Monday, October 1, 2007

Infected: The Twelve from Texas (1992)

Was there a grunge music scene in Houston, Texas in the early 1990s? If there wasn't, there may have at least been the pretense of one, as evidenced by the January 1992 release of Infected: The Twelve from Texas, a compilation from the now defunct Sound Virus Records. This disc is mostly lost to history, as its initial printing was not immense and most of the bands featured upon it have since sunk into the musical ether. Accordingly, there is very little that exists now on the Internets with respect to it or the label that spawned it. But considering recent nostalgia in the Houston music scene for the early 1990s (including a reunion of sorts of bands that played at The Axiom, a Houston venue that closed long ago), an interest in the era has resurfaced, prompting this post about the fifteen year old compilation and the bands that appeared thereupon.

The disc was brought into being by Darryl Menkin, the founder of Sound Virus. The back cover to the disc lists the twelve bands included in the project:

Several of the bands still exist in some incarnation or another, or at the very least, have made an attempt to preserve their identity and efforts for posterity on the Internet.

The official track list is as follows:

1. Screambag, "I've Tried"
2. Frequent Friars, "Rusty Manhole"
3. Coma Toast, "Android"
4. Love Twitch, "Regrets & Apathy"
5. Dry Nod, "Sister"
6. The Trolls, "Maybe"
7. Joint Chiefs, "Read My Lips, You Suck"
8. Truth Decay, "Mind Your Behind"
9. 1453 BC, "Cows"
10. Bleachbath, "Indian"
11. From Now On, "The Crab"
12. Zendik Farm Band, "The Loser"
Technically, the Zendik Farm Band hailed from Bastrop, Texas, making it the only non-Houston band to appear on the compilation. On Saturday, February 29, 1992, ten of the twelve bands featured on the disc played a record release party. The event was held at the now defunct club, The Vatican (an August 1992 advertisement of which appears below):

Menkin left his day job to start Sound Virus Records. A 1996 Houston Press piece by Hobart Rowland sets the scene of the founding of the label:

For months, Darryl Menkin waged an internal debate over the pros and cons of trading in his old career for another. A record label -- his own record label: the thought of it one night caused a tossing-and-turning Menkin to bolt upright in his bed. "Why the hell not?" he thought.

A frustrated part-time musician, Menkin couldn't have been more miserable in his day job. After eight years at the Texas Medical Center, the native South African found his skills as a dentist were being wasted in a research position. Besides, he was pushing 40 and sick of eyeing molars.

After conquering his own doubt, Menkin had to persuade his skeptical wife Marleen that it was more than simply a middle-age crisis pushing him toward some scheme that could throw his family hopelessly into debt. "She thought I was nuts," he says. But after countless reassurances, Marleen relented, and Sound Virus Records was born.

In early 1992, Menkin was profiled by Marty Racine of the Houston Chronicle shortly after the release of Infected. In that piece, Menkin explained how he found the bands for the comp:
Going on "hearsay, recommendations and seeing bands live," Menkin gathered a list of prospects for an alternative compilation CD.

The ones chosen share "an excitement about what they're doing," Menkin said. "Their sound is contemporary yet individual. They're talented. They fit into the alternative genre, even if no one knows what the boundaries are.

"They're also marketable. We're onto something good. Thank goodness (Seattle alternative) Nirvana did what they did, because it's blown the lid off on this alternative scene. All of a sudden (Houston) is at the cutting edge."

...

Putting up his own money and dealing with the bands directly rather than with managers, Menkin signed the groups to a one-off -- or one-project -- contract for the "Infected" CD.

