Thursday, January 31, 2013

Sebadoh





Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Sebadoh.

The Freed Man (Homestead)
1. Bridge Was You 2. Soulmate 3. I Love Me 4. Careless Mind Hands 5. True Hardcore 6. Close Enough 7. Loosened Screw 8. Solid Brown 9. Made Real 10. Crumbs 11. Narrow Stories 12. Drifts On Through 13. Wall Of Doubt 14. Lou Rap 15. Growin' Up With You 16. Healthy Sick 17. Land Of The Lords 18. Ladybugs 19. Moldy Bread 20. Squirrel Freedom Overdrive 21. Burning Out 22. Bolder 23. Why Do You Cut Off Your Sleeves 24. Wrists 25. Last Day Of School 26. Punch In The Nose 27. Deny 28. Level Anything 29. Jealous Evil 30. K-sensa My I 31. Mothra

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Rush

A modern day warrior
Mean mean stride
Today's Tom Sawyer
Mean mean pride

Though his mind is not for rent
Don't put him down as arrogant
His reserve, a quiet defence
Riding out the day's events --
The river

What you say about his company
Is what you say about society
-- Catch the mist -- Catch the myth
-- Catch the mystery -- Catch the drift

The world is the world is
Love and life are deep
Maybe as his skies are wide

Today's Tom Sawyer
He gets high on you
And the space he invades
He gets by on you

No, his mind is not for rent
To any god or government
Always hopeful, yet discontent
He knows changes aren't permanent --
But change is

What you say about his company
Is what you say about society
-- Catch the witness -- Catch the wit
-- Catch the spirit -- Catch the spit

The world is the world is
Love and life are deep
Maybe as his eyes are wide

Exit the warrior
Today's Tom Sawyer
He gets high on you
The energy you trade
He gets right on to
The friction of the day



Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Rush.

Moving Pictures (Mercury)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tears For Fears

That difficult second album?

Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith could be forgiven for guffawing at the concept. Though the history of popular music is littered with examples of artists who have followed up sensational debuts with mediocre efforts that prove the theory of the treadmill of the music industry not being conducive to artistic creation, the release of Songs From The Big Chair in February 1985 saw Tears For Fears spectacularly buck that tendency. Their second album catapulted them into the ranks of the superstar, courtesy of two American number one singles, heavy rotation of their videos on MTV and eight million album sales in the UK and US alone.

Interestingly, this phenomenal success was preceded -- and possibly even brought about -- by a bad patch for the duo. Two singles -- "The Way You Are" and "Mothers Talk" -- had fared relatively poorly in the charts, something which reflected a creative uncertainty following the dizzying success of their first album, The Hurting. Smith later revealed that he enjoyed recording neither song and that he and Orzabal realised something was wrong, namely absence of rawness and adultness in their music. "Rock and roll was a dirty word to us before" Orzabal would comment, "which is ludicrous... This (Songs From The Big Chair) has got a very basic excitement in it that was lacking in our earlier work." They started taking their cue from acts that those familiar with their music might be forgiven for thinking the unlikeliest inhabitants of their turntables. Asked about their favourite current artists when mixing Songs From The Big Chair, the duo came up with a decidedly "rockist" list: ZZ Top, The Stranglers, The Blue Nile and Bruce Springsteen.

Though proud of their first album, they were big enough to admit deficiencies. Orzabal acknowledged, "I suppose some of The Hurting was kind of sixth form poetry stuff." Smith observed, "There was no humour involved, no diversity -- which isn't necessarily a bad thing but people decided it was our whole personality and slagged us off, which was upsetting." The pair now set about consciously expanding the looser, less uptight side that they felt had always existed in their songs and made it the dominant part of their sound.

One of the reasons for the public's massive vote of approval for Songs From The Big Chair must be the fact that this "Let's rock" policy ensured that their second album displayed little of the melancholy that made their debut alienating to some. Whereas The Hurting had been a rather brooding work, Songs From The Big Chair achieved the trick of marrying The Hurting's classy tunes and irresistible hooks to punchier instrumentation and a brighter world view. The sound was bigger and bolder, courtesy of the enhanced contributions of supporting musicians Manny Elias (drums), Ian Stanley (keyboards) and Mel Collins (sax). Their significant input into the songs was recognized with co-writing credits, in various configurations. Also receiving a composition credit (on, lucratively enough, "Everybody Wants To Rule The World") was Chris Hughes, retained as producer from The Hurting. All this made for an album full of anthemic, life-affirming material in the mould of Orzabal's heroes The Beatles. Unlike The Hurting, there was no way this record was going to be accused of being comprised of "music for people in bed-sits."

Consistent with the interest in matters psychological which had given the duo their name, the album's title was inspired by the TV mini-series Sybil, first broadcast in 1976. Directed by Daniel Petrie and starring Joanne Woodward and Sally Field, the series was a sort of TV version of the movie The Three Faces Of Eve, dealing as it did with a woman with multiple personalities (seventeen, in fact). It was widely failed as a well-acted and disturbing drama and won an Emmy award. The Sybil character only achieves something close to happiness when located in what she terms her analyst's "big chair." Smith: "The big chair is the place where she feels safe, without the threat of other people. Likewise, the album's just saying what WE want to say. We don't care what other people think about it." "Big Chair," the B-side of the single "Shout," is -- obviously -- inspired by the same source and indeed features samples of the series' dialogue.

"Everybody Wants To Rule The World" could be said to have had a career of its own. Only kept off the number one spot in the UK by USA For Africa's "We Are The World," in the US it was number one for two weeks and was so loved by radio stations that by October 1994 it had already racked up two million broadcasts. Predictably, it won in the Best British Single award category at the Brits (Orzabal would complain that it should also have won the Ivor Novello International Hit of the Year award, claiming that the actual winner, "19" by Paul Hardcastle, wasn't a song but a dialogue collage). Impressive as its immediate impact was, the longevity of "Everybody Wants To Rule The World" was even more stunning. After the band rewrote it as "Everybody Wants To RUN The World" for use as the theme tune for Sport Aid week, the amended song reached the UK top five for the second time in February 1986. Incredibly, "Everybody" almost didn't make it onto the album, as Orzabal and Stanley thought it lightweight. It was only the intervention of Chris Hughes, who felt it to be the American single the album needed, that ensured it was even recorded. Calculated? "Totally" Orzabal admitted. "But if you've got the talent to do it, why not do it? It turned people onto other songs that they might not otherwise hear. And it's still a classic single."

"Shout" became the duo's second US number one single in August '85. In the UK, its release had actually preceded that of "Everybody" and it hit the number four position. As for the parent album, Songs From The Big Chair was number one in the US for five weeks, going quintuple platinum (sales over five million). It only reached number two in Britain but still earned triple platinum status.

Some critics at the time were heard to complain that a mere eight tracks didn't really feel like an album, regardless of the songs' individual running times. This reissue may well placate those dissenters, for the generous helping of bonus tracks means the song total has now been doubled.

