I’ve been a surface Siouxsie and the Banshees fan for years now, meaning I’ve enjoyed their hits/collections and what not, but I’d never really dug deeper into their discography until recently. Kaleidoscope was their third studio album, released in 1980. It had a much more minimal/synth vibe than their later records. I had a hard time picking what song to post from this out of my favorite two tracks from the record, “Red Light” and “Lunar Camel,” but this one won by just a little. If you’re a Siouxsie fan, and you haven’t picked this up yet, you’re missing out. buy
Work Drugs is a self-described “sedative-wave / smooth-fi band from Philadelphia, PA.” They just released a new EP, well….technically 2 new EP’s to help fund their upcoming April tour. The EP’s, Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn are handmade, super-limited 7-song CD-R’s. 6 of the songs on each disc are the same, with one track on each being different. They’re pretty cheap, and you get a discount if you buy both of them. If you’re not in the physical media mood, you can head over to their Bandcamp page to check out and download more stuff. soundcloud twitter
I know this song from somewhere, but I can’t put my finger on it. If anyone knows, please comment. This particular compilation, Speedball Experience – Obscure Pop Jazz From Early 70′s Italian Music Library is somewhat of a mystery. It’s listed online as being an “unofficial compilation,” so I’m assuming that someone just collected these tracks from Italian library records and put them out. It’s even rumored that the date (1985) on the record is actually not accurate as well. Definitely worth picking up if you can track down a copy.
I meant to post this yesterday, but I got all wrapped up and excited about posting the new Not the 1s track. Misha from Starfawn recently put me up on this guy. Ithaca, NY’s David Ezra Brown started out as a jazz drummer at age 8, and then started producing electronic music at age 11. His music sometimes reminds me of Aphex Twin, only with harder drums. He just put out a 7-song EP called Days (for each day of the week). You can download that for free right here. soundcloud
Bomarr Blog superhomie Eric Steuer (Meanest Man Contest) has a brand new project called Not the 1s that he recently started with Oakland rapper Mawnstr (Connoisseurs). They have a REALLY great EP coming out soon called Why You Cryin? featuring production from Lunice (he produced this track), as well as dEbruit, Daedelus, Mexicans With Guns and Monster Rally. Seriously some great stuff and it’s been in constant rotation around here lately. They just started a Kickstarter campaign to help fund a limited vinyl release of the EP on colored vinyl via Gold Robot. If you’re into this, I’d highly recommend going over there and pledging even a few bucks, because this NEEDS to get a proper vinyl release.
Gina X Performance was a German disco/electropop duo consisting of vocalist Gina Kikoine and producer Zeus B. Held. I posted Zeus’s “Sound Trigger” on the blog a few months back, and I’ll be posting more very soon because I think everything he touches is gold. This record is full of downtempo vocoder-heavy synthpop. What’s even cooler, is that it was released in 1979. buy
This record, Passive Me, Aggressive You, dropped in September of 2010 on the Somewhat Damaged label. You could call The Naked and Famous New Zealand’s answer to MGMT. There are eerie similarities between this song and MGMT’s “Kids,” but this song, with its hard hitting synths and catchy chorus gives “Punching In A Dream” the potential to be the soundtrack to a lot of people’s 2011 Summer festivities. (Thanks to Jordy for putting me up on these guys) myspace buy
This song reminds me of watching MTV’s 120 Minutes in the early ’90′s, and tuning in to college radio while visiting my grandparents. It has that shoegazy, My Bloody Valentine/Jesus and Mary Chain pop song type feel and I love it. myspace buy
For quite some time now, I’ve been sort of obsessed with this obscure old school hip hop record from B-Boy Records circa 1988 from a group called Frozen Explosion. I’ve been trying to track down a vinyl copy of this album for years (occasionally, they pop up on eBay but are quickly snatched up). The group has been fairly mysterious. Very little has been known about them, and Google searches have turned up a little less than a page of actually useful information. I decided that I needed to track these guys down and find out at least a little bit more information about them and find out what they’re up to now. Through a quick online search, I tracked down Frozen Explosion‘s main MC, Deep Freeze (Milo Gralnick), who was more than happy to answer a few questions for me. He also directed me to producer DJ Blizzard (Eric Post) to answer a few more questions. I learned about their affiliation with Jeremy Piven, the background to the hockey (or skiing) gloves on the cover of their record, and a bit more. Take a look.
Tell me about what inspired you to form Frozen Explosion?
Frozen Explosion was inspired by the early New York Hip Hop scene.
Do you still talk to Babs/Barbara? Can you tell me more about her, and what her reaction to the song was?
Babs is the one song on the album with lyrics written and performed by Mr. Blizzard. It was written about his ex girlfriend. She had a great body. I think she was flattered by the song. I have not seen her for many years. I don’t know if Mr. Blizzard is still in contact with her.
Explain where the idea for wearing hockey gloves on the cover of the Frozen Explosion album. Did you play hockey at the time?
I believe the gloves were designed for skiing. I shoplifted the gloves from a store that sells outdoor adventure gear. I do not play hockey but I do like to skate and ski. I wore them because they were fresh.
