It is a rare treat to get to work with a band that has been at it for over 30 years, and when it comes to The Giant Worm, even their Junior Member has been in the group for at least five. (The most recent line-up solidified in 2011.) It’s very unfortunately, then, that their reputation is not better in the Northwest. Since the ’80’s, few have followed the group on their musical voyages. Rarely interviewed, largely without a record deal for their entire career, and entirely DIY, it is only with the advent of digital technologies that recordings of the group have become widely available. And a pity, too; Xeres – one of “the new guys” with only 23 years in the band – brought along almost 100 discs of Giant Worm performances, just to give me a peak behind the curtain of the way the group works.
In many ways, a mere hour just doesn’t seem fair.
Suffice it to say, we do the best we can to pry some details from these guys, and play cuts from an album that has not yet come out (Paging Dr. Pavlov, a record that may see release next year… we shall see). But to call this a world premiere show hardly encompasses the scope of what we’re doing.
Even among experimental circles, The Giant Worm find it difficult to make a name for themselves in the scene. The narrative improvisational element is certainly unusual, and while there is humor – and the band themselves are funny guys – this is certainly not a novelty band, by any definition. These tracks tell stories in a burbling, Second City sort of fashion, and you can almost hear Del Close whispering into Pete’s ear as the band performs. But event the label “experimental” was something they bristled at, feeling that they play and enjoy music; nothing more. These distinctions have made it difficult for the group to connect with others, as they lack an easy reference point that they can offer when describing what they do. In many ways, the only way to understand The Giant Worm is to experience them.
And that’s what we try to do, with this show that is over a year in the making. While we didn’t really get a performance out of them, this all grew out of an offer to host them for a live gig at some point, on the radio. The details of which may still sort themselves out. In the meantime, it was incredibly cool of them to make the trip to KMUZ, and hang out of the air with me for the show. The studio can get pretty lonely at night, and these guys have plenty of stories to tell.
This is a Headphone Show. Pick up the beverage of your choice, lean back in your Bean Bag Chair, and let Giant Worm Radio guide you for an hour. Get to know some of the lesser known corners of the musical world.
And, of course: Enjoy!
Giant Worm Radio
Part I: Attack of The Perfect Angel
01.) Austin FM Theme * Paco Jones * Austin FM Theme * Self-Released (2016)
02.) Attack of the Giant Leeches Trailer * Attack of the Giant Leeches * Attack of the Giant Leeches * American International Pictures (1959)
03.) Free Jazz [Excerpts] * The Ornette Coleman Double Quartet * Free Jazz * Atlantic Records (1961)
04.) Old Red * The Giant Worm * Murky Depths * Self-Released (2016)
05.) Perfect Angel * The Giant Worm * Paging Dr. Pavlov * Self-Released (2017)
Part II: Beware The Tiny Hunter
06.) Performance [Excerpts] * Fiasco * 23 September 2016 * Mid-Valley Mutations (2016)
07.) The Truth Is A Tiny Hunter * The Giant Worm * Paging Dr. Pavlov * Self-Released (2017)
Part III: “All You Behavioral Psychologists Out There, Dig This”
08.) Dr. Pavlov * The Giant Worm * Paging Dr. Pavlov * Self-Released (2017)
09.) Isle Eight [Live] * The Giant Worm * Live, 2016 Olympia Experimental Music Festival * Self-Released (2016)
10.) It’s Okay, It’s Time To Go * Evolutionary Jass Band * What’s Lost * Mississippi Records (2007)