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.
The suburban wasteland of Downers Grove, Illinois spawned the band Reaction Formation in the early 1980s, and they eventually became an often-gigged & sometimes-touring juggernaut of youthful free energy. Tuneage ranged from classic Midwestern jangle-pop & indie rock; they were “pop” enough to also appeal to the mid-1980s Chicago Mod scene (Green, The Slugs, 007, I-Spy, The Dig), which was documented very well in the Chicago Reader recently. Guitarist Jim “McGuinn” Slusarek became a national powerhouse in alternative radio (he now resides as Program Director for Minnesota Public Radio’s The Current) & singer Steve Timble became publisher of Time Out Chicago (now at The Wall Street Journal). I remember spending lots of great times with these guys, whether they were opening for Trip Shakespeare in Minneapolis, playing Mod Night at The West End in Chicago, or just partying in Champaign (their eventual home base during college years), they knew how to have a good time.
Here is three tracks from two cassettes; coincidentally they are all songs that became a-sides of their 7″ singles, but using different recordings. Galesburg Bound was recorded at House of Chin’s in Champaign, November 7, 1987.
Looking at You
Thanks to Jim McGuinn for granting me permission to post these here.
Here is a home demo of a song that Jim did with a drum machine, not really RF as a band, but great nonetheless:
Jim Ellison of Material Issue gave me a three-song cassette under the name AMX at the afterparty for Urge Overkill’s last show in Chicago in 1996 (before UO’s eventual reuniting). He wanted to have me put out a 45 under a pseudonym. Unfortunately, Jim died soon after. Two of the songs on the tape made it onto Material Issue’s posthumous Rykodisc CD, one is unreleased.
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.
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