Bugs Tomorrow - Bugs Tomorrow (1980)

This is a pretty accurate review from Allmusic.com:
Casablanca's contribution to the early wave of new wave, Bugs Tomorrow skitters off the turntable, combining left-field originality with the usual references: Graham Parker, XTC, and Elvis Costello. Each ditty is a diverse entity, and even with printed lyrics, some of these wild ideas fly in one ear and out the other. Luckily, tunes this tasty make the songs stick in the cerebrum cortex. "Bitter Rice" collides xenophobia with weddings. The slammin' "Summer Camp" is a single for any season. "Chimpanzees" catches an early Phish feel. The lullaby "She Walks" simply transcends, before that potent power pop perennial "tonight" puts a wrap on the work in "Everything Tonight." Bugs Tomorrow runs where most would never dare (or care) to even walk. Sententious critics called Bugs' sole slab a calculated blender, but like Devo, that's the point. (Where London Calling mentions Montgomery Cliff, this record mentions Montgomery Ward.) Just kick back and enjoy this kooky capsule from one of rock's most erratic and entertaining eras. ~ Whitney Z. Gomes, All Music Guide

Morley Bartnof was in Arizona's own Cosmo Topper. David Vaught played bass or engineered numerous groups including Primitive Radio Gods, Toad The Wet Sprocket and Lone Justice.

Bugs Tomorrow are:
Bugs - Guitars and Vocals
Morley Bartnof - Keyboars and Vocals
Andrew Campbell-Hare - Drums, Percussion and Vocals
David Vaught - Bass
Barry Carson - Bass on "Experience"

Executive Producer Bruce Bird

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Modest Proposal - Nobody Says No / I've Seen Your Face ...7" (1985)

Nobody Says No is a long-time favorite of mine from this Washington, DC band. Released on One Dimension Records in 1985. I don't believe they had any other records.

Modest Proposal:
Neal Augenstein - Vocals
Bill Crandall - Guitar: Backing Vocals
Perry Flint - Electric Bass
Bob Minard - Drums

Produced by: Wick

Recorded at Hit & Run studio in Rockville, MD

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Illustrated Man - Mini LP (1984)

From Wikipedia: Illustrated Man (circa 1984) were a funk-rock band featuring Hugo Burnham (ex-Gang of Four), Roger Mason (The Models)(keyboards), Rob Dean (ex-Japan guitarist) and Australian singer/bassist Philip Foxman(Supernaut).

They had hits with songs such as ‘Head over Heels’ ‘Just Enough’ and ‘Fall from Grace’ and their sound was likened to UK bands such as Japan, Simple Minds and Duran Duran - they are also believed to have influenced Inxs.

Consisting of some excellent musicians with a successful track record, the band was initially hailed as a supergroup - Roger Mason had recorded and toured internationally with artists such as Gary Numan, Rob Dean had been an integral part of Japan and Hugo Burnham had been part of the highly influential Gang of Four (Jon King, Dave Allen, Hugo Burnham and Andy Gill).

Regarded as an excellent live band they were thought to be the next big thing but their success was relatively short-lived.

Foxman is still making music: Buy his CD!

Robert Dean - Guitar And Noises
Roger Mason - Keyboards And Computers
Hugo Burnham - Premier Drums And Percussion
Phillip Foxman - Bass Guitars And Lead Vocals

Produced By John Punter

Both Head Over Heels Mixes by Steve Thompson
Just Enough remixed by John Luongo

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The Nightmares - Baseball Altamont 7" (1985)

The Nightmares released this Garage Rock 7" record on Coyote Records (Twin/Tone- distibutor) and it rocks! According to a band member: " They had a record release party at Shea Stadium in the luxury boxes complete with catering and booze. This VP at Columbia Records, Steve Rabalski was there and a few months later Springsteen had that Glory Days song and John Fogerty's whole album was about baseball. To add insult to injury, the Springsteen video was shot at Maxwell's (our label owner Steve Fallon's club). Ira and Georgia from Yo La Tengo were there rolling around on the floor tripping. There was a little feature about it in Spin with a picture of the Shea Stadium scoreboard which read: The Mets welcome The Nightmares Baseball Altamont record release party. True Story -".

