Monday, December 31, 2012

4 Year Anniversary

    I've been neglecting the shit out of this blog.  No excuses.  Not like I'm busier than usual.  Just trying to get out and enjoy life that's all.  As a result I got nothing to share on this the 4th anniversary of this thrown together project.  I resolve to pay more attention to this blog next year.  I've got a few small projects in the works so expect to see more in the next few weeks.  I promise.   

    I was tempted to retire the blog all together with that last post.  Still wondering if this thing will go out with a whimper instead of a bang.  It still feels like it's worth doing so I'll continue at a slower pace perhaps.  But I can't predict the future so maybe it will come out even stronger next year?  

    I'm not surprised that the blog has only gotten more popular.  Nobody gives a fuck about anything when you start out.  It's only when the train starts moving that people will climb on board.  Now the blog is averaging 2000-2500 hits a month.  Which is a little unsettling.  Who the fuck are all these people?  Not that I don't appreciate it.  I'm just usually content to live in my own underground.  And let's be realistic.  That many people is still far underground and for that I continue to be thankful.     

    I'm still not sure what the mission of the blog is in the grand scheme nor do I give a fuck.  Just keep laughing and celebrate the world and culture that has meant so much to my life.  I have to assume many of you are hoping to hear old tunes from the past.  I got no more old tunes but several people have contacted me saying they want to share their old tapes.  We'll see if that pans out next year.  Expect more surprises, experiments, and whatever else I can throw against the wall.  

    In the meantime I'm having fun in the now.  I hope you are too.  Happy new year.  

Friday, September 28, 2012

Usurp Toe revisited

         I feel like a dumbshit writing about art.  But that hasn’t stopped me from doing it.  Partially by design but mostly by accident this blog/project has become a repository for my own throw away “art” and a place where I like to think I’m celebrating the graveyard of art that nobody seems to give a shit about.  I’m stumbling around in the dark as I navigate these waters.  I’m sure it shows.     

            I’ve always been at a crossroad either lost in art and having a snide aversion to it.  Maybe I see too much “art” not enough action?  I’ve come to understand I’m surrounded by art, and artists and it’s like living in a made up world.  I mean that in the everyday sense.  From the movies I’ve seen to going to concerts to walking by billboards to taking a shit in a public toilet.  The art is everywhere and it feels like a façade with no real meaning that builds a reality that is shared and leased.  It’s made me start to revere history a little more as it seems to be less “made up” than art and a lot more hopeful than politics.  But my actions with this blog have been less than academic in respect to history.  I talk too much shit.  History is written by whoever takes the time but the permanency of the written word makes me feel like a fool.  I’m more interested in entertaining myself here as opposed to saying how shit “went down.”  But maybe the two are not mutually exclusive.  I mean history is made up too right? 

            A portion of this mixed feeling stems from my own lack of direction to where my “art” will be taking me next or if I’m willing to keep riding that art train at all.  I’m sick of always wondering what’s it all about.  But it doesn’t feel like I’m able to stop.  I still feel like yelling.  Constantly.  Loudly.  Even if it’s yelling at a wall.  And yet no matter how loud I get I’m screaming in a vacuum.  The intensity of the silence scares me knowing my voice is just echoing off the canyons and it’ll soon die down.  I think about all those things that happen that disappear into nothingness. 

            Mortality creeps in.  I sense the Earth and the universe of which I’m a tiny atom.  I talk myself into believing that to create is to make something that outlasts life.  It tricks me into thinking there’s more to what I’m doing then there really is.  Even if the words are bullshit the fact that they’re written and forever engraved on the page makes it truth whether or not it is.  The fact that so few people write makes it seem more truthful even if it’s lies.  Not just that; it also lives on as my mortal shell disintegrates.  It makes history appear as subjective as art.  It makes propaganda seem like valid education.  It makes me fucking flush with myself and perhaps that’s the point of creating to make something outside myself for which I have a semblance of control.  Goddamn it’s been a while since I got laid.

            Maybe some perspective is in order.

            I was dating a woman last year who worked as a stage manager for a local theatrical company.  One night we were talking about our work and she mentioned how she was looking to get out of the theatre world.  She’d grown tired of demanding actors and artists who lived only in the ME and punctuated it with a story about how she was involved in a play that had a rape scene.  She confided in me how she was a victim of sexual assault herself and went on to describe the pains she went through trying to maintain a professional disposition as an actor tried to immerse herself in the role of the rape victim over and over again in rehearsals.
            Art has been a religion to me at different times in my life.  Food and drink.  Sustenance.  When I see the shortcomings like the one illustrated above it makes me wonder how much phony bullshit I’ve been eating. How healthy can that be?  How much phony bullshit have I spouted?  How close to the truth can you come?  And who gives a shit if you did?  So what else can I do as I crawl into middle age?  Have a family? Activism? Terrorism? Hedonism? Hiding away?  I’ve been a chipping away at all these things too.  Except terrorism.  OK FBI?   

            Yelling at a wall is all well and good but it’s a few steps away from being a schizophrenic.  And perhaps it’s less amusing when everyone else is yelling too.  I laugh at how meaningless it can feel.  Somehow it relaxes me as I think of how unimportant my voice is among millions.  Billions.  It makes me more determined to never shut up.  Why stop now?  We’re all talking at the same time anyways and ultimately no one speaks for me.  I gave up caring whether I was heard a while ago.  Yet I keep listening, and I’m not hearing anything that has anything to do with me.  It’s that silence that pisses me off more than any sound in the world.  It’s unnerving more than pathetic to know there are so many people and yet a stony silence pervades.  It makes the loneliness more unbearable.

         And so the yelling continues.  I look into the past for some foothold from when I seemed to have a firm grasp.  Into the future I look for a destination to make sense.  In the present I shake in my shoes or find some way to light the fuse.  Or just to escape.   Again.    

            When I get in these moods when I’m so full of myself, full of shit, demanding too much, asking myself questions that are impossible to answer, jaded, uninspired, and flat out disgusted something fucking weird will usually happen.

            I met Dave Gilbert at the second Zinecon.  There were a lot of good zinesters, artists, and nincompoops in attendance but I was struck by Dave’s work.  I did a shitty interview with him that somehow got destroyed on tape.  It’s largely unwatchable but if you fast forward to about 2:45 in the clip posted above you’ll get a nice dose of his artwork that I was able to capture on that day.

            I walked away impressed with Usurp Toe and wondered how this guy was around for so long yet I’d never heard of him.  I bought a copy of his graphic novel and the years skipped by.  I posted this interview two years ago and quickly forgot about it. 

            Of all the forgotten artists I’ve written about on this blog I was most surprised when someone contact me about this horribly butchered video interview.  It happened when some guy named Thomas Cook from Ohio got in touch with me regarding Dave Gilbert.  Turns out he is a huge fan and he was real excited to see Dave in an interview.  We corresponded at length about Usurp Toe and Gilbert’s creations.  It got me excited to remember those hilarious comics that I barely got to enjoy.  I’ve since lost my one copy of Usurp Toe so I begged Thomas to send me some scans of his collection which I could share here.  He balked at the thought of sharing someone else’s work since it wasn’t his own.  But he sent along Dave’s address and told me to ask the man himself. 

            I wrote a letter to Dave anxious to see what he’s up to now.  The letter came back return to sender.  I continued to talk with Thomas Cook and we both wondered what had become of Dave.  Somewhere in the course of our emails he mentioned the fact that Dave had amassed a body of animated films.  Holy shit!  I’d forgotten how Dave mentioned working with animation in the interview and shortly thereafter Thomas sent me a link to those very animations.  It was here that I came to realize that Dave Gilbert has since passed away.  The youtube page with those animations states plainly that these are “Cartoons and videos by the late D.W. Gilbert.” 

            Mortality creeps in again but this time it was more than philosophizing about death, art, and egos.  The point being that the celebration of Gilbert’s life continues through the lasting impression of his incredible art and humor.  I justify my chest thumping stabs at free expression because I can’t see my self being represented but here is a voice that is saying the stuff I want to hear and creating worlds I want to know.  It’s that proximity to my life and my world that gives Dave’s work a value that’s hard to measure and a comfort that is hard to put into words. I see it as a gift from Dave.  He probably never thought of it that way which makes it all the more special.  It speaks to me and for me and that’s not something I see too often.  Maybe it will speak to you.  If not I really don’t care.                          

            The animations included here are only the tip of the iceberg.  I suggest cracking a beer and watching all the clips included on the Usurptoe youtube channel.  They are intelligent but grounded in reality making them equal parts genius and surreal firecracker thrown in your face.  Not to try and wrap this all up with a pretty bow but Usurp Toe is a genuine triumph of art.  Communication, understanding, and the ability to identify with something even if you aren’t sure what the point is. 

            I’m not sure what programs Dave used to make these short films but the personality and laughs are easy to discern.  It makes me thankful that he took the time to make these films.  I think he made them for himself because there is no intersection of art and commerce in these pieces.  Or maybe he was chasing the dream we’re all sold that we can be stars if we work hard enough?  That we can get our point across if we just keep trying.  In any event they’re made from pure inspiration and designed to inflict joy.  I think they do the job.

            His graphic novels were equally inspired.  I’m including the one issue that Mr. Thomas Cook was kind enough to scan for me.  Mr. Cook is a true fan of Dave’s work.  Thanks very much to him for reminding me of this immense talent.  In our email exchanges he mentioned to me that he feels that Dave Gilbert is an Outsider Artist through his work in film and illustration.  I think everyone I’ve touched on with this blog should be considered Outsider Artists.  If you’ll excuse me I’ve got some more walls to go yell at.     

            Below you will find the issue of Psychopath that Thomas Cook emailed to me.  Much thanks to Thomas for sharing. Hopefully he'll send more scans as it sounds like he's got several issues of Dave's work.


Thursday, September 27, 2012

rode (part one)

     I was lucky enough to take a cross country motorcycle trip this past Summer which took me through Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California, and Oregon.  I wish I'd gone further into the deep South but maybe that will happen for a future trip.

   This is video I shot with a shitty point and click digital camera but it brought back good memories from the road.  The video is a little iffy but I also took over 8,000 pictures from this same trip from which I plan to make a short animated project.  In the mean time heres to a great country no matter what I normally say.  

Saturday, September 15, 2012

One Eye Open- Punk End Theory demo

      Goin a little off topic here so fuck you.  I loved this band when I discovered them in the late 90’s.  I felt like they were a lost gem who never got their due.  Somehow these guys seem more obscure than the band Your Mother if such a thing is possible.  They're also equally as funny as Your Mother.  The bros in Vegas really loved em.  At least the bros I hung out with.  They put out a few CD’s which were fair to middling, they came out with a punchy 7” on Very Small records in which they covered TV theme songs and later put out a split LP with Schlong also on Very Small records.  The Schlong split was probably the pinnacle of their legit releases but I loved their demos, this one in particular. 

      Funny shit going on here.  What kind of music is this?  Uhh… punk rock right?  But not of the Ramones clones variety.  Just goofy dorkiness deftly played and that’s about all I can say.  I wanna say this is like a Frank Zappa band doing hardcore mixed with metal, jazz, and funk.  I know that sounds like shit right?  Well somehow these dudes got it right in my book, mostly because it’s so fucking funny.  I listened to this cassette for years until it finally got eaten.  I think I somehow digitized this from that shitty copy I had when I was room mates with David Hayes years ago.  I think that's what we have here because this recording cuts out in some places and ends rather abruptly.  I found it in a box of burned CD’s I was planning to throw away.  Good thing I looked before tossing it all in the trash because I also found an obscure Doo Wop CD and two CD's by Gary Numan in that box as well.  Bonus.  

      In any case I’ve tried finding this online to no avail so I’m posting it here because I think you should laugh.

      Hailing from Long Beach I think these guys started as a ska band in the early to mid 90’s but later ditched that style to become something greater.  What that style is I have a hard time figuring out myself.  I just think it’s fuckin hilarious. 

    You might like it.  If not whatever.  I’m not gonna shit myself.  I saw them play live when they came through Vegas on tour in 97.  They played at GT’s house on the East side.  I thought they kinda sucked that night but then again I fell down and hurt my shoulder while trying to limbo.  So there's that.  I suggest downloading the song Al B. Fungless first.  Or maybe if I'd pick a hit single I'd say it's This Is Drunkski.  Maybe Anu Neighbor? It's pretty short and it works good together I suggest downloading all of it if you can be bothered to click on all the links.  Sorry I still haven't figured out how to allow you to download whole folders with one click.  I'm computer inept.  I guess we should just be thankful Mediafire is still around.  For the moment.

    To learn more about One Eye Open go here.  I just went through all this trouble to post this and just now I ran into their facebook page where you can download all their songs.  I'm a idiot sometimes.  Perhaps more internet research is needed before posting from here on in?  If you want an inferior quality version of these songs from this particular demo you can download them below.    

