Wednesday, March 26, 2008

REAL LULU, Underground Sessions (unreleased, cassette, 1995(?))

Let's rock:

To celebrate my invective return to the blogosphere (veni, vidi, vexavi!), I Remember Dayton presents you, the fortunate few, with these gems of Gem City rock lore. Yes, dear reader, long forgotten by most and dismissed as mere fairytale by those who remember, these coveted tracks come to you courtesy of the faithful stewardship of Mr. Mike Kilbourne (a.k.a. Mite, he of GLEE & BEAK preservation fame).

Formerly a WWSU jock, Mite went on to host an underground rock music show on WYSO 91.3 for a couple of years in the mid-'90s (see the flyer at the top of this post and the newspaper article a little further down -- click on the article to get a readable version). It usually aired from 10-12 p.m. on Friday nights following the legendary Rev. Cool's Around the Fringe show (which still airs today on the same station every Friday from 8 p.m. to midnight -- tune in). Being a good supporter of local music, Mite played a lot of local recordings and often had local acts in to play a few live songs in the studio. And being a man of foresight, he recorded most of them for posterity.

Even Mite isn't sure what the entire list of bands he recorded encompasses, but he told me it includes, inter alia, CAGE, HIP SHAKIN' DADDIES, AUNT BEANIE'S FIRST PRIZE BEATS (recorded during his stint on the Afternoon Excursions program), PASTURES GREEN, JAYNE SACHS, PUZZLE OF LIGHT, CRAIG HOUSTON, TEX, and HEIKE (a band featuring yours truly, although I had forgotten completely that we had played his radio show until he mentioned it). That's right, Mite's got what are probably one-of-a-kind recordings of each one of these titans of Dayton indie rock (and roots) music live in the WYSO studios. And barring a few obsessive individuals who might've taped them, nobody's heard any of this stuff in about twelve years, which makes them just ripe for posting here.

Some things Mite recorded he doesn't have access to right now (by the way, Dennis, Mite wants his DAT back!), but he does have five tracks from REAL LULU playing acoustically.

At the time of this recording, REAL LULU was:

Kattie Dougherty - guitar, voice
Sharon Gavlick - bass, voice
Gregg Spence - drums

According to Mite, REAL LULU appeared on his show twice. The first three tracks in the download package are from their first visit to the studio and feature Kattie and Sharon but no Gregg. But Gregg did come along for the second visit and played on the last two tracks offered here today. As Mite tells it, Gregg's kit for these recordings was a cymbal, bass drum,(either a bucket or trash can) and a coffee can played with pieces of molding.

Mite's best guess places these recordings in 1995. As already documented on this blog (though only in photographs) REAL LULU made at least one other visit to WYSO on Jason Branzina's show in February 1997.

I know I listened to at least one of those shows, and I used to have a recording of it. But although I've torn the house apart looking for it, I can't find it anywhere. However, on the show I taped, I distinctly remember Kattie announcing "Smoking You Away" as a brand new song during the interview segment of the program. So if this is the same show I recorded, then you might be listening to the first public performance of that tune.

Track List:

1. Smoking You Away
2. Nightly
3. You
4. You (with Gregg Spence)
5. Let Me (with Gregg Spence)

Download It! (16 MB) (link re-upped 2-1-2013)

Electrified versions of all these songs would later appear on REAL LULU's debut CD, We Love Nick in 1996.

The version of "Let Me" from that album appeared on the soundtrack of the movie Angel Eyes, starring Jennifer "Gigli" Lopez and Jim "Jesus" Caviezel (2001). And although it doesn't play over the credits, a notable chunk of the song is featured prominently in the film. I don't remember exactly where (I've never watched the entire movie), but there's a scene in which someone opens the door of an apartment and you can hear it blaring from the stereo within. About five years ago, I was working on the computer down in the basement, and I suddenly heard "Let Me" coming through my TV speakers. It took me a moment to place the tune, and when I did, I laughed out loud.

For those who don't know, the "Nick" in We Love Nick is, of course, Nick Kizirnis (THE OBVIOUS, THE KILLJOYS/RAGING MANTRAS, CAGE, THE JET AGE, NICKY KAY AND HIS FABULOUS KAY-TONES, and solo artist too).

There's just one little bit of bad news with this one: Mite's tape cut out just a couple of seconds before the end of "Let Me." It's kind of a downer, but there's enough of the song there for die-hard REAL LULU fans to enjoy.

Two more things before we go. First, thanks to all who wrote through my ongoing stupid crisis. I had some interesting discussions and appreciate all the support. Second, WWSU alum Matt DeWald presented me last week with two amazing finds: (1) a reel-to-reel tape containing either the original or remixed version of "Das Boot" (see this blog entry if you don't know what that is) and (2) a cassette full of old DEMENTIA PRECOX stuff with an additional song each by MOM and BAD ELVIS IMPERSONATORS -- will post soon.

take care


Saturday, March 22, 2008

Off-Site: DEMENTIA PRECOX at Myspace, Ebay

Still depressed and angry -- blah, blah, blah...

I'm still off the grid for a few days, but even post-breakup depression must yield at least briefly to this incredible find: Dayton's legendary industrial, gothic, new wave, dance-pop, electronica, performance art rock group DEMENTIA PRECOX has a Myspace page.

Go there now and you'll find...
  • Four downloadable MP3s (must have a Myspace account to get 'em)
  • Current DEMENTIA PRECOX news and happenings, including show dates (in the blog section)
  • photo montage video highlighting various points in the band's career (under the blog)
  • Complete list of current and former band members
Those of you who are jumping up and down in your seats right now (or who did so when they first found this page if this isn't the first time you've heard of it) probably don't need to be told that Gyn Cameron's DEMENTIA PRECOX took on epic popularity in the Miami Valley and parts unknown during their almost ten-year-run through the 1980s and into the '90s. Nor need you be told that they have taken on enduring cult status in the years since. And you probably also know that Gyn recently reconstituted the band and has been playing a few shows around the tri-state area, so you should know better than to miss them when they're in Dayton (like I did when they did the Halloween show because I'm a witless tool).

Gotta go now and be depressed more, but before I do, here are some random DEMENTIA facts that have popped into my brain:
  • Around 1987 or 1988, Dan Rather's old news magazine show 48 Hours, which ordinarily concentrated on stories of straight journalistic interest, did a fluff episode on Paul McCartney's career. During one of the interview segments, there's a roadie sitting in the background with a clearly visible DEMENTIA PRECOX t-shirt on. He doesn't move for the entire segment, which lasted a couple of minutes. I don't remember his name, but I remember Kris Pleis telling me it was either a former member of this band or some other luminary of Dayton music at the time.
  • My dad actually went to a DEMENTIA PRECOX show at Wright State University in 1989. He had come because he was interested in computer generated music, and I had mentioned how DEMENTIA had developed a whole music and live show integrating computers and all sorts of electronics. He stood in the back with sort of a quizzical look on his face, but he stayed the whole time. For that show DEMENTIA PRECOX was Gyn Cameron, Royse Robbins, and Nick Kizirnis.
  • I dimly recall that in 1986 DEMENTIA guitar player Max Nye (1980-1985) was assaulted by a group of nasty Dayton rednecks outside a convenience store while walking home late one night from a show at the Building Lounge. He lived but his injuries were quite extensive. I remember at least one benefit show to raise funds for his medical bills.
  • Apparently, you can buy at least one CD with DEMENTIA PRECOX material on it and t-shirts commemorating the band's current renaissance period through ebay. Just go there and do a search on "Dementia Precox." As I understand it, the CD and t-shirt are on there fairly consistently and other merchandise comes and goes, so die hard fans should keep an eye out.
  • A couple of days ago, Matt DeWald gave me a compilation tape of DEMENTIA PRECOX material that a friend recorded for him about twenty years ago. It's fairly lousy quality, but it's audible, and since it appears someone is still selling the DEMENTIA recordings on ebay, it's probably best to only post a low quality cassette of that material here (which I'll be doing after I rip it).
And now I'm moping again.

take care


Thursday, March 20, 2008

WALAROO SOUTH, Painted A Million Colors (cassette, 1991)

A couple of months after PLANET ED got together (February 1991), we did the Dayton Band Playoffs at Canal Street Tavern (because it was pretty tough to get a show during the first half of summer at Canal Street if you didn't). It was in either our first or second round that we got soundly trounced in the voting by six of the nicest kids you'd ever want to meet. Those kids were WALAROO SOUTH.

WALAROO SOUTH would go through a few lineup changes over the years, but at the time Painted A Million Colors was being circulated, the band was:

Jonathan Drexler - Vocals, guitar
Lesa O'Daniel - Vocals and auxiliary percussion
Aaron Jones (no relation) - guitar
Danny Stahl - drums
Felicia Letts - backing vocals, flue, keyboard, auxiliary percussion
Hans Drexler - bass

I remember disliking the name and not being too into the music at first. It was pretty derivative college radio stuff. Comparisons to POI DOG PONDERING, DAVE MATTHEWS and especially TEN THOUSAND MANIACS were inevitable. But the music grew on me, and I ended up listening to this tape quite a bit.

And regardless of what I personally thought of the music, I could never deny that they were all great musicians. I don't know for sure, but I got the impression that most of them had graduated to WALAROO SOUTH from high school marching bands, orchestras, glee clubs, and chorale ensembles. That's not a bad progression.

I mean sure, Lesa sounded just like Natalie Merchant, but that just means she had a great vocal range and could belt the melody out pretty strongly. She was cute too (probably why Will and I always sat right up front when they played -- especially when she wore sweaters). Care to guess how many Natalie Merchant wannabes I ran across in those days who were butt ugly and couldn't carry a tune in a bucket? Trust me, you don't want to know. Lesa was the rare exception.

The others all knew what they were doing too. Aaron could alternate quite deftly between clean rhythms and flurried, Eddie Van Halen leads. Danny never missed a beat coming out of a fill (if only I could say the same about that schlub NICK ATKINSON! -- although he seemed to become a lot more precise after OXYMORONS broke up). Felicia's backup vocals were strong, and she filled out the sound quite well among all the instruments she played.

Jonathan and Hans seemed to be the creative backbone of this group. I think everyone contributed to the music, but I think Jonathan and Hans had the most control over the ultimate form of each tune. Jonathan and Lesa wrote the lyrics.

As I said, they were all very nice kids when we first met them (and still are today, I'm sure) -- very young and even "clean cut" you might say. With six members and such precise attention to their playing, they were kind of the antithesis of PLANET ED (which was a trio and probably the loosest lineup I've ever played with). However, we played quite a few shows together between 1991 and 1993, and I think we became friends. Certainly Jonathan, Hans, Will, and I used to hang out. I remember they showed up quite a few times to watch bad, gorey horror films with Will and me (other faces I associate with "The Gore Club," as Will used to call it, belonged to Ed Lacy, Rob Schaeffer (a couple of times), Dave Madisov, Dave's girlfriend Rachel, Brian Hogarth, Christine White (infrequently), and even Nick Kizirnis every now and then).

I don't know what became of Felicia or Lesa after 1993 or so. Danny and Aaron played in other bands I saw in the '90s but I can't name any of them off the top of my head. Jonathan and Hans continued with WALAROO SOUTH until maybe 1996(?). At some point, they dropped the "SOUTH" from the name, and the music changed from lite college folk rock to harder, rougher indie rock. I have two demo cassettes from that version of WALAROO that I'll share later. In the late '90s they moved to Chicago and started the band MY SECRET SERVICE with Aaron and Matt Espy (formerly of CAGE and MINK). Jonathan also plays in MEAN OHIO, also with Matt Espy.

Track list:

1. Love Canal
2. Little Brother
3. Break the Line
4. Chain Train
5. Aquilonia
6. Spacious One

Download It! (33 MB) (link re-upped on 2-1-2013)

UPDATE 2-8-2013: Jonathan Drexler died yesterday.  We all miss him very much.

take care


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Off-Site: Fictionband!

I wanted to post a link to something I posted over at my Myspace blog about the Fictionband site.

Just go to my Myspace page and read the blog entry titled "Fictionband!" It should be the first one there.

More music Friday probably. It's spring break for me (even though it fucking SNOWED today!), so I've been kind of goofing off. Sorry!

take care


FYI: File hosting, new library, and band plug!

