"Don't Let Them Take Us ALIVE!" Released; New Furious Instance

Sally Ride’s album, the subject of rumor and speculation for several years, was officially released today by Mr. Furious Records. Don’t Let Them Take Us ALIVE, an album-length session recorded live at 90.5 WAKN college radio in Akron, OH, is available on the music page.

If old indie rockers weren’t scary enough at this point, a brand-new instance of the ongiong compilation Furious Instance is available as well; Crete, NE’s own 12:00 Fence is giving you “Consticulated Juncture” from their new effort, Nearly New. Four more tracks from Nearly New are availalbe on the 12:00 Fence MySpace page.

AND if you haven’t tried that shiny, big “Play” button over to your left, press it! It will play “Consticulated Juncture” for you, pure and simple, no weird pop-ups or plug-ins or other funky internet p-things. P-funk, it’s not, but p-leasurable it is!


Sally Ride’s Don’t Let Them Take Us ALIVE ended up being a completist record. There wasn’t much question of which tracks to include or how they should be ordered, given the nature of the album. 1-10, there you have it, all the songs from first to last.

But listening is a bit of a different question, much more today (in the era of iTunes, filesharing, etc.) than Hank or Uncle Charlie would have thought. Some listeners I know have already picked out a couple tracks that deviate from SR’s typical modus operandi: the slower tunes, “R Tone L” and “The Knot.” These songs don’t have the hooks or the steady, down-beat pulse that drive the other tracks. Nick is skipping them; I’m guessing he’s not the only one.

So the question for you is how do you listen to Sally Ride? Is the record improved by skipping “R Tone L” and “The Knot”? Do you pick favorite tracks, skip the interview bits, or re-arrange the order? I’m curious to know. I listen to the whole thing, but I always do that, and it doesn’t mean you do or should. How do you hear Don’t Let Them Take Us ALIVE?

Sally Ride Listening Party / Release

This Saturday (Oct. 29) at 2 pm, Mr. Furious Records will host a listening party for Sally Ride’s long-awaited album Don’t Let Them Take Us ALIVE at the home of Cory Kibler. You are invited!

We will have fun listening to the record and enjoying each other’s company. Because Uncle Charlie and Hank have not played music in many years, there can be no CD release show, so the party will be a different (and probably better) way to celebrate this record (finally!). The details:

Sally Ride Listening Party
2:00 pm Saturday Oct. 29
Cory’s house – 25th & Garfield, Lincoln, Nebraska
if you need better directions or anything at all, email Cory- cory.kibler (at) doane.edu
Hosted by MC Walter Mont Hawthorne and DJ Kerouac Alan Kibler

Yes, we know there is a football game, but it’s the best we can do. I don’t know if the game is on TV or just the radio, but we will certainly keep posted on it, OK? “You can have your cake and eat it too” with Mr. Furious.

The album will be released on www.mrfuriousrecords.com the following day. Please download it and enjoy the sounds of “drums, guitar, bass, and vocals… sometimes backing vocals.”

Our friends 12:00 Fence have also completed a recording project (done at FuriousSound with howie). They are giving one track, “Consticulated Juncture,” to our ongoing Furious Instance comp. Four more tracks will appear for downloading Oct. 30 on the 12:00 Fence MySpace page. Support these rockers, in life and online!

History of Bike, part II

So anyway, Nate and I formed our first band, Merona. At first, Merona
consisted of Nate (Bike), Cory (Shacker, BP), Mike Papagni (Sexual
Jedi), Yale Ensminger, and Josh Boys. Yale eventually quit, and Josh
did too, because I don’t think either of them were super interested in
being in a “serious” band- Josh had a billion other obligations, and
Yale just wasn’t feeling it… we recorded two CDs as Merona: “Travels
and Adventures,” which was named after a little diary I wrote lyrics
in, and “If I Could Write This in Fire, I’d Write This in Fire.” For
the second record, we had with us Jesse Gifford (Aegis) who moved to
Ventura from Minneapolis.

