Saturday, January 28, 2012

THIS IS MY FIST - LP Demos - Tape - 2004

TIMF live at The Stork Club. Photo by Adam Pfahler.

   THIS IS MY FIST started around 2002 and I knew they would be my new favorite band before I even heard them. You see, their singer / guitarist Annie had previously played in Chicago's AMBITION MISSION and I knew numerous people who had made mix tapes comprised solely of the songs she sang. This is not a slight to the rest of the band, because they also knew how to sling a chord and sing a song (listen to "When Babies Attack" for proof), but Annie had something going on that the rest of us wanted to hear more of. Lucky for us, she started this band after A.M. broke up (well, YEARS later) and sang every goddamn song all the time. The first time I ever saw them, at Mission Records in SF, I wanted a tape of 50 songs immediately. Unfortunately, they had written maybe 7 songs and they weren't recorded yet. Annie's raspy, yet sweet voice was coupled with her ear for a great guitar hook and backed up by Will and Todd, who made up a rather formidable rhythm section. I was hooked. Their first 7" came out a little later. It wasn't everything I wanted it to be. It seemed like they were holding back or something. It's rumored that the guy who recorded it was telling Annie not to scream so much and kept bugging her to sing more softly. I actually don't know if that's true, but a few folks told me that. (now, I like that record a lot). 
   Later on, I heard they were recording an LP and I couldn't wait to hear it. But, I did have to wait..and wait.....and wait a whole lot more because they took so long to record it. Apparently, they were re-recording stuff, adding guitar tracks, re-doing whole songs, rewriting lyrics, etc, etc....This went on for a couple of years. When it finally came out, I had completely forgotten that it was supposed to exist and the band had already broken up. Their LP, "A History of Rats" was everything I had ever wanted from THIS IS MY FIST and more. It was tough. It was tender. They hated the fuck out of George Bush and let you know it. The rasp was back in Annie's voice even though she had stopped smoking. I rejoiced and listened to the record almost every day when I woke up. It was better than coffee...okay, okay, it went really well with coffee...let's not get carried away here. See for yourself: You can still order it from No Idea.
    This tape has early versions of some songs from the LP and a couple of subsequent 7"'s. The tune "Country Time" is an alternate version of "E-Ville Pt 2" that has completely different lyrics. Other songs have alternate parts to them and it's interesting to listen to it and see how much some of the songs changed over time. If you're a nerd about this band like I am, this is a really great listen. You don't have to be the world's biggest fan though to thoroughly enjoy this.  
   The good news about THIS IS MY FIST is that they are back together with a different lineup, playing regularly and writing new songs. I played a sweaty basement show with them in Chicago (unfortunately for me and the rest of the Bay Area, that is their home now) last September and they were just as good as ever. After scraping my jaw off the floor after their set, I couldn't stop telling them how good they still are. Please do yourself a favor and go see them to dance your ass off. If you're on the East Coast, they are playing at Ladyfest Boston in February with a ton of amazing bands. Go for them. Stay for all the other great bands, informative workshops and new friends. Until then, blast this tape on repeat.


  EDIT: Late note from Annie: "This was recorded at Dutch Oven by Craigums. It is still me, Todd and it had to be late 2003 or early 2004. I'm pretty sure my mom was in town and she was also there when we recorded this. SHOTWELL played in our kitchen that week and my mom made lasagna for the people who were there. Morgan Stickrod's backpack caught on fire and a hackeysack fell out. Needless to say, we were all shocked.....This doesn't have much to do with the recording, but it's all kind of lumped together at this point."

This tape is from the collection of Erick Lyle.


Anonymous said...

Thanks so much! Love this band.

Bakla said...

I love This Is My Fist, wish I caught them live... I am sure I had the chance at one of the many FEST's in Gainesville I attended (or maybe not), I am sure I ended up doing something drunkenly and dumb instead, damn I wish the Hot Dog Guy that sells vegan hot dogs by the Hampton Inn wasn't so tempting!