ABSTRACTS -It's Me 2:30 (Post Modernist) New Jersey '81: The Abstracts' "It's Me" appeared in what's arguably the LEAST power-pop-looking sleeve ever printed. They played the NJ Dirt Club pop-scene before moving on to some pioneering electropop sounds as The Three. Joe Vangieri is the guy behind the PCDJ virtual mixer and now runs therecordpool.com, and Dave Biglin is Annie Haslam's longtime accompanist.
ACTION -She's Got My Heart 1:55 (Radiogram 104) Cleveland '82 third 45: Third time was the charm for Cleveland's The Action, although the crystalline pop hooks of 1982's "She's Got My Heart" proved their swan-song. They were fronted by Lux Interior's younger brother, Michael Purkhiser (though he'd been playing in bands long before the Cramps cranked it up). Mike now builds and restores custom amps at purktone.com (and he and bassist Brent Warren backed ex-Raspberry Scott McCarl's latest on Titan).
AGENTS -Don't Change Me 2:24 (Kool Kat PURR-1) Eastern PA/Philadelphia '81: Philadelphia's pop-scene wasn't big, but from the Impossible Years to The Agents to the Wishniaks, there were plenty of great tunes. The Agents' original label Kool Kat is still alive and well (and selling Teenlines, thank-you-very-much). Leader Ralph Leonen, meanwhile, has a cool musicians' blog going at ralphworld.com.
ALTER EGO -Don't Let Her Know // from unreleased LP: N.Y.C. 1980 : The Now (ex-Arthur's Dilemma & Peroxide) were regulars on the NYC powerpop scene, but after their flirtation with major-label stardom fizzled, Geoff and Mamie tried reincarnating themselves as Alter Ego. Four tracks from their never-released LP have now surfaced on a fine Backstreet/ Rave Up 7", but "Don't Let Her Know" had some nasty drop-outs that kept it out of circulation -til now (we've done a pretty swell job of patching it up, no?). Check out the Now's new radio concert CD: "Live...1979." (See also geoffdanielik.com.)
THE ANSWER -Don't Fret / Get You // LP (QL Records) Coral Gables, FL '85: Steve Burdick (no relation to David Burdick) started off on drums with The Wind [Teenline #103: they're still collaborating as Tan Sleeve], then went on to lead his own band, The Answer. 1985 was a pretty lousy time to be a pop band anywhere, and the Answer went nowhere in South Florida -but it's a brilliant LP anyway. Since then, Steve's done everything from blues to rap to a Wind reunion up in New York (2000): most recently he's been doing some high-tech/freeform deejaying at Apache Landing in Aventura, FL.
ARLIS! -No Way Baby 3:37 (Titan 1422) Kansas
PEACH & LEE -Ooh Baby // from Arlis Peach & Larry Lee demo: Omaha c.'75: The cities of the Plains states produced their own bumper-crop of Rickenbachers and high harmonies. Powerpop was the dominant "new wave" sound in Omaha and Lincoln; Kansas City had the Titan label, and Tulsa had Dwight Twilley, David Burdick and Arlis! Arlis Peach did an amazing single for Titan (Secrets, Boys, Gary Charlson, Scott McCarl): "No Way Baby" is a shameless and brilliant Raspberries soundalike. "Ooh Baby", meanwhile, is Arlis with Larry Lee in 1973 or '74 (as Peach & Lee, mind you). Sessions recorded in Omaha, Texas and L.A. eventually resulted in one Peach & Lee single on RCA -and a never-issued LP.
ARTISTS -C'mon 2:33 (Art 101) Kansas City '83: The Artists were relative latecomers to the K.C. scene in '82: "C'mon" was their only vinyl, though some went on to the Crayons and the Foreskins. Guido Toledo now leads Lucky Man Clark, and pays the bills writing jingles for the WalMart empire.
