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Morons

MORONS “SUBURBANITE / CHANGING DAYS” 7″ (ALBANY, NY- LARK BEAT, 1981)

Here is the cover of the 7″- I guess in following with the theme of suburbia, the picture looks to have been taken in a wood-paneled basement rec room.  No suburban home in America was complete in the 1970’s unless it had the vertical wood panels installed in the basement.  Although I can’t see it I hope some shag carpeting also adorned the room they are posing in.  And a stand-up wet bar.

Here is a photo of the band circa 1981 (?)- again, more tell-tale signs of suburbia like the split-level home in the background and of course the metal mailbox in the frontyard, preferably by the curb.  It is still standing meaning that it was not a victim of “mailbox baseball”.  From what I can gather, the band is (left to right): Guitarist #1 / Drummer / Singer / Bass Player / Keys Player / Guitarist #2.

As a diversion from rawer stuff, here’s a clean sounding, catchy keyboard-driven punker that I have not seen posted elsewhere yet.  This plays nicely along other key-driven punk like the Los Reactors, I think (although stuff like the Los Reactors had a meaner, nastier undercurrent and is less happy sounding).  J.T. taped this for me years ago and it immediately caught my attention the first time I heard it.  Both sides are nice, but I think “Suburbanite” is the better of the two tracks- very catchy with some funny lyrics that are sung with a somewhat mad and snotty tone but in a more “snotty n’ melodic” tone (as opposed to the “raw, desperate and snotty” style of, say, The Mad’s “I Hate Music” or Legionnaire’s Disease Band’s “Rather See You Dead”).  Anyway, if you’re curious The Morons hometown of Albany is about 150 miles North of New York City and is situated right along the Hudson River.  Someone I went to college with was from “Awlbany” and he spoke with a rather thick “Noo Yawk” accent and loved the place so the city always stuck in my mind since then.

The Morons only released this one 7″ in an edition of 500 copies on a label named after a street in downtown Albany.  They also had a track on the “Hudson Rock” compilation LP (a song called “Gimme”, which I have yet to hear).  This Hudson Rock comp actually has an EXCELLENT snotty and hooky song on it by Crude called “Vacation” that Chuck Warner included on the Hyped To Death #61 compilation back in ‘01.  The Hudson Rock comp also has a song by the great A.D’s and Verge so I am curious to hear the whole LP (anyone?), although Collector Scum warns that there is lots of new wave on it too.  But it looks like Albany had a rather productive scene in the early 80’s- I mean, the A.D.’s were from there, and we ALL know how good they were.  Jim Furlong, former head A.D.’er, still runs a cool-looking record shop in Albany called Last Vestige.  The Tragics (the band formerly named The Misfits before a forced name change) were also from Albany- their blazing “Amps at 11” tune “Laughing Lover” (made famous on KBD#10) is an all-time fave.  And people site Verge and Capitle who are both also from “the city by the Hudson” although I have yet to take the time to listen to anything by them.  Check out the cool Albany Style Hardcore site for lots of related info, pictures, musings and a few mp3’s of various stuff.

In putting this post together I also found a nice website about the Morons with some very detailed information about the history of the band and lots of info on unreleased recordings (but no mp3’s).  With such detail, the site is of course maintained by an old band member (I figured out that it must be former singer TL Stone).  The site also has lots of vintage pictures of the band (from which I got all the above photos- thanks), as well as a pic of the band 20 years later (but with only 5 of the 6 members).  From a flyer posted on the site for the single’s record release party (Sunday, August 16, 1981) we see that the record came out in the latter half of that year.  I love stamp-collector details like this but maybe they annoy you and you wish I would just have a short, 50-word, one-paragraph posting one of these days eh.

/files/98398-90993/01_Suburbanite.mp3″>Suburbanite.mp3
/files/98398-90993/02_Changing_Days.mp3″>Changing Days.mp3

…And here’s a few more Albany-related songs I mentioned above:
A.D.’s- /files/98398-90993/Vacation.mp3″>Vacation (1982)
Tragics-

Jerry’s Kidz (NM)- Unreleased Live Stuff (Circa 1983)



 

Here’s the different cover from the 2nd pressing of their great EP on the Test Site label.  This “live” sleeve gets dinged up and smeared pretty easily (at least my second hand copy did)- maybe this is due to the type of paper used.  And here is one of the labels which was also used on the first press- I guess the dual dicks smashing into each side of the skeleton skull are supposed to signify that the band is a “mind fuck” of sorts (?)


To follow up on my posting of Jerry’s Kidz “Counting Calories” cassette, here is some unreleased live stuff- one set from their appearance on the radio show at KUNM-FM in their hometown of Albuquerque (incidentally, KUNM is still around as a public radio station.  I am a long-time digger of lots of NPR and other public radio, as well as now some CBC radio shows from Canada, but I digress…).  The other set I included here is a mystery to me- it was taped for me years ago on the same dubbed tape that also included the Counting Calories cassette.  Since I posted Counting Calories, I have been e-mailing back and forth with an old Albuquerque scenester now living in Florida, and he told me that the KUNM live in the studio set also included a radio interview.  I don’t be having that otherwise I would have posted it.


Besides correcting me on the some of the Counting Calories song titles, the same guy also told me some other stuff that I never knew- namely, that Jerry’s Kidz singer Dave Duran moved to the Bay Area after their breakup and sang for the thrash band Clown Alley who released an LP in 1986 called “Circus of Chaos” which I have yet to listen to.  The LP, along with a 1985 demo, was posted here on the True Punk and Metal Blog several years back.

Mr. Duran then went on to the band Eyeball who released a few records on Lookout back in the late 80’s and early 90’s.  I think I have one of those Eyeball 7″s buried somewhere deep in my basement in my “found-in-the-50-cent-bin-but-never-listened-to” pile.

While poking around the internet, I actually found a short blurb from 2007 in this local Albuquerque paper called Alibi that mentions former Jerry’s Kidz member Gordy Andersen- here’s a link to the article.  At 50 he is still rocking out, now in a band called Black Maria who- judging from the song posted on t
heir MySpace page- seem to take a more hard rock approach- here’s a link to their site.  One more link- I found an old MRR review of the Jerry’s Kidz EP (Issue #11, January 1984) on the great Operation Phoneix zine archive.  Funny, but they name the review gives the EP is “This Is Albuquerque Not Boston” and the band address is singer Dave Duran’s- here’s a link to the review (it’s on Page 2 of 9 in the .pdf).

TRACK LISTINGS
LIVE @ KUNM-FM, ALBUQUERQUE, NM (CIRCA 1983?)
1. Marionettes
2. B.R.S.
Tracks 3-5= (Unknown Titles)

LIVE (DATE AND VENUE UNKNOWN) (MAYBE 1983 or 1984?)
1. Atomic Zone (aka “Stepping Stone”)
Tracks 2-6= (Unknown Titles)

*My tape did not come with any song titles- I don’t think any of them match songs that were on the Counting Calories cassette, though, unless my song matching abilities are being compromised right now