"These bands didn't pay a cent (to record)," he said. "I don't want to unfairly tie them down to anything that's unbeneficial to them or unbeneficial to our record company."1
In addition to its brief production notes, the release also came with a fold-out poster with a brief biography for each of the bands. It was printed on recycled paper and in a weak lime green color (and thus, not amenable to scanning in 2007). I include each portion below, along with the results of my searches into the whereabouts and fates of these bands 15 years later:

1. Screambag, "I've Tried"

Although the Infected liner notes don't list its members, Screambag was composed of Geoff Jugel on guitar and vocals, Steve Elliott on guitar, Ben Willingham on bass, and Christopher Matranga folded.). After playing drums in Sugar Shack, on drums. According to Matranga, the band's only other release was a four song demo tape featuring "Wreck It," "I've Tried," "Silver Toy," and "Silent Drive." The group disbanded in the early 1990s after existing but a year. Its members scattered across the country, with Elliott going to Delaware, Jugul to Maryland, and Willingham to Virginia. (Matranga and Jugul played together briefly in a band called Swampfinger after Screambag folded.) Matranga left Houston in 1997 for Chicago to obtain a Ph.D in Chemistry. He now lives in Pittsburgh and plays in The Burndowns and Ludlow.

SCREAMBAG UPDATE (10/04/07): Elliott emails with the following memories of the origins of Screambag:
Geoff and I had been living in the lower eastside of N.Y. , participating in seperate projects, I don't recall what Geoff was involved in, but I was playing in a flannel shirt project (Grunge was not a label yet) called Earth Pig. We put out an E.P., did some shows that were drawing some attention. Thurston Moore from Sonic Youth and J. Mascis from Dinosaur Jr. were in the aud. a few times, we got some good press from the village voice and did a few live radio broadcast. Earth Pig split up in 1989. Geoff had met this girl, Wendy, on the street in N.Y. , they fell for each other and Geoff followed her back to Houston. I moved down about six months later with the intention of starting a band with Geoff. We had attended a music conservatory together in Va. , which is where we initially met Ben. Ben was a skate punk who used to skate in front of the house Geoff was living in. When Geoff was in Houston he went to the grocery store for Wendy he ran into Ben in the checkout line, the rest is history. Houston, at that time, had thriving underground scene much more tight knit and much more vibrant and exciting than what was happening in N.Y. , I was lucky to have been apart of it.

2. Frequent Friars, "Rusty Manhole"

The Frequent Friars was Todd Bamberg on guitar and vocals, Joe Haynes on bass, and Chase Scott on drums (later of Dynamite Hack). Bamberg now lives in Austin, where he runs Flight Path Studios. In an email, Bamberg remembers:

I formed the band in about 1989 . . . . We were very close to the Bleachbath guys and had all cut our teeth around Houston at the Pik N Pak, The Axiom, Emo's, Fitzgeralds, Rudyard's, The Vatican and whatever backyard party we could find in the Montrose on a given weekend. JR of the Axiom (and Sugar Shack) and Brian Buscemi at Emo's were supporters and friends and put us on some opening slots for some bigger shows that were coming through town. Soon after, I went to work at Emo's with Brian, becoming house sound engineer and assistant manager there around 1991.

Darryl was forming the Sound Virus label and reached out to us to contribute a track to his compilation. We went into Saturn Studios in downtown Houston with Richard Cagle and laid down our track late one night in a few takes. It was a song I had written in about 5 minutes and was just improvising with some lyrics from other bands and I never wrote any real lyrics for it, I just stuck with the plagiarized ones. I always wanted someone else to handle the vocal role as I hated coming up with lyrics. Afterwards, I started assisting Richard at the studio on some other projects, until he closed down the studio when the building was foreclosed.

The Friars stayed together for about another 9 months, Joe ended up leaving the band in the middle of a session I was engineering at the audio school at [Houston Community College] (where I had done some tracking with Bleachbath and Blender), and I broke up the band soon afterwards.
Haynes now lives in Temple, Texas, while Scott lives in Austin.

FREQUENT FRIARS UPDATE (10/4/07): In an email, Haynes remembers the February 29, 1992 record release party:
When we had the record release party at The Vatican they gave out 100 CDs and 100 cassettes to the first people in. Everyone on the comp played except for the Zendik people, we had 20 minute sets with a 10 minute change time. We decided going in that we were going to try and squeeze in as much material as we could, so we practiced a 25 minute set with no breaks. We had Chase’s kit and Todd’s rig set up offstage so basically we could just carry it on and off in about 2 minutes. I (and most of the other bass players ) played through Daryl’s ’74 Marshall bass rig that he left set up on the stage. When we came out, Todd walked up to the mic and said “Hi” then we just played the whole 25 minute thing. At the end he said, “Thanks, we’re Frequent Friars” and we grabbed our stuff and ran off. Our approach seemed to go over pretty well, because 11 bands worth of stage banter started to wear a little thin by the end of the night.



3. Coma Toast, "Android"

Coma Toast was composed of Jarred Dennis on drums, Rich Patz on bass, and Rick Parker on guitar and vocals. In 1994, two years after the compilation was released, B.T. Wood became Coma Toast's lead singer. According to Wood, the band folded around 1996.

4. Love Twitch, "Regrets & Apathy"

Love Twitch was Robin Ervin on guitar and vocals, Nathan Ammons on guitar, Lonnie Minter on bass, and Johnny King on drums. Minter now runs a blog here, but did not respond to emails requesting comments or memories of his days with Love Twitch.

5. Dry Nod, "Sister"

The liner notes to Dry Nod's portion of the compilation do not reveal much as to the identity of its members. They state merely that their track, "Sister," was engineered by "Redo Makeshift" and Kay Bonya at Deep Dot Studios in Houston, Texas in January of 1990.

In an email, Bonya recalls:
Dry Nod was one of the very first bands to record at Deep Dot. I think that recording started on an 8 track 1/4 inch tape, and was later transferred to and completed on 8 track 1/2 inch after we upgraded machinery. That was a very exciting era of music in Houston. I remember that Dry Nod was my all time favorite to see live in those days.

...

Dry Nod was Fletcher and Roberto on guitars, Vaughn on drums and Kyle on bass.
The Kyle she mentions is Kyle Phillips (whose MySpace profile, linked above, contains two Dry Nod tunes).

DRY NOD UPDATE (10/06/07): In an email, Roberto Cofresi of Dry Nod sends the full line up for the band: Fletcher Etheridge on guitars, Roberto Cofresi on guitars, Vaughn Boone on drums, and Kyle Phillips on bass. Rob Nuttall later joined the group to play French horn. Cofresi now plays with the New Town Drunks in North Carolina.



6. The Trolls, "Maybe"

The Trolls included Gerry Diaz on guitar and vocals, Kirk Carr on guitars (formerly of the Pain Teens), Darryl Menkin on bass, and Patrick Earle on drums. According to the band's MySpace profile, it has existed in some form or another since 1986. Interestingly, Menkin, the Sound Virus promoter, played bass in the band at the time of the Infected compilation.



7. Joint Chiefs, "Read My Lips, You Suck"

At the time of the Infected compilation, the line-up of the Joint Chiefs was Jay Maulsby on vocals and guitars, Brett Needham on Chapman Stick, the late Pat Stallings on guitar, Leesa Harrington on drums, Scott Beliveau on percussion, and "the incomparable" Bill Bates on "random acts of madness." Today, Maulsby describes "Read My Lips, You Suck," their contribution, as "a little ditty poking fun at then-President George H.W. Bush." (The Joint Chiefs broke up in 1995; Maulsby (who is in Seattle), maintains a MySpace profile for the band.).

The artwork for the Joint Chiefs' portion of the insert was done by Scott A. Gilbert, who recalls:
I was (and sometimes still am) a cartoonist, and did a weekly comic called "True Artist Tales" which appeared for about 10 years in the Public News and the Houston Press. The illo of mine for the Infected comp (which Melissa Cherry put together with some other folks) was taken from one of my political strips about George Bush senior's ongoing bullshit at the time. It was one of many, and the Chiefs liked my stuff, so they used it, with my permission. I liked the band a lot, I think their stuff was more complex musically and they were individually extremely talented, smart, and practical. Nobody else around town at the time was riffing off of King Crimson as well as the usual barrage of metal and funk outfits the way they did. Plus they all had a lot of heart. Also, they seemed to connect on a broader level with things going on in other arenas of visual art and performance around Houston.
Public News folded in the late 1990s. (Here is a 1994 review of a Joint Chiefs record, and for more on the career of artist Scott Gilbert, please see here).



