Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Thoroughbred - The Unreleased Album


Here is the download: Thoroughbred Unreleased Album

Back in the 2002 era, Luke Gilbert and Craig Lee Dempsey from At the Price of the Union got together with their old friend Kelsey Wilson and formed a loud, heavy, boogie-rock band of the best variety (Blue Cheer/Cactus/Mountain/ZZ Top/etc.). They were very short-lived, but thankfully recorded five songs at The Living Room and released a single on Stickfigure Records before they moved on. This "unreleased" album contains the two songs from the single (Levis Song/Fire Came Down), with an unedited version of Fire Came Down, along with three others from the same session. I contacted Craig and Kelsey about the song titles and whatnot before doing this post, and they said that live recordings exist with songs written after this point, but unfortunately I don't have them yet to be included here.

The funny thing is that I was jamming with Craig and Luke in 2001 before this band began, but we never were able to coalesce into a proper band. I vividly remember sitting on Luke's truck after practice one night in September 2001 hearing Bush give his speech on the radio after 9/11 starting the "war on terror". We were just in shock over the whole thing - it was an ominous moment in our lives, as it was for everyone. But with regards to writing music with them, I think one of the main reasons why that band never got off the ground was that Luke and Craig are really natural, organic musicians, and essentially write all of their songs by jamming on improvised riffs, and for some reason I cannot make music very easily using this method. The way I seem to work best is either myself or one of my bandmates will bring pieces of a song to a practice, and we will start from that point and assemble the parts/refine the sequences until a song forms. Only in the Remuxers have I played with musicians that brought an entire song to practice, without any compositional input required whatsoever. So Craig and Luke are kind of the opposite side of the song-writing spectrum in this regard.

Luckily, they recruited Kelsey to be in the band and wrote some great rock music. The crazy thing is that I never got to see them live, although from what I heard they were insanely loud and heavy, and had huge amps/drums to match. They played a few shows before I moved to Amsterdam, but by the time I returned they were long gone. Craig had joined the Good Friday Experiment, Kelsey worked on various drum-related projects, and eventually joined the All Night Drug Prowling Wolves where he has done great work with them. Luke grew an amazing moustache, and I will see him around every now and then. I believe Craig and Luke still get together regularly to play music, but I'm not sure if any drummers are currently in the picture. I hope they start another band soon, I really like seeing these guys play.

Here is the insert from the single, thanking the Southside:

6 comments:

  1. You know, James, I've never been able to "jam it out" to write songs either. I envy people who can do that. I much prefer the "everyone bring some parts along and see what fits" approach.

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  2. Yeah. There's something that happens when Luke and Craig get together.

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  3. Hey James, speaking of Craig Dempsey bands, any chance you could post up the Aslund Constant demo? I believe they recorded a few songs . . .

    And do you know if The Penhale Broadcast recorded anything? That was the band that Luke was in before At the Price of the Union. They were freaking great.

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  4. Hey Scott - I only have one song by Aslund Constant on a Food Not Bombs benefit, but I do vaguely remember a demo. I will add it to the want list and see if anyone has it. I also remember the name Penhale Broadcast, but have no idea if they recorded anything. If I run into Craig or Luke sometime, I'll ask them. Thanks!

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  5. Goddamn, I forgot how GOOD they were for that six months or whatever that they were around.

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