Rick Rizzo and TK go back a long way. To Kentucky punk rock. Rizzo met his future Eleventh Dream Day bandmate, Janet Beveridge Bean, at a Zoo Directors rehearsal at 1069 Bardstown Road. Key and Rizzo had admired each other's guitar style and jammed on occasion before TK played on "The Raft" on EDD's Atlantic 1991 release Lived To Tell and tagged along on their 1997 European tour as hired second guitar.
When Thrill Jockey offered them an opportunity to record a project together, Rizzo and TK, since they lived in Chicago and NYC, respectively, came up with a plan to record as if in a sonic conversation. Call and response. Missives from Manhattan answered in Wicker Park and vice versa. Giving instructions by calling out favorite painters.
This dovetailed with TH and TK's new recording abilities, taking the stress and pressure cooker circumstances out of projects by doing it themselves -- learning what they wanted and how to get it. To be able to be spontaneous with an overdub or a vocal. Rizzo came to record at TK and TH's house, now known as Chessie Studios. It was pretty cool to hear "Duo" in the movie Highway, showing on HBO, five feet away from where it was recorded. Or to hear "Good Evening, Mr. Peckinpah" on NPR and think about Rizzo recording it in the bathroom, cleared of all objects except the microphone, to take advantage of the tile resonance. Rizzo also did some tracking at Truckstop Media in Chicago.
It sounded like neither of their bands -- a new language, but wordless. They played a handful of gigs, augmented live by TH on cello, Peter Walsh, co-producer, on drums and Chris O'Rourke on second guitar, including ATP 2001, curated by Tortoise, at Camber Sands -- near the spot on the ocean by Rye where some of J.M.W. Turner's most gorgeous watercolors were done. Stellar moment- - a wee hours walk to said shore by Rizzo and Key after the show.
A new Rizzo/Key record is under construction for release on Thrill Jockey in 2010.
SIX LAYER CAKE
On the occasion of JM's sister's wedding, Antietam joined forces with Chris O'Rourke (guitar) and Rachael McNally (drums) of Sleepyhead and a friend Chris Seeds (keys -- now of Mossy Pine and Artanker Convoy) to make a wedding band. Armed with an arsenal of Motown, New Orleans, P-Funk, Mayfield, Hayes and other assorted soul nuggets, Josh took center front stage as emcee, lead singer, conga player and provocateur. After it was a blast, we decided to remain on perpetual call for nuptuals. Sue Garner (vocals, percussion, guitar) joined up after the first wedding. Pinch hitters have stepped in when members of the band themselves got married: Rebecca Gates for Josh Madell / Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley for Chris O'Rourke and Rachael McNally.
The band once played a celebratory wedding in Kane, PA, with the bridesmaids performing a wedding ritual called naked rolling in a meadow under a sky dominated by the Pleiades. 6LC also played Windows On the World -- the restaurant/club on the 107th floor of World Trade Tower -- in 2000. Most raucous of all: the Fez debacle where two fishnet-wearing ladies jumped up on a table during "Brown Sugar," thereby violating NYC's cabaret laws, causing management to shut down the PA, while a chanting and stomping crowd, refused to stop and finished the song.
The rules of Six Layer Cake: dress sharp and come to dance.
Tim and Tara, in 1993-1994, played with pal Yasmin Kuhn in her band, Cobalt. They had met in the days of the Space at Chase and Spiral as Yaz was a member of Flying Saucer. Tim and Tara produced a session for them in 1991 that yielded two cuts on their Homestead single, Plastic Fruit, and two cuts on their Teenbeat single, Real. Yaz was part of the Vermont crew who played on Bourbon County and bore witness to much of the doings there. Cobalt also featured Gerald Menke on drums and played live for a brief time. Yaz released a single and, later a full-length CD, Radio Snake Charmer, both on Queenie.
SYD STRAW / CODEINE
From Winter 1992-Spring 1993, TH and TK backed up Syd Straw for several local gigs and a couple of brief tours, first with Robert Dennis on drums and later, Alan Bezozi. During this time, Syd, TH and TK wrote "CBGBs" -- a track she later recorded on War and Peace (Capricorn 1996). During 1992-93, JM toured with Codeine and, on a European tour, recorded a BBC Peel sesson with them.
Tralala was a rollicking and rocking party crew that JM played drums for and wrote for from 2003-2006. Led by a flank of four gals (Nicole Lang, Liane Moccia, Erin Marsz and Stella Psaroudakis) sharing lead vocals, and with guitar phrasemaker Chris Talsness and hammering bassist Marty Key (replacing Harold Wayne in 2004), they released two albums, Tralala and Is That the Tralala? and an Xmas EP Falala-La-La with Tralala (all on Audika Records), all recorded at Seaside Lounge with Josh Clark at the helm.
THE SPECIAL PILLOW
TH played cello with the trip-poppy Special Pillow from 1998-2003, appearing on Inside the Special Pillow (Zofko, 2004). The Pillow, led by Dan Cuddy, continue on without TH. Katie Gentile (violin) and Peter Walsh (drums) are longtime Antietam and Rizzo/Key collaborators.
"Sinfo" (Atp Compilation, 2000)
"Low Post In D" (Empty Bottle, Chicago 2001)Recorded By Aadam Jacobs
"Good Evening, Mr. Peckinpah"
Click to see enlargements
"Hyperbolicsyllabicesquesalymistic" (Issac Hayes)
"Chicken Strut" (The Meters)
"Express Yourself" (Charles Wright & The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band) [All From The Fez]
hear six layer cake
"No/Yeah" (Tralala, Audika Records 2003)
hear the special pillow
"You Can Do It (Just Don't Do It Wrong)" (Inside The Special Pillow, Zofko Records 2003)