Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tilt: Self-Titled 7" (1992)

During their almost-decade long lifespan, nineties pop-punks Tilt never hit it big. They never seemed to escape their reputation as a second-string band Lookout Records (see HERE) band (even when they emigrated to Fat Wreck-Chords early on). Their lack of strong success is wholly unfair considering the quality of the band's work, though it's interesting to note that their strongest asset may have also been their Achilles Heel.

Back in the seventies, Blondie had to make buttons saying, 'Blondie is a Band' due to the overpowering presence of frontwoman, Deborah Harry. Tilt could have had similar problems due to the strength of presence of leader, Cinder Block. Block's hooky melodies, distinctive lyrics and forceful vocal style sometimes made it seem like she was the 50 Foot Woman and everyone else was the motorists below. Of course, that view overlooks the fine noise Jeffrey Bischoff alongside bassist Pete Rypins and drummer Vince Camacho created. In fact, Bischoff and Rypins wrote Tilt's music because, like Blondie, Tilt were a band. However, Block being such a towering figure did bring out some ugliness familiar to women who choose to stand out. More on that tomorrow...

A1         Addiction     2:10    
A2         Redemption     2:12    
B1         One Day     2:20    
B2         Locust       2:20

What do you think of Tilt and Cinder Block? Let us know in the COMMENTS section. (where you'll find the S/T 7" link).

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Fat Wreck-Chords



This post was updated on Thursday, August 9th, 2012.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Cringer: Karin (1990) Now with link!

I've heaped praise on the departed Lance Hahn before (see HERE). Now I'd like to offer up an important single from Lance's first band, Cringer. Karin was the band's only release for Lookout Records (more HERE) and came during a brilliant run of singles (the less said of their lone album the better) they put out during 1991-1992, before morphing into the darker, moodier J Church.

Your thoughts on essential Lookout Records singles or Lance Hahn or Cringer can  be left in the COMMENTS section (where you'll find the Karin 7" link)

Support Lance's Legacy: J Church Homepage J Church MySpace J Church at No Idea J Church at Interpunk J Church at Amazon J Church at Wikipedia J Church at Discogs We Love Lance Hahn page
Lance Hahn obit at Pop Matters

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Green Day: Radio Daze (Live, 1992)

Green Day were polarizing. From the beginning the knock against them was their lack of punk boanfides; no breakneck tempos, no yelled vocals and the lyrics were not only comprehensible but they were clearly about...girls. But Lawrence Livermore and his Lookout Records label (more HERE) stood by the band, as did a lot of record buyers. When the band signed to a major label, the same people who'd derided them as being 'too pop' now called them 'Greed Day'. It's no wonder they abandoned the punk underground. What's more interesting is how much they carried the punk flag, coming around to an anti-establishment view not so far removed from that of the punk politicos they'd left behind.

Like a lot of folks, I wanted to hate Green Day but I ordered those first two singles from Blacklist mail-order back anyway back in 1990 and have refused to renounce them ever since. Yup, I own every Green Day album (well minus live/greatest hits/B-sides collections). I'm not ashamed of this fact, though it's taken me a few years to state it openly. And it started with those opening chords to "1,000 Hours". The lyrics were, as I'd been arned, kinda dippy but the tunes were so strong that they reminded of the really early Beatles (with a hefty does of Buzzcocks thrown in).

(Slightly dodgy footage but I think I'm in there somewhere.)

So here to unite us (maybe?) on the virtues of the band, is a radio show recorded live on May 28, 1992 in the WFMU studios, East Orange, NJ, which Mike Dirnt says is, "A real good Green Day bootleg".

01 Don't Leave Me
02 409 in Your Coffeemaker
03 Welcome to Paradise
04 2,000 Light Years Away
05 At the Library
06 80
07 The Judge's Daughter
08 Christie Road
09 Only of You
10 Who Wrote Holden Caulfield?
11 Going to Pasalacqua
12 16
13 Paper Lanterns
14 C Yo Yus
15 Longview
16 One Of My Lies
17 Dominated Love Slave
18 All By Myself
19 Knowledge
20 Words I Might Have Ate

Hey give us your honest take on Green Day's career in the COMMENTS section, (where you'll find the Radio Daze  link).

