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Going through old shit is AWESOME! [Nov. 21st, 2004|04:09 am]
[music |Mozart - "Requiem"]

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(no subject) [Nov. 20th, 2004|11:24 pm]
I've been going through old boxes tonight, looking for material for the CT punk website that Charlie Krich and the_sikh_geek are putting together (info here: http://studio158.blogspot.com/). I've done a good job, compiling tons of 'zines, photos, and recordings. I'm especially happy to have found two things. First, the Pageant 12" that never came out. It's really an okay recording, though the guitars are mixed painfully low. Some of the songs are decent, and they deserve to be heard by the six or seven people who'll be interested.

The second find is seriously important to me. I found a tape recording of the Western MA band Spoke, from Charlie Krich's basement. On my other blog, I wrote about Spoke recently:

Mark Dargy and John Brown of Spoke/Not Without,
Charlie Krich's basement, 1991 or so.
Photo by me.

"...I keep thinking about Spoke. They released one 7" and one track on a compilation, and it's all terrible. The studio stuff captures nothing of what the band was like. I used to have a cassette of one of their live shows (I'm nearly positive it was the show that the above picture comes from), and though I haven't heard that tape in at least ten years, I remember every note. They perfectly bisected Fugazi's grooviness with AC-DC's crunch, way before Quicksand got off the ground doing nearly the same thing. I hear Dargy's new band the Irritators are pretty good, but I keep missing them. I don't really know how to contact the guy, but I look forward to running into him."

So yeah, I found that tape, and yeah, it's as good as I remember. For some reason, this post elicited lots of talk about Jay Adelburg, and not a word about Spoke. That is retarded. Lest we forget:

In the late 80s, Mark Dargy sang for a straight edge band called Wishful Thinking. He also ran his own record label, Community Chest, and put on lots of shows. Almost all of these shows, if I remember correctly, were benefits, usually involving food to be donated to those in need. I met Mark at one of the last Wishful Thinking shows, and he was very nice. I remember that lots of people looked up to him. Mark had a massive collection of DC punk records--lots of stuff that was even hard to find in 1989.

This scanner really makes every
piece of dust shine, doesn't it?
It doesn't look that bad in person...

Spoke was Dargy's second band. He played guitar by then, and a little wiseass named John Brown sang. Spoke was a clean-cut post hardcore band; an emo band, though that term means something very different now. Dargy, who worked for some sort of arms manufacturer, was an avowed socialist at the time, and the band had lots of peculiar ideas. They refused to name their songs, were rabidly against any vestiges of the culture industry, and they started calling themselves Spoke/Not Without. The Darge (as he was known throughout the land) started to loosen up and drink beer. I found out that he has a huge appreciation for, and a massive knowledge of, 50s rockabilly.

The tape I found sounds magestic to me. It was recorded on some sort of handheld tape recorder, in a basement. The tape cuts out here and there, and cuts off entirely about one fifth of the way into the best song. I still, incidentally, remember every note after the cut-off; they left such a great impression, and these songs have been in my head for twelve years!

This was the only local band that I've ever been an avowed fan of. I will make a strong case for this to go on the website in its entirety. I doubt anyone else will give a shit, but to me personally, they're as significant a band as any you might name.
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(no subject) [Nov. 16th, 2004|08:54 pm]
[music |Mikey Dread - "Beyond World War III"]

Well, welly well.

I had a great weekend, filled with musical activity. Saturday night, I, at the last minute, invited 18 people over to watch the classic Sun Ra movie Space is the Place for midnight. When the sole two attendees arrived, one of them was my friend Aaron, and the other was a tall man that I did not recognize. It turned out that this guy, Robert, was in from New York, having played a show at Hampshire College the night prior. Robert was a great guy, and I welcomed him to my whiskey supply (Aaron and I drank wine). Well, great guy or not, why would I tell you about Robert if there weren't a good reason? It turns out that this guy was in the band Birdland--Lester Bangs' early 80s rock group. Slam dunk. Plied by my Jim Beam, I went to town asking questions. I got answers. It was awesome. Interestingly, I'm told that Phillip Seymor Hoffman's portrayal of Bangs in Almost Famous is spot on, save the lighter hair. Who knew?

Sunday night the_sikh_geek and I went to see Hot Snakes at the Middle East. A better punk rock show you could not ask for. Many of these guys have been kicking it for 15 plus years, and it only shows in good ways. Lean, tight, tuneful yet blistering punk rock.

I heard about a legend, I saw some hot shit in action. That is a fine balance.
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