Desperate Bicycles Discography Online

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That's not cool. The band probably wouldn't be happy about that! I was supposed to send Derek a CD of their stuff but can't remember if I got around to it. Either way, that stuff comes from me. It's missing the song "A Can Of Lemonade" which I left off my original Desperate Bicycles CDr because of length issues.

He's also missing the Evening Outs single and the Peel Sessions.

Dan Selzer (Dan Selzer), Tuesday, 5 October 2004 14:37 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

kind of a tough situation (and by no means do i advocate piracy) a la the screamers when a band for decades wont let its work be reissued, its material becoming the domain of collector scum due its lack of availability and the high prices to get it. personally, im torn because i would love to have some desperate bicycles and have always wanted to hear them.

jack cole (jackcole), Tuesday, 5 October 2004 14:45 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

i downloaded this stuff from slsk a whiile ago. if anyone wants to email me the peel session or "A Can Of Lemonade" please do. I wouldn't be sharing them because I just have dial up now.

artdamages (artdamages), Tuesday, 5 October 2004 14:58 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

my issue/stake is personal. In the late 90s, I digitised all of their stuff and sent it to like, a hundred collectors/traders, etc. I thought this was no different then making mix tapes for friends. I was naive. A few years later it hit the file sharing network, followed by GEMM and eBay. People were making money. They made money of my work, but of course more importantly, off the band's work. The band had been approached by Acute, Om Platten, Cherry Red, for starters, and turned down all offers. Word is they are not getting along with one another perhaps. I was particularly irate when I found a "trader" who had some of the unreleased Prefects stuff I wanted to hear but wouldn't send it to me because "I had nothing of interest to him", despite the fact that he was also offering the Desperate Bicycles material for trade, and was also missing that one song, therefore, it came from me to begin with.

It's that type of stuff that made me not take as much part in this international trading community. Instead I keep my interests relatively secret while I try to release it properly and legitimately.

But I have no problem giving you a CD of the complete Desperate Bicycles(more then what's up there), so long as I was assured you wouldn't copy it for anybody, or worse, bootleg it. Those are my ethics.

Dan Selzer (Dan Selzer), Tuesday, 5 October 2004 15:00 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

i completely respect those ethics, dan -- they are pretty much the same as mine. i was merely broaching the subject of bands in general that won't let their stuff be reissued and thus creating a situation as you describe where people (not you, of course) profit off their work nonetheless, creating a lose lose situation.

as for a cd, i'd love to get one from one but i've always been afraid to ask because im not sure i have anything you would want.

jack cole (jackcole), Tuesday, 5 October 2004 15:09 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

yeah I respect that dan. i decided not to share the astral glamour thing cause it said not to on the cd (sorry this doesn't work for you riaa). i am no collector scum - I just want(ed) to enjoy some Desperate Bicycles because I enjoy that type of music and would like to learn more about it. the same goes for scritti - if i had a job i'd probably buy all their old records, but for now the mp3s will have to do.

artdamages (artdamages), Tuesday, 5 October 2004 15:13 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

This webpage took me two hours to make.
The 7" to the right cost me roughly $30.
These things are neither easy or cheap.

What kind of dickwad is this guy? These tracks are readily available on soulseek or whatever, right, so why post 'em?

The mp3s I have are of sketchy quality, but it's better than nothing. It certainly would be nice to have a remastered CD of this stuff, a proper release.

mcd (mcd), Tuesday, 5 October 2004 15:21 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

this kind of dickwad!

zebedee (zebedee), Tuesday, 5 October 2004 16:36 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

i was trying to find that thread!

artdamages (artdamages), Tuesday, 5 October 2004 16:47 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

it's a funny thing, thinking about the unavailability of the Desperate Bicycles music in light of their particular DIY aesthethic. Their whole point, obviously, was it was easy and cheap to make our own record, so now why don't you? Half of their songs are about this. I wrote an article about them(to the degree that I can "write") for the last issue of Swingset magazine, so I suggest people pick that up.

What took place with the Screamers? Did they care? Did people offer to release it and they turned it down. It's also a different issue as the Screamers stuff is all pretty questionable quality, while this is released material. Also, were the Screamers on record as not wanting it released? Did the Xeroid CD only come out after Tomata passed away?

The Desperate BIcycles, or at least one or two of them, have specifically stated they do not want it re-released at this point. Therefore bootlegging it is no good. There are other bands with other issues that are more nebulous, where the band want's it released but the major corporation that owns the music from 20 years ago won't allow it simply because they don't care (Island Records to thread)

Now sharing the stuff is such a gray area. When I started trading/mailing CDs of the Desp Bikes, the Homosexuals, Scritti Politti etc, file sharing was still the domain of napster or whatever. There is the huge community of people sharing music, each and every one of them just wanting to hear the stuff and who would buy it if they had the chance. I wasn't aware of the few people who'd then sell the music. That's just really lame. And please don't tell me it's so hard to get the rights and put out a record. a) it's not that hard, b) it's totally worth it, c) if it IS that hard, and the band doesn't want it...don't do it.

For the record stuff like Hyped2Death started NOT to be a complete collection, but to get a taster for the records with the assumption that you are a record collector and will buy the actual records. Now Chuck's totally legit anyway, everything is with permission.

I have no problem still putting good stuff on CDs for any of you, except the difficulties I have actually doing it and getting to the post office(sorry) and don't need anything in exchange. A blank CD is fine, or just a cool mix. There's tons and tons of really obvious stuff I don't have and have never heard.

As far as soulseek. Sure those songs are on soulseek but not everybody has access to soulseek. Now they're even more accessible. The only hope is usually that when something is released legitimately, it's still valuable because a)money has been invested for proper remastering, b)liner notes/info etc, c)and you know money is going to the right place.

Dan Selzer (Dan Selzer), Tuesday, 5 October 2004 16:49 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

dan what areas of obviousness have you not heard? i'm curious.

artdamages (artdamages), Tuesday, 5 October 2004 16:54 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

i think the xeroid release had tomata's blessing. as for the screamers, to a certain extent i think he didnt really care -- but in doing so, it did create a bootleg environment where the material wasn't that available for the average person.

jack cole (jackcole), Tuesday, 5 October 2004 16:55 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Dan, I understand what you're saying and agree with pretty much all of it. What I wonder is, who are the people buying these bootlegs? (all Bicycles fans must know their story and situation with regards to releasing stuff, right?) And are people really making money from selling them? Beyond like 10 bucks? There aren't that many Desp Bicycles fans, are there? etc.

Anyhow, I still think it's lame to post the mp3s.

All this said, and I've asked myself this question, if the Desp Bicycles were readily available in a nice sounding, liner-note intensive CD reissue a la the Homos would they still be the holy grail, the end-all-be-all, the piece de resistance of DIY? And the answer is YES.

mcd (mcd), Tuesday, 5 October 2004 17:08 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I'm sure the people selling the CDs aren't selling enough to make real money. But I'm just going on the record that I sent Desp Bikes CDs to well over 100 people, at a loss, because I thought they'd like the music. Anyone selling a CD-r of music they didn't produce for 10 dollars, however, is making a HUGE profit on that sale.

I also think, and some disagree with me, but obviously you don't, that the whole DIY attitude and rarity of the releases, while interesting, is not the only appeal, and that they wrote some truly great music. I've probably gone through periods of over-estimating the quality of something due to it's obscure nature, but in the end, I try to be objective. I really, really, really love their songs and can sing you many of them off the top of my head!

Chris, I wouldn't even know where to start. Like, there's some stuff I really love and I know a lot about those things, but other things I've completely skipped out on. Likewise, while I know more about say, post-punk and italo-disco then most, there are certainly post-punk collectors who know more about it then me, and italo collectors who know more about it then me. Just not that many people who seem to know a lot about both!

Off the top of my head, I avoided the entirety of hardcore because my sister was a skinhead. I've only recently begun exploring west coast punk and have nothing more then X, Flesh Eaters, Urinals/100 Flowers and a Weirdos comp. A few songs downloaded here and there but nothing definitive. There's whole words of DIY/post-punk stuff I missed, that I feel like were unearthed after I sorta moved away from being an obsessive collector to focus more on Acute, but also a lot of it is junk! And that's just "punk" related.

I have no brazilian pop or psyche. I've only scratched the surface of folk/psyche-folk etc. I never followed up an interest in Soft Pop or whatever, despite being a huge fan of baroque sixties stuff.

And more then anything finding more minimalist/70s nyc art music type stuff. That's my secret love. Terry Riley's in NY for a few shows right now.

Dan Selzer (Dan Selzer), Tuesday, 5 October 2004 17:20 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Somebody just sent me a link to this thread. I posted those tracks for a few friends so I wouldn't have to send them CDs through the mail.

Dan Selzer: Yeah...utterly great. It's ok for you to churn out copies of the CD (and you didn't send me one, I sent you money for postage at least a year and a half ago and NEVER got it) but it's "not cool" for putting them up for free on my website? Yes, some logic.

Why should somebody have to pay well over $200 to get recordings of these tracks, or risk sending some guy money to hear them? They're not going to be in print any time soon.

MCD: And your make a whole bunch of sense! Let me get this straight: you can get these tracks on Soulseek (most of which are hardly there) but I'm a 'dickwad' for posting them because we should all wait for a remastered CD version?

I heard the Desperate Bicycles track "The Medium Was Tedium" two years ago off a streamed internet radio show. I liked it so much I bought the single off of eBay and looked high and low for any other tracks or even INFORMATION about this band. They're pretty close to the definition of obscure.

So, my only advice is don't download the tracks if you're waiting for the remaster. If you have a problem with it because the band may be losing money (which they're not) then I hope you'll also delete all of the file sharing related software from your computer.

I was told it was the complete discography from the person who sent me the CD last week. I got a message this morning from somebody who says they knew the band who has some sort of live material. I'll be posting that when it arrives in the mail. It should have the other tracks as well. If you're not into me posting it, please don't download them.

And as for the $10,000 track listing, you dudes are weird.

Derek Erdman (Donkey King), Tuesday, 5 October 2004 17:25 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

now i know what to make you, dan!

jack cole (jackcole), Tuesday, 5 October 2004 17:27 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

"a hundred collectors/traders"

You weren't actually surprised that one or more of these "collectors" would try to make money off of the cdr you sent them, were you, dan. If you actually know 100 "collectors" you certainly shouldn't have been.

scott seward (scott seward), Tuesday, 5 October 2004 17:40 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Derek...sorry I never sent you the music, seriously. I remember getting the CD and the cash (though I was hopeing for a SASE!) but it was during a time when lots of people were asking me to send such things to them and I forgot a bunch of them. If you never got it, then I still have the CDs somewhere and can send you what you're missing, or since you're getting it from someone else, I can send you something else to make up for it. My logic is about keeping the music out of the hands of someone who would make a bootleg, and someone I sent one of my CDs to copied it to someone else who put it on a soulseek so that some guy somewhere made copies and was selling them for like 15 bucks or something. That's my entire issue. Obviously I have no problem sharing the music, it's just when I did, I really never imagined anyone would actually bootleg it, and it was only after I saw people selling it that I stopped sending them out.

Ethically it just really pissed me off that someone was making money off of this, when they didn't have the bands permission, and they hadn't even bought the records or digitised them! All they did was download them, burn CDs and sell them. Pure profit.

Scott. I was suprised. I hadn't spent a lot of time dealing with "traders" and "collectors". I was 24 or so years old, had digitised the material and was emailing with lots of really cool music fans who were sending me mix tapes. 99% of whom I'm still 100% sure would never bootleg stuff like that. I assume one of them burned it for someone, who burned it for someone etc, one can't keep track. But I learned my lesson and don't do it anymore. There are a few bands I love and have compiled that I have only shared with people I trust and know 100%, and in the meantime I hope to do it for real via Acute.

Dan Selzer (Dan Selzer), Tuesday, 5 October 2004 17:46 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

MCD: And your make a whole bunch of sense! Let me get this straight: you can get these tracks on Soulseek (most of which are hardly there) but I'm a 'dickwad' for posting them because we should all wait for a remastered CD version?

I didn't say half of that. I used 'dickwad' in response to that note on yr website (These things are neither easy or cheap. etc), like you should be deified for posting a couple tracks. Sorry that wasn't clear.

But I also don't agree that you should make the tracks so readily available; they're not yours. Straight-up posting is too blatant for my tastes--you're assuming some kind of ownership. That's just my opinion though and I wasn't vilifying you for that, just disagreeing.

mcd (mcd), Tuesday, 5 October 2004 17:54 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Ian MacKaye from

"Yeah, if someone's selling downloads and collecting money for our songs I would be unhappy about that but if they're trading it I don't mind, obviously if I make a thousand records or CDs or whatever, I like to sell a thousand. I don't need all the plastic. Obviously I would like people to support us, that'd be great. But at the end of the day, I'd rather people hear the music. You know I don't own any Bob Dylan music, well actually I think I do, but you know when I was growing up I didn't, but I certainly knew his music because of the radio, I didn't pay for that. I only mention him because I just mentioned him, I'm not saying like "Oh he's a huge Bob Dylan fan", I'm just saying that I do have respect for a lot of his work, and I'm glad to have been able to hear it and I think radio is so crucial to be able to have that. And frankly, though I actually recently got DSL, which has certainly helped in the terms of downloading songs, and I found the process a little bit frustrating because everyone seems to be putting up 'in the joint' or 'get the pay' or whatever, but when I first heard about napster, and those kinds of things, the orignal napster, the idea of having a resource where you could hear music-- it was a giant resource library-- was so intoxicating to me. I thought it was the most amazing thing in the world. Most music will never be made available commercially because it just doesn't make any sense for it to be made available commercially, you'll never sell enough copies to merit it, but I want to hear Hendrix practicing something, I want to hear a weird Al Jolson recording, I want to hear these things. The idea of going to a computer and listening to them once or twice like you heard them on the radio I think is incredible. But if I downloaded something and it just blew my mind, you'd better believe I'd go and try and find the fucking record if I could, if one existed. So from my point of view, any way that Fugazi or any band on Dischord or any kind of underground music, any way we have for people to be able to check it out and have access to the world at large, I'm all for. Obviously the major labels have, at this time at least, have fairly sewn up the avenues of the media, they own it all so obviously they have it all sewn up-- obviously it's not a coincidence that on new years eve ABC TV had their New Year's Rockin' Eve with Dick Clark reporting from Times Square, which is sort of the traditional new years thing, but they also reported in from Disneyworld, but they're owned by Disney! So of course, that's why suddenly disneyland is the same thing as Times Ssquare. It's all so disgusting. So the idea that somebody in wherever, whether they're in a small town somewhere in the middle of america or in Pakistan or whatever, if they're interested, and they want to check out Fugazi, I want it out there. I don't want them to have to pay some service to get to it and listen to it and hopefully that would compel them to do further research. I mean, how cool would it be to know that there's some kid in Pakistan who downloaded all our records and listens to them all the time-- I'm happy, I don't give a damn. I mean the argument against it is always just monetary, and again, that's the least interesting aspect of music for me."

Harlan, Tuesday, 5 October 2004 17:59 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

It's a weird grey area. I remember seeing a Homos cdr going for 50 bucks on ebay. but how many people with a boot bought astral glamour? probably most. with music like this, that appeals to so few, there is a case to be made that getting it out there, even as a bootleg, is keeping it alive until the real thing comes along. Especially with the prices of the originals thru the roof. (Thanks, Johan!) Me, I'm sneaky. I'll sleep on a record for years so that the price won't go up until I find a really nice copy for myself. Then I'll tell hipsters how great it is. Aren't I a stinker?

scott seward (scott seward), Tuesday, 5 October 2004 18:01 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

What? So because it's easy to find it is shitty? I don't understand-- it doesn't seem like this guy is profiting from this.

RayofToday, Tuesday, 5 October 2004 18:01 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Ray, loved you in Violent Children.

scott seward (scott seward), Tuesday, 5 October 2004 18:05 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

The reference "These things are neither easy or cheap. etc" was a response to the Desperate Bicycles motto of "It was easy, it was cheap, go and do it." It was a joke.

I was kidding.

Sorry I made the tracks easy to find. Perhaps if I hid a tape under a rock in a field...I'm going to eat some eggs.

Derek Erdman (Donkey King), Tuesday, 5 October 2004 18:24 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

The reference "These things are neither easy or cheap. etc" was a response to the Desperate Bicycles motto of "It was easy, it was cheap, go and do it."

haha i was wondering if that was some sort of diy joke.

pfeffernuesse (Jody Beth Rosen), Tuesday, 5 October 2004 18:28 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Oops, sorry. I think I have egg on my face. xpost

mcd (mcd), Tuesday, 5 October 2004 18:39 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Well, reasons everyone with boots will buy Astral Glamour are

a) it has tracks that have NEVER surfaced anywhere,

b) it's been remastered

c) extensive and lovely liner notes

d) knowing Chuck Warner and Bruno Wizard will hopefully profit.

