Friday, December 9, 2011

ALL IS LOST - Tape - 1997

   It's tapes like these that made me start this blog in the first place. This one was already falling apart and the sound quality was already shit when I bought it from the band in 1997. I set up a show for ALL IS LOST when they came to Alabama with SHARKS KILL and I remember that I set up the show because the latter band was former members of a band that I loved called PUNKY ROCKIT (we will cover this band in the near future). Both bands were from Portland, OR and I remember being mostly excited about SHARKS KILL, but at the end of the night, I was more sold on ALL IS LOST. At the time, I would've called them "emo", but now I know that they were just playing something closer to melodic indie punk. My friend, Harry was pretty excited that half of the band used to be in FIFTEEN (on the albums "Buzz" and "Surprise", I believe, for those of you who care). I was surprised and delighted to find that they sounded absolutely nothing like FIFTEEN and that they incorporated non-cheesy synchronized band moves to entertain the 15 or so people in attendance at their show. Plus they were really nice, even though they seemed genuinely weirded out and scared about being in the state of Alabama.
   I was bummed out to get this tape home and find that it was so poorly dubbed that I had to turn it up all the way just to enjoy it. BUT, the songs were really fucking good and I still listen to it on road trips sometimes when I'm alone, so I don't have to subject people to the tinny sound and tape hiss. "Nothin' But Taillights" has a lazy day feel to it and has hooks galore! Their cover of the old-ass song "Buttercup" by THE FOUNDATIONS is seriously, without a doubt, one of my most favorite punk cover songs of all time by anyone ever in the goddamn history of music. This crappy little tape has seen a long life and I plan on giving it many more listens until it breaks in half.
   Whenever I ask long term Portland residents about this band, no one seems to know about them or what happened to them. My only contact with them was this one dinky show back in the '90's and then they disappeared from my radar. If you know anything more about them, feel free to share some info. If you happen to have better copies of these recordings, please give them to me!


Morgan Stickrod said...

I haven't seen or heard a mention of either of these bands in AGES, and maybe would have never suspected to. When I moved back to Portland, OR in 2002, I started a band with Chris Flanagan (played drums in All Is Lost) and Alan (from Your Mother/now back in the bay and playing in Airfix Kits.) At the time, I kind of only wanted to play music that sounded exactly like something coming out of Sacramento in the early 90's, and they wanted to sound exactly like NOMEANSNO. Needless to say, it didn't last long.
Chris, however, has been in a bunch of bands, and a lot of old bay area/south bay stuff. Besides FIFTEEN, he played in DRIPPY DRAWERS, who were great. I know I've got a few 7"s of some other old San Jose bands that he played in laying around, but I'm embarrassed (or not) to say I don't remember their names right off the top of my head. He did some recording for the ALL GIRL SUMMER FUN BAND and the early incarnation of THE THERMALS, and did a band called LIFE AT THESE SPEEDS (with some folks from Boise, Idaho's THE ADVERSIVES and ROSEMARY'S BILLYGOAT) that may or may not still be together... I don't remember them being very good, but the point is, he's still playing music, one way or another.
Portland of the late 90's was about ten times more fractured and separated than it is even now, as far as music and social scenes... which makes sense that folks who have lived there their entire life wouldn't have heard of them, as a lot of folks from that group of folks, upon moving to town, mostly knew about places to play (which, even as a sub-staple, there were still a ton) via bands like LOPEZ or ELMER, who played places like Satyricon or the Blackbird Pub down in SE Portland.
Anyway... COOL!! thanks for posting.

Morgan Stickrod said...

Also, this from Alan mentioned above:

"All is Lost was Chris, John Ogle and Van. Sharks Kill was Jay from Missoula and Joe Machamer, sometimes they'd have a bass player too. I think her name was Tessa or something like that. Chris and John were also in Drippy Drawers, and just to bring in the Stickrod connection, John was also the bass player in the Snowband at one point. He was in Woolly Mammoth too. Chris was in Arroyo Seco and Life at These Speeds, probably some other bands I'm forgetting.

Joe ended up Tenessee not too long after that tour and started a band called Vegas Thunder, then moved back to Portland and played with Tough Love (with Michaela as a backup singer/dancer, also to bring in the Snowband connection) and is in Dark Skies now.

I don't know what happened to Jay but I think he's still in Portland. Van from All is Lost is still in Portland, I don't think he's been in a band since All is Lost."

Also, as a side note and complete distraction, more information on the Abominable Snowband ("snowband" mentioned above), go here:

Anandi said...

I believe that was *Tasha*, and last I heard, she was living in Asheville, so Morgan; you may see her regularly and not even know it. Look for a small blond person with big ass star tattoos...

Blair Menace said...

Yeah Tasha was in Hope & Anchor and Boys of Summer.

Harvester said...

Thanks for the info, ya'll. I knew more about the trajectory of Sharks Kill and I even saw Vegas Thunder. I think I remember AIL/SK both having the same drummer on this tour. Anyhow, thanks!

jay & elizabeth said...

Hmm, kinda funny to come across this.

Somewhere around here I have first generation copies of both of the All Is Lost albums (tapes). Their original lineup was just John Ogle and Chris Flanagan. Matt joined the band a few days into their first first.

Sharks Kill was Tasha, Joe, and me (Jay).

At some point (1998?) John Ogle, Van, and I started our new band, The New Carissa. We played until I moved to Missoula in 2001.

Most of those folks are still in Portland, still doing music.

More than you really cared to know, eh?

jay said...

Oh and yeah, Chris played drums for both bands when you saw that tour. I had to go home halfway through the trip, and Chris filled in for me.

Harvester said...

Actually, I love hearing all of this information. I never expected to know this much about this band. It's pretty funny. If you ever decide to digitize those first generation copies of those tapes, I would love to have the files of them. I will put them up on here, if you want. Apparently 40 people wanted to hear this tape, so there is some interest. IF you're interested, you can send the files to remoteoutpostsATgmailDOTcom.

fiends with dreams said...

Chris, and tasha AIL+SK play in kim baxters (agsfb) solo album.

Anonymous said...

Could you please reupload the entire demo of this, im curious about this from what you said about it?

Scott said...

This is Joe Mac from sharkskill/vegasthunder/darkskies/etc. I live in asheville NC and play in a band called Future west. All the kids are grown ups and most now have kids. You can find some of my stuff at

Josh said...

Hahaha, this is amazing.

By the way, any comment that references Sacramento music of the early 1990s is ok with me.