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Month: September 2016

eyelight: [trigger], 1994

eyelight: [trigger], 1994

Jehn Cerron: Vocals, loops

First Side
1. She’s Lavender
2. Holding Hands And Eyes
3. Tunnel To A Channel
4. (little swing break – no title
5. It Starts At The End
6. Sweet Sister
7. Embrace And Depart
8. Tell Me A Story
9. Kiss The Air Nearest Your Face

Second Side
1. Singing In The Swing
2. Please Keep A Light On
3. Regret I Felt
4. Middle Of Sunday
5. Lazy
6. Ears In The Dirt Stuck In The Ground
7. Light
8. I’ll Dream You

I had the great pleasure of meeting Jehn Cerron and seeing her perform during WE Fest in Wilmington, NC. Offstage, she was shy, nervous, and sweet. On stage, she was a magician, a time bender.

Discovering eyelight was among the most precious rewards from my travels in the cassette underground. This early cassette is an odyssey in itself; a mesmerizing, disorienting gallery of voice in all its guises.

Jehn is still active in music, collaborating with others and occasionally performing near her home in Florida. She’s not released anything as eyelight in a very long time. And that’s OK. A UK label has offered some of her work on Bandcamp for free, and she’s got a bunch of songs on Reverbnation.

A conversation between Jehn Cerron and Ian C. Stewart, 2011

Bite The Wax Godhead: Decaf Notorioso, 1992

Bite The Wax Godhead: Decaf Notorioso, 1992

Alec Cumming: Bass, acoistic guitar, voclas, crash cymbal & keyboards on “Today Show Tango”
Cynthia Harden: Programming, keyboards, vocals, flute & xylophone
Larry “Screech” Horowitz: Lead & rhythm guitar, backing vocals

Featuring the talents of:
Doug Wolff: Saxophone on “Obvious Signs Of Decay”
Paul Rose: Electric guitar on “While I’m Dreaming”
Elizabeth Hughes: Drums & percission on “Outta My Life Again”, “Fool For Ya Baby” & Subtle Place
Vilnius Mantwerp: Drums on “Chocolate Cake”

About the songs…

B.T.W.G. was recorded live at CBGB’s, NYC, 4/13/1991. Engineered by Ron Ardito. Produced by BTWG.

Lies and Promises, Transportation, Obvious Signs Of Decay & Driving were recorded at Grampa Studios, Brooklyn, NY, 11/90. Engineered by Mick Cantarella. Produced by BTWG & Mick Cantarella.

Outta My Life Again, Subtle Place & Fool For Ya Baby were recorded at Grampa/Ear for Music, Brooklyn, NY, 9/91-11/91. Engineered by Mick Cantarella & Tim Cramer. Produced by BTWG.

“Today Show” Tango, Chocolate Cake & While I’m Dreaming were recorded at Hanging Gutter Garden Studio, Nutley, NJ, 2/90-3/90. Engineered by Paul Rose & Mike Bowman. Produced by BTWG.

Barbra Wore A Halter Top was recorded at Chung King House of Metal, NYC, 4/91. Engineered by Dary Sulrich. Produced by BTWG.

The Summer’s Over was recorded at Chung King 4/91 & Grampa 2/92. Engineered by Dary Sulrich and Mick Cantarella. Produced by BTWG.

Wasted Years was recorded on Alec’s 4-track, Spring ’91.

The recordings of Barbra and Summer’s Over appear courtesy of Chrysalis Records

“DECAF NOTORIOSO” is for demo purposes only.

Mastered by Mick Cantarella at Grampa, 2/7/92

Cover illustration/Design by Bowman-Stevenson Group.

Executive producer: Carble Yost


Side One:
1. B.T.W.G.
2. Lies and Promises
3. Outta My Life Again
4. Transportation
5. Subtle Place
6. “Today Show” Tango
7. Barbra Wore A Halter Top

Side Two:
1. Obvious Signs Of Decay
2. The Summer’s Over
3. Chocolate Cake
4. Fool For Ya Baby
5. Driving
6. While I’m Dreaming
7. Wasted Years

All songs © 1990/91/92 by Alec Cumming / Cynthia Harden

Alec Cumming is an old and dear friend; he was The Sharp Things’ bassist back when we thought we were going somewhere (that’s him on our difficult second album, Foxes & Hounds), played on the first Time Or Dirt single, and spent a year or so with me in the obvious sign of decay known as TORCHY. I first met Alec in late ’80s, when he was in The Hungry Dutchmen, but it was during the BTWG years that I really got to know him and his then-wife Cynthia Harden.

