Monday, April 28, 2008

All About Scout

Scout's "Economics" Side of Moo Cow 7"

Here is their full discography, graciously provided by Scott Wishart which sounds better than any of my transfers as they are from the original master tapes:

Scout Complete Recordings

Here is the song info:

1. Tomato (asylum)
2. Economics (slalom through interpretational milestones)
3. Intravenous Everything
4. The Lemming Constant (red sea)
5. Metro
6. Past Perfect Tense/Coop
7. Mute Bastard Lesson (marxist)
8. Two Inch Rule (carpetback)
9. Parallax (feedback the factory’s bullshit)
10. Bookmobile of Apathetic Propaganda (don’t say “fuck” on the Sabbath)
11. Eljer (3n)
12. Salts of Aluminum (toxin theory)
13. High Noon
14. Maggard
15. Bearded Clam
16. Tusk
17. Q
18. Lie

Ervin Lockett-guitars, vocals 13-18
Scott Wishart-drums, vocals 1-12
Tim O’Brien-guitars 1-10
Theo Witsell-bass, backup vocals 1-10
Lewis Lovely-bass 11-14
Robbie Morris-bass 15-18

1,2 from “Economics” 7” on Moo Cow
3 from “Amnesia” comp on Ebullition
4 from “Ground Rule Double” comp. On Divot/Actionboy 300
5 from split 7” with Cromwell on Alone
6-11 from split Lp with Freemasonry on Lunchbox
12-14 from second demo13-18 from first demo

Car Vs. Driver played with Scout more than any other band during its existence, probably because our bass player was the older brother of their drummer. They were a band that definitely needed repeat listenings and shows to fully appreciate, as their music and presentation were so dense and layered it would be difficult for the casual observer to comprehend. One thing that was nice about their recordings is that they would always provide explanations for each of their songs, which cut through a lot of the abstractness and ambiguity and gave the songs a clear, deeper meaning. So few bands actually do this, so it is nice when a band lays it out like this, and this is a band that definitely benefited from this approach. Their songs had many noisy parts where the lyrics were spoken and buried in the sound, their song titles were cryptic, their drummer did most of the singing, and their songs were usually these huge orchestrated opuses that could sometimes sound like 5 or 6 songs put together. It was an overwhelming experience to see them play, but when we would tour with them, I would get into a groove and really start getting into their music. My favorite song was Salts of Aluminum, because it had such a great repetitive ending that really stood out live. I'm not sure if they liked it very much, but I always requested it and after a while they started incorporating it into their set.

There were also several eras of Scout throughout the years, as I believe they existed from 1992 until around 1996 and although their most powerful and cohesive lineup was the Scott Wishart/Erv Lockett/Tim O'Brien/Theo Witsell quartet, my favorite was the trio from around their second demo of Scott, Erv and Lewis Lovely, aka the Caucasian drummer, the African-American guitarist, and the Asian bass player. Lewis played this white Rickenbaker bass with a Rat pedal that sounded awesome and fuzzy. Check out High Noon, Maggard, Eljer and Salts of Aluminum to see what I mean.

Erv on Guitar in Texas - I loved that blue Hamer guitar of his, and was bummed when I saw him play later and he didn't have it.

After Car Vs. Driver broke up, Steve Wishart replaced Theo Witsell on bass as Theo moved back to Little Rock, and they did a proper US tour (one that CVD never did). I remember Steve telling me that Erv brought something like 5$ with him for the entire tour, and had to eat the leftovers from everyone's meals after they were done. He was dubbed "cleanup" for that tour. Steve also told me that they became so annoyed with him over the course of the tour that they would finish their meals even though they were full so Erv couldn't eat just to be spiteful. I don't think I ever saw them with this lineup, as I believe they broke up soon after the tour. I think two Wisharts in one band is probably pretty tough to deal with.

