Monday, September 29, 2008

(VA) Metallica: Old Garage Inc.

Ten years ago, Metallica released Garage Inc., a compilation album of covers they had recorded since their inception until 1998. It includes all their b-side covers, and the entire $5.98 EP: Garage Days Re-Revisted
which has been out of print since its original release in 1987.
Then some joker on Soulseek thought it would be a good idea to put together Old Garage Inc., featuring all the original artists of the songs Hetfield, Hammett, Newsted, Ulrich and Burton covered.
(S)he didn't design an album cover: just a listing of the tracks. Click on the album "art", to download.

(VA) Old Garage Inc.:

1Diamond HeadHelpless6:48

2HolocaustThe Small Hours7:08

3Killing JokeThe Wait3:45

4BudgieCrash Course In Brain Surgery2:39

5MisfitsDie, Die My Darling3:09

6MisfitsGreen Hell1:53

7Diamond HeadAm I Evil7:45



10Diamond HeadThe Prince6:14

11QueenStone Cold Crazy2:16

12Anti-Nowhere LeagueSo What3:10

13Sweet SavageKilling Time2:39


15MotörheadDamage Case3:02

16MotörheadStone Dead Forever4:35

17MotörheadToo Late, Too Late3:27

18Bob SegerTurn The Page5:03

19Thin LizzyWhiskey In The Jar5:45

This is the cover of the original album. But you can't download anything:

Sunday, September 28, 2008

(VA) Can't Stop It! Australian Post-Punk 1978-1982

(Description Courtesy of Records Ad Nauseum because I'm just too damn lazy/tired tonight):

You may have heard of the Australian post-punk/new-wave scene. Perhaps you're familiar with Nick Cave's stint in the Boys Next Door; perhaps you saw the Models play their reunion gig recently, or rented a copy of Dogs In Space, the seminal film about the scene, from your local video library's cult/art-house section. Perhaps you even were at the Seaview Ballroom in the early 80s, in ripped jeans and hairspray, or know someone who was. Or perhaps you just heard it mentioned here and there, and were wondering about this scene that so many artists came from. Well, if you're interested in this period of history, Can't Stop It! is probably worth a look.

Compiled by Guy Blackman (who runs the very credible Melbourne indie label Chapter Music, hosts a show on 3RRR and plays in various bands) and David Nichols, Can't Stop It! does not purport to be an objective record or disinterested documentary on the so-called "little band" scene that flourished in Australian inner cities in the late 1970s and early 1980s, but rather a collection of the compilers' favourite music from the time and scene. The scene arose in the wake of punk, whose raw anarchy had burned away the deadwood, leaving fertile ground for genre-defying experimentation, whilst keeping the DIY ethos. For a while, the scene was a hotbed of innovation, where guitars mixed with electronics, noise with melody, rock'n'roll with conceptual art, and rules were broken.

This compilation has considerably more stylistic variety than the term "post-punk" would suggest. Some tracks do bear the stylistic stamp of punk (The Take's "Summer", with droning bass, guitar feedback and slightly Siouxsieish half-spoken vocal about ex-boyfriends and reasons to live, and The Slugfuckers' aptly-titled guitar-noise workout "Cacophony"); whereas other tracks eschew this sound, varying widely. Some of these tracks have aged surprisingly well, and don't sound 20 years old; "How Low Can You Go?" by Essendon Airport (which featured David Chesworth, now a respected contemporary composer) sounds like it could have come off a recent "Sadness Is In The Sky" cover CD, and "Lamp That" by Equal Local (whose lineup featured Robin Whittle, perhaps better known for his Devilfish TB-303 hack and/or his views on sexual discipline) sounds almost like one of those contemporary free-jazz/laptop-glitch acts; except, of course, that it was produced with the technology of 20 years ago.

