Friday, November 21, 2008

Off-site: FRANKENSTEIN'S KIND and OXYMORONS (sort of!) at YouTube!

Mite Mutant deserves all the credit for digging up these amazing videos.

First, we have this long lost example of mid-'80s creativity from FRANKENSTEIN'S KIND (a band that has, quite UNdeservedly, slipped into Dayton obscurity):

And now, just when you thought things couldn't get any more surreal, here's a video of a drummer playing along with Nick Atkinson's part in THE OXYMORONS' "Day of Reckoning":

If you've never played an instrument, then you might not be familiar with the (common) practice of base imitation to develop one's skill.

If you've ever been involved with any creative art other than music, then you might eschew the practice of imitation as a means to develop creativity. To put it in terms that TINY creative minds might understand, you might think that imitation is for suckers.

However, nothing can be further from the truth. Imitation has been a standard part of creative development for centuries (Benjamin Franklin, in fact, wrote an instructive essay in which he admits that he learned to write well by copying passages from his favorite writers many times over and changing them just a bit each time). The 20th Century witnessed a revolution in pretty much every form of art and invented several new ones. Yet the great disservice that 20th-century thinking did to artists lies in its over-emphasis on complete originality. Certainly, originality is an important element in any finished work of art, but the development of creativity must certainly include the practice of unabashed imitation of previous works of art by which one has been inspired. Seriously, could Jack Kerouac have developed the creativity to write On the Road without first directly imitating his hero Thomas Wolfe in Kerouac's first novel, The Town and the City? Could the ROLLING STONES have recorded Exile on Main Street without first covering the old blues standard "Come On, Come On!"?

And to develop my own (marginal) creative skill, I myself spent hours playing Joey Santiago solos and Bob Mould rhythms note-for-note on my guitar before I ever ventured to record anything I would call "original" (and whatever decency there was in any music I ever made owes a heavy debt to those hours of imitation). With that in mind, I salute both the (unfortunately anonymous) drummer playing in this video AND Nick Atkinson, whose original playing on this track inspired the imitation.

take care


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hi... I'm a dick...

...but I am working on getting new stuff up...

...if by "working," I mean "not doing anything."

That's not quite true, but it's close. Seriously though, I've got some great stuff from E.Y.E. ready to go soon. But I'm also working on getting the first issue of the Capital University Law Review ready for publication -- not that that's any excuse. I mean, come on: legal scholarship vs. forgotten indie rock from Dayton? Is there really any contest? But I am paying several thousand dollars for this legal education, so I have to give it some attention.

(gotta get my priorities straightened out)

take care


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Happy Halloween...

Yeah, it's been a while since the last update. We'll be back to our regularly scheduled programming soon, but in the meantime, the new Halloween CD is done -- and it's even got a couple tracks from Dayton artists on it. If you'd like a copy, let me know. Or you can just download the music and the cover and burn one for yourself.

By the way, if you take the second option, make sure you set the burning method to "disc-at-once" or reduce the forced pause between each track to zero (0) seconds. As usual, I used a cross-fader to bleed the tracks into each other, which will sound really annoying if there is any forced pause between them.

Here are the track notes:


Well, another spooky-ass year has come and gone. If you know me, then you already know why this one right-royally sucked complete and total ass! And if you don’t, just trust me that it did. But why should that stop me from compiling yet another goofy compilation of horror movie trailers and scary musical oddities from the past and (near) present?

Yes, once again it’s that time of year. Halloween: the favorite holiday of horror movie buffs, goth freaks, and others with undiagnosed personality disorders. Put on a costume, throw a party, and for god’s sake call Hollywood and ask them to stop making those ridiculous Saw movies!

  1. "All Night Orgy of Sex and Violence..." - Okay, I was lazy on the intro here. This is yet another clip from "Nasty," the best-ever episode of the '80s British sitcom, The Young Ones (just like the one that opened last year's disc).
  2. "Zombies," The Lillingtons - From the band's final release The Too Late Show (2006).
  3. "I Put A Spell on You," Screamin' Jay Hawkins - According to Mr. Hawkins, when this song was recorded in 1957, the (uncredited) producer "brought in ribs and chicken and got everybody drunk, and we came out with this weird version. I don't even remember making the record. Before, I was just a normal blues singer. I was just Jay Hawkins. It all sort of just fell in place. I found out I could do more destroying a song and screaming it to death."
  4. "Run Away! (Nightbeast Theme)," The Nightbeast - Homegrown talent here. Dayton's own Nightbeast (a.k.a. Nick Testa) has been slowly building a career over the last few years as sort of an awkward suburban Ladies’ Man with a Casio keyboard. I caught his act a couple of years ago at the now defunct Elbo's down by the Greyhound Bus Station and laughed my ass off. If you like this, check out more of his stuff at before the joke gets too old.
  5. Dr. Black and Mr. Hyde - Given the subsequent track here, I was tempted to go with one of the many Blacula radio spots I've got in my arsenal. But Oakley thought this one was just a scream! And of all the blaxploitation film spots I've heard, this is the one that always leaves me on the floor--your momma too...
  6. "Soul Dracula," Hot Blood - In pop music, I think the difference between a musical fad and a musical genre is that a fad spawns a far greater number of one-off novelty tracks by mock-up artists that never really existed. And if I'm right, I think I'm also right that disco is the ultimate musical fad of all time. Seriously, name the subject: Halloween, Christmas, politics, Star Wars, the starting lineup of the 1978 Houston Oilers... I'll give you even money that disco has a joke song to fit the occasion. Although not widely known, "Soul Dracula" by Hot Blood is a divine treat for obscure, late-'70s pop culture dorks like me.
  7. "Frankenstein," Gene Defcon - Picked this up on e-music. More low-budget camp here from former members of Bikini Kill, Tight Bros., From Way Back When, Bangs, Mocket, and the Primadonnas. "Frankenstein" can be found on this project's 2000 album Come Party With Me.
  8. "Would You Be So Hot (If You Weren't Dead?)," The Damned - In their heyday, The Damned approached punk rock with a sense of serious humor that went far over the heads of even their biggest fans (check out Machine Gun Etiquette, their best album, if you don’t believe me) . This selection from their 2001 reunion album Grave Disorder doesn't quite measure up to the surreal, driving noise they produced in the old days, but it does feature Patricia Morrison (of The Gun Club) on bass, and although Dave Vanian and Capt. Sensible may have lost a step (or two) over the last twenty years, they're still doing pretty well.
  9. Psycho 1965 re-release radio spot - Although this radio trailer is not from the original 1959 release, it follows the tradition of all original promotion for Psycho in that it features no media from the film but simply commentary by the director.
  10. "Psycho Repairman," The Humpers - From the band's 2002 release Positively Sick on 4th St.
  11. "Anything Can Happen on Halloween," Tim Curry - From the 1986 straight-to-cable video production of The Worst Witch. And yes, it really is that Tim Curry. Read more about it at
  12. "Spooky Swing," Parados - From their 2007 instrumental album Haunted.
  13. "Keep Watching the Skies" - Clipped from the original, Howard Hawkes classic The Thing (from Another World) (1951), which is actually not as good as John Carpenter’s 1982 remake.
  14. "Man from Mars," The Neanderthals - The overworked psychobilly genre becomes no more popular at any other time than it does at Halloween. And because it's so ubiquitous this time of year, I try to keep the psychobilly on these compilations to a minimum. But a couple tracks always seem to sneak in here. This one is from the Neanderthals' 2005 release Neanderthals in Space.
  15. "Witches' Rave," Jeff Buckley - The first of three artists on this Halloween compilation reaching out to us from beyond the grave. Jeff Buckley's brief but notable rise from cover artist to modern rock icon was tragically cut short by his semi-mysterious death by drowning at age 30 in 1997.
  16. Phantasm radio spot - Perhaps the most surreal horror film ever (except for Suspiria, I guess), Don Coscarelli's Phantasm still freaks me out today almost as much as it did in 1979. I think that's probably because its trademark funereal imagery has somehow gone without imitation in the last 30 years--so to me, at least, it still looks freshly creepy. If you've never seen the film and you're looking for something that'll freak you out until Christmas, this one is worth a rental this Halloween season.
  17. "Haunted House," Hasil Adkins - As a child in 1940s West Virginia who didn’t know about a then-new invention called multi-tracking, Hasil Adkins grew up listening to Hank Williams records under the impression that Hank was playing all the instruments at the same time. Thus upon embarking on his own musical career, Adkins taught himself to be a one-man band. His first attempt at a musical career ended in the late '60s after issuing singles on a dozen minor record labels, each of which disappeared into obscurity. Almost literally disappearing himself, Adkins spent the next fifteen years living in his mother's home but still committing thousands of original recordings to ever-growing piles of reel-to-reel tape strewn about the living room. As the story goes, one of the founders of Rhino Records picked up a scratchy Hasil Adkins 7" at a garage sale in the early '80s and spent the next 18 months tracking down the artist. It took little convincing to get Adkins to release many of his home recordings on Rhino, record new material, and tour in support of it all. Although credited with less than 6 days of formal education, Adkins did speaking tours for college audiences on his unique approach to musical artistry and continued to play and record music until his bizarre death (10 days after being run over in his front yard by a complete stranger on an ATV) in 2005.
  18. "I Want to Be Evil," Eartha Kitt - Near as I can figure out, the Greatest Catwoman of All Time recorded this signature tune some time before 1962. Thanks to Melissa for suggesting this one.
  19. Horror of the Zombies radio spot - Since its first release in 1974, this Spanish film has drifted from drive-in screens to late-night cable to VHS and now to DVD under at least a dozen titles spanning six languages. I've never seen it, but the number of titles this one has had leads me to believe it's quite the snoozer. But the radio spot makes it sound cool, no?
  20. "Zombie Prostitute," Voltaire - Though copping a French name, this solo artist has been releasing his peculiar blend of Tejano, roots, and indie rock music since 1998. "Zombie Prostitute" comes from his 2007 release, Ooky Spooky.
  21. "Saturday Evening Ghost," Frankie Stein & His Ghouls - Like Hot Blood (see track 6), Mr. Stein & His Ghouls are largely fictional--although here the fiction comes from the kids music industry rather than disco. The name of Stein and his crew appears on a string of similar recordings through the late '60s on the Power Records label, an imprint of Peter Pan--and if you're above the age of thirty and you never had a Peter Pan record when you were a kid, you were quite deprived (though that's probably also the reason you're not a complete dork like me today--I had a million of 'em!).
  22. "Halloween," Die Kreuzen - Not quite UN-sung, but perhaps only-a-little-sung, heroes of '80s hardcore punk, Die Kreuzen disbanded some time in the '90s. But all of their original recordings were recently re-released on CD by Quarterstick Records, including Century Days, from which this metallic cover of John Carpenter's movie theme is taken.
  23. Willard radio spot - Yeah, the plot sounds dorky: wimpy young man who gets picked on by everyone befriends a horde of rats, who enthusiastically follow his orders to tear his enemies to pieces. But believe it or not, this one's pretty good as cheap horror films go. By the way, I'm sorry, but I just don't see how Bruce Davison's frantically understated performance as the title character in this 1971 classic can be improved upon--even by Crispin Glover (in the utterly superfluous 2003 remake). So do yourself a favor and rent the original.
  24. "Demons Are A Ghoul's Best Friend," Ghouls' Night Out - From this all-girl group's 2006 album The Mourning After.
  25. "Halloween," Dead Kennedys - Originally released as a single in 1982, you can now find this track on any number of DKs reissue comps. But please remember that the other money-grubbing shitballs in the band wrested control of many of Jello Biafra's (lead singer's) songs a few years ago, so if you go looking for DKs recordings to buy, make sure you get them straight from Alternative Tentacles (Jello’s label). As one commenter on e-music put it, "If you don't, the terrorists win!"
  26. "Rubber Room Rock," The Spectres - Anybody remember when you used to be able to find a seemingly endless array of obscure (but good) indie rock on, all available for free and legal download? Mmmmm... Well, those days are over now, but the legacy lives on. I picked up this little beauty (and another called "Did It for Elvis!" which I put on the 2002 Halloween disc) in 2001 and have been sitting on it all these years.
  27. "Graveyard Blues," The Gits - I always try to close these things with something a little bit strange or maudlin... mournful sometimes? Recorded on a handheld cassette player at Dayton's Canal Street Tavern way back in 1986 (and later released on the Private Lubs cassette, which was reissued in 1996 as Kings & Queens), this track features the voice of the lovely Mia Zapata, whose band The Gits came up in this town and then moved to Seattle in 1988. Although poised on the edge of indie rock stardom, The Gits' career ended tragically in July 1993 when Ms. Zapata was abducted, raped, and murdered as she walked home from a late night at the recording studio. Although remaining at large for nearly ten years, her assailant was identified and sentenced in 2004. Zapata's death has been the basis of episodes of a half-dozen TV crime shows and inspired the foundation of Home Alive, a non-profit group that raises money for and holds classes on anger management and women's self defense ( Most recently, her life has been the basis of the independently released Gits Movie (
And with that, here we are again! Halloween! A holiday in which we celebrate the things that scare the shit out of us. Hey, if we can celebrate that, maybe there’s hope for the human race after all (probably not though…).