Instead of simply pulling another single from the album (as they did twice more in America with "Head Over Heels," which hit number three in November, and a re-mixed "Mother's Talk," which reached 27 the following May), Orzabal and Smith decided to issue what they titled "A Soulful Re-recording" of one of the album tracks closest to their hearts. "I Believe" stalled at number 23 but they weren't worried about the modest chart showing, as sentimentality rather than commercialism had motivated its release. It had originally been written with ex-Soft Machine vocalist and drummer Robert Wyatt in mind. Wyatt, confined to a wheelchair after falling out of a window at a party, is probably best known for his Communist politics and his emotional anti-Falklands single "Shipbuilding" (written by Elvis Costello). All this talk of chart position should not give the impression that Songs From The Big Chair's success was confined to the commercial realm. Anything but. Roland Orzabal was granted the ultimate artistic accolade when he received the prestigious Ivor Novello award for Outstanding Songwriter of the year, meanwhile the affection stirred in people's hearts by "Everybody Wants To Rule The World" acquired it an almost instant immortality as it made a seamless transition from feature of the hitlists to the staple of Gold radio station programming that it is today.

So much for Orzabal's -- no-doubt tongue-in-cheek -- comments toward the end of '85: "I always compare Tears For Fears' success to that of Herman's Hermits" he implausibly asserted. "Like them, we too will be forgotten in 20 year's time."

-- Sean Egan



Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Tears For Fears.

Songs From The Big Chair (Mercury)
1. Shout
2. The Working Hour
3. Everybody Wants To Rule The World
4. Mothers Talk
5. I Believe
6. Broken
7. Head Over Heels
8. Listen
9. The Big Chair
10. Empire Building
11. The Marauders
12. Broken Revisited
13. The Conflict
14. Mothers Talk [U.S. Remix]
15. Shout [U.S. Remix]

Monday, January 28, 2013

Anamanaguchi

Twaz da winter ov my 17th year. I waz bored and wanted 2 go do somethang. I saw dat Anamanaguchi waz playing at Cake Shop dat nite. So I went!! It waz super cold dat nite butt I walked da million milez frum my apt on da upper wezt side anywayzz. Wen I got to da club I met up wid my frend who said dat he cud get mi into da 21+ show butt we had 2 wait 4 HIz frend blah blahdf eae… watevs. So while we waited 4 hiz buddy I mingled wid de old menz upstairz. Diz one guy, Etienne, waz like all about this lady right here. Butt I was like eww. He said hiz name waz French 4 steven. And I waz like cool. I waz rescued frum Etienne by diz guy Nick who kept calling mi hiz future wife. Anywayz, da nite was super weird butt Anamanaguchi was SUPER FUNN! Almozt no one watched dem play butt they were so great! I love diz band wid all my gassy soul! About a year later Peter Berkman and Frankie Cosmos and I stayed up late and watched The Room. I haven’t seen Peter since. 88**!ShoUt Out BRah!**88

Luv,
Gypsum Fantastic



Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Anamanaguchi.

Dawn Metropolis (Normative)
1. Blackout City
2. Jetpack Blues, Sunset Hues
3. Dawn Metropolis
4. Danger Mountain
5. Overarrow
6. Tempest, Teamwork, Triumph (At Sea)
7. Mermaid

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Friday, January 25, 2013

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Frankie Cosmos

INFO

Wobbling was released on January 9, 2013. Some of these tracks were recorded on an extremely wobbly four-track cassette recorder. There are four bonus tracks which are alternate versions/recordings of songs on the album. Some songs are recycled. Track 4 originally appeared on the unreleased Adventures 4: this album is about you. Track 8 originally appeared on Telescoping (released Sept 2011). Track 15 originally appeared on LOSING (Nov 2012). Track 16 originally appeared on sickerwinter (April 2012).

THANKS
Lyric in quotes from track 7 was written by the amazing Rivergazer.
Track 12 was written by Milk Ghost.
Some brainstorming for Track 14 with Kolson, Noah, and Ronnie.
Recording of track 5/track 18 was inspired by Cameron Wisch.
I love you Ronnie, thanks for the tape.



Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Frankie Cosmos.

Wobbling (Pukekos)
1. wobbling around
2. invisible
3. buses splash with rain 2
4. dry season
5. droplets2
6. emotional outbreak
7. strange
8. scooby and a doobie
9. thingy
10. my honeys good looks
11. waltz
12. fila cover
13. drooping
14. driving up
15. leonie
16. awooga (I see)

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Fall: Perverted by Language//Bis



WINGS
TOTALLY WIRED
KICKER CONSPIRACY
Hex-Strife ad.
EAT Y'SELF FITTER
The Confidnce of Glaspance
TEMPO HOUSE
MAN WHOSE HEAD EXPANDED
SMILE
DRAGO//H.PRIEST

script; Smith / music: Hanleys,3,Scanlon,K.B.
also- M.Riley '81-2
TALNT: A. Pellay Brix E.S. Hewan / Thanks to T
Lit; Tony PRODUCED ETCETERA MALCOM WHITEHEAD
+ LINDA / TANK: Clde BESSY

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Friday, January 18, 2013

Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii



Directed by Adrian Maben, 1972

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Patti Smith

compact awareness...gems flattening...long streams of resin tools...kool system of destine wax sculpt...drums tongue and waves slapping...the feel of horses long before horses enter the scene...molten tar stud dead w/bones and glass and the teeth of women...veins filled w/existence...beyond race gender baptism mathmatics politricks...assassinating rythum...c-rude transending...soul-ar energy in the shape of a laughing pack of scarabs dressed in coats of milk armour...grace greased w/merc and henna...hair wires...neither the desire nor the ability to stop I plop on the bed pink electric immediate some human light bulb these bands around my neck should revel what state i'm in...only history (gentle rocking mona lisa) seals...only histoire is responsible for the ultimate cannoning...as for me I am truly ready to go...

sonic klein man its me my shape burnt in the sky its me the memoire of me racing thru the eye of the mer thru the eye of the sea thru the arm of the needle merging and jacking new filaments new risks etched forever in a cold system of wax...horses groping for a sign for a breath...

charms. sweet angels--you have made me no longer afraid of death.

-- Patti Smith



Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Patti Smith.

Horses (Arista)
1. Gloria
2. Redondo Beach
3. Birdland
4. Free Money
5. Kimberly
6. Break It Up
7. Land
8. Elegie
9. My Generation (live)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Tracy + The Plastics

TRACY + THE PLASTICS shake to the lo-fi beats of a really cold basement + they move to the anti-fi "I want a gold tooth" of VHS. And you want to be wearing a half-shirt that meets the skin in technicolor. And you know what they say is true: They became a band when they saw your ghost + they pawned it for a keyboard. This is an experiment in how to kill the living dead + then how to turn them on. The keyboard as Gravitron draws the shape of the arcade girl + the kick of the drums fills her w/ gutsy VHS. Tracy takes the stage as The Real Muscler - the one you take hom to mother. She wants the arcade girl so much she'll turn video so she know how to go. As for the Plastics: No one wears it as well as Nikki + Cola. They're saving up for suits (psst - made out gold + striped for the living). The perfect dilemma: Twins or girlfriends? They say it's time for the art community to get rolled under the bed of the QUEERION. It sucks to be dead.



Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Tracy + The Plastics.

