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



Anonymous said...

just wanted to say i really appreciate yr blog. i grew up outside Dayton (in Bellbrook/Kettering) sort of right after the lion's share of good dayton bands (started high school in '94). although i do remember exactly the night the radio DJ announced that Tim Taylor had died in a car crash as I'd just gotten my first brainiac cd two weeks beforehand. anyway, just wanted to say its great to see some hidden history from dayton, please keep it up.
-stew (currently in pittsburgh)

williac said...

I still have a decent stack of 7-inches from mid-90s Dayton.

I scanned my copy of this one for you.


Anonymous said...

HOLY MOLY!!!!!!! Thanks so much! I've been trying to find one of these forever...i was a huge Barnhills and Art of Choke fan so I always wanted to hear this 7", and i've kicked myself every day for the last 9 years or so that i didn't buy it when I saw it at Dingleberry's.


Kevin P. Hale said...

You mention Laura Albrecht in this post. Are you still in touch with Laura? She kind of vanished on me about ten years ago, and I would love to be able to write her. Or even to know that she was okay.

jones() said...

Kevin, unfortunately I know nothing about Laura or what she's doing these days. She seems to have dropped off the map completely. If it's any consolation, you and I are not the only ones who are wondering.

take care