Happy Flowers ‎– Flowers On 45: The Homestead Singles

Label:
Homestead Records ‎– HMS161-2
Format:
CD, Compilation
Country:
Released:
Genre:
Style:

Credits

Notes

ON THE TRUE NATURE OF THE SUBLIME

And the Gods named it the Philosopher Stone. Hidden from human sight behind nature's most formidable barrier, Number, the stone awaited the lover of wisdom whose genius and good fortune would bring truth within his grasp...
Oh, muse! Allow us but one moment of carnal delight. O! Feel the sublime...
A young man so bold? So presumptious? Yet so handsome. Hmm... Unlike the Queen. Step forward, my brave young knight. Are you so sure of yourself that you dare challenge Number? Your confidence deceives you, most handsome one, for Number absorbs all of nature. Some say life itself withers away under its awesome power! There exists but one dimesion [sic] in quantity! It is not human -- it is of the Gods!
Oh, muse! Why do you challenge nature so? Can you not see that Number is but an invention of mind, whilst nature lies in such sweet slumber in man's bosom? Nature cannot be grasped by reason alone. Oh, muse! Hath you ever loved a virgin in the dew of a spring meadow? Hath you experienced the joyous rapture of a young child at play, or the simple, happy beauty of a flower? Yes, a flower. It glistens with beauty in the morning sun. It bekons [sic] us. Go ahead! Kick it! And don't hesitate, for nature's lustre is so fleeting, so precious... Oh, muse! Abandon Number and lose yourself in the scarlet fragrance of the flowers. For they are indeed what is truly sublime. They are the essence of man's highest ideal -- the Philosopher Stone.
The music of Anus and Infant is but Number, so do not be intimidated, dear listener. Beneath the monstrous harmonics of concreteness, immersed in the infernal depths...OF HELL, two little flowers grow. Whilst we see demons, the Gods behold cherubs, gently strumming their harps for eternity.
Oh, Anus and Infant! Hear our humble plea! Tempt the muse, submit to nature, and make life beautiful.

-- C. Eduardo Jetlag

...

1-3: originally released as HMS105
4-6: originally released as HMS135
7-9: originally released as HMS159
10-14: originally released as HMS161-7
15-17: recorded live at CBGB's, NYC, January 3, 1987
18: recorded live at the Hung Jury Pub, Washington, DC, October 5, 1986
19: recorded on WTJU-FM, November 24, 1987
20: recorded at Inner Ear, Arlington, VA, July 23, 1986
21, 22: recorded at Beat Farm, Mentor, OH, January 6-9, 1990
23: recorded at Inner Ear, July 31, 1990
24: recorded at practice, 1981?
25, 26: recorded at WTJU, Spring, 1983
27: recorded at Apartment 10 Studios, September 1983, original released on the We Got's No Station compilation, WGNS cassettes, 1984
28-30: recorded at WTJU, October/November, 1983
31: recorded at practice by the Apartment 10 Studios Mobile Unit, November, 1983
32: recorded at Inner Ear, January 11, 1986
33-35: recorded at Inner Ear, March 7, 1987

Tracks 10-14 licensed from Strange Fruit Records; (P) BBC, 1990.

...

So what's all this extra shit? you're probably wondering. Basically, when we were approached with the idea of putting all our Homestead singles together on one CD, we said OK. Then we were told that there wouldn't be a whole lot of music on it if we didn't pad it out so people would think they were getting some kind of deal or something. So again we said OK. We went through our outtakes and live tapes and came up with precious little even we thought was listenable. So we decided y'all might like to hear stuff we've done with other bands. Or maybe not. CD's are programmable, you know, so you can always just program the bits you want to hear. Then again, there's no way we know of to just listen to the spaces between the songs.

The other bands:
The Charlie-Cramer Band was one of Mr. Anus' many high school bands. He wrote this song at the tender age of something like 16.
Lowest Common Denominator was Mr. HCI's first band, when he was 20 (a late bloomer).
Psychodelic Trashcan was Mr. HCI's second band.
Bigfoot was the first of the Landlords (see below) "splinter groups".
The Landlords was the band that Mr. Anus and Mr. HCI met in. They both were recruited into the band by Eddie Jetlag. Before the first day of practice they had only met once, when Mr. Anus won a Talking Heads album that Mr. HCI gave away on WTJU (said album quickly bartered away for a six-pack).

The music itself:
HAPPY FLOWERS
Like we said before, the first 14 songs here are from four different seven-inch releases on Homestead. The next four songs were covers we played at our second big show in New York and our first show in DC. Back then we didn't have a lot of originals, so we'd play whatever covers the audience requested. The original artists were Echo & The Bunnymen, The Beatles, DRI, and Nazareth. The next piece is an early exploration of the BB gun symbology and metaphor. We'd completely forgotten this song existed, since the released version rocks so hard. "I'm First on the Swing" was recorded during the sessions that became the Oof album. We had contact mikes duct taped to our throats and then plugged into guitar amps with distortion on "full". The next couple of tracks were recorded during the Lasterday I Was Been Bad sessions. The first was penned by Mark Edwards of My Dad Is Dead fame. The final Flowers track was the result of our last foray into the recording studio. It was also the first time we didn't record live onto master tape. This was a sixteen-track attempt at a "dance" thing. Leonard Cohen wrote the words. We wrote the music. A few weeks later we played our final show (not counting one "reunion" show at the Fallout Shelter in Raleigh, NC, on July 20, 1991) on August 18, 1990, at the Firenze Tavern in Philadelphia, PA.

THE CHARLIE-CRAMER BAND
One of Mr. Anus' many high school bands, the Charlie-Cramer Band (AKA The Scott MacDonald Band and Get Off The Stage) played about 15 Motorhead songs and a few highly derivative originals. This is one of the originals (we spared you "Living Underground").

LOWEST COMMON DENOMINATOR
LCD formed in early 1983 when Murray Jones was fooling around in the middle of the night in the production studio at WTJU, screwing around with tapedeck feedback and reverb. Max Random showed up a few hours later and added more noise to what Jones had already laid down. Within days LCD had recorded several songs at WTJU and within the next few weeks they even scored a local hit with "Fish (I Like)." With time came the addition of "real" instruments (Max bought a guitar) and their second local smash, "Joe Hates Work," hit the airwaves. After a series of live gigs (with various backing musicians) Jones quit the band. Max kept it going for one final "big band" performance and some studio recording and then the dream was dead.

PSYCHODELIC TRASHCAN
PT was the first (and last) band to record in the famous Apartment 10 Studios. The Trashcan got its start when The Happy Nihilist and Me picked up two guitars and started jamming at the studio. Neither knew how to play. Wendel and Noman, owners of said instruments, soon arrived at the studio and a recording session with all four ensued. 20 minutes of amazing "free" sound were laid down. Upon realizing how dangerous the sounds they created were, the band made severe shifts to the line-up. Me switched to vocals, Wendel took up the guitar, Noman grabbed the bass and the Happy Nihilist sat on the Casio. This song and a few others were recorded and the band broke up a scant few weeks later.

BIGFOOT
Little is known about this mysterious Swedish duo. Perhaps the less said the better. Note: "Tak So Meeka" ("Thank the Children") features the Legend of Boggy Creek on backup.

THE LANDLORDS
The Landlords were on of Charlottesville's first hardcore bands in the early 80's. As previously stated, the Flowers first met through The Landlords. A month or so after The Landlords began practicing, many two-man "splinter groups" formed. Bigfoot and Happy Flowers are documented here, but The Rock and Roll Brothers and the Mel Cooley Fusion Project also produced some fine sounds. In the three-and-a-half years The Landlords existed, they managed to release an album, Hey! It's a Teenage House Party!, and a 7" EP, Our Favorite Songs! The version of "Mrs. Butcher" featured here was part of their first demo, but was scrapped by the time the album was recorded. The hatred for Mrs. Butcher, Mr. HCI's second grade teacher, lives on in the Flowers reinterpretation of this classic. The other four songs here are from the unreleased second album, Fitzgerald's Paris. The line-up for the band's entire existence was: John Beers singing (guitar on 33 and 34). Charlie Kramer on guitar (bass on 33), Eddie Jetlag on bass (vocals on 33) and Tristan Puckett pounding the skins.

Well, there you have it. More music than you'd probably care to hear. Tough. All songs by the respective artists except where indicated in the liner notes. Weird Paul Petroskey wrote "My Head's on Fire." Oh yeah, we ripped off The Feelies for part of "German Folk Song."

Photos by Susan Bloor

Thanks to everyone who's ever joined us on stage to make noise: Chris Burgess, Cognitive Dissonance (The Happy Nihilist, Chrissy Rutkaus, Chrissy's friend (whose name we forgot)), Michael Dean, Mark Edwards, David Grubbs, Clark Johnson, Sylvia Juncosa, Phil Krauth, Tony Maimone, John McEntire, James McNew, out-of-order members of Anal Dreadlocks, Paul Petroskey, Scott Pickering, Tristan Puckett, Jim Ralston, Rich, unidentified women in New York, unidentified skinhead man in New York.

Extra special thanks to: Henry S. Beers, Sr., The Misguided, Don Zientara, Terry Tolkin, Gerard Cosloy & Craig Marks, Sonic Youth, Aaron Margosis, James McNew, Sabine Waltz, Chris Burgess, Scott Pickering.

new address:
Happy Flowers
PO Box 8321
Atlanta, GA 30306
USA

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Barcode: 017531016127

Recommendations

Reviews