at what we see as favorable/ passable and what we understand to be artful and timeless. Alex Chilton, I, here at thee Biannual Haircut useless music blog, would like to send an electronic and pointless message to you in the afterlife that if you and Chris Bell start jamming again in heaven and let Joe Meek and or Jim Dickinson produce it, you truly have reinstated my faith in the wonder and grandeur of dreaming about the beyond. God Speed you, rascal.

And further below this is a repeat of a long ago previous and buried post featuring Al’s often overlooked solo works that i find to be misguided and beautiful.

What a strange career this man has had. At sixteen he sang on a number #1 single by his band the Box Tops, three years later the band finished without another hit. Starts a band called Big Star puts out three albums no one gave a shit a about, only to be regarded as some of the best music ever written a few decades later. Becomes an alcoholic and releases some genuinely twisted pop music that again no one at the time has any interest in followed by a few more years of pretty mediocre records. He’s produced incredible records by The Cramps, The Gories and Chris Stamey (as you hopefully already knew). His twisted sense of pop music that exists on his early solo records is just incredibly endearing in its pure honesty and sloppiness. Music doesn’t need to be perfect, how boring! So without further rambling i’ve got links to SIX different records. The first three Chilton solo records in chronological order of their recording dates and then a bonus of the three Big Star albums which you really should already have heard many many times by now, but just in case those have slipped through your fingers til now you can right the wrongs and come to understand the beauty and magic that exist in those songs.

1970

These sessions are heavy bluesy buisness from Alex’s post Box Tops / pre Big Star period. His cover of Sugar Sugar is a beautiful indicator of his love of the slop. A grower of an album and solid all the way through.

Bach’s Bottom

Bach’s Bottom is more of a compilation of different recordings in or around 1975 and is generally inconsistent but Take Me Home and Make Like It is an all time fav. A great record overall, and usually pretty hard to come by. Obviously well recommended.

Like Flies On Sherbert

One of my favorite records of all time! Like Flies is top to bottom some of the weirdest pop music i’ve ever come across. Consisting mostly of covers and a few amazing originals, it was his first solo album to be released after the Big Star bummer. Apparently the critics hated it and it was only pressed in an edition of 500 off the bat. Soooo goood.

Also, do read this incredible and lengthy article that is probably the most in depth info on this period of Chilton’s career you’ll ever find.

Read this article for some pretty amazing stories about the guy

Big Star Albums:
#1 Record & Radio City
3rd/Sisters Lovers

Cleaners From Venus Fridays!

March 12, 2010

Heeeeeeyyy, I Have Great News!

So, to let you in on a little secret, by far and away the most popular post ever seen on this here rinky dink blug was on the two albums by the Cleaners From Venus. It really wasn’t one of my more well written posts, (and maybe this one is sliding towards the same) which is a shame for how many people have read it but dem’s da breaks and now I’m proud to announce soon to be available 5+ more albums for download right here at thee Biannual Haircut and that gives me 5+ times to come up with a better title and not take cheap shots at Ariel Pink! The deal here is every Friday, till i fuck up or run out of stuff, i’ll put up a new Cleaners From Venus LP.

The craziest thing is how far and wide those previously posted albums spread on the internet and even seem to have lead to some industrious All Stars, from pretty near where i’m from, reissuing Midnight Cleaners, Under Wartime Conditions and In The Golden Autumn on snazzy Cassette!

So, anyways and first off, my buddy Andy who does this great pictureblog, is the one responsible for all these new albums, so visit his site and thank him kindly! Today, to even out the inevitable excitement frenzy, i’m gonna offer up a Cleaners album that was previously available on Andy’s old blog, but in a lower sound quality and only broken up into two cassette sides, rather than track by track. This one today is the improved experience!

I’ll start off writing that Midnight Cleaners is the best Cleaners album i’ve heard. In fact it’s one of the best DIY/ outsider/ pop/ albums i’ve ever heard. As good as Phonography and chasing after Like Flies On Sherbert. Out of the nine songs on here there are seven perfect pop gems, one wacked out dub goof and one spaced sound collage studio jerk off which all work perfectly together. Don’t miss this one if you haven’t heard it yet.

Download: The Cleaners From Venus – Midnight Cleaners

and visit Martin’s website: http://www.martinnewell.co.uk/ and tell him he’s a genius and it’s a crime these sounds aren’t available on record.

Sproton “Space is too far so we’ll stay on Earth” Layer

March 10, 2010

Sproton Layer were a High School garage band from Michigan that recorded one LP and 45 in 1969, what makes them special is their hip pedigree and much more importantly their spaced out triumphant Trumpet punk tunes. Hearing the songs and following the members later paths doesn’t make thems as interesting it would be if they were a bunch of nobodies who went on to be accountants or deceased, but that’s a stupid and nerdy thing to get caught up on anyway. So who was in the band? Well Roger Miller of Mission Of Burma and his lil’ bro’s Ben and Laurence who went on to be in Destroy All Monsters. I guess they described their sound as “Syd Barrett fronting Cream.” While i’m only a fan of half that equation, i’m a full supporter of Sproton Layer. True, there may be some definite Barrett/ Floyd loving going on, but the distant and vague focus of vocals seems to be a classic swing and miss for the best results. The aforementioned Trumpet is one of my favorite aspects of their tunes, really sounding perfectly peculiar and off putting in an engaging and (once again) triumphant way. The structure of the songs is pretty anti-pop and avant-prog brainiac business which by my interpretation means they were on their way to totally sucking if they were able to hone their “sound” any further. Phew, thanks for calling that one quits and moving on boys.

Listen to a sample HERE

Download: With Magnetic Fields Disrupted by Sproton Layer

Please, Just Leave Me Here

March 9, 2010

As is quite common with any music dweeber, I often look back on different parts of history and rather than wishing to travel back in time to see some truly pivotal moment in a cultural movement or an unspeakably inspirational liberation of a war torn city, i dream about going back and seeing bands like Antena play a show to ten people on a Thursday night at The Hacienda. Pretty thrilling, eh? Get a grip, eh? You’re boring, huh? Well even though i’m mostly exaggerating this whole thing it’s not that far from the truth and good ol’ Antena definitely probably had many nights like the one vaguely described above. They put out their first few records in the early eighties on a limp Factory records off shoot label and never did much more until the lead singer went solo and boring. I will say, Antena’s music definitely hits at the fringe of my taste range, and maybe that’s what i like about it. Some songs are incredibly beautiful and weird and scandalously seductive while others are so god damned smooth part of my brain is groovin’ like a gross white dude in a baggy button up and the other half is trying to beat that half up but eventually get’s a mai tai and takes a nap in a hammock. By the end of the album everyone is happy and meellllloooowwww.

So what does it sound like?? Well if you can imagine a tasteful mix of Young Marble Giants and Rita Lee’s Os Mutantes tunes than, you’re in and stoked. If this isn’t your thing or i hooked you and yet another over hyped and obscure for a reason “lost” treasure than, I don’t fault you. I just think you should take a warm place vacation and listen to this at sunset.


Download: Camino Del Sol by Antena

Exercising Executive Editing

December 16, 2009


Sooooo, as endless as the well for great garage-psych-pop bands may often seem it is almost guaranteed that a retrospective of their recordings is going to be bogged down with covers, demos and weak weak honkey r&b jive to work as completest padding again the real savory stuff that made So and The Wyld So & So’s so interesting in the fyrst place. So what i have to offer today is personally edited down albums from two real riteous groups of varying obscurity with what i consider to be the essential parts for you to hear. I’m tired of wasting hard drive space being a completest, so if you feel the same, here’s our time to rejoice.

First is Powder from San Jose, who were real big fans of the Who, and Action types doing that freakbeat mod stuff. Sounds kinda like a dull derivative, i know but man, Powder had some truly amazing songs that could have easily been big hits if put in the right hands. They also had a slight downer and moody vibe that added its own season to the soup. Powder’s records are also real rare but they just got a boot/reissue treatment recently so i highly recommend tracking that down before it’s lost to depths of ebay.

Download : Powder – Biff! Bang! Powder!

