Wednesday, January 28, 2009

It's a dirty job, but someone's gotta do it...

I've been listening to Left Of The Dial: Dispatches From The '80s Underground...actually I've nearly worn it out.

It's hard to locate some of this stuff now, but I have managed to find a couple of these gems to share with you all. (I apologize that they aren't in chronological order, since I confess I looked up the exact years after the fact. Hey, I can't remember everything!)


The title of my post comes from this song, which I try to keep in mind when I get too sanctimonious for my own good.

Faith No More - We Care a Lot (1987)


Just like the winsome heroine of the movie JUNO, Mr Daisy unsympathetically trashes Sonic Youth, thereby hurting my feelings. :(

See if you can spot all the famous people flitting by in the film clips.

Sonic Youth - Teen Age Riot (1988)


Just some really elegant racket!

Gang of Four - To Hell with Poverty (1981 -live)


One can hardly believe music can be this bad. Even worse, by the middle of the song, you realize the badness is the POINT, and it's time to make REVOLUTION! YES, WE ARE BAD, AND WE ARE PROUD OF IT! Fuck your bourgeois quality standards!

I imagine it could have been truly dangerous to actually perform this live, amidst all that flying proletarian debris. And this was way before Henry Rollins was getting quoted like some sage on VH-1.

Lyrics are helpfully included in this video, except for the chorus:

Are tired!
Of your!

To stop us!
No use!

Really a mosh-pit special.

Black Flag - Rise Above (1981)


This one is decidedly strange, but it can really grow on you. The lead singer of Japan, David Sylvian, sounded like equal parts Bryan Ferry and David Bowie, and didn't seem to be at all ashamed of his outright, unabashed impersonations. I'm also not quite sure what to call the music, "synth-pop" or early techno? (At least hang around for the pretty chorus, even though all that techno-curlicue noise can get on your nerves.) Great visuals, but also decidedly strange.

Another song that speaks to me very personally:

Just when I think I'm winning
When I've broken every door
The ghosts of my life
Blow wilder than before
Just when I thought I could not be stopped
When my chance came to be king
The ghosts of my life
Blew wilder than the wind

Japan - Ghosts (1981)


Me oh my, take a listen to this...they were just little babies! (Ahh, weren't we all?) If you own Murmur, you'll notice this version is a bit different. It was re-recorded for Murmur in 1983.

R.E.M. - Radio Free Europe (1981)


mikeb302000 said...

I love you, Daily, but about this music, I wish you'd turn the clock back a good 10 or 15 years.

mikeb302000 said...

How about that for a neat slip. I meant to write "Daisy", but misspelled it as "Daily", which is also true.

Lauren said...

Oh my gawd, I LOVE this set. I got dispatches online a few years ago and basically haven't burned another CD since. I just keep remixing the set.

sheila said...

Now I've gotta go find my R.E.M. cd, thank you very much. lol (really, love um!)

queen emily said...

As resident electro bitch, I think synthpop's a pretty solid description for Japan. Not really techno, maybe proto-techno at a stretch, though what the music really reminds me of is Brian Eno's Ambient album with a vocal added..

Good stuff generally.. Thinking about it, "fuck your bourgeois quality standards" seems rather a foreign thought nowadays, where so many unsigned acts no matter the genre put themselves on myspace or whatever with pseudo PR spiels and that. Turgid, boring professionalism..

Serena said...

That was an interesting collection taking me back a ways.

Marion said...

My gosh, you are so right about Ghosts! Kudos to you for finding it! The song says exactly what I'm trying to say...

Thank you, Daisy!

Conseglieri said...

I got to hear the original version, the one posted here, of Radio Free Europe on WUOG. I had friends who worked at the station and the sogn got heavy air play, as it should have. Great are they all. As best I can remember, and it was a L O N G time ago, Gang of Four and R.E.M. played Athens a lot....can't remember Black Flag or the rest ever playing when I was there, but as I said...long ago.