Trumans Water: Another band in my upcoming book, Gimme Indie Rock: 500 Essential American Underground Rock Albums 1981 – 1996
The next partial body of work revealed to be covered in my upcoming book is that of Trumans Water. Preceding the usual Youtube clips is a list of my favorite Trumans Water song titles…not songs, song-TITLES. Along with being, in the words of writer John Floyd, Trumans Water was…
“That perverse, fascinating, and wildly prolific outfit that inhaled the works of Albert Ayler, Captain Beefheart, and Sun City Girls and breathed out something that wobbled and blurted like oddball jazz but roared with the power of avant-garde rock and roll. Over the course of more than a dozen releases (including four seminal longplayers in the Godspeed series), Trumans Water expanded the boundaries of postpunk and found new ways to express their angst and alienation, as well as putting their lysergic impulses to good use.”
….Trumans Water has a gift for language-massaging song-titles. And Trumans Water never broke up. The band has released over 15 full-lengths since 1992, seven of which fell within the chronological framework of my upcoming book, though I did not write about all seven.
My favorite Trumans Water song-titles:
“Speeds Exceeding”, “Habits are Spirits”, “Bludgeon Elites & Stagger”, “Top of Morning”, “Finger 6 Steps Ahead of Our Minds”, “Mindstab Forklift”, “Bladderstomp: Krautrock”, “It Slew Me”, “Aroma of Gina Arnold”, “Spitvalve Opus”, “Good Blood After Bad”, “Bent Time Hand”, “Death to Dead Things”, “Vacation Starts Great”, “Hurting Eye Flower”, “One Traditional Wound”, “Athlete Who Is Suck”, “Derailleur”, “Long End of a Firearm”, “All Wet West of Washington”, “Ungalaxy”, “Antsmashes Yer Star (Dead Airwaves)”, “Outpatient Lightspeed”, “Infinity Times Zero”, “Slander in New Slang”, “Fuller Piston Vinegar”, “Horsesense”, “Syrup is Tangled”, “Swordfish in the Trees”, “Stares from New Enemies”, “Vexation Fruits”, “Asleep Sneeze”, “Off Peak Arson”, “Wind and Rain Over Wings “, “3 Straps Nose to Rear”, “4 Story Friend”, “Angels Spit Stars”, “Mutual Blood Tied Force”, “Curl Up to Yer Empty Years”, “Flying in a Coin Operated Universe”, “Shoe Lace or Else”, “Care Sliced Lies”, “Obstacle of Habit”, “Lyrical Nozzle”, “Strat-As-Fear”, “Tiny World With the Jitters”, “60 Seconds Over Medium”, “Matter Smasher”, “All Eye And Movement”, “You Live Out Loud”, “Horsesplinter Wraparound”, “I’ve Been Here Before Though I Don’t Remember It”, “The End Is A Cinch To See Even Behynd Me”, “Minus Time Space Plus Soul Time”, “Slum Summer”….
This is what Trumans Water sounds/looks like…
“Wealth In A Flask” (originally released on a 7″ EP…early-to-mid-90′s):
And one of my favorites, “A Tiny World With The Jitters”:
Original lineup, live on the radio, 1993:
Original lineup, live at The Casbah, 1993:
In my upcoming book, Gimme Indie Rock: 500 Essential American Underground Rock Albums 1981 – 1996: Bongwater
Bongwater was a very special band, hence the writing about anywhere between one and 4.5 Bongwater albums in my upcoming book, Gimme Indie Rock: 500 Essential American Underground Rock Albums 1981 – 1996. Vital book info is yours if you follow this link. The band’s (a core duo of producer/personality/Shimmy Disc proprietor Kramer and actress/performance artist/monologist Ann Magnuson) body of work – a double length epic, three normal-length albums, and an EP released between 1986 and 1991 - was a combination of humor, a vast pop-cultural frame of reference, and an artistically/creatively-successful angle on experimental guitar-based noise-rock/post-hardcore/out-to-fucking-lunch-rock unlike anything that preceded or followed it. The best album is probably 1990′s The Power of Pussy, and here are a few reasons why:
…leads into “What If…” (great example of sense of humor + songwriting beauty)
Because I came out of December and January of 2014 with only one year-end “best-of” list carrying my byline in only one publication, I was required by law write something on Record Store Day 2014, and that something ran today on Vice’s site. The link is underneath the post headline I am now writing…if any readers are so inclined…
For an intermission to break the monotony of all this “upcoming book” yimmer-yammer, one is encouraged to check out the (very…over the weekend, in fact) recent piece I wrote for Vice, which ran today and is referenced in the title line of this post.
Part of the Steel Pole Bath Tub discography is represented in my upcoming book Gimme Indie Rock: 500 Essential American Underground Rock Albums 1981 – 1996
Here’s the next audio adventure into a knook and/or cranny of my upcoming book, Gimme Indie Rock: 500 Essential American Underground Rock Albums 1981 – 1996, which will feature my writing on album(s) released by this band. This is a mix of live, 7″-only, and album content. Pls keep in mind that technology has caught up with the need for great audio re: live footage of bands, but the early-90′s was often a different story. Still, the SPBT live stuff I chose here is quite good in that respect, especially compared to the majority of that era’s live representation on YouTube (unless it’s from an official VHS release of the day, as some of this is). I saved the best clip for last, btw. Steel Pole Bath Tub (or Steel Pole Bathtub) is one of my all-time favorite bands of this particular time, and without a doubt my top participant in what was termed “noise-rock” or “aggro” or other journalistic Conrad Bain’s Of My Existence. Read some general bio information here.
STEEL POLE BATH TUB
The 7″-only “Arizona Garbage Truck”
“Soul Cannon” (live in 1995)
Live in 1992:
“Home Is A Rope” (1994)
From the VHS “Fruits Aux Sept Liquers”
“Steel Pole Bath Tub toured Europe playing over 30 shows in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Holland, Belgium, France, and Denmark. jeff Smith went along, filmed most of the shows, came back to the US, stopped in New York, finally got home to Seattle where he sat on a couch, played with bears, drank tea + coffee, ate cookies, and listened to records. In early 1994 he got together with Paul Uusitalo and Darren Mor-x and they put together the film you are about to see… Ladies & Gentlemen Steel Pole Bath Tub Live! -Jo Smitty 3.14.94″
The amazing, Steve Albini-engineered (he would have been great for all of their albums, sort of exactly what they needed, but this is the only one he did) “Some Coctail Suggestions” 10″ EP