Saturday, May 30, 2009

Killer Bananas (The Christmas Mice) (1992)

John Swart gave me a cassette tape many years ago from ish richmond division, called "ish 34, a tribute to the gnome". On it were a bunch of bands I hadnt heard. One of those bands was the Killer Bananas. I will let Erik Sugg tell the tale.

It was Dave Didonato & I during the summer of '92. "Steve Lewis" was about our boss at "That Seafood Place", who we hated. "Swim Wish" was a "tribute" to the Smashing Pumpkins whereas "Chromatic Life" was a tribute to S.O.D.'s "Chromatic Death." Somewhere Dave has the full length recording. I think we may have called ourselves The Christmas Mice at one point too.

Southern Vibrations part 1 (1999)

Around 1996, a bunch of us were sitting at Taco Bell in Williamsburg VA and Mike Chapman told us his genius idea of creating a southern rock band called Southern Vibrations. It was a funny joke, and none of us even listened to southern rock at the time, so the idea sort of went by the wayside like many other bands that could have been. In 1999, while Mike was on a break from school, the Southern Vibration's idea came to fruition. Another one-off ish band, but this one was gonna be real songs with real song writing, still mostly recorded in one take. It was Mike on bass, Erik Sugg on guitar and Joel Lindelof on drums. These were the most challenging ish songs to date, with actual song structure, multitracking, and lyrics but that's not to say the humor wasn't there. The sound a of a beer cracking open on "Loose Legged Woman" sets the tone for the rest of the session. By the time "Southern Man" was ready to record, it was late and we were drunk and you can hear Mike falling asleep at the bass, barely plucking away at the strings. That is easily my favorite part of this session. Mike was so tired, he went home, leaving Erik and I to finish the vocals on "Southern Man" to ourselves. Our faithful 4th member, John Wallace, was there to share ideas and cheer us on throughout the night. I had always hoped there would be another Southern Vibrations session, and eventually there was, but that will have to wait until another time.

Loose Legged Woman

 Flyin' High
 
I'm A Southern Man
 


Friday, May 29, 2009

Rheum 237 (1989)

The very first ish band, Rheum 237, recorded these songs in Joel Lindelof's attic in 1989 with Joel on drums, Nathan Mercer on bass, and Dave Cashen on vocals. I had to dig deep in the archives for this one. The band was named after the infamous room in The Shining. Nathan was playing some homemade bass he called "Methusda" through a tiny amp with lots of distortion. "Moose Goosers" was a song Dave had heard when he was younger, so we put music to it and had a song. The rest of the tracks were all improvised and done in one take. Nathan and Joel were listening to a lot of Cure at the time, and there are some Cure covers that will appear eventually on this blog. That's it and that's all.

The Nightcreelers 4 track (1994)

Recorded sometime around 1994 (I think) on a 4-track in Brian Campas' living room, this was a brief period of The Nightcreelers without a bass player. I am not sure if this was after Tony Brown in between Dave Joyce, or after Dave and in between Tony returning. Regardless, it is Joel Lindelof in Drums and Brian Campas on guitar and bass. "Holly Portal" was Brian's knock on the Jolly Mortals, but sounding nothing like them. "Firebell" was obviously an homage to the firebell I had mounted on my bass drum, though there is no firebell anywhere in the track."Let It Ride" was one of the first songs ever we ever wrote as Ladybug, then Bear, and then passed on to The Nightcreelers. You can hear Amy singing backup on the last chorus. "Telescope Man" was our attempt at writing a trashy surf rocker. Apparently we were listening to a lot of surf music and trash rock at the time and Brian must have just recently got the tremelo/pan pedal as it's everywhere on these recordings.

Let It Ride

Holly Portal

Telescope Man

Firebell