Friday, June 27, 2008

Interlude | Brian Lotti's mystery tune

So as you know, Brian Lotti's new movie, Free Pegasus, just came out. It's been filmed in Barcelona BUT doesn't for once consist of an US Attila-style spot invasion. Ever tried to just cruise down there? I know. Crazy, non hammer-oriented, idea. Anyway, I had a little hand in this project, more like half two fingers, and I would love to push it a little, in a Visual Sound fashion -Remember, skate flicks and music?
So I just lined up all of Brian's video parts and tried to figure out what musically can be intriguing about them. His Ron Allen tune in Hokus Pokus? It is, but more about this later. There's another one: the mystery tune on his groundbreaking Now'n'Later section -so groundbreaking that some moron once wrote a Wikipedia entry about Lotti, stating that "he pioneered skating in pants"-, actually coming from a 5-track demo cassette by a band that became legendary on the sole benefit of this very part : Handy With Shovels.
It took me a minute but I tracked down two members of this Stockton, CA-based outfit. Here's what they have to say about the whole Now 'n Later buzz.

Brian Tomei, guitar player:
"The demo was submitted through an ad in Thrasher. Not The Same is of course available on the original demo, and also on the CD compiled in 2006/2007. I remember we had a party-premiere, and it was a "15 minutes of fame"evening. It should be noted that we could have done a split w/ Pavement, but I think we all agreed they sucked. Now many critics and mags praise Pavement... go figure!
Yeah, Lotti's skating is stellar for the time and place. I guess we should be flattered that our music graces that scene. We could all skate in our own right, especially Bryan Chuck, our bass player. I guess he still skates.
Musically, I have 2 or 3 projects most of the time. FCA plays monthly. I play bass with Eric Torres and Johnny Cruz in Hearts Beat Faster (when Johnny is not on tour with Samiam) , and I also play in Fat, Drunk, and Stupid with what's left of the punks in good ol' Stucktown. I think the last time I typed this much I was still in college."

Jimmy Bell, lead vocal:
"We were aware that it was used, we also had a song in an H Street video, not sure if it was before or after the Planet Earth one. A few years back 411 Video magazine used the Lotti footage and didn't even give us credit.... They never returned my calls, very lame.
The song can be found at CD Baby on a CD that I released which has Not the same, Nervous nightmare and everything else we ever recorded as Handy With Shovels.
I have had requests for that song since I first started my website years ago. So many requests from literally all over the world, that I finally put it all on disc and released everything.
We all got together and watched the video when it came out. I didn't think the Lotti part or the song would be so popular.
I'm now an audio engineer, and do location sound for TV and film. I have a small studio in Sacramento, and live with my wife and son. I also paint and have 2 CDs out with a band called Jimmy Bean and the Playground Revolution ( it's what I call punk for kids)."

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Interlude | The question

A question from Cam:
"What is the song on this Vox trailer, and who is the band?
I can't figure it out for the life of me."

An answer from Nate at Vox:
"The song is from a late 70's band called Model Mania. They only had one 45 release as far as I know. No Pride, Slow Suicide is the name of the song. I have it on vinyl off of the Bored Teenagers comp. Good luck finding it."

Plus some
more research:
Model Mania
' were formed in late 1975 in the UK– three brothers, Jim (vocals), Rob (guitar) and Andy (drums). They were later joined by Martin Beech (Boco) on bass.
In the next six months they played all over, opening for bands such as The Vibrators, Johnny Thun
ders, The Clash, The Slits, The Adverts, The Stranglers, Subway Sect etc. Bernie Rhodes showed interest so they got on tour with the Clash. In 1977 they made their first demo No Pride and 2 others, Shit and Glass.

In 1979 they made a record and released it on their own Boob label. When the records arrived back from the pressing plant the labels weren't quite ready so the band designed and made up a ink stamp and then stamped up 250 copies so that they could start selling them. Then one week later the labels arrived and the remaining 750 copies had proper labels stuck on. Then Boco decided to leave. They carried on but it was all over really. They came very close but not close enough, that’s the story, not the facts.

In 1982 they changed their name to Powerfarm and were joined by Sean Walters, they made another single Which Way USA, which was also released on Boob Records through Red Rhino distribution.