Muscler's Guide to Videonics (Chainsaw)
1. City
2. Ooo!
3. Arcade Suicide
4. Bury The Hair
5. At The Gold + Diamond Center
6. (we met the) Queerion
7. Dio
8. Ain't Never Gonna Die
9. Film
10. Bear (attacking)
11. The Myth of the Front

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Ivor Cutler

Got a letter from a thrush --
come and see me compose.
So I went.

She stuck her beak into the ink
and sputtered onto the manuscript,
then sang it.

tra la la
tweet tweet
warble warble
tweep tweep

When she finished,
I was asked for an opinion.

With a grave look, I opined --
well, it's very good.
Regular thrush music.
Good range, plenty of variety, nice timbre.

Look Cutler, said thrush
do you think it's worth making a demo disc or a tape
and going around the agents?
I think it's chart material.

Look thrush, I replied
it could only succeed as a gimmick.

Yeah I suppose, she tweeted
and flew into a stump.




Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Ivor Cutler.

Velvet Donkey (Virgin)



Monday, January 14, 2013

Ivor Cutler





Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Ivor Cutler.

Dandruff (Virgin)




Sunday, January 13, 2013

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Friday, January 11, 2013

UHF



Directed by Jay Levey, 1989

Thursday, January 10, 2013

My Captains

My Captains. I've been a fan of post punk music for a long time and this record was cool to look for in the late 90s/early 00s. I found it, but I can't remember where. There are four songs on this 33 & 1/3 7" Extended Play disc and they've got all the hep pre-reqs: guitar harmonics, atonal vocals, throbbing, undefined bass presence, and tom heavy tribal drums. I was intrigued by this record for a few years, not simply based on its rarity, but more its mystique. There's something about certain packages that insinuate a genuine alternative to the regularity of daily life, a different perspective on basic commonalities (gassing up the car, subway rides to work, pick-a-salad at lunchtime, "hi honey, I'm home," etc), a glimpse toward something else

My Captains is one such record. A black & grey paper matte finish baring a charcoal drawing of dancing conquistadors with the ambiguous band name underneath while the flip offers a series of three separate old English cartoons, each one as casually disturbing as the next. This record was but one in a long line of ominous overtones, all of which provided similar emotional elements, captivating motivations to do something, to make some kind of mark, to try.

Music journalism was more a way to make sense of this motivation than simply to hype some group, more a way to clarify obtuse emotions, overcome prevailing precepts and find less limited hope in a world of limited reserves. For many, the last ten to fifteen years have been wrought with re-issues and re-packages, re-masters and retro, and with such ferocity, such deluge, that it makes absolute sense that only so much can be assessed with proper clarity. With such abundance comes overload, a point where there's too much and the prospect of sifting through the density of cultural information becomes intensely daunting. Even the reward of one's favorite song or album collapses under the tiresome weight of beginning the search.

The result: only the most accessible sounds rise to popular consciousness and of the few that reach such heights, only so much of it is understood. Much of it is present, much of it is listened to, yet a significant portion goes unheard. In short, only the most obvious and clearly mixed sounds register, which is why a decade's worth of bands looking back to the Rough Trade, Factory, 99, and Fast Product cadre saw fit to emphasize trebly guitar, nasal vocals and the most linear interpretation of a disco beat. Apparently basslines went the way of the Dodo, got lost in the over-stimulating flood of uncovered information, as did any of the subtleties that separated and distinguished each group. Naturally there were pitfalls, groups just as flaccid as Ugly Kid Joe, Paw, Deadeye Dick, et al yet how were we to know when excitement distracted us from our own interests? Perhaps we weren't as interested and instead were simply caught up -- six of one, half dozen of another.

For example, everyone knows The Smiths and recognizes them as ground zero for the 80s indie guitar sound, as they wrote some undoubtedly ace material. We often refer to them when comparing any music brandishing similar sonic elements, yet we compare them dismissively. Curious thing that, as Morrisey & band were simply part of a common musical landscape that bore many pocketed scenes, each one containing the same illustrious tapestry of sounds and in each town were likely no less than three Smiths of their very own, or at the very least groups with similarly unique trademarks.

Indeed Manchester's Railway Children have similar stylistic qualities and why shouldn't they? The Smiths were strong personalities, on record, in print and on celluloid. They were ubiquitous -- any combo interested in any alternative genre was privy to Steven Patrick's wry cynicism and influenced accordingly. Yet that doesn't take away the intricacies and otherness of like-minded groups. Different visual perspectives (sleeve art, label art, photo shoots), different instrumentation, different lives provide for different music however similar to the casual listener.

My Captains sound similar to any number of Joy Division inspired groups, though bear in mind even Joy Division were one of many acts mining the morbid bleakness of the coldwave/post punk/darkwave sound... lest we forget the immortal Comsat Angels -- who wrote "Waiting For A Miracle" without ever having heard a single note of Ian Curtis and his gang. So we have "History," "Nothing," "Fall" & "Converse" and each track sounds like each other, yet none of them sound like Section 25, 23 Skidoo, Crispy Ambulance, Dead Can Dance, Sad Lovers & Giants, The Chameleons, They Must Be Russians, In Camera, Where's Liss?, Mass, Mothmen, The Freeze, The Sound, Wild Swans, Robert Rental, And Also The Trees, Associates, Bauhaus, Blue Orchids, The Cure, Dance Chapter, Faction, Fra Lippo Lippi, but they don't not sound like them either.

Funny, we're all such qualified critics, we know all the pertinent contextual data, all the relevant historical and political timelines to assess and respond with heart and mind to art/information presented to us at all times. I'm sure we'd all like to believe that, and we often strut as though we're cock of the walk, yet we don't allow ourselves time to care. And the casualties of our assumptive arrogance are the selfsame artists we so halfheartedly affiliate ourselves with while not assimilating but half of it. These songs bore me greatly yet I love them, and live the atmosphere they manicured must have been as compelling as the music coming through the public address... a fat girl in every room. My Captains.

-- Joshua Gabriel



Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, My Captains.

My Captains EP (4AD)
1. Fall
2. Converse
3. History
4. Nothing

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Electric Eels


"One fine morning in May, a slim young horsewoman might have been seen riding aglossy sorrel mare along the avenues of the Bois, among the flowers..."
-Albert Camus

the eyeball of hell

or How One Single Man's Expectation of Self
Becomes the Hopes and Dreams of the Lumpen Prole

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of... oops! ...There once was a time whence a triumvirate of comrades, all three reluctant matriculantites of Lakewood High School (home of the immensely nancified football team the "Lakewood Rangers"), went unto see-eth Captain Beefheart, and were so fucking disgustedeth with "Left End," the opening act, that I, John "Broken Hand" ® Morton, saideth unto my band of stalwart helpmates, "Compañeros, even we can do better than these trifling mother fucking fucks."

And untowards forth was borneth,
The Electric Eels 
A name that will live in infamy.
It was me [I], Brian McMahon, and Dave McManus. Brian and I [me] already played guitar so Dave was the singer. The year: 1972.



Cleveland... Fuck you. 
Being in the Eels was akin to attending a "Re-Education Camp." We had a strident party line (that party line being made up as we went along) about practical nihilism, work ethic and art esthetic. Bandied about were phrases like "Art Terrorism" and "The Artist's Rules" an example of which was #13: "Artists can be self-contradictory."
We took it all very seriously and practiced hard for hours on end with no real understanding of how to work effectively. We would play a song and then play it again, the exact same way with the exact same mistakes. None of us had any conception of how to get a gig, record, promote ourselves, et-fucking-cetera.
We could work on a song for weeks, finally getting right (to our ears at least). Then we'd start to play said song in a practice only Davey wasn't singing, just kind of blankly looking off in the distance. When I would then inquire as to just why he was mute, he would reply (rather snottily I might add), "Oh, I don't want to do that song anymore!" As a rather sad consequence one of Dave's more brilliant ones, "Down to the Wire," was never recorded. The chorus of which (sometimes) went "He's a moose - on the loose... looking for tomato juice..."

Cleveland, the best location in the nation to get the fuck out of. 
We moved to that shithole known as Columbus Ohio, primarily because my life had been threatened in Cleveland for being a "lance d'amour" with one too many married women.
We set up base camp in an apartment building on the curiously named High Street, filled with poncified OSU students, who for some mysterious reason, did not care to hear us practice at full volume (that's right, cranked up to 11 on the Marshall) at one a.m. After the neighbor upstairs complained (and not in a particularly angry or malevolent way), I nailed his front door shut with a sixteen penny common [nail].

Cleveland... It will certainly fuck you up the old corn hole!
Violence just another term for "Tough Love." 

There was a quote we had picked up somewhere: "The kindest thing you can do for someone is to hit them in the mouth." For better or worse, we believed it.
If someone insulted you, made a statement contradicting your philosophy, did not tell a good joke or woke you up coming in late from work, you were obligated to use physical violence against them. Being that I far out-weighed and out-muscled any of the other Eels, I triumphed in theses skirmishes unsurprisingly enough. What was rather surprising was that the loser bore no grudge about being slugged. We had all fallen sway to this concept.
At some point, Brian had had enough head blows and berefted us. I think he went to kalifornia. Paul Marotta filled the void. I had known Paul for about five years by then and he, unlike the rest of us, was a "real" musician. He blended his very different politic and sorely needed structure to the mix.

'Twas the city of Cleveland itself that turned me nihilist! 
Paul started to record us with cassette and reel-to-reel tapes. I remember Paul saying to us, "I'm not going to give you guys these tapes, you'll just lose them." And he was absolutely right.
I must state (and no, Paul didn't make me do this) that if it had not been for Paul, there would not be any Eels releases whatsoever. As a consequence, I would have totally missed my miserable fucking fifteen minutes of fame. But the most tragic event would have been that you, the little people, the fans, would not have heard the incredible sound that is the "Electric Eels" ®.
Life was mostly involved in practice, finding the odd job. Dave E. was the most constant employee among us. His raison d'être: the professional dishwashing field. All this strenuous activity was fueled by veritable lake-fulls of bad beer (POC, Black Label, ABC brand, Heritage House Brand, Old Dutch, Gennesee, Stroh's, Miller, Schlitz, Schmits, Hamms)
However, after a year of this wedded bliss, Dave and I were arrested after our first gig. I was beaten up by four cops with billy clubs as I lay face down and handcuffed behind the police station. We re-wended our way back to the old home-shithole, Cleveland. you can read the whole "broken hand" saga at www.ClePunk.com, follow the links to the Eels stories.

Cleveland, home of the immensely sissy rock and roll hall of fame. 
Would the Eels have been the Eels without self-destructing? Hard and pointless to say. We did not have very many fans, some exceptions being Bradly Field, Peter Laughner, Jill Magnuson and Charlotte Pressler. You would maybe think, being as unpopular as we were, people might say, "I don't like your music." Or even, "You guys suck." They did not. What they said was "You guys are wrong." Club owners tended to take a more philosophic track: pulling the plug.

Cleveland, city in the wrong place at the wrong time.
"EELS, The Roots
©
I was either misquoted in From the Velvets to the Voidoids or thought I had said something more self-aggrandizing. The quote (scrambled here to make me look better): "We listened to John Cage, and Sun Ra and Ayler. That's what [the Eels] was supposed to be but [unfortunately some of the other band members] didn't understand it." What I had meant to say is that we felt, and perpetrated an affinity with these musicians. There were oblivious...obvious common roots in the Euro-trash-dadaism. But our understanding of that music was all under the auspices of the following and telling personality traits.
We never thought we would make thirty, that was a laughable idea. When Jimi died at 27, it was OK. I mean like, he was already way-old.
AND THEN (even more pivotal-like)
Dave E. had purchased the '72 re-issue of Ornette's "Free Jazz." We thought it was great/top shelf/primo, but after 7 minutes of it (well, maybe 5) our collective attention span was spent and we quickly put on "English Rose."
Ah youth!

A Quiet Personal Reflection
Wouldst I (please note: "I" not "we") usurp the swastika today?
Nay, most assuredly not!
Wouldst I apologize for past usurpation in a kind of revisionist-retro PC-ess?
I don't fucking think so Herr Goebbels.
Dave E. made it luxuriantly clear: "I think the whole world stinks" Not just part of it, the whole fucking world! Any viable way we "eelings" ™ could say "fuck you" was swimmingly appropriate. We had a little mantra in those days that might illuminate: "It is the will of Allah, that we, the Electric Eels, have the urgent and extreme honor of service, by making you, the world at large, as uncomfortable as fucking possible." And seeing as people are despicable moronic assholes anyway, it seemed the very ultimate in germaneness.
My original art for "the eyeball" included a counter clockwise swastika, the good luck charm version. Yes, a very UNCHARACTERISTIC COMPROMISE. I then had occasion to trademark the name "the electric eels"™ and the government attorney (our government) objected to "that other symbol" in the logo. He asked if I had a sans-swastika version. My little 1st Amendment ears turned red with the ensuing burning and immediately, I re-swastikaed the covers.
Paul made some sane and clear observations in his notes to Those Were Different Times, and I quote from that, "I thought we were Lenny Bruce, our friends thought we were Adolph Hitler."

Continued Quiet Personal Reflection 
Rest assured dear outraged public, the eels have paid some heavy dues because of the swastika brouhaha (The god damn fat assed niggardly Third Reich ruined it for the rest of us) and methinks "eyeball…" might not fare as well as "God Says Fuck You" did amongst the Hasidim demographic.
But the cost of protecting free speech for all of us? Priceless.
But what ultimately imbues me with Proprietary Swastikal License is that both my wife and sister are Jewish. (I like that, it really defines the term "lame excuse.")

THE ROUGH TRADE SINGLE
Jim Jones was being a roadie for Ubu's first european tour, (I guess that's the gauntlet you had to pay before playing with them) and Jon Savage was riding in the Ubuvan with him when Jonsey happily happenced to pop in an Eels practice tape (and all the Eels tapes were practice tapes.)
Mr. Savage was so suitably struck by the nascent noise, the inchoate cacophony, the mellifluous misanthropic melody, that he forced Rough Trade (and I heard it was by the use of some very odious blackmail) to issue the Agitated/Cyclotron single. When Paul spake his misgivings as to the quality of the recording available for the master tape, the answer came back from merry olde england, "I say olde chaps, we don't care if it was recorded in a fucking merry olde closet!"
A tip of the music history hat to messieurs Jones and Savage.

A True Sinergy, in every sense of the word. 
We had definite musical/art/life ideas. Me [I] with my dada/nihilism. (There are a lot of slashes in this treatise no/yes ??) My skewered but [fairly] unique "punk" aesthetics. My no-rules industrial guitar sound.
Davy (who I would defiantly call either a genius or dishwasher savant) with his very weird, oblique Catholic take on life. His brother Mike had once said that Davie had inherited belief in the Catholic dogma without the grace of its faith. Davey felt that he was surely a sinner who would go to Hell and he did not care. He was resigned.
Brian/Paul (who I group together simply because it was that one or the other of them was replacing one or the other of them in the band.) Brian brought his chunky rock guitar style and R&B writing styles such as the very traditional "Jaguar Ride" and weirder than weird "Accident" and Paul... well let me say this: in our thirty-year, weird, close-far relationship, I think we have both benefited each other in ways that are not always clear to us.
Competent drummers (isn't that an oxymoron?) like Danny Foland (who regrettably was never recorded with the Eels) and Nick "asleep on the floor tom" Knox, rounded out the "eels sound"®.

Albert Ayler took four slugs in the spine (curiously after playing a gig at the NYC jazz club, "Slug's"), rather than have to go back to Cleveland. I know I'd do it ! 
Ra, Don Van Vliet with his blues/polyrythmic/dada sensibility (he claims to have sold a vacuum cleaner to Aldous Huxley). The Yardbirds, Love, "Easy Action" era Alice Cooper, MC5, Stooges, Albert (and Don) Ayler, and Fleetwood Mac (I remembered our utter collective disbelief when 'Future Games' came out featuring Bob "French Tickler" Welch instead of the great but crazy guitar genius Peter Green and consequently then, what ever was the point?)
Here is a rather curious curiositiness. Brian and I, who have suddenly been communicating after a twenty-year hiatus, have discovered that we both have a bent (as did Sun Ra) towards Easy-Listening music. We both admire Percy Faith and Ray Conniff (as a matter of fact I'm enjoying Ray's wonderful version of "'S Wonderful" right now) but while I specialize in the more purely ambient: Jackie Gleason, 101 Strings, and The Maestro (Mantovani), Brian really likes (gasp) Backrack.


Main differences between Peter Laughner and myself:
He died in Cleveland
I literally would not be dead caught there
Black Hair
White hair (though mine admittedly from a bottle, as was my solace)
Dressed as Lou Reed in performances
Did not
Had song recorded by "Buns and Roses"
Did not, and so far does not seem likely
Wore sunglasses
Most adamantly did not (see below)

One fine Saturday in May in the way-early seventies, Peter paid a social call on me in my parents' suburban enclave in Lakewood (from his parents' suburban enclave in Bay Village.) At some point in the festivities, Peter had to use the facilities and bizarrely, as it turned out, removed his sunglasses and placed them on the chair he had occupied. On his return he sat on them. He looked at me (knowing I had known) and holding the broken frames queried, "Why didn't you stop me?" My heartfelt reply, "I thought you did it on purpose."
I was physically unable to wear sunglasses till I was 47 as a consequence of this landmark transpiration.

The best thing to come out of Cleveland was Ghoulardi, and he's dead, so there's absolutely no point in going there now.
In Cle, we ended up sharing a loft with Rocket from the Tombs / Pere Ubu and Frankenstein / the Dead Boys. We didn't have a lot in common with either of them. We were of extremely divergent musical styles and life styles.
Quite frankly, Stiv watched Davy a lot. I mean like a way-lot. I mean, like Stiv like "studied" Dave E.'s stage presence very studiously like a way way lot. Got it? And it's like way-typical of Stiv not to be around to deny my accusations.
When "Rockets" broke up to become "Ubu" they fired their drummer, Wayne Strick, who took his revenge by pulling a station wagon up and stealing our equipment. The cops, ever helpful, suggested we go to his house and steal it back.
It is my understanding that as a young lieutenant in 'nam, Wayne was the victim of fragging. 37 grenades were thrown into his tent. One for each and every dogface in his unit.

The Grievously Unreleased Material
Black Leather Rock The unemployed Eels were sitting around one mournful Monday morning watching TV and saw the Hammer film, "These Are The Damned" (the English title was "The Damned") with Oliver Reed as a teddy boy, "King", who was about as convincing a character as Harvey Lembeck . A teddy-girl sings "Black Leather Rock" a cappella with exquisite youthful exuberance several times throughout the cine. Dave thought it was way-cool and we should do it. One full year later, Paul, tired of hearing Davey endlessly go on about it made us arrange it from memory (The first line actually is "Black leather, black leather rock, rock, rock...") The composer, James Bernard, said of it in an interview:

Q: "The most unusual thing you composed for Hammer was probably the pop song played and sung in The Damned."
A: "Ah yes, Black Leather Rock. It's rather embarrassing now! It was easy to compose that simple little tune; the music was very basic, and the lyrics were officially by the film's scriptwriter, Evan Jones.
Q: Officially?
A: "I have a feeling Joe Losey might have had something to do with it as well. I think I came up with the title Black Leather Rock, but that was my only involvement with the lyrics."
Well Mr. Bernard, seems like you have the Eels© to thank for taking your "rather embarrassing very basic simple little tune" and catapulting it into a mega-super-hit!






Dead Man's Curve It certainly is no fucking place to play, just ask Jan Berry.

Girl Mike Rubin wrote, "Angst-ridden before that was a genre unto itself, Dave E. sings with one of the recorded era's most protrusive speech impediments: "Wheah are you now?" he moans in "Natural Situation," as tone deaf as love is blind, "Dead on da gwound."
I was listening to "Girl" for the first time in over 25 years. Dave's pronounced "impediment" was just affect, like Roger Daltry's stutter on "My Generation." Why he chose to feign a listless lisp? If you knew Dave, you just expected and accepted it.

Dolly Boy "All I want to know is, what's in it for me?" I penned this ditty because I was incensed at Brian (we always had a kind of sibling rivalry and both sought Dave's compliments.) I don't know what particular incident spawned me to write it, but I found it hilarious to teach it to Brian (with him being studious and all) and him not knowing it was about his very self. He actually wrote me an e-mail recently about how he liked it and was glad it was coming out. He STILL doesn't know I was like way-incensed at him!