Philip Shelley - Vocals, Guitar (also was in Student Teachers and Pianosaurus)
Ned Hayden - Vocals, Guitar (Action Swingers)
Tex Lyon - Guitar
Ed Shanahan - Bass
Stephen Dansiger - Drums (Artless, GG Allin)

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Destiny - Destiny ep (1980)

Standard rock radio fare from Tucson's Destiny, which featured Brian Page on vocals (later a Star Search winner with Brian Page & The Next!)and managed by Jay Zucker, founder of Telemundo and owner of the Tucson Sidewinders AAA Baseball team. In addition to the 4 song ep, I have also included a song from Brian Page & The Next from an Arizona Sounds compilation.


Brian Page - Vocals, Electric Guitars
Brian Yingling - Vocals, 12 String Guitar
Brad Patrick - Drums
Garry Stafford - Bass,Vocals
Alan Adler - Saxophone, Flute
Dave Cook - Keyboards

Ron Pick - Sound Technician
Jay Zucker - Manager

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Steve Almaas - Beat Rodeo (1982)

Leader of Beat Rodeo, this is the ep that Steve Almaas (Suicide Commandos) put out with the help of Mitch Easter (Let's Active) and Richard Barone (The Bongos) that led to the formation of Beat Rodeo. Released on Coyote Records, these 4 songs were recorded at Easter's Drive In Studio and definitely have his touch on them. Beat Rodeo went on to release a couple of albums (without Barone and Easter). Almmaas is still pyutting out quality work - check out his latest: - http://www.stevealmaas.com/

Steve Almaas - Bass, Guitar, Vocals
Mitch Easter - Drums, Guitar, Bass, Vocals
Richard Barone - Guitar, Vocals

Produced by Richard Barone
Recorded by Mitch Easter

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Luke Skood - It's All Pink (1986)

Transferred from cassette, Luke Skood was a fixture on the Arizona scene and received airplay with the title track, which along with Japan and Life Is A Bitch are the outstanding tracks here. Style varies wildly from New Wave to Calypso!
Produced by Andy Barrett and released on Gibbon Head Records.

Guitars by: Danny Dean, Kerry Jackson, Michael Fisher and Tom Connell
Violins on Believe: Kerry Jackson
Percussion by: Stephen Banks and Plato T. Jones
Background Vocals by: Kerry Jackson, Michael Kellogg, Linda Cushma, Francine Reed and April Dawn
Sensual Spoken Voices by April Dawn
Childrens vocals by: Brian C. Mulloney, Emily Garanes, Jason Herd, Melissa Ginn, Azar Hassan, Amy Shem,Albert DeAnda of the Aguilar Elementary School Honor Choir
Drum Over-dubs by Michael Barton

Video thanks to Joel Samuel

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Suzie Caruze - We Can Laugh 7" (1984)

Susan Mouch led this Bay Area band (Oakland), I believe this single was their only release, a Motels influenced sound, it was recorded in San Francisco. Produced by T.J. Tindall (MFSB,Sal Soul Orchestra, Trammps). I picked this up by chance one day at Zia Records in Chandler, AZ.

Suzie Caruze:
Susan Mouch - vocals, acoustic guitar
Keith Evans - guitar, vocals
David Wegner - bass
Steve Harris - synthesizer, piano
Peter Carland - drums

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Giant Sandworms - Will Wallow And Roam After the Ruin ep (1980)

Arizona Legend Howe Gelb's debut recording, on white vinyl, was released on Boneless Records 5 years before changing the name to Giant Sand.

From Lost In the Grooves:
taking his cues from the new wave/ power pop sounds of the day, Gelb assumes a variety of personas for the EP's five tracks, ranging from Bryan Ferry to Mark Mothersbaugh. certainly fast, if not furious, 'Electro-gospel' sets the rapid chord-changing trend with chugging riffs, a tight rhythm section and deft organ fills. standout 'Me and My Rocket', plays down the frantic, new wavey guitars in favour of some wonderfully rich organ textures, and sees Gelb give a perfectly respectable turn as David Byrne(!). and whilst the horribly straight-laced 'Lipstick Criminals' lets things down somewhat, 'Steadfast' closes things in style by slowly building up to a grinding climax, helped by well-placed piano throughout and some subtle electronics.

From musicianguide.com: Howe Gelb was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, around 1956. In 1972, ...his father moved to Arizona, so Gelb began to go visit him and relocated to Tucson in 1975. There, he met German-born guitar virtuoso Rainer Ptacek, who was playing at a small local cafe. Soon after, Gelb returned to Wilkes-Barr and worked in a soda factory in order to earn enough money to make a permanent move to Arizona. Meanwhile, he started writing songs and remained in contact with Ptacek, talking to him often on the phone about starting up a band. Shortly before Gelb moved back to Tucson, Ptacek assembled a group with drummer Billy Sedlmayer and bass player David Seger to form the Giant Sandworms. They put out the EP Will Wallow and Roam after the Ruin on the local Boneless label in 1980. Two decades later, Gelb confessed in Magnet, "I'm totally embarrassed by this sort of David Byrne-style of singing I was latching onto." After this debut, the Giant Sandworms moved to New York City, but Sedlmayer's drug abuse forced them back to Arizona in 1981.

Soon, Ptacek quit the group as well, and Seger left to join Naked Prey. Gelb replaced Seger with bassist Scott Gerber, and changed the band's name to Giant Sand.

Giant Sandworms:
Howe Gelb (guitar, keyboards, electronics, bass, vocals)
Dave Seger (bass, guitars, vocals)
Billy Sedlmayer (drum kit, vocals)
Rainer Ptacek (guitars, wammy bar, background vocals)

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Johnny Analog - Agent Provocateur (1988)

From North of the border, Toronto electronic pioneer Johnny Analog released this 6 song ep in 1988. A former member of Digital Nation, Analog teamed with Nathan Berman to produce this digital Electro dance piece.
Cookie from Canada was kind enough to send this cool vinyl my way so I could share it, thanks!

Produced by Johnny Analog and Nathan Berman
Recorded at PVO Studios Toronto

Johnny Analog- vocals, voltage, sequencers
Nathan Berman- sequencers, guitar, b-vocals
Cathy Septembre- b-vocals

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Paul Murphy - Montgomery Clift 7" (1985)

A real gem I picked up a while back, a mid 80's 7" single from Paul Murphy and Doug Dinadell recorded right here in my hometown of Scottsdale, Arizona at Cereus Studios.
I'm sure these guys were in other bands but I haven't been able to track down any more information on either of them.

Paul Murphy - Vocals, Drums
Doug Dinadell - All Guitars, Bass

Produced By Paul Murphy

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Punk Rocktober

This month I plan on focusing on obscure punk groups from the 80's. Hope you enjoy it!

Plain Wrap - Original Music For A Generic World (1985)

Released in 1985 on Enigma Records, these Huntington Beach, California punkers (which formed in 1983) released this LP, an "upbeat, poppish mix of punk, metal and funk". They also appeared on several Flipside Comps and a 7" single or two if I recall.
The standouts here include "Myron", their cover of "For What It's Worth", the metallized punk of "Black Luck Man" and the Red Hot Chili Peppers feel of "Plain Wrap".

Band Members:
Don Wrap - Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards, Harmonica, Percussion
Bob Gnarly - Bass, Vocals, Percussion
Greg Keen - Drums, Vocals, Percussion
Mike Rosso - All Drum Tracks

All Songs written by Don Wrap (except For What It's Worth)
Produced by Plain Wrap and Chaz
Recorded at Casbah Studios - Fullerton, CA

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Various Artists - More Coffee For The Politicians (Phoenix Underground Compilation #3) (1985)

Placebo Records released this hit and miss compilation in 1985 that featured many legendary Arizona Bands (JFA, Sun City Girls, Mighty Sphincter, Hellfire) along with ONS (Our Neighbors Suck), Zany Guys, Joke Flower (listed as Joke Flowers here), Maybe Mental, Dirt Clods, Bootbeast Carnival, Harvest and lesser known acts (Kill Everyone, Keening, Domino Theory, Racer X), lumped into the punk rock category but actually punk, art and experimental bands. #3 in a series from Placebo in their series spotlighting the Phoenix Scene (This Is Phoenix, Not The Circle Jerks and Amuck).

Cover Photos - Jim Peot
Political Posterization - Art Jackson

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Snake-Out - Gollywobblers From Hell! (1985) & Live Pizza (1986)

2 LP's from these wacked out, zany, punk surfabilly rockers that are both loaded with politically incorrect lyrics, awesome tunes and fun! Live Pizza even came in a miniature pizza box in lieu of an album jacket. It was recorded live (obviously) and they also offered a Video Cassette of the show. If I'd only ordered one! Both records are on Wanghead (with Lips) Records.

