21 July 2017

SILVER JEWS Starlite Walker 1994


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Artist Biography by

A beautiful mess of indie rock, country-rock and lo-fi with lyrics both witty and profound, the Silver Jews were formed in 1989 by writer/musician David Berman with his friends, guitarist/singer Stephen Malkmus and drummer Bob Nastanovich. The trio performed together as Ectoslavia when they studied at the University of Virginia; after graduation, they moved to New York and shared an apartment. Dubbing themselves the Silver Jews -- after the Silver Apples, the Silver Beatles, and slang for blonde-haired Jewish people -- they played noisy, often improvised songs, mostly for the sheer enjoyment they got out of playing together after a hard day's work. At the time, Berman and Malkmus were guards at an art museum and Nastanovich was a bus driver. After work, they would record songs into people's answering machines, but even after the band's sonics improved, the basic idea of friends playing together in a spontaneous way became the Silver Jews' trademark style.
Before moving to New York but after finishing his studies, Malkmus founded Pavement with his childhood friend Scott Kannberg. As Pavement's acclaim and visibility grew, the notion arose that the Silver Jews were a "Pavement side-project," despite the fact that Berman's writing, singing, and guitar playing led the band's music. On the band's initial recordings, Berman tried to protect the Jews' individuality, listing Malkmus and Nastanovich under aliases, but it backfired when people learned who "Hazel Figurine" and "Bobby N." really were.

Slanted and Enchanted
The notion of the Jews as a side project was only reaffirmed when Nastanovich joined Pavement as a second drummer (to supplement the duties of Gary Young, their then-current, unpredictable drummer) before the release of the group's debut album, Slanted and Enchanted (which was named after a cartoon that Berman created). Steve West, another college friend, played drums for both bands, first for the Silver Jews on Dime Map of the Reef, and on all of Pavement's releases after Watery, Domestic.
The Arizona Record
However, the Jews' sometimes frustrating "Pavement connection" did bring some important attention to the band: Dan Koretsky, founder of the Chicago-based indie label Drag City, met Berman at a Pavement show. When he heard of the Jews' tapes, Koretsky offered to release them. On their first EPs for the label, 1990's Dime Map of the Reef and 1993's The Arizona Record, the band held to their ultra lo-fi aesthetic and recorded the majority of both on a walkman.
Starlite Walker
After the release of the EPs, Berman entered a graduate-level writing program at the University of Massachusetts and met like-minded members of local bands, the indie/country hybrid Scud Mountain Boys and New Radiant Storm King. Writing and teaching at the university left Berman time for songwriting; soon, he had enough material for an album, which became 1994's Starlite Walker. The album reunited Berman with Malkmus and Nastanovich (this time listed by their real names in the credits) in the 24-track Easley Recording studios for a more focused, polished take on the Silver Jews' literate, lyrical, country and noise-inspired rock.
The Natural Bridge
Along with writing and working with other performers like the War Comet and Silver Palace, Berman recorded the Jews' third album, The Natural Bridge, in the summer of 1996 with members of New Radiant Storm King and Drag City artist/producer Rian Murphy. Originally, Berman planned to record this album with Malkmus, Nastanovich, and the Scud Mountain Boys, but both sessions were scrapped after a few days. The Natural Bridge continued to streamline the Silver Jews' sound and let Berman's rich, abstract lyrics and reflective vocals take center stage. Malkmus returned for 1998's American Water, and his guitar and vocal interplay with Berman makes it some of the Silver Jews' best work. The following year, Berman's first collection of poetry, the critically-acclaimed Actual Air, was published by Open City Press. The Silver Jews returned in 2001 with Tennessee, which also featured Berman's wife Cassie on a few tracks. After struggling with depression and substance abuse, Berman resurrected the Jews -- which, this time around, included Cassie, Malkmus, Nastanovich, Will Oldham and Azita Youseffi among many others -- in early 2005 for a new album. Recorded in Nashville, Tanglewood Numbers narrowly avoided being destroyed in the electrical fire that engulfed Memphis' historic Easley-McCain studio, where it was supposed to be mastered. Drag City released the album that fall. Though he is a reluctant live performer as a musician, Berman occasionally does readings of his short stories, poems in both the U.S. and the U.K. 

 Tracklist 

1 Introduction II 1:01
2 Trains Across The Sea 3:15
3 The Moon Is The Number 18 3:40
4 Advice To The Graduate 3:18
5 Tide To The Oceans 3:03
6 Pan-American Blues 3:01
7 New Orleans 4:17
8 The Country Diary Of A Subway Conductor 2:34
9 Living Waters 2:48
10 Rebel Jew 3:10
11 The Silver Pageant 2:29

MARK EITZEL 60 Watt Silver Lining 1996






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Artist Biography by

One of the most celebrated and idiosyncratic American songwriters of his generation, Mark Eitzel is best known as the leader of the iconic indie rock band American Music Club, who spun beautifully chaotic webs of guitar from Eitzel's gloomy but compassionate studies of lost souls and alcohol; since striking out on his own, Eitzel has embraced a number of different musical approaches, while his witty but downcast lyrical style has remained constant. 

Tracklist  

1 No Easy Way Down 3:38
2 Sacred Heart 3:57
3 Always Turn Away 4:26
4 Saved 5:00
5 Cleopatra Jones 4:12
6 When My Plane Finally Goes Down 4:15
7 Mission Rock Resort 4:34
8 Wild Sea 4:37
9 Aspirin 4:44
10 Some Bartenders Have The Gift Of Pardon 5:18
11 Southend On Sea 4:09
12 Everything Is Beautiful 5:13

20 July 2017

ADORABLE Against Perfection 1993

thanks to Jim


Tracklist  

1 Sunshine Smile 5:03
2 Glorious 4:17
3 Favourite Fallen Idol 2:40
4 A To Fade In 4:51
5 I Know You Too Well 3:41
6 Homeboy 4:30
7 Sistine Chapel Ceiling 3:34
8 Cut #2 4:43
9 Crash Sight 4:03
10 Still Life 2:36
11 Breathless 5:18
12 I'll Be Your Saint 3:33

HELIUM No Guitars 1997

thanks to Jim


Tracklist  

1 Silver Strings 3:52
2 Dragon #2 3:07
3 The King Of Electric Guitars 1:30
4 Sunday 2:18
5 13 Bees 1:20
6 Riddle Of The Chamberlin 6:55

THE MERRYMAKERS Bubblegun 1999

Thanks to Raul
 

AllMusic Review by  

By this point in their career, it seems as if the duo of Anders Hellgren and David Myhr should have four or five acclaimed releases under their belts and be household names in the world of pop music. Bubblegun, however, is only the Merrymakers' second full-length album (and their first in the U.S.), though they have been making unabashedly joyous and pretty pop since 1991. Their first album, No Sleep 'til Famous, brought the comparatively innocent and clear-eyed pop of the '60s into the '90s via a sophisticated and clean production. The band does the same on Bubblegun, crafting a set of songs that sound as if they could all be singles. Undoubtedly, many of them would have been hits in the era from which they glean their influences, but the Merrymakers are not a retro act; they simply write gorgeous, catchy pop songs that are universal, transcending both time and place. Very rarely anymore do choruses explode out of speakers and simply envelop the listener with pure pleasure as do songs such as "Saltwater Drinks," "Troubled Times" and "Superstar." The songs, though they are incredibly melodic and crisply produced, are not in the least vapid. There is an edginess to many of the tracks, and lyrically, the Merrymakers do not shy away from difficult themes: "Monkey in the Middle" and "Superstar" deal with fading fame while the theme of lost love is all over the album ("April's Fool," "Sad," "Ms. Demeanour"). Never, though, does this cause the music or listening experience to drag or grate. Former Jellyfish frontman Andy Sturmer helps out on production on a few songs (and co-wrote a couple cuts), and he is a perfect match for the band. Since this is the band's first American release, Big Deal has added a bonus to the package: a second CD containing five songs from their first album. Those songs have a slightly more trippy feel to them but shine just as brightly as the songs on the first CD. It makes for a virtually flawless pop album: in a perfect world, Bubblegun would make the Merrymakers a household name. 

Tracklist  

1-1 Saltwater Drinks
1-2 Troubled Times
1-3 Under The Light Of The Moon
1-4 Monkey In The Middle
1-5 Superstar
1-6 April's Fool
1-7 A Fine Line
1-8 I'm In... Love!
1-9 Sad
1-10 Ms. Demeanour
1-11 Adore
1-12 Coming Home
1-13 Outside Looking In

Deluxe Bonus Disc
2-1 Monument Of Me
2-2 Don't Tell Me
2-3 Smiling In The Sky
2-4 She's A Radio
2-5 Shine Your Light On Me

