Saturday, November 11, 2006

Double Taxi Bomb Happiness

Today I'm just gonna ramble on a bit & reminisce and point out and meander and randomly revelate, hope ya find it relevant...

or scary, bizarre , bloated or ponderous or whatever ya want...

hold on... cuz this blog don't stop...

I started out just emailing a pal I have, a good friend who was in a great late 80's & early 90's SF band called Bomb...

They are just awfully under appreciated and more so each day, and perhaps rightly so... but I thought I'd share a few tracks that were faves of mine...

Their music was dark, silly, evil, booming and loud... and aside from all those good things...despite even a year or so of major label status, remains relatively obscure...

So here's some Bomb mp3'z below for the hundreds of y'all that stop by each day...

plus a few more treats I find relevant this weekend as I fester at work...

Here's the basic Wiki I recently wrote for last.fm, and a few more tracks for y'all to mull over

Bomb, was the name of an acid fueled San Francisco based hard rock band started in the late 80's. They toured extensively, released several albums, including one on Warner/Reprise in 1992, but began their career with a vinyl only LP on their own Boogadigga Records circa 1987 entitled "To Elvis In Hell".

The band were known for intense music & wild onstage antics and occasional nudity featuring diminutive, deranged, drugged & demonically caterwauling singer/bassist Michael W. Dean. The guitars were a squall of affected and eerie riffs provided by Jay Crawford & Doug Hilsinger, with explosive drumming that was ominously thunderous, repetitive and tribal via the pounding of Tony Fag ( aka Short). Their first LP caught the attention of Rock and Roll scribe and historian Greil Marcus, as well as a slew of indie zines and punk rock fans across the American heartland where they toured.

They signed to Bay Area based Boner Records in 1988 who put out "Hits of Acid" on vinyl and cassette.

From The Boner LP : Hits Of Acid

Bomb - I Loved You Then I Died

Bomb -Smile & Pose

This record was followed up in 1989 with "Happy All The Time" a vinyl & cassette EP. At the time they were one of San Francisco's most popular local acts outdrawing local faves like Primus, Chris Isaak and 4 Non Blondes, and soon worked out a European deal with Gary Held's fledgling Revolver label to release "Lucy In The Sky With Desi" in 1990, the band's first CD, which combined material from both earlier Boner releases.



Heck, they even did a certain Depeche Mode cover that was recorded and released in Germany in 1990, a good decade or so before Johnny Cash got hipped to it by Rick Rubin...

Bomb - Personal Jesus




In 1991, they attracted the attention of former Jane's Addiction manager Charley Brown, who got the band a deal with the Warner Bros. side imprint Reprise, originally founded by Frank Sinatra.

Bomb - There Is No Promise Of A Future In The Moment

Gee do you think that song title could've dimmed their prospects with Warner Bros?

Then the band made the mistake of sending this pixelvision quality video postcard I helped edit to the Burbank offices of the label...



If that wasn't bad enough...

How about telling WB's in house legendary Van Halen / Doobie Bros./Bullet Boys producer Ted Templeman you don't want his stinking help and instead spending your budget flying out to fat worthless world music remix czar Bill Laswell's pad.

The CD/Cass that resulted was "Hate Fed Love" ponderously produced in Brooklyn by Laswell's lackey's , basically sucking most of the life out of the band's sound and creating a record that would soon flood cutout bins nationwide. Can you say Tax Write Off?


(Ironically, The Flaming Lips, another difficult to pigeonhole act that Bomb toured with, were brought on board the label at the same time with a more loving touch by a certain David Katznelson, and are still on the WB to this day. Even after Katznelson left the corporate hoo haw...)


Bomb's total lack of tour support, non-existent radio & retail promotion, infighting, spiraling speed and heroin use all doomed the band. They broke up in 1993, but eventually emerged out of rehab & ruin to play some celebratory San Francisco shows in the late 1990's and released a fan farewell CD only EP called "Lovesucker" on indie Wingnut records.

Discography


CDs Eps & LPs

* To Elvis In Hell, Boogadigga LP, (1987)
* Hits of Acid, Boner Records LP & Cass, (1988)
* Happy All The Time, Boner Records, LP & Cass (1989)
* Lucy In The Sky With Desi, Boner/Revolver CD & LP, (1990)
* Hate-Fed Love, Reprise/Warner Brothers Records, LP, (1992)
* Lovesucker, Wingnut Records, EP, (1999)



7" Single

* Personal Jesus/Nineteen, [Rave Records] German ltd 7" single



Compilation Appearances

JDs Top Ten Homocore Hit Parade Tape (1990)
Song : Bomb - B/E/A/F/A/G

Thrasher Explicit Sk8rok Vol 10 CD(1991) Track #19 : Bomb - Nineteen

Trademark of Quality - Warner Bros. Promo CD(1992) Track #11: Bomb - Nineteen

Heck On Wheels - Warner Bros. Promo CD (1992)
Track #10 : The Power of Suggestion

CMJ presents Certain Damage Vol 43 (1992)
Track #18 Bomb : All My References are Dead


Michael, there singer, maintain's a website where you can download more of this band's music, see some extra vids etc, even grab some loops to mix yer own Bomb mash ups... Check it out y'all...

Bomb On The Web @ Kittyfeet.com

Another one of my favorite SF rock bands around the same time as Bomb, shared a roadie named Kyle...

He's now a daddy, and has had plenty experience babysitting the adult children in both bands...

After Bomb drove him to the brink of his sanity, he started working for Sister Double Happiness.

Eventually, they needed to do some road gigs, and my girlfriend & I would loan 'em our salvaged psychedelic painted van, painted by the former owner Bomb's nude Satanic drug shootin' dancer dude Eddy Caranaza ( R.I.P)

I ended up seeing Sister Double Happiness dozens of times over the course of a few years, and I cannot say I ever got sick of em... In fact I still go way out of my way to see their singer Gary perform almost any chance I get...

Gary was the vocalist in the great Texas punk band the Dicks, and his big boomin' drama filled voice sounded like Janis Joplin and The Devil himself had got down in his gullet and were fighting over a bottle of whiskey...

But the funny thing was, he is such a teddy bear of a guy, ya can't believe this amazing & sometimes sinister wailing is coming out of him. When he was in the Dicks, Gary had a mohawk & would do stunts like perform with liver in his panties, and at the height of Sister Double Happiness' popularity, shortly after releasing their blistering debut on SST Records... he joined a monastery and considered becoming a monk...

Fortunately, after a 6 month sabbatical or so, he returned to entertain us all for awhile longer...

The band whose core along with Gary included Ben Cohen on guitar & Lynn Perko on drums. They ended switching bassists a few times, and doing several more records on a variety of labels including the aforementioned Warner/Reprise, Sub Pop, plus some stuff through Dutch East India & Innerstate...

Supposedly there's an official live video called Greetings From Zurich out there as well

Here's a couple great early tracks from them recorded in the latter 80's...

Sister Double Happiness - Sister Double Happiness


Sister Double Happiness - Sweet Talker



Here's a blurry lil web video I did for Gary Floyd's latter 90's project Black Kali Ma, about a decade later...



If ya like any of it, lemme know i can probably dig up a few more audio rarities from Gary or Bomb next time around...

For a spell, after all my fave bands broke up, one of my many jobs, was being a Taxi Driver here in SF...

Heck I even designed a color scheme for a small company a couple years back



The cab driver mystique in some ways puts these road warriors in the class of the true working class heroes... and often they are someone on the real fringe of our society...

You get your lovable curmudgeons, old outcasts, immigrants, junkies, religious fanatics and combinations thereof...

I had a Jamaican Jesus Freak Crazed Caribbean Cabbie that took me home last night blaring some religious programming...but he could just as easily been a wrap wearing Sikh who cranks the prayer hour at 5 am when I'm still drunk and trying to get my own relationship with god to just stop spinning...

I prefer the rock n roll cabbies which are fewer and far between, i know of maybe a handful left in the industry, like this guy...


Who does a highly recommended local cabbie blog of note...

http://sftaxicab.blogspot.com/



Here's a few tunes with that Taxi Cab theme I thought I'd share... and later some links to other cabbie blogs around the world...

The next song here was actually written by another SF cab driver, a guy who also led a double life as a radical musician fella with his band The Looters.




Mat Callahan of The Looters - I'm Driving ( The Cab Driver Song)

Mat Callahan was a real mover and shaker out here in the music & local political scene before he moved to Switzerland. At least he was moving & shaking me out of bed with phone calls in the mid AM after I'd been out all night carousing. Lately I hear he's still producing records, and written a few books, like this one that came out recently via the always excellent AK Press.


According to the hype :
The Trouble with Music includes discussions of: technology and its effects on music making and listening; superabundance and the absence of critical thought; the development of radio; music criticism; copyright; the digital domain and the internet; labor and music making; and the special relationships between words, dance, politics, and music. A large segment of the general public seeks a relationship to music, which turns an exceptional profit for those who own and control it. Callahan provides a means of evaluating music and a powerful critique of the music industry. Whether you whistle at work, sing in the shower or conduct concertos, this book will challenge and enhance how you think about music.


Pete Seeger just says
"Yes–let's break the grip of Stars and Hits. Music could change the world. Read this book."



It includes a foreword by Boff, from Chumbawamba, go figger...

here's another track done as a duet with Yvonne Moore, this is one he used to do with the Looters back here in SF during the first Gulf War...

Mat Callahan & Yvonne Moore - Johnny Refused

Mat got his start with a sort of late 70's Marxist folk group called Prarie Fire, and his next group The Looters were part of the so-called 80's "world beat" scene out here. They eventually impressed Daniel Ortega enough to be invited to play a big stadium show in Nicaragua, Jello Biafra added them to the Alternative Tentacles roster. Soon, Chris Blackwell was impressed enough to sign them to Island Records, and they were opening for acts like Ziggy Marley & Grateful Dead. Mat took the Looters advance and wisely established a recording studio & performance space collective in the Mission District where numerous bands played & rehearsed. The space ended up doing tons of benefits for struggling non profits, and was staffed by dozens of volunteersoverr the ten year run. It's the first place I saw Sister Double Happiness, and later after I started helping out there the first place I caught Chumbawamba, Sublime, Primus and many other groups too numerous to mention.

In the early 90's Mat was also involved in helping getting Michael Franti on a similar career path as his own, and Franti has since gone on to great success globally. This basically involved getting Michael's righteously chrismatic butt off of Jello's obscure non-paying indie Alternative Tentacles like Mat did and hooked up with the major label mess that was Blackwell's Island Records.

Franti was soon opening stadium shows for U2, but when back in town he was honing his act with Charlie Hunter at the Komotion space in the Mission. In the meantime Mat would be driving cab all night, and writing rock operas by day, and a few daze a week fending the cops and disrespectful punker trash away from our little hiole in the wall on 16th St...

I ended up answering phones & Franti's fan mail in our lil office in the Redstone Bldg...and getting access to something called the Internet... which meant being able to email perhaps a dozen or so people I knew in the world that also had access. There were no pictures, or web browsers... just strange networks & nodes like Fido.Net started by our friend Tom Jennings down the street.

Anyhow, after changing the lineup & sound of his group, Michael Franti soon shifted out our lives and rehearsal space on daily basis, went over to Capitol, before lately managing his own affairs, where he is currently affiliated with indie Anti Records...

Spearhead - Taxi Radio ( live in San Francisco)

Amongst the many local bands that also used to play our humble wherhouse space was Green Day and their offshoot act Pinhead Gunpowder...

Here's Billie Joe singing a classic Joni Mitchell tune...

Pinhead Gunpowder - Big Yellow Taxi

and here are some more cabbie links & after that even more tunes ...

Another San Francisco area cabbie blog you should check out

Jo Ann Rides ( South Bay )


and other cabbie related songs & blogs from around the world

New York Hack

Paradise Driver in Hawaii

London Cabbie in The UK

Sydney Cabbie in Australia



Taxi Tunes:

The Mills Brothers - Cab Driver

Myrra - Taxidriver

Taxi No. 9211 - Boombai Nagariya (Living In The City)

St. Etienne - Heart Failed In The Back Of A Taxi

Taxicab Samurais - Big Kahuna

Taxi Doll - Waiting (Remix)

Great American Taxi - Ride

Osmonds - Hey Mr. Taxi

40 Below Summer - Taxi Cab Confession

Kidney Thieves - Taxicab Messiah

Chevrolet - Taxi De Nuit

Billy Penn's Brother - Taxi To Treblinka

Tori Amos - Taxi Ride

Jens Lenkman - Black Cab

Death Cab For Cutie - Title & Registration

Joni Mitchell - Big Yellow Taxi

Wreckless Eric - Final Taxi

Gym Class Heroes - Taxi Driver

Cab Driver - Stay

The Fall - Cab It Up!

Buddy Jones - Taxicab Driver Blues

and a random tune for some random reason...

Baby Huey - Hard Times

-

5 comments:

Jeff said...

How 'bout "A Spy in the Cab" by Bauhaus?

Spin said...

Wow, that _is_ a rambling post, but thanks for the lowdown on Bomb. Bomb's "Hits of Acid" was one of my favourite records of the late 80s and early 90s.

Anonymous said...

that was aah..da bomb

Anonymous said...

Bomb are the ones that named me... they are in my soul....Bubbles

Anonymous said...

Bomb are the ones that named me...They are in my soul...Bubbles