THE FIRST CHURCH OF NAPOLEON SOLO-DEBBYDID/GAME OF BAGATELLE, 1984, UK
A lost curio from the waning days of the post-punk era, the A side a listing and pitching punchdrunk instrumental that garlands swooping streaks of tape reversed backwash and subtle harmonic shimmer over a devolving rhythmic tumble, the B side a wholly unalike bit of spare and untutored D.I.Y. songsmithery of the Johan Kugelberg-approved sort.
FISH & ROSES-FRIAR TUCK RECORD, 1991, USA
As a nice tie-in with another of today's posts via their presence on the Festival MIMI 87 compilation, here's more of Fish & Roses amiably askew Downtown NY art rock lurch; this the last of their output under the mantle of Fish & Roses, before Rick Brown and Sue Garner regrouped alongside Alan Licht in Run On.
THE FLYING LIZARDS-MOVE ON UP/PORTUGAL, 1980 + LOVERS & OTHER STRANGERS/WIND, 1981, UK
Effectively the pop face (albeit artfully skewed) of one of Britain's true unsung musical heritages, the trifecta of David Cunningham, Steve Beresford and David Toop constituted a formidable braintrust of art pop savvy improvisors and jocular genre fuckers that in various assemblages formed the core of ensembles like Alterations (covered in this month's Wire Magazine), General Strike and the below featured 49 Americans, who just happened to tidily fit into this particular alphabetical post. Many will recall the Flying Lizards simply for their 15 minutes of pop glory in the annals of early 80's synth pop one-hit wonders via their cover of The Beatles' "Money", but this particular well runs infinitely deeper into the recesses of weirdity than anyone might surmise from that. Four killers cuts here (the A-sides taken from their second album Fourth Wall, the B-sides exclusive to these singles) that run the gamut from "Lovers & Other Strangers"' Raincoats cum Family Fodder-like rubberized art punk playfulness to the blearily seductive synth pop of "Wind" and from "Move On Up", which mines a vein of skewed disco pop like Belgian proggers Cos were attempting at the end of their career to the unexpectedly stark and Cab Voltaire-ish "Portugal".
FOREIGN BODIES-THE INCREDIBLE TRUTH/LONG WALK HOME, 1980, USA
In tribute to the memory of Jim Jones (no...not THAT one...), a Cleveland underground all-star who had memberships over the years in Pere Ubu, David Thomas & The Wooden Birds and The Mirrors and who unexpectedly died of a heart attack earlier this year (check out his contributions to David Thomas & The Wooden Birds-Blame The Messenger to see how impressive this guy was), here's one of his earlier recorded achievements. The Incredible Truth sounds like some post punk fever dream of a Roxy Music jam while The Long Walk Home is a brilliantly unnerving instrumental, tapping a realm of suffocating post punk instrumental abstraction that carries a strong whiff of The Swell Maps' A Trip To Marineville at it's furthest out on a limb.
THE 49 AMERICANS-WONDER ONLY 85 PENNIES, 1979, UK
The insular and lo-fi mirror inverse of The Flying Lizards studio-fied confections, within the bounds of 49 American's tinker toy universe Beresford and Toop (distinctly absent Cunningham here) conspired with assorted post-punk provocateurs and untrained hangers on from workshops they used to stage to form these fey and fractured little art pop nuggets of jerry-rigged joy that seem yoked together with dental floss and have all the more what-the-fuck? appeal for the gesture.
FRAGMENTS-NUT BUSH CITY LIMITS, 1979, UK
FOllowing Jim's post of their Some Other Guy 7" in one of his own D.I.Y. 7" posts, here's another round of sing-songy and affably shuffling rhythm machine pre-set D.I.Y. synth pop doink; the A side applying the treatment to Ike & Tina Turner's Nutbush City Limits, the flip settling into a spare and dejected sounding guitar and rhythm box instrumental lope.
FRANKIE TEARDROP!-ELECTRO-ACOUSTIC ROLLERCOASTER RIDE/APHRODITE'S LULLABY, 1997, USA
The sole release under this moniker from dearly departed Vas Deferens Organization/Yeti/Ohm keyboard guru Doug Ferguson, Frankie Teardrop! was the alter ego he used for his solo keyboard outings, this one produced by Matt Castille from VDO (I sat this session out for some reason) during some downtime from the recording of VDO's "Zyzzybaloubah", if memory serves. Two for the ages from the maestro here, Electro-Acoustic Rollercoaster Ride liquidly surging through Phaedra-like progressions, 666-era Vangelis flourishes and passages of the hectic gothic grandiosity he'd take to such hair raising ends in Yeti and Aphrodite's Lullaby riding the pulse of the universe somewhere between the tranquilly fluttering core of Harmonia's Deluxe and the pastoral electronics of Sowiesoso-era Cluster.
FRONT-GEORG, 1981, GERMANY
Another tersely mutant funky Neue Deutsche Welle treasure from the ZickZack stable, Front's choppy and stark but groovulating attack often landing them somewhere between fellow NDW operatives Kosmonautentraum and The Contortions circa Buy.
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