Lost links & Re-ups

On any post, if the link is no longer good, leave a comment if you want the music re-uploaded. As long as I still have the file, or the record, cd, or cassette to re-rip, I will gladly accommodate in a timely manner all such requests.

Slinging tuneage like some fried or otherwise soused short-order cook

10 November 2013

Canada




Answering the age (atomic age) old question: “What ten records would you want to have if you were stranded on a desert island (if you had solar or electricity I assume)?” I’d want a crate full at least, but I know that either way, somethin’ by The Nils would be included.

Alex Soria was a musician from the south-shore Montreal suburb of St-Hubert. Born in 1965, Alex was a mere 12 years old when along with his older brother Carlos, they formed the power pop/punk rock group The Nils.


The brothers experienced a trying childhood which fueled both Alex’s personal demons as well as his lyric & songwriting abilities. Even at that early age he knew what he wanted to do…make music, as a salvation & as a means to build confidence & find purpose in life. Carlos played in several punk bands during the late 1970s prior to forming The Nils. He would bring home punk rock records such as The Clash, Sex Pistols & Stiff Little Fingers. Alex was enamored by this then very new sound. Carlos bought Alex an $80 guitar & taught him 3 chords. Alex quickly excelled & in 1978 The Nils had formed & began playing live.

The Nils issued the five-song Now cassette in 1982.
The Nils – Now cassette, self-released, 1982.

Side A –
In an Instant
The Back Flow

Side B –
Scratches & Needles
The Gathering
Give Me Time


The Nils then recorded the song “Call of the Wild” for the Primitive Air Raid compilation on Psyche Industry Records. The label also agreed to release the band's first EP, Sell Out Young, that they recorded in 1985 using a $3,500 loan they got from Men Without Hats singer & founder Ivan Doroschuk. Doroschuk produced the record.

Nils – Sell Out Young 12” EP 45rpm, Psyche Industry Records PIR 06, 1985.

Side A –
In Betweens
Freedom

Side B –
Daylight
Foundations

But without a proper manager to promote the band's obvious talent & in a city with an anemic indie infrastructure, the Nils found themselves going nowhere fast.  The only thing they could do was live gigs. The band began to tour extensively & still managed to deliver a seminal power pop/punk rock EP entitled Paisley in 1986.

The Nils – Paisley 12" EP 45rpm, Siegfried UR1226, 1986.

Side A –
I Am the Wolf
Tuesday High

Side B –
Up Turns to Down
Glory Daze

The band's releases & critical acclaim began to draw the attention of a few major labels. By the following year, The Nils accepted an offer from Rock Hotel, a subsidiary of Profile Records, to record the seminal self-titled LP produced by Chris Spedding. This album included updated versions of the songs “Daylight” & “In Betweens” from Sell Out Young, as well as eight other original songs.

The Nils - The Nils, Profile Records – PRO 1245, 1987.
all decryption codes in comments

Side A –
River of Sadness
Truce
If Heaven Lies
When the Love Puts on a Sad Face
Wicked Politician

Side B
Bandito Callin'
In Betweens
But for Now
Young Man in Transit
Daylight


After the LP was released, the band set off on a second North American tour that was abruptly cancelled due to Rock Hotel’s bankruptcy. Bound by their five year contract with the now defunct label & unable to release anything under The Nils name until the contract's expiration, the band broke up. Carlos joined MIA in Los Angeles as their guitarist. Without his band or older brother by his side Alex began to lose hope of seeing his dream of a music career come true.

Struggling to find solace, he began a lengthy battle with heroin addiction. Alex strikes up a relationship with an older woman named Karen, who was once the girlfriend of Dave Rosenberg of The Chromosomes. Karen & Rosenberg were both junkies: it would only be a matter of time before Alex joined that dubious crowd.

Upon Carlos' return, he also picked up a heroin habit, purportedly to be closer to Alex. The sense of guilt Alex felt for this appeared to be great. He spirals even further out of control.

In 1994 The Nils released Green Fields in Daylight, a compilation of early recordings. The release included “Call of the Wild”, the Nils demo tape Now, “Scratches & Needles”, & the Sell Out Young & Paisley EPs. For this reason I am posting it but only mentioned the earlier material, as it is all here.

Track sources: track 1 - Primitive Air-Raid compilation; track 2 - recorded at the same session as 1; track 3 - Something to Believe In compilation; tracks 4 to 7 - Sell Out Young! EP; tracks 8 to 11 - Paisley EP; tracks 12 to 16 from Live in Chicago; tracks 17 to 23 from CBC's Brave New Waves session; tracks 24 to 28 – Now demo tape. Tracks 2, 15, 17, 21, & 23 previously unreleased.

The Nils - Green Fields in Daylight, Mag Wheel Records MAG012, 1994.

Tracklist –
Call of the Wild
Slip Away
Scratches and Needles
In Betweens
Fountains
Daylight
Freedom
I Am the Wolf
Tuesday High
Up Turns to Down
Glory Daze
Freedom Come, Freedom Go
Truce
Bandito Callin’
Sweet Dreams
Wicked Politician
Mary-Anne with the Shaky Hands
Young Man in Transit
River of Sadness
If Heaven Lies
Red Balloon
When the Love Puts on a Sad Face
Pop Goes the World
In an Instant
The Back Flow
Scratches and Needles
The Gathering
Give Me Time
Radio Interview

By late 1996, Alex breaks up with Karen. He then kicks the heroin habit & forms Chino, without his brother. The band spends $2,500 to record the Mala Leche EP. Carlos then kicks his habit. As awkward as it was for both of them, Carlos roadies for Alex & Chino.
1998, Alex is still staying straight & has Chino going good. He is happy & energetic once more. But things don't always go as planned. Chino can't get off the ground. The band goes nowhere, thanks to the same old story…no tour & poor distribution. More frustration  & heartbreak for Alex.

