Dress Up As Natives – You Had to Be There + 2 EP (Public, 1982)

I lucked out a few years back and found myself dealing with a veteran collector whose musical tastes congealed into a brackish pool that closely mirrored my own. Over the course of a few rambling emails, I’d succeeded in situating myself as the unworthy recipient of three ART DAMAGED cd’s that had been previously comped for a friend—futile muzzling attempt or not, I gleefully accepted and I’m still grateful; thanks again, Bruce! Most of the bands were standards: Gordons, Monochrome Set, Names, etc., but a few participants, like Dress Up As Natives, stuck out as unidentified, foreign entities. A web search yielded little more than their inclusion here.

Its status as a complete unknown notwithstanding, the DUAN single inhabits the same lost No Wave continuum as the Crazy Hearts and ESG. The rancorous and accusatory “YOOOUUU” in You Had to Be There drips with a disaffected monotone and palpable indignation that’s reminiscent of the sentiments best expressed in primitive 60’s garage discs. The back of the PS makes mention of practicing at the Krishna house, so it’s easy to chalk up its tone-deaf incantation as the byproduct of some poorly administered transcendental medicines.

I’m not sure how many copies of this record were pressed, but most Public releases were issued in editions of 200-500. Thanks to BC who succumbed to the collector's malaise and agreed to cut his copy loose.



Grover / Didn't Expect
You Had to Be There


Particles – Colour In EP (EMI Custom, 1980)

You’ve heard it countless times before: Everyone’s favorite penal colony outclasses all attendant parties and effortlessly delivers the goods again and again and again. From the Elois to the Leftovers, Australia has made a national habit of consistently fostering some of the most unique and formidable permutations in the musical underground. This aptitude even extends into the realm of toothsome pop smarts and hooks—if you’re not totally convinced, just hunker down and spend some quality time with the first couple of Go-Betweens singles, the Marching Girls 45 or the skeletal DIY meisterwerk that is the first Particles ep.

Despite their place as one of the more obscure outfits in the Australian post-punk scene, the Particles managed to release three records during their relatively long life span. This, their first, is my favorite of the bunch—the plaintive lament on the A-side and the upbeat charmer on the flip are definitely a precog nod towards the musical trends that would unfold in the UK. In fact, Zig Zag fits quite snugly as the connective strand between the Pleasure Seekers and the Shop Assistants. Their second ep, Advanced Colouring, is equally worth pursuing and I would’ve included its tracks here as well, but I still haven’t had a chance to get it digitized. Both singles were initially available as EMI Custom pressings and were later reissued (1983) on the Guthugga Pipeline imprint.

Special thanks to that enigmatic syntheaste, SS, for introducing me to these records + giving me a head start.



Driving Me
Apricots Dream / Zig Zag


Dolly Mixture – Everything and More b/w You and Me on the Seashore (Respond, 1982)

I recently received a lengthy missive that lambasted me for thoughtlessly overlooking this month’s standing as NWHM. In a meager attempt to atone for this transgression and stymie further Dworkinian ire, I’d like to dedicate the next four entries to womynkind and its contribution to the rockunroll idiom—I mean beyond standard bass duties, bros. Huddle close and stand ready as we prepare to navigate those tumultuous, estrogen-filled tributaries, disembarking only long enough to plant a flag on the infrequent fertile patch.

The Dolly Mixture were pure pop confection; A honeyed concoction wrapped up neatly in an elaborate latticework of ribbon and yarn. Conceptually aligned with the Shangri-La’s, ABBA and the Times, they predated and unintentionally precipitated C86, Calvin Johnson, the Pipettes, etc. Their recorded oeuvre, while mostly worthwhile, is decidedly eclipsed by the jubilant brilliance of their third single, Everything and More—the perfection of that song being almost enough to exculpate Paul Weller from his long list of aural blunders.

A friend emailed me the following mp3 of Dead Rainbows and it’s definitely not the clunky medley from The Fireside EP. I’m assuming it’s a Peel Session or a demo or something, but I’d really like to have it on vinyl, if possible. Details?

Anyone? Anyone at all? Ladies?



Everything and More / You and Me on the Seashore
Dead Rainbows


Love Is All - Spinning and Scratching + 2 EP (What's Your Rupture?, 2003)

Failure was a persistent leitmotif that manifested itself in the dissolution of a three year relationship, a profound disenchantment with my chosen ‘profession’ and the encroaching reality of turning thirty. As if things weren’t bad enough, I’d also decided to exacerbate my martyrdom via a self-imposed exiling to shitsville and near-complete isolation.

2004 was a total fuggin bummer, dude.

So what does this ignominious tale of woe have to do with the second Love is All ep and the cascading sheets of echo and reverb contained therein? Well, not that much, really, other than its personal significance as the crystalline memento of a pathetic impasse.

MH, a former KALX personality and determined stockpiler of speculatives, hipped me to this single shortly before my departure from LA. I was instantly hooked—its propulsive muscle and dizzyingly clamorous bluster were wholly removed from the anemic pap typical of modern indiepop. I made a mental note to turn up a copy. Coincidentally, I’d soon discover that Sonic Boom was the apparent repository for the majority of its pressing—week after week, I’d dutifully stop in and purchase a spare for friends, hither and yon, who just had to hear this. It seemed as though I’d inadvertently taken it upon myself to preach the gospel of this roid-raged heir apparent of the Dolly Mixture and Flatmates.

There are more than a few variants for the sleeve of this record. Here's the word directly from the CEO of What's Your Rupture?:

"The first copies I did had a background of Gold, Silver, or a Gold/Silver mix with cerise or red lettering. These first copies were printed on newsprint and had a full tracklisting on the cover. I then accidently ruined the words Spinning and Scratching and Ageing, so copies after the first run only had Make Out Fall Out Make Up printed on. This was also my choice for the a-side but the band chose spinning and scratching. I made a few with a yellow background during the short period gold or silver were either too expensive or nowhere to be found. And after finding a cheap white paper that folded well I stopped using newsprint. There are a few out there that are orange on gold, but they looked terrible."



Spinning and Scratching
Make Out, Fall Out, Make Up / Ageing Had Never Been His Friend


Vicious Visions – I Beat You b/w No-No’s (NM, 1983)

Resplendent cityscapes carved into glacial recesses, record stores stocked with innumerable rarities from abroad and buxom, modern-day valkyries frolicking in city parks are a few of the mental pictures invariably conjured up when conversation turns to Sweden. Withdrawn from the parameters of good company, however, images of viking buggery, tainted reindeer meat and soiled erotica quickly flood the brain. An electrical storm of similar synaptic misfires must’ve exploded down neural pathways, scraping and searing every available receptor in the art-damaged duo known as Vicious Visions.

LOUD, demented and possessed of some of the most inspired drum machine battering ever committed to vinyl, Vicious Visions’ sole 45 has remained a perennial wantlist item for the better part of two decades. Released in a micro-quantity of 150 copies in 1983, this record also boasts the dubious distinction of being my absolute favorite scando punk single. I Beat You, a seamless Stooges / Metal Urbain amalgam, has to be the seasick apogee of countless nights spent shivering on the fjord.

A Swedish collector recently recounted that a member of the band had attempted to lure him to his remote cabin under the pretense of having unearthed a test pressing. As far as I know, he still hasn’t taken him up on his offer to enter the woods after midnight + with a bottle of vodka for further ‘negotiations’.

Special thanks to BC for passing this disc along to another appreciative home. It's still in need of an original silkscreened sleeve, so drop me a line if you can help.



I Beat You / No-No's