Monday, August 04, 2014

Audioblogging: "Snobs" Live Performance, 1985, Tucson

This recording is of the PS Bingo four-piece (plus guests) playing live at Nino's Steakhouse in Tucson, Arizona, in 1985. Like "The Lightning Tape" posted last week, it features me on vocals and percussion, Joe Humble on guitar and bass, Diane Griffin on vocals and bass (and, memorably, on recorder on "Pathetica"*), and Dave Perry on drums and percussion.

The last tape I uploaded here went down like a lead balloon, which was expected since, after all, I did warn you that it was a 45-minute noise drone. This one is very different, a more-or-less rock show that does get noisy, but remains mostly traditional in instrumentation (despite the electric toy piano on one song).

The title of this show comes from an audience member shouting "Snobs!" at us at a previous engagement. This is because, honestly, it was kind of true. We didn't dress cute, we didn't pander to the audience, and we played oddball noise-rock without a care in the world that it wasn't commercial or, really, terribly likeable, and had a mustachioed jazz drummer who looked like an accountant. Oh well! As I said previously, we weren't trying to be rock stars.

Some song notes: this performance shows off the songwriting skills of Pony Pal Diane, who wrote three of the songs and the lyrics for a fourth. "Pathetica" was meant to be a tribute to Martin Denny and Les Baxter, so it has a somewhat "exotic" sound without sounding much like either of those artists. "2507" is named for the address of the venue; we hated Nino's, but they were one of the few bars that would let us play, albeit safely restricted to Monday evenings when we could do the least damage. I'd say we were definitely the staff's least favorite band. "Prayer Thing", "Space Mountain", and "Conspicuous Consumption" feature both Joe and Diane playing bass. "Nothing Is" is a cover of an earlier Tucson band, Les Seldoms, and features their lead singer on vocals.

If you want to listen to just the highlights, skip to "Pathetica", "Space Mountain", "Prayer Thing", and "Grey". The latter is one of Joe Humble's loveliest guitar compositions (and features me gamely giving it a go behind the drum kit).

Again, this stuff is awkward. My performance is probably my least favorite thing about it, but I was only 20, so whatever, I'm over it.

The 48mb zip archive is downloadable here.

*I remember at the time that Diane really didn't like playing recorder on "Pathetica", but later came to realize that it sounded great.


BillyIdol said...

The recorder playing is the BOMB!

Diane Griffin said...

Inspirational verse:

The coldest drinking fountain in the world
Makes your lips freeze together.
Sure it hurts when you pull them apart;
But oh, it's nice in hot weather!

And I'm breaking the verification rule by reporting that my verification number was 2507. Seriously.