Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Snow Day!

The kids are both home today because of the snow. Right now, they are pretending that the 2-year-old is Dora the Explorer and that the 6-year-old is her dog. Seems reasonable.

Later, I will dress them in their snowsuits, open the door and tell them to get the hell outside and to stay out there with no parental supervision until they're shivering and frostbitten. 

That's what my Mom used to do, so if it's good enough for me, it's good enough for them.

It amazes me that I actually survived my childhood. I can't imagine letting my kids have the amount of unsupervised outdoor play that I had. 

Different times, I know. My mom wasn't afraid of some sex-pervert or priest kidnapping me or getting me hooked on crystal meth, because that sort of paranoia is a more modern phenomenon, but I still can't help but think she was taking unnecessary risks with my well being. Maybe it's because I was her fourth child, and she had been through it all with three other kids already. Or maybe she just didn't love me as much as her other kids. That's probably it.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Stompbox - Travis

This is the first Stompbox ep called "Travis" from 1992. It was released on Summit Records (which later became Wonderdrug Records) as a cassette only release. We named it "Travis" after our friend Travis Lindquist, who let us appropriate some of his art for the album cover (which is right there to the left).

Travis recently showed up on itunes with incorrect art, and of course none of us are seeing any money from those sales, so I decided I'd put it up here.

Most of Travis was recorded at The Lanes studio in Allston, Ma. It's far from a perfect recording, but I think it's a pretty good representation of what we sounded like at that time, which was a wee bit more metal than we'd eventually turn out. 

Tracks: What's it Worth, Chevy S-10, Hate Me, Beer Slide, Saltpeterexitwound, Lobotomizer, Screwing in America.

Many of these tunes were later rerecorded for the album "Stress" which was released on Columbia in 1994.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Chevy Heston 1992 Demo

Chevy Heston was a band formed by Matt Martin and Zephan Courtney.

Matt and Zeph are the two constant members of the band, and at various times the other band members included Jeff Turlik (Stompbox/Milligram), Dave Shield (Articles of Faith), me, George Tsiaras (Honkyball), Aaron Martinez (who was in a cool indie rock band the name of which I can't remember), Carol Lee, Roman Bolks...I'm sure I'm forgetting some people.

Chevy Heston put out three albums: Chevy Heston (1994), Destroy (1995) and Come to Sterilized (1996). Also, there was Tomorrow is the Same Thing Again, which was a combination of both Destroy and Come to Sterilized. They're all good and worth checking out. Destroy is lyrically the most disturbing album I've ever heard. Ever.

No, really. EVER.

This particular recording is something we did in Erich Thaler's loft when he lived at the Mu gallery. May of '92. It's 8 track, I think. I don't really remember, could've been 4. The players here are Matt, Zeph, Jeff and me. 

Monday, January 5, 2009

Why is this news exactly?

Lately I've been noticing an odd trend in the headlines that I read when I check my yahoo email.

"World's oldest man dies."

I've seen this headline over the past few months several times, and it's always about a different world's oldest man. Today, I saw a headline that was something along the lines of "Woman believed to be the world's oldest dies."

Call me old fashioned (Well? I'm waiting.), but if I were asked to make a completely random guess about who was going to die soon, after my first choice pick of the obvious Amy Winehouse, I'd say that the World's Oldest Person would be a no-brainer.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Stompbox Live on Pipeline Feb 92

This recording is from the radio show "Pipeline" on MIT's fantabulous radio station WMBR. This was back before Stompbox signed to Columbia, and even before we put out the "Travis" ep.

This is what I'd call "true old school Stompbox"....This was before Erich had developed his homeboyish persona, and was more of funlovin' drunk guy. Funny drunk Erich was a lot more fun than Homeboy Erich, but I think the youngsters liked the Homeboy shtick a lot. 

When I listen to this recording, I am struck by a few things. For one thing, it's evident that Jeff hadn't given up the whammy bar yet. Additionally, there are a few examples here of  Erich's sometimes being, well, let's say inconsistent in the area of pitch.

I am also reminded about how long it took Erich to work out his vocal parts, and then am amazed that he was willing to perform songs live for which he had very clearly not written a single word. One quick listen to this early version of "Chevy S-10" will convince even the casual listener that Erich had no problem with this sort of thing.

There are a LOT of tunes here that we dropped later on. "Lobotomizer", "Secret Sharer", "Pick it Up"...these were all holdovers from the Stompbox days before Jeff and Zeph joined up. As we wrote more songs, these all got dropped from the regular rotation. "Little Lambzy Divey" and "Hate Me" were just too metal. As we grew into the band that we ended up, that stuff just didn't fit in very well with the newer songs.

I am also very thankful that there are no slapped bass parts on this recording. There were a couple early numbers in our repertoire that featured more slappin' and/or poppin' than one ought to be subjected to. Hey, it was the early 90s, it was practically required. Honest, it wasn't my fault! 

This stellar recording is the handywork of Carl Plaster, whose engineering skills and drum tuning skills are mighty indeed.