ASTROBEATS -Tight Jeans 1:45 (Screwloose Reecords 264) Connecticut '82: Now, if you're any kind of a feminist, powerpop lyrics are the LAST thing you want to start paying attention to -especially "Tight Jeans" by Connecticut's Astrobeats. Ron Sutfin and Kerry Miller went on to Miracle Legion, Valley of Kings and Cameraface. Ron's produced scores of other CT bands at his studio and Kerry's still playing out with the Swaggerts and Mad Haleens.
ASTROSURF -Kids Today / Where Did the Girls Go? // Ridin' the Amber Waves LP (Ribbon Rail 1006) Bloomington, IN '81: Astrosurf were the proud folly of Bloomington, Indiana's Frank Haney. Although the two songs here feature almost completely different bands, both appeared on '81's "Ridin' the Amber Waves." To complement his guileless only-surfer-guy-in-town approach, Frank gleefully channels Beach Boys melodies circa 1963 and 1973 (but little of the stuff in between), then throws in what we're pretty sure are Teenline's only Vietnam-themed lyrics on "Girls." The whole LP and a half-dozen more great tracks are now on MP3. Frank's currently promoting "Lust'n'Rust," the world's first (and finest) trailer-park musical -that's played to packed houses in Chicago and elsewhere.
B-LOVERS -Everything is Falling 2:40 (Sabine 001) Champaign, IL '82: Two hours southeast in Champaign, IL the B-Lovers released only the "Everything is Falling" 45 before they turned into Turning Curious (Teenline #3). Leader Nick Rudd played a major part in the late '80s power-pop revival as he passed through The Arms of Someone New, Weird Summer and The Big Maybe.
B-MINORS -Prom Night 2:57 (Ikon 123) Youngstown, Ohio '82: The B-Minors' "Prom Night" fits solidly into Youngstown's long-running pop tradition, but the bulk of their material was considerably artier and edgier [Homework is looking forward to some unreleased morsels]. They launched the Cedar's Lounge new-wave scene, but Don Yellech and Ben Neill eventually headed to New York, where Don played drums on the final Psychedelic Furs record (and sundry Broadway shows), and Ben's been a major figure on the experimental music/electronic dance/performance art scene. His newest CD is "Automotive" on Six Degrees... See benneill.com.
BANDABLES -Love Lies Down 2:40 (Galt 300) Queens '84: The Bandables were a high-school combo from Port Washington, NY. Though '84 was far too late for the powerpop trend, they had fun for a couple years, had some success on college radio and a Hear No Evil track, and when singers Jerry and Amy broke up, so did the band. Jerry Kitzrow played in Wild Honey in the early 90s.
BAS CLAS -Physical World 3:32 (Serfdom 101) Lafayette/Baton Rouge, Louisiana '81: BRILLIANT pop from Bas Clas (approximate Cajun/Acadian for "lowlife"). There's a 1977 single and more mainstream 80s material about which we hope to have more info shortly...
JIM BASNIGHT... may still end up on Teenline: back during his career with the Moberleys as Seattle's kings of garage-rock, the Mobs cut an amazing pop-rock session (that shows up on a couple of the CDs that Jim sells at gigs). We're negotiating... In the meantime, Wizzard in Vinyl has a new Moberleys re-issue (Fall 2005).
STIV BATORS -Not That Way Anymore 2:48 (Bomp
128) '79 second solo
STIV BATORS -I'll Be Alright // Where The Action Is promo LP (Bomp) L.A.'80
The late Stiv Bators may have started with Ohio's Dead Boys, but by 1980 he was certifiable powerpop royalty. Bomp kindly loaned us his magnum opus, "Not That Way Anymore," plus his anthemic "I'll Be Alright," which was originally slated for release as Bomp Records #129, but the single never came out. Bomp put it onto a promotional-only compilation called "Where the Action Is," but only in the early '90s did versions [different mixes?] turn up on Munster and on Bomp's own L.A. L.A. CD. (Be sure to visit Bomp's Stiv photo shrine!)
BEAT RODEO -What's the Matter 3:13 (Coyote 005) NYC/Hoboken '83 first: After Steve Almaas' days with Minnesota's Suicide Commandos and the excellent, but mis-packaged Crackers, he re-settled in Hoboken, where his Beat Rodeo opened with a stunning two-sided roots-popper: "What's the Matter" b/w "Mimi." Two LPs on IRS brought the 'Rodeo modest success, but Steve ended up having more fun solo (though nowadays you'll have to catch him during school vacations): there's four fine guitarpop CDs out in Sweden and one on Parasol.
BEEX -Beat Beat 2:15 (Wasp 17) Richmond/D.C. '80: The Beex were a Richmond punk supergroup: Christine Gibson came from the Barriers [H2D #42], Richard Buchanan was ex-X-Breed (with Michael Garrett pre-Single Bullet Theory), and Tom Applegate from Lamour wrote "Beat Beat." He later joined the Beex (and married Christine). The punkier flipside and something from their second 45 appear on Hyped to Death #41, #3's on Teenline #8. On the excellent Wasp label.
CRAIG BEVAN & the TOURISTS -Modern Boy / You Seem to Me // Looking for a Label LP (Generic) Wilkes-Barre, PA '81: Craig Bevan & the Tourists released one wonderfully low-budget LP (only one printed label and a generic cover -the Bats [Teenline #6] used the same image) while making the most of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania's production facilities -check out the electronics break on "Modern Boys"...Bassist Bob Gryziec had played on the Buoys' creepy 60s smash, "Timothy", and he's now with Zydecoal. Craig himself soon moved to New York, where he's enjoyed a prodigious production and engineering career -largely in the hip-hop world.
BLITZ -Panic Button 2:09 (Richmond 2) San Francisco '79: Blitz were a Bay Area pop band that released "Panic Button" on the Psychotic Pineapple's Richmond label in 1979 --to a less-than-enthusiastic response. Too pop? Too slick? Too well, we've messed with the sound a bit to produce what vocalist/bass Todd Stadtman called a "Fiji Mermaid" remix... Todd later turned up in B-Team (Homework #6 & 9) and now helms ZikZak.
BOHEMIA -Unconventional Boy // from 10" EP (VU) Chicago '80 : Bohemia's early efforts generally got caught between Chicago poprock, Ruthless postpunk and WaxTrax dance, though their later material shifted solidly toward the latter two. "Unconventional Boy," however, is a high-calorie slice of Rezillos trash-pop from their seldom-seen 10" (their second?). Bassist Francis Zirbel now helms Mental Insect, whose newest is Live at the Big Horse Lounge.
BOY TROUBLE -Party Girl 3:06 (Angel of Shame BT-001) S.F. '83: San Francisco's Boy Trouble started out with Susan Kuchinskas backed by, well, a bunch of guys. But the name proved a self-fulfilling prophesy, so Susan kicked them out and replaced 'em with four [girl]friends who'd played in everything from the Subterraneans [Linda Donahoo, Sarah McNair] to a Sonoma County country-and-western band. Linda's "Party Girl" should make a nice, gritty antidote to all this testosterone pop we've been ingesting, here...
BOYFRIENDS -Don't Want Nobody 1:49 (Bomp 117) NYC '78 first
BOYFRIENDS -Wrapped Up in a Dream 2:54 (Signal
BR01) Brooklyn '81
The Boyfriends were led by NYC powerpop pioneers Bobby Dee (ex-Poppees) and Paddy Williams: they put out a 45 on Bomp! in 1978, then got picked up by Malcolm McLaren... After Malcolm turned down some deals he probably shouldn't have (as did William Morris after that), the Boyfriends found themselves on their own. "Don't Want Nobody" was their irresistible (and stunningly noisy) debut on Bomp Records, who'd signed Bobby Dee's earlier band the Poppees, only to have them split into these Boyfriends and the Sorrows (see Pierre Gurdjos' article from Amplifier). They pressed up just 100 copies of their second 45 in 1981, whence "Wrapped Up in a Dream" is a handsome exploration of Paul McCartney's Wings-ier tendencies (one of power-pop's dark little secrets). The Boyfriends, happily, are back together in NYC: news soon.
