Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Character Builders - The hal al Shedad and Euphone/Heroic Doses at Under The Couch July 10, 1997

Here is our set: The hal al Shedad 1997.07.10 (Exhibit A)

Here is their set: Euphone/Heroic Doses 1997.07.10 (Exhibit B)

So when you are in a band, you can have great moments of satisfaction and enjoyment at your musical accomplishments, and you can also be unbelievably humbled and crushed, sometimes even in the same show. I like to call these humbling moments "character builders". In this case, we had just finished our set at Under the Couch (see exhibit A), and generally felt pretty good about the show. We were just about to leave for our European tour, and this was essentially our set that we were preparing for our trip to the fatherland. Then Ryan Rapsys, formerly the drummer of Chicago postpunk group Gauge, gets on stage with only his drumset and a sequencer and completely destroys the place (see exhibit B). Then, after several songs the guitarist from Five Style gets up on stage and they finish the place off as Heroic Doses. Unbelievable set, just makes you wonder why you pick up an instrument in the first place.

Thanks to Scott MC for sending me these recordings. I have a few Euphone albums, but none match the intensity of this live recording, where you can hear exactly how amazing the playing is without any studio trickery. There are also some Euphone videos you can see on Youtube, but don't really capture the essence of this one man band. Joan of Arc played after this, but after this set, everybody knew the show was over.

As for other "character builders", here are some of mine:

1. Car vs. Driver opening for Angel Hair and Current in Washington D.C.

2. Car vs. Driver opening for Hose Got Cable in Richmond

3. The hal al Shedad opening for The VSS in Atlanta

4. The Go-Steadys opening for The Special Beat at the Masquerade

5. The Midget Farmers opening for Action Patrol in Richmond

6. Car vs. Driver opening for Hoover in Auburn, Alabama

7. Car vs. Driver opening for The Yah Mos in New Jersey

What are yours?

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:

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Please Don't Disappoint Dream Sanitation

 00082 65 20 82840256 L


Noot D' Noot will play 2 sets then DJ after the show!

$6 in advance / $8 at the door / 10pm / 21 and up
Advance tickets available online here
Or at the following outlets:
Ella Guru * Decatur CD* Fantasyland Records

Featuring members of The Selmanaires and Atlanta's Good Friday Experiment, Noot D' Noot create a pastiche of sounds and beats that pull you in and rule your mind grapes. Originally, Noot D'Noot was just an experiment attempting to blend the hip-hop, funk, drums, and bass the boys heard at late night parties with the psychedelia they played in smoky bars. But soon, it became a full-blown musical venture, piquing the interest of emcees, vocalists, musicians, and especially listeners around town.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Fiddlehead - Hometown Heroes, Part 2

Here are the downloads:

Fiddlehead's Last Show Ever (Midtown Music Hall - July 24, 1994)

Fiddlehead Live on WFMU - July 4, 1991

Fiddlehead Live at The Masquerade - January 1991

Fiddlehead Live at The Wreck Room - 1991

As always, here are all their recordings: Fiddlehead Complete Discography

I have included the song Tophat, which was a classic from their early demos, graciously provided by Mike Haggerty. I believe everything they have recorded is now included, but please send me whatever I might be missing!

Here is my second post for Fiddlehead, one of the greatest bands ever to exist in this town. You can read my previous post here. I would like to truly thank Mike Haggerty and Geoey Cook for participating in the interview below, and providing so much history on the band. Thanks (i.e. tightly packed bowls) to Kip Thomas for loaning me his tape collection, so I could transfer all these shows. Much more is coming from this guy. Also thanks so much to Such As alumni Steve and Scott Wishart, who helped identify most of these songs on the recordings. Also, Mike wanted me to let you all know that the final show at the Midtown Music Hall (recorded by Henry Owings, of course) is to be enjoyed for nostalgic purposes only.

Fiddlehead Interview
Mike Haggerty (M) - bass, Geoey Cook (G) - vocals
2008-09-25 at 97 Estoria in Cabbagetown
James Joyce (J) – interviewer

J: Basically the idea was that I did the original Fiddlehead post on the blog without talking to either of you guys or Kip, I thought “all that stuff is pretty much out of print or really hard to find, and it’s some of the best local recordings out there”.

M: Unfortunately we’ve lost or taped over everything.  I’ve got some really great pieces like I’ve got one rejection letter from Jello Biafra and you can’t decipher what the fuck he’s saying.

G: But he liked our first single.

M: He loved us, and he said “thanks a lot, and we look forward to hearing more”, because Allied, the guy John Yates, was the graphic designer at AT (Alternative Tentacles), so he was going to hear all our stuff anyway, so Jello was like “I’m looking forward to hearing your record come out”, and then it was “sorry you didn’t make it to Alternative Tentacles”, but on the flip side…

G: I don’t think we would have been a good fit for AT anyway.

M: Yeah, they were kind of squirrelly at the time, but the thing with Allied was that they had such a varied sound. They really never had their own thing like a lot of the other labels did, and I think that was kind of their downfall, like an “emo-core” or something.

J: It was just too spread out.

M: It was really spread out. He really liked bands from the south for some reason, and that’s why he picked bands like Buzzoven and us and some other bands.

J: But it wasn’t so regional, it seemed like whatever he was into he would put out, like if it was from Chicago, or wherever.
G: He was a guy with a very wide variety of tastes. I remember when we were out with him in San Fran for 3 or 4 days, they guy was listening to everything from Jazz to AC/DC to the Jesus Lizard. But we met some neat bands. Strawman was a lot of fun, they were one of our label mates, we played some shows with them.

J: So much of the Allied catalog is gone because unless you listened to those bands or had those albums, they kind of disappeared. I don’t know where I could find a Strawman album these days.

G: A world of difference. And now I couldn’t even imagine the whole Myspace element to it, a completely different avenue to take now.

M: And even recording, Geoey was talking to Franklin doing that interview with the Swervedriver guy, and he was asking him “so who are you recording with?”…”recording with?” you don’t go to studios anymore, you got ProTools, you and your buddies sit around and top 40 records are made.

G: He was telling me he recorded a whole record of vocals on his Ibook.

M: Another thing is all of our stories … we didn’t have cameras. Video cameras were so expensive back then.

G: God I wish. I tried every year to get a video camera to take on tour, and I only knew two people that owned one and they were like “whoa, the thing’s like two thousand dollars, man, no way”.

M: And there’s really not a lot of video footage of us playing either.