CROW My Kind of Pain 1993

by request

Australian band


Tracklist

1 Prisoner (For Jean Genet)
2 Your Motive
3 Railhead
4 Eyes R Bruised
5 Swive
6 LHLH
7 Never Said
8 How & Why Wonder
9 Light
10 EJ
11 The Old Blue Rockpile

17 July 2017

TWO DOLLAR GUITAR Train Songs 1998



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Artist Biography by


Let Me Bring You Down
Tim Foljahn, the guiding force behind Two Dollar Guitar, began the band when he landed in Hoboken, NJ, after several years traveling around the country, with brief stops in New Orleans, Alberquerque, and Chicago. Hooking up with his friend, Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley, he began to record a collection of dark ballads that he had accumulated during his travels. The result was his debut single, "Lost Bird" (Smells Like Records, 1995), which was produced by Shelley and featured him on percussion, but regardless was largely a solo effort by Foljahn. Soon after, they released Let Me Bring You Down, also on Smells Like Records, which delved deeper into Foljahn's collection of grim songs.
Burned and Buried
Foljahn and Shelley's partnership was developed further as they began playing together with other bands. Around the release of Let Me Bring You Down, they put in time with groups like Mosquito, Male Slut (with Thurston Moore), and Cat Power. Their second full-length issued on Smells Like Records in 1996, Burned and Buried pulled in many more guest musicians and reached deeper into folk, jazz, and blues roots, incorporating pedal steel and blues harp to create an album that featured mature instrumental work as much as lyrics. Two Dollar Guitar, in essence, became a whole band with this album as they added ex-Cell bassist Dave Motamed as a permanent member. A pair of singles from the Burned and Buried sessions, "Woman Killing Man" and "Erl King," were also released in 1997.
Hotel Opera
Not content to stop experimenting, two unusual projects were released in 1998. Hotel Opera, a solo album by Foljahn under the name la Lengua Asesina, featured a more minimal sound; Train Songs, which featured all three members of the trio, dispensed with the lyrics altogether to allow instrumental tracks to grow and bloom in many different directions, highlighting the development and growing cohesiveness of this band. Weak Beats and Lame-Ass Rhymes followed, issued in 2000 by Smells Like Records.

Tracklist

1 Patagonia 3:44
2 Virginia Creeper 2:13
3 Oiseau Bleu 2:38
4 Flying Crow 4:54
5 Cascade 6:50
6 Erie Lackawana 4:26
7 Silver Meteor 8:00
8 Conversation With Myself 0:26
9 Turnaround 5:34
10 Asheville Special 1:41
11 Etoile Du Nord 0:31
12 Morning Zephyr 2:44
13 Danville Flyer 1:55
14 Twilight Limited 3:07
15 Southern Crescent 1:51
16 Ghost Train 1:10
17 Palmland 8:06

THE SEWING ROOM And Nico 1995





indie rock from Ireland

 
Discogs


Tracklist

1 Mobile 4:12
2 Stop The Rain 3:24
3 Delve 4:44
4 Weekdays 1:09
5 Broken Life Waltz 2:20
6 Instrumental 4:10
7 Detumescent 3:07
8 Time Between Time 2:23
9 From Every Corner 2:35
10 Whole Days 1:38
11 Kill Me 3:20
12 Lord Let It Be Over 4:19
13 Miles Away 3:53
14 I Take Pains 5:26
15 Subhuman 1:33
16 C.V. 2:37



 

THE FONZARELLIES Remember When 1999

by request
 
pop punk
 


Tracklist

1. Let's Make Some Noise
2. Fallin' For You
3. Rock the Night Away
4. Down on My Knees
5. We're Not Foolin' Around
6. What's It Gonna Be
7. Keep Your Chin Up
8. Without a Doubt
9. Tell Me
10. Peter Brady
11. Lost in All My Dreams
12. Waste of Time
13. Love Dot Com
14. Give It Back
15. Just Another Day
16. Not a Chance

THE LEATHERWOODS Topeka Oratorio 1992

by request
 
Includes Paul Westerberg of the Replacements on guitar, keyboards and bass but he is listed on the CD under the name Pablo Louseorama.
 
 

Tracklist  

1 Proof Positive 3:16
2 Tinsel Town 2:37
3 How Can I Miss You 2:50
4 She's Probably Gonna Lie 2:49
5 Happy Man 2:45
6 Dreamworld 4:21
7 Tell Me Another 3:49
8 Jamboree 3:16
9 Don't Take My Happiness Away 3:06
10 Wastin All My Time 3:03
11 Don't Go Down 3:14
12 Happy Ain't Coming Home 3:41