Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Lost, and possibly embarrassing music regained

My friend and brilliant visual/sound artist Philip recently unearthed some cassettes of music that I made back in the early 90s, and sent them to me so I can have digital copies and possibly drop them onto myspace. I'm not exactly sure how many "albums" I recorded because at one point, a guy here in town that was running a small but enterprising experimental music cassette label expressed enthusiastic interest in releasing them, so I lent him all the master copies and subsequently he disappeared and in his infrequent re-emergences, he professes ignorance of their wearabouts.

Back then in the cassette culture underground, where we traded our homespun tapes on our homespun labels and built a pre-Internet network through fanzines like Factsheet Five and tons of trips to the post office, you had to have a name for your project, and frequently had different names for different facets of ones obscure output. I was riding somewhere with my girlfriend back then, and we saw a sign on a building for "Pain Clinic" and boom, I had an instant band name. Regicide Bureau was the name used by Tom Sutter, a rather sizable player in cassette culture back then. We had traded things for a while and then he informed me that his fiancee was speaking at a conference in New Orleans, and could they stay at my place, with hopes of collaborating. Music was a completely solitary activity then, so those two tapes contain the first time I ever played music with another person. I remember her angrily sleeping off the flu in my bed in the other room while Tom and I made racket in the other. (Randy - these were recorded in the apartment in which you currently reside)

I still think Pain Clinic is a great band name, but, while I don't actually remember the nature of the pieces on Stills, but I do remember considering them "more serious work" and worthy of not having to hide behind a pseudonym.

Just to show that the ironic gods have comedic timing, there was a second tape bearing my name after that called Shifts that was comprised of pieces based on Alvin Lucier's compositions. I used to have a copy of it in the glovebox of my old car, and remember taking it out when I traded it in, thinking "wow, thank goodness this didn't get lost" and then immediately tucked it away somewhere so it would be lost forever.

MySpace sites for these forthcoming.


  1. Sweet, I'm anxious to hear these.

  2. Eyezzzzz gottem alll!!!!!Brandishing mayhem and mischief all along tha back roadz between tha leveez [hear here and there...]...those cold mid-early 90's oh-HiYa nites made palatable thru noize...thru und thru. 'Sing A Songo'Sutures'? Sheer genius....

  3. oh-HiYa - email me at cookalexv@gmail.com