Everyone knows about most of the great Minnesota compilation records. There’s ‘Big Hits of Mid-America Vol. I-IV’, ‘Barefoot & Pregnant’, ‘Kitten’, ‘No Slow All Go’. Some of you may have even heard of ‘Burger Corpse’ or ‘Lung Cookies’. ‘Hypnotic Tornado’ is thee best Minnesota compilation you’ve never heard of. It is St Paul-centric, which means a lot to us at GJG.
Thanks to Paul Dickinson for releasing this great cassette. Paul was in Manifest Destiny, Pax Americana, Poetry Grenade, and you can still see him perform with FRANCES GUMM. Paul wrote one of Minnesota’s greatest anthems “I Will Not be Destroyed”. Sonic Boom Records would go onto release the first Tiltawhirl 7″ single “Pint of Blood” b/w “Define My Life” a couple years later. Tiltawhirl then became Arcwelder.
I love these two tapes. Really primitive songs; almost an ‘outsider’ quality going down here. If you like personal home-spun recordings, these tapes are for you. A 1990s double-bill with like-minded local Wesley Willis would have been a treat. The crowd noises on the ‘Live’ cassette give it a Rupert Pupkin vibe.
Herein lies Snag, a short-lived band featuring the debonair Patti Walsh on gtr and vocals, Jeffrey Hermann on bass, and Mike Huber on drums. A couple of these songs ended up on a 7″ single released on Jeffrey’s OXO Records label. I saw ‘em live a few times; they did not disappoint.
Thanks to Patti for the green light for letting me put these on the blog.
Heavens to Murgatroid, a high-energy power pop band from New Hampshire, played A TON of shows in the early 1990s, and toured the entire USA at least twice. They rubbed elbows with bands like The Vouts and The Cavedogs. HTM were the band that had the big pink school bus, and bassist Tim McCoy had a bass that looked like an electric banjo.
Some of these songs made it onto HTM’s self-titled CD, which has now become a valuable collector’s item. I once gave a copy of that CD to Deniz Tek of Radio Birdman- he loved it.
Thanks to Rick Twombly for granting me permission to post these tracks.
Jim was part of the crew from Harding High School who had a staggeringly huge impact on me. The half-dozen Class of ’78-ers that became musicians and introduced punk rock to the East Side of St Paul are the ones who blew up my musical ground zero. Jimmy played bass for The Reactors and Willful Neglect- legendary East Side bands.
Here are three songs Jim gave to me on two different cassettes when he heard that I was playing psychedelic music on Fresh Air Radio KFAI 90.3 FM in the early 1990s. Jimmy liked Jimi Hendrix, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, & Steve Vai a bunch back then. I played these on the radio; “Green Echo Dream” was played dozens of times. It sounds like (Willful Neglect singer) Wade “Calhoon” Johnson is singing on these tracks. Jim has since become a really good blues guitarist.
Thanks to Jim for giving me the go-ahead to put these here.
Green Echo Dream
BONUS TRACK: Jimmy gave me this for my birthday today, 11-5-12, GREAT NEW STUFF.
Jimmy was the kid from the ‘hood that would pull out a handgun and start randomly shooting into space, anytime he damn well felt like it. The most ‘Detroit’ of us all back then- a bad ass. This song makes even more sense knowing all that. Here’s to you, Jim!
The Red Headed Step Child
MORE BONUS: May 8 2013, sounds like Ron Asheton is back from the dead!
When the conversation comes around to my obsessive behavior of music, the one I get compared to most often is Jon Hunt. We are two peas in a pod; local music is especially a focus for both of us. A day like today is spent cross-referencing his stuff on the web & communicating via various channels online with Jon. If you’re wondering why one of Deep Shag’s songs is called “Smiley Smile’, they’ve earned it- Jon is a fount of knowledge regarding The Beach Boys’ “Smile” sessions and eventual release, he’s thanked in the credits. Massively talented on so many levels; I asked Jon a few questions this morning, and of course he answered right away. THANKS to Jon for EVERYTHING, I raise a toast to you and your old (new?) band!
GJG- Can you please give me a lineage of bands you’ve been in?
Jon- I’ve been in Deep Shag, Lunar 9, Hovercraft/Shatterproof, Landing Gear, Medication, Autumn Leaves, Silver Phial (in Los Angeles) and now Blue Sky Blackout. Phew!
GJG- Memorable Deep Shag shows?
Jon- Chris Hill points out that he thinks we only played shows from January to July of 1994. Is that even possible? My favorite show was one in St Peter MN with Hovercraft — we had a two day residency, it was a drunken blast. I remember Hovercraft covering “Can’t Hardly Wait” and me sitting on a roof with Lisa and Chris and listening to it. I don’t know how we could have crammed what I remember to be THAT MUCH LIFE in six months of playing.
GJG- Deep Shag studio memories?
Jon- We only went in the studio twice — the second time was the capper, when we did “Always A Turn-On.” Lisa was sick with a cold — you can totally hear it in her voice on the single! I still think it’s one of my favorite things I’ve ever been on.
GJG- I’ve been hearing rumors of a Deep Shag reunion. True?
Jon- It is absolutely true! We’ve been rehearsing, and me and Chris are writing new songs.
Here‘s a link to a recording of a show at The 7th Street Entry that Jon put on his facebook page, complete with cover art.
GJG is certainly the best place to buy a ton of records. We have 470,000 of them, and have been selling 'em for 29 years. GJG is also a blog: I like lo-fi analog sound (cassettes and vinyl, please) and lo-rez/highly-pixelated/blurry photographs of (mainly) Minnesota music and its related ephemera.
A word about the audio clips posted on this blog: ABSOLUTELY NO sound editing is used. No level boosting, no de-clicking, no 'cleaning up', no sweetening, no mastering. You can do that yourself if you like- we're trying to give you the actual sound from the item provided- warts and all.
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