Thursday, October 15, 2009

Ananke - This Was It (December 2001)

Here is the download: Ananke - This Was It

I wrote the following summary for the Stickfigure Records site, but Gavin hasn't included it yet. He's a busy guy, but it's okay because I still owe him plenty of stuff myself, so we're even.

In the Fall of 2001, Benjamin Lukens made plans to leave his hometown of Atlanta to New York City to continue his college education, but wanted to form one last band with his old friends in town for the purposes of quickly writing a few songs, recording, and playing a few shows before moving away. With him on bass, he enlisted his friends Alex LaRoche (guitar), formerly of Go Back To Europe, Sean Greathead (guitar) formerly of Wheeljack and lastly James Joyce (drums), who he had played previously with in The hal al Shedad. James came up with the name Ananke, who was the Greek goddess of destiny, necessity and fate, from a Stanislaw Lem short story he read. They wrote five songs and learned one cover song ("Natural's Not In It" by Gang of Four) in about six weeks and played three shows: one at the EARL, one at the Echo Lounge, and one at the Stickfigure Headquarters' C-12 Warehouse. The original songs were recorded by Alex LaRoche at the Under The Couch studio at the end of Georgia Tech finals week, and a small run of CDRs were produced for the Stickfigure CDR label. They were not around long enough to truly develop their sound and music, and the songs themselves were never formally titled. However, the tracks on this demo have an interesting, spontaneous feel that you do not get from more established bands. Only Ben and James had played together before this point, so there is definitely a sense of learning about each other's musical attributes and abilities in these songs, and some interesting ideas result. I believe the band wrote one song at each practice, and then immediately played them live, so this was a nice challenge musically for everyone involved. After the New Year, Ben and Sean moved to New York City and formed another similar band of Atlanta transplants called Amverts, Alex moved to Austin to begin his career in the computer industry, and James joined a few more bands before moving to Amsterdam, continuing his career in the pharmaceutical industry. This recording is essentially a snapshot of a group of friends getting together on their last college days to have one last creative musical experience before moving on to the next stage of their lives.

Listening back on the recording again, it's really striking to me at how inventive and creative of a guitarist Sean Greathead is. The guy has a style all his own, and I'm kind of disappointed that he moved to NY soon after this as I would love to have kept playing with him. I also liked playing with Alex as well, he is a funny guy and has a nice laid back attitude for playing music that is so beneficial to have in a band. This was also the first band I played in after the whole DIY music paradigm shift occurred, making it possible to make decent home recordings and release a CD-R of your band immediately and with relatively no cost. We never had to book time at a real studio, and we didn't need to convince a label to put out our music. We did it ourselves, and have a decent recording and package to show for it. Not bad.

According to my notes, we actually played four shows - the first one at the EARL with Copa Vance, the second at the Echo Lounge with Astroblast and Audomobil (see flyer below), a third at Squaresville with Ocelot and The Love God Murder, and the last at C-12 with Airoes, An Albatross, The Tom Brokaw Has Anthrax (great post 9-11 name), and Ultivac - see flyer below. I thought Blame Game also played this show, but maybe my memory is faulty on this one. And I have no memory whatsoever of Ananke playing at Squaresville with Ocelot and LGM, so maybe that one fell through.

Here is the rest of the artwork from the CD-R.

Here is also a video taken from the last show:

1 comment:

  1. James, we definitely played at Squaresville. I remember getting my nose ring getting caught on a Mic and I was totally embarrassed because Jesse was standing right in front of me.