Friday, October 31, 2008

Do They Know It's Hallowe'en?

A song decrying the horrors of Halloween? They've got to be kidding, right? Well, yes, actually, Nick Diamonds (formerly of the Unicorns) and Vice alum Adam Gollner conceived the multi-artist singalong Do They Know It's Hallowe'en? as a goofy Band Aid spoof.

But profits from sales of the four-track EP which boasts the participation of Beck, Malcolm McLaren, Nardwuar, Elvira, Roky Erickson, Karen O, David Cross, Peaches, Buck 65, Feist and various members of Arcade Fire, Sum 41 and Sloan go to benefit UNICEF.

Evidently, not everyone thinks Boomtown Rats main man Bob Geldof deserved an honorary knighthood for his famine relief efforts in 84.

"Just before the 20th anniversary of Band Aid, I was record shopping in Connecticut and found the original Do They Know It's Christmas single," explains Diamonds. "Listening back to the thing, I found it very patronizing and very funny."

Sure, it took some wrangling for Sir Bob to gather British pop star pals like Bono, Sting and members of Bananarama, Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, and Heaven 17 to sing a song benefiting people in Africa.

And the fact that Do They Know It's Christmas? sold 50 million copies is pretty amazing, particularly when you take a closer look at Geldof's lyrics, which describe Ethiopia as a place where "Nothing ever grows / No rain or rivers flow." It ridiculously suggests people were starving due to some natural catastrophe, overlooking the role played by ruling tyrant Colonel Mengistu.

With 20 years of hindsight, we now see that the aptly named Band Aid project probably did more damage to Ethiopia than good.

Much of the food delivered if it wasn't confiscated by Mengistu's militias for their own use rotted in storehouses because there was no delivery mechanism in place. And the myth perpetuated by Geldof's song that Ethiopia is a barren wasteland did no favours for the tourism industry on which the country's economic recovery now largely depends.

So it's understandable why Nick Diamonds found Do They Know It's Christmas? so ripe for parody.

"It seemed like a great idea to get a bunch of musicians together to try and save the world from something just as a joke. I figured Halloween would be a good holiday to use, because there are great topical metaphors for all the fear-mongering that's happening right now.

"I told my friend Adam, and in three days we wrote the lyrics and the music and recorded it in Los Angeles with Steve McDonald from Redd Kross," Diamonds boasts. "In no time at all, our "what if' stoner concept was on its way to becoming a reality."

With their combined music biz connections, it turned out to be far less of a logistical nightmare to get people to voice their gag lines about the ghoulish night than anyone anticipated.

"We just asked people if they'd sing on this song we were doing about Halloween, and most of them said, "Uh, yeah, sure.'

"I'm not certain if everyone got the joke," he continues. "Elvira initially had some concerns about appearing on an anti-Halloween single because she has sponsorship deals with some candy companies, but she eventually did it and she was awesome.

"The really surprising thing was that David Cross, the comedian, had the best pitch and range of anyone involved. He nailed his parts really fast."

Having Feist proved to be an asset in getting some artists on board whom Diamonds and Gollner couldn't recruit.

"She helped us get Malcolm McLaren, who literally walked in, did his line and left. But it was great. She almost had Sting, too. His manager thought it would be a good idea to position him with a younger demographic, but ultimately I think they decided the project was a little too weird for him."

NB: I got lazy, so I cribbed this writeup from another website.

Don't know which one, though.

As always, click on the album cover above to download the songs.

(VA) Do They Know It's Hallowe'en? (2005)
1North American Hallowe'en Prevention InitiativeDo They Know It's Hallowe'en? [Original Version]5:56

2North American Hallowe'en Prevention InitiativeDo They Know It's Hallowe'en? [Radio Edit]3:40

3North American Hallowe'en Prevention InitiativeDo They Know It's Hallowe'en? [Disco D Remix]3:51

4North American Hallowe'en Prevention InitiativeDo They Know It's Hallowe'en? [Th' Corn Gangg Remix]4:54

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Boys Entering Anarchic States Towards Internal Excellence

If you haven't figured it out by now, the above statement makes up the acronym, "BEASTIE", which is how the Boys' nomenclature came about.

In 1982, the Beastie Boys recorded an EP of hardcore punk material, called "Poll Wog Stew", which would be so far removed from their later hip-hop stylings.

Don't get me wrong...I actually prefer their hip-hop guise. But I thought this would be of historical significance or curiosity.

Interestingly, the song "Egg Raid On Mojo" reportedly originates from an incident whereby a bouncer at a nightclub denied the band entry. They later returned -- dressed in black -- to pelt their offender with eggs.

