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Category: Tapes

Dan Cray: Wetbrain, 1997

Dan Cray: Wetbrain, 1997

PERSONNEL: Dan Cray: Everything Recorded drunk & disheveled, in the Rubber Rubber Room, in the space between 1996 & 1997. TRACK LISTING: 1. Wetbrain 2. School Bus (The Ballad Of) 3. Little Help 4. You’re Alone 5. Second Skin 6. Reunion Cafe 7. Bly 8. The Haircut ‘Appropriately recorded on “a dying four-track,” Wetbrain is a depressing portrait of squandered potential: “Wetbrain, you’re all dried up/You burned out the muse/with your holy confusion bunk/It’s all bad, you’re no Rag Man/You…

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Iconoclast: Sins of New York, 1989

Iconoclast: Sins of New York, 1989

PERSONNEL: Julie Joslyn: Alto saxophone, live electronics, violin, vocals, percussion Leo Ciesa: Drums, percussion, orchestra bells, congas, synthesizer, live electronics, vocals All compositions by ICONOCLAST Produced by ICONOCLAST Recorded and mixed by Chris Howard Recorded at New Breed Studios, NYC, 1988 Graphics, photo and design by Josh Brown TRACK LISTING: Side 1: 1. Itschwings 2. Six Feet Below 3. Beat Generation 4. Sugar Pops 5. Messing with the Boss I Side 2: 1. Something and Eat 2. Bermuda Triangle 3….

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The Pleasantries: “Innocence, Ignorance” b/w “In Between Or Beyond”, 1994

The Pleasantries: “Innocence, Ignorance” b/w “In Between Or Beyond”, 1994

PERSONNEL: Jim Fitzgerald: lead vocals, guitar John Lopos: bass, vocals Greg Clarke: drums TRACK LISTING: Side A: 1. Innocence, Ignorance 2. In Between Or Beyond “Innocence, Ignorance” is stellar Byrds/Big Star-inspired, Latin-tinged power pop. You, yes you, will love it. “In Between Or Beyond” is equally impressive. Listen now. Jim Fitzgerald, often with Greg Clarke behind the drum kit, masterminded several projects over the years; since 1998, he’s been performing as jf, “the alternative balladeer.”

Wade: S/T, 1995

Wade: S/T, 1995

Catchy pop songs with supercharged guitars and powerful drumming…a gritty-voiced vocalist singing introspective songs about depression, isolation, self-hate and suicide…no, it’s not Nirvana, but the next best thing: Wade. Okay, so it’s not the most original sound in the world, but they still kick ass. The regrettably muddy production of this tape can’t mask the strength of their songs nor the intensity of their performance. Look, if you kids can push Foo Fighters to the top of the charts, why…

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Cystem: A Severed Head (single), 1998

Cystem: A Severed Head (single), 1998

A hardstep single from a known artist (in this Universe, anyway) who wishes to remain anonymous and so asked that I omit his name and address from this review. He has nothing to be ashamed of; the track rocks, although the minimal techno style is less interesting to me than the artist’s more involved illbient and soundtrack work. Whatever, ya gets four mixes to play with and they’re all good, so get it. — Demo Universe PERSONNEL: John Sosnowski: Loops,…

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Dan Cray: How’s My Driving?, 1999

Dan Cray: How’s My Driving?, 1999

‘Jenn Cray’s chirpy recitation of Dr. Seuss’ “Oh The Places You’ll Go!” provides the conceptual road map for another Dan Cray trip into the heart of darkness. Love, and all the pain resulting, is the theme this time out, expressed in quietly shattering songs like “Happy Hour” (“You were the first lust that I trusted/You’ll be the last love I adore/You call it space/I call it war.”) and “Two TVs” (“I’ll take the couch/You’ll take the bed/It’s the ease of…

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Book Of Kills: For The Good Of The Cause, 1991

Book Of Kills: For The Good Of The Cause, 1991

“I don’t really understand Jim very well. I don’t understand why he won’t let other people hear his songs. I don’t understand why he always seemed so reluctant to pursue a life in music. I don’t understand how he could have let his gifts go to waste. But he did.” — Jordy Williams PERSONNEL: James Nipe a/k/a Jim Shelley: Everything TRACK LISTING: Side One* 1.(I’m Glad I’m Not a) Rock Star 2. No Time For Love 3. Dear Annie 4….

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Johnny Skilsaw: 3 Songs, ca 1996

Johnny Skilsaw: 3 Songs, ca 1996

PERSONNEL: Jay Wasco: Vocals, Swiss Army Bass Mark Hütchins: Backing vocals, Octopussy (a homegrown sample-trigger device made of destroyed drum hardware & vacuum hose) Nick Dicorato: Drums TRACK LISTING: Side one (only) 1. Death Of A Cynic 2. Treadmill For Two 3. I Am The Walrus “Death Of A Cynic” and the Beatles cover here were supposed to be on Skilsaw’s debut LP, Stuffed and Motorized. The album was to be released by TAG/Atlantic Records back in the fall/winter of…

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The Blue Hearts: “Be Nice” b/w “Linda Linda”, 1987

The Blue Hearts: “Be Nice” b/w “Linda Linda”, 1987

PERSONNEL: Hiroto Kohmoto: Vocals Masatoshi Mashima: Guitar Junnisuke Kawaguchi: Bass Tetsuya Kajiwara: Drums TRACK LISTING: Side A 1. Be Nice Side B 1. Linda, Linda This tape was in the swag bag from the 1987 New Music Seminar, and boy howdy, it rocks! Talk about big in Japan, these guys really were among the most acclaimed and influential punk-rock bands in the land of the rising sun. Wikipedia has all the deets. Here’s something I could never have seen in…

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The Inkpot Monkey: Private Work Tape, ca 1998

The Inkpot Monkey: Private Work Tape, ca 1998

PERSONNEL: Jack Boyd: Bass Peter Gottovi: Drums Kenyata Sullivan: Guitar, vocals, keyboards TRACK LISTING: Side One 1. 12th Grade, Wow 2. Hatsie 3. Sainted By The Sea And Sand (Version Bertha) 4. Little Fat Man 5. Maya 6. Song For My Father 7. In The War 8. Firecracker (no vocals) Side Two (“Crap, but at least it’s the songs”) 1. That’s Good Talkin’ Boy 2. My Name Is Ramona 3. Witching 4. 8 Week Button 5. Song For My Father…

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