Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Ghost of Nineties Hardcore Past

This will be posted here for posterity more than anything else, but on Saturday, September 14, 2013 I will be playing a show at the EARL in Atlanta with Regicide, a band I played bass in from May 1996 to March 1997. Joining us will be Levelhead and Quadiliacha, so it is going to be a weird and wildly entertaining night.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Five By Nine - Nineties ATL Hardcore Recognized

Here is the download: Five By Nine - Almost Complete Discography

So here is everything I have by Five By Nine, a band from the mid-Nineties Atlanta hardcore/Somber Reptile hardcore scene. The "Discography" posted here includes the Recognize album from 1996, the 7" on Soda Jerk Records and the It's Groovy first 7". Brad Castlen tells me that there are some songs missing from this collection, but this is everything I have at the moment and if I receive any more files I will add them to the list. I remember them playing on several shows I attended, but the only member of the band I know is Cade Lewis (Venosity, Myssouri, Chocolate Kiss, Jackson County Line), who I played in a band with for two years but for some reason we never caught up on his Five By Nine days. According to him, he was the replacement bassplayer for Jason Gagnon and Nikki Kimber (also from Venosity) was the replacement drummer for Jay Nault. So you have the Venosity rhythm section in this band, although I'm pretty sure they were not on the CD, but nonetheless the instrumentation and performances are very good for the time. The core team of Robbie Williams on guitar and Steve Dalton remained throughout the band, so hopefully they can provide some more backstory on the life and times of Five By Nine. Enjoy a slice of Atlanta HC from Marietta St. circa 1995-1997.

Update: Jay Nault (original drummer) sent me the attached message, which fills in some blanks: "Robbie Williams and I started playing together in high school in a band called Third Rail and formed Five By Nine with Jason Gagnon around 92-93. I think it was in 93-94 when we got Steve Dalton as singer. Sometime in 96 we brought in Cade Lewis to replace Jason Gagnon on Bass. And I left the band sometime in early 98 to follow my career.

The band was signed by OneFoot Records in 96 who released the Recognize album. The best songs by far were recorded after Recognize, but were never released. These 9 songs are included in the discography you posted though. 5 of the songs I played on and the other 4 (the first 4 on the list) were Nikki Kimber. Cade Lewis played on all 9 of the unreleased songs. You have the majority of the songs listed, but I can name a couple you don't have. They are Crackdown, Friends, Let Go and Blue Hat. There are more but they were from when we first formed and I can't even remember because we stopped playing them."

I remember the band Third Rail when I was playing in the Midget Farmers around that time, but we never met or played a show together as far as I can remember. So thanks to Jay for the info, and I'm glad we were able to get more of the story.

 The Recognize CD on One Foot Records
 The 7" on Soda Jerk Records
The First 7" - I dig it.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Corndogorama 2012

This Sunday will mark the seventh year I have played Corndogorama - really an institution in Atlanta Summer festivals and I really want to thank Dave Railey for bringing it back. What is really great about Corndogorama and sets it apart from the other festivals is that it really has the feeling that one guy is behind it, who loves the experience and really does his best to make it an informal and fun experience. So many festivals out there feel so detached from the music and excitement that should be in the air at these events, more like an outdoor shopping mall with some bands playing in a tent at the end of the street. So I'm glad Dave is back, bringing the depravity and absurdity that is Corndogorama, which has always been one of the most memorable events of the Summer.

I believe this year the bands will play inside the EARL, which I think is the best scenario since the heat and rain variables are taken out of the equation, the sound will be great, and it will be a perfect environment to enjoy both the music and insanity that surrounds this event.

Here is an old post I did of past Corndogoramas, and I'm still looking for scans of all the lineups of every year if someone can send them to me. Some bands that I have noted related to posts on this blog are of course Skin Jobs featuring Rick Moore of Barrel, Rebar, Galanas:Cerdd, Copa Vance, Home of the Wildcats, The Wayne Williams, Lay Down Mains, and several others I am forgetting, Mysourri who did include Cade Lewis from Chocolate Kiss on bass, but I'm not sure if he will be playing in this lineup, The Meeks Family featuring Brooks Meeks from The Close, and of course Noot d' Noot with many connections to this blog. So in total I have played Corndogorama 4 in 1999 (with Chocolate Kiss), Corndog 5 in 2000 (with Chocolate Kiss), Corndog 6 in 2001 (with Chocolate Kiss), Corndog 12 in 2007 (with Sonn Av Krusher), Corndog 13 in 2008 (with Noot d' Noot and Sonn Av Krusher), and Corndog 14 in 2009 (with Noot d' Noot and Judi Chicago).