Fast-forward to 2004. Life is difficult for Alex: he has just come out of detox, but is feeling pressure that his family knows about his drug addiction. On December 13th, Alex & his girlfriend Debbie get into a terrible fight. One of his neighbors calls 911. Alex leaves for some alone. He reportedly enters a nearby restaurant & goes into the restroom, “doing what, I'm not sure,” according to friend & one-time roadie, Bill Moser.

When he returns to the apartment, he sees police at his door. He freaks out. Alex heads towards the train tracks. It's not known if he was high at the time, but it's clear that Alex Soria was not of sound mind when he went to the tracks. Apparently, he gives the conductor of an oncoming train a salute. He then throws himself into the path of the train. Alex Soria was only 39 years old.

& what of the legacy of the late Alex Soria? 

First, three months after his death, on March, 11, 2005 at Montreal's Main Hall, friends of Alex’s held a tribute concert for him. approximately three months after his tragic and untimely death. In addition to Carlos Soria's inevitable involvement with the tribute show, several of the Nils peers, past & present offered significant contributions that evening, the highlight being a reshuffled lineup of The Nils fronted by John Kastner of Doughboys/Asexuals renown doing song like “Daylight”, “River of Sadness” & “Call of the Wild”. Two of Alex's lesser known post-Nils outfits, Chino & Los Patos also shared the bill.  Carlos sings “I Am the Wolf”, a vintage nugget from the Nils' Paisley EP. 

Tracklist –
Intro by Dan Webster
When the Love Puts on a Sad Face – Chris Page
Daylight – Jim Bryson
Losin' Ground
Belly Full of Heartache
When You're Not Around – Los Patos
Don't Be Denied (Neil Young)
Pink Turns to Blue (Husker Du)
Half a Song – Ian Blurton
Where Were You (Mekons)
What Do You Want?
White Girl (X)
Everybody Knows This is Nowhere (Neil Young)
Mustard Sally
Uno Mas - Chino
I am the Wolf – Carlos Soria
Young Man in Transit
Daylight
Call of the Wild
River of Sadness
Don't Cry no Tears
Bandito Callin' – John Kastner & the Nils

In 2006 in honor of his younger brother, Carlos Soria released Next Of Kin. These are acoustic four-track recordings featuring Alex & Carlos. The album showcased Alex's naturally introspective nature, giving the world a glimpse into the heart & mind of an artist who was so notoriously shy & private.

Alex Soria – Next of Kin, M.P.G. Records MPG001, 2006.

Tracklist -
Mud
Sanchez
Standin’ on the Corner
Tell Me Something
Lonesome Rendez-Vous
Love To Hate
They Found Out
Easy
Cartridge
Another Day
Losin' Ground
Mud (Live)
Tell Me Something (Live)
Sanchez (Live)
Next Of Kin

Today, Alex Soria's legend lives on through his recordings that helped shape a sound so distinct.

Enjoy,

9 comments:

  1. Nils
    EAtXoQVnrIwkeJqUKfN951GO3kp5fmHXNBGZESje14M
    Green Fields
    X53nDmb8IUjwKND47JeCbFSB0-1ZOrkk4F2uKO054kE
    Tribute Concert
    UYrKrBzlcYZhbKcM-RbhHCoZUWE_5Oj5SnXAlrRs9Jw
    Next of Kin
    HpDU8UL2wbKKcvJt-BvBLg2JwoIcwxoX1SWdCbeRuLw

    ReplyDelete
  2. Just wanted to say thnaks for all you do. so many discoveries. a true treasure. good work nothin.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The Nils have a new album out called Shadows and Ghosts...released in 2015...check it out... it is a surprisingly very good album

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    Replies
    1. I pledged on Pledge to help out & now own the CD.
      I still miss the genius of Alex. He was THE NILS.

      Delete
    2. what do you think of the new cd?

      Delete
    3. "After the Nils LP was released, the band set off on a second North American tour that was abruptly cancelled due to Rock Hotel’s bankruptcy. Bound by their five year contract with the now defunct label & unable to release anything under The Nils name until the contract's expiration, the band broke up. Carlos joined MIA in Los Angeles as their guitarist. Without his band or older brother by his side Alex began to lose hope of seeing his dream of a music career come true."

      The above paragraph so clouds my judgement that I am not a very impartial person to ask about the new CD. I have always felt that Alex was the heart & soul of The Nils, so there is also that keeping me at bay. In the new material, I miss Alex's introspective nature. I also have issues with bands that try to recapture past glory with few or one original member (s) [the list is long - Dead Kennedys & Black Flag leading the parade].

      But I applaud Carlos' dedication to his craft, just wish he had maybe picked a different band name, but not my place to say.

      Having said all that, the new CD is quite good. I would recommend anyone who appreciates the Nils to give it a listen & decide for themself. I am in no way sorry that I bought it.

      Delete
    4. I do like the CD, and Carlos does sound like Alex in many ways. I wonder what Alex's voice would sound like after all these years. The band as it is has 3 members that are original, well 2 are from the beginning Carlos and the drummer Jean. The guitar player Mark was in the Nils with Alex and his band Chino. But he did not play on the white album.

      Delete
  4. I think Alex and Carlos together were the Nils. Being the lead singer and out in front you make more of an impact. Yes Alex was the voice of the Nils, but you can either refuse the new stuff or embrace it as a new chapter of the Nils.

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  5. New CD kicks ass...hard sounding as the Nils should be, wish I knew about the pledge, I would have donated as well.

    ReplyDelete