Scott lives now in Charlotte, NC and runs Lunchbox Record Store - check it out here:
Lunchbox Records. The last I heard from Theo is that he is living on a farm/commune in the Little Rock area and giving back to our mother Earth. Erv was working at the Local in Atlanta for many years and played in Ostinato with Scott and later played with Atlanta bands such as Motherfucking Tourettes, but I believe has now moved away from Atlanta. Tim lives in Atlanta and unfortunately I heard his house burned down recently. Supposedly he took a shower and left some candles burning, and when he got out the house was engulfed, losing everything. Lewis was a bass player for several Atlanta bands, but over the past several years has been a high-class soundman touring with many bands I can't remember and has an infinite collection of hilarious tour stories regarding Korn, Marylin Manson, Weezer, etc. Steve Wishart moved to Pittsburgh and Philadelphia and finally New York where he played with several bands including Fields Lay Fallow with the guys from Spirit Assembly and To The Mean with some of the SA dudes as well as the drummer from Policy of 3 and the singer from Amber Inn. He may be moving back down to the Atlanta area soon, so stay tuned.

Unfortunately Scout never released a proper album of material - only a split 12", a 7" and several compilation songs and demo tapes. This is really too bad, as they were a good band that deserved the recognition that was given to many other bands around the same time, but life can be like that sometimes. Later Scott and Erv formed Ostinato Grove/Ostinato and recorded a great album which was never released, and also didn't ever get any recognition. I will post that soon, and you can judge for yourself.

Here is the insert from the split 12" with Freemasonry (Lunchbox no. 5) - Click on any image to enlarge:

Scout's Second Demo Tape (Front and Back)

"Tomato" side of Moo Cow 7"

Insert from Economics/Tomato 7"

Split 7" with Cromwell (front above, back below)

Split 7" with Cromwell Insert (front and back)

Friday, April 25, 2008

The King Must Die Compilation - 1992

Here is the compilation: The King Must Die

I never owned this tape back in the day, but it was in the pile of stuff from Chad Wiener, so I transferred it to CD and had a listen. Many of the bands I had already known before. Midget Farmers played with Balrog at least once at the Wreck Room, and I met one of the guys later in Athens who was supercool. I saw the Labrea Stompers open for Gas Huffer at Hoyt Street Station in Athens, and seen several of the Jim Stacy bands since. Roosevelt was my favorite band that I never got to see, and was even scared to talk to Ballard the drummer for years afterwards just because of my awe over that band. Fiddlehead of course was awesome, and this tape has some good Kip-era songs included. Hayride was always interesting and had some crazy songs - I played in Finletter with the guitarist's brother Brian Sweeney when I was in high school. I had heard of the Fuzzy Sprouts, Thornyhold, and Flap from back in the day, but I believe this is the first time I actually heard their music. Overall, I think it is a good picture of what local bands were like back in 1992. A lot of chorus pedals, a lot of plucking/slapping on the bass, some bad overall songwriting, but in general a decent compilation.

What is my favorite on here? Of course Roosevelt, as "Scooter" is still one of my favorite local songs, and "FNA" by Balrog is pretty awesome, and "Andre" by Lagerhead is not too bad as a band/song I never heard before. "Hard Genny" by Fiddlehead is one of my faves of theirs, and Hayride's music always entertains. What do you think is my least favorite? You would maybe think the Fuzzy Sprouts song, but it's so far down that plucky/funky backroad that is so seldom travelled these days, it almost makes the song awesome in its time-capsule quality. You only need to hear 10 seconds of it to know it is from 1992. Lenny is pretty bad, but comparable to Red Emma from the State of the Union comp or many other female-fronted groups of the time. Really the absolute true clunker on this comp in Audiac. Their name is familiar, but does anyone know these guys now? I'm not one to talk, as I have been involved with some bad stuff over the years, but in terms of this compilation, it is the goat. At MJQ, Ed tells me that at closing time they used to like to turn on the house lights and blast "Reign in Blood" by Slayer, and that usually cleared the crowd out pretty quickly, but then everyone started getting used to it and kind of looking forward to it every night, so a new strategy had to be developed. I would recommend playing "Swish" by Audiac from this compilation, as I think that would effectively shut down any party anywhere. They really don't make 'em like that anymore.

The tape cover, one-sided

The insert that came with it (nice rant) - click to enlarge

Act of Faith - Forward in 1993

Here is the recording: Act of Faith - Forward

Act of Faith was more like a vicious hardcore monster back in their heyday than a local Atlanta band. They would headline over touring acts and bring HUNDREDS of kids from god knows where (i.e. Gwinnett) and tear the place up. It could be the Wreck Room, it could be The Somber Reptile, or wherever, they always packed the place out and gave a good show. Circle pits, stagediving, the whole package. Music-wise they weren't my absolute favorite in Atlanta, but these guys were some of the nicest you could meet and invited Car Vs. Driver to open for them on several occasions, including their CD release show at the Somber, which was probably the largest audience we played to at that time.

So this is their tape from 1993, recorded by Issa at Sleepless Nights (where else?). I believe the studio was in Candler Park at the time across from Full Moon Records. This is also where the Midget Farmers recorded the "Weblo" 7", also in 1993. The recording is actually not half bad for an Issa-engineered joint, and it has some songs I remember well. My favorite is probably Flashback "You're Wasting My Time - In Your State of Mind". The classics. I wish I had their first demo with the original singer (before Rob), which was in their O.C.B. phase. They played a skate competition that I competed in at around that time (got 1st place in my age group!). I just turned 16 then, so it was 1991. I also wish I had that O.C.B. demo. If you have either - send me a copy!

Front side of the tape - Standfast Records #2

Back side of the tape - obligatory huge thank you list.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Car Vs. Driver - The Latest Hit Sensation From Seattle Demo - November 20, 1993

From L to R: James Joyce (Scout shirt), Steve Wishart (Phleg Camp shirt), Matt Mauldin (Motherload Railroad shirt) and Jon Rothman (Winnie The Pooh shirt I think) at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in DC - July 1994.

Here is the first recording of Car Vs. Driver that I have, which predates the first studio session by a little bit:
Car Vs. Driver Demo - November 20, 1993

There are no new songs here, but it is interesting how the songs got tighter and more refined as we recorded them later, especially on the last WREK show, which was almost a year after. I believe we were 4-tracking the songs as demo versions of what we would later record in the studio, but only 2 of these songs were properly recorded in a studio. The tape that this demo came from was labeled "Car Vs.
Driver - The Latest Hit Sensation From Seattle", so I kept the title. Jon was playing the SG and a Crate amp or a Fender Twin with a Marshall distortion pedal, I was playing the old Royce drumset and Steve was playing the same Washburn, etc. bass setup that he had during the entire history of the band (and still plays now!).

Jon Rothman with the Walrus at the Smithsonian - this was the day after he punched Steve in the face while we were trying to park the van, and the same day he wandered off in Baltimore and we found him in an alley eating chocolate frosting from a can. This was also the same day Matt saw a cat piss on a car - he still says it was funniest thing he has ever seen.

Matt Mauldin at our last show - another one from the photo album.
Me and Jon Rothman in Birmingham, AL at the record store where Hal later played with Lungfish (I can't remember the name). We played an all day show there, and Jon had to have a bowel movement before we went on, so he walked all the way down to the hospital about 1/2 mile away to use a clean bathroom. He was gone for about an hour, and we thought he had left the band or was distracted by a shiny bauble. He was known for doing that (especially while driving).

Friday, April 18, 2008

Bloodspoon Live at the Wreck Room January 3, 1992 and 7" Single

Cover for Bloodspoon's The Day She Died b/w Deadwheeling 7"

I would like to thank the band Injected and their website for posting the Bloodspoon single, which I therefore do not have to transfer. One thing I did transfer was a tape from the soundboard of Bloodspoon playing the Wreck Room in Atlanta on January 3, 1992. You can download it and the single here:

Bloodspoon 7" + Live at Wreck Room 1/3/92

This was the first time they played "The Day She Died" aka Bloodspoon hit single number one. These guys would tear it up at the Wreck Room. It was their stomping ground, and their fans loved them. They had all the best metal/funk/hardcore elements that were popular at that time, so it was definitely a case of being at the right place at the right moment. Matt Mauldin quit the band in 1993 by a letter mailed to guitarist Danny Grady because their drummer got a double-bass drum kit (Danny - if you still have that letter I would love to get a copy), and started a band called Car Vs. Driver with myself from the Midget Farmers, Steve from Such As, and Jon Rothman from Turtlehead. The rest of the guys went on to form insanely popular and successful bands, which you can find at the Injected Fan Site Here. Cool guys, great musicians, good times.

They did one single, which was Mental Fist Records #1 (Midget Farmers "Happy As a Bastard" was Mental Fist #2). These were their two signature songs, and are included on this post. Supposedly they had some really great songs written right before they broke up, but they were never recorded so we lose on that one. I guess we'll just enjoy what we have.

Back cover from 7"

Lyric Sheet from 7"

Thank you list from 7"

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Primadonnas and The Summer of 1996

Here is the recording: Primadonnas Live on the Radio in Austin, TX

Noot d' Noot played with Judi Chicago this past weekend, and they reminded me of this great band from Austin in the 90's called The Primadonnas. When the Olympics came to Atlanta, I realized that I was looking at another summer working at the movie theater and generally not doing anything interesting, so I transferred to Austin, Texas to take some special Astronomy classes and have a great time. My favorite band during that summer was the Primadonnas, who put on the some of the best shows that I have ever seen. Once they played a house show with flashlight-lamps on their heads and spent the whole show with the room lights off and spinning their heads in synchronized circles. I wish I had a video of that one. They also made dolls of themselves for sale as merchandise. But they were the total package, including personas and back stories for the band and its members that they would adopt on the day of each show, including fake british accents. Here was their bio for the label that put out this CD:

"Three young scholars from Sussex, UK. Their story is famous and a little incredible, but unfortunately not without its share of heartbreak. After leaving the confines of their orphanage in England and stowing away on a submarine to America, they found themselves in Texas and proceeded to educate the masses on how to get shitfaced and puke all over your keyboard while still looking incredibly sexy."

They supposedly were in a skiffle band in the UK, and were trying to get back home to Sussex, but only were stranded in Austin temporarily. This was so new to people back then that some thought their story was true, and I would see people on the street go up to them and ask about their progress in returning back to the UK. They would totally roll with it every time, and never break character once.

This is a recording live on the radio in Austin, which has some of their best classic songs (Hong Kong Boogie is my favorite). They later did an album for Kill Rock Stars, but I never picked it up. It is important to note that all these songs are played live on two basic keyboards and an early sequencer. If they were around today, with all the currently available laptop/electronic gear, they would probably be one of the hottest bands out there.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Midget Farmer Motherload

Okay, so just as a disclaimer, all of the recordings on this post predate the first Midget Farmer 7" that was recorded in 1992 when we were in 11th grade. So this stuff is going to be pretty rough and extremely goofy. If you want the actual Midget Farmers discography, please go here: Midget Farmer Discography.

Here are the recordings:

Sexual Chocolate Demo: Sexual Chocolate

Live and Insane Demo: Live and Insane

665 1/2 - Not Quite Evil Demo: 665 1/2 - Not Quite Evil

We are in the Red Demo: We Are In The Red

Live in James' Basement Demo: Live in James' Basement

Live at the Wreck Room: Live at the Wreck Room

Chad Wiener was in town recently getting his doctorate in Ancient Philosophy, and I asked him to root around his parents' basement for any old Midget Farmer treasures, and he found it all. The picture above is everything he gave me, including the master reels for the Happy As A Bastard On Father's Day 7" and the America's Place To Waste Your Life Tape, as well as the DAT tapes for all recordings and many cassettes of early practices and demos (hereby included in this post). If you click on the picture, you can see the original track sheet for the Happy 7" as well as the bill for the entire recording, a grand total of $77! He also gave me a copy of the "Full Time Suckers" tape, which was a combination of the Weblo 7" and some additional songs recorded at the same time, all of which are on the complete discography posted earlier on this blog.

The Sexual Chocolate recording was recorded before I was actually in the band, I believe sometime in 1990. I work the tape recorder, and Chad Wiener does all of the vokills. Jason Albert is on bass and Mike Eckert is on drums. At the end, I sing some rough versions of Knowledge by Operation Ivy and King Of The Hill by Captain 9's and the Kinckerbocker Trio, which we were big fans of in the early days. Live and Insane is also I believe from 1990 or 1991, and we are playing all the classic MF songs in Mike Eckert's basement. There are some good interludes where Mike fights with his little brother, and other random hilarity, but it is mostly embarrasing for me because of my horrible singing. 665 1/2 - Not Quite Evil was recorded a little after Live and Insane with I believe Brian Lysne taking over for Jason on bass duties. We are in the Red is a recording with Eric Fickes on 2nd guitar, and was recorded sometime in late 1991 or early 1992. I called it this because Eric starts every song with "we are in the red - let's rock" or some version of that statement to let us know the recording light was on. The Live In James' Basement demo was also from early 1992, and is the last recording with Mike Eckert on drums. I took over soon after as we recorded the Happy as a Bastard 7". I believe this is our best version of the early MF sound, and is the most "professional". If you are going to download just one of these recordings, I would go with this one. Lastly, I included part of a live show from the Wreck Room and somewhere else (possibly Milo's), which gives you a picture of what our live sets were like. The last recordings are really rough, as Chad just put a tape recorded in the corner of the room, but the in-between noise is great. At the end of the last track, you hear Chad say something like "at least we got this awesome recording of the show" and the tape cuts.

I have also included many Midget Farmer flyers in my collection, shown below. Thanks for checking this out, and I apologize in advance for the rough, amateur, and silliness in the recordings, but that was our high school experience.

This was supposed to be our first official non-houseparty show, but when we showed up all the other bands had worked their way onto the slots before us, and we were pushed back to the end of the bill. DeFunkt took about 1 hour to set up, as the drummer had this massive cage and we listened to their bass player slap and pluck for the entire time, and eventually just left without playing. Funny thing about DeFunkt, I believe their guitarist was Ken later in Act of Faith. We played with a lot of funk metal bands back then.

This was a late-era show with Whirlybird from Richmond, who we loved very much. I will probably post some stuff on them sometime in the future. This was also on my birthday, I believe in 1994.

Chattahoochee Battle of the Bands - December 4, 1992. Chad had an autographed picture of Cooter from the Dukes of Hazzard, so we had to use it. I remember Danny Grady from Bloodspoon playing with us on stage at that show.

Here is another Milo's flyer with the Sin Eaters, who were very boring to watch.

Playing with Spiney Norman and Bloodspoon at the Wreck Room (and probably 12 other bands as well including Funmud). What a lineup.

Live at PJ's Nest, which was the smaller club down the street from the Wreck Room owned by the same people. There was literally no one at this show and I remember Eric going outside during the set to play bass on Marietta St.

Another late-era show - March 15, 1995. I have some pictures from this show, and here they are:
View of the crowd from my drumset. How many people can you name?

Chris Curran, Steven Pelizer and Ryan Borque rocking out.

At Milo's in 19991 with Bloodspoon, Scarred Existence and Degeneration. I believe this was one of Bloodspoon's first shows.

With Finletter at the Wreck Room in 1992 I believe. This was the first time we saw the Finletter guys, and they blew our socks off.

With Car Vs. Driver, Sticks and Stones, Random Jed, etc. at the Somber Reptile in 1993. This was a very early Car Vs. Driver show.

With Boba Fett at the Wreck Room. Boba Fett was also called Barefoot Jamboree, and featured Dewey Tucker on vocals, an old skater friend of ours as well as J.T. Yost, who played accordion and whose parents owned the Dunkin Donuts on Holcomb Bridge Rd. The drummer was Craig Evans, I believe, who played later in Substandard with me and Jon Rothman (pre Car Vs. Driver).

Another show at Milo's, this time with Boba Fett as Barefoot Jamboree and Finletter. This is Feb 1, 1993 I believe. I contributed the girl on the motorcycle picture for this flyer, although I can't remember where it was from.
Another Chattahoochee 1992 battle of the bands flyer. This one with the master Ian Maisel drawings.

Ahh, the infamous Anarchy Convention show at the Art Exchange building in Grant Park. We played Anarchy in the UK, and the crowd was bummed. I remember Bloodspoon being a lot of fun at this show.

More Milo's flyers from 1991 - this time with Toast and Nobody's Heroes, who I do not remember at all. Soren and his mother from Milo's had a habit of calling you the day of a show to see if you wanted to play that night, and I believe we actually took them up on it a few times.
No idea about this one. Just another show at the Wreck Room.

This was a good show at Andy Stivers' house with Quadiliacha and Swank on July 4, 1994. Fun times.
MF with Ian Maisel as MC White Chocolate and the Go-Steadys at Somber Reptile. I believe we were supposed to play I'm Your Pusher by Ice-T, but Ian forgot the lyrics.

Milos with Orgo Ftmpsh. I have no idea what they sounded like, but with a name like that it was probably awesome.

Horrible homemade flyers. This was 1992 I believe.
The last horrible homemade flyer for a show at the Wreck Room, in 1992.

This officially concludes the Midget Farmer flyer exhibition.