Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Summer Babes or This One's For the Ladies

It seems like the last few summers, the songs I wanna spend the season with are all by ladies. Maybe it's just a coincidence, but there's something about summer that seems to get me going on a fox hunt. Actually, that's not even right. The songs I end up playing endlessly all seem to find me. A few years ago, I fell head over heels for Amy Winehouse's 'Back To Black' album. And I went looking for more. Well, come the summer, I found the Al Usher remix of Tears Dry On Their Own. Damn. Why did she have to go all crazy?

And last year I Otis-come-latlied my way into the Alex G remix of Paris Hilton's 'Screwed.' Hot.

Well, I've been digging through the boxes of old cassettes and digitizing all kindsa audio goodness. I recently came across a tape I put together years ago. When Pier Platters went under, (Yeah, I ain't forgot. We'll get back to that story. In due time. Don't rush me.) I figured I'd get an A&R job at one of the labels. Seemed a reasonable transition. A number of the A&R folks shopped at Pier and many would call us up and have us put packages of the hot unsigned bands together for them. I'd been doing it for free for years. So I put together a reel with a few of the bands I knew that had the goods.

Unfortunately, my timing was a little off. (Indie rock had worn out its welcome by that point.) But maybe not so unfortunately. Looking around these days, I'd say the major labels have worn out their welcome. But I digress.

Listening to that tape again, I found my '09 summer jams. First up, Jenny Mae. Straight outta Columbus, OH. She was hanging round with the likes of Gaunt, New Bomb Turks and The Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments. She released a split single with GBV, which is where I first heard her. Somehow, I managed to get hold of a demo tape with some unreleased tunes, which is where I found this disco rocker hiding out. It musta hitched a ride on a time machine from the summer of '79. Check it out.

And I got one more for you. My ol' pal Odes. She started with the band Love Child, an underrated pop/noise trio from NYC. After Love Child, she struck out on her own. Her first release was a delightful single for the Merge label, Meltway, recorded at Hoboken's late, lamented Snacktime Studios, featuring Yo La Tengo's James McNew on bass. She followed that up with the excellent Me and My Big Mouth EP, also on Merge. Odes slipped me a tape of a song from the tail end of Love Child that I don't believe ever saw the light of day. Until now. I am very pleased to present to the world, Erotomania.

Crank em up and have yerself a merry little summer!


  1. thanks!

    really good Jenny Mae song. keep digging, i know you have more.

    btw, that's Will Foster from Guinea Worms on bass.

  2. Otis--
    Great minds think alike! I played that same Love Child song on my radio show last Wednesday (July 15). You can still hear it (at minute 60) at: http://www.sendspace.com/file/9elpz8.

    But FYI, "Erotomania" by Love Child *was* released (only in Spain!) on a double 7-inch Hoboken comp called "This Is Art," which also featured Yo La Tengo, Vineland, and Cell. It came out in 1993 on a short-lived Spanish label called "Radiation Records"--and it was the very last Love Child recording ever to be released.

    I have the motherlode of 1988-89 Love Child recordings, though--including many unreleased songs. The Trash Flow single culls six of these 30-or-so recordings. I would be happy to send you the whole thing on CDR if you'd like a copy.

    1. Mr. Katkin, I doubt this will reach you, but if it does, I'd really be interested in having a copy of your Love Child motherlode CD. Been having a flashback Christmas and rediscovered how much I love their first 7". I found this page searching for other early recordings by them. Please contact me, if you'd be so kind. Thanks very much! Perry @ talabereldon@gmail.com

  3. This is Art - A Hoboken Compilation
    Double 7" Radiation Records (RARE-009) 1993

    1. Blue Star (Cell)
    2. Beholden (Vineland)
    3. Erotomania (Love Child)
    4. Some Kinda Fatigue (Yo La Tengo)

    Notes: All Hoboken bands who practiced in the same space.. Track 4 is a different version of a song from May I Sing With Me.

    Details from Matador's Annotated Discography:

    Lyle Hysen: Hoboken needs a lot of things beside pizza and nail places, and an 8 track studio is one of 'em. I was hanging out a lot with Fred Brockman, and he thought it would be fun if we ran a studio together. He was wrong. Oh we got along fine, actually having some good laughs at the expense of the unknowing talent. Since a control room wasn't an option, Fred and I had to invent hand signals so the talent wouldn't know what we were saying. In the long run all I was trying to say was: "Can I leave yet?" Fred worked really hard, and did some great stuff, and like most things, well, you figure it out. "This Is Art" is a compilation with mainly bands in the practice space with Snack Time Studios. Oh that crazy Unai... It was all his idea, and well, I really have nothing but bad memories about the compilation. Yo La were pissed about how small their name is on the cover, and we got into a fight about Fed Ex expenses. Eventually everyone else on the damn thing broke up and Fred moved away. My favorite fact about the record is that the title "This is Art" was done by fellow ex-Das Damen member Alex Totino. I only found that out AFTER the record was released.