It was a crazy October. Between work and various extracurricular activities I've had little time to relax. I've been engaged in many blog-worthy activities but no time to post. This past weekend was no exception. The annual WFMU Record Fair and Cavestomp! monopolized all of my time and sapped all of my energy. As I sit here still recovering, I must say, it is a good kind of tired. I will try to post & share something about all of the records I scored at the fair, but it will take me a few days to get it all together. Installment one: The UGLY DUCKLINGS. A few weeks back, I saw some oh so brief video footage of the Ugly Ducklings in a documentary on Canadian bands. The Ducks were sandwiched in bewteen a brief piece on The Haunted and The Sparrows but they didn't escape my attention. As I was perusing the Sundazed table at the fair I came across the Ducks' Nothin' single. It was early in the morning & I had a touch of the Irish flu, so I was at first indifferent to what I had just picked up but added it to my pile of potential purchases anyway. Then I spotted the header card on the LP's that said Ugly Ducklings and it hit me - ah ha! that Canadian band. I went to grab one & there were none. A dealer had just nabbed the last of 'em. Well, it was my lucky day because the dealer was still at the table and let me take one from him. A proper re-issue of the Ducks' 1966 release, Somewhere Outside, outstanding! I eagerly completed my purchase and scurried like an excited child through the crowd to show my wife. She was more excited than I was. A short while later, I went to check a Canadian vendor we know and I found another Ugly Ducklings LP. This one is a comp with an amazingly cheesey cartoon cover and features tracks from Somewehere Outside, some unreleased tracks and their 1967 single, Gaslight. It was released by Yorktown (the label that issued the original Ducks record) sometime in the early 80's. It's an excellent supplement to the Somewehere Outside LP. The major difference in this Yorktown LP and the Sundazed re-issues is that the Sundazed stuff is mono and the Yorktown is not (a difference I can live with, though I do love the mono). Along with the Nothin' single, which has a swell version of I Can Tell on the flip, this may be all that is available from this obscure yet excellent Toronto band. Below you will find a few samples of the Ducks' greatness. Nothin' is a classic garage punker with a wicked fuzz guitar solo that slices right through your speakers. Windy City is a dark, spacey, psyched-out instrumental that captures the cold winter nights in the Great White North perfectly. Gaslight feels like an English freak-beat raver to me, and that ain't not bad. If you are into records in general and into garage punk in particular, Somewhere Outside is one to get from Sundazed. It's worth every penny & much, much cheaper than the original!
UGLY DUCKLINGS - Windy City (Noise At The North End)


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