J: It was kind of cool, like the “Waiting with Dave” stuff is heavy from that period, in it’s own way, but the “Deaf Waiter” stuff, Bruce turned down a little bit, took out a lot of the overdrive but it was wasn’t quiet music. It was kind of in this mutation stage, like the album after that would have come more to this point. It was really transitional, in a way. It’s kind of cool, because there’s not so many bands that are heavy and make quieter music that sounds anything like that. Sounds bizarre, really unique.

M: They kept billing us as avant garde, which I guess was like “nothing else like it, don’t really know what to tag it as”, and we got a lot of that. Of course there were people from the south always thought we sounded a lot like bands from Chicago, people from Chicago didn’t really see that element and saw more of the south in us, stuff like that.

J: What in the south did they see?

G: We got the Chicago sound more than anything.

M: I think there was kind of like a do it yourself, kind of backwoods, Slint-y kind of flair to it. I love Slint, and there’s no way them and us could ever be on the same league or playing field at all but sort of like that “twang”. Or whatever, that made it “not northern”. Or California, because California at the time was all “digigigigigi happy happy happy, political”, you know. Like “three chord monte” happy, political.

J: More pop-punk stuff.

G: And more like technical, I mean like the Jesus Lizard of course, that kind of sound, more mechanical, angry sound.

J: The type of rock that people of your age was making at that time. It was an element of the times, because a lot of those songs would be totally crazy to write them now, this is totally coming from somewhere else, but at the time it sounded more “in place”. My guess was that this is what the older guys were doing at the time. You didn’t really question it, you just thought it was cool.

M: We put a lot of time into making up the songs and putting them together in such a way, almost trying to throw the crowds off. Taking beats out, switching it up just a little bit. Basically we felt that all the little nuances on a record make it more durable. You can listen to it longer and go “wow, I never heard that little figure there before”. So we left a lot of that in there.

G: That’s a good way to put it, that it makes it more durable. And not that there’s any comparison between us and something like Bitch Magnet. Ben Hur, today is a great fucking album. It’s a great record because it has so many nuances, and so many layers.

J: That was from its time.

G: Very dated in the grand sense.

J: I wouldn’t say “dated” in a derogatory way at all, but that was the great music of that time. It took a long time for you guys to write songs. You said you would take a lot of time on songs, would you work on a song for a couple of months and really tear it apart? I know songs that Kip played on, Kyle played on later, and Kyle would totally switch it around drum-wise and bring in different dynamics to everything.

G: There was a lot of perfectionism in the band. There would be a never ending change of variations of the song. It would start out as one thing and end up as something totally different. We might take 5 or 6 months for that.

M: It was a big change for me, because when I was playing with John Brown, they guys that I was playing with were from GA Tech, and they were really rigid and would come in and have “A-prime, B-prime, C-prime”, and they would have this shit all mapped out. They would sit in their living room by themselves and they would come in and this was the song. Fiddlehead was never like that. There was never a controlled environment, it was always total chaos. We would come in with ideas, and it would be more of a jam session, but then it would result in a week or two, or maybe even a month of perfecting and pulling elements out and adding elements in. One of the contributions that I always ended making was that I was always the one to come up with the end of the songs. All the grandiose stuff, just basically taking things and tweaking it out a little bit, taking a beat out of it and adding something.

G: You would write a lot of the main stuff too. Some of our best songs Mike wrote without a doubt. Hard Genny, Waiting with Dave, Circles. All that early stuff.

M: Collaborating and working with Bruce, for the longest time that whole setup was very, very good. Basically it started coming apart when there was a lot of label interest, and it was too early of a time, you know, to be 21 and this lady from Warner Brothers telling us that we’re never going to have to work again and all this weird shit, and it fucks with your head. Then you record with Albini 3 months after Nirvana did, and then you have to sit and wait for all these people that sit in a room with all these suits on, and that was a different generation of AR at the time. They all died off and the next generation would have been totally like “hell yeah”.

J: That would have been the same era of the Jawbox’es, and other bands getting signed.

M: That’s what caused it – Nirvana’s going there and so is Fiddlehead. They thought we were going to be the next, in fact they offered us a spot in a gig in LA opening for Nirvana, but we couldn’t make it.

G: Yeah, and I regret that. We were supposed to play a seminar with Nirvana, and it was 3 or 4 months after that, Kurt was dead. I was like “damn, I wish we’d done that”. But it was one trip to LA, probably 2 grand.

M: We couldn’t finance it, we couldn’t have done it.

J: Realistically, these guys (the label) could have picked you guys up. I forget the terminology, when they pick you up and just hold you there. And then they just sit on you for a couple of years, and they just string you along and eventually they either put out your record and put you on that grind, or they just drop you.

M: It’s really weird because at the time Touch and Go was sending us letters, and we were recording with Albini and that recording was going in so many hands all at once and it was so nerve-racking. Just that whole experience, we should have recorded with David Barbe hands down. Hands fucking down.

G: It was interesting, we were talking with this girl from Touch and Go named Christa, right, and when we went up to Chicago, she just loved the Dod E stuff. So she was like “oh, can’t wait to hear this you guys, come by, we’ll do dinner, bla bla bla, whatever”, so we’re up there recording, and we dropped by unannounced, gave her the tape, and we never heard from her again. They were expecting that Dod E sound.

J: But then again, that’s such a monumental thing to do. To go back at that level and be like “let’s start over”. Fugazi can do it, but.
M: At that level, to have Steve Albini’s phone number, and to call him up, and to book a date, and to have Superchunk call and say “hey man…”

G: David Yow called when we were hanging around, and Steve was gone and the phone rang and I picked it up and I knew the second he said anything that it was David Yow.

M: Being young we were so impressioned by all that, and because we were such big fans of his but it was a big disaster, because it just didn’t turn out.

G: You don’t ever want to put together a record in front of somebody you have so much admiration for.

M: Half of those songs on the recording, most of those are single takes. We didn’t have a budget, we didn’t have a lot of time to do it, so basically everything was single take.

G: We did it in 3 days.

M: And it was all live. All separate rooms, and most of it me and Bruce were in the same room, and it was in his basement. You can imagine that setup, it’s pretty tight.

J: At that time, I guess. It’s funny, like on Refuel you can hear the difference recording it in a different place, like King Friday on both records. 

G: Overall it was a fantastic experience, and for me being so young, touring at that time was a whole different, not everybody was doing it at the level that we did. We did 3 national tours plus Canada. Those were the best summers I ever had. Just a blast, time of our lives.

