Blogging at the intersection of urban studies and popular music

Leonard Nevarez
Martha and the Muffins – "Women Around The World at Work" b/w "Twenty-Two in Cincinnati" (DIN 34)

Martha and the Muffins – “Women Around The World at Work” b/w “Twenty-Two in Cincinnati” (DIN 34)

“Women Around The World at Work” b/w “Twenty-Two in Cincinnati” DinDisc Records DIN 34 (UK) Released on August 28, 1981 Produced by Martha and the Muffins and Daniel Lanois In 1981, Martha and the Muffins were back in Canada for good; they wouldn’t have known it at this time, but they would never perform before...
Martha and the Muffins – "Was Ezo" b/w "Trance And Dance" (DIN 27)

Martha and the Muffins – “Was Ezo” b/w “Trance And Dance” (DIN 27)

“Was Ezo” b/w “Trance And Dance” DinDisc Records DIN 27 (UK) Released on October 30, 1980 Produced by Mike Howlett More than any other Martha and the Muffins single, this feels like the one that got away. Like every single they released in 1980 after “Echo Beach,” this made no impact on the British charts....
Martha and the Muffins – "Suburban Dream" b/w "Girl Fat" (DIN 21)

Martha and the Muffins – “Suburban Dream” b/w “Girl Fat” (DIN 21)

“Suburban Dream” b/w “Girl Fat” DinDisc Records DIN 21 (UK) Released August 29, 1980 Produced by Mike Howlett This is the second single that Martha and the Muffins issues in advance of their second album Trance and Dance. Upon its release, the lineup it features had already begun disintegrating with the departure of Martha Ladly...
Martha and the Muffins – "About Insomnia" b/w "1 4 6" (DIN 19)

Martha and the Muffins – “About Insomnia” b/w “1 4 6” (DIN 19)

“About Insomnia” b/w “1 4 6” DinDisc Records DIN 19 (UK) Released on July 4, 1980 Produced by Mike Howlett Things were moving rapidly for Martha and the Muffins by June 1980. Metro Music had spent six weeks in the UK album charts, so the Muffins’ label DinDisc/Virgin were preparing the debut album’s global release...
Martha and the Muffins – "Paint By Number Heart" b/w "Copacabana" (VS 1115)

Martha and the Muffins – “Paint By Number Heart” b/w “Copacabana” (VS 1115)

“Paint By Number Heart” b/w “Copacabana” Virgin/DinDisc Records VS 1115 (Canada) Released probably in summer 1980 Produced by Mike Howlett Like the rest of the world outside the UK, Martha and the Muffins’ home country Canada took longer to embrace “Echo Beach” for the simple reason that Virgin proposed a wait-and-see approach and delayed the...
Martha and the Muffins – "Saigon" b/w "Copacabana" (DIN 17)

Martha and the Muffins – “Saigon” b/w “Copacabana” (DIN 17)

“Saigon” b/w “Copacabana” DinDisc Records DIN 17 (UK) Released on April 11, 1980 Produced by Mike Howlett Woe betide the band choosing a follow-up single to “Echo Beach,” the unexpected smash hit for Martha and the Muffins and a commercial breakthrough for their label DinDisc as well. “Saigon” didn’t repeat that success, and the band...
Martha and the Muffins – "Echo Beach" b/w "Teddy The Dink" (DIN 9)

Martha and the Muffins – “Echo Beach” b/w “Teddy The Dink” (DIN 9)

“Echo Beach” b/w “Teddy The Dink” DinDisc Records DIN 9 (UK) Released on January 25, 1980 Produced by Mike Howlett As the new decade began, Martha and the Muffins had a debut album in the can when they released their second British single. Written by guitarist Mark Gane, “Echo Beach” is exactly the same recording...
Martha and the Muffins – "Insect Love" b/w "Cheesies and Gum" (DIN 4)

Martha and the Muffins – “Insect Love” b/w “Cheesies and Gum” (DIN 4)

“Insect Love” b/w “Cheesies and Gum” DinDisc Records DIN 4 (UK) Released on November 3, 1979 Produced by Mike Howlett Once more, with feeling: Martha and the Muffins re-recorded “Insect Love” for their first release on DinDisc Records, a boutique label established by Carol Wilson under the Virgin UK umbrella. What a difference a producer...
Martha and the Muffins – “Insect Love” b/w “Suburban Dream” (MM 001)

Martha and the Muffins – “Insect Love” b/w “Suburban Dream” (MM 001)

“Insect Love” b/w “Suburban Dream” Muffin Music MM 001 (Canada) Released in February 1979 Produced by Martha and the Muffins This is a self-released single under the band’s DIY label, Muffin Music. The tracks were taken from a June 1978 demo of five songs (the other three recordings are “Teddy the Dink,” “Trance and Dance,”...
dance with me while they sleep: the 7" singles of Martha and the Muffins

dance with me while they sleep: the 7″ singles of Martha and the Muffins

Let’s start with the obvious: Martha and the Muffins were never a ‘singles band.’ The musicians in Canada’s greatest new wave band came of age in the 1970s, a time when the rock album was the format of choice for mass audiences and (in the case of the young Muffins) adventurous listeners alike. The group...
favorite music of 2019

favorite music of 2019

This year marks the first time that some end-of-year favorite albums were enjoyed on streaming platforms only. That probably tells you all you need to know about my old-man embrace of the contemporary listening experience.   Cate Le Bon – Reward The daffy “it girl” from Wales finally recorded an album with deep emotional resonance,...
100 albums for the 2010s

100 albums for the 2010s

Ranked in approximate order of what I would consider most essential listening, these albums comprise a decent playlist of what my decade of new music sounded like… at least from the perspective of the final year. (I see that at least one 2018 album included here didn’t make my end-of-year favorite music of 2018 list...