Thursday, February 28, 2013
Big news: Display, whose lone LP and other miscellany we recently shared with you, dear readers, have reunited and are playing their first show in over nine years. It's next Saturday, March 9th, at Chop Suey, with Kinski. Also, my birthday is tomorrow. Pretty rad. So, here's that post, so you can get up to speed on why you must be there.
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Dalmatians were a synth party rap 3-piece. I saw them one time, at Drone Hill, a house in Beacon Hill where Craig of Black Japan lived. It was right after my buddies Display suddenly broke up, and I was pretty bummed out about the way things went down. I found myself talking to a few folks, one of whom introduced herself as "Chicken", which I thought was odd but chalked it up to presumed hippie parents. Turns out she was in the opening band, the lead squawker, as it were, and all three members had made-up names. Chicken yelled simple raps and jumped around while "Pongo" pounded a small drum kit, and "Balsa" yelled/rapped along with Chicken, triggered sequences, and played simple synth parts akin to 8-bit game soundtracks. Much dancing ensued, a fun time was had by all, and the band's songs were mostly enthusiastic uptempo encouragements to party and have a fun time. It was fitting, and it was exactly what I needed in that moment.
If my memory is correct, it was one of the band's earliest shows, and they only had the four songs on this CD-R they were handing out. People loved it so much that when they finished those four, they played at least one of them again to appease the crowd.
I don't think Dalmatians lasted very long, but they were a lot of fun. Balsa's next band put his real name in the title, as the Brian half of Casy & Brian. Pongo, aka D.W. Burnam, was later in a band called Katherine Hepburn's Voice with Shannon Perry, Dalmations' very own Chicken, who would later form the punk duo Butts, and is now apparently more focused on painting. You can see her work here.
Download the 4-song EP here.
Here's a two-part video of a Dalmatians show at the Punkin House.
Friday, February 1, 2013
Vermilion, spelled with one "L" for some unknown reason, were a two-headed beast from Everett. The first head was the Texas is the Reason/Roadside Monument - influenced emo period of 1998-99 or so, wherein the lineup consisted of high schoolers Eric Yates on guitar and vocals, Eric Junge on drums, Danny Oleson on bass, and Colin McBride on guitar. This lineup produced a couple demo tapes, one of which is included here.
The second head of the beast emerged after Yates left to focus on Portal, the remaining members listened to tons of Slint and Don Caballero, and Bryce Shoemaker was brought in handle the increasingly math-y guitar duties. Danny took over the vocals, which became less and less frequent, and shifting complex time signatures and complicated, dynamic instrumentation became their calling card. They put out a CD-R and lone 7-inch (both also included here) before driving out to Chicago to record with Steve Albini what would be their only LP, "Flattening Mountains and Creating Empires", featuring artwork by Roger Dean, aka the guy who painted all the Yes album covers.
After going their seperate ways, Colin and Danny opted to get away from all the complexity and started the pop band Speaker Speaker. Eric Junge started Patrol with Doug Lorig of Roadside Monument (a major early influence), Bryce formed Bronze Fawn, and Eric Yates kept bouncing around between bands, most recently as a member of Tit Pig.
Download the tape, 7", and CD-R, with full art scans, here.
Update: I finally got around to the other demo tape of theirs that I have. I'm guessing this is from 1999. 5 songs, plus a 3 song set that I recorded, probably at the Grange. Download that here.