Happy Halloween!

take care


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Comment Round-up!

Just wanted to draw everyone's attention to some of the informative comments that readers have left on the blog over the past few months that you might have missed:

Amy Kreitzer tells us a little about Denny and Irene Wilson's participation in Amy's She film project.

Mike Potential leaves a long and quite illuminating comment about the Limited Potential compilation, his life after leaving Dayton, and Dayton in general.

Amy Kreitzer talks a little bit about the early days of TOXIC REASONS and how slam dancing started in Dayton.

Several people fill in the blanks on the WWSU 4-Play single.

Skyp Krantz and others enlighten us on a few things about the HANG'N PRIDE cassette and Skyp's graphic work for TOOBA BLOOZE, TOXIC REASONS, and REAL LULU.

A few people offer corrections on the Mystery of the MOM cassette.

Brian Hogarth offers some much needed corrections to the SOURBELLY Fat 4 post.

Nick Atkinson enlightens us on some of the background of BEAT POETRY FOR BEGINNERS.

A number of people offer corrections and additional information about THE PLEASURES PALE.

Several readers identify the folks who appeared in the Dayton Punkhouse Documentary of 1987.

J.R. contributes a link to some GUIDED BY VOICES downloads to the GUIDED BY VOICES MP3s post.

Ben London gives his thumbs up to the posting of the Scrappy James cassette by BIG BROWN HOUSE. Adrian Garver tells us about a show at the Building Lounge that BIG BROWN HOUSE played with FLAMING LIPS.

Angelle Gullet and SalSa clear up much of the mystery surrounding THE CAPTAIN WOODYCRAFTER cassette and accompanying video.

Grog offers some corrections on the FOURTEEN cassette.

Karen Kuras clears up my sketchy memory on the date of the HANG'N PRIDE cassette. Nick Atkinson and others deliver some insight on WALAROO SOUTH and the old Gore Club film festivals.

Amy Kreitzer throws in some DEMENTIA PRECOX memories.

Grog corrects my recollection of the Penis Flyer Story.

Grog, Nick, and Mite add some memories about CANDYASS and the Punk Rock Wedding Show.

Mite points us toward his interview with DOCTOR CREEP in a comment on the SHOCK THEATRE post.

take care


Sunday, August 10, 2008


Okay, so if you read the previous post on SPITCURL, here's some shit you should know. Apparently, I got it all WRONG. And I mean, COMPLETELY WRONG (as my Contracts Professor once wrote on my mid-term exam!). Steve Johnson, who was in SPITCURL, sent me the following gentle correction via e-mail:
Hi Pat! Steve Johnson here of that PLASTIC TREE band. I coincidentally ran accross your blog.... I saw your blog about SPITCURL and thought I'd clarify some stuff...... SPITCURL was a three piece that was me (drums), Brian Bagdonas (upright bass) and Mark Kramer (guitar). Mark sang mostly but we all had vocal parts. Mark Kramer was a tall guy with slicked back hair who was in a band called NEED and after SPITCURL he was in LET'S CRASH. It was a short lived thing, we played some Dayton shows and did a mini tour around Ohio and Indiana. We just made the one cassette EP
that we sold for a few bucks at shows. This was our attemt at a Dischord type band but it actually turned out pretty original sounding.
it was a lotta fun! Hope I could help. ----Steve
Okay, this message prompts a bit more information from me:
  • Brian Bagdonas was in LIQUID DRAINO before SPITCURL.
  • I know Mark Kramer to some limited degree, but I haven't seen him in years. My impression is that he had something to do with SKELETON KEY or ENON or some shit like that... maybe.
  • NEED was a really great band with a cute girl singer, but unfortunately, I have not yet run across any recordings by them, so don't look for any NEED posts in the foreseeable future.
  • I believe I have a 7" record or something by LET'S CRASH (courtesy of Gail Dafler).
  • So it looks like the songs I put up in the previous post were on some kind of cassette release at some point. Thanks again to Chris Wright for delivering this stuff to me.
take care


Friday, August 8, 2008

SPITCURL, 5 songs (unknown, 199?)

Okay, here's some SPITCURL...

...and that means that, once again, it's time for another patented Jones "I DUNNO!" post!

That's right! Once again, I don't know shit about these guys... EXCEPT...
  • I am 99% certain that Sheldon Mutter (from LIQUID DRAINO) was in this band.
  • Maybe Chris Wright (of NOSTROMO) was in it too.
HOLY SHIT! I have to interject here that, as I type this, Law & Order is on and Sam Waterston as the self-righteous prosecutor just intoned the right-wing phrase that I hate the most: "personal responsibility." Yeah, his character just said, "This is all an attempt to avoid personal responsibility!" Goddammit! Why do I watch this stupid program? "Because you're an idiot!" replies Wynona Ryder. Oh Wynona, if only I could believe you!
  • Shit, I forgot where I was... fuck... uh...
  • Oh yeah, I don't know for sure if Chris Wright was in SPITCURL. No doubt, he would know. And if he's reading, I hope he corrects my lame ass!
  • I saw SPITCURL at some point in the mid-'90s at one of those Ken Gross shows over at that place in that strip mall in Fairborn. Does anybody know what they called that place? Please tell me! I think my band HEIKE might have played there once. I know for sure that SLANT 6 (from D.C. -- on Dischord Records) played there, and I'm pretty sure it was the same show at which I saw SPITCURL. Help? Anybody?
  • I have no idea if these songs were on any kind of official release that SPITCURL did or even if SPITCURL ever released anything. I have no idea where they were recorded, who wrote the songs, or anything else. All of this was in a big download package that Chris Wright sent me a few months back. If you can fill in the blanks, feel free!
  • In any case, SPITCURL was pretty kick-ass! They had a great name, and they played this wonderful variety of mid-'90s noise/emo! I still miss 'em. And you are going to fucking love them! Guaranteed!
By the way, that show with SLANT 6 was fucking awesome. The lead singer, Christina (SHIT!) Billotte, had wonderfully short blond hair and wore this dark blue mini-dress -- very cute.

