Monday, April 26, 2010

BROMANTIC INTERLUDE #11: Fuck Y'All, Steven's From Alabama

Steven (or Bro Incarnate, as we call him around ICHQ) has been a constant presence in the pantheon of Illogical Gods since (almost) Day One, and should not be a stranger to anyone who reads the occasional Comments Section around these parts. Along with being the former bass player (and also alerting us to the existence) of the fantastic Hematovore, Steven has clued us in to several buried musical gems in the past, and his input is always insightful and mind-expanding. He's also a pretty snappy dresser, as evidenced by the actual picture* of him shown at right.
But knowledge, talent, allegiance, and a dose of mystic wisdom are not ALL that this man has to offer. Although he now resides in Korea, Steven spent most of his life in Alabama, and resultingly possesses a large library of underground music from that particular region -- "Southern punk rock and metal that doesn't sound like Alabama Thunderpussy", as he himself so eloquently put it. While he has repeatedly refused my offers of full-time work here at IC, today we are lucky enough to have Steven by for a quick post, at least, showcasing the highlights of said library. Dig in.

*This in not an actual picture of Steven.

- Cobras

Hello. My name is Steven, "Steve" to my mom. I've been following and thoroughly enjoying Illogical Contraption for over a year now. I've shared a few albums with Mr. Cobras and Seanford, made a few comments here and there, and now I've been invited to whip up my very own post. [Squeal!] I don't much care for writing more than a few sentences at a time, but my love of music can override this (I used to write music reviews for a local interest magazine back in the day).

Outside of Man or Astroman?, Sun Ra, and, um, TrustCompany (who slavishly honed their act, went on self-financed van tours for years, and played exactly the kind of music they wanted to), y'all're probably unaware of Alabama's rich history of underground music. That's where I come in.

I lived in Auburn, Alabama for 21 years, most of my adult life. I played bass and/or guitar in several highly unsuccessful (yet totally honest) bands, became friends with many more bands, and bore witness to still more (including the infamous Hickey performing nude at an impossibly sweltering house show one July many years ago with local freaks Sham-Poo-Poo). My roommate (Clay) and I hosted house shows for about 6 years, and along with several other willing accomplices about town, we kept a small but thriving, established underground scene afloat through the end of the '90's. There were pretty good scenes developed in most of the major cities around the state, and we mostly did our best to promote each other. Well, starting in around '98, the city started to crack down on the scene. The Fuzz routinely invited themselves to shows, and Auburn's house show culture was snuffed out. Many of the bands faded away, but several soldiered on. The future is in doubt, as most of the folks making music now have been the same ones doing it for years and years. I was seeing fewer and fewer young bands before I moved away.

Some people, however, refuse to surrender. Consider these two cases...

Formed from the ashes of Supreme Dispassion (THE most brazenly blasphemous musical group I have ever seen), Roman Gabriel Todd's Beast Rising Up Out of the Sea is probably the second most blasphemous musical group I have ever seen. Benny is a punk rock Billy Cobham, Roman (Gabe to his mom) is intensity incarnate. Observe...

And here's Montgomery's own Gezoleen with a curious little conceptual piece...

I have prepared two sprawling, yet incomplete, compilations attempting to document the underground music scene in our fine state over the last 20 years. There are plenty of important bands (Loppybogymi [RIP], GNP [RIP?], the Vomit Spots [RIP], Obliviaxe [RIP], the afore-mentioned Roman Gabriel Todd's Beast Rising Up Out of the Sea, Liquid Brick, Pferd, Decatur! [RIP], Antlings [RIP], Oil [RIP], Vacation Bible School [RIP], Crashing Falcon, the Wednesdays, the Quadrajets [RIP], Daikaiju, and others whose names I can't even remember) not featured here for reasons beyond my control. But you may still find something to your liking. As we Alabama folk are a generous and tolerant people (and I wanted to fill in the gaps), I've included a few bands that hail/hailed from Tennessee, Georgia, Mississippi, and Louisiana that properly represent the modern South. No, Florida is NOT the South. Apologies.

I won't delve into all the interconnections and shared members here, or this post would be longer than Napalm Death's thanks list in "Harmony Corruption." Suffice to say we have no problem with musical inbreeding.

But for the curious, I have included extensive liner notes, including MySpace links and whatnot, inside the comps. Just drop the files into a playlist for optimum performance.





Shelby Cobras said...

Damn. The 'quality' to 'obscurity' ratio is ridiculously high on this shit. WAY too many awesome bands I've never heard of here (played a show with The Devil and The Sea last year, though...). Interested parties: I highly recommend checking out the liner notes included via text file in these folders. A dearth of Southern-flavored weirdness. Steven, you rule.

Shelby Cobras said...

PS I guess, technically, it would be the 'quality' to 'recognition' ratio. My bad. Whereas Q/R would produce an extremely high number and Q/O would produce a relatively low one. Just to clarify.

Steven said...

My pleasure.

Hansonicus said...

RGTBRUOOTS is essential. Benny is by far the best drummer I have ever seen live. He's like Gene Krupa playing blast beats.