The Eyes were immortalized on the nuggets 2 comp with their smash hit “I’m Rowed Out”, and while it was a blatant swipe from the Who’s “Can’t Explain” (Thanks J!) it pounds the Who’s original into the ground. Sorry Pete. Luckily for the world they had more tricks up their sleeve and wrote a handful more smashes before turning out a super limp dick album of stones covers and changing their name to The Pupils. I saw the record once and wanted to smash it, what a greedy, dumb and boring decision for a band to quit writing rad songs to be a sad tribute band. Tribute bands are for people without talent, everybody!

Download : The Eyes – The Arrival of The Eyes

A Whiz Kid With His Head Full of Drugs

November 18, 2009

Van Dyke Parks’ first album is a wild and ambitious attempt at modernizing all kinds of classic American musical styles in the context of modern pop music, the perfect making for an utterly bizarre and beautiful album. Having grown up in the South, studying music in the North and then heading out West to make a career for himself he’s able to cover a lot of ground rather seamlessly but the goal of this album was not sheer regurgitation and faithful interpretation. This becomes clear within the first song were put his album title Song Cycle to quick work moving from style or genre every few minutes. The filter through which all this nostalgia is funneling through is a young genius with an appetite for psychedelics and plenty of resources from big contracts from big labels. The kid’s got the world at his finger tips and he’s going for the gusto. The album came out in 1968, not long after he ended his collaboration with our ol buddy Brian Wilson, with whom he was helping flesh out some ideas for Brian’s big opus, Smile. I’ve heard rumors Mr. Parks was not much help with Brian’s drug problem, they must have none the less ended on good terms as the reconnected to finish up Smile in 2004. Also, if you ever have the chance to jam this album while driving through some dusty southern california town, i recommend it highly.

Download: Van Dyke Parks – Song Cycle

Some sample lyrics as well…

What’s up Laurel canyon, hay.

What is up in Laurel Canyon the seat of the beat to greet and eat at the heart of their companion way.

That’s up Laurel Canyon.

And what is up the Canyon will even eventually come down.

also this silly video:

Secrets of the Kinks

November 2, 2009

I don’t think i’ve ever expressed my love for the kinks on this thing before, so i think it’s time to make up for that. I really love the Kinks. Like, have days more and more where they’re all i really want to listen to. I’ll usually start at Kontroversy though, because i do get tired of the honky R&B shenanigans, but that goes across the board. Kinks got songs i can’t get tired of and am always finding new favorites or ones that hit me harder than they used to. There’s no other band that does this to me, with maybe the exception of John Fahey. Either way picking a favorite Kinks song or album is impossible and useless. I refuse to field such a question. People always ask each other, “beatles or stones, dude?” and there’s nothing wrong with that question but if i had a third option, i know very well what i would chose. Having spent so much time with the core albums it’s real nice to hear something new from their peak period that escaped making it onto their usual albums. The two i offer up today are The Great Lost Kinks Album and Dave Davies never fully released album that got canned for whatever reason, most likely canned with a little help from older, wiser and much more dickish bro, Ray.

The Great Lost Kinks Album came out in 1973 but has been way out of print since then which has always kept it a low profile trajectory. This is a true shame because some of the songs on here are really fantastic. Culled from leftovers mostly around Village Green era as well as really rare b-sides and movie soundtrack songs, the collage-d nature of the album doesn’t seem as it is.  That is to say, it passes very easily as cohesive effort.

On to poor old confused and belittled Dave’s big opus that never was. Word around the block goes, after Dave hit the target with “Death of a Clown” everyone started to either prop him up or knock him down, up from the record company and down from his big brother who was not interested in sharing any of the band’s reigns. The album was none the less planned and slowly worked on for a while but eventually got splintered into solo Dave singles, Kinks album tracks and some of it totally shelved. Poor kid. Anywho, i’m sure all that is behind him these days being that he has more important things to worry about such as recovering from a nasty stroke, but this album pretty much brings together every kinks song Dave wrote and sang prior to 1969, as well as a few more tracks from the would be album. These latter tunes are what you came here for and these are the real gems of the group. “Creepin’ Jean” and “Hold My Hand” just two of these rarities that make you understand why a total ego case like Ray would be very nervous that songwriting genetics weren’t solely his to express.