BOYS -She's My Girl-She's All Mine 1:53
(Outrage 111) Lincoln, NE '75 first
BOYS -You Make Me Shake 2:34 (Outrage 112) Lincoln, Nebraska '77 second
BOYS -On a Night Like This / Just Another Pop Album LP (Titan) Omaha '80
Up in Lincoln, the Boys ruled the power-pop roost. 1977's "You Make Me Shake" is probably their best, but "She's My Girl," their 1975 debut, provides a nice missing link between full-blown American power-pop and its sixties ancestors -the Beatles (note the copped riffs from "Glass Onion" and "The End") and the stateside 4/4 garage-boogie of bands like the early Flamin Groovies. "On a Night Like This" was their final release-on Titan's Just Another Pop Album collection, though there's more Boys (and Arlis) coming on the Best of Titan double CD (2003?).
BOYS LIFE -I Found Her 3:16 (Seco 001) Boston '81: Boys Life were part of the early-80s pre-garage Boston pop-rock scene -along with the many Unnatural Axe offshoots and the Outlets, who debuted on the other side of Boys' Life's first EP. They complicated matters by performing in Boy Scout uniforms and dabbling in the arty honking sound that was popular at the time, but "I Found Her" is a great bit of lunkhead pop from their second and final 7". Leader John Surrette is now with the Deniros.
BOYZ -Charlotte 2:30 (Kiderian 45130) Chicago '7: Rounding out the Midwest contingent are Chicago's Boyz with their astonishing "Charlotte," from 1975. The fanzines liked'em a lot, but everyone went looking for them in the wrong place since their label was based in Arizona. There was some further confusion about them being pre-Huns, which they were, but it wasn't the Texas band. Several more Boyz tracks appear on the Goodbye Dolores V.A. LP, and there's an '88 remake of "Charlotte" as the Fad Four, complete with screaming beatlemania fan-noise...and many other bands inbetween.
DAVID BRANYAN -Never 2:41 / Something Special // from demo/unreleased LP sessions, Ardent Studios, Memphis '80: David Branyan grew up in Europe but was living in Memphis through the entire Ardent Studios scene: Big Star, Hot Dogs, Tommy Hoehn and David's own band, the Scruffs (he's the guitarist). Despite a bunch of gigs in Memphis (and St. Louis) and a hot 1980 demo tape recorded at Ardent (whence "Never"), he never made it to vinyl. Despite David's best efforts to rekindle the classic sounds of #1 Record, the Ardent tech crew were heavily into ZZ Top at the time, so David and his brother Richard finally holed up with an intern to cut "Something Special" with David on drums & guitar, and Richard on organ, bass & vocals. When the LP deal failed to happen, David bagged the pop life for serious academia (we may have links to some writing projects and publications in 2003).
BREAKERS -College Students 2:34 (Gone Bop SRL-1675) Maryland '82: The Breakers enjoyed some success on the Maryland pop scene from 1979 to '82 when their lone EP came out. (Half of it's produced by local hero John Palumbo of Crack the Sky.) They started making sleeves for it by hand but quickly ran out of patience. Drummer/lyricist Mark Klotzbach's now playing with Still Life.
BREATHERS -Did You Think // The Land That
Time Forgot compilation LP (Open Records LONG2) Florida '82
BREATHERS -Love is Together 2:17 // 4 More from 4 EP (HiVariety 4) South Florida '85: The Breathers prowled around South Florida's indie pop-rock scene for a half-dozen years in the early- and mid-80s, and left behind "Did You Think" on The Land that Time Forgot compilation, plus two excellent EPs (one of them assisted by Bill Lloyd). "Love is Together," written by keyboardist Erich Overhultz is one of the sweetest Smiley Smile-era grooves ever committed to vinyl: sleigh-bells, bass harmonica, and all. There was also a German-only LP. Even more Breathers material appears on CDs by leader Rick Harper and drummer Tom Staley. Tom pounded skins on the classic early NRBQ LPs: his newest CD is "I've Always Known," Rick's Rickenharper and Hoot are available on own HiVariety label.
BROKEN HEARTS -Tuesday Evening Girl // Want One LP (Scarlett) Hartford, CT '85 : Hartford, Connecticut sat out the powerpop trend (sorta like it sat out all the others) but 1985 saw The Broken Hearts debut with "Want One," a solid LP of Mersey / 60s-influenced poptunes. The 'Hearts were fronted by three songwriters, including Michael Mazzarella of the Rooks [on Not Lame] and Tom Bittel who's now in See Jane Run. The full Broken Hearts LP and 11 bonus tracks will appear on Paisley Pop in 2003.
DAVID BURDICK -Letters 3:44 (TNT Music) Tulsa '83: David Burdick toiled for years in the Tulsa pop-mines beside Oklahoma powerpop greats Dwight Twilley, 20/20, etc. "Letters" appeared in 1981, but we didn't hear it til it was sampled by Pierre from Bubblegum the Punk. (There are a couple of cuts by Burdick's band the Jacks on the Explosive compilation.) He's now in Sins Tailor (from Dallas) whose "Ticket for a Destination" CD should see a sequel sometime in 2002 or...
THE BURDONS -I Fell in Love / Time // EP (Big Rock/Government Records) Bay City, MI '84: The Burdons, come from WAY up at the top of the Michigan mainland, though drummer David Davenport did time in sunnier climes with San Diego's Claude Coma [H2D #51 -on the same Government label]. The Burdons remain Bay City's patriarchs of pop-rock: their 1999 CD, "Penny Arcade" contains a live version of "Fell in Love:" it's available through the World Records website.
BUZZARIANS -Wild Weekend 2:33 (Boynton 50006) Boston '80: The Buzzarians put out one prodigiously scarce single in 1980: the A-side is slightly punkier (and heavily Love-influenced), but our pick is "Wild Weekend." Bart Caruso proceeded to Zodio Doze [Teenline #5] and now has two CDs' worth of his own stuff at MP3.com, while Buzz-mates Brad and Dana Martinson have 3 CDs of surf instrumentals there, themselves.
GARY CHARLSON -Brown Eyes 3:44 (Titan 1420) Kansas City '79 first: Gary Charlson's first on Titan was "Brown Eyes." He cut another 45 and an LP, got chatted up by some major labels, but in the end he decided to stay put in K.C., where he later played in the 4Sknns with Guido from the Artists [Teenline #6].
Paul Chastain and Ric Menck's lengthy careers (Nines, Reverbs+++) are reissued in many places; these should at least get you started: Choo Choo Train and their other 80s material is on their Hey Wimpus! and The Ballad of Ric Menck CDs, on Action Musik: and their newest CD as Velvet Crush is available on Cooking Vinyl...
CHEEPSKATES -Run Better Run 2:30 (5 & 10) NYC '83
CHEEPSKATES -Come Close to Me // unreleased 1988 original
Most of you have already heard the Cheepskates' classic "Run Better Run." First released on their own 5 & 10 label in 1983, it was quickly picked up by Midnight Records (who have the "Run" CD and much more on CD). Leader Shane Faubert started off with Kitsch [Teenline #12?] and through the Cheepskates and afterwards he has nearly a dozen releases available. In 1987 or so the Cheepskates sent 5 lovely tracks to Throbbing Lobster from their Perry Como EP sessions: a later recording of "Come Close to Me" eventually turned up on Confessional, though lead Shane reckons this is his favorite version. See his To m'lou label for more!
CHEESE -She Said 3:12 (B-B-Baby) NYC '79: Cheese did only one 45 back in '79, which included the magnificently freakbeat-y "She Said." We've lost the trail of songwriter Ian Harrison somewhere deep in the Florida panhandle, but Cheese was also the first stop on co-leader Jim Maresca's glitter[ing] ride to stardom through the Sic F*cks, the Young & Fabulous, and now, Sküm.
