Today’s Track of the Day comes from home recording mastermind R. Stevie Moore. The son of a Nashville session musician, Moore started recording his own music as a fifteen-year-old in 1967. He hasn’t let up since, releasing an amazing amount of great music through his R. Stevie Moore Cassette Club. This song comes from 1976’s Stevie Moore Returns, and is performed almost entirely by Moore himself (his brother Gary is credited with “gong and effects”). Alongside his albums, Moore has also put out many home-produced music videos, including the one shown above. I really think all of his output is worth your time, and his extensive Bandcamp and YouTube presences make it really easy to check out.
Tomorrow brings the release of Disappears’ new album, Pre Language. That makes three albums in as many years for the local favorites, and the first since the addition of Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelley on drums. As with Lux and Guider (both highly recommended), the disc comes to us courtesy of the great Chicago label Kranky. The group is touring Europe in March, but will be back in town for a concert at Lincoln Hall April 13.
The great Portland, Oregon punk band Dead Moon was formed in 1987 by Fred and Toody Cole and Andrew Loomis. Twenty years earlier, Fred Cole had played in the garage band The Lollipop Shoppe, writing and singing the single “You Must Be A Witch” for which that group is best-known. After playing in several short-lived projects (most notably Zipper) during the 70s convinced Fred of the difficulty of maintaining a stable lineup, he taught Toody to play bass. Prior to forming Dead Moon, the couple released three LPs as The Rats and singles under several other names on their own Whizeagle Records imprint. With the addition of Loomis on drums, Dead Moon went on to release 14 albums between 1988 and 2004. This song first appeared on their second, 1989’s Unknown Passage. These days, Fred and Toody are playing in Pierced Arrows, having released the album Descending Shadows in 2010.
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Today’s track comes from Solid Space, a U.K. synth act made up of childhood friends Matthew Vosburgh and Dan Goldstein. In 1978, then 14-year-olds Vosburgh and Goldstein started recording together in the four-piece Exhibit A, which released two 7” EPs on their own Irrelevant Wombat Records. Two years later, they formed Solid Space as a duo, beginning to record the material that would eventually see release as the Space Museum cassette on In Phaze Records in 1982. In addition to Vosburgh and Goldstein, also performing on this track is Jon Winegum, playing what sounds to me like a clarinet. The group’s material has yet to be reissued, but as always you might have some luck with the usual second-hand sources online or off.
EDITOR’S NOTE: If you dug today’s Track of the Day, Dan put together an hour of synth-pop back in November that happens to include this track. Check it out on Mixcloud.
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This Monday was the Rock Show’s meeting on Japanese music, and since then I’ve found myself nearly unable to listen to anything other than Sadistic Mika Band. The group formed in 1972 around the married couple Mika Fukui and Kazuhiko Kato, who, after living in London and being impressed by the emerging glam scene there, sought to start a Japanese group with a similar sound. The group was rounded out by bassist Roy Ohara, lead guitarist Masayoshi Takanaka and drummer Yukihiro Takahashi. If those last two names sound familiar, they should—Takanaka went on to have a successful solo career and Takahashi later formed the seminal electropop group Yellow Magic Orchestra with Ryuichi Sakamoto and Haruomi Hosono.
This track comes from a 7″ single released in 1973, around the same time as their self-titled debut LP. On “Hi, Baby” the group’s sound is mellow in comparison with the high-energy, funky prog that characterized that album. The band went on to make two more great albums, Korufune (“Black Ships”) and Hot! Menu, both produced by Chris Thomas, whose production credits at the time included albums by Roxy Music, The Beatles, and Badfinger, and who has gone on to produce a seemingly endless list of other popular records. The breakup of the band came with that of Fukui and Kato’s marriage (she and Thomas later married). Live In London, an album culled from performances during their 1975 tour with Roxy Music, was released in 1989, and the group has reformed several times over the years with different female vocalists brought in to replace Mika.