Today's massive download (76 MB! -- almost an hour of music) comes to us from the dim recesses of Dayton's mid-'80s memory (or at least my dim memory of mid-'80s Dayton).
I know almost nothing about Limited Potential or any of the bands on this cassette (with the exception of POETIC JUSTICE). I remember hearing Mike Potential's name and the fact that he put together this comp from Kris Pleiss while I was still in high school. That places it no later than early 1987 or 1986. I'm placing it tentatively in 1986 because I have this vivid memory of us discussing it while she and I were in a storage room off the high school library. We were supposed to be working on some project for speech class, and we took speech class from Mr. Stribeck in the fall of our senior year ('86). We also listened to this tape on our way to see POETIC JUSTICE at The Building Lounge, and I'm pretty sure that show was in December 1986.
I also have the last issue of a zine called PAINFUL EXPERIANCE (sic) that was put out by Dug Cole (who played bass in SOCIAL DISEASE--more on them later) in spring1987 that mentions Limited Potential and has a grainy picture of Mike Potential. That zine mentions this tape, and the impression I get is that it had been out for a while when the zine was written.
Of most of the bands here, I know nothing. I'm not even certain that they're all from Dayton. I'm pretty sure YOUR FORM OF GOVERNMENT is, because I remember hearing their name and I may have seen them (or someone that sounded very much like them) at the Building Lounge in '87. My guess is that if they're not all from Dayton, they all played at some point at either the Building Lounge or Paul McDermitt's space at the Front Street Warehouse (where both SOCIAL DISEASE and HAUNTING SOULS used to practice). Both places were required hangouts for anyone who lived in Dayton and was into hardcore at that time, and of course, both will get their own blog entries at some point.
I do know a little about POETIC JUSTICE. For their brief existence, they were probably the most popular hardcore band in Dayton. Every now and then, I still hear people around town mention their name. I don't remember all the personnel, but Erik Purtle played guitar. Erik, of course, later played guitar or bass in DEMENTIA PRECOX, MONDOLUX, MINUS ONE, HAUNTING SOULS, and probably a half-dozen others I'm forgetting (his current band is LUXURY PUSHERS, who you should go see at this year's Monster Hop if you can--and you can also catch Erik in some local jewelry store commercials every now and then). As I said, Kris and I saw them at the Building Lounge in late 1986. It was the first local music show I'd ever seen (she had to practically drag me there), and to this day it ranks in my top ten best shows ever. There weren't that many people there that night (I think it was a Thursday), but you wouldn't know that from how they played. Amazing hardcore--loud, snotty, brilliant. I had heard hardcore before and liked it, but I'd never seen it played. In the years since, I've certainly fallen out of the die-hardcore legions, but I retain a weakness for hardcore performed live--most likely because of this show. If you've always been turned off by hardcore, you should try seeing a good band play it live some time. If they're doing it right, it's an incredibly visceral experience.
Apparently, Mike Potential moved to Chicago in the late '80s and did at least two things worth noting. First, he produced Screeching Weasel's Punkhouse EP (cooool!). Second, he produced Smashing Pumpkins' first single (booooo! though it seems he later pissed off Billy Corgan something awful: way cooool!). Both came out on Limited Potential.
Unfortunately, that's all I know about this comp. But really, who needs information when you can just listen to the music? If all these bands are from Dayton, this tape amounts to a wonderful snapshot of punk rock in this town in the mid-'80s. If they're not, it's still a good comp. I emphasized the hardcore, and the tape has it's share of that. But there's some mid-tempo punk here too--as well as some psycho-basement folk from YOUR FORM OF GOVERNMENT (resembling early VIOLENT FEMMES or CAMPER VAN BEETHOVEN, but more lo-fi). Check it out.
The POETIC JUSTICE live tracks (5 & 6) were likely recorded at the Building Lounge or (possibly) Canal Street Tavern. The only reason I say that is that you can hear a woman shout "last call for food," and I don't remember The Building Lounge serving food. But it seems to me that Canal Street (which has experimented with food service off and on over the last twenty-five years) was serving food in the mid-'80s.
1. CRITO T. - Intro
2. POETIC JUSTICE - Ignore You
3. POETIC JUSTICE - Love Song
4. POETIC JUSTICE - Poetic Justice
5. POETIC JUSTICE - Make the Best
6. POETIC JUSTICE - Inside
7. GROUP OF INDIVIDUALS - Being Bored
8. GROUP OF INDIVIDUALS - Fashion Fools
9. NASAL WASTE - Jeff's Basement Bondage Whore
10. HATES - Last Hymn/No Talk in the 80's
11. HATES - New Spartans
12. HATES - All the Whites
13. HATES - City on Ice
14. DEAD SILENCE - Mad Scientists' Ball/Tug-O-War
15. YOUR FORM OF GOVERNMENT - Psycho Daddy-o
16. YOUR FORM OF GOVERNMENT - LouieLouie
17. YOUR FORM OF GOVERNMENT - Bears aren't cool
18. ROADKILL - Here comes the Sun
19. LOOKOUTS - Insane
20. LOOKOUTS - Recycled love
21. LOOKOUTS - The Mushroom is exploding
22. LOOKOUTS - Friend of Mine
23. [CRITO T. - Outro]
Download it! (76 MB) (link re-upped on 2-1-2013)
This download comes to you courtesy of the Gail Dafler Archives.
Tracks 10 and 14 contain two songs each. They just seem to go together -- didn't seem right splitting them up.
Tracks 23 and 24 are bracketed because they're not listed anywhere on the tape cover, but the speaker on 24 introduces himself as "Criterion T." and sounds like the same voice from track 1. I don't know who performed the little music bit that follows the poem.
I'd be interested to know if LOOKOUTS are the same band that Larry Livermore (founder of LOOKOUT! Records) fronted in the '80s. I doubt it, but if anybody knows one way or the other, tell me.
UPDATE (2-23-2008): Susan at the Know-All blog tells me that YOUR FORM OF GOVERNMENT was indeed from Dayton and that Nick Eddy and some guy called Skater Kyle were in that band.