Water All Around

"Water all around...never learn how to swim now." This site is devoted to great alternative music. Like "Swingin' Party" by the Replacements from which the aforementioned lyrics hail. These posts are intended to introduce visitors to bands that I believe deserve greater attention. If you wish to have an MP3 removed, email me at zotzedwriter@yahoo.com.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Taking a Water Break

...Maybe a permanent one. If I don't come back, thanks for visiting.


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Rare Strummer Tune

Happened upon this on eMusic today. It's Joe Strummer performing under the pseudonym Electric Dog House. Not sure what year it was released. In fact, I can't find any info on EDH. Anyone know anything?

[MP3] Electric Dog House – "Generation"

Friday, December 22, 2006

Five fer Friday XI

[MP3] Generation X – "100 Punks Rule" EXPIRED
That first album by Billy and the boys was awesome. Here's my favorite track.

[MP3] The Jam – "Saturday's Kids" EXPIRED
I really need to devote an entire entry on the Jam. Until then......

[MP3] Hoodoo Gurus – "I Want You Back" EXPIRED
This is from their 1983 Stoneage Romeos debut disc – it spent quite bit o' time on my turntable back in college.

[MP3] The Pink Fairies – "Between the Lines" EXPIRED
Early Stiff Records band that I know little about – this is from the Stiff Singles, Vol. 1 disc.

[MP3] Mick Farren and the Deviants – "Let's Loot the Supermarket Again Like We Did Last Summer" EXPIRED

This might be it for '06, gang. Happy holidays to all of you!

The Fratellis

Thanks to Water-rat Sparkylulu for turning me on to the Fratellis. These fun-first Scots are kinda like an amped-up, rocked-out Beatles, infused with the bounciness of early XTC.

Their lyrics tend to the jokey side, which is sorta disappointing. They seem to have the talent to go farther. They're said, though, they're definitely a band to watch.

These are from the 2006 debut disc Costello Music:

[MP3] The Fratellis – "Henrietta" EXPIRED
[MP3] The Fratellis – "Chelsea Dagger" EXPIRED
[MP3] The Fratellis – "Baby Fratelli" EXPIRED

Here's the cheapest place I could find to buy their disc online.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Andy Partridge/Fuzzy Warbles

Andy Partridge of XTC fame recently compiled an entire musical life of outtakes, alt takes, and unreleased takes into an eight-disc set titled The Fuzzy Warbles. As I understand it, this was originally only available through his website as a British import (and it cost an ungodly sum).

Well, this past weekend, a co-worker and co-lover of XTC stumbled upon the set at Border’s. He happened to have a 20% off coupon on him so he decided to make the investment. He was kind enough to share volume one with me – and I’m now being kind enough to share it (or some of it, anyway) with you.

Now, volume one boasts a whopping nineteen tracks, which puts the entire collection in the vicinity of 150 songs. The obvious conclusion: There’s a lot o’ frivolous filler here. That said, there’s also some really good shite too (well, at least in volume one). To me, it sounds like later-years XTC. See (or hear) what you think:

[MP3] Andy Partridge – “Dame Fortune” EXPIRED
[MP3] Andy Partridge – “Born out of Your Mouth” EXPIRED
[MP3] Andy Partridge – “Goosey Goosey” EXPIRED

[MP3] Andy Partridge – “That Wag” (Andy goofin’ in the studio – worth a listen for his send-ups of the Cure, the Smiths, and Dylan) EXPIRED
[MP3] Andy Partridge – “That Wave” (the resulting song) EXPIRED

Monday, December 18, 2006

More Xmas

Santa went to the Island of Misfit Blogs this weekend and brought back these two gems:

[MP3] Spinal Tap – "Christmas with the Devil" EXPIRED
[MP3] Steve Martin – "Five Christmas Wishes" EXPIRED

Friday, December 15, 2006

Five fer Friday X

[MP3] Aimee Mann – "Stupid Thing" EXPIRED
Let's begin ballady with this track from Mann's first solo disc.

[MP3] Ben Kweller – "Hear Me Out" EXPIRED
Love this Kweller tune from his '04 disc On My Way.

[MP3] Nirvana – "Breed" EXPIRED
Recently saw a VHI "Classic Album" episode on "Nevermind" and it reminded just how great this disc is.

[MP3] Pavement – "Range Life"
For me, it's hit or miss with Pavement. This one's a hit.

[MP3] Police – "Peanuts"
I can remember "singing" to this song in my bedroom during my high school years.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Picks fer '06, Part 2

From The Tragic Treasury:
[MP3] Gothic Archies – “Walking My Gargoyle” EXPIRED
From Funnel Cloud:
[MP3] Hem – “Not California” EXPIRED
From Ole Tarantula:
[MP3] Robyn Hitchcock – “(A Man’s Gotta Know His Limitations) Briggs EXPIRED
From Boys and Girls in America:
[MP3] The Hold Steady – “Chips Ahoy!” EXPIRED
From Ben Kweller:
[MP3] Ben Kweller – “Penny on the Train Track” EXPIRED
From Dead American Radio:
[MP3] Left Alone – “Justino” EXPIRED
From Rabbit Fur Coat:
[MP3] Jenny Lewis & the Watson Twins – “The Big Guns” EXPIRED
From We Are the Pipettes:
[MP3] The Pipettes – “One Night Stand” EXPIRED
From The Animal Years:
[MP3] Josh Ritter – “Girl in the War” EXPIRED
From Modern Gameplay:
[MP3] The Sprites – “George Romero” EXPIRED
From The Body, The Blood, The Machine:
[MP3] Thermals – “Test Pattern” EXPIRED

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Picks fer '06, Part 1

This is the best I’ve heard in 2006, a good but not great year fer rock ‘n’ roll. Of course, I only have two ears so there’s only so much I can listen to. I’d love to hear others opine on the subject. Or even share a track or two.

Look for Part 2 tomorrow.

From The Longest Meow:
[MP3] Bobby Bare Jr. – “The Heart Bionic” EXPIRED
From The Life Pursuit:
[MP3] Belle & Sebastian – “The Blues Are Still Blue” EXPIRED
From Back to Higher Ground:
[MP3] The Briggs – “Back to Higher Ground” EXPIRED
From Flat-Pack Philosophy:
[MP3] Buzzcocks – “Wish I Never Loved You” EXPIRED
From The Crane Wife:
[MP3] Decemberists – “Sons and Daughters” EXPIRED
From Cannibal Sea:
[MP3] Essex Green – “Penny & Jack” EXPIRED
From Shattered:
[MP3] Exploding Hearts – “Busy Signals” EXPIRED
From Skeleton:
[MP3] Figurines – “Ambush” EXPIRED
From Monster House Soundtrack:
[MP3] Fountains of Wayne – “Monster House” EXPIRED
From News and Tributes:
[MP3] Futureheads – “Back to the Sea” EXPIRED

Friday, December 08, 2006

Five fer Friday IX

[MP3] 101ers – “Sweet Revenge” EXPIRED
Joe Strummer from his pre-Clash days (thanks to Pete for this!).

[MP3] Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros – “Coma Girl” EXPIRED
Joe Strummer from his post-Clash days.

[MP3] The Clash – “(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais” EXPIRED
Why not? Joe Strummer from his in-Clash days.

[MP3] Of Montreal – “Art Snob Solutions”
Of Montreal says: “Kill all Phillistines!”

[MP3] Talking Heads – “(Nothing But) Flowers” EXPIRED
Great tune from the final days of the Heads.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Gothic Archies

Read on only if you have an affinity for wickedness, wretchedness, and woe. You’re still reading? You are a sick person. But that’s not all! You’re also a prime candidate for the books popularly known as A Series of Unfortunate Events. As some of you may know, particularly if you’re sick, this set follows the nasty, nefarious Count Olaf as he schemes to get his grubby, greedy hands on the fortune of the kindly, caring Baudelaire children, who have been cast out into the cold, cruel world after the mysterious death of their parents.

Over the past two years, I have been reading Unfortunate Events to my grade-school son (see how sick I am?), and we have taken great joy in the misery, moroseness, and mistreatment of the Baudelaires.

The series recently concluded with book thirteen (ha!), which was released on Friday the thirteenth (double ha!). At the same time, a band known as the Gothic Archies (actually Stephen Merritt of Magnetic Fields fame, along with Unfortunate Events author Lemony Snicket on accordion and John Woo on electric sitar) unveiled The Tragic Treasury: Songs from a Series of Unfortunate Events. Each track on the disc brings tunefully (in most cases) to life one of the dark, tragic tales.

Well, as you can imagine, my son and I immediately started scheming to get our grubby, greedy hands on the CD. Fortunately, our schemes met with greater success than those of Count Olaf. Which is why I’m sharing the following three tracks with you. Of course, to get the fullest pleasure from these songs, you should read the books. And you can do just that by clicking here and buying them. Though keep in my that the CD sleeve posts this warning to potential readers: “Books by Lemony Snicket are even more miserable than the music they inspire.”

[MP3] The Gothic Archies – “Scream and Run Away (from The Bad Beginnings) EXPIRED
[MP3] The Gothic Archies – “In the Reptile Room (from The Reptile Room)” EXPIRED
[MP3] The Gothic Archies – “Freakshow (from The Carnivorous Carnival)” EXPIRED

Spend some of your fortune on the Gothic Archies

Monday, December 04, 2006

Snow Tracks

Well, December is here. Time to drag the Christmas songs down from the attic.

[MP3] Apples in Stereo – “Holiday Mood” EXPIRED
[MP3] The Boys – “Run Rudolph Run” EXPIRED
[MP3] Dance Hall Crashers – “I Did It for the Toys” EXPIRED
[MP3] Dr. Elmo – “Grandma’s Killer Fruitcake” EXPIRED
[MP3] Dressy Bessy – “All the Right Reasons” EXPIRED
[MP3] The Essex Green – “Deck the Halls” EXPIRED
[MP3] Fountains of Wayne – “I Want an Alien for Christmas” EXPIRED
[MP3] Fountains of Wayne – “The Man in the Santa Suit” EXPIRED
[MP3] John Denver & the Muppets – “Twelve Days of Christmas” EXPIRED
[MP3] Ramones – “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Wanna Fight Tonight)” EXPIRED
[MP3] Sufjan Stevens – “Hey Guys! It’s Christmas Time” EXPIRED
[MP3] Sufjan Stevens – “Get Behind Me, Santa!” EXPIRED
[MP3] XTC – “Thanks for Christmas” EXPIRED
[MP3] XTC – “Countdown to Christmas Party Time” EXPIRED

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Five fer Friday VIII

[MP3] The Hong Kong – "Tongue Tied" EXPIRED
New wave, Blondie-like pop from another blondie-led band.

[MP3] Elvis Costello – "Radio, Radio (Live on SNL)" EXPIRED
Thanks to Franz for this one – he also shared this YouTube link to the circa-1979 performance.

[MP3] Elvis Costello – "Mystery Dance" EXPIRED
This is for Senap who bemoaned the fact that I left it off the My Aim Is True post (okay, no more Costello for a while, promise)

[MP3] Tim Armstrong – "Hold On"
From Armstrong's forthcoming solo disc – much mellower than Rancid and the Transplants.

[MP3] Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – "Whatever Happened to My Rock 'n' Roll" EXPIRED
Dirty, grungy 70s rock from the BRMC.


This post goes out to Greg, the childhood buddy who introduced me to punk back in high school and in the process saved my rock ‘n’ roll soul from the likes of Journey, Styx, and REO Speedwagon.

Thank you, Greg. I am forever indebted. The thought of tootling around town as a 43-year-old to the strains of You Can Tune a Piano But You Can’t Tuna Fish gives me the willies.

One of Greg’s favorite bands back in the day was 999, a bubble-gummy Brit punk outfit who took its name from the English version of our 911 emergency number. I can still vividly recall Greg, fueled by far too many Molsons, leaping about our Michigan State dorm room to 999’s The Biggest Prize in Sport. That same year, we saw Nick Cash and the 999 gang in Ann Arbor for the Biggest Prize tour. It was a heckuva lotta fun and remains one of my cherished college memories.