One way Acute has been dealing is trying to have cool liner notes/packages(getting bigger all the time) adding video clips etc. The Prefects CD is 30 minutes long but has a 20 page book!

But following up on the joke...they meant for you to go and do it themselves, not take theirs!

Dan Selzer (Dan Selzer), Tuesday, 5 October 2004 19:38 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I don't download stuff, but i don't have a problem with it. this guy with the bicycles stuff isn't trying to make money. i think me and Ian Fugazi, YET AGAIN, see things the same way on this one.

and of course, i laud all fans who reissue stuff and get money or long-overdue cred/raves, to people who made coolmusic in the past. be it acute, hyped2death, sundazed, whoever. godd bless you each and every one.

scott seward (scott seward), Tuesday, 5 October 2004 19:52 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

i think dan's just mad that he's no longer the desperate bicycles cdr connection. and his follow up to the joke applies equally to himself.

it's awesome that these tracks are available. i'd never heard them before and now i think they're great. i'm more keen on the singles than the lp though. but they didn't totally lose it as 'grief is very private' is the best track.

andy leidel, Tuesday, 5 October 2004 20:10 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

ha. No, really, I stopped sending out Desp Bikes cds to strangers a few years ago, and don't think I don't get constant requests.

Roger from the Desperate Bicyles once wrote me "One thing that would sway us would be the thought that we could still have a positive influence; maybe encourage someone to take control of some part of their life - by musical means perhaps, but not necessarily."

which I take to mean they don't solely see the easy and cheap thing as regarding just writing music, but doing something, anything. Derek certainly has, and in my own way, I'm working on it. But I was kidding when I said "do it yourself, not take theirs!" that part was the joke.

The LP appeals to me in a different way then the early singles, and the Greif is Very Private single is something totally different. The songs of the LP that I love, they don't have the unique sound/arrangement of the singles, but the melodies and songwriting stick with me.

Dan Selzer (Dan Selzer), Tuesday, 5 October 2004 20:23 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

1. Guy posts hard to find MP3s online.
2. Dudes get totally upset about it.
3. Argument ensues, Ian Mackaye quoted.
4. Dudes get less upset.

This thread = mostly retarded.

Candy Appleton, Wednesday, 6 October 2004 07:54 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Yeah, but Ian McKay? Who is he? (serious not rhetorical q there)

Fwiw, I entirely agree with him.

mark grout (mark grout), Wednesday, 6 October 2004 08:47 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Dan, on a Prefects note I spoke to Apperley&Lloyd on Friday - your name came up, they are looking forward to the Prefects CD. Try and catch the Nightingales when they go to the USA - spectacular! The current line-up is virtually the Prefects (Lloyd, A. Apperley, Duffy) + Pete Byrchmore and a new drummer. They're absolutely fearsome now - highlights included Don't Blink, How To Age, Down in The Dumps and a 10+ minute Glam epic.

Dr. C (Dr. C), Wednesday, 6 October 2004 08:53 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

hey candy, sorry you think it's retarded. These are some serious issues that some of us talk about and deal with every day and there isn't an easy answer.

Dave...the Prefects CD is going to be HUGE, relatively speaking! We've got some serious PR behind it and the early feedback has been fantastic, i.e. many many music magazine in the UK and US will be running reviews/articles etc. That's no easy task, getting this stuff in the press. As mentioned before, I have the 2 new Nightingales singles and while the first one I thought was pretty good, the second, Workshy Wunderkind, just totally kills and has made me all the more excited. I've worked before with the fellow who is booking the Nightingales tour here so I'm involved with helping find opening bands and such and will help promote the shows in NYC. I'm very much looking forward to their tour.

Dan Selzer (Dan Selzer), Wednesday, 6 October 2004 14:04 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

and I'd be most happy if they played The Crunch!

Dan Selzer (Dan Selzer), Wednesday, 6 October 2004 14:05 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Dan, is this Prefects CD the one called "Amateur Wankers" that's supposed to be coming out on 15/11?

Stewart Osborne (Stewart Osborne), Wednesday, 6 October 2004 14:16 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

That is the one.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 6 October 2004 14:20 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

It shall be mine!

Stewart Osborne (Stewart Osborne), Wednesday, 6 October 2004 14:32 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

yup...The Prefects are Amateur Wankers will be Acute CD (ACTCD007) But it's coming out 11/15, because we're americans!

btw, if anyone was really geeky and curious, yes, I use the convention ACT007 because it sounds like FACT007.

There's a one page article about Acute in the latest issue of XLR8R magazine, the "New York" issue. Good info all around.

Dan Selzer (Dan Selzer), Wednesday, 6 October 2004 16:08 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

**and I'd be most happy if they played The Crunch!**

They should do - it's in the current set.

Dr. C (Dr. C), Saturday, 9 October 2004 15:24 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

This whole thread is fucking clown shoes, and the only thing that makes it actually sad is that some of you are taking this shit seriously. I think I'm actually the impetus behind Derek putting those songs on his webpage, 'cause he was talking to me about them over AIM and I told him to post the mp3s on his webpage so I could hear them. Well, Derek's a busy guy, so I was actually able to get some of their singles off the 'Bay before he posted them on his webpage (that's how hard I back the Erdman.)

Personally I'm glad he posted them, 'cause now I get to hear the songs until cheapy vg- copies of the singles come up. I don't do soulseek, or see the real advantage of taking part in file sharing. CDrs suck and I never listen to them no matter how good the music is. That and the sound quality of a lot of that stuff is unlistenable if you're a monkey like me and can't "upgrade" your technology to a reasonable leve. I just take people who I can trust's musical advice, and I guess that's where I learn about a lot of groups I get into. I guess it's good for younger kids trying to get into music who don't have a very big disposable income, but people wearing band shirts and names dropped in thanks lists always did it for me back when I had a $20 a month allowance.

Basically, all I'm seeing here is a bunch of nerds with sand in their vaginas (and someone who doesn't know who Ian Mackaye is, with some Ray Cappo references to boot) 'cause their stock in cool points goes down when more people get into obscure bands with oop records. Unless you were in the band I can't see the reasoning behind assuming how they'd feel about some guy making their songs public domain. I suggest everyone listen to "Street Justice" by the Cro Mags and realize what's really important in life.

M. Colin Tappe, Sunday, 10 October 2004 01:40 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

And oddly enough I wrote some DB reviews for a local 'zine. Are you guys gonna complain about that too? Here 'tis if you're interested:

DESPERATE BICYCLES “Occupied Territory” and “The Medium Was Tedium” singles (Refill Records, ’78, ’79). I heard about DESPERATE BICYCLES through a friend of mine, and I trust this guy’s opinion on music so much that even though I had never heard DB before, I didn’t think even twice about dropping the $50 it took to get both of these from a UK seller. Honestly, it was one of the best recent record purchasing risks I’ve ever taken, ‘cause these singles hit me really hard. I guess the best way I could describe DESPERATE BICYCLES music would be to have you imagine THE FALL if they were worshipping old ESP Disk “folk” groups (THE FUGS, GODZ, HMR, etc.) instead of CAN. Think really top notch authentic UK post-punk, but lacking any of the obnoxious pitfalls that genre is often guilty of (artistic pretension, watered down lyrics snatched from LOU REED’S wastebasket, aggrandized sense of importance, and general whiney, explicitly anti-rock and roll mentalities). DESPERATE BICYCLES stand head and shoulders above the competition by actually writing good songs which were rich in melody, but also very minimal in arrangement and experimental in their production approach. Take the farfisa and tambourine driven “Medium Was Tedium” single contrasted to the lofi borderline-garage punk of “Skill,” contrasted still with the languid and schizophrenic flipside “Occupied Territory.” These guys cram more original ideas in one song than most bands do in their entire existence, but somehow the songs really are pleasant to listen to without remotely being obtrusively avant-garde like many of their peers.

It should also be noted that DESPERATE BICYCLES wrote lyrics which will give anyone involved in pressing independent records, or seriously pursuing any form of artistic expression, for that matter, a serious hard on. Two of three songs on these two singles DIRECTLY relate to the do-it-yourself ethic of making music. This line from “Skill” pretty much sums up the DESPERATE BICYCLES ETHOS: “You don’t need skill, just the desire/the interest and desire to do what you believe in,” and of course the “It was easy it was cheap GO AND DO IT!!!” chorus/battle cry of “The Medium Was Tedium” speaks volumes as well.

