Vinyl Crackle - Out of Print 2

I was talking to someone about stereos the other day and we got on to talking about turntables. I love listening to vinyl but, like many people I suppose, the convenience of CDs and digital music, not to mention the busy fingers of the household toddler mean that I don't do it that often. However, the conversation prompted me to scramble around in the cupboard under the stairs to which my records have been banished by the toddler's mother and pull out a few gems. I then spent a great evening sitting on the floor in front of the stereo, headphones on. And since none of these records have been released on CD I made digital copies too.

The Hallelujah Picassos heyday was in the early to mid nineties when they released a couple of albums and EPs of their unique meld of hardcore, reggae and ska. Live the band were phenomenal, a high energy, punky-reggae party. Every time I saw them live I came away soaked with sweat, deaf and raving about how brilliant they were. My first encounter with the Picassos was a few years earlier when they had a song 'Clap Your Hands' included on a Pagan Records compilation Positive Vibrations. I saw a clip for it on Radio With Pictures, and although at that point they were still developing their sound I loved their brattishness and cheek as they leaped around, the song descending to thrash, the band all chanting "clap your hands, clap your hands, clap your hands . . . for jesus".

I've written before about how great the Crawlspace record store was. It was there that I picked up a limited edition 8" plastic lathe cut single by Trough, a duo from Palmerston North, who on the song 'Avondale race 10' play along to commentary of said horse race. Trust me, it's better than it sounds. Trough also released three other lathe cut singles but none of them matches the energy or originality of this song. Best NZ song about horses I can think of.

David Eggleton is probably best known to many New Zealanders as a book reviewer in The Listener. Also a prolific poet, Eggleton has collaborated with a number of musicians over the years to release three albums of his poetry set to music. Eggleton's poetry is all quick fire word play and commentary on NZ culture, politics and society delivered with a staccato rhythm . I think his 1987 album Wake Up is the best, but unfortunately it's vinyl only so I've included 'I Saw It In The NZ Herald' on the podcast. You can download the whole of his 1993 CD Poetry Demon here.

In 1986 Eggleton released a joint album with ?Fog which resulted in a short film clip that received a couple of plays on Radio With Pictures, but I remember them best for their 1985 EP, recorded without Eggleton, Fat Man With A Big Dork. The EP received a fair bit of student radio airplay at the time. The title track is a classic but I also really like 'Five Heads of State', which I've included below as a blog only exclusive.

David Mitchell and The Renderers are two of the artists appearing on I Hear The Devil Calling Me, a 1991 sampler of acts on the lo-fi Xpressway label. The compilation features 12 bands but it's only a 7" single so they only get around a minute each. Xpressway was a label set up by Bruce Russell of The Dead C from his Port Chalmers home that garnered a world-wide cult following in indie / experimental circles. In fact I Hear the Devil . . . was released on the American label Drag City.

Chris Knox has now notched up 30 years of music making, from his days with The Enemy through Toy Love to the Tall Dwarfs and his solo material and now The Nothing. And while he has long been recognised critically, it would be fair to say that commercial success has eluded Mr Knox. Hopefully the recent placement of one of his songs in an international TV commercial will bring some well-deserved financial reward. It is now more than half his career ago that Knox released 'Song for 1990', a satirical comment on the outbursts of patriotic self congratulation that marked New Zealand's sesqui year. This EP and a 1996 American re-issue as Songs From 1990 are long out of print, but there is a must-see clip of Knox performing the song live on Australian TV on the video page.

You might also want to check out an earlier episode featuring out of print records - Rare As Hens' Teeth

Download the Counting The Beat - Vinyl Crackle podcast


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