Download One Eye Open -Punk End Theory- below

Monday, June 18, 2012

Hairball/Forehead demo

            On a lark I "internet searched" the Forehead/Hairball demo a while back and lo and behold I found it out there in the ethoshere.  Makes me wonder how many demos from my past are out there and how many more cool bands I’ve forgotten about.   When I think back I sometimes get confused about what was a dream and what was reality.  Sure wish I’d kept a diary of some sort so I could remember all the bands and people who kicked me in the ass back then.  Hearing old demos like this one bring back proof of the ones I know really existed.  This demo was a split cassette release featuring the bands Hairball and Forehead respectively if not respectfully.        

            I remember liking this demo a bunch when I first heard it.  I’ve been curious how I’d feel about it in the here and now.  I only saw Hairball and Forehead play together once and that was out in the desert at the Lossee Road spot.  I never seen em again although I recall seeing flyers for numerous shows by both bands.  Feels like I remember more shows that I missed than the ones I attended.  I’m not as cool as I make myself out to be. 

            Somehow I got no drug story to tell about that show.  I’m sure all this bullshit I’ve written makes me out to have been a drug addled teenager but the truth is I didn’t have enough money to be on drugs all the time.  At this particular show I remember barely being able to catch a buzz from the 12 pack of Meisterbrau I had to share with Gonzo and Angelique who gave me a ride.
            Drugs or no drugs it was a great show as were most of those experiences.  I made out with a girl in the ditch on the side of the Tubes at that show.  Maybe that’s why it was so memorable?  Or maybe that was at a different show?  I don’t know maybe I was on drugs?

            In any event it was good to finally go to a show without there being a huge fight or a random fascist skinhead attack.  I was in the 10th grade so it was prior to the skinhead onslaught that turned that scene in on itself just a few months later.  It’s hard to put into words how sadistic and dangerous it was to love hardcore punk back then.  It sorta makes me want to beat up punks of today so they can taste the anxiety instead of living the mediocrity of their mundane store bought angst but it's probably just my duty as an old man to speak down to the youngins when the reality is they might have more answers than I’ve been able to provide.  We can hope but I’m not gonna hold my breath.
            My buddy Gonzo hadn’t turned nazi yet at that point.  Having friends go from far left commies into far right Nazis overnight happened more often than you’d think back then.  Just another reason to question the legitimacy of any and all groups, cliques, tribes, nations or scenes.   Anyway I lost touch with that guy and hadn’t spoken with him in years.  My last interaction with him involved watching him do a bunch of meth and drink 40 ozers for a few days in a row.  I coulda swore he was dead or in jail and the next thing I knew we hooked up via the internet.  Turns out he’s a prominent member of the African American community now.  Which is pretty fucking rad.  I’m not joking.

            And so the demo:  Good tunes.  Kinda standard hardcore is what I thought I’d be hearing after hyping it up in my mind all these years but these songs remind me of how good we had it back then.  I keep commenting on how the hardcore bands from Vegas had originality and real musicianship but I think it’s hard to deny.  Maybe we didn’t have as much of the dogmatic hardcore sound that other scenes from that time produced.  Bigger metropolitan areas put all the emphasis on making it louder and  faster and not much else in between got explored.  Plus we were out in the middle of nowhere making it up as we went along which meant we were bound to come up with something unique to our surroundings. 
            I remember thinking how unchallenging and somewhat conformist so much of that east coast hardcore seemed in the late 80’s.  Yeah it could be brutal and the Metal sound seeped in a lot sooner than it did on the West coast but so many bands were just cookie cutter.  Don’t think for a minute I’m downplaying the significance of some of the stellar high profile bands like Bad Brains, and yeah Discord records had it’s day but even that first Husker Du record should have rocked more than it did.  Plus the sheer amount of bands in the more populous East coast and Midwest dictated that most of them had to suck.  C'mon, does anyone remember Crumbsuckers?  That shit was awful.  Even back then I remember thinking it was all tough guy bullshit that sounded the same and didn't have anything illuminating to say.  Small wonder that fascism would later become the fashion of the underground as 80's hardcore folded in on itself.  Not like anything has changed as indeed it's only gotten worse above ground.  More normalized.  More accepted as truth.   
            I recall sitting on the couch with my folks watching Youth of Today on the Phil Donahue show thinking it seemed kinda tame and somewhat lamebrain when it should have been more triumphant and more intelligent.  They were representing me right?  Maybe it would have been better if Ray of Today had smoked some PCP before coming on the show?  Disgusting to think that the skinhead brawl on Geraldo’s TV show may always be the above ground representation from that time period for "my" generation.  At least Geraldo got a broke nose which is cool by me.     
            Once again I’m talking out of my ass just to hear myself bitch.  Maybe I'm just dreaming all this shit up?  Anyway I think those scenes from the East tend to get more focus largely because they were the only ones pressing records at the time.  It wasn’t until way late in Hardcore’s “growth” that the west coast came into it’s own with records coming out to document regional scenes outside the loop who didn’t have a voice.  Prior to that it was all demos which were impossible to circulate or even survive to be understood in the grand scheme of pseudo revisionist history of which I’m haphazardly playing a small part.  Maybe demos were mandatory because the bands only had enough money to spend on drugs as well? 
            It’s hard to speculate because I had such a limited worldview of what was going on where at the time.  It’s easy to act like I know shit and really I've always thought I was an authority on the subject but the truth is as I’ve turned my attention back to those times I realize I only had so much insight and it was usually from what was right in front of my face.  As mentioned I’ve probably forgotten more than I’ve remembered.  We only celebrate what we know right?  I'm glad I know this demo again.  

