Friday, May 28, 2010

a loaf supreme

montage by ib.

I have Holly to thank for this learning curve. For joining the dots and uncovering shared DNA from a time not so long ago when king ether and happenstance still reigned absolute; when genetic code could not be matched through a Uniform Resource Locator.

Supreme Dicks came together in Massachusetts in 1982.

Somewhere between the insular slacker campus of New Hampshire College and Amherst; just under 100 driving miles from Boston.

Erecting their tent on the scavenging grounds once frequented by Chickatabot and the Mahican wolf tribe.

Where once there raged wars with "people of the place of the flint" - the Kaniengehaga of three elder brothers - the blood sown plains sired Amanita Muscaria. Fraternities of Psilocybin.

Visited by the spirits of the bear, the wolf, and the turtle, Supreme Dicks allied in council. Oxemberg; Shere; Shafel. Kicking against the pricks.

They issued a truncated declaration of independence in 1992, "Sky Puddle", followed by a more comprehensive document on the Communion sub-division of Homestead Records: "The Unexamined Life". Recruiting Louis Knox Barlow to pluck a string on one strange song along the way. "Working Man's Dick" came next on the UK based Freek label. And a third, "The Emotional Plague", in 1996. A brooding phratry. And then they folded.

I know a thing or two about folding, myself. I know a good deal less about the Supreme Dicks.

SUPREME DICKS: RANADA'S DEMON from "Working Man's Dick" LP (Freek) 1994 (US)


Löst Jimmy said...

I wish you a good restful weekend.

Holly said...

I'm SO glad you're enjoying!

BTW, the Dicks are not a Boston band.
I've not yet read, but for more info see:

ib said...

Now I'm confused. Their Wiki entry cites them as forming in Boston, but from the link you gave me the best I can gather is that it was in Hampshire College... Now that would be Amherst, right ? About 100 miles west of Boston ?

Being so geographically removed from ground zero as I am, you have to forgive my map reading skills.

Anyway. I'll amend it. I have only dipped in and out of what I can find on Supreme dicks, but I definitely like what I hear.

Holly said...

The Dicks were definitely from Amherst/Hampshire - I was good friends with an adjunct/touring Dick, Mark Sturm, unfortunately now deceased.

I lived in Northampton (another corner of the Pioneer Valley) from 1984 -1990 and, in fact, SeBADoh was formed in a bedroom in my apartment. I did not appreciate this momentous event at the time :-) Who knew?

ib said...

Well. That makes the dots fall even more oddly than I imagined...

I was quite the admirer of Dinosaur Jr when Lou Barlow was part of the scene. And Sebadoh, after the fact, I might add. Never understood the friction between him and J Mascis, or the fall out after "Bug".

I don't know why, but the name Mark Sturm rings a bell, vaguely. Thanks for that, Holly.

Holly said...

Ways you might have known Mark:

As an :
artist, co-founder of Vertical Records, heroin addict, the most charming a*hole imaginable, sometime consort of Barbara Manning & Azalia Snail, general provocateur, the list goes on ....

I miss him. He requested a song during my very first radio show, which I played, so he brought me a free pizza and that was that! Instant 3 am bonding over pepperoni & Bauhaus (1984 = height of goth season in western mass).

He introduced me to many of my friends, up to and including my ex-husband, & died a horrible death after saving other people from a house fire.


BTW, Lou is an excellent guy, I just sometimes found it hard to write senior papers with him & Eric making noise upstairs ;-)

ib said...

I'm sorry to hear about the circumstances surrounding Mark's death. A very selfless act.

I very briefly flirted with the same goth thing. I liked "The Sky's Gone Out" in particular, but that was as far as it went. And "Bela" before it. Never got off on the Alien Sex Fiend accompanying option, or most of those other UK groups.

I have to confess, though, that I am not very familiar with Deep Wound. In the main, I detested the 80s. The arrival of Dinosaur Jr, Thin White Rope and Pixies was a definite life vest. The world had gone back to sleep, and the stadiums were a death camp.

It is good to hear that you have only good things to say about Lou. I have sometimes wondered. I saw him and Mascis once. In fact, one of the best gigs I've ever attended was a low key affair with J playing an acoustic set. My wife saw him play with Ron Asheton at the same venue a few years later. This was a period when I couldn't rouse myself to get up off the couch.

I sat and drank, mostly. Read some books and assiduously avoided even tiny crowds.

regards "him & Eric making noise upstairs".

Upstairs at Eric's! Nice call.

I am enjoying this 'conversation'.

Holly said...

Thin White Rope. Yes!!! One of the best shows I've ever seen was TWR circa 1986, playing their heart out to 4, count them 4 people - a soundman, my friend Jeanne & me, and this crazy dancing guy who subsequently became a friend - Jim Sottile, who was another co-founder of Vertical Records! This is eerie. Anyway, I love TWR. Bucketfull of Brains helped get me through college, musically speaking - I basically purchased everything they recommended.

As an aside, poor Mark was horribly burned due to his heroism, and all I could think of at the time was how our angsty,gothy selves used to sit around & play the Leather Nun's "Slow Death" over and over. Nightmares. Much more terrifying than "Hamburger Lady". Thankfully he didn't linger too long....but long enough.

Never got into Yaz. Any suggestions?

ib said...

Yazoo ? Hell no. Never much of a fan.

There was an album, or an ep, recorded upstairs at Eric's in Manchester in 1977. It is ironic that Alison Moyet's reference to it should supplant all memory of the original.

Now. My memory is failing me. I can't remember who was on it, but I am pretty sure it was a sampler.

ib said...

I have to ask. Was the Leather Nun a cover of the Famin' Groovies ? ; a truly excellent single.

Holly said...

I too love, love LOVE the Flaning Groovies song - the Leather Nuns song is entirely different. It's a totally creeped out proto-industrial song about a gentleman who's "90 percent burned ..55 hours to live" complete with sounds of suffering & guest appearances by Genesis P-Orridge and Monte Cazazza. Ergo my references to Mark, Throbbing Gristle & Hamburger Lady.

Strangely, Bucketful o' Brains was a big fan of Leather Nun - not their usual fare. The Nun's other 'outrageous' song was FFA, standing for Fist F*ckers Anonymous. And they covered Abba's ((gimme gimme gimme)a man after midnight). And they wrote some quite decent rock & dance/popsongs! Those crazy Swedes.

ib said...

I know, but nly in so far as I had to go dig it out:

I had Throbbing Gristle's early recordings for Industrial, and Leer & Rental, but I somehow missed the Swedes. Kind of like a tuned out version of "I Wanna Be Your Dog" meets Rocket From The Toms and Ubu. With a bit of Neu! and Can thrown in for good measure.


Bar the association with third degree burns.

As for FFA, there is a program for anglers on Freeview call Extreme Fishing which I always misread as 'Extreme Fisting' when surfing the channel listings.

I dug the Groovies out once more to keep the chain running: