Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Wreckless Eric: Le Beat Group Electrique (1989)

Wreckless Eric (more HERE) has stuck to his guns. Those guns, his chugga-chugga guitar and his garbled vocals, are like old flintlock muskets: crude, noisy and deadly at close range.

Following the premature death of the Len Bright Trio, Wreckless Eric, by then dry and living in rural France, put out Le Beat Group Electrique with Catfish Truton (drums) and André Barreau (bass) in 1989. LBGE were almost as grimy and roughshod musically as the LBT but with less noise-for-noise’s-sake and more sharp song-writing. Eric sounds like a ramshackle Buddy Holly on tunes like "Tell Me I'm the Only One", while "Sarah" is Dylan-esque put-down that sounds somewhere between the early Beatles (hopped-up in Hamburg era) and Van Morrison (circa early Them). At one point, he channels Lou Reed on “Just For You” but not until putting a Wreckelss pop spin on mental illness, with the ironically chipper-sounding "Depression".


Listen to this whole album, all 32:17 of it, and you'll be struck by how fearless Eric is; how he remains unbowed and well-armed!


A1     Tell Me I'm The Only One 3:10   
A2     Wishing My Life Away      4:02   
A3     Depression     2:56   
A4     It's A Sick Sick World     1:39   
A5     Just For You     4:45   
A6     Sarah     3:17   
B1     The Sun Is Pouring Down 5:00   
B2     I'm Not Going To Cry     2:08   
B3     You Sweet Big Thing     3:50   
B4     Fuck By Fuck     1:16   
B5     Parallel Beds     4:05   
B6     True Happiness     5:00

Hope you  enjoyed the re-up and feel free to leave us a COMMENT! about Mr. Eric and LBGE!

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Monday, January 28, 2013

The Boomtown Rats: The Dudgeon Sessions (1979)

Holy Hell have I got a treat for you on this day, the day that Bob Geldof has announced that he will re-join his fellow Boomtown Rats on the road. These three songs are from  a session done with legendary producer Gus Dudgeon (a name worthy of Charles Dickens!) in 1979. Here you get an early, completely different  version of "I Don't Like Monday" done in a nervous-punky-reggae style and lacking Johnnie Fingers' famous piano part. While this version would likely have never been the massive hit the later version was, this stripped down studio take is an amazing thing in and of itself. As well, you get another rocking version of early B-side "Late Last Night" as well as a shorter, edgier, less Springsteen-y version of "Joey's on the Street Again". Awesome!

1. I Don't Like Mondays
2. Joey's On The Street Again
3. Late Last Night

So what do you make of this unheard Boomtown Rats material? Let us know in the COMMENTS section!

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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Barack Obama is Not Pleased

While I await the American president's sitting down with some less-friendly, more relentless journalists, this interview with ally Chris Hughes over at The New Republic is still a crucial read in order understand Obama's current mind-set.

And I want to be very clear here that Democrats, we've got a lot of warts, and some of the bad habits here in Washington when it comes to lobbyists and money and access really goes to the political system generally. It's not unique to one party. But when it comes to certain positions on issues, when it comes to trying to do what's best for the country, when it comes to really trying to make decisions based on fact as opposed to ideology, when it comes to being willing to compromise, the Democrats, not just here in this White House, but I would say in Congress also, have shown themselves consistently to be willing to do tough things even when it's not convenient, because it's the right thing to do. And we haven't seen that same kind of attitude on the other side.

 Who would you like to see interview Barrack Obama?

Saturday, January 26, 2013

'If It Ain't Stiff': Amazing BBC Doc on Britain's Greatest Label

The BBC got pretty much every surviving Stiff vet - The Damned, Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, Wreckless Eric, Devo, Madness, The Pogues plus, of course, label honchos Dave Robinson and Jake Riviera - to talk up a storm for this hour-long doc.

Part two, part three, part four, part five, part six

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wreckless Eric: At the Shop (1990)

At the Shop is a crude document of ramshackle performance by Wreckless Eric (more HERE) and his Le Beat Groupe Electrique for a small crowd at the New Rose store in Paris in 1990. For much of the set Eric is teetering on the brink of chaos, and clearly loving every fucking minute of it. Then, on "If It Makes You Happy", Eric enters a staring contest with Nietzsche's abyss and half through the psychotic harmonica break, the abyss blinks.

Following that battle, Eric pulls back, slightly, pour un version Français of "Depression", followed by two oldies; Larry Williams' rockabilly stomper "Bony Maronie" and Eric's own '77 shout-along, "Semaphore Signals". Then, it's once more back into the depths for a harrowing, almost Dylan '66 style, take on The Captains of Industry's, "Our Neck of the Woods." Finally, without a flinch, Eric caps this gutsy performance with another of his tender love songs, "You're the Girl for Me." Those customers, who watched the whole brilliant mess while crammed in-between the racks of vinyl, must've left the store at once baffled and yet exhilarated. 

A1         Big Old World     3:42    
A2         If It Makes You Happy     5:04    
A3         (Waiting For The Shit) (To Hit The Fan)     6:40
A4         Depression (version Francaise)  
B1         Bonie Maronie
B2         Semaphore Signals     3:20    
B3         Our Neck Of The Woods     5:28    
B4         You're The Girl For Me     4:50

Hope you  enjoyed the re-up (with AMAZING new footage!) and feel free to leave us a COMMENT! about Mr. Eric and LBGE!

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Bad Religion: Live at KROQ (2013)

A new Bad Religion album is still a fearsome thing!

Red Bull Sound Space


Beans on Toast: Angry Birds (2012)

Like the concoction from which he took his stage name, English folk-singer  Beans on Toast is not to everybody's taste. But if you've got hankering for ramshackle tunes, a gruff voice and some wickedly satirical words make the new BoT album, Fishing For A Thank You a part of your full English breakfast! For  quick taste, here's the video for the horn-aided tune "Angry Birds", which voices some 21st Century anxiety with lines like, "Lately my iPhone's been fucking with my mind".


Monday, January 21, 2013

TV Smith w/ Leigh Heggarty:12 Bar Club, 2012

Few artists are as emblematic  of everything this blog stands for than former Advert, TV Smith (more HERE) and his never-shut-up, never-mellow-out and never-say-die philosophy. So it is fitting that we break our longest silence ever, with a bootleg of the indefatigable Mr. Smith accompanied by an even more subterranean punk figure, Leigh Heggerty. Heggerty, who here provides superbly tasteful guitar back-up, currently plays with The Ruts D.C. and well as... well, here's a link to his blog and a promise that I'll try to run down some more of this under-appreciated figure's accomplishments this month.  What we have here is a super-clear audience recording of a powerful show with a varied set-list - big thanks to exedore for the stellar work.

TV Smith w/ Leigh Heggarty - 12 Bar Club - 07 Dec 2012

01. Intro Banter
02. No Time To Be 21
03. Bored Teenagers
04. Tomahawk Cruise
05. Have Fun
06. Coming In To Land
07. It's Expensive Being Poor
08. Banter
09. Ready for the Axe to Drop
10. You Saved My Life Then Ruined It
11. Buried By The Machine
12. Buried By The Machine Breakdown
13. In The Arms of Our Enemies
14. Banter/Bringing Up Pascal Briggs
15. The Lord's Prayer
16. The Lion and the Lamb
17. Gary Gilmore's Eyes
18. One Chord Wonders
19. Farewell Banter
20. Good Times Are Back
21. Encore Banter
22. Runaway Train

MRML Readers, give us your take 
on this TV/Leigh collaboration!

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Boss Tuenage 

Easy Action



Monday, January 14, 2013

Why the Hiatus?

Sorry, no one obvious reason for the hiatus but if you wish to know more (and if not STOP NOW!), here are some of the thoughts rattling around inside my thick skull.

1) My Life
Y'ever wake up at 4:00 a.m. and ask, "What the fuck am I doing with my life"? Yeah, it's part of getting old (or being David Byrne) but some questions need to be answered. It's not that this blog is to blame for my oh-so-cliché early-morning navel-gazing (apparently I've already charged music itself with all the life-ruining) but it does eat up a surprising amount of my time.

2) Uploading
It seems every storage locker (Sharebee, MediaFire, RapidShare etc.) falls eventually, taking all your uploads with it. Then you have to decide if you're going to restore material or not and blah, blah, blah. To get to the point, offering out-of-print, unavailable music has gotten ever-more complicated over the years and remains a looming concern for me personally.

3) Blogger
It seems the audience for a lot of blogs, MMRL included*, is shrinking and that decline may spur Google, who are willing to sacrifice any of their creations to the Baal that is Google+, to disembowel this great platform. This fear of Google gutting Blogger the way it did Reader is argument enough to eye the future warily.

4) Company
So, not only are audiences in decline but a lot of my Blogger friends have quit over the years and since new music blogs seem relatively rare, this little corner of the internet is definitely feeling a bit endangered.

5) Commenters
I've got a lot of regular (and proudly irregular) commenters and, truth is, it is they who have kept me in business this long. But sometimes there still seems to be a worrisomely low level of idea-sharing both here and on a lot of the music blogs I frequent. There's any number of reasons for this, which I've covered ad nauseum on other 'where-the-fuck-are-the-comments posts' over the years. Suffice it to say here, that I'm currently looking at the different impediments to dialogue, such as the fact that it's harder to leave a comment, or a note of encouragement, on Blogger then it is on many other social networks...

