Saturday, October 18, 2008

Various Artists - I'd Rather Be In Philadelphia

I'd Rather Be In Philadelphia, released by Burn Potential Records in 1983, is the best compilaion of early-80's Philly-area indie new wave there is. It contains early tracks by Bunnydrums, Pretty Poison, Book of Love, and Executive Slacks, all of whom would go on to greater success. Those familiar with Book of Love's synth-pop records for Sire ("You Make Me Feel So Good", "I Touch Roses") will be interested to hear the stripped-down instrumentation and production of "Henna." Pretty Poison on "Secrets" is not recognizable as the same band who later churned out that ubiquitous 80's hit "Catch Me (I'm Falling)." (See here for their self-released EP Laced.) Also present on this compilation are Philly's own No Wave band, the Stickmen. Articles on No Wave always focus on the New York scene--James Chance, Eight Eyed Spy--but the Stickmen could skronk with the best of them, and faster, too. (Wayside Music has released a CD of all the Stickmen's recorded output.) The full track list is:

01 Bunnydrums - Sleeping
02 Pretty Poison - Secrets
03 Sensory Fix - Last Match
04 Impossible Years - Flower Girl
05 Mother May I - When Children Play
06 Book of Love - Henna
07 Red Buckets - Something Else Again
07 Stickmen - Duraflame Dog
09 Girls Downstairs - Steam Rises Off the Jungle Floor
10 Executive Slacks - Sexual Witchcraft

A note on the recordings: this has to be the worst pressing I have ever heard. Usually I don't do wholesale click removal for fear of losing actual music; I just do spot removals of egregious clicks and pops. But this record has a substrate of clicks and pops all the way through; the record itself has tiny bumps all over it. So in this case I did run the whole thing through Audacity's click remover, and it sounds much better, but still far from perfect. I'd be interested to hear from anyone else who has this album whether theirs is as noisy as mine. Don't let the pops and clicks keep you from checking out this trove of rare regional new wave, though: get the vinyl rip here or here. Update 2/11/2012: My DF link is still up, but there's a better rip available at Systems of Romance.

5 comments:

Salty Miss Jill said...

Book of Love is a Philly band? Right on!
I'd rather be in Philadelphia, too.

matt said...

Awesomely titled compilation... gotta lvoe the W.C. Fields reference...

Here's a couple of obscure Philly bands worth checking out:

The Notekillers... awesome instrumental thrash (kind of like if the Minutemen were a no wave band and didn't sing!)

Rat At Rat R... Good, underrated blissed out noise from the mid-80's Philly/downtown NYC scene

More Fiends... Philly's answer to the acid punk of the Butthole Surfers and Tragic Mulatto

Mikey Wild and The Wild... awesome retrospective put out on Bulb Records of a this borderline ___________. I Hate New York!!!!

Ssadina said...

PLEASE reupload this!!

Fantod said...

New links:

RS
MU
DF

Ssadina said...

thanks!!