Here is this year's lineup:

Saturday, July 31st
12:30am-1:30: Speakerfoxxx
11:30pm-12:30: Snowden
10:45-11:15: Sealions
10:00-10:30: Pls Pls
9:30-9:55 (side stage): Moodrings
8:30-9:30: special guests
7:30-8:15: Stallone
6:45-7:15: Abby Go Go
6:15-6:40 (side stage): Glen Iris
5:45-6:15: The Liverhearts
5:00-5:30: Skin Jobs
3:30-4:00: Hip to Death
2:45-3:15: Mysourri
2:00-2:30: Ray Dafrico
1:30-1:55 (side stage): Mack Messiah
12:45-1:15: Virginia Plane
12:00-12:30: TBD

Sunday, August 1st
10:15-11:30: Noot d' Noot
9:45-10:10 (side stage): Christ, Lord
8:45-9:45: Dead Confederate
8:00-8:30: Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires
7:15-7:45: The District Attorneys
6:45-7:10 (side stage): The Meeks Family
6:00-6:45: The Villain Family
5:15-5:45: The Hindenburgs
4:30-5:00: Iron Jayne
4:00-4:25 (side stage): Blake Rainey
3:30-4:00: Matt Hudgins & His Shit Hot Country Band
2:45-3:15: Chickens & Pigs

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Kossabone Red - Live at WREK March 25, 1997

Here is the download: The Kossabone Red - Live at WREK - March 25, 1997

I have posted a good bit of the studio output of KR in the post here, but as the WREK Underground Recordings has been broadcasting these snapshots of our Atlanta music history, I thought it would be a good idea to archive a few of them here for others to enjoy at their leisure.

So we have the classic combination of Jesse Smith, Justin Snyder and Chris McNeal in its semi-original form, starting as Ripchord and then moving on to later permutations as Some Soviet Station and Paper Lions, each time changing drummers but keeping the two guitar/bass unit intact. Of course Jesse continued on in Carbonas, Gentleman Jesse and His Men, C.O.P.S., Gaye Blades, etc. and Justin/Chris teamed up with Josh Lott in Teenage Meth Lab, and now Chris plays in Vincas as well as some guest appearances in Maserati. All of these guys have over 15 years in this "business", so as much as they probably want to move forward and not remember what they were doing in their teenage years, it deserves admiration, and made them the musicians they are today.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Neon Christ - Live at WREK

Here is the download: Neon Christ Live at WREK 15-July-1985

Thanks to Henry, as always, for transferring the master DAT and sending me over this recording for all of us to enjoy. He has been able to access the Live at WREK vaults to transfer so many amazing performances from that station, so keep checking back for more archived recordings. WREK actually does a retrospective show on Tuesday nights, which you can listen to here for the past two weeks, as there are some real gems broadcast on a regular basis.

This is the Neon Christ Live at WREK session from 1985, and a comprehensive set at that. It is not the same session that produced the amazing version of Saviour that was included in The View compilation, but it is a great listen with the limited 5-piece version of the band. I thought Savior was recorded on Live at WREK, but maybe it was recorded somewhere else? Can someone verify this? What more can be said about Neon Christ? They were Atlanta's first great hardcore band, kickstarting a scene in Atlanta that has had many peaks and valleys all the way to today. Any Hardcore DIY shows you have seen in Atlanta, whether at a house, bowling alley, matinee show, etc. are indebted to these guys for setting up the framework. I never was able to see them myself, as I believe it was probably 1987 when my friend played me his tape of their 7", and several years after that before I started going to local shows, but they always have a special place in my local music heart. There were several reunion shows held a few years back, one even including Greg King on Drums (GG King, Carbonas, Quadiliacha, Regicide, etc.), which I would have loved to see, but unfortunately I was just moving back to Atlanta and out of the loop at the time.

They are compiling footage for a documentary to be released soon, but as everyone knows these projects can take some time. I am also still hoping for a high quality digital discography to be released, but we will have to patiently wait - we will sell no wine before its time.

Also, along those lines it has been about a year since my last post, and I'm sure this has been taken out of everyone's regular circulation of blogs to visit, but I have a huge backlog of music to post, and will do my best to keep working on it as often as possible. Thanks everyone for their patience and please let me know if you are looking for anything or find any missing links or files to repair on the site.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Ostinato: Post-Now Unreleased Album

Here is the download: Ostinato Album
After Scout dissolved in early 1996, I remember the guitarist Erv Lockett (Scout, Motherfucking Tourettes, Crusher Destroyer, Karate Bear Fighter, Volcanism, etc.) started doing solo guitar shows, and eventually added his previous bandmate Scott Wishart on drums and calling themselves Ostinato Grove. Sometime after this, they added a bassplayer named Dave Knox and then they shortened the name to Ostinato. I don't think they had any official releases, but they did have this CDR floating around in the early 2000s, which is quite impressive. I always had a soft spot for Scout, but this album really swings for the fences. Kind of like taking Scout and developing their sound to another level, more focused and a tighter unit. I would really like a second guitar in there, but also it keeps things a little more coherent since Erv is such a busy player.

Scott always bounced around the Clemson/Atlanta/Charlotte area, but eventually he settled in Charlotte and opened Lunchbox Records, so you can go bug him at work whenever you are in the area. I will see Erv every once in awhile in the Atlanta area, but I don't know what David is doing these days. There was talk that they might reform as Scout but in the Ostinato lineup, so we'll see what happens with that. I would probably drive up to Charlotte to witness that one in action.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Moreland Audio

Here is the download: Moreland Audio - Turbogold Album

Since the Purkinje Shift has been up and at 'em as of late, playing regular shows and writing new music with the addition of master drummer Lee Corum (Chapterhall, TSDOSD, Mock Heroic, Some Soviet Station, Copa Vance, Home of the Wildcats, Lay Down Mains, Gold Standard, etc.), so I thought the time was ripe to upload the Turbogold album by Moreland Audio. You can check out my previous Purkinje Shift post here, as they have been creating quite a legacy for themselves, soon to be assuming their status as the "Drivin' n' Cryin' of math-rock".

Gary Flom and Ben Davis love to play music together. I'm not sure exactly how they became musical BFF's, but starting with The Purkinje Shift, moving into Moreland Audio, then Home of the Wildcats, then a gap while Gary played in The Forever War, but then together again with Ben Lukens in Lumens, and now reunited as PKS. But back in the year 2000, things were not so certain. I'm not sure of the exact chain of events, but Scott Robbins moved on in his life/career/geographic location and left the Gary/Ben team without a drummer. Enter Adam Overton, a guy from Ben Davis' real musicians' network (and not one of us punkers), bringing a more subtled feel compared to the stark metronomic beats provided by Scott. Additionally, Ben and Gary mixed it up by adding some baritone and lapsteel guitar work, respectively, and really stretched it out on this record. Overall, it is a more abstract and discordant band, but also more rocking and visceral. Of course they were still a fully-instrumental endeavor, as it was meant to be from ever since. They did it for 2-3 years, and then wrapped it up in2003, releasing only this album and a song on the String Theory compilation.

Here is the rest of the artwork:

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Coup de Grâce

Photo from Goatshoes.

Here is the download: Coup de Grâce tape
If you remember back before Radio Bomb became the official punk/hardcore/DIY/whatever show on WREK, there was Coup de Grâce, and before that was the Punk Rock Anarchy Hour, although unfortunately I don't have any recordings from that time period. Anyhow, a guy named Brad emailed me two sides of a tape he recorded off the air way back then, and I decided to post it here for nostalgic purposes. I believe this was 1993? Did Radio Bomb start officially in 1994? When did the Punk Rock Anarchy Hour end? How long did it take you to figure out what Coup de Grace meant back before the internet?

More stuff coming soon, just trying to get caught up here.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Early Modern Witch Trials

Here is the download: Early Modern Witch Trials

Before there was Judi Chicago, there was Early Modern Witch Trials. Ben Coleman and Travis Thatcher, the two main creative forces behind JC, channelled their love of sixties psych, seventies prog and krautrock, and some Monks thrown in for good measure and formed EMWT. What is interesting about EMWT is the choice of instruments for the members: Travis exclusively played sax (he is known far and wide as a synth guru), Ben played bass (once again, known for electronics and guitar in Judi Chicago). They also recruited Mick Winters to play Farfisa organ (previously a bassplayer in Black Cougar Shock Unit out of Gainesville/Atlanta), and Blake Helton on drums (his usual instrument, but normally he is a very jazz-style drummer and this is definitely a more caveman/visceral plane of existence for him). According to Travis, Ben and Mick formed the band together, then got Blake involved through a Craigslist posting or some similar resource, and then added Travis to make sax and noise only after they had been together for six to eight months. It's amazing that they found someone as like-minded and musically gifted as Blake Helton through Craigslist, quite a diamond in the rough.

I am not sure where the name came from, but it always reminded me of the first album by the Fall "Live at the Witch Trials". It does have a kind of psych-tinge to it, but also something that might be played on the Stonehenge radio show. My old band Sonn Av Krusher was supposed to play with them, but they imploded before we had a chance and instead played with Travis and Blake's other musical outlet, Recompas. So Travis and Ben went on to focus on Judi Chicago (recruiting me to play drums with them whenever possible) and now Ben doing his solo work as Kid Pyramid, Blake continued on in Recompas with Travis as well as playing in many other projects, and Mick is now playing in an MC5-style rock band called Charges. At least EMWT recorded a full-length CD/demo, which I am including here for everyone to enjoy. Furthermore, Travis sent me a link to a live show here.

Here is a picture of them playing at the 11:11 Teahouse (now Sauced).

And a bio from their old Myspace page:
Early Modern Witch Trials formed in the Fall of 2006, in Atlanta, GA, to explore the sonic territory blazed by the likes of The Monks, Suicide and the bands of the American Garage Rock / Psych scene..... A more improvisational direction, drawing upon elements of the English Progressive and Space Rock Movements (Van Der Graaf Generator, Hawkwind), the Canterbury scene (Soft Machine, Gong, Caravan) and the Avant-Rock of Early 70's Europe (Faust, Amon Duul, Can, Ash Ra Tempel), emerged from extensive rehearsal sessions and the addition of new members. .... By January of 2007, the band's core sound was complete, featuring winds, strings, keys & percussion, without a six string guitar in earshot. .... The quartet made its live debut in February 2007, will continue to perform live throughout the Spring and Summer and is currently recording for releases later in the season. .. .
And the back cover of the demo CD:

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Macho Donkey Wrestler

Here is the download: Macho Donkey Wrestler

Okay, it has been a long time, and I apologize for the absence. I have been in the middle of family business as well as job-finding business, but things have equilibrated for the moment and I can bring the old blog back and catch up on some of these posts. Next out of the gate is the (mostly) unreleased discography of Macho Donkey Wrestler, an early-aughts Atlanta band with strong ties to the Moodswing crowd. In fact, the first two songs were released by Moodswing as a split 7" with the great Remuxers in 2002. The band consisted of Allan Chastain on guitar/vocals (formerly of Copa Vance), David Lane on drums and Jason Revell on guitar/vocals. All of the members would continue on with Rick Moore and Greg Murder in The Wayne Williams, David in Lay Down Mains, and now in Rick's new band, Skinjobs. There are a bunch of other connections to report, but I am an outsider to this family tree, so it will have to come from Jason or someone else. Musically, they put out some mathy, aggressive, discordant postpunk, much like the other bands mentioned here, but refined over time as a kind of subgenre of Atlanta rock. In my opinion Lay Down Mains has done it best thus far, but I need to see Skinjobs in action to get the latest from the Rick Moore camp. With this crew, it's always loud, it's always unrelenting, and it always makes you a little uncomfortable, mostly in a good way.

Thanks again to Jason Revell (dictated, but not read), for helping me with the post and being patient while I sorted my life out. Enjoy the sounds from the early part of this century.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

BOB - The Discography

Live at WREK 1995-02-28

Live at Tongue Bath 1995-02-29

And lastly, here are some singles and comp tracks:

BOB - Singles and Comp Tracks
And their origins:
1-4: from the Peel Session 7"
5-7: from the Atomic Cafe 7"
8-10: from the Refuel Compilation
11-12: from the Compatibility of Dissonance Compilation
13: from the Quadruple Felony 7"

Update: Brad sent me the Bob tracks from their split 7" with Gas*o*lene, so I have uploaded them to the Singles and Comp Tracks file. You can now download 15 bonus BOB studio tracks!

BOB, the art-rock/postpunk/whatever band from Atlanta in the 1990's was one of the great underrated gems of our time, check out my previous BOB posts here and here. It was great that they were so prolific and provided us with so much material to digest, I'm glad that it can be available here for everyone to enjoy. I also did an email interview with their guitarist/singer Rich Hudson, and have included it here:

Rich Hudson Interview (BF = me, RH = Rich Hudson)
RH: First, James, I enjoyed listening to your interview on the program "Following Your Passions". It's great what you've done with Beyond Failure, archiving a lot of obscure, if forgotten, Atlanta music in the 80s and 90s. It was exciting to be a part of the Atlanta scene in those pre-Internet days. There was camaraderie as well as friendly competition amongst the bands. We supported and inspired each other.

BF: Bob to me was the best of the strictly “local” band from the 1990’s, in the sense that you were like a local secret that nobody outside Atlanta knew about, but should have. I believe all of your albums and singles were on local Atlanta labels, including Amy Potter’s Half Baked Records, etc. Was there ever any label interest outside of Atlanta, or out of town interest in Bob’s music in general? What kind of touring did you do as a band? Can you remember some of the more interesting bands and venues you encountered on the road? Friends made? Friends lost?
RH: Thank you for the complement! It really means a lot. I can say on behalf of all Bob band mates over the years, we're grateful for any interest in our music. It was a passion, at times an obsession. Any money earned, as you can imagine it wasn't much, went back into the band for recording, t-shirts, stickers.

There was some label interest. One Atlanta label had offered us a yearly allowance to go out on the road. Although the money may've sounded good, it wouldn't have covered our obligations at home much less the tour van we were expected to buy with it. That was in 1994 after Complex Organism Blues came out. In 97 an indie label based in NYC took a liking to us after a gig in Providence, RI, but we never worked out a deal. Last 2 albums were on our own non-label "Bullshi'vic Rekkids". Amy Potter was great about not interfering in her bands' artistic freedom. I remember when she first saw us at the Third Street Pub (through the tunnel from Georgia Tech). She was the general manager at WREK and she liked us! That was a big deal to me. WREK was my favorite station. She was a big part of the local Atlanta scene in the 90s aside from being a genuinely warm hearted lady.

We did at least 6 week-long tours up the east coast to Boston. We didn't have enough vacation time from our day jobs to go on a longer tour. It was more practical for us to play in the same cities several times to try to establish contacts and a following than to go on an extensive national tour. Eric bought a Ford Econoline van. I heard you say one of your bands drove the same thing. Fortunately, we didn't have too many break downs. It was before cell phones, so somebody had to walk to a phone booth.