6) Social Networks
Sigh. I hate Facebook and I'm not sure I can even make a group page entirely unconnected to my actual name there anymore, so I'm giving Twitter (another) shot. If this Twit shit sticks, I'll do some kind of Grand Opening post (you can see my sad little feed on the widget to your right) but in the meantime it's just a low-level experiment.

This isn't meant as a laundry list of complaints (and I've re-read it looking for excess whinging), just as a catalog of the major thoughts I've reviewing before taking the next step. 

Feel free to add your voice to the comments section.

* That said, despite being an almost post-less month I've been racking up huge visitor numbers due to a couple of old posts making the rounds - t'is a strange ole world...

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Frank Turner & Franz Nicolay Sing Noel Coward

While English folk-punk Frank Turner has never hid his love for the theatricality of Queen front-man Freddie Mercury, on this Asbestos Records' split single with Franz Nicolay of The Hold Steady and The World/Inferno Friendship Society, he's going even more music hall by paying tribute to British playwright and song-smith, Noel Coward.  While Nicolay does a sad piano take on "Sail Away", Turner strips down and speeds up "There Are Bad Times Just Around The Corner", a clever 'the-country's-going-to-Hell' broadside, to dizzying effect.



Friday, January 4, 2013


Year-end lists (Best Singles/E.P.'s HERE, Best Under-Appreciated Albums HERE) can be a bit ludicrous but please suspend your disbelief in the comprehensiveness of this blogger's listening and enjoy some ripping tunes. And ripping it must be, since we here at MMRL crave music that, regardless of genre, >> moves >>

Unlike the Best Under-Appreciated Albums and the Best Singles/E.P.'s lists, neither acclaim nor success are a factor here (though no one release can be on more than one list)  - this time it's strictly about the songs!

So while I considered only releases not covered on my previous lists, I still chose to rank my choices for song of the year according to their importance. However, this is not meant  to be The Most Important Songs of 2012, intriguing idea as that is, but rather my narrow, retro-biased 2012 playlist ranked in order of importance, as I saw it. So I'm not trying to  freight my choices with deep significance, only arguing that music is not just an app or an add-on but a force of history.

20.  The Haddonfields  - When She Left (listen)
Slow and steady be damned - the race goes to the swift!
If you play fast enough you can finish a song a three-minute pop song in 1:37!

19.   Dot Dash  - The Past is Another Country (watch)
Lack of recognition is no reason to quit anything!
A buncha guys who've been knocking around the musical underground for thirty years have formed a rocking alliance, which spits out both moodier pieces and fiercer ones like "The Past is Another Country".

18.  Green Day  -  Let Yourself Go (watch)
Sometimes amidst the refuse, there's something redeeming. 
Three albums in a row? For fuck's sake, grow up Green Day ("Fuck you, Tom Selleck!"). Were there enough songs as propulsive and catchy as "Let Yourself Go" to create one strong album? Probably, but even I, a devout fan, couldn't make it past Dos!

17.  Air Traffic Controller  -  Hurry, Hurry (watch)
The past is another country but the border is undefended.
Indie-pop band Air Traffic Controller get accused of ripping off They Might Be Giants and Talking Heads a lot but band leader and real-life US Navy ATC, Dave Munro has already developed his own distinct voice.

16.   Bob Dylan  -  Dusquene Whistle (watch)
As their age advances some musicians becomes more like magicians.
Okay, Tempest got more than its share of praise but in "Dusquene Whistle" Dylan has pulled out of his hat a clear, standout single something he hasn't really done since "Things Have Changed".

15.    The Big Pink  -  Oh Superman (watch) 
Sometimes the memory of a thing is better than the thing itself.

A British synth & guitar duo on 4AD (hello, mid-80's!) pays tribute to Laurie Anderson's "O Superman".

14.   Bob Mould  - The Descent (watch)
Every generation anoints an avatar of their angst.
Sure, sure we can all admire Contended Disco Bob but it's Angry Distorted Bob, on display on "The Descent", that we need.

13.  Gaslight Anthem  -  45 (watch)
Metaphors, even anachronistic ones, still hold their power in this modern age.
Hand-Written was a clear let-down - Pearl Jam worship is no basis for a sustainable new direction - but there were still a few of those timeless moments, like "45".

12.  Die Toten Hosen  -  Rock Me Amadeus (watch)
Music, like a fist in the face, is an international language.
Due to their usual commitment to sing in their native tongue Germany's Die Toten Hosen are superstar's in their homeland and unknown in most of the rest of the world (who only notice them when they do English-language covers, like "Rock Me Amadeus").

