Friday, May 18, 2007

Friday Nonrandom But Totally Downloadable Ten

by Tom Bozzo

A while back, a little bird told me (in effect) that I could dramatically reduce my vinyl digitizing problem with the DRM-free eMusic service. A number of these are available via iTMS, too.

1. Benny Profane, Skateboard to Oblivion, Trapdoor Swing

We heart the LTM label, which specializes in "definitive editions of classic post-punk catalogue," not least the Not New Order end of the Factory Records catalogue.

2. Edwyn Collins, Don't Shilly Shally (Demo), "Expressly"/"A Girl Like You" E.P.

3. The March Violets, Walk Into The Sun, Botanic Verses

If you take a bit of light commercial goth (à la The Cult, The Sisters Of Mercy) as an occasional guilty pleasure, this is a useful addition to your collection. Plus, it has saxophone! Fun if not important fact: my brother and I named our mid-eighties "sister" cats Siouxsie and Cleo.

4. Quando Quango, Tingle, Pigs and Battleships

This second-tier Factory Records band has a two-sax attack, plus the funky bass typical of second-tier Factory bands in the early eighties. Another LTM goodie.

5. The Cassandra Complex, Defcon 1, Theomania

European technopunks got (and maybe still get) lots of mileage out of American apocalyptic tendencies — nuclear weapons deployment, theocracy, survivalism, and combinations and/or mutations thereof. This late-Reagan-era item may have the breeziest chorus of "we're going to die" you'll hear. For a counterpoint, try Tortoise's "Millions Now Living Will Never Die."

6. Naked Raygun, Suspect Device, Jettison

This live Stiff Little Fingers cover nicely captures Naked Raygun's big Chicagoland post-hardcore sound. Old punk themes ("Don't believe them — don't be bitten twice") are also strangely topical now.

7. Blow Up, Own World Waiting, In Watermelon Sugar

8. The Soft Boys, Underwater Moonlight, Underwater Moonlight

I highly recommend Rhino's "Children of Nuggets" collection for a solid review of mostly eighties neo-psychedelia, but their programming of the Boys' "Wading Through A Ventilator" disrupts the flow of Disc 1. They should have included this.

9. Pop Will Eat Itself, Like An Angel, The Subway Organization 1986-1989

10. Scrawl, Gutterball, Plus, Also, Too


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