J: No Europe, just US and Canada.
G: We were trying. We sold more records in Europe than anywhere.

M: That was the big dream. We never toured for our last record, so that was the plan, we were going to Europe.

J: It was all real patchy at that point, because after that record came out, it was really hard to see you guys.
G: There was only a couple of shows after that record came out.

M: We played the Rodan show and that was it.

J: I don’t even look at it that way, because to me it was a great local release. Local heroes that are making the big album, and the Dod E stuff the same way. This is a band playing cool music in our town that we can actually buy their album.

G: You can see them at Somber Reptile every weekend!

J: But they are on a national label, and they have real distribution. Everyone else is putting out their own 7”s, or demo tape.

M: That was my approach as a manager. I always thought outside the box, being Atlanta. I pretty much ignored Atlanta and started working the nation.

G: Mike was responsible for every out of town show. Booked all 3 tours using Book Your Own Fucking Life. He spent 8 months on the phone to put together a 6 week tour.

M: The other thing was, I would make decisions, and at the time you are 21, how the fuck are you going to make a decision about Warner Brothers?

G: You booked the first tour at 19, you turned 21 on the second tour.

M: I was really too young to be making these decisions.

J: But it’s good life training. Touring trains you for everything. So much about life I learned from touring or skating.

G: Absolutely.

M: Our first tour we fished change out of the capitol fountain. Me and Doug just rolled up and “fuck it, we’re hungry, we want a cheeseburger”. So that’s the kind of tour it was.

G: For me at that time, we were young, we were broke. I think I made $500 a month or something at the time. The first tour, we were hungry. We ate a lot of peanut butter and jelly. The second tour we basically broke even. I left home with $200, I came home with $200. And the last tour, I left home with $200 and came home with $400, so we could make a living off this, I was having the time of my life. When you’re that age, you can live off 5 bucks a day.

J: Did you use the band fund for everything you did on tour?

G: I forgot what the percentage was, but let’s say we got paid $100. Each person would get $10 and $60 would go into the gas.

M: These guys would steal whatever was left that we needed. Food, they were the biggest friggin thieves.

J: Would you leave town with $5 in your pocket and go “okay, I gotta make this work”?

M: Totally - it was nuts. Leave town, pay your bills and have a box of strings, and that was 50 bucks. I hope we can make it!

G: I remember we could totally easily live off of $5 each. We ate a lot of 69 cent bean burritos from Taco Bell, tons of peanut butter and jelly, junk.

M: Garbage – shit we would never eat now.

G: It was awesome times, and the thing that blew me away the most was that, when you play in town, pretty much you play for your friends, always. It’s always the same 30 people that are there.

M: Not after they did that Creative Loafing article. That show, there was so many fucking people there that I’ve never seen before that just showed up.

G: That’s true, but I’m talking about touring. From the beginning, and our biggest show we played was in Vancouver. We were 4000 miles from home, and we had people singing along, that knew the words, it was crazy.

J: That’s what Allied does for you.

M: There’s more fans in Europe than in the US.

G: We got lots of foreign fan mail, from France, Germany, Ireland. It was fun.

J: Did you play a lot of houses at first, or were you always sticking to clubs?

M: We kind of did. We payed our dues, like all other bands.

J: Playing clubs is paying dues too, at least at the house the person who lives there will be at the show.

M: We would take, for example, Green Day put an ad in MRR, “we’re going on tour, call our home number” and play a show with us. I was like “hey, what’s up Billy Joe, we’re in Atlanta and we want to set up a show” so we set up the shows. So that way, obviously we’re going to fucking open up, so we got Green Day coming. Shit like that.

J: And they would help you out, hopefully, in San Francisco.

M: Yeah, we did play in San Fran, but it wasn’t as a result of them. It was more from Allied. But we played with them, they were there.

G: That was at the moment that Dookie broke.

M: They had all brand new equipment, all that shit and it was packed.

G: It was a totally different scene. When we played with them here, they stayed a Mike’s house.

J: Was that the one at the Existentialist Church?

G: Yeah, we’ve got that on tape actually.

J: I missed that one. We couldn’t find it, that was the problem. We were driving around in a car. I was 15, and we could have been in another part of Atlanta for all I knew, but definitely not in Candler Park.
M: It’s so funny that it’s right there by Little 5.

J: And now you pass it everyday.

M: I don’t know how we found that venue, but that’s the kind of things that we were doing back then, which was thinking outside of the box of what most other people were doing. We would get in the van, and then try to find the venue and it would be some crazy shit like that. We also did Staab – John Staab from GI, we did a show for him there. It was a lot of fun meeting a lot of crazy new people.

J: Getting out of town is the big deal.
M: Then you become local legend. As soon as you leave town …

G: Everyone’s reaction is different. When you’re playing even in Charlotte, they’re like “you’re the out of town band, you’re not our friends that play here every night”. That was the thing that blew me away was that the reaction was totally different. We never get that at home.

M: There were some really great moments, like in Vancouver, and that other time when that guy said “oh man, my arm’s broken, I gotta get out of here” and he’s in the pit and we didn’t usually have a pit at our show, but we were in North Carolina, so they do pits there and he had a broken arm and he said “hey man, help me out” so I pull him onto the stage, they guy climbs onto the speaker set and dives into the crowd. Okay bro, help me out!

J: So there was Third Season, and you switch singers and you (Geoey) come in, and there’s Fiddlehead, Kip is gone and Kyle comes in and you knew Kyle from…

M: From a band called Figure. We saw them at the Wreck Room, and basically he said “I want to jam with you guys”, which we already had a drummer, so we all kind of huddled, and we were like “let’s just see what’s going on”.

G: The minute we saw him, we were like “damn, that kid’s good”. At the time he was like 13, drum solos like Neil Peart, it was insane. I don’t know if you ever heard any of the Figure stuff, but it was very radio friendly. So we were like “this kid’s great”, and then Mike and Bruce jammed with him, sort of behind Kip’s back.

M: We basically wrote “Waiting with Dave” in a day, and we were like “there’s no way we can not play this song again”.

J: It’s hard to go up against Kyle, that’s the deal. If you’re going to go up against Kyle, you’re going to lose.

G: He told us straight up that he wanted to play for our band, bottom line.

M: Kip has a handful of drum beats, he still does. And they’re good. And so does Kyle for that matter, but Kyle’s very dynamic.
G: Kyle’s got a lot of variety in him. He just throws all kinds of little extras in there and he’s got good stage presence.

