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Mark Hoback (label): I think that the original sixth release was supposed to be Tru Fax 'Mystery Date' b/w 'Washingtron'. (Or maybe it was Don's still unfinished EP!). At least we talked about it--my memories are a little fuzzy on that one. At any rate, that came out on Wasp, I believe as their first release. As it turned out, there never was a Round Raoul 06.
Mmm, hold on... I'm looking at the dates that you have listed, which are probably better than my memory, and if you are correct, then 06 would have been the Slickee Boys 'Brain that Refused to Die'. I was a big fan of the Cramps and this was firmly in that camp. We had already recorded the B side 'Love In' and then their agent put in a demand that if the record sold X number of copies, the rights would revert to the band. We wouldn't bite for that, so they released it on Kim's label. I don't think it ever did sell X copies...
Reviews: As imaginary records go, this is one of my favorites.
the Aliens Have Landed / the Twentyaire / Eight-Thirty in Hell / My TV / Call Me / Look at Me, I'm Nature // Driving / All Hopped Up / Crimebusters / Winter Stalks You / Bimbo Rock
500 on black vinyl
Round Raoul 12-33-07, 1980
Lineup: Andy Charneco - bass, organ, lead guitar, drone guitar, rhythm guitar, muzak concrete, backing vocals / Don Zientara - lead guitar, zientronics, backing vocals / Dave Findley - lead guitar, backing vocals / Mark Hoback - vocals, rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar / Dan Palenski - drums / Tom Valentine - drums / Josh Schiffman - drums / Chris Thompson - drums / John Dreyfus - sax / Rob Kennedy - backing vocals / Ann Hoback - backing vocals, bass / Ann Threkheld - backing vocals
Recording Info: Call Me recorded at CBGB, Oct 1979 (No Joe's last gig). Everything else recorded at Studio B by Don Zientara.
Notes: Dear god, it woulda been easier to list everyone who DIDN'T play on this record. Test pressing photo appears courtesy of Giorgio Guffanti.
Mark Hoback (label, guitar, vocals): A Sides might have been a No Joe album, but the drummer left shortly after recording started (to Tiny Desk Unit--no comment) and never really was replaced except for some temporaries. As you note, it had a lot of players on it, in my opinion some of the best indie players around at the time--particularly Andy Charneco. Any of the songs would have worked better as singles than album tracks, hence the name. It was recorded over a period of several months, and there were at least half a dozen tracks left over. About 400 sold.
We were kind of disgusted by the sales for A Sides, which got considerable airplay--at least thirty stations. We had put in a lot of work trying to put out something polished enough to get us a decent distribution deal. What we had was an ad hoc deal with JEM which was very spotty in Europe, and not worth a shit in the US. (I'll bet we sold more records in Germany than in DC). So we called it a day for Round Raoul.
Reviews: This is very impressive technically--very well produced (for the most part) with a nice, big sound, but to these ears it's a bit too polished, too well-rehearsed. The songs are well put together and don't meander too much. I can't hear any of the archetypal punk influences here--Ramones/Pistols/Clash--but I get the feeling if my tastes were a bit broader, I might recognize some of the band's roots. What I hear is an independent-minded band playing off-beat, quirky rock. Mark said it best, "It's not about punk, it's about freedom."
Cult Life // Mr President
200 on black vinyl (rare PS)
SIR MR45001, 1982
Lineup: Mark Hoback / John Dreyfus / Don Zientara / Mike Damjam
Notes: The sleeve pictured above is pretty rare--so far two copies have surfaced. If you have another, email me!
The sleeve art to the right was never finished. What's shown is a working draft. Take a gander at the original photo, too.
Mark Hoback (label, vocals): Recorded as a promo for me to shop around. I thought A Sides had been too commercialy pandering for my taste, and so I recorded exactly what I wanted the way I wanted it to sound on this. Probably a bad idea, since it generated no interest whatsoever. There were only 200 copies pressed, and I only put a few copies up for sale in Yesterday & Today and Bill Asp's shop. This record was my favorite of the batch, along with the Chumps EP. (the band was John Dreyfus from the Chumps, Don Zientera, Mike Damjam, and myself). Oh, you'll like this, since you called Round Raoul a vanity label. This was on SIR - Self Indulgent Records.
Reviews: Cult Life is an excellent rock song with some good horns (something you won't here me say often)--rambunctious, a little noisy, and to the point. It doesn't have the scorch that I crave, but I enjoyed it anyway. Mr President is a bit funkier and less rockful (spellcheck suggestions: wrackful, rockfall, sackful, roomfull), so it doesn't excite me too much.
2007/04/17: In the year or so since I originally posted this review, Mr President has grown on me like a tumor. It's an incredibly catchy, oddball piece of DIY craziness. The lyrics are particularly surreal.
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