Monday, January 5, 2009

Enormous Richard Answers All Your Questions

This Friday, January 9 from 7-9 p.m. Thomas Crone and I will be spinning cassettes of dead local rock bands at The Schlafly Tap Room, 1221 Locust, in what we hope materializes into the Local Indie Rock Swag Swap Meet.

The idea is for people with a sleeve of CDs from some dead band in their basement to get those CDs out of the basement and into circulation. This concept also applies to folks with a box of dead band T-shirts or a stack of defunct 'zines. Whatever. People in working bands with hopes of one day actually selling those CDs and T-shirts are also welcome and indeed encouraged to attend and get into the fun.

This was my idea, for what it's worth, though as I start combing through my collection I find I don't really have much of anything to give away. My bands (Enormous Richard, Eleanor Roosevelt, Three Fried Men) managed to actually sell the cassettes and records we pressed. Sell them or give them away - we were always generous, especially to other musicians and pretty girls, which remain my favorite sorts of people ... and the world is full of them.

In lieu of a bunch of CDs to hand out at the swap meet, I'll be giving away the music here on the internet. This is a selection of songs from the first Enormous Richard CD, Enormous Richard Answers All Your Questions, which is long out of print. (Put it this way - if anyone has a copy, I'll buy it!)


Free mp3s

"Planet Granite"

A paen to Granite City, Illinois, hometown of self and band cofounder, Richard Edwin Skubish.

"People in Pairs"

A hymn to loneliness. Les Aaron used to play this on the radio.

"Ernie's Stuck in the Lights"

Ashley Loth's Ernie doll really did get stuck in the chandelier one day.

"War on Drugs"

Hey, we had just got out of the '80s. It was hell out there!

"Hole in My Record Collection"

Sad, true tale of the girlfriend getting all the good records in the split.

"The Chemistry Song"

Rich Skubish on his life as a lab rat, which continues to the present day.

All from Enormous Richard Answers All Your Questions (1991, I think).
Recorded by the band (I think) in my house on The Hill, 2115 Marconi.

Personnel: Joe Armin (lead electric and acoustic guitars), Chris Bess (accordion), Matt Fuller (drums), Chris King (vocals), Jay Lauterwasser (bass), Richard Skubish (acoustic guitar).

Cover art by Matt Fuller

Answers All Your Questions, which takes its title from a book by Billy Graham (then our national spiritual advisor), deserves a footnote to local music history.

We made this record in the early 1990s, just as the CD was starting to become accepted as the standard music format. At that time, every band pressed cassettes, and if they had money and ambition they also pressed vinyl records.

No local band had yet put out their music independently on a CD. We had money from gigs and sales of our first cassette (Why It's Enormous Richard's Almanac), and were going to splurge on cassette and vinyl for Answers All Your Questions, but Mike Martin of Three Foot Thick cautioned me against it. He said they just put out vinyl, and for the first time were being asked by everyone if there were any CDs. So Enormous Richard made mostly meaningless local musical history by becoming the first local band to independently press CDs.

By the way, Three Foot Thick quickly disbanded after pressing up those vinyl records, as these things tend to go. Love to get my hands on one of them! I hope Mike or somebody hears about this thing and digs a box out of the basement!


Sheafisher said...

What about "Steve Pick, Music Critic" - that was my favorite back in the day. And the Thomas Crone song about how he was always out there "scenin'" - or something like that.

I think I still have an MP3 I converted from an old cassette from when ER was on KDHX with Ed Vigil. I can send your way if so.

Since I assume they won't make the swap meet, many old The Something Brothers mp3s are available here:


Minkough said...

I've got a little stack of ER's "warm milk on the porch" which I'd gladly put in the swap meet if I were in the 'Lou.

For those interested, that record is available used on Amazon for anywhere between 55 cents and 25 dollars.

Tad said...

I have it on tape still

Denise said...

Saw you guys play at a bar in Chicago in the early 90s. We had so much fun, we went back the next time you were performing. Always wondered what ever happened to the band. Sometimes my husband and I will break out in an Enormous Richard lyric for no particular reason - "He's the new world order man", "Tamp that f#*&ing driveway, Richard", "Welcome to the Hill".

Rev.Dr. DarkKnightNNY said...

Wow, I wish I had come across this when it was first posted instead of now. Actually... I have a copy of 'Answers All Your Questions', probably the last copy - so no, I'm not parting with it. It was given to me by Tejus, the younger brother of the album's producer "Saintly Meghan Gohil." I quickly made mp3s out of the tracks and was told I could distribute them with the band's blessings after Tejus made a number of phone calls on my behalf.

Currently you can grab the full album here: with scans of the original album art. Hope this helps - even if it's a little outdated.