As it stands there is no DESPERATE BICYCLES anthology, or singles collection. The records have never been repressed (to my knowledge this is as per the band’s request) and to my knowledge never even bootlegged. If you find any of their stuff (they had about three or four other singles and an LP) expect to pay a fair price for it, but trust me, it’s a rewarding investment.

M. Colin Tappe, Sunday, 10 October 2004 01:42 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I don't do soulseek, or see the real advantage of taking part in file sharing how is it you have a negative view of file-sharing but support posting the music online?

cause their stock in cool points goes down when more people get into obscure bands with oop records

You're really directing that sentiment to the wrong group of people. Please tell me you're not aiming that at me in repsonse to my posts above.

And can I make the obvious analogy. If you specifically told the public you didn't want anyone to repress the best of M. Colin Tappe Greatest Hits CD, but somebody went ahead and did it without your permission, AND is making money off of it, that'd be perfectly cool?

Dan Selzer (Dan Selzer), Sunday, 10 October 2004 07:42 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Basically, all I'm seeing here is a bunch of nerds with sand in their vaginas (and someone who doesn't know who Ian Mackaye is, with some Ray Cappo references to boot)

That someone was me. Does that mean I don't have SIMV? Anyway, my point being Ian Mackaye is not and has never been in the Desp.Bikes, so his opinion, which I share, is not necessarily the DB's standpoint.

I actually don't know who IMcKaye is anyway, and Ray Cappo is also lost on me. But that's not important. Is it?

mark grout (mark grout), Sunday, 10 October 2004 15:09 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Thanks for putting them up.

I've only heard 'The Medium Was Tedium', and now I can hear the rest of their songs.

If a remastered CD comes out I'll buy that.

Who's losing money (apart from Derek E) out of this, you fucking naysayers.

Sasha (sgh), Monday, 11 October 2004 03:38 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I'll repeat. The band do not want their music to be released. So long as the demand is there, unsavory people will likely want to bootleg it. The more easily accessible the music is, the more likely it is people will illegally profit from it. This has already happened and I hope it won't happen again. You can make an argument that if someone wanted to bootleg it they could've just done it from the records...but that's not how it happened. The person who was selling it didn't do so untill they got a copy of a CD I made. It doesn't matter that you'd buy the remastered CD. The remastered CD doesn't exist because for whatever reason, the band doesn't want their music on the market at all. I hope people download the songs and enjoy them. I just hope more people don't start selling copies.

Dan Selzer (Dan Selzer), Monday, 11 October 2004 14:28 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

That makes absolute sense. There seems to be no harm in downloading the work for yourself or for passing it onto a few friends. In fact you're creating demand for a future re-release (Ok - it might never happen, i agree). Selling it and profiting from others work against their wishes is wrong.

Dr. C (Dr. C), Monday, 11 October 2004 14:45 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

dave, my point initially, when I argued against posting, is that putting it online just makes the likelihood of a bootleg non only more likely, but practically inevitable.

It's a shame that there's certain music that people can't here because the records are prohibitively expensive and there is no cheap reissue, but that doesn't make it ok to go against the bands wishes. The fans don't have some kind of right to the music that supercedes the artists desire to not have their music out there for whatever reason.

Dan Selzer (Dan Selzer), Monday, 11 October 2004 14:53 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Yeah, but they did release it themselves, back in the day...

I dunno. I hypocrit cuz I downloaded the tracks? Maybe they don't want to be looked on as 'historical' or what they do nowadays would be 'spoiled' by 'immature daubings' or whatever?

I dunno, I havent played it yet.

mark grout (mark grout), Monday, 11 October 2004 14:56 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Play it. Actually I think Smokescreen/Handlebars is possibly the greatest single ever. And 'Remorse Code'is clearly the best album ever made.

Dr. C (Dr. C), Monday, 11 October 2004 15:08 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I had "Advice on Arrest" on a peel show I taped back in the day. For some reason, I wondered if Tony Ferrino should have updated it in a Primal Scream "Rocks" kinda way.

mark grout (mark grout), Monday, 11 October 2004 15:41 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

advice on arrest from a peel session or just peel playing the record? Well after I made my initial desp bikes CDs someone sent me a Desperate BIcycles peel session, but Advice on Arrest wasn't one of the tracks, I don't think. However, there was a fantastic song called Teacher's Prayer that doesn't appear on any of the records.

They did release it then, and they have the right to not release it now. Releasing it then doesn't make it public domain. As I mentioned above, there's lots of grey areas...I never said nobody should be allowed to hear them, I've probably done more then anybody in spreading their music because I thought people should hear these great records, all the time confident that the people I was giving these CDs to would buy the records given the chance and would def. buy a reissue should it happen. I was just naive enough to think nobody would bootleg it. They did, and I felt guilty and still do, so now I fall on the side of not freely trading music that doesn't belong to me. Or I'm more likely to make mix tapes then compile "The complete..." because once you do that, it just makes the bootleggers jobs easier.

For a few years now there's been someone selling Prefects CDs of Peel Sessions and live stuff, as well as tons of other punk stuff, all at considerable profit. I hope even people who are aware of his site still find it worthwhile to buy Acute's forthcoming Prefects CD, if only for the liner notes and the fact that money will go to the band.

Dan Selzer (Dan Selzer), Monday, 11 October 2004 16:01 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I await the Prefects one... (Gemm doesn't even have the records...)

mark grout (mark grout), Monday, 11 October 2004 16:05 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

There were only the 2. First Rough Trade helped them release a picture-sleeve-less single featuring 1 song from each Peel Session. Going Through the Motions/Things in General. This pops up every now and again and can be found in the 5 to 20 dollar range. Later, the second Peel Session was released by Strange Fruit on both cassette and LP in the 80s. This seems even more rare, I hardly ever see it. Those 5 songs, plus the other 3 songs from the first Peel session, plus 2 live songs, plus 20 pages of liner notes w/ GREAT photos, including appearences by Palmolive and Mark E. Smith = Prefects are Amateur Wankers. Early feedback from the press has been beyond fantastic, so expect to see a ton of reviews and write-ups in both the US and UK over the next few months.

I even got a copy of the CD directly to Duran Duran's PR agent who said she'd give it directly to John Taylor, as they grew out of the same Birmingham punk scene. Haven't heard back from Mr. Taylor yet though! At the least I hope he'll find it a kick, in the nostalgic sense.

Dan Selzer (Dan Selzer), Monday, 11 October 2004 16:43 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I can say, being one of those press writeup folks, that the disc is indeed a treat. AMG review should run in a couple of weeks.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 11 October 2004 17:04 (thirteen years ago) Permalink


Dan Selzer (Dan Selzer), Monday, 11 October 2004 17:22 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

when can i buy the prefects cd?

artdamages (artdamages), Monday, 11 October 2004 20:02 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

also all the tracks posted were at 96 kbps so i hardly think anyone is gonna bootleg them

artdamages (artdamages), Monday, 11 October 2004 20:29 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

it'll be out November 15th and will be available everywhere. Our favorite method involves going to the Acute shop over at Carpark records

or buy it from our distributor Mordam, or Forced Exposure, Other Music, whatever your favorite retailer is. iTunes and other trustworthy digital downloaders as well.

Dan Selzer (Dan Selzer), Monday, 11 October 2004 20:30 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

well i think i will get it from the acute shop along with the theoretical girls cd.

artdamages (artdamages), Monday, 11 October 2004 20:45 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

thanks, enjoy!

Dan Selzer (Dan Selzer), Monday, 11 October 2004 21:19 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

((The more easily accessible the music is, the more likely it is people will illegally profit from it.))

I might be pretty dumb, and I don't understand this.

Sasha (sgh), Monday, 11 October 2004 23:50 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

a band doesn't want their music out there. only so many people know about them and have their records. so far none of those people have decided to put all their songs on a CD and sell it for their own profit. I was the most avid preacher of the wonder of the Desperate Bicyles, and had I not turned many people on to their music, maybe somebody would have still bootlegged it. But fact is whoever did bootleg it, got it from someone, who got it from me, and I feel bad about that. I was a full on 100% fan of the concept of music trading and CD-burning and the such until things like this started happening. Now I'm not so sure.

Dan Selzer (Dan Selzer), Tuesday, 12 October 2004 06:26 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

((The more easily accessible the music is, the more likely it is people will illegally profit from it.))

Sasha, you are correct in your disunderstandment.

If the music is more accessible, more people will get it from the 'free' source, and less people will illegally profit from it. Hray.

But, if the music is more accessible from a free source, the list of people who will not profit from it includes the original artists. Boo.

