We dig our old pal Sluggo; a former bartender and booking guy at the Court Tavern in New Brunswick NJ. Although he goes by The Slugger on his weekly Radio show on WRSU radio show (Thurs 6-7pm 88.7fm). His friends call him Doug. In this cast he plays a solid set of some pretty awesome Pre and Post punk rock and New Wave. Every week is something different though and he does NOT take requests. Basically if you’ve ever put a quarter in jukebox at the Court is what listening to this show is like. Almost. Except for the drunks breathing on you at the bar and the old movies playing on VHS on the old TV. A education none the less with tunes by Butthole Surfers, Devo, Captain Beefheart, Jonathan Richmond, The Cars, Mission of Burma, Roxy Music, The Sparks, Peru Ubu, The Damned, XTC and a ton shit I’ve never heard ever before except by name and some more popular tunes. Follow him on Facebook and also check out his band Mr. Payday. Also a education in what punk rock should be like.
Flexible Vinyl radio show 1.16.14 by The Slugger on Mixcloud
MR.PAYDAY direct from a New Brunswick basement is the new Jack Kevorkian sound track
Interview: An Oral History of the legendary City Gardens Jeff Wertz interview the authors of the new book “No Slam Dancing, No Stage Diving, No Spikes”
Documentary: How Vinyl Records Are made (1956) RCA Victor Film
The Student Teachers were a popular NYC band in the late ‘70s that never had an album but recorded a 45 single, a 4 track EP and 2 tracks for a compilation album. Those tracks along with a bonus cut have all come together for a 9 song CD entitled “An Invitation to…The Student Teachers 1978-80”. Their sound bridged the punk and new wave gap blending minimalist no wave and edgy garage elements into one entertaining teenage combo. It’s been 33 years since the Student Teachers parted ways but along the way they impacted many people lives including mine. They gave me a deeper music education and many coming of age lessons. Here’s where some of that all started.
Growing up I was exposed to so much music diversity on top 40 and progressive rock radio. The radio shaped the personalities of the kids in my Brooklyn neighborhood, Boro Park. There were hippie dead heads, metal kids and disco dancers. I was in between all of these sounds and found myself digging misfit styles that were pegged glam and/or punk rock. I was building my record collection and picked up many cool oddities at Outrageous Records located on the Hasidic Jewish shopping strip, 13th Avenue. Another record collecting buddy of mine, Vinny and I would hang out there and talk music with the clerk, Lori Reese who would inform us of new bootlegs, imports and singles she was bringing in of cooler bands like Roxy Music, Patti Smith, Sparks, Television, Sex Pistols and so many others. We created a bond as my music appetite was developing. It was because of her and reading about shows at CBGBs and Max’s Kansas City in Rock Scene that I ended up seeing countless bands at those clubs. It was an exciting time to be growing up in NYC as my teenage years and the music scene was formulating.
In early ’78 Lori informed us that she was in a band that was playing in the city and her new punk name was Z.B. Stripe. She and her friend Laura were fans and roadies for the art punk band The Erasers. They were a cool 4 piece that featured 3 women (and Richie Lure, Walter of the Heartbreakers brother) in the band sounding somewhat like Patti Smith fronting the Voidoids. Those Erasers shows were a big influence on the formation of the Student Teachers.
Funtime/The Erasers (Iggy Pop cover) at CBGB w/ a cameo from the Cramps from the Amos Poe movie ‘The Foreigner”
I missed the Teachers first few gigs including their debut date at some of the band members school, Friends Seminary. But I was fortunate enough to attend the band’s fourth gig as a guest of Lori’s since I drove her to and from the gig on April 23, 1978 when the Teachers opened for Teenage Jesus and the Jerks at CBGBs. The show was my first guest list spot at the club. Also on the list that night was Brian Eno who was there to see Lydia Lunch’s band as Eno would be recording them for the infamous “No New York” no wave collection for Antilles/Island Records. He did get to see the Student Teachers and seemed to enjoy their faithful cover of Roxy’s “Remake-Remodel”. I was beyond ecstatic that Eno was in the house and hounded him for an autograph along with some of the lyrics to his recent single, “Kings Lead Hat.”
After the show had ended I was standing in front of the club with the band as they attempted to hail taxis to different parts of Manhattan with their gear. I volunteered to drive them to their respective spaces and quickly became the band’s official roadie. I was so excited that my ’74 Ford Mustang was sideswiped by a taxi while driving around town. I wasn’t too concerned over the fender bender since this was such a momentous night for me!
2 of the band members came from the suburban Westchester community of Larchmont, front person David Scharff (known as JD Cruel) and guitarist Philip Shelley. The other 2 members Laura Davis and Bill Arning were Manhattan kids raised in the city. Their fans/friends either came from the Larchmont area or were city kids they hung around with. I found myself surrounded by a whole new set of obsessive music fans that were all so different from my Brooklyn friends. There was one Brooklyn-ite exception, Jody Robelo. She lived nearby me in Windsor Terrace and was also going to shows at CBs often. She and I became a roadie team for the band. As the band was getting popular quickly Jody moved onto be the band’s manager as I became the band’s driver and stage manager.
The gigs were coming rather frequently and I found myself setting up the band’s equipment (including an ironing board to hold up the keyboards) on various stages of the city’s burgeoning club scene. Besides CBs and Max’s I worked with the band on the stages of Hurrah, Tier 3, Tracks, The Mudd Club, Philly’s Hot Club, Boston’s Rat and the momentous gig at the Palladium opening for Iggy Pop and The Cramps on Halloween 1979.
As the band’s career was taking off we were approached by Jimmy Destri of Blondie to produce some recordings. Their debut vinyl was the 45 single “Channel 13” b/w “Christmas Weather” for Terry Ork’s legendary NY indie label Ork Records in late 1978. Jimmy followed that up in ’79 producing 2 tracks each for 5 newer NYC bands resulting in a compilation cleverly entitled 2×5 for Marty Thau’s Red Star Records. The songs “What I Cant Feel” and “Looks” were the 2 Teachers cuts on that album. “Looks” was later covered by Mike Doughty of Soul Coughing on his album “Skittish.” Oddly enough he hadn’t heard the song until many years later and was turned onto the song by a friend of his. He discovered the track on the 2×5 album many years after its release picking it up as a used copy in a South Jersey record shop.
The band eventually had a falling out with Jimmy and his girlfriend, our drummer Laura Davis. It resulted into a stressful period for the group with Laura leaving the band. Laura and Jimmy’s relationship spawned a couple of co-written tracks that appeared on Blondie albums. Their first collaboration “Slow Motion” appeared on “Eat to the Beat”. There’s a line in the song “the girl in the back was doing the quake, she got a bellyache she cant concentrate” was a reference to fan at a ST show while doing their rave up song about doing a dance called the quake.
The band was evolving at that time and had become a 6 piece before Laura left the band with the addition of Joe Katz (ex-Mumps/Klaus Nomi bassist) on guitar. Laura was replaced by Hayden Brasseur who played locally with the female band Die Hausfrau. We weren’t getting much interest from other labels to release another recording so our manager Jody fronted the money for some studio time. Around that period we were hanging out often with Glen Tilbrook from Squeeze since he expressed interest in producing the band and we were big fans of his band. That unfortunately never materialized. So we went into the studio with our engineer from our previous recordings Jay Burnett. At that time period I was going to the new school for a studio engineering course considering a career in record producing. After being around 2 years of Student Teacher gigs the band gave me a vote of confidence and suggested I produce their final recordings. I fiddled the knobs some at those sessions and listened closely to the 4 songs endlessly. The closing track for me is the song that should have been the band’s hit. “Past Tense” has a catchy chorus with rip roaring guitars and infectious keyboards. It’s appropriate that the song closes the 9 track album as this music and time period is all way way past tense.
Past Tense/The Student Teachers
The group disbanded in November 1980. The new me decade had arrived and our teenage years had ended. The second wave of NYC bands was over and post-punk had just begun. It was our graduation day.
BUY ON AMAZON
ALBUM REVIEW: If you love slow mulching(tm) post noise rock you need to get your cranium close to our words and make some room for this release from Cincinnati’sPhratry Records latest. Tyranny Is Tyranny is from Madison, WI and their release Let It Come From Whom It May provides politico asylum worthy themes. We are all prisoners of capitalism because you exist in the system – lets agree there to start. These guys make music with song titles like “Down The K-Hole” and “The American Dream Is A Lie” which are our generation’s problems which are really world domination problems. Keep them numb and dumb; Jello biafra rants perhaps these are not (thankfully) but more with feeling of the gun in mouth blues Neurosis may have given you or Rollins for that matter. Although Hank has accepted his Celebrity and surviving. So in this version of rock history like a lot of non-independently wealthy bands these days they rely on the listeners to help them make crowd funded vinyl versions to help spread their gospel. So you know it’s not just a digital thing. Here’s the very “arty” behind the scenes album promo to give you some flavor of a band laboring to make a record straight to lab-top. Which sounds damn good in our humble opinion, clean and if the band Raven wondered what they sounded like if they were bit indie this would be what we would playback for them. Revisionism and capitalism all wrapped up into one band.
RIYL: Helms Alee, Neurosis, Trail of Dead
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Trail of Dead – early years …Are they Tao?
MUSIC REVIEW: Digital EP’s are in vogue as reported by your roving EMO reporters all over the blogosphere. The challenge is to be able to put out a set of songs that rock together. I think for most young bands the album format is pretty much dead unless they can afford to do the vinyl thing. Anyway, you are in luck because CAPTIVES have no issues here with their latest effort called Afterimage which will be available as a 10″. Luck for all you nerds. Sounding pretty alternative rock with their big guitars and throaty delivery these dudes are from Eagle Mountain, Utah and they show us that all good manly things can go beyond the distortion only mantra of your father’s hardcore. While I don’t think these guys have or run Meth labs this music is totally amped. There is some subtle use of delay on the guitars and plenty of throaty ‘scringing’. What is unique to these guys is their dual-vocals are coming at you from both channels via Jeffery Mudgett and Trevor Bookout. I could never tell Guy from Ian until after seeing fugazi live. The feeling was the delivery was as one. Same sort of effect here which works to help give these tunes a little depth. The most accessible song on this release is the emo infused semi-ballad “To Forget” with a line about poking your eyes out. The sounds are big and we recommend giving it a spin. Crap it’s the fucking internet people you can listen before you buy or decide to go see them live. Brought to you by Reveille Records.
We are only bound by the things we let bound us, we are all captives.
RIYL: Metal, Systems of A Down
SINGLE REVIEW: I’m not sure this Glasgow band’s sound qualifies as post-punk or at least the american version of this concept but if you dig The Nationals barritone type singing or Bloc Party then this will fit comfortably in the alternative new wave genre. You art school Morrissey fans may be inspired with lots of sweeping shoe-gaze guitar fluttering amongst the more angular sounds of riffing then try this free single by IT GIRL and a couple other tracks on their bandcamp page. I would say a band like The Men are more post-punk and messy sounding. More left fluttering in the wind with them. However, IT might be the fact they use of less reverb as part of the playing — either way the ITGirl band might just be the sound you were dreaming of when you’re trying to get down with that goth looking chick next to you in your painting class. Unless she only listens to industrial music in which case you better use your charm or knowledge of an obscure performance artist. Good luck!
Show: Feb 22 Art School Glasgow, UK
Neon Signs MP3 by IT Girl
Ex-Dreams MP3 deep cut by The Men from their stellar 2012 album Open Your Heart On a big European tour in March and in Australia in February with a couple US shows in between.
03-07 New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom
03-09 Los Angeles, CA – Troubadour
You never know who we’ll pair you with here but keep tabs of Review Stalker the twitters. For better or worse we’re hear to serve your ears and taste.
Stuff we’re truly digging:
ALBUM REVIEW: Sex Jams from Trouble Honey
MIX-TAPE: On the first day of the Apocalypse my true love gave to me…
WATCH NOW: Drunken Arts and Pure Science Rockumentary by Eastern Anchors