As work in the studio starts spinning, so does the music. Below is a list of albums currently in heavy rotation that I recommend, a little archive of memorable recording projects, and a sampling of MP3z for your enjoyment.
•• Now playing:
The Afghan Whigs – Do To The Beast – 2014
Django Unchained OMPST – Various Artists – 2012
My Jerusalem (Jeff Klein) – Without Feathers/Gone for Good – 2009/2010
Public Image LTD – This is Pil – 2012
Talking Heads – Stop Making Sense (Special Edition) – 1999
•• Working archive of memorable recording projects and demos:
B.D.C. (Blind, Deaf & Crippled) – All That Survived, 1987: a collection of practice session demos from our first teenage punk band. BDC, while a short-lived summer experiment, featured the talents and eccentricities of Mark Thompson & Brian Beech (vocals), Justin “Bone” Chearno & Paul Baker (guitars), Bob Cassidy (bass), William Wilson (keyboard) and Gary Calabret (drums). The first and only gig occurred at The Cedars Lounge (Youngstown, OH) 07/29/87 opening for Neurotic Nathan. A couple handfuls of cassette copies distributed to friends/fans only way back in the day.
The Witching Hour – 1988-1990: a collection of miscellaneous demos from Alternative Chaos/Culture Shock bedroom and Rust Monster basement recording sessions. Collaborators included Pete Christie (guitar), Dave Flynn (vocals/bass), Ralph Snyder (keyboard), Mark Thompson (vocals), and J.J. Zetts (guitar). Individual session cassettes distributed to friends/fans only.
de(vice) 2000: one solution – original soundtrack v.1.0, 2000, Confessional Recordings/Happy Death Music: Rhinohead Productions & Gunk Recordings presents a site-specific, multi-media installation by William F. Wilson II & J.J. Zetts. On display June 10th – July 7th, 2000 at Trumbull Art Gallery, Warren, OH. Mastered soundtrack features 5 original songs, a dj sampled mixdown intro and a trip-hop cover of the traditional Amazing Grace featuring guest vocals by artists Robyn Elise Maas & Michelle Monseau. CD out of print, MP3s with PDF available: $8
Lover’s Quarrel and the slow death of America, 2003, limited edition maxi-single, Confessional Recordings: Rhinohead Productions presents a one shot produced as a remote collaborative project with J.J. Zetts blending love-gone-bad and post-9/11 commentary. CD out of print, Mp3s with PDF available: $2
DJ Confessional – Electrotribal Getdown, 2005, single, Confessional Recordings: a dramatic electronic GarageBand lesson – an appropriate dance party track to the end of things. MP3, Free on demand; download it here: DJ Confessional – Electrotribal Getdown
Thick Asian Girls/Thick Asian Girls II, 2005, maxi-single, Confessional Recordings: two variants of bass exclusive/heavy instrumental – inspired by Asian morality-play films and and friends, Lara & Aina, who encouraged me to start playing the bass. The use of “Thick” in the title does not refer to body-size/type, but rather to the complex positive attitudes of the girls and the heaviness of the layered bass tones. In the end, fun and solid! TAGII MP3, Free on demand; download it here: WFW2 – Thick Asian Girls (V1)
Your City – My End, 2011-14, demo, Confessional Recordings: work in progress
•• A batch of out of print gems, and few tunes that I like, that you might too:
1. Thin White Line – Dock of the Busstop (1988 – Brain Thrust Productions – Demo Cassette) Pittsburgh’s visionary soul-punk! We miss you Bobby Porter (1951–2010, R.I.P. old friend). TWL – Dock Of The Busstop
2. Slam Whitman – (late 80’s Demo Cassette) Athens’ Ohio short-lived, mysterious and seriously shredding hardcore outfit. State Of Nature Heroes From Hiroshima Covert Crime Against Humanity Hollywood Preacher Warfare Intro Billy Daze Euthanasia Ohio Woke Up Ronnie Fashion Urban Death Song
3. Orange Roughies – Eye Patch (1989 – Knuckle Sandwich – Nocturnal Records) Detroit’s alterna-monsters, when being “alternative” actually meant something in the world of music. Also check out the classic vid for this tune on youtube. OR – Eye Patch
4. J.J. Zetts – Needing Someone (200? – unreleased demo single) Long time friend and collaborator who’s long over due to release a solo album. J has a knack for catchy killer pop songs and raging metal; groove on this track that could have been a hit single in the 80’s. JJZ – Needing Someone
5. California Speedbag – Shitlist (2002 – The Fire of Misery – SV29) Rustbelt cowpunk courtesy of Frank at Smog Veil Records. Support his indie lable at http://www.smogveil.com CS – Shitlist
6. The Twilight Singers are excellent. Ohio in the 90’s was better off with The Afghan Whigs and everything Greg Dulli has done since has been great. Here’s a promo courtesy of Subpop Records Podcast off the 2011 album Dynamite Steps. Listen, listen again turning it up louder, then get go buy it: TTS – On The Corner
Requests? Over the years I’ve collected an oddball collection of rare and live recordings from alt and punk bands from the northeast Ohio/western Pennsylvania region as well as bands that travelled through our small but memorable circuit of bars/clubs. Most were digitized from warping vinyl and fading cassettes of the 1980’s & early 90’s. These include Knifedance, Sacred Hate, The A.G.’s, Boogie Man Smash, Father, Scarlet Picnic, The Barking Hippos, Symphony of Terror, Orange Roughies, Slam Whitman, Hoodface, Thin White Line, etc. If anything of this nature trips yer trigger, let me know and I’ll post it up for ya.