Visage – The Anvil (Live on The Tube, 1982)

Visage may have been image above all, but thankfully, their darker New Romantic style was backed up by some very good musicians that added some style to Steve Strange’s ideas. On The Anvil, he’s backed by Ultravox’s Midge Ure (Who also co-produced) and Billy Currie, Magazines Dave Formula, and Rusty Egan (Still have not found out who backed on the female vocals, though…). The Anvil was released right in time to be an alternative to nice Pop happenings such as Haircut 100, who’s Pelican West was a major Top 10 album in The UK when The Anvil was released, and Spandeau Ballet, who started off in the New Romantic arena but wound up in a more Mainstream style by 1983 who had released Diamond at that time.¬†While there were sharper Synth groups of the day, including Soft Cell and Heaven 17, Visage’s music was perfect for nightclubbing with style which in the end puts them in that category – at least for the first two albums.

The performance may be synced, but just the look of the performance alone was right. It was to be their final highlight of The 80’s as the album went Top 10 in the UK with two fine performing singles (
The Damned Don’t Cry and Night Train), with followup singles and the 1984 album Beat Boy not doing as well. Although many remember them for the classic “Fade to Grey,” The Sounds of the Secret Side finds this more fitting.

Dalis Car – His Box

Mick Karn, the legendary Bassist who’s best known work was with Japan, passed away on 4 Jan. 2011, and I stumbled upon a video of the Dali’s Car project that shows them in their best light. Live on the Whistle Test with another highlight from The Waking Hour album, released in Late 1984. On Drums with Karn and Singer Peter Murphy is Paul Vincent Lawford who also appeared on Murphy’s first Post-Bauhaus album Should the World Fail to Fall Apart.

One of the coolest things about this song from an album that has never had a US release despite having many releases and re-issues worldwide is that it wound up on Rhino’s Gothic compilation A Life Less Lived – the Gothic Box, finally introducing many Stateside listeners to this unique project.

My own project – Project Nightwolf – “The Hunter in Winter”

I hope you enjoy these sounds. One of the main reasons for my long time away was getting the hang of my new recording software and finding all of the tools I create with. It was a mad Summer – most of it having to do moving from and then back to my old apartment (no thinks to a neighbor making the building useless). Thankfully, things are (kind of) back to “Normal.” More posts of my music are planned. Enjoy!

13’th Floor Elevators – Radio Spot for Bull of the Woods (1968/9)

OK, so it is a bit odd that my first Elevators post is a radio ad for the very ill-fated third studio album, but then again as Sean Bonniwell’s Close was one ending to a legendary 60’s career, this was another. Already gone from the music scene, The Elevator’s Bull of the Woods was mixed in Sept. 1968, with the great Roky Erickson in his short-lived California visit and Guitarist Stacy Sutherland trying to keep things afloat. The album already gave a look into what was going on with the Texas band at the time with Sutherland’s composistions already dominating the sound while Roky was away, but as good as some of the songs were, it was still a very disappointing follow-up to the great Easter Everywhere.

International Artists, holding up the release of this album, thought it woulod be best to issue the infamous Live album composing of various outtakes and demos with applause dubbed over it as it did feature the classic singing of Erickson, still thought of as the voice of the band. Bull… was a far more laid back affair, more rooted in the Blues rather than classic Psychedelia and Garage, but songs like “Livin’ On,” the classic opener featuring Ericksons soulful singing, and Sutherland’s “Silver and Gold” showed that there was still some life left in the band, if only for a few remaining moments.

Sadly, the album was released as Erickson was having his legal problems started with the infamous Feb. 1969 bust and Sutherland was trying to find another outlet for his music, resulting in the very short lived band Ice who never released anything officially. I.A., after scoring a hit with Bubble Puppy’s “Hot Smoke and Sassafrass” in early ’69, slowly went away through a series of albums which went unnoticed.

Within the other videos at the end of the clip, there’s a home-made clip featuring the classic closer “May the Circle Remain Unbroken,” a title that was the motto of many music fans that were hoping for the return of the band, or at least Erickson, to the music scene. Thankfully, Erickson is now back and proving to all that he is still strong as a performer. It’s the most spaced-out beauty the band would ever get, and that alone makes up for the several weak tracks on that album as it is a true Elevators classic.

This was a clumsy ad, but it has it’s strange charm best heard at 2AM.

Sean Bonniwell (TS Bonniwell) – Black Snow (1969)

Moody, and stunning!

Shortly after the Music Machine went out of sight, Sean Bonniwell tried out for a Solo venture under his real name. I have not heard the full album yet, but judging from this track, Close seems to have it’s share of great moments which seriously went into a strong mood. To me this song at least captured a feeling of the last days of a very interesting era of the last part of the 60’s – one that started with a lot of hope, rebellion, and change turning into a dark world all it’s own with only a few events that were yet to happen that ended the story…one, the infamous “Helter Skelter Murders” of Aug. 8-9, 1969 leading to a quick shot Exploitation film (The Other Side of Madness, 1971) and the use of some of Bonniwell’s music for that film

Reportedly, only a few thousand copies wre pressed of Close and were Distributed mainly through the LA area, where it’s a good guess that Bonniwell still had his strongest following after a 1968 of well-recieved concerts as the leader of Bonniwell Music Machine, who’s album and singles went mainly unnoticed. Reports have seen the album released in July, 1969.

It starts sparce, but the strings kick in around the 1 Minute mark. Enjoy!