J: Because you only had the Moneyman 7” and demo with Kip on it, and you did one or two tours with him?
M: We did one tour with him – in ’91.

J: And Kyle kind of ended the band as well. He moved on.

M: Yeah, he did. He moved to Athens.

J: And he was already in the Martians by that point. Because I remember he played with you guys at the Midtown Music Hall with Rodan, and the next night at the 40 Watt with the Martians and Rodan.

M: Yeah, and Kip got his just reward when he took Bruce. Kip pulled Bruce out of Fiddlehead for Freemasonry. We were about to get Jerry (Fuchs) to play drums for Fiddlehead. And Bruce quit before that happened.

J: That would have been a weird switch, because it would have been from Fiddlehead to Martians and Martians to Fiddlehead. Switching the drummers.

M: It was a big distraction, and it probably would have done us a lot of good not to have it happen. And I think I have a lifelong fear of success. There is something that always stops me a few steps short from really knocking a homer.

Here are also some random thoughts pulled together by Mike Haggerty:

The GNR story…

We were traveling across the upper 48 and going from the Midwest to the east coast. We had noticed a lot of the same nights we were overlapping dates that GNR were playing. So as we were cruising on a toll road in Pennsylvania, we came across two big tour busses. We had a hunch it was them but we confirmed it when we saw the backstage pass hanging in the driver’s window. At the time I thought they were a bunch of douchebags so I had the idea we ought to moon ‘em and write GNR on one of my ass cheeks and SUX on the other as we went by both tour busses. Our tour helper and comic relief manager, Doug Ahern had the task of writing it on my ass as we barreled down the highway just behind the GNR caravan. We went by the first bus with my ass hanging out and not much happened. As we passed the second bus you could see the silhouette of Slash’s fro and the cig dangling and a couple of bimbos sitting at a card table in the middle of the bus on our side. As we approached the bus the bimbos opened the window and hung out of the window, shot us a bird and were screaming fuck you! Doug managed to get the prep photos which are on the page. The tragedy of it was the he also slung open the side door of the van and tried to get the money-shot of the bimbos flailing but the camera was out of film or did not work.

There was a-whole-nother element to this band with regard to our mischievousness. Really, the other guys. The fact that if you did not pay us for our show as contracted we would often leave with a new microphone. We really did not care if we were blackballed. The Milwaukee story about the fire extinguishers and firecrackers is a good example of that. And you forgot to mention that we threw two packs of black cats in that house and then unloaded the entire fire extinguisher. The gutter punks wrote a whiney letter to our label saying we were a great band but we were a bunch of assholes. That evening we camped out and ate humbling “chicken dogs” roasted on a stick with much laughter. We were fearless. Bruce was at a punk show in the late 90’s and one of the bands playing was from Milwaukee. Anyways, the guy comes up to Bruce and says, “You ever heard of Fiddlehead?” Bruce did not know what to say and just hesitated long enough to let the guy say, “Those fucking guys trashed my friends house. What a bunch of assholes? I would like to have a word with them.” Bruce then answered, “No, man. I have never heard of them.”

When I played with Fiddlehead and opened up for Fugazi to a totally packed house at the Masquerade, I was a senior in high school. I remember chicks that would not speak to me in the halls at high school were all suddenly my friend. Some of them came up to say hi after the show. There was awkward conversation like ”Hi, I’m Cheryl. I was in your home-ec class.” I was officially a bad ass but I was so out of touch socially that I never realized it. Nor did I stray from my long-time girlfriend until that became a long distance deal much later.

I think the story of sort of a fearless abortion of a band and all our experiences would make a fucking awesome movie. I think people your age and mine are starving for something like that that shows cool old bands from the 90’s on the marquee again. To show the sense of naivety and optimism that existed before 911. When kids were heavily involved in the music scene. Back when Atlanta was not such a cosmopolitan city and still suffered from the damage done in the civil war and had kind of a bad name in the north and out west. Now A&R people look this direction and back then I don’t think people really did that much. Being from the south was a negative thing.

We got to meet all of our heros:
Kurt Cobain & Nirvana
Page Hamilton & Helmet
John Staab from G.I.
Bobby Sullivan from Soul Side
GvsB and the rest of Soul Side
Steve Albini
Green Day at the rise to their household brand
Volcano Suns

And that’s what was really priceless.


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Quadiliacha - The Truth Can Now Be Told

Here is the download: Quadiliacha Discography

1-4: from Butt Nasty Business Starring Nasty Ronnie split 7" with Tres Kids
5-16: from Es Muerto CD/10"
17: from Totally Fucking the 80's Compilation
18: from Bllleeeaaauuurrrggghhh A Music War 7"
19-47: from S/T CD (The Purple CD)
48-58: from Surprise and Vamanos A La Playa demos

7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 15 also appeared on Keeper of the Seven Bassplayers Japanese 7"
19, 25, 39 also appeared on We Can Never Die split 7" with Levelhead
34, 35, 36 also appeared on A Boy And His Car split 7" with Broken
21 also appeared on Unforeseen Disasters compliation 7"
20, 23 also appeared on Youth For Justice compilation CD
27 also appeared on Dead Fred: It was me that did it! compilation CD
30 also appeared on Kamikaze attacked America, Yankee bombed Hiroshima, Nagasaki compilation CD
31 also appeared on Attaining the Supreme compilation CD
32 also appeared on ABC's of Punk Rock compilation CD
37, 38 also appeared on Surprise demo

Quadiliacha is the proverbial elephant in the room if you are talking about Atlanta music in the nineties. These guys took their lumps, played more shitty shows, drove more miles, and pushed harder than almost every band in this town. They also played amazing shows, and had a great time doing it, which is all we can hope to do. I won't go on and on about Quadiliacha, because I will leave it to everyone else and their comments, but I conducted an interview with Will Greene back on October 1 about Quadiliacha and their legacy. I hope you enjoy it, and keep in mind this was about 1:00 in the morning after a show, so he was a little drunk by this point. He wanted me to let everyone know that in case he comes off sounding like a dick. Also, it can be difficult to translate Will's conversational style into words, as there are a lot of random sound effects and slang thrown in everywhere, but I did my best:

The discussion begins around the various Quadiliacha releases:

WG: The 10” was recorded at Morris Sound in Tampa – Steve Heritage from Assuck said “come down here to record” and he was becoming a good friend of mine, Greg’s and everybody’s.

At the time, I booked them a couple of times in Athens and in Atlanta, actually at your old house (the Driverdome).

JJ: Yeah, I saw them there.

