Spring

“APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land…”

The Waste Land (1922)

Well… did you get your income tax done and in on time as nothing says spring like paying your state and federal income taxes. Do you think T.S. Eliot was thinking about paying his taxes as he wrote the opening lines to his epic poem, The Waste Land ?

With this coming Monday being Patriots Day in Massachusetts; and with that comes both the running of the Boston Marathon, and a Red Sox and Orioles game at Fenway that begins at 11:05 am, and one can finally begin to believe that spring has arrived in southern New England.

In light of this I’ve chosen four bands, whose very names (thought not necessarily their music) seems to represent the essence of spring.

 

 


 

 

Trading in a solo career, where he performed under the moniker Tin Tin, Stephen Duffy founded The Lilac Time, along with Mickey Harris, Nick Duffy, and Michael Giri.

With it’s mixture of poetry, pop melodies, use of traditional instruments; accordions, acoustic guitars, woodwinds, exotic percussion, and Duffy’s pensive voice, their self titled debut, The Lilac Time, with its emphasis on pastoral, folky English pop is reminiscent of Skylarking-era XTC.

Dismissed by music critics as “Minneapolis’ scruffy also-rans” and “little brothers” of better known Twin Cities bands Hüsker Dü, the Replacements and Soul Asylum The Magnolias just might be the best band you’ve never heard. This Minneapolis Buzzcocks/Undertones-loving, Real Kids/Replacements-sounding, punky garage-rock act formed around vocalist and guitarist John Freeman, who proved to be the only constant in the band’s career.

With it’s down-and-out and broken-hearted tales of the rock & roll street life, twin buzz-saw guitar attack and “John Freeman’s inimitable caterwauling,” Off the Hook, is arguably The Magnolias’ best album. The band’s signature song, “When I’m Not,” is “a spirited, instantly catchy singalong,” while “Tear Up This Town” and “Take Me Away” prove that the band can rock out with the best of them. A cover of another overlooked Twin Cities rock band, the Suicide Commandos’ “Complicated Fun” helped to make this album a regional classic.

The very short lived The March Violets formed in 1981 as one of Leeds’ four famous drum machine bands, the others being the Sisters of Mercy, Three Johns and Red Lorry Yellow Lorry. Favoring stark, primitive rhythm-box beats the group’s sound was colored by Loz Elliott’s heavy bass throb, Tom Ashton’s droning guitar and

“complementary lead vocalists — big, bearded Simon Denbigh and enigmatic Rosie Garland.”

Primarily a singles band the group’s earliest recordings were released on the Sisters of Mercy’s label Merciful Release. 1984’s Natural History is a collection of the band’s earliest efforts. The time between the release 1984’s Natural History and their second compilation, 1985’s Electric Shades, was marked by turmoil, with co-vocalist Rosie Garland leaving and being replaced by Cleo Murray, and then in early 1985 fellow co-vocalist Simon Denbigh being handed his walking papers.

The loss of both Garland and Denbigh forced The Violets to “surrender to conventionality”, replacing the drum machine with an actual drummer and “crassly exploiting Cleo’s beauty” and by 1987 the March Violets just faded away.

While 1994’s The Botanic Verses isn’t organized in chronological order it does replaces early vinyl-only compilations and stands as the definitive history of the band’s earliest days.

Fans of Joy Division, Echo and the Bunnymen and Bauhaus will definitely want to take a listen as The March Violets were strongly influenced by the fore mentioned.

Fans of ethereal pop music should enjoy the crunchy and swirling music of Toronto’s An April March. Begun as a quartet the group originally consisted of Danella Hocevar (vocals, guitar), Robert Lambke (bass guitar, guitar), Christopher Perry (guitar, keyboards) and Michael Klug (drums). Andrew Starling replaced Robert Lambke on bass for 1995’s Lessons In Vengeance, but by the time of 1996’s Adagio E.P. he was gone; with the group remaining a trio until they called it a day.

The group proved to be as popular in Boston as in their native Toronto primarily because of a split single ,”The Last of Ariadne”/”No Answer”, they released with Worcester’s The Curtain Society’s in 1993. The two groups then

embarked on “The Tape Dispenser Tour”… a series of shows in Boston, Providence, Worcester, Toronto, and Ann Arbor.

Deciding to call it quits they played their final American show on April 16, 1999 at the Lucky Dog Music Hall in Worcester, MA, sharing the billing one last time with The Curtain Society. Their last show was in Toronto on April 29, 1999.

 

The Lilac Time Discography

Singles, EPs and Full-length

Black Velvet (CD Single) (Fontana) 1988
Return To Yesterday (12″, CD , Single) (Fontana) 1988
The Lilac Time (CD, Album ) (Fontana, Mercury) 1988
You’ve Got To Love (12″) (Fontana, Phonogram) 1988
American Eyes (12″, CD, Single) (Fontana) 1989
American Eyes (Welcome To Hell – Here’s Your Accordian) (12″) (Fontana) 1989
Paradise Circus (LP, CD) (Fontana) 1989
The Days Of The Week (12″) (Fontana) 1989
The Girl Who Waves At Trains (CD Single) (Fontana) 1989
& Love For All (CD) (Fontana) 1990
All For Love & Love For All (7″, 12″, CD Single) (Fontana) 1990
It’ll End In Tears (12″, CD Single) (Fontana, Phonogram) 1990
Madresfield (7″ Single) (Caff Corporation) 1990
The Laundry (12″ , CD Single)
The Lilac Time (LP) (Fontana) 1990
Astronauts (LP, CD) (Creation Records) 1991
Dreaming (7″ ,12″, CD) (Creation Records) 1991
Dreaming – Hypnotone Remixes (12″) (Creation Records) 1991
In Iverna Gardens / Dreaming (CD) (Intercord Tonträger GmbH) 1991
Astronauts+ (CD) (Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) (1998)
Looking For A Day In The Night (CD) (Cooking Vinyl) 1999
Compendium – The Fontana Trinity (2xCD) (Fontana) 2001
Lilac6 (2xCD) (Beat Records) 2001
Lilac6 (CD) (Cooking Vinyl) 2001
Keep Going (CD) (Artful) 2003
Astronauts (CD) (Castle) 2005
And Love For All (CD) (Fontana) 2006
Paradise Circus (CD) (Fontana) 2006
The Lilac Time (CD) (Fontana) 2006
& Love For All (CD) (Fontana) 2006
Runout Groove (CD) (Bogus Frontage) 2007
Happy Birthday Peace EP (CD) (Fulfill) 2008

Tracks Appear On:

“Return To Yesterday” Un Automne 88 (CD) (Virgin France S.A.) 1988
“American Eyes” Good Morning 90s (LP) (PolyGram Greece) 1990
“Fields” Select 12 (Cass) (Phonogram Records) 1990
“Bird On The Wire” I’m Your Fan – The Songs Of Leonard Cohen By… (CD, 2xLP) (Columbia) 1991
“Bird On The Wire” I’m Your Fan: The Songs Of Leonard Cohen By… (CD, 2xLP) (EastWest) 1991
“Bird On The Wire” I’m Your Fan: The Songs Of Leonard Cohen By… (CD) (Atlantic) 1991
“Dreaming” Keeping The Faith Again (A Creation Dance Compilation) (CD) (Creation Records) 1992
“The Whisper Of Your Mind”
Creation Soup 1990 – 1993 (CD, Comp) (Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) 1993
“Return To Yesterday” Radio FFN Nightline 2 (CD) (SPV Records, SPV GmbH) 1993
Fontana Sixties and Nineties Collection (Fontana) 1993
“If the Stars Shine Tonight” Les Inrockuptibles: 10 ans/100 chansons) (CD) (Small) 1997
“Dreaming” Guitar Pop Jamboree – Seventeen Teardrops Falling (CD) (Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) 1999
“A Day In The Night” New Voices Vol. 29 (CD) (Rolling Stone (Germany) 1999
“Morning Sun”
Uncut: Unconditionally Guaranteed, Volume 5: June 1999 (Uncut Magazine) 1999
“The Nursery Walls” Cooking Vinyl In Rockdelux (CD) (Sinedín Music) 2000
“Family Coach”
Delicatessen One: 18 Delicious Creations From the Cooking Vinyl Kitchen (Cooking Vinyl) 2000
“A Dream That We All Share” Delicatessen, Volume 2: Cooking Vinyl Sampler 2000 (CD) (Cooking Vinyl) 2000
“Back in the Car Park”
Amos House Collection, Volume I (CD) (Empyrean Records) 2001
“Jeans & Summer” Delicatessen, Volume 4: Cooking Vinyl Sampler 2002 (CD) (Cooking Vinyl) 2002
“Bank Holiday Monday” Wide Awake – It’s All About Songs (CD) (Tapete Records) 2005
“Morning Sun”
Strange Folk (CD) (Albion) 2006
“Return to Yesterday”
Hits Return of Post Modern (Hits Magazine)

Unofficial Releases:

Swordfish (CD) Not On Label
Paradise Circus (CD) (Polygram K.K.) 1999
The Lilac Time (CD) (Polygram K.K.) 1999

The Lilac Time (1987)

Playing Time: 45 minutes 6 seconds

the lilac time

1. Return To Yesterday (3:46)
2. Rockland (4:09)
3. You’ve Got To Love (4:39)
4. And The Ship Sails On (3:04)
5. Love Becomes A Savage (3:55)
6. Together (2:57)
7. Black Velvet (3:23)
8. Too Sooner Later Than Better (3:43)
9. The Road To Happiness (4:02)
10. Trumpets From Montparasse (3:49)
11. Gone For Burton (3:43)
12. Railway Bazaar (3:56)

Buy The Lilac Time from Amazon.com

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The Magnolias Discography

Concrete Pillbox (CD, LP) (Twin/Tone) 1986
For Rent (CD, LP) (Twin/Tone) 1988
Dime Store Dream (CD, LP) (Twin/Tone) 1989
Off the Hook (CD) (Alias) 1992
Hung Up On… EP (CD) (Alias) 1992
Street Date Tuesday (CD) (Twin/Tone) 1996
Better Late Than Never (Unreleased Demos and Outakes) (CD)(Satellite Six) 2005

The Magnolias – Off the Hook (1992)

Playing Time: 37 minutes 56 seconds

the magnolias-off the hook

1. Hello Or Goodbye (2:16)
2. Don’t Pack It In (2:42)
3. Matter Of Time (3:56)
4. My Little Flame (3:09)
5. Never Lasts (3:38)
6. Tear Up This Town (3:16)
7. Take Me Away (3:00)
8. When I’m Not (3:30)
9. Up The Ladder (2:49)
10. Time Bomb (3:12)
11. Complicated Fun (2:59)
12. Playing To Win (3:29)

Buy the Magnolias Off The Hook from Amazon.com

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The March Violets Discography

Singles, EPs and Full-length

Religious As Hell (7″) (Merciful Release) 1982
Crow Baby (7″, 12″) (Rebirth International)1983
Grooving In Green (7″) (Merciful Release) 1983
Snake Dance (7″ 12″) (Rebirth International) 1983
Natural History (LP) (Vinyl Rebirth Records)1984
Walk Into The Sun (12″) (Vinyl Rebirth Records) 1984
Walk Into The Sun (7″) (Rebirth International) 1984
Deep (7″ , 12″) (Vinyl Rebirth Records)1985
Electric Shades (LP) (Relativity) 1985
Turn To The Sky (7″, 12″ ) (Vinyl Rebirth Records) 1986
Turn To The Sky (7″) (Polygram Iberica) 1986
The Botanic Verses (CD) (Jungle Records, Cleopatra)1993
Trinity EP (CDr) (Self Produced) 2007

Tracks Appear On:

“Turn To The Sky (Razormaid Mix)” Razormaid Chapter O-4 (2×12″) (Razormaid Records)
“Radiant Boys” The Angels Are Coming (2xCass) (Pleasantly Surprised) 1983
“Wild Talk” Spools Gold (Cass,LP) (Record Mirror) 1986
“Miss Amanda Jones”, “Turn To The Sky” Some Kind Of Wonderful (LP,CD) (MCA Records) 1987
“Miss Amanda Jones”, “Turn To The Sky” Some Kind Of Wonderful (LP) (WEA Records Pty Ltd.) 1987
“Essence” The Whip (2xCD) (Jungle Records) 1993
“Snake Dance” Mysterious Encounters (CD) (Cleopatra) 1994
“Snake Dance (7 Mix)” Gothic Rock 2 (3xLP) (Jungle Records) 1995
“Snake Dance (7 Mix)” Gothic Rock 2 – 80’s Into 90’s (2xCD) (Jungle Records) 1995
“Snake Dance (Extended Mix)” Gothic Rock 2: 80’s Into 90’s (2xCD) (Cleopatra)1995
“Crow Baby” Songs For A Black Planet (CD) (Nectar Masters) 1995
“Essence” Flesh, Fangs & Filigree (3xCD) (Dressed To Kill) 1996
“Religious As Hell” Flesheaters – The Return Of The Undead (3xCD) (Dressed To Kill) 1996
“Religious As Hell” Goth Box (4xCD) (Cleopatra) 1996
“Grooving In Green” Undead – 50 Gothic Masterpieces (3xCD) (Dressed To Kill) 1996
“Snake Dance” Burning From The Outside (CD) (Cleopatra) 1998
“Essence” Gothic Erotica (6xCD) (Dressed To Kill) 1998
“Walk Into The Sun” Gothic Rock 3 – Black On Black – Best Of 80’s Collection (2xCD) (Cleopatra, Jungle Records) 1998
“Snake Dance” Nocturnal (2xCD, LP) (Procreate) 1998
“Snake Dance” Sanctuary: 26 Gothic Anthems (2xCD) (Universal Records) 1998
“Snake Dance” Dark Pleasures (CD) (Hip-O Records) 1999
“Snake Dance” Goth: Music Of The Shadows Vol. 1 (CD) (K-Tel International (USA), Inc.) 1999
“Radiant Boys” Gothic Maladies (CD) (Cleopatra) 1999
“Grooving In Green” Undead A Gothic Masterpiece (3xCD) (Dressed To Kill) 1999
“Grooving In Green”, “Religious as Hell” Live Forever – The Most Beautiful & Haunting Gothic Collection (10xCD) (Dressed To Kill) 2001
“Turn To The Sky” Wave 180 (CD) (Not On Label) 2003
“Snake Dance” Gothika (2xCD) (Cleopatra) 2004
“Walk Into The Sun” Obscur (2xCD) (EMI Music (France) 2004
“Crow Baby” Gothic Party Time (CD) (Jungle Records) 2005
“Snake Dance” A Life Less Lived – The Gothic Box (3xCD + DVD) (Rhino Entertainment Company) 2006
“Snake Dance” Selections From A Life Less Lived The Gothic Box (CD) (Rhino Entertainment Company) 2006
“Walk Into The Sun”, “Snake Dance” The Goth Anthology (3xCD) (Metro Triples) 2006
“Snake Dance (12″ Version)” This Is Gothic: The Bat Cave Anthology (CD) (Cleopatra) 2006

Unofficial Releases:

“Love Hits”, “Electric Shades”, “Lights Go Out”, “Don’t Take It Lightly” The Dancer’s Reward (LP) (Clean Sound) 1985
“Deep” Wave 180: Book Two (2xCD) (Hide And Seek Records Ltd.) 1999

The March Violets – The Botanic Verses (1994)

Playing Time: 1 hour 11 minutes 52 seconds

the march violets-the botanic verses

1. Snake Dance Extended (6:14)
2. Walk Into the Sun (4:51)
3. Slow Drip Lizard (3:42)
4. Lights Go Out (5:29)
5. Essence (5:07)
6. Crow Baby (4:03)
7. 1 2 I Love You (3:07)
8. Grooving In Green (3:32)
9. It’s Hot (3:24)
10. Long Pig (3:20)
11. Steam (3:23)
12. Fodder (2:37)
13. Radiant Boys (3:57)
14. Bon Bon Babies (2:57)
15. Religious As Hell (3:50)
16. Children On Stun (2:58)
17. Crow Bait (5:14)
18. Snake Dance (4:07)

The Botanic Verses [Part 1] [Part 2]

Buy The March Violets The Botanic Verses from Amazon.com

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An April March Discography

Singles, Eps and Full-length

The Last Of Ariadne / No Answer (7″) (Apostrophe Records, Cartwheel Recordings) 1992
Impatiens (CD) (Cartwheel Recordings) 1993
Lava (7″) (Bedazzled) (1994)
Instruments Of Lust And Fury (CD) (Bedazzled) 1995
Lessons In Vengeance (CD) (Bedazzled) 1995
Adagio (CD, EP) (Bedazzled) 1996
It Goes Without Saying (CD) ( Bedazzled) 1997
…Something Once True, Is Always True… (CD, Single) (Bedazzled) 1999

Tracks Appear On:

“Scarlett Bliss” Indie-Can ’92 Sampler (2xCD) (Intrepid Records) 1992
“Ceiling”
Anon (2xCD) (Castle von Buhler) 1993 “Delirium” Woke Up Smiling (CD) (Bedazzled) 1995
“Avibdake”
Alleviation (CD) (Silber Records) 1996
“The Red Dots” Radio Hepcats (CD) (Antarctic Press) 1996
“Alec Eiffel” Pixies Fuckin’ Die! (A Tribute) (The Orchard) 1996
“Waltz Of The Flowers, Variation 2”, “Scarlett Bliss”, “Lava” Xmas 97 (CD) (Bedazzled) 1997
“Let Everyone Down” Losing Today Volume I (CD) (Losing Today) 1998
“Daylight Falters” News From Nowhere (CD) (Plan Eleven) 1998
“Spiral Like Spirits”, “Slipped” 1999 Bedazzled Sampler (Bedazzled) 1999
“Pink Orange Red” Half-Gifts: A Tribute to the Cocteau Twins (Dewdrop Records) 2002

An April March – It Goes Without Saying (1997)

Playing Time: 41 minutes 19 seconds

an april march-it goes without saying

1. Stardust (3:47)
2. Slipped (2:58)
3. We Were Never Attached (3:45)
4. Summers Gone (3:42)
5. My Reverie (4:12)
6. The Roddy Frame Experience (4:13)
7. Bright Undress (5:24)
8. Juner (6:39)
9. This Is… (6:39)

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