The least known band of the quartet who were on the Dunedin Double comp (The Chills win most famous, The Verlaines most venerated and Sneaky Feelings most, uh, also-really-good), The Stones finally have their music available as part of the good work Flying Nun has been doing these past few years. There was something in the water down South, because here were all these bands making incredible music, loose and light, full of emotion, lovingly sloppy, all influencing each other. The Stones fit right in, sounding something like if The Clean decided to do some Feelies covers. Leader Wayne Elsey was killed in a train accident in the mid-eighties, otherwise I bet he'd be mentioned in the same breaths as Shayne Carter, Chris Knox (OK, I know, not from Dunedin), Graeme Downes, the Kilgour brothers and Robert Scott. This is a New Zeland essential. -BEN
Check Out The Stones' "See Red"!
This has very, very thankfully been repressed. Gendron is from Montreal, did this album around Dorothy Parker's poetry, and has such an exceptional and startlingly captivating voice. It's just her guitar and voice, which is recorded super close, so you hear every nuance of the take. It's intimate, powerful, gorgeous music, and is right in line with the best folk music that exists to highlight someone's distinct talent, be it their voice (Fred Neil, Karen Dalton), their songwriting (Jackson C. Frank), or their prowess (Bert Jansch, John Renbourn). I had to get this on vinyl for myself, to let the crackle of the medium interact with Gendron's singing in that wonderful way it can. So so stunning. -BEN
Check out Myriam Gendron's "Threnody"!
Everything you wanted from an early 80’s New Zealand garage art rock band featuring Bill Direen (Bilders/Vacuum) and Maryrose Crook (Max Block/Renderers). A noisy ramshackle poetic blunt object that somehow didn’t manage to stop Lou Reed from releasing Legendary Hearts the same year. Form your own band if you think you can do better. -SIMON
Check out the song "Black Doors".
Reissue of the first album by The Bats which features at the helm arguably the greatest songwriter in The Clean. One can argue anything, of course, and Here Come The Cars and All Of It And Nothing are certainly fighting testaments from the other guys. Scott isn’t as gregarious as those brothers K but he breaks your heart and makes you feel good about it just like Brian Wilson does on Caroline, No. -SIMON
Check out the kick-off song, "Treason" HERE!
This came out of nowhere. Bless those Numero Group boys. A reissue of a 70’s private press singer-songwriter record from rural Michigan. Sounds like a close cousin of outsider Robert Valente’s “No Hype” LP or even some of the excellent Bobb Trimble stuff, but more aggravated and dispossessed somehow. I just finished a book of Richard Hugo poems and this feels like it wants to be the soundtrack to Degrees of Gray in Philipsburg, one of the best American poems of the 20th century. -SIMON
Check out the title track HERE!
David Kenneth Nance "Let's Argue" cassette - The beginning of Nance-Rock. The father of the Unread Records-cassette trinity. The ink on the page of the Actor's Diary. -MIKE
Hear "Leather in the Box" HERE!
Bingo Trappers "Sierra Nevada" LP - pairs best with an 8 ounce shandy in the morning. Okay! -MIKE
Hear a song from a different album around the same time.
Peter Jefferies "Electricity" 2xLP - write up to follow. Still attempting to wrap my head around the track, "Couldn't Write A Book". -MIKE
Hear the title track HERE!
Sonny Sharrock "Black Woman" - this opened the door and showed me the wild side of life. I now see in three colors, all black. -MIKE
Hear the keystone track right HERE!