Len Puch - Guitar, Vocals
Tim Reagan - Drums, Yelps
Greg Mitchell - Bass

Background Vocals:
John Davids, Tim Rounsifer (Lead Vocals on Fat Lisa), Greg Haener, Jim Auge, Warren Defever, Rick Mills, Tom McHenry, Buzz Chevillot, Elvis Hitler, Beata McHenry, Lydon Way, Kirk Olmstead, Bryan Fox, Jim Edwards, Deano Kovas

Vegas Raz - Lead Vocals on Love Comes In Chunks
Creepy Rick - Lead Vocals on Good Goobley Goo

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Jeff Dahl - The Powertrip ep (1982)

This 7" from legendary Punk Rocker Jeff Dahl is a real treat. I got it directly from Jeff a few months back when I met him at a record show and you won't find too many people as nice as him. With just an unbelievable number of releases in his prolific career, this is an especially cool 7".
As he explains on the back cover - It was recorded after I quit The Angry Samoans in 1982. For years now, Mystic Records has been releasing this and the quality of the pressings I've heard have left something to be desired. I can only imagine that Mystic was using a poor tape copy or an old record for the source of the reissues. These are completely different recordings than those on the Powertrip album. While rummaging through my archives (read: closet) I came across a couple boxes of this single which I had forgotten about. This is the original pressing and it sounds the way it was meant to.

Jeff has also been in a number of bands in addition to Angry Samoans, Vox Pop and DC 3 to name a few.

Don Bolles (Germs, 45 Grave, Nervous Gender) played drums and Todd Homer (Angry Samoans) played bass.

The Band:
Jeff Dahl - Guitar/Bass/Vocals
Todd Homer - Bass
Don Bolles - Drums
Cat & Kathleen - Backing Vocals

Produced by Jeff Dahl and Steve Brenner

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Channel Three - Last Time I Drank... (1985)

Enigma Records released this LP, an attempt by the group to gain a wider audience.
It's probably my favorite record of theirs. These guys are still together making great music!
From the Channel 3 website www.chthree.com CH3 then delivered Last Time I Drank in 1985, a record that many hardcore punk fans found not only a shocking display of musicianship, but also a blatant display of disrespect of all things bald, broke, and smelling of clove cigarettes. This one even had a saxophone on it for God's sake! Never fond of the strict conformity of Punk Rock's non-conformist manifesto, the band continued to explore musically.

From Trouser Press (Ira Robbins): The even-better Last Time I Drank finds the Magrann/Lansford writing/singing partnership firing on all rockets. Putting a mature post-punk sensibility to melodic hard-rock with an occasional Southwestern twist, CH3 comes through with an exciting record that packs a punch yet keeps both feet on the ground. Making memorable music this energetic without collapsing into raucousness or resorting to metallic precision isn't easy, but every song on the album finds a way to do it. Perhaps the Aerosmith cover ("Lord of the Thighs") is a clue. Of all the early punk bands, CH3 is one of the few that outgrew the genre without sacrificing its credibility.
[Ira Robbins]

The Band:
Michael Magrann, Jay Lansford and Dusty Watson(Stepmothers, Agent Orange, Concrete Blonde among many others)
Produced By Ron Goudie

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Zany Guys - Party Hits Vol. II (1983)

Phoenix punkers The Zany Guys released this 4 song 7" in 1983 on Placebo Records.
They also had a few songs on the compilation record "This Is Phoenix, Not The Circle Jerks". Part of The Mad Gardens scene along with J.F.A., The Sun City Girls, Meat Puppets, Junior Achievement, Nova Boys, Hellfire and Conflict among others.

Zany Guys:

Mark - Bass
Carter - Vocals
Brian - Guitar
Andhi - Drums

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Cellophane Ceiling - The Beauty Of It All (1986)

Released at the end of 1986 on the band's own label, Main Vein Records, The Beauty Of It All by Cellophane Ceiling, sometimes referred to as the loudest band in Omaha, Nebraska, is a classic. This young 3 piece (the members were 19,22 and 25) had been together almost a year by the time they recorded this. They opened for Husker Du, The Replacements, Dead Milkmen and Soul Asylum. This is their 2nd release, their first being a four song cassette. This LP was produced by Anthony Marchant.

From the World Herald Newspaper by James Healy (January 11th, 1987):
Omaha's Cellophane Ceiling raises the roof with "The Beauty Of It All," a raucous, nine song album that is a triumph of garage-band intensity and studio precision.
Providing a change of pace in local music, the "thrashabilly" band pulls no punches on vinyl and never sounds self-concious.
What really pushes this album into the realm of excellence, however, is the trio's consistently gutsy, ever surprising musicianship. John C. Wolf's incisive guitar and vocals, Chris Sterba's punchy bass loops and Steve Coleman's wrecking-crew drums make for a remarkably tight weave.

Here's a handwritten letter that was inside my copy of the LP from John Wolf, the band leader, to a distributor.

Cellophane Ceiling was:

John Wolf - Lead Guitar, Vocals, Chief Writer
Steve Coleman - Drums
Chris Sterba - Bass, Keyboards

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T.P.U. - 7" Noise (1988)

This 5 song 7" was on my turntable for a long, long time after I ordered it from an ad in MRR many years ago. Only 100 copies were made (mine is #46)and it was released on Chapter III Records in Phoenix, Arizona. The band was from Las Vegas I believe. Anarchy At The Gig is the highlight but all 5 cuts are true punk rock! They also released a 4 song demo cassette that has three additional songs. Unfortunately, no band information is listed on either release.

(EDIT - added a copy of the 4-song cassette as well)
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Shor Patrol - Loverboy ep (1983)

Baltimore band Shor Patrol, featuring Alana Shor on vocals was a huge local success and had some national attention with their song "Loverboy". Morphing from Club favorites Paper Cup, they changed their name to Shor Patrol and released this 4 song ep in 1983 on Arista Records. Produced by Bob Ezrin (Kiss, Lou Reed, Alice Cooper, Pink Floyd's The Wall).

The Band:
Alana Shor - Lead Vocals
Don Wimbrough - Keyboards
Franco Theodore - Guitar
Darryl Matarozza - Bass
John Loren Dotson - Drums

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X-Streams - K-15 Presents...7" (1980) & Friends/Lights 12" (1985?) & In The Night (1987)

Kurt Mayberry's Mod/Ska/Reggae/New Wave band from Arizona during the 80's, these are the 3 releases I know they had.
The 7" K-15 Presents from 1980, the 12" I am guessing is from around 1985 and the 6 song ep In The Night from 1987.

Excerpts from the Pete Gilstrap New Times article June 29, 1995, a few weeks after singer Kurt Mayberry's death:
...The X-Streams, one of the bigger Valley bands to come out of the New Wave/ska scene in the early Eighties. Mayberry, along with his wife, Debbie, purchased the Sun Club in 1989, a legendary Tempe rock dive now immortalized forever on the cover of Dead Hot Workshop's new 1001 album.

Bob Steinhilber co-founded the X-Streams with Peter Tessensohn, Steve Kriol and Lorraine Springer. Steinhilber played drums in the band until 1985. He says that Mayberry was the final ingredient that made things take off. "We had Kurt come along, and from the git-go, it was just great. I've played in a lot of bands, and for some reason, this just clicked right away. . .

...the X-Streams were a big draw in Phoenix and Los Angeles.

The Band K-15 Presents:
Stephen Kriol - Rythm (sic) Guitar and Vocals
Kurt Mayberry - Lead Guitar and Vocals
I-Raine Springer - Lead Vocals
I-Bob I-Rono - Drums and Vocals
Peter Tessensohn - Bass and Vocals

The Band Friends/Lights 12":
Kurt Mayberry - Vocals
Peter Tessensohn - Bass, Vocals
Bob Steinhilber - Drums
Mike Tempo - Percussion
Philip Marlow - Saxophone

Produced by Mayberry/Tessensohn
Co-Produced by Debi Mayberry

The Band In The Night:
Kurt Mayberry - Lead Vocals, Guitar
Peter Tessensohn - Bass, Vocals
Pat Sweeney -Drums, Vocals
Philip "Bunky" Marlow - Sax

Produced by Mayberry/Tessensohn/Sweeney
Co-Produced by Debi Mayberry

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Video (Joel Samuel Presents) from Youtube