When this record was released in 1988, did you catch any flack for your skin color? Or did the presence of the Beastie Boys at the time make it more acceptable?
I never caught any flack for being a white rapper.
Are you still in touch with DJ Blizzard or DJ Mac Nife?
I am still in touch with Mr. Blizzard and DJ Mac Nife.
The intro to “Iwo Jima” is a bit reminiscent of the intro to Slick Rick’s “Children’s Story.” Was this intentional?
Mr. Blizzard wrote and performed the intro for Iwo Jima. I assume it was inspired by Slick Rick but we would have to ask Mr. Blizzard to be certain.
Any memorable show experiences from back in the day?
I do not have any memorable show experiences from back in the day. We did not perform many live shows in support of the album.
Tell me more about your old band God Made Velcro, and how did you get Jeremy Piven to star in your video?
God Made Velcro was a rock band that played live regularly. My most memorable show experience was opening for a band called Pusherman. Jeremy Piven is a personal friend of mine. He did the video for fun and I think he dug the woman in the video. (Catch God Made Velcro’s “Shock the Mind” video, starring Jeremy Piven here)
Can you tell me a bit more about your current musical projects? I noticed you released a new rap record as Lord Freak a couple of years ago, and your solo stuff as Milo Gralnick?
Lord Freak is my new rap name. I released Gangsta Hippie in 2004. It’s a dope album. I highly recommend it! My most recent release is a solo acoustic album entitled Stones of Love. Both of these recordings are available on cdbaby.com.I currently perform regularly with my band called The Peacelords.
Do you recall where the name “Frozen Explosion” came from?
I came up with the name Frozen Explosion. This was back in the day when every rapper was “cold”. Picture a bomb in an ice cube about to explode.
Are Mr. Blizzard and DJ Mac Nife still making music? Do you know what they’re up to these days?
Mr. Blizzard has a dub band called Roly. Mac Knife writes about the hip hop scene. I am not certain if he still makes music. He is on Facebook as Darris Hoskins.
Was the “Iwo Jima” / “Babs” 12″ and the “Frozen Explosion” self-titled album the only releases you ever put out?
Iwo Jima/Babs 12″ and the Frozen Explosion self titled album were the only B-Boy Records releases put out. I have continued to release 12″ vinyl and CD albums on my own independent labels (Bootleg Records, Decompose Records, and currently Gangsta Hippie Records).
I’m assuming you have left NYC. Where are you located now?
I live in St. Louis. Mr. Blizzard also lives in St. Louis. I believe Mac Knife is in Atlanta.
Regarding “Babs,” could you give me a little more background on the song? Like who Babs was. What inspired it? What did Babs think of the song? Are you still in touch with her?
Babs was my high school girlfriend (now a chef in NYC). We played the hipster couple in a conservative suburb, and had a blast together. She loved the song, but I think we broke up pretty soon after, so…
Any worthwhile Frozen Explosion stories to share?
Milo and I moved to New York from St. Louis 1987 to see if we could get some interest in his raps and my beats. I was living in a rat-infested apartment in pre-gentrification Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and worked as a DJ at the ice rink in Central Park, along with Mr.. Hyde of Dr. Jekyll & Mr.. Hyde fame. There was a little record shop in Williamsburg that had current hip-hop 12″ singles, and I was buying everything that I heard on Red Alert’s and Marley Marl’s radio shows. In those days, the record labels would actually print their phone numbers on the records, so Milo and I called them all. We actually got meetings with a few, including Tommy Boy, 4th & Broadway, Jive, Profile, and B-Boy. Even though BDP had already left B-Boy Records, we were thrilled that they wanted to sign us. Their offices were located about a half mile from the nearest subway stop, and walking that half mile through the South Bronx was always interesting: stripped cars on blocks, lines of people ten deep in front of housing projects wafting to buy crack. We recorded the album in St. Louis, but we put in way too much low end in the mix, and so the mastering had to take out most of the life of the recording for it to be playable on an LP record. The 12″ singles had wider grooves in the vinyl that permitted a bassier mix, so a lot of the original fidelity was preserved when compared to the full LP.
