Monday, October 31, 2011

Sarabellum

Everyone in the world should have a friend like Neale Shaeffer.  Maybe you do.
I can't help but kind of bristle whenever I see anything marketed towards Analog Nostalgia.  Partially because I'm kind of a sucker for it.  People made mixtapes for each other, and it was an art.  Your last song on the side of a TDK D-90 (or a TDK SA-90 if it was someone you wanted to have sex with) would end, less than 5 seconds would pass, and you'd hear the satisfying CLICK as the tape ran out.  Care was given as to the order - wait, am I sounding like John Cusack?  Anyway.
Somehow, my friend Neale always knew about bands before anyone else.  In the summer of 1991, he asked some of my friends and I if we wanted to come up to D.C. with him to see a band called Nirvana.  Never heard of 'em.  I can't name all of the bands I first heard from his mixtapes (Fu Manchu, the Pixies, Monstermagnet, Sleep, Elliott Smith), but I'd say that easily 20% of the music in my life was a result of one of those tapes.
This being a time when "Googol" just meant an obscenely large number, there was no real way to get any information about any of these bands aside from maybe Spin or Alternative Press (did they even exist back then?).  You really had no idea who any of these bands were, where they were from, what they looked like, etc.  Two bands that jumped out at me from one of the tapes were called Helmet and Sarabellum.  In my mind, they were equals.  I didn't know that one of them was on Led Zeppelin's record label, and the other one probably couldn't fill a living room outside of their home in Raleigh, NC.
As an eighteen year old kid, I had no real idea about the machinations of the music industry.  I was under the impression that the "good" bands would maybe play a couple of concerts, get signed to a record label, and tour with Aerosmith.  On the other side of the spectrum were bands like mine and my friends' - playing garages in front of each other.  To me, there wasn't really a whole lot in between those two extremes.  I would end up spending the next two decades of my life in that realm.
Not long after moving to Richmond in 1992, Sarabellum played at the Metro.  Naturally, my friends and I went.  To my utter and complete amazement, we were 5 or 6 of the 11 or 12 people in the audience.  How could this be?  This band is incredible, and there's no one here??  Where is the justice??  The best part was, the band seemed completely oblivious.  They played to the crowd they deserved to have had, not the crowd they had.  Then, not long after that show, they broke up.
Another thing that was great about them was that they all looked relatively clean-cut except for the bassist, who looked like Captain Caveman.  One of the guitarists was named Dennis, and his posture was so bad he made a spider look like Heidi Klum.  He later went on to play second guitar in Buzz*oven briefly.
Their entire recorded output consisted of two 3-song demo tapes.

01 Snail
02 Friends
03 Delve



04 City
05 Four No Five Children I think my friend Christian Hendrickson interviewed the band once, and they said that this song is a reference to an old woman who was asked how many children she had and apparently forgot.
06 Buoy

Thanks again to Erik Sugg for letting me borrow the cassettes.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Killing Cycle

Williamsburg, Virginia - late winter, 1991.  Every year, my High School would have a talent show.  It was called "Stockwood" - apparently some sort of anagram for another popular (though somewhat larger) music festival that happened some 20 years earlier.  Anyway, in the beginning of February, bands would audition for this talent show in our auditorium.  I went with my friend Chris to watch the bands.  We were both fledgling musicians - he played drumbeats not unlike what one would hear on Eazy E's solo album, while I thought I was a badass because I could play Zeppelin's Heartbreaker solo.
From the school's parking lot, I heard a band absolutely DESTROYING the song "From Out of Nowhere" by Faith No More.  We walked in a little faster to see who it was.  The drummer was a Mexican-looking guy who twirled his drumsticks at every opportunity in time with the twin cannons in front of either of his feet.  The bassist had long hair in the back and short hair in the front and banged on his Aria Pro II (THE bass to have at that time) with ferocity and precision.  The singer had long, blonde "I'm in a band" hair and a scalene triangle leg stance, and the guitarist was Mark Morton.
Chris and I found our seats, and the band finished their song to the sound of no applause - it was an audition, and we were two of maybe 12 dorks in the "audience."  The bassist starts playing this weird, sliding bass line that I immediately recognized as "Sun King" by the Cult.  It all sounds kind of cheesy now, but remember - this is early 1991, and I was a sophomore in High School.
I still remember Morton's first guitar solo in the song, clear as day.  For a good 45 seconds, this stocky kid with weird bangs and a $200 Kramer (?) turned my High School auditorium into the Hampton Coliseum.  Granted, years later he would go on to actually play coliseums, but that's another story.  From that point on, I vowed to practice until I got to be as good as that kid (this still hasn't happened).
A month later, Killing Cycle played at Stockwood.  I seem to remember them going on last, and absolutely blowing every other band off the stage.  Along with covers, they played several originals that were just as good as the songs they were covering.  Oddly, some band called Transit ended up winning the contest - but everyone knew who the best band of the night was.
That was the point that I decided that I was going to start playing in a band also, to give Killing Cycle a run for their money at the next years' Stockwood.  This actually kind of ended up happening.  I started teaching this kid named John Swart how to play bass so he could be in my band.  Now, John was actually already in a band called Joyful Stress, but no one would stand in the way of my ruthless ambition!  Chris was later replaced by Sean Sutphin, my other friend Chris sang, and the Jolly Mortals were born.  This is not their story.
Jolly Mortals managed to pass our audition the next February.  Really, there wasn't a lot of competition in pre-Nirvana Williamsburg - aside from some kids with long hair in the front stumbling through REM and Violent Femmes covers, and Killing Cycle of course did the same.  My friend Erik's band Koro was robbed - they didn't make the audition, but they did get a sweet demo out of the deal.  The date was set: March 2, 1992.
Killing Cycle went on early in the evening, but as always, they completely (true to their name) killed.  My band went on last, but despite the enthusiastic crowd response (we were, after all, the hometown heroes - KC was from a rival High School) which included a small mosh pit and police intervention, we lost to Killing Cycle.  I didn't feel disappointed though, because they totally earned it.
Later that year, Killing Cycle broke up.  The drummer formed a band called One Tribe that started mixing in Alice in Chains covers in with the obligatory Cult songs.  I heard the singer joined the military.  The bassist - whose name was John Peters - and guitarist moved to Richmond to be in a band called Hgual.  This was a big deal.  They played concerts in Richmond.  At clubs!  People get stabbed in Richmond!
In the fall of 1992, I saw Hgual at the upstairs Metro in Richmond.  I just knew they were going to be huge.  Instead, they broke up.  John Peters went on to be in probably the best punk rock band to ever come out of Richmond (Hose Got Cable) and Mark went to Chicago for school or something.  After brief stints in the hard-rockin' Fatty Love, Hose Got Cable, and an emo band (?) called Nascar Drag, he disappeared for a while and came back as the guitarist of Lamb of God.  Then, well... yeah.
Years later, on a trip to North Carolina, my good friend Erik Sugg gave me a copy of Killing Cycle's demo.  Okay.  Remember when you were in High School and there was some bad-ass band of bad-asses, then you'd listen to their demo tape 20 years later and think to yourself, "Hey, this really wasn't that bad-ass?"
That is not the case with this band.
Before playing this song live, I vaguely remember the singer said something like, "This song is about running over your neighbor's dog - it's called 'Apology Not Accepted.'"
The next song seems to be about the dark underbelly of York County.  In an interview for Metal: A Headbanger's Journey, I remember Mark talking about growing up in Richmond, but I remember his parent's house being pretty nice.  Anyway, listen to his leads in the song Underneath Reality.  There's a reason this guy won a Grammy (or was nominated for one, whatever).
Some Jake E. Lee era Ozzy influence on the next song, Landslide Suicide.
Eye of the Storm was maybe my favorite song by Killing Cycle.
Sleeping on Debris - an epic Megadeth-esque thrasher.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Dan-O, Tom, and me: The Ipecac Story