So now I have the CD, I most probably would not buy the properly remastered version. But I probably would not have anyway.

mark grout (mark grout), Tuesday, 12 October 2004 08:57 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Wait....Shhhhh....Why are we all talking about this band? Someone might hear about them, get their music somehow and then make a *oh dear god no* BOOTLEG!!! Think of it, 1,000 more pieces of music of a band most people wouldn't understand anyways! And just imagine the small tropical islands one could purchase with the profits they'd make off of a CDr with photocopied sleeve! My suggestion is that we forgo this "interweb" deal and all future communication about this group should be handled by sending eachother smoke signals, or perhaps in the future a highly developed arcane morse code would be in order. The less people know about a band, the less likely it is that they'll make bootlegs of the music. I really think we should look into this.

M. Colin Tappe, Thursday, 21 October 2004 05:03 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

.. - / .-- .- ... / . .- ... -.-- --..-- / .. - / .-- .- ... / -.-. .... . .- .--. --..-- / --. --- / .- -. -.. / -.. --- / .. -

mark grout (mark grout), Thursday, 21 October 2004 06:21 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Keeping up the Nightingales/Prefects presence on this thread, there's a review of the Shrewsbury gig here :

The reviewer doesn't seem to know who's in the Nightingales, apart from Robert Lloyd, but correctly guesses that Alan Apperley is a lecturer.

Dr. C (Dr. C), Thursday, 21 October 2004 08:43 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I can't believe how much crap I'm getting for defending a band who have stated that they don't want their music re-released and suggested that it shouldn't be available for free. Let's screw all ideas of ownership and copyright and just put every sone by every artist online and available for free download. I'm going to quit the record business alltogether now, what's the point, really?

Dan Selzer (Dan Selzer), Thursday, 21 October 2004 14:38 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Hey now, be of good cheer sir. The Prefects review is up on the AMG, for instance.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 21 October 2004 14:41 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

thank you ned, your check is in the mail...

Dan Selzer (Dan Selzer), Thursday, 21 October 2004 15:04 (thirteen years ago) Permalink


Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 21 October 2004 15:07 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Hah! I always knew there had to be something crooked about the way all those album ratings are decided at AMG!

Stewart Osborne (Stewart Osborne), Thursday, 21 October 2004 15:12 (thirteen years ago) Permalink


Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 21 October 2004 16:07 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Colin, how did you like that Sloth cdr i made you?

chris gilles, Tuesday, 2 November 2004 06:18 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Dan, the problem people have with your argument is that:
1. Derek Erdman is not making money/bootlegs
2. You are holding Derek Erdman responsible for potential money/bootlegs people might or might not make from the mp3s he posted. That's silly.

Derek Erdman is not responsible for the actions of people who are not Derek Erdman, except the hordes of slime-gods who reign in the center of the Earth, of whom he secretly has control.

mype ness, Sunday, 14 November 2004 16:55 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Without that site, I wouldn't have heard those songs, which I like very much.

You don't think I should be allowed to hear them, so up yours Mr. Selzer-Water.

Sasha (sgh), Monday, 15 November 2004 00:39 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Dan, the problem people have with your argument is that:
1. Derek Erdman is not making money/bootlegs
2. You are holding Derek Erdman responsible for potential money/bootlegs people might or might not make from the mp3s he posted. That's silly.

Please then tell me why we have any copyright laws whatsoever?

You don't think I should be allowed to hear them, so up yours Mr. Selzer-Water.

Please, more people have heard of the Desperate Bicycles because of me, in some small part in addition to the likes of Johan Kugelberg, Chuck Warner, Richard Mason etc. I have spent the better part of the last 5 or 6 years making people aware of the Desperate Bicycles, I don't take kindly to the suggestion that I don't think people should be allowed to hear them.

Copying the music for someone you may know personally, and making it available to anyone who has access to google, I think are two different things. I never apologized for the hundreds of Desperate Bicycles CDs I made for people...untill I saw somebody selling them. I still make copies of the CD for friends and people I trust.

Dan Selzer (Dan Selzer), Monday, 15 November 2004 01:14 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Without that site, I wouldn't have heard those songs, which I like very much. You don't think I should be allowed to hear them, so up yours Mr. Selzer-Water.

wait. you downloaded this? you are nothing but a common criminal

john'n'chcicago, Monday, 15 November 2004 01:52 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

dan selzer is a credit to the music freek community. i praise him and his collector/maven ilk.

artdamages (artdamages), Monday, 15 November 2004 09:52 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

well people! after reading all of this stuff i feel somthing should be done to bring what i did in the late 70s to the music lovers of today. i am still an equal part in refll recs so there must be a way. I was apart of the desps for 3 yrs and to think that it cant be bought or listend to legally is piss pot? it was done to inspire then and it can do so again. please culd everyone who would like this to happen e mail me with your support. maybe i will be able to get somthing done many thanx to all
dave papworth

dave papworth, Sunday, 21 November 2004 18:11 (thirteen years ago) Permalink


Ned Raggett (Ned), Sunday, 21 November 2004 19:34 (thirteen years ago) Permalink


s1ocki (slutsky), Sunday, 21 November 2004 19:42 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Dan to thread, obv!

Ned Raggett (Ned), Sunday, 21 November 2004 19:43 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Thank you for appearing here Dave, I will certainly be in touch and if there's anything I can do, I will do it...

Dan Selzer (Dan Selzer), Sunday, 21 November 2004 23:03 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Dan, I like that you said, "Copying the music for someone you may know personally, and making it available to anyone who has access to google, I think are two different things."

Didn't you admit that you should have sent Derek a copy but apparently forgot to, as well as kept the money that he sent for postage?

To me that's the worst kind of bootlegger. Unless of course it was a "handling charge".

Charlie Beucher, Monday, 22 November 2004 05:25 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Who cares. Is yr name really "Charlie"?

Andrew Blood Thames (Andrew Thames), Monday, 22 November 2004 05:36 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

To me that's the worst kind of bootlegger. Unless of course it was a "handling charge".

I usually don't equate someone who is not a professional retailer of music that misplaced a blank cd case with 3 dollars in cash with "the worst kind of bootlegger". I apologized to Derek publically, and offered to send him something else. Not to beat another point to the ground, but I asked for a SASE, because it is very hard for me deal with the lines at local post office branch during my lunch break, and instead got cash. Had I received the requested SASE, I would've sent it out sooner, most likely.

Dan Selzer (Dan Selzer), Monday, 22 November 2004 06:17 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

two months pass...
Thank you so much for posting these songs Derek, it is so hard to locate these releases and when I do come across them they are waaaay out of my price range. I downloaded them and have listened to the cd over and over again...amazing. I'd absolutely buy a reissue of these songs in better quality, fyi...

Jason Adolf, Monday, 31 January 2005 21:14 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

thanks very much,
I have the second single, and never been able obtain any other material.

ste burkey, Friday, 11 February 2005 22:46 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

i just read an article about them in some zine/magazine at tower but i forget which.

keith m (keithmcl), Saturday, 12 February 2005 01:35 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...
Yeah, thanks a lot for the songs, but quite frankly the desperate bicycles suck. people only think they're good because its hard to get hold of, by making it readily available people will again realise how shit they are. cheers. H

Half japanese, Saturday, 26 February 2005 15:35 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

i dont know, h. i think theyre pretty fuckin great. i find myself humming "cars" and "smokescreen" a lot.

peter smith (plsmith), Saturday, 26 February 2005 16:18 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

You're my kind of guy, Half Jap. I wish more people would take their heads out of their hipster arses and admit stuff like that.

The Bicycles are just ok as far as I'm concerned.

Bimble... (Bimble...), Saturday, 26 February 2005 18:40 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

take aim at the hipsters. get them in your sights, and TAKE THEM DOWN.

peter smith (plsmith), Saturday, 26 February 2005 21:41 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...
Dan S:

That "the artist's wishes" argument is just plain stupid. The same insanity that allowed Zappa to RUIN all of his early records by messing with the reissue tapes 'cause he thought he could make them "better" or something. If artists are deliberately withholding good music from the public, keeping it exclusively in the domain of collector scum and the trading elite (that means you), then they fucking deserve to be bootlegged and fileshared. Let's start with Organum... Anybody wanna make me a CDR of all those 1-sided singles?

"I think that bootlegs help keep the flame of music alive by keeping it out of not only the industry's conception of the artist, but also the artist's conception of the artist." -Lenny Kaye

And, obviously, at least one band member also wants the stuff released.

