Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Nice & New: Makthaverskan, Flowers and Fire & Shopping

Wow, it's been like six months since I had time to post on here. Oops! Boy, have I been busy. I won't bore you with too many details but clawing my way from a long, slow descent into madness then getting the world's most stressful job and buying a second house... Been fun. Let's never speak of it again. Anyhoo, a very little update about some stuff that's coming up that I care about. I missed telling you about the Sheer Mag show the other day, and prolly a lot of other stuff in the last six months, but here are a few things to make up for that.

Thursday, September 17th:

Xarah Dion and Police Des Moeurs are playing the Des Jeunes Gens Modernes film launch for POP Montreal. Will be a fun, if not a slightly pricey, evening. Also, the new PDM tracks are hot. Not to be missed. 

Thursday, September 24th:

Flowers and Fire will be playing the first night of Varning Fest with a pretty stacked line-up including Malokio and Dekoder, headlined by Born Dead Icons. That's all I'll say about that. I can't seen to get the embed for this to work but you can listen here if it continues to be difficult:

Wednesday, October 7th:

Man, not to be missed in my opinion, Makthaverskan from Sweden are playing at La Vitrola, event info HERE. I have literally been jamming this all day, very stoked.

Wednesday, October 21st:

SHOPPING. I honestly never thought I'd see Shopping in Montreal but they will be playing at Bar Le Ritz. Gah. Yay! I have loved this band for a long time and stoked to see them the same place I saw 
Wet Dog before them.

Okay, I need sleep.  I make no promises on any future posts but at the very least Tops, Nots and Molly Nilsson are playing soon so maybe I'll come tell you about that? In the meantime, stay frosty! 

Love y'all lots. 


Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Mutettes-Leatherette Heart 7" (US, 1983)

I am completely lacking inspiration for anything interesting to say as a preface to this post. I got a new job and I am stressssssssed and feel like I am the only X-Files fan who thinks the new season is going to be terrible and would really like to take a week of to sew and transcribe old interviews. But, alas, squeezing in a little blog post is all I can muster. In fact, my eyes are closing now listening to this Generation Loss song that's I've been humming all day so let's get this over with. 

Luckily for my mental state there's not a lot to say about this band that Lila Shaara hasn't written up on her site and which goes as follows:

"Many, many, many years ago, I was in the first all-female punk band in North Carolina. We were called the Mutettes. We made a single (as they called them in those days) on vinyl. The two songs were called “Leatherette Heart” (written and sung by Patricia Marterer) and “Shark on the Beach” (written and sung by me, Lila Shaara). It was recorded at Mitch’s Drive In, Mitch Easter’s studio in Winston Salem. REM had recorded there, which impressed us a lot. Mitch was very nice, and did a good job for not too much money. 

The Mutettes were mostly Pat Marterer (guitar), me (guitar), Elaine Craddock (bass), and a number of different drummers. (Our first bass player was Shari Alexander, but Elaine was in the band much longer.) Pat and I did most of the singing. Our first drummer was Sue Sneddon, who is a professional artist now, and paints some of the most beautiful pictures I've ever seen. She is also a great percussionist, and plays with the Mobile City Band ( in Durham, NC. After Sue left the Mutettes to pursue her painting, Lesley Webster (pictured on the single cover above, far left, standing up) played drums with us for a while, and then Jan Hanks (a man!) played drums with us for the last year the band was together."  - Lila Shaara

Here's a video I threw up on YouTube but I believe you can download both sides of the single over at Ear-responsibility HERE if you are so inclined, and those links still work. 

Anyway, I am off to bed. Who knows when I'll be back. Maybe once I finally have this mental breakdown I've been nursing for about 6 months. Anything is possible! Enjoy. 


Thursday, February 26, 2015

No Pedestrians Compilation (Canada, 1980)

I am horrible at checking comments on the blog, hardly ever notice them, but I did read one recent comment on my Tyranna posfrom a while ago asking for another song from the 1980 Toronto-based comp No Pedestrians so here we are. A request seemed as good a reason as any to make a post as I have lacked time and inspiration lately so, without further ado, the three other awesome groups from No Pedestrians that aren't Tyranna. Also, the rest of these songs are a bit harder to track down, so there you go, all in one place.

True Confessions-I remember passing this band's LP a while back because I was broke and thinking I would see it again, but I haven't so if you see one, pick it up. It has some real poppers on it. 

Zro4- If you are from Toronto undoubtedly you know this band. By far the punkest offering of the three and a real rager. I'm not sure if they still play, but I know they have done a few reunions and whatnot and are very present on the interweb if you wanna keep up with them on Facebook, etc. 

The Sharks-the request that prompted this post in the first place. I have always liked this song even though I know it won't be to everyone's taste. As far as I've found this is the only recording by this group but if you have any other info or tracks, let me know! 

Alright, I know that was short and sweet but I will be back with more, eventually.
Love, love, love,

Thursday, January 29, 2015

L-Seven-Insanity 7" (US, 1982)

What a fucking day! And what a fucking day to listen to some quintessential US punk, if you'd like to call it that. Many of you punks may already know this, maybe you don't, maybe you've simply forgotten but I jammed this for a good part of my work day, because it was a particularly frustrating work day and this helped. This record is a one-off from a group fronted by the late Larissa Stolarchuk, later Larissa Strickland, who you may know from her notable stint in the Laughing Hyenas. But, before all that, there was this, and on Touch And Go, no less. Well, a one-off off-shoot of Touch And Go that only released this single called Touch And Go Special Forces. 

Either way, a stellar record all around, all the songs are great and right in my sweet spot for US punk of the time. There is lots of info out there about Larissa herself, not a lot of it focusing on this particular band but a lot of nice tributes. You can listen to all the songs over at Killed By Death HERE if you like what you hear below. Secrets is particularly good.

On another note, the only YouTube video I found of this was posted by a delightfully specific blog called Michigan Graveyard and worth a check out for other underground music from the Michigan in the 80s and 90s. Okay, that's all the time I have. Which really wasn't much at all but what are you gonna do? Hope you enjoy this as much as I do.


Monday, January 26, 2015

Grýlurnar-Mávastellið LP (Iceland, 1983)

So, this is going to brief because for one, I'm at work, and for two, I broke my wrist and it's really difficult to type. Due to continuing issues in my personal life, I haven't checked in here for a little bit so I thought I would reward you with something else new to the Internet. Well, sort of new. Grýlurnar seem to have a ton of live performances all over YouTube but only one studio track (and a cover no less) anywhere to be found. I got these records for my birthday from my friend, lovely photo taker and all-around nice guy, David. And aside from loving the aesthetic of this Icelandic all-girl group, the songs are weird and quirky in a totally Icelandic way. And, honestly, aside from Tappi Tíkarrass and Q4U, this band is my other big stand-out from an exceptionally tiny scene 80's punk scene. This write-up from Icelandic Music explains all the live footage:

When singer Ragnhildur Gísladóttir left popular band Brimkló in 1981 to form her own girl band everybody thought she was making a big mistake. But Ragnhildur had faith in herself  and began auditioning some girls who wanted to play in her band.

On April’s Fool’s Day in 1981, four girls got together in a small flat and started playing music. Grýlurnar (The Witches) were determined to go places. They practiced very hard for the next few months and performed in a variety of venues. Before long they signed a record deal and went to a studio to record four of their songs for an EP which was released in December 1981. Grýlurnar’s debut release was successful and soon the band was offered to make a thirty minute television show for Iceland´s national television.

Their reputation preceded them: Swedish television invited them to Sweden to appear on the show Mandagsbörsen on March 1st 1982 and consequently they were invited to appear on Danish television on March 9th. This trip introduced Grýlurnar, or Häxorna as they called themselves on their travels, to a lot of new fans in Scandinavia, because the broadcasts from Denmark and Sweden could also be seen in Norway and Finland. They also performed in a few clubs in Sweden and were praised by the Swedish press.

Singer Ragnhildur Gísladóttir was voted the best female vocalist in Iceland in 1981 and 1982. In the spring and summer of 1982 Grýlurnar traveled around the country with the band Stuðmenn and a camera crew. They were filming the first Icelandic musical movie Með allt á hreinu, which has been a great favourite of Icelanders ever since. The movie’s premiere was in December of 1982 and at about the same time the soundtrack of the movie was released. In the beginning of 1983, British recording artist Louis Austin came to Iceland to produce Grýlurnar’s first album. In the next few months, things started to happen. Grýlurnar were offered to play in Scandinavia and Europe but instead they opted for the United States were they played in clubs in Los Angeles to ecstatic audiences. The Witches, like they called themselves overseas, seemed destined for stardom but some of the band members didn’t want to seek fame abroad. At this point in time the team spirit of the band was cracking up. Bass player Herdís thought the strain of touring was too much for her and decided to leave the band due to health concerns. Meanwhile drummer Linda Björk had to have an operation on her knee which made it difficult for her to play the drums. They tried to find a replacement for Herdís but female bass players were hard to find. Late in 1984 it became obvious that the days of Grýlurnar were numbered and the short but eventful history of the first Icelandic all-women rock band came to an end.  

Anyway, here are a couple of my favorite tracks from their 1983 LP, Mávastellið. The first one is awesome and pretty much sounds like it's on fast-forward, but it's not! Okay, back to work.