Monday, October 13, 2008

DELERIUM - "Pirate Alley" 1994

While I don't consider this to be John's best work, it's an important stage in his evolution as an artist. Hopefully he's not too mad at me for posting this tape.

Well before CITRUS BOY, John was recording tapes and releasing them under the name JOHN HUSTON & HIS IMAGINARY BAND. To this day I've only heard his first tape, "Da GL Song", and I consider it to be pretty unlistenable. I'm sure John would agree. It was John's goal all along to form a grunge band, but that didn't come until 1994 when he formed DELERIUM.

I remember seeing DELERIUM stickers all over town on people's cars and wondering who the fuck they were. The band was so short lived that I didn't even hear about them until they had broken up. They were together for three live shows and this recording, that was it. With the help of left-handed drummer Paige Clause and "chord-progression-challenged" bassist Sam Long, DELERIUM recorded this lone demo tape in the spring of 1994.

While making the jump from boombox to 4 trax , the sound on this is pretty terrible, even for my tastes. I get the impression John was constantly writing and recording music and didn't spend too much time on something before moving on to the next. All of the songs on side one are originals, side two made up entirely of cover songs. The originals sound pretty good in comparison to the covers, but overall the whole tape is a fun mess.

Shortly after DELERIUM's break up, John and Sam formed The SMIRNOFFS with Matt Sims and Mark Langgin, a punk band who's botched recording session lead to the formation of CITRUS BOY.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

RUSTY METAL PRIMER - "Do Your Own Dishes" 1995

Wow, it's been a long time since I've posted something. I should say that I started this blog while I wasn't working during the summer and had nothing but time on my hands. Time isn't so plentiful now, but I'll do my best to put new content up when I can.

While not technically from Ottumwa, RUSTY METAL PRIMER played Ottumwa often enough to warrant inclusion on this site. R.M.P. were from What Cheer, a small town about 45 minutes north of Ottumwa. I didn't talk to any of these guys then outside of saying "hello" to each other at shows, so I don't know anything about them. Somehow they became aware of what was happening musically here in Ottumwa, befriended Mike and played in his basement on more than one occasion. I remember them being listed on a flyer once as "The Band Formerly Known as the All-American Boys", but maybe that was just something Mike came up with as I doubt they were ever called the "The All-American Boys". Outside of doing a couple of shows with them, I didn't know them, so I really can't add much to their history. Maybe someone from the band will see this and fill in the blanks in the comments section?

This demo (their only release?) was recorded by Mike Hoff in a garage in August 0f 1995. If you listen carefully between the songs and on the quiet parts, you can hear the sound of summer crickets chirping along to the music. The music is planted firmy in the sound of the 90's alternative and grunge and these 9 songs sound really good! It's obvious a lot of work went into rehearsing these songs before recording them.

It was around this time I focused my musical attention outside of Ottumwa and lost touch with what was going on here. Somehow, R.M.P. broke up. I wish I had a juicy story to tell about it, but I don't know what happened. Did Nate or Goose do anything musically after R.M.P.? Beats me... Jason continued on with music and today plays drums for SHE SWINGS, SHE SWAYS, a folksy acoustic band that plays often here in Ottumwa, and elsewhere.