Blinding Halo

The ends of the earth - Williamsburg and Park Slope, Brooklyn - that is, collide in this mp3 blog! Who will win the eternal struggle between 80's new wave and 90's indie, or can the two coexist? Stay tuned as the epic unfolds!

04 July 2006

Belle and Sebastian Bootleg Liberation Front

If you are reading this post, then there is a good chance that you were at Belle and Sebastian's 4th of July concert in New York City and recieved one of my handbills. Thank you for coming to the site! I spent $10 to make those things, for the sole purpose of getting these bootlegs into the hands of the fans, (and of course to gain some prestige for the blog.)

Bootlegs are a funny thing. Bands and record labels are against them because people are profiteering off the backs of the artists, but in a way they bring fans closer to the band, and may even help ticket sales. I hate paying $20 - $35 for single discs, but understand that if there was no profit to be made, they wouldn't exist in the first place, and the basement of Generation Records wouldn't be cluttered with 99 cent CD-R copies of Limp Bizkit's "performance" at Woodstock '99.

I guess that's why I have no problem in liberating these two Belle and Sebastian bootleg discs that I picked up over six years ago. These two performances recorded in Europe show a group that was never supposed to last more than five years getting comfortable with the idea of being a touring band. I don't know how long I'll keep these tracks up, since the original songs are all in-print, but I would assume (hope) that if you are downloading these tracks, you already ownd the albums, and if you don't already own the albums, buy them! Over the years, without any American radio support, the Belles have become one of the most popular and best groups in the history of indie music.

Please link to Belle and Sebastian's website here. And click here to spend money on stuff.
To purchase their records, go to your local INDEPENDENT record shop. If they don't have it in stock, they don't know any better and it is your duty to teach them. Fuck iTunes!

"Une Nuit à Paris" was recorded in autumn 1998 at a studio in Paris, and the sound quality is fantastic. It was broadcast over a Scandinavian radio station, as evidenced by the DJ banter at the end of "Mayfly." The performance is pretty subdued, even on rave-ups like "The Wrong Girl," and "Dirty Dream Number Two," but they sound great. The Belles try to impress the French crowd with a cover of "Poupée de Cire, Poupée de Son." The song works because the original singer, France Gall, had a cute, squeaky off-key voice, and if I can say anything about Isobel Campbell, it is that her singing voice is definately off-key!

Belle and Sebastian - The Boy Done Wrong Again
Belle and Sebastian - Dog On Wheels
Belle and Sebastian - Seeing Other People
Belle and Sebastian - Century Of Fakers
Belle and Sebastian - I Know Where The Summer Goes
Belle and Sebastian - Mayfly
Belle and Sebastian - The Wrong Girl
Belle and Sebastian - Dirty Dream Number Two
Belle and Sebastian - Poupée de Cire, Poupée de Son
Belle and Sebastian - Slow Graffiti
Belle and Sebastian - I Don't Love Anyone
Belle and Sebastian - Sleep The Clock Around

"The Bowlie Weekender" was recorded at the Bowlie Weekender Festival in April of 1999, and is quite a perfromance. The band is starting to come into their own as live performers, and do a good job of exciting the festival crowd. The even have a showstopper at the end with "Lazy Line Painter Jane," that features Monica Queen. The only wierd thing about this recording volume suddenly raises midway through the last song.

Belle and Sebastian - Slow Graffiti
Belle and Sebastian - Seeing Other People
Belle and Sebastian - Dog On Wheels
Belle and Sebastian - The Wrong Girl
Belle and Sebastian - Winter Wooskie
Belle and Sebastian - If You're Feeling Sinister
Belle and Sebastian - I Don't love Anyone
Belle and Sebastian - Paper Boat
Belle and Sebastian - The Boy With The Arab Strap
Belle and Sebastian - Photo Jenny
Belle and Sebastian - Lazy Line Painter Jane

17 June 2006

Eggman - First Fruits 10th Anniversary!

So, every time I go through the trouble to make a list of my favourite albums, this disc inevitably shows up in the top ten, and people ask me, "Who the heck is Eggman?" If you download the mp3s below you will find out.

"First Fruits" is the name of a one-off solo album by Sice from the Boo Radleys, released in June 1996. I had never heard anything about the record, but saw an import copy in a cutout bin for $2.99 sometime in the late 90's. To be honest, I've never considered the Boo Radleys one of my favourite bands. I have a few of their discs, and I think they are really good, but I never listen to them too much. So, I really don't know what made me purchase this record. I am, however, extremely glad that I did.

