Friday, August 24, 2007

ROCK WOLF, s/t (unofficial, cassette, 1992(?))

Today's download comes to us from the Grog Collection.

The excellent MP3 blog on the WFMU site has a recurring feature called "Cassette Culture Revisited." Each entry spotlights something from cassettes that are either one-of-a-kind "found" items (like audio letters, recordings of conversations, speeches, poetry, rants, etc.) or very small run music releases--usually of the experimental or just plain odd variety and almost always with homemade covers and inserts. Today's entry would, I think, fit nicely under the "Cassette Culture" banner.

Rick (aka "Rock") Wolf was this guy who used to come to OXYMORONS shows, stand next to the stage, jump up and down, and do air guitar while we played. He was a big guy. I believe he was in some branch of the service. He had a Marine-style buzz cut. To this day, whenever I think of OXYMORONS playing at Canal Street Tavern, I think of Rick standing about three feet to my right--air-guitaring his ass off.

Rick had band equipment and a 4-track in his home, where he recorded this tape all by himself. He gave us a copy, but I don't think he circulated it as a release. As far as I know, we're the only ones except him who ever heard it.

And that's really too bad because this thing is amazing. Rick's music is a perfect reflection of himself: loud, awkward, and totally cool. The obvious hit single is "Aliens from Mars," but "The Dog and the Fish" and "Shitting Hits" are damn good as well. Of special interest to Daytonians would be "Cargill Stench," a monster broadside slam against the rendering plant on Needmore that's still stinking up this town fifteen years later. Even if you listen to the first few cuts and decide you don't like it, listen to "Cargill Stench" at least once before sending this to the recycler.

The only weak tracks here are the OXYMORON covers (tracks 2-4). It's not that I don't like those songs or that Rick doesn't do them justice. I just think his originals are so much better suited to his talents. I'd compare Rick to WESLEY WILLIS, except that Rick is more coherent and can actually carry a tune. The whole thing's got something of a latter-day HASIL ADKINS aesthetic but with homemade grunge rather than homemade psychobilly.

But comparisons mean little here. Rick is a Dayton original: perhaps the ultimate expression of "Dayton’s strange, violent, creative energy . . . [that] climbs out of the Miami river valley, riding on clouds of industrial soot, and infects the minds and spirits of young unsuspecting children."

So after fifteen years of obscurity, this heretofore untold chapter in Dayton music history comes to you through the magic of the internet. Listen, enjoy, copy, share. And if you have any idea what Rick Wolf is doing these days, let me know.

Track List:

1. Aliens from Mars
2. Pleasant Distraction*
3. Cheep Beer*
4. Wasting My Time*
5. Rock and Roll Road to Success
6. Cargill Stench
7. The Dog and the Fish
8. Oh Yeah
9. 2 Many Times
10. Stay the Same
11. Shitting Hits
12. Falling

All instruments and vocals by Rick Wolf.

All words and music by Rick Wolf, * except tracks 2-4 by Ben Shelcker and The Oxymorons.

I'm placing this in 1992 because it seems to me Rick Gave this to us after a show we did at Canal Street on the night before we left for a tour that I'm sure took place in 1992. But as usual, I could be wrong on that. If so, correct me. As always, any comments are welcome.

Download it! (38 MB) (link re-upped on 2-1-2013)

take care


No comments: