Bush Tetras – EP Rituals (1981)

“In New York in the late ’70s & early ’80s, the Bush Tetras blazed brightly in the sweaty clubs of the Lower East Side, playing music that was a blend of funk rhythms & dissonant guitar riffs. Lead guitarist Pat Place had been the original guitarist & one of the founding members of the No Wave band The Contortions. With the Bush Tetras, she continued to pursue some of the musical ideas she had explored in that band, themes of driving rhythm & nihilistic trance…hypnotic, tribal, & dirty. Together with vocalist Cynthia Sley they produced the most distinctive aspects of the Tetras sound. Sley’s half-spoken, half-sung vocals, often repeating simple phrases over & over again, creating a hypnotic monotony similar to Place’s guitar rhythms. The Bush Tetras toured with the Clash & struck up a friendship with Topper Headon that lead to his producing this, the Rituals ep on Stiff Records in 1981. The Bush Tetras on Rituals were: Cynthia Sley – vocals; Pat Place – guitar; Laura Kennedy – bass; & Dee Pop – drums. …”
YouTube: Can’t Be Funky, Funky Instrumental, Cowboys in africa, Rituals

Patti Smith Group – Full Concert – 05/11/79 – Capitol Theatre

“Personnel: Patti Smith – vocals. Lenny Kaye – guitar, vocals. Richard Sohl – keyboards. Ivan Kral – bass. Jay Dee Daugherty – drums. Setlist: 0:00:00 – Privilege (Set Me Free) 0:04:01 – Stage Banter 0:04:43 – So You Want To Be A Rock ‘N’ Roll Star 0:12:51 – Stage Banter 0:13:52 – Dancing Barefoot 0:18:39 – I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry 0:19:24 – Redondo Beach 0:23:57 – Stage Banter 0:25:07 – Revenge (aborted) 0:28:46 – Stage Banter 0:30:06 – 5-4-3-2-1 0:32:55 – Stage Banter 0:33:45 – Citizen Ship 0:39:06 – Ask The Angels 0:42:25 – Crowd Ambience 0:43:19 – Poppies 0:53:31 – Lenny Kaye Intro 0:55:44 – Secret Agent Man 0:58:16 – Wave (incomplete) 1:00:22 – Revenge (take 2) 1:05:53 – Stage Banter 1:06:54 – Pumping (My Heart) 1:10:55 – Mr. Tambourine Man 1:14:34 – Broken Flag 1:19:45 – Stage Banter 1:20:59 – Till Victory 1:24:25 – Ain’t It Strange 1:34:42 – Cold Turkey 1:38:56 – Because The Night 1:42:40 – Stage Banter 1:43:15 – Frederick 1:49:12 – Seven Ways Of Going 1:56:55 – Stage Banter 1:57:36 – Gloria 2:03:39 – Encore Applause 2:07:14 – Pledge of Allegiance / Star Spangled Banner / My Generation 2:15:15 – feedback / crowd ambience”
YouTube: Full Concert – 05/11/79 – Capitol Theatre

Art Bears – The World As It Is Today (1981)

“If you thought Henry Cow was a pretty political band to start with, you may be even more taken aback by the Art Bears, which was put together following Henry Cow‘s demise by former Cows Chris Cutler (percussion), Fred Frith (guitar, violin), and Dagmar Krause (voice). On The World As It Is Today and its predecessor, Winter Songs, the Art Bears move away from the long-form art rock of Henry Cow and get much, much more politically explicit: song titles like ‘The Song of the Dignity of Labour Under Capital’ and ‘The Song of Investment Capital Overseas’ almost sound like Monty Python gags today, but if any humor was intended it was clearly meant to be mordant. Frankly, the lyrics are so overwrought and portentous that it’s hard to take them seriously. But the music is something else again. Cutler and Frith are natural collaborators; Cutler‘s drumming always rides a very fine line between the scattershot and the funky, while Frith bounces his horror-show guitar noise and carnival piano off of Cutler‘s grooves with manic abandon and fearsome inventiveness. And Krause‘s singing is just as inventive; she whoops, croons and screams her way through the density of Cutler‘s lyrics without a hesitation or misstep. Easy listening it isn’t, but it’s sure worth hearing. Frith fans, in particular, should consider this album a must-own.”
W – On The World As It Is Today
YouTube: The world as it is today 31:24

Aguirre – Popol Vuh (1975)

Aguirre gathers recordings made between 1972 and 1974 embodying the distinctive characteristics of Popol Vuh‘s early-’70s sonic identity: austere analog synth textures that inspired subsequent ambient artists and organically crafted, ethnically nuanced proto-new age music. The most memorable material here derives from the soundtrack to Werner Herzog‘s film Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes, which chronicles an ill-fated 16th century Spanish quest for El Dorado. The film’s central motif blends pulsing Moog and spectral voices conjured from Florian Fricke‘s Mellotron-related ‘choir organ’ to achieve something sublime, in the truest sense of the word: it’s hard not to find the music’s awe-inspiring, overwhelming beauty simultaneously unsettling. The power of the legendary opening sequence of Herzog‘s film (a breathtaking shot of the conquistadors descending a mountain path, dwarfed by the natural beauty that ultimately consumes them) owes as much to Popol Vuh‘s music as it does to the director’s mise-en-scène. This musical motif appears in two slightly different incarnations: ‘Aguirre I,’ which closes with Andean pipes, and ‘Aguirre II,’ featuring Daniel Fichelscher’s soaring guitar melodies. Elsewhere, the cosmic sensibility of those tracks is replaced with an earthbound orientation, but the results are no less mesmerizing. Built around acoustic guitars and percussion (and a fleeting contribution from vocalist Djong Yun), the 15-minute triptych ‘Vergegenwärtigung’ blurs the boundaries between East and West while incorporating nuances of early music. The album also includes ‘Morgengruß II’ and ‘Agnus Dei,’ versions of which appeared on Einsjäger & Siebenjäger. Compared with In den Gärten Pharaos or Hosianna Mantra, Aguirre doesn’t stand up as a consistently great album, but that’s not to say that it doesn’t contain some great pieces of music.”
W – Aguirre (soundtrack)
YouTube: “Aguirre pt I, II, III”
YouTube: Aguirre (1975 – Full Album) 6 videos

More Songs About Buildings and Food – Talking Heads (1978)

“On July 14, 1978, Talking Heads released their second album, ‘More Songs About Buildings and Food,’ a backwards exorcism of frozen-brittle guitars, smeared textures and super-ecstatic vocals. The record brought forth an essential darkness and didn’t try to extinguish it. These were songs about emotions that lurk, about the secret part of ourselves that knows people can see right through us on buses, planes and subways, all sung by a disjointed, ferocious, manic, shivering guy named David Byrne. It was a kind of State of the Union address, examining the nation’s health from a dozen different angles, including the sky. Now, almost 25 years later, what could be more relevant than songs about buildings and food and love and rage and sorrow and hope and fear? Today, VH1 specials document the Heads’ part in the CBGB years, centered on the downtown Manhattan club where they accompanied the Ramones, Blondie and others in a New York minute that inaugurated American punk. But the Heads were never really punk. For one thing, they looked like their Izod alligators should be wearing them. They were art-school geeks less given to slam-dancing than Polaroid experiments. …”
W – More Songs About Buildings and Food
YouTube: More Songs About Buildings and Food (full album) 15 videos

Clash City Rockers/Jail Guitar Doors – The Clash (1978)

“‘Clash City Rockers’ is a song and single by The Clash. First released in February 1978 with the b-side ‘Jail Guitar Doors,’ a re-worked version of a song from Joe Strummer‘s pub rock days. It was later included as the opening track of the belated US version of the band’s eponymous debut album.The song was first played live at Mont De Marsan (Landes – France), in August 1977 and recorded the same year in the band’s October and November sessions at CBS Studios. Following an argument at the end of the band’s Get Out of Control Tour, Paul Simonon and Mick Jones were not on speaking terms, leaving Joe Strummer as a middle-man, relaying instructions and insults from one to the other. In December, producer Mickey Foote (Joe Strummer’s old sound-man from the 101’ers and producer of The Clash and ‘White Riot’) increased the speed of the tape for the finished master of the song after manager Bernie Rhodes decided the song sounded ‘a bit flat.’ This technique, known as ‘varispeeding,’ rendered the song one semitone higher in pitch. Strummer and Jones were in Jamaica at the time. When they heard the finished result, Foote was sacked. With the exception of the 2000 re-issue of the US version of The Clash, the original version of the song (at the proper speed) has been used on every re-release since. …”
Genius – Clash City Rockers (Audio), Genius – Jail Guitar Doors (Audio)
YouTube: Clash City Rockers, Jail Guitar Doors (Video)

Massacre – Killing Time (1981)

“Spittle Records present an expanded reissue of Massacre‘s Killing Time, originally released in 1981. Following the breakup of Cambridge’s avant-rock legends, Henry Cow, guitarist Fred Frith moved to NYC in 1979, and soon found himself deep in the heart of the city’s robust post-punk and free-jazz scenes. He performed with Bill Laswell and Fred Maher, from the group Material, as a power trio of sorts under the moniker of Massacre. The group quickly garnered a reputation around town, and around the world for that matter, as a heavy and heady band that experimented greatly with rhythm, time signatures, and tone. As Frith himself put it, ‘the group was a direct response to New York. It was a very aggressive group, kind of my reaction to the whole New York rock club scene.’ Massacre released one album, Killing Time, before disbanding for nearly 20 years. Their first wave as a group crashed fast and furiously and this one album, recorded in part live in Paris, and in part at Brooklyn’s OAO Studio, is a perfect encapsulation of early ’80s NYC. In addition to the original album, first released on Celluloid in 1981, this deluxe three-sided double LP includes eight bonus tracks recorded live between ’80 and ’81 at The Stone in San Francisco, and Inroads and CBGB in NYC. Avant-jazz-post-punk-noise of the highest order from several legends and one of the most important projects Frith and Laswell were ever involved in. …”
Forced Exposure
W – Killing Time
YouTube:Killing Time [full album]