Monday, January 27, 2020

"Canaries" by Team Fright

This might be the last video from the VHS tapes unless I find another gem from the remaining two tapes. This is a version of "Canaries", a song I wrote while I was in The GoGoBots. It's about women in World War I London working in a bomb factory. They were called canaries because the material they were working with gave them a yellow tinge. This version is by Team Fright and comes late in that night's set, so it's a bit ragged and out of tune, but the energy comes through, so you should get the idea. It's a good song. I still play it. I always liked playing Pat's In The Flats. The bar is gone now, but it was a working class bar by day that turned into a garage rock club by night. It was run by an old woman named Pat who was really nice and who had inherited the club from her parents. I went there once for breakfast, and it was really good, and it had to be the cheapest breakfast in town. I don't know when poor Pat ever slept if she was serving breakfast and having bands play until 2 in the morning.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Team Fright - "A Kiss, A Cheek"

This song originally appeared on the Let's Get Killed vinyl compilation. On that recording, it was just me and a guitar. It sounds even better with a full band though, and Team Fright does a nice job here. It was nearing the end of the set, and my voice was getting a bit ragged and the guitar a bit out of tune (I had broken a string earlier, and fortunately, Joe Meno was on hand to read a chapter from his then new book Hairstyles Of The Damned to fill in the time, but the new string was still settling in), but overall, I like this version. I particularly like Ray's background vocals, but the entire band really gives the song a nice Wedding Present feel with those hyperstrummed jangly chords. The song is still in my set. It is a fun one to play and as timely as ever since it points out how daft religions are. I am wearing my shiny shirt in the video. I bought it at a Fashion Bug sidewalk sale in 1996 or so and always found it good stagewear. I still have it. Now that I seldom play out, the poor thing languishes in my closet. It's not something one wears for everyday use, at least for me. We had played a Smiths song that Jason liked, so I had channelled my inner Morrissey and hugged the audience while unbuttoning my shirt. That's why for this song the front of the audience is all female. It's not so much that my bare chest attracted them so much as I terrified all the males into retreating to the back. Sorry, guys! The political sign at the end references some inside joke that Ray's friends had, something about a teacher of theirs who had done something naughty (I forget the details now). I have at least one more Team Fright video from this show to share, probably next week.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Team Fright - "Dead Man's Food"

Here is another gem from my old stack of VHS tapes. This one's from a Team Fright gig. Team Fright was the last band I was in. It was a good band. It featured Ray from The Joslyns on guitar and Matt and Jason on drums and bass respectively, who kept playing together after Team Fright broke up, most recently in Bwak Dwagon. This clip is specifically from a gig at Pat's In The Flats, a cool club in Cleveland, Ohio USA. It was recorded on 7 August 2004. This song was based on a true story where I went with my friend Rob to guard his uncle's house after the uncle, who had lived alone, had died. We had to spend the night there, so we were told that we could eat all the food in the house, which was nice but eerie since we were eating food the uncle had planned on eating. Ultimately, it was a creepy experience but an interesting one. Musicwise, I particularly like the riff leading into the chorus here. You can see some more Team Fright videos courtesy of my pal Zartan here.

Monday, January 6, 2020

PFE Live!

It may be a new decade, but I am still going through my old videotapes.  This track comes from the one and only performance of PFE.  PFE was the joke industrial band that Mark of The Escaped Fetal Pigs and I always wanted to do as a side project.  We never quite got around to it, but in 1992/1993, The Pigs were invited to play an AIDS prevention benefit for the Bowling Green State University Campus Democrats.  Since The Pigs were no more, Mark and I decided to do PFE but as a serious project.  Unfortunately, we were billed as an Escaped Fetal Pigs reunion, which was not true, and which probably annoyed Jim, the bass player from The Pigs, who was working at the bar we were playing at that night (talk about awkward).  I believe we smoothed it out with Jim that night once he saw the band, which sounded nothing like The Pigs.  We had two drummers, Jeff from Pogeybait, whom I had played with in The Flaming Toasters, and Dave from The Angry Housewives (in fact, this might have been Dave's first show, and he might not have been old enough to be in the bar otherwise).  Brett from Armadillo played bass, and Mark and I played guitar and sang.  We had to throw the entire show together quickly since Dave and I lived in Pennsylvania, so we basically had the day before to learn the set and practice in Bowling Green, Ohio USA.  It came together pretty well.  This track, which probably isn't actually "Here And Now", but whose actual name escapes me, was a bit more garagey than the rest of the set, which indeed was fairly abrasive like Ministry (we even did a pre-Marilyn Manson industrial cover of "Sweet Dreams"), which you can hear a taste of at the end of the video.   It would have been fun to see what this band would have developed into, but since the band lived in different states, it was not to be.  Dave and I would go on to play in Yeast? and Anal Spikemobile, but it was the last time I played with the others.  This band in a way was a bridge between my college rock days and what was to come.  PFE didn't really stand from anything.  We would just make jokes that it was an acronym for Pure Fucking Energy and whatnot.  It later came in handy though when I needed a name for the rock band in my first novel.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Poem Of The Week!

It looks like The Red Fez has chosen "Wednesday Evenings" as their "Poem Of The Week".  Back in 2015, they chose a couple other poems of mine as poems of the week, so it's nice to have another poem of mine join them.  I didn't write much poetry in 2019 as I was concentrating on the new novel, but we shall see what 2020 holds.