This is a very dire situation and I'm writing to ask one more time for your support. The effort you've made over the past four months has been extraordinary and has forced the rapid introduction of the bill, but the committee process has been sluggish and we need to once again remind the representatives of the urgency of this issue. This is perhaps the most important phone call you can make for us.
Senator Richard Durbin: (202) 224-2152
Thank you again.
-Tim Westergren (Pandora founder)
On Oct. 2 the Acute label will issue Hungry Beat, a collection of the original studio recordings of Scotland's post-punk legends Fire Engines, available for the first time on CD in the US.
The Fire Engines formed, did absolutely everything in the most chaotic and unconventional manner possible, and broke up 18 months later. Considered one of the three main movers on the fertile Scottish post punk scene of the early 1980s with the much poppier Orange Juice and slightly more accessible Josef K, Fire Engines drew from similar influences but leaned towards darker and more abrasive sources: Velvet Underground, the Voidoids, Television, the artier end of UK punk and early post-punk like the Pop Group and the Fall, and perhaps most importantly, a copy of No New York, particularly the Contortions' contributions. The Fire Engines music was angular but funky, discordant but melodic, terse and energetic. During their brief career they released 3 singles and a mini-LP, all of which are contained on Acute's new compilation Hungry Beat.
The Fire Engines reunited in 2004 and played shows with The Magic Band as well as Franz Ferdinand, who cite the Engines as one of their biggest influences. Franz and the Engines released a split 7" and shortly thereafter the Domino label issued Codex Teenage Premonition, a collection of live Fire Engines recordings and Peel Sessions. The band has performed sporadically since their reunion in 2004 and plans to tour in support of Hungry Beat.
Check Out: Fire Engines - "Meat Whiplash" (mp3)
The Peel Back: Smoking Popes "Get Fired"
Growing up in the Chicagoland area, The Smoking Popes are legends. However, to the rest of the world they may be known as one hit wonders. Their big hit came in 1994 when "I Need You Around" was featured in the movie Clueless, and shone a brief national spotlight on the Popes. The Popes actually formed in 1991 and The Carterer Brothers released a few Ep's before recording their debut LP "Get Fired" in 1993.
I remember going into the local record shop, Disc n' Dats (now closed, thanks Borders!), and purchasing this album on vinyl. There is just something about punk and vinyl that is magical. I rushed home and dropped the needle, and "Let's Hear it for Love" starts blasting. "Let's Hear it for heartache/Let's hear it for pain" Josh's croons over edgy post-punk instrumentals. It like Mel Torme meets Minor Threat, and Mel is winning. The album last only 25 minutes, but the Smoking Popes make every minute count.
Smoking Popes "Get Fired" (Johann's Face, 1993)
Let's Hear It For Love (mp3)/That's Where I Come In/Let Them Die(mp3)/Double Fisted Love/Don't Be Afraid /Can't Find It /Off My Mind/Not That Kind of Girlfriend(mp3)/Days Just Wave Goodbye
Lollapalooza Band of the Week: Rodrigo Y Gabriela
The latest addition to the Lolla line-up is arguably the most artistic. Rodrigo (Sanchez) and Gabriela (Quintero) are two fast-fingered, Dublin-based, Mexicans with a unique sound created on acoustic guitars. Their fingers fly and the crowds dance, it classical, pop, rock, salsa passion that will leave you in awe. The way Gabriela rapidly thumbs the body the guitar to create a unique rhythmic sound is nearly unbelievable, while Rodrigo keep the rapid pace moving right along. The latin flare meshes with their interest in rock music as they cover Metallica and Led Zepplin. They are playing opposite Heartless Bastards on Sunday August 5th at 1:15pm. If you want a truly unique experience this year check them out!
Listen to: Stairway to Heaven (Mint Royale Remix) (mp3) and Tamacun (mp3)