8. Truth Decay, "Mind Your Behind"

Truth Decay was, well, Truth Decay. Without names or any other identifying information on their portion of the liner notes, there is little to go on in finding the band's fate 15 years later. Strangely enough, however, the band has a Wikipedia entry, chiefly because of the involvement of Ralf Armin (formerly of the Pain Teens). Others involved included Frank Garrymartin and Scott Ayers (also of the Pain Teens).



9. 1453 BC, "Cows"

Although the liner notes for 1453 B.C.'s portion of the compilation credit the members only by first name, the line-up was Peter Murgola on guitars, Keith Christensen on bass and vocals, and Chris Roberts on drums. Their contribution is in memory of Richard Nelson. Vivian Kalinov of Kismet Management is also mentioned as being affiliated with the band. Christensen did the cover artwork for Infected (seen at the very top of this post).

1453 BC UPDATE (10/3/07): Christensen emails with a brief summary of the fate of the band: "We played around Texas and had a great time, about a year after the CD release our drummer Chris left for California (I think he is a carpenter out there now). We had a guy named John come in and play drums, played about another year with him doing shows and stuff but our own internal interest in the band faded it was not the same with out Chris on drums, and John wanted to get into a cover band I think (yuk). So Peter concentrated on an Art Gallery called the Minds Edge and I started Stoic Statuary a goth new romantic band. About the same time, I started Premier Media a IT/Web solutions company that evolved into www.trinicom.com, my computer company today."



10. Bleachbath, "Indian"

Although the band used nicknames in the Infected liner notes, Bleachbath's line-up included David Keith on vocals and guitar, Tyler Peck on guitar and vocals, Vince Mandeville on bass, and Ricky Costello on drums. In an email, Keith remembers those days:
Houston at the time was a pretty small scene and most of the bands were all friends. It was our first ever recording session. Our singer had just quit and moved to Austin and we decided that me and Tyler the other guitarist would sing but we hadn't ever done it. That riff was like the first thing I ever played on guitar. I liked Slayer. My vocals were kinda spoken cause I didn't know how to sing. The lyrics are mostly from Walden's Pond.
The band called it quits in 1995. (Keith maintains an official website of sorts for Bleachbath featuring many of the band's fliers, mp3s, and even a video. The defunct band also has its own MySpace profile.). Keith now plays in the Brooklyn-based band, The Ultra Lords, while Costello plays in the Houston-based Fired for Walking. Mandeville is a brewer at St. Arnold's, while Peck owns the Houston restaurant, Spaghetti Western Italian Cafe.



11. From Now On, "The Crab"

From Now On was Einar Pedersen on bass and vocals, John Simmons on drums and vocals, Pam Von Ohlerking on violin, organ, and vocals, and David Von Ohlerking on vocals and guitar. Dvaid Von Ohlerking is also known for having played guitar in The Awful Truth with Monty Colvin on bass and Alan Doss on drums. (Colvin and Doss would go on to become a part of the Galactic Cowboys.). In an email, Pedersen recalls:
"From Now On" (aka Duckbutter, aka The Awful Truth) was a great musical period for me, as was the Houston music scene in the early 90's. FNO was, of course, the musical brainchild of David Ohlerking. In the beginning, the band consisted of David on guitar, his wife at the time Pamela on violin, John Simmons on drums, and myself on bass. I guess the music was best described as prog/art rock. Lots of swirly effects, odd time signatures, more amps and gear than anyone in their right minds would bring into a club, and enough incense and candles to smoke out a city block. In fact, we created our own term for our musical style - FLOP (if that makes you laugh or turn your head like a confused dog... it's supposed to).

