Newsletter March 2012

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Green double phonogram imageGreen double phonogram imageThe Stereo Society Newsletter
March 2012


When you join the Stereo Society, you receive a monthly newsletter with direct links to everything new and announcements about fresh downloads etc. 
Please forward a copy to a friend.

We’re keeping the faith of a newsletter every two months now.  Curiously, so much action that sucks us in seems retrospective: not necessarily a Good Thing.  But we persist in recalling stuff which seems so fresh today, especially that which was overlooked in the commercial rush.
 
  Mike Thorne, c 1988, by JR RostNostalgia isn’t what it used to be, but we indulge more in a couple of very searching interviews with Thorne from a few years back, not unusually about punk and its progeny.  Much of the music of the time is unavailable, so we post some streaming Flash playback (you can hear it but not download it, as are the rules).  Apologies to iPad and iPhone people – Steve Jobs declared Flash out of order, so until we have an alternative music that we can stream without infringing copyright you’ll have to use your computer (Mac or PC) to listen.
 
Continuing Thorne’s series of CBGB artists, some famous some definitely not, we present two fresh ones.
 
Mumps - How I Saved The World album coverThe Mumps was a solid band of very competent musicians with a point of view.  And it simply wasn’t about gay, even though front-man Lance Loud had endured so much and wasn’t reticent.  This was a solidly capable and forceful power-pop band (excuse my Brit classification) whose inspirationally skewed lyrical visions always made for a lively set.  Listening back to their collection How I Saved The World, it’s hard to believe that they weren’t the objects of a bidding war after yet another set in the club during its A+R-attractive phase, especially magnetic in the late 70s.
 
Bad Brains album coverBad Brains relished their contradictions – flaunted them, even. Initially, they had formed in DC as the jazz-fusion ensemble Mind Power – they must have been ‘real’ musicians following the style of the moment.  Being at CBGB was their stylistic choice, certainly not because they couldn’t make it elsewhere.  A black punk band certainly stood out.
 
I didn’t meet them back then, and haven’t read anywhere why the Brains made their radical stylistic change to punk.  There must have been some careful deliberation, made more opaque to observers when they later expressed dislike at being credited (deservedly) with pioneering ‘hardcore’.  Their overlap of punk and reggae in performance mirrored alliances in the UK, where the two styles shared the experience of being excluded and so tended to form alliances.  My lasting memory of their sets at the club is of an unrestrained wall of distorted everything, which they transferred creatively to their recordings.
 

Our next release, in the not-too-distant future, is most likely called ‘Lost At The Stereo Society’.  So much good music has been made around here, but lost to release for all sorts of reasons.  We’ve had the OK from several luminaries around here to collect and project.  Watch this space, please.  Names will be named shortly.  You’ll recognize most of them.

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