First, I finally saw JUNKPILE last night and was suitably impressed. I've plugged them once or twice here, and they deserve it. For a fuller description of what makes them so great, check out the JUNKPILE entry on my Myspace blog.

Second, Martin over at Weezed has graciously offered to host our downloads on his server. I'm taking it for a test drive right now (uploading a big file and making sure there are no download problems). If it all works out (and all indications are, it will), that means no more RapidShare -- no more wait time, no more download limit, no more obscured codes to type, etc. Everybody say thanks to Martin for that.

UPDATE 2-1-2013: Most of the files are now hosted on my Amazon Cloud drive.  Not everything's there yet, but eventually it will be.

And finally, the good fortune of I Remember Dayton continues: the other day Chris Wright sent me a 500 MB library of Dayton punk and indie rock that he has ripped over the years. His contribution includes music by A TEN O'CLOCK SCHOLAR, ASIAN FLEA POD, CIGARHEAD, FREAKSTROBE, IGNITERS, LET'S CRASH, MINK, OMATIC, SPITCURL, THE KEY-NOTE SPEAKER, and THE WEIRD NOW. Dig.

take care


Saturday, March 15, 2008

FOURTEEN, unreleased demos (cassette, 1995)

So I split with the girlfriend recently, which means two things. First: ladies, this stallion's available! (stop laughing, Gail) Oh yes, step right up and take your shot at becoming the next ex-Mrs. Jones. Who's calling dibs? crickets... Hm? louder crickets (damn... where's Lolita when you need her?)

Okay, well the second thing it means is... breakup music! Yes, my misery is your gain (as usual). I hadn't planned on posting today's download right now, but in between drinking screwdriver and listening to All Shook Down and throwing up (probably more from All Shook Down than the screwdriver) and whatnot, I remembered that I had this cassette with some mid-'90s emo-pop punk (see yesterday's post) on it. And as everyone with a heart knows, mid-'90s emo-pop punk is the perfect post-breakup soundtrack -- for men at least. I've never met a woman who drowns her sorrows in mid-'90s emo-pop punk (and the day I do is the day I meet the girl I'm gonna marry).

And just like every breakup I've ever experienced in my life, this music is a total mystery to me (smooth segue, no?). The only thing I remember about FOURTEEN is a dim impression that Dave Graeter used to know these guys. But I could be wrong even about that. And barring some help from you people, there is likely little more information on this band forthcoming. I'm not even going to bother typing "FOURTEEN" into any search engine.

I don't know who was in this band, how long they were together, where they might've played, or who they might've played with. The cassette bears the band's name, a list of songs, and the date "4/95." The tape is a consumer brand "That's as:II 60 High Position Type II" -- and I've no idea what all that means. As far as I can tell, these are unreleased demos. As usual, correct me if I'm wrong.

Anyway, what we lack in information on this one, we make up for in sound quality, which is about as good as it gets for a thirteen-year-old cassette: very crisp, very clean, very powerful. Excellent engineering and mix too. It's definitely professional sounding but with a good live, first-take kind of feel. If I had to guess, I would say that this was likely recorded at Hidden Music, where a lot of bands like this were recording back then. It certainly has the Hidden Music feel to it. And if it was recorded there, it was engineered by Steve Van Etten.

As I said, this is pretty straightforward emo pop -- representative of what a lot of bands were doing around these parts in 1995. Specifically, THE BARNHILLS and THE LARRY BRRRDS come to mind, but this is just a little less poppy and just a wee-wee bit slower tempo than either of those bands. I'd also say it's in the ballpark with my old band HEIKE, which was also playing around Dayton at about the same time. The guitars are loud, and the vocals are all whiny and morose but hopeful -- and every song's about a girl. Aces!

So download and enjoy this miserably up-tempo music with me -- at least until I slide out of the post-breakup cry-in-my-Milwaukee's Best phase (REPLACEMENTS, HUSKER DU/BOB MOULD, JAWBREAKER) and into the post-breakup all-women-are-bad phase (QUEERS, VANDALS, CRAMPS, oh yeah...) -- which I feel coming on pretty quickly.

Track List:

1. Intro
2. Polish Boy Never Gets the Kootchie
3. The Memory Song
4. Ohio-Penn
5. Overwhelmed
6. The Should-Be Situation...
7. I Like Food

Download It! (33 MB) (link re-upped on 2-1-2013)

take care


Friday, March 14, 2008

Off-Site: THE STOICS at Myspace

I don't remember THE STOICS at all, but I was living in Columbus for the first few years of their existence (they were together from 1994-2004). One benefit of this blog has been learning a little myself about some good Dayton bands that I missed the first time around.

You can get some history on THE STOICS and download four MP3s at THE STOICS Myspace page. Guitar player Mike wrote to me and mentioned that THE STOICS did shows with SOURBELLY, HAUNTING SOULS, LIQUID LEGBONE, MONDULUX and SLAPFIGHT (another Erik Purtle project of the mid-'90s -- Jesus, how many bands did that fucker have?). According to that page, former members of THE STOICS have landed in the following bands:
Anyway, you should download all THE STOICS MP3s and play them over and over. Good stuff.

And if you have more information on THE STOICS, you should post it in the comments. As always, I'm curious.

take care


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

GLEE & BEAK, Live at the Wright State Rathskellar (unofficial, cassette, 1990)

GLEE & BEAK was sort of a folk-lite duo (sometimes a trio) featuring Dave Ponitz and Morgan Taylor, often assisted by a drummer whose name I can't remember right now. Although I never knew Dave or Morgan, I saw GLEE & BEAK a few times at Canal Street and Wright State. Their particular brand of cute and clever folk rock was never exactly my cup of tea, but it was charming, creative, and original. I genuinely enjoyed their shows. So did a lot of other people around town. And along with their obvious talent, their dueling boyish good looks didn't hurt their popularity either. As with THE WIZBANGS, I remember thinking of GLEE & BEAK as an act that inevitably attracted swarms of swooning girls.