Flash Coats I just thought you'd like to know. A word, just a word. When I was in Junior High, I somehow got connected with Royce Dendler, an assistant professor of art at Oberlin College. He and his wife, Susan Demming, were the first real artists I had ever met. Among his many talents, Royce had a (non-Levi) jean jacket that I lusted after. Like Tom Ripley, I was wont to put it on and gaze at myself in the mirror when Royce wasn't there (And boy did I have a couple of close calls!!)
Five years later in 1971 when I went to NYC to flunk out of Art School, Royce had relocated there. I paid him a social visit.
"Hi Royce, how are you? How do you like New York? How's the art going and what ever happened to that jean jacket? You know, that one you used to wear?" I had a fucking worm in my mouth (baited breath.)
"That thing? It finally fell apart and we started using it as a doormat."
And I saw that I was indeed standing on it. "Oh well shucks, if you don't want it, ...then, perhaps... then maybe I could have it?" He assented after I promised to supply him with a replacement mat. I trembled visibly.
Mine! Mine! It was finally mine. However, it was totally fucking ripped to shreds and un-wearable.

Cleveland sucked my dick ! 
What to do? What could I do? I certainly couldn't/wouldn't/didn't know how to sew ! ! The answer came as satori. I bought two packs of assorted size safety pins. I got that baby repaired to a point where it was wearable and then, I liked the look so very much that I went out and bought five more packs of pins. IT WAS MAGNIFICENT and the rest... is history!
Tom? Richard? Did either of you see me wearing it?

John Morton ®
Mayo 2001, La Habana
Please find it in your hearts to visit the official fucking electric Eels Web-Congeliturbation at www.electriceels.com The only site on the entire fugging www where your rudeness is warranteed!!



Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Electric Eels.

The Eyeball of Hell (Scat)
1. Agitated (orig)
2. Cyclotron
3. Jaguar Ride
4. You're Full of Shit
5. Girl
6. IQ 301-Man!
7. Black Leather Rock
8. Dead Man's Curve
9. Tidal Wave
10. Anxiety
11. Cold Meat
12. Dolly Boy
13. Silver Daggers
14. Zoot Zoot
15. Accident
16. Refrigerator (alt)
17. Bunnies (alt)
18. Sewercide (alt)
19. Spinach Blasters
20. It's Artastic
21. As If I Cared
22. Cards and Fleurs
23. Jazz Is (Part 2)
24. Natural Situation

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Jawbreaker

I first heard Jawbreaker at my friend Dan Kaufman's house in Simi Valley. It was 1994, the summer before my senior year of high school. When I left that day he handed me a cassette with 24 Hour Revenge Therapy dubbed onto both sides and a photocopy of the cover. That made it easy to listen to over, and over, and over, and over... which I did for the next few months. Soon after school started, they had a gig at The Roxy in West Hollywood. I was normally not permitted to attend such things, but Dan's 27 year-old brother in law was driving so my mother allowed it, with the caveat being that I had to call her to come get me if he had so much as ONE DRINK. Of course, the first thing he did when we arrived was head for the bar...

Opening that night were Tanner and Fluf. Dan and I bought a Tanner single, but Fluf didn't really do it for us. Jawbreaker came out and they were great. This was one of the first "punk" shows I ever attended, so I was pretty excited. I believe I was wearing my Church of the Subgenius shirt, featuring a fish with legs smoking a pipe with "BOB" in the middle (it was my favorite shirt at the time).

The year passed, and I moved into my friend's house because my mother and I couldn't get along. I started dying my hair blue, green -- you name it. The night before graduation, Jawbreaker played another gig at The Roxy. Since I wasn't living with my parents anymore, I didn't need permission. This time it was Chinchilla and Fluf opening, although I still was unmoved by Fluf. How did they keep getting on the bill? Jawbreaker played and were great. Most of the set was new songs from the as yet unreleased Dear You LP.

The summer passed, and I moved to Berkeley to start college. Not long after school started, Dear You came out. I immediately ran down to Amoeba (or was it Rasputin's?) and bought a copy. I was less than thrilled when I brought it home and listened to it. It didn't sound at all like their previous albums.

Listening to it now, I can see why so many of us were disappointed with it then. The thing is -- it's not bad. But it was their major label debut, their "sellout" album and rather than make them, it broke them. Luckily we still have 4 Jawbreaker albums (5 if you count Etc.), which is probably enough for most people anyway.



Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Jawbreaker.

Dear You (DGC)
1. Save Your Generation
2. I Love You So Much It's Killing Us Both
3. Fireman
4. Accident Prone
5. Chemistry
6. Oyster
7. Million
8. Lurker II: Dark Son Of Night
9. Jet Black
10. Bad Scene, Everyone's Fault
11. Sluttering (May 4th)
12. Basilica










Monday, January 7, 2013

The Recoys

The Recoys began in the Cleveland Park area of Washington DC. Singer Hamilton Leithauser and drummer Hugh McIntosh had attended school together since the 5th grade. They had hated each other until the 9th grade. It was not until the summer before their sophomore year of high school that they met guitarist Pete Bauer during a local rock show in Fort Reno Park. (At that point, Pete had already befriended Mike Sheahan and Damon Hege, who would later become the Recoys' second and third bassmen respectively. Still, the band was a long ways away.) Throughout high school, Hamilton, Hugh and Pete experimented with music and in other ways with Washington D.C. fixture Harrison Martin (brother of Walter who would later prove a key figure in the bands career). It wasn't until heading off to college that Hamilton and Hugh decided to rename themselves the Recoys, convince Pete (who had taken to locking himself alone in the dark for days at a time) to leave New York, pick up the guitar again, and move to Boston.

The first Recoys recordings were produced in the summer of 1997. Hamilton had been out of the country for a while, which gave him the chance to write a few songs. When he returned, he immediately recruited Hugh, and the two spent a day in Hugh's basement with a 4-track. The result was four bad songs. One, however would prove its worth and go on to become the Recoys classic "Modern Art Museum."

Pete, Ham, and Hugh enrolled at BU, and met fellow student Dave Pole during the first month. Since Dave was known in cafeteria gossip circles as "Hugh 2," Hugh asked him to join the band as a bassist. Things did not go as planned and Dave was quickly fired.

Days before their first show, the Recoys realized fellow Washingtonian Mike Sheahan would be the perfect replacement for Pole. Sheahan, a junior at Northeastern University, was a guitar virtuoso who spent his days emulating Stevie Ray Vaughn and Slash. Moving to bass and playing with a bunch of garagish-sounding mods was not his first choice, but he soon grew to love the band. During the same period, Hamilton took to dating Mike's sister, Nicole, which was also not Mike's first choice. But Mike swallowed his frustration and realized it was all for the best.

The Recoys first show took place late one Sunday night at Cambridge's "TT the Bears." A few friends were kind enough to come support the band. Such crowds would be a staple of their three-year career. Despite the low turnout, the boys were very nervous. Mike had to be coaxed on stage by the others, and Pete vomited out back just as they marched on for the first song. But as the show proved far more satisfying than their high school incarnations, the boys were more determined than ever.

The band played out around Boston for the better part of a year. They received one piece of press: an interview with Boston's Northeast Performer Magazine, titled Lock in with the Recoys. It was also during this period that they first played New York. This was to truly give a taste of what lay ahead. After months and months of long-distance pressure on the Continental, Noel finally offered 11 pm on Easter Sunday. The boys jumped at the chance.

That weekend the band also made its second recording. Hamilton's cousin Walter Martin had invited the Recoys to stay on his couch and record with his eight-track. Martin's recordings would be used as a demo and released on cassette tapes. Martin would continue to be the band's biggest supporter in the following years.