Track list:
  1. Build You Elegant
  2. Crushable
  3. Painting Little Thunderstorm
  4. Present Testament
  5. There is a Person in Here
Download It! 13 MB (link re-upped on 2-1-2013)

Yeah, SPITCURL... get it.

take care


Wednesday, August 6, 2008


To the previous post, I wanted to add that I cross-checked the tracks I put up yesterday with the tracks that are available for download on the DEMENTIA PRECOX Myspace site. Here are the results:
  • "Maladie s'spirit," "Just for a Little While," and "Everything is Fine," which are all included in yesterday's download pack, are also available for download on the Myspace page. The versions of on the Myspace page are of far higher fidelity.
  • "Dead on 2 Legs" and "Carpools Save Gas" were NOT available in yesterday's download but ARE available on the Myspace page. Go get 'em!
  • The ID3 tag information for the MP3s on the Myspace page places "Dead on 2 Legs" and "Just for a Little While" in 1984.
  • The same information places "Just for a Little While" and "Everything is Fine" on a release entitled HUH.
Finally, yesterday I identified DEMENTIA PRECOX as a "new wave" band. To be more complete, I should add "industrial" and perhaps "experimental" to that description.

take care


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

DEMENTIA PRECOX, MOM, BAD ELVIS IMPERSONATORS, Dementia Precox is Everywhere, (unofficial, cassette, 1980-88)

What can I say about DEMENTIA PRECOX? Well... nothing really -- or nothing I didn't say in the previous post about the DEMENTIA PRECOX Myspace site. The only thing I can really add is that I happened to run into Royse Robbins briefly a little while back and that she's back in Dayton now and doing okay. My personal opinion is that she should do some more music in some way, at some point... but I don't really know what's on her agenda these days.

What can I say about today's download? Again, not too much: 118 megabytes, about 90 minutes of music. It's a compilation that a friend of Matt DeWald made for him when he was in high school. The unofficial title, Dementia Precox is Everywhere!, comes from the faded, handwritten legend scrawled on the label for side A. The side B label places these tracks as spanning the years 1980-1988. My assumption is that they were all recorded from original vinyl releases by the band, with perhaps one track (number 10, the live version of "Love Is Headless") being recorded directly to some sort of cassette device. Who knows? I cleaned them up as best I could -- ran the noise reducer to eliminate tape hiss and normalized them all to similar levels. What else do you want? No doubt you'll hear the occasional tape flub and such, and overall this is nowhere near CD (or even original vinyl) quality. Still it should be good enough for you to make a disc from (or load onto your fucking iPod!) and blast the neighborhood with some lo-fi, New Wave, antique-Dayton goodness. Whatever will the neighbors say!?

Part of me wishes, of course, that I had the original sources to deliver to you, along with some cover scans and such. Then again, as I mentioned in the previous DEMENTIA post, it looks like Gyn or someone is still marketing at least some of the old DEMENTIA PRECOX recordings over on ebay (check the other post for how to find them). And it wouldn't surprise me to learn that some kind of better quality DEMENTIA re-issue is in the works (though that's purely my speculation). So for this blog, it's probably good that the only thing I have to offer is a semi-decent, lo-fidelity cassette compilation that's twenty years old.

I never really knew any of the people in this band. I mean yeah, I know Eric Purtle more or less... Nick Kizirnis too, but I never did any hanging out with Gyn or Royse or anyone else that you might call a "core member" or something like that. In my brief conversation with Royse, she didn't seem to have any problem with me posting this stuff, but as usual, if she changes her mind or if someone else who owns the copyright to these recordings wants me to remove them, I'll do so -- no problem. Still, since this is only "listenable" quality at best and since anyone who controls the original recordings must also have access to better versions, I figure a posting like this shouldn't be a problem. As with everything on this blog, if you like this stuff, I figure it could only stimulate you to plunk down a few bucks for a more official version if it comes along.

Anyway, here we go: eighteen tracks by Dayton's most legendary new wave combo. Listen and allow yourself to be transported back to the '80s! Back to a time of analog sampling and TR-909s! Put on your black clothes and rock out! And as I've said before, DEMENTIA has been experiencing a bit of a renaissance lately. Keep an eye out for reunions, reissues, and other stuff. With Halloween coming up in a couple of months, I'd lay even odds that some form of this band will be appearing around the Miami Valley and maybe parts beyond some time soon (I'll probably also be throwing one of these on my annual Halloween mix CD -- who can resist?).

However, today's fun doesn't end with the DEMENTIA stuff. As it happens, Matt's compilation also includes two cuts by Dayton's mythical art-rock combo MOM and one more by the totally obscure BAD ELVIS IMPERSONATORS. I know little about both bands except that Dennis Schlichter had a lot to do with MOM and that (I think) Jeff Brelsford was in both bands (I could be wrong about that -- though I'm sure he was in at least one of them -- check the comments on my previous MOM post for more information).

My current band THE VECTORS happened to play a house party a few weeks ago with this sort of band/music project featuring Dennis and his friend Roger. Unfortunately, for me the evening turned out to be sort of an OXYMORONS/LIQUID DRAINO reunion, and so I missed most of Dennis' set while I was talking to Dave, Nick, Grog, and Gnu out on the porch. Still, I did listen to 'em through the window (for whatever that's worth), and they sounded really good. I have no idea if they'll be doing more shows at any point. I've talked to Dennis a few times over the past few weeks, and he hasn't mentioned it. But if they do, they're worth seeing.

Again, if you look at the MOM post (which I posted on Thanksgiving Day, 2007), you'll find pretty much everything I know about them. As for BAD ELVIS IMPERSONATORS, all I can say is that I remember hearing their name when I was in high school and thinking it was one of the greatest band names ever. I'm pretty sure I also have a review of one of their shows in some zine I have around here somewhere. But I don't want to bother digging it out right now.

I was at Dennis' birthday party a few weeks ago. As I said, he still plays some music, but it seems he's mostly an artist now. To be honest, he's kind of an odd character and a bit of an iconoclast (though in the best possible sense), so I don't know if he'll be showcasing any art at one of those Stalinistly organized Circus/Sideshow things any time soon. But if he does, you should go see it. Gail has a number of his pieces in her house, and they're all worth seeing. The man is a rare talent.

I'd also like to throw in a little something here about Jeff Brelsford. I spoke with him briefly on Dennis' porch at the birthday party, and he seems like a good egg. Strangely, that was the first time in my recollection that I've ever met him (although I may have had one or more drunken conversations with him at the Building Lounge or The Front Street Warehouse long ago). I forgot to ask him exactly what he's doing these days... music? art? I don't really know. He seems to have done both at various points. But again, if you get a chance to see anything he's associated with, you should take it.

Oh yeah, the BAD news: the one song by BAD ELVIS IMPERSONATORS cuts off at the end. I guess the tape ran out. Still, it's over four minutes long in this form, so I figure you've got most of the song here. I just faded out the part where it cuts off so that it sounds more seamless. Bad idea? You tell me.

Track List:
  1. Tonight
  2. Newar's Eve
  3. Maladie D'Espirit
  4. Mines
  5. T.V. Jesus
  6. Here It Comes Again
  7. Street Is Empty
  8. It Doesn't Matter To...
  9. Love Is Headless (live)
  10. XXX
  11. Disease>
  12. Just for a Little While
  13. Everything Is Fine
  14. Never Settle Down
  15. Shake
  16. Night Spot
  17. Fade Away
  18. Nothing Lasts Forever
  19. MOM - Baby Doll
  20. MOM - A Man
  21. Bad Elvis Impersonators - Work Sucks
Download It! (118 MB).

Okay, that's it for now. Download the stuff and enjoy. Believe me, you'll like it. As for me, well it's raining, but I've got my son Oakley here today. Strangely enough, Dennis actually gave me a gigantic umbrella a few weeks ago. I think Oakley and I will go down to the pond and feed the ducks and use that umbrella for cover. Anybody wanna come along? Give me a call...

take care


Friday, August 1, 2008

¡THE OXYMORONS!, Bash On, Regardless, cassette (1990)

...and, we're back. Fuck... where did the time go? Seems I spent most of it drinking screwdriver, proofing law review articles, and feeling like a piece of shit. Still do. God, I hate summer...

(oh shit, I just lit another cigarette, and as I was lighting it, I saw that I already had one lit and sitting in the ashtray. Fuck...)

Long post today. Just skip to the download if you'd like -- or hit another site -- I don't know.

Anyway, here we are again. Let's do it:

For me today's download is the definitive OXYMORONS offering. I mean, it's not that I think the first tape or the CD suck or anything like that. In fact, the CD (Dancing on Billy's Grave, which I will post at some point) is the one that we put the most effort into. I also think the CD is where Ben's songwriting is at its best, and the CD also contains "Unearthing Your Grave," which I have always thought of as our best recording ever. As for the first tape, well tracks like "Born So Blessed," "Cheep Beer," and "Let Go" still rawk my soul. I've got no complaints.

But this one... this one... this is the one, in my opinion. From the juvenile stupidity of "Psycho Girl" and "Jocks With Mohawks" to the maudlin enigma of "Wreckage," this is the one that hits home with me. This just is THE OXYMORONS. We had little idea what we were doing, but we did it. And it was fun. This is the one that got people actually coming up to us, referring to certain songs by name, and asking us to play them -- not just in Dayton (although that would've been good enough for me) but even in parts beyond. I don't know how to describe the feeling you get when that happens. It's intoxicating, but it's more than that.

We once played a show in Madison, Wisconsin, and I specifically remember the day after that show meeting some blonde chick who had been there the night before (we were still in town because we had a day off). We just met randomly on the street, and she said she had loved it when we played "Wreckage." She referred to the song by its title and said she had gone to the show specifically to hear it. She also said she loved the guitar on that song. To this day, I remember her eyes as she talked about it. Maybe you are cooler than I am, but for my part, that conversation changed my life. If, when I die, I find out that there really is a heaven, and if I get to go there, I think I'll just have that conversation with that nameless girl forever.

