Friday, March 02, 2007

Notes From Underground-The Vibrators, The Only Ones, The Homosexuals, Tav Falco & The Beat

Here's one more. I was bored today.

1. “Whips & Furs,”-The Vibrators, Pure Mania, (1977)-I don’t want to point the finger here, but “Whips and Furs” and “Another Girl, Another Planet” sound practically identical. The record Pure Mania was released in 1977, The Only Ones in 1978. “Another Girl” is the better song, being almost perfect, but The Vibrators are more concise, with less guitar theatrics. A mystery.

2. “Baby’s Got a Gun”-The Only Ones, Remains (1984)-Another album of odds, ends, demos, scraps and unfinished bits. I have tried to put these songs in a kind of chronological order, but I am unsure of when many of these songs were actually recorded. It makes sense though to put this song next, because in the last I mentioned The Only Ones. “Baby’s Got a Gun” is too great of a song to be stuck on some odds and sods album, but the story of The Only Ones is one of true musical inequality. It just is not fair. Strangely, their last album shares a title with this song, but the song does not appear on the record.

3. “Snapshots Of Nairobi,”-The Homosexuals, The Homosexuals' Record (1984, recorded in 1978)-Possibly my favorite band name. A band of contrarians that purposely avoided success (not that they would have found it if they sought it); The Homosexuals were one of the more challenging of the dissonant punk noise groups, drawing similarities to bands like The Pop Group and The Birthday Party, without the self-conscious disco beat-orientation of the former or the monster movie eclecticism of the latter.

4. “Snake Drive”-Tav Falco's Panther Burns, Behind The Magnolia Curtain (1981)-Three minutes of loose, creeping, deconstructed, reverb-drenched instrumental boogie blues from Guatavo Falco’s Memphis blues and rock revivalist group that featured Alex Chilton on guitar and drums.

5. “I Will Say No”-The Beat, The Kids Are the Same (1981)-Besides writing one of the greatest songs, despite getting very little credit (“Hangin’ On The Telephone”), Boston’s The Nerves splintered and produced two of the better L.A. power pop bands: The Plimsouls and Paul Collins’ Beat. Though The Kids are the Same does not match the pure and concise ferocity of The Beat’s debut LP, it still has infectiously hip-shaking songs like “I Will Say No.”



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