Continuing our four-hour journey into Northwest Music that doesn’t get nearly enough play these days, Xeres of Xeron and I have returned to KMUZ and Northwest Notes to bring you more selections from his personal collection of rare and rarely-heard recordings and performances by artists from right here, where you are from.
This show also happens to be a Pledge Drive show, but don’t let that fool you. We do our best to bring you a huge helping of music, in spite of all of that, and this one gets very personal, in the best possible way. We focus on a handful of artists this show, and dig into their back-catalog with songs from demo tapes and poorly-distributed home-recordings, by artists who have become incredibly popular since their time in the area. And, finally, we delve more into the recorded works of Xeres himself, which is always a wonderful treat.
This one is something I’m quite proud of, and I could never have done it without the hard work and thoughtfulness of Xeres of Xeron himself. So dig in, and enjoy our Northwest Quatrain.
Our Previous Radio Engagements:
A Northwest Quatrain (2 of 2) w/ Xeres of Xeron!
Part IV: About Amy
Amy Denio (rhymes with Ohio) has been a prolific stalwart of the Seattle avant-garde jazz scene since the mid-1980s, with a penchant for quirky compositions influenced by international folk idioms and saxophone experimentalists such as Roland Kirk and Pharoah Sanders. In addition to the sax, she also plays accordion, bass, guitar, and whatever else suits her fancy – all of it self-taught. She also sings beautifully and does humorous spoken word bits. Her world travels and collaborative spirit have combined her talents with the likes of Chris Cutler, Derek Bailey, Chuck D, and Fred Frith. She is credited as a performer on a vast diversity of albums by groups such as Curlew, Pale Nudes, Kultur Shock, The Science Group, FoMoFlo, Billy Tipton Memorial Saxophone Quartet, and of course Tone Dogs.
Tone Dogs was a project Amy did with bassist Fred Chalenor, along with Soundgarden drummer Matt Cameron (later replaced by drummer Will Dowd.) Perhaps best described as a prog band with whimsical leanings, Tone Dogs released two albums in 1990 and 1991.
41.) Vomit Comet * Amy Denio * Never Too Old to Pop a Hole * Spoot Music (1988)
42.) Marshall’s Whitey Wipes * Amy Denio * Never Too Old to Pop a Hole * Spoot Music (1988)
43.) Czechered Pyiamas * Tone Dogs * 27 July 1991 * Tone Dogs (1991)
Fred Chalenor then went on to found his band Caveman Shoestore, which later evolved into Caveman Hughscore when Fred hooked up with Hugh Hopper of Soft Machine fame. After a struggle with early-onset Alzheimer’s, Fred passed away just last summer (2018).
44.) Surfing and Dreaming * Fred Chalenor * Caveman Shoestore demo * Fred Chalenor (1990)
Prior to starting Caveman Shoestore, Fred passed out this proof-of-concept demo tape to interested musical comrades. It’s unobtainable, but you heard it here.
45.) A Better Mousetrap * Fred Chalenor w/ Pete da Fraser * Ask the Mice * bandcamp.com (2016)
In 2016, spoken word vocalist Pete da Fraser of The Giant Worm visited Fred at his La Center, Washington home to record a series of improvised duets which feature Chalenor on the stand-up acoustic bass. A collection of Fred’s collaborations with Pete and with The Giant Worm can be found at this link.
46.) Disgruntled Postal Worker * Billy Tipton Memorial Saxophone Quartet * Box * New World Records (1996)
47.) Dubya & His Pa * Amy Denio * Prodigal Light * Spoot Music (2013)
48.) Maybe I Don’t Care * Amy Denio * No Bones * Spoot Music (1986)
Part V: Trey Treasures
Trey Gunn was a member of King Crimson between 1994 and 2003. But in the ’80s he went to college in Eugene, Oregon and got his degree in classical music composition at the U of O School of Music. During this period in Eugene, he had a band called Punishment Farm, and he also produced cassette releases of his solo work. His friends recall that Trey stated his intention to meet Robert Fripp some day, and get some guitar lessons out of him, even though Fripp was not teaching at the time. Yet this is exactly what happened after Trey left Eugene. Fripp founded his League of Crafty Guitarists, with Trey Gunn as one of his prize pupils. Trey is also known as a proponent of the Chapman stick, sort of a combination of a guitar and bass on a single fretboard. Prior to performing in King Crimson with the stick, he toured on his own to demonstrate its virtues and his virtuosity on the instrument. Another cassette-only release documents this phase of his career.
49.) Mighty Joe Young’s Yoga School * Trey Gunn * Food for Thought * Trey Gunn (1983)
50.) Bed Bugs * Punishment Farm * Greatest Hits * Punishment Farm (1983)
51.) XOXXOXO * Trey Gunn * Magic If * Trey Gunn (1986)
52.) Fifth Spin of the Sun * Trey Gunn * I’ll Tell What I Saw * 7d Media (2010)
53.) Shimmering * Trey Gunn * Raw Power * Trey Gunn (1989)
54.) Nicole * Trey Gunn * Food for Thought * Trey Gunn (1983)
55.) Magnificent Jinn * Trey Gunn * I’ll Tell What I Saw * 7d Media (2010)
56.) Togaku Ritsu * Trey Gunn * Playing with Borrowed Time * Trey Gunn (1985)
Part VI: Home Recordings
Just some amateur stuff recorded by me and some friends of mine.
57.) Curse of the Devils * Daniel Ramirez * Solo Spam * Daniel Ramirez (1987)
Dan was guitarist for Stick Against Stone during their Eugene and San Francisco years. Eugenians may also remember him as the guy who drove the Genesis Juice delivery van.
58.) Oven Door * Keven Dow * Oven Door * Keven Dow (1991)
That’s spelled Keven with two E’s. Keven was enrolled in the LCC electronic music workshop when he created this piece as a class project. Although he was a friend of Derryl Parsons, he was not a member of the EEMC. He also played guitar in Fate vs. Free Will Turn Signals. This piece was composed on a Yamaha DX7 using samples of a squeaky oven door.
59.) AIDS Quilt * Xeres Furd & Rob Dowling * Radio Jam * Xeres Furd & Rob Dowling (1987)
At the height of the HIV epidemic, this somber dirge was recorded as an experiment using samples from a CNN news report run through a rack-mount digital delay.
60.) The Plains of Girg * Fate vs. Free Will Turn Signals * Klepto and Other Manias * Fate vs. Free Will Turn Signals (1988)
The percussion for this piece was provided by soda cans, beer bottles, and a toy drum set.
61.) Singin’ Acapello * Blue Light Studio * Bluelight ’88 * Blue Light Studio (1988)
Several musicians from the Salem vicinity gathered at Blue Light Studio, which was originally located in the Falls City bedroom of my friend Lee Ballard. Lee played bass and founded a number of Salem bands, including a bar band called Triple Thret. Lee, sorry man, I lost your email address several years ago. Get back in touch with me through this blog if you’re out there!
62.) Circle K * Paul Sturtz & Elizabeth Rieman * Circle K * Paul Sturtz & Elizabeth Rieman (1988)
Paul Sturtz was a DJ at KRVM Eugene in the mid-80s. Later in life he served as a member of the Columbia, Missouri city council, and he founded the True/False Film Festival there. Elizabeth Rieman was working at the U of O Bookstore at the time. She is now a massage therapist, coincidentally also in Columbia, Missouri.
63.) Mousey Centauri * The Giant Worm * Mousey Centauri * The Giant Worm (2018)
Our first time in a professional studio. Recorded in July of 2018 at dB Nation in Multnomah Village in Portland.
64.) She Heard the Screams of Charles * Daniel Ramirez * Solo Spam * Daniel Ramirez (1987)
Part VII: Remember Valsetz
Valsetz was a mill town in Polk County, west of Falls City, which was shut down by Boise Cascade in 1983, and was subsequently abandoned and completely torn down. The band Remember Valsetz made logging issues the focus of its lyrical content, with sympathy for both environmental concerns and timber workers alike. They were known for performing at the remote locations of timber sale protests, as well as the steps of the state capitol building. Helmed by lead vocalist and lyricist John Dorbolo, nothing could be more Northwest than Remember Valsetz.
26 November 1989 at the Butte Tavern in Eugene, Oregon. Here’s an entire live performance:
65.) Poetrees * Remember Valsetz * Live 26 November 1989 * Remember Valsetz (1989)
66.) Woodchuck * Remember Valsetz * Live 26 November 1989 * Remember Valsetz (1989)
67.) Big Paul * Remember Valsetz * Live 26 November 1989 * Remember Valsetz (1989)
68.) Percussion / Log Jam * Remember Valsetz * Live 26 November 1989 * Remember Valsetz (1989)
69.) Spotted Owl * Remember Valsetz * Live 26 November 1989 * Remember Valsetz (1989)
70.) Momento Mori * Remember Valsetz * Live 26 November 1989 * Remember Valsetz (1989)
71.) The Diff * Remember Valsetz * Live 26 November 1989 * Remember Valsetz (1989)