I remember Ben once telling me that he had been talking to some girl to whom he had been trying to explain why the band was so important to him -- and she just didn't get it. He had told her about how he would wake up in the middle of the night because he was worried that some part he had put into a song just wasn't working out. He had told her how he had spent hours in that basement working out parts and trying to come up with lyrics and trying to turn it all into a song and how the whole process simply dominated his brain. He had told her all about this, and she just didn't get it. Honestly, I'm not sure I got it either. But it was good to know that all that paid off for at least some listeners.

Now as you might've guessed by now, no one is a bigger OXYMORONS fan than I (except maybe Gail). I'm immensely proud of everything we ever did. I'm proud of these recordings. I'm proud of the shitty shows. I'm proud to have had the privilege to know and play in a band with such talented and off-beat personalities as Ben Schelker, Pat Hennigan, Greg Simerlink, and Nick Atkinson. I'm proud of it all. I am both proud and humbled by the entire experience of playing in a half-decent punk rock band that never made it. I'm proud and humbled in ways that even I have difficulty expressing. I'm not sure if that's good or just really pathetic. And even though, as I just said, we never "made it," I can't think of a single thing I would change about the whole thing. Not one goddam thing.

And that goes double for Bash On, Regardless. All the flubs, all the mistakes, all the screw-ups... you'll definitely hear 'em! And for years, there were so many things about this that I wanted to go back and fix. I imagine we all did. But listening to it now, I wouldn't want it to be any other way.

There is quite a bit more I could say about this cassette, but I'll just leave it all in the track notes.

Here are some notes on the cassette itself and the cover insert (scanned and included in the download pack):
  • Those are sticky labels on the cassette. I don't know how many copies of this we sold (a few hundred, at least), but Grog deserves some thanks for printing, cutting, and sticking each and every one of those fucking labels onto the cassette itself. He also deserves some thanks for recording each and every one of the production copies on his home stereo. I can't even imagine doing that.
  • "Psycho Side" is Side 1.
  • Mark Wood drew the cover picture. He was... he was... well, he was sort of an odd character who has really faded in my memory. I don't know what else to say about him -- except that I hope he's still drawing something, somewhere.
  • The title "Bash On, Regardless" we got from this guy named Angus, who came to Dayton for some reason from the UK. Angus was a really cool guy. He was studying to be a veterinarian in the UK. I don't remember how he came to give us the phrase "Bash On, Regardless," but I do remember that he is the first person in my memory to actually enunciate the concert t-shirt rule. You know: "You NEVER go to a show and wear the t-shirt of the band that's playing!" He was right. Angus and I went to many shows at Bogart's, and I always bought a t-shirt of the band, but I never wore it at the show. Still, because I would always buy the t-shirt, Angus was kind enough to tell me once, "Patrick, you are a t-shirt groupie!" Again, he was absolutely right. If you ever meet Angus, just assume that everything he says is absolutely right -- even though he makes his living "sticking my hand up cows' bums!" (as he told me once).
  • My suggestion for the title of this cassette was "Love You With A Knife!" (a line from "Psycho Girl") but I got out-voted.
Here are some notes on the songs:
  • "Psycho Girl" - That's Gail Dafler doing the scream at the beginning and during the break. Ben got her to scream like that by pinching her arm really (really) hard. I was standing right next to them in the booth. Her performance merited her the nickname "Psycho Gail" in perpetuity. QUICK UPDATE: I just got off the phone with Gail and described this entry to her. According to her, she was known as "Psycho Gail" even before she recorded this scream for us. Apparently, that appellation actually came from an evening she spent at Canal Street Tavern involving a bottle of Boone's Farm and a completely different song called "Psycho Girl" recorded by another Dayton band, THE KILLJOYS.
  • "I Think Like Toast" - This song is about Ben working late at Friendly's. The rock-n-roll Friendly's at the intersection of Dayton-Xenia Rd. and Linden in Beavercreek really deserves a blog entry of its own. For now I'll just say that Ben worked there in the late '80s and early '90s, as did Nick Atkinson (OXYMORONS drummer), Joel Lensch (CANDYASS), Jen Cook (COLAVISION), Keith Conly (who was one of Ben's best friends and probably came to every OXYMORONS show in Dayton), John Poe (still an enigma to this day), Andrea Donato (the future ex-Mrs. Jones), and any number of others whose names I can't remember right now. Many of Ben's songs were inspired by his experiences and the people he met working at this Friendly's. The last time I drove by that area (about a year ago), this Friendly's still existed, though it has been remodelled extensively since Ben worked there. My best Friendly's memory comes from when I was working at Orange-Frazer Press (which was just down the road) and used to go get my lunch from there. One afternoon, I was sitting at the counter and made sort of this cockroach-like monster out of a pickle with toothpicks for legs (and antennae). I then said, "No Godzilla! Please don't eat me!" and then roared and bit the thing in half as Ben watched. He laughed his ass off, and so did Andrea. I was quite proud of myself. To this day, I try to work that routine into every first date I have (that is, if I care about the girl). If she likes it, I know she's at least in the ballpark of being a keeper.
  • "I Wanna Be A Shaman" - I really don't know where this song came from except for a dim memory that Ben had picked up some bits of eastern aesthetics from this girl he went out with for a few weeks in 1989. For a period of maybe three months in 1990, this was our most requested song at shows. Then people stopped asking for it, we started hating it, and we just stopped playing it. Strange how that happens sometimes.
  • "New Beginning/Bottom Line" - I really don't know what this song is about. But I remember that there's a floor-tom fill in "New Beginning" that seemed very important to Nick that we get right. We spent quite a bit of studio time overdubbing it and then bringing that overdub up in the final mix so that it wasn't too loud or too soft. By the time we were done, I just didn't give a shit anymore, but to Nick it was almost like life or death. Do him a favor and try to listen for it.
  • "Wreckage" - This one actually has a very interesting story behind it. It's about Joe, a very talented friend of Ben's who was an artist and student at the University of Cincinnati. Apparently, this friend once gave Ben a quickly drawn comic strip about a man who died, went to Hell, and was immediately confronted by The Devil, who threw things at the dead man and forced him to juggle them. The Devil would say things like, "Here's some insecurity! Here's your creative outlet! Here's your witty tongue!" and then throw things at the man to juggle. Sadly, this friend of Ben's committed suicide not too long after he gave Ben this comic. I saw it once, and I'd give almost anything to be able to post it here now. But I don't know what happened to it.
  • "Pleasant Distraction" - This is about a long-term girlfriend that Ben had, for whom he admitted that he had no real love, yet he felt a real bond with her. If I remember correctly, Ben wrote another song ("Life Goes On," which ended up on the Piledriver compilation in Wisconsin) about this same girl. That song once prompted this girl to comment that, "You should never go out with a guy in a band because he'll just end up writing songs about you!" She was absolutely right. This is actually the first song we recorded in these sessions and was never intended to go on the cassette -- as evidenced by the totally throwaway lead I put in. But Ben liked it, so it was in.
  • "Running" - This is the last song on the first side of the original cassette. I don't really know what it's about, but I do know that it's Nick Atkinson's favorite song on this release -- witness his amazing Neil Peart-inspired drum fills.
  • "Jocks with Mohawks" - This was my first songwriting effort for this band, and I think it was only my third songwriting effort ever (I've written a number of songs over the years, but I honestly never thought of myself as a "songwriter"). I wrote the music, which was largely inspired by various hardcore songs on BAD BRAINS' first cassette. Ben wrote the words. Obviously, it was about the then-emerging trend of high school jock assholes trying to distinguish themselves by listening to hardcore punk. Funny how today you can't be cool at all in high school unless you listen to some kind of indie rock -- makes one want to buy as many FRANK SINATRA records as you can get your hands on... Anyway, this became one of those songs that we always played at every show. How can you go wrong when the chorus is, "You're just a bunch of jocks with mohawks!"?
  • "If" - I'm pretty sure this is Kattie Dougherty's (REAL LULU) favorite OXYMORONS song ever. The night we all learned of Ben's death, she and Dennis came over to my house and we listened to this one many times (and it's a good thing she came over too, because I had no idea where my copy of it was at the time). I remember I fucked up the end to this one. At the very end, I tried to turn off my distortion pedal so that I could play the final riff cleanly, but for some reason, I messed up and the final riff came out distorted. It's always bothered me, but nobody else seemed to care.
  • "Wasting My Time" - Ben wrote most of the lyrics for this on a cocktail napkin at Canal Street Tavern, where he often went to waste time. Grog tried to record some backup vocals for this on the chorus, and it was only as he was recording them that we realized that Grog couldn't sing a bloody note. After coming in from the soundbooth, he listened to the results and admitted the fact. Ben re-recorded the backing vocals himself.
  • "Stinky Hippy/Gingerbread Man" - "Stink Hippy" was the one song on the cassette that Ben had written before Grog and I joined the band (I don't know why we didn't put it on the first cassette). He got the opening chord (A-minor-7th) from Denny Wilson (TOOBA BLOOZE). For some reason, Ben was always fascinated by the A-minor-7th. He put it in this song, and he used to use it in a stupid, jazzy version of "Iron Man" that he would dick around with at practice sometimes (I have a recording of that somewhere). "Gingerbread Man" is just sort of a fantastical tale about a gingerbread man who comes to life after being cooked in the oven and runs around the kitchen trying to escape being eaten. Maybe Ben had been doing acid with THE KILLJOYS, or maybe it came from his own stupid imagination.
  • "Love Buzz" - I really, really, really don't know how this ended up on the final release of the cassette or why we even recorded it in the first place. Ben and the rest of us always hated this song. If you listen, you'll notice that my leads are entirely phoned in (no doubt I was thinking about something else as I played them) AND that we didn't even care enough about it to make up a proper ending! This may have even been the last time we ever played it (among all the live show recordings I have, I don't think "Love Buzz" appears anywhere).
  • "Televise My Nervous Breakdown" - I'm pretty sure this one was my first lyrics-writing effort. Ben wrote the music -- it was kind of his attempt at a BLACK FLAG sort of tune. It's supposed to be about how people like Oprah and Barbara Walters seemed to intentionally get people to cry and generally break down in order to increase ratings. The reference to "Pringles Light Potato Chips" was Ben's idea. I was finishing up the lyrics maybe two minutes before I did the vocal track and just asked him to name a product, any product. That's what he gave me. For some reason, this song became a total joke to us. At shows, I would often sing the first line as "Spoon into my walrus!" and Ben would sing the second as "Watch me eat a can of peas!"
  • "Folsom Prison Blues" - Okay, we recorded this one at these sessions, but Grog didn't put it on this cassette. Instead, he added it as a bonus track to the first cassette -- likely so that people could get a sample of Nick Atkinson's drumming (because Pat Hennigan had played drums on the first cassette). Still, because I've been listening to my studio mix of these songs all these years, I associate it with Bash On, Regardless. And when I posted the first cassette, I didn't include this one, so here it is now. Please remember, however, that although Johnny Cash covers are kind of trite and cliched now, it was actually kind of daring to do one in 1990. Even that wonderful 'Til Things Are Brighter compilation had only been released a few months earlier when we recorded this. I don't know why I feel the need to point that out, but I do.
  • "Walking Backwards" - As the liner notes in the booklet say, we recorded this live at Apollo's in Columbus on August 1, 1990 (which means that as of this day, this recording is legally able to buy cigarettes in the State of Ohio -- RAWK!). I do have the rest of this show on tape and will rip and post it some time this fall. We played with LIQUID DRAINO that night, and I've got their set on tape also. "Walking Backward" was always one of our favorites -- so much so that we did a cleaner, nicer, studio version for the CD. I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure that the "Jenny" mentioned in the first line is actually "Janey," who was a manager that Ben worked with at Friendly's.
Here are some notes on the booklet:
  • The idea for even doing a little booklet to insert into the cassette case was inspired by a similarly-sized booklet inserted into the second album by JANE'S ADDICTION, Ritual de lo Habitual, which was released about the same time we were recording this. Our friends in LIQUID DRAINO inserted a booklet like this into their second cassette release.
  • p. 1 - Hey, check it out! Keith Conly (who worked with Ben at Friendly's) did backup stuff on three songs! I had totally fogotten that!
  • p. 2 (inside front cover) - "Joe Boob" is, of course, Joe Buben. As I've mentioned in previous entries, he was the owner and main recording engineer at Cro-Magnon studios for many years. He had a hat with fake dogshit glued to the brim that said "Shithead." That's the kind of guy he was -- and a great engineer too.
  • pp. 6 & 7 - These are mini-reproductions of flyers we distributed for shows at places that had closed by the time we released this tape. That happened a lot back then (and probably still does now): a place would open, and some shows would happen, and then suddenly it would either close its doors or they'd book different types of bands. Grog always did our booking, and so he became kind of attached to these places. I designed both of these flyers. There's a lot I could say about them, but this entry is long enough already, so I'll save it for when I post these flyers.
  • p. 9 - On "Gingerbread Man," the "Ode to D. Boon" part. Yeah, this one was kind of inspired by THE MINUTEMEN (as if that weren't apparent just from listening to it). For those who don't know, old D. Boon was killed in a van accident while on tour. Seems that whenever we'd be on tour and whoever was driving the van would have some kind of mishap (which seemed to happen most when I was driving), the others would say something like, "Don't give us the D. Boon treatment here!"
  • p. 9 - On "Love Buzz," where it says "Howl Right Along." See? We didn't even care enough to write the stupid lyrics down!
  • p. 11 - "REJECT" Filling up the final page with this graphic was my idea, but I don't remember where I got the graphic from.
  • p. 12 (back cover) - This is a reproduction of the first OXYMORONS sticker we ever made. I drew it and added the caption. Let me say here that in general I have always turned out to be very good at pretty much anything I really wanted to do. The one exception to that has been drawing. Since I was a kid, I always wished I could draw, but I really can't. Still, for some reason, I would take every opportunity I could to draw something. So I drew this sticker, and it always pleased me to no end that Grog liked it -- hope you do too.
Now about the rip itself:
  • The scans of the cover and insert come to you courtesy of The Gail Dafler Collection (because I never had a production copy of this cassette).
  • Rips of all studio tracks are from a first-generation cassette I made of the recordings on the same day we made them (which is why "Folsom Prison Blues" is in there). My memory fails me at this point, but it is possible that the cassette I ripped from was not the final mix. It's possible that it's a rough mix. I'd have ripped Gail's production copy, but after eighteen years it was just too muddy, and the one I had sounded far more clear. But even if my cassette is just a rough mix, it's pretty damn close to the final. I listened to both, and even I can't tell the difference.
  • The rip of "Walking Backwards" is from the original cassette onto which it was recorded on a "piece-of-shit boombox" (which was my boombox!) on August 1, 1990. So the song may start and cut off in different places than it did on the original. But once again, it's a better-sounding recording.

Track List:
  1. Psycho Girl
  2. I Think Like Toast
  3. I Wanna Be A Shaman
  4. Bottom Line
  5. Wreckage
  6. Pleasant Distraction
  7. Running
  8. Jocks With Mohawks
  9. If
  10. Wasting My Time
  11. Stinky Hippie/Gingerbread Man
  12. Love Buzz
  13. Televise My Nervous Breakdown
  14. Folsom Prison Blues
  15. Walking Backwards

Download it! (link re-upped on 6-4-2014)

Enjoy! And as always, feel free to copy and share as you see fit. It's all free here! No license, no... whatever. Just don't try to sell it to anybody, or I'll hunt you down in my Ford!

Anyway, "You keep eatin' your hand, you ain't gonna be hungry for lunch..."

("I've seen you before, y'know...")

take care


ps. We'll be back in a few days with some DEMENTIA PRECOX!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Early Halloween w/SHOCK THEATRE & DR. CREEP...

Those of you who were reading the blog last year in October might remember when I took a couple of weeks off and threw up my annual Jones Halloween CD 2007 mix just for the hell of it. In that post I mentioned old DOCTOR CREEP and SHOCK THEATRE.

For those who weren't around or don't remember, SHOCK THEATRE was a locally produced weekly horror movie show of the type that abounded throughout the midwest and parts beyond through the '60s, '70s, and just into the '80s. Such programs usually aired over the weekend, sometimes latenight, sometimes in the afternoon -- generally, whenever the station figured that most normal folks were either sleeping or out in the sun doing the kind of happy fun things that ordinary social types with jobs and lives do. But as anyone working in television will tell you, somebody is always watching.

I, of course, was one of those people, and so were a lot of other future Dayton indie rockers. I find it nearly impossible to believe, for example, that little Jamie Holliday (HAUNTING SOULS, LUXURY PUSHERS -- Monster Hop founder) didn't have his eyeballs glued to the set every minute that SHOCK THEATRE was on. And no way you can convince me that every goth kid who hung out on Courthouse Square in 1987 hadn't taken one gander at DR. CREEP's black hat and black cape when they were kids and said, "I'm gonna dress like that when I grow up!"

SHOCK THEATRE aired from 1972 to 1985. I don't know when it aired in the beginning. I do know that in the '80s it was shifted to late Saturday after Saturday Night Live and died a slow, ignoble death in a Reagan-era world that had grown tired of low-budget camp and traditional horror aesthetics like dungeons and shadows in favor of young killers stalking hot chicks with butcher knives and chainsaws. But I most closely identify the show with the Sunday afternoon time slot it occupied in the late '70s.

Sundays in my family were generally lazy days during which we kids were left to do whatever came to mind while my mom cleaned the house and my dad performed complex mathematical calculations on the mail-order computer he had built. Many Sunday mornings, we would all pile in the car and head out to the Dixie Flea Market, but by early afternoon, we were usually back at the old house. Maybe I had a stack of beat-up comics or a tape recorder (seems we had an endless supply of tape recorders that were always breaking) or some action figures or a shitty board game with half the pieces missing. Maybe I had nothing. Maybe I was running through the yard and the house and up and down the driveway with a stick that looked vaguely like a Star Wars blaster shooting at imaginary stormtroopers. But whatever I ended up doing, my older brother usually made sure we had SHOCK THEATRE on in the background. Back then DR. CREEP would host a double feature that seemed to run for hours. The last half hour or so of the second movie would usually be on just as we were sitting down to dinner. I remember eating beef-n-noodles and homemade bread with my back turned to the little black and white TV we had in the kitchen, just a little scared to turn around but still doing so anyway to catch the final fate of the vampire known as Blackula!

Yeah, that was SHOCK THEATRE. One of the great things about it was that in those days local producers had access to any number of foreign (usually British or Italian) and independently produced drive-in films that had never had a nationwide release and never been shown on television. DVDs and even VHS didn't exist yet (I'm pretty sure the first widely available VCRs didn't come until about 1978, and even then the VHS rental market didn't really exist until the early '80s (before that, VCRs seemed mostly used to "time-shift" baseball games and such)).

