Freedom or Sort Of: Focus... - Music of the Misinterpreted

Posted: Thursday, July 21, 2011 by Fashion Munx in Labels: , ,

In 2001, Dr. Dre's Aftermath Entertainment label signed New York transplant producer/MC Focus.... Never heard of him? Well Focus... put in work on projects like The Wash soundtrack and albums by Truth Hurts and The Game but he never released so much as a single with the label and after hearing his 2011 mixtape/album Music of the Misinterpreted it is easy to see why.

If you are familiar with the hardcore, commercial and gangsta rap that Aftermath Entertainment is known for (Dr. Dre, 50 Cent, Eminem, The Game, Busta Rhymes etc.), it would be understandable that Focus...' style would be a hard one to market for the label. Rather than hardcore rhymes, Focus... seems to favour lyrics more a long the lines of the everyman and beats that are soulful rather than glossy club bangers or dark soundtracks for drive-bys. While Focus... is a more than capable MC that can hold his own with guests like Phonte and Big Pooh (formerly of Little Brother), the fantastic beats are what Dre saw and is easy for us to hear on Music of the Misinterpreted. The beats are so good in fact, that while you can get Music of the Misinterpreted as a free download, Focus... is selling an instrumental version of the album on a PWYC scale of a minimum of 2 bucks. The instrumentals cost more! So always enjoy and if you have a few dollars toss them Focuss...' way.

OOP Corner: Red Forty - Discography

Posted: Saturday, July 16, 2011 by Fashion Munx in Labels: , ,

If you've ever listened to Lucero (alt. country band, not the Spanish singer) chances are you've heard their cover of Jawbreaker's "Kiss The Bottle". While there is some pretty bad Jawbreaker covers out there this is one of the better ones in my opinion. However, if you looked to Lucero's music for any influence you probably wouldn't find much. Imagine if they were though? Well you don't really have to because between 1994 and 1996, Lucero front-man Ben Nichols played in the Jawbreaker influenced pop punk band Red Forty (sometimes written as Red 40).

Although he was much younger back then Nichols still could craft a pretty damn good tune and I'm sure a number of these songs will trap your attention with their solid riffs and catchy hooks. While there have been a lot of bands that have taken cues from the East Bay trio over time it is fun to hear a slight country twang and context of Little Rock creep into this style of music over the course of Discography. This and all of their material is way out of print but one of Besides Asides readers was kind enough to give me a high quality 320/kbps rip of album, so hopefully even if you already have this you can replace the shitty 128/192 rips that are floating around with this. Enjoy!

Besides: Dag Nasty - Healthy, Loud and Honest

Posted: Thursday, July 14, 2011 by Fashion Munx in Labels: ,

I don't think there is enough hyperbole in the english language to get across how much I absolutely love Dag Nasty. More than The Replacements, more than Hüsker Dü, more than even Descendents. My story with the band is kind of weird in that Can I Say was one of the first pieces of vinyl I bought when I was about 17 or 18 before I was a collector. I was straight edge and wanted to listen to more straight edge bands (lol). At the time I remember spinning Can I Say, and not really digging it that much and I don't think I did too many after that for a long time. Fast-foward a few years and I was record shopping when I stumbled upon Field Day in the used bin for a few dollars at a local record shop and although I hadn't really liked Can I Say that much I had never seen it in stores before so I thought I'd pick it up. When I got home and threw it on the record player I was amazed at how different Field Day was and how much I enjoyed it. The album was still punk but it had mature exploration of pop music in ways that few bands I knew had approached. From that point on I went out and bought everything I could by the band.

Healthy, Loud and Honest contains all of Dag Nasty's b-side, demos and rarities that are known to exist. You could download some of them from the Daghouse website but never all of them, so here I bring it to you. The only things I left out were the songs added to the Dischord reissues of Can I Say and Wig Out At Denko's, some of the Four On The Floor demos because I didn't really hear much difference from the retail versions and "I Wouldn't Cry" with Shawn brown on vocals because really it should go with the rest of the Dag With Shawn collection. Enjoy!