This cassette album may have been “for demo purposes only” but make no mistake: this is as well-produced as anything released in 1992. And it sounds as good as ever — actually even better than I remembered! Decaf Notorioso is a delightful fusion of Wilson/Bacharach pop mastery, indie rocking, disco, funk, and sassy white-girl rap. Just a ton of fun. Dig it.

OK, here’s where I mention Sunflower Bean, the band fronted by BTWG lovechild Julia Cumming. That should drive the hits up!

The Wives: Carl, 1992

The Wives: Carl, 1992

Susan Horwitz: Guitar, lead vocals
Mary Dunham: Bass, background vocals
Tracy Almazan: Drums, background vocals

Produced by Richard Brukner
Recorded at TuCasa Sound Stucios, NYC
Mixed at The Place, NYC

1. Smooth Stone
2. Away
3. 100 Sorries
4. Let ’em Go
5. Mempho

The Wives! What a band. One-time roomies with Jenifer Convertible at The Music Building on Eighth Avenue, we shared the stage with these rockin’ chicks at clubs all over the East Village throughout the nineties, and we’ve remained good friends ever since. Fast, smart post-punk rock, outwardly joyous and inwardly distressed, their music is part of my personal soundtrack of that era.

The Wives, 1992
The Wives, 1992

The band members continue to collaborate. A few years back, James Pertusi and I recorded an EP for Futurex, a very Wives-like band comprised of Sue, Mary and drummer Paul Andrews (Fluffer, Ff, Shirk Circus), and Mary and Tracy (who went on to join Helldorado and Nashville Pussy) are lately burning up the blues-rock circuit with the incredible Jane Lee Hooker (Tracy’s as great a guitarist as she is drummer — and that’s pretty great!)

The Wives played a one-off, 10-year reunion show in 2013, which I, being a loser, missed. Oh well, at last I have my tapes, and you will be hearing more from The Wives as time goes by.

“Breathe in deep and strong/Blink and it’s gone away”

The Wives: Carl, 1992 J-Card

Ivan Julian: Ten songs, circa 1995

Ivan Julian: Ten songs, circa 1995

PERSONNEL: Not listed


1. Love Affair
2. Cazalla
3. The Naked Flame
4. Love Is Good
5. Sticky
6. Godiva
7. Can’t Help Myself
9. She Drives Me Wild
10. Cut Me Loose

Guitarist Ivan Julian is a national treasure. A founding member of the seminal punk group Richard Hell and the Voidoids, he has performed with the Isley Brothers, The Clash, Matthew Sweet, The Bongos, Richard Barone, and Shriekback. We met in the late ’80s, when he was in Lovelies with Cyn Sley, and we were close for a time (hear him play sax and bass on one of my Time Or Dirt singles), We kept in touch for many years, although not so much lately, sorry to say. Ivan recently won a bout with cancer, aided by a Who’s Who of New York rock who rallied to help pay medical expenses. I hope I see him again soon.

Ivan’s official solo debut, The Naked Flame, did not appear until 2008, but the title track dates back at least to this tape, which he gave me around the time he was playing with Matthew Sweet. I think (“Godiva” and “Sticky” also stuck around for the decade). The slow, soulful scorcher “Love Is Good,” feedback freakout “Godiva”, and ’70s Stones-inspired funk-rocker ‘Can’t Help Myself” are highlights of a terrific, unjustly forgotten recording.

Babe The Blue Ox: B.O.X., 1992

Babe The Blue Ox: B.O.X., 1992

Hanna Fox: Drums
Rose Thomson: Bass
Tim Thomas: Guitar

This tape may include from zero to eight extra songs, depending.
This tape is an unmastered demo not to be sold or traded for crack.

All songs by Babe the blue OX (BOX) copyright 1992

1. Home
2. Honey-Do
3. Chicken Head Bone Sucker
4. Gymkhana
5. Waiting For Water To Boil
6. Tongue-Tied
7. Booty

Nobody who saw Babe the Blue Ox perform will ever forget the experience. One of the top bands on the New York scene in the early ’90s, BOX was a clattering, shattering whirlwind of scratchy math and grinning mayhem, with a disarming tendency to break into interludes of shimmering beauty.

These songs, perhaps even these exact recordings, were released by Homestead Records in 1993, as the greater part of the band’s debut LP, Box. That CD is out of print, but Babe The Blue Ox, gloriously, is still active, most recently issuing Guilty in 2013. You should buy that thing.

“It’s the power of love/It’s the power of booty”