Thursday, April 28, 2011

Off site: U.S. MODS, 4 videos on YouTube (1980)

So here I am at the Front Street Warehouse (after a grueling LURCHBOX practice -- and just FYI: you can catch LURCHBOX at the Dayton Sideshow on Saturday, May 14 from 6:45 to 7:30 p.m. OR at the Color of Energy Gallery in the Oregon District on Friday, May 20 with JASPER THE COLOSSAL and WE WERE ANIMALS; doors open at 8 p.m.), and I'm ripping the 1984 LP From the Free World (1987) by Dayton's own U.S. MODS. And I decide to do a little random net research on these blokes... since I know nothing about them except that they released this one LP.

I'm not expecting to find much. As I'll describe in the post in which I offer From the Free World for download, I know nothing about these guys -- except that they have the (dubious) distinction of being the first Dayton band from whom I ever bought any recorded material. But I never saw them live, and as far as I know, I never met any of them personally. I do remember being pleasantly surprised to find their LP in WWSU's music library when I started working there, and I remember that I (and a lot of other DJs at the station) played "Good Shoes" a lot (it's a catchy tune). But I can't think of anything else I know except that I vaguely remember they were still gigging around Dayton in 1987 (but not too long thereafter).

But now here at the Front Street Warehouse, 24 years later, I find four U.S. MODS videos on YouTube. Unfortunately, these are all undated, so I don't know when or how they were recorded, but it all has a fairly authentic 1980s feel. If you know more, please tell me.

Here on the blog, I'll post links to two of the videos I found. The first is for a neat, catchy little tune called "Station 7." Listen up and drink in the new wave goodness:

And here's a video for the MODS' song "Nikki's Changed." This one isn't a live video. It was produced by the same person who posted the other U.S. MODS videos (he/she goes by the name "MoistCracker" on YouTube):

You can find the other two videos (both live videos recorded at U.D.) on MoistCracker's YouTube page.

The YouTube postings also provide a band roster for the U.S. MODS at the time these videos were shot. Here it is: Tom Henninger, Dave Kraus, Bruce Warren and Mike Clements (no instruments mentioned). When I post the U.S. MODS LP (some time next week), I'll talk about how this lineup compares with the personnel mentioned in the liner notes for that album.

Finally, I also found a video for another band, also called U.S. MODS, from Texas. Here it is:

Unfortunately, I can't tell if this is the same U.S. MODS from Dayton or not. The sounds are similar, but not close enough to be definitive. But this video is dated 1980, so if they are the same band, then they should have a pretty healthy back catalog of records, tapes, and perhaps more video spanning at least seven years! If anybody out there can say one way or another on this, please speak up.

UPDATE: After checking out the MySpace page for the last U.S. MODS video offered here, I find that they are definitely NOT the Dayton U.S. MODS. Still, it's a good song by a good band, so I'll leave it.

take care


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

(mostly) Off Topic: THE PERFECT DISASTER, Up (12" vinyl, 1989)

First and most importantly, if you want this one, get it now because if it expires from Rapidshare, I won't re-up the link. Why? Because although it's a great record, the Dayton connection here doesn't really exist on a thread thick enough to justify even putting it here at all.

That being said, here's the third album from England's THE PERFECT DISASTER. The wafer thin Dayton connection comes with the presence of Josephine Wiggs, who would go on to play bass in THE BREEDERS. On this album, she's credited with playing "bass, double bass, cello, backing vocal, piano, etc."

In addition to this record, Wiggs also played on the DISASTER's 1988 EP Asylum Road and their final album Heaven Scent (1990). The rest of her discography, both pre- and post-BREEDERS can be found in the Josephine Wiggs Wikipedia entry. You'll find more at her official web site.

THE PERFECT DISASTER seems to have been the brainchild of singer/guitar player Phil Parfitt, who formed the band as ORANGE DISASTER in 1980. Through the next ten years, Parfitt remained the only constant member. In addition to Wiggs, who joined in 1988, other members went on to play in such alternative rock staples as FIELDS OF THE NEPHILIM and ULTRA VIVID SCENE. Through the 1980s, ORANGE DISASTER changed names twice (becoming ARCHITECTS OF DISASTER in 1982 and THE PERFECT DISASTER in 1987) and released 4 albums and 8 EPs before disbanding in 1990.

From what I've heard, Up is typical of THE PERFECT DISASTER's catalog: catchy pop hooks with quirky arrangements, garage-style guitars, obscure lyrics, and eclectic instrumentation (most of the last due to the presence of Ms. Wiggs here). It's not too far removed from the usual progressive aesthetic of most 1980s college rock, but it's better than average. Listen closely and you're sure to spot some echoes of THE BREEDERS' debut album (Pod, 1989) and some precursive elements to their '90s followups. In short, if you like THE BREEDERS, you'll probably like this too.

Because my scanner won't accommodate a document wider than 8.5", the download pack here does not include a scan of the cover (if you want to see it, images of the front cover are widely available on the internet). But I did scan and include the credits listing on the back cover.

I snagged my copy of this record when I was working at WWSU, Wright State's campus radio station. When this came out, I wasn't really working there anymore, but I was right down the hall (as associate editor of Nexus, Wright State's literary magazine). So I used to still DJ there informally, and that allowed me to grab records that I liked. This was one of them. Two years later, at the last BREEDERS show in Dayton before they left to tour with NIRVANA, I got Josephine Wiggs to sign this record for me. She was very gracious about it.

Download it! (62 MB)

take care


Friday, April 15, 2011

CAGE / TIGERLILIES split 7" (vinyl, 1994)

Nick Kizirnis put CAGE together not too long after THE RAGING MANTRAS (a.k.a. THE KILLJOYS) broke up. Whether playing as KILLJOYS or MANTRAS, that band had been a Dayton staple for five or six years before drummer Jim MacPherson joined THE BREEDERS in 1992.

I want to pause here just a second and put in my own two-cents to the effect that Jim's leaving the MANTRAS for THE BREEDERS was the pivotal event in the old Dayton music timeline. That one thing, in my opinion, really shifted the landscape here. Before it happened, the general thinking around here seemed to be that if you were in Dayton and you wanted to be successful playing music, you had to move somewhere else. BIG BROWN HOUSE did it. AFGHAN WHIGS did it. GUIDED BY VOICES did it. It just seemed that nobody in the tri-state area started a band without also deciding where they were going to move to at some point.

That seemed to change a little when THE BREEDERS drafted Jim and then had a top ten hit with "Cannonball." Suddenly (and briefly), Dayton was the cool place to be.

I doubt Nick had any of that in mind when CAGE got together, but along with BRAINIAC, I think of CAGE as one of the first bands to sport that indie-rawk sound around these parts. You know what I mean: tuneful pop stylings with a healthy dose of feedback, noise, squelched vocals, and lyrics full of ironic self-deprecation and vague pop-culture references (lots of hyphens too -- let's not forget how much we indie rawkers love our hyphens). Others followed, of course -- OXYMORONATRON, CIGARHEAD, MY LATEX BRAIN. Some of them still exist today. But I think of CAGE and BRAINIAC as the first. And when I think of the time when CAGE got started, I also think of the time when most people stopped looking to move somewhere else in order to "make it." But I'm still not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. For whatever reason, I still think of Dayton as a place that people should strive to get away from -- or at least not a place where one should be comfortable.

In any case, we here present CAGE's split 7" with Cincinnati's THE TIGERLILIES. As you might notice, the CAGE lineup draws heavily from THE RAGING MANTRAS' (only Rob Schaefer and Jim are absent). The only different member is Matt Espy (on drums) who came to CAGE from WALLAROO SOUTH. Finally, although Nick Kizirnis would perform most of the vocal duties in this band, here Gregg Spence (also of THE UNDERDOGS) gives us the lead vocal.

Download it! (13 MB) (link re-upped 2-4-2013)

take care


UPDATE (4/18/2011): Andy Valeri tells me that Big Beef still has copies of this available for sale. Go to the Big Beef site to get one for your very own (lots of information about CAGE there too).

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Off-site: COLAVISION at One-Sided War blog and OXYMORONS (et al.) at Sub-Mission Records

Okay, the first link here is just me tootin' me own horn. It's a link to a nice review, cover scan, and download of COLAVISION's Joan of Arcwelding EP over at the One-Sided War blog. Check out the main blog itself: lots of great 1990s stuff there from Dayton and parts beyond.

Next link is to a download for THE OXYMORONS' appearance on the 1994 Piledriver compilation from... from... well... it was from Sub-Mission Records which was... uhm... somewhere in... Minnesota? Uh, yeah... Minnesota.

No, I REALLY AM sure it was Minnesota. How do you forget the "land o' Minnesota... here come dah Purple Yoda..." (no foolin': that's a line from Prince's latest album -- it's true -- look it up!).

Anyway, I was planning to (and am still planning to) post the Piledriver EP here on this blog at some point. And I'll still do my own rip and post accordingly, but if it's available somewhere else, I'm more than happy to point the reader toward it.

And you can find the address for the main Sub-Mission Records site right here.

That's it for now. But check back in a few days, when we'll be proudly posting the FIRST EVER release from Dayton's legendary CAGE!

take care


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Off-site: 3RAIN1AC Live Archive

An anonymous commenter on the recent post for the BRAINIAC/LAZY split-7 added a link to something called the "3RAIN1AC Live Archive." After checking it out, I thought it deserved a post of its own here.

BRAINIAC fans (or really anyone) will find a wealth of good stuff there. There's a pretty good timeline with dates running from Tim's appearance on THE WIZBANGS' demo recordings in 1991 up to some recent ENON activity in 2007. You'll also find a nice archive of live recordings from the band that can be downloaded (in MP3) directly from the site. The only hitch is that the video section doesn't seem to include any video that you can download or watch directly. But there is an e-mail link to get more information on how to obtain any of the six DVD compilations listed there.

take care


Saturday, April 9, 2011

THE METHOD, royce gracie sessions (7", vinyl, 1994)

Once again, the new Jones turntable (a SounDesign -- looks like early '80s -- but warm as toast -- you'll like it) delivers you the finest in forgotten Dayton indie rawk.

This week we deliver up the THE METHOD's seven-inch classic: royce gracie sessions, produced by Simple Solutions in 1994.

Truth be told, I know nothing at all about THE METHOD -- except that they formed some time around 1992 and played 'round Dayton and beyond until the late '90s. And, of course, they were enormously popular (still are today judging by the local enthusiasm surrounding an impending METHOD reunion show).

Unfortunately, the sleeve presents more questions than answers. There's no list of band members. There's a mailing address: 31 Victor Ave., Dayton, but I don't even know where that is. The recordings were made in April 1994 at "fjm studios, dayton." I don't remember anything at all about FJM Studios. A quick internet search reveals that the engineer there was someone named Joe Winner. Apparently, he engineered recordings by several bands from Dayton, Cincinnati, and beyond (as far away as Nashville, TN) through the late '90s. However, he seems to have passed away (and FJM Studios went with him) at some point over the last ten years.

I believe old Nate Farley was associated somehow with THE METHOD, but this is really out of my purview. As with most Simple Solutions releases from the mid-'90s, I don't know much about them because I was living in Columbus or Yellow Springs at the time (hey, ask me anything about FUCKTOOTH zine, Cartwheel Collective, or other Columbus stuff from those years and I'm a fount of knowledge -- ask me about Dayton, and I don't know shit). Yeah... trust me to know as little as possible about the only really relevant period of Dayton music history.

One last thing: I'm pretty sure one or more people from THE METHOD played in THE BREEDERS at one point or another. If you've got more information, I invite you to leave it in the comments. and I thank you in advance for doing so.

Download it! (17 MB) (link re-upped 2-4-2013)

take care


Monday, April 4, 2011

BRAINIAC and LAZY (split 7", vinyl, 1994)

In honor of my finally having acquired a decent turntable, I present this vinyl rip of the 1994 split single from Dayton's own BRAINIAC and Cincinnati's LAZY (exactly a year and a day since the last post -- wow, by that rate we should have everything covered by the thirty-third century at least).

Unfortunately, there isn't much I can say about BRAINIAC except what I already said when I posted about the band's entry at the AllMusic guide and when I posted the article from the July 1992 issue of Imminent zine.

I can say even less about LAZY. All I really know is they were from Cincinnati and played 'round these parts in the early '90s.

As for Simple Solutions (the imprint on which this record was released), I know only that it was operating in Dayton from maybe 1993 to about 1996 or so. A lot of bands in Dayton (including REAL LULU and THE METHOD) did records on Simple Solutions, and the label had some kind of close affiliation with Trader Vic's (a record store on Brown Street, long since disappeared).

As luck has it, I played recently with REAL LULU at the "Dayton Does Dayton" show. While I was there, I happened to win three or four seven-inch records by answering a trivia question (I was able to name every drummer who had ever played with REAL LULU). They were all old Dayton rock records. Now that I've got a good turntable (another story), I'll be ripping and uploading all of them over the next couple weeks.

Download record and cover scans (17 MB) (link re-upped 2-4-2013)

take care