Wednesday, December 30, 2009

DC Beggars: A short trip to the Rathouse

Although it is kind of late, I’ll give it a try to see if that Santa costume still fits me. Now, five days after Christmas and before breaking into the new year, I’ll try to make some grunge fanatics happy by spreading the word about another unspoken and requested band, namely DC Beggars.The band story began in 1989 after Carla Sindle left Ohio for Seattle leaving behind the punk rock band Fallen Chandaliers. A year later she became the lead singer for the just-formed band DC Beggars. The band membership included Carla Sindle on vocals, Adrian Garver on bass, Steve”Hougie” Gero on drums and Julian Gibson on guitar. In the same year the band moved into the Rathouse (19th and Denny Way, Seattle) which was actually a practice space at the Central District. Other bands that fit that crew were The Gits (they actually owend the house), Officer Down, 7 Year Bitch and Alcohol Funny Car. In 1991 DC Beggars were featured on the first Rathouse release, Bobbing For Pavement - A Seattle Compilation, the band’s contribution were two songs, Tale Of Lies and Narrow As A Sin. Other bands featured here: Gas Huffer, The Gits, Bay of Pigs, Big Brown House, Hammerbox, My Name and The Derelicts (this compilation was re-released on CD in 1994). Same year (that is 1991) the band made their second appearance which was actually the second Rathouse release You're So Pretty But You Make Me Sick 7’’.

Not much I could find on the internet about the next band’s release, that is: Love, Money, and Power 7" EP (Smiilin' Ear) in 1992. What I did find interesting was actually a little review taken from 10 Things Jesus Wants You To Know fanzine:
Finally over a year later we get another offering from this wonderful underrated punk band. Deathtrip is unlike their past stuff, it's heavy pounding with snarling vocals and very powerful. The songs on the flipside are the Beggars I remember, powerful female vocals and the guitars, bass and drums are definitely heavier. Black Moon Rising reminds me of early Siouxsic. This bands deserves an album now! --Dan
Their best release to date. A-side is an atypical Beggars tune--more melodic and less thrashy then usual, and it works really well . Great song. Flipside is more what you'd expect, showcasing singer Carla's Jello-like vocals. –Parker

From ’90 to ’93 the Beggars’ did extensive tours in USA, Canada and Europe. Finally the band was featured on another compilation called Power Flush: San Francisco, Seattle & You released by Broken Rekids and Rathouse Records featuring Seattle bands such as Alcohol Funny Car, 7 Year Bitch and The Gits. Sadly, same year, Mia Zapata is murdered, DC Beggars dissolves, and the Record Label resigns.

I would be really glad to see some comments on this post. Also if any of you have the Love, Money, and Power EP or You're So Pretty 7’’ please send me a link with them.
Now late-Santa Dan is sitting comfortable on his chair wishing you all a Happy New Year.

from Bobbing For Pavement - A Seattle Compilation

Tale Of Lies

Narrow As A Sin

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Does MyHairsprayQueen love Seattle Hardcore Acts?

Part 1: Jesters Of Chaos

This is the first piece of writing that I’ve ever done on a Seattle hardcore band. I won’t post Mr Epp or Limp Richerds as you might have expected. I’m happy to surprise my readers once again with a post about Jesters Of Chaos. The idea for a Jesters’ post stroke me about two weeks ago, after finding a Discharge 7’’ in a record store.Somehow a connection formed in my a way, those English dogs reminded me of the Jesters. Although the band fits more into the wide variety of UK political punk rather than into the noisy hardcore of northwest…Jesters of Chaos played a significant part in the early Seattle Punk scene during the late 80's.

The band formed in 1985 in Seattle. They had numerous changes of drummers and bass players, the only constant member remaining Jeffro (voice), Maddy (guitar) and Kenny (second guitar). They finally set with a solid line-up in’87, now, also including Tyler on drums and Theo on bass. In ’88 the band recorded 13 songs (only 4 of them made it to vinyl) and a self titled Ep (released by Horton/Reflex Records) including the songs: Behind a mask, A message, Violent States Of America and Murder of the church.

I couldn’t find much information about the band on the web …I assume they split up in the early ‘90s. Lead signer, Jeffro, died in ‘92 due to a fatal motorcycle accident. Except Maddy, who now plays in The Bloodclots (myspace here) there is nothing I could find about the others. I know I’m forgetting something now…oh, yes…They shared bills with: Subvert, The Derelicts, Aspirin Feast, Coffin Break, A.M.Q.A, No Means No, Accused, SGM, Poison Idea, Soundgarden, Skin Yard, and other few more.

Jesters Of Chaos - Demo Cassette

I grabbed a(n) (almost) 19 minutes long mp3 (from this page here) with the full demo cassette of the band. So check this page up…lots of diy hardcore punk, covering Seattle and Portland as well. See you next time.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Special Guest Post. Not another dead Seattle record label!!!

Sorry about the lack of posts lately, but I've been a little busy with the beginning of my second year at collage...also with the moving in and everything. I’ve, once again, left my hometown and I won't really come back until the late next year’s summer.

Having in mind the last post (that is the Stomach Pump one) I've done some research on Penultimate Records. Before I got in touch with the founder, Volker Stewart, everything I knew was that this record label released little material from some of the Northwest legends like Cat Butt, the Derelicts, and of course Stomach Pump. Therefore my dark-spy-side told me I had to find out some inside information. So, I contacted Volker and he was kind enough to answer me with an essay he wrote about his record label:

I guess the label itself was born in 1986 to release a tribute album to a music club in Santa Cruz, CA - the record was a comp called "At Dianne's Place." I had been approached by two other folks, Stephen Long and Rojir Silverstein, to help them with the project as I had some limited experience as a portion of the business that started as Masking Tapes, a cassette-only label, which eventually morphed into eMpTy records, which later split into two entities, and I am sure you can find the grim story about that in a number of places.

In 1987 I moved to Seattle, as it was a cheaper place to be unemployed than Santa Cruz, and I was toying with the idea of grad school. I got to know some folks in the music scene, primarily through the fine folks at Fallout Records and Jimmy the Budman. I decided to pursue Penultimate in the northwest, and the first record I did was the CatButt"64 Funny Cars/Hell's Half Acre" 45. Blake from eMpTy, with whom I had gone to high school in Germany in the early 80s, had moved to Seattle, and we decided to make it a split release, Penultimate/eMpTy. This cooperation continued with the first Derelicts 45"Bullet for Fifi/Sharon Needles", although the release after that (the Derelicts "Love Machine"12") was just a Penultimate release. Blake had at this point started doing exclusive eMpTy releases, and we were in a friendly rivalry from this point on (obviously Blake was infinitely more prolific than I).

eMpTy Germany licensed the Derelicts material for Europe and somehow failed to mention any credit to Penultimate. Oh well. Sort of indicative of how they saw things in general, cf. their later legal action against Blake.

After the Derelicts I stumbled across Love and Respect, a great band featuring Ed from the Thrown Ups, Joe and Whiting fromBig Tube Squeezer, a stand up fellow named Steve LaRose on vocals and occasionally Steve Turner on lap steel. Their show at Squid Row knocked my socks off and we did a 6-song 7" ep("Deep and Heatfelt") and later an LP ("The Love & Respect Record"). Still my fave part of the Penultimate portfolio.

In 1991 I was out of grad school, horribly underpaid, and a little bummed out by Seattle becoming a mecca. When I moved there in 1987, people in California thought I was crazy, and four years later those people were flocking up there. I decided it was time for a change of pace, and moved to Baltimore. Baltimore was a crazy place in 1991, it was quite a change of pace indeed. I figured I'd get some work experience here and go back west, now it's been over 18 years...I put out four 45s here, two by local legends Liquorbike and Helicopter, one by Primordial Undermind, and the ill-fated Stomach Pump 45. I say ill-fated because a good chunk ofthe inventory fell victim to a flood I had in a former house of mine, which also knocked out a lot of the Primordial Undermind 45s. There are probably only about 2-300 of either of these floating around, possibly less of the Stomach Pump.

In 1994 I quit my job as a university reference librarian and started working on opening a brewery/restaurant in midtown Baltimore. That was pretty much the end of my label career. We opened in 1996 and I have been doing that ever since. ( if you are interested).

Stephen Long had moved to San Francisco at about the time I moved to Seattle, and he had a few Penultimate releases scheduled there, although only one of them saw release, a 45 by the Bay Area's Los Cerveceros, which featured former members of Bad Posture. I believe he lives in North Dakota now. Rojir had moved to LA long before hand, and I lost touch with him.

So there you have it. Let's just say...another mystery solved.

From "Bullet For Fifi/Sharon Needles":

Bullet For Fifi
Sharon Needles

Saturday, October 3, 2009

That's barf rock, day, they just sort of started going...And that was Stomach Pump.

 Sitting on the edge, bettween The Thrown Ups and My Eye related bands, here we have the first Stomach Pump post in the blogspots' history. Musically the band finds itself placed on the same page as The Thrown Ups, although it shares two of My Eye members. From the very first minute of their (only) single -Log Clench/Cake Hole- the band reminded me of the early swamp-punk australian acts, I'd say, the band is like a dry mix between The Scientists and Salamander Jim. Their music is accompanied by this unic voice, something you'll never find at a typical Seattle band(this "typical" line is really funny!!!). Conclusion: Another great, short-lived Seattle band. Therefor it was time for me to hit Google.

The investigation in finding a clue that would eventually lead me to a story began. I've searched ebay in hope of finding a cover of their single, looked for the band's gig posters, but nothing. Finally my search stoped here at this Leighton Beezer interview. But I still needed more of the band's info. So...the only thing left for me to do was getting in touch with one of the band's member. Who would tell the story better than the founder? That's right, I've contacted Leighton to ask him a set of questions about one of Seattle's mysterious bands and he was really kind and accepted.

1.Why did The Thrown Ups split up and when did you formed Stomach Pump?
Mudhoney was taking a lot of Mark and Steve’s attention, so I kicked them out of the band. Stomach Pump formed right afterwards and actually picked up an abandoned Thrown Ups show for our first show.

2.How did you recruit Max Godsil and Duff Drew from My Eye?
I used to hang around a lot with My Eye, and Max and Duffy were a really great rhythm section. I don’t recall the exact details, but basically I think I roped them into it.

3.What about JC, how did you recruit his as the singer and what happened to him afterwards?
JC was a Thrown Ups fan and we got to be friends. When the Thrown Ups broke up, he wanted to give it a try. I’ve found that for the style of music I play, singers are always the hardest to find and I will usually try to build a band around one if I find one. So once I realized JC had a gift for it, I decided to put a band together. He is a talk radio jockey today living in Austin , Texas and goes by the name Jack Blood.

4.Who came up with the band's name and why Stomach Pump?
I think it was me, but I’m not sure. It kinda stuck without a lot of thought. But in retrospect, it was an appropriate name for a follow up to the Thrown Ups. Once you’re done throwing up, you can only get more through mechanical intervention.

5.The band sounds to me like early Australian punk acts, would you regard them as influence?
Not a huge influence, but we were certainly aware of and admired bands like The Scientists, and Lubricated Goat and that ilk. Not too shocking if it sounds like we were wallowing in the same swamps.

6.Was Stomach Pump based on the same improvising idea as The Thrown Ups?
Yes, absolutely.

7.What can you tell me about the shows, who did you share bills with?
We didn’t share too many bills ... we were kind of a scene unto ourselves. We played a lot of warehouse parties and things like that. I remember one show where we were opening for another band and we kept mispronouncing their name just to bug them. I also remember doing a show where Stephanie Sargent from 7 Year Bitch performed with us. I think she ended up making fun of me the whole time and I didn’t realize it until later. My favorite show was at a place right off of Hollywood and Vine in LA, which was reputed to be Bruce Lee’s dojo ... musically, it wasn’t a great show, but it was a lot of fun. The room was designed to amplify sound, so Bruce could speak softly and be heard by a crowd of a couple hundred people, so we set up where the speaker is supposed to stand for maximum acoustic amplification and proceeded to blast everyone out the back of the room – it was painfully loud for the audience. A woman came up to JC and complained about the volume and JC pulled a switchblade out of his pocket and told her to shut up. Lots of fun!

8.Was the Log Clench/Cake Hole Single the only band's release?
Yes. We did put together some informal cassettes if that counts. One was called "The Caucasian Album" and another was just referred to as the "Be a Dick" session. Both were pretty good, but I don’t know where to find copies since I haven’t had a cassette player in years. I’d love to hear them again if anyone else is able to track them down for you.

9.Where did you record your single and who was the producer?
I remember the place, but I don’t remember the producer. It was in a basement studio in Seattle ’s Belltown neighborhood. It was a great place and I think we got a cheap rate because it was new or something. I remember the singer from Coffin Break hanging out, but I don’t think he was the producer?

10.Why did the band breake up?
I don’t remember exactly ... people kept moving in and out of Seattle . JC and Max both moved to LA at different times. There were a few gaps while people were out of town, then I guess the last gap just hasn’t ended yet – JC and Max are still living in different cities and I just moved to NY. Eventually, I started playing with another improv band called El Grande Conquistador ( Now that I’ve left Seattle I’ve got a new band in NYC but we’re still going through line-up changes, etc. so we don’t even have a name yet.

11.Could you tell us something about your future projects?
I’m pretty psyched about the new band here in NY. The singer/keyboard player is named Jason Dennie and the drummer is named Jerod Allen. We just lost our guitar player since he moved a couple hours away and started going to night school. I’m also recording a lot of solo pieces just for my own amusement ... some of those are on my MySpace page:

Again...any of you who own The Caucasian Album or Be a Dick Session, please contact me at

Now that we've got another case solved, enjoy:

Log Clench
Cake Hole

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Tit for Tat..."What the fuck is a Bible Stud?"

Like I promissed, My Eye related posts won't stop here..sadlly the gifts will. So there you go..the second part of My Eye's related post trilogy: Founded in '89 by Steve Van Liew after My Eye dismissed, Bible Stud was Steve's attempt to get back to his hard rock/metal roots, what he initialy did with Overlord. Therefor he reunited with Glen Logan, the original Overlord's guitarist and put together the foundation of the hard rock/metal nearly grunge band, Bible Stud. Soon they were joined by Kenny Jakobsen on drums, Dave "Gundo" Gunderson on bass and Ric Vaughan on guitar. Same as usuall the internet was poor in info regarding the band but their myspace was pretty helpfull, here's a copy-paste from it (that is actually an article from the Rocket Magazine, year 1989, writen by Jeff Gilbert):
Sounding better than ever, original Overlord guitarist Glen Logan and vocalist Steve Van Liew have quietly kept their hard rock flame lit all these years, and with their new band, BIBLE STUD, it’s now turning into a four-alarm rock ‘n’ roll bonfire. This is due ,by and large, to Logan’s skill and mastery in songwriting. Tracks like "Blood Red" and "Tit for Tat" show confident swagger, bringing the energy level up from a steady simmer to an irresistible overflow boil. Van Liew’s half-cleared throat vocal style also gives Bible Stud an extremely distinctive, raw sound. As longtime partners Logan and Van Liew have used their hard, street level chemistry, channeling in into vital, pulse-pounding rock. Bible Stud also include Kenny Jakobsen on drums, Dave "Gundo" Gunderson on bass and Ric Vaughan sharing guitar duties.

I gues it was about two years ago...I saw on a web page an article about Bible Stud, mentioning that the band's name had something to do with their practice space. Anyway, any of you who remembers something, please leave a comment. Now back to the story...The band recorded two demos and released a single in '89 Cried/Tit for Tat. In late '90s, getting more further from any grunge influence the band metamorphosed into Crawl.The line-up: Steve on voice and guitar, Ric Vaughan also on guitar, Dave Gunderson on bass (later replaced by Denn Grim) and Eric Fenner on drums. Here's a little something about Crawl from Spin Magazine:
Crawl used to call itself Bible Stud.Overlord before that. You can call it what you want, the band doesn't mind. Heavy(of course), guitar-overdriven(surprise, surprise), and high gloss polished with sandpaper(ouch). Crawl is one of those bands that grows on you-like moss, and before you know it, you're doing the Swamp Thing. No Seattle cliches, just a deep, hypnotic, soulful crunch. Vocalist Steve Van Liew has one of the most distinctive voices this side of a blade sharpener...

I'm happy to declare myself as the first who has ever posted the Stomach Pump Single. Stay tuned...Next time---->Stomach Pump futuring Leighton Beezer from The Thrown Ups and Max Godsil and Duff Drew from My Eye.

Bible Stud-Cried/Tit for Tat (Single)
Tit for Tat

Monday, August 17, 2009

My Eye: A true vision of "heavy metal underground protest music"

I can't express how glad I am for finally being able to write this post down. I've been trying to track down My Eye story for quite some time now, and I've got to admit that it was a really cool experience, especially the fact that I got in touch with some of the artist themselves.

So, is the mid '80s and the metal titans, Overlord, broke up leaving behind the Broken Toys Ep masterpiece. Former members, Steve Van Liew and Kurtiss Lofstrom, along with Duff Drew (ex-The Trids) and Max Godsil decide to take the Seattle music to a whole new level by founding the noisy/post-punk/proto-grunge band, My Eye. Sadly but not regretable, to avoid the hype and the so-called "scene", around 1988, the band splits. Their recording history: Empty Box/So Much Going On 7'' on C/Z in '87 and a (2 song) contribution to the '89 Another Pyrrhic Victory compilation. To find out more about the band I got in touch with Kurt, the band guitarist, who gave me some basic info about the band.

My Eye formed in '85 after Overlord dissolved due to creative differences, Steve and Kurt began listening to such bands as: Replacements, Husker Du, Sonic Youth, Lou Reed, Big Black, getting further from their metal roots. The band usually wrote music from improvising live. They shared bills with Green River, Malfunkshun, Soundgarden, PopDefect, Feast, Tupelo Chain Sex, Soul Asylum, U-Men, Bundle of Hiss, 64 Spiders, the Thrown Ups, Terry Lee Hale, Skin Yard, Slow, Fastbacks, Jesse Bernstein and probably a few more. A great news was finding out that the 7'' and the contribution on the '89 compilation weren't the only releases. The band had three more cassettes: My Eye, Good to Say by Silence and Generic Psychosis.
The band's membership has never changed, although Kurt mentioned that at their 7'' single release they had some problems with Steve, and he was replaced at their final two shows with two different singers, neither of which had worked out.

Because I was intrigued to find out some inside information, Duff Drew was king enough to answer a set of questions:

1.How were you recruited as the band drummer?
I knew Steve Van Liew and Kurt Lofstrom from their days in OVERLORD. At that time I was the drummer for the punk-glam band The Trids(we were in high school @ the time). We played shows at the Lake Hills arena/roller skating rink, a place where OVERLORD had played many times. The one thing that set the Trids apart from the other bands they played with is that in addition to punk and glam covers(everyone else did the heavy metal thing)we also did originals.I think it was because I played, and wanted to play original music that Steve and Kurt thought about adding me as a member to a new project. I still remember us sitting around trying to come up with the name for our new project. We did one show, a private party, under the name Bad Karma, I think Mark Arm played with us. We shortly then changed it to My Eye.Also, with my punk background, they knew I could play kinda fast, so that might have been another appealing factor. Back in those days, what I lacked in Chops or "Good Timekeeping" was made up for in sheer enthusiasm.I like to smoke pot and drink really cheap beer, that was probably another plus on my side.... ;)

2.Was there any specific thing that attracted you to this project?
Well, Kurt and Steve were from a much more established Band in OVERLORD, and Steve was really good friends with members of the Trids, and that is how I met him. OVERLORD was like a big brother band to the Trids.Specifically, I knew what an awesome guitar player Kurtiss is, and knew that he, like I, wanted to make original, possibly "experimental", music. I was probably attracted to being able to play loud, fast and at times a little sloppy, but always right from the gut, and with no reservations or hesitations ever.I knew that Steve V. L. felt the same way. I knew that our Bassist Max Godsil, whom I went to school with, was ready for the same type of approach and away we went in our beer-soaked glory. Max is one of the most unique bass players I have ever played with.I was also interested because I knew that based on their OVERLORD days, Steve and Kurtiss could get us some "good" gigs.I was attracted to it because I felt that these guys would be fun to hang out with, and that they were very creative individuals with whom I shared a common love of Music and Hedondism, massively fueled by the vigor of youth.

3.What can you tell me about the band's name...who came up with this name and why?
I came up with it. We were changing the name from Bad Karma, we had done show with that name with Mark Arm, but he was fully into Green River.We wanted the name to have something to do with pain...and I said at one point...."hhhhmmmm pain, how bout "OW...My Eye"....then one of the guys remembered Cheech and Chong and said...."Earache, my eye!!!!.....The rest is indie music history

4. In your opinion, what was your best show?
Shows with either SoundGarden, Soul Asylum, or Malfunkshun.

5.What influenced the band to write those gloomy/dark songs?
We are gloomy, dark, hard livin, take no bullshit individuals.

6.What do you remember from the first recording sessions?
I had way more beer than exprerience, Steve and Kurt had more studio experience than myself or Max, but from the Trids, I had a little more studio time under my belt than Max/Bassist."it was all about creating free art, with the goal of a cool song, hopefully.

7.Lyrically, what did My Eye express?
One of our commentors of the day called us "heavy metal underground protest music"....A true definition of our alternative "vision" .

8.Why do you think My Eye didn't have that much success?
Success was not ready for My Eye. My Eye was about Free Arttistic Expression....not gross unit sales for a record company, but we would have been happy to work with any interested company at the time. As Kim Thayil once told me, "had you guys not broken up, you would have been signed to Sub-Pop, toured Europe, and then, who knows".....

Post My Eye, Steve formed Bible Stud, then Crawl, and he's currently playing in The One and Only True Messiah. Max played with Leighton Beezer in Stomach Pump, Kurt is still palying and recording music and has "discovered the joy of 60's Ludwigs". As for Duff, he had played in many bands since, including Beluga and Man Ray. Now he's a session drummer and instructor in Seattle area, and often plays with a band called Ocean of Algebra.

