Friday, August 05, 2005
none of the regular rules were true...
trip shakespeare was one of those bands that you stumble upon without looking for and then it's like finding a hidden treasure you wanna share with the world ... but no one would listen.
they blew into my life, outta minneapolis, onto a stage in uptown new orleans during a muggy, rainy night in the summer of '89.
my buddy, glennski, (bless him), had talked me into buying the 'are you shakesperienced' cd a year before, (it wasn't too hard), and i had fallen for the quirky, operatic vocals, the delicious melodies and odd, twirling music that sounded like no other sound around. the album cover gave no hint as to who the band really were, like a dippy long-winded fictitious bio or group photos in a petting zoo, (i just love it when they leave ya hangin' out in the breeze like that). the album was just this amazing sound done by a band from the city of twins.
i don't remember much from the night, (like who else was on the bill, we just went to see the trips), but i remember the show. . .
the house was 1/2 full, the lights were blue, my eyes were red and we were at the bar waiting for drinks. when the band came on and started in on 'pearle' i stumbled, delicately, towards the stage, (a full drink ya know), and saw the drummer standing up. and it was a chick! we were floored, ('specially glennski, who was my drummer and needed to sit just to piss), she stood up the whole show. the songs were great, the band was flawless, and i never got to see them again. . .
the next two lp's were the best of the stuff they recorded over their short, silly, bizarre career. i later found out they were all displaced college grads thrown together by the love of music. which lends itself to the beauty of the records they made, smart, thoughtful, diverse, precise, catchy and edgy.
after a few ignored records on a twin-tone records subsiduary, (with shakesperienced getting some nods), they signed to a&m records for 1990's 'across the universe', which was a big move toward stardom. funny how that shit works . . .
but it was the next record that sealed it for me.
i was lost, seeking emotional shelter, a recent recipient of a truly broken heart in the funniest fashion.
and then i found 'lulu' . . . it started with the line 'none of the regular rules were true', how true.
there is a story line running thru the album, still, i haven't quite nailed it yet. but repitition is paying off. it is the story of heartache , heartbreak and redemption. i think. i really don't care. its songs about watching husker du, selling ice cream, stealing dad's bonneville and moving out the ex's belongings . . .the album is a gem. it ranks up there with anything in my not-so-vast and incomplete collection. if i could give you any trip-shakespeare-loaded advise, it is this. . . get it before it is gone like the rest of the out-of-print cd's, (i think this is only one available anymore, and that may be a lie ... a used copy of 'shakesperienced' on amazon is asking as low as $52! i cringe to think i'd missed it the 1st time, now that i know).
ok, now go find 'em . . . the remnants of the trips are now a few bands, semisonic, (with the seminal 90's hit 'closing time'), and the flops, (a band that also deserves a listen). .. .
here's some mp3 tease, some hard to find trip shit, and it goes deeper than this . . . (you know the deal)
toolmaster of brainerd (live)
(i have no idea where this ver is from, (it is well obsessed by fans of the like mind). i wish i was there at the time, and this is how i remember them ... a song about wild mineral mining, milking cows then getting white lung, some drunken-club-fun, a lil guitar mastery and rock-n-roll . . . all in 10 minutes!)
snow days (from 'across the universe')
patricia (from 'lulu')