...

["The Crab"] was a fun tune in 5/8 that had a killer riff and a great chorus melody. And lucky for me, the lead line that happens at the beginning, before each verse, and at the end, was a part shared by Pam on violin and me on fuzz bass. We recorded it (and many others) at Deep Dot Studios in the Montrose area. It was a small studio located in two apartments at Montrose and Richmond with a killer vibe.

As I said before, that band and that time have a very special place in my heart. I was the youngest and greenest, and what I learned musically from those guys was immeasurable. That scene was also amazing. Really great bands, full of piss and vinegar, with an "us against the world" unity that I haven't experienced since. My only regret is that I'll be on the road this October, and will sadly miss the Axiom reunion, and the chance to hang with everyone one more time.
Pedersen now backs, among others, Kelly Clarkson.

FROM NOW ON UPDATE (10/3/07): Ohlerking emails to note that "[t]he lyrics from that song are from an Anne Sexton poem from her book called The Awful Rowing Towards God."



12. Zendik Farm Band, "The Loser"

The Zendik Farm Band was the only one of the twelve groups that did not live in Houston. In 1992, the Zendik Farm community was based in Bastrop, Texas, about two hours from Houston. However, sometime thereafter, the community moved to West Virginia. In response to an inquiry about the fate of the members of the Zendik Farm Band, an unnamed representative responding from the official Zendik Farm email address writes:
. . . Wulf Zendik went on as a single artist and stopped working with any band. Zendik music has always been improvisational--it's a different form to hue to and many people have a problem working within it. "The Loser" was a poem of Wulf Zendik's.

After Wulf died, Arol and the Zendik band formed and have released 7 albums which are played nationally and internationally. Currently a performing Zendik band is forming again, including Arol's daughter Fawn...Erim, Colt and Zoe. They'll begin performing early next year.
At 9 minutes and 28 seconds, "The Loser" was the longest song, by far, to appear on the comp.

THE LOSER UPDATE (5/10/08): Nez, the leader vocalist on "The Loser," emails with this account of the recording of the song:
It was 1988. We had just begun putting on live gigs a few months before, and Wulf had become too sick to perform. We were heading towards a tribal/punk sound at the time, and the line-up was quite loud with all the percussion. I still have hearing damage from those days! Anyway, I stepped up to the mic at that point--a bit reluctantly, but with much encouragement from Wulf. He handed me a huge folder of poetry that he had written, which I chose lyrics from. The first night of recording went well. But, I killed my voice bad, not knowing how to sing rather than scream. The Loser was recorded on my second night out as a vocalist, and I was quite hoarse. I was also playing guitar, and the whole she-bang was improvised, aside from having written lyrics. As an unspoken rule, all of our recordings were first takes.

Daryl contact[ed] us a few years later, after having gotten one of our tapes, saying that he really wanted to put out one of our albums. I think it was 'Strontium Rain' that turned him onto the Zendik sound. After hearing 'The Loser' he decided to put it on the Sound Virus comp. I was a little surprised since it was supposed to be all Houston based bands...

The rest is history, or at least should be ;)
The official liner notes to the Infected compilation are as follows:


Hey! Psst . . . . Which recently discovered virus is spreading faster than the AIDS virus? And is more powerful than the AIDS virus? The SOUND VIRUS, dork, 'cos it thrills instead of kills . . . and there is no cure. You are very fortunate to be holding in yoru hands the first lethal specimen Sound Virus, limited to 1000 copies, CD compilation of 12 Texas Alternative Rock bands (11 from Houston & Zendik Farm Band from Austin). We did not set out ot find the best Alternative rock grunge bands around (although some do appear on this CD) but rather, this compilation represents bands that were in the wrong place and the wrong time, caught in the Sound Virus and are now (sic) here for ya'll to enjoy.

...

Executive Producers: Darryl J. Menkin & Richard Patz
Recorded, Engineered & Mixed By : Richard Cagle at Saturn Productions, Houston, TX (Except Tracks 1, 5; 6 & 12)
Produced by Darryl J. Menkin (Except Tracks 1; 5; & 12)
Promotions, A&R: Melissa Cherry
Legal: Brad Fishman
Artwork: Front Cover - Keith Christensen; Back Cover - Marleen Menkin
Rooftop Toilet: Courtesy of Richard "Tom-Tom" Cagle

THANKS: Marleen Menkin, Nathan, Adin, Devos Family, Melissa, Ben, Will, Casey Monahan, The Trolls, Soundgarden, Meat Puppets, Cult, Sonic Youth, All the Psycho Oldies, Cheryl Cagle, Holly, A Higher Power, Chris Reeder, Christi Woods, Blueshounds, Vertigo, Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Metallica, Colin Reef, Chris Smith, Edward Puente, Sound Exchange, Public News, Elliot Meacham, Rivethead, Joanna at KTRU, Marty Racine, Steve at KPFT, Richard Patz & Lenny Philbin, Chris Puccio & Houston Records, JR at Axiom, Mark at Vatican, Paradise Lost Records, Lone Star State, Sam & Jo Driezen, Debbie & Dale Edwards, Steve Lorber, Brian Fox, Ralf & Suzanne Thomas, Stan Gordon, Stoffel, Keith Christensen & Vivian, Uncle Sam, Hayes Printing, Bill at Jones Duplicating, and All Inventors of the following: DAT, Cold Beer, Pizza, Condoms, Guitar Tuners, Nipples, Rats, Roachclips, Enchiladas, Women, Elevators, Dogs, Cars, Friendly Viruses, Recycling, Carrot Juice, Ears, Lips, Cellular Phones, Eyes, Earrings Thru Your Nostril, Blues, Children, Greenpeace, Chinese Food . . .
CREDITS UPDATE (10/3/07): Keith Christensen, the 1453 BC member who did the Infected cover artwork, emails on how he came to be assigned that task:
I was working with Darrel at his 70’s retro label called Paradise Lost records, he would reissue rare and obscure 70’s rock and progressive bands from the 70’s.

I had (and still have) a ’67 vw van art car [and] he liked what I did so I was commissioned to do the cover (I think I got paid like $100.0 or something like that) I had an aerial photo of Houston from I-10, so I did an overlay psychedelic overlay of the city. I loved the John Carpenters film “They Live” and I thought it fit in with the anti establishment vibe of the music, so I incorporated the Billboards as if you where looking through the special glasses from the film.
David Keith of Bleachbath was kind enough to send a flier promoting the release of the comp:

FLIER UPDATE (10/4/07): Joe Haynes of the Frequent Friars emails the following three scans from 1992 issues of Public News, Houston's alternative newsweekly at the time.

The above is a scan of the original album review by Staton Culver which appeared in the February 5, 1992 issue of Public News. (Click to enlarge).

The above is a scan of the original record release concert review by Staton Culver which appeared in the March 4, 1992 issue of Public News. (Click to enlarge).

Finally, the above is a scan of a 1992 advertisement for the defunct Houston club, The Vatican, noting both a February 8, 1992 From Now on show and the February 29, 1992 "Sound Virus Showcase Celebration," which was the Infected record release party. This ad appeared in, of course, Public News. (Click to enlarge).


For good measure (and posterity), the official Sound Virus logo was:

Interestingly enough, although the Houston-based Sound Virus appears to have folded sometime in the mid-to-late 1990s, another record label with the same name arose in California in 2001. According to Mike Ott of that Sound Virus label:
Sound Virus started for me out of an old label I had with Aaron Hemphill (from Liars) called Hopscotch. We put out mostly 7"s.... we did stuff for Death Wish Kids, Blood Brothers, !!!, Murder City Devils, etc... when that label ended, I started a new label on my own - Sound Virus.
But the nostalgia doesn't end there. Here is an advertisement for the club M.O.D. featuring a Coma Toast gig from August 21, 1992:

Here is an advertisement for shows by Love Twitch and the Trolls in late August of 1992:

Nostalgia for the era lurks. A number of the bands and musicians from those days (including the Joint Chiefs, David Ohlerking formerly of From Now On, and Jay Maulsby (formerly of the Joint Chiefs, playing with Fleshmop) will be playing at The Axiom's 20th reunion show:


AXIOM REUNION UPDATE (10/17/07): Jeff Balke, who attended the Axiom reunion, has a complete write-up of the event here.

Finally, the question remains: what became of Sound Virus Records and Menkin? As it stands, the label is no more. In 1995, it released a 7-inch vinyl record of Cheetah Chrome, former guitarist for The Dead Boys.2 Chrome fronted the band, Humungus, which was also signed to Sound Virus.3 There were, apparently, some bumpy spots in the label's history. Two individuals I contacted for this story had heard that Menkin had died, although the rumors of his death were apparently exaggerated. Menkin, for his part, now lives in Austin and plays bass for Tracy Conover and Carson Alexander.

1. Racine, Marty. "Musical malady/'Infected' CD holds promise of big exposure for Houston bands." Houston Chronicle, February 27, 1992.
2. Scott, Jane. "Now West Side 'Burbs Got the Blues, Too / Live Dead Boy," The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH), February 10, 1995.
3. Norman, Michael. "Cleveland Connections Around At Music Fest," The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH), March 21, 1994.

10 comments:

CosmoPolitician said...

excellent info on houston music scene. thanks for sharing this.

Anonymous said...

i just listne to this the other day when i ripped it to mp3.

nice review.

Lonnie said...

Wow! What a great post. Sorry I never got your emails. I assume you used the Garage Band email link. That is one of the places that I apparently forgot to update my email address.

Two corrections for Love Twitch:
1) Nathan Ammons, not Simmons
2) Johnny King, not Kiag.

Anyway... that was a great, fun time. I really enjoyed your article and appreciate all the hard work you obviously put into researching it.

Ribblefribbitz said...

It was a great time. Love Twitch recorded Regrets + Apathy at Jupiter Studios, with Richard Cagel engineering. I remember Johnny's headphones kept slipping off and we had to bungee cord them to his head. We had started out as a 3 piece - 2 guitars (Nathn & I), bass (Lonnie) and a drum mchine programmed by Nathan. My favorite time of the band's sound - it was like nothing else around and we had the balls to go anywhere and do it. Regrets was written during that time and when Johnny joined we were able to expand it with the freak out section.

We were 20 years younger then, and could conjure songs out of thin air, late at night, direct connect to the 4 track input.

Sprawl was the king hell band then - we idolized them. The Joint Chiefs were an offshoot of Sprawl (at first, with Matt Kelly singing) and when they opened for us at Backstage (a now defunct club that was on 290 and Mangum), we were so in awe of them that we choked HARD. I have a tape of that set that I used to play when I thought I had had a bad show.

There's lot more I could and shouldn't say, but we had a lot of fun, and made a lot of friends and played Pik'n'Pak a hundred times and it was one of the best phases of my life.

(Nathan, Lonnie and I still keep in touch - in fact Lonnie's blog was how I got here)

Ribblefribbitz said...

Oh yeah

Ribblefribbitz = Robin

gopack91 said...

I'd love to get a copy of that song by From Now On called "the Crab". I'm assuming this disc is out of print. Can someone hook me up with an mp3 of that song?

gopack91 said...

(forgot to check the box to get an email when someone replies)

Capt. Spastic said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Capt. Spastic said...

I still have this CD. He-he.

The Joint Chiefs were were the main ones that got me interested into this whole compilation, and have to say, I came to enjoy virtually every track on the disc.

Nathan Ammons said...

Love Twitch just released a new LP to Spotify etc.
http://open.spotify.com/album/2IpTnha2D4QeiPDeRlX9Lx