Early Bob was Eric Ingram (drums), me (guit/voc) and Ted Grauch (bass). We had a gig in Wilmington, NC, way the hell out there on the coast; a long drive from Atlanta. We opened for "The Leaving Trains". They were a 4 piece from California. This was around 1993. They had been touring through the bible belt and not having a good go of it; the singer was in drag. Cross-dressing wasn't as widely accepted in the south at that time! By the time they got to Wilmington they were down to a 2 piece. The bass player and 2nd guitarist quit somewhere around Birmingham. I remember when we pulled up to the club. There was the singer, a masculine dude, probably 6 foot +, standing at a phone booth in a black evening dress telling their record company that 1/2 the band quit. What really became a big inspiration for me when Ted quit Bob, was that the 2 piece Leaving Trains played their asses off. I mean, they could've easily said to hell with it and ended their tour right there. But they didn't. They persevered. When Ted quit, Eric and I played as a 2 piece for about 9 months. We even made a bass player silhouette out of cardboard that joined us on stage at the Masquerade. It was an important experience.

Venues: CBGB's. One time we (Ray on bass) went on after Unsane and The Cows. Wow, we thought, this is a big crowd. Before we could set up almost everyone left! Not good to go on after well-known bands in NY. People in NY always have some place to be. If you're not on their radar, they have no time for ya. We played CBGB's another time and a Van Halen-like band went on after us. The singer even had a wireless mic so he could annoy the 15 or so people in the audience. It might've been that night that Ray wreaked havoc on a urinal when the club reneged on the $50 guarantee. One of my favorite Bob moments was when we opened for Ben Folds Five in Raleigh, NC. A big crowd of college kids were all up by the stage waiting for our first song, probably assuming that we sounded similar, or at least, complimentary to Ben Folds. Obviously, we didn't. We opened with "Who is Sharon Tate?". "Killing makes me cum....Living makes me sick"....[Eric hits the toms] I release a bloody scream. The audience backs off a respectful 15, 20 feet! Surprisingly, several endured our set before the more conventional stylings of Ben Folds. We were friends with "Bright" from Boston. I've often listened to their albums. They were classified as kraut-rock. Layers of effected guitar and melodies, simple percussion. Great blokes! They put us up several times. "Plug Spark Sanjay" out of Hoboken, NJ, also great people. "Sau" from Richmond, VA. They were metal with a minimal brass section. The singer/bassist was a whiney Mick Jagger. Good band if you can get a copy of their first disc.

BF: Your sound went through many twists and turns from your very first singles (e.g. The Peel Sessions and Atomic Café) to your last album Pendulum. What were your influences during all these periods in your band’s history? How would you characterize your progression from the beginning to the end? Did you have any coherent vision for your band as the years went on?
RH: Early on, SST Records, The Minutemen, Sonic Youth. Fugazi was also influential, but not so much for me. We liked pop music, art school Velvet Underground, Jesus Lizard. Later, we attended "Table of the Elements" festival during Freaknick in Atlanta. That was amazing. It directly influenced the song "Fist Embodied Duck" and probably most of "Rounded at the Free End". It was in an art gallery off Peachtree Rd in Buckhead. Keiji Haino did a solo performance. The audience was silent and respectful when Haino took the stage. Haino was dressed in black, had sun glasses and a rock star attitude. He poses before the microphone, silent. Anticipation builds. Then he unleashes a series of unintelligible spastic screams. It was funny, especially because no one in the artsy crowd dared laugh. He then proceeds to play the guitar which sounds like a jet engine for about 30 minutes. AMM, Faust and Tony Conrad all performed as well as 3/4 of Sonic Youth. I never thought about song writing the same way after Table of the Elements, thus, the guitar chord drone for most of "Fist Embodied Duck" inspired by Tony Conrad's extensive drone pieces.

We progressed from a minimalist pseudo punk band to an arena-rock-dance-collective that never performed in an arena! I mean, on Pendulum, we had 3 guest stars, one of whom was Sicily Simpson (great back up singer). In terms of sound, the songs were meant to be as big as the E Street Band. However, Bob music would always have a gamey underground smell that wreaked of artistic freedom! Bruce Springsteen was a tenderloin, Bob was a north american diving duck. Eric and I once had a short lived band called North American Diving Duck (NADD) before the Bob days.

There was no coherent vision. The Bob sound changed with the personality of each bass player. We were more punk with Ted, still developing as song writers. With Ray, it was a mixture of free-form improv, aggression and melody. Katt was about grooves, dance and entertainment, sometimes a circus. Eric and I were open to seeing how the sound could develop. Mostly, we were all great friends. Creating music together was our God experience. Other people turn to religion, some people end up in prison. We were in a band. It was the controlled release of energy.

BF: Your albums seem to have a lot of experimental interludes, unnamed tracks, random bits and pieces to make the album an entire listening experience, and not just a collection of hit singles. Was this a conscious effort on your part, or is there a motive behind how you assembled and sequenced your albums? Are there any bands you drew inspiration from in putting together these records?
RH: We did take time to consider all tracks and song order. For example, there is 33 seconds of silence between "Who is Sharon Tate?" and the untitled 17th track on Complex Organism Blues (known as "Atomic Cafe"). The 33 seconds was Ray's idea to honor local band King Kill 33. We divided the 20 minute song Animal Speak into 7 different tracks. The purpose was to disorient the listener when they put the disc on random play. I remember tuning to WREK a few years after the release and hearing one segment of "Animal Speak". It was an odd experience because I thought: I like that, sounds familiar, who is it? Then the DJ identified it as Bob. It surprised me in a good way. I can't say that we drew inspiration from anyone when putting these records together. I'm sure subconsciously we did, but it was more about intuition: if it sounded good we went with it.