Some other facts:
  • GLEE & BEAK were featured in an Undercurrents Music Showcase in 1990.
  • Dave's first band in Dayton was THE SCAM. They had played all over town for a few years before GLEE & BEAK got together (it's just a guess, but I'll put their tenure as running between 1986 through 1988, maybe?). Come to think of it, although I never saw THE SCAM live, I'm pretty sure that either they or DALE WALTON (Oh! There's a name from the distant past!) are the first local music group I was ever aware of (for some reason, it seemed I always heard ads for their shows on WTUE).
  • Here's what Dave had to say about THE SCAM in a 1998 interview with Yeah, Yeah, Yeah: "We were a quartet. We played Kinks, Stones, Who, Hendrix, Zombies, Bowie and such. We played "Good Lovin", you know. We played "Shout!" We were all friends. A guy named Jellyass played bass and sang harmony. We had a lead guitar savant named Blando who was handsome and had a talk box. And then the drummer, Red Ned, who was like Mickey Dolenz with flame-on hair. It was probably the most solid project I've ever had, up until the current line-up of Sim Cain on drums and John Abbey on bass."
  • Here's what he had to say in the same interview about GLEE & BEAK: "I also played in an acoustic rock trio called Glee & Beak in the early 90s in Ohio with a percussionist named Kelodg and a ridiculously talented guy named Morgan Taylor."
  • According to an editorial note directly following that comment, "Morgan Taylor now lives in New York and leads a rock group called Morgan Taylor's Rock Group. David produced a demo for them in 2000."
  • Dave used to write local music news for the Go! section of the Dayton Daily News under the pseudonym Braxton Hicks.
  • In 1992 Dave Ponitz moved to New York. Since that time, you may have come to know his work under the name David Poe.
  • David Poe's most recent release that I know of is Love Is Red (available at this page on e-music), but David Poe's Wikipedia entry will inform you of a couple of other projects he has in the works.
  • Here's a link to David Poe's web site.
  • In the '90s Morgan Taylor was in OO OO WA, a sort of tongue-in-cheek ultra-pop outfit that also featured Nick Eddy. OO OO WA had at least one full-length release, Screen Kiss (1993).
  • Morgan also worked at Gem City Records (which, along with Canal Street Tavern, seemed to be the area's leading day job supplier for local musicians throughout the '80s and '90s and probably today too) for a number of years before heading to New York in 1998 and starting MORGAN TAYLOR'S ROCK GROUP.
  • Morgan's current project is Gustafer Yellowgold, which is a bit of an enigma to me. However, from what I can tell, it's a combination of storybook, music, and now an off-broadway show for kids. And for some reason, it doesn't surprise me one little bit that Morgan Taylor is writing stories and music for kids. If you've been to even one GLEE & BEAK show, I don't think you're surprised either.
  • Here's an interview with Morgan that better explains the premise behind Gustafer Yellowgold.
To my knowledge GLEE & BEAK issued no studio recordings. In fact, the only evidence of their existence I know of is this recording of a GLEE & BEAK show that Mite ripped and sent to me a couple of weeks ago.

Neither of us has a specific date on this, but both Mite's and my best guess places it somewhere in 1990 or perhaps as early as 1989. It was recorded at the Wright State Rathskellar. At that time, campus radio station WWSU was experimenting with broadcasting live shows from the Rathskellar. I remember OXYMORONS did one of those shows in October 1989 (it was, in fact, Pat Hennigan's second to last show with the band), and I'm sure other bands did too. Grog has lent me a tape of the OXYMORONS show as it was broadcast on WWSU. Mite made this one of GLEE & BEAK. Here's hoping some other WWSU/Rathskellar tapes survive.

I think listening to this recording will give you a pretty good idea of what GLEE & BEAK were all about. Their appeal was very closely tied to their live show. There's a good amount of stage banter, and a lot of the immediate charm of the band seems to come through best in this context.

Track List:

1. Window
2. Bloody
3. All of Your Letters Back
4. Down
5. How Much
6. Dandelion
7. Leave Brutality
8. Feedback Jam
9. Mystery Love Revealed
10. Grow
11. Tree House
12. Infinity Ring
13. Tunnel of Trees
14. I Am Not A Hippy

Download It! (62 MB) (link re-upped on 2-1-2013)

Again, you'll hear a drummer on some songs, but I just can't remember his name now.

UPDATE: The drummer was Kelly Morelock. He later played percussion for JAYNE SACHS' band. There's a bio for him here on her page.

I ran Mite's rip through some post-processing to boost the overall presence and eliminate tape hiss. Unfortunately, removing the hiss sometimes introduces latency (audible distortions -- kind of like a low resolution MP3) where the volume gets very low. I don't think it affects the quality where the band is playing, but it does introduce a little distortion where the volume dips between songs. Mite, if you're reading this, listen to it and let me know if you like the original version you sent me better.

take care


Friday, March 7, 2008

THE KILLJOYS (a.k.a. THE RAGING MANTRAS), Will (promo cassette, 1989)

NICK KIZIRNIS (who played guitar in THE KILLJOYS/RAGING MANTRAS) is playing a solo gig tomorrow night at Therapy. Show starts at 9 p.m.

Okay, if you want to skip my rant about snow, weather, and stupid people, just scroll down until you see the list of band members.

Let me guess: it's snowing like a motherfucker and you're stuck inside desperately browsing the web for something to keep your mind off the fact that you won't be able to go anywhere tonight or, if you're at work, that you still have to drive home in this shit?

Maybe I'm wrong about all that, but I, for one, am getting a little tired of this snow bullshit. Maybe it's global warming as Al Gore would have us believe (and I agree) or maybe it's god deciding to fuck with Ohio (and who could blame him?) or maybe it's the all-pervasive aura of crap and bad times that has always seemed to saturate this area, but whatever the reason, the weather around here is totally fucking off and has been for years now. Three days ago we had a monsoon -- today, a blizzard.

And I'm not going to be able to drive up to school tonight for Business Associations class. Oh yeah, did I mention that law schools never ever close for weather? Seriously. I mean, they do close sometimes, but in the last two and a half years, I remember Capital closing for weather exactly once -- and that was under far worse conditions than this. Maybe it's the bar's way of thinning the glut of lawyers that law schools produce -- I mean, 35% of the people who started with me have already dropped out, and apparently that's only a little more than typical (I think the national average is 25% or thereabouts). For the 60% remaining, maybe the bar figures they can cut that down if we have to make repeated death-defying journeys through mountains of snow all the time. Who knows?

But it's not really the weather or the driving or the shovelling that really crimps my dick, it's the way Daytonians react to the possibility of a few flakes of snow as if they are heralds of the apocalypse. No shit, people around here go absolutely insane with fear right before we get snow. The news today advised people to pick up ten gallons of water per day per person in the house! I went to the grocery store this morning to pick up some cat food, and as usual I found it jam packed with people grabbing snow shovels and filling up carts with groceries. I don't quite understand that. I mean, we've had some bad snow in the past, but at its worst, I don't remember being stuck in the house for more than a day, maybe two at most.

Yet people are stocking enough groceries for a week. I don't understand why they do that. Do they think we'll all be trapped in our houses for that long, even though it's meteorogically impossible for Ohio to get that much snow? Do they just not keep enough groceries on hand to last more than half a day? Is there something about snow that commands Americans to consume 200% more than the oversized portion of the world's resources that they consumer already? Fuck.

But what the hell? It's for exactly times like this that I save up the best treats to be found among our (meaning Grog's, Gail's, and my) collections of Gem City Arcana. This one comes from my bag of tricks. Let's do it:


Rob Schaefer - bass, vocals
Jim MacPherson - drums
Ed Lacy - keyboards
Nick Kizirnis - guitars, vocals
Gregg Spence - guitars, vocals

Gregg is not credited on any of the materials included on this tape (because he didn't usually play live with these guys), but I know he at least played some guitar on it (listen for the clean Rickenbacker -- all distorted guitars and all leads are by Nick), and I'm pretty sure he supplied some backing vocals.

The cassette is a Maxell UR 60 that Nick Kizirnis gave me long ago. The info sheet says the tape contains an "advance excerpt" from a planned full-length release called Will, but I'm pretty sure this is more than just an excerpt. Although Nick wrote the titles of only five songs on the insert, the tape actually contains eight. I'm pretty sure that's everything they recorded for Will.

Here's what the band has to say on the info sheet that came with this cassette:
Formed early in 1987, the Killjoys have been playing in the Dayton and Cincinnati areas and plan to release an all original cassette, entitled Will, early in 1990. The band has been called alternative/progressive rock, and are known for their strong live shows.

The Killjoys play original songs, though they will torture songs by the Jet Black Berries and True West, as well as pieces by other alternative/college oriented (whatever that means) bands.

The Killjoys are Rob Schaefer (bass and vocals), Jim MacPherson (drums), Ed Lacy (keyboards), and Nick Kizirnis (guitars and vocals). All four have been previously involved in other musical projects in the Dayton area. They are now playing in the midwest and promoting their upcoming cassette. The enclosed cassette is an advance excerpt from Will.
I've never seen a production copy of Will. THE KILLJOYS circulated tapes like this among radio stations, clubs, and friends for promotional purposes before Will was released. As I said, the tape is consumer branded, and came with an information sheet folded in a way so as to be slipped into the cassette case displaying part of a picture of the band (taken at Canal Street Tavern) through the front of the box. A scan of the sheet containing the full picture is included in the download package. Sorry about the fold lines, but it had been sitting in the cassette case folded up like that for fifteen years before I scanned it.

After changing their name to THE RAGING MANTRAS, this band released another cassette in 1991 called Fish Head Test Monkey Music (which may have been the first official release on Big Beef Records, but only Andy Valeri would know for sure).

I must've seen THE KILLJOYS dozens of times between 1988 and 1992, before and after they changed their name to THE RAGING MANTRAS (because, according to Ed, there were already too many other things named "Killjoy" at the time). Both THE OXYMORONS and PLANET ED played with them many times, and all of us got be fairly good friends. They were the only band that ever got me to dance (that includes DEMENTIA PRECOX -- much as I love 'em). Long before Nick gave me this cassette, all these tunes were pretty well burned into my brain just through seeing them live.

Rob Schaefer was a very tall guy with long hair, glasses, and huge hands for bass playing (Gail used to say he looked like a Teddy Graham from far away if you squinted right). As I remember, he was more or less the dominant creative force behind most of what THE KILLJOYS did. My impression is that Nick, Rob, Ed, and Jim contributed pretty much equally to the music and the whole theatrical thing that came with this band, but Rob had the most input overall and seemed to write most of the lyrics (if one of the band members would like to correct me on that, they should feel free). His day job at the time was as a manager at the famous Rock'n'Roll Kinko's on Brown Street (so called because pretty much every band in Dayton went there to get flyers done -- usually while Rob was working). After THE RAGING MANTRAS broke up, I believe he pursued that career full time. The last time I saw him was in 1994. Jen Cook and I came to Kinko's to get COLAVISION flyers copied. We talked for a while, and I never saw him again. I don't know where he is today.

Chances are you already know as much as I could tell you about Jim MacPherson, but for clarity's sake, here are the basics: he played drums in this band and, at that time, had a bigger kit (eight or nine pieces, I think) than he would later use in THE BREEDERS. Jim wrote the lyrics for "Spaceman Jack" and maybe others. He had been in one or two bands prior to THE KILLJOYS. This interview with Jim MacPherson briefly discusses (among other things) how Jim came to leave THE RAGING MANTRAS and join THE BREEDERS. He played drums for a number of bands later, including REAL LULU and GUIDED BY VOICES. Find out more at his Wikipedia entry.

Ed Lacy is in my top five most intelligent people I've ever known (specifically, he's number three -- edged out of the top spots only by my genius older brother and my super-genius high school buddy Kris Pleis). He can talk politics, music, art, literature, and science in a genuinely engaging way (a rare talent among the super intelligent). He can appreciate the complexities of life's big abstractions as well as the significance of the seemingly mundane. Ed was entering his thirties at the time of THE KILLJOYS' heyday (if they had a heyday), so he already had a bit more history to speak of among the punk and alt-rock subcultures than the rest of us. Apparently, in his youth, Ed was fond of pulling public theater type pranks like showing up to greet Ronald Reagan while he was on the campaign trail in 1980: dressed in a Nazi SS uniform and just standing their silently the entire time with one arm outstretched in Zeig-Heil style. In my entire life, I don't think I've ever done anything that cool -- Ed was doing stuff like that as a teenager.

After THE RAGING MANTRAS, Ed played in CAGE (with Nick Kizirnis), THE LAWN JOCKEYS, and a number of others. I remember several occasions over the years in which he and I would talk about playing some music together (most recently, in 2003 when I wanted him to play piano for a cover of "Christmastime Is Here" at THE VECTORS CD-giveaway Christmas show), but we never got around to doing it.

