Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Penetration- "Lovers of Outrage" (1978) Live at Reading Festival

Before recording one of the lost gems of the post-punk era with Factory in-house producer Martin Hannett in 1980, Pauline Murray fronted a British punk band called Penetration, a more Patti Smith- influenced contemporary of early Siouxsie & The Banshees. Their first album, Moving Targets, deserves a far more prominent place in the annals of early punk than it has received. Her story is coming soon...

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Tyrannosaurus Rex- "Sara Crazy Child" (1967) Live at King Street Covent Garden

Here's some amazing early live footage of Tyrannosaurus Rex, Marc Bolan's acid-folk duo with Steve Peregrin Took, which would eventually metamorphose into T. Rex (minus Took) and play a major role in ushering in the U.K. glam scene of the early seventies. Oh yes, and decades later, a young man calling himself Devendra would learn "Salamanda Palaganda" by heart. The story of Tyrannosaurus Rex coming soon...

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Freakbeat and Beyond- Rubble Volume 2: Pop-Sike Pipe-Dreams & Related Albums

Rubble is a 20-volume collection of compilation albums originally compiled by Phil Smee for Bam Caruso Records throughout the eighties and early nineties. As its name suggests, it is best thought of as the British version of Nuggets, and similar to that legendary U.S. garage-rock comp, Rubble does an unparallelled job of digging beneath the surface of its subject, in this case, mid-to-late sixties British psychedelia, and uncovering a plethora of forgotten gems in the process. While often associated with "freakbeat," in actuality, Rubble also covers a good amount of beat, mod-pop, garage-rock, psych-rock and early prog-rock. It is an absolutely essential resource for discovering amazing late-sixties Brit-pop obscurities, that, for various reasons, never attained canonization but deserve, nonetheless, to be heard. I will be posting all 20 volumes as separate installments, coupled with a few full albums from artists featured on each compilation or artists that were overlooked by the Rubble compilers, so if you already have the volume featured in a given post, read on because there is much more to be found after the jump!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Pretty Things- "Rainin' in My Heart" (1966) Live TV Appearance

Blues enthusiasts much like the early Rolling Stones (in fact, guitarist Dick Taylor had played bass in an early version of that iconic band), The Pretty Things tended to be more dark, scruffy and dangerous than their peers and in doing so, were arguably one of the more original bands of the "British Invasion." Judging from lead-singer Phil May's appearance and stage persona in this clip, I think Jim Morrison might have caught "The Pretties" on TV once or twice.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Au Pairs- "Come Again": Live in London, 1981 from Urgh! A Music War

The Au Pairs: imagine Gang of Four fronted by a magnificently militant lesbian and you've got some idea of what The Au Pairs were all about, but if you're not into the politics, don't be put off because this was one fierce post-punk band. Their story is coming soon.

Amour & Discipline: A New Sharing Paradigm?

Hello lunáticos,

Perhaps the most frustrating aspect of maintaining a blog devoted to the sharing of music is the misinformation that the entertainment industry (aka "Big Content") and its political minions constantly disseminate regarding the relationship between copyright laws, piracy and file sharing.  Simply put, at least in the U.S., file sharing does not legally equate to theft, this according to the U.S. Supreme court in a 1985 decision, which drew a clear distinction between theft and copyright infringement: "The infringer invades a statutorily defined province guaranteed to the copyright holder alone [....] But he does not assume physical control over the copyright; nor does he wholly deprive its owner of its use." The upshot of this is that file-sharing and personal copyright infringement are not criminal acts unless in pursuit of profit (they are technically referred to as "civil matters"), despite the endless flow of propaganda stating otherwise emanating from the MPAA and RIAA.

The real discussion to have is whether, ultimately, file-sharing negatively impacts the artists. Such arguments usually claim that sharing music is tantamount to taking money out of the pockets of artists, but what gets left out of the equation is the fact that copying music, whether in the form of ripping a CD to a harddrive or years ago, making a cassette mix-tape for a friend, in other words, people sharing music, has been an integral part of the appreciation and promotion of music for decades. While there are many artists who vociferously oppose file-sharing, Metallica and Julian Cope come to mind, there are many more who understand the promotional breadth and power of a free internet. Having said this, another way to look at this issue is to ask to what extent the major labels themselves are even necessary in the context of a free internet? They may claim to be looking after the financial welfare of their artists, but in reality, the artists take away a very small percentage of the profits generated by their work. In fact, it is easier to argue that it is the RIAA, not the music sharing community, that is truly guilty of theft. Perhaps it is time for these greedy corporate lackeys to go the way of the dinosaurs.

As a blogger, I have read countless comments by readers who, after discovering an artist on the blog by downloading shared files, say that they intend to purchase a physical copy of the posted album. While this is by no means true for all downloaders of shared files, it is far from the exception. I myself have purchased more music in the fifteen months I have been blogging than at any time in the past five years. All this brings me to the real point of this post, to introduce a new way of thinking about the issue of file-sharing and artist compensation: an artist donation platform & collective webzine called Amour & Discipline, which will make it possible to send voluntary donations of any amount to any indie artist or label on the planet.

From the founders of A&D, idealistic diy activists from Lyon, France, who have clearly put a lot of time, energy and passion into coming up with what could be the next stage in this ongoing conversation:

"The goal of A&D is notably to reach those who download a lot of music and don't buy records anymore. Let's face it: RIAA and others will never stop filesharing, nor convince everyone to opt for "legal" offers. Besides, most of them aren't very fair with artists (iTunes, Spotify...except Bandcamp). Technology leads to the fact that bands and labels have to give away their music, whether they like it or not. However, we think a lot of people downloading those records for free still want to support the artists/labels. So we want A&D to provide a direct, responsible and non-constrained way to pay back, in order to humbly help independent musical scenes to keep it up. A&D can also be very useful to support bands/labels whose records are out of print."

Here are a few links to the A&D website, which go into great depth about how this will all work:

Amour & Discipline Manifesto (Short, Reductive and Incomplete Manifesto for Those in a Hurry)

More on How the A&D Donation Platform Will Work and on Transparency in the Donation Process

Amour & Discipline has impressed me with its emphasis on, and commitment to, transparency in the donation process, and I want to stress that donations are entirely voluntary. Also, the author(s) of this blog (which is only me at the moment) receive absolutely NO COMPENSATION through Amour & Discipline. Meta (~) Luna is committed to the principle that music-sharing blogs should in no way generate profits for their authors, whether it be via donations, ads, file-host points or anything else.

Thank you for reading   ~ v