There were two fairly distinct camps in the Richmond music scene in the early 90's (it may still be like this, I don't know): the young and the old.  The young ones were - or fancied themselves to be - vibrant, fresh, exciting, and eager to break into new sonic territory.  The old ones played covers of "In A-Gadda Da-Vid-A" against images of swirling pinwheels and put pictures of rhinoceroses farting on their album covers*.
For some reason, the band that us youngsters singled out for derision was called Rocket 69.  Their singer, Dan-O, somehow managed to encapsulate everything that we stood against, yet secretly feared becoming.  I don't think I ever have spoken a word to Dan-O.  For all I know, he volunteered for the homeless while reading bedtime stories to orphans.
Now that I have the "benefit" of being roughly Dan-O's age as it was in 1994, my perception of him has softened.  I'm sure he was once a pubescent kid with a guitar and a dream.  I can only guess by the fact that we thought his band was tacky that his motives were what we considered impure.  Maybe he looked to get into music to make spiritual connections with other people and expand the consciousness of the Godhead, which is nothing more than lines between points (i.e. sentient beings) in a celestial sort of connect the dots - using the medium of sound.  That, or he was just trying to get laid.  Again, I don't know for sure. At this writing, it would appear as though he is still active in the Richmond music scene, and has been to an ally of many of my old friends from there. I'm embarrassed that I judged him so harshly back in the day. In addition to many other things, he had (has?) a record label and was instrumental in producing a compilation CD that had several old Richmond bands on it (including Ipecac even).  One could make a convincing argument that he's brought more to the table over the years than I ever did.
Ipecac's first show was at the Metro in early fall of 1993.  I'd heard that they were a hardcore band, but they didn't really look like one.  The singer was a black guy with glasses that looked kind of like Raj from What's Happening.  The bassist resembled a half-Japanese Erik Estrada and had one of those headless/fretless basses that were all the rage in the... ummm... never.  The guitarist looked kind of like Keanu Reeves with lighter/longer hair and had THE classic rock guitar rig - a Les Paul into a Marshall full stack.  The drummer couldn't have been more than 13 years old.  The singer took the mic: "I know a lot of you are new here, and might feel kind of uncomfortable... well, we're here to try to make you feel just a little bit more uncomfortable."  And they did.  Weird blasts of dissonant noise, nauseous bass slides, hardcore beats that somehow always managed to sound off, and Raj screaming his head off.  To this day, I don't know if I've ever seen a better frontman than A. Thomas Crawley - and I've seen a LOT of frontmen.
That winter, they released a demo tape.  My friends and I probably wore out at least 2 or 3 copies of it.  How can you front on a song title like "A Throne's View of Royalty"?

Bitter Citizen (Part One)
Babyface
Sugar and Lice
A Throne's View of Royalty

I only missed one Ipecac show that I'm aware of, it was at a small converted sandwich shop on Broad and Laurel Street. They were just one of a handful of bands that you made it a priority to see.  In the spring of 1994, their first 7" came out.  If a better 7" record exists, I am not aware of it.


I'll Be Deemed a Genius
Aversion to Maturity
Self-Detonating Nuclear Family


Summer, 1994.  Like many other punk rockers in the area, I got a job painting the Virginia Commonwealth University dorms.  This was at a time in my life where "barely having to do anything" was a HUGE factor in deciding where to work.  $5.05 an hour to essentially hang out with your friends, talk about music, and sleep in closets.  The bassist of Ipecac worked there too - his name was Nathan, and I was intimidated by him because (a) his band was so great and (b) he seemed to hate everyone.  While at work one day, he told me that Rob, their guitarist, quit to play bass in Avail.  Three thoughts hit me in this order:
1. One of my favorite bands is breaking up.
2. Why the hell would someone take such an enormous step down artistically?  Why would such a big fish swallow such a small fish?  Rob was a guitarist, not a bassist!
3. Wait a minute.  I play guitar.
I don't remember if I asked or was asked, but I became the new guitarist for Ipecac.  It felt like how that kid from Thailand probably felt when he got to sing for Journey.  Nathan showed me how to play the songs in a week or so, and we were ready.  Not long after I joined, we recorded two songs.

Hysterical
The Ditcher

We played a couple of shows with both Rob and I on guitar to ease me into the position, then our first show sans Rob was at the Floodzone opening for Avail in September of 1994.  Opening for Avail was kind of the brass ring for Richmond bands.  It was noble of them to have given us that show, but I couldn't help feeling like it was kind of consolation for ruining the band.  I was good, but I wasn't good enough to be in Ipecac.

That autumn, Nathan and I lived in the same apartment building, so we'd often get together to write songs for Ipecac's full-length album.  The material had promise, but we didn't get a lot of opportunities to flesh it out because our drummer (Tommy Anthony) lived in Northern Virginia and Tom lived in Charlottesville.  Tommy ran with the hardcore kids, and after a certain altercation involving a bike lock, he couldn't make it to a few of the shows (don't worry, he's fine).  We recruited Erik Josephson from the band Crackhead to fill in.  Erik was like Dale Crover, minus about 50 pounds.  One of the greatest drummers I've ever known.  Possibly my favorite moment on stage was an Ipecac show with Erik on drums at the legendary Beehive in Washington, DC.  The song "Aversion to Maturity" begins with a two-count drum fill, and the band enters.  Somehow, Erik broke BOTH of his drumsticks on this fill, so when Nathan and I laid into the song, there were no drums.  We both looked back at Erik, mouth wide in horror, holding two splintered nubs where there were once drumsticks.

