24
Mar

First album from LA New Wave superstars Berlin with vocalist Virginia Macolino.

The material on “Information” is similar in sound to the period of their popularity; acoustic drums, guitars and synths together, but is vastly different in tone. The material is far more “New Wave” in orientation; at times resembling DEVO more than the band who would record “Sex [I’m A…].” Chris Velasco, who would later leave the band, contributes strong guitar work and the biggest difference between this album and the subsequent “Pleasure Victim” EP was that John Crawford, only wrote a small part of this material instead of dominating the writing as he did going forward.

A large pleasure of this album is that the lyrics are more socially than sexually concerned. The classic New Wave tropes of future shock, new technology, and rejection of mainstream values abound on this album for the first and last time for Berlin. The band was composed of Jo Julian on synths [who also produced], Dan Van Patten on drums, Chris Velasco on guitar, the familiar John Crawford on bass, and Virginia Macolino on vocals.

The album was released in 1980, but fairly reeks of 1979 New Wave! Macolino’s vocals are full of defiant attitude for the most part. Her singing on the opener “Mind Control” recalls the New Wave swoop of Lene Lovich that you can hear as the foundation that über-bimbo Dale Bozzio probably drew upon when Missing Persons got their mojo working the following year. Macolino’s punkette vocals are also abetted and matched with various forms of vocal effects and vocoding for that all important technological New Wave emphasis that was in the air like pollen at the time. The variety of vocal effects employed here is far beyond what was usually the norm for this time.

“Overload,” which is familiar to those with the Renegade Records pressing of “A Matter Of Time” is a great number with a stuttering drum pattern courtesy of Van Patten. For the most part, rhythm is via a traditional kit, well played and recorded. A smattering of synthetic percussion appears, but this album was largely made with beefy, rock drumming that gives it a heft that would be missing from synthpop groups a year or two down the road.

The following number, “City Nights” has great staccato guitar from Velasco that meshes most excellently with Julian’s synth work. This track, more than any other, hits the Ultravox mark that Crawford and the band [all Ultravox fans; Foxx era] were clearly aiming for. It manages to echo the values of “Systems Of Romance” and Conny Plank’s production thereof where guitars and synths doubled for each other for a unified, synthetic hybrid that was neither fish nor fowl, but more powerful than both. That it takes its cues from that approach while not cloning Ultravox’s sound, per se, is a huge plus. Perhaps it’s not surprising that after this album was recorded, keyboardist/producer Jo Julian found himself engineering for John Foxx.

Side two has the debut single, “A Matter Of Time,” recut with Macolino singing lead. It doesn’t stray far from the Teri Nunn original vocal. It’s still a great song from the pen of John Crawford. The underlying synth riffs evoke cinematic James Bond soundtrack music rather successfully. It’s followed by “Middle Class Suicide,” a less-than-subtle attack on the Hollywood mainstream; called “Zone-H” here. I’m assuming that’s SoCal slang in any case. The tracks leaps into DEVO-space [or is that Zappa space?] with its herky-jerky consistently shifting time signatures in part of the chorus.

The concluding “Uncle Sam” really does the DEVO thing rather well to the point that it recalls “Race Of Doom” in its synthetic percussion, which was not released for a year afterward. Hmmm… I wonder? The lyrics seem politically charged but on closer inspection resist interpretation. The album is well played and produced and if it seems like it was cut by a completely different band than the group that released “Pleasure Victim” two years later, that’s because it really was. This is a vastly different group to the one called Berlin afterward. And therein lies its charm.

from

Post-Punk Monk blog

21
Feb
Phono Fans!
Mark those calenders, our next weekend opening has been announced!
Remember we are open Tuesday-Thursday from noon til 5PM now!
This week we will also be open Saturday the 22nd from 10am til 2pm by request of some very nice folks who couldn’t make it out last weekend!
Dal and and the Phono Dudes!

Phono Fans!

Mark those calenders, our next weekend opening has been announced!

Remember we are open Tuesday-Thursday from noon til 5PM now!

This week we will also be open Saturday the 22nd from 10am til 2pm by request of some very nice folks who couldn’t make it out last weekend!

Dal and and the Phono Dudes!

29
Oct

HEY HO LET’S LEGO!

We thought we would share some fun Lego creations that our friends have shared with us recently!

The Ramones was created by Cadwell, check out his Flicker page for more Ramones inspired fun!

The Record store creations are by Ryan Howerter (AKA eldeeem). His flicker page is full of awesome Lego creations and art.

Enjoy

Phono Select

12
Sep
18
Jun
09
May

Coming up this Saturday May 11th Phono Select Records Presents and Punch and Pie Productions brings you the not to be missed Power Pop/MOD/Punk/Rock n Roll show of the year over at Bows and Arrows!

Click here for more info and the Facebook Event Listing link.

Don’t miss out!

04
Apr
We thought these were all sold out. We were wrong we just found a box of these while we were unpacking today at the new location. Get them while you can, the person we were getting these from may not be making more.You can order them online over at PhonoSelect.com.
Work on the new location is still proceeding, we’ll get some pictures up in the next few days. 
Cheers
Phono Dudes

We thought these were all sold out. We were wrong we just found a box of these while we were unpacking today at the new location. Get them while you can, the person we were getting these from may not be making more.You can order them online over at PhonoSelect.com.

Work on the new location is still proceeding, we’ll get some pictures up in the next few days. 

Cheers

Phono Dudes

27
Feb
27
Feb
31
Jan

IT’S PUNK ROCK MOVIE DAY!

TODAY WE BRING YOU:

URBAN STRUGGLE (1981) - a rad doc about the Cuckoo’s Nest

This one features many of our childhood favorites Black Flag, T.S.O.L, Circle Jerks and some decent interviews. Personally the Circle Jerks footage reminds me why they were one my favorite live bands back in the early 80’s, I know everyone talks about the intensity of Black Flag but I always thought DOA, T.S.O.L. and the Circle Jerks were more fun live.

THE VANDALS LYRICS

"Urban Struggle"

I want to be a Cowboy
I got to be a Cowboy
I’m born to be a Cowboy
I want to be a Cowboy
A Cowboy! Uh-huh

Tonight we’re taking me fast car
Were gonna go down to the Cowboy bar
I’m gonna wait till the club is full
and I’m gonna ride the mechanical bull

Cowboy look is the one I sought
Can’t change now cause the clothes are bought
To be a true Cowboy was my fate
I can’t help it if I was born late

All the Cowgirls in their Stetson hats
and their tight fitting jeans so they don’t look fat
We’ll all be listening to the Cowboy tunes
and stomp around like a bunch of goons

Cowboy look is the one I sought
Can’t change now cause the clothes are bought
To be a true cowboy was my fate
I can’t help it if I was born late

We’re all OD’d on the Olden West
Seein’ who’s Cowboy clothes look the best
I can ride that phony bull so damn good
Sometimes I think I’m Clint Eastwood

Cowboy look is the one I sought
Can’t change now cause the clothes are bought
To be a true cowboy was my fate
I can’t help it if I was born late

I know I’m a Cowboy deep inside
My hat band’s made out of synthetic rattle snake hide
After a couple shit kickin’ Cowboy movies
I’ll check out the Cowboy scene down at Zubie’s

Cowboy look is the one I sought
Can’t change now cause the clothes are bought
To be a true cowboy was my fate
I can’t help it if I was born late

Find out who all fights the best
We start fights with them punks at the Cuckoo’s Nest
Those damn punks are crazy (though)
and meaner than a bull at a rodeo

Cowboy look is the one I sought
Can’t change now cause the clothes are bought
To be a true cowboy was my fate
I can’t help it if I was born late

You call me an Urban clone of course
A big deal if I’m afraid to ride a horse
With a broken nose and a fucked up knee
Maybe this Cowboy scene just ain’t for me

Cowboy look is the one I sought
Can’t change now cause the clothes are bought
To be a true cowboy was my fate
I can’t help it if I was born late

Yee Haw

Cowboy look is the one I sought
Can’t change now cause the clothes are bought
To be a true cowboy was my fate
I can’t help it if I was born late

( I couldn’t make it as a Punker )

 

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