Which is why I was euphorically surprised yesterday when I saw that eMusic just added a bunch of Anagram releases – including 999’s Biggest Prize in Sport. I hit download with great alacrity.

So here ya go, Greg. These goes out to you:

[MP3] 999 – “Fun Thing” EXPIRED
[MP3] 999 – “The Biggest Prize in Sport” EXPIRED
[MP3] 999 – “English Wipeout” EXPIRED

Greg and his wife just had a baby girl so in her honor here’s 999’s fairytale rocker “Little Red Riding Hood”:
[MP3] 999 – “Little Red Riding Hood” EXPIRED

Get the Biggest Prize in Sport FREE by checking out eMusic!

Promo: Memphis

If you any of you are pondering doing a music blog, here’s one of the perks: As you become established and start getting some traffic to your site, record companies begin offering you free discs in hopes that you’ll give their band a plug.

This has happened twice now at Water. One I turned down. The other – a band called Memphis – I accepted after listening to the single they sent.

Memphis is a Vancouver-based band that strays to the mellow, contemplative side of indie pop. Here a couple of my favorite tracks from their brand spanking new disc, A Little Place in the Wilderness:

[MP3] Memphis – “I’ll Do Whatever You Want” EXPIRED
[MP3] Memphis – “Incredibly Drunk on Whiskey” EXPIRED

Go to the Memphis website to learn more

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Stupid Songs

This is a post I’ve been wanting to do for a while. A few months back as I was listening to “Beer for Breakfast” by the Replacements, I realized that there are a lot of wonderfully stupid songs out there – songs whose subject matter is so crass, juvenile, and/or moronic that they induce guffaws and/or grins.

Below are some that I found. If any one of you can think of others, let me know and I’ll try to post ‘em.

Note that most stupid songs run less three minutes. Apparently, stupidity can only go so far – with the government and the movie industry being the two obvious exceptions.

[MP3] Replacements – “Beer for Breakfast” EXPIRED
[MP3] Camper Van Beethoven – “Take the Skinheads Bowling” EXPIRED
[MP3] Cramps – “Goo Goo Muck” EXPIRED
[MP3] Dead Milkmen – “Punk Rock Girl” EXPIRED
[MP3] Jilted John – “I Was a Pre-Pubescent” EXPIRED
[MP3] Old 97s – “Coahuia” EXPIRED
[MP3] Peter and the Test Tube Babies – “Elvis Is Dead” EXPIRED
[MP3] Ramones – “Pinhead” EXPIRED
[MP3] Tommy Womack – “I’m Selling Mom’s Urine on eBay” EXPIRED
[MP3] Wreckless Eric – “Personal Hygiene” EXPIRED
[MP3] Young Fresh Fellows – “Sittin’ on a Pitchfork” EXPIRED

Monday, November 27, 2006

My Aim Is True

By popular demand (one person constitutes popular demand at the Water All Around blog), here are three tracks from Costello's classic 1977 debut disc, My Aim Is True:

[MP3] Elvis Costello - "Watching the Detectives" EXPIRED
[MP3] Elvis Costello - "(The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes" EXPIRED
[MP3] Elvis Costello - "Waiting for the End of the World" EXPIRED

[MP3] Elvis Costello - "Radio Sweetheart"
"Radio Sweetheart" is from the remastered 1993 Rykodisc release of My Aim Is True. It represents the first "professional recording" (his words) of Costello. It was released by Stiff Records as Costello's first single, though it was left off My Aim Is True "due to a difference in sound."

Buy My Aim Is True

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Elvis Costello

You young uns might not know this, but there was a time way back in rock ‘n’ roll days of old when Elvis Costello didn’t take himself too seriously and played with rockin’ back-up bands, not crusty classical quartets. In those days, when punk was in its infancy and E.C. had far more hair and far less girth, he was an angry man who played angry songs.

And boy was he good.

As historical evidence, I present four tracks from This Year’s Model, his 1978 release that remains one of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll discs of all time.

[MP3] Elvis Costello – “No Action” EXPIRED
[MP3] Elvis Costello – “You Belong to Me” EXPIRED
[MP3] Elvis Costello – “Lip Service” EXPIRED
[MP3] Elvis Costello – “Lipstick Vogue” EXPIRED

Get your grubby hands on This Year’s Model

Friday, November 24, 2006

Five fer Friday VII

[MP3] Garbage – “I Just Wanna Have Something to Do” EXPIRED
Saw Shirley Manson singing with the Pretenders on VH1 last night, and it reminded me of this great Ramones cover that Garbage did.

[MP3] Green Day – “Outsider”
Well, as long as we’re doing Ramones covers, here’s Green Day having at one.

[MP3] Husker Du – “Sheena Is a Punk Rocker (Live)”
Let’s make it a Ramones Covers Friday! Husker Du does Joey and the boys.

[MP3] U2 – “Beat on the Brat”
Bono does some brat beatin’.

[MP3] Kiss – “Do You Remember Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio?” EXPIRED
Kiss? The grease-paint guys? Really?

Monday, November 20, 2006


When Paul Westerberg was with the Replacements, there were only a handful of songs I didn’t love. Since he left the Mats, there’s only a handful I don’t hate. And most of this handful come from his alter-ego efforts as Grandpaboy.

In general, the Grandpaboy work is far more rockin’, far less maudlin, and altogether cleverer and funnerer than the tunes he’s released under his own name. It’s as if the Grandpaboy moniker distances Westerberg from the “artist” label he seems to take far too seriously – and, oddly, it gets him much closer to art.

The following three tracks are from his self-titled Grandpaboy EP:

[MP3] Grandpaboy – “Hot Un” EXPIRED
[MP3] Grandpaboy – “Psychopharmacology” EXPIRED
[MP3] Grandpaboy – “Homelessexual” EXPIRED

BONUS (here’s a non-Grandpaboy solo track I love):
[MP3] Paul Westerberg – “It’s a Wonderful Lie” EXPIRED

Buy Grandpaboy

Friday, November 17, 2006

Five fer Friday VI

[MP3] Cracker – “Movie Star” EXPIRED
Gotta love a song with the lyric: “The movie star crashed her car but everyone said she was beautiful even without her head.”

[MP3] Devo – “Uncontrollable Urge” EXPIRED
Devo could really throw down in their day. I sometimes forget that.

[MP3] Guided by Voices – “Glad Girls” EXPIRED
Poppy fun from G-by-V.

[MP3] Replacements – “I Hate Music”
“I hate music…it’s got too many notes!” sings Westerberg back in 1981.

[MP3] Young Canadians – “I Hate Music” EXPIRED
Same sentiment, different song, sung a couple years earlier by the Young Canandians.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


I probably wouldn’t have heard of and certainly wouldn’t have dropped dough on Ivy if it weren’t for Fountains of Wayne. Regular visitors to Water who read my posts (there’s gotta be at least one of you….......right?) know of my affection for FofW. Well, FofW bassist and co-songwriter Adam Schlesinger doubles as the drummer for Ivy.

But be warned:

If you’re expecting “Radiation Vibe,” “Red Dragon Tattoo,” and “Mexican Wine,” you’ll be disappointed. Ivy’s sound is nothing like FofW. The best way I can describe it: Take 70s AOR, late 60s movie soundtracks, contemporary indie pop, and the silky voice of a female lounge singer, throw ‘em all in a donut-dusting bag, and shake it around. You’ll end up with something close to Ivy.

Too, Adam Schlesinger takes a back (drum) seat in this band. The real star of is French-born Dominique Durand. It’s her beautiful voice that translates all of their songs – and her beautiful visage that dominates all of their photo ops.

The following tracks are from 1997’s Apartment Life, which is generally considered Ivy’s best disc.

[MP3] Ivy – “This Is the Day” EXPIRED
[MP3] Ivy – “I Get the Message” EXPIRED
[MP3] Ivy – “You Don’t Know Anything” EXPIRED

Buy Ivy’s Apartment Life

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


I love the Libertines. Which makes the abrupt, highly publicized descent of co-founder Pete Dougherty into drug-dazed dereliction – a descent that led to the premature end of the band – all the more painful and frustrating.

Like the Beatles (Lennon/McCartney) and the Clash (Stummer/Jones) before them, the Libertines brought together two songwriters (Dougherty/Barat) who benefited from each other’s strengths. And just like the Beatles and the Clash, the solo efforts of said songwriters pale in comparison to their collaborative efforts (Dougherty’s Babyshambles and Carl Barat’s Dirty Pretty Things do little for me).

There is, however, one unfortunate area where the Beatles/Clash-comparison falls apart: The Libertines left us with a far-smaller catalog. Two albums and a handful of demo and EP tracks. As well as countless thoughts of what could have been.

Below are a few of my faves. I’ll begin with one of the earliest Libertines tunes – “What a Waster” – in which Dougherty ridicules a cocaine addict. Sadly and ironically, he could have been writing about himself.

[MP3] Libertines – “What a Waster” EXPIRED
[MP3] Libertines – “Up the Bracket” EXPIRED
[MP3] Libertines – “Last Post on the Bugle” EXPIRED
[MP3] Libertines – “What Became of the Likely Lads” (Dougherty and Barat take a final hard look at their own relationship) EXPIRED

Buy the Libertines

Monday, November 13, 2006

Old 97s

I’m gonna start this one by asking: Why do so many rock-o-philes hate the term “alt-country”? I mean, bands like Whiskeytown, Wilco, Uncle Tupelo, and the Drams sure ain’t country. To define them in the same way as Dolly Parton and Garth Brooks (those are the only country performers I can come up with right now) would misrepresent them to potential buyers. Before I shell out my dough for a band, I want to know as closely as possible what they sound like. If you classify everyone within the rock genre as “rock”– as some purists would have it – you’re suggesting that Britney Spears is no different than Black Flag. All of this has led me to adopt the following policy:

At Water All Around, we openly embrace and freely engage in rock ‘n’ roll profiling. All bands are unjustly pigeonholed and compartmentalized by their sound. We feel it’s the only way to keep the rock world safe from fuzzy, nebulous musical-genre generalities that can lead to misspent cash and highly regrettable and/or embarrassing record acquisitions.

Now that that’s behind us, let’s adhere to the policy and discuss one of the great unsung “alt-country” bands: the Old 97s. To me, their 1997 disc Too Far to Care is one of the most underappreciated albums of the 90s. Just give a listen to songs like “Timebomb,” “Barrier Reef,” and “House That Used to Be” (which you can do below) to see how good these guys can be, musically and lyrically.

Lately, the 97s have moved much closer to “alt-pop” (see how helpful rock ‘n’ roll profiling can be). So if you like Too Far to Care, I’d try Hitchhike to Rome (1994) next, then maybe Fight Songs (1999). Or if you’re partial to live discs, they released the 30-song “Alive and Wired” last year, and it’s an outstanding overview of their entire canon.

[MP3] Old 97s – “Timebomb” EXPIRED
[MP3] Old 97s – “Barrier Reef” EXPIRED
[MP3] Old 97s – “House That Used to Be” EXPIRED

[MP3] Old 97s – “The Bug Song” (Demo) EXPIRED
[MP3] Old 97s – “Singular Girl” (from the Satellite Rides bonus disc) EXPIRED

Buy Too Far to Care

Friday, November 10, 2006


I need to check if my new file management site is linking up with elbo so you guys get my favorite Epoxies track. Enjoy!

[MP3] Expoxies – "Radiation" EXPIRED

Five fer Friday V

[MP3] Soviettes – “Multiply and Divide” EXPIRED
If you haven't heard the Soviettes, you're in for a treat – they're like punked up B52s.

[MP3] Sham 69 – “Borstal Breakout” EXPIRED
I was never a fan of Sham 69…except for this song – a true punk classic.

[MP3] Tsar – “Band-Girls-Money” EXPIRED
It’s glam! It’s metal! It’s punk! Presenting the amazing sounds of Tsar!

[MP3] Young Fresh Fellows – “Swiftly But Gently” EXPIRED
Magnificent mellowness from Scott McCaughey’s former band (he now fronts the Minus 5).

[MP3] Weezer – “Uptown Girl” EXPIRED
Weezer covers Billy Joel!