Special Thanks to Duff Drew, Max Godsil and Kurtiss Lofstrom.
From Another Pyrrhic Victory: The Only Compilation of Dead Seattle God Bands:

Monday, August 3, 2009

Vexed: A funk-punk "anthology" of the Northwest

Ok, well, I got to admit I’ve spent a little time deciding what band this post should be about. Luckily I passed all my exams (with high grades, too :D ), and I've also spent a lot of time playing -really oughful-at my guitar. I finally made up my mind to write down a post about a non-grunge band called Vexed, I once again couldn't decide what material to I thought why not a bit of all?!
Vexed formed in '84 from the ashes of Death of Marat, and the Drills, the founding members were Milton Garrison (guitar) and Alfred Butler (bass). The band made its debut in '85 with the song "Six Foot Hole" on the Pyrrhic Victory: A Goal Attained At Too Great a Cost cassette along with Soundgarden, Skin Yard, 10 Minutes Warning, Feedback, Mental Mannequin, The Fags, Colour Twigs, The Probes and The Horrible Truth. Next the band appeared on the Bands That Will Make Money compilation in '86, and they were featured on two more compilations before releasing their own material: Lowlife compilation in 1987, and Secretions in 1988. Finally the band’s first non-compilation debut was Maybe 7'' EP in '88. The EP will eventually be included in Cd version of The Good Fight LP.
In 1990 the band made contribution to the famous C/Z compilation Teriyaki Asthma with the song Gwym on vol 4. I read almost 2 years ago on Lamestain that Yeast (another band featured on Teriyaki Asthma , on the first vol) was actually another Milton why not post Solid Alligators?!

The band broke up and reformed in 1992 with Alcohol Funnycar drummer Buzz Crocker. In '94 they released an eight-song LP on C/Z records called Cathexis.

Vexed played an unique style...a mix between funk, art and death rock, nothing what so ever to do with the sludgy, grungy sounds of the Northwest.

Maybe 7''

The Good Fight LP

Teriyaki Asthma

Friday, June 12, 2009

I'm taking a break once again

Sadly, really sadly my collage exams have just started so I'm finding myself forced to take a break for month or so. So what can I say...good luck to me and I'll be back with a lot of northwest obscurities.See you next time :D

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Thrillhammer: The band that led the way for early Portland indie bands

Portland had an amazing scene going on in the early '90s...It was the home place of dozens of indie band, and although it was in a tight connection with Seattle, the mainstream success was quite a different thing there. Unfortunately it was all pointed to one direction, Everclear, God dammit! This and the story bellow are the main factors for hating Everclear:

When I was six or seven years old my elder sister had this Everclear tape that she used to listen almost every day. One day (guess she annoyed me with something) I recorded a couple of songs from a radio station on her tape. One of the songs I'm preety sure it was The Cure Lullaby...Anyway, when my sister found out...ha ha ha , she beat the crap out of me...And that was the day I started heating Everclear or anything that sounded like it. Fortunately, my sister lost the tape when she borrowed it to someone.

Leaving Everclear aside(I've already mentioned their name enough times) I guess you all know/agree that the top three bands in early '90s in Portland were Crackerbash, Pond and Hazel. What you probably don't know is that Pond and Hazel had something in common, and that something was a short-lived band called Thrillhammer. The band formed in 1990 in Portland, line-up consisting of David Triebwasser-drums, Pete Krebs-guitar, Ben Munat-bass, and Peter also wrote the lyrics. The band did a self-booked tour down the west coast and in May '91 broke up. Looks like they released their only album-Ghiftless- with the help of Steve Albini, when they weren't even a band any more.

Ben Munat recalls : We had actually broken up on our ill-fated tour in May of 1991. But when we got home, we heard from Mike Morasky, our friend in Steel Pole Bathtub (who worked for Boner Records), that he had vouched for us with the newly formed German branch of Rough Trade records[...] The album was recorded in a few days at Dogfish Studios in Newberg, OR (which tragically burned down a few years later). We slept in the studio and got on each others nerves. (Well, I remember for sure that I got on Albini's nerves.) I think we probably needed a bit more directing. Albini has always insisted that he's not a producer, but is just an engineer... a sonic documentarian, as it were.

Since the band sounds pretty earth-shacking to me, I would have really loved to listen to another material, if they had released any (to bad they hadn't). This is one of the records that was really underrated and definitely needs a listen and a comment on the bottom of the post with your personal opinion(so don't be shy). Post-Thrillhammer, David joined Pond, Ben formed Rotor with Dale Moerer, formerly of the Oily Bloodmen, and Pond ex-member Ken Adams. Pete joined Hazel, and after that Stolen Sweets.

Monday, May 25, 2009

An 100% punk rock split/single or a double post

Here's a hot punk single that has to be shared with my readers. An out of print split/single with two MRR bands, so we'll have a different post today...a double post. Well in case you didn't know, MRR stands for Maximumrocknroll, and here's the whole story (that involves radio shows and fanzines). Back to Seattle those two bands (you already met one of them three post ago) are Derelicts and Zipgun.

The Derelicts formed, I guess, around '86. The band members were Duane Bodenheimer on vocals, Neil Rogers on guitar, Ian Dunsmore on bass and Rick Bilotti on drums. They played this drinking-problem punk with really overdriven dirty guitars. Proudly they came up before grunge and lasted a little bit through the 90s, I think they disolved in '93...basically their last record was this split/single that came out in '92, so...

For me, Derelict seems to be the band that defined Empty Record in a way that it definitely fits the profile of other bands signed there. Friends of mine classified them as hardcore punk, and often put them together with a class of bands that included Brotherhood, Jesters of Chaos, The Accused...I mean ...The Accused!!!....come on, that's trash as hell. Anyway I've never heard the original My Dad's A Fucking Alcoholic, but I'm pretty sure I haven’t missed much. Here's everything that Derelicts ever released: Bullet for Fifi 7" (1989, Penultimate Records),Time to Fuck Up 7" (1990, Empty Records US) Misery Maker 7" (1990, Sub Pop & Glitterhouse), Love Machine LP (1990, Penultimate Records) Beir, Beir, Beir LP (1990, Musical Tragedies), Derelicts/ Zipgun split 7" (1991, Broken Rekids, re-released in 1992 by Empty Records),Going Out of Style 1986-1990 CD (1994, Empty Records), and they were featured on the following compilations:Another Damned Seattle Compilation, Bobbing For Pavement, The Estrus Half-Rack , Puget Power.

Cold, funny and sometimes drunk-depressing punk, Zipgun was formed in '91 by Derelicts, guitarist Neil Rogers and singer Robbe Clarke. The full membership also included Mark Wooten on bass and Dan Cunneen on drum. It looks like they’ve initially set up on the name Smash, but they’ve immediately changed it, when Zipgun was suggested.

They were signed at Emty Records were they’ve released almost every material. Before you see the list, you need to know that their Lp 8 Track Player was recorded by the godfather of grunge, namely Jack Endino. Following the band history they disbanded in '94, their last line up featured Ian from Derelicts on bass. They did a/some reunion show/s and they were even featured on Hype! Post-Zipgun...whell Robbe Clarke sang in Against Medical Advise, and eventually formed RC5 and Neil and Ian formed Glazed, and I’ll end this with the release list:10 Seven Inch(1991, Empty Records), Together Dumb/Cool in the Cell 7"(1992, Empty Records), Zipgun/Derelicts Split 7"(1992,Empty Records), 8 Track Player LP/CD(1992,Empty Records),The End/Nothing Cures 7"(1992, Musical Tragedies), I Can't Wait/Tight Black Pants 7"(1993,Thrill Jockey Records), Baltimore LP/CD(1994, Empty Records).