The compilation starts off with "Gone Dead" by The Moodists (which was Dave Graney's outfit back in his punk days), opening, promisingly with a scream, segueing into Voigt 465's raucous, falsetto-sung "Voices A Drama", which sounds like a collision between punk and art-school experimentalism. Track 5, The Apartments' "Help", starts off sounding like The Cure's "Boys Don't Cry", only with more cryptic and "arty" lyrics.

Ash Wednesday's "Love By Numbers", goes into electronic territory; an analogue drum machine loop and synth sequencer pump out rigidly mechanical loops, underlaid with heavily processed guitar chords. Over this, Wednesday's vocal comes in, counting up from 1. Whether it's a statement on the human condition in a technologically-mediated world or just an exercise in electronic tinkering, who can tell; though it's pulled off with style and sounds pretty doovy, arguably earning Ash Wednesday a place in the pantheon of underground synthpop.

Further on, we get existential questions from The Fabulous Marquises, class-conscious social critique from The Limp (with "Pony Club") and, by no means least, a very sweet piece of low-key jangly-pop from The Particles, titled "Apricot's Dream". Not to mention tracks from Ron Rude (perhaps better known for his publicity stunts than his music; though his song "Piano Piano" is pretty nice) and the original live version of the Primitive Calculators' contribution to the Dogs In Space soundtrack, in all its lo-fi DIY glory.

The compilation ends in an arty vein, with the art-noise sounds of the People With Chairs Up Their Noses, the dadaistic cut-up poetry of The Fits' "Words", and ->^->'s sax-driven post-punk instrumental, "One Note Song".

The CD comes with a booklet, describing each of the 20 acts featured on it, their history and what the members are doing now, along with original photographs. Here many familiar names appear, including artists as diverse and varied as Lisa Gerrard, Ollie Olsen, Greg "Tex" Perkins and Kate Ceberano, not to mention various bands, from Minimum Chips to the Dirty Three, showing how profound the influence of this scene was on Australian (and international) underground music.

The compilers of this CD disclaim any pretence of objectivity in their selection of material; nonetheless, the breadth of styles and artists (many of whom went on to do other things), along with the comprehensive booklet, makes this an essential document for anybody interested in this particular chapter of Australian musical history.

(VA) Can't Stop It! Australian Post-Punk 1978-1982:

1The MoodistsGone Dead3:34

2Voigt 465Voices A Drama2:37

3The TakeSummer2:41

4Essendon AirportHow Low Can You Go?3:23

5The ApartmentsHelp3:40

6Ash WednesdayLove By Numbers2:38

7Primitive CalculatorsPumping Ugly Muscle3:07

8(Makers of) The Dead Travel FarThe Dumb Waiters4:14

9Ron RudePiano Piano0:59

10XeroThe Girls3:08

11The LimpPony Club2:49

12The Fabulous MarquisesHoneymoons1:14

13The SlugfuckersCacophony2:54

14Equal LocalLamp That4:53

15Tame OmearasSweat And Babble2:17

16The ParticlesApricot's Dream2:38

17People With Chairs Up Their NosesSong of the Sea1:36

18Wild WestWe Can Do2:33

19The PitsWords1:52

20>^>One Note Song3:34

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Believe It

Well, la-dee-da!

I finally managed to download the ORIGINAL Something To Believe In compilation from BYO (see the previous post for my rant).

It seems there were only 3 people in cyberspace who had this rip and I couldn't get a single copy. Well, this morning I was finally successful.

BYO (Better Youth Organization) Records was started in Los Angeles by brothers Shawn and Mark Stern, in 1982. The Brothers Stern formed two-thirds of seminal California punk rock band Youth Brigade (bassist Adam Stern doesn't run the company).

Don't know much else, but this compilation is no longer (or ever was?) availbable on CD.

I'm posting it here.


Something To Believe In (BYO):

1The NilsScratches & Needles2:49

2Rigor MortisSilent Scream2:06

3Big BoysHistory2:33

4UnwantedTanks Keep Rollin'1:21



7Youth BrigadeCare3:29

8Youth Youth YouthDomination1:36


10Peronality CrisisPiss On You 3:03

11Channel 3Indian Summer3:54

12Young LionsIn A Field2:22


14D.O.A.Tits On The Beach1:57

157 SecondsOut of Touch1:47

16Stretch MarksForeign Policies1:26

Don't Believe It

As mentioned in a previous post about the Nils, BYO (Better Youth Organization) Records put out a compilation called, Something To Believe In. After having done some research on the internet, I quickly discovered this comp is no longer available...and even then, only in vinyl format.

What a pleasant surprise, then it was, to find Something To Believe In on Compact Disc. And even then, for the ridiculously low price of only $5.00 through

So after waiting in anticipation for about 10 days, I eagerly ripped open the package when it arrived in the mail yesterday. I tore open the cellophane wrapping and placed the disc into my CD player.

A little too hasty on my part, I would soon learn.

I looked at the track list: "No Nils? What's going on," I asked myself. So I started playing the tracks.

Much to my aural disgust, the first track I heard was some sort of So-Cal Thrash/Skatepunk garbage. Okay, let me try the next one...

Then the next one...

Then the one after that.

My disgust was now turning to displeasure, as I soon discovered this was not the BYO Something To Believe In at all. It's not even a reasonable facsimile.

And not even put out by BYO Records, at that. This was an imposter. And not a very good one, either.

This one was put out by something called "kill.normal.records". Now, don't get all huffy if skatepunk is your thing. Personally, I don't particularly mind the original stuff from the late 80's (in limited doses). But this isn't even that.

Most of these tunes are hackneyed clichéd rehashes of genres that got old about ten years ago (think Rancid on a combination of crank and glue: thrashy skater punk/neo-ska, etc.) . And these songs were recorded no less than five years ago by (presumably) tatooed goons with nothing else better to do.

Now, I can spare the $5.00 (plus shipping and handling) that I wasted on this piece of crap. But before I give it away to my local library or something, I thought I'd pass it on to you.

Enjoy or don't. It's up to you. I don't particularly care.

Have a nice day.

Something To Believe In (Not BYO):

1FollyBlending Day With Night3:00

2Blind Luck MusicYears Of Silence2:46

3The Flaming TsunamisBy Force3:06

4Infamous Jake & the Pinstripe MafiaThird Fight3:43

5The Halo JumpIt's No Surprise3:22

6The SkepticsWait3:56

7For All It's WorthTidepool Requiem3:08

8TreephortSoccer Mom1:32

9Sometimes She BurnsMy Girl2:55

10Kicked In The HeadThe Witness3:30

11Smackin IsaiahClass Of '971:47

12DrexelTrack 114:10

13In PiecesA Fitting Lie5:22

14The Arrogant Sons Of BitchesSo Lets Go Nowhere2:30

15Big D and the Kids TableThose Kids Suck1:18

16The SuperspecsListen Up4:09

17JerichoBeauty Fades3:27

18Lock And Key2nd Quarter Broken2:41

19As Dead As DreamsBurnt Sienna3:27

20XIII PFPPerpetuates Silence3:19

21Greg WoodUnsafe3:20

22SlaterCan't Get Through2:47

Sunday, September 21, 2008

It's The First Day Of...

...The Fall.

As such:

I remember when I first became a fan of The Fall...

I had heard about them, in passing reference, when I was in high school in the 1980s. But I'd never actually heard their music. Based on their name alone, I assumed they were some sort of Gothic, Sisters of Mercy-type band and that their music would reflect that genre.

So, one day years later, I decided to experiment: I downloaded a few of their songs from the internet. That was all it took for me to get hooked.

There's so much that can be said about The Fall. Too much, in I won't bother. I'll just as soon refer you to their Wikipedia bio.

Needless to say, after 30-plus years, almost just as many albums and about 90 other live collections, compilations and other releases, there's just too much by this prolific band (of which, Mark E. Smith has been the only constant) to put on display here.

Instead, I've gathered together a collection of some of my favourite songs. If you've never heard The Fall before, you'll soon become of fan.

Click on Mark E. Smith's face to download the songs.

The Fall:


Dresden Dolls (Demo)

Hit The North

I Am Damo Suzuki

Middle Class Revolt

Paranoia Man In Cheap Sh*t (sic) Room



Solicitor In Studio


Theme From Sparta FC

U.S. 80s-90s

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Made In Canada: Our Rock 'N' Roll History

I've always been a homer for Canadian rock music. With the torrent of (mostly) American and British rock 'n' roll cluttering our radio airwaves, it was still difficult to hear Canadian rock on a regular basis. And that's despite the CRTC (Canada's version of the FCC, which regulates our airwaves) and its Canadian Content Rules, which stipulate 35% Can-Con. I used to listen to a ton of Classic Rock station Q107 back in the 80s. And it would always be a pleasant surprise to hear something from a Canadian artist or group.

How Pleasantly surprised I was, to learn of this series of collections, which came out in 1990. Originally, there were 3 volumes, all released concurrently. I bought all three on cassette. A year later, a fourth volume appeared (though I don't think I ever saw it). Sadly, a few years after that, they would be gone. Today, they're very rare to find (or so it seems). Amazon lists the Volume 2 CD for a ridiculous $89.99 (down from $99.99).

But being a lucky bastard, you get it for free. Same as the other volumes. It should be noted, however, that whoever compiled these albums made a mistake with one of them: The Five Canadians was actually a garage band from San Antonio, Texas who tried to get in on the British Invasion bandwagon by alleging a name from the Commonwealth. Besides, the Five Americans was already taken.

Some of these tunes can be pretty treacly, especially the songs from the singer-songwriter 70's (you just have to laugh out loud at The Bells' "Stay Awhile"). But there are enough gems here to keep a Canuck homer happy.


Made In Canada Vol. 1 (The Early Years)

1The Beau MarksClap Your Hands2:01


2Bobby CurtolaFortune Teller2:45


3Pat HerveyTears of Misery2:06


4Jackie ShaneAny Other Way2:34


5Ritchie Knight & The Mid-KnightsCharlena2:29


6Shirley MatthewsBig Town Boy2:34


7Terry BlackUnless You Care2:03


8Robbie Lane & The DisciplesFannie Mae2:37


9Chad Allan & The ExpressionsShakin' All Over2:40


10Little Caesar & The ConsolsMy Girl Sloopy2:54


11Barry AllanLovedrops2:24


12The StaccatosHalf Past Midnight2:12


13The Guess WhoFlying On The Ground Is Wrong2:39


14The Poppy FamilyWhich Way You Goin' Billy3:24


15MotherlodeAnd When I Die3:23


16MashmakhanAs The Years Go By3:05


17King Biscuit Boy w/ CrowbarCorinna, Corinna4:29


18Steel RiverTen Pound Note2:58


Made In Canada Vol. 2 (Into The 70s)

1The Original CasteOne Tin Soldier3:35


2Edward BearYou, Me & Mexico2:50


3R. Dean TaylorIndiana Wants Me3:45


4Tranquility BaseIf You're Lookin'2:38


5Joey GregorashJodie2:51


6LighthouseOne Fine Morning5:16


7CrowbarOh What A Feeling4:39


8The BellsStay Awhile3:22


9The StampedersSweet City Woman3:22


10April WineYou Could Have Been A Lady3:19


11A Foot In Cold Water(Make Me Do) Anything You Want5:09


12Dr. MusicSun Goes By3:51


13Keith HampshireThe First Cut Is The Deepest3:44


14CopperpennySitting On A Poor Man's Throne5:11


15Gary & DaveCould You Ever Love Me Again3:23


16Ian ThomasPainted Ladies3:30


17Andy KimRock Me Gently3:26


18Bill AmesburyVirginia (Touch Me Like You Do)2:45


Made In Canada Vol. 3 (Eclectic Avenue)