Sleeve, Friday, 25 March 2005 05:34 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Unfortunately I fear you may be wasting your time. I haven't seen Selzer around these parts for ages.

Bimble... (Bimble...), Friday, 25 March 2005 05:40 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I put up a website telling what I knew of the Desperate Bicycles, I talked about them endlessly on any number of mailing lists, and for the better part of several years I sent Desperate Bicycles CDs to pretty much anyone who wanted them, I'd hardly consider that to be representative of "collector scum and the trading elite".

But I'm going to have to disagree with you and with Lenny Kaye on that one. There's other issues here and in most situations. If Patti Smith was working on remastering some never-before issued Radio Ethiopa outtakes and I got my hands on a crappy 3rd generation tape, it'd be cool for me to release it, to my profit?

It's one thing to defend filesharing, another thing alltogether to defend outright bootlegging. You write some music and see someone selling it for their profit, before you decided to put it out. Did you "fucking deserve" to be bootlegged?

And sorry if I sound like a record executive, but sometimes bootlegs making music easily accessible stop people from bothering to properly license it or make sure the artists actively get paid. It's happening a lot in dance music reissues these days, I think. While I sent out a lot of Desp Bikes CDs, I always figured it wasn't THAT many, and if someone put out a properly remastered version and promoted it well, that it would sell, but if someone put a Desp Bikes CD in the store and it sold a lot of copies, would the proper version stand as much a chance? What are the precedents of this? I never bought the legit Neu!, Cluster and Silver Apples CDs because I had owned the bootlegs for years.

And for the record, perhaps a lot of people like the Desperate Bicycles because they are obscure and hard to get a hold of. Personally, I love the music, and find myself singing their songs all the time.

Dan Selzer (Dan Selzer), Tuesday, 29 March 2005 20:13 (twelve years ago) Permalink

"the artist's wishes" argument is just plain stupid. The same insanity that allowed Zappa to RUIN all of his early records by messing with the reissue tapes 'cause he thought he could make them "better" or something.

yeah, fuck zappa. what on earth made him think that he was allowed to work on his own material?

lauren (laurenp), Wednesday, 30 March 2005 12:30 (twelve years ago) Permalink

It had to have been the mustache.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 30 March 2005 13:12 (twelve years ago) Permalink

restricting air flow, no doubt.

lauren (laurenp), Wednesday, 30 March 2005 13:39 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I hope you liked the new Star Wars.

David Allen (David Allen), Wednesday, 30 March 2005 14:46 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I'm just respecting the Desperate Bicycles with to a) agree on something and b) put out a proper remaster, not something that original came off my records, which most of the mp3s circulating did.

While I don't know the Zappa stuff I certainly wish I could get a DVD of the original Star Wars as it was released, but we're not talking about artists who add drum machines and synthesizers, just having the choice to package their music the way they want.

If Martin Philips went back to the original tapes of The Chills LP Brave Words and released a new version with all the tracks sounding clearer, like the few songs he remixed for a Chills greatest hits package, because he has always hated the way the original LP sounded. I'd have no choice but to tell people to buy copies of the original CD if they like the way it sounds, which I do. It doesn't give me the right to bootleg and start selling copies of the original record.

We can be all utopian and punk-rock about the free sharing of music, but copyright laws exist for good reasons. I recently had a brief discussion about this with someone when I asked if he was still planning on putting out this comp CD he'd wanted to put together. He said he decided not to, that it would all get reissued eventually anyway. I couldn't argue with that logic. But it later occured to me that if enough of the core market for that music ended up just getting it online or especially on a bootleg, that someone may decide it's not worth reissuing, so the artists won't get paid, and without a legitimate and promoted reissue, it may not find a bigger audience. This sounds hypothetical, but I know people at record labels who've made these decisions. "I'd like to reissue that properly, but it's been bootlegged so much that it's just not worth it" is something I've heard more then once, and felt a few times myself.

You take some Desperate Bicycles music, make a bootleg CD, sell 1,000 copies. Then, if wonder of wonders, one of them emails me and says "we've selected you as the label to reissue our catalog", I may have to say that we simply couldn't afford to. And that would suck. Chances are a bigger label would do it anyway and could afford it, but not in every case.

Dan Selzer (Dan Selzer), Wednesday, 30 March 2005 21:00 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I think there is something absent here when we talk about copyright, namely the concept that music should and ought to be a form of cultural capital to begin with. Or broadly speaking, that any form of art can only exist or function based on its economic value.
I avidly support filesharing and only buy at most 1 or 2 albums/year. Initially my reasoning was that I simply didn't have the money to buy all the albums I wanted to listen to. Then my hypocrisy increased with relativisms like "I'll go see the bands I like most live and buy cds/swag from them direct, that way they get more money".
Finally some of the cultural theory concepts I learned in university got me to question the idea of music as a consumer product in the first place.
Of course, our capitalist economy has created a system wherein bands and supporters of bands are duped into thinking that the cost of production of an album, especially with respect to the recording proper, is at the heart of why we dutifully pay bands for their artistic productivity, never realizing that those very costs associated with producing the consumer product known as "the album" are entirely artificial to begin with.
This is to say nothing of the real dupes who accept the notion of the band-as-career, as if we can legitimately take the purpose, the need a group of people have to create music - the creative process itself, even - and reduce it to mechanistic, repeatable labour, churned out every two years, supported by the obligatory smattering of singles, with prospects for live albums, dvd and best of releases down the line.
In a sense, Dan, yes, I AM advocating the use of filesharing as a site of - however temporary (the bubble on free filesharing will burst) - resistance against the whole structure of any industry that would seek to take the surplus value of artistic creation, time and again, as if doing so even remotely approached moral or ethical acceptability... Yes, even the good people at Acute that got me to buy a certain theoretical girls cd I still own and love : * )
And for anyone who'll say "without distribution, promotion, production costs covered by record companies/labels, music would be reduced to local bands only" or "There'd be way less bands than there are now," I'd refer to them the situation that happened with the group The Junior Boys: Here's an example of two people who met online, recorded tracks, got influential bloggers to listen and generate buzz and (granted) did the traditional got-signed-to-label routine, all within a year. All I'm saying is that in our present age, there was really nothing preventing them and many other bands from sharing the final product like the two members were presumably exchanging soundfiles in the production of their music; that is freely and to resist the capitalist system from inception to reception of the cultural product in question.
Of course, the one big hole in my logic is that the majority of people, even in NA, who own computers and fast internet connection rates dont even match the number of people who own at least the most basic cd player set-up, in that the latter outnumber the former by a large margin. So my socialist musical utopia is hampered by one still-not economically-available technology of reception, aka the computer being overshadowed by the much more user-friendly, easy-to-buy, available cd player/walkman/stereo system, which ultimately means that part of why more people buy cds than fileshare is that the means of doing one thing is materially more feasable than the other.
A few more points: As you may have guessed, my paradigm would detest the phenomenon of bootlegging msuic as much as most people here seem to as well, but perhaps for different reasons: It's not so much that these people are robbing the original artists, but that they are perpetuating the culture of reducing art to a consumer product or accesory.
Also: yes, sound quality is inferior with respect to mp3s and cdrs, but the majority of people who buy cds listen to them on shitty earphones instead of, say, Grados - or Castle speakers - like I do... point being that the quality of reception is as important as the quality of recording... btw, still haven't figured out how to make those things, as well as everythign else in society, free. Ask Star Trek...
And about Zappa/Lucas/Coppola (re: Apocalypse Now Redux)... Artists in many art disciplines have gone back to previous works with interesting results. However, to supress a previous version of one's work does a few things the artist is never entitled to, the most obvious of which is the control of critical reception the artwork(s) receive. In other words, the artist, while certainly allowed to express a message (Duh: function of art) and to suggest how to receive the message (through various artistic codes, conventions, etc.) should not, on the other hand, be able to dictate terms of reception to the audience - to do so would be fascistic- and the fact that george lucas for example CAN do so is a function of capitalism once again: the original theatrical versions of the first 3 films vanishing in the aether of culture like so much Orwellian doublethink - "did it ever exist?" future generations will ask - considering he is entitled by law to control the means of production and distribution and hence the version of his product.
Culture has and always will be a shared experience. At its best - when its message is universal and represents a real distillation/mirror of humanity - art crosses gender, class, race and temporal lines and any kind of definitive eradication of any art that has been at one point made available to an audience, even by the author of the art in question for the purposes of something as purely subjective as "improvement", is tatamount to cultural genocide.