WG: I booked that show with Phoofer (sp.), which was me, Greg and Greg’s little brother, and Meir.

JJ: It seems like it was always you, Greg and Clay in these bands and projects, like when I first saw the Carbonas play.

WG: Actually it was BJ and Greg, he had started the Carbonas with Greg and Dave and Jeremy, but two months later I moved to Atlanta before I went to Japan, and they were like “we’re booting BJ and you’re in the band”. It was like “whatever, just teach me the songs” so I ended up writing stuff and helping them out and enjoying it and we put out that first LP of Carbonas stuff, and then I quit and Clay took my place.

(we start talking a little about the various Quadiliacha releases). The Tres Kids split 7” - that was the last thing we put out.

Basically everything before 1995 is on that CD (the purple CD).

There’s a couple of songs from the demos that didn’t make it onto the purple CD, and there’s a couple of songs on the purple CD that aren’t on anything else, and it’s just stupid fucking shit, Dag Nasty cover, there’s a bunch of dumb shit we did like a joke.

JJ: I remember all the end stuff. It was like a side project.

WG: Yeah, Dead Ewok, it’s all just jokes. And there was Catastrophe, which did Catastrophic Thrash Dismemberment, which is about banging your head so hard it explodes. That was written by Greg and Clay. Mat Hunter was obsessed with doing a Danzig cover, so we did a Samhain cover “Kiss of Steel” mixed with “We” by Misfits which is totally gay. Then we did a Dag Nasty cover, which is the worst. Justin actually chose that one. Justin McNoot.

JJ: The original bass player.

WG: All of the purple CD was recorded with Issa Diao, between the old one (Sleepless Nights Studios) in Candler Park and the one in Decatur that’s now a fancy restaurant.

JJ: Actually, the building is gone.

WG: What was the other band that was there?

JJ: I don’t remember, but they were making music for commercials that they would sell, like little jingles.

WG: That was a weird place.

JJ: So it was always you and Greg and Clay, and I know of four bassplayers, is that true?

WG: We had, of course the Japanese 7” is called “keeper of the seven bassplayers” because there were actually seven people that rolled through.

At this point now it’s eight because in Richmond where we did that last show for ever and ever, we got hoodwinked into doing that fest up there and a guy named Jesse who plays in the Bukkake Boys, he played in the Frantic, he’s a younger guy but he picked up the baton as number eight. But seven – who are the four you know of?

JJ: Justin (McNeight), Mathis (Hunter), Mark (Walters), I didn’t know him at the time, but he emailed me with technical stuff, and the guy from Tres Kids right? No, the guy from Pink Panties?

WG: No, who are you thinking about?

JJ: I thought you got one guy to tour with.

WG: The guy you were thinking of was Robbie from Five by Nine, that was 1995. So it was Justin, Mat Hunter, Ken Saluzzi for one show, Matt Monroe, I played bass on recording, Mark Walters, I’m wondering who the other one was. I played bass for the Tres Kids, because their bassplayer was popping too many pills and they told him to go away.

So we (Tres Kids) were up in Binghamton, NY, 3rd show in after taking over for bass and we show up, I don’t know if you’ve ever been to Binghamton, it’s a big piece of crap on a mountain in New York state. It’s a town nestled in these mountains and Tres Kids show up. Quadiliacha and Tres Kids played the night before in Syracuse, and Quadiliacha went home and I stayed on with Tres Kids to finish up, and we end up at this kid’s house booking the show, and it was totally the worst horrible tour story you can think of. It’s not even a club, it’s not even a space, it’s some guy’s house who lives with his mom and he’s like “uhhhh…” but he’s not even gonna have the balls to say the show is off, he’s says “well, I guess you can play in my basement”. In his mom’s basement, and it’s this new house on top of this mountain, so we already see it and we’re like “fuuuck”. So we go buy some cases of beer and sit on top of this mountain and drink until this kid is like “go ahead and play” in front of him and his sister, and like two of his friends that he called. Tres Kids go, and they start getting naked, crazy naked, weird naked, and his mom comes down while we were all naked running around, and his mom freaks out and goes “I’m calling the police!” So we had to run, and it’s so stupid because we weren’t doing anything bad, like taking a crap in somebody’s hand, we were just running around like “bloooolooooloooo!” (Will Greene sound effect), so we had to pack the van real quick and leave, just because his mom came down to witness her son’s debacle and seeing a band they didn’t know get naked in his basement. That was Tres Kids, but no Tres Kids were ever in Quadiliacha.

JJ: Did you ever leave a show after you got there, and just bailed without playing?

WG: We did that in Cleveland once, we showed up and they were fucking weird, it was a weird scene and we left. In Seattle we showed up once, and it was another band that had set it up for us, and their van broke down in Idaho and they had to go home and they were going to meet us in California. So there were about two shows that they weren’t going to be able to make and they said “go on and go”, so we went and they were crap. We showed up to one and it was at this horrible/nasty/doo doo infested punk house, and it’s like “ughhhhh”. I’m not turning my nose up, but these guys are like “uh…yeah I guess there’s a show”. See ya – I’d rather sit at Kenny Rogers Roasters, or whatever.

JJ: Would you even tell them, or would you just say “yeah, we’ll be back in a minute” and just leave?

WG: That’s what we would do, you know us. What are you going to do? Cause you’re going to get in some kind of confrontation. The first time we toured was out of high school, it was ’95 and we had met you in ’93. It was ’95 and we had graduated Senior year, Justin had quit and we brought Robbie from Five by Nine.

JJ: That was after Mathis.

WG: That was after Mathis – you know what, that was not true. Mathis was recording with us when I was in UGA.

JJ: I think it was in ’96 because I remember going to his last show with you guys at BLTs, and I remember Jeff J. Jawk pegged you with a cup or something, and there was this really intense moment where you saw him peg you, and you just dropped your guitar in the middle of the song and went straight out into the audience to beat the shit out of him, and Jeff bolted or something, and there was this classic moment when you got up on stage, got on the mic and went into this rant about Jeff, just screaming at him, which is always so entertaining when the singer will go into a rant in the middle of a song. I thought it was hilarious.

WG: He needed it. He grew up with us, but he could pick the fight, man. That’s what he could do. That’s the funny thing about tonight, watching our old buddies play, watching Gray play with you. That’s amazing to see our dumb fat assess up there still playing.

JJ: I don’t know how much longer it can go. I guess as long as somebody will give us a show. That’s cool, otherwise I will just be playing your house or something.