Throughout his time playing in Dayton bands, Ed was also a substitute and later a full-time teacher for Dayton Public Schools, but he got out of that a few years ago. Until 2005, when he finally shook the dust of Dayton off his feet and moved to Florida, he worked with a former friend (and Angelle Gullet) at Mazer. I'm not sure what Ed is doing musically or professionally now.

One last thing on Ed: for those who don't know, yes, he is the "Ed" after which my old band PLANET ED was named.

I'll have more to say about Nick Kizirnis when I post on THE OBVIOUS (his first band), but for now, I'll just say he's an all around great guy with a distinguished history playing music around these parts. After THE RAGING MANTRAS, he formed CAGE (indie rock combo which also included Ed Lacy, Matt Espy, and Gregg Spence) and THE MULCHMEN (surf-rock, with Gregg Spence and Brian Hogarth), both of which broke up in the mid-'90s. More recently, he played with THE JET AGE (which included former members of OO OO WA, among others) but quit that band in 2004 (I think). Later that year, he released a solo album called Into the Loud, which is available from Atom Records and through Nick's web site. Today, his band NICKY KAY AND HIS FABULOUS KAY-TONES is currently on hiatus, but here's hoping they get back together soon. Most recently, I saw him play with a kids music band (the man can play anything) at the Greene around Halloween 2007. You can catch him solo tomorrow night (Saturday, March 7, 2008) at Therapy on Third Street here in town.

If I could play in a band with any Dayton musician right now, it would be Nick Kizirnis.

Raging Mantras VideoBig Beef Records produced a two hour RAGING MANTRAS live video available at this link (it's near the bottom of the page, so you'll have to scroll down a ways). The video pretty much captures the full-blown RAGING MANTRAS multi-media stage show (accurately described in the write up on the video).

Will Dalgard roadied for these guys extensively, so I think he should get a little credit for making this music possible.

Okay, this post has become a monster, and I want to save a few things to say for when I post THE RAGING MANTRAS other cassette, Fish Head Test Monkey Music. So just a few track notes before we get to the download:
  • The music is actually better classed as prog-rock, rather than indie rock (I always thought of these guys as kind of like a slicker-sounding PERE UBU or CAMPER VAN BEETHOVEN with longer and more complex arrangements). This was before the big local music explosion of 1994, and at that time Dayton had a far smaller number of bands than it does today. So out of necessity, bands of widely varying genres would end up on the same bill. It wasn't uncommon to see punk from THE OXYMORONS or THE OBVIOUS on the same bill as R&B from TOOBA BLOOZE, new wave from THE PLEASURES PALE, dance-pop from DEMENTIA PRECOX, or prog-rock from THE KILLJOYS.
  • I believe "Spaceman Jack" is about a hunting accident Jim had once.
  • The dialogue in the middle of "Nightstick" is spoken by Nick Kizirnis (as the cop) and Ed Lacy (as the motorist). This was always my favorite KILLJOYS song, and I'm pretty sure it was a favorite with Ben, Nick, and Grog too. THE OXYMORONS used to make a habit of spontaneously launching into a mangled rendition of the last few bars of "Nightstick" whenever we felt like it.
  • Gail has lent me a tape that includes DOBIE WILLIS covering "I Pledge" at a Musician's Co-Op show that is simply priceless (the same tape also contains a solo set by Nick Kizirnis -- will post the whole thing soon).
  • My only complaint about this tape is that "Dance of the Thundergods" does not include the spoken-word "Hermaphrodite Story" that Rob used to tell as an intro when THE KILLJOYS played it live. Although I have no recording of Rob telling that story, I do have a recording of Ben doing a hilarious parody of it at an OXYMORONS practice.
  • For gee-tar geeks, I'm pretty sure Nick was using a Les Paul with a Rat Pedal and a Roland Jazz Chorus for most of this (Nick, correct me if I'm wrong -- I've played guitar for twenty-four years, but I'm still pretty clueless about guitar equipment).
  • All these songs were recorded at the Cro-Magnon studios in its original location on the opposite side of the Front Street Warehouse from where it later moved in the early '90s. At that time Cro-Mag was 8 tracks.
  • All these songs were engineered by Joe Buben.
Track List:

1. Spaceman Jack
2. Raging Heart
3. Nightstick
4. I Pledge
5. When Will It Come?
6. Dance of the Thundergods
7. Diseases of the Tongue
8. Nothing New

Download It! (52 MB) (link re-upped 2-1-2013)

For some reason, I mis-titled "Diseases of the Tongue" as "Throb" in the download package -- don't know why I did that.

Anyway, download, listen, enjoy (and go see Nick tomorrow night at Therapy, 9 p.m.).

So now I see that they have, in fact, closed the law school. Happy Snow Day!

take care


Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Off-Site: Link Round-up!

Sites I found that may be of interest to the student of Dayton indie rock history:

Downloadable MP3s
  • Scorched Earth Archives - Navigate to "more sonic values for your enjoyment..." to download everything SCORCHED EARTH POLICY ever recorded.
  • nostromo mOtherworld - Same deal as the SCORCHED EARTH page. Navigate to "vibratory mechanics" to gain access to 16 NOSTROMO MP3s. It looks like this and the SCORCHED EARTH site are both managed by Chris Wright (master web designer and guitar player for both bands), so the MP3s are likely from original masters (i.e. far better fidelity than I could manage from production model records and cassettes).
  • Igniters music - Looks like this is just a directory listing containing 17 downloads.
  • The Jackalopes site and the Jackalopes Myspace page - They only broke up in 2003, so it'll be a while before their back catalog is more readily available, but at the main site, you'll find a couple of MP3s under "multimedia."
  • Nick Kizirnis' Myspace page - One downloadable tune here. Nick will be playing solo this Saturday, March 8 at Therapy. You should go.
Photos & Reference
  • - Chris Wright's web site with lots of current Dayton music and indie culture news (and host to the SCORCHED EARTH POLICY, NOSTROMO, and IGNITERS pages linked above).
  • Concert Photos & Music Information - The title says it all. Archival photos and information on bands of recent vintage, including REAL LULU and MYSTERY ADDICTS, as well as current bands.
  • HAUNTING SOULS reference - Sorry, no music downloads (HAUNTING SOULS recordings seem to be hard to come by these days), but lots of photos and flyers documenting the band's illustrious career in the Miami Valley and beyond -- also a complete list of all the players who came and went through the years (did you know Tim Taylor was a Haunting Soul for a while? I didn't.).
  • Shrug set - SHRUG photos, news, and happenings.
  • Jane Mitakides Rawks Ohio's 3rd Congressional District! - How did this get in here?!?!?!!!
take care


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

THE CAPTAIN WOODYCRAFTER, Fantastic Planet (cassette, 199?)

Once again we have a little real world business to take care of before diving into Dayton's musical past. As you certainly know, today is primary day! That is, one of two days that come only once every four years during which anyone in either of the two major parties gives a shit about Ohio. And I, for one, think that's already two days too fucking many!

(ADDENDUM: Vote for Jane Mitakides for the Ohio-3 in November. Just thought I'd mention that).

Anyway, I'm a Hillary man myself, but if you want to get out there and vote for Mr. Obama, you should do it. And now that that's out of the way, let's get to something of far greater import:

Another curiosity today -- found this one in the dark recesses of a box of tapes Grog lent me. There are no song titles. The cassette insert is photocopied and hand cut (nice art, by the way). The cassette is a JVC GI-90 with a label stuck on one side bearing the legend "CAPTAIN WOODY CRAFTER" in dot matrix printing. The dot matrix and my vague recollection of when I heard this band's name around town lead me to place it some time around 1993-1995, but I've no way to know for sure.

For some reason, I find myself associating Chris Wright with this band somehow.

The artwork on the insert gives a fair indication of the musical direction within: half psychedelic, half grunge, half proto-metal... so that's 150% RAWK for those keeping score at home.

About the band's name, the label prints it as three separate words, but the flap on the insert prints "WOODYCRAFTER" as one word. I've found various entries on the web that add the definite article "THE" to the band name. Sometimes "CAPTAIN" is abbreviated as "CAP'T." (which is odd considering there are no letters between the "p" and the "t" in "captain") or just "CAPT." but it's spelled out on the label and insert here. Because the web sources adding "THE" seem to pop up among listings of people who used to be in this band, I'll go ahead and add it here even though it's not on the cassette material. So we'll tentatively give the band the official title of "THE CAPTAIN WOODYCRAFTER."

Researching obscure local bands on the web is a little easier where the artists were good enough to choose a name comprised of a unique string of characters like "Woodycrafter" (try typing "MOM" or "KEY-NOTE SPEAKER" into Google some time and see the shit that turns up). Still, I've been able to uncover only a few fragments of information:
  • Singer Kevion Kelley "unexpectedly passed away" at some point, but it's hard to tell exactly when or how. It seems his death came some time between the MYSTERY ADDICTS last show at the 1999 Monster Hop and their reformation in 2000 or 2001. Here's the source excerpt from the article in the May 24, 2001 edition of the Impact Weekly (click on the link and then do a search on "woodycrafter" to find the relevant portion). You figure it out.
  • THE CAPTAIN WOODYCRAFTER seems to have put out a self-titled CD at some point (unless there was another CAPTAIN WOODYCRAFTER I don't know about). It has turned up on various 1-cent listings around the web.
  • Some former members of this band were later in the now semi-defunct Dayton experimental combo YARDBOY.
  • The bass player now does a solo industrial thing called HarSH.
  • One or more members were later in ALL ELECTRIC KITCHEN CARNIVAL.
  • The band appears among a list of bands that MY LATEX BRAIN has played with over at their site.
  • This half-complete band page for ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE lists the bass player of that band as having played in THE CAPTAIN WOODYCRAFTER.
This bizarre YouTube video has the tag "WoodyCrafter" appearing among the label list. It was reportedly filmed in Dayton and has sort of a ROB ZOMBIE/DOCTOR CREEP aesthetic going (face paint, macabre imagery in domestic circumstances, characters in a trance like state -- you get the picture). It uses one of the songs presented for download here in the soundtrack (it's about 4 minutes in), but I don't know how else it might be related to the band (maybe some of the band members are in it? You tell me). The main character is called "Wil" at the beginning but "Woody" later on in the film. A "Kevin Kelly" is listed among the creators, but I don't know whether that's the same person as the "Kevion Kelley" referenced in the source I mentioned above.

The opening text places the events portrayed in 1990 and it's copyrighted in that year. Since it uses a song on this tape, that might place the recording somewhere in 1990 or earlier. But I don't recollect hearing anything about THE CAPTAIN WOODY CRAFTER before the mid-'90s, and the video could've been cut and edited much later. So who knows for sure? (If you know, correct me in the comments section).

That's all the information I've been able to gather. If you know more, let's hear it. In the meantime, enjoy the two songs presented here. Good rawk!

Track List:

1. Hollywood
2. The Pain

Download It! (12 MB) (link re-upped on 2-1-2013)

As I mentioned above, the insert shows no song titles, so I just broke up the title given on the cassette insert.

UPDATE 2-6-2013: Helpful commenters have provided the correct song titles.  This has been corrected in the download.

So once again I Remember Dayton... serves up another recording that presents more questions than answers. But what would Dayton (or life itself) be without a little twisted mystery?

take care


Monday, March 3, 2008

Off-Site: MONDOLUX video at YouTube

Here's a nice professionally produced video of MONDOLUX playing at El Diablo Lounge here in Dayton.

It's from 2002, which kind of puts it out of the range of this blog. I try to limit the things posted here to stuff that's at least 10 years old (figuring The Buddha Den has the recent stuff pretty well covered). But since the last post was Erik's old band X-TREME-UNCTION, I figure this one hits.

For those who don't know, Erik was the singer/guitar player in MONDOLUX. That's him featured most prominently in the video. Dig.

Erik's current band is LUXURY PUSHERS, who are one of my favorite Dayton bands right now (the others being 8-BIT REVIVAL, THE NIGHTBEAST, and the unstoppable JUNKPILE!).

All the links in the previous paragraph lead to Myspace pages, each with at least one downloadable song (wouldn't post 'em if they didn't). However, I should add here that Myspace is probably the most technologically inept site I have ever seen: frequent errors, unpredictable blackouts on services, and recurring inexplicable foul-ups. So if you can't download or if a page doesn't load, or if you accidentally contract hepatitis while viewing a page, it's not the band's fault ('cept maybe if you get hepatitis from the LUXURY PUSHERS page -- that might be their fault). Enjoy!

UPDATE: 4 hours after posting this I try to log on to Myspace and what do you know? The whole site is failing to respond. Can I call this shit or what? Myspace, hats off on fulfilling all my worst expectations! You're nothing if not predictably undependable! That is to say, you suck!

take care


Saturday, March 1, 2008

X TREME-UNCTION, Venial Sins (cassette, 1990)

First things first: Mite, I have a couple things I want to ask you about the stuff you uploaded, but I don't know your e-mail. If you would e-mail me, I'd appreciate it.

That said, today's download, fittingly posted during the witching hour while the wind howls outside my door, is from X TREME-UNCTION. Yo, she-bitch! Let's go!

This was an Erik Purtle project. The cassette insert lists only initials for the band members, so I'm not sure who else was involved.


E.P. (Erik Purtle)

D.H. (?)

J.McW. (?)

M.N. (?)

I'm terrible at puzzles, so if you know who any of these initials belong to, let me know.

Grog and Jen Simerlink are in the "thanx" list (as "Jen & Greg"), so maybe they know something. Jen was working with Erik at Reynolds & Reynolds at about this time.

X TREME-UNCTION didn't last very long, and I'm not even sure they ever played live. But this is good stuff: industrial, goth, punk, experimental noise rawk -- with creepy lyrics and lots of speech samples mixed in with the music. The perfect soundtrack for your next Halloween party, dungeon warming, or dark ritual involving group sex and human sacrifice.

Erik, I believe, had done a little time in DEMENTIA PRECOX before this, and it shows here. I don't think Venial Sins is a concept record (if it is, the concept escapes me), but it's got that flavor. Ambitious in scope and length (1 hr., 4 minutes running time) but mostly successful in that. This is the kind of thing I would've thought was cool in college, hated in my twenties (when I was entirely about math rock and emo), but have now come to a point where I can appreciate it again.

There is no live drummer. The insert lists equipment used as "Roland TR707 / Roland S-10 / Charvel, Kramer, Fender & Yamaha Guitars / Amplification by Ampeg, Peavy & Earth."

Ah yes... the finely honed, isometric throbbing of a brashly wielded TR-707! Unless you're a drummer, what's not to like?

I think the tape has held up remarkably well over the past 18 years -- still bright with little hiss (as usual, I removed whatever hiss there was in the post-processing). The cassette in the box is a TDK D90 with handwritten labels, so it's possible this was a higher fidelity advance copy. If there were actual production copies with professional typesetting and such, I've never seen one.

I love the artwork on this. The insert credits "layout" to "Sister I'm Poopin' Graphics," but no artist is mentioned. The skeleton picture looks to me like something that might have been cribbed from a book of woodcuts from the middle ages (or maybe the Romantic period). But there were any number of people doing graphics like this in Dayton in 1990, so it could be homegrown too.

"Extreme unction" is a pre-Vatican II term for the Roman Catholic sacrament of annointing the sick. It seems to be one of the few pre-Vatican II terms that is still widely understood and used among Catholics (who say they use it out of traditionalism, but I suspect more because it just sounds cool -- and it does sound cool, doesn't it? -- certainly makes for a great band name, and you won't be surprised to find that a Google search on "band extreme unction" yields at least four different groups using it before and since 1990 -- and that's just on the first page of results). It is popularly thought to be synonymous with the "last rites." However, extreme unction is only one of three sacraments that make up the last rites. The other two are penance (or confession) and Holy Viaticum (sort of like a "last communion"). These rites are supposed to be administered only to someone in probable and immediate danger of death (so you wouldn't administer the last rites to a cancer patient who still has a week or even a couple of days to live). Of the three, the most important seems to be the Viaticum. For dying soldiers on a battlefield, chaplains will sometimes skip everything else if they can get that one in.

A venial sin is any sin that is not a mortal sin. A mortal sin is a sin of such severity as to condemn the sinner to Hell should that sinner die without having confessed the sin (and been genuinely repentant for it) during the sacrament of penance. There are no specific criteria for what constitutes a mortal sin, but the basic elements are (1) that it is of great severity (e.g. murder, although some seemingly innocuous violations of church law such as eating less than two hours before taking communion are usually thought to be of the mortal variety), (2) that the sinner is aware of its severity (so if you eat before mass but you don't know that eating before mass is a severe sin, then you haven't committed a mortal sin), and (3) that the acts constituting the sin itself must be completed (so you haven't committed a mortal sin if you just plan a murder but never go through with it -- even if you didn't go through with it only because you were prevented by the police or something). If one is in danger of death and receives the Holy Viaticum without receiving penance, a mortal sin on one's soul is thought to be expunged, but in any case, the sinner must be truly repentant. Excommunication carries the same consequences as the commission of a mortal sin except that the excommunicant cannot avoid Hell through penance.

Don't look at me like that. I'm not the one who came up with this stuff.

Venial sins, as opposed to mortal sins, are lesser sins which, although they don't condemn the sinner to Hell, may require atonement in purgatory for some period of real time before the sinner ascends to Heaven. Examples of venial sins might include theft, various brands of coveting thy neighbor's whatever, or even a sin of omission--like purposely failing to feed the hungry or clothe the naked or visit the imprisoned or-- hey, wait a minute, how long do you think the current administration will have to spend in purgatory under that standard?

Track List:

1. Red
2. (Turn Me On) Deadman
3. In the Dark
4. 9th Doll Bummer 2
5. Daddy's Little Girl
6. Here's Your Drink Honey
7. Uncaged Girls
8. Beyond the House of Innocents
9. Sites
10. Visualization
11. Chances Are (I Hate You)
12. Questionable
13. Dollhouse
14. Theft

Download It! (92 MB) (link re-upped on 2-1-2013)

This was released under the imprint Rape Factory Records with a catalog number of RFR001 on the spine. I don't know of any other Rape Factory releases.

X TREME-UNCTION's Venial Sins crosses the veil of time and obscurity by the tender stewardship of the man called Grog.

take care