Saturday, December 19, 2020

New Release: Demarest - Word Gets Around

My latest release on Base Ten Records is one I have featured on the blog previously. However I have now been given permission to make this available in high quality via Bandcamp, so check it out if you haven't already.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

A headphone recommendation

As anyone who has visited my site will know, commercial considerations do not factor into my posts. But I did want to tell you about the deal I just got. Earlier this year I lost my cheap $20 headphones while travelling pre COVID. I took a chance on some Studio headphones (PRO 30) from OneOdio and although they ended up taking a while to arrive they have been amazing headphones for the price. I also bought a much more expensive pair for around $90 but even then the OneOdio remains my first choice hands down. 

Great sound, very comfortable, and I like the adapter that can plug either way so I can switch between computer jack or my amps easily. My kids have been all over it so I know its durable.

They are doing a big sale right now. I just ordered two extra sets for around 60% off each, with a free coaster, free stand, and free shipping. I was also able to use an extra coupon code SALE20 to get an extra discount meaning I got two sets for around $26 each all in. 

Here's the link

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Introducing Base Ten Records

I'm very excited to be able to announce the formation of my new record label, Base Ten Records.

This year, like many other people, I have been looking for ways to actively support the music community. Over the summer I started spending more time on Bandcamp, especially on Bandcamp Fridays, where once a month all the revenues go direct to the artist. I started to think about all the records I had collected, all the wonderful obscure albums I have enjoyed, and enjoyed restoring digitally, and most importantly, the talented artists behind them.

Last month I decided to take the plunge and tracked down a few of the artists and asked them if they would be interested in using my label to promote their music on Bandcamp. The response was very positive, so I was encouraged enough to take the plunge and form the label.

I'm working on releasing 2-3 albums of material a month, all approved by the artists themselves and with their input and, potentially, further previously unreleased goodies. 

I'm really enjoying the challenge of putting together a label design, and creating the artist pages, releasing the music, etc. I've put up our first two releases, and so now is the time to begin promotion  - especially with the next Bandcamp Friday (possibly the last fee free day) coming this Friday.

I will be using the blog more and more to promote our releases and the artists involved. I'm also going to release a compilation series privately to the friends of Mine For Life with the goal of being able to track down some of the more elusive artists on my want list.

Our address is please stop by and say hello. And watch this space for new developments!

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Ruby Blue - Give Us Our Flag Back


7" Single released in 1987

Both tracks were taken from the band's debut album, Glances Askances, on Red Flame. Initially consisting of Rebecca Pidgeon and Roger Fife, they then released a second album and some singles on Fontana between 1988-1990.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Richard Sanderson - Anytime At All


7" Single, released in 1990

A new artist discovery for me this year, I'm not sure why Richard's excellent album Anytime At All was only released in Germany as it includes many great tracks, including both sides of this single.

Monday, May 25, 2020

President - European Summer

7" Single, released in 1987

One of the (many) 80's singles in my box I have held off posting, President was at the time a vibrant young British band centered around two brothers, Geoff and Tony Wright. Given that the summer of 1987 also brought us droves of europap like Spagna and Sabrina, you might well fear the worst, but in fact despite only having one song the songwriting ability was immediately in evidence. The single was released on a small label (Rekords UK) and I suspect would have been well received by a wider audience if it had made more radio playlists at the time. There was also a video filmed at Saltburn by the Sea in July 1987.

For much of the music I feature, that would be the end of the story, but happily in recent years Geoff and Tony have returning to recording and performing with impressive results. They released an album, Breathe, in 2014 and posted some videos. I really liked "Coast" which saw a digital release a couple of years ago.

I'm not going to post my rips of the "European Summer" single here - I also have the 12 inch - because all the tracks are available on Spotify and other digital media outlets if you search for the European Summer EP. Kudos to the band for keeping their name all these years, even if in the internet age it makes it a little harder to google search them. 

They also have a new single out this week called "Reach Out" which is nothing if not timely. 

Thanks to Geoff for reaching out - I really should have mentioned them before now!

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Sleep Of Reason - Building 27 (1987)

I don't know much about Sleep Of Reason. They released one album on Top Records in 1987 and came from the Vienna, Virginia area apparently. Band members were Steve Hansgen, Tom Rowland, Arnie Karklis and Vince Silberberg.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Random Eighties Memories February 2020

Laughing Stock - The Boy Who Never Sleeps
(from Pipe Dreams, 1985)

Quasi Hands - Lovelife
(from Quasi Hands, 1985)

These Are Houseplants - Sunshine Anytime
(from Nashville Rock, 1987)

Playing At Trains - A World Without Love
(12" Single, 1987)

One - Son Of The Sun
(from Upstream, 1989)

Lung Overcoat - Voice In The Box
(from Climbing Up The Hill, 1986)

Aerial FX - Out Of The Window
(from Watching The Dance, 1982)

Second Thoughts - Wrapped
(7" Single, 1985)

A Drop In The Ocean - Valentine's Day

Head For Tall Trees - A Question Of Love
(from Certain Damage! Volume 1, 1987)

Monica's Interval - To Follow
(from Tortoise, 1989)

Blue Hollow - Inhale
(from Stealing A Whisper, 1986)

Vis A Vis - I Am The Night
(from Heart And Soul, 1985)

Other Bright Colors - NPR
(from Endlessly Rocks The Cradle, 1986)

Cassell Webb - Total Recall
(from Llano, 1985)

House Of Pants - Pressed (1984)

I don't normally buy 6 track EPs (actually these days I don't buy much of anything) but anyways this one sat on my want list for quite a while before I got it back in 2017.