WG: That’s how I see it. I’d rather do that anyway, fuck that bunch of bullshit. I don’t need a bunch of club shows anyway.

So, we did the first tour. The first tour was with Levelhead, and it was a complete bomb. We had a couple of records out, we just took our balls out and went on tour. We love Levelhead, we used to play half our shows, total of everything with Levelhead.

JJ: Levelhead, to me they were more like, really good, but more traditional pop punk band.

WG: Yeah, but they ripped it up. It wasn’t this kind of Screeching Weasel-ey kind of stuff, I don’t know, I hate to use names. Jay Neubert did it his own way, in such a good way, the way he played guitar, and they fit in with all of our stuff. We had a great mix of things going on, I think, back even in Somber Reptile times.

JJ: What I was saying was, when you listen to Levelhead, you hear some Jawbreaker, and other stuff, but when you listen to Quadiliacha, you hear Quadiliacha. It’s like you were melodic but at the same time you brought in all these crazy bands. You were on comps with Blownapart Bastards, and In-Humanity, so you’re taking those kind of influences, and making it melodic and not being dramatic (I start rambling).

WG: Greg started putting out a fanzine about grindcore when he was in fifth grade. He was big into demo trading. They were friends (Greg and Justin) before I met them. I met them in 10th grade, when I moved to the school we all went to. We got to be friends, and I was already getting into a lot of DIY stuff, I had bought copies of Maximum Rock n’ Roll but I got into that and then Greg just blew my mind. We got into a whole bunch of stuff together. Greg, Clay and Justin were playing in this heavy, heavy-metal band, Carcass style metal when they were in 10th grade called Precosthemus (sp.). Then we started doing the stuff that Quadiliacha was doing. But as it grew, we fell into a lot of different arenas because I was listening to DIY, Citizens Arrest, Gorilla Biscuits but at the same time I was listening to Wedding Present and Samiam and stuff like that. Which Greg disdains, he really doesn’t like that kind of stuff. Even though he likes pop, of course, now. He is just very particular, honestly, and I like the grind and I like the aggressive music and I like the melodic and that’s how I would introduce the songs. Greg is an aggressive player, period, especially on drums. Clay is hyper melodic, but really metal-y, of course with his guitaring and that’s what we could take advantage from him. The combination of the four fucking weirdos. The bassplayer Mark actually, the problem is, if you can’t tell, is not that the bassplayers didn’t have their own input or whatever, but the bassplayers rotated, and they just needed to figure out what they were comfortable with playing. I don’t think, I hope I never treated them that way. Justin wrote several of the earlier songs, but of course he just lost interest and then of course went into Thenceforward. Which was it’s own little beast. That’s a funny thing, I think if anything makes Justin cringe, it might be that.

JJ: I’ll have to ask him sometime.

WG: Yeah, but the thing about the band, it just petered out, you know, because I was disinterested in writing songs for that band anymore.

JJ: You did it like, four years into college? How far into college?

WG: Started in ’93 and ended in January ’99.

JJ: So you graduated college by that time?

WG: No, I didn’t graduate from college until 2000. I was on the five year plan too. But that’s when it started getting bigger and bigger, and that’s when we really stopped playing Atlanta. And we only toured. Starting in ’95, we did Summer of ’95 and we did a week or two in the wintertime. That following winter I think we did a week with Hickey in the Southeast, and then the following Spring we did two weeks. We went on one with Mathis – I’ve got dirty stories about Mathis. Something dirty happened to Mathis the same night I was sleeping in the bed with Greg in the back room, and I had my first and only wet dream (laughter), in the bed, with Greg King. And it embarrasses him. I don’t know if it embarrassed me or not, because I wasn’t dreaming about him so it doesn’t bother me. But I woke up and I had to confess, and to this day it really scares the shit out of him.

JJ: Gives him the chills.

WG: Gives him the Wills.

JJ: I have this theory about bands in high school. It’s very difficult to have a band in high school and make it last through college. There is a difference between a high school band and a college band.

WG: You know what was happening to us when we were in high school, we already had a comp out in Kentucky that was a CD with 10 bands from Japan and 10 bands from the US put out by MCR and Sound Pollution. We had the comp out in Savannah that had In-Humanity, Blownapart Bastards, Passive Fist comp. We were on Attaining the Supreme with you guys. You guys were doing that.

JJ: It was right as we were graduating high school that Car Vs. Driver started, but I look at the Midget Farmers, that was my high school band.

WG: We were on the level of Car Vs. Driver while we were in high school, as how I would put it, if we were talking about the two of us. We were already putting out national stuff at the time, and we were already doing out of town shows before we graduated high school. And then when we graduated high school, we already had a record coming out in Japan, and then in Germany. Following in ’95, when I went to college that first year. That’s why I studied Japanese, and when you end up looking at it, that’s why I went to Japan. We were just going at it by the fucking throat, and Car vs. Driver was as well, that’s why you guys are still a household name around here. Because you guys killed it, and I guess that’s what I was going for.

JJ: It was always US tours that you did.

WG: We went into Canada once, for a couple of days. We were planning a serious Japanese tour in ’98 when I was just … fuck it. I just started working.

JJ: It’s hard to keep the inertia.

WG: Well, there were just several things coming down at once for me, and it was no skin off anyone else’s back, really. Well Clay, I think Clay was pretty bummed out. If anything, you should really talk to Clay, he has got a lot to say I’m sure. And stories. Clay picked up strays a lot, on tour. We picked up Sloth – you remember him. He was my buddy, and that’s how we met up with him, that’s a crazy story.