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Fan Site

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Dahlmans: I Love You Baby (But I Hate Your Friends) 7", 2010

There's a certain thrill  when obscure greatness gets recognized. While some were bothered when Sixpence None the Richer made The La's "There She Goes" the monster hit it should've been or when Gnarls Barkley made The Violent Femmes "Gone Daddy, Gone" known to the word but not I. To me,  such all-too-rare events offer proof that a great song is irrepressible. Sure, I'd prefer that the original becomes the known quantity, like the Ramones "Blitzkrieg Bop" did but to hear something hidden gaining validation is a powerful thing.

A smaller scale example of this phenomenon would be Norwegian 'Primtives-meets-Ramones' band, The Dahlmans cover of "I Love You Baby (But I Hate Your Friends)". The song, written by Andy Shernoff of The Dictators first appeared (I think...)  on a 2006 album by Kitty and the Kowalskis (which I head about here). It's a pretty solid album but that song just leaps out and infects your brain. So, while The Dahlans, who have superb taste in covers, may not make this song a pop sensation, making it as the A-side of a single helps bring the unknown to light.

Pop Detective Records

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Mr. T Experience: Live at the Fireside Bowl (2000)

I'll readily admit that the Miricale of Shame-Alcatraz era of The Mr, T Experience (more HERE) is my least favourite era of the band's existence but in a live setting the band still kicked out the jams in that cerebral and self-depreciating way they had. I saw them on the Alcatraz tour and the crowd was smaller and less appreciative than the ones who'd turned  for the Love is Dead tour five years previously. Of course the times had changed. By then Lookout Records and much of the pop-punk scene it had fostered was in decline as were album sales in general That whole late-90's, early-2000's seemed like a bleak time to be an independent band. In defiance of that negative spirit, here's a kickin' MTX show from 2000, which nicely samples from their entire catalog.

1. MTX – Semi-OK (2:40)
2. MTX – I Wrote A Book About Rock and Roll
3. MTX – She’s Coming Over Tonight (3:51)
4. MTX – What’s In the Cuckoo Clock? (2:39)
5. MTX – I’m Like Yeah, But She’s All No (2:35)
6. MTX – New Girlfriend (1:55)
7. MTX – Tapin’ Up My Heart (3:04)
8. MTX – Naomi (3:32)
9. MTX – Danny Partridge (3:49)
10. MTX – Even Hitler Had A Girlfriend (3:04)
11. MTX – With My Looks and Your Brains (3:13)
12. MTX – Mr. Ramones (1:49)
13. MTX – Stephanies (2:48)
14. MTX – Sackcloth And Ashes (2:48)
15. MTX – Ba Ba Ba Ba Ba (2:52)
16. MTX – Talking (2:01)
17. MTX – Crash (2:01)
18. MTX – She’s My Alcatraz (3:16)
19. MTX – You’re The Only One (3:02)
20. MTX – I Fell For You (2:41)
21. MTX – More Than Toast (2:59)
22. MTX – Dumb Little Band (2:39)

Let us know what you think of MTX circa 2000 in the COMMENTS section (which is where you'll find the Fireside Bowl link).

