Monday, June 06, 2005

What have we wrought? "The highest and lowest intellect combined into one mass."

More delicious vinyl for you...from the 80's.

The Vels sound oh so 80''s hard to imagine a sound more 80's synth than this. That coupled with the white-girl rapping and you've got something. I don't know what, but it's something. They had a minor hit, I remember hearing it in New York recently on some flashback station. Very strange, as I don't think it's easily found, unless it's on some compilation.

So who were the Vels? Alice DeSoto on vocals, Chris Larkin on keyboards and Charles Hanson wielded the bass. Enjoy. And at least hang out until "Look My Way" gets to around the 2:50 mark.

The Vels - Look My Way REMOVED
The Vels - Tell Me Something REMOVED

The web was a very limited resource on this one, leading me to this page at earFM which in turn led me to this very strange and slooooow page (and by slow I mean SLOW) . What's so strange about this page? Well, for one, it's a virtual directory of sorts with a bunch of mpegs of the band playing live and a couple of open directories of music of bands I'm completely unfamiliar with (Mystic Subway (80's rock)? Shag Motor Pony (90's motor rock)? The Normals (70's punk)? Anybody?) So, if you're feeling adventurous and have a lot of time, check out the Vels homepage.

UPDATE: So apparently Alice Cohen sang for Shag Motor've got to head over there and check out the tracks available...amazing. Here's a taste, which I've uploaded to my server for speed reasons.

Shag Motor Pony - Call of the Wild REMOVED

This makes the Vels that much better, doesn't it?

She later went on to sing in Die Monster Die (not this Die Monster Die).

From iceberg radio:
Formed in Athens, Georgia, USA, the original impetus for Die Monster Die (self-described as "the highest and lowest intellect combined into one mass") came from guitarist/bassist Evan Player's love of the Dead Kennedys' Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables. However, the first incarnation of Die Monster Die dispersed in the late 80s, with Player departing for a new life in New York. Drummer and New Orleans native Kenny Sanders also settled in the city around this time, following his calling to "become a rock star". The two met through industrial metal outfit Stalwart - when they both left the latter group in 1991, Die Monster Die was reborn. Sanders invited Alice Cohen, from Philadelphia, to sing with the group, having formerly appeared in Shag Motor Pony and the Vels. Cohen also shared bass duties with Player. With Shawn Tracy on second guitar, the group released its first single, "Planet'/'Backwater Trailer Park Blues". A series of chaotic live performances ensued, highlighted by garish costumes and outlandish stage behaviour


Blogger heath said...

nice little gold... errr maybe coppermine you found there! hehe. cheers.

8:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i heard the drummer from dmd has a new band called La Bianca??

12:59 PM  
Blogger guanoboy said...

No idea...hadn't heard of Die Monster Die until I ran across them in this post. Hmmm.

1:33 PM  
Blogger mark said...

Thank you thank you thank you. For some reason, this group popped into my head this morning. I had this album on tape, back in the good ole days. So nice to hear it again!!

There was a second album called House of Miracles. It was still very 80s sounding, but more mellow. I used to have both on vinyl but can't find them anymore. I'll have to hunt them both out for sure now!

2:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cohen's latest band Espadrille released an excellent disc Swimmeret in 2001 where the pendulum has swung back to about midway between the Vels and DMD. More of a girl-group vocal feel like VOTB. She also plays live with them in NYC and also does solo shows.

11:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was intercepted while looking for DMD info...Kenny Sanders is in band in Blacksburg, VA -Labianca. Heard recent EP demo. Definitely not much 80s to it - big, orchestral yet shoegazey sound, includes strings, piano, etc...

7:38 PM  
Blogger Great Boudenny said...

Charles Hanson was in The Normals, which were pretty much New Orleans' pre-eminent punk band of the late 70's. Great stuff. The Vels page doesn't seem to be working at all now. Bummer.

12:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some good updated information. I still have my Velocity album from the Vels and it is classsic 80's synth pop. I even saw them in Phildelphia, but never know what happend to them. I beleive they had some MTV air time as well.

8:30 AM  
Blogger Kenneth M. Walsh said...

So glad you posted this -- I recently got Velocity transferred to a CD and have been enjoying it very much ...

5:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous said ....
not only is kenny a phenomenal drummer he is also a wonderful junkie and wife beater

12:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

kenny sanders was also in a killer band called "THE WIDTH" in new orleans. w/ john henry(static static,sexhunter) andy dimerski(sex hunter,distortionofsky) and Jay Hayes(loch ness, sparrowsound signal)

7:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am Chris Larkin's niece, and I just wanted to let you all know that he passed away on November 21, 2007. He was an incredible musician and your blog made me very happy to see that his work is being appreciated. He would be so happy to see that people still enjoy his work.

8:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the width blast from the past would love to find little jay still in up state? if anyone knows let me know ( saw andy pants last year in nola but his # nevr seems to be on .been in baltamore about 6 months my band labianca has ep and full length out and are currently finishing our second check our first full length (slow weening of the lullaby) some of the new shit on myspace reminds me of dmd a bit

10:59 PM  
Blogger pony trekker said...

I was going to audition for shag motor pony once, when I got a gig going on tour with someone else. They gave me a demo of "Call of the Wild" and "Against the Grain" and my GOD those songs were good.

I wish I could buy a recording of those.

5:13 PM  
Blogger guanoboy said...

Hey Pony trekker! No idea anyone was even reading this anymore! Thanks for keeping the dream alive :)

8:31 PM  

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