I suspect that for anyone over thirty today, his or her first exposure to independent film had to have been at the drive-in or on a program like SHOCK THEATRE. Sure, with a few rare exceptions (Carnival of Souls, maybe? some of the early British Hammer films?), they all sucked. But for the most part, they weren't made in Hollywood. They could still scare the shit out of little kids like me, and the cheap special effects, second-rate dialogue, and non-existent plots could still please any adult with a sense of humor. Today, film technology has become so cheap that any aspiring filmmaker with an ounce of initiative can throw something together. And although 99% of all films (indie or Hollywood) still suck, indie filmmaking in general has become more respectable. Perhaps it was Clerks (or one of those other mid-'90s groundbreaking indie efforts like Spanking the Monkey or Jesus of Montreal) that really turned the tide and suddenly made independent film an accepted medium for producing high art. But all that rests firmly on a foundation of cheap drive-in throwdowns like The Undertaker and His Pals, Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things, and Manos: The Hands of Fate. SHOCK THEATRE had a hand in that.

But to be perfectly honest, the movies were not the best things about SHOCK THEATRE. The real fun (and the crux of the social phenomenon that went along with locally produced horror shows) lay in the dopey bits of stuff that the host and crew would throw in to pad the old double feature to four or five hours of content. Okay, I don't have much of a frame of reference, but I suspect DR. CREEP and Co. were at least above average among the scads of horror hosts operating at the time. There were better ones, of course: Vampira, Elvira, Joe Zacherle (New York City's "Cool Ghoul")... they achieved a sort of nationwide success that DR. CREEP would never have. And a few hosts like Indianapolis' Sammy Terry and St. Petersburg's Shock Armstrong were just so bizarre that they've developed a far-reaching cult status and even inspired legends.

But CREEP & Co. were pretty good, and I'll still say better than average. Anyone who was watching Miami Valley broadcasting in the late '70s no doubt remembers CREEP's distinctive "HOO-HA-HAAAAAAA!" cackle -- whether it be from SHOCK THEATRE, his recurring guest spots on the old CLUBHOUSE 22 show (alongside Duffy the Dog and host Joe Smith), or one of his seemingly endless public appearances (which he still makes today, though on a more limited basis -- no doubt you'll at least be able to catch him this Halloween at both Foy's Halloween Store and Horrorama at the Englewood Cinema). That laugh would later be immortalized on THE LAWN JOCKEYS' seminal Amazing Sounds of Shock Theatre CD. Of course, the various homegrown intros and outros to SHOCK THEATRE and skits that would run before commercial breaks were hardly the stuff of genius. Truth be told, they were pretty stupid, and when they weren't stupid, they were just cheap. But we all loved 'em -- still do.

When I used to work out at London Prison, the closed-circuit TV system in the prison used to air a horror marathon every Halloween. One of the inmates who used to work in the TV system let me have a hand in picking the movies one year. I swear to god it was nearly impossible to resist the urge to find some way to sit in the dorm with those inmates for the entire marathon and kibbutz through all those shitty movies. The next year the same inmate got me as a guest on one of the between-movie spots they would tape. That was a great Halloween. I felt just like DR. CREEP.

And that leads us to the media content for this post. No, it's not me on London Prison TV (though I'm pretty sure I have a video tape of that somewhere). It's a bevy of SHOCK THEATRE clips posted over at YouTube, vintage stuff from the show. We'll start with this intro clip from 1977. This is the one I remember best and the one I most closely identify with the SHOCK THEATRE phenomenon. For those who don't recognize the inspiration, it's supposed to parodying the intro to the '50s television series The Outer Limits. Check it out (it's only a minute):
Here's a collection of "Bumpers" (lead-ins to commercial spots) from 1978-1979:
Finally, SHOCK THEATRE always celebrated holidays with great fervor. If you look on the page, you'll find a two-part "Christmas Caper" from CREEP and his pals, but that one's rather long, so here I'll just post this St. Patrick's Day sing-along clip:

There are 18 other clips too. Go here to view the selection.

And that's it.

This is all just some shit I found that I wanted to stick up here. I Remember Dayton will be back more regularly on August 1. Until then...

take care


Monday, July 21, 2008

CIGARHEAD, et al. at Fictionband...

Just in case you'd like a little old school Dayton indie rawk to tide you over until this blog returns on August 1, I thought I'd point you toward these offerings over at Fictionband:
  • CIGARHEAD, 12x12 cassette
  • THE MOTEL BEDS, Lost Beds
  • THE MULCHMEN, All the News That's Fit to Surf EP
  • OHIO CASKET, People in Hell Want Ice Water EP
There are others too. Get 'em all over at the download section of Fictionband. And while you're there, check out the rest of the blog too.

take care


Sunday, July 20, 2008

THE VECTORS video at YouTube...

Yeah, Chuck and I played at Gail's party a couple of weeks ago. Dennis Schlichter was kind enough to take these videos. This blog is ordinarily concerned only with Dayton music that is at least ten years old, but what the fuck? The blog's on hiatus, and it's still my blog, and this is my band.

Here they are:

"Stupid Shit" - Just Gail and me and everybody screwing around. I had to include this one because it features me comparing myself to Robert Plant.

"Three Candles" - A song I wrote for Oakley. His favorite part (and mine) is where my guitar strap falls off. He laughed his ass off when he saw that.

"Bang Your Head" - The Vectors covering the Quiet Riot classic (or as much of it as we can remember -- which isn't very much at all), featuring Gail Dafler on vocals.

I'll be uploading these to The Vectors' Myspace page as well.

Now I'll go back to playing my small part in contributing to this nation's repository of legal wisdom! (Are you scared yet? You will be the next time you need a lawyer!)

take care


Monday, July 14, 2008

More self-aggrandizing crap...

Yeah, I guess I'm just posting to thank Jay Madewell for adding THE VECTORS tune "Christ Figure 8" as his profile song on Myspace. Believe it or not, I consider it an honor. If you like, you can see his page and listen.

For those who don't know, Jay is a longtime Dayton musical fixture. His claim to fame for purposes of this blog would be that he once played drums for REAL LULU and certain other bands that I am not knowledgeable enough to name right now (my problem, I know). But today Jay is a DJ and promoter around this town. If you live around here, you may know him as the mastermind behind "L'Eighties Night" and all those Fab Gear events down at The Pearl.

As for this blog specifically, it may or may not please you to know that we will be returning with all new stuff promptly on August 1, 2008.

Yeah, life still sucks, but the blog must go on...

take care


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Upcoming shows by yours truly...

Yeah, the blog's on hiatus...

(don't you love it when you can say that something you're doing is on "hiatus"? Kind of makes you feel like the executive producer of LOST or something, no?)

...but who says I can't still add promotional posts? Oh yeah...

So yeah, here's a list of shows I'm doing:

Thursday, July 10 - at The Pearl - THE VECTORS (that's me and chuck)

Tuesday, July 29 - at Canal Street Tavern, 9:30 p.m. - Me playing solo acoustic (just like James Taylor)

Saturday, August 16 - at Dayton Dirt Collective - THE VECTORS

End of line.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Me at Gem City Records!

I'll be playing acoustically at Gem City Records this Sunday, May 25, at 2 p.m.

Hope to see you there.

take care


Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Summer break early...

I was going to wait until the end of May to do this, but there's no point. I have to shut the blog down for the summer. There are just too many other things I have to take care of right now.

Check back in a couple of days for something about the spectacular Live BRAINIAC Archival Project authored by one of the people doing that project. He's going to send it to me, and I'll post it here. From what I understand of this project, it's pretty cool and may give you plenty to tide you over through the summer (if nothing else, you may have to learn how Torrents work -- just e-mail me if you don't know what a Torrent is).

Anyway, after that things will be kind of quiet around here for a couple of months. I just have to take the summer off from this and a lot of other stuff. My plan right now is to resume on August 1. I may move that up, or I may not. Again, e-mail me if you'd like to be informed directly when I do start up again.

Remember, check back for BRAINIAC in a few days.

And e-mail me about anything else you want too.

take care


Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Off-Site: COLAVISION at YouTube

I took my last exam yesterday, and I did not realize until it was done just how much this one was weighing on my mind. It was Business Associations 2, the second half of a two-semester class. This section covered close and public corporations, proxy fraud, shareholder voting agreements, fiduciary duties of corporate directors, various sections of the Securities & Exchange Act of 1934, accompanying administrative regulations, shareholder derivative suits, Special Litigation Committees...

At which item in that list did you nod off? For me it was proxy fraud (must've typed the rest in my sleep).

Anyway it's done now, which means I can finally get back to the important things in life: obscure Dayton indie rock bands that no one remembers! Even better: obscure indie rock bands that I played in!

So once again, from Mite's YouTube site, I Remember Dayton is proud to serve up some never before seen video. Here's a pair from my band COLAVISION.

Both of these were shot at the now infamous punk rock wedding reception celebrating the unholy union of Greg "Grog" Simerlink (OXYMORONS bass player and mastermind behind Mutant-Renegade Records & Zine, as well as The Chickenfish Speaks) and Jen Cook (COLAVISION bass player).

The marriage didn't last (no offense, Grog or Jen -- mine didn't either), but the wedding was awesome. They had the ceremony at the Page Manor Twin Cinemas, where Jen was working at the time. That theater itself was quite the indie rock hangout in 1994 (probably because so many indie rockers worked there) and no doubt deserves a blog entry of its own. But I was living in Columbus at this time, so I'm not really the one to write that entry (Jen, I'm looking in your direction). Still, I do remember that one of the employees actually owned an original print of the first Star Wars movie that they would sometimes screen privately after midnight. Because it was a private screening, they'd let you smoke in the theater, so I may be one of the very few people on this earth who can say he saw Star Wars in a theater while smoking -- a dubious distinction, to be sure, but a rare one at least.