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MTX on Interpunk

MTX on Amazon

MTX on iTunes

MTX Fan Site

Frank Portman's Site

Dr. Frank's Blog

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

V.A. Back to Front (1977-1983) Volume Four

When  Incongito Records began this limited-edition series back in 1993, they made an honest attempt to contact as many of these late seventies/early eighties bands as they could to secure rights. That attention to detail  gave this series a reputation as one of the best in the torrent of punk retrospectives that the nineties unleashed.  Compiler Peter Parzinger tilted this series towards wilder, cruder punk rock from all over the Western world with bands like Tits, P.I.G.Z. and City Kent but always left room for pop-aspirants like The M 'n' M's, The Knots and the awe-inspiring Fast Cars:

(Incognito INC. 059, Germany, 1994)

    Daddy Is My Pusher (Tits, Holland, 1978, from only 7")
    Bela Sljiva (Pekinska Patka, Yugoslavia, 1979, from 1.7")
    Withdraw (Standbys, USA, 1980, from only 7")
    Catholic Love (Eat, USA, 1979, from 1.7")
    Satkyihminen (Hurskas, Finland, 1980, from only 7")
    Stooges (P.I.G.Z., Belgium, 1979, from only 12")
    Wrong Time Wrong Place (Ignerents, UK, 1979, from only 7")
    I'm Tired (M 'n' M's, USA, 1980, from 1.7")
    Chop Chop Chop (News, Australia, 1978, from 1.7")
    The Kids Just Wanna Dance (Fast Cars, UK, 1979, from only 7")
    Psychedelic Musik (Lightning Raiders, UK, 1980, from 1.7")
    Jeg Ved Hvor Du Er (Johnny Concrete, Denmark, 1980, from only 7")
    Action (Knots, USA, 1980, from only 7")
    Pets (Anorexia, UK, 1980, from 1.7")
    We're Comin' (Widows, Finland, 1980, from 3.7")
    You're So Boring (Rocks, Australia, 1978, from only 7")
    Cancer (City Kent, Sweden, 1979, from 1.7")
    One More Eviction (Tot Rocket & The Twins, USA, 1981, from 3.7")
    Where Did The Money Go? (Victimize, UK, 1979, from 2.7") 


Click the image to visit Incognito Records

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Mr. T Experience: Songs About Girls (Live,1995)

Compared to most of their label mates, Berkley's The Mr. T Experience were well-established when they joined Lookout Records (more HERE). After all, the band's first Lookout LP, 1990's Making Things With Light LP, was preceded by their 1986 debut LP, Everybody's Entitled to Their Own Opinion and it's collage radio sorta-hit "Danny Partridge" and their sophomore album, Night Shift at the Thrill Factory came out on Rough Trade and was produced by Kent Steedman of the then-hip Celibate Rifles.

The Mr. T Experience (see HERE), their leader, Dr. Frank (see HERE) would go on to be the most loyal of Lookout bands, releasing an album there as late as 2004 [!] and never taking back their masters as so many of the original bands (Green Day, Op Ivy Screching Weasel, The Queers, Avail etc) did. Of course, Dr Frank (Portman) made a career switch in the mid-aughts as the music industry was bottoming out, which might help explain his inattention to his back catalog.

The move to Lookout probably worked in the MTX's favour since by 1995, when pop-punk was all the rage, the band's popularity rose. (I may be fact-checked on this but I saw the band three times in the 90's and the biggest crowd. most enthusiastic crowd was definitely on the "Love is Dead" tour). So in celebration of the MTX of 1995 here's a great-sounding live recording (a radio session for KZSU's series Wednesday Night Live to be more precise) from their 2nd (third?) peak.

1. Wednesday Night Live Theme (1:07)
2. Swallow Everything (3:11)
3. Last Time I Listened To You/Love American Style (5:33)
4. Ba Ba Ba Ba Ba/My Stupid Life (5:34)
5. Alternative Is Here To Stay (2:32)
6. More Than Toast (4:26)
7. New Girlfriend (1:50)
8. She's No Rocket Scientist (2:23)
9. Checkers Speech (2:07)
10. Hello Kitty Menendez (1:59)
11. Sonic Reducer (2:14)
12. Time To Change/Velveeta (6:42)
13. Itching Powder In The Sleeping Bags (2:57)
14. Even Hitler Had A Girlfriend (2:42)
15. Interview (6:41)
16. I Believe In You (3:17)

Let us know what you think the best era of The Mr. T Experience is in the COMMENTS section (where you'll find the  Songs About Girls link)

                                                        Support the band!