House Of Pants was another Oakland California band and the brainchild of Jeff Saltzman, who released a couple of EPs, including this one on Amorous Records and played around town before heading off into the legal field. In the 90's he was part of Green Day's management team. There's not much more information out there that I could find.


Sunday, February 23, 2020

Greg Guidry - Over The Line (1982)

One of the downsides of obsessing over music that is between thirty and forty years old is that a lot of water has flowed under a lot of bridges by now. Memories fade, life moves on. Sometimes, I read about musicians who have enjoyed a recent reunion, satisfied with a legacy that is likely obscure but still loved, maybe even trying their hand at writing something new. More likely though, many of our heroes are nowhere to be found, and sadly, for some that is true in a literal sense, having passed on either through accident, death by natural causes, or, as in this case, by suicide. Personally, I pass no judgment. The great thing for me about music is that it lives on regardless of the triumphs or ills of its creators.

I found this record in Nashville about 5 years ago, and may well have left it alone except for a heartfelt post it note on the album somewhere that recommended it to a friend. It's perhaps a bit more mainstream, AOR style than I usually opt for, but depending on my mood, there is nothing wrong with that. One track even charted quite highly, and perhaps like one of my other rock discoveries from 1982, David Reilly, the fact that Greg had been honing his chops for years as a songwriter and backup singer imbued the album with a solid, satisfying songs. A little strange then, that it took until 2000 for it to see even a limited CD release, given that it was released originally by the mighty Columbia label.

Sadly, as I mentioned before, Greg committed suicide in 2003 in Fairview, Tennessee, at the age of 49. Having recently turned 50 myself, I am struck by how vulnerable the human male seems to be around the half century mark. Since then, other demo tracks and a posthumous album have been released - you can find them on iTunes, Spotify etc. - but not this one. If you enjoy the album, raise a glass on his behalf.

Over The Line

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Flag - Flag (1985)

Flag was a short lived collaboration between Archie Brown, formerly of Dexy's offshoot The Bureau, and David Cairns, previously well known in the UK for his involvement with a number of bands, most notably Secret Affair.

Although the writing partnership was largely productive, tensions arose with label Scotti Bros due to the mixing of the record. The album was released in the USA and Germany, but surprisingly not in England. A single "I Am" was released to radio but was not particularly successful. Nevertheless, highly underrated and worth a second listen.

More information on the band and album is here.


Sunday, February 9, 2020

Eubie Hayve - Mystery (1988)

Eubie Hayve were a phonetically amusing alternative rock band from Maryland, releasing two short LPs on their own Eubet Recordings label. Mystery was the second, more accomplished one. The band consisted of Ginger Hopkins on vocals, Anthony Mark Piazza on guitar, David Frey on bass and Devlin DeHaven on drums. "Work In Progress" was the single.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Random Eighties Memories - January 2020

Gerry Cott - Alphabet Town / Dean Ray - In La La / Neeva - Blue Star / 3 Ring Circuits - (As Seen) On TV / Life Without Principle - Business As Usual / Tin Drum - Break Your Back / The Westmorelands - Low Tide / Inner Landscapes - Amnesia / A Drop In The Ocean - Love To Love You / The Blue Law - Oppenheimer Hat / The Sonnets - Nothing To Lose / Frozen Concentrate - He/She/It / The Sullivans - Senseless / The Pulse - Trouble With John / The Naturals - Devil Smile

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Demarest - Word Gets Around

This week I'm going to share an independent LP from an Oakland band, led by Bruce Demarest. There's a little bit more info courtesy of the drummer, Dan Hertlein, here.

Word Gets Around (1987)
  1. The Once In A Blue Moon Girl
  2. Guilty
  3. False Front
  4. Word Gets Around
  5. Verbatim
  6. By Summertime
  7. On 2 And 4
  8. Walkin' The Beat
  9. Body Language
Download (mp3, 320kb)

Update - high quality download now available on Bandcamp through my label Base Ten Records. 

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Second Language - Youth Is Not For Pleasure

If you enjoy, as I do, discovering previously unreleased music from the mid eighties let me direct you to Second Language, who released a 16 track CD and a 10 track download last year called Youth Is Not For Pleasure which dates from 1985. Also available on Bandcamp, there is also the promise of more unreleased music to come. Check them out.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Simon Warner - Perfect Day Baby

7" Single, released in 1985

I just love this single, which makes me wonder all the more why I had never heard of it before I bought it last year. His voice reminds me of Richard Butler from the Psychedelic Furs. I figure there has to be a story as to why such a talented singer releases one single on a major label, with a big time producer and then does nothing else for ages.

Simon went on to release an album called Waiting Rooms on CD, in 1997.