Following this first weekend in New York, Hamilton and Hugh decided it was time to move down permanently. But first it was time for a decent recording. Briefly the boys returned to Washington to record at Don Zientara's Inner Ear Studios. Two jam-packed days brought 5 new songs to tape. But as the boys had no idea what they were looking for, the results were mixed. While engineering, Zientara pointed out that some of the songs "just seemed crazy." Hamilton and Zientara were forced to mix the project alone as the rest of the band had become obsessed with a board game in the other room. Nonetheless, the band was convinced it was finally happening.

In the summer of 1998, the Recoys rented a Uhaul truck, piled all four in the front cab, and drove to Manhattan. Together they had rented the tiny 2-bedroom apartment on east 7th street infamously known as "3000." The shower was a step up in the kitchen, the beds covered all floor space, and the air conditioners kept blowing out the power. The rooftop parties were legendary. Perhaps the biggest problem was the influx of visiting friends. On weekends, 3000 was a refugee camp. 3000 set the stage for such events as Dracula Halloween, Damon's scarring his face on the roof, Pete punching a hole through Ham's door because he was mad at Hugh's girlfriend, many viewings of the Kurt Russell sci-fi thriller "Stargate," and a surprising amount of trash talking. Most evenings during this time ended up in their Williamsburg practice space or at the Cherry Tavern on 6th street. Three out of four Recoys were jobless that summer.

Being unemployed, Mike could usually be found that summer watching b-grade comedies and smoking cigarettes in the bedroom all day. Favorites included "Mitchell" and "Christmas Vacation." Not surprisingly, Mike's long-held dream was to work in a video store, and he was ecstatic when he was hired around the corner. But as it turned out, working was not for Mike that summer, so after three days he had a friend tell his boss his sister had died and he would never be coming back.

In the fall, Pete and Mike moved back to Boston -- Pete quickly realizing his mistake. Both would come down to play every weekend and, while Mike continued to enjoy Boston, Pete's mental state can best be illustrated by a scene at his birthday in which, during a party as his apartment, he squirmed on the floor naked screaming as guests prodded him with broomsticks and chairs.

The pressure was getting to everyone. Pete and Hamilton had entered into an unfortunate glam phase, wearing make-up on stage, silver shirts and unbelievably revealing white trousers. Mike and Hugh did not agree with this direction. In-fighting was constant. Soon after the cover picture of this album was taken (showing the boys seated on a couch on New Year's), Pete slugged Hugh in the face.

Something had to change. Pete decided to drop out of BU and follow everyone else to New York. Mike however, would not be going with him. Deciding that his heart was with the blues, Mike retired from the band, moving into a beach house outside of Boston and returning to his studies.

While he would be missed, the search was immediately on for his replacement. Ham, Hugh and Pete would not have to look far, as another Washingtonian and now local New York dirt bag Damon Hege agreed to join.

Pete vowed never to step foot in Massachusetts again.

While Hamilton and Hugh continued on at 3000, Pete and Damon moved into little spot just below the BQE, which was immediately christened "Fort Awesome." This new apartment was instantly a hotbed for Recoys activity. As their practice space was now just down the street, the band slammed into its most prolific period (the space was also the site of several scenes from Pete Bauer's avant-garde student film Superman in Brooklyn). Writing dozens of songs and opening for the older JFE boys at the Bowery Ballroom, the Recoys had never been happier.

At this point, one of the most important, influential, and detrimental characters in the history of the Recoys entered: the unique and terifying Walter Durkacz. Durkacz, who had been managing their cousin-band Jonathan Fire*Eater, approached the Recoys soon after the Bowery show. What would seem like a match made in heaven would draw itself out into a complex and unforgettable relationship. Each side did a terrific job of amplifying the others' "getting your shit together" problem. The most persistent obstacle they faced was a dying van that the JFE guys had beaten into a moving atrocity. Any and all band profits, and countless Saturday afternoons, were tossed away into keeping this thing alive and suffering. It was on one of these Saturdays that Walter first realized Damon was actually in the band. Since well after he had signed on as the Recoys' manager, Durkacz had asked Ham on at least two occasions "who's Damon?" If the van were running, and could be moved at all, the boys could often be found moving refrigerators, toilets, stoves, rocks, desks, and pieces of metal into Durkacz's Fort Greene garage. To this day the room is packed with the stuff.

In the fall and winter to come, the boys played some of their most memorable shows. They had begun to build up a sizable following in DC, playing to packed houses at the Black Cat on 14th Street. Opening for El Vez one night, they had put on what seemed to be their best show to date -- until the very last bar of the last song, when Hugh unexpectedly vomited from behind the drum set and bounded off stage. The whole thing was immortalized on home video.

It was also during Damon's first days that the band took their now increasingly manic and crazed show to Princeton, New Jersey expecting a quick 1/2-hour set, and dreaming of a big college-board pay day. When they arrived, it was explained they would have to play for at least three hours. The boys had never played for more than thirty minutes. Undeterred, they ran through their entire catalogue, and ad-libbed many covers, including the loudest and drunkest version of "Mona" ever performed -- at least until they returned to Princeton the following year. The show was an unqualified success and one of their proudest moments. Still, having not made any friends with the Ivy Leaguers in the audience, most of the boys were forced to sleep under a pool table while Hamilton awoke in a university hallway, kids filing by him on the way to class.

When friends Nick Stumpf, Matt Stinchcomb, Josh Wise, and Jamie Krents formed a band called the French Kicks, a solid and beautiful brotherly bond was born. Together the bands would rock Sarah Lawrence College annually. The after parties lasted all night and well into the next day, and are now of campus legend. The French Kicks taught the Recoys about picking up girls, and how they would never be able to.

Back in New York, Walter Durkacz, with his unique finesse, convinced Interview Magazine to feature the Recoys in their 30th anniversary edition. When the boys walked into the photo studio, they were informed that they would actually be dressed in other clothes. It wasn't too awful until the makeup artists began explaining what "look" they thought the band needed. Anxious, frustrated, and sweaty, the boys eventually surrendered their morals. That evening, after being posed, covered in vaseline, dressed in hideous leather, and treated like dogs, the Recoys watched the Fugazi movie "Instrument" ...it was truly a low point for band morale.

In the fall of 1999 the Recoys were dealt a crippling blow: the older JFE boys were convinced they would open a recording studio in Harlem, so the practice space was gone. This was especially problematic because the Recoys were especially incompetent. Finding a new space would turn into an arduous process lasting through the winter. Eventually they were underneath Max Fish on Ludlow Street, paying by the hour, and using the only crappy equipment allowed in the place. It was not only freezing, but very quiet, which was a first for anyone's musical career. These were slowing days for the Recoys -- doing a few shows at the Luna Lounge and practicing for an hour or two every so often.

Still, there were a few remaining moments of greatness. With their new friend Milan Macalvey, they began to play regular shows with his band "The Chimps" at small bars around Brooklyn (notably the Kingsland Tavern in Greenpoint). One great night of Chimps/Recoys music was at the Turkey's Nest. Milan led the show off by breaking up his band mid-set and decking the drummer. The Recoys followed with probably their loudest set since the Boston days. The night ended with a trip back to their new friend Milan's apartment. In the early morning hours Milan revealed he was wearing women's underwear. To everyone's even greater surprise, so was Hugh.

