Thursday, May 29, 2008

The hal al Shedad at the Driverdome

Hal al Shedad at the Driverdome in 1995 (from L to R): Jon Lukens (Retconned, Year Zero, etc.), Josh White (At A Loss Records), Rebeca Merchant (Scenester Extraordinaire), I don't know this person, Bryan Fielden (The 42, San Augustin).

Here are some photos I dug up featuring classic Hal al Shedad photos from the Driverdome, which was along with the I-Defy house one of the main places to play in Atlanta from 1994 - 1998 or so (I can't remember exactly when the last show happened). As always, click on any picture to enlarge, etc.

July 1, 1995 - Photos taken by Shawn Scallen

Also from Summer 1995 - Photos by Andy Stivers (I believe)

Craig Lee Dempsey and Francis Jenson from the 42 (more on them later)

August 21, 1996 - This was my first show back in Atlanta after spending the summer in San Diego and Austin. I was no longer living at the Driverdome - Saucemaster had taken my room by this time and was sleeping in my bed.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Tree Records Post-Marked Stamps Singles

Here is the file for download: Tree Records Post-Marked Stamps Series
I sequenced the CD in the order of the singles as they were released:
1. Ida - Post Prom Disorder
2. The Deadwood Divine - And Where Did I Leave Off
3. Cerberus Shoal - A Lighthouse In Athens Part 1
4. Still Life - Looks Like Tomorrow
5. Ethel Meserve - Belated Blues
6. Giants Chair - Lost Dauphin
7. Braid - Forever Got Shorter
8. The Get Up Kids - I'm A Loner Dottie, A Rebel
9. Healah - Fallen Away
10. Aspera Ad Astra - Black In The Eye
11. Jen Wood - Sheltering Arms (For The Birds That Are Unborn)
12. Tim Kinsella - A Picture Postcard
13. Very Secretary - Nagarkot
14. Compound Red - Building
15. Sweep The Leg Johnny - Walking Home On The Emergency Bed
16. A Minor Forest - Inter Continental Stalker (And So Does The Wolf Whistle)
17. Hal al Shedad - Solitaire
18. Rainer Maria - Pincushion

The hal al Shedad did a split 7" with Rainer Maria for the end of the Post-Marked Stamps singles series on Tree Records, and it turned out to also be the last official release by the band. We contributed "Solitare", which was probably my favorite late-era song of ours, using Ed's Roland Juno synthesizer and guitar simultaneously for a thick, distorted effect (he did this live as well). This wrecked havoc on the single, and our song came out as an over-driven mess. Here is the song taken directly from the record to see what I mean. I read in the liner notes of the CD that timelines were sometimes so tight Ken would give the order to press the singles to United without ever listening to a test pressing. This is unfortunate, as so much love and effort was put into the packaging, but the music started to suffer in the process. Luckily, this CD came out with the song properly mastered, so the song was somewhat redeemed. We pretty much gave away our copies of the 7", or just taking a dollar or so based on the packaging, which was really the selling point of the release.

We were invited to play a festival at the Fireside in Chicago for the series, but Ben had a nasty case of testicular torsion and had to have an operation, so no singing for a little while. I went up there myself and got to see the show we otherwise would have played. Aspera Ad Astra was one of my favorite bands from the series, contributing an excellent song, but when I saw them live they were completely different. They were like a Yardbirds-style blues band instead of the spacey post-rock I was anticipating. I also got their first album and it sounded a bit like Radiohead. I guess they were eclectic in their styles. I also saw American Football, which was not in the series but a good band nonetheless, and hung out a bit with the 90 Day Men guys in the bar, back when we knew each other and would play shows together.

Here are the liner notes from the CD, which has a very good narrative on how the singles were conceptualized and released. It was a very nicely put together project, and we were glad to contribute. Of course these singles are very difficult to find, and I am not sure of the current state of Tree Records, but I wanted to keep the history of this series alive a little longer. Thanks.

Here is also the artwork, etc. from the Hal al Shedad/Rainer Maria split:

The back of this card read "You've come a long way up this mountain to be here with us, the least we can do is invite you in for tea."

