Sep 28, 2009

MIKE REP "Donovan's Brain" 7inch EP

For some years now I have heard a legend that when Rick Rubin set out to resurrect legendary flower hippie singer Donovan's career he called on the somewhat legendary not quite so hippie Columbus weirdo Mike Rep to do the production work. The story goes that the results were so messed up Rubin locked them away and then proceeded to do a boring flower hippie record. Split into two parts on this 45 (just like Don McLean's "American Pie" back when Donovan's career was taking a slide down) and ecorded through what sounds like a condenser mic Mile, along with some help from Tommy Jay, spins a freakish campfire yarn of brain transplants gone awry and neurosurgeons that think they know it all but just end up making matters worse. The record ends with a quick acoustic bit on everyone's parents favorite dead 70's pop folkster Jim Croce (which in it's own way could be further interpreted as commentary of what Rubin's results were on the job he did on Donovan's "Sutra" album.

Sep 26, 2009

13th CHIME "The Singles 1981-1983" LP and the CULTURAL DECAY "Eight Ways to Start a Day (Singles and Demos)" 12inch EP

The first two releases in a possible continuous reissue program from NYC based label Sacred Bones unearthing some long lost records that are on want lists of very obscure 80's post-punk and pre-goth record collectors.
13th Chime hailed from Haverhill Suffolk, a city 60 miles from London of about 20,000 people with no train station that's probably best know for it's toothbrushes and who's most famous citizen is record label Some Bizarre's owner Stevo.
With a reference from Orwell's 1984 used for their band name and living in a place where you submit to being stuck or imagining ways of getting out-it's a damp and foggy affair. In their two year existence of 81-83 they released 3 singles and made a demo for IRS-all of which are comp'd on here. De rigueur sound from the era of raincoat wearing mope-rock. Scratchy and flanged guitar grind sounds reminiscent of Killing Joke and Siouxie & the Banshees and prominent counter-melody basslines in the Joy Division & Bauhaus vein (Opening track "Cuts Of Love" opens paraphrasing "Bela Lugosi's Dead" to these ears before it goes of into it's own dark places) while vocals emote in a dour croon. As where a lot of bands from that era have found their sound years later to be stuck in just that era though-there's something about the songs here that have an aggression to them to a point where if one was to told this is a new band taking those times at a jump of point it wouldn't be so hard to believe. Maybe it's because of the lack of string synth washes (or hell, the lack of synths all together).
The Cultural Decay were from Belgium who's career existed from 80-82. Their sound is that of the transitional period of when some post-punk bands were heading into what was dubbed "Cold Wave". The songs are dark and brooding with a recorded in a spooky alcove sound because it had the best creepy echo they could find. Though the band consisted of a traditional rock band line-up (two guitars, bass and drums) plenty of synth bloops appear and on such tunes like "Song Of Joy", a track that features a collage of overlapped singing and talking that may or may not be inspired by the Gang Of Four's "Anthrax" or a Can's use of tape loops, some saxophone skronks and squeals.
Not too long ago a college freshman that has just recently started embarking on a musical journey that has started taking him a little deeper than what the Warped tour and Alternative Press had to offer him said to me "I'm surprised Joy Division aren't more influential". I told him that they are more than he may realize and have been for quite a long while. The next time I see him I am going to point him in the direction of these two albums.

Sep 15, 2009

A Polecat Get's Set Loose In The Studio

Wednesday September 16th from 8-10pm Dale "Polecat" Beavers will be live on WSGR 91.3fm in Port Huron, Michigan. He's bringing in his guitar to do some playing and singing as well as telling us stories about playing with legends like Junior Kimbrough and Nathaniel Mayer as well as bass on the Compulsive Gamblers album "Crystal Gazing Luck Amazing" album. Check out Dale's music at his Myspace page.
At the present moment WSGR doesn't stream on the web but the show will be recorded and posted somewhere on the internet for those who missed it or are outside the station's broadcast area.

Sep 10, 2009

Lack of Action

I've gotten some emails from people concerned about the lack of posts here lately. I apologize for the lack of attention that some really good and interesting records I've received have gotten. There's been a lot of things going on that have kept me away/distracted me from regularly updating the blog. Hopefully, things are starting to smooth out a bit and things can start getting a little more busy around here. Be assured though that a huge majority of the things that have made it into the Smashin' Transistors post box have been put to good use as I host a weekly radio show on WSGR 91.3fm in Port Huron so not is all at a loss if you've promo'd me something the last few month. Keep an eye on this blog though cuz regular updates will (hopefully) return soon.
Now if you'll excuse me I have some records to pack up and ship out myself.