The sound of the disc reminds me of a less dense version of the Boo Radleys' album "Wake Up!" released the previous year. Most of the band backs up Sice on the record, which was released on Creation Records to pitiful sales in the UK.

Overall, the subject matter is pretty dark, regardless of the music on each track. When first listening to the record, the song "Replace All Your Lies With Truth" stands out as the most poppy song, and the obvious single. However, it is "Not Bad Enough" that was released as the sole single in the UK. It takes a couple of listens to sink in, and figure out what Sice is singing about, but it certainly is one of the top tracks on the record. It's amazing that Martin Carr never let Sice write a song for a Boo Radleys record, he really is an amazing songwriter.

The album's emotional apogee is "Out of my Window." This acoustic track is so darkly beautiful, and the lyrics are so tragic and real, it rates as one of my all-time favourite songs. I cannot even begin to describe the terrible sadness of this song, I will let the song speak for itself (if you download it!)

The last three songs on the album are very light, almost inconsequential numbers, and seem to almost float on by, gently closing the album. While a few reviews I have read take off points for this, I would argue that after the emotionally wrenching, "Window," it is necessary to lighten the mood a bit. It's the same as an intense conversation with a friend, when a dark revelation is revealed. The rest of the night might be spent just chit-chatting, both parties unable to revisit the painful discussion.

If you post some nice comments, I'll put up the two B-sides from "Not Bad Enough," in a week or two.

Eggman - Purple Patches
Eggman - Tomas
Eggman - That's That Then (For Now)
Eggman - Not Bad Enough
Eggman - The Funeral Song
Eggman - Replace All Your lies With Truth
Eggman - Out Of My window
Eggman - Look Up
Eggman - I'll Watch Your Back
Eggman - First Fruits Fall

13 June 2006

Ladies & Gentlemen.... This Is Indeed The Sound

One of the most criminally underrated bands in recent times. they were described as the link between echo and the bunnymen and joy division. a band who wrote songs of torment and cautious optimism. a band whose influence has reached many of today's current bands without them even knowing it.

1979, they formed in south london and would go on to release five records that while universally lauded by the critics went overlooked by the general masses. you see, they were signed to the same label as echo and the bunnymen who would receive the lion's share of the promotion dollars. the band would cease operations in 1987 after release of their final record, "thunder up" and the singer, adrian borland would record solo records that would suffer the same fate in sales that of the band he had left. ladies and gentlemen, the band was the called the sound. an appropos name for a band whom it could be said truly carried the spirit of post-punk with its bleak outlook on life in england as a new decade approached without caution.

Many of their albums have been reissued by Renascent, a British reissue label. If you like these tracks, please purchase their full CDs! Also visit Brittle Heaven, the official Adrian Borland fansite.

i give you four tracks as a sample: they are...
"heyday", from the 1980 debut record, "jeopardy"
"winning", from the 1981 record, "from the lion's mouth"
"counting the days" from the 1984 record "shock of daylights/heads and hearts"
"dreams then plans" from the 1984 record "shock of daylight/heads and hearts"

12 June 2006

First Post! My Favorite - Brighton Riot Demos

Hi, and welcome to Blinding Halo, Park Slope's newest mp3 blog. Over the next few months, we will be posting hundreds of rare and out-of-print songs from awesome bands that we love from many genres, focusing in on 80's new wave, synth-pop, post-punk, 90's indie-pop, including some local forgotten gems from long island, and 60's sunshine pop.

The first post is from the recently defunct (dammit!) long island pop band, My Favorite. "Brighton Riot" was a demo cassette recorded in 1992 or 1993, and features two songs that were re-recorded for their first album, "Love at Absolute Zero."

If you've never heard My Favorite, you're in for a treat. They took everything great, tragic and romantic about 80's new wave and teen angst films, and put them together on an album that took five years to record. The only made one album, and a couple of eps and singles. There was a running joke at my old record store, Music Den, as to when their debut album would be released. We figured that it would be easier for Michael if he fired everyone from the band, and recorded every track by himself. It was well worth the wait though! You can purchase their records from Double Agent Records, which also has recently released the new record by Rose Melberg, in the running for album of the year.

My Favorite - Working Class Jacket
My Favorite - Shock The World
My Favorite - 17 Berlin
My Favorite - Cult Hero, Come Home

Remember, all mp3's are for something or other and if you are the artist and hate me for enabling people to discover your music that your record company decided to stop pressing, I'll take it off the site.