1. One To Two [What If? Version]
2. Circles [What If? Version]
3. Can I Say [What If? Version]
4. Justification [What If? Version]
5. Mule
6. All Ages Show [Mango Session]
7. Trouble Is [12" Remix]
8. Never Green Lane
9. 12XU
10. You're Mine [LP Mix]
11. Staring At The Rude Boys [7" Version]
12. Things That Make No Sense [Alternate Version]
13. 13 Seconds Under Water [Alternate Version]
14. La Penita [Instrumental]
15. La Penita [Early Version]
16. Tuna Bomb
17. Still Believe
18. Chill
19. Just The Two Of Us
20. Incinerate [Alternate Mix]
21. Infected Owner of a Lonely Heart
22. Reggae Mystic
23. Twisted Again [Remix]
  • 1 -4 are not commercially available. Music recorded October 31st, 1985 at Inner Ear Studios. Vocals recorded summer 1991 at at W.G.N.S. Studios.
  • 5 originally appeared on the 85-86 compilation. Selfless Records 1991. Music recorded October 31st, 1985 at Inner Ear Studios. Vocals recorded summer 1991 at at W.G.N.S. Studios.
  • 6 originally appeared on the 85-86 compilation. Selfless Records 1991. Recorded in September 1986 at Inner Ear Studios.
  • 7 - 9 originally appeared on the Trouble Is 12". Giant Records 1988. Recorded in November 1987.
  • 10 originally appeared as a bonus track on the cd version of Field Day. Giant Records 1988. Recorded in October 1987.
  • 11 originally appeared on the All Ages Show 7". Giant Records 1987. Giant Records 1987. Recorded in October 1987.
  • 12 - 16 are not commercially available. Recorded at various times between 1987 and 1988.
  • 17 - 19 are not commercially available. Recorded in 1991. Demo versions for the Four On The Floor album with different lyrics and instrumentation.
  • 20 originally appeared on the Disarming Violence compilation. Fast Music Records 2000. Recorded January 10, 2000.
  • 21 - 22 are not commercially available. Recorded sometime between 2000 and 2001.
  • 23 is not commercially available. Recorded January 2002 at Inner Ear Studios. Remixed sometime in 2004.

Bootleg: Henry's Dress - Live @ Bottom of the Hill 19/11/1995

Posted: Tuesday, July 12, 2011 by Fashion Munx in Labels: , ,

Remember a few years ago when noise pop was the coolest kid on the block? I'd be extremely surprised if members of those band's didn't cut their teeth on Henry's Dress' self-titled 10". What made Henry's Dress special though is they balanced the perfect amount of melody and fuzz. You think with all the noise making and rocking going on the sweet parts might get lost in a muddy mess but not at all. I can't say the same for this recording exactly, but this is a live show if you want excellent quality pick up the studio stuff. This is pretty darn good for what is likely an audience recording. Even more so than the records you really see how the trio rocked out, playing songs mostly from the then forthcoming Bust 'em Green LP. It would be nice to have seen a bit more of an even mix of songs from the Henry's Dress in here and maybe one of the songs from the split with Rocketship but hey beggar can't be choosers. This bootleg does the job of making you wish you could have been there but also makes you wish the band had some kind of proper live album. Oh well, this will have to do. Enjoy!


1. Not Today
2. Hey Allison
3. Feathers
4. All This Time For Nothing
5. Get Yourself Together
6. "A" is a Cribbage
7. Zero Zero Zero
8. Self Starter
9. Jimmy
10. Winter '94

Get In Where You Fit In: Street Smart Cyclist - Final Mixes

Posted: Sunday, July 10, 2011 by Fashion Munx in Labels: ,

Remember in the mid-90s when everyone and their grandma had a ska revival band or at least ska-punk song or two on their album? Hell even American Steel's first LP had ska elements. Well the mid-2000s were like that for midwest-style emo. A lot of of forgettable bands have since come and gone milking the style for all it was worth but there were a couple of bands right at the beginning before it became a huge trend that I still hold a candle for. One of those bands is Street Smart Cyclist, who broke broke up some time in 2007 or 2008. They only released a self-titled EP/demo on cd-r and then vinyl and an acoustic cd-r, but before they packed it in they recorded two more songs. Those two songs are what I bring you today. You used to be able to get their discography from a link they posted on their MySpace by MySpace blocks the band's link for some reason. You can still pick up the self-titled on iTunes but to me this is their best shit so peep it and then go back and listen to everything else. Enjoy!


1. Kiss Kitty On The Lips
2. We Lack Science [Electric]

P.S. members of the band now play in Snowing

Freedom or Sort Of: Highschool - You Already Know

Posted: Saturday, July 9, 2011 by Fashion Munx in Labels: ,

Columbus, Ohio's Highschool sounds like the last vestige of youth, to me anyways. Remember around the turn of the last decade when there was a group of bands playing pop punk influenced by 90's hardcore that didn't sound like the latest popcore trend? early Saves The Day, Fairweather, The Movielife etc.? That is exactly what Highschool's You Already Know sounds like. The EP came out last year and they've also released another album early this year for a minimum of 2 dollars but you can check out You Already Know for as little as zero dollars at their bandcamp page so if you like it support the band!

OOP Corner: Mountain Brothers - Self, Volume 1

Posted: Friday, July 8, 2011 by Fashion Munx in Labels: , ,

Today you wouldn't think that being Asian in hip-hop would be a big deal but apparently it was in the early/mid 90s as Philadelphia's Mountain Brothers experienced a lot of discrimination back then trying to break on the national scene. Luckily, their obvious talent trumped anything else as they won a contest sponsored by Sprite called Rhymes From The Mind and were soon signed by Ruffhouse Records. However, that relationship soured as they faced more racism from executives at the label. Finally in 1999, the group put out their first full-length Self: Volume 1 on their own Pimpstrut Records. Self: Volume 1 is one of the freshest hip-hop debuts I've ever heard. The production is all handled in-house by Chops who provides a funky and smooth backdrop for the fluid rhymes of the MCs laying waste to whack rappers. Mountain Brothers style will be familiar to anyone who enjoys People Under The Stairs or Jurassic 5 but these guys were doing it first. The band's follow-up in 2003, Triple Crown follows a similar style with some surprises thrown in but isn't nearly as consistent but definitely worth checking out. Unlike, Triple Crown though, Self: Volume 1 seems to be out-of-print so I'm bringing it to you but unlike all the rips I've seen floating around this is a high quality rip from my own collection. Enjoy!

