Monday, March 10, 2008

Historia de la Musica Tad, vol. IV

In some regards, it’s not so amazing that Salt Lick is no longer in print. TAD probably experienced more bad luck than any other band from that era: they faced two enormous lawsuits (relating to the original scandalizing cover of 8-Way Santa and to appropriation of Pepsi’s logo for the “Jack Pepsi” single) and endured being dropped by two different labels (Giant/Warner Brothers and EastWest/Elektra), with the second of the label-losses happening a mere week into a tour. In other regards, it is amazing that Salt Lick fell out of print: we consider it among the greatest and most important records from that era, and now that indie rock has become a certifiable genre and has substituted wimpiness and affectation for genuine menace, it sounds fresher and more vibrant to my ears than it has for any time since Sub Pop released it in 1990.

The line-up on Salt Lick doesn’t differ from that on TAD’s debut, God’s Balls (Tad Doyle on guitar and vocals, Kurt Danielson on bass, Gary Thorstensen on guitar, and Steve Wied on drums), but the sounds differ quite a bit. God’s Balls sounds sludgier, slower, and more lumbering (in a good way), whereas Salt Lick has a slightly more industrial sound. If God’s Balls sounds like grave-digging, then Salt Lick sounds like demolition work. To put it better, Salt Lick sounds like Tad has been laying some cable, in both senses of the term. This is not to imply that I prefer the sound of one record over another; both were recorded appropriately. The recordings largely reflect the trademark sounds of their engineers—Jack Endino and Steve Albini.

"High on the Hog," w/ Kurt Cobain on vocals

I contacted both Doyle and Albini for comments. Doyle has been too busy to get back to me, which is fine. Albini mentioned that he doesn’t remember the sessions too well—they were 20 years ago, after all—but gracefully attempted to answer some questions anyway.

Lamestain: Did the band indicate why they wanted to record with you? (Meaning, were there any past recordings that they especially liked or referenced?)

Steve Albini: I liked God's Balls and mentioned it to Tad when I met him. That may have influenced his decision, but he never mentioned it.

Lamestain: What was the recording process like? The record was recorded well before you opened Electrical Audio. Where did you record it? Did the band use their own instruments or instruments at the studio?

Albini: Everything was recorded and mixed at CRC. They used their own guitars, I don't remember about the rest.

Lamestain: The bass sound--which is fantastic--recalls Big Black a little. Was this planned in advance or did it relate to the recording process (for example, as a result of the instruments used)?

Albini: Don't remember doing anything special. Sorry.

Lamestain: Were there any leftovers from the sessions? Any songs that appeared in different versions on later albums?

Albini: I think everything they recorded ended up on the EP.

Lamestain: Is there anything you especially love or dislike about how that record turned out?

Albini: I have mixed feelings about it. I remember some songs sounding more ass-kicking than others but not being able to put my finger on why.

Lamestain: Finally, I've been curious about the provenance of a song called "Habit & Necessity," which appeared on an early Dope, Guns, and Fucking comp. It doesn't exactly sound like anything from either the sessions with you or those with Jack Endino while at the same time sounding a little like each of those sessions. Did you record this?

Albini: Doesn't sound familiar. Sorry. That was pretty lame, sorry. I don't have that many vivid memories about those sessions.

"Wood Goblins"--too "ugly" for MTV

We’ve been happy to see TAD finally getting their due, even if it’s coming nearly two decades too late. One of Seattle Weekly’s blogs claimed that “Wood Goblin” was the best Northwest music video ever made. We’ve heard rumors of the possibility of TAD reissues. The Busted Circuits and Ringing Ears DVD came out a little more than a month ago (it’s highly recommended); it's reviewed here, indicating that we’re not the only people feeling nostalgia for TAD. Doyle has insisted that his heart isn’t in to the possibility of the reunion, so this will probably be the closest we get. As much as we would leap at the chance to see TAD again, we would like it more if some of you young whipper-snappers reading this blog would finally quit being such pussies and pick up the mantle where TAD left it.

Because of the possibility, however remote, that these records will see reissue, we’re only posting a couple of mp3s. Really, you have no excuse for not owning it already—none whatsoever! We also found a live show from this era via the computernet that we’ve added below. The sound quality is surprisingly good.

Axe to Grind

Live December 1st, 1989

Pork Chop
Wood Goblins

Boiler Room
(Unkown track)
Nipple Belt



Steve said...

This is great man! Thanks, I love your Tad posts. I noticed the sendspace link for the vinyl-only God's Balls tracks is down, is there anyway you could make a big pack of the more rare TAD stuff and upload it to send space? I would be very appreciative since I've been looking for a digitized version of those for quite some time.

Thanks again for the live stuff. First time hearing Nipple belt, can't wait.

Lamestain HQ said...

I might upload some of it again later. Presently, the only rarity I haven't yet digitized is the b-side to "Loser" ("Cooking with Gas"), so once I do that, I'll likely re-upload some of the older material.

Yannick said...

I have god's balls/ salt lick and it sounds pretty good although it's a cassete,..., I made some copies of it and gave it to friends who were very pleased

I really need to get the TAD dvd, Belgium sucks,...

Do you know someting about mudhoney touring europe this summer? The meat puppets are already coming so I'm already happy


AtothemfT said...

Thanks for another great Tad post. The new DVD is well worth checking out. I reviewed it for Decibel Magazine if anyone wants to check it out here:


AtothemfT said...

For some reason it looks like that link didn't come through it should be this:

Lamestain HQ said...

Adem--Great review! Thanks for posting it.

Anonymous said...

Helot is amazing. I was fortunate to buy it when it came out but didn't appreciate it's awesomeness (not a reall word, but I'm going with it) until I heard it on Hype. Not too hard to play on guitar either.

Lastly, just wanted to thank you for ALL your posts. It's really turned me on to many bands. For example, I went out and bought both of Gravel's CD's after your post on them. When my 5 year old asked my wife to play "64 Spiders" on her iPod, she looked at me and said " you know, you really need to listen to some more current music"! So I starting to listen to Love Battery. That works, right?

Thanks again for all the excellent posts.


Anonymous said...

TAD's Dementia video

akira said...

Hello. I'm sorry. I am not good at English.
i am a japanese.
since I am a fan of TAD, bootleg and LP of tad are collected.
It listened to this 12-1-1989 live for the first time.
It is amazing. Thank you.

fred said...

Awesome. Been waiting for vol IV forever. Keep it coming.

Anonymous said...

TAD are cool... there is some good stuff on too.....

Michael said...

Great stuff but track 4 is Daisy, not Boiler Room.

And speaking of Cooking With Gas, the German Glitterhouse CD of Salt Lick has digital versions of both Cooking With Gas and Daisy.

blknpkins said...

I'm usual. Any chance of re-upping this? Love TAD and would really appreciate the reup. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your many TAD posts...since I'm lazy about digitizing my seven inches, I appreciate your sharing. Any chance of re-uploading that show from Dec. 1989? I missed it! :(

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Anonymous said...

Just heard Endino on KEXP, 12-17-11, as a guest dj. One of the tracks he played was an unreleased TAD track called "Nuts and Bolts." It's the same as the song listed as "Unknown" on this 12-1-89 bootleg!