The Outsiders: Close Up
The Outsiders, hailing from Wimbledon, England, were one of the many bands to rise up through the UK is punk explosion of the late 70s. Citing the Velvet Underground as their primary influence, The Outsiders were fronted by Adrian Borland, who went on to form the seminal post-punk band The Sound following the demise of the band. Gaining exposure through opening for acts such as The Jam and The Vibrators. Bob Lawrence (bass) and Adrian Janes (aka Jan, drums) rounded out the band.
The Outsiders were the first UK punk band to self-release a full album (their first LP Calling on Youth), on their own Raw Edge label. With Close Up, the band matured and further developed into the punk sound that was clearly a gateway to Borland's work with The Sound. The band were clearly influenced by the Detroit rock sound of The Stooges and were even joined on stage by Iggy Pop himself for their rendition of 'Raw Power'. Long out of print on vinyl, this reissue provides a great look into not only the development of the legendary Adrian Borland, but also a look into the transitional phase of UK rock from classic to punk.
This release includes diary entries from the diary of Phil King (Lush, Jesus & Mary Chain, Primal Scream, The Servants) written during The Outsiders' active years as a band, and includes memories of attending their shows, buying instruments from Adrian Borland and the original art from his diaries.
Available on vinyl only in a run of 1,000.
Naomi Punk: Television Man
Over the last four years, Olympia-based punk trio Naomi Punk - featuring singer/guitarist Travis Coster, guitarist Neil Gregerson, and drummer Nic Luempert - have been lighting up DIY warehouses and large concert halls alike with their singular brand of mid-tempo, cathartic punk. Commencing their breakout 2012 debut The Feeling, Naomi Punk return to the fold with their sophomore record, Television Man - their first for Captured Tracks. A key fixture in the Northwest DIY punk scene, Naomi Punk channel a similar energy to their contemporaries (Milk Music, Broken Water, Vexx, Gag) and their fore bearers (Wipers, Dead Moon, Nirvana) while cultivating a body of work and aesthetic that is wholly their own.
Home recorded in Olympia, Washington over the Fall and Winter of 2013, and mastered by Rick Fisher at RFI, Television Man is a collection of oblique punk anthems and collaged instrumental pieces which best showcases the cathartic aggression that has become their signature.
Tom Diabo: Dark Star
Tom Diabo was late-70s/early80s punk musician from Wuppertal, Germany. He played in several bands, most notably Western Force and X 112 For Dancing, and also curated a series of legendary local cassettes called "Talfahrt". Diabo passed away from cancer in 1988 shortly after his 30th birthday. He left behind a cache of home-recorded songs that eventually came out posthumously as an LP called "Dark Star" that same year. An expanded edition will be released on Body Double in 2013.
Cleaners From Venus: Vol. 3
The legendary lo-fi band Cleaners from Venus formed in the small town of Wivenhoe, southeast England at the turn of 1980s by Martin Newell. The man, the myth, but to rock singer and part-time kitchen porter with a love of sunny 1960s pop music, punk rock and musical comedy. He never cared much for any kind of musical rule book and broke new ground with music that garnered a cult following and a highly-influential sound that continues to inspire. These 4 albums are the final chapter in the unveiling of the entire discography from the band, spanning the end of Martin Newell's long, storied run as the Cleaners from Venus (1985-1992). Included are Living with Victoria Grey, Number Thirteen and My Back Wages, which Newell considers a new release as it is finally being released as he originally intended it. The fourth album is a collection of rarities and unreleased material from the time that My Back Wages was recorded, called Extra Wages.
The beautiful 4xLP box set includes original liners written by Newell himself with unreleased photos, as well as a 16 pages book of Newell's poetry.
The beautiful CD foldout wallet with booklet includes original liners written by Newell himself with unreleased photos.
Cleaners From Venus: Living With Victoria Grey
The late summer of 1985 was a rather pleasant one for Martin Newell. Now past 30, and sick of being at odds with the London music industry, he decided to give up - not music exactly - but any attempt to make a living from it. Though Newell and his new musical partner Giles Smith continued to casually record and "Under Wartime Conditions" continued to pick up good reviews, including one in the UK's Sound magazine, there was no intent to continue on. Yet it was due to this sporadic period of recording that the Cleaners came to, quite non-chalantely, release the cassette "Living With Victoria Grey".
After sending the nearly unmarked cassette to a few fanzines and selling the cassettes for $2 apiece (or even giving them away), Newell once again forgot about music until a young man named Andy McQueen offered Newell an interesting deal: though there would be little money, he and Smith could record a high quality Cleaners record without the interference of a producer. The two began working on "Going to England". Although 7 of the songs from "Living With Victoria Grey" would appear on the album, the cassette was all but forgotten, the only master copy having been lost. It wasn't until almost 10 years later that Newell was approached by a man he'd never met before who said , "You sent me this, many years ago and told me to look after it. I did. I thought you'd like it back now.". It was the master copy of "Living With Victoria Grey". Over 10 years after it's initial, quiet release, Captured Tracks are pleased to present "Living With Victoria Grey" on vinyl for the first time as part of the final installment of the Cleaners from Venus collection.
