Thursday, January 31, 2008

Off-Site: HUMAN SWITCHBOARD at Last Days of Man on Earth

Human SwitchboardHere's a link to another great find over at Last Days of Man on Earth. It's a great write up on the '80s new wave/art-rock act HUMAN SWITCHBOARD with download links for their album Who's Landing in My Hangar?

HUMAN SWITCHBOARD was not from Dayton. They were from Kent, but they played here fairly regularly and appeared on Jim Carter's foundational compilation It's Hard to Be Cool in an Uncool World, which also featured Dayton bands THE OBVIOUS and THE HIGHWAYMEN (I'll be posting this comp as well as stuff by those two bands at some point in the future).

Kent is also the home of the '80s art rock combo BAD CRABS. Since I've got the BAD CRABS' tape Baddest Crabs/Ugliest Flowers I'll post that at some point too.

Check it out!

take care


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Off-Site: TOXIC REASONS, "Ghost Town" video, et al., at YouTube...

There are a lot of other TOXICs videos there too.

Toxic Reasons, 'Ghost Town' 7''And here's a link to a write-up on the "Ghost Town" 7" that includes the story of how TOXIC REASONS got together by none other than Ed Pittman himself.

By the way, by request, I recently re-upped the download links for FRANKENSTEIN'S KIND and the WWSU 4-PLAY.

take care


Saturday, January 26, 2008

THE WIZBANGS, demos (cassette, 1991)

THE WIZBANGS were Denny Wilson's band after TOOBA BLOOZE broke up. I already wrote some of what I remember about them in the Viper's Drag post, but here's a bit more:

The WIZBANGS were:

Denny Wilson - guitar, voice
Tim Taylor - guitar, voice
Juan Monasterio - bass
Captain Karl Streuber - pans, harp, voice
J.J. Yates - "soul and groove" (that must mean drums in WIZBANG-talk)

They played groove-style '70s-ish rock -- well evidenced by the music for download today. They recorded these as demos and apparently sent them out to some radio stations (likely clubs and promoters too), but to my recollection, they never released this for general sale.

Will Dalgard told me they recorded these all pretty much in one take on a Saturday afternoon in the same order they appear on the cassette. They did it all live to 8-track at J.J.'s place. I think it was some time around March or April 1991. I don't think there are any overdubs. I'm pretty sure Will was there for at least part of the recording (he used to hang out with Denny and Tim, and he was probably this band's biggest fan -- so much so that he dedicated PLANET ED's first cassette to them, even though by then they had broken up). If I've got any of this wrong, someone correct me.

Will and Tim struck up a bit of a friendship, and I know Tim used to give Will guitar pointers all the time. Will would incorporate these into PLANET ED songs -- usually, but not always, with good results.

I saw these guys probably three or four times, always at Canal Street Tavern. In keeping with the tone of the music, they wore bell bottoms and Robert Plant style frilly shirts. They were quite the sight to see, but I must say, the girls ate it up. One reason I went to all those shows was that the place was always crawling with hot girls.

The WIZBANGS lasted a little less than a year. After they broke up, Tim and Juan, of course, went on to form BRAINIAC. Denny moved to New York. I don't know what happened to Karl or J.J.

Track List:

1. Selfish Son
2. Red Man
3. Don't Cry Mama
4. Disturbing the Peace
5. Funky & Superbad
6. Not What I See

Download It! (27 MB) (link re-upped on 2-1-2013)

My favorite tune here has always been "Red Man" (which Tim sings), followed closely by "Disturbing the Peace" (which features Karl prominently), but they're all pretty good if you don't mind this genre of music. But if you are at all put off by retro-groove, you should pass this one up.

The download pack includes scans of the insert and cassette. Those I got from Grog, but I ripped the music from a different cassette I had. Will had a first generation copy right from the original reels, and I dubbed that from him. I thought that might sound a little better than the production copy.

take care


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Belated MLK Day note...

I meant to post this odd bit of Dayton history on Monday, but it slipped my mind:

"On June 30, 1974, Marcus Chenault, a twenty-one year old, African-American man from Ohio, murdered Alberta Williams King. King was sitting at the organ in the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, while a church service was underway. Chenault also killed a church deacon. King was the mother of Martin Luther King, Jr. It remains unclear why Chenault killed King, although the murderer apparently hoped to kill other African-American leaders as well. After the incident, he stated that "all Christians are my enemies." In the subsequent trial, Chenault was sentenced to death, even though two psychiatrists testified that Chenault suffered from schizophrenia and was insane at the time of the murders. A judge commuted Chenault's sentence to life in prison in 1995. Chenault died of natural causes on August 3, 1995."

---from Ohio History Central - A product of the Ohio Historical Society

The entry is wrong about Marcus Chenault's age at the time of the killings. He was 23.

Additionally, Marcus Chenault's home town was (you guessed it) Dayton.

Stay tuned for more music (finally) on the blog over the weekend.

take care


Sunday, January 20, 2008

Off-site: OMATIC & SHESUS at Last Days of Man on Earth

Someone posted a comment asking if the blog is dead. It's only been 12 days since the last post (we've gone longer than that before), so I think the question is a bit premature. But just to be clear: nope, the blog's still going. But I'm back to school now, so things will be slower -- probably not quite as slow as they got last semester (where I basically had to shut down the blog for about two months), but slower nonetheless. But I've still got tons of stuff to put up, and I don't see me getting tired of blathering about my misspent 20s any time soon. So one way or another, we'll be going for a long time.

On other topics, I generally skim a lot of other music blogs, and every now and then I come across something with a Dayton connection. So as I did with TOXIC REASONS a couple months ago, I will post links to any Dayton stuff I find on those other blogs. As it happens, I ran across some such stuff just a few minutes ago. Here it is now to tide you over between now and the next entry here:

A great write-up on the band OMATIC with a download link for the full album Dog Years.

Another such write-up on SHESUS with download links for selections from Ruined It for You and Shesus Loves You (the blogger doesn't offer the full recordings because they're apparently still for sale somewhere).

I was glad to find these because I hadn't planned on posting anything here on SHESUS and I've only got one seven-inch by OMATIC. But both are great bands worth remembering.

Both of these are from the excellent Last Days of Man on Earth blog. While you there, check out the rest of it. Great stuff.

take care


Tuesday, January 8, 2008

COLAVISION, Joan of Arcwelding (7" vinyl, 1993)

Ever see the movie Fright Night? Roddy McDowell plays a has-been actor named Peter Vincent with an inflated view of the importance of his own career (as a b-grade vampire killer in Hammer-esque horror films). He hosts a local late night horror movie show, and every time he shows one of his own shitty movies, he heaps praise upon it. Every time I post something on this blog that I played on, I feel just like Peter Vincent. That being said, here we go again.

I can't even feign ambivalence on this one. I fuckin' love this record--and as it happens, so did Ben Weasel. Here's his review:

"Quirky, snotty punk that really hits the spot - this is the best debut record I've heard in a year. Good production, nice hand painted-on-tin-foil covers... One of the few total low-budget D.I.Y. releases that doesn't fit that category just 'cause it sucks. It ain't perfect but it is pretty original; references to other bands are pointless. The headline is: Bored Dayton Brains Crank Out Great Midwest Punk. This is fucking rad. Go ahead and spend a few bucks on it."

---Ben Weasel, (Panic Button #8, 1994)

I got into COLAVISION at about the same time that OXYMORONS was breaking up (late 1993). I had played with drummer Dave Graeter (of LIQUID DRAINO) in PLANET ED. Daphne (a.k.a. Jen Cook, then Jen Simmerlink -- Grog's girlfriend at the time, later his wife, now his ex-) had never played bass in any band -- or, for that matter, ever played bass at all. We got together in Dave's basement and wrote some tunes. Dave wrote some lyrics, and I wrote some lyrics, usually only finishing them the night before we went into the studio. We played around Dayton (including the first gig for Kattie's band REAL LULU, which was then called BOY WONDER) and once or twice out of town. Then we just drifted apart. I think it was all over by the end of 1994. Joan of Arcwelding is the only thing we ever released (though I've got some cringeworthy demos of stuff we recorded later).

A few years after this was released, Phil Seilly told me that around 1996 or so, Renaissance Records was selling what they said was the "last available copy" for $50!

In addition to the music, I also love the fact that we took the time (at Dave's prompting) to hand paint each and every record cover on tinfoil. On the first one I painted, I wrote "This is not a Fugazi t-shirt." Dave frowned and told me, "Now everyone's going to think it's a Fugazi bootleg! That one's yours!"

Unfortunately, we pressed this on a particularly lousy grade of vinyl (which we jokingly called "cola-colored" because if you held it up to the light, you could see through its brown translucence--just like a glass of cola!), so the vinyl record sounds like absolute shit. And since the master tapes seemed to have disappeared long ago, I was afraid I was going to have to post that. But last fall, Dave told me that, lo and behold, the original DAT had reappeared in his house. He went to some studio and had them transferred to CD (apparently, the studio guy who did the transfer just sort of shook his head when he heard the music -- like "I can't believe you're paying to put this shit on CD"). So here's the record straight from the original digital master. Rawk...

Dave wrote the lyrics for "Problem #11" after staying up all night studying for an economics test (that's his textbook that Daphne and I are reading from).

"Ford" is my absolute favorite Colavision song ever. I've foisted it on dozens of people through mix-tapes and CDs over the years.

Phil had been under the impression that "Johnny" had been inspired by the Oliver Stone film Natural Born Killers. Not true--it was inspired by Oakley Hall's novel Warlock. I liked that book so much, I named my son Oakley.

"No Damn Cat, No Damn Cradle" was, of course, inspired by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.'s novel Cat's Cradle.

We called the record "Joan of Arcwelding" after a poem written by Gail's (and my) good friend Laura Albrecht. I just liked the title.

I could go on, but even I'm sick of my gushing by now. I'm guessing you bowed out right after "I feel just like Peter Vincent."

Track List:

1. Problem #11
2. Ford
3. Johnny Walks on the Right
4. No Damn Cat, No Damn Cradle

Download it! (24 MB) (link re-upped 2-2-2013)

There's also an outtake from these sessions on the CD that Dave gave me, but I'll post that some other time.

In addition to the songs, the download package contains scans of the cover (my copy), insert, and the vinyl record itself.

By the way, as I mentioned above, each record cover is different. Gail lent me a copy of hers for scanning a couple of months ago. If anyone else has a copy, I'd love to borrow it for scanning some time.

take care