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

It sounds like Grunge.It's not from Seattle.It's God's Acre!

Here's one obscurity I've been planning to post for a long time....God's Acre.The band made me a hell of a good impression with their song Wood featured on Teriyaki Asthma vol I-V. They sounded like a pure Seattle grunge band (even more after I listened to their first single) and I was a little bit confused to find out that they were actually from Chicago.So...let's check out their story!

God's Acre was started by Peter Houpt in '86 after his band Women In Love disbanded. It looks like he was asked to participate on a compilation released by WNUR in Chicago. He didn't have any band at the moment so with the help of a drum machine, Half A Boy's Life song ended up on Hog Butcher For The World compilation along with bands such as Big Black, End Result, Material Issue, Bloodsport and The Garden.Soon Peter asked Doug Mc Combs from Eleventh Dream Day to fill in for the bass until he found a full time bass player, and he was also joined by Johnny Hearndon from Precious Wax Drippings on drums, but after a few shows he left and Brian St. Clair took his place.Soon after that, Doug also left and Mark Blade replace him as the full time bass player.

The trio recorded a cassette tape,13 Gospel Greats, but only 2 of the songs made it on vinyl. The release was called My Real Cool Time" b/w "She a 7"single that came out in 1988. At short time after, Brian left to join Rights Of The Accused, Craig Bradford filled in for a very short period and finally was replace by Brendan Burke of King Vitamin in '89. In 1990 they released their debut full length album Ten Gospel Greats on Wax Trax Records. Along the years they opened for bands such as NoMeansNo, Eleventh Dream Day, Frightwig, Precious Wax Drippings, Das Damen, and even for that famous Seattle grunge band(in 1990 at the Metro in Chicago) know what band. They released Baby in '92, a mini album, and after that I think they disbanded.

Here's a couple of tracks to keep you busy until next week.Enjoy...

from My Real Cool Time" b/w "She 7''
from Teriyaki Asthma vol I-V
Wood(also included on Ten Gospel Greats)

from Ten Gospel Greats

Monday, April 27, 2009

Fast Stories...From Kid Coma

Some people say that if the record had been released in 1991 it would definitely have eclipsed Soundgarden's Badmotorfinger or Screaming Trees Sweet Oblivion. But '91 had already been overdosed with a lot of great albums, so...Truly's debut album was "kept" as the final scream for the Seattle Sound.

Truly was formed in late '89 by Robert Roth (just after his band Storybook Krooks dissolved) and ex Screaming Trees drummer Mark Pickerel. They played a couple of demo tracks for Sub Pop and also opened for Jesus Lizard. Finally, the last piece of the puzzle....ex Soundgarden bassist, Hiro Yamamoto, was invited by Mark to join the band in '91. The same year, in September, their first Ep was released by Sub Pop. I don't know if it’s just me, or the web is more populated with Truly's Ep Hearts and Lungs. And if that's so, the main reason would be the movie Singles(Yes, I've watched the movie but I've never liked it)...Also the Ep described the band as a pure power-pop/indie trio. A highly recommended song will be Married in the Playground which was a hit on the local radio...but let's see what happened later.

The band started the recordings for a full length album in the spring of '92 and lasted till '94, the result...a much heavy sound. Fast Stories...From Kid Coma was released in June '95. Capitol Records released the Cd version of the Lp, and Sub Pop Records released it in a 12" double vinyl. I honestly enjoyed more their Fast Stories... era sound. My opinion: it's more dramatic in both melodic and lyric ways and all the songs seem to have this dream sensation
The Sub Pop version contains an extra song, Aliens on Alcohol. Also, both tracks Leslie's Coughing Up Blood and Virtually were released in '93 as a 7'' vinyl single.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

SGM's Aggression.The metal-punks are taking over Seattle.

While searching for a bit of a story about SGM, I was surprised not to find a thing, except a couple of blogs that didn't give me any new information on the band, and some wise ass comments of how bad the album was. The cover of the Lp reminded me of the trash metal and crossover bands of the ‘80s, although from the first song, "Back in Circulation", I was taken to the Green River "Dry as a Bone" era, but more aggressive...hmmmmm...I guess what comes to my mind now is something between Green River and Cryptic Slaughter full loaded with dumb and moronic lyrics. So the internet sources were kind of cheap, but my luck was that Adem Tepedelen reminded quite a few about the band and also "financed" my blog with a couple of articles. One of them was actually from Backlash music fanzine published by Dawn Anderson (which originally was called Backfire).So now I guess I have enough information to put together a little story about SGM.

The band nucleus was formed in the mid '80s while Paul Uhlir (drums), Cole Peterson (bass) and Rich Credo (guitar) were still in high-school. The band line up changed pretty quickly and in '86 it also included Mike Lawson (a.k.a Mike Loser) on vocals and Kriss Quinn on guitar. In the first two years the band recorded three sets of demo tapes that eventually led them to sign a contract with Medusa Records (a division of Metal Blade).The demo sets were finally released as Aggression in 1988, with the help of Jack Endino. Not long after the album was released, the singer, Mike Loser left to attend collage. So the band recruited another singer, Adam Czeisler. All five members decided to change their names into something that the initials S.G.M. would stand for. It seemed that Shotgun Messiah was so weak, so they finally agreed on Shotgun Mama. By this time they had a good reputation on Seattle, but the band wouldn't last long, they broke up again and Kriss Quinn left to join the first version of Truly.It will reform again as Sweet Water in 1992 with Dudley Taft replacing Quinn on guitar. At this point they sounded nothing like SGM, of course their sound changed after Mike left, and now the band sounded slick and mainstream. So that's kind of it, before we metamorphose this post into a Sweet Water one.

About the tracks...well I understand Cole Peterson (a.k.a Captain Blackout) also shines on "Blow Job", the song "She" is actually a Kiss cover, and "Tap the Keg"-and I won't post this one- is a rap song which reminds me of Beastie Boys back in "da days", and it features Paul Uhlir (a.k.a Pablo) as MC.Enjoy...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Bloodloss introduction that is kind of late

Of course the Martin Bland Ramdomized Control Trials post needed an introduction on Bloodloss, but in my sadist vision of my blog I like to often confuse the readers. It was a long time ago when the Australian punk scene made me a good impression with Cosmic Pshycos and Lubricated Goat...that, in a way, reminded me of Mudhoney, and it wasn't long until I got the connection. The missing link was Bloodloss. They all shared common members -beside Cosmic Psychos, so...let's just forget about them for a while- .Of course this happened in the '90s when Bloodloss moved to Seattle, and what I would like to do, is to post one of their 80s’ material. But before that, the so called introduction:

I've got to worn you it's very confusing, and I don't know if I tell it, go search on the interweb.
Bloodloss formed in Sidney in '82, the line up consisted of Sharon Weatherill on vocals, Renetsar RJ on guitar and saxophone, Jeremy Bender on drums and Duncan Coleman on bass. The band changed it's name into Zulu Rattle in 1984, and had one release, Terror Train. Also the band line up changed again, now including Martin Bland on drums and Jim Selene on bass. It reformed again as Bloodloss in 1986 after Sharon and Renetsar had returned from UK, and released a self titled cassette in 1986, and Human Skin Suit in 1988 on Greasy Pop. Sharon left the band and another line up shift with Martin Bland taking over the guitar vocals duties. In 1990 they released Smell Machine 7" and The Truth Is Marchin In LP for Aberrant. Soon the band was put to hiatus after Renestair and Martin had joined Lubricated Goat on a USA tour. In 1991 the band line up changed again, but this time in Seattle with Renestar, Martin and Mark Arm. They released Broke 7'' on Bell town records in '93, In a Gadda da change(1993) and 10 Solid Rockin' Inches (1994) on Sympathy For The Record Industry...and I don't know much from here.

