February 2006 Archives

graphics...


Oh, and if anyone is graphically talented and wants to create graphics for this here site? Let me know... We can talk...

Okay, 3 or 4 days in...

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Post number 5, after 1 wordy rambling thing and 3 music posts.

I see from the logs that people are reading these and actually downloading the files. If you're leaving comments on livejournal, I can't see them (and they eventually get deleted as the syndicated posts expire), and none have been left on the actual solipsism.net site, so I have no idea what you, my few but undoubtedly loyal readers, have liked or would like to see more of from this here blog.

So, any comments on the handful of songs so far? I haven't set things up for recording from vinyl yet (or tape, for that matter), so these have all been tracks that have been kicking around in mp3 format already. It's mostly been synthpop, and mostly C'Est La Mort.

Any requests? Any comments? Please post.

I've got some DDT lined up, but I'm going to let Joe post those. That should be coming in a couple of days...

Magnetic Fields

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I don't think I have to tell anyone who the Magnetic Fields are.

"Crowd of Drifters" is Stephen Merritt's first release, from the 1990 C'est La Mort compilation "Doctor Death's Volume 4: The Marvels of Insect Life." This version features Susan Anway on vocals and very different production from the version released much later on Charm of the Highway Strip.

"I Die, You Die" is from the Gary Numan tribute album, Random.

Crowd of Drifters (C'est La Mort)
I Die, You Die (Gary Numan cover)

Handful of Snowdrops

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Handful of Snowdrops synthpop band from Quebec. They started out in the early 80's, released an album in 1990 (Land of the Damned), released a second album in 1992 (Dans L'Oeil De La Tempete), and called it quits in 1993, releasing a final collection of live songs (Mort en Direct). They were published by the now-defunct C'est La Mort records, about which more can be read here. They're best known for Area and Controlled Bleeding, and some C'est La Mort releases were much later reissued on Projekt. Many C'est La Mort albums remain out of print, though, including Handful of Snowdrops.

Handful of Snowdrops wasn't a great studio band. Land of the Damned suffers from very raw production-- lots of big dry synths, fakey choir samples (not that I don't love fakey choir samples...) and very mechanical drums and sequences. Dans L'Oeil De La Tempete was almost overproduced and sounds way too clean and deliberate, and the drum programming is still very mechanical. Drum machines aren't necessarily bad, but the rest of the instrumentation seems to be striving for lushness and expression and the drums just don't support that well.

It's no surprise, I guess, that Mort en Direct really stands out as the best document of the Handful of Snowdrops sound. Even the sequenced parts sound better onstage, and rather than sampled guitars, they appear to be playing with a live guitarist. If you'd heard their studio albums and wondered what the big deal was, Mort en Direct could convince you that they really were worth paying attention to.

Here are a couple of Handful of Snowdrops songs. "Now, Then, and Forever" was only available on Volume 4 of the Doctor Death compilations, Marvels of Insect Life. "Land of the Damned" is the Mort En Direct version of the title track from their first album. "Godhood" is also live, and doesn't seem to have been released elsewhere.

Now, Then, and Forever
Land of the Damned
Godhood

Men Without Hats/Eins Zwei Mix

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All right, the first actual music posting. How about that?

I've been a big fan of Men Without Hats since, well, a long time ago. Not as long as they've been around, but when somebody on the MWH mailing list offered to make CDs of a couple of live shows plus their FIRST release (the Folk of the 80's EP, although in the form of the 1985 re-release, the Freeways EP), I jumped at it. The two concerts were from 1983 (the Rhythm of Youth tour) and 1985 (the Freeways tour).

The Freeways EP included 5 songs-- "Modern(e) Dancing", "Utter Space", "Antarctica" (a different version on Rhythm of Youth), "Security (Everybody feels better with)", and "Freeways (Euromix)." An extended version of the EP included 3 other versions of "Freeways," in French, German, and English. Of these, it appears that only "Freeways (Euromix)" was ever released on CD.

I would love it these were re-released on CD. I'd buy them in a second. The CD copies I have are old CD-Rs, from the days when CD burners were expensive and rare, and I don't know how long they'll last. I've made a backup, but I'd rather have a real CD of them. The 80's revival is here-- can we have good reissues of the old MWH material? How about a domestic reissue of Folk of the 80's (Part III) and Rhythm of Youth? You CAN buy them on CD, from Canada (and I have), but not in the US. And the Freeways material appears to be totally unavailable anywhere.

"Utter Space" is one of my favorite MWH songs ever, and was also released as a B-side on the "I Got The Message" single. This is the version from Freeways. The other two are live versions from the Freeways 1985 tour, another otherwise-unavailable Freeways track and the live version of their cover of Roxy Music's "Editions of You."

Utter Space
Security (Everybody feels better with) (Freeways 1985)
Editions of You (Freeways 1985)


The second thing I'm going to post today I, well... I guess I found it somewhere. It's a mashup, or, as we called them in the 80's, a "megamix." And once I get set up for recording from vinyl, I'm going to post my TOTALLY AWESOME Depeche Mode/Nitzer Ebb/Front242/oh and some Laibach for good meaure megamix 12" I picked up a few years ago. Yeah, I can hear you drooling out there.

This is floating around on the internet, usually labelled "Eins Zwei Mix (Long Version)." Some misguided fool seems to have decided it must be somehow related to Einstuerzende Neubauten, which seems to imply that they've never even listened to Einstuerzende Neubauten.

In it, I can pick out Front242 (I guess that 10 minutes of raw beat on the Never Stop! EP was useful after all), Jean-Michel Jarre, Kraftwerk, Enya, Delerium, Art of Noise, Erasure, Mo-Do, and, to tie it in with Men Without Hats, a good chunk of one of Ivan Doroschuk's solo releases. Yeah. I have no idea who made it, but they sure did a good job.

Here you go:

Eins Zwei Mix (Long Version)


...and, an administrative note: I am attempting to host these on gweep.net after all. If the bandwidth usage gets too high, I'll move them somewhere else.


Statement of Purpose

All right, so here I am, and I have this blog software set up.

What am I doing with it?

Well, first off, I've been enjoying places like http://postpunkjunk.com, and this is some kind of misguided attempt to Give Back To The Community. Yeah, okay.

Second, I've always enjoyed trying to get people to listen to music I like and maybe discover that they like it too. A little DJing, some mixtapes, and now an mp3 blog. Sure.

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