MTX on Interpunk

MTX on Amazon

MTX on iTunes

MTX Fan Site

Frank Portman's Site

Dr. Frank's Blog

Sunday, January 22, 2012

John K. Samson: When I Write My Master's Thesis (2012)

Weakest Weakerthan (more HERE) John K. Sampson has gone solo, if only temporarily. on Provincial (stream here). About the song's central track,  "When I Write My Master's Thesis" Samson says:

"I went to this bar called The Pit and Bob Dylan’s When I Paint My Masterpiece came on the jukebox. The first lines are, ‘Oh, the streets of Rome are filled with rubble,’ and that’s when I thought of line: ‘Oh the streets of Grand Theft Auto San Andreas are filled with smoke,"’ he says with a smile.
When I Write My Master’s Thesis  — recently featured as a song of the day on NPR — cleverly riffs on When I Paint My Masterpiece almost line for line; Dylan’s "She promised that she’d be right there with me/When I paint my masterpiece" became Samson’s "She said she’d come back home/When I write my master’s thesis," for one example.  (via)

  John K. Samson - When I Write My Master's Thesis by Epitaph Records

On Provincial, Samson delivers a fascinating musical survey of the landscape of his home province of Manitoba and it should offer something for fans and admirers to pore over for years to come.



Saturday, January 21, 2012

Bruce Springsteen: We Take Care of our Own (2012)

Though I do love Springsteen a tiny bit more each day I'm on this earth, I'm no uncritical fan. I would argue that, while he's never released a terrible Self-Portrait-like album, he's had enough critic-proof middling albums that new releases can be met with some skepticism. That said the lead-off single to the forthcoming Wrecking Ball, "We Take Care of our Own" sounds melodic, triumphant and like a big middle finger to the religion of Republicanism still  gripping his land (and by extension much of our world). Rock on Bruce!

(Watch on YouTube)

Bruce Springsteen Homepage 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Isocracy: Gilman St. Demos (1987)

Isocracy brought the bratty sense of punk humour that was a crucial part of the East Bay scene that Lookout Records (more HERE) documented. Not only were their shows full of trash-tossing hi-jinks but they kept their sense of humour on vinyl with out coming off as goofy (NTTAWWT). The part in the Minor Threat-ish "Amilyplympt Three" where singer Jason Beebout (later of Samiam) berates the band, including early Green Day drummer Al Sobrante, for their forgetfulness cracks me up every time.

"You fuckers left out part of the fucking song
I knew that song was longer
and you guys suck balls"

So here's the band's early demo recorded at the very Gilman St.venue where they were "the house band", according to Lookout's head honcho, Lawrence Livermore.

Image courtesy of Hardcore Show Flyers

Let us know what you think of Isocracy, the band, in the COMMENTS section, which is where you'll find the Gilman St. Demos link).

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

This Message Brought to You by the EFF

As a music blogger, I'm concerned by the over-reach of the American bills, PIPA and SOPA. The DMCA has already affected all of us, American or not, and the likelihood of sites being blocked even for displaying links to possible copyright infringement ought to worry the world.

Regardless of your view on all of this, consider reading the always well-informed Electronic Frontier Foundation's take on the issue.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Crimpshrine: Demo (1987)

The second figure in the early Lookout Records trinity (Op Ivy HERE, Isocracy to come) is surely Crimpshrine. Drummer Aron Cometbus looms large over the entire Bay Area scene, not only for his role in Crimpshrine, Pinhead Gunpowder et al but also for the scene-defining zine, Cometbus and for having a style of printing that is one of the key visual traits of the era. Melodic growler Jeff Ott (later of Fifteen) also influenced a generation of punk singers.

