Sunday, December 28, 2008

Merry Croutons...

...Mr. Gulp Gulp!
I've been thinking about posting this since last Christmas, but how quickly time passes. This is the title of the rare 1984 X-Mas giveaway by the Young Fresh Fellows. I would have killed for this tape 20 years ago when I was seeking this gem, as it was very hard to find. I acquired a burned disc of this through a trade years later and I truly treasure this unique tape and it's still one of my favourite recordings. I would still kill for an original copy of this cassette-only fan-club release that was released right after their first album, Fabulous Sounds Of The Pacific Northwest ...came out.

This was the Fellows' version of those Beatles' Christmas Fan-Club records from the 60's as they perform loose and fun (drunken!) versions of their songs live-in studio complete with dedications and holiday thank yous to friends and colleagues. They play a version of Down By the Pharmacy with goofy altered Christmasy lyrics, some awesome covers and new Fellows songs. All these versions are unavailable anywhere else. They close out with a spirited rendition of the title track and like the rest of the tape it has a nice party-vibe to the whole recording, that's what make this unique and special.

Merry Croutons Mr. Gulp Gulp
1. Down By The Pharmacy
2. Im Not Trying To Hurt You
3. Filet Of Soul
4. Someone I Care About
5. This Little Mystery
6. The Sharing Patrol
7. If I Had A Hammer
8. Topsy Turvy Theme
9. I Wish I Was Your Mother
10. Good Guys Dont Wear White
11. YFF Theme
12. You Call That Lonely?
13. Teenage Dogs In Trouble
14. intro
15. Merry Croutons Mr. Gulp-Gulp

Download (whole file or individual tracks)

Merry Belated Christmas!!

I was searching for a good Christmas song to post and I was going to upload one of my favourite Christmas songs, Father Christmas by the Kinks, but then I remembered I posted that song last year (or was it the year before?). Behold, I was surfing around different music blogs and stumbled upon a great cover of that song by the Figgs. They serve up a admirable cover of this Kink's classic on the A-side of the 1995 Christmas single, Christmas Shake. The B-side features, the slower, Christmas Sake and Merry Christmas, Girl, a faster, catchy as hell song that is classic Figgs. Enjoy!

Christmas Shake 7" (1995)
Father Christmas
Christmas Sake
Merry Christmas, Girl

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Song Of The Day- "Hanging On The Telephone"

Hanging On The Telephone is a great song written by Jack Lee (for his mid-70's power pop trio The Nerves- Lee, Peter Case and Paul Collins), popularized by Blondie and covered by others such as Golden Smog during their 1996 tour. I bring you three versions of the same song.

THE NERVES- Hanging On The Telephone: The original, from the Nerve's only release an EP from 1976. Case went onto later fame with the Plimsouls and a still creative solo career. Collins later formed the Paul Collins' Beat.
BLONDIE- Hanging On The Telephone: Second single from 1978's Parallel Lines LP. If Blondie recorded more songs this good instead of the Heart Of Glass shit she churned out later, I might actually buy one of her records.
GOLDEN SMOG- Hanging On The Telephone (live 1996-6-26 SF) The Smog unearthed (especially early in their career) under appreciated punk/power pop/classic rock covers. While staying true to the original, The Smog version added that additional kick that originally drew my interest in the song.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Support Your Local Band!

I love when bands are honest. Usually when you hear a band is playing a fundraiser you think they're raising money for a disease, a political cause or their cat is sick, but Winnipeg band Paper Moon is playing a fundraiser for themselves. You see, the member's of this local band probably all have day jobs and playing in a band isn't their major flow of cash. The money raised for this show will go toward costs of an upcoming album (April 2009) and this is a good enough reason to go out and see this fine band. Paper Moon has two previous releases to their credit and if the new one is anything like their previous, it should be worth the listen, maybe they'll even perform some songs from this upcoming record. To tide fans over, PM has just put out a new CD-EP called, What Are You Going To Do With Me? It features a preview (title track) for the new full length, as well as some covers, a remix and some live video.

Go support this fundraiser, help the band out!

I recorded an early show (before their first album) from Paper Moon way back in 2001 (day before 9-11!) outdoors at the University of Winnipeg. I'm posting 2 sample songs and maybe I'll post the whole show if it's okay with the band.
Mercury Is Clearly Opposing Neptune
History Of Punctuation

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Can't Be Twenty On Sugar Mountain

For the over-40 crowd like myself, this week saw the release of the highly anticipated release of Neil Young's, Sugar Mountain- Live At Canterbury House 1968. This recording is Young's first solo performance after the break-up of Buffalo Springfield and he performs a set of music that includes stripped down versions of Buffalo tunes and solo songs that he released on his first solo album days after this show. The sound quality is excellent especially for a recording in 1968, with little crowd noise and just Neil's voice and guitar. His easy-going youthful banter is interesting as he talks about music and his songs and offers a real connection with the audience. This intimate venue (campus coffeehouse ministry in Ann Arbor, MI) really has that "performing in your living room" feeling when you listen and many would consider this the ultimate Neil Young show. I can't believe this hasn't been available as a bootleg and we are surely privileged to finally hear this incredible concert. This is essential Neil Young!

The only disappointment with this CD/DVD package is that it includes the standard CD (playable on the computer and any CD player) plus a DVD which actually is the same audio show in a Hi-res format (playable in a DVD player?) with the only video an ad for the Archive series. I think many people we're expecting some old archival video footage, but I guess we'll have to wait for Neil Young Archives Vol. 1 Boxset.

The RIAA suggested I remove the links to the Neil Young sound samples I posted the other day....sorry for any inconvenience, buy the CD or PM me.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Stars- Sad Robots

I've never been a big fan of EP's, usually when an established band issues an EP it is for these reasons: a) It's a time filler, to give their fans something to buy to tide them over between their last and the next full-length release. b) Perhaps a tour outside of North America (Australia, Japan, Singapore...) and again some new product is always good to offer overseas. c) Not enough good ideas for a full length, maybe even throw in an updated old song performed live.

This may sound harsh, but I think it's true on all accounts as semi-fresh product is better than no product. Montreal's Stars released the excellent, In Our Bedroom After The War only a year and a half ago, but the band has toured the country back and forth already on that album and they have even been to Winnipeg twice in a six month period. EP's are good for young unestablished bands because they may not have enough material (or money) yet for a full length and it gives them something to sell at their shows in bars and clubs, but with a band like Stars that have released 2 other EP's earlier in their career (A Lot Of Little Lies..., The Comeback), it seems like a stop-gap of same old same old. The most interesting song is a live version of the song, Going, Going, Gone that last appeared on their 2001 EP, A Lot Of Little Lies For The Sake Of One Big Truth. When EP's were in the vinyl format, I always thought it was kind of a waste of money, you get the same packaging, but with way less songs, and for not much less money. It seemed almost like a bloated 12" single or nowadays, CD single, with a couple of b-sides thrown in. Regardless, the EP has 5 all-new songs (plus the live Going...) and it's worth a listen. If you want to buy the EP, it is available as a digital download at or a physical disc at one of their upcoming shows or have a listen here first @ TDIT.

STARS- Sad Robots
1. Maintenance Hall, 4am
2. A Thread Cut With A Carving Knife
3. Undertow
4. Going, Going, Gone (live)
5. 14 Forever
6. Sad Robot
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