OK, here's what you've all been waiting for, the '88 Human Skin Suit:

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The No.1 Mix Tape of the Northwest Noise

I've never intended to post mix tapes, but because the time doesn't allow me to do much writing I thought it wouldn't be a big deal to post some mix tapes from time to time.I guess every viewer of my blog would expect something obscure, that's why I tried to do my best.Be afraid, be very afraid because some of these bands will have a post of their own in the known feature. Enjoy....

Sgm - Power (from Aggression [1988] )
Melvins - Clipping Roses (from Gluey Porch Treatments [1986] )
Soundgarden - Circle of Power (from Ultramega OK [1988])
Unearth - Fly Paper (from Everything Was Beautiful And Nothing Hurt [1992] )
Karp - Flourpus (from Mustaches Wild [1995])
Fecal Matter - Laminated Effect (from Illyteracy Will Prevail [1985] )

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The secret of John Bigley lies on Amphetamine Reptile

In a past post I've declared myself a big fan (I don't know if these were the exact words) of Amphetamine releases. Everything started when I heard the Smells Like Smoked Sausage compilation, and you might think everything started from a Dope, Guns and Fucking ...but no. Helios Creed, God Bullies, Surgery, Cows, Helmet (and I hate it when people call it a grunge band)...were my introduction in the street level post punk, dirty/noisy/sludgy whatever. My second wave was actually the Dope, Guns, and Fucking compilations, which, for my surprise made my day with some Seattle bands too. I remember that in the same period I was also into Crawlpappy's Deluxe and some Lonely Moans. Anyway, anyhow, anywho the very first song from the compilation that got stock on my mind after the first listening was The Crows Capital Hillbillies.

I've allways considered Bigley one of the strangest frontmen in Seattle, and I knew from the first U-Men single I've listened to that I would enjoy every musical project of his..but the Crows would be his last one and wouldn't make much of a record history.So, The U-Men broke up...I don't know if it happened before they throw up a song on the famous compilation, Bad Little Woman, and Tom Price left too form Kings of Rock with Haye, Don Blackstone and Dan "Reno" Ryan(Charlie Ryan's little brother).John Bigley and the drummer Charlie Ryan along with the guitarist Garth Brandenburg and the bassist Greg Stumph formed the Crows in 1991. The Crows released only on Amphetamine Rep: Crow Bar / Low Brow 7'' (1991) and The Crows LP (1994). Also Capitol Hillbillies on Dope-Guns'-N-Fucking In The Streets Volume Six and Go Look In The Crisper on Dope Guns & Fucking Up Your Video Deck Volume 2 . In '94 the band called it quits and the hole Seattle scene kind of faded away. Greg, Charley along with Tom Price and David Duet (former Cat Butt singer) formed Bottle of Smoke, and John Bigley I think he owns a restaurant or something. I’ve once read, I don't remember exactly where, that The Crows sounds like a slower and bluesy version of The U-Men.So, do you agree?

Oh, yes...and please be my guests in leaving comments...

The U-Men - Bad Little Woman
The Crows - Capitol Hillbillies
The Crows - Crow Bar

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Seattle's recent underground scene. Martin Bland talks about his latest projects

I don't know about the weather in Seattle, but it sure was crappy here in my hometown. It made me go down to my basement and make a hell of a noise. Because I felt some kind of Bloodloss fever over the past two weeks, everybody was asking for Bloodloss repost at Lamestain, and I also discovered the Black Eye Records blog which focuses on the Australian scene (some Bloodlose, and Monroe's Fur...and many others), I thought it would be nice to check out what have Bloodloss former members been doing lately. The most interesting projects came from Martin Bland.
So, to find out more about his latest musical activities, I thought it would be cool if I could contact him and ask him myself about one of his projects, Martin Blands Randomized Control Trials. I did that, and he was kind enough to write me back.

Me: I understand that Martin Bland Randomized Control Trials wasn't a typical band. Can you tell us what was this project actually about?
Martin:No, it wasn't a band at all. The project consisted of having a number of cd players (usually 5 or 6) playing simultaneously. Each of the cd players would have a cd in it containing a different instrument playing short phrases. These phrases were separated into tracks on the cd and played with the random or shuffle button activated. I didn't want a "collage" effect so I felt it important that all the instruments should be playing the same piece of music at the same tempo so that even though the instruments were on separate disc players and would probably be "out of sync" in the normal sense they would interact with each other in surprising and unexpected ways. Interestingly, I found it worked better if the musicians did not know what anyone else had played so I recorded everyone in complete isolation, often moths apart and occasionally in different countries.

Me:How and when did you hatch the idea for this project(because indeed, it's a very weird one)?
Martin:I had been listening to Charles Ives Symphony #4, second movement (which I have up on my blog) one Sunday morning in 2002 and the clashing sound of the various marching bands all playing different tunes at once had me to falling off the couch laughing. When I picked myself up off the floor, the idea for the project flashed into my mind. I had been thinking for years that there must be some possible misuse for the "random" button on cd players but it wasn't till the advent of recordable cd's that this all became possible.

Me: Are there any constant members?
Martin:There was a small nucleus of guys I would use as often as possible, namely Steve Dukich on bass, Tom Price on guitar, Mark Arm on keyboards and Jim Knodle on trumpet. One thing I have found living over here in the US (I'm originally from Australia) is that most everyone can play some instrument a little bit and I tapped into that somewhat, enlisting friends and passersby to help out. I had very few people turn me down.

Me:You used lots of instruments in these songs; so how would you describe this music?
Martin:This is a very difficult question to answer. All of the pieces are very different and each was an attempt to explore different possibilities using the "randomized" medium. The pieces themselves and their rules dictated which instruments were to be used and it was then a matter of finding people who could play them. For instance, "Autumn In New York" is a jazz standard so I used the instruments of a jazz combo but I also wanted it to be a "drone" piece so I used "jazz" instruments that lent themselves to that also, ie horns etc. Other pieces were a blues (guitar, bass, horns, percussion), a space rock number (old analog synths) and so on.I guess the things that are common to all the music in all the pieces apart from an inherent and unavoidable psychedelic nature is a "fractured" sense of grooves starting and ending quickly without resolution. I've also found it helpful to listen for "miniatures" or smaller songs within each piece.

Me:I understand that you had an one hour long broadcast on KEXP, but what can you tell me
about Martin Bland Randomized Control Trials' releases?
Martin:I've done a couple of radio shows and this format seemed to work out pretty well for this project. I have also presented it in bars and other live performance spaces around Seattle and these were always rather odd experiences. Often a small crowd would gather in front of the stage and stare quizzically at the cd players stacked up on a table as if waiting for the machines to suddenly bust a move or something. Eventually the folks would drift off.The cd's are all hand made. Each cd has 6 tracks on it. There are 120 cd's in the series and each one has different versions of the six songs on it. That means I had to record 720 different versions of the songs. The cd's come in an aluminum cover and are hand numbered in braille (#1-#120). So each cd is basically a one of a kind edition. They can be purchased direct from at me mrbiand@yahoo.comI have also published a bunch of versions in mp3 form on my blog but these are all different versions to those found on the cd's. Because of the basic nature of the project, the variations in versions of each piece are pretty much infinite.