            It's a good one and while the boombox production value is typical shit for the time it’s also part of the appeal as I keep repeating.  Maybe if there was more money invested in the recording these bands would’ve sounded more like Gorilla Biscuits or some such crap? 

            The night of that show I was blown away by Forehead.  Their guitar player was skillful and rippin.  Hairball was cool too.  The singer had liberty spikes which was punk as fuck.  Listening to the demo today makes me dig Hairball a little more for the weird turns they take and the fucked up reverbish distortion pedal on the guitar.  Forehead is equally all over the map mixing pop here and there with y'know urgency and shit.  They're even vaguely post-punk which is fuckin rad.  Both bands are oddball late 80's hardcore.  I don't know if I like it as much as I did in 88-89 but it's good to hear it again.  There’s now a freeway onramp going over the Lossee Road ditch and I think suburbs now go past that ditch for another few miles.
            Much thanks to Scott Fisher for sharing this with me.  He played bass in Hairball,  Kevin Sanford was on vocals, Wiggzell (?) on guitar, and Tom Stone played drums.  I only know of Chris Steiner as the vocalist of Forehead.  The tape cover says Aaron "Dudeman" played bass and Steve "Huss" played drums.    My knowledge ends there.  Although Scott was kind enough to mention how Hairball went out with a bang for their last show as the odd band out at the Boulder City dry lake beds playing with Blue Ruin and Jimi Jackpot and the Hotslots.  Funny stuff. 
                  I'd hate to be the one to pick out the hit singles here as all the songs got charm.  They feel like a comfy, smelly, old blanket.  It makes me wonder if there can be a precedent with this demo as among the first, and last, of the vaguely psychedelic hardcore.  Mostly I'm thinking this because I'm sure all these guys were on LSD regularly during those years.  Substance D might fall in that category too as well as the final album by Cryptic Slaughter.  I can hear the brain cells burning in the night.  

                Even if you weren't at any of their shows there's a good chance you'll get some kicks listening in.  I really dig Turn To Dust by Forehead and Floundering In Fire is a sure winner from Hairball.  Both bands are a tad on the sloppy side at points which is a good thing in my book.  Brings back that frantic feeling that was paranoia and freedom mixed together in the desert air.  Again I'm not talking about the drugs.  

 Download Hairball side below:

Download Forehead side below:


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Sampson's Army demo

            Much thanks to Rob from Kill the Heroes blog located in Northern Ireland.  He provided the Viva Las Vegas compilation that I re-posted here last week as well as some other treasures which I’m a bit unfamiliar with.  This cassette has demos from Abeyance, Remains, and Sampson’s Army.  I have no idea about the first two bands but I am familiar with Sampson's Army

            Fact is Sampson’s Army played at the first “punk” show I ever went to.  Me and my bud Jeff Hughes were completely naïve freshmen at Eldorado High, shit maybe we were still going to Dell H. Jr. High at the time?  We weren’t sure how to dress for a “punk” gig so I recall we wore surfer shirts hoping we’d blend in.  I’m talking Town and Country, Catchit!, Op, or similar crap we’d talked our parents into buying for us at the Meadows Mall.  We stuck out at the show but not because the crowd was stuck up.  Instead of being intimidated we were pressed against all manner of people which was comforting and uncomfortable at the same time.  It was a far cry from the butt rock arena shows we'd experienced.  Our first "punk" gig, for lack of a better word, was at the Troubadour night club and the headliner was The Damned on tour for the Phantasmagoria album.  Sampson’s Army was the opener.