The Page closed its doors some time in the mid-'90s. Someone reopened it in 2004, and at Christmas that year I dragged Val out to see Surviving Christmas (with that delightful Ben Affleck). But by 2006 it was closed again. As far as I know, there are no plans to reopen it.

The reception was held at Canal Street Tavern. I remember that OXYMORONS, CANDYASS, HEIKE, and COLAVISION all played -- and perhaps one or two others (did THE WILL play? Grog?). In between the bands they did all the usual wedding stuff: garter, cake, bouquet (didn't Gail catch the bouquet? or was it Andrea?) Most of the wedding party played in their formal wear. You'll see Jen in her wedding dress. If memory serves (and does it ever?), this is also the night that Jen cut Grog's long hair on stage.

I would assume that Mite has more video from this night. In addition to these two COLAVISION videos, he has at least one video of THE OXYMORONS performing "Little Man Hate" (check the site). HEIKE's first cassette, Precious Underground, features a number of songs from our live set at the reception -- will post soon enough.

Okay, I've been typing for about half an hour now, and this post just isn't rolling like I want it to. Maybe I'm too distracted. Exams are over, but I've about a million things to do today (mow the grass, apply for a job, re-apply for student loans -- the list goes on), so I'm just going to do all that and maybe try to write a more fluid entry on all this some other time.

In the meantime, enjoy the videos. And don't forget to download the COLAVISION record if you like the songs presented here.

take care


ps. "Spasm" is the only COLAVISION song that Jen sang lead on. It's one of those songs we wrote toward the end that I'm sorry I never got a really good recording of. I have a rough mix on cassette of that (and a few others) that we did at Cro-Magnon. I will post it at some point, but the vocals are way, way down in the mix. Sadly, the masters seem to have disappeared from the face of the Earth.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Monday, April 21, 2008

FYI: No promises this week...

Okay, I realize it's been quite a while since I posted some actual music for download on this blog. I also realize that quite a few people have written me with information on Dayton music-related offerings that I have yet to feature here.

Let me say to those who hunger for more music and to those who have supplied me with information that I have seemingly ignored, I am aware. It's just that over the past couple of weeks, things have been kind of nuts for me. I won't bore you with the details (although regular readers of this blog will doubtless note that I have not been reticent to bore you with such details in the past), but here are the highlights:
  • I've been named Executive Publishing Editor of Capital University's Law Review for next year. This was both an extreme high (because a position on the Law Review's executive board is kind of a big deal for a law student) and a total anxiety producer (because of some internal politics and because of the fact that it's a lot of responsibility and if I fuck this up, I'll be paying for it).
  • I was named Staff Member of the Year for my work on Volume 36 (this year's edition) of the Law Review (another nice feather in the cap).
  • My ever-spiralling personal life has gone through so many highs and lows recently that I honestly feel like I'm trapped in a REPLACEMENTS song.
  • I only just realized that I am both ahead and behind on studying for exams (it's complicated because my exam schedule is bizarre this semester).
There's more, but the bottom line (ugh! "bottom line" is such a Republican phrase) is that I have two exams between now and next Tuesday. So after next Tuesday, I'll be posting lots more music regularly, but until then I have no idea what I'll be posting. Please bear with me.

take care


Thursday, April 17, 2008

A flyer with a big cock on it...

Here we go then: the infamous penis flyer!

I haven't seen this damn thing in at least seventeen years, and it looks just as stupid now as it did when Gail and I put it together.

I had known Gail for just a couple of months at the time. I don't remember exactly how or where I first met her, but it was most likely at WWSU's Alternative Tuesday some time in the summer of 1989 -- perhaps through our friend in common*, Laura Albrecht, whom I knew because she was a student in the English Department at Wright State and whom Gail had known since elementary school.

At some point, I'm going to compose a nice, long blog entry on Gail and her relationship to Dayton music in general and THE OXYMORONS in particular, but for now I'll just say that she was the co-mastermind behind this flyer, which proved to be one of the most memorable and boneheaded manuvers I would ever make in my life -- but one of the few boneheaded manuvers I would ever make for which I would suffer no consequences.

Gail and I made this flyer in the library at WSU. I found the picture in a book of woodcuts by 19th century illustrator Aubrey Beardsley -- who may be best known for his ornately rendered version of Le Morte D'Arthur (I have a facsimile -- it's quite beautiful), but who also produced illustrations for any number of other works under the William Morris imprint, including absurdist, semi-pornographic romances, of which the illustration here is typical.

What twenty-year-old mind could resist slapping this stupid illustration on a flyer and adding the equally stupid dialogue balloon over it? Certainly not mine, nor Gail's. This one writes itself, no?

I swear to god, none of us ever questioned it. We just put 'em up. In fact, I remember this particular flyering adventure as one of the very few times that we all went flyering together: with a hundred of these things, plus a brush, a big can of glue, and a lot of Wild Irish Rose. We put 'em up in a number of places, but we hit the Oregon District the hardest. We put these big green pieces of paper with a big cock on them all over bulletin boards, the sides of buildings, benches, and one or two NO PARKING signs.

And we really thought nothing of it. I was actually surprised when Ben called me a few days later and told me how a City of Dayton police officer had come knocking at his parents' front door on a Sunday afternoon. Seems this same officer had also come storming into Canal Street Tavern earlier that day bellowing that he was going to arrest someone if they didn't give him the location of someone in THE OXYMORONS. Mick gave Ben up, but we couldn't really blame him -- now or then.

It seems initial complaints had come from business owners throughout the Oregon District and officials at Sinclair Community College (where we had also put quite a few of these up). The cops got involved from there. This particular cop must've either gotten his ass chewed off by Chief Inspector Todd or he was bucking for promotion because he put Ben in the back of that car, drove him all over Dayton, and made him take down every flyer that we had glued to NO PARKING signs.

Okay, now that I'm typing this, I'm getting the impression that I might be confusing this flyering incident with a different one, but in any case, all of this stuff happened. It's just that some of the events might've happened on a different occasion.

In any case, Ben took the hit for all of us, and I'll thank him once again for that. He took down every one of these things the cop told him to, and he never gave him my name or Nick's or Grog's. By the time I even heard of police involvement, it was all done.

Yeah, I'm thinking more about it now, and I'm pretty sure that this flyer just got Canal Street Tavern a bunch of angry phone calls. It was another flyer that got Ben shanghaied into Dayton urban renewal.

Thanks to Grog for digging this up, scanning, and sending it along.

take care


* I use the phrase "friend in common" rather than "mutual friend" because even though the latter was good enough for Charles Dickens (the finest man of English letters after Shakespeare and William Blake) it contains an improper use of the word "mutual."

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Smokey the Bear, Jeffrey Dahmer, GREEN DAY, THE OXYMORONS, and me...

Grog dug up some flyers the other day -- among them, this one for a punkfest that THE OXYMORONS played with GREEN DAY in 1992 (or thereabouts).

GREEN DAY and THE OXYMORONS were supposed to be the big draws, so GREEN DAY was slated to play last and we were to play right before them. We sat there in some park outside of Milwaukee pretty much all day drinking, listening to one band after another, and talking to people as they came by the van. It was fun for the first few hours, but by 10:00 p.m. or so, I was ready to play and get the hell out of there. We had a six-hour drive to St. Louis in the morning.

This park had a gigantic hot air balloon figure of Smokey the Bear sitting maybe thirty feet from the covered area where the bands were playing. At some point after sundown, somebody slashed it. The police showed up, saw that big expensive bear sagging, and kicked everybody out. So the show got moved to an apartment in Milwaukee occupied by a friend of the kid who had put the festival together.

The apartment was pretty huge and situated on the third floor of a three-story building. The lower two floors, strangely enough, were occupied by an abortion clinic. The building itself was located just a couple of blocks from Jeffrey Dahmer's old apartment building, which was still standing at the time. Dahmer had been arrested just the previous summer, so we all drove by the building and marvelled.

There were a lot of people on hand at the apartment. We decided to go say "hey" to GREEN DAY and offer a handshake to old Billie Joe. No response. Same from the other two members. Then GREEN DAY decided that they MUST go on first so that they could go to bed, even though they were staying in Milwaukee and we and the other band had to be in St. Louis the next day. We explained this and the fact that the crowd would greatly diminish after they played. Their only response was that if they didn't play right then, they were leaving. So we let them go on and, as we expected, when they were done, half the room was gone.

We recognized most of the people who had stayed, so we knew that if we played next, no one would see the last band. So we let them go (they were very cool but I can't remember their name) and ended up starting a six-hour drive to St. Louis at 4 a.m.

GREEN DAY begged and pleaded the owner of the apartment to let them stay there. She said "okay." Somebody put a GRATEFUL DEAD tape in the stereo. GREEN DAY's drummer threw it out the window, and they got kicked out. So they were outside singing "Trucking" and acting like it was no big deal. Then the bass player started sidling over, looking at us like he wanted to give us the privilege of allowing GREEN DAY to sleep in our van. We waved "bye-bye" and high tailed it on to St. Louis.

I heard later that the guy who had organized the show let them stay at his house. This guy lived with his parents. GREEN DAY showed up at 6 a.m. and promptly set about dying their hair in the guy's bathroom, getting hair dye everywhere (including the ceiling) and leaving a big turd behind the toilet. Wow. Punk rock, I guess. Anyway, that's the story.

So basically, they were assholes. But, what the hell? Kerplunk, Dookie, and American Idiot are really good records. I guess I just wish I'd never met them.

take care


ps. Grog also sent me the infamous penis flyer. I'll post that in a few days.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Off-Site: ¡THE OXYMORONS! on YouTube...

Another great upload over at Mite Mutant's YouTube site: it's a video of THE OXYMORONS playing "Unearthing Your Grave" at Canal Street Tavern. I'm not entirely sure of the year, but the song plus the length and color of my hair lead me to place this in 1992.