Merona was a joke band, kind of- we had songs named dumb stuff like
“Tractor Beam,” “AWAP” (All Women Are Pyscho, ha ha ha ha jay kay), and
“Skelly Bones.” We were really into Primus, Weezer, and The Pixies.
We were also kind of a serious band in the way that we all loved music.
Ironically enough, Mike Papagni had only been playing drums for a few
months when Merona formed and Jesse Gifford got his bass maybe a few
months before joining, and now they’re super talented. Meanwhile, I
listen to Weird Al.

Anyway, I wrote a lot of the songs, but Nate wrote a lot of them too,
and he usually focused on repetitive, beautiful themes (he was super
into Sparklehorse and Spiritualized at the time, and his favorite band
is/was Radiohead). He didn’t sing at the time, so he would write these
pieces and we’d add melodies and words later.

After Merona broke up when I went to college, Nate continued to write
and record his music, coming out with albums like “Johnny Popular Makes
His Mark” and “Have The Terrorists Won?” Meanwhile, I was doing my
thing with Shacker/The Remnants. Sooner or later, Nate thought he’d
buy himself about 1,000 robots so he could force them to make out with
each other and record it…


History of Bike, part I

When MFR released Nebraska Verses, the MFR audience got a pretty good
taste of the history of MFR and how it related to Crete/Doane
College… but, since the last track on Nebraska Verses, there have
been a few people who have been very important to the identity and
image of MFR.

The first project on MFR to be released that had no involvement from
either Howie or Cory was Bike’s “How Is That Possible?” Bike, or Nate
D., is someone I met during my junior year of high schoo, after I had
moved back to Ventura from Coloradol. I met Nate through a mutual
friend from elementary school, and we quickly became friends. In fact,
the first thing Nate every really said to me was a comment about one of
the bands I had written on my backpack (The Pixies). He was surprised,
because he was the only one he had met so far who liked the Pixies, or
had really even heard of them.

We also used to draw little donkeys and bears on each other’s notebooks!

At this point, I had about two years’ worth of guitar experience under
my belt, and I wasn’t too great. Nate had about a year or so, and he
was already as good as me. He taught me how to play Quake, and I
taught him how to do a barr chord.

After we had gotten to know each other better, we decided we were going
to start a band, which would be the first band for both of us…



New CDs at FuriousSound:

Doves / Some Cities – Doves occupy a niche between old Motown records and modern Britrock. Their previous album, The Last Broadcast, is a favorite of mine. This one has some great songs, but isn’t as fleshed out sonically, or in terms of song development. It has some characteristic sounds though; most every song has a part, usually guitar or piano, that has been processed to sound like it has been sampled from old wax. Several songs have a warbly treble line (keys or vocals), which I am not a fan of. Maybe 3/5 stars or so overall.

My Chemical Romance / Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge – A cool record, plus the kids love it. The best thing about it is that MCR is telling a story; they’re not trying to share their diaries (weak) or send a message (pretentious). Three Cheers… is like a noir comic put to tape. Plus, it’s fast, catchy, and is filled with dynamic arrangements and voicings.

Ben Folds Five / The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner – Mary was the BF5 fan in our house, so I’m only slowly picking up their records for myself (though I know them by heart – same with Foo Fighters). I get the idea fans didn’t like this one as much, but I love it.

Bloc Party / Silent Alarm – Bloc Party has been a buzz band for a bit, but I didn’t listen to them until NPR broadcast their show from the 9:30 Club in DC (later, it was available for download). Silent Alarm deconstructs U2 into constituent parts (driving, organic drums / edgy guitars / a bit of sonic sweep) and reassembles them nimbly. I love the production on this record; all the instruments sound like instruments! Natural, warm, and with good bite.

Nine Inch Nails / With Teeth – This album feels like a victory. The packaging is completely minimal (simple art, a tracklist, and a photo of Trent decomposing into digital lines) placing emphasis soley on the music. Production = awesome. Did you know that Mr. Reznor has an inner James Brown? He channels it regularly here, writing soul-metal songs, using weird vocal “hey!”s and tics, and creating an entire performance by turning the phrase “with teeth” into four syllables; “with-ah! teeth-ah!”