Cleaners From Venus: Number Thirteen
Following the release of "Living With Victoria Grey", Martin Newell and the Cleaners from Venus once again began taking their musical careers seriously, releasing a few singles and two vinyl LPs. However by late 1988 Newell and bass player Peter Nelson left the band and ended up forming a side project by the name of The Brotherhood of Lizards. After busking and loosley recording some demos, the band were signed to the independant label Deltic Records. Newell and Nelson gained quite a bit of media attention for their guitar driven rock by refusing to tour by anything but bicycle. This generated a lot of attention for the band, but unfortunately Nelson left the band before it could fully come to fruition.
What we find in "Number Thirteen" is a transitional period from Newell. Intended as a demo, the cassette received positive feedback, but ultimately led no where. At 37 years old, Martin Newell reflected upon the almost two decades of hard work and musical activity which had led him to this point. One morning he got up and began to coolly put his instruments away. He turned his small upstairs music studio into a room for books and writing. He decided to turn to the life of gardening that he'd always thought upon. However the simple life of a gardener would not last long. Newell soon found renowned with his poetry and writing, penning a semi-regular column for London's Independent, appearing on many TV and radio programs and publishing several collections.
Finally, in autumn of 1992, through another series of connections and coincidences, he was asked if he would like to make a solo album, with none other than XTC's Andy Partridge in the producer's chair. The first thing which he did, before dusting off his long abandoned instruments, was send Andy Partridge a handful of songs from the Cleaners from Venus' "Number Thirteen" cassette. Four of these would eventually form the basis of what became his first solo album and international success, The Greatest Living Englishman. The quartet of songs chosen by Partridge were, "The Jangling Man", "Home Counties Boy", "A Street Called Prospect", and "Christmas in Suburbia".
"Number Thirteen" is one of the many stepping stone releases that have led Martin Newell and the Cleaners From Venus through their storied career. Available for the first time on vinyl, and seeing it's first wide release, Captured Tracks are pleased to give you "Number Thirteen".
Cleaners From Venus: My Back Wages
Considered the "last ever" Cleaners From Venus release, "My Back Wages" is comprised primarily of songs written in 1992 while Martin Newell was quarantined with the Chicken Pox. While some songs made it onto Newell's "The Greatest Living Englishman", many fell into obscurity, never to be released.
That is until some 8 years later when long time Cleaners supporters JAR Music Germany, a small DIY label, released a collection entitled "My Back Wages". Newell claims to have had no knowledge of the release, but the punning title of the album has his paw prints all over it.
After spending the years between 1992 and 2000 focusing on his writing, poetry and gardening, and when the release surfaced in 2000, Newell had little recollection of even sending the songs to his friends at JAR. When Newell heard it, he was surprised to find that musical additions had been made to the tracks, which polished up his spontaneously and sometimes sloppy recording style. Newell felt touched that anyone would be interested, or even care about something which he'd regarded as a rag-bag of demoes. Conversely, as a natural musical anarchist, the idea that anyone, anywhere, considered that they knew better than he did, annoyed him.
This version of My Back Wages as issued by Captured Tracks, therefore, is Martin Newell's own 'producers cut' of oddities, out-takes and 'orphan songs'. "Crane Drivers" for instance, was made after a friend with a brand new Roland U20 keyboard, lent it to Newell for two days, challenging him to make a complete song using only the sounds contained within its pre-sets. "Haunt Your House" was a demo written for The Damned, who were short of songs for an album at that time. It was never used.
Over 20 years later, Captured Tracks are thrilled to give Newell the chance to release this material on his own terms and put the Cleaners to rest once and for all.
Cleaners From Venus: Extra Wages
Parting is such sweet sorrow!
We at Captured Tracks have been so honored to release the wildly expansive catalogue ofMartin Newell and the Cleaners From Venus that we couldn't say goodbye without just onemore!
This bonus LP contains the remaing outtakes from Newell's 1992 recordings that resulted in"My Back Wages", along with a few other rareities. It would be nice and tidy to be able tosay that the Cleaners from Venus story ended right here with this rather more than definitivecollection of broken or misshapen tracks.
The truth of the matter, however is that the story may not quite be over yet...
Donovan Blanc: Donovan Blanc
Donovan Blanc is the realization of a purified version of the duo's work, fit for consumption by disciples of technicolor baroque and singer-songwriter pop music. The record's aim isn't to evoke nostalgia, but rather to re-contextualize the familiar and foreign to create new moments; some that are bold and exuberant, and others that are reserved and melancholic. Donovan Blanc delivers a glimpse of the lush textures and vivid colors of pop's golden age through a modern lens.