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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nina57: Medication here I Come Again!, 1999

nina57: Medication here I Come Again!, 1999

Solo rock from Nina, who accompanies herself with electric guitar (mostly) on this lo-fi 4-track recording. Double-tracked vocals, a common crutch for insecure vocalists, robs this tape of some intimacy, while failing to disguise Nina’s pitch problems. And yet, Medication Here I Come Again! is not without its good points. Nina’s guitar playing is not flashy but strong and sure, and her energy is infectious. Hope to hear more and better in the future! — Demo Universe, December 6, 1999…

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Zolty Cracker, Demo, 1995

Zolty Cracker, Demo, 1995

PERSONNEL: Gilles Zolty: Lead vocals, guitar Annie Wilkinson: Bass, accordion, vocals, cello Wayne Adams: Drums, percussion, harmonica, vocals TRACK LISTING: Side One (only) 1. Skeptical Pig 2. Heavy 3. L’immigrant This wild and wooly folk-punk trio from Vancouver, British Columbia, might remind you of Violent Femmes (“Skeptical Pig”). Or acoustic Led Zeppelin (“Heavy”). Or possibly fur trapping (“L’immigrant”). It’s that kind of band. After ZC, Gilles Zolty made a few solo albums, and in 2007 produced a compilation album of…

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Daniel Cartier, Milk, 1994

Daniel Cartier, Milk, 1994

PERSONNEL: Daniel Cartier: Lead & background vocals, 12-string and six-string acoustic guitars, electric guitars, lead guitar solo, bass guitars, percussion, piano & vibes Bruce Berman: Six-string acoustic guitars, electric guitar, piano, percussion, backing vocals on “Time Keeps Me Wondering” Johnny Indovina: Electric guitars & guitar effects, percussion, background vocals on “Time Keeps Me Wondering” Sean Grissom: Cello Joe McGinty: Hammond B3 organ Derek Murphy: Drums Patrick Cerria: Percussion on “Sugar If You Fall” TRACK LISTING: Side One (only) 1. Looking…

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Vicious Beatniks: Courage, 1992-1994

Vicious Beatniks: Courage, 1992-1994

PERSONNEL: Dave Portolano: Vocals, acoustic and electric guitars Brian Lindgren: Guitars, vocals Joe Kowalski: Bass Joe Anderson, Dave Diamond: Drums TRACK LISTING: Side One 1. Can You Rise (Above It All) 2. If I Had A Son 3. Joan Of Arc (Was Self-Employed) 4. We All Lie Naked Side Two 1. 25° 2. Doubt 3. Left Behind 4. Talk To The Ocean 5. Popcorn Gotta admit I am guessing on the release date of this tape, but I’m probably close,…

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Jim Shelley: The Haunted Life, 1992

Jim Shelley: The Haunted Life, 1992

PERSONNEL: Jim Shelley, everything TRACK LISTING: 1. Heaven 2. In My Room 3. The Girl Whose Name 4. Blue Man 5. Haunted Road Blues 6. Notes from the Underground 7. New James Shelley Blues 8. Fool for Love 9. The Haunted Life 10. Talk to Me 11. She’s the Kind of Girl “I can do what I want to do/In my little room” Jim was, and is, an essential artist in the cassette underground; beyond question one of the finest…

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Jenifer Convertible: Tame, 1995

Jenifer Convertible: Tame, 1995

PERSONNEL: Lenny Zenith: Vocals, guitar Jim Santo: Guitar, vocals James Pertusi: Bass, vocals Eddie Siino: Drums TRACK LISTING: 1. Big Wheel 2. Maine 3. Closet/Death 4. Beg Off 5. Awakening From A Disturbing Dream Recorded live to DAT by Al Houghton on a very hot day in the summer of 1995 at the original Dubway Studio on 8th Avenue, this EP captures JenCon in the period immediately after the departure that spring of original drummer Andy Moore. “Maine,” Andy’s not-dead-yet…

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Steve Hammond: Nuclear Winter, 1999

Steve Hammond: Nuclear Winter, 1999

‘”I share the view that most of today’s best music is never heard or is pushed back and written off for a dime a dozen top 40, FCC and MTV sanctioned bullshit,” declares Hammond. “I hope your ear for undiscovered music will spread back to the other mediums of exposure one day after the general public realizes what kind of crap has been spoon fed to them for so long now.” As if! The follow-up to 1998’s scuzzy but wonderful…

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Mobius Strip: Five songs, 1995

Mobius Strip: Five songs, 1995

‘Mobius Strip employ hip-hop beats, jazzy guitar, throbbing rock bass and space dinosaurs to build their mesmerizing sound. Imagine a cross between My Bloody Valentine, Roxy Music and Achtung Baby U2 and you’ll be getting there, then listen to “Bleed Electri” and hear a hybrid of orchestral Soft Machine, Art Of Noise and a sentient jellyfish. Most of this is instrumental, but Arrow and Christian open their mouths softly on “Remedy,” contributing little to the overall mood. Incredibly, the duo…

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