Monday, January 5, 2009
Happy New Year from The Rent Boys!!!
Here is the download: The Rent Boys Album +1
1-13: From "An Evening with The Rent Boys"
14: Astro Zombies From "Long Time" Single
I actually wanted to post this in advance of the Rent Boys reunion show at the EARL on December 31, but unfortunately I forgot until the day of the show. So here is a reminder of what it was all about. To me, The Rent Boys epitomized the C-11 Warehouse scene in the West End back in the mid to late nineties where so many musicians and artists of all kinds lived cheaply and had a vibrant community to create. This creativity spawned many local bands including The Rent Boys, Ansurbana, Gaijin, Remuxers, The Close (by way of Auburn), Swing Riot, End of the West, Kid Boom Boom, etc. and were supported by labels including Reactionary Records and Moodswing Records, financing releases by many of these bands. In the U-Haul warehouses in the West End of Atlanta, a group of 10 or more people would form a loose collective in one warehouse space, and were responsible for building all of their rooms and facilities themselves. It was like a shanty town for punkers and artists of all kinds, and a surreal place to visit for shows and parties. I remember talking to Brooks Meeks from The Close during this time, and he told me that living at C-11 was like stripping - it is not the ideal situation, but the money (or low cost of rent in this case) was so good that it was difficult to break out and live a normal life. I believe rent on an individual basis was usually between $100 and $200 per month, which is hard to compete with, so people would just stay there and make their art on their own time. I never lived there myself, but visited quite a bit either playing with the Remuxers, or recording with Brooks, or just hanging out. Gavin Frederick from Stickfigure Records and Distribution lived next door at C-12, and sold his records on Saturdays, so I would usually stop by to peruse the records and meet up with Brian Kincheloe or whoever was around (and awake) at the time. You can still visit Gavin on Saturdays at his "new" location in the West End right outside of the old U-Haul site to buy his records and have some really good tangential conversations.
Sometime around 2004 or so everything ended, and I was not living in Atlanta at the time, so I cannot give a full history of the events, but the main point is that everyone moved out of the warehouses and started living in apartments like the rest of us. There was some fragmentation after this, with people getting older, starting families, buying houses, etc., but with bands like All Night Drug Prowling Wolves (featuring Marlow Sanchez and Tom Cheshire from The Rent Boys), the old crew can still get back together and sing about the good old days. Also, Paul from Reactionary Records is opening his store again in East Atlanta (his old store was in the shops on Ponce by the main MJQ entrance), where he will be selling records and late night hotdogs, etc. right across from the EARL to give the East Atlanta area the late-night community feeling it needs. I'm sure the New Year's Eve show was an amazing time, but unfortunately I had my own commitments and could not attend. They were always a fun band, and perfect anthems for a great bunch of guys.
This is their full-length CD "An Evening With..." and the "Long Time" single, both put out by Reactionary Records in 1998. Of course they were a popular band in Atlanta, but I also remember them taking a lot of trips up to New York and elsewhere to spread the message. I seem to remember Tom telling me that Kevin Spacey was a big fan of the group, and would come out to their shows, which is a pretty funny image and I would love to see pictures of these meetings. There is the classic Pogues cover at the end of the CD, and Astro Zombies by The Misfits on the b-side of their 7", which is one of those experiments that is perfect for the b-side of the hit song "Long Time". They also did a great version of Safe European Home by the Clash, which you can check out on their Myspace page.
Here is the artwork from their CD, and the credits, etc. from the single: