Tuesday, November 2, 2010

TA Miller - You've Done It Now

You've Done It Now

"Went to the poll, American dream, empty words, another scheme. It sounded good but it's a lie, selling to the average guy. The swearing in is over now, and you're forgotten without a doubt. You've done it now..."

I posted this last year, but no one is really listening, so it's probably new to you. Happy election day from a cynic. Good luck with the "change" you are hoping for.

"You've Done It Now" written / sung / performed by TA Miller, 2009

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Jupiter Lies

A song about astrology.  "...Saturn's a dive, so I hear...but if you think the stars are calling the shots, then I guess they can."  When I recorded this, my horoscope predicted the usual cheapo-quicky 4-track cassette production.  Maybe there's something to astrology after all.

Click the folder to download "Jupiter Lies"
written / sung / music performed by TA Miller, 2010

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Joys - Shake A Leg

The Joys - "Shake A Leg" b/w "You Play With Toys" - Raydin Records #R-103 (PROMO)

Mysterious 1960's (I think) "Girl Group" single. I can't find any info on the web about this band.

Uptempo garage / pop with doo-wop-ish sounding vocals, and a weird section that sounds almost psychedelic. I think that's a keyboard making that odd sound.

The b-side is a slower ballad-type song.

The main reason I posted this is because I'm selling it on Ebay this week. All my other posts are from bands I myself used to play in, or had some association with in some way.  I had nothing to do with this record, other than finding it at a garage sale.

Hopefully I'll be getting back on track with my own music next month.

DOWNLOAD:  The Joys - Shake A Leg

If you want to hear the b-side, you'll have to buy the record!
To buy this record on Ebay, click HERE

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Triumphs - Late '60's N.E. Ohio Garage / Psych Rock

The Triumphs were a Geneva / Ashtabula garage rock band that my uncle Roger Miller played bass for back in the late 1960's. Yes, coincidently he had the same name as the famous "King of the Road" country singer. Their first single, "Lovin' Cup" b/w "It's So Easy" is a Miller family artifact that I have kept in my record collection ever since the day, way back in 1968, that he visited us with a copy of it. I was only 10 years old at the time. I'm not sure my parents were all that enthusiastic with the actual SOUND of the record. Garage rock was not really their sort of thing. I was greatly impressed, though. Someone in my family actually made a record? How cool is this?

To me, my uncle was a mysterious guy. He was never around much when we went out to Geneva to visit my Grandparents, and when he was, he never talked a lot. The quiet type. Mostly he was always off somewhere, doing things that I could only imagine. I do know he raced stock cars; he had 10 or 12 silver and gold trophies on a shelf that I used to play around with when no one was watching. There was often a car or two of his in the driveway, like a Corvette or something, all in various states of being worked on for the next race. He also had a guitar - a really strange looking one with big fat strings. It was a bass, the first one I ever saw up close.

Unfortunately I never got to see his band play. Not long after these singles were made, my uncle quit the Triumphs - or maybe they broke up, I don't know which. After that he gave up on his music career and lived the married life, with two kids and a job. Many years later I found out that he was playing music at his church. During this period I finally heard him sing a few songs, with his acoustic guitar at some family gathering. He was actually quite good, although it was light-years removed from the sound of the Triumphs.

This turned out to be the last time I ever saw him. He died very suddenly when he was only in his early 50's. A heart attack, I think it was. By then I was playing in my own bands and putting out my own little records. I never got to know my uncle very well. Hardly at all, actually. Maybe if he had lived longer, I would have eventually. One thing I have learned over the years though, is that "eventually" sometimes has a way of never arriving. You wait too long and the opportunity passes you by, never to return. Still, perhaps he had an influence on me. It is not out of realm of possibility that the little round piece of plastic he gave me back in 1968 was a nudge, no matter how small, to the trajectory that my life was taking. So thanks Uncle - you never said much, but as the old saying goes, actions speak much louder than words.

"Lovin' Cup" is a Paul Butterfield song, but in the hands of the Triumphs, sounds much closer to the COUNT FIVE'S "Psychotic Reaction" than it does to blues-rock. The b-side, Buddy Holly's "It's So Easy," is a pretty straightforward cover of that, perhaps slightly more rocked up. Maybe I'll add that one to this post, eventually. According to the "Ohio Sounds" blog, "Lovin' Cup" was "recorded in Chicago at CHESS and got some regional play." I did not know this before. Chess Records studio: Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry, the Rolling Stones and...the Triumphs? Hey, getting to record at a place like Chess is a HUGE accomplishment in my book.

Speaking of "Ohio Sounds," I stole the mp3 and photo of the 2nd Triumphs single from their blog. I think "People Try My Mind" is an original song, although I'm not sure. I never owned a copy of the 2nd single, nor do I know anything about the other members of the band - or even if my uncle actually played on the second 45. I'll just say that he did and wait for someone else to come along and prove otherwise.

Triumphs - Lovin' Cup
Triumphs - People Try My Mind
Listen to more cool Ohio rock singles at: http://www.ohiosounds.com 

Thursday, January 21, 2010

This Tape Sucks!!

If you like early-80's punk rock that is loud, loose and preferably recorded on lousy cassette boom boxes, then this just might be what you’re looking for. Some bonfide boom box "hits" here, along with some cuts recorded in crude (and cheap-as-possible) studios.  No one had much money back then, and what little there was needed to be spent on beer and potato chips, NOT slick recording facilities.

"This Tape Sucks" was a 1982 N.E. Ohio cassette compilation that was released by Oops! Records, a label that sprouted from Oops! fanzine. Both were enterprises that yours truly had a heavy hand in back in the day. Several years ago I transferred these wonderful artifacts to compact disc, thus creating "This CD Sucks.”  Now I guess they can be referred to as "This Download Sucks." Throughout the digital process, you can be rest assured that the crap-tastic sound of these recordings has been preserved. You couldn’t improve them if you wanted to.