This one actually brought a tear to my eye. I've seen very little OXYMORONS video over the past fifteen years and almost none since Ben died -- strange to see him on stage again playing this song.

My only problem with this video is that the sound is very, very low, but Mite tells me he's working on fixing that and will upload more when he does so.

I don't know why I'm doing the hippie dance in this one. Pretty goofy.

take care


Saturday, April 12, 2008


An anonymous reader submitted the following comment for approval on the previous post (the one about the audio files over at the WWSU Reunion Page):
you're just jealous that kim deal made it and you DIDN'T.
There are several things I love about this comment.

First, I love that the commenter obviously knows where the CAPS LOCK key is but defies convention by refusing to capitalize either the first letter of the sentence or Kim Deal's name. Tre chic...

Second, I love that it's so apropos of nothing. I am stymied to find any connection between my being jealous of Kim Deal and the WWSU Reunion -- or, for that matter, anything else on this blog. I don't remember saying anything nasty about Kim Deal here. Now if the commenter had said "Bob Pollard," that I could see. I had one or two posts a couple of months ago in which I expressed my lack of interest in GUIDED BY VOICES. But this commenter chose Kim Deal for some reason. Gee, I wonder why? Hmmm... The comment just sort of bursts with unwarranted phlegm and accusation. It's like absurdist performance art. Kudos.

Third, I love that it states the blatantly obvious. Of course I'm jealous of Kim Deal! Who wouldn't be? -- at least on some level. She's made a lot of great music that's better than just about any music I've ever done. For the record, I'm also specifically jealous of GREEN DAY and SMASHING PUMPKINS. And generally, I'm jealous of anyone who ever eked out a better living making music than I did. To go further, I'm jealous of the people who get better scores on law school exams than I do. I'm jealous of people who make more money than I do. I'm jealous of people whose son or daughter isn't as obsessed with video games as mine is. I'm jealous of people whose blogs get more hits than mine. I'm jealous of people who have steady jobs with health insurance and retirement benefits. I'm jealous of people who can maintain stable interpersonal relationships over a life time. Shit, count up all the people I'm jealous of and Kim Deal is but one of millions -- and she's not even at the top of the list.

But I try to remember that the list of people I'm not jealous of is just as long. I'm certainly not jealous of people who refuse to even try to have interpersonal relationships out of fear of getting hurt or some misguided sense of self loathing masquerading as individuality. I'm not jealous of people who blame others for their inability to hold a steady job. I'm not jealous of even the most popular bloggers who spew stupid ideas. I'm not jealous of people who are constantly at war with their own children because their children didn't turn out to be little copies of themselves (I think of that line that Willie Loman's neighbor delivers in Death of a Salesman: "My salvation is that I never took any interest in anything."). I'm not jealous of people who blame the instructor (and everyone else) when they don't do as well on a law school exam as I do. I'm not jealous of people who waste their lives on alcohol and drugs and end up entering middle age with no human connections, no self worth to speak of, and no hope for the future because they've never been able to get their act together and probably never will.

I'm also not jealous of anyone who posts chickenshit comments anonymously on blogs. But I guess that's another thing you could say of anyone -- except, of course, anyone who posts a chickenshit comment anonymously on a blog.

But to bring this back to the subject of I Remember Dayton, I'll say yes, there are times when I wish I had done as well making music as Kim Deal has. But to go further, I suspect that there are times when Kim wishes she had done as well making music as, say, Bono or Alanis Morissette.

Thousands, if not millions, of people in shitty towns like Dayton all across this shitty country have music inside them struggling to get out. Of those, I bet 90% of them never write a song, or sing, or learn how to play an instrument. Of the ones that do, I bet 90% of them never put a band together. Of the ones that do, I bet 90% of them never make it out of the basement. Of the ones that make it out of the basement, I bet 90% of them never make it out of their home town. Of the ones that make it out of their home town, I bet 90% of them fold within five years. Of the ones that end up with a sustainable music career, 90% of them never make a living that is much more comfortable than the average public school teacher.

So I figure anyone who made it out of the basement and left enough trace behind to merit attention on a shitty blog did pretty well -- considering. At least, we could've done a lot worse. I think of that pivotal scene in Rocky where Mickey shows up in Rocky's apartment with clippings from Mickey's long past heyday as a fighter. As Rocky points out, at least Mick has the clippings, at least he had a prime. It's pathetic, but it's less pathetic than a lousy ground floor apartment with only two turtles for company and a job breaking peoples' thumbs because we hate ourselves for never taking our shot.

take care


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Off-Site: WWSU audio at reunion page

For the unaware, Wright State University's campus radio station is having a reunion that's generally for staff who worked there through the '80s and early '90s (although my impression is that pretty much anyone who has ever worked at the station is welcome). For some inexplicable reason, I still haven't registered for the reunion, but I will be there. And I've been keeping up with reunion planning events via the e-mail list and the WWSU '80s Reunion Page.

Although some would disagree, I think of the 1980s as sort of the silver age of indie rock. When rock and roll first came along and for the next decade or so after that, there was no need for the term "indie rock" because all rock was indie rock: that is, rock and roll music produced by small, independently owned record labels with limited resources -- because at that time, rock and roll was controversial and no executive with any business sense would touch a rock act. Of course, by the mid-'60s rock and roll had become big business, gigantic corporations had wised up, and record labels owned as sole proprietorships or close corporations were beginning to feel the squeeze. But even then you could find such labels competing with the big guys -- probably the most notorious example being CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL, who released on the independent label Fantasy Records throughout their career.

Through all of this, because the FCC carefully regulated the number of radio stations any single entity could own in a given market, even the smaller indie labels could still get their records on the charts by working hard to get them out to radio stations and cold calling the individual program directors. But a lot of that changed in the '80s when Ronald Reagan's FCC basically deregulated the commercial market (as the current FCC continues to do today). Suddenly, as more commercial stations in different regions came under centralized control, program directors became less and less likely to play anything but the playlist approved by some home office in Delaware.

In my view, it's here that college radio became an important outlet for indie rock. Don't get me wrong, good college stations have always been host to out-of-the-ordinary programming of all kinds, and a lot of that was music. But such music tended to be the kind of thing that wouldn't ordinarily appeal to a mass audience (like most of what BOMP! Records (god bless 'em) was putting out). I think it was in the '80s that a lot of music which was otherwise commercially viable suddenly found itself shut out of the commercial market simply because it was not on a major, corporate label.

This is what impressed me about what we used to call "Alternative" or "Modern" rock back then when I first started working at WWSU -- how radio friendly it otherwise was. Sure, artists like BONGWATER and HALF JAPANESE opened up new horizons for me about what music could sound like, but what amazed me most was how so many artists on college radio should have been climbing the top 40 charts.

I'm talking about acts like THE REPLACEMENTS, KILKENNY CATS, THE NUNS, THROWING MUSES, THE PIXIES, THE DIVINYLS, THE CURE, THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS, VOICE OF THE BEEHIVE, SOUNDGARDEN, and probably most glaringly CONCRETE BLONDE -- also, pretty much everything that was played at Alternative Tuesday. Although each of these artists had a sound that was a little outside the mainstream, none of it was anything the general public wouldn't have liked. Of course, a few of these artists would later chart on the Top 40, and one or two would have undeniable mass appeal later on in the '90s, but only after being relegated for years to the "Modern Rock" charts (or scoring chart toppers overseas while their albums languished in this 50-state cultural backwater). CONCRETE BLONDE, in fact, had been signed, ignored, and finally dropped by a major label several years before they had a string of Top 40 hits in the early '90s.

As I said, we called it "Alternative Rock" back then, but even when that term was taken seriously (i.e. before "Alternative Rock" became so mainstream that it was no longer an alternative to anything -- which is about when people started calling the music on college radio "indie rock"), it should've been replaced by something more descriptive: like "Human Rock" or "Real Person Rock" or something like that -- because the real difference between Alternative Rock artists and commercial radio artists was that the people making Alternative Rock were far more human and real to me than the people who made commercial rock.

First of all, people like Paul Westerberg, Bob Mould, Johnette Napolitano, and Kristin Hersh did not really look like rock stars. They were overweight or they were underweight or their faces weren't air brushed or their hair wasn't styled. Their wardrobes weren't selected by some art director in a New York design firm. Their videos (those that had them) weren't professionally produced, nor were most of their recordings. They played small venues where I didn't need binoculars to see them, and if I wanted to, I could meet most of them and have a conversation after the show (which I often did). They made music that was as good as or better than anything I could hear on commercial radio, but unlike bigger commercial artists, I felt like these guys were actually working for a living.

Anyway, that was the thing that really attracted me to Alternative Rock back then. I liked that most of it was fairly original but also had a good beat and melodies you could sing along to, and I liked that it seemed close somehow.

WWSU, like a thousand other college stations across this country, played this kind of music all the time, and in keeping with that indie aesthetic, the people who worked at WWSU produced all kinds of audio creations for the station: station IDs, comedy shows, news reports, unclassifiable oddities. In my previous post on WWSU, I mentioned "Das Boot," which Darryl Brandt and Matt DeWald produced in WWSU's secondary studio. I think I've also mentioned at some point that Matt lent me a reel-to-reel containing either the original or remixed versions of that recording. Unfortunately, I need a 1/4" reel-to-reel player to rip it, and I haven't located one yet.

But some kind soul at the WWSU Reunion page has gathered some other recordings produced at WWSU in the '80s and posted them on the WWSU Reunion Site. On the Audio Page, you'll find seven recordings to listen to. This is great stuff and a reminder of a time when all radio stations made their own spots rather than playing whatever Corporate sent them.

take care