            Sure the Damned were considered one of the first “punk” bands ever in the grand scheme of history but by 1986 they were far removed from “punk” in terms of sound and sentiment.  Yeah all that shit’s subjective and it’s pointless to split hairs on who’s punk, punker, and punkest.  But to give you some perspective the next underground show me and Jeff went to a few months later was Fuck Shit Piss, Schizoid, and Doggy Style at the North Las Vegas Elks Lodge.  That was a RAW punk show comparatively.  In 1986 that was as punk as you could get in Las Vegas, Nevada.  I'm sure right now somewhere in the world there’s an equally raw punk show happening in some shitty venue and the crowd is going apeshit.  That momentum is a train that will never stop until it’s reached unsuspecting teenagers at the ends of the Earth.  But I’m getting off base here.

            Jeff and I were familiar with Sampson’s Army from the radio.  We knew their hit single “Young Man, Old Man” and we thought it was cool pop.  But neither of us was all that heated over it.  In fact we knew very little about the Damned at the time.  I would go on to dig their Phantasmagoria album a tiny bit.  At least it was better then their next album titled Anything which was god awful.  Somehow I never listened to any of their “essential” early punk albums until just a few years ago.  When I finally did hear em I hated em.  Some shit just needs to be right place right time.  Maybe that’s partially why so much of that tin sounding 80’s hardcore will never be appreciated since the style has evolved so much since then?

           As pop sounding as it was Sampson’s Army is a special case.  It’s solid mid 80’s powerpop.  I went through a big powerpop phase some years ago and now I've got a real appreciation of the style.  That sound seemed to peak in the early 80's but S.A rode it out to good effect pretty late in the game.  That late 80's powerpop really stood out in terms of production as opposed to the bubblegummy, new waveish sound so prevalent in the early part of that decade.  S.A. seemed to have more dynamic songwriting which was much more guitar driven with less of a jangle pop edge making them border on the 70's glam rock style.  I wanna say I can also hear the Cure and the Cult vaguely.  That's probably just because that's the kinda shit I was listening to at that time.  If I'm approaching it from that angle I might as well throw the Church in that mix.  But S.A. don't really sound like any of that stuff, realistically I'd say they were in the same league as bands like SVT (who fucking rule), or Pezband (at their most rockinest), or maybe Game Theory at their most ballsiest.  I don't know... it's the only thing I could compare it to right now.  The sound was slightly aggressive but still super catchy.  I thought they were great songs even back then but it didn't hold a candle to Corrosion of Conformity in my teenage mind.  Probably why I never bought the album.  Now I kinda wish I had.       

            This demo is short but sweet and sounds like the hopes and dreams of the 80’s that were smashed like dreams often are.  Sampson’s Army never crossed over and never released another album to my knowledge.  But they were a great band nonetheless.  Even though I hate that fuckin name.  

          I was lucky enough to get to see them play one last time when I came down to visit the folks for Thanksgiving a few years ago.  They put on a good show in 2009.  But I’ll always remember them in the excitement of that night at the Troubadour.  Wondering if we were gonna get beat up and wondering why no one was slam dancing if this was a punk gig?  We were still figuring it out.  I suppose you never really stop figuring it out huh?            

            I recognize at least one song that was later featured on the Sampson's Army album which was entitled Where's Dan?  That song being Let It Rain.  The version on the album is way better produced and has a lot more energy than the demo version heard here.  But it was great to hear this version just to remind me that the song exists.  It’s been buried under years of memories.  Now that I've heard it again it's been playing in my head all week.  I'm glad it's back.          

            Todd Sampson passed away a few years ago.  If you’ve read this entire post you probably already knew that.  I didn’t know him so I have nothing to say about him as a person.  But the music is fucking great.  In fact it’s amazing.  It sounds like this demo was recorded right off the Rock Avenue radio show.  I’m sure we’ll never know.

            Rob from Kill the Heroes blog promised to include the Abeyance demos in the future.  I don’t know anything about that band but if you are interested in hearing them go here.

 Download Sampson's Army demo below

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The War Prayer

     This book with illustrations by war correspondent John Groth was originally published in 1970 at the height of the Vietnam war.  I'm sure you're familiar with the author, this short story is one of his lesser known works.  It was published again in 1984 and is currently out of print.  I scanned this beat up library copy and I'm making it available here.  Copyrights be damned.