Friday, April 09, 2010

Teenbeat Records

I had a two-hour show today, because the DJ who typically goes after me, DJ Arsenal of the show Rerewind, couldn't make it into the station. So there was two hours of (mostly) glorious early Nineties indie rock. Because someone needs to let it be known that Pavement wasn't Mark Ibold's first band; because someone needs to let it be known that the buzz bands of twenty years ago are far superior to today's buzz bands.

I very loosely focused the show on Teenbeat Records. I say loosely because I am just learning about Teenbeat myself, and just rummaging through the library for even ten minutes, I could find you twenty or so Teenbeat bands that I have never heard of. Essentially, there was a band called Unrest in the late Eighties who started a record label to distribute their homemade cassettes of noise; this band eventually became a big force in pigfuck and post-hardcore and eventually reinvented themselves as twee revivalists. The inspiration for a Teenbeat show came from listening to an LP called "Kustom Karnal Blaxploitation" - yeah, it's got all of those weird spellings like you'd see on the early Pavement records - that was made by Unrest in 1990. Expecting some sort of indie pop, I was jarred to see a record that juxtaposed aggressive post-hardcore in the style of the Minutemen and Helmet with melodic, subdued indie pop. And slowly, I built a show around playing Unrest at the beginning.

The other Teenbeat bands I know are Dustdevils (Mark Ibold's pre-Pavement band!), Eggs, and Versus. Each got one song, with the exception of Versus, which got two; I've listened to probably close to half of Versus' output so far, and would say I'm more comfortable choosing a song by them.

It's amazing to think that I discovered Versus about a year ago, when I was too sick to eat anything and I couldn't listen to Hazards of Love another time without heaving. Finally, I got their classic Secret Swingers from the radio station and was disappointed by it for nearly a year. It's probably thirty listens later and I'm just beginning to understand Versus' songs, though rockers and ballads at the surface, have a melodicism that you just don't see anywhere else.

I got a request for a band called Chavez. Apparently they were on Matador, and I've never heard of them. The track I got requested was awesome; I need to hear more.

Anyway, here's what I played:

Hour 1:
1. Unrest - Invoking the Godhead [from 1990's Kustom Karnal Blaxploitation] (4:00)
2. The Album Leaf - Summer Fog [from 2010's A Chorus of Storytellers] (4:43)
3. Maserati - No More Sages [from 2009's Passages] (5:15)
4. The Vaselines - Molly's Lips [from 1987's Dying For It EP] (1:44)
5. Eggs - It's Hard to Be an Egg [from 1995's How Do You Like Your Lobster?] (2:44)
6. Versus - One Million [from 1996's Secret Swingers] (3:43)
7. Guided By Voices - Asphyxiated Circle [from 2004's Half Smiles of the Decomposed] (2:40)
8. Chavez - Break Up Your Band [from 1995's Gone Glimmering] (2:57) thanks for the request!
9. Girls - Hellhole Ratrace [from 2009's Album] (6:56)
10. Mission of Burma - Einstein's Day [from 1981's Vs.] (4:36)
11. Thinking Fellers Local Union 282 - Catcher [from 1992's Mother of All Saints] (2:27)
12. Thingy - Cottingley Fairies [from 1997's Songs about Evil...] (1:35)
13. The Olivia Tremor Control - Memories of Jacqueline 1906 [from 1996's Dusk At Cubist Castle] (2:15)
14. True Widow - Bleeder [from 2008's s/t] (5:57)
15. Mekons - Lost Highway [from 1985's Fear and Whisky] (2:59)

Hour 2:
16. Stephen Malkmus - No More Shoes [from 2005's Face the Truth] (8:00)
17. Cub - What The Water Gave Me [from 1993's Betti-Cola] (1:15)
18. Spoon - Written in Reverse [from 2010's Transference] (4:18)
19. Dustdevils - Hip Priest [from 1991's Strugglin' Electric and Chemical] (10:34)
20. Yo La Tengo - I Threw it All Away [from 1989's President Yo La Tengo] (2:17)
21. Pens - Horsies [from 2010's Hey Friend! What You Doing!] (2:00)
22. Low - Closer [from 2001's Things We Lost in the Fire] (5:06)
23. Broken Social Scene - Ibi Dreams of Pavement [from 2005's s/t] (4:27)
24. Wolf Parade - Kissing the Beehive [from 2008's At Mount Zoomer] (10:52)
25. Mogwai - Hunted By a Freak [from 2005's Government Commissions] (4:09)
26. Primal Scream - Gentle Tuesday [from 1987's Sonic Flower Groove] (3:47)
27. The New Pornographers - Three or Four [from 2005's Twin Cinema] (3:07)
28. Versus - Blade of Grass [from 1994's The Stars are Insane] (3:56)

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