Shows also followed with Milan's love project "The Lil' Fighters" (which also included Recoy-supporter and engineer Walter Martin -- who sang of the Recoys' plight in the Fighters hit "The Recoys"). As the Recoys had finally grappled a regular slot at Luna, and attendance was somewhat decent, it was decided the two bands would use the stage for a battle. Flyers went up around town for "Recoys vs. Lil' Fighters." The night was a true blow out. But things were changing. Hugh had moved into a closet uptown and was considering leaving New York. Pete and Damon would also soon separate, Pete moving in with a girl he'd met that very night during the Fighters' set, Damon just down the block from him in the Lower East Side.

As the band continued to play at Luna, a more disturbing factor came in to play. "I really started worrying about them when Pete brought a synth on stage," said Martin of the bands' final era. The band was experimenting with a weird pscyhadellic angle that no one fully understood. Things were definitely getting out of hand.

Mixing some 8-track tapes on Damon's computer, the band realized they had become somewhat of a parody of their former selves. Returning to Princeton for another college show, they found themselves playing to an empty room with only their girlfriends and a couple of frat boys watching them. Damon wasn't even there, so Walt had offered to step in on bass. Hugh had brought a bottle of Jack Daniels that was passed around between songs. Needless to say, the whole thing was a mess. The show was not without its great moments though, such as an improvised cover of Springsteen's "Stolen Car" and another version of "Mona" (which they had sworn to never play again). Still, by the end of the show, it had become increasingly clear that the band had either lost its way or had stopped caring. On the way out of town, the van's windshield wipers broke and they were lost in a torrential downpour. They were stuck in Princeton for the night, which gave them time to think about the future. While it was never mentioned out loud, an end was becoming steadily more apparent.

But they would not go down without a fight. Playing to a sold out house at DC's Garage, the Recoys carried the night with their most polished and strongest set to date. Following the Garage, they would play one last show at Luna. "Even though we hadn't said it to each other, we all know it was the final one," said Damon. The crowd seemed to know as well, calling the boys out to return to the stage multiple times. Planning to finish things off with "Song of the Paper Dolls" (arguably the audiences' favorite over the years), the Recoys weren't quite satisfied when it all came to an end. With some prompting from the crowd, they returned to the stage, Hamilton wearing an Orioles cap and looking like the seventeen-year-old kid he had been when he started the group. Leading the guys through "Shake Off Your Nerve," a loud and raucous garage rock song they had recorded with Zientara, it was clear to him that the energy had never been captured on tape.

While they remained friends, the members of the band went their separate ways. Pete and Hamilton formed a new band (The Walkmen) with the older boys. Damon remained in New York studying to be an artist. Hugh moved to Santa Fe to resume his studies before moving to China for a prolonged period of time. He has since been rumored to be in DC again.

The record before you now is culled from the band's original self-titled EP "THE RECOYS" and their work leading up to what would been their following album, entitled "THAT GIRL'S A DECOY." Unfortunately, due to lack of funding and lack of interest, this 2nd album never materialized. The title of this record, "REKOYS," was simply an alternate title the band had been throwing around for awhile in the later days.



Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, The Recoys.

Rekoys LP +3 (Troubleman Unlimited/Realistic)
1. Song Of The Paper Dolls
2. Shake Off Your Nerve
3. Over Your Shoulder
4. That's The Punchline
5. Let You In
6. The Blizzard of '93
7. Let's Get Educated
8. Modern Art Museum
9. Look Out Your Window
10. Roy Orbison
11. The Recoys (by the Lil' Fighters)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Friday, January 4, 2013

The Garbage Pail Kids Movie



Directed by Rod Amateau, 1987

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Phil Collins

This is the first time I've ever written sleeve notes for one of my albums. The reason I write them now is to give the listener a direction or to maybe explain what the songs are about. Songs are all things to all people but sometimes the wrong path is taken and the misinterpretation stays with you forever.

This batch of songs crept up behind me during the last few months of '92 and the first half of '93. I improvised, recorded, improvised again, added, recorded some more and in all had a great time. For the first time ever I played all the instruments. It was during this time that I realised that the real fun to be had was actually in my little 12 track demo room. I've always used my home demos (either 8 tk or 12 tk) as my basic masters. This time I looked behind me and realised that I'd played everything I wanted to hear -- guitar, bass, even the lead vocals were all recorded at home. With my basic masters recorded at home, I then went to The Farm studios with engineer Paul Gomersall and assistant Mark Robinson, both of whom I had built a relationship with over the last few years, collaborating on various projects and culminating in the Serious Hits, Live album with Paul and the Genesis Dance album with Mark. There at The Farm we overdubbed real drums and the odd new line of guitar or harmony and of course we finally mixed the songs.

Many people think of me as a perfectionist, someone who polishes and shines each song and performance. I've always been bothered by that assumption. The way I worked on this album and indeed all my previous albums was to "make it up as I went along." Of course over the twenty or so years of recording, there are some that miss the mark a little. Whenever possible though, I've always kept the first take and then made everybody else play the mistakes! I've also always noticed that my demo lead vocals had more heart than the recorded versions done in the studio with headphones and people hanging around, so this time I had the lyrics written and I recorded all the lead vocals in the upstairs room at my house. All in all it's the most enjoyable album I've ever made. I hear the difference, I hope you do too.

Thanks,
Phil Collins



Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Phil Collins.

Both Sides (Atlantic)
1. Both Sides Of The Story
2. Can't Turn Back The Years
3. Everyday
4. I've Forgotten Everything
5. We're Sons Of Our Fathers
6. Can't Find My Way
7. Survivors
8. We Fly So Close
9. There's A Place For Us
10. We Wait And We Wonder
11. Please Come Out Tonight

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Mötley Crüe

The opening line of the original intro to "Too Fast For Love" says "When you're young and crazy, life goes on." Those lyrics - those words right there - sort of sum up the whole moment. We were young and we were out of our minds. We just lived from one moment to the next and really didn't look too far into the future, because none of us really believed in the future... The music on that album is spontaneous, raw and ratty. It's punk rock, power-pop, it's pissed off and it's romantic in that it romanticizes the things in life that were dear to us: alcohol, drugs, cars, staying up all night - and no future....

That album is the essence of "right now." Right here. Right where we stand. Right in this studio. Right in this moment with this drink in my hand. This fist is what it's all about. It's about the switch blade in my pocket. It's about the bundle of cocaine in the boot. It's about the night before when you didn't sleep and you had to boil your guitar strings on some chick's stove so you could go to the studio and record because you couldn't afford bass strings...

It was a magical moment that I think every band has.

-- Nikki Sixx, April 1999



Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Mötley Crüe.

Too Fast For Love (Elektra)
1. Live Wire
2. Come On And Dance
3. Public Enemy #1
4. Merry-Go-Round
5. Take Me To The Top
6. Piece Of Your Action
7. Starry Eyes
8. Too Fast For Love
9. On With The Show