Team Dresch

Ah yes, Team Dresch. I remember the first time I ever heard them. I decided to ride with a local band named Hurst to a show they were playing in Madison, WI at some college cafeteria. The details of the show are beyond foggy to me now, but I think Carbomb from TX was on the bill as well... or maybe that was a different show.

Any way, after the show, we went to visit some friends that were in college in Madison who had recently moved there from Indianapolis. In their un-airconditioned, 1940s, tile-laden apartment we cooked pasta with tons of vegetables. (There was a Co-op just around the corner.) The whole time we were cooking, Personal Best by Team Dresch was playing on the antique record player on the floor. You know, the sort of record player with a built-in speaker that's mono-only and used to be sold in the 30s or so.

The first thing that gripped me was the music and how intense it was. The lushness and abraisiveness of the distorted guitars, the janglieness of the clean tones. The lyrics were beautiful and new -- Team Dresch was the first 'queercore' band I had heard. This caused me to listen more closely to the lyrics and admire the out-of-the-closet-fuck-you attitude that the lyrics propelled. That and the raw emotion, solid song structures, and intensity of the guitars got me hooked. The album cover is also one of my favorite of the era.

Here's a few songs from Personal Best:

Fagetarian and Dyke

Screwing Yer Courage

She's Amazing

Buy the album here.

Also, I just noticed that they're apparently back together and playing a few shows:

  1. San Francisco @ slims on August 25th w/ Erase Errata and tba
  2. SUNDAY August 27 in Los Angeles @ spaceland
  3. @ estrojam Sept 28th Chicago



Paula Frazier's a pretty interesting woman. Growing up between Georgia, Arkansas, and San Francisco will do that to you I guess. The music she wrote as Tarnation is some of the best late-night driving music I've heard. The blanket of reverb-drenched guitars, slides, and brushes is the perfect backdrop for Frazier's beautiful voice. Her falsetto is just as powerful as her normal singing voice and her tone is very reminiscent of Patsy Cline. In fact, one of the things I always loved about Cline's voice was her ability to pierce through the music and stay out front while also being able to pull it back just in time to blend back into the sounds--Frazier is a master of this as well.

As far as I can tell, Tarnation was largely overlooked when they existed. It wasn't until I started going back through the 4AD catalog that I ran across them. I instantly picked up a copy of Gentle Creatures and was impressed.

Halfway to Madness
The perfect late-night driving song... if you're in the middle of the desert.

Big O Motel
This song sounds as if it should have been in the closing credits to Destiny Turns on the Radio.

Two Wrongs Won't Make Things Right
Should have been the background music in an episode of Twin Peaks.

Burn Again
Almost has a Twee-pop sound to it.


Caleb's Dub Mix

Two years ago, my friend Caleb gave me this Dub mix, and it is still the best compilation of Dub I've heard. I've uploaded a zip file of it and will keep it online for a week or two.

Here's the Mix

And here it is track-by-track

  1. Lee Perry - Upsetting Dub
  2. The Upsetters - Black Vest
  3. Junior Murvin & Dillinger - Roots Train
  4. King Tubby - Fittest of the Fittest Dub
  5. King Tubby - Zion Gate Dub
  6. Junior Dread - Sufferer's Heights
  7. Augustus Pablo - Jah Dread
  8. King Tubby - Money Dub
  9. Scientist - The Voodoo Curse
  10. Raphael Green & Dr. Alimantado - Rasta Train
  11. The Upsetters - Croaking Lizard
  12. The Upsetters - Underground
  13. The Upsetters - Dread Lion
  14. Horace Andy - Rasta Dub
  15. King Tubby - Dub Fi Gwan
  16. Scientist - Dance of the Vampires

Enjoy, and thanks Caleb!!!