Confuse a Cat – Ankles tape (1992, 360)

Well, I know this won’t be for everyone, but Confuse a Cat are/were such a WTF proposition I couldn’t resist sharing this.  Their moniker (a nod to Monty Python) should tip you off to their decidedly eccentric and crooked nature.
Hailing from the relatively conventional environs of Birmingham, MI, this coed foursome sounds like they had a shared affinity for the Violent Femmes, Stump, Agitpop, and perhaps Captain Beefheart.  The overarching vibe on Ankles is loose, but nimble, with bassist Jenny Gabel’s skittish bass runs punctuating an already frisky sonic backdrop.  No power pop or overt catchiness here, yet CoC’s tunes are just structured enough to infiltrate the fringes of your cerebellum – that is if you’re willing to invest multiple spins of this often tricky reel.  “Let the Bugs Crawl” and the rambunctious, violin-enhanced “Latin Libra” are a couple of the arguable highlights here.

01. Latin Libra
02. Mellow Soul Breath
03. T.V. Boy
04. Let the Bugs Crawl
05. ¡Whirl!
06. Empty
07. Junco Bird

Articles Origin: Confuse a Cat – Ankles tape (1992, 360)


Silver Tears – s/t ep (1984, Ripe)

I believe someone requested this a few months ago.  More rock o’ the ’80s, from southern Cali by the looks of things.  If you liked 415 Records acts like Red Rockers you’re bound to dig this, although Silver Tears steered clear of upright accoutrements that contained fancy buttons and such.  A fairly pedestrian yet occasionally compelling modern rock modus operandi abounds here, with a bit of an Anglo bent dontcha know.  I especially enjoy the ringing guitar tones percolating on the melancholy-ish “Safe Home.”  And maybe I’m the only one to pick up on this, but mouthpiece Roger Prescott extends a vocal panache that negligibly resembles Joe Strummer.  Like I said, that interpretation is entirely mine, so make of it what you will. 

01. Over and Over Again
02. Safe Home
03. High Life
04. New Funk

Articles Origin: Silver Tears – s/t ep (1984, Ripe)

Re-ups and reloads.

The Cutss/t LP
The ChantTwo Car Mirage/Three Sheets to the Wind
The Johnsonss/t LP
Game TheoryBig Shot Chronicles demos
Helmet Boys/t LP
Speed the Ploughs/t LP
V/AWhy Do You Think They Call it Pop?
V/AThe Living Room comp
ShortfallHooray for Everything
New Sweet Breathsingles
The PapillomasCorolla, Twice as Early…, When Years Were Bee Stings
The Caretaker RaceHangover Square
RamrodsJivin’ & Twistin’ ep
PollyannaHello Halo 
Papas FritasFriday Night 7″
WillardSunshine Wire 7″
The Fluidlive Chicago, 1991
BadbobNow is Reaction
Pointed SticksRaw Power Pop (live)
The WardellsNow
The BounceThings That Go Bounce in the Night ep
BaxtersEra Buffet
The Playmates!Short Wave
The LadsOut From the Shadows
Brilliant OrangeHappy Man ep
PengwinsMad About the Band ep
The MiceWho Cut the Cheese?
SeafoodMessenger in the Camp
Cod LoversFrench Plums
Sand RubiesRelease the Hounds
The Welcome MatGram
Alligator GunOver and Out & singles
V. CardBright 7″ & Pool Card ep
Radar MercuryThank You, Goodnight ep & demo

Articles Origin: Re-ups and reloads.

Fictions – s/t (1980, Intercan)

I recently had a request for this nearly four-decade ‘ol relic.  I don’t actually possess a copy of Fictions, but I did have files of it.  Fictions were a Canadian quartet, possibly from Ontario.  No useful background data is available on them online, but then again, their moniker makes that a considerable challenge to begin with.  The lead-off “Won’t Wash Away” is peppered with the kind of jerky rhythmic meter that made the Police a household name, and being that virtually everything else on the record pales by comparison, it’s safe to say this tune might have been their proverbial calling card.  The remainder of Fictions sports a more pedestrian bent, with trace elements of the Cars, The A’s and to a lesser extent the Pointed Sticks making themselves evident, albeit these guys went easy-does-it on the keyboards.  Not the most innovative record going, but still plenty recommendable. 

01. Won’t Wash Away
02. I Let Go
03. Don’t Look Down
04. Shuffle
05. Better
06. Fixation
07. Snob Appeal
08. Jersey Shore
09. Dimestore Romance
10. Do It With the Lights On
11. Praying for the World

Articles Origin: Fictions – s/t (1980, Intercan)

Tiny Lights – Know It You Love (1989, Gaia) – Unreleased LP!

So…I’m not the biggest Tiny Lights fan on the planet.  In fact, I’m not the least bit “fanatical” about this bygone Hoboken, NJ collective, a co-ed one at that.  It’s not for lack of trying of course.  I even own some of their earlier efforts – Prayer for the Halcyon Fear and Hazel’s Wreath to be exact.  Nonetheless, I was never able to grasp onto this co-ed’s subtle melange of pop, folk, and even some occasional chamber inclinations.  So why I’m I dedicating to this entry to a band I’m not entirely enthused about it?  As it would turn out, the band’s third album, Know it You Love, was initially slated for release in 1989, but unfortunately had to be tabled due to their label, Gaia, going belly up, unexpectedly.  Ironically, the masters were sent to the pressing plant before Gaia dissolved, and a number of advance tapes were printed up.  Guess who made off with one of those scarce advance cassettes?

And here it is, the whole thing.  A portion of the Know It… tunes materialized on the Tiny Lights retrospective, The Young Person’s Guide to Tiny Lights.  These folks are an acquired taste, though more genteel palates are likely to experience a more immediate impact.  One number that stands out for me is the commencing, “Ochre Revolution,” which exudes a faint Paisley serenity, not unlike what a more enlightened Bangles could have conjured up.  Scott Miller’s Game Theory might have been suitable at interpreting this tune as well.  Elsewhere, “Big Deal” finagles with a decent enough pop hook,” and “Pushin’ the Button” flirts with an uncharacteristically funky groove.  Enjoy (or not).

01. Ochre Revolution
02. Dawn
03. Wave
04. Close My Eyes
05. Horsehead
06. T.A.D.
07. Say Good-bye
08. Big Deal
09. Pushin’ the Button
10. Donna’s Flag
11. April’s Song

Articles Origin: Tiny Lights – Know It You Love (1989, Gaia) – Unreleased LP!

Paul Westerberg – 54 Minutes of Your Time Life (2008)

Hey.  It’s going to be at least another 24 hours until I can get something more formal up on these pages, but to tide you over, here is a download of Paul Westerberg’s internet only demos collage from 2008.  It was dubbed 49:00, and it was exactly that length, showcasing 24 unreleased songs all smooshed into one MP3 that was available very temporarily from Amazon downloads.  It’s been available to stream on YouTube, and I believe even Soundcloud since then, but here’s your chance to grab it for your MP3 emitting device or computer, phone, whatever, and you won’t have to worry about eating up your monthly 4G allotment.  Hot on the heels of 49:00 came the companion 505, offering a mere five minutes (or so) of music, and that’s included in the folder as well.

The full tracklist and spiel is available here.

Articles Origin: Paul Westerberg – 54 Minutes of Your Time Life (2008)