Radiohead / OK Computer – I’m lame because I’m just getting into OK Computer… I didn’t really love Radiohead until Cory and I listened to Kid A on Thanksgiving break of freshman year. Since then, I’ve been a latecomer to every album since, and am just now beginning to work backwards. Thom has said their albums split in 3’s (Pablo Honey, The Bends, OK Computer / Kid A, Amnesiac, Hail To The Thief) so who knows what’s next.

Other FuriousSound Update: I am tracking guitars for echoes’ Be A Ska Rat and XMAS songs, and am almost done. I may (?) do demos for another EP (Ventura) at this time too. After they are done, I will move some gear to work (where it is quiet at night) to do vocals and a few acoustic parts. Also, a Benjamin Axeface session in KC has been discussed briefly; file it under “rumor.”


Jessie and I hit the Ray South football game last night specifically for Sarah and the band. As in, the award-winning RSHS Southern Regiment marching band, which is recently home from Clarinda, IA last weekend. There they were the top-ranked corps out of 53 entries.

After a big entrance, the first half included solid tunes and standard game-time rhythms from the band’s space behind the south end zone. I remarked to Jessie that I wished they were closer; in the stands next to us in the student section, perhaps. There was enough space, and last night in the chill it wouldn’t have hurt anyone to stand a little closer.

The full halftime marching show included several tunes from “Jesus Christ Superstar.” Marching with verve, the Southern Regiment was under the direction of their Senior Major (with the help of Junior and Sophomore majors); the band director was nowhere in sight (impressive!). Special moves included a Dixieland breakdown with a small New Orleans-style jazz combo in the center of the field, the Major’s various salutes coupled with an extended kneel-down/stand-up ending move, and just prior to the end the whole band kicking Broadway-style straight up the field towards us. It was a stylish, colorful show; it had personality.

Though it was the least formal part of the “show” (or maybe not part of the show at all), the best moment came early in the 4th quarter. After taking the 3rd off, the band reassembled in their end zone bleachers for the end of the game. The tuba section started up a little descending bass riff, the drums rocked a mellow beat, and the rest of the band started dancing. This dance is a low, quad-busting dance done with a wide stance, bouncing inches from the ground with arms outstretched. I’ve done similar things during the quietest parts of the breakdown to “(You Know You Make Me Wanna) Shout!”, or dancing borborbor in Ghana. But it was entirely spontaneous, done for its own joy; the Southern Regiment clearly loves being a band, and loves each other.

signs.comets, dance parties, and ambition

This blog is going to be three fold, as cleverly suggested by the title. 

The first musing I have is on the howie&scott (or as I like to call them, Scott Money Big, or S$B) double-disc, signs.comets.  I have listened to the CD plenty of times, and although I know they were seperated into two CDs for a reason, I still listen to them as if they were a whole work (like, I won’t usually listen to just one or the other; usually it’s the two right in a row).  I remember being at Howie’s house, helping him EQ some of his uncle band’s songs, and Howie mentioned something to me about the “signs” disc from signs.comets being, in his opinion, the single most important artistic achievement he has made thus far. 

To Howie, signs is not just a better CD musically- it meant more to him to write, I believe, and from what it looks like, it sounds like he’s poured just about 100% of himself into signs, emotionally.  Not that he didn’t with any other musical effort he’s done, but I know what he means- there are some moments when you write a song, and you can’t believe how accurately it describes how you feel.  It doesn’t happen often for me that I write a song and say, “Holy sh*t- this is EXACTLY how I feel!”  Language and music are tough to manipulate sometimes, but for Howie, it sounds like he was able to do just that for the creation of “signs.”

Final paragraph on signs.comets- I was listening to “comets” a few weeks ago in my car on the way to work, and I had a realization that went against what Howie had said, at least at first, and my realization was this: that “comets” was probably the better record of the two.  I know this probably doesn’t seem like that big of a deal to most people, but it’s a rare occurance when I don’t agree with Howie on which albums are better, especially when it comes to the records we’ve written.  For example, “Prove It” > “Mixed-Up Head.”  But I bet even Scott Stapp could tell that.  Actually, for some reason, I bet he would like “Mixed-Up Head” better.  Anyway, the point is, I believe that there’s a good chance that “comets” is the better record- it’s more accessable without being too accessable, the lyrics and songwriting are wonderful, and it’s cohesive in a way that signs doesn’t accomplish.  But after mentioning this possibility to Howie, and thinking about it afterwards, I came to the conclusion that just because “comets” might be better than “signs” doesn’t mean that “signs” shouldn’t mean more to Howie as the songwriter than “comets.” (as an aside, Howie should feel free and, well, obligated to correct or amend anything I’ve written here). 