Sticker on the back of the single

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Car Vs. Driver Flyers

Okay guys, so here's the big one. I pulled together all the Car Vs. Driver flyers that Steve Wishart and Matt Mauldin have in their collection and posted them here. They are in chronological order, so you can see how things progressed from the Summer of 1993 to the Summer of 1995, with regards to the Atlanta scene and our flyer design. Feel free to comment with your stories, etc. related to these shows.

August 27, 1993 - Jon Rothman flyer. This was the first time I saw Freemasonry. Liquid Bean was a 24 hour coffee shop on Ponce De Leon on the corner by where Beep Beep Gallery sits today. It was a really fun place to play, and even hosted some national acts, such as Nuisance and Monsula, but I think Monsula never showed up.
September 24, 1993 - Another Jon Rothman flyer. I think we forbade him to make more flyers after this. We were no longer in high school and needed to move away from the cut and paste goofy flyers.

September 26, 1993 - We played a few shows with Tilt, but I guess Bad Religion and Green Day were playing the same night. Probably at the Masquerade.
September 28, 1993 - We played with a lot of Lookout bands around this time (Tilt, Fifteen, Samiam), as they were the main bands touring around the country and coming to the Southeast.

October 16, 1993 - This was a classic flyer. Another show at the Liquid Bean with Freemasonry. We couldn't get enough.

October 31, 1993 - We played with the Queers and the Pink Lincolns at the Somber Reptile on Halloween. I thought Midget Farmers played this show as well, but I could be wrong. The boy in the photo is Jon Rothman.

October 31, 1993 - Another flyer for the same show. I remember Steve threw up after our set at one of these Queers shows, but I can't remember which. I remember that one of the guys in the Queers saw Steve puke, though.

November 7, 1993 - Classic Atlanta local show flyer. I think Rebar might have played instead of Barrel, but I'm not sure.

December 4, 1993 - No Fraud gets last billing on this flyer, even though they were the only touring band on this show. This has Matt Mauldin humor all over it. We played our very first show with Quadiliacha (and Gauge from Chicago), but I think this is the only time we played with Crisis Under Control.

January 4, 1994 - The recording for this show is posted on this blog on the right. Check it out.

January 8, 1994 - Habeus Corpses gets top billing. All the best local bands at the time, including Picasso Trigger. I barely remember this show, and didn't know WGHR before this (we've never heard of you either). WGHR was the Marietta Tech radio station, and Steve Wishart had a punk show on it when he was studying Civil Engineering. I still have a few records lifted from the WGHR vaults in my collection.

January 27, 1994 - The Midtown Music Hall was in the place where the Highlander currently resides in the Midtown Promenade. I'm not sure if the Mastodon guys were in Today is the Day at that point, but it was a pretty rocking show. 18 and over show, one of Car Vs. Driver's only.
February 19, 1994 - This was probably the best show we played thus far. Rain Like the Sound of Trains tweaked people pretty hard at this show, but they were awesome and totally won me over. They are on my top 10 list of all-time favorite Dischord bands, and I'm glad we got to play with them. Another flyer for the show below, which is also possibly my favorite Car Vs. Driver flyer of all time.

March 9, 1994 - This was a show for the ages. Hoover, Fiddlehead and Car Vs. Driver, what a lineup. I remember we played terribly, and I think it was because Steve played to my left and Jon on my right, which was opposite to every other show we played. For some reason, probably superstition, I always needed Steve in my right ear and Jon in my left. The opposite happened in Hal al Shedad, when Ben had to be on my left and Ed on my right.

March 10, 1994 - This was one of my favorite shows of all time. Hoover in a living room in Auburn, Alabama - unbelievable. We played much better that night as well and solidified ourselves with the Auburn hardcore scene. After the show we ate with the guys in Hoover at a diner and Jon was messing with Alex Dunham, telling him he was going to squirt the ketchup bottle in his face. Alex responded by telling Jon that he was going to run Jon over in their van full of equipment, and then back over his crushed dead body. Jon shut up after that.
April 13, 1994 - Harvey Milk was a bit too much for me to take back then, but nowadays I look at them as one of the best bands to ever come out of Georgia. I think their van was stolen after this show and all their gear was ripped off. I was never a big Holy Rollers fan, but it was fun to play with any Dischord band.

April 23, 1994 - I made this flyer from the instruction manual for the Indy 500 Atari game. I always liked the artwork for Atari games as they made them look so interesting, but then the actual game would be horrible. Indy 500 was not a bad game, though. I especially liked the ice levels where the cars would drift all over the track.

May 4, 1994 - Man, what a lineup. Lungfish on the Rainbows from Atoms tour, Brainiac touring under Smack Bunny Baby. Both bands were amazing of course. I saw Dan Higgs outside the venue and thought he was homeless.

May 6, 1994 - Unfortunately Unwound didn't show up for this show, but instead Highway 66 and Don's Ex-Girlfriend from Gainesville played instead, who weren't bad at all. One rumor is that Unwound broke down in Birmingham and couldn't make it to the show. Another rumor is that Unwound was told the show would suck, and not to show up. Either way, I was bummed as New Plastic Ideas had just come out and I was really excited about seeing them. I got to see them on their next tour for The Future Of What at the Midtown Music Hall. Here is a video from that show. This is the first contribution by Scott Wishart to our flyers, which greatly improved the design and overall professionalism of our promotional material.

June 3, 1994 - This was a big show. Probably the largest show Car Vs. Driver had played so far at the Somber Reptile. Act of Faith were always nice to include us on their shows, even though we were not in the same style of hardcore, but they were inclusive like that.

June 4, 1994 - Probably the pinnacle of Car Vs. Driver shows. Steve worked with a booking agent on this one, which he said he would never do again. This show was amazing. Drive Like Jehu ended their set with "Luau", and at the last hit, blew the entire power for the club. Also, Sunny Day Real Estate played at the Lazy Lizard Lounge downstairs on the same night, but I didn't watch them.
June 19, 1994 - The first time we ever played with the Lukens brothers (later to appear in Hal al Shedad, Year Zero, Retconned, Ultivac and a million other bands) as well as our friends Friction from Chicago. A few days later we went on our first East Coast tour, and played several shows with Friction, Current, Angel Hair, The Yah Mos, Spirit Assembly, Hose Got Cable, FYP, Assfactor 4 and many others. I remember Jon Rothman asking the crowd during this show for donations to help with our tour costs. I think Matt and Steve told him to shut up.

June 23, 1994 - The first show of our first tour. Amazing show, very hot, bad vibes (Jon punched Steve in the face a few hours before). This venue was right next door to the stairs where the priest fell down in the Exorcist. Both Angel Hair and Current were so awesome, we felt like little kids playing on the same show with them.
June 29, 1994 - What was most amazing about this show was that The Yah Mos showed up at the last minute and asked to play, and completely destroyed every band that had just played that night. They were one of the best live bands I have ever seen. This was around the time OJ went on his police chase after murdering his wife, and the guys in the Yah Mos in between songs were talking about him going through "his own personal Vietnam" in his mind. This was at a VFW hall, and they were going off on the US government and the military, and the head of the VFW (total WW2 vet) was standing right there in the audience. I had to run outside I was so uncomfortable and laughing so hard at the same time. I also got to meet Charles Maggio that night, which was awesome.

Here are some photos from the show:
The Yah Mos rockin it - check out Tristan playing on FYP's Eddie Van Halen guitar

Icki and Steve at the Merch table

July 23, 1994 - According to Steve's notes, this show never happened, but I remember seeing Floodgate at the Somber Reptile, and buying their LP, which I still have. Am I remembering this wrong? Also, very early Inkwell show here.

August 16, 1994 - This was a coming home party for Assfactor 4 in Columbia, SC. I always loved them, they epitomized everything this music was supposed to be about, and seemed to have more fun doing it than any band I have known. I wonder what caused them to break up, as I somehow can't envision it knowing the guys in the band. I loved how the drummer used a cooler as his drum stool.

September 10, 1994 - According to Steve, these bands didn't play and Freemasonry played instead. This would have been Freemasonry's golden era, right after Bruce Bohannon joined the group.

September 24, 1994 - First appearance by Levelhead on the Car Vs. Driver flyer archive. Great band. I'll post their single sometime.
October 10, 1994 - We played the Masquerade a couple of times, but it was always a difficult place to play. Stage is too big, monitors don't work, staff are lame. What can you do?

October 14, 1994 - Another show with the Queers. We always played well with them.

November 9, 1994 - I made this flyer from a game I used to play called Car Wars. This was at Frijoleros in Athens, which closed sometime in early 1995. They had some good shows there, and they were always free I believe. I remember Matt was kneeling on the floor at one point of the show and Steve did a jump off his back.

November 11, 1994 - Car Vs. Driver "Keepers of the Seven Keys". Early computer designed flyer. I think some of the guys in Thenceforward made this one. Justin? I think we had to start early because it was disco night at the Somber Reptile.

November 18, 1994 - Worst flyer ever. Blame Auburn for this flyer, Atlanta had nothing to do with it. Deterrent were two guys and a drum machine that was unlistenable. Nice guys, unlistenable music.
December 2, 1994 - Our funniest flyer ever. Assfactor 4 didn't play, I think someone in the band had a urinary tract infection. According to Steve's notes Inkwell played this one.

December 8, 1994 - Our winter tour 1994 begins in Knoxville. I forgot my jacket at home, and had to go to a thrift store to get something as we were going to Chicago, Kalamazoo and Detroit in December. This tour had us play with Thumbnail, Cap'n Jazz, The Make Up, Slant 6, and Braid. I have video from this tour, which I would like to post someday if I could ever figure it out.

December 9, 1994 - Show from the same tour in Cincinnati. The bass player from Railhed set this one up. Dissenting Opinion was a SXE hardcore band, and the show had a big beer banner above them while they played. Billy Nation and Ashley Moore took pictures of them with the banner over their heads. 10 O'Clock Scholar was good. I have their album on Grass Records somewhere.

December 16, 1994 - Our last show of the tour at Lucy's Record Shop in Nashville. There was a fight (or a pit or something) in the audience and Steve and Matt jumped off stage during our set to break it up. Nashville was always a weird place to play.

December 17, 1994 - Horrible computer-generated flyer. You can't read the bands, I couldn't find the date on the flyer, and who was Blindside? I remember Frail from Philadelphia playing this show, those guys were young back then. I also remember Dan and Dave punk on stage between every band acting as MCs for the show. Round Ear Spock - Somber Dave loved them, but could there be a worse band name?
December 18, 1994 - Car Vs. Driver ended up headlining the show, as all the other bands were local. I don't remember if they were into us or not. Birmingham was another weird place to play, like Nashville and Huntsville.

December 30, 1994 - Our first show with Lowboy, who included Craig Lee Dempsey later in The 42/At The Price Of The Union/Thoroughbred/Good Friday Experiment and Brian Fielden (sp?) later in The 42 and San Augustin. These were kids from Stockbridge - Southside Atlanta. This was also Inkwell's last show with their original drummer Josh, who moved to San Francisco. I have a video of them at this show which is pretty good.
January 7, 1995 - Another show in Columbia, SC. Policy of 3 went on a Southeast tour with their girlfriends to Key West, playing shows along the way. I believe these are the last shows we played with them (Columbia and Atlanta at the Driverdome).

January 13, 1995 - This is a Quadiliacha flyer if I ever saw one. Driverdome officially starts having shows.

January 24, 1995 - I liked 8 Bark, but that girl in the band always looked like a pissed-off school teacher to me.

February 3, 1995 - This was at a rock-climbing center in Birmingham - no joke. It sounded horrible with the high ceilings, and Jon flipped backward and knocked over his amp on the first note of the first song. I think he also got a bloody nose at this show, which he often did during our sets.

February 4, 1995 - At the Malformity house in Auburn. Auburn was our favorite out of town place to play. They loved the song "Blame", so we always had to play it there.

February 10, 1995 - I made this flyer from GI Joe cards I had. Pretty dorky.
February 18, 1995 - This was our first show with In-Humanity. We played in North Carolina at some kind of neighborhood clubhouse. Some of the kids at the show were playing duck-duck-goose during In-Humanity's set, so the guitarist took off his guitar in the middle of the song and tapped a kid and started running. Before the kid could catch up to him, he put his guitar back on and continued playing the song, and the kid had to go back to the circle. Horrible flyer.
February 25, 1995 - This was at the location that was next to what became Eyedrum (original location). I used to go down to Trinity Cafe when I was in early high school to watch the jazz nights that the guys in Cicada Sings would put on, so it was nice to play there a few years later. The Dribbling Hermits were awesome, some kind of creepy folk music and had topless women going through the crowd with masks and candles on their heads. One woman fell while she was crawling over some guy and her candle went out. The guy re-lit her candle with his lighter. Classic. Bob was great. Pineal Ventana were great. I poked my eye with a drumstick during a song, and my eye was having spasms for a day afterwards.

March 23, 1995 - The start of a short East coast tour with Scout. I remember the guys in Barrel showed up to this show, as they were recording their album with J. Robbins. The album never came out, but you can download it here.

March 25, 2005 - On tour with Scout, playing in State College, PA. Great show, another one I have some video which I hope to post someday. This might have been my favorite Scout show, as they would get really tight on tour and kill it.

Here are some pictures of CVD from that show:

March 26, 1995 - Another show with Spirit Assembly in their own stomping grounds of Lancaster, PA. I love the Amish Electric Company promotional group. I'm not sure if Halfman actually played this show.

April 8, 1995 - This was not a Car Vs. Driver show, as Matt got into a car accident and was a little skiddish about playing an out of town show, so my new band The hal al Shedad stepped in and played. I had just joined the band about a week before, and we were already playing out of town. Marty from Inkwell slammed Ben's fingers in the van door on the way down, and I'm still paranoid about doing that to this day. There is a video of Inkwell from this show here.

April 27, 1995 - Driverdome show with Ice-9, which I have a 7" by, but can't remember this show at all.

June 11, 1995 - This was a festival in Detroit. Hal al Shedad played first, Car Vs. Driver played last. Carbomb was amazing at this show, Jihad was amazing, Boy's Life were amazing, Spirit Assembly was always amazing, Rye Coalition didn't show up. This bummed Ed and Ben out in hal, as they were huge Rye fans at the time.
Here are some pictures from the show:
CVD rocking out - the guys met me in Detroit, as I was on the first Hal al Shedad tour at the time. I think Steve's car broke down 2 or 3 times on the way.
Jihad - their PA had a light that would come on in the speaker when it was getting overloaded, which was every line the singer sang, so it was like a beast was in the PA speakers screaming at us.

Spirit Assembly - always amazing. They broke the mold with those guys.

July 7, 1995 - Our first show with The Crownhate Ruin. Vin was one of the best drummers I have ever seen. You should check out some of their footage here. And here. We slept on top of the van that night, as it was so hot inside the van and the house we were supposed to stay at was a disease-ridden dump. The guys in Crownhate Ruin slept in their van as well, which incidentally was the old Hoover van, as immortalized in the Lurid Transversal of Route 7 album.
July 8, 1995 - On our "farewell tour", this time with Frail and Spirit Assembly as well as Crownhate Ruin and also Daredevil, which was a combination band of the two brothers from Indian Summer, the drummer of Mohinder and the guitarist from Ordination of Aaron. They only lasted one tour and as far as I know never recorded anything (possibly a demo).

July 9, 1995 - We drive back and play the Somber Reptile with Crownhate Ruin, Spirit Assembly and Frail. It was nice to have all these bands play a club instead of the house shows we were playing elsewhere in the Southeast. This flyer always creeped me out.

July 21, 1995 - Our last show. I remember Inkwell played on the floor of the Somber Reptile because they didn't want to play on a stage. The crowd was bummed. Bob Nanna from Braid read a little speech before their set - here it is:
It was a good show, and we had just finished recording the "Out of a Silent Sky" album, so it wrapped up the band in a nice neat package. This was the last time we played together until around 1997 when we were all living in Atlanta again and decided to play another show just for fun (see next flyer below).

October 18, 1997 - Our "Reunion" Show. I remember that I was worried about going on after the Promise Ring, as they were the hot band at the time. They insisted, and it worked out for the best. We sold out Under the Couch, and Gavin had to move his records outside. I remember Jon Rothman backing his jeep right into Gavin's record table after the show and knocking all his crates of records over into the street. It still makes me laugh to this day. I will post a recording of this show soon, so stay tuned.