Wednesday, July 30, 2008

JEFF KOETTEL - "Bar-Nun" 1994

I’ll admit that when this was released I thought it was retarded and I was annoyed by it. Listening to it now, it’s still terrible – but in a charming sort of way. I can only assume this was released because other bands were releasing tapes at the time and Jeff wanted to share his contribution to the scene. Some stones are better left unturned, but I’m flipping this stone over anyway.

Jeff received a karaoke machine for Christmas one year and used it to make fake “radio show” tapes and three tapes of original “music”. Jeff had no training in music at all, couldn’t play any instrument. Jeff could, however, press the “demo” button on a keyboard and sing stupid songs over it, songs about Diet Pepsi, Rex (“where you always pay less”) and whatever else popped into his head. Make no mistake, this stuff is terrible, but it’s a great snapshot of a time that has passed. You can really hear how much fun he was having recording this nonsense.

In 1994, Jeff had a big birthday party at our house and invited a bunch of bands to play there. GHOOM, CITRUS BOY, GRISTLE and THREESKIN all played, but it was Jeff’s party and he was to do a set of his music that evening too. By the time all of the other bands finished playing, most of the audience went home and he ended up playing to an empty garage. I always felt bad about how that went down, like we completely took the wind from his sails that night, but being his older brother – I probably did shit like this all the time and didn’t think much of it.

This is total bedroom / bored-core stuff. Today it would probably be labeled “tardcore”, but when Jeff recorded this stuff he wasn’t listening to anything like this (I don’t remember him listening to anything but Dead Milkmen and Pantera at the time) and came up with all of this crap on his own. Jeff managed to completely rip-off Wesley Willis without ever hearing him.

This is the second of Jeff’s three tapes, I think, and of the three – this is the one where his “musicianship” was at it’s peak. Jeff later went on to play keyboards in SCAT, a doom band that eventually morphed into a thrash metal band, and currently plays drums in BILLY CRYSTAL METH, an instrumental sludge/doom band.


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