Today we have music from phases 2 and 3 of Waltz Bop Shop.
Grant's Marshall: Throughout my musical career I have had a lot of collaborators. Interestingly, the collaborator that has been involved in the most music was not a person, but a piece of equipment: Grant Garner's 2x12 50 watt Marshall guitar amp. Our first encounter was in Las Cruces New Mexico in the hardcore band Cattle Mutilators (with Dave Lamb from AOS) back in 1984-5. Next came Seizure Disorder and a series of guerrilla punk performances by the Archbishops Talent Exposure Collective (ATEC). These ATEC performances were a series of one-off groups with the mission statement "We never rehearse, we only perform." ATEC productions included a couple of infamous feedback drenched gigs in El Paso, Texas: The Exploding Archbishops opening for Tex and The Horseheads, and Fucked Up Nancy opening for Agent Orange and Blood on the Saddle. (Quote from a Horsehead. "We just did a gig with Jesus and Mary Chain. You guys are way better, and you're not assholes." That made me laugh). ATEC also produced The Asphalt Hamsters, Wargasm, Live Rat Pasties, The Cabbage Farmers, Harriet and The Matches (recording to follow), Legends in Our Own House, and others that I am sure I am forgetting and Grant's Marshall was there for them all. When I moved back to Albuquerque and Choke formed, Grant's Marshall was there again. Choke shared a rehearsal space with The Jonny Cats, Pueblo Dogs, a couple of reggae bands, and Waltz Bop Shop (and its predecessor Scat: A Logical Dog with Jon Jarden on vocals) and Grant's Marshall became the house guitar amp and got dragged to gigs by all the bands - playing for thousands of Albuquerque music fans. The fact that a large portion of these gigs did not involve Grant in any way is a testament to his generosity. Thanks Grant.
But, now to the music.
Waltz Bop Shop Phase 2: Phase 2 of Waltz Bop Shop begins when Grant's Marshall leaves the picture and Keif buys a Fender Super Twin Reverb from my brother. With the cleaner sound of the Fender, the jazz elements that were always present in Waltz Bop Shop's work came to the forefront. From phase 2 we have two albums of live material that were both recorded on KUNM's Ear to the Ground. The first primarily features songs fromAll My Idears are Flawed in Sum Way, and the second includes songs from across the Waltz Bop Shop catalog.
Tracklist: 1) Dress Code at Tito's 2) Kenneth! What's the Frequency 3) Self-congratulatory Non-conformist 4) Liquid Gang 5) Evening News 6) Feeble (Live) 7) Please yourself 8) One and three quarters 9) Tell ANYONE else
Tracklist: 1) untitled 2) Tax Shelter 3) Tapeleader 4) Samba Groovie 5) small talk 6) Tower Jazz Song 7) Vegetarianism 8) We'll be leaving soon 9) Michael Dummett 10) Forgotten title
Waltz Bop Shop Phase 3: Phase 3 of Waltz Bop Shop starts when we talked our good friend Jenette Isaacson into joining the group as a vocalist. Jenette was and is an actress active in local theatre (you may have seen her in a couple of movies too: Suspect Zero and Made in USA), and she brought a much needed dose of flair to our live show with her commanding stage presence. We only recorded 5 songs with Jenette. Which is too bad, because by the time Waltz Bop Shop final broke up in the late 90's, the stuff we were doing with Jenette was some of the best stuff the band had ever done. The recordings below (which I like a lot) give a glimmer of that later greater work.
We go back to the 80's for this one by Anxiety of Silence. A post-punk art rock band featuring David Lamb, from Cattle Mutilators and Manson Family Christmas fame, his art school compatriot Raul Dorn, and my brother Matt on guitar, A.O.S. was known primarily for Raul's on-stage antics (which included Iggy Pop levels of danger and head-worn architecture), elaborate stage sets, and catchy college-radio friendly tunes. The song "love riot" managed to top the local college radio charts, and A.O.S.'s legendary performances at the annual Art Students League fund raisers held in the NMSU art department sculpture graveyard were a sight to behold. Very much a band of the time, some of this stuff sounds pretty dated to my ears, but I was surprised while preparing this post with how many of the songs hold up.
Album:Rip It up Style: Post punk art rock with touches of goth & punk DIY Cassette release from 1988
A.O.S. were Raul Dorn - vocal David Lamb - Bass Matt Thorne - Guitar me - drum kit
Side One (note - tracking does not match list on cover) Southern Romance Song Love Riot Katchina Bad Brick Laughing That's My Heart Side two Bitter Grass Rhyme of Reason Confession Rip it Up Core Canto Mary Mary in the Lavender Pumps Thanks to Darin for the scan of the original artwork.
As a bonus, I have included some songs from one of the Art Student League Halloween shows. This one is from 1988 and was recorded by a fan on a reel-to-reel 2-track. Most of the tape is unusable due to "wow and flutter" issues, but I pulled the ones that I thought good enough to preserve. On the way to this show, Matt's homemade guitar amp fell out of the van at about 35 MPH. It lasted for most of the set, but you'll hear its final gasp on the end of "I can hear the Monsters." My old roommate Linda Rosul adds some additional vocals on "Caw Crow."
Tracklist: Caw Crow I can hear the monsters Robert The Thing (part II) Get it
By request we have what will be the only vinyl posted here.
The second release by The Jonny Cats was this punk rock 7 inch. These sold out quickly, but if you are in Albuquerque, Dave over at Charley's Records & Tapes (7602 Menaul Blvd NE Albuquerque NM 87110, (505) 296-3685) tells me he has a few tucked away.
The Jonny Cats were: Kenta Henmi - lead guitar Dave Chavez - bass Jonny Jarden - vocals, nudity Jonny Reed - guitar Johnny T- drum kit
Record:Burrrns Rubber Style: surfbeatcowpunkmutherfucker Released in 1994 on 7" vinyl (500 copies). 33 &1/3rd RPM American Low Fidelity Recordings Cover art by J.B. Jones (R.I.P.)
Track list (player plays all tracks): 1) Pinky Black 2) Comfort 3) White Trash 4) Whiskey Woman Stupid trivia...rumor has it that this poster was seen hanging on the wall at the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame.
Stay tuned for A.O.S., more Waltz Bop Shop, the unreleased Jonny Cats full-length, more experimental soundscapes, the genius of Joe Brown, and whatever else I can dig up.
Today we have a (p)re-mix of the track "Sandfall" off of valis. Valis is the second release from a collaboration between my brother and I called psychic enemies network. The first release, P.E.N., came about as a result of my purchase of a vintage 128k MacIntosh with an ancient midi-sequencer program. The soundscapes on P.E.N. come mainly from pushing the limits of this set up. Many of the sounds on P.E.N., in fact, result from errors and glitches in the technology. For valis, on the other hand, most of the soundscapes are created from looping and layering live sound sources (environmental or instrumental) using a new toy (at the time), a mini-disc recorder. "3 days til Sunrise" was one of the more ambitious attempts to use the mini-disc to ping-pong tracks against a DAT player to layer live performances. By the time valis was done, this track ended up as part of the coda in "Sandfall," but I always liked the raw track, so I thought I would share it.
Sandfall:3 days til sunrise (p)re-mix. Style: darkdub rhythm drone source: a room full of percussion, a Linn drum machine, and me with too much time on my hands.
(Was I listening to too much muslimgauze?..........nah).
I think I am most comfortable thinking of myself as an experimental musician. For me this means I experiment with the process by which the music is created. In this sense, Choke was the most experimental band I have been involved with. This is true despite the fact that the product of Choke's experimentation ended up being closer to pop music than anything else I have played. This experimentation in large part involved doing things to break the band's members out of comfortable roles and habits. So, for instance, 4 of 5 the songs on our eponymous e.p. were based around guitar parts and bass lines written by the drummer (me) who can't play guitar or bass. Add to that a guitarist on bass and a bassist on guitar, turn it all up past eleven even on the pretty songs, and...well, just listen.
Style: Post-punk dream pop with a quick detour into prog-noise. The players: David Liso- guitar, bass, vocals (check out Dynamo Stairs) Grant Garner - bass Matt Sneddon - guitar me - drum kit, steel pan, hand drums, metal objects, loops, samples
Choke released two DIY cassettes, Gauze and Total Reverence. My copies were, ironically, all but destroyed in a crushed box during one of my many moves. I was able to salvage all but three tracks off of the cassettes thanks to scotch tape & razor skills learned in my experimental music classes back in the day. The track Green Hand, in fact, was put back together from almost a dozen splices using several cassettes. The three missing tracks are a great version of Barcelona, a version of Alexander Orchid that includes a hammond organ part missing from the version above, and a slower noisier version of Browse. I will work on finding clean copies of those tracks. I'll upload them if they become available [update - Now available here].
Choke: Gauze/Total Reverence Style: shoegazer, rave, post-punk, dream pop. DIY cassette releases from the early 90's. Recorded in our rehearsal studio using 4-track cassette machine
Tracklist: 1) Mortar 2) Sex Trial 3) Shine 4) Crushed box/grill 5) Bliss 6) Poundcake 7) Circles 8) Tanta Figa 9) Green Hand 10) H20 (clank mix)
Note: player plays all ten tracks
For archival purposes, I am also including two unfinished bonus tracks. These were recorded live to ghetto blaster in our rehearsal space. Both songs were eventually part of our live set list, but they were never properly recorded. There is something about these takes that I like: Lo-fi noise.