Sal, Friday, 1 April 2005 08:43 (twelve years ago) Permalink

that's a lot of response! I'll be brief, trying to respond to a quick simplification of your points-

regarding the Junior Boys...they did eventually get signed...because someone thought they'd sell records. And if that label person didn't think that, they might not even have the money to buy their damn drum machine, and I wonder, do they still have a day job? Music has been treated as a product for a hell of a long time, and while it is, artists deserve to quit their day jobs and get paid, even if buying the CD is the equivelent of hitting the tip jar. I download files, if I don't like them, I delete them, and if I do like them, and they're not David Bowie, I buy the CD.

but if we couldn't expect to make our money back, there'd be no Theoretical Girls CD. Not because anyone was holding it back, but because nobody would have bothered, nobody would have cared, hell, nobody would have known to check. The best music releases would all be charity. And while we think about money, and our end goal is to make millions putting out forgotten music, our main goal is to at least make our money back so we can do it again. And if we make even more money back, well we can then afford to put out better stuff, promote it to more people, better support the artists etc, such is capitalism.

regarding the zappa/lucas/apocalypse redux arguments, they really don't relate to what may or may not be happening with the Desperate Bicycles I don't think, or with my comment regarding Lenny Kaye/Patti Smith or The Chills. But even with that there's gray areas...regarding the basic assumption, and this has been discussed before, that any remastering is going to be better remastering, that's different then radically remixing something.

As far as your musical utopia, there's been many discussions in many places...what happens when the media no longer exists, there's no copy-protection and everyone had gigs of storage in their brains and their living rooms, will all artists only make money through live performance? I just don't feel like having that discussion and figure we'll cross that bridge when we get to it!

Dan Selzer (Dan Selzer), Friday, 1 April 2005 09:49 (twelve years ago) Permalink

fair enough, i suppose, re. especially the last point. thanks for reading all that by the way.

Sal, Friday, 1 April 2005 16:38 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Dan: are you still in contact with Mr Papworth? I spent a very entertaining evening with him a few months back, but he's kindof stopped responding to my emails after I dubbed him off a copy of their (only?) tv appearance, so I was wondering if you had made any headway in getting any reissue project off the ground.

harveyw (harveyw), Monday, 11 April 2005 22:25 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I'd agree, Sal, but then there's the whole making a living and being able to eat part. Music can't be anarchistic unless the entirety of society is and (based on accounts I've heard, not personal experience) being really serious about your music is a full-time job.

>>, Tuesday, 12 April 2005 00:03 (twelve years ago) Permalink

hey. I emailed w/ Dave back and forth a few times, I think I just left it at "let me know if I can help you in any way and you know where to find me..." kind of thing. I have to check. I've been busy trying to find time to follow-up on another several dozen reissue projects, half of which seem in permanent limbo, the other half waiting for me to get my act together, in addition to everything else. I actually quit my job to freelance to try to find more time for this stuff and somehow have less time. But I should definately follow up with him.

TV appearance? I'll be contacting you off-list!

Dan Selzer (Dan Selzer), Tuesday, 12 April 2005 05:05 (twelve years ago) Permalink

six months pass...
I think it was T.S. Eliot who said that what is important is that good poems get written, not who writes them. I think there is something to be said for this statement when translated into music terms. For instance, by recording the songs and putting them out, the Desperate Bicycles DID make their music public domain, which is not to say anything in support of bootlegging. I agree with the statement that the more widely available something is for free, the less people will get it bootlegged. All this becomes somewhat moot when a reissue is released, at which point most who really enjoy the music should realize buying it is only right.

regular roundups (Dave M), Wednesday, 2 November 2005 06:42 (twelve years ago) Permalink

god bless you mr. erdman

corey c (shock of daylight), Wednesday, 2 November 2005 08:35 (twelve years ago) Permalink

two months pass...
Interesting snippet for anyone interested. The names on the back cover include my girlfriend at the time. She is in the second column, second name down. I heard them on John Peel and sent money for the disc in her name, as a thank you they printed names of early buyers. I wonderwhere she is now.. I wish her well.

bradlen, Thursday, 19 January 2006 00:28 (twelve years ago) Permalink

one year passes...
some one is now selling cd's on ebay.
downloading is one thing. this band will never be reissued. they're music was "of the time", and now its available for free to whom it may interest.
now somebody is trying to make a buck of it.
this is such shit.

Eugene S. Huckleberry, Monday, 19 March 2007 20:40 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I think this was my first post on ILM and like many first posters I was needlessly snotty to Dan, who is obv. .a great guy and does a pretty good job of defending his viewpoint above, after I left the thread in a huff. Because I have mostly traded other collectors for stuff over the years I forget how prevalent bootlegging is. Being part of certain torrent mailing lists and reading comments on MP3 blogs has made me much more conscious of how much this shit shows up on eBay. I still think we have philosophical differences but when his label can't afford to release CDs anymore those are some IRL consequences.

sleeve, Monday, 19 March 2007 21:11 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Ugh, this band is not good. I think the only reason anyone is interested in them is because they 'do not want their music released.'

Richard Wood Johnson, Thursday, 22 March 2007 14:23 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Ugh, this band is not good. I think the only reason anyone is interested in them is because they 'do not want their music released.'

fixed it for you, bro!

pretzel walrus, Thursday, 22 March 2007 14:34 (eleven years ago) Permalink

wow, that ebay listing is exactly what I was affraid of. That artwork? It was an assignment for a letterpress printing class I took 6 years ago. Notice the Acute catalog number and link to my old geocities website with my name on it? I printed maybe 50 or 100 of those by hand, burned the CD from my ripped vinyl and gave it away and traded it with people, stupidly assuming this wouldn't happen. Obviously as you can see above, at some point I expected it to happen. I'd certainly feel better if my name wasn't on it.

dan selzer, Thursday, 22 March 2007 15:00 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I emailed the eBay seller and he said it was removed 3 days ago due to a request from a bandmember. On my birthday of all days. Apologies to the Desperate Bicycles...

dan selzer, Thursday, 22 March 2007 15:21 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Right, so will Ricky Gervaise contact him regarding one of his other 'items for sale'?

Mark G, Thursday, 22 March 2007 15:37 (eleven years ago) Permalink

you'd think London Records would have rushed out a Seona Dancing cd collection...

dan selzer, Thursday, 22 March 2007 15:38 (eleven years ago) Permalink

but is it funny?

Mark G, Thursday, 22 March 2007 15:43 (eleven years ago) Permalink

so what is the band's explanation of not wanting their shit released? Is it embarrassment?

Richard Wood Johnson, Friday, 23 March 2007 05:41 (eleven years ago) Permalink

For many reasons, they are one of the greatest bands ever.

Dr.C, Friday, 23 March 2007 09:01 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I respect artist's rights to have control over their music, and refuse to reissue it, but I also reserve the right to think they are twats for doing so.

Colonel Poo, Friday, 23 March 2007 10:33 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Is it embarrassment?

No, the Embarrassment had a 2 cd compilation on Bar None a few years ago, that may still be in print.

There may be different members of the band who don't get along, that's a common reason bands don't want their music reissued. Some artists see the music as so much a part of it's time that they have little interest in revisiting the past. As someone who runs a reissue label, I can tell you there are plenty of artists who think the past is the past and should stay that way.

But I think enough people genuinely love the Desperate Bicycles for their music that your attempts at calling us disingenuous is pretty week.

dan selzer, Friday, 23 March 2007 11:19 (eleven years ago) Permalink

>> the Embarrassment had a 2 cd compilation on Bar None a few years ago, that may still be in print.

Sadly it isn't and goes for $$$ on Ebay. I've been trying to get it for ages.

Colonel Poo, Friday, 23 March 2007 12:15 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Maybe they or someone else will re-do it...I think the mastering was really weird on it, sounded a bit tinny. The second CD was in my discman when it was stolen out of my house. They've played a few times and someone's working on a movie about them, so I'm sure somebody will get the CD back out.

dan selzer, Friday, 23 March 2007 12:43 (eleven years ago) Permalink

It wasn't the mastering Dan - at least nout entirely - so much as that they rather foolishly remixed a lot of the tracks and added new weird parts in the studio. And it was way inferior to what was there in the first place.

deedeedeextrovert, Friday, 23 March 2007 15:02 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I've only heard the Heyday CD...I'll definitely have to check out the originals.

dan selzer, Friday, 23 March 2007 15:29 (eleven years ago) Permalink

the tape on Fresh Sounds is the thing to get, so good!

sleeve, Friday, 23 March 2007 15:38 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Sorry if this is selfish but I have read about this band so often in books on Punk etc. and alwayswanted to hear some of their stuff. Didn´t know that their stuff never made it to CD. Kept writing to Captain Oi and other reissue labels like GTA or Overground but to no avail. When I saw that someone had posted the files I almost had tears in my eyes. So I finally at least can die in peace having finally heard "The Medium was Tedium" and its B-Side "Don´t Back the Front". Thank you

Robert Laversuch, Tuesday, 3 April 2007 13:52 (ten years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...
I bought these vinyl releases when they first came out. I was amazed hen they played a benefit concert in my then hometown of Bristol - had an inspirring talk with them afterwards.