Besides: China Drum - Even I Can Give It Meaning

Posted: Thursday, July 7, 2011 by Fashion Munx in Labels: ,

You know your music is good when Leatherface decides to cover you, and Northumberland's China Drum have that distinction. For those of you that know China Drum you are already stoked hopefully. If you haven't had the pleasure of listening to them, China Drum released their debut LP, Goosefair in 1996. It remains one of my all-time favourite British punk albums with a sound that to me fit snuggly somewhere between Leatherface and Idlewild. The sad part is they seemed to kind of blow their load with that album as their follow up while still anchored by solid songwriting seemed to shift into what can only be described as "alternative". Slower tempos and longer running times doesn't always mean worse but in this case it did. Eventually they changed their name to The Drum and by their third LP they were hardly recognizable as the band who had released Goosefair.

Lucky for us, China Drum released a grip of singles in support of their first two full-lengths with tons of non-LP goodies packed in. Even I Can Give It Meaning is a collection of those singles minus the A-sides. This is actually one of the larger collections I've compiled coming in at a honking 30 songs and over an hour and a half of great music. There is alternate versions of a lot of the band's best songs and a lot of choice cuts that were just as good if not better than their best album tracks. Enjoy!

1. Great Fire
2. Biscuit Barrel [Acoustic Version]
3. Meaning
4. Down By The River [Live Version]
5. Simple [Alternate Version]
6. On My Way
7. Barrier
8. Brain
9. One Way Down
10. Sleazeball [Live Version]
11. Barrier [Live Version]
12. Drown It
13. Walk
14. Cut Them Out
15. Careful With That Chieftain Adam
16. Wipeout
17. Baseball In The Dark
18. Sleazeball [The Empirion Remix]
19. Fall At Your Feet
20. Jack
21. Down By The River [Acoustic Version]
22. Loser
23. Wrong Again
24. Bothered [Acoustic Version]
25. Sleazeball
26. Don't Throw It (It's A Rock)
27. Somewhere Else [Acoustic Version]
28. Guilty Deafness [Live Version]
29. Wipeout [Live Version]
30. Baseball In The Dark [Live Version]
  • 1 - 4 originally appeared on the Great Fire 10". Fluffy Bunny Records 1994.
  • 5 & 6 originally appeared on the Simple CD single. self-released 1993.
  • 7 - 10 originally appeared on the Barrier 10". Fluffy Bunny Records 1995.
  • 11 originally appeared on the Fall Into Place CD single. Mantra Recordings 1995.
  • 12 originally appeared on the Can't Stop These Things CD single. Mantra Recordings 1996.
  • 13 - 15 originally appeared on the Last Chance CD single. Mantra Recordings 1996.
  • 16 - 18 originally appeared on the Wipeout CD single. Mantra Recordings 1996.
  • 19 - 21 originally appeared on the Fiction of Life CD single. Mantra Recordings 1997.
  • 22 - 24 originally appeared on the Somewhere Else (Version #1) CD single. Mantra Recordings 1997.
  • 25 - 27 originally appeared on the Somewhere Else (Version #2) CD single. Mantra Recordings 1997.
  • 28 - 30 originally appeared on the Stop It All Adding Up CD single. Mantra Recordings 1998.

Bootleg: Attack in Black - CBC Sessions

Posted: Wednesday, July 6, 2011 by Fashion Munx in Labels: , , ,

Attack in Black are one of my favourite bands because they sound like a band that came of age with hardcore punk but went back and discovered all the great 90s Canadian indie bands like Eric's Trip, Rheostatics and Thrush Hermit and tossed all that influence into a blender with some Neil Young. Now for some reason, Canadians often seem at a loss to define themselves culturally but if someone asked me what a Canadian band sounded like I'd show them Attack in Black.

Canada, Canada, Canada. You know another great thing about Canada? CBC Radio. What I have for you today combines my love for the CBC and Attack in Black with a lovely set the band recorded for CBC Radio 3. It features a song a piece from each of the band's three LPs but the they are played with just the right amounts of intensity and restraint reminiscent of their early Widows EP, for something really special. There is also two songs that have yet to see the light of day in any official capacity which is fantastic because between other projects and ventures and a completed fourth album that seems to be sitting on the shelf the chances of hearing new AiB seems slimmer by the day. Now this set has been floating around on semi-dead torrents around the web for a few years but in a shitty rip with two of the songs missing. So here it is, complete with some nifty coverage. Enjoy!

1. Chimes And Church Bells
2. Find Me A Guided Line
3. Rope
4. Moon of Day
5. Homeless Language