An offshoot of (mim-uh-zeen) and other loss leaders, with an emphasis on my music collection and other things music related.

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Location: Midwest, United States

I'm a pretty varied individual...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Cassette Pop from the Midwest & West Coast

Taking a break from digitizing LP's, I decided to break into the trove of cassette tapes that have been boxed up ever since the cassette deck went balls up -- cassettes were great for collecting music from regional bands... usually promos sent out to get bookings, or that first step before going vinyl.

October's Child was a Carbondale, IL band kicking around in the mid-to-late 80's - not much known about them, sorry to say -- the one recurring reference to them is in relation to opening for the then-unknown Smashing Pumpkins at the Cabaret Metro in Chicago.
If memory serves, they were fairly well-loved in the 'Dale - I certainly liked them well enough to get this tape. They were a bit too early for the "No Depression" niche that fellow midwesterners Uncle Tupelo are credited with kicking off just a few short years later, but I suspect that if you look at a lot of bands in this time period, you'll find out how that niche evolved... and this is a great example of one of those unsung heroes.

Love Toast is apparently the only 'full length' "album" put out by Langrehr, a foursome from St. Louis that I had the fortune to see while avoiding boredom in Carbondale, IL. I liked the band and the songs, but that wasn't why I bought the tape...
Only fairly recently, have I discovered that Charlie Langrehr was somewhat of a musical hero in the St. Louis area...
... performing with the M Street Band, then as part of the duo Brown and Langrehr... search around any blogs about the music history of St. Louis, and he'll pop up. At the time I saw him, he was performing with Marilyn Williams (guitar and vocals), Nelson Hollins (bass) - and Bill Yaeger (drums), who was a friend and classmate of mine in Cape Girardeau, MO; and who was the main reason I bought the tape.

This is the self-titled promo that the SF group, The Sextants, put out prior to their signing to Imago Records. I was really into the band at the time (they were the first band I 'discovered' after moving to SF), so getting a copy was like giving a junkie a taste off a spoon - four of the songs ended up on the 'Lucky You' album, but two (favorites of the live shows - "Remember When" & "White Sand") never got released.

I first saw this in Aquarius Records (when they were at their 24th St. location), but didn't pick it up at the time; the next time I went in the store, it was gone -- it took over 15 years to find it again online. Big fan of these guys, but they had gone into Version 2.0 by the time I got to see them - this is the original lineup, with violinist/vocalist Morgan Fichter, before her going over to Camper Van Beethoven.  A bit rawer sound, if you're used to how they sounded on the lp's, but still good.

Jean Caffeine is one of those people who should be more widely known than she is, since she's done about everything - feminist punker with the NYC group Pulsallama; country-folk chauntreuse with her All-Nite Truckstop, of which this was her second release. This isn't featured for sale on her website (where you can purchase her other recordings), so I hope you'll head over there after sampling her songs. She's been involved with filmmaking (with Richard Linklater - she's a corpse in SLACKER and an animator on WAKING LIFE) and painting; Jean's sort of a Renaissance Woman.

Prior to moving back to the Midwest in the Fall of '96, I did return to Cape Girardeau for a couple of weeks that summer - before going back to SF for a film project. While there, I caught this band, Drench from Puxico, MO, and did a trade of a zine issue for a cassette. The cassette was in the stack of well-played favorites for awhile, but I never did hear anything again of the band...

While researching for this post, I did stumble over the band again - and a name: Jefferson Fox, who has a website, blog, and all kinds of info - including a page where one can hear Wahoo, and purchase it and other of Mr. Fox's recordings... so I'll direct you over to him rather than a download link, this time.

Not a cassette release - but something that I'd been looking for, for quite sometime. This 4 song 7" was noted favorably by musical curmugeon Robert Christegau, and features the early work of Jill Olson (The Movie Stars and Red Meat).

Lastly, a nice surprise from Little My drummer, Adam McCauley, who found the earlier posting about the band and had nice things to say about it - and who also had files from a never released ep, OPIA - or OPIC, depending on which file name you go with (either way, nice pun!). This 6 song ep does feature early versions of 2 songs which did wind up on ALL OF THE WATER. Adam was also nice enough to give me permission to share that link - so, enjoy! - and drop him a nice note of thanks, please.

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Anonymous Thierry said...

Hello from Belgium.

I have to say:
Thank you,
for the Metropolis Symphony and the Korngold


2:54 PM  
Anonymous sharyn a said...

Thanks for posting the October's Child recordings. I have been searching for this tape for years. Had a copy made from a copy that an old boyfriend had and its long since disappered. We used to go see them in Carbondale. Lived in Cape during the 80's and would drive over there to see bands. Really liked them a lot. John Pirrucello has gone on to bigger and better things. Always thought they were all really talented.

3:47 PM  

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