To complement our Northwest Quatrain, please enjoy this Commentary Track with Xeres Furd and myself, recorded immediately after our Northwest Quatrain.
As we tried to keep the chatting to a minimum, and just play music, this is a chance for us to casually discuss the material Xeres played, why he played it, and other significant things that are worth mentioning, that were not in the regular broadcast.
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.
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)
Xeres of Xeron is no stranger to KMUZ, and he and I have done some great radio together. But when Mick asked me to cover for Northwest Notes, and Xeres and I had already been bonding on some of the secret gems of the Northwest that are only available on poorly distributed physical media, we felt like it was a good idea to bring you four hours of rarities and gems from Xeres’ collection of tapes and records, and from a few other sources here and there.
This show contains rare recordings by artists you have heard of that you can’t hear anywhere else… mostly because they were only released on tapes that have never made it to other formats. We don’t talk about these tunes much, but below are some extensive show notes by Xeres himself, that address some of the more interesting (and lesser-known) elements of this very amazing scene.
This show also contains special weather reports by The Ramen City Kid.
We hope our walk through the music of the Northwest adds to the work that Mick does on this show, but offers a flavor that is 100% Xeres of Xeron.
01.) Oregon (I Can’t Go Home) * Blackhawk County * “Oregon” b/w “Helplessly” * Seagull Records (1974)
This was a hit single in 1974, #16 on Billboard, and #1 in the NW for 9 weeks. It’s about U of O student Joann McDaniels from Coos Bay, who was in a Turkish prison at the time. The band Blackhawk County is from Monmouth, Oregon. The whole story can be found using this link.
02.) Ol’ Coos Bay [Live] * Christopher Todd Davis * Live * Christopher Todd Davis (2014)
Seattle based country folk-rock artist, originally from Coos Bay.
03.) Goin’ Huntin’ * Griffin, Fard & Furd * End of the World in D-Minor * Griffin, Fard & Furd (1978)
Home recording done in Coos Bay, 1978.
04.) Ford Fairlane 500 * Billy Dwayne & the Creepers * Billy Dwayne & the Creepers * Billy Dwayne & the Creepers (2000)
Seattle based rockabilly performer, originally from Coos Bay. He’s currently looking for a new stand-up bass player!
05.) Beer Run * Todd Snider * New Connection * Oh Boy Records (2002)
Country & folk singer, born in Portland. At 15 he ran away from home in Houston back to Portland.
06.) Small Still Voice * Ben Bochner * Heartland * Ben Bochner (2012)
Ben Bochner (1956-2018), Eugene based singer-songwriter, was just beginning to get known in the Austin, TX circuit – perhaps on the brink of national recognition – when he died last spring. In 1987 Ben took part in Ken Kesey’s novel writing class at U of O, which resulted in the collaboratively written 1990 novel Caverns by O. U. Levon (which is backwards for Novel U of O.) The whole story of Ben’s role in that process can be found at this link.
07.) Birth of a Stream * Michael Harrison * Collected Recordings * Michael Harrison (1980)
Michael Harrison grew up in Eugene, studied composition at U of O, and could often be heard improvising on the piano in the student union hall. He went on to release recordings on the Windham Hill label. He became known for tuning his piano using Just Intonation (as opposed to Equal Temperment.) However, this piece was recorded prior to Harrison’s interest in just intonation.
08.) Naiads * Oregon * Music of Another Present Era * Vanguard (1972)
Two of this jazz fusion group’s founders had first met and collaborated as students at U of O in the early 60s.
Part II: Panic Favorites
This segment is intended to expand upon a recent interview of Jeff Cellers, founder and curator of the Panic on 13th blog, which is devoted to archiving Eugene’s music scene from 1980 to 1995. The interview was conducted by Austin Rich, and can be found at this link.
Most of these tunes were downloaded from the Panic on 13th blog, along with some related material from my own collection. This playlist does not necessarily highlight the best or most representative selections from the Panic blog, which deserves much more exploration. These are just a few of my personal favorite tunes and bands. The Panic on 13th blog can be found at this link
09.) Anorexia * Headhunters * Tioga Studio tape * Panic On 13th (1985)
This delightfully politically incorrect tune was a local favorite, and got some airplay on KRVM, Eugene around 1985. When this band relocated to Austin, Texas in 1985, they re-named themselves Voice of Reason.
