Shoegazer DreamPop from Minneapolis; Colfax Abbey offered up this debut release for The Prospective label. One listen to this quiet yet roaring piece of sonic pleasure and you will understand why they were in the lead. I have heard the word “Droning” many times being used to describe the band’s trademark sound; graciously I agree.
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.
Lunar 9 produced one of the newest cassettes in my collection- by 1998, most bands were handing out burned-CD demos. But what a tape it is! Some tracks are very-produced, some are lo-fi, Lunar 9 exemplified all that was good about Indie Rock in 1998. They are featured with one of the lead-off tracks on the “Redeyed” compilation CD of 1990s Minnesota Shoegaze bands, their track “Prozac Melodie’ was a huge Radio K hit. Members of Lunar 9 previously were in notable bands (Deep Shag, Shapeshifter), and some are currently (2010) still knocking it out with Blue Sky Blackout. Thanks to Jon Hunt for allowing me to post some tracks on this super-good tape.
She’s So High
Addendum 1-27-12: John has put up a bunch of well-produced Lunar 9 tracks, and designed two cool covers to boot. Get ’em here and here.
Ahhh, Shapeshifter. The name conjures up many a freewheeling evening, of which Chris Strouth put it best into words with the liner notes inside the “Redeyed” compilation CD of ’90s Minnesota Shoegaze hits (you can find that one for sale on this site- happy hunting!). These guys all became great friends during that period right before my marriage & quickly-subsequent fatherhood; it all seems a few lifetimes ago. But what
great times, and what great music! I’ve always loved Terry’s drumming- such a great feel, and such a sweet guy. Shapeshifter were a personal favorite, and one Christine & I will always remember fondly. Thanks to Tim Ritter for giving me the go-ahead to post there here for you.
Low Profile (unreleased 2nd single- 1995)
Shimmy (Burr-Holland sessions- 1994)
Oblivious to The Obvious (first four-song tape- 1993)
Shoegaze monsters Colfax Abbey grew at such a fast pace once they got started, they went from opening in The 7th Street Entry to national tours in what seemed months. In concert, they perfected something I’ve never seen beforehand or since: even as the band was blissfully noisy & washed in droning sheets of sound, they were quiet, and you could carry on a conversation right in front of them. It was inviting & personal, yet very polished and produced sounding. Unique. Their two CDs & 7″ single are nothing short of beautiful. Thanks to Mark Margosian for giving me the go-ahead to present these.
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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