We had gotten in touch with Sloth, and he was living at his grandmother’s house in Terry Hill outside of Lancaster in the middle of Amish banana land. It is what you see in the movies, it is fucking Witness. They’re raising barns out there and shit. So we show up and Sloth is like “Hey!!!”, and we’re just standing by the car and this short school bus shows up, and this Asian dude gets out and Sloth goes “we’re taking you guys to dinner – Get In”. His Asian buddy is like a motorcycle racer, and this van is reconfigured for his bikes. So we are like “all right”, and we get in there and it’s Sloth and this dude and that’s all that’s in there, and we’re driving hauling ass down these really narrow old Dutch Pennsylvanian weirdo roads. It’s like 5 or 6 in the evening, and these Amish men and women are out on their bikes. We’re hauling down this road and they’re like “Weeieigh!” (unintelligible screaming) Sloth is crazier than shit, and there was like an emergency hatch, and he’s hanging out and they’d come up on these Amish guys and he’d go like “blaalala!” screaming at them, and they would fall off, and Clay was dying. I was just like “uhhh” (in shock). We weren’t even 21 yet, I was 19 and thinking “is this for real?” So we end up at the Olive Garden, and there’s a whole car full of his other friends, and they’re grabbing each others asses and being silly. At that point in my age, I was pretty silly, but I wasn’t silly like that, like just didn’t give a shit whatsoever. We get into this Olive Garden, and they’re like “seat us in the middle!” So they put us in the middle, and the bread and salad starts coming, and they’re just fucking throwing it everywhere, and we’re like “what, fuck, what’s going on?”, and it’s a funny lesson to me in how much I don’t give a fuck, and it didn’t like a couple years later, not just to be stupid, and it’s not disrespectfulness, but it’s just – have a fucking good time! You know, and these guys are laughing, being silly, and the pasta starts coming out and it’s going all over the fucking walls. And they start chucking water at each other, and they’re like shooting their cokes at each other, and I can’t remember exactly who it was, and I would say it was Sloth but I don’t know, but somebody took one of their glasses and throws the water across the table, and the glass slips out of their hand, hits the table, breaks, lands on the guy’s leg and cuts a gash literally an inch and a half, two inches long, and he stood up and it just opened, like in slow motion. And he gets up and looks at it and the blood starts gushing, and he goes “waaahaaahaaa”, and starts laughing. We’re like “oh my fucking god”, and he goes “I don’t even have health insurance, you gotta be fucking kidding me”. And the motorcycle guy says “don’t worry, I got a first aid kit”. So they take him out, and while everybody is skateboarding in the parking lot, he just stitches this guys’ leg up right in the fucking parking lot in this dirty old motorcycle bus. And that was awesome.

That was like our second year of touring, and by the fourth year I was a much better man, I could be stitching up Clay’s leg, we were being dumbasses. You know, it’s just funny to Greg and their stories about touring now in the Carbonas, it’s so horrible some of the shit they end up doing. We were kids – we were little! Think of Car vs. Driver, if you look at it now, you guys were kids then. The fact that we were able to get that done then, at that age is even still to me, people go “that was impressive”. It was what we were doing, and in our hearts, it was what we had to do. And it sounds cheesy to say it that way, but that’s what we had, that was the time. I don’t think I need to get that back or whatever, but it’s funny to see people who have that time nowadays, and they’re able to go out and tour, and they’re hitting it hard, and it’s more business. To them it means “we’ve gotta do this” or something, but we didn’t have that feeling. We really did get to do it DIY.

JJ: Bands back then, that’s all you did, and that was all you could hope for. There are bands now that are around for six months and all of a sudden they can become the biggest thing in the world. With the information available, and everything, it’s totally different. You can go out there, and in the back of your head you can think “this band could blow up”. When we were in bands, nothing was going to fucking blow up. You just drive to the next town, you have a good time, and that was your summer vacation. It’s better than working at the fucking movie theater. Or Pizza Hut.

WG: I worked at the movie theater, so did you. Me and Greg worked at that General Cinema at Parkside for like 2 years… The funny thing about the reunion stuff – it wasn’t about money, it wasn’t about nothing, it was kind of a combination of all the above, but I tell you what, before we stopped playing if we played a show anywhere in Georgia it would have been nothing. If we played a show in Albany, New York it would have been like the show that was our reunion show. When we played in different cities back then it would be big, and that’s why we stopped playing Atlanta. We play Atlanta like nine years later and it’s like crazy, you know? I’m really happy about it, it was great, and people were saying “you should keep playing”. But the thing is, I want to do new things, you know, and to rehash on some old energy is a lot of fun for one night. You’ve done that before with Car Vs. Driver, the reunion.

JJ: Yeah, but it was almost like there was this pressure, like you know you only have this one chance to play it right.

WG: I feel good about what happened in Atlanta. We did one in Florida and that one went well as well, but then we did this one in Richmond, and I broke six strings, but we didn’t get grumpy, I just jumped out in the middle of the crowd and went, like nuts, and played basically half of a full set. I felt like I ripped people off, people came up to me and were like “I flew from New York to see it” and I’m like “I’m so sorry”, and they were like “no, it was good to see you”, but there’s no way I can take that for legit, but then I can’t worry about it because when you boil it all down, and it sounds kind of nasty or whatever, but it is kind of a weird ego trip, and I should be happy that that person is still happy and just say “thank you, I appreciate that”. Because I shouldn’t be doing this anyway, because this band doesn’t even exist anymore. We were just invited to play because they guy doing kind of talked us into doing it. It’s that teetering edge of feeling like you just ripped somebody off and going “well, thanks. I appreciate it”. You feel like an old crap for breaking six strings, and that person flew from wherever they flew from. But the thing is, what I learned about doing it is that you can’t worry about it. It’s fucking fun, and that’s one of the hardest things I think about when playing music again, and I’ve seen it bite me in the face with the recent band I was playing with. If you start taking things too fucking seriously, it will boil up on you. And you know what, I would much rather be playing someone’s house, than being the next big thing or whatever. I want to be getting into different types of music, and it’s good for all of us, for you playing in the different bands you’ve played in, for me playing in different bands. Greg – Carbonas have been around for six years and he’s starting a new project, and I’m like “good, good, good!”

Lastly, Mark Walters, the final bassplayer from Quadiliacha, had the following stories, etc. to relate:

One of my favorite stories was from tour, I think summer of '96 but I'm not positive, when we were driving and Clay started getting really antsy in the back.You could tell something was bothering him, but wasn't exactly sure what. Finally he just blurted out... "pull over!... hurry!". We're in the middle of absolutely no where in the woods. Greg pulls to the side and Clay jumps out of the van before we've even pulled to a complete stop. We end up next to a hill and Clay goes running as fast as possible down the hill and hides behind a bush near the bottom. Will ends up throwing him zines so that he can "clean up". We even had a picture (I hope Will still has it) of Clay's arm coming up above a bush with a zine in his hand.

We've played some great shows... I'm sure Will can fill you in more on our Goat Farm show with Greg and Clay chasing a goat around.

I'll definitely try to think of some more. Its been so long, but I think the memories will be there forever.

Here is the artwork for the Es Muerto CD/10":

This is the artwork from the self-titled CD, which was a compilation of many different odds and ends that they had recorded up to that point:

Here is the artwork from the split 7" with Tres Kids, which was their last release:

Here is the artwork from the Japanese 7", which has several different inserts for some reason:

Here is the artwork from the split 7" with Levelhead:

Here is the artwork from the split 7" with Broken:

Here is the artwork from the Bllleeeeaaauuurrrrgghhh! 7" compilation:

Here is the artwork from the Unforeseen Disasters compilation 7":

Finally, here is the artwork from their first two demos:

Thursday, January 15, 2009

This is now, that was then.