CHEETERS -You Ain't Breakin' Nobody's Heart 3:07 (Cheeters 44730) Madison, WI '80 : Wisconsin and northern Illinois never experienced the impenetrable wall that existed almost everywhere else between "commercial" acts on the one hand and powerpop and punk bands on the other. The Shoes and the Knack were stars, of course, and that opened a lot of doors for guitar-pop, even if it did also invite a certain amount of arena-rock posing among the beginner bands like Whiz Kid (Teenline #5) and the Cheeters, from Madison, 1980. But with a hook like "You Ain't Breakin' Nobody's Heart", who cares? Leader C.J. Summerfield now plays with Marcus Bovre and the Evil Twins.
CIRCUS -Feel So Right // LP (Metromedia) Cleveland '73: The Circus actually hit the Billboard pop charts at #91 in 1973 with "Stop Wait & Listen" (though "Feel So Right," here, is a far stronger tune). They were part of the same Cleveland scene that gave the world the Raspberries, the Choir and the Michael Stanley Band, so it was only natural that Eric Carmen asked Dan Hrdlicka's next band, Magic, to back his solo debut. [Here's a brief web-bio...]
CLICKS -I Should've Told You 3:07 (Alpha-Media 007) Boston '84
CLICKS -Beat of My Heart / She's Looking at Me // demo/unreleased LP: Boston '85: Jimmy Vigtone and producer/label-owner Django Buzzwad (William Garrett) first teamed up on Jimmy's solo single earlier in 1982 [Teenline #5], but things didn't really click 'til the Clicks. "I Should Have Told You" unfortunately failed to find much of an audience. (It was still too early for the garage stuff, and the height of Boston's hardcore scene, besides...) Jimmy's new guitar-pop band Blue-Eyed Mary is available from Not Lame. Teenline #8 features the Clicks' poprock anthem "Beat of My Heart" --another victim of the '80s "unreleased album" syndrome, plus a terrific "unplugged" pop strum to close things out.
THE COLD -You 2:53 (Top Pop KRS-611) New
Orleans '80 first
THE COLD -Wake Up 2:30 (Top Pop 002) '80 second 45
The Cold were New Orleans' undisputed pop-rock royalty. Five singles, two albums -and a punk-factor of zero. Here's our favorite cuts from their first and second 45s: "You" and "Wake Up." There's two CDs of original live and studio stuff available through the Cold's website, threechordcity.com. Guitarists Kevin Radecker & Bert Smith have a fine new powerpop band out called The Tea Sea.
Paul Collins has a photo-filled fanclub site: everything you need to know...
COLORS -West End 1:47 (Infinite 001) NYC
COLORS -Popstar / Tomorrow // 6-song EP (Dirt Records 002) N.Y.C. '82
The Colors, as you might expect, were high-style powerpoppers. Their terrific debut EP, with "West End," came out on the house label of Infinite Records, one of New York's premier pop'n'punk-friendly record-shops (who cruelly hung a copy of the Sex Pistols' A&M single on their wall but refused to tell how much they wanted for it). After their 7" they hooked up with New Jersey's Dirt Club label for a great cut on the Dirt Compilation, and a seldom seen 6-song 12", whence "Tomorrow" and "Popstar," by singers Paul Sass and Robert Vickers, respectively. Songwriter Robert Vickers left in 1982 to join the Go-Betweens and later gigged with Yo La Tengo (he's now with Jetset Records).
COMMANDOS -You're Not the First // Big Hits Of Mid-America Vol. 3 compilation 2LP (TwinTone 7907/8) Minneapolis '79: 1976 saw the Suicide Commandos bringing noise and energy to the Land of 10,000 Lakes on a scale unheard since the garagepunk glory days of the Litter and the Soma label. Though they broke up in '78, each of the three 'Commandos composed a track for "TwinTone's Big Hits of Mid-America Vol. 3 (itself a tribute to Volumes 1 & 2, which appeared on the aforementioned Soma label in '65 or so) "You're Not the First One" was bassist Steve Almaas' tune, and his last stop before forming Crackers.
COMATEENS -Dangerzone 2:31 (Teenmaster) NYC '79 first: NYC's Comateens, quickly found success in the more commercial end of No Wave new-wave (especially in Europe, where most of their later records came out), but "Dangerzone" is a complete glitter-pop treasure. More Comateens music is on Homework #8. With future Sic F*cks member, Harry Viderci.
CONDITIONZ -House Divided 2:25 (Primal Lunch 001) Riverside, CA '82 first: The Conditionz were Riverside California's titans of trash on the mid-80s garagepunk-scene, but their sleeveless debut "House Divided" showed Bob Nye and the gang had developed a pretty impressive pop habit as well... 1982, on their own Primal Lunch label.
CORSAIRS -Wait For Me // EP (Music Rage Records) Long Beach, CA '83: By 1983, the garage-revival and Paisley Underground scenes had thoroughly overrun the last remnants of L.A. powerpop... so the Corsairs never quite fit in, despite their record on garage scenester Lori Spilka's Music Rage label. After some more conventionally garagey material Alan relocated to Kansas, where he's produced Route 3 and others at his own studio: he's also doing web-development and recording a bit on his own.
COWBOY AND SPINGIRL -The Things That Make Me Glad // demo: N.Y.C./NC '86: "The Things That Make Me Glad That I Met You" marked the symbolic end of the Riff Doctors [Teenline #1] and the birth of Cowboy and Spingirl: the 'Doctors were essentially Frank Bednash's solo project, while C&S was his official collaboration with Donna Esposito (ex-Cyclones [Homework #8] -and, not surprisingly, the "Donna" that Frank is singing about). The name? Well, they'd spied "Cowboy and Spingirl" on a Chinese menu somewhere in Manhattan and when Frank & Donna decided to sample it, the restaurant staff broke into mysterious laughter... Several C&S records later, someone in London explained it's the name of a pricey Hong Kong bordello service involving a young lady lowered from the ceiling in a basket Other tracks from the "Things" session formed side 2 of C&S's fab 12" debut on Subway: Frank and Donna remain happily in cahoots in Toothpaste 2000.
CRACKERS -Ultimato // Sir Crackers EP (Twin Tone 8122) Minneapolis '80: Steve Almaas formed Crackers after the Suicide Commandos broke up: they did one wildly-mixed EP with the confusing title of Sir Crackers, so nobody ever really knew who or what they were. "Ultimato" is the token poprocker. After a stint in Beat Rodeo, Steve has continued with 4 solo CDs, with his newest, "Steve Almaas & Ali Smith" out on Parasol in early 2003.
CRASH KILLS FIVE -What Do You Do At Night 1:56 (WRC3-1250) Toronto '80: Crash Kills Five briefly played the Toronto poppunk'n'roll scene (Diodes, Teenage Head, Dishes+++). The extraordinary Reid "O'Matic" Diamond started off on bass in Calgary pop band Buick McKane along with original Crash guitarist Brian Connelly before Reid hooked up in Toronto with vocalist Donald Pyle to make the CK5, who released just the "What Do You Do" EP in 1980. Pyle switched to drums and Connelly rejoined, but that's where they evolved (much more successfully) into Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet. Much more at the Shadowy Men website, though we're sorry to hear of Reid's death in early 2001. R.I.P.
CUCUMBERS -My Boyfriend 2:41 [from 1981 4-band demo EP] NYC '81: This version of the Cucumbers' "My Boyfriend" -an insidiously catchy song they reprised several times over the 80s- comes from a demo EP their booking agent put out in 1981: it's extremely primitive, but you'll get a kick out of how they hadn't written a second verse yet -and the way Deena and Jon trade vocals. The Cukes are now on Fictitious Records: see the Cucumbers' website (and a fun online history).
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