Beastie Boys - Poll Wog Stew EP (1982):

1Beastie BoysBeastie Boys0:56

2Beastie BoysTransit Cop1:17

3Beastie BoysJimi2:06

4Beastie BoysHoly Snappers1:22

5Beastie BoysRiot Fight0:30

6Beastie BoysOde To...1:33

7Beastie BoysMichelle's Farm1:38

8Beastie BoysEgg Raid On Mojo1:20

Saturday, October 18, 2008


No real explanation needed:

1Anti- PastyI Wanna Be Your Dog2:31

2MobyI Wanna Be Your Dog2:53

3Dead Pakiri y Los PanojaQuiero Ser Tu Perro2:49

4Ebba GroenI Wanna Fuck Your Dog2:06

5El Ultimo Ke CierreYo Podria Ser Tu Perro3:19

6Iggy PopI Wanna Be Your Dog (Live)4:09

7Los FuturistasMe Gusta Ser Tu Txakurra2:58

8Secta SuicidaQuiero Ser Tu Perra2:10

9Sex PistolsI Wanna Be Your Dog3:46

10Uncle TupeloI Wanna Be Your Dog3:02

11UtangardmenI Wanna Be Your Dog3:26

12Vulpess (Spain)Me Gusta Ser Una Zorra2:32

13Dakar & GinsenI Wanna Be Your Dog5:08

14WilcoI Wanna Be Your Dog3:35

15ASCII DiskoI Wanna Be Your Dog4:54

16Emilie SimonI Wanna Be Your Dog4:34

17Uncle TupeloI Wanna Be Your Dog (Acoustic Demo)3:48

18DestructorsI Wanna Be Your Dog3:16

19Saul WilliamsList of Demands3:19

20The StoogesI Wanna Be Your Dog3:08

21David BowieI Wanna Be Your Dog4:16

22Emilie SimonI Wanna Be Your Dog (Alt. Vers2:40

23El DoghouseI Wanna Be Your Dog4:36

24La Cabra MecánicaMe Gusta Ser Una Zorra (Las Vu2:43

25King PutreakI Wanna Be Your Dog5:20

26SlayerI'm Gonna Be Your God2:58

27SwansI Wanna Be Your Dog3:35

Monday, October 13, 2008

Instant Garage

Another collection from the Mojo Magazine insert CD archives. This one is a nice mix of '60s Garage Rock to '70s Punk Rock to 80s Garage Rock Revival and (presumably) 90s Garage Punk.

There's really not much more to say, other than THIS ROCKS! ()

(VA) Mojo Presents: Instant Garage

1MC5Kick Out The Jams2:58

2Electric PrunesI Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)3:00


4New York DollsPersonality Crisis3:42

5Ready MenShortnin' Bread2:42

6BushTo Die Alone1:56

7Jonathan Richman & The Modern LoversShe Cracked2:54

8ExpressWastin' My Time2:48

9Gil BatemanMy Daddy Walked In Darkness3:13

10LoveSeven And Seven Is2:24

11Rocky & The RiddlersFlash And Crash2:47

12SheOutta Reach2:25

13RamonesI Wanna Be Your Boyfriend (demo)3:01

14KinksMilk Cow Blues3:39

15Little John & The Black MonksBlack Winds2:16

16Alarm ClocksNo Reason To Complain2:13

17Count FivePsychotic Reaction3:09

18ArtesiansTrick Bag3:13

19Dean CarterJailhouse Rock2:15

20IguanasAgain And Again2:19

21NazzOpen My Eyes2:43

22WailersDirty Robber2:35

23Paul Revere & The RaidersJust Like Me2:25

24Bunker HillThe Girl Can't Dance1:55

25Brave New WorldTrain Kept A Rollin'3:16

26Amboy DukesBaby Please Don't Go5:38

27RatsRat's Revenge Part 22:35

28Mouse & The TrapsSometimes You Just Can't Win2:56

Friday, October 10, 2008

(VA) Minimal Electronics: Volume 3


This is ME: V. 3.

(VA) Minimal Electronics - Volume 3 (Date Unknown):

1Kid Death And The NightshadesVenus In Furs (Velvet Underground Cover) 4:37

2Shut UpHey Joe5:22

3NeonFade To Grey (Visage Cover)5:21

4Neal Von Non & The Guinea PigsA Hard Day's Night3:32

5Two Man SubmarineMysterious Kitchens Compilation2:06

6Art LepersAssimilate (Skinny Puppy)6:58

7MoebiusLight My Fire3:29

8Caroline Williams And SpectreThese Boots Are Made For Walking (Nancy Sinatra)2:45

9H.G. WellsPleasent Valley Sunday (The Monkees Cover)4:48

10Mad MLeave In Silence (Depeche Mode Cover)4:39

11Un-4-SceneWalk On The Wild Side (Lou Reed Cover)3:48

12Height DismayGirl From Ipanema2:10

13Soft CellParanoid2:25

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

(VA) Minimal Electronics: Volume 2

As promised, this is Volume 2.

