Monday, May 13, 2013

IMPRACTICAL COCKPIT - "Thanks" - Tape - 2006

   As I'm sure I've said before, IMPRACTICAL COCKPIT is one of my favorite bands. Years back, they were getting ready to go on a tour and their drummer, Don broke his leg. Rather than call the whole thing off, Don learned how to use a combination of percussion and electronics, which ultimately sent the band to a new plateau of weirdness. That trajectory took them into a later tour where they would play sprawling hour long sets, employing the use of hand made horns, staticky radios, tape loops, half-broken amps and miscellaneous debris. The results could be hypnotic, challenging, abrasive and cleansing.
   I got a ride down to a show of theirs in Kentucky during this time and was dropped off at the bar hours before they even arrived. At the time of the show (8 hours later), they were the only musical act scheduled to play. They took their time setting up and the clientele of the bar eyed them warily. As they hit their first notes of the night, a huge Midwestern storm started brewing in the neighborhood. The doors to the bar were wide open and sheets of rain started pouring in. I looked at the middle-aged, burly, biker-style bartenders standing there...arms crossed, not batting an eye or making a move to close the doors. About five minutes into IPCP's set, every paying customer in the bar got up and left, deciding to brave the potentially tornado-inducing storm rather than listen to this band. I looked around. I was left alone with the band, the guy who set up the show, my friend Christina (who lived there and actually came to see the band), Stella (IPCP's roadie, who was laughing at the predicament) and the still-stoic and immobile bartenders. The band did not bat an eye and played their full set. It was great and the insane storm added an extra element of dreaminess to the whole thing.
   At the conclusion of their set, there was an awkward silence after our smattering of applause died down. We were then left with these burly dudes at the bar after driving out their entire clientele. I looked over after a heavy silence and one of 'em said "So, do ya'll like SUN RA and BEEFHEART or something?" Tension broken. The guys loved it and were happy to talk to some other weirdos. Drinks were on the house. The other act was the promoter, Kris, doing a "DJ set", which meant that he would put a record on and let the entire thing play. Then, he would flip it and listen to the other side. (I just now realized that I have told this entire story before in an earlier post. Oops. I am now senile).
   On that tour, IPCP had a mailing list and they said that if you signed it, they would send you free stuff. A lot of bands used to say that, but I never got any free stuff from them. At the conclusion of their tour, the band actually did send this tape out to people who signed the list or set up shows for them. It's called "Thanks" and it compiles live sets, field recordings, jams, talks about botox and random sounds. Listening to this reminds of that night and makes me miss their challenging sounds. I think the thing I love most about the band is that they were somehow always a year ahead of me. What that means is that every time a new LP came out (and they have a lot), I would listen to it and think it was pretty good. I wouldn't quite get it and it wouldn't really hit me, but something let me know that I had to hang onto it. Within a year, that record would become indispensable to me. The same thing happened with this tape. It's pretty out there and it's also really, really good.

There's also a 12" out there called "Thanks II" that is more stuff like this, more field recordings and  moreeeeee weeeirdddddd. 


Vill helm said...

Awesome, a few nights ago I was reading their 2004 MRR interview. They played shows with bands like County Z and Rotten Living. All bands that have me still into weird tape mixes, drinking on porches, etc.

All good stuff!

smoke ass said...

ahhh yes, ROTTEN LIVING, you wouldn't happen to have a copy of THAT to post up on here, do you greg? from what i understand that record is looong outta print and gone forever.

Harvester said...

I have the LP, but I don't have a good digital copy of it. I would recommend writing to Raw Sugar Records and see if they have any left over. I kinda bet they do.

All of that info may be out of date, but it's worth a try.

Harvester said...

Also, some for sale here: