Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday 80s Flashback for July 18, 2014

[No Age] -- SST Records was launched in 1978 as a punk label. Founded by Greg Ginn, the leader of and primary songwriter for Black Flag, SST had originally been an electronics company called Solid State Transmitters. He repurposed the company as a record label so he could independently release his band's material and distribute other musicians who couldn't get a major label deal or just didn't want to deal with the demands and loss of artistic control that would come with such a deal. From this humble beginning, Ginn built SST to become the most influential underground label of the 80s. The Minutemen, Hüsker Dü, the Meat Puppets, Soundgarden, and many others released seminal albums on SST. However, near the end of the 80s, Ginn's label acquired New Alliance Records and, after re-issuing some of their key releases on SST, he redirected New Alliance to focus on experimental jazz, unusual rock, and spoken word performances. This activity, along with the overall diminishing of SST's roster, really took the glow off SST for many of their fans. In the midst of this, in 1987, SST released the compilation album, No Age. No Age is a double LP set clocking in at a little over an hour. Notably, it's a collection of avant-garde (for the time) instrumental music. This is notable because, although SST had started delving into jazz releases, all the bands on this compilation hail from SST's staple of punk and underground rock artists.

To give you a taste of this unusual release, which remains one of my favorite compilations, I have selected three tunes and created a playlist on my SoundClound account. This playlist has the following songs:

  1. "Let's Go Places and Eat Things" by Scott Colby (from his 1987 solo release, Slide of Hand, an incredible showpiece of slide guitar virtuosity)
  2. "March of the Melted Army Men" by Lawndale (which later appeared on their own LP, Sasquatch Rock, a dazzling collection of surf guitar tinged alt rock)
  3. Over The Counter Culture by Alter-Natives, a flute and sax driven quartet keen on improv. 

The songs are embedded in a player below. Enjoy!

Once again, I remind you that the rule of three applies when doing Flashbacks. As I've made my three offerings, that's all till next week. Dedicated 80s-philes can find more flashbacks in the archives. As always, your comments are welcome on today's, or any other, flashback post. And if you like what I'm doing here, please share the link with your friends. If, however, you don't like the flashback, feel free to share it with your enemies.

And if you are on Twitter, and feel so inclined, please +K my influence in Music on @klout.

I'll see you in seven!

No comments: