Rice Harvester was a zine I made for 20 years. A zine is a bunch of paper that someone scribbled on, photocopied for free at a chain store, and then stapled together to hand out on the street so that someone might understand their feelings. For the fourth issue, I compiled a cassette of punk bands to go with the issue. A cassette is a piece of plastic that houses quarter-inch magnetic tape that somehow magically holds music onto it. You put these cassettes into an even bigger piece of plastic or metal with big clunky buttons. These bigger pieces of plastic or metal used to be found for almost nothing at thrift stores or on the street. Anyway, you push down one of those big, clunky buttons and, if everything is right with the world, actual music comes out...or whatever it is that someone recorded onto that cassette.
SO, like I was saying, I put together a compilation tape that was given out for free with the free zine. I stole every last cassette from chain stores, sometimes just walking right out the front door with a few boxes of tapes in my arms because fuck capitalism and What Is Anything? The tape consists of some local favorites at the time (local at that time meant Huntsville, AL), bands that I wrote to for a song and some far-flung punk bands that were culled from my friend Joey's compilation LP that he never, ever intended to release. Imagine sending off your exclusive song with the intention of having it appear on this cool LP comp, but then it comes out on a free tape with some crappy zine from Alabama. Fuck yeah life!
THE CRUMBS, from Miami, FL start it off. They were a RAMONES-loving punk band from Miami. They were all fun and everything, but we stopped setting up shows for them once our friend stopped playing drums for them and they said some sketchy shit about women.
THE SLOBS, from Cincinnati were a weirdly underrated band from the mid-90's and they played sloppy basement punk. They put out a slew of shit, mostly in 1996 and this song, "Politician" did not appear on any of it, as far as I can tell. It's a funny concept for a song. "I don't wanna be a politician!!" Yeah, that's pretty easily avoidable, but a great thing to sing along to.
JABBERJAW was a Huntsville punk band who always sounded better live than on tape. I saw these three teenagers play a bunch of different shows around town. They were always great, but could never really channel their enthusiasm onto the recording. I asked them to be on this comp and remember being impressed that they knew how to dub a plane crash sound onto their song. I still am. I can't do that shit....still. I love that this song is about being a dead pilot.
FUN GIRLS FROM MT PILOT were from Nashville, TN and featured four guys who dressed in drag at their shows. The Huntsville scene really liked them, but I was kinda over them by this point. They were really fun and a good band...super bouncy punk and always a good live show, but I just wasn't too enamored like other folks were. What IS interesting is that they broke up and their singer, Cat went on to be a wrestling manager...like total WWF showman style, but on a DIY level. He wrote some articles in zines about it and seeing the similarities to DIY punk was really interesting. This song might be exclusive, but I'm not sure.
PROPERTY is from Huntsville. They started in 1994(?) and they're still a band. I'm not sure if they've ever left the southeast US. At that time, their shows often included members of the band running headlong into other members of the band and knocking them across the room, completely ending the song. The 5 members of the band brought a lot of styles to the table, but mostly settled into hardcore and catchy punk. They were always great and fun to watch. I bet they still are. I love this song because the teenage singer's voice (Shane) is cracking and the song is just plain great.
THE GRUMPIES have been discussed at length here, here and here so I will spare you. The two songs on this tape are from their original demo, which I loved so much that I jumped at the chance to be their drummer when the original one quit.
SWEATER PUNKS were another Huntsville band and their inclusion here is a mystery to me. I don't remember ever seeing them when I lived in town, but their guitarist Seth was always a solid fixture in bands so I probably trusted this new band of his to be good. My friend Jack (also from AL) did some minor detective work (meaning he asked Seth) and came up with this info: The band only recorded once when Jack went over to try out for the band on drums. So, that's him on this recording. The rest of the band was Seth on guitar and vocals and Greg (not me) on bass. This recording never got vocals put onto it, but the song on here was intended as an instrumental. Later, Joey from the 3D's heard this song and asked Seth to join the band. They re-recorded this song as "Spontaneous Human Combustion". Thanks to Jack and Seth for the info!
THE CRIMINALS were from Oakland / Berkeley and they recorded an exclusive version of their song at Gilman. That's all I'm gonna say because why do you need to know more info about posers?
JOEY TAMPON AND THE TOXIC SHOCKS was my old band There is more info about the band here.
WHITE TRASH SUPERMAN wrote the best punk song of the 90's and I asked if I could put it on this tape. They said yes. You can and should find more info about them here and here.
THE RICKETS were from Olympia, WA and were maybe the only spikey drunk punk band at that point in the town's history. While everyone else was concentrating on twee pop, minimalist punk and feigning pre-teen innocence even though they were pushing 30, THE RICKETS sang about getting drunk, hating their job, destroying Olympia and getting drunk again. Here. they contribute a song about my friend Janelle because it was the 90's and that's what bands did for some dumb reason.
CHICKENHEAD was a drunken, chaotic machine. This is the last song they ever recorded on the day they broke up. You can find more info about them here.
That;s it. Enjoy or don't.