Here's a 1987 demo that shows all the band's elements coming together, a reminder of just how great the band wold be. For the uninitiated, The Sound of a New World Being Born (which collects up the band's earliest work) is the best point of entry*.

*Upon further inspection (Amazon, Interpunk and iTunes), all Crimpshrine material is completely out-of-print, so enjoy this till that wrong gets righted!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Operation Ivy: Uncut Gilman St. Demos

Y'know Lookout records (more HERE) sure didn't start out a pop-punk label. In fact, it almost started out as a vanity label, what with it's first release being an LP by its co-founder, Lawrence Livermore and his band The Lookouts! That LP, One Planet, One People, once described as "Bob Dylan meets MDC", along with the Plaid Retina 7" that followed it as well as the Stikky LP and Plaid Retina single that came out not too much later) marked Lookout as a Maximum-Rocknroll-styled hardcore-holdover label. However it would be the three releases that I've skipped, Operation Ivy's Hectic, Crimpshrine's Sleep, What's That? and Isocracy's Bedtime for Isocracy (Lookout 3, 4 and 5 respectively), that would realy define the label's direction.

I wore mine down to the threads

While I've talked about Operation Ivy impact on me personally (see HERE), I'd like to add that I think that they were the viral band of the label's early days, the one whose records spread the Lookout brand of independently-minded but pop-friendly punk rock to the world beyond Berkley, California.

While we've offered you up a bevvy of boots of Op Ivy (see HERE) I'd like to add these Uncut Gilman St. Demos to the mix as they show the band's development well without in any way jeopardizing the need for every decent man, woman and child to own the real deal,  Energy.

So how were important were Op Ivy to the success of Lookout? Let us know in the COMMENTS section (which is where you'll find the Uncut Gilman St. Demos link).

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Hellcat Records




Sunday, January 15, 2012

V.A. Can of Pork 2 X LP w/ 22 Pg. Booklet (Lookout Records, 1992)

Hey! Please come check out my list of classic Lookout full-lengths at The Big Takeover.

Lookout Records has finally been pronounced dead. While this comes as no shock, after getting wounded in 2006 and hemorrhaging most of it's lifeblood bands (Green Day, Op Ivy, Screeching Weasel, The Queers, Avail etc.),  the label's been in a coma since the spring of this year but it is still a passing we should mourn. While I expect a lengthy postmortem by Lawrence Livermore and possibly a post-houmous autobiography to make for effective eulogies, I would still like to offer a heartfelt goodbye to a label that helped shape my taste in music.

We'll begin with the now-unavailable 1992 compilation, Can of Pork, which shows how Lookout, despite its pop-punk reputation, ALWAYS had a diverse array of styles represented in their catalog. This diversity acts as a blessing and a curse in ever-varying proportions throughout the label's discography. Can of Pork  brings the ska with Downfall (ex-Op Ivy'ers ), Los Rudiments and The Horny Mormons, the more hardcore sounds of Engage and Jack Acid, quirkier stuff like Pounded Clown and Lizards and even the bands here most often labelled pop-punk, The Mr. T Experience, The Lookouts, The Porcelain Boys, Pinhead Gunpowder et al, don't sound all that much alike. It sure ain't all hella rad but it's all got life in it.

