Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Non Atlanta Post: Drums & Tuba - Box Fetish (1996)
Here is the album for download: Drums and Tuba - Box Fetish
Occasionally I will do a non-Atlanta or Athens post, if I have some kind of personal connection to the group or otherwise think that it is interesting and difficult to find elsewhere. Drums and Tuba fit into this category for me, as they were one of my favorite bands from Austin back in 1996, are certainly interesting and this particular album is difficult to find. In fact, I had to get a friend of mine from Austin to send it to me, and I have never found it since in any record store. These are the classic Drums and Tuba songs from this era - an instrumental trio that was popular at the time (e.g. Trans Am) with drums, guitar and a tuba instead of bass. I personally gravitate towards the drums, as the dude is amazing and also played in Paul Newman, which released a few albums on Trance Syndicate back in the day. For this album, there are no effects or singing, although in later albums they started experimenting with looping tuba, guitar and drum parts in a live setting and eventually singing on their songs, which is usually a bad idea for most previously-instrumental bands. Sometime after this album or their next, they got the attention of Ani Difranco and started touring with her extensively and releasing albums under her label. I can only imagine Drums and Tuba playing these songs in stadiums opening for Ani, and what her crowd must have thought of them. They moved from Austin in the late 1990's to New York and continued recording and touring, but seemed to run out of steam a few years back. I would see them whenever they played Atlanta, either at the Echo Lounge opening for Daniel Johnston, or at the EARL as a headliner, and bought all of their albums, etc. I checked their website, and it looks like they were touring as late as Fall of last year, but there is no activity in 2008. It also states that they are currently based in New Orleans, so I hope they are finding some success there. As for their recorded output, I really like this first album the best, as well as the Flatheads and Spoonies album which was when they really started getting into the live sampling and layering of their sound. These are great musicians, and make great, interesting music. Maybe I'll get some comments from Austin on this one.