Thursday, January 26, 2006

From Duos to Trios

I was recently browsing through Thurston Moore’s book about mixtapes. It really took me back. I’m not sure what was so special about making a mixtape versus burning a CD-R for someone these days. I guess it had to do with the effort involved. You had to cue up each piece of vinyl or cassette, and record it in real time; and there was always the worry about the tape running out at the end of each side before the song ended. Getting a mixtape in the mail from a friend was a special joy. However, anyone who wants to trade CD-R mixes with me will be appreciated!

I had a few friends who liked to trade mixtapes, and they were a great part of my musical education. I learned about 60's garage rock and psychedelia from Lars Kvam, and Joe Piecuch taught me about industrial music. Today’s song was on a mixtape I got from Paula, who turned me on to a lot of the music I still listen to today. Big Trouble House was a trio formed by ex-Breaking Circus guitarist Phil Harder in 1989. The band was named after a punk crash pad in Minneapolis. Big Trouble House made three albums before splitting up in 1996. Phil Harder is now a video director (look up Harder/Fuller Films).

The Big Trouble House discography includes their debut, Afghanistan, most of which reappears on their full length Mouthful of Violence. A final LP called Killing and Drinking Songs was poorly distributed, but a single from it called “Bullet for Bad Man” is still available from Scat Records. Big Trouble House also contributed a cover of “Turn on the News” to a Twin Cities tribute to the Zen Arcade album.

“Union Feed Grain Mill” leads of the Mouthful of Violence LP. The video for this song got some play on 120 Minutes. The rest of the LP leans toward Double Nickels on the Dime, with some jazzy guitar leads and political-surreal lyrics, but this amped-up rocker is in full Husker Du mode. I'm sending a shout out to Ann, a native Floridian turned Minneapolitan.

Big Trouble House: Union Feed Grain Mill


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