Me:You are currently playing in Desert Classic with Tom Price. When are you going to release something, and are there any shows to come?
Martin:We're just gearing up now to do some recording and then we'll have to figure out what to do with it. Putting out a cd these days seems kind of quaint but what are ya gonna do?. We seem to play in a lot of small, odd venues. We're due to play at the opening of a new pizza joint in a few weeks here in Seattle...

Autumn In New York
The Explainer
The Great Temptations Of Beyond

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Go Team, but more of a Kurt Cobain post

Ok, My Hairspray Queen is back in the house.
Now, I guess we all agree that searching for Kurt Cobain or Nirvana unreleased tracks is kind of fun, but really lame, and that’s because you know you’ll never going to find something that hasn’t been included on a box set or on some bootleg, unless a jerk-head switched the name of a modern post-rock band with “Nirvana” and then distributed it on the net. I’ve got to admit that I was searching for some Cobain’s unreleased tracks, two years ago, when I found out that he had a collaboration with The Go Team.

I’ve never been a big fan of Beat Happening or of any Calvin Johnson projects, and the only reason for posting The Go Team will be that besides Calvin Johnson, another member was Tobi Vail (feature Bikini Kill drummer), and like I said at some point, the band had a collaboration with Kurt Cobain.
You will read on Wikipedia that : The records were often collaborations with other musicians and the musical style varied from single to single. Kurt Cobain, Billy Karren, The Legend!, Dave Nichols of The Canannes, Donna Dresch of Team Dresch , Lois Maffeo, and Jeffery Kennedy were some of the artists the duo worked with.
And again from Wiki here’s a list with everything they’ve ever released :
"Sand/Jigsaw" (January 1989)
"Outside/Stay Ready" (February 1989) with
Billy Karren, Louise Olsen, Dave Nichols
"Breakfast In Bed/Safe Little Circles" (March 1989) with
The Legend!
"Milquetoast Brigade/She Was Sad" (April 1989) with
Jeffery Kennedy
"Ribeye/935 Patterson" (May 1989)
"Go Team Call/Three Ways To Sunday" (June 1989) with
Quang H, Billy Karren, Brad Clemmons
"Scratch It Out/Bikini Twilight" (July 1989) with
Tamra Ohrmund, Louise Olsen, Donna Dresch, Kurt Cobain
"Tummy Hop/Maverick Summer" (August 1989) with Brad Clemmons
"The Pines Of Rome" (September 1989) with Brad Clemmons
Recorded Live At The Washington Center For The Performing Arts
Your Pretty Guitar with Steve Peters

Archer Come Sparrow
Donna Parker Pop

Throw, The Yoyo Studio Compilation LP/CD (Yo-Yo Records, 1991)
Birdcrash Love Rock CS (K Records)

The Go Team was started by Calvin Johnson in 1985 when Tobi was 15 years old, I guess, and lasted 4 years; at the same time Tobi was playing in a girls band called Doris with Cheryl Hooper and Tamra Ohrmund(they made a demo tape which was recorded by Steve Ross of Cactus Love and has never been released).

“Scratch It Out / Bikini Twilight” was released in July 1989 and features Calvin on guitar, Tobi on drums, Tamra Ohrmund voice, Louise Olsen on bass, Donna Dreseh and Kurt Cobain on guitar.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

My Hairspray Queen is taking a break

Whell, I'll be having some see you guys in about three weeks from now.Sorry...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Special Guest Post.The only obscure Seattle grunge label

While Sub Pop and C/Z were proudly dominating much of the Seattle Scene(of course, Bruce Pavitt and Jonathan Poneman were having their master plan of "world domination", which worked until the late '90s when they started relesing materials of crappy indie bands, yachhh!!!!") followed by Empty Records, other labels fight for notority as well.Among those labels that never made it big and that would deserve much recognition is New Rage Records.
Previously on Northwest Noise we talked about Fireclown, Stymie and is now time for us to end this trilogy with a post about the only obscure Seattle grunge label(well, not quite the only one, but pretty obscure). I once again asked for Adem Tepedelen's help to write down a special guest post for us about his record label, and because his kindness has no limit, he accepted:

New Rage Records was started by myself and graphic designer Jeff Kleinsmith in Seattle in 1990. We moved to Seattle from Eugene, Oregon (where we originally hatched the idea for the label). We were in Fireclown at the time and we wanted to start a label to put out our own records, as well as records by some of the great underground bands coming out of the Northwest.

Our first release was the 6-song Daddy Hate Box EP called “Sugar Plow” in 1990. Daddy Hate Box was a side-project for the drummer of TAD (Steve Wied) and vocalist for Coffin Break (Peter Litwin). It wasn’t a full-time band and they never played very many shows or even toured. The record was produced by Jack Endino and it sold pretty well, despite the fact that the band broke up not long after it came out. The band’s name, in case you don’t get the connection, was a play on Mother Love Bone.

Next we put out the Fireclown “Junkie” 7” in early 1991, which has one of my favorite covers of all the releases we did. It was the label’s best-selling single (1,000 copies pretty much sold out) and was distributed all over the world. The band broke up in late 1991 and a few of us formed Stymie in early 1992. Unfortunately our next New Rage release was our worst, and worst-selling: Sow Belly. We did our friends in Sow Belly (a weird Eugene psychedelic band) a favor by putting out a 4-song 7” that they actually helped pay for. It barely sold a couple hundred copies and was slammed in most reviews.

Another one-off came about when a local Seattle band, Sweet Water (originally S.G.M., then Shotgun Mama), who were quite popular (and who Fireclown had once played a show with) contacted us about putting out their CD. They had recorded some demos for Virgin Records who decided not to sign the band. Virgin returned the rights to the demo to the band and so Sweet Water wanted us to put it out as a CD. We didn’t have the money at the time, so they helped finance it. Unfortunately there was no contract in place, so it was all just done with a handshake. I think we pressed about 2000-2500 copies which sold out immediately, with most going to Europe. Locally it sold pretty well, but outside of Seattle (in the US) no one really cared. The band was soon signed to Atlantic and we (foolishly) just let the CD go out of print, fearing the legal might of the band’s management and label. The weird thing is, the band re-recorded most (but not all) of the songs for their Atlantic debut. There are a few tracks that are exclusive to the New Rage release which have never been reissued, making this our most sought after and rare release. I also personally think that the versions of the songs they re-recorded later, are way better on their New Rage release.

One local band we had a long relationship with was Unearth. We had played a show with them when we were still in Fireclown and we initially offered to put out a 7” for them since they were going to be recording with Jack Endino. That single was called “Pinchpoint” and is amazingly heavy and cool. That came out in 1991 or 1992. It’s a totally overlooked example of prime Seattle grunge. Both songs on that single (as well as a later single called “Caught Up”) later appeared on their Jack Endino-produced full-length CD, Everything Was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt, that we released (with the help of C/Z Records, who distributed it) in 1993.
Unearth also appeared on the “Things That Are Heavy” compilation which also featured the first appearance of our new band Stymie, as well as two similar Seattle bands, Sleep Capsule and Bone Cellar (who both put out 2 CDs each on other indie labels). We printed 500 copies of this, silk-screened all the covers (something we did with some frequency because Jeff had started a screen-printing business with Stymie’s singer and a friend of ours) and it sold out immediately. This record offers a good example of some really good grunge bands that weren’t on Sub Pop or C/Z.

By this point New Rage Records was getting something of a reputation in the Northwest, so we were able to put out a single for another high-profile Seattle band, Alcohol Funnycar (who also recorded for C/Z and BMG). That single featured exclusive recordings that never appeared on other Alcohol Funnycar releases. We pressed about 500 and I think they are pretty much all gone.

We finally put out the first Stymie 3-song 7”, called “other” in 1993, I think. That had silk-screened covers and we probably pressed 500 copies. It got a lot of good reviews and a label in NYC got interested and wanted us to record a demo for them. We did that, they weren’t stoked enough to sign us and so we took that demo and used one song, “Toil and Folly,” for a split single with our bassist Patrick’s solo noise project, Lab Rat. Only 200 copies were made and they each had a different photo which were original police photographs from automobile accident scenes. Some were pretty gruesome. (The other Stymie song on this was “Systematic Break” from our very first demo.) This was a co-release with Patrick’s label, Apraxia.

New Rage also did another co-release with Apraxia in 1993 of a 7”, “Corroboree,” of a noise band from Colorado Springs called Blowhole, that Patrick was also in (and I later joined after Stymie broke up). This sold out of a pressing of 500 copies immediately and is impossible to find.

Unfortunately, much of the money that we had invested in Unearth’s CD, didn’t come back to us because the band broke up shortly after the CD was released and we didn’t sell very many copies. Which was a shame, because anyone who loves grunge would do well to get their hands on everything Unearth released. It is amazing stuff. (And, yes, we still have CDs and 7” singles available.)

So, New Rage did one more co-release--this time with Cavity Search Records in Portland--of a Stymie/Control Freak split single that was only released with a Japanese fanzine called Fringe!. This may be the rarest thing we did, because very few were ever distributed outside of Japan and that fanzine is long gone.

We did one final release, a Stymie 7” single that was actually recorded after the band had broken up. It was jokingly called “Debut Posthumous” and was issued in the spring of 1995.

We never officially closed for business and are still selling the items we have in stock, if anyone is interested. You can go to our web page here: to see what’s still available.

NEW RAGE discography:

Sugar Plow 12"EP
NUR 100

"Junkie" b/w "Big Disease" 7"
NUR 101

"Spaztech Culture" +3 EP
NUR 102

Pinchpoint 7"
NUR 103

Sweet Water CD
NUR 104

V/A compilation 7"
Bone Cellar, Sleep Capsule, Stymie and Unearth
NUR 105

"Caught Up" b/w "Electric Funeral" 7"
NUR 106

"All About It" b/w "Complications" 7"
NUR 107

Everything Was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt CD
NUR 108

Grocery Bag 7" EP
NUR 109

Corroboree 7"EP
NUR 111/PXR 04261

Split 7"
NUR 113/PXR 03311

split 7"
NUR 114/CSR 20

Debut Posthumous 7"
NUR 115

No mp3s for this post. I was just kidding, knock yourselves up:
Unearth - Caught Up b/w Electric Funeral 7''
Stymie/Lab Rat 7''

Monday, January 12, 2009

Post-Fireclown Or "The Stymie Story"

Two posts ago I wrote about Fireclown that after they split up,at the beginning of '92 Adem,Jeff and James got back together and formed Stymie. Now, I can't understand why Stymie was so little ...... compared to other bands...weren't they grunge enough?(they are grunge enough for me)...Some investigation taken to the corners of the internet, showed that the only place where the band's history is mentioned is their myspace, which, although gave me a lot of answers, raised other questions. So, I managed to track down Adem Tepedelen(one of the band's guitarists), who was kind enough to answer some questions:

Me:Stymie sounds quite different from Fireclown, how have your musical interests changed?
Adem:I think Stymie sounded different for a couple of reasons: some of the people involved were different and were into other styles of music and I think we consciously wanted to play stuff that was less metal and more grunge. Even though we dropped the tuning down to D on the guitars, we also started writing poppier songs--so it was a pretty dramatic change. Another contributing factor is that when I started Stymie in early 1992, I wrote most of the songs, but by the end in 1994 Jeff Kleinsmith wrote most of them. So even Stymie's sound changed dramatically from early songs like "Girl" to later songs like "Creepy Boss."

Me:On your myspace is mentioned that one of your songs was featured on "Things that are heavy", can you tell me who released the compilation and what other artists were featured there?
Adem:Jeff and I started our own record label, New Rage Records (you can find us on MySpace), when we moved to Seattle with Fireclown in 1990. So, we not only put the Fireclown single out on New Rage, we put several Stymie singles out, as well as the "Things That Are Heavy" compilation 7" EP. The other bands on that are Bone Cellar, Sleep Capsule and Unearth (NOT the metalcore band). It's one of my favorite New Rage releases. New Rage also put out several Unearth releases and Stymie's original bass player was actually also in Unearth. He later switched to rhythm guitar in Stymie when Patrick Barber joined us on bass.
Here is a discography of everything we ever released:
• Various artists — "Things That Are Heavy" 7" (New Rage): "Same"
• "other" three-song 7" (New Rage): "Pretty Now"/"Willy's Gone"/"Frogs"
• Various artists — "Choice Bovine Cuts" CD (Bovine): "Girl"
• Two-song split 7" w/Lab Rat (New Rage/Apraxia): "Systematic Break"/"Toil & Folly"
• Split 7" w/Control Freak (New Rage/Cavity Search): "Hair of Gold"
• Various artists — "Teriyaki Asthma Vol. IX" (C/Z): "One Proud Stout"
• "Debut Posthumous" 7" (New Rage): "Creepy Boss"/"France"

Me:With whom have you had shows, besides Flop and The Presidents Of United States of America?
Adem:We played with a ton of different bands over the years--everything from metal to punk. That list includes: Buffalo Tom, Superconductor, Alcohol Funnycar, Silkworm, Sleep, Forced Entry, Gruntruck, Mono Men, Ace Frehley, Love Battery, Everclear, Hazel, Crackerbash, Engine Kid, and many more I can't even remember right now.

Me:Do you remember any remarkable scene during a recording session or even during a show?
Adem:One funny thing happened when we were playing at this big, free outdoor show called Pain in the Grass in Seattle. We were opening for My Sister's Machine who were friends with Alice in Chains. Anyway, Jerry Cantrell came up to us and asked if he could borrow an amp so that he could play a song or two with My Sister's Machine. We were happy to oblige, and since there were three guitarists in Stymie, he could have his pick. He looked at all three, made a face of disgust and disappointment and just walked away. I don't know whose amp he used that day, but it wasn't one of our shitty units!

Me:What happened after Stymie? Did you perform in other band?
Adem:Stymie basically ended in late 1994. We recorded one last single ("Creepy Boss"/"France") in early 1995 and that was pretty much it. Jeff and I tried to kind of keep it going for a little while after that, and we actually had some really amazing songs that Jeff had written, but we just didn't have the enthusiasm to fully get it all going again. We did a couple of reunion shows in 1997 (without Patrick, unfortunately), but that was pretty much the end of the story. Patrick and I played in this improv/noise band called Blowhole for a few years after Stymie (we even got to play Lollapalooza, thanks to Sonic Youth who were the headliners that year). No one else really did anything serious after that. I played drums in a couple of different bands and our drummer James continues to play a couple of times a year in a cover band, with Fireclown's old bassist Karl. We're all still very close actually.

Choice Bovine Cuts (Compilation)

Things That Are Heavy 7"(Compilation)

Debut Posthumous 7"
Creepy Boss

Thanks again Adem...