1The PaupersIf I Told My Baby2:11


2David Clayton Thomas w/ The BossmenBrainwashed3:34


3King BeezzGloria2:48


4The Five CanadiansWriting On The Wall2:15


5The Guess WhoIt's My Pride2:41


6The Stitch In TymeGot to Get You Into My Life2:22


7The British ModbeatsSomebody Help Me1:55


8Grant Smith & The PowerKeep On Running2:57


9A Passing FancyI'm Losing Tonight2:47


10The Lords of LondonCornflakes and Ice Cream2:46


11The Ugly DucklingsGaslight2:49


12Bobby Taylor & The VancouversDoes Your Mama Know About Me2:51




14Luke & The ApostlesYou Make Me High5:13


15CatWe're All In This Together4:49


16Five Man Electrical BandSigns4:03




18KlaatuCalifornia Jam3:02


Made In Canada Vol. 4 (More Great Stuff)

1The Beau-MarksClassmate2:05


2Little Caesar & The ConsolsIf (I Found A New Girl)2:01


3David Clayton Thomas (& The Shays)Boom Boom2:24


4The Big Town BoysIt Was I2:21


5Ugly DucklingsNothin'2:28


6The PaupersIf I Call You By Some Name2:52




8Kensington MarketI Would Be The One2:35


9OceanPut Your Hand In The Hand2:55


10ChilliwackLonesome Mary3:00


11SyrinxTillicum (Theme For The TV Show Here Come The Seventies)1:51


12Terry Black & Laurel WardGoin' Down (On The Road To L.A.)2:59


13Ken TobiasI Just Want To Make Music2:32


14FluddCousin Mary2:43


15Terry JacksSeasons In The Sun3:27


Monday, September 15, 2008

The Nils & The Sad, Sad Story Of Alex Soria


Alex Soria was just twelve years old, when he started The Nils in Montreal with his older brother Carlos, in 1978. In 1983 one of their songs appears on the BYO compilation, Something To Believe In. In 1984, two more songs appear on the Primitive Air Raid: Montreal comp.

By 1985, they record their first EP, Sell Out Young. Paisley comes out the following year. In 1987, they release their debut LP.

By the end of the decade, The Nils will have been at the forefront of a revolution in pop-punk that included contemporaries like The Replacements and Hüsker Dü, whose leader Bob Mould would become a charter member of their fan club.

Often cited as "Canada's Paul Westerberg", Alex Soria was a gifted songwriter. But his talents never got the proper exposure because they were signed to Rock Hotel, a division of Profile Records (of Run-DMC fame). Profile was reportedly making loads of money; Rock Hotel was designed to lose it. RH head Chris Williamson bought The Nils equipment and told them they'd be opening for various bands. Nothing materialized. Williamson is later described as a "dickhead" by people who were involved in the project.

Carlos Soria later reminisces that people told them not to sign with Rock Hotel. But they'd already been playing for ten years and this was the only offer they got.

Still, once the record comes out, there is a buzz about the band. They tour the U.S. East and West Coasts, earning influential fans along the way (including the aforementioned Hüsker Dü, Paul Westerberg and Soul Asylum in Minneapolis). Things are looking up. But not for long.

The Nils return home. During one concert, Chris Williamson shows up. Rock Hotel had checked out: the company went out of business. Williamson is there to reclaim them equipment he bought for them. This is the beginning of the downward spiral of Alex Soria.

Carlos would accept an offer to play with MIA in California, leaving the younger Soria in Montreal. Alex eventually strikes a relationship with an older woman named Karen, who was once the girlfriend of Dave Rosenberg of The Chromosomes. Karen and Rosenberg were both junkies: it would only be a matter of time before Alex joins that dubious crowd.

Karen mothers him for ten years. But when she splits, Alex Soria becomes more aimless: He sinks deeper into his heroin habit.

Upon Carlos' return, the elder brother would also strike up a heroin habit, purportedly to be closer to Alex. The sense of guilt Alex feels for this, is reported to be great: he spirals even further.

