Wednesday, July 18, 2012

CHEAP VENTILATORS - Demo - Tape - 2009

   You know how when you live with a band and they practice in the basement, you always have all of their songs stuck in your head all the time whether you like it or not? That's how my life was living in Bloomington with Bobb, the guitarist of CHEAP VENTILATORS and drummer/vocalist of JERK ALERT. In this case, I lived with his old band, JERK ALERT. They would practice once or twice a week in our cramped, cold, moldy basement while me and my other roommates would be upstairs cooking dinner and mouthing the words to "Don't Stand Next To My Ride" seemingly against our will. When they set up their first show, they made a mistake with the dates and booked it at the same time that their bass player would be out of the country. No problem. I knew the songs so well by that point that I stepped in to play bass for them at that show after one practice.
    Depending on which side of the fence you stand on (and this fence is usually imagined by people who have never lived there), Bloomington, Indiana is either a utopian paradise populated by free-thinking acoustic punkers singing about their feelings on every street corner or some rotten shitpile where you can't go to a simple fucking punk show without being bombarded by the most banal goddamn folk punk you've ever imagined. In my reality of living there, I went to fun punk shows in basements that rarely, if ever, featured teenage boys strumming acoustic guitars while sheepishly staring at the ground. My roommate Bobb had been there long before me setting up fun rock n roll and punk shows and he's still there today playing music and running a record label. When he wasn't playing his M.O.T.O. and REIGNING SOUND LP's at top volume, he was in the basement writing new songs or cooking the most delicious food ever (he is also a chef).
   I was happy to get this tape from him in the mail and unlike the JERK ALERT LP, I didn't already know every song on it. In fact, I didn't know any songs on it. Bobb moved from the drums to guitar and took on the vocals in this band, delivering song after song of rock n roll bliss. They take cues from M.O.T.O., THE OBLIVIANS and just plain good garage rock...the kind you imagine being played in smoky bars, cramped basements and dirty living rooms swamped with beer cans. Arkansas transplant, Donovan bangs the shit out of the drums with a huge smile on his face. You might remember him from the early live version of FULL SUN...but only if you lived in Bloomington, probably. The trio is rounded out by Alex, who sometimes hung out at our house in B Town, but he is a quiet guy and I don't have any embarrassing stories about him...good work, Alex.
   I don;t think this tape is available anymore, but you should check out Bobb's record label, Eradicator Records and order some great Midwestern (and beyond) punk.


raise ass said...

i've got the HORRIBLY WRONG 7" on Eradicator records. pretty good.

Richrd said...

Here's a non-embarrassing story about Alex... On the 4th of July, I saw him take a flaming Roman candle ball to the teeth without flinching. That's pretty good, I think.

Harvester said...

This is the kind of stuff I want to hear!!