Cock Sparrer

Somehow, these guys escaped my punk purview back in ’82. Which is kinda surprising cuz those were my college days when I’d scour the bins of Flat Black and Circular in East Lansing and read NME and other alt pubs cover to cover in search of new bands.

So I was somewhat taken aback when I recently saw the album that these songs hail from – Shock Troops – placed on the same pedestal as London Calling. Now after several listens, I can tell you with utter surety that Cock Sparrer is no Clash. However, these London lads do (or did) kick out some really good stuff. The comparison I’d make is the Undertones, with maybe a pinch of Ramones added to the mix (listen to the guitar work on “England Belongs to Me”). They produce pubby, poppy, sing-along punk, and in my view, the band probably deserves more attention than they got in ’82 or are getting today.

[MP3] Cock Sparrer – “Where Are They Now” EXPIRED
[MP3] Cock Sparrer – “Riot Squad” EXPIRED
[MP3] Cock Sparrer – “England Belongs to Me” EXPIRED

Subscribe to eMusic where you can download Cock Sparrer!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


If the Clash had stuck it out and stuck to their punk roots, they’d sound a lot like Rancid. Led by HellCat Records co-founder Tim Armstrong, Rancid carries on the Clash torch of ska-fueled, punk-fired rock. They rank as one of my two or three favorite modern-day punk bands – mainly because each of their releases sounds fresh and not refried.

BUT HERE’S THE BIG, BIG, BIG NEWS: Tim Armstrong is in-studio recording a solo disc. He posted a couple tracks on the HellCat site, which you can download here. If you read Armstrong’s post next to the tracks, he announces that the next Rancid album will be given away *FREE* as a thank-you to fans. It will be available for download at the HellCat site.

Wow. Apparently, Rancid also carries on the Clash torch of thumbing their noses at commercialism in the rock industry.

Armstrong doesn’t say when the disc will be available. But to give you an aural taste of what to expect, here are some of my favorite Rancid tunes.

From Out Come the Wolves (1995):
[MP3] Rancid – “Junkie Man” EXPIRED
[MP3] Rancid – “The War’s End” EXPIRED

From Indestructible (2004):
[MP3] Rancid – “Indestructible” EXPIRED (note the ref to Clash-frontman Joe Strummer)
[MP3] Rancid – “Otherside” EXPIRED (about the death of Rancid-member Lars Frederiksen’s brother)

From Life Won’t Wait (1998):
[MP3] Rancid – “Hooligans” EXPIRED
[MP3] Rancid – “Cash, Culture and Violence” EXPIRED

Now buy some Rancid – they’re giving you an album for free!

Monday, November 06, 2006

The Briggs

The moment I heard the Briggs sing "I wouldn't be so paranoid if the world wasn't out to get me," I knew I had to do a post on them. Ha! What a great lyric. You'll find it below in "My Own Enemy," which appears on the band's 2006 Back to Higher Ground disc.

The Briggs are SoCal rockers who hail from The Clash school of punk. Rancid is another influence I hear – so much so that I originally guessed they were on Rancid-frontman Tim Armstrong's HellCat Records label (wrong - they're on Side One Dummy).

But why read what I think when you can hear for yourself? Without further adieu....The Briggs.

[MP3] The Briggs - "My Own Enemy" EXPIRED
[MP3] The Briggs - "Song of Babylon" EXPIRED
[MP3] The Briggs - "Blacklist" EXPIRED

Invest your hard-earned $$$ on Back to Higher Ground!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Five fer Friday IV

[MP3] Robyn Hitchcock & the Venus 3 – “(A Man’s Gotta Know His Limitations) Briggs EXPIRED
Don’t much care for Hitchcock’s new disc (on which he’s joined by Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey) but love this tune.

[MP3] The Briggs – “Back to the Higher Ground” EXPIRED
Sing-along punk from the Briggs’s 2006 effort of the same name.

[MP3] Libertines – “Lazy Sunday” EXPIRED
The Libertines cover the Faces.

[MP3] Magnetic Fields – “Papa Was a Rodeo” EXPIRED
Weird and wacky...just what you'd expect from the MFs.

[MP3] Modernettes – Barbra EXPIRED
Beach-Boy punk from 1980s Canadian rockers.