First and foremost I want to thank James so much for a) starting this whole blog to document our musical histories and b) invite me to contribute. I have obsessive compulsive disorder which makes me an anal-retentive perfectionist as well so needless to say I have held on to anything and everything punk related that has ever crossed my path. It is so nice to now have a forum to share all of this shit that has driven my wife crazy all these years by taking up space in our home.

So a little introduction to those of you who don't know me. I was born Bradley Stephen Castlen in the year of our lord, 1976, in Louisville, KY. My family was living across the Ohio River in New Albany, IN at the time. I have a half-sister who is eight years older than me so she got me into heavy metal at the ripe age of 6, but Kiss was everything to me as a young 'un. I had a pair of drumsticks and would bang on the floor and furniture along to their records. One day my sister and I caught the show Night Flight when they aired a Bauhaus concert. From then on we were both forever changed. In the summer of 1986 before I started the 5th grade our family moved to Lawrenceville, GA in search of jobs. The first friend I made at school was a guy by the name of John Grant. He had an older brother who was into hardcore punk and I got to hear my first "mix" tape. On it was the Dayglow Abortions, D.R.I., S.O.D., and C.O.C. amongst others. I was hooked. I also got my first skateboard then and started riding that Nash with buzzsaw griptape down our steep hill daily. After just one school year my parents decided Lawrenceville was not a place to live at all and we moved to Lilburn. In the sixth grade punk rawk and skateboarding consumed me and I have been plagued by them both ever since. I have always jokingly said to never let your kids fuck their lives up like we all have with music...

My first concert was Kiss/Black & Blue in Louisville, KY at Freedom Hall on their Asylum Tour in 1985. I was nine. My sister had a friend who worked at the hall and he tried to get us back stage. We got to THE door and were cock blocked by a security guard who said Kiss had left the building.

My first local show. I was hanging out at the Gwinnett Place Mall's video arcade. Mike Bryant from Crisis Under Control was always there passing out fliers. You'd get in trouble if the mall security caught you so he'd hide them inside a Creative Loafing. It was kinda like selling drugs or something; "Psst, hey you with the skater cut. You like punk? Take a flier and don't tell your parents" kinda deal. I got a flier for this show and there was a guy older than me there by the name of Jeff Weese. I had skated with him once or twice since we had mutual friends so I asked if he was going to the show. He said yes and agreed to take me and my friend Jason Harp. Many years later I signed up for an Adobe Photoshop class at the Atlanta College of Art and low and behold Mr. Weese was the teacher, all tattooed and shit. So anyways we go to Milo's and Such As... were on first and they were hilarious. They weren't that bad musically but their spastic singer/bassist Steve Wishart was trying to rock out so hard he kept cutting the power off on the band. EVERYTHING ran through that power-strip and it was on the stage floor in front of the drumkit. It must've happened at least four times during their set. Act of Faith were damn good. I was in awe that local guys could be that rehearsed and sound like things I was listening to at home. I thought Steve Bolton had great presence at the time. I can't remember for sure but I think he might've had liberty pins or Colin G.B.H. hair at that show! I don't remember the Lost at all. The main memory I have though is the scary skinheads. NAZI skinheads to be exact. There were about five or six of them. They were B-I-G and had on Ku Klux Klan shirts. One of the skins was a guy named Brian "Dude" McDugal. They were rough as hell in the pit and my friend Jason got his t-shirt ripped almost completely off of him. This was before skinheads stabbed someone in Little Five Points and got pushed out to Marietta.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Many Updates, New Activity

For those out there that do not get the Atlanta weekly paper, Creative Loafing, they did a piece on me and the blog last week, which I have attached here. The full Q&A can be accessed through this link:

Creative Loafing James Joyce Article

So I have received many great responses from locals that have read it and checked out the site, so thanks so much for your interest and love of Atlanta's recent musical past. A guy named Brian Poust runs a similar blog and website dedicated to Georgia's Soul music history, which to me would be more obscure and a much tougher challenge to document, so I commend him on that effort. I have received almost everything from my want list, so I have updated it with new items (please see down on the right).

New posts upcoming will include the Quadiliacha discography including an interview with singer/guitarist Will Greene, a Fiddlehead 2nd post including five live shows and an interview with singer Geoey Cook and bassplayer Mike Haggerty, more live Car vs. Driver shows, more live Freemasonry shows, live Barrel recordings, and even hopefully the Dirt Live at WREK. Furthermore, I have received flyer collections from Matt Mauldin, Gray Kiser, and soon Chuck Petrakopoulos, so I will start an Atlanta flyer archive which will be centrally located for viewing.

Probably the most exciting development is the addition of a guest contributor to this blog. Brad Castlen, the singer for Crisis Under Control among several others, has contacted me and offered his support in providing archive materials from his vast collection. He is similar to me in my obsession for organizing and cataloging records, pictures, flyers, etc. from our hometown scene. He comes from a similar background in the same era, but in a way complementary to mine, so I believe he can provide a wealth of great content for this blog from his perspective. Also, my personal commitments only allow me to make a post or two per week, so I think he will be good at covering more ground than I can in certain aspects of the Atlanta scene, and provide good material to peruse every week.

Update: I have also opened the door to Scott Wishart so he can do some guest postings on the blog. If you don't remember him, he was the drummer of Scout, Ostinato, Such As, and several others over the years. He has been living in Charlotte for a while now, and runs his own record store, conveniently named Lunchbox Records. He also has many good suggestions for posts, so we should be seeing some real momentum here on the blog.

Thanks for checking everything out, and let me know your comments, requests, suggestions, etc.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Hidden Partners

Two old friends of mine, and musical partners since about 1993 have been expressing themselves on the blogosphere lately, with impressive results. Matt Mauldin's blog is more personal, but provides and outlet for him to post stories and lyrics he's been working on, and other random information:

Matt Mauldin's Blog - Hidden Partner

Gray Kiser's blog is more musical in nature, but includes great writing as well. He recently compiled an unofficial compilation of great Atlanta bands of the "noise rock" variety that are currently active and can be seen in our local venues right now:

These bands are as good as anything coming out of this town (or any other town) in the past 20 years, so if you are a fan of this kind of music, by all means go check them out.

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: