Sunday, November 27, 2011

requests 2.0: help a blogger out

Last time we did this, it proved rather successful and I had several holes filled in my collection thanks to the kindness of my followers.  So, it's now time for Part II.

This batch mostly focuses on the 1980s-early 1990s Chicago/Minneapolis punk axis.  Why?  It's been flooding my ears lately (in the best way possible) and I've long intended to put together a comprehensive post detailing this extremely prolific era and scene.

The problem with this era/scene is that while documented, and celebrated, a lot of these records never saw CD release.  Which is a shame, because there's some really terrific music out there languishing on beat up LPs that for one reason or another has not been approached in the reissue game.  The versions that are out there, usually on fellow blogs, are (typically) the same vinyl dub, clicky and poppy, and not transferred with the greatest of care (a LOT of inner groove distortion from beat up equipment and vinyl, mostly).

Here's hoping my readership can help rectify this.  If you have any of the below and can provide as requested in the details below, please contact me at analogloyalist at gmail dot com and let's play ball!

In no particular order...

STRIKE UNDER - Immediate Action EP
The celebrated first Wax Trax! release - and nowhere near what the label would eventually become known for.  Strike Under is straight-up punk, Chicago style, and this record is a celebrated document of the early 1980/1981 Chicago punk scene.  Only one track has seen CD release (on the Wax Trax! Black Box anthology), yet the whole record - all 13 minutes of it - needs further recognition.  Not likely any of my readers has this original 12", but if so, a FLAC rip done with care would be fantastic.

BREAKING CIRCUS - The Very Long Fuse / The Ice Machine / Smoker's Paradise
Really underappreciated postpunk from the Strike Under singer/guitarist Steve Björklund, who on the first record The Very Long Fuse backed himself with Roland (Big Black's drum machine).  Then he moved to Minneapolis, hooked up with Rifle Sport's rhythm section Flour (bass) and Todd Trainer (drums), and released two terrific records before disappearing.  These long out of print records were all released on the seminal Homestead label, and never saw CD release.  Word is that Björklund has put the kibosh on various official entreaties to reissue these records, for some unknown reason.  Again, these are widely available in BlogWorld, but usually in low bitrate MP3 and usually seem to be the same scratchy rip with distortion.  FLAC rips, transferred with care/good equipment, would be stellar.

RIFLE SPORT - Primo (CD appends White [Made In France])
This Minneapolis band is fantastic.  Their rhythm section (Flour and Trainer, as described above) is among the best EVER - so much so that Steve Albini stole Trainer for Shellac, a drumstool he still occupies today.  Their two top albums, 1987's White (Made In France) and 1990's Primo, saw some limited CD release in 1990 on a single disc, the Big Money-issued Primo.  There's a copy today on eBay with a Buy It Now price of $79.99...  That should say it all... Certainly one of my readers has this CD and can FLAC it up for me.  It's not available anywhere on the darker sides of the Internets, at least not from CD - the rarity shows in that most of the Rifle Sport material available on the webz is from clicky vinyl.

ARSENAL - Factory Smog Is A Sign Of Progress CD
Big Black broke up in 1987 because Santiago Durango enrolled in law school.  Albini states the secret to Big Black's awesomeness was Sant's guitar.  Sant still had something musical to say, so stole Roland (him again) and a bassist and released two industrial-sounding EPs.  Touch and Go released both EPs on the Factory Smog... CD, but let it lapse out of print.  FLACs are nowhere to be found online.

A mid-80s Chicago band that featured members of the Effigies, the other Björklund brother (Chris) from Strike Under, and Pegboy; a bit more riff-focused snapshot of mid-period Chicago punk.  This record was their only release and never saw CD issue.  Online rips are all the same clicky vinyl, all MP3-only, and suffer from poor transfers the most of these that I seek.  A nice, clean transfer in FLAC would be great.

DeKalb, Illinois punk rock largely in awe of Naked Raygun.  This band disbanded to form Tar; or, the sound of the band was changing enough that the members decided to change their name too.  This record was only released in Germany and never saw CD release either.  As is becoming a motif, online copies are all low-bitrate MP3s and are poor transfers.  A clean transfer in FLAC would be pretty neat.

Chicago surf-punk from the late 80s that really has to be heard to be believed.  This band was my first live punk rock gig; they opened for Naked Raygun when I went to see my first big-city big-punk-rock gig and I was *blown away* by this band.  Fittingly, my hometown never saw fit to, you know, RELEASE the album as they had to go to Germany (I sense a trend here...) to release their sole LP.  I finally found it online this year (over 20 years of searching!), but (gasp) as clicky MP3s only.  I would die a happy man if someone transferred this, cleanly and distortion-free, and offered up FLACs.

Help a blogger out!


  1. I have Bloodsport and Breaking Circus on vinyl, but unfortunately my equipment's packed away and I have no way to rip them right now. Probably will in a couple months, but you probably want 'em before then. I do have an NMR of BC's "The Very Long Fuse" in CBR 256, if you're interested. Can't recall where I grabbed this, but I think it's pretty clean. If you want it, bc me at The Chi/Mpls axis is definitely worth the PIT quality retrospect!

  2. I should be able to get flacs of the Arsenal cd to you by the end of the week. I have all the Breaking Circus vinyl, just not ripped. Give me a couple of weeks on those.

  3. excellent, both of you! I located on a dusty hard drive - had to shake the cobwebs off - an MP3 of Breaking Circus "Driving the Dynamite Truck" from that Twin\Tone comp Big Hits of Mid-America Vol. IV, and is this not the best song ever? "Let's go out. I've got money." Classic! I see Twin\Tone will sell me a "custom burnt" CDR of this, how nice of them... Anyone have this track - don't care about the rest of the comp - as FLAC?

  4. I have "Driving..." and yes, it's the best song ever. I can include it in flac as a "bonus track" to The Very Long Fuse ep. Cheers.

  5. Arsenal:

  6. do you still need rifle sport primo/white?
    (drop me a line daunia07 - gmail)

  7. I have the Bloodsport 12" and I digitized it a few years back. Drop me a line at flognoth at gmail dot com.

  8. Yo, I just came across your blog today, so perhaps I'm not a "reader", but I do have the SU Immediate Action 12" in storage .. I can have someone pull it and rip it if you still need it.

    Alternatively, there's a 256 rip at Punk Not Profit. I think I've come across a lot of Chicago punk stuff there.

    I've never seen (nor looked for, nor heard of) Blatant Dissent or Defoliants.

    Looks like you're covered for the rest?

  9. The latest and final round of Breaking Circus records are up:

    Both of the "hammer" albums and a scarce 1989 7". Enjoy

  10. I just posted the Strike Under EP to demonoid.

  11. I have the Strike Under 12" AL, but am a bit challenged for recording it :(

    I keep hoping that I can pick up an original Apogee Duet for cheap one of these days so I can do vinyl ripping ... but they are still pricey :(