The brothers do try to make a Nils comeback: they form another lineup with Alex McSweeney on drums. But by 1995, there's nothing left. Carlos becomes a mess. Eventually Alex moves in with his friend Eric Kearns. Kearns urges Alex to form another band.

By late 1996, Alex breaks up with Karen. He eventually cleans himself up, and forms Chino, without his brother. The band spends $2,500 to record the Mala Leche EP. Carlos, too, kicks his babit. As awkward as it was for both of them, Carlos roadies for his brother and Chino.

Alex has many great songs in his head...but all he hears are shitty bands on the radio. But he never speaks of his frustration. However big brother Carlos speaks up for him, telling anyone who would listen that Alex should be on the airwaves with the best of them. By 1998, Alex is straight and has Chino going: he's happy and energetic.

But things don't always go as planned. Chino can't get off the ground. The band goes nowhere, thanks to the same old story: no tour and poor distribution. More frustration and heartbreak for Alex.

Fast-forward to 2004. Carlos and Alex have spent the last few years reportedly packing kosher products. Life is difficult for Alex: he has just come out of detox, but is feeling pressure that his family knows about his drug addiction. Then one day, he and Carlos go to work, only to find out that the company has shut down. They lose their jobs, and they lose their pay.

On December 13th, Alex and his girlfriend Debbie get into a terrible fight. One of his neighbours calls 911. These would be the last two hours of his life.

Alex leaves for some time alone. He reportedly enters a nearby restaurant and goes into the restroom, "doing what, I'm not sure," according to one-time roadie, Bill Moser.

When he returns to the apartment, he sees police at his door. He freaks out. Alex heads towards the train tracks.

It's not known if he was high at the time, but it's clear that Alex Soria was not of sound mind when he goes to the tracks.

Apparently, he gives the conductor of an oncoming train a salute. He then throws himself into the path of that train. Alex Soria was only 39 years old.

A couple of years later, Woody Whelan of Mag Wheel records and a friend of the band, compiled practically all the recordings The Nils put out, including EP tracks, demos and live recordings of a Boston tour. Please take a listen to Green Fields In Daylight and give Alex Soria the appreciation which he never received during his sad, tragic life.

As a bonus, I'm also including their 10-song LP, released in 1987. It has many of the same songs as the ones listed above, but with different mixes plus one song which didn't appear on GFID.

The Nils -- Green Fields In Daylight:

1The NilsCall Of The Wild2:17

2The NilsSlip Away2:07

3The NilsScratches And Needles2:45

4The NilsIn Betweens2:42

5The NilsFountains1:44

6The NilsDaylight2:26

7The NilsFreedom2:31

8The NilsI Am The Wolf3:21

9The NilsTuesday High2:12

10The NilsUp Turns To Down1:51

11The NilsGlory Daze2:44

12The NilsFreedom Come, Freedom Go (Live)3:02

13The NilsTruce2:04

14The NilsBandito Callin4:34

15The NilsSweet Dreams4:48

16The NilsWicked Politician4:51

17The NilsMary-Anne With The Shaky Hands1:52

18The NilsYoung Man In Transit3:09

19The NilsRiver Of Sadness3:52

20The NilsIf Heaven Lies3:41

21The NilsRed Balloon2:47

22The NilsWhen Love Puts On A Sad Face3:53

23The NilsPop Goes The World1:24

24The NilsIn An Instant1:37

25The NilsThe Back Flow2:14

26The NilsScratches And Needles2:49

27The NilsThe Gathering1:50

28The NilsGive Me Time1:56

29The NilsRadio Interview1:04

The Nils -- The Nils:

1The NilsRiver of Sadness3:57

2The NilsTruce1:45

3The NilsIf Heaven Lies3:37

4The NilsWhen the Love Puts on a Sad Face3:50

5The NilsWicked Politician4:40

6The NilsBandito Callin'5:01

7The NilsIn Betweens3:36

8The NilsBut for Now3:10

9The NilsYoung Man in Transit3:12

10The NilsDaylight2:34