Monday, April 19, 2010

Nastyfacts - Drive My Car

A. Drive My Car

B1. Gotta Get To You

B2. Crazy 'Bout You

Drive My Car b/w Get To You/Crazy 'Bout You
Jimboco (UBIK-3), 1981

The story of Nastyfacts begins at St Ann's School in Brooklyn, where a few teenage kids who excelled at their instruments got together to form a band. Originally known as Pandemonium, the group contained the four core members of Nastyfacts (Cherl, Brad, Genji and Jeff) plus a keyboard player named Val. After about a year of playing mostly covers, the band was forced to change their name after discovering a signed band was already using Pandemonium.

The newly coined Nastyfacts, now without keyboards, quickly built a NY following playing amateur nights at CBGB's and earned themselves regular spots at Max's Kansas City and other hot spots while not only astonishing crowds with their incredible musicianship, but also by how young they were.

When most of the members were around 14 or 15 years old, they went in the studio to record this EP. Although the band had a solid 45 minutes of original material by that point, these were the only songs that ever got recorded.

It is unknown how many copies of the record were pressed, but it's probably in the neighborhood of a few thousand between this US press and the French pressing on 5th Column, although many of the copies went seemingly undistributed as the band had broken up by the time the record was released. Where did they all go? Well a shop in New York is said to have turned up an entire box full. At any rate, it still remains a difficult record to find, but it's a damn good one.


Monday, April 12, 2010

Spizzenergi - Where's Captain Kirk?

A. Where's Captain Kirk?

B. Amnesia

SPIZZENERGI (London, England)
Where's Captain Kirk? b/w Amnesia
Rough Trade (RTSO-4), 1979

Kenneth Spiers, better known to the world simply as "Spizz," started his first group in 1977. Over the next several years he routinely changed the names of his bands to variations of the Spizz moniker including Spizz 77, Spizzoil, Athletico Spizz Co, and the Spizzles, amongst others. In 1979, he released this single on Rough Trade under the name Spizzenergi. The fun, singalongable sci-fi classic spent several weeks on the UK indie charts and was later documented live in the archival new wave film, Urgh! A Music War, under the name Athletico Spizz 80. Spizz and company put out numerous singles and a couple LP's before calling it quits in 1982, but nothing else ever reached the minimal success of this fantastic single.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Pointed Sticks - What Do You Want Me To Do

A. What Do You Want Me To Do

B. Somebody's Mom

What Do You Want Me To Do b/w Somebody's Mom
Quintessence (QS-101), 1978

One of Canada's most exceptional power pop groups, The Pointed Sticks formed in '78 and put out a few fantastic singles and an LP on Vancouver's Quintessence label before disbanding in 1981. They were the first Canadian band to sign to the UK-based Stiff Records, and although an entire album was recorded and produced by Nigel Gray (Police, Siouxsie, etc), the intended Stiff LP was never released due in large part to the label suffering financially at the time. They did however manage to put out a 7" EP which featured new versions of previously released songs "Out Of Luck" and the two songs featured on this, their first, 7".

This single features two fantastic cuts, the first being a power pop masterpiece with great multi-part harmonies, excellent clean production, and sing-a-longable choruses. The B-Side is more of a straight forward punk tune in a Devoto-era Buzzcocks vein. The record came in a variety of sleeve colors including yellow, green and red. I do not believe there is any significance in pressing or quantity between the different colors.

Bob Rock, who is most known as producer for Metallica, Motley Crue, Skid Row, and many others of this caliber, began his career in the late 70's with the Pointed Sticks and other Vancouver greats such as the Modernettes, Subhumans, and Young Canadians. He produced the Sticks's first three singles, as well as their 1980 album, "Perfect Youth," which had to be re-recorded after the Stiff fiasco.

Joey "Shithead" Keithley of D.O.A. brought new found attention to the band in 2005 when he re-released "Perfect Youth" on his DIY-based Sudden Death record label, as well as a collection of singles, comp tracks, and other odds and ends entitled "Waiting For The Real Thing." Large Japanese sales led to a reformation of the band and tour of Japan, which then brought on appearances in New York at the Radio Heartbeat Festival and Austin's Wild Weekend Power Pop Fest. The band has remained active ever since, and even released the "My Japanese Fan" 7" and a new full length entitled "Three Lefts Make A Right."

The band made an unusually out-of-place live cameo in Dennis Hopper's demented film, Out Of The Blue. Supposedly the Dishrags were filmed for the movie as well, but not included. See clip below.