Various Shitz - Can of Pork

1     Bad Trip     Pounded Clown         1:54
2     Trinidad     Brent's T.V.         1:40
3     A Promise is a Promise     Lizards         1:47
4     Evolution     Engage         5:30
5     Redneck Woman from Planet Mars     Horny Mormons         1:49
6     Gotta Get a Job     One Man Running         1:49
7     Kick Me in the Head     The Lookouts         2:59
8     Void     Anger Means         2:10
9     Piano Song from Hell     Krupted Peasant Farmerz         3:41
10     Whiners     Preachers That Lie         1:39
11     Sidetrack     Porcelain Boys         2:52
12     Hole     Drippy Drawers         3:02
13     Noble End     Lagwagon         1:40
14     Martians Don't Skank     Los Rudiments         2:41
15     The Future     Rice         0:14
16     Learning How to Smile     Blatz         1:52
17     Parents Are Really Weird     Jack Acid         1:39
18     17 Reasons     Fifteen         3:45
19     College Town     Juke         2:18
20     T-Shirt Commercial     Mystery Experience         1:11
21     Berthe     Vagrants         5:00
22     Benicia by the Bay     Pinhead Gunpowder         1:50
23     North Berkeley     Downfall         2:26
24     Break     The Wynona Riders         2:47
25     Dysfunction     Spitboy         1:44
26     Why Quit     Good Grief         2:04
27     Other Day     Freefall         3:25
28     Two     Sawhorse         3:31
29     Vive La France     The Mr. T Experience         1:19

The AMAZING 22 page booklet that is included here, is a gift from the scanner of , Alex who runs a great Tumblr called Knife Ladder, which has posted lots of Lookout-related eye candy.

Whose your favourite Lookout band? Let us know in the COMMENTS section (which is where you'll find the Can of Pork link).

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Bob Mould: Daytroter Sessions (2011)

So I'm about half-way through Bob Mould's autobiography, See a Little Light and while it can be marred by pettiness and narcissism, (see the opening anecdote) it brings some fascinating insight into Bob the song-writer as does this acoustic Daytrotter session, which features the best song from his most recent album, Life and Times, "I'm Sorry, Baby, But You Can't Stand in my Light Anymore".


    1  Welcome to Daytrotter
    2  The Breach
    3  I'm Sorry, Baby, But You Can't Stand in my Light Anymore
    4  Life and Times
    5  Bad Blood Better

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Bob Mould Official Site

Anti Records



Friday, January 13, 2012

The Payola$: Jukebox 7" (1981)

The final Payola$ (more HERE) single from the vastly underrated debut album, In a Place Like This.

A         Juke Box        
B         TNT

While a recent re-formation EP and a slim Best-Of CD are available, the Payola$ albums have NEVER been re-issued on CD or digitally.

  • All Payola$ rips and scans generously provided by ace archivist BristolBoy from My Life's A Jigsaw, who deserves a word of thanks!

COMMENTS encourage blogs to thrive. Please leave a COMMENT The Payola$in the very section where you will find the Jukebox 7" link.

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Payola$ - I'm Sorry (I Only Did It For The Money) 7" (1981)

Here's an excellent Payola$ (more HERE) single from 1981. The A-side, " I'm Sorry" is a ska-rocker that excoriates an unnamed musical sell-out ("White rocker, sometimes reggae") that could be Joe Strummer, while the B-side, "You Can't Walk Away", has hard-hitting verses and the kind of huge chorus that could've put this band over the top.

While a recent re-formation EP and a slim Best-Of CD are available, the Payola$ albums have NEVER been re-issued on CD or digitally.

  • All Payola$ rips and scans generously provided by ace archivist BristolBoy from My Life's A Jigsaw, who deserves a word of thanks!

Let us know what you think of the single (and who who might be the target of "I'm Sorry") in the COMMENTS section (where you will find the I'm Sorry (I Only Did It For The Money 7" link).

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Payola$: Introducing... (1980)

Much as I love "China Boys" (it is making fun of West Coast racism, isn't it?) the heart of The Payola$ (more HERE) doesn't fully show until they make the jump to the major labels (just I.R.S. in this case). Y'see, guitarist/producer Bob Rock gave the band its full sound but Paul Hyde, as the band's primary lyricist, provided the invigorating humanity they gives them a different sort of depth. In contrast to the cynical misanthropy of the early punk scene or the bacchanalian solipsism of the arena-metal scene Rock would go onto, Hyde loved humanity in all it's doomed glory. Listen to how, in "Jukebox"  he spins the tragic, Springsteen-ian tale of a music fan whose life is destroyed by the industry who's products he loved with great pathos and an absence of judgement. Even Hyde's sordid tale of prostitution, "Rose", shows a more complicated, less romanticized view of life on the street than something like The Police's "Roxanne".

A1   China Boys   3:19
Written-By – B. Rock, P. Hyde   
A2   T.N.T.    2:27
Written-By – P. Hyde  
B1   Rose    4:25
Written-By – P. Hyde     
B2 Juke Box    2:46
Written-By – B. Rock, P. Hyde

While a recent re-formation EP and a slim Best-Of CD are available, the Payola$ albums have NEVER been re-issued in way.

  • All Payola$ rips and scans generously provided by ace archivist BristolBoy from My Life's A Jigsaw, who deserves a word of thanks!

So let us know what you think of Hyde's lyrics in specific or the Payola$ music in general in the COMMENTS section (which where you will find the  Introducing... link.)

Support the Payola$



Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Payola$: China Boys 7" (2nd version, 1980)

Here's vinyl rip of The Payola$ (start HERE) first single on A & M. It's a re-recorded version of the A-side and a non-album B-side.

A  China Boys   3:19
    Written-By – B. Rock, P. Hyde     
B  Rose   4:25
    Written-By – P. Hyde

While a recent re-formation EP and a slim Best-Of CD are available, the Payola$ albums have NEVER been re-issued on CD or digitally.

  • All Payola$ rips and scans generously provided by ace archivist BristolBoy from My Life's A Jigsaw, who deserves a word of thanks!

If you're digging the Payola$ rarities we're bringing you here, we would love to hear a COMMENT! (You can leave a COMMENT in the very section where you will find the China Boys link.

Support the Payola$



Monday, January 9, 2012

The Payola$: China Boys 7" (1st version, 1979)

Certainly the most successful commercial group to arise from the seventies Vancouver punk scene, would have to be The Payola$. While Paul Hyde and Bob Rock never became rock stars, their band was a strong radio presence in Canada (and to some degree in the US) for much of the eighties. While Rock says The Payola$ were always outsiders in that tight scene (they had jobs!) he downplays how crucial his production work was to giving Vancouver punk bands like The Young Canadians (more to come), The Subhumans (more HERE) and The Pointed Sticks (more HERE) a sound that would endure.

And Rock himself ended up becoming every rock star's producer, providing sound advice for a who's-who of bands about whom I do not give a flying fuck, like Aerosmith, The Cult, Motley Crue, and Metallica. Whatever he's done for the big boys, Rock has remembered his roots, recently producing an album for D.O.A. (more HERE)  and helping to restore some early Art Bergmann (more HERE) material, not to mention giving a great interview for Susan Tabata's film "Bloodied but Unbowed" (more HERE).

It's interesting how Rock proved to have such killer instinct for stadium-metal, when his band, whether in their initial punky-power-pop phase or their time of commercial ascendancy never sounded like the sort of cheesball pap he grew so famous for helming. Of course, judging by the screechy histrionics of Rockhead, it might have been former Englishman Hyde that kept Rock's ROCK in check.

Now, where was I?

Oh yeah, that initial punky-power-pop phase of the band was absolutely amazing, although a lot of their keyboard-heavier radio fare is actually very good as well. This first single, released on the band's own Slophouse Records in 1979, contains an early version of poppy-but-punky "China Boys" and the slightly more KBD-y "Make Some Noise". It's a great taste and there's more to come, should you care to COMMENT!

While a 2007 re-formation EP and a slim Best-Of CD are currently available, the Payola$ albums have NEVER been re-issued in any format!

  • All Payola$ rips and scans generously provided by ace archivist BristolBoy from My Life's A Jigsaw, who deserves a word of thanks!

We were talking earlier about COMMENTS and how they encourage the rarities tap to open wide. Feel free to let us know what you think of the work of Dr. Rock and Mr. Hyde in the COMMENTS section (where you will find the China Boys 7" link).

Support the Payola$