10.) New World Babies * Moose Lodge * New World Babies * Moose Lodge (1984)
11.) Liberals * White Liberals * Cat Behavior * Solid Citizens Records (1985)
12.) Short Narrative * Snakepit * Panic on 13th * Dunghill Records (1986)
13.) Treasure in the Pity City * Moment’s Notice w/ Elizabeth Rieman * Moment’s Notice * Moment’s Notice (1990)
A song about Robert Christie of Snakepit.
14.) Bad Boy (Live) * Los Xploreres * Live * Los Xploreres (1981)
Featuring another Coos Bay homey, the incomparable Marlin Reiber on vocals.
15.) Work * Stick Against Stone w/ HR * HR Sessions * Stick Against Stone (1986)
Stick Against Stone was founded in Pittsburg, PA, but moved around a lot. While in New York, they established a friendship with the band Bad Brains. In 1984 and ’85, Stick Against Stone settled in Eugene for a spell. In 1986, in San Francisco, Stick Against Stone began to make some recordings with Bad Brains vocalist HR. Due to personal disagreements, these recordings were never completed or released.
16.) Life on the Farm * Michael Billings * Old Shorteyes Is Back * Dunghill (1988)
17.) Old Shirt * Bunny Summer * Failure… An Instructional Tape * Disgraceland (1996)
The host of the Panic blog is Jeff Cellers, and he was in this band called Bunny Summer.
18.) Spaztech Culture * Sow Belly * Sow Belly * Sow Belly (1990)
19.) Hard and Heavy * Stick Against Stone w/ HR * HR Sessions * Stick Against Stone (1986)
Another unobtainable piece featuring HR of the Bad Brains, combined with ex-Eugenians, Stick Against Stone.
20.) Someone Else * A Few Chairs * demo * A Few Chairs (1986)
21.) Pollution in Disguise * Insidious Menace * Get Paid Somewhere Else * Insidious Menace (1991)
22.) Every Band Sucks (But the Drills) * the Drills * Every Band Sucks (But the Drills) * Every Band Sucks (But the Drills) (1983)
23.) Ode to a Motorhome * E-13 * No Mercy for Swine * Fatal Erection (1986)
24.) Misguided Missile Youth * E-13 * No Mercy for Swine * Fatal Erection (1986)
25.) Eddie * E-13 * No Mercy for Swine * Fatal Erection (1986)
26.) Sport Pack * E-13 * No Mercy for Swine * Fatal Erection (1986)
27.) Humor Demons * E-13 * No Mercy for Swine * Fatal Erection (1986)
28.) Free the Cheese * E-13 * No Mercy for Swine * Fatal Erection (1986)
29.) Swizzle Stick * E-13 * No Mercy for Swine * Fatal Erection (1986)
30.) Clowns Are Experts at Making Us Laugh * E-13 * No Mercy for Swine * Fatal Erection (1986)
31.) Pankreatitis * E-13 * Drinking Is Great * Fatal Erection (1985)
32.) Quest for Gilligan * E-13 * Quest for Gilligan * Fatal Erection (1984)
33.) Cheesehead Alert * E-13 * Quest for Gilligan * Fatal Erection (1984)
E-13 was Eugene’s most legendary punk band. This is a collection of their material from the No Mercy for Swine EP, the Quest for Gilligan 7″, and the Drinking Is Great compilation. Tracks 27 – 31 Above are “podcast only” inclusions, that were not aired on KMUZ due to FCC Regulations.
The K is silent. This is the only selection in this show that was selected by Austin, as it is one of his favorite bands from Eugene, and he quite enjoys this rendition of a Johnathan Richman tune.
Part III: Switched Off Eugene
This segment is intended to expand upon recent interviews of Brian Magill (aka Phyllyp Vernacular) and Peter Thomas, co-founders of the Eugene Electronic Music Collective, and both featured on the new compilation album Switched-On Eugene released by Numero Group. These interviews were conducted by Austin Rich.
These are some tunes that were not included on the Switched-On Eugene compilation. But some of these could have been, while others are included as an update on the more current electronic music scene in Eugene and the Northwest.
35.) Self-Regulation I * Carl Juarez * Confessions of a Mobile Intelligence Unit * Glass Onion (1985)
The compilation album features Self-Regulation II. So I wanted to complete the picture here by playing Self-Regulation I.
36.) Soil Count * David Stuart * The Laundry * David Stuart (1988)
David worked at an industrial laundry, and sonically emulated his experience using broken guitars and stacks of effects boxes. A scant few copies of this cassette were released in 1988 and put on consignment at House of Records. While perhaps not among the earliest pioneers of industrial music, the genre was not yet well known or well liked, so David was gutsy to put this out at that time. Not to be confused with the guy from the Eurythmics, David Stewart (different spelling!)
37.) Lost City * Derryl Parsons * Free Fall * Eugene Electronic Music Collective (1984)
The inspiration for the Switched-On Eugene compilation was a prior self-released cassette compilation by the Eugene Electronic Music Collective called Free Fall. This is a selection by the late Derryl Parsons, taken from the Free Fall album.
38.) Shadow * Onomatopoiea * Womb * 13 Records (1996)
Electro-industrial wizards of trance dance ritual Onomatopoiea were not involved in the EEMC, but clearly influenced and were influenced by them.
39.) Saragosso * Heather Perkins * Little Humans * Land-O-Newts Records (2008)
Heather’s early work is featured on the Switched-On Eugene album. This is an example of her somewhat more recent work.
40.) As Our Bodies Die * Entrail * 100 Years Remaining * Flossless Audio (2017)
Experimental violinist, vocalist, and electronic noise-maker Entrail was not around in the days of EEMC, but is included here to represent the current (2017) evolution of Northwest electronica. Entrail originated in Eugene, but is currently living and performing in Olympia, WA.
There are so many people in Oregon who have been woodshedding for years that I could spend the rest of my days just inviting them on the show to hang out and play their music. But in Xeres’ case, he has been at it for nearly 40 years, producing music that is clearly from the planet Xeron, and this show is just the tip of the ice-planet-berg.
Join us, for this two hour exploration of Xeres’ career. We barely scratch the surface of his career with The Giant Worm, where he is the junior member at only having been involved with them for 30 of their 40 year career. But we do get to present a new Giant Worm track, and play nearly two hours of previously unreleased work created by Xeres himself. Essentially, only a couple of tracks have seen the light of day before – and even then, largely on self-distributed cassettes – but we play it all on this show, and explore what life is like on planet Xeron.
The Eclipse of Planet Xeron w/ Xeres Furd of The Giant Worm!
Part I: The Larch
01.) Austin FM Theme * Paco Jones * Austin FM Theme * Self-Released (2016)
02.) Interview Part 1 * Xeres & Austin Rich * 18 August 2017 * Mid-Valley Mutations (2017)
03.) First Eclipse * anon. * Mixed Voices 28 December 2009 * KLCC Radio (2009)
04.) Dwinc * Xeres * Early Experiments * Previously Unreleased (1979)
05.) Interview Part 2 * Xeres & Austin Rich * 18 August 2017 * Mid-Valley Mutations (2017)
06.) Symphony in Uh * Xeres * Early Experiments * Previously Unreleased (1979)
07.) Interview Part 3 * Xeres & Austin Rich * 18 August 2017 * Mid-Valley Mutations (2017)
08.) Larch * Matt Griffin & Xeres * Larch * Previously Unreleased (1981)
Part II: I Want to Do Your Laundry
09.) Interview Part 4 * Xeres & Austin Rich * 18 August 2017 * Mid-Valley Mutations (2017)
10.) Rhetoric * Stick Against Stone * Stick Against Stone cassette EP * Self-Released (1985)
11.) Interview Part 5 * Xeres & Austin Rich * 18 August 2017 * Mid-Valley Mutations (2017)
12.) I Want to Do Your Laundry * Fate vs. Free Will Turn Signals * Wolf in a Pulpit * Self-Released (1987)
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)