Thursday, November 12, 2009

I Will Leave Some Spare Time To Breathe

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As the Died Pretty proved on some of their later releases, there's a fine line between really good rawk stuff and shitty college rock; a step or two in either direction, and before you know it you're Toad the Wet Sprocket or the Mighty Lemon Drops. What kept the Died Pretty out of the ditch, more often than not, was the sheer heft of Brett Myers' guitar playing.

I'd already thoroughly digested Died Pretty's less-languid "Mirror Blues" 7-inch (which I still have) by the time I heard "Free Dirt", so when I first dropped a needle on this it didn't grab my attention right away. I can still remember how I was standing off to the side of my room, barely listening, when the first of one of Brett Myers' impeccable, wailing guitar solos came pouring out of the speakers. I immediately stopped whatever else I was doing and stood in awe for a few seconds.

The guitar solo on "Just Skin" (a fairly crappy song otherwise) is literally like nothing I'd ever heard before or since.

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Died Pretty -

(these files are now listen-only)

"Life to Go (Landsakes)"

"Just Skin"

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Nazz Nomad said...

hey - can you recommend any ct clubs for my band caterwaul of sound to play?


Anonymous said...

Holy crap! one of my all time favs Dave!!!
G Vegas (ps loot coming soon)

Brushback said...

Nazz, I think in your case your best option is to aim to get on a bill at either Heirloom Arts Theater (Danbury), Cousin Larry's (Danbury), or Cafe Nine (New Haven). I don't have any particular contacts for any of those places, but the links to each one are in my sidebar (under "Places for shows").

Greg, I was actually thinking about you while I was ripping the record (cuz of your guys' Bailter Space cover).

Mr. HCI said...

Have you heard Ron Peno's collaboration with Kim Salmon, The Darling Downs? Fantastic stuff, imo. Both of their albums are highly recommended by moi: How Can I Forget This Heart of Mine? and From One to Another.

Brushback said...

Now that you've pointed it out, I kinda like that Darling Downs stuff, which is odd because Ron Perno's voice and persona were two of the things I liked the least about the Died Pretty.

Not that "Free Dirt" isn't a Top 100-type album, by the way...

Mr. HCI said...

I never got much into Died Pretty and, from what I recall, his voice was a big turnoff (I know I had an album of theirs and I think it was Free Dirt, but it's long gone). I'm a massive Kim Salmon fan, though, so I had to give DD a chance, and his singing works great in that context.

OMG, I just checked and the bio of Died Pretty starts thusly:

At a time when Australian rock meant pub rock and every other band sounded like Cold Chisel, Died Pretty were something of an anomaly.

Yeah, that pretty much sums up the Scientists, Lime Spiders, AC/DC, The Celibate Rifles, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, The Church, Midnight Oil, The Go-Betweens, etc., etc., etc. right there. Dead on!

Brushback said...

I would even say that Died Pretty were the anomaly, at least among the likes of the Lime Spiders, feedtime, New Christs, Scientists, King Snake Roost, Hard Ons, Happy Hate Me Nots, etc etc

I've got about 5 or 6 other Died Pretty records, I've gotta sift through them and pick out the ones that are worth posting...

Mr. HCI said...

Sorry, should've been more clear.


Anomaly or no, to say Aussie rock in the mid-80s meant either pub rock or hard rock is rather ludicrous, at least based on the stuff that made it to these shores.

Brushback said...

Oh, totally. I knew what you were saying, it's just that it's funny that the AllMusic guy thinks that Died Pretty were the epitome of "edgy" and "underground" when they were actually closer to mainstream radio rock than a lot of the other indie Ausie bands were.

Chris said...

I have a couple of Died Pretty singles. Haven't played the in ages because I don't remember much about them at all. Midnight Oil would have been considered a pub rock during that time especially compared to The Triffids and The Go-Betweens but yeah, they don't really sound like Cold Chisel. I was flicking through some of their early videos on youtube last night and some songs sound close to Split Enz.

I'm interested in this Bailter Space cover.

Brushback said...

Monsterland covered "Fish Eye" (Bailter Space song) on their "Destroy What You Love" CD.

I have the file on my computer, if you're still interested...

Brushback said...

The mp3 files on this post are now listen-only (non-downloadable) files. For those of you who missed the boat, I will do my best to respond to any e-mailed requests for the original files.