A quarter of a century later + after moving through 2 continents it's great to hear the songs that still float around in one's head...

Many thanks!

Rhodri Kasperbauer

kasperbauer, Friday, 20 April 2007 16:34 (ten years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

eww, this music is fucking shite. there's no reason to hear this bollocks except the fact that someone doesn't want you to hear it. brilliant marketing move, laddies.

i love this pretentious existential explanation for the band:
"The Desperate Bicycles were formed for the specific purpose of recording and releasing a single on their own label."

Not to make good music, not to express anything relevant, but simply to release an album. Yes, this has encouraged me to go buy an excessively large Hummer and drive it around just because.

res, Saturday, 21 June 2008 20:06 (nine years ago) Permalink

i'd say "advice on arrest" definitely expresses something relevant, and far from existential or pretentious. try actually listening to them next time.

r1o natsume, Saturday, 21 June 2008 20:24 (nine years ago) Permalink

What's really cool about music is that sometimes some people like it, while other people don't. A little respect for other people's taste and opinions goes a long way. They wrote tons of great songs that mean a lot to a lot of people. It's fine if you don't like them, and I guess it's silly for me to argue on the internet about stuff like this.

It was a pretty big deal, a big conceptual leap back then, that you could just put out a record. They had that idea and decided to do it. It was an influential move, but unlike the bulk of their followers, the music was also fantastic and they continued to write songs, released a few more singles and an LP. Most of it is pretty good to completely awesome, in my opinion, if not yours.

And I like it just because.

dan selzer, Saturday, 21 June 2008 20:46 (nine years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

Is this the thread that is mentioned in the page at the top of the thread that doesn't work when you click on the link on that page?

Because if it is, he's right, it is interesting.

I remember buying the second single from my local record shop and cursing the fact that you must have either lived next to Rough Trade or been a friend of the band to get the first single. Certainly had no chance getting it out in the sticks. It's good to hear it again after all these years.

Ned Trifle II, Saturday, 2 August 2008 09:25 (nine years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

Dug this up for the first time in probably 4 years? Totally enjoying "Cars"

"lol" as frivolity (Stevie D), Wednesday, 5 August 2009 16:28 (eight years ago) Permalink

"Holidays" is easily one of my favorite songs of all time. Can't get enough of it.

Trip Maker, Wednesday, 5 August 2009 16:38 (eight years ago) Permalink

I'm at the "Grief Is Very Private" single and it's quite exceptional. I'm surprised at how fucking good this is.

"lol" as frivolity (Stevie D), Wednesday, 5 August 2009 16:44 (eight years ago) Permalink

ten months pass...

There's a Lusty Ghosts song toward the end of this podcast..!

prior, Thursday, 10 June 2010 14:50 (seven years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

the "article" I wrote for Swingset Magazine in 2004:

I may update it one day with newer info, links, color photos etc, and post to the Acute site, but for now you can look at this and learn nothing new.

dan selzer, Thursday, 14 June 2012 19:54 (five years ago) Permalink

Dan, I don't know if it's already been addressed, but do you have the Evening Outs single and the Peel Sessions of the Desperate Bicycles on your burned CDs and if so, is it possible to receive any copies?

MaRK A Gjr, Saturday, 23 June 2012 22:19 (five years ago) Permalink

the desperate bicycles 7"s were all recently bootlegged with added bonus peel sessions tracks added. no sign of a 'remorse code' bootleg though.

stirmonster, Sunday, 24 June 2012 17:34 (five years ago) Permalink

and, great article, dan.

stirmonster, Sunday, 24 June 2012 17:57 (five years ago) Permalink

Thanks. Hopefully I'll do the updated version eventually.

I have the Evening Outs single and the Peel Sessions. Neither were on the original burned CDs.

dan selzer, Monday, 25 June 2012 21:41 (five years ago) Permalink

Mark, when you email people via ilx, you have to include an email address so they can write back!

dan selzer, Tuesday, 26 June 2012 12:22 (five years ago) Permalink

got the 4 "reissue" 7"s today
first single is Smokescreen/Handlebars on one side & Occupied Territory/Skill on the other, 2 great singles for the price of one.
second single is Medium Was Tedium/Don't Back The Front on one side & 2 tracks from a Peel Session on the other, a slower & more together sounding version of Smokescreen & (i'm assuming) Teacher's Prayer (the sleeve & label have no info at all!)
third & fourth singles are pretty straight repros of New Cross & Grief Is Very Private with sleeves changed/added. have to say stylophone/bass/drums is a great idea for a band lineup.

zappi, Wednesday, 27 June 2012 15:30 (five years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

Rough Trade (and a few other places) are currently selling copies of the Remorse Code LP which are supposedly from a legit warehouse find. It's £24.99. I bought one but I'm now wondering if I'm just falling for a ruse to sell a bootleg at an inflated price.

Just noise and screaming and no musical value at all. (Colonel Poo), Friday, 11 October 2013 09:31 (four years ago) Permalink

"warehouse find" often means bootleg but it seems odd that rough trade would go to the length of saying These albums look and play as new but you have to remember they are from 33 years ago. You will not find a better copy if they weren't genuine. do you have a copy or are you waiting for it to arrive? the 7"s that were bootlegged have a sheen on the sleeves that the originals didn't have and this might be the case with this if it isn't actually original.

stirmonster, Friday, 11 October 2013 09:42 (four years ago) Permalink

i just bought one so i guess i'll find out soon enough.

stirmonster, Friday, 11 October 2013 09:49 (four years ago) Permalink

not sure who actually found them but Paco from La Vida Es Un Mus was selling these online the other day. would be p surprised if he was engaging in any underhand monkey business. decided not to buy one cos I can't rly justify (to myself) either spending that much on an LP or flipping it for a profit

when I was Ted Croker man I couldn't picture this (DJ Mencap), Friday, 11 October 2013 09:53 (four years ago) Permalink

Paco sells bootlegs all the time but I guess he doesn't normally claim they aren't bootlegs, just doesn't mention that at all.

Just noise and screaming and no musical value at all. (Colonel Poo), Friday, 11 October 2013 10:00 (four years ago) Permalink

yeah that's what I figure

when I was Ted Croker man I couldn't picture this (DJ Mencap), Friday, 11 October 2013 10:07 (four years ago) Permalink

Oh, to Stirmonster - no I don't have the copy yet, I just ordered it via mail order.

Just noise and screaming and no musical value at all. (Colonel Poo), Friday, 11 October 2013 11:13 (four years ago) Permalink

I was sorely tempted, but since I found that VU single I've been, um, sort of, is 'satisfied' the right word?

Mark G, Friday, 11 October 2013 11:46 (four years ago) Permalink

...aaaand order cancelled as product is no longer available

Just noise and screaming and no musical value at all. (Colonel Poo), Friday, 11 October 2013 13:01 (four years ago) Permalink

same here.

stirmonster, Friday, 11 October 2013 13:02 (four years ago) Permalink

and sold out everywhere else too. bah!

stirmonster, Friday, 11 October 2013 13:03 (four years ago) Permalink

Hmm, what are the chances Paco still has a couple of these in his gig distro box... I may be going to one of his gigs tonight...

Just noise and screaming and no musical value at all. (Colonel Poo), Friday, 11 October 2013 13:06 (four years ago) Permalink

more of a desperate buy cycle amirite

gotta lol geir (NickB), Friday, 11 October 2013 13:12 (four years ago) Permalink

I didn't want it anyway.

Just noise and screaming and no musical value at all. (Colonel Poo), Friday, 11 October 2013 13:14 (four years ago) Permalink

Oh great, I just saw this. Three hours and sold out? Bahhhhhhhh.

emil.y, Friday, 11 October 2013 13:19 (four years ago) Permalink

And £24.99, while not cheap, is not an awful price for originals, seeing as reissues tend to go 'full artefact' and cost easily that much these days. Obviously if it's a boot then it's a rip-off.

emil.y, Friday, 11 October 2013 13:20 (four years ago) Permalink

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