While in the process of mapping out our first full-length record and beginning to book our first tour, I got The Phone Call.  No, nobody died (this time).  Tom left a message on my answering machine saying that he was quitting the band because he noticed that his ears were ringing when he was at home in Waynesboro.  Ipecac was finished.

Our last two shows were on December 30 at the Metro in Richmond, and at a place I want to call the Dick House somewhere in North Carolina on New Years Eve.  Per my suggestion, we played the first chord to "A Throne's View of Royalty" 95 times to ring in the New Year.
On the day of the 30th, we had our last rehearsal in the basement of our drummer's Crackhouse.  Luckily, our friend Trevor Thomas was there with his 4-track:


Karmageddon


Nathan and I started a surf band (?!) called the Freshomatics with our friend Marty.  Nathan also started a band named Lilac that played a kind of Britpop that nobody seemed to care about.  I think Tommy might have briefly been in another band before disappearing from my radar forever.  Rob's tenure in Avail was relatively brief, and he ended up moving back to Northern Virginia.  Years later he sent me a CD of some kind of mellow pop music he was working on.

Supposedly, Tom briefly sang in a metal band in Waynesboro in 1995, but I don't even know if they got further than playing a house party.  He really did quit playing music forever (as far as I know).  To this day, I don't fully understand.  If you could throw three-pointers from the half-court line with your eyes closed, wouldn't you want to?  He always insisted that he didn't want to be Dan-O.  But, what's the alternative?  Is it better to haul a bunch of gear to empty nightclubs and play in front of six people than it is to... do nothing?  We always hated and looked down at people that worked 40 hours a week, came home to their wives and kids, and played out every other weekend.  Would we have rather they just stayed inside and watched TV?  There's really no way to win with the age issue in rock and roll.  You can pack stadiums or clear out Holes in the Wall - if you're old and still rocking, it's seen as being kind of sad. I'm sure that the elder Richmond rockers probably didn't care what we thought about them.

I can't write about Ipecac without going into how amazing Tom's lyrics were - especially on that 7".  He explained to me that the first song was about early childhood and being indoctrinated into the public education system.

Filled up with in-sequential trivia, I'll cough it up eventually. I'll spit it out selectively and then I'll be deemed a genius.

The next song, "Aversion to Maturity" is about adolescence.

They all marvel at my ability to cower
Was it the altitude that caused the short-lived goal to sour?
My tension thickens - no, I'm not in the mood to bicker.
I'm feeling sick as vitals quicken - I'm easy picken's.
It's very possible that I could have cleared the chasm -
My yellow belly's filled with butterflies with five foot wing spans
(They could have carried me over)
Watch in wonder at the man/child's transformation:
Now relatively taller, with hair in very odd places
It seems my personality could be considered an anachronism within the context of its housing.
Lackluster slacker?  Then why can't I ever relax, huh?

A mistake at the mastering plant made side B significantly louder than side A.  Here, the adolescent is fully grown and settles into marriage in "The Self-Detonating Nuclear Family":

Our white picket fence resembles upturned spears
Try to leap over - what, and be impaled? 
I'd rather fester here.
For my remaining years, I'll fester here.

The next song in order is "Hysterical" - which I interpret as a song about aging (it's actually about the health industry):

Ingrown toenail or myocardial infarction?  Sprained ankle?  Amputate!  Once that uterus is taken out, those allergies will dissipate. 


And the last song ("The Ditcher") - well, you tell me:


What does a young snot like you know about persecution?  And what can I - suburban guy - say either?  Let's drop the pens and microphones and join the peace corps.  Only the choir is listening - what do we keep yelling for?


* This is a reference to the band Vapor Rhinos. Tommy Rodriguez (guitar) worked at a guitar shop near my old house and was incredibly nice to me and very helpful - in addition to being a whiz at guitar building/repair. Dean Owen (drums) was supportive of many of my bands, and even wrote a glowing review of one of them (15 on the 15) in the Richmond Music Journal. Peter Headley (vocals) I didn't know that well, but from all accounts was a sweet guy. I forget who played bass.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Eric Allen

