Thursday, August 24, 2006

Back in Richmond at Plan 9 records there are a few boxes of 7"s that no one in their right mind would want. Records so wack that not even the mere pittance of a dollar will make them disappear. This very box, however, has delivered up to your humble narrator some precious jewels, and I count it among the things I miss about Richmond. So to celebrate Richmond's brilliant music scene, without further ado, the dollar bin band search!

First up is More Fire For Burning People. It is a cruel twist of fate that this band ended up in the wack stack and with a mere fifty cent price tag to boot. The drums on Utah alone are worth the once standard rate of $2.25 at least and a whole lot more in terms of karma. These two songs are good, tight, but I miss the companion cassette. Those songs ruled. Hopefully Brian and Curtis will get back to business since their various meanderings have brought them both back to Richmond.


Next on the list is Mulch's classic Driven Down. Not only was this record only $.50 but someone had penciled in "sucks" on the front. I couldn't resist. The first time I saw Mulch, I had come up from Williamsburg to see the Dwarves play (who were supposed to be returning after their infamous Richmond show). They didn't show up, so I end up going to see Elvis Hitler and Mulch at Twisters instead.

Antiseptic Sting
My Constant Struggle With Reality
Hit Me Like A Smell

Gore DeVol. I never got the story on that name. I always associated it with the writer, Gore Vidal, who I'm a big fan of. Mulch and Gore DeVol share a drummer, Fred LaPierre, who also ties in to How To Pray which Chris Suede covers on his site. Metal played guitar in this band. He and I bonded over having ridiculous nicknames that exist in spite of ourselves. My nickname, Blade, happened because there is a Sabbath song on Never Say Die called Johnny Blade. My friends Mike Chapman and Tom Jeremiah thought it would be awesome to get everyone to start calling me that. It worked for a while. I'm not exactly sure how he got his nickname. The story as best I recall it is that he called up his future roommate over the summer before he moved to Richmond. The kid wasn't home, but Mike got to talking to his mother. She asked him what kind of music he was into and he said, "Metal!" Thus was Michael transformed into METAL. Or something.


I was actually in Nudibranch around the time these songs were being written (though I never got to record with them). I played a few shows in Richmond and went on tour to New Orleans and back with them and Chutney. I've known all these guys for years and am infinitely inspired by all the music they come up with. How the fuck Nudibranch winds up in the dollar bin is like, why the country is run by slovenly pig-fuckers. There is just something wrong.

Synthetic Division
Silver Lady
Sick Room

Orlock wins for best cover art. I love that image. Orlock simultaneously evolved out of Nudibranch on the one hand and serves as a prequel to all future Wade projects. This record evokes that weird paranoid time in the mid to late 90's where things were just getting more and more bizarre. We'd had a Democrat in office for four years with four more to go (who, like any Republican, found good reason to bomb the shit out of people all the time, both here and abroad). Aliens of the outerspace kind were ubiquitous, my entire household was living in an alternate reality caused by William Cooper's Behold A Pale Horse (who oddly enough was shot to death by cops a few days after 9/11). Average art students were undertaking intelligence agency-level activities under the rubric of investigation in the name of art. And plus, weed doesn't make you paranoid at all.


Unlike the rest of the bands so far I don't really have a point of reference for this band. I think I only saw them once at the Hole In The Wall. You can tell they've been playing their instruments for a long long time.

Good Times
O Tse Can You Tsee
Mao Tse Theme

I know equally little about First 5 Thru. The main thing I remember about this band is that they were supposed to play a show with the Jesus Lizard at the Metro at one point. The show had a $7 cover (and mind you, this was the era of Fugazi and their no show over $5 policy), so FFT decided to boycott the show and play for free in someone's living room instead. I don't know if this helped or hindered the JL's guarantee, and either way, I didn't attend either show. I like the guitar and drums on this record, but the vocals get on my nerves a bit...



Blogger chrisuede said...

wow you summed up the climate circa Hanover House perfectly. sorry about that.

this is great. my Gore Devol record skips and i've been trying to locate F5T for a while.

Metal Mike was in Orlock for a minute too. makes for a more complicated tree. and of course the tie in with Gore Devol and F5T and How to Pray...oh it goes on and on, does it not?

6:54 PM  
Blogger St. John said...

On and on, just like your heart, on and on...

11:09 AM  
Blogger chrisuede said...

heh heh. yr cool :)

8:52 PM  
Anonymous taylorcrown said...

Metal Mike lived in Johnson hall right next to John's Partin & Cambell. His roommate (I can picture him, can't remember name) was a "Steel Pole Bathtub" type. They had the smallest room in history. We all just called him Metal Mike. Don't really know why. He always seemed to have a good sense of humor about it. Incidentally, down the hall was a guy nicknamed "the lanky quaker" because, you guessed it, he was tall, skinny, and a quaker.

As for f5t- they were an awesome band, with innovative time signatures, great hooks. Eric (hellmach 4), chris Voccia (infamous HGC cover), I forget the drummer (chris do you remember??), and a great charismatic singer. One of my favorite RVA bands.

8:12 PM  
Blogger St. John said...

Max Heinkle played drums. He worked at Neptune studios for a while and did an industrial group called In Search Of Obsession that I really liked.

1:23 AM  
Anonymous Nasty B said...

i never realised how much Mao Tse Helen sounded like Trout Mask Replica era Cpt Beefheart.... almost like a more cohesive US Maple.... that Bopst charecter played bass...tis all i know about them other than I saw them at the o.g. Hole In The Wall and they were awesome live.

8:50 PM  

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