Dance Parties-  Sometimes I get bored at my favorite band’s concerts.  I’ve gotten bored while Cursive, Death Cab for Cutie, Radiohead, Nada Surf, Ben Kweller, Bright Eyes, and countless other “favorite” bands have played.  Why is that?  Because at a live show, I need something more than just the songs.  I need an atmosphere.  I need energy.  I NEED HEART.  And that’s why, out of all of the concerts I’ve ever been to, stupid punk shows and ESPECIALLY hip-hop shows have been the best.  Even if I don’t know the song, I usually enjoy watching an Honorable Mention song live better than watching some Bright Eyes songs.  The best concert I’ve ever been to was The Streets- it’s the only one that I was never bored at.  In fact, I was PUMPED.  It was awesome.  So much energy, and I was dancing the whole time.  What do you guys think?

Finally, ambition.  Is it wrong to want everyone in the world to hear your song or read your cool, funny Noose article?  Is it wrong to want to consider demo-submitting and/or newsletter advertising to get your name out there?  When we step on stage to perform a show, we are not only silently admitting that we believe our songs are worth listening to- we have taken it upon ourselves to make sure that people DO listen to our songs.  We’re making these songs for more than just ourselves.  Although the songwriter should be the only one truly concerned with his or her own work, it doesn’t really work like that- after all, why would MFR even bother to post our music if we didn’t believe it ought to be heard by others? 

Is ambition in music a bad thing?  I think these questions can all be answered by studying motives.  Some people start bands because they want to “make it big.”  Others start bands because they want to create new, original exciting music.  These two types of people blur in a lot of ways.  I’m perfectly happy to be a part of the MFR community, giving away music, but really (and possibly hypocritically), if Robb Nansel from Saddle Creek called me tomorrow and said “I want to sign Benjamin Axeface,” I’d do it in a heartbeat.  Mostly because I want as many people to hear my music as possible.  Plus, imagine the possibilities- if Benjamin Axeface or any other MFR artist got signed, that opens a door for every other MFR artist as well.  Also, a small part of all of us (no matter how focused on what really matters in music, I believe) would like to spend our days reading and writing music and volunteering and doing things that matter to the world, rather than working crappy 9-5 corporate jobs that don’t do too much for the good of society.  Maybe this sentiment is tainted with an unhealthy kind of ambition, but I can’t lie about how I would act if the opportunity presented itself.  Maybe the difference is in whether being signed or getting big is the main goal or simply a by-product of music.

I know there’s a lot in this blog- please feel free to pick and choose what to comment and/or reply to.  Just some thoughts for a Sunday night.

Cory Alan

Bike's "Stroke Me Gently, Lady Luck" and Axeface Show

Stroke Me Gently, Lady Luck, Bike’s new EP, was released this afternoon by Mr. Furious Records. Five new tracks are up on the EP’s post page; the release through the Internet Archive will be updated within a day or two (same exact files – no sound difference). Following How Is That Possible from this past December, Bike has grown more brazen and more hushed on alternating tracks; looking forward, Nate and his elite cadre of robot musicians and poets are hard at work on a full-length for next year.

AND, our very own BENJAMIN AXEFACE is playing with the world-famous MELISMATICS at Duffy’s on Wednesday night. The Melismatics are a fantastic power-pop band from Minneapolis. Details;

Wednesday, 5 October
Duffy’s Tavern, Lincoln NE
9:00 pm

ALSO, we have updated our album-cover desktop wallpapter with Bike’s new cover AND upcoming Sally Ride (October 30); check it out on the images page, along with a new D-Rockets design. You have to watch out for D-Rockets; you might just be turning around for another dose of that chuckwagon stew, and the next thing you know there’s cowboy hats on EVERYBODY!