What validates an artist?
Screaming fans?  Critical acclaim?  Hot chicks?  Tanks made out of gold?  Posthumous adoration (this is the one I'm personally banking on)?  Does a true artist even want to be rewarded for creating their art?  The prevailing opinion seems to be that it is decidedly uncool to seek validation.  One of the 49 things that only Freddie Mercury could get away with was being the exception to this rule.  He made it clear that he wanted sex, royalties, a certain sum of money, girls of a certain proportion, somebody to love... basically everything.  At least one of those things ended up killing him, but I digress.  We want to root for the underdogs, until they're not underdogs any more.
It's a very natural human reaction: we want performers to be rewarded for being great, and chastised for not being great.  That's why words like "under-rated" and "over-rated" exist.  Bands we like that everyone else would like if they were as smart as we are are under-rated, and bands that everyone else likes because their taste isn't as good as ours are over-rated.  I'm sure that when the Arcade Fire won their Grammy last year, many misunderstood teenage girls in the flyover states shed tears of joy.  Finally, finally, their heroes won the day.  It doesn't always happen like this.

I met Eric Allen in the dorms back in the fall of 1992.  Another shy kid with brillo-pad hair - but he had a PRS guitar, which at that time were worth about $2000. He played in a band called Kelp.
In the mid-'90s, Eric lived on the second floor of a two story warehouse on Henry Street in Richmond, VA.  There was something of a revolving door of roommates, but he and his friend Boober were mainstays.  They would often have punk rock shows there, and they were always a good time because there were no grown-ups around.
In 1996, Eric, Boober, John Swart, Ben White, Trivett Wingo and myself formed a band called Typecast.  We were something of a parody of the cookie-cutter hardcore bands that Richmond always had an overabundance of.  We wore golden hockey masks and played about once a month at the Henry Street warehouse.  This is not their story.
Around that time, Eric recorded a solo album on cassette and passed it out to some of his friends.  I was blown away.  How the hell did he fit drums, bass, acoustic and electric guitars, trumpet and vocals on 4 tracks?  How was he so good at each of those instruments?  How was he able to vacillate so deftly between quiet finger-picked acoustic passages and caustic white noise?  Where did he learn how to write songs like that, but never do anything to try to present them to people other than making this tape?
In 1998, Eric and I formed a band called the Greman with Dave Choi on drums.  I saw Eric as a better version of myself - better at writing songs, better voice, equal or better at guitar.  I also had a begrudging respect for his laconic attitude towards advancing our band's popularity.  He really seemed to have no interest at creating any sort of a fan base.  He just wanted to play music.  The Greman's shining moment was at a show in the Shockoe Bottom district, which was where the fratboys liked to go to cut loose on the weekends.  We had a fog machine and covered "The Spirit of Radio" by Rush as an instrumental, with Eric playing the vocal melody on guitar.  Yes, it ruled.
The Greman were short-lived however, and instead of the traditional "I hate you, we're breaking up!", we just kind of stopped practicing.  There was never any bitterness over it.  Eric went on to play in a band called the Plumbers, and various other side projects - usually with Boober.
In early 2001, Eric asked me to record some of his songs on my 4-track, and I happily obliged.  I would keep asking him to come over and mix them down, but he never seemed to be available.  It was one of those things that we figured we'd do at some point in the future.
I ended up moving to Austin, and the tapes remained unmixed.  I got in touch with Eric a few years later through myspace and promised him that I'd mix down the tapes and send them to him in the mail.  While I was in the process of doing this, I got a phone call from his mom saying that he had killed himself.

What validates an artist?  I guess it depends on the artist.  I have the feeling that if whomever is reading this listens to any of his songs, that would have been enough for him.


Eric Allen youtube playlist

Monday, October 3, 2011

Intro/Maximillian Colby

Oh great, another music blog.  Oh great, another oh so self-aware, self-effacing intro to another music blog.  I know, I know, I know.  This is a blog for myself, people I have been in bands with, my friends, and curious strangers - and certainly that list will be in order of most to least interested.  My main focus with this blog is to commit these things to "paper" before I forget them, and to share music with others.  It will no doubt have its moments of pedantic solipsism and narcissism, but isn't that why people do this? It would be nice if someone out there was googling one of the obscure bands I'll feature here and also discover other obscure bands in the process.
This blog will also have a very strict "Haters to the Left" policy.  This is not a place for you to air your grievances.  If you have something negative to say, by all means, make your own zine.