11.  Don Williams  -  Better Than Today (watch)
Old dogs are too smart to need new tricks.
We've lost some of the best country singers in this century -  Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Porter Wagoner - so appreciate country vet Don Williams' defiant and unsentimental optimism, knowing that he didn't come by it cheaply.

10. Classics Of Love  - Castles in the Sky (watch)
You can always go home again, in fact, you may have never really left.
Operation Ivy/Big Rig/Common Rider front-man Jesse Michaels' return to active duty in Classics of Love proves he still has the fire in eyes and in his belly!

9. July Talk  -  Paper Girl (watch)
There are always combinations yet untried.
This Toronto indie-blues-pop band raised a few hackles for their odd juxtaposition of styles but it sure makes for a striking sound on this single.

8. Titus Andronicus  -  My Eating Disorder (watch)
Discretion is not always a part of valour.
By dropping the grand, historical ambitions of The Monitor and focusing on the smaller and the more personal  (hence, Local Business) Titus Andronicus have done some wrenching work of which "My Eating Disorder" is the perfect example.

7.  Charlie Peacock  -  Let the Dog Back in the House (watch)
It's never too late to peak
Charlie Peacock, known more these days for producing bands like The Civil Wars then for his own extensive discography, has crafted a career peak in an album that sounds like what would have happened if T-Bone Burnett had produced Graceland. "Let the Dog Back in the House is his duet with the Ghana-born, Nashville-based singer Ruby Amanfu and it shows off how three-dimensional his production work can be!

6.  Tim Barry - 40 Miler (watch)
One man, one guitar and locomotion are eternal values.
Itinerant folk-punk Tim Barry can't stand "songs about writing songs, albums over  minutes forty long and broke-up bands on their third reunion tour" but he's happy as hell to tell you that "music should sound like escape not rent."

5. First Aid Kit  -  Emmylou (watch)
History has hooks.
What do a pair of young Scandanavian women know about country music? Listen and learn...

4. Cloud Nothings  -  Stay Useless (watch)
Great music still yearns for something, even if it's something not clearly understood.
Attack on Memory deservedly made a slew of Best-Of lists, even though to me nothing on the album was as trans-fucking-cendant as this paean to empty moments.

3. Redd Kross  -  Stay Away from Downtown (watch)
Youth will be served, at least by the time they hit middle age.
How did a band who've been recording since they were teens put out their greatest song (and surely their best album) thirty years into their career?!?

2. Joey Ramone  -  What Did I Do to Deserve You? (listen)

Better to be loved after you're dead, then never loved at all.
With three out of four of the original Ramones dead, the world had to take notice of Ya Know, a posthumous musical scrapbook, with some amazing songs like "What Did I Do to Deserve You?", curated by Joey Ramone's brother, Mickey Leigh.

1. Bruce Springsteen  -  We Take Care of Our Own (watch)
Music is a tie that binds.
When Obama finished his victory speech, "We Take Care of Our Own" came on over the loudspeakers and you knew that Springsteen, who campaigned for McGovern in '72, railed against Reagen in '80 and stumped for for both Kerry and Obama had done his most important political act by creating this fiery statement of purpose.


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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Billie Joe Armstrong's Deleted "This is 40" Scene

I saw "This is 40" last night becuase I still trust the Apatow brand and for the Graham Parker sub-plot, naturally. Everybody came through, though Apatow's plots are getting thinner even as his ability to work wonders with sprawling cast is rising to Robert Altman-esque levels. Parker was dead hilarious, as anyone who's watched him on stage or recently would guess. One of the MANY strong turns (John Lithgow, Albert Brooks, Charlyne Yi, Melissa McCarthy) was, surprisingly, Bille Joe Armstrong from Green Day who's never struck me as very good cameo material. Billy Joe's taunt of Chris O'Dowd oughta make it into the vernacular but this deleted scene (via diffuser.fm) is a must-see for all rock geeks!

Vancouver Music 2012

Here's a guest post by regular reader Doug, who offers up some of the best new music from Vancouver, B.C., Canada:
I have listening to a bunch of Vancouver music I bought lately.Right now I am listening to the latest by Sex With Strangers.They have posted a bunch of their albums free on bandcamp.
The best of the many Vancouver ska bands ... Los Furios.
Bone Daddies leader Jonny Bones has a ska/reggae/punk show on SFU radio.
I really liked the latest by Mode Moderne.
I think the leader of Weed used to work at Zulu Records.
Soul by The Ballantynes.
Rude country stylings by Shirley Gnome.'Old Man' ... I think that describes me!
plus "The Zolas,The Fugitives,Sandy Bone and the Breakdown,Steve Taylor's Drum Boogie,Capitol 6,White Lung,White Poppy,Humans,The Falcons etc."

Thanks Doug for proving that Vancouver isn't just 'No Fun City'