Download: Kinks – Great Lost Kinks Album

Dave Davies – The Album That Never Was

Sorry all these videos are pretty terrible, gotta do it for the tunes.

Jet : Glam’s First Super Group

August 24, 2009

Combining members from Sparks, Roxy Music, Jook, and John’s Children and pairing them with Gary Glitter’s TAILOR isn’t enough to constitute a super group well then what hope does Chicken Foot have? Funny thing is despite how totally stacked Jet was yet they folded less than two years after forming completely unsuccessful. Wham Bam Thank You Ma’am indeed. They played a really ambitious spaced out glam style that was a pretty great mix between Sparks and Roxy Music. If you can imagine what it would sound like if Sparks had written Virginia Plain it would probably sound something like Jet. Having said that, this album really rules and the fact it was a total flop is a pretty tough one to figure out. These songs are undeniably catchy and pretty epic little pop songs that get stretched out and turned around for few minutes before finally ending and the next one comes barreling at you. Maybe British music fans just couldn’t take yet another band after Sparks, Roxy Music, Bowie etc. that wanted to be ambitious and fabulously Glam. That’s a pretty crappy theory but it is true that their peers were truly receiving big accolades while everyone just made fun of Jet’s album cover. The cover by my own admission sucks pretty bad, but god damn the tunes still rule! Don’t make the same mistake our ancestors made, check out Jet!

Download: Jet – S/T

Get me a drink, Limes, I’m thirsty

August 12, 2009


Wouldn’t it be wonderful if one day you walked into a crummy bar at sundown on an ugly, muggy day in less than ideal part of town in a less than ideal mood looking for a beer and something to stare at but instead were confronted with a god damn bar band that ended ruling really hard? You know how it would go too, you go in and for fucks sake who are these retards playing the BLOOZE??? Fuck, i would even prefer one of those horrible internet jukeboxes (we’re all doomed to deal with for the next thirty years) that play 30 secs. of a terrible song really loud before stopping again waiting for someone to poor $5 into it brilliantly picking 90’s Metallica, Bob Seger and maybe some Hootie & The Blowish if their feeling a little guilty, but a fuckin band? Really? It’s 7:24 on wednesday and these guys are up there PUMPIN away.  You finally get the mid fifties spaghetti strap tank wearing bar tender with big bushy curly hair who was talking to some guy at the end of the bar for ten minutes before moseying over and asking “wha cha want?”, to fetch you a $3.50 bud lite and now, finally, time to stare off into space and avoid checking your watch that you know will be going suspiciously slow. But oh yeah, the band you have been tuning out is still up there PUMPING away. You finally start watching them and actually looking at them to realize what a bunch of muppets they are.  Bass player has a ketchup stain on his Stax shirt, drummer has about four drums on stage but only uses two of them, tuned guitars? no thanks! Visibly drunk with their amps littered with empties and “wounded soldiers” help your prudish suspicions. But then all the sudden they meander into something that sounds familiar and you realize it’s a pretty sly rendition of the classic “Little Red Riding Hood” and the hook is headed for your cheek. You’re not immediately sold, naturally, but you also can’t look away (options are slim, though) and the guys careen through the rest of the song pretty solidly. Well, hey, that was a nice little bonus, right? But now songs over and you figure it’s time to go back to the blooooze. Well fuck, wrong again. This next tune shuffles along even better than the last and either you pulled you head out of your ass or the band hits its stride. The songs keep ruling, and you realize calling them a blooze band is insulting and very dumb because these misfits have a whole lot more going on that. They end up playing for ten more minutes before they pack it up and two of them leave the place while the other two relieve our princess behind the bar and get ready for the evening “rush.” You leave the bar stoked, looped and humbled. Thanks, Limes.

The Limes are from Memphis, a one Shawn Crips is the brains and voice behind it while he’s backed up by a group of Memphis all stars. These songs here came out on cd back in 2006 and the bands only vinyl appearances have either been very very limited or disappointing, but on this cd Mr. Crips nails it. He weaves some wonderfully lethargic songs that have a really great atmosphere around them being both catchy and heartfelt. If you’re looking for some more great jams for summr, i suggest you try out The Limes.

Download: no more download! buy the new LP

Visit We Are The Limes and give this fellow some money.