The first time I ever saw Maximillian Colby, they were opening up for my band at the time in the basement of the Corn Rocket House (whatever the hell that means) in Harrisonburg, Virginia.  It must have either been very late in 1993 or early in 1994.  Being from the oh-so-cosmopolitan Richmond, Virginia, we probably had something of a snobby attitude towards everyone there.  They were the first band of the evening, and it was allegedly their first show.  The genre known as "emo" was in its infancy, but I had been inundated by octave chords/dudes screaming/quiet parts/that drum beat/etc. etc. etc.  for well over a year, and I was done.
It seemed like it was a solemn affair as Max set up their gear.  I remember thinking it was cool that both guitarists had matching wood-grain Les Pauls.  What I didn't think was so cool at the time was what they were wearing - I don't remember exactly, but I do remember khakis and baseball hats.  Things took a turn for the worse as the song "New Jello" opened the set.  A quiet part, droning on the low E with a chord on top alternating between a perfect and flat fifth.  Then comes the loud part, the octave chords, the screaming.  Again.  And again.  Really, guys?  I remember remarking after the show, "Great, now even fratboys are playing emo now."  I wasn't into it.  In hindsight, it takes a special kind of 20 year old to comment on how tacky an emo band was in 1994 when their own band was playing a style of music that could probably be called "grunge" - but the ego must protect itself, no?
A few months later, I went to a show upstairs at the Metro in Richmond.  I wasn't there to see Max Colby, but they were playing with someone I did want to see.  At the top of the stairs, their bassist was giving away demo tapes.  We recognized each other.  He had a very retiring demeanor, and gave me their demo.  I did not like their band, but I admired the token of goodwill.  I ended up watching all of Max's set that night, and started hearing things I liked.  Despite the fact that every song was in the same key, they had a subtle sense of dynamics.  Within their narrow framework, there were some interesting things going on.
I actually listened to their tape a few times, and it grew on me.  It was a perfect Walkman soundtrack for walking around Richmond at night, bathed by that unflattering orange/pink streetlight.  I seem to remember some of the members of the band moving to Richmond - I know that Bob, their bass player did.
That summer, I got a job working at a Goodwill trailer.  This was at a time when "not having to do a lot" was a big, big appeal when it came to jobs.  Because I was a Floater (a flattering term for someone that goes from donation trailer to donation trailer), I once ended up at the same trailer as Bob.  We hung out and talked most of the day, ate lunch, "worked".
A few weeks later, Bob, Marty Key and I started a Buzz*oven cover band called nevo*zzuB.  We didn't actually know any of their songs, so it was just a bunch of devil chords and screams of "I feel!"  On the night of our only show at Twister's, Bob said he wouldn't do the show because he was afraid that the guys in Buzz*oven would show up and beat us up.  Rob from Avail covered for him.  I remember hearing that Ash (?) from Buzz*oven was actually in the crowd and thought it was hilarious.
I barely remember hearing that Max Colby broke up maybe in the fall of 1994?  Winter?  Bob still lived in Richmond, and I remember hearing that he was getting into hard drugs.  The last time I saw him, I remember him not looking well.  He died of spinal meningitis.  I still remember being shocked and upset, but more because he was close to some close friends of mine.  I think it was Marty that took him to the hospital.  I don't know, because I didn't feel comfortable talking to him about it.
Five years later, I befriended Erin (not going to try to spell her name right), who I think was friends with Bob.  She was the bassist in the band 400 Years, a band I did not like.  I let her borrow my Maximillian Colby tape.  This was back in a time when music was still connected to its physical body.  You could dub a cassette tape, but you're going to lose some quality (especially on the high end {though I have met some people that actually prefer this}).  I ended up moving away before I could get it back, and had no way to get in touch with her (again, this is before you-know-what).
Ten years after that, I ended up finding Erin on you-know-where.  Amazingly, she still had my Maximillian Colby demo!  She sent it back to me.  Who does that?
So, here it is.  The second to last song is a little warbly at the beginning, and... well, it's a 17 year old normal bias second generation 4-track tape.
New Jello
Sifelaver
Bluestone
Cowboy Syndrome
Balance
Petty Fix
Coughfin'
1 Gallon Alda
Anacin
Chuck

The cover cracks me up - "Recorded with a 4-track and a lot of patience" - to think!  Spending an entire day on a recording!

If you want better-sounding versions of these songs, you can actually purchase their discography here.

I think that what won me over to their side was a conversation I had with Drew, their guitarist/vocalist.  I asked what the hell that first line was on "New Jello."  He said something to the effect of, "You like things that roll."  There was a funny story behind it.  Drew and his friends were skating, and some kind of hot-shot skater was also hanging out.  They started talking about what kind of wheels they used, and the guy made fun of Drew for having inferior wheels.  "I like wheels that actually roll."

Also, their other guitarist is Mike Nesmith from the Monkees' nephew.