BF: You are also one of the only bands that I can remember that has been able to successfully use vocal effects, bullhorns, etc. in your music. In my experience, vocal effects can be used as a trick to mask any shortcomings of the singer, however you were able to add it as a textural element in the songs and not use it as a “crutch”. Can you tell us more about your strategies for vocals?
RH: I always, always wanted the vocal to be compelling. I was also self conscious about my voice. I wished I could sing like Bono or Ozzy! Back in 1987 Eric and I worked on a song called "Ingrid Receives a Hickey". We recorded it on Eric's 4 track tape machine. On playback I didn't like the vocal, but I liked the tune. Trying another take I cupped my hands over my mouth which resulted in a canned mid range sound. The affected voice was more fun to listen to. Every song had different demands. Vocal effects were trial and error. "You can't shine shit" as Jeff Bakos (Bakos Amp Works) would say. If the song is lousy no amount of effects will make it good. To this day I could still go back and remix some Bob songs because I was unhappy with a vocal level or delivery.

BF: What made you decide to ultimately end the band in 2000?
RH: Eric's departure. When Eric left, Bob was essentially kaput. Eric and I had played together in various bands since 1986. We worked really well together. He understandably had enough of using his vacation time to go on the road. Our momentum had slowed. There wasn't much local interest in Bob anymore plus the song writing process became agonizing. "Pendulum" was a strong Bob effort, but we never got around to promoting it. Katt and I tried to continue Bob with our friend Mike Koenig (Lesbian Afternoon). We did a set at Dottie's dressed up like pirates. We were midget pirates so we played on our knees. Bob was over!

BF: Lilburn is usually associated in my generation with the hardcore scene that developed there during the same time you were an active band (e.g. Act of Faith, Crisis Under Control, etc.). Did you go to high school or were otherwise friends with the other bands in town?
RH: We lived in Lilburn. None of us went to school there or knew the music scene. We were a part of the Atlanta/Athens scenes. We never gigged in Lilburn. I do remember seeing Black Flag written in chalk on the street. I thought there must be some cool hardcore element about.

BF: What was your songwriting process? Did you jam out songs as a writing mechanism or was there a true composer in the group?
RH: We collaborated on every song, so it involved a lot of jamming. A lot of times I would bring in an idea on guitar with a vocal melody to start the process. We'd try it out at practice and if it stuck it might turn into a Bob song. "Pope is" was a guitar riff that I was addicted to. Eric and Ted came up with beautiful drum and bass parts for it. Ted did a guitar overdub with feedback during the middle section on the Peel Sessions EP: gave me goosebumps. "Pope is" was unlike any of our previous songs in that it was based on an ascending riff rather than a more conventional chord progression. It was liberating: for early Bob it was a leap away from punk. "Foam" was one of my favorites. Again, it started with a guitar riff. I wasn't getting anywhere with it. Ray took it over, wrote the words, vocal melody, bass line. Eric banged on a pizza tray for the tinny sound in the quiet parts while I played with the volume pot and a delay pedal to make the guitar sound more like a keyboard. Ray's vocal was passionate. Eric had an uptempo percussion part that would turn into "Leather King". He was in a car accident once, wrote a poem that would become the words for "Raise Electric". "Pizza Christ" was part of a spontaneous jam that Eric captured on his 4 track. "Animal Speak" was structured for the first few minutes then devolved into free form improvisation with our friend Keith Lee making use of an old electric fan. You can hear the grinding metallic sound he got in the last 3 minutes over Ray's looping bass pulse. We had plenty of jams with Katt playing bass or sax, working out rhythms. Katt brought in the bass line and vocal melody for "Sexy". The process went faster if someone brought in an idea and allowed us to jam it out. Free improv was hit or miss. There's a story behind every song.

BF: How many bass players did you ultimately have? Why do some bands cycle through one instrument over others? Did you ever assemble a quartet or something larger? The Bob orchestra?
RH: Bob had 3 bassists: Ted Grauch, Ray Surinck and Katt Gass. As for instrument choice, Ted played bass with us, but guitar with The Go Figures (from Athens), the band he ultimately left us for. Ray played bass; wasn't interested in guitar. Katt played bass, saxophone and liked to sing. Eric loved the drums and sometimes played trumpet. I liked both guitar and keyboard. I imagine bands cycle through instruments to try something new. For me, I played guitar for so many years that I was glad to try keyboard.

For our last album "Pendulum" Bob was basically a quartet/orchestra. Sicily Simpson sang back up on most of the tunes. We had a guy named Harold who played percussion with Eric on "Meteors in Twilight". Diana Obscura played cello on "Disco Murder". For some live shows, Katt invited her brother Ward and her friend Gigi to be "the Bob dancers". It's zany to think about how un-punk we became. Our first gig with Katt was at the Masquerade with Heinous Bienfang and several other local bands for a Kiss cover night. We dressed up as clowns and played "I Was Made For Loving You", Kiss's disco hit. With Katt, Bob was a twisted dance pop band with subversive song lyrics and strange compositions. It was fun, though, more popular in Boston, Mass or Charleston, WV than Atlanta/Athens.

BF: Venue-wise, it seems that you guys were open to playing more places than the other bands of your scene, and that is how I got to see you at places like The Somber Reptile and Homage Cafe, etc. Did you consciously decide to stick your neck out there in Atlanta and take some risks with the shows and lineups that you played?
RH: I don't remember any limitations on where we'd play if we could get a gig. We didn't feel like we had anything to lose, so I wouldn't say there was any risk involved. I liked The Somber Reptile. Qui Que (however you spell his name) was good to us. Somber Reptile was where Eric and I played as a duo during a 1993 WREK benefit. I have good memories of those times. That was the first time that we performed the song "Nasty". It was very minimal without the bass or Ray's back up vocal.

BF: What is everyone in the band doing now? Are you going to start an art-rock band in Switzerland anytime soon?
RH: Ted is married, has a young daughter, lives somewhere near Philadelphia. He occasionally gigs with Heinous Bienfang if they have a reunion. Ray Surinck lives with his wife in New Orleans. He's been playing in local New Orleans bands for years. He had a punk band called Poop du Jour, plays in War Amps nowadays. He mostly plays bass, but sometimes drums, from what I understand.

Katt Gass is married, has a daughter, lives in East Atlanta. She played in a couple of Atlanta bands after Bob's demise. One was called Casionova. Her husband, Billy, plays guitar and I know they had a band together. She still screams like an infidel getting tortured by a radical muslim. I was tuned into Live at WREK a few years ago. This hard rock band was playing. The singer was screaming. I know that scream. Sure as hell it was Katt!

Eric Ingram is married, has a son, also lives in East Atlanta. I know he's interested in electronic music these days. I think he sometimes jams with people on drums. He hasn't been in a band since Bob. He's very busy with work and his family. Eric and I played together for close to 14 years. We had a great run!

After Bob I played with Brian Cook, one of Pineal Ventana's first bassists. We were an Athens duo. We put out 2 full length CDs "Geographic Tongue" and "Apocalypse Wow!". We called the duo "Black Love". I did a solo album called "Hey Ri'h" around 2006. I'm a married artist living in Switzerland. I have my keyboard over here, learn R&B and standards from piano books. I've heard some pretty good musik over hier. Not into starting a band right now, too time consuming. Too busy trying to see if I have a career as a visual artist.
Here is a sketch Rich did of Ray Surinck, Bob's 2nd bassplayer.

I would like to thank Rich Hudson so much for his patience as I put together (and put off) this post so many times, and Michael Koenig (late era member of Bob and playing in Lesbian Afternoon) for all of the more obscure recordings posted. Here is his Youtube channel, where you can see some Bob clips as well as tons of other stuff.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Outer Loop Productions - Christmas '97 Compilation

Here is the download: Outer Loop Productions 1997 Christmas Compilation

Here is the track listing:
1. Merry Christmas Dammit '97 - Saint Nick's Evil Moronic Twin
2. Silent Silent Night - Routerwelm
3. Angel From The Realm Of Glory - Pineal Ventana
4. Big Fat White Snowman - Peppermint Synapse
5. Santa's In The Alley - Liars Club
6. Trailer Trashed (excerpt) - Liars Club
7. Kris-Mass Murderer - Saint Nick's Evil Moronic Twin
8. Frozen Tundra - Broken Symmetry
9. Santa's Lap Dance - Sequence 3

10. I Heard The Bells - Happy Billionaires
11. Christmas Sun - Starblood

Welcome to the final installment of the Perimeter Records/Outer Loop Productions Christmas tapes, this one from 1997. All the old favorites are back, including more weird and goofy novelty songs by St. Nick's Evil Moronic Twin, a few noise/ambient numbers by Routerwelm, Sequence 3 and Broken Symmetry, krautrock by Starblood, and some "rockers" by Pineal Ventana and Liars Club. Overall it's more on the cynical/downbeat compilation compared to the Flagpole tape compilations coming out of Athens around the same time. I guess it was time to put the series to rest, maybe as mixtapes became less popular and it was more expensive to produce an actual CD compilation, but now the CDR/Blog Posting/Mixtape culture is back, so hopefully there will be more of a push for this kind of project in the future. As always, you can download all the compilations here.

Here is the insert (click to enlarge):

Monday, December 20, 2010

Outer Loop Productions - Christmas '96 Compilation

Here is the download: Outer Loop Productions Christmas 1996 Compilation

Here is the track listing:
1. Not Another Xmas - Hughes/Thompson/Swartz
2. Like White - Seely
3. Aurora - Broken Symmetry
4. Holiday Lament (Winter's Grim) - Tilde Course

5. Where's My Present? - Tilde Course
6. 5:00 AM Christmas Morning - Hughes/Swartz
7. Psychoactive Snow - James' Magic Dragon
8. Snowbound - Hughes/Swartz
9. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas - Doug Hughes
10. For Christmas I Want A Way Out - Pineal Ventana
11. Christmas At Grabowski's (Delarosa Mix) - Accustat
12. Traditional - Routerwhelm
13. I Saw Mama Licking Santa's Balls - Overdoor Head Traction Ensemble
14. Rubber Room - Peppermint Synapse
15: Holiday Bar Talk - Casper Fandango
16: Return of the Rat King - James' Magic Dragon
17: Snowflakes are Falling - Chris Swartz
18: Merryed with Christmas - Sequence 3

Welcome back to the Perimeter/Outer Loop Christmas Compilation posts! I posted a series of them around this time last year, but unfortunately Christmas came up pretty fast and I couldn't get all of them up. So here they are! This time we have the first of the Outer Loop Christmas tapes, which started in 1996 after Perimeter Records was officially retired. The usual team of Doug Hughes and Chris Swartz are behind the collection, with contributions by Atlanta greats Seely and Pineal Ventana as well as the more regular contributors to these tapes in the form of Peppermint Synapse, Sequence 3 and Routerwhelm.

Always interesting, always weird, these compilations really embody the experimental side of Atlanta during the 90's for me. I wonder in this current world of cheap recording and sharing of music we can't bring these kind of novelty experimental projects back. Maybe I'll talk Doug Hughes into doing one for 2011. This is great music for having a drink in front of the fire by your tree, or maybe lighting the tree on fire in your backyard after Christmas. You can download the entire discography here.

Here is the complete artwork (click to enlarge):

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Patches, stickers and shit aka Brad Post #9

So I have been mighty busy and too spread out to get any new posts done. To get something up here I have scanned all the postcards, business cards, patches, stickers (and pencils!) that I could find. I'm sure I have more stickers already stuck on things that I forgot about. I wish I had the Crisis Under Control "badge" design sticker to scan. Anybody? Thanks to Chuck P. Moodswing for lending me some of his stuff for inclusion as well.

Yes, you are seeing this image correctly; Spiney Norman pencils!

Hardcore goes crusty; Act of Faith patches.

Broken patch celebrating the rehabilitated Lunsford brothers.

Standfast Records patch.

Mission To Murder patches.

Act of Faith stickers.
A Quart Low sticker.

Chocolate Kiss sticker.

Crash and Burn sticker.

Crisis Under Control sticker designed by Josh Massey (RIP).

DDT sticker.

Dead Elvis sticker.

Estrada stickers.

Ex Members Of… sticker.

Fiddlehead sticker.

Fiend Without A Face sticker.

Galanas Cerdd stickers.

Levelhead sticker.

Little Five Points Halloween Festival stickers.

Midget Farmers sticker.

Moonstomp sticker.

Murray 66 sticker. This is the band I was in after I quit Ex Members Of… It had Chuck P. Moodswing, Rondal Millhorn (Knievel/Moonwater) and Greg Stubbs (Spiney Norman) in it.

Neon Christ sticker.

One Way sticker. What a tough brooding lookin' bunch!

Pagan Holiday sticker.

Quadiliacha sticker.

Reactionary Records bedazzled sticker.

The Rent Boys sticker.

Spiney Norman sticker.

Standfast Records sticker.

Quadiliacha post card.

Echo Lounge postcard.

Some Soviet Station postcard.

The Close postcard.

Acriminy business card. Acriminy featured Corbin King (Vainglory) and Jimmy Davis (Monster).

The Copkillers business card. The Copkillers featured Crazy Johnny (notorious booker from Augusta).

Crazy Johnny (infamous Augusta booker) business card.

The original Criminal Records business card.

Elixir Recording business card. When I quit Ex Members Of… I joined Exploder. Exploder recorded at Elixir in Athens.

Fleshpool business card. Fleshpool featured Matt Miller's older brother Kevin.

In the Groove business card. In the Groove was a short lived record store in Lilburn where A.O.F., C.U.C., One Way and Undone played a free show at.

Issa Diao business card. Issa's second studio in town where all the magic took place at!

Jenkins' Ear business card. Jenkin's Ear was the band that brought both Brian Kincheloe and Chuck P. Moodswing to the world!

Josh Massey (RIP) business card. Josh took the cover photo for A.O.F.'s "Test of Strength" CD. He later overdosed on heroin.

Moodswing Records business card #1. Personalized for me by Chuck P. himself.

Moodswing Records business card #2.

National Socialist Political Action League business card. Whew, that is a mouthful to say and type! Duluth Nazi skinheads got united! Given to me by a "member" at the Gwinnett Place Mall.

Pumpkin Productions business card. Pumpkin was run by Andy Cauble (Monster and short lived C.U.C. 2nd guitarist).

Reactionary Records business card. Reactionary's first attempt at a store.

Reactionary Printing business card. Paul's short lived screen printing biz.

Spiney Norman business card. Gina was Spam's sister.

Stickfigure business card.

Tree Studios business card. Ex Member's Of… recorded our side of the Wardance Orange split 7" there.

Wreck Room business card.