Volume 3 to follow, on Wednesday.

(VA) Minimal Electronics - Volume 2 (Date Unknown):

1Second GlanceYou Really Got A Hold On Me3:06

2Pseudo ElektronixxBack in The USSR2:15

3Aaron SutcliffeMoney Honey3:06

4Jeanette und das land ZPouppee De Cire, Pouppee De So2:26

5L´aventure ImaginaireCos I Love You (Slade Cover)4:08

6PsychobodI Only Have Eyes4:50

7Sista Mannen Pa JordonI Want You To Want Me3:22

8Distain!Smells Like Teen Spirit (Nirvana Cover)5:27

9Lassigue BendthausJealous Guy (Poeme Syncope)4:13

10OMDThe More I See You4:12

11Paul GardinierVenus in Furs3:27

12FragmentsNut Bush City Limits3:43

13PsycheChe (Suicide Cover)4:57

14Second DecayYou Will Always Find Me in Kitchens at Parties3:04

15Modern JazzGreen Green Grass of Home4:06

16Pinker ToneLouie Louie (Kingsmen Cover)3:01

17Joe CrowCompulsion4:19

18Trans XSafety Dance5:44

19Jeff & Jane HudsonThe Girl from Ipanema (Tom Jobin Cover)2:29

Monday, October 6, 2008

(VA) Minimal Electronics: Volume 1

I love the internet.

You can find so much stuff out there, created by music fans of all stripes.

Case in point, this three-volume set. I know absolutely nothing about it, other than some people have put selections from it onto their podcast/internet radio playlists.

This is the music of dark, German nightclubs in the late 70s/early 80s. This is what you would hear if you were in tune with what was happening in the electronic underground during that time.

However, not all songs are from the original Post-Punk Era. Indeed, you'll even find a cover of Nirvana on a subsequent volume (which I'll be featuring later this week).

This didn't come with album cover art, though I did find the image above somewhere, in relation to this collection. So I've reproduced them for all three volumes.

(VA) Minimal Electronics - Volume 1 (Date Unknown):

1Ensemble PittoresqueMaitre Satori4:04

2Ensemble PittoresqueAuratorium5:28

3Clock DvaFour Hours3:52

4No MoreHypnotized1:37

5Schleimer KShe´s Gone3:29

6Schleimer KOn The Odd Again4:31

7Schleimer KWomen3:03

8Schleimer KHang Ups3:25

9A Blaze ColourCold As Ever3:32

10Vo EseRike´s Birthday3:52

11Van Kaye & IgnitPicassos On The Wall3:36

12P1E-49 Second Romance2:53


14Clock DvaBrigade3:28

15Vice VersaGenetic Warfare3:38

16Vice VersaStilyagi4:18

17Vice VersaEyes Of Christ3:03

18Geile TiereGeile Tiere3:34

19Controlled BleedingRings Of Fire3:44

20Twice A ManHappy Life4:22

Thursday, October 2, 2008

You Mooks Asked For It...

After the demise of The Nils in 1994, Alex Soria tried to make a comeback on the solo/acoustic circuit. He didn't like it.

Four years later, he hooked up with Nils friend Eric Kearns and other members of fellow-Montreal band, Grain Elevator Number 5 for various jam sessions. These encounters eventually led to Soria writing new songs and taking over the job of vocals.

This new collective would be named Chino, though I don't know why. Nonetheless, the newly-christened Chino released a six-song CD EP entitled Mala Leche (Spanish: "Bad Milk") in 1999. They play with Nada Surf, Mike Watt, The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, among others. Although they never really toured much, they still managed to play gigs in Montreal and Toronto, also playing dates in Quebec City, New York, Boston and Ottawa.

Building upon the sounds of Soria's original band, The Nils, Chino adds other instruments -- namely mandoling and keyboards -- which, rather than detracting, add to the quality of the songs.

And just like The Nils, you do hear elements of Hüsker Dü, The Replacements and old-school Soul Asylum.

But unfortunately, Chino never achieved the level of fame Alex Soria hoped for. Read my post about The Nils to find out how that turned out.

In all honesty, I actually prefer The Nils, but this is an example of where Soria might have taken his muse.

Chino - Mala Leche (1999):

1ChinoUno Mas3:38

2ChinoWhen You're Not Around2:38

3ChinoWorlds Apart3:17

4ChinoMustard Sally3:34


6ChinoNine Yards4:20