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



Anonymous said...

Hey man, long time no see! This is Mike from Fleshbats. Wow, you've really done a lot of work here and it is truly amazing. Thanks for all the info and just watch the plot thicken as you dig more deeply into the Dayton underground music scene.

There is so much stuff here I'm going to have to look at again and possibly comment on. Brings back a lot of memories.

For now, I just thought I'd chime in and mention my involvement with Ded Pet. Dennis formed that right after MOM. I rehearsed no more than two or three times as the bassist. It was he and I and a really cheesy sounding drum machine. It was that thing that I just couldn't relate to as a bassist. I couldn't get into it at all even though I wanted to because the songs were cool.

Don't know how he did it, but Jeff Brelsford (who I was acquainted with mainly from his playing in Bad Elvis Impersonators) played bass very well in the same configuration right before or after I did. At least I'm pretty sure it was Ded Pet rather than MOM he played in. Maybe he was in both.

Anyway, Bad Elvis Impersonators were one of my favorite bands at the time. They really did get a lot of shit about using a drum machine but it sounded great.

So for the record, I played bass in Wild Kingdom ('83-'84) then briefly did the same (or at least tried to) in Dance + then Ded Pet. Fleshbats came about after that.

Dave--Fleshbats bassist, was the lead guitarist in Wild Kingdom. We met at a jam where I played guitar. Also jamming with us on that occasion was Troy Boy (Chris Green), and Skyp Krantz.

Actually, when it gets right down to it, the Dayton indie/underground music scene goes back even beyond when Mick Montgomery booked shows at a bar downtown and there was another one nearby also. Can't think of the names of the bars now. Local indie bands gigging a lot at the time included The Dates (Rev Cool was their manager and they were my fave band at the time), CAGE, and GAM United Us (which I later played lead guitar in when it was called GAM). The two bars would also book bands like (the Canadian) Subhumans, The Waitresses, The Human Switchboard from Akron. Also around this time were bands passing through town like The Lyres, Rank & File, Salem 66, King Missile and the list goes on and on. Bands like these and local bands also played at the Renaissance(Unitarian Church on Salem Ave.) and the Rathskeller at WSU as well as others.

Sorry about the length of this post. It got out of hand but believe it or not I edited down to this.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the download. I used to listen to them in the 80's. I used to jam with eric and royce, but that was years ago. Living in Texas now all I had was a really worn cassette. Now I am updated thanks to you!

Take care, John

Anonymous said...

Can you PLEASE reupload it ?