A few of these bands managed to stick around for a while and even put out records, for what is was all worth. Also for what it’s worth: some of this doesn’t really suck, although that’s just my opinion.

If you were there, then you can skip the rest of my B.S. and just listen again, if you care to. Info provided below is for people who weren’t “lucky” enough to know THIS TAPE SUCKS firsthand.  Songs are presented in the same order as they appeared on the original tape.


A couple of these recordings actually ended up on an Offbeats retrospective CD & LP put out by Smog Veil Records, still available for sale, so go there if you are interested.
An Offbeats bio can be found at: http://www.clepunk.com/bands/offbeats/index.htm.  More free Offbeats downloads can also be found at: http://www.reverbnation.com/offbeats

Offbeats - “Why Do You Hang Out?”
Offbeats - “Hey Mate Ahoy”
Offbeats - “Society”
Offbeats - “Look At Em Go / Go Away”
Offbeats - “M-16”

An Athens, Ohio college punk band (later known as "One Man's Head"). LAF's Douglas Enkler later joined the Offbeats, bringing these songs along with him for us to play. Trivia: "Sad" was re-recorded by the Offbeats (in a real studio) for the “I Can See Your House From Here” EP. It was also later covered by Scrawl on their "Plus Also Too" LP. Mr. Enkler later went on to a stellar career as front man of Prisonshake.

Loud as Fuck - “I Don't Bathe”
Loud as Fuck - “Shit My Pants”
Loud as Fuck - “Sad”

A Cleveland punk “super-group” almost, featuring Robert Conn, formerly of the Pagans (see "Six and Change"), and now of  Chelsea Hotel.  The band also included Bob Sablack & Johnny Korosec, later of the Plague; Bob is now in the Chromekickers.  “Life So Fast” actually has pretty decent recording quality.  It was an outtake from the sessions that produced their “51%" b/w "Hello From Berlin” 45, a record that usually brings big bucks on Ebay. The Defnics also have stuff for sale from Smog Veil Records. A Defnics bio is at: http://www.clepunk.com/bands/defnics/index.htm

Defnics - “Life So Fast”
Defnics - “Governor's Daughter”

The Zero Defex (aka ODFX) preached and tried to live the anarchy lifestyle to the hilt; they came closest to that ideal during their brief 10-to-15 minute live sets. These guys were so intense it was almost comical. They also managed to single-handily spit the N.E. Ohio scene in two - you either loved 'em or hated 'em. I thought they were fun. More about ODFX can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/0DFx

Zero Defex - “4”
Zero Defex - “Do Not Pass Go”
Zero Defex - “Die Before”
Zero Defex - “Drop the A-Bomb on Me”
Zero Defex - “No More Control”

An Idiot Savant is someone who is a genius at one thing only. In the case of this band, it was making a noise that sounded like an unbalanced washing machine stuck on spin cycle. Idiot Savants bio: http://www.clepunk.com/bands/idiotsavants/index.htm

Idiot Savants - Looking in the Mirror

Almost pop sounding compared to some of the other offerings on TTS. In reality another bunch of smart-ass Cleveland punks, except with some actual musical ability.  A Dissidents career retrospective CD was released on Smog Veil Records, so go there if that sounds like something that might float your boat. A Dissidents bio is at: http://www.clepunk.com/bands/dissidents/index.htm

Dissidents - “Modern Emotion”

“Tra-la-la-la” pop/punk gibberish.  This was actually a recording by a little known Cleveland outfit called the "Generics,” who later evolved into the Offbeats. For some reason the band thought it would be fun to invert their new name and attach it to this almost-good-quality studio recording.

Beatoffs - “Ad Liberation”

One of the few punk bands on this comp that never managed to make an actual record. Also a much better band than this crude recording suggests. Too bad they weren’t around in the late 70’s when record labels were signing up anything from Akron. They could’ve been a contender.

Urban Mutants - “Not Living”

Some referred to this band as thrash/metal, but this just sounds like revved-up punk rock, played in an echo-y basement, and recorded into a very cheap boom box cassette machine - which was exactly what it was. Later Agitated studio recordings were the unlikely subject of yet anther Smog Veil retrospective CD & 7" EP.

Agitated - “Almost Straight Edge”
Agitated - “In This Room”
Agitated - “Blissful Ignorance”

A group that managed to stick around (on and off) for the next 10 years, longer then anyone else on this comp.  Perseverance, or simply too plain ornery to quit?  This is the embryonic version of the band. Later proto-grunge 7” singles and full length LP’s sounded almost nothing like this, and included almost none of the original members. Presented below is pure teenage HC angst served up by actual teenagers. More about SA: http://www.clepunk.com/bands/starvationarmy/index.htm
More SA downloads are at: http://www.reverbnation.com/starvationarmy

Starvation Army - New Black List
Starvation Army - Pain
Starvation Army – Fun

Is it just me, or is this stuff just a little bit affected? They obviously tried very hard to sound idiotic. The National Lampoon of the early 80’s punk scene. Closest comparison might be the Angry Samoans, except with none of that band’s musical ability. They never put out a record, and a quick glance below might give you an idea why. Dumbshits: http://www.clepunk.com/bands/dumbshits/index.htm

Dumbshits - “Hey Devo”
Dumbshits - “Turds with Corn in 'Em”
Dumbshits - “I'm Lost”
Dumbshits - “Bald Guys Fartin'”
Dumbshits - “This Tastes Like Fuckin' Shit”
Dumbshits - “Weird Fuckin' Noise”