Southern California duo Virtual Boy (who took their name from the first video game console capable of showing “true 3d graphics”) recently released their debut EP on Daddy Kev‘s Alpha Pup Records. They’ve also been putting up these random remixes of tracks from the Harry Potter soundtrack, Cloverfield and Home Alone, to name a few. I’m not familiar with the John Williams original of “Hedwig’s Theme,” but this remix is a banger. website bandcamp
Broken Figures have updated info for their upcoming West Coast tour. Passage of Restiform Bodies/Anticon will no longer be joining them on the tour, but they will still be joined by Bizzart and A.Madman (among other guests at certain stops). Current dates are:
4/2-SACRAMENTO, CA @ THE TOWNHOUSE (w/ BOSS MAGIC)
4/3- SAN FRANCISCO, CA @ ROCKIT ROOM (upstairs w/ AL-PD and JOE MOUSEPAD)
4/5-SEATTLE, WA@ LO-FI (w/ INTROCUT and DEADNOISE)
4/6-OLYPMIA, WA @ THE NORTHERN (w/ GHOST FEET)
4/7-SEATTLE, WA @ THE IN (w/ SUMMON and NAMECLONE)
4/8-PORTLAND, OR-@ BACKSPACE GALLERY (w/ CITY MOUTH and PETER CHAN [Sax])
4/10-RENO, NV-@ HOLLAND PROJECT SPACE (w/ MORGUE)
4/11-ECHO PARK, LOS ANGELES, CA-@ PEHRSPACE (w/ WMX)
I can’t get enough of these guys. I’ve been humming this song non-stop the past couple of days. Thurston Moore‘s Ecstatic Peace label put out some of their early stuff, and now they’re putting out music on Fat Possum (eg: 2009′s Echo Kid, which this song is from). They also played the Bruise Cruise indie rock cruise alongside The Black Lips, Surfer Blood, Vivian Girls and more. You can catch them playing 12 shows this week at SXSW in Austin. website buy
Great new video for Monster Rally‘s “Color Sky,” from the new Coral LP that came out recently on Gold Robot Records. I loved the cover art already, and I have to say I’ll never look at it the same after this. It’s pretty hilarious. The video is part of Slow Motion – A Visual Mixtape curated by stadiumsandshrines.com and flashlightag.tumblr.com. You can buy the complete Coral LP right here
Teai Benet (I’m not quite sure how to pronounce her first name) was a scenester during Houston’s early 80′s punk/new wave days. This song is incredibly catchy. I just found someone selling multiple copies of this 7″ on eBay for $2.50 a piece. It’s a steal.
This brand new EP from Madison, WI producer Man Mantis has been in heavy rotation this week in my headphones. Sea Ambulance features five songs, plus a remix from DJ Pain 1 (not to be confused with Bomarr Blog superhomie DJ Pain. If you’re into dark, heavy beats along the lines of Edison, Egadz etc, you’ll love this. I can’t get enough of it. You can download it for free right here.
Starfawn is a duo from Brooklyn. They released their debut EP Greenlight last week. “Nothing Dead” is what it would sound like if the singer for Gold Zebra did a record with downtempo duo Hype Williams. Greenlight is available via Bandcamp with a “pay what you want” price. You should get it. website
Last July, I posted a dark & chilling cover of Nirvana‘s “Heart-Shaped Box,” done by my friend Liz Hodson. Since then, she’s completed a 6-song covers EP with Josiah Wolf (of WHY?) called Under Lovers Covers. The EP features the previously-mentioned Nirvana cover, this excellent version of Bill Withers‘ classic “Ain’t No Sunshine,” as well as covers of James Taylor, Mississippi John Hurt, Nick Drake, and the Gerald Marks/Seymour Simons jazz standard “All of Me.” These interpretations are very very beautiful, and I can’t recommend this EP enough. You can stream it and/or buy it direct from them over at their Bandcamp page. It’s only $5, and very worth it. They put a lot of hard work into this, so I’d suggest you buy a copy for yourself AND your mother.
Apparently, George Young, the rhythm guitarist for Australian garage rockers The Easybeats, is AC/DC guitarist Angus Young’s older brother. These guys were mostly popular in the mid-to-late 60′s, and had one hit, entitled “Friday on My Mind,” which was covered by David Bowie on his Pin Ups album. They were managed by a real estate agent at the time. These guys have basked in relative obscurity over the years, but every once in a while, a gem like this gets resurfaced, and people get reminded just how brilliant and overlooked these guys were. buy
This one is a bit of a blast from the past for me, which I revisited recently. I used to listen to this tape back when I had to drive 45 minutes to work at a record store in a shitty little car that had no radio, no stereo, no anything. I had a little D Battery-operated boom box that I would keep on the passenger seat next to me, and I would listen to tapes to keep me company on the long drive to work. I special ordered this tape after hearing the collaboration that Milk did with Mike D called “Spam,” and instantly fell in love with the record. For those who don’t know, Milk (or Milk D) was the primary member of legendary hip hop group Audio Two. For this record, he collaborated with Mike D and Mario C of the Beastie Boys, and the record has an overall Beastie feel, come to think of it. Looks like vinyl copies of this EP go for over $100 these days. It’s not available digitally, but you can get it on CD over at Amazon
This one has gone under the radar for the past few weeks. The Insane Warrior is the new project from RJD2. He released his debut record under this moniker, We Are the Doorways a couple of weeks ago. While it’s not drastically different than the stuff he does as RJD2, it’s still a pretty solid record. He’s really grown on me the past couple of years, and I’m really enjoying this record so far. He has it up for sale (digital or CD) through his Bandcamp site, if you’d like to buy it direct from him.
This record, Utakata No Hibi, from Japan’s Mariah is proof that you definitely can’t judge a book by its cover. I’m not even sure what I thought this would sound like after looking at the cover. Maybe some traditional Japanese folk songs? I don’t know….but this record, which was released in 1983 and later re-released in 2003 is really really good. It’s mostly 80′s-tinged, instrumental new wave, and very fitting for its time. This record is also a hot